20 May 2010

That's All...For Now

Sorry, folks. Work and the commute to and from are killin' me! The blog ends here...for now. Keep an eye out. When things calm down, I'll be back in the thick of it. I hope. For the 600+ of you who checked in every day...thank you from the bottom of my heart. This blog was never going to be DailyKos or The Daily Dish; but if just 10 of you read USW, I'd have been thrilled beyond measure. That SO many of you did...well...it's been one of the sweet pleasures of my life. From the deepest depths of my heart...thank you. I promise, when life gives me back a little more time, I will return.

15 May 2010

Obama's Job Approval Still Strong

As the Daily Dish says, it's time for a "reality check."

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval:
Approve 51%
Disapprove 42%


The President's weekly address:

14 May 2010

Big Gay Album Alert

This single is scheduled for release next month. The album, "Aphrodite," for July 5th. Boys, bears, and otters...I present the brand new song from that venerable diva of divas...

Kylie Minogue

A Groove That Makes You Wanna Move Real Smooth

Number one this week, 34 years ago...

"Boogie Fever" by the Sylvers

The Black Jail

What the fuck is this?!?

End-of-the-Week Levity

Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourette's!

Best Lewis Black commentary EVER...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

A Methadone for Overseas Oil Addiction

Chris Matthew places are huge chunk of the blame for the oil spill fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico with Dick Cheney:

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And Lisa Margonelli examines the Gulf oil travesty:
...we may determine that business as usual doesn't work for offshore drilling - which leaves us unable to count on the 40 percent of domestic oil production we were expecting to get from the offshore industry in the next ten years. Rereading what's been written about offshore oil drilling over the last few years, it's obvious it was thought to be the methadone for our overseas oil addiction. Now what?
An entire ocean is being destroyed at an alarming daily rate, yet there are still those who insist offshore oil drilling is the way to go, including the President of the United States. It seems it's up to congress to stop this shit. And they'll have to do it before November when the Drill Baby Drill Republican Fascists are bound to pick up seats.

Four things need to happen at this point: 1) BP needs to get out of the way and let someone who knows how to deal with this take over the task of stopping the gushing oil; 2) BP needs to pay for every last fuckin' dime of the clean up and repair (If it bankrupts them, so be it. If anything ever prompted a company to go broke, it's this fiasco.); 3) Executives from BP and their drill partners, including Haliburton, need to be charged for the criminal aspect of this and serve very long prison sentences; 4) President Obama and every last off shore drilling advocate needs to rethink their position on this. Americans of every political persuasion need to make sure off shore drilling is stopped.

12 May 2010

"Nick Clegg will be at my side."

Two political parties, representing opposite ends of the political spectrum, unite to form a coalition government in an effort to bring their country back from the precipice.

And a moment of levity from the two former rivals...

The Republican Party here in America would do well to study this coalition agreement. Of course, only time will tell if the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats can govern together. But good on them for trying, for it is the only way Great Britain will be able to dig its way out of the wreckage it finds itself buried under after two years of Labour governance under Gordon Brown.

We may never know if such a hybrid political coalition will work here in the United States. Barack Obama offered an olive branch to the Republican opposition the night of his election in 2008, making the case for an "all hands on deck" situation in order to attack the dire straits our country found itself in after eight years of reckless incompetence by George W. Bush. The Republicans, however, have taken the low road, throwing down road blocks at every turn as the President and his administration try to dig us out of the mess.

Granted, last week's British election gave the winning party only 36% of the vote in a three-way race, and none of the parties a majority in the House of Commons, thus requiring some sort of coalition. In contrast, American voters gave the Democratic ticket a solid 53% of the national vote here in 2008, and handed the party rock solid majorities in both houses of congress. Obama's overtures to the Republicans were, quite simply, a patriotic attempt to work together to keep the U.S. from financial ruin.

Alas, it wasn't to be. American conservatives are nothing like the British conservatives. In fact, the word "conservative" shouldn't be applied to the tea-baggers who make up the base of the current Republican Party. "Fascist" and "irresponsible" are the only word to describe them.

