Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

31 August, 2007

Conservatives on crack

In case you were curious as to why no one in their right mind (pun so-not-intended) would ever hire National Review blogger Kathryn Lopez as a political consultant:
I do think the veep is going to matter — and especially to conservatives. Early match-ups wouldn't be a bad idea. If Rudy had Bill Bennett or Rick Santorum running with him, he'd get a second look from pro-lifers who are sick over the prospect of a pro-choice nominee, for instance. A solidly conservative Dick Cheney like figure (is anyone Dick Cheney like though) could help Romney, to ease any concerns about this able guy folks feel like they just met....

To re-cap - for Rudy or Romney to solidify their potential GOP candidacy, the should consider for veep a) a moralistic scold/compulsive gambler, b) a Christianist former senator who was just tossed out on his ass by voters in an important swing state, or c) someone like the most unpopular vice president ever. And you're telling me no campaign is waiting to snap K-Lo up?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Meet the new boss

So Larry Craig is about to be kicked to the curb for the sin of pleading guilty to disorderly conduct when he shouldn't have. So what do we know about the man who appears to be waiting in the wings to replace him, Idaho Lt. Governor Jim Risch?
A year ago, Risch was the acting governor of Idaho. He told this newspaper's Oliver Burkeman how he viewed the victims of Katrina:

"Here in Idaho, we couldn't understand how people could sit around on the kerbs waiting for the federal government to come and do something. We had a dam break in 1976, but we didn't whine about it. We got out our backhoes and we rebuilt the roads and replanted the fields and got on with our lives. That's the culture here. Not waiting for the federal government to bring you drinking water. In Idaho there would have been entrepreneurs selling the drinking water."

Ah, Idaho truly is the Gem State. People would have been at the stand-by ready to make a buck of the thirsting misfortune of others.

Of course, Risch's recollection of that dam break in 1976 is a little, erm... wrong:
The dam that broke in 1976 was the Teton dam, built on the Snake River just a few months earlier, at a cost of $100m. (That's worth almost $500m today.) Built not by entrepreneurs, but by the federal government's bureau of reclamation. It was built at the political insistence of a few millionaire ranchers and potato-growers, whose political allies had persuaded the government to build a series of dams that transformed a desert into some of the richest and wettest agricultural land in the country. And it was built despite predictions that it would fail.

And when it did fail, it was not the self-sufficient entrepreneurs of Idaho who "rebuilt the roads and replanted the fields." It was, once again, the federal government. According to the government's official history of the incident, federal agencies quickly rebuilt all the irrigation systems, and paid more than $850 million in claims to about 15,000 people who had lost property in the flood.

I suppose Risch's self-serving fiction is more politically acceptable than that of the totally not-gay soon-to-be-former Senator Craig.

BTW - is "kerb" really the preferred spelling in the Queen's English for "curb?"

Labels: , ,

And proper grammar taboot

I know we all love our LOLcats, but I think that Realisticats are the wave of the future.


For pattyjoe

I know he had asked for First Tube, but being the Head that I am, I decided to satisfy pattyjoe's yen for some unpunk Phish with the original Tube, an early 90s tune that got reworked into a monstrous space-funk jam. This particular Tube kicked off the April 1998 "Island Tour" a four-date run in Nassau, NY and Providence, RI and captures the band at the height of their Fall 97-Fall 98 heyday. It was stupendous, living in that tube.

For added fun, watch the crowd just for the sheer amounts of ganja being puffed.


28 August, 2007

I'm sure none of us expected this...

Firefighters Union to Endorse Dodd.

Labels: , ,

27 August, 2007

Punk, Rock Monday!

Behold the comma, so humble in stature, yet whose awesome power is released simply by virtue of its insertion into the title, allowing me to post the most un-punk clip ever to be unleashed upon this venerable institution!

You may use the ensuing thread to discuss the punk-ituity of this action.


