Category Archives: Media

How to Ruin Your Sunday

Watch this amazing, terrifying, graphic old BBC film called The War Game (1965) about how Britain might respond to nuclear war.

This line stuck out as I watched it:

“Within the next 15 years, possibly another 12 countries will have acquired thermonuclear weapons. For this reason, if not through accident or the impulses of man himself, it is now more than possible that what you have seen happen in this film will have taken place before the year 1980.”

Of course, that did not occur.

While we’re on the topic, Iran’s pretty close to a bomb… and has been for some time. The horrors of one bomb won’t be as bad as global thermonuclear war — but it would be really bad. It could lead to further use of nuclear weapons, going down the road to… yes. Turtles all the way down to global thermonuclear war. Or a small version of it.

Would the survivors envy the dead? Probably.

What The New Republic is Telling Their Print Subscribers

The New Republic recently went from being a magazine to an “integrated media company” — this postcard is what they’re telling their print subscribers about the change.

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GoPro for Journalists

Last night, I went to the Charlie Hebdo vigil at the Newseum. I figured just by going I’d find something to write about.

I figured, this being America, somebody or some group would try and make the vigil something it wasn’t supposed to be. I was right.

On that frigid and windy Washington evening, I found that my trusty Olympus reporter’s recorder — powered by two AAA batteries that usually lasts for months — was out of juice. Other members of the press who weren’t with TV stations used their phones or recorders, which is fine. But I had my GoPro with me, and it was fully charged. (I wasn’t using the waterproof backing.)

I turned it on and held it in my hand, pointing it at whatever I wanted it to record. Even with the casing, I got good, transcribable audio and stills to use for my story.

With all of the CES coverage, I remembered that I was fascinated by the Polaroid Cube. It seems like a good product, but I already have a GoPro.

So, if you’re a member of the press — remember to keep a charged GoPro or Cube in your arsenal — it could be a life saver. Especially when (for D.C.) it’s cold as hell.

The Debate on Police-Worn Body Cameras

Hot Pockets, US International Tax Law, and Corporate Inversions

Here’s a recent appearance on One America News Network where I discuss the global economy, corporate inversions, and everyone’s favorite treat: Hot Pockets.

This Guy Isn’t Homeless, He’s Running for Governor

I came across this video of California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari living in Fresno, California on the streets for a week, trying to find work. I’ll admit I was skeptical that the 10-minute video would be compelling campaign advertising. I was wrong.

Kashkari has come from pretty much nowhere in the polls to be the Republican nominee in the California governor’s race. Just like he sort of came from nowhere to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Bush and Obama, specifically charged with overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Not a popular job. Of course, to the far left he is a boogeyman because he worked at Goldman Sachs. To the far right, he’s a boogeyman because he helped administer, well, bailouts.

Elijah Cummings, an embattled Democratic congressman from Baltimore, asked at an oversight hearing whether or not he was a “chump:”

“Mr. Kashkari, in the neighborhood I grew up in, in the inner city of Baltimore, one of the things that you tried to do was make sure that you were not considered a chump … What really bothers me is all these other people who are lined up. They say, well, is Kashkari a chump?”

Kashkari apparently did not take that flogging very well.

Kashkari heads to a Home Depot to find work.

Kashkari heads to a Home Depot to find work.

Kashkari’s background, which I had not researched, surprised me a bit.

He’s from Akron, Ohio. He’s a Cleveland Browns fan with, according to the Plain Dealer, dogs named “Winslow and Newsome.” He went to Western Reserve Academy — a nice private school, but didn’t go to a top-tier college. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign to study engineering. (He got an undergrad degree and a master’s.)

It was only after he attended Wharton for his MBA that he went into finance, and followed Hank Paulson to the Treasury department.

Former Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi wrote a column about him with the headline: Bailout Architect Runs For California Governor; World Laughs. He joked “It seems Jerry Brown has become his own personal Dolph Lundgren.”

In the piece, he noted that Kashkari isolated himself in the woods after the flogging from Cummings, et. al., where he built a shed, chopped wood to lose weight, and helped with Hank Paulson’s book.

Taibbi concluded: “Anyway, having this guy run for public office is like a gift from the blogging gods. How funny will this get? Will this one go to 11? I’m taking the over.”

One nice campaign video does not a winning campaign make. (Kashkari has a few nice videos…) Then again, most politicians prefer to post pictures on Twitter showing “look, I’m eating Ramen Noodles in my well appointed Washington house” rather than go and live on the streets for a week.

I don’t know if a 10 minute YouTube video on poverty will convince Democrats dissatisfied with Gov. Brown to consider Kashkari as a recipient of their vote, but one thing’s for sure — Kashkari’s trip into the woods may be funny joke fodder for Matt Taibbi, but Neel Kashkari isn’t going to be anybody’s chump this go-around.

Watch the video here:

Update: Kashkari’s campaign is hurting for cash, nearly broke.

EconPop — The Economics of the Lego Movie

As usual, Heaton delivers describing the movie my Lego doppelgänger is the star of:

The LeBron James Redemption

Friend and former colleague Scott Campbell shares this excellent rendition of LeBron James’s quasi-apology letter… in the voice of Morgan Freeman in the classic film The Shawshank Redemption as performed by comedian Frank Caliendo. (Which was, to those who don’t know, filmed an hour away from James’s home in Akron at the former Mansfield Reformatory.)

I highly suggest watching the video. Caliendo is very talented and does an amazing impression (his specialty.) Had never heard him do Morgan Freeman before.

I wondered what the Caliendo track would sound like put to the score of The Shawshank Redemption. So I put the track to music to find out.

Here it is:

EDIT: Apparently there was music when it ran, but it was edited out.

Always Use BCC

There was a bit of a kerfuffle this morning on the Netflix PR list, which was promoting the new “epic” Netflix original series “Marco Polo.”

What started out as a PR email turned into a digital game of Marco Polo of sorts, as people replied to Netflix — not realizing that one of the addresses was a list server for members of the media. Others didn’t take kindly to their inboxes being spammed, compounding the problem by replying to inform people of what they already knew — not to “reply all.” An age-old problem with any failure to BCC to be sure.

Screen grab below:

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The Independents on FBN

This past week I appeared on The Independents on Fox Business to discuss entitlements, millennials, and generational theft. It’s an excellent show and I highly recommend you DVR it!

Here’s the clip: