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The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky

You say, we listen. Today we are explaining the piece which you suggested in your comments the most. One of the most radical classical music compositions of all time – Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

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The Breakfast Club (A Real Friend)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

Civil war erupts in Rwanda; NY audience previews long-distance television; Auto pioneer Henry Ford dies in Dearborn, Mich.;Singer Billie Holiday, known as “Lady Day” is born in Philadelphia.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Walter Winchell

Very brief today, way too busy ~ TMC

Late Night Today

Late Night Today is for our readers who can’t stay awake to watch the shows. Everyone deserves a good laugh.

Saturday Night Live

John Boehner Tries Narrating Audiobooks

Why does Ted Cruz keep coming up in the classics…?

Gaetz-Gaete: Creepy Florida Man’s Career Implodes Over Sex Trafficking Investigation

A Justice Department investigation into allegations of sex with an underage woman and illegal payments to others may take down Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.

Our Grifter Ex-President’s Scheme To Separate Supporters From Their Cash

In the waning months of his unsuccessful reelection campaign, the former president used classic scam tactics to trick supporters into signing up for recurring weekly donations.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

,center>Matt Gaetz’s Sex Trafficking Allegations & Trump’s Newest Scam

Donald Trump scams his own fans out of millions of dollars, and Rep. Matt Gaetz is under investigation for sex trafficking.

A Race to the Finish: The Coronavirus Vaccine vs. The Fourth Wave

After a weekend of Easter gatherings and spring break trips, the U.S. gears up for a fourth coronavirus wave.

Georgia Restricts Voting & Corporations Snap Back

Georgia lawmakers pass sweeping voting restrictions, corporations finally speak out after threats of boycotts, and Donald Trump trashes MLB, Coca-Cola and more.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Trump Complains About Cancel Culture, Wants EVERYONE Canceled

LA was early to rise this morning after an earthquake hit, Jimmy breaks down his Easter, the White House made special eggs for Easter featuring President Joe Biden’s dogs, we got well wishes from President Obama and even the Easter Dummy himself Donald Trump, Donald Jr. shared a sweet anecdote from the Trump family memory book and a perfect metaphor for growing up Trump, “Gonzaga” is playing the #1 seed Baylor in the NCAA men’s basketball championship, the MLB has decided to not have the All-Star Game in Atlanta and Trump is trying to cancel them too, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is the talk of the town in Washington after the reported investigation by the Justice Department into sex trafficking, and since Godzilla vs Kong was tops at the box office this weekend Jimmy’s kids Jane & Billy watched the trailer and gave their commentary on it.

The Late Late Show with James Corden

James Corden kicks off the night with some huge news: the show’s drummer Guillermo Brown and his wife welcomed their daughter last week. After James recaps the overnight earthquake in Los Angeles, he catches up with some new faces in the studio. And of course they tackle the headlines, from President Joe Biden considering slashing student debt to a massive Facebook data breach.

Shut Up Just Send Money

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is not happy with corporate CEO’s voicing their dislike of GQP voter suppression bills. He wants them to shut up but don’t stop sending him money. Cancel culture much??

After Decades of Raking in Corporate Cash, McConnell Tells CEOs Mildly Defending Voting Rights to ‘Stay Out of Politics’

by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

“I have a feeling he thinks advocating for fair access to the ballot box is the only political act CEOs shouldn’t be engaged in,” said Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

After spending much of his decades-long career raking in corporate cash and combating efforts to limit money in politics, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday suddenly claimed to be deeply concerned by the political influence of “powerful and wealthy people” who have spoken out against the Georgia state GOP’s sweeping assault on voting rights.

In a statement, the Kentucky Republican warned corporations that they will face unspecified “consequences” if they “become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order,” a far-fetched portrayal of corporate America’s largely tepid and belated response to the Georgia GOP’s new voter suppression law. [..]

“My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics,” McConnell said during a press conference in Kentucky on Monday.

Critics did not hesitate to point out the irony of McConnell’s outrage over what he called “a coordinated campaign by powerful and wealthy people” given his history of defending—and taking full advantage of—America’s corporate-friendly campaign finance system. [..]

