Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Roots.

New flava in ya ear!

The Roots.

How I Got Over.

Us v. Them?

Over and over again?

Words. For Your Consideration...

"In keeping with his campaign promise to talk to America's enemies without precondition, Barack Obama plans to turn his charms on Burma's military junta. Slowly, we're beginning to understand what hope and change were all about. Translation: Sure hope this change works.

It may be too soon to pass judgment on Obama's new foreign policy strategy, but early returns on his gamble that talking is the best cure are less than reassuring. Each time Obama extends a hand to one of the world's anti-American despots, he is rewarded with an insult (Venezuela's Hugo Chavez) or, perhaps, a missile display (North Korea and Iran).

One may view these episodes as diminishing America's status or as a tolerable annoyance -- sort of the way Dobermans view toy poodles. At some point, the big dog reminds the little yapper of his place. Unfortunately, the American commander in chief is a cat in a dog-eat-dog world.

Obama inarguably was elected in part as a reaction to George W. Bush's big-dawgness. A new American archetype, Obama is the anti-macho man, a new-age intellectual who defeated the old-guard warrior. Whether he can win with his wits in the larger theater remains to be seen, but watching could be painful.

...This year, Chavez complimented but also chided Obama for saying one thing and doing another. There may be two Obamas, he said. And more than a few Americans thought he might have a point.

One Obama is loquacious and inspiring. The other seems somewhat removed from threatening realities and people who don't share our appreciation for visionary rhetoric. Some folks simply aren't talk-able. Some nations -- no matter how well-intentioned, sincere and earnest we are -- just aren't that into us..."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The World Is a Fire Hydrant
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    For Your Consideration.

  • VIDEOGUM: The Videogum "Tracy Morgan Promise": I Am The New Black
  • Oh Word?

    "Okay, and? Now what?"-Richard Cohen

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "The trouble with Obama is that he gets into the moment and means what he says for that moment only. He meant what he said when he called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" -- and now is not necessarily so sure. He meant what he said about the public option in his health-care plan -- and then again maybe not. He would not prosecute CIA agents for getting rough with detainees -- and then again maybe he would.

    Most tellingly, he gave Congress an August deadline for passage of health-care legislation -- "Now, if there are no deadlines, nothing gets done in this town . . . " -- and then let it pass. It seemed not to occur to Obama that a deadline comes with a consequence -- meet it or else.

    Obama lost credibility with his deadline-that-never-was, and now he threatens to lose some more with his posturing toward Iran. He has gotten into a demeaning dialogue with Ahmadinejad, an accomplished liar. (The next day, the Iranian used a news conference to counter Obama and, days later, Iran tested some intermediate-range missiles.) Obama is our version of a Supreme Leader, not given to making idle threats, setting idle deadlines, reversing course on momentous issues, creating a TV crisis where none existed or, unbelievably, pitching Chicago for the 2016 Olympics. Obama's the president. Time he understood that."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Time to Act Like a President
  • "Whatever you want!"

    "Girl you know I can provide..."

    New flava in ya ear!

    Consequence feat. John Legend and Kanye West.

    Whatever U Want.

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    For Your Consideration.

  • STEREOGUM: Stream The Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack
  • The Fear.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    ...To trust me!


    "I listen to America -- in focus groups, telephone interviews, town halls and polls in all 50 states -- for a living. It used to be fun. Now it's become painful.

    For 15 years, average Americans have exuded optimism and energy, whether they were talking about their political preferences, their employment aspirations or simply what they had for breakfast.

    But that was before the economic meltdown one year ago. What a difference a year makes.

    Today, Americans are boiling mad, and the elites from Washington to Wall Street to West Hollywood don't get it. It can best be summarized by 12 short words bellowed by Howard Beale, the deranged TV anchor in the movie "Network": "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."

    The frightening reality is that where there was hope, now there is cynicism. Where there were dreams, now there is disillusion. Instead of courage and resolve, I hear blame and finger-pointing.

    ...Americans in the unhappy majority are struggling to keep their jobs as million-dollar bonuses are being awarded at companies their tax dollars bailed out. They're watching Congress showcase the partisan spectacle we now blithely confuse with "government." They have learned (with good reason) to distrust their leaders, their institutions and even their own positive values in a culture that has turned coarse and critical.

    The elites under attack complain that rowdy town halls are bad for civic discourse and democracy. But I contend that their empty dismissals of grass-roots anger are much more dangerous.

    If you talk in depth to self-described angry Americans -- as I have -- you don't hear raving demands or reckless hate. What you hear is fear.

    ...Digging still deeper, my research suggests that we can dial back American anger if we begin to fix two complaints: the lack of accountability and the lack of respect in our dealings with each other.

    ...For business and political elites, the message should be clear: Restore trust. Politicians should be hosting more town hall meetings even if it means encountering surly voters. Business leaders should be seeking input from their hard-pressed customers and workers, and they should stop paying themselves huge bonuses while everyone else suffers.

    If those in power shut up and listen, they'll hear what I'm hearing. It's time to heed the anger and reinforce the positive values behind it."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: What Americans really want
  • G-Unit.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "At his United Nations debut, Barack Obama urged global cooperation to combat nuclear proliferation, climate change and other problems that go beyond the borders of any one country. The speech was well received around the world, except in one place -- America's right-wing netherworld, which quickly began whipping people into a frenzy. For Michelle Malkin, the speech was evidence that Obama was "the great appeaser," though she went on to say, "From the sound of it, you'd think you were listening to Thomas Jefferson." (That's bad?) For Rush Limbaugh, Obama's speech was "basically a coup against America." At the National Review's Web site, a debate -- an entirely serious debate among serious people -- broke out as to whether the speech proved that Obama actually wanted the world's tyrants to win, in the tradition of past intellectuals who admired Mussolini and Hitler. This is the discourse of American conservatism today: Obama is bad because he loves "death panels" and Hitler.

