Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Christian Right Killed the Republican Party

By: Jane Devin

When Ronald Reagan began courting the religious right in his bid to win the Presidency, I doubt he knew he was spelling death to the lean tenets of Goldwater conservatism. Yet soon afterward, under the thumb of right-wing religion, the Republican party became a bloated fool, stuffed with hypocrisy, greed, and anti-intellectualism. In 2008, the price is being paid through lost elections and a loss of public trust.

While Bush railed about the axis of evil, there was another axis that gathered steam during the Reagan years. The Moral Majority, Focus on the Family, and The Christian Coalition were all formed within years of each other as religiopolitical groups. Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Pat Robertson, the respective leaders of these movements, formed a triad that sought to influence politics through a gospel of neo-conservative Christian rhetoric aimed at millions of faithful adherents whose votes, it was hoped, could swing the socio-political pendulum away from progress and back to "traditional values."

In order to win the votes of the triad's faithful followers, Republican politicians bartered themselves into a hear-no-wrong, see-no-wrong trade-off. This trade-off allowed Falwell to hold sway with politicians, and appear as a respected political pundit on right-wing shows, even after outlandishly insisting that the purple Tinky Winky children's character was gay, or that the anti-Christ was coming in the form of a Jew. He could promote the idea of ending the public school system in favor of church-run schools, as he did in his book, America Can Be Saved, yet still wield considerable influence in Washington.

In trading endorsements for blindness, Pat Robertson could say that feminism "is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians" -- and even suggest that a nuclear device should be used to blow up the State Department -- yet Senators and other politicians would still appear on his CBN network, even after other controversies, such as the use of Operation Blessing planes for mining activities, splintered his Coalition.

Republican politicians continued to cater to James Dobson even after he distorted the research of scientists to promote his anti-gay agenda in Time magazine. Dobson, who operates several non-profits, has used millions in tax-free donations to try to influence nominations for the Supreme Court and to subvert the First Amendment separation of church and State, but legislators, rather than reining in the 800-pound gorilla, quaked under threat of being targeted by Dobson's political media machine.

There was a mutuality to the trade-off between the Christian right and its adopted Republican politicians. In exchange for being given credibility and influence in Washington, the triad and their various branches would justify the intrusive Patriot Act, torture at Guantanamo Bay, and massive governmental debt to their audience of millions -- if politicians would stand against Roe v. Wade. They wouldn't make a stink about outrageously expensive no-bid contracts -- if it meant that their "faith-based" charities could get governmental grants. They would support war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 -- if politicians went on the record against same-sex marriage.

The would ignore or excuse the fact that a large percentage of corporations paid no taxes at all -- if it meant no new taxes for them. They'd support Bush even as he misled the public about weapons of mass destruction, and they'd excuse the unethical actions of henchmen like Rove and Libby -- if it meant that school vouchers would be put on the agenda.

Working in tandem with their pocketed politicians, the Christian right would rejoice at the FCC's repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, which gave rise to a slew of unchecked right-wing programs that hawked the myth of a vast "liberal media", even as markets narrowed and became dominated by a handful of corporations.

Right-wing provocateurs like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh were encouraged to truck in fear, loathing, and controversy, mirroring the religious right's mission to divide the country into red/blue, good/evil, conservative/liberal, Christian/un-Christian factions. There was no room for the moderate middle in this "with us or against us" equation, as witnessed by the public shredding of moderate Republican politicians like Arlen Specter, a Jew, and a vocal critic of the Christian right. "What some are trying to do is take over the party," Specter warned in 1994. "That's bad for the Republican Party and bad for the country." Specter became a target of the religious right for his support of Roe v. Wade, and his refusal to bend to the will of religious power brokers like Dobson, who attempted to use his influence to block Specter's 2005 bid to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Today, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are among two of the more prominent Republican figures that have become mouthpieces for the religious right. Their attempts to split a diverse, multi-cultural country into "pro-America" and "anti-America" factions have left little doubt who is to be considered patriotic and who is not.

Those who are right-wing Christians -- anti-abortion, anti-feminism, anti-gay, anti-evolution, anti-taxes, pro-gun, and pro-deregulation -- and who are willing to ignore or justify massive governmental debt, corporate welfare, bank nationalization, unjustified war, falling markets, depleted retirement accounts, record foreclosures, government spying, broken treaties, torture, the impingement of a free press, the subversion of the First Amendment, the hiding of official records, the missing millions from Halliburton, and more - are patriotic. Everyone else is not.

