Friday, October 31, 2008

Bush Rapes Planet; Earth Must Pay for Rape Kit.

I suppose this should come as no surprise.
The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

Every president does something at the end of their tenure that is difficult or impossible for his successor to undo (Marbury v. Madison ring a bell?), but generally speaking, no outgoing president declares war just before giving up the oval office.
among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.

George W Shrub, however, will leave a President Obama with many many many poop piles on the living room rug.
regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.

Wrong in so many ways and so thoroughly for eight years, "The Decider" has made himself even 'wronger'.
Worst. President. Ever.

edit: quoted text from the Washington Post

Rant (after reading post below this one on those who think Obama's muslim)

IN ALL SERIOUSNESS HERE: What other conclusion can one come to, other than these people are at the absolute best, thoroughly uninformed and wholly ignorant, and at worst, dumb, useless Americans? Should we coddle them and pity them for being mentally-deficient, or bitch-slap them for thinking they're smart and accepting this utter bullshit as gospel, from watching the likes of FAUX News and listening to Rush and Hannity, and continuing to perpetrate this garbage as fact?

Speaking of Rush and Hannity, how do those walking abortions sleep at night? They MUST know they are taking advantage of millions of people every day who need help; who don't have the basic tools upstairs to get along in the world. Heck, Rove, Bush, Cheney, McShame, Failin and all our other republican leaders do the same thing. It's like teasing mentally-retarded children at the playground. It's enough to make you sick to your stomach. Much like baby birds sit there with their mouths open, starving for regurgitated worms from their mothers, these unfortunate Americans swallow up whatever the mainstream media of FOX NOISE, Rush "the dopeman" Limbaugh and Sean "another drink, please" Hannity spit out at them. And yes, those insufferable fools (and related channels, websites) ARE the mainstream media, make no mistake (you didn't think the highest-rated cable news show and TWO highest-rated radio shows were "underground," did you?).

Just a sampling of 100% proven lies we've heard any number of the aforementioned talk show hosts, news channels and current White House leaders successfully sell a large percentage of less educated and ignorant Americans this decade:

Obama is a Muslim!
Gotta fight them there so we don't have to fight them here!
Must attack, for there are WMD's in dat dere Desert!
We'll spread Democracy throughout the Middle East!
We're not spying on you and we're not listening in on your phone calls!
Obama's policies are socialist!
He cannot be that patriotic if he doesn't wear a flagpin on his lapel!
He pals around with terrorists!

...this is just the tip of the melting iceberg, as most of you know. It's tough isn't it? It's tough at times to realize and accept you live in the same country as so many dimwits, dumbasses, uneducated, ignorant and mentally-deficient freaks. Even tougher when you realize that the powerful media people/outlets (mentioned above) get paid millions of dollars to exploit this mass of people and feed them mind-poison on a daily basis. And of course, it's the toughest of all, when you see our Government do it day in, day out. Our own United States Government. Lie, lie, lie to get as many people on board as possible so they can continue to enact, instill and establish policies that ultimately destroy this great country of ours, oblivious at times of the true carnage they're inflicting.

Poll finds 23% of Texans think Obama is Muslim; 5%-10% nationwide

By RICHARD S. DUNHAM
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau
Oct. 29, 2008, 11:27PM

WASHINGTON — A University of Texas poll to be released today shows Republican presidential candidate John McCain and GOP Sen. John Cornyn leading by comfortable margins in Texas, as expected. But the statewide survey of 550 registered voters has one very surprising finding: 23 percent of Texans are convinced that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama is a Christian who was embroiled in a controversy earlier this year about his two-decade membership in Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Yet just 45 percent of those polled identified the Illinois senator as a Protestant.

The Obama-is-a-Muslim confusion is caused by fallacious Internet rumors and radio talk-show gossip. McCain went so far at one of his town hall meetings to grab a microphone from a woman who claimed that Obama was an Arab.

The Texas numbers are unusual because most national polls show that just 5 to 10 percent of Americans still believe Obama is a Muslim — less than half the number of Texans who buy into the debunked theories.

The UT poll shows McCain running ahead of Obama statewide, with a 51 percent to 40 percent margin. Cornyn, a first-term Republican from San Antonio, leads Rick Noriega, a state representative from Houston, 45 percent to 36 percent. Another 14 percent of voters remain undecided in the contest.

The poll found that 89 percent of Lone Star State voters say the country's economic situation is worse than a year ago. And President Bush and Congress both get record low marks.

Just 34 percent of Texans approve of Bush's job performance — a big change for a former governor who won re-election 10 years ago with 70 percent of the vote. And Congress is even more unpopular: Just 8 percent of Texas voters approve of the work being done on Capitol Hill.

The telephone poll was conducted by the Texas Politics Project and Department of Government at The University of Texas at Austin. The poll was conducted from Oct. 15 to 22, and had a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is this possible?


