(I also posted some videos here.)
"Worst Persons" (Stupid criminal Preston Renninger of Allentown, Pa. drives the car that he stole right past the police, taking the report from the stolen car's owner - I think we have a "Darwin" candidate here, people; Rudy 9iu11ani can't even answer a question about a minor league baseball game without working in a reference to you-know-what; but Nick Turkal, M.D., the CEO of Aurora Healthcare of Wisconsin, gets the nod for billing Trevor Hill of Zion, IL 2 grand for saving a drowning victim...at times like this, where are the racists with the funny hats screaming about how only "socialized medzin'" from the "gumint" is evil)...
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...and we lost SRV 20 years ago today - here is yet another memorable performance (check out playing the guitar behind his back at about 7:50 - unbelievable).
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Yesterday I wrote about Matt Bai's stunning mischaracterization of Social Security as a "lottery ticket." In focusing just on that ridiculousness, I left out the role that Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) payed in Bai's story, specifically:
But Mr. Blumenauer argues that the program can’t exist on make-believe money, and he says Democrats should remain open to changes in the benefit structure, including what is known as "progressive price indexing." What this means, essentially, is that more affluent Americans would have their benefits — at least when they first retire — pegged to the consumer price index, rather than to wages, which would have the effect of reducing payouts.
That seemed pretty out-of-character for Blumenauer, particularly when you examine--as David Dayen did Blumenauer's policy statements on his own Web site. Turns out, it was out character for Blumenauer, because Matt Bai "misintrepreted" his comments. Here's Blumenauer himself:
While I appreciate Matt Bai's article in The New York Times focusing on my commitment to cut wasteful government spending, such as military and agricultural subsidies, I would like to point out one area where I take modest exception to how my comments have been interpreted in this story.
I do not believe, nor have I ever said, that the Social Security trust fund is either like a "lottery" or "make believe money." As my Congressional Website points out, and as anyone who has heard the countless number of presentations that I have given will tell you, the Social Security trust fund is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government which has never and will never default on its commitments....
I will continue to strongly oppose any effort to privatize or weaken the Social Security system. I also encourage all Americans--whether they're Progressive, Conservative, or somewhere in between--to join me as we have the discussion of how Social Security can remain strong and solvent for generations to come, and how we have a meaningful conversation about what America needs and how to pay for it.
Seems a correction from the Times is in order, no?
Dayen has done tremendous work on following up with Blumenauer and focusing attention on the policy aspects of Social Security which Bai so glibly glossed over. He makes a very good point as well about Blumenauer's call for a discussion on Social Security:
Blumenauer wants to "have a conversation," but the deficit commission has taken away that entire conversation and put it in the hands of an unelected panel operating in secret. Congress would only be able to vote up or down, and wouldn’t have any say over changes. So it’s Barack Obama, by empaneling the commission, who stifled that conversation. What’s more, it’s deeply disheartening to the base, who don’t expect Social Security to be cut on a Democratic President’s watch.
At this point, since the deficit commission apparently has Obama's blessing to go forward with Simpson still at its helm, the only opportunity for that discussion to go forward is for Congress to reject the commission's recommendations on Social Security--and they should do so pre-emptively--and commit to having a full and open debate on the things that will work to actually strengthen the program.
FYI you might need special wingnut glasses to see Beck-a-polooza the way the Tea Partiers see it. Here's a pair, via Driftglass:
Open thread below...
Whether it's another five years, ten years or even longer, working through the excesses of the bubble will not happen overnight. The Obama administration still believes the recession was a hiccup and that minor tweaking is needed to get the situation back on track. Our "change" president is afraid of change so he's implemented some minor adjustments, but nothing more. And then there's the GOP. How out of touch can they be when they believe that a return to the policies that triggered the recession will help solve the problem? Is it not possible to stick a fork into Reaganomics and start thinking about an economic plan that actually delivers economic prosperity beyond one or two percent of the population?
