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★ REQUIEM ★ :: Wayne Cochran, 1939 – 2017 

Posted by MaGoogle on November 28, 2017 in Weekly Rant |

He was the brass balls on the brass band that made Miami shimmy and shake like no other. Ever. He was the pompadour before the pompatus … the moonwalk before Michael … the original Blues Brother with the show band that inspired the movie. He was the king of blue-eyed soul.

And he was ours. Then, and now.

The over-21 crowd was lucky. In the mid-sixties, they didn’t have to sneak into The Barn, the smoke-filled North Bay Village cabaret that Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders turned into a raucous party-night crescendo for free-spending lounge lizards, goodfellas, snowbirds, short skirts and guys named Sinatra, Gleason, Armstrong. Even Streisand.

No velvet rope on the outside, nor velvet voice within. When the club doors swung open, the beautiful nasty hit you like a double-shot of hot bugles and thunder, with a chaser of Delta wail. Grinding atop the bar was a linebacker-sized boogaloo machine, wrapped in a one-piece Elvis with gold lamé trim, and topped with a foot-high platinum pompadour that brushed the ceiling tiles above the stage. The soulful arc of his sandpaper wail, bumped-up by the baddest show band on the planet, filled the room with rhythm, blue-eyed soul and flying bar stools. Cochran was smashing stools and mirrors long before Pete Townshend crushed his first Fender.

The crowds. Went. Wild.

They followed when Cochran and the C.C. Riders took their act to more fetching South Florida nightclub showrooms. Still, nothing ever felt quite as balls-up and roadhouse authentic as Cochran tearing it up at The Barn.

By the time The Barn closed in 1971, Cochran and the C.C. Riders had recorded three albums, notched their signature hit, “Goin’ Back To Miami;” appeared live on The Jackie Gleason Show, shared the Las Vegas Hilton marquee with Elvis, and performed “Can’t Turn You Loose” in the movie “C.C. & Company” with Joe Namath and Ann Margaret.

That was also the year my parents gave-up their Dolphins season tickets because their view of the field was obstructed by a foot-high platinum pompadour.

As time passed, Wayne’s run as the king of blue-eyed soul gave way to a higher calling. He retired from music to conquer substance addiction, then became an evangelist and minister. Since 1981, Pastor Wayne Cochran presided over his Voice For Jesus Church and Wayne Cochran Ministries in Miami.

Wayne and I bumped into each other from time to time. The pompadour, pompatus, shimmy and shake were gone, along with any interest whatsoever in revisiting the fame and pain he had put behind him.

It didn’t matter. He was still here. He was still ours.

Each time we talked, he was happy. And fulfilled. And complete.

I’m sorry he’s gone, but somehow imagining that when the Holy gates swing open, the beautiful nasty will hit the heavens like a double-shot of sweet Jesus and redemption, with an overdue chaser of Delta wail.

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Alabama Senate Candidate: America “Already Under Sharia Law”

Posted by MaGoogle on October 9, 2017 in Weekly Rant |


Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore
In a recent interview, Moore insisted that “there are communities under Sharia law right now in our country.” However, he didn’t provide any specifics.


In America, religion and government are supposed to be independent of one another. But don’t tell that to Judge Roy Moore, the frontrunner in Alabama’s upcoming Senate race. Moore, an outspoken Christian, has a long track record of acting upon his faith while in government office and resisting calls to put his beliefs aside.

Roy Moore is perhaps best known as the “Ten Commandments Judge” – a nickname he earned back in the 1990s when he famously hung a copy of the commandments on the door to his judicial chambers. Moore went on to defy a federal order to remove a large statue of the Ten Commandments from Alabama state property.

Over the years, he’s been publicly forced out of several government positions for refusing to compromise on his strong Christian beliefs.

Is America a Christian County?

Absolutely, according to Moore. He argues that the Constitution was written to “foster Christianity” and that the founders intended America to be a Christian nation. In his mind, the Christian God is “the only source of our law, liberty and government.”

“To deny God — to deny Christianity or Christian principles — is to deny what the First Amendment was established for. You see, the First Amendment was established on Christian principles,” Moore explains.

Sharia Law in the U.S.

