Friday, January 30, 2009

Leave Rushbo Alone!!

Before I start a day of homework, I wanted to get in on this Obama vs. Limbaugh fight. This morning Kathleen Parker, who I'm usually a fan of, criticized Obama:
Never start a land war with Asia. Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel (or who owns the patent on the microchip). Never let rabble-rousers get under your skin -- especially those whose popularity in some circles compares favorably with your own and whose earnings make bailed-out bank presidents envious.

While we're at it, tread very carefully around the implication that conservatives cling to their talk-show hosts out of anger and frustration.

That may be true, but the backfire Obama felt in West Virginia was a gentle zephyr compared to the blowback that can be bellowed by El Rushbo.
The assumption Parker makes is that the Republican base still matters. This is a mistake that many on the right and in the traditional media still think. The base was marginalized during the McCain/Obama campaign thanks to McCain's selection of Palin. Her subsequent self-explosion proved important because commentators like Rush who stood by her were blasted by the shrapnel.

Rush has no credibility with the American people, and the closer and the longer Republicans are kowtowed by their fear of him the more the GOP will be marginalized. Check out these Nov. 4 poll numbers (h/t Ben Smith):
Rush is the new Bush. No wonder McCain wants Obama to leave Rush alone. This is an argument sure to scare off any moderation within the GOP. House Republicans are already the most conservative and least intellectually honest members of the party. I can almost hear Chris Crocker crying, "Leave Rushbo Alone!!" But unless the moderate voices within the GOP standup, the party will be searching for relevancy for a long, long time.

Coachella Line-up Announced

h/t Pitchfork Media

Coachella 2009 line-up is underwhelming to say the least. They announced this morning and I'm disappointed. For $269 you'd think they could put more into the line-up. I'm sure some will be gung-ho for The Cure, but come on? I'm a big Ida Maria fan, but if seeing her was a huge priority, I'd have made it to L.A two weeks ago. The previous few years were better and made me long for California. A new perk I noticed is the layaway option. I've never seen that as an option previously. Correct me if I'm wrong. This should help out many younger fans and the broke folks out there a lot -- so congrats Coachella for this offer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Culture Wars Alive and Well

My international relations professor mentioned this in class the other day. The professor said he'd been contacted by an instructor at St. Mary's College that was planning a boycott, and now that I've seen the SF Chronicle's article you see just how alive and well the culture wars and arguments of the '60s are - even in the Bay Area:

"I don't know what they're protesting actually, but if the last few months are any indication, they're protesting a cartoon character that shares my name and likeness, but it's not me," he told The Chronicle before his speech, adding that the McCain-Palin campaign had attempted to turn him into a "monster."
I have no side of the Bill Ayers argument. I'm too young to understand the full context of the emotional side of the argument. Logically, I understand that Ayers and his brethren did horrible things in the 60s. I also know that they were a part of a much larger argument that should no longer be taking place. One of the things that turned me onto Obama was this end of the Baby Boomers bullshit. I was hoping it was at least over here. I guess not.

Crazies On the Left

h/t Ben Smith

I watched this live today. But it wasn't until this scene, with Blagovich showing off his Spanish, that my jaw dropped. This guy is truly off his rocker. As Chris Mathews said, Blagovich covered every erogeonous zone of the Democrats.

He was attempting to be something to everyone. The one thing he is not anymore is Governor of Illinois. Thank goodness.

Wingnuts Out in Full Force

Just when you thought wingnuts couldn't get any lower, today Lisa Schiffren at the bastion of wingnutery, The Corner, attacked Obama over bringing in his personal chef. Apparently Ms. Schiffren believes Michelle Obama should cook the family meals. My favorite section of the entry:
Who knew? I believed all that stuff about how Michelle was an overburdened modern working mother, rushing from school dropoff to her high-paying, demanding work at the hospital, to dress fittings, to whatever it was she needed to do to support her husband's political aspirations, back home to take care of her daughters. Call me naive, but that model usually includes making dinner. And squeezing in a weekly grocery shopping trip. Especially for those fresh, whole foods that don't keep so long. Now I have to wonder who did the laundry, and the vaccuuming. Sure, granny helped—but I doubt she was the maid. Who was?
The entry brings me back to the Clinton era, when the wingnutry was out in full force. We knew it was coming, but a week in seems a little early.

News America Now

Yesterday Oliver Willis launched News America Now, a progressive version of the Drudge Report. He asked me begin contributing to the site, so as of tonight I'll be highlighting links that illuminate and propel a progressive POV.

Bookmark it, looks promising.

A Must See For All Journalism/Tech Geeks

h/t Andrew Sullivan

KRON San Francisco 1981 story predicts the end of print journalism

Edit: more on computers destroying print media.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Arcade Fire Performing "Born in the U.S.A" at Obama Staff Party

An Interesting Online Quiz

My Political Views
I am a left moderate social libertarian
Left: 3.46, Libertarian: 3.37

Political Spectrum Quiz
Now playing: Devendra Banhart - Now That I Know

Jay-Z at Obama Inaugural Staff Ball - 99 Problems But a Bush Ain't One

Now playing: Animal Collective - In The Flowers

A Little Late, But Still on My Mind

Thank you, Joe Klein: inaugural message from Langston Hughes:
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

FBS Continues Diversity Failures

Two day ago I commented on Tyrone Willingham suggesting "Rooney Rule" for FBS schools to solve the diversity problem. Yesterday Pat Forde at ESPN looked into the diversity issue even further:
Bottom line: Of the few head-coaching jobs blacks get in college football, most are bad ones.

Outside of Randy Shannon, who just completed his second season in charge at Miami, there are no black coaches among the other 64 schools in BCS conferences. Those are the schools that offer the most money, the most exposure, the most prestige and the best chances to win. They just don't offer many chances to blacks

Ten jobs in BCS conferences have turned over heading into 2009. All were filled by white coaches, eight of whom have never been a head coach at the FBS level. Last year, all 11 BCS-conference jobs went to white men.
Forde doesn't give any suggestions on how to solve the problem, but then again he doesn't look at the root of it either. He not using his soap box well enough. Simply recognizing there's a diversity problem and as he said:
Ten jobs in BCS conferences have turned over heading into 2009. All were filled by white coaches, eight of whom have never been a head coach at the FBS level. Last year, all 11 BCS-conference jobs went to white men.

