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Showing posts from September, 2013

The Flower Duet

From Lakme by Leo Delibes.

Never fails to make me cry.

Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca

Tell Me Sweet Lies

Another'n from Linda and Ann - from Adieu False Heart



Talk to me of love
tell me tender things once more
your beautiful speech
my heart doesn't get tired of listening to it
provided that you always
repeat those supreme words:
"I love you"

You know well
that deep inside me I don't believe any of them
but nonetheless I still want to
listen to those words which I adore
your voice with its caressing sounds
whispering tremulously
deludes me with its beautiful story
and despite myself, I want to believe in it

He's so sweet
my beloved treasure, he's a bit crazy
life is sometimes too bitter
if we don't believe in chimaeras
grief eases up quick
and consoles itself with a kiss
we heal the wound of our heart
with an oath which reassures it



And Speaking Of Linda

Ms Ronstadt with Ann Savoy - Walk Away Renee:






Linda Ronstadt

I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance





Les & Mary

I'm A Fool To Care





Why Not Negotiate With 'Em?

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Today's Pix

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Looking Back To See Our Own Arrival

Little Red State Fundy by driftglass:

One day we will have to explain to the children what happened when Thurston Howell III lost his right mind and decided that for the sake of some tax cuts to make him incrementally more comfortable, his very bestest buddies in the whole, wide world were the Ultra Right Wing Gorgons down in Jesusland.

May I suggest the following?

The Story of Little Red State Fundy
Little Red State Fundy found a grain of hate.

"Who will help me plant the hate?" she asked.

"Not I," said the Moderate Republicans.

"Not I," said the Undecideds.

"Not I," said the Libertarians.

"Then I will," said Little Red State Fundy.

So she buried the hate in the bloody ground of the Old Confederacy. After a while it grew up paranoid and ignorant and violent.

"The hate is ripe now," said Little Red State Fundy. "Who will do the mass mailings and preach bigotry from the Pulpit?"

"Not I," said the Moderate Republicans.

&…

Today's PFU

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Today's PSA

Of all the slick shit(*) the Repubs have shoveled at us about the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, I think the one that's the most dishonest is how they talk about Obamacare as if it were a brand in itself.  It isn't.  If Obama hadn't folded like a fucking lawnchair on the Public Option, then maybe you could make that case - but he did so you can't so shut up already.

If you don't qualify for Medicare; and if you're not poor enough to be covered by your state's version of Medicaid; and if you don't wanna pay a fine; and if you want healthcare insurance, then you buy healthcare insurance from a healthcare insurance company.  That's the law - deal with it.



(*)
The abortion surcharge
Medicare as we know it will end
Death Panels (you don't really need a link on that one, do ya?)
Raiding Medicare for $716 Billion
Obamacare will cost twice the original estimate
Employers are dropping their coverage because of Obamacare
and on and on and on

The Art Of The Editorial

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I mentioned Victor Juhasz - here's some more:






Today's Reading Assignment

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(hat tip = Charlie Pierce)

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone:
This is the third act in an improbable triple-fucking of ordinary people that Wall Street is seeking to pull off as a shocker epilogue to the crisis era. Five years ago this fall, an epidemic of fraud and thievery in the financial-services industry triggered the collapse of our economy. The resultant loss of tax revenue plunged states everywhere into spiraling fiscal crises, and local governments suffered huge losses in their retirement portfolios – remember, these public pension funds were some of the most frequently targeted suckers upon whom Wall Street dumped its fraud-riddled mortgage-backed securities in the pre-crash years.
Today, the same Wall Street crowd that caused the crash is not merely rolling in money again but aggressively counterattacking on the public-relations front. The battle increasingly centers around public funds like state and municipal pensions. This war isn't just about money. Crucially, in ways invi…

A Question

If it's wrong to steal the wealth from rich people in order to make poor people less poor, then it's just as wrong to steal the labor from poor people in order to make rich people richer.

