Friday, October 31, 2008

MP3 of the Week: "Stop the Election, I Want To Get Off" Edition

I wish I could take credit for that phrase, but it belongs to Salon.com (specifically, the War Room, which I vowed I would never go to again after this is over).

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.

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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

Post Election Pledge

OK, this damn election is driving us absolutely batty. We've already checked FiveThirtyEight.com thirteen thousand times today even though we know the nightly polling thread won't be up until, well, nighttime. We've checked Salon.com's War Room, desperately hoping for even more news of the dissension within the McCain camp, which we gloriously lap up like thirsty Kanagroos in the Outback.

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

Colin Powell's Endorsement

Sure, most of the time endorsements don't mean a whole lot. And this one might not either. Although, I suspect it might be more symptomatic of a larger sea change. Or it might just help in Virginia, which would be enough.

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.)

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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.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MP3 of the Week: "It's the Stupidity, Stupid" Edition or, "Why Barack Should Be Concerned"

(Ed. Note: This post was written about a week ago but got taken down by the powers that be.

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.

----

Beck - "Modern Guilt"

(Here's a link to listen to it.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

MP3 of the Week: "Sarah Silverman Makes Me Wish I Were Jewish" Edition



OK so even before this video, she's made me wish I were Jewish. Sarah Silverman is the mother of all Shiksas.

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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

MP3 of the Week: "We've Officially Bottomed Out" Edition




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

So Is Sarah Palin Really Pro-Life?

Seems like an absurd question, right? But we bring it up to illustrate a point that we've been wrestling with.

(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.)

Check it:

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.