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Sun Oct 26, 2014 at 10:31 PM PDT

R.I.P. Mrs. Kotter

by EWembley

Actress Marcia Strassman died yesterday at the age of 66 after a seven-year battle with breast cancer:

The Hollywood Reporter

In a career that spanned 50+ years, she was best known for her roles of Julie Kotter in the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" and Diane Szalinski in the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" movies:


As a hormonally challenged teen in the 1970s, she was a MILF to me before the term was coined.

I post this here because of her strong support for progressive causes, including:

1.  AIDS - AIDS walks, Tuesday's Child (for kids with AIDS)
2.  Labor - Screen Actors Guild leader
3.  Peace - Artists United to Win Without War, opposing the Iraq War

There may have been more, but that was all I could find.  In recent years, she was involved in supporting breast cancer research.


San Diego becomes the largest city in the country so far to raise the minimum wage:

San Diego joins several other cities across the nation, including San Jose and Seattle, trying to fight poverty by establishing local minimum wages that are higher than state and federal requirements. San Diego is the largest city by population in the country to make such a move.

California’s minimum wage rose from $8 an hour to $9 on July 1 and is scheduled to become $10 in January 2016. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

San Diego’s minimum wage will rise to $9.75 in January 2015, $10.50 in January 2016 and $11.50 in January 2017. Further increases tied to the local Consumer Price Index would begin in January 2019.

The measure was a compromise on Council President Todd Gloria's earlier proposal for a $13.09 an hour minimum wage.  More below:
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Okay, we got some good news today on DOMA and Prop. 8.  But the other decisions from the Roberts Court have been terrible, from gutting the Voting Rights Act to the Chamber of Commerce friendly decisions to Citizens United in the past.  Who knows what will happen in the future?  The overturn of Roe v. Wade?  This shows that controlling the Supreme Court may be more important than controlling Congress.  With four of the nine justices over 70, two liberal and two conservative, we need a Democratic President to be appointing the next few Supreme Court justices.  Hillary Clinton gives us our best chance of winning in 2016 and we need to go with her, despite questions by some about her liberal "purity."

More below:

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Poor Darrell Issa.  He probably thought this was going to be his day.  Wall-to-wall coverage of his hearing with the Benghazi whistle-blowers on cable news.  The lead story on the national news broadcasts.  Fox News was probably looking forward to putting things into the worst possible light for the Obama administration, with live coverage of the hearings and then "analysis" on their opinion shows (The Five, O'Reilly, Hannity).  The public would be so outraged and there would be so much damage to the administration that both Obama and Biden would have to resign to avoid impeachment, and Hillary Clinton would be permanently damaged for 2016.

Too bad for them that very few people will remember what was said in the hearing today as the other news of the day will suck all the oxygen out of the media coverage.  It began on Monday with the rescue of the three women who had been kidnapped in Cleveland.  More lurid details were bound to come out (like reports of a naked woman seen in the backyard) which would interest the public more than the Congressional testimony.  Then, this morning, right in the middle of the hearings, two of the victims went home.  CNN and MSNBC went with live coverage of that, and even Fox broke away to cover the return of Gina Dejesus.  And after that, it was announced that there was a verdict in the Jody Arias case.  That as opposed to Benghazi was the lead story on both Shepard Smith's and Neil Cavuto's programs.  As I write this, none of the Fox opinion shows have aired, so I don't know where they're going to go.  But I think Sean Hannity is going to have difficulty getting traction on Benghazi on a day like today.

You can argue about the priorities of the viewing public favoring the sensational over the more substantive news.  But that's a discussion for another time.  The net result is that the Benghazi hearing is going to be the third story on the national news at best and is unlikely to sway anybody one way or the other.  Poor Darrell Issa and Fox News. . .  not!

* * * * *

Edit:  Aw shucks, Batman.  Thanks for the rec list everybody!


Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM PST

Jarring Juxtaposition on Fox News

by EWembley

This just happened on Megyn Kelly's Fox News program, so no links yet or much in this diary.  Kelly opened her 10:00 hour with a one-sided discussion about gun control (I'll let you guess what side that was).  At the end of the segment, she thanked the participants for the "debate" then quickly changed the term to "discussion" after realizing that both her guests were on the same side (as was she).  Then she moved to the breaking news that there was a shooting at Taft High School in the Los Angeles area.  I don't know if she realized the irony of the news after the just concluded "discussion" against gun control, but she moved off the breaking news quickly and made no connection between the two segments.


NBC's Nightly News had an interesting report about the firefighters who are battling the wildfires in Colorado and elsewhere:

Because their work is seasonal, they are considered temporary workers and therefore don't qualify to participate in the Federal health insurance program.  This, despite sometimes putting in the equivalent of a full years work in the six or seven months they are employed.

More and what you can do to help them out after the flames:

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Remember the Air America advertiser blacklist? Dozens of companies demanded that their ads not be aired on Air America programming. While listening to Rush Limbaugh on Friday and Monday to find the local sponsors here in San Diego, I heard ads for a number of national companies, including for JC Penney (also on Media Matters' list of advertisers on WABC) and for the HP Folio. Those two companies were the only ones adverstising who were also blacklisting Air America. More after the jump.
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There's a lot of good work going on about boycotting Limbaugh's national sponsors, and a couple have already pulled out.  But the national sponsors are only part of what keeps his empire going.  We need to target the local sponsors as well, as they are supporting the local stations that are part of his syndication network.  More after the jump.

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A narrative that is often heard in terms of comparing the economies of California and Texas is that Texas is doing so much better now than California due to the “business friendly” conservative policies of the former and the “business unfriendly” liberal policies of the latter.  Indeed, the unemployment rate is much higher in my home state of California (11.8 percent in June) than in Texas (8.2 percent).  Anecdotal stories abound of California companies leaving the state due to a poor business climate and relocating in Texas.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas accounted for 237,000 or 48 percent of the 496,000 jobs created in the entire United States between June 2010 and April 2011.  Figures like that will undoubtedly be touted by Texas governor Rick Perry as part of his presidential campaign.  

Paul Krugman in his column today and others do a good job poking holes in the myth of the Texas economic “miracle.”  But analysis by Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics shows that California’s liberal policies may not be as negative as the narrative would indicate.  Some of the key findings follow:

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Long-time Democratic activist Midge Costanza died Tuesday in San Diego after a long battle with cancer.  She was 77.

A strong advocate for gay and women's rights, Midge was best known nationally for her service as the highest ranking woman in the Carter Administration.  Upon moving to San Diego in 1990, she became involved in state and local politics, managing campaigns for Barbara Boxer for Senate in 1992 and Kathleen Brown for governor in 1994.  As to be expected from someone born in New York state to Sicilian parents, she was feisty, dynamic, and colorful and was a popular speaker. As part of her efforts to get more women and young people involved in politics and with social causes, she established the Midge Costanza Institute for the Study of Politics and Public Policy.

Midge had been on life support for the last week.  I hope that she knew that HCR had passed; she would have been pleased by that.

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