Monday, November 30, 2009

For Your Consideration.

In Stores January 19th!

  • STEREOGUM: Spoon Transference Cover Unveiled
  • REAL TALK: The "More Jobs NOW!" Edition

    A Moment of Clarity.

    "LET'S WORK!"

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "If you’re looking for a job right now, your prospects are terrible. There are six times as many Americans seeking work as there are job openings, and the average duration of unemployment — the time the average job-seeker has spent looking for work — is more than six months, the highest level since the 1930s.

    You might think, then, that doing something about the employment situation would be a top policy priority. But now that total financial collapse has been averted, all the urgency seems to have vanished from policy discussion, replaced by a strange passivity. There’s a pervasive sense in Washington that nothing more can or should be done, that we should just wait for the economic recovery to trickle down to workers.

    This is wrong and unacceptable.

    Yes, the recession is probably over in a technical sense, but that doesn’t mean that full employment is just around the corner. Historically, financial crises have typically been followed not just by severe recessions but by anemic recoveries; it’s usually years before unemployment declines to anything like normal levels. And all indications are that the aftermath of the latest financial crisis is following the usual script. The Federal Reserve, for example, expects unemployment, currently 10.2 percent, to stay above 8 percent — a number that would have been considered disastrous not long ago — until sometime in 2012.

    And the damage from sustained high unemployment will last much longer. The long-term unemployed can lose their skills, and even when the economy recovers they tend to have difficulty finding a job, because they’re regarded as poor risks by potential employers. Meanwhile, students who graduate into a poor labor market start their careers at a huge disadvantage — and pay a price in lower earnings for their whole working lives. Failure to act on unemployment isn’t just cruel, it’s short-sighted.

    So it’s time for an emergency jobs program.

    ...Yes, we can create more jobs — and yes, we should."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Jobs Imperative
  • Into the Wild.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "There is a holocaust happening. Right now. And it's not confined to one nation or even one region. It is a global crisis.

    Species are going extinct en masse.

    Every 20 minutes we lose an animal species. If this rate continues, by century's end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals. Currently, the sixth extinction is on track to dwarf the fifth.

    What -- or more correctly -- who is to blame this time? As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    ...It's important to understand that this is not just a race to save a handful of charismatic species -- animals to which we attach human-inspired values or characteristics. Who wouldn't want to save the sea otter, polar bear, giant panda or gorilla? These striking mammals tug at our heartstrings and often our charitable purse strings. But our actions need to be just as swift and determined when it comes to the valley elderberry longhorn beetle or the distinctly uncuddly, pebbly-skinned Puerto Rican crested toad or the black-footed ferret, whose fate is inextricably intertwined with that of the prairie dog. The reality is that each species, no matter how big, small, friendly or vicious, plays an important and essential role in its ecosystem. And we're in a race to preserve as much of the animal kingdom as possible."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: The sixth extinction
  • Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    "Talk, and talk, and talk, and talk!"

    "Let the Eagle Soar!(?)"


    "For the first time in living memory, the ADL is sounding the alarm about a mainstream media personality: Fox News' Glenn Beck, who also hosts a popular radio show.

    The report notes that while "other conservative media hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, routinely attack Obama and his administration, typically on partisan grounds, they have usually dismissed or refused to give a platform to the conspiracy theorists and anti-government extremists." By contrast, "Beck and his guests have made a habit of demonizing President Obama and promoting conspiracy theories about his administration. ... Beck has even gone so far as to make comparisons between Hitler and Obama."

    ...It's hard to imagine any contemporary cable system dropping Fox News simply because Beck is an offensively dangerous demagogue -- not with his ratings at least. His new foray into politics, though, presents Rupert Murdoch's network with a profound challenge. Is it willing to become the platform for an extremist political campaign, or will it draw a line as even the authoritarian Catholic Church of the 1940s did? CNN recently parted ways with its resident ranter, Lou Dobbs -- who now confirms he's weighing a presidential bid.

    Does Fox see a similar problem with Beck -- and, if not, why?"

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Who's watching Glenn Beck?
  • Tuesday, November 24, 2009


    Ready to go?...

