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Max Roach, 1924-2007

[ 0 ] August 17, 2007 |

Remarkably, Sonny Rollins’s sublime “St. Thomas” came up on my I-Tunes shuffle about 10 minutes before that I read that the incomparable drummer who played on the track had passed away. R.I.P.

Darcy has more.

What Passes for a Literary Reference…

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

From the Braves announcers…

Joe Simpson: Just a glancing blow off the left leg.

Skip Carey: It’s what the pitching fraternity calls “a flesh wound.”

Joe Simpson: So does the Black Knight.

Skip Carey: Who?

Joe Simpson: From Monty Python; the Black Knight? “It’s just a flesh wound?”

Skip Carey: I’ll take your word for it. 0-1 the count…”

For some reason, I found that unreasonably hilarious.

So Does this Mean that America, Capitalism, and George W. Bush Have Failed?

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

Larry Kudlow, July 17:

The big theme in today’s Dow crossing the 14,000 threshold for the first time is one of unprecedented global economic growth and a worldwide stock market boom. Simply put, this is the greatest global stock market boom in history.

What we are witnessing here, in virtually every corner of the globe, is the success and the spread of unbridled free market capitalism…. Despite the persistent doom and gloom refrain from various sourpuss prognosticators, it remains the greatest story never told.

And it’s not over yet.

And what’s more, this global stock market boom signifies a major defeat for al Qaeda and all the terrorist jihadists who seek to destroy capitalism and our way of life. The spread of prosperity across the globe cannot tell a lie: The terrorists are on the wrong side, they are on the losing side, and their side will be defeated. Freedom and capitalism is moving full steam ahead. It will ultimately crush the evil, totalitarian jihadists.

Despite all the criticism President Bush has received over his administration’s Iraq war policies, the stock market has been booming throughout the whole period from early 2003 onward. Markets are giving Bush’s steadfastness in the battle of Iraq and the world terror war a big thumbs up vote of confidence.

The Dow currently? 12632, down 228 points today12845! Down only 15! Freedom prevails in the late 4th quarter! and about 10%9% over the last month.

God, I hate it when my retirement fund and my niece’s college fund both go bust on the same day that freedom ends and Al Qaeda wins the Terrorist’s War on Us.

Not that I Follow Such Things

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

…But apparently, in Hollywood, pregnant is the new super-thin and going to jail because of an act linked to a drug addiction, well that’s just what everyone is doing (Lohan, most prominently and publicly). Doing pregnancy and jail together, as Nicole Richie is about to, now that’s just plain trendsetting. Or so says HuffPo’s Verena von Pfetten, tongue firmly planted in her cheek.

Of course, Richie’s going for only four days (out of a possible 3 years), and was offered the pay-for-privacy cushy prison experience (which she declined; she will complete her sentence in the county jail). For most women who battle addiction and end up in jail because of their addictions alone (thousands each year and rising), jail is a lot less glamorous. Jail while pregnant is the nightmare that comes true for 7% of all incarcerated women.

"A Hell Exists On Earth? Yes. I Won’t Live In It."

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

I suppose it’s my job to report on such things, but seeing that Robin Givhan and the extremely desperate homeless person’s Robin Givhan are discussing Camille Paglia discussing Hillary Clinton’s decolletage, all I can say as that I’ll get to it just as soon as I watch every film in the oeuvres of Michael Bay and Tom Shadyac 10 times followed by a 24-hour loop of Yankeeography: Derek Jeter.

Sometimes, You Have To Return to the Classics

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

Fourteen-star general Ralph “Blood N’ Guts” Peters actually dusts off the “our inability to prevent massive gas truck suicide bombings that kill hundreds of people proves that…Al Qaeda is in its last throes and we’re winning” routine. And merits an approving link and quote, of course, from the most popular conservative blogger. These people really have no dignity. Or shame.

You Have The Right To Never Be Let Alone

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

I’m not sure why Gary is so worried that a broad array of federal and local officials will have access to satellite survey data with virtually no safeguards in place. After all, if the blogosphere is to be believed even “classical liberalism” now requires that branches of the government be self-policing and statements of state officials be taken at face value. So what’s the problem?