Barry Goldwater once said that he was "sick and tired of the political preachers" that tried to dictate his morality.

"And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."
Goldwater, I think, would be rolling in his grave at the hijacking of his party by religious fundamentalists. It remains to be seen if the Republican party can recover from its long and seedy affair with the extreme right, but there is no doubt that many socially moderate, fiscally conservative Republicans are waiting for a leadership that is driven more by Goldwater ethics than by the bogeyman of a separatist, neo-con God.


Evangelical Leaders Using God Like a Hired Gun

By: Christine Wicker

They tried branding Obama the anti-Christ. They tried linking him with Islamic terrorists. They've implied that unknown powers bought his allegiance by financing his education at Ivy League universities. They've used their pulpits to endorse McCain, hoping to spur a fight with the I.R.S. that would rouse their troops.

None of these tactics has brought their errant minions under control.

So using God like a hired gun to terrorize the town's people, the evangelical Christian mullahs are declaring that Obamageddon is at hand, using that very word and asking as the Religious Right/Republican Townhall magazine did in a September headline, "Could We Survive a Barack Presidency?"

Evangelical publisher James Strang answers the survival question by warning his readers that people who hate Christianity will take over the country once Obama is elected.

In fact, "life as we know it will end," Strang writes.

Last week Focus on the Family's James Dobson added his own doomsday predictions with a 16-page rant about evils that will befall the United States by 2012 if Obama is elected. A British commentator dubbed Dobson's list of a parade of horrors.

As a warm up Dobson blames misguided young evangelicals for putting Obama in office. It's them he's hoping to scare most. But they and emergent church leaders such as Brian McLaren, who endorsed Obama, have broken ranks and won't be coming back. He's truly delusional if he thinks they're listening to him.

A great mass of other evangelicals, who never followed the evangelical mullahs and never will, are also going for Obama. Maybe Dobson thinks they'll listen to him.

Not likely. They're using tried-and true-evangelical tactics on behalf of their own cause.

Seattle's Jim Henderson, a former Pentecostal preacher and head of Offthemap.com, is trying guilt.

He recently sent a mass email urging his friends to support Obama because he has the character and bearing to be president, and because his election gives Christians the opportunity to transform historical wrong.

The enslavement of Africans contributed greatly to our nation's wealth and has never been addressed directly and concretely by our leaders, Henderson wrote. Linking that lack of repentance to the country's $13 trillion of debt, he told his friends that our current troubles are a matter of reaping what we've sown. He then cited the chance to elect Obama as an example of "God's mercy - as a way through this historic dilemma and one that will do for our national character what reparations never could."

He and his ilk won't be convinced by Dobson's scare tactics. They're more likely to agree with a new bumper sticker popular in Colorado, where Focus on the Family is based.

It reads, "Focus on your own damn family."

So which evangelicals are left? Oh, I know. How could I have left them until last? The true faithful. The ones who always listen to Dobson.

He's going after evangelicals who may stay home on election day because they paid too much attention to his reasons for refusing to support McCain earlier in the year.

At that time, thinking that he was powerful enough to quash McCain's nomination, Dobson chastised fellow evangelical Gary Bauer for supporting the senator from Arizona.

"The Senator," Dobson said in a press release from Focus on the Family, "is being touted by the media as a man of principle, yet he was involved with other women while married to his first wife, and was implicated in the so-called Keating scandal with four other senators. He was eventually reprimanded by the Congress for the 'appearance of impropriety.' The Senator reportedly has a violent temper and can be extremely confrontational and profane when angry. These red flags about Senator McCain's character are reminiscent of the man who now occupies the White House."

The man who now occupies the White House? Oh yeah. That guy. Isn't he the last president the Religious Right elected?

But let's forget about that. Many of God's men have fallen. God's people move on.

Dobson's jeremiad against McCain also noted the senator's love of alcohol and gambling, as well as his acceptance of support from Log Cabin Republicans, a gay group.

Pretty strong stuff. All true. But let's forget about that.

The Republicans anointed McCain anyway.

When Dobson saw that threats to take his toys and go home didn't keep McCain from winning the nomination, he forgot his previous scruples. Now Dobson sees McCain as God's man. It's Obama who's the devil. And under God's direction, as he always is, Dobson is speaking out again. But this time he is no longer dealing in truth.

