Since we at Newstalgia take requests, I've had several over the past few weeks for some 80's bands. Needless to say, I ran across this concert from the BBC featuring 80's icons The Style Council and I didn't think twice.
A great band that didn't have the same appeal over here as they did in the UK, probably having more to do with the Thatcher Years and political statements germane to the UK than the U.S. - the whole concept behind The Style Council was taking the Punk/Mod ethos that was The Jam (Paul Weller's previous group) and weaving it into a highly conservative appearing setting, adapting that wonderful concept known as "taking the piss".
The result was wildly successful, but mostly misunderstood over here. Like I said, we didn't have Thatcher and our idea of class consciousness isn't the same. So it fell largely on perplexed ears.
But in 1984, Style Council were riding the crest of a wave and this concert captures them right there.
UPDATE: We just found out Sarah Palin (Quitty McQuitter) will be on -- Shock -- Fox News Sunday tomorrow morning. -- BG
Time for your weekly Driftglass and Bluegal podcast -- and high school sounds about exactly right when it comes to politics these days.
You can listen to past editions here and at http://dgbgpodcast.blogspot.com/, and the podcast is also available on i-Tunes. If you enjoy these as much as I do, donations are greatly appreciated. Please consider throwing five bucks in the hat.
Art Garfunkel left Paul Simon alone in New York to Go act in 1970's Catch-22. Simon wrote this song about being left behind, and susequently included it on the duo's final album Bridge Over Troubled Water.
As if the dispersants themselves weren't toxic enough, the 1.8 million gallons of Corexit 9500 (oil dispersant) sprayed on BP's spill in the Gulf of Mexico breaks down the oil, releasing some of the most toxic chemicals already in the oil into the water, dramatically increasing the toxicity of the spill.
Amid growing concern about the use of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico, a group of scientists working for law firms suing BP says their testing indicates that the dispersants being used to break up the oil are making this spill even more toxic to marine life.
Dr. William Sawyer, a toxicologist, is part of a team of scientists hired by law firms — led by Smith Stag of New Orleans — that are representing Louisiana fishermen and environmentalists.
The scientists collected and analyzed globs of oil, sand, and water from more than a dozen sites in four states along the Gulf.
Sawyer told NBC News that the findings are troubling. "We now have compelling evidence that the dispersant has enhanced and increased the toxicity from the spill," he said.
Last week, a group of independent scientists called for an "immediate halt" to the use of dispersants. In what was called a "consensus statement," they warned that dispersants pose "grave risks to marine life and human health." Read on...
Organizer Jeffrey Weingarten set the bar pretty low for the Uni-Tea diversity rally today, saying that if even one "other than white" person attended, they'd consider the event a success.
So I guess, by that standard, it was a success. There were at the very most 200 people, counting a couple dozen members of the press (it was hard to get a better count, since the area is also frequented by tourists there to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell).
The crowd was serenaded by The Bangers and their American Heroes and Patriots Tour™ (featuring appearances by Rita Cosby), a mediocre rock band with song lyrics like "Thank God for you/You protect us from terror."
The lead singer urged people go up to any veterans at the rally "and give him a big hug." Then he exhorted the crowd: "The left will never be right" and announced ear plugs would be distributed to the crowd "for the left ear only." (Get it?)
I walked around and talked to a few people in the sparse crowd. Linda Hertzog, 62, a housewife, lives in suburban West Chester, PA and is active in the Valley Forge Tea Party group.
"I'm here supporting my brothers and sisters," she said. "We're told we're a majority white organization, and we have African-American speakers here today. I wanted to support them."
She spoke of capitalism being "demonized" and insisted the reason corporations were sitting on record cash reserves was because of the "uncertainty" of Obama's policies. (And here, I find them predictably pro-corporate. Go figure!)
"How many people are in the stock market? We have to protect them," she said.
College student Matt Hissey, 21, and bartender Brendan Kissam, 25, are self-described gay conservatives. "Just because you're gay doesn't mean you have to be a liberal," Hissui said.
"I advocate a government so small, it can fit into a clutch purse at the Tonys," Kissam said. Oo, snap!
Hissey, a libertarian, is all for legalizing drugs -- but not gay marriage. (Something to do with Anglo-Saxon law and "morality.") Although a member of College Republicans, he said, he was frustrated. "The party's umbrellas is little, they don't want to expand."
