Monday, September 30, 2013

Business Casual.


PASSION OF THE WEISS: Band on the Run: MGMT Continue to Confront Perception


The Wire.

A Moment of Clarity.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

MHP: The government shutdown: A story in rhyme

Love, Sex, Death.

STEREOGUM: Fall Out Boy – “Love, Sex, Death” (Prod. Ryan Adams)

Lousy With Sylvianbriar.

An album stream.

Starring of montreal.

Stream here.

Meanwhile with the U.S. Government...


"Assuming the shutdown happens, try not to get sick. According to a Health and Human Services memo, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention won’t have the resources to “support the annual seasonal influenza program” or “outbreak detection” and won’t provide “technical assistance, analysis, and support to state and local partners for infectious disease surveillance.” The National Institutes of Health won’t be able to admit new research patients (unless the director deems admission “medically necessary”) and won’t take action on grant applications.

While the ship sinks, Congress will still get paid—as mentioned above. Although of course individual lawmakers could refuse to cash their checks in solidarity. Asked if he would forgo his salary, Senator Ted Cruz—the poster boy for of this particular debacle—said he had “no intention to do so.”"

THE NEW YORK TIMES: What Gets Shut Down in a Shutdown



An album stream.

Stream here.

Rose Quartz.

A video.

Starring Toro y Moi.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Here Comes the Sun.

With Arcade Fire.

Promise of a New Day.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Dawn of a Revolution in Health Care

Lookin' up.

A Moment of Clarity.


THE NEW YORK TIMES: A Way of Life Is Ending. Thank Goodness.

Land of the Lost.

THE WASHINGTON POST: No following this leader


The Afterlife.

Starring Arcade Fire.


A Moment of Clarity.

"The best thing about West’s Twitter response last night was that he refused to play this game, to acquiesce to the celebratory we’re-all-chums-really back-slapping mutual promotion arrangement that generally exists between celebrities and the media. And why should he? He is several orders of magnitude more famous — and, indeed, more important — than Kimmel will ever be.

He plays his own game, and will continue to do so, which is what drives people so crazy about him. As Siddiqi and others point out, white dudes are rarely reprimanded for being egotistical and confident; indeed, their behavior is often tolerated or celebrated outright. But when it’s someone like Kanye West? It’s all rants and meltdowns and arrogance and every other negative cliché you can think of. He has every right to be angry about this and is, in fact, 100% in the right."

FLAVORWIRE: Kanye West Refuses to Play Jimmy Kimmel’s Game


THE PITCH: Kanye West Isn't Joking Anymore


An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.

FLAVORWIRE: Is ‘Don Jon’ the First Truly Honest Movie About Porn?

Friday, September 27, 2013

King Push.

A video.

From Pusha T.


PITCHFORK: Kanye West Lashes Out Against Jimmy Kimmel After Interview Spoof

Shot at the Night.

A video.

From The Killers.

PITCHFORK: Video: The Killers and M83: "Shot at the Night"

State of the Union.

An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"...House Republicans last week pushed through a bill that would cut forty billion dollars from the food-stamp program over ten years, limiting how long able-bodied adults could access the assistance and linking that aid to their ability to get a job or enroll in a job-training program. The measure isn’t likely to get traction in the Senate, but it has ignited a heated debate over the value of food stamps and the significance of the program’s growth.

Last year, the food-stamp program cost the federal government eighty-one billion dollars. More than forty-seven million Americans rely on food stamps; for America’s poor, it is the most successful and comprehensive part of the modern safety net, expanding automatically as need expands. Food stamps also help sustain the economies of low-income neighborhoods, since the money is often spent in those areas’ local stores.

Those who believe food-stamp spending is too high sometimes argue that, if the government were to spend less on the program, people would simply work harder so they could buy their own food, or else they would get food from food pantries and other charities. That’s not true in many cases. Delgado probably can’t work, and millions of others are trying to find work without success—or have jobs but are paid such low wages that they still qualify for public assistance..."

THE NEW YORKER: Why Food Stamps Matter

Health. CARE. First. AID.

A Moment of Clarity.


"...there’s a huge disconnect between the rank partisanship of national politics and the outlook of governors whose job it is to help beleaguered families, strengthen work forces, attract companies and create a balanced budget.

