Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Here Comes the Wavves!

With their No Hope Kids.

A new flava in ya ear production.



Big ups to the folks over at
  • Stereogum for putting this on my radar. That's what's up!
  • How Soon is Now?

    A Moment of Clarity.


    Words.

    "Back during the initial fuss about "don't ask, don't tell," I went over to the Pentagon to see the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We mostly discussed the situation in the Balkans and the pressure on President Bill Clinton to militarily intervene. Then I asked about gays in the military and the chairman, who was opposed, asked me what I thought the reaction would be if two male soldiers took to the dance floor at some military base. No different, I answered, than if a black man danced with a white woman at the same base about 50 years earlier. Colin Powell seemed taken aback and I thought, naively, that "don't ask don't tell" was doomed.

    Now it is 16 years later and "don't ask, don't tell" is still the law of the land. Since 1993, more than 13,000 troops have been discharged for being gay. Last year, 619 military personnel got the boot, a number that has held more or less constant in recent years. Some of them had invaluable specialties, such as fluency in Arabic.

    In the view of many present and former military officers, changing the policy to allow openly gay people to serve would prove a disaster. In a letter to President Obama, more than 1,000 of them argued that valuable officers and noncoms would leave the services if gays were tolerated, while concerned parents would withhold permission for their sons or daughters to enlist if, God forbid, homosexuals were openly in the ranks. This is nonsense."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Open the Military Closet
  • The Next Episode.


    Up, Up, & Away...

    Words.

    "BAGHDAD --Today is the deadline by which U.S. troops are to withdraw from major Iraqi cities. This clear line in the sand must provide some relief to many Americans, whose sacrifice has been extraordinary. But as the United States shifts its attention from Iraq to Afghanistan and other issues of grave importance, none of us can be lulled into believing that Iraq is a "mission accomplished." That sense of security is simply false. June 30 is not an historical endpoint to be celebrated by political philosophers; it is the beginning of a highly uncertain chapter in Iraqi democracy and self-governance.

    ...Our choices are between tribalism and nationalism, and everything in between; parties backed by foreign powers and homegrown grass-roots movements; secularists and Islamists. These choices will set in motion Iraq's rendezvous with destiny. If the coming weeks and months are reasonably peaceful, if progress continues against corruption and basic services continue to be restored, we will have taken a huge step forward. With next year's general election and American troops long gone from our cities, Iraqis should come close, at last, to ruling ourselves."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Iraq: Mission Not Yet Accomplished
  • Monday, June 29, 2009

    Taking care of Business.



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Under Obama, Bush's commitment to winning in Iraq has all but vanished. Convinced from the start that the war was a mistake (a conviction fortified by the Bush team's post-invasion bungling), Obama has for years been the salesman in chief for a narrative of failure: Iraq is seen as a colossal disaster -- a senseless distraction that drained U.S. resources while alienating the rest of the world. While recognizing a vague obligation to help Iraqis forge a better future, Obama's bottom line comes through loud and clear: The war was a strategic blunder, and the sooner the U.S. can wash its hands of it and re-focus on our "real" priorities in the Middle East, the better.

    ...deeply uncertain about America's long-term commitment to their future, Iraqis are starting to hedge their bets in unhelpful ways. Accommodating themselves to the agenda of the coming Iranian hegemony rather than their departing American liberators is increasingly the order of the day.

    Although the Bush administration made many costly mistakes in Iraq, the surge was a resounding success that put the goal of an independent, democratic Iraq back within reach -- as evidenced by January's successful provincial elections. Obama is in position to achieve that goal, but only if the U.S. military withdrawal is offset by a corresponding deepening of high-level diplomatic and economic engagement. That, however, will require the president spending far less time signaling his eagerness to get out of Iraq and more time working with Iraqis to figure out how best we can stay."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Is the job done?
  • Back, back, forth, and forth.


    Turn around.

    Words.

    "...It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama, but we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: 40 Years Later, Still Second-Class Americans
  • In Memoriam.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Jay-Z.

    D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)
    .

    Sunday, June 28, 2009

    Electric City.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Kanye West
    .

    Street Lights
    .

    Oh Word?



    Jokes.

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Man in the Mirror.



    Words.