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "President Sarah Palin. To many pundits and late-night comedians, this sounds like a punch line, and to many die-hard Democrats it sounds like a reason to leave the country.

    Yet while the conventional wisdom has it that Palin is too badly damaged to make a serious run in 2012 -- and I agree that her success is not probable -- it is definitely a possibility that Palin could be elected president of the United States.

    ...Looking ahead to the political landscape of the 2012 presidential election, there are certain elements to keep in mind, assuming that President Obama runs for reelection.

    First, Gallup polls over the past 60 years show that no president with an approval rating under 47 percent has won reelection, and no president with an approval rating above 51 percent has lost reelection. (George W. Bush's approval rating in the weeks before the 2004 election hovered around 50 percent.) The 2012 election will be primarily about our current president and whether voters are satisfied with the country's direction.

    Who the Republican candidate is, and his or her qualifications and abilities, will matter only if Obama's approval rating is between 47 and 51 percent going into the fall of 2012. Interestingly, in the latest Gallup poll Obama's approval rating was at a precarious 49 percent.

    Second, America is still (unfortunately) politically divided and polarized, and Palin benefits from this dynamic. While Democrats love Obama, Republicans look on him with real disfavor. The gap between Obama's approval rating among Democrats and among Republicans is nearly 70 percentage points -- a higher partisan divide than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush experienced. Obama's agenda and actions this year, and some mistakes, have solidified this divide.

    Polls show that Palin's favorability numbers are a mirror image of those of Obama. She is respected and loved by the Republican base, while Democrats despise her. Granted, independent voters have significant reservations about her capability to be president, and this would be a hurdle in the general election. But to win the Republican nomination, Palin needs only to get enough support from the base to win early key states. Already, in nearly every poll today, she has a level of support that makes her a viable primary candidate."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, she can: Palin has a shot at the presidency
  • Monday, November 23, 2009

    Celebrity Deathmatch.

    "Lions, and tigers, and bears! OH MY!"


    "Before the 2008 election, almost nobody outside Alaska and Arkansas had heard of Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee. But in a long and crowded campaign season, they were the only Republican politicians who inspired any genuine enthusiasm.

    They had other things in common as well. Both came from lower-middle-class backgrounds, and joined a soft-edged social conservatism to a strong populist streak. Both had been considered pragmatists, rather than ideologues, as governors of their home states. Both were untainted by the failures of the Bush-era Republican Party.

    And both had the same Achilles’ heel: They seemed unready for high office, and owed their appeal more to personality than to substance.

    This meant that both faced the same post-election choice. Did they want to take their newfound eminence seriously? Or did they want to cash in on their celebrity?

    For Palin, the serious path required at least serving out her term as governor before returning to the national stage. For Huckabee, it could have involved anything from starting a think tank to running for the Senate in 2010. For both, it would have meant wedding their political identity to ideas as well as attitudes.

    So far, they’ve chosen celebrity instead. Huckabee spent the last year hamming it up on a weekly talk show, and the last month hawking a book of inspirational Christmas stories. As for Palin — well, you probably know what she’s been up to lately.

    Nobody should begrudge them their choices.

    ...But they were the wrong moves if either wanted to become president someday. Huckabee’s gabfest is a weekly reaffirmation of the rap that he’s too lightweight for the Oval Office. Palin has sealed her identity as a culture-war lightning rod: she can inspire hysteria from liberals (ably catalogued in Matthew Continetti’s “Persecution of Sarah Palin”) and adulation from conservatives (visible at every stop along her book tour), but she’s unlikely to persuade anyone in the middle to trust her with the reins of government.

    It’s possible to be a celebrity and a serious politician at the same time: Barack Obama’s career proves as much. But Obama’s celebrity status is frequently a political liability, and he’s (usually) wise enough to know it. That’s why he plays the wonk as often as he plays the global icon.

    For now, no Republican leader projects a similar level of seriousness. Late in the Bush years, it was easy to dismiss conservatism as brain-dead. Among policy thinkers, that isn’t true anymore: the advent of Obama seems to have provided just the jolt that right-of-center wonks needed. But innovative proposals are useless without politicians willing to champion them.

