Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You know you were waiting for it...

And, here it is: my very first Dancing With The Stars recap.

Who knew it would be Pamela Anderson that I thought was awesomely fun (I mean, I knew I'd love Niecy Nash, but Anderson surprised me).

As if I needed more reasons...

... to be unenthused about health care reform, the Washington Post's benefit calculator tells me that, come 2014, if I happen to be laid off again (if you're counting at home, that would be for the 7th time since graduate school, assuming I don't get laid off from something in-between) there won't be any COBRA anymore, since the health insurance exchanges will be ever-so-affordable. And, supposedly, "ever-tighter" regulations will lower costs on the individual market, which I'll believe when I see.

The last time I priced it out, it was $1,500 a month for individual market insurance, and my COBRA -- were I not eligible for the federal subsidy for the unemployed -- would be nearly $700 a month even as a group plan. Either one, tax breaks aside, would have to get much, much lower for me to afford it and, if it wasn't, I'd get to pay a fine anyway.

Plus, if I purchased it on an exchange, thanks to the abortion coverage "compromise" I'd have to pay extra if I wanted to be sure some bureaucrat didn't decide that my pregnancy wasn't enough of a risk to my life so as to be ineligible.

Monday, March 22, 2010

And yet more

Me in The Guardian on why Stupak is so terrible:
Bart Stupak is no healthcare hero

And, of course, my Washington Independent work:
Feinberg to Look Back at (But Not Claw Back) Bank Bonuses
More Than Half of Republicans Don’t Believe Banks Are to Blame for the Financial Crisis
Geithner’s New York Fed Took Trash Off Lehman’s Hands

Oh, and I'm not done yet for today. Tonight, my first Dancing with the Stars recap should be live around the time Jon Stewart tees up on Republicans.

This is what diversity looks like

I'm all over the place today, which should be interesting.

So far:

Jezebel: Pelosi's Victory On Health Care May Not Win Over Women
The Gloss: Bitch, Please: How To Handle An Eating Disorder
Dancing With The Stars: Power Rankings: Pre-Show Edition

Yeah, that's right. I'm blogging about DWTS. Later tonight comes the recap!

Killing Bill

The thing I like about the dénouement (other than the blood and gore) of Kill Bill 2 is that they get to have the conversation. They get to calmly discuss the end of their relationship, to come to some sort of understanding and say goodbye.

Well, and then she beats the shit out of him, because sometimes admitting to, and apologizing for, fucking it up doesn't negate the damage.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why I don't talk about boys

In my advice column "Bitch Please" for The Gloss, I don't answer relationship questions. This is less to avoid a sense of creeping hypocrisy or irony, and for one very specific reason: there is no new relationship advice. If you are having relationship problems, you either have to talk to your partner and come to an understanding/resolution with the problem, or you have to leave. Period.

Now, talking isn't nagging, or berating, or fight-picking, but it's sitting down, expressing how you feel and why, and allowing him/her to do the same, and then deciding how to move forward, if you do.

So there's my advice for every relationship situation. If you have other questions, email me and I will likely answer them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I feel like the Energizer bunny

But here's a piece on how big David Paterson really blew it, that I wrote for The Guardian!

How David Paterson blew it

The weekend on the Jez...

I'm covering The Daily Beast's Women in the World conference, and writing about it. I'll update this entry as I post!

'Beast' Of Burden: Congo's Survivors "Must Understand They Have The Right To Live"

My economics professor would be proud

Back in the day, we talked about how the parastatal nature of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leads to moral hazard... and yesterday, I talked about that on Russia Today!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Back on the women's issues beat

I'm back on the women's issues beat today, covering (for RH Reality Check) how West Virginians for Life is skirting lobbying laws in their effort to restrict women's rights -- probably out of sheer hubris, but that seems to be where a lot of the anti-abortion movement begins.

West Virginians For Life Skirts Lobbying Laws, But Courts Publicity

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two soloists....

Now up on the music-blog side of things: an interview with Chairlift's Aaron Pfenning about his solo work. Like me, someone's a big sci fi geek!

You've heard of Chairlift, even if you don't know it yet. One of their songs got picked up for an iPod commercial.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crazy days

How much can I write? Let me show you:

A piece in the Guardian: Where Michael Moore dared... (about Iraq, Bigelow and not playing it safe at the Oscars)

My new column at The Gloss, which just launched with the inimitable Lilit Marcus at the helm: Bitch, Please: Advice About Everyone But Boyfriends

Also, a day of guest-blogging at Jezebel: Frustration Makes Pro-Lifers More Anti-Abortion Than Ever, Macking On Men Is The Only Sexual Harassment Congress Won't Tolerate, Sarah Palin Loves Socialized Health Care (When She's Paying For It), Some Thoughts On Porn Addiction, Men & Misogyny

And my still-regular gig at the Washington Independent: Another Way Obama’s Stimulus Fails African-Americans, Treasury Provides Details of New Short Sale Incentive Program, The Recession Came for Single Moms, Too

Now, it's finally time for a nap.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Behind the blog curtain

An IM to my editor about the subject of my latest piece:
it's about how shitty the economy is, but that probs goes without saying
Have you been keeping up with my econoblogging at the Washington Independent? It's a cure for all the cute puppy videos. Even this one.

Different strokes

So, there's a report out that all but condemns the blogosphere for not talking about the Real Issues in America. In it, the Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism reports that the top 5 news issues in the blogosphere in the last week of February were: the call for a choke-proof hot dog; a Google case in Italy; Gordon Brown possibly being an abusive dick to his staff; monogamous frogs; and the use of music to help stroke victims recover brain functionality. Traditional media was all over the health care debate, the shitty economy, the Toyota recall, the Winter Olympics and Afghanistan.

The problem, as far as I'm concerned, with these studies and the implied conclusions is this: people who write and manage blogs know exactly what people are clicking on, and how long they remain reading a page. People who publish newspapers have no idea where the eyeballs reading the dead trees go, and people who put together news programs only know what Nielsen says their viewers are doing. Also, if people are more interested in hot dog regulation than health care, what does that say about health care?

Quite frankly, if we want online media to be more health care and less hot dogs, we'd better start reading more about health care than hot dogs. But, to be really honest, in this two-blogger household, we both clicked on various hot dog related stories that week, too, despite the fact that neither of us wrote about it (though my roommate Tumblr'd something about it). This morning, the first thing I read was about the dude suing CBS over his penis surgery. Yes, I will read almost anything with the word "penis" in the headline, it's practically Pavlovian. That's the problem -- people click on stuff as a response to stimulation, so bloggers write about things that will get clicks because clicks = advertising revenue. And, since in the blogosphere -- unlike in commercials or print ads -- advertisers know exactly what is driving traffic to them and exactly how many eyeballs were subjected to their ads, advertisers pay based on what people are reading. It's a feeedback loop: write about hot dogs, get more page views because people read more about hot dogs than health care, increase ad revenues, write more about hot dogs.

Now, I will return to my regularly scheduled day of writing about unemployment, how the banks are screwing us all, politics and other things that don't generate as many clicks as choke-proof hot dogs.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I love Bjork (sung to the old NY ad jingle)

I mean, this was just so awesome, it defies belief.

Anyway, if you're curious about things Oscars-related, I did a funny, somewhat snarky round-up of the Biggest Oscar Scandals Ever at Crushable, the new, revamped women's site helmed by Erin Carlson and Amanda Ernst!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Day In The Life

This week's email correspondence, from a fan of my work at Jezebel, referencing a fact-check I did of a July 2009 Daily Show appearance by Mike Huckabee. Mind you, my tenure on the Jezebel masthead ended in August 2009, when I moved to Air America.

On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 4:30 PM, Zachary Lindberg (zack.lindberg@gmail.com) wrote:
do get a life, loser
Of course, I don't check my old email address very often, so I didn't see it right away, but I responded as a way to let my old colleagues know about it.
On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 1:45 PM, Megan Carpentier wrote:

I'm not the one scrolling through year-old blog posts on a Sunday afternoon and writing to people on the Internet to insult them. Take your own advice.

He was then roundly mocked. Apparently, he felt he had to defend himself, at 1 am.

From: Zachary Lindberg
Date: Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 12:47 AM

Its for a research paper, ma'am and I had the displeasure of coming across your real *piece of work.* Like I said before, do get a life.
If you're curious, Zack is a student at USC. I'm sure his professors consider him a credit, since he's using Daily Show clips and Jezebel posts for his research papers.

Monday, March 1, 2010

To that point

The lovely people at "To The Point" asked me on to talk about the Greek financial crisis, Goldman Sachs and financial market regulation as part of a panel of people, most of whom are way more qualified than I am. The show is syndicated, so you can check and see when it's on in your area here, or listen to it at some point later today or tomorrow here.

Music writing, with an Irish accent

In the latest installment of Megan-tries-her-hand-at-music-writing, I interviewed the Irish punk band Strait Laces, seen in a video made by their drummer Pando (who, if you click through to the story, appears in his underwear. Yes, I had my pick of photos, but obviously I chose the underwear shot.) They say funny things, I transcribe them, they'll play at least 9 times at SXSW.