Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy

Money Quotes

A Tea Partier Speaks:

“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”


Money Quotes

That old boys’ club in the Vatican became as self-absorbed as other old boys’ clubs, like Lehman Brothers, with similar results. And that is the reason the Vatican is floundering today.

Nicholas Kristoff

Ouch - you know you're unpopular when you're compared to Lehman Brothers.

GOP: Better than Ever?

Look how far they've come . . .

Is the Republican party now courting the furry vote? I blame the teabaggers.

Thank you, Wonkette, for this horrible image.

ART: Mike Boyle

Google's artist of the day - such lovely light.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Glenn Beck Outsourcing His Work to Americans

Glenn Beck, in between his alternating bouts of raving and crying, has apparently written a work of fiction. But since he claims the paranoid crap he spouts on air is real, we must assume that this book is actually non-fiction. Anyway, Glenn can't decide which of these covers to stick on his book, so he is outsourcing his tough decision-making work to Americans. Which of these terrible covers do you prefer? Pick one and vote.

Here are your choices:

Global Warming Eats the Flag

Totally Straight Guy from 300 Replaces Statue of Liberty

Shaftacular Monument Menage a Trois

MAC Hatter?

Very nice -- Alice + Olivia does Alice in Wonderland color line for MAC cosmetics. Out July 8. But where is the red mascara for my Mad Hatter get-up?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Money Quotes

I like David Brooks. He is an old-fashioned, intellectual, non-crazy conservative, and I prefer to disagree - and occasionally agree - with people who know what they are talking about. (In other words, not rabid tea-partyers. Have you seen the "Teabonics" tumbler page?) His polite verbal sparring with EJ Dionne on NPR is a work-day pleasure of mine. In today's Times, Brooks has an encouraging op-ed in which he resists the recent conservative impulse to convince people that America is doomed, the better to drive them into the GOP's arms in fright and desperation. No, he writes - America is going to be better than fine.

This column is a great luscious orgy of optimism. Because the fact is, despite all the problems, America’s future is exceedingly bright.

Over the next 40 years, demographers estimate that the U.S. population will surge by an additional 100 million people, to 400 million over all. The population will be enterprising and relatively young. In 2050, only a quarter will be over 60, compared with 31 percent in China and 41 percent in Japan.

As the world gets richer, demand will rise for the sorts of products Americans are great at providing — emotional experiences. Educated Americans grow up in a culture of moral materialism; they have their sensibilities honed by complicated shows like “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Mad Men,” and they go on to create companies like Apple, with identities coated in moral and psychological meaning, which affluent consumers crave.

As the rising generation leads an economic revival, it will also participate in a communal one. We are living in a global age of social entrepreneurship.

In 1964, there were 15,000 foundations in the U.S. By 2001, there were 61,000. In 2007, total private giving passed $300 billion. Participation in organizations like City Year, Teach for America, and College Summit surges every year. Suburbanization helps. For every 10 percent reduction in population density, the odds that people will join a local club rise by 15 percent. The culture of service is now entrenched and widespread.

In sum, the U.S. is on the verge of a demographic, economic and social revival, built on its historic strengths. The U.S. has always been good at disruptive change. It’s always excelled at decentralized community-building. It’s always had that moral materialism that creates meaning-rich products. Surely a country with this much going for it is not going to wait around passively and let a rotten political culture drag it down.

Hurray, David Brooks - thank you for not attempting to scare me into voting Republican, and also for not sneering at the word "community." The 2008 campaign's focus on Obama's service as a "community organizer" seems to have led an awful lot of Fox talking heads to treat "community" as a distasteful code word for socialism or something. Which bugs me about as much as Glenn Beck's treatment of "social justice" - the man told his viewers to leave their church if that phrase came up. Isn't that anti-Catholic? Maybe that Catholic League nut Donohue needs to put him on his enemies list.