Meanwhile, black coaches are scrambling to take jobs in gridiron gulags like Las Cruces, N.M., and Ypsilanti, Mich. Of the seven programs currently headed by black coaches, four (Buffalo, New Mexico, Eastern Michigan and New Mexico State) rank in the bottom 20 of's freshly updated all-time Prestige Ratings.
Black coaches who have put in the work have two options. They can either take gigs at historically bad FBS schools or move onto the N.F.L. Jim Caldwell did both, as Forde pointed out. First, he attempted to turn bad Wake Forest program around and after lasting a seven years he became Tony Dungy's top assistant and eventually his replacement this year.

There's so much money coming from outside the athletic program. Boosters play a key role in hiring and schmoozing with prospective coaches. I agree with Willingham's original point. Courts will need to force the hand of administrations. These school, many of which are public institutations, receive federal and state funds and need to be held accountable.

Violet Blue & Friends Pull the SF Switcheroo

Bush St. - > Obama St.Bush St. - > Obama St.
h/t Violet Blue's Twitter
Now playing: My Morning Jacket - Anytime

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have an Idea

On day one Obama should sign an executive order declaring Marvin Gaye's version of the National Anthem the *official* National Anthem:

h/t DougJ at Balloon Juice
Now playing: Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come

You Can Almost Smell the Fear

The obvious fear is dripping from every word of Uncle Pat's new piece in The American Conservative:
While that Democratic base is not yet as decisive as the Nixon-Reagan base in the South, and the Plains, and Mountain States, it is becoming so solidified it may block any Republican from regaining the White House, in the absence of a catastrophically failed Democratic president.

What does the Republican base look like?

In the same five presidential contests, from 1992 to 2008, Republicans won 13 states all five times. But the red 13 have but 93 electoral votes, fewer than a third of the number in “the blue wall.”
It's funny. He blames the loss of presidential dominance on changing demographics, "high immigration and a high birth rate among immigrants," poor or working-class and believe in and rely on government for help with health and housing, education and welfare," "GOP is overrepresented among the taxpaying class, while the Democratic Party is overrepresented among tax consumers" and lastly young and college-educated are down with "values of the counterculture on issues from abortion to same-sex marriage to affirmative action."

Uncle Pat loses sight of the fact that while the country transition and was no longer fallible to the Southern Strategy of racial polarization he pushed under Nixon and Reagan. Basically, the country changed and Republicans instead of moderating tied themselves tom the wingnuts, real America, rural America, as states urbanized. The lack of self-awareness is strident throughout the current conservative philosophy. RNC chairman candidates debate over who has more
Facebook friends, who Twitters more and who has more guns. The underlying ideology isn't the problem. The problem is the message and the technology. For all the money the party has at their fingertips, they never would have allowed themselves to get this bad off.

Makes me laugh.

My Love for Garth Brooks is a Little Secret so Shhhh

h/t Ben Waserstein

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Something Needs to be Done and Now!

Former Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham believes college football needs to do something about diversity:
It's unfair to our population, it's unfair to the young men in our programs, it's unfair to the universities if we have teachers that are very capable teachers and we don't allow them to teach. It shouldn't matter what the race, the religion, if the young man is talented, if he's good and can help the organization and help the young men then he should have the opportunity.

We need to find some constructive way to go about doing that, whether that's the implementation of some type of "Rooney Rule" in college, something needs to happen to provide a legitimate opportunity and not one of these token opportunities where somebody walks in and we satisfy the color line.

But he also recognizes change won't come without a mandate:

Most change in this country has been mandated by law. That's unfortunate because you'd hope it rests on the hearts of men. When you have to bring litigation, it makes things very difficult. You've got to be careful because you never want to do that. But unfortunately in our country, sometimes that's been the only way things have moved.

The "Rooney Rule" has always frustrated me. Most of the minority candidates only get a periphery look and aren't being seriously being considered for a position. It wasn't until Dan Rooney himself that a first time minority candidate got a top caliber job, when he hired Mike Tomlin. Dungy's hiring in Indy doesn't count. He was a known candidate from Tampa Bay. Herm Edwards with the Jets doesn't count, because well, the Jets were horrible before he arrived.

I'm not sure a "Rooney Rule" would help in college, because too many of the decisions are made by non-administration people. Boosters are such huge part of college sports and that's an old white man's club, so until more people of color get involved in this aspect we'll have situations like Auburn this off season.
Now playing: Frank Black - Wanderlust

We're Taking it Back

John Cole is bitchin' about the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration:
I can’t tell if it is just my general lack of enthusiasm for crowds, but there just seems to be a bit of unseemly gushing- this feels like Princess Di or something. I realize that the rise of cable news and 24/7 coverage means that it is going to be either the inauguration or some kidnapped blonde teenager, but I don’t know- it just seems excessive.
While I sympathize with Cole, he acknowledges "helped Bush get elected" and he "was in full-fledged wingnut phase, and I remember cheerleading the landing on the carrier" when Bush spoke under the "mission accomplished" sign.

These are important because as a former wingnut he doesn't recognize the need for progressive patriotism. John Nichols at The Nation has an excellent article on it this week. For eight years liberals have been treated as second class citizens and told they don't love America if they question the administration. Obama's election has allowed many who believed they'd never again find reason to show their patriotism.

There are many things to celebrate this week and Cole recognizes most of them: Bush leaving office, first black prez, Democrats in power, but the freedom to let go and show, "Yes, we too love America." Republicans don't have a monopoly on patriotism. Obama recognizes that his supporters and America needs a cathartic moment. He can build up goodwill and it's smart politics to give s many Americans a chance to feel like they are apart of this moment.
Now playing: Arcade Fire - Guns Of Brixton

Get Real or Get Out of the Way

Ones got to wonder if Republicans have any ideas to solve the economic crisis we're in now. Time's Joe Klein pulled this nugget out of a WaPo article:
"The Republican base hates this. So a lot of people are saying why anger the base in the name of good policy when it's going to happen anyway?" said Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee.
Klein wants Republicans to "stop playing games, things are just too serious."

Nate Silver also calls out conservative dishonesty here and again here:
The thing is that's really irksome is that Mankiw should know a lot better. This is not some random blogger at Townhall trying to parse a difficult economics paper and overlooking an important point of context -- this is one of the premier economists in the world. He knows very well what the Romer and Romer paper says -- and he's made a deliberate choice to misrepresent it.
Bill Beutler makes similar arguments this week on Beutler's problems aren't so much that he should know better, because he shouldn't . He openly says, "I'm bad with numbers." Beutler's arguments are based off Mankiw and others like him who are good with numbers and yet they make ideological arguments by shifting or spinning the argument. Beutler's whole shtick is buying into the the conservative spin even when it proves false. For example, "businesses don't cause people to lose their homes" and "keeping money in the hands of businesses is best because they know how to spend it better than the government." If the current economic downturn has taught us anything businesses are just as fallible as the government, if not more, and businesses can cost people their homes. Hello Fannie and Freddie? This lack of intellectual honesty could lead Republicans being the permanent minority.
Now playing: Arcade Fire - Live at Canal

The New Urban President

I've lived in an urban city (Oakland, Berkeley, Oakland again, Minneapolis and Oakland yet again) for over a decade now and can't imagine living in the suburbs or a small town again. Growing up in a small town, cities are far off places where "real" crime exists and morals are corrupted, so I understand the fears Arkansas' Wayne Loewer feels:
"I'm worried that he's not gonna understand the rural way of life."

... Guns define Loewer's life. He grew up walking the woods with a rifle. He worked as a guide during duck season for extra income. His deep freezer is full of game that he grills with Cajun seasoning or portobello mushrooms for family dinners. There are few better feelings than the one he gets taking his 14-year-old son hunting and teaching him about white-tailed deer.

"We depend on our guns in the South," he says. One of his favorite bumper stickers reads, "If you want more gun control, use two hands."
Republicans have fed into this doubt of Obama:
Not long after Obama's comments, Loewer received mailers from the National Rifle Association saying that Obama planned to ban hunting, restrict gun laws and close 90 percent of gun shops. Several nonpartisan fact-checking groups discredited the claims, but the gun dealers Loewer talked to said the NRA had it right.

"When Obama got elected, I went out and bought a rifle and pistol shells for every weapon I own," he says. "I bought $400 worth of ammo."
Small town gossip and Republican interest groups have demonized the city way of doing things. It's funny because, if not obvious, the urban cities are who elected Obama, according to Nate Silver in Esquire:
...the future of America is an urban one — among the twenty largest metropolitan areas in 2000, nineteen had added population by 2007, a trend likely to sustain itself as rising gas prices place more pressure on exurban commuters. Republicans trail Democrats among essentially every fast-growing demographic except the elderly — the youth vote, the Latino vote; they never had the black vote. It is long past time that they hone their pitch to urban voters, and find their shining city upon a hill.
Obama looks at cities differently than most politicians, as Amy Sullivan points out in Time:
What really sets Obama apart, however, is that despite his sensitivity to the problems that plague some urban neighborhoods, he does not view cities primarily as problems to be solved. "Federal policy has traditionally treated cities as victims," says Greg Nichols, mayor of Seattle. Ever since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, he explains, government has set up perverse incentives for cities by isolating funds in programs set aside for the neediest, most desperate localities. It's the urban policy equivalent of treating someone in the emergency room when they get seriously ill instead of investing in ongoing primary care and encouraging healthy behavior.
This urbanism Obama brings is scary to Loewer. We're used to faux country folk like Bush who's now selling his ranch for a conservative enclave in Dallas fronting an image of America long gone that has soothed the fears of the millions of Loewer's in red states and formerly industrial OH and PA. As Silver pointed out cities are the future of America and Obama sees that.

The creation Office of Urban Policy shortly after the election and the later tapping of Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion highlighted Obama's awareness. The symbol he's setting by announcing,"My Kennebunkport is on the South Side of Chicago," contrast greatly from Bush and Reagan's ranches and Clinton's poll driven spots.

So while I understand Mr. Loewer's concerns, it's time for the rest of America to get the attention it justly deserves and has been starving for.

We Laugh, We Smile, We Hope

Op/Eds like S.E Cupp's on the WaPo are making this transition even sweeter. As much as everything Rich said in today's NY Times rings true, my juvenile, sophomoric side loves seeing conservatives suffer. This election was a rejection of everything they've done to America the last eight years. It's too early to know how successful Obama will be. I'm optimistic. Cupp wants Obama to be successful. Rich hopes Obama will be successful, but recognizes the large task Obama has in front of him:

Next to much of our history, this is small stuff. And yet: Of all the coverage of Obama’s victory, the most accurate take may still be the piquant morning-after summation of the satirical newspaper The Onion. Under the headline “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job,” it reported that our new president will have “to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.”

Those messes are enormous, bigger than Washington, bigger than race, bigger than anything most of us have ever seen. Nearly three months after Election Day, it remains astonishing that the American people have entrusted the job to a young black man who seemed to come out of nowhere looking for that kind of work just as we most needed him.

The Onion sure has a way of breaking it down. Don't they? WaPo has a survey out today that shows most Americans are also hopeful:

Obama will take office Tuesday as the most popular incoming president in a generation. He also will enter the White House with a broad mandate to act that was missing when George W. Bush was elected by the narrowest of margins in 2000.

