ESQUIRE: But it doesn’t seem like people in general think they can demand anything of government anymore. We’re divided between people who don’t think government can do anything and other people who think that we can’t demand anything. Do you think the outside-the-government fervor of the Occupy movement and other similar things is a good spur to change that?
CLINTON: Yes. Potentially it is, and that’s what I’ve been saying from the beginning. I’ve gotten some criticism on some of the more left-wing blogs about it, but the complaining about the abuses of the 1 percent or tenth of a percent of Americans who are in finance, who helped to cause this mess, that’s been very useful, because I’ve been talking about income inequality in America for twenty years, and when I was president, people didn’t pay much attention to it, probably because wages were going up. But I don’t think I’ve given a single solitary speech since I left office that I hadn’t talked about it. It’s a problem around the world and within the United States. So these people have put that on the agenda.
But what I’ve been trying to get them to do is to unite behind just one or two or three simple things that they can be for, and then mobilize people who won’t spend the night outside in November. And the infrastructure bank would be a very good thing to do, because it really would put people to work. If you wanted to create jobs in a way that has minimal effect on the deficit but has government action, the two best things you could do are the infrastructure bank and a simple SBA-like loan guarantee for all building retrofits, where the contractor or the energy-service company guarantees the savings. So that allows the bank to loan money to let a school or a college or a hospital or a museum or a commercial building unencumbered by debt to loan it on terms that are longer, so you can pay it back only from your utility savings. You could create a million jobs doing that because of the home models that are out there now. Continue Reading »
That librul media! It’s my duty as a blogger to point out that this Think Progress piece is wrong. Republicans trust more media sources than Fox News – they trust Newsmax, Rush Limbaugh, Drudge and Andrew Breitbart, too! Duh:
A new PPP poll confirms what many have long suspected — that many Americans get their news from sources that hew to their pre-existing beliefs.
But this phenomenon was not balanced on both sides of the ideological spectrum. While Democrats trust most news outlets, to varying degrees, Republicans trust only a single one — Fox News. While a massive 73 percent of Republicans trust Fox, the next highest rating among any major TV news outlet is PBS, which just 30 percent of GOPers trust, according to the PPP poll.
The numbers show just how powerful Fox can be in setting the agenda and influencing the world view of conservatives, with virtually no competition or accountability from the outside world. This monopoly on news penetration for an entire half of the electorate would be bad no matter the network, but it’s especially troubling considering Fox’s shoddy, and often agenda-driven “reporting.” And unlike an openly-ideological news outlet like ThinkProgress or the National Review, which freely advertise their perspectives, Fox insists it’s a traditional “far and balanced” news outlet.
Thanks for all the kind wishes! I’m feeling even better today. Really, except for that “kicked in the ribs” pain, I’m fine. That, and the Percocet “why does my head feel like it’s floating off my shoulders?” sensation. But I’m eating normal food (fish and broccoli for dinner last night, oatmeal for breakfast this morning), which is nice.
I don’t know when I can get to those Christmas cookies, though. I think I’ll wait a while on those.
WASHINGTON, DC, January 17, 2012 — While the percentage of obese children in the United States tripled between the early 1970s and the late 2000s, a new study suggests that—at least for middle school students—weight gain has nothing to do with the candy, soda, chips, and other junk food they can purchase at school.
“We were really surprised by that result and, in fact, we held back from publishing our study for roughly two years because we kept looking for a connection that just wasn’t there,” said Jennifer Van Hook, a Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study, which appears in the January issue of Sociology of Education.
The study relies on data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999, which follows a nationally representative sample of students from the fall of kindergarten through the spring of eighth grade (the 1998-1999 through 2006-2007 schools years). Van Hook and her coauthor Claire E. Altman, a sociology and demography doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University, used a subsample of 19,450 children who attended school in the same county in both fifth and eighth grades (the 2003-2004 and the 2006-2007 school years).
The authors found that 59.2 percent of fifth graders and 86.3 percent of eighth graders in their study attended schools that sold junk food. But, while there was a significant increase in the percentage of students who attended schools that sold junk food between fifth and eighth grades, there was no rise in the percentage of students who were overweight or obese. In fact, despite the increased availability of junk food, the percentage of students who were overweight or obese actually decreased from fifth grade to eighth grade, from 39.1 percent to 35.4 percent.
“There has been a great deal of focus in the media on how schools make a lot of money from the sale of junk food to students, and on how schools have the ability to help reduce childhood obesity,” Van Hook said. “In that light, we expected to find a definitive connection between the sale of junk food in middle schools and weight gain among children between fifth and eighth grades. But, our study suggests that—when it comes to weight issues—we need to be looking far beyond schools and, more specifically, junk food sales in schools, to make a difference.”