Friday, July 31, 2009

"GURL YOU KNOW I! I! I!



Jokes/the Awesome.

  • FOURFOUR: Super sweet
  • For Your Consideration.



    Devendra Banhart.


    What

    Will We

    Be.


    In stores October 2009.

  • PITCHFORK: Devendra Banhart Signs to Warner, Announces New Album
  • [Healthcare] Reality Bites.



    Words.

    "At a recent town hall meeting, a man stood up and told Representative Bob Inglis to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.” The congressman, a Republican from South Carolina, tried to explain that Medicare is already a government program — but the voter, Mr. Inglis said, “wasn’t having any of it.”

    It’s a funny story — but it illustrates the extent to which health reform must climb a wall of misinformation. It’s not just that many Americans don’t understand what President Obama is proposing; many people don’t understand the way American health care works right now. They don’t understand, in particular, that getting the government involved in health care wouldn’t be a radical step: the government is already deeply involved, even in private insurance.

    And that government involvement is the only reason our system works at all.

    ...here’s the bottom line: if you currently have decent health insurance, thank the government. It’s true that if you’re young and healthy, with nothing in your medical history that could possibly have raised red flags with corporate accountants, you might have been able to get insurance without government intervention. But time and chance happen to us all, and the only reason you have a reasonable prospect of still having insurance coverage when you need it is the large role the government already plays.

    Which brings us to the current debate over reform.

    Right-wing opponents of reform would have you believe that President Obama is a wild-eyed socialist, attacking the free market. But unregulated markets don’t work for health care — never have, never will. To the extent we have a working health care system at all right now it’s only because the government covers the elderly, while a combination of regulation and tax subsidies makes it possible for many, but not all, nonelderly Americans to get decent private coverage.

    Now Mr. Obama basically proposes using additional regulation and subsidies to make decent insurance available to all of us. That’s not radical; it’s as American as, well, Medicare."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Health Care Realities
  • The Neverending Story.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "For the last couple of weeks, we've all been laughing heartily at the wacky antics of the "birthers" -- the far-right goofballs who claim Barack Obama wasn't really born in Hawaii and therefore the job of president goes to the runner-up, former Miss California Carrie Prejean.

    Also, when Obama was sworn in as president, he forgot to give his answer in the form of a question.

    And yet, every week, the chorus of conservatives demanding to see his birth certificate grows. It's like they're the Cambridge police, Obama's in his house -- the White House -- and they need to see some ID.

    And there's nothing anyone can do to convince these folks. You could hand them, in person, the original birth certificate and have a video of Obama emerging from the womb with Don Ho singing in the background ... and they still wouldn't believe it.

    Which raises the question: Why, in this country, is it always the religious right that won't take anything on faith?

    So far, the reaction from Democrats is to laugh this off, and I understand why. If you seriously believe that President Obama is an African sleeper spy, get out of your chat room and have your house tested for lead.

    But we live in America, and in America, if you don't immediately kill arrant nonsense, no matter how ridiculous, it can grow and thrive and eventually take over, like crab grass or reality shows about fat people.

    ...That's why it's so important that we the few, the proud, the reality-based attack this stuff before it has a chance to fester and spread. This isn't a case of Democrats versus Republicans. It's sentient beings versus the lizard people..."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: 'Birthers' must be stopped
  • Off the Record.



    Words.

    "Isn't it great to have a president who says something foolish or impolitic from time to time?

    With his remark that the Cambridge, Mass., police acted "stupidly" in arresting Henry Louis Gates Jr., President Obama managed to extend the story by a week or more and to turn a nice little summer amusement for the political opinion industry into a "teachable moment," which means something everyone must get serious about. Obama also solidified his reputation as a foot-in-mouther almost as accomplished as his vice president. Before Gates and the police, there was his joke about Nancy Reagan conducting séances in the White House, and then an unfortunate (though very common) use of the Special Olympics as a punch line, and so on.

    But Obama's rhetorical goofs usually are different from Joe Biden's momentum-mouth, just as they are different from the empty-headed nonsense of George W. Bush and the bizarre country-club-bar chatter of Bush's father. They are also different from the standard political "gaffe," which, as we know, is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Obama's goofs are generally not a result of speaking the truth. They come from thinking things through incompletely. It turns out that the police officer who arrested Skip Gates was not necessarily acting "stupidly" and that Gates might have been doing just that. The president ultimately came up with a typically elegant formulation, describing the episode as a misunderstanding between "two good men." Wouldn't it have been better if he had just kept quiet until all the facts were in and all his thoughts were in order?

    No, it would not have been better.

    ...The rituals of umbrage that have become so big a part of our political narrative aren't just tedious. They do real harm. Very often the offense taken is completely phony, such as during last fall's campaign when Obama stood accused of insulting Sarah Palin and all of womankind by using the phrase "lipstick on a pig." Three problems here. First, the whole fuss was stagey and false. Second, it consumed valuable attention when citizens had more important subjects they should have been thinking and talking about. And third, it encouraged further fancied slights.

    ...The people who declare that a president has a special responsibility not to say anything offensive have it wrong. The president has a special responsibility to address important topics and to say important things. That can't be done in a thin-skinned political culture obsessed with gaffes, and with a citizenry overly quick to take offense.

    The more concerned you are to avoid saying anything wrong or offensive, the less likely you are to say anything inspiring or true. We have elected a president with a speculative mind. He wrote a book worth reading -- wrote it himself! -- even before running for president. It's interesting to hear what he thinks about various subjects -- even those that don't immediately affect his own presidency. But every teachable episode we put him through teaches him that speculation is risky. And the riskier we make it, the less of it we're likely to get."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The Gifts of Gaffes
  • Thursday, July 30, 2009

    This is how we do it.

    Yes it is Toto. You don't even know...

    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.


    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Toto, in

    "AFRICA!"

    GAY.

    Just found my skecth/song/poerty collage book from high school. Excuse me, I'm busy.

    Words.


    Gay.

    It's not what you think, it's not what you say.

    Gay.

    It's not a tight fitting shirt or a hand that tends to downwardly sway.

    Gay.

    It's not a huge rainbow or an overbearing sense of pride.

    Gay.

    It's more like a porn collection that your conservative neighbor hides.

    Gay.

    It's not a feminine voice or a thickly switch.

    Gay.

    Could be a life free of queens, a fag, or a bitch.

    Gay.

    It's not what you've heard or would like to believe.

    Gay.

    It's far from what you expect or may even perceive...

    "HEARTS AFIRE!"

    With Shakira and her She Wolf.

    COLORS.

    A "This Can't Be Life" Moment of Clarity.

    No. Fit. State.

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Lady Sings the Blues.



    Words.

    "Goodbye, Sarah. Hello, Hillary.

    In their vivid twin performances Sunday — Hillary on “Meet the Press” in Washington and Sarah at her farewell picnic in Fairbanks — two of the most celebrated and polarizing women in American political history offered a fascinating contrast.

    Hillary, who so often in the past came across as aggrieved, paranoid and press-loathing, was confident and comfortable in her role as top diplomat, discussing the world with mastery and shrugging off suggestions that she has been disappeared by her former rival, the president.

    ...Sarah once criticized Hillary for being a whiny presidential contender, arguing that women who want “to progress this country” should not complain about being under a “sharper microscope,” but instead should just work harder to prove themselves capable. Now Sarah is a whiny presidential contender, complaining about the sharper microscope that women wanting to progress this country are under and rejecting advice to work harder to prove herself capable.

    The Alaskan who shot to stardom a year ago as the tough embodiment of Diana the Huntress has now stepped down as governor and morphed into what the Republicans always caricatured Hillary as — preachy, screechy and angry.

    And Hillary, who is at long last in a job that she earned on her own merits, has lost that irritating question mark she used to carry around above her head like a thunder cloud: What is Hillary owed because of what she gave up, and went through, for Bill?

    ...now Hillary does not have to tell stretchers. She’s fully qualified for her job and doesn’t sound defensive. Now Sarah has taken up Hillary’s old habit of keeping grudges and playing the victim and blaming the press for her own mistakes in judgment and gaffes.

    ...Sarah, lacking Hillary’s cerebral side, has decided to wing it, Quayle-style, and go only for the visceral. That’s why she now sounds like a demagogue, embodying grievances and playing to people’s worst impulses.

    ...In her cuckoo speech in Fairbanks, Sarah warned Alaskans to “be wary of accepting government largess. It doesn’t come free.” Funny coming from a woman who charged the Alaskan taxpayers every time she worked from Wasilla.

    She also went after that old conservative villain Hollywood, saying, “They use these delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets” for “their anti-Second Amendment causes.”

    Sarah seems happily oblivious that she benefited from Hollywood casting techniques. Just as movie directors have beautiful young actresses playing nuclear physicists and Harvard professors, knowing the fusion of sex appeal and a heavyweight profession will excite, the novelty of a beautiful former beauty queen and TV reporter cast in a powerful role that has featured dour, gray old men like Dick Cheney was thrilling. At first.

    As McCain pal and Republican strategist Mike Murphy so sagely observed recently: “If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?”

    Sarah should follow her own advice to Hillary and work harder to be capable. Until then, she’s all cage, no bird."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Sarah Grabs the Grievance Grab Bag From Hillary
  • REAL TALK: The "Two Guys, A Beer, and A Discussion on Race with the President" Edition.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "People say: Why are we still talking about Crowley and Gates? And then they commence to talk for 15 minutes about Crowley and Gates.

    Cambridge -- axis of academia and symbol of American elitism -- is suddenly the Blombos Cave of American culture, exposing millennia of human behavioral history in a pinpoint of light.

    And, of course, the president of the United States inserted himself into the mix.

    The genie of race was released from the bottle when America elected its first African American president -- we could finally talk about it. Perfectly, Barack Obama is neither black nor white, but both.

    Unfortunately, our little genie is still hostage to old resentments -- haunted by subliminal fears and, like all of us, subject to unconscious motivations. This is why we keep talking about Gates and Crowley -- and why psychologists will never go hungry.

    ...Add to the ordinary reflex against authority the confounding factors of black-white history, and what should have been a simple exchange becomes an explosive confrontation. Images of white cops billy-clubbing peaceful black protesters are always at a low boil in American memory. More recent incidents of white cops mistakenly shooting innocent blacks also enter the subliminal equation.

    A black man having to bow to white authority in his own home for no reason?

    Not this black man, not this time.

    ...We weren't there. We're not mind readers.

