Slaves Work For YOU, Hunger Strikes, & Plastic Surgery For The Poor

How many slaves are working for you? Could a hunger strike by a University of Virginia football player lead to living wages at UVA? Should taxpayers cover plastic surgery for poor people? Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) leads this weeks panel to discuss these issues and more with Annie Duke (Poker Player, Author, and Huffington Post blogger), Neal Brennan (Comedian, Co-creator of The Chappelle Show), and Kathleen Kim (Professor, Loyola Law School). The 'points' were provided by Justin Dillon (founder and CEO of Slaveryfootpring.org) and Joseph Williams (football player at University of Virginia).

 

Slaves Work For YOU, Hunger Strikes, & Plastic Surgery For The Poor

How many slaves are working for you? Could a hunger strike by a University of Virginia football player lead to living wages at UVA? Should taxpayers cover plastic surgery for poor people? Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) leads this weeks panel to discuss these issues and more with Annie Duke (Poker Player, Author, and Huffington Post blogger), Neal Brennan (Comedian, Co-creator of The Chappelle Show), and Kathleen Kim (Professor, Loyola Law School). The 'points' were provided by Justin Dillon (founder and CEO of Slaveryfootpring.org) and Joseph Williams (football player at University of Virginia).

 

Supreme Court Might Decide Their Second Election

It was a similar crew of conservative justices on the Supreme Court that decided that their long-held beliefs on states' rights were irrelevant and made George W. Bush our next president in 2000. Now, they're back!!! And they might decide yet another presidential election.

 

It was a similar crew of conservative justices on the Supreme Court that decided that their long-held beliefs on states' rights were irrelevant and made George W. Bush our next president in 2000. Now, they're back!!! And they might decide yet another presidential election.

Imagine the damage it does to President Obama to strip him of his signature accomplishment right before the election. It would also allow the Republicans to say -- "See, we told you so! It was unconstitutional all along. It was a wild, socialist over-reach of big government." It creates a permanent stain on the law -- as if there was something horribly wrong with it all along. And it takes it off the books at a moment when it is still relatively unpopular. So, before any of the popular provisions are put into effect it would go in the record books as a complete disaster.

Why don't you just hand the Republicans the election? Which is, of course, exactly what the conservatives of this court would love to do. These conservative justices are given far too much deference in the media. They are largely partisan hacks.

Antonin Scalia is a complete fraud. He will bend any so-called principle to get to the political result he wants. If it's upholding anti-gay legislation or striking down federal laws he doesn't like, he is a huge advocate for states' rights. But if it's marijuana legalization or euthanasia orBush v. Gore, then he hates states' rights. So, which one is it? Here's how you can tell -- which side is the Republican Party on?

Remember, this is a guy who goes duck hunting with Dick Cheney and attends political fundraisers with the Koch brothers. Of course, he doesn't recuse himself from any cases that involve those people. In fact, he votes on their side nearly 100% of the time.

We've been hearing for at least thirty years about the dangers of activist judges. That it is so wrong for unelected officials, like judges, to invalidate laws made by the people's representatives. Now, all of a sudden, the Republicans love that idea! They want to interpret the Commerce Clause in a way that it has not been interpreted since 1937. They want to invalidate a sitting president's signature piece of legislation for the first time in 75 years. And their hack, partisan justices on the Supreme Court can't wait to do their bidding.

The way Scalia, Alito and Thomas are going to vote is certain. There isn't a single Republican position those guys haven't wanted to fondle. They will enthusiastically wrap their legs around the idea that the mandate is unconstitutional. And they will double down by saying it strikes down the rest of the law with it.

John Roberts plays a moderate on TV, so there is some questions about which way he'll go. But in the real world, he always votes with the conservatives because... he is deeply conservative (or more accurately, party line Republican, no matter where the so-called conservative position lies).

So, that leaves us with Justice Kennedy, who is a genuine swing vote. But remember he is the one that swung toward Bush and meddled with how Florida counts its votes despite decades of empty talk about states' rights. If he sides with the rest of the conservative justices, he will forever cement his place on the Hack Hall of Fame as one of the most deeply partisan justices we have ever had. If he helped to decide two presidential elections based on which party he likes rather than his so-called deeply held beliefs, like his oft-repeated deference to precedent, than it would be hard to find a more political and disingenuous justice.

One last thought, which is on the sad incompetence of the Democratic Party. They should be screaming "activist judges" from the rooftops. Instead they are meekly mumbling about how it's unclear which way the court is going to go and how we shouldn't pre-judge. I got news for you -- the Republicans have been pre-judging your bill for years now. You should consider fighting back.

But the primary responsibility is the president's. Why did you agree to the Republican idea of mandates in the first place?

Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the original sponsor of the mandate in the Senate back in 1993.The Heritage Foundation championed the idea. Mitt Romney was applauded wildly by conservatives when he passed a mandate in Massachusetts. Did the president think they would like him more if he agreed to their idea? No, they have always opposed you at every turn, and they always will. They turned on their own idea the minute you agreed to it -- and now they're using it to kill your whole bill.

When is the president ever going to learn that agreeing with Republicans never helps him? It never helps the country. All it does is make it easier for them to beat you because you made the fatal mistake of agreeing with them.

