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Photo from Susie.

Sandy (4th of July, Asbury Park)

Bruce live at the Main Point, 1975:

From Susie’s phone.

Cult Following

Krugthulu on the Cult that’s Destroying America:

[T]he cult that I see as reflecting a true moral failure is the cult of balance, of centrism.

Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform — his only major change to government — was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else — including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment — is according to the conservative playbook.

What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism…

Days of swine and roses, indeed.

Media a big help to debt-limit loonies

Interesting blog yesterday by Paul Krugman, a bit edgier than his op-ed columns, sparked by his gloomy conclusion that “the cult of balance, of centrism” is hurting the country more than the cult of right-wing loonies pushing for default on the national debt:

Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president…

You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.

I suspect Krugman, in denouncing faux centrism, was thinking of his colleague Thomas Friedman, a jack-ass of the first order whose latest pipe dream involves a Washington, D.C. “political start-up” called Americans Elect that wants to hold an “internet convention” to select a centrist third-party presidential candidate for 2012.

And how would this third-party force obtain the multimillions of dollars needed to develop an infrastructure that would get out the vote? Friedman doesn’t address this and many other questions, just as he never addressed the devastating downside of globalization in The World Is Flat, his wet dream about our glorious future in a world run by multinational corporations.

Discrimination

What millenium is this again?

A high school southeast of Little Rock would not let a black student be valedictorian though she had the highest grade-point average, and wouldn’t let her mom speak to the school board about it until graduation had passed, the graduate claims in Federal Court.

Kymberly Wimberly, 18, got only a single B in her 4 years at McGehee Secondary School, and loaded up on Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She had the highest G.P.A. and says the school’s refusal to let her be sole valedictorian was part of a pattern of discrimination against black students.

Wimberly says that despite earning the highest G.P.A. of the Class of 2011, and being informed of it by a school counselor, “school administrators and personnel treated two other white students as heir[s] apparent to the valedictorian and salutatorian spots.”

Wimberly’s mother is the school’s “certified media specialist.” She says in the federal discrimination complaint that after her daughter had been told she would be valedictorian, the mother heard “in the copy room that same day, other school personnel expressed concern that Wimberly’s status as valedictorian might cause a ‘big mess.'”

McGehee Secondary School is predominantly white, and 46 percent African-American, according to the complaint. Bratton says that the day after she heard the “big mess” comment, McGehee Principal Darrell Thompson, a defendant, told her “that he decided to name a white student as co-valedictorian,” although the white student had a lower G.P.A.

Bratton says she tried to protest the decision to the school board, but defendant Superintendent Thomas Gathen would not let her speak, because she allegedly had “filled out the wrong form. Instead of ‘public comments,’ Gather [sic] said Bratton should have asked for ‘public participation.'” The superintendent told her she could not appeal his decision until the June 28 school board meeting; graduation was May 13.

Colbert’s take

On our insightful media’s rush to judgment on the terrorism in Norway.

Never had it so good

I saw this 1991 singer-songwriter tour. It was Mary Chapin, Shawn Colvin, Nanci Griffith and Beth Neilsen Chapman, and it was wonderful:

Hot fun in the summertime

Sly and the Family Stone:

That voter ID video.

This is not the rant anyone would be expecting. Sorry.

Here’s the link.

First off; a heartfelt round of applause for the DMV employees. A slightly huffy, somewhat confrontational person comes and starts asking kinda pushy questions, and they were friendly, empathetic and polite. I’m sure Walker wants to cut their hours and their pay.

Second. I’m sure there are three hundred thousand people without state ID’s at their current address. Some of them have school ID’s which are accepted. The rest of us better get our butts moving. Spread the word that if you are asking for a voter ID, there is a box to check, then it will be free. Put an ad in the damn paper. Don’t yell at the DMV guys.

Third; I don’t know what the deal was with using the son’s bank account for proof of residence. It’s probably an odd way to prove ID which caused people to say random things, and I’m betting everybody who looked at it forgot the amount of money in the bank account sometime in the next two hundred people they saw that day. I’m thinking the guy at the desk was trying to figure out if he could use the statement.

Fourth; Every goddamn legitimate homeless shelter has letterhead stationery. It’s one of a billion little nitpicky things that NPO’s use to establish their credibility, so they can get grants, so they can feed homeless people. And no, they will not give you the piece of paper unless you are a resident in good standing – they have their credibility to maintain, so they can get the money to feed people. And yes, you will have to be a resident at the shelter two weeks later to get the ID.

Fifth; Yes. It sucks. This voter ID thing sucks. The person standing behind the counter at the DMV has to deal with a gazillion misunderstandings and confusion and supervisors and paperwork and little tiny details. Be nice.

I lived in a tiny town, next to a minimally bigger town. Our DMV guys came down, on whatever Tuesday, driving 50 miles in whatever weather hauling whatever kind of stuff, not necessarily liking the other person, to come down and listen to people complaining. But on the other hand, I watched the DMV guy subtly discourage somebody who was obviously not fit for driving on any day from renewing her license. How many lives did he save? One? Two? A bunch of kids at a busstop? Every one of them are nice. Let’s keep the fire pointed where it belongs.

And three cheers for the supervisor at the end of the tape who pointed the woman’s rightful indignation at the proper target. I’m willing to bet he was mad at not being able to ask people if they were looking for a voter ID.

(Obviously, living in a small town has changed me, a lot. I recommend it.)

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