Mark Hutchinson, 52, of Mays Landing, NJ, carried a New Jersey state flag. He's a retired chef who, unlike the other attendees I spoke to, has actually been concerned about constitutional issues for a while, through a militia-type website called LibertyandProsperity.org.
He's most concerned about government spending. When I asked which spending, he replied, "All of it. We don't need cash for clunkers, buying auto companies. This stimulus spending is nothing but a slush fund for Obama and his cronies."
I pointed out that war spending dwarfed all that, and asked why that didn't upset him. He sidestepped the question: "Congress needed to declare war. Congress abdicated its responsibilities."
While trying to talk to people who have such a narrow perspective does make my head hurt, I do identify with their sense of frustration. It's that to them, the solution is to embrace an extreme, uninformed ideology that dismisses nuance, and doesn't leave much room for common ground. (It's very disorienting to talk to people who have more sympathy for corporations than the unemployed.)
The right wing supplies them with a consistent narrative that validates their worldview, and as I walked away, I thought that it was a damned shame progressives didn't get there first.
Despite protective parents who worked hard to keep her out of the public spotlight, we still remember watching Chelsea Clinton grow up. Maybe that's why some of us still feel a little protective of her, too. When Rush Limbaugh held up a picture of her at 13 and called her "the White House dog," we were furious at his cruelty.
When Bill and Hillary's marriage was on the rocks, I think all of us felt for the young girl in the middle:
By all accounts a smart, well-mannered girl, she seems to have grown up into a wonderful young woman. I don't know about you, but I was impressed at how easily she moved into the public eye for her mother's presidential campaign -- and then moved right back into her private life.
It can't be easy, being the only child of two such powerful personalities. But Chelsea has pulled it off with considerable grace, and I hope you'll join me in wishing her only the best on her wedding day.
(P.S. Because this is C&L, and some commenters are always negative, I'll point out that the rumors about this being a $3 million wedding are untrue. Feel better now?)
That's the jaw-dropping conclusion of a recent study by the study by the Center for American Progress. Thanks to the Republicans' historic use of Filibusters, anonymous holds, and other obstructionist tactics, President Obama's confirmation rate is "falling off a cliff." The CAP assessment of data from the Congressional Research Service, the Justice Department and the Senate Judiciary Committee found that:
Such tactics are completely unprecedented, and so are their results. Fewer than 43 percent of President Obama's judicial nominees have so far been confirmed, while past presidents have enjoyed confirmation rates as high as 93 percent. And President Obama's nominees have been confirmed at a much slower rate than those of his predecessor--nearly 87 percent of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees were confirmed.
To be sure, the Republicans' successful rearguard action is helping to preserve conservative dominance of the federal judiciary. But with its sluggish pace of nominations, the Obama administration isn't helping itself.
I swear on all that is sacred to any of you that what I'm about to write is true. I have to say that up front because even in the bizarro world that is politics, this story is still right out of outer space.
Let's say there was a district in Michigan where a Republican (Mike Rogers) barely won his seat in a special election back in 2000 when Senator Debbie Stabenow won her seat. Like, he won by 111 votes or so. And let's say that the same Republican has won every election since largely because no candidate has really stepped up to challenge in a meaningful way.
In this story, said district (MI-08) is an interesting mix of progressive and militia types, but overall, the district went 2-1 for Obama in 2008.
In 2010, you'd think it might be worth trying to target said district and Mike Rogers for a Democratic win. Here's how it plays, via Swing State Project:
Earlier this year, a young guy named Kande Ngalamulume (he was born in Zaire, now known as the Congo) decided to take a shot. No political experience, he'd lived outside of Michigan since 2002. His biggest claim to fame was having been a track star at Michigan State.
Then it turns weird:
Unfortunately, after finding a lack of financial support (he had only raised a total of around $25,000 or so, I believe), he dropped out of the race on June 2--and not only did so in a very public manner (via email press release), but did so several weeks after the filing deadline...and then left the state.
I guess Rick Sanchez thinks those with ties to white supremacists groups like FAIR are "respectable". Maybe someone should ask him to talk to Rachel Maddow first about what type of questions he should be asking and how you should be portraying Dan Stein if he doesn't want to make himself look like he's trying to put a smiley face on this man's extremism.
