Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Damn You, Lorne Michaels!

And now...  Turning Points In History...

Adolf Hitler doesn't get into art school!
Fidel Castro fails to get a major league contract!
 Al Franken runs away like a crying little girl because he doesn't get to host Weekend Update!

Another Question for the Universe

Are we EVER going to have a New Year's Eve where we actually get to see Megyn Kelly look like this?  It's always 42 below and we end up seeing her bundled up in some parka for God's sake.  Now, the black leather gloves are sort of kinky hot I guess, but I'd like to see the party dress.  Let her shake her groove thang a little.

Work with me, Jehovah!

Historical Myopia

Bloomberg.com: News - Americans Under 70 May Find 2008 Was Their Least Favorite Year

I've talked before about how most Americans have never experienced real macroeconomic pain and, consequently, have gone just a little bit crazy during the current downturn... Glenn Beck? Please pick up the white courtesy phone...

Anyhoo, this article is more of the same. Economic pain! Horror! Nightmare! Now, I'm not going to suggest that if you lost your job then you had a great year. It was probably rough financially. Of course, if you lost your job in 1997 you probably had a rough year. Or 2003... Or 1964.

If, on the other hand, you didn't lose your job in 2008, then this year probably hasn't been a bad one for you. In fact, if you didn't inflict a lot of news coverage on yourself, it was probably a pretty darn good year.

I'm going to use myself as an example here because I think I'm not entirely atypical. to that end, I am going to share rather more personal information than I ever have before around here... At least, in once place... Your's truly is a married man with one child. I work, Mrs. MediaBlog stays home to look after the bloglet. I bring home a little north of $60k per year. We live what I would call a solidly middle class life. We live in the outlying suburbs of a medium-sized Southern town. We own a home that is big enough to be comfortable for our needs at present. We have two vehicles, one a couple of years old and the other about seven years old. Both are in good condition and run very well. We are not extravagant in most things but neither do we scrimp. We have debt in addition to our mortgage but it is not a particular burden. We are working toward paying it off. We NEVER carry a balance on our credit cards from month to month. If we cannot afford to pay for it this month then we do not buy it. We are not saving quite as much as we should toward retirement but we are working to remedy that and should have it resolved within the next year.

Okay, sorry for the long biographical section. I felt like it was necessary in order to set up my bourgeois bona fides. Now, how has this year's "economic crisis" affected me?

My 401k, like just about everyone else's, has tanked this year. If I were 60 that would concern me greatly. Since I am in my mid-thirties it concerns me not at all. The only change I have made to my 401k plan this year is to increase my contributions to make certain I am taking full advantage of our company match. I don't care about the day-to-day (or month-to-month, for that matter) movement of the market because I'm not doing anything with the money for another (God help me) 30 years.

My house has probably gone down somewhat in value. Has it tanked like a 900 square foot 2/1 in Southern California that was selling for $550K? No, because it never shot up completely beyond reality in the first place. Still, it probably has gone down. I say "probably" because I don't really know. There is only one moment why I care what my house is worth: when I want to sell it. Since I don't want to sell it right now, what difference does it make whether the value goes up or down? Oh... Right... If the value goes down I can't borrow against it to pay for things I can't actually afford in the first place. Yeah. I don't do that sort of thing, remember?

What else... Gas prices have gone down. I know the reason they have gone down in because the economy has slowed but that doesn't change the fact that our family Christmas vacation has cost us less money for fuel than it would have otherwise. About 60% less to be exact. That's more money in my pocket.

My company, a large national firm, is making some changes but has (so far) gone to great lengths to avoid layoffs. The company is still profitable and shows every sign of remaining so. Even if layoffs become unavoidable I would be very surprised if they affected me. I perform a unique function in my geographic area. No one else within a 100 mile plus radius is trained to do my job. Training others to take my place would be expensive and time-consuming. Obviously, no one is immune from the possibility of downsizing, but I can honestly say that I have very little fear in this area.

What I'm trying, probably long-windedly, to get at is that unless you are very close to retirement, trying to sell your house, lost your job or have a genuine (not media-stoked) fear that your chances of getting fired have increased*** then you probably haven't been directly hit that hard by the "crisis".

