Monthly Archives: August 2009

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Flood of Memories

Four years after Hurricane Katrina carved a path of destruction from Texas to Alabama, we still can’t know what sort of future awaits those devastated areas along the Gulf Coast. What we do know is that there is a lot of work left to be done. If you’re interested, Leigh at Poverty in America is keeping track of some of the recovery efforts:

Late as usual, here’s some hastily-thrown together, PostBourgie-approved weekend links for your enjoyment:

1. Though you might have already heard about the epic New York Times Magazine story about Memorial Medical center in New Orleans during and after Katrina, I would feel remiss if I didn’t include a link. I’m still working my way through the piece myself. First thought: the story was worth every bit of the $400,000 price tag. (Blackink)

2. The American Prospect calls the Gulf Coast America’s “Lower 9th Ward.” Brentin Mock, author of the piece, draws attention to a recent report that grades Obama’s Katrina recovery efforts a D+. Bush earned a D-. (Blackink)

3. Even today, many Katrina evacuees still long for their old home. Also, New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish are trying drastically different methods to rebuild their respective landscapes. (Blackink)

4. The New Republic takes a look at the four-year anniversary of the storm, and leaves a pile of links to sort through from the chaotic days after Katrina made landfall. (Blackink)

5. Wendell Pierce, better known as Bunk to “The Wire” fans, was on NPR’s show “The Takeaway” this morning, talking about his efforts to rebuild his hometown in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It’s interesting to hear him talk about the Pontichrain neighborhood of New Orleans, but it’s also a treat to hear him hint about his upcoming series collaboration with David Simon, “Treme.” (Quadmoniker)

6. Also, make sure to check out the blog of one of the show’s writers, David Mills, a screenwriter and former newspaper reporter, over at Undercover Black Man. (Blackink)

7. One of the few public officials to escape Katrina with their reputation intact, retired Army Gen. Russel Honore has been mentioned as a possible challenger for Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) in the ’10 Republican primary. Honore might pose the biggest threat to the thoroughly discredited Vitter. However, Honore denied those reports today. (Blackink)

8. Ezra Klein’s column on the reasons why seniors – or the Matlock demographic, cracks Doug J – oppose all government-run health care except their own is a must-read. Klein smartly concludes: “Seniors live in America’s version of Canada. They have single-payer health care. And they love it. They love it so much that they’ve got the chairman of the RNC swearing to protect it.” (Blackink)

9. Republican Congressman Pete Olson of Texas is either a liar or has no understanding of how health care works in this country. (Blackink)

10. Al Gore: “We have a moral duty to pass health care reform.” More Gore. Less Kerry. (Blackink)

11. Editor & Publisher charts where the major media outlets first mentioned the Chappaquiddick accident in their obits of Ted Kennedy. As usual, please try not to read the comments below. (Blackink)

12. Speaking of Kennedy, seems that he had little problem with having his own funeral politicized. (Blackink)

13. Nate Silver says that Obama’s sagging approval numbers -below 50 percent in the most recent Gallup poll – are no cause for panic. If elections were held today, Obama would most likely be reelected and Democrats would probably hold on to their majorities. Also, following his Friday appearance on “Fox and Friends,” Silver offers this gem: “There was just no pretense of trying to do anything even vaguely resembling the news. … I’ve never met people more terrified of what might happen if they actually tried to engage in a rational discussion.” (Blackink)

14. The freaky group from whom any potential Obama assassin is likely to rise got freakier. (Quadmoniker)

15. The five symptoms of Republican schizophrenia. (Blackink)

16. According to a new study, nearly 60 percent of black and African people living in Moscow report having been physically assaulted. A quarter say they’ve been assaulted more than once and 80 percent say they’ve been verbally assaulted. And believe it or not, this is actually an improvement from the study in 2002. (Blackink)

17. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has the swine flu. (Blackink)

18. The conversation about poverty in the U.S. has come to a virtual halt since former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards slunk out of the public spotlight. What will it take to get us talking again? h/t Leigh. (Blackink)

19. Stop with all the fat-shaming. It doesn’t work. Lydia DePilis notes that it’s ultimately more productive to fight for changes that would make it harder to be fat rather than simply telling people to slim down. Also, Newsweek takes a look at overweight bias. (Blackink)

20. Back in 2002, economist Dean Baker authored a prophetic briefing paper titled The Run-up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble? (pdf). Apparently, few people read enough of the paper to find out the answer. (Blackink)

