Archive for February, 2007

February 17, 2007

So all those times I insisted that Gore was obviously running for president?

I might have been wrong there.

Well crap. This is upsetting. My first choice for the Democratic nomination is now apparently unequivocally not running. I guess that means I line up behind either Obama or Edwards, although I have my issues with both. Maybe if the Obama campaign ever responds to my letter.


February 14, 2007

Isn’t there a bigger issue here than Ford’s reputation? The fact that a presidential candidate would announce from a corporate headquarters, no matter which corporation it may be, strikes me as saying something really weird about our culture.

2000: Bush v. Gore
2004: Bush v. Kerry
2008: Pepsi v. Coke

February 13, 2007

Well this is a pleasant surprise. Here I was all angry that the Democrats weren’t going to make an issue out of the Bush administration’s evisceration of habeas corpus and my very own Senator Chris Dodd decides to make an issue out of it only a month into the 111th Congress. At least we in CT have one senator that we don’t have to be ashamed of.

Dropkick Murphys at UCONN
February 12, 2007

Well, my ears aren’t ringing anymore. They were this morning, two days after the concert.

People keep asking me how the concert was, and the only description I can summon up is freakin’ ridiculous. I think I might still be a little disoriented.

Ali, John and I got there early and managed to get a spot up front in the middle of the pit. You could already tell just from the smell that the average BAC in the room must have been somewhere around 0.27. That’s UCONN for you.

Halfway through the opening act, from a pretty good ska band called Big D and the Kids Table that I had heard of before but never really listened to, the moshing started. I managed to stay on the outer ring of that, but it still started to make me a little nervous. Clearly I don’t have the right temperament for concerts. Anyway, Big D put on a good show, but the crowd was really there for the Dropkick Murphys, and they made it obvious, chanting “Let’s go Dropkick!” over and over again. That pissed me off. Show a little courtesy to the openers.

When the Dropkick Murphys came out, everyone went absolutely nuts. It was already crowded close to the stage, but as soon as they started playing, there was suddenly a massive crush of people around me. Ali managed to fight his way a couple feet ahead of me and get to the very front of the audience. I ended up right behind much, crushed up against some huge UCONN student.

That’s when things started to get disorienting. I spent the whole concert pressed up against one person or another, usually four or so people at once. Ali seemed to have a pretty aggressive philosophy towards concert going, but after the initial wave of claustrophobia passed some fifteen minutes into the show I ended up just trying to make myself as small as possible and ride the wave, while doing my best to avoid the sweaty shirtless guy directly to my left. This was around when I completely lost track of John.

Then the crowd surfing started. Since Ali and I were near the front and center, all of the crowd surfers gravitated naturally towards us. Since I couldn’t move my arms and could barely move my head, it wasn’t easy to see them coming, either. I got kicked in the head by the first crowd surfer about five minutes in, and after that I decided that even if I could move my arms, I wasn’t going to do anything to help some drunk jackass sail over me.

One exception: when the lead guitarist, in the middle of a solo, cleared the five foot gap between the stage and the audience and surfed right on top of me, somehow without missing a note of the solo. That was when it really struck me how truly awesome the concert was.

Eventually I got into the swing of things and managed to actually enjoy myself. It helped that I could see the security guards point towards oncoming crowd surfers, and therefore duck my head as quickly as possible. It also helped that the Murphys put on one hell of a show.

I was still kind of envious of Ali, though. He had managed to claw his way to the very front, and as a result got high-fived by the lead singer. Twice. Then, during their performance of “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced,” the bassist ran down towards the audience, put his arm around Ali and some other guy, and they all sang along. By the end of the show, Ali was actually onstage without about 100 other people rocking the hell out. A few of them stage dived. One guy, typical drunk fratboy, tried to stage dive right onto where I was. I’m not sure if I made eye contact with him, but I did shake my head, mouth, “Screw this,” and step out of the way. He ended up belly-flopping right into a gap in the crowd, but a few people managed to grab his limbs before he hit the ground.

All in all, an amazing show. The Murphys were obviously into it, and they knew exactly how to drive the audience nuts. Not only that, but they seemed like genuinely nice guys. They were clearly having a lot of fun getting some audience participation, and they definitely liked their crowd that night. They also kept talking in between sets about how great Big D’s open was, as if to offset the hecklers that they had received earlier.

And as one member of the band said near the beginning of the show, “You know, usually we hate these goddamn college shows, but you guys are alright.”

It was a great show. But I think it’s going to be a while before I’m going to be able to work up the energy to go do that again.

My letter to Senator Obama
February 12, 2007

Now that Obama is officially running for president, I decided to write him a letter that I’ve been thinking about for a while. Here it is:

Senator Obama,

I have a tremendous respect for you and your work in the Senate. I admire your work on campaign finance reform, the Iraq War, health care and other issues, and I would love to be able to support you in the upcoming presidential election.

However, I, and many other progressives in Connecticut, were dismayed by your lack of involvement in the Ned Lamont campaign for Senate. That was a massively important campaign in terms of trying to bring the Iraq War to a close, and a visit to Connecticut or even an ad could have done a lot to help the campaign.

