Category Archives: Random-Ass Roundup

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Go Away, not Rogue

Dave Weigel for the win on Twitter this afternoon: “Weird, Oprah has some unemployed conservative blogger on today”:

For a second, I was confused. I thought he was talking about Lou Dobbs.

Regardless, once I finish this round-up, I’m putting together a proposal to make our next book-of-the-month selection “Going Rogue.” I hear all the kids are reading it:

1. The NYT’s Michiko Kakutani reviews Sarah Palin’s much-hyped memoir. “Just as Ms. Palin’s planned book tour resembles a campaign rollout — complete with a bus tour and pit stops in battleground states — so the second half of this book often reads like a calculated attempt to position Ms. Palin for 2012. She tries to compare herself to Ronald Reagan by repeatedly invoking his name and record. She talks about being ‘a Commonsense Conservative’ and worrying about the national deficit. And she attempts to explain, rationalize or refute controversial incidents and allegations that emerged during the 2008 race.” (G.D.)

2. By now, you’ve heard that Sept. 11 co-conspirator Khalid Shaik Mohammed and four others will face trial in New York for their roles in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Glenn Greenwald, Juan Cole and Amanda Marcotte offer their takes on the completely predictable right-wing whining about the Obama Administration’s failure to indulge totalitarian notions of justice. (Blackink)

3. Nearly half of all the country’s homeless vets are black. (G.D.)

4. More about vets: Tara McKelvey uncovers how Bush-era officials substituted pop-Christianity for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders and depression. “God doesn’t like ugly,” one political appointee told Paul Sullivan, an analyst in the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration, in a clumsy attempt to reduce the cost of caring for psychologically traumatized veterans. “You need to make the numbers lower.” (Blackink)

5. 538 echoes the point that geographically-compact districts leave Democrats underrepresented in Congress and state legislatures. (Blackink)

6. As campaigning for the 2010 Senate race cranks up in Florida, the state GOP is on the verge of civil war. Hopefully, they’ll all secede when it’s over. (Blackink)

7. Leigh does the math on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of D.C.’s threat to shutter programs aimed at helping the city’s poor if its lawmakers decide to move forward with same-sex marriage. Shani’s take is over at The American Prospect and Jamelle’s take on the Church’s politicization is at Spencer Ackerman’s spot. (G.D.)

8. Speaking of Shani, she put in serious work last week over at TAPPED. We salute her and her efforts. A link to the Web site is here.

9. Also, the FANTASTIC (emphasis is Shani’s) Majora Carter – will be blogging there for the next two weeks. Here’s a sample.  (Shani-o)

10. So chocolate milk is good for you. Now all we need is an excuse to lace it with vodka a la Roger Sterling. (Alisa)

11. Speaking of Roger and the gang – WANT. (Alisa)
12. Steven D. at Booman Tribune has a righteous rant about the epic fail of abstinence-only sex education. (Blackink)
13. Residents in a rural Maine town (really, is there any other kind?) are opposing a multifamily housing complex that would expand housing options for immigrant laborers. The aforementioned Dobbs would be proud. (Blackink)
14. The Philadelphia-area swimming pool that was embroiled in controversy during the summer for allegedly discriminating against minority campers has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (Blackink)

15. John Cho on race and acting. (G.D.)

16. Over at Bitch Ph.D., M. LeBlanc has an interesting post about pseudonymity and sexual shame. “I look back and think, man, if I were writing under my real name, would I ever have written any of those things, all of which I’m proud of? I know I wouldn’t have. But why?” (Blackink)

17. Why Amanda Hess hates “I love women.” Chris Brown and Wendy Williams are involved. (Blackink)

18. Double X will be absorbed back into Slate. Can’t say I’m that sorry when good pubs like the Washington Blade are dying. (Shani-o) *Ironically (if that’s even the word, this item was a last-second addition to the round-up. I initially had the NYT Magazine’s profile on Megan Fox here. Guess I still do).

19. It’s a given that 50 Cent is always badly in need of attention. Now he seems to want some from Jay-Z. (Blackink)

20. For those of us who couldn’t make it or weren’t invited, here’s Spencer Ackerman’s abridged account of the Cold Drank Summit. Blog sis Alyssa also talks about her trip to Howard with Shani. (Blackink)

21. If you watched last night’s epic renewal of the Patriots-Colts rivalry, you should know that the math agreed with Belichick. (Blackink)

22. A new study shows that cynicism and negativity may actually enhance the experience of the game. No wonder I love football so much: I grew up rooting for the Oilers.  (Blackink)

23. Would football be safer – i.e. prevent more head injuries – without helmets? Possibly. (Blackink)

24. Milwaukee Bucks rookie point guard Brandon Jennings on the challenge of the NBA: “‘Sometimes it feels like Oak Hill (Academy) out there,’ he said. For Jennings, the NBA is already akin to high school. Rookie dominance seems assured. Stardom is the next stop.” (Blackink)

25. And finally, on a much more somber and tragic note, I want to learn a lot more about Shaniya Davis than Sarah Palin over the next couple of days. But not really. If you all know what I mean.

Until the next time, stay up.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Reviewing the Hyper Bowl

We should all be afraid. House minority leader John Boehner calls health care reform “the greatest threat to freedom I have seen in my 19 years in Washington.”

And Boehner would never lie, right?

Republicans Health Care

In the end, Democratic leadership threw a party. Republicans threw a fit. And women desiring the right to choose definitely lost.

Anyway, there’s a lot to cover today. So let’s just get into it, shall we? But not too deeply, because reading is hard:

1. Steve Benen offers a quick primer on what’s in the House Bill. “If you have insurance, you’ll have better, more stable coverage with consumer protections. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll get subsidies to help you purchase coverage from an exchange…The House bill is expensive, but it’s fully paid for, and would lower the federal budget deficit over the next couple of decades. It includes a public option for eligible consumers, an individual mandate, and an employer mandate. It would cover about 96% of the population, and does not raise taxes on the middle class.” (G.D.)

2. A TPM reader predicts that the 2012 elections, not next year’s, will prove to be the greatest vulnerability to health care reform. “The mandates that will drive up costs will take effect before then–young people will pay much more since premiums will be equalized for all age groups and private companies will have to cover even sick people. Since there will be no opt-out or no competition, they will be able to charge whatever they want.” (Quadmoniker)

3. In the midst of all the conversations about health insurance, there hasn’t been as much conversation about the rising cost of health care and what can possibly be done to stop it. Just to give an idea, at the current rate of growth, nine years from now the average American family is expected to pay $38,000 per year on health care – about half of their projected income. The team at This American Life in collaboration with NPR News have supplied not one, but two great podcasts for anyone who needs a primer on the issue. (Alisa)

4. William Saletan at Slate: “I’m not saying we shouldn’t socialize health insurance. I’m pretty comfortable with the House and Senate bills. But let’s give up the two lies we tell ourselves about such legislation. One is that it won’t cost us much money. The other is that it won’t cost us much choice. When you throw in your lot with other people and agree to play by the same rules, you surrender some of your freedom and risk losing some of your options. Sometimes it’s coverage of an MRI or a hip replacement. Sometimes it’s coverage of abortion. If that’s the price of health care reform, are you willing to pay it?” (Belleisa)

5. Some Democrats are already pushing back against an amendment in the bill that limits access to abortion. (G.D.)

6. Speaking of the Stupak amendment, Meredith Simmons explains why some women might have to choose between health care or an abortion. (Belleisa)

7. The Times profiles Joseph Cao, the lone Republican who voted for the House bill. Cao became the first Vietnamese American in Congress in 2008 when he upset Congressional Black Caucus mainstay (and now convicted felon) “Dollar” Bill Jefferson to win the seat for Louisana’s overwhelmingly black, Democratic 2nd district. His district’s makeup seemed to affect his thinking. “I had to make a decision of conscience based on the needs of the people of my district,” he told the Times. “A lot of my constituents are uninsured, a lot of them are poor.” (G.D.)

8. Also, Cao should probably check his seat before sitting down in the coming days: Cao, who said he was sitting next to Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., during the historic vote Saturday night, was asked whether he felt courageous or lonely after the vote. “I feel both courageous and lonely,” he said. (Blackink)

9. And already, conservatives are pursuing a Cao cleansing. (Blackink)

10. Feministing on “some of the positive things included in the House health reform bill.” (Belleisa)

11. ABC  is reporting that intelligence agencies knew that Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman in the mass shooting at Fort Hood, had tried to contact al Qaeda. (G.D.)

12. For more background about Hasan, here’s a link from the NYT. For irresponsible speculation from Joe Lieberman, check out this link. (Blackink)

13. The Orlando man who shot and killed one person and injured five others has been portrayed as “a mentally ill man who fell victim to countless personal and financial problems.” (Blackink)

14. To honor the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, TNR assembles archived links from that period. Michael Tomasky links to a piece revisiting whom he credits for the end of the Cold War (hint, it’s not Reagan or Gorbachev). Anne Applebaum reflects upon how far Central Europe has come in the past two decades. And the Huff Post has some pictures. (Blackink)

15. Yglesias on the hidebound Senate: “It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the fact that in a unicameral United States of America, we would now have passed both a comprehensive health care reform bill and also the most important piece of environmental legislation in the history of the world. Now that’s not the world we live in. Instead we live in a world where neither of those things have passed and where their prospects aren’t clear. But think back on this point the next time you hear someone say Obama is struggling with his agenda because he’s not centrist enough, or else that Obama is struggling with his agenda because he’s not left-wing enough.” (G.D.)

16. California may already be a failed state, says Robert Cruickshank of Calitics, but there’s still hope. (Blackink)

17. A group of progressives are organizing a donor boycott of the DNC, hoping to push President Obama to honor his campaign promises to the LGBT community. (Blackink)

18. It’s always good news for conservatives at The Weekly Standard. And, as John Cole notes, it’s also always contrarian good news. (Blackink)

19. Courtney Martin, one of the finalists in The Washington Post’s “Next Great Pundit” contest, ponders the male alternative to Tucker Max at the National Conference for Campus-Based Men’s Gender Equality and Anti-Violence Groups in Minnesota. (Blackink)

20. Precious’s Gabby Sidibe got jokes. (G.D.)

21. Wiley Pitts revisits the “fuckery” (a fantastic word) that is the story of Anthony Sowell. Everyone deserves a bit of fail here.  (Blackink)

22. In a recent study of D.C. high school students, surveyors found that parents or guardians, health workers, teachers, friends, and boyfriends or girlfriends were their most common sources of sexual information. Which means they probably weren’t learning much about sex at all. (Blackink)

23. Responding to Playboy cover girl Joana Krupa, Kate Harding answers the question, “why don’t feminists think porn empowers women?” (Belleisa)

24. Divining the difference between douchebags and bros. (Blackink)

25. From the Boston Review: “Wikipedians are 80 percent male, more than 65 percent single, more than 85 percent without children, and around 70 percent of them are under the age of 30.” (Belleisa)

26. Over at TheRoot.com, John McWhorter points out 10 books about race “that should be more widely read.” And Thomas Sowell is involved. (Belleisa)

27. Long story short: 50 Cent is ridiculous. (Blackink)

28. Jeremy Tyler, the first U.S. basketball player to skip his senior year of high school to play pro ball overseas, is off to a rough start in Israel. How rough? “As Tyler walked away, he bade farewell to a reporter leaving for the United States and said, ‘I wish I was going back with you.'” (Blackink)

29. If you have seen the latest pictures of former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, then you’ll understand why David Love at The Grio has some serious problems with the, um, ghostly images. (Blackink)

30. This horrifying moment, from Oregon State’s victory over Cal on Saturday, is a reminder of why all my football coaches told me to never leave my feet during a game. (Blackink)

I think you’ll all agree: this was a pretty random roundup, with some ass throw in for good measure. I’m talking specifically about Stupak and Lieberman.

Have a fantastic Monday!

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: In Praise of Pootie.

“Do The Right Thing” and “Malcolm X” are on the short list of my very favorite films. I fell asleep 30 minutes into “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” merely to escape the unholy rubbish unfolding before my eyes. And don’t even ask me what I think about “Meet the Browns.”

But when it comes to choosing sides in any silly beef between Spike Lee and Tyler Perry, and deciding who will be the ultimate gatekeeper for on-screen representations of colored folks, I think we’re all better off picking Pootie Tang:

pootietang

Sa da tay, people. Sa da tay.

Now for your weekly random-ass interruption of links:

1. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) is close to introducing legislation that would revamp the U.S. financial system, a historic attempt at reining in institutions deemed  “too big to fail.” (Blackink)

2. Speaking of fail, as talk of a public option gives way to a public mandate, the LA Times notes that insurers are absolutely giddy about the impending healthcare overhaul: “… there are likely to be no limits on what insurers can charge, while at the same time the plan is expected to limit competition from any new national government insurance plan that lawmakers create.” (Blackink)

3. Rudy Giuliani’s race-baiting on behalf of Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, rested on the presumption that an electoral victory by William C. Thompson would take the city back to the bad old lawless days of David Dinkins. But Michael Powell of the NYT thinks that the narrative assigned to Dinkins’ mayoralty — crime, homelessness, unemployment — has overshadowed much of what he did right. (G.D.)

4. Also, Giuliani is making half-hearted overtures about challenging the flailing David Paterson. “Friends and foes alike say they wonder whether Giuliani, who obviously considers himself fit to lead the United States of America, could really want to relocate to the state capital and play ringmaster of the Albany circus.” (Blackink)

5. AMERICAblog points us to a “fascinating and devastating” video from Media Matters, proving that Fox News has little understanding of the concept “Fair and Balanced.” Or perhaps they do and don’t give a damn. David Waldman at the Daily Kos breaks down the tape.  (Blackink)

6. Shortly after Obama took over the Oval Office, Jamelle repeatedly pointed out that presidents don’t like to roll back their authority, which meant that Obama was probably going to hold on to the sweeping executive powers that the Bush Administration carved out for itself. Julian Sanchez echoes Jamelle’s point, saying that the virtually unchanged update to the Patriot Act that passed last week proved that the Obama administration is likely to stay on the same path. (G.D.)

7. More than 300 prospective jurors showed up at a west Texas courthouse today in the start of trials for a dozen polygamist sect members charged with abuse of underage girls. “Seating an impartial jury in this community of fewer than 1,900 voters may prove difficult, because most residents know one another and the April 2008 raid on the Yearning For Zion Ranch drew intense media coverage.” (Blackink)

8. Frank Rich comes to the defense of Balloon Dad, likening his desperate lurch for fame as a sign of the times. “Richard Heene is the inevitable product of this reigning culture, where “news,” “reality” television and reality itself are hopelessly scrambled and the warp-speed imperatives of cable-Internet competition allow no time for fact checking.” (Blackink)

9. The BBC uses a retrospective on John Howard Griffin, the white guy who took medicine for vitiligo and went underground as a black man in the south in the 50s, to talk about recent incidents of blackface. Griffin, of course, wrote “Black Like Me.” (Quadmoniker)

10. Four San Jose police officers have been placed on administrative leave while the department reviews an incident in which a 20-year-old college student was repeatedly struck with a baton and was shocked with a Taser gun. There is video, and it is disturbing.  (Blackink)

11. A new bill in Oklahoma that would have required physicians to provide the state with detailed personal information about women who have abortions has been delayed by a state court, providing a glimmer of hope that common sense and decency might prevail there. (Blackink)

12. A popular Chicago nightclub doesn’t like the cut of your jib … if your jib happens to be black? (Blackink)

13. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford goes Galt. Also, he should keep going. (Blackink)

14. From Heather Havrilesky in  Salon, “Arrogance Rules the Small Screen”: “Smugness and swagger play well on TV. Eye-rolling know-it-alls, snorty laughter, brazen disregard for other people’s feelings, bullying, condescension, superiority complexes, afternoon glasses of bourbon, grumbly stoicism, infidelity, overconfident banter: These things are the rainbows and unicorns of the televisual schoolyard.” (Belleisa)

15. Charity expert Dan Pallotta argues in The Daily Beast that sexism is holding back the non-profit sector, preventing them from adopting aggressive business practices. (Blackink)

16. Daily newspapers are reporting a nearly 11 percent decline in circulation over the past year, part of an entirely predictable but disturbing trend. (Blackink)

17. Shiloh Pepin, who was born with a rare condition often called “mermaid syndrome,” has died. She was 10. (Blackink)

18. Mary Elizabeth-Williams on creepy showbiz dads. (Belleisa)

19. Sigh. Texas Southern University in Houston has stripped Tavis Smiley’s name from its communication school for failing to fulfill his Covenant with a Black School. A sad quote here: “TSU’s well-publicized problems made it impossible to raise money from corporate donors, Smiley said Friday. ‘And obviously, not unlike most Americans, my personal income has been impacted by this recession.'” (Blackink).

20. Lebanese chefs prepared more than two tons of hummus Saturday, breaking a world record held by Israel and hoping to assert their claim to proprietorship over the popular Middle Eastern dip. Donkeylicious calls it “the kind of Middle Eastern conflict I can get behind.” (Blackink)

21. Trying to be “more competitive” has gotten former Miss California Carrie Prejean sued. To save you the trouble, this is a story about her breasts. (Blackink)

22. I don’t even know how to categorize this – where does Sully find this stuff? (Alisa)

23. This article really makes me want to see Avatar. (Belleisa)

24. Cracked puts together a list of the five most unintentionally racist movies about racism. And of course, the god-awful “Crash” is on there. (Blackink)

25. Wonder why the Yankees haven’t won a World Series in so long? Well, it involves God a quadrennial summit between God and Satan… (G.D.)
26. I’ll refrain from providing many details here about the sordid scandal that unfolded at ESPN last weekend (trust, it’s easy to find) but a few sports blogs were appropriately disgusted at the childish and incendiary “coverage” by Deadspin. (Blackink)