Andrew Sullivan:
Cameron should be an example here. [The U.S.] need[s] to make stiff entitlement and defense cuts - but we must also raise some taxes. The debate should not be whether but how - and I agree...that tax simplification should be the spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. It's time to end the supply-side craziness, the tea-party looniness and the ideological fixity of Bush-Cheney economics. Obama needs bipartisan support to do the conservative and responsible thing. Which means that the real war for this country's future must be waged within the GOP. I fear, alas, that war is already being lost in the thickets of Southern populism. So the damage that today's Republican party can still do to America's future remains as real as the wreckage it has already accomplished.
In the mean time, I'll be watching the Cameron-Clegg coalition with great interest. And hoping beyond hope that these two young leaders can rescue their beloved country from the precipice.

11 May 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron

A very dramatic turn of events in Britain on Wednesday. Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister after it became evident the Liberal Democratic Party was not interested in forming a coalition government with his Labour Party following last week's general election loss, an election that resulted in a hung parliament. Instead, Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib-Dems, opted to form that coalition with the Conservative Party and their leader, David Cameron. Brown presented to the Queen this evening and announced his resignation, followed in short order by a Cameron visit to the Queen, who asked Cameron and his Conservatives to form a new government.

Kiran Stacey followed events as they happened:
4.15pm: We start this live blog with the news that the Evening Standard is reporting that Gordon Brown will quit tonight after talks between Labour and the Lib Dems fell apart earlier today. There has been a growing feeling today that the talks were unlikely to go anywhere, not least because of the number of Labour MPs and former MPs coming out against them.

5.47pm: Sky is now following the Evening Standard in saying that Gordon Brown will go tonight. There had been some suggestion that he might leave it until tomorrow, but Sky is now convinced otherwise.

6.05pm: We are hearing that Gordon Brown is sitting in Downing Street waiting to resign. He’s waiting for the nod from David Cameron that he can form a government. Cameron is waiting in turn for the nod from the Lib Dems. So once more, all eyes on Nick Clegg and his party.

7.11pm: The lectern is outside Number 10. A statement is expected shortly.

7.16pm: Brown’s staff are coming out of Number 11.

7.17pm: [Announcement of resignation.] Brown is out. Says he said he would do all he could to ensure a strong stable and principled govt was formed.

7.19pm: His resignation as Labour leader takes effect immediately. He has thanked British troops, now he is thanking Sarah and his sons.

7.19pm: Brown says he loved the job not for its title and glory but for its potential to do good.

7.21pm: The four family members are holding hands as they climb into the car to take them to Buckingham Palace to let the Queen know he is stepping down.

7.42pm: Brown is now leaving the Palace. That didn’t take long.

7.48pm: Poor old Gordon got caught in the traffic as he left Buckingham Palace. No outriders to clear the roads, as he’s no longer PM.

8.04pm: David Cameron is on his way to see the Queen. We still don’t know what kind of administration he will lead, which seems like a strange way round.

8.08pm: David and Samantha Cameron have arrived at the palace and gone in to see the Queen.

8.31pm: Cameron has been in with the queen for over 20 minutes now. I wonder what they are talking about.

8.33pm: Steve Hilton, Andy Coulson and other Cameron aides are gathered outside Number 10, grinning and waiting to get in. Meanwhile Cameron has left the palace. Unlike when he arrived, and unlike when Brown left, he has a police motorcade.

8.43pm: Cameron arrived at Number 10. He is walking very slowly, soaking it all up.

8.46pm: Cameron walks very slowly into Number 10 to the applause of staff. He gave a brief speech outside, which was a curious mix up uplifting and downbeat messages. He has given no indication of what his government might look like, but did mention Nick Clegg in his speech, almost referring to him as a co-leader.

8.46pm: Cameron: “This is going to be hard and difficult work.”

9.27pm: Sky is reporting these cabinet appointments: Vincent Cable will be chief secretary to the Treasury, David Laws will be education secretary, Andrew Lansley will be health secretary and William Hague will be foreign secretary. The BBC says Nick Clegg will be deputy prime minister.

10.03pm: Prime Minister - David Cameron
Secretary of State for Defence - Liam Fox
Deputy Prime Minister - Nick Clegg
Chancellor of the Exchequer - George Osborne
Chief Secretary to the Treasury - Vince Cable
Foreign Secretary - William Hague
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families - David Laws
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions - Philip Hammond (unconfirmed)
Secretary of State for Health - Andrew Lansley

10.38pm: Nick Clegg will be deputy PM, says Associated Press. They say they have it confirmed by the Tories. Sky reports five cabinet positions for the Lib Dems [in the Cameron cabinet].

On Kagan

It amazed me, really, how fast my fellow compatriots on the left formed their circular firing squad over President Obama's nomination yesterday of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Whining and moaning that she wasn't liberal enough, they've taken to the airwaves and the internet to call her unqualified and too centrist, crying foul and accusing the President of being disloyal to his liberal base.


Once again it's obvious the left weren't paying attention during the 2008 campaign:
When I think about the kinds of judges who are needed today, it goes back to the point I was making about common sense and pragmatism as opposed to ideology. I think that Justice Souter, who was a Republican appointee, Justice Breyer, a Democratic appointee, are very sensible judges. They take a look at the facts and they try to figure out: How does the Constitution apply to these facts? They believe in fidelity to the text of the Constitution, but they also think you have to look at what is going on around you and not just ignore real life.

That, I think is the kind of justice that I’m looking for — somebody who respects the law, doesn’t think that they should be making law, but also has a sense of what’s happening in the real world and recognizes that one of the roles of the courts is to protect people who don’t have a voice.
-Barack Obama, on the campaign trail, in October 2008.

I understand how disheartening it can be when the President's aim on certain issues doesn't have a leftward tilt. I've been there myself with him on a few occasions. But I always check myself, if only slightly, when I remember that the man campaigned as a center-left moderate.

On Afghanistan, he did what he said he was going to do. On health care, he did what he said he was going to do. And on the Supreme Court, with both Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan...again...he did what he said he was going to do.

Come on, people! With an exception or two (every candidate, even far lefties, will have an exception or two), her resume looks solid:
1986 – Receives a Juris Doctor professional degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
1987 – Serves as judicial clerk for Abner J. Mikva, U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit.
1988 – Serves as judicial clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall (THURGOOD MARSHALL!!) of the U.S. Supreme Court.
1995 – Begins service to President Bill Clinton as Associate White House Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.
1999 – Nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
2003 – Appointed first female dean of Harvard Law School.
2009 – Becomes the first woman to hold the position of Solicitor General of the U.S.
Do I think she'll vote my way on every issue that goes before the Court? Of course not. I wouldn't expect that of any nominee, left, center, or right. But this I do know: unlike Republican presidents who have put up incompetents (Clarence Thomas, Harriet Miers) and called them the best qualified, I trust Barack Obama, a constitutional lawyer, to weigh the facts, study his options, and then make the best decision he can make.

If I were president I may have chosen someone else for this seat. But I am not the president. And from everything I've read about Ms. Kagan, and based on what was said on this issue during the 2008 election campaign, I believe President Obama made a damn good choice.

10 May 2010

Passing the Point of No Return?

Quote of the Day:
Our parents were “The Greatest Generation,” and they earned that title by making enormous sacrifices and investments to build us a world of abundance. My generation, “The Baby Boomers,” turned out to be what the writer Kurt Andersen called “The Grasshopper Generation.” We’ve eaten through all that abundance like hungry locusts.

...[The U.S. government will] have to figure out how to raise some taxes to increase revenues, while cutting other taxes to stimulate growth; they’ll have to cut some services to save money, while investing in new infrastructure to grow economic capacity. We have got to use every dollar wisely now. Because we’ve eaten through our reserves...
-NY Times columnist Tom Friedman, telling like it is (as always).

I am beginning to wonder if anyone on Capitol Hill will have the cajones to make the tough, necessary decisions before things move past the point of no return. And even if Congress acts, is it already too late?

Is Obama Caving?

