Tuesday, December 30, 2008
9. The Browns Season Is Officially the McCain Campaign. Actually as it turns out, the Browns' season went way more off the rails.
8. You Know What West Virginia, No One Asked You. Update: as they're moving along with mountaintop removal coal mining, feel free to remove the entire state from the union, mmm, kay?
7. Introducing: The Super-Duper Delegate. Would have made the Democratic primary way less messy.
6. Why I'm Voting (Twice) For Barack Obama. And I didn't even need ACORN's help to vote twice!
5. Our Long National Nightmare is Over. This is what happens when we don't blog for a while.
4. A Special Moment With My Son.
3. Radiohead in Dallas: Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! Edition. If for only the great Photo Booth pictures.
2. The Real Nine Circles of Hell. I don't care if no one commented. I spent a long damn time on that post.
1. Man, I Love A Good Peach. Still do.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Nevertheless, throughout the year there were a few personalities that helped us cope with it all. Either by getting us to stand back and look at the big picture or by redirecting our attention entirely, we found these personalities to be oases in the middle of a desert haboob (shown here). Perhaps because it was such a rocky year on so many levels, it only enhanced the springs of wellbeing the following people/personalities had t0 offer. And even after such a year, we hope to keep coming back to them for insight and diversion.
10. Wes Anderson, director.
While not 2008 specific, Wes Anderson flicks are always a welcome refuge from the world. His movies can be enjoyed and interpreted on so many levels. They can be enjoyed for their humor. They can be disected for their character development. They can be put on in the background as a sort of white-noise to help to relax.
9. Bill Simmons, espn.com columnist/podcaster.
Basically, he's the only reason to go to espn.com anymore. His columns, while fewer and farther between these days are well supplemented by his podcasts. When we need to get some information on the NBA, sports gambling, 80's movies, or Corey Haim, we turn to Bill Simmons.
8. Nate Silver, Fivethirtyeight.com
This site became an hourly obsession. So maybe this doesn't really count. But remember that time right when McCain started to pull even with Obama in the polls? And the spectre of Sarah Palin as VP (or worse) was real? Well, Nate Silver helped us keep our cool and not go overboard (we went overboard anyway). His model of political polling and results kept showing an advantage for Obama by not being swayed too much by daily (and post-convention) swaying. And of all the political forecasters, fivethirtyeight proved to be the best one out there in determining both the popular vote and the electoral college.
7. Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.
Don't laugh. The times we went to church as the election neared were times of calm in a political storm. Church served as an insolation from the insanity of the Sunday talk shows. So a big thanks to Jesus for helping us have a needed, if brief, Sabbath from politics on Sunday (side note: and thanks to Mountain Standard Time, the football games started right when we got home!).
6. Joan Walsh, columnist for Salon.com.
During the Democratic primary, she was a sole voice of reason on the left. Remember how much Hillary and Obama Democrats hated each other? Or at least, they were supposed to? And remember how there were all those stupid news spots about those "Hillary voters" who were so hurt they would never vote for Obama? Well, Walsh maintained that we all needed to calm the fuck down (we're paraphrasing here). She was critical of both candidates and both campaigns, and reflected honest insight that most pundits missed. This was also true one the general election started. While the cable news shows (side note: having access to cable news for the first time in years was not a good thing this year) were spouting blather after blather, Joan Walsh pointed out the things that we think the American people picked up on. For example, while the cable news shows were talking about how "competent" Sarah Palin looked during the VP debate and how she "held her own," Walsh and the voting populous noticed the calloused response she had to Joe Biden's story about his late wife and for the LOVEOFGODSTOPWINKING!!!!!! She deserves a big "thank you" from DMS and a bit of recognition for being the only pundit who consistently got it right.
5. Tyler Florence, Tyler's Ultimate, Food Network.
Thank you to Tyler Florence for showing us how to make the Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs, the Ultimate Soup and Sammy, and countless other amazing dishes. We took refuge in the kitchen after watching Hardball or something (*shudder*). Boy Supercomputer would sit in his high chair and eat while we got to make a delicious dinner, often involving bacon in some form or fashion. Quality time to be sure.
4. Tina Fay, fake Sarah Palin; Sarah Palin, Republican Vice Presidiental candidate.
My God, 30 Rock is a great show, but the Palin routine will never be topped. Easily the best political satire from SNL ever. It was so effective that I think most people think Palin actually said "I can see Russia from my house." What's amazing though is how little they had to change to make it funny. If you look at the Katie Couric transcript, there are parts where SNL just cribbed the real Sarah Palin word for word. So maybe we should add the Real Sarah Palin to this spot.
3. The Yankees/Mets/Rays. While the Rays were a great underdog story, is there anything more enjoyable that either a Mets or Yankees collapse? In the absence of a good Indians team, this really helped us out a lot.
2. Sarah Vowell, author, and voice of Violett Parr, the teenage daughter fron The Incredibles.
From Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World, describing a trip up the Trail of Tears while listening to Chuck Berry:
"But at the same time, I am an entirely American creature. I'm in love with this song and the country that gave birth to it. Listening to "Back in the U.S.A." while driving the Trail of Tears, I turn it over in my head -- it's a good country, it's a bad country, good country, bad country. And of course, it's both.1. Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert, fake pundits.
When I think about my relationship with America, I feel like a battered wife: Yeah, he knocks me around a lot, but boy, he sure can dance."