26 August, 2007

Sunday night bambino blogging

On his trip to NYC, l'il wobs carefully studied the world-weary disdain of hipsters:

Labels: ,

24 August, 2007

The Keyes juggernaut cometh

Look out, folks, Alan Keyes (who, you'll remember, famously garnered Michael Moore's endorsement moshing to Rage Against the Machine) is looking to ride a grassroots groundswell to the GOP nomination! From an e-mail sent out by Helen Valois for Renew America, detailing their petition efforts at the Iowa Straw Poll to draft Keyes:
"But, Helen," said another friend — who was being regaled with tales of our trip and shown photos of all of us at the booth smiling for the camera and saying "Keyes!" — "tell me the truth. I believe in everything Alan stands for and all of that, but do you really think he has a chance?"

That word "chance" is becoming eerily reminiscent of another word all too unthinkingly and ubiquitously employed these days — the word "choice." Nobody seems to stop and ask, in the context of presidential or other politics, "a chance of what?"

A chance of selling out everything important, all for the sake of manipulating someone's way into office?

A chance of becoming as wise as doves and as innocent as serpents?

Do you have any idea what Helen's talking about here? "Wise as doves?" "Innocent as serpents?" I know the wingers are prone to talking in code, but this doesn't make any sense.

Oh, and I believe the correct response to the question, "Helen, do you really think Keyes has a chance?" is "Dear god no."
A chance of forfeiting the incomparable legacy of liberty bequeathed to us through bloodshed and sacrifice, all because we can't be bothered to look up from the froth of our raspberry lattes long enough to take stock of what is providentially required of this generation of Americans, right now?

Wait a minute... raspberry lattés? I thought lattés where the purview of the Volvo-driving liberal crowd. Did they somehow know of my leftist proclivities when I signed up to receive their newsletters for a larf? Weird.
Why not ask the black man who told me he is sick and tired of hearing that the country "isn't ready" for an African American president?

"When's the last time you heard any such opinion expressed about a certain Barack Obama?" I pointed out. This guy didn't start laughing, however. He spent the next ten minutes earnestly fleshing out my own thought for me, in quite a number of worthwhile ways.

I hope one of the ways he fleshed out Helen's thoughts for her was by pointing out that the last time Alan Keyes carpetbagged his way into a mano-a-mano electoral scrum with Obama, he got pasted.
They stood in line for their turn to wield the pen, with signatures totaling two hundred in one day.

There you have it. 200 sigs in one day. Keyes is gonna roll!

Labels: , , ,

So, what're you listening to?

The consequence of moving to a new metropolis, not knowing many people with common interests beyond work, and having the family gone is lots of one-on-one time with ye olde blog. I'll spare you the "pity poor wobs" post, and instead relay to you that the vivacious ms. wobs got me an iPod as an early birthday present, allowing me to enjoy my commutes without that troublesome human interaction... and we wonder why I'm not meeting any new people!

So this seems like an opportunity to tell you what I've found aurally interesting these past few months.

Sky Blue Sky - Wilco
Enough people have commented on the mellow 70's rock vibe of Tweedy & Co.'s latest album, so I won't repeat what they have to say. When I hear it, it leaves the impression that instead of going in to the studio in order to make The Next Great Wilco Record, they had a ton of fun with some great songs. It's an effortless listen, especially compared to previous outings, and I think it features some of Tweedy's best vocal performances to date.

Pink Flag - Wire
This is one of those punk classics I keep rediscovering. It's a perfect soundtrack to the relatively new experience (for me) of urban anomie.

OK Computer - Radiohead
This is one of those albums I know I should have spent more time with in the past. But wow, it's an emotive, dense listen that I could get lost in time and again, and at this point their melodic sensibilities hadn't gotten lost in the heroin-nod bleeps and bloops of their later albums.

Clouds Taste Metallic - The Flaming Lips
Their last album with Ronald Jones tends to get lost in the shuffle, sandwiched between the psychedelic punk bubblegum of Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, the wild experimentalism of Zaireeka, and the lush emotion of The Soft Bulletin. Be that as it may, it's one of my favorite Lips listens. The buzzsaw two guitar attack is complemented by an expanded sonic palette, and the lyrical content, while still showcasing Wayne Coyne's surreal narratives, takes on a surprisingly touching character, foreshadowing later albums. "Bad Days," the albums closing track, is one of my all-time favorite pick-me-ups.

