Blogs

Huckabee: The Search for a Sobriquet

| Thu Dec. 20, 2007 6:28 PM EST

huckabee_mouth.jpg

Mi·chael Huck·a·bee. It's a hell of a name, the best by far of the Republican field. And now that Huckabee is an anointed member of the top tier, the search for a viable nickname is on. Entries so far include:

The Huckster. Used by: Rush Limbaugh, various right-wing blogs. Verdict: Too obvious.

Tax Hike Mike. Used by: The Club for Growth. Verdict: Lame, uninspired.

Triple Wide. Used by: Arkansans punning on Huckabee's erstwhile heft and the extra large trailer his family lived in during renovations at the governor's mansion. Verdict: Dated.

The Huck. Used by: Headline-writers everywhere. Verdict: Scores points for simplicity.

Since none of those entries quite cuts it, I had high hopes for a new Huckabee appraisal by Paul Greenberg, grizzled Arkansas media eminence (he editorializes for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and has a Pulitzer under his belt—from 1969), and coiner of "Slick Willie." Alas, Greenberg tosses a handful of darts—"one Michael Dale Huckabee," "Brother Huckabee," "this year's Man from Hope," and, of course, "the Huck"—but none really hits bullseye. So, readers, what should we call this guy?

—Justin Elliott

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Red Velvet Goldmine, or, Christmas With Bowie

| Thu Dec. 20, 2007 4:43 PM EST

If you're still singing to yourself, "I hurt myself today pa rum pum pum pum," then you might want to change your interior Muzak track with this gem. Here's what happened when David Bowie dropped by Bing Crosby's place for some Christmas cheer:

(Via The Poop)

All I Want for Christmas, Part 3: Cassette Bag

| Thu Dec. 20, 2007 3:41 PM EST

mojo-photo-cassettebag.jpgFrom the World Wide Fred website: "Time to unwind and rewind with this low-tech cassette tote bag. Full-color printed flexible plastic, complete with handles that look like the tape is unraveling (didn't you just hate it when that happened?). Casual and roomy, our Cassette Tote is the perfect way to pack your important stuff (like your leg warmers, mini skirt, and jelly shoes). What a feelin'!"

There's no price and I can't find anywhere to actually buy it, so maybe it's not real, but it sure does bring me back to the days when home taping was killing the music industry. You know, when it unravels you can fix it with scotch tape (the cassette, not the industry).

(Via AudioPorn Central)

Mashup Roundup: Tasteless Ike Turner Mashup, Tasteful Christmas Mashups, Obvious Jay-Z Mashup Album, Super Zep Mashup

| Thu Dec. 20, 2007 3:18 PM EST

Santastic

  • First of all, let's get this out of the way: I can't even bring myself to say the name of the song that's been combined with an old Ike & Tina Turner number, but I bet you can guess it. (via Mashuptown.com)
  • Okay, clean your ears out with some lovely and innocent holiday-themed bootlegs: it's another "Santastic" compilation, edited by Boston's DJ BC and featuring the work of Go Home Productions, Freddy King of Pants, and a special "Dick In a Box" mix from A Plus D! Come to think of it, maybe this isn't so innocent. (Santastic3)
  • Not street enough for you? Well, SoCal's DJ Skee has put together a version of Jay-Z's latest album American Gangster using music from another well-known gangster movie: it's American Godfather, and while I'm a bit put off by Skee's ego ("often cited as the definitive DJ for the West Coast"?!) Radar seems to like it. (Download at SendSpace)
  • Now here's what mashups are really all about: actual musical craft. Lenlow's smooth combo of Led Zeppelin, Buffalo Springfield, and a bunch more stuff feels like a whole new song, so shut up about this being a "cringe-inducing fad," Radar. You're cringe-inducing. Nyah! (Via Lenlow's site)
  • Coming Soon to Texas: A Master's Degree in Creation Science

    | Thu Dec. 20, 2007 3:18 PM EST

    creation_museum.jpg

    Because Baylor University is not doing enough to plumb the seas for Noah's Ark, an advisory committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has recommended that the Institute for Creation Research be given the authority to grant Master's degrees in science education. Perhaps the training will help graduates stay employed in the Lone Star State, rather than getting fired like the state's former director of science curricula, a shameless Darwin booster.

    Is Texas devolving? Not at all. According to the Institute's mission statement, it will only enroll the self-motivated, responsible student who "is more self-disciplined ('whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God;' I Cor. 10:31) and takes education seriously ('And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;' Colossians 3:23)."

    The Texas Observer reports that the same guys brought us the Creation Museum in Kentucky (see Adam frolic with the dinosaurs!), and are at work stumping for Mike Huckabee in Iowa.