It’s no coincidence that numerous governors — not just Democrats like me but also Republicans like Jan Brewer of Arizona, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan — see the Affordable Care Act not as a referendum on President Obama but as a tool for historic change.

That is especially true in Kentucky, a state where residents’ collective health has long been horrendous. The state ranks among the worst, if not the worst, in almost every major health category, including smoking, cancer deaths, preventable hospitalizations, premature death, heart disease and diabetes.

We’re making progress, but incremental improvements are not enough. We need big solutions with the potential for transformational change.

The Affordable Care Act is one of those solutions.

...For the first time, we will make affordable health insurance available to every single citizen in the state. Right now, 640,000 people in Kentucky are uninsured. That’s almost one in six Kentuckians.

Lack of health coverage puts their health and financial security at risk.

They roll the dice and pray they don’t get sick. They choose between food and medicine. They ignore checkups that would catch serious conditions early. They put off doctor’s appointments, hoping a condition turns out to be nothing. And they live knowing that bankruptcy is just one bad diagnosis away.

...Frankly, we can’t implement the Affordable Care Act fast enough."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: My State Needs Obamacare. Now.


THE NEW YORKER: Where the G.O.P.'s Suicide Caucus Lives


MODULAR: Modcast #162: Movement

Thursday, September 26, 2013


"We stop here now for a moment to recall some of the other sensible pieces of legislation that have passed away for no discernible reason except political insanity. It will be a quick, quiet trip, similar to the one the finalists on “Survivor” take to remember all the people who have been voted off the island. 

We will not forget you, good old Postal Service reform. 

Keeping you in our thoughts, bipartisan farm bill. 

Rest in peace, gun control. 

Till we meet again, energy efficiency legislation. 

And we walk on, pretending not to notice immigration reform lying over in the corner, coughing pathetically.
So what happens now? The Senate is still working on the kicking-the-can-down-the-road bill. If we survive next week, there will be more cans and another fiscal cliff or two. Whoops! It’s time for the holidays."

Banger (MOSHPIT).

Starring Schoolboy Q.

PITCHFORK: Listen: Schoolboy Q: "Banger (MOSHPIT)"


A video.

Starring Savages.

I Shut Off.

A video.

Starring Ra Ra Riot.


A video.

From Movement.


A video.

Starring Charli XCX.


A Moment of Clarity.


"The enduring fascination with hipsterdom led to the entrenchment of the characteristics that the media liked to identify with hipsters as being representative of young people in general. And now we’re at the point where those characteristics somehow considered to be representative of an entire generation, so much so that you often see “hipster” and “millennial” used interchangeably.

The kid whose parents came here as refugees and is working at a 7-Eleven to save money for college? He’s a millennial. The African-American single mother waiting tables for tips? She’s a millennial. The Mexican kid pumping your gas? He’s a millennial. None of these people bear the remotest resemblance to the hipster stereotype, and yet it’s used again and again to describe the entire generation to which they belong.

You never hear about this stuff, of course, perhaps because it’s a lot harder to ridicule millennials as privileged and entitled when you have to think about the fact that as of last year, the rate of unemployment for people 20-24 was some 5.4% higher than the national average, and 21.8% of people under 18 in America are living in poverty, a figure a full eight percentage points higher than those 18-64. It’s harder to complain about millennials still living at home when you have to acknowledge that maybe the reason for that is the ongoing economic shitshow wrought by the global financial crisis, a crisis that had precisely nothing to do with millennials, but whose legacy they get to deal with for the forseeable future..."

FLAVORWIRE: How “Millennial” Became the New “Hipster”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Blow.

An Album Stream.

Stream here.

wrecking ball.

A (Miley Cyrus) cover.

Starring HAIM.

PITCHFORK: Watch Haim Cover Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball"


A Moment of Clarity.

" In a world that rewards imagination, we have an incredible melting pot of immigrants that constantly blends together new ideas from technology to commerce to the arts. In a world where secure, clean energy is a huge asset, our investments in efficiency and discoveries of natural gas, if properly exploited, have the potential to pull manufacturing back to America from all corners of the globe. In a world where the big divide is no longer between developed and developing countries but rather between high-imagination-enabling countries and low-imagination-enabling countries, we remain the highest-imagination-enabling country in the world — and we have the innovative companies, start-ups and venture capitalists to prove it. In a world where so many countries are struggling with diversity, we do so as well, but at least we’ve reached a point where we could twice elect a black man for president, whose middle name is Hussein, who defeated a woman in his own party and then four years later a Mormon from the other. No one else does that.