Pie-in-the-sky, but this reflects a worst-case for McCain and possible, though not by any means likely result...total realignment. But it isn't completely out of the realm of possibility. We are 5 precious days before the election, and McCain may very well be forced to defend his home state, Arizona. He is already playing defense in Indiana, North Dakota and Montana. His push into Pennsylvania seems ill-advised, though I do suspect Obama wins by a smaller margin than the polls predict there. Georgia is in play, for cryin' out loud!

More likely is something along these lines


But notice the electoral totals; still a big win.

Finally, the close race the traditional media would love to see


Not gonna happen, but notice from this map the regional strengths. Colorado and New Mexico. Virginia. The Democrats still show that they are a national party, whereas the GOP must rely on the South, minus Virginia (with a very divided North Carolina) and the mountain West (minus Colorado) for its strength.

The 50-state strategy is a winner. Thanks, Howard.

ps: You can play with the maps, just hover the cursor and click to make changes.

A Civics Lesson in Ohio?

The "Somewhat-Less-Than-Straight Talk Express" pulled in to Ohio today:

A local school district official confirmed after the event that of the 6,000 people estimated by the fire marshal to be in attendance this morning, more than 4,000 were bused in from schools in the area. The entire 2,500-student Defiance School District was in attendance, the official said, in addition to at least three other schools from neighboring districts, one of which sent 14 buses
.
Way to go, "Maverick". Nice one.
Use kids as a political prop.
Did their parents know about their little field trip?

Let's see. How much of that excursion for the students was paid for using local district property taxes, which Ohio relies on for school funding--unconstitutional per Ohio Supreme Court rulings--but, I digress... ? Was this a district-sanctioned trip for the students? What was the lesson? Any state money used by the district to bus in the crowd?

Since I'm an Ohio taxpayer, I'd kinda like to know...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ulcer Alert #9

Why It’s Still a Race

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:45 AM
By Howard Fineman

Here’s all you need to know about Sen. Barack Obama and his campaign. He taped his half-hour TV special, which airs across your dial at 8 p.m. Eastern tonight, last week.

Now, a week is a year and a year is a lifetime in presidential campaigns. But it is characteristic of Obama to plan ahead in the heat of the battle. The cool, collected senator has known from the start (nearly two years ago) pretty much what he has wanted to say. He kept his eyes on the prize. The small stuff didn’t distract him.

That is why his campaign and its staff, which I have checked in with twice in the last week here in Chicago, remain relatively calm as they head into the final lap of a national NASCAR race that has not quite turned into the rout that history and other factors would lead you to predict.


By all accounts and by all odds, Obama is fairly comfortably ahead in the Electoral College—which, as Al Gore will tell you, is what matters.

On TV Wednesday night, Obama will give what one aide described to me as a “meaty” discourse on his basic tax and health-care proposals. No high-flown rhetoric, but rather a briefing paper for wary undecided swing voters---most of whom, the campaign thinks, are “soft Republicans” who kind of want to vote for Obama but need reassurance.

And yet, in the meantime, Sen. John McCain has not quite disappeared in the rear-view mirror.

I find that astonishing. And, if you are in the Obama campaign, you have to find that at the very least a teeny bit troubling in these last days.

Let me repeat the following litany, just for the sake of wonder if nothing else:

Consumer confidence is at an all-time low. The job performance rating of the outgoing Republican president is at Nixon-Carter levels. Nine out of ten voters think the country is off on the wrong track. The Democrats lead in the generic congressional preference vote by a double-digit margin.

Obama has outspent McCain on TV advertising three or four to one (though McCain is matching him in some key states here at the end). Obama has four thousand paid organizers in key states, an unheard of number. Most voters think that McCain’s running mate is not qualified to be president. Many people wonder aloud if McCain is in fact too old (72) to be president. Much of the media coverage of Obama has been fawning to say the least, and with good reason. He is one of the most winsome, charismatic candidates to have appeared on the scene in decades.

Still, in today’s “traditional Gallup” Daily Tracking Poll (the one that screens likely voters most rigorously, based on past votes), Obama leads McCain by only two percentage points, 49 to 47 percent.

Here in Chicago, they say that they expected a close race at the end, as one staffer put it. They are steady as she goes on ad spending, and they are fighting the end game on Red State turf, which is what the frontrunner does. They scoff at the idea that McCain could win Pennsylvania, and they are almost certainly right about that.

It’s hard to make the Electoral College numbers add up for McCain. He has to win all of the current tossup states (Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina and Florida), plus Ohio and Virginia and one of the following three: New Hampshire, Colorado or New Mexico. That isn’t just drawing one inside straight; that’s
drawing a whole casino’s worth of them.

Why hasn’t Obama run away with this?

Because the country remains culturally divided. Because the more it looks like Democrats will score huge gains in Congress, the more worried “soft Republican” voters get. Because McCain has succeeded, in the minds of some of those voters, in raising the hoary specter of “tax-and-spend” liberals. Because Obama hails from a place (South Side Chicago) and background (the son of professional academics) more reminiscent of Democratic losers like Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry than winners like LBJ, Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton. Because some voters remember the hate-filled sound bites of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

And, to a degree we cannot measure and may never fully know, because Obama is an African-American---and one with a Swahili name at that.

