07/23/13

Extra Mustard

Anthony Weiner is back in the news both as a Mayoral candidate in New York City and for new allegations concerning lewd text messaging with someone other than his wife. I covered briefly his prior transgressions here.

His mayoral candidacy is the second high profile political comeback of the year, after former Governor, Mark Sanford, won the congressional seat for the First District here in South Carolina.

This isn’t about infidelity or forgiveness or moralizing. It’s about not being dopey enough to just keep voting for a name we recognize. Our civic duty demands more.

So, please do yourself a favor and don’t vote for Weiner. Not because he’s unfaithful or a sex addict or the victim of one of the most self-fulfillingly prophetic names ever. But, just because surely there has to be somebody else.

anthony weiner

Performed by ipoet. Music produced by 2bit.

Today’s previously posted song blog here:

Hotdoggin'

11/16/12

Breaking Red Dawn

So much I’d like to cover but I’m slammed. Preparing for a huge mediation. Bunch of travel. Oh and, of course, tonight’s Twilight premiere, Breaking Dawn Part 2. Team Edward, here.

Israel and Gaza have been trading rockets. A real UFO over Denver. The, what I like to call, “Jill Kelley Experience.” Too many choices.

But, in the roughly 45 minutes I have tonight before I go “imprint” on a bucket of popcorn, I want to tackle this little thing called China’s Central Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party (PSC). And, if you’re brain just retranslated the last sentence “Rope ’em Gangnam style”? — well, then you’re a racist.

Anyway, pretty sexy stuff. The PSC is apparently the primary decision making body of the Communist party. It’s the holy of holies so to speak. It represents essentially the leadership of China. The new committee members were announced today. The whole process is fairly secretive and so little is known about the committee or the method by which it is formed. But, hey, that didn’t stop me from writing a whole news rap about it, like an expert.

Plus, the committee members were again drawn principally from a group with maybe the coolest name ever: “the princelings,” or Crown Prince Party. The name refers to the offspring of certain famous and wealthy revolutionary leaders. But, don’t let the title fool you. They’re all over 65 and accompished. This isn’t some Tommy Boy family business style inheritance. Still their continued presence is an obstacle apparently to real reform and policy balance in the Chinese government.

Really, I just wanted to say “Xi” in a rap.

By the way, it’s 2:21 am and I’m recording this, with the worst mic I have, in the front seat of my Volvo (in honor of the Cullens of course). My mother-in-law is here and for some reason my wife doesn’t prefer that I record in our room in the middle of the night. She’s cooky, that one.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced Sundance.

Today’s blong here:

Crown Prince Party

11/6/12

Color My Map

My wife couldn’t get over John King’s hands. (King, along with Wolf Blitzer, is one of CNN’s main electoral analysts on election night.) They were frozen in a sort of claw position no matter the gesture. I told her, “Uh. Everyone knows the molded action-figure-finger is the optimal hand positioning for manipulating the Magic Board.” Sheesk. She knows nothing about politics.

On another night where only “swing states” really mattered, John King’s crippled hands and political analysts, cable-wide, were literally swinging around digital states like misshapen blue and red pucks on ice. Grided counties and precincts and swirling percentages and exit polls and actual votes. It was like a math team had exploded.

This just in: I nailed my Montana prediction. Again.

The candidates have been campaigning relentlessly in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Florida and Colorado for the chance that those states would swing to their ledger. Tonight Romney was only able to pendulum Virginia and Indiana and North Carolina, however. That was never going to be enough.

[For those of you keeping score at home, I went Obama, Romney, Obama on my predictions. Best 2 out of 3. Consider it “nailed.”]

I don’t mind the political striation of our country. It’s pretty amazing really. America is not comprised of drastically red and blue states, although such creatures exist. I mean, places like Florida and Colorado are literally split down the middle 50/50. And, that’s a real impressive thing. Our political differences live on top of each other. Don’t let the map and King’s hobbled hands fool you. It’s not red in the middle and blue on the edges. It’s a puzzle of both throughout.

I’m thankful for the mad theater of our national presidential race. It’s like the Super Bowl and Family Fued all rolled up into one. It creates real democratic energy and I believe we will see that turnout was up again for a fifth straight election.

My wife also wondered out loud whether John King was married for his incessant breathless and auctioneer style talking. Surely not. And, she vowed that she would certainly call to tell me to stop if I were ever in his position. Did I mention she plainly knows very little about politics?? Incessant talking like a precious treasure.

Congratulations to President Obama. I believed he had earned a second term. And while I don’t publicly endorse, I had privately hoped. As I indicated, we would have been in capable hands either way. But, I’ve always sensed in President Obama a discretion that I could trust even over policy I could not.