A country with this many natural assets should be celebrating, and instead we’re inflicting wounds on ourselves. The gerrymandered hyperpartisanship that has infected both parties since the end of the cold war is debilitating enough, but the latest iteration is a new low. The Republican Party is being taken over by a Tea Party faction that is not interested in governing on any of the big issues — immigration, gun control, health care, debt and taxes — where, with just minimal compromises between the two parties, we’d amplify our strengths so much that we’d separate ourselves from the rest of the world.

...we’re cutting without a plan — the worst thing a country or company can do — and we’re doing it because one of our two parties has been taken over by angry radicals and barking fools and the old leadership is running scared. I have plenty of issues with Democrats. They are not blameless for our paralysis. But when the Republican Party goes this far off the rails, it isn’t even remotely challenging President Obama to challenge his base on taxes and entitlements.

And thus does a great country, with so much potential, slowly become ungreat."


Take Care.


for your consideration.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Losing is Good for You



"...Republicans have mostly just given up on developing real, conservative public policy. We saw that in the 2012 campaign, in which Mitt Romney couldn’t be bothered to come up with a tax plan that came close to adding up. We’ve seen it in the failure to come up with a “replace” bill on healthcare reform as part of their promised “repeal and replace” plan. Unlike in Ronald Reagan’s era, or even Newt Gingrich’s era (or perhaps more to the point, unlike in Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton’s presidency), there’s no conservative policy agenda beyond just rejecting everything Democrats want.

Simply put: When you’ve reduced your entire movement to saying “no” to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, is it any surprise that whoever shouts “NO” the loudest will wind up defining what counts as “conservative”?

Indeed, if you happen to be a demagogue running for president on the platform that you are the only True Conservative and everyone else is a squish or a RINO or a secret liberal, then the best plan is to find the most convoluted, self-destructive, but nevertheless very loud way of saying “no.” Which is basically what Ted Cruz and his allies have done with the demand that Republicans tie keeping the government open to defunding the ACA."

SALON: Ted Cruz’s bullying formula

A Moment of Clarity.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Canadians don’t understand Ted Cruz’s health-care battle


A video.

From Rick Ross & Future.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013



Party of US.

A playlist.

3/Confess to Me/Disclosure & Jessie Ware
4/Trampoline/Tinie Tempah & 2 Chainz
5/Get That Rhythm Right/!!!
6/F For You/Disclosure
7/Hanging Gardens/Classixx
8/Harm in Change/Toro y Moi
9/Beautiful Object/Glass Candy
10/Dance a Little Closer/Holy Ghost!
11/Higher Ground/TNGHT
12/Take Back the Night/Justin Timberlake
13/Ready to Lose/The Knife

reality bites.

A Moment of Clarity.


"In what can be seen only as an act of supreme indifference, House Republicans passed a bill on Thursday that would drastically cut federal food stamps and throw 3.8 million Americans out of the program in 2014.

The vote came two weeks after the Agriculture Department reported that 17.6 million households did not have enough to eat at some point in 2012 because they lacked the resources to put food on the table. It came two days after the Census Bureau reported that 15 percent of Americans, or 46.5 million people, live in poverty.

These numbers were basically unchanged from 2011, but in a growing economy steady rates of hunger and poverty amount, in effect, to backsliding."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Another Insult to the Poor


cold cuts. 




THE NEW YORK TIMES: The House Republicans’ Ghoulish Defunding Rally

For Your Consideration.


A Purity Ring Remix.


A video.

Starring Mazzy Star.


A video.

Starring Gunplay, Rick Ross, & Yo Gotti.


A video.

From Holy Ghost!


The Weeknd.


A video.

cold cuts.

 A Moment of Clarity.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"That 'New New'."

 A Moment of Clarity.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Fed up with Wall Street, Democrats look to the left

quiet storm.

THE WASHINGTON POST: After Navy Yard shooting, RIP for gun control

Lovers in the Parking Lot.


"BANDZ A MAKE HER DANCE!": The Albums, 2012 | 18/Solange/True 

Crooked Smile.

A video.

From J. Cole.


SLATE: Shot by Both Sides | Why the Navy Yard killings won’t change anything.