Damaged - Lambchop
I haven't been able to stop listening to this since pattyjoe burned it for me. It's an astonishing subversion of the whole Nashville idiom. Where other bands can create a kaleidescope of moods from the sheer density of the music, Lambchop creates that same effect with its sparseness. It really is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard.

So now you know, and to top it off, how about 10+1 randomly generated songs for shits and giggles?
  • Kim's Watermelon Gun - Flaming Lips
  • Army Bound - Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  • We're Only Gonna Die - Bad Religion
  • My Heart and the Real World - the Minutemen
  • 21st Century (Digital Boy) - Bad Religion
  • Floating Boy - Fugazi
  • Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine - Brian Wilson
  • Melt Away - Galaxie 500
  • Something in the Way - Nirvana
  • Nine Bones - Hush Arbors
And your home alone on a Friday night #11:
  • Finger Lickin' Good - Beastie Boys

Labels: , ,

Aren't they precious?

Conservatives trying to mock that which they don't understand look really, really dumb.

Labels: ,

23 August, 2007

That's right, blame the mountain, fuckwit

From this morning's WP Express, p. 4 (sorry, no link):
"Had I known that this evil mountain... would do what it did, I would never have sent the miners in here."
- Bob Murray, Co-owner of the coal mine in Huntington, Utah, where the long search for six miners was nearing a conclusion on Wednesday.

That's right, because you couldn't have possibly known that ignoring, nay, actively subverting mine safety regulations to make a buck could have resulted in people dying.

Blame the mountain, asshole.

Labels: ,

21 August, 2007

Let me help you save some of your grant money

We're entering a brave new world of drug testing:
Researchers have figured out how to give an entire community a drug test using just a teaspoon of wastewater from a city's sewer plant.


Oregon State University scientists tested 10 unnamed American cities for remnants of drugs, both legal and illegal, from wastewater streams. They were able to show that they could get a good snapshot of what people are taking.


[Jennifer Field, the lead researcher and a professor of environmental toxicology at Oregon State] plans to start a survey for drugs in the wastewater of at least 40 Oregon communities.

Let me suggest you save a few bucks and not test the wastewater in Eugene. You won't need any fancy urinalysis to tell you that that city is stoned out of its gourd.



Our preznit arrives on the scene of an impending economic crisis:
President Bush sought to calm nervous investors, while the Federal Reserve plowed $3.75 billion into the financial system on Tuesday, the latest efforts to stanch a spreading credit crisis that has unhinged Wall Street.

Wall Street? It's cool. We've got your back.

As for you poor schleps who are about to lose your homes because of predatory lending practices, you can go right ahead and fuck yourselves.


Positively Northwestern

The weather here the past few days has been delightful. Cool, breezy, overcast, and rainy.

Just like home. So much so that on the way to work today, I was looking forward to seeing the nerdy girls with their thick-frame glasses wearing their dark-hued turtleneck sweaters.

But alas, this is DC, not Portland, and standard issue dress is the blue blazer.


On advertising and mass transit

Perhaps other denizens of the area can back-up my observations, but I've noticed that the advertising is different depending on the Metro line that you're actually riding. Most of my commuting involves the Red and Green lines, both of which run through the District and into Maryland at their respective termini. On these lines, the advertising seems rather run of the mill - social services, job opportunities, etc. However, when I ride the Orange or Blue lines, which both run into Northern Virginia, the ads are more geared towards the national security side of things, informing me of the right logistics platform for supplying an Army division or the benefits of a certain type of cargo plane. I get that NoVa is heavy on the Defense types, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining things.

Added bonus observation: One of my favorite ads is for a school offering Master's degrees in strategic defense policy, promising to train students in any number of sub-fields of "ethical warfare" (the oxymoronic nature of which I won't touch). One of the fields students can specialize in is "political economics," which I'm fairly certain means something different to them than to us social science types. I doubt the Grundrisse is on their reading list.