Robert Maguire, research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), noted late Monday that “in 2020, Mitch McConnell’s allied super PAC raised more than any other super PAC in existence—$475 million—from corporate CEOs and even corporations themselves, like Chevron, Mountaire Corp, and Koch Industries.”

“The largest donor to the super PAC, giving more than $85 million, was a dark money group that’s run by the same people out of the same office as the super PAC. It receives loads of money from CEOs and companies, with the added benefit of not disclosing them to the public,” Maguire added. “Someone should ask McConnell if he thinks these corporations and CEOs should ‘stay out of politics.'”

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: Embracing the Softer Side of Infrastructure

Investments in the future don’t always involve concrete.

Republicans have been having a hard time explaining why they oppose President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

Their real motives aren’t a mystery. They want Biden to fail, just as they wanted President Barack Obama to fail, and will once again offer scorched-earth opposition to anything a Democratic president proposes. And they’re especially opposed to public programs that might prove popular, and thereby help legitimize activist government in voters’ minds.

But laying out those true motives wouldn’t play well with the electorate, so they’ve been looking for alternative attack lines. And in the past few days many Republicans seem to have settled on the claim that most of the proposed spending isn’t really infrastructure.

Being who they are, they can’t help going to ludicrous extremes, and their claims that only a few percent of the proposal is “real” infrastructure are easily debunked. The only way to get anywhere close to their numbers is to declare, bizarrely, that only pouring concrete for transportation counts, which means excluding spending on such essentials for a modern economy as clean water, reliable electricity, access to broadband and more.

Michelle Goldberg: The Authoritarian Plan for a National Abortion Ban

Some on the right want the Supreme Court to go beyond ending Roe.

The anti-abortion movement was never going to stop with overturning Roe v. Wade.

For years, Republicans have argued that their goal was to return the issue of abortion to the states. At no point was this believable; since 1984, the Republican Party platform has called for a constitutional amendment banning abortion. Having spent decades denouncing abortion as a singular moral evil, the anti-abortion movement will not be content to return to a pre-Roe status quo, where abortion was legal in some places but not others.

So it’s not that surprising that, with the possible end of Roe in sight, some opponents of abortion are thinking about how to ban it nationally. Last week my colleague Ross Douthat wrote about a debate within the anti-abortion movement sparked by a highly abstruse article by the Notre Dame professor John Finnis in the Catholic journal First Things. Finnis argues that fetuses are persons under the 14th Amendment, and that the Supreme Court should thus rule abortion unconstitutional. The political implication, wrote Douthat, is that just jettisoning Roe is “woefully insufficient.”

Jamelle Bouie: If It’s Not Jim Crow, What Is It?

Georgia’s new voting law has to be understood in its own peculiar historical context.

The laws that disenfranchised Black Americans in the South and established Jim Crow did not actually say they were disenfranchising Black Americans and creating a one-party racist state.

I raise this because of a debate among politicians and partisans on whether Georgia’s new election law — rushed through last month by the state’s Republican legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican — is a throwback to the Jim Crow restrictions of the 20th century.

Democrats say yes. “This is Jim Crow in the 21st century. It must end,” President Biden said in a statement. Republicans and conservative media personalities say no. “You know what voter suppression is?” Ben Shapiro said on his very popular podcast. “Voter suppression is when you don’t get to vote.”

The problem with the “no” argument here is that it mistakes both the nature and the operation of Jim Crow voting laws. There was no statute that said, “Black people cannot vote.” Instead, Southern lawmakers spun a web of restrictions and regulations meant to catch most Blacks (as well as many whites) and keep them out of the electorate. It is true that the “yes” argument of President Biden and other Democrats overstates similarities and greatly understates key differences — chief among them the violence that undergirded the Jim Crow racial order. But the “no” argument of conservatives and Republicans asks us to ignore context and extend good faith to lawmakers who overhauled their state’s election laws because their party lost an election.

Catherine Rampell: The GOP, America’s most selfless political party

Republicans are on the verge of surrendering to Democrats solo credit for yet another incredibly popular issue: upgrading the nation’s crumbling infrastructure

Republican politicians have proven themselves an admirably selfless bunch. Time and again, they’ve handed over credit to Democrats — and Democrats alone — for all sorts of popular policy initiatives.