"Despite the addition of more than two million jobs last year, soaring corporate profits and continuing economic growth, income for the typical American household did not rise in 2012 and poverty failed to fall, new data from the Census Bureau show.

“The poverty and income numbers are a metaphor for the entire economy,” said Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution. “Everything’s on hold, but at a bad level.”

Over a longer perspective, the figures reveal that the income of the median American household today, adjusted for inflation, is no higher than it was for the equivalent household in the late 1980s.

...Since the recession ended in 2009, income gains have accrued almost entirely to the top earners, the Census Bureau found. The top 5 percent of earners — households making more than about $191,000 a year — have recovered their losses and earned about as much in 2012 as they did before the recession. But those in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution are generally making considerably less than they had been, hit by high rates of unemployment and nonexistent wage growth.

...the government has increased tax levies on the wealthiest Americans and has expanded many programs that aid the poor and the working class.

Still, reversing the tidal economic trends that have squeezed millions of families would take significant policy changes that are unlikely to occur because of the sharp partisan divide in Washington."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Household Incomes Remain Flat Despite Improving Economy


THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Mismeasure of Poverty

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Making Money Off the Poor


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Goodbye, Goodbye.

A video.

Starring Tegan and Sara.

Meanwhile with Millennials....


"...there's nothing for us to suck up, really. As a rule, our parents did end up much more dedicated to their careers than we have. But as a rule, they were laid off less. They didn't intern or work as independent contractors. They got full medical. They were occasionally permitted to adopt magical unicorn-like money-granting creatures called "pensions." Or, barring that, they accumulated a huger 401K to cash out before the Great Recession, because they saved more. And they saved more because the costs of college, of kid care, of health care, of doing business and staying alive and buying groceries and staying connected, were far less than they are today. They could raise a family on one salary if necessary.

...So no, we shan't be doing as well as our parents, and no, we shan't be shutting up about it. If anything, those of us who have been cowed into silence because college-educated poor problems aren't real poor problems should shed our fears and start talking about just how hard it really is out there, man."

GAWKER: The Real Reason That Millennials Are Unhappy


 A Moment of Clarity.

"Washington was under siege Monday, with SWAT teams racing through the streets and military helicopters circling overhead. Not immediately threatened, however, was the complacency that allows our elected officials to argue endlessly about the threats we face rather than work together to lessen them.

...Opponents of gun control argue that, instead of infringing Second Amendment rights, we should focus on the fact that most, if not all, of these mass shooters are psychologically disturbed. But many of the officials who take this view are simultaneously trying their best to repeal Obamacare, which will provide access to mental health services to millions of Americans who are now uninsured. So what difference did it really make what motivated Monday’s shooting? Beyond tightening security at military bases, what is our sclerotic political system capable of doing to prevent the next slaughter of innocents?

...We don’t want to get involved in Syria. We don’t want to honestly assess where we are in the war on terror. We don’t want to deal with gun control. All these issues are fraught with political danger. Much safer for our intrepid elected officials to stake out their positions and yell at the other side, knowing the words will bounce off harmlessly. No progress made, no political damage done.

But the world doesn’t stop just because Washington does. Sometimes the issues our officials want to ignore hit tragically close to home."

THE WASHINGTON POST: Navy Yard shooting hits home


Side A (Old).

Starring Danny Brown.


Starring Beck.

PITCHFORK: Listen: Beck: "Gimme"

We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors.

A video.

Starring Foxygen.

Cool Song No. 2.

A video.

From MGMT.


An Ongoing Discussion.


"Taking all these things together, the Great Recession and its aftermath have accentuated the long-term trend of rising inequality. After the rich saw their incomes take a hit in 2007 and 2008, when the stock market fell, their share of over-all income has rebounded to pre-recession levels. In 2012, the top ten per cent of earners received about fifty per cent of all the income that the economy generated, and the top one per cent received 22.5 per cent, according to an updated study by the economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty."

THE NEW YORKER: The Uneven Economic Recovery: Eleven Things We’ve Learned and Six Charts


Starring Pusha T & K. Lamar.

1, 2 Step.


"For three years, Congressional leaders have relied on tactical maneuvers, sleights of hand and sheer gimmickry to move the nation from one fiscal crisis to the next — with little strategy to deal with the actual problems at hand. Medicare and Social Security continue to swell with an aging population. Health care costs grow. A burdensome tax code remains unchanged, and economic revival is shadowed by the specter of Washington’s crisis-driven mismanagement.

