Tuesday, January 5, 2016

All your dreams are on their way

"Dave Johnson and Marcy Wheeler wrote posts in December referring to Jimmy Carter's 'Malaise Speech' and its relationship to where the United States is today. Marcy and Dave describe some key inflection points we can expect to see in 2016, ranging from the impact of climate change policy to the Saudi/Iranian axis' impact on the Middle East and US policy. Also, the effect of the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) on American policy and politics, and the role of declining middle class wages on the Presidential election. Jay Ackroyd hosts," on Virtually Speaking Sundays. The Washington Post fires it's only regular truly liberal columnist, Harold Meyerson "More than any other columnist for a major U.S. newspaper, Meyerson provided ongoing coverage and incisive analysis of the nation's labor movement and other progressive causes as well as the changing economy and the increasing aggressiveness of big business in American politics. He was one of the few columnists in the country who knew labor leaders and grassroots activists by name, and who could write sympathetically and knowledgeably about working people's experiences in their workplaces and communities. Since Steve Greenhouse retired last year as the New York Times' brilliant labor reporter, no other major paper has a reporter who covers unions and working people on a full-time basis. Now with Meyerson's firing, there's not one weekly columnist who understands the ins and outs of organized (and disorganized) labor."
* "Bernie Sanders calls Washington Post's column cancellation ‘unfortunate'" is the WaPo's own story.
* Politico: "Washington Post: Harold Meyerson column dropped because he failed to attract readers" - but. "In my discussion with him, Fred cited two reasons for not renewing my column. In addition to the click-count, he said there was too frequent an emphasis in my column on 'unions and Germany,' by which he meant -- my phrasing, not his -- worker rights and an alternative form of corporate governance."
* Digby: "The Washington Post just dissed the single largest faction in the Democratic Party"
* Meyerson's last WaPo column

Bernie Sanders told Face the Nation that he thought he could win over Trump's supporters because Trump says wages are too high but he - and everyone else - knows wages are too low. Interestingly, Trump did a sudden turnaround on the issue, later, saying now that wages are too low.

In case anyone was wondering where the DNC was going to find "independent investigators" of the data breach, they're probably not so independent.

Atrios actually gave Barack Obama his America's Worst Humans Award* for this one: "A political bomb is about to blow up in the Democrats' faces." But read his comments in this follow-up post.

In The American Prospect, "2016: The Year of the Billionaire: This presidential election could show how private capital and secrecy conspired to take the political process away from the American people."

"The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel" - Well, he's not dead yet, but I think the party is going to be less inclined to treat him like a rock star now that even rich Republicans won't snuggle up with him anymore.
* "Newly released emails reveal coordination after teen's death [...] The Chicago mayor's office, police and the body that investigates police shootings closely coordinated their response in the months after a white officer fatally shot a black teenager in 2014, emails released Thursday revealed."

Remember that guy who landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn? He wants to primary Debbie Wasserman Scultz. David Dayen tweeted: "I would vote for the actual gyrocopter over Wasserman-Schultz."

Once again, the prosecutor sabotages his own case about cops who kill innocents. No one will go to jail for the murder of Tamir Rice.
* "The American criminal justice system is guilty of killing Tamir Rice"
* Pierce: "The Tamir Rice Shooting Reveals the Darkness at the Heart of Open Carry Laws" - Actually, I don't think this is about open carry so much as it's about police incompetence and cops who swoop in like raiders, ignoring safe procedure, and then suddenly behave like they are under threat.

Black man is pulled over by cops who just give him a warning. #NotAllCops are out of control, but the ones who are should be kicked off the force.

"Tennessee students lose voter ID challenge."
* Kentucky governor Bevin issues executive orders rolling back voting rights and minimum wage, gives Kim Davis a win: Last month, former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear issued an executive order last month that extended voting rights to roughly 150,000 ex-felons who had completed their sentences. Yesterday, newly-elected Kentucky governor Matt Bevin reversed Beshear's executive order as one of a series of executive actions that amounted to a laundry list of conservative priorities. Bevin overturned Beshear's voting rights expansion despite having previously supported legislation to that effect. Kentucky has some of the most restrictive laws in the country when it comes to restoring voting rights for ex-felons, and Bevin has previously said that he thinks the state should move to allow for automatic rights restoration. So voting rights advocates were hopeful - even optimistic - that he would leave Beshear's order intact when he took office while the legislature worked to pass a law to its effect. Instead, Bevin went out of his way to take voting rights away from people he has already said should have them. You will recall there are still questions about the election that mysteriously put Bevin in office despite consistent polling prior to the election that showed him losing - so it's certainly not surprising that he'd pull something like this.

