Friday, February 29, 2008

My sentiments exactly

Ditzy Democrats has a question for Ralph Nader.

What are you on, man? When they said anyone in America could grow up to be President, they weren’t talking about you, Ralph! You’ve tried and failed and tried and failed! And don’t give me this “I’m making a statement” crap. We have a new environmentalist-who-is-trying-to-be-relevant-through-environmentalism now. His name is Al Gore, and he’s like, three times as annoying as you are. [And he's not even running!--Truffle] You even fail at being annoying, Ralph Nader.

I do disagree with that last part. Nader is still kind of annoying.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Much as I wish otherwise, this is NOT a joke

And the major labels wonder why they're floundering:

Although he says on his Web site that it was meant to remain a secret, Perez Hilton is today facing a leak regarding himself rather than the celebs he has made a business gossiping about.

Not that it’s a bad thing for Perez; the New York Times is reporting that the blogger is negotiating a deal that would give him his own imprint at Warner Bros. Records.

The deal would see Mario Lavandeira--Perez’s real name--receive $100,000 a year as an advance against 50% of any profits generated by music artists he discovers and releases through Warner Bros.

The talks are preliminary, and an agreement is not certain, people close to the deal told the New York Times.

However, on his blog today, Lavandeira writes, “Let's hope (the article) doesn't jinx things. It's not a done deal yet! But, we're very, very excited about the possibility. It will happen. It will!”

Call me underwhelmed. Aside from posting gossip about Britney, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, and Pete Wentz, Perez has nothing to do with music. Nada.

However, I'm still gratified to see him become part of a problem rather than part of a solution, as somehow I don't have such high hopes for this give-a-gossip-blogger-a-label idea. Perhaps this will serve to hasten the richly deserved downfall of these major labels.

Yeah, I'm being mean. Or maybe I've just heard lots of great musicians over the years who continue to be great despite no major labels and no MTV airplay. Anyhow, I'm just waiting for the schadenfreude.

Just curious...

Am I the only one who things Congress shouldn't be wasting its time with hearings about steroid use in baseball?

Or is it un-American to say that?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Crybaby conservative alert!

Oh goody. Another nutcase radio talk show host is mad at McCain. And for once, this guy is a McCain supporter.

No, it's not Michael "Gay Penguins" Medved.

Now that even the Republicans are, well, at least pretending to distance themselves from these lobotomized zombies, expect to see more anti-McCain rage in their ranks. I still think McCain's going to pick a bona-fide, raving loon of a rightie as a running mate. Maybe it'll be Sam Brownback. He'll pick a wingnut so that the wingnuts will like him again and in tacking to the right, he'll alienate any independents or Democrats who haven't yet realized that the Straight Talk Express is now permanently derailed.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I said it before and I'll say it again...

If you're not outraged, you're probably just waiting for January 20, 2009.

I can relate. Hang in there, everybody!

One of those moments of clarity...

...Courtesy of Farnsworth:

The genius of the framers of the Constitution is that they were able to construct a completely secular document in spite of their religious beliefs, not because of them.

I have a confession to make

Much as I've been enjoying Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I've never seen the Terminator films.

You can shake your heads in disbelief now.

Oh, and Lena Headley? Is an awesome actress. Summer Glau isn't too shabby either. Summer even got to display her dance skills in this week's eppy (she is actually a trained ballerina).

John McCain and the art of self-sabotage

Who's advising this guy, anyway? I ask because trying to tie your success to that of an unpopular, disastrous war is a stupid idea.

John McCain said Monday that to win the White House he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, "then I lose. I lose," the Republican said.

He quickly backed off that remark.

"Let me not put it that stark," the likely GOP nominee told reporters on his campaign bus. "Let me just put it this way: Americans will judge my candidacy first and foremost on how they believe I can lead the county both from our economy and for national security. Obviously, Iraq will play a role in their judgment of my ability to handle national security."

"If I may, I'd like to retract 'I'll lose.' But I don't think there's any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge," McCain added. "Clearly, I am tied to it to a large degree."

Uh...Senator? You really should rethink that rhetoric. And get a decent PR team.

No, wait a minute. I want this guy to lose. Okay, Senator. Forget what I said.