    ...there are substantial political rewards awaiting the politician who becomes the voice of an intellectually vigorous conservatism. It probably won’t be Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin. If Republicans are lucky, though, it will be somebody who shares their charisma — but who prefers the responsibilities of leadership to the pleasures of celebrity."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: They Chose Celebrity
  • My Girl.

    Always and Forever...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Janet Jackson.

    Make Me.

    Beat Street.

    Vampire Weekend.


    Touch Me, Tease Me.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Pretty Ricky.

    Say A Command.

    Dr. Feelgood.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Robin Thicke.

    Sex Therapy.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    "Just another day, living in the hood. Just another day around the way."

    New flava in ya ear!

    Clipse feat. Cam'ron and Pharrell.

    Popular Demand (Popeyes).

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    "All I need is One Mic..."

    New flava in ya ear!

    Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

    16 bars.

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Coming Attractions.

    The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Sean Hannity Apologizes to Jon
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

    American Dreamin'.


    "Consider, for a moment, a tale of two countries. Both have suffered a severe recession and lost jobs as a result — but not on the same scale. In Country A, employment has fallen more than 5 percent, and the unemployment rate has more than doubled. In Country B, employment has fallen only half a percent, and unemployment is only slightly higher than it was before the crisis.

    Don’t you think Country A might have something to learn from Country B?

    This story isn’t hypothetical. Country A is the United States, where stocks are up, G.D.P. is rising, but the terrible employment situation just keeps getting worse. Country B is Germany, which took a hit to its G.D.P. when world trade collapsed, but has been remarkably successful at avoiding mass job losses. Germany’s jobs miracle hasn’t received much attention in this country — but it’s real, it’s striking, and it raises serious questions about whether the U.S. government is doing the right things to fight unemployment.

    Here in America, the philosophy behind jobs policy can be summarized as “if you grow it, they will come.” That is, we don’t really have a jobs policy: we have a G.D.P. policy. The theory is that by stimulating overall spending we can make G.D.P. grow faster, and this will induce companies to stop firing and resume hiring.

    ...In a recent interview, Lawrence Summers, the Obama administration’s highest-ranking economist, was dismissive: “It may be desirable to have a given amount of work shared among more people. But that’s not as desirable as expanding the total amount of work.” True. But we are not, in fact, expanding the total amount of work — and Congress doesn’t seem willing to spend enough on stimulus to change that unfortunate fact. So shouldn’t we be considering other measures, if only as a stopgap?

    ...Right now, workers who lose their jobs aren’t moving to the jobs of the future; they’re entering the ranks of the unemployed and staying there. Long-term unemployment is already at its highest levels since the 1930s, and it’s still on the rise.

    And long-term unemployment inflicts long-term damage. Workers who have been out of a job for too long often find it hard to get back into the labor market even when conditions improve. And there are hidden costs, too — not least for children, who suffer physically and emotionally when their parents spend months or years unemployed.

    So it’s time to try something different."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Free to Lose
  • Spoils of the Spoiled.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Our company, J.P. Morgan Chase, employs more than 220,000 people, serves well over 100 million customers, lends hundreds of millions of dollars each day and has operations in nearly 100 countries. And if some unforeseen circumstance should put this firm at risk of collapse, I believe we should be allowed to fail. As Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently put it, "No financial system can operate efficiently if financial institutions and investors assume that government will protect them from the consequences of failure." The term "too big to fail" must be excised from our vocabulary.

    ...As we have seen clearly over the last several years, financial institutions, including those not considered "too big," can pose serious risks for our markets because of their interconnectivity. A cap on the size of an institution will not prevent that risk. Properly structured resolution authority, however, can help halt the spread of one company's failure to another and to the broader economy.

    While the strategy of artificial limits may sound simple, it would undermine the goals of economic stability, job creation and consumer service that lawmakers are trying to promote. Let's be clear: Banks should not be big for the sake of being big. Moreover, regardless of a company's size, it must be well managed. As we've seen in many industries, companies that grow for the sake of growth or that expand into areas outside their core business strategy often stumble. On the other hand, companies that build scale for the benefit of their customers and shareholders more often succeed over time.

    ...It is vital that policymakers and those with a stake in our financial system work together to overhaul our regulatory structure thoughtfully and well. While changes may seem arcane and technical, they are critical to the future of the whole economy. It is clear that we must modernize our financial regulatory system. The stakes are simply too high and the consequences too far-reaching to do this hastily. Many of the rules governing our markets today were put in place more than 70 years ago. On a timeline, that Depression era would be closer to the Civil War than to our current century.

    Global economic growth requires the services of big financial firms. It also requires that big financial firms be allowed to fail."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: No more 'too big to fail'
  • Thursday, November 12, 2009


    A Moment of Clarity.


    "President Obama and Congress will soon make defining choices about health care and troops for Afghanistan.

    These two choices have something in common — each has a bill of around $100 billion per year. So one question is whether we’re better off spending that money blowing up things in Helmand Province or building up things in America.

    ...Granted, the health care costs will continue indefinitely, while the United States cannot sustain 100,000 troops in Afghanistan for many years. On the other hand, the health care legislation pays for itself, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while the deployment in Afghanistan is unfinanced and will raise our budget deficits and undermine our long-term economic security.

    So doesn’t it seem odd to hear hawks say that health reform is fiscally irresponsible, while in the next breath they cheer a larger deployment of troops in Afghanistan?

    ...The health reform legislation in Congress is imperfect, of course. It won’t do enough to hold down costs; it may restrict access even to private insurance coverage for abortion services; it won’t do enough to address public health or unhealthy lifestyles.

    Likewise, troop deployment plans in Afghanistan are imperfect. Some experts think more troops will help. Others think they will foster a nationalist backlash and feed the insurgency (that’s my view).

    So where’s the best place to spend $100 billion a year?"

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: America’s Defining Choice
  • Love Hangover.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Dirty Money.

    Love Come Down.

    Stillness is the Move.

    A Cover.

    By Solange Knowles.

  • PITCHFORK: Premiere: Solange Covers Dirty Projectors' "Stillness Is the Move"

  • BONUS:

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Black Hole, SON!

    Just you watch...

    I, I, -------------- [FLATLINES]

  • VIDEOGUM: Good Luck On Criminal Minds Tonight, Gavin Rossdale!


    "In an interview with The Sunday Times of London, the cocky chief of Goldman Sachs said he understands that a lot of people are “mad and bent out of shape” at blood-sucking banks.

    I know I could slit my wrists and people would cheer,” Lloyd Blankfein, the C.E.O., told the reporter John Arlidge.

    ...When Arlidge asked whether it’s possible to make too much money, whether Goldman will ignore the people howling at the moon with rage and go on raking it in, getting richer than God, Blankfein grinned impishly and said he was “doing God’s work.”

    Whether he knows it, he’s referring back to The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism — except, of course, the Calvinists would have been outraged by the banks’ vicious — not virtuous — cycle of greed and concupiscence.

    Blankfein’s trickle-down catechism isn’t working. Now we have two economies. We have recovering banks while we have 10-plus percent unemployment and 17.5 percent underemployment. The gross thing about the Wall Street of the last decade is how much its success was not shared with society.

    Goldmine Sachs, as it’s known, is out for Goldmine Sachs.

    As many Americans continue to struggle, Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, banks that took government bailout money after throwing the entire world into crisis, have said they will dish out $30 billion in bonuses — up 60 percent from last year.

    The saying used to be, whatever happens, the lawyers win. Now, it’s whatever happens, the bankers win."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Virtuous Bankers? Really!?!

    Words. For Your Considertation...

    "...military choices must be announced and pursued with neon clarity. It is the purpose of wartime presidential leadership to turn a debatable strategy into a national commitment.

    We have yet to see this type of leadership from Obama. His rhetorical focus has been mainly domestic. Communication concerning Afghanistan and Iraq has come when there is no other choice. These wars have fallen into the category of inherited problems --less national causes than a distant uncle's debt.

    Obama's high-profile international speeches, such as his Cairo remarks and United Nations address, have sought to transcend ideological debates, not engage them on one side. In this rhetorical approach, the world has many criticisms of America, some of them unfair, but America also has many flaws and failures. Thankfully, the bad old days of misunderstanding are now over, because of the arrival of Obama himself.

