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Out of the game

Rufus Wainwright with the title track from his newest album, out in May:

Deep thought

When you drink juice made from beets, it shows every single spot on your teeth where you have plaque.

Yes, and

What Charlie Pierce said.

Well I certainly don’t feel calm and measured, and it’s not because my kids “could have been Trayvon.” No, they could not have. My kids are white. They lived in the suburbs. They could wear their pants anyway they liked. They could have worn hoodies to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and nobody would have looked askance at them, let alone blown them away with a handgun. (As I recall, I once wore a black hoodie to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.) The worst threat to my children’s lives in the big wide world was that some suburban matron who couldn’t see over the steering wheel would run them down in the family SUV. They didn’t have to worry about running into some trigger-happy, half-mad wannabe on the way home from the convenience store. And that’s what keeps me from being calm and measured.

I am sick to death of people who celebrate “the family” making excuses about why other people’s children are expendable. I am sick to death of politicians who are more concerned about protecting zygotes than about the teenagers on whom they seek to balance their budgets and advance their careers. (Barney Frank’s line about conservatives’s believing that life “begins at conception and ends at birth” was not entirely a joke, although it’s always been treated as one.) I am sick to death of opportunistic yahoos who can look at this country’s unhealthy attachment to firearms and declare that the actions of George Zimmerman, while unfortunate, were pretty much what the Founders had in mind. I am sick to death of the steady drip-drip-drip of all the topical anesthetics we mix up whenever something like this happens. Had Emmett Till been killed in 2012, there’d be at least three people sitting in the CNN Green Room right now — and probably 15 of them sitting offstage at Fox — waiting to explain how unfortunate it was that the lad so transgressed against local custom that circumstances dictated that he be beaten to a pulp and tossed into the river tied to a cotton-gin fan. I am sick to death about how we can argue about anything simply to argue about it, and then move along to the next argument, as though anything at all has been settled.

Friday I’m in love

The Cure:

Yep

What Duncan said.

Medical marijuana games in NJ

Personally, I never liked pot and don’t care much about it. But when I was so constantly nauseated by the antibiotics I was on recently, and the strongest drug they gave me didn’t help, well, I would have been damn glad to have a couple of joints. So this is just disgusting. Should sick people have to buy pot off street corners? Yeah, Christie’s a jerk, but the Obama administration is cracking down on medical marijuana, too:

Gov. Chris Christie and the state health department have intentionally delayed New Jersey’s medical marijuana program in an effort to sabotage it, the CEO of one of the state’s six medical marijuana dispensaries claims in a letter sent this week to Christie’s office.

And now, he’s ready to quit.

“I would like to withdraw from the program,” Joe Stevens, the head of Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, said during an interview with The Star-Ledger Thursday.

Health department officials have broken several promises to Greenleaf, Stevens claims, all while his group has incurred $170,000 in costs with no idea of when it can open for business.
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World Bank

This is great news, and not just because it was widely rumored that Larry Summers had the job in the bag – we wouldn’t want him doing to the rest of the world what he’s done here. (Robert Kuttner: “For Larry Summers, Obama’s nomination of Jim Yong Kim ends a winning streak of falling upwards.”)

No, it’s good because a real development professional, and not a Wall St. banker, will be overseeing the bank:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will nominate Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, a surprise pick for the international financial institution’s top job, senior administration officials said.

The Korean-born Kim is a physician by training and a prominent figure in global health and development circles. Officials believe his experience will help counter criticism from developing countries that have grown weary of the U.S. stranglehold on the World Bank presidency.

Obama took a strong personal interest in filling the World Bank vacancy after current president Robert Zoellick announced in February he was stepping down. Obama and his advisers considered more than a dozen candidates, including well-known figures in the administration. But in the end, officials said, Obama pushed for a nominee with broad development experience and was particularly drawn to Kim’s innovative work fighting the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis.

The 187-nation World Bank focuses on fighting poverty and promoting development. It is a leading source of development loans for countries seeking financing to build dams, roads and other infrastructure projects.

[…] Obama picked Kim over several more well-known candidates, including Susan Rice, current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.; and Lawrence Summers, Obama’s former director of the National Economic Council.

Out of those people, only Larry Summers was known to be interested in the job.

Aren’t they sweet

Don’t you just love racist Republicans?

WEST MONROE, Louisiana – At a campaign stop at a firing range, while Rick Santorum was firing off some rounds, a woman shouted, “pretend it’s Obama.”

Santorum, who was far from the woman, couldn’t hear the comment as he proceeded with his target practice. Neither could his staffers.

But the yell – the identity of the yeller is not clear, although the words were clearly audible – was in close proximity to journalists traveling with the candidate.

“It’s absurd,” Santorum said of the woman’s outburst when reporters told him about it. “No we’re not pretending it’s anybody but shooting pistols. It’s a very terrible and horrible remark and I’m glad I didn’t hear it.”

The scale of the universe

Very cool!

Little boxes

Walk Off The Earth with a wonderful rendition of the Malvina Reynolds song – played on little boxes!

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