Blogs

The Theology of Paul

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 2:42 PM EST

Once Ron Paul is knocked out of the GOP contest, what will become of his supporters? Will they dissipate, gravitate towards someone else, or reemerge with a third party bid? Whichever way the Paulites go, other candidates would be smart to study their movement's trajectory. Like the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, or the McCarthy campaign in 1968, the Paul campaign could be most important for its ability awaken and define a new generation of political citizens.

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FCC Relaxes Media Ownership Rules... Again

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 2:08 PM EST

mojo-photo-fcc.gifFirst of all, has anyone ever noticed that it looks like the eagle is getting electrocuted on the FCC's official seal over there? Ker-ZAPP, take that, freedom! Anyway, earlier today in a party-line 3-2 vote, the good old Commission overturned a 32-year-old ban that forbade broadcasters in the 20 largest media markets from also owning a newspaper. Do you get the sense that everybody in the Bush administration is just kind of "shooting the moon" at this point? Like, "screw it, let's just do all the evil crap we want, who cares?" Both Republican and Democratic members of congress had asked FCC chairman Kevin Martin not to proceed with the decision, but the White House was gunnin' for it. Yee-haw. [Edit: Hey, turns out MoJo's totally on top of this beat, check out this article, "Breaking the News," for some background.]

Tuesday Cures Your Flus with Music News Day

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 1:35 PM EST

Music News

  • BBC Radio 1 has edited the Pogues' Christmas standard "Fairytale in New York," reports the NME. The song, originally a hit in 1987, now has the word "faggot" dubbed out, as well as the phrase "an old slut on junk." Who knew Kristi MacColl and Shane MacGowan were actually singing real words? MacColl's mother defended the songs in an interview, saying the singers are playing "characters."

  • 50 Cent has become the first high-profile artist to perform in the Kosovan capital Pristina since the war. The rapper gave a concert at a soccer stadium Monday night for which over 25,000 tickets had been sold.
  • The Breeders have announced a tour of the UK and Ireland in April of 2008. The band has been inactive for five years, but never officially broke up, and Kim Deal has of course been busy with a reunited Pixies. Word "on the street" is the Breeders will headline Coachella as well.
  • M.I.A. has posted a rambling message on her blog decrying the "censorship" she's experienced in the U.S., referring to the removal of gunshot sounds from her track "Paper Planes" during a performance on the Letterman show and by MTV. She also said she "felt soooooo bad for what they did to my sound" on the Letterman performance, something I mentioned here previously. Anyway, M.I.A. wants us all to watch the uncensored version of the video because "putting meanings in your videos in my opinion is a dying art." Fine, fine:

  • From New Hampshire: Mike Gravel on the Ropes

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 1:17 PM EST

    MANCHESTER—Expected in New Hampshire for a series of events this morning, Mike Gravel canceled them all. A spokesman says he caught cold in California and is recovering, soon to fly up here. But. . .

    Robert Parry On Ed Rollins And The $10 Million Payoff To Reagan

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 12:44 PM EST

    With Ed Rollins taking over the Huckabee campaign, it's a good time to remember that Rollins says a Filipino politician told him he'd given the 1984 Reagan campaign $10 million in cash from Ferdinand Marcos. Former AP and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry examines the evidence at his site Consortium News:

    The pundits on CNN's "Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" were unanimous: Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins was a great guy and his hiring as national chairman for Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign gave it a solid jolt of credibility.

    But Blitzer's panel of journalists on Dec. 14 didn't seem to either know or care that Rollins has withheld evidence since 1991 about the identity of a top Filipino politician who admitted delivering an illegal $10 million cash payment to Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    What NOW? Feminist Fatigue and the Global Quest for Women's Rights

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 12:41 PM EST

    Western feminists can't win for losing.

    We're taken to task for not gearing up the war machine against third world countries which, inarguably, treat their women like dogs. You know, since sexism is all under control here. Where, oh where, was NOW when a 16 year old girl in Canada was murdered by her father for refusing to wear the hijab? Anne Applebaum, at Slate, nags us about the Saudi Arabian gang rape victim sentenced to jail and 200 lashes and asks where our campaign on their behalf is. [Salon's Broadsheet adds that though she's been pardoned, it's only because she's suicidal and lost in despair (you might be, too, if your brother had already attempted your "honor killing"). Heinously guilty of being alone with an unrelated man, the "Girl of Qatif" drove those seven male passers-by to rape. She's as guilty as they. Had she not fallen apart emotionally, she wouldn't have been pardoned. Her psychological destruction, says good King Abdullah, is all justice ever required, hence her pardon.] Of course, let's not forget good old FGM. We got all NOW'd up over that one just to find ourselves dismissed, by the very women living with circumcision, as imperialists trying to deprive them of the joy of castration . Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

