Friday, May 20, 2011

A Question

Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) addresses the throngs of teabaggers in her state
This photo is from the most recent Tea Party rally in South Carolina. Despite expecting thousands to show up, only around 30 actually did. This is in the reddest of red states and home to tea party Senator Jim DeMint. If they can only get 30 people to show up at a rally, why are they taken so seriously as a "movement" and a force in American politics? Tens of thousands of liberals rallied in Wisconsin for nearly a month straight, and yet the media still refuses to believe that the country is NOT made up of angry, white senior citizens who "want their country back."

Liberal media, my ass.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Two

Day Two: "Your least favorite song." This was hard to decide. So many to choose from. But I went with Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." I doubt any further rationale is required, but if you require some, here it is. This song, to put it simply, is the epitome of the Bush years: false equivalence between violence and patriotism, ridiculous bravado, an inability to use the slightest amount of critical thinking, and the sickening behavior displayed by Iraq War supporters toward those who questioned the rationale for the debacle in the first place. Thanks for summing it up in song, Toby.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day One

Hey, friends. So, since I have not been blogging lately (for a myriad of reasons), I decided to share something I've been toying with on Facebook. I signed up for the "30 Day Song Challenge." In it, you pick one song per day that fits the rule for the day. For Day One, it is "your favorite song." Since it did not say your favorite of all time, or merely your favorite today, I went with all-time. Here it is, The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For the Devil."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grant Hart (Finally) Comes To Omaha

Rock legend Grant Hart (ex-Hüsker Dü and Nova Mob) will play what I believe to be his first ever show in Omaha on Thursday, June 30 at The Waiting Room. Hart, one of the two songwriters in legendary 80s band Hüsker Dü, has been recording sporadically since that band's demise in 1988.

Hart began as a solo artist releasing albums for SST Records. His solo debut, Intolerance, remains a high water mark in his lengthy career. By the early 90s, he had formed a new band called Nova Mob. Hart gave up the drums and picked up the guitar for that band. It released two full-length albums and a number of singles before breaking up in the mid 90s. Hart then returned as a solo artist with the album, Ecce Homo, released in 1996. This album was followed by Good News For the Modern Man and his most recent, Hot Wax, from 2009. Both Hart and Nova Mob have appeared on compilations and soundtracks, as well.

Though Grant Hart has not been in the spotlight as much as his former band mate, Bob Mould, his post Hüsker Dü material has always been met with critical acclaim. His music consistently challenges the listener, and continues to surprise and delight his many long-time fans.

Personally, I have not seen Grant Hart since Nova Mob broke up. On that final Nova tour, Grant went back to playing drums, and it was one the best shows I saw that year. On the tour that brings Hart to Omaha, he will performing "solo electric," and performing songs from his entire career - including Hüsker Dü.

Here is a video of a song called, "You're the Reflection of the Moon on the Water," from Hart's Hot Wax album.

Then, here is a video of Grant performing live at SXSW 2010:

Tickets for the show are on sale now for $10. Click here to buy: http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1485491&cobrand=1percent

originally posted at thedarkstuff.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mick Jagger's Daughter To Appear in Playboy

Lizzy Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, is in the June issue of Playboy. She graces the cover and there is a spread inside as well. In an interview with the UK's Daily Mail, she said that at one point, her father had barred her from being in the magazine (even though her mother had been); yet now, he has consented. "They understood that when you don’t know when you’re going to have kids, it’s nice to have wonderful pictures of your 20-something self," she said.
Lizzy Jagger from Playboy
originally posted at thedarkstuff.com

Hilarious Video

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Credit Where Credit Is Due

A vendor sells shirts saying "It took Obama to get Osama"
For the past 2.5 years, a recurring theme coming from the right wing in America, their supporters in the media, and from former members of the Bush Administration, is that Pres. Obama is "weak" on foreign policy. He is weak, they argue, because he is deviating from the "war on terror" policies implemented by the Bush Administration. Those failed policies - which include torture, military occupation, inadequate number of troops for said occupation, and outsourcing the job of finding Osama Bin Laden to Pakistan - produced very little success. The American people overwhelmingly rejected those ideas when presented with the alternative provided by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

Mr. Obama offered a different plan. His stated policy was to draw down from the previous administration's war of choice in Iraq, and focus our efforts back where they should have been all along: Pakistan and Afghanistan. He promised, as a candidate, that he would catch and kill Osama Bin Laden with or without international help or the permission from whatever country was harboring him.

