Friday, February 29, 2008

WFB: A rememberance

That video is impossible to concieve of in today's political environment, even though it took place 30 years ago. Imagine Hugh Hewitt debating Mitt Romney over the Iraq War and you begin to get an idea of what was taking place. Not only was Buckley gracious, erudite and intellectually honest to a fault, he was debating his greatest political bedfellow. Ronald Reagan. In a world where commentators are often reduced to being cheerleaders for their side, Buckley's willingness to debate a man whom he believed should be President stands out. Not only did Buckley debate him, but he honestly engaged Reagan. Watch that closing argument again. Buckley wasn't pulling any punches.

William F. Buckley had two qualities that I value and that most commentators lack: intellectual honesty and a willingness to be friends with his intellectual adversaries. His friendship was not a mere affectation. Nor was his intellectual honesty. When he wrote that the war was a failure, it wasn't a desperate attempt to get his name in newspapers. Or a bid to get invited to the best parties, since he hosted them.

I love reading Buckley if for no other reason than to expand my vocabulary. And along with George Will, he shows that one can be a conservative (or a Whig in Will's case), while remaining friendly with those who oppose your policies. That kind of true friendship -- Reagan and Tip O'Neill sharing drinks after savaging each other on camera comes to mind -- is sorely needed in Washington.

I propose a toast to William F. Buckley -- it's the same toast Reagan once gave to Tip.

If I had a ticket to heaven and you didn't have one, too, I'd give my ticket away and go to hell with you."


Thursday, February 28, 2008

What Not To Do

So Brett retired than un-retired today...this is exactly what I didn't want to "is he? isn't he?" thing all spring long...

On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers' official Web site briefly reported he was retiring, but the page under the breaking news section was live for only a few minutes.

"There's nothing to it," Packers spokesman Jeff Blumb told The Associated Press. "People who handle our Web site had set up a dummy page in the event he was to retire. They were asked to take down that page."

Jose Gonzalez -- Stay in the Shade
From the Veneer album.

Maximo Park -- I Want You To Stay

From A Certain Trigger.

Talking Heads -- Stay Hungry [1977 Remastered Version]
From More Songs About Buildings and Food.


A leader to be proud of.

Princess Superstar -- Perfect
From the Best of Princess Superstar.

The Kinks -- Prince of Punks [Live]

From the One for the Road live album.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy -- Today I Started Celebrating Again
From the At Home With the Groovebox collection.

Chester A. Arthur May Have Been A....

Now, I was aware that John McCain was born "in Panama" or more accurately the Panama Canal Zone but I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find that Chester A. Arthur may have been CANADIAN!:

CHESTER A. ARTHUR was born in Vermont, but rumors suggested it was Canada.
Southpark -- Blame Canada

Geddy Lee -- O Canada
Both of these songs are from the soundtrack to Southpark: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.

Boards of Canada -- Roygbiv
From the Music Has the Right To Children album.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In Memorium of CS's Hero

Some great William F. Buckley books and a musical counterargument:

Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography
Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Miles Away [from the original Yeah Yeah Yeah's EP.]

Cancel Your Goddamn Subscription: Notes & Asides from the National Review
Beck -- Canceled Check [from the Mutations album.]

God and Man at Yale
Sam & Dave -- Soul Man [from the Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration.]

The Redhunter
The Shins -- Red Rabbits [from Wincing the Night Away.]

Garfield II


This is my favorite Garfield Minus Garfield comic. I love the subtle humor of this one.

English Earthquakes

You learn something new everyday...

Earthquakes frequently hit Britain -- between 200 and 300 annually, according to the British Geological Survey, although most have a magnitude of less than 2. Earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.0 to 4.9 hit mainland Britain about once every two years and strike beneath the North Sea about once per year.

Britain's strongest recorded quake was the North Sea quake of June 7, 1931, with a magnitude of 6.1. It was felt across the British isles and in northwestern Germany. The quake killed one person.

Beck -- Earthquake Weather
From the Guero album.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

It is sadly probably only a matter of time until this blog, Garfield Minus Garfield, gets sued and shut down, but until then enjoy the sublime creation of the Garfield cartoon without Garfield. It reminds me of when Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz are played together and the product becomes a whole new thing entirely...

Here are two of my favorites:

Al Stewart -- Year of the Cat
From the album of the same title.

Tony Tisdale -- Catwalkin'
This is the song played during the beauty pageant montage in Little Miss Sunshine and can be found on the movie's soundtrack.

Some Rare Hot Chip

Give the people what they want right?

Hot Chip -- Bad Luck
From a NME collection The Best New Band Showcase 2005.

Hot Chip -- A Glue Too Thick

From the Boy From School EP.

Adem -- Launch Yourself (Hot Chip Remix)
From a Domino Records sampler.
Here is some more info on Adem.

Looking For A Summer Job?

You know I will be looking for a job in June...

Craig Accepting Applications for Summer Interns
Deadline Quickly Approaching

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho Senator Larry Craig is currently seeking intern applications for the summer term, which runs from May to August. The application deadline is March 15, however if more time is needed for the application process, please contact Senator Craig's office for an extension. Craig offers paid internships within the Washington, D.C., office. Preference is given to Idaho applicants attending Idaho schools who are in their junior or senior years of college (including graduating seniors).

'"Interns have the chance to be an essential part of a working congressional office," said Craig. "They participate in the legislative process as well as ensure that constituent services run smoothly. For those interested in politics, it is an incredible opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our government functions while serving the people of Idaho."

Interns are paired with staff members based on experience and interests, in order to best utilize their talents. They are also expected to fulfill some administrative duties such as answering phones, sorting mail and greeting constituents.

Applications and more information about the internship program are available on Craig's website at or at any of Craig's six regional offices in Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston, Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. It is recommended that applications be delivered personally to the regional offices or sent via fax to (202) 224-2573. Applications can also be mailed, but delays are likely due to heightened security measures for Senate mail. Mailed applications should be directed to:

Office of Senator Larry Craig
ATTN: Internship Program
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-1203
(202) 224-2752

English Beat -- Mirror In the Bathroom
From Beat This: The Best of English Beat.

500th Post: Confession Time

I had noticed that my blog post total had been getting close to 500 and I had been racking my brain on what to write about...a big music post? something else? After thinking about it I came to the conclusion of maybe telling the dirty little secret about this blog that you might not realize...the name "You Are So Relevant" does not have the proud indie rock credentials that I would hope for in a perfect world. Instead, it comes from a lyric in the Alanis Morissette song "So Pure."

Yikes, right?

I don't know what it was exactly but about a year ago I heard the song at my sister's house and the lyric made me laugh and I was keeping an eye out for a possible blog title and WHAMO! there it was...

You may remember the video as being a little groundbreaking at the time [this would be about 1998/1999]:

Alanis Morissette -- So Pure
From the Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie album.

Even More Blood

Yesterday, as I was watching the Oscars I was shocked to not see Jonny Greenwood's There Will Be Blood soundtrack nominated. I could have sworn he was nominated but after digging around I found that the soundtrack had been disqualified in January because not enough of the music included in the film had been written exclusively for the film. So much for me being an unquestioned Radiohead expert.

I posted two tracks from the album here and here are two more...

Jonny Greenwood -- Open Spaces

Jonny Greenwood -- Future Markets

About Two Years Ago

Death Cab For Cutie -- Crooked Teeth
From the Plans album.

Death Cab For Cutie -- Crooked Teeth (Live)
From the Live at KEXP, Volume 2 collection.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just Leave

Is the idea behind the release/push of this photo to the top of the election debate that Democratic primary voters will not vote for a Muslim? If you are a Democratic voter and you are influenced by this, please consider voting for Nader or McCain...or maybe Ron Paul will reverse his course and run as a 3rd party and then you can vote for him. You will probably enjoy reading the Ron Paul Political Report.

Muse -- Crying Shame
From the Supermassive Black Hole single.

Hot Hot Heat -- Shame On You

From the Elevator album.

Nirvana -- Ain't It A Shame (Demo)
From the Sliver: The Best of the Box collection.

The Kinks -- Such A Shame

From the Kinda Kinks album.

1 Down, 1 To Go

Here is the beginning of the end:

ARG Poll: Obama Leads in Texas, Clinton Ahead in Ohio

Two new polls from the American Research Group:

  • Texas: Obama 50%, Clinton 42%
  • Ohio: Clinton 49%, Obama 39%

Bowling for Soup -- Ohio (Come Back To Texas)
From the album A Hangover You Don't Deserve.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Forgotten Classic #5: Buckcherry "For the Movies"

I really thought Buckcherry was going to be some kind of new Aerosmith...a band that rocks hard but also has a sensitive side. "For the Movies" tries to combine both parts I believe and they do it pretty well...

Here is the video starring Tara Reid:

Buckcherry -- For the Movies
From their self-titled debut.

He's Gonna Getcha

I am sure this will be forwarded around in the next couple days as the video of the moment...absolutely perfect:

New Matthew Sweet

I am a huge Matthew Sweet fan and some of the most fun I have ever had at a concert was seeing Matthew play at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis. So I was excited to hear that there is a new Matthew Sweet song floating around out there on a collection called Songs from the Bigtop. It is the soundtrack to the film The Bigtop and includes songs by The Clientele, The Owls, and Damien Jurado. I have enjoyed it over the past couple of days...and you don't have to take my word for it as Pitchfork gave it a positive review as well.

Matthew Sweet -- Wild

From the Songs from the Bigtop soundtrack.

Matthew Sweet -- Superdeformed
From the classic No Alternative collection.

Matthew Sweet -- She Said, She Said (The Beatles cover)

Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs -- Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young cover)
From the Under the Covers, Volume 1 album.

Haven't I Heard That Before #5: The Beach Boys & Okkervil River

This is the first Okkervil River song that I really fell in love with...probably for the reason that they burst into "Sloop John B" at the 3:00 minute mark...

I think we can all relate to "This is the worst trip I've ever been on"...for me it was my 2nd summer trip to Kansas in which we visited Oklahoma and the car's air conditioning broke. My family vacations on the whole were always fun but that was the worst single day of traveling ever.

The Beach Boys -- Sloop John B
From the Pet Sounds album.

Okkervil River -- John Allyn Smith Sails

From The Stage Names album.

Relevant Copy #1: Buddy Rich vs. Simon & Garfunkel

Through this series of posts I hope to highlight some not so obvious cover versions of songs that I like...let's begin...

I highlighted the Simon & Garfunkel song "Keep the Customer Satisfied" in this post. Well, I stumbled upon a great jazz cover of the song done by Buddy Rich the other day...

Buddy Rich -- Keep the Customer Satisfied (Simon & Garfunkel cover)

From the album Keep the Customer Satisfied.

Obligatory Hot Chip Post

Hot Chip -- Bendable Poseable
From Made In The Dark album.

More Blood

After talking big about the movie There Will Be Blood I finally got the chance to see it last week. I knew going in that I was going to be sitting in the theater with my mouth slightly open and just staring for about three hours because there is just something about P.T. Anderson's films that clicks with me. I have now seen all of the Best Picture nominees [excluding Atonement...I will take Laura's word that it is pretty good but that it isn't really my kind of movie] and I believe that TWBB is the best of them.

One of the best thing about these types of movies in which the viewer has to fill in large segments of the movie with their own interpretation of the story [No Country For Old Men fills this bill as well] is that we come up with theories that may or may not even be important to the movie. I personally feel that that segment in the movie and "the whisper" is not important to the film. Here is the entire scene in question:

My take on the scene is that at 5:25 point, Daniel Day-Lewis starts to laugh after first being slapped. I've seen enough outtakes and bloopers reels to know one when I see one. Plus it does not feel right based on the emotion he showed only twenty seconds before. As the slapping continues this time from a shot from the congregation's perspective I swear you can see Day-Lewis' smile the whole time. The crowning achievement being at 5:46 when he says "Yes I do" to the question to "Do you accept Jesus to be your savior?" Laughter broke out in the theater I was in when he said that.

Now I might be wrong, but I believe that entire scene was done in one take with two cameras. I bet the rule going in was "finish the scene no matter what happens." In this take I believe a happy accident occurred in that Day-Lewis started laughing and it added to the intimidation and rage his character feels towards Paul Dano's preacher character. Although Day-Lewis is literally being beaten by Dano he still laughs as if the slaps are a joke. So when the baptism is over, and Day-Lewis knows that he as f-ed up the scene by nearly laughing, he went over and shock hands with Dano and said something to the effect "I really messed that one up." Anderson saw magic in the scene though and included it...

Jonny Greenwood -- Proven Lands

Jonny Greenwood -- There Will Be Blood

Both available on the There Will Be Blood soundtrack.

The use of "backslider" in the clip got be thinking of the Radiohead song "Backdrifts"...I wish "backslider" was still used as an insult today...

Radiohead -- Backdrifts

And no There Will Be Blood post would be complete without this:

Jim Croce

Now that Led Zeppelin and the former Beatles' solo albums are available digitally and The Beatles albums may someday really, actually, probably, maybe will be available on iTunes in the future can it be that one of the biggest holes in the digital libraries are the albums of....Jim Croce?!? There is one live album available, Have You Heard Jim Croce Live, but none of his studio albums are out on either iTunes or Amazon.

Where are we supposed to get our "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" fix?

My favorite Croce song by far is "Operator" mainly because it has none of the comic almost-Shel Silverstein-like "Boy Named Sue" quality to it as in "...Leroy Brown" and "You Don't Mess Around With Jim." It is just a sad song about a guy who got dumped.

Jim Croce -- Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
From The Complete Collection collection.

Jim Croce -- Operator (Live)
From the Have You Heard Jim Croce Live CD.

The Inbox This Week

I am starting to get a little more email than I am able to keep up with while I am in school [don't get me wrong, this is a problem that I like to have] so in fairness to all you struggling Keith Richards' and Thom Yorke's out there I will collect some of the songs that I received each week and put them into one post so you, Dear Reader, can enjoy them as you should. Enjoy.

Art of the Week: The Finnish Embassy by Finnish architect Mikko Heikkinen at the Museum of Modern Art.

Some more Battle Royale for you...

The Battle Royale -- Notebooks
2008 Relevant Band #5: Now, Now Every Children

Now, Now Every Children -- Not One, But Two
Now, Now Every Children MySpace

Here is a sample of an album that I will be writing a little more about later:

The Federalists -- City Girl
The Federalists MySpace

[When The Federalists hit it big, I will be looking forward to The Federalist tribute band called The Anti-Federalists.]

2008 Relevant Band #6: Delorentos

Delorentos -- Basis of Everything
Delorentos MySpace

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Edison Lighthouse

Behind The Archies, Edison Lighthouse might be the 2nd most well known "faux band" [a group that doesn't exist other than to record a given song and then when that song becomes a huge hit try to pretend that they were a band all the time] of the 1960's.

Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows" is a work of shear pop perfection by songwriter Tony McCaulay and producer Barry Mason with the rest of the song filled in with studio session players.

The song meets two of the important pop characteristics of a first rate song from the 60's:

1. Is the main character named after a food product?

2. Are "odd" hippie terms used in the song?

The Answer: Yes and Yes! [Rosemary makes the love grow and she "talks lazy" whatever the hell that is...]

The Archies -- Sugar, Sugar

Believe it or not there is a pretty decent Archies greatest hits collection called Absolutely the Best of the Archies [as if they wouldn't be us the absolute best every time!]

Edison Lighthouse -- Love Grows
You can find this song on a bunch of 60's collection. There is one decent Edison Lighthouse collection but it looks to be out of print and no one is even selling a used is called The Best of Edison Lighthouse: Love Grows. But at all costs avoid anything "re-recorded" on iTunes.

Scarlett vs. Tom Waits

At first I thought this might have been a joke [if it had been April 1st] or maybe it was MSNBC getting fooled by a fake blog post...but it does appear to be real. Whether we need a Tom Waits cover album from Scarlett Johansson is another question entirely.

Tom Waits -- Grapefruit Moon
From the Closing Time album.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

John McCain vs. ABBA

From the London Times:

The Republican candidate, who had already been banned by John Mellencamp, the American rocker, from using his hits 'Our Country' and 'Pink Houses', found out that he has few fans in Scandinavia when he tried to adopt Abba's "Take a chance on me" as his campaign song. After running into difficulties with the Swedish supergroup, McCain lamented to reporters on board his plane that it wasn't as easy to play the song as he thought.
ABBA -- Take A Chance On Me
From the Gold: Greatest Hits collection.

Haven't I Heard That Before #4: Tommy James & The Shondells & Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World pays tribute to TJ & The Shondells at the 2:22 mark of possibly the best song off JEW's best album.

Tommy James & The Shondells -- Crimson & Clover
From The Essentials collection.

Jimmy Eat World -- Praise Chorus
Originally when it was released in July 2001, this album was called Bleed American but after September 11th they changed the title to just Jimmy Eat World.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Forgotten Classic #4: Edwyn Collins "Girl Like You"

Thanks to the Empire Records soundtrack and some heavy airplay for the video, "Girl Like You" was one of the great songs of the Summer of 1995. Oh to be 16 again!

I am happy to write that Edwyn Collins is recovering from the stroke he suffered in 2005. Last September he released a new album Home Again [currently available as an import in the US] and received some good reviews.

Edwyn Collins -- Girl Like You
From the Gorgeous George album.

Previously on Forgotten Classic:

#3: The Flys -- Got You (Where I Want You)
#2: Big Wreck -- The Oaf
#1a. Marvelous 3 -- Freak of the Week
#1b. Dexter Freebish -- Leaving Town

Forgotten Classic #4: Edwyn Collins

Wisconsin In One Photo

This photo from an NPR segment about the Wisconsin primary coming up this Tuesday beautifully sums up my home state in one photo:

Del Shannon -- Hats Off To Larry
From The Very Best Of Del Shannon collection.


A little less than two weeks until Will Ferrell's latest opus Semi-Pro hits theaters and I have a feeling it will be a lot better than Blades of is the "theme" song to the film...

Will Ferrell (Jackie Moon) -- Love Me Sexy

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Blog Post In Which I Say Some Nice Things About John McCain

I am writing a paper for school on the health care plans of the Democratic presidential candidates and so I thought I would give John McCain's website a glance just to see what's going on over are some thoughts, most of them positive...

1. I like the black, white, and gold colors...He gets points for not rehashing red, white, and blue...

2. Minus points for the slogan "Ready To Lead On Day One" an all too cheap slam on Obama and I sincerely hope he gets something a little better than that...I enjoy a good political debate but this just isn't up to snuff...

3. No 9/11 references on the front page and you actually have to look for the topic on the site...I didn't really believe that the 9/11 era of politics ended with Rudy Giuliani's lose in Florida but maybe it's true.

4. Cindy McCain turns out to be just like everyone else...well at least every other is a daily struggle to find something interesting to write and it looks like she gave up in September 2007...

The White Stripes -- Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me?
From the De Stijl album.

The Road To #1

I had half-heartedly joked to myself that I should start writing about my quest to have the #1 most popular song on Hype Machine...and then I go ahead and post a Jens Lekman song and bingo bango I am at #2...

Wilco -- Instrumental #2 (Take 2)
This is a demo from the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot recordings.

Haven't I Heard That Before #3: The Troggs and Beck

In all accuracy "I Can Only Give You Everything" has been recored by a bunch of groups including the MC5, Them, The Modernettes, and Richard Hell. I prefer The Trogg's version [maybe their third best song after "Love Is All Around" and "Wild Thing"]...but I'm not sure which version Beck became so enamored with that he incorporated the lead guitar part into "Devil's Haircut" from Odelay.

The Troggs -- I Can Only Give You Everything

From the Archeology (1967-1977) box set.

Beck -- Devil's Haircut
From Odelay.

2008 Relevant Band #4: Crawling With Kings

I stumbled upon this song today while getting some CDs ready for their fate on eBay...Absolutely outstanding.

Crawling with Kings -- In the 90's
Crawling with Kings website is here.

Not to be confused with Hoobastank's "Crawling in the Dark."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Can We All Agree

Can we please all agree that "the gloves have come off", are off, and will not be put back on until this damn primary season is over?

Haven't I Heard That Before #2: Jens Lekman and The Left Banke

Again, like my first post in this category, the newer one ("Black Cab") seems to pay homage to the older one by swiping the introduction from "I've Got Something On My Mind."

While best known for one of the greatest songs ever "Walk Away Renee" The Left Banke have a ton of great songs that almost no one really knows about. "I've Got Something On My Mind" is a prime example of this and the a great example of what became known as "baroque pop." Mr. Lekman seems like a natural successor to the "baroque pop" title.

The Left Banke -- I've Got Something On My Mind
I was going to write a long plea that you should go out and buy the complete Left Banke recordings called There's Gonna Be A Storm but it appears that it is out of print...what a travesty.

Jens Lekman -- Black Cab
From the Oh You're So Silent Jens collection.

Haven't I Heard That Before? #1: The Ronettes & Bat for Lashes

This is the first in a series that I hope I will be able to keep adding to over time...two songs that are related to each other in some way...oftentimes one is older and the other one is giving a "tip-of-the-hat" to the older song...This is certainly the case with Bat for Lashes song about a love that is ending "What's A Girl To Do?" to one of the best love songs ever...the similarities last only for a few seconds but they speak volumes I believe...

The Ronettes -- Be My Baby
This can be found on the Back to Mono collection.

Bat for Lashes -- What's A Girl To Do?
This can be found on Fur & Gold.

Just For Fun

The Future Sounds of London -- My Kingdom
From the Dead Cities album.

The Best Simon & Garfunkel Song You've Never Heard Of

I refer to the song "Keeping The Customer Satisfied." This little gem is tucked between "Cecelia" and "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" on Bridge Over Troubled Water. While I've technically "heard" the song probably 10-20 times just casually listening to Bridge it was only a few months ago that the greatness of this song really hit me. I really enjoy the lyric describing the protagonist's trials and tribulations of being a drug dealer:

"it's the same old story, yeah / everywhere I go /I get slandered, libeled /I hear words I've never heard in the bible"

It reminds me of this famous scene in Casablanca:

Simon & Garfunkel -- Keeping The Customer Satisfied

From Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"We May Need Emergency Surgery In The Studio"

Over the past few months I have returned to my first obsessive collection, baseball cards. This sort of thing tends to happen every year around World Series time and I will buy a box or two but this time my interest hasn't faded...I blame this on two things: 1. Laura being out of the country and 2. Shop At Home TV.
Every Saturday night, Shop At Home has their sports collectibles show and often times they have some kind of"amazing" sports card super deal...I have ordered a couple of times but usually I just like to watch...Well, all that is going away on March 7th when my beloved SAH goes off the air...sigh...

Here is Shop at Home's best moment:

And here is a great moment from one of the older card deals they have offered:

That host, Don West, went on to announce is a clip of him reading his lines during a match:

Franz Ferdinand -- Shopping for Blood
This from the Darts of Pleasure EP.

Sparks -- Shopping Mall of Love
This is from The Best of Sparks: Music That You Can Dance To.

John Adams

I don't have HBO so I will have to wait until the new John Adams mini-series hits DVD but I am so excited about seeing seven hours of Paul Giamatti playing our 2nd president...I am sure he stops aliens and seditious activity at an Emmy award winning level.

Elbow -- Coming Second (Live)
This live version is from a CD from an issue of NME but the original can be found on Asleep in the Back.

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles -- I Second That Emotion
This is from The Ultimate Collection.

The Wrens -- Per Second Second
From The Meadowlands album.

John Ryan & Robin O'Reilly

To follow up on the last post, I really enjoy this card from the same set honoring one of the greatest moments in sports ever...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Most Disturbing Baseball Card. Ever.

I can't discuss this rationally. I feel sick looking at it.

The Romney Question

With his campaign suspended and John McCain a virtual lock to be the party's nominee, Mitt Romney has to wonder where he went wrong. He had the money, the looks and a wide-open field. What happened?

The conventional wisdom is simple. There was no William Clark equivalent to issue the edict of "Let Romney be Romney" before the campaign started. A moderate wonky businessman who showed no real interest in social issues turned himself into a paint-by-numbers Republican nominee. A man who checked all of the right boxes, but who lacked real passion.

But would unleashing the "real" Mitt Romney -- the one who ran for governor in 2002 -- have made him into a presidential nominee? It's tempting to say yes. After all, this year's field was so weak that a near-broke candidate who is despised by some conservatives ended up winning the nomination. But the 2002 Romney would have had several disadvantages. He would have never been endorsed by men like James Bopp. Conservative presidential hopefuls dream of his endorsement the way that schoolgirls dream of having Zac Efron take them to the school dance. Robert Bork. Rick Santorum. National Review. These are heavy-hitters in the GOP arsenal. And there is no way that the 2002 Romney would have won them over. He would have been on the wrong side of abortion, gay rights, immigration and probably the war in Iraq.

Romney was trapped. The 2002 Romney would have been seen as Rudy Guiliani without the 9-11 credentials. Both are wonkish executives from the liberal Northeast, but Romney doesn't have Rudy's pugnaciousness that made GOP voters give him some consideration. The 2007-08 Romney lacks John McCain's compelling story, staunch backing of the war and his record of conservative voters to mollify outrage from some quarters. Of all the candidates -- even Barack Obama -- Romney would have benefited the most had the surge completely failed. McCain would have been unelectable -- the surge was his big bet of the campaign -- and GOP voters would have been more willing to bet on a businessman who had nothing to do with the war's creation or execution.

Romney's historical antecedent is Steve Forbes in 2000. Both were businessmen and the sons of Republican scions who were willing to put down large sums of cash to chase the presidency. On an intellectual level, conservatives liked what they had to say. But they could never make that emotional, gut-level connection like Reagan or GW Bush. McCain has been able to make that connection in spite of his intellectual heresies. There are some differences -- Romney had actually been elected to something and doesn't look like Edward Herrmann's slightly retarded younger brother -- but the similarities are striking. Despite checking all of the right boxes, they were never able to convince conservatives that they were one of them.

And barring Romney getting a Cabinet post, I see them having similar post-presidential run lives. Romney will likely spend his retirement serving on some corporate boards, occasionally appearing as a talking head and becoming a player in GOP politics. Forbes carries much more clout in the Republican party now than he ever did as a candidate (kind of a reverse Pat Buchanan). His campaign likely doomed from the start, its the best Romney can hope for.

P.S. I'm sorry my posting has been sporadic lately. I'm in the middle of a project that has been sucking my time away.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Butchering Queen

The best 2 And A Half Men episodes focus on the kid with as little Duckie as possible:

The Flaming Lips -- Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen Cover)

This was a bonus track on the extra special super version of At War With The Mystics.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


The Giants Win the Pennant! The Giants Win the Pennant!....err...The Giants Win the Super Bowl! The Giants Win the Super Bowl!

One thought: I hope Bill Belichick gets the same criticism that Randy Moss received for leaving the field [and the team] before time had expired on the clock...

Obama Brings The Dead To Life

No Obama is not like Christ...he's just got some fans who used to play in a band....

The Grateful Dead, the San Francisco cult rock band that has played at political events since the 1960s, will reunite on Monday for the first time in four years to rally support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, a spokesman said on Friday.

Band leader Jerry Garcia died in 1995. Surviving members have played together occasionally since then, most recently in 2004. On Monday, original members Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will play at a San Francisco theater a day before California's primary.

The Grateful Dead -- The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
This is the first song from the first Grateful Dead album.

TP & the HB

Tommy Petty & The Heartbreakers are playing and trying to not have a wardrobe malfunction...
we seem to be planning every Tom Petty song with an apostrophe in the title somewhere...not quite as good as Prince last year but then again no one almost got electrocuted either...I was hoping for some "Mary Jane's Last Dance" but no least there were no stupid guest appearances...

Their setlist:

American Girl
I Won't Back Down
Free Fallin'
Runnin' Down A Dream

All of these songs can be found on TP & the HB's Greatest Hits album.

It's Halftime

This has bugged me every time I've seen Eli Manning play...who or what is Eli Manning pointing at nearly every time he goes to snap the ball...can the defense be really that surprising that he needs to notify the rest of his team about the location of a defender?

Even though I picked the Giants, I can't believe it's 7-3...

Archers of Loaf -- Freezing Point

From the Speed of Cattle album.