Archive for February, 2011

February 27, 2011

Weekend Re-Up

by Vince

It seems as if my first week was so long when in fact it was only three days of teaching. We had off Tuesday because of snow. Each day has built on itself and I have grown to feel more confident in running my own classroom. The support from my colleagues and MJ has been just what I’ve needed but I won’t lie, its still an ongoing adjustment.

Subbing, to me, is not work. I show up, give out the class “orders”, sit back and read. Now, I am constantly up, checking up on whats going on, and taking on more duties as a full time teacher. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t in my mind a lazy sub who did nothing – but it was much easier than this.

In the end, I hope that this proves to be worthwhile for me and the kids.

PS – Thanks Charles for the post!

February 26, 2011

Mark Twain on Political Morality

by cpmy3rs

Over the past few days I have been working my way through Mark Twain’s brick of an autobiography. His thoughts on political morality (January 23, 1906) seemed worth reprinting here:

Without a blush he will vote for an unclean boss if that boss is his party’s Moses, without compunction he will vote against the best man in the whole land if he is on the other ticket. Every year, in a number of cities and States, he helps to put corrupt men in office, every year he helps to extend the corruption wider and wider; year after year he goes on gradually rotting the country’s political life, whereas if he would but throw away his Christian public morals and carry his Christian private morals to the polls he could promptly purify the public service and make the possession of office a high and honorable distinction and one to be coveted by the very best men the country could furnish. But now–well, now he contemplates his unpatriotic work and sighs and grieves and blames every man but the right one–which is himself.

February 22, 2011

American Budget Quote of the Day

by Vince

“When actually asked what they’d be prepared to cut from government largesse, we get the usual answer – foreign aid – but, er, that’s about it, according to the new Harris poll. There’s even a national majority for farm subsidies! On where the real money is, Americans are the most adamant about retaining what they’ve got. On healthcare, 67 percent oppose any cuts; on social security, a whopping 81 percent want no change. Now for the really scary part: compare that to 1980, when 37 percent wanted cuts in government healthcare spending. That figure is now 12 percent. So as the explosion in healthcare costs have occurred, Americans have actually grown more resistant to doing anything about them. In fact, on almost ever measure

There’s a reason for Obama’s reluctance to speak specifically about what needs to be done. But it seems to me that this is why a major emphasis on saving us from fiscal collapse is necessary. If most Americans really believe cutting foreign aid and pork will balance the budget, they’re delusional. Meanwhile, the GOP seems to be focusing entirely on discretionary spending that will damage some of the actually good things that government does, while ignoring the massive borrowing that healthcare entitlements, a neo-imperial defense structure and, to a lesser extent, social security require.”

Andrew Sullivan

February 22, 2011

Did You Know About This Barack Obama?

by Vince

You know, the one who threatened to veto any budget propositions with even small defense cuts, who wants a bigger defense budget than even the GOP, and has now moved the withdraw date for Afghanistan to 2014. I am bedazzled.

February 22, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day

by Vince

H/T: Tony Auth

February 22, 2011

The GOP’s Leadership

by Vince

William Saletan makes a fantastic point when it comes to GOP leaders and their refusal to dismiss birther allegations:

These three men are confident enough in the personhood of fetuses to support banning abortion. They’re confident enough in the efficacy and justice of the U.S. health care system to block funding of the Affordable Care Act. They’re confident enough in Wall Street, despite the recklessness and bailouts of the last three years, to press for repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. But ask them whether Obama is a Muslim or was born in the United States, and suddenly they’re too humble to impose their beliefs on others. They can only describe “the facts as I understand them.” They can only speak “for me.” They can only “listen to the American people,” not “tell them what to think.”

Smash.

These men aren’t leaders. They’re followers. To lead a party, much less a country, you have to be able to say no. You have to stand up to liars, lunatics, and dupes on your party’s fringe. John McCain did it, in his clumsy way (there’s nothing wrong with being a Muslim or Arab), when he was the GOP’s presidential nominee. Even Bill O’Reilly andGlenn Beck have done it. They’ve called the birther conspiracy theories “bogus,” “absurd,” and “ridiculous.”

H/T: TDD

February 22, 2011

No Desire for an Islamic Revolution

by Vince

Matt Yglesias translates a French article for us:

This new generation isn’t interested in ideology, their slogans are all pragmatic and congrete; they don’t speak of Islam the way their predecessors did in Algeria in the late 1980s. Above all they reject corrupt dictators and demand democracy. That’s not to say that the demonstrators are secular, but simply that they don’t see Islam as a political ideology to be used to create a better order, they’re well inside a secular political space.

This is a continuation of Roy’s work over the past several years on “the failure of political Islam.” The basic idea here is that in part thanks to the example of Iran, you just don’t have a mass constituency that’s prepared to believe that Islam or Islamic rule offers answers to the concrete problems of poverty, corruption, and slow economic growth. People may be religiously observant or culturally conservative in ways that western liberals (or even western cultural conservatives) would find alarming, but the Egyptian people are asking “where are the jobs?” and don’t think the answer is going to be found in the Koran.

February 22, 2011

The Birther Population

by Vince

A little stat for ya:

Greg Sargent notices something interesting in the PPP poll showing how unhinged GOP primary voters are on the question of Obama’s very legitimacy as president: among non-Birthers, Sarah Palin has a favorable/unfavorable rating of 41 – 52. Among Birthers, it’s a whoppingly favorable 83 – 12, far higher than anyone else. Here’s Greg’s interpretation:

It seems fair to speculate that the success of Palin’s approach — her grievance-mongering, her strident attacks on Obama, her virtuosity in crafting the most lurid formulations to paint Obama as an alternately weak and tyrannical figure — is rooted in her unique ability to speak directly to the far right wing base’s seething underbelly of anti-Obama hatred.

February 21, 2011

On President’s Day…

by Vince

learn some neat facts about them.

February 20, 2011

Improving Our Cities

by Vince

Economix chats with Edward L. Glaeser about how to improve our cities. Its worth a full read.

February 20, 2011

From Inside Libya…

by Vince

The last plea on the phone from the caller eerily is lingering in my head.

Much more here.

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February 20, 2011

The Wisconsin Battle Continues…

by Vince
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February 20, 2011

Music Industry Chart of the Day

by Vince

Jay Yarow explains:

Here is a stunning visualization of the collapse of the music industry from Bain. As you can see, the growth of digital sales is not doing enough to offset the death of the CD.

H/T: Peter Kafka, Flickr

February 20, 2011

Democratic Thought For Sunday

by Vince

Andrew Sullivan provides a profound thought on the pursuit of democracy in the Middle East vis-à-vis Libya, Egypt and now Bahrain:

…when was the last time you saw frenzied crowds in the streets in several Muslim Arab countries where the American flag wasn’t being burned? We finally figured out how to help democracy in the Arab world: get out of the way and nudge quietly from a distance.

February 20, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day

by Vince

H/T: Tony Auth

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February 19, 2011

“Slippery Slope”

by Vince

A Mormon woman is focused on following her conscience:

February 19, 2011

Boxer vs. Dalek

by Vince

This is hilarious!

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February 19, 2011

Saturday Reads

by Vince

I give you two extended (but not too long) reads by Andrew Sullivan:

  1. Obama’s budget says screw you to the next generation.
  2. How to be ‘generously angry‘.
February 19, 2011

Snow!

by Vince

Above is a mash-up of people seeing snow for the first time.

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February 19, 2011

Birthers Put In Their Place

by Vince

Rep. Jeff Flake (R,AZ) is a straight shooter. More on this here.