Category Archives: Weekly Wrap-Ups

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/14/10


After a week of vacation, Independent Kansan is back and here’s the news:

FOXNews chairman Roger Ailes made the news this week when he compared NPR to Nazi’s.  He was speaking about the firing of NPR news analyst Juan Williams over comments made on FOXNews. Mr. Ailes is certainly allowed his opinion. In fact, Independent Kansan we believed the firing of Juan Williams was shady at best. However, Mr. Ailes has a degree from Ohio University, and we believe that someone who is college-educated should be making more than one evil reference. Throughout Fox, mostly through Glenn Beck, people or movements are often refered to as Nazi’s. Let’s broaden the tent. Communist’s are available. If you need dictators, what about Pol Pot, Noriega, or even Saddam Hussein.  We know you want to demonize people who disagree with you, but you could at least push the sheepish Americans who follow you to remember the variety of evil through history. It’s just a thought.  This brings us to the Quote of the Week:

“They are, of course, Nazis.” -Roger Ailes speaking about NPR

NPR’s SmartMoney team found something interesting recently. You may know that the U.S. government subsidizes our cotton industry. Brazil, which has its own burgeoning cotton crop appealed to the WTO saying that was against the rules. The WTO agreed, and we ignored them. So, Brazil said they weren’t going to buy a number of things from the U.S. A negotiation ensued and in the end a deal was made. Instead of lowering our subsidies to be more fair, we are paying Brazil $150 million to keep them happy. Wonder why we have a deficit problem?

At the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear Dr. Stephen T. Colbert D.F.A. presented National Public Radio a “Medal of Fear” because NPR would not take part in the rally. They said it violated a policy about political events.  The medal was awarded in absentia. One intrepid NPR reporter decided that wasn’t good enough, and went to get the medal back. The story is here

The final chapter of the Harry Potter series has arrived. Well, not exactly. While, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows did premiere making $61 million in its first day, it was Part I. Reportedly this is leading to better story value. Apparently the book lends itself to a 2-part adaptation. The extra $1 Billion dollars that Warner Brothers stands to profit might also matter. NPR’s Bob Mondello reviews the movie here. Random quiz: How many Harry Potter puns can you come up with?

Finally, Congress is back and lamer than ever.  This story at NPR notes that at least some Republicans are reluctant to let Pres. Obama have a victory even if they agree with what he wants to do. Independent Kansan would like to suggest an experiment. They call it a lame duck congress, so let’s let that duck from the Aflac commercials run the show and see what happens. We bet they would get just as much done.

A random observation about the wrap-up this week.  While spell checking, WordPress did not recognize WTO (World Trade Organization.) One of the suggestions to replace “WTO” was “WTF”. What does that say about our society.  Check out the blog this week when we examine the DREAM Act, deficit reduction, and hopefully eat some tasty turkey.

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Weekly Wrap-up 10/31/10


Before we get to the news, I have to wish a very happy birthday to my nephew

Owen

Owen. He became an  astonishing 1-year-old on Nov. 1st.  So Owen, Happy Birthday from your one and only Uncle Fat Jesus. I hope you like the shirt.

We have a humorous Quote of the Week . It comes to us from a skit on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion”:
“Spitting has to come from within. It’s like throwing up, just not all at once.”

Words to live by.

Well, I suppose we should get the obvious out of the way. Republicans made huge gains in Congressional races this election. Independent Kansan’s views on this election are available in a previous post. We hope they turn out true.

An unusual story is coming out of Detroit. The mayor wants to demolish a large part of the city.  Apparently Detroit has lost 1/2 of its population in the past 50 years. So large areas of cramped urban landscape are actually sparsely populated.  In essence he is trying to redefine where Detroit is.

Trash bag maker Hefty is starting a new campaign to make you care about the color of your trash bag.  They want you to buy black ones.  It may come as a surprise, since we suspect a number of you already do. This report from “Marketplace” explains or at least tries to. Just so you know, even the trash bag people are playing mind games.

