Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quote O' Teh Day

Dauvidian at Taplin's piece featuring the Beatles at Shea Stadium.
 We didn’t know what the Kennedy’s were involved with in the ’60’s. That why it was so painful in that it was so unreal. Not until later did it all come out with Bobby’s problems, Joe’s racketeering, the Chicago mob promises , and j edgar the bitch. But yeah, the shots just didn’t stop coming thru the ’60’s, here and overseas…..terrible times.
April 4th, 1968, I was scheduled to see the Buffalo Springfield but the show was cancelled and the National Guard brought out because of MLK…..more tragedy.

I was not conscious of the significance of all this. I saw it all through a different lens. Well, I didn't see it, is what. As a friend of mine says about Seacucus Seven, "I didn't know any people like that." Actually, now that I think it over, he meant The Big Chill.

Here we are, sitting out history. Watching it. Suspended animation. WTF?


There Are Days

when Taplin just kills me. If he has a wife or SO, s/he must be exhausted.
The real shock was philisophical, as if God had removed his sanction from America. Which to me is a most basic notion. Because to this day, a majority of Americans feel that America is the God Approved Nation. The one that God loves the most. 
Norman Mailer. I'm not saying I liked Mailer. I never read any of his books, a matter of principle. But he was a voice. Is a voice. Can't not hear.

As Usual: Taplin's On Top Of It

and I, like Krugman, remain "terrified."
I’m going to keep saying this until it becomes the new “conventional wisdom”–we are entering an Interregnum. The American financial system is in a critical transition from a consumption/debt to a production/savings economy. Larry Summers and his colleagues don’t understand that the citizens of the country woke up from a long slumber in the last year. Even though gas prices have fallen dramatically, we still drive less. Even though every store offers 70% off, we still shop less. We will never collectively borrow as much as we did 2 years ago. I’m well aware that we are still along way from the 25% unemployed in the Depression, but if the economists and politicians don’t realize where we are heading, we could enter our Second Great Depression.
The America of 2015 will look very different. Just how different will be determined in the next few months.

Discovery O' Teh Day

Someone named Crystal writes a blog called Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper.
Who could not vote for her as humor blog of the year in a contest that often reveals new and delightful discoveries?
Explore at your own risk. I especially like the blood donor story.

Got A Note

from the folks at Change Congress today, reminding me of their petition and the movement to fight special interest funding of elections.
Go here and sign it, it's a small act, but you know it's not over just because Obama is president now.

Brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood butinsky.

High Rec

A friend who rarely expresses enthusiasm emails:
Go see The Reader.

It's at the Rose.

Don't read the review on the website or watch the Charlie Rose link until after you've seen the film.

If you come away with questions, they'll get answered in Charlie's interview by the young Michael (David Kross), Kate Winslet, and the director.
I pass it along and plan to comply. The  Rose is the refurbished antique movie house in d/t PT, a little gem.

Friday, January 9, 2009

You Should Read This Today

if nothing else. Obama's mention of SocSec and Medicare yesterday has upset a lot of people, including me. What's up that, huh? The comments on this post are enlightening and I'm all the sudden not so worried.

Social Security and Medicare are promises, not entitlements.  They are part and parcel of the societal compact we have crafted over 230 years of contest and compromise.  ...
If anything, they are woefully underfunded.  They need to be bigger.  They need to be a Pension and Health Care System that lets all of us plan for and live a decent life.  Properly managed, a pension and heath insurance system for 300 million can pretty much pay for itself.  Lift the cap on Social Security contributions, set taxes back to what they were when Reagan left office and we can have both of those programs as far as the eye can dream.

Thus Spake Journalism

John’s contributions to this paper have not gone without notice. He’s a (deft writer; diligent copy editor; pain in the neck), a man who is passionate about (the First Amendment; gerunds; the Bass Ale at Costello’s Taproom) and a newsroom leader who has (become obsessed with Google maps; not generated a single sexual harassment complaint; inspired legions of young reporters to consider teaching American Studies out at the junior college).
These people are funny sometimes.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yeah, You So Don't Wanna Know

When one contemplates what president Bush has bequeathed - from $2 trillion deficits as far as the eye can see to a war without end in the Middle East to an intelligence capacity poisoned by torture - the jaw still drops. Did he really do this much damage to America and the world? Yes, he did.
Look, my kid is grown now. But I stiill care.

