Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little

it thins the blood, ya see.
Ellen talks to Gladys, h/t Patrick Sullivan.

Mr. Reich

and his reliably cheerful assessment of the economy so far. In a nutshell, we own everything but:
Most of high-tech, entertainment, hospitality, retail, and commodities. So far, at least, we taxpayers are not propping them up. And when the economy turns up -- perhaps as soon as next year, most likely later -- these sectors have a good chance of rebounding.

But the others -- the ones the government is coming to own or manage -- are less likely to rebound as quickly, if ever. If anyone has a good argument for why the shareholders of these losers should not be cleaned out first, and their creditors and executives and directors second -- before taxpayers get stuck with the astonishingly-large bill -- I would like to hear it.

It's called Lemon Socialism. Taxpayers support the lemons. Capitalism is reserved for the winners.

Have a good weekend.

New Feature: Obameter

Have been post-inaugurally editing various features to your right.
New today is the Obameter, created by the St. Pete Times in Florida, a pretty good newspaper owned by the Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism education center set up by the Poynter family, which started the paper.
The Obameter will keep track of the new president's progress on scores of promises made during the campaign.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day Three

My favorite headlines this morning are at Huffpo:
1. Obama To Lift Gag Rule, Restore Funding For Family Planning
2. FDA Approves First Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Steny, Newt, Pat!!!

What kind of a name is Steny, anyway?


Here's a slideshow of the first two days. Note who's in the front row at today's press briefing.

Day Two: Guantanamo Redux

Via Sullivan's blog, Greenwald again nails it.
My only quibble (Word Challange!) is the use of the word "unexpected.
Barack Obama will have spent his first several days in office issuing a series of executive orders which, some quibbling and important caveats aside, meet or actually exceed even the most optimistic expectations of civil libertarians -- everything from ordering the closing of Guantanamo to suspending military commissions to compelling CIA interrogators to adhere to the Army Field Manual to banning CIA "black sites" and, perhaps most encouragingly (in my view): severely restricting his own power and the power of former Presidents to withhold documents on the basis of secrecy, which has been the prime corrosive agent of the Bush era. As a result, establishment and right-wing figures who have been assuring everyone that Obama would scorn "the Left" (meaning: those who believe in Constitutional safeguards) and would continue most of Bush's "counter-Terrorism" policies are growing increasingly nervous about this flurry of unexpected activity.

And, trust but verify. Who said that?

: Writing on his new Washington Post blog, Greg Sargent highlights the types of vital issues that are unresolved by these Executive Orders and which have the potential to undermine, it not entirely subvert, the progress that Obama made this week. That's why ongoing vigilance, rather than complacency, is so crucial.

The Best Inuaguration Collection

according to Taplin.

For Wonks Only

Krugman tells you. Stay away from most other sources on this subject.

As I’ve already pointed out,the prospect of a Keynesian stimulus is having a weird effect on conservative economists, as first-rate economists keep making truly boneheaded arguments against the effort.

The latest entry: Robert Barro argues that the multiplier on government spending is low because real GDP during World War II rose by less than military spending.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It' s Only Gonna Get Tougher

Caroline: Not This Time

she's out of the running, citing Uncle Ted's health, according to some. Maybe Cuomo?


All about that red dress here.

Headline O' Teh Day

Former French President Chirac hospitalised after mauling by his clinically depressed poodle

Shortymac would never do that.

Headline O' Teh Day

Former French President Chirac hospitalised after mauling by his clinically depressed poodle

Shortymac would never do that.

Are We Human

or are we dancer? Always, these bipolar questions. Who set that agenda?

Obama: Words for How We Feel Now from Emily Troutman on Vimeo.

The Best Front Page

and perhaps, the last inaugural front page.

Today marks a beginning for America – and an end for newspapers.

Four years from now, at the next inauguration, there will be fewer front pages to look at – if there are any pages to look at, at all.

So we should take a moment to savor this page and all the others published today, then get back to work and find a way to monetize the journalism that supports our democracy – that's what Obama would do if he were a journalist.

Cheese On Chinese Food

Comedy Central promises to do the daily reality check. I'm so grateful, 'cuz I clearly don't have it in me.
(Okay, a lot of stuff is changing at Blogger, and I don't mean in a good way. There's a lot of stuff I can't embed and/or copy anymore. Here's the link
Oh Hell, watch the whole thing and bookmark The Daily Show, because if we cant' laugh at ourselves, we are doomed.