Not sure what more needs to be said here. But we would spend an hour every Monday through Thursday night watching these guys after a day of being saddled with too much. And after we would finish watching them, we would go online and watch some more.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
25. "Sing the Changes" - Sing the Changes
24. "Get Your Head Around It" - Headlights
23. "Modern Guilt" - Beck
22. "Foux du Fafa" - Flight on the Conchords
21. "God Loves You the Best" - Earlimart
20. "Death by Chocolate" - Sia
19. "Turning the Gun on Myself" - Teddy Thompson
18. "Cath ..." - Deathcab For Cutie
17. "Ghost Under Rocks" - Ra Ra Riot
16. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" - She & Him
15. "Strange Overtones" - David Byrne and Brian Eno
14. "Connjur" - School of Seven Bells
13. "Tear Down the House" - The Avett Brothers
12. "Lost Coastlines" - Okkervil River
11. "Oxford Comma" - Vampire Weekend
10. "My Only Offer" - Mates of State
9. "Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur" - Sigur Rós
8. "Something's Not Right With Me" - Cold War Kids
7. "Face to Face on High Plains" - School of Seven Bells
6. "Halfway Home" - TV on the Radio
5. "Dancing Choose" - TV on the Radio
4. "White Winter Hymnal" - Fleet Foxes
3. "Time to Pretend" - MGMT
2. "Flume" - Bon Iver
1. "Skinny Love" - Bon Iver
Frankly, we could have littered this entire list with Bon Iver and TVOTR songs, which should give you insight on the competition for DMS's Album of the Year. Speaking of which, we had mentioned that we probably wouldn't be doing it this year, but due to Amazon.com's incredible year-end $5 album offer, we loaded up on music this week and have been plowing through the best of it to bring the highly anticipated AOTY post.
We actually thought this was a great year for songs. It's a much deeper list than last year's.
It was difficult to pick which of the Bon Iver tunes to put at #1, but the deal-sealer was the lyrics:
I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
Now all your love is wasted
Then who the hell was I?
Now I'm breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines
Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sort of a bizzaro list to last year's comprendium. But that's the kind of year it was in Cleveland.
10. Ben Wallace. Learn how to shoot a fucking free throw (see above). My god, you're a basketball player.
9. Rafael Betancourt. Yeah, so maybe roiding up helps pitchers too.
8. Jamal Lewis. When you complain about not getting the ball enough, you should probably be averaging more than three yards per carry. Can I get a what-what?
7. Travis Hafner. Thank God you signed that huge extension before you decided to revery to Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer form.
6. Wally Szczerbiak. Wait, Firefox Spell Checker, you mean you don't recognize "Szczerbiak" in your database? There's a shocker!
5. Sasha Pavlovic. It's kind of cool when good or great athletes have girl names like Stacey Augmon. It's amazingly lame if you average five points a game.
4. Andy Marte. Man, we were so excited when the Indians traded for him, the #1 prospect in baseball a few years ago. Now, he's just a tubbo. He's listed at 190, but if that's true, then I'm as as skinny as I was before kids.
3. Braylon Edwards. When you're primary job as a reciever is to catch the football, it's probably not good if you SUCK AT CATCHING FOOTBALLS!!!!
2. Anderson Varejao. You know what sucks about basketball? You can be a total talentless fuck and as long as you're tall you can earn millions of dollars. At least in football if you're a large motherfucker you still have to be fast or strong or something. And in baseball kind of the opposite is true: you can be a fat bastard, but as long as you have talent you can play. But Anderson Varejao can't do shit. Well, the one thing he can do is hold out for a larger contract and then grow an ugly-ass haircut.
1. Shaun Smith. Actually, he might have been the year's best non-Lebron Cleveland athlete if it weren't for his punching his own teammate who happened to have a broken hand at the time. Yes, you, sir, get to shoot right up the list. Also, he's a big fat-ass.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
As the year begins to turn to 2009, we'll be participating in a tradition as old as the Internets themselves: creating an overabundance of top 10 lists.
Today's list is the top Kids Shows of 2008.
The shows were graded according to parental watchability, an inverse annoyance scale, and lastly, we suppose, educational and entertainment value for children. Bonus points were awarded to shows that run on PBS due to their lack of commercials.
And lastly, we think it's fair to embody the main difference between having one kid and two kids by juxtaposing last year's initial list to this year's.
10. Martha Speaks. Pretty damned pretentious, even for a kids' show. They try to shove impressive vocabulary down kids' throats. Blatant ripoff of Word Girl (see below).
9. Cyberchase. Mrs. Supercomputer wants to shoot us whenever this show comes on. In her defense, when two of the featured voices are Gilbert Godfried and Christopher Lloyd, it's hard to blame her. Still, it's about Math and therefore warrants a spot on the list.
8. Super Why. Annoying, yes. Racist as fucking hell, yes (seriously, the implied "rankings" for the heroes goes thusly: 1. White male. 2. White Female. 3. Black Female. 4. Pig.). But Girl Supercomputer is captivated by it. And we think it's helped with her letters.
7. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Yeah, we've all heard the probably apocryphal story about how he was a sniper in Vietnam or something. Yes, each episode is a ridiculous 30+ years old and it seems like he always goes to the library. Yes, it's boring as all get out. But if it's early in the morning enough to watch Mr. Rogers, that's exactly what you need. There's a reason they only show this program at 5:00 in the morning.
