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(some balance for “Family Tree”)

h/t daily cafe + video

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Here’s my suggestion for a Tea Party anthem

I’m not kidding.

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Alexey Terehoff

UPDATE: Here’s a version of “Capital” with subtitles – you may have to watch it full screen in order to read them: I’ve kept the I believe higher quality Vimeo version below (tho if you click on 720p on the

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Put on your bangles, frogs

Wanted to explore subtitling anyway, plus I was sorely disappointed that the version of “Alif Allah Chambey Di Booty” with real-time English language subtitles disappeared from YouTube. It will take a good long while for the video to load once

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Meesha Shafi, Chori Chori

(the frog isn’t the only one here who can post music videos just because)   Translation:

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America’s Least Needed

Howard Portnoy: Kill each other over money and white boys for fun. That line, in case anyone missed it in a previous column on the topic, comes from rapper Common’s song “Don’t Come My Way.” It is a blatantly racist

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Feelin good anyway

Odd coincidence.  Nina Simone happened to come up in brief discussion last night in relation to a headline item.  First time, probably, she was ever mentioned on this blog.  Turns out it was the anniversary of her death: Nina Simone,

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East-West Past-Future Materialist-Spiritualist Fusion

I know I should be coming up with a Thanskgiving message – how about “Thanks for sticking around!”? – or watching football, or cleaning up the house while preparing to head out for the family shindig.  Instead, I found myself

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It’s strange, sure is strange

New possibility for Tea Party campaign song, especially given the latest Christine O’Donnell revelations, based on Bill Maher’s boffo tape from O’Donnell’s appearance on Politically Incorrect in 1999: O’DONNELL: I dabbled into witchcraft — I never joined a coven. But

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From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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