"Edward Clarkin Is The Most Important Man In Journalism Today - And He's Probably Not A Real Person." (One reporter quit his job over this, and while I admire his position, I think he should have had a new job lined up before he suddenly cut off the family income on Christmas Eve. Nevertheless, if you'd like to help him out, I'm in favor of that, too.)

"Your Life Savings Could Be Wiped Out In A Massive Derivatives Collapse."

"Powerful Study Finds Marijuana Dispensaries Are Literally Saving Lives."

"Americans Want Cops Tested to See if THEY are on Drugs - Cops Say It's 'Unconstitutional'." Actually, I'd think it is unconstitutional, but since every damned employer in the US seems to be doing it for jobs that have nothing to do with aiming guns at people or driving a vehicle, I don't see why cops should be let off the hook. Oh, wait, they have powerful unions, that's why.

Joss Whedon pledges to give $50 to Planned Parenthood for every person who pledges a monthly donation, up to $100,000, wingers have a big sad.

The Most Undercovered Stories of 2015 (Part One)

Naked Capitalism's 5 of the Worst Examples of Biased and Distorted Media Coverage of Education in 2015

"Debunking The Big Short: How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heroes"

Chris Hedges tells you prisons are even worse than you thought: "Prison State America: Inmates becoming corporate slaves in for-profit facilities."

Krugman on Privilege, Pathology and Power: "Just to be clear, the biggest reason to oppose the power of money in politics is the way it lets the wealthy rig the system and distort policy priorities. And the biggest reason billionaires hate Mr. Obama is what he did to their taxes, not their feelings. The fact that some of those buying influence are also horrible people is secondary. But it's not trivial. Oligarchy, rule by the few, also tends to become rule by the monstrously self-centered. Narcisstocracy? Jerkigarchy? Anyway, it's an ugly spectacle, and it's probably going to get even uglier over the course of the year ahead."

Bill Black doesn't think much of Hillary's position on Glass-Steagall: "So this is the same thing that your mother taught you when you said that you did it because Johnny did it. And she says, and if Johnny jumped off, you know, a building, would you jump off a building? Well, Senator Clinton says yep, we've got to jump off the building again."

Scalia: 'Don't cram' religious neutrality 'down throats of American people'"

"Economic apartheid: Explosive report shows how rich Americans have their own 'private tax system that saves them billions': The U.S. tax system is essentially regressive, and rich elites use the money they save to buy political influence." I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but there's a reason why you don't hear much about the "flat tax" anymore. Rich people don't want a flat tax - it would mean having to pay just as high a percentage as you do.

"Trickle-Down to Keep-the-Worker-Down: It's Not the 'Skills Gap' Driving Down Wages."

"History Teaches That We Have the Power to Transform the Nation, Here's How."

"Aside From The Legalistic Bribes, What Makes Politicians Tick?"

David Graeber: debt and what the government doesn't want you to know - video

"Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back" - But it's much worse than that, and it seems to me some states attorneys should be prosecuting these thieving companies.

"Quebec cop pepper sprays father driving his kids to school." So, they're hiring idiots as cops north of the border, too.

Beat the Press: "The Effort to Divert Class War Into Generational War: Lessons On Economics You Won't Get from Jeff Bezos"

David Dayen: "America Is Not Becoming More Liberal: "

"'Every president has been manipulated by national security officials': David Talbot exposes America's ;deep state'" in an interview at Salon about his book, The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government.

"So-Called 'Post-Capitalism' is Just Another Crappy Capitalist Snowjob." It's very trendy to make up stories about how the robots will do all the work or whatever fantasy they're having about how wonderful things are getting, but it's simply not true.

"Michael Moore just exploded the right's biggest lie [...] In a brilliant move, Moore has made his most patriotic film yet without shooting a single frame in the United States."

"When the Boss Says, 'Don't Tell Your Coworkers How Much You Get Paid'," it's illegal, but most workers don't know their rights.

John Ehrlichman explains the drug war in a few sentences.

Eisenhower and the Cold War Arms Race: 'Open Skies' and the Military-Industrial Complex by Helen Bury (review)

"A generation of failed politicians has trapped the west in a tawdry nightmare : A cosseted, arrogant elite has presided over a swift decay in the very liberal values it claims, with bombs and guns, to be defending."

Why you should always buy the men's version of almost anything

"All Muslim Life in America Is Seen Through the Lens of Terrorism"

"How Popular Music's Lyrics Perpetuate American Idiocy"

Sarah Robinson, whose blogging - about hate groups and about how we can communicate with people who identify as conservative - I have long admired, has rejoined the blogging community with her own site. She ended her introductory post with this: "Unitarian Rev. Forrest Church, son of Idaho Senator Frank Church, gives us our benediction: 'We must first let go of the things that will not save us. Then we must reach out for the things that can.' If this blog has a mission, it's to become a place where we embrace the task of figuring out what we need to let go of, and what might bring us to slightly less imperfect future."