Now, with a government shutdown looming at month’s end and a crippling default on the nation’s debt possible by mid-October, Congressional leaders may have run out the string on legislative trickery. Conservative Republicans in the House have declared they will not go along with any more gimmickry from their leadership. Democrats have vowed they will not help Republican leaders out of their jam without some easing of spending cuts. And a way forward — to keep the government operating and solvent, and to protect the international economy from a default-driven shock wave — is nowhere to be found as the House is set to vote this week on a stopgap spending plan.

“What is causing this is the inability, at least to this date, of our nation’s leaders — in the House and White House — to make good decisions, timely decisions, that put our country first,” said Representative Scott Rigell, Republican of Virginia. “It’s really no surprise that we’re in this bind.”

 ... With the clock ticking, frustration with what Representative Reid Ribble, Republican of Wisconsin, called “all these fiscal cliffs and this dance we go into all the time” may be reaching a crescendo. “We just need to find a path forward, and we have to get off these conversations about this small stuff,” Mr. Ribble said. “It’s time we start to deal with the real issues.""

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Amid Revolt Over Fiscal ‘Gimmicks,’ Options Dwindle for G.O.P.


THE WASHINGTON POST: GOP madness on display

Sunday, September 15, 2013





"Fashion week is a strange gold mine of potentiality. When you nail it, you nail it, and when you don’t, you’re doomed. Think about all the secondary companies that profit off of fashion week. Vogue has to be twice as thick as usual just to incorporate all the coverage of shows and ads from an array of cosmetic companies, brands, and corporate sponsors of all shapes and forms marketing themselves to the bone. Venues, clubs, retail stores, restaurants; it’s like Manhattan hosts the Super Bowl every February and September. Fashion week brings a lot of money into the community. Unfortunately, it’s a community that’s already swimming in cash.

...If I were ever to have my own fashion show, I know exactly what I would do. I’d have a presentation, not a runway show, so people could walk into the room and look at my collection of dirty old T-shirts on mannequins at their leisure. Also on the floor would be 40 old ladies of various ethnicities sewing up replicas of my shirts on outdated sewing machines. They’d never engage anybody there and would just sew shirt after shirt, looking tired as hell. Then at the front of the room I’d have a big, fat, greasy looking guy in a pinstriped suit laughing to himself, repeatedly counting stacks of hundred-dollar bills and puffing on a cigar. I’d have to make sure they allowed smoking indoors. Think about how incredibly uncomfortable it would make everyone. Even more ridiculously, they’d probably think it was edgy and cool. I can see it now: “Designer Mike Abu Shocks NYFW with a Conceptual Apropos Modulation.”

The world loves a bastard."





"...I realize that my being ladylike is an inherited struggle that never gets lighter. Even in a moment where this older generation could care less to seem respectable to the white folks. I don't have the words but I understand right there that black folk respectability is often parasitic instead of mutualistic. We feed on the (in)visibility of respectable gender performance that surrounds black bodies as validation of our own worth. It’s rare for black bodies to be mutually respectable in the same space at the same time. That’s too much like right. Hell, if anything, black folks’ respectability is commensal; the white folks that we model ourselves after are not even remotely affected by our performances.

Thirteen after my debut, I still invest in a performance of respectability. And only part of it is to please my grandmother. I feel an inherited obligation to move, walk and talk like the respectable Southern black women who have come before me, but I accept that I am not, and never have been, a conventional Southern belle. I do not, under any circumstance, want to be a white woman. I know now that the cyclical nature of race, gender, and respectability in the South is rooted in a history that privileges the white hand that writes it.

I realized at an early age that my kind of people wouldn’t be the ones twirling that lacy parasol; they’d be the ones behind it, or plotting how to get under it, or belittled by the ones doing the twirling. Yet those twirling ladies remained the standard, a romanticized whirlwind of Southern charm trying to push past racial disparity. If anything, black women’s push to be ladylike was a move to be acknowledged, to be visible on terms that registered as resistance in plain sight. Being ladylike signified a conscious effort to protect that little humanity publicly available for Southern black women. Today, I’m respectable on my own terms, respectable in way that branches from, but is not fully dictated by, Nana Boo and the countless other Southern black women who insisted on standing up straight, no matter the weight on their back, and being recognized — to themselves — as respectably black, feminine, Southern and human."