    ...the United Nations is the only organization in the world to which all countries belong. As such it does have considerable legitimacy. And that means power. As David Bosco points out in Foreign Policy magazine, over the past two decades the Security Council has authorized "more than a dozen peacekeeping missions, imposed sanctions or arms embargoes on 10 states, and created several war crimes tribunals to prosecute those responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity, including sitting heads of state." It's worth putting in the effort to shape its decisions.

    ...Let's go back one year. Many countries had come to believe that America showed little interest in the world. This hostility had become an easy excuse to reject even modest concessions to U.S. requests. If this sounds partisan, recall that after he was elected president of France in 2007, the pro-American conservative Nicolas Sarkozy was asked by Condoleezza Rice what she could do to help him. "Improve your image in the world," he said.

    ...Obama's outreach to the world is an experiment, and not merely to see if the world will respond. He wants to demonstrate at home that engagement does not make America weak. For decades, it's been thought deadly for an American politician to be seen as seeking international cooperation. Denouncing, demeaning and insulting other countries was a cheap and easy way to seem strong. In the battle of images, tough and stupid always seemed to win.

    Obama is gambling that America is mature enough to understand that machismo is not foreign policy and that grandstanding on the global stage won't succeed. In a new world, with other countries more powerful and confident, America's success -- its security, its prosperity -- depends on working with others. It's a big, bold gambit. I hope it works."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Obama the Gambler
  • Friday, September 25, 2009

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Parks & Recreation.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Fool's Gold.

    Surprise Hotel.


    "If you're havin' a good time let me hear you say 'YEAH!'"

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Because he is the object of unceasing criticism, Obama is also the object of unceasing attention. Day after day and night after night his is the face we see and the voice we hear. (On Sunday, we could have seen and heard him on five networks.) Like Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, he bestrides the political landscape like a colossus.

    Every administration takes its name from the president, but in this administration the president seems to be the only one performing. Cabinet members and party leaders barely rise to the status of supporting players. Even when they’re in the room, as Arne Duncan was when the schoolchildren were exhorted to study hard, they fade into the background.

    ...Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner stumbled a bit in his first public appearance as the expert on the financial crisis and has barely been heard from again. Robert Gates is certainly secretary of defense, but speculations about Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict center on what Obama will do. Health care is on everyone’s mind, but how many people could name the current secretary of health and human services if their lives depended on it? Ray Lahood is the secretary of transportation, but when it came time to explain the GM bailout to the American people, guess who did it?

    ...The only political figures who pronounce regularly and firmly on matters of current concern are David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, and everyone knows that their job is to carry Obama’s message.

    ...what will happen remains unclear. But whatever happens, Obama’s stature — his size relative to the size of all others in the field — will not be diminished. If health care reform is achieved, he will get the credit. If it is not, the blame will be distributed among all those whose exertions he encouraged by appearing to do nothing. And when it is all over, it will still be all Obama, all of the time."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Obama Show

    Courtesy of Mr. Hudson.

    White Lies.

    A "New flava in ya ear!" Production.

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    [Current] Facts of Life.

    If only things were this rosy.


    "Incivility is the new secondhand smoke. Everyone feels impelled to disdain it, but nobody is willing to do away with it entirely.

    Besides, it's profitable. Look at South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson. Two weeks ago, he was just a loudmouth with the bad taste to shout an insult at the president of the United States from the House floor. Since then, he's become a right-wing darling, and $2 million in new campaign contributions have flowed his way. Incivility apparently cuts both ways, though; his Democratic challenger has taken in more than $1.5 million.

    When the midterm elections roll around, those millions will buy a lot of attack ads, because -- as any campaign strategist will tell you -- negative advertising works. That's the reason there is so much of it in our campaigns. People enjoy incivility -- maybe because it's easy to remember; maybe because it's entertaining. We've become a nation of Alice Roosevelt Longworths: "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me."

    ...It's not that we suffer from an insufficient respect for civility; taken as a whole, our electoral politics have always been essentially uncivil, from the founding of the country to the present day. The problem is that we suffer from an insufficient regard for the facts."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: A crash course in American coarseness
  • The Killers. [NSFW]

    FILE UNDER: Coming Attractions.

    Fame Kills from kwest on Vimeo.

    "Keep it in the Closet!"

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Moral Kombat
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorHealthcare Protests

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Monday, September 21, 2009



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "With all due respect to Jimmy Carter, the racist component of Obama-hatred has been undeniable since the summer of 2008, when Sarah Palin rallied all-white mobs to the defense of the “real America.” Joe Wilson may or may not be in that camp, but, either way, that’s not the news. As we watched and rewatched the South Carolina congressman’s star turn, what grabbed us was the act itself.

    What made the lone, piercing cry of “You lie!” shocking was that it breached a previously secure barrier. It was the first time that the violent rage surging in town-hall meetings all summer blasted into the same room as the president. Wilson’s televised shout was tantamount to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. When he later explained that his behavior was “spontaneous” rather than premeditated, that was even more disturbing. It’s not good for the country that a lawmaker can’t control his anger at Barack Obama. It gives permission to crazy people.