In addition to his Christian convictions, Moore is also highly skeptical of Islam. In a recent interview with the online publication Vox, Moore made headlines by insisting that certain areas of the U.S. were currently under Sharia law. The puzzling exchange is worth reading in full.

Roy Moore: There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Up in Illinois. Christian communities; I don’t know if they may be Muslim communities.
But Sharia law is a little different from American law. It is founded on religious concepts.

Reporter: Which American communities are under Sharia law? When did they fall under Sharia law?

Roy Moore: Well, there’s Sharia law, as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana — up there. I don’t know.

Reporter: That seems like an amazing claim for a Senate candidate to make.

Roy Moore: Well, let me just put it this way — if they are, they are; if they’re not, they’re not. That doesn’t matter.
He offered no further details on the issue.

Opposition to Gay Marriage

Judge Moore’s faith has also led him to take strong stances on social issues such as gay marriage. Even after the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, he remained resolute. As Alabama’s Chief Justice, he instructed the state’s probate courts to deny marriage licenses to gay couples. As a result, he was forced to step down from his judicial post.

But his opposition to appears to go beyond concerns about marriage – as recently as 2005, Moore insisted that “homosexual conduct” should be made illegal nationwide, defiantly comparing it to bestiality during a televised interview.

On the Road to Washington

Since Roy Moore is the Republican candidate running in a red state, the odds are high that he’ll be elected the next Senator of Alabama.

It’s yet to be seen if Moore will put a copy of the Ten Commandments on the door to his Senate office, but judging by his track record and deep Christian convictions, it would likely come as a bigger surprise if he decided not to.

Now I never professed to know everything about Americian politics, however, I do know a fu*ken jerk when I see one and this guy is definitely one. I don’t care what color you are, what your faith is, whether you live in a red state, a blue state or a fu*ken purple state, a democrat, a Rebublican or Independent. One thing we can all agree on is this guy is a few bricks short of a full load.

Really, is this the best we can do? For fu*ks sake, this schmuck is actually going to Washington to help shape the future of the United States of America and to make laws that will affect our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. Is this really the direction we want the world to go?
Let’s face it Washington has gotten way worse since you know who was elected and by the looks of things, it’s going to get a hole lot more fu*ked up unless people stand up to government and do something about this mess. The U.S. needs the young people to get more involved. Run for office, whether it’s at the local level, the state level or the federal. Start now, today and make the world a better place. Please we need your help. If you need our help in getting started just leaving us a comment and we’ll help in any way we can.
BTW: To leave a comment here just click on the Post-it note at the top of this or any article. So let’s get busy and start to take the country back!

Hey Roy, with all due respect,Bite Me

For now, MaGoogle Out🖕🏻

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Don’t let the new lies make you forget the old 

Posted by MaGoogle on August 28, 2017 in Weekly Rant |

AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL 

I recently wrote, and this was before Charlottesville, that the speed with which President Trump was eroding basic norms of governing and public discourse was alarming. The most troubling part of this to me is the lying, which brings me to today’s rant.

What’s worse, lying about the size of your inaugural crowd or the growth effects of tax cuts? Lying about who had permits in Charlottesville or the condition of the Affordable Care Act? Lying about your poll numbers or your role as a job creator?

In terms of norm erosion, the first example in each of the above is worse. I mean, we could all see the picture of the inaugural crowds, so there’s a truly unhinged quality to such lies. And the second examples in each of the cases are grayer. Tax cuts can boost growth, especially in the short term in periods of economic weakness (but to do so, they must be targeted at income-constrained households, not the wealthy). The ACA, while covering millions and helping to reduce cost growth, does need improvements.
Moreover, these old, phony claims long predate Trump. Still, I fear that when Trump equates Nazis, racists, and anti-Semites with their opposition (“very fine people on both sides”), I worry that the phony claims about jobs and taxes come off as relatively benign. The old phony gets swamped by the new phony.

Granted, some of the new phony is much more immediately dangerous to people’s safety. But the old phony is dangerous too, as it threatens to generate lasting, negative impacts on the living standards of moderate and low-income people, while confirming conservatives self-fulfilling prophecy that government is a feckless waste.

