Stories in the category Muckety movers

Muckety mover - Wasserman Schultz, a first that should have happened decades ago

By Muckety

April 5, 2011 at 5:24pm
Muckety up

Here’s another milestone in the is-it-possible-that-this-just-happened-for-the-first-time category.

The choice of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee will mark the first time that a woman has headed either major party in an election year.

(The New York Times points out that two women have served as temporary chairs.)

Let’s do the time warp again…

Kudos to Wasserman Schultz, who should have received a leadership position on the last go-round. She is a smart spokesperson and a masterful fundraiser.

She succeeds former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who resigned in order to run for the Senate seat now held by James Webb, who isn’t seeking re-election.

Muckety mover - The Donald’s downward slide

By Muckety

March 31, 2011 at 8:59am
Muckety down

When Donald Trump told ABC News’ Ashleigh Banfield, “Part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich,” we couldn’t help ourselves.

We registered the domain name and put together a small database of information to generate maps about the Donald.

But then he kept at it, hammering away at the birther issue, ratcheting up the level of outrageous the way a landlord raises rent.

So we’ve been posting on a regular basis, and we urge you to take a look.

Muckety mover - Bill Maher, the dumb … comic

By Laurie Bennett

March 28, 2011 at 4:14pm
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Decades ago, during my one-and-only participation in a college protest (I was much more focused on journalism then as now), I was ordered to get coffee.

No surprise there. I was one of the few women involved in organizing the rally, and the greater good - our liberal principles - overran the supposedly lesser demands of sexual equality.

I let it go, and all these years later, I’m kicking myself for it.

So here I am, standing up for Sarah Palin, recently described by Bill Maher as a “dumb twat.”

Why has Maher been able to get away with his misogynistic comments all these years?

Because he’s a liberal.

Because we think so much of what he says is funny and on target. Because we agree with him most of the time, and we don’t want to point out this embarrassing blind spot.

It’s about time we called him on it. The guy is a dinosaur.

Muckety mover - Ferraro changed everything

By Laurie Bennett

March 26, 2011 at 6:41pm
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I thought I was younger when Geraldine Ferraro became a contender.

I was so susceptible, so affected.

I must have been a teenager.

Her nomination was such a barrier-crashing, inspirational event in my life, I would have thought I was immature and easily influenced.

But in fact I was 30.

That’s such a shock to me now, when I’m old and cynical, when she’s gone.

That’s how long it took. Not until I was a woman did another woman appear on the ticket.

Thank you, Geraldine, for showing us what was possible, if not yet attainable.

Muckety mover - The sure path from FCC chairmanship to an industry job

By Muckety

March 15, 2011 at 12:19pm
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The latest example of the revolving door between regulating an industry and working for it: Michael K. Powell is the new president & CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

Powell, son of Colin Powell, served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2001 to 2005.

This is a well-worn path. A presidential appointment to the FCC chairmanship is a guarantee of future, well-paid employment.

Charles Ferris, FCC chairman from 1977 to 1981, became a lobbyist for Cablevision. He’s an attorney at Mintz Levin, whose clients include the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

Dennis Patrick became CEO of Time Warner Telecommunications after chairing the FCC.

Richard E. Wiley might be considered the trailblazer.

Wiley chaired the FCC from 1970 to 1977. He later founded the Washington law firm Wiley Rein, whose many prominent clients include the National Association of Broadcasters, CBS, SIRIUS XM Radio and Verizon Communications.

Muckety mover - R&D in the news biz

By Muckety

March 12, 2011 at 8:30am
Muckety down

On Friday, we wrote about Bill Keller’s criticism of content aggregators.

We’ve been surprised at how many tweeters deem Keller’s complaints flimsy or foolish. Media pundits ask how Keller’s newspaper, the esteemed New York Times, could possibly cover the Japan earthquake without relying on others’ work.

The critics have a point, particularly when it comes to disasters rather than investigative stories. But they fail to note the long list of Times reporters in various parts of the world contributing to the quake coverage.

The bottom line is the bottom line. The Times spends lots of money gathering information, while other so-called media enterprises, notably the Huffington Post, do not.

Cash in no longer has a proper relationship to cash out.

The HuffPo is sold to AOL for $315 million, while the Times has to turn to a Mexican billionaire to pay its debts.

Read the full post.

Muckety mover - Another embarrassment for NY voters

By Muckety

March 10, 2011 at 10:36am
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We’ve had quite a few reasons in recent months to be ashamed of our personal geography.

We grew up in the congressional district of Rep. Christopher Lee, who resigned his seat after news of his shirtless photo on CraigsList reached Gawker.

We currently live and do business in the former district of Eric Massa, who left the House amidst accusations that he had groped male staffers.

And now comes Peter King, another politician sent to Washington by New York voters, who believes it appropriate to examine the patriotism of American Muslims in a congressional hearing.