As he notes in the letter's preface, Dobson is now imagining things, things that could happen if Christians don't unite behind McCain and give that adulterous, profane, violent, scandal-tainted, bought-out-by-the-homsexuals drinker and gambler the most powerful elective office in the world.

In the letter Dobson imagines Boy Scouts disbanding rather than allowing gay scout leaders the complete license they will get if Obama is elected. He imagines the Pledge of Allegiance being banned in schools. He imagines Communism gaining new power. He imagines doctors killing children just minutes before birth. He imagines Americans forbidden to own guns. He imagines television and radio stations forbidden to preach the Bible. He imagines ministers, lawyers, doctors, social workers all being punished for following their consciences.

Dobson may have gotten his letter idea from Christian radio's Janet Porter who wrote an imaginary "Letter from a Future Prisoner" last year. She was fear mongering over the idea the Hillary might be elected. If that happened "thought crimes" would be instituted. Christian books would be banned. Christian speech would be called hate speech.

Porter, an even bigger drama queen than Dobson, imagined herself in prison doing hard labor merely for defending her faith. And who does she imagine in the cell next to her?

No, no. Not Jesus. Don't be ridiculous.

It's a home-schooling mother weeping inconsolably because her innocent children have been put in foster care.

All because they loved Jesus.

All because that adulterous, profane, violent, scandal-tainted, bought-out-by-the-homsexuals drinker and gambler didn't win the presidential election.

It's enough to make Mickey Rooney weep.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We Are Bulletproof Atease Vol. 1

Click Cover for Free Artist Supported Download

1. The Gadflies - Weight Of The World
( www.myspace.com/thegadflies )
2. Companions In The Haze - There She Goes
( www.myspace.com/companionsinthehaze )
3. Luna Park Rescue - Paperplastic
( www.myspace.com/lunaparkrescue )
4. Dead Ringer - Where The Fuck Are My Keys?
( http://virb.com/deadringer )
5. Harry Burgess - Hold On Forget Me
( http://www.myspace.com/harryburgessmusic )
6. William H. Bonney - Bigger Than Me
( wearebulletpfoof.blogspot.com )
7. Martijn Duiven - Stop Videotaping
( www.myspace.com/martijnduiven )
8. A Clever Name Here - X'd
( wearebulletpfoof.blogspot.com )
9. Elliott Mor - Fire Rabbit
( http://www.myspace.com/runoutgroove )
10. Steady Downhill - Open The Window
( www.myspace.com/steadydownhill )
11. Popular Mechanics - Voiceless Motion ( demo )
( http://www.myspace.com/haveagoodflightonpopularmechanics )
12. Tandem Felix - Yooden Vranx
( www.tandem-felix.com )
13. Wes Scott - Lie
( www.myspace.com/wesleyscottmusic )
14. Man's Small Step - The Day Has Slowly Passed
( www.myspace.com/manssmallstep )
15. Primm And Propeller - Daniel Day-Lewis In Boxing Vs. Terrorism
( myspace.com/primmmusic )
16. William Cremin - Army Ants
( www.thetornacls.net )

Enjoy 3

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tobacco : Fucked-Up Friends

Dude from Black Moth Super Rainbow Solo Album

Click Cover to Download

1 Street Trash
2 Truck Sweat
3 Hairy Candy
4 Hawker Boat
5 Side 8 (Big Gums Version)
6 Yum Yum Cult
7 Berries That Burn
8 Get My Nails Did
9 Dirt (with Aesop Rock)
10 Gross Magik
11 Little Pink Riding Hood
12 Backwoods Altar
13 -
14 Tape Eater
15 Pink Goo
16 Grease Wizard

Enjoy 3

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let the Blame Game Begin

By: James Carville and Paul Begala

As Barack Obama and the Democrats appear poised for an historic sweep, we have a message for our Republican friends: It is time to point fingers.

We are pro-finger-pointing. We disagree strongly with Gov. Sarah Palin who said recently, "Do you notice that our opponents sure have spent a lot of time looking at the past and pointing fingers? You look to the past because that's where you find blame, but we're...looking to the future, because that's where you find solutions." On the contrary, Governor, blame assignment, while much maligned, is essential to determining what went wrong and how to set it right. Besides, it's a hell of a spectator sport. Here's our primer for a little game we like to call Big Losers Always Make Excuses (BLAME):

First -- a couple of ground rules. You can't blame the press or minorities. Sure, media-bashing is part of the conservative catechism, and minority voters are likely to support Barack Obama in record numbers. But finger-pointing is only interesting when you point at someone on your team. Republicans need a civil war -- a steel cage death match -- to sort out what they stand for. Scapegoating outsiders won't purge the party of what's rotting it on the inside.