There is nothing that the staffers here in Chicago can do about any of that at this point. Up on the 11th floor of the office building here, staffers are hard at work. They aren’t thinking about those things. Their campaign manager, David Plouffe, won’t let them. “We expected this to tighten,” one of them said to me a few hours ago.

And so, it seems, it has.

Roots record, baby


"..so get off the choir with your soft attire
niggas out here don't give a fuck 'cause they lost desire"

So this disc still hasn't left my Odyssey's CD player (that's how I roll, mini-van and all, yo!). Seriously. Check it. Full review several posts below or find it on left, courtesy of Pitchfork.

8-year old boy kills himself at crowded gun show. What FUN!

Boy, 8, accidentally kills self at gun show
Child was firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at fair
The Associated Press
updated 5:56 p.m. ET, Mon., Oct. 27, 2008
WESTFIELD, Mass. - An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.

The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.

Police said the boy, Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., was with a certified instructor and called the death a “self-inflicted accidental shooting.”

As the boy fired the Uzi, "the front end of the weapon went up with the backfire and he ended up receiving a round in his head," police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. The boy died at a hospital.

The boy's father and older brother were also there at the time, a gun club member and school official said. Francis Mitchell, a longtime member and trustee of the club, said he was told the boy's father was supporting his son from behind when the shooting happened.

Although the death appeared to be an accident, officials were investigating.

It is legal in Massachusetts for children to fire a weapon if they have permission from a parent or legal guardian and are supervised by a properly certified and licensed instructor, Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. The name of the instructor helping the boy was not released.

The event ran in conjunction with C.O.P Firearms and Training, said in an ad that people are allowed to fire weapons at vehicles, pumpkins and other targets at the event.

"It's all legal & fun — No permits or licenses required!!!!" reads the ad, posted on the club's Web site.

Messages left on answering machines for the club and the C.O.P. group were not returned Monday.

"My Friends...You Betcha!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Attempt at an October Surprise?

Well. Amid reports of the McCain campaign imploding, with staffers already flinging resumes to all possible employment refuges and backstabbing aplenty (as Governor Caribou Cupcake shops at Saks)...we now have reports of the campaign pushing a made-up attack against a supporter before the details were released.

A spokesman for the McCain campaign gave reporters an inflammatory version of Thursday's hoax story about a McCain volunteer being attacked by a man who carved a "B" into her face, Pittsburgh's KDKA reported.
Long before any facts about the Ashley Todd case had been established, McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director told reporters the alleged attacker had told the woman, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

(via Raw Story, emphasis mine)

Of course, the supposed attacker was a "black man".

McCain Campaign. Finished.

Hahahaha (snort) hahaha!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

See just how our republican leaders keep select Americans from voting

If this doesn't make you sick, you are unamerican. Period. Watch this and learn something you probably didn't know.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I'd rather have a black friend than a white enemy"

This is a great article (based on great reporting) by Ben Smith from Politico, I saw the other day. Enjoy.

W.Va. polls tighten, race takes back seat
By: Ben Smith
October 19, 2008 04:20 PM EST

LOGAN, W.Va. — West Virginia's Democratic leaders on Saturday embarked on a winding, eight-county bus tour through the south of the state, and in one small mining town after another, they sold Barack Obama to small crowds of Democrats with remarkable directness.

"He is black" was the first thing Kenny Perdue, the state's AFL-CIO president, said. "The gentleman that's in the White House and John McCain — they're white men. And I'm absolutely ashamed of what George W. Bush has done to this country."

The president of the United Mine Workers, Cecil Roberts, spoke after Perdue in a parking lot set in the flat plateau below the remains of a strip-mined mountain.

"I'd rather have a black friend than a white enemy," he said. State Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey spoke, too. Casey, 57, grew up Irish Catholic in Charleston, and he said the bus was following John F. Kennedy's bus route in the 1960 Democratic primary.

"There's a lot of people out there think you're a bunch of inbred, redneck racists," he told a couple dozen people wearing union hats and jackets. "They say you won't vote for a man who's black."

"The rest of the country thought when Kennedy ran we were a bunch of ignorant, inbred religious bigots," he said. "They were wrong, and we made Kennedy president."

As a local judicial candidate spoke in Logan, two of the politicians wandered off to marvel at the scene taking place behind them. There, a polite, black former Marine, Mitchell Cook, was handing blue Obama
bumper stickers and yard signs to drivers pulling into the mall and was even attaching the bumper stickers himself to some of the pickups and battered two-doors.

"Twenty, 30 years ago, if you had a black man stopping cars, handing out signs right here, he would have been shot," said state Auditor Glen Gainer. "Now they're stopping, asking him to put on stickers."

West Virginia isn't exactly a battleground state. After Obama was shellacked here by Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary — the southern coal counties voted for her by margins as high as 8-to-1 — both his campaign and John McCain's assumed he'd lose it.