From TPM:
[Attorney General Eric] Holder said on Meet the Press that the Administration wants to work with Congress to make the public safety exception to Miranda -- in which information from questioning before reading the Miranda warning can be admitted in court, in certain situations in which public safety is a concern - "more flexible."

As TPMmuckraker reported Friday, experts believe the Administration is already pioneering a robust use of the public safety exception to Miranda. In the case of Faisal Shahzad, the man who allegedly tried to set off a crude bomb in Times Square, FBI agents reportedly questioned him for three or four hours before reading him his rights.
The Obama administration's record on arresting, questioning and trying terrorism suspects should be commended. Their track record is stellar compared to the incompetent law-breakers of the Bush team. So this decision to make Miranda "more flexible" is quite perplexing.

Mr. President, you're a constitutional scholar. Explain to me, please, how you see such an approach holding up in a court of law?

Rolando Negrin's Shortcomings

From TPM:
Rolando Negrin, a TSA employee at Miami International Airport, was arrested for aggravated battery after he attacked a colleague, in response to coworkers poking fun at the size of his penis during a body-scanning machine training session.
Poor guy. Not only does he have a nubbin, but now the entire country knows about it.

OK, people...there's nothing to see here

I was out to dinner with friends during a long weekend away in Santa Barbara last week when the Times Square car bomb attempt went down, but we were back early enough to catch some of the White House Correspondent's dinner. None of us heard about New York until the next morning.

Frank Rich:
Here’s the time line from last Saturday. At 6:30 p.m. the abandoned Nissan Pathfinder was found smoking in Times Square. Relevant public officials marooned at the correspondents dinner in Washington quickly got word. Over the next hour and a half, several news organizations spread it as well while Times Square was evacuated. To clear the Broadway theater district at curtain time on Saturday night isn’t like emptying a high school; it’s a virtual military operation. By 8 p.m., the crossroads of the world looked like a ghost town, yet if you tuned in to a cable news network, it wasn’t news. No one seemed to know or to care. On MSNBC, which I was watching, it didn’t even merit a mention on a crawl.

Apparently little short of King Kong climbing up 30 Rock could have grabbed the network’s attention. When MSNBC did take a brief break from the dinner for news updates at 9:30, Times Square didn’t make the cut. Whether this was due to ignorance, ineptitude or an unwillingness to play party pooper is a distinction without a difference. Real-time coverage of Leno bombing (since when is that news?) mattered more than any actual bombs. Only as the dinner wound down, at 10:54, did MSNBC at last muster a “breaking news” bulletin about the Times Square story that had in fact been breaking for hours. Even then, we were told that NBC News couldn’t independently confirm the facts MSNBC was recycling from Reuters.
CNN and Faux News were just as guilty.


09 May 2010

NBC: It Will Be Kagan

NBC News is reporting tonight that President Obama will announce tomorrow that he intends to nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court of the United States.

More tomorrow when/if the announcement is made.

For Renée

...from her son.

Enjoying Betty's Muffin


The Blue That Runs Through It

This week's playlist includes new material from Minus the Bear, Stereophonics, the New Pornographers, and James Taylor & Carole King; as well as classics from War, Saint Etienne, and Mouth & MacNeal.

Press play and enjoy...

Low Rider - War
My Time - Minus the Bear
She's Alright - Stereophonics
Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk - The New Pornographers
The High Road - Broken Bells
On a High - Duncan Sheik
Lose That Girl - Saint Etienne
Rome Wasn't Built In a Day - Morcheeba
Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach - Gorillaz w/Snoop Dog
Mmm Hmm - Flying Lotus, feat. Thundercat
Candy - Paolo Nutini
Smakewater Jack (Live) - James Taylor & Carole King
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
How Do You Do? - Mouth and MacNeal

All Right Wing Homophobes Are Homos

Another one sucks the cock bites the dust...

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08 May 2010

27 April 2010

Scarborough: AZ Immigration Law "Un-American"

If the Republicans really want to put up a strong challenge to President Obama's re-election bid in 2012, they would nominate this guy.

Alas, he's too moderate for today's Fascist Republicans.