6. Arthur. We're not exactly sure what kind of animal Arthur is supposed to be. Squirrel? Bear? Someone help us out here. Bonus points for being the only kids show we know that employs the daydream-fantasy sequence to underscore motive.
5. Veggie Tales. We can either tell Girl Supercomputer the story of Jesus via church or story-telling or Santa Claus, or we can let talking vegetables do it for us. Game and match, vegetables.
4. Curious George. As opposed to Super Why, this show is not annoying and doesn't celebrate its racists past (in case you don't know the original story of George, the man in the yellow hat captured George in Africa, brought him to America on a boat against his will, and pretty soon after that, George ends up in prison. All of this is 100% true). Also, bonus points for William H. Macy as the narrator. We wonder how old Girl Supercomputer will be when she realizes it's the same voice as the guy in Fargo. Hopefully not for a while.
3. Dragon. We're getting into the dreaded, "watch it even if the kids aren't watching it" territory.
2. My Friend Rabbit. MFR might have taken the number one spot if it weren't for it's awkward start time in Colorado: 11:30 AM. If you're still watching cartoons with your kids at 11:30 on a Saturday in sunny Fort Collins, you have your answer to "why are kids so obese these days?".
1. Word Girl. Girl Supercomputer doesn't really even like this show, but we here at DMS love it. We have and will watch it even if the girl isn't home. Most of the jokes go over her head, but no matter. We love Word Girl.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Just a heads up, we will not be doing the vaunted Albums of the Year bit because, frankly, we didn't listen to any albums. We'll give you songs, but we were lucky if we listened to a radio commercial the entire way through without having to change a diaper or console Girl Supercomputer because she dropped her lollipop.
So, until we get those up and running, feel free to peruse some old lists.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Of Montreal - "Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games"
Monday, November 24, 2008
Actually, the Sarah Palin pick already happened. A couple weeks ago, the Browns were in the midst of a season in which they could not get any traction. And while they did garner some press by beating the Giants (the "Celebrity" Ad), they did little to remain in the news. So they decided to throw a "hail mary pass" by turning to a young, attractive QB / Governor in order to fire up their base. Ideally, he/she was also supposed to appeal to independents/Braylon Edwards, but over time it didn't happen.
Initially the pick of the young go-getter looked like a great pick. Brady Quinn looked competent - even ... pit-bullesque? - in his first few games; Palin looked like a fierce attack "dawg" at the Republican National Convention. And just like McCain surged in the polls, Quinn led his team to a key road victory at Buffalo on Monday night in front of a national audience.
However, it should have been noted that the Browns didn't really ask Quinn to do anything improvisational or off-the-cuff. He was kept under pretty tight wraps since he didn't know much of the playbook, although he probably could see Canada from his house on Lake Erie. And once the Browns/McCain campaign loosened the strings a little, disaster ensued.
But, if Brady Quinn is playing the part of Sarah Palin, then we suppose that would make the Houston Texans Katie Couric: an unassuming, yet tactful opponent who simply allowed the Browns and Quinn to make mistake after mistake. In Sunday's game was the now infamous interview. The Texans and Sage Rosenfelds did his best by giving the ball back up, allowing the Browns to try to redeem themselves (this is the part where Couric said, "I'm going to ask one more time..."). But instead of doing so, the Browns rambled semi-coherently talking about the "umbrella of job creation" and "Syndric Steptoe" until the interview mercifully ended.
And then the Browns became erratic. Just like McCain decided to fly back to Washington and suspend his campaign soon after the economic meltdown, the Romeo Crennel decided to go back to Derek Anderson, lurching from one position to the other. It is at this point that the McCain campaign and the Browns season officially went off the rails.
Just like at McCain rallies, where people came to see Sarah Palin and then left soon after, the Browns stadium was nearly empty by the end of the game yesterday and we were all wondering to whom had we hitched our wagon.
Now, there are reports of infighting and finger pointing. Just like Bill Krystol advocated the firing of the entire campaign, so too are Browns fans clamoring for Crennel to be dismissed from this abomination. In fact, many are wistful of a former time when the McCain/Browns "brand" was more authentic (does that make Mike Murphy Bill Cowher, seen here, presumably not picking out a new kitten at the rescue shelter?).
Once the post-mortem for this season is done, we'll probably find out about how Brady Quinn is a "diva," the Browns spent $150,000 on Donte Stallworth (if only he came that cheap, and if only we too could donate him to charity), and that on balance, Brady Quinn energized the fans, but didn't really put up any extra points on the board.
So just as the Republicans are wondering who their leader in four years will be, we too are wondering if Brady Quinn is really the answer. Scripted and well-managed, he looks like he's got some potential, but left on his own accord it appears that he's not ready to be QB or president. He doesn't really grasp the broad realities of foreign policy or the zone blitz.
Let's just hope when the season is over, he chooses a little better location to conduct his post-season interview.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Anyway, the vote is in the midst of a nasty recount right now. And there's a slew of challenged ballots. You can see the ballots here and vote on whether they should count or not or who gets the vote.
You know what, I think I'll leave it right there with a couple of these challenged ballots.
Monday, November 17, 2008
If we don’t stimulate the global economy fast enough and big enough, some of Obama’s inaugural balls might be held in soup kitchens.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
We can certainly cut Arizona and Alaska some slack. But let's take a look at just the increase in the Republican vote.
Obama surged over Kerry everywhere in the U.S. except the Deep South: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Appalachia Kentucky and West Virgina. That's where the Republican message has taken root apparently over the past four years: in the Deep South.
