Sports

With Lou Piniella’s impending retirement, there’s already replacement chatter. But I don’t think the Yankees will let Joe Girardi go, and many worry that Ryne Sandberg, nice guy that he is, just isn’t ready yet.
Y’know who’s available, though? Davey Johnson.

“He mouths the word retirement but remains an adviser to the Washington Nationals and is in uniform for his second college summer league season. When asked by his players if he had interest in the Florida Marlins job when it opened in June, Johnson said he would manage again but only “if the situation were perfect.”
“Given that his idea of perfection would require some control of personnel decisions, he realizes he probably isn’t going back to the big leagues, though he said he had turned down several offers to be a bench coach in recent years.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/sports/baseball/31manager.html?hpw

Education / Culture

I’ve blogged before about the plethora of training opportunities that turn out to be far more lucrative for the institutions than beneficial for its students. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Il.) noticed, too, and has written a cautionary op-ed in the Chicago Tribune concerning these scams programs.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-0730-loans-20100730,0,1872845.story

My previous posts:
https://periscopejd.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/culture-education/

https://periscopejd.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/culture-education-2/

And more at Politics Daily:

“The trade-offs that plague private sector institutions are significant. One school reported an operating profit of $489 million, a 37 percent profit margin from their $1.3 billion revenues. At the same time, 23 percent of students defaulted on their loans within three years of leaving for-profit schools offering certificates and associate’s degrees.”

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/07/06/as-congress-investigates-for-profit-colleges-students-face-risk/?icid=sphere_wpcom_inline/

Politics

That there’s any argument whatsoever for not making Elizabeth Warren the head of the new Consumer Protection Agency just boggles my mind. Who on Jah’s green earth is more qualified? I don’t get it. More on that later, perhaps…

Similarly, extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class while ending them for the wealthy seems like such an obviously beneficial move for the overall economy it’s almost silly. And yet…

“So there’s no misunderstanding here, let me state it outright: Kent Conrad and Joe Lieberman are arguing for the further erosion and obliteration of the middle class in order to give the rich folks a tax break for a few more years.
“Their twirly argument about it being “bad for the economy” to raise taxes in a recession presumes that the entire country is at the mercy of the elite 1% whose incomes exceed $250,000 per year. We’re just the screaming rabble waiting for crumbs from the merciful elite, after all.
“It also presumes the same false argument Republicans make; namely that tax cuts are not a form of spending and should not be viewed as such. OF COURSE they are.
“Meanwhile, the rich are not spending and aren’t signaling any particular desire to spend, so giving them some extra bucks won’t stimulate the economy in any kind of good way anyway. Those of us who are still unemployed, or still earning a paycheck similar to the paycheck we earned 15 years or so ago, on the other hand, would welcome some extra money to pay the bills and maybe even buy a thing or two.”

If you argue that letting the cuts lapse is, in fact, a tax hike, than you have to stipulate that continuing unfunded tax cuts is spending. The unemployed can, apparently, go suck eggs, while rich people must continue to receive ‘relief’ that many prominent rich people (most notably Warren Buffett) don’t even want. Try to reach a sensible compromise, and you seem to just piss both sides off even more. Whaaaa??!!

Look, these days I’m not even remotely happy with the Democrats in Congress. But, messy as things are, we can’t go back to the Gingrich – Rove – DeLay – Boehner – McConnell oligarchy. I have hated, and do hate, voting for the lesser of two evils. But we have to nonetheless. Things will get worse before they get better. Mark my words, these are the nauseating final decades of corporate capitalism – it’s gorging itself while assuring you there’ll be plenty for everybody if you just leave them alone. When you re-elect incumbent Republican hardliners or Tea Party dilettantes, you vote against promoting the general Welfare, and securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. Or to quote another source, “And you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market.”

http://crooksandliars.com/node/38656

More bleeding-heart European-style propaganda (you’re welcome):
http://my.democrats.org/page/content/tpgop/?facebookshare%3Fsource=FB2

http://www.thenation.com/article/37889/no-oligarchy

Politics / Socioculture

I’ve made a point not to give Sarah Palin any attention. But when someone else nails her this eloquently (namely Susan Jacoby of the Washington Post), I think it’s appropriate to share it.

“Whenever I hear liberal-to-centrist pundits saying that even if Sarah gets the Republican nomination, she will only ensure Obama’s re-election, I shudder. That this representative of pure ignorance, retrograde religion, and class envy is being taken seriously at all speaks volumes about the dumbing down of America.”

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/spirited_atheist/2010/07/bristol_and_levi_poster_children_for_the_dumbing_down_of_america.html

Movies

Don’t get Pajiba’s Dustin Rowles entirely wrong; overall, he liked ‘Salt.’

“Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt in this Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) throwback to Cold-War thrillers. And maybe it shouldn’t matter, and maybe it makes me a raging asshole for saying this, but when casting the role for a bad-ass double, triple, or quadruple CIA Agent who will be tasked with jumping off of bridges onto moving 18-wheelers, roughing up aggressors, or standing up to a stiff wind, it might have been in the best interest of the studio to bring aboard someone capable in real life of winning two out of three arm wrestling matches with Betty White. Maybe that sounds shallow, but this is not a case of lookism, mind you: Angelina Jolie is a beautiful woman, and Wanted more than displayed her action bona fides. Unfortunately, it appears as though Ms. Jolie hasn’t eaten since she left the set of Wanted, and while body dysmorphia might enhance her chances at being cast in the next George Romero production, it’s hard to take seriously a Jolie bobble-head perched on a wicker coat rack as an action hero. It’s not that Jolie doesn’t have the talent or the presence to pull off the role, it’s that she doesn’t have the body mass. She’s a withered carcass parading around in a blond wig and pea-coat that she probably needs invisible wires to support. And after cracking three dozen heads in Salt, you begin to wonder why no one thinks to pull out the one thing that could knock the Evelyn Salt immovable force on her ass, namely a window fan set to medium.”

http://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/salt-review-bourne-meets-body-dysmorphia.php

Media / Politics / Socioculture

‘CNN Anchors Attack the Scourge of Anonymity’. The anonymous aren’t the problem, says Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. It’s the lousy journalistic ethics of the by-lined mainstream.

“People spill a lot of ink on complex explanations for the profound flaws of the establishment media, but often, the proximate cause is simply the pure denseness of media stars (though they are chosen to be media stars by the corporations that own them because of, not despite, this denseness, which leads back to the more complex questions about what establishment media outlets are and the functions they intend to fulfill).”

http://www.salon.com/news/media_criticism/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/07/24/anonymity