Monthly Archives: March 2010

I ain’t no politician…


(Yeah, what up, this is doc. The blogging’s going on. Thank God it’s Friday…)

When I was young, my mother wanted me to be a politician.
She thought being president would be great, but if not, I could run for any
office and help people. Eventually, she realized that wasn’t going to happen,
so she said I’d be great as a speech writer for a good politician and that I
could help shape the public debate with my words, even if they came out of
someone else’s mouth.

If nothing else, the health care debate codified for me why
I could never be in politics, even if it were as a janitor in the mayor’s
office. Here’s why:

– I have no patience for cheating assholes. When the vote
had been won and we got the “Wait, let’s send it back to committee because we
might be able to convince people that Democrats are randomly aborting children
to sell the fetuses to Iranian terrorists to fuel their jet packs of DEATH”
motion, I would have probably snapped and kicked someone in the balls. You
lost, it sucks for you, get over it.

– Had I been at the podium when someone screamed “It’s a baby
killer” from the gallery, I would have probably said, “I’d like to yield the
remainder of my time to the congressman from Wisconsin. Meanwhile, I’d like the
vocal gentleman in the rear of the room to step out into the Rose Garden so we
can settle this shit like men.”

– If I were the president and got what I wanted, I couldn’t
have possibly been as restrained as Obama in reacting to the vote. He was
talking about being friends and how he’s going to have to do more and such. I’d
have simply gotten up to the podium and said, “What? Huh? Huh? I can’t hear
your Republican bullshit through all the WIN I’m experiencing. What you say?
Yeah, that’s what I f’n thought you’d say! Nothing, bitches. Punks. Fuck you.
Yeah. I said it! I’m totally going to nail my wife right now and then tomorrow,
I’m getting up and going to get some more shit that you hate passed.”

– I never liked it when I’d ask Mom if I could go out or do
something and she’d say, “Go ask your father.” I’d go ask Dad, who would
invariably say, “Ask Mom.” Back and forth I’d go, wondering if either of them
would ever make decision. Watching the whole “And now the Senate gets another
look…” thing would make me crazed.

– As a parent, I dislike the random resistance offered by my
kid for stupid shit. Here’s an actual conversation I had at a restaurant:

“Eat your noodles.”

“Daddy, I want to take off my shoes.”

“Just eat your noodles.”

“Please Daddy! I can’t eat with these shoes on.”

“What?”

“I can’t eat with my shoes on.”

“Just eat…”

“Please, Daddy, can I take my shoes off?”

“No.”

“Why?”

At this point, I did my best not to bang my head on the
table until I lose consciousness. Watching these idiots talk about all sorts of
random shit instead of just voting would be just about as bad, but they
couldn’t blame their randomness on being 4 years old. As a political leader, it
would really bother me that I couldn’t just grab the guys by back of the neck
and steer them over to the voting kiosks and say, “Just fucking vote.”

– Speaking of stupid shit… The “Cornhusker Kickback” thing
would have never gotten within six feet of me without me finding Ben Nelson and
doing the “Are you fucking serious? Do not MAKE me take my JEWELRY off!” thing.
Let’s just forget about doing the right thing for the right reason and instead
just do stuff because we’re bribing people. For all the talk about socialist
medicine, our lawmakers are pimping themselves out like 1980s Yugoslavian
border guards.

– Finally, this huge “We’re suing the government” thing is
really painful to watch. The AG from Wisconsin was on TV last night arguing
that it’s the first time in history that the government has forced you to buy
something or do something for health reasons against your will. Uh… no… State
law requires me to buy car insurance, buckle up when I drive and put my kid in
a car booster seat. Places I’ve lived before required me to wear a helmet when
I was riding a motor scooter, pass a safety course before I could ride a
motorcycle and get approval from the state before I could drive a car. All of this
was pretty much an attempt by government to keep my stupid ass alive, even in
spite of what I might want myself. When I had hair, it was great feeling the
wind blowing through it on a bike. Unfortunately, that wasn’t happening in
certain states in which I lived. Now I live in a no-helmet law state and I
don’t have hair. Clearly I got fucked, but I won’t get unfucked by suing the
government. Or the Bosley Medical Group.