This is the sad culmination of almost 40 years of a strategy that locked in the Southern vote by appealing to the worst the South had to offer.
To be sure, the Republican party isn't a racist party; it simply houses and accepts them. Or at least, it did when it was electorally beneficial. Just now, after a stunning defeat in the modern equivalient of a landslide, will the Republicans begin to ask themselves the tough questions.
Some already have. Conservative columnist David Brooks wondered if Sarah Palin represented a "fatal cancer to the Republican party." The Palin pick is only a sympton of a much greater problem. Peggy Noonan, author of Patriotic Grace, called it, "political bullshit." Now, she had to apoligize, but she's 100% correct, and it seems like she was actually quite the soothsayer in that now conservatives are left wondering what happen when the answer is perfectly clear:
The Republican party became the party of anti-ideas. This is embodied in the Southern strategy that Republicans adopted that now lies in ruins at the feet of a Democratic majority. But it goes beyond simply racial coding and "family values" politicking.
In a conversation with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, Former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards expressed as much. A great interview, Edwards suggests that in order to win elections the Republican party demonized people with education, the media, and tried to paint itself as the party of the everyman; I believe it was "Joe Sixpack" and then "Joe the Plumber" in 2008.
But really, that map is all you need to see to know what the Republican strategy has been over the past few decades and why that strategy has come crashing down as America moves forward.
Frankly, once again David Brooks once again expresses it best in a column outlining the class warfare that the Republican party has been playing for decades:
But over the past few decades, the Republican Party has driven away people who live in cities, in highly educated regions and on the coasts. This expulsion has had many causes. But the big one is this: Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare. Democrats kept nominating coastal pointy-heads like Michael Dukakis so Republicans attacked coastal pointy-heads.Over the past 15 years, the same argument has been heard from a thousand politicians and a hundred television and talk-radio jocks. The nation is divided between the wholesome Joe Sixpacks in the heartland and the oversophisticated, overeducated, oversecularized denizens of the coasts. ...
[Palin] is another step in the Republican change of personality. Once conservatives admired Churchill and Lincoln above all — men from wildly different backgrounds who prepared for leadership through constant reading, historical understanding and sophisticated thinking. Now those attributes bow down before the common touch.And so, politically, the G.O.P. is squeezed at both ends. The party is losing the working class by sins of omission — because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission — by telling members of that class to go away.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Haven't voted yet? Not looking forward to the hours and hours of waiting in line to vote (not, this doesn't apply if you're a Republican. They have a special faster moving line for you)?
Well, DMS is here to save the day. Download some songs. Sync up your iPod (or, if you're a part of Generation X you can burn a compact disc). And go to town.
Spoon - "The Underdog" (mp3)
Magic Bullets - "Heatstroke" (mp3)
School of 7 Bells - "Face to Face on High Plains" (mp3)
Caribou - "Kid, You'll Move Mountains" (mp3)
She and Him - "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" (mp3)
Shout Out Louds - "Tonight I Have to Leave It" (mp3)
The Octopus Project - "The Adjustor" (mp3)
Wilco - "Impossible Germany" (mp3)
Arcade Fire - "Windowsill" (mp3)
Headlights - "On April 2" (mp3)
Lenka - "Gravity Rides Everything (Modest Mouse Cover)" - (mp3)
Andrew Bird - "Tables and Chairs" (mp3)
Hope this helps.
(Ed. Note: Yes, we realize that this is just a compilation of the not-so-popular MP3 of the Week feature. Think of it as a clip show for the MP3OTW.)
Monday, November 03, 2008
(Side note: imagine, for a moment, if Sarah Palin had ever been on MTP with Tim Russert. Wait, I'll give you an idea. It starts with, "On Thursday, April ..." and ends with the Republican party finding a new VP candidate.)
Russert had a way of periodically making us slow down and recognize the historic nature of this race. Not just the racial aspect, but simply the amazing upset of Obama beating the Clinton machine and creating a grassroots organization the likes of which certainly the Democrats had never seen. Even still, he certainly did not take it easy on Obama, as evidenced by the video below.
Tim was excited by this race like no one else and made us all get excited too. We've dearly missed him over the past few months and will continue to miss him even after November 4th.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
We weren't sure what it was at the time. But word got around quickly in our South Austin neighborhood that they were filming a movie. Naturally we were curious as to what movie could generate such a costumed character. Eventually we found out that the movie was called Kabluey.
We never really heard much about it after that. We're not sure when it was released and we're not even sure what kind of reviews it got (though, Rotten Tomatoes has it at an 88% fresh).
Anyway, we finally got around to Netflixing it this weekend. It was fantastic. Granted, we're biased because we got to see clips of Austin and the awesome City Market that befriended our fair neighborhood.
Hadn't heard this song at the time. It's the Magic Bullets from 2007. It's in the closing credits of the movie. Great song.
Magic Bullets - "Heatstroke"
Friday, October 31, 2008
It was in reference to, I can hardly say it, Joe the Plumber's impending record deal. Kill me. Just kill me now. I can't take it any more. Sledgehammer to the head. That's how it should go down.
Meanwhile, in the 48 hours since we posted about the slurs that have been thrown at Obama, we can add Anti-Semite and actually the son of Malcom-X.
Oh and apparently, you cannot be Christian and vote for Obama. Can't happen.
I guess I'm in trouble then.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go ahead and side with the 76 Nobel Prize winners who correctly point out that under the Republican administration, things like Science have been neglected and undercut for political reasons. Not the lady who thinks that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.
