Here's Stevie Wonder in his commercial and performance prime with a really wonderlicious tune:
The Susan Rice farce continues anon. I remain gobsmacked that John McCain's personal pique is driving the whole story as well as getting Senators who allegedly know better involved. The Senator in question is Maine's Susan Collins. I am avoiding the usual modifier applied to her, "moderate," because I'm not buying it, and I'm sick and tired of hearing her called a moderate when on vote after vote after vote, she toes the party line. The late Senator Jake Javits of Noo Yawk was a genuine GOP moderate, Senator Collins is not. That is why she is malaka of the week.
Collins has added *another* specious concern to this mess: Rice's role in the aftermath of 1998 bombings in Tanzania and Kenya when she worked for the Clinton administration. This is preposterous: it never came up when Rice was nominated for her UN post and Senator Moderate Malaka voted *for* Rice but now it suddenly matters.
I don't give Collins' complaints about Rice's "political role" after the Benghazi fiasco any weight whatsoever. I have a policy of disregarding and mocking any pol who criticizes someone else for playing politics. Every act by every administration is political even when they deny it. There is no separation between politics and government, and there never has been, and never will be.
The worst that can be said about Ambassador Rice's alleged offense is that she lied for her country and her President, which she didn't, and even if she had, it is the essence of diplomacy. Just ask Henry Kissinger.
I was strongly in favor of John Kerry being appointed as the master of the Foggy Bottom bureaucracy; until this week, that is. I think the President needs to go ahead and appoint Rice, and fight for her nomination unless she declines it in disgust. Who could blame her?
Hell, I'm not even one of those people who believes in the Scott Brown restoration theory as the explanation for this surreal episode. That's too rational. This whole thing reeks of the irrationality and personal pique that drives every action by Senator Walnuts. I think he's predominantly pissed off at Rice because she made her comments on a Sunday show. That's McCain's safe place, y'all. I admit that that's a crazy notion but who's crazier and pettier than John McCain?
Senator Collins, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for stooping to McCain and Little Lindsey's level when even Holy Joe would not go along with them. I used to think you were okay, but now I see you for what you are: a fake moderate and a real malaka.
I have somewhere between three and six degrees, depending on how the universities I attended are attempting to count them.
And, no matter how you slice it, none of those degrees make me smarter, better, more intelligent or anything else when compared to people who don’t have them.
If I am better or smarter or anything else, it comes from what I actually LEARNED in doing the degrees.
This is why the recent moves by governors Larry, Moe and Curly to create “McYugo” degrees has me wondering if I’ll eventually just wear a paper hat to class and ask, “Welcome to the university! How may I help you today?”
Florida’s Rick Scott announced earlier this week his plan to create four-year degrees at institutions of higher learning that could be had for $10,000. By the end of his call to action, seven institutions, including educational powerhouses like Valencia College, Daytona State College and Broward College all said they were up for the challenge.
If this attempt to create a cheap alternative to actual learning sounds familiar, it’s because Texas braintrust Rick Perry thought of it first. During a statewide address, Perry called for colleges and universities to keep the costs down, even pitching the idea of a $10,000 degree. Other awesome ideas these two Ricks agree on include collecting data on faculty to see how many students they are teaching and how much grant money they are raising, limiting state appropriation increases and providing funding-based incentives based on how many kids a college can graduate.
Nothing says quality education quite like the “charge ‘em cheap, stack ‘em like cordwood and shove ‘em out the door quick” model.
If it’s a bad idea about higher education that is being poorly executed by Republican idiots, it’s a safe bet that my governor, “Scotty Doesn’t Know” Walker, will be quickly following suit in a more disconcerting and less compelling fashion.
Instead of pitching a “We’ll paint your car for $99” degree, Walker helped push out the “Flexible Option” degree this week. This will allow people who think they already have a pretty good handle on book learnin’ to show those skills to other people who will be incentivized to make this program work so they can get a jumpstart toward an “almost bachelor’s” degree at various institutions.