Look, the government has stepped in before on a lot weirder
things than health insurance. At one point, the government said people couldn’t
drink alcohol. It currently says we can’t smoke weed, even though studies
indicate it’s not as bad for you as other things that are legal. My state is
telling me that you can’t smoke pretty much anywhere except for in about a
three-foot wooded area outside of Oconomowoc. Again, it’s telling you what you
have to do. It makes me pay taxes, which go toward things I might not want to
spend my money on. (Hey, Afghanistan! Figure out your own shit and give me back
my dollar fitty.)

However, of all the things we could argue that the
Washington Senators shouldn’t be spending money on, keeping us alive, and
preventing people from screwing us in the process, is one that we should all
agree on. Had President Potato-head done this, Glenn Beck would be masturbating
on TV about how great it is that we’re in the Great American Century and how
the world is now safe for children-to-be in the wombs of all good mothers who
are growing Republican Children For Christ. Instead, a black Democrat did it,
so it’s got to be a conspiracy to give welfare cheats a chance to get better
Schedule 1 narcotics.

And, if nothing else, that last paragraph should clearly
tell you while I would be colorful quote if I were Senator Doc, I clearly don’t
belong in politics.

Friday Ferretblogging: Puckaroo

Puckball

Puck’s been a bit under the weather lately. The vet who saw him recently said nothing (other than the usual effects of his adrenal disease) was wrong, but he’s been extra-sleepy and likes to spend the afternoons curled up in smaller and smaller balls of fluff in his favorite tube. I’m hoping he’s just slowing down due to the ripe old age of six he recently hit.

A.

Cause and Effect

FromAlbum3This Extended Two Minute Hate brought to you by Oxycontin.

Fortunately for everyone, the louder the mouth, generally the more innate the weenieness…though the incessant lizard brain proddinghas had someeffect. Still…I hate saying this, but after the sheer volume of rage we’ve seen the last year and a half, part of me is surprised — and, of course, relieved — that there hasn’t been much more violence.

Sigh: I forget where I saw this, but earlier someone wrote (paraphrasing) and this is just over a health care bill (apologies for not being able to link/attribute.)

That said, and even as I continue to be amazed at the volume of rage, I’m struck by how clueless these would be “revolutionaries” are–even as they’re so consumed by hatred that they’re mouthing off about trees of liberty and blood of patriots and tyrants, I seriously doubt they’d make it more than a few hours without, in no particular order, indoor plumbing, Rush on the radio/Glenn on the teevee…and a three liter bottle of Dew to wash down the “Family-Sized” bag of Cheetos…

Something tells me their revolutionary fervor would get pretty old pretty quick once they realized what “sacrifice” really means.

But, if they really want to give it a go, why not a trial run? Live like the Amish for a while…or, as I mentioned once to a friend, there actually WAS a time when taxes were very low, government was very limited, and religion played a much larger role in daily life. We know it today as the Dark Ages.

Malaka Of The Week: Mitt Romney

This has been a world class week for malakatude: the candidates for this dishonor have been numerous and very, very LOUD. I decided to opt for the malaka as schmuck theme this week and who’s a bigger putz than Mitt Romney? I had a lot of fun with Romney in 2008, I fell hard (as a satirist) for his relentless pandering. Romney is the only pol I’ve seen who can match the master panderer, the man called the pander bear by Paul Tsongas, former President Bill Clinton.