Day One: Guantanamo

From Glenn Greenwald via Andrew Sullivan:
It appears that the Guantanamo judges will be receptive to the Obama administration's request to stay these commissions, as another military judge -- this one overseeing the proceedings against five detainees accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- just ordered the commissions stayed for 120 days, as Obama ordered his prosecutors to request. And the Swiss Government today announced that it will agree to accept released Guantanamo detainees if that helps close the camp, which Switzerland, like most of the civilized world, considers a blight on Western justice and an ongoing violation of international law. Those are fairly rapid (and encouraging) events for the first 24 hours.

I know you really don't want to know about this. I don't either. But it is Day One, so somebody thinks it's important.
In December, 2003, when he was (at most) 18 years old, Jawad -- according to Guantanamo prison logs -- attempted to kill himself. In 2004, he was subjected to the so-called "frequent flier" program, where, in a two-week period alone, he was moved to a new cell 112 times -- an average of every 3 hours, in order to ensure he was sleep deprived and disoriented. Over the six years at Guantanamo, Jawad was repeatedly subjected to extreme cold, bright lights, and various stress positions. He was often kept in solitary confinement or in "linguistic confinement," isolated from anyone who spoke his only language (Pashto). As recently as May of 2008, while Jawad was at Guantanamo, he was beaten so badly by guards that, weeks later, he still had extreme bruises on his arms, knees, shoulders, forehead and ribs.

This is documented, folks, by his original prosecutor, who resigned from the case in protest. Greenwald has the links. You cannot say, as the Germans did , that you didn't know.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Inaugural Gem

You will have to go to Wiki to check, I'm not going to do that.

Some trivia from the new WH website: (3+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
wbr, sherlyle, dotalbon

In 1829, a horde of 20,000 Inaugural callers forced President Andrew Jackson to flee to the safety of a hotel while, on the lawn, aides filled washtubs with orange juice and whiskey to lure the mob out of the mud-tracked White House.


Save this for your children. It's iconic.
1/20/09 The Boosh regime leaves

Kos Commenter

says the people with "Arrest Bush" signs along Penn Ave got a permit to be in front of the FBI building. I love America, I really do. I always have.

Everybody Liked This, It Seems

so worth repeating:
Reverend Joseph Lowery-Inaugural Benediction
We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around. When yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen

These Guys!!

(I mean that in the generic sense) rushed over to the White House while he was still speaking, because there was a lot to (un)do.
One of President Barack Obama's first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.
The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama's White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.
The waning days of former President Bush's administration featured much debate over what rules and regulations he would seek to enact before he left office.

The Day

in 100 seconds. TPM does this every day now.

The Shredders

I own two.
The best way to get off the couch is to climb up on the table and then slide off. 

The Speech

in tough times, we the people remained faithful...
in the midst of crisis is well understood, economy badly weakened, ... collective failure to make hard choices...the way we use energy...confidence...fear the next generation must lower its sights...not easy, but
"they will be met" hope over fear, unity of purpose, end to petty grievances and worn out dogmas,
remain a young nation, set asidde childish things, carry forward....god given promise that all are equal...
greatness never a gift, must be earned,
risk takers, doers, makers of things.
long rugged past
for us they toiled in sweatshops
(I think, for them, really, then for us)
America bigger than the sum of our ambitions
starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America
new jobs, science to its rightful place, environment, education, "all this we can do, all this we will do"
? scale of ambigions, say system canno tolerate such plans
fail to understnd that the ground has shifted beneath them
---not is govt too big or too small, but does it work?
---light of day
(saw Ray Nagin out there)
Malia is focussing her camera)
common good
common good
common good
rejext as false the choice between our safety and ideals
---will not give the ideals up for expediency's sake---
we are ready to lead once more---
--earlier generations faceed down fascism and communism---
--security emanates form the justice of our cause--
--leave Iraq to its people, lessen nuclear threat, roll back spector of declining climate
---we will defeat you
---our patchwork heritage is astrength, not a weakness
--people will judge you on what you can build, not what you can destroy
---we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering of others
---spirit of service, willingness to find something greater than themselves
--ultimately the faith and determination of the people
---values--honesty and hard work, loyalty and patriotism--these things are old, these things are true, return to truths, new era of responsibility,
---the price and the promise of citizenship
why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served in a local restaurant may stand before you and take this most sacred oath----

---quotes Washington--when we were tested we refused to let this journey end---thank you and god bless the us of america

