Monday, February 25, 2013

How Do They Choose the Pope? (Video)

TX Senator Ted Cruz: The New Joe McCarthy?

TX Senator Ted Cruz
For those who don’t know about Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy’s scurrilous red-baiting crusade in the early 1950s watch newly elected Texas Senator Ted Cruz. McCarthy shattered the careers of innocent public servants and alienated McCarthy from his fellow senators, but also made him a folk hero on the right. Cruz is making enemies in Washington, but winning support in Texas.

 WI Sen Joe McCarthy
In his first two months on the job, Cruz has baselessly asserted that President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel might have received money from the North Korean government. He reiterated his belief that there were 12 Communists on Harvard Law School’s faculty when he was a student there. Being at odds with his fellow Republicans gives Cruz quick attention from the media and makes him the darling of the far right. His rhetoric makes him appear smart and fearless to his Tea Party base.

Huff Post Politics explains the reception to Cruz:

…conservatives’ appetite for Cruz shows that the GOP base’s animating spirit still hasn’t changed: Loud, aggressive and reflexive hostility to President Obama, the Democratic Party and any Republican who would dare contemplate compromise is still how “conservatism” is defined.

Cruz’s Cuban-American background by itself won’t improve his or his party’s standing with Hispanics or other minorities. Instead, he’s appealing to the aging, overwhelmingly white core of the Republican base which stifles the party’s efforts to re-brand itself to appeal to women, Latino and other elements of the Obama coalition.

It will be interesting to see how the G.O.P. handles the “Ted Cruz problem”.

Creating the New G.O.P.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Amid growing turmoil and uncertainity, G.O.P. leaders met behind closed doors recently to craft an agenda to allow Republicans to sell themselves to the American people after the "surprise" loss in the 2012 presidential election. The plan is simple and begins with a mandate for every Republican to give a floor speech on the same topic with the same message, in a bid to grab the headlines.  The second stage of the plan calls for all Republicans to follow three "Rules":

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shake Up At Fox News Network

Would you be surprised to learn that the Fox Network is the most watched cable network among the pivotal demographic 25-54 year olds? After the presidential election, Fox News Network found itself with its lowest ratings since August 2001 and set out to shake up its line up and on line personalities.

Facebook Gets $429 Million Tax Refund

Mark Zuckenberg
As you prepare to meet the April deadline for filing your income taxes, here's a little nugget to take with you while you do your calculations.
Despite earning over $1B in profits last year, Facebook paid $0 in federal and state taxes, and will get a refund totaling $429M, thanks to tax breaks.Because of the way Facebook treats stock options distributed to investors and employees instead of cash compensation on its balance sheets, the company is able to claim paying a tax liability worth hundreds of millions of dollars when the reality is they're getting paid:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Selecting A New Pope

Pope Benedict XVI
In view of the stunning resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, effective February 28, 2012, the Catholic Church will begin the process of selecting a new pope who will lead the 1 billion Catholics world-wide. Now everyone's attention is turning to the selection process. Here's a quick video from Busted Halo, outlining the process.

Thanks to Aaron Blake, The Fix Blog, for the tip.