21. Glenn Greenwald envisions a “Meet the Press” panel with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and Chris Wallace as the moderator. “All of the above-listed people are examples of America’s Great Meritocracy, having achieved what they have solely on the basis of their talent, skill and hard work — The American Way.” On the other hand, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor owes all the successes in her life to affirmative action. Adam Serwer also shares his thoughts about the Great Meritocracy. (Blackink)

22. Tom Levenson just murked The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle on the intertubes. Out in them streets, they call it murder. (Blackink)

23. What’s harder to believe: That Tucker Carlson ever beat someone up? Or that someone – man or woman – has ever made a pass at him? (Blackink)

24. After nearly a century of steady growth, the Sunshine State is finally on the decline. (Blackink)

25. Back to New Orleans: A local blogger – American Zombie – outed himself in a Times-Picayune story after city employee sued him for libel. (Blackink)

26. Along with being a fantastic musician and fascinating cultural figure, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a “profound sexist.” (Blackink)

27. According to the staff at Pitchfork Media, OutKast’s underappreciated gem “B.O.B.” – “Bombs over Baghdad” – was the song of the decade. But Alyssa Rosenberg reminds us that OutKast has also produced some of the most visually arresting videos in the music industry, dating all the way back to “ATLiens.” (Blackink)

28. The University of Michigan has launched an investigation into its football program following a Detroit Free Press report that players may have been forced to practice and train far beyond NCAA limits. Dr. Saturday has a roundup of reactions. As a former – mediocre – college football player, let me tell you: this almost certainly happened. (Blackink)

29. The Southwestern Athletic Conference, a league of 10 HBCUs stretching from Texas to Alabama, said that its football teams will honor the memory of slain NFL quarterback and former Alcorn State star Steve McNair with helmet stickers. (Blackink)

30. Finally, somehow, I missed that Michael Jackson would have celebrated his 51st birthday on Saturday. Brooklyn represented. Now it’s our turn:

Posted Without Comment.

Mad Men Season 3, Ep. 3: My Old Kentucky Home.

We get another very strong episode this week — maybe the best one ever. A strange man flirts with Betty, and Betty, um, flirts back. Sally gets her klepto on. Pete and Trudy get their jig on something serious. And nobody likes Jane. And that’s not even the really meaty stuff. More…

The Friday Random/Genius Ten

Known endearingly as the “Lion of the Senate,” Ted Kennedy backed enough meaningful legislation in his 47 years in office to qualify as a revolutionary by the milquetoast standards of the U.S. Senate.

If anything, Kennedy proved you didn’t have to be a punk to be a progressive.

It’s a lesson some liberals might do well to remember as they prepare to tackle the issue Kennedy often referred to as the “cause of my life.”

With that in mind, PostBourgie humbly submits 10 songs for this week’s not-so Random Ten to light a fire for the fight ahead. Because as Common says, “The revolution ain’t a game/it’s another name/for life fighting”:

Umi Says (Live at Dave Chappelle’s Block Party) – Mos Def (slb)

My People – Erykah Badu (Shani-o)

Fight the Power – Public Enemy (Belleisa)

List of Demands (Reparations) – Saul Williams (Universeexpanding)

It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop – Dead Prez (Jamelle)

Wake Up Everybody by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Belleisa)

Holy Mountains – System of a Down (slb)

You and Whose Army? – Radiohead (Quadmoniker)

Stand to the Side – Talib Kweli ft. Novel and Vinia Mojica (G.D.)

Revolution – Arrested Development (Blackink)

Peace, brothers and sisters. And don’t be looking for the revolution on the tee-vee.

Doofy Husbands.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Wade Watts Had the Patience of Job.

Do I need a late pass on this?

More on Johnny Lee Clary here, and Wade Watts (uncle of JC Watts) here.

Book of the month: All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?

This month’s pick, All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America is a recommendation from shani-o who writes: “In the book, Berg touches on the role racism has played in starvation of both whites and blacks in the 60s, notes the varying policies presidential administrations have enacted to fight hunger, and gives an excellent primer on food stamps and welfare reform.

He goes on to challenge the notion that individuals and organized charities are the viable solutions, and insists that government programs are the only way to give poor people the stability they need to focus on education and work, so they can eventually enter the middle class. Berg also discussed the term  ‘food insecurity’ (also known as ‘hunger’) in the U.S.”

An article on Berg in the Philadelphia Inquirer described ‘food insecurity’ as “the lack of access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life.”

Berg is the executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and previously worked for the Clinton Administration where he was the Community Coordinator of Community Food Security for the USDA.

We will be discussing the book on September 15. Check out Berg’s website and read an excerpt of the book.

Happy Reading.