God rest her soul

I am with Josh Marshall on this one- watching the SOTU is like hitting yourself with a hammer. Why bother?

I was chatting with Agent Little Bird, however, and he mentioned that Bush invoked the name of Coretta Scott King.

Let me just say this…
Imagine George Bush in 1965 seeing Coretta or MLK on television.
Just transport yourself back to Yale right about that time and into his room at the frat house and MLK is on the radio.


What do you think he would have said?

I bet ol’ Little Boots was a real Friend of the Negro, back in those heady days, don’t you?

I am starting to think that firing people isn’t enough

I think we might need to bring Michael Brown to some sort of rough justice.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Federal emergency officials failed to accept offers of possibly life-saving aid from the Department of Interior immediately after Hurricane Katrina, according to documents obtained by CNN.

The Interior Department offered the Federal Emergency Management Agency the use of personnel who were experienced in water rescues and also offered boats, helicopters, heavy equipment and rooms, the documents say.

And FEMA, of course, refused.

But, he observed, “Were there federal assets that were not used in Katrina? Of course.”

The Interior Department offered FEMA 500 rooms, 119 pieces of heavy equipment, 300 dump trucks and other vehicles, 300 boats, 11 aircraft and 400 law enforcement officers, according to a questionnaire answered by a department official.

I think we should revisit the Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome People for 2005, in particular these paragraphs:

Exhibit A: In subsequent communications, Brown asked, “Can I quit now? Can I come home?” and complained about trouble finding a dog sitter. With almost comical indifference to those actually suffering, he wrote: “I’m trapped now, please rescue me.”

Sentence: What else? Dehydrated, starved, and slowly baked to death on a Ninth Ward rooftop while repeatedly buzzed by news helicopters. Body secretly recovered and incinerated by Blackwater operatives as part of a Cheney-initiated campaign to keep casualty figures artificially low.

Really, it’s almost too good for him.

And so it finally begins…

The Enron trial begins today.

HOUSTON – Of the more than 100 potential jurors slated to pack a cavernous federal courtroom in Houston Monday, attorneys must ferret out a dozen who aren’t already convinced that Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling are crooks and liars.

That’s gonna be a tough one.

It’ll be interesting to see if Ken Lay doesn’t start blabbing on the stand about the Cheney Energy Task Force and Iraq. I wonder if the White House is set at MPF (Maximum Pucker Factor) as this thing kicks off.

It will also be interesting to see if there’s any high-handedness on the part of the Bush Justice Department.

I think that this about sums it up

Wolcott pointed me to this interview last night. This interview with Emmanuel Todd was conducted by Le Figaro, just after the Katrina disaster glaringly pointed up the failure of the Bush Administration (and the country as a whole) to marshall its forces in any meaningful way to save New Orleans.

This is the money paragraph, in my opinion.

Would such a crisis be the consequence of Bush Administration policy, which you stigmatize for its paternalistic and social Darwinism aspects? Or would its causes be more structural?

American neo-conservatism is not alone to blame. What seems to me more striking is the way this America that incarnates the absolute opposite of the Soviet Union is on the point of producing the same catastrophe by the opposite route. Communism, in its madness, supposed that society was everything and that the individual was nothing, an ideological basis that caused its own ruin. Today, the United States assures us, with a blind faith as intense as Stalin’s, that the individual is everything, that the market is enough and that the state is hateful. The intensity of the ideological fixation is altogether comparable to the Communist delirium. This individualist and inequalitarian posture disorganizes American capacity for action. The real mystery to me is situated there: how can a society renounce common sense and pragmatism to such an extent and enter into such a process of ideological self-destruction? It’s a historical aporia to which I have no answer and the problem with which cannot be abstracted from the present administration’s policies alone. It’s all of American society that seems to be launched into a scorpion policy, a sick system that ends up injecting itself with its own venom. Such behavior is not rational, but it does not all the same contradict the logic of history. The post-war generations have lost acquaintance with the tragic and with the spectacle of self-destroying systems. But the empirical reality of human history is that it is not rational.