I say "directly hit" because we're all taking a hit every time Bush or Paulson or Obama or Pelosi get up there and start promising stimulus or bailout money. I may not be running up credit card bills I can't pay, but the government is more than willing to do it on my behalf.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Delayed Gratification

About six months ago we told you that you might be seeing more of the lovely Jenna Fischer around here. Since then, we have let you down.

No. We haven't let you down. We have failed you. We made a promise and we failed. Failed.

We feel dirty and worthless and fat and ugly... Why do you even put up with us? We know you could do so much better. Is it pity? Is that why you stay with us?

We don't need your pity. Pity? You can take your pity and...

Breathe... Okay, breathe...

Anyhoo, it's worth the wait. Here's the lovely Miss Jenna:



Now, there's more to the photo that this. A lot more. There's bum, friends. Sweet, creamy bum. Still, I don't think we've ever posted arguable nudity around here before. Or maybe we have... I don't know. I do have a life, you know. I can't be expected to keep track of all these details. Again, anyhoo... If you want to see the rest... And, friends, you DO want to see the rest. Then click here.

See Better, Look Better

Making any New Year's Resolutions this year?

If not, now is the time! Maybe you want to lose a few pounds? Yeah, join the club. Or maybe you want to spruce up your look a little. Again, I am there. Like maybe you are thinking about ditching those tired, boring eyeglasses you have been wearing and get something a little more hip and trendy. Why not do just that?

Zenni Optical has an incredible selection of great frames that will spruce up your look. Better yet, you can change out your look without emptying out your wallet because Zenni Optical has great prices to match their great frames.

Take a look at these, for example:


Snazzy, huh? These are one of the Holiday frames Zenni Optical offers. Or maybe they're not quite your cup of tea? No worries. Zenni has dozens... Hundreds... Of other choices. You are certain to find the right frames to fit the look you want.

Don't wait for 2009! Get started on that resolution early. Check out the great frames, the great looks and, yes, the great bargains that you can find quickly and easily at Zenni Optical. You can get there by clicking on the link above.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We're Not Just About Blogporn, You Know

Samuel Huntington, 81, political scientist, scholar — The Harvard University Gazette

You've probably never heard of him (you ignorant slut), but Samuel P Huntington passed away on December 24th.

Assuming you ever turn off the TV and use the internet for more than searching for nude pictures of Jenna Wolfe, you might want to consider reading his book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.

Or, maybe I'm just wasting my time on you... If that's the case then here, wallow in your own mental degeneracy:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why Not?

Sharpton takes Caroline Kennedy to lunch in Harlem - Yahoo! News

First, I have to get this out of the way... Is it just me or does this headline sound like the first line of a joke?

Okay, now let's move on... We're not going to waste time talking about soon-to-be-cause-the-fix-is-in Senator Schlossberg's qualifications.

Why not? Well, maybe it's because we've never been the greatest respecter of "experience" in politicians. Honestly, I don't think being a Senator is all that difficult. I really don't. You're not actually responsible for anything. I mean, when you win you are no more than 1/51st responsible for what results... Less than that really since the Senate, by itself, does nothing.

Actually, though, here's why we don't really think experience matters... If Al Franken is even arguably qualified enough to sit in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body (hee hee hee hee) then Caroline Schlossberg should be elected Pope.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Maybe You Ought to Stop Worrying About SNL, Governor

Gov. David Paterson unveils dire New York State budget that includes new taxes, layoffs and cuts

Apparently, Governor Paterson (D-NY) didn't think much of the skit on this week's Saturday Night Live. It was in poor taste, of course, but it is SNL afterall. Still, the Governor is entitled to be offended by whatever he likes.

Now, if I were a New Yorker, here's what I'd be offended by. I'd be offended by a state budget that raises sales taxes on movie tickets and cable. I'd be offended by a state budget that charges sales tax on iPod downloads. I'd be offended by a state budget that puts an 18% tax on soda for God's sake. That's what I'd find offensive.

Don't think that regular New Yorkers are going to be the only ones paying the price. Oh no. Government is going to tighten its belt and cut out... Wait for it... Waste, fraud and abuse. Why, they're going to actually layoff 521 state bureaucrats...