WaPo has more:

Polls show that 70 percent of the American public thinks the war was a mistake, and yet in head-to-head matchups against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, McCain does well, earning the support of many of those people.

I'm sure the Great Media McCain Tongue Bath has a lot to do with that. I suspect that as McCain stays on the campaign trail, Huckabee, rushing after him like a puppy dog, less people are going to like what they see. Especially if McCain keeps mentioning "I lose." Nobody likes that in a candidate.

Classic Britpop blog time!

I've been listening to the Small Faces, precursor of Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood's band. They were called "Small" Faces because they were all, well, kinda short. When singer Steve Marriott left and the somewhat taller Stewart and Wood joined up, they dropped the "Small." Here they are performing their biggest hit in their "Small" incarnation, "Itchykoo Park."

And here's the Move, precursor to ELO, singing "California Man." Awesome stuff.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Just a suggestion for progressives in 2008

When you get your tax rebates, courtesy of our Preznit, you can celebrate by sending some money to the candidate of your choice.

That's what I plan to do.

Speaking of buying a clue...

William Bratton, formerly of the NYPD, currently chief of the LAPD, comments on new, anti-paparazzi laws. Basically, he thinks they're bullshit and has an easier solution.

What we need is Britney Spears to stay home instead of traipsing all over town. That would solve the problem. We don't need additional laws.... I've got laws coming out my ears to deal with this issue....

What you have is several young women in this town and several young men basically making fools of themselves and tying up not only my resources but the resources of the media that would do better covering legitimate stories instead of a bunch of airheads running around out there....

Quite clearly some of these characters so favored by the paparazzi are clearly in need of services. Not police services, but psychiatric services.

You tell 'em, dude.

Via Celebitchy.

It's super-duper "buy a clue" time!

I really hesitate to even think about the latest example of manufactured outrage from the wingnutosphere, but The Catharine Chronicles has managed to break it down for the clue-challenged. Meanwhile, Bill O'Reilly spoke of retiring a few years ago, and Bob Cesca suggests he make good on that statement.

Meanwhile, I'd like to make some controversial statements of my own:

1. I agree with Michelle Obama.
2. I think Michelle Obama is right on.
3. I think Michelle Obama loves her country, even though she may not have always been proud of its government.
4. I feel the exact same way.
5. I think Michelle Obama would make an awesome First Lady.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

These pundits are getting tiresome

Let's see, what's Bill O'Reilly up to these days? He mentioned "Michelle Obama" and "lynching" in the same sentence. America has reached a saturation point with O'Reilly and his fellow yahoos. I can't even be shocked by them anymore. I would only be shocked if they turned into keen, insightful analysts who treated their opponents with respect.

Maybe O'Reilly's credit card will be declined somewhere and he'll blow a gasket on the supermarket line. That would be funny. Meanwhile, he is simply no longer outrageous.

Schadenfreude moment

From NY Post's Page Six of all places:

Ann Coulter suffered a serious embarrassment over the weekend when her credit card was declined in Palm Beach. According to our spy, the nutty arch-conservative was caught at 9:45 p.m. Saturday night in the 10 Items or Less line at the local Publix when her card was rejected. "She was embarrassed but didn't make a scene," our witness said. "She just paid with cash and ran out of there. But at least she's eating."

When the New York Post is calling you "nutty" and your credit card is declined, you know there are some problems with your life.

You call this a controversy?

I really can't get too worked up over John McCain shtupping Ms. Iseman. It's just that when you think of pols in bed with assorted lobbyists, you never imagine anyone would take that literally. Compared to other scandals, this is pretty tame stuff.

Please note that McCain married his current wife about a month after his divorce from Wife No. 1 became final. You know the expression: "If he cheats with you, he'll cheat on you."

Monday, February 18, 2008

And it's time for a punk blog!

Here's some X for you.

Gee, some milestone

Guess, what, kids? As of today, 3,963 Americans have been killed in Iraq.

Some out-of-touch wingnut think-tanker or neocon yahoo will claim that there's something good about "only" 4,000 or so dead Americans. Said yahoo will repeat the dumb excuse that "we're fighting them over there [in a country, that had nothing to do with 9/11] so we don't need to fight them over here." It's really easy to think that way when your house is still intact, your loved ones are still alive, and you don't have foreign troops in your country for a purpose even they can't figure out. It's even easier when you don't take into account the dead Iraqis.