In the best news for K-State/Wind Farm region, all those white windmills dotting the Kansas plains should actually be painted purple. This article at Smartplanet.com explains. Read the comments, some people apparently take wind turbines very seriously.

Oh yeah, Go Cats!!

That’s the news for this week. Thanks to everyone who checked in with Independent Kansan this week. It was our highest traffic week ever. Please keep coming back and commenting.  A preview of next week, Independent Kansan will look at the Tea Party and fiscal responsibility and getting young people involved in the political process by lowering the voting age.

UPDATE: Independent Kansan just learned of the Michigan vs. Illinois football games. The Wolverines were victorious in a scoring fiesta. Final score 67-65 in 3 overtimes.  Their were more points scored in that game than last years NCAA basketball championship, which was decided by a score of 61-59. Unbelievable.

Weekly Wrap-Up 10/24/10


The Daily Show has been broadcasting from the nation’s capital all week.  President Obama appeared as well as other Washington VIPs.  It was all capped with Saturday’s “Rally to Restore Sanity”  Independent Kansan commends what Jon Stewart and the Daily Show are trying to do. This brings us to our Quote of the Week from Stewart’s interview with Sen. Ted Kaufman:

“So the system is broken, because it was built that way.” – Jon Stewart about Congress.

Sony announced this week that the Walkman will be discontinued. No more will we be able to walk around listening to our cassette tapes. What? You have an Ipod, so maybe this isn’t news. Oh well, goodbye Walkman, you had a good run.

NPR reports at least 100 Alaskans have filed as write-in candidates in the Senate race.  Independent Kansan thinks this is great. Well, it could be better. When California recalled Gov. Gray Davis they had such well qualified candidates as Gary Coleman. Wait! Alaska could get Sarah Palin to run. A normal senator’s term is 6 years. Palin would probably serve 2-3 of those, before deciding being a Senator was too restrictive. (Or because it doesn’t pay as well as Tea Party rallies.}

Facebook and the midterms, are they related?  NPR takes a look here at politicians embracing social media. Does a candidate using Facebook or Twitter really help them win reelection. Independent Kansas has always believed Facebook was a revolutionary tool in connecting people. Now we are letting politicians in? What happened to the days when you had to be a college student?

Independent Kansan urges all readers to check out the anything you can find about the Rally to Restore Sanity.  In case you’re wondering, our favorite sign reported at the event:  “Stand United Against Signs”

That’s the news. Please, come back next week when the election is over, and Independent Kansan publisher’s nephew is officially a big 1 years old.

Weekly Wrap-Up 10/17/10


Here’s some of the funny, unusual and sometimes downright scary news from the past week:

The Kansas City Star FYI section listed suggestions for actors to play candidates in a movie about the 2010 elections. In the Missouri senate race they suggested “Wonder Years” dad, Dan Lauria, to portray Roy Blunt and “Glee” star Jane Lynch as Robin Carnahan.  Independent Kansan thinks we could take this one step further and get that creepy money from he  Geico commercials to be the $500 million in Medicare cuts that Blunt says Carnahan supports.

Medicare Cuts

This bring us to the Quote of the Week:
“Robin Carnahan supports $500 million in Medicare cuts to pay for government-run healthcare.” -Roy Blunt attack ad.

Independent Kansan would like to take this moment to reiterate a small point: Medicare is GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTHCARE. Politics is really wacky this time around.

In other news, Tea Party darling and all around Sarah Palin hack,Christine O’Donnell, made waves in a debate with her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons. O’Donnell asked, “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?”
Apparently, laughter swept through the law school audience.  In a more moderate state like Delaware this was a problem. Independent Kansan would like to suggest Ms. O’Donnell move to Texas. Some members of their State Board of Education also share the view that church and state should buddy up. She’d fit right in.

Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles times is getting high in the name of science.  Lopez, who has already been given a medical marijuana prescription by his gynecologist, was taking part in a study to see how marijuana affects driving. All at the request of the California highway Patrol. Independent Kansan could explain more, but it’s best you read the article for yourself. You can find it here.

