The Great Divide.

byronius, 2007/12/31 

Paul Krugman

Yesterday The Times published a highly informative chart laying out the positions of the presidential candidates on major issues. It was, I’d argue, a useful reality check for those who believe that the next president can somehow usher in a new era of bipartisan cooperation.

For what the chart made clear was the extent to which Democrats and Republicans live in separate moral and intellectual universes.

On one side, the Democrats are all promising to get out of Iraq and offering strongly progressive policies on taxes, health care and the environment. That’s understandable: the public hates the war, and public opinion seems to be running in a progressive direction.

What seems harder to understand is what’s happening on the other side — the degree to which almost all the Republicans have chosen to align themselves closely with the unpopular policies of an unpopular president. And I’m not just talking about their continuing enthusiasm for the Iraq war. The G.O.P. candidates are equally supportive of Bush economic policies.


But they will NEVER say his name.

Insensate, torpid, rolling over on top of a vast pile of Christ-Not-Mas consumer widgets, the Conservative American belches forth a few more coded-racist nuggets of wisdom, eat-the-poor religious musings, and chooses from the steaming pile of insane neonazi bigots that is the GOP field. ‘All New!’ declares the label.

When I read things that Republicans say, I always get a clear image of something rustling down in the basement of the Amityville Horror house, something that lives near The Wall. Scrabbly claws and tiny rows of pointed teeth, stretched in a crooked grin, wetly chuckling.

US to Negotiate with Terrorists


Osama: Mission Accomplished


Something to offend almost everybody


The BEAST 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2007


32. The Founding Fathers

Charges: Lionized as moral pillars and demigods ad nauseum without the slightest hint of irony. Can’t be judged by today’s standards. Electoral College? Dumb fucking idea. Invoked by every asshole in the last two hundred years to support every stupid idea ever. The original liberal elite. Able to withstand lightning strikes and the British military; unable to fathom poor people voting.

Exhibit A: Owned wigs, Africans.

Sentence: Depicted as cartoons on rapidly devaluing currency; beaten at effective democracy by former monarchies.

Simon Dante rises again

Max, 2007/12/29 

Dante with family
Dante with Jeremy
Just Dante

The name is Dante now. Click each photo to enlarge.

I still can’t believe it.

Hugh’s List.


Hugh’s List

Wow. Extensive, clear, detailed. What a resource.

293 Bush Scandals — is that all? I think he’s only hitting the big ones.

A Few Notes On My Imminent Death.

byronius, 2007/12/28 

soon enough it’ll be your turn to be byron
last wishes: pink floyd’s fat old sun played so fucking loud
give gilmore a lude and turn him loose
everybody party ’til dawn
feed me to the strays
and that’ll do
a few clues: marianna dubbeld, man
you see john batton, you move
danny isn’t dead that was a lie
like so many lies in my head
lies from ol’ lynn the liar
but it’s wells that finally kills you

aldous max plum senrab o’reilly green
randall io cortez blaze mm the grinning sky
my karass dances to the waning wampeter
sinookas entwining
sometimes i was there
sometimes i was shaking
sometimes i was crazed
many glissade-pools and freigards
cellos and sweet carpets
silver rockets lifting on twin flames
guided by puppets
since i am the only real one
it’s been good

you granfalloon united states i loved your words
too bad
i never made it to the moon or mars
if the strays that grok me get adopted
maybe they go up as the mascot
and then i go.

end of this

Forget JRE- goin’ for Gravel


This one did it for me:

How can Iowans resist?

It’s On!

byronius, 2007/12/27 

I was feeling a little guilty about blowing up at ol’ Dooz, and then I read this…



We’re hearing cries (from the media and various alleged “pundits–well, the usual suspects, really) for “unity” and “an end to partisan bickering.”

“Bickering” can be defined as “pointless” arguments with no purpose behind them. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “A petty quarrel; a squabble.”

Oh, we’re not bickering. In fact, it’s offensive that anyone would suggest such a thing.

We’re in a fight for the future of all of us. Not just Americans, but the whole human race. This isn’t between some school kids calling each other names just to prove how tough they are. This isn’t a sitcom marriage. It’s a VERY serious disagreement about the rights and responsibilities of us, as U.S. citizens, as men and women, as human beings.

Anyone who calls it a mere “squabble” doesn’t take it seriously enough. Not by a long shot.

We’ll make peace with the Republicans. On OUR terms. As soon as they surrender their racist, sexist, homophobic, holier than thou certainty that THEY are right and WE are wrong. As soon as they apologize for calling us traitors, or allowing others who claim to represent them to do it. As soon as they apologize for branding people like Natalie Maines, Dick Durbin, Tom Dashle, and others as “traitors” or “terrorist sympathizers” for disagreeing with President George W. Bush on the way to handle the so-called “War On Terror.”

We’ll bury the hatchet as soon as they repudiate the self-centered, self-aggrandizing, and inflexible “conservative” notion of “voodoo economics.” As soon as they recognize that not everyone in America gets an even shot at success, and as soon as they join us in fighting to change that. As soon as they step up to defend the middle class, and the helping hand the middle class extends downward to those in need. As soon as they realize that the ultra-rich shouldn’t be able to decide for the rest of us what our priorities should be.


Guy’s got a point. It’s on.

Blues for Tatiana



Seed verse:

It took four years
for such amazing beauty
to come upon this Earth
a princess in chains

Sure, I Rock, but I Need Health Care

raison detre, 2007/12/26 

Toiling in the name of rock, while waiting for a big break, is a tradition. That might not mean giving up the day job, unless we get national healthcare…

here’s an article you may have missed about new jersey rockers needing to keep their day jobs even though they’ve “made it” in mainstream music.

BEFORE They Were Rock Stars,” the VH1 show that skidded off the air before it had a chance to unearth much more than Britney Spears’s preteen turn as a Mouseketeer, should have spent more time in New Jersey. Patti Smith worked in a mattress factory here before becoming a punk-rock poet. The guitar god Zakk Wylde pumped gas. And Bruce Springsteen paid some Steinbeckian dues (though some say not long enough) as a landscaper.

complete article


“Obviously, music is what I really, really want to be doing,” said Jenny Owen Youngs, a singer-songwriter, a few days after finishing a recent month’s residency performing her literate and occasionally acid-tongued pop songs at the Living Room in Manhattan. “But I need health care.”

That fate — the used-to-be musician — and the reluctance to join those sad ranks is what keeps a band like the Wrens, of Teaneck, making critically acclaimed discs while its members work sales jobs and watch the sun set on their 30’s. It is what keeps Fred Cornog, the independent rocker from Summit known as East River Pipe, selling flooring at Home Depot well into his 40’s even as major labels come calling. It is also what keeps Justin Morey, frontman for the Black Hollies and bass player for Rye Coalition, both based in Jersey City, making candy 40 hours a week at Al Richards Homemade Chocolates in Bayonne.

“I never considered entering that field, the chocolate field,” Mr. Morey said after a recent shift, just hours before he was to lead the Black Hollies, a 1960’s-revivalist band, at the Pussycat Lounge in Manhattan.

But 11 years ago, when he was 19 and particularly strapped for cash, he was offered the job by the stepfather of his band mate Herbert Joseph Wiley. That Mr. Morey would still be contemplating chocolate bunnies, even after signing with a major label through Rye Coalition, seeing his picture in Rolling Stone and reading favorable reviews of his music in Spin magazine, is something he never would have guessed.

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