Having believed that first part while purposefully ignoring the second part is what haunts me about my own career history, and what leads me to believe that the flirtation with economic justice we've indulged in since the 1930s is all but over.  We're sliding back into the old ways of doing things and so we need to call our system by it's more suitable name: Kleptonomics.

I've had a bad feeling when thinking about the downward pressure on real wages and earnings here in the US over the last few decades.  It's almost as if somebody wants us to feel guilty about our success in order to make us more willing to do more and to accept less in return for it; while workers in other countries are portrayed as making "great strides" and how they're humble and so they&…

Oh Yeah - I Get It

Mike's Rule #1:  It's never about what they tell us it's about.

Ted Cruz goes on a gab jag in the well of the Senate, and then votes in favor of cloture on a bill he said he was on his gab jag trying to kill.

Seems not to make any sense at all, but these guys don't say and do the seemingly stupid things they say and do for no good reason.  There's always a good reason, which will become clear eventually, which will involve some kind of play for money, which is how you get power, which is the whole fucking point for these guys.

From Daily Beast via Little Green Footballs:
"These guys aren't stupid. They can read the votes,” says a veteran Republican operative. “That's why Republicans are so infuriated. Folks know exactly why they're doing this. They are using this issue and misleading conservatives in order to expand their own influence and raise money for themselves."The biggest actors so far in Defund, Inc. have been Cruz, Sen. Mike Lee of …

Artificial Living

Louis CK on resisting the electronic pacifier.

Who Ya Gonna Be?

Now, if the obviously very clever and talented film makers could just come up with the 3rd and 4th alternatives - you know, kinda like real life - maybe it could help us figure out how not to buy into the bullshit of a strictly binary universe.
I do dearly love this little film tho'.

Coming Back To Haunt

When they talk about policies regarding the economy, lotsa Repubs make lotsa noise about "uncertainty", and they almost always lay it all at the feet of a dysfunctional gubmint; way too much red tape and regulations etc etc etc.

Now, when we're talking about the Repub plans to - I dunno, pick one - "starve the beast" or "shut the thing down" or "stand firm against raising the debt ceiling" or whatever - and because of all those threats we have an awful lot of the gubmint needlessly diverting hours and effort to implementing action plans for what happens if Teddy The Hostage Taker gets his way - isn't all that kinda contributing to the whole Uncertainty Thing in a pretty big way?

And don't we hafta ask who's doing the most when it comes to making our government dysfunctional in the first place?

It's a wonderment.

Testify, Sister

I'm very much Pro-Krystal on this one, while at the same time I just really wish her parents had been a tad more conscientious when it came time to pick a name for her.

Consumer Activism

I posted a few days ago about what a sludge bucket Lil Chuckie Todd is, and today over at Democratic Underground, they said the petition they started had 100,000 signatures, and yesterday I saw Todd on Alex Wagner and I turned it off immediately and today I sent a nastygram to MSNBC and here's the list of people at MSNBC you can annoy with your lefty radical complaints:

Executives in charge:
Deborah Turness, President, NBC News
Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC
Vivian Schiller, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, NBC News
Bill Wolff, Vice President, Primetime Programming, MSNBC
Mike Rubin, Vice President, Long Form Programming, MSNBC
Richard Wolffe, Vice President and Executive Editor, MSNBC.com

Media Relations:
For reporters looking for comment on MSNBC.com, please contact:
Danielle Lynn, Media Relations Manager
212.664.7403
Email: Danielle.Lynn@nbcuni.com
For reporters looking for comment on MSNBC TV, please call:
MSNBC Media Relations  212.664.6605

For viewers wishing to leave comm…

The Ol' Double Switch Two-Step

..with a half twist and an inverted flipflop in the pike position.

Repub candidate for Virginia's Lt Gov (EW Jackson) had a debate with the Dem (Ralph Northam).  It was really just a polite chat for the most part because the temperature of our political discourse has been pretty high lately and for people who don't wanna think too hard - well, apparently they feel uncomfortable when it comes to doing any of the actual work required of citizens living in a system of self-government.  So this was more yawn-fest than debate, but whatever.
Although the differences felt muted for much of the debate, the ending more than made up for it.
When Fox brought up Jackson’s record of inflammatory rhetoric, the Republican was ready. Saying he’d expected the question, Jackson surprised everyone in the George Mason University auditorium in Arlington by grabbing a tablet computer he had close at hand.
He then read a passage from the Virginia state constitution. It protects citizens’ rights to exp…

Playing The Opposites Game

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American Swastika

Seriously, fellas - what you're using to fetishize your misty-eyed fantasies of a glorious past really doesn't stand for what you pretend it stands for.

Slavery was a bad idea.
Secession in support of slavery was a bad idea.
Fighting a war to defend secession in order to support slavery was a bad idea.
3 strikes.
You're out.
Get the fuck over it.

How To Obamacare

healthcare.gov



If guys like Chuck Todd were real journalists and not just Press Poodles, we'd all know this stuff already.

Today's Gun Nut(s)

There's no good news here - including what would normally be a primo opportunity to say something about the the dark side of irony:  "Well, at least the gun freaks are just shooting each other now - so maybe the problem will solve itself".


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Breaking News

And yet, it's still going to be the NRA's position that people with guns prevent these incidents rather than cause them.  It just sucks - top to bottom, side to side and front to back.

Nature Bats Last

A canary in a coal mine, and an albatross in the Pacific.



Makes me wonder if we have the guts to see the truth before it pops up and kicks us in the face.

Unintended Consequences

Please please please - can we try a bit harder (or at all) to get over this self-imposed exile to Stoopidsville that makes it necessary for a semi-dipwad like Bill Nye to think he should do this kinda shit just to "raise awareness" a tiny bit in order to put a few bucks back into an honest effort at making some sense of the world around us by not just requiring our kids to study the sciences, but also by investing in things that'll give them a decent shot at working at real jobs in the fields we're forcing them to study in the first fuckin' place?

So Sorry

Today's Pix

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Today's Best Blog Piece

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Charlie Pierce at Esquire:
Tell me my country's romance with its firearms isn't utterly insane. What we accept as a reality seems from afar like something Aaron Alexis heard from the voices in his head. Our ignorance is deliberate and profound. The BU study was published online on September 12. Did you see anything about it on the news? In the newspapers? Anywhere except at the Think Progress website, which gave it good run? I didn't. Four days later, Aaron Alexis -- who heard voices and bought his gun legally -- went on his spree. The findings of the study may seem little more than an exercise in confirming the obvious, but that's an exercise the country needs. It needs to have the obvious -- guns kill people, health insurance helps keep them alive, large banks are all thieves, economic oligarchy is incompatible with political democracy -- proven to it, over and over again, because the industry of bullshit has become too efficient. The contempt for learning, the scorn …

Today's Best (Blog) Paragraph

God love Wonkette:
It has been some time since we have heard anything about our old friend BENGHAAAAAAAZI!!111!!!! We are of course referring to the insidious act a year ago when Hillary Clinton traveled via wormhole to Libya to smother Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans with her vagina while one of her vast army of clones went to the White House to roofie President Obama, drag him out to the putting green on the South Lawn, and leave him to wake up thirteen hours later clutching a bloody nine-iron in his hand with vague memories of pummeling American heroes to death in a frenzy of murderous rage. It’s really the only scenario that makes sense. I didn't have to read any more - that made my day - but it's worth a quick perusal.

Food Stamps Theater

It seems like the Repubs in Congress are just all about doing nothing but making symbolic gestures - mostly of the raised middle finger variety.

The House voted yesterday to cut $40 billion from SNAP (food stamps) over the next ten years.  First off, it really doesn't "sound like all that much" (we're still gonna spend $700-800 Billion in those 10 years), but when you look at how little help SNAP provides for individual households, it's a real blow.

