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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’

Today’s Flickr Photo

Flickr photo by woodleywonderworks.

If you read one thing today . . .

There are a lot of books and movies popping up about the causes and consequences of the 2008 financial meltdown but, apparently, there aren’t many that look at the sub-prime mortgage racket the way Michael W. Hudson does in his book, The Monster: How A Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Lenders Fleeced America—And Spawned A Global Crisis. Hudson talks to Mother Jones about how the sub-prime market began in Southern California:

If you had to pick one figure that did more than anyone else to grow the subprime market, and grow it into the monster that it became, it would be Roland Arnall. Now, Countrywide and Angelo Mozilo played a big role, but they were very late to the game. Mozilo, especially in the ’90s, was nervous about subprime, and worried about getting into it. It wasn’t until Ameriquest and a few other Orange County-based subprime outfits really showed that you could make lots and lots of money, and really started threatening Countrywide’s market share, that Countrywide got into it.

Overheard:

Monday kicked off Jon Stewart’s week in Washington, D.C., which ends, of course, with the mother of all rallies, the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Saturday. In a segment about NPR’s firing of Juan Willliams, Stewart tosses to Jason Jones who is driving around, lost, looking for the Supreme Court. Anyone who has tried to drive in the nation’s capitol will get this:

“I’m in a six-lane traffic circle that leads to an underpass . . . and that leads to another goddamn traffic circle. This Frenchified city layout makes no freaking sense. How hard is it to lay out a grid?”

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If Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and their “competing” Washington D.C. rallies don’t have your attention by now, you  a) have just woken up from a 25-year coma b) live in a shack in Montana where you are working on your great anti-technology manifesto, or c) are among the 4 percent of the population who truly believes President Obama might actually have been born in the Alpha Centauri solar system.

When both Big Os — Oprah and Obama — endorse your Rally to Restore Sanity, you know you might be on to something. Since Sept. 16, when Stewart announced his Oct. 30 rally, along with Stephen Colbert’s satirical March to Keep Fear Alive, 180,000 people on Facebook have said they plan to attend the event, while another 100,000 have said they might.

Public Citizen plans to be there, and we’ve been encouraging people to submit ideas for signs that we’ll hand out at the rally on the National Mall. We plan to pick the slogan that we think best sums up the message we want to share with the throngs of people who will be packed in front of the Lincoln Memorial. So far, more than 3,000 slogans have been entered in our “What Sign Should I Bring to Jon Stewart’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ ” contest. Another 1,000 people have joined the accompanying Facebook page, and hundreds more are spreading the word on Twitter with the hashtag #signs4sanity.

Picking the best one is going to be difficult. We’ll be asking our Facebook fans to help, but in the end,  we may have to resort to the old picking a slogan out of a hat method. You can read the thousands of sign suggestions and enter your own at www.citizen.org/jon-stewart-sanity-rally-signs.

Generally, the sign suggestions fall into five categories: (more…)

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By David Arkush and Christine Hines

Jon Stewart, the popular host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and “America’s most trusted newsman,”  regularly imparts an astute critique of American political affairs and media.

The comic’s recent two-part exchange with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, for instance, elicited – in between the funny jabs – thoughtful, nuanced discussion on policy, politics, and the president. As Daily Show fans though, we cringed a little during his chat with O’Reilly when they briefly discussed so-called “tort reform,” the phrase used by the health industry and big business to advocate taking away your access to the courts

O’Reilly first broached the issue when Stewart was a guest on Fox’s O’Reilly Factor. He complained that President Obama could have worked with Republicans during the health care reform debate by adding “tort reform” to the bill. Stewart shot back that the president said he was willing to compromise on the issue, a priority for Republicans, even though it wouldn’t save much in health care costs. In their second conversation, this time at the Daily Show. Stewart blasted the extent of corruption, in media and finances (financial services?), and then strangely expressed a willingness to offer “right wing tort reform,” as he called it. It wasn’t clear why he mentioned it. Perhaps to suggest he would bargain on the issue in exchange for measures that curb corruption.

