And it’s about time someone said it:

This is brilliant and beautifully done. See This is Reality for more.

Do you support Bush today, more than you did four years ago?

Approval Ratings: The Public v. McCain is a great ad. I wish it were a little sharper on the failings of the Bush presidency — New Orleans didn’t just fall, it flooded and its people were left to die by the Bush Administration (at least McCain got his cake) — but overall I think it’s right on target. Here’s the transcript:

He’s the worst president in history and an international embarrassment.

It took years for George Bush to squander the faith of this country.

We wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But as Americans learned more, his approval ratings slide lower and lower.

Yet, there is one man whose support of Bush just keeps growing.

They campaigned together as our soldiers died.

They ate cake together as New Orleans fell.

And each year, he votes with Bush by ever increasing percentages.

77% of the time in 2005. 86% in 2006. 95% in 2007 and 100% in 2008.

As time finally runs out on this presidency, ask yourself this:

“Do you support Bush today more than you did four years ago?”

John McCain clearly does. Still think he’d be a good president? Still think he’d be anything other than George Bush’s third term? Does anyone really think that’s what America needs?

This quote from Edward R. Murrow is the perfect end to Humanitainment’s take on John McCain:

I never realized it until recently, but losing to George W. Bush in 2000, then having to kiss his ring in 2004 in order to position himself for 2008, must have crushed McCain’s soul. He is clearly half the man he was in 2000. Furthermore, he is incredibly ill-equipped for today’s much more transparent campaign; sad but true, this sea change has left him high and dry. Still, none of that excuses his blatant pandering and outright lying. This man is not fit to be president.

I did a bit of digging into Humanitainment and found their incredibly pointed positioning: “The promotion of social reform through the art of popular entertainment.” Those of you near and dear to me know my passion for politics and my desire to fill the void created by today’s (purposefully) empty-headed coverage. I’ve danced around this topic time and again, never quite sure of how best to engage it, but I remain convinced that simple and fiendishly clever humor is an important part of the answer. What’s missing for me is the call-to-action — what will really make the American people move on an issue or candidate?

That answer, and much more, soon.

Not only is “Figured me out” my favorite song on the new Jamie Lidell album, it’s also my favorite memory from his live show. I have searched high and low (YouTube, natch) for a clip of decent quality, but I haven’t been able to find anything. Luckily this clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show came my way this morning:

Unfortunately the bit with Andre Vida, and the inspiration for the title of this post, is much shorter than I remember but it’s still more than worth sharing. Truthfully, Andre deserves a post of his own since he not only plays two saxophones at once, he also invented the Vidatone that he plays with his voice in the clip above. Amazing.

Even after seeing him perform on four separate occasions, I still can’t wait to see Jamie again. If you ever get a chance to see him too, please make sure you do!

Today, Barack Obama spoke to hundreds of thousands in Berlin, and said:

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.

So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

Watch it or read it. it’s worth every bit of the 25 minutes:

Meanwhile, John McCain had to cancel his planned appearance on an offshore oil rig due to a) a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, and b) an oil spill in that same location, both of which negated the point of his speech, namely that drilling offshore is desirable and safe. Instead, he spent the afternoon in my hometown at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant in German Village, no doubt a clever (not really) counterpoint to Obama’s speech in Berlin. After lunch with six small business owners, including the Flag Lady and a local car dealer, he took several petty shots at Obama, concerning issues that were relevant two years ago.

Watch it if you can:

And so I ask you, which one of these men has not only the vision of a better tomorrow, but the ability to pull the world together to achieve it? McCain can only think about himself and desperately wants the world to bend to his will, but Obama appeals to each of us as individuals and to our shared experience as citizens of the world.

Obama finishes with this:

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don’t look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin — people of the world — this is our moment. This is our time.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived — at great cost and great sacrifice — to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom — indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us — what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America’s shores — is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.

These are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of these aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of these aspirations that all free people — everywhere — became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of these aspirations that a new generation — our generation — must make our mark on the world.

People of Berlin — and people of the world — the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.

No longer will we be distracted or divided by our differences, but instead focused on our common destiny of citizens of the Earth. Yes, it sounds overly idealistic, perhaps highly implausible, but after the past seven years we can no longer afford to go it alone, us against the world, seeking power and glory at a cost to everyone else.

Instead, this is the moment when we choose a new direction in life, a new way forward in the world, and a skinny kid with a funny name to take us there.

Every bit of that’s got to change.

For some added perspective, please see my previous post for my thoughts on Al Gore and George W. Bush. There’s no pressing need to rehash it line-by-line, but I will reiterate that Al’s brilliance continues to outshine his dimmer rival, time and again.

This man is a true visionary and a great inspiration, single-handedly rising above mere politics to viscerally challenge not just the American people, but the entrenched and powerful agents of the status quo. His message is clear and well-considered, and after seven plus years of Republican misdirection and malfeasance the American people are ready to rise up and embrace this moment.

Together, we can meet the challenge. We can solve the climate crisis.

Hot damn!! Both the song itself and its video are even better than I could have possibly imagined, or wished. Here’s an easy prediction: Jamie Lidell will be everywhere in 2008. I bet my parents will be listening to him before long (likely if I buy them his new album) and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends on up Letterman too. This is huge.

btw, a comment on the YouTube page says that he’s backed by Beck’s band here. Anyone know for sure?

I have long been a John Edwards fan, but I haven’t been ready or willing to commit to his candidacy until now. It certainly seems to me that he has really caught fire in the past few weeks, and I don’t believe I’m the only one who’s noticed. I just hope it isn’t too late.

I am especially thrilled with the fact that he has continued to attack the rich and powerful, especially those who have bought and paid for our leaders in Washington. Edwards recently said, “We’re not gonna have an auction in Iowa, we’re gonna have an election. We’re gonna decide who the best candidate is, not who the person is who can raise the most money.” This is a refreshing and much needed change after seven long years of bush league government sold to the highest bidder.

Contrary to popular belief, the presidency of George W. Bush has not been a failure. Rather, I submit to you that he and his Republican party have been quite successful in the things they set out to do. The sad fact is that those things were never meant to benefit me and you — it was always about enriching themselves and the people that put them in power. Nothing more and nothing less.

There is a undeniable wave of authentic populism in America right now. You see it in Ron Paul’s fund-raising numbers, in Mike Huckabee’s overnight emergence from relative obscurity, and in the deep emotional response to John Edwards. Very few Americans have shared in the Bush boom, and many are truly struggling to make ends meet. We also have very real concerns about the priorities of our government and our standing in the world.

John Edwards is clearly a threat to the status quo, and those who stand to lose their unfair advantage under an Edwards administration have made a concerted effort to silence his critiques and eliminate his message from our political discourse. But that just makes an ad (via Digby) like this one even more powerful:

Doug Bishop says, “I’m gonna do my best to make sure that my children aren’t the first generation of Americans that I can’t look them in the eye and say ‘you’re gonna have a better life than I did.” Both he and I believe that Edwards is the only candidate on either side who can make that happen.

I sincerely hope he gets the chance. It will be the fight