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    • Here was my neighborhood last night
      Because the family of a mentally ill Philadelphia man holding a knife called for an ambulance, and the cops showed up. They claim he “charged” them and they shot and killed him. The mental health unit is a pilot program and isn’t paid to work on the weekends. Protesters didn’t do this, looters did. (Maybe … Continue reading Here was my neighborhood last nigh […]
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      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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The First 100 Days of…



Today is the day when the world waits with baited breath to hear all about the accomplishments of the leader of the free world.  We here at the Confluence are no different.  We anxiously await the spectacular run down.  So let us begin by reminiscing about some of TOTUS’s phenomenal moments.

So,…what has TOTUS done in his/her’s/its first 100 days?

Started a blog

Barack Obama’s Telepromter Blog

Twittered (or is that tweating?)

TOTUStelepromt on Twitter

Kept POTUS’s neck muscles nice and limber (2 words left, 3 words right, 3 words left, 3 words right)

Started a private line of Swag

Barack Obama’s Teleprompter Shop

Called in Sick once or twice

Held its own ‘presser’ to publically list contract demands

and Punk’d POTUS real good on several occasions

So, what’s your favorite TOTUS moment? photo? anecdote? Share Conflucians…share!  We’re all entranced by the smooth (surfaced) talker!


Coming Soon – Bad Commercials

This Saturday at 8pm Eastern – bring out your worst

We’re having a bad commercial contest. Multiple categories (foreign, domestic, sexist, stupid, classic, etc)

Pick yer brains and scour YouTube.

(no comments, this is just an ad)

War Porn


Videos like this one are the kind of thing that makes war look fun and exciting, so impressionable kids enlist to be John Wayne and come home in body bags. The video was edited down from approximately one hour.

This is an open thread.

Wednesday: ExSpecterating

(Early morning TC means this will have to be somewhat short and underdeveloped)

If any Republican senator was going to switch sides, it would have to be Arlen Specter.  Color me unsurprised.  He’s come through brain tumors, cancer and eight years of the Bush administration.  The man is a survivor.  I remember when he became the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee,  a plum job that he had been in line for forever.  He hinted open defiance of the Bushies when it came to judicial nominees.  For a couple days there back in 2001, I thought he might even pull it off.  But the Bush juggernaut quickly put that mini-rebellion to bed and I guess that Specter reasoned to himself that it was better to keep a low profile and survive than to challenge the GOP and lose spectacularly.  He fell into lock step just like the rest of them.

I don’t know much about Pennsylvania politics or what kind of competition he might have had from a Democrat running for Senate.  Pennsylvania is a weird state though.  It’s a swing state that really, really wants to be Democratic, er, except for the parts that fall prey to the Republican message machine.  It has a very high number of senior citizens and there is a vast middle section populated by hunters and confederate flag types.  It’s quite possible that Specter could have lost the primary to Pat Toomey of Club for Growth.  Many voters might have been sufficiently stimulated by the Tea Parties to be susceptible to his anti-tax message.  And if the Democratic competition was weak, something I can well believe, that would have been the end of a somewhat less than brilliant career for Spector. Continue reading

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Breakfast Read

  • US has its first flu death
    First U.S. swine flu death confirmed

    A two-year-old child in Texas has become the first fatality from swine flu in the United States, officials said Wednesday.

  • Arlen Specter decides to make life even more miserable for the GOP
    Specter Leaves GOP, Shifting Senate Balance

    GOP Confronts Its Future Viability

    In losing control of the House and Senate over the past four years, congressional Republicans have also lost much of their ideological and geographic diversity — raising questions about the GOP’s viability as a national party. The party has suffered in particular in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, and among moderates.

    100-day boost for Obama as Republican senator defects

    In a huge boost for Barack Obama and his reformist programme, the veteran Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter announced yesterday he was switching to the Democrats. The shock move underlines the growing marginalisation of the Republicans in US politics, and makes it more than likely his new party will soon have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

  • The swine flu is all over the place and is serious
    Virus’s Arrival Is Reported on Four Continents

    More evidence of the global spread of a deadly flu emerged Tuesday, with new cases reported on four continents and a growing number of people in the U.S. requiring hospital treatment.

    Swine flu spread points to global pandemic

    Barack Obama sought an extra $1.5bn from Congress on Tuesday as the US sharply stepped up its response to the growing spread of swine flu from Mexico around the world.

  • More on Obama’s first 100 days
    Obama marks whirlwind first 100 days in office
  • Liberal Dems want co-tortured architect Jay Bybee impeached
    Pressure grows to impeach Judge Jay Bybee over ‘torture memos’ Continue reading