The establishment is scared silly of Elizabeth Warren

To the chagrin of moderate Democrats, a prime-time speaker was Elizabeth Warren, the liberal scourge of Wall Street who is running in Massachusetts to unseat Senator Scott P. Brown, a Republican..…


Jobs. Or not.

“Income growth is zero and employment growth for all intents and purposes is zero,” says Edward Stuart, an economist at Northeastern Illinois University, at Chicago. “People quit looking for work … there’s a discouragement factor.”

If there’s discouragement, there’s certainly despair, as well. Only 1 in 5 unemployed workers are getting any kind of unemployment insurance. Having seen benefits run out, millions have flocked to claim disability insurance from the Social Security Administration, in order to get up to $1,300 a month for being too stressed or pained to work. Food stamp participation is at historic levels, all of which is feeding an economic carousel: There’s precious little money for Americans to spend, so therefore no growth, and few jobs.

Christian Science Monitor



I didn't watch it but I'm sorry now

Dolan spoils the party - Salon.com

Why did Democrats allow the cardinal to give a right-wing prayer?

About the only thing this political year is good for is its entertainment value so it's disappointing to have missed a highlight like this.

Oh well. No doubt there will be more. And I'm easily entertained. 

Screw up again and you go to the eastern font

Prince Harry ships out to Afghanistan for four-month tour

Obama: This is hard work, stay the course, re-hope

Well, it worked for W.

Stop the music

The following US orchestras will not start the new season


The county fair parade

When you have a drum and bugle corps that can't march in step you have a real problem, Dude. Still, the parade that marks the opening day of the county fair is by far the biggest thing that happens around here all year so I always go to see at least part of it. It's a long parade and it doesn't change much from year to year so every year I leave a little earlier. But when the weather's nice, like it is today, its an OK way to spend a little time. The fair itself runs through Sunday although it really doesn't change from year to year, so once a decade is enough for it. This is year three. So I'll be staying home.


Elizabeth Warren Convention Speech - Charles P. Pierce on Elizabeth Warren at DNC 2012 - Esquire

I'm here tonight to talk about hard-working people: people who get up early, stay up late, cook dinner and help out with homework; people who can be counted on to help their kids, their parents, their neighbors, and the lady down the street whose car broke down; people who work their hearts out but are up against a hard truth — the game is rigged against them.

As it happens, civic duty called me to vote for Elizabeth Warren this very day in a Democratic primary (she ran unopposed). This was the fourth election we've had here this year so far (yet one more, in November, to go), so I'm wondering why, when we are talking about not being able to pay police and firefighters, the pols can't get their acts together well enough to have just two freakin' elections in any given year. It's just too much to ask, I guess. Still, it was worth the trip to vote for Warren, the only Democrat with any guts as far as I can tell. Certainly the only one on the national scene. And there's a real danger she'll lose this election to Scott Whatzisname and Wall Street money. The game is rigged against her too. Click the link. Read the whole piece.

Meanwhile the great irony of the last 24 hours (in a year full of ironies one has to take things a day at a time) is the trotting out of Bill Clinton to talk about what a great job Obama's done with the economy–Bill Clinton, the guy who presided over the dismantling of Glass-Steagall. The house may have collapsed under the Bushies but it was the Clintonistas who cut away the supports. 

The game is rigged, alright. The question now is, why play at all?

They're kidding, right?

Ex-NBC anchor Tom Brokaw taken to hospital for lightheadedness

Well, no.

Obama nails Putin endorsement

Chicago Tribune - Russia's Putin defiant on Syria, says Romney "mistaken"

Putin held out hope for an end to a dispute with Washington on missile defense if President Barack Obama were re-elected in November, telling Russia's RT television he was "an honest person who really wants to change much for the better".

That's right, Bunky, he's blaming you

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — He warned them in 2008, and when he formally opened his re-election campaign in May, he put it in his speech again. He will “never be a perfect president,” he said, a line he now repeats at stop after stop. The unspoken subtext: It’s not my fault if you didn’t listen or expected too much.