    Larry Flynt Doesn't Know Whether Rudolph Giuliani is Gay or Not

    | Thu Dec. 20, 2007 2:33 PM EST

    mojo-photo-flynt.JPGHustler publisher and aspiring political muckraker Larry Flynt has given an extensive interview to Vanity Fair in which he continues to promise the exposure of juicy tidbits about "hypocritical" politicians, although it's his comments about Rudy Giuliani that are raising eyebrows:

    Advertise on MotherJones.com

    Bush Administration to California: Eff You

    | Thu Dec. 20, 2007 12:44 PM EST

    bush-finger.jpg

    You know how the Right loves states' rights? Turns out that only applies when "states rights" means "persecuting minorities." It turns out that "Trying to avert near-certain global climactic doom," is not, apparently, a "state right."

    Earlier today, the EPA denied California's request for a waiver that would allow the state to regulate automobile emissions. (This comes after a court fight that forced the EPA to rule on the request). The decision, according to the lede of a must-read Washington Post story, "overruled the unanimous recommendation of the agency's legal and technical staffs." Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of course promised to take the decision to court. David Bookbinder, the Sierra Club's chief climate counsel, told the Los Angeles Times, "These guys are 0 and 4 in court," he said. "And they're about to go 0-5." That's the part of this story that really says "Eff You": The EPA knows it's going to lose in court. From the Post story:

    William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, which represents officials in 48 states. . .[said the EPA] "has issued a verdict that is legally and technically unjustified and indefensible."
    EPA's lawyers and policy staff had reached the same conclusion, said several agency officials familiar with the process. In a PowerPoint presentation prepared for the administrator, aides wrote that if Johnson denied the waiver and California sued, "EPA likely to lose suit."
    If he allowed California to proceed and automakers sued, the staff wrote, "EPA is almost certain to win."

    So in this one, the good guys will probably win again. But victory will mean delaying important greenhouse gas regulations for a stupid, petty, pointless court fight the Bush administration already knows it will lose. Chalk up another point for auto industry lobbyists and bad government.

    Looking to Congress to Stop the FCC's Big Media Giveaway

    | Thu Dec. 20, 2007 12:35 PM EST
    martin_bed300.jpg

    Once again, the Federal Communications Commission has rolled back longstanding regulations that prevented further media consolidation, despite another round of public opposition. (For a detailed look at what this move means for the future of the media, particularly newspapers, check out this piece Eric Klinenberg wrote for us.) The last time the FCC pulled this under chairman Michael Powell, the courts stopped it in its tracks. This time, it could take an act of Congress. MoveOn and Free Press (which has been on the forefront of this issue for ages) have started online letter-writing campaigns seeking to get Congress to overturn the rule change. They may find some sympathy on Capitol Hill: A bipartisan group of 24 senators, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Trent Lott, and Ted Stevens, wrote FCC chair Kevin Martin [PDF] before the decision, asking him not to ignore input from the public. Now that he's done just that, will they still be listening?

    Image: Kevin Martin (right) in/on bed with the industry he regulates—literally. Via StopBigMedia.com

    Mitt Romney's Father Never Marched with Martin Luther King Jr.

    | Thu Dec. 20, 2007 11:38 AM EST

    In Mitt Romney's major speech on religion in America, he said, "I saw my father march with Martin Luther King." When discussing the Mormon faith's uncomfortable record on race, Romney absolved his family by saying, "My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights."

    But an investigation by the Phoenix, a Boston-area alternative paper, shows that Romney's father, George Romney, the former governor of Michigan, never marched with King, nor would Mitt have been able to see it if had, because Mitt was in France on a mission the only time King was marching in Michigan.

    The Romney campaign is claiming that George Romney marched in one town on one day, and King marched in a different town on a different day, but that the towns and the days were close enough together that Mitt's statements aren't technically false.

    Edwards and Obama Draw Contrasts on Health Care Reform

    | Thu Dec. 20, 2007 11:19 AM EST

    In my most recent article on John Edwards, I wondered if Edwards' strident anti-corporate message, courageous and admirable as it may be, would turn off voters in the general election.

    Yesterday, Jonathan Alter of Newsweek answered with an emphatic yes.

    How many 20th Century American presidents have been elected on a populist platform? That would be zero... millions of Americans still work for corporations or aspire to do so and bashing them wholesale is a loser politically. It works sometimes in Democratic primaries with a heavy labor vote (though not for Dick Gephardt). But not in general elections. The last two Democrats elected president—Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992—also campaigned during recessions. Both were smart enough to reject populism in favor of a responsive but upbeat message.

    Alter also discusses the differences Obama and Edwards have on health care. Obama says that he will initiate health care reform by sitting down at a big table with patients' advocates, health care economists, insurance companies, and other interested parties. Everyone would have the right to state their priorities, but the meeting would be CSPAN and the American people would know who is motivated by greed, who is negotiating in bad faith, and who is working against the interests of everyday Americans. Alter writes, "having triumphed over the drug and insurance companies in the court of public opinion, the legislative victories will follow."

    Edwards says it is "a fantasy" to expect insurance companies and drug companies to negotiate their power away at a table such as Obama's. The only real option, Edwards says, is to exclude these corporate interests from the discussion and "take" their power away. How he plans on doing that is never quite articulated.

    It's worth pointing out that Edwards and Obama have managed to have this debate without going negative. The debate over which approach to health care reform is less realistic continues, but gently...