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The eulogy for economic-based liberalism?

Interesting interview in which Eric Alterman points out that cultural liberalism is flourishing – but the idea of using the government to intercede in the economy on behalf of people who need protection is on the ropes. Via Raw Story:

Writer and historian Eric Alterman appeared on the April 20 edition of “Moyers and Company” to discuss his new book The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama.

In a wide-ranging and thoughtful discussion, Alterman makes the case to Bill Moyers that while social liberalism is flourishing, economic liberalism has fallen on hard times. The majority of people in the United States believe that racism is wrong. Acceptance of the idea of same-sex marriage has charged ahead with surprising speed. And yet, only a tiny minority of people in the country self-identify as “liberal.”

Alterman believes that liberals in the U.S. have “overpromised and underperformed,” and ultimately become victims of their own belief in the rectitude of their ideas. Of course racism is wrong, says Alterman, but what are we going to do if the dismantling of a racist system doesn’t go as planned?

He believes that liberals need to go on the offensive and learn to be cannier and more flexible in selling their message and implementing their ideas. Just because it’s right, he maintains, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work.

If my kids were still college-age, I think I’d encourage them to get into a union apprentice program. Because if you’re not connected to the one percent job network, I don’t think a college diploma is a sure thing anymore and student loans mean being a debt slave for the rest of your life. But that’s just me.

I’m also torn by the fact that some degrees are more equal than others. It seems brutal to expect high school kids to suppress their talents and dreams to try to fit some more career-worthy mold. For instance, not everyone has the kind of skills that would make them good engineers or computer scientists. But if we’re forcing students onto certain career paths because they’re the only way they can ever afford to go to college in the first place, it doesn’t seem quite… American to me. After all, we’re humans, not car parts:

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs – waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example – and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor’s degrees.
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My goodness, the pearl clutching that’s going on over (gasp) the Secret Service patronizing hookers! A friend who used to work in military intelligence had this to say on his FB page:

When Reagan visited Guam in 1985 at least 15-20 members of his SS detail hit up Club Yobo strip club. Are they really gonna have an investigation because SS and TDY [temporary duty] military patronize strip clubs and hookers?

Why, yes, they are. And on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Carolyn Maloney get to shake their heads and look Very, Very Serious while talking about this today:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning. The headlines out of Washington this week swirled around a single theme: federal workers behaving badly. At the GSA, the depth of wasteful spending became clear when new photos showed official Jeffrey Neely living the high life at a Las Vegas hotel at taxpayer expense.

And the scandal involving the president’s security detail in Colombia continues to spread, with six Secret Service agents now forced out, six others still under investigation, and 11 members of the military also under scrutiny.

The White House says security was not compromised and is standing by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, who personally briefed the president Friday. But Congress is stepping up its investigations, and our headliners are at the center of that work, Maine Senator Susan Collins, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, and New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney from the House Oversight Committee.

Welcome to you both. I think it’s appropriate that we have female legislators here today, because we just learned this morning that the agent who swept in and cleaned this all up, female agent Paula Reid, head of the service detail down in Latin America, and she seemed to get to the bottom of this quickly.

COLLINS: She did. She acted decisively, appropriately, and I can’t help but wonder if there’d been more women as part of that detail if this ever would have happened.

That, alone, might be the stupidest damn thing I ever heard. Yes, because admitting women into the military academies has completely changed the culture of sex and violence, right?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, what’s the latest, though, on the investigation?

MALONEY: I would like to say I talked to Director Sullivan last night, and he was commending her leadership, too. She really went in there and cleaned up the mess. And one thing I asked him is, how many women are on the force? It’s only 11 percent of the agents are women.

And if — we agree on this. If there were more agents on the ground, maybe we would not have had this.

Arghh. Women are not some magic ingredient that you add and testosterone just… disappears! Military culture (and paramilitary culture, like the Secret Service) is, ultimately, based on force. How far back do you suppose the term “rape and pillage” goes?
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I’ll be seeing you

Etta Jones:

Hey there

Rosemary Clooney:

How many more times

My new favorite band, Alabama Shakes, covers Led Zep:

Little girl blue


Virtually Speaking tonight

Cliff Schecter & Jay Ackroyd VS Sundays tonight 6p pac/9pm east  listen live tonight, and later.


Ha, ha! “Privacy”? What’s that?

With little public attention, dozens of universities and law-enforcement agencies have been given approval by federal aviation regulators to use unmanned aircraft known as drones, according to documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests by an advocacy group.

The more than 50 institutions that received approvals to operate remotely piloted aircraft are more varied than many outsiders and privacy experts previously knew. They include not only agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security but also smaller ones such as the police departments in North Little Rock, Ark., and Ogden, Utah, as well the University of North Dakota and Nicholls State University in Louisiana.

The information, released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, came to light as the Federal Aviation Administration gears up to advance the widespread use of the drones. By the fall of 2015, Congress wants the agency to integrate remotely piloted aircraft throughout U.S. airspace.

In February, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado tested a drone with an infrared camera. It measures about 36 inch wide.

Although the documents don’t indicate how the aircraft will be used, the disclosures likely will fuel privacy concerns involving drones.

On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas asked the acting administrator of the FAA to answer questions about the privacy implications of increased drone use.

“Many drones are designed to carry surveillance equipment, including video cameras, infrared thermal imagers, radar and wireless network ‘sniffers,’ “ the representatives wrote in their letter to Michael Huerta. Now that the FAA, under pressure from lawmakers and businesses, is pushing to increase the use of drones, it has “the responsibility to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected and that the public is fully informed about who is using drones in public airspace and why,” they wrote.

The FAA declined to comment.


I’m doing some spring cleaning, and came across a secret stash of clothes I put away a couple of years ago because I outgrew them (and not in that good “Look how big you’re getting!” way a two-year-old does).

They all fit me now. They’re even a little loose. So I’m really motivated to keep going, because I love clothes and it’s been a while since I got to pick things out by my aesthetic, and not by fit.

And I have another secret stash waiting for me. Woo hoo!

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