    The White House was right not to second Carter’s motion and cue another “national conversation about race.” No matter how many teachable moments we have, some people won’t be taught. (Though how satisfying it would have been for Obama to dismiss Wilson, like the boorish Kanye West, as a “jackass.”) But there is a national conversation we must have right now — the one about what, in addition to race, is driving this anger and what can be done about it. We are kidding ourselves if we think it’s only about bigotry, or health care, or even Obama. The growing minority that feels disenfranchised by Washington can’t be so easily ghettoized and dismissed."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Even Glenn Beck Is Right Twice a Day
  • "WHO'S HOUSE?!"

  • GAWKER: 'Relatively Inexperienced' Fox News Producer in 9/12 Video Scandal!
  • Under Rug Swept.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Barack Obama had no choice but to disagree with Jimmy Carter. Carter called some of Obama's most hysterical critics racist. But our first nonwhite president once again tried hard not to be sucked into a racial uproar. As much as he and his liberal allies like to declare that Americans need to hash out racial issues publicly, the subject of race can only damage his presidency

    ...I don't interpret Obama's refusal to engage as a sign of passivity. In fact, after half a century of talking about race until we're blue in the face (so to speak), the president's silence is one of many signs that he is showing us a new, post-civil-rights, post-affirmative-action way to deal with America's racial divide.

    ...for Obama to focus on race as an explanation or a motive for almost anything would be to paint himself as a minority president, not the president. Not only would it diminish his stature, it would play into the hands of those who do think his racial background defines his every action.

    ...Discrimination can be overturned by enforcing laws. But racial prejudice is another matter. Barack Obama became the most powerful man in the nation by publicly skirting the issue of race, which he refused to let define him. His secret to success reminds me of an old adage: When you fight with a pig, you both get dirty, but only the pig likes it.

    Perhaps it's best not to engage."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Obama's shunning response to the racism debate
  • Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Party & Bullshit!

    New flava in ya ear!

    Jadakiss. Swizz Beatz. Eve. Drag-On [ED'S NOTE: WHAAATTT???] Styles P. Sheek Louch. & DMX!

    Who's Real (Ruff Ryders Remix).

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    REAL TALK: The "Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: A Review" Edition.


    "The saddest thing about this album: you want to root for CuDi but he sabotages himself at every turn whether it’s through noodly non-rap, beats that would make later-day Jungle Brothers cringe or lyrics seemingly stolen from a Rhymesayers opening act’s moleskin rhymebook. The kid feels completely lost in the middle of his own album, swallowed up by bad ideas and a bizarre need to become rap’s Terrence Trent D’Arby. He’s that slightly nerdy stoner kid in high school who suddenly discovers Vice magazine and tries to switch his style up but can’t quite pull it off. Hopefully next go around, he gets it together because he’s not untalented, just trying way too hard at all the wrong things."

  • PASSION OF THE WEISS: Sach O: Kid CuDi - Man on the Moon
  • Color Me Bad.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "What I wrote last year about candidate Barack Obama -- that to win he had to be seen as "the least-aggrieved black man in America" -- may be even more relevant now. To lead this diverse and fractious nation effectively, the president has to negotiate racial issues with delicacy, caution and tact. He has to give even his most vocal critics the benefit of the doubt.

    But I don't. So I can say in plain language that Jimmy Carter was right in essence, but wrong in degree. It seems clear to me that some -- but not "an overwhelming portion," as Carter claimed -- of the "intensely demonstrated animosity" toward Obama is indeed "based on the fact that he is a black man."

    ...Of course it's possible to reject Obama's policies and philosophy without being racist. But there's a particularly nasty edge to the most vitriolic attacks -- a rejection not of Obama's programs but of his legitimacy as president. This denial of legitimacy is more pernicious than the abuse heaped upon George W. Bush by his critics (including me), and I can't find any explanation for it other than race."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The Favor Jimmy Carter Did Us All
  • Thursday, September 17, 2009

    Groove Theory.

    With Air and their,

    Sing Sang Sung.

    Money in the Bank.

    Whitney Houston.

    Million Dollar Bill.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    For Your Consideration.


    "Livin'. Just enough, JUST ENOUGH.

    "LIVE YOUR LIFE(?)!"

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "There is a segment of society for whom traditional family values are increasingly irrelevant, and for whom spring-break sexual liberationism is increasingly costly: men and women in their 20s.

    This is the period of life in which society's most important social commitments take shape -- commitments that produce stability, happiness and children. But the facts of life for 20-somethings are challenging. Puberty -- mainly because of improved health -- comes steadily sooner. Sexual activity kicks off earlier. But the average age at which people marry has grown later; it is now about 26 for women, 28 for men.

    This opens a hormone-filled gap -- a decade and more of likely sexual activity before marriage. And for those in that gap, there is little helpful guidance from the broader culture. Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, argues that the "courtship narrative" in the past was clear: dating, engagement, marriage, children. This narrative has been disrupted without being replaced, leaving many 20-somethings in a "relational wasteland."

    ...In the absence of a courtship narrative, young people have evolved a casual, ad hoc version of their own: cohabitation. From 1960 to 2007, the number of Americans cohabiting increased fourteenfold. For some, it is a test-drive for marriage. For others, it is an easier, low-commitment alternative to marriage. About 40 percent of children will now spend some of their childhood in a cohabiting union.