The bonus? Although the people involved don’t know how much this will cost, it will be cheaper than going to school for a traditional four-year degree.
At some point, we, as a society, must start to figure out what it is we are valuing here: Is it the degree or is it the knowledge?
It used to be theorized that one begat the other and the other reflected positively upon the one. Now, it’s a “Git Er Dun!” approach that makes educators become “providers” and students become “customers.” People want degrees faster, cheaper and easier.
As the proud holder of more degrees than most, I can tell you with absolute certainty that degrees don’t matter worth a crap.
The doctorate was cool for about five minutes. I passed my defense, called a restaurant and ordered reservations for “Doctor” me. After that, it really didn’t do much. However, that stats class I killed myself in to learn how the hell to do research mattered. The assistantship I took that forced me to teach really smart kids how to be smarter and encourage really weak kids to apply themselves and learn something mattered.
If you want to dial it back even more to my master’s and bachelor’s degrees, I can’t say I learned a whole hell of a lot from the tests and quizzes, but rather the experiences.
Being “forced” at the time to take courses in ethnic studies, sociology and other areas helped me figure out who I was and how I fit into a puzzle of many other pieces.
Taking speech, even though I’d been speaking competitively for four or five years, helped me see what other bad speakers did that I needed to avoid and what other good speakers did to help me want to better myself.
Being on campus didn’t hurt either, as I got to meet people from other races, ethnicities and sexual orientations and realize they ran the gamut of “full of shit” to “really fucking awesome” just like everyone else. I got to ask questions and give answers regarding who we all were and why people could or couldn’t get along.
(Speaking of questions and college, here’s my best one ever:
I’m in a room at age 19 with my journalism TA and four other guys who were also gay and we were all drunk as shit on margaritas.
One guy asks, “So you’re straight?”
Him: “I gotta know. What’s a woman’s … y’know… like?”
Before I can answer, Stereotype Gay Guy chimes in with “Honey, I’ve been there. It’s like a wet, loose handshake.”)
Not one of those things (not even the “handshake” discussion) led to a degree. As the years went on, I realized that the degree was pretty much a by-product of the learning.
My father would probably lose his damned mind if he heard me talking about this, and not just because he’d figure out that his 19-year-old son was shithammered on tequila in some guy’s apartment watching “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” on VHS.
Dad was a big believer in the power of the degree. He spent his whole life in one factory and he was often passed over for improved positions due to his lack of a sheepskin. He was a foot smarter than anyone around, but that four-year degree held an almost mythical power over those who doled out promotions.
If he said it once, he said it a million times: “Your mother and I have done pretty well for ourselves, but let me tell you…” he’d pause and a wistful look would creep across his face. “If I only had that damned degree, we would be a lot better off.”
On more than one occasion, he referred to my degree as “your generation’s union card.” When he found out that I kept the actual diploma in a box of crap under my bed, he looked at me like I’d used it for toilet paper.
The sheepskin didn’t matter. The stuff in my head did.
I try my best to pass that along to my students each day I teach. If you’re here for a grade, I explain, you’re cheating yourself. Some nod, others don’t, but I think a lot of them figure it out. It’s my hope that they figure this out a lot faster than I did and that they vote for people who understand it as well.
Still, every semester, including this one, I have a painful email conversation with at least one kid that usually starts like this:
“I’m supposed to graduate next week and I just noticed I’m failing your class. Can I get some extra credit or something? My mom and dad are coming out for graduation and we’ve got a party planned, so I need those points.”
This tune sprang to mind for two reasons. First, the Guardian recently had an extensive interview with 10cc's fab four of Creme, Godley, Gouldman and Stewart. Second, it's been in my head since I saw the Egyptian bloke in Charlie Chan in Egypt call everyone "effendi." It is not for the easily effended.<ba-boom>
There's also a pretty swell live version on the YouTube but it's not embeddable. Here's a link.
I have more guilty pleasures than any mere mortal should have. One of them is (are?) Charlie Chan movies. They are laced with ethnic stereotypes, broad humor and Scandinavians playing Asians but, lord help me, I love them.