Do you have a dog? Are you concerned with how fast you dog shakes to dry themselves? Well, if you are then Georgia Tech graduate student Andrew Dickerson is here to help. He is the lead author of the “Wet-Dog Shake” in th journal Fluid Dynamics. He sat down with NPR’s Robert Siegel. Read the transcript here. In case you’re wondering mice shake 27 times a second.

And how about a little racism to cap off the week.  NPR news analyst Juan Williams was fired after making remarks about Muslims on the FoxNews show “The O’Reilly Factor”. Williams said that when he sees someone on a plane in “Muslim garb” he gets worried.  This comment apparently violated NPR standards.  Williams , who we’ve seen on FoxNews numerous times and heard on NPR about twice, was subsequently fired.  In a blog post later Williams compared his treatment to being sent to the gulag.  He now has a $2 million contract with Fox. That’s a pretty sweet gulag

That’s the news for the week of 10/17/10. Stop by next week when we are only 3 days until the elections and you can be sure the news will be good.

Weekly Wrap-Up 10/10/10


In honor of 10/10/10 (binary for 42 – the answer to the Ultimate Question about Life, the Universe and Everything). Independent Kansan would like to dedicate this wrap-up to the great Douglas Adams. Adams is considered one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time. His book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy , as well as the subsequent books, radio plays, T.V. series and screenplay, will long be remembered in science fiction literature. Characters like Zaphod, Arthur Dent, and Marvin the Paranoid Android are timeless pieces of science fiction literature . So, Independent Kansan, is declaring this week “Douglas Adams Week” in remembrance of all that he gave us.

In other news this week, the Giant Head of Oprah appeared on the Daily Show in support of Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.” Oprah is no longer content giving away cars and humpback whales to her own audience.    Oprah gave trips to the entire studio audience so they could attend the rally in Washington, D.C.  As Jon Stewart noted, the rally now has a guaranteed attendance of at least 225 people. Independent Kansan would like to know who’s audience you would like Oprah  to visit next. If you said Rachael Ray, quit reading this blog, and seek mental help. Seriously, no one is that perky in the morning without drugs.

This brings us to the quote of the week:

“You’re going to the rally, you’re going to the rally, you’re going to the rally!!! Now get out there and restore some SANITY!!!!!!!!!!” -Oprah

Karl Rove appeared on Fox News Sunday and said that accusations that the president was making about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce using foreign money in political ads were “baseless.” Rove said, “Have these people no shame?  Does the president of the United States have such little regard for the office that he holds that he goes out there and makes these kind of baseless charges against his political enemies?  This is — this is just beyond the pale.  How dare the president do this?”

I think we have to believe Karl Rove on this one. Obama must have disgraced the Presidency. If anyone is an expert on that, it’s got to be Karl Rove.

The big news of the week was the rescue of 33 miners in Chile. In a truly incredible story, 33 men who were believed to be dead for more than two weeks are now reunited with their families. Hat’s off to all the people who made this seemingly tragic event end happily.

And finally someone is sticking to corporate giants. Alex Blumberg at NPR ran a story about a woman who immigrated here from the Dominican Republic and through steadfast discipline has borrowed something like $13,000 interest-free.  She makes many purchases with in-store credit cards for 10% off and then pays off the balance and closes the card.  The stores are paying essentially paying her to shop there. Independent Kansan always likes to see the little man win.

Weekly News Wrap-up 10/3/10


A group literally called, “a bunch of carrot farmers” is trying to connect with teenagers. They say they want to make baby carrots cool. The first question in your mind is probably “How?” The answer is a 25 million dollar ad campaign and a new program putting carrot vending machines in high schools. According to this story at NPR, it seems to be working.  How do you get your kids to eat vegetables? Well, show the boys a commercial with a hot girl, a machine gun, and explosions. For the girls, some one other than her parents has to give them to her.  As with all miniature versions, baby carrots are just cute.  This brings us to the quote of the week:

“”It’s just to show the overall sense that this is an extreme, just crazy, you know, new idea. That’s the explosion: the shear power of awesome.” -High school senior Caleb Warwick.

