Monday, August 31, 2009

Remember the Time?

A Moment of Clarity.


In the Pocket!(?)

Words.

"...surveying current politics, I find myself missing Richard Nixon.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. Nixon was surely the worst person other than Dick Cheney ever to control the executive branch.

But the Nixon era was a time in which leading figures in both parties were capable of speaking rationally about policy, and in which policy decisions weren’t as warped by corporate cash as they are now. America is a better country in many ways than it was 35 years ago, but our political system’s ability to deal with real problems has been degraded to such an extent that I sometimes wonder whether the country is still governable.

...So what happened to the days when a Republican president could sound so nonideological, and offer such a reasonable proposal?

Part of the answer is that the right-wing fringe, which has always been around — as an article by the historian Rick Perlstein puts it, “crazy is a pre-existing condition” — has now, in effect, taken over one of our two major parties.

...But there’s another reason health care reform is much harder now than it would have been under Nixon: the vast expansion of corporate influence."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Missing Richard Nixon
  • "MESSAGE!"

    From Bob Dole RE: Healthcare.



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Health-care reform is the No. 1 domestic priority. With all the charges and countercharges, those who will be affected, the American people, are understandably confused. Many are angry. Reform of our health-care system is a gigantic undertaking, but too many measures have been drafted in congressional committees by liberal Democrats. It's become too much for many to grasp.

    ...If I were a White House adviser, I would suggest that the day Congress reconvenes, President Obama's version of reform should be introduced by Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. Health-care reform is the vital issue of our time, and Obama should be out front with his specific plan on this make-or-break issue.

    Many of us were taught that the president proposes and Congress disposes. Today, Congress is doing both -- with the president relegated to the role of cheerleader in chief as he campaigns for various House committees' efforts. Certainly, Obama supports much in these proposals -- but Barack Obama is our president, not a commentator."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Starting Over On Health Care
  • Butta Love.

    With Drake & Trey Songz.

    Successful.

    "I ROCKS ROUGH AND STUFF!"

    New flava in ya ear!

    Mary J. Blige feat. Drake.

    The One.

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    I Gotta Feeling.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Basement Jaxx feat. Sam Sparro.

    Feeling's Gone.

    Good Vibrations.

    Just you watch...



    Say it with me now, y'all: "COMEDY!"

  • FOURFOUR: The Marky Mark Workout
  • CHANGE!


    HOW MANY OF US WANT IT?

    Words.

    "The reason Americans have turned against health-care reform, after electing President Obama in part for promising it, is simple: Despite protestations to the contrary, Americans don't like change. You wouldn't know it, of course, if you listen to politicians in high-pander mode, or to talk radio hosts of the right or TV pundits of the left. Or, for that matter, if you listened to the president of the United States. You would think that while we might disagree about what kind of change we want, Americans are in total agreement that the current situation is intolerable in all areas and that change -- big, immediate change -- is essential. Americans do agree about this -- in the abstract. But as soon as it seems that change might actually happen -- as soon as we leave the abstract for the particular -- we panic. We suddenly develop nostalgia for the comforts of the status quo. Sure, we want change -- as long as everything can stay just as it is..."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Change We'd Rather Do Without
  • Oh On and On!

    And on and on...



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "SILKY straight hair has long been considered by many black women to be their crowning glory. So what if getting that look meant enduring the itchy burning that’s a hallmark of many chemical straighteners. Or a pricey dependence on “creamy crack,” as relaxers are sometimes jokingly called.

    Getting “good hair” often means transforming one’s tightly coiled roots; but it is also more freighted, for many African-American women and some men, than simply a choice about grooming. Straightening hair has been perceived as a way to be more acceptable to certain relatives, as well as to the white establishment.

    “If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed,” the comedian Paul Mooney, sporting an Afro, says in the documentary “Good Hair,” which won a jury prize at the Sundance film festival and comes out in October. “If your hair is nappy, they’re not happy.”

    The movie, made by Chris Rock, explores the lengths black women go to get long, straightened locks, from a $1,000 weave on a teacher’s salary to schoolgirls having their hair chemically relaxed.

    In the face of cultural pressure, the thinking goes, conformists relax their hair, and rebels have the courage not to. In some corners, relaxing one’s hair is even seen as wishing to be white.

    ...Although legions of black women in America straighten their hair (including Michelle Obama), hair salons specializing in natural styles have proliferated, and more black women are working with their virgin hair. Many wear their twists, locks or teenie-weenie Afros (known as TWAs) with an attitude — proud to have not given in to the pressure to straighten hair. In “Good Hair,” Nia Long, the actress, describes the conventional wisdom that straightened hair is more desirable: “There’s always a sort of pressure within the black community, like ‘Oh, if you have good hair, you’re prettier or better than the brown-skinned girl that wears an Afro or the dreads or the natural hairstyle.’”

    For some, the battle lines are drawn.

    But in recent interviews, a number of people of color expressed a weariness with the debate. They asked, essentially: Why can’t hair just be hair?"

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics
  • Thursday, August 27, 2009

    "EVERYBODY!"