Of course, the state of New York employs 169,426 people (link - page four) so that means that a whopping 0.3% of state employees are getting the axe.

Let's make this so the Governor can read it:

CUT 18% OF THE STATE WORKFORCE
AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT
AN 18% TAX ON A CAN OF COKE!

There's Nothing Lower Than Zero

Drop in consumer prices is most since 1932 - MarketWatch

I was an Econ major for about three minutes in the early 90s so I feel fully qualified to express my views on the current situation.

You're going to hear a lot, and not entirely from the Glenn Beck-tinfoil hat crowd, about deflation. Why you might even hear it from economists. Like, for example:

"This is scary stuff," said Mike Schenk, an economist for Credit Union National Association. "We are teetering on the brink of a massive downward spiral. Deflation is a threat."


Now, here's the problem with that. If you actually look at the data you see that almost all of the deflationary pressure is coming from the dramatic fall in the price of a single commodity: oil.

In other words, you don't have general deflation. Rather, you have a collapse in the price of a single item. That collapse follows an enormous spike in the price of that same commodity. Because the price of oil can't fall below zero then there is a bottom to the deflationary pressure.

In short, oil spiked and now it is returning to normal. I have very little fear of a true deflationary spiral. That's why I think they need to be very careful about cutting rates or, God help us, stimulating the economy. Deflation may not be a danger but inflation sure as hell is if we keep spending. At some point, they need to pull the plug on the printing presses before this thing goes out of control. Assuming it's under control now, that is.

Monday, December 15, 2008

All At Sea

It's going to be a long, cold winter. Who am I kidding? It's already been a long, cold winter. Why not make your getaway to a warmer clime? That's where Vacations To Go can help you beat those winter blues.

Vacations To Go is your first stop, only stop for great vacation deals. It is the only place you need to go to learn about cruises, find the cruise that is right for you and book it. It's like a cruise portal.

Think cruises have to be expensive? Think you can't afford to get away? Think again! With their 90 day ticker, Vacations To Go can help you find a great deal on a great cruise that is leaving port in the next couple of weeks or months. Why wait months for the cruise vacation you need?

Look, there is a time and a place for planning, but there is also a time to just get up and go. Like the time Mrs. MediaBlog and I hopped in the car and headed for Orlando on a Friday night whim. Don't overthink this, just get up and go. Find a great deal on a great cruise by clicking on any of the Vacations To Go links above.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Question For The Universe

Why does Today have to schedule a segment on holiday bras on Sunday when Jenna Wolfe is on rather than on Saturday when Miss Amy is on?

I ask you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Like A Shooting Star, She Was

Joanne Medley

My latest thing is streaming from Netflix on the Tivo. Most have the the Christmas season, if you asked me.

Anyhoo... I'm watching old Dragnet episodes right now. Tonight I'm watching an episode from season 1 called, "The Fur Job." Nothing special about the episode other than the absolutely stunning redhead who had a bit part as Miss Hilliard. Just gorgeous.

Off to IMDB I went in the hopes of finding out more about her and, maybe, a few pictures to share with my loyal readers. Click, click, click and I find her. Joanne Medley. Turns out she died in 1979 at the tender age of 37.

Bummer. Anyone have a picture or two to share?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

We Could Call It Whitebread

Blackbird: African American browser, community, culture, social networking, bookmarking, news, and events

Anyone with a little tech savvy want to create a Mozilla port for the Caucasian community? It would help us white folks find the news we need... You know... Like swimming results and the latest hits from the Osmonds.

How asinine is it to have a web browser aimed at the Black community? So much for post-racial America.

Monday, December 08, 2008

As Seen Over A Local Public Toilet

And Continuing With Our Zucker Bashing

For Jay Leno, Same Network, New Time Slot - NYTimes.com

This has got to be the dumbest idea in the history of television. Which is really saying something, of course.

NBC doesn't want to lose Conan O'Brian so they are pushing Jay Leno out of the tonight show next year and giving the spot to Conan.

But, in full have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too mode, they also don't want to lose Jay Leno so they are going to give him a show at 10pm...

Five nights a week.

So, in other words, they are cutting five hours out of the 15 they currently program on weeknights. Which, as the earlier post said, gives them less room for crap.