As President, Obama has done exactly as he said he would. Combat operations in Iraq have ended, and the large majority of troops have left the area. Over the last two years, President Obama has added additional forces to the effort in Afghanistan on three separate occasions. He did this despite the opposition from a large portion of his party's base. In addition, he has stepped up the drone attacks in Pakistan where our intelligence services said most of Al Qeda's leadership was hiding out. He has taken lots of international criticism for his aggressive pursuit of terrorists inside Pakistan. The right has given him virtually no credit for this. In fact, even today, the former half term governor of Alaska said Obama's foreign policy "lacked clarity." Really, Sarah? Killing the most wanted terrorist in the world is pretty fucking clear to me.

As our operations inside Pakistan increased, so did our proximity to Bin Laden. All the extra hard work and intelligence analysis finally paid off last year when the Obama Administration received credible, actionable intelligence on the location of Bin Laden. Finally, after being "on the run" for nearly a decade, Bin Laden was killed by US Special Operations Forces on the express orders of President Obama. If you remember, as early as 2002, the Bush Administration decided to abandon its pursuit of Bin Laden, and instead, move most of our military and intelligence assets to Iraq. Iraq, of course, had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qeda. Former President Bush even dismissed Bin Laden as not being very important.

Fast forward to today. While the right wing continues to attack Obama on every angle, for every thing (even things they once supported), the president had one of the greatest military and foreign policy victories in American history. Osama Bin Laden, the founder and primary financial resource of Al Qeda, is dead. The man more responsible than anyone else for the attacks on 9/11, the USS Kohl, and the US Embassy attacks in Africa, is dead. It was the Obama military and the Obama CIA that did it. George W. Bush has not been president since January 20, 2009. This happened on May 1, 2011. To the extent that a President deserves credit for a successful operation, it is President Obama who deserves this credit.

The Bush Administration abandoned the effort in Afghanistan and turned over the search for Bin Laden to former Pakistani President Musharraf. In 2005, the Bush CIA officially shut down its unit dedicated exclusively to finding Bin Laden. Is it a coincidence that the compound in Pakistan where Bin Laden was found began construction in 2005? You tell me. Think Progress has a great piece up today detailing the Bush Administration's poor effort in trying to find the man responsible for 9/11.

The myth that Democrats are "soft" on national defense has now been eradicated for good with the successful elimination of Bin Laden. This makes the Republicans very nervous. The Democrats have always been more trusted on the economy, on domestic policy, and on international relations. However, for the last three decades, the right wing has won elections by portraying Democrats as soft, or as unwilling to do "what it takes" to protect America.

This is now over, but that is not stopping the right from claiming it is "their" efforts and failed policies that are responsible for Obama's success. Some Bush apologists have desperately claimed it was Bush's illegal torture program that yielded the intelligence that led to Bin Laden. They, of course, leave out the fact that former Vice President Cheney said the "enhanced interrogation" program ended in 2003. Are we really supposed to believe that information gathered prior to 2003 is somehow actionable in 2011? Does that even pass the plausibility test? If this information was so good, why didn't the Bush Administration use it? Hell, even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) put the myth about Bush's torture program being responsible for catching Bin Laden to rest, "This idea we caught bin Laden because of waterboarding I think is a misstatement. This whole concept of how we caught bin Laden is a lot of work over time by different people and putting the puzzle together. I do not believe this is a time to celebrate waterboarding, I believe this is a time to celebrate hard work."

An article by Bruce Linder, entitled Crediting the Proper President, pretty much spells out the case for why crediting Bush for this success is ridiculous. Money quote: "And lastly, Over the past two and a half years, President Obama has pointed out several times; 'We didn’t create this war/economy/environment, we inherited it,' which is true. And without any hesitation, the canned Republican response is; 'George Bush isn’t president anymore, you are. This is all your baby now. Yes it is. And as unpleasant as it is that the wars, the economy and the environment ARE now Obama’s baby, so too is what happened Sunday night. George W. Bush no more deserves a soupçon of credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden, than he does for being an Ace fighter pilot during the Vietnam War."

Exactly. The Obama haters need to get past it and celebrate this huge victory for America. They need to congratulate not only the incredible efforts by the Special Ops forces and the intelligence analysts, but the Commander in Chief, as well. Like it or not, that Commander in Chief is Barack Obama. To deny him the credit for this is to put your hatred of one man ahead of your love of country. That is a sad place to reside, my teabagging friends out there. Truly sad.

YESSSS

Katy Perry from a new photo shoot for Vogue