October 9th, 2010
Glenn Beck Supporter
A number of Obama Supporters
The Washington Post
By Dana Milbank
"I would've never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there," says this friend, Byron Williams. "And it was the things he did, it was the things he exposed, that blew my mind."
"I do enjoy Glenn Beck," Williams also says, "and the reason why I enjoy that is because... no other channel will speak about the same things that he's talking about, and if you go and investigate those things you'll find out that they're true."
Unfortunately for Beck, this satisfied viewer currently resides at the Santa Rita Jail near Oakland and stands accused of a freeway shootout with police. Williams pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted murder of a police officer. But according to court documents, he said he had been on a mission to kill people at the liberal Tides Foundation, which happens to be a favorite Beck target.
In August, I wrote that while it's not fair to blame Beck for violence committted by his fans, he would do well to stop encouraging extremists. Now, Williams has granted a pair of jailhouse interviews, one with the conservative Examiner.com and one to be published soon by the liberal group Media Matters. These recorded exchanges, which I have reviewed, show precisely why Beck is dangerous: because his is the one voice in the mass media that validates conspiracy theories held by the unstable.
The Examiner, in an article published this week, exonerated Beck by pointing to Williams's statement that "I know Beck continuously talks about peaceful resolution but I have constantly disagreed. This, however, misses the point. It's not that Beck is directly advocating violence (he might be in Santa Rita himself if he did that) but he's giving voice and legitimacy to the violent fringe.
"Beck is going to deny everything about violent approach, deny everything about conspiracies," Williams told the freelance journalist John Hamilton, who did the interview to be published by Media Matters. "But he'll give you every reason to believe it. He's protecting himself, and you can't blame him for that. So, but I understand what he's doing."
Listening to Beck, Williams explained, "you can pick up ideas and you can get on your Internet and just verify it."
One of the ideas from Beck that Williams "verified" involved the liberal billionaire George Soros. Williams said he was inspired by Beck's shows about Soros (described by Beck as a currency manip-ulator of Jewish ancestry who has "disturbing hair in his nose"). Beck accused President Obama of lending $2 billion to Brazil's oil company Petrobras just after Soros upped his stake in the company.
This turned out to be a false Internet rumor that Beck had amplified, but Williams did more research and concluded that Soros and Obama had sabotaged the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico to cause the oil spill and thereby help Petrobras.
This, Williams said, was his main source of anger before the alleged shoot-out. "With the exception of Beck, not once did even Fox report on things like Soros investing a billion dollars in Petrobras, or not once did they mention the fact that Obama sent them $2 billion," he noted. "Beck will not say it was a contracted hit" on the BP well by Obama and Soros, Williams said, "but he'll give you every ounce of evidence you can possibly need to make that assumption yourself."
Williams, as you'd expect, is not an entirely reliable witness. At one point, he complains that Beck "criticizes all the conspiracy theories," but at other points he hails Beck for embracing them. Still, this part rings true: The prisoner told the Examiner that he already knew about Tides before he heard Beck speak about it in June; rather, "to me it was more of a confirmation of what I already knew," he said.
Exactly. Beck, who has encouraged his followers to hear what he is saying "between the sentences" he actually utters, gave legitimacy to Williams's conspiracy theories.
"So now they've got Beck labeled as this guy that is trying to incite violence, and what I say is that if the truth incites violence, it means that we've been living too long in the lies," Williams told Hamilton. "You know, when you become unemployed, desperate, you can no longer pay your bills... what do you think is gonna happen? You know, for crying out loud. It's gonna get worse, and more and more people are gonna get desperate."
Particularly if they have an enabler in the mass media.
Dana Milbank is the author of Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America. Last week, he wrote for The Post's Outlook section about Beck as an amateur historian.
October 9th, 2010
“Larks tend to be go-getters but they’re not gregarious,” says Michael Smolensky, M.D., co-author of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health, and visiting professor at the University of Texas, “They tend to be introverted and are overall more conscientious and disciplined.”
Sometimes this can cause friction at work, Smolensky notes. “Larks tend to want to get to work early and are highly productive in the morning. This gets people jealous, especially when larks are working with late-risers.”
Women are more likely to be larks than men, at least in Western cultures—and older people become more lark-like as they age.
The lark personality is also more depression-prone than those who are late-risers.
Owls are best left undisturbed before they've had their cup of coffee. In contrast to larks, low moods typically occur upon awakening, but mid-morning and late evenings are creative peaks.
“Owls seem to be more outgoing and social,” says Smolensky, “They also tend to be risk-takers.”
Teenagers are notorious owls—at puberty, the body clock changes and even those who tend to be lark-like become more nocturnal until their mid- to late 20s, when they revert to their more usual patterns.
Though most owls are able to adjust to the 9-5 work routine, extreme night owls may feel completely out of synch in such an environment. Consider a night shift, or a job you can do from home, on your own schedule.
Norah Vincent, Ph.D., an associate professor and clinical psychologist at the University of Manitoba in Canada, conducted a large study examining the relationship between sleep and personality in nearly 6,000 Americans.