I give up

Michelle Obama’s Iron Fist, Velvet Glove Convention Speech - The Daily Beast

Mobama came. She spoke. She kicked some political booty.

No more politics. There have got to be better ways to avoid work than reading this stuff.

EMP Museum, Seattle

iPhone photo: Phil Compton

Oh, wait

Just as they did during the Republican National Convention, independent fact checkers spent the first day of the Democratic National Convention listening for claims that don't add up — and found them.

FactCheck.org says it heard "a number of dubious or misleading claims" from the Democrats who spoke on stage Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.…

More at NPR

Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed…

National Democrats have repeatedly touted their stand against taking corporate money for their convention in September, and so it was striking to see two emails from the DNC host committee referring to the Charlotte venue where President Obama will speak as "Panthers Stadium."

It's the place where the Panthers play, but it's actually called Bank of America stadium.


ADD: Of course they wound up in Time Warner Cable Arena. No panthers there.

No hope

Not many people know it, but the Democratic Party supports a ban on assault weapons.…

President Obama purportedly agrees with that position, but he never talks about it on the campaign trail and has done nothing to make it happen.

New York Times editorial

Democrats' new slogan: Hey, it could be worse

Tepid though it may be, the pace of this recovery is on a par with the aftermath of other post-World War II financial crises, like those in Asia and Latin America.





Barack Obama Is Now Bribing Voters with His Sweet, Delicious Beer - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

If you want to taste the White House's fabled honey ale without having to make it, the best way would be to position yourself along President Barack Obama's campaign route, as the president is apparently handing it out to would-be voters on the trail.

Better off

Food stamp use reached a record 46.7 million people in June, the government said…

Bloomberg News

Civilization ends

Tooth Fairy survey: $3 goes under the pillow – USATODAY.com

Kids found an average $3 per tooth under their pillows this year, up 15% from last year, according to a survey from Visa out Tuesday. Some received as much as $20 per tooth.…

To help parents calculate the going rate for teeth, Visa on Tuesday is launching an app for iPhone and iPad and a calculator on its Facebook page.

Just for the record…

… on the matter of who's better off than they were four years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 there were 2.2 million Americans employed at hourly-paid work, of which 3% were paid at or below the Federal minimum wage. In 2011, there were 3.8 million people employed in hourly-paid jobs, of whom 5.2% were paid at or below the Federal minimum wage.

The Federal minimum wage has not changed since long before 2008.

Except me

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A day after fumbling a predictable and straightforward question posed by Mitt Romney last week — are Americans better off than they were four years ago — the Obama campaign provided a response on Monday that it said would be hammered home during the Democratic convention here this week: “Absolutely.”


Taking body counts to a whole new level

Biden: We are better off, "bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

"You want to know whether we're better off?" Biden said to a cheering crowd of about 3,500 people in downtown Detroit. "I've got a little bumper sticker for you: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

Here's an idea: Let's make it a national holiday. We Killed bin Laden Day. No mail delivery, everybody could go to the mall, maybe throw in a parade or two. Or fireworks. And hot dogs. I'm liking it.

Here's an idea: Let's argue about who's the biggest Clint Eastwood fan

Obama: 'I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan' - First Read

“President Obama wants to make it clear that, in his own words, ‘I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan.’"



Wait by Ted Compton
Wait, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.


Sit by Ted Compton
Sit, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.


Adding insult to injury

Bad news for movie fans, U.S. drought hits popcorn crop - Yahoo! News

It's an ill portent for the snack food world. All across the Midwest, where rows of popcorn normally thrive alongside fields of soybeans, U.S. popcorn farmers have watched in horror as stifling, triple-digit temperatures and weeks without rain withered crops.

"This is the worst season we've ever had," said third-generation popcorn purveyor Mark Shew…

Check this out

 NASA's Cassini mission captures the planet's rings and the shadows they cast as the seasons change.