February 15, 2019

I'll just leave this here

Charles Pierce:
"Between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, most of the Republicans seem to have made a kind of peace with the inevitability of the president*'s behaving like a tinhorn. We should be accustomed to this by now. The president* is going to raid the military. He is going to raid drug interdiction money. He is going to take money appropriated for one purpose and finance his own dark visions. He is lost in his own nightmares, abandoned in his own bigotry. His mind is a writhing ball of snakes. And there is nobody there to stop him. As Starbuck said of Ahab, he is a madman begetting other madmen. His speech was incoherent in thought, contemptuous of intellect, insane with bloodlust, and completely detached from anything that would be recognizable as reality even in Bedlam. Centuries after we ran a mad king off these shores, we now have one of our own."

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Grounds for Divorce

...and the stuff of nightmares.

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February 12, 2019

February 09, 2019

Should-Be Famous Last Words

The longest serving congressman in America, John Dingell, passed away this week, and he left us with last words worth reading and remembering:
"...in every case, from the passage of Medicare through the passage of civil rights, we did it with the support of Democrats and Republicans who considered themselves first and foremost to be Americans."
"In my life and career, I have often heard it said that so-and-so has real power — as in, 'the powerful Wile E. Coyote, chairman of the Capture the Road Runner Committee.' It’s an expression that has always grated on me. In democratic government, elected officials do not have power. They hold power — in trust for the people who elected them. If they misuse or abuse that public trust, it is quite properly revoked (the quicker the better)."
Read the whole thing here: John Dingell: My last words for America

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February 08, 2019

It Could Be Worse

By P.S. Mueller

Land crabs the size of ponies and fast as whippets
would be worse.

Nobody’s Crazy-gluing their ear buds yet.

Donald J. Trump III

When worse doesn’t actually MEAN worse.

I mean, it could be raining toxic personalities!

Demons could be walking the earth in better shoes than yours.

Everything could suddenly become far chewier.

The briny sea could suddenly develop a “problem” with chum.

Mitch McConnell is not doing info-mercials.

Methicillin-resistant bacteria could adapt to kill all the robots.

Donald J. Trump IV


New york post wins headline of the month

UPDATE: New York Post Steals Pecker Head? or Great Minds Think Like 5 Year-olds? - The Story Behind the Instant Classic “Bezos Exposes Pecker” Headline

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"There was music in the cafés at night, and revolution in the air." - Bob Dylan

Call me crazy, but the youngest woman ever elected to Congress just might possibly create the revolution this country so desperately needs. In addition to yesterday's announcement of her and Senator Markey's Green New Deal, which Sean Hannity called "one of the most dangerous, impractical, misguided, economically guaranteed-to-be-devastating plans ever championed by any American politician" and "a real, serious threat to our way of life" (so you know it most definitely is a plan designed to help regular folks, not millionaire television personalities), she treated us to this bit of gameplay to show the world how fucking corrupt Washington, D.C. is: I had no idea AOC was a performance artist in addition to being a kick-ass politician.

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February 06, 2019

Burning Down The House?

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Game. Set. Match.

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February 05, 2019

This Is A Very Handy Analysis Of What The "All" Could Mean In "Medicare-For-All"

Ezra Klein: "Every one of these plans defines the “all” in Medicare-for-all differently. Sanders’s plan says everyone gets Medicare, whether or not they want it. DeLauro and Schakowsky’s plan says that anyone can get Medicare but those with private insurance can keep what they have if they prefer it. Murphy and Merkley’s bill makes it possible for anyone to buy Medicare, so long as they can afford it."

Personally, I'm leaning towards the DeLauro/Schakowsky plan. Either way, it's going to be a tough sell:
"The Medicare-for-all brand is appealing precisely because it’s non-threatening. People are risk-averse when it comes to their health insurance. They want something they know will work."
"Medicare works, and Americans know it. That’s a political boon for Democrats. But it carries an implicit threat: If whatever ends up being Democrats’ Medicare-for-all bill feels risky to people, the same forces buoying the idea’s poll numbers now will sink the policy later. As one concrete example, it’s very hard for me to imagine Democrats taking Medicare Advantage away from seniors under the guise of expanding Medicare. If your bill is based on the idea that people love the current Medicare program, taking away something that people love about it will feel like a profound betrayal."

Read the rest here: Democrats’ confused, and confusing, Medicare-for-all debate

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February 03, 2019

Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)

It's hard to believe that it's been 40 years since I interviewed the gentleman on the right (who in fact used to go by the name Sir Horace Gentleman). I don't remember if the interview was before or after their concert (it was four decades ago, after all), but I do remember the concert. It ranks up there in my top five live shows of all time (and I've seen a lot of shows).

The Specials were on their first tour of the U.S. and I was fortunate to be going to school in Madison, Wisconsin. With 40-45,000 students, it was (and still is) what is known as a "college town" - unlike, say Boston (Warning: Spinal Tap reference) - so it made sense for this new band to find themselves smack in the middle of the country. Sir Horace Gentleman even asked me to ask him how he found America to which he answered, "Turn left at Greenland" followed by "I've always wanted to say that" (Warning: Beatles reference).

The reason the show remains in my top five is that it took place in a club called Merlyns with a legal capacity of 250 (I say legal because it wasn't unusual for the club to cram in as many people as it could fit (see: Iggy Pop's three-night stand there). And all 300 of us, jammed in front of the tiny stage, "danced" (see: Pogoing) in unison for the entire show. I can't remember being so exhilarated and so sweaty for such an extended period of time.

For their last number, they played their cover of "You're Wondering Now" with its chorus of "You're wondering now, what to do, now you know this is the end." Good choice. For this song, founder and keyboardist Jerry Dammers got the crowd to sing along. And sing along we did. The band left the stage, and we kept on singing, not wanting the night to end. And sure enough, the band came back on, and Dammers exclaimed, "You're still on key!" and the band proceeded to play along with us!

A lot can happen in 40 years. People get married, change careers, some have kids, some get sick. It seems like all of that happened to the various members of The Specials. Now, only three original members remain but they just released an album of new material (along with a bonus live disc), their first in over 20 years. And they seem to be enjoying themselves. You know, because it's later than you think.

Read all about it here: The Specials: ‘Respect people. Be kind to people. What else have we got?’

And listen to it here:

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February 02, 2019

I Wonder How Many More Years I Can Get Away With Saying, "But I Like Having Four Seasons" Without Lying

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Today's Uplift

I believe the elderly are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

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January 31, 2019

It's the Taxes, Stupid

...and quality jobs.

Rutger Bregman: “Just stop talking about philanthropy and start talking about taxes. … We can invite Bono once more, but we’ve got to be talking about taxes. That’s it. Taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is bullshit in my opinion.”

More here: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/1/30/18203911/davos-rutger-bregman-historian-taxes-philanthropy

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January 30, 2019

Yet Another Chance for Paul to Rewrite Beatles' History?

Peter Jackson to direct new Beatles documentary from Let It Be footage

While I am very curious to see and hear as much as possible of the 55 hours of NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN FOOTAGE and 140 HOURS OF AUDIO (OMG), I am concerned that Paul will do his Paul thing and make sure he's seen in the best light possible. If you've ever seen the original Let It Be, Paul doesn't exactly shine.

(Click the link above for the full article)

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