More than half of all Americans have high hopes for his presidency, almost three-quarters of the public say Obama's proposals will improve the struggling economy, and about eight in 10 have a favorable view of him -- more than twice the percentage now holding positive views of Bush. About seven in 10 say Obama understands their problems, and a similar proportion say his victory gives him "a mandate to work for major new social and economic programs."

Eight years ago, fewer than half said Bush could claim a mandate after the Supreme Court declared an end to the election, ensuring his victory over Vice President Al Gore.
There we go with that word "hope." Obama was mocked throughout the primary campaign for talking up hope and change, and from the looks of it, Americans have decided to drop that cynicism and buy into this hope thing. For the jaded amongst us, myself included, we've decided to lower the wall of cynicism just enough to let some hope in and at the same time laugh at Republicans at the same time.


Now playing: Johnny Cash - The Wall

Friday, January 16, 2009

Speeches Smeeeches

Everyone seems to want to tell Obama what to say in his in inaugural address. At the same time only one man is in charge of writing the speech. Head speechwriter Jon Favreau doesn't seem too phased, but again this was in December a lifetime away from now, with the days, hours and minutes being counted down by supporters to the inauguration. Obama himself described what he'll be going for with NBC/NY Times John Harwood:

From the Obama interview, it appears that he's on it. Truth is, he's set the right tone in all but his Germany speech. Mostly because he was reaching and didn't really say anything for the sake of looking too presumptuous. I know he'll screw up over the next four to eight years, but tone and content of his speeches from Jan 20, 2009 on, I'm pretty sure he doesn't need the advice of anyone. These types of articles/blog posts just make me laugh.
Now playing: Devendra Banhart - When They Come

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

h/t Jodi Chromey at
The Minneapolis Star Tribune filed today for Chapter 11. I've generally been a fan of the Strib: quality reporting, highlighted by the Coleman/Franken reporting, combined appropriate topics for the readership. Minneapolis is the most literate city in the nation. Minnesotans deserve a quality paper. I hope the restructuring allows them to rebuild and improve their profit magins enough, for Minnesotans sake.
Now playing: Steinski - Greatest Man Alive [Man's Game Mix]

Phew, About Time

The Onion reports "Charles Barkley Finally Gets That Blow Job:"
"Whew!" a visibly relieved Barkley told reporters in a press conference held immediately after the act. "Oh, man. Oh, man! I mean, seriously, I needed that. I needed that one bad, after what happened the first time I tried to get a blow job. And I am so glad that is all over with so I can get it behind me and just move on."
Earlier post on Barkley.
Now playing: Animal Collective - In The Flowers

Quote of the Day - 01.15.09

ERIC HOLDER: Senator Kohl, he’s ten years younger than me. He plays a lot more frequently than I do. Having said that, I got a New York City game. I come from the city that produced Condy Hawkins (?), Kareem Abdul Jabar, Nate “Tiny” Archibald. I learned how to play ball in PS 127 in Queens. if you give me a little time and a little space to get back in shape, I think I could hang with him. I don’t think I’m ever going to be in a position to beat him, nor do I think that would be a wise thing to do.
h/t Matt Yglesias
Now playing: Animal Collective - Lion in a Coma

Blogs Sprouting Up

h/t Andrew Sullivan
A new blog. Jason Kottke explains:

Photo Cliches is a blog dedicated to collecting, uh, cliched photos. Current categories include people groping statues, people pretending to have fake penises, and my personal favorite: people doing the thumbs-up Lynndie England pose.

Now playing: Animal Collective - In The Flowers

Obama 2.0

Barack Obama from DC Examiner
The most fascinating thing about Barack Obama 2.0 as described in yesterday's LA Times is the scope of the program:
Though the plan still is emerging, one source with knowledge of the internal discussion said the organization could have an annual budget of $75 million in privately raised funds. Another said it would deploy hundreds of paid staff members -- possibly one for every congressional district in certain politically important states and even more in larger battlegrounds such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.
I witnessed the campaign firsthand in Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Berkeley. Each city's organizers were trained to handle the volunteers differently. The cities volunteer was dramatically different despite the Times' description:
... The full-time staff is likely to consist primarily of the presidential campaign workers, many in their 20s, who served as the local points of contact for the campaign's vast network of neighborhood volunteers.
Minneapolis' volunteer based centered mostly around U of M students. Indianapolis was much broader, with volunteers fitting all ages and career vocations coming in from out of state to join local staff. The Indiana is such a big state and teams focused on the urban centers and college towns, while Berkeley's volunteers were typically older, white ex-hippies and African-Americans excited about the prospects of a Democratic president and a black one, at that.

A permanent campaign is already in the works. Colin Powell and the transition team held a press conference last week to launch, and I've been receiving emails with local volunteer opportunities ever since. It's the next step in the call-to-duty many, especially myself, felt when they first volunteered for the presidential campaign. Last night I contacted Just Cause with a volunteer inquiry.

change in presidential politics this represents, but I think Drum said it best:
After all, what congressman is likely to buck the boss if the boss can offer — or withhold — hundreds of thousands of dollars without batting an eye and mobilize — or withhold — hundreds of thousands of phone calls and telegrams depending on how closely you toe the presidential line? Every president has a certain amount of power he can bring to bear against holdout legislators, but Obama's organization brings this to a whole new level.

If this turns out to be right, Congress is going to learn pretty quickly that the ballgame has changed. Should be fun to watch.

It should indeed be fun to watch and participate in.

h/t Kevin Drum
Now playing:
Johnny Cash - I Still Miss Someone (Unreleased Bonus Track)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sex, Lies and Phys Ed

The new Rolling Stone magazine features one of the most uncomfortable articles I've read in a long time. What happens when a 15-year-old boy is seduced by his 26-year-old teacher:
After buying a rose for Ms. Tapp, Jason had Amy drop him off at the Dunkin' Donuts by his teacher's house. He hugged himself against the cold; it was February, but he'd thought a coat would look uncool. A minute later, Ms. Tapp rolled up in her gold Infiniti. She wore red sweatpants and a blue O'Neill T-shirt, and Jason could smell wine on her breath. They went straight to her condo.