    But we all can see how this happened -- and how fragile is the thread that connects us. How delicately we must tread. Even Obama, who initially said the police "acted stupidly," has learned just how much words matter. His invitation to share a beer at the White House with Crowley and Gates is revolutionary and potentially healing, a peace pipe for modern times."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Redemption on Tap
  • Hot Fuss.

    Just you watch...



    -Sigh- This can't be life.

    It's Not You, It's Me.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Kelly Clarkson.


    Already Gone.

    "DO YOU LOVE ME?"

    New flava in ya ear!

    MSTRKRFT feat. John Legend.

    Heartbreaker
    .

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Bones, Ribs, Coolers, and Beer.

    FILE UNDER: Old school funk for the true funk soldiers/This is how we do it!

    As the days get long, and we see a rise in temperatures, how many bitches want to touch this n****a name Snoo- ah hem, I mean we should take the time to relax the mind, let the conscious be free, and indulge in the tunes best fit for chilling, dranking, and in the words of Magic Johnson, "having a good time..."


    Ain't that right Andre 3000?

    Big Pimpin'.

    Spending cheese, Shakin' em off.

    Mariah Carey.

    Gucci Mane.


    Obsessed.


    The Remix.

    Disturbia.



    Words. For Your Consideration.

    "The clash in Cambridge about ID and racial profiling, about identity and expectation and respect was just a snippet of our culture’s ongoing meta-narrative about race. Its major themes played through the confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor, and showed up , last week, when Barack Obama, speaking for once not as the apotheosis of “post-racial” America but instead as a man who’s spent nearly 48 years Living While Black, was labeled “unpresidential.” Each chapter in this larger story shows us, time and again, what Sotomayor’s critics refused to concede: that how we all think, what we see, how we reason and react are directly determined by who we are. And some of who we are is conditioned by our race.

    Had Gates been a white man, approached in his home and abruptly told to step outside, he might well have bristled at the cold officiousness of the officer’s tone, but he probably wouldn’t have thought, or known, that to leave the haven of his house would expose him to the possibility of sudden arrest.

    Had he been white, a request for ID would probably not have sounded like an insult, or worse, a potential danger. It would probably not have stirred up memories of black men like Amadou Diallo, the Guinean immigrant who in 1999 was killed by police in the Bronx as he reached for his wallet. He very likely would not have seen what Gates was sure he saw in Crowley’s face, as the cop scanned the professor’s Harvard ID, trying to take in the fact that the man before him was not an intruder. “He’s trying to unpack a narrative … He was so sure that he had a catch,” Gates recalled to King. “That is when everything turned.”

    We don’t know precisely what was going through Crowley’s mind. But his report and later statements seem to attest to a greatly outsized sense of vulnerability and victimization.

    ...Obama warned that for America to move forward, both blacks and whites need to listen to each other’s narratives, and stop reflexively dismissing them either as paranoia or simple prejudice.

    The “He said/He said” of Ware Street in Cambridge might be just the place to start."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: A Lot Said, and Unsaid, About Race
  • Sunday, July 26, 2009

    Can't Stop, Won't Stop.

    "Come catch my Disease" with Soulja Boy and his,

    Swag Flu.

    Kick, Push.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "What is the future of group preferences in America?

    ...this preoccupation with preferences may be a fool's errand. With black youths performing worse on the SAT in 2000 than in 1990, the obsession with affirmative action may only help us avoid the more troubling reality: the ongoing underdevelopment that keeps so many blacks non-competitive.

    ...Affirmative action has always been more about the restoration of legitimacy to American institutions than the uplift of blacks and other minorities. For 30 years after its inception, no one even bothered to measure its effectiveness in minority progress. Advocates of racial preferences tried to prove that these policies actually helped minorities only after 1996, when California's Proposition 209 banned racial preferences in all state institutions, scaring supporters across the country.

    But the research following from this scare has been politicized and discredited. Most important, it has completely failed to show that affirmative action ever closes the academic gap between minorities and whites. And failing in this, affirmative action also fails to help blacks achieve true equality with whites -- the ultimate measure of which is parity in skills and individual competence. Without this underlying parity there can never be true equality in employment, income levels, rates of home ownership, educational achievement and the rest.

    ...how long will minorities need some form of racial preferences? -- is the wrong question. A better question is: How long it will take American institutions to feel legitimate without granting racial preferences?

    ...Disparate impact and racial preferences represent the law and policymaking of a guilty America, an America lacking the moral authority to live by the rigors of the Constitution's "equal protection" -- a guarantee that sees victims as individuals and requires hard evidence to prove discrimination. They are "white guilt" legalisms created after the '60s as fast tracks to moral authority. They apologize for presumed white wrongdoing and offer recompense to minorities before any actual discrimination has been documented. Yet these legalisms are much with us now. And it will no doubt take the courts a generation or more to disentangle all this apology from the law.

    But fortunately race relations in America are not much driven by the courts. We argue over affirmative action and disparate impact because we don't know how to talk about our most profound racial problem: the lack of developmental parity between blacks and whites. Today a certain contradiction runs through black American life. As many of us still suffer from deprivations caused by historical racism, we also live in a society where racism is simply no longer a significant barrier to black advancement -- a society so sensitized that even the implication of racism, as in the Henry Louis Gates case, triggers a national discussion.

    We blacks know oppression well, but today it is our inexperience with freedom that holds us back almost as relentlessly as oppression once did. Out of this inexperience, for example, we miss the fact that racial preferences and disparate impact can only help us -- even if they were effective -- with a problem we no longer have. The problem that black firefighters had in New Haven was not discrimination; it was the fact that not a single black did well enough on the exam to gain promotion.

    Today's "black" problem is underdevelopment, not discrimination. Success in modernity will demand profound cultural changes -- changes in child-rearing, a restoration of marriage and family, a focus on academic rigor, a greater appreciation of entrepreneurialism and an embrace of individual development as the best road to group development.

    ...continuing black underdevelopment will flush both races out of their postures and make most discussions of race in America, outside a context of development, irrelevant."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Affirmative Action Is Just a Distraction
  • D.O.A.


    Pause.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Affirmative action, age 45, is dead.

    In 2003, after the Supreme Court limited race to one of many factors that could be considered in school admissions, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor predicted that affirmative action, born with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, had at most 25 more years to live. She was too optimistic.

    ...Without protection from reverse-discrimination lawsuits, virtually every instance of affirmative action can now be forever tied in a legal tangle that chokes the life out of it.

    ...So, why now? More often than not, it is the American left that gets lost in absurd fantasies about race in this country. They pretend there has been no progress in recent decades, even when they see the rise of a black middle class and witness the election of a mixed-race president and the likely confirmation of a Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court. But today, it is the right wing and its supporters on the high court who are making stuff up. They pretend that the nation is already so transformed that a colorblind America is a reality and that affirmative action is superfluous...

    After the Ricci ruling, President Obama said that any hiring or school admissions practices based solely on race are unconstitutional, and he condemned the use of quotas. In an interview with the Associated Press, the nation's first black president stressed that the Supreme Court did not completely "close the door" on affirmative action, if properly structured and in certain circumstances, but he conceded that the court had moved "the ball" away from such efforts. Obama also asserted that affirmative action "hasn't been as potent a force for racial progress as advocates would claim," and as consolation, he offered that the best form of affirmative action is a good education for all Americans.

    Essentially, Obama delivered a eulogy for affirmative action.

    ...The bold national experiment that came to life 45 years ago with the equal employment section of the Civil Rights Act is now over -- even if discrimination is not.

    It is time to think about how to deal with racial inequity without affirmative action."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Affirmative Action's Untimely Obituary


  • EARLIER:

  • HUMAN EVENTS: How to Handle Sonia


  • Wade in the Water.


  • This Can't Be Life.


  • The Final Countdown


  • [Black]Reality Bites.
  • Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Wade in the Water.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "Americans got a rare glimpse Wednesday night of what it means to have a black president in the Oval Office.

    In response to a question at his prime-time news conference about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., the black Harvard professor, in his own home over the weekend, Mr. Obama declared that the Cambridge, Mass., police had “acted stupidly.”

    Mr. Obama’s response was his most animated performance of the hourlong news conference, and represented an extraordinary plunge by a president into a local law-enforcement dispute. And it opened a window into a world from which Mr. Obama is now largely shielded, suggesting the incident had struck a raw nerve with the president.

    In the public spotlight, Mr. Obama has sought to transcend, if not avoid, the issue of race. As a candidate, he tried to confine his racial references to the difficulty of catching a cab in New York, although he was forced to confront it directly during the Pennsylvania primary when his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, became an issue. And last week, at the 100th convention of the NAACP in New York, he spoke in uncharacteristically personal terms about his rise to power as a black man, while warning black Americans not to make excuses for their failure to achieve.

    Wednesday night’s press conference seemed to be a different deal as the president leaped into a highly charged controversy that has ignited passions across talk radio, the blogosphere and the old-fashioned water cooler.

    But in fact, racial profiling was a major issue for Mr. Obama when he was in the Illinois legislature. He was the chief sponsor of a bill, which became law, that requires police to record the race, age and gender of all drivers they stop for traffic violations and for those records to be analyzed for evidence of racial profiling.

    And so the substance of his response was not as surprising as the fact that a president so quickly joined the fray."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Obama Wades Into a Volatile Racial Issue


  • EARLIER:

  • This Can't Be Life.
  • Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    "Oops Upside Ya Head!"



    I said, "OOPS(!), Upside Ya Head!"

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Poker Face?


    "What, ME worry?"

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "It was interesting to watch the Republican Party lose touch with America. You had a party led by conservative Southerners who neither understood nor sympathized with moderates or representatives from swing districts.

    They brought in pollsters to their party conferences to persuade their members that the country was fervently behind them. They were supported by their interest groups and cheered on by their activists and the partisan press. They spent federal money in an effort to buy support but ended up disgusting the country instead.

    It’s not that interesting to watch the Democrats lose touch with America. That’s because the plotline is exactly the same. The party is led by insular liberals from big cities and the coasts, who neither understand nor sympathize with moderates. They have their own cherry-picking pollsters, their own media and activist cocoon, their own plans to lavishly spend borrowed money to buy votes.

    This ideological overreach won’t be any more successful than the last one.

    ...Machiavelli said a leader should be feared as well as loved. Obama is loved by the Democratic chairmen, but he is not feared.

    ... That leaves matters in the hands of the Blue Dog Democrats. These brave moderates are trying to restrain the fiscal explosion. But moderates inherently lack seniority (they are from swing districts). They are usually bought off by leadership at the end of the day.

    And so here we are again. Every new majority overinterprets its mandate. We’ve been here before. We’ll be here again."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Liberal Suicide March
  • This Can't Be Life.

