I don't usually watch Ellen, but this clip was everywhere today, and it is indeed hilarious. Russell Brand meets up with two little girls from his hometown of Essex.
Open thread below...
Robert Reich gives you a peek at the commencement address that nobody will ever give:
Members of the Class of 2012,
As a former secretary of labor and current professor, I feel I owe it to you to tell you the truth about the pieces of parchment you're picking up today.
Well, not exactly. But you won't have it easy.
First, you're going to have a hell of a hard time finding a job. The job market you're heading into is still bad. Fewer than half of the graduates from last year's class have as yet found full-time jobs. Most are still looking.Robert Reich
(UC-Berkeley)That's been the pattern over the last three graduating classes: It's been taking them more than a year to land the first job. And those who still haven't found a job will be competing with you, making your job search even harder. [...]
But this can't go on. If unemployment stays high for many years, if the wages of young college grads continue to fall, if the costs of college continue to rise and state and local spending per college student continues to drop, and if the college debt burden therefore continues to explode -- well, you do the math.
At some point in the not-too-distant future these lines cross. College is no longer a good investment.
That's a problem for you and for those who will follow you into these hallowed halls, but it's also a problem for America as a whole.
You see, a college education isn't just a private investment. It's also a public good. This nation can't be competitive globally, nor can we have a vibrant and responsible democracy, without a large number of well-educated people.
So it's not just you who are burdened by these trends. If they continue, we're all f*cked.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007:
We've been told that the escalation upon which Mister Bush has founded his hopes for fixing "the situation" in Iraq would produce a few extra casualties in the short term, a sort of bloody investment in a more peaceful future. So far, those few extra casualties are adding up to the worst six-month death toll for American troops since the war and occupation began 50 months ago.
Those in uniform aren't the only stepped-up casualties, according to today's The New York Times:Contractor Deaths in Iraq Soar to RecordThe claim has been made that Iraqi civilian deaths are down. But, given that the Iraqi government refuses to cooperate with the United Nations in sharing data about such deaths, and given outrageous shenanigans, Iraqi government figures for civilian deaths are utterly untrustworthy. [...]
At least 146 contract workers were killed in Iraq in the first three months of the year, by far the highest number for any quarter since the war began in March 2003, according to the Labor Department, which processes death and injury claims for those working as United States government contractors in Iraq.
That brings the total number of contractors killed in Iraq to at least 917, along with more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job, according to government figures and dozens of interviews.
The numbers, which have not been previously reported, disclose the extent to which contractors ? Americans, Iraqis and workers from more than three dozen other countries ? are largely hidden casualties of the war, and now are facing increased risks alongside American soldiers and marines as President Bush?s plan to increase troop levels in Baghdad takes hold. ...
Truck drivers and translators account for a significant share of the casualties, but the recent death toll includes others who make up what amounts to a private army.
You probably read (here or elsewhere) about yesterday's mini-firestorm in the blogosphere: the report that a wealthy right-winger, Joe Ricketts, was considering a $10 million super-PAC ad campaign reviving old charges about President Obama's supposed[...]
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The pro-austerity Angela Merkel and her team are giving themselves a pay raise during an economic crisis while the pro-stimulus, anti-austerity government of François Hollande are forcing a pay cut. Huh.
Title: James BrownArtist: Ghetto Reality
Here's one that's real good. Happy Friday!
Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy and the rest of the Chicago police department continue to refuse to publicly speak about a preemptive night raid against activists on May 17. The raid took place at an apartment where activists were staying in[...]
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Fox News host Chris Wallace on Friday suggested that it would be "legitimate" for presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to attack President Barack Obama for his association with Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
"As far as Rev. Wright is concerned, I think it had a lot of relevance and I think when you look back on it, [former Republican presidential nominee John] McCain was crazy not to bring it up," Wallace told Fox News host Gretchen Carlson. "Not in a matter of exploiting it, it's a legitimate issue."
"That is the church that Barack Obama prayed in, worshipped in for 20 years. And he's been president for four now so I don't know that it is as relevant as it used to be."
On Thursday, The New York Times revealed that a pro-Romney super PAC was considering an ad campaign linking Obama to Wright. Their proposal goes so far as to propose possible responses to charges of race-baiting if ads were to mention Wright's "black liberation theology."
"I want to make it very clear: I repudiate that effort," Romney told reporters after learning of the plan. "I think it's the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can be respectively about the future and about issues and about vision for America."
But Romney did mention Wright while attacking Obama last year for being influenced by "those who would like to see America more secular."
"And I?m not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we ... must be a less Christian nation," the former Massachusetts governor told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
In the end, Wallace believes that allowing a super PAC to do the dirty work could be a win-win for Romney.
"In a sense, Romney had the best of both worlds," he explained. "The story gets out there, it reminds everybody about Rev. Wright and he can sit there and say, 'I took the high road.'"
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteIn New York City, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is unconstitutional in violation of the First and Fifth[...]
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How could an idea as brilliant as Americans Elect fail? HOW???[...]
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It seems to me if you can afford to spend $10 million on an attack ad, you can probably afford to renovate your own damned stadium. And it seems like Mayor Emanuel has come to the same conclusion:
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not returning calls from the Ricketts family and is ?livid? over a New York Times report that Joe Ricketts commissioned a proposal for a multimillion-dollar ad campaign linking President Obama to the president?s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, according to an Emanuel aide.
Joe Ricketts?s children, which include Obama bundler Laura Ricketts, bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and have been in talks with the city about renovating the team?s 98-year-old stadium, Wrigley Field.
That appears to be on hold now.
?The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama ? with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the president and the presidential campaign,? said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation. ?He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.?
The aide also said Emanuel, who is Obama?s former chief of staff, has cut off communication with the family.
?The Ricketts have tried to contact the mayor, but he?s said that he does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon,? the aide said.