Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Money, money, money!...Money?:
"You're likely to see some more green in the next couple of weeks. Not only on the trees. Very possibly in your wallet, too.
President Obama has asked that all employers adjust their payroll systems by Wednesday so eligible workers can start receiving the new Making Work Pay tax credit through their paychecks. The credit, available for 2009 and 2010, was a part of the economic recovery package lawmakers passed in February.
Just how much extra cash you will see depends on your marital status, your salary and how many allowances -- or exemptions -- you normally take.
As a rough guide, singles eligible for the credit might get between $10 to $15 per paycheck if paid weekly; for those married filing jointly, they're likely to see an extra $15 to $20..."
Change you can believe in, right?
Monday, March 30, 2009
Words. For Your Consideration...
"...once upon a time, an unavoidably charismatic mayor showed that he could give Los Angeles a sense of direction and spread the feeling that we're all in it together. In these hard times, who knows how much that could help?
Come back, Antonio, the city needs you."
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
1. You paid? (somehow) Showcase/revel in that wealth you got. (Even if it's possibly fleeting).
2. Keep that "living room in the hood" decor on lock!
3. Call up the homies. "A, you feel like shooting/being in a video today? Cool. Come through!"
4. Stop at the liquor store mid-song. Make sure you tape it. (It adds to the song/video's narrative arc)
5. Talk about ya cash flow. Set it to a "follow the bouncing ball" hook/beat. (Easy to follow/remember!)
6. And, of course, make sure all viewers of the vid walk away knowing that "My n***a you can do it too!
OJ Da Juiceman.
Make Da Trap Say Ay.
Friday, March 27, 2009
And I'll cry if I want to!
Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you, Words/Money Talks/A Moment of Clarity...
For Your Consideration:
THOU SHALL STAY REAL. (Sponsored in part by Victor Hugo Duran.)
I. DMX Get At Me Dog
II. N.E.R.D. Time For Some Action
III. The Knux F!re (Put It In The Air)*
IV. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Underwater (You & Me)
V. The Presets If I Know You
VI. Britney Spears Womanizer (The Teenagers Remix)
VII. M.I.A. Paper Planes (DFA Remix)
VIII. Wale Nike Boots
IX. Rick Ross Mafia Music
X. Camron I Used To Get It In Ohio
XI. Jay-Z Hola Hovito*
XII. Notorious B.I.G. 10 Crack Commandments
XIII. Bow Wow feat. JD Roc The Mic
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
FROM: Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit
TO: Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.
Collectively known as MAJOR LAZER!
Live at SXSW...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
Words. For Your Consideration...
"Geithner has not been impressive as a performer. He talks so fast that it's hard for listeners to keep up. Grand settings, such as his ornate office, seem to swallow him up.
He does have a vision, though. He sees, eventually, a reformed financial system in which the "too big to fail" behemoths such as AIG or Citigroup are required to run their businesses in a more conservative fashion. He sees better regulation and more transparency, so that hedge funds are not so opaque and the derivatives markets are not left unsupervised to run amok.
The goal that Geithner describes sounds like an improved system but not one that is fundamentally different from the system we have now. If populism is resurgent in the land, it doesn't get past Geithner's desk. Wall Street should be toasting the guy -- but with beer, not champagne."
Monday, March 23, 2009
"IN all the hue and cry that has surrounded Bernard Madoff since news of his preternaturally elaborate Ponzi scheme broke last December, we have chosen to concentrate our inquiry and analysis on the perpetrator and his far-flung world, as though we might thereby begin to answer the question of what made him tick.
Yet, as a culture that tends to look for black-and-white, reductionist explanations, it is doubtful that we will ever fill in the gaps in our understanding of a situation that is shot through with ambiguity. There is no single code word — no “Rosebud” — that will lead us to decipher the Madoff phenomenon, no eureka realization that will account for his strange and ultimately ruinous trajectory or the dissociative behavior that allowed him to believe one thing while doing another. What this intense focus has enabled us to do, however, is to skim over the psychology of the other participants in the drama: the ones who got taken.