    A "Post-Racial" Moment of Clarity.



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Ain’t nothing post-racial about the United States of America.

    I say this because my best friend, a well-known, middle-aged, affluent, black man, was arrested on his own front porch after showing his identification to a white police officer who was responding to a burglary call. Though the officer quickly determined that my friend was the rightful resident of the house and knew by then that there was no burglary in progress, he decided to place my friend in handcuffs, put him in the back of a police cruiser and have him fingerprinted and fully “processed,” at our local police station.

    This did not happen at night. It happened in the middle of the day. It did not happen to a previously unknown urban black male. It happened to internationally known, 58-year-old Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr. I am writing about this event because it is an outrage, because I want others to know that it is an outrage, and because, even now, I have not fully processed the meaning of it.

    ...Skip is one of the most readily recognized black men in America and the most broadly influential black scholar of this generation. And yes, in the liberal, politically correct cocoon of “the people’s Republic of Cambridge,” a famous, wealthy and important black man was arrested on his front porch. The ultimate charge? “Disorderly conduct.” Whatever that means.

    ...What I do know with certainty is that the officer, even by his own written report, understood that he was dealing with a lawful resident of the house when he made the arrest. That same report makes it clear that at the time of the arrest, the officer was no longer concerned about the report of a “burglary in progress” involving “two black males.” No, by this point we’re talking about something else entirely."

  • THE ROOT: What Do You Call a Black Man with a Ph.D.?


  • EARLIER:

  • Higher Learning.


  • Hear Me Out.


  • REAL TALK: The "Post-Racial American 'Nation of Cowards' " Edition
  • Monday, July 20, 2009

    Bones, Ribs, Coolers, and Beer.

    FILE UNDER: Old school funk for the true funk soldiers/This is how we do it!

    As the days get long, and we see a rise in temperatures, how many bitches want to touch this n****a name Snoo- ah hem, I mean we should take the time to relax the mind, let the conscious be free, and indulge in the tunes best fit for chilling, dranking, and in the words of Magic Johnson, "having a good time..."


    Ain't that right Usher?

    Oh Word?



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Barely six months into his presidency, Barack Obama seems to be driving south into that political speed trap known as Carter Country: a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets not just with failure but with scorn from political allies and foes alike. According to a July 13 CBS News poll, the once-unassailable president's approval rating now stands at 57 percent, down 11 points from April. Half of Americans think the recession will last an additional two years or more, 52 percent think Obama is trying to "accomplish too much," and 57 percent think the country is on the "wrong track."

    ...what once looked like a hope-tastic juggernaut is showing all the horsepower of a Chevy Cobalt."

    ...Of course, it's too early to write Obama off. Just a few years ago, Republicans and Democrats alike were puzzling over the "permanent" GOP majority. And less than two years ago, the smart set was buying advance tickets for Rudy vs. Hillary. Yet there's no question that Obama's massively ambitious domestic agenda is at a fork in the road: One route leads to Plains, Ga., and early retirement, the other to Hope, Ark., a second term and the revitalization of the American economy.

    ...What the new president has not quite grasped is that the American people understand both irony and cognitive dissonance. Instead, Obama has mistaken his personal popularity for a national predilection toward emergency-driven central planning. He doesn't get that Americans prefer the slower process of building political consensus based on reality, and at least a semblance of rational deliberation rather than one sky-is-falling legislative session after another.

    ...Bush learned the hard way that running government as a perpetual crisis machine leads to bad policy and public fatigue. Obama's insistence on taking advantage of a crisis to push through every item on the progressive checklist right now is threatening to complete that cycle within his first year.

    ...Americans have a pretty good (if slow-to-activate) B.S. detector, and the more you mislead them now, the worse they'll punish you later. Toward that end, producing real transparency instead of broken promises is the first step toward building credibility.

    ...As a political animal, he has always resembled Clinton more than Carter. This might help him avoid the Carteresque pileup he's driving into. Far more important, it just might help the rest of us."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: What's Next, Mr. President -- Cardigans?
  • This Modern Love.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Kid Cudi
    feat. Kanye West & Common.

    Make Her Say.

    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    "Dancing, Dancing, DANCING!"

    "He's a Dancing Machine!"...



  • NAH RIGHT: Video: Look At Puff, Now Look At Me…
  • In the Zone.

    The Twilight Zone.

    With the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in,

    Snakesweat.

    Do You Wanna Ride?

    Twista feat. Do Or Die & Johnny P.

    Yo Body.

    The Final Countdown.



    Words.

    "...the Sotomayor show was still rich in historical significance. Someday we may regard it as we do those final, frozen tableaus of Pompeii. It offered a vivid snapshot of what Washington looked like when clueless ancien-régime conservatives were feebly clinging to their last levers of power, blissfully oblivious to the new America that was crashing down on their heads and reducing their antics to a sideshow as ridiculous as it was obsolescent.

    The hearings were pure “Alice in Wonderland.” Reality was turned upside down. Southern senators who relate every question to race, ethnicity and gender just assumed that their unreconstructed obsessions are America’s and that the country would find them riveting. Instead the country yawned. The Sotomayor questioners also assumed a Hispanic woman, simply for being a Hispanic woman, could be portrayed as The Other and patronized like a greenhorn unfamiliar with How We Do Things Around Here. The senators seemed to have no idea they were describing themselves when they tried to caricature Sotomayor as an overemotional, biased ideologue.

