Monday, May 31, 2010


John Conyers, via Howie...
As of 10:06 a.m., Sunday, May 30th, the United States will have spent $1 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As of now, millions more.


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Like rain on your wedding day...

...except I think this is actual irony. Via Litbrit, a BP ad from 1999...

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As always, I wish you well...

...but there's nothing "happy" about Memorial Day.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Speaking of questions…

Dennis G. has another one.
Do you really think that you could have Anti-Government Republicans in charge for 30 plus years and actively working to destroy the infrastructure of government without causing system failures?
Since you asked, no, I don't. Not at all.

How 'bout you?

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Good questions?

Cookie Jill's got a batch of 'em…
· why aren't we working on energy efficiency?
· why aren't we talking about our infrastructure's dependency upon oil?
· why are we so dependent upon the ooey gooey stuff?
· where are the "drill baby, drill" folks now?
· why is offshore drilling here in the u.s. not ok for the u.s. environmentalists but they are silent when the drilling is offshore in other countries? shouldn't we be concerned about their environment too?
· how much oil is required to ship food all over the united states?
· why is bp more powerful than the u.s?
· why are activists arrested but oil company executives are not?
· why aren't people being questioned about what they would be willing to give up to lessen our country's dependency upon oil?
…and "Because" isn't an answer.

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This doesn't seem very, erm…

...intelligent, does it?
The Republican candidate for President Obama's old Senate seat has admitted to inaccurately claiming he received the U.S. Navy's Intelligence Officer of the Year award for his service during NATO's conflict with Serbia in the late 1990s.
Why do I suspect Rep. Kirk's contribution wasn't central to his unit's - not his - recognition?

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

As usual…

What Digby said
Those who extol the virtues of divided government take heed. There won't just be legislative gridlock. There will be chaos.

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To put it mildly...

Joe McGinnis on his new neighbor's reaction to his residence...
"I would term this hysterical."
Carefully staged hysteria at that.

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Yes, you would.

Or at least you might hope. John Cole...
You would think the people screaming at Obama to undo DADT faster would remember who gave us DADT and DOMA.

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Just past closing time... random ten time. Good mix this week. I imagine some of y'all have never heard - or heard of - some of these. They're all worth looking for.
Flatt & Scruggs - Doin' My Time
Robbie Fulks - Cocktails
Woody Guthrie - So Long, It's Been Good To Know You
Rose & The Maddox Brothers - Move It On Over
Jr. Walker & The All Stars - What Does It Take
The Walkmen - The Old Revolution
The Jim Carroll Band - Catholic Boy
Scatman Crothers - Baby Won't You Please Come Home
Dan Bern - Turning Over
The Impacts - Don't You Dare

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Friday, May 28, 2010

When she's not attacking…

…she's endorsing. Timothy Egan considers the outcome...
As for the Palin brand, it seems to represent no consistent philosophy, no guiding principles, no remedial vetting. It stands for one thing — Palin — and in that sense, she does have a legacy, though it can only be measured in dollars.
Palin's endorsement of Clint Didier may turn out to be the high point of Dino Rossi's Senate campaign.

Hat tip to Darryl.

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Put that in your T.E.A. and drink it.

Keith Chrostowski of the Kansas City Star examines research by the University of Maryland's Thomas F. Schaller, who...
...notes that in America, state and federal taxes as a share of the gross domestic product amount to 28 percent. He points out that's among the smallest in the 31 first-world nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Mexico, Turkey, Japan and South Korea pay smaller shares.

That's still a lot of American tax money to redistribute, right? And by a statistical measure called the "Gini coefficient," which gauges the distribution of income in society, America does redistribute some of its wealth. According to Gini, the more evenly income is distributed, the closer the coefficient is to zero.

America's number, before government taxes and transfers, is 0.46. This is just at the Organization for Economic Cooperation average of 0.45. After taxes and transfers, it drops to 0.38, indicating the redistribution of wealth. But that 0.38 is the highest of any first-world country, indicating the U.S. is the least redistributive.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good point…

…and a good post to go with it, from Gordon.
Not One of the Ten Commandments Are in the Constitution
Really. I looked it up.

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From the "I wish I'd said that" file.

