All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.
1. Yesterday, I received this email from MoveOn.org:
Dear MoveOn member,
Rush Limbaugh has gone too far with his attacks on Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” and suggesting she post video tapes of herself online having sex.
Rush Limbaugh’s radio show is a part of the Clear Channel lineup, and it’s time that they no longer allow Rush Limbaugh to spew hateful and derogatory comments. That’s why I created a petition to Clear Channel on SignOn.org, which says:
Sandra Fluke, a law student at Georgetown University who was advocating for health insurance plans to cover the cost of contraception, became the target of a series of attacks by Rush Limbaugh. Besides calling her a “slut,” he also called her a “prostitute,” said that he wanted her to make sex tapes and post them online, and speculated that she only had a problem paying for contraception because she was having “so much sex.” We who support Ms. Fluke find that this is a serious offense committed by Mr. Limbaugh, and we ask that his radio show be terminated.
Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:
This petition and email were written by a member and is not (yet) an official position of MoveOn.
My question is why would I want Clear Channel to fire Rush Limbaugh? Do I endorse what he said? No. Do I support Limbaugh? No. Do I think people she be allowed to say bad things in public? Yes. I find a lot of inconsistency in supporting free speech for Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, or other radio personalities who may be controversial, profane and/or obscene, but not supporting it for Limbaugh.
I know this isn’t a constitutional free speech issue, but I worry that in the pursuit of political agendas, we’re limiting our own abilities to say what we want, when we want and how we want to say it and that has consequences. Certainly, people have the right to organize and demand that advertisers stop supporting people like Limbaugh and Stern, but maybe we should all just fucking relax.
Remember how the FCC took radical control of the airwaves after we were all shown Janet Jackson’s floppy teat during the Super Bowl halftime show? Yeah, that kinda sucked and many of us were all pissed off that a bunch of evangelical fundamentalist puritans protested and changed broadcast standards. I know this will make the libertarians happy, but perhaps we should let the market decide.
Limbaugh’s position was immediately discredited, he was roundly ridiculed, and he alienated huge swaths of his current and potential future audience. Ultimately, his misogyny and prejudice will result in diminished ratings and the advertisers will walk away on their own. Also, letting him say what he wants lays bare the fundamental awfulness of the republican party, allows democrats to raise huge amounts of indignation money, and forces us to confront and discuss issues of import. It also shows that he is the titular head of the party as not one single republican of note has truly criticized what he had to say.
So, I support keeping Limbaugh on the air, because he makes it easier to return the democrats to the majority and if you believe in the rights of Americans to say terrible and uncomfortable things, you should as well.
2. How does a city tell entrepreneurs that it is a place that is open to technology startups and welcomes innovation? It’s pretty simple, actually.
If you’re a city, how can you send a message to entrepreneurs – the student at a local university, a visiting business manager, a start-up in someone’s garage – a message to say that you understand technology? Put OPEN in big neon lights and display it proudly: on your website, your data, your strategic plans. Word gets around: “These guys have a ton of data online.” “This app will work with any bus system that has an API.” “Who do you think got the city on GitHub?” Either you’ve overheard things like this at a hackathon, or you ought to visit one.
Cities are opening up their treasure trove of municipal data and asking tech startups to play with it. Data has incredible value and it’s an underutilized asset here in Buffalo. Let’s open it up like New York City, St. Louis, Chicago, Portland, and Chattanooga have done and see what happens.
3. How do you make a Santorum Cake? Here’s the recipe.
This rich, chocolatey cake is entirely egg-free. Not due to wartime rationing, thank heavens, but because the author believes deeply in the concept of chickenhood. All eggs– both fertilized and non– have the right to grow into the poultry
The absence of dairy products means the texture of this dessert utterly oil-dependent.
And, of course, there are nuts.
Serves 9, but please save the nicest piece for Jesus.
Brilliant. And Delicious.
4. The republican party is horribly fractured and this long slog of a primary season is only exacerbating the problem.
In the past ten years, as self-proclaimed conservatives have increased from sixty-two per cent of the Republican Party to seventy-one per cent, the percentage of Republicans describing themselves as moderates has declined from thirty-one per cent to twenty-three per cent. The number who call themselves “liberal” is now close to the number who describe themselves as Aleut or Eskimo.
for the second election in a row, Republicans seem likely to pick someone who didn’t unite their party. For decades, the most conservative Republicans formed a united front with other factions to get behind even uninspiring nominees like George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole. That era has passed. In 2008, for the first time in Party history, more Republicans voted against the eventual nominee (fifty-three per cent) than for him (forty-seven per cent) in the primaries. On the eve of Super Tuesday, Romney, the likely nominee, had won the support of just forty-one per cent of the votes cast this year.
When we look back in fifty years, we may find that it was the primaries that killed the republican party, in the conservatory, with the bible.
Fact Of The Day: In 1999 a man on California’s death row received a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered in Vietnam, one year before he was executed.
Quote Of The Day: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
Cartoon Of The Day: Bad Luck Blackie- Tex Avery
Video Of the Day: Neil DeGrasse Tyson – Testifying Before Congress…Like A Boss
Song Of The Day: “Got To Get You Off Of My Mind” – Solomon Burke
Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV
Email me links, tips, story ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org