Michael Wolraich's picture

    Republicans Reject Obama-Boehner Speech Deal

    In a stormy meeting on Thursday, Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives rejected Speaker John Boehner's compromise with President Obama over the schedule of the President's speech to a joint session of Congress.

    The White House had sent Mr. Boehner a request for President Obama to address Congress on the evening of Wednesday, September 7. Such requests are considered routine and have been approved 47 times since 1962 without challenge.

    But in the volatile political climate of 2011, nothing can be taken for granted. Many Tea Party-affiliated Republicans had campaigned against wasteful speechmaking in the 2010 election, and 216 had signed a "No New Speeches" contract sponsored by Grover Norquist's fundraising organization, Americans for Talk Reform.

    "Americans don't need more speeches," argued House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in an hour-long discourse from the House floor last week, "They want the folks in Washington to shut the heck up."

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Dividing My Books

    This summer I've moved house three times. My job and my partner are in two different states, a common problem for my generation of college professors. I count myself lucky that our jobs are only a few hundred miles apart, which means the highway and not the airport. But keeping a one-person apartment in each place has stopped making sense, so we've bought a house in one city and rented a professional's bachelor pad, a short walk from my office, in the other. Voila!

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    Ramona's picture

    Poor Old Detroit: Who is going to save it from itself?

     

    Detroit is my unofficial hometown.  I spent more years in and around Detroit than anywhere else in the country. I loved growing up there, so it would be hard not to have feelings for the city now, even after all of the scandals, the neglect, the excesses, the tearing-down of beautiful landmarks, and the destruction of entire formerly lovely neighborhoods for no earthly good reason other than that nobody cared.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Capitalism for Customers

    At the moment I'm in Prague for a conference. It's my first time back in almost two decades, since just after the Wall fell and the Czechs broke up with the Slovaks. I used to walk around this place with old Czechoslovak bills, still in circulation, which had been stamped in one corner with a "C" (or an "S") to indicate whether these were now Czech or Slovak crowns.

    Ramona's picture

    Betty Ford: Truth was No Stranger

    Until last night, when I heard that she had passed, I didn't realize how much I admired Betty Ford.  Truth said, my first thought was "I thought she had died long ago."  I do that a lot lately.  Betty lived to be 93 years old and hadn't been seen in public for several years.  That's the only way I keep in touch with public figures -- by seeing them in public.  So when public figures I admire or enjoy are gone from view they're gone from thought, and when they pass, only then do I see it as moments lost.  I should have been paying attention.

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Thanks, Marcelo

    Note: Will Kohl over at Back2Stonewall asked me if I’d write him a guest post about some of my experiences in Brazil. Here is that post, originally posted at Back2Stonewall.com

    I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t Gay friendly. But it took coming to Brazil for me to become a full-fledged Gay ally. That change started almost immediately upon my arrival.

    Ramona's picture

    Men, power, reckless sex: Why? What are we missing?

    I don't always read or agree with Maureen Dowd, but I do have her on my blogroll and now and then a title grabs me.  Yesterday she wrote "Your Tweetin' Heart".  Yes, I knew it was going to be about Anthony Weiner, but I read it anyway because sometimes her take on odd things like that is refreshingly different. 

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Revisiting LeBron (and Retaining Employees)

    So, last summer LeBron James decided to leave Cleveland, leading to a massive outburst of Clevesentment and a widespread belief that Cleveland had burned down among my friends and family who don't live there (and not just among them, judging from the search terms that old post collected). A year later, he's gotten himself to the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.

    Ramona's picture

    On Hallowed Ground: A Memorial Day look at Cemeteries

    Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service.[1] First enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans [2] to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

    Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end.
    Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. (Wikipedia - Memorial Day)

    This is a day of pilgrimage in big cities and small villages all across the country.  Cemeteries will be filled with people cleaning headstones, placing flowers, connecting and remembering.  There will be life in those places of internment.  I see cemeteries not as sad and depressing depositories of the dead, but as vibrant places alive with personalities, infused with memories, steeped in unique beauty.  I see them as outdoor galleries of fine art and folk art, ripe for photographing, which I do every chance I get, but with the sense that I am treading on hallowed ground.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Longing for the End of the World

    So, for most of May Christianity has been in the news. Or rather, a tiny splinter of Christianity has. The leader of a tiny religious organization predicted the Rapture on May 21, and there was lots of news coverage.

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Tell me about a good documentary

    I'm a documentary fan, and even with my other-worldly Internet research skills, I often come up dry when searching for a new documentary. Thus, I am creating this post where you, the reader, can tell me, the documentary watcher, what to watch.

    I'll give a list and some comments of some docs I've seen:

    Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father: I'm still in tears from this one.

    Donal's picture

    Major Tornado Outbreak + Tuscaloosa Video

    Sheesh, they just broke into normal TV programming (Mythbusters) to advise us to seek shelter. A tornado in Baltimore? The worst seems to be around Alabama, but The Weather Channel says this could be the greatest outbreak of tornadoes in American history.

    [NOAA Alert text deleted]

    This climate change stuff is getting too real.

    2nd Update: On The Takeaway this morning, they said it was the worst outbreak of tornadoes in 40 years.

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    Orlando's picture

    Malaysian Travel Journal: Cobra in the Kitchen

    Not my kitchen. If it had been my kitchen, I would have hightailed it right back to the city. As it is, I have been assured that, although a colleague found a "small" (4 to 5 foot) cobra in her kitchen, since I live on the third floor of a cement block building, snakes can't crawl up into my kitchen. Roaches, yes. Ants, definitely. Rats, possibly. Snakes, no. 

    So, I guess I can deal. But so ends my love affair with all things in the natural, jungle-y world. I still love the monkeys though!

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Codes of Silence

    There's sad news from Princeton where a lecturer who was apparently in danger of losing his job has taken his own life. That's a terrible thing.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Dedicated Teachers Hurting American Education

    Tenured Radical links to Nick Parker's Boston Globe piece about the life of adjunct college faculty, and adds some advice of her own to people entering the adjunct life. Both pieces are worth a read.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Local Scrip and Hard Currency: The Academic Life

    I spent last weekend at the major annual conference in my field -- a national, nay international nerdapalooza of the highest order, and one of the major events on my yearly work calendar. Sunday night I caught a red-eye home and went straight from the airport to work.

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    Orlando's picture

    Malaysian Travel Journal: Sadness

    This afternoon, as I was driving along, I saw a monkey. In my new surroundings, there is nothing remarkable about seeing monkeys on the side of the road. Nonetheless, I still find it super cool. The monkey I saw today was acting strangely, just sitting there, shoulders hunched, back to the road. It looked almost like it was in shock. I had about 50 yards to wonder why. That's when I saw the second monkey. Same size, same color, decidedly less alive, sprawled across a highway lane, having very recently succumbed to death by logging truck.

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    Orlando's picture

    Malaysian Travel Journal: Elephants are Cool!

    I'm not an animal lover. I've had pets that I've loved, but I've never referred to them as "my children." I don't eat much meat, but I'm not opposed to animals as food. Like most normal people, I balk at animal cruelty, but I balk more at people cruelty. And, when it comes down to it, I'd rather we spent our resources taking care of children than stray dogs and cats.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Lost Amidst All Of These Wars...

    ...are the still unresolved issues stemming from the financial crisis.  For example, the FDIC filed suit against three Washington Mutual executives last week seeking to recover $900 million that the government lost arranging for the bank's eventual sale to JPMorgan Chase.  I wrote about the suit and the absurd defense of the bankers in my column today.

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