And with good reason: West Virginia represents a cross-section of the voters who have been hardest for Obama to reach. It's among the oldest, whitest and least-educated states in America. It was where reporters found white Democrats who freely use the N-word and swore they'd never vote for Obama.

But maybe the campaigns and the press misread the depth of prejudice in West Virginia. Or maybe, since the May primary, something has changed here.

The state is also a historic Democratic stronghold, if one where Democrats sometimes put the words "NRA member" beneath their names on campaign signs. And four recent public polls suggested the
race here has closed from a double-digit McCain lead to a slender one.

The Obama campaign responded last week by buying airtime in Clarksburg, in the center of the state, the sole media market that doesn't already see television ads intended for neighboring Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

And in another sign that Obama is taking the state seriously, the campaign's West Virginia spokeswoman, Jenny Rosenberg, confirmed that Sen. Joe Biden will hold a rally in Charleston, the capital, on Friday.

Obama has "a great chance to win" the state, his campaign manager, David Plouffe, said in a video for donors released Sunday morning.

West Virginia probably won't be counted on to provide Obama his 270th electoral vote to put him over the top. A victory here would likely be the exclamation point on an Obama landslide.

Bill Clinton won here twice; Al Gore lost; and in 2004, John F. Kerry fought hard here before pulling out and sending local staff to Ohio 10 days before the election. He lost by 13 percentage points.

But with the economy in bad shape and McCain lacking the organization and enthusiasm that were attached to George W. Bush, Democrats feel race is the final obstacle to Obama's victory.

Obama, they say, is essentially running against himself and against the cluster of rumors about his religion and politics that Democratic leaders see as another expression of the same thing.

The polls confirm, though, the changes Democrats say they see among their constituents.

"We warm up to people a little slower than most folks do," said Lonnie Harris, the Mingo County sherriff who, like virtually every other public official in this part of the state, backed Clinton. "She's supporting Barack, and that's helped a lot in overcoming people's fears.

"There's always prejudicial issues in the South, but nothing he can't overcome," said Harris. "In the last 30 days, I saw a big movement to Obama. They're learning about him — that he's a Christian, that he's from a biracial marriage."

Republicans in the state say Obama's problems aren't about his race, but rather his views. And they say that they'll bring the hammer down on him in the final weeks on the social issues — guns, abortion and same-sex marriage — that they say put Obama far to the left of even West Virginia Democrats.

"The politicians don't get to tell people what's important to them," said McCain's state director, Ben Beakes, who said he'd focus in the closing days on Obama's "radical" stance on abortion and guns, though neither campaign has so much as sent mailings to voters, and neither would say if it will.

The Democrats making the case for Obama are attuned to the looming gun issue and have been working to immunize Obama against it. The candidate for secretary of state, Natalie Tennant, is a former mascot for the locally revered West Virginia University Mountaineers, and she brought her musket.

At the half-dozen outdoor stops, she fired it. "We all have a gun with us, but they won't let us shoot it," Cecil Roberts complained at a roadside stop at Alum Creek. "Natalie's the only one who gets to shoot her gun."

Though West Virginia has been far from the front burner, Obama also has a more robust organization here than does McCain. He has 31 staffers in the state. Casey, the Democratic state chairman, alleges McCain has only one, the state director.

"John McCain is confident that ignorant, redneck racists are not going to vote for Barack Obama, because Barack Obama is black," said Casey.

Beakes dismissed the charge.

"We know the state has been competitive in the past and we don't want to take it for granted," he said, adding that "contrary to the Democrats' suggestions, I am not the only" staffer.

And while the polls have moved toward Obama, his challenges here are still immense. A poll from West Virginia Wesleyan University last month found that 21 percent of the state's residents identified him as a Muslim. Just over half affirmed that he's Christian.

"I don't think some of the older folks will ever change," said Ellen Todd, an Obama supporter in Beckley who said some of her relatives described Obama using racial slurs.

"Are you ignorant? Are you inbred? Are you racist?" Casey called out to the crowd of about 300 in Beckley, to a chorus of "no." He and the other Democrats asked supporters to talk openly of their enthusiasm for Obama, and they speculate about a "reverse Bradley effect," saying white Obama supporters aren't always comfortable expressing their support for him openly.

But voters and politicians alike supported the notion, suggested by the polls, that something is happening here. Fifty yards from the Democrats' rally in the parking lot in Logan, a gray-haired woman in a pink "Praise the Lord" sweatshirt was sitting behind the counter at Sue's Bible Books. A flyer from the National Right to Life Committee sat next to the cash register, clearly laying out McCain's opposition
to abortion rights and Obama's support. The shopkeeper, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Anna, had voted for Clinton. She said she'd heard the rumors that Obama was a Muslim and had heard McCain's attacks on his friendly relationship with the former Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers.

But her pastor had closed the church early Wednesday night so his parishioners could watch the debate.

"I got home from church in time to watch, and I was very impressed with Obama," she said. "He even said that night [of Ayers], 'I was 8 years old when I went to that man's house,'" she said, slightly garbling
Obama's response to the attack.