    How is this working out? Not very well."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Lost in a World Without Courtship
  • Grand Hustle.

    Part of a complete balanced Breakfast...

    New flava in ya ear!

    OJ da Juiceman.

    Early Morning Trapping.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    For Your Consideration.

  • Stream here.
  • The World We Live In.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "Now, with the financial sector stabilized and economists predicting that the Great Recession is nearing an end, the sighs of relief coming out of Washington and Lower Manhattan are understandable. But this is no time to lose sight of the wreckage all around us. This recession, a full-blown economic horror, has left a gaping hole in the heart of working America that is unlikely to heal for years, if not decades.

    Fifteen million Americans are locked in the nightmare of unemployment, nearly 10 percent of the work force. A third have been jobless for more than six months. Thirteen percent of Latinos and 15 percent of blacks are out of work. (Those are some of the official statistics. The reality is much worse.)

    Consider this: Some 9.4 million new jobs would have to be created to get us back to the level of employment at the time that the recession began in December 2007. But last month, we lost 216,000 jobs. If the recession technically ends soon and we get to a point where some modest number of jobs are created — say, 100,000 or 150,000 a month — the politicians and the business commentators will celebrate like it’s New Year’s.

    But think about how puny that level of job creation really is in an environment that needs nearly 10 million jobs just to get us back to the lean years of the George W. Bush administration.

    We’re hurtin’ and there ain’t much healin’ on the horizon.

    ...“This is not your ordinary dip in the business cycle,” said Mr. Van Horn. “Americans believe that this is the Katrina of recessions. Folks are on their rooftops without a boat.”

    Stunned by the financial and psychological toll of the recession, and seeing little in the way of hopeful signs on the employment landscape, many of the surveyed workers showed signs of discouragement. Three-fifths said that they had experienced feelings of helplessness.

    ...At some point the unemployment crisis in America will have to be confronted head-on. Poverty rates are increasing. Tax revenues are plunging. State and local governments are in a terrible fiscal bind. Unemployment benefits for many are running out. Families are doubling up, and the number of homeless children is rising.

    ...If we end up with yet another jobless recovery, there would seem to be little hope for impoverished families in America’s big cities, rural areas and, increasingly, suburban neighborhoods as well."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: A World of Hurt
  • Changes?

    "What, me worry?"


    "It's been a year since the financial system collapsed like a botched souffle, and the sense of acute crisis has eased. The wizards of Wall Street are raring to get back to business as usual -- and if we let them, we'll have only ourselves to blame when the next meltdown comes.

    The Obama administration and the Federal Reserve get too little credit for skillfully managing this terrible recession in a way that has kept it from turning into an all-out catastrophe. Too-big-to-fail financial institutions were put on life support or eased into oblivion in creative ways that involved massive injections of taxpayer funds -- but prevented massive defaults. The auto industry, a victim of collateral damage, was expensively defibrillated and once again has a pulse. Nearly 100 banks have failed so far this year -- compared with 25 in 2008 and just three in 2007 -- but depositors' money was saved.

    In the process, though, the behemoth financial firms have gotten even bigger. And now that the economy has begun to revive, the stock market is getting happy again. I'm as pleased as anyone else to see a rising Dow, but somebody needs to slap the incipient grin off Wall Street's face."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The Wall Street Casino, Back in Business
  • Monday, September 14, 2009


    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race.

    I tended to agree with some Obama advisers that Democratic presidents typically have provoked a frothing response from paranoids — from Father Coughlin against F.D.R. to Joe McCarthy against Truman to the John Birchers against J.F.K. and the vast right-wing conspiracy against Bill Clinton.

    But Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

    ...Barry Obama of the post-’60s Hawaiian ’hood did not live through the major racial struggles in American history. Maybe he had a problem relating to his white basketball coach or catching a cab in New York, but he never got beaten up for being black.

    Now he’s at the center of a period of racial turbulence sparked by his ascension. Even if he and the coterie of white male advisers around him don’t choose to openly acknowledge it, this president is the ultimate civil rights figure — a black man whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by a loco fringe.

    For two centuries, the South has feared a takeover by blacks or the feds. In Obama, they have both."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Boy, Oh, Boy
  • As Above, So Below.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    Words. For Your Consideration....

    "THE day before he gave his latest brilliant speech, Barack Obama repeated a well-worn mantra to a television interviewer: “My job is not to be distracted by the 24-hour news cycle.” The time has come for him to expand that job description. His White House has a duty to push back against the 24-hour news cycle, every 24 hours if necessary, when it threatens to derail his agenda, the nation’s business, or both. This was a silly summer, as wasteful in its way as the summer of 2001, when Washington dithered over the now-forgotten Gary Condit scandal while Al Qaeda plotted. The president deserves his share of the blame.

    After a good couple of years of living with the guy, we know the drill that defines his leadership, for better and worse. When trouble lurks, No Drama Obama stays calm as everyone around him goes ballistic. Then he waits — and waits — for that superdramatic moment when he can ride to his own rescue with what the press reliably hypes as The Do-or-Die Speech of His Career. Cable networks slap a countdown clock on the corner of the screen and pump up the suspense. Finally, Mighty Obama steps up to the plate and, lo and behold, confounds all the doubting bloviators yet again by (as they are wont to say) hitting it out of the park.