For ash


You, me, and a bucket of chicken

The delectable ms. wobs and l'il wobs have decamped for the Big Apple for a few days, leaving me at home feeling lonely and jealous. I do have plans for the next couple of nights, but for tonight, you'll get me and my one-off attempts at humor, insight, or whatever the hell else pops in to my head. Lacking uncle dave's inspiration, I'll let a bottle of red be my muse for the evening.

So stay tuned for the hijinx, because these days, I'm a lightweight.


19 August, 2007

Because it's Punk Rock Monday somewhere

I'm posting a little early tonight - an action-packed weekend has left me drained, and the work week promises to be eventful, so I'm calling it an early evening. So without further ado...

Mr. Bungle. I racked my brain trying to figure out some way to introduce this freak show that would do it justice. I'll have to settle with this story. In late fall of 1995, a group of college friends and I had eaten a copious amount of psilocybin mushrooms. We gathered in a friend's dorm room to listen to Disco Volante, which had recently been released. At one point, we spent a good seven or eight minutes listening really intently to the same snippet of music repeat over and over, and then another seven or eight minutes discussing whether the CD was skipping or if it was just Mr. Bungle being... well, Mr. Bungle. Turns out, it was skipping, but you never knew what to expect with this band.

"Slowly Growing Deaf" from 1989

"Desert Search for Techno Allah," circa 1995

And from 2000, "Ars Moriendi"

And as a special bonus treat, a flashback to the very first PRM evah.


Haven't we seen this movie before?

So, it's August, and something's about to go terribly awry. Do you know where your president is?
Worries about the deepening housing slump and an intensifying credit crunch consumed an increasingly anxious Wall Street last week, but President Bush barely broke stride.

Bush went mountain biking and cleared a trail on his ranch here as the stock market gyrated Thursday. When asked whether the president was concerned, Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, responded with confidence: "As President Bush has said, the U.S. economy is fundamentally sound, and so we expect to see continued economic growth."

If history is any indication, we are completely fucked.

Labels: ,

Sunday night bambino blogging

Since some of you kids seem to like seeing pictures of l'il wobs, I had figured during the week to begin a regular Sunday night feature to keep y'all apprised of the goings on and growings up of the boy. Besides, what says, "It's almost Punk Rock Monday!" like pictures of little children!

This week, however, is a little bittersweet, and so I'll proffer this inaugural bambino blog of "little friends who are" in memory of "little friends who should have been..."

The wee one on the left is Q., last seen by many of you in Eugene cheering for England (or crying for his bottle, depending on your interpretation) at the GTFF World Cup Extravaganza. Little Q. is, of course, the noble progeny of our friends Mark and Mara. L'il wobs really dug having him around for the weekend. I'm not sure, however, that Q. knew what to make of the whirlwind that was lw.

Labels: ,

Profiles in douchebaggery

To quote the lovely ms. wobs friend JM, "What's not to hate" about Rudy Giuliani? He's got a creepy smile. He's an out-and-out race baiter whose contribution to immigration policy would probably be to stand idly by while Border Patrol agents sodomized detainees with broom handles. His foreign policy plans would make even Dr. Strangelove bristle.

And he's a Yankees fan. That, in and of itself, is a grievous wrong on so many levels, but then one must factor this in:
On Friday, a New York Times story examined Rudy Giuliani's schedule in the months after 9/11 to verify his controversial claim that, like rescue workers, he'd spent long hours at ground zero, and so was "in that sense ... one of them." In fact, the Times found, he only spent 29 hours at the terror site between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16.


By our count, Giuliani spent about 58 hours at Yankees games or flying to them in the 40 days between Sept. 25 and Nov. 4, roughly twice as long as he spent at ground zero in the 60 days between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16. By his own standard, Giuliani was one of the Yankees more than he was one of the rescue workers.

This "America's Mayor" bullshit is really starting to wear thin.

Labels: , , ,

16 August, 2007


I'll be the first to admit that I've taken some pot shots at Britney Spears - she did hire dwarves for her then-husbands birthday, a little fact which deserved to be ridiculed. And I'll even cop to being more than a little amused at her immediate post K-Fed party antics. But after awhile, it stopped being funny and began to become very painful to watch. Today, I came across this:
And multiple sources confirm Spears’ exhibitionist streak: “She’ll strip down in front of staff, nannies, whomever,” says one. “She’ll ask, ‘Do I look sexy? Do I look pretty?’ She’s extremely insecure.”

This is not an "exhibitionist streak," and it's a helluva lot more than being extremely insecure.

The narrative around Britney's spectacular meltdown is becoming one of self-destruction, the typical "I guess she can't handle the fame" shrugging of the shoulders that accompanies such public flame outs. When I look at it, especially that aforementioned quote, I see the inevitable effects of being turned into a sexualized object before the age of 17. Will we see any record executive, any PR flack, any manager, or her parents take some responsibility for letting her be some codger's schoolgirl fantasy? Will anyone step up and admit that putting her in a position where leering old men in the seedier corners of the internets were counting the days until she was legal may have been damaging to her young psyche? Did anyone think twice about making a buck off of pimping out a pretty but not-too-bright hayseed from Louisiana?

I'm not holding my breath for any mea culpas, but let it be said, the entertainment industry eats its young.

Labels: , , ,

It takes a special kind of crazy

We all know that Michael Vick is probably a pretty bad guy for running a dog-fighting ring out of his home. But did you know that he was running that ring in order to gain money to buy missiles from Iran in order to join Al Qaeda's war against Murica? It's true! Or so says the convicted felon suing him for $63 BILLION backed by gold and silver.

Labels: , , ,

14 August, 2007

Ever have one of those weeks?

Maybe the day-blogging is taking its toll, but fact of the matter is, I've got something of a blogger's block when it comes to the noodle. So I'm letting you know. Because I need to write something.

So there it is, and now you know, and I've written.

I'm sure we all feel better now.


13 August, 2007

Punk Rock Monday

I've gone on before about how much I love Pavement, so I won't belabor that particular point. They're the epitome of indie rock, and possibly the coolest bunch of mofos to rock the 90s.

"Trigger Cut" from 1992, featuring drummer Gary Young, who might be the only drummer luckier than Ringo Starr (not many middle-aged acid-burnouts get a chance - however brief - to go on world tours):

From 1994, "Pueblo":

Also from 1994, and the absolute best Pavement song ever, "Debris Slide":

And as a special bonus, Pavement "live" on Space Ghost:


12 August, 2007

Virginia is for haters

You know, I really enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. But after this weekend, I have very little good to say about the rest of the state. Those of you who live in Arlington and in the Blue Ridge, please know that I still think you're peachy.

Okay, reflections on a "quick" weekend getaway to Virginia Beach:
  • The I-95 is actually a parking lot masquerading as an interstate highway. Ditto for the I-64
  • To the woman driving the car with the Human Rights Campaign sticker who somehow convinced the Virginia DMV to issue a license plate reading "CUNTY" - I doff my cap to you, even if you did just want me to "see unity"
  • The Hampton Roads beltway makes even less sense than the Capital Beltway
  • There is something deeply disturbing about drinking a tropical cocktail on a beach in the Mid-Atlantic region
  • Google, Yahoo, and MapQuest all lie about travel times
  • If every summer trip to the beach is going to be as big a hassle as this one was, fuck it, I'm swearing off the beaches in this part of the country. Besides, I'm more of a mountain boy anyways, and there's water in those rivers right now

Okay, I seriously just rolled in to town about 45 minutes ago, and I'm exhausted, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow evening (again) for your PRM. If anyone has a request, pop it in the comment thread.

Labels: ,

08 August, 2007

Faster BlogWarBot! Kill! Kill!

In case you were hankerin' for a good old fashioned blog fight:
BlogWarBot: I'm BlogWarBot. Are you one of those radical feminists?
Guest: Nope, I'm more comfortable with the socialist-feminist label.
BlogWarBot: Do you expect a cookie just because you're more comfortable with the socialist-feminist label?
Guest: What kind of cookie?
BlogWarBot: What does that have to do with this topic?
Guest: Hey, you asked.
BlogWarBot: Stop placing your oppressive expectations on me!
Guest: Why?
BlogWarBot: What are you, some kind of provocateur?
Guest: A sexy provocateur, maybe.
BlogWarBot: Maybe? Make a decision, Senator Lieberman.
Guest: That was uncalled for.
BlogWarBot: So if I might get back to the topic, what do you think about the Ohio ballots thing?
Guest: What the hell are you talking about?
BlogWarBot: My being talking about or not is none of your business and irrelevant to ending the war.
Guest: That doesn't even make sense!
BlogWarBot: What a pompous twit you are.
Guest: I am?
BlogWarBot: Do you think I care about your being?
Guest: LOL
BlogWarBot: I'm not sure I understand how you managed to log on successfully.




Labels: ,

Chicken or egg?

A couple of days ago, I singled out Mike Huckabee for proposing the worst tax plan evah. This evening, I read this statement from kos:
There was a point in the YearlyKos presidential forum when Mike Gravel, asked to defend his ridiculous 23 percent national sales tax (on top of local and state sales taxes), grumpily responded with something along the lines of "Don't worry about the fair tax, it will never pass Congress."

My question to you, dear reader, is which of these jokers ripped off the other?

Labels: , , ,

07 August, 2007

Need a reason to gouge your eyes out with a spoon?

I'll leave the blogging of the main event to my esteemed blogospheric colleagues. I'll blog the bloggers blogging the forum. And for that sheer "OMG, if this blog were a bear-trap and my leg was stuck in it, I'd gnaw both legs off in order to escape, just so there'd be absolutely no chance that the other leg would get stuck" feeling, you've got to go straight for the K-Lo at the Corner. A representative post:
Hillary Channels Rick Santorum [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Credit where due: She said "Islamic extremists" tonight.

And it's not the K-Lo without a post-debate Mitt-gasm.


Labels: , ,

06 August, 2007

Punk Rock Monday

By a happy coincidence, this is also the 1000th post at medulla noodle (1/10th of which actually qualify as "substantive and nutritious"). So, whatever one does to celebrate these events, knock yourself out.

Delving back in to the sXe scene, I got a chuckle watching these old 7 Seconds clips. Kevin Seconds is so earnest in his youthful anarchism that to my jaded, old 30-something eyes he comes off as charmingly naive. That said, when I met him after a show in Tampa in 1993, I do have to say he was one of the sweetest individuals I'd ever chatted with, a genuinely nice guy.

From an old Flipside video circa 1984, "Fuck Your American Life," "Drug Control," "Anti-Klan," and "Out of Touch":

"Young 'Til I Die":

And finally, as 7 Seconds took a turn towards U2 in the late 80s, "Rock Together, Walk Together":


The YouTubes ate my PRM

Sorry kids, but the YouTube just isn't cooperating with me right now, and I'm too tired to keep checking to see if it's back up. Punk Rock Monday will be back later tonight.


05 August, 2007

Worst. Tax Proposal. Ever.

Noted without comment:
Huckabee declared his intention to scrap the Internal Revenue Service in favor of a single, 23 percent sales tax, calling such a move "the single great thing" that will do the most to help the nation's economy.

As an addenum, did you realize Tommy Thompson was still running? Neither did I!

Labels: , , , ,

04 August, 2007

My class resentment bubbleth over

We all have our upwardly-mobile, middle-class professional friends who like to wallow in working-class chic (some of us may even be those people), but thank god I don't know anyone like this:
Mr. Steger, 51, a self-described geek, has banked more than $2 million. The $1.3 million house he and his wife own on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean is paid off. The couple’s net worth of roughly $3.5 million places them in the top 2 percent of families in the United States.

Yet each day Mr. Steger continues to toil in what a colleague calls “the Silicon Valley salt mines,” working as a marketing executive for a technology start-up company, still striving for his big strike.


Mr. Kremen estimated his net worth at $10 million. That puts him firmly in the top half of 1 percent among Americans, according to wealth data from the Federal Reserve, but barely in the top echelons in affluent towns like Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton. So he logs 60- to 80-hour workweeks because, he said, he does not think he has nearly enough money to ease up.