Un-fucking-believable. I either need to start drinking more or take a sedative for the next 5 days.
Let's get back to music.
Maybe this year's "23." Beautiful, atmospheric, and reassuring.
School of 7 Bells - "Face to Face on High Plains"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We've tried to deny it. We've tried to just let it go and focus on happier, less insanity inducing topics, but we've failed. It's just going to drive us crazy until the evening of November 4 (and if we're unlucky, early morn November 5). That's just the way it is. We've been vested in this thing for 20 months now. Baby Supercomputer turned into Toddler Supercomputer who turned into Girl Supercomputer. Egg Supercomputer turned into Junior Supercomputer. All throughout this damn election.
We've heard that Obama is an elitist, a terrorist, a guy who pals around with terrorist, a Muslim, a baby killer, a Socialist, a Marxist, unqualified, inexperienced, power-hungry, loves arugula, a sexist, too black, not black enough, talking white, a celebrity, insubstantial, and the mother of all affirmative action beneficiaries. We've had America divided into "pro" and "anti" regions. We've been told that everyone who supports Obama cannot think for themselves and are victims of group think.
We've booed Katie Couric, the New York Times, and community organizing.
Frankly we are so ready to get this thing over with.
So we're going to make a pledge for when this long national nightmare is over. We need to get back into a normal cognitive state. so after this thing is played out, we're going to try to recalibrate our brain.
So our pledge is as follows:
-- We pledge not to go to Pollster.com to check if the new West Virginia poll is out.
-- We pledge to not listen to Slate's Political Gabfest podcast.
-- We pledge to not watch cable news. Ever again. Sorry Keith.
-- We plan to take semi-permanent break from politics showing up on this blog.
-- We pledge to spend less time surfing political websites and more time surfing fantasy sports websites.
-- We pledge to give money to worthy causes.
So, what are some other pledges we can all make to put this behind us, once it's mercifully over?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Anyway, the real value of this endorsement, was the substance. In it, Colin Powell praises Obama and chides the Republican party effectively. It's certainly much more convincing and more meaning full than *ahem* other endorsements Obama may have received.
Here's a large portion of the interview, the video is at the bottom. (emphases mine, obviously, and yes, I emphasized damn near the whole interview. Sue me.)
General Powell: let me lead into it this way. I know both of these individuals very well now. I've known John for 25 years as your setup said. And I've gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the past two years. Both of them are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the welfare of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president. I have said to Mr. McCain that I admire all he has done. I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that's a choice the party makes. And I've said to Mr. Obama, "You have to pass a test of do you have enough experience, and do you bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that you would be a good president."
And I've watched him over the past two years, frankly, and I've had this conversation with him. I have especially watched over the last six of seven weeks as both of them have really taken a final exam with respect to this economic crisis that we are in and coming out of the conventions. And I must say that I've gotten a good measure of both. In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to deal with the economic problems that we were having and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me, sensing that he didn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had. And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She's a very distinguished woman, and she's to be admired; but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.
On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a, a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well. I also believe that on the Republican side over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower. Mr. Obama, at the same time, has given us a more inclusive, broader reach into the needs and aspirations of our people. He's crossing lines--ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines. He's thinking about all villages have values, all towns have values, not just small towns have values.
And I've also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently, or his campaign ads, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign. But Mr. McCain says that he's a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him? And why do we have these robocalls going on around the country trying to suggest that, because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with Mr. Ayers, somehow, Mr. Obama is tainted. What they're trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that's inappropriate.
Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one another, and that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration. I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.
So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world--onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Since then it's pretty clear that the McCain campaign have really been playing to the stupid more than ever.)
We're not sure when the revelation occured. We think it was somewhere in between Sarah Palin inciting boos at the mention on the New York Times and worse, Katie Couric and Tim Robbins on The Daily Show pleading that he just wants a smart president, that we Eureka-ed a theory:
In modern times, the United States has always voted for the dumber of the two presidential candidates.
What are "modern times?" Well, let's put the theory to the test.
2004: George W. Bush over John Kerry. I think we'd all agree that Kerry is a smarter person than George W. Bush.
2000: George W. Bush over Al Gore. Most definitely.
1996: Bill Clinton over Bob Dole. I'd say the dumber person won.
1992: Bill Clinton over George HW Bush and Ross Perot. I'd say that the dumbest person won.
1988: George HW Bush over Michael Dukakis. HW was smart, but Dukakis was probably smarter. Maybe not street wise, but certainly book sense.
1984: Ronald Reagan over Walter Mondale. Good Lord how far back does this theory hold?!
1980: Ronald Reagen over Jimmy Carter. It certainly holds here.
1976: Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. This one's a bit tough. We're still not sure if Jimmy Carter (a.k.a. "History's Greatest Monster") is overly smart or not. I mean, he seems pretty smart, but anyone that carries the entire Deep South in a presidential election probably isn't that smart. Besides, we're starting to get in that time that the weird Democrat-Republican / North-South inversion happened, where all the dumb, racist hicks started voting Republican instead of Democrat. So we'll go ahead and shut down this theory here, although certainly Ford wasn't exactly Thomas Edison.
But it's incredible. The last seven elections have been won by the dumber candidate. Really it's astonishing. You can have your polls, your electoral models and I'll save you a bunch of time with my "It's the Stupidity, Stupid" theory.