    So it’s a little disingenuous for Obama to claim that he is not distracted by the 24-hour news cycle. What he’s actually doing is gaming it for all it’s worth.

    As a mode of campaigning, this tactic was worth a great deal. Obama not only produced eloquent speeches — especially the classic disquisition on race that silenced the Jeremiah Wright pogrom — but also executed a remarkably disciplined tortoise-vs.-hare battle plan that outwitted and ultimately vanquished the hypercaffeinated political strategies of Hillary Clinton and John McCain. As a style of governing, however, this repeated cycle of extended above-the-fray passivity followed by last-minute oratorical heroics has now been stretched to the very limit."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Obama’s Squandered Summer


    "President Obama set out a long list of worthy goals in his healthcare speech to Congress last week, but at least one of them was utterly unrealistic. "I am not the first president to take up this cause," he said, "but I am determined to be the last."

    If Obama succeeds in winning a comprehensive healthcare bill, he will have established, for the first time, a federal government obligation to make some kind of health insurance available to every citizen. That's a monumental achievement.

    But it will be only the first step in a process of designing, launching and improving a new healthcare system for a nation of some 300 million. That's a monumental task.

    ...Whatever bill gets through Congress this fall -- and it seems increasingly likely that one will -- is almost certain to obligate citizens to obtain insurance, require insurance companies to offer "affordable" basic policies and impose taxes and Medicare payment cuts to help pay the insurance bills of low-income families.

    But no matter how specific the bill gets, it can't guarantee that the president's proposals for funding the plan will generate enough to cover the costs.

    And the bill won't reshape the medical system to focus on overall care instead of individual procedures.

    ...Right now, the U.S. healthcare system is a patchwork of different systems -- Medicare for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor, military and veterans' medicine, private insurance for the fully employed, and a lot of cracks in between.

    Decisions about how much to spend on health, and how, have often been made through backroom battles among big institutions: employers, insurance companies, drug companies and hospitals. Doctors and patients have been among the least influential players.

    By expanding the federal role in healthcare, and by setting up a system that guarantees all citizens access to affordable insurance, Obama's plan gives everyone a stake in its success. Voters will want to know that this system is working well at a reasonable cost. They'll demand -- even more than they do now -- evidence that their money is being well spent. Future Congresses and presidents, far from being relieved of the issue, will find themselves debating it year after year. American medicine is being politicized -- and that may not be a bad thing."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: The long road to healthcare reform
  • Friday, September 11, 2009


    New flava in ya ear!

    Keri Hilson.

    Slow Dance.

    "I know your Girlfriend hates SHE!"

    New flava in ya ear!


    Songs Remind Me of You.

    Shoutout to Maura over at
  • Idolator for putting this on my radar! That's what's up!
  • Health. Care. First. AID.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "Any critic who still questions the need for health care reform or rails against a “government takeover” of health care should look at the latest Census Bureau estimates of the number of people without health insurance in this country — and the number who have avoided disaster precisely because of government help.

    The overall number of the uninsured rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008. The fact that tens of millions of Americans may be one major illness away from bankruptcy is unacceptable. But there is also some heartening news: The increase was relatively small considering the depth of the economic crisis. That is only because government programs helped offset the decline of private insurance and employer-based coverage.

    ...Critics of health care reform have done Americans two great disservices. They have obscured and denied the very real suffering of tens of millions of uninsured Americans and the very real danger that millions more could soon join them. And they have twisted and denied the goal of health care reform when they rail against a fictitious government takeover.

    As Mr. Obama said in his speech, when facts, reason and civility are thrown overboard, he said, “we don’t merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges. We lose something essential about ourselves.”"

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: A Clear Responsibility
  • For Your Consideration.

  • Stream here.
  • An Inconvenient Truth.


    "At the annual Bioneers convention in 2007, Van Jones described to an audience of scientists, activists and environmentalists how he had spent 20 years trying to get Americans to pay attention to the urban poor. "We would call newspapers, television stations, saying kids are dying, we're going to funerals every weekend. 'Not interested.' We'd say we've got kids going to school in Oakland, 30 kids in the classroom, six books, no chalk.' 'Not interested.' "

    Finally, the Yale Law School graduate turned community organizer told the crowd, "We said, 'Well, we want green jobs and not jails for our youth.' And they said, 'Green? Green? Green!' GIVE THAT MAN A MICROPHONE!' "

    "Green," at least in the beginning, was a marketing term to Jones, a means to an end. But the deeper he got into it, he said, the more he realized that the environment was central to the kind of social justice he cared about. For the affluent lefties in the audience, he teased, environmentalism might be about polar bears and other "charismatic megafauna." But "in the poor part of town, when they say, 'Oh, the environment is terrible,' they're talking about air pollution, asthma, cancer clusters and birth defects."

    Working with inner-city residents required a new approach. "If I go and knock on the door in West Oakland, or Watts, or Newark, and say, 'Excuse me, I got a big problem here. ... WE GOTTA SAVE THE POLAR BEARS!' are they going to join my group? No. Because in the poor part of town ... if they're talking about global warming, they're not talking about polar bears drowning. They're talking about people drowning -- that's Katrina."

    Soon, the crowd was on its feet, applauding.

    I was in the audience for that speech, and I remembered it last spring when I heard Jones had been named special advisor to President Obama on green jobs. And I remembered it again last weekend when I heard he had resigned from that job under pressure. Jones' resignation came in the wake of reports that he had once used an expletive to describe Republicans, and that he had signed a petition in 2004 asking Congress to investigate whether the Bush administration had failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks in order to justify war.In the end, both liberals and conservatives condemned him.