Your campaign could really be something special, but I have trouble supporting a candidate who wasn’t there when other progressive candidates who share his values needed him. I understand you have a personal relationship with Lieberman, and that this was also a politically difficult campaign for Democrats everywhere, but Lieberman stands opposed to you and genuine progressives on the most important issues of the day, foremost of which is the Iraq War. As you know, Senator Lieberman is now one of the most outspoken supporters of the disastrous escalation plan.

Knowing what you do now about Senator Lieberman’s support for escalation and the power it lends pro-war Republicans in the Senate, do you wish you had done more to support his opponent? A frank answer would go along way towards easing my conscience about supporting your campaign, and may also win back other Connecticut progressives.

Thank you,
Ned Resnikoff

February 10, 2007

I’m blogging right now from Ali’s dorm in UCONN, where I’ll be until Sunday morning. Prufrock Elementary’s debut concert went pretty well – we made a lot of mistakes, but the audience was great, we had fun, and overall everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The other two acts were also great. Anyway, hopefully next weekend or over vacation we’ll be writing more stuff and recording some of it.

Unfortunately I’ll be missing it because I’m up at UCONN, but anyone in Middletown tonight should go see the student-directed plays at Oddfellows at 7:30 pm. It’s going to be funny stuff.

Dropkick Murphys coming to UCONN tonight. It’s going to be good.

February 9, 2007

It’s late and I just got back from layout but I need to point this out.

I’ve got kind of a habit of linking to The Low Post whenever there’s a new edition, and it’s these kind of passages that are exactly why:

Then there’s this whole business of liberals who are accused of “rooting” for failure in Iraq. I’m sorry, but the next pundit who whips that one out should have his balls stuffed down his throat. You cocksuckers beat the drum to send these kids to war, and then you turn around and accuse us of rooting for them to die? Fuck you for even thinking that. We’re Americans just like you. You don’t have the right to get us into this mess and then turn around and call us traitors. Your credibility is long gone on this issue. Shut up about us.

I actually pumped my fist in the air when I read this. That doesn’t happen often.

And then, one paragraph later:

Beyond that, what you say doesn’t even make any sense. For most of us, if we thought there was any chance this thing could work, we’d have been for it, or at least not so violently against it. Instead, our opposition to the war was based on our absolute conviction that it would end in disaster — which it incidentally has. But according to Klein, if we see a guy step off the top of the Empire State Building, we’re supposed to root for him to nail the dismount. The whole issue is irrelevant and absurd. This is a catastrophe, not a baseball game. “Rooting” is a kid’s word; grow the fuck up.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Taibbi is perhaps the best political commentator for our current political climate. Nobody cuts through bullshit like he does.

February 6, 2007

And we’re back.

The thing about having a readership of virtually 0 people is that it makes it very easy for one to kind of slack off on the blogging. And while blogging is, by necessity, certainly very low on my list of priorities, I’d like to stay in the habit of it.

A few things:
– I can’t really summon up all that much indignation about Republicans blocking the non-binding resolution on escalation, probably because as a non-binding resolution it didn’t have any teeth anyway. I’ll get angry at the Republicans when the Democrats actually do something for them to block. As it stands, I’ll be relieved when the debate shifts to cutting off funding to this monster.

– I’ve been doing a little bit of volunteer writing for Americans for Informed Democracy. I’ll post here when my first piece (a little announcement congratulating some local activists) gets put up.

– I got the Al Neuharth Free Spirit scholarship! I’ll be taking a couple weeks off from school in the middle of March to hit up the student paper convention at Columbia University and then go over to DC for the week-long scholarship conference the next day. Should be an interesting week. Expect very little blogging then.

– Lastly, I’m now also in a band. Prufrock Elementary, a sort of literate anti-folk band consisting of me on guitar and Aline on bass and vocals will be playing at The Green Street Art Center in Middletown, CT on Friday at 8 pm. We’re doing pretty well with practicing right now, but I’m still freaking out because that’s what I do. Anyway, if this goes well hopefully more shows will ensue.

So I’m a little bit busy right now, as you can see. In fact, taking a break to blog about it all was a terrible idea. Back to work.

Quote of the Day
February 2, 2007

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley:

The best plan is to have this plan succeed. Because planning to have this plan fail would result in the failure of the plan. But in the guaranteed success of the other plan. But the core plan, the plan within the plan, would fail. I guess the point I’m making is that if our plan is to deliberately fail in Iraq, then at least 50% of our plans will be successful. And that’s better than 0%.

Is Senator Biden racist?
February 1, 2007

I’ve never really made it a big secret that I’m no Biden fan. But is he a racist? It certainly appears that way.

You’ve probably already noticed this quote from Sen. Biden (D-DE) in which he manages to call either all previous African-American presidential candidates or possibly all other African-Americans in public life dumb, ugly and corrupt. The actual quote has him calling Sen. Obama (D-IL) “you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

It’s only fair to remember that only months ago we had Sen. Biden saying Indian-Americans were a veritable tribe of 7/11 owners. “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Let’s not forget that time when he showed his centrist credentials by reminding everyone that his home state of Delaware was a slave state. And let’s not forget when he did the same thing again several months later.

Of course, the quote could have been a simple gaffe on his part. But, as Kos points out, even if you give Biden the benefit of the doubt, it was still an unbelievably stupid thing to say.

Jesus. When I said I hoped Biden’s campaign tanked, I didn’t expect to have my wish granted so quickly.

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