"He swayed me that night," she said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Man Sues God

Chambers' suit against God tossed out
BY CHRISTOPHER BURBACH
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

You can't sue God if you can't serve the papers on him, a Douglas County District Court judge ruled in Omaha Tuesday.

Judge Marlon Polk threw out Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers' lawsuit against the Almighty, saying there was no evidence that the defendant had been served. What's more, Polk found "there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant."

Chambers had sued God in September 2007, seeking a permanent injunction to prevent God from committing acts of violence such as earthquakes and tornadoes.

Although the case may seem superfluous and even scandalous to others, Chambers has said his point is to focus on the question of whether certain lawsuits should be prohibited.

"Nobody should stand at the courthouse door to predetermine who has access to the courts," he said. "My point is that anyone can sue anyone else, even God."

Chambers, an avowed atheist, said he decided to make that point after at least two attempts in the Nebraska Legislature to limit "frivolous lawsuits."

The senator did have a day in court on the case. In August, he argued that Polk should take judicial notice of the existence of God. The senator cited the facts that U.S. currency says "In God We Trust," God is invoked during oaths in court hearings, and chaplains offer prayers before legislative bodies.

"If God is omnipresent," Chambers said in that August hearing, "then he is here in Douglas County and in this courtroom."

Polk was not persuaded.

His Tuesday ruling said Chambers' motion to take judicial notice of God "is denied as moot."

Chambers, reached at home Tuesday evening, said he hadn't yet seen the court order. He declined to comment until he could review the document today. ,

Word.

I don't know where I found this, who wrote it, whatev (life a bit chaotic now, I'll admit it)... but it's awesome.

"Can someone please tell me why (aside from rank political opportunism) bright, college-educated folks like Palin and McCain insist on putting Biblical mythology on an equal par with biology, physics, and astronomy? Evolution is science. Genesis is superstition. Casting a vote for the GOP ticket this year is endorsing ignorance."

Panic in Atlanta!

Serendipity. I had to be in Hotlanta for some teacher-stuff over the weekend, and lo and behold, lookee who was puttin' on a show at the same time:


Yep, Widespread Panic.

I navigated the MARTA successfully to Lakewood Amphitheater for (probably) the only chance I'll get to see Panic live.
Fun.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A music review?

Music reviews...and spacejace does 'em well.

But it makes me think about creativity and politics....

What musicians does McLame have on his team? Hank Williams Jr.? John Rich? Lee Greenwood? (be nice, stop asking "Who?")

mmmkay.

Williams' latest gem has a line containing the oh-so-poetic "This old union's got problems. That is plain to see. The Democrats bankrupted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, just like 1-2-3. The bankers didn’t want to make all those bad loans. But Bill Clinton said "you got to!" Now they want to bail out. What I'm talking about, is a democrat liberal hoodoo!"

Well, you get the picture. I'll ignore the obvious (if you pay any attention at all) complete FRAKKIN' IDIOCY of these 'lyrics' and just say, poor old Hank needs a beer or six.

Does anyone think for a second that Hank Williams Jr. has any -- seriously, ANY -- cultural import/credibility/gravitas to convince anyone with more than seven brain cells to vote for McDoucheNozzle?

'Washed-up' seems to be the theme for the McLame campaign, from the senator on down to his supporters (all three of them) in the entertainment industry.

UPDATE: Oh, yeah. Remember who opened up the festivities at Obama's acceptance speech in Denver (you know, with 85,000 friends)? YONDER! (yes, do click on this link)

UPDATE 2: My bad. Jace's music review was a reprint. But still cool.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rising Down...

…the new Roots record. By FAR their best in years. I haven’t loved any of their last few records, but this new one rules. Get it. Review below.



The Roots:
Rising Down
[Def Jam; 2008]
Rating: 7.8

It's gotten to the point where I can't even imagine the Roots being soft anymore. Not to be dismissive of their first few albums, which were thoughtful without being mushy or maudlin, but their three recent records-- the underrated/overhated alleged-sellout The Tipping Point, the Def Jam-released tightly knit return to rawness Game Theory, and now Rising Down-- are so singularly focused on a kind of distilled, uninhibited force that it's now difficult to think of the Roots as anything but intelligently aggressive firebrands.

You don't throw on these albums if you want to chill out, and Rising Down does more than any of them to express, precisely and without compromise, a specifically African-American but increasingly universal strain of anxiety and frustration. A lot of Rising Down's urgency and immediacy owes to the massive guest roster. The Roots' Philly core of affiliates-- vets Dice Raw, Peedi Peedi, and Truck North, former member Malik B., and relative newcomer/search engine nightmare P.O.R.N.-- appear on more than half the record's songs, and they help give the record a sense of a communal strength in numbers; their appearances on vicious throwdown "Get Busy" (with the some deft cuts from Philly's legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff) and a stretch of tracks in the middle ("I Will Not Apologize", "I Can't Help It", and "Singing Man") feel like the spiritual and lyrical core of the album.

