A century ago Carnegie built 2509 libraries; an equivalent investment today in Courseware would educate all on earth. pic.twitter.com/ZhuzXDV9NI
— Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) May 11, 2014
In the current edition of John Nolte‘s Hollywood Playbook, this item caught my eye: Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. and Variety‘s Peter Bart discuss the state of movies and whether or not films are dealing with a brain drain as talented writers and producers head over to television in the hopes of grabbing their own piece of this new Golden Age.
Bart thinks it is all cyclical. Fleming is edging towards despair.
Fleming: Because those series and 10 more like them are better than anything I see on a movie screen. For the 25 years I’ve covered it, film has always been the sexiest, most prestigious part of the business. … But now, it feels like the ecosystem has been damaged. The creative vision on the big films comes from executives who give creativity-stifling one-step screenwriter deals, with emphasis on reaching four quadrant audiences. Producers have been marginalized. Should the authorship of a picture belong to the studio exec? By contrast, some of the best series are generated by feature writers who couldn’t get hired after studios turned away from smart mid-budget dramas in favor of no-budget genre and high-priced tent poles. I remember Tony Gilroy telling me a couple years ago that movies like his superb Michael Clayton would go extinct, but there should be no funeral because all those writers who made them were flocking to TV and wait and see what happens. Man, was he right. Will the next generation growing up in this creative blight be inspired by mediocrity to dream about having the authority to reboot The Hangover?
First off, “Michael Clayton” sucked. And I don’t think the idea of a “Hangover” reboot will wait for another generation. In five years, “The Hangover” will return with the characters as dads, or something. Read the rest of this entry »
“This is a major abuse of power.”
…A video released by the White House Tuesday to promote investing in ports infrastructure, seems to be equally promoting the Vice President.
White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler wonders, “WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON HERE??”
Take a look. You paid for this.
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) May 14, 2014
For The Daily Caller, Patrick Howley writes: The IRS’ Washington, D.C. headquarters targeted conservative groups in part due to pressure from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, according to emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch and reviewed by The Daily Caller.
Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and citing an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.
A top IRS official replied that the agency could send out “individualized questions and requests.”
“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin wrote. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.” Read the rest of this entry »
For The American Conservative, Derek Khanna writes: In 200 years the United States went from being a colonial backwater to being the world’s dominant economic and military power. How did our nation arise from obscurity, break free from the grip of the most powerful empire on earth, and skyrocket to global leadership? With a government focused on innovation—not control.
“…If Republicans understand this and thereby embrace the mantle of innovation, not only will they be expediting a new wave of ingenuity, but they will also share credit with entrepreneurs for the next tech boom.”
Historically, the Republican Party has led on technological innovation. President Abraham Lincoln earned a patent and facilitated the first transcontinental railroad system. President Hoover played a key role in the early development of radio broadcasting, and President Coolidge created our national airways system. Dwight D. Eisenhower inaugurated NASA and DARPA, while Richard Nixon launched the cable television industry through deregulation. President Ronald Reagan made GPS available for civilian use and greatly expanded science research.
But today policymakers and the regulatory state are smothering the force that allowed us to become the world’s economic superpower. Incumbent industries have co-opted the legal and regulatory systems to go after their competitors, and both political parties have been complicit in this cronyism. Acceptance of these regulatory and legal barriers is a root cause of our abysmal “new normal” of 2 percent annual GDP growth. Read the rest of this entry »
For NRO, John Fund writes: France has decided to ignore pleas from the U.S. and its other NATO allies and go forward with a $1.7 billion contract to sell two helicopter carriers to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. “The contract has been paid and there would be financial penalties for not delivering it,” a French official told Reuters on Monday. “It would be France that is penalized. It’s too easy to say France has to give up on the sale of the ships. We have done our part.”
The French decision makes a mockery of the attempt to impose sanctions on Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea in March, the first forcible shifting of borders in Europe in more than 60 years. Read the rest of this entry »
For Big Journalism, John Nolte reports: The New York Times itself is reporting that its own Executive Editor, Jill Abramson, is being “unexpectedly” replaced by Dean Baquet. The Times says the reasons “aren’t immediately clear.”
“This is not about any disagreement between the newsroom and the business side.”
Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, is unexpectedly leaving the position and will be replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the newspaper, the company said Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »
First-year English teacher Kalyn Thompson has been charged with second-degree rape for allegedly having a series of sexual escapades with one of her male students, reports Tulsa CBS affiliate KOTV.
“It’s sad because they’re vulnerable to it and obviously he’s getting a good grade from it.”
— Creek County Detective Chrissie Underwood
Police say the Kellyville High School teacher gave the unidentified student a stellar, 98-percent, straight ‘A’ grade after their relationship took off. He had been flunking English just the semester before. Read the rest of this entry »
Two Democratic congressman who recently charged Republicans with racism were forced to answer for their claims when confronted by Fox News’s Jesse Watters.
First, Watters took on Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel (D., N.Y.) for telling CNN last month that Republican opposition to immigration reform is “animated by racism.”
“You are picking up on something that was out of context, and happened three weeks ago, so I question why you would even ask that,” Israel said to Watters as he tried to get into an elevator… (read more)
Nearly 40 percent of the country is non-white and/or Hispanic, but the number of minorities at the outlets included in this article’s tally—most of them self-identified as liberal or progressive—hovers around 10 percent. The Washington Monthly can boast 20 percent, but that’s because it only has nine staffers in total, two of whom belong to minority groups. Dissent, like the Prospect, has none. Given the broad commitment to diversity in our corner of the publishing world, why is the track record so poor?
Actually, the national percentage of “non-white and/or Hispanic” is below 30 percent, not “nearly 40 percent,” but Arana’s basic thesis is correct. But his list of categories is impoverished. “Whites” are assumed to be a single, uniformly “privileged” group, but of course this is not the case. My guess, based on decades of newsroom exposure, is that these liberal media outlets, and media outlets generally, tend to have disproportionately high percentages of Jews and of men and women from elite colleges and universities. I suspect that if you took a census of where their personnel went to high school, you would find disproportionately high numbers from elite private schools and from certain elite public high schools (Stuyvesant in New York, New Trier in the Chicago suburbs, etc.). I would bet considerable amounts of money that you won’t find many, if any, people who grew up in West Virginia or eastern Kentucky, in low-income rural counties in the South or farm counties in the Midwest. Read the rest of this entry »