Here's the most important thing about finger-pointing: you have to start early. If you're a Republican who wants to avoid blame for the current meltdown, you cannot afford to wait until after the election is over.

The smartest people in the conservative movement are already pointing like a bird dog on a South Georgia quail hunt. David Brooks and Bill Kristol are leading the way. Mr. Brooks, representing the intellectual wing of the conservative movement, called Ms. Palin, "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party." Attaboy, Brooksie. Score one for the brainiacs.

Mr. Kristol, on the other hand, blames neither Ms. Palin nor Sen. John McCain, but rather McCain's campaign advisers, writing of the campaign: "Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic." See? That's how you do it. Kristol can't say McCain's problem is that he supported the Iraq war, (which Kristol advocated) or that he chose Sarah Palin (whom Kristol praised). So rather than play defense, Bill went on offense, blaming McCain's Steve Schmidt-led campaign. But we have a feeling this fight will only begin when the Schmidt hits the fan.

But where are the other voices? We need to hear, for example, from Karl Rove. Whom will he blame? We stipulate that Karl is a genius -- albeit a genius whose advice took Pres. Bush from a 91 percent approval rating down to 26. With the House of Bush ablaze, Karl is going to have to do some quick finger-pointing before they change they change his nickname from The Architect to The Arsonist.

How about Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other radio personalities? They never liked McCain much -- but his campaign cratered only when he embraced their wild attacks on Sen. Obama. It was only after Mr. McCain borrowed the Limbaugh-Hannity line on Bill Ayers, only after Gov. Palin accused Mr. Obama of "pallin' around with terrorists," that the bottom fell out for Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin. We're betting the hot air boys will blame the intellectuals. After all, if you want to make an omelet, you've got to break a few eggheads.

The Republican Party is atomizing, and each faction must participate in Project BLAME. The neocons may want to blame the theocons. The economic conservatives will likely blame the big spenders. The conflagration will be so multi-dimensional we'll need a program to sort out the players. They will need to answer fundamental questions: What does it mean to be a Republican? Do Republicans support laissez-faire or nationalized banking? Do Republicans support a balanced budget or half-trillion-dollar deficits? Do Republicans want a "humble foreign policy" like George W. Bush, or preventive war against countries that pose no threat, like, umm, George W. Bush? Are Republicans the party of limited government or a vast Medicare prescription drug benefit? Are they wary of Big Brother or eager to expand warrantless wiretaps? Do they support Christian values or torture? Are they the party that believes that cutting-edge technology can shoot a missile out of the sky or the party that believes humans and dinosaurs walked the earth simultaneously?

These questions should define the 2012 GOP presidential primaries. So start blaming, all you would-be candidates. That means you, Ms. Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist. Hurry up. You only have 1,165 days left until the Iowa Caucuses.

Yeah 3

Valet :: Naked Acid


Click Cover To Download

1. We Went There
2. Drum Movie
3. Kehaar
4. Fuck It
5. Babylon 4 Eva
6. Fire
7. Streets

Enjoy 3

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weird Tapes : Get Religion

Check Out the Gram Parsons Sample on "Home"

Click Cover for Artist Supported Download

1. The Heavens
2. Glorious
3. Home
4. Nikki
5. Party Trash

He posts new songs on his blog all the time



Meet John McCain's Pals

By: Menachem Rosensaft

Ok, who would you like to see alongside the next President of the United States in a crisis, Warren Buffett or Phil Gramm? General Colin Powell or Randy Scheunemann? Paul Volcker or Nancy Pfotenhauer? We know a great deal about Powell (Republican former Secretary of State, former National Security Advisor and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), Buffett (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the richest and most successful influential businessmen in the world), and Volcker (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve), all prominent Obama supporters, but what do we know about some of the luminaries who have John McCain's ear?

