Things that make you go hmmm …


House is leaning right

The Brookings Institution calls the last session of the House of Representatives the most conservative in more than 60 years. House Republicans are getting more conservative than House Democrats are getting liberal, according to the annual report.

Not a place for politics, or ratings

Preliminary ratings for the Zimmerman verdict give Fox News 3,682,000 total viewers; CNN 3,407,000; and MSNBC 1,298,000. MSNBC abandoned its wall-to-wall political coverage because of its ratings slide during the Zimmerman trial.

Call him mister

It’s not exactly scientific, but an Australian says he has proof gender matters in the workplace.

Kim O’Grady, a management consultant in Perth, says he couldn’t get a job until he added one word to his resume: Mr.

O’Grady’s Tumblr blog post on his job hunt in the 1990s has gone viral.

“The sad reality is this shows we all know how real and invasive sexism is. We all know that sexism unnecessarily impacts negatively on women’s lives and men benefit from that,” O’Grady says in a follow-up post.


Whither Al Jazeera?


Sultan al-Qassemi was named one of Time magazine’s top 140 tweeters in 2011. Sultan is his first name, not his title.

“Many of the editors and anchors in Al Jazeera Arabic are de facto Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers,” a Dubai-based researcher specializing in Arab media tells Sultan al-Qassemi in an essay for Foreign Policy. “This has been reflected in the channel’s pro-Islamist coverage over the past two years, relying heavily on a combination of incitement, bloody scenes, and Islamic preachers and media commentators,” Fadi Salem says.

Al-Qassemi, the Dubai columnist whom Time magazine praised for his tweets of the first Egyptian revolution, ridicules the pan-Arab satellite channel for its “biased coverage,” saying “Qatar, Al Jazeera’s home country and financial patron, gave billions of dollars in aid to Morsy’s government in the past year and has been accused of supporting regional Islamist movements, much to the chagrin of neighboring Arab states.”

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera America is in dress rehearsals in New York City for its debut on August 20, when it will beam into 49 million homes in place of Current, the channel started and sold by Al Gore. Media watchers are questioning how American Al Jazeera America will be, New York magazine reports.

Glenn Greenwald, in his latest  Guardian column, cites an internal Al Jazeera email to show that the channel is experiencing growing pains. In the missive, a prominent Al Jazeera host chides executives for efforts veer away from traditional Al Jazeera content to “appease” the American audience. For his part, Greenwald, confessor and confidant to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, says he’d hate to see Al Jazeera America drained “of its vibrancy and edginess” and turned into an “imitation of CNN.”

– M.S. Scully


Afghans fed up with Taliban


U.S. officials are encouraged by grassroots uprisings against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Washington Free Beacon reports. “First and foremost, the anti-Taliban movements reflect the local populace’s growing intolerance of Taliban influence and abuse,” Air Force Lt. Col. David Simons, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Forces, the U.S.-led military coalition, tells the Beacon.

But other problems persist. … Continue reading


Cubans, mind your manners!


Cuban dictator Raul Castro on Sunday told his countrymen to cut it out: Keep your voices down and stop swearing in public, for gosh sakes.  Pick up your trash. Be nice to your elders.

At one of parliament’s twice-annual sessions, the 82-year-old harrumphed against decaying morals, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported.


Spitzer to run for office


The latest candidate to throw his hat into the New York City Democratic primary is Eliot Spitzer, the married former New York governor who got caught in a call girl scandal five years ago.

Insiders told The New York Post that Spitzer was encouraged to run for New York City comptroller when he realized how well the tarred and tweeted Anthony Weiner, a mayoral candidate, has been doing in the polls.

On the Libertarian ticket for comptroller is the madam who hooked up Client No. 9, AKA Spitzer.

“BRING IT,’’ Kristin Davis tweeted of her new rival, according to the Post.