    But Jones' departure is a big loss. He should be judged not by a few missteps but by his long history of working toward a highly desirable but elusive goal: an environmental movement that crosses boundaries of place, skin color and class. By working to bring green jobs to "the poor part of town" and involving mainstream environmental leaders in the cause of fighting poverty, Jones has made a huge contribution."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Meet the real Van Jones
  • Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "Anyone who watched Wednesday night as President Obama explained his health-care reform proposals to Congress saw a chief executive making what sounded like a genuine appeal for bipartisanship -- and his opponents behaving like a bunch of spoiled first-graders. Obama should ignore them, even if they hold their breath until they turn blue.

    House Republicans were particularly ostentatious in showing their disrespect not just for Obama but for the office he holds. The outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina -- who shouted "You lie!" when Obama said his plan would not cover illegal immigrants -- was only the most egregious display of contempt. Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House minority whip, fiddled with his BlackBerry while the commander in chief was speaking. Other Republicans made a show of waving copies of their own alleged reform plan, which isn't really a plan at all.

    And Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas waved hand-lettered signs at the president, as if he thought he were attending one of those made-for-television town-hall meetings rather than a solemn gathering of the nation's highest elected officials.

    Throughout the speech, there was grumbling, mugging and eye-rolling on the Republican side that was not only undignified but frankly un-American. When I was a correspondent in London, I covered far more raucous sessions of the British House of Commons -- that's how Parliament treats the prime minister, who is the head of government. In the United States, that simply is not how Congress treats the president, who is the head of state."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: No Way to Treat a President
  • ...

    New flava in ya ear!


    Hit Me On My Twitter.

    No words. Ironically.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Space Oddity.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Empire of the Sun.

    Without You.

    Outta Sight, Outta Mind.


    "It happened at 8:40 pm, just after the president vowed to lawmakers that his health-care reform proposals would not provide benefits to illegal immigrants. As millions of Americans watched from home, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted at the president from his fifth-row seat: "You lie!"

    Murmurs of "ooh" filled the stunned chamber. Nancy Pelosi's chin dropped. Obama moved on to the next sentence in his speech, about how no federal money would be used to fund abortion. "Not true!" came another shout.

    The national debate, already raw for years, had coarsened over the summer as town hall meetings across the country dissolved into protests about "death panels" and granny-killing. Guns were brought to Obama appearances. A pastor in Arizona said he was praying for Obama to die.

    But even by that standard, there was something appalling about the display on the House floor for what was supposed to be a sacred ritual of American democracy: the nation watching while Cabinet members, lawmakers from both chambers and the diplomatic corps assembled

    Wilson was only the most flagrant. There was booing from House Republicans when the president caricatured a conservative argument by saying they would "leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own." They hissed when he protested their "scare tactics." They grumbled as they do in Britain's House of Commons when Obama spoke of the "blizzard of charges and countercharges."

    ...while the majority of both parties' lawmakers behaved as adults, the insolence by House Republicans stole the show. There was derisive laughter on that side of the chamber when Obama noted that "there remain some significant details to be ironed out." They applauded as he spoke of "all the misinformation that's been spread over the past few months." They laughed again when he said that "many Americans have grown nervous about reform."

    ...Toward the end of Obama's speech, the text of which was handed out before the congressman's outburst, was a fitting rebuke of the sort of behavior Wilson had just exhibited. When "we can no longer even engage in a civil conversation with each other over the things that truly matter," Obama said, "we don't merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges. We lose something essential about ourselves."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The Republican Response, Arriving a Little Early
  • Oh by the way,


    Kid Cudi.

    Day 'N' Nite.

    The Crooker's Remix.

    Wednesday, September 09, 2009


    A Moment of Clarity.

    Once more with feeling!


    "After keeping his great powers of persuasion and elucidation under wraps all summer, the president at long last comes forward to explain his health care plan to an utterly confused and increasingly skeptical and wary public.

    He should have done this speech back in June and conjured up a better glossary. You can’t combat a scintillating term like “death panels” with a somnambulant one like “public option.”

    President Obama is so wrapped up in his desire to be a different, more conciliatory, beer-summit kind of leader, he ignores some verities.

    Sometimes, when you’ve got the mojo, you have to keep your foot on your opponent’s neck. When you’re trying to get a Sisyphean agenda passed, it’s good if people in the way — including rebellious elements in your own party — fear you.

    Civil discourse is fine, but when the other side is fighting dirty, you should get angry. Don’t let the bully kick sand in your face.

    ...It was one thing for Obama to delegate freely when he was on the Harvard Law Review, but it’s madness to go play golf and delegate freely to Congress, letting Nancy Pelosi make your case. After signaling that there was nothing he’d fall on his sword for on health care; after dropping Van Jones at the first objection from Glenn Beck — a demagoon who called Obama a “racist” — the president is getting to be seen as an easy mark."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Less Spocky, More Rocky
  • Each One, Teach One.

    Unless you're President Obama.


    "Just when you thought things couldn't get any stupider, schools across the nation decided to censor President Obama's speech urging kids to work hard because "being successful is hard."

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the terribly scary bit of propaganda that prompted certain Americans to cry "socialism" and "indoctrination" and force some schools to opt out of hearing the president's message Tuesday.

    When and how did we become so ridiculous?

    As it turns out, we've been this way for a while. Such protests -- a review of which follows shortly -- aren't new. The difference is that now the masses are technologically enabled, amplified by a twillion tweets. Everybody's got a megaphone, bless democracy's heart.

    But when a protest of one (or a few) can instantly morph into a babble of thousands, rabble-rousing becomes a hobby -- and rational debate becomes an oxymoron."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: An A in Overreaction
  • "Who you with?"

    A Moment of Clarity.

  • ILL DOCTRINE: The One Where Michael Steele Makes Me Yell At My TV
  • "NEW MONEY!"

    For Your Consideration,

    New flava in ya ear!

    Dirty Money.


    Tuesday, September 08, 2009


    A Moment of Clarity.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "We need therapy. President Obama is planning to address the nation’s public school students today, urging them to work hard and stay in school. The folks who bray at the moon are outraged. Some of the caterwauling on the right has likened Mr. Obama to Chairman Mao (and, yes, Hitler), and a fair number of parents have bought into the imbecilic notion that this is an effort at socialist or Communist indoctrination.

    As one father from Texas put it: “I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement.”

    The wackiness is increasing, not diminishing, and it has a great potential for destruction. There is a real need for people who know better to speak out in a concerted effort to curb the appeal of the apostles of the absurd.

    ...We seem unable to face up to many of the hard truths confronting the U.S. as we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

    ...The serious wackos, the obsessive-compulsive absurdists, may be beyond therapy. But the rest of us could use some serious adult counseling. We’ve forgotten many of the fundamentals: how to live within our means, the benefits of shared sacrifice, the responsibilities that go with citizenship, the importance of a well-rounded education and tolerance."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: It’s Time to Get Help

    New flava in ya ear!

    Pretty Ricky.

    Tipsy in Dis Club. [ED'S NOTE: Really fellas?]

    Sunday, September 06, 2009

    Erotic City.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Ryan Leslie.

    You're Not My Girl.

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Mortal. Kombat.

    "I can't be your Superman!(?)"

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "What happened to President Obama? His wax wings having melted, he is the man who fell to earth. What happened to bring his popularity down further than that of any new president in polling history save Gerald Ford (post-Nixon pardon)?

    ...After a disastrous summer -- mistaking his mandate, believing his press, centralizing power, governing left, disdaining citizens for (of all things) organizing -- Obama is in trouble.

    Let's be clear: This is a fall, not a collapse. He's not been repudiated or even defeated. He will likely regroup and pass some version of health insurance reform that will restore some of his clout and popularity.

    But what has occurred -- irreversibly -- is this: He's become ordinary. The spell is broken. The charismatic conjurer of 2008 has shed his magic. He's regressed to the mean, tellingly expressed in poll numbers hovering at 50 percent.

    For a man who only recently bred a cult, ordinariness is a great burden, and for his acolytes, a crushing disappointment. Obama has become a politician like others. And like other flailing presidents, he will try to salvage a cherished reform -- and his own standing -- with yet another prime-time speech.

    But for the first time since election night in Grant Park, he will appear in the most unfamiliar of guises -- mere mortal, a treacherous transformation to which a man of Obama's supreme self-regard may never adapt."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Obama, the Mortal
  • Thursday, September 03, 2009


    No, No, No, No, NO!

    Aww hell naw y'all. Hollywood has officially ran out of ideas. Videogum reports:

    "The Hollywood Reporter hollywood reported this morning that a movie about jerkin' is in development.

    Melee Entertainment and indie film producer Shariff Hasan are developing a movie that will center on jerkin,' the hip-hop dance trend that has been attracting a host of mainstream coverage.
    Jerkin,' which has landed coverage in L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Times, is a form of dancing that, like breakdancing and other performance art, originated in the streets. But unlike some other forms of street art, it's underlied by a specific political ideology of providing a positive, anti-gang message in the inner city. The movement is marked by dancers wearing brightly colored, nonbaggy jeans and shirts, in marked contrast to conventional hip-hop wear.

    Melee is the banner behind the Mos Def action comedy "Next Day Air," which earned $10million when Summit released it in May, and Screen Gems' $40 million breakout "You Got Served." It is prepping the thriller "Day One.""

    Say it with me now y'all, UGH!

  • VIDEOGUM: Hollywood Better Not (But Of Course Will) Ruin Jerkin': The Movie
  • Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga...


    "Back when that song "Beautiful" was all over the radio, a DJ friend of mine once said, "The devil didn't invent rock and roll for James Blunt." And I can't help but agree, as a woman raised on filthy Prince lyrics, Madonna writhing to "Like A Virgin" (at the VMAs!) and sexual innuendo in George Michael hits. Lots of people can sing. Lots of people write songs. Pop music should be more that that. Not a lot of people sing well, or write catchy songs; Lady Gaga does both. But more importantly: Lady Gaga makes it exciting. Titillating, unexpected. With Muppet coats, teacups, awful (untrue) hermaphrodite rumors and general pantslessness. Without her, pop would be a bland landscape right now..."

    I second that emotion. Now if we could just work on producing a straight up start to finish bangin' ass LP...In due time ladies and gents. In due time...

  • JEZEBEL: In Defense Of Lady Gaga, Whose VMA Performance "Will Inspire A Movement"
  • Magnum P.I.