I guess that as Leno's audience ages they'll just keep moving him up. Meanwhile, they keep tacking an extra hour onto the back of Today. In about ten years they'll meet in the middle around 4pm.

I'm sure someone (probably Zucker's agent) is going to start throwing around words like "brilliant" and "fresh" and whatnot. Let's call it what it is: desperate.

NBC can't program for jack, can't come up with a decent new show or an original idea. Meanwhile, Jeff Zucker just keeps getting kicked up the ladder.

If You Can't Beat Them... Quit

NBC might scale back hours--The Live Feed

So NBC has decided that the best way to compete is to program fewer hours of crappy tv each week. Not more good tv, just less crappy tv.

After reading this along with Bill Carter's excellent Desperate Networks I have just one question:

Why does Jeff Zucker still have a job?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Knives

Are you in the market for some high quality cutting tools?

If so, then your first stop should be lapolicegear.com Along with all of your tactical gear needs, these folks have quality 5.11 Knives. These are sturdy, well-made knives made from the best steel. In other words, they are made to last through the toughest use.

Even better, right now you can get free shipping and a free tactical knife with ever 5.11 knife purchase. Get a great knife and a great deal. What could be better than that?

This is the best thing out there for the guys on your Christmas shopping list. Check them out now by clicking on the link above.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

How Sherman-esque of Her

Oprah: I'm not seeking job with Obama

Well that's a good thing, dumbass, since The Dear Leader isn't asking.

What's she going to be anyway... Secretary of Twinkies? Or maybe Director of the Office of Self-Actualization Horse Crap?

I Think It's Time For A Little Accountability

AP: Despite Earlier Furor, Palin Shopping Continued

As you know, we here at The MediaBlog are big fans of Sarah Palin. With that being said, I do think the time has come for a little accountability regarding this matter of clothing. Specifically, we are referring to this:

The latest buys ranged from $4,383 at Saks Fifth Avenue and $2,130 at Nieman Marcus, to $148 at Victoria's Secret locations in Philadelphia and Cincinnati.

Now, we're not asking for a full accounting. Fundamentally, we still trust Sarah. Just some sort of token would be enough. Perhaps... Oh I don't know... The $148 spent at Victoria's Secret. That would do. I think we Republicans deserve to know where this money went. I'm not asking for detailed records... Credit card bills and so forth... I don't think that is necessary. I'm thinking just a simple press conference. Governor Palin shows us the items that were purchased and that's that.

Of course, the One Note Andy's among us are going to suggest that the items purchased weren't for Sarah. What can we do about that? I mean, maybe if she were to model the items for us. Show us that they fit her and so forth. That would probably be for the best. Yes, I think so.

So, Governor, we call upon you to end this speculation and provide the goods... The lovely goods... That will clear your name in this matter.

Helping Heroes

Wouldn't you like to help a hero this Christmas season?

The folks in the military do so much for us. Right now, many of them are on the other side of the world defending our freedom. Meanwhile, their families are back here at home worrying about their safety. They should not have to worry about what they are going to do to put some gifts under the tree.

Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry gives you the chance to help make some Christmas dreams real this year. It lets you buy gift cards to help out military families out by giving them the chance to buy what they need at Sears.

If you look at the list of most wished for items, it will touch you. For the most part, we're not talking about video game systems or HD televisions. In fact, the top 12 items are kids clothes. These families really should not have to worry and wonder how they are going to put a warm sweater or a pair of sturdy shoes on their kids. That's not right.

Thankfully, that doesn't have to happen. By partnering with Sears you can help make Christmas dreams come true.  You can make your donation at the link above.  Now, your donation is not tax deductible, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you helped take care of someone who is taking care of all of us.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog For A Special Bulletin

This is your Glenn Beck Program recap for December 3, 2008.

Glenn started off with a long, confusing the-economy-is-the-Titanic metaphor. He then moved on to a veiled suggestion that he might be assassinated. Glenn finished by informing us that this is the time for which he was created.

This has been your Glenn Beck Program recap for December 3, 2008. We now return you to sanity.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Closed Circuit To Jana Banana

I doubt there is much chance of her ever seeing this, but it has to be said...