I recently watched Charlie Chan in Egypt for the first time in many years. It is simultaneously good and campy. It features an Egyptian dude who calls everyone "effendi," the fortune cookie wisdom of Warner Oland as Charlie Chan and the antics of Lincoln Perry aka Stepin Fetchit. The story is swell but every time Oland and Perry were onscreen together I started riffing about duelling ethnic stereotypes: the positive versus the negative. I suspect you can figure our which is which.
Anyhoo, here's the lobby card. Btw, Rita Cansino is the *very* young version of future screen goddess, Rita Hayworth who was a Latina playing an Arab. She was pretty darn cute as a brunette too:
It comes from former Senator and legendary loose cannon, Alan Simpson, during an appearance on Hardball the other day:
“So how do you deal with someone who comes to stop government? … Grover wandering the earth in his white robe saying he wants to drown government in the bathtub. I hope he slips in there with it.”
Tweety was briefly speechless, which is quite an accomplishment. Here's a vid of the entire surreal interview:
Remember my open letter to Andrew Cuomo about former Katrina Kaiser (as opposed to Kay Kyser) Ed Blakely? I kept wondering why there was no confirmation from Noo Yawk and when the Sandy Commission was announced, the pompous Dr. Blakely's name was missing. Here's how the Gambit covered it:
Brad Penuel, the co-chair of the New York Hurricane Sandy commission to which Dr. Ed Blakely claimed he had been appointed last week, told Gambit by phone today he wasn't familiar with Blakely — and in a subsequent email, added, "Just received confirmation that Ed Blakely will not be serving on the Commission."
Blakely — the Hurricane Katrina "recovery czar" who had been appointed under former Mayor Ray Nagin — made big waves last week when his new employer, the University of Sydney in Australia, issued a press release saying Blakely had been appointed to the Respond Commission. Blakely gave an interview on the subject to an Australian radio station, confirming the appointment.
The Respond Commission is one of three announced by the state of New York to analyze the response to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Penuel, its co-chair, is also director of the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response at New York University,
An official press release released an hour ago from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced the commission's makeup and made no mention of Blakely, although it noted "Additional appointments may be made to the commissions."
Penuel, though, made it clear that Blakely would not be one of them.
I'm not sure if the flack from NOLA caused a retreat or Blakely just lied about it. My money is on the latter. Kaiser Ed has never been part of the reality based community and he's too old to start now.
A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.
To add a personal note, when I lived in Wisconsin, I was usually part of the annual August 15th migration (you can google "Madison August 15" if you're not familiar)...I'm pretty sure I registered on-site for every election I voted in up there. It was very easy, very effective...and if Scott Walker has his way, no longer an option.
Gyp Rosetti is moving in on Nucky Thompson's Atlantic City fiefdom. In fact, Nucky is on the run after Gyp's guys burst into Nucky's suite at the Ritz and shot up the joint in the opening scene of Two Impostors. The Nuckster is bound to be banned from swank hotel life after this. It makes a Keith Moon room trashing look sedate. I suspect the AC Ritz would rather have Led Zeppelin as guests. Should I go on? Nah.
On to a few terse comments about the not so terse turf war, and then I'll tersely order a surf and turf:
Chalky's Back: I've been demanding the return of my favorite illiterate but awesome gangster for weeks now. We've had a few Chalky teasers but he's back in his full blown glory. Why? Nucky runs home to Chalky after Gyp's gang seriously wounds his faithful factotum Eddie. It takes time for Nucky to fully grovel but after Gyp offers Chalky $25K to sell out Nucky, the latter finally gives in.
Chalky's proto-Buppie future son-in-law reappears to doctor Eddie's gut wound. He keeps saying: "I'm only a student" but it looks like he's got a promising future as a mob surgeon. It's unclear as to whether Eddie will make it but, hey, at least Nucky knows he has a family now.