This echoes, in more specific terms, arms inspector Scott Ritter’s question, “Are you a citizen or a consumer?”

This celebration of the myth of Total Self-Reliance and its corollary set of values (“I got mine”-ism) is at the heart of the commodification of American life. There is this tacit assumption that drives consumerism: Happiness can be purchased. If, for some reason, one is too poor to buy happiness, then you’ve somehow failed as a citizen. Unions? “Pointless Bolshevism.” Societal safety net? “What, are you too lazy to go out and earn a living?” Mass transportation? “Can’t you get yourself a car?” The reduction of society to a collection of individual consumers is, I think, the great post-World War 2 trend which will eventually be the breeched levee that drowns us all.

Y’know what you need?

You need this dog….

Chewie, a 16-month-old Lab mix with a cute wrinkle down the middle of her forehead, needs a loving home. You can see from the photos that she is brindled (peanut butter and chocolate colors). She weighs about 60 pounds, and is short and stout — not tall-bodied, like many Labs. She’s extraordarily affectionate, and loves cuddling on the couch. She’s a well-mannered (“girlie”) dog who sits, fetches, and stays. She’s also crate trained. All her shots are up to date. For more information, contact Melinda Hawley at mhawley@gsc.edu or Carlie at 706.254.5171 or carlielynne@yahoo.com.


Friday Random Ten, ‘I have such good taste’ edition

1. Led Zeppelin – “Your Time is Gonna Come” : From the first Led Zep album, when they still thought they were some kind of blues band, which worked very well for them. Since Robert Plant didn’t think he was some sort of “younge blonde godde” yet, and he was still feeling a little skinny, English and not from Mississippi, he reels it in enough for the rest of the band, especially The God of Drums to shine through. Nice to hear this again, after years away from LZ1. (7/10 – docked at least one point just because we know that “The Song Remains the Same” is in their future, and our past…. argh)

2. Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On?” : This is the 1960s, to me. You can blab about Haight-Ashbury all you want, and I will give you that a couple of those Santana songs hold up, but this album, to me, is the sound of the world being changed for the better. How could one album be about the dissolution of a marriage, the death of Martin Luther King, emancipation from the heavy hand of Barry Gordy and the Viet Nam war, and STILL be so uplifting? Pure genius. (10/10)

3. Stevie Wonder – “Living for the City” : Oh, man. Possibly my favorite Stevie Wonder song ever. (My wife will tell you that I say that no matter WHAT Stevie Wonder song is playing. It’s not true. If it’s “I just called to say I love you….” well, ok, the 1980s happened to all of us, right?) When I was nine, I had this little avocado colored portable radio. One day, I turned it on, and there were three stations playing Stevie Wonder songs at the same time. I remember for a while that I thought that Stevie Wonder must be like some sort of king that all the other musicians had to obey. I am not sure if that’s not true. “Last call for New York City!” “Hey, bus driver!” Brilliant. (10/10)

4. Mclusky – “Gareth Brown Says…” : Well, ok. They can’t all rule. Mcluskey is a Welsh punk band with a bit of Pixies obsession. Not a bad band, and I would sure enjoy seeing them live, but they broke up, and this isn’t really one of their standout tunes, like “Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues” or “Fuck this Band,” so (6/10)

5. the Kleptones – “Listen” : for the uninitiated, the Kleptones is/are a DJ or several DJs who mash together hip hop songs and Queen songs for “Night at the Hip-Hopera” or hip hop songs and an entire Flaming Lips album in the case of “Yoshimi Battles the Hip Hop Robots.” This track is from the former. You can only find this stuff if you know where to look on the internet, since it’s totally illegal to sell someone else’s work as your own. They do it for the love of music and fun juxtapositions. This is a mashup of The Beastie Boy’s “Root Down” and some song from “Night at the Opera,” though I don’t know that album well enough to know which. Not the Kleptones’ strongest effort, especially compared to the “Slim Shady”/”Bicycle” mashup. (7/10)

6. The Clash – “Clampdown” : Don’t ask me about this album and this song, just ask an expert.

A song like the massive “Clampdown” shifts naturally through three sections: the four huge, descending chords big enough to open a season at Bayreuth; the dancing, pendulous rock of the verses; and the taunting funk of the bridge. The song fades away in a vamp that sounds like disco, so light you might get the impression the band had forgotten everything they’d just sung about: institutional racism, political brainwashing, and the creeping compromise of working life. “You start wearing the blue and brown / You’re working for the clampdown / So you got someone to boss around / It makes you feel big now.” The hectoring is never so simple that you don’t wonder if they’re directing it partly at themselves.