Radical Islam is a subject that should be examined by Americans - but not in a fashion that conjures Joe McCarthy and HUAC.

Like McCarthy, King, a Republican, obviously hopes for political gain.

We can only hope that he has underestimated the American electorate.

Muckety mover - A dollar, a dream and an SEC suit

By Muckety

March 8, 2011 at 8:34am
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Watching Steve Rattner follow Eliot Spitzer’s path of redemption through TV commentary, we had an idea for a way to build public support for tighter financial regulation.

Government should set up a lottery with part of the millions in fines it collects through civil cases such as those filed against Rattner by the SEC and the New York state attorney general’s office.

The lottery’s marketing campaign should emphasize that winners are taking back money that went to Wall Street types through shady or illegal means.

It’s a program that could be established only during a Democratic administration - but since Dems now rule Albany and the White House, the timing is perfect.

In the increasingly complex world of finance, the lottery would establish a rare link from the notoriously wealthy to the desperately unemployed. Ticket buyers would welcome more aggressive regulation as a way to build the pot.

In the end, greed could be good.

Six degrees separate Qadhafi and Charlie Sheen

By Muckety

March 2, 2011 at 11:34am

We can link Muammar Qadhafi to Charlie Sheen in six steps, once again confirming the Kevin Bacon rule.

Muckety mover - We ♥ exiles

By Muckety

February 24, 2011 at 8:43am
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A suggestion for Rust Belt governors battling job losses and budget deficits: Forget union crackdowns. That’s so government 1.0.

Be bold. Dare to seize the economic benefits of declaring your state safe harbor for political refugees.

Just as southern states took auto jobs years ago by embracing right-to-work laws, northern governments could now lure fleeing legislators, toppled despots and disgraced ex-members of Congress who post photos on Craigslist.

Illinois has a jump on its neighbors, welcoming 14 Democratic state senators from Wisconsin. But the asylum biz can be so much bigger than this.

Qadhafi will need a home soon. Once Mubarak sees the Upper Peninsula in June, he’ll become a full-fledged Yooper.

Muckety mover - Washington, Hollywood and New York boosted Emanuel campaign

By Laurie Bennett

February 23, 2011 at 11:02am
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“You sure know how to make a guy feel at home,” Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel told Chicagoans Tuesday night.

Yet it wasn’t just local residents who propelled him into office.

Emanuel not only had the backing of his former boss, President Barack Obama; he also had a $12 million campaign chest. An analysis by the Chicago News Cooperative found that less than half the funds came from Chicago and nearly 30 percent came from outside Illinois.

California and New York were big nodes on the campaign finance network.

Emanuel’s brother, Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, organized a fundraiser in November. California donors include entertainment figures (Steven Spielberg, David Geffen) and technology titans (Steve Jobs, James Clark, Sean Parker).

A former partner at Wasserstein Perella, Emanuel also attracted big contributions from financial firms in Chicago and Manhattan.

Muckety mover - Two faces of Saif Al-Qadhafi

By Muckety

February 21, 2011 at 8:25pm
Muckety down

Saif Al Islam Al-Qadhafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qadhafi, has threatened “rivers of blood” as government security forces descend on protesters.

His philanthropy, the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, purveys a markedly different portrait of the younger Qadhafi.

On its web site, the foundation describes itself as a charitable organization that “carries out developmental and humanitarian activities in the social, economic, cultural and human rights fields.”

Its chairman is quoted extensively. Although his comments are often as rambling and irrational as his father’s, he strives for a loftier plane.

This, from an unddated speech on youth day: “Libyans cannot build Libya of tomorrow if they are afraid or frightened by the internal security, the external security, the police; they cannot; they must feel they fear no one and that anyone who dares infringe the rights of any citizen will be punished.”

Muckety mover - Jackie Speier speaks out on abortion

By Muckety

February 18, 2011 at 11:51am
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Thursday’s House debate over a Republican proposal to slash funding for family planning provided another example of why diversity in government is crucial.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) read graphic details from a book in which a woman describes having an abortion.

Then Jackie
(D-CA) stood up.

“I really planned to speak about something else but the gentleman from New Jersey just put my stomach in knots because I’m one of those women he spoke about just now,” she said. “I had a procedure at 17 weeks pregnant with a child who moved from the vagina into the cervix. And that procedure that you just talked about was a procedure that I endured.”

“I lost a baby,” she continued. “And for you to stand on this floor and suggest that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought, is preposterous.”

Muckety mover - Thank you, Lara Logan

By Muckety

February 16, 2011 at 6:56am
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Thank you, Lara Logan, for going public with the violence inflicted on you in Egypt. And thank you to the Egyptian women who saved her.

CBS News reported Tuesday that Logan was reporting on a 60 Minutes story from Tahrir Square after the announcement of Mubarak’s departure. “In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.”