Leaning back against Ms. Tapp's kitchen counter, his hands shaking, Jason took a photo out of his pocket. He'd brought it as a conversation starter, since Ms. Tapp had expressed disbelief that he had lost 33 pounds to make weight for wrestling. She examined the picture of Jason shirtless at age 14: washboard abs, pecs like cliffs. "I need something to compare it to," she said. Jason whipped off his shirt. Instantly, he and his phys ed teacher were locked in the most passionate kiss he'd ever known.

Some background from the reporter on the story.
Now playing: Bon Iver - For Emma

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One Bad Apple Spoiling the Bunch

Noam Scheiber and Jon Chait are two of my favorites on Bloggingheads and at The New Republic. During the primaries and general election, TNR ran two blogs. One that covered general politics and the second the election. The general politics or The Plank was dominated by James Kirchick, a snooty, neocon idealogue, whose grading personality and bad reporting made it impossible for me to read The Plank.

Completely forgetting that Mr. Kirchick was still at TNR, I readded it to my feeder before reading Kirchick defend Israel's new law banning Arab based political parties. To quote John Cole in Nov, James Kirchik is really quite the dick.

To read or not to read, that is the question.

On a complete unrelated note this Bonnie 'Prince' Billy cover of Mariah Carey's "Can't Take That Away" is surprisingly good.
Now playing: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Easy Does It

Holy Cao!

Incoming freshmen Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) seems like a really good man. It was exciting to see a Vietnamese-American elected to congress, and Louisiana at that. However, after listening to these recent interviews with Think Progress here and here, I'm counting down the days until he leaves the the GOP. Rep. Cao represents Louisiana's 2nd congressional district covering nearly all of New Orleans and is 64.1% African American. The videos are worth watching because they show just how divergent from the rest of his caucus.

Say It Ain't So, Barack.

Ambinder's got it all:
It's true.

He motorcaded to a house in Maryland this evening, and if the press pool report is accurate, he is breaking bread with William Kristol and David Brooks. (If Brooks and Kristol seem to be unusually briefed about Obama's thinking, you'll know why.)

CBS News's Dan Raviv tells the pool that the house, on Grafton Street in Chevy Chase, belongs to George Will. (Unless he's moved.)

Tomorrow, I hear Obama has another private meeting with non-Republican opinion columnists.

Ellen Moran, the incoming White House communications director, set these meetings up.

Again -- establishment opinion matters to the Obama communications team.

A Sad State of Affairs

h/t Andrew Sullivan
The Weekly Standards Fred Barnes tells us all we have it all wrong about President George Walker Bush. It's a shame that ideology blinds people even some of the best intentions. Mr. Barnes is so far off with his Top 10 Bush successes you can't help but laugh at the same time wanting to cry. America has got into this mess because conservatives didn't ask enough questions and bought hook, line and sinker into the bull that was spouted from the White House for the last eight years. This is conservative journalism at its best and the reason why the party is struggling to find their footing.
Now playing: Freddie Hubbard - Red Clay

Taking a Step Back to Take a Step Forward

During confirmation hearings today, Dr. Steven Chu walks back some of his earlier comments in the Wall Street Journal from last September , “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

Expected news when you're expected to win nomination.

NY Times has him now saying:
Mr. Chu, who was expected to get a friendly and brief review by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said in prepared testimony that “last year’s rapid spike in oil and gasoline prices not only contributed to the recession we are now experiencing, it also put a huge strain on the budgets of families all across America.’’ He called for a “greater, more committed push towards energy independence, and with it a more secure energy system.’’
It's the realist thing to say. Although cutting back our use of fossil fuels is Dr. Chu's goal he now as to speak to a larger, non-academic, audience. It's nice just knowing that this cabinet is filled with experts in the field and not just longtime political supporters.
Now playing: Freddie Hubbard - Red Clay

DJ Shadow's Gone BIGTIME

You know you've made it when Reebok releases your own shoe.

Tennessee GOP Full of Fail

Apparently CA GOP aren't the only failures. John Cole has a hilarious recap of the the Tennessee Republicans State Speaker of the House vote. Read the full entry. I'm still laughing.
Now playing: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - My Home Is The Sea

Quote of the Day - 01.13.09

h/t Kevin Drum

QUOTE OF THE DAY....From Peter Schrag, former editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee, on the California GOP:

With each passing day, Republicans look ever more like a suicidal cult than a political party.

As noted here, bipartisan gerrymandering has relegated CA Republicans to protected districts thus moderation is nonexistent. Preach on, Mr. Schrag. But the only power they have is on taxes, with a 3/4 majority needed to raise taxes in CA. They are an obsolete political party.

Monday, January 12, 2009

GOAT Rickey Henderson in HOF

Seriously, 28 voters thought Rickey Henderson wasn't a first ballot Hall of Famer? Really now, let's run down his career attributes from Jayson Stark:
• He's the all-time leading base stealer in the history of the sport. And even if he'd never played a game after age 29, he'd still rank No. 5 -- ahead of Vince Coleman, Honus Wagner, Joe Morgan, Kenny Lofton and Maury Wills. Among a zillion others.

• Let's just say Carl Crawford and Jose Reyes are baseball's two most prominent active base stealers. They've combined to steal 592 bases in their careers, in a total of 13 seasons. That's not even as many as the 612 Rickey stole after turning 30 -- by HIMSELF.

• In Rickey Henderson, ladies and gentlemen, we're talking about a man who had more 20-homer seasons (four) than Matt Holliday, more 100-run seasons (13) than Manny Ramirez and Junior Griffey put together, and more 100-walk seasons (seven) than Chipper Jones, A-Rod, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Grady Sizemore and Johnny Damon combined.

• In fact, Henderson had more 100-walk seasons by himself than all 14 of the active leadoff men in our rank-the-leadoff-hitters poll have drawn in their careers COMBINED.