Forward.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced djclutch.

Today’s blong here:

Swing State

11/6/12

Nail Biter

This is my electoral prediction for tonight. I’m predicting a Romney upset in Ohio and Virginia but that President Obama holds onto Pennsylvania and Colorado, and the White House, barely.

Ohio and Virginia (and PA) are places precisely where voter energy and turnout has been overestimated in Obama’s favor. I do not think that Obama will enjoy the same coalition of voters that made signficiant victories in those and other swing states possible in 2008.

11/6/12

Done and Done

What a great American tradition. Love it. And, don’t think I wasn’t profiled and intimidated!

Check back for more election coverage tonight. I hope to be bringing you all the breaking news from in front of an enormous digital 3-D American Flag and bald eagle. And yes I only have one outfit. But, what’s more patriotic than a Washington Nationals flat bill?! I mean surely Francis Scott Key was rocking a three-cornered version when he penned the anthem right?

11/4/12

What it tis it taint and what taint it tis

There is a quantum principle that says you can’t know the velocity and the location of a subatomic particle at the same time. You can know one attribute or another but not both simultaneously.

And they (as in smart theoretical physics dudes) swear it’s not a technological issue. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is an immutable quantum attribute. Smarter people and better equipment will make no difference.

Although I learned about it in school and have since read it’s description countless times, I couldn’t swear that what I’m about to say is actually true of it. But, I believe that the reason the principle is immutable is that particles of that size are necessarily affected by observation. They are so small and “influential” for lack of a better word that to “see” them is to necessarily change them.

That’s what everyone (as in the Republican right) is screaming about Nate Silver and his election probability data, which suggests that President Obama has an approximately 85% chance of winning the election. Nate Silver is a statistician with a background in gaming sports lines based on high falutin’ math principles like adding and long-dividing and stuff. His critics say that to make such a lopsided observation about Obama’s chances of winning is to necessarily influence people to vote or stay home somehow.

Considering the vast industry which has formed just around the political “prediction” business it is a strange accusation for any side to scream that Silver, having assigned a roughly 85% probability of an Obama win even as many important states are essentially a coin flip, has somehow unduly “affected” the possible outcome.

Like observing a gluon. To prognosticate is to dictate, apparently, the cry goes.

But, I suspect it’s more about one side not liking that their “guess” is getting less traction than the other guys “guess.”

Luckily, in two days the conjecture will all be through.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced Sundance.

Today’s blong here:

Permanent Indeterminate

10/22/12

A Win Win: The Final 2012 Presidential Debate

Don’t miss it, America.

If you’re too frustrated or cracking too many jokes or screaming at your TV too loudly, you’re going to miss the most important takeaway of these debates:

Both of these men can run our country.

They have different policies and different philosophies and different annoying mannerisms. The “Excuse me, I’m still speaking . . . .” versus the “Um . . . look . . . .” But, they’re leaders. Differently but comparably qualified. They’re bright, fluent in the important issues of our time, and able to engage with conviction. They strike at fallacies with pointedness but concede some common view. They have executive experience and grassroots.

And this is all new, right? I think we would say that it’s been a while since we felt exactly like that about either or both presidential candidates. In fact, you might have to reach back to something like Nixon v. Kennedy to find any comparable blend of ability and moxy on both sides. It’s usually a dull one and a charismatic one. Or a bright one and a less than bright one. Romney is no Prom King and Obama’s cult of personality has long since dimmed. But, they’re legitimately sharp and full of meaningful energy.

Trust me, the differences matter. And, don’t be fooled by the closeness of position reflected in tonight’s foreign policy debate. It’s hard to be too far apart on issues like, “Is it good to kill bad guys from other countries?” or “Do you think America is worth protecting?” or “Which is your favorite color? Red, white, or blue?” Their Americas will in fact look somewhat different. And, whether you have a job, how much you’re making, and how much you’ll ultimately keep may very well hang in the balance.

But, we should consider ourselves lucky, USA. One of them will lose. But, we really can’t.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.

Today’s song blog here:

The Adults in the Room

10/21/12

“YOU CAN’T WIN!”

This site doesn’t do endorsements.

Well, except of hair product and mythical creatures. I roundly support both. L’Oréal and unicorns, specifically.

So the following is only a prediction and not an aspiration:

Obama will lose.

I believed a Romney victory was an effective impossibility until the last debate. In fact, I predicted an Obama victory. But, then, last Tuesday, it hit me. In the words of Adrian Balboa to Rocky right after his decision to avenge the death of his friend Apollo Creed by fighting the Russian, Drago, “YOU. CAN’T. WIN!”