A year ago, Washington Republicans abdicated leadership on any coherent federal response to the pandemic, praising a Republican president who proudly didn’t “take responsibility at all” on the issue. (That president left office with a 38 percent approval rating for his handling of the outbreak; President Biden’s marks are now roughly double that, at 73 percent.) Then last month, Republicans effectively conceded political credit for the strengthening economic recovery by refusing to award a single vote to Biden’s popular $1.9 trillion fiscal relief bill. (The bill was favored by most Americans, in some polls by a supermajority.)

Now, astonishingly, Republicans are on the verge of surrendering to Democrats solo credit on yet another popular issue: upgrading the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. [..]

So, Republican pols continue scrambling for other excuses to oppose the infrastructure proposal. Maybe it’s the plan’s pay-fors, those evil tax hikes on corporations! Alas, raising taxes on corporations is super popular too.

Because GOP officials can’t articulate a coherent or consistent case for their objections, and they’re surely in favor of political unity, the only possible explanation left is that they’re just extremely generous souls — eager to bestow as many political brownie points upon their opponents as possible.

Chuck Rosenberg: Does the FBI have the right culture to fight domestic terrorism?

Chuck Rosenberg is a former U.S. attorney, senior FBI official and head of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Three months ago, rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol seeking violently to overturn the results of a valid presidential election. Not all of the rioters were domestic terrorists, but domestic terrorists were among the rioters. Vile extremists have raised their fists and torches elsewhere, including in Charlottesville in 2017. Domestic terrorism is a grave threat to the national security of the United States.

Because the FBI and the Justice Department are responsible for protecting us from that threat, we need to ask whether officials there are using all of the lawful tools at their disposal, whether the FBI is properly aligned to the threat, and whether the FBI’s culture helps or hinders that effort. One historical example is illuminating.

Before 9/11, FBI intelligence officials, especially in counterterrorism cases, did not fully share information gleaned in their investigations with FBI criminal investigative colleagues because of a “wall” between their operations. The origins of the wall are murky, but it inhibited full information sharing within the FBI and between the intelligence community and the Justice Department. The wall was rooted in policy and law, though it was more than that. It was reinforced by bureaucratic habit, trepidation and confusion within the Justice Department, and it made the FBI less effective. It also highlighted a stubborn inability to mend a faulty structure. That wall is gone. Do other barriers still exist?

Cartnoon

The Universe: Life-Altering Consequences of Time Travel

One of the Universe’s most enduring mysteries is Time Travel. In this episode, we explore the possibilities. Discover why Time Travel into the future is unavoidable in the Einsteinian world of Relativity

TMC for ek hornbeck

The Breakfast Club (The Lesson)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

The United States enters World War One; First modern Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece; Harry Houdini is born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven.

Robert Downey, Jr.

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2021: Championship Final

Tonight’s final game between the two remaining number one teams, Baylor and Gonzaga, is on CBS with al the pregame hullabaloo starting at 8:30 PM ET with tip off at 9:20. That leaves loads of time for making snacks. Baylor had a far easier time knocking off their opponent, #2 Houston than Gonzaga. The feisty #11 UCLA gave Gonzaga a real challenge that went al the way into overtime with a last minute 3 pointer just as time expired. Talk about edge of your seat nail biters. It was a close game al the way with the lead bouncing back and forth in between tied scores. Tonight should be a good game.

Gonzaga is seeking to become the first men’s team to finish unbeaten since Bob Knight’s Indiana club went 32-0 on the way to the 1976 national championship. The Bulldogs are also seeking their first N.C.A.A. title, though they have had plenty of deep tournament runs. They lost in the 2017 title game to a North Carolina team coached by Roy Williams, who announced his retirement on Friday and had three titles in his career.

Coach Scott Drew and Baylor are also seeking their program’s first national championship. The Bears are appearing in the title game for the first time since 1948. [..]

Even though Gonzaga has not lost since Feb. 22, 2020, against Brigham Young, the Bears have history on their side. This is just the fifth time since the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll began in the early 1960s that the teams ranked No. 1 (Gonzaga) and No. 2 (Baylor) will meet in the title game. Each of the previous four games were won by the team ranked second: Cincinnati over Ohio State in 1962, U.C.L.A. over Michigan in 1965, UConn over Duke in 1999 and Duke over Arizona in 2001.

Led by Drew Timme’s 25 points, Gonzaga put up 56 points in the paint against U.C.L.A., and the Bears will have to have an answer for that. Baylor is led by experienced guards and wings, and its frontcourt players Mark Vital and Flo Thamba are solid if not spectacular.

Baylor is led by an all-American junior guard, Jared Butler, who had 17 points in the semifinal rout of Houston, and another junior guard, Davion Mitchell, who dished out 12 assists with 11 points as the Bears won, 78-59. After last year’s tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, both Butler and the senior guard MaCio Teague tested the N.B.A. draft waters but opted to come back for another shot at the title.

These are the scores and winners of the Final Four.

 

Time Network Seed School Record Region Score Seed School Record Score Region
5:14 CBS 2 Houston 34 – 3 Midwest 59 1 Baylor* 22 – 2 78 South
8:34 CBS 11 UCLA 17 – 9 East 90 OT 1 Gonzaga* 26 – 0 93 OT West

 

These two teams will play for the Championship:

Time Network Seed School Record Region Score Seed School Record Score Region
9:20 CBS 1 Baylor* 22 – 2 South 86 1 Gonzaga 26 – 0 70 West

Baylor dominated this game from the start.

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Late Night Today

Late Night Today is for our readers who can’t stay awake to watch the shows. Everyone deserves a good laugh.

Saturday Night Live

Britney Spears Talk Show Cold Open

A talk show hosted by Britney Spears (Chloe Fineman) features guests Lil Nas X (Chris Redd), Pepé Le Pew (Kate McKinnon) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (Pete Davidson).

Weekend Update: Starbucks Turns 50, Naked Rock Climber

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like National Peanut Butter Day.

Weekend Update: Matt Gaetz Under Investigation

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like Biden’s new New Deal.

Weekend Update: Smokery Farm’s Easter Meats

Wylene and Vaneta Starkie (Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon) of Smokery Farms meat gift delivery service stop by Weekend Update to show off their Easter meat selections.

Weekend Update: Guy Who Just Bought a Boat on Dating After Covid

Guy Who Just Bought a Boat (Alex Moffat) share post-Covid dating tips.

Weekend Update: Jeff and Hattie Deeley on Their Marriage

Jeff and Hattie Deeley (Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day) stop by Weekend Update to talk about their May-December marriage.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Charles M. Blow: Lessons From Lynchings

There’s a through-line from a noose on the neck to a knee on the neck.

There are many appalling narratives emerging from the trial of the former police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.

There’s the transference of guilt from the people who killed Floyd to those who watched him die. There’s the difference in empathy when a Black person in the inner city is struggling with opioid addiction, compared to when the drug user is a young white person in a suburb or rural America.

But what resonated for me was the sense of powerlessness in Floyd begging, to no avail, for his life, and in the powerlessness of the agitated crowd of bystanders and witnesses to intervene. The power in this dynamic was held by the officers, including Chauvin, and it was wielded to a deadly extreme.

The application of force, a deadly force, even after Floyd was handcuffed, even after he became unresponsive, is to me emblematic of an attempt not only to punish Floyd’s body, but also to demonstrate complete control and demand complete submission. The treatment of Floyd’s body was a message to those in his community: Any perceived disorder or disobedience will be crushed, literally.

Amanda Marcotte: GOP cancel culture targets Georgia: Republicans want to silence critics of their war on voting

Republicans are trying to impose “white people’s Thanksgiving” rules on the entire nation

Donald Trump and Republicans tried to make the 2020 election all about “cancel culture.” Free speech was under attack, they argued, not from government censorship, but something they regarded as much more powerful and oppressive: Liberal disapproval.

