A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
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Free MP3 sites

Be your own program director. Venture off the beaten path. Live a little.

2dopeboyz: Hip hop. (RSS)

3hive: Sharing the sharing. Free and legal MP3s from over 600 underground and undiscovered artists — new ones added daily. (RSS)

Amazon MP3 Download - Frequency: Weekly. Get the latest on Amazon MP3 music downloads - new releases, freshly ripped hits, and special deals.

Audio Drums - A blog for rare, possibly overlooked, maybe forgotten gems of music with a slight emphasis on electronic and indie genres. (RSS)

Common Folk Music - A blog about music, not just folk music, but all music ranging from indie to alt-country to bluegrass, because music is for the “Common Folk”. (RSS)

Discobelle.net (RSS)

Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog - Folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and other music of the people. (RSS)

Fingertips Music - Free and legal music. (RSS)

Gorilla Vs Bear (RSS)

Hillydilly: Simply Good Music. (RSS)

I Rock Cleveland: Indie Rock, College Rock, Alt Rock, Modern Rock, Cleveland Rock, and Rock. (RSS)

KEXP Song of the Day: KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters (RSS)

Kick Kick Snare (RSS)

Line Of Best Fit - TLOBF.COM | Music Reviews, News, Interviews & Downloads (RSS)

Lipstick Disco - Deep House & Disco music blog fronted by Females (RSS)

Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day: Music lovers from 89.3 The Current share songs with you each weekday. (RSS)

Muruch (RSS)

Music Like Dirt: Music in all its many forms, mp3’s, live reviews and photography. (RSS)

My Old Kentucky Blog - a music blog that parties with unicorns. (RSS)

Nah Right. (RSS)

ninebullets.net. (RSS)

Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog, LA Music Blog (RSS)

Said the Gramophone: a music weblog (RSS)

She Makes Music: She Makes Music focuses on the most exciting and impressive new music created by brilliant and talented female musicians. (RSS)


Sounds Better With Reverb (RSS)

Stereogum: All the MP3s on Stereogum.com (RSS)

their bated breath (RSS)

Women of Hip Hop (RSS)

YouKnowIGotSoul (RSS)

Mourn ya till I join ya

The Wheel’s Still In Spin: Focusing on new music releases and reviews of individual albums as original, fictional short stories (RSS)

A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz - This site is just a way for me to have a little fun and share a little music. I’ll highlight some of my favorite artists that I play on the radio and try to expound upon their music in ways I can’t always do on the air. (RSS)

Aminal Sound

Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles - Salon.com

Crossfade: The CNET music blog

Direct Current New Music - Adult pop, rock, singer/songwriters, folk, Americana, alt-country, adult alternative, soul, world music, crossover jazz and simply those artists that make us go “hmmm.”(RSS)

GarageBand.com Folk top tracks (RSS)

GarageBand.com Hip Hop top tracks (RSS)

Flawless Hustle: Urban culture blog featuring artist interviews, music reviews, legal music downloads, street art, graffiti and more! (RSS)



The Jon Swift principle: “I will add anyone to my blogroll who adds me to theirs.” Email or leave a comment to let me know.


The Hunting of the Snark

Sites participating in blogroll amnesty day

Jon Swift aka Al Weisel, may he rest in peace. Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day

skippy the bush kangaroo (Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day) (2012)

Vagabond Scholar (2012)
Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety. Keeper of the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup (The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Notes From Underground (2012)

Redeye’s Front Page (2012)

Wisdom of the West (2012)

Zen Comix (2012)

pygalgia (2012)

Mikeb302000 (2012)

The Agonist (2012)

Brilliant At Breakfast (2012)

Bacon and Eggs (2012)

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It Isn't Reform Unless It Gives Goldman an Aneurysm

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post

Issues of financial reform and regulation can be intimidating to laymen (this layman anyway) because of its insanely complex nature. It is easy to imagine the system as a big Jenga tower, and moving one piece might cause the whole thing to come crashing down. No one wants to be seen as inadvertently - but earnestly! - advocating for a ruinous policy. Of course, that means the opposite extreme is then in play: Turning into Hamlet and endlessly agonizing over what to do at the expense of actually doing something. Not to mention the fact that, not to put too fine a point on it, wide swaths of our leadership has for years now been deliberately advocating ruinous policies both at home and abroad. That should certainly make those of us in the unwashed masses comfortable with forcefully advocating what seems reasonable based on available data. It’s not as though we could screw it up any worse.

