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Saturday, November 20, 2004

I'm on drugs (again)

So last night, before the really big show, I bought a can of La Croix from a vending machine in the hallway outside the performance space so I could have something to drink on stage (I'd forgotten to bring a bottle of water, as the Coffee House doesn't sell cold beverages, just, well, coffee). I bent down to get it from the dispensing part, and, yep, hurt the back.

So I played the show in more pain than I really wanted to be in, but I think I did okay for it being my first paying solo performance in nearly two years. I gotta get back into the performance swing of things. People were at least saying nice things afterwards. I did not play the song below, although this morning I played through that one with my group (singwriters, though there is some theraputic benefit) and they liked it. I've also got a new political one I'll post later, maybe, that I did play and people liked, though the group had a problem with the bridge.

Anyway, where I'm going with this, is that I want to send a shout-out to Madman in the Marketplace, a fellow Liberal Street Fighter, and thoughful conservative Dean, who both came out to the show.

And, as an extra-special bonus, A Quiz!:

You are 60% Virgo

Via feministe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Okay, how screwed up is it that Kmart now owns Lands' End? It's like my world is upside down.

You Fix It

Here's a new feature on folkbum's R&R: When I get too lazy to bother to edit my own stuff, I'll make you do it. Here's a song that hasn't gone over as well as some. I kind of like it; it's got a catchy melody and some good lines. So lay it on me: What would you change?


You can save me if you want to
I don’t think I am worth the trip
And I don’t think I would blame you
If you left this sinking ship

SOS in the morning, with your coffee and your bread
You have heard the radar warning, and let me stay in bed
I have done my damage, I am taking this ship down
Your choice seems pretty clear to me: Come back, or let me drown


SOS in the evening, cooking dinner, it’s my turn
I know somebody’s gonna go hungry, and somebody’s gonna get burned
It will all just fall apart, like everything else I touch
I’ve left a string of broken hearts who don’t like drowning much


You didn’t sign on for an iceberg, you didn’t sign on for a dive
I know I can change if I just get the chance please hold on now and keep me alive

SOS in the nighttime, walking the hall like a plank
Got a view of the ocean floor, got no one but myself to thank
I should come with a life jacket, as much as I torpedo love
But as the briny deep closes over me it’s your face I’ll be thinking of

[chorus, repeat last line twice]

Monday, November 15, 2004

Oh, My Word! Volume 2

My second column is up at LSF. I may have something later today for you here; I may not. You'll just have to come back and check now, won't you?

Some day this week I'll clean out my template, getting rid of election 04 crap. Anyone got any ideas for what I should replace it with?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Post-Election Neglection

In between grading exams and frantically trying to improvise something to teach next week, I'm busily preparing for the really big show next weekend. I haven't played live in front of people since May, and I need both to practice and finish up a couple of half-done songs.

So talk amongst yourselves. You can do that here, or at any of the fine blogs linked down and to the right.

Monday, November 08, 2004


I wanted to get to this earlier, but, well. Life and other plans and all. Liberal Street Fight has officially launched. That link will take you there, but eventually will be the preferred address. and are the current pathways while the folks in charge resolve issues with ISPs and whatnot.

This post lays out the philosophy and posting calendar. Anyone who followed the launch of Open Source Politics knows that a calendar is for squat when it comes to group blogs, but I, for one, plan to stick to the target, since what I'm writing about--writing--is not current-events dependent. The first installment of "Oh, My Word!" is here.

I'll ask you guys, too, since you may not carry over and since I know you all are full of piss and vinegar: I'm looking for reader questions and reader suggestions for the column. I have my own ideas--and I've even got most of next week's column done already--but the only way "Oh, My Word!" will be successful is if I have audience participation. Drop a comment here, there, or to my email, please. And, since grammar is non-partisan (although eventually I will do some media criticism and "frames" work a la Lakoff), anyone can play. Don't be shy, Big Dan.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I'm not dead

I'm just really busy. It's the end of the quarter and all.

I had a chance to see Ira Glass from "This American Life" last night, and I want to review it, as well as catch up on some of the news around here, but I can't. Sorry.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Silver Linings

Some cribbed from around the blogosphere, and some not.