So what will it be? Bad or worse? Who really wants to hand the keys to the economy to either party?
It could be 10 years before economic growth in the United States and elsewhere returns to pre-recession norms and employment rates may never regain lost ground if past history is any guide, two prominent economists said in a paper presented on Friday.
Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart, in a paper presented at an annual conference hosted by the Federal Reserve, found that growth in gross domestic product is significantly lower during the decade after a severe financial crisis that is felt world-wide, as was the case with the recent meltdown.
This is the kind of nostalgia I can live without.[...]
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Here's the latest from Alaska's hugely entertaining GOP Senate primary aftermath: incumbent U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is furious at apparent victor Joe Miller for tweeting a comparison of her potential third-party bid to an act of prostitution:
"Alaskans deserve better. This type of statement is inexcusable from someone who wants to represent our state," she said. "While I have been focused on the remaining ballots, the Miller campaign has launched yet another smear campaign against me. They lied about my record during the primary and now they have resorted to name-calling -- it’s disgusting."
"Alaskan values have never included a complete disregard for the truth or a lack of common decency," Murkowski said. "Mr. Miller owes all Alaskans, women and my family an apology."
Before Murkowski released a statement, Sean Cockerham spoke with her campaign manager John Bitney, who had this to say:
"He just basically called Senator Murkowski a prostitute," Bitney said. "I am doing my best in a moment of extreme anger right at the moment to be measured in my remarks. The word that comes to mind is deplorable. Disgusting. The man has no place representing Alaska in the U.S. Senate with that kind of attitude."
Bitney said this is being watched nationally and Miller should be ashamed to take it to that level. "He owes Alaskans an apology."
You don't need to be Chuck Todd to figure out that even if she doesn't launch a third party bid, Lisa Murkowski isn't going to be appearing at a unity rally with Joe Miller. There is some seriously bad blood between those two. And as an outside observer who'd love to see Democrat Scott McAdams win this campaign, all I've got to say to her is: "You go, girl!"
As for the tweet, Miller quickly deleted it, claiming that it wasn't intended to compare Murkowski to a prostitute and blaming it on a staffer. (Ironically, his clarifying tweet, in which he blamed the original tweet on a staffer, was also sent by a staffer.)
Jon Stewart dismantles the fear, loathing, and crass commercialism of Glenn Beck's "I hate your dream"* speech:
Beck says that "whites don't own Abraham Lincoln" and that "blacks don't own Martin Luther King." To which I'd ad: America doesn't own Glenn Beck. Goldline does.
*h/t to Lizz Winstead for the title of Beck's speech.
Last night a posted about a sister in Germany who had unprotected sex and failed to tell her partners. Well tonight, I am sad to report, that two can play that game.
"A U.S. Air Force sergeant infected with HIV is under criminal suspicion for allegedly failed to inform a ?multitude? of sexual partners about his medical status, The Smoking Gun reported Thursday.
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations reportedly launched a criminal probe last month after receiving information that Sgt. David Gutierrez, 43, ?engaged in numerous, unprotected sexual acts?over the course of three years.?
Gutierrez, stationed at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., was apprehended on Aug. 9 for allegedly violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the website reported. Investigators then reportedly searched his home to ?identify potential witnesses and victims.?
Shame on you David. You should be protecting this country from weapons of mass destruction, not making your johnson become one.
Tomorrow my man Glenn Beck will have his "I HAVE A SCHEME" rally in Washington D.C., and I hear that Albert Pujols along with his fraud of a manager will be participating. Now I am starting to believe that maybe he did juice up,(don't sue me Albert, it's just an opinion) because only someone who is not in his right mind would think that this event is not political. Albert, just make sure you have your green card.
But I can't hate on Albert for attending as I can the next clown I am going to write about. Albert Pujols is a baseball player, so maybe he doesn't have time to read much. Harry R. Jackson, Jr., on the other hand, is supposed to be a man of god, so he should know better. Sadly, it would appear that he does not:
"The only question I have is whether the events of this weekend will lead to more of the same old race-based politics of the past or not. You know exactly what I am talking about. Further, I am concerned that everything is set in motion to create a political stalemate - the PR equivalent of two people attempting to shout over one another to impress a third party.