    "Y'all already know what this is!"...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Backstreet Boys.

    Straight Through My Heart.

    Dear Mr. President,

    A Moment of Clarity.


    Words.

    "I am afraid there has been a misunderstanding since that election in 2008, during which 66,882,230 Americans cast their votes for you. Perhaps one of your trusted advisors has given you bum information. Maybe they told you that we voted for you -- walked, marched, prayed, fund-raised and knocked on doors for you -- because we hoped you would try to reunite the country. Of the total votes cast that long-ago November day, I'm guessing that about 1,575 people wanted you to try to reconcile the toxic bipartisanship that culminated in those Sarah Palin rallies.

    The other 66,880,655 of us wanted universal healthcare.

    ...People, get ready, you said; there's a train a 'coming. And we did get ready. We hit the streets. We roared, whispered, cried, whooped and went door to door, convinced that even if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had not specifically dreamed of you, his dream of justice and equality and pride might come into being through your vision, your greatness, through the hope that your words gave us, through the change you promised.

    ...You said you would push back your sleeves and begin, that it would take all of us working harder than we ever had before, but that you would lead. While acknowledging the financial and moral devastation of the last eight years, you said you would start by giving your people healthcare. You would do battle with the conservatives and insurance companies. You said in your beautiful way many times that this was the overarching moral and spiritual issue of our times, and we understood this to mean that you took this to be your Selma, your Little Rock.

    ...And we believed you. Now you seem to have abandoned the dream. That is why moderates and liberals and progressives like myself all seem a little tense this summer. It is time to call your spirit back.

    ...Do it for Teddy Kennedy, boss. Do it for the other Kennedys too, for Dr. King, for Big Mama, for the poorest kids you met on the trail, the kids who go to emergency rooms for their healthcare, do it for their mothers and for Michelle. Just do it."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: President Obama: Healthcare; you promised.
  • Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    Beat Beat Heartbeat.


    Words.

    "As the health care debate enters its decisive weeks, the left doubts President Obama’s commitment, and the press doubts his competence.

    For MSNBC-watching, Huffington Post-devouring liberals, the administration’s fancy footwork on a public health care plan (maybe it’s out, maybe it’s in, but either way it’s negotiable) is just the latest example of the president’s unseemly unwillingness to steamroll the opposition. He has been too solicitous to Republicans, too hands-off with Democrats, too detached and technocratic — even as a once-in-a-generation opportunity is passing liberalism by.

    Where the left sees betrayal, the press sees ham-fistedness. The White House’s messages have been mixed — fiscal hawkery one day, moralism the next. The administration has allowed distractions like the Skip Gates affair to crowd out his agenda. It has overlearned the lessons of the Clinton-care debacle and given Congress too much leeway. It has underlearned the lessons of the Bush-era Social Security debacle and gone to war before there’s an actual piece of legislation on the table.

    Some of this is true — but some of it is overstated. And at its worst, it’s an example of the bipartisan derangement that Gene Healy of the Cato Institute has dubbed “the cult of the presidency.”

    To the disciples of this cult, the president is the government. “He is a soul nourisher,” Healy writes, “a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns and spiritual malaise.” Anything that happens on his watch happens because of him. Anything that happens on his watch happens because of him. And just as important, anything that doesn’t happen can be pinned entirely on his mistakes.

    ...In reality, the health care wrestling match is less a test of Mr. Obama’s political genius than it is a test of the Democratic Party’s ability to govern. This is not the Reagan era, when power in Washington was divided, and every important vote required the president to leverage his popularity to build trans-party coalitions. Fox News and Sarah Palin have soapboxes, but they don’t have veto power. Mr. Obama could be a cipher, a nonentity, a Millard Fillmore or a Franklin Pierce, and his party would still have the power to pass sweeping legislation without a single Republican vote.

    ...health care reform is the Democratic Party’s signature issue. Its wonks have thought longer and harder about it than any other topic. Its politicians are vastly better at talking about the subject than Republicans: if an election is fought over health care, bet on the Democrat every time.

    ...If the Congressional Democrats can’t get a health care package through, it won’t prove that President Obama is a sellout or an incompetent...And it will prove that the Democratic Party is institutionally incapable of delivering on its most significant promises."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Don’t Blame Obama
  • "Here's a little story that must be told!"


    "And it goes it little something like this!"

    Words.

    ...As we head toward next month's congressional face-off on a national healthcare bill, the news media are infatuated with town hall meetings. Over and over, we see angry citizens screaming about a Big Government takeover of the healthcare system, shouting that they will lose their insurance or be forced to give up their doctors and denouncing "death panels" that will euthanize old people.

    Of course, none of this is even remotely true. These are all canards peddled by insurance companies terrified of losing their power and profits, by right-wing militants terrified of a victory for the president they hate and by the Republican Party, which has been commandeered by the insurance industry and the militants. But the lies have obviously had their effect. Recent polls show that support for healthcare reform -- reform that would insure more Americans, would force insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions and prevent them from capriciously terminating coverage, and would provide competition to drive down costs -- is rapidly eroding.

