The Audacity of Taupe: President Obama wore a summer tan suit at his press conference on Thursday and I gather that this is not only news, but something of a cause celebre in Tea Party Nation. A Tan Suit, people. If you are a journalist actually paying attention to this, I need you to ask yourself now if you are why Americans seriously distrust their media. But when Eternally Outraged Congressman (ed. Peter King) Not Trying to Be ‘Trivial,’ But Doesn’t Think Obama’s Tan Suit Was Appropriate is making a fuss, I guess knee jerk coverage is in store, laundering this thing into some legitimacy that just looks bad for the liberal media that is actually covering this. (Be sure to click the link to NY Mag to see Peter King rockin’ his tan suit next to Gerry Adams. Then tell me who looks statesmanlike there.) And to all of the badly dressed teajhadists who think that a tan suit is a THING:
Two conservative groups commissioned a poll and found that women think that the GOP is “intolerant”. Ya think? YA THINK???
The report found that women think the GOP is “intolerant” and “stuck in the past,” and that women are “barely receptive” to Republican policies. Women think Republicans “fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live.”
“This lack of understanding and acknowledgment closes many minds to Republican policy solutions,” the report reads, according to Politico.
Gov. Chris Christie’s administration openly acknowledged that more New Jersey taxpayer dollars were going to land in the coffers of major financial institutions. It was 2010, and Christie had just installed a longtime private equity executive, Robert Grady, to manage the state’s pension money. Grady promoted a plan to put more of those funds into riskier investments managed by Wall Street firms. Though this would entail higher fees, Grady said the strategy would “maximize returns while appropriately managing risk.”
Four years later, New Jersey has secured only half the promised results. The state has sent more pension money to big-name Wall Street firms like Blackstone, Third Point, Omega Advisors, Elliott Associates and Grady’s old firm, The Carlyle Group. Additionally, the amount of fees the state pays financial managers has more than tripled since Christie assumed office. New Jersey is now one of America’s largest investors in hedge funds.
In the category of It Couldn’t Happen to a Better Group of People: Australian comedian Adam Hills throws a hilarious challenge to the Westboro Rat Bastards after learning that the WBC was planning to picket Robin Williams’ funeral — he suggested that they go to Iraq (via First Class tickets he’d pay for) to protest the beheading of Christians who are being forced to convert by ISIS :
More Ferguson, to be filed in the Annals of Really Bad Policing — video of a cop in last night’s protests in Ferguson of a cop waving his weapon at peaceful protesters telling them that ” I will fucking kill you!” There are two videos here — one of the cop threatening the protester and a clearer one of the cop and the other cop who caught up to him to get him to lower his weapon. Seriously, this cop doesn’t look angry — he looks scared to death. In a group of people with their hands up (and often you can see the light of smartphones filming), folks. No wonder he didn’t want to give his name.
Have you been following the #iftheygunnedmedown campaign? As the conversation has evolved this week about how Americans see its black men, it is black men (and women) who have taken to Twitter to ask the question: Which picture of me would the media and authorities use to represent me if I was gunned down by the police today? Here are a few of them:
I’m really stunned at this evening’s news that Robin Williams died today, apparently of suicide. Many years ago I saw him in a Kansas City club — the second show. He was on a tear, and the audience was falling off of their chairs laughing. By the time they got to the club’s closing time, Williams had a ton of energy and the audience was game to stay — so the owner closed the club, charged people $5 or something (so he could claim it was a private club since he was keeping the bar open) and Williams went on for at least two hours more. And it was really interactive too — not only was he conversing with patrons (and then riffing off of the conversations), but he took suggestions for routines. Mostly from Shakespeare. It was utterly hysterical and really smart — you could tell that he knew the work he was riffing off of. I can’t imagine what he has been experiencing, but I know depression can be brutal. Even if you are someone that the world loved so very much.
