November 2010


The firestorm over Bristol Palin’s advance into the finals on Dancing With The Stars continues with reports of voter fraud by Palin fans and a viewer boycott by those that aren’t happy with Tuesday’s results.

For those that are concerned with voter fraud on a reality show I ask- Where have you been?  DWTS isn’t the only program that asks viewers to vote for their favorite performers and yet it is now the focus of unhappy (and mostly liberal) anger.  It would be nice if they were this concerned about real voter fraud in political elections.

But these accusations are nothing more than sour grapes from those that have been caught offguard by the huge outpouring of support for Bristol.

As reported in the Washington Post the best summation of why Palin has made it thus far came from her dance partner Mark Ballas when he addressed the media on the subject.

“Obviously, you guys thought Brandy should have gone through,” Ballas said to the gaggle, according to TMZ video of the incident. “Did you vote?” he asked. Those members of the media who answered said they had not. “Well, then!” Mark shot back. Bristol has made it to the finals, he said, “because she’s relatable. . . . She’s the most normal person we’ve ever had on the show. . . . She’s not an entertainer, she’s not a dancer, she’s not a singer, she’s not an actress. . . . I think people at home who have their normal lives are like, ‘If I was on the show, that’s how I would be, so I want to vote and see how, if I was to compete on the show, what it would be like,’ ” Ballas speculated.

The media can’t get over that Bristol has won American’s hearts and is worried that a Bristol win will a feel good story for the Palin family that they would rather not have to report on given their disdain for her mother.

It’s anyone’s guess who will win the cheesy mirror ball trophy but one thing is for sure and that is that Bristol has already beaten the liberal media with her appearance and that is worthy of a prize in and of itself.

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words but in the case of rioting students in Great Britain CNN Executive Producer  Nadia Bilchik felt compelled to go behind the pictures to explain why the students were tearing up government property.

Bilchik explained that until the late 1990’s students in Great Britain didn’t pay any university tuition and over time it gradually rose to the equivalent of $4500.  With the British government facing what even Bilchik admits is an enormous deficit they are left with very little choice but to raise the fees in order to close the budget gap.

But for Bilchik that’s really not a god enough reason since people who are now in their 30’s probably never paid any tuition and leaves viewers with the impression that the increase in fees despite the deficit is unfair since so many British citizens until recently had received a free university education.

Bilchik did think it was a shame that the student protest turned violent but closed the segment by saying that”but let’s take a look at the bigger picture of what they are protesting” and that “it gets lost in the whole big scenario.”

I think the public understands that the students are upset with tuition increases but that doesn’t give them the right to riot and destroy property and CNN has no business in turning it into a justifiable act just because previous generations received a free education.

That’s the problem with the cradle to grave society that exists in much of Europe. People expect that the government will take care of them forever and ask little in return so they can work a little and vacation a lot.  Well nothing in life is truly free and Great Britain is now paying the piper for decades of government excesses and it’s going to be very painful indeed.

Every fall television season the networks trot out several new shows to replace last years failures or shows that had reached the end of their useful ratings life.

This year was no different and we have seen the usual crop of hits and misses but no failure was apparently more glaring to Allison Samuels who laments in Newsweek the demise of Undercovers a new NBC series with a pair of attractive black actors as the leads.

Samuels just doesn’t take Hollywood to task for what she considers the dearth of leading black actors on television she goes as far as to say that Tinseltown isn’t ready for “super-negros” as she calls them