“You’re nobody here at $10 million,” Mr. Kremen said earnestly over a glass of pinot noir at an upscale wine bar here.

On the one hand, I'll give them credit for maintaining a solid work ethic, unlike some of the Georgetown trust-fund set I've run across. On the other hand, ahem...


I feel better now.

Labels: ,

Normally, I'd be all like, "what digby sez"

But, damn!
We'll have to see if the country at large wants to take a trip to Limbaughland in the general, but if I had to guess, I'd say Rush's schtick is way tired except to the hardocre talk radio haters. To the public at large it sounds like political Hootie and the Blowfish --- a bunch of bad songs that were way overplayed and are now hideous reminders of an era that's mercifully passed.

I mean, granted, Hootie and the Blowfish suck, but their bland inoffensiveness only set rock back a couple of years. Rush and his followers' toxicity threatens to take us back to the Gilded Age.

To put it another way: the rare times I do hear "I Only Want to Be with You," I'm whisked back to a not-unpleasant memory of a drunken college makeout session with a cute but not-so-bright young woman. The rare times I listen to a Rush monologue, I'm plunged into the horrible realization that this man created the giant clusterfuck we're facing today. Game, set, and match to Hootie.

digby's point is well-taken, but those Hootie kids seem so nice - even if they were mind-numbingly boring - it just doesn't seem right to compare them to the talk radio hate parade.

Labels: , ,

03 August, 2007

Who are you and what have you done with Newt Gingrich?

I'm either having some serious acid flashbacks, or Newt Gingrich said some things that made sense. From a speech he made at the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference:
From there Gingrich moved into waters the students surely did not expect. He cited the Detroit school system, where a black male is more likely to go to prison than graduate from high school.

"How can we tolerate systems more likely to send young Americans to prison than college?" asked Gingrich. "Republicans have this maniacally dumb idea of red versus blue. They say Detroit is a blue place, so we're not going to go there."

Come again? Newt is concerned that the "lock-'em-all-up" strategy of dealing with the urban underclass is intolerable? Newt Gingrich?
"Republican political doctrine has been a failure," Gingrich said. "Look at New Orleans. How can you say that was a success? Look at Baghdad ... We've been in charge for six years and I don't think you can look around and say that was a great success."

This is getting really fucking weird.
And finally, when it seemed he'd been as blasphemous as he could possibly be, Gingrich pulled out a whopper: "None of you should believe we are winning this war," he said, referring to the so-called war on terror. "We are in a phony war ... we have not been taking this seriously."

Holy shit - looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

I've never liked Newt Gingrich, and when I read these words, a big part thinks he's trying to position himself as a potential, I don't know, "sane" alternative to the freak show that is the GOP presidential field - although I'd be hard-pressed to understand how pointing out some hard truths to the Republican true believers is a viable primary campaign strategy.

But on the other hand, Newt is the only national conservative I know of who is acknowledging there are actual problems we face as a nation beyond the specter of same-sex marriage and brown people who want to make us all grow beards or wear burkas. He seems to understand that as a nation, we failed with Katrina. We've failed in Iraq. We've all but failed in Afghanistan. He's acknowledged that global warming is an actual problem. Now, I don't trust his thinly-veiled calls for bipartisanship, particularly given his conduct in the mid-1990s, and I know I won't agree with many of his solutions. I'm sure his solution for the Detroit schools is privatization, that private enterprise is in a better position to provide hurricane protection and disaster relief, and that market-based solutions can curb climate change. I know he's a Middle East hawk. I still wouldn't trust him as far as I can throw him. But I have to admit, there's a part of me that's thrilled that despite the vast ideological gulf between our views, we have a political adversary that seems to be on the same page in terms of at least some of the problems that we're facing, rather than someone who pretends that nothing is wrong and that George Bush is awesome when he's not coddling Mexicans.

And I don't know if that my being thrilled is really sad or a cause for some hope. But in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy whatever free buzz it is I'm experiencing and will know that I've come down when I see Newt on C-SPAN calling for an immediate invasion of Pakistan.

Ah, sobriety.

Labels: , ,

02 August, 2007

Had to start re-loading music on a new computer 'cause the old hard drive crashed playlist

I haven't done one of these in a while, and what better way to celebrate the death of a hard drive than a random 10+1 song playlist? We'll hope that the data recovery pixies can salvage something from the other 'puter...
  • Surgeon's Girl - Wire
  • Magnolia Mountain - Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
  • On a Plain - Nirvana [live]
  • Don't Look Now - the Minutemen
  • Little Cream Soda - the White Stripes
  • Modern Man - Bad Religion
  • Rats - Sonic Youth
  • In the Cold, Cold Night - the White Stripes
  • Familiar Love - William Shatner
  • Brain Damage - Pink Floyd
And as always, your 80 GB bonus #11:
  • Low Side of the Road - Tom Waits


Simpsonized yet?

So this is what I'll apparently look like when I make my debut on the Simpsons. Pretty nifty, eh? And should they decide to include l'il wobs, he'd look something like this:

Can you see the resemblance?

Your turn.

Labels: ,

A moral victory

I bet you thought this was going to be another post on Iraq. It's not.

Five years ago, when I was just beginning to woo the lovely future ms. wobs, she told me that one of her favorite books was Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. In an effort to impress her, I went out that summer and purchased the book, hoping to read it and then be able to engage her on it, thus causing her to fall hopelessly in love with me.

Luckily for us (and for l'il wobs!), there was a Plan B for getting her to fall hopelessly in love. I never made it through the book.

It's certainly not because it's a bad book, by any stretch - it's pedigree speaks for itself: The Booker of Bookers - the best book to win the highly prestigious Booker Prize in it's first 25 years. The book itself is incredibly charming, with a wry sense of humor and a dense but satisfying narrative. It trafficks in a magical realism reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, a novel that I adore. And so the book itself has nothing to do with my inability to finish it.

My first attempt at reading it, in the summer that I purchased it, ran square in to the realities of graduate school. I simply couldn't pick up a dense novel after reading academic treatises all day (the rigors of graduate school pushed me towards sci-fi page turners that offered the vicarious, escapist thrill). My second attempt, late last fall, ended when I temporarily misplaced the book. By the time it resurfaced, I was halfway through another novel. Both times, I read to page 92, but no further.

Today, I'm happy to report, I read past page 92 - not the end by any stretch, but I'm officially on my way.

Third time's the charm, they say.

Labels: , ,

01 August, 2007

Reading the article would only ruin the headline

Because I so desperately want the Guardian to be getting all Freudian on the British military: "Britain's armed forces are beset by bureaucracy and big willy syndrome."



Dick Cheney is not the guy you want to have out their trying to drum up sympathy on your behalf:
Cheney also disclosed that he recently had dinner with his former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, whose 30-month sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice was commuted by Bush. Cheney said earlier this week that he disagreed with the verdict.

"He's doing well," Cheney said. "He obviously went through a very, very difficult time, very hard for him and for his family. I think having the commutation of sentence decided has been a huge relief for him, but he still has a very difficult road. He's got -- obviously he needs to find work. He's got legal bills. He carries the burden of having been convicted. All those are not easy problems. But he's clearly in -- he's in good spirits and getting on with his life."

Poor Scooter. He's sure got it rough.

He's unemployed - at least until the good folks at the AEI offer him some cushy fellowship.

He's got all those legal bills - which that $5 mill in his legal defense fund won't come close to covering, I'm sure.

He carries the millstone of having a conviction on his record - at least until the full pardon comes through at around ten till noon on January 20, 2009.

But he's in good spirits. He doesn't lose any sleep over sliming a public servant in order to exact revenge on his political enemies. There's no stain on his conscience for helping sell a senseless, immoral, and profoundly damaging war.

Nope, good ole Scooter is going to be a-ok.

Cry me a fucking river, Dick.

Labels: , ,

Schedule change

When I said you should check out FDL today at 1:30 PM EDT, what I really meant was that you should check it out tomorrow, Thursday, August 2, at 1:30 PM EDT (10:30 AM PDT).

Funny how that happens.

[updated August 3, 2007 at 4:28 PM]: For those who missed it, a linky-loo.