Blogs

New TV on the Radio Picks Up Where Beck Left Off

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 5:28 PM EDT

mojo-photo-tvontheradio.jpgNew York combo TV on the Radio made my #2 album of 2006, so when I learned that a track from their upcoming album, Dear Science, was available to stream on their web site, I clicked over there as fast as my mouse could take me. First of all, what's the deal with indie rock bands and wedding announcement fonts? Are they trying to steal a little bit of Ellen DeGeneres' blog fire? Okay, just had to get that out of the way. The song, "Golden Age," is a little more accessible and straightforward than the angst-ridden material on Cookie Mountain; it's got a jaunty little beat and buzzy synths reminiscent of Beck's "Hell Yes," although unlike that song's focused, quirky minimalism, "Golden Age" builds and builds until the whole band is singing along with a crazy horn section. I'm having a bit of trouble making out the lyrics, although at one point Kyp appears to rhyme "natural disaster" with "ghetto blaster," which deserves an award in and of itself. Either way, this is at least my song of the month.

Dear Science is out September 23 on Interscope. After the jump, Beck's "Hell Yes" for comparison, and TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me" from 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain, just for fun.

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McCain Would Consider a Draft. Every Parent In America Should Know This

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 4:28 PM EDT

There is a new video out in which a questioner at a McCain town hall event speaks at length about veterans and then ends with a sentence or two about the need to reinstate the draft if we are going to catch Osama bin Laden. McCain responds, "I don't disagree with anything you said."

The video is making the rounds of the interwebs. McCain's response is a poor choice of words, but not necessarily an endorsement of the draft.

This video, however, is pretty unambiguous. It's from several months back.

McCain does not have an unequivocal, philosophical opposition to using the draft in the war on terror. Do you know an undecided voter who is the parent of a child between 12 and 22? Make sure they've memorized this quote before election day, so they know exactly what they're getting if they vote for McCain:

"I might consider it, I don't think it's necessary, but I might consider it if you could design a draft where everybody equally could serve."

Obama's Historical Comparisons

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 3:42 PM EDT

In a PressThink post, Jay Rosen takes issue with our recently published forum on Barack Obama. We asked two dozen thinkers and writers, "Is Barack Obama exaggerating when he compares his campaign to the great progressive moments in US history?"

Writes Rosen, "Obama really said something like that? His campaign is a 'movement' comparable to, say, the civil rights movement, or to second wave feminism, or to the labor movement after the industrial revolution? If so, I had missed it."

Rosen is really insistent on this point. He also writes, "any statement from the candidate himself that compared Obama '08 to the great movements for freedom and justice in our history would have been quite the controversy, what with the McCain camp already mocking his messiah complex and calling him "The One." Why would Mother Jones, a progressive magazine, accuse Obama of the same thing McCain is attacking him for?"

To answer the question that ends that passage, we may be a progressive magazine, but we're still journalists who believe in refereeing and commenting on the campaign as fairly as we can. Nothing we write is in service of the Obama campaign and its goals. Occasionally, we'll write posts and articles that hurt Obama; the New Republic, the Nation, and the American Prospect all do the same.

But to Rosen's larger point — Obama does indeed put himself in a historical context alongside the great progressive movements of the last century. Here are four examples, one of which Rosen has already seen. They get long. Feel free to skim. Also feel free to visit the links to get a better sense of context.

In Politics, Cheating on Your Wife Is Relative

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 2:03 PM EDT

John Edwards cheated on his wife. The media found out about it. John Edwards will not be attending the Democratic convention.

Rudy Giuliani used public funds to cheat on his wife and used city agencies to cover his tracks. The media found out about it. Rudy Giuliani will be delivering the keynote at the Republican convention.

Dear Lord, Glenn McCoy. That Is One Nasty Cartoon

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 1:22 PM EDT

Take a look at this.

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If there is some point here relevant to the headlines — beyond the fact that Obama is pro-choice — I don't know what it is. I'm not sure it matters. This is so foul is goes beyond any standard of good taste and common decency. I tend to give satire a pretty wide berth; this is beyond the pale.

