“The next time someone tries to convince you that feminism is no longer necessary because women are totally equal with men, roll your eyes as hard as you can. And then point out that, even in this day and age, ‘ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend’ is something that people think is funny. It’s a trending topic on Twitter. Hooray for the whole, entire world!”—Jezebel writer Erin Gloria Ryan • Offering a spot-on take for the most tasteless trending topic Twitter’s had in a long time. Hey Twitter, do you pay someone to edit your trending topics for potentially offensive topics, and if so, did they take a day off? Your algorithm does not have a way to detect taste. You guys have a big staff and a lot of money — show some responsibility for your product. source (via • follow)
Here’s the outline of the debt ceiling deal as of now, according to officials on both sides:
$900 billion in the first stage of deficit reduction.
$1.5 trillion in second stage of deficit reduction to be defined by a bipartisan special committee of lawmakers appointed by leaders of the House and Senate.
If the special committee fails to deliver a deficit-cutting package that would trigger $1.2 trillion in cuts, half would be Defense cuts and the other half would be non-Defense cuts, exempting low-income programs Social Security and Medicaid, and only impacting providers in Medicare.
The debt ceiling increase would be done in three phases: $400 billion initially; another $500 billion later this year would be subject to a vote of disapproval; a third increase of $1.5 to get the rest through 2012 and would also be subject to vote of disapproval.
There is also a provision to have Congress vote on balanced budget amendment.
The special committee would not necessarily tackle tax reform. But Mr. Obama is threatening to veto any extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for those making $250,000 a year or more unless Congress acts on an overhaul of the tax code.
“It’s an environmental issue that affects everyone. I mean, who doesn’t love seals?”—Sen. Scott Brown • Making a passionate plea for the plight of the seal to the Cape Cod Times. Problem for Scott, though, is that he made this in the wake of a faltering economic recovery and high unemployment — things he used as an excuse to get out of taking part in this “It Gets Better” video right over here. While Brown says he supports gay rights and is against discrimination, his absence from the video raised more than a few eyebrows, especially since, unlike this video, he actually was asked to participate. source (via • follow)
Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, late Friday.
The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers’ dance party Friday night.
The company currently has 10,000 robots and the number will be increased to 300,000 next year and 1 million in three years, according to Gou.
Breakdown: The new new NEW new nü NEW debt ceiling framework
So, those Republicans finally got a framework! If anyone feels like you might be on the most boring roller coaster ever, you are, as there have been so many high and low points with this debt ceiling dramarama today that you probably feel so dizzy that people might mistake you for being drunk. Anyway, in the latest developments, Republicans have apparently reached a framework with the White House to make this debt ceiling deal happen. Based on this, which side do you think won the day? Here’s a roundup:
“Family members only will be allowed to walk onto the plaza, look at their loved ones’ names, look down into the voids. The first day it’s reserved for those family members who lost somebody on 9/11.”—NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg • Describing the city’s plans for launching a 10th anniversary 9/11 memorial plaza at the Ground Zero site, which they’ve been working to get ready for such an event. Presidents Bush and Obama will take part, along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but amongst the general public, the first day will be limited to families of the victims involved in the attacks. After that, you’ll need to reserve a ticket ahead of time if you’d like to check out the memorial. source (via • follow)
There is, it appears, an emerging sense of panic developing on the cable news circuit over the state of a deal on the nation’s debt ceiling. On Fox News Saturday afternoon, Patricia Powell, founder and CEO of Powell Financial Group, advised viewers that they would be wise to have $1,000 in cash on hand if Congress were unable to come to a deal.
"Everybody needs a cash reserve and I’m talking … seriously about cash, cash dollars in your wallet — not just maybe money in the bank, but you also want money in the bank and not just in the money market fund," said Powell. "None of us know, if they … choose to default, whether there is going to be a credit crunch, whether you might have some trouble accessing some of your credit, and you might even have some trouble with your money market funds. So none of us know. Make sure you have cash."
This is irresponsible. We do not need to tell people to stuff their mattresses. News channels should NOT actively instill hysteria into our population.
“The problem: Democrats don’t want a balanced-budget amendment, and the Democrat-controlled Senate has tabled both Republican House bills – the legislative equivalent of telling House Republicans they are an out-of-control romper room and the adults in the Senate aren’t impressed.”—Tell us what you really think, Christian Science Monitor.
The moment has arrived. Here’s how this works: Starting right now, you have 24 hours to produce and submit your work. We’ll take the next 24 to select, edit, design and lay everything out. The end result will be a beautiful glossy paper magazine. And a super sharp digital…
Over two years ago Muck Rack launched the definitive list of journalists on Twitter. Now we’ve assembled a list of journalists on Google+ by going through the 500 most followed journalists we’ve verified on Muck Rack. It so happened 140 (an omen?) of those 500 were on Google+. If you need link bait you could even extrapolate that to mean 28% of journalists on Twitter have joined Google+.