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    From New Hampshire: Rudy Goes Manic as Campaign Fizzles

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 11:32 AM EST

    MANCHESTER—Darting about the room in front of a captive audience of about 100 Goss International employees at the company's Durham plant yesterday, Rudy Giuliani, looking wild and eyes popping out of his head, was making insincere promises to spend part of the Christmas holiday in New Hampshire. He might even do some skiing, he said. Of course, everybody knows the candidate is pulling his ads and heading for Florida, and that his campaign here is in mid-collapse.

    Across the cafeteria, people gathered at the windows to watch demonstrators being ordered off the premises by a stout security guard. The cameras raced for the door, where, in typical Rudy style, the Mayor's security staff warned that re-entry would be prohibited should they dare leave the building. The security around Rudy is crazy. No entrance shots. No exit shots. Could we greet the Mayor as he arrived? "Best not to do that," said security. Go here. Not there. When a camerawoman moved through the edge of the audience towards the mayor for a better shot, the security man on her heels ordered her back. Exasperated, the woman stepped away and started shooting the security man. Most of the cameras were lined up at the back of the audience, and their operators stood passively. I never encountered this sort of thing in East Germany where the Stasi stood guard.

    Mitt Romney, New Hampshire's Native Son?

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 10:04 AM EST

    MANCHESTER—Mitt Romney may be tottering elsewhere in the nation, but up here he is in top form and surging. (Joe Lieberman's endorsement of McCain didn't raise an eyebrow among the people I met.) There are few evangelicals in New Hampshire which makes the attacks against his Mormon faith scattered and relatively ineffective. More important, he is viewed as something of a native son, having been governor of Massachusetts, where many New Hampshire residents work. In that sense he calls to mind Paul Tsongas, the Massachusetts senator who won the Democratic primary in 1992. People crossed party lines to vote for him against Clinton, even though in the end it was for naught, with James Carville simply claiming a Clinton victory as the "Comeback Kid," and the press taking up the phrase like a chorus line.

    Numerous Massachusetts residents had moved to the lightly taxed New Hampshire to avoid high taxes in Massachusetts, but still work there. At a town hall meeting at St. Anselm's College last night, Romney was boring, boring. Yet again he told the story of how he as a young businessman ignored the advice of the canny New England venture capitalists, and backed Staples when it looked like a loser. The company became a huge success, propelling young Romney onto center stage.

    Top Ten DJ Mixes/Various Artists Sets of 2007

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 12:28 AM EST

    mojo-photo-rifftoptenweek.jpgOkay. First of all, I know I promised a Riff roundup of MoJo staffers' favorite albums of the year today, but only a few intrepid souls got their lists to me in time, so I'm abandoning my attempt to create an overall list. Instead, welcome to the Riff's Week of Top Tens, where I (and hopefully other Riffers) will be posting some of our favorite stuff 'n' things of the year. To kick it off: various-artist DJ sets.

    Obama-Edwards Feud Brewing?

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 12:12 AM EST

    As we near the Iowa caucuses, Senator Obama and former Senator Edwards have taken a break from bashing Senator Clinton to bash one another just a bit. (Making this scenario a little less likely.)

    Obama had this to say about Edwards:

    "The reason now that I raise this issue of the special interests is because everybody now in the campaign talks about how I am going to fight for you. Like Sen. Edwards, who is a good guy—he's been talking a lot about, 'I am going to fight the lobbyists and the special interests in Washington.' Well the question you have to ask is: Were you fighting for 'em when you were in the Senate. What did you do?"

    I was at Edwards events all day today, so I found an opportunity to get the candidate's thoughts while at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. Here's what he said in response to Obama's comments.

    "I spent 20 years fighting these powerful corporations in courtrooms and winning over and over again. In public life, I've carried on the same cause. One of the most obvious examples is I co-authored the patients' bill of rights, one of the biggest pieces of legislation taken on by the Democrats after we took over the United States Senate. I, Senator Kennedy, and Senator McCain were the cosponsors of it. We beat back the insurance companies and the HMOs and got the patients' bill of rights passed in the United States senate."

    Edwards declined to go negative, as you can see. We'll see where this goes. I'll have more on Edwards in the next day or so.

    My crude photographic representation of this situation after the jump.