We’re with him on the need to end corruption. Government and corporate accountability are at a serious low point; we’ve proposed (more…)

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Even Oprah is talking about Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” scheduled for Oct. 30th.  After having him on her show  Tuesday, she tweeted “I think Jon Stewart is on to something. Rally to Restore Sanity. Would you consider going?”

Apparently, a lot of people have already answered “yes.” According to the official Facebook event page, more than 130,000 people are planning to attend the rally.

The rally is attracting a large amount of attention from both the public and the media. In fact, so much that some Democrats are worried the event is overshadowing the “One Nation Working Together” rally on Oct. 2, according to Politico.

Slate’s David Weigel expressed similar thoughts:

“And all of a sudden here come Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, turning a joke into a mega-rally and plucking liberals right out of their get-out-the-vote operations during their most crucial weekend.”

Let us know your opinion on the rally by entering a slogan in our “What Sign Should I Bring to Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity?” Contest. The winning slogan will appear on signs we pass out at the Oct. 30th rally. It’s your chance to have your voice heard on the National Mall.

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Do you have a great idea for a sign to hold at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity?

Public Citizen is looking for a kick-ass slogan that we can print on signs that we’ll hand out at Stewart’s rally on Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C. Go to our contest sign-up page and give us your best shot. We’ll pick the one that best sums up the message we’d like to share with Stewart, Stephen Colbert and the throngs of sane Americans who plan to show up that day to “take it down a notch.”

Click here to enter our contest.

You can also join our Facebook Page, What sign should I bring to Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity?

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Another day, another failed method to stop the oil from gushing. We’re getting pretty sick of this pattern. This time, the plan to saw off a leaking pipe and then cap it came to a halt, literally. The saw is stuck, as is the process to stop the oil. Back to square one.

Yet, as attention focuses on stopping the spill, a very important piece is lacking attention — protecting the workers trying to clean up this mess. Lawyers prepare to file claims as they try to attract customers that were hurt, physically or economically, by the catastrophic spill. Government officials delve into criminal and civil investigations of the spill.

Despite the international attention on the spill and its cleanup, oil continues to gush day after day. No sign of crying itself to sleep, as one of my colleagues half-joked. But in case you’re close to tears yourself, Jon Stewart yet again covered the BP spill in two full segments last night. (And you thought we were the only ones talking about the spill this much…)

But we at Public Citizen have also been hard at work, this time organizing a massive protest in front of BP’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, complete with a mock citizen’s arrest. If you’re in the D.C. area, please come join us. If not, tell your friends and stay tuned for pictures. (We’ll be rockin’ those awesome shirts above.)

And don’t forget to join our online efforts — on Facebook, through our petition, and telling President Obama to ban the expansion of offshore drilling to prevent future oil spill disasters.

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Nobody can say it quite like Jon Stewart. The man has a gift for pointing out the absurd and capitalizing on it, granted, sometimes for a cheap laugh.

The absurdity he highlighted in last night’s episode focused on the oil spill in the Gulf — discussing plans to stop the oil from pouring into the water, and trying to pinpoint who is responsible for the spill and the aftermath. (WARNING: Stewart’s humor is a bit risque in this clip.)

Here are the plans to stop the oil geyser: Top hat. Hot tap. Are these solutions or anagrams, Stewart asked. Next up, the junk shot. (You can use your imagination on Stewart’s take of the solution.) But yeah, let’s throw golf balls, debris and other waste at the well, hoping to clog it up. Seriously.

As for accountability, was it BP? No, they only leased the rig. Was it Transocean? No, concrete blocks failed, not them. Who made the concrete blocks? Halliburton. The list goes on and on.

Now, it’s We, the People’s turn to hold BP accountable. Public Citizen urges drivers to boycott BP and fill up elsewhere. Join the Facebook group, sign the petition and tell your friends!

(Full disclosure: Joe Newman promised me a penny for every person who joins the Facebook group, 1,000,000 Strong to Boycott BP. That means if a million people join, I get $10,000. If you don’t do it for the environment, do it for me!)

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