Is this the worst ad placement ever?

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Probably not, but it’s still impressive.

It’s a winner!

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IRONY OVERLOAD ALERT: Nigeria charges Dick Cheney in bribery case

Nigeria will file charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and officials from five foreign companies including Halliburton Co. over a $180 million bribery scandal, a prosecutor at the anti-graft agency said.

NIGERIA is upset over financial fraud? Mr. Pot meet Mr. Kettle. HALLIBURTON is involved in bribery? I’m shocked. Just shocked.

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Ronald McDonald rings opening bell on Wall St., then threatens to cut insurance for 30K workers

These two items appeared in rapid succession in my Twitter feed:

screen-shot-2010-03-17-at-12403-pm2 9:26 AM — @CNNLive ‘Ronald McDonald’ rings Wall Street opening bell. Live: http://on.cnn.com/cnndcl2

9:29 AM — @WSJ McDonald’s says it may drop health insurance for nearly 30,000 workers unless a new requirement is waived http://on.wsj.com/acZl03

 

In case you are wondering, you can follow me on Twitter at CurseYouKhan.

 

Image is from Logorama, which won the Oscar last year for best short animation.

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US has record number of millionaires, poor people, irony

Two news stories from the same day:

Millionaire Population Soars — Again

According to a new survey from Phoenix Marketing International’s Affluent Market Practice, the number of American households with investible assets of $1 million or more rose 8% in the 12 months ended in June. The survey says there now are 5.55 million U.S. households with investible assets of $1 million or more.

USA’s poverty rate reaches highest level in 51 years

A total of 43.6 million people lived in poverty last year, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase. Extended unemployment benefits lifted 3.3 million people out of poverty, compared with 900,000 in 2008.

The Penguins of Irony’s favorite moment in the effort to save journalism from its future

Here are two of the 10 projects that came out of the “Journalism That Matters” conference at the University of Washington in January.

  • Abundant Journalism: Led by Fancher, this group eventually wants to link journalism projects and initiatives with potential donors.
  • Microfinance: The initiative would provide business and micro-finance training for journalists who want to launch new media ventures.

Whether all 10 initiatives that came out of the JTM Pacific Northwest conference can score the necessary funding to survive remains uncertain. While some have obtained initial grants, others remain unfunded. [Former Seattle Times Executive Editor Mike] Fancher acknowledged that each will face heavy competition for financing.”

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Be afraid: Rep. starts congressional ‘Media Fairness Caucus’

From my blog at EmediaVitals:

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Idiocy) believes the press is biased and doesn’t represent the values of most Americans. Reasonable people could disagree on this but it’s certainly not an unusual or insane point of view. What is insane is Smith’s solution. The Media Fairness Circus, er, Caucus: “will encourage fairness and balance in reporting, while calling attention to biased coverage in a fair and reasonable way. By bringing attention to media bias and promoting an open dialogue between members of the media and elected officials, we plan to remind the media of their profound obligation to provide the American people with the facts, and not tell them what to think.

Read the rest here at EmediaVitals.

penguin-sealIt is worth noting that this level of stupidity isn’t limited to the legislative branch. Today, President Obama signed a bill promoting free press around the world. The bill was named after slain journalist Daniel Pearl. Here’s the kicker: Press access to the signing was restricted.

The ceremony on Monday raised some eyebrows as well because the White House restricted media access as the president signed a free press bill. The event was open only to a pool of reporters and photographers who report back to their colleagues. It also came at a time when Mr. Obama’s administration is seeking to force a New York Times reporter, James Risen, to testify about his sources for a book in which he reported on a secret effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program.

 

CRY HAVOC, AND LOOSE THE PENGUINS OF IRONY!!!

Industry puts “healthy choice” label on Froot Loops, Cocoa Krispies, etc.

SmartChoicesThe cereals are just two of the foods to receive approval from a new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, backed by most of the nation’s largest food manufacturers. The green checkmark label is “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.”

Smarter than what, you ask? Donuts according to Eileen T. Kennedy, (unpaid) president of the Smart Choices board and dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

Quoth the NY Times:

Froot Loops qualifies for the label because it meets standards set by the Smart Choices Program for fiber and Vitamins A and C, and because it does not exceed limits on fat, sodium and sugar. It contains the maximum amount of sugar allowed under the program for cereals, 12 grams per serving, which in the case of Froot Loops is 41 percent of the product, measured by weight. That is more sugar than in many popular brands of cookies.

But wait, it gets better. Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s, which makes Froot Loops said Smart Choices’ standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines which state “small amounts of sugar” added to nutrient-dense foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better.

Great final quote from the wonderfully named Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at my alma mater, New York University. “The object of this is to make highly processed foods appear as healthful as unprocessed foods, which they are not.”

You will not be surprised to learn the Smart Choices research and campaign is paid for by food companies. So far 10 of them have ponied up as much as $100K for the right to have the seal on their products. I suspect many more will soon jump on board.

This program approved by:

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Fight at health-care forum leaves anti-reform protester with big medical bills

Kenneth Gladney, 38, of St. Louis, claims he was injured when union members attacked the politically conservative Gladney last Friday. The union denies says this and says Gladney started it. Both sides are preparing the traditional “I’m made of rubber, your made of glue defense.” Whoever’s fault it was, the melee ended in six arrests. It was one of several at meetings around the country held to discuss ideas to reform the nation’s costly health care system.

Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was laid off recently and has no health insurance.”

Sadly the article doesn’t mention if anyone asked Gladney “Oh, irony where is thy sting?”

 

Cry Havoc and release the Penguins.

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War on Terror makes it to Afghanistan!

The fine folks at TerrorBull Games, makers of The War On Terror: The Boardgame*, have made sure that the war on terror is helping out our troops in Afghanistan. When I told them my friend and fellow boardgamer, Lt. Pete, was over there they sent out a copy free of charge.

Lt. Pete writes:

I just wanted to let you know that War on Terror made it to theater!  I was a bit worried because once we got here they said to just use the APO because any address with the word “Afghanistan” on it typically gets routed thru Kabul and doesn’t always make it to Bagram.  Thankfully it did!

I really appreciate the effort you put into this and will be sure to update you with pics, etc.  I am doing a right seat/left seat ride with the person I am replacing right now and we are quite busy with turnover. Once things settle down with the turnover I should get a chance to play.

Again, my sincere gratitude – boardgames are the best stress reliever I know, so it will be very theraputic and fun for me!

Anyone else wishing to send things to either Lt. Pete or Lt. Autumn, please drop me a line a cvon (((at))) areporter DOT com or post a note in the comments section and I will get you their shipping information.

*Official board game of CollateralDamage and heartily endorsed by the Penguins of Irony!

Remarks by the President at Ceremonial Groundbreaking of United States Institute of Peace

Cry Havoc, and Loose the Penguins of Irony!

Mr. Secretary, thank you for your kind introduction, and thank you for inviting me to join you to break ground for the United States Institute of Peace’s new home.  I’m really pleased to be here.  I appreciate what you do to resolve conflict and support new democracies and to build peace by promoting effective diplomacy.

‘Cuz I sure as hell am not going to.