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Narcissus

Via Corrente. This sort of thinking is exactly what depressed me so much after working on the local mayoral primary. I saw that members of the media — and progressives– were supporting one candidate because of how much he resembled them. And once those newspapers and blog decided they were the ones who should be allowed to pick the candidate, it was all over.

It didn’t even matter who they picked; it was a profoundly undemocratic and narcissistic process. I looked at what happened here in this city and realized it had to be replicated on the national level, and that meant that the entire system was too corrupt to represent the interests of anyone not plugged into the elite levels.

That was four years ago, and I haven’t seen anything since then that has changed my mind. If anything, it’s even worse:

Unfortunately they do care, and care very much, if the Democrats speak good English, finish a sentence, and handle questions well.  That’s it.  That’s all it takes.  Just a president whose words are more pleasing to the ear, no matter what they’re actually saying.  Someone articulate and educated.  Someone who’s probably listened to a few episodes of This American Life.  Someone who reads the New Yorker or the New York Times or best of all, both.  Someone who has a favorite espresso drink, whatever it may happen to be.  In short, someone who at least gives the appearance of being one of us.

Just that and nothing more and the tedious minutiae of betrayals and crimes is not only forgiven, but all but forgotten.  The platitudes of Democrats like Obama are not just “the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair”, but over reality.

GOP drops Medicare from budget proposal

Encouraging news for now, at least until we find out the final details of this deal. Given the option, Republicans will always try to attack the programs that offer a social safety net. The only reason they’re backing off on this is that the opposition to the Medicare voucher plan has been loud and clear. Would that it was as easy to explain why spending caps are not only stupid, they’re immoral.

Don’t ever trust the Republicans to back off for good, even if they’ve gotten the message — for now — that voters won’t stand for Medicare cuts. They’ll just bludgeon the Democrats until they give them another trophy instead:

Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies.

On the eve of debt-reduction talks led by Vice President Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term. But he said Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama “excoriated us” for a proposal to privatize Medicare.
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The Gulf

If you guessed that the energy lobby has prevented any meaning reforms on drilling, you’re right!

Jeffrey Sachs

“The world is drowning in corporate fraud.” Go read it, it’s good.

Ohio

In memoriam:

Heh

See what happens when you don’t buy up all your domain names? (Hint: Read carefully.)

Sky pilot

Eric Burden and the Animals:

Spirit in the sky

Norman Greenbaum:

Jump into the fire

Harry Nilsson:

Heh

Dads are the original hipsters!

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