"Only" 4,000 Americans. I can't wait to see how the Kristolhammer contingent spins this one.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

From the "these people should be freaking STARS!" department

It's the Go! Team, from the UK. They put on an awesome show at South By Southwest two years ago, and here they are in a video for the song "Ladyflash."

Note to Huckabee: How does a third party run sound?

Thus far, Mike "More than a Feeling the GOP Doesn't Like Me" Huckabee refuses to bow out of the race. Yosemite Mitt has agreed to endorse McCain, even after saying he's a liberal. Speaking of Mitt, Le Sweetie believes that even know, he's sitting in front of a calendar, marking off the dates until Election 2012.

Maybe Huckabee will go the third-party route, since he's willing to see this through to the end. Do we dare hope?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just what the planet needs right now...

Asia has reunited with all four original members. They and their egos went into the studio to make a new record. Now they're touring.

Note to the RNC: Don't you think "Only Time Will Tell" would make an awesome campaign song? Please say yes.

Guess oldies and Republicans don't mix

In 1996, Sam Moore, of Sam and Dave fame, came out in support of Bob Dole, performing "Dole Man," a rewrite of "Soul Man." Trouble is, Moore didn't write the song. Isaac Hayes and Dave Porter did, and they put a stop to "Dole Man."

Eight years later, John Hall of the band Orleans flipped when he heard Bush and Cheney were using "Still the One" a campaign theme. Today, Hall is a Democratic congressman (and I actually donated to his campaign).

Now Tom Scholz of the band Boston is miffed that "More than a Feeling" has become Mike Huckabee's anthem. But it gets weirder. Former Boston memeber Barry Goudreau has been performing the song with Huckabee at campaign stops. Only Scholz wrote the song, not Goudrea. And Scholz does not heart Huckabee.

"Boston has never endorsed a political candidate, and with all due respect, would not start by endorsing a candidate who is the polar opposite of most everything Boston stands for," wrote Scholz, adding that he is supporting Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. "By using my song, and my band's name Boston, you have taken something of mine and used it to promote ideas to which I am opposed. In other words, I think I've been ripped off, dude!"

Guess the Republicans are gonna have to stick with country music. Except for Merle Haggard. He's a Hillary supporter.

Meanwhile, who do you think will be the first '70s AOR rocker to make a run for public office?

Where have all the moderates gone?

Gone from the GOP, everyone.

Looks like they finally learned. Looks like they finally learned.

Anyhow, former GOP senator and current independent Lincoln Chafee has endorsed Barack Obama. He joins another sadly marginalized moderate, Susan Eisenhower (granddaughter of Ike) in supporting a Democratic candidate for president. Meanwhile, Chafee has a book coming out in a couple of months, titled Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President. Chafee was the only GOP senator to oppose the Iraq war and while his votes often left a lot to be desired, he is a decent guy. The book could be interesting. He's certainly a cut above Colin Powell and Christine Todd Whitman, in my opinion.

A 90-year-old talks about George W. Bush

This is Arthur Baller, retired NYC cop and member of the Greatest Generation, weighing in on the current president.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The great American sellout speaks!

I'm talking, of course, about Colin "I'm SOOOOO ashamed of that UN presentation" Powell. Now he's being coy on whether or not he'll vote GOP in November, while saying nice things about Barack Obama.

Powell, who has largely steered clear of politics since leaving the administration in 2004, noted that the next president will need to work to restore America’s standing in the world.

“I will ultimately vote for the person I believe brings to the American people the kind of vision the American people want to see for the next four years,” he said. “A vision that reaches out to the rest of the world, that starts to restore confidence in America, that starts to restore favorable ratings to America. Frankly, we've lost a lot in recent years.”

With the help of enablers in the Bush administration. Needless to say, the handful of losers still working for President 30 Percent can't be happy about this. What next--Scott McClellan going all Zell Miller at the DNC convention?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Crybaby conservative alert!

Sheesh! Won't National Review's writers quit crying about McCain already? Especially when he might--gasp--be right about something? Like, I dunno, torture?