27. Sadly, former NBA star Antoine Walker’s lack of on-court discipline was merely a hint at the troubles he had off the court. Yet another cautionary tale for pro athletes. (Blackink)

28. What it’s like to play for the nation’s only all-black college lacrosse team. (G.D.)

29. Now that the NFL’s costly building spree of the past 15  years has more than quadrupled debt held by the teams, club owners are pushing for a new labor deal with the players.  (Blackink)

30. And finally, former Florida State football star and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle – once again – is simply better than the rest of us. “The nicest thing about Oxford, Rolle said, is that it makes him feel as if he is in no hurry. He graduated from high school early and finished his education at Florida State in two and a half years, cutting short his football career by a season. He said the pace of Oxford had allowed him to throw himself into his studies without feeling harried.” (Blackink)

Until the next time, I gots to say na nay no.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: What Up?

I hear today (yes, it’s still Monday) is Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s birthday. But is it really? Can we get some sort of birth certificate to back this up?

Michael Steele

We offer Steele sincere birthday wishes, as he parties out there beyond the cutting edge and changing the game. Really, we all owe Steele something. From Day One, he’s been the gift that’s kept on giving.

A little later than usual, some random-assness from the weekend and beyond:

1. Adam argues against splitting hairs when it comes to calling something a “racial provocation” when it is, in fact, racist. (Shani-o)

2. Via Rumpus.net, The Huffington Post has a piece on “The World’s First Terrorist.” (Belleisa)
3. From the Journal-Sentinel in Milwaukee: “In March, he was laid off from his job as a raw materials coordinator for a plastics company called PolyOne, where he’d worked for 20 years. His severance package had provided several months’ salary, but by August the paychecks were winding down. Soon the cost of his family health coverage was going to triple, then a few months after that, nearly triple again. They needed coverage so Mom could fight her cancer. Dad’s solution: a four-year hitch in the Army.” Remember: the best health-care system in the world. (Blackink)
4. The N.Y. Times announced today that it will cut 100 newsroom jobs, or about 8 percent of the total. (Blackink)

5. Is Fox News “un-American”? Jacob Weisberg thinks so. (Blackink)

7. Estranged right-winger David Frum conducts an interesting thought experiment: “Suppose an agent arrived in the offices of Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity/O’Reilly etc. with an offer. ‘I can guarantee you a deal that will pay you twice as much – bring you twice as much fame – and extend your career twice as long – if you’d say the exact opposite of what you are saying now. Which of them would sign?” Also on his new Web site, Frum seems to be soliciting interns who resemble Anne Hathaway. But aren’t we all? (Blackink)

8. And proving Frum actually has a legitimate point about the death spiral of conservatives, ladies and gentlemen: the South Carolina GOP. (Blackink)

9. At Bitch PhD, Ding writes a post that’s about black hair, but isn’t really as much about black hair as it is about white people who question the existence of things they know nothing about. (Shani-o)

10. A review of Searching for Whitopia by Richard Benjamin from BookForum.com: “For two years, Rich Benjamin insinuated himself in some of the fastest-growing communities in America: ‘Whitopias,’ places in Georgia, Idaho, Utah—and even parts of Manhattan’s Upper East Side—where white people are currently migrating in massive numbers.” (Belleisa)

11. Penelope Trunk explains that the internets have created a generation of great writers (minus the trolls, one presumes). (Shani-o)

12. Junot Diaz on becoming a writer in O Magazine (Belleisa)

13. Can’t get enough of “Mad Men”? Want to know where they get all that “technology” you see on set? (Yes, I’m mocking you fans, but you should still read this cool interview with the show’s prop master.) (Shani-o)

14. Athenae goes on a righteous rant about the news value of the Balloon Boy story and beyond. (Blackink)

15. Bill Cosby, social embarrassment, and social media. What more could you ask for? (Shani-o)

16. Want the country to fail? There’s a rep for that. (Blackink)

17. After a relatively interesting week on the matrimony front, Melissa Harris-Lacewell reflects on marriage. (Blackink)

18. Not everyone is impressed with Malcolm Gladwell’s latest piece on football, concussions and dogfighting. (Blackink)

19. Tracy-Clark Flory on the GQ pic of January Jones: “My default setting is: Objects in magazine are other than they appear.” (I must admit that I watched Mad Men last night with an extra eye on JJ believing, like Tracy, that GQ had enhanced her bustline.) (Belleisa)
20. Did Eddie Murphy predict the housing crisis as far back as 20-plus years ago? Probably not. But still. (Blackink)
21. John Mayer seems to think a lot of himself, and not very much of anyone else. Punk. (Blackink)
22. Beyonce’s Galveston Island home apparently violates the Texas Open Beaches Act. (Blackink)
23. For Nas, money is now a cruel, heartless, unfaithful bitch: God’s Son reportedly owes the IRS more than $2.5 million in back taxes. (Blackink)
24. If this was 1988, son, I would definitely be looking for tickets: the Fat Boys’ Markie Dee has challenged retired WWF wrestler Iron Sheik to a match. I mean, I did see “Disorderlies” after all. (Blackink)
25. In case you missed it, Instapundit is leading a crusade against the NFL after poor lil Limbaugh was turned away from owning a piece of the St. Louis Rams. Adam explains it all to the Dittoheads. (Blackink)
26. Stephon Marbury is taking the year off. Which is good, because no one wanted him anyway. (Blackink)
27. A three-month investigation by CBS’ Armen Keteyian is raising a number of questions about the law enforcement investigation into the shooting death of former NFL star Steve McNair. On Tuesday, CBS is promising to reveal a “big” mistake that Nashville police made in the investigation. (Blackink)
28. And speaking of untimely deaths, the University of Connecticut is mourning the weekend stabbing death of football star Jasper Howard at an on-campus student party. A suspect has been taken into custody. As always, words fail. But Orson Swindle at EDSBS sums up the tragedy pretty well here: “Go hug someone. Don’t stab people. Be human. Avoid being a total asshole and try not to kill anyone. This isn’t hard.” (Blackink)
Sorry for working on c.p. time today. Enjoy your week.

Friday Random Ten

A dear member of our extended blog family, Leigh, is getting married in a week and needs a list of essential reception dance songs. Now that we’ve been called to duty, we’ll give it our best shot.

A very special edition of the Friday Random Ten:

1. Step in the Name of Love by R. Kelly (Blackink)

2. Back at One by Brian McKnight (Jamelle)

3. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know by Donny Hathaway (Belleisa)

4. You Put A Move On My Heart by Tamia (Shani-o)

5. Lady in My Life by Michael Jackson (Belleisa)

6. Isn’t It Romantic? by Ella Fitzgerald (Shani-o)

7. Can’t Let Go by Anthony Hamilton (Blackink)

8. You Were Meant for Me by Donny Hathaway (Belleisa)

9. At Last by Eva Cassidy (Shani-o)

10. Apache by Sugar Hill Gang (Blackink).

Leigh, if you need any ideas for an acceptable routine to accompany “Apache,” Will and Carlton will be your guides. Or you could just do this. Whichever.

If anyone else has suggestions or links or a kind word for the bride-to-be, you all know where to leave them.

That said, we’d like to offer Leigh a very sincere congratulations. Best wishes.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: No More About Nobel.

Heard this joke? I’m sure you haven’t. It’s really funny. Like, President Obama was recently nominated for a Country Music Award. Or the Heisman. Or a Pulitzer. Or a Source Award. Hell, so was I.

Trust me. This is all hilarious. Without even giving it much thought, anyone can be Leno these days. Comedy isn’t hard at all.

Here’s another one: what did the five fingers say to the face … ?

But enough with the funny. How about some random-assed, PostBourgie-approved reading material from the weekend?:

1. Happy Indigenous Peoples Day! (Shani-o)

2. Foreign Policy, on the military’s female units deployed in counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan: First, Afghans don’t seem to mind the female teams. Paradoxically, “Female Marines are extended the respect shown to men, but granted the access reserved for women,” the report finds. “In other words, the culture is more flexible than we’ve conditioned ourselves to think.” (Belleisa)

3. For much of the debate over health care reform, the insurance industry was saying all the right things. But now it seems ready to launch an all-out effort to defeat the Baucus bill, saying that it will cost the average policyholder an extra $4,000 a year. (G.D.)

4. Hoyden relates the tale of a breastfed 4-month-old infant in the 99th percentile of height and weight who is being denied health insurance because it’s obese.  There are no words. (Shani-o)

5. You can’t hear the music but, at this very moment, I’m playing the world’s smallest violin in honor of the very “tired and depressed” Roman Polanski. (Blackink)

6. From Broadsheet:  “Feminists for Choice alerts us to a new Oklahoma law (yes, law, not “proposed legislation” or “some kind of sick joke”) set to go into effect Nov. 1 that would collect detailed data about each abortion performed — and post it all on a public Web site.” (Belleisa)

