Archive for September, 2009

C-Love’s Pop Picks

September 29, 2009

Best Live Music I Heard: I have to give it to Willie Nelson singing “City of New Orleans.” One of my favorite musicians singing one of my favorite songs. Hearing it with my dad, who introduced me to both the song and the artist, just made it sweeter.
A Close Second: The Avett Brothers are easily my favorite live band. I’m still hyped up from their concert last week where they played some brilliant stuff from their new album. It comes out today! (They also performed on Letterman last night, in case you caught it.)

Best New Music I Heard: As much as I hate to admit it, I’m loving the Pete Yorn / Scarlett Johanssen “Break Up” album. I was skeptical about her singing abilities, but she holds her own. However, it’s the songwriting that’s the real star here.

Best TV I’ve Seen: Flash Forward definitely kept my attention, and I’m interested to see how it unfolds. I especially want to see more of the mentor who now believes his daughter is alive. Plus, it’s got Sulu! Also, props to The Big Bang Theory and Community for making me laugh out loud.

Best Movie I’ve Seen: I’m behind on the movie viewing, but I did see Star Trek for the fourth time (thus the Sulu reference). It’s still awesome.

Best Thing I’ve Read: I’m still working my way through all of the young adult novels my mom has given to me. I’m currently on In Mozart’s Shadow, a novel told from the perspective of Mozart’s older sister, who happens to be quite the music prodigy herself. Of course, when your brother is composing symphonies at 10, you do tend to get overshadowed. It’s a bit redundant and slow at times, but I’m learning much more about the Mozart family. I wonder what “label” young Mozart would be given today. OCD? ADD? Autism? He’s tapped into some piece of his brain that we simply can’t get to.

On the Theory That Laughter is the Best Medicine

September 25, 2009

It is hard to believe this much funny is crammed into one solitary news story.

We’re number . . . 37!

September 20, 2009

Bringin’ It All Together

September 15, 2009

Uniting the political with the pop cultural, I take note of the fact that Pres.  Obama called Kanye West a “jackass” for his Tourette’s episode during the VMA show, the other night.

My DVR Is Drooping From All This Added Weight

September 11, 2009

The premiere season is upon us, people! Here’s a round-up of the new shows I’m most excited about:

1. Community – NBC, premieres Thursday, 09/17, 8:30 p.m.

I, along with 3/4 of the female population, have a hankering for Joel McHale, current host of The Soup. In Community, he plays a lawyer forced to attend community college when it’s discovered his degree is phony.

One of my favorite exchanges:

“I thought you had a bachelor’s from Columbia.”

“Now I have to get one from America.”

It costars Chevy Chase and a host of comedians you’ve seen elsewhere but have never learned their names.

2. Flash Forward – ABC, premieres Thursday, 09/24, 7:00 p.m.

For 2 minutes, 17 seconds, the entire earth blacks out and catches a glimpse of themselves 6 months in the future. Some are thrilled at what they see, some are confused, and some are terrified that they saw nothing. Will they try to change their future? Will their efforts cause the very future they’re trying to change? How very “Lost.” Check it out.

3. Glee – FOX, Wednesdays @ 8:00 p.m.

Oh, how I love this show. True, they lay the cheese on pretty thick, but they make up for it with the hilarious and diabolical cheerleading coach, the adorable red-headed OCD counselor,  and the insanely talented cast of teenagers.

4. The Biggest Loser – NCB, premieres Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.

Okay, so it’s not a new show, BUT my friend Holly actually knows one of the contestants this cycle! Which makes it even better than a new show. His name is Sean Algaier.  You can meet him here.

5. Modern Family – ABC, premieres Wednesday, 09/23, 8:00 p.m.

ABC sums it up as “One Big Straight Gay Multi-cultural Traditional Happy Family Comedy,” and I really can’t do any better. Check it out here.

We’ll see if they all live up to my expectations. Fingers crossed (and legs propped up on the coffee table).

Making the Bulldog Sleepy

September 9, 2009

I’m still at work, so I haven’t seen Obama’s big speech.  But according to TPM, this is the “key passage”:

Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.

Wow.  That’s great, Mr. President.  You know what else now is the time for?  Ice cream that doesn’t melt or make you gain weight.  Cars that burn no fuel and cost no money.  Toilet paper that doesn’t delaminate.