"People who were more reliant on others for good feelings about themselves tend to sleep significantly longer,” she says, noting that there's nothing abnormal about this, it's just a measure on which people vary significantly.
However, long sleepers do have a tendency toward depression, a condition that is also very sensitive to the amount of social support people have in their lives. Staying in close touch with family and friends improves health for virtually everyone—but long sleepers should keep these ties strong and active.
October 9th, 2010
President Obama hit the golf course Saturday for what, by CBS News' Mark Knoller's calculation, was his 52nd such outing since taking office.
According to the White House pool report, Obama went golfing Saturday with his usual partners: trip director Marvin Nicholson, press aide Ben Finkenbinder and the Department of Energy's David Katz.
CBS News Radio White House correspondent Knoller tweeted:
It's a beautiful 77° & sunny in DC and Pres Obama has gone to Andrews AFB for a round of golf. His 52nd since taking office.
Before heading to Andrews Air Force Base for golf, Obama watched his daughter Malia's soccer game in northwest Washington.
Obama heads to Philadelphia with Vice President Biden on Sunday for a DNC "Moving America Forward" campaign rally with Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.).
October 9th, 2010
By: Julie Mason
Examiner White House Correspondent
October 8, 2010
Conservative organizations -- including a new group led by former White House political guru Karl Rove -- are funneling millions of dollars into Republican campaigns in the final weeks before the election, and the White House is fighting back the only way it can.
Outgunned and outmaneuvered, President Obama is calling out Rove, whose name is still reviled by the liberal rank and file. Democrats blame many of the Bush administration's most controversial episodes on Rove and Obama is hoping that their deep animosity could motivate Democrats to vote in the Nov. 2 congressional elections.
"Right here in Illinois, in this Senate race, two groups funded and advised by Karl Rove have outspent the Democratic Party two-to-one in an attempt to beat Alexi," Obama said at an event for Illinois Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, who is running to fill Obama's old Senate seat. "Two to one. Funded and advised by Karl Rove."
Rove has teamed with former Bush loyalist and one-time Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie to raise $52 million this year for GOP candidates.
Operating outside of the official party apparatus, Rove's American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are spending millions on ads in key Senate races, without having to disclose their contributors.
The groups are allowing Rove and Gillespie to skirt the national Republican Party and its erratic chairman, Michael Steele, whose fundraising this year has lagged so far behind Democrats that the GOP is being forced to take out a multimillion-dollar bank loan to provide advertising money to its candidates.
Rove is the big name, but numerous groups are in play. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that since Sept. 1, conservative groups overall have spent nearly $26 million in the campaigns, compared with $5.6 million spent by liberal groups and the $4.1 million spent by bipartisan or nonpartisan groups.
"I think it's fascinating that the advisers to the previous president are now trying to engineer the next Congress," said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. "It's the second coming of the Bush team."
At the same time, Donnelly said, the groups' methods subvert democracy by preventing voters from knowing who is funding attack ads.
The Supreme Court earlier this year cleared the way for such groups to spend as much money as they like with minimal disclosure of their donors. So far Republicans are well ahead of Democrats in the money chase, fueled in part by sophisticated fundraising and a higher level of electoral enthusiasm among conservatives.
Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, called Democratic leaders' efforts to vilify the GOP groups as "desperate."
"Ninety-five thousand Americans lost their jobs last month, $1.3 trillion was just added to the national debt, and Barack Obama and [Democratic National Committee chairman] Tim Kaine are attempting to distract voters from those facts with a political ploy," Collegio said.
Republican groups and others counter that labor unions and other Democratic groups have spent up to $100 million in undisclosed expenditures this year.
Clark Ervin, a political scholar at the Aspen Institute who worked for Bush and also served on Obama's transition, said the imbroglio over outside groups is unfortunate but not unusual.
"I think the better thing would be to not only require disclosure but also limit the amount of money from people in corporations," Ervin said. "People need to know who these contributors are and whether there are any quid pro quos for the money they give."
Legislation requiring such disclosure passed the House this year but failed to clear the Senate.
October 9th, 2010
by Cindy Perman
Overall U.S. employment is expected to go up 10 percent in the next decade, but there are some professions that are actually expected to see their ranks shrink.
The reasons vary -- everything from outsourcing to technology to the economy.
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As high school seniors start scouting colleges and thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, it's a good idea to zoom out and take a look at the broader jobs landscape -- what the fastest-growing jobs are and what jobs may be disappearing, what they pay -- and what are some of the alternatives for a degree in that field.
Before students, their parents or their student aid drop $30,000 to $100,000 or more on college, it's important to think about what that investment will buy you: a job with good prospects, or a ticket to the unemployment line?
You would spend time researching a major purchase like a house or car -- and it's even more important to research your career. You know, the thing that will actually pay for the house, car and other lifestyle choices.
Here are disappearing jobs for those with bachelor's degrees, according to the Labor Department:
Reporters and Correspondents
Employed in U.S.: 61,600
Change expected in next decade: -8%
Average salary: $34,850
Consolidation and convergence are the top reasons the news industry is shrinking. News outlets are increasingly sharing each other's content, which means they need fewer reporters and correspondents.