Let's remember how poor a victory this was for the Whopper™:

• This is the largest number of people who have ever voted AGAINST a president
• 1% more than 50% is not a mandate but a bare, thin, majority.
• Assuming Bush gets New Mexico and Iowa, he will have gotten the lowest percentage of electoral votes (54%) of any incumbent running for reelection since Wilson. If those two states should swing Kerry's way (NM might), it'll be even lower.
• He will have won with the lowest percentage of the popular vote (51%) of any incumbent running for reelection since Truman (who ran in a 4-way race that included Strom Thurmond)
• He will have won by the lowest margin of the popular vote (3.5M) of any  incumbent running for reelection since Truman (2.1M, and back then only 50M voted).
• He will have won the three states that put him over 270 (OH, NM and IA--assuming the last two go his way) by only 161,989 (not counting the provisional ballots, absentee, etc.).
I think some of those are wrong--didn't Clinton get less than 50% in 96?--but still, you have to admit, this election has not been an overwhelming victory for the man.

Also, what's pretty sweet about this term is that Republicans will have no one but themselves to blame for all of the things that go wrong--and they will go wrong. See my post below for how I think we ought to really handle it. This is also prime time for scandal, and there are five or eight of them ready to go, from the Plame thing to the recent supressed CIA report on 9/11. I think that by 2008, the moderates--who voted for Kerry, by the way--will see what they bought.

More than that, there's no one in the bullpen for the Republicans right now. Arnold can't run. Jeb won't run. Rudy is waaaaaay too moderate. Colin Powell has the stench of this administration on him. McCain is too old. There's nobody waiting to jump into the foray on their side.

Patience, my friends. This, too, will pass. And then we will have our cake.

Mmmmm. Cake.

[UPDATE: Ms. Lauren has a nice collection of stuff]

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Next Four Years

If we were an organized party, here's what I'd suggest: We give Republicans everything they want. In spades.

First, the Democrats in Congress should not mount opposition to anything beyond their "nay" votes. Skip debates. Skip press conferences. Skip public shows of outrage or indignation. Just let it happen.

Next, saturate the country with civil disobedience among the faithful. For example, when they start mandating prayer in schools, all the good Democratic teachers should obey the law as it is now, not as it will be then. When they outlaw abortion, all the good Democratic OB/GYNs and surgeons should rush to clinics to perform them. As media ownership rules slacken, the Soros-Turner-Robbins-Sarandon-Reiner-Springsteen conglomerate should buy as many TV and radio stations as they can and air Dem-slanted news and gay-friendly entertainment. My personal favorite: Good Democratic-owned corporations should announce that they are moving their headquarters to tax haven islands in the Bahamas or someplace (not workers!) and, as they do it, hold press conferences and make a big to-do about how they so love the Republicans' tax loopholes, since it saves them billions.

It won't take long for the people to wake up. (I hope.) It won't take long before parents are asking how little Johnny's school can be closed with all the teachers fired. It won't take long before the women at the office demand to know why all of the OBs in the practice are in jail.

The possibilities are endless--like women wondering why all the good hairdressers at the shop moved to Massachusetts or why someone can't get an electrician in the middle of the night when they need one.

After a very short while, it will become obvious the the Republican agenda has absolutely nothing to do with making anyone's life any better. Best of all, the Democrats can say--rightly--that they had no part in it and tried to stop this agenda in Congress. But, you know, the will of the people seemed to be so . . . clear . . .

A Debut

Check out Liberal Street Fight. I will be doing a weekly column over there about grammar and writing, plus the occasional political rant, like the one below, which I cross-posted.

The IP address is still getting worked out--someday soon it should be But for now, follow the link.

I guess I was wrong

I never would have thought this to be the case. I've been wrong before, of course, but I was trying to give Americans the benefit of the doubt.

I guess Americans really do want a a phony cowboy president with a strained relationship to the truth. Americans must want unprecedented secrecy in governmental operations, an administration that lies to Congress and companies that stand to profit setting governmental policy. Americans apparently don't mind rampant cronyism in government, either, or the insane culture of fear the Bush administration fosters among us.

The American worker must not be concerned about record budget deficits or spiraling national debt. I guess they like double-digit health care cost increases, steadily decreasing real wages, seeing their stock portfolios plummet, the dollar in freefall, the way oil prices to keep climbing, and the chances of inflation. The middle class sure seems keen on losing overtime rights, and watching 18,000 preventable deaths every year of their uninsured friends--that's one 9/11 every two months. The jobless, though, also apparently are okay with being dropped from the health-care plans, new job creation lagging behind historical trends and not keeping up with growth in the working-age population, in part because Bush's trade agreements hurt American workers.