    At least they didn’t refer to “Maria Sotomayor” as had Mike Huckabee, whose sole knowledge of Latinos apparently derives from “West Side Story.” But when Tom Coburn of Oklahoma merrily joked to Sotomayor that “You’ll have lots of ’splainin’ to do,” it clearly didn’t occur to him that such mindless condescension helps explain why the fastest-growing demographic group in the nation is bolting his party.

    ...Among Sotomayor’s questioners, both Coburn and Lindsey Graham are class of ’94. They — along with Jeff Sessions, a former Alabama attorney general best known for his unsuccessful prosecutions of civil rights activists — set the Republicans’ tone last week. In one of his many cringe-inducing moments, Graham suggested to Sotomayor that she had “a temperament problem” and advised that “maybe these hearings are a time for self-reflection.” That’s the crux of the ’94 spirit, even more than its constant, whiny refrain of white victimization: Hold others to a standard that you would not think of enforcing on yourself or your peers. Self-reflection may be mandatory for Sotomayor, but it certainly isn’t for Graham.

    ...You’d think that Coburn’s got some ’splainin’ to do, but as Washington etiquette has it, we spent the week learning every last footnote about Sotomayor while acres of press coverage shed scant light on the shoddy records of those judging her. The public got the point anyway about this dying order and its tired racial and culture wars. With Sotomayor’s fate never in doubt, it changed the channel.

    ...It’s the American way that we judge people as individuals, not as groups. And by that standard we can say unequivocally that this particular wise Latina, with the richness of her experiences, would far more often than not reach a better conclusion than the individual white males she faced in that Senate hearing room. Even those viewers who watched the Sotomayor show for only a few minutes could see that her America is our future and theirs is the rapidly receding past."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: They Got Some �Splainin� to Do


  • EARLIER:

  • The White Man's Burden.


  • Justice League: Origins.
  • [Black] Reality Bites.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "President Obama's speech Thursday marking the 100th anniversary of the NAACP's founding was widely reported as a "tough love" message directed at black America. "I've noticed that when I talk about personal responsibility in the African American community, that gets highlighted," Obama said in an interview Friday. "But then the whole other half of the speech, where I talked about government's responsibility . . .that somehow doesn't make news."

    Fair enough, but he misses the point. The real news wasn't in the content but the visuals: the nation's leading black civil rights organization being addressed by the nation's first black president. Obama could have read nursery rhymes and the event still would have been noteworthy.

    In his six months in office, Obama has taken few occasions to confront the issue of race head-on. This moment was inescapable. But his words about the deficits that still plague black America were delivered to a room full of NAACP convention delegates who are, by and large, highly educated and comfortably affluent -- men and women who already have high expectations for their children and know how to hold their elected officials accountable. Missing was the too-large segment of the black community that has been left behind.

    ...there was a time when no one had to ask what the NAACP was supposed to do -- when black Americans, living with the common constraints of overt discrimination, had an obvious and urgent common purpose.

    Said Obama: "I do think it is important for the African American community, in its diversity, to stay true to one core aspect of the African American experience, which is we know what it's like to be on the outside.

    "If we ever lose that, then I think we're in trouble. Then I think we've lost our way." "

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Black America's New Reality
  • Money Ain't a Thang.

    For now...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Soulja Boy
    .

    Work.

    Growing on Me.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Mariah Carey.

    Obsessed.

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Health. Care.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    Words.

    "Now we have arrived at an even bigger national moment. Within a few weeks, we will know whether health care plans designed to eliminate a problem that has vexed every president since Franklin Roosevelt will make it to this president’s desk.

    Both the House and a committee in the Senate have just shown their cards in the political poker game of the decade. The price of near-universal health, the House plan indicates, will be about $1 trillion, paid for with a surtax on couples who earn more than $350,000 a year, and a promise of savings in federal programs and the considerable waste stream of the private system.

    The measures would require everyone to get health care, with subsidies for the poor. Employers, except for smaller businesses, would have to provide insurance or pay a fee to the government. And there would be a public option — a plan that would, in theory, keep insurance companies honest by acting as a legitimate competitor.

    The final bill will likely be the kind of sausage that is never pretty in the making.

    ...About 48 million Americans have no health care, which means most people are at least one degree of separation from someone with no coverage.

    ...At the other end are people who have terrific health care, even gold-plated, and will likely find nothing in the legislative overhaul for them. But dissatisfaction runs high even among those with good benefits.

    ...Over the last decade, the courts have processed millions of former members of the middle class who lost it all on one catastrophic illness — the leading cause of most personal bankruptcies.

    ...To change this system is an enormous gamble, arguably on the magnitude of creating Social Security. The costs are scary, and coupled with trillon-dollar deficits, are prompting many independents to doubt the road that Obama has chosen.

    All of this will make for a fast-round of shouting among all the interests groups, and a stimulus package for lobbyists. But this time it may not matter: the future of American health care could be decided by the politics of personal experience."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Health Care’s Historic Moment


  • EARLIER:


  • 1st, AID.


  • Just a thought.


  • Because of the Times.


  • HELP.


  • Hill Street Blues.


  • St. James Infirmary Blues.
  • Friday, July 17, 2009

    Community. College.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    Starting. Back at One.

    Words.

