Feed on

For No Reason, Really

I just like Tom Lehrer. Hey, here’s more for the kids!

Wow. This is just amazing:

It was already approaching 100° at 8 a.m. when I arrived the Park Hyatt where, after 22 months of stalled negotiations, hotel workers were staging a one-day picket to protest the hotel chain’s intolerable treatment of their housekeeping staff.

In case you didn’t know, Hyatt is owned by the Pritzker family. Heiress Penny Sue Pritzker chairs Obama’s national campaign finance committee. She is also a big player in Democratic Party politics as well as in the world of anti-union, corporate school reform and was recently appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to a seat on the Chicago school board.

Pritzker’s response to the Park Hyatt strikers was to turn on the hotel’s powerful heating lamps to try and bake the workers into submission on this brutally hot day. But this seemingly inhuman and probably illegal response seemed to have had just the opposite effect. Picketers began chanting, “Hyatt can’t take the heat, but we can!” The lamps were left on until word got out and media began to show up.


Thursday, July 21 | 8 pm eastern | 5 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking A-Z | Stuart Zechman and Jay Ackroyd| This week in liberalism: a continuing conversation. Listen live on BTR.

Thursday, July 21 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroy | Jay returns. Olivier Knox – who covers Congress and politics for Agence France-Presse, the world’s oldest and third-largest news agency – calls in from the Senate Press Gallery to talk about the debt limit negotiations. Listen live on BTR.

Hot hot hot

David Johannsen:

Up on the roof



While I’ve always loved this event, I will no more spend all day outdoors in this heat than I would slit my own wrists.

Summer in the city

Lovin’ Spoonful:

Gutting the New Deal

Glenn Greenwald:

The same Democratic president who supported the transfer of $700bn to bail out Wall Street banks, who earlier this year signed an extension of Bush’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and who has escalated America’s bankruptcy-inducing posture of Endless War, is now trying to reduce the debt by cutting benefits for America’s most vulnerable – at the exact time that economic insecurity and income inequality are at all-time highs.

Where is the “epic shitstorm” from the left which Black predicted? With a few exceptions – the liberal blog FiredogLake has assembled 50,000 Obama supporters vowing to withhold re-election support if he follows through, and a few other groups have begun organising as well – it’s nowhere to be found.

Therein lies one of the most enduring attributes of Obama’s legacy: in many crucial areas, he has done more to subvert and weaken the left’s political agenda than a GOP president could have dreamed of achieving. So potent, so overarching, are tribal loyalties in American politics that partisans will support, or at least tolerate, any and all policies their party’s leader endorses – even if those policies are ones they long claimed to loathe.

‘Don’t romanticize Obama’

This piece is pretty good, I wish more non-blog-reading people would see it.

My so-called social life

Last night, a drunken guy the same age as my son tried to talk me into bringing him home. I kept putting him off nicely, but he persisted. I finally told him that his approach had all the charm of a dog looking for the nearest fireplug. He then started hitting on the woman next to me, which only proved my point.

The thing is, he’s not a total asshole, just drunk, and there was a time when I might have been flattered. I have a pretty hard and fast rule now: If you don’t have the nerve to actually ask me to go out (when you’re sober), I already know it won’t work out. Maturity! It’s not such a bad thing.

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