GAWKER: Confessions of a Recovering Black Debutante

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I Want You Back.

Starring Janelle Monae.

STEREOGUM: Janelle Monáe – “I Want You Back” (Jackson 5 Cover)


A video.

Starring Blood Orange.



This Island.


"Mister Cee’s acknowledgment that he is grappling with his sexual identity comes amid the gradual easing of hip-hop’s internalized homophobia. Over the last couple of years Frank Ocean, the soul singer and affiliate of the hip-hop crew Odd Future, openly discussed his love for a man; ASAP Rocky and Kanye West have loudly disavowed homophobia (though Rocky visibly struggled at the MTV Video Music Awards last month when put on stage next to the openly gay basketball player Jason Collins), and Jay Z voiced his support for marriage equality.

This reflects a generational shift in attitudes in the culture at large, a slight change in the class positioning of hip-hop’s mainstream, and a broadening of hip-hop’s fan base. Antigay sentiment has long been part of that world — two decades ago there were virtual witch hunts to root out rappers who might be gay — but as hip-hop becomes more central to pop culture, its values are evolving. It’s no longer tenable for hip-hop to be an island."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Hip-Hop, Tolerance and a D.J.’s Bared Soul: He’s Tired of Denial

Friday, September 13, 2013


Starring Diplo, Faustix, & Imanos, and Kai.

STEREOGUM: Diplo – “Revolution” (Feat. Faustix, Imanos, & Kai)


An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"...while the great majority of Americans are still living in a depressed economy, the rich have recovered just about all their losses and are powering ahead.

An aside: These numbers should (but probably won’t) finally kill claims that rising inequality is all about the highly educated doing better than those with less training. Only a small fraction of college graduates make it into the charmed circle of the 1 percent. Meanwhile, many, even most, highly educated young people are having a very rough time. They have their degrees, often acquired at the cost of heavy debts, but many remain unemployed or underemployed, while many more find that they are employed in jobs that make no use of their expensive educations. The college graduate serving lattes at Starbucks is a cliché, but he reflects a very real situation.

What’s driving these huge income gains at the top? There’s intense debate on that point, with some economists still claiming that incredibly high incomes reflect comparably incredible contributions to the economy. I guess I’d note that a large proportion of those superhigh incomes come from the financial industry, which is, as you may remember, the industry that taxpayers had to bail out after its looming collapse threatened to take down the whole economy.

In any case, however, whatever is causing the growing concentration of income at the top, the effect of that concentration is to undermine all the values that define America. Year by year, we’re diverging from our ideals. Inherited privilege is crowding out equality of opportunity; the power of money is crowding out effective democracy."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Rich Man's Recovery

Meanwhile with Obamacare...

 A Moment of Clarity.

THE PLUM LINE: The coming Obamacare fight holds real peril for Republicans, too



"Americans do not believe they are better than other peoples. If you doubt this, you need only look at Congress. If we really thought we were superior, is there any chance we would choose them to represent us? There are exceptions — we think we are better than Canadians, for example, but please don’t tell them, because they’re awfully nice — but generally we accept that all countries have their strengths. We know, for example, that Russians are better than us at producing delicacies such as caviar and dioxin. (Kidding!)

When we say we are exceptional, what we really are saying is we are different. With few exceptions, we are all strangers to our land; our families came from all corners of the world and brought all of its colors, religions and languages. We believe this mixing, together with our free society, has produced generations of creative energy and ingenuity, from the Declaration of Independence to Facebook, from Thomas Jefferson to Miley Cyrus. There is no other country quite like that.

Americans aren’t better than others, but our American experience is unique — exceptional — and it has created the world’s most powerful economy and military, which, more often than not, has been used for good in the world. When you question American exceptionalism, you will find little support from any of us, liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, doves or hawks."

THE WASHINGTON POST: The American people’s reply to Putin


"The Light".


THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, Vladimir, America is exceptional 

THE WASHINGTON POST: No military consensus on Syria

THE WASHINGTON POST: U.S. war decisions rightfully belong to elected civilian leaders, not the military

THE NEW YORK TIMES: An Anchorless World

THE NEW YORK TIMES: A Brilliant Mess

belle glade missionaries.