    "America's serious news media -- whether print, broadcast or cable -- are in the grip of a collective nervous breakdown. Embracing popular culture and its icons seems somehow therapeutic on several levels: It appears to address charges that serious media are elitist, as well as the manifest indifference of younger readers and viewers to conventional news. Then there's the fact of simple, brute commerce; popular culture in the form of film, music and TV now provides an outsized share of the financially strapped media's advertising revenue. Finally, there's that source of the news media's anxiety and confusion -- and that great enabler of popular culture -- the Internet.

    ...Whatever they say, many newspaper editors and TV news producers have begun to allow website hits and social media volume to function as a kind of sub rosa ratings system whose numbers dictate coverage and the play of news stories. What's wrong with that? For one thing, it leads to the sort of irrational excess we've all been through since Thursday. No reasonable editor or producer should ignore the kind of public interest we're seeing. But surrendering utterly to it ultimately undercuts what's genuinely valuable about serious news media.

    A serious newspaper or broadcast news outlet must simultaneously be a mirror and a window to its audience -- a look at themselves and an opening to the wider world."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Too Much Michael Jackson?
  • Stranger in Moscow.



  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Perils of a Prodigy
  • Words.

    A Moment of Clarity.



  • STEREOGUM: Indie Rockers Eulogize The King Of Pop
  • Thursday, June 25, 2009

    Little Big Man.

    I woke up yesterday the same way I do prior to any workday. If the mood is right I exercise. If not I head straight to shower, come out “so fresh and so clean”, turn on my television and plop down in front of my computer, getting cozy with some online news. Yesterday, the stories pretty much remained the same: Iran, Healthcare, Governor Sanford, and a few others in between. I came in search of updates, developments, information on the new. And then, something wicked this way came in the form of an overtly sensational headline on some news site regarding Lil Kim, North Korea, and his, in my words, desperate, desperate need for attention and to be accepted in the world, at a moment, where other countries/superpowers around him are fighting to be heard on serious grounds, worrying about their imports/exports and domestic currency, healthcare, unemployment, etc. Another day, another threat, another shout from the little boy itching towards could in the corner. (And another roll of the eye/suck of the teeth from me). Look, I am not underestimating the man’s status/threats/capacities whatsoever (just in case, you know, he’s reading this), I’m just saying, brotha, there are better ways to get your point across, better ways to sit at the Big Kids table, better ways to make your presence known diplomatically and internationally, and this (/these actions/words/threats) ain’t it.


    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Welcome to the Jong-il
    thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

    Inside the Actors Studio.

    With Jenny Lewis and Elvis Costello.

    Carpetbaggers.

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    One Mo' Gin.

    Ciara feat Missy Elliot.

    Work.

    "You say you want a Revolution?"


    "There has been a lot of worthless chatter about what President Barack Obama should say about Iran’s incipient “Green Revolution.” Sorry, but Iranian reformers don’t need our praise. They need the one thing we could do, without firing a shot, that would truly weaken the Iranian theocrats and force them to unshackle their people. What’s that? End our addiction to the oil that funds Iran’s Islamic dictatorship. Launching a real Green Revolution in America would be the best way to support the “Green Revolution” in Iran.

    ...Let’s get serious: An American Green Revolution to end our oil addiction — to parallel Iran’s Green Revolution to end its theocracy — helps us, helps them and raises the odds that whoever wins the contest for power, there will have to be a reformer. What are we waiting for?"

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Green Revolution(s)
  • St. James Infirmary Blues.

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    President Obama's Health Care Plan - Howard Dean
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq


    Words.

    "Congressional Democrats warn that the president's ambitious plans to overhaul the nation's health-care system may be in danger. Sensing political opportunity, Republicans ramp up their criticism, warning of a government takeover of health care. Business groups balk at the notion of an employer mandate.

    Is this health-care deja vu all over again, the Clinton disaster of 1993-94 revisited?

    When it comes to the prognosis for overhauling health care, pessimism is a safe bet, and there's been ample basis recently for that gloomy assessment. The Congressional Budget Office put the price tag of one proposal at $1.6 trillion. The Senate Finance Committee, reeling from the sticker shock, postponed action.

    "I don't know that he has the votes right now," California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said of President Obama. "Health-care reform is on life support," warned Tennessee Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper.

    So the whole effort could well fall apart once again. But my money is on the side of a significant legislative accomplishment -- something short of immediate universal coverage but more than cosmetic change. In conversations with veterans of the Clinton effort, all said the turbulence was expected, inevitable and almost certainly not the last buckle-your-seatbelt moment. But most were cautiously optimistic about the final outcome."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Deja Vu on Health Care?
  • "I think I'll go for a walk outside now. The Summertime's calling my name!"