Given the demonization of Mr. Madoff and the intense sympathy for the plight of those smaller investors who trusted him, it is easy to forget that he actually did bring something to the table. Indeed, what is lost amid the fury of some of those who handed their money over to him is that theirs was a voluntary — nay, eager — association. No one was holding a gun to anyone’s head, saying sign up with Mr. Madoff or else..."
"I don't want it, I don't want it!"
Take the money and run(?).
Words. For Your Consideration...
"...The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers..."
Pause. Think about it. Click the link below.
New flava in ya ear!
Love Sex Magic.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Talk to me.
"We admire President Obama. We endorsed him. We're glad he's undoing some of the worst excesses of the Bush era. And given the problems facing the country at the moment, we recognize that he may not be able to accomplish everything he once promised.
But like all presidents, he will have to pick his battles. He must learn when to be flexible and when to hold firm on principle. His success will depend on how he makes those judgments, acknowledging politics but adhering to values."
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
FILE UNDER: Oh Word?/A Moment of Clarity/For Your Consideration.
"It always feels like somebody's watching me!"
I know we mad, but I don't know how I feel about this...
Tied to the Whipping Post.
"...Unfortunately for Geithner, the payments to the Financial Products employees didn't come to light until last week, after he'd reviewed and acquiesced to them. Administration officials claimed that their hands were tied by AIG's employment contracts, but that argument mollified no one.
The predictable result, in addition to the calls for Geithner's ouster, was the bill now rocketing through Congress to impose confiscatory tax rates on many of the individuals who've collected bonuses from rescued firms. To the financial industry, it's yet another switchback by Washington, which has spent the last year plunging in new directions and then quickly reversing course. The shifts have made investors wary just when the administration is trying to persuade them to be its partners in restoring credit to consumers and small businesses, disposing of illiquid bank assets and averting foreclosures. Geithner's initiatives in those areas hold promise, but they won't get far unless he hones his political skills -- fast."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
"Got what it takes to "Roc the Mic", right?"
Pitchfork: Tomorrow Metro Station are here. Do you know them?
Jupiter [HEALTH]: No. What are they?
Pitchfork: Miley Cyrus' brother.
John [HEALTH]: Wait, she has a brother?!
Pitchfork: Yes! Trace Cyrus.
Jake [HEALTH]: Oh he's riding the coattails.
Jupiter: Is he as good as Miley?
Pitchfork: Actually they have one good song called "Shake It".
John: Jupe and I, for a short period listened to Miley.
Jupiter: We have an appreciation.
John: We got Hannah Montana 2 . We started getting into the whole mythos of the thing and then we got the next album [Breakaway], the serious album. We were like, "Whoa! What if she did this hardcore?" but then we were like, "Ahh, this sucks."
Pitchfork: Yeah, she's better when she's doing dancey stuff.
Jake: We actually got into a really really heated drunken conversation in Dortmund. The debate was whether or not Miley Cyrus could become this transcendently amazing pop star. We were going back and forth.
Jupiter: We were yelling at each other. The sun was coming up and we were screaming at each other.
Jake: We got really philosophical
BJ [HEALTH]: I was asleep and I hear: "Beej. Hey Beej! Wake up man! This involves all of us."
Jake: "We need your input."
Jake: I got so nervous during the conversation I was just jittery. I ate a half a loaf of bread.
John: It was some fucking yelling. It was some fucking yelling. And our Irish tour driver the next day was like [adopts Irish accent]: "You guys are fucking ridiculous. Miley Cyrus? Fucking idiots."
Pitchfork: So what launched that?
John: The Mae Shi covered "See You Again", and we're like, "That's fucking stupid."
Pitchfork: So are there any other Disney stars that you guys are into?
John: We've missed the train. People talk about Jonas Brothers, but we heard they're crappy.
I can dig it.
"It always feels like somebody's watching me!"
A Moment of Clarity.
"Angry. So very, very angry. Unable to speak due to mega-anger washing over every pore and fiber of my being. Anger is in. (Hope’s so ... January.)
I am extremely angry at Tim Geithner for being such a baby that he couldn’t scare a bunch of American International Group quants into forgoing their bonuses. We need a Treasury secretary so terrifying that if you were stuck in an elevator alone with him, you would just automatically hand over your wallet and credit cards..."