    Call this what you will -- narcissism comes to mind -- but it has little to do with the wartime leadership (during wars hot and cold) of presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. They expressed an unyielding commitment to one side of an ideological divide -- the side involving freedom and self-government. And they revealed metal beneath their charm, which inspired American troops and disconcerted American enemies.

    Even on domestic priorities such as health care, Obama is more professorial than passionate, more explanatory than inspirational. In tragedy -- such as the Fort Hood shootings -- his public reactions can be oddly muted and medicinal. What makes Obama outraged? For what would he willingly sacrifice his popularity, his pride, his presidency?"

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: A strategy needs some steel
  • "NEW SHIT!"

  • PITCHFORK: New Hot Chip: "Take It In"
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2009


    Just you watch...

    Say it with me now, y'all: "This can't be life!"

    Art. School. Confidential.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Lady Gaga.

    Bad Romance.

    In Memoriam.

    [Originally posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007 ]

    Singled Out.



    (AND Gronlandic Edit - Of Montreal)

    Let me tell you why these two songs are special: It's the beat! Sit me down and ask me what these songs are about exactly and I couldn't really tell you, this, despite the fact that I can practically sing along til the wheels fall off everytime I press play on either of these tracks. This ain't a diss, it's a compliment to the tactile groove and idiosyncratic funk present in both these jams. It's not a cerebral thang, it's a physical thang, as the underlying bass, ebullient funk and melodies of Of Montreal's Gronlandic Edit, and the thick and heavy dancefloor stomp and dark decadence of !!!'s Must Be The Moon hit you hard, squarely in yo hips and toe tappin feets. They say people don't dance no more [hipsters I am looking at you] but you'll be hard pressed to find a back against the wall when these jams are in rotation.

  • Monday, November 09, 2009


    New flava in ya ear!

    Omarion feat. Gucci Mane.

    I Get It In.

    Coming Attractions.

  • VIDEOGUM: The Carter Documentary Looks Great/:(
  • Paranoid Androids.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    Kicking, Squealing, Gucci Little Piggies.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption “National Socialist Healthcare.” It was grotesque — and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied.

    The key thing to understand about that rally is that it wasn’t a fringe event. It was sponsored by the House Republican leadership — in fact, it was officially billed as a G.O.P. press conference. Senior lawmakers were in attendance, and apparently had no problem with the tone of the proceedings.

    ...What all this shows is that the G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit.

    The state of mind visible at recent right-wing demonstrations is nothing new. Back in 1964 the historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay titled, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which reads as if it were based on today’s headlines: Americans on the far right, he wrote, feel that “America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.” Sound familiar?

    But while the paranoid style isn’t new, its role within the G.O.P. is.

    ... the loss of both Congress and the White House left a power vacuum in a party accustomed to top-down management.

    ...Real power in the party rests, instead, with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin (who at this point is more a media figure than a conventional politician). Because these people aren’t interested in actually governing, they feed the base’s frenzy instead of trying to curb or channel it. So all the old restraints are gone.

    In the short run, this may help Democrats, as it did in that New York race. But maybe not: elections aren’t necessarily won by the candidate with the most rational argument. They’re often determined, instead, by events and economic conditions.

    ...And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.

    The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Paranoia Strikes Deep
  • Sunday, November 08, 2009

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    "All I want is your understanding, as in the small act of affection."

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "Just as there is no way to explain the internal agony of war, there is no real way to explain what happens in its shadow. This is the domain of tortured minds that may never heal. This may very well be the legacy of Fort Hood.

    ...There is no way to sort through the nightmare that took place at Fort Hood. Soldiers are not supposed to die on their way to war and they most certainly are not supposed to die at the hands of those who care for their health.

    Warfare has a way of making us into something that we are not. I once cuddled a dying Marine who desperately wanted to believe my lie that the medical evacuation chopper was just minutes away. As I watched him die I felt that I was losing part of myself with him. I still see his face in my sleep.

    Could it be that the psychiatrist we want to hate saw the unbearable suffering of warriors he was tasked to treat? Could it be that he identified with the suffering of those he treated at Walter Reed Army Hospital? Did he become one of us, another soul tortured by war’s anguish? I cannot forgive this man who betrayed us but I must try and understand him nonetheless.