Delaware has convened a study panel to see if there is a way to get electricity to you cheaper than Delmarva can sell it. See if you can spot the irony:
Electricity aggregation programs, already in use in some states, allow governments or communities to negotiate for and buy power in a block for residents, with the group potentially able to get a better deal than the “standard offer” available from utilities.
In Delaware, the block could be as large as 900 megawatts annually, a deal that [Sen. Colin] Bonini said could draw spirited bidding from large and “very smart” suppliers.
Delmarva Power officials said they still were puzzling over the proposal Wednesday, when a study committee chaired by Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock held an initial public meeting in Dover. The committee agreed to hire a consultant to assess potential gains, prospective supplier markets and other considerations.
“There are other jurisdictions throughout the country that have looked at retail purchase energy models both for gas and electric,” Bonini said. “We’re looking specifically at electric.”
It’s August, y’all, and the southbound portion of I-495 is OPEN for traffic, one month early. Thank DelDOT and union workers today.
So conservatives who simply cannot live in the Reality Based Community created their own version of Facebook. It is called Reaganbook — the “Facebook for Patriots”. Somehow these conservatives feel that they are being censored and hounded off of Facebook and they need their own social network. (There is nothing more appalling or more hysterical than conservatives who think they are being persecuted.) That site was recently pre-launched and that failed launch was subject to serious take-backs:
How much more proof do you need that these wingnuts are over their heads? This fool of a Congressman from Florida (GOP, naturally) thinks that the State Department and Commerce Department employees sitting in front of him are actually representatives of the government of India. Apparently because it can’t be possible for the US Government […]
The Cape Henlopen School District is feeling the heat (it seems) over their decision to remove one book — The Miseducation of Cameron Post–from their summer reading list, so they decided to abolish the reading list all together. It wasn’t enough that they banned the first book without even reading it (they googled it and saw the controversy– gasp) OR even talking to the teachers’ group that put the book on the list. And as far as I can tell, they took this decision to abolish the summer reading list again without talking to a single soul responsible for curriculum. If I’m a parent in this District, I’m making the replacement of this entire school board crew a priority. Because they are pretty clearly incompetent. Apparently this move is meant to avoid actions by the ACLU, but certainly isn’t about helping students maintain some learning readiness.
Over the years, Biden has acquired a singular place in the pop culture of American politics. In a White House that privileges self-containment, Biden ambles between exuberant and self-defeating. He was barely in the West Wing before the Onion declared, in a headline, “SHIRTLESS BIDEN WASHES TRANS AM IN WHITE HOUSE DRIVEWAY,” establishing a theme—“Amtrak Joe,” the hell-raiser at the end of the bar—that is so enduring that it obscures the fact that he is a lifelong teetotaller. (Too many alcoholics in his family, he says. He grew up sharing a room with his mother’s brother, and recalled of the experience, “Even as kids, we noticed Uncle Boo-Boo drank a bit heavily.”)
Instead of raging against the indignities of the Vice-Presidency, Biden luxuriates in the job. Perched in his chair during the State of the Union address, peering down on his former congressional colleagues, Biden makes a pistol out of his finger and thumb, and blasts away, winking and gunning with no evident irony. Last year, C-SPAN taped him getting ready to swear in new senators. He greeted each senator’s family with frisky enthusiasm. To the old ladies, he’d say, “You’ve got beautiful eyes, Mom, holy mackerel.” To the young women: “Remember—no serious guys till you’re thirty!” To the little kids in their Sunday best: “Take care of your grandfather. Your most important job.” The full package—the Ray-Ban aviators, the shameless schmalz, the echoes of the Fonz—has never endeared him to the establishment, but it lends him an air of authenticity that is rare in his profession. It has also produced a whiff of cult appeal, such that his image now has more in common with Betty White than with John Boehner. In May, after a teen-ager invited Biden to her prom, he replied with a corsage and a handwritten note encouraging her to “enjoy your prom as much as I did mine.” On Twitter, people went affectionately berserk.