First and foremost, there is Phil Gramm, the former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, whom Nobel Economics Laureate Paul Krugman has called "McCain's guru on economics," and whose deregulation of the banking industry not only enabled banks to go into the subprime mortgage business in the first place, but made possible the "gimmicks" - hybrid instruments, credit swaps and the like - that McCain now rails against. Krugman famously described Gramm in his New York Times column as "the arch-deregulator, who took special care in his Senate days to prevent oversight of financial derivatives -- the very instruments that sank Lehman and A.I.G., and brought the credit markets to the edge of collapse." Gramm, we should all remember, was McCain's most prominent and influential economic adviser until earlier this summer when he dismissed the state of the economy as a "mental recession" and called Americans a "nation of whiners."

McCain has been "palling around" with Phil Gramm for decades. The two are close personal friends, and McCain was national chairman of Gramm's short-lived 1996 bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

And then there are the lobbyists. The neo-con Randy Scheunemann, McCain's chief foreign policy adviser, was a registered foreign agent for the Republic of Georgia and several other countries while simultaneously serving as McCain's senior foreign policy advisor. (Scheunemann also has close ties to the discredited Iraqi politician, Ahmad Chalabi.) In November 2007, Scheunemann discussed Georgia with an aide in McCain's Senate office. And according to the Washington Post, on the same day that Scheunemann was prepping McCain for a telephone call with Georgia's president in April of this year, Scheunemann's lobbying firm signed "signed a $200,000 contract to continue providing strategic advice to the Georgian government in Washington." Both McCain and Sarah Palin have made American support for Georgia a cornerstone of their foreign policy. Palin told Charles Gibson in her ABC News interview that she considered the Russian invasion of Georgia to have been "unprovoked," and that the United States might have to go to war against Russia to protect Georgia. Not surprisingly, Scheunemann was one of the McCain advisers who prepped Palin for the Gibson interview. As Kelley Beaucar Vlahos recently asked in The American Conservative (hardly a left-wing publication), "When McCain suggests there will be 'severe, long-term negative consequences' for Russia if it doesn't leave Georgia alone, how do Americans know that isn't the $800,000 Scheunemann's lobbying shop has gotten from Georgia since 2004 talking?"

Charlie Black, McCain's chief campaign adviser, is a long-time lobbyist for Colombian interests, as are numerous major contributors to the McCain campaign. The lobbying firm Black headed until earlier this year earned more than $1.8 million from Occidental Petroleum Company, Colombia's largest oil and gas producer, and has represented numerous other Colombian businesses and individuals. According to the New York Times, Black

"lobbied Congress, the State Department and the White House on Occidental's behalf regarding 'general energy issues' and 'general trade issues' involving Colombia. His list of activities also included winning 'foreign assistance for Colombia' and efforts to block an economic embargo against the country, which has a questionable human rights record."
Small wonder, then, that McCain considers the Colombian Free Trade Agreement "something that's a no-brainer." McCain's instinctive position appears to be that what's good for his lobbyist pals must be good for the United States. This is the same Charlie Black, incidentally, who told Fortune Magazine in June that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil "would be a big advantage" to McCain, and who masterminded Jesse Helms' racist 1990 North Carolina senatorial campaign against Harvey Gantt.

Still others in the McCain entourage have close ties to the mortgage industry. Campaign Manager Rick Davis used to head the Homeownership Alliance, an advocacy group on the behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and Davis Manafort, the lobbying firm that still bears Davis' name, received monthly $15,000 payments from Freddie Mac until August of this year. And Kurt Pfotenhauer, the husband of McCain's senior policy adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer, was the top lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. The telegenic Nancy Pfotenhauer is also a former Washington lobbyist for Koch Industries whose Koch Oil subsidiary was once cited by a Senate Committee as "the most dramatic example of an oil company stealing by deliberate mismeasurement and fraudulent reporting." Only a few days ago, Ms. Pfotenhauer said that while the Obama-Biden ticket was doing well in Northern Virginia, "the rest of the state, real Virginia, if you will, I think will be very responsive to Senator McCain's message." She apparently believes that the upstate part of the Commonwealth of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe has somehow turned into a "fake" Virginia.

Davis has another questionable accomplishment to his credit. According to the Washington Post, he "helped arrange an introduction in 2006 between McCain and a Russian billionaire whose suspected links to anti-democratic and organized-crime figures are so controversial that the U.S. government revoked his visa." No one has suggested that McCain ever did any improper favors for Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire in question who just happens to be, again according to the Washington Post, "one of the richest men in Russia and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin." Nevertheless, the very fact that McCain had dinner and drinks, that is, "palled around," with the controversial Deripaska at least once less than three years ago at an exclusive Swiss resort (seven months later, in August 2006, McCain allegedly had dinner again with Deripaska and Davis in Montenegro) is at least as noteworthy as what Colin Powell has called Barack Obama's "very, very limited relationship" with Bill Ayers on the board of a respected Republican-funded educational foundation in Chicago.