    ...The government has failed us. The concept of post-traumatic stress disorder was coined to give unequal experiences a dubious uniformity. Clinicians cannot cure P.T.S.D. with therapy and anti-depressants. P.T.S.D. is an illness that cannot be treated, only placated. Those who suffer this affliction must look deep inside themselves and determine that they will live in sunshine as much as their soul will allow. This is why, as I have argued through the years, actual combat veterans, not just clinicians, must facilitate P.T.S.D. groups to give them legitimacy with participants. The Veterans Affairs Administration and the Department of Defense have ignored this counsel in favor of the “scientific” validity of their clinical staffs.

    ...In a few short days another Veterans’ Day will be celebrated. There will be parades both large and small saluting those who stepped forward to serve this nation. This is a painful period. Yet we should look to those who serve this country well. If we do, we will survive this pain."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Surviving Fort Hood
  • Oh Word?

    Daydream Believers?


    "Sure, Election Day 2009 will scare moderate Democrats and make passage of Obamacare more difficult. Sure, it makes it easier for resurgent Republicans to raise money and recruit candidates for 2010. But the most important effect of Tuesday's elections is historical. It demolishes the great realignment myth of 2008.

    In the aftermath of last year's Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics -- most prominently, rising minorities and the young -- would bury the GOP far into the future. One book proclaimed "The Death of Conservatism," while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.

    This was all ridiculous from the beginning. The '08 election was a historical anomaly. A uniquely charismatic candidate was running at a time of deep war weariness, with an intensely unpopular Republican president, against a politically incompetent opponent, amid the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. And still he won by only seven points.

    Exactly a year later comes the empirical validation of that skepticism.

    ...What happened? The vaunted Obama realignment vanished.

    ...The Obama coattails of 2008 are gone. The expansion of the electorate, the excitement of the young, came in uniquely propitious Democratic circumstances and amid unparalleled enthusiasm for electing the first African American president.

    November '08 was one shot, one time, never to be replicated. Nor was November '09 a realignment. It was a return to the norm -- and definitive confirmation that 2008 was one of the great flukes in American political history."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The myth of '08, demolished


  • The Great White Hope.
  • "There's a Party going on RIGHT HERE!"

    Just you watch.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    The 11/3 Project
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

    Where the Wild Things Are.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Grizzly Bear.

    Ready, Able.

    Thursday, November 05, 2009

    Reality Bites.


    "The moment of truth for health care is at hand, and the distortion that perhaps gets the most traction is this:

    We have the greatest health care system in the world. Sure, it has flaws, but it saves lives in ways that other countries can only dream of. Abroad, people sit on waiting lists for months, so why should we squander billions of dollars to mess with a system that is the envy of the world? As Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama puts it, President Obama’s plans amount to “the first step in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known.”

    That self-aggrandizing delusion may be the single greatest myth in the health care debate. In fact, America’s health care system is worse than Slov—er, oops, more on that later.

    ...Opponents of reform assert that the wretched statistics in the United States are simply a consequence of unhealthy lifestyles and a diverse population with pockets of poverty. It’s true that America suffers more from obesity than other countries. But McKinsey found that over all, the disease burden in Europe is higher than in the United States, probably because Americans smoke less and because the American population is younger.

    Moreover, there is one American health statistic that is strikingly above average: life expectancy for Americans who have already reached the age of 65. At that point, they can expect to live longer than the average in industrialized countries. That’s because Americans above age 65 actually have universal health care coverage: Medicare. Suddenly, a diverse population with pockets of poverty is no longer such a drawback.

    That brings me to an apology.

    In several columns, I’ve noted indignantly that we have worse health statistics than Slovenia. For example, I noted that an American child is twice as likely to die in its first year as a Slovenian child. The tone — worse than Slovenia! — gravely offended Slovenians. They resent having their fine universal health coverage compared with the notoriously dysfunctional American system.