The guests from outside Philly work just as well: Talib Kweli spits with an atypically growly delivery on the anti-defeatist anthem "Lost Desire", Common displays glimpses of his late-1990s shine ruminating over tour fatigue on "The Show", Wale kills it with some so-corny-they're-great metaphors ("good rappers ain't eatin', they Olsen twinnin'") on "Rising Up", and Saigon's final verse on "Criminal" is the fierce peak of a three-MC slow lyrical burn. And while Styles P's turn on the title track works well enough (it's something to hear the dude behind "Good Times [I Get High]" go after the pharmaceutical industry), Mos Def's verse-- the first one on the whole record-- is one of the best he's ever done, and probably the best guest spot on Rising Down: "Identities in crisis and conflict diamonds/ Blindin', staring at lights till they cryin'/ Bone gristle popping from continuous grindin'."

But despite the massive ensemble cast, Black Thought is still the core of the record and the well-worn accusations of him being anti-charismatic feel largely false here. Most of his great moments come on tracks which feature a lot of other MCs' great moments, and after getting overshadowed on "Rising Down" (can any MC make the subject of global warming into a dope lyric?) he comes out swinging for the rest of the record. On "Singing Man", even with P.O.R.N. portraying himself as a vividly realized school shooter and Truck North putting together a disturbingly evocative characterization of a suicide bomber, Black Thought's depiction of an African child soldier justifying his violence ("13 year-old killer, he look 35/ He changed his name to Little No Man Survive") is both sharply written and unsettling. His delivery is a bit more varied than you might expect, too, particularly when he's rapping about getting underpaid like he's got a clenched jaw in "I Will Not Apologize" or sweating his way through a pills-and-stress panic attack on "I Can't Help It". And when he's turned loose on a hookless lyrical exhibition, Black Thought is nearly unstoppable; it's scary the way he blazes through the one-take assault of "75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)", throwing out endless Big Daddy Kane-level proclamations of untouchability ("My hustle is long, my muscle is strong, my man put the paper in the duffel I'm gone/ Y'all still a light year from the level I'm on/ Just a pawn stepping right into the head of the storm"). The abrupt way it ends, it sounds like he could've gone on full throttle for another two hundred bars if someone hadn't taken a cleaver to the tape reel.

A revamped production style accompanies the deeper, darker lyrical tone, taking the aesthetic of Game Theory to its grimiest conclusion. Most of Kamal's keyboard work here isn't with the archetypal Fender Rhodes of Roots albums past; he's using a number of grimy analog synths that snarl and spit and hiss, the kind you hear in dead prez's "Hip Hop" or Outkast's "Stanklove" (or the J.B.'s' "Blow Your Head", for that matter). That racket combining with ?uestlove's fierce, crisp percussion makes for some diabolical rhythmic low-end, and since it dominates Rising Down's personality it gives the album the feeling of being this bionic monstrosity that just so happens to have a lot of headknock to it.

There are a couple of exceptions, like the guitar-driven midtempo Fela pastiche of "I Will Not Apologize" and the unexpected country-blues tinge to "Criminal", but they're rare breathers in an album that otherwise closes in on you. Only when the triumphant, old-school Roots return on the demi-go-go of "Rising Up" does it feel like the weight's been lifted, and even then something about it-- the endless Oprah/Travolta namedrop hook, the mawkish Chrisette Michele vocal about a crying b-girl, the overly tidy-sounding keyboards-- seems a bit out of place. (Maybe not as out-of-place as the now-infamous and super-creepy Patrick Stump collab "Birthday Girl", however; excising that disaster singlehandedly saved the album's character.) Rising Down isn't always an easy listen, but it's an exciting one, and its abrasiveness never gets in the way of a good throw-your-hands-up beat or a well-crafted lyric.

If you've been paying any damn attention to the world around you, most of Rising Down's messages ring familiar, and frequently true: This is an album that tells you the entertainment industry is turning into a coon show, the climate (both environmental and cultural) is getting fucked up, and broke people are still struggling. But this record states these ideas with respect to the notion that you know them already, and puts all the revelation and subtext into its unyielding sound. You could call it preaching to the converted, but it also feels like a reminder to the lapsed, less a wake-up call than a shot of renewed adrenaline.

Quote of the day...

...“Women voting for Sarah Palin is like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.”

don't have it on me, who said it. If anyone knows, please post in comments section.

friggin eagles (your Philadelphia Eagles...)

When the schedule came out in early spring I couldn’t decide if the Eagles were gonna be 9 & 7 or 10 & 6. I ultimately settled on 10 & 6 as my “official” prediction, due to then having the easiest schedule they’ve have in YEARS. That being said, I had them missing the playoffs due to 10 wins not being good enough, due to the Cowpatties and Gints being in their division and much better teams than them. I had them 3 & 3 at the BYE week, which is coming up for them after this week’s game vs the 49ers. If they beat the 49ers, they’ll be 3 & 3 at the bye. If they lose, they’ll be 2 & 4.

Here’s the bottom line folks: The Eagles are an extremely average football team. They’re simply not good enough. They don’t have enough talent on their team, and they don’t have a good enough coach. And Coach Reid is responsible for both of those facets.