7. Nearly a quarter of the planet’s population is now Muslim. (G.D.)

8. Alicia at Muslimah Media Watch questions those who question the veil. “Asking Muslim women why we choose to wear the hijab shifts the attention away from the asker’s insecurity of their own ideas of freedom and sexuality (if you’re comfortable with how everybody expresses their freedom and sexuality, how Muslim women dress should be the least of your worries).” (Shani-o)

9. Among many others, neither Andrew Sullivan nor Pam Spaulding were impressed with President Obama’s keynote address Saturday to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay civil rights advocacy group. About the only plus? His opening joke about Lady Gaga. (Blackink)

10. But in much more positive development, the Obama administration has stripped the notoriously xenophobic Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio of some of his powers in enforcing federal immigration law. (Blackink)

11. With each passing day, it looks more and more like embattled Texas Gov. Rick Perry has tried to obstruct a state probe into an arson investigation that led the the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. The Houston Chronicle also has a report showing that Perry received a five-page report from a noted expert questioning the evidence in Willingham’s case 88 minutes before the  execution. To quote a commenter, Perry seems to have no problem letting the facts get in the way of a body count. h/t Dog Canyon. (Blackink)

12. In the wake of Harry Connick Jr.’s righteous stand in Australia against a terrible tee-vee skit featuring blackface, Racialicious ponders the global race to be the “Least Racist Country.” (Blackink)

13. Even though Lonnie Jones was released from prison after serving more than five years for a murder he didn’t commit, the Brooklyn chapter of the Sex Money Murder Bloods still has a $20,000 contract on his head. (Blackink)

14. “Why Do More Women than Men Still Believe in God?” from DoubleX: “It’s hard not to compare women sticking with faith to wives confined to bad marriages: They’re so committed to the institution that they’ll willingly shrink under mistreatment just to maintain their own status quo.” (Belleisa)

15. The Daily Beast ranks Raleigh-Durham, N.C., the smartest city in the nation. (G.D.)

16. There are kosher elevators. I did not know this. And it is awesome. (Shani-o)

17. Matt Taibbi ponders some of the criticism directed at Michael Moore’s new movie, “Capitalism: A Love Story”: “…most of us Americans are much better at being movie and TV critics than we are at being political organizers.” (Blackink)

18. Bored with the look of the American dollar — it’s design hasn’t changed much since the 1920s —  a New York designer launched a contest to overhaul it. Here are some of the entries. (G.D.)

19. “Diary of an Escaped Sex Slave” from Marie Claire. (Belleisa)
20. Also via Marie Claire, Stoners for the “Sex and the City” crowd. (Belleisa)
21. Time explains how noted scholar and best-selling author Sarah Palin was able to write her memoirs so quickly. Surprisingly, crayons weren’t involved.
22. Sarah Silverman makes a pitch for curing world hunger, saving the world. Surely, the Pope would not be very happy with her or her potty mouth. (Blackink)

23. Alcohol ads work so well the British Medical Association thinks they should be banned. (Shani-o)

24. A water beetle. The five remaining numbers in a math problem. A junior hockey league team in Michigan. A treadmill on the International Space Station. Honestly, what’s left for Stephen Colbert to slap his name on?

25. A debate over black Barbies. (G.D.)

26. Yet another reason “The Cleveland Show” is damn near unwatchable: the shameful ridicule of the obese and disabled. Oh, who am I kidding? The show is unwatchable. (Blackink)

27. BET has a hip-hop awards show? (G.D.)

28. The head of the N.F.L. players’ union comes out against Rush Limbaugh’s attempt to purchase the St. Louis Rams. (G.D.)
29. Their franchise quarterback is rapidly becoming a bust of historic proportions. They suffered an embarrassing 37-point loss (and it wasn’t that close) to the Giants on Sunday. And their head coach could very soon face criminal charges for punching out one of his assistants. All in all, it must really suck to be a fan of the Oakland Raiders. (Blackink)
30. Known widely as the sportswriter who essentially ethered John Rocker, Jeff Pearlman is still waiting to hear back from his old foil: “Dumb-asses shouldn’t suffer for an eternity, should they?
Even John Rocker.” (Blackink)
As always, do whatever tickles your fancy in the comments. Even leave a link or two, if you’re so inclined.
Happy Monday.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Boo-S-A!

Turns out, President Obama may have gotten some bad advice about the prospects for Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Games. Fortunately, he seems to care little about taking the L.

From Valerie Jarrett: “We have plenty on our plate to do. He called the president of Brazil from Air Force One to offer congratulations, and by the time we landed in Washington, he was talking about healthcare.”

apg_obama_olympics_090928_mn

You can find more Olympi-links here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Meh. What’s the big deal about the Olympics? Am I supposed to be sad that there won’t be Greco-Roman wrestling at Soldier Field? And who wants all those foreigners coming across our borders anyway?