Rick Warren

"History is your story"
what the hell does that mean, slaughter is the story of God?
Guy's gonna go down. I smell it.
Not really a compelling speaker, I wonder how he keeps the congregation together.
Forgive us, for failing to treat everyone with respect. Hmm. Civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.
He's about 75 pound overweight, and has a very small voice.
Kept it clean, kept it bland.
Fabulous hat.
So, Stevens administers the oath to Biden.
The John Williams composition, Perleman, yo=yo, etc. No one knows what it will sound like, they tell me.
A Jewish white man, an Asian American, a black American and a white woman. Jeebus.
Echoes of Copeland to my untrained ear.
I snatch a glimpse of the army of photogs in front of the musicians elevated above the Congress. And I wonder idly if Melina Mora, who shot my daughter's wedding and now works at the Washington Post, is there as well. Prolly.
"Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
"To see his children skip up there with him, that was the highlight of the morning."
OOH, cannons.

Inauguration Liveblogging II

He arrives, I cannot help it, alone here with the puppy. I applaud.

"He stopped for a minute to do this little hand things with his daughters." NPR
I didn't see it.
DiFi, go away.
Omigod, she's giving a speech.

Inaugural Liveblogging

Okay, I couldn't resist.
GHW Bush is tottering like the old man he is. Did he injure himself when parachuting on his last birthday?
The Big Dog and Hillary look great, holding hands as he puts his arm around the guy he beat out. the old totterer.
The Bush girls.
Axelrod is visible behind Hillary and GHW.
The Obama girls!! and Gramma.
Sasha in red, Malia in royal blue.
Laura and Lynn. Muted. I see a lot of red hats in the audience. Not the ladies in red hats.
Big Dog stands next to MLK III.
Malia is using her camera. It reminds me of my cousin's grandaughter trailing after the photog at my daughter's wedding.
GWB. May be the last time I have to look at him.
The Big Dick in his wheelchair.
Michelle's gloves are definitely green, so the NPR discussion about the color of her ensemble must go for the "mustard" side.
Steny Hoyer, Harry Reid.
The Supreme Court is wearing these odd hats, NPR says nobody seems to know how that evolved.
Behind Nancy. Okay, here's where I tear up.
It's the biggest job in the world. And he's only human.
The weight of the world, as NPR says it.
Difi is on the arm of some miltary type. Why? Is she crippled, too. Did she parachute on her birthday?


Oh, The Age Of Irony

is not over after all.
Nina Totenberg (sp?) of NPR just informed us that Obama's oath of office will be administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a man whose appointment he voted against.
Only in America.
There is a ton of race commentary.

Monday, January 19, 2009

In The Meantime

despite the inauguration, life goes on. From the always dependable Jerome.
Financiers are part of the problem, not part of the solution, right now. Don't save them. But save the boring, utility bits of banks. Banks will not do that on their own. Government has to force them. Urgently.

Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Guy

Namely, Deadeye Dick. Yeah, that Dick.
US Vice President Dick Cheney pulled a muscle in his back while moving boxes and will be in a wheelchair for Tuesday's historic inauguration of incoming president Barack Obama, the White House said.