 

A Challenge to Rush: Prove Your Ratings

How many listeners does Rush Limbaugh have? Well, in the press there are only two numbers you'll ever see -- 20 million or 15 million. Those are large numbers, so that is why Limbaugh is taken seriously and is believed to be influential.

 

I've got news for you -- those numbers are a total fabrication. They're made up out of whole cloth. You want to know where the 20 million number came from? It was first printed inBillboard magazine back in 1993. Here is the quote:

"Limbaugh's show is now heard on 610 stations and reaches approximately 20 million listeners, according to [Kit] Carson."

So who is Kit Carson? A guy known as Rush Limbaugh's "chief of staff." In other words, Rush's team simply made up the 20 million number and everyone believed it. He has never, ever presented any evidence to that effect.

The 15 million number comes from Michael Harrison of Talkers magazine. He is considered the leading expert on the talk radio industry. He is a good man and fights hard for his industry. You want to know where he came up with the number? Pretty much pulled it out of the sky. When Tommy Christopher of AOL News (at the time, he is now with Mediate) asked him how he arrived at the figure, here is what Harrison said:

They are only our thumbnail estimates based upon our contacts in the field, tracking of Arbitron estimates and understanding of the business. We make no claims as to "scientific" accuracy... [T]hey are not "ratings" per se.

I love that -- they are not ratings, per se. In other words, those are not his ratings at all! Harrison might have well said, "We took blind guesses and added 5 million, divided by four, multiplied by 12 and then sprinkled some fairy dust on it."

There are no national numbers for Rush's radio audience.

And it gets worse. Until 2007 radio had the worst rating system ever invented. I know, I worked in the industry, and we all knew the numbers were total nonsense. They measured ratings by giving people "diaries." They would keep these diaries for three months and all along they were supposed to be recording what they listened to on the radio every fifteen minutes. What a joke. Most people would fill out the diary at the end and scribble down what they thought they remembered.

So, under that system, big names do much better. You might not remember that you were listening to DJ Ralph McClusky on 106.7FM, but everyone remembered Howard and Rush. The bigger your name (and hype), the more people wrote you down whether they actually listened to you or not. They also wrote down they listened to you more often -- another huge advantage. And does anyone believe that people actually remembered what they were listening to at 2:15PM two and a half months ago?

Then in 2007, radio started switching over to something called Portable People Meters. This did not rely on human memory. It's a device that picks up the radio signal wherever you are and records the station you're actually listening to. So, what happened? It turns out people were listening to a lot more music than they realized and a lot less talk. So, the sports stations, the hot talk and the conservative talk stations were all hurt.

Last year, Crain's New York Business reported that Rush Limbaugh's ratings were down 33 percent. The portable people meters have been expanding to different markets throughout these years (they didn't just replace all of the diaries instantly in 2007, it's taken a while). So, it's unclear how much Rush was hurt by the more accurate readings last year and how much people just stopped listening to him.

But one thing is for sure -- he's hurt, dog! That's why we see the unprecedented apologyfrom him on Sandra Fluke. When this controversy first broke, I predicted on our show that more advertisers would drop him (at the time, only two had). Advertisers are much more likely to drop a controversial guy if his numbers are already down. They'll ride it out if he's still delivering the goods. This is the same thing that happened to Imus. His ratings were miserable already, so advertisers didn't have enough incentive to stick with him when trouble arose.

So, Rush is in big trouble now as more and more advertisers peel off. He's in a tail spin. Why else would you triple down on the "slut" comments from Wednesday to Friday and then issue an apology on Saturday? He has over-reached (in his offensive comments) and undelivered (in his ratings). That's a lethal combo.

But Rush can easily prove me wrong. So, I'm issuing a challenge to him -- show us your ratings. He won't do it because he's embarrassed by them. He has never produced evidence of his ratings and he certainly won't do it now. In fact, I'll make a Mitt Romney like wager. I'll give him $10,000 if he can show us his 20 million listeners.

He claims that 20 million is daily listeners, so that'll be the standard we use. I laugh and laugh as I write that down. Some articles write it is a weekly number, some say monthly. There is no way he can prove even 15 million listeners weekly. I'd be shocked if he can show that kind of monthly number. And is it unique listeners or are they counting the same guys who tune in every day?

Rush's audience is a myth. He is a paper tiger. Do some people listen to him? Of course. Is it anywhere near the hype? Not remotely. Talk radio is a dying business. I wouldn't be surprised if his daily listeners didn't even reach a million. I wouldn't be surprised if we have more online viewers on The Young Turks (which are 100 percent Google verifiable) than he has radio listeners.

Rush is a sad, old man that a couple of other sad, old men listen to. His days are numbered. Rush, it definitely wasn't nice knowing you. Tick tock, tick tock.

Watch The Young Turks on Current

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CenkUygur

 

Andrew Breitbart: ‘I stand by precisely what I said’ about Occupy protesters to ‘raping people’ (Interview, Part 1)

 

 

Cenk talks to Andrew Breitbart about a video that captures him yelling “stop raping people!” at Occupy protesters outside the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

“I stand by precisely what I said,” Breitbart says.

Click Here to Watch http://current.com/shows/the-young-turks/videos/andrew-breitbart-i-stand-by-precisely-what-i-said-about-occupy-protesters-to-raping-people-interview-part-1

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