Still, it would be nice to have a rule of thumb, compass point or guiding principle to go by. Having been a reasonably close observer of the meltdown and its aftermath, here is one I have come up with: It is necessary (but not sufficient) that any proposal be strenuously opposed by Goldman Sachs (GS). In a largely protected industry Goldman appears to be the closest thing to untouchable as we have. It is in Matt Taibbi’s already-legendary description “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” It has installed a revolving door between the highest levels of the government and its board room, enjoys privileged lines of communication with the Treasury secretary exceeding even that of our closest allies, was happily positioned as a key competitor died, then days later benefited as a key debtor was drenched in cash (Yves Smith called it a “massive backdoor subsidy to the likes of Goldman”), and as it happens was the second largest contributor to the president in the 2008 election cycle. More so than any other player in financial services, GS always seems to be nearby when bad things happen.

With that in mind, we can use Goldman’s position as a handy template for evaluating any reforms. The much heralded limits on executive compensation? They do not include Goldman. Therefore they are not real reforms. It is just so much transparently phony political grandstanding. The “Too Big Too Fail” bill making its way through the House looks like it will miss GS through a combination of loopholes and inadequacy (and may in fact be an enormous giveaway to the industry). The Consumer Financial Protection Agency seems to be a mixed bag, but note that the “financial autopsy” amendment was defeated. What might GS have thought of that? To get an idea here is the take of George Washington from Washington’s Blog (emphasis in original):

Instead of trying to pass a one-size-fits-all bill prohibiting certain specified conduct, it will force an annual analysis of what financial products are sticking it to the consumer. Remember, credit default swaps didn’t bring down the economy because they are toxic while all other financial vehicles are pure as the driven snow. CDS brought down the economy because they were the choice du jour of the looters. If we outlaw CDS (which I have argued for in the past), then the looters would create some other instrument for looting.

Considering GS’s plunge into the CDS pool I think it is safe to say a financial autopsy would not be great PR, nor would autopsies for whatever havoc Wall Street’s next adventure in casino capitalism produces. In other words, it would have been real reform. The same appears to be the case for Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve. We know that Stephen Friedman, then-chairman of the New York Federal Reserve’s board of directors and GS board member, was engaged in substantial stock trading right around the time Goldman was converting to a bank holding company regulated by the Fed. Since it led to his resignation GS probably has skeletons in that closet as well. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke opposes it too, which may be suggestive. GS does not appear to have come down firmly against it, but as Paul’s bill goes down to the wire it looks like GS will lobby hard against it. Which means, real reform.

Despite the somewhat flippant tone, my main point is completely sincere: As Congress looks at various proposals, the opposition of GS may be as accurate a barometer as the average citizen will have for deciding just how substantive the various proposals, bills and amendments really are. Goldman Sachs is a nearly perfect example of the modern Wall Street ethos, and it has become the inverse of Charles Erwin Wilson’s vision of GM: What’s good for it is bad for America.

Reader Comments (4)

Without campaign finance reform, there can be no finance reform. Consider who GS contributed to.

I'd like to see a reform bill authored by Brooksley Born and Elizabeth Warren.

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Hayden

That's a good point Kevin. Public financing of elections would be a big help.

October 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterDan

It is such a relief to read Americans with opinions that have some basis in fact.
"An era can be considered over when its basic illusions have been exhausted." ........Arthur Miller
Good people are everywhere in the majority.In America the vast majority of good people have been confused by a well oiled and massive bs machine. The bullshit merchants have had a whole whack of the citizenry marching around the flag singing Yankee Doodle, with their pants down, while the politicians give it to them. Behind that are the puppet masters. What I am reading here and elsewhere is wonderful and so hopeful that the monster will be tamed.

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergarry walsh

Thanks very much Garry. I appreciate the kind words.

October 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterDan

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