Friday, June 11, 2010

Bits and pieces

A New York Times' piece explores efforts by the world's worst dictator, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, to refashion his image.

On January 20, 2009, most of America rejoiced at the end of the error that was the Bush/Cheney regime. However, the effects of the oil men's reign was always going to last far more than eight years. The BP/Gulf of Mexico oil cataclysm is the logical consequence of the Bush/Cheney/Tea Party ideology of letting industry regulate itself without the meddling of 'liberty snatching' government. An Associated Press analysis points out another consequence: the majority of federal judges in the Gulf coast have financial connections to the oil and gas industry. These are the judges that would hear lawsuits relating to the oil catastrophe.

I've frequently commented on the manner in which the punditocracy suffocates the practice of journalism... specifically how polls, speculation and horse race crap is replacing the real news reporting. In defending this, corporate media types piously claim that it's not because the horse race crap is easy, lazy stuff but that they are just giving the people what they want. The Washington Post's excellent media critic Howard Kurtz gives lie to that claim. In a Tweet, he pointed out that 5 pct. of people were interested in last week's primaries but they got 18 pct. of the news coverage.

CNN reports on a quarter century long study published in the journal Pediatrics concluding that kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems than their powers. This will surely have no impact on the opinions of the far right, the Catholic Church and other groups who reject scientific analysis on principle. But it begs the question: should heterosexual adoption be banned? For the well-being of the children, of course.

And the world's most important sport event in its most beloved sport starts today. From now until July 11, the soccer World Cup will be held in sites throughout South Africa. For one month out of every four years, soccer fans in America get to be as insufferable as fans of the boring pointyball are for the other 47 months. My predicted semifinalists are Argentina, Spain, the Netherlands and Nigeria (though watch out for dark horses Serbia, Uruguay and Cameroon), with Spain beating the Netherlands in the final. The US plays the hated England tomorrow at 2:30p ET, Slovenia next Friday and Algeria the following Wednesday. The full World Cup broadcast schedule can be found here. C'mon USA!

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