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IronLionZion's Journal
IronLionZion's Journal
June 30, 2014

Dads on Sitcoms


On television shows, dads have been portrayed as incompetent dolts reflecting and encouraging a damaging attitude towards men and childcare.

ASPEN — As a new dad, I've often been struck with horror at dads I see on TV. On the small screen, dads are dolts, dads are idiots.

And while it may seem harmless to get a few cheap laughs at dads' expense, these characters, and their hilarious incompetence, form the culture backdrop for our society's larger discussion about the roles fathers play in families. The path from Homer Simpson ringing Bart Simpson's neck—his main parental action—to our country's miserable paternity leave rules might be more direct than we think.

"[On TV] if there is a dad in the home, he is an idiot. It must have reflected our own discomfort with dads being competent," said Hanna Rosin on a panel about the future of fatherhood at the Aspen Ideas Festival. "You put a dad in front of his kid, and the dad gives the worst advice. You put a dad in front of a toaster and he burns the house down."

There are a few exceptions to the rule, of course. Most notably Bill Cosby in The Cosby Show. And Rosin is hopeful that things are changing. She's been tracking the role of dads in sitcoms since she wrote a story for Slate about the topic a couple of years ago.

"The network collective subconscious seems to be picking up new cultural signals about fatherhood," Rosin wrote. "The number of stay-at-home dads is still tiny, but the rules of fatherhood have changed a lot since the Honeymooners days. The father who comes home to pat his kid on the head and then sits down to read the newspaper is now an anomaly. Consequently, jokes about dads who can’t figure out the diaper fall flat."

I'm not a dad, but I would hate for society, especially wives and kids, and even men, to quietly believe a stereotype that dads are incompetent. It lowers the bar and sets up terrible expectations of failure that can easily manifest into reality.

June 30, 2014

BNP Paribas braces for $9 billion fine


French bank BNP Paribas is braced for a record fine of almost $9 billion for breaching U.S. sanctions, according to media reports.

The punishment for helping clients dodge sanctions on Iran, Sudan and Cuba will also include a temporary ban on BNP Paribas (BNPQF) clearing payments in dollars, starting in January, the Financial Times reported Monday.

"I want to say it clearly here: we will receive a heavy penalty," BNP Chief Executive Officer Jean-Laurent Bonnafe was quoted as saying by Reuters in an internal email to staff. BNP Paribas declined to comment.

U.S. authorities are expected to reveal details of the settlement later Monday, concluding a long-running criminal investigation.
The settlement between the bank and prosecutors had been expected for months. Shares in the bank edged about 0.5% higher in Paris, having fallen more than 12% so far this year in anticipation.

BNP Paribas had previously set aside $1.1 billion to cover the costs of any penalties arising from the U.S. investigation, but warned in late April that the fines could far exceed that amount.

I believe this is the largest bank fine yet. There's a lot of complaints coming from European central banks saying this punishment will hurt their fragile economies. I love the smell of banksters getting punished in the morning. It's better than coffee.
June 26, 2014

Single men should move to the Northeast

If you’re into playing the odds and want to find love, some states may be better for you to live in than others.

According to data released on Thursday by the Census Bureau, there are just 10 states in the country where men outnumber women. Alaska ranks No. 1 (women make up 47.55% of its population), followed by North Dakota (48.85%), Wyoming (48.98%), Hawaii (49.46%) and Nevada (49.63).

On the flip side, there is a higher percentage of women in Washington, D.C. (ladies make up 52.63% of the population there) than any other state, followed by Delaware (51.62%), Rhode Island (51.55%), Massachusetts (51.52%) and Maryland (51.51%). In other words, fellas, you may have better odds in the Northeast — and worse odds in the West and Midwest — if you’re looking for a female mate; and vice versa for ladies seeking men.

While these spreads may not look that significant, consider what they mean in actual numbers. In Massachusetts, for example, there are more than 200,000 more women than men and in Maryland there are nearly 180,000 more women.