Here is part of what Samuels wrote in Newsweek

On Web sites such as Entertainment Weekly’s and Bossip theories ran amok as to why a flashy drama from a veteran producer sank before it could reach deep water. Some pointed to lack of star power, while a few fans complained of weak writing. Sure, all those things can cause any show’s early demise, but I’m not convinced those very fixable creative flaws explain the show’s short life span; ratings were low from the very first episode. I think it’s possible that a slightly more obvious, disturbing reason could be behind Undercovers’ failure, and it’s pretty familiar: race. Prime-time audiences just weren’t ready for “super-negros” on the small screen. And that’s exactly what Undercovers was: a show about black people doing very “unblack” things. Before anyone gets upset, let me explain. “Super-negro” was a term my family often used while watching old Sidney Poitier movies back in the day. In Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (our favorite), Poitier portrays a black doctor in love with a white, wealthy young socialite during the ’60s. Pretty early in the film, you begin to realize that Poitier’s character is not just any black doctor (an accomplishment in itself for most people then, and now); he’s a black doctor with degrees from several Ivy League universities, an internationally known scholar behind cures of dozens of diseases in Africa and elsewhere. Overkill. But Poitier portraying a “regular negro” was simply not good enough during those times, so the “super-negro” was born. The same could be said of his character from In the Heat of the Night, a Philadelphia cop with highly decorated awards.

Fast-forward 40 years, and it’s plain to see that Hollywood still hasn’t figured out a way to move beyond that absurd premise. It still can’t just fit us in. Yes, we often appear as sidekicks or backup characters in an array of popular shows in prime time, but rarely do we carry a show as the star or let the viewers come home with us. One exception is Jada Pinkett Smith’s turn as a no-nonsense nurse on the TNT show Hawthorne. Wonder why? It might have something to do with the fact that it’s a show that she and her husband, Will Smith, created and executive produce. Otherwise, it appears that the powers that be in Tinseltown feel quite comfortable relegating us to reinforcing every negative stereotype known to humanity in low-grade, embarrassing reality shows like Flavor of Love and Basketball Wives. So exactly how does the television audience (black, white, or other) make the gigantic leap from those constant images of foolery to a show like Undercovers? It doesn’t.

Samuels may be an award winning correspondent for Newsweek as her bio claims but in this case she is nothing but a race baiter for accusing Hollywood of purposely discriminating against blacks in leading roles.

Did Samuels actually watch any of the episodes?  I realize that television is entertainment but in the case of this show the idea that a young couple running a catering business were retired CIA agents and have been reactivated stretched the imagination.  The couple looked like they were maybe 30 years old at most and I could be wrong but how many retired spooks have you heard of retire at such a young age?  Also where did the wife learn all those languages?  It seemed like it didn’t matter what country she was in she could always speak the language.  How convenient.

The show didn’t fail because of some Hollywood conspiracy against “super-negros” but because it wasn’t remotely believable.

By the way if a white person had used the term “super-negro” he or she would have been crucified by the press but since Samuels is black it’s perfectly fine.

If Samuels is looking for bias in Hollywood she would be better off looking at how few conservatives are regularly employed or the ones that are keep quiet until they have established themselves.

 

Wind power long hailed as a cheap and clean source of energy has been hit hard by the realization that being cheap is not the same as being the cheapest energy source during a recession.

Take Invenergy a company that builds wind farms.  Just two years ago the company has banks that were willing to lend it millions of dollars to provide a green breeze of juice across the country.  They even had a deal to sell energy to a utility in Virginia.  But then came the recession along with a surplus of natural gas that has turned the economic numbers against wind power.

In Virginia state regulators rejected the deal citing lower costs from fossil fuels and natural gas.  They calculated that wind energy would increase rates by 0.2 percent and that any increase couldn’t be justified no matter how small in the midst of a recession.

And so it has gone in other states like Florida,Idaho and Kentucky where deals have either been scuttled or slowed down pushing the adoption of wind energy several years down the line.

While state regulators have tried to be more fiscally responsible wind energy advocates have been arguing that the failure to add clean energy to the power mix is shortsighted and harmful to the environment.

But this is a typical liberal argument that it doesn’t matter what it costs if it’s good for the environment.  Yet in the case of many wind energy projects that is debatable.

Take Rhode Island for instance where regulators earlier this year rejected an offshore wind energy deal that would have cost 24.4 cents per kilowatt hour versus the 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour cost using electricity and fossil fuels.  That’s more than double the cost to be clean and green.  Maybe the Al Gore’s and Kennedy’s of the world can afford to pay a premium for being green but most Americans can’t and won’t especially with a sour economy.