At last week's debate, Barack Obama told us that he would look for guidance and advice to individuals like Warren Buffett, Paul Volcker, Joe Biden, and Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We must assume that Phil Gramm, Randy Scheunemann, Charlie Black, Rick Davis and Nancy Pfotenhauer would figure prominently in a McCain-Palin administration. Is there anything else anyone needs to know before going into the voting booth?


Friday, October 17, 2008

esau mwamwaya + radioclit :: the very best mixtape

click cover for free artist supported download

"this mixtape is one of the most sincere and uplifting things I've heard in a long time." GVSB

1) Kamphopo (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya, music: Architecture In Helsinki - Heart It Races)
2) Wena (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya & Bleksem, music: DJ Cleo - Wena)
3) Tengazako (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya, music: M.I.A - Paper Planes)
4) Chikondi (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya, music: Hans Zimmer - True Romance Theme)
5) Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (The Very Best Remix) (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya, music: Radioclit & Vampire Weekend)
6) Hide And Seek (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya & Teki Latex, music: TTC - Batards Sensibles)
7) Salota (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya and Blk Jks, music: Cannibal Ox - Life’s Ill)
8) Boyz (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya, Akon & M.I.A, music: M.I.A -Boyz)
9) Sister Betina (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya & Mgarimbe, music: Mgarimbe - Sister Betina)
10) Birthday (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya & The Ruby Suns, music: The Ruby Suns)
11) Funa Funa (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya, music: Radioclit)
12) Kada Manja (classic version) (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya, music: Radioclit)
13) Dinosaur Of The Lost Ark (The Very Best remix) (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya & Ben Brewer, music: Bermuda)
14) Get it Up (The Very Best Remix) (vocals : Esau Mwamwaya, Santogold, M.I.A & Northern Cree, music: Radioclit)
15) Will You Be There (vocals: Esau Mwamwaya & Michael Jackson, music: Michael Jackson - Will You Be There)



Monday, October 13, 2008

Women: Women

One of the best albums of the year!!!

Click cover to download

Women: Women

1. Cameras
2. Lawncare
3. Woodbine
4. Black Rice
5. Sag Harbor Bridge
6. Group Transport Hall
7. Shaking Hand
8. Upstairs
9. January 8th
10. Flashlights

Enjoy 3

Three Questions that Bob Schieffer Probably Won't Ask John McCain, But He Should

By: Paul Slansky

"Senator McCain, you used to say that the main thing you were looking for in a running mate was the ability to take over as president, if necessary, on Day One. Given how many people there are in government that clearly meet that criterion, how do you justify picking someone who so many of the most intelligent and respected members of your own party believe clearly does not? Your campaign slogan is Country First, sir. Can you tell the American people exactly how you were putting Country First when you chose a congenitally dishonest, proudly ignorant, cold-blooded demagogue with no presidential qualifications whatsoever to sit just one of your 72-year-old cancer-ridden heartbeats away from running the country in these spectacularly perilous times of almost unprecedented economic and international crises?"

"Senator McCain, your campaign has spent the last ten days impugning your opponent's character. We've seen Sarah Palin doing it, we've seen your wife Cindy doing it, and we've even seen you doing it yourself. Well, there he is right across the table from you. Is there anything you want to say to Senator Obama about Bill Ayers or Reverend Wright or Tony Rezko? Because it would be nice if he could respond to these allegations and insinuations and put this utter bullshit behind us so you could spend the next twenty days explaining to the American people why they should vote for you instead of scaring them about why they shouldn't vote for him."

"Senator McCain, your campaign rallies lately have become forums for foaming-at-the-mouth cretins who are so certain that your opponent is a terrorist that some have actually shouted out, "Kill him!" and "Off with his head!" Given the nation's history of intolerance against those perceived to be somehow different - be it by virtue of sexual orientation, religion, or race - can you tell the American people how you're putting Country First by fanning the fires of hatred and why they shouldn't hold you and your rabid running mate personally responsible if those fires explode into violence?"

