“The Republican Plan….Die Quickly”
I do believe the Democrats have finally found the words in what’s — like it or not — a bipartisan
smackdown debate on health care reform….at least something as catchy as “death panels” thanks to Representative Alan Grayson of FL.
Will “Die Quickly” stick? Republican members requested an apology from Rep. Grayson. Grayson said he would only apologize to the “the dead.” We’ll see how this one plays, if at all, in the town hall version or what bumper stickers Grayson’s words will inspire.
I wonder what George Lakoff makes of this?
Updated: Why does Grayson matter right now? Jon Stewart explains Tuesday’s health care reform upset in the Senate Finance Committee when public option admendments submitted by Rockefeller (D-WV) and Schumer (D-NY) were struck down. FYI – The following day amendments struck down included a separate insurance for abortion and a government issued i.d. requirement (proof of citizenship) for Medicaid and children’s health care benefits.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
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If trees would talk
wonder what they’d tell me
Nikki Giovanni – “Alabama Poem”
Ken Burns is certainly going to try to give nature a voice in his latest epic 6-part mini-series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Last night (Sunday) was the premiere on PBS. Ten hours left. No better time than now to highlight some of the nation’s most beautiful and economical day trips and vacation spots.
Ken Burns became a public television mega star when his series “The Civil War” premiered on PBS — the most watched primetime PBS program. On paper whodathought? From that point no one could say “no” to another and another Burns series from “The West,” to “Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery”, to “Baseball,” to “Jazz.” He got into a little skirmish with his WW II series “The War” for the omission of Hispanic soldiers who served. There was a truce of sorts for the stories of Hispanic veterans to be included in the broadcast.
Burns’ single docs “Unforgiveable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson” “Brooklyn Bridge,” “Thomas Jefferson,” “Huey Long,” “The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God,” “Statue of Liberty” are broadcast as anthologies celebrating the filmmaker. Even Apple’s iMovie has a video editing transition called the “Ken Burns effect.”
For 22 years, Ken Burns’ documentaries enjoyed financial support from General Motors until March of this year. GM declared bankruptcy in May as part of a U.S. government sponsored reorganization of the beleaguered automaker. “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” was the last film GM financed prior to these developments. America’s now waiting for GM’s better idea.
Full episodes of “The National Parks” are available onlinehere on the PBS website. There are also opportunities for viewers or visitors to the website to share their photos and stories.
Wonder how many GM vehicles will be in those gentle vacation memories?
Update: Thumbs up for “The National Parks.” I gave up “Gossip Girl” to watch this. Glad I did.
Excuse me while I digress for a moment but….
Does this look like a set from a James Bond movie or what??? Who’s holding the laser pointer? This is the “conference room” for the G20 Summit inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The Center is the first and largest certified “green” convention center in the world.
The DLL Convention Center was designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects of New York (with offices in London and LA). The firm also designed the Jazz at Lincoln Center building in NY and Boston’s Convention and Exhibition Center.
A major moment of the summit is that this will be the round table for all future world economic summits — 13 additional seats have been added. It was decided that the [basically Eurocentric] G7 could no longer
ignore represent the reality of emerging markets that now include China, Brazil, India and others. So for now, it’ll be G20 to address global economic issues with the top leadership.
Iran’s extracurricular nuclear activities was another major moment. G7 alumni (US, UK, France – entering according to height?) called Iran out on a second uranium enrichment site which was not opened to UN inspectors. Apparently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was tipped off about the tip off to the US and tried to cover his
buttbases with a diplomatic gesture at the United Nations meeting. That may have thwarted an “A Ha!” moment, but it didn’t resolve the issue. Iran is part of the world stage, but that role is still TBD. It’s like a lover scorned flirting with their bad ex’s who got the apartment and kept the dog after the split. Iran is a link in the big global picture’ and their long, history indicates this country is too smart to isolate itself from the rest of the world. They have much to offer. Perhaps that’s the dilemma.
I thought I’d check out Google Trends to see what’s hot on the search engine. Apparently, it’s today’s hot cricket match between India and Pakistan in Johannesburg, SA. Let me guess. This is probably a big deal in that rivalry kind of way. If only these things could be settled on the cricket field provided the fans go straight home and go to bed after the game. This game is for the ICC Champions Trophy. Google trends rates this one “Volcanic” on the “Hotness” meter. The match will be live streamed. Start with the Live Cricket Network. There may be others. But not ESPN.
The President reports back from the meeting in his weekly address.
Message from Thomas Sayers Ellis. See you September 30th
“In our society we rightly identify hate words with racial, ethnic, and gender slurs. What are we therefore to make of the usage or what more aptly might be described as misusage of words like “communism” and “fascism”? In 1938, we now understand, it would have been the height of irresponsibility not to shout from the rafters the dangers implicit in the demagoguery of Hitler and his S.S. But if we fought a war to defeat Nazi Germany and manned the barricades to hold communism at bay, isn’t it logical to assume that if a citizen were to believe that a government official is a fascist or communist, that official’s personal safety, as well as our social cohesion, could be in jeopardy?