If you’re looking for a younger — or an older — mate, certain states may be better than others as well. Florida, not surprisingly, has the highest percentage of older residents (18.7% are 65 and older), followed by Maine (17.7%) — and both do have a higher percentage of women than men. Meanwhile, Alaska and Utah have the youngest residents with just 9% and 9.8% of their populations, respectively, over 65 — good news for ladies looking for a young mate as both states have more men than women in them.

If you’re curious about how your state or city ranks in terms of age, sex or race, you can check out the new Census Bureau data here .

I can vouch that DC and MD have lots of confident assertive single liberal women working in fields like policy or nonprofit. The dating situation here has been very nice. Life is good
June 26, 2014

President Barack Obama becomes mocker-in-chief on climate change skeptics

The sarcastic bear is loose, and he’s loving every minute of it.

President Barack Obama is letting his inner Don Rickles run free, mocking climate deniers as the crowd who used to think the moon was made out of cheese or spineless dopes who can’t or won’t listen to science even though the science is all overwhelmingly pointing in one direction. Their heads are in the sand. They are members of the Flat Earth Society.

For the White House it’s about getting the liberal base excited for the midterms. It’s a confidence that climate change has shifted in voters’ minds. It’s a broader play against congressional Republicans as obstructionists.

And for Obama, it’s a good time. Wednesday night, Obama ripped into his opponents in front of a League of Conservation Voters crowd so friendly that some were pumping their arms in the air as he spoke.

“It’s pretty rare that you encounter people who say that the problem of carbon pollution is not a problem,” Obama said. “In most communities and workplaces, they may not know how big a problem it is, they may not know exactly how it works, they may doubt they can do something about it. Generally they don’t just say, ‘No I don’t believe anything scientists say.’ Except, where?” he said, waiting for the more than accommodating crowd to call back, “Congress!”

Obama smiled — not his big toothy self-satisfied grin, but his stick-it-in-the-ribs smirk.


We need more Dems in congress. GOTV!

June 25, 2014

Obama Administration Widens Export Potential for U.S. Oil

The U.S. Commerce Department opened the door to more U.S. oil exports as long as the crude is lightly processed, tempering the impact of a law that’s banned most overseas petroleum shipments for the past four decades.

The department widened its definition of what’s traditionally been considered a refined product eligible for shipping to customers abroad. That means more of the oil being pumped from U.S. shale formations may be eligible for export after being run through small-scale processing units.

The Commerce Department issued its ruling after Pioneer Natural Resources Co. petitioned for approval to export a type of ultra-light oil that had been stripped of lighter gases to make it less volatile for transport -- a minimal level of processing known as stabilization. The ultra-light oil, known as condensate, has been abundant in shale formations during the drilling boom, leading to oversupplies on the Gulf Coast.

“It’s a crack in the door which has otherwise been shut for 40 years,” Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London, said by phone. “If approvals for condensate exports are extended to more companies, it’ll benefit U.S. producers and processors in Asia, particularly in Singapore and South Korea.”


June 23, 2014

Existing-home sales highest in seven months


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Existing-home sales in May hit the fastest pace in seven months, thanks to a strengthening labor market, expanding inventories and falling mortgage rates, according to data released Monday.

Rising for a second month, sales of existing homes grew 4.9% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, the National Association of Realtors said. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a May rate of 4.75 million, compared with an originally reported pace of 4.65 million in April. On Monday, NAR tweaked April’s rate to 4.66 million.

For context, there was an average monthly sales pace of more than 6 million existing homes over the five years leading up to a 2005 bubble peak.

Recent economic improvements signal that sales rates may continue to pick up, NAR said. Mortgage rates have trended down this year, making home loans more affordable — a drop that could support sales . A gauge of sentiment among home builders recently showed that they are the most confident that they’ve been in five months.

“Sales appear to be moving up again, although the increase to date — over two months — reverses just a fraction of earlier weakening. Sales will need to keep rising to establish a renewed uptrend,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

However, at least one major headwind remains: lenders’ strict standards for who can get a loan. In the wake of the financial crisis, banks erected high standards for purchase loans. And while there has been some easing in recent months, it’s still tough for many families to obtain a loan, particularly first-time borrowers. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen recently commented that banks need more clarity over the extent of their liability in cases of loans that go bad.