So, here’s a brief primer, with links to evidence, of the BS you’ll be hearing more of in the coming weeks in current policy debates.
Tax cuts are not tax reform: Team Trump and congressional Republicans talk a lot about “reforming” the tax code, which in D.C. has come to mean paying for lower tax rates by broadening the tax base. However, what I fear we’re looking at here is not tax reform, but tax cuts, mostly for the wealthy. Yes, Republicans have suggested closing some loopholes to offset the costs of their cuts, for which I give them credit. But they’ve already shown that they’ll toss the payfors, though not the cuts, once the lobbyists start closing in.

Tax cuts and growth: There’s no historical record and no correlations or causal evidence in the data that tax cuts reliably, significantly and lastingly raise the growth rate or level of GDP.  Here’s a tweetstorm to that effect, and here’s a useful, balanced and pretty readable review of the evidence.

Revenue neutrality is an inadequate goal of tax reform: Based on our aging demographics, climate change, geopolitics, inequality, natural disasters and our infrastructure needs, we’re going to need more, not less, and not the same amount, of revenue in the future. So even revenue neutrality is too low a bar. And now we’re starting to hear about “deficit neutrality,” which is a much lower bar. It implies losing revenue but offsetting part of the costs of the tax cuts by cutting spending, which makes the cuts even more regressive.
The ACA is not “collapsing under its own weight”: Not even close. It continues to cover millions who previously lacked affordable coverage, while helping to drive down costs. Its biggest problems have been (a) the states that did not take the Medicaid expansion, and (b) the difficult insurers have had calibrating prices in the individual market (the exchanges). “B” is totally fixable and is improving on its own. But it will take congressional efforts to bear some of the risk faced by insurers in these markets, as was foreseen by the ACA’s architecture. “A” may improve as states recognize that the ACA is here to stay and when/if their politics shift.

Raising the debt ceiling is needed to pay for current, not future spending: You’ll soon be hearing arguments from hard-right conservatives that they can’t support increasing the debt ceiling because it will encourage more government spending. But the reason the government needs to borrow beyond the currently allowable ceiling is to pay for spending Congress has already appropriated. They’ve eaten the meal, and now they’re saying they don’t want to pay for it, because to do so would simply encourage eating future meals. I’m ready to argue all day about future spending needs, as I pointed out above re the inadequacy of revenue neutrality. But there’s no argument to be had about paying the bills on spending on which you’ve already signed off.

Our anti-poverty programs work, so cutting them will hurt people: This is in reference to a canard I associate with Paul Ryan, who constantly argues that our poverty programs fail to lower the share of the poor. In fact, measures which account for the impact of anti-poverty policies — programs that have increased over the years but are wrongly omitted from the official poverty measure — show that these programs reduced poverty by almost half in 2015 and have lowered the share of the poor by 10 percentage points since the late 1960s.
Trump inherited a strong job market: Glenn Kessler presents the numbers and evidence here, though why he scores this as a 2 versus a 4 Pinocchio falsehood is beyond me (I’d at least give Trump 4 Papagenos).

These phony arguments have been pitched for much longer than the norm-crushing lies of the Trump regime. But they too erode our politics and our policies. In fact, by creating and elevating the falsehood that government exists solely to redistribute wealth to the already wealthy, they’ve led to a dystopic, cynical, nonrepresentative politics that helped paved the way for Trump.

So what are your thoughts? To comment, just click on the yellow post-it note at the top of this rant.

MaGoogle Out

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Panicking Mitch McConnell Shoves Entire Senate Healthcare Bill Into Mouth As Democrat Walks Past

Posted by MaGoogle on June 20, 2017 in Weekly Rant |


WASHINGTON—Quickly crumpling up all 500 pages of the legislation upon hearing footsteps in the hallway, sources reported Tuesday that a panicked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shoved the entire Senate healthcare bill in his mouth as a Democratic senator walked past. According to witnesses, McConnell became visibly flustered upon realizing there was no place to hide from the Democratic colleague approaching his doorway and began ripping wads of documents from a binder and cramming them through his open jaws as rapidly as possible. Asked about the location of an upcoming meeting, McConnell, cheeks distended to many times their original size, reportedly grunted several times and gestured toward a nearby conference room. At press time, McConnell had spit out the massive clump of saliva-coated, half-chewed papers, which, while largely illegible, would reportedly insure 10 million more people than the original.
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The Paradox of Our Time

Posted by MaGoogle on June 14, 2017 in Weekly Rant |

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

 

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