Also, rooting against our country is the hot, popular thing. All the (right-wing) kids are doing it.

Thus, without further ado, random-assness from the past weekend:

1. The GOP wants Michael Steele to fall back. (G.D.)

2. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich offers up some ideas on what President Obama can do to promote job creation. He also finds time to slap around God Greenspan: “His views about the future should be carefully noted as being the exact opposite of what’s likely to be in store.” (Blackink)

3. Also, I’m a little more freaked out by this, and a little more ready to blame the anti-government sentiment behind stoked by the crazies, than Kentucky investigators are in the case of a man hanged to a tree with “fed” scrawled across his chest. (Quadmoniker)

4. Kate Harding takes down the Roman Polanski supporters on Broadsheet. (Belleisa)

5. They hate us because we’re free: the United Nations rates the U.S. 13th in their newly-released Human Development Index, which measures quality of life in 182 nations. (Blackink)

6. I’d always thought the Dave Chappelle joke was funny, and then I read Elizabeth Smart’s testimony about the horror she endured when she was allegedly kidnapped in 2002 and thought, I don’t know if I’d have the chutzpa to run away either. His broader point holds, obviously. (Quadmoniker)

7. The seriously awesome Penelope Trunk writes about how she handles having Asperger’s Syndrome at work. (Shani-o)

8. Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain’s campaign last year, warned that nominating Paiin in 2012 could have a “disastrous election result.” (G.D.)

9. Could NY Dems engineer a way for David Paterson to bow out by softening his landing with a cushy spot in Congress? (G.D.)

10. The straight raw from Dog Canyon: Texas Gov. Rick ” Perry has certainly destroyed the integrity of the Texas Forensics Commission. He’s jeopardized future investigations. He’s sacrificed the truth to his political whims. He may have cost Texas money.” (Blackink)

11.Via Tayari Jones, Chinua Achebe will publish a collection of essays titled The Education of a British-Protected Child. (Belleisa)

12. I went looking for The Daily Dish and somehow wound up at Fleshbot. “As I finally collapsed into my lover’s arms with the final orgasm that drained every last drop of desire or need from my body and soul” … and so on. But thanks for sharing anyway, Sully. (Blackink)

13. Also via Tayari, Octavia Butler’s papers will be added to the Huntington Library. (Belleisa)

14. Amanda Hess highlights a frat at George Washington University that aims to end a legacy of homophobic stereotypes. The response was, well, sadly predictable. (Blackink)

15. Our play-cousin Alyssa Rosenberg chats it up with Matt Yglesias on Bloggingheads. (Shani-o)

16. Suffering from grief over the death of their babies, female monkeys in Morocco have been observed suckling their own milk. It’s apparently a learned behavior. (Blackink)

17. Some amazing, unsettling pictures from the Sumatra earthquake. (G.D.)

18. From TheRumpus.net: a guide to employers for managing writers in the workplace. (Belleisa)

19. Charting the incredible rise in teen texting over the past two years. (Blackink)

20. Glenn Beck as the new wave of literary fiction in Slate. (Belleisa)

21. Adam Serwer brings it home: “Any political movement that places The Bell Curve among its most important intellectual accomplishments can expect to have very few people of color in it.” (Blackink)

22. From The New Republic, John McWhorter writes a description of the essay he wrote here titled “What African American Studies Could Be.” (Belleisa)

23. Richard Prince asks can Ebony magazine be saved? And should we bother? (Blackink)

24. Speaking of dying magazines, Conde Nast kills Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride (why two bridal magazines in the first place?). (Shani-o)

25. Via CNN, Mental Floss reveals 10 secret menu items at fast-food restaurants. It’s good if, you know, you’re into bacon or a quadruple-patty burger. (Blackink)

26. Method Man turned himself in today on felony chargees of tax evasion. He’s apparently been delinquent since 2004. What the blood clot? (Blackink)

27. I don’t know how I missed this during our Friday Random Ten tribute to Chicago: R. Kelly recently revealed that he suffers from illiteracy. This explains quite a bit. I’m thinking in particular of “I Like the Crotch on You.” (Blackink)

28. The Godfather of Go-Go music is still on the go. (Blackink)

29. To borrow a line from a good friend, this is one of those very rare times when I gleefully imagine McCain in the White House. (Blackink)

30. If you care, Deadspin is doing a great job of covering the Erin Andrews peeper case. If you don’t, sorry I wasted your time. (Blackink)

Sigh. So glad baseball season is almost over.

Until the next time, folks.