    "...Over the past 35 years, college completion rates have been flat. Income growth has stagnated. America has squandered its human capital advantage. Students at these places are on self-directed missions to reverse that, one person at a time.

    Community college enrollment has been increasing at more than three times the rate of four-year colleges. This year, in the middle of the recession, many schools are seeing enrollment surges of 10 percent to 15 percent. And the investment seems to pay off. According to one study, students who earn a certificate experience a 15 percent increase in earnings. Students earning an associate degree registered an 11 percent gain.

    And yet funding lags. Most people in government, think tanks and the news media didn’t go to community college, and they don’t send their children to them. It’s a blind spot in their consciousness. As a result, four-year colleges receive three times as much federal money per student as community colleges. According to a Brookings Institution report, federal spending for community colleges fell six percent between 2002 and 2005, while spending on four-year colleges increased.

    Which is why what President Obama announced this week is so important. He announced a $12 billion plan to produce 5 million more community college grads by 2020.

    If the plan were just $12 billion for buildings and student aid, it wouldn’t be worth getting excited about. The money devoted to new construction amounts to about $2 million per campus. With new facilities costing in the tens of millions, that’s not a big deal.

    ...What’s important about the Obama initiative is that it doesn’t throw money at the problem. It ties money to reform and has the potential — the potential — to spur a wave of innovation.

    ...It’s a reminder that the Obama administration can produce hope and change — when the White House is the engine of policy creation and not the caboose."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: No Size Fits All


  • SEE ALSO:

  • Blackboard Jungle.
  • Bones, Ribs, Coolers, and Beer.

    FILE UNDER: Old school funk for the true funk soldiers/This is how we do it!

    As the days get long, and we see a rise in temperatures, how many bitches want to touch this n****a name Snoo- ah hem, I mean we should take the time to relax the mind, let the conscious be free, and indulge in the tunes best fit for chilling, dranking, and in the words of Magic Johnson, "having a good time..."


    Ain't that right Chester French?

    This is how we do it.

    Yes it is Michael. You don't even know...

    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.


    Michael Jackson.


    Man in the Mirror
    .

    Live at the Grammys
    .

    1988.

    Man in the Mirror.

    Make that change...


    Words.



    "I am a former Republican and now an independent conservative, and what is going on with the GOP right now makes my skin crawl. What has happened to the party of morals, character and traditional beliefs?

    Ensign, Sanford and Vitter should join Craig in the private sector and resign immediately. Not because they cheated on their wives but because of their hypocrisy and the sleazy things they've done in concert with their philandering.

    Too many of my Republican friends offer excuses: "Democrats do the same thing," they say. But that won't play with the American people.

    The Republican leadership -- especially any member of it who is thinking of running for president in 2012 -- needs to step back and acknowledge that the party is damaged, dysfunctional and coming across as hypocritical. There was a time when Republicans stood for something, but today it's no longer clear what the party's basic tenets are or who speaks for it.

    ...the GOP has to stop sending out the next candidate in line to chase the largest car going by and instead figure out what it stands for and how to connect with the changing complexion of our nation. That, or prepare for political extinction."

  • THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Reviving the GOP
  • Justice League: Origins.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Judgmental
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorJoke of the Day

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Blackboard Jungle.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Educating America: "Easy as 1-2-3!(?)"

    Words.

    "It's the silent education crisis, the one we don't talk about much because its existence undermines the story we like to tell about our country.

    The problems we face from kindergarten to 12th grade get regular, if still insufficient, attention. But we rarely confront how badly we're faring when it comes to educating our people after high school. That silent education crisis belies our claim that no nation comes close to us in guaranteeing that anyone can work hard, get a great education and soar.

    ...Today, the United States stands 10th in the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds who have earned a postsecondary degree. We're behind Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Denmark and France.

    The information I've just offered comes from an important article by Andrew Delbanco, a professor at Columbia University, published this spring in the New York Review of Books. Delbanco concludes that "a great many gifted and motivated young people are excluded from college for no other reason than their inability to pay, and we have failed seriously to confront the problem."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Our Silent Education Emergency
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly.

    New flava in ya ear!

    The Dead Weather.

    Treat Me Like Your Mother.

    The White Man's Burden.


    Compassionate.

    Words.

    "Despite the best efforts of Republicans to root out any sign that Sonia Sotomayor has emotions that color her views on the law, the Bronx Bomber kept a robotic mask in place.

    A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.

    ...Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. Besides, it’s delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational given the G.O.P. shame spiral.

    W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq, W.M.D.’s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.

    Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.

    ...And then there’s the Supreme Court, of course, which gave up its claim to rational neutrality when the justices appointed by Republican presidents — including Bush Sr. — ignored what was fair to make a sentimental choice and throw the 2000 election to W.

    Faced with that warped case of supreme empathy, no wonder Sotomayor is so eager to follow the law."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: White Man’s Last Stand


  • EARLIER:

  • Walking on Broken Glass.


  • Justice League.
  • Off the Wall.

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Remembering Remembering Michael Jackson
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorJeff Goldblum

    Justice League.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    White Men Can't Judge
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorJoke of the Day

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    "LET'S DANCE! LET'S SHOUT!"

    And "Shake Ya Body Down to the Ground" with Foreign Born, and their,

    Winter Games.

    My Girl.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Kelly Clarkson.

    Already Gone.

    Stripped/Live on the Late Show with David Letterman.