Of course, opposing torture really should be a no-brainer, and John "I Hate Torture" McCain still voted to confirm assclowns like Gonzales and Mukasey.

Really, 2008 is turning into one big pity party for these wingnuts.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ssssssssh! Not so loud!

Now that McCain is the GOP frontrunner, the "We Heart Romney" crowd is despondent. They're searching for any glimmer of hope they can find in the possibility that perhaps an ill-tempered liberal RINO McCain will reassure them of his conservatism. (Like he hasn't tried to do so since 2004?)

To quote, Sadly, No!

You guys don’t seem to get it.

The way things work in American politics is that you appeal to your base during the primaries and then tack toward the center once you’ve secured the nomination. McCain is mostly winning the primaries because a lot of people buy into the media-fueled notion that he’s a “maverick” conservative who’s fundamentally different from the Bushies. Now while in reality this isn’t true — McCain has the same disastrous foreign policy ideas as Bush does and he’s just as liable to appoint wingnutty judges to the Supreme Court, for instance — he and his pals in the press have done a damn good job of selling it to independents and Republicans who want to pretend the Bush years never happened, but simply can’t stomach the thought of voting for a Democrat.

In other words, he’s succeeded largely because he’s convinced a sizable number of people in this country that he has nothing to do with all-out lunatics like you guys. If he’s come this far without your help, then there is no upside to him coming out and giving the finger to subprime borrowers who have just lost their homes, as you’d prefer him to do. Sorry, guys, but your ideology has become political poison in this country, even in the damn Republican primaries. If you want people to vote for you in the future, maybe you should stop wearing your sociopathy so overtly on your sleeves.

Really, I hope nobody from Team McCain reads this. It would be preferable to see McCain cozy up to the Santorum/Limbaugh/Dobson/Coulter crowd, making jokes about "B. Hussein Obama" and "Hilldebeast" at the GOP convention. As a matter of fact, I do hope McCain's idea of "GOP unity" includes making nice with all those wingnuts on talk radio who hate his guts. The better to disprove his "maverick" reputation once and for all.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My first primary day

This is the first time I've ever voted in a primary. (I was an independent before switching to the Democratic Party in 2005.) All in all, it went very smoothly.

Yes, I voted for Obama. Yes, I do think La Hill is a smart, pragmatic, hard-working politician. But I like Obama just a little bit better, mainly because I think we're ready to enter the post-Clinton/Bush political era. I would be perfectly happy with a President Hillary Clinton; I'm just ready for a change. Others' mileage may vary.

Hillary won New York, as expected. So far, she has won six states and Obama has won eight. Among those eight states are...Kansas and North Dakota. Not exactly racially diverse. Not exactly liberal strongholds, either. That should tell you something.

If La Hill gets the nomination, she should really make Obama her running mate. Just a thought.

Another thought: there are a lot of wingnuts crying in their martinis today. Yosemite Mitt won exactly two states: Massachusetts and Utah. Huckabee and McCain, however, seem to be kicking ass.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Another thought on McCain vs. Romney

All the wingnutospheric fawning over Yosemite Mitt reminds me of junior high school girls fawning over KEWT!1!! HAWT!!!1! SEXAY!!! ninth-grade boys. The boys in question may be crappy students who don't do much except fill space on the school baseball team. But somehow, they've managed to convince others of their kewlness and budding BMOC potential. They're the kinds of guys that make you look back decades later and say, "EW! What was I thinking? He was really gross!"

Unless you're a right-wing true believer, of course. Case in point, Kathleen Parker, swooning over George Bush's obviously staged photo op on the aircraft carrier.

As one-two punches go, the Byrd-Waxman sally was a bad day for nerds everywhere. Performing a whiney duet of the desperate, they managed to evoke images of skinny boys studying the quarterback's swagger for clues on cool. It's almost as painful to watch them contort in envy as it must have been for them to watch Bush, a stud muffin no matter what his other flaws, arriving on a testosterone bullet to the cheers of 5,000 sailors.

By now, I'm sure Kathleen Parker has graduated from high school and her political thinking has evolved somewhat.