Barack Obama beating fetuses with a bloody baseball bat in a dumpster? I can't even look at it for more than a few seconds.

Here's the thing. A few years back I had a coworker who wrote a feminist blog on the side. We used to joke about the way hardcore pro-lifers saw her, as an activist for abortion rights. "They probably think you eat fetuses in a bowl for breakfast," I would say. "With chopsticks!" she would respond.

We knew it was over the top. It was ridiculous. It was parody. And apparently, stunningly, it had elements of truth.

Update: Here's what this is about. As you would guess, it in no way justifies this cartoon. And EF makes a great point in the comments — if Democrats produced something equally disgusting about John McCain, there would be a backlash with serious consequences. It would start, of course, with Fox News, the in-house network of the Republican Party.

Messaging Opportunity for the Left on Immigration

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 12:46 PM EDT

American gold medalist Henry Cejudo, the son of an illegal immigrant, is a perfect example of why the DREAM Act is a worthy piece of legislation.

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Wealth, or the Lack Thereof: One More Note About Biden

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 11:45 AM EDT

Joe Biden, a leading contender for VP if you believe the buzz, was the least wealthy member of the last Senate and is likely near the bottom in this Senate.

Now, there is nothing inherently ennobling about being poor (I'd be a better man if there were), and there is nothing inherently corrupting about being rich. But the fact that Biden has been in the Senate for 35 years and hasn't seen his personal fortune blossom means that he hasn't used his position, and all the connections and insider knowledge that come with it, as a cash register. It's an easy thing to do without ever overstepping legal boundaries.

Biden has chosen not to. I think that speaks to his priorities and why, fundamentally, he is in Washington.

"Celebrity" Attack on the Airwaves in Yet Another Form

| Wed Aug. 20, 2008 10:54 AM EDT

McCain has a new radio ad out that says, "Celebrities like to spend their millions. Barack Obama is no different. Only it's your money he wants to spend."

I think it's safe to say that the Obama campaign hasn't hammered any message as hard as McCain has hammered this "celebrity" attack. Which is funny, because you'd think "McCain is four more years of Bush" would be easier to make stick, and more effective to boot.

And, for what it's worth, it looks like I was wrong about the "celebrity" attack. I thought it was too transparently silly to be usable. These new poll numbers, which show McCain leading by five, indicate otherwise.

Obama Explains What He Wants in a VP

| Tue Aug. 19, 2008 11:09 PM EDT

Via Ambinder:

Let me tell you first what I won't do. I won't hand over my energy policy to my vice president, without knowing necessarily what he's doing. I wont have my vice president engineering my foreign policy for me. The buck will stop with me, because I will be the president. My vice president, also by the way my vice president also will be a member of the executive branch, he won't be one of these 4th branches of government where he thinks he's above the law. But here's what I do want from my vice president, I want somebody who has integrity, who's in politics for the right reasons, I want somebody who is independent. Somebody who is able to say to me, 'you know what, Mr. President, I think you're wrong on this and here's why' and will give me (applause) who will help me think through major issues and consult with me, would be a key advisor. I want somebody who is capable of being president and who I would trust to be president. That's the first criteria for vice president. And the final thing is I want a [vice] president who shares with me a passion to make the lives of the American people better than they are right now. I want someone who is not in it just because they want to have their name up in lights or end up being president. I want somebody who is mad right now, that people are losing their jobs. And is mad right now that people have seen their incomes decline, and want to rebuild the middle class in this country. That's the kind of person that I want; somebody who in their gut knows where they came from and believes that we have to grow this country from the bottom up.

Begin speculating... NOW!

Hooray: Rachel Maddow Gets Her Own MSNBC Show

| Tue Aug. 19, 2008 7:37 PM EDT

mojo-photo-maddow.jpgNothing against Dan Abrams. Air America host Rachel Maddow will be taking over Abrams' 9 p.m. slot on MSNBC effective, like, right away: Abrams will sign off Thursday and Maddow will kick off her show September 8. The move has long been rumored since everybody thought she was awesome, and Abrams will stick around in a general manager role. Everybody's happy!

After the jump: More praise for Maddow, and watch her take down Pat Buchanan.