Baby Boomers with children must be really keyed into the idea of all schools being "in need of improvement" and how the costs of post-secondary education keeps going up. And for their aging parents, Boomers must be glad to see that there will be a trillion-dollar shortfall in Social Security from privatization as senior citizens get locked into drug plans that can jack up prices at will.

It's suprising, but it turns out the American people really do want to stifle stem-cell research and see policies to undermine and judges who don't believe in medical privacy put in place. They must not mind the idea of ratcheting up discrimination against gays and lesbians and writing bigotry in to the US Constitution.

People here sure don't seem to care about asthma-inducing air, mercury in the water, people who hate the environment overseeing the environment, or how we'll have to drive energy-inefficient cars.

Even though the states most likely to be hit by terrorists voted to keep themselves safe, the vast majority of Americans must kind of like constant war with no clear exit strategy, and how the Commander in Chief to ignore recommendations from his top military planners before going to war while giving billions in juicy reconstruction contracts to go to wasteful contractors. These Americans must be all right with allowing al Qaeda to grow, letting terror attacks to keep accelerating in frequency and intensity, letting terrorists escape if it's good for PR, all while fighting a War on Terror producing diminishing returns. Americans are apparently really into an anachronistic state-based War on Terror and a president whose namesake "Doctrine" is a failure. It's okay for Russian nuclear material to go unsecured, North Korea to go nuclear, Iran to go nuclear, and Taliban warloads to gain power in Afghanistan. It's no big deal that we have a Pentagon whose intelligence team trusts convicted con men and listens to partisans instead of the International Atomic Energy Agency. And so what if we have a strained and fading partnership with NATO and Europe

In the end, it's probably for the best that this other America--an America I didn't even realize existed--got to decide who should be president, since I want no part of any of this. No part at all.


Now. And a lot.

This isn't over.

The nice thing about cake

Is that you can call it victory cake or eat it in commiseration. It really works either way.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

WI Results of Interest

1. Feingold is projected; also by NBC & AP.
2. By the link above, all the congressional incumbents will win. They haven't called Tammy Baldwin or Gwen Moore yet, but they will. Give it time.
3. I can't stand it! Turns out there's a reporting glich (NOT a counting glich) in Milwaukee County computers, so the state results we see do not include mui-Dem 4th CD votes.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is blogging the election.

Where to find results?

Once polls close here, I'll be doing some LiveBlogging over to the OSP. I'll be posting results updates here and over there for the things I care about. Full Wisconsin results can be found here.

I'd also like to second (or third or however many times you've heard it) the Media Matters state-call site.

This is wrong

This is:
Chris Lato, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said Tuesday the tires of 30 vans the party had rented to help get out the vote were slashed in Milwaukee. But he said it was not clear who was responsible.

Vandals had spray painted the words "Illegitimate Democracy" overnight Tuesday on the outside of the state GOP headquarters at Madison, Lato said.
Democrats should know better.

We voted, numbers 881 and 882 in our polling place. As I said, I can't compare with 2000, but I can compare that to when I was #732 in the Dem primary last February, more than three hours later than we voted today. There was no line, and voters were outnumbered by observers, I think. But it was early, yet--before the after-work rush.

I gotta go bake something. I can't stand it.

You can cut it with a spork


Jerome has exit polls. I'm still feeling cautiously optimistic. I'm reminded of primary season when the exit polls all came out and my guy was losing in them, and I was sure they were wrong. They weren't. Let us have some faith here, then, eh?

And go take this quiz. I got 33 of 40. I thought for sure I could do better.

It's looking good

Several turnout observations to report, with the polls only open a half hour or so. Here at school (which is a polling location), they were lining up before 6:30, and by 7:00, there must have been 40 people in line. All were African American, many older, at least one in a wheelchair. Many had Kerry-Edwards buttons on. The wards that vote here are reliably Democratic (as attested to by the yard signs I see), but I don't remember this kind of scene in 2000.

Two other teachers who voted on their way to school told me that lines were long before polls opened, again in reliably Dem areas of town. People are anxious to vote this idiot out of office. I'm cautiously optimistic right now.

I can't vote until after school, and it will be my first presidential vote in my ward, so I won't be able to compare with 2000. But anecdotally, at least, turnout is looking very good here in Milwaukee.

UPDATE: 8:15--the line continues here at school, and I've heard a couple of more stories of long lines at the polls when they opened. I may start smiling. At least until my third block--they'll kill any buzz. :(

There are at least two NAACP vols here, and one Election Protection (1 866 OUR VOTE) guy here, too. Good for them!

Monday, November 01, 2004