Jana, when you say "Sam's Club" in that commercial for... God, I don't even know what it's for... Some furniture store? Who knows?

Anyhoo... That flat, midwestern "a" in "Sam's" gets me all tingly. What can I say? I guess I've got a thing for prairie gals!

Yeah, I know... I'm a freak.

I Have A Feeling This Isn't What They Had In Mind

Bestiality ban passes Senate committee. The sordid case of Lucky the guide dog. And the House? | Naked Politics

Apparently it's presently completely legal to bang the critters in the Sunshine State (chicks and ducks and geese better scurry). I have a feeling that when the tourism board folks were running the ad campaign talking about how "the rules are different here" this probably isn't exactly the message they were trying to get across.

Of course, in the current economy I'm not so sure we're ready to just turn away visitors solely because they want to get up close and personal with the fauna. I mean, their money is good too, right?

Anyone Want To Take Bets?

GOP's Chambliss jumps to early lead in Ga. Senate - Yahoo! News

Assuming this holds, anyone think it's likely that we'll see headlines tomorrow morning saying:

"Georgia Renounces Obama, Hands President-elect Stunning Defeat"

No, of course we won't. Instead, we'll get stories about how this really doesn't mean a damn thing, how The Dear Leader kept his distance from the whole thing, how the heart of Dixie is still filled with racist white men, etc. etc. etc.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Help For Our Heroes

America's heroes are out there tonight, this very evening, fighting for our freedom and safety. While most of us spent last week eating a big meal with our loved ones, some families were having to deal with empty chairs as mom or dad, son or daughter, spent Thanksgiving in the deserts of Iraq, the mountains of Afghanistan, at sea aboard an aircraft carrier or any of a thousand other spots across the country and around the world.

They give up a lot to keep us safe, but they shouldn't have to worry about their families at home going without this Christmas. That's where Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry comes in.

It's a chance for all of us to take part and say thanks to those who put their lives on the line. It's an opportunity to contribute to a program that helps make sure the wishes and needs of military families are met this holiday season by accepting donations which will provide Sears gift cards to these families.

When you go to the site you can see testimonials from some of the families who have been helped. What I was really struck by was what these families are wishing for. For the most part, it isn't big screen TVs or expensive appliances. Sears shows you a list of the most wished-for items and the first ten or so are kid's clothes. Kid's shoes... Boys pajamas... A girl's coat... A father who is fighting in Iraq shouldn't have to wonder whether or not his kids have warm PJs. He's got enough to think about without having to deal with that.

You can find out more about the program, and maybe take part, by clicking on the link above.

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Somebody Needs To Buy Deb Riechmann a Dictionary

Bush sorry economic crisis has cut jobs, 401 (k)s - Yahoo! News

Apparently Deb Reichmann of the AP didn't do so well on the verbal portion of her SATs. How else to explain that she seems not to understand the meaning of the word "remorse" or maybe she just thinks he has something to apologize for:
President George W. Bush expressed remorse that the global financial crisis has cost jobs and harmed retirement accounts and said he'll back more government intervention if needed to ease the recession.
Um... Not so much... Here's what he actually said as opposed to Deb's interpretation of what he said:
And I'm sorry it's happening, of course. Obviously I don't like the idea of people losing jobs, or being worried about their 401Ks.
There is absolutely nothing, zip, zilch, nada, in the preceding paragraphs which suggest that by his use of the word "sorry", Dubya is expressing remorse. Now, while we usually disdain the junior high debating tactic of referring to the dictionary...

remorse - a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs (Merriam-Webster)

That's remorse. Care for another definition from Messers Merriam and Webster?

sorry - mournful, sad (Merriam-Webster)

And there you have it. Dubya is sad that people are suffering, but he is not taking responsibility for having caused it. Nor should he, of course, since only idiots and journalists actually believe that the President of the United States is in control of the $47 trillion monstrosity better known as the global economy...

Or maybe he can cause a recession by pressing ctrl-alt-del on the WOPR. Whichever you happen to believe that's no excuse for reading more into the President's statement than is actually there.

Sorry, Deb. You may wish he'd fall on his sword screaming mea culpa, but wishing never made it so.