I Am In Tears Again

This is probably over the fair use 500 word limit, but TPM doesn't always create a separate link for its front page items.
rom TPM Reader AR ...
So this is why Al Gore had to lose. Had he won, we might have been witnessing the inaugural of President Joe Lieberman. Or, worse still, President Jeb Bush. True, we may have avoided 9/11 because a President Gore would have read and acted upon the Presidential Daily Brief that warned of an impending attack by Osama bin Laden, and because he would have heeded Richard Clarke's dire, "hair on fire" warnings about Al Qaeda. True, we would not have gone to war against Iraq had 9/11 occurred, a conflict that has benefited Iran (and thus Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood) more than any other nation. Instead, we would have gone into Afghanistan with Pakistan's help - notice Pakistan's new found lament that it is a "victim of terrorism" - and rounded up Osama bin Laden and his henchmen, ending the scourge that is Al Qaeda. True, Hurricane Katrina would have been handled with competence, the capital markets would not have collapsed as a consequence of deregulation run amok, and global warming would have been arrested if not reversed. But, we would not be inaugurating President Barack Hussein Obama's first term. And this is why John Kerry had to lose. Had he won, we might have been witnessing the second inaugural of a Kerry administration, or perhaps the first inaugural of a McCain/Lieberman administration. True, the Iraq war would likely be over and a few thousand American soldiers and private security contractors would consequently be alive and in good health. And, the markets and health care and roads and bridges and our other national ailments would be just that - ailments, rather than the debilitating trauma that they are today. But, we would not have had eight years of experimenting with the extreme ideology that the Bush administration has inflicted on the United States of America. And, it is this experiment that has provided cold hard empirical evidence that the blind obeisance to free unregulated markets that is the hallmark of contemporary conservatism, coupled with the unilateral, muscular, "shoot first and ask questions afterwards" foreign policy that is at the core of neoconservatism, is as bankrupt a governing paradigm as the centrally planned economy of socialism. Had it not been for the second Bush term, we would not be inaugurating President Barack Hussein Obama's first term.
From the depths of our despair that can be graphed as a downward sloping straight line starting with the Florida electoral recount, and running through 9/11, Enron, the anthrax case of domestic terrorism, Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, the politically motivated firings of U. S. attorneys, the creation of "free speech zones", Hurricane Katrina, the collapse of Wall Street, and the replacement of the Clinton budget surplus with record deficits, all occurrences on George W. Bush's watch, there now emerges an historically singular opportunity. A brown man whose middle name is Hussein is taking an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution, something that would have been inconceivable had George W. Bush not been the 43rd President and something that takes on more than symbolic significance in light of the defilement the Constitution has suffered under the administration of the 43rd President.
In India, the country of my birth, we would call this sequence of events "Karma". In the United States of America, the country of my adoption, we should call this sequence of events "opportunity". An opportunity to restore America's brand abroad, by serving as a beacon of hope rather than as an object of fear. An opportunity to remind the world that American exceptionalism is derived from our charter documents -- the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights - not from our ability to instill fear. An opportunity to restore the rule of law at home, by eschewing torture as state policy, and restoring order to markets run amok. An opportunity to credibly put to rest a legitimately paranoid world's fear about America's imperialistic ambitions. An opportunity to again be the greatest nation the earth has ever seen. In Riyadh and in Rawalpindi, in Kabul and in Kyoto, in Madrid and in Mumbai, in the slums of Dharawi and in the streets of Dacca, the world will watch the improbable inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama and know that, once again in America, anything is possible.

--Josh Marshall

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Liveblog Redux

It was Garth Brooks, not Clay Aitken, and how would I know anyway?
For some killer pics, go here.

Helen Thomas

HBO follows today's inaugural concert with a documentary about the senior female White House correspondent, who began in 1961. Nine presidents. She's clearly a liberal. And she's clearly straightforward about all of it.
She is the daughter of illiterate Syrian immigrant parents, who she describes as "brilliant."

Liveblogging VI

Five full dress military introduce Challenger, the bald eagle who represents somethingk I guess. He's a trick eagle, apparently, but then, aren't we all?
Barack! Barack! Barack!
I did not know he would speak.
"Hello, America"
thanks everyone
celebration of american renewal
challenge of generation
the girls are being blown in the wind, Sasha shields her eyes
Denzel is profiled in the camera'
US will endure and prevail the dream of the founders will ...
anything is possible in America
lincoln the man sho in so many ways made this day possible but in the end it's about us
if we could just recognize ourselves in one another
people who love this country can change it
true caracter revealed in hard times

Bruce is back
Pete Seeger
As I went walking ...
this land was made for you and me, this land is your land
I think I spotted George Lucas singing the words into the face of a black woman next to him.
Lucas is pretty distinctive looking, I'm pretty sure it was him.
10s of thousands
from the redwood forests to the gulf stream islands...
oh beautiful forespacious skies...
and crown the good with brotherhood..
— 30 —

Liveblogging V

Jack Black and Rosario Dawson. I know, I know. I hardly know who they are.
Save the environment for everyone for all time.
TR, Dawson's job here.
National parks, forests.
Is that Clay Aiken doing a R&R medley? I'm guessin.'
Wait a minute. Is America all Show Biz?
Wait a minute, I'm having a moment.
Is all government a show biz thing? Duh. With age comes wisdom. Or complete foolery.
Whoever he is, he's got a package.
Ashley Judd and Forrest Whitacker. Wait, what?
Faulkner via Whitaker. Artists do compassion. Endure and prevail.
Usher. Stevie? Shakira. If I hadn't watched this, I would't know who they all are, although I recognize the ames.
It IS Stevie. Teachers keep on teachin'. Fat Stevie. Fat Contrarienne.
The Obamas are standing and keepping time and clapping and smiling but Malia has taken a bathroom break.
Here goes Stevie.
ooh, Sam Jackson. What is that hat called? On Rosa Parks.
"I did not get on the bus to get arrested. I got on the bus to go home."
...I knew that I had the strength of my ancestors with me."
Where are our ancestors?
Get the video.
SJ has a nice , sexy gap between his front teeth. Never noticed that before.
Bono. I've never watched him perform before. Lately, there's been a lot of criticism of him.
Fuck it all. I don't care.
He's on my side. I welcome and embrace all on my side.
An Irish band indeed.
"Not just an American dream...and also a Palestinia the name of love"
"What a thrill for 4 Irish boys from the north side of Dublin..."

