Archive for February, 2013

Paul is no Paul, but he is part Paul.

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Rand Paul does good.  Because if the John Brennan nomination sinks, you want it to be for the reasons that are good and not…

Rand Paul does bad… ala Chuck Hagel, who is being blocked for no damned good reason, but has a bunch of straws being lobbed at him — and things worse than straws … and why we can’t have a reasonable policy toward Israel reason— and Rand Paul seems to have just gone ahead and picked out one of them.  (From his Hillary Clinton questioning, he could easily have gone with another one of them.)

Worth looking over the Republican “Yes to Hagel” voters…

Cochran (R-MS), Collins (R-ME), Johanns (R-NE), Murkowski (R-AK), …
Present:   Hatch (R-UT)

What are you thinking, Hatch?  Well, this is hair splitting.
Hatch, who served with Hagel when he was in the Senate, hasn’t said how he will ultimately vote on the nominee, but the Utah senator isn’t a fan of using procedural tactics to block an up-and-down vote on presidential nominees.
“This vote was unfortunate, unnecessary and could have been prevented had the White House and the nominee provided the information that was reasonably requested,” Hatch said, referring to a Republican charge that Hagel has not been forthcoming with past speeches.
Hatch said he believes a president should have the chance to serve with the people he chooses, but “that deference is not limitless” and Hatch wants more information on Hagel before he decides if he’s qualified to be Defense secretary.
Lee announced his opposition to Hagel last week and says that his position on national security is “weak” and his positions “dangerous.”

Lee is no Paul, I guess.

What’s the difference between Dana Milbank and a collection of cliches?

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Stop me if you’ve heard this one… opening salvo to an oped by Dana Milbank

There is something entirely appropriate about holding the State of the Union address on the same day as Mardi Gras.

There is?

One is a display of wretched excess, when giddy and rowdy participants give in to reckless and irresponsible behavior.

Hm.

Question:  Why would I even bother reposting the punch-line?  Why would Dana Milbank even bother including it?  Everyone knows what the next line is, and they can conjure it up in the head without any effort — moving on the “plague on both sides” commentary on the current politics.

Sigh.

Okay.  Fine.

The other is a street festival in New Orleans.

And that’s what’s called “Hack Punditry”.

It’s a joke which, at this point I think should now be reserved wholly for a sort of anti-comedy, where the “sensible first item” being described for discussion by the description of the second item is ever more contrived, ever more forced, ever more meta in its awareness of a set up.

Or perhaps the other way to do it is to set the joke up as ever more obvious…

You know… the two things I wake up to the morning are my bowl of Fruit Loops and the commentary of Wayne LaPierre, and that somehow seems entirely appropriate.  One is… blah de blah… loopy fruit things… and stuff…

And the other is, er, a bowl of cereal, with milk in it.

 

Revivals

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

I see some 90s Nostalgia has swept in, with two musical acts in town whose heyday are firmly affixed to a 15 minute allotment in the last decade of the last century…

The Presidents of the United State of America… who are, I believe, the Steve Miller Band of today — in that back in the 1990s, I’d always hear on my “AORock” station listings of the various concerts and it never seemed to fail — good old reliable Steve Miller Band was playing this County Fair or The Gorge or wherever, whether anyone wanted them or not.  I assumed they’d put on a show their audience wanted to hear, and pluck the right notes, but I just always had to shake my head and say “sheesh”.
I am a tad bemused by this write-up in the Willamette Week… for fans of  “Pizzeria Pretzel Combos, The Drew Carey Show, singing along”.  It takes me a second to remember that they did the second theme song to Drew Carey — is that all that’s about or is there some connection similar to that to Pizzeria Pretzel Combos?  As for “sounds like” — : “Early Green Day without the fat basslines or affected accents; the Cars without synthesizers; Cheap Trick without all the heavy sociopolitical commentary; a dude version of the Donnas” — well, the Green Day reference is probably not all that coincidental, as they both came to big big off of a reaction against the early 90s Seattle Grunge — Cheap Trick is interesting, as I imagine that if we get a “90s Show” sitcom, this band would be as obvious a choice as Cheap Trick was for the 70s Show to throw out a theme song…

Memories of this band… One weird one — shortly before they took off, at a moment where I knew this was supposed to be the Next Big Thing and on the verge of a break-through, but weren’t as yet played on my small market’s radio stations — I saw their debut album in tow under the arms of one student.  He was a misfit of a kid, though certainly no more than I — he wore a suit and tie to school, apparently just to define himself as differently as he possibly could from everyone else.  It seemed like a weird omen of things to come for this band…

Skip ahead a few seasons, and the song “Peaches” is played ad nauseum on Top 40 Radio.  And it’s a cheeky little favorite.  I recall this kid singing it incessantly at CCD Confirmation class.  And, you know… “Ugh”.  The biggest hit of a band I like is something I basically hate.

Beyond that… the wacky morning djs played the damned Weird Al Yackovic “Gump” song every damned day, and the last said about that monstrosity the better.