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Governor Alert - The Search for Mark Sanford
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    Workin' Overtime.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Ciara
    feat. Missy Elliot.

    Work
    .

    Pomp and Circumstance.


    A Moment of Clarity.

    Words.

    "The foreign policy sins of the United States fall into two categories: commission and omission. The commission ones include the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, and a one-time Latin American policy tailored to the needs of United Fruit Co. The sins of omission are less well-known. They include the failure to redeem the hollow promises to various subjugated peoples -- the Hungarians of 1956, the Shiites of 1991 -- that America would come to their aid. In Iran, the Obama administration is intent on not adding to this list.

    ...Some of Obama's critics have faulted him for not doing what Ronald Reagan (belatedly) did following the fraudulent election in the Philippines in 1986. After some dithering, Reagan virtually forced President Ferdinand Marcos into exile. How neat. How not a precedent for Iran.

    ...not a lot is known about how Iran is actually governed. If, for instance, the White House asked the State Department to send over someone with on-the-ground experience in contemporary Iran, the car would arrive empty. The last American diplomats left Iran in 1979. The United States has to rely on foreign diplomats and journalists for its information.

    But information is not experience. It cannot substitute for the feel of the country -- a sense of what happens next. This sort of knowledge was precisely what the United States did not have about Iraq, and we have learned the hard way that satellites, intercepts and the like are no substitute for human intelligence. The Obama White House is showing commendable respect for what it does not know.

    ...Iran, the first foreign policy "crisis," alerts us to what to expect in the future: a tightly controlled message from the White House (Anyone heard from Hillary Clinton lately?), a deliberate consideration of the options and no shoot-from-the-hip remarks. This is how Obama ran his campaign. This is how he'll run his foreign policy. As McCain should know, it works."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: President Cool Plays It Right
  • Monday, June 22, 2009

    Off the Wall.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Clipse
    feat. Kanye West.

    Kinda Like A Big Deal.

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Big Country.

    Part One.



    Part Two.

    Digitalism.


    "Take Me Away?..."

    Words.

    "...Yes, this revolution is being tweeted, blogged and Facebooked -- and not just in Tehran. Blogger Andrew Sullivan helped kick off the cyber hype with his June 13 post "The Revolution Will be Twittered?" in which he argued that the use of this platform means that "you cannot stop people any longer. You cannot control them any longer." And after the State Department asked Twitter to delay a scheduled maintenance last week so that this line of communication between Iran and the rest of the world could remain open, the company's co-founder Biz Stone offered a somewhat self-congratulatory aw-shucks post on his blog: "It's humbling to think that our two-year old company could be playing such a globally meaningful role that state officials find their way toward highlighting our significance."

    ...Yet for all their promise, there are sharp limits on what Twitter and other Web tools such as Facebook and blogs can do for citizens in authoritarian societies. The 140 characters allowed in a tweet are not the end of politics as we know it -- and at times can even play into the hands of hard-line regimes. No amount of Twittering will force Iran's leaders to change course, as supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made clear Friday with his rebuke of the protesters, reportedly followed by the security forces' use of tear gas, batons, water cannons and gunfire to break up demonstrations yesterday. In Iran, as elsewhere, if true revolution is coming, it must happen offline..."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Reading Twitter in Tehran?
  • Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Summer School.


    "Surf Dudes with ATTITUDE!"

    Words.
    For Your Consideration...

    "THAT First 100 Days hoopla seems like a century ago. The countless report cards it engendered are already obsolete. The real story begins now. With Iran, universal health care, energy reform and the economic recovery all on the line, the still-new, still-popular president’s true tests are about to come.

    ...But as ever, the lack of an adversary with gravitas is a double-edged sword for Obama. It tempts him to be cocky and to coast. That’s a rare flaw in a president whose temperament, smarts and judgment remain impressive. Yet it is not insignificant. Though we don’t know how Obama will fare on all the challenges he faces this summer, last week’s big rollout of his financial reform package was a big punt, an accommodation to the status quo. Given that the economy remains the country’s paramount concern — and that all new polling finds that most Americans still think it’s dire — this timid response was a lost opportunity. It violated the Rahm Emanuel dictum that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” and could yet prompt a serious political backlash.

    ...Obama is very eloquent in speaking of the “culture of irresponsibility” that led us to the meltdown, but that culture isn’t changing so much as frantically rebranding. A.I.G. is now named A.I.U., and has employed no fewer than four public relations firms, including one whose bipartisan roster of shills ranges from the former Hillary Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn to the former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino.

    Taxpayers are paying for that P.R., having poured $170 billion-plus into A.I.G. But we still don’t have a transparent, detailed accounting of what was going down last fall when A.I.G. and its trading partners, including Goldman, snared that gargantuan cash transfusion. Perhaps if there had been a thorough post-crash investigative commission emulating the Senate investigation led by Ferdinand Pecora after the crash of 1929, we would now have reforms as thorough as F.D.R.’s. It was because of the Pecora revelations that Glass-Steagall was put in place.

    If you watch CNBC, of course, the recovery is already here, and the new regulations will somehow stifle it. The market is up, sort of. Even some bank stocks are back. Unemployment, as Obama reminds us, is a lagging indicator. And so, presumably, are all the other indicators that affect most Americans. One in eight mortgages is now either in foreclosure or delinquent, with the share of new mortgages going into foreclosure reaching a record high in the first quarter of 2009. Credit card debt delinquencies are up 11 percent from last year in that same quarter.

    The test for Obama is simple enough. If the fortunes in American households rise along with Wall Street’s, he is home free — even if his porous regulatory fixes permit a new economic meltdown decades hence. But if, in the shorter term, the economic quality of life for most Americans remains unchanged as the financial sector resumes living large, he’ll face anger from voters of all political persuasions. When the Fox News fulminator Glenn Beck says “let the banks lose their tails, they need to,” he illustrates precisely where right-wing populism meets that on the left.

    ...The majority knows the country is in a crisis and wants help. The issue has never been whether Obama is doing too much but whether he will do the big things well enough to move us forward. Now that the hope phase of his presidency is giving way to the promised main event — change — we will soon find out."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Obama’s Make-or-Break Summer
  • Wanna Get Away...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Lily Allen.

    Fuck You.
    .

    Talkin' Softball.

    An "Oh Word?" Moment of Clarity.



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "WHEN the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorates its 70th anniversary with an exhibition game in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday, five of its members will play on the national field of dreams. At least two of them — Paul Molitor and Ferguson Jenkins — were busted in the 1980s for using cocaine. Molitor later said he was sure he wasn’t the only player on the team using drugs.

    Given what we now know about baseball’s drug habit, the remark sounds quaint. This week’s report that Sammy Sosa tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 is only the latest in a long string of revelations. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire — what great players haven’t been linked to drug use?

    ... For decades, baseball beat writers — the Hall of Fame’s designated electoral college — shielded the players from scrutiny. When the Internet (and exposés by two former ballplayers, Jim Bouton and Jose Canseco) allowed fans to see what was really happening, the baseball writers were revealed as dupes or stooges. In a rage, they formed a posse to drive the drug users out of the game.

    But today’s superstars have lawyers and a union. They know how to use the news media. And they have plenty of money. The only way to punish them is to deny them a place in Cooperstown. The punishment has already been visited on Mark McGwire, and many more are on deck.

    This makes no sense. On any given day, the stands are packed with youngsters on Adderall and Ritalin (stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and college students who use Provigil (an anti-narcolepsy drug) as a study aid. The guy who sings the national anthem has probably taken a beta blocker to calm his stage fright. Like it or not, chemical enhancement is here to stay. And it is as much a part of the national game as $5.50 hot dogs, free agency and Tommy John elbow surgery.

    ...Despite these changes, or because of them, Americans continue to love baseball. Fans will accept anything except the sense that they are being lied to. Chemical enhancement won’t kill the game; it is the cover-up that could be fatal..."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Let Steroids Into the Hall of Fame
  • STAND UP!


    Turn your swag on GOP! Turn your swag on...

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: TOPIC A : Who'll Suit Up for the GOP in 2012?
  • Eurovision.

    New flava in ya ear!

    David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland.

    When the Love Takes Over
    .

    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Jokes.

    Part One.



    Part Two.

    Oh Word?


    "And now you're one of us!"

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Carly Smithson to join forces with ex-Evanescence musicians to become the Fallen
  • Tha Alkaholiks.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Paradiso Girls feat Lil Jon and Eve.

    Patron Tequila.

    Up Jumps Da Boogie!

    With Simian Mobile Disco.

    Audacity of Huge
    .

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Old School Funk for the True Funk Soldiers!

    Mona Lisa.

    Can't Be Wasting My Time.

    The Rainbow Connection.



    "The gap between Obama and gay rights activists appears to be growing. True, the current federal lawsuits against the marriage act and Proposition 8 fail to recognize that a hasty march can be damaging to gay rights. The current composition of the U.S. Supreme Court makes it highly unlikely that such lawsuits will succeed, and adverse decisions could set the same-sex marriage movement back by years. From an ideological viewpoint, gays and lesbians are entitled to their rights now. But well-planned timing gives them the best chance of securing those rights soon. Obama, though, has shown a dishearteningly pragmatic willingness to allow the issue of gay rights to languish. The many Americans who support these rights expect better of him."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Obama's gay rights gap
  • The Other Side of the Game.



    "The turmoil in Iran since last week's election has confused the foreign policy debate here in the United States in interesting ways. Supporters of President Obama, who until very recently had railed against the Bush administration's "freedom agenda" and who insisted on a new "realism," have suddenly found themselves rooting for freedom and democracy in Iran. And in their desire to attribute all good things to the work of President Obama, they have even suggested that the ferment in Iran is due to Obama's public appeals to Iranians and Muslims.

    If so, this will be one of those great ironies of history. For, in fact, Obama never meant to spark political upheaval in Iran, much less encourage the Iranian people to take to the streets. That they are doing so is not good news for the president but, rather, an unwelcome complication in his strategy of engaging and seeking rapprochement with the Iranian government on nuclear issues.

    ...Obama's policy now requires getting past the election controversies quickly so that he can soon begin negotiations with the reelected Ahmadinejad government. This will be difficult as long as opposition protests continue and the government appears to be either unsettled or too brutal to do business with. What Obama needs is a rapid return to peace and quiet in Iran, not continued ferment. His goal must be to deflate the opposition, not to encourage it. And that, by and large, is what he has been doing."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Obama, Siding With the Regime
  • Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Black & Gold.

    New flava in ya ear!

    The Gossip.

    Heavy Cross.

    Coffee Talk.

    California Dreamin'.

    With Jenny Lewis in the,

    Black Sand.



    Shout out to the folks over at
  • Stereogum for putting this on my radar! That's what's up!
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Busdriver.

    Me-Time (With the Pulmonary Palimpsets).

    CLASH. OF. THE TITANS!

    Beyonce.

    feat. Kanye West.

    Ego.

    the Remix.

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Disturbia.



    Words.

    "...In his scant 145 days in office, the new president has not remotely matched the Bush record in deficit creation. Nor has he repealed the right to bear arms or exacerbated the wars he inherited. He has tried more than his predecessor ever did to reach across the aisle. But none of that seems to matter. A sizable minority of Americans is irrationally fearful of the fast-moving generational, cultural and racial turnover Obama embodies — indeed, of the 21st century itself. That minority is now getting angrier in inverse relationship to his popularity with the vast majority of the country. Change can be frightening and traumatic, especially if it’s not change you can believe in.

    We don’t know whether the tiny subset of domestic terrorists in this crowd is egged on by political or media demagogues — though we do tend to assume that foreign jihadists respond like Pavlov’s dogs to the words of their most fanatical leaders and polemicists. But well before the latest murderers struck — well before another “antigovernment” Obama hater went on a cop-killing rampage in Pittsburgh in April — there have been indications that this rage could spiral out of control.

    This was evident during the campaign, when hotheads greeted Obama’s name with “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” at G.O.P. rallies. At first the McCain-Palin campaign fed the anger with accusations that Obama was “palling around with terrorists.” But later John McCain thought better of it and defended his opponent’s honor to a town-hall participant who vented her fears of the Democrats’ “Arab” candidate. Although two neo-Nazi skinheads were arrested in an assassination plot against Obama two weeks before Election Day, the fever broke after McCain exercised leadership.

    That honeymoon, if it was one, is over."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Obama Haters’ Silent Enablers
  • Grumpy Old Men.

    An "Oh Word?" Moment of Clarity.


    "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

    Words.

    "What's going on? All along I thought hordes of angry young men posed the greatest threat to society. Experts are always telling us to worry about the social menace from brooding young Turks with too much energy and time on their hands. They commit the lion's share of crimes and terrorist acts. They generally have the least to lose.

