Month: August 2016

One of the Best Rock Albums Ever Recorded (head vs. wall)

the service, 'head vs. wall' (Pravda Records, 1990)Once upon a time my brother wanted to show off just a little. We stopped by a booth at the county fair where a local radio station was giving away records. Most of it was understandable; they just didn’t play Top 40, for instance. My brother had made friends, though, with one of the DJs, and wanted me to see him hanging out and looking cool with cool music people. There were, of course, some gems in there, and I still wonder if they had other copies of head vs. wall, by Chicago band The Service, because what I walked away with that day is one of the best rock albums ever recorded.

I probably owe my brother thanks for that, after all these years. It’s funny, I don’t think he’s ever sat down and listened to the album, even though one of two copies I’ve owned over the years has resided in his vinyl collection for over a decade.

What is it, a bit over forty minutes? Forty-four, or so? It really is worth the time. (more…)

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Two Years Late (Buggin’ Weiner Mix)

Adam Huber, Bug Martini, 25 August 2014.So … right. I happened across this detail that I set aside on a different hard drive, for some reason, a couple years ago, and never posted. Or something like that. Never blogged, at least.

I wonder what the hell I did with it?

But, yeah, anyway, I found it the other day while looking for a different picture that I apparently never did upload, though I couldn’t tell you why, nor even remember what image I was looking for. Never mind.

Don’t blame Adam; I’m sure it’s a fascinating story.

No, seriously, I couldn’t tell you.

Actually, why not take a stab with something about weiner and frosting.

Clickbait, sure, but it’s worth it.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 25 August 2014.

A Public Service Announcement: For the Boys

Suou rejects street harassment. (Detail of frame from Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor, episode 4, "The Ark Adrift on the Lake …".)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that if a woman’s got headphones on, she doesn’t want to talk to you.”

Jenna Amatulli

The only problem with that sentence, brothers, is that quite clearly someone is willing to disagree. Don’t be that dick.

No, seriously: You should not need to be told.

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Image note: Just say no ― Suou rejects street harassment. (Detail of frame from Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor, episode 4, “The Ark Adrift on the Lake …”.

Amatulli, Jenna. “Wondering How To Talk To A Woman Who’s Wearing Headphones? Don’t.” The Huffington Post. 30 August 2016.

A Brief Note About “Her”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, 18 October 2011. (Kevin Lamarque/Associated Press)

Matthew Yglesias offers yet another example―

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, circa 2013. (Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)So what about the charity? Well, Powell’s wife, Alma Powell, took it over. And it kept raking in donations from corporate America. Ken Lay, the chair of Enron, was a big donor. He also backed a literacy-related charity that was founded by the then-president’s mother. The US Department of State, at the time Powell was secretary, went to bat for Enron in a dispute the company was having with the Indian government.

Did Lay or any other Enron official attempt to use their connections with Alma Powell (or Barbara Bush, for that matter) to help secure access to State Department personnel in order to voice these concerns? Did any other donors to America’s Promise? I have no idea, because to the best of my knowledge nobody in the media ever launched an extensive investigation into these matters. That’s the value of the presumption of innocence, something Hillary Clinton has never been able to enjoy during her time in the national spotlight.

―of how that dastardly liberal media conspiracy always tanks the story to help a Democrat and sabotage a Republican.

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Image notes: Top ― U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, 18 October 2011. (Kevin Lamarque/Associated Press) Right ― Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, circa 2013. (Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)

Yglesias, Matthew. “Colin Powell’s foundation and Hillary Clinton’s are treated very differently by the media”. Vox.

The Dynamite Martini Show

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 1 July 2016.You know, this was actually a Brexit joke, and at the time, sure, it seemed to have myriad other applications, most notably attitudes toward Donald Trump.

Think back, though. Try to remember what Donald Trump was doing and saying that had everybody horrified, mortified, terrified, apoplectic and wide-eyed. Two months. What trumpaholic trumptacle possessed the headlines two months ago?

Fraud and plagiarism, mostly. As July loomed, the Trump University scandal also tumbled into the Trump Institute branding scandal, something about “heebajeebees”, and questions of competence involving basic arithmetic that also happen to come up at a time when Donald Trump himself could be heard wondering aloud, “Why am I not doing better in the polls?”

As we looked toward July, people still wondered if maybe it would all sort itself out; Mitt Romney even piped up, revealing that one of his sons told him, “You’ve gotta get in, Dad, you’ve gotta get in”.

Naturally, things have only gone downhill from there. Certes, some articles of faith can become dangerous under particular circumstances or according to particular scale, but it really is a comfortable temptation. The superstitious would eye November as the next chance for this all to work itself out.

Never mind. Something about filler goes here. And no, we can’t actually blame Adam.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 1 July 2016.

Benen, Steve. “Trump vows to look into Muslim ‘Heebeejabees'”. msnbc. 1 July 2016.

Martin, Jonathan. “Trump Institute Offered Get-Rich Schemes With Plagiarized Lessons”. 29 June 2016.

Tani, Maxwell. “Mitt Romney: My son emailed me yesterday telling me to run for president”. Business Insider. 29 June 2016.

The Donald Trump Show (Business Acumen)

Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC], 6 March 2014, at National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“Trump hiring Steve Bannon might go down as the worst campaign hire of all time.”

Eric Kleefeld

This is a point worth considering.

First off, it opened up the field for Hillary Clinton’s blistering speech yesterday against the alt-right, as well as the Clinton campaign’s other attacks linking Trump to not just Breitbart, but to Klansmen and other sundry white supremacists.

Next, the Trump campaign’s clumsy efforts to deny its alt-right connections has become utterly impossible. In the latest example, Trump himself got tripped up by Anderson Cooper. After the candidate claimed, “Nobody even knows what it is … this is just a term that was given that—frankly, there’s no alt-right or alt-left.” Cooper had only to point out that Bannon himself proclaimed Breitbart to be the voice of the alt-right. Trump’s reply: “I don’t know what Steve said.”

Certainly, it makes for a neatly-packaged talking point to call Donald Trump the candidate of the internet trolls, but the label also happens to be true. And in that context, there really is a method to the madness.

(more…)

The Donald Trump Show (Ryan Rescue Remix)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally in Fredricksburg, Virginia, 20 August 2016. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)

Amid the astounding spectacle that really is the Donald Trump Show, there does arise the occasional substantive issue. And while the averages describe the Republican nominee’s spectacle in abysmal terms, the substantive questions that do arise just don’t seem to help. To wit, Steve Benen reflects on the fine print:

House Speaker Paul Ryan talks to reporters following the weekly House GOP Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol, 16 December 2016, in Washington. D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)To the Trump campaign’s credit, the commercial includes footnotes of sorts for many of its core claims. For example, at the 15-second mark, when the narrator says “working families get tax relief” in Trump’s America, there’s small text at the bottom that reads, “A Pro-Growth Tax Code For All Americans, GOP: A Better Way, 6/24/16.”

Why does that matter? Because “A Pro-Growth Tax Code For All Americans, GOP: A Better Way, 6/24/16” is House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) tax plan, not Donald Trump’s. They’re actually pretty different, and include their own marginal rates, which makes it odd for Trump to cite the House GOP’s plan as if it were his own.

A couple of seconds later, the same ad includes fine print that reads, “‘Details and analysis of the 2016 House Republican Tax Reform Plan,’ Tax Foundation, 7/15/16.” And while I’d take issue with the center-right Tax Foundation’s analysis of Ryan’s plan, the point is, again, that Trump has a different plan.

At the 19-second mark, note that the fine print reads, “‘Details and analysis of Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, Tax Foundation, 9/29/15.” And while that’s certainly closer to being applicable, what the ad doesn’t mention is that Trump has since abandoned that tax plan, unveiling a new blueprint three weeks ago.

(more…)

A Post About Tim Kaine (Kinda Sorta)

Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, speaks at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Florida International University in Miami, Saturday, 23 July 2016. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

In this strangest of electoral seasons it’s almost as if Tim Kaine … well, it’s not quite like he doesn’t exist, but, you know, when the coverage is like Max Knoblauch’s “let’s make up some random stupid stuff so we have an excuse to post something about Tim Kaine” fluffenkrust, what, really can we say? Part of Sen. Kaine’s role is to be not quite invisible.

Still, though, what passes for comedy humor content at Mashable somehow manages to exceed The Hill by some manner of leagues what happens when the reputable Beltway watchers lend column space to the likes of Dan Schneider and Larry Hart:

Tim Kaine’s 0% ACU rating ranks him the most extreme liberal in all of Congress, but the bigger difference between Kaine and his liberal allies is not in their political philosophy. The more significant difference is that the others can be trusted to mean what they say; the same cannot be said of Tim Kaine. He’s the perfect running mate for Hillary Clinton.

At best, the terrible twosome from the American Conservative Union might make some Bernie backers feel a bit better about bucking up to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, but for anyone else the only thing wrong with that article is everything.

(more…)

Something About “Her”

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign even at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. 25 August 2016. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This is fair … er … ah … well, you know―

See, it shouldn’t be that hard to cover Donald in a way that feels fair. Simply apply the three immutable tenets of Hillary reporting:

1. Always assume bad character and attribute malicious motives.

2. Completely overlook and invisibilize supporters.

3. Focus relentlessly on negatives — and portray positives as negatives.

―except that it’s about her.

(Right? Isn’t that how it goes?)

At any rate, Peter Daou’s open letter to the media is worth a read.

(more…)

Justice Answering Hatred

VIII. Adjustment.

The report from Cleve Wootson, Jr. for the Washington Post:

A jury has convicted an Atlanta truck driver accused of pouring boiling water over two gay men as the couple slept in February.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Wednesday before finding Martin Blackwell guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault, according to the Associated Press.

Blackwell was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Three words: United States of America.

Two more: Scald attack.

And one more: Bigotry.

This is not complicated math.

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Wootson Jr., Cleve R. “Man who threw boiling water on gay couple will spend 40 years in prison”. The Washington Post. 24 August 2016.