Friday, January 31, 2014

Slow your Mustang down


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

RIP.  I think Pete's was the first concert I ever attended, a free one in Golden Gate Park four decades ago or so.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Blue Monday, Nina Simone edition

Friday, January 24, 2014

And yes, I liked the movie

Yes, Republicans are obsessed with poverty

Poor, poor Jackie Calmes.  Six years in and she still thinks the president can come to terms with "leading conservative intellectuals" in the House over things they both care about.  Like poverty.

WASHINGTON — More than he might have imagined just a month ago, President Obama has an opening with Tuesday’s State of the Union address to advance his argument to Congress that the rising inequality of economic opportunities is America’s “defining challenge of our time.”
Leading Republicans have responded with their own expressions of concern — and seeds of ideas. Previously the party mostly ignored Mr. Obama’s periodic speeches about trends that show the United States trailing Canada, France and Germany on measures of upward mobility and seven out of 10 Americans born into poverty likely to stay there.
The best-known Republicans speaking out on poverty and opportunity have presidential ambitions, among them Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Influential conservative economists and columnists have spoken up as well.

Yes, Paul Ryan has a real obsession with the poor.  Via K-thug.

Mr. Ryan blames Mr. Obama’s talk of “class warfare” and Republicans’ own message mistakes — but not their policies — for his party’s image deficit.
“We have just not done a good enough job of explaining why our ideas and our principles are good for everybody and how they restore upward mobility,” Mr. Ryan said in an interview.

Why, oh why, can't we have a better press corps?

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Damn, she's good

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blue Monday, Howlin' Wolf introduced by Brian Jones edition

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Just too easy to not get a job

Shorter Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Indiana,: Democrats are enabling those damned Lucky Unemployed Duckies.

"[Democrats] seem to have surrendered to a new normal of high unemployment. Instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with out-of-work Americans, they’re focused on making it easier to live without a job. They’re focused on bigger government and less opportunity. More debt and fewer jobs," he said.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

"I happen to dig the sound, very much"

Oh, Kitty!

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Sons of Traitors in Defense of Slavery

Accommodating all those different perspectives (like, ya know, your traitorous ancestors lost) is too much:

To descendants of the Confederates in North Florida, the move was perceived to be the latest salvo against this area’s values and traditions. The Civil War may have ended long ago, but in Florida, unlike much of the South, Yankees never stopped marching (or rolling) into the state, lured by milder weather and tax rates. Other newcomers arrived, too, slowly eroding the state’s Southern identity.

“The descendants of these families have moved over and moved over,” said Mr. Baxley of the Confederate side. A fifth-generation resident of North Florida, Mr. Baxley has drafted a bill to require legislative approval to alter commemorative sites. “You have 20 million people from all corners of the earth and the country. We have all these different perspectives here, and these descendants have accommodated that. But I think that diversity and respecting people’s ancestors applies to everybody.”

Adding a Union monument to Olustee, Florida’s first state park, Mr. Baxley said, violates the public trust because it would redefine the historic park.

“My biggest concern is that this is revisionist history and that these decisions are being made by park officials and not an elected body,” he said. “You have to have some obligation to the people.”

Emphasis, of course, mine.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Blue Monday, Big Bill Morganfield edition

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The strongest union in the world...for now

The players union had better find its voice pretty soon.

Baseball’s investigative tactics included paying an ex-convict for stolen documents and committing at least $1.8 million to provide security for and cover the legal fees of Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch, according to New York magazine.

Rodriguez, while continuing to accuse baseball of misconduct, raised yet another diversion in his statement. Seeking to rally his union brothers like a modern-day Samuel Gompers, he contended that the owners would seek major concessions from the players in the next labor negotiations.
The "injustice" of his suspension, Rodriguez said, was "MLB's first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.''

Rodriguez's concerns are extreme. The clubs might seek to convert guaranteed language to non-guaranteed in the contracts of players who are caught using PEDs, but they will never get away with abolishing guaranteed contracts. They also might seek harsher penalties than the current 50-100-lifetime formula for positive tests, but will never get away with lifetime bans for first-time offenders.
Details, details. Rodriguez does not actually care about any of this; he's trying to save his own butt, as most players will figure out immediately.

The point is, there are battles ahead.

Indeed.  Say what you will about Rodriguez, he was abused in this process.  How great an intrusion into players' rights is Major League Baseball will to go and can the players union fight back?  It doesn't seem like they're interested in defending this player.


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Friday, January 10, 2014

For those satanists in Oklahoma


Monday, January 06, 2014

Jerry Coleman, RIP

They don't make them like him anymore.

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Blue Monday, Freddie King edition

Stay warm, Chicago!

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Friday, January 03, 2014


Being silly

Um, no.

For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana. It was fun. I have some fond memories of us all being silly together. I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships.  
"Uninhibited frolic?"  I can only imagine what that was like.

In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be. 
Yes, here's how our government is subtly encouraging us to be the sort of person most of us want to be.


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