Sunday, August 06, 2006

From Dittohead to Democrat

For more than a decade Jim Derych was a diehard Rush Limbaugh fan - a dittohead. But over time, the thirty-something financial planner realized that the real world wasn't much like the one Limbaugh paints for us on his syndicated national radio program. Finally, after 13 years of listening to the "chubby, drug-addled, matrimonially-challenged elephant" Derych decided Limbaugh was full of crap and changed his allegiance to the Democratic Party. In a new interview ("Left Turn"), Derych speaks out about why he deserted the Republican Party, and decided to write "Confessions of a Former Dittohead."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

ExxonMobil Smears Gore Through Intermediaries

Currently available on "Al Gore's Penguin Army," a two-minute anti-Gore video that presents the former vice-president in a decidedly negative light and seeks to marginalize the message of his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." The video was ostensibly made by a 29-year-old amateur, but according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, the video appears to have come from a computer at DCI Group, a Washington D.C. Republican lobby and public relations firm whose clients include - surprise - ExxonMobil. The future of Republican smear campaigns has arrived: High-priced right-wing PR firms and "think tanks" secretly producing expertly-crafted smear videos, then trying to pass them off as the work of your average twenty-something. In this case, the deep-pocketed DCI Group went so far as to purchase sponsored links [like the ones appearing above this post] for search terms "Al Gore" and "Global Warming" that pointed Web surfers directly to the video.

Next time you fill up your gas tank think about how much of that $3-plus a gallon is going to pay for political/anti-global warming propaganda.

Friday, July 14, 2006

U.S. Capitol Historical Society to honor Cunningham, DeLay

On July 19 the U.S. Capitol Historical Society will hold a reception to honor a select group of lawmakers “for their hard work, service, time and the sacrifices made in upholding the office with which they were entrusted.” Among them is former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.), who will not be able to attend ... because he's in prison. Another disgraced former Representative is also on the list of honorees: Tom DeLay (R-Texas). No word yet on whether DeLay will attend.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

American Gasbags

A few months ago the blogosphere was abuzz with chatter about a planned July 4 weekend boycott of ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil had recently reported $8.4 billion in first quarter profits and Americans were vowing to send Big Oil a message by refusing to buy gas for a day or two. What happened? Did anyone follow through on their pledge? We haven't heard a peep in the media about the fallout (or lack thereof) from the boycott. And, for what it's worth, BoycottExxonMobil has registered virtually zero traffic in the past few months. It seems Americans may have sent ExxonMobil a different message: We are addicted to oil and we'll pay whatever you charge us, even if it kills us.

Friday, June 23, 2006

"Little House On The Prairie"

Our latest feature article--about Prairie Opportunity and its efforts to reverse population loss in northwest North Dakota, a.k.a. "out-migration"--is a good introduction to what we're all about. Read the story, entitled Little House on the Prairie: Attracting the Modern-Day Ingalls Family and let us know what you think.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Q&A with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

Late last week Republican Representative Lynn Westmoreland (GA) was interviewed by Steven Colbert on the Colbert Report. Predictably, Colbert asked Westmoreland to recite each of the Ten Commandments. Keep in mind that Westmoreland was responsible for co-sponoring a bill that would have required placing the Ten Commandments in all courthouses and public buildings.

Colbert: What are the Ten Commandments?
Westmoreland: You mean all of them...? Um... Don't murder.... Don't lie.... Don't steal.... Um... I can't name them all.

Westmoreland couldn't even recall, Do not take the Lord's name in vain. Heck, even a heathen could name more than three Commandments.

The rest of the interview was equally embarrassing. I guess this is what happens when a Republican can't rely on the talking points of the day.

Video of the interview can be seen here

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ann Coulter is Representative of America

Today, Ann Coulter was greeted by a throng of cheering supporters at a bookstore in New York—there to sign copies of her latest book-length diatribe. Even if you accept the notion that Coulter makes completely outrageous statements just to get attention and sell books, the fact that she gets a humongous amount of mainstream media exposure (and can attract a crowd of rabid fans at a book signing) says a lot about American society in 2006. Ten or fifteen years ago Coulter would have been considered a part of the lunatic fringe; today she represents the views of a huge percentage of the Republican base.

Of course, her statements regarding the 9-11 widows have attracted the most attention. If you find your opinions aligned with Coulter think about this: Imagine one or more of your family members was killed in the next terrorist attack. How would you feel if a Coulter (or another talking head) garnered fame and fortune by claiming that you were “enjoying” the loss of your loved one(s) a bit too much, and that you had no right to speak your mind. Still feel the same way?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Surgical Vacation? The Rise of Medical Tourism

First it was call centers and software, now medicine. For years, American companies have been outsourcing jobs to places like India and Singapore. Now, thanks to skyrocketing U.S. health care costs, Americans are increasingly traveling abroad to obtain medical treatment - at a fraction of the cost charged by U.S. hospitals. It’s yet another indication of how inefficient the U.S. hospital system is, and how it will soon be forced to adapt to overseas competition.

In the meantime, so-called medical tourism companies like IndUSHealth and Planet Hospital are helping American patients make arrangements to visit hospitals - in countries like India, Thailand, Argentina, Mexico and Belgium - to undergo general and cosmetic surgical procedures. Instead of going on safari one might get a facelift and tummy tuck for $9,995 - airfare, meals and hotel all included. What a deal(!), assuming the operation is a success, of course. In India, for example, medical malpractice laws limit damage awards.

Question: Would you consider undergoing a common surgical procedure in a foreign hospital, say, 8,000 miles from home?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The New York Knicks: How Low Can They Go?

Six weeks ago the New York Knicks’ season came to a merciful end. The 2005-06 team posted a 23-59 record, second-worst in the NBA, in spite of having the league’s highest payroll and $10 million-per-year coach, Larry Brown. Last night the Knicks’ situation got measurably worse when the Chicago Bulls were awarded the second-overall pick in next month’s NBA draft, a pick the Knicks would have owned if general manager Isiah Thomas hadn’t traded it to Chicago to obtain Eddy Curry, who struggled with injuries and conditioning after dealing with an irregular heartbeat. It gets worse. The Bulls also have the option of swapping first-round picks with the Knicks in the 2007 draft, a strong possibility considering that Chicago (41-41 and a playoff team last season) is well-positioned to further improve its roster. Meanwhile, cap-strapped New York will be hard-pressed to maneuver, considering its stable of overpaid, under-performing players.

So far it hasn’t happened, but the Knicks should buy out the last four years on Larry Brown’s contract and force Thomas to coach the mismatched group he has assembled. On the other hand, the Knicks may be hoping that Brown calls it quits on his own, as its unlikely he’ll suffer through a second season with the same group of players he coached last year. Either way, the Knicks will again be a losing team in 2006-07. I guarantee it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Failing Forward

Welcome to the new blog presence of Failure Magazine. Current events have proven particularly interesting for Thanks to the Bush Administration virtually every American is talking about failure on a daily basis. Whether it's the war in Iraq, gas prices, Congressional scandals, war profiteering, the health care crisis, or immigration policy (just to name a few), Americans have been living during an unprecedented reign of error. Join the Failure editors and our readers as we comment on the issues of the day. We'll begin posting shortly. In the meantime, feel free to visit to read great stories, our "Failure of the Day," or to send us your comments. Remember, if you're not failing, you're not really trying...