    But in the last two weeks, we've witnessed an 88-year-old white supremacist allegedly kill a security guard at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a 51-year-old religious zealot allegedly assassinate a doctor who performed abortions in Wichita, Kan. Have we entered the era of the angry old -- or at least middle-aged -- man?

    That's certainly the impression we got during last year's presidential election. The snarling John McCain versus the unflappable Barack Obama is the cartoon sketch of the campaign that remains in my head. On election day, the only age demographic that the at-times apoplectically angry Republican candidate won was voters over 60. Are older Americans mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?"

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Angry Old Men
  • No Fit State.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    Like Moving Mountains.

    Words.

    "..Iran is a classic example of managed democracy -- if it can be called a democracy at all. Iranians are not guaranteed freedom of speech or of the press. Political parties are heavily restricted. A small group of unelected clerics holds a monopoly on real political power, supervising elections as well as candidates. The latter can be rejected for belonging to the wrong religious group, for "indecent acts" or simply for failing to participate in Friday prayers with sufficient enthusiasm. Over-enthusiastic campaigners can be beaten up by police patrols, and in recent weeks some were. The central purpose of elections is not to choose a president -- that is generally done in advance -- but to reinforce the clerics' candidate's dubious legitimacy. For that reason, Iranian dissidents, both in and outside the country, usually call upon their supporters to boycott elections altogether.

    And yet -- the elections Iran held Friday also proved just how powerful, and how ultimately uncontrollable, even the most heavily managed elections can be. Iran's elections might not have been free or fair but they did, as an Iranian friend of mine put it, expose a "serious factional divide that could not be dealt with behind the closed doors of the ruling oligarchy." They might not have presented society with two radically different candidates (Mir Housein Mousavi, the "reformer" in this election, presided over the mass murder of political prisoners when he was prime minister in the 1980s), but merely allowing the public the chance to vote against the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, inspired the largest turnout anyone can remember. The press might not have been able to report everything that happened, but Iranians did attend electoral events in unprecedented numbers, hissing and cheering. The votes might not have been counted correctly, but the whiff of fraud has sparked the biggest wave of demonstrations Iranians have seen for a decade.

    ...One could argue -- and many Iranians do -- that the poll was farcical. But Iran goes to show that a bad election is better than none at all."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Some Good in a Bad Election
  • "Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999!"

    Birdman feat. Lil Wayne and Mack Maine.

    Always Strapped
    .

    The Remix.

    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Change of Heart.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "...gays and lesbians have suffered too long from legal discrimination, social marginalization and even violence. They are entitled to clear recognition of their equal status as citizens of a country that is founded on the principle that we are all inherently worthy. By delivering a clear message that same-sex couples can no longer be treated as separate and unequal in New York, we will also reduce discrimination in everyday life. We will all be better for that.

    Equal civil marriage should, and likely will, pass because of the public’s growing unwillingness to sustain inequality. Society will also be strengthened as more people take responsibility for one another in marriage. I now encourage others who oppose gay marriage to re-examine the reasons they do so, and to consider changing their minds too."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Why I Now Support Gay Marriage
  • The Dark Side of the Moon.


    A Moment of Clarity.

    Words.

    "Stephen Johns, known as “Big John,” was opening the door for a man he thought was just an elderly visitor to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington when he was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Johns was a security guard. The bullet that killed him was a reminder of the continuing menace of bigotry and violence that pervades this country — and that we insist on underestimating.

    The authorities have identified an 88-year-old, hard-core white supremacist, James von Brunn, as the killer. Our knee-jerk tendency is to comfort ourselves by declaring that this guy is so freakish, so far out of the American mainstream, that he is not representative of much of anything. Sane people are not violently obsessed with blacks and Jews. The murder was a tragic aberration. After all, this is a country that only recently elected an African-American president.

    So let’s mop up the blood from the museum floor, and try to keep matters in perspective."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Way We Are
  • HIStory in the Making.


    For the Love of the Game.

    Words.

    "A tip of the hat to comedian Stephen Colbert for his four-day tour in Baghdad to entertain U.S. troops and draw attention to the forgotten war, all the while trying to bridge the culture war at home.

    ...Colbert was funny, swinging a golf club in tribute to Hope and sporting a desert camouflage business suit.