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Think about it. It's not this.
A Moment of Clarity.
The new Vanity Fair is quite the page turner. And when on my one hour lunch break, I'm deep in reading, turning a page -when I am not busy looking up to check folks out, of course-. And why wouldn't I be? "BERNIE MADOFF'S SECRETS!" "THE HEDGE-FUND TIME BOMB" "HOW ICELAND WENT PFFT! COULD IT HAPPEN HERE?" Headlines, along with a barrel full of comedians Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Paul Rudd adorn the magazine's cover, it's the eye popping front page. As does this: "IS IT TIME TO RETHINK THE AMERICAN DREAM?"
Sold. Reached it today. It didn't get me at first, but somewhere in the middle this author found his groove, and especially brought it all home with his last few words and paragraphs. Peep it/Read it/Check it out. You too might like these words you're about to read...
David Kamp. Vanity Fair.
The American Dream.
"...James Truslow Adams’s words remind us that we’re still fortunate to live in a country that offers us such latitude in choosing how we go about our lives and work—even in this crapola economy. Still, we need to challenge some of the middle-class orthodoxies that have brought us to this point—not least the notion, widely promulgated throughout popular culture, that the middle class itself is a soul-suffocating dead end.
The middle class is a good place to be, and, optimally, where most Americans will spend their lives if they work hard and don’t over-extend themselves financially. On American Idol, Simon Cowell has done a great many youngsters a great service by telling them that they’re not going to Hollywood and that they should find some other line of work. The American Dream is not fundamentally about stardom or extreme success; in recalibrating our expectations of it, we need to appreciate that it is not an all-or-nothing deal—that it is not, as in hip-hop narratives and in Donald Trump’s brain, a stark choice between the penthouse and the streets.
And what about the outmoded proposition that each successive generation in the United States must live better than the one that preceded it? While this idea is still crucial to families struggling in poverty and to immigrants who’ve arrived here in search of a better life than that they left behind, it’s no longer applicable to an American middle class that lives more comfortably than any version that came before it. (Was this not one of the cautionary messages of the most thoughtful movie of 2008, wall-e?) I’m no champion of downward mobility, but the time has come to consider the idea of simple continuity: the perpetuation of a contented, sustainable middle-class way of life, where the standard of living remains happily constant from one generation to the next.
This is not a matter of any generation’s having to “lower its sights,” to use President Obama’s words, nor is it a denial that some children of lower- and middle-class parents will, through talent and/or good fortune, strike it rich and bound precipitously into the upper class. Nor is it a moony, nostalgic wish for a return to the scrappy 30s or the suburban 50s, because any sentient person recognizes that there’s plenty about the good old days that wasn’t so good: the original Social Security program pointedly excluded farmworkers and domestics (i.e., poor rural laborers and minority women), and the original Levittown didn’t allow black people in.
But those eras do offer lessons in scale and self-control. The American Dream should require hard work, but it should not require 80-hour workweeks and parents who never see their kids from across the dinner table. The American Dream should entail a first-rate education for every child, but not an education that leaves no extra time for the actual enjoyment of childhood. The American Dream should accommodate the goal of home ownership, but without imposing a lifelong burden of unmeetable debt. Above all, the American Dream should be embraced as the unique sense of possibility that this country gives its citizens—the decent chance, as Moss Hart would say, to scale the walls and achieve what you wish."
"We are! We is!"
Words. For your consideration.
"...For years, the smart guys on Wall Street have convinced a growing number of Americans that organized labor is an impediment to economic progress, an unacceptable "cost" in a globalized system of production, a quaint social fossil from the era of mills and smokestacks. If there's a lesson to be gleaned from the current crisis, however, it's that when the chips are down, organized labor is a far more responsible social actor than the snatch-and-run characters who fancy themselves financiers.
The implications of this are wider than most of us imagine, and they deserve to be considered. Today, slightly less than 8% of all American workers belong to a union. Half a century ago, when more than one in three American workers were unionized, the middle class was growing -- not simply because organized labor won better wages and benefits for its members but because the presence of a vigorous labor movement pulled everybody else's compensation up as well.
