The Morning Grumpy – July 22nd

22 Jul

1. Later this morning, Alan Bedenko will publish a story about what Mayor Byron Brown has been doing instead of coming up with unique strategies to make Buffalo a better place to live. While I know it’s important for Byron to buddy up with County Executive Chris Collins and other small-minded public sector crumb hoarders, there are some really cool programs and ideas we should be embracing here to generate private wealth. Programs that would help create a desperately needed entrepreneurial class of young people in our urban core.

Programs like Venture For America, for instance.

Venture for America will connect recent college graduates with start-ups and early-stage companies in economically challenged U.S. cities. Job creation is the ultimate purpose of the program, which launched today and announced Providence, Detroit and New Orleans as initial target cities. “Our concrete goal is to generate 100,000 U.S. jobs by 2025,” founder and president Andrew Yang said.

The program just launched in Detroit, Providence and New Orleans. A request for comment from the Mayor’s office went unanswered. By the way, one of the board members of this awesome organization, Medha Vedaprakash, is a University at Buffalo graduate and is a pioneer in VoIP technology as well as a venture capitalist.

2. What will I be doing this Sunday morning? Making Bacon Wrapped Eggs, son. Oh, you fancy, huh?  Fuck yeah.

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3. Grover on the flute, Bert & Ernie on the drums, and everyone else bringing the swag…the perfect mashup. Sesame Street does Sure Shot.

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4. The Capo di tutti capi of internet blogging, Anil Dash, gives us content providers a stern talking-to. I’m digesting the information and working on a new comment strategy that Alan alluded to earlier this week. From the article titled “If your website’s full of assholes, it’s your fault”:

How many times have you seen a website say “We’re not responsible for the content of our comments.”? I know that when you webmasters put that up on your sites, you’re trying to address your legal obligation. Well, let me tell you about your moral obligation: Hell yes, you are responsible. You absolutely are. When people are saying ruinously cruel things about each other, and you’re the person who made it possible, it’s 100% your fault. If you aren’t willing to be a grown-up about that, then that’s okay, but you’re not ready to have a web business. Businesses that run cruise ships have to buy life preservers. Companies that sell alcohol have to keep it away from kids. And people who make communities on the web have to moderate them.

5. Cenk Uygur will no longer be hosting the 6PM hour on MSNBC, and that makes me tremendously sad. Cenk was one of us, an internet writer, blogger and show host who rose through the ranks by building an audience and a following. He was direct, combative, critical, and entertaining. He will now be replaced by Rev. Al Sharpton and that is a terrible outcome. Why is Cenk no longer at MSNBC, you know, the “liberal” network? Turns out, he was a bit too combative and critical while delivering a younger audience to the network.

Uygur often refused to treat members of the political and media establishment with deference and respect. He didn’t politely imply with disguised subtleties when he thought a politician or media figure was lying or corrupt, but instead said it outright. In interviews, he was sometimes unusually aggressive with leading Washington figures, subjecting them to civil though hostile treatment to which they were plainly unaccustomed. As Uygur put it in explaining last night why he rejected MSNBC’s offer to stay on, “I said on the air that most politicians are corrupt. And I remember, my guest was like: “What – how can you say that? These are honorable gentlemen” [laughter] I am not going to do a show where I pretend that most of the politicians in Washington are honorable gentlemen. Hell no.”

We have a similar problem here in Buffalo, albeit at a much lower scale. Bloggers are a threat to the political status quo.

6. Here’s how Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature decided to run the sex education program in Texas public schools.

Texas lawmakers cut sex ed from two six-month courses to a single unit of “abstinence only” education

By 2009, 94 percent of Texas schools, which at the time were educating more than 3.7 million students, were giving no sex ed whatsoever beyond “abstinence only,” a curriculum that includes emphasizing that birth control doesn’t work. Instead of providing fact-based information, the programs use fear and Jesus — over-emphasizing the risks of sexually transmitted diseases leading to cervical cancer, radical hysterectomy and death, together with Christian morality.

One Texas public school district’s sex ed handout is entitled “Things to Look for in a Mate:”

A. How they relate to God
B. Is Jesus their first love?
C. Trying to impress people or serve God?

Fuck me running with this crap. Predictably, teen pregnancy rates shot through the roof. Higher than before abstinence only curriculum and 50% higher than the national average. When presented with the outcomes of the program, Gov. Perry said “It works.” And his response sums up Tea Party politics in a nutshell.

7. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released their findings from its comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve. The report is not pretty.

The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression  between Dec. 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, VT)

Among the investigation’s key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland

The non-partisan, investigative arm of Congress also determined that the Fed lacks a comprehensive system to deal with conflicts of interest, despite the serious potential for abuse.

For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed’s board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed.  Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed’s emergency lending programs.

Wow. As a reminder, the gross domestic product of the entire U.S. economy was $14.5 trillion last year.

8. This seems like a good spot to post the 100 greatest movie threats of all time, salty language ahead. List of movies in the video can be found here.

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Have a day!

4 Responses to “The Morning Grumpy – July 22nd”

  1. Leo Wilson July 22, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Food looks good, process looks worth the time, but I burst into a sweat just watching the cook turn on the oven. The video should start with, “Make sure the AC is on.”

  2. Tom Dolina July 22, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Something about Cenk rubs me the wrong way ususally, but maybe he’ll end up on Current with Keith Olbermann.

  3. Carmen Bartolotta July 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Venture for America sounds like something that would be of value in Buffalo. Why have so many of our college grads leave the area when we can harness their entrepreneurial spirit right here? Our current county executive would rather funnel money to his friends with existing businesses as handouts rather than helping those who are struggling to get off the ground. I’d like to hear Mark Poloncarz’s stance on this issue. He seems more open to new ideas. Then again, he’s not the CEO and king of Erie County.

  4. Carmen Bartolotta July 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Al Sharpton is difficult to watch.

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