Just get the video.

Liveblogging IV

Ain't that America, backup by black choir, all in black, nice.
"Let's get together and feel all right."
Wycliff Jean? Just a guess. With a blond, female guitarist.
Malia is taking pictures, her dad is bobbing his head and grinning.
Tiger Woods. Discards the non-political pledge for today.
Dad was special forces operator. Lute Col. Earl Woods.
The military card.
"I am a son of a man who dedicated his life to his country, his family and the milatary and I am a better man for it."
And rich, rich, richer.
Naval Academy Glee Club sings:
Renee Fleming leads "when you walk through a storm"
I hate that song.

Livebloggin IT III

Joe. Work is more than a paycheck.
it's about dignity.
pride in providing for families and measure their lives by their effort.
Well, yeah, I guess I have to think about that, but his speechwriter is ho hum.
Brief. No real Joe. I want Joe!
R&R prsidency mellencamp and black man with a black cat...the thing I like about all this is that artists are  by definition  alien and seditionists. heh
--ain't that America, home of the free--

Pause, Shortymac needs to go out.

Liveblogging IT II

"Fellow Citizens, we cannot escape history...we will be remembered in spite of ourselves."
Abe Lincoln, Tom Hanks.
We hold the power and bear the responsibility.
More Copeland. Kills.
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present...we must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country."
"When standing erect, he was 6 feet 4 inches tall"
The orchestra is a mixed bag of military, all in their own uniforms, so the different hats seem to display the differences of all of us.
"So as I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master." Lincoln's idea of democracy.
is 2009 the year the slaves were freed?
Marisa Tomei (sp?) quoting Ronald Reagan, "how can we love our country without loving our country men" Did he say that? Well, yeah. Did he mean it. I'm sure he believed he did.
Sweet Baby James. A baby blue electric guitar. all hatted and coated against the wind and the icey chill.
Here struts in Jennifer somebody with a great gospel voice.
Shower the people with love, show them the way you feel.
James plays that stratocaster like a woman.

Liveblogging IT!

11:41 a.m.
omg there's Bruce out there in front of a horde of red-robed choir members in the icy cold before Lincoln's statue singing Come On Up For the Rising. The choire is also wearing black earmuffs and gloves. I'm still in veritable tears after Denzel, the arrival of the pres and vp elect. the Copeland common man thing, the master sarge singing the anthem. It's more than historic, it's crackling, atmosphere breaking, it's like something in a movie, a  turn, a crack in the string, a break, and here we are.
Laura Linney introduces an FDR inauguration speech (I am reminded, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself...and spiders!)
and now it's JFK (yes, there are top hats in the audience I love top hats) ask not ....etc
what have I ever done "for my country" ? Well, I guess I can say I tried to tell the truth publicly. Does that count?
Sasha is leaning on Michelle.
Blige in sand colored fantastic outfit, I love "Lean On Me," can we lean on him? Will he fall over from the weight? Please remember, it's not about him, it's about us.
"Count on me brother, when you need a hand."
Are those genuine snakeskin boots?  Or faux. Tell me they're faux. I love snakes. They eat slugs.
Jamie Fox and Steve Carrel? Whoa. Carrell  reading Thomas Jefferson. Fox on Thurgood Marshall. big screens across the mall in D.C. so everyone can hear and see it all. I love sitting here in the living room and not needing to be there to BE THERE.
Jf--Chittown stand up. "If there's anyone show still doubts..." he does Obama like only Obama does Obama. Heh.
"It's been a long time comeing."

Okay, jon Bon Jovi and someone called Bettye Lavette (Sam Cook song) It's been a long time coming. Jeebus, they're killing me.
Who planned this? Who's behind this extravaganza?
11:58 a.m.
Get the video. Still singing and a long shot shows a plane descending in the background and you gotta think, the towers, the towers, the pentagon.

I Broke The Hoover Dam

SNL was not worth staying up for last night and I apparently turned it off before the Ann Coulter skit.
However, there's always, always Will Ferrell.