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.
- Prairie Weather

“Protest works. Just look at the proof”

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)

« Weekend Wrapup | Main | Occupy Charlottesville: Background and What's Next »

2012 will be more about actual problems than phantom movements

It’s funny that professional left now describes those who have been too critical of Democrats. To the extent that such a thing - a well funded, fully staffed and perennially active infrastructure presuming to be a liberal standard bearer - exists, it is the province of the think tanks (Center for American Progress), media (New Republic) and personalities (Jonathan Chait) constantly flacking in defense of Washington.

While it may offer occasional quibbles, the real professional left is ultimately supportive of current leadership, and more interested in rationalizing its actions than examining whether that leadership has been less than exemplary. And since there is a rotating cast of political followers who need faux-progressive commentary designed to lionize and prop up the established order, there is always plenty to do.

Because of the relatively high turnover among those followers (it changes as leaders change), folks like Chait can offer up new wankery on a regular basis without having to answer for previous instances. Really, Chait’s time as an analyst should have ended with: “No matter how badly we might bungle a post-Saddam rebuilding of Iraq—and Bush’s record in Afghanistan, alas, suggests little reason for optimism—it is difficult to imagine that deposing Saddam will not greatly improve the living conditions and human rights of the Iraqi people.” But failure is not discrediting for the professional left.

This is not to say it consists entirely of snake oil salesmen. Some like Steve Benen are very sincere and thoughtful, and in fact Benen is a regular read for me. But while I enjoy his analysis, sometimes he seems a little too determined to explain everything as the result of GOP perfidy.

Take the payroll tax cut. Forget that if you’re talking about tax cuts then you’re on Republican ground. The bigger problem is that it is being played up way out of proportion to its usefulness. Does anyone think it has been substantially stimulative? Is there any evidence it has made a real impact - say 1% or more - on the unemployment rate? The whole squabble is essentially inside baseball, which means non-political junkies will just regard it as more background noise from Washington. The kind of fine distinctions Benen makes are destined to be lost on the broader electorate.

To really energize the base, I suspect Democrats will need to identify an agenda and also a legislative path for its enactment. Using the payroll tax holiday as one item in a substantial list of initiatives (including, say, mortgage cramdown, taxing the rich, reinstating Glass-Steagall and the previous bankruptcy program, and a massive infusion of grant money for colleges) could be a real selling point. Whining about how the big bad GOP stymied all the awesome things you were on the verge of doing? Not so much.

Which is why a concrete platform has to also be accompanied by a road map. When Democrats had the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2008 they proved more concerned with the tender feelings of their friends across the aisle than with the actual fates of millions of their fellow citizens. It will be incumbent on leadership - Harry Reid and others in the Senate particularly - to show how they will move items through the process.

Maybe they can tell voters they need at least 75 Democrats to overcome defections from “centrist” members of their own caucus along with reflexive filibusters. I suspect they’d get a better reception by simply pledging to do away with the filibuster and going with majority rule, but I’ll leave political calculation to the professionals.

There is also what Eric Scheiderman called the “sense that we don’t have one set of rules for everyone anymore, that people are not held accountable for misconduct.” For instance, the Justice Department just settled an eight year lawsuit with no disclosure and no admission of wrongdoing. Also, a former Treasury Secretary was just alleged to have tipped of his Wall Street buddies with insider information. These are merely two recent examples.

There seems to be complete impunity above a certain level; call it Too Big To Jail. Democrats have at least allowed it to flourish, and that encourages the perception that there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference between the parties. Want to change that? A perp walk for Hank Paulson would be a splendid place to start.

But at a minimum, outline a program that might make a real difference in voters’ lives. Tax cuts won’t do it, and “we’ll try not to once again be confounded by Republican parliamentary maneuvering” is not the path. The question voters’ need answered is, what will be different this time? If they don’t have that answer, election day might disappointing for Democrats.

Reader Comments (3)

Obama could prosecute some banksters right now -- if he wanted to. That would energize the base. He surely knows that, and he doesn't do it, so he doesn't care, so he thinks he can win without the base, or it doesn't matter to him whether he wins or not, because he's a made man. If the base mattered to Obama, he wouldn't have fractured it in 2008. Anyhow, after hopey change, nothing Obama says matters anyhow, except to the Kool-Aid drinkers.

December 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlambert strether

Wankery is one good word!

December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana D. Nelson

You know, lambert, technically he couldn't. He couldn't order Holder to prosecute; that would be the same kind of politicization that Bush did w/Gonzales & the US Attorney firings. But he could publicly say he's asked the AG to look into it, and that he has his full support to go wherever it might lead.

There are lots of ways like that he could very clearly signal what he wants, and he does just that on the things that he prioritizes. The payroll tax cut is one example; he's been very vocal about wanting to keep it. His most enthusiastic supporters tend to offer the false choice of the president either having dictatorial powers to order anything or the president being a completely helpless bystander. There's a decent amount of territory between those two, though.

December 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterDan

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