    ...Colbert succeeded in bringing together Comedy Central's largely liberal audience, the military, media and conservative politicians to focus attention on the 130,000-plus American troops still fighting a war we started. For that, and for the smart, generous humor they displayed in the Iraq shows, both the comedian and his character can declare victory."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: A salute for Stephen Colbert
  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    Hot Fun in the Summertime!

    Animal Collective.

    Summertime Clothes.



    Okay Animal Collective. I see you...

    Big Pimpin'.

    An "Oh Word?" Moment of Clarity.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    The Real World D.C.
    thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview


    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Remember during the campaign when John McCain attacked Obama for acting like a celebrity and we all laughed at the grumpy old shellshocked fool? Well, it turns out he was right. Sorry, senator. I'm sending a nice gift basket of high-fiber muffins your way.

    It's getting to where you can't turn on your TV without seeing Obama. Who does he think he is, Dick Cheney? Come on, sir, you don't have to be on television every minute of every day. You're the president, not a rerun of "Law and Order." Save some charisma for a rainy day. Taking strangers from a TV show on a tour of your house? We have that show; it's called "Cribs." And letting reporters ask you questions like "You like to be the one who picks out the shaving cream, don't you?" Or as it's called today, "journalism." I was willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt until I saw him take Brian Williams into his bedroom, and at the end of the bed there was a teleprompter and it said, "Who's your daddy?"

    I mean, selling the personal part to stay popular, I'm all for it, but you got us already. We like you, we really like you! You're skinny and in a hurry and in love with a nice lady. But so's Lindsay Lohan. And like Lohan, we see your name in the paper a lot, but we're kind of wondering when you're actually going to do something.

    I know that's harsh. But when I read about how you sat on the sidelines while bailed-out banks used the money we gave them to hire lobbyists who got Congress to stop homeowners from getting renegotiated loans, or how Congress is already giving up on healthcare reform, or how scientists say it's essential to reduce CO2 by 40% in 10 years, but your own bill calls for 4%, I say, enough with the character development, let's get on with the plot."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Enough with the Obamathon
  • Love Jones.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Cassie feat. Diddy.

    Must Be Love. [ED'S NOTE: Mmm Hmm, I bet!]

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Father Figure.

    Love & Happiness.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "I go out walkin'/After Midnight/Out in the Moonlight/Just like we used to..."

    Words.

    "The fun police are patrolling Pennsylvania Avenue.

    ...As a taxpayer, I am most happy to contribute to domestic and international date nights. As Arthur Schlesinger noted in his diaries, the White House tends to drive its occupants nuts. So some respite from the pressure is clearly a healthy thing. Not as much respite as W. took, bicycling and vacationing through all the disasters that President Obama is now stuck fixing — spending a total of 490 days in the tumbleweed isolation of Crawford and rarely deigning to sightsee as he traveled the world.

    ...What a relief to have an urbane, cultivated, curious president who’s out and about, engaged in the world. Not dangerously detached, as W. was, or darkly stewing like Cheney. Not hanging with the Rat Pack like J.F.K. or getting bored and up to mischief like Bill Clinton.

    ...Mixing play with intense work is not only a good mental health strategy; it’s a good way to show the world that American confidence and cool — and Cary Grant romantic flair — still thrive.

    Date on and tee it up, Mr. President. It’s O.K. if they’re teed off."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Can The One Have Fun?
  • "Money, Money, Money, Money!"


    "MONEY!"

    Words.

    "Suppose Americans begin living within their means. Will this marvel complicate the nation's biggest domestic challenge, the task of achieving and sustaining the rapid economic growth necessary for generating revenue to fund pension and medical entitlements for an aging population?

    ...During recent periods of strong growth, 70 percent of economic activity has been personal consumption. If Americans' new sobriety -- more saving, less spending -- survives the first tantalizing green shoots of recovery, can the recovery continue?"

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Recovery, Meet Sobriety
  • Half-Baked.


    All tied up.

    Words.

    "Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and GOP "It" girl, can warm up the Republican base like a hot toddy in a duck blind. But further inside the party organization, the air is a little nippy.

    What happened?"

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Half-Baked Alaska
  • Unfriendly Fire.

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Formidable Opponent - Don't Ask, Don't Tell
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

    Tuesday, June 09, 2009

    Party and Bullshit!