What's fun about this theory is that we can create hypothetical matchups! Who would win if Ronald Reagan ran against Bill Clinton? Give 'em an IQ test! Lower score wins.
So Barack, I'd either start preparing your concession speech now, or hit yourself in the head with a hammer a few times is you want to win this thing.
(Here's a link to listen to it.)
Friday, October 03, 2008
OK so even before this video, she's made me wish I were Jewish. Sarah Silverman is the mother of all Shiksas.
There's something about Montreal that produces great band after great band. Land of Talk released Some Are Lakes this year. Here's the title track.
Land of Talk - "Some Are Lakes"
Thursday, October 02, 2008
There's some serious blogging lethargy going on out there. We're not sure what it is but it's out there. We've already lost Herland. If God is Love... is on hiatus. Will Leitch is no longer at Deadspin. Thank God Fire Joe Morgan is still running strong.
But even here at DMS we've sort of hit a lull. We're not sure what it is going around. Our theory is that it's this damn election. Maybe you've heard of it. In fact, it's been the fodder for so much material here on the award winning* DMS. We even had planned a huge-long post discussing how John McCain is running the worst, most haphazard campagin in recent memory. Seriously, we had it all planned out for some nice liberal soft-pedalling.
But it just never materialized. Now we have the debate tonight. And in 48 hours everyone will have forgotton that Sarah Palin can only name one Supreme Court case she'e ever disagreed with (presumably she can only name one Supreme Court case is the rub).
Frankly, it's exhausting. Don't you worry, we'll be on top of this election but it's starting to make people, especially us, a little insane. And we're a bit terrefied that our Vice President has the potential to be about asd experienced in foreign policy than your average High School dropout.
So we're thinking it's time to get back to what we love unabashedly. The least-popular segment here on DMS has to be the MP3 of the Week. But we don't care. It's our favorite. So we're thinking October is going to be "Music Month." And we're going to overload on mp3s that we've gotten a bit backed up on.
So let's try throwing down 3 MP3s a Week. Kind of like Poddington Bear.
So to get us started, let's get probably our two favorite songs of the year so far out there.
First, the Cold War Kids' "Something Is Not Right With Me." This song will kick your ass. It's off their recent album Loyalty to Loyalty.
Cold War Kids - "Something's Not Right With Me"
Next we have MGMT. A lot of people are going to put their 2008 debut album Oracular Spectacular on a lot of top 10 lists. We don't think DMS will be one of them. We have a hard time listening to, say, five MGMT songs in a row. But there's no denying their great opener, "Time to Pretend."
MGMT - "Time to Pretend"
(Coming soon: New TV on the Radio! Here's a spoiler: best album of 2008.)
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
(Ed note: Are you sitting down? Good. Because DMS is about to blow your mind. Blow your fucking mind.)
In the midst of one of her rambling, incoherent, frightening, wince-inducing, disastrous interviews with the hard-hitting Katie Couric, Sarah Palin perfectly captured the nascent DMS view on abortion.
(We told you your mind would be blown.)
COURIC: But ideally, you think it should be illegal for a girl who is raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion?
PALIN: I'm saying that personally I would counsel that person to choose life despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. And if you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anybody end up in jail for having had an abortion? Absolutely not. That's -- that's nothing that I would ever support.
So Palin isn't staunchly pro-life according to the guidelines, correct? I mean, you can be "against abortion." You won't find a whole lot of people who claim to be "pro-abortion." And if you're against criminalizing abortions, you can't really be "pro-life" can you? Because that's where the rubber meets the road, isn't it? (DMS likes to use dangling participles, doesn't he?)
So, thank you Sarah Palin for vocalizing the DMS view on Colorado's Proposition 48.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
First, a couple more assumptions:
-- Obama wins all the Kerry states, except perhaps New Hampshire (4 EV). More on one particular aspect of this later.
-- Obama wins Iowa (7 EV). He's been up in Iowa since pretty much day one. In our opinion, Iowa deserves a special place in all our hearts. They're the ones that started this whole thing. If Obama doesn't win in Iowa, Hillary's probably the nominee. It was a hallmark event, showing that Obama had appeal to rural, white, and independent voters. It also showcased the Obama team's superior groundgame. Basically, Iowa propelled Obama to this point. Perhaps for that reason, Obama's been up solidly in Iowa the entire election process. It's probably the same reason why McCain is so competitive in New Hampshire. Both states are probably proud of the fact they propelled the party nominee to victory.
-- The Obama ground game is much superior to McCain's. It's tough to say whether this has already had any effect in the polls already, but I think it's fair to say that the Obama team will do a better job of generating turnout in battleground states. Maybe it's worth a percentage point. Maybe it's worth three.
-- An electoral tie (269 - 269 EV) is a win for Obama. In this convoluted scenario, each state in the House of Representatives gets one vote. Democrats currently have a majority of state delegation majorities. However, it is unclear who each representative would cast their vote for. For instance, would they vote for their party nominee or with the state who elected them? Would they vote according to their district or with the popular vote winner. And the statistical chance of a 269-269 electoral tie is certainly not negligible. All it would take is Obama winning the Kerry states (252 EV - note: Kerry actually only got 251 EVs because one elector voted for ), minus New Hampshire (-4 EV), plus Iowa (+7 EV), Colorado (+9 EV) New Mexico (+5 EV). This is actually a pretty likely scenario.