Many a tear has been shed over wealthy actors losing plum gigs for embarrassing movie studios with their bigoted tweets, or obscure books by famous authors being delisted voluntarily by their own publishing companies, or people making fun of a paranoid right-wing couple in St. Louis who pulled guns on peaceful protesters, or the librarian whose boss prevented her from humiliating herself by doing a rap presentation to onboard college freshmen. Free speech, they argue, is dependent not just on the absence of censorship, but the absence of any consequences whatsoever, including criticism from others who are using their free speech rights. It turns out there was one caveat to this right to speech unfettered by opposition, criticism, or consequences, however: It is a “right” enjoyed only by those on the right. For those who oppose bigotry, vote for Democrats, or express discomfort at overt racism, there is no limit to what can and should be done to silence them. This was always evident — see how Trump unleashed tear gas on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square — and is only becoming more clear in the fight over voting rights in the state of Georgia.

If ever there was a legitimate case of “cancel culture,” it really should be the anti-voting bill that was signed into law late last month by Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. When it comes to the right to express yourself as a citizen, the right to vote is about as fundamental as it gets. Moreover, the entire process of signing the restrictive law was draped in signifiers of the GOP contempt for the right of people of color to the franchise, including the arrest of state Rep. Park Cannon for merely asking for the right to witness Kemp’s signing of the bill.

Robert Reich: Joe Biden as Mr. Fix It

Biden is embarking on a huge and long-overdue repair job on the physical and human underpinnings of the nation while managing to keep most of a bitterly divided country with him.

Joe Biden is embarking on the biggest government initiative in more than a half century, “unlike anything we have seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades go,” he says.

But when it comes to details, it sounds as boring as fixing the plumbing.

“Under the American Jobs Plan, 100% of our nation’s lead pipes and service lines will be replaced—so every child in America can turn on the faucet or fountain and drink clean water,” the president tweeted.

Can you imagine Donald Trump tweeting about repairing lead pipes?

Biden is excited about rebuilding America’s “infrastructure,” a word he uses constantly although it could be the dullest term in all of public policy. “Infrastructure week” became a punchline under Trump.

The old unwritten rule was that if a president wants to do something really big, he has to justify it as critical to national defense or else summon the nation’s conscience. [..]

But Joe Biden is not arousing the nation against a foreign power—not even China figures prominently as a foil—nor is he basing his plans on lofty appeals to national greatness or public morality.

“I got elected to solve problems,” he says, simply. He’s Mr. Fix-it.

Rebecca Solnit: There’s another pandemic under our noses, and it kills 8.7m people a year

While Covid ravaged across the world, air pollution killed about three times as many people. We must fight the climate crisis with the same urgency with which we confronted coronavirus

Covid-19 in the past 15 months. In roughly the same period, however, more than three times as many likely died of air pollution. This should disturb us for two reasons. One is the sheer number of air pollution deaths – 8.7 million a year, according to a recent study – and another is how invisible those deaths are, how accepted, how unquestioned. The coronavirus was a terrifying and novel threat, which made its dangers something much of the world rallied to try to limit. It was unacceptable – though by shades and degrees, many places came to accept it, by deciding to let the poor and marginalized take the brunt of sickness and death and displacement and to let medical workers get crushed by the workload.

We have learned to ignore other forms of death and destruction, by which I mean we have normalized them as a kind of moral background noise. This is, as much as anything, the obstacle to addressing chronic problems, from gender violence to climate change. What if we treated those 8.7 million annual deaths from air pollution as an emergency and a crisis – and recognized that respiratory impact from particulates is only a small part of the devastating impact of burning fossil fuels? For the pandemic we succeeded in immobilizing large populations, radically reducing air traffic, and changing the way many of us live, as well as releasing vast sums of money as aid to people financially devastated by the crisis. We could do that for climate change, and we must – but the first obstacle is the lack of a sense of urgency, the second making people understand that things could be different.

Cartnoon

The National Debt

The national debt has long been portrayed as a burden we’re placing on future generations. John Oliver discusses how national debt works, why people are so concerned about it, and why it might be more helpful that you think.

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The Breakfast Club (Measure Of Success)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

Bomb strikes a West Berlin disco; Gen. Douglas MacArthur and billionaire Howard Hughes die; Educator Booker T. Washington born; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sets an NBA record; Katie Couric to become CBS anchor.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

Booker T. Washington

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