    Maybe Americans should know better. Maybe they shouldn't fall for the latest imbecilic propaganda and scare tactics. Maybe. But a citizenry is only as well-informed as the quality of information it receives. One can't expect Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or the Republican Party or even the Democrats to provide serious, truthful assessments of a complex health plan. Truth has to come from somewhere else -- from a reliable, objective, trustworthy source.

    That source should be the media.

    ...It was because we didn't have a committed, truth-telling media that the country marched happily into Iraq, with tragic consequences that should have been foreseen...It was because we didn't have a committed, truth-telling media that the country plunged off the economic cliff with so little warning. And it may very well be because we don't have a committed, truth-telling media that we will fail to get the healthcare reform we so desperately need.

    ...Telling the truth requires shoe leather. It requires digging up facts that aren't being handed to you, talking to experts, thinking hard about what you find. This isn't easy. It takes time and energy as well as guts, especially when there are conflicting studies, as there are on healthcare. But finally, we may not have a journalism of truth because we haven't demanded one. Many of us are invested in one side of the story; we are for Obama or against him, for healthcare reform or against it. These are a priori positions. Truth won't change them.

    Yet the danger of not insisting on the truth in a brave new world of constant lies is that it subjects our policies to whichever side shouts the loudest or has the most money to spend to mislead us. That is likely to lead to disastrous governance: a needless war, a great recession, a continuation of a failing healthcare system.

    What it comes down to is that sometimes the media have to tell the truth not because anyone really wants them to but because it is the right thing to do -- the essential thing to do -- for the sake of our democracy."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: 'Truth' vs. 'facts' from America's media
  • American Promise.

    An "Oh Word?" Moment of Clarity.


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

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Let's go back to that "teachable moment." It was proclaimed by Barack Obama after he said that police in Cambridge, Mass., had acted "stupidly" in arresting Henry Louis Gates Jr. for essentially being black in his own house. It has been a month now, and the one sure thing we have learned in this extended teachable moment is about Obama himself. He can't teach.

    This is clear when it comes to two of the major challenges confronting his administration: health-care reform and the war in Afghanistan. Both are losing popular support. Increasingly, Americans are becoming convinced that Afghanistan will cost lots of lives and that health-care reform will cost lots of money -- and both will have paltry payoffs or none at all. Teacher, please explain.

    Obama cannot -- or, to be both fair and precise, he has not been able to. This is because of an insufficiency I have noted previously -- his distinct coolness, an above-the-fray mien that does not communicate empathy. If you recall, for instance, that teachable moment about Gates, you will remember it was about racial profiling and such. Commentators galore jumped right in and in some cases -- Glenn Beck comes to mind -- proved they were whores for controversy, but Obama stayed above the fray. Class was in session but he was not.

    ...some of it has to do with the president's inability to simply say what he wants and why that's good for us. The failure here is twofold: the message and the messenger.

    ...Obama brims with energy and charm. His brilliance is not brittle but supple. Yet, another teachable moment is upon him and he seems lost. The country needs health-care reform and success in Afghanistan, and both efforts are going in the wrong direction. The message needs to be fixed, and so, with some tough introspection, does the man."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Teachable Moments Lost
  • Friday, August 21, 2009

    Pomp and Circumstance.



    Words.

    "Time for an unreality check. Maybe all of us who think that making universal health care the law of the land is the most important issue of our lifetimes would not be feeling so angry and bitter if we took a step back and looked at the true cause of our rage: the liberals who raised such impossible expectations of Obama in the first place.

    ...if it weren’t for months of giddy rhetoric about the post-racial society, and the triumph of cosmopolitan values, and the dawn of a new golden consensus on everything that is socially just and decent—if it weren’t for all that good, old-fashioned American optimism that has such an egotistical, deluded underside, then we would have known what to expect when Obama started his health-care push and how to deal with it politically, intellectually, and emotionally.

    ...it almost goes without saying that many of the rapturous optimists, if not most, were people honestly, and in good conscience, wrung out by the badness and deceit of the previous eight years. They poured their despair into this one remarkably iconoclastic-seeming figure. Obama himself, in one of his books, acknowledged that he had long felt he was a screen onto which people projected their own aspirations. He certainly did his share to raise expectations. He had a million accomplices, though, who went even further than he did.

    But November elections don’t usher in new epochs. Obama was elected by a freakish perfect storm of crises, not a sudden transformation of attitudes. The economic meltdown that made him now threatens to unmake him.

    Obama’s own near-obsessive, Lincoln-like harping on the nation’s divisiveness throughout his campaign was both a warning of the coming storm and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    He has been, from the beginning, the most divisive president since Lincoln. As well he should be. In personal origin, public demeanor, and social agenda, Obama is the most original president the country has ever had.

    ...Liberals might be more tolerant of Obama’s patient maneuverings and brilliant gamesmanship if they tried to look beyond their surreal expectations. For what Obama is up against is not just stubborn political and cultural realities that do not obligingly turn with the election season. He is contending with something both more prosaic and more overwhelming: tax rates.