As union membership dropped, middle-class incomes -- and average families' share of the nation's wealth -- stagnated and then fell. Families compensated for their reduced opportunity at first by sending both parents into the workplace, then by working more hours and, more recently, by simply going deeper and deeper into debt. At the same time, the incomes and share of the national wealth held by people like the AIG securities traders grew exponentially..."
And now, of course, some Words:
"...it was his [POTUS Barack Obama's] own boiled carrots who acted shocked at bonuses that they should have known were coming, and should have dismantled before handing A.I.G. another $30 billion two weeks ago. It is bad enough that the billions are being laundered through A.I.G. to the likes of bailout double-dippers Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America, not to mention foreign banks.
Mr. Obama belatedly tried to stop the tumbrels that began rolling toward the Potomac after Larry Summers went on Sunday talk shows to assert that there was nothing the administration could do about the blood-sucking insurance monstrosity’s venal payout.
Summers, who inspires lusty dreams of A.I.G. tormentor Eliot Spitzer, asserted that the government “cannot just abrogate” contracts with financial vampires. It seems as though it would be pretty easy to upend a bonus contract that must read something like: “If you ruin the world economy, we’ll pay you an extra million.”
As Andrew Cuomo pointed out on Tuesday, 11 of the A.I.G. executives who received retention bonuses of $1 million or more — including one who received $4.6 million — were not even retained. They’re no longer working at A.I.G. Bonuses were paid to 52 people who have left the company.
At first, on the nutty bonuses, Team Obama thought it could get away with the same absurd argument used to justify the nearly $8 billion in unnecessary earmarks it allowed Congress to jam into this year’s overdue spending bill: It was written last year; we’re just signing off on it; we’ll do better in the future.
What President Obama should have said to the blood-sucking bums at A.I.G., many of them foreigners who were working at the louche London unit, was quite simple: “We stopped the checks. They’re immoral. If you want Americans’ hard-earned cash as a reward for burning up their jobs, homes and savings, sue me.”..."
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Now if you visit this blog often, you know that old school jams are more often than not posted under the "Old School Funk for the True Funk Soldiers" headline. But sometimes old school joints are so good, so well put together, so classic to a brotha, [see Montell Jordan's This is how we do it] that all I can do is marvel at their goodness as they boldly play on and show us how's it done. This jam, presented below, is one such example.
File this under one of my favorite old school/R&B/melodic/just straight up perfect jams of all time. This is due mostly to the fact that it just so happens to be one of the first songs I heard booming throughout my house as a child that stopped me dead in my tracks and just made me listen. So go on, press play, and revel in the magic. (Also, feel free to sing along if you got the lyrics down pat, as I am sure you already do...)
Always & Forever.
"...As a friend of mine pointed out, Cut Copy have entered into the Hot Chip/Rapture realm of pop music that straight white guys feel okay dancing to. Had you questioned the vast majority of people in the room, they’d probably tell you that Cut Copy are a dance band that incorporate guitars, even though the opposite is more apt. Sure, there’s a French House filigree and red flashing LED lights, but at their core, Cut Copy are guitar pop in the key of Talking Heads or Blur.
If they weren’t highly gifted with melody and blessed with the esoteric ability to induce non-stilted Caucasian locomotion, there’d be something oppressively generic to their performance. Onstage, the members are practically indistinguishable. I couldn’t tell you the names of anyone in the band without resorting to Wikipedia. Frontman Dan Whitford’s stage moves seem confined to tapping his feet and pumping his fist in the air like he’d just won a cricket match. At best, you can say that the other guys are there. Nor do their lyrics do much to alter that impression, with song titles including “Heart On Fire,” “Strangers in the Wind,” “Lights and Music,” and “Visions.” Judging from the titular triteness, you’d probably guess that they were a Nashville steel-guitar ensemble with a mild drug problem..."
"Get on your boots!"
"That heads-I-win, tails-I've-already-banked-my-bonus mentality is changing under pressure from shareholders and some enlightened boards of directors, which has led some Wall Street firms to eliminate the perverse incentives in their pay structures. We don't like the idea of the federal government dictating how a private company pays its workers, but when tax dollars are keeping the company's lights on, the least Washington can ask for is some humility in the payroll."
Monday, March 16, 2009
No, no, no, we DO care! Right?
"Dramatic advances in public attitudes are sweeping Iraq, with declining violence, rising economic well-being and improved services lifting optimism, fueling confidence in public institutions and bolstering support for democracy.
The gains in the latest ABC News/BBC/NHK poll represent a stunning reversal of the spiral of despair caused by Iraq's sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007. The sweeping rebound, extending initial improvements first seen a year ago, marks no less than the opportunity for a new future for Iraq and its people.
While deep difficulties remain, the advances are remarkable. Eighty-four percent of Iraqis now rate security in their own area positively, nearly double its August 2007 level. Seventy-eight percent say their protection from crime is good, more than double its low. Three-quarters say they can go where they want safely – triple what it's been.
Few credit the United States, still widely unpopular given the post-invasion violence, and eight in 10 favor its withdrawal on schedule by 2011 – or sooner. But at the same time a new high, 64 percent of Iraqis, now call democracy their preferred form of government..."
Sunday, March 15, 2009
One can only hope, right?
"SOMEDAY we’ll learn the whole story of why George W. Bush brushed off that intelligence briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” But surely a big distraction was the major speech he was readying for delivery on Aug. 9, his first prime-time address to the nation. The subject — which Bush hyped as “one of the most profound of our time” — was stem cells. For a presidency in thrall to a thriving religious right (and a presidency incapable of multi-tasking), nothing, not even terrorism, could be more urgent.
When Barack Obama ended the Bush stem-cell policy last week, there were no such overheated theatrics. No oversold prime-time address. No hysteria from politicians, the news media or the public. The family-values dinosaurs that once stalked the earth — Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and Reed — are now either dead, retired or disgraced. Their less-famous successors pumped out their pro forma e-mail blasts, but to little avail. The Republican National Committee said nothing whatsoever about Obama’s reversal of Bush stem-cell policy. That’s quite a contrast to 2006, when the party’s wild and crazy (and perhaps transitory) new chairman, Michael Steele, likened embryonic stem-cell research to Nazi medical experiments during his failed Senate campaign.
What has happened between 2001 and 2009 to so radically change the cultural climate? Here, at last, is one piece of good news in our global economic meltdown: Americans have less and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds who thrived in the bubbles of the Clinton and Bush years. Culture wars are a luxury the country — the G.O.P. included — can no longer afford..."
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
"Seems like/Street Lights/Glowing/Happened to be/Just like moments/Passing/In front of me..."
"[Pat yo weave, Brush them waves, and...]SWEAT IT OUT!"
From the makers of S-Curl!
1/I'll Be Around/Cee-Lo feat Timbaland
3/In the Closet/Michael Jackson
5/Like a Boy/Ciara
6/Don't Be Cruel/Bobby Brown
7/Turnin' Me On/Keri Hilson feat. Lil Wayne
8/One in a Million/Aaliyah
9/Beep Me 911/Missy Elliot feat. 702 and Magoo
10/Sweat it Out/The Dream
11/Up Jumps Da Boogie/Timbaland and Magoo feat. Aaliyah and Missy Elliot
12/Ain't I [RMX]/Yung LA feat. Young Dro and T.I.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
An Investigative Report.
Today's topic: Sen. Patrick J. Leahy says his proposed commission of inquiry examining allegations of torture would serve more to heal the reputation of the U.S. and help the government learn from its mistakes than to lay the groundwork for prosecuting members of the Bush administration. Does that mean the commission shouldn't try to uncover criminal actions by officials? And if the panel does find evidence of serious crimes, what should it do with such evidence?
Cheap and Cheerful?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
"Hold it now!"
"The notion that President Obama has lurched to the left since his inauguration and is governing as an unreconstructed liberal is bunk. Obama's presidential agenda mirrors his campaign platform. He has diverged from it in a few areas -- almost entirely to the right.