    Shout out to the folks over at
  • Idolator for putting this on my radar. That's what's up!
  • 1st, AID.


    "The LIFETIME sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head fever so you can rest Medicine(?)."

    Words.

    "Many, if not most, Americans have some experience with our nation's mostly private health-care system. Yet they still fall prey to the scare tactic that nothing -- but nothing -- could be worse than a government takeover of the system. How things could be worse than they are now, I cannot imagine.

    In the past two months, I have spent many hours accompanying a loved one to hospital emergency rooms -- all of them privately operated. The rap on what is sometimes called socialized medicine is that if the government ran the system, the wait would be interminable. Well, I am here to tell you that even when the government does not run the system, the wait can be interminable.

    ...the insurance industry sets out to spook the public with talk of "socialized medicine," "government bureaucrats" and "government-run health care." My loved one recently had to return to the emergency room because she was dehydrated. Her insurance company listed the reasons someone could return, and dehydration was one of them. They still denied her claim. The government had nothing to do with it.

    The ongoing health-care debate is complex -- not as interesting as Michael Jackson or Sarah Palin. But in deciding what to do and who to support in the current attempt to reform health care, don't rely on insurance industry propaganda, but on your own experience. Recall the last time you went to the emergency room and ask yourself whether the government could possibly do a worse job. If the answer is yes, you might need medical attention more than you realize."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: 'Socialized Medicine? Bring It On
  • Walking on Broken Glass.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "The only real suspense in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is whether the Republican Party will persist in tying its fortunes to an anachronistic claim of white male exceptionalism and privilege.

    Republicans' outrage, both real and feigned, at Sotomayor's musings about how her identity as a "wise Latina" might affect her judicial decisions is based on a flawed assumption: that whiteness and maleness are not themselves facets of a distinct identity. Being white and male is seen instead as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any "identity" -- black, brown, female, gay, whatever -- has to be judged against this supposedly "objective" standard.

    ...There is, after all, a context in which these confirmation hearings take place: The nation continues to take major steps toward fulfilling the promise of its noblest ideals. Barack Obama is our first African American president. Sonia Sotomayor would be only the third woman, and the third member of a minority group, to serve on the nation's highest court. Aside from these exceptions, the White House and the Supreme Court have been exclusively occupied by white men -- who, come to think of it, are also members of a minority group, though they certainly haven't seen themselves that way.

    ...when he [Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.)] brought up the "wise Latina" remark, as the GOP playbook apparently required, Graham said that "if I had said anything remotely like that, my career would have been over."

    That's true. But if Latinas had run the world for the last millennium, Sotomayor's career would be over, too. Pretending that the historical context doesn't exist -- pretending that white men haven't enjoyed a privileged position in this society -- doesn't make that context go away."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Whose Identity Politics?
  • Let Me Love You.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Mario feat. Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett.

    Break Up
    .

    "Oh Won't You Smile-a-While for Me!"

    "SARAH!"...

    A Moment of Clarity.

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    Old School Funk for the True Funk Soldiers!

    Baby ft. Clipse.

    What Happened to that Boy?

    Through the Looking Glass.

    Lilly Allen.

    22.

    One Mic.

    An MJ Moment of Clarity staring Jay Smooth.



    I second that emotion.

    Prison Break.

    With T.I. & Mary J. Blige in,

    Remember Me.

    Reality Bites.


    "We are FAMILY!"

    Words.

    "This week's hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court represent the opening skirmish in a long-term struggle to challenge the escalating activism of an increasingly conservative judiciary.

    The Senate's Republican minority does not expect to derail Sotomayor, who would be the first Hispanic and only the third woman to serve on the court, and they realize that their attack lines against her have failed to ignite public attention, or even much interest.

    ...Yet none of this diminishes the importance of the Senate drama that opens today, because the argument that began 40 years ago over the political and philosophical direction of the judiciary has reached a critical moment. Under Chief Justice John Roberts, conservatives have finally established a majority on the court that is beginning to work its will.

    Republican senators know that Sotomayor's accession to the high court will not change this, since she is replacing Justice David Souter, a member of the court's liberal minority. But they want to use the hearings to paint the moderately liberal Sotomayor as, at best, the outer limit of what is acceptable on the bench to justify the new conservative activism that is about to become the rule.

    ...If you wonder what judicial activism looks like, consider one of the court's final moves in its spring term.

    The justices had before them a simple case, involving a group called Citizens United, that could have been disposed of on narrow grounds.

    ...Rather than decide the case before it, the court engaged in a remarkable exercise of judicial overreach. It postponed its decision, called for new briefs and scheduled a hearing this September on the broader question of whether corporations should be allowed to spend money to elect or defeat particular candidates.

    What the court was saying was that it wanted to revisit a 19-year-old precedent that barred such corporate interference in the electoral process. That 1990 ruling upheld what has been the law of the land since 1947, when the Taft-Hartley Act banned independent expenditures by both corporations and labor unions.

    ...It is truly frightening that a conservative Supreme Court is seriously considering overturning a century-old tradition at the very moment the financial crisis has brought home the terrible effects of excessive corporate influence on politics.

    ...So when conservatives try to paint Sotomayor as some sort of radical, consider that the real radicals are those who now hold a majority on the Supreme Court. In this battle, it is she, not her critics, who represents moderation and judicial restraint."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The Real Court Radicals