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Friday Talking Points [161] -- April Fools

[ Posted Friday, April 1st, 2011 – 16:47 PDT ]

To clarify that title: when you pull a prank on this particular day, you're supposed to reveal yourself as the prankster by yelling "April Fools!" (or even, as a purist might insist, "April Fools'!"). I am not doing so, hence the absence of the exclamation mark. Sadly, my task is today is not to prank anyone (I did that last year and promised I wouldn't do it again), but to catalogue the recent spate of foolishness from our national political arena. A sober list of the fools of April, rather than an excited "April Fools!" gotcha, in other words. Well, maybe not all that sober. You decide.

Speaking of foolishness, I have to begin by admitting how big a fool I am. This week, I was supposed to announce the winners of last week's "Name That War" contest. I fully intended to do so, but then when I sat down to write today, I was so consumed by all the other foolishness that I plumb forgot about judging the contest. I sincerely apologize for being this sort of a forgetful fool this week, and by way of compensation declare that the contest is still open (go read last week's article for context) and we'll still be accepting suggested replacements for (shudder) "Operation Odyssey Dawn" this week. Mea culpa all around, as well.

But back to Washington's fools. Much of this foolishness has been emanating from the Republican side of the aisle. Topping the list is a bill the United States House of Representatives passed today which declares themselves the sole arbiter of what is the "law of the land" in America. Or something. I wrote about this earlier in the week, complete with snarky references to both Schoolhouse Rock and South Park, if you're interested.

In other foolish Republican news, Ben Quayle (son of "Lil' Danny" Quayle) apparently thinks he's a comedian. His audience, sadly for him, did not seem to agree.

Speaking of comedians, several political donors have been having lots of fun filling out their "occupation" on the federal forms required to donate large sums of money to politicians. Most popular amusing response: "Domestic goddess." Others almost as amusing: "slave", "human being", and "Obama momma."

A Republican lawmaker in Montana is decrying DUI laws as "destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years." You just can't make this stuff up, folks. Oh, did I mention he owns a bar?

War fever has apparently struck Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, as they vie to denounce Libya's Ghaddafi in the strongest possible terms. They've both conveniently forgotten, apparently, that they traveled to Libya in August of 2009 in part to aid Ghaddafi in buying American military equipment. Strange thing, selective memory, isn't it? Graham was even quoted this week, referring to Ghaddafi: "I believe he's an international terrorist." Um, doesn't that make you a terrorist supporter for helping arm him, then, Senator Graham? Just wondering.

President Obama is foolishly avoiding the word "war" and instead the White House came up with the Orwellian "kinetic military action" to describe what America is doing in Libya. Or perhaps they were just trying to insult Ghaddafi, who knows? After all, "KMA" is a common acronym for "kiss my ass" these days....

The president also, quite foolishly, accepted an award for transparency -- and barred the public and the media from the acceptance ceremony. This is cringe-worthy foolishness, folks.

The first big, nationally-television Republican presidential candidate debate has been postponed for half a year, reportedly due to lack of "serious" candidates. This begs the question: How can you tell? Let's take a look at who is running (or reportedly thinking about running), shall we?

Michele Bachmann -- no further comment necessary.

Rick Santorum -- recently said that abortion is the cause of Social Security's problems.

Haley Barbour -- now pushing to build a civil rights museum in Mississippi, in a desperate effort to shed his "Southern good-ol'-boy" image. Um, good luck with that, Haley.

Donald Trump -- who has somehow convinced the media to take him seriously as a candidate, suggests that Obama's not releasing his birth certificate because "it says he's a Muslim."

Herman Cain -- (who has also somehow convinced the media he's a serious candidate) in direct violation of the Constitution, says he will impose a religious test on anyone he names to his cabinet -- no Muslims need apply.

Newt Gingrich -- who is somehow simultaneously arguing that America will soon be taken over by both atheists and radical Islamists. Um, atheist Islamists, Newt? Really? Wow.

And, finally, Sarah Palin -- again, no further comment necessary.

No wonder the network decided to wait a few months to have a debate. Heh.

Moving right along, we've got yet another story exposing Tea Party Republican politicians' hypocrisy -- because they've taken enormous amounts of federal money for themselves, in the form of farm subsidies. Guess all federal spending isn't so evil, eh, guys? Especially when your name is on that "Pay to the order of" line, right?

A Fox News executive was recently caught on tape admitting that the whole "Obama is a socialist" thing was just a big joke, and not any sort of "news" at all. What a surprise!

As I said, it's been quite a week for foolishness. To top it off, every single Republican who has been mentioned as a possible contender for the presidential candidacy just announced that they were all kidding.

Well, no. That last one was a joke. Sadly, all of the other items on the list were not. Have a happy April Fools' Day, everyone!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

President Obama gave a pretty good speech at the beginning of this week (a half-hour early, so as to not interfere with prime-time network scheduling... have we got our priorities straight as a country, or what?), in which he attempted to answer his critics. It was actually a pretty forceful speech, when compared with some other Obama speeches. But the jury is still out on Obama's Libyan gamble, and this week's news from the battlefront was nowhere near as good as the news just before he gave the speech, so we're going to continue waiting to hand out any sort of award on the Libyan situation.

We have to at least hand out Honorable Mentions this week to Senators Joe Lieberman and John Kerry. Not for supporting Obama on the war in Libya, but for joining together with John McCain to come up with a resolution the Senate can debate and vote on. No matter how you feel on the war, on Libya, on Obama, or on Obama getting congressional approval, this is the "correct" way to do things. If Congress approves of a war, so be it. If they don't approve of a war, that's OK too. But either way, without a resolution to debate, it is nothing more than hot air. We'll revisit this subject in the MDDOTW section in a moment, but for now we have to at least recognize that Kerry and Lieberman are just about the only ones putting their Libyan convictions on the line up on Capitol Hill.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is none other than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton -- again, whether you agree with President Obama's actions in Libya or not -- has proven herself indispensable in the past few weeks, as she travels all over the world competently doing her job. Clinton has had a lot on her plate, with the Arab Spring movement erupting in multiple countries for the past few months, and she has so far done an admirable job as the spokesperson for American foreign policy. Both in private discussions and public appearances, Hillary has been downright remarkable. For doing such a good job of personifying America's stance on the world's stage, Hillary Clinton is this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Secretary of State Hillary Clinton does not seem to have a State Department contact webpage, so you'll have to let her boss at the White House contact page know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Whether intentional or not, we've got to at least give a (Dis-)Honorable Mention to the nameless person in the Obama administration who leaked the fact that their are C.I.A. agents currently operating in Libya. What were you guys thinking? Were you thinking? To be fair, leaks in the midst of war can actually be a good thing. The Obama White House leaked a presidential directive which could lead to the U.S. arming the rebels. That is a targeted message to Ghaddafi -- which is doubtlessly why it leaked. But admitting that we've got C.I.A. "feet on the ground" (I have no idea if they wear boots or not) is just stupid and dangerous. So, no matter how far up the chain it happened, the decision to leak this information was nothing short of monumentally stupid. There's a war on, guys. Please think twice next time a reporter calls you.

But our real winners of the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award are pretty much every Democrat in Congress who has criticized the Libyan war -- and not done anything about it. Again, this doesn't even matter how you feel about the war itself. Principled opposition is fine and good, and downright American. But simply complaining without actually doing anything is spineless and opportunist and downright wimpy.

Remember when the war began? Congress was on vacation. Did any anti-war Democrat call loudly for the immediate reconvening of Congress? Not that I am aware of. Congress has now been in session for a week, and the war is almost two weeks old. Has any anti-war Democrat loudly called for a formal resolution to be introduced in Congress against the Libyan war? Well, actually, a few of them have. But for any other Democrat who has complained about Obama's actions -- who has not actually actively supported a congressional resolution -- you guys should be ashamed of yourselves. By carping from the sidelines, you are quite obviously hedging your political bets. You, to be blunt, are waiting to see how it all turns out. If you do oppose the war in Libya, then put your vote where your mouth is. Because that is principled anti-war opposition. Congress has had two weeks to do something. They have done nothing, and other than a few Democrats who are working on a pro-war resolution (as mentioned in the MIDOTW section) and a few Democrats who are pushing anti-war resolutions, the rest of the pack is doing absolutely nothing, while waiting to see how it all turns out.

Again -- for the war or against the war -- all Democrats in Congress who haven't clearly stated their position and how they will vote are hereby lumped together in our collective Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. Put up or shut up, folks.

[You'll have to research your own members of Congress to find out where they stand on this one, sorry. Providing contact info for such a large group is just impossible, at this point.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 161 (4/1/11)

Senator Charles Schumer was "caught" this week trying to get Democrats to use a talking point. In a conference call with reporters, Schumer apparently didn't realize the phone lines were already open, and was heard telling his colleagues what the Democratic Caucus thought should be their spin on the issue being discussed.

For this, Schumer deserves praise, and not ridicule. It's about damn time Democrats tried to get their party members speaking off the same page! It should really come as no surprise that we here at Friday Talking Points Central are actually in favor of Democrats using talking points, at least not to anyone who's ever made it to the bottom of one of these seemingly-endless columns. Ahem.

Some on the Left decry the use of talking points altogether. The very concept is supposed to be bad, somehow. This is balderdash. Can a hammer be "bad"? Can a pair of pliers? No! They cannot! They can be used in "good" or "bad" ways, but they are merely tools in a toolbox. The same holds true for this political tool.

The thing is, talking points work. They work no matter what the content of the talking point may be. It is called "repetition," as every advertiser knows. The classic example is a radio advertisement. To get through to their audience, pretty much every single radio ad made repeats the contact information (phone number, web address) at least three times. Don't believe me? Turn on a radio and listen. That's right folks, I said turn on a radio and listen. Drop what you are doing, go over to the radio, and turn it on right now, and listen to a few ads.

See what I just did, there? It was annoying, wasn't it? But I'll bet a week from now you'll remember my "turn on the radio" example. That's the way it works. And it works best if the message is simple, concise, and easy for folks to wrap their minds around -- a "talking point," or a "soundbite."

Talking points work. Senator Schumer deserves all kinds of kudos for using them, and trying to get other Democrats to use them as well. Democrats wouldn't get so hammered in the media when they frame the issues badly if they could learn this simple trick.

My suggested talking points this week aren't the best I've ever written, mostly because there are so many things going on currently that Democrats haven't really come together on. Also, because there are a few funny ones (to mark this auspicious date). But try using a few of these, Democrats, and see how well they work -- that's all we ever ask here.

 

1
   How is "improved a full point" bad news?

This one is a personal bugaboo of mine. The media have all decided that no good news on the economy is even possible at this point in time. They've held to this for the past few months, even though some amazingly good news has happened on the unemployment front. Even Lefty news sources have joined this doom-and-gloom chorus, for reasons unknown. Sure, things could be better, but just a few months ago they were decidedly worse. So why is this not good news?

"I see that the unemployment rate fell again last month. In fact, in the past four months, the unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point -- which is one of the steepest declines ever seen since unemployment records have been kept. Four short months ago we faced 9.8 percent unemployment. Today, the rate has fallen to 8.8 percent. That is an astonishing decline. Sure, this is not where we'd like it to be -- it is still way too high. But it is coming down, and I fail to understand why this is not treated as good news by certain members of the media. There are a lot of people still out of work, and we've got a lot more ground to gain on this front, but it is impossible to deny that things are heading in the right direction. A full point drop in four months is actually a very optimistic sign for the American economy, and America's future. Let's continue to work to improve this number, but let's also note the improvement we have made and are making."

 

2
   The Tea Party moment of truth

What's going to happen on the budget next week is going to set the stage for the rest of this congressional session. Because it will be the true test of the Tea Party Republicans' power. Will they force a government shutdown in defiance of their Republican leadership? Or will they have to watch as a compromise bill passes without their support? Oh, and as Chuck Schumer suggested, feel free to use the word "extreme," quite liberally. Heh.

"The House Republicans are going to be very interesting to watch over the next week, as the budget showdown comes down to the wire. If a bill isn't passed by Friday, the government will shut down. The Tea Party Republicans faction in the House seems determined not to compromise one tiny little bit from the extreme position they've staked out. Republicans in the Senate, however, seem willing to work something out with Democrats and the White House. I wouldn't want to be in Speaker John Boehner's shoes next week, as he will be faced with either shutting down the government or getting a bipartisan vote out of Democrats and the non-extreme members of his party. Either way, he's going to upset a certain segment of his base, so it will be interesting to see which he chooses in the end. Will the extremists' tail wag the Republican dog, or not?"

 

3
   Vote on Libya, one way or another

This is a continuation of the MDDOTW section, obviously.

"For all those people in Congress who have been complaining about what President Obama is doing in Libya, and how he should have gotten congressional approval, why haven't you done anything yet? Where is your resolution which says exactly what America should do in Libya? Do you support Obama on Libya? Then where is your resolution authorizing force? Do you disagree with Obama? Then were is your resolution stating this, and condemning Obama's use of force? It's easy to complain from the sidelines that you don't have a role, but it's been two weeks now, and I haven't seen Congress debating anything on Libya yet. Which only goes to strengthen the presidents' argument that waiting for Congress to act would have condemned the effort to endless dithering."

 

4
   How about some freakin' numbers?!?

This is also a pet peeve of mine. Radiation has now been detected in milk in California and Washington state. And yet, still no real numbers from the media. I ranted about this at length in the introduction to FTP [159] two weeks ago, so I'm just going to cut and past an excerpt of this rant, and direct it towards the media, once again. To date, I have seen exactly one newspaper article which had a chart that plotted millisieverts. One.

Because I am addressing the blow-dried "journalist" segment of the population here, I will use small words. You see, there is this thing called "science." What science does, it measures stuff. It puts numbers on things, usually using a scale so that comparisons can be made. Nuclear power is, actually, part of this "science" stuff. Radiation is, actually, measurable. Your viewers would benefit if you started communicating these measurements on the air.

There are a number of different measurements which could be used. The old (pre-metric system) measurement of the dosage of nuclear radiation for humans was the "rem." This has been updated to the metric "sievert." Japanese media report the radiation danger using "millisieverts" (1/1,000th of a sievert) and "microsieverts" (1/1,000,000th of a sievert) per hour. These numbers can easily be compared to normal background radiation (which we all get a dose of every day), and the tried-and-true "chest X-ray" example ("the equivalent of two chest X-rays"). It takes about ten seconds to explain the concept -- ten seconds the American media has so far not spent.

The raw radioactivity could be measured another way, in "curies" (or millicuries, etc.). Either way, using numbers gives people a way to compare the situation, day-to-day, and can be used to calm worries about how much radiation has been picked up by the winds and is now hitting the West Coast of America.

 

5
   What if they gave a tea party and nobody came?

OK, this is pure snark, I have to admit.

"Did you see the Tea Party rally at the Capitol last week? From the photos and video I saw, it looked like more members of the media showed up than actual participants in the rally. There were, to be charitable, perhaps a few hundred people listening to Tea Party Republican politicians pander to them, in naked fear of their power. But from what I could tell, this power appears to be seriously waning. Of course, I haven't checked Fox News for their numbers on the rally, doubtlessly they'll reassure their viewers that a few million people showed up, and were just hiding back in the trees or something."

 

6
   The first Obama re-election ad?

To counter the snarkiness of the last item, I'm going to give the National Republican Senatorial Committee a slot this week (which I believe is fairly unprecedented in this space).

"Did you see the first Obama re-election ad? April Fools!"

 

7
   Got any spare Italian automobiles?

Finally, to counter that last piece of nonsense, we have an even funnier piece of nonsense.

"I saw recently that Republican state legislator Sean Duffy of Wisconsin apparently can't make ends meet with his $174,000 salary. The local Democrats have responded by holding a donation drive today -- the first of April -- for kindly folks to donate their spare top hats, monocles, spats, and Italian automobiles. I strongly urge everyone to join in the spirit of this auspicious day by giving what they can to poor, poor Sean Duffy. The ultimate irony in this story is that Duffy is married to a former actress from the Real World television show. Too bad Duffy and his wife have no clue how people in the actual 'real world' have to make ends meet."

 

-- Chris Weigant

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress

 

33 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [161] -- April Fools”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    This is really kind of a "Program Note" for everyone. Recently, ads have appeared here with sound. This is not supposed to happen, and we at ChrisWeigant.com apologize. Here is a message from Banter Media Group, which asks for your help in tracking them down:

    We've recently been hit with a spate of audio ads - we have a strict no sound policy at BMG so obviously this is not acceptable. If you or your readers spot one, could you please inform me and give me as much information about the ad as possible? We've been busy tracking down the ad and it appears to be coming from multiple sources. The more we know about it the better.

    Apologies for any inconvenience, and I hope you all have a great weekend!

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    But simply complaining without actually doing anything is spineless and opportunist and downright wimpy.

    Why it's.... It's..... Positively REPUBLICAN!!!! :D

    Some on the Left decry the use of talking points altogether. The very concept is supposed to be bad, somehow. This is balderdash. Can a hammer be "bad"? Can a pair of pliers? No! They cannot! They can be used in "good" or "bad" ways, but they are merely tools in a toolbox. The same holds true for this political tool.

    It always gave me a good laugh when I hear the Hysterical Left (you know who you are!! :D) slam and attack the use of Talking Points..

    As you say, it's a tool...

    I think the Hysterical Left has done the Left a grave disservice by trying to demonize Talking Points...

    This is really kind of a "Program Note" for everyone. Recently, ads have appeared here with sound. This is not supposed to happen, and we at ChrisWeigant.com apologize. Here is a message from Banter Media Group, which asks for your help in tracking them down:

    I am VERY happy this was mentioned as it has been a REAL pain in the arse of late.. Normally when I am perusing CW I have either music playing in the background (Meatloaf, Kansas, Cheap Trick, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Barry Manilow... YES THAT Barry Manilow... :D) or it's early (like now) and I have no sound on.. But then the ads start blaring and I have to switch thru 8-12 different web pages I have up to find the one that's producing the sound...

    I am not sure who to contact but, if you can pass it on, the two ads I have heard most often was for BOUNCE and RESOLVE....

    Make sure they know that it was MICHALE who passed on this info.. That oughta get their knickers in a bunch!!! :D

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Hey, I was up late at night and had to deal with the sound-enabled ads waking up my wife, so I can relate.

    I had to gingerly use the word "tool," as it has a more sinster meaning, but I'm glad you got the gist of what I was saying.

    OK, I can't resist. Here is my critique of your musical styles: Meatloaf, well, we agree on that one. Kansas, wonderful keyboards, and wonderful "Bleeding Kansas" album cover. "Father Padilla Meets The Perfect Gnat" has always been a favorite of mine, personally... to say nothing of "Portrait: He Knew," "Closet Chronicles," or "Nobody's Home," for that matter. The rest of that lineup (Cheap Trick? Really?) I will pass on commenting on, for our mutual benefit (Barry Freakin' Mainlow? You have GOT to be kidding...).

    Search Google for an audio track of "The Jezebel Spirit" by Brian Eno and David Byrne... that's what I'm listeing to, currently....

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    I will pass on commenting on, for our mutual benefit (Barry Freakin' Mainlow? You have GOT to be kidding...).

    Brings back a LOT of good memories. hehehehehehe

    For the record, heard another AD right now. AIR WICK

    Michale......

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Another Audio Ad... Airwick again....

    And then a VERY loud, VERY repetitive and VERY annoying TREASURE JEWEL GAME ad....

    Did I say VERY??? :D

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    As you note, CW, the Unemployment figures have been getting better and better since the GOP was voted into power..

    Hmmmmmmmm

    Interesting, iddn't it?? :D

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Chris, I know I asked you about this a while back,
    but what is going on with the "new" Huffpo? They seem to randomly choose which of your pieces they'll
    run, and place them in ludicrous sections...One of your wry but serious efforts was in the Comedy page.
    It isn't a true problem for me, as I always come to this site to read you; but I DO miss being able to read Huffpo reader reactions to your thoughts. I miss the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday postings which were nearly always on their front page or politics section. Have they given you a reason for this?

  8. [8] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The rest of that lineup (Cheap Trick? Really?) I will pass on commenting.

    I'm w/Michale on this one! One of the best power pop live bands ever. Endlessly duplicated. Rarely matched.

    p.s. Brian Eno hasn't done much I've liked since "Here Come the Warm Jets" ... :) But I'm intrigued by the David Byrne collaboration.

  9. [9] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Whups ... just got hit by an Easy Off audio ad

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can handle a 10-sec blurb for Easy Off or Air Wick...

    But that constant reverbing booom de de de boom booom de de de boooom booom de de de boooom booom de de de boooom from TREASURE JEWEL Online Game needs to be sent to Gitmo because it will extract confessions from terrorists in 30 seconds flat!!

    On another note....

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef014e872effbf970d-300wi

    THAT right there is funny as hell!! :D

    Michale.....

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I'm w/Michale on this one! One of the best power pop live bands ever. Endlessly duplicated. Rarely matched.

    Does this mean yer a Barry Manilow fan too?? :D ehhehehehehehehehehe

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting article to go with that "Campaign Button" above...

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/04/hillary-clinton-obama-john-phillips.html

    Depending on who the GOP fields, *I* could be persuaded to vote for Hillary..

    That's how much Obama has disappointed me...

    And I doubt that I am the only Independent/NPA who feels that way...

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Does this mean yer a Barry Manilow fan too?? :D ehhehehehehehehehehe

    Now that's just uncalled for!

    :)

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now that's just uncalled for!

    hehehehehehehe Too funny!!! :D

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news, looks like our favorite Koran burning moron is in the news again... :^(

    Ya know, I am hard pressed to figure out which are the bigger morons...

    The guy who does something so blatantly provocative??

    Or the moron Muslims whose actions prove that everything the first moron says about them is true...

    Jeeesh.. What a world...

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know.. I am really becoming concerned for Obama's health..

    http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/9134304/obama-uturn-us-to-try-911-accused-at-guantanamo/

    Such 180 degree shifts in policy simply cannot be good for the skeletal structure.....

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [6] -

    Actually, the private sector's been adding jobs for 13 months now... since Obama's stimulus plan kicked in, in other words.

    Heh. :-)

    Name me ONE THING Republicans have done to improve the economy (one thing they've actually DONE, not just grandstanded on) since the election, and I'll eat my words, how's that? I bet you can't...

    Kevin -

    AOL/HuffPost does their own thing without input from me. Just wanted to say that, up front. They seem to have a problem with timely posts, that's for sure. I post at the same time I always have, but there seems to be no editor home on the weekends and evenings these days. If you'd like to complain, please do so -- to the HuffPost editors. It certainly is annoying, I agree with you fully.

    For instance, this article finally posted on Monday:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/friday-talking-points-161_b_843901.html

    No comments, though, which isn't too surprising (given the delay).

    akadjian -

    I didn't like a lot of early 80s stuff (Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Cars, etc.), so this is a personal preference, I guess. That sort of "anthem rock" thing didn't do a whole lot for me, mostly because it was all so overplayed on the radio at the time. Give me Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, or Crack The Sky (obscure Baltimore band, but quite excellent, really) any day.

    As for Eno/Byrne, you really need to check out "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts" as it is fantastic. It was an experimental album (no surprise, given those two), and used instead of lyrics random bits recorded off the radio. They even got sued because they used some famous guy and only listed him as "unidentified radio evangelist," as I recall. Anyway, it is somewhere between the Talking Heads and Eno musically, but with the weird lyrics is one-of-a-kind. If you liked Eno (my favorite is still Another Green World), you'll love this, I guarantee it.

    Michale [16] -

    Hey, c'mon, I thought you'd approve! "Only thing he's done right since he shot those pirates" is more what I expected from you...

    Heh.

    -CW

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Name me ONE THING Republicans have done to improve the economy (one thing they've actually DONE, not just grandstanded on) since the election, and I'll eat my words, how's that? I bet you can't...

    Nope, I can't..

    I don't know enough about economics to know one way or the other..

    But I DO know a little about politics. And I know that, had the Democrats not been shellacked in the last election, they would be crowing about how they have helped the Unemployment rate go down. :D

    So, what's good for the goose.......

    "What's good for the goose is nobody's business by the ganders!!"
    -Mr Furley, THREES COMPANY

    I didn't like a lot of early 80s stuff (Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Cars, etc.),

    I dunno if I would put REO in the same class as Journey or Cheap Trick. REO was more of a ballad song group, a la Air Supply...

    Give me Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, or Crack The Sky

    "I tell you one thing that really drives me nuts, is people who think that Jethro Tull is just a person in a band."
    -Oscar, ARMAGEDDON

    :D

    Hey, c'mon, I thought you'd approve! "Only thing he's done right since he shot those pirates" is more what I expected from you...

    Yer absotively right. In addition to commenting on the flip-flop, I SHOULD have given credit to Obama for finally doing the right thing..

    I stand corrected. :D

    But I also must add that it's a strange way to fire up his base... :D

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I didn't like a lot of early 80s stuff (Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Cars, etc.), so this is a personal preference, I guess.

    *ouch* It wounds me that you lump Cheap Trick and the Cars in with REO and Journey. I think Cheap Trick and the Cars have more in common with bands like Big Star or the Knack.

    Heartbeat City might have gotten a little schlocky, but early Cars, especially w/ Benjamin Orr singing, is some of my favorite music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbXzAAXOBsY

    Ok, I'm over it now :)
    -David

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. I'll definitely check the Eno/Byrne collaboration. Love me some Talking Heads.

  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    That's how much Obama has disappointed me...

    Glenn Greenwald sums up my feelings exactly with the Democrats and their base.

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/04/05/democrats/index.html

    Here's my question. If Obama's not pleasing me by constantly trying to appease the "middle". And he's not pleasing you even though he's doing what you want him to do.

    Who is he pleasing?

    Now, Obama may very well win because the Republicans seem completely incapable to this date of finding a candidate who can win. But that seems like a helluva way to win an election. And worse, Obama has turned off a generation of people who voted for him because he sure doesn't seem to be acting on any principles.

    Yours in frustration,
    David

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regarding your Greenwald article..

    It IS an interesting question. Why does Democratic Party leadership think it's good politics to kick the Party base.

    I think the answer is because, by and large the Center and the Right hate the Left. Now, "hate" may be too strong a word but I can't come up with something that would adequately convey what I am thinking..

    And, just for the record, I don't "Hate" the Left.. I dislike some of what the Left stands for, just as I dislike some of what the Right stands for...

    My point is, I think that when Obama wants to please the Center and the Right in an effort to curry favor, then all they have to do is kick the Left...

    Now, while this may work for the Right, I don't think that the Independents will buy it for long.

    Who is he pleasing?

    Well, as his poll numbers go down, it's clear that Obama ain't pleasing much of anyone. :D

    The Left is not pleased because Obama is violating the integrity of the Left...

    The Right is not pleased because Obama is not doing everything the Right wants him to do.

    The Center is not pleased because they recognize that Obama is just trying to kiss their asses in an attempt to curry political favor.

    Like I have said before, Obama is creating himself a perfect Lose Lose situation..

    If the GOP can't field a decent alternative, I am praying that Hillary will mount a primary challenge to Obama, because THAT is the only thing that can save this country from another 4 years of Obama...

    And yes, I join you in disbelief that I am actually HOPING that Hillary runs.. :D

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lysol Audio Ad just hit....

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    French's Mustard Audio ad.. Followed by may all time favorite, Treasure Jewel game...

    CW, if ya want, I can post this directly to a Banter Media commentary.. That is, if they unban me. :D hjehehehehehehehe

    Michale.....

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apologies for going off topic on this, but I just HAVE to share this with ya'all!!! :D

    The New Commodore 64
    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/the-new-commodore-64-updated-with-its-old-exterior/?partner=rss&emc=rss

    For those of you who have been with computers since the TRS80/VIC 20 days, this is awesome!!! :D

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [18] -

    But I DO know a little about politics. And I know that, had the Democrats not been shellacked in the last election, they would be crowing about how they have helped the Unemployment rate go down. :D

    So, what's good for the goose.......

    Oh, OK. Well, I can't disagree. I've always said that business cycles are fairly independent of political cycles, but that hasn't ever stopped either party from claiming credit (or assigning blame), so I would have to say, on general principles, I agree with what you're saying here.

    My general feeling on the unemployment rate is mystification (and some rage) at the MSM for continually reporting good news as bad. It's not political, in other words, it's a media thing.

    Oh, come on... REO is almost indistinguishable from Journey. I mean, really.

    I'll comment later on my general music ideology, just had to say that. I actually saw the "Journey reunion" which happened at Bill Graham's wake (in Golden Gate Park, look it up), and it was kind of cool -- not that I'd ever shell out money to see them, or anything. That was a pretty interesting show all around, with Bobby McFerrin, the Grateful Dead, Joe Satriani, and Robin Williams (not your usual lineup, in other words).

    And everybody knows that Jethro Tull was a 17th/18th century argicultural inventor, right? Ian Anderson's the guy with the flute, fronting the band. As Anderson said in an interview: "we were so bad when we started that we kept changing the band's name every week so we could get booked at the same clubs again... Jethro Tull just happened to be the name we were using when we hit it big..."

    :-)

    Jethro Tull is why I can always remember the guy who didn't make it down to the surface of the moon with Neil and Buzz, because they had a song called: "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, And Me."

    David -

    Also, see below for musical rant. But do check out the Byrne/Eno thing.

    And, if you really want a treat, Google "Crack The Sky" and find a copy of the song "Nuclear Apathy" as it is quite possibly the best "garage band level" song I've ever heard.

    Michale -

    Boy, Commodore 64, that takes me back... as does the Trash-80. Heh.

    As for both of you, in [21] and [22], I fear Obama has fallen into the Clintonian idea of "triangulation" where you try to not piss your base off just enough so they'll vote for you, and then impress the centrists just enough so that they'll also vote for you. Which isn't all that stupid, considering his stable polling at 45-50 percent, but it's still disappointing.

    OK, on to music.

    I'm not a big fan of the 1980s, even though I "came of age" then. I am much more in tune with the 1970s and even the 1960s, music-wise. I mean, The Knack? Seriously? Hrrmph.

    Give me Led Zeppelin, or even Uriah Heep or King Crimson any day.

    The 80s, to me, had a scant handful of original bands. U2, for one. The Talking Heads, for another (although it took me a long while to appreciate them, I have to say). Peter Gabriel's solo career, as well, was both amazing as well as launching the entire "music video" scene (trivia: the guy behind some of PG's most amazing videos in the 80s and early 90s went on to become the "Wallace and Gromit" guy...).

    Ahhhh... the 80s... when MTV actually played music videos! Heh.

    Mostly, though, I ignored the 1980s musically. No great loss, as far as I can tell.

    :-)

    Eno, however, is a genius. He's the one who smoothed out the whole U2 sound, in fact, due to his work as a producer. Pre-Eno U2 and Post-Eno U2 are very different indeed, and the post-Eno U2 is the band that made it big on the world stage. I rest my case.

    Oh, and Mike Oldfield, he also did some interesting things in the 1980s. Saw him live in Paris, one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

    Let's see, what else... Jimi Hendrix was God's gift to the electric guitar, can we all at least agree on that?

    :-)

    -CW

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, come on... REO is almost indistinguishable from Journey. I mean, really.

    Really?? I have always thought of REO as a love song soupy ballad song group, as I mentioned, a'la Air Supply... Not that THAT is a bad thing.. I lost my....er.. well, moving on.. :D

    Anyways, I have always thought of Journey as a hard rock type band ala KISS and GUNZnROSES...

    Granted Journey does have some ballad type love songs, but so do KISS and GnR...

    Ahhhh... the 80s... when MTV actually played music videos! Heh.

    I agree with THAT sentiment 1000%!! :D

    I mean, The Knack? Seriously? Hrrmph.

    Ma Ma Ma MY SHARONA!!!! :D ehehehehehhehehe

    Let's see, what else... Jimi Hendrix was God's gift to the electric guitar, can we all at least agree on that?

    No doubt...

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    He's the one who smoothed out the whole U2 sound, in fact, due to his work as a producer. Pre-Eno U2 and Post-Eno U2 are very different indeed, and the post-Eno U2 is the band that made it big on the world stage.

    A-ha! I think you may have found where we differ. Though I'm a U2 fan, I don't think they ever had a better album than War.

    I thought Emo ... heheh, Freudian slip ... almost destroyed them on The Unforgettable Fire.

    He took a raw, edgy powerful band and, as you say, smoothed them out. The result: "In the name of luuuuuuuuvvvvvv ..."

    Bleh.

    Pre-Eno U2 and Post-Eno U2 are very different indeed, and the post-Eno U2 is the band that made it big on the world stage. I rest my case.

    So Eno popularized them?

    I rest mine. LOL.

    Ok, sorry, the ranting about something other than politics is fun. I love to talk music.

    Led Zeppelin. Hendrix. Some King Crimson. I can agree on all of them!

    Any T.Rex, Badfinger, or Clash fans out there? I guess I lean towards raw pop. Probably why I like Nirvana so much.

    When it comes down to it, I think people in general tend to like music that reminds them of a certain time. For me it's seems to be about 1983 and 1991 :)

    -David

    p.s. I'm with 'ya, Michale. REO is much closer to Air Supply!

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    About the 80s and unoriginality.

    I just remembered that Rolling Stone had to include The Clashes' "London Calling" in the 80s when they were looking for most significant albums of the decade even though it came out in England in '79.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    p.s. I'm with 'ya, Michale. REO is much closer to Air Supply!

    Pretty soon I'll have you singing WEEKEND IN NEW ENGLAND or LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT or I WRITE THE SONGS..... :D

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Pretty soon I'll have you singing WEEKEND IN NEW ENGLAND or LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT or I WRITE THE SONGS..... :D

    Nnnnnnoooooooo!!! I would rather pour rock salt over my burning flesh!

    :)

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    What about earlier Rock??

    The Eagles?? Bob Seger??

    Michale.....

  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The Eagles?? Bob Seger??

    There are way better Bob's to listen to :).

    I'm ok w/ the Eagles though they seem to be way overplayed.

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