    As far as I can tell, every Slovenian has written to me. Twice. So, to all you Slovenians, I apologize profusely for the invidious comparison of our health systems. Yet I still don’t see anything wrong with us Americans aspiring for health care every bit as good as yours."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Unhealthy America

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "If not in Maine, then where? Until the polls closed Tuesday evening, supporters of same-sex marriage appeared to be within grasp of their first voter victory in the nation. New England has been at the forefront of legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. The campaign was well run, voter turnout high. Maine residents have a reputation as live-and-let-live sorts, and the polls showed the race as extremely close. Nevertheless, Question 1 -- a measure to ban same-sex marriage -- won solidly. This suggests that despite the moral right on its side, the fight for equality for gays and lesbians will be more difficult, more complicated and probably will take a good while longer than it should.

    That's not to deny the progress this nation is making. Legislatures and courts in several states have understood that same-sex marriage does more than strengthen families and the institution of marriage; it is an essential right.

    ...Still, we now know that it will take more than well-prepared arguments and savvily run campaigns to bring about wider victory for same-sex marriage. Lifelong marriage traditions and deeply held religious beliefs have a strong grip on many voters.

    ...The Maine experience indicates that this struggle continues uphill -- and it can't afford to pause now. Gays and lesbians shouldn't have to wait for an entire generation to reach voting age in order to receive equal rights."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Time for equal rights for gays is now
  • "Let's Play HOUSE!"

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009


    This one's for you...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Trey Songz.

    I Invented Sex.

    Microphone Check.


    "As he (Rush Limbaugh) and Sarah Palin conduct their auto-da-fé of moderate Republicans — “Moderates by definition have no principles,” he told his radio audience on Monday — Limbaugh is more than ever the face of his party, as Rahm Emanuel said.

    He’s also the mouth.

    Limbaugh is right that Democrats tend to dither too much. They’re always wondering if they’re doing the right thing, indulging in on-the-one-hand, on-the-other paralysis by analysis, seeing, as James Carville put it, “six sides to the Pentagon.”

    President Obama will have to step it up on jobs and fixing the deficit if he wants to block conservatives from stoking the anger of Americans who only see a recovery on Wall Street, especially given the Republican sweep in top races on Tuesday night.

    But the tactics of Limbaugh, Palin, Cheney & Fille are more cynical: They spin certainty, ignoring their side’s screw-ups, and they exploit patriotism, labeling all critics as traitors.

    ...At our long-ago dinner, Limbaugh credited his success with being “one-dimensional.” “I’m totally concerned with me,” he said. And that was way before he got a contract for $400 million, so we can only imagine how one-dimensional he is now.

    But on Sunday, he ripped the president for having “an out-of-this-world ego,” for being “very narcissistic,” “immature, inexperienced, in over his head.” (Isn’t immaturity scoring OxyContin from your maid?)

    It gives new meaning to pot, kettle and black."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Who Are You Calling a Narcissist, Rush?
  • The Great White Hope.



    "Advice to readers about the coming orgy of analysis about the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections: Ignore it. Disquisitions on The Meaning of It All for President Obama or the 2009 results as a harbinger for Congress in 2010 have scant basis in reality.

    Over-interpreting election results is an occupational hazard for political reporters. This problem is particularly acute in the year after a presidential contest, when we are suffering from a bad case of electoral withdrawal.

    Thus, the New York Times instructs that the contests offer "some clues about how Americans are viewing Mr. Obama, as well as an early measure of the landscape for next year's midterm elections." National Public Radio says "the off-year elections are being watched by national politicians as a referendum on President Obama and his party." the off-year results foreshadow anything for a president's reelection three years down the road? Hardly.'s possible, for example, that Obama's performance has turned off some of the Virginians who voted for him last year and played a role in the race between Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell. But Deeds was a lousy candidate, McDonnell a far more adept one. Virginia is a purple state, but purple with a decidedly reddish tinge.

    But as to the question of whether Tuesday's results portend very much for Congress in 2010 or Obama in 2012, the answer is: not really, all the commentary notwithstanding."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: As Virginia goes, so goes not much
  • Tuesday, November 03, 2009


    New flava in ya ear!


    Wait Your Turn.

    ComPASSIONATE Conservatism.

    "We off that!"

