A successful sting by Timmy Do-right

If you wonder how we’ve come to the sorry state we’re in, there’s a news story in the Star Tribune (Aug. 16, page B6) that answers the question, though that certainly is not the intent of the reporter nor of the pollsters whose new results he passes on.

A poll by SurveyUSA over the previous weekend shows that in the wake of the Hwy. I35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s approval rating is at an all-time high, the Strib reported.

The poll says 59 percent of Minnesotans now approve of “the job Pawlenty is doing.”

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When news and propaganda merge

Language matters.

It matters greatly.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer Americans can read, or listen, with anything approaching critical attention. So we get conned and robbed and thrust into untenable and often illegal situations at every turn. We get pushed into wars that should never happen on the basis of what a Bush or Cheney or Rove seems to be saying, rather than hearing the truth beneath the twists and clever obfuscations.

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Infrastructure funding: abridged too far

Reactions to terrible events that should not happen — events such as the collapse of the Hwy. I35W bridge in Minneapolis — follow a pattern.

First there is shock, and very quickly thereafter there comes a desire to help, to comfort, to care for the afflicted.

Some people immediately want to know why the thing happened, who’s responsible, and what needs to be done to see that such a thing doesn’t happen again, but most need time for mourning and helping before addressing those questions.

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On taking the bridge collapse personally

Along with being told to withhold placing blame in situations such as the bridge collapse – generally told by those who are to blame, supported by the naïve – we also usually are reminded that we shouldn’t take such things personally. The implication is that all such terrible occasions are, somehow, acts of god or fate.


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Take our governor — please

Tim Pawlenty is one of the many modern office holders who could not have a political career without television.

Minnesota’s governor is a man who holds everyday citizens in contempt, a loyal toady to right wing billionaires, but you never would guess that from his television ads or the movie-star charm that melts the hearts of light-headed television interviewers and swooning editorial writers. No hint of who he really is ever comes through the camera.

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Weighing in on health care

The anger and frustration over our deadly health care system is far greater than the corporate bigwigs, nonleaders in Washington and the corporate news media understand.

That doesn’t mean the corporation executives won’t spend hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars from their obscene profits to beat back rebellion before it gets organized, however. Any opposition annoys them, and articulate opposition throws them into paroxysms of outrage.

How dare any of the worker bees challenge their right to rob us blind and do what they will with our lives?

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The “liberal media” shibboleth redux – Part 2

The latest claim for press liberalism came in a long piece by MSNBC reporter Bill Dedman, seconded in an article by Twin Cities journalist Eric Black, who says that anyone who has spent many years in newsrooms “knows” that most journalists are liberals. Well, I have 10 or 15 more years in newsrooms than Black, and what I “know” is quite different from what he seems to “know,” and what Dedman claims to have shown.

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The “liberal media” shibboleth redux – Part I

Candidates for office in 2008 already are in full cry, sadly, and so are the party organizations, conscienceless consultants and tunnel-vision corporate press and television pundits. We also have an early start on the high-volume touting of myths that have worked for one side or another in the past, and truth be damned.

Opinion: The “liberal media” shibboleth redux – Part I. Part II will run tomorrow. If you just can’t wait, you can find it at The “liberal media” shibboleth redux – Part 2.

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Sicko: Commenting on commentaries

The reviews of Michael Moore’s “Sicko” have been fascinating, the editorial and op-ed commentaries on the film even more so.

Apparently there is a rule in corporate journalism that every mention of Moore and his films, or Moore without his films, must contain at least two snide observations about his biases, his ever so naughty attacks on rich and powerful but somehow –- in the eyes of the corporate journalists — defenseless people such as the chairman of General Motors, and, if you can slide it in, Moore’s physical appearance.

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