Okay, I know Bob Schieffer's not going to say any of the above, but I urge anyone who knows him to press him to find some less prosecutorial way to ask these questions, because John McCain's efforts to make Barack Obama's character the deciding factor in the election have served only to shine a spotlight on his own galaxies-beyond-shame cravenness, and he deserves to be called out on it to his face. I'd be more than happy to do it but no one's going to let me near him, so I'm dependent on Bob.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Trust" in the Economy and Electoral Politics

By: Michael Roth

I've been thinking a lot about trust recently. When it is abundant everything goes more smoothly: from love to commerce, from sports to politics. When it is lacking, everything else can seem broken or meaningless.

Nowadays we hear the word "trust" used all the time in relation to the credit crunch and the steep decline in stock markets. It's bad enough for the economy when a business can't provide credit to a consumer. No car loan, no sales; no sales, no dealership; no dealership, no factory and so on. But lately even banks are afraid to loan money to one another. There are certainly many reasons why trust has evaporated in the credit markets, but the basic fact is that too many financial institutions were making loans (or trading loans) without having any real assurance that the borrower had the capacity to pay back the debt. The number of borrowers multiplied as the loans were traded, and the crisis of confidence spread like a stomach virus on a college campus. It's hard to tell who has deep exposure to these bad loans, who has tried to make lots of money by trading them before anybody realized they weren't going to get paid back. Uncertainty is a lack of faith, and the lack of faith destroys trust.

It's a cliché that trust is a lot easier to destroy than it is to build. When children tell us that this time they are telling the truth, and that they lie only some of the time, they are about to learn that even one lie destroys the credibility of all your other statements -- even when these other claims are true. One lie creates general uncertainty. We are seeing this everyday on Wall Street and in the banking sector. Governments are desperately trying to restore trust, but as long as there is lingering (and, I might add, reasonable) uncertainty about who is holding the bad debts they once tried to profit from, it will be impossible to have the basic trust that makes our credit systems work.

"Trust" is also a big issue in the political world. Lately, Sarah Palin has been trying to undermine the confidence that many have developed in Barack Obama by insinuating that he has had associations with unsavory, radical characters -- terrorists even. When John McCain calls Obama naïve about foreign leaders, he is saying, "My friends, this young man is likeable enough, but he just doesn't deserve the trust you must place in the Commander in Chief." And of course, when the junior senator from Illinois fires back on McCain's singing about bombing Iran, he is saying: "Hey, you just can't trust this guy. He's too hot-headed and impetuous."

The problem with the politics of attack that the Rovesque McCain-Palin ticket is now employing, and the problem with Obama's defense through recrimination, is that both strategies erode trust in democracy itself. People get fed up with the electoral system and become less likely to participate in it. Sure, attack ads get our attention, but once their manipulations are exposed, we feel less likely to believe anything. And, as in the case of the credit crisis, once we lose trust in the political process, it is very difficult to restore our confidence enough to care about any election at all.

The erosion of trust in our economy and in our leaders is not exactly news. But what can we do about it? Scientists last year reported that oxytocin can retard the erosion of trust, but I don't think mass medication is a path worth exploring here (despite the jump-start it would provide the ailing pharmaceutical industry). After all, we have good reasons for losing trust.

The cure for the erosion of trust is not medicinal; it's social. Participation builds trust. On the university campus where I work, the only ways I've seen trust successfully restored is to involve people once again in whatever activity they'd become uncertain about. From athletics to music, from lab science to poetry workshops, participation reduces uncertainty and builds faith through practice. When you begin again to seek or offer credit in secure ways, when investments can be protected, then you feel prepared to take a few new risks. When you get involved with your fellow-citizens in a political campaign or make your voice heard with your neighbors, you begin to see that democracy isn't only about attack. Democracy is about participating with people who you grow to trust by working together.

Teachers know this. We have to earn the trust of our students everyday so that they can risk making mistakes, so that they can take the chance to open themselves to learning. That's why we encourage the participation of our students.

Our current, acute crisis of confidence will pass. Then we must rebuild trust by participating in our economy and polity rather than just try to tear down others who are doing so.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Battleground State Breakdown

By: Michael Fauntroy

This is the point in a presidential election cycle when the "battleground states" -- those which are undecided and likely to be close for the rest of the contest -- begin to take shape. That's in part because of state developments including "hot" state and congressional races and controversial ballot initiatives. The hot races and ballot initiatives are critical in that they help drive voters to the polls and may have an impact on which presidential candidate wins the state. Indeed, George W. Bush did as well as he did in some states during the 2000 and 2004 presidential because of the high turnouts attributed to the use of initiatives on gay marriage. Following is a breakdown of five battleground states that Senators John McCain and Barack Obama are fighting over.