• Not to mention he led the major leagues in runs scored five different times. Only Babe Ruth (eight) and Mickey Mantle (six) ever did it more times than that.
Case closed, nuff said! Whomever decided he wasn't first ballot should have their votes taken away. Morons. Rickey is the greatest clean player I've ever personally seen play. One of these days I'll write something up about Mr. Henderson. Mr. Oakland, born and raised. Congratulations and welcome to your rightful place on baseball's greatest team.
source of image

Politick This!

Word in the WaPo is that House Republicans have invited Obama to address them:
"In accordance with your campaign pledge to work in a bipartisan manner and change the partisan tone in Washington, D.C., we would like to extend an invitation to you to address a meeting of the House Republican Conference," wrote Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and the four other members of the elected leadership team.
Personally, House Republicans can bite. They represent a diminishing ideology that's far too interested in catering to the extreme of their party. They have no interest in, in comparison to Senate Republicans especially, working with the incoming administration. They have no intellectual honesty on the stimulus bill, as Matt Yglesias noted:

The House GOP’s efforts to publicly solicit the names of economists opposed to the idea of an economic stimulus package is an interesting gambit. On the one hand, it reveals how crass and political John Boehner really is—he picked his policy position first, and then started looking for experts to back him second. Beyond that, it reveals how shallow the depth of opposition really is.

Brad DeLong observes that “no current or former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers–Democrat or Republican, living or dead, sane or insane–has signed up for the Republican House caucus’s list of economists opposed to the stimulus package.”

Why give them any credence, even for the sake of good politicking. I'd send Rhamn Emanuel in ultimate, "get on board or we'll run you over message."
Now playing: Ghostface Killah - Good( Feat. Trife Da God & Mr. Maygreen)

50 Most Loathesome People

John Cole is fast becoming one of my favorite bloggers. I'm not sure how I've missed out on his snarkiness for so long. Yesterday he was the only one to draw attention to The Buffalo Beast's 50 Most Loathesome People made my Internet weekend:
50. Barack Obama

Charges: Beyond a few token acts of bipartisan marketing, Barry's major duty in the Senate was to avoid legislating, so he could pretend Washington-outsider status and nullify attacks on his non-existent policy positions. That's the thing about Obama and his candidacy: He was a blank slate, the pinnacle of vapid public relations—onto which the benighted masses may project their sincerest, yet unfounded, hopes in the wake of the worst administration in history. Couldn’t disown Rev. Wright, until he suddenly could, and then marred his first moments as president ahead of time by inviting a pastor whose advice to gays is just to refrain from sex for life. Promised not to run for president, then did; vowed to take public election funds, then didn't; backed telecom immunity, then accepted the nomination at the AT&T sponsored convention; expressed displeasure with Clinton's hawkish foreign policy and vote for war in Iraq, then named her as Secretary of State. And despite all that, he's plenty affable. There's nothing more loathsome than a likable politician.

Exhibit A: “Yes we can” is the “Just do it” of politics.

Sentence: Presiding over the decline of an exhausted empire.

1. Sarah Palin

Charges: If you want to know why the rest of the world is scared of Americans, consider the fact that after two terms of disastrous rule by a small-minded ignoramus, 46% of us apparently thought the problem was that he wasn’t quite stupid enough. Palin’s unending emissions of baffling, evasive incoherence should have disqualified her for any position that involved a desk, let alone placing her one erratic heartbeat from the presidency. The press strained mightily to feign respect for her, praising a debate performance that involved no debate, calling her a “great speaker” when her only speech was primarily a litany of insults to city-dwellers, echoing bogus sexism charges when a male Palin would have been boiled alive for the Couric interview alone, and lionizing her as she used her baby as a Pro-life stage prop before crowds who cooed when they should have been hurling polonium-tipped javelins. In the end, Palin had the beneficial effect of splitting her party between her admirers and people who can read.

Exhibit A: Waving her embryo-loving credentials, in the form of her Down syndrome baby, at "But ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy."

Sentence: Hand-to-hand combat with Vladimir Putin and a pack of wolves.

All 50 along with John Cole are worth reading.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


h/t Think Progress
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber,” is officially on my ignore list. I refuse to give him any thought, read any blog entries or watch any videos that include him.

He's in Israel reporting for This was the final straw:

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war. I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what’s happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I think it’s asinine. You know, I liked back in World War I and World War II when you’d go to the theater and you’d see your troops on, you know, the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for’em. Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to downer–and down soldiers. You know, American soldiers or Israeli soldiers.

I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting. You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, “Well look at this atrocity,” well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.

Speaking of Cliff Huxtable

Bill Cosby briefly discusses again the "Huxtable Effect" this morning with Rep. Maxine Waters, D.C Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint. Here Cosby briefly describes voting for Obama.

Dreams of Michelle

michelle obama
PBS released Dreams of Obama today prior to its airing Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 9pm. For those that followed the campaign closely, there's not any new information. It's a fun recap of his improbable yet steady rise, including all of the benchmarks along the way.

After reading Ta-Nehisi's piece on Michelle, I beginning to think her story might be more interesting than the glossed over Barack docu-bio.
photo source: New Yorker

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Revisionist Look at Dubya

Jon Swift continues to do excellent work cleaning up the Bush legacy. A quick list of Bush's many shining moments can't help but bring a smile to your face:
After Hurricane Katrina President Bush kept our cities safe.

After the October 2008 stock market correction there have been no Great Depressions.

After Iraq and Afghanistan took a turn for the worse, President Bush kept us from losing any wars.

After the District Attorney firing scandal, the outing of Valerie Plame and other scandals, President Bush restored integrity to government.

After divisive elections President Bush united our country.

After Abu Ghraib, President Bush reaffirmed America's adherence to the Geneva Conventions and against torture.

After 9/11 President Bush kept America safe from terrorist attacks on American soil.
You can't help but being proud of the work Dubya did, when you look at it that way. More details of course at his blog.

Thanks, Jon.

Sending in the Calvary

h/t Spencer Ackerman
If this weeks back and forth, back and forth by Diane Feinstein wasn't enough to show you how much the establishment fears change. It wasn't until Leon Panetta showed Feinstein enough deference and agreed to keep Stephen R. Kappes, the No. 2 at the agency, that she signed off on the Panetta pick.

The announcement brought great pride to us Monterey Peninsula folks. Professor Toro of the Monterey Herald gave a great rundown of Panetta's attributes and made the funny point "Clint and Leon are probably the only guys in Monterey County who can be referred to by their first name without fear of misidentification."

So true.

Congratulations, Mr. Panetta. May you continue to clean up the mess of the last eight years, despite the C.I.A's claims.
Now playing: Santogold - Shove It

Not Every Day Do You Have Breakthrough

Congrats, Brendan, for joining the 21st century.

Barkley Has a Long Way to Rebound

The best thing about sports broadcasting is Charles Barkley, AKA the round mound of rebound, on TNT. And after last week's colorful arrest, he's taking a leave of absence from TNT.

With an alcohol level of .149, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 in Arizona. We can only hope he gets his life in order shortly.

The details of the arrest won't be repeated here, but can be found at the original link.
Now playing: Iron & Wine - Cinders And Smoke

Cleaning House One Mess at a Time

h/t: Oliver Willis
Great to see these stories leak out:

CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding has resigned per Obama's request.
Now playing: Devendra Banhart - In Niel

Coates Makes Me Go Hmmm....

Just finished Ta-Nehisi Coates' outstanding profile of Michelle Obama. Well, it's more than just a profile of Michelle than it's an introduction to black culture for many. Coates does an excellent job relating Michelle's experiences to his own and the larger culture he grew up within. Many aspects of the piece are fascinating, but I feel most comfortable discussing this quote:
"Pop culture has laid the groundwork for that recognition. Barack Obama’s coalition—the young, the black, the urban, the hip—was originally assembled by hip-hop. Jay-Z and Nas may be problematic ambassadors, but their ilk are why those who thought Barack and Michelle were giving each other a “terrorist fist jab” were laughed off the stage. We are as physically segregated as ever, yet the changes in media have drawn black idiom into the broader American narrative."
I've written previously about my experiences with race and the Obama campaign, but not enough attention was given to what laid the groundwork for my appreciation for and affinity of the black culture. As I said in the Inquirer piece, "some in the mainstream media like to say Millenials, those of us born from 1976 to 1995, don't see race. This just isn't true. We see race, but it is just part of an individual's identity, not a determinant."

Long before Jay-Z and Nas, Bill Cosby introduced me to the black family Thursday nights at 8 PM. Pacific Grove was far from a melting pot. With only a few prominent black families, dating back generations, classrooms were not the breeding ground for relationships. This changed the same year The Cosby Show first aired. Larry Washington's family moved to town. His father was stationed at Fort Ord and we ended up on the same baseball team. From what I remember, Larry and I were inseparable. This sounds like an entry on Stuff White People Like, but for an 9-year-old the cultural ramifications of diversity are completely lost. I know it was for me. I was only just then becoming aware of my surroundings and relationships.

My friendship with Larry and The Cosby Show no doubt opened me up to an experience of profound affect I'd have only two years later: my introduction and quick love for hip-hop. I'm sure many white kids share a similar story as mine. Our relationships with popular culture were probably no different than of our parents. The difference lies in what pop culture had become and as they said in a Nov. 7th NY Times piece, "For a certain generation of young voters, she said, “It’s not Ward Cleaver who was the all-American dad; it was Cliff Huxtable.”
Now playing: Devendra Banhart - I Feel Like a Child

01/10/09 Photo of the Week

Sends chills down your spine
President Bush met in the Oval Office on Wednesday with President-elect Barack Obama and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. (Photos: Doug Mills/ The New York Times)
source: NYTimes

So Help Me, What?

Something I'm sure will piss BJKeefe off:

(CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama has requested that the words “so help me God” be added to the end of the oath of office to be administered by Chief Justice John Roberts on Inauguration Day.

That confirmation came in an affidavit filed today by Roberts' court counselor in a pending lawsuit by an atheist opposed to any mention of God in the inaugural ceremonies. Roberts said he would abide by Obama’s wishes.

The Constitution has specific language on what has to be said when swearing in the president, but the “so help me God” phrase has traditionally been added at the end of the required oath, starting with George Washington in 1789.


Hulk Hogan Obsessions

Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic is obsessed with the wrestling oversight in the House. Let's get this straight, he's not obsessed the same way Andrew Sullivan is Sarah Palin, but following Ambinder's original post calling light to the Waxman's results, hes posted two other entries discussing Hulk Hogan's wrestling abilities (here and here) including evidence and counter evidence of his technical skills.

I figured it was as an appropriate time as ever to tell my Hulk Hogan story:

Many years back I met Hulk Hogan at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Hollywood. I was a HUGE Hogan fan as a kid and I was still debating whether I should interrupt his meal. Growing up in Pacific Grove, where we border Pebble Beach and Carmel, it was not uncommon to meet celebrities. But Hulk Hogan was a little different. He was an icon of my adolescence. While playing the idea in my head of what I'd say, my dinner was interrupted by a phone call from my friend Emilia. The moment she heard Hogan was eating two tables away, Emilia demanded to speak to him. I wasn't about to interrupt his dinner so she could talk to him but what came next changed that.
Emilia: Come on, I want to talk to him.
Me: No, you caaan't talk to Hulk Hogan.
Emilia: What, are you not a man? Are you too much of a wimp to hand him the phone? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Me: Yeah, fine. You can talk to him.

Me: Mr. Hogan, I'm sorry to interrupt your dinner. But my friend Emilia is on the phone and she really wants to talk to you.
Hogan: No problem, kid. It happens all the time.
I wasn't sure here what he meant, do his meals get interrupted all the time? I'm sure this is true. Or is it that overzealous fans want to speak to him on the phone? I never asked. Hogan took my phone and talked to her for a few minutes. I'm not exactly sure what was said between them, but Hogan ended the conversation with, "Stanford Sucks! It was nice talking to you, Emilia." We tried to buy him a drink for his trouble, but he said he doesn't drink in public, which was something I could respect. Yes, all it took was a little challenge to my masculinity to push me towards the decision I wanted to make anyway. That was my only in Hollywood moment. I'm not sure I would have gotten the same experience or even a similar story from interrupting Slug's conversation, so I just continued on with my day.

By the way, yes, Hogan looked almost exactly like the photo above at the restaurant - black painted on beard and all.
Now playing: Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes

Don't Ask Don't Tell

h/t Kevin Drum @ Mother Jones

Thaddeus: Is the new administration going to get rid of the "don't ask don't tell" policy?

Gibbs: Thaddeus, you don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much, but it’s yes.

"That's very good news, though I sure wish Gibbs had given a multi-word answer instead. Mainly, what I want to know is: "What do you plan to replace it with?" We'll just have to wait and see, I guess."

I guess I'm not as much of a stickler on this issue as Drum. As much as many of us would like, the process of repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell isn't going to be quick. The Obama administration will need to negotiate with the arms services, most likely consisting of some type of study and a gradual transition. Clinton killed a lot of his political capital early in '93 by attempting to push through a lift of the homosexual ban in the military. Social issues as important as they are for many will have to come second following the stimulus bill.
Now playing: Animal Collective - In The Flowers

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Waste of Tax Dollars

WWE President/CEO Vince McMahon, 63.
Apparently Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has set the eyes of the Oversight and Government Reform on professional wrestling. Will they now include MMA in this inquisition? I'm all for government oversight, but shouldn't this be a law enforcement issue not a congressional? The country has so many problems confronting it that there shouldn't be time to put a sissor move on Vince McMahon. MLB because of their relaxed anti-trust regulations and public money that finances most stadiums differs from professional wrestling, which is barely wrestling. Hopefully the committee meetings don't last very long and they move this onto the DOJ.
Now playing: Devendra Banhart - Quetate Luna "20 Most Annoying Liberal's 2008"

h/t: Andrew Sullivan

These are highly entertaining and well worth reading through. Plus kudos and congrats to Andrew for #1. My personal favorite was Barack Obama. It's not that he finds Obama annoying. It's that he finds his supporters annoying:

6) Barack Obama:
This is the best way to sum up Barack Obama's campaign, why his supporters voted for him, and how the media covered him.


Who can take a rainbow,
Wrap it in a sigh?
Soak it in the sun and make the stra'bry lemon pie
The candyman? The candyman can
The candyman can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good

The Candyman makes
everything he bakes
Satisfying and delicious.
Talk about your childhood wishes.
You can even eat the dishes!

Who can take tomorrow,
Dip it in a dream?
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream,
The candyman? The Candyman can, the candyman can
The candyman can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good
And the world tastes good
'cause the candyman thinks it should

Defining picture:

Barack Obama rides a unicorn

If you're so inclined, you can get the shirt here.


Now playing: Ghostface Killah - Winter Warz

Cutting His Security Short

As much as I'm angered, embarrassed, disappointed by the job George W. Bush has done as president. It's surprising that he'll be the first president without lifetime Secret Service protection. The resources being saved will be nothing in compared to the bad P.R if he is assassinated. It's not that he's broke, by any means. I'm sure he'll have more than adequate security. This image of Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston keeps appearing in my head.

W's already using tax payer dollars to secure his new Texas home. We can only hope that the ten years allotted him will be enough.
Now playing: Ghostface Killah - Iron Maiden

Quote of the Day 01/07/09

“Think about it,” he said. “What other public institution would we let sink to this level? If the Mayor says, ‘I’m going to pave one hundred and fifty alleys,’ then comes back the next year and says, ‘Well, I spent all the money and only got to two, I’ll get to it next year,’ we’d go crazy. But when we spend three quarters of a million dollars in a school ostensibly teaching a subject, and only two kids in that school learn anything, we think that’s normal. And I think that’s because we’ve allowed ourselves to confuse the system’s lack of quality with the kind of kids who are in our district." - Michael Bennet, Denver Public Schools Superintendent, soon-to-be U.S Senator, CO. New Yorker Magazine, Jan. 2007
The New Yorker article is well worth the read. I hope the Senate allows Bennet an opportunity to get his hands dirty. He seems to be motivated by just that. Coloradans have themselves a winner.
Now playing: Akron/Family - Phenomena

Monday, January 5, 2009

When You're Wrong, You're Wrong, When You're Right, You're Right

h/t Ta-Nehisi Coates

Not enough bloggers, even my favorites, acknowledge when they get something just plain wrong.

Hats off to George Packer at the New Yorker.

Poetry more now than ever seems an appropriate occasion for a larger stage, and Elizabeth Alexander is the perfect candidate for President Obama's inauguration.

My favorite part of Packer's mea culpa was the signature of the letter tom the editor: "“Miss Terri Ford, the righteous redhead of Minneapolis, Minnesota." Ms. Ford sure let Packer have it, but a letter to the editor is most likely the only place she expresses her righteousness. Minnesotans are known for their nicities.
Now playing: José González - Hand On Your Heart

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Mister, Will You Sign My Trading Card?"

Trading cards
Originally uploaded by Al Franken for Senate
Some where I have a couple Al Franken trading cards that picked up at the MN State Fair in '07. I never expected Franken to have a chance of winning. Especially after our caucus, where he was often the third choice candidate. It appears, according to the Star Tribune, he's going to pull it off.

Talking Points Memo has been doing yeoman's work with their coverage of the recount. Franken has pulled ahead by 225 votes. Honestly, MN is a blue state. Coleman should have lost more handily, and to a different Democrat he would have lost by more votes.

Independence Party Dean Barkely candidate picked up 15% vote due to voters dissatisfaction with both Franken and Republican Norm Coleman.
Now playing: Bonobo - Ketto