"They talked some happy talk about doing revenues, but we only have a couple weeks to get something done," Reid said about Democrats' negotiations with Republicans. "So we have to get away from the happy talk and start talking about specific things."
Despite his tone of frustration, Reid also said he is optimistic that lawmakers ultimately will reach a deal to avoid plunging off the fiscal cliff, a convergence of an estimated $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that threatens to trigger another recession.
"I'm extremely hopeful, and I do not believe that the Republicans are going to allow us to go over the cliff," Reid said.
Oh, I believe they would, but I also believe they're reeling from their electoral crushing and trying to figure out hey, if the Teawads can't help me get elected, why do I have to listen to them in the first place:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has tapped Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to help reach a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” a senior GOP aide confirms to TPM. The elevated role puts the staunch conservative and recent vice presidential nominee in a tough predicament that carries important implications, both for his personal political future and, potentially, for relations between the White House and Congressional Republicans.
Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is now at the center of fiscal cliff talks and involved in daily GOP leadership meetings, along with Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp and Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, the aide said. That means that unlike previous hard-fought bipartisan deals, his fingerprints will be on the final outcome.
LOL. Shorter Boehner: You wanna be the future of the party? Then BE IT, asshole. I'm tired of your nonsense. Fuckin' teaheads. They show up all WE IZ NOW IN CHARGE BITCHEZ and then don't want to be caught holding the bag when the wet cat inside it claws its way out. Well GUESS WHAT, I'm outie. You fix this crap.
(An aside: Ryan's not a "staunch conservative." He's a pissy little brat who has been dining out on having half-written a grade school report on the economy for the past however many months, and he doesn't understand that absolutely everybody everywhere is fed up with his shit, won't want to cut social security, and thinks the job creators can suck it.)
Marvin Miller was always a controversial figure in his time as the head of the baseball players union. He was a die-hard union man who came to sports from the United Steelworkers. In this era of overpaid free agents and millionaire bench warmers, it's easy to forget that ballplayers used to be little more than indentured servants. Marvin Miller was the one who changed that. He died today at the age of 95.
Despite being one of the most consequential off-field figures in baseball history, Miller is not in the Hall Of Fame. I suspect that being the scourge of the owners may have something to do with that. That's as good a reason as any for his enshrinement but the real reason is that he changed the game in a major way.
As much as I grumble about overpaid players, Miller's legacy is a positive one: ballplayers have the right to control their own careers, which brought the American way to the National Pastime.
It's a pity that most current players know little or nothing about the man who made them rich and spared them from having to get a j-o-b in the off-season. I have some nostalgia for those days: it was always cool when an announcer told you what a player did in the off-season. Richie Hebner, who played for the Pirates, Phillies, Mets, Tigers and Cubs had my favorite ballplayer job: he was a gravedigger. I am not making that up.
Update: I just read Keith Olbermann's post about Miller's passing. It's a good 'un. I've missed Keith even if he is a bit of a malaka but he's *our* malaka...
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that the Republican Party, which lost minority, women and young voters in 2012, needs to have a "bigger tent" during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
"I think we have to have a bigger tent," McCain said. "And obviously, we have to do immigration reform. There's no doubt whatsoever that the demographics are not on our side."
Watching these people flail about is really amazing. It's like they just woke up JUST THIS MORNING and oh holy shit, brown people everywhere. Chicks. With their chick bits, which need attention. WHERE DID ALL THIS COME FROM? If only there had been some sign, in the past 40 years, that singing Dixie under your breath wasn't gonna work forever. If only someone had warned them.
Also I love how they're flat-out stating that it's not that dealing honestly with minorities and women is the right thing to do, or that minorities and women have legitimate needs of any kind. It's that "the demographics are not on our side." In other words, we can't win with just the old white racists anymore so NOW it's a crisis and I guess we HAVE to listen to them, god, the indignity, but what are you going to do? They keep existing and breathing oxygen. Inconvenient.
"And as far as young women are concerned, absolutely, I don't think anybody like me -- I can state my position on abortion. But to -- other than that, leave the issue alone," McCain said.
