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Deep thought

I find it ironic that Mickey Dee’s is sponsoring the broadcast of our local Labor Day parade.

Muleskinner blues

The Figs:


Am I the only person who’s repulsed by this media orgy of terror porn? Yes, it was a terrible tragedy. How very fortunate for those military and strategic interests that were bolstered by it. Do I feel any worse for the people who died in the WTC than I do for the innocents we killed in retaliation? No.

I suppose I’ll have to turn off the television that day or my head will explode.

Give it up or let me go

Bonnie Raitt:

A beautiful sunset.

In a year of beautiful sunsets.

The colors shown here are dim. The very air was charged; you swam in the color, standing on the shore.

Goodbye to all that

A Republican staffer leaves Congress and throws some bombs on the way out the door. This is a compelling piece and very long, but I strongly urge you to go read all of it:

The reader may think that I am attributing Svengali-like powers to GOP operatives able to manipulate a zombie base to do their bidding. It is more complicated than that. Historical circumstances produced the raw material: the deindustrialization and financialization of America since about 1970 has spawned an increasingly downscale white middle class – without job security (or even without jobs), with pensions and health benefits evaporating and with their principal asset deflating in the collapse of the housing bubble. Their fears are not imaginary; their standard of living is shrinking.

What do the Democrats offer these people? Essentially nothing. Democratic Leadership Council-style “centrist” Democrats were among the biggest promoters of disastrous trade deals in the 1990s that outsourced jobs abroad: NAFTA, World Trade Organization, permanent most-favored-nation status for China. At the same time, the identity politics/lifestyle wing of the Democratic Party was seen as a too illegal immigrant-friendly by downscaled and outsourced whites.[3]

While Democrats temporized, or even dismissed the fears of the white working class as racist or nativist, Republicans went to work. To be sure, the business wing of the Republican Party consists of the most energetic outsourcers, wage cutters and hirers of sub-minimum wage immigrant labor to be found anywhere on the globe. But the faux-populist wing of the party, knowing the mental compartmentalization that occurs in most low-information voters, played on the fears of that same white working class to focus their anger on scapegoats that do no damage to corporations’ bottom lines: instead of raising the minimum wage, let’s build a wall on the Southern border (then hire a defense contractor to incompetently manage it). Instead of predatory bankers, it’s evil Muslims. Or evil gays. Or evil abortionists.

How do they manage to do this? Because Democrats ceded the field. Above all, they do not understand language. Their initiatives are posed in impenetrable policy-speak: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. TheĀ what? – can anyone even remember it? No wonder the pejorative “Obamacare” won out. Contrast that with the Republicans’ Patriot Act. You’re a patriot, aren’t you? Does anyone at the GED level have a clue what a Stimulus Bill is supposed to be? Why didn’t the White House call it the Jobs Bill and keep pounding on that theme?
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Walkin’ blues

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks:


Certain health issues are common to all oil spills.


You know things are bad when you find yourself agreeing with MoDo.


I suppose it’s at least theoretically possible that these contributions aren’t a quid pro quo for the administration’s approval of the Comcast merger, but then, so’s the existence of the tooth fairy:

With the 2012 presidential campaign heating up, Comcast Corp. executives or their wives, board members, and lower-ranking employees are some of the leading contributors to President Obama’s reelection campaign.

More than 30 individuals gave, earlier this year, a total of $235,650 to the Obama Victory Fund, which supports Obama’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan tracker of politics and money.

The Comcast contributions came several months after the federal government approved Comcast’s deal to acquire NBC Universal Inc. and were the largest from individuals associated with one company or law firm in the January-through-June campaign-finance-reporting period. They easily beat the second-ranking organization on the center’s list: Wall Street powerhouse law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom L.L.P., whose lawyers and employees contributed $141,500 to the fund, a fund-raising vehicle for higher-dollar political contributions.

A Comcast official said the political contributions were personal decisions and not actions taken through the cable company’s political-action committee.

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