I’ve been pulling for Romney to be the GOP nominee in 2012 but the passage of a rather Romneyesque health care plan will challenge even his ability to spin, lie and pander. Earlier this week, Mitt Haircut had this to say about HCR:

Romney is taking a hard line against Obama’s health care bill, and
calling for repeal. “America has just witnessed an unconscionable abuse
of power,” Romney said in a post atNational Review.
“President Obama has betrayed his oath to the nation — rather than
bringing us together, ushering in a new kind of politics, and rising
above raw partisanship, he has succumbed to the lowest denominator of
incumbent power: justifying the means by extolling the ends.”

It’s a depressing sign of the times that a Gooper who *actually* accomplished something whilst Governor of “liberal” Massachusetts is denouncing HCR instead of trying to take credit for it. That makes him not only a malaka but a Masshole as well. Romneycare was one of the reasons Scott Brown (who supported it) was able to pull off his stunning upset over MarthaCorpse Coakley. Romney and Brown are currently lying through their respective teeth about the similarities to the Obama-Pelosi HCR but it will continue to plague the Mittster.

Romney has turned out to be one of the biggest losers now that HCR has passed. But the bloggers and pundits of America are losers too: I was hoping to mock Mitt and his rather goofy brood relentlessly through November, 2012. I even planned to harp on the fact that his father, George, was the malaka behind AMC’s Gremlin, which was perhaps the worst car ever. It may not have exploded like the Pinto but it was horrendous. The Romneys are hilarious in a Margaret Dumont kinda way: they have no idea how silly they are. Papa George’s 1968 campaign was almost as funny asBlazing Saddles; especially the bit about being brainwashed by the military brass in Vietnam.

The Mittatollah is still planning to run for the 2012 nomination but the GOP has gone stark raving mad and even an expert panderer such as Mitt will have a hard time faking that. He simply comes off as too sensible even when he’s saying crazy shit. I’m inclined to agree withJosh Marshall who called Mitt Haircut toastearlier this week. So, this felt like an opportune moment to mock Mitt and to crown him malaka of the week. Hang in there, dude, I’m counting on you to stay in the race. We need all the unintentional humor that we can get in these grim times.

Journalism’s Future: Not Enough News!

“For-profit news orgs won’t create enough journalism.”

This assumes they’re creating enough journalistm (and guys, it’s “doing journalism” or my personal favorite, “committing journalism”) now. Which, erm, fuck no.

On the upside, nonprofits are helping journalism move toward a more
collaborative model, Downie said. In the old days, newspapers resisted
ideas and assistance from outside. But in the new news ecosystem,
collaboration is a way of life. “All of our ideas have been changed
about that,” he said.

Well, newspapers used to have enough people that they didn’t NEED anybody from any other organization to help out. But that was before 30 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanos, dogs and cats, living together, and Conrad Fucking Black.

Also a plus: Big foundations and the public at large are warming to the
idea that news organizations are deserving of their support, just like
the symphony or any other nonprofit that contributes to society’s
cultural assets. “There’s a question of whether there’s enough public
realization,” Downie said. “I think we’re heading to that direction.
Awareness is growing steadily.”

Sigh. Communities have always supported newspapers they view as serving their interests, as informing and entertaining and helping them. It’s only lately that we’ve begun to be lectured as consumers about how it’s so terrible we’ve lost interest in publications that have lost interest in us.

It’s not clear that all the nonprofits that have launched in recent
years will survive. “How many will succeed and for how long?” Downie
wondered. A related question: How will the collaborative model will
settle out, and where nonprofits will find productive niches?

Downie said he also has been watching nonprofits wrestle with theissue of credibility — how to achieve it and how to keep it.

The answer begins with editorial independence and transparency about financial supporters, Downie said.

YOU FIRST, slick. Nonprofit newspapers and media companies (that have existed for a century-plus, some of them) have no need to answer to anyone at the Washington Fucking Post.

A.

Dialing It Back for Dollars

There’s a side benefit to elected Republicans amping up the tea-party violence: They then get to look to their real constituency, the Villager press, like the grown-ups for trying tocalm everyone down. Making the unwashed public the crazy lunatics allows them to look like the good guys. Otherwise, how could they do so?

A.

Not That We Haven’t Always Done This Batshittery

But it is starting to becomeseriously disturbing:

Sara Howard, a spokesperson for Congress Russ Carnahan, confirmed
tonight that a coffin was left on the front lawn of the Carnahan’s home
residence in the St. Louis area.

Mark your calendars forWingnut Christmas:

Given that 19 April is the date on which both theWaco conflagration and theOklahoma City bombing occurred it’s probably not a coincidence that the gun nuts have chosen that date to stage a“Second Amendment March” on the nation’s capitol.

I’ve said this before, but: I have zero issue with gun ownership. I have a SERIOUS problem with blowhard showoffs who think waving their guns around is some kind of stupendous act of courage in a society that not only permits gun ownership but positively worships violence, like, oooh, it’s about as subversive as driving your car. Way to go against the grain there, Brave Patriot. Fucktards.

And the passive-aggression of wingnuts is starting to get on my goddamn nerves. Just sack up and admit that you want to threaten and intimidate. Don’t be all, “Yeah, I put a coffin on your lawn, but I didn’t mean for you to beupset by it or anything. Just expressing my opinion, man.” Sure, I posted the wrong address for a congressman and got his brother’s home vandalized, but hey, I wasn’ttelling anybody to do anything really. There’s a fine line between plausible deniability and just generally being a puss, and these people are on the wrong side of it. Not that the other side would work for them either.

Schmucks.

A.

/div>

Uncooolness

It’s been a while since blogtopia has discussed what a TOTAL FUCKING MORON Jeff Goldstein is, sohere. Have at it.

A.

The Perils Of Perriello

Another “isolated incident” and perhaps the most egregious one thus far:

Politico.com reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has visited the home of Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello’s brotherfollowing the release of an address
by a member of the Lynchburg Tea Party. Politico confirmed with a
Perriello aide that a severed propane gas line was discovered at the
home.

The blog post, written byMike Troxel (andpresently down
due to bandwidth issues), allegedly delivered what the blogger thought
was Congressman Perriello’s home address. However, the address is that
of Perriello’s brother, who was not immediately available for comment.

The Lynchburg Tea Party’s websiteissued a response which says that Troxel’s action “was not requested, sanctioned or endorsed” by the group.

Note that they did not denounce this bit of brown shirtery.

WWII

Jude sends this along.

Anybody else watching The Pacific?

A.

Fairy Tale Logic

Poetry for your morning:

Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—

You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,
The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.

— A.E. STALLINGS

A.

Pancakes with a side of Hendrix

First up, I gotnothing againstJakob Dylan. He’s written some verydecent songs. Also, one cannot argue with genetics — man’s got a sweet voice that’s weathered smoothly over time, solid musical instincts, and not for nothing, he’s awful nice to look at. (see: “dyke, not blind”)

When I read thatT-Bone Burnett, Academy Award winner, definitely on the short list of greatest producer/songwriter/performer genius guys around, had signed on to produce a second album with Dylan, I thought it sounded like a cool idea but didn’t think much more about it. What got my attention was when I saw they wanted not onlyNeko Case but powerhouse sidekickKelly Hogan on 8 of the 10 tracks. That meant I’d most likely buy said album, Women & Country, or at least 8 tracks of it.

Then came the announcement that “Jakob Dylan and Three Legs, with Neko Case and Kelly Hogan,” would be all overSXSW, just down the road from me this week, including some of the free no-wristband-required events. I was tempted to go at first, even more when I found out that “Three Legs” was actually the rest of Case’s band, every one of them kickass players, especially Paul Rigby (on guitar below). Case’s last two albums have been in high rotation in the “fabric of my life” playlist this last year, but I have yet to see a live performance.