    ...Let him assure people that pre-modern tax rates for the wealthy—i.e., Republican reactionary tactics—won’t stand in the way of government funding, that just as anyone with a household budget knows how to take from here to give to there, health care will find its funding as a sound bill, once made law, finds its footing in society. Let him say whatever he has to say, so long as he keeps reminding people what is truly at stake. And let liberals stop punishing him for disappointing the moral vanity they once felt in declaring a black president the First Man of a New Age."

  • THE DAILY BEAST: Divider in Chief
  • Coming Attractions.

    For Your Consideration.

    "Is it my turn?"

    Make that Change...



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "According to news reports, the Obama administration — which seemed, over the weekend, to be backing away from the “public option” for health insurance — is shocked and surprised at the furious reaction from progressives.

    Well, I’m shocked and surprised at their shock and surprise.

    A backlash in the progressive base — which pushed President Obama over the top in the Democratic primary and played a major role in his general election victory — has been building for months. The fight over the public option involves real policy substance, but it’s also a proxy for broader questions about the president’s priorities and overall approach.

    ...there’s a growing sense among progressives that they have, as my colleague Frank Rich suggests, been punked. And that’s why the mixed signals on the public option created such an uproar.

    ...progressives are now in revolt. Mr. Obama took their trust for granted, and in the process lost it. And now he needs to win it back."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Obama’s Trust Problem
  • "Burnin' Up!"


    Come on Dems, take heed and get up LIKE THIS!

    Words.

    "Here's the least surprising news of the week: Americans are souring on the Democratic Party. The wonder is that it's taken so long for public opinion to curdle.

    ...A poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center reports that just 49 percent of respondents have a favorable view of the Democrats, compared with 62 percent in January and 59 percent in April. This doesn't mean, though, that Americans look any more kindly upon the Republican Party -- favorability for the GOP has been steady at 40 percent throughout the year, according to Pew.

    ...What it does mean, however, is that Republican efforts to obstruct, delay, confuse, stall, distort and otherwise impede the reform agenda that Americans voted for last November have had measurable success. And it means that Democrats, having been given a mandate -- one as comprehensive as either party is likely to enjoy in this era of red-vs.-blue polarization -- don't really know how to use it.

    ...There's not enough passion on the Democratic side, not enough heat. There's some radiating from the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, too little emanating from the Democratic majority in the Senate, and not nearly enough coming from President Obama. Republicans, by contrast, have little going for them except passion -- but they're using it to impressive effect.

    ...Passion finds expression in anger, but also in hope. Democrats knew and felt that during the campaign. If they forget it, they might as well also forget about achieving the kind of fundamental change that the country sorely needs."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: A Little More Heat, Please
  • Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Law & Order.


    Not. To. Day.

    Words.

    "Try a thought experiment: What would conservatives have said if a group of loud, scruffy leftists had brought guns to the public events of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush?

    How would our friends on the right have reacted to someone at a Reagan or a Bush speech carrying a sign that read: "It is time to water the tree of liberty"? That would be a reference to Thomas Jefferson's declaration that the tree "must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    Pardon me, but I don't think conservatives would have spoken out in defense of the right of every American Marxist to bear arms or to shed the blood of tyrants.

    ...What needs to be addressed is not the legal question but the message that the gun-toters are sending.

    This is not about the politics of populism. It's about the politics of the jackboot. It's not about an opposition that has every right to free expression. It's about an angry minority engaging in intimidation backed by the threat of violence."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Leave The Guns At Home
  • Liberal Bias.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Fox News: The New Liberals
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorHealthcare Protests

    Knock Down, Drag Out Extravaganza!



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "...it seems likely that end-of-life counseling will be dropped from the health-reform legislation. But that's a small point, compared with the larger issue that has clouded this summer: How can you sustain a democracy if one of the two major political parties has been overrun by nihilists? And another question: How can you maintain the illusion of journalistic impartiality when one of the political parties has jumped the shark?

    ...The most liberal members of the Democratic caucus — Senator Russ Feingold in the Senate, Representative Dennis Kucinich in the House, to name two — are honorable public servants who make their arguments based on facts. They don't retail outright lies. Hyperbole and distortion certainly exist on the left, but they are a minor chord in the Democratic Party.

    It is a very different story among Republicans. To be sure, there are honorable conservatives, trying to do the right thing.

    ...But they have been overwhelmed by nihilists and hypocrites more interested in destroying the opposition and gaining power than in the public weal.

    ...Why are these men so reluctant to be rational in public?"

  • TIME: The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists
  • COMPUTER LOVE!

    New flava in ya ear!

    Jamie Foxx, Drake, The Dream, and Kanye West.

    Digital Girl.

    The Remix.

    Beyond Thunderdome.

    With Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West in,

    Run this Town.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    "Tell it like it is!"

    Just you watch...

    "WHO'S BAD?"

    New flava in ya ear!

    Ace Hood feat. Ludacris.

    Born an OG. [ED.'S NOTE: Oh really now?]

    AMURICA!


    FUCK YEAH!

    Words.

    "...it's hard not to be taken aback by the televised images of people opposed to healthcare reform carrying guns to rallies at which President Obama is speaking.

    At least a dozen people openly displaying everything from an AR-15 assault rifle to 9-millimeter Beretta sidearms were in the crowd outside the hall where Obama spoke in Arizona on Monday. The state is one of those that have a so-called open-carry law, which allows people into public places with loaded weapons. Their appearance at recent rallies is supposed to signal their implacable opposition to the "tyranny" of healthcare reform.

    ...Something has shifted since Obama's election. Along with the now mindlessly normative red state/blue state polarization and autonomic politicization of even the most trivial incident, there's a kind of hysteria that seems to be creeping in from the fringes -- a new tenor to our disagreements and a startling attenuation of reason.

    ...Somehow all of this anxious animosity has become the background noise crowding out nearly all substantive and realistic discussion of the critical issues surrounding healthcare reform. This is one of the most complex and consequential initiatives of our time, over which even the most serious-minded people of goodwill are bound to have real differences. The stakes are immense, and the discussion, insofar as the reality of partisan politics permits, ought to reflect that.

    ...You can't make this stuff up -- but lots of people are, and they're being encouraged to do so by those in the Republican Party who think that defeat of the president's healthcare reform initiative at any cost is the GOP's only hope of substantial recovery in the midterms.

    They might be careful what they wish for, because if our national political conversation becomes simply a continuation of talk radio by other means, dominated by people who bring guns to political rallies, who believe that the president of the United States is an alien who wants to euthanize the elderly and imprison the overweight, it won't matter which party is in power. The country will be as ungovernable as it is deluded."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: America the delusional
  • America's Sweetheart.

    The Twilight Zone.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    [ED.'S NOTE: That sentiment, that face plant into the palm, the heavy body sigh, and those last few words uttered before signing off with Bill Maher = My Thoughts exactly.]

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Puppy Love.

    With Bow Wow.

    He's,

    "Love Struck(!)".

    What it is right now?

    A Moment of Clarity?

    Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

    Blow the Whistle!

    Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy



    Words.

    "Barack Obama took office pledging to be a transformational president. The fate of a government-run public health insurance option will be an early test of his ability to end the way Washington's big-money, special-interest politics suffocates true reform.

    Without that option, what Obama now calls "health insurance reform" still would be better than no reform at all. But frankly it's becoming hard to tell. So many genuine reforms have been taken off the table -- fully universal coverage, the ability to negotiate prices with the drug companies -- that expectations are ratcheted down almost daily.

    Giving up the public option would send many of Obama's progressive supporters into apoplexy, yet the administration has sent clear signals that this is the path of less resistance it's prepared to take.

    "The public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health-care reform. This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it," Obama said Saturday at a town hall in Grand Junction, Colo. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, told CNN that a public option is "not the essential element" of comprehensive reform.

    But what is the "essential element"? Where, if anywhere, does Obama draw a line in the sand? For reform to be meaningful, there must be some components that a final package absolutely should include. What on Earth might they be?

    ...Clearly, the White House feels itself on the defensive. But why?

    ...If conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats are successful in nixing a public health insurance option and watering down other reforms, progressive voters have a right to ask why they went to such trouble to elect Democratic majorities and a Democratic president. But the Senate can still resort to a parliamentary maneuver that would require only 51 votes, rendering most objections irrelevant. Historical trends indicate that it's unlikely the Democrats will expand their majorities in 2010. Politically, therefore, there's not likely to be a better moment for health reform than right now."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Where's Mr. Transformer?
  • KELLS!

    feat. Keri Hilson.

    Number One
    .

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    REAL TALK: The "Why We Need Health Care Reform" Edition by Barack Obama



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.

    ...I don’t have to explain to the nearly 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance how important this is. But it’s just as important for Americans who do have health insurance.

    ...First, if you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of high-quality, affordable coverage for yourself and your family — coverage that will stay with you whether you move, change your job or lose your job.

    ...Second, reform will finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control, which will mean real savings for families, businesses and our government.

    ...Third, by making Medicare more efficient, we’ll be able to ensure that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of enriching insurance companies.

    ...Lastly, reform will provide every American with some basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable.

    ...Our reform will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of your medical history. Nor will they be allowed to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.

    ...This is what reform is about. If you don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. You will not be waiting in any lines. This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health care decisions but you and your doctor — not government bureaucrats, not insurance companies.

    ...But let’s make sure that we talk with one another, and not over one another. We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed. This is a complicated and critical issue, and it deserves a serious debate.

    ...In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain. But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing. If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day. Premiums will continue to skyrocket. Our deficit will continue to grow. And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against sick people.

    That is not a future I want for my children, or for yours. And that is not a future I want for the United States of America."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Why We Need Health Care Reform
  • Meanwhile in Inglewood...

    Baby Be Mine.

    For all time. Through the Good & the Bad. The Thick & the Thin...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Fabolous feat. Jay-Z.

    Money Goes, Honey Stay (When The Money Goes Remix).

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Big Ups Mr. Weaver!

    And thanks to both you and President Obama for keeping it real, speaking on the issues, and making my day! That's what's up!

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

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "...Nobody has been hurt so far. We can all hope that nobody will be. But firearms and politics never mix well. They mix especially badly with a third ingredient: the increasingly angry tone of incitement being heard from right-of-center broadcasters.

    The Nazi comparisons from Rush Limbaugh; broadcaster Mark Levin asserting that President Obama is “literally at war with the American people”; former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin claiming that the president was planning “death panels” to extirpate the aged and disabled; the charges that the president is a fascist, a socialist, a Marxist, an illegitimate Kenyan fraud, that he “harbors a deep resentment of America,” that he feels a “deep-seated hatred of white people,” that his government is preparing concentration camps, that it is operating snitch lines, that it is planning to wipe away American liberties”: All this hysterical and provocative talk invites, incites, and prepares a prefabricated justification for violence.

    ...Just yesterday, the radio host Sean Hannity openly contemplated violence—and primly tut-tutted that if it occurs, the president will have only himself to blame.

    Hyperbolic accusation and fantasy murder may well serve a talk-radio industry facing a collapse in advertising revenues—down 30–40 percent over the past two years, reports NewMajority.com’s Tim Mak.

    As revenues dwindle, hosts feel compelled to intensify the talk-radio experience, hoping to win larger audience share with more extreme talk. It’s like the early days of the pornography industry: At first a naked woman is thrilling enough, but soon a jaded audience is demanding more and more, wilder and wilder.

    For the radio hosts, it’s all mostly a cynical marketing exercise. But the audience? Not all of them know better."


  • NEWMAJORITY: The Reckless Right Courts Violence
  • Hope, Dreams.


    Reaching. For the Stars.

    Words.

    "...President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.

    This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.

    ...So much, then, for Mr. Obama’s dream of moving beyond divisive politics. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever. In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh.

    The question now is how Mr. Obama will deal with the death of his postpartisan dream.

    ...It would certainly help if he gave clearer and more concise explanations of his health care plan. To be fair, he’s gotten much better at that over the past couple of weeks.

    What’s still missing, however, is a sense of passion and outrage — passion for the goal of ensuring that every American gets the health care he or she needs, outrage at the lies and fear-mongering that are being used to block that goal.

    So can Mr. Obama, who can be so eloquent when delivering a message of uplift, rise to the challenge of unreasoning, unappeasable opposition? Only time will tell."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Republican Death Trip
  • Coming Attractions.

    Warriors.

    Come out and Play.

    With Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West in,

    Run this Town.

    A Preview.

    "GUESS WHO, GUESS WHO, GUESS WHO, GUESS WHO, GUESS WHO'S BACK!"

    New flava in ya ear!

    Nelly.

    Feat. Pharrell.

    Let it Go (Lil Mama).

    For Your Consideration.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Chris Brown.

    A Changed Man.



    Big ups to the folks over at
  • Idolator for putting this on my radar. That's what's up!
  • Just a thought.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "In recent weeks, left and right have employed the Vidal tactic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused town-hall protesters of "carrying swastikas," leaving the impression they were proud Nazis -- when, in fact, a few protesters carried signs accusing Barack Obama of having Nazi aims (bad enough). Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) declared the protesters guilty of "Brownshirt tactics." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) compared America under Obama to Germany in the 1930s. Rush Limbaugh talked of "similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany."

    The accusation is a staple of American T-shirt and bumper-sticker political culture, found too often at liberal antiwar protests and conservative tea parties. Anyone with a black felt pen and the ability to draw a Hitler moustache on a poster can make this witty, trenchant political statement.

    ...This rhetorical strategy is intended to convey intensity of conviction, as in, "I am very, very, very serious, you Nazi jerk." Actually, it is a lazy shortcut to secure an emotional response. Worse than that, it is an argument that puts an end to all argument. What discourse is possible with the spawn of Hitler? And when someone is unjustly accused of Nazi tactics or sympathies, what response can we expect other than Buckley's outrage? Let the head knocking begin."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: At the Town Halls, Trivializing Evil


  • EARLIER:

  • Ball of Confusion


  • The Bold & the Beautiful.


  • "Ain't another Woman that could take your Spotlight!"


  • America's Sweetheart.
  • "Turn Around..."

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Glenn Beck's Operation
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Coming Attractions.

    From 1998?...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Jadakiss feat. Swizz Beatz, Styles P, Sheek Louch, Drag-On (ED'S NOTE: WORD?!@), Eve & Murda Mook.

    Who's Real (Remix)

    A Preview.

    What lies beneath...(the Wall of Sound)


    A Moment of Clarity.

    Words.

    "Cable news channels have devoted hours of airtime this week to the rancorous debates about healthcare reform at town halls across the country, supplementing the coverage with alarmist commercials about rationing and government-run care.