The news business gets hit particularly hard during economic downturns as most revenue comes from advertising, and companies spend less on advertising during a slump. Improving technology is one bright light, which could drive some employment in online or mobile divisions.
Competition is expected to be intense for jobs at large and national newspapers, broadcast stations and magazines. The best opportunities are expected to be with smaller, local news outlets as well as for online news organizations, as technology generates demand for online reporters or mobile news units. Writers who can handle scientific or technical subjects will have an advantage.
For those just starting out, there are more opportunities for freelance work than full-time. Plus, it's a big advantage to have a joint degree with journalism and an area of specialty such as politics, economics or biology, rather than a single degree in journalism.
As an alternative, journalism graduates are qualified for the related fields of advertising, public relations or corporate communications, which tend to pay better.
Employed in U.S.: 103,000
Change expected in next decade: -4%
Average salary: $56,790
Technology is the main reason that the need for insurance underwriters, the people who decide if insurance will be provided and under what terms, is shrinking as the Internet and increased use of automated underwriting software boosts worker productivity.
The Internet links databases and makes information used by the underwriters more accessible and the software helps them sort through it more quickly and determine whether an application for insurance should be accepted or denied.
While the industry is expected to shrink, there will still be opportunities because of a high turnover rate and as insurance carriers try to return to profitability. Growth in long-term care insurance, a relatively new type of insurance being offered, may also offer opportunities for underwriters.
Job opportunities are expected to be best for those with strong computer skills in addition to a background in finance.
Employed in U.S.: 426,700
Change expected in next decade: -3%
Average salary: $69,620
While computer software engineers, the guys who write the software, are projected to be among the fastest-growing jobs, rising 32 percent over the next 10 years, demand for computer programmers, the guys who write the instructions for a computer to use that software, is expected to shrink 3 percent in the next decade.
The reason is twofold: The growing ability for users to write and implement their own programs, as well as outsourcing the task of computer programming.
This is one of the few cases where it hurts you to be in the digital field: Because your work is digital, you can do it from anywhere in the world. Plus, the work of computer programmers requires little localized or specialized knowledge. All you have to know is the computer language.
It's also one of the few cases where a weak economy is helpful: Some companies are hiring programmers in the U.S. in areas that were particularly hard hit by the recession.
Opportunities will be the best for those who know multiple programming languages and tools. But, it's crucial to stay on top of the latest trends and tools in order to remain competitive. Getting training and certifications can also provide a competitive advantage.
Employed in U.S.: 26,900
Change expected in next decade: -3%
Average salary: $110,220
It seems counterintuitive that we're increasingly becoming a lawsuit-happy nation and yet, the need for judges is shrinking. The reason is simple: Budget. From the federal government on down to states, cities and towns, cash-strapped governments are slashing their budgets.
Making it even more difficult to land a position as a judge is competition. There are a ton of people who apply for these jobs due to the prestige associated with them and the turnover rate is low. And, with the costs of going to court so high, more parties involved in disputes are opting for out-of-court arbitration.
On the plus side, demographic shifts will actually help demand for judges as more immigrants migrate to the U.S., creating the need for more judges to deal with all the paperwork, and as the population ages, creating a need for legal review of elder-care issues.
As an alternative, many candidates for judgeships opt to go into the private sector, where the pay is significantly higher.
Employed in U.S.: 31,700
Change expected in next decade: -2%
Average salary: $84,680
Demand for engineers overall is good, with some specialties expected to see outstanding growth, but demand for chemical engineers, who work in the manufacturing of chemicals and products such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics and cement, is expected to drop 2 percent in the next decade.
The biggest demand in engineering will be for biomedical engineers, with projected growth of 72 percent over the next decade, as well as civil, environmental and petroleum engineers.
The reason some areas are seeing a decline again comes down to money: Cutbacks in defense expenditures have crimped demand in industries such as electronics and aerospace. Plus, there is an increasing trend toward contracting engineers instead of hiring them full time, as well as outsourcing work to English-speaking engineers outside the U.S., who are often willing to work for lower wages.
In order to remain competitive, it's imperative for engineers, like computer programmers, to stay on top of the latest technology and trends.
Advertising and Promotions Managers
Employed in U.S.: 44,600
Change expected in next decade: -2%
Average salary: $80,220
Overall employment in advertising, marketing, promotions and PR is expected to jump 13 percent in the next decade, but for those who direct a firm's ad campaigns and promotions aimed at driving sales, prospects are expected to drop by 2 percent.
The drop is largely due to the economy -- and the changing landscape of the media business. Advertising and promotions are also subject to demand in the industries they're promoting, so if an industry is hard hit by the economic slump, it will take a toll on the advertising and promotions managers that work with it.
The advertising industry is changing rapidly as the media and Internet landscape changes, making it crucial for advertising and promotions managers to be flexible and creative in harnessing new methods of promoting products.
Job opportunities will be greatest for those with a high level of creativity, plus strong communications and computer skills, and those who quickly adapt to new media such as the Internet and social media.