Very good — one more rant by Oliver showing how a nation of strivers are too busy striving to make sure that rich people aren’t paying taxes:
This is a good weekend, I’m putting off the house work activity (or I’m going to save this for some office timewasting on Monday) — The Delaware Test was created by some Delaware denizens of Reddit. It’s a bunch of questions, including a fair number of political ones. Take it and tell us: 1) your score; 2) what you think of these questions and 3) what question is missing.
New York Magazine presents a piece noting that the longstanding alliance between Teacher’s unions and Democrats may be close to over. That might make some sense, really — Democrats have been at the forefront of initiatives that specifically work at dismantling the public school system and also scapegoating teachers for a multitude of longstanding problems in schools. I’m a fan of unions exercising their political power — especially since it looks like even that is under threat. I’m not sure about the best way to go about that, but it is time to stop accommodating AND providing contributions and boots on the ground while getting nothing in return:
I had a great time last night and it was great to see everyone! Hope we’ll do another DL get-together soon.
Here are two long reads for this great Sunday Morning — this piece (in Politico, but may be the best thing they’ve ever published) is from Nick Hanauer — firmly ensconced in the 1% — talking about the trainwreck to come if income inequality isn’t dealt with. This is a brilliant — and scathing — piece. He reminds us that this kind of income inbalance is at the fulcrum of alot of painful upheaval, that supply-side economics isn’t working, and that those business interests who continue to agitate for supply-side policy are arguing for long-term failure.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution. [...]
Here’s another great read: Tea Party’s embarrassing irony: How its ideal nation rejects basic American beliefs. This has been pretty plain to most of us who have been watching these folks have their temper tantrum, but:
What I’d argue, rather, is that the Tea Party’s philosophy of government (again, as understood by Salam) has embedded within it an aversion to basic democratic principles that goes far beyond a typical contempt for Washington, politicians and pundits. When Salam writes that Teatopia is founded on a commitment to a “robust federalism” intended to let “different states … offer different visions of the good life” and allow citizens to “vote with their feet” by moving to whichever state best reflects their values, he’s not describing a common aversion to corruption or a distaste for political theater. He’s describing a childish and essentially anti-political belief that a return to an Articles of Confederation-style U.S. order — in which each state is more of a sovereign unto itself than a member of a larger American whole — will produce 50 mini-nations where everyone basically agrees.
Yes! It’s Friday! And tonight and tomorrow night are your last chances to attend the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Tonite’s headliner is Ariel Larrieux and tomorrow’s headliner is Brian Culbertson. Grab your chair and head down to Rodney Square — this is one of the truly fantastic events in Wilmington and an awesome way to spend an evening. Or Saturday afternoon AND evening!
This Sunday’s NJ has a great series on the heroin problem in Delaware which is the perfect study in how the community most affected by an addiction changes the terms of the discussion of that drug. I read that series (and I don’t have a critique of it) and wondered all the way through how this would be addressed if they were talking about crack cocaine. The thing that is important to know is that our drug problem — all of them — is primarily a public health problem and we should be working at this level of sympathy and concern for community for all drug problems, not just heroin.
An 89-year-old British World War II veteran who went missing from his retirement home was found in France enjoying a D-Day anniversary get-together with former comrades, police said Friday.
Bernard Jordan slipped out of The Pines care home in the seaside town of Hove in southern England on Thursday wearing his medals under his raincoat.
The former Royal Navy officer then joined a coach party heading for events marking the 70th anniversary of the landings at Ouistreham in Normandy, northern France.
It is a gorgeous Saturday! What are you doing on this near perfect day? There’s lots of house projects going on here.
Over at the Daily Kos, we discover an interesting recent poll done by the Robert Sage Foundation. This poll purports to have surveyed the 1% as well as the 99% to compare attitudes to various government and political programs. (NOTE: I can’t find the actual poll results, so no idea what the internals look like. Meaning I have no idea how they define the 1%, or how the screened for this, or even the sample size. FYI) But take a look: