Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Two Winners

Howard Dean visits The Frozen Tundra:

"Dean had some other laugh lines during the day, including one of several allusions to the hometown heroic Green Bay Packers. Referring to the colors of the Service Employees International Union (and of the vanquished Minnesota Vikings), Dean said he made a wise choice in not wearing his purple SEIU jacket to the event (though he did at one point don a Packers hat and a cheesehead)."

Now, this cleary violates the Calvin Coolidge rule: Never be photographed waring a funny hat. But in Green Bay, Wisconsin, it's smart...
A new year, a new Democrat

"Pennsylvania State Treasurer Barbara Hafer, one of the state's most enduring Republican politicians in the last 15 years, has switched her party registration to Democratic. The unsuccessful GOP nominee for governor in 1990 said she shifted her party loyalty simply because she felt her progressive stance on social issues, such as her support of abortion rights, no longer fit in with the GOP..."

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Standing Offer

The Sopranos season 5 will premiere Sunday, March 7th, 2004.

Here's the offer (and you can't... naah. Too obvious):

Free home cooked Italian cuisine in your home for 13 weeks.


  • Dinner must be served Sunday at 8 p.m.
  • Youse gotta have HBO.

  • This would explain the problem with the old email address

    North Liberty Internet firm files bankruptcy

    North Liberty-based Internet service provider Internet Navigator has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and plans to sell off its assets to the highest bidder.

    The move will not affect customer services, said Wes Huisinga, a Cedar Rapids attorney who was named as trustee of the company Monday.

    Legally known as On-Line Services LLC following a Chapter 11 restructuring that was completed earlier this year, the 8-year-old company currently has between 8,000 and 10,000 customers, said Michael Glick, chief executive officer of the company.

    According to documents filed Dec. 23 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa, On-Line Services had about $1.7 million in total assets and about $2.2 million in debt.

    Glick said the company simply could not compete with larger Internet service providers that offer better and less expensive services.

    The company's North Liberty office urrently employs only two customer service operators, a drop from 13 after the company downsized last month.
    Notes from a Christmas vacation

    Still trying to get my bearings back in Iowa City. I can't remember the last time I took off five straight days.

    The Miracle In The Desert certainly ranked as one of the high points. Also a lot of serious nephew-niece time, even a couple runs down the ole hill on a sled before the snow melted.

  • The squirrels in my parents' backyard are the fattest squirrels on the planet.
  • It is extremely unusual anymore for me to be the adult male in the room with the most hair (only because my genetically mutant middle brother didn't travel)
  • Spongebob Squarepants is actually very funny
  • I have a good ear for recognizing cartoon voices - I spotted both Dauber from Coach and Worf from Star Trek TNG.
  • I'm not going to eat for a week
  • I was in the unfortunate position of needing car repair and the garage I went to 15 years ago when I lived in Wisconsin was still there, still run by the same guy, and expanded. Tells me he does a good job
  • Milosevic Wins Parliament Seat in Serbia Election

    This takes the concept of skeletons in the closet to new lows.

    Monday, December 29, 2003

    Arizona Receiver Will Be Mayor Guest at Packers Game

    "Of course, he's my favorite non-Packers player," Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt said...

    Schmitt's invitation took Poole by surprise.

    "I heard that the fans in Green Bay were quite some fans, but I didn't expect this," he said in a telephone interview Monday with the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

    He wasn't even thinking about the Packers when he made his catch at the end of the game.

    "I was just trying to get a victory for the team because we've been down," Poole said.

    Schmitt also will give Poole a key to the city.

    Sunday, December 28, 2003

    The Christmas Miracle In The Desert

    As Vikings players fell to the ground in complete disbelief in Arizona, pandemonium erupted at Lambeau Field. News of the Cardinals' game-winning touchdown spread like wildfire through the stadium as Packers fans gripped their portable radios and watched the luxury box televisions to confirm what they had just heard. Packers players got the sense that something must have happened in Arizona, as they could not understand why their fans were cheering so loudly for the two-minute warning...

    Wednesday, December 24, 2003

    VH1 Will Release Zevon Special on DVD

    "We got together with Artemis (Records) ... and I went through all the tapes and tried to pick some extra tracks to put on there," Jordan Zevon told AP Radio in a recent interview.

    "They're all moments that are uncut. They're not edited together for the sake of time and go from bit to bit. They're actually just little moments in the making of the record."

    Tuesday, December 23, 2003

    Two nickels, please

    "Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., is sponsoring legislation that would authorize the replacement of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's profile on the U.S. 10-cent piece with Ronald Reagan's..."

    Monday, December 22, 2003


    "With one spectacular long pass after another, Favre decimated the Raiders' patchwork defense with one of the greatest performances in his 13-year career..."

    What a player. What a man.
    The mother of all trials: Saddam likely to portray America as accomplice

    You know, that's one thing we have Saddam to thank for: that phrase "the mother of all ______." Remember Gulf War I back in `91? One of those catchy lines that just stays with ya.
    Favre's father dies, QB will play tonight

    Talk about playing with pain.

    A Statement From The Favre Family

    All best wishes and prayers to Brett and his family.
    On Familiar Ground, Kerry Labors to Win Over Voters

    NY Times Apple nails it:

    "There is something plaintive, something almost wistful about Kerry these days, as if he finds it inconceivable that he is having so much trouble convincing his fellow New Englanders that he and not Dr. Dean has the experience needed for the presidency. Like Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968, Mr. Kerry seems astonished that though he paid his dues, the nomination may go to a man who has not done so, at least in his eyes..."

    When history looks back at the 2004 nomination contest they will record two critical moments: 1) Al Gore opting out and 2) John Kerry voting for the war and alienating the Democratic base. The Man from Mass could have had this thing, but the Bush Blank Check vote left an opening for the Doctor. And now Dean is about more than just Iraq.

    Aplle also notes: "Two days on the road with Mr. Kerry left unanswered the question of why his campaign here has not taken off... But the candidate himself clearly bears some of the responsibility. At Hopkinton High School, he found it hard to connect with his youthful audience, the kind of group Dr. Dean charms."

    Sunday, December 21, 2003

    AAAAAA! Godzilla!

    "To mark the 50th anniversary, Rialto Pictures will be giving the original, uncut Nippon version - directed by Ishiro Honda and titled Gojira - a U.S. release in the spring..."
    Napster for President

    A "gets it" article about Dean online. A few choice bits:

    "The condescending reaction to the Dean insurgency by television's political correspondents can be reminiscent of that hilarious party scene in the movie "Singin' in the Rain," where Hollywood's silent-era elite greets the advent of talkies with dismissive bafflement."

    "The big Dean innovation is to empower passionate supporters to leave their computer screens entirely to hunt down unwired supporters as well and to gather together in real time at face-to-face meetings they organize on their own with no help from (or cost to) the campaign hierarchy., the for-profit Web site that the Dean campaign contracted to facilitate these meetings, didn't even exist until last year. From Mr. Trippi's perspective, "The Internet puts back into the campaign what TV took out — people."

    "To say that the competing campaigns don't get it is an understatement. A tough new anti-Dean attack ad has been put up on the campaign's own site, where it's a magnet for hundreds of thousands of dollars in new contributions..."

    "Should Dr. Dean actually end up running against President Bush next year, an utterly asymmetrical battle will be joined. The Bush-Cheney machine is a centralized hierarchy reflecting its pre-digital C.E.O. ethos (and the political training of Karl Rove); it is accustomed to broadcasting to voters from on high rather than drawing most of its grass-roots power from what bubbles up from insurgents below."

    "The music industry thought tough talk, hard-knuckle litigation and lobbying Congress could stop the forces unleashed by Shawn Fanning, the teenager behind Napster. Today the record business is in meltdown, and more Americans use file-sharing software than voted for Mr. Bush in the last presidential election. The luckiest thing that could happen to the Dean campaign is that its opponents remain oblivious to recent digital history and keep focusing on analog analogies to McGovern and Goldwater instead."

    Friday, December 19, 2003

    Nader bashers listen up

    Nader said he was unlikely to run if Howard Dean got the Democratic nomination.

    Says Nader: "Reading his position papers sounds eerily similar to what we've been saying. He speaks clearly - not in Senate-ese - and projects vigor. We need a macho Democrat."

    So to everyone who keeps saying "we lost because of Nader": The obvious solution is to nominate the one credible Democrat who can win back most of the three million Nader voters. Nominate a pro-war Democrat and the Nader vote will double.

    Think about it. Stop bashing. Start building.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2003

    Lieberman. Joe Lieberman.

    "Dr. Dean," Lieberman said, "has become Dr. No."

    Which obviously casts Joe as 007:

    Bond's mission takes him to the steamy island of Jamaica, where mysterious energy waves are interfering with U.S. missile launches. As he unravels the astonishing truth, 007 must fight deadly assassins, sexy femme fatales and even a poisonous tarantula. With the help of crack CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and the beautiful Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), Bond searches for the headquarters of Dr. No, a fanatical scientist who is implementing an evil plan of world domination. Only James Bond, with his combination of wit, charm and skill, can confront the madman and save the human race from a horrible fate.

    Hmm. I think Bond is a little spicier that Lieberman's usual taste... and in the grand scheme of the Democratic contest, Joe Lieberman has the stature of Mini-Me.

    So Joe: Zip it. Zip Zip Zip Zzzzzzzip it. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah Zip it.
    Do Democrats Need the South?

    Author says no; most of the article is Why We Shouldn't and it ends with We Don't Need To Anyway"

    "Democrats are almost certain to wage serious campaigns in Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and perhaps Virginia and Tennessee. The point is, however, that Democrats don’t need any of these states to win and thus may not feel compelled to water down their national message to compete there..."

    Tuesday, December 16, 2003 : Thurmond's Son to Meet Mixed-Race Sibling

    Now THAT would be some really interesting reality television
    Thune says he will not run for Janklow seat

    "Thune's decision gives House Democrats a boost of momentum in the June 1 special election. Stephanie Herseth has been running on the Democratic side for more than a month, and even Republicans acknowledge that she currently leads all of their potential candidates."

    The down side:

    "Thune has not ruled out challenging Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle next year..."
    Circular Firing Squad Alert

    "The AJHPV is spending about $500,000 on TV spots, which began in Iowa and started running in South Carolina and New Hampshire this weekend. But it prefers to attack Mr. Dean without revealing its backers -- or their connections to the Gephardt campaign..."

    This is just the kind of stuff that turns people off of politics entirely. And Lieberman's "spider hole" comments are the moral equivalent of calling a guy Comrade back in the Cold War. Indeed, I've come to the conclusion that Joe Lieberman is the Colonel Flagg of the Democratic Party.

    As Sinead (remember her?) would say, fight the real enemy.

    Speaking of which, I saw a headline describing this week's Lauryn Hill meltdown as "pull(ing) a Sinead"...
    Life begins at 40?

    John Lennon wrote a song called Life begins at 40, and look what happened to him...

    In other news it looks like ole zeus is giving me one last gasp of messages, I just got one about an event that was last night. This should help me complete the move...

    Monday, December 15, 2003

    Fill up my in box

    The bright side of changing email addresses is it's an excuse to send everybody on the planet an email and maybe hear back.

    The down side is that a lot of them will get Elvised.

    The other down side is that you'll irritate some people who really DON'T want to hear from you.

    The next 48 hours should be interesting.
    I've had it

    And the migration begins.

    I've lost four days worth of email and the dialup ISP is telling me my email address never existed. That would make the 4 1/2 YEARS worth of messages hard to explain.

    See, I've been paying for the Internet twice: once for my high speed connection, and once for the minimal account I kept to hang onto my email address and web site.

    THEN I found out that Mediacom now has personal web space.


    Henceforth my home page is

    and my email is (spam free version)

    UPDATE: The dumping of INav is likely to be sooner rather than later. After about four customer service conversations, I've come to the conclusion that they unplugged my server and have no intention of plugging it back in...

    Sunday, December 14, 2003

    Is It Time to Believe?

    "At this point, after he has amassed the armies of small donors and bloggers and volunteers, blocking Dean is not blocking one man. It's blocking the hopes of millions of Democrats who—understand the importance of this—would walk through fire for a candidate for the first time in their lives. That isn't something that should be done cavalierly; in the long term, blocking the active participation of these millions may do more damage to the Democratic Party than four more years of George W. Bush. "
    Still Not Over

    "Indeed, just Sunday, with Saddam in captivity, an apparent suicide bomber detonated an explosives packed vehicle outside a Baghdad police station, killing at least 17 people..."

    And how long since the name Osama has been uttered?

    Friday, December 12, 2003

    Out of touch

    Just on the incredibly random chance that someone is reading this, my e-mail has been down all day. Since 11:30 AM Thursday, I have only gotten one message. Not even so much as a v1agr@ ad or a LOWEST INTEREST RATES. Just one message - from my ole pal Joe Lieberman.

    I blame him. Why not.

    Also, last night I was polled for the millionth time, but I think this was an actual poll and not a voter ID call, since I early and repeatedly IDd myself as Dean and I know it wasn't Dean's folks calling.

    The highlight was when the caller was reading the list of candidates, got tounge-tangled, and actually pronounced the name of the Connecticut Senator as, I kid you not, "Jew Lieberman."

    Then I got the "thermometer" question.

    Pollster: "Rate the following individuals on a thermometer, with 0 being the coldest and 100 the hottest."

    Deeth: "OK"

    Pollster: "George W. Bush."

    Deeth: "Nine below zero." (squeezing in a gratuitous Dylan reference)

    Pollster (humourlessly): "You can't go below zero."

    Deeth: "Are you sure?" (it gets pretty cold in December in Iowa...)

    'Sammy the Bull' Charged With 1980 Cop Killing

    "Earlier this year, convicted murderer Richard 'The Iceman' Kuklinski told authorities that he shot Calabro on orders from Gravano..."

    Just love those Mob nicknames.
    I'm an uncle again

    A big welcome to the world for Vivian Deeth of Midland, Michigan!

    Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    South Dakota GOP Rocked by Janklow Verdict

    "I think in a special election, you have to say Stephanie's going to be tough," acknowledged Republican activist Neal Tapeo of Sioux Falls...

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    More on Gore

    First of all, I'm still Dean.

    And I know this helps him.

    And no one is hurt worse than Lieberman.

    But even though my analysis is "game over," I can't say I'm happy.

    I feel like I did back the year the Packers won the Super Bowl. (huh?)

    Brett Favre's backup quarterback that year was Jim McMahon, of `85 Bears Shufflin' Crew infamy.

    Now, any true Packer fan cheers for two teams: 1) The Pack and 2) whoever is playing the Bears.

    So, Jim, welcome to the team. You've been to the big game, you know what to do if we need ya.

    But deep down we know you're still a GOD DAMN BEAR.

    Here's my anti-Tipper speech and a Danny Goldberg link.
    Former Sen. Paul Simon dies

    Jury Finds Janklow Guilty

    Not to gloat or dance on Janklow's political grave, but:

    "Democrat Stephanie Herseth, who ran a surprisingly close race against Janklow in 2002, had announced that she would run again. She would be the early favorite to take the seat, which has been in Republican hands since 1996..." more

    Monday, December 08, 2003

    Gore to endorse Dean, sources say


    Obviously I'm of profoundly mixed feelings about this.

    The objective political analyst in me says: The message here is "the train is leaving the station."

    My inner 22 year old is in some emotional conflict. I wanted to beat the Gores. I wanted them on another team, I wanted to crush that team, and then see them crawling cap in hand to the Deaniacs.

    No. I wanted him to run, so we could BEAT him.

    Anyway, I must begrudgingly admit that this helps. And it's a HUGE diss to Lieberman.

    I still hate the SOB though.
    Lieberman Versus Hollywood

    "Lieberman lacks direct knowledge of the products and programs he goes after. Several entertainment-industry lobbyists and reporters remember a news conference Lieberman and Bennett called in 1994 to condemn media violence. When a reporter asked Lieberman to name a favorite TV program, the senator cited The McNeil-Lehrer Report on PBS. Pressed for the name of an entertainment program, Lieberman hesitated, seemingly unable to come up with an answer. Several people then overheard an aide whispering, Touched by an Angel. Lieberman immediately named the wholesome CBS drama as a favorite..."

    Saturday, December 06, 2003

    Gratuitious Espresso-based Dean bashing

    And it wasn't even David Yepsen!

    "'Dean has a profile that works with the biscotti and latte-sipping crowd but is a much tougher sell for the biscuit and gravy crowd,' said Chris Lehane, a senior adviser to General Clark, as he previewed the kind of attack that would be used against Dr. Dean..."

    I happen to like lattes. And biscuits n' gravy. But if it gets too rough, you might not see them on the same table...

    Friday, December 05, 2003

    Live from New York ... but not in Iowa

    "All four NBC television affiliates in Iowa announced this week that they will not carry this weekend's broadcast of "Saturday Night Live," slated to be hosted by Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton..."

    boooo... boooo...

    Thursday, December 04, 2003

    Godfather on a real screen in Iowa City!

    December 6th @ 11 pm in the Illinois Room. Way better than Sharpton on SNL. A can't miss for four bucks - and on the Don's birthday yet!

    SONNY: Ah, say -- what do you think of the nerve those Japs -- those slanty eyed bastards, huh. Dropping bombs in out back yard -- and on Pops birthday ya know.

    FREDO: They didn't know it was Pop's birthday.

    And a Godfather political reference from The General:

    "Kerry's mention of former Secretary of State James Baker as one in a list of models for a "Presidential Ambassador to the Peace Process" drew ire from Gen.Wesley Clark, who said in a statement, "Senator Kerry's suggestion that he might use Bush family consigliere James Baker as a special envoy to the Middle East is offensive … "
    Labor Chiefs Allege Retaliation Threats

    Sounds like the bad old days:

    "Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose unions have endorsed Dean, charged that, at a meeting Monday that included Missouri Gov. Bob Holden (D), Joyce Aboussie, the vice chair of Gephardt's presidential campaign, issued an "ultimatum" to representatives of the two unions.

    The ultimatum, McEntee and Stern said, also included demands that AFSCME and the SEIU use none of their Missouri members to campaign for Dean in Iowa, that the unions make no independent expenditures in Missouri for Dean and that they not communicate with their Missouri members about Dean's candidacy..."

    Stopped by Dean HQ but did not see a horse's head.

    Wednesday, December 03, 2003

    Dean -- so far -- seems to have no Achilles' heel

    "But after eight years of loyally supporting Clinton against Republican draft-dodger charges, are the Democrats going to retroactively change the rules and declare that only war heroes can run for president? There is no evidence that Dean did anything more than use the same loopholes that millions of other middle-class men employed to gain a medical deferment. At some point there should be a statute of limitations in politics against endlessly debating the personal decisions that anyone made during the wrenching Vietnam years."
    Master Howard Dean

    Interesting story of the prep school days. Not a must read but this paragraph is:

    "...While Dr. Dean and Mr. Bush are both children of privilege, not all privilege is identical. Old money and new money have their own codes. The old-money conservatism was, on a political level, about balanced budgets, diplomacy and—as the 20th century progressed—a strong role for the state. The Texas politics of new money, oil and unfettered capitalism that surrounded Mr. Bush in Midland have moved in the opposite direction. So perhaps Dr. Dean’s insurgency isn’t just on behalf of the Democratic left; he also speaks for a wing of the Republican Party that split from its Southwestern counterpart in the 1960’s, returned in an uneasy truce in the person of George H.W. Bush, and seems to have been lopped off entirely by the current President."

    Monday, December 01, 2003

    Dean campaign a Runaway success

    Notice I didn't go for the obvious headline...

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Does Howard Dean love rock ‘n’ roll? He’d better or he may hear from one of his potential national convention delegates.

    A slate of convention delegate candidates from New York made public by the Dean presidential campaign includes Joan Jett, whose 1981 song with the Blackhearts "I Love Rock-n-Roll" has become a rock anthem.

    "This whole process intrigues me," Jett said. "I’m stepping into new territory. It’s very exciting."

    If she’s elected during New York’s March 2 presidential primary, Jett would go to the Democratic National Convention next summer as a Dean delegate.
    Turkey Curry


    1/2 cup onion
    1/2 cup celery
    1/2 cup peppers
    1/4 cup oil/margarine
    2 cups chicken broth (or gravy)
    1 cup tomato juice
    1/3 cup flour
    1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 tsp. curry powder
    4 cups turkey

    Sauté onions, celery, peppers in oil. Stir in flour gravy spices and tomato juice--stir to thicken. Add turkey and simmer while you cook the rice. Serve over rice.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2003

    Kerry, Lieberman: Thanks for Nothing

    Following is the 54 to 44 roll call by which the Senate voted to pass the Medicare prescription drug bill:

    Not Voting: Lieberman (Conn.), Kerry (Mass.).

    I'm still a diehard Deaniac but I must tip my hat to Senator Edwards on this one...

    Tuesday, November 25, 2003

    The kid stays in the picture - in Des Moines with the Deaniacs

    I'm two heads above Dean in the black IUPAT shirt. I no longer have the shirt, I was giving away buttons off my shirts and shirts off my back all day.

    It had been ages since I'd been to a Jefferson-Jackson dinner or done any hoopla-ortiented stuff; this year my political activism has been laptop-centered. But it was fun being a kid again, hollerin' and waving signs.
    Coin nerd strikes again

    Apparantly I found the first Arkansas quarter in Iowa. Or at least I was the first person nerdy enough to 1) madly check my change for Arkansas quarters and 2) actually report it to a web site.

    Of corse I was collecting coins when I was six so there's a pretty deep level of numismatic nerdiness to begin with (also note that I used the word "numismatic")

    Sunday, November 16, 2003

    We don't need Bubba

    Washingtom Post today:

    "Solid Republican victories in the Kentucky and Mississippi *governors' races, coupled with Howard Dean's clumsy overture to Confederate flag-waving Southerners, have raised anew the question of whether Democratic presidential candidates can compete in the South.

    They can't.

    And precisely because they can't, they should stop trying. Moving forward, the Democrats would be better served by simply conceding the South and redirecting their already scarce resources to more promising states where they're making gains, especially those in the Southwest. .."

    * but note Louisiana!

    Sunday, November 09, 2003

    Hungarian Says Rock Defeated Communism

    "Andras Simonyi, Hungary's ambassador to the United States, spent an hour Saturday night discussing the impact of Western songs on Eastern European politics before an invitation-only audience of 250 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame..."

    Sunday, November 02, 2003

    My pain and suffering

    Due to the most bizarre cable mixup I've YET seen, I am NOT currently watching the Packer-Viking game on ESPN. Channel 50 was instead showing WE, The Women's Entertainment channel. Which would have been OK IF channel 61, WE's duly designated home, had been shoing ESPN. But WE was happily at home on 61. And about seven other channels as well.

    Now, Gorillas In The Mist is a fine and noble movie. But not on NINE channels when I'm getting Brett Favre on ZERO channels!

    It's not as painful as some of my Packer memories. But it's painful.

    Friday, October 31, 2003

    Stephanie's back!

    "Democrat Stephanie Herseth said Thursday that she will again run for South Dakota's lone U.S. House seat. The 32-year-old Houghton native surprised many observers in 2002 by running a competitive race against Janklow, the state's longtime Republican governor and sitting member of the U.S. House..."

    She's a great candidate with an impeccable South Dakota pedigree (Grandpa was governor). And at the risk of going out on a limb, she's also quite attractive. Hmm. South Dakota is right next door, maybe I could go volunteer?

    Thursday, October 30, 2003

    Dean gets Big Purple?

    "Service Employees International Union president Andrew Stern said, “It is becoming clear that the passion of the members lies with Governor Dean, and that ultimately the decision before the board will be to either endorse him or endorse no one.”

    We just won Johnson County...

    Thursday, October 23, 2003

    Painters to Be First Union to Back Dean

    "Howard Dean is getting his first union endorsement next week from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades..."

    And lord don't ya know it's MY union! We were also just about the only union for Bradley in 2000...

    Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    Ranking the Field

    I've been scant on original content here, just passing stuff along. So I did a quick and simple ranking of the presidential field.

    It's odd but I'm finding myself more involved in local campaigns than in the caucuses. The presidential campaigns are a lot like what is called, in Dilbert-speak, "seagull manager": Flies in out of nowhere, makes a lot of noise, shits all over everything and then leaves.

    The presidential choice is as much about direction and feeling as it is about specific issues. It's about what it means to be a Democrat. So with that in mind, here we go.

    1. Dean.
    I'm official for Howard at this point, as much for dynamic as for specifics. The small dollor donors, the Internet buzz, the Dean Corps volunteerism - this is the guy who could win back a big chunk of the Nader vote (like me).

    The goofy thing is I'm less upset with people who are for other candidates now who were for Bradley in 2000 than I am with people who are Dean now but were for Gore in 2000.

    2. Kerry.
    Frankly, Dean would never have had a chance if John Kerry had voted No on the war. On just about everything else Kerry is a solid liberal. But he's trying to have it both ways on the war; his right to be critical is compromised by his Yes vote. And the "I was a peacenik in `71" schtick is a negative; the John Lennon picture is just too blatant.

    3. Kucinich.
    Good on almost every issue, but I just don't trust him on choice. The guy was a "right to lifer" (sic) his whole political life - unil he decides to run for president?!? Plus the personality is a bit strident. Dean's anger seems righteous while Dennis just looks petulant. The commitment to the contest is iffy, he's also running for re-election to the House.

    4. Gephardt.
    Past his shelf life. How can he get elected president when he can't get elected speaker? In the UK he would have been prime minister. In the Republican Party he would have gotten a Bob Dole style "it's his turn" nomination. Still his record is mostly good except on the war (not only voted yes but enthusiastically supported.)

    5. Edwards.
    I reject the conventional Southern strategy argument of "we need Bubba back." I prefer this Southern strategy: black running mate, massive get out the vote drive in African American community.

    That said, Edwards does economic populist just a tad better than Gephardt. He's got the fire in the belly commitment to the race, having stepped out of the Senate. But I just want a president who doesn't use the phrase "didn't hurt me a lick."

    6. Sharpton
    7. Mosely-Braun

    I have to rank them somewhere even though it's clear neither will be nominated. Sharpton is running to be the new Jesse Jackson. Mosely-Braun is running - just barely - for historic vindication, to get out from under the ethics cloud of her Senate term. I give Sharpton the edge on motive.

    8. Clark.
    I just don't trust a general. And the political ineptitude is showing. The candidacy can be summed up in one word: gravitas. But that only matters to elites.

    9. Uncommitted. I could see supporting any of the above eight as the nominee.

    10. Candidate not currently in the race other than Gore.

    11. One of my cats.

    12. My other cat.

    13 - 38. Any present member of the Chicago Cubs.

    39 - 46,102: Anyone with a seat in Wrigley Field.

    46,103 - 3,975,443: Anyone within 25 miles of Wrigley Field.

    3,975,444: Lieberman. His main strategic error was filing as a Democrat.

    Friday, October 10, 2003

    Joe Strummer's Final Album Released

    "Mick Jones, Strummer's former bandmate in The Clash, was among guests at the event at London's White Cube Gallery Thursday night to mark the release of "Streetcore." ..."

    Monday, October 06, 2003

    Republicans Fear Dean!

    Secret GOP Memo Leak! You can't read the whole article since Roll Call went to a pay service, but here's the nut:

    "The difference between Howard Dean and the rest of the Democrat candidates is that Dean comes across as a true believer to the base but will not appear threatening to folks in the middle. We are whistling past the graveyard if we think Howard Dean will be a pushover."
    For frenzied Cub fans, the future is now

    "In the left field bleachers of Turner Field in Atlanta, Marianne Scott of Tinley Park gripped her good luck charm, a hollowed-out baseball that holds her mother's ashes. 'I believe she's here with us, so I brought her to the park. Before she died, we asked her if she would help us from heaven....'"

    Makes me glad I quit being a Braves fan after the divorce.

    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    Judge Rules Michigan High School Student Allowed to Wear T-Shirt Calling Bush 'Terrorist'

    "A high school student has the right to wear a T-shirt to school with the face of President Bush and the words "International Terrorist" on the front, a federal judge ruled..."

    This is EXACTLY the kind of speech the First Amendment is meant to protect! One cheer for the judge and a bunch of cheers for the kid!
    Wesley Clark: Still Not a Democrat

    "According to the Pulaski County (Ark.) Voter Registrar's office, the former four-star general remains a registered independent..."

    Tuesday, September 23, 2003


    About Time!

    "Rock bands SONIC YOUTH, THE DONNAS and THE LIARS are among a host of musicians to join the BANDS AGAINST BUSH (BAB) collective who hope to thwart the American President's (sic) success at the 2004 elections..."

    Tuesday, September 16, 2003

    Championship Vinyl!

    " the vast universe of popular music, there exists an oft-overlooked group of dedicated individuals who devote their ample free time to collecting, debating, and publishing the minutiae of the rock genre. They are the losers who write rock's rich and storied history..."
    I hate to blog David Yepsen, but...

    "Howard Dean may well be the next president of the United States because of something called the "Dean Corps" in Iowa... they are taking politics back to the future by organizing campaign work around community-service projects..."

    Makes me want to toast him with a $3 latte.

    Friday, September 12, 2003

    Bye Bye Johnny

    "Johnny Cash walked the line for nearly 50 years, every inch of his journey through the country, gospel, folk and rock worlds etched into his face. The journey ended early Friday. He was 71..."

    Back in my country DJ days, while I was learning country from the roots up, I took every chance I got to play Johnny Cash on the radio.

    I was lucky enough to see him live once, at Farm Aid 1993.

    One of the true giantd of country and rock.

    Thursday, September 11, 2003

    Now Here's A Shocker

    "Tommy Chong, who played one half of the dope-smoking duo in the Cheech and Chong movies, was sentenced to nine months in federal prison and fined $20,000 Thursday for selling bongs and other drug paraphernalia over the Internet...."

    why, why, why?

    Wednesday, September 10, 2003

    Tuesday, September 09, 2003

    Not Again

    "Republican Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday called a third special session of the Legislature to redraw Texas' congressional districts after the Democrats thwarted two previous attempts by fleeing the state..."
    Greetings from Bloom County, Iowa

    "Cartoonist Berkeley Breathed is resurrecting Opus the penguin from the 1980s comic strip Bloom County for a new series to appear in Sunday comics this November..."

    My college buggies and I used to joke about roadtripping down to Iowa City to party with Berke Breathed. Little did I know that one day I would be LIVING in Bloom County...

    Monday, September 08, 2003

    I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

    "Warren Zevon, who wrote and sang the rock hit 'Werewolves of London' and was among the wittiest and most original of a broad circle of singer-songwriters to emerge from Los Angeles in the 1970s, has died. He was 56..."

    Tuesday, August 26, 2003

    Warren's Still With Us!

    Congratulations to Warren Zevon. His album The Wind is released today and he lived to see the day.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2003 : Ailing Zevon Gives Lesson With His Exit

    "A week before his diagnosis, Zevon had called Jorge Calderon and said he wanted to make another disc. The two men have been best friends since their first meeting in 1972, when a mutual friend asked Calderon for a ride to bail Zevon out of the drunk tank.

    "The question was, `Do you still want to do that or do you want to go to Mexico and lie on a beach and forget about all that,'" Calderon said. "He was going through that in his mind, what to do with such a shocking piece of news. Who knows how to handle that?

    "He called back and said, `I still want to do this.'"

    You did it, Warren. Thanks.

    Everybody go buy it Tuesday.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2003

    Monday, August 18, 2003

    Gotti's Brother Charged With Plotting Hit on Sammy the Bull

    "Peter Gotti was charged Monday with plotting to kill Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, the Mafia turncoat who once dared the Gambino crime family to hunt him down.

    The indictment included five other Gambino family members already charged in a wide racketeering conspiracy that included the alleged plot to kill Gravano. Gravano was arrested in a drug case before the hit could be carried out..."

    The words "rat" and "whacked" appear nowhere...

    Tuesday, August 12, 2003

    Dean is no Dukakis

    "Republicans have a dream so vivid and real they can taste the political blood on it: 2004 will be 1988 redux. Howard Dean against George Bush II will be a replay of Michael Dukakis against George Bush I. And that means the former Vermont governor is going to be dead meat.

    Well, not exactly..."

    Dream on, Karl Rove...

    Give Arnold Money?!!?

    "I don't need to take any money from anybody. I have plenty of money myself" - Arnold Schwarzenegger to reporters August 6 Wednesday.

    "Click Here To Contribute Online Now!", August 12

    Friday, August 08, 2003

    After the Brouhaha and Boycott, Dixie Chicks and Fans Still Aren't Singing the Blues

    "President Bush, he just made an apology, something about nuclear weapons that weren't really there," Hallman says. "That was a lot worse than what Natalie done."

    Thursday, August 07, 2003

    The Ultimate Politics of Celebrity

    There's household name celebrities and then there's first name basis, name on the marquee above the title, $20 million a film celebrities. Not just a movie star - one of the half dozen biggest movie stars.

    Ah-nold for governor just put the presidential race on the back pages for two months.

    Notice how he managed to work in "hasta la vista baby," "I'll be back" and "pump you up" (not even his catchphrase!) in less than 15 minutes.

    Last night might have been the peak: now that he's in he will have to take actual positions on actual issues.

    And did anyone notice that the guy who started this 300 ring circus, Darrell Issa, just dropped out?

    On the down side I had really been looking forward to Senator Jerry Springer... : Gore Repeats Pledge Not to Run in 2004

    Cue up the Hallelujah chorus...

    "I am not going to join them, but later in the political cycle I will endorse one of them..."

    That oughta be the kiss of death...

    Wednesday, August 06, 2003

    Quote of the day

    "Former candidate for vice-president Joe Lieberman today warned that nominating Howard Dean would be a ticket to nowhere. And if there's one thing Joe Lieberman knows about, it's being on a ticket to nowhere" (Conan O' Brien on "Late Night").

    Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - Politics - Shomshor Wins Council Bluffs Special Election

    That's plus one for the Dems....
    Yahoo! News - Dean: I Have Best Chance to Oust Bush

    "We've got to bring new people into the electoral process," Dean said on NBC's "Today" show. "We're going to say that to the people of Ralph Nader, ... people who voted for John McCain and Ross Perot. ... and that's the beginning of the coalition that I think can change the occupancy of the White House. "

    Exactly, Doc, exactly...

    Thursday, July 31, 2003

    Kidman wins libel suit over affair rumours

    See, I told you she was saving herself for me...
    I didn't know there was a back road to the airport."

    "The 11 Democratic senators from Texas had known for weeks that the moment might come when they would have to flee Austin to try to thwart a congressional redistricting bill. But as events developed quickly at the state Capitol in Austin on Monday, a decision to leave had to be made immediately and the senators were forced to board a pair of private jets for Albuquerque with literally little more than the clothes on their backs..."

    Wednesday, July 30, 2003

    My nightmare is not yet over

    "Former Vice-President Al Gore is coming under pressure from political supporters and friends to jump into the 2004 presidential campaign... a former Democratic National Committee official close to Gore told The Hill he believes the former vice president may enter the Democratic primary this fall..."


    Tuesday, July 29, 2003

    Killer Ds II: I knew I shoulda took that left toin at Albuquerque

    "Democratic state lawmakers have again fled Texas to confound GOP efforts to redraw boundaries in order to guarantee a Republican majority in the state's U.S. House delegation. This time, however, the action — or lack thereof — is on the Senate side, where 11 Democrats boarded two private planes and flew to Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday afternoon..."

    Monday, July 21, 2003

    Deans-berry and Iowa

    Yeah, I got one of the letters...
    Local power brokers always ahead in the primaries

    Life in caucusland: multiple mentions of hometown folks in national political articles...

    "..the backing of a respected local person can be more effective than any ad. Endorsements don't guarantee victories — but they can give a candidate credibility. They are especially powerful when the person making the endorsement has sway with a network of potential voters.

    Like, say, Sarah Swisher..."

    And here's another one:

    Joe Bolkcom, a state senator in Iowa, where Democrats will cast the first votes in January, said, “I want to win. Dean’s electability will be a significant part of my decision” on supporting him

    Wednesday, July 16, 2003

    Signs Point to a Rocky Path for Lieberman

    Good news here:

    "A staff shake-up and slap from the NAACP this week are just the latest signs of the problems facing presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman, whose strategy for winning the nomination faces deep skepticism from many fellow Democrats..."

    Monday, July 14, 2003

    Don't be another George McGovern?

    I wish we had another McGovern... Wise words today from the South Dakotan himself, the best president we never had.

    Thursday, July 10, 2003

    Among Democrats, The Energy Seems To Be on the Left

    innnnteresting article:

    "Whether the invigorated left is a good or bad thing depends, for many Democratic leaders, on how recent history is interpreted. Indeed, the issue can be boiled down to a single question: What actually happened in the 2000 presidential election?"

    Don't get me started...

    TX: Senate rejects House redistricting map, will draw its own map


    "It's a silly map. I can't support that," said Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, whose home county of McLennan is divided into two congressional districts in the House plan. "I can't support splitting my county."

    Tuesday, July 08, 2003

    Monday, July 07, 2003

    The man who was a Beatle

    "To this day, Pete Best has no idea why he was forced out of the Beatles..."

    Didn't he do a solo album called "Best of the Beatles"?

    Monday, June 30, 2003

    Comic voice emerges for Bush re-election

    As a long time fan I would be remiss if I did not note with sad disappointment the Republicanization of Dennis Miller.

    Sure, we knew all along he wasn't a Hollywood liberal. But he always had this fascinating libertarian streak to him. I seriously thought the Libertarians should look at him as a candidate.

    In the long run, how comfortable is the party of the Christian Coalition going to be with Mr. Four Letter Word? And how comfortable is he going to be with them?

    And a Danny Goldberg moment: if Dennis had offered to do a Democratic event, would we have taken him up on it? More likely we would have thrown it back in his face, scared of alienating cultural conservatives who don't support us anyway...

    Sunday, June 29, 2003

    Hollywood Loses Katharine Hepburn

    But in the end, there were at least two things Hepburn never regretted--her love for Tracy, and her non-love of the media that covered the two of them, separately and together, for decades.

    "Death will be a great relief," she once said. "No more interviews."

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    'Wiseguy' Henry Hill Writes Guide to NYC4061483

    In his guide, Hill reveals that Scorsese never let him meet with Ray Liotta, his on-screen alter ego. "He didn't want me to influence him whatsoever," writes Hill.

    Robert De Niro, in contrast, endlessly quizzed Hill for insights into the character based on Jimmy "The Gent" Burke...

    Thursday, June 26, 2003

    Senator wants to crack down on lewd broadcasts4061483

    Fritz Hollings obviously hasn't grown since he was on the Tipper hearings committee:

    "I wouldn't publicly repeat that language, indecency and filth myself," Hollings said. "He ought never to have a license again."
    American Gays Hail Ruling, Look to Marriage

    "This is a great day for liberty. I think this is a clear evidence ... America isn't really homophobic. It just use to think it was supposed to be" - Barney Frank

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003 POLITICS: SPEAKING OF LIEBERMAN

    I couldn't have made this one up:

    "At a symposium following the film, Bush media adviser Mark McKinnon said that he and another adviser recommended Lieberman as a running mate in 2000 ... for BUSH. McKinnon said that the supposition was that integrity would be big in the 2000 election, and 'if the question was values,' Lieberman was the answer..."

    Monday, June 23, 2003

    For Liberals, It's Morning in America - Shock jocks are the progressive answer to Rush Limbaugh. By Marc Fisher

    I decided to re-blog this. Re-read it in the context of Danny Goldberg's book.
    Chicago Tribune | 1 court retirement could tip balance

    Here comes the Holy War, or "in the words of one Republican lawyer, a 'death cage match'...":

    "Although the fevered talk of a possible retirement at the Supreme Court has centered on Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, sources knowledgeable about the court are quietly speculating that John Paul Stevens, the oldest and arguably most liberal justice, is considering stepping down..."
    Jackson Wants Democrats to Focus on South (

    Now here's a Southern Strategy I like:

    "Jackson said Southern states shouldn't be ceded to President Bush because they have large black populations that tend to support Democrats. "They gave up the fight," he said of the Gore campaign..."

    Sunday, June 22, 2003

    Sharon: Israel Can Continue Expanding Settlements

    Here's MY peace plan:

    Cut off every dime to these bastards until the Palestinians have a country.

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    Chicken pox added to mandatory list

    "Chicken pox vaccinations are now required for children entering school or child care, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced Friday. The new rule was approved by the Iowa Legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Vilsack this spring..."

    That was going to be my first bill if I had won that election.

    Friday, June 20, 2003 : Feds Follow Canada Marijuana Proposal

    "Paul Kennedy, senior assistant deputy solicitor general for Canada noted while marijuana enters the U.S., cocaine and guns tend to travel north..." so who's got the worse end of that, eh?

    First gay marriage, now this. Bush and Ashcroft must be having seizures.

    Thursday, June 19, 2003

    Wired News: Orrin Hatch: Software Pirate?

    Republican hypocrisy watch:

    "Hatch himself is using unlicensed software on his official website, which presumably would qualify his computer to be smoked by the system he proposes..."

    Tuesday, June 17, 2003

    Southern Baptists start gay initiative

    Meanwhile, in America:

    "The Southern Baptist Convention announced a new initiative Tuesday to convince gays that they can become heterosexual if they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and reject their “sinful, destructive lifestyle....”

    O, CA-na-DA...
    Canadian Government to Allow Gay Marriage

    Now that's a nice present for Pride Week.

    "The announcement means the government decided against appealing recent court rulings that declared the nation's definition of marriage as unconstitutional because it specified the union of a man and woman..."

    I find myself blogging way more Fox News items that I ever thought likely.
    Hatch Takes Aim at Illegal Downloading

    Scary Republican Idea Of The Week:

    "He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, then destroy their computer. "If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think they would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said..."

    Monday, June 16, 2003 Books | How the left lost teen spirit

    More Danny Goldberg. It's worth the Salon ad.
    Exile gone mainstream

    Anyone else heard the eponymous "Liz Phair" yet?

    sigh... I remember how I felt the day I was at the college radio station, eagerly broke open "Cut The Crap" by the Clash... and then played it.

    I waited five years for this?

    Six weeks ago, I heard the lead cut "Extraordinary" on one of the WB teeny bopper shows. Unknowing, I asked my stepdaughter who it was - and she actually thought it was Avril Lavigne! Obviously The Matrix production team captured their sound again.

    Somehow if I had imagined a Liz Phair song about underwear, it would have been a lot better than the one she actually wrote. And the best she can say about a fling with a younger guy is "rock me all night"? Did she consult the cliche dictionary? And she even throws in a self-referential lyric, eeew.

    Oh, and here's the big insight on male-female relations: "it's a war, and nothin's gonna change." This from the woman who wrote "Fuck And Run"?

    This is the funny part : she gets her first ever TipperSticker on this one. How Tipper and Joe Lieberman ever missed Exile In Guyville I'll never know. (Actually, I think I do: Liz is a cute white girl with an upscale college-rock demographic, and not a metal mutant or a gangsta rapper. Notice how she gets the Mark of Quality only when she makes the Big Grab For The Hearts And Minds Of The Mainstream?) The song in question, officially titled "H.W.C." (someone somewhere wimped out and didn't spell it out) is much, uh, breezier than one would have expected.

    Conventional industry wisdom, June 2003: Exile was a fluke. Maybe Eponymous will be a big hit and some innocent kids will be forever corrupted by the lyrics to "Flower." That, and only that, gives me hope.

    Off to play the "Girlysound" bootlegs it took me three months to download...

    The good news is, like me, Liz is single again. If Nicole Kidman never calls, I have a backup plan... well, maybe not after this post. Wait, Liz, maybe it'll grow on me...
    Sparse crowd at 'draft Gore' rally

    Ha, ha, ha ha, ha...

    "A rally to drum up support for a presidential run by former vice president Al Gore drew a sparse crowd of just over 100 people..."

    Friday, June 13, 2003

    Sopranos: Season 6?

    "David Chase is talking to HBO about the possibility of doing a sixth season. (The show's fifth season is currently in production and is slated to debut in early 2004.) Meanwhile, James Gandolfini has taken a giant step towards repairing his image in the wake of his very public salary renegotiation with HBO earlier this year. The Emmy winner, who recently received an advance on his share of the Sopranos profits from the network, reportedly handed out $500,000 in checks to more than a dozen of his fellow cast members..."

    Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    E! Online News - "Sopranos" Shelf-Life Extended?

    "David Chase hinted that the fifth season could extend beyond the planned 13 episodes..."

    The bad news:

    "Extra episodes could mean the hit HBO show won't be back on the air until February or March 2004..." Madon'! that's a long time!

    Musical guests join Zevon's final album

    "Fortunately, I have a studio in my apartment. So I'm going to be able to stagger into that thing pretty much when the hearse is idling at the curb..."

    Chicago Tribune | Springer Senate bid not just talk


    "Talk-show host Jerry Springer on Tuesday moved a step closer toward a U.S. Senate bid, announcing the creation of an exploratory campaign committee in Ohio..."

    Springer exploratory committee site

    Sunday, June 08, 2003

    Bush's Scorched-Earth Campaign

    "The presidency's real goal is to disable the Democratic opposition, once and for all..."

    An interesting read that explains a lot.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2003

    It's Official

    As of 1:24 PM:

    "In the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Iowa
    in re: the marriage of John Charles Deeth and Laura Renee Deeth,
    Decree of Dissolution of Marriage..."

    Nice to have something to remember the day by rather than Tiananmen Square...

    Monday, June 02, 2003

    Welcome, new Democrat

    Citing the continued intolerance of Republicans on gay issues, a New Hampshire state representative switched over to the Democratic Party last Friday.

    "We are hated, we are marginalized, and are basically unwanted by a party that has forsaken the principles of Abraham Lincoln and become dominated by a right wing that falls far short of representing mainstream America," said Rep. Corey Corbin, D-Rockingham.

    Corbin has joined the Elected Officials Caucus of the National Stonewall Democrats...

    Gossip Archive Front Page

    Hey, the MSNBC gossip quiz left me off the list:

    5. This man was linked with Nicole Kidman -- but she has denied anything romantic exists between them.

    a) Russell Crowe
    b) Jim Carrey
    c) Ewan McGregor
    d) Iain Glen
    e) hunky Esquire writer Tom Junod
    f) Jude Law
    g) Rapper Q-Tip
    h) Toby Maguire
    i) Adrien Brody
    j) All of the above

    Thursday, May 29, 2003

    Philly Boy Scouts Defy National Stance on Gays

    "'We disagree with the national stance, and we're not comfortable with the stated national policy,' council Chairman David H. Lipson Jr. said..."

    Iowa City, are you listening?

    Dutch Potheads Decry New No-Smoking Law

    The drug policy debate in the Netherlands is just a TAD different than ours:

    "Under a new ban on smoking in public places, Dutch coffee shops would be allowed to continue selling joints, but customers would have to go outside to smoke them..."
    The Comeback Kid making a comeback?

    "Clinton suggested yesterday, to a packed John F. Kennedy Library and Museum audience, that he thinks the 22d Amendment should be amended, making citizens eligible to serve more than eight years as president over their lifetimes..."

    He'd have whomped Dubya like he whomped Poppy...

    Anyone else remember NPR's Nixon for President April Fools 1992 broadcast?

    Tuesday, May 27, 2003

    Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit" by Danny Goldberg

    I tried to buy this book as soon as I learned of its existence; Prairie Lights says it's not out till a week or so from now. Go to your locally owned book store and buy it ASAP; if you can't find it check that Prairie Lights link...

    The author, a long time civil liberties activist and music industry insider states: "It’s rational for conservatives to attack pop culture because they have a constituency that for religious or cultural reasons is offended by the four-letter words and so on. It might cost them a few libertarians, but the good outweighs the bad. What’s irrational is Democrats doing it, because their constituency mostly likes pop culture. They might win some tiny group of swing voters, but they’re attacking a huge chunk of their following and not gaining very much."

    And THIS is what I've been trying to tell my fellow Democrats for three years:

    "Lieberman is a more extreme, humorless version of Tipper Gore, and he’s obsessed with beating up on pop culture... Al Gore believed that Lieberman was going to cleanse him of Clinton’s sexual behavior, and he completely turned his back on a huge percentage of his base. He never related to the Nader voters, never related to young people, and with a great economy and peace in the world, managed to lose an election."

    More from Danny Goldberg

    More from a couple years ago

    Telling excerpt from reviews:

    "In a meeting with Jack Newfield, according to Goldberg, liberal Sen. Charles Schumer confessed to having never heard of Eminem. This illustrates record producer and civil liberties activist Goldberg's powerful critique of the left and the Democratic Party's failure to stay in touch with its broad popular base and with popular culture as a way of reaching them..."

    Politics of Celebrity Again: Gov. AH-nold

    "Arnold Schwarzenegger says he may think about running for California governor after the summer release of his new movie, 'Terminator 3'..."

    Thursday, May 22, 2003

    The Onion | '90s Punk Decries Punks Of Today

    "I saw some kid wearing a Sex Pistols T-shirt the other day—he couldn't have been more than 9 when the Pistols did their Filthy Lucre reunion tour," Tolbert said. "I was like, 'You can listen to the music, you can wear the T-shirt, but I was there.' I had fifth-row seats at that goddamn stadium, man, right up front, close enough to see Johnny Rotten's wrinkles. Did you see an original member of The Clash play during Big Audio Dynamite II's last tour? Did you see two of the four original Ramones play at the KROQ Weenie Roast in '95? You did not, but I did. I swear to God, they're like a joke, these people."

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    Lieberman Watch: Now He Takes On Video Games

    This little item illustrates one of the things that's most wrong with the attacks on popular culture that Joe Lieberman and Tipper Gore so love: portraying censorship as a progressive or feminist issue.

    Lieberman also committs the fallacy of arguing for censorship by illustrating and emphasizing the most unappetizing examples, when the real point is the principle. The details of the speech involved are only one aspect of the debate, just like the crimes involved are only one facet of the death penalty debate. You don't have to approve of murder to oppose executions, and you don't have to approve of content to support free speech.

    Monday, May 19, 2003

    Kidman awaits Mr Right

    And she STILL hasn't called!
    E! Online News - Weiland: Stoned Temple Pilot?

    THAT didn't take long... - Supreme Court Seat Shuffle? Judges' retirements would spark first shift in decades


    "Well-informed court observers say that there could be two Supreme Court resignations next month, Chief Justice William H. Rehn quist and Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, bringing the greatest upheaval on the court in 32 years..."

    And right in the middle of the Democratic presidential nomination...

    Friday, May 16, 2003 : Texas Democrats Leave Okla., Return Home

    "Runaway Texas Democrats returned to a heroes' welcome at the Capitol on Friday after their self-imposed exile in Oklahoma killed a redistricting bill they hated. Legislative business in the House of Representatives resumed.

    "Welcome home, Texas heroes," one sign read as the lawmakers stepped up to the Capitol to cheers and applause from like-minded citizens..."
    DallasNews -Democrats back in Austin

    Redistricting bill dead; House GOP leaders expect no retribution

    "They rolled out about 10:45 p.m. and crossed the state line 30 minutes later. Democrats held a brief news conference amid blustery winds, and about 15 of them repeatedly shouted, "Glad to be back in Texas!" as they flashed the "hook 'em Horns" sign to the media... - Texas Dems return home - May. 16, 2003

    YEEEEEE-HA! They won!
    Alleged Mobster Charged With Plotting Hit on Sammy the Bull

    Now THAT's a shocker...

    "A reputed Gambino family hit man has been charged with plotting to kill mob turncoat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, who left the witness protection program and dared the Mafia to hunt him down..."

    Thursday, May 15, 2003

    E! Online News - Guns N' Weiland

    Scott Wieland? Slash et al. hire the one guy in all of rock who may be as completely dysfunctional as Axl?

    Actual Chinese democracy still likely before Chinese Democracy...

    Come on, sky! Clear up before the eclipse!
    CBS News | Report: Feds Joined Texas Posse | May 15, 2003 12:45:39

    This Texas thing is now officially As Big As It Gets even by Texas standards:

    "...the lawmakers said they received bandannas, whiskey and a note from Willie Nelson, who wrote 'Way to go. Stand your ground.'"

    Tuesday, May 13, 2003

    The Burnt Orange Report: News Politics, and Fun from Deep in the Heart of Texas

    For color and flavor you can't beat the Texas State Legislature.

    Short version:

    The Texas GOP is trying to re-redistrict the state's congressional delegation. This is Tom DeLay's baby.

    The GOP has majorities in both Texas houses. However, a 2/3 quorum is required.


    53 Democratic legislators have "disappeared" and state troopers are out looking for them. Most are believed holed up at the Ardmore, Oklahoma Holiday Inn.

    Even if you don't know the names and faces, this whole thing is worth the read...

    Saturday, May 10, 2003

    The Mill to close in June

    Sigh... it just gets worse and worse and worse.

    "Keith has had enough," his wife said. "Keith is tired by now. He's tired of fighting with the City Council. First, there's the smoking ordinance. Then, there's the 19-and-older ordinance. Who knows what they're going to do next?"

    The first time my parents, who are in their 60s, came to visit me in Iowa City, the Mill was the very first place I took them. And they loved it. And we went back.

    When is Iowa City going to start playing to its strengths?

    Friday, May 09, 2003

    Smiles Coffee - the freshest, home roasted coffee you can brew

    Avoid Smiles Coffee like you would avoid dinner with Hannibal Lecter!

    E-commerce at its worst. WHY does it take five seconds to debit your account, but five WEEKS to credit the same account? Also the rudest customer service on the planet.

    Not much one can do when you're already cancelling your business, but I'm blogging this just for the principle of it. Maybe some search engine will spider me and spread my advice.

    Thursday, May 08, 2003

    Appeals court rules against young Packers fan, favors school

    Now this is some SERIOUS messin' with free speech:

    "A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that the New Prague, Minn., School District did not deprive a fourth-grade student of constitutional rights when it barred him from wearing a Green Bay Packers jersey to a Minnesota Vikings party..."

    My home town is on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi and we had a sizable minority of Viking fans when I was a kid. There used to be playground fights - actual pint-size punching fights - between the Packer and Viking fans.

    Wednesday, May 07, 2003 : Do Violent Lyrics Beget Violent Thoughts?

    "Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a Democratic candidate for president, says, "This study is another reminder of the potential health risks posed by media violence, and of the need for parents to pay attention to their children's media diets."

    In a statement, Lieberman says he is preparing a proposal to set up a federal program to fund new research into 'both the positive and negative consequences of electronic media use and expand our knowledge base in this area.'"

    I said it before, I'll say it again and for the record: If Lieberman is the nominee I will vote for Ralph Nader again.

    That reminds me, I promised my daughter a copy of 8 Mile. That's between me and her and NONE of Joe and Tipper's business.

    Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - News - Bicyclist Wearing Only Thong Draws Range Of Comments

    Not that the article is that noteworthy, but when it was first up it had a banner ad for the California Smoker's Helpline: 1-800-NO-BUTTS


    Monday, May 05, 2003

    Exhuming McCarthy

    Senate unseals 50-year-old McCarthy transcripts...

    "Among the nearly 500 witnesses covered in transcripts of closed door meetings, made public Monday by the Senate, are composer Aaron Copland, New York Times journalist James Reston and Eslanda Goode Robeson, the wife of blacklisted singer-actor Paul Robeson..."

    Any comments from Natalie Maines, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon would be especially timely.

    By the way, I did my patriotic duty and bought a copy of the Dixie Chicks latest the other night. Every so often I reminisce back to my two years as a country DJ...

    Wednesday, April 30, 2003

    Philadelphia Inquirer | 04/30/2003 | Santorum mailing angers his critics

    "Not long after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum sent out a letter asking for money for a nonprofit group lobbying against same-sex marriages.

    "I know it may sound like a huge exaggeration, particularly in light of the attack on America, but this may truly be the most important letter I ever write you," Santorum wrote. The letter endorsed Alexandria, Va.-based Alliance for Marriage and its campaign for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

    This mass mailing has generated a new round of criticism of the senator from gay-rights advocates. Yesterday, they said Santorum, by seemingly equating terrorism and gay marriage, had showed a stunning lack of judgment..."

    Tuesday, April 29, 2003 : Frist Says Santorum's Post Not in Peril

    "People who work with Rick day in, day out understand he's a man of caring, compassion and tolerance," Frist said. "Strongly religious, a man of great faith, an effective and strong leader. In terms of questioning his leadership ability or position, it's a non-issue."

    And Frist said this with a straight face. (pun intended) : Nicole Still Loves Tom

    Oh you silly, silly woman...

    Kidman now calls herself "very single" and said "I'm waiting for someone to come rock my world."

    And Nicole, dear, you STILL haven't called me...

    Monday, April 28, 2003

    Boston Globe Online / Santorum's odious comparisons

    "Santorum's position even goes beyond the supposedly ''tolerant'' notion that homosexuality is OK as long as it's kept invisible: He believes the state should be able to jail people for having the ''wrong kind'' of sex in their bedrooms. Furthermore, likening same-sex relationships to child molestation and bestiality implicitly denies the very humanity of such relationships."

    OK. Here's the problem the Republicans have with this:

    Trent Lott was a no-brainer. Racial politics are still very much part of the GOP electoral equation, just look at how Bush/Ashcroft handled the U of Michigan case. But nobody this side of the Klan is going to openly defend Emmett Till-era American apartheid.

    But a whole lot of Republicans actually agree with Rick Santorum's view of gay people. There's no way Dick Armey's "Barney Fag" comment was a one time thing...

    There's two kinds of Republicans: Money Republicans and Jesus Republicans. And this kind of crap is the stuff the Jesus Republicans really care about. Denounce Santorum and the Republicans alienate their own base. (Unlike Democrats, Republicans care a whole lot about not alienating their base.)

    Speaking of Democrats who alienate their base: I finally managed to track down a complete copy of Liz Phair's Girlysound and am enjoying my free speech and expression accordingly. Joe Lieberman and Tipper would be aghast...
    The Miami Herald | 04/27/2003 | Bob Graham's workdays

    This one gives credit for where Graham, uh, 'borrowed' the idea:

    "Graham had retained a hotshot Democratic consultant named Bob Squier to develop his television commercials. Squier immediately grasped the visual possibilities, noting that he had created the television ads in 1974 for Tom Harkin, a working-class congressional candidate from Iowa who had tried his hand at various jobs throughout the campaign. The publicity from the jobs -- reinforced by Squier's television ads from the work sites -- helped elect Harkin."

    For the record: Graham is running for vice president.
    Springer weighs pros and cons of Senate run


    "The question is whether I can cut through the clutter of the show,'' said Springer...

    For those who scoff, three words: Governor Jesse Ventura.

    I say take this guy seriously. I don't know if Voinovich is beatable. But Springer, despite high negatives, has something priceless: 100% name ID. The Capitol has been populated increasingly with any variety of actors, jocks, and astronauts who have a leg up on the competition because people already know who they are. I say it's preferable to the other new breed politician, the self-financed gazillionare candidate.

    And have you ever seen the guy outside the context of the show? He seems like an entire reasonable thoughtful guy.

    He oughta clean up on the all important Moms Who Dress Like Sluts And Slept With Their Daughter's Boyfriends vote... hey, I had to get one cheap shot in!

    (Article also has some stuff on Jim Edgar in Illinois.)

    Saturday, April 26, 2003

    Carry Nation rides again

    This one is really interesting in the Iowa City context...

    "As far as CASA is concerned, there is no significant difference between use and abuse. The authors gloss over the exhaustively documented health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption to arrive by statistical sleight-of-hand at their headline-grabbing figures. Their data transforms a couple sharing a bottle of wine over dinner into alcohol abusers. More than two drinks a day, and you're a drunkard...."

    Friday, April 25, 2003

    ‘D’oh’! Foes of signs fear more jokes at city’s expense -

    "Mayor Jack Ford has delayed approving new welcome signs with "ToledOH!" after learning about the potential for Toledo to be equated with Homer Simpson..."

    Wednesday, April 23, 2003

    City shelves 21-only law

    This is to stop the referendum, or at least get it pushed off to a time when their own seats aren't up.. This is also set up to fail so they can come back in a year and try 21 again...

    "But I will still be here in a year... I will watch this very closely." - Connie Champion.

    Remember: without the students, Iowa City is just Tipton with a toothpaste factory.
    Springsteen speaks up for Dix Chix

    "The Dixie Chicks have taken a big hit lately for exercising their basic right to express themselves. To me, they're terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech. For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks, for speaking out is un-American.

    The pressure coming from the government and big business to enforce conformity of thought concerning the war and politics goes against everything that this country is about - namely freedom. Right now, we are supposedly fighting to create freedom in Iraq, at the same time that some are trying to intimidate and punish people for using that same freedom here at home.

    I don't know what happens next, but I do want to add my voice to those who think that the Dixie Chicks are getting a raw deal, and an un-American one to boot. I send them my support." - Bruce Springsteen

    Tuesday, April 22, 2003

    Insert Your Own Punchline

    Ex-Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) will make his "first public appearance" in SC since returning from DC when he flies to a family gathering "on the private jet of a Hooters Air executive" (Columbia State).

    Gay groups rip Santorum

    "Some said the comments could be as ruinous as Trent Lott's remarks in December praising Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist campaign for president - words that ultimately forced him to resign as Senate Republican leader..."

    For the record here's what Santorum said:

    "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."

    Monday, April 21, 2003

    Enjoy Caucuses While They Last Part II

    "Michigan leaders confided to The Union Leader that they essentially want assurances from McAuliffe that this will be New Hampshire’s final first primary..."

    Also caught up in this: NH's attempts to pass a right to work law are alienating the Democratic labor base - and that doesn't help the status of right-to-work Iowa...

    I'm sticking with my prediction that 2004 is The End Of The Caucuses As We Know Them.

    Thursday, April 17, 2003

    Planet X to close May 11

    Boy, no one saw this coming, huh? Here's your non-alc alternative, City Council!

    Wednesday, April 16, 2003

    Iowa Caucuses: Enjoy Them While They Last (Manchester Union Leader)

    On the surface, Iowa and New Hampshire win for 2004, but get this:

    "But in rejecting the Levin-Dingell plan, the AFL-CIO’s resolution also called for creation of a commission to review the 2008 delegate selection process. The DNC and Levin-Dingell backers continue to negotiate issues related to such a commission."

    Look out, here comes the all-star team...

    Sources said the commission would be chaired by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Other members would include former Vice Presidents Al Gore and Walter Mondale, 1988 nominee Michael Dukakis and former Sen. Bill Bradley.

    The view in Michigan yesterday was that even if the Levin-Dingell New Hampshire challenge fails in this cycle, the DNC will see to it that “the New Hampshire and Iowa privilege,” as one source close to the negotiations put it, ends in 2004. "

    Tuesday, April 15, 2003

    Redhead List

    For no good reason other than to embarrass myself.

    1. keep ya guessin'
    2. Nicole Kidman (that Oscar winning redhead. Says she's waiting for someone to "rock her world"; hasn't called yet)
    3. Julianne Moore (that Oscar deserving redhead)
    4. Gillian Anderson (fake but a good fake)
    5. Laura Prepon (That 70's Chick)

    But five redheads are not enough!

    Honorable Mention

    Retired: Shirley Manson (who has the hopefully temporary idea that blondes have more fun)
    UPDATE 4/23: Just saw a picture from toward the end of the Garbage tour last fall and my girl Shirl seems to be letting the red grow back. (!) WIll watch for further developments (if the pattern follows: a year off in Scotland, 18 months in the studio in Madison, and a year or so on tour in about 2005-06)

    Reincarnated Redhead: Shirley MacLaine

    Classic Redhead: Rita Hayworth

    All time classic Redhead: Ann-Margaret in Viva Las Vegas

    60-something Redhead: Ann-Margaret again

    50-something Redheads: Susan Sarandon, Bonnie Raitt

    Redheads most likely to be called Reds: see above

    Cartoon category, 21st century BC: Wilma Flintstone

    Cartoon category, 21st century AD: Kim Possible (hey, I have a teenage kid, I see the Disney channel. Kim Possible would be a babe if she were real...)

    Comic strip category: the little red headed girl

    Unrequited category: ditto

    Only redhead I am likely to sleep with in the near future: Butterscotch the cat
    Chicago Tribune: Fitzgerald not going to pursue re-election

    Finally, after weeks of no news but war news, some inside-baseball politics!

    Primary or general, Fitzgerald was a goner either way.

    As for Fitzgeralds predecessor Carol Moseley-Braun: does this ripple into the presidential race? That one-voter trip to Des Moines must have been rattling...

    Wednesday, April 09, 2003

    Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon join forces for tour

    No, it was supposed to say Journey AND Puppet Show... Ya know, this woulda filled stadiums when I was in high school.

    One of the great cultural moments in my adolescence was the week the B-52s were on Saturday Night Live. Foreverafter there were two camps: those of us who got the joke and thought it was cool, and those who thought they were idiots (actually I think the word they used was probably "fags" but that raises a whoooole buncha other issues and I was just talking music for the moment.)

    Monday, April 07, 2003 : Vincent 'The Chin' Gigante Pleads Guilty

    Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, the powerful mafia boss who authorities said feigned insanity for decades in an attempt to avoid prosecution, ended the ruse Monday by admitting he misled doctors evaluating him...

    Thursday, March 27, 2003 : Record Labels to Reissue 3 Zevon Albums

    The man who wrote "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" is taking it literally, working right up to the end. This is a guy you only hear on the radio at Halloween, and he gets people like Dylan, Neil Young, REM, and Jerry Garcia to play as his sidemen. Keep on rockin' as long as you can, Warren, and thanks for spending the last of your time here making music.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2003

    Dead Iraqi Would Have Loved Democracy: As usual the Onion does it best.

    On a more serious note get the latest Iraqi civilian body count here. Amazingly enough I found this link on Fox News.

    Monday, March 24, 2003

    Bill Holm: When needed most, the voice that could say 'no' is gone

    "For the last several months of war drumming, I've heard in my inner ear the undelivered speeches of Paul Wellstone, almost the only large public voice to stand up to Bush on the authorization of war powers. Wellstone seems to have been the last live conscience in the Democratic Party..."

    Sunday, March 23, 2003

    Michael Moore scolds Bush at Oscars

    "We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results, that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons."

    On a lighter note

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    Guns N' Roses "Civil War" lyrics

    Look at your young men fighting
    Look at your women crying
    Look at your young men dying
    The way they've always done before...

    I moved to Iowa City in August 1990. The Kuwait invasion was that week. By coincidence, this song was also released. Even though it wasn't directly about Gulf War I, the coincidence of time was stunning. It was also the one time Axl and company directed their considerable anger at a deserving target.

    I've been thinking of this song this week. - Hockey - Fans boo U.S. anthem before Isles-Habs game in Montreal - Friday March 21, 2003 12:57 AM

    "The sellout crowd of 21,273 was asked to "show your support and respect for two great nations" before the singing of the American and Canadian national anthems.

    But a significant portion of the crowd booed throughout Star-Spangled Banner in an apparent display of their displeasure with the U.S.-led war against Iraq. More than 200,000 people turned out for an anti-war demonstration in Montreal last Saturday..."

    Audioslave gets political at Warfield / Cornell goes after Bush, Rage-style

    "I don't like bombing people in the name of people who pay taxes," Cornell growled. "It pisses me off."

    De la Rocha, eat your heart out.

    On a stage flanked by anti-war signs ("How Many Iraqis Per Gallon?" and "Somewhere in Texas a Village Is Missing Its Idiot"), Audioslave -- Cornell, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk -- showed it has successfully struck a balance between Rage's musical manifestos and the dark confessionals Cornell wrote with Soundgarden.