We All Have An Uncle Jay

Hat tip JL.

I Hate It

when someone I learned to loathe — in this case, Joe Klein — gets it right. Thanks a lot, Andrew Sullivan, for pointing it out. More coffee.
"This is not the America I know," President George W. Bush said after the first, horrifying pictures of U.S. troops torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq surfaced in April 2004. The President was not telling the truth. "This" was the America he had authorized on Feb. 7, 2002, when he signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention — the one regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners taken in wartime — did not apply to members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban. That signature led directly to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. It was his single most callous and despicable act. It stands at the heart of the national embarrassment that was his presidency.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sicko Redux

Huffpo is just a wealth of material this week (remember, I read it so you don't have to.)
Particularly fun today is Jason Linkins' always witty take on Krugman's take on Gupta, the new Surgeon General.
I personally had nothing against the appointment and am always doubtful when Krugman gets into the politics of a thing since he was so bad during the primaries.
But this time I think he's right. Gupta sounds like a tool. We'll see.
In the meantime, Linkins shares what I would call the quote o' teh day if I hadn't already written this differently:
From Rachel Sklar at the time of the dust-up over the accuracy of Gupta's CNN commentary re: Michael Moore and Sicko:
"Does it compromise my journalistic objectivity to say that Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a dick?"

Sign This Petition

Finally, an Action Alert I can support wholeheartedly.
Huffpo is sponsoring an effort to bring back the top hat at presidential inaugurations. JFK is the last new president to wear one. We already know that Obama can pull it off, but Shrubya, not so much. Hee.
Oh, was that a double meaning? Didn't mean it.
You will have to go to their site to see the pictures because suddenly Blogger will not allow me to upload "unsupported" files from Flickr. They are competitors. Is that it. Maybe I should try Google Image, but I'm too lazy to start all over.

Sassy Bitch

and others competing for annual blog awards. Online voting, so who knows?
If you yearn for the sincere girrll stuff, you can always try the blog roll here.
Me, I'm tired and preoccupied. Puppied out, man.

Why I Love Newspapers

this headline o' teh day:
Crossdressing Harvard M.D. who killed wife found hanged.
(They leave behind three children, just so you know it ain't all comedy.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Action Alert: Lilly Ledbetter

the most famous woman you never heard of. I think she worked for Mall-Wart.
Anyway, go here, it's the least you can do. I mean, what's less than an online petition, a virtual pet?
Last year, the Senate failed to get the 60 votes necessary to force an up-or-down vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would mandate that women receive equal pay for equal work. Now, with a new session of Congress in place, the House is ready to take up the fight again.

I Thought Sanjay Gupta

was that feel-good charlatan from PBS, but turns out he's actually kinda accomplished and a bit of a celebrity M.D., which can only mean good things for his role as Surgeon General.
President-elect Barack Obama has offered the job of surgeon general to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the neurosurgeon and correspondent for CNN and CBS, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Gupta has told administration officials that he wants the job, and the final vetting process is under way. He has asked for a few days to figure out the financial and logistical details of moving his family from Atlanta to Washington but is expected to accept the offer.

Climate Change And Meat Eating

Michael Tidwell makes the case. C'mon, you knew, right? But damn, that bacon sandwich was tasty.
So while some of us Americans fashionably fret over our food’s travel budget and organic content, Garnett says the real question is, “Did it come from an animal or did it not come from an animal?”

A Heartwarming Tail

From Treehugger News
Sheepdogs have helped to guard a colony of fairy penguins, and proven themselves to be very good at their job. So good, in fact, that conservationists are pondering what other threatened animals these K9s can protect.

Wash. Gov. Chris Gregoire

is in D.C. to report on her last-minute trip with other governors to visit National Guard troops in Iraq, not to accept appointment to head up Dept. of Commerce, NPR reports.
Fine with me. I'd just as soon keep her here for awhile.