It’s a good list (click the link to see the full thing), but we have to admit we’re not huge fans of Muck Rack’s seeming favoritism of people affiliated with news organizations over those not … look, I have ties to a newspaper, but I don’t use them with my social media presence in any way whatsoever. I feel journalism is less about where you work these days, and more about what you do — it’s the reputation, stupid.
“Whoever these people were, they were living large and having one hell of a time for an entire week inside my home, unwatched, unchecked, free to do whatever destruction they wished. And damn, did they do a lot of it.”—Airbnb user “EJ” • In a blog post she wrote last month regarding a nightmarish experience she had with the fast-growing vacation rental service, where the tenants using her home (which she knew nothing about until the very last second) appeared to have ransacked every piece of her life — stealing crap, copying vital information like birth certificates and Social Security cards, punching holes in walls, setting things on fire … you get the idea. In recent days, the controversy has gotten out of hand, due in huge part to the fact that Airbnb did not offer to pay for the woman’s financial losses as a result of the incident. Only after TechCrunch wrote an article about the incident did Airbnb appear to relent. But the victim says that, despite words to the contrary, Airbnb hasn’t really been supportive — with a co-founder going so far as to push her to take down her original blog post. All in all, this looks really bad for Airbnb, which previously had a rep as a potential multibillion-dollar startup. source (via • follow)
A solution to the debt ceiling problem that hasn’t yet been discussed: Make all incoming lines at the Capitol 900 numbers, so it costs $3.99 a minute to call your representative. We should have the crisis solved by the end of the week at that rate.
GDP growth figures: Another crappy quarter of crappy results
1.3%the rate of GDP growth the economy showed in its second quarter — which is pretty lame, by the way
1.8%the projected rate economists projected in the second quarter; yeah, we missed that source
» One word — anemic. On top of all this drama, the rates for GDP growth in the first quarter was projected down to an even lower 0.4 percent growth. While this does not bode well for our recovery, it doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily have a double-dip. It just increases the chances of one.
boehner’s bill falls short: After a chaotic day of vote-whipping, vote-delaying, and vote-switching, John Boehner has decided to postpone the vote on his debt ceiling bill. Despite multiple assurances that it would be brought to a vote before tomorrow, at the end of the day, Boehner didn’t have enough votes to ensure the bill’s passage (and he wasn’t going to embarrass himself by introducing a bill that was sure to fail). In an unusual alignment, conservative Tea Partiers and House Democrats all pledged to vote against the bill, albiet for different reasons. While the legislation has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, Boehner’s ability to shepherd it through the House is seen by many as the first real test of his leadership abilities. If he doesn’t eventually pass it, there’s a good chance he’ll (eventually) be deposed as Speaker. But it’s not over yet—sources say Republicans plan to tweak the bill a bit, and re-introduce it tomorrow. source
“Once again, we see patents being used as a tool to shakedown companies who were actually innovative in how they executed, with a ridiculously broad patent that contributed zippo to the actual state of the art.”—TechDirt’s Mike Masnick • Offering a spot-on take regarding the patent lawsuit filed against the finally-in-the-U.S. Spotify. The company suing, PacketVideo, specializes in mobile streaming solutions, but did not develop the patent, which dates back to 1994. Instead, they bought it a couple of years ago. Masnick, in his argument about patent law, rightly points out that it’s easy to patent an idea (especially one that was already floating around the ether in 1994, like audio streaming), but it’s very hard to do what Spotify does — which is, corral the cats into a room and get them all working in unison. Fact of matter: PacketVideo didn’t put any of the work into getting the labels on board, creating an innovative distribution model, or making it a cinch to use. Spotify did. And it’s another example of how patent law fails to protect real innovation, but instead punishes success. source (via • follow)
» That’s a lot of money: Walsh, a member of the Tea Party who calls for the country to cut spending and pay its bills, is having trouble paying some of his own, according to a recently filed lawsuit. He’s had other financial troubles, too — he lost a condo in a Chicago suburb to foreclosure, but he eventually got that cleared up. Our question: Should Walsh’s own issues be on the table, considering the way he goes after the government’s fiscal issues?
“Mr. Breivik managed to commit two terrorist attacks in a single afternoon. But the hatred and contempt from which he drew his deranged determination were shared with many others throughout the international right-wing blogosphere.”—Joshua Gaarder, author of “Sophie’s World,” and Thomas Hyland Erickson, professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo • In a New York Times opinion piece emphasizing the right-wing blogosphere’s influential nature — especially in terms of the Norway terror attacks, perpetrated by a man with ties to the right-wing in Norway. Plenty of people on the Internet are bigots in an extreme sense, extreme enough to encourage behavior like Breivik’s. It’s a sad and scary truth, but it’s one that needs to be taken seriously — no man works alone. He may have been a lone wolf in his actions, but he certainly wasn’t alone in his thinking. source (via • follow)