Virginia has 13 electoral votes and Obama has a slim lead of about two points in most polls. The race will be decided in the northern Washington, D.C. suburbs, where growth in the immigrant population, coupled with large numbers of hyper-educated government contractors and technology workers have changed the demography of the region and made the state "bluer" in recent years. There is also economic anxiety as the western D.C. suburbs are choking under the force of foreclosure rates that rival some of the worst in the country.

The hot race is for the 11th congressional district seat being vacated by Republican Representative Tom Davis, who is retiring. Gerry Connolly, a popular Democrat, is poised to win the seat, which would represent a significant Democratic pickup. There are also two former governors - Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Jim Gilmore - seeking to succeed retiring Senator John Warner. Mark Warner's lead is north of 20 points.

Much has been made of the "bluing" of Virginia and this election will show us just how much change has occurred in the Old Dominion. Long a conservative bastion and birthplace of the Christian Conservative Movement, the state has begun a movement toward the Democratic Party. The current governor and his predecessor, who is contesting a U.S. Senate seat this year, both supported Obama and are putting their operations to work for him. The northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. have become home to many highly educated professionals and immigrants that have not been as receptive to the GOP's message. Obama also is doing surprisingly well in the Tidewater section of the state which, with its military bases and Rev. Pat Robertson, who is based in Virginia Beach, is usually solid Republican. Virginia presents a big pickup opportunity for Obama.


Florida is the biggest prize among states that are too close to call and Obama has a three-point lead in a state that usually goes Republican. There are two interesting races to watch, with Miami-area Representatives - Mario Diaz-Balart and Lincoln Diaz-Balart - both engaged in closer than expected contests.

There are six ballot initiatives this year, some of which are likely to drive conservatives to the polls. The most notable of the questions is one that will define marriage as a union between a husband and wife and does not recognize civil unions. This could help McCain pull out a squeaker.

Florida, with it's diverse mix of residents, has a history of close presidential contests. This likely will be no different. The Cuban population, which is critical in the southern part of the state, is going through a generation divide here with younger voters showing signs of breaking for Obama, the Democrat. Cubans have historically been loyal to the GOP.


Ohio, a perennial swing state, has 20 electoral votes and Obama is clinging to a two-point lead. He will likely benefit from high turnout in the race to succeed retiring Republican Representative Deborah Pryce. She barely beat Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, who is back to take on Republican nominee Steve Stivers.

A ballot initiative on casino gaming in Wilmington, with statewide proceed distribution, could possibly help boost conservative turnout. However, there aren't any exceptionally controversial ballot initiatives this year and, given the drubbing the GOP took in 2006, there isn't much of a Republican turnout infrastructure, so GOP turnout could be a problem.


The "Show Me" state has 11 electoral votes and McCain has a two-point lead in most polls. There is a hot House race featuring the former mayor of Kansas City trying to unseat a Republican incumbent. There is a big ballot initiative that could spur Republican turnout - a constitutional change that would make English the official state language. Obama barely squeaked by Hilary Clinton in the primary and Black turnout will be critical for him. If Black voters show up in unusually high numbers, then Obama likely will win.


Colorado's nine electoral votes may be decisive this year and Obama holds a four-point lead. Current Representative Mark Udall and former Representative Bob Schaffer are vying to succeed Senator Wayne Allard, who is retiring; Udall has a mid-single digit lead in most polls.

Colorado leads the nation with 18 ballot initiatives, some of which seem designed to bring Republicans to the polls including, abortion, anti-affirmative action, campaign finance reform, and a prohibition on mandatory labor union membership and dues.

Look for the Latino/Latina vote to play a big role here, as the proportion of voters in this bloc has increased tremendously over the years. The Republican Party, through it's immigration stance, has really been damaged among these voters, which complicates McCain's task. His western roots, coupled with a high conservative turnout may be enough to bring him across the line.


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ridiculously great garage pop band

1. Highland Crawler
2. Black Hole
3. All I Need Tonight (Is You)
4. The Rest Of My Days
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7. You Don't Have To (If You Don't Want To)
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Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls

22 minutes of punky noisy 60s girl group goodness

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1. All the Time
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10. I Believe in Nothing

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