Starring of montreal.

Stream here.

Baby X3.

A video.

Starring Jaheim.


An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity...

"Kevin Roose has a very important corrective to the badly overstated myth that Wall Street somehow hasn't changed since the financial crisis. It has changed, a lot.

But this fact doesn't give me a ton of confidence because Washington hasn't changed.

...The question isn't really what's happening in 2013. It's what's going to happen in 2016 or 2019 or some other time when things look to have "returned to normal" and the basic psychology of complacency sets in. And here I worry. The regulatory system continues to be very much built on a system of discretion and fragmented lines of authority, and I don't think much has changed in terms of the political class's overall theory of finance and society. The consensus is still that easy access to consumer debt is more or less an unmitigated good, that leveraged investments in owner-occupied housing should be the bedrock of middle class savings (or "savings"), and that national champion financial services firms should be an important pillar of American industrial policy."

SLATE: MONEYBOX: Wall Street Has Changed Since The Crisis, But Washington Hasn't

"The Light".

THE NEW YORKER: The Tsar of All the Concern Trolls

Meanwhile with the Koch Brothers...

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Tax Filings Hint at Extent of Koch Brothers’ Reach

Thursday, September 12, 2013


A Moment of Clarity. 

For Your Consideration.


"Trayvon Martin’s killing focused our national discussion because Americans made him a concrete model of opposing moral judgments about the plight of young black men. Is it because of their own lack of values and self-discipline, or to the vicious prejudice against them? Given either of these judgments, many conclude that we need more laws — against discrimination if you are in one camp, and against violent crime if you are in the other — and stronger penalties to solve our racial problems.

There may be some sense to more legislation, but after many years of both “getting tough on crime” and passing civil rights acts, we may be scraping the bottom of the legal barrel. In any case, underlying the partial truths of the two moral pictures, there is a deeper issue. We need to recognize that our continuing problems about race are essentially rooted in a fundamental injustice of our economic system."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Getting Past the Outrage on Race

Back to the Middle.

A video.

From Deerhunter.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



"I Agree With These Statements."


"...despite the usual awkwardness and annoyance associated with skits, those interludes help to frame The Electric Lady as the kind of sprawling event record that Monáe probably grew up listening to, worlds to themselves like Stankonia and Late Registration and The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. Those very-long-players were jammed with ideas too, but each one held together because of the magnetic creative force behind it.

Monáe is that kind of star. Her voice is strong and sweet. Her performances are fearless and, yes, Electric. When she flirts with the question of her sexuality on “Q.U.E.E.N.”, in contrast to the clumsy skits, it’s as rousing as empowerment anthems come. She’s confrontational, swaggering as she shakes off her shackles. That mood pops up again on the smashing, banging, chalanga-langa-langing “Dance Apocalyptic”, when Monáe sings, “You found a way to break out!” after detailing some “kissing with friends” in the ladies’ restroom. She’s made something here that lives up to her own multifaceted persona: a love record, a party record, a fight record, a make-your-dreams-come-true record. It’s an album about running wild and free, and it practices what it preaches."

STEREOGUM: Album Of The Week: Janelle Monáe The Electric Lady

Live For.

A video.

Starring The Weeknd & Drake.

Constant Conversations.


the Fragile.

GRANTLAND: Career Arc: Trent Reznor


With 2 CHAINZ.

GRANTLAND: Cooking With 2 Chainz: Deep Inside the Cookbook of Your Dreams


A video.

Starring The Internet.

Conjunction Junction.

 An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"In the strange period since August 21st, when the poison-gas attacks took place, the White House has seemed incapable of strategic thinking. The State Department seems incapable of coherent communication. Republicans who never raised a question about Iraq are now in full flight from the use of force because they don’t like the Commander-in-Chief. The United Nations can’t bring itself to condemn chemical weapons regardless of who’s using them. Assad’s war crime has turned into Obama’s embarrassment. Everything is upside down; nothing seems to be working as it should.

On Monday, the Times released results of a poll on Syria. Nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t think the United States should involve itself in solving foreign conflicts. For better or worse, we’ve decided that someone else should do this. “We’re pretty good at destroying regimes, but we’re not very good at setting up nations,” a sixty-nine-year-old Virginian named Anne Walsh told the pollsters. “We cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force,” Obama told the country. That is the legacy of these past twelve years."