Delta Dental records show that if 2 dentists look at the same set of x-rays the chance that they will find the same number of cavities in the same teeth is about 50 percent.  Next time you get x-rays I would tell you to get a second opinion but it seems you’ll just be more confused.

Bristol Palin is out stumping for abstinence.  For 10 thousand dollars, the young mother encouraged other teenage women to not make the same mistake she did. Here at Independent Kansan we are terribly disappointed.  Miss Palin is the poster child of the fact that abstinence-only education doesn’t work. Instead of taking her nationally known name to promote common sense approaches to sex education, she has taken the path of her mother. That path, the one of idealogical nonsense, will never lead to truly helping teens understand their situation.

The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded the week. It was given to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, two Russian born scientists who first discovered “Graphene.”  Graphene is a sheet of graphite (pure carbon) only one atom thick. It is essentially two dimensional.  It is extremely strong, flexible and an excellent electrical conductor. Geim and Novoselov, reportedly made the discovery by putting a piece of Scotch tape on a piece of graphite and then peeling it off. The award led to a unique achievement. Geim is now the only person to be awarded a Nobel prize as well as an Ig Nobel. The Ig Nobel is given for “research that makes people laugh and then makes them think.” Geim won in 2000 for using magnetic fields to levitate a frog.  Independent Kansan thinks these two awards show that millions of dollars can never surpass human creativity.

That’s the news for the week of 10/3/10.

Weekly News Wrap-Up 9/26/10


Well another week has come to an end. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Congress adjourned for the fall break with a week of legislative achievement that is sure to make you want to re-elect each and every one of them, Notably, the Senate failed to pass a bill aimed at eliminating tax incentives for corporations who ship jobs oversees. Every Republican and 4 “business-friendly” Democrats voted against the bill.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Democrats were just trying to score political points and the Senate should be focusing its final days focusing on jobs by extending the Bush tax cuts.  Apparently tax cuts equals jobs, while trying to keep jobs in the U.S. is political posturing.  This leads us to my favorite quote of the week from Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone :

“With his needle nose, pursed lips and prim reading glasses, he’s a proud wearer of the “I’m an intellectual, but I’m also a narrow-minded prick” look made famous by George Will.”

The House, it turns out, fared much better. For the second time they voted on a bill aimed at providing healthcare for first responders on 9/11 who still have health problems from that event. The first time it did not pass, because Democrats didn’t have the balls for a straight majority vote( due to fear of Republican amendments) and because Republicans don’t think corporations should have to pay taxes if they keep a monkey and a phone in the Cayman’s. This time was different.The Democrats went with a majority vote and it passed 268-160. At least this seems like a good sign.

Elsewhere, attorney Gloria Allred is stirring up news in California. Representing Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s former maid, an illegal immigrant. If you read the right-wing media Allred will do anything to get herself in front of a camera and just wants to smear Whitman in hopes she will lose this election.  The crazy thing is that the normally crazy online right-wing community appears to be completely right.  This stunt is eerily familiar to one pulled by Allred during one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaigns in which she represented a stuntwoman who said Schwarzenegger had groped her, but when he won the election Allred quit jumping in front of the T.V. because apparently their was no evidence of anything.  Our opinion, networks need to stop giving this woman any attention at all.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg is donating 100 million dollars to Newark, New Jersey schools.  This amazing gift comes shortly before the premiere of the “The Social Network” in which the 26-year-old billionaire is apparently not portrayed well. Wonder if that’s a coincidence.

And finally, Rahm Emmanuel is leaving the White House.  Sarah Palin is apparently taking credit because long ago she called for his resignation.  When questioned about how long it took him to follow her wishes she said, “Golly gee, I guess he musta just forgotten how to ya’know spell his name. That’s why I keep mine written right here on my hand.”

That’s the news from the week of Sept. 26th.

(Okay, maybe I made a bit of that last one up, but come on, writing stuff on her hand is part of her folksy charm. I can’t deal with that.)