    It's too bad the television cameras haven't been trained instead on the Forum in Inglewood, where the Remote Area Medical Foundation opened a temporary clinic this week. The scene makes a compelling case for a healthcare overhaul, putting a human face on the dry statistics about uninsured and underinsured Americans. People started lining up Monday for a chance to be treated Tuesday by volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare providers. About 1,500 people were seen that first day; after hundreds more camped out overnight, the clinic ran at full capacity again on Wednesday. It's scheduled to stay eight days before heading to its next stop, a reservation in Utah.

    The turnout in Inglewood was huge despite the lack of publicity about the clinic, indicating how great the need is for more primary care.

    ...unless the system is reformed to bring basic healthcare services to all Americans, far too many will continue to depend on the kindness of strangers."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: The sick status quo


  • EARLIER:

  • Ball of Confusion


  • "Ain't another Woman that could take your Spotlight!"


  • The World We Live In.


  • America's Sweetheart.


  • Trust a Try.


    "We're Halfway There?"

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "... I think my fellow progressives ought to give Max Baucus and other members of the Senate Finance Committee a little breathing room as they labor to produce a health-care bill that can garner enough votes to pass the Senate.

    Progressive politics is, in my view, a movement, not a monument. We cannot achieve perfection in this life, and if that is our goal we will always be frustrated. The right has far more modest goals: At every turn, its members seek to advance their power and protect privilege. I've never seen the Republican right oppose a tax cut for the rich because it wasn't generous enough; I've never seen them oppose a set of loopholes for corporate lobbyists because one industry or another wasn't included. The left, on the other hand, too often prefers a glorious defeat to an incremental victory.

    ... aside from race, health care is the most difficult domestic issue of the past century. FDR couldn't pass it. Nor could Truman, nor Nixon nor Carter nor Clinton. Lesser presidents like George W. Bush didn't even try.

    The Founders gave us a standard: "a more perfect Union." It's an odd phrase; we don't generally speak of something becoming "more perfect." I believe it means that we have a duty, every generation, to make progress. For a dozen generations we have done that, in our imperfect way. Let's hope those writing the new health-reform bill can give us something that represents historic progress -- and that those of us most passionately committed to fundamental reform can celebrate progress, not lament a lack of perfection."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Progress Over Perfection
  • Freedom 09.

    A Moment of Clarity.

    It's been a cruel, cruel Summer. Icons have left us, uncertainty is ever present, and shit continues to hit the fan. And this scares us, this haunts us, hangs over us like a dark cloud, til the sun peers through, if only for a minute, to let us know that everything is gonna be alright. But still, it's not enough, as is evidenced by this world we currently reside in, this collection of states we call the U.S.A. Stimulus, Recovery, Cash, Clunkers, Healthcare. Hope, Change, Money, Division. "We're Mad as Hell and We're Not Gonna Take it Anymore!" "What's Going On?" "Let Me Talk!" "LET ME FINISH!" "Sit Down!" "SHUT UP!" Socialism, Communism, Ageism, Death Panels, Outrage, Supply, & Demand. Questions, Answers, uncertainty, revolution(?), evolution(?), televised,

    STOP!

    "It's enough to make a brotha go crazy!"

    And it nearly is.

    My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. For thee I weep. Because of thee I scratch my head. Because of thee I sit in disbelief, stressed, worrying about things bigger than me, stopping all the world now to think of thee, pray for thee, and wonder what happened to this collective "we".

    But not last night. For a minute all was alright. The sun peered through the clouds. I put the magazine down, and I smiled for thee, I wept for thee, with a smile so big the whole world could see. Because of this change presented below, this ovewhelming dosage of generosity. One nation together under a groove. No hang ups, no gripes, and nothing to prove. My country, my country, land of liberty...You got me, you moved me, of thee I sing.


    Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    America's Sweetheart.


    "My words are 'Poison'?"

    Words.

    "The United States, like most countries, has long had a lunatic fringe who channel in the flotsam of delusion, half-facts and conspiracy theories. But now, with the light-speed and reach of the Web, “entire virtual crank communities,” as the conservative writer David Frum called them, have sprung up. They are fed, in the case of Sarah Palin, by people who should know better.

    For a democracy, which depends on an informed citizenry to balance a permanent lobbying class, this is poison. And it’s one reason why town hall forums on health care, which should be sharp debates about something that affects all of us, have turned into town mauls.

    The lies and shouts have had the effect that all crank speech has on free speech — stifling any real exchange.

    ...But is it any wonder that some are moved to violent threats, given the level of misinformation being injected into the system? If you really believed that Obama was going to kill your baby and euthanize your parents, well — why not act in self defense?

    ...Here’s what Palin said on her Facebook page Friday, in her first online comments since quitting as Alaska governor.

    “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society’ whether they are worthy of health care.”

    This is pure fantasy, fact-free almost in its entirety.

    ...Palin, she should follow her own advice to the media of a few weeks ago — lay off the kids and “quit makin’ things up.”"

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Outposts: Palin’s Poison
  • Boom Boom POW!

    New flava in ya ear!

    Twista
    feat. Liffy Stokes.

    Wanna See Em Buss.

    Steady as She Goes?


    "Steady, Steady..."