THE NEW YORKER: Obama’s Speech: A Cause Already Lost


Smooth Operator. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

for your consideration.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Why Janet Yellen, Not Larry Summers, Should Lead the Fed


An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"For most of American history, parents could expect that their children would, on average, be much better educated than they were. But that is no longer true. This development has serious consequences for the economy.

...As the current recovery continues at a snail’s pace, concerns about America’s future growth potential are warranted. Growth in annual average economic output per capita has slowed from the century-long average of 2 percent, to 1.3 percent over the past 25 years, to a mere 0.7 percent over the past decade. As of this summer, per-person output was still lower than it was in late 2007. The gains in income since the 2007-9 Great Recession have flowed overwhelmingly to those at the top, as has been widely noted. Real median family income was lower last year than in 1998.

There are numerous causes of the less-than-satisfying economic growth in America: the retirement of the baby boomers, the withdrawal of working-age men from the labor force, the relentless rise in the inequality of the income distribution and, as I have written about elsewhere, a slowdown in technological innovation. 

Education deserves particular focus because its effects are so long-lasting. Every high school dropout becomes a worker who likely won’t earn much more than minimum wage, at best, for the rest of his or her life. And the problems in our educational system pervade all levels..."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Great Stagnation of American Education

piggly wiggly.

A Moment of Clarity.


"In the struggle between capital and labor, capital is winning — and that’s hurting the feeble economic recovery. To simplify slightly: Labor (wage-earners and consumers) can’t spend, and capital (businesses and shareholders) won’t spend. Without a powerful growth engine, the economy advances haltingly.

...Labor’s shrinking share curbs consumer spending. The economy will then falter if the recipients of capital income don’t offset the weakness with increased spending on buildings, equipment, research and new products. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be happening.

Corporate America is husbanding its profits. It invests mainly in the safest projects. From 2007 (the previous business cycle peak) to 2012, domestic corporate profits climbed 35 percent while investment in plants and equipment rose only 2.6 percent. U.S. companies have accumulated a huge cash hoard of $1.8 trillion as of the end of 2012.

A well-functioning economy is a circular process by which one person’s spending becomes another person’s income, which is then spent again. Today, there’s a damaging disconnect between capital’s rising share and its subsequent spending. So the economy sputters.

...The economy seems stuck in a self-defeating cycle: Weak consumer spending rationalizes weak investment spending; this keeps economic growth low and unemployment high, while putting downward pressure on labor’s income share.

We need to break this cycle.

...What would improve the odds is more exuberance from the custodians of capital. CEOs seem content to sit on their profits and invest only when the needs and the returns are indisputable. Careless capital, which fostered the financial crisis, has given way to ultra-cautious capital, which is making a lackluster economy self-fulfilling."

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitalists wait for the recovery, while labor loses out


A video.

From Arcade Fire.

free your mind.

PITCHFORK: Cut Copy Announce New Album Free Your Mind, Share Title Track


An Ongoing Discussion...


"It’s easy to forget that cash is costly to access, until you’re paying an A.T.M. fee or spending time riding a bus to a check-cashing window when you could have been working. Now, a study published on Monday morning has quantified the cost of cash, and who gets hit the hardest. The unsurprising answer: low-income people.

...The reason for the difference is that wealthier people and lower-income people tend to access cash differently. Wealthier people are more likely to have bank accounts, which means that they can visit an A.T.M. run by their bank without paying a fee; the same goes for cashing checks. Lower-income people, meanwhile, disproportionately use check-cashing services, which are known for their high add-on charges. Plus, employers have started compensating low-paid, hourly workers with prepaid cards that come with huge fees.

All this matters because it adds up to another way in which lower-income people are at a disadvantage when they can’t, or don’t, access the basic financial services that many wealthier people take for granted..."

THE NEW YORKER: The Cost of Cash, for the Rich and the Poor


PITCHFORK: Articles Radio-Friendly Unit Shifters: 25 Years of Billboard’s Alternative Music Chart

Evil Eye.

A video.

From Franz Ferdinand.


PITCHFORK: Chromeo Announce New Album White Women

Can't Sleep Together.

Starring Miguel.

ROLLING STONE: Miguel Seeks Late-Night Romp in 'Can't Sleep Together' - Song Premiere