He’s been in charge of picking and drafting the players here since he got here 10 years ago, when the naive and ignorant ownership, stewarded by Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner foolishly handed him that duty, with no prior experience on Reid’s part whatsoever. Seriously, Reid is the only one to blame for the actual players we have on this team currently.

And while Reid is a good coach, he’s far from being a great coach, or even a good ‘enough’ coach to get this team where it needs to be consistently. In this 10 years here, he’s 1 & 3 in Conference Championship Games. Period. While others will talk about other things he’s done here (once he’s gone), that will remain his legacy. He’s just not good enough.

Something that I have never read or heard about Reid anywhere (and am surprised by this), that I believe explains a lot about his skills and makeup, is the fact that he skipped a very important rung on his career ladder: He was never an Offensive Coordinator. He went from being a QB Coach at Green Bay (during Brett Favre’s formative years), to Head Coach AND General Manager at the Philadelphia Eagles. The fact that he skipped that rung, has everything to do with his dysfunction here at both of those levels.

He’s always been a terrible game day coach, seemingly unable to adjust whatsoever to the opposing team’s play. He can’t manage a clock; he can’t pick the correct plays on the fly; he can’t manage a game. This is the actual job description for an Offensive Coordinator. He skipped that rung. Is it any wonder he can’t do those things? He refuses to see the obvious and what is just right in front of him constantly.

Everything you ever needed to know about how inefficient Reid ultimately would be, you could have learned (like I did) back in 2003, when, after choking in their home NFC Championship Game the season before (against the Tampa Bay Bucs who we owned the years prior and sent home packing many times), Reid stated, “our WR’s are fine,” when asked by a reporter if the WR corps, let by James Thrash and Todd Pinkston, was good enough to win a Super Bowl with. And he didn’t just say it. He believed it. And it was obvious to any idiot in the United States, that our WR corps sucked. Especially, when you consider we were and are a “pass first” offense! And then the Andy Reid’s Eagles, proceeded to will themselves to ANOTHER home NFC Championship Game against the Carolina Panthers and proceeded to choke again, this time scoring only 3 points.

It was also this year (I believe) that when deflecting another question by a reporter aimed at Reid’s insistence to continue to pass first when it never really seemed to work that well, Reid answered, “passing’s just as good as running,” when asked why he doesn’t run more. That is just flat-out wrong. Passing, by and large, is never as good as running, when discussing globally, and with regards to offensive philosophy, and proven success throughout the history of football. What a complete asinine and moronic statement to make and belief to adhere to. No other NFL coach would agree with that statement ever.

It was the aforementioned 2 statements back in 2003 that convinced me Reid simply did not possess the ability to guide a team to a Super Bowl win. Ever. And it’s why I was calling for his head on a platter after that second home conference championship loss; if I was the Owner, I would have fired him outright, the day after that abomination of a loss to Carolina. But, alas, he’s still here, and our naive and clueless ownership loves him. I don’t think he’s going anywhere for years. No matter how much he continues to fail

I could go on (how Reid has stunted McNabb’s career, his stubbornness with letting other coaches and personnel take over certain reins, etc)…and I will. Believe me. But that’s enough ranting for now.

Unhinged

On a regular day, commenting on this kind of insane idiocy wouldn't be worth much time or effort. We all know a handful of rightwingnutjobs in our lives, and usually they're harmless other than being weirdly obsessed with their paranoid delusions of black helicopters and the like.

The insane factor is rising at the McCalin events, though:





Far too many of these people own guns.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Crushed

McLame needed a gamechanger.

He got donut.

McShame couldn't even hang around to shake hands and take pictures after the "debate" ended. That croaking sound you hear may be the fat lady warming up her vocal chords.

Counting one's chickens is not generally advisable, but seriously, after the lameness of the McSame performance and the outright racism and violence-peddling of Caribou Barbie® earlier in the day, should we maybe start getting used to President Obama? Think about it: the stock market circles the drain even more, McLame proposes a mortgage bailout only a guy like Kucinich could love, his running mate seems to go off the reservation completely (and it is a BIG reservation out there, you betcha') by reveling in her crowds' cries to "kill" Obama, and then the douche-nozzle can't even hang out for five minutes to shake hands with the very people whose questions he allegedly was answering for the last hour and a half?

Seriously?

Electoral blowout in the making.

Keep the faith people, let's win.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

John McShame's "experience"

…so I was thinking about experience and how it relates to the leaders Americans pick for President…

Does experience trump common sense and leadership? For someone who touts his military experience and world knowledge so much, John McShame’s experience didn’t do a damn thing to help him (and all of us) out when it really mattered; when the time came to make the right decision with regards to the biggest military and policy decision of this decade, he made an absolutely terrible one.

And the guy who has nowhere near the breadth, depth or type of experience that John McShame has, actually made an infinitely-better and smarter decision, when he decided it’s better for America and for all Americans to NOT start a war with Iraq (and whoever else came along for the ride).

Yes, his name is Barack Obama.