“Oh, Adrian. Adrian always tells the truth,” the tired fighter conceded. “No maybe I can’t win.”

One could argue many hours, and we all have, about who is responsible for the last five years of economic ruin and subsequent stagnation. If the housing-market-bubble-securitization theory is to be believed, then really it is all to be pinned on many decades of legislative policy, republican and democrat, both as to securities regulation and mortgage lending. I would be hesitant to accuse any particular administration, Clinton, Bush, Obama, or otherwise.

But, whatever the cause, Obama presided over its consequences. And, it is clear to me at this point that it is simply too easy to criticize the numbers and to imagine what life would have been like if a Republican or really anyone else had been in the White House. For all Obama has accomplished in areas of national security and domestic policy, he can’t prove a negative when it comes to the economy: that things would have been much worse without him.

I long ago, made the case for Romney’s competence. For much of the primary season and into the general election, he seemed to have misplaced it. He has regained prior form in the debates. And that simple demonstration of composure plus a 4-year record of dismal economic activity, on Obama’s watch, all adds up to a loss. People are simply desperate that something new just might work.

It’s over.

But, Rocky knew that sometimes the fight itself was the winning and that your opponent has to be willing to sacrifice everything in order to beat a man willing, himself, to lose it all:

Maybe the only thing I can do is just take everything he’s got. But, to beat me he’s gonna have to kill me, and to kill me he’s gotta have the heart to stand in front of me, and to do that he’s gotta be willing to die himself. I don’t know if he’s ready to do that. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I have no idea what I’m talking about. I just hope that Obama has a black Lamborghini to drive at top speeds while Robert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out” plays to a montage of boxing memories — including throwing a motorcycle helmet at a bronze statute of himself and double-time jump roping shirtless — in his head.

Just saying. November 6 will be one for the ages.

Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by dave santos.

Today’s song blog here:

No Easy Way Out

09/19/12

47%

Performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s song blog here:

Boxscore

09/5/12

Pitch Perfect

Bill Clinton was a pretty special capstone to a drudgery of speeches at the DNC this evening.

During his presidency, people we knew would say that Clinton reminded them of my dad. That they talked, even looked similar.

You might as well have said my dad was a mangy street mongrel than to have compared him to Bill Clinton. Of all the people that hated President Clinton, on the right, my dad had to be like No. 1 or 2, right ahead of Limbaugh but maybe just behind Paula Jones.

I never really saw it during most of his time in office – the comparison to my father. But, I remember the tour of the White House Clinton gave for the annual Christmas special. I guess the last one. I remember, at the time, thinking how effortlessly smart he seemed. People had always said it, but I couldn’t get past the alleged infidelities and petulant smirking to ever really give him a chance.

I think the first time it hit me was the Chris Wallace interview, many years later. He was so sharp. Defensive but accurate and lethally persuasive. Perfect recall and detail, albeit his version. And, that’s when I heard it all. The cadence and the passion. The charisma and force of a southern man who knew how to fight with words.

And, now I can’t watch Clinton without thinking about my dad. (Mercifully, he is unlikely to see this post. Rap news isn’t really his thing.) But, if you do, Dad, I mean it for all the things that could ever be said good about Clinton or any man. Adamancy. Conviction. Strength.

I’m proud my dad is pitched so perfectly to Clinton, in intonation if not ideology.

This site is purposely non-partisan, for the ethical demands of my work (job) and out of some philosophical deference to a healthy conversation about politics.

But, I feel moved to say that, as part of a generation of conservative youth raised essentially to despise him, I honestly mourn the missed opportunities of Clinton’s presidency and my chance to have appreciated him. I feel sadly robbed.

I’m a different political person than I was back then. But, my views on Clinton turned a corner long before many of my policy positions began to move. It’s a reminder to be careful in how we view the individuals who we perceive as political opponents.

Clinton said it best tonight: there’s good politics and then there’s real life. Cooperation is what works in real life. Whether your Romney or Obama this fall, don’t let a theatrical hatred of the other, a product largely of modern marketing, blind you to the decent and capable men they both can be. You might be surprised who you see in one or both many years after it will be too late to matter anymore.

There was so much material tonight. My head was going to explode for thinking about all the possible songs, parody and straight. A little about the roll call. A little about Clinton. Updated after President Obama’s speech tonight.

Rally to reasonableness.

Performed by ipoet.  Music produced by a new producer to the site, Dave Santos. Def won’t be the last.

Today’s song blog here:

Rally