"I'm proud of my pro-life position and record," McCain said, clarifying that he did not mean he was now pro-choice. "But if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views."
Do you respect his or her views enough to allow him or her equal rights under the law? If not, NO YOU DON'T RESPECT MY VIEWS, you colossally panderiffic assclown.
In other words I love women but I MEAN I DON'T OH GOD PLEASE DON'T PRIMARY ME TEA PARTIERS. So much for the courage to call for a bigger tent.
I can't tell you how many people have voiced the opinion in the past couple of weeks that the ongoing US union uprising is just so terribly badly timed:
In any event, the $989 million in pension liabilities Hostess ended up owing various union funds, according to its bankruptcy filing, didn't accumulate in secret, like termite damage. It accrued because Hostess and its sister bakeries judged their retirement obligations to be relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Now that the bill has come due, Hostess blames the workers for demanding what they were promised.
So rude. How dare they ask for what they were told they could expect? Why don't they just sit down like good little boys and girls and let the adults cast lots for the spoils of their labor? In fact, why don't they go away entirely? Their presence is an uncomfortable reminder that we once told them they could live like human beings. They're being so uncivil. They're being so loud. They're being so insistent. Don't they know everything is just a big ironic joke now? Why do they have to get so upset? It's not like this matters.
You know, 90 percent of all of our political and cultural problems, I am starting to think, come from getting mad at the person pointing out that THE WORLD IS ON FIRE instead of grabbing a bucket and joining the fire brigade.
First you have to prove that the world is on fire, and then that you have a legitimate right to speak up in the meeting to alert people to the fire, and then you have to prove you didn't start the fire in the first place, and meanwhile livestock is fleeing the danger zone and the temperature's approaching molten-lead levels, but we're still debating whether you're enough of an expert on incindiaries to make us put down our morning coffee.
May I call you Andrew? Let me start with a few compliments. I think you're doing a good job so far as Governor of the Empire State and I'm a *great admirer* of your father, Mario. Yeah, he left me at the altar in 1988 and 1992 but the man is too awesome to hold a grudge against. Of course, you know that, and are probably tired of hearing about your dad when you have your own national ambitions.
Okey doke, that was the sweet part of this open letter, here's the bitter. What on earth were you thinking when you appointed former Katrina Kaiser Ed Blakely to your Hurricane Sandy commission? It looks like your staff fell down a 12-story walkup on this one. I am a New Orleanian and Dr. Blakely was about as popular and competent as the man who appointed him, C Ray Nagin.
When Kaiser Ed (I always called him that, Tsars are for schmucks) first came to NOLA, he had the hint of the windbag about him but I wanted to give him a chance. I stuck to my guns for about 6 months until it became clear that Blakely was all talk and no action. He insulted the community (he's bound to call Staten Islanders insular Guidos at some point) and launched a flotilla of trial balloons for initiatives that never came to fruition.
I cannot honestly think of a tangible accomplishment by Blakely during his time here. He promised "cranes in the sky" and, well, the skyline was bereft of them until he was metaphorically ridden out of town on a rail.
I reckon that your staff looked at Kaiser Ed's resume and didn't use the Google before the appointment was made. Bad staff, bad. If they had they would have found my little buddy Jeffrey's classic post, Come Crane With Me: An Ed Blakely Timeline. It's a brilliant summary of Blakely's misspent time in the Crescent City and it's funny as hell to boot.
There is only one way that this appointment makes sense, use him as an example of bad recovery planning. Anything Kaiser Ed suggests, do the opposite. The man does not know his ass from a hole in the ground but he can talk for hours without saying a bloody thing that makes a lick of sense.
There's still time for you to dodge the Blakely bullet, Andrew. I initially refused to believe it was true so I consulted with Gambit Editor Kevin Allman who confirmed the story even though it had yet to appear anywhere in the reality based media such as the Times or Daily News; the NY Post doesn't count but you knew that already.