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Apparently not bothered by facts, some congressional Republicans are already claiming that President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package has failed and are even advocating that some of the remaining scheduled steps in the legislation be canceled.

    In medicine, that would be malpractice. In politics, it's demagoguery. In reality, we need to stay the course.

    ...the images of car dealerships and crushed vehicles that have been blanketing newspaper pages and TV screens do not depict real stimulus. What they show is the prelude to stimulus -- old cars being scrapped and new cars being sold out of inventory. The stimulus to employment comes only when automakers respond to the higher sales and depleted inventories by boosting production. Everything takes time, and you won't see the new cars manufactured on TV.

    So it is with most of the stimulus measures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The effects are there, but they will take a while to be felt, and they don't usually lend themselves to photo-ops. One good example is fiscal relief for state and local governments. It is not just in California that state and local governments are cutting back on all sorts of public services. Just over 20 percent of the $174 billion in federal funds appropriated for the states has been spent, and that cash infusion is limiting -- though not eliminating -- the cutbacks. The other 80 percent is on the way. But we won't see photos of public servants not being fired.

    Critics claim that the stimulus program is running way behind schedule. Is it? Well, no. While the administration certainly made an overly optimistic economic forecast in February, the stimulus bill, at about 5 percent of gross domestic product spread over more than two years, was never going to cure the patient quickly, or on its own. Rather, it was designed to cushion the fall -- as it has.

    ...These are still early days for a bill Congress passed only six months ago, but the stimulus has already had a notable impact. The average estimate of three private forecasting firms is that the stimulus added about 2 1/2 percentage points to the annualized GDP growth rate in the second quarter. (If that sounds too high, remember it means adding only about 0.6 percent to the level of GDP.) The consensus of the three firms is that the impact on third-quarter growth will be a bit larger. As they say on the farm, that ain't hay.

    ...We are now in the third quarter, when the importance of the stimulus is likely to be even greater. In fact, its estimated growth impact (about 3 percentage points) actually exceeds the consensus forecast for third-quarter growth -- meaning that, according to current expert opinion, the stimulus will account for more than 100 percent of GDP growth this quarter.

    Cartoonists may scoff at lights at the ends of tunnels, but our economy does, finally, seem to be growing again. The Recovery Act is by no means the only reason. Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues at the Federal Reserve have certainly done a great deal, and the economy's self-curative powers also have helped. But what six months ago looked like an economy plunging into an abyss is now an economy on the mend. And the stimulus deserves some of the credit."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Stay the Stimulus Course
  • The World We Live In.

    An Update/Care Info/A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "Hundreds of people were already lining up to receive free healthcare checks at the the Forum in Inglewood.

    Volunteer doctors, dentists and optometrists will conduct free health clinic for uninsured and under-insured individuals.

    The eight-day healthcare event will run from 5:30 a.m to 6 p.m. and is sponsored by Remote Area Medical, a charity that in the past has staged clinics in rural sections of the United States.

    People started arriving before 3. Many said they didn't have health insurance and saw this as an opportunity to be checked out. Organizers placed them in stadium seats outside the Forum, and some said they waited for hours to get medical treatment."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: L.A. NOW: Hundreds lining up for free healthcare checks at Inglewood Forum
  • "Ain't another Woman that could take your Spotlight!"

    A Moment of Clarity.

    Friday, August 07, 2009

    Crazy for You.


    Keep On. Keep, Keepin' On.

    Words.

    "Unsuccessful in her contract negotiations with the hugely popular reality TV show, Abdul appears to have walked away from a multimillion-dollar salary, a gig that brought her out of obscurity and, in her 40s, a renewed wave of fame and popularity. Is it part ploy for Abdul to resign and part posturing for the show's executives to take her exit so blithely? Sure. Is all of this kabuki theater? Maybe. Will Paula jump out of a cake in February, once the judging begins in earnest? Quite possibly. But already the Hollywood wags are reminding us that "no one is indispensable," that the country's most popular show, even with its slipping ratings, will remain a hit, even without Abdul. (Reports that Victoria Beckham, keen to extend her Posh Spice brand in the states, will do at least a one-off appearance as a judge, seem to confirm this.)

    Contestants may miss her loopy mothering and relentless cheerleading. But the real tragedy is that she has abandoned that dysfunctional, squabbling dinner table known as the panel of "American Idol" judges. Forget the increasingly polished and professional singers competing on the stage. The real reality TV is the group dynamics at that table and even, sometimes, under that table. Who can replace Abdul there?

    ...As a judge, Abdul was overemployed: She generally contributed absolutely nothing to the verdict of the talent that stood before her, as she was incapable of being mean, saying no or issuing a thumbs-down. But she didn't need to. Cowell took care of that with laser-like accuracy. As entertainment, Abdul was the star of that second layer of reality TV, the one at the dinner table. She was maddeningly magnetic, a character you were glued to even as sometimes you watched her unraveling. That's good TV. Fans know it. Whether Fox comes to agree remains to be seen."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: 'Idol' Loses Its Loopiness
  • 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 Lil Miss Sunshine?