At this critical juncture in history, all Americans need solution-based moral and political leadership. We need to break the historically tainted lenses through which we view our collective moral and political decisions. African Americans are at an even more acutely strategic moment. Having slipped to the second most numerous minority African-American civic and moral leaders must decide to exert their political power and become a conscience to both Democrats and Republicans.
If only 18 to 20 percent of black voters feel at liberty to vote their values, blacks could become the swing vote that changes the destiny of our nation - race by race, candidate by candidate. The most natural unifying alliance that African Americans could build is with white and Hispanic evangelicals, who share their core values and worldview. With this kind of radical new alignment, new approaches to our most pressing problems could be developed and tested. Our newly defined ?good guys? of whatever party could begin to emerge. Wishful thinking? Perhaps.
Yet this weekend we are celebrating the legacy of the ultimate dreamer, whose famed words moved him from being seen as a national security threat to center stage of the nation?s value system. Forty-seven years after the speech, everyone wants to be identified with the passion, power, and purpose of his message. In order to make real moral and political change possible in 2010, once again some black leaders have to wander off the ?political plantation? upon which their people currently reside - the Democratic Party.
Therefore, although I have very close friends and associates on both sides, I have chosen to participate with Glenn Beck and to attempt to build the new coalition I have just discussed. Rallying with Beck may temporarily bring a backlash of ridicule and rebuke to many of the black civic and religious leaders who join me. Long term, however, the courage of these leaders will point the way and embolden others. Despite any personal discomfort, we feel that it is time to make a real change. "
Let me translate that for you: I am going with who has given me... whoops, I mean my ministry, the most money. I can't wait to see who is up there jigging with you, Reverend. Brother Martin would never have sold out to the highest bidder. Shame on you and your slave catching dancing friends.
"My personal reasons for involvement in the Restoring Honor Rally are primarily moral, not political. First of all, I believe that there needs to be a spiritual alarm sounded in the nation. I am convinced that the only answer to our country?s moral freefall is another great awakening. This means that we preachers must preach to individuals with a desire to see them transformed internally and spiritually.
Second, this critical mass of faithful believers will need to start a grassroots movement to recapture the essentials of ?living faith.? We then must take responsibility for the disappointing political and cultural leaders we have elected or tolerated.
I would like to encourage everyone to pray for a spiritual awakening in America, which will affect the way we vote and the way we rebuild our most cherished institution. This weekend, I will join hundreds of thousands of Christians in prayer and reflection...."
And, his prayer will sound something like this: "Dear Jesus, please help these white folks remember me, so that when I solicit them for funds they will send a check. Hey, preachers gotta eat too, lord."
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enlargeAugust 26, 1970 - Sisterhood was powerful.
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On August 26, 1920 the 19th Amendment was passed giving Women the right to vote. On August 26, 1970, millions of women all over the country marched and demonstrated on its fiftieth anniversary and the Women's Movement came front and center in the social conscience of America. The days of the Second Class Citizen would be gone . . . mostly. Well, there is that issue of Equal Rights in the workplace some forty years later. Still, August 26, 1970 was a pivotal change for many people and it was the beginning of a new era.
One of the biggest demonstrations took place in New York with marchers estimated at between 10-50,000. On hand to address the crowd were founding members of the Women's Movement, among them Betty Friedan, whose 1963 book The Feminine Mystique has been credited as sparking the feminist movement.
Betty Friedan: ?The great debate in Theology of the 60?s was is God dead? I think the debate of the 70?s will be is God He, and I do not say God should be She. But I think that unless we can see the highest possible creation and creativity in Female cause as well as Male, we have not reached the next step of Human evolution.?
Forty years ago today, celebrating ninety years ago today.