Violence against women in Egypt is widespread, generally unreported and unpunished

What’s different here is that the victim was an American reporter, who happens to be a director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Logan, currently hospitalized in the U.S., has not publicly spoken about the attack, but we have to assume she gave consent for the network to release the statement. By doing so, Logan shines a light not on herself, but on the brutality inflicted on millions of women.

Muckety mover - Weh weh weh Whoopi

By Muckety

February 14, 2011 at 6:47pm
Muckety down

We’re starting to wonder if the cast members of The View have a headline quota, much like state troopers and speeding tickets.

We love Whoopi Goldberg dearly, so we prefer that explanation over the possibility that she’s just another diva auditioning for a Snickers commercial.

Goldberg was outraged that a recent New York Times story failed to mention that she won an Oscar in 1990, for Ghost.

One would think, from her expressions of hurt, that the Times gave her short shrift because she is black.

In fact, the piece focused on the absence of black nominees in this year’s Oscars field, particularly in comparison to 2002, when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington were winners.

The article also noted Hattie McDaniel’s win in 1940. But it was not an inventory of all the black actors who had won in the years since.

Louis Gossett Jr. wasn’t named, nor was Cuba Gooding Jr. You don’t hear them complaining.

But then again, they don’t have talk shows.

Muckety mover - 2011 may be a turning point for Winona Ryder

By Muckety

February 13, 2011 at 7:08am
Muckety up

If you type actress shoplifting into Google, Winona Ryder still turns up at the top of the page, even though nearly a decade has passed since her arrest in Beverly Hills.

By our reckoning, it’s time for a Muckety Up for Ryder.

Lindsay Lohan is sure to become the new queen of actress-shoplifting search results.

And Ryder, whose career foundered after her conviction, has roles in two current movies - Black Swan and The Dilemma.

Named for the city in Minnesota, goddaughter of Timothy Leary, child of a California commune, former fiancee of Johnny Depp, Ryder, not yet 40, has had a life that generates a great Muckety map.

Muckety mover - The never-ending repercussions of Tucson

By Muckety

February 11, 2011 at 11:39am
Muckety down

Congressional resignations have come at a dizzying pace in recent days.

Sen. James Webb of Virginia, never at ease with the mundane activities of politics (i.e., fundraising and public appearances), says he won’t run again.

Western New York Congressman Chris Lee abruptly resigns after Gawker publishes email exchanges and a shirtless photo he posted on Craigslist.

Sen. John Kyl of Arizona announces that he won’t seek re-election.

The prospects for party control change daily.

Kyl’s announcement, however, takes on added significance with reports that before she was shot on Jan. 8, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been considering a run for the Senate seat Kyl now holds.

Yet another repercussion of the insane events in Tucson.

Muckety mover - Fashion’s color cabal

By Muckety

February 10, 2011 at 12:40pm
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Remember the wonderful scene in Devil Wears Prada, where Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) lectures Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) about her cerulean blue sweater?

“You’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you, by the people in this room,” says Priestly.

Well, there really is a color cabal in the fashion industry, and the members have decided that this year’s top hue for women is deep teal.

As NPR reports, trends in fashion are often decided by committee, and one of the most influential is organized by Pantone.

The New Jersey company specializes in color. As Forbes wrote in 2003, “No one can own a color, but Pantone owns the standard for describing it.”

The company’s rise was driven by Lawrence Herbert and his offspring. They sold the firm to X-Rite in 2007.

Muckety mover - Deutsche could use some prettifying

By Muckety

February 8, 2011 at 7:09am
Muckety down

Deutsche Bank chief Joseph Ackerman is catching global flak for saying that naming more women to its executive board would make it “prettier and more colorful.”

More would be one. And colorful, that would be one, too.

We’re not going to echo the outrage. Of course we agree with the critics.

Instead, we’re going to use Ackerman’s lack of enlightenment as a lame excuse to name the best-looking corporate board. (We spend far too much time looking at proxy statements.)

Our nominee, for both diversity and camera-readiness: Estee Lauder, whose directors include not only handsome Lauders, but Hillary Rodham Clinton pal Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Obama bundler Mellody Hobson and Citigroup Chairman Richard Parsons.

Muckety mover - The disadvantages of a clean, well-lighted place

By Muckety

February 5, 2011 at 3:40pm
Muckety down

In our days of reporting for the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, the Borders store in Ann Arbor was a frequent getaway.

The founding outlet of the national chain, it was the antithesis of Detroit’s great book store - John K. King Books, a moldy building with five floors of dusty retreads, readable only after you found the appropriate lightswitch.

Borders was new, well lit, and well ordered.

Now it teeters while King’s trudges on.

Borders announced Friday that it had been delisted by the New York Stock Exchange, because shares had dropped below an average price of $1. Bloomberg reports that the chain will file for bankruptcy in coming days.

We never cheer for a book store’s troubles. But we have to admit that Borders is replaceable. King’s is not.

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