Now is the time to bring together the best ideas of both the Russian mafia and the Sisters of Mercy on proper table manners.  To bring together the best ideas of the paranoid schizophrenic and the scientific community on the whole issue of laser-eyed elephant babies who lurk in soda cans.

Honestly, if that’s the key passage of Obama’s speech, health care reform — any health care reform — just got much, much less likely.  As did an Obama second term.

Somebody please tell me there was some substance in this speech.  That the president didn’t just call a joint session of congress and interrupt America’s primetime tv viewing to say, “Gee, wouldn’t health care reform be just be the dreamiest?!”

Update (8:50 pm): Since I posted this, TPM put up some new posts about the rest of the president’s speech.  Not being where I can watch the speech, I thought it was over when their first live-blogging post stopped getting updated, ending with the “key passage” bit I quoted.  I’ll withhold judgment until I’ve had a chance to see the full speech, myself.

Quid Pro Quo?

September 9, 2009

When Sen. Kennedy died, the chairmanship of the Senate HELP Committee came open.  Everyone assumed Sen. Chris Dodd, who’s next in seniority and has been running the committee during Kennedy’s illness, would take over.

In a surprise move today, Dodd declined to do so.

That means Sen. Tom Harkin will take over.  And here’s where things get interesting.  Because Harkin’s plate is already so full, he’ll have to step down as chairman of the Agriculture Committee.  So who’ll take over Agriculture?  Why, Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Here’s why I find that interesting.

As a Democrat from a deep red state, Lincoln is very vulnerable in 2010.  Recent polls have shown her running behind both of her likely GOP challengers.  Suddenly becoming the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee could do wonders for her re-election chances in a fundamentally agricultural state.

Lincoln has been one of the Dems most vocal about her disinclination to vote for any health care reform legislation that includes a public option.

So my question is this: did the Senate leadership make a deal to get Lincoln’s vote on health care reform in exchange for giving her a chairmanship that’s worth its weight in gold back in her state?

It’ll be interesting to watch Lincoln’s rhetoric over the coming few weeks, and, ultimately, her vote.

Not Feeding the Bulldog

September 9, 2009

According to TPMDC:

According to Politico‘s Mike Allen, in his speech tonight, President Obama will stick to his longstanding game plan of endorsing the public option, but not demanding it, and leaving himself enough wiggle room to get on board with some sort of compromise.

If that’s what the president does, I suspect he’s not going to like America’s reaction to it.  Everybody’s been waiting for the president to step up and say — specifically and forcefully — what he wants, what he expects, what he will and will not accept.  Everybody’s expecting this speech to do that.

If all he does tonight is repeat the same vagaries he’s been repeating for months, in order to continue avoiding taking a firm position, people are going to be pissed.  And I don’t just mean progressives or Democrats or Obama voters.  I mean people in general.

People have been waiting for you to lead, Mr. President.  If you duck that responsibility again, in a spotlight like the one you’ve created for yourself tonight, your poll numbers are going to drop so fast you’ll get vertigo.

You’ve called everybody together.  You better show up and lead.

Michael Jackson’s Original Sin

September 6, 2009

“You and I must make a pack.”

That is all.

Happy Labor Day to hippos near and far.

The Leadership Thing

September 4, 2009

I’ve been harping for a while on Pres. Obama’s lack of leadership since early in the summer.  He’s backed off of numerous campaign promises at the first sign of resistance from those who favored the old policies.  And his hands-off — even neglectful — approach to health care reform has both encouraged GOP intransigence and crazyism, and deflated liberal and progressive supporters, leaving him with no momentum and sagging approval.

I said last week that if he wants followers, he’s got to lead.  He’s got to show some strength.  Stand up for something.  Hit back when elected officials accuse him of secretly plotting a genocide, like any human being would who was accused of something so offensive.  Otherwise, he would lose people’s respect.

According to uber-pundit and pollster Charlie Cook, that’s exactly what’s happened.

I don’t exactly deserve an award for seeing this coming.  It’s very basic stuff.  Which is why it’s all the more frustrating that Obama and his entire political team have gotten it so completely wrong.

It seems we still have the problem I mentioned a couple of years ago (though durned if I can find it now): we have one party that stands for all the wrong things, and one party that stands for nothing.

Between those two, people will follow the leader.