The Republican Party is insane. That entire party is a corrupt, crazy, nutcase, extremist fringe group. The Republican Party is not Dick Lugar. The Republican Party is Sarah Palin. Michelle Bachmann. Rick Perry. Steve King. Rand Paul. Sue Lowden. John Ensign. Mark Sanford. Glenn Beck. Rush Limbaugh. Sean "I love Tim McVeigh" Hannity. These people must never be allowed to get anywhere near the control panel of government again. NEVER.

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Dino's Greatest Hits...

Hat tip to Goldy for Upper Left's very first video link.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

From the "Since you asked..." file.

Greg Sargent wonders...
At what point do Sarah Palin's attacks and smears become so vile and absurd that they no longer merit attention?
Since you asked, at a point long past, but we keep going back to gape at the wreckage.

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Quote of the day.

President Obama, after lunch in the lion's den…
“The day has passed when I expected this to be a full partnership.”
Progress, I suppose, but I could have told him that the day before he figured it out.

Heck, the year before. The decade before, for that matter.

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TEA Party pooper...

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told CNN that it's time for Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul (R) to stop talking to the national press.

Said McConnell: "I think he's said quite enough for the -- for the time being in terms of national press coverage."
Just when it was getting fun...

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Cheer up.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

From the "Since you asked…" file...

The McCain campaign takes to the air to wonder...
"J.D. Hayworth, is it any wonder he was voted among the dumbest members of Congress?"
Since you asked, no. After all, he is a Republican.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ten, then...

Stan Rogers - Barret's Privateers
The Johnny Otis Orchestra - Harlem Nocturne
Johnny Cash - Get Rhythm
Joni Mitchell - In France They Kiss On Main Street
Lucinda Williams - Something About What Happens When We Talk
The Stray Cats - Stray Cat Strut
Roger Miller - Walkin' In The Sunshine
Paul Revere & The Raiders - Just Like Me
The Squirrel Nut Zippers - La Grippe
The Shangri-Las - I Can Never Go Home Anymore
At random, obviously.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Worth repeating.

Gabriel Winant at Salon...
Libertarianism itself is what's stupid here, not just Paul.
Rinse, etc....

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It's not that Maria's wrong...

...because I agree that a better Senate might have passed a stronger bill, and I wish her luck with improvements in conference, but still, "the most sweeping regulatory overhaul since the aftermath of the Great Depression" is something better than awful and more than a great many observers thought possible. Encouraging, if not fully satisfying.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul Headline of the Day.

Rand Paul Distances Himself From Rand Paul
Hopefully Kentucky will keep him distant from DC.

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Quote of the day.

Wannabe GOP kingmaker Jim DeMint...
I’m going to talk to Rand about his positions.
Some of us do that kind of thing before the endorsement and donation. Saves a lot of explaining later.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ya' think?

Chris in Paris
If we've all been living in a society run by the elite from Harvard or Yale, maybe there's something wrong with Harvard and Yale.

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Locally... Legislative District is muddling its way through the new environment mandated by the terrible "top two" primary system we've changed to. Since there are no longer party lines on the ballot, merely the opportunity for candidates to state their preferences for parties real or imagined, a nominating caucus was held to select a Democratic Party nominated slate of candidates. With Senator Darlene Fairley joining a stream of retirements among senior Democrats, including Ken Jacobsen and Rosa Franklin, Representative Maralyn Chase was nominated to replace her. Cindy Ryu, who Shoreline voters removed from the city council last fall, was nominated to replace Chase and Rep. Ruth Kagi was nominated for re-election.

What, ultimately, those nominations will mean to Democratic voters in this district is uncertain. Party endorsements in the municipal elections last year produced a mixed bag of results, and the Senate Democratic caucus in Olympia was apparently unimpressed and unimpeded by the local choices, attempting to recruit Kagi, a Committee Chair who passed on the Senate race in favor of her seniority in the House, well after the nominating caucus.

It'll be interesting to see what filing week bring us this year.

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Analogy of the day.

From a comment frontpaged by John Cole at Balloon Juice...
The Republicans have a problem of miking the supporter’s section and thinking there is a full house.
They way they crank up the noise, they seem to think elections are decided by applause meters, too.


Monday, May 17, 2010

I tend to favor...

..."disgraced former House Speaker," but I gotta admit that "Saudi-funded Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich" has a ring to it.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dear Sam Stein...

If your lede begins...
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on President Obama...'re writing the wrong story.


Upper Left

P.S. And didn't you mean disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich? Don't deny the man his due.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010


"Nobody is winning."
The only surprise is the candid nature of the General's assessment. I suppose it would be too much to ask him to take that assessment to the next level and admit that given the price paid in lives and treasure, if we're not winning, we're losing.

What winning would actually look like, meanwhile, remains a mystery.

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Erratic? Maybe eccentric. Certainly random...
Jimmie Rodgers - Blue Yodel No. 9
Stew - Single Woman Sitting
Tracy Chapman - This Time
Paul Butterfield Blues Band - I Got A Mind To Give Up Living
Jerry Jeff Walker - Shell Game
Paul Revere & The Raiders - Just Like Me
Stray Cats - Built For Speed
Tolo Marton - Just A Little Love
The Runaways - Take It Or Leave It
Lucy Kaplansky - Somewhere Out There

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Maybe it's time to open a "Sic 'Em, Barry" file...

...for stuff like this...
[W]e got our mops and our brooms out, we're cleaning stuff out, and they're sitting there saying, 'Hold the broom better.' 'That's not how you mop.' Don't tell me how to mop. Pick up a mop! Do some work on behalf of the American people to solve some of these problems.
...and this...
After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want to keys back. No! You can't drive. We don't want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out.
...and this, too...
I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter. You had executives of B.P. and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else.
More, please.

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Well, you might have...

President Obama...
You would have thought at a time of historic crisis that Republican leaders would have been more willing to help us find a way out of this mess -- particularly since they created the mess.
...until you remembered that they're Republicans, and making messes is about all they're good for.

Just another reason that...

Hat tip to Steve Benen.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

As usual...

...what Digby said...
So, the mystery of whether Stupak was evil or stupid has been solved. Stupid wins. usual.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Darryl's right...

...Republicans hate Latinos.

The actual harm they're doing makes it hard to enjoy their stategic idiocy.

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Quote of the day.

Michael Ettlinger of the Center for American Progress...
"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts."
In fact, federal tax rates for individuals are at their lowest levels since before I was born, and I'm not young.

T.E.A. my Irish arse.

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Well, yeah...

Democracy needs informed people, Obama tells grads
...but you kinda gotta hope that they'd already heard long before lining up for their degrees. Long before they took that first 101 course, in fact. Seems like pretty basic stuff for "informed people."

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

You don't have to be a Boy Scout... do a good deed. Janet reminds us that there's still time to put a bag of cans and dry goods out by the mailbox today for the letter carriers' food bank drive. Take it from a former food bank director - this one matters. It's a lot of extra work for the postal workers, but the results are well worth the effort and I'm sure that they won't mind if you make their load a few cans heavier.

Our donation is already by the box. Is yours?

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If I'm back...

...and it's Saturday, it must be random ten time. Here ya' go...
James Brown - It's A Man's World
Wanda Jackson - Right Or Wrong
Tom T, Hall - Spokane Motel Blues
Ike & Tina Turner - Reconsider Baby
Brewer & Shipley - All Along The Watchtower
Townes Van Zandt - Why's She Acting This Way
Jeff Tweedy - The Thanks I Get
Johnny Otis Orchestra - Harlem Nocturne
K's Choice - Hallelujah
Patsy Cline - Walking After Midnight

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Brace yourselves...

...I'm back, mostly. Still some tweaking on the new (to me) machine, but this is the first post directly from Upper Left World Headquarters in a bit. A tip of the hat to Dan and his crew at Seattle Laptop, who snagged the essential data from the old ThinkPad and set me up with an upgraded replacement for less than the likely cost of repairs.

Seattle Laptop was one of the first, and has remained one of the most consistent, local sponsors of progressive talk radio on AM 1090, so they belong on your preferred provider list if you're a local lefty in need of a laptop, peripherals or repairs. Take it from a satisfied customer.

If you're just in need of inspiration, check out Dan's blog, Republicans Are A Disease.

Meanwhile, a tweak or two and I'll be ready to catch up around here. Thanks for hanging in there.

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