Next we get Marilyn Manson.  There are some weirdly positive notes in the Portland Mercury to this show — most notably, “there are plenty of rabid fans out there—the Portland show is well sold out—and honestly, I couldn’t be happier for them“.  This shows an element of the trajectory to an act like Marilyn Manson in his post-“Big” heyday — one decade ago, the Portland Mercury’s write up for a Marilyn Manson show was entirely mocking in its comment on the audience, something along the lines of the Onion parody.  One other note here deserves some comment:

 He was recently photographed getting out of a limo with the words “Fuck You” scribbled across his face with a black Sharpie. If there’s a lazier way to offend, I haven’t heard it.

Hm.  As these things go, we’ve slid into an awareness on the part of Marilyn Manson, and move to a kitschy mock-shock.  Seems appropriate to me.

From his heyday, I recall a mildly amusing ironic fan in this cheerleader type (a “Things You wouldn’t expect from me” question in the opening day of school.)  The teacher referenced, naturally, Alice Cooper as someone to show “nothing all that new and original with Marilyn Manson”.  And I recall Bill Maher… who put him on as an obvious foil for, who else?, Christine O’Donnell — most famous now as the Republican Senate nominee who knocked off Mike Castle in Delaware — and where the conversation devolved to Christine demanding to call Marilyn Manson by his real name.

making noise through minutiae

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

(Blink)

Not that any Party rebuttal is ever remembered.  It was so during the last administration — only Jim Webb’s got anything more than a “dozing off” — and the trendline continues in the Obama Administration

but nonetheless… this man wants to be president, and he has a task in making impressions on an indifferent electorate…

And here’s the only moment anyone will remember from his speech.

Not that this is bad, per se… it’s just… discordant — breaks the rhythm of…

well, breaks the rhythm of a rhythm-less speech…

So then again if not for this no one will be thinking of this Marco Rubio speech, so there might just be method to the madness.  In the future, politicking will start being full of these wacky intercessions of meaningless and random things tossed in to get people talking. I wonder if this was written on the teleprompter:

[Reach across screen and grab water].

Wouldn’t surprise me.

The “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign, organizers of the tap water taste test, were probably hopping mad at this political product placement

the three increasingly crazy sotu responses on the dias tonight

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

So, tonight.  We have Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Followed by Marco Rubio’s Republican Response.

And, for the sake of the Overton Window Project, Rand Paul will represent the Tea Party with a response.  Saying much the same thing as Marco Rubio, only more defiantly…

… whatever the heck the “Tea Party” is, of course…

We do have a bit of a relief.  In past years, a Michele Bachmann “Tea Party Response” was televised.  This Rand Paul-er is down to its webcast, which is just and well and … hell, anyone who wants to post a Response to the SOTU go ahead and do so.

Also, for the sake of bemusement, Texas Congress-critter Steve Stockman will bring in a response by…

Ted Nugent.

… who Steve Stockman will make available for the Press.  (A whole host of conservative talk radio shows, I suppose.)

Not the first or last time a provocative personality was in attendance.  I point out, of course  Lynn Woolsey invited Cindy Sheehan to attend with her to a Bush State of the Union— though she was taken away for Security fears that she might, like, yell out “YOU LIE” or something.

Ted Nugent provides the obvious Jon Stewart “hypocrisy” video for whenever a Fox News personality chimes in with ourtrage at either supposedly outrageous or legitimately outrageous comments from a celebrity making politics.  Kind of tedious, but necessary and a broken record.

What I want to know, though…

Can’t Steve Stockman speak for himself, like every other congress-critter who will put in a (dull and preditable) comment?

Bush: Self Portraitist

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

“Greatest Living President is Also Fantastic Painter”.   Lots of symbolism plagues the imagery abounds in this George W Bush self portrait.  First of all, obviously he finds himself standing naked — in front of a shower — or, if you will, a stand-in for his Father.  His Father who we see chiding him for destroying the Family Dynasty (which we see references to in the various gray knobs the water is pouring onto).  What we see in the mirror, though is this certain determination to defend his honor– a snide reaction he’s preparing to lob out –“At least I got myself re-elected, Fly-Boy.”

Or maybe I’m reading stuff into this.

all their stick figures are belong to them

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Hm.

A proposal by the Prince George’s County Board of Education to copyright work created by staff and students for school could mean that a picture drawn by a first-grader, a lesson plan developed by a teacher or an app created by a teen would belong to the school system, not the individual.

The measure has some worried that by the system claiming ownership to the work of others, creativity could be stifled and there would be little incentive to come up with innovative ways to educate students. Some have questioned the legality of the proposal as it relates to students.

I suppose this just means a student’s best and most interesting work will have to done extra-curricular wise, outside the educational process.  Which is usually how it works anyways.

“The way this policy is written, it essentially says if a student writes a paper, goes home and polishes it up and expands it, the school district can knock on the door and say, ‘We want a piece of that,’ ” Rein said. “I can’t imagine that.”

A lot of stick figure drawings will be owned by Prince George’s Education.  That does seem a shame.  I guess if we get one of those “disturbed gun wielding zombie story / drawing suspension” stories that makes the news every so often, the school district will get the proceeds from the online outrage sources?  That seems a shame.