    How to get rich without really trying [in Hip-Hop]:

    1. Draft/Conjure up an ode to "that ass".

    2. Follow the bouncin' ball instructions in the verses and choruses? [Now with visuals!] CHECK!

    3. HOUSE PARTY!!!.

    4. [FAKE] Barry and Michelle Obama cameos? Oh fa sho! [Cause you just KNOW they hood, right?].

    5. Quick "White people you can do it too!" diversity shots.

    6. Lights, Camera, Action. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    GS Boyz.

    Booty Dew.

    Standing on the edge of Tomorrow...TODAY!

    Untitled.



    WICHITA, Kan. - The family of slain abortion provider George Tiller said Tuesday that his Wichita clinic will be "permanently closed," effective immediately.

  • MSNBC: Clinic of slain abortion provider closes


  • ALSO:

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Not All Abortions Are Equal
  • [Thank You For] Being a Friend.


    It's a brand new day...

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Your neighbor needs your help. Do you have it within you to lend a hand? Will you book yourself a week on the beach in Cabo or Puerto Vallarta, or explore Mexico City or one of the colonial cities in the heart of Mexico? You know, for the common good.

    This has been a banner decade for empathy tourism -- many Americans flocking to New York after 9/11 and to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did so with a sense of public service. Mexico now needs a similar surge.

    ...The United States is not about to criminalize guns and legalize drugs to help out Mexico. But you can do your part to help out a good neighbor -- book a trip south. Pronto."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Be neighborly, go to Mexico
  • Jokes.

    Just you watch.

    Monday, June 08, 2009

    Rhythm is a Dancer.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Basement Jaxx
    .

    Raindrops
    .

    Sunday, June 07, 2009

    Blue Lagoon.

    Starring Empire of the Sun with their,

    Standing on the Shore
    .

    The Truth.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

    Telling the Truth and Going Away.

    Saturday, June 06, 2009

    First, AID.


    Rescue Me.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "For Congress and the administration to keep the promise of comprehensive health care reform, they will have to find the political will to pay for universal coverage and other investments that are needed right away but will not produce quick savings. The cost could reach $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

    President Obama, who had already proposed some $634 billion in new taxes and spending cuts, endorsed additional ideas last week. But Congressional Democrats will almost certainly need to come up with a lot more money — and that is likely to mean new taxes."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Paying for Universal Health Coverage

    EARLIER:

  • Hands Across America.
  • Pause.

  • LAIST: Taco Zone Truck Set on Fire Last Night in Echo Park


  • No Words.

    Thursday, June 04, 2009

    Old School Funk for the True Funk Soldiers!

    The Backstreet Boys.

    Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.

    For Justin.

    "HIP-HOP! HIP-HOP!"

    Spencer Pratt.

    I'm a Celebrity.

    "You don't know, what you do!"


    Do you?

    Words.

    "The first time I appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor," in 2004, I sat across from Bill O'Reilly in awkward silence while he shuffled papers and took notes.

    Finally, he glanced up and acknowledged my existence. "Thank you for coming on," he said. "Most people don't have the guts."

    I said, "Well, you are one of the most-watched new shows on cable."

    He swiftly retorted, "The most-watched news show on cable TV."

    Let's face it: Bill O'Reilly is not only aware of his power and his reach, he's damn proud of them.

    So I went on his show, time and again, even though many other progressives discouraged me. I went because I know what O'Reilly knows: It's the most-watched show, and I thought it was imperative that his audience also hear our viewpoint.

    I also know that when you have a bully pulpit, you need to be held accountable for what you preach.

    O'Reilly is being incredibly disingenuous when he claims that he bears no responsibility for others' actions in the killing of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. When you tell an audience of millions over and over again that someone is an executioner, you cannot feign surprise when someone executes that person.

    You cannot claim to hold no responsibility for what other people do when you call for people to besiege Tiller's clinic, as O'Reilly did in January 2008. And this was after Tiller had been shot in both arms and after his clinic had been bombed.

    O'Reilly knew that people wanted Tiller dead, and he knew full well that many of those people were avid viewers of his show. Still, he fanned the flames. Every time I appeared on his show, I received vitriolic and hate-filled e-mails. And if I received those messages directly, I can only imagine what type of feedback O'Reilly receives. He knows that his words incite violence.

    That is why I made a personal pledge to no longer sit across from him after he called for people to converge on Tiller's clinic. I realized that appearing on the show with him would only legitimize his speech and that no good would come of my efforts."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Why I Turned Down O'Reilly


  • EARLIER:


  • Blinded by the Right.