So, Governor, shitcan the appointment before Ed shows up, makes an ass out of himself and embarrasses you by saying something stupid and offensive. Don't say that the folks in New Orleans didn't warn you of his douchebaggery and malakatude because I just did.
Well, folks - it felt a bit strange taking the "Paul Ryan" and "Mitt Romney's flaccid penis" tags down and packing them away, but I think we're all had enough of Mr. Forty-seven Percent to last us a lifetime.
So - let's see what's in the first drum of toxic Freepitude, shall we?
To: Thane_Banquo; All; FReepers
Let not your heart be troubled. On Fox, Karl Rove is painting a very good picture for a Republican win in Ohio, Florida and Virginia. I realize Karl was not very popular hereabouts a few months ago but he’s an astute observer of politics and an excellent numbers cruncher.
Steve Schmidt: GOP must muzzle Rush Limbaugh
Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 12:58:51 AM by Windy City Conservative
Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said early Wednesday morning on MSNBC that it’s time for Republican leaders to stand up to “extreme statements” and “nonsense” coming from within the GOP, including Rush Limbaugh.
“Now, people calling for revolution and these extreme statements — when I talk about a civil war in the Republican Party, what I mean is, it’s time for Republican elected leaders to stand up and to repudiate this nonsense, and to repudiate it directly,” Schmidt said.
*****************************Time for this guy to go.
To: Windy City Conservative
Who is Steve Schmidt?
To: Windy City Conservative
Rush is extreme. You can thank him for the Sandra Fluke phenomenom and of coursse you can thank him for operation chaos four years ago.
To: Windy City Conservative
Another indication that the GOP is going to go the way of the Whigs.
The GOP establishment doesn’t realize that they’ve shot their last wad.
To: Windy City ConservativeThe republican establishment is kaput! They cannot put blame anywhere but on themselves.
The ignoramuses of this country re-elected a communist. It's not the conservative's(sic) fault!
To: Windy City Conservative
Anybody have Steve Schimdt’s telephone number.
To: Windy City Conservative
I am enjoying the talk about revolution.
Rush needs to learn not to take stinky bait like the Sandra Fluke thing and then doubling down
To: Terry Mross; All
Would not be surprised if folks like Rush like ended up being “disappeared” by Federal Law enforcement/Dept. of Homeland Security in the not to distant future.
The open mass grave that is the history of the 20 century shows us what will be happening in the country in the next 4 years & if you think that American cops would never do something like round people up for reeducation/liquidation bear one little fact in mind .
In all of the genocides,pogroms,dealing with stubborn Kulaks,Great Leaps Forward,final solution to the Jewish Question not once did the police or the legal system stand up & say NO THIS IS WRONG WE WILL NOT CARRY OUT THESE CRIMINAL ORDERS . Just the opposite is the grim reality . Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Rush,Glenn Beck ,Mike Savage,Hannity would be wise to make plans on how to get out of the country on really short notice & without government permission, the key words being without government permission failure to do so could lead to being in government custody for thought crimes to a bullet in the back of the head.
Here's the former Beatles' 1971 visit to the Dick Cavett Show in its entirety, with Yoko in tow. You gotta take the bitter with the sweet:
The founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John O’Neill told Fox News’ Hannity that if Barack Obama nominates John Kerry to Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense the group will “do the very best we can” to protest the appointment.
Twitter is full of this bitchery this morning, armchair warriors yelling about the sacredness of our military and how JOHN KERRY IS A GAY FAGGORT and all manner of other oldsauce nonsense.
The only saving grace in trying to re-run smears is that in our brand-new information superhighway magical mystery Internet wonderland, anything we've heard more than twice is ancient history and an official Nobody Cares is decreed, and then a Kardashian does something somebody deems slutty and we're all on to the next thing.
This is a distinct disadvantage when trying to point out, say, that somebody took the country to war and lied about why, or blew up the whole economy and then tried to blame poor people and union workers. However, it can just as well work for making sure we don't re-run the greatest hits of the Bush Administration's surrogates.
Also? Happy Kerry photo: