Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Don't Even Have to Change Sarah Palin's Words to Make Fun of Her on SNL

Watch Sarah Palin's original answer here, then watch the SNL spoof on it. Tina Fey pretty much just reads the transcript.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Story

Hey, so I have a short fiction piece up over at mnartists.org. They describe it as:

David Doody's winning flash fiction, "On Telling Her about the Short Story 'On Wanting to Get Three Walls Up Before She Gets Home,'" is a funny little meta-fiction gem about love, writing, and home improvement.


I kind of like that. Read it here>>>

Live-Blogging from the Debates

So, I'm going to condense all of the live-blogging from the debates into one post here. In case anyone cared.

Friday, September 26, 2008
"The Iranians have a lousy Government. Therefore they have a lousy economy." Hmmm, so he just called the U.S. gov't lousy.
Posted by David at 10:05 PM 0 comments
Obama just answered John McCain's story about parents telling him not to have let their children have died for no reason. All the parents except those who want to pull the troops out because they don't want other parents to go through what they have gone through.
Posted by David at 9:59 PM 0 comments
Add threats to Russia to the list of Iran and N. Korea.
Posted by David at 9:56 PM 0 comments
Did McCain just admit to starting the Taliban? I think if people can say that Al Gore said he started the internet, McCain's statement just indicted him as one of the founders of the Taliban.
Posted by David at 9:53 PM 0 comments
Live-blogging with the knowledge that no one is reading the live-blogging. How big of a loser does that make me? (Leave answers in the comments section)
Posted by David at 9:51 PM 1 comments
Actually, John, in Senator Obama's original plan we never would have been in Iraq, so no need for the surge.
Posted by David at 9:49 PM 0 comments
Actually, John, in Senator Obama's original plan we never would have been in Iraq, so no need for the surge.
Posted by David at 9:49 PM 0 comments
What the fuck does winning in Iraq mean anyway?! Does it mean killing 20,000 more Iraqis? 40,000? How many?
Posted by David at 9:46 PM 0 comments
"John, you like to pretend that the war started in 2007." -Barack Obama. Nice.
Posted by David at 9:44 PM 0 comments
10 billion dollars a month...hmmm, let's go back to that question on where we could cut spending.
Posted by David at 9:42 PM 0 comments
Do you think that John McCain knows what the Sunni Awakening is? Or do you think it's like the Bush Doctrine for Sarah Palin?
Posted by David at 9:40 PM 0 comments
Oh good. The Iraq War. Again, let's not just look back a couple years to what may or may not have succeeded then. Let's go ahead and look back to the lead up to the war when Obama OPPOSED a needless war. Such short term memories on these people.
Posted by David at 9:39 PM 0 comments
Apparently John McCain hasn't been elected as Ms. Congeniality. I didn't even know he was in the running.
Posted by David at 9:38 PM 0 comments
"I want to make sure we're not handing the health care system over to the federal government." -John McCain.

Really? But handing over our whole economic system is ok? Hmmmmmm.
Posted by David at 9:36 PM 0 comments
Friday, September 26, 2008
How can these people still argue for less regulation when it has shown that the market will not right itself? And then they only want regulation when they need to bail out their rich friends. If it's broke, change it. Don't keep arguing it will correct itself.
Posted by David at 9:30 PM 0 comments

Someone tell John McCain to stop fucking laughing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Live-blogging with the knowledge that no one is reading the live-blogging. How big of a loser does that make me? (Leave answers in the comments section)

On "The Daily Show"

A while back New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani wrote of John Stewart and "The Daily Show":

"Mr. Stewart … and his writers have energetically tackled the big issues of the day -- ‘the stuff we find most interesting,’ as he said in an interview at the show’s Midtown Manhattan offices, the stuff that gives them the most ‘agita,’ the sometimes somber stories he refers to as his ‘morning cup of sadness.’ And they’ve done so in ways that straight news programs cannot: speaking truth to power in blunt, sometimes profane language, while using satire and playful looniness to ensure that their political analysis never becomes solemn or pretentious."


It's amazing that, in the pages of the New York Times the sentence "they’ve done so in ways that straight news programs cannot" can be written with seemingly little shame, apology, or call to action. Media critic Norman Solomon was perturbed by this praise in the pages of a "straight news" source as well, which led him to write this at Guernica in response:

"If -- as the New York Times soberly reported in the article -- 'straight news programs cannot' tackle the 'big issues of the day' while 'speaking truth to power,' we should ask a key question: Why not?"


Exactly. Why can't the New York Times and other "straight news programs" do this:



Forget about speaking truth to power, let's just speak truth to the people of this country whose memories are so short or whose lives are too comfortable to care that they are lied to repeatedly, over and over and over.

It's Fun to Laugh

Retelling of historical events from extremely drunk people...why didn't I think of that?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pictures of Obama



A while back MoveOn had a contest called "Manifest Hope Gallery Contest...to help spread the word about Barack Obama and the inspirational themes of his candidacy." Some of the finalists' artwork is pretty great, like this one from Larissa Brown Marantz from Orange, CA.

Free Wilco Cover of Bob Dylan Song

Click here to get the song. You just have to promise to vote.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blaming Bill Clinton for the Bush Years? Really?

I don't usually respond to articles I read online, but his one kind of pissed me off, so I wrote this. Turns out the Huffington Post doesn't let you post more than 250 words. Probably for the best, some people (ahem) can go on and on.

Here's the story from Paul Slansky at the HP about how Bill Clinton is to blame for the Bush years and how it will "be on" him if Obama loses. Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?

And here's my (extended) response (I can't even find my truncated version in the comment section of the article. Shows how much I do this. If anyone finds it--under dluke--let me know what page it's on.):

I'm assuming someone already would have mentioned all of this, but I it's important enough to state again. First, it's not Bill's job to do anything for Obama. It's just not. Second, blaming Bill Clinton and the blowjobs he received while in office for the Bush years is absolutely absurd. I, as a Democrat, am offended by such an accusation. Let's not lose sight of who is actually to blame for the Bush year, namely, Bush and his cronies. To suggest it was in some way Clinton's fault is a joke. If you want to look to some Democrats for blame, why not look at the complete ineptitude of both the Al Gore and John Kerry campaigns. But certainly not Bill Clinton. If a campaign needs one person to put them over the top (as Mr. Slansky is suggesting for the Obama campaign, and I'm sure would be his explanation for the Gore "loss.") then some serious retooling of that campaign needs to be done. Third, having Bill campaign as rigorously as Mr. Slansky is calling for could easily do as much damage as good. I know many independent voters who can't stand Hillary or Bill and their praise for Obama does nothing for these voters if not make them think twice about voting for him. So, if you want to be as black and white as this piece is, one could say that if, for the last month of this campaign Bill does what Mr. Slansky is suggesting and campaigns so rigorously, and Obama loses one of the states where, had Bill not been such a strong supporter, Obama would have won that state, then Mr. Slansky and this whole article is to blame for the WarFest that would be McCain/Palin. Doesn't that sound ridiculous? Of course it does. As does blaming Bill Clinton for any of the past eight years or the next four. Lastly, "We forgave you for Monica, Bill..."? Who's "We"? You are definitely not talking about me. I have never felt a need to "forgive" Bill for anything he did with Monica. His response to the issue can be called into question, but that is not what is being suggested here. What is being suggested here is that "we" need to forgive Bill for the unholy act of an extramarital affair. As though "we" are in some righteous place to do so. That kind of speak sounds far too similar to things that come out of Sarah Palin's mouth, and I for one don't associate with the "we" referred to here.

What to do About the Finacial Crisis: Some Ideas From Great Minds

I have been posting all of Robert Reich's blog posts about the issues on Wall Street lately at Guernica Mag. He was the secretary of labor under President Clinton and gives very clear explanations and solutions to the current woes. Read those here, here, here, here, and here.

And then there's this from Barack Obama late last night:

The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has created a financial crisis as profound as any we have faced since the Great Depression.

Congress and the President are debating a bailout of our financial institutions with a price tag of $700 billion or more in taxpayer dollars. We cannot underestimate our responsibility in taking such an enormous step.

Whatever shape our recovery plan takes, it must be guided by core principles of fairness, balance, and responsibility to one another.

Please sign on to show your support for an economic recovery plan based on the following:

• No Golden Parachutes -- Taxpayer dollars should not be used to reward the irresponsible Wall Street executives who helmed this disaster.

• Main Street, Not Just Wall Street -- Any bailout plan must include a payback strategy for taxpayers who are footing the bill and aid to innocent homeowners who are facing foreclosure.

• Bipartisan Oversight -- The staggering amount of taxpayer money involved demands a bipartisan board to ensure accountability and oversight.
Show your support and encourage your friends and family to join you:

http://my.barackobama.com/ourplan

The failed economic policies and the same corrupt culture that led us into this mess will not help get us out of it. We need to get to work immediately on reforming the broken government -- and the broken politics -- that allowed this crisis to happen in the first place.

And we have to understand that a recovery package is just the beginning. We have a plan that will guarantee our long-term prosperity -- including tax cuts for 95 percent of families, an economic stimulus package that creates millions of new jobs and leads us towards energy independence, and health care that is affordable to every American.

It won't be easy. The kind of change we're looking for never is.

But if we work together and stand by these principles, we can get through this crisis and emerge a stronger nation.

Thank you,

Barack

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Conservative for Obama

Any rationally thinking person can see the game John McCain is playing. If I were a conservative (especially one with strong religious beliefs) or a woman I would be offended by his attacks on my intelligence. That is apparently how this guy, Wick Allison, feels. He has a column in his magazine, D, that addresses why he feels Obama is the better presidential candidate. The article is titled "A Conservative for Obama." Read it here>>>

It's refreshing to hear from conservatives who aren't buying McCains BS, especially from one who used to be on the board of directors of the National Review, a magazine that I am not all that familiar with, but in which today this idiotic story was published as the main feature on its home page. Really? If that's the type of nonsense you lead with, I don't feel much of a need to go any deeper.

(Thanks for sending the article, Molly)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Trouble the Water" Opens in Mpls.

A documentary on Katrina and the government's lack of response is now playing at the Lagoon in Minneapolis. If you're in the Twin Cities go check it out.

Republican's Love Nixon

Though Republicans always extol the virtues of the Reagan years, when it comes time to practice what they preach they are much closer to Nixon.


Illustration by KAL from the Economist


My favorite part of this article from the Economist (Thanks, Trev):


"Nixon's original insight remains as true now as it was in the late
1960s: lots of liberals do, indeed, look down on flyover Americans as
stump-toothed imbeciles and, for some strange reason, lots of flyover Americans resent them for it." (emphasis added)


Why do you care if someone from Vermont or New York thinks you're an idiot?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Link Round Up

It's getting hard just to keep up, isn't it?

Well, since these days I'm wearing my political thoughts and concerns (and anger) on my sleeve more and more, the good people around me are sending me a lot of important links to important stories. Here are a few of those:

Not a lot of national attention given to the police state that was St. Paul during the RNC (if you read local sites like The Minnesota Independent and Twin Cities Daily Planet you were kept abreast.). Here's something from the New York Times>>>

McCain's radical ideas for the health care system would result in fewer young people covered and unsophisticated consumers into a marketplace that is driven and controlled by sophisticated salespeople. It will be the housing crisis all over again (as this article points out): The people selling the product on the "open market" know all the ins and outs and are only out to maximize profits, all the while hoodwinking the consumer who, necessarily based on both parties' job descriptions, knows less. And guess who will pay the price when everyone involved gets burned? If you don't know the answer to that, you haven't been paying attention, which is exactly what this article argues>>>

I've talked about McCain's total reversal of the man he once was on this blog before. Here, in the Washington Post Richard Cohen does it as well. He says, "His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir -- the person in whose hands he would leave the country -- is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for." I'd take it a step further and take out the "personal" before the "treason." The decision betrayed this country's trust in politicians so greatly that the man should be put on trial. Along with all his cohorts who have committed crimes against this country and many others around the world for the last eight years. I wouldn't change another word in this article>>>

Sarah Palin is Barack Obama's shadow:

In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of "the other."


A call to bring everything into the light to be examined by Deepak Chopra>>>

I was sent an email called Different Outlooks, which I assume many people got--it seems like one of those viral emails that makes it's way around quickly and people talk about it for a while. Still, if you haven't gotten it in your inbox, it's worth checking out. Since the author is, apparently, unknown, I'll just link to the first blog that came up when I googled "Different Outlooks Obama Palin." Looks like you may be able to stock up on some Obama gear at this site, too. Read the list of different outlooks here>>>

For a woman "to vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, 'Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs.'" I have said on this blog that I think John McCain's citizenship should be revoked for his Palin decision. Let me say this as well: If you are a woman and you vote for McCain/Palin, you will have your feminist card revoked. I'm not 100% sure I have the authority to do that, but I do know with a McCain/Palin vote you will do nothing to help the advancement of your gender (check McCain's voting record on issues that are historically of concern for women voters) and in fact will be setting back the cause that so many women--and men--have fought for for so long. Here it is: She is a pretty face who can deliver a prepared speech. That's it. Now some say the same thing about Obama, but, if anyone seriously takes the time to compare the records of the two, the claim does not hold up (and Obama can hold up in an interview; Palin's handlers won't even let her be interviewed after the Charlie Gibson debacle). If you are a woman who votes for McCain/Palin, you have never known a time when girls were shipped across the country to have their babies, where the only people affected by abortion laws were the poor and minorities. And apparently you don't care to learn about those times. More from Gloria Steinem here>>>

An unbelievably important issue that does not get enough attention: election fraud and votes going uncounted. Even if the number is 100 and not the staggeringly high numbers some people claim (180,000 votes not counted in Florida), that would be enough for a massive investigation into this issue. The biggest elephant standing in the room right now is that racism still looms large in this country. We like to think that having Obama as a serious contender for the Presidency sweeps that all under the rug. Well, it doesn't. This county is still a hugely racist one, and the manipulation of votes is a testimony to this. Check out a preview of a documentary about this issue here>>>

My mom said this evening that "The media makes the news, it doesn't report it. And it makes me sick." Well said. Here's a story from Glenn Greenwald on Salon that eerily reports the consequences of this fact (and it is a fact). (This is an old one, and many of you are probably fully aware of this story. Sorry, I'm behind on all the details of it, so I'm posting it here>>>)

Thanks to all who send me this much needed information. It is our responsibility, since the mainstream media doesn't seem to really want it, to spread this news to as many people as we can. Keep talking. If we talk about the issues, the Republicans cannot win an argument. Go ahead, keep talking about Palin, but talk about her lack of qualifications and John McCain's recklessness in choosing her. And talk about all the other issues, too. Every day for the next month and a half. That's all the time we have, so say as much as possible from now until then.

John Cusack and Chris Farley

In an article in the Huffington Post yesterday John Cusack had some insightful and scathing things to say about the McCain/Palin ticket taking the horrid and criminal tactics of the Bush/Cheney years to a whole new level. Scary thought, but one that's becoming easier and easier to imagine the more and more these people talk...and by talk, I mean lie. Can you imagine looking back two years from now if McCain is president (or maybe it would be at his funeral when president Palin is being sworn in) and thinking, "Wow, I sure wish W was still president"? I can. I had no idea that this threat existed. I thought we had seen the worst.

But, you're probably wondering just what Chris Farley has to do with any of this. Well, here's a bit from Cusack's piece at HP:

Now, no one in their right mind -- including reasonable independents and Republicans -- wants to double down on neocon ideology, but here comes the "maverick" and his economic advisers to use the crises we face to implement more "change" and "reform" to the system by privatizing everything in sight. Is this what the American people want? When they are aware of it, the answer is always no. It's the same bullshit re-branded.


Remind you of something?

Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?

Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.

(From the 1995 movie Tommy Boy starring Chris Farley)


Replace "customer's" with "country's" and "daughter's" with "economy's" and I think we have a pretty dead-on description of what we've had to deal with and what we will continue to deal with if we let McCain/Palin shit in a box and stamp it with the Bush seal of approval, the same seal of approval that, as Cusack put it, allowed for "a fuck of a lot of innocent people die." All the while being branded and guaranteed as the right thing to do.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Can Handle Conservatives if They're Not Complete Idiots

Like this guy (at least here. I haven't read anything else by him.)

Clinton/Palin Hypocrisy

I can't believe I hadn't made this connection. When the Clintons have a private matter, let's impeach Bill. When the Palins have a private family matter, then let's just stay the hell out of it.

From Frank Rich's The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket in the Times:

The same gang that once fueled Internet rumors and media feeding frenzies over the Clintons’ private lives now express pious outrage when the same fate befalls the Palins.


These people have no principles. It's all about staying in power. It has nothing to do with beliefs. But, well, by now that's an obvious statement. Otherwise someone wouldn't be up for the job of VP.

In Case You Haven't Seen It

I can't say it better than my friend Paul, so:

And a clue to Palin: It ain't no "worldview," it's an approach to foreign policy that took us preemptively into Iraq, and it could take us preemptively into Iran, North Korea, or Syria. Whether you agree with it or not, a vice president should have some semblance of an idea what it means. A lot is at stake folks.


The most important part of that quote is, "Whether you agree with it or not, a vice president should have some semblance of an idea what it means." It hearkens back to John Stewart's comments on the Obama/elitist issue: These people should be a whole lot smarter than us. So smart, in fact, that if we were to ever walk into a room with them, we should immediately feel embarrassed by just how stupid we are. I don't want someone in power who I think I might possibly be smarter than. I have enough friends; I don't give a fuck if I think it might be a good time to have a beer with one of them.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

John McCain Rips Sarah Palin

John McCain, Oct. 21, 2007 (discrediting the experience of former NYC mayor Giuliani and former Massachussets Gov. Mitt Romney):

“I need no on-the-job training. I wasn’t a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn’t a governor for a short period of time.”


Check out Eyeteeth for Sarah Palin ripping John McCain.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Exactly

"It's absurd. It's totally absurd."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Facts About John McCain's "Education" Ad

Here is everything you need to know about that obscene ad that John McCain put out a couple of days ago. From FactCheck.org.

My favorite parts:

The bill, which would have allowed only "age appropriate" material and a no-questions-asked opt-out policy for parents, was not his accomplishment to claim in any case, since he was not even a cosponsor – and the bill never left the state Senate.


Even if we wanted to argue about the merits of the bill, which I would be more than happy to do, as would Obama (which he did against Alan Keyes' same accusations in 2004), it's not even something that he could take credit for!

And this:

The last quote used in McCain's ad is attributed to the Chicago Tribune and says that Obama is "a 'staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly.' " This is actually from a piece by Steve Chapman, former associate editor of The New Republic and contributing writer to Slate and the conservative publications The Weekly Standard and The National Review. The piece isn't a Chicago Tribune editorial at all, though it's made to appear that way in the ad. And Chapman, none too pleased about how his opinion piece was featured in the ad, responded in a Sept. 10 Tribune blog entry with this:

Chapman: ... the ad itself doesn't bother explaining how the candidates differ on school vouchers, the subject of my column. Instead, it insults our intelligence by expecting us to believe that Obama thinks kindergarteners should be taught how to use condoms before they're taught to read. Right. And Joe Biden eats puppies for breakfast.


They continue to just make things up. It's unbelievable.

Maybe the World Will Be Ok

So we all know how terrible the Republicans are and how awful America's complacency is in the face of horrific acts occurring throughout the world, but maybe, just maybe, if this is a legitimate video, everything may be ok.

I'm Making Jason Doyle a Famous Photographer

Just look at all the places he is on the web with his photo credit: here and here and one more coming...

p.s. Thanks to Jay over at Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ok, This is Just Fucking Scary

I don't think John McCain should be allowed to be a citizen of this country any longer. I don't give a shit how many years he spent in a POW camp. Fuck him. This ad is sick. When you so blatantly make someone look like a pedophile...I mean seriously?! This is a presidential election and all McCain's camp can do is put out shit like this. And the morons who I apparently have to call fellow citizens eat it up and they're too stupid to even know what they are eating. Half this country should do all of us a favor and commit a mass suicide and go onto their precious afterlife and leave the rest of us here. If your god's so great, please, visit him sooner than he's expecting you.





Some responses from the Huffington Post here and here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Missed Opportunity: Rappers at Take Back Labor Day Concert Didn't Do Enough to Speak to Young People in the Crowd

Last week as the Republicans’ trip to St. Paul was delayed due to weather, some musicians still came to town for the Take Back Labor Day concert on Harriet Island, directly across the Mississippi river from downtown St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center, where the Republicans were going to congregate to talk about their version of change, which is funny, given that if they actually wanted change it seems like, having control of two branches of the government for six out of the last eight years, they could have made some decisions to create some change. I guess change really does take time. But I digress; the concert and the musicians is what I want to talk about today.

The concert was put on by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and was an effort to “draw attention to the issues that America’s working people care about.” On the bill for the St. Paul show was (and this is the order they played in) Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Tom Morello (guitarist for Rage Against the Machine), Atmosphere, Mos Def, and The Pharcyde.

It quickly became clear that, coming from the direction we were coming from, it was going to be difficult to get to the island. From the west and north we would have to walk by the Xcel Energy Center. The blockades surrounding the arena were many and the organization of the concertgoers was of little concern to the thousands of police present for the RNC. Our convenience was not their top priority, though it does seem like keeping a massive crowd orderly would be of some concern to these uniformed men and women. Again, I digress. By the time we reached the island we had been knocked off schedule so much that we didn’t get to see even one song by Billy Bragg, the outspoken Englishman.


Just after getting across the bridge to the concert, riot police formed a blockade. Photo credit: Jason Doyle


















I trust, given that I saw him two days later in concert, that Bragg’s set was politically charged, which given the location, the timing, and the host of the show—SEIU—one would expect. Both Steve Earle and Tom Morello (playing as The Nightwatchman) did their part to fill the air with political ideas and bring attention to labor unions. Before his song, “City of Immigrants” Steve Earle said, “It is election time again, and here I am again at the wrong convention. I think it’s fairly obvious that I’m not going to vote for any Republican.” While Tom Morello started his set off by saying, “First of all I’d like to say, it’s an insult and a crime that the Republican Convention would start on Labor Day of all days. With their long history of union busting and support of U.S.-based corporations that use sweatshops at home and abroad, I think it’s a crime, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Which is why I’m here, to help you take back Labor Day.” Later he brought out members of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War and played the classic Woody Guthrie song, “This Land is Your Land,” with about 15 members of that group standing and singing behind him.

The last half of the show was dedicated to hip hop, which I believe has been the most overtly political genre of music as of late. Hip hop artists have attacked some of the most important issues of the day; The Roots latest album, Rising Down, Brother Ali’s “Uncle Sam Goddamn,” and Mos Def’s “Dollar Day” are just a few examples of artists becoming—with the mainstream press’ refusal to do so—the Fourth Estate and speaking truth to power. Unfortunately on this day, on this stage there was little to none of this for the people in attendance.

After Steve Earle came Twin Cities hip-hop hero, Slug, with DJ/producer Ant, who together make up Atmosphere. Slug came out wearing an Obama ’08 t-shirt and the set that Atmosphere put together was obviously very intentional—meant to focus on the “working man” or the downtrodden that they often sing about. The song “Guarantees” is a well-drawn portrait of what it means to be working poor in this country and all the hardships that come with that title. Still, the message was not obvious enough and was made all the more disappointing by the fact that Slug said little to address the labor unions or the RNC between songs (Slug’s only real comment about the day was a question: “Do you think you can make enough noise to make them hear us across the river?”). It can be noble for an artist to let his work speak for him, and in this regard, Atmosphere did their duty on Labor Day. But by the time they came on many in the crowd had been “celebrating” Labor Day for a few hours and their minds may not have been working on the level needed to pick up on the underlying message; something a little more obvious—something along the lines of Morello’s, “I got a feeling this land was not made for war criminals in the White House” would have been more effective in reaching the crowd. This is more disheartening when one takes into account that year after year Atmosphere continues to add younger and younger fans to its audience, and Slug has an uncanny ability to take on something of an idol role to the younger members of his fan base, and therefore wields an immense ability to influence them. Any words spoken that day would have resonated hugely for everyone, but especially in the ears of those young people, many of whom may be voting for the first time this November. Or, as we have seen time and again with young people, may not be voting this fall.

When Mos Def came out I expected the show to get back on track politically. This is a man who was arrested two years ago for playing his song, then titled “Katrina Clap,” on a flatbed truck outside of Radio City Music Hall in an attempt to raise awareness about the poor conditions still affecting the people of the Gulf Coast as a result of hurricane Katrina. Surely, with the Republicans rushing to that area of the nation for photo-ops as hurricane Gustav descended, Mighty Mos would have something to say about the matter. But no. Instead, Mos Def was even less straight forward than Atmosphere, only telling a brief proverb of sorts about the role of the underdog throughout history. And, as far as I could tell, unlike Atmosphere’s set, Mos Def’s wasn't particularly political.

By the time The Pharcyde came out, with the unbelievably self-conscious move of playing their videos behind them on the big screen while they preformed (“Hey, remember us? If not, remember these videos? That’s us, we swear.) and one member’s self-centered diatribe about rumors of his crack addiction, I was done. And I like The Pharcyde! Still, the only reason I was still in the crowd was in hopes that Bragg, Earle, and Morello might come back on stage for an encore.

I left Harriet Island that day disappointed by a missed opportunity. All the old hippies who came out for Bragg and Earle, and who maybe stuck around for Morello, were gone or trickling out as the second half of the concert played. Who was left were the young people, the ones who have never gotten involved in the political process. The ones who did not already go through this in the Sixties. The older audience members had seen the effect music can have on a political landscape. The people who need to stand up and take hold of politics now were all standing there until the end. And, unfortunately, these artists missed an opportunity to actually speak to them, to motivate them. It was just another hip hop concert—one that, on that basis alone, would have been very good, but given the timing and the setting, was anything but.

Crossposted at Guernica Mag.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wish I Could've Been There

But I'm glad this video exists. At the 5:50 mark Tom Morello tells it like it is. Preach on, brother:



Saturday, September 6, 2008

Some Things I Learned From the Speeches: The politicizing of issues that, apparently, should be too human for politics.

Last Monday as the Republican Party was supposed to be descending upon my little town of St. Paul, an opportunity arose for them to, finally after three years, play hero in the face of a storm. This whole week has been full of pleas to not politicize human events that are happening and could happen to any of us—hurricanes, military service, pregnancy, special-needs children, et al. It started with Gustav, and John McCain, instead of flying to St. Paul, flying to the Gulf Coast. Why exactly would an Arizona Senator need to be in Mississippi during a hurricane, other than for (as many, including Barack Obama have pointed out) a photo op? He is not president and he has never had anything to do with a state that must be concerned about hurricanes. I’ve been to Arizona once. Before I went I always thought it was a bit of hyperbole when people spoke of a “dry heat”—“Oh, it’s not that bad when it’s 110 in the shade, because it’s a dry heat.” Coming from a place that can reach 100 degrees with 85% humidity in the summer I just couldn’t believe it. After visiting, I realized that there was truth to the statement; indeed I realized just how dry a place could be. So, why was McCain in the Gulf Coast? The simple fact that he had a chance to look like he was doing something that his party failed so colossally to do three years ago when Katrina hit—to actually appear like he was a caring, compassionate human being.

In another bit of politicizing, we are all now, after watching the Republican nominee for vice president’s speech at the RNC, fully aware that Sarah Palin’s son is in the Army after she told us:

“[John McCain]'s a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.

And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I'm just one of many moms who'll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm's way.

Our son Track is 19.

And one week from tomorrow — Sept. 11 — he'll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country.

My nephew Kasey also enlisted and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform.”


Contrast this with Beau Biden’s speech, and his reference to his future service:


“I know my father will be a great vice president. As I mentioned, my dad has always been there for me, my brother and my sister, every day. But because of other duties, it won't be possible for me to be here this fall to stand by him the way he stood by me. So I have something to ask of you. Be there for my dad like he was for me.”


And add to that Joe Biden’s response to his son; he said only, “Beau, I love you. I am so proud of you. Proud of the son you are. Proud of the father you've become.”

There is no debating here which Party is using “service to this country” for its own political gain. One Party puts country first out of obligation to fellow citizens. One uses “country first” as a stepping-stone to another platform. And I’m not only talking about military service here. I’m talking about the larger call to serve that even John McCain called for in his acceptance speech at the RNC. He said:

“If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our armed forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.”


Which brings me to perhaps the most infuriating part of what took place inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul over these last few days (Much time can be spent debating the most infuriating parts that happened outside of those walls, on the streets and bridges of this city). Even as the leader of their party planned to call each citizen to action in the final speech of the RNC, two of the most publicized members of his party openly mocked that call to action in their own speeches. Referring to Obama, Rudy Giuliani said the following:


“On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer. What? He worked -- I said -- I said, OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume.

He worked as a community organizer. He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.”


And the former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population roughly 5,000 when she was mayor) said, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

So much for “American hats.” When it comes to the level of importance of what John McCain called “serv[ing] a cause greater than yourself,” the Republican Party will be the judge.

And then there is the politicizing of the future grandchild of the Republican VP nominee. I will only say this about this issue: If you make it your position to make it so government can categorically go into the homes of families and would-be or would-not-be families, then do not expect people to stay out of yours when you’d like them to. The Republican Party’s policies already politicize this issue; it is, in fact, one of their absolutely necessary issues—one that has helped them feed their frenzied members and galvanized them to vote in huge numbers. Simply because you wish to spin the politicizing of such an issue so it will be seen in a positive light by your base (Read: at least no abortion), does not make it an issue that only you can politicize.

So here’s what I learned from the speeches and talk that came to my hometown this last week: There seems to be a turning in the way some are thinking about politics and a steadfastness in others to adhere to a view of politics that somehow became the norm. When did it become unfashionable to know about what is going on in our country? When did the political process become something that should be put to the side when more important human matters need to take center stage? Isn’t that process inherent in our country’s DNA (to steal another line from an RNC speech), in the words, “For the People, by the People”? It became abundantly clear this past week that the Republican Party is not averse to using anything and everything to gain a political leg-up. What did not become abundantly clear is why they claim to want to be separate from the political means towards their end, indeed from the process that makes this country what it is, or should be, or could be.

Crossposted at Guernica Magazine

Thursday, September 4, 2008

616 Votes to Win the 1996 Mayor's Election in Wasilla, Alaska. I Bet Obama Talked to That Many People In a Couple of Days Back in the Windy City

I have to admit that I have not finished watching Palin's speech from last night; I was simply too pissed off by what I was watching to take it all in one shot. I did, however, listen long enough to hear her joke about Obama's experience as a community organizer, which pissed me off more than anything up to that point.

Here's a response sent out from the Obama camp today that I agree strongly with.


From David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Obama for America:

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let's clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it's no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America's promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women's suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it's happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

Meanwhile, we still haven't gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.

It's now clear that John McCain's campaign has decided that desperate lies and personal attacks -- on Barack Obama and on you -- are the only way they can earn a third term for the Bush policies that McCain has supported more than 90 percent of the time.

But you can send a crystal clear message.

Enough is enough. Make your voice heard loud and clear by making a $25 donation right now:

https://donate.barackobama.com/fightback

Thank you for joining more than 2 million ordinary Americans who refuse to be silenced.

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America


And check out this story breaking down all the lies Palin and McCain and their cronies are passing off as their talking points.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Who Is Sarah Palin?

It's becoming abundantly clear that not even the man who chose this woman as his running mate can answer that question, having met her only once or twice before offering her the position. McCain's decision to choose Palin as his running mate is like a child who can't get his way and frustrated by that fact pouts and says fine, do whatever you want: "But I want my buddy Joe Lieberman. I can't have him?!?! Fine you just pick it then, I don't care."

Here is some useful information about the person Republicans want as their future VP, someone who apparently they believe could step up on Day 1 and handle the responsibilities of the presidency. Screw what they said before, it's a new ball game, and experience is not, apparently, as important as they have been claiming it is:

MSNBC

Yahoo News

Frederick Lane at Guernica

Robert Reich at Guernica

MoveOn.org

About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (www.indigestmag.com), an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine (www.guernicamag.com). His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post, mnartists.org, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

This is how my nephew loves me

This is how my nephew loves me

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