That is why it is so important for Americans to think through the meaning of words and the meaning of history, our own as well as others’.”
From “Civility and Hate Speech”California Humanities Council
Los Angeles, California
September 17, 2009
Jacqueline Trescott’s article on the NEH can be found here in today’s Washington Post. Jim Leach was formerlly a Republican member of Congress from Iowa.
BUSING POETS WITH KIM ROBERTS
Initially Kim Roberts and I were going to have coffee at Busboys and Poets, but decided to take the plunge and order some scrambled eggs for catching up and other true confessions. Kim has been writing the literary walking tours for the Big Read – D.C. since “Zora Neale Hurston’s Washington.” Kim is also editor of Beltway: The Online Poetry Journal which turns 10 years old in 2010. Kim is working on a schedule of activities to celebrate including a special 10th anniversary edition of Beltway. Beltway has a solid reputation in poetry circles. Some of my favorite issues explore Washington DC writer history.
Kim is also completing an anthology of poems about Washington, DC. This should be a great companion to George Pelecanos’ DC Noir anthologies (short fiction – 2nd volume is the best). The title is Full Moon On K Street: Poems About Washington, DC. The 100 poems that make up the anthology were written between 1950 and the present by writers who have lived or are currently living in DC. Our friend Thomas Sayers Ellis is included as well as Holly Bass, Grace Cavalieri (who gave me a copy of her Langston Hughes interview for her radio show “The Poet and the Poem” – I’ve got to listen to that), Sarah Browning, Essex Hemphill, Naomi Ayala, E-Notes E. Ethelbert Miller, Tony Medina, and many, many more.
The anthology is being published by Plan B Press. It will be available in January.
HEALTH CARE REFORM PAPER TRAIL – THE BAUCUS BILL
I guess “health insurance reform” didn’t stick. Nevertheless, the Baucus Bill known as the “America’s Health Future Act of 2009″ coming out of the Senate Finance Committee has been designated the pony to watch, perhaps because the Senate will probably move on their bill before the House on their version. There is no public option in the Baucus bill. Senator Max Baucus, the friendless Democratic Senator from Montana, authored the bill which received no support from Democrats or Republicans. It is being used now as a draft to retool for a final Senate bill. The complete version is over 1000 pages; but there’s a 223 page over view available here.
Open Congress has a decent site for tracking and understanding the Baucus Bill here. You can add your two cents or more. You can also follow the money trail for big Pharm, insurance, and other medical business interests on Open Congress here. Unlike the health care debate, OpenCongress.org is non-partisan. Oh, come to think of it, so was the initial Hill hate on the Baucus bill.
THE FUTURE OF MUSIC COALITION POLICY SUMMIT (October 4 -6)
Health care for musicians is one of the scheduled sessions at the upcoming Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit October 4 – 6 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
FMC has a program called HINT (Health Insurance Navigation Tool) to help uninsured musicians navigate the health insurance maze and find an affordable plan.
The Policy Summit focuses on music, technology, policy and law. Basically the new business of music distribution (and the old recorded tunes as well). Speakers at the summit include Senator Al Franken (D-MN), FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski , Mike Mills of r.e.m., and Daniel Ek, founder of the music service Spotify.
I’m working with FMC to present a special screening of COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS as part of ITVS Community Cinema (October 4 at 5 PM – Georgetown University Intercultural Center Auditorium). The film’s exeuctive producer, Kimbrew McLeod, will be there for the Q&A. COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS looks at the evolution, use, profits, and legal madness of sampling in hip hop music. “Who owns the notes and who gets paid?” The screening is FREE. Additional Community Cinema screenings of COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS are scheduled for October 25 and 28. Go here for more information.
Here’s a trailer:
I suppose there’s a good reason why the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation avoids calling their Fellows Program “Genius Grants.” Geniuses constantly have to prove themselves. Fellows still have room to grow.
Today the MacArthur Foundation announced their 2009 Fellows in science and the arts. The Fellows are recommended and selected by a nominating committee. Each fellowship comes with a $500,000 stipend paid out over a period of 5 years. The fellowships are unrestricted and are not based on past work but are an investment in the person’s “potential, originality, and insight.” The program allows the fellows the freedom to exercise their creative instincts (i.e. pay their bills), “for the benefit of human society.”
Haitian-born novelist Edwidge Danticat is the 2nd MacArthur Fellow I’ve had the opportunity to meet, chat and even share an email. E-Notes predicts a Nobel prize in her future. I’ll second that. I’ll always remember being impressed by her calm, grounded spirit; an “old soul” the elders would say, but not too old. I noticed this about Danticat from the moment she was introduced on “Oprah” when “Breath, Eyes, Memory” was selected for the book club. I don’t believe she was even 30 years old at the time. In her interview today on NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin, Danticat says she plans to use the stipend to “upgrade” the family’s health insurance since she and her husband are both self-employed. They have two young children.
A complete list of the twenty four 2009 MacArthur Fellows is here.