Center on Budget Policy and Priorities:
The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is scheduled to end on November 1, 2013, resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household. For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014.[2] That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP …

Don't Forget Now

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...this Sunday is National Back To Church Sunday. Woo-hoo!

So I wanna remind everybody to be sure to find something more useful to do - like go for a hike or take in a movie; or just stay home and alphabetize your Tupperware or re-shingle the doghouse or pick fly shit outa the pepper shaker.  Anything at all.

And if you click on that link - do some shopping, because nothin' says you love Jesus more than good old fashioned e-tail bidness - cuz y'know, if you don't care enough to spend a few bucks in support of The Savior™ well then don't be surprised to learn he don't love ya back when your time comes - know whadda mean?


That's What I'm Talkin' About

I complain a lot about Press Poodles, and how way too many "journalists" are doing a crappy job of reporting.

Well, from FAIR's excellent website, here's the primary-number-one-whole-wheat-no-artificial-ingredients-99-and-44-one-hundredths-percent-pure-and-unadulterated example of not just doing a crappy job, but the straight-up refusal even to know what the fucking job actually is:
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd's declaration that it's not his job to inform viewers when politicians spread misinformation was noted by several progressive blogs today, including Talking Points Memo.Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe today (9/18/13), Todd responded to Ed Rendell's claim that Obamacare opponents are full of misinformation about the program by explaining that this was because Republicans "have successfully messaged against it." But wasn't journalism's job to expose misinformation? No, Todd insisted; if the public was misinformed …

Dear Mr President

It seems pretty simple - don't negotiate with hostage-takers.
Congress and the president are again at loggerheads on how to move forward as the government's money runs out at the end of the fiscal year this month and federal agencies are once again warning employees and preparing contingency plans for a closed government.All this because Republicans are making demands in exchange for government funding and Democrats are saying "no way." Some Press Poodles (not a lot, but some) are actually talking about it in truthful terms, and have been willing to challenge the Repubs on occasion.  Again, not many and not often because most of our "journalists" are still completely hung up on their Fairness Bias, which makes them believe that if they quote somebody saying "the sun came up this morning", they're required to get a reaction from somebody with an opposing point of view - and you can straight-up count on the simple fact that somebody's just d…

Today's Toons

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Synchronicity

I'm wondering if there's anything that can be drawn from this having to do with our seeming need to look alike and act alike and think alike -  is there something physical that drives us towards conformity that can be so simple (and subtle) that we don't even notice it?

Teach Your Children Well

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Buy This Book Right Fucking Now

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Equivocation
Equivocation exploits the ambiguity of language by changing the meaning of a word during the course of an argument and using the different meanings to support some conclusion. A word whose meaning is maintained throughout an argument is described as being used univocally. Consider the following argument: How can you be against faith when we take leaps of faith all the time, with friends and potential spouses and investments? Here, the meaning of the word “faith” is shifted from a spiritual belief in a creator to a risky undertaking.

A common invocation of this fallacy happens in discussions of science and religion, where the word “why” may be used in equivocal ways. In one context, it may be used as a word that seeks cause, which as it happens is the main driver of science, and in another it may be used as a word that seeks purpose and deals with morals and gaps, which science may well not have answers to. For example, one may argue: Science cannot tell us why things happen…

Street Justice

In a way, I don't like the fact that I still get a kind of zesty feeling inside when something like this happens.



There's an element of Instant Karma to it that I think is not completely unjustified.  I guess what I worry about is that people seem to take a small-ish incident like this one and then try to apply the principle to every situation.  Over time, we start to lose not only our sense of proportionality, but we get further and further away from the basic tenet of Due Process itself.

David Frum

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Frum has been trying to pull his guys back from the brink. (and btw: that shouldn't make anybody think I consider him any kind of hero - he's not)

But when the guy gets one right (IMO), I think it's OK to say he got one right.

Mr Frum's tweets:





Today's Pix

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