Ressentiment

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

It’s funny because it’s true!

Creeping Originalism

[ 0 ] August 16, 2007 |

It’s bad enough that we’re saddled with “originalism” as a theory of constitutional interpretation. But it takes Fred Hiatt & Co. to advance the argument that Congress should be bound by the “original intent” of past laws. What the hell?

Mark Tushnet argued in The New Constitutional Order that the key domestic norm of post-Great Society American constitutionalism was not so much “government can’t solve any problems” as “government can’t solve any more problems.” This would seem to be the reductio ad absurdum of this — Congress gets one crack at the civil rights apple, and if they want to adapt to new problems made clear by the bad judicial decisions of (WaPo-approved) justices, too bad! Bizarre.

Epic Poetry the Way it Should Be

[ 0 ] August 15, 2007 |

I don’t know how I missed The Wingnuttiad, but this is apparently how Thers has decided to conclude his summer vacation. Time well spent, I say. Here’s a sample:

Right Blog Wingnuts come in many flavors:
There are war-fiends, dopes, and homo-haters;
Photoshop fanatics, all full of phlegm,
Doggéd denouncers of the MSM!
Because they can bravely use the Google,
As they chew Cheetos and Toaster-Strudel –
“Fact-Checking” CBS with Wikipedia –
They squawk that they’re the Brand New Media:
“We’re all Fierce Foes of Islamofascism!”
The Wingnuts wail as they shake & spasm,
Their keyboards caked with weeks-old jism
(This is called “Cit’zen Journamalism.”)

Brilliant.

Richardson?

[ 0 ] August 15, 2007 |

So, I took this test; in order of finish, here are my results:

Bill Richardson
Mike Gravel
Barack Obama
Dennis Kucinich
Hillary Clinton
Chris Dodd
Ron Paul
Joe Biden
John Edwards
Mike Huckabee
Sam Brownback
John McCain
Tom Tancredo
Rudy Giuliani
Mitt Romney
Fred Thompson

Predictably, there was a substantial gap between Edwards and Huckabee. I’m kind of surprised Edwards was the lowest Democrat. Paul was so high because of foreign policy, I’m sure.

No Perfection in Presidential Politics

[ 0 ] August 15, 2007 |

I’ve expressed my frustration before (in posts I can’t seem to find right now) that none of the serious Dem. presidential candidates (apologies to Kucinich and Gravel) appear willing to take a stance against the Drug War or at least, more narrowly, against the 100-to-1 crack/cocaine sentencing disparity. I had hoped that Obama might prove me wrong. He hadn’t said anything about the issue on his webpage, but given that he is in many ways more progressive that Clinton (or at least, was before he got political consultanted into oblivion) and that he has a personal history of drug use (which perhaps necessitated a harder line stance on drugs), I still had some hope.

Disappointing, then to read today, via TalkLeft, that those hopes are dashed — or at least quelled. A Boston Globe column today exposes Obama’s ambivalence and equivocation with regard to drug war issues.

Though the candidate easily recognized that it was wrong to implement a 100-to-1 disparity in the first place, he backtracked when asked whether he would push to get rid of it as president (something Bush has – not surprisingly – opposed):

That vacillation became evident as he kept talking about crack-vs.-powder sentencing, which has come to symbolize racial injustice in criminal justice. He said that if he were to become president, he would support a commission to issue a report “that allows me to say that based on the expert evidence, this is not working and it’s unfair and unjust. Then I would move legislation forward.

Another useless study that would just get thrown on the pile of the thousands that have already demonstrated that the law is discriminatory and that it serves no legitimate penological purpose.

Obama claims that his priority is preventing young men and women from getting involved in the drug trade in the first place, at least in part by creating better economic opportunities for them. That’s an important — and worthy — goal. But the problem is larger than that; the crack sentencing disparity creates a cycle of using/dealing, arrest, and then release to use/deal again because of the amount of time served and lack of support upon release. Prevention is important. But it’s not, as Obama himself would say, the only place we should be spending our political capital.

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