-- Obama wins Michigan (a Kerry state, 17 EV). This is the proverbial turd in the punch bowl. A McCain victory here might just do Obama in. While Obama's been up in most Michigan polls, something about this state just doesn't sit right with me. It's loaded with NRA members and only has one major urban center. It seems like Michigan has a chance at being 2004 Ohio, where all the exit polls looked great for Kerry, then all the rural votes started coming in and piling up for Bush. Fivethirtyeight.com projects an 83% chance at Obama winning Michigan. That doesn't pass the smell test with DMS. While we do think Obama will win it, based on its strong Democratic voting history, we don't really trust it to be in the Obama camp just yet. And if it does go McCain, it'll probably be amidst a large overall swing for him and it won't really be that close on November 4.
At this point we have this electoral map.
Mathematically (Kerry states + Iowa) we're at 255 EV for Obama. So let's look at Obama's possible paths to victory:
Win Florida (27 EV) or Ohio (20 EV). Yes, we know these states well. Florida was the culprit of the most convoluted electoral result in history. And Ohio and their gay-marriage hating constituents were John Kerry's downfall. Florida has shown McCain with a small lead for a while and it seems likely to hold, what with all those old people down there in the "nation's schlong." Ohio is probably more likely to tilt Obama. It might all be about turnout once again. And there may not be a state where the Obama ground game is going to be more critical in determining its winner.
Win Indiana (11 EV) / Virginia (13 EV) /Missouri (11 EV) and New Hampshire (4 EV) / New Mexico (5 EV). Indiana and Missouri may be a little far fetched. However, the McCain campaign is taking a huge risk by putting no resources into Indiana. Obama's near win over Hilary in the primaries pretty much sealed the deal for the Democratic nominee. It's next door to Illinois and we all found out how important Gary was this past year. Virginia, however, is looking ripe. It's either tied or McCain by a few. Here's another state where the ground game might be critical. Out west, New Mexico is quickly becoming Obama's. In fact, we could probably add that in to the assumptions after another solid week of +6 to +10 polling.
Win New Hampshire (4 EV), Nevada (5 EV) and New Mexico (5 EV). This would result in the fabled electoral tie, which we're assuming goes to Obama.
Win Colorado (9 EV) and either New Mexico (5 EV) or Nevada (5 EV). Another electoral tie. This might be the easiest path to "victory." As we said, New Mexico's almost in the Obama column already and Colordo is polling about +2 to +5 for Obama, although it warrants mentioning that McCain is a lot closer than he was a month ago in Colorado.
These are the main scenarios for a squeaker victory. Obviously there is the possibility of Obama winning two of the major electoral players. But the fact there are so many permutations for an Obama victory is instructive.
Put another way, here's what has to happen for a McCain victory:
Must win Flordia AND Ohio AND Virginia AND Indiana AND Missouri AND Colorado AND New Hampshire. Or something like that.
In 2000, Democrats bemoaned the electoral college system, crying out that it's undemocratic. While that may be true, they might be thankful for it this November.
A couple more lingering thoughts...
You know what's weird? Obama is strangley competitive in West Virginia. For having not campaigned there at all in the primaries, lost by 200 percentage points, not having campaigned there since, and being, you know, half-black, how is he within 5 points? I wonder if it is too late to get going there. Too, the poll referenced here was right in the middle of the McCain convention bounce. I think it might be time for some guerilla campaigning. Even though it's just 5 EV, it would add several more winning permutations for Obama.
I'll never understand that state. I mean, it voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988. California didn't even vote Dukakis! What are the odds of California turning red and WV blue in 2008? A million to one? A trillion to one? Even at a trillion to one odds, I think I'd take the trillion, meaning if I win, you pay me a dollar, and if you win, I pay you a trillion dollars. Anyone want to take me up on that bet?
A couple more turds in the punchbowl...
We still have the debates and you just never know. Basically Obama just has to not screw up. He's playing from ahead here. And even when Kerry handily won all three debates against Bush in 2004 it didn't win him in the election. We weren't too impressed with Obama at Saddleback, even if we liked his answers. There's no question that McCain is more used to the unscripted affairs. We're just praying he makes another geography mistake.
Polling theories that could swing a few points towards McCain: the Bradley effect, the Shy Tories theory, and just plain ol' racism.
Also, and this one's a little more viable: undecideds tend to break hard for Republicans. This was true in 2004 and may even be more pronounced in 2008. Obama needs to get to 47% in all these states. 45% and he might get beat out at the last minute.
What should be McCain's strategy, electoral college-wise? Well, I'll give him two options:
1) Go for broke in Pennsylvania and Michigan, hope to hold Ohio and Florida. If he wins PA or MI, it renders this entire post (and therefore my entire Saturday night) moot. And we won't have to stay up very late wondering who the winner will be. Colorado, New Mexico, and Iowa will all be pointless in such a scenario. And it certainly is possible.
2) Win Colorado and New Mexico and pray to God that everything else remains static. Hope that Virginia sticks with tradition and votes red. Hope that all those Appalachian Ohioans turn out. Hope that all those old people in Florida don't get confused again (or maybe that they DO get confused).
It's clear that Obama will have a lot more funds, a lot more of a ground game, and a more established presence in all the aforementioned states. So McCain needs to take his public funding and either be real smart with it or hope that there's something that shows up at the last minute that saves the day.
Now if you'll excuse us, our brain is going to explode.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Here's a graph!
Sufjan Stevens - "Casimir Pulaski Day"
Friday, September 05, 2008
So to you, readers, we're asking YOU. What are some of the great albums you've heard this year?
One of those albums with huge potential, based on the few songs we've heard from it, is Ra Ra Riot's The Rhumb Line. This is the opening track, and if it portends to the power of the rest of the album, it would have to be in consideration.
Ra Ra Riot - "Ghost Under Rocks"
For the love of all that is holy, it doesn't exist. That's like saying we promise to deliver the Easter Bunny. Except that most of us grow out of the Easter Bunny phase when we are eight.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Sorry to harp on the nostalgia thing again. And to be honest, this "10 Years Ago" stuff is getting pretty old for anyone who's not in the Class of 98. But it's our birthday and we can reminisce if we want to.
DMS Then and Now:
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The other day we were considering the CO move and how different (and better) our life is compared to 10 years ago. Well, there's lots of stuff we left out. And continuing in that sense of how things have transgressed over the past 10 years, we made ourselves some nice graphs (not unlike out "blogging truths") detailing the year-by-year evolving of what makes DMS tick.
Cracker - "Nostalgia"
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I don't think it's hyperbole for me to say that there is simply no better food in this world than a perfectly ripe peach. They key of course is that the peach has to be at the absolute pinnacle of ripeness. And if you happen to land on that sweet spot of ripeness in your peach, you are in for a taste of heaven itself.
Hitting that sweet spot of ripeness is difficult to be sure. In fact, conversely there is probably nothing more disappointing than biting into a peach only to discover it is under ripe or overripe. Under ripe and it tastes like nothing. Or like some sort of wannabe apple. Overripe and it's like brandishing your mouth with bitter baby food or something. And the texture just isn't what it should be.
Ah! The texture of a perfectly ripe peach! Unlike the crunchiness of an apple which can be quite jarring, or the mushiness of a pear, the perfectly ripe peach offers the perfect amount of give and take for your teeth to enjoy.
But unfortunately it's that prime ripeness time that makes the peach so sought after. It's almost like Ahab's white whale at times. If you miss that often minuscule time window, you've got nothing but disappointment between your lips.
How minuscule is that time window? It seems like it can be perhaps a day and perhaps but a few hours. Look at a peach, come back in a few hours and it might be too late. So you have to take advantage of a perfectly ripe peach when you can. Because once that window is closed, it will never open again for that peach.
Man, do I ever love a good peach.
Perhaps equally frustrating is the fact that the variable of when the actual peach was picked is entirely out of your control. Each peach has its own personal proper picking time, yet large scale farming obviously follows the need to pick uniformally. So oftentimes it's as much of a crapshoot more than anything else.
With a lot of fruits and vegetables you can kind of tell when it's been picked properly. But with a peach you really can't. Because at the store, you're not really buying it to eat right then and there, or even right when you get home. You're buying it in anticipation of eating it in a couple days. Because almost none of the peaches in the produce section are at peak post-picking ripeness. The have perhaps a few days, perhaps a few hours before they will achieve their potential as the most wondrous of all gustatory endeavors.
If you've ever had a perfectly ripe peach you'd agree that there is nothing more fantastic.
The instant you bite into a peach, you know if it's perfectly ripe or not. Even bystanders can tell. If you see someone bite into a peach and hesitate, wince, or even cringe, you know that the peach was eaten before its time or past its prime. On the other hand, if you see said person just delve into the peach upon first bite, you know it was the right time. It almost becomes incontrollable. You don't take a bite, wait, and take another bite. You gorge yourself immediately. You don't even pay attention to anyone or anything around you. It's like you eat it as if it were your first meal in days. If it's at the proper time and all the variables have been properly aligned for that peach, you lose yourself in that peach. You attack it almost, with no regard for stem or pit or even proper manners.
Jeez, do I ever love peaches!
A perfectly ripe peach, if indeed at that apex of ripeness, will be consumed in about 30-45 seconds. The carnage is palpable as after the half-minute is up and peach's juice is splayed all over your hands and even arms. That's the sign that the peach was perfect.
But that is what's so vexing about a good peach: all the signs of its ripeness are only evident after the fact. A peach can look beautiful and perfectly colored. It can even have the proper tautness of skin and it still not be that ever so wonderful peach experience.
God I love a good peach.
What's more amazing is that the peach flavor is almost never properly achieved or recreated. Have you ever had peach yogurt? The little bits of peach taste nothing like the wonderful perfectly ripe peach experience. Peach flavored candy? Hardly. Even canned peaches pale in comparison to a properly picked, properly aged, properly eaten peach. Too, the canned peaches often have rust on them, which will turn you off of peaches for a while.
The seasonal nature of peaches also contributes to the unending quest for a perfect peach. Don't even bother trying to find a good peach outside of late Summer. It's just not going to happen. And don't even bother with the frozen kind. Because, while they may be picked at prime ripeness, they are chopped up, frozen and all strewn together with potentially unripe peaches.
It's as if you're playing the lottery when it comes to peaches. And just like the scratch-and-win tickets, it is not until you take your first bite of a peach that you know you've hit paydirt.
There is simply nothing better than a perfectly ripe peach. It far transcends any other fruit you could possibly enjoy. Even the sublime strawberry, while on average better, due to the ease in which it is enjoyed at its peak ripeness, simply cannot compare to a peach that is discovered to have every working variable at its apex of enjoyment.
Between the texture, the flavor, the juiciness, and perhaps even the rarity of a prime peach, it is hard to imagine a better piece of food.