It’s a little like going organic.  Americans flocked to stores like Whole Foods when times were good and didn’t care about overpaying for food if it was organic.  But as soon as the recession hit Whole Foods went into a tailspin that they are now only recovering from.  The same goes for many green advocates who ignored the true cost of renewable energy during the boom years but now balk at the cost of doing so leading to a slowdown in the movement.

The Rich Get Richer

Remember the Pickens Plan?  Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens extolled the virtues of wind energy several years ago as oil topped $140 a barrel and spent millions on television ads extolling his vision.

The only problem was that he was going to erect a massive number of wind turbines even in areas that had little wind which would have been heavily subsidized by the government without a clear plan as to how he was going to transmit the energy generated from such far flung locations.

If his plan had gone forward the taxpayers would have been footing the bill for a very long time in exchange for a limited amount of energy.

Pickens had a plan alright.  It was how to make his next billion on the backs of the taxpayers.

I think it is inevitable that we will move to more types of renewable energy as time goes on thanks largely to taxpayer subsidies for solar panels and wind turbines.  But with this move comes increased costs which may appear small to some but multiplied over the ratepayer base will add up to millions of dollars in unneeded expense in the name of saving the environment.

Frankly I just want cheap clean energy.  Give me nuclear.

 

 

Bristol Palin the teenage mom turned abstinence speaker has burnished her image with her appearance on this season’s Dancing with the Stars.

Palin who isn’t a very talented dancer has slowly improved as the season has progressed and defied media critics who felt that her appearance was nothing more than a ratings ploy by the producers.

Yet Bristol has shown a sweet innocence as she both struggles to learn the dance routines but also how to remain modest in her appearance on a show known for some of the skimpiest on network television an in the process has won the hearts of many Americans.

Up to this point I can’t argue too much with the fact that she is still in the running for the cheesy mirror ball trophy but now that there are only four dancers left the pressure will intensify as she won’t be able to rely on the sympathy for her youth , inexperience (and her mom)  to get her to the finals.

While she has been an adequate dancer I have no doubt that the main reason she has survived this long has been largely due to her mother’s supporters who want to see this young conservative win the whole enchilada.

There is no doubt that Sarah Palin looms large over the show this year as she has made several appearances to support Bristol and even though she can be a lightning rod in the world of politics it may just turn out that her overall popularity and fan base wll carry Bristol to the top despite her shortcomings as a dancer.

I would prefer the best dancer win but a small part of me is rooting for Bristol.

In what has to be one of the most ludicrous statements that Chris Matthews has ever made he accuses  Republicans of making president Obama a lefty.

Hey Chris, the Republicans didn’t have to make Obama into a lefty because he already was one.

In an interview on WNYC  in May 2009  James Carville aka the Ragin’ Cajun predicted that the Democrats would rule and reign for a long time to come.

I admit that sfter the 2008 elections things looked pretty bleak for the GOP but by the time Carville gave this interview CNBC’s Rick Santelli had called for a tea party and several events had already taken place showing public unrest with the proposed Obama agenda.

Carville obviously didn’t take the Tea Party very seriously as he spoke about how difficult it would be for the GOP to find new people to run.  Well maybe the Republicans didn’t enthusiastically recruit members of the Tea Party to run for office but run they did and infused the party with the enthusiasm it has been lacking since the days of Ronald Reagan.

The mainstream media is still in love with Carville whose main claim to fame is his role as the campaign manager for Bill Clinton in 1992.  But since that time the few domestic campaigns he has advised on like John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2008 have not been successful but yet he is still in demand for his political expertise.

Maybe one of the problems the Democrats had this year is that they listened too much to people like Carville who believed that voters would not abandon the party just four years after handing the control of Congress and two years after giving them the White House.

But the voters did leave the Democrats in the dust and Carville will be wise to wait awhile before he makes any more 40 year Democratic dominance predictions.

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