So, tempted, yes — my favorite ingredients were there — but frustratingly, not in theproportions I wanted:

To listen to Neko Case recorded is an
incredible experience, but to actually watch her sing is breathtaking.
While the audience (and sometimes the rest of the band) gasps in awe,
struggling to draw enough air to yell into a friend’s ear “can you
believe her voice”?!, Neko simply opens her mouth and lets loose an
auditory assault. In a good way. The English language needs a new verb
to describe the manner in which Neko produces sound. It is not
singing. It is some peculiar form of channeling, in which her vocal
chords become conduit for a blend of Linda Ronstadt’s, Patsy Cline’s and
Ozzy Osbourne’s voices, driven through a Marshall amp with all the
knobs turned to 10.

And as if that voice isn’t enough, add in “secret assassin” Kelly Hogan, described by Case as “the best singer I know.” Two enormous voices … used here as background, as accent. Splashed on like aftershave. And it’s gorgeous — in my headphones. Badass chef T-Bone Burnett serves up a mouthwateringappetizer. Case is the caviar, Hogan’s the crème
fraîche, we’ll call the band smoked salmon, and Jakob Dylan is the
pancake.

I love musical collaborations, have nothing against cross-marketing, but when it comes to the billing for alive performance, I have a different expectation of that word “with,” so my expectations and I stayed home. Many of those who did stand in line for a few hours to see Jakob Dylanwith Neko Case ended up underwhelmed. Even middle-of-the-roadEntertainment Weekly found Case “sadly underused,” describing the shows as “disappointingly snoozy.” On Twitter, of the many “WTF?” livetweets I saw, this was my favorite:

“Seeing Neko Case sing backup vocals for Jakob Dylan is
like watching Jimi Hendricks play rhythm guitar for Ringo Starr.”

Jakob Dylan is a nice enough pancake, and talented. I wish him the best, I just don’t find him the most interesting thing on the plate:

You can download Dylan’s new singleNothing But the Whole Wide World for freehere. And, btw, the New Pornographers just announcedtour dates for their about-to-be released albumTogether.

America’s Greatest Living Poet* Breaks it Down for You

You did not start it andyou are not going to finish it.”

All of this has happened before and it will all happen again.

Good advice for all of us, not just performers.

p>

*as famously described in 1967 by “I’m just a song and dance man” Bob Dylan

Protest, NOLA Style

We do *everything* differently in New Orleans. In protest of another round of budget cuts from the Jindal Administration, students and faculty at the University of New Orleans staged a Jazz Funeral for UNO. No teabaggery for us; no siree. The video is courtesy of theGambit Tabloid blog:

p align=”center” class=”asset asset-video” style=”margin: 0pt auto; display: block;”>

Things Today That are Awesome

SIKHS, bitches!

SAN ANTONIO – The soldiers in standard-issue fatigues andcombat boots stood side-by-side repeating their creed: “I am anAmerican soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army values …”

Capt.
Tejdeep Singh Rattan was no different except that he wore a full beard
and black turban, the first Sikh in a generation allowed to completeU.S. Army basicofficer training
without sacrificing the articles of his faith. He completed the
nine-week training Monday after Army officials made an exemption to a
policy that has effectively preventedSikhs from enlisting since 1984.

“I’m feeling very humbled. I’m a soldier,” said the 31-year-old dentist, smiling after the ceremony atFort Sam Houston. “This has been my dream.”

A.

‘We Got a Banquette Full o’ Broads, They Got a Table Full o’ Fellas’

Today in pictures:

610x2



Reuters Pictures

15 minutes ago

U.S. PresidentBarack Obama signs the healthcare legislation during a ceremony in the East Room of theWhite House
in Washington, March 23, 2010. Obama sealed a hard-fought victory on
Tuesday by signing into law a landmark healthcare reform measure that
will help shape his legacy and theDemocrats‘ chances of holding power in theU.S. Congress.

610x



AP Photo

16 hours ago

HouseRepublican Conference Chairman Rep.Mike Pence, R-Ind, accompanied by Rep.Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. , discusses health care legislation during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

A.