See, If Barack Obama were President, there would not have been a war in Iraq. Read that again. If Barack Obama were President, there would not have been an Iraq war.

For those of you who don’t know, Barack Obama, without all the “experience” John McShame has, voted AGAINST the Iraq war. It turns out Barack Obama didn’t – and doesn’t – need “experience” to make the correct and far better decision(s) for America. He’s got something BETTER than all of John McShame’s experience: common sense, better vision, and complete and thorough leadership.

Ahh, what might have been; what should have been….
a) John McShame’s experience, if President, would have led us to the same exact result that President Bush’s decision led us to: by taking our focus, military/intelligence might, and our resources off of the real enemy - the actual enemy who really did attack us - the Taliban and Al Qadea are currently at the same strength they were on 9/11 (based on the latest Pentagon assessment from earlier this year, as well as the latest national intelligence estimate, and also independent studies done by independent organizations). This would not be the case If Barack Obama was President.
b) Al Qadea and all the other factions we’re currently fighting in Iraq would not be there for the next several decades (Hussein kept them all under control) if Barack Obama was President.
c) Our military would not be decimated if Barack Obama was President. 33% of all military forces deployed currently are from the National Guard and Reserves; tens of thousands of troops are on their 3rd, 4th, and 5th tours; thousands upon thousands of troops are being involuntarily extended. This is a very dangerous military precedent, and amounts to a decimated and broken military that can only be repaired by a full-fledged draft.
d) If Barack Obama was President, we wouldn’t have had almost 4500 troops die largely in vain in Iraq, and approximately 200,000 maimed for life. This is to say nothing of all the broken families and Iraq Vets our kids will grow up seeing homeless on the steets, much the same way I grew up seeing Vietnam Vets homeless, uncared for and forgotten about.

It goes on…

John McShame STILL thinks it was the right decision to “fight them there so we didn’t have to fight them here!” He thought – as President Bush did - we were going to “spread democracy throughout the Middle East!” He thought – as President Bush did - we were “protecting ourselves from WMD’s!” Wow. So much for “experience!”

Obama knew better. MUCH better. He knew better than John McShame did with lots less experience. And he made a far better decision. How? Why? Because it’s not about experience, it’s about leadership and common sense.

Why do I refer to John McCain as John McShame? Here’s why…

For someone like John McShame who cares and values our troops so much, he’s sure got a dysfunctional way of showing it: If ANYONE should know an unnecessary when they see one; if ANYONE should know what troops dying in vain looks like, it’s John Sidney McCain the Third, who served in the greatest unnecessary war American troops have ever fought in (Vietnam). And he doesn’t seem to know this. Of if he does know it, he doesn’t care. Either way, his EXPERIENCE has failed him; it’s failed us. It’s failed our troops, it’s failed our national heroes (which John himself once was). Sending troops off to fight a war that is completely and wholly unnecessary is not what people do who value troops, and the ultimate price they too often pay. This is shameful. That’s why I call him as John McShame.

Plain and simple: experience is overrated as a requirement for the office of the President of the United States. George W. Bush had it. Look where we are. Heck, y’all lived it the last eight years! He is far and away considered the worst U.S. President of all time by an overwhelming amount of independent scholars, Presidential historians, professors, authors, and others. How about Sarah Palin, aka “Caribou Barbie?” John McShame picked her for a lot of reasons; experience wasn’t in the top 20.

It’s about leadership and common sense. Barack Obama has it by the boatload. John McShame apparently possesses neither.

Sarah Palin's church hopes to 'pray away the gay' and convert homosexuals to heterosexuals

September 7, 2008
Recommend (14)

FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.

''You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,'' according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.

Palin's conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy before he named her as his vice presidential choice. She is staunchly anti-abortion, opposing exceptions for rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples.

Focus on the Family, a national Christian fundamentalist organization, is conducting the ''Love Won Out'' Conference in Anchorage, about 30 miles from Wasilla.

Palin, campaigning with McCain in the Midwest on Friday, has not publicly expressed a view on the so-called ''pray away the gay'' movement. Larry Kroon, senior pastor at Palin's church, was not available to discuss the matter Friday, said a church worker who declined to give her name.

Gay activists in Alaska said Palin has not worked actively against their interests, but early in her administration she supported a bill to overrule a court decision to block state benefits for gay partners of public employees.

At the time, less than one-half of 1 percent of state employees had applied for the benefits, which were ordered by a 2005 ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court.

Palin reversed her position and vetoed the bill after the state attorney general said it was unconstitutional. But her reluctant support didn't win fans among Alaska's gay population, said Scott Turner, a gay activist in Anchorage.

''Less than 1 percent of state employees would even apply for benefits, so why make a big deal out of such a small number?'' he said.

''I think gay Republicans are going to run away'' if Palin supports efforts like the prayers to convert gays, said Wayne Besen, founder of the New York-based Truth Wins Out, a gay rights advocacy group. Besen called on Palin to publicly express her views now that she's a vice presidential nominee.

''People are looking at Sarah Palin as someone who might feasibly be in the White House,'' he said.