7. Johnny Cash – “Flesh and Blood” : An obscure track by the Man in Black. This isn’t one of those that’s obscure for a reason, fortunately. I have found that occasionally both Johnny and Ray Charles get swamped by their arrangers. This is just the standard Nashville studio band- piano, guitar, bass, drums and the sweet, sweet sounds of the Jordanaires. Still, not Johnny’s best song. However, still Johnny…. (8.5/10)

8. Charlie Chaplain – “Ruffian” : Rubbery bass line, drums dry as a box of thumbtacks, rhythmic and unintelligible chanting? Must be underground dancehall! Don’t ask me why I love this stuff so much, but it’s like crack to me. I can’t give it up. This is a really perfect track for my dancehall needs, too- It’s just got that feel- remote and exotic enough for me to feel challenged and funky enough to make my head bob. (8/10)

9. Babatunde Olatunji – “Jin-Go-La-Ba” Former Nigerian diplomatic functionary turned Yoruba ambassador to America and Europe, Babatunde is sort of the roots and fundamentals teacher to thousands of ethnically curious kids who want to know more about Nigerian drumming. I did some drum clinics with Babatunde back in the early ’90s. This song is the Yoruba chant that got carried across the ocean to Cuba and became a part of the Santaria liturgy. It was later adapted into a rock song by Carlos Santana and called “Jingo.” This version is a little thin sounding, compared to that, and I have never shaken the odd impression I got when I went to one of Olatunji’s clinics, and his whole entourage of players were dreadlocked and vaguely unkempt looking American 20-somethings. Babatunde was the only Nigerian in the room. I dunno… just got an odd feeling about his operation from that day forward. (6/10)

10. Radiohead – “Sail to the Moon” : Just another slice of ice-cream cake from the masters of cold confection, Radiohead. I love this band, and the way that they evoke the “I don’t think these drugs are making me feel better” haze of barely-treated depression. Why do I love these songs so much? I think it’s partly that I can (finally) be a tourist in that world and feel melancholy without feeling like I am going to die from sadness and partly that they are just a fantastic band… (8/10)

My music collection has exploded since I got my iPod. I have been ripping CDs as fast as I can get them out of the drawer and into the powerbook. Plan on some real stinkers popping up at some point. I know they’re in there….

Holy shit, they must have finally dropped…

Kerry’s suddenly showing some stone, folks.

It’s a-looking like a filibuster. Call your senators!

I just got off the phone with two very frosty young women at Sen. Isakson’s (R-Treblinka) and Sen. Chambliss’ (R-Hell) offices. Well, my voice was heard, if only for a second or two, and then ignored.

One day, I want to be this cool

I have told before that I look like him, but really, what matters is…. one day I want to be this cool

At 2am bar staff refused to serve any more alcohol. Undaunted, Kiefer persuaded management to let them loose in the lobby.

He ordered yet more booze on room service, then staggered around the entrance hall, entertaining pals with a bizarre, flailing breakdancing routine.

It was then that a huge Christmas tree caught his eye.

“I hate that f***ing Christmas tree,” he declared. “The tree HAS to come down.”

Kiefer warned staff: “I’m smashing it – can I pay for it?”

A staff member replied: “I’m absolutely sure you can, sir.”

The Lost Boys star – famously ditched by Julia Roberts five days before their wedding in 1991 – then hurled himself into the Norwegian Spruce, sending baubles and lights crashing to the ground. Pulling pine needles out of his hair and t-shirt, he said to a hotel employee: “Ooh sorry about that…you’re so cool. This f***ing hotel rocks.”