Facebook, the website everyone and their sister, brother, cousin, uncle, and friends you didn't even know you had is a member of just secured a patent on Tuesday that could help filter spam and offensive content and improve searches. Isn't that great? Less spam and no more nude pics, Obama monkey memes, and tea-billy racist outbursts, but there's more. A lot more and it's not good. The technology could also allow lenders to use a borrower's social network to determine whether he or she is a good credit risk. Let that sink in.
If you couldn't sit through the two hours of the 2016 Republican Presidential Debate 'Voters First' Forum on CSPAN, not only do I understand, but I've got you covered. The event was organized by New Hampshire's Union Leader newspaper and took place on the campus of St. Anselm College in Manchester.
When I was a kid I liked to see how far I could push my teachers, parents, friends, church minister, and girlfriends with the things I'd say. I'd say outrageous things to get a reaction. I've done the same thing in my marriage trying to get a rise out of my wife. In nearly all the cases, I've had to take it up a notch, as the people around me became immune to my comments, or simply started to ignore them.
Donald Trump has turned out to be the perfect spokesperson for the GOP. He says the things they think but are, unlike him, too afraid to say in front of cameras and into microphones. A look at the polls, which put Trump in first place, in some cases and a very close second to Bush in others, is a clear indication that the vitriol and hyperbole he spews is attractive to the right-wing. For some it's musical, and for others it's like that awkward moment you hear a recording of your own voice.
Things are about to get weird. After months of hearing from conservatives and fundamentalists about how they were going to secede, leave the country, or burn themselves in effigy over same-sex marriage, the day has arrived. The Supreme Court has rendered their decision in a 5-4 ruling that same-sex marriage is to be law of the land.
Rather than address or even face the impending issues surrounding climate change, the GOP has chosen instead to stick their fingers in their ears. Not only do they want to simply ignore the problem, but they are trying to make it difficult for the rest of us to even know that it exists.
I first saw Bernie Sanders in 2010 speaking outside of Congress on the sidewalk on a windy day while I was in D.C. lobbying for financial reform. The wind made his hair look even crazier than it does normally and he didn't seem to care.
The GOP have gotten used to a FOX softball press that offers them a national stage to say whatever they want with no push-back. If the little resistance to their BS we've seen in the last few weeks is any indication of what's to come, it should make for an entertaining campaign season.
So there it is. That's what he's up against. His own party thinks he's incompetent, crazy and borderline-dangerous, with some calling him slimy, scary, and reminiscent of McCarthy in demeanor and action.
That might be true, but we're not the only ones who are wealthy, powerful, and free. It's also probably a small consolation to the 45 million people in poverty or the 1.6 million inmates in prison -- the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world, by the way. I'll concede that we're the most powerful, but only for now. According to the National Power Index, that's slipping too.
That said, as it doesn't look like morons will stop being elected to public office, it looks as though we'll continue to do and say stupid things out loud and publicly. We'll have to rely on the rest of world pointing them out to us.
Maybe Giuliani said it so many times to get some woman in bed that the phrase, "I love you," has become meaningless. Maybe he doesn't realize that you can show love without having to say a word. Maybe he doesn't know that loving someone is wanting the best for them and that the policies the GOP are behind don't have the best interest of this country in mind. There's not a lot of love there.
If the last six years are any indication of what the next two will look like, however, the more likely scenario is that this severely divided and dysfunctional party that is the GOP will spin off into separate camps, subjecting the rest of us to a clown-car demolition derby rife with inane rants about socialism, anti-capitalism, and class warfare. In the meantime, the rich will get richer, the working class will continue to struggle, the middle class will disappear, and more people will be pushed into poverty.
What actually happens in this world is bad enough for most of us. For Fox News and its viewers, however, there seems to be a need to take it up a notch, add a little something and in some cases, completely fabricate events and situations to tweak and frighten the most gullible. If it a tragedy can be used for political advantage and to slam a group or individual, so much the better. The recent shooting in France is no exception.
The 114th Congress was sworn in on Tuesday, opening the flood gates to legislation that will potentially damage the economy, hurt the middle class and the poor, and leave the retired Americans in the worst financial shape they've been in for years. After six years as a sleeper cell, the GOP is gunning for the American people -- the one thing they hate more than facts.
Another year gone and another string of long-winded, factually inaccurate, and manufactured comments from the clowns in the Republican Party are behind us. With every passing year that the little clown car pulls up it seems to get a little bigger and every year more and more clowns pour out and step up to the podium to obfuscate and pontificate. Nearly everything they say would lead one to believe that they are impervious to reality and yet their statements are made in such a way and with such confidence that it's as if they had received the message from God Himself.
With the midterms behind them and some significant wins for conservatives, Congress wasted no time last week in doing what they do best -- screwing America's middle class and working poor.
Every year Congress ritualistically renews a package of "temporary" tax breaks for corporations in a process commonly referred to as "tax extenders" because they extend temporary tax breaks. This year, however, they want to make these breaks permanent -- particularly the ones that benefit large corporations and political donors. It's a process that the Washington Postrefers to as "a periodic bonanza for lobbyists."
This particular bonanza is in the neighborhood of $450 billion.