Cue Thomas Dolby!

August 30, 2011

From Talking Points Memo (couldn’t get the pesky thing to embed, for some reason). Fox News host tells Bill Nye, the Science Guy, that he is “confusing” viewers on global warming:

What? Global warming? Whaaaaat?

As Rep. Earl Frederick Landgrebe (R-IN), said during the Watergate hearings, “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

As for Thomas . . .

She Blinded Me With Science



August 28, 1963, one of the great moments in American history

August 28, 2011

On the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, an estimated 250,000 people came from all across the country to the National Mall, to hear speakers and performers make an impassioned call to America’s conscience. It is remembered as a watershed moment in the Civil Rights movement, creating momemtum that would eventually push the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act through a stubborn racist roadblock in Congress and into law, changing the dynamics of American politics for the next 50 years. The modern conservative movement was born in the backlash against civil rights, and continues to play to racism even today.

The high point, as history has written it, was the “I Have a Dream” speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As the story has it, King was winding up his prepared remarks when gospel singer Marian Anderson, sitting nearby, leaned over and said, “Tell `em about the dream, Martin.” King then launched into the bold, lyrical, extemporaneous finale that has become one of the most famous pieces of public address in history.

But the March was not just about rights for African-Americans. Organized by A. Philip Randolph A great American, the founder and president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the March was about economic as well as political and social freedom.

Ron Brownstein, of the National Journal, wrote a column last week reminding us of this legacy – Brownstein – King\'s Echo

Background – Wikipedia entry on The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom



August 27, 2011

Just about every blog in the country has updates on Irene, so you don’t need me for that. Daily Kos has particularly good coverage, and, of course, all the MSM websites.

Irene is supposed to mean Peace

But, sitting here, about 25 miles NW of DC, we’ve had steady rain, now harder than before, since noon, and what began as a more-or-less gentle late-summer shower has picked up force, with the wind tossing the trees around – they remind me of the thistles performing the Russian dance in Fantasia:

Forecast is for up to a half-inch of rain per hour overnight. Flash flood warnings all over. This in the wake of our 5.8 earthquake this past Tuesday.

Our main worry, out here, is that the power will go out. Our local power company, known far and wide for its lack of maintenance of its infrastructure, has already been warning of outages that could last days. Lovely. But at least we’re not in the crosshairs, like my friends in NYC. BTW, several NYT writers and Mayor Bloomberg’s office are tweeting vigorously on this.

UPDATE – True to form, Republicans alternately demand federal spending cuts in exchange for disaster relief while blaming Obama for cutting FEMA funding. Fox: it\'s all the fault of that job-killing socialist Muslim who wasn\'t born here


Late Night Listening with Dire Straits

August 27, 2011

Like most American males, I grew up wanting to be either a professional athlete – baseball player, in my case – or a musician. Didn’t make either. But if I’m ever reincarnated as the former, I want someone to play this as they run my highlight reel. If I come back as the latter, this is one of the songs I want to play . . . .

“Walk of Life”


New Green Scissors report

August 27, 2011

Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Public Citizen, and The Heartland Institute have released this year’s “Green Scissors” report, an annual analysis of wasteful government spending that also harms our environment.

The first Green Scissors came out 16 years ago, and since then, the case against wasteful public spending that also hurts the environment. The 2011 report identifies more than $380 billion in wasteful government subsidies that are damaging to the
environment and harming taxpayers.

2011 Green Scissors


There are some things we should never forget

August 24, 2011

And the depth to which the evil of racism gripped our country for so long (which still lives in the roots of the politics of the Right) is one of them. There has been a spate of news reports about President Obama hanging Norman Rockwell’s famous painting “The Problem We All Live With,” depicting US Marshalls escorting 6-year-old Ruby Bridges to a de-segregated elementary school in New Orleans in 1960 in the White House near the Oval Office.

The Problem We All Live With

If memory serves (I was only three years older than Ms. Bridges), this first appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in early 1964.

I criticize Obama a lot – heck, outright trash him sometimes, not that he notices – but this I applaud. Perhaps it will be a reminder . . . .


RIP, Jerry Leiber

August 24, 2011

I should have posted on this sooner. Jerry Leiber, one of the greatest pop music lyricists, passed away Monday.

NYT Leiber obit

Richard Corliss at Time has an appreciation – Corliss on Leiber

And Rolling Stone has a 1990 interview with the team posted – Stone on Leiber and Stoller