Archive for category Communications

Lawrence Summers Officially Changes Nickname from “Tactfully Challenged” to “Gloomy Gus”

White House portrait of Lawrence Summers.

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Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers announced today that he was officially changing his nickname from “Tactfully Challenged” to “Gloomy Gus”.

“I never really took to the ‘Tactfully Challenged’ handle,” said Summers. “It was just a little high-toned for me. And, it’s kind of a mouthful!”

The Winklevoss twins, who rose to national prominence following their portrayal as total dinks in the film The Social Network, attached the label to Summers in a letter to current Harvard President Drew Faust. The letter followed Summers’ remarks at Fortune’s  “Brainstorm Conference”, held this past month. During the Conference, Summers referred to a meeting with the twins depicted in the film during his stint as Harvard’s president:

“One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a—–. This was the latter case.”

Excerpts from the Winklevoss twins response in their letter to Faust:

In April of 2004, we … were successful in meeting with President Summers. His manner was not inconsistent with his reputation and present day admissions of being tactfully challenged. It was not his failure to shake hands with the three of us upon entering his office (doing so would have required him to take his feet off his desk and stand up from his chair), nor his tenor that was most alarming, but rather his scorn for a genuine discourse on deeper ethical questions, Harvard’s Honor Code, and its applicability or lack thereof.

On the “Gloomy Gus” front, Dreadmonger sought out Summers today following his comments in a Reuters column:

“The odds of the economy going back into recession are at least one in three if nothing new is done to raise demand and spur growth,” Summers warned. “. If these judgments are close to correct, relief will soon give way to alarm about the United States’s economic and fiscal future.”

In other Summers’ news, it was recently announced that he will join the Board of Directors for Square, a silicon-valley mobile payment technology start-up company. Square has purportedly launched  a capital-raising effort that would place the company’s valuation at $1 billion or more. The Summers’ appointment comes at a time when technology start-ups are attempting to solidify their political connections. Summers’ friends on Capitol Hill and in the White House will potentially be of  huge benefit to Square.

Dreadmonger attempted unsuccessfully today to reach Summers for a comment at  his suburban home in the tony Ashcroft section of Boston. Our reporters received no response at the Summers’ residence, but as they were leaving, they could see someone who looked like Summers lounging in a hammock in the backyard, apparently enjoying a cold beer.

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Stay-at-Home Mom Blogs – The Cult of Mommyhood

Two women cooking

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Visit the world of blogs and bloggers and you’ll find topics from the mundane to the exotic. One popular subject that turns up increasingly in the blogoshere explores the trials and tribulations of the stay-at-home mom. These blogs often chronicle the challenges of first-time moms in dealing with raising toddlers,  planning nutritious meals, managing their ever-thinning household budgets, dealing with meddling mothers-in-law, and keeping their often over-worked (and non-participating) husbands in tow. But recently, some have begun to call into question the real message of these blogs. Some have even begun to use words like ” inflammatory” and “seditious”.

Can you say… “subversive’?

In a recent interview with Dreadmonger, Lilith Neusenblum, author of the soon-to-be published book, The Cult of Mommyhood, cited reasons for her concern over the burgeoning movement of blogging moms.

“It’s really like the Borg on the old Star Trek shows,” said Neusenblum, “it’s like they all think with one mind. Obsessed with IKEA,  Yo Gabba Gabba, and poopee diapers. Seriously, who wants to read this crap? They live in this archaic Leave it Beaver universe that hasn’t existed in the real world for over forty years.”

Charles “Buster” Jones, executive producer of the upcoming TV reality show, Gangsta Family, premiering this fall on The History Channel, added, “Don’t talk to me about Leave it to Beaver. You don’t want to go there with my boys, for sure. These mommies are acting like some kind of a gang of their own. I wouldn’t want to come up on them in a dark alley at midnight.”

Sociologists at Harvard’s prestigious Blickensberg Institute for the Study of Deviant Behavior,operating under a grant from the US Department of Education, have gone so far as to index over 3329 stay-at-home-mom blogs to cross-reference recurring themes. Speaking with Dreadmonger in a recent interview, the Institute’s head, Dr. Gunther Haas said, “We see a pattern that can only be called compulsive, obsessive, even robotic. Of particular concern is the sub-movement we have noted in recent years for the home-schooling of children. This is broadly viewed in the academic community as a form of indoctrination of the young towards ideologies that may not be in concert with what we believe to be the greater good of society.”

On the subject of home-schooling, American Federation of Teachers representative Fran Spenkheiser noted, “These mommies think that they can just teach at the kitchen table all day long without participating in the greater educational labor movement. Well, get ready mommies, the AFT is on its way to sign you up as dues-paying members.” Spenkheiser went on to note that the AFT plans to launch a drive this fall to unionize the home. “The door is open, and we’re moving in.”

Cult of Mommyhood author Neusenblum went on to add, “And then there’s the never-ending  pictures of the kids! Who wants to see pictures of other people’s sticky kids for crying in a bucket? It’s like cats on YouTube – enough already! Go bowling, buy some roller-blades – get a life!”

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“Why have computers matured so much over the past 62 years while TV news has remained pretty much unchanged?” – Michael Rosenblum

Legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite speaks a...

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Michael’s answer to his question, “Fear”.

He should know. Michael Rosenblum has been around national TV newsrooms for decades. After a successful stint as a producer at CBS News, he left the network and established himself as a trailblazer in incorporating video via his digital videojournalist, or VJ, educational programs. His VJ training company has trained journalists here and abroad to shoot their own video.  Rosenblum managed the conversion of  The Voice of America, the United States Government’s broadcasting agency (and the largest broadcaster in the world), from short wave radio to television broadcasting.  And, in his spare time, he conceived and founded Current TV and New York’s local NY1

So, Rosenblum speaks with some authority when he cites Dreadmonger’s favorite motivator, “Fear“, as the chief architect of the network nightly newscast that he knows so well.

Writing in his blog today, Rosenblum TV:

“It is an industry driven not by risk, but rather by fear. When I was at CBS News we used to call the place Cubicles of Fear. The reason was that the risks for any innovation were so high (if you tried something and it failed, they fired you), and the rewards so scanty. Unlike online start-ups, no one at CBS News got equity in CBS, so what was the reward for big growth?  Nothing.”

“In the real world there is not a dime’s worth of difference between Scott Pelley, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams or Walter Cronkite. Snore. Is it any wonder that viewership is dropping like a stone?”

Rosenblum’s blog at and VJ video training courses can be found at Rosenblum TV.

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