    "After the C.I.A. inspector general’s report on prisoner interrogation was released last week, former Vice President Dick Cheney settled into his usual seat on Fox News to express his outrage — not at the illegal and immoral behavior laid out in the report, of course, but at the idea that anyone would object to torturing prisoners. He was especially vexed that the Obama administration was beginning an investigation.

    ...It’s easy to understand Mr. Cheney’s aversion to the investigation that Attorney General Eric Holder ordered last week. On Fox, Mr. Cheney said it was hard to imagine it stopping with the interrogators. He’s right.

    The government owes Americans a full investigation into the orders to approve torture, abuse and illegal, secret detention, as well as the twisted legal briefs that justified those policies. Congress and the White House also need to look into illegal wiretapping and the practice of sending prisoners to other countries to be tortured.

    ...Americans need much more than glimpses of the truth. They should not have to decide whether to believe former interrogators, whom they do not know, or Mr. Cheney, who did not hesitate while in office to mislead them when it suited his political aims."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Dick Cheney’s Version
  • Never Can Say Goodbye?

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq's cities, two months have passed, and so has the illusion that Iraq is smoothly transitioning to a normality free of sectarian violence. Recently, Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. troops there, "blanched" when The Post's Greg Jaffe asked him if the war is "functionally over." Odierno said:

    "There are still civilians being killed in Iraq. We still have people that are attempting to attack the new Iraqi order and the move towards democracy and a more open economy. So we still have some work to do."

    No, we don't, even if, as Jaffe reports, the presence of 130,000 U.S. troops "serves as a check on Iraqi military and political leaders' baser and more sectarian instincts." After almost 6 1/2 years, and 4,327 American dead and 31,483 wounded, with a war spiraling downward in Afghanistan, it would be indefensible for the U.S. military -- overextended and in need of materiel repair and mental recuperation -- to loiter in Iraq to improve the instincts of corrupt elites. If there is worse use of the U.S. military than "nation-building," it is adult supervision and behavior modification of other peoples' politicians."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Time to Leave Iraq
  • "You know it's hard out here for a PIMP!"

    A Moment of Clarity starring Soulja Boy and his,

    Successful Remix.

    WHO'S BAD?

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009


    A Moment of Clarity.


    "August was a tough month for supporters of healthcare reform. Instead of pushing a comprehensive bill close to passage by the time Congress adjourned for its summer break, they were still struggling to get to a vote in the House and a key Senate committee. The news media were filled with reports of protesters howling that "Obama-care" would socialize medicine, promote abortion and ration care for seniors. Polls showed support for the reform effort dropping steadily. The month ended with the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the advocate historically most effective at striking the compromises necessary to get a bill signed.

    With the momentum for reform fading, some lawmakers are thinking about abandoning the far-reaching House and Senate bills in favor of more modest changes to the insurance market. We think it's far too early to give up on a comprehensive bill, and we fear that incremental steps won't do much to solve the interrelated problems of high cost and shrinking coverage. The current proposals have flaws -- for instance, they aren't aggressive enough in trying to control costs or reduce demand -- but excessive ambition is not one of them.

    ...there's no question that lawmakers have to act. It's time for systemic change, not half-measures."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Patient approach

    For Your Consideration:

  • MTV: Jay-Z | The Leak | Album Preview - The Blueprint 3
  • Kinda like a Big Deal?

    Lil Boosie.

    Top Notch.

    Tuesday, September 01, 2009


    A Moment of Clarity?...

    "Don't ask. Don't tell."


    "Wonder what it's like to guard State Department facilities in Kabul? In photos first published by Gawker, security contractors get their kicks peeing on one another, simulating anal sex, doing "butt shots," and "eating potato chips out of ass cracks.

    ...What sort of hazing? The traditional desperately homoerotic frat boy kind, mostly involving eating and drinking things off of other men's butts. Also some nipple-biting, as you can see below. One POGO whistle blower described it thusly [PDF link]: "They have a group of sexual predators, deviants running rampant over there. No, they are not jamming guys in the ass per say [sic], but they are showing poor judgenment [sic]." Most of it appears to have been voluntary, but those who didn't really want to drink vodka shots out of the clenched butt-cheeks of their male co-workers were penalized and reported barricading themselves in their rooms."

  • GAWKER: Our Embassy in Afghanistan Is Guarded by Sexually Confused Frat Boys
  • "DO THE HUSTLE!(?)"

    If only things were this easy...

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Two tides swept over American politics last winter. The first was the Obama tide. Barack Obama came into office with an impressive 70 percent approval rating. The second was the independent tide. Over the first months of this year, the number of people who called themselves either Democrats or Republicans declined, while the number who called themselves independents surged ahead.

    Obama’s challenge was to push his agenda through a Democratic-controlled government while retaining the affection of the 39 percent of Americans in the middle.

    The administration hasn’t been able to pull it off. From the stimulus to health care, it has joined itself at the hip to the liberal leadership in Congress. The White House has failed to veto measures, like the pork-laden omnibus spending bill, that would have demonstrated independence and fiscal restraint. By force of circumstances and by design, the president has promoted one policy after another that increases spending and centralizes power in Washington.

    The result is the Obama slide, the most important feature of the current moment. The number of Americans who trust President Obama to make the right decisions has fallen by roughly 17 percentage points. Obama’s job approval is down to about 50 percent. All presidents fall from their honeymoon highs, but in the history of polling, no newly elected American president has fallen this far this fast..."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Obama Slide
  • In Ghost Colours.

    New flava in ya ear!

    The xx.

    Basic Space.