I seek out good news when I can. Things look to be getting better.

June 19, 2014

Left alone with a sex offender, a teacher is raped violently

PHOENIX (AP) -- A teacher at an Arizona prison was alone in a room full of sex offenders before being stabbed and sexually assaulted by a convicted rapist, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press about an attack that highlighted major security lapses at the facility.

The attack occurred Jan. 30 at the Eyman prison's Meadows Unit, which houses about 1,300 rapists, child molesters and other sex offenders. The teacher was administering a high school equivalency test to about a half-dozen inmates in a classroom with no guard nearby and only a radio to summon help. The Department of Corrections issued only a bare-bones press release after the attack, but the AP pieced together what happened based on interviews and investigatory reports obtained under the Arizona Public Records Act.

After the last of the other inmates left, Jacob Harvey asked the teacher if she could open the bathroom and then attacked her, records show. Harvey is accused of stabbing her in the head with a pen, forcing her to the ground and raping her.

The teacher told investigators that she screamed for help, but none came. Afterward, Harvey tried to use her radio to call for help. It had apparently been changed to a channel the unit's guards didn't use, so Harvey let the woman use a phone, according to the reports.

Carl ToersBijns, a former deputy warden at the prison, said the assault highlights chronic understaffing and lax security policies that put staff members at risk.


Republican budget cuts can kill you. Remind me to never live in a red state.

Arizona. Epic fail.

The perp's bloody hands are in the pic in the article.

June 18, 2014

Does anyone know the story behind this RW image?

Like who is this woman and what the hell is she doing with an automatic belt fed machine gun with her fleece pullover and sunglasses trying to look like some third world badass? Is she some sort of well-known activist or nobody? And does anyone know what type of gun that is? I suppose it might be funny if they photoshopped a Ukrainian rebel onto the American flag, or a drug queen. Just curious.

It shows up in freeptown all the time. They use it for their fundraising.

June 18, 2014

Food-stamp use is falling from its peak


Food-stamp use is finally moving away from the peak. At 46.1 million people, total food-stamp usage is down about 4% from its high in December 2012 of 47.8 million. Only eight states in March (the latest data available) were up from the same month of 2013.

It’s still not great news, however, considering there were 26.3 million people receiving food stamps in 2007.

North Carolina, Georgia and Utah saw the biggest declines, as seen in the map at the top of the blog (keep in mind that North Carolinians qualified for emergency benefits due to hurricanes in 2013).

As a percentage of the population (the map below), Wyoming, North Dakota and Utah have the smallest percentage on food stamps, and Mississippi, Washington D.C., Oregon, Tennessee and New Mexico all have more than 20% of their population on food stamps, compared to 14.5% nationally.

June 18, 2014

Nothing is free my friend

Can you even begin to understand the unholy shit that we go through over each and every treatment through Medicare, Medicaid, and the disability programs? It's unreal how much the Republican party fights over each one, because they don't want to pay for patients to get lifesaving treatments.

SSA and CMS have a list for "Compassion Allowance" that allows patients to go through the application process faster if they have a condition where they may die soon before getting through the normal way. Lots of cancers are on this list. Know what's not? HIV! GOP is content to let people die alone in their apartments than get taxpayer funded public health benefits. Those folks can now buy a plan through the ACA, at community rated prices, and their treatments have to be covered. They can not be denied coverage because of their very expensive pre-existing condition.

It's amazing that some people assume single payer is some utopia where conservative parties like our Koch-funded GOP won't screw it up purely out of spite.

Look, I support Jon Conyers' Medicare for all plan HR 676. Go ahead and tell me how many votes you have rounded up in Congress to pass it and let me know how it goes buddy. Complaining on DU is not going to get you single payer but good luck with that.

Also invent a time machine where you go back and convince the Dems to pass it back in 2009. Also use the time machine to help Al Franken's senate campaign and Ted Kennedy's health while you're at it because you need both their votes in the Senate.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Southwestern PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Arlington, VA
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 07:36 PM
Number of posts: 45,746

About IronLionZion

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.
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