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "If there's one thing liberal pundits are experts on these days, it's the sorry state of conservatism. The airwaves and the Op-Ed pages brim with more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger lamentations on the GOP's failure to get with President Obama's program, the party's inevitable demographic demise and its thralldom to the demonic deities of the right -- Limbaugh, Beck, Palin.

    Such sages as the New York Times' Sam Tanenhaus and Frank Rich insist that the right is out of ideas. After all, the religious dogmatism and "market fundamentalism" of the Bush administration were entirely discredited, leaving the GOP with its intellectual cupboard bare.

    ...Even worse than being brain dead, the right is blackhearted, hating good-and-fair Obama for his skin color and obvious do-goodery.

    ...Let me offer a counter-theory, admittedly lacking in such color but making up for it with evidence and consideration of what conservatives actually believe.

    After 15 or 20 years of steady moderation, many conservatives think it might be time to give their ideas a try.

    ...Bush's "compassionate conservatism" was promoted as an alternative to traditional conservatism. Bush promised to be a "different kind of Republican," and he kept that promise.

    ...the notion that Bush pursued conservative ideas with "dogmatic fixity" is dogmatic nonsense.

    ...In 2008, the primaries lacked a Bush proxy who could have siphoned off much of the discontent on the right. Moreover, the party made the political calculation that John McCain -- another unorthodox and inconsistent conservative -- was the best candidate to beat Obama.

    In short, conservatives have had to not only put up with a lot of moderation and ideological flexibility, we've had to endure nearly a decade of taunting from gargoyles insisting that the GOP is run by crazed radicals."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: True conservatives just want a turn

    You can't always get what you want. (But if you try sometimes...)


    "It's been a year since a healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change the world. Which is precisely what he's doing.

    Like many people who desperately want to see the country take a more progressive course, I quibble and quarrel with some of President Obama's actions. I wish he'd been tougher on Wall Street, quicker to close Guantanamo, more willing to investigate Bush-era excesses, bolder in seeking truly universal health care. I wish he could summon more of the rhetorical magic that spoke so compellingly to the better angels of our nature.

    But he's a president, not a Hollywood action hero..."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: A world of change in 287 days
  • Monday, November 02, 2009

    And anotha one...

    For Your Consideration...

    In stores November 23rd!

    For Your Consideration.

    In stores December 15th!

    Be My, Be My Baby.

    New flava in ya ear!

    50 Cent feat. Ne-Yo (And Starring Kelly Rowland).

    Baby by Me.

    Super Size Me.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    "Won't you fill me in?"


    "The good news is that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a k a the Obama stimulus plan, is working just about the way textbook macroeconomics said it would. But that’s also the bad news — because the same textbook analysis says that the stimulus was far too small given the scale of our economic problems. Unless something changes drastically, we’re looking at many years of high unemployment.

    About that good news: not that long ago the U.S. economy was in free fall. Without the recovery act, the free fall would probably have continued, as unemployed workers slashed their spending, cash-strapped state and local governments engaged in mass layoffs, and more.

    The stimulus didn’t completely eliminate these effects, but it was enough to break the vicious circle of economic decline. Aid to the unemployed and help for state and local governments were probably the most important factors. If you want to see the recovery act in action, visit a classroom: your local school probably would have had to fire a lot of teachers if the stimulus hadn’t been enacted.

    And the free fall has ended. Last week’s G.D.P. report showed the economy growing again, at a better-than-expected annual rate of 3.5 percent. As Mark Zandi of Moody’s put it in recent testimony, “The stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do: short-circuit the recession and spur recovery.”

    But it’s not doing enough.

    ...the government needs to do much more. Unfortunately, the political prospects for further action aren’t good.

    What I keep hearing from Washington is one of two arguments: either (1) the stimulus has failed, unemployment is still rising, so we shouldn’t do any more, or (2) the stimulus has succeeded, G.D.P. is growing, so we don’t need to do any more. The truth, which is that the stimulus was too little of a good thing — that it helped, but it wasn’t big enough — seems to be too complicated for an era of sound-bite politics.

    But can we afford to do more? We can’t afford not to."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Too Little of a Good Thing
  • Love. Sex. Magic.

    Britney Spears.