Category Archives: Media
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a rally scheduled in Houston this Sunday. WalMart is one of the sponsors and the President of the United States has promised to attend along with an estimated 50,000 attendees.
What bright future are we talking about? The Indian economy is in the doldrums, minority populations live in fear, rapists are not arrested if they belong to the ruling party while activists fighting for the rights of the dispossessed languish in jail without a trial. As for dreams, the dream of a Hindutva dominated India where minorities are persecuted and dissenting voices are silenced, sounds more like a nightmare. Where the truth is sacrificed at the altar of political expediency and history is rewritten to service the ideology of hate.
Why is Modi doing this? My guess is for the publicity and for the $$. It’s also a reward for those among the diaspora who opened their wallets for Modi’s reelection. This rally would give the Prime Minister a much needed PR boost internationally after the draconian anti-democratic steps being taken in Kashmir since August 4th. It will show his fans and supporters back home in India that India has the world’s respect. Getting the US president who routinely demonizes immigrants, to a rally attended mostly by immigrants is definitely a PR coup for team Modi.
I was actually surprised that the White House accepted the invitation. Indian Americans have voted heavily for Democratic candidates in the recent past, see the figure below. Some have suggested that the crowd size may have been the irresistible attraction. Besides the fact that the Hindu right has deep pockets.
In addition to the President, 60 other elected leaders of both parties have promised to attend according to the organizers. Here is the list of those whose names appear in the news dispatch.
- Raja Krishnamoorthi
- John Cornyn
- Ted Cruz
- Al Green
- Pete Olson
- Sheila Jackson Lee
- Sylvia Garcia, Greg Abbot
- Cindy Hyde-Smith
- Ami Bera
- Brian Babin
- Brad Sherman,
- Eliot Engel
Firstpost is reporting that Steny Hoyer is also going to attend.
Check if your representative or senator is on the list and going to share a podium with a man who presided over a pogrom targeting Muslims in 2002 as the chief executive of Gujarat and is pursuing a nakedly majoritarian agenda in his second term as the prime minister. Actions in Kashmir being the case in point, where people have been without internet or cell phone access and access to medical care since August 4th.
Check out the BBC for news updates on Kashmir.
Watch this space for more updates on this developing story of the Houston rally. If you have questions leave them in the comments.
If President Obama was Martin Luther King’s dream come true then the current president is that dream curdled into a nightmare. The latest pointless debate over whether his disparaging remarks calling countries with predominantly black populations shitholes makes him a racist, misses the point. The daily random insult generator in the White House has a one point agenda of hate.
During the Obama years, everything that happened anywhere in the world, was all Obama’s fault. From the genocide in Syria to the leak in British Petroleum’s oil well. For this President, nothing is ever his fault, he is not to be held responsible even for the words coming out of his mouth. Judy Woodruff of the PBS News Hour actually praised the President for his performance during a televised bipartisan meeting about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), where he seemed to have no idea what he was talking about. She was by far not the only one.The prestigious old media continues give the Republicans cover as they continue to destroy one democratic norm after another.
The sad thing is not that the President is a racist but that millions voted for him despite that or may be even because of that. Though they knew that he was the most ill prepared and ill suited candidate to ever run on a major party’s ticket. Even sadder is the fact that the party of Lincoln condones the bile he spews on a daily basis. It is they who made his rise possible and have given him the institutional support to thrive. They couldn’t care less that he pisses away our international prestige one outrageous statement and one discriminatory policy at a time.
They may make soaring speeches praising Dr. King now but Republicans have been single minded in their quest to overturn his legacy, the civil rights legislation. The Republican led Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Tom Cotton and David Perdue’s goal is to do the same to the Immigration and the Nationalities Act. To them, the man in the White House is a means to an end. Now more than ever we need to do everything to preserve Dr. King’s legacy. Our very lives and what kind of country we want to be depends on it. Our enemies are formidable but we shall overcome.
Donald Trump Gambles on Immigration but Sends Conflicting Signals
Really, Patrick Healy? Is that what you got out of Trump’s white nationalist speech? The focus of the undocumented immigrants is just a prelude to a far more radical agenda, overturning the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Make America Great Again is code for Make America White Again.
These are his policies goals:
1. Deport the undocumented by a deportation task force (on the day he takes office)
2. Ban Muslims and any other undesirables as determined by Trump from entering the country on temporary visas (visitor, student, work visas etc)
4. Give local law enforcement jurisdiction over immigration matters which is currently strictly under Federal jurisdiction
3.Overturn the immigration and naturalization act of 1965
5. Get rid of birthright citizenship (remember his rant about anchor babies)
And the final solution, not articulated but can be inferred from the hate he has been spewing for the last one year. Or before, if you take into account his entire birther campaign against President Obama.
6. Impose loyalty tests on naturalized citizens, legal immigrants and children of immigrants for being insufficiently American (you know like Judge Curiel). He doesn’t say what he plans to do with those found not sufficiently loyal but we have history as our guide for this one.
Congratulations GOP, you have just installed Putin’s puppet as your nominee. Isn’t it curious how Trump’s foreign policy objectives align so completely with what Putin wants. The mainstream media has just woken up to Trump’s soft corner for Russia. While they were obsessing about Hillary Clinton’s email servers, Adam Silverman over at Balloon Juice was on to it even during the primaries.
In the Republican nominee’s New York Times interview he is signaling the end of NATO and that the United States will renege on its treaty obligations. He is willing to throw everything successive administrations since WW II have built,down the toilet, just so that he appears tough.
Mr. Trump wants the United States to run NATO like an extortion racket. His proposals resemble dinner rants of your drunk uncle who everyone in the family goes out of their way to avoid. He wants to destroy the post war world order. He seems to be unaware of his own ignorance and is proud of it. He is evil and stupid, a dangerous combination. The Republican party has placed him on the path to power, to destroy the world as we know it. Hillary Clinton is all that stands between us and Trump induced mayhem.
No one can accuse mainstream Hindi movies of being progressive regarding matters concerning gender. We regularly have had fifty year old heroes romancing women in their twenties and mostly interchangeable female stock characters. There is your long suffering mother, your flirtatious but coy virginal heroine, sometimes a hero’s sister or a gangster’s moll. Fully realized female characters with their own motivations that did not fit in these neat boxes have been rare in Hindi cinema. So I am pleasantly surprised with the slate of new movies with fully realized female characters. I would like to see both these movies.
First there is the no nonsense Abha Mathur, the chief police officer in a lawless fictional district in Bihar, where there is little distinction between the elected representatives and the mob. Priyanka Chopra kicks butt both literally and figuratively in Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangajal.
Then there is Neerja, a biopic based on Neerja Bhanot,a flight attendant on the ill fated Pan-Am flight 73. directed by Ram Madhvani . Her presence of mind saved the lives of passengers on board. She died shielding children from bullets, days short of her 23 birthday. She also was a survivor of a bad arranged marriage and familiar face advertising chocolate and crackers on TV. A short life but a consequential one and an inspiration to us all.
Last but not the least, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani deserves a shout out. The women of Bajirao Mastani, whether it was the dutiful wife Kashi (Priyanka Chopra) or the doting mother Radhabai (Tanvi Azmi) , they were no pushovers and had no problems either speaking their mind or acting on their own agendas. My quick review here.
This trend warms the cockles of my cold cynical heart. Any other women centric movies you have seen lately or would like to see?
Continuing the tradition of trolling for clicks, NYT has an op-ed piece by a worried heir to Marie Antoinette, Peter Georgescu, Chairman emeritus of Young and Rubicam. He is worried along with some of his other billionaire friends about ending up like the Sun King’s daughter-in-law. The reason: the yawning gap in income between the 0.1% and everyone else.
Business has the most to gain from a healthy America, and the most to lose by social unrest or punitive taxation.
His analysis of the problem is spot on, mainly that business is not investing in either research or its employees.
The fact that real wages have been flat for about four decades, while productivity has increased by 80 percent, shows that has not been happening. Before the early 1970s, wages and productivity were both rising. Now most gains from productivity go to shareholders, not employees.
And how does Marie’s heir want to address this problem? By asking taxpayers to foot the bill, so that businesses can pay their employees a fair wage.
There is a way to start. Government can provide tax incentives to business to pay more to employees making $80,000 or less. The program would exist for three to five years and then be evaluated for effectiveness.
How does one pay for these tax incentives? Not by increasing taxes, since that would be punitive according Mr. Concerned Capitalist.
If inequality is not addressed, the income gap will most likely be resolved in one of two ways: by major social unrest or through oppressive taxes, such as the 80 percent tax rate on income over $500,000 suggested by Thomas Piketty,
The top most marginal rate currently is way less than 80%. In fact it is nearly half of that, 39.6%. What does Mr. Concerned Capitalist think is a fair, not punitive tax rates on his fellow one percenters? Gotta love this new capitalism, where you can socialize the risk and privatize the rewards. Win-win, for Georgescu and friends.
By two_kittehs ( Picture by: dorothyfrancesgoldstein)
Lately, the op-ed page of the venerable New York Times has descended into click bait with outrageous trollish op-eds. A sampling from the past few days:
First, Lolrus Bolton arguing against the Iran deal. Like we need advice from one of the cheerleaders of the Iraq fail show.
Then we had a doctoral student from Zimbabwe arguing how Cecil the Lion had it coming and how people mourning the lion’s senseless killing were childish imbeciles.
Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from “The Lion King”?
Last but not the least we have an associate professor in political science from the University of Virginia, commenting on the supposed smugness of liberals in general and Jon Stewart in particular. This august personage finds torture enabler Yoo to be reasonable.
Maybe that’s why my strongest memory of Mr. Stewart, like that of many other conservatives, is probably going to be his 2010 interview with the Berkeley law professor John Yoo. Mr. Yoo had served in Mr. Bush’s Justice Department and had drafted memos laying out what techniques could and couldn’t be used to interrogate Al Qaeda detainees. Mr. Stewart seemed to go into the interview expecting a menacing Clint Eastwood type, who was fully prepared to zap the genitals of some terrorist if that’s what it took to protect America’s women and children.
Mr. Stewart was caught unaware by the quiet, reasonable Mr. Yoo, who explained that he had been asked to determine what legally constituted torture so the government could safely stay on this side of the line. The issue, in other words, wasn’t whether torture was justified but what constituted it and what didn’t. Ask yourself how intellectually curious Mr. Stewart really could be, not to know that this is what Bush administration officials had been saying all along?
The strategy has paid off, the last two op-eds garnered more than one thousand comments. So what’s next for the Gray Lady? Someone writing how slavery was a wonderful institution or how colonialism improved the life of the heathens who just needed a benevolent civilizing touch?
The story is depressingly familiar, a business that has been bleeding red ink for years, changes hands. The new owner brings in new management to run the shop. Management buzzwords are thrown around. A major round of cost cutting follows. Usually that involves firing old employees, assigning the remaining ones more duties, without any raises for the rank and file but a big fat bonus for the new CEO and upper management.
Hardly newsworthy material, one would think? Especially when the said business, has a consumer base of less than 50,000. However you would be wrong.
When the business in question is a magazine with a storied past, it is the subject of numerous opinion columns in many national news outlets of repute. The opinion writers who regularly write columns extolling the virtues of cut throat capitalism are not so sanguine when it affects them at a personal level.
Joe Nocera of the NYT devoted an entire column yesterday, to discuss this storm in a tea cup, details here. How dare some tech guy tell esteemed Beltway Pundits how to do their job? I mean, they are hardly public school teachers, who Joe Nocera and every other Pundit worth his salt has no problem lecturing on about the same. After all TNR, performs the vital job of introducing ugly right racist memes to polite discourse.
Good old Joe, is appalled that his esteemed colleagues at the TNR have to become click whores now, oh the humanity!
The New Republic’s business executives were trying to get the editors to do things that would attract more clicks. One executive suggested that Michael Kinsley — a former New Republic editor himself — come up with a listicle, à la BuzzFeed. (“10 reasons why health care isn’t a free market.”)
I wonder what NYT’s financials are like? Are they ripe for takeover by some tech Moghul?
Since I am not a TNR writer, obligatory click bait, Kitteh!
Look out Onion, you have competition from the most venerable newspaper in the country,
Can the G.O.P. Be a Party of Ideas?
screams the headline of a magazine article by Sam Tannenhaus on July 2. The article is accompanied by a Vogue-like photo spread with the brave conservative intellectuals posing like the Founding Fathers hard at work drafting the Constitution in an ornate room complete with crumpled papers strewn all over the wooden floor.
Short answer: No.
These ideas men ( because they are mostly men) are calling themselves reform conservatives now. I guess the tag compassionate conservative and/or tea-partier no longer sells. The article itself goes on to give the so called reform conservatives a tongue bath, especially Ramesh Ponnuru and Yuval Levin, going so far as to call them intellectual prodigies. Really? Squeaky voiced Ponnuru whose only book is titled, Party of Death is an intellectual prodigy now? Talk about soft bigotry of low expectations.
This is not the first time I have found lavish praise for the tired ideas produced by these intellectual pillars of the right in the estimable Times. A month ago, David Brooks wrote a column praising the economic ideas of the YG network short for Young Guns* Network. Reading Brooks’ article, most of the proposals in the collection of essays “ Room to Grow” come down to one of three ideas, decentralization, deregulation and tax credits. In other words, same old, same old, but with a spanking new marketing campaign that Don Draper would be envious of.
Young Guns : Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy
From this morning’s NYT op-ed page, the loser of the 2008 Presidential Election has penned an op-ed, with this caption;
Obama Has Made America Look Weak
Did the liberal New York Times give Gore a forum, when Bush was rushing the country to war based on false pretenses? If it did, I don’t remember it. I am sure American prestige was greatly enhanced when the said op-ed contributor chose a woman, who can’t string together a coherent sentence, as his running mate. A woman who has been spewing poisonous bile into the body politic, ever since her debut on the national stage.
Media Watch Cat is not happy, at all.