Meanwhile, Mary Matalin reportedly calls herself "Bush's #1 fan." She has never offered much of an explanation for her wingnuttiness and her opinions show little insight or independent thought. Just like dozens of kids in middle and high school who are drawn to the KEWL kids in the hopes that KEWLness will reflect on them.

See, this is why they will never accept McCain but they will happily cast votes for Mitt Romney. Mittster is the epitome of the cute but vapid cool kid. John McCain, meanwhile, is the smart kid with substance who desperately wants to fit in and hasn't quite figured out that the little lemmings who badly need an authority figure simply won't have him.

Put it another way, the GOP is no longer the Daddy Party. In fact, it's now the Tween Party and is well on its way to becoming the Baby Party.

Meanwhile, in Bohemian Paris, Arkansas:

Filthy grown-up Republicans. I miss them sometimes.

One of the reasons I miss them is that it leaves me in the uncomfortable position of needing to be a grown-up Democrat. I've got the condescension down, mind you, and the whole superior tone of voice -- it's the responsibility I hate. It would be so much easier to just ignore the whole thing and move on.

Note to other reality-based community members: Get used to saying "Yes, dear, but..."

Abandon all hope, ye who seek the nomination here

Li'l Ricky Santorum still hasn't figured out he's irrelevant. Neither has the National Review. Ricky is supporting the Mittster. Even though he kinda sorta admits that Romney isn't really a conservative--in fact, he's just pretending to be one.

“I think Romney, when he decided to run, he’s a smart business guy, and he sort of got his team together and said, ‘What do I need to do to be the conservative candidate?’ and give me the checklist and see if I can check them off,” Santorum said. “And I think over the course of this campaign, you know, I saw the migration from the checklist to his head and from his head into his heart and I really believe that’s where he is today.”

So...Ricky. You're going to knowingly support a pandering GOP moderate, instead of an actual conservative Republican? Dude, there's a reason you were voted out of office.

Anyhow, Santorum is even starring in a series of automated phone calls courtesy of the Romney campaign. He is concerned about McCain's famously hot temper. Translation: McCain called Santorum a total fucking idiot and hurt his feelings.

I'm surprised he didn't call McCain a liberal. Come on, Ricky, where's your imagination?

John Cole, meanwhile, is understandably confused.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The evil "T" word

The concept of taxes, and the raising of thereof, is not spoken without a deep shudder. Raising taxes is considered to be political suicide. A handful of yahoos even consider it to be legalized theft. The latter concept is both amusing and confusing. For example, police officers are paid for with tax dollars. So, if taxation is theft, what does that make the police? Accessories to a crime?

Anyhow, Badtux is in a considerably higher tax bracket than yours truly and sees taxes as a necessity to keep the USA out of Third World status. Robert Reich, former Clinton labor secretary, takes it a step further in his book Reason, arguing that paying taxes is patriotic:

"It's your money?" It's your country! If you weasel out of what you owe in taxes, either someone else has to pay more taxes to make up the difference or there's less of what's required--roads, hospitals, troops, cops, safety inspectors, teachers--to keep it great.

So, you have to ask...why does the anti-tax crowd (Grover Norquist, Neal Boortz, Steve Forbes, et al.) hate America? Reforming the tax code is one thing. Of course, Bush cut taxes while launching a pre-emptive war, and chances are, taxes will need to be raised again to rescue America from debt. (Hopefully they will be raised for those who can most afford it--i.e., rich people like Steve Forbes.) Such is life, and anti-tax conservatives need to get over their sense of entitlement and realize that they can't have everything they want.

Please note: I'm sure my attitude toward taxes will change as April 15 nears. Given that I do freelance work, I'm going to owe money. I'll really try to feel patriotic when I send my check to the IRS.

Don't mean to sound like a tinfoil hat type, but...

...a friend pointed out something suspicious about this news item. It's coming out around the time Bush and his cast of idiots want to make their tax cuts permanent. Coincidence? With this administration? I seriously doubt it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Some music for a rainy Friday...

It's one of Kate Bush's coolest videos, "The Big Sky."

Followed by Feist's "1 2 3 4." Yeah, it's in that commercial that's all over TV. So what? The song and video are great.

And finally, Marnie Stern in 2007: