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Happy vernal equinox

Ella Fitzgerald:

Forever young

Pete Seeger sings Bob:


Despite his office assistant telling me all the tests were fine, the doctor just left me a message saying my thyroid levels were borderline and my Vitamin D levels were low.

At least I finally have a “valid” reason for why I’m so tired all the time – and why I’ve been craving liver for months. As I mentioned before, I always figured my thyroid was out of whack because I have such a low body temperature (last week, it was 93).

He says he wants to watch the thyroid levels for another six months. I’m not thrilled about the idea of being on the thyroid merry-go-round for the rest of my life, so that’s fine with me. I’ll see what I can do in the meantime to build myself up.


by Susie
How Obama advisors decided to make the deficit the priority. Must. Hit. Head. On. Wall.

MERS, aka Big Shitpile

by Susie
What a tangled web we weave when we “extend and pretend” that banks are solvent!

Trayvon Martin

by Susie
What a relief that this killing will not get covered up:

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI will step in to investigate the killing of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin, the U.S. Department of Justice announced late Monday.

The announcement coincided with a statement from Florida Gov. Rick Scott asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to offer “appropriate resources” in the case.

The federal and state agencies are intervening in what attorneys call a botched investigation into the killing of the Michael Krop Senior High School student, who was killed Feb. 26 in Sanford, a town of 55,000 just north of Orlando. The teen, on suspension from school, was staying at his father’s girlfriend’s house when he stepped out to 7-Eleven to buy candy and iced tea.

A neighborhood watch volunteer with a long history of calling in everything from open garage doors to “suspicious characters” called police to say he spotted someone who looked drugged, was walking too slowly in the rain, and appeared to be looking at people’s houses. Zimmerman sounded alarmed, because the stranger had his hand in his waistband and had something in his other hand.

The unarmed teen carried Skittles and Arizona iced tea.


We have to stay because we can’t leave!

The JOBS bill

by Susie
If there’s a way to further fuck up the economy, they find it!

The grand bargain

By Susie
This is your basic “rock and a hard place” dilemma. For months now, I’ve warned of Obama’s dream of a Grand Bargain and his attempts to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Some people still insisted he was merely playing eleventy-dimensional chess to back Republicans into a corner. Not only is that not what happened, the Washington Post story shows it was even worse than we thought.

And why do I bring this up now? Not to discourage you from voting, but because the time to apply maximum leverage is before you’ve given someone your vote, not after. Now Rep. Paul Ryan is pushing another plan to cut Medicare, and this time, he’s got Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) supporting his concept. Uh oh, bipartisanship! The Post reports:

White House officials said this week that the offer is still on the table.

It is absolutely necessary that you tell every single person who asks for your vote that you don’t want any cuts to these programs. That includes these Groupon deals – “premium support,” as they call it.

You paid for these programs, you expect them to be there when you need them, and you need to let these politicians know that. (Reminder: Medicaid is not only the base program for poor people under the Affordable Care Act, it’s also the program that pays for nursing home care for the disabled and elderly.)

Even if it’s just your local town council member, you need to send politicians the message to carry back to their state committee meetings that if they and their party aren’t there for you, they shouldn’t expect you to support them in November. And when someone from the Obama campaign calls and asks, “Are you in?”, tell them it depends – on whether the president will protect these earned benefits in their current form.

Via Jonathan Chait in New York magazine:

Last summer, President Obama desperately attempted to forge a long-term deficit reduction deal with Congressional Republicans. The notion that he could get the House GOP to accept any remotely balanced agreement was preposterous and doomed from the start, but Obama responded to the increasingly obvious reality by reducing his demands of the Republicans to virtually nothing.

The Washington Post has a long narrative report about the negotiations between Obama and the House Republicans. The narrative frame of the Post’s account is that Obama blew the potential deal at the last minute. That’s a story that people close to Obama’s fired chief of staff, Bill Daley, have been peddling for a long time. But that conclusion is utterly belied by the facts in the Post’s own account. But let’s put that aside for now, because the facts in the Post’s account support a different and far more disturbing conclusion: Obama was even more desperate to cut a deal than previously believed — dangerously desperate, in fact.
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Last night

Marcy Wheeler and I had a pretty interesting conversation last night about the use of language and narrative in politics. (No, really.) You can listen here.

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