Mark Steel on David Cameron's generosity: "Money's no object for flood defences - unless they're too expensive."

This discrimination against white guys has to stop.
* Is Steven Moffat a, um, schlong?

"Muslims hilariously troll the hell out of ISIS after their call for new jihadists ends up on Twitter."

"Small Bavarian Town Fights Back Against Neo-Nazis in Hilariously Perfect Way."

Dave Barry's 2015 Year in Review - He says it was the worst year ever.

RIP: Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotters' Dazzling Court Jester, Dies at 83 - An amazingly gifted athlete and comedian who became a much-loved legend to many. Watch A history of Meadowlark Lemon, The Harlem Globetrotters, and his Bucketeers in 15 minutes.
* Stevie Wright, singer for the Easybeats whose influence on Australian rock was enormous, at 68. Simels says: "One of the saddest rock stories ever, alas -- it's amazing he lived as long as he did. The bottom line, however -- as I've said here on numerous happier occasions -- is that the Easybeats deserve to be thought of as right up there with the whole Stones/Who/Kinks pantheon, which is to say along with any great Sixties band who wasn't The Beatles. Seriously -- they were that good."
* "Lemmy, Motorhead frontman, dies aged 70 after cancer diagnosis."
* Natalie Cole, singer and daughter of Nat 'King' Cole, dies aged 65. Here she is doing "Gotta Serve Somebody".
* William Guest of Gladys Knight & the Pips, at 74
* Trapper John: "Wayne Rogers M*A*S*H Star Dead at 82."

I haven't had a chance to listen to this yet (and not entirely sure that I can), but BBC World Drama did a radio play called "The Great Charter" that might be interesting: "This innovative drama charts the fight for rights and freedoms in the 21st Century's supra-state - the Internet - to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. It powerfully re-imagines the conflict which gave birth to the original Magna Carta in a fictional future to explore the current debate around digital rights." I think it will still be available to listen to up to the 21st.

Solstice Sun at Lulworth Cove - gorgeous.

Read Ken Liu's amazing story that swept the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, "Paper Menagerie". You'll love it.

Sir Terry Pratchett remembered by his daughter, Rhianna Pratchett: "We got a number of tear-inducing letters from fans who were nearing the end of their lives and took great comfort in imagining that the death that came for them would be riding a white horse called Binky. Dad had done something with more success than anyone else - he made Death friendly."

Of course, Christopher Lee has top billing among the voice actors in Soul Music. Terry Pratchett's Discworld Soul Music Part 1: "Soul Music is a seven-part animated television adaptation of the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett, produced by Cosgrove Hall, and first broadcast on 12 May 1997. It was the first film adaptation of an entire Discworld novel (following the Welcome to the Discworld short, which was based on a fragment of the novel Reaper Man)." Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Rehearsal: Somtow conducts Star Wars

Aretha sings for Carole King.

Simon & Garfunkel recently performed "Bridge Over Troubled Water".


  1. Happy Twelfth Day now, the Fiesta de los Tres Rejes.
    The unions are an object of Wapoo's efforts to cut back on expenses so they can fund more salary for the execs who have drug the formerly great newspaper into the gutter, so of course they are afraid of Meyerson's reporting. The move of Wapoo printing to VA was made to avoid D.C. regulations which are stricter than 'right to work' VA law.

  2. Happy New Year, Avedon! You've been on the blogroll at New Pals for eight years plus change now.

    Recommended reading: Kliph Nesteroff's The Comedians…, which I went so far as to buy on Nook, and read on my tablet while pedaling and trudging at the Y. After that, I went to the WFMU site and downloaded all 60 of his articles that I found there and made them into a PDF which is what I read at the Y now. When I reach the end of those, I guess I'll finish How Green Was My Valley at last.

    Sorry I haven't dropped over lately. I miss your living room.

  3. How clever [LINK]:

    [QUOTE] ...Clinton has spent months going after Sanders' record on gun control. A fresh opening came with the op-ed penned by Obama in Friday's New York Times in which he referred to the "virtual immunity from lawsuits" that he said gun manufacturers enjoy.

    "I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform," Obama wrote.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama had intentionally raised the issue of liability for gun manufacturers, adding that if Sanders became the Democratic nominee, the White House would have to examine his record to determine whether Obama can support him.

    Earnest said Obama hadn't intended to send any "secret or subtle signal" about his preferred candidate in the Democratic primary. And he pointed out that Sanders had recently said he was open to reconsidering his opposition to liability legislation, perhaps in response to Obama's executive actions.... [END QUOTE]

    Turns out dealing with gun violence was President Obama's top priority all along. Who knew?