Jimmy Fallon Kicked By a Doll


Jimmy Fallon has a tough job in following David Letterman and Conan O’Brian as host of Late Night. Now it appears from the picture above that someone has hired Echo to take him out.

Here’s the actual video from Eliza Dushku’s  (Dollhouse) guest appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

Right Wing Extremism & Pat Buchanan’s Confused View of Traditional American Values

I’ve often noted the tendency of many on the right to portray themselves as victims. This includes the protests of the tea baggers over the imaginary injustices and our delusional decline into socialism which they were warned about by watching Fox. (And notice that my use here of Fox, and not “Fox News, ” predates the arguments from the Obama administration that Fox is an arm of the Republican Party and not a legitimate news organization.) The shock of having a black man in the White House, added to all the other imaginary injustices felt by the far right, has led to increased signs of extremism. The Secret Service reports an unprecedented number of death threats against Obama and a rise in racist wing hate groups. Expressions of violence from the right have become commonplace–including from mainstream conservatives in the Republican Party.

In this atmosphere, right wing pundit and Nazi-sympathizer  Pat Buchanan feels comfortable being even explicit about his views. He showed his sympathies towards Nazi Germany in a column last month. Now he writes about the persecution that he sees white working-class voters being subjected to.  The column is full of absurdities which other bloggers have already discussed at length, so I will limit this to one particularly ridiculous line. Buchanan writes: “In their lifetimes, they have seen their Christian faith purged from schools their taxes paid for…”

Yes, and this is a good thing. The schools are not the place to spread the Christian, or any other faith. Even Mike Huckabee has expressed some support for the idea that prayer does not belong in the schools. (If only he extended this to also opposing the teaching of creationism). Such separation of church and state was a fundamental principle of the founding fathers, who realized that this was necessary to preserve freedom of religion. While I would strongly object, it is logically possible to argue for having a state religion which is supported in the public schools.  It makes no sense to argue for this in a column which claims to support traditional American values.

If you support the inclusion of religion in the public schools you are directly opposing traditional American values.  With their growing cheering against America and opposition to the values we were founded upon, the word conservative has taken on an Orwellian meaning as we wonder what it is that conservatives want to conserve. This should come as no surprise when we have those on the right who claim to support a strong defense while supporting policies which undermine our national security. The right speaks of freedom while supporting an increasingly authoritarian society, ignoring true violations of civil liberties but see attempts to provide people with affordable health care as an intrusion on our liberties. The right speaks of supporting capitalism while backing a form of crony capitalism which would make Adam Smith roll over in his grave. While Pat Buchanan’s views are contrary to traditional American values, they do fit in will with the contemporary conservative movement.

Further Debunking GOP Talking Points On The Medicare Payment Formula and Health Care Reform

Yesterday I noted a rather bogus attack on health care reform in one editorial based upon not including a fix to the Medicare payment formula in the costs of health care reform.  As I described in the previous post, this is a long standing accounting trick used since the Republicans were in office and the costs of fixing this are unrelated to any added costs to the budget of health care reform. Jonathan Chait discussed this later in the day. He notes that conservatives are picking this up as their latest dishonest talking point to attack health care reform. He also notes the hypocrisy of Republicans in raising this:

Since the Democrats are trying to reform, and trim, how much Medicare spends, they planned to wipe the slate clean and just admit the obvious reality that the $247 billion is going to get spent.

Conservatives are attacking this as proof that health care reform is based on fraudulent accounting. See — they’re spending money they don’t pay for! National Review calls this “offloading $247 billion in Obamacare costs onto a separate, standalone, unfinanced piece of legislation.” But it’s not “Obamacare costs.” It’s money that would get spent whether or not health reform happens. It would be fair to make this charge if Obama were using these illusury savings to cover the cost of the new spending in his health care reform, but he isn’t.

So why is Obama getting attacked so bitterly over this? Because he’s acknowledging it. It’s the same thing that’s happened to fiscal policy since he took office. The Bush administration hid the true iscal picture with a plethora of accounting gimmicks — keeping all war costs out of the budget, pretending the middle-class tax cuts would expire, and on and on. Obama has tried to make the budget reflect reality. Alas, reality is a bummer. (And yes, the long-term deficit is entirely the fault of policies Obama inherited.) So Obama gets attacked for a “shell game” when all he’s really doing is admitting the shell game that’s been going on for years.

People have made this point before, but the conservative attacks on health care reform’s fiscal responsibility are beyond hypocritical. George W. Bush and the Republicans created a new health care entitlement in 2003 that was completely unfinanced. Not a dime was paid for. The Democrats have decided to completely finance every cent of health care reform, and they’re taking a hundred times more flack for fiscal irresponsibility than the Republicans ever did. There’s a lesson here, and “fiscal responsibility pays” isn’t it.

Republicans also have a poor case of questioning the integrity of the Democrats when we compare what how George Bush not only created the Medicare D program without providing for funding, but also acted to suppress information on the actual cost. The Bush administration even went as far as threatening to fire a Medicare actuary if he testified before Congress about the actual cost.

Barnes & Nobel Ready to Release E-Reader

BN ereader

The Wall Street Journal reports that Barnes & Nobel is ready to release its ebook reader this week:

Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain as measured by revenue, is playing catch-up with Amazon in digital books, one of the few growing segments of the publishing industry. Over the summer, Barnes & Noble introduced its own e-book store, which now features over a million free public domain books from Google Inc. Its e-books can be read on devices including Apple Inc.’s iPhone and a forthcoming reader from Plastic Logic Ltd. called Que.

The book chain has scheduled an event for the media, publishers and publishing agents in New York on Tuesday. Features of the Nook include a wireless connection to download books from the retailer’s online e-bookstore and an e-paper display from E-Ink Corp. that is separate from the color controls.

The New York Times Book Review ad urges readers to “experience nook at your local Barnes & Noble or at nook.com.” That Web site couldn’t be accessed Monday afternoon.

Pictures of the e-book reader are above. There’s no information on many of the key features which I considered when I finally gave in and purchased an ebook reader last week after previously expressing some reluctance.

After comparing features I picked up an EZ Reader Pocket Pro as opposed to the more well known models. Important factors in my purchase included handling a wide variety of formats and using SD cards for external storage. In addition, there’s no danger of Amazon remotely wiping out books. I’ll post a review in the near future. There’s no word as to how the product from Barnes& Noble compares on the features I considered.

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