FAIR, an organization that has been dominated for much of its life by its racist founder John Tanton, has probably done more to inject fear and bigotry into the national immigration debate than any other modern organization. Its demonizing propaganda, aimed primarily at Latinos, comes at a time when the number of hate groups continues a decade-long rise, fueled by anti-Latino hatred. At the same time, the FBI reported a 40% rise in anti-Latino hate crimes between 2003 and 2007. Those crimes decreased slightly in 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available.
What follows is a list of factors that resulted in the listing of FAIR as a hate group. More detailed information on FAIR and its founder may be found here and here. Read on...
Why someone of Latino background like Sanchez would like to give this extremist some cover is beyond me, but his show is always pretty much milk toast even when he pretends like he's going to get tough with a guest, so there's not much of a surprise here with this pathetic interview which is just pretty well business as usual for him.
SANCHEZ: All right. You heard Darrell Issa and I having this conversation a little while ago. This is an important conversation, because it's circular and it keeps going back to the very same place. And it seems silly at times. But there are people who, now, are serious-minded enough to try and come up with some kind of -- some kind of cooperative system that creates an immigration legislation for the United States.
However, and this is very important, can he find that cooperation from others? And I want to introduce you to somebody now. It's a lot harder to do what Darrell Issa was saying he wants to do when you try -- when you have to try and convince some of those on the anti- immigration front. Folks like FAIR who are very respectable in their opinion but they're very, very strident in their opinion about this.
So, I want you to hear now from that side of the story. Here's Dan Stein. He's the leader of this group.
STEIN: The basic problem, Rick, is that, you know, you're hung up on this amnesty concept. Do you think the amnesty issue is what's preventing progress at the federal level?
STEIN: That's not the case. Clearly, everybody on our side opposes amnesty.
The issue here --
SANCHEZ: So, wait, hold on, hold on, hold on. You just said everybody on our side opposes amnesty. Let me just be clear about what you just said.
Are you saying when you say that to the American people, everybody on our side opposes any legislation that would allow someone presently living in the United States who's not legal to in any way have a path to citizenship so that he can acquire residency?
STEIN: Well, if the person can acquire it through lawful means like marriage to a U.S. citizen or what-have-you, but, you know, if they've fallen out of status, willfully disregarded U.S. immigration law, I wouldn't have given Obama's aunt asylum for example.
Look, the laws are laws. Laws matter. It is impossible for somebody to live here illegally, violating immigration law and not violate a lot of other laws as well, tax laws, withholding laws, involving fraudulent documents --
Admittedly, it's a little hard to see, but you can see the full thing here at GOP.gov (.pdf).
And again, I must ponder whether the Republican Party is truly this clueless when they opt to illustrate their booklet of summer activities for Republican members of Congress with photos of Denis and Margaret Thatcher, Lech Walesa, Ike and Mamie Eisenhower, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Winston Churchill and Jack Kemp. Let's see--they've used three foreign leaders (including one fervent labor organizer and Iraq War critic) and three (four, if you count Teddy Roosevelt bringing up the rear at the bottom of the page) American Republican politicians who have all long since passed away. This is "treading boldly"? They can't even find a living Republican to hold up? And really, Jack Kemp? What's that about? A fairly undistinguished House career, two failed presidential campaigns and then finally Secretary of Housing and Urban Development--this is the coverboy for the Republican Party's plan to sway those all important "independent" voters for the mid-term elections?
But wait, it gets better. Take a look at page 6, where they outline a typical August calendar: it is literally re-tweeting the RNC talking points. That's it. The booklet recommends holding town halls and setting up media interviews...but never forgetting their daily re-tweet.
Amazing. We're in the midst of two wars, the most severe economic dire straits since the Great Depression, and we have lunatics of the right wing noise machine all but directly calling for armed revolution and the GOP's answer is for its members to log on to Twitter.
The second half of the booklet is ostensibly the GOP's platform. Are you surprised to learn that it's heavy on spin and provable falsehoods: "Most Americans do not want a government takeover of health care that was forced upon them and would like to see it replaced with common sense solutions that lower costs and protect jobs." and light on actual solutions (lower taxes! less regulation! repeal health care! That's it in a nutshell.). Energy is barely mentioned except as a way to point out those mean old Democrats' onerous regulations on energy is a job killer.
In fact, there's a distinct lack of anything of substance in the kit. No discussion of immigration reform, other than the meaningless "secure the borders." Calls to reduce the size of government without the honesty to admit that it grew under their majority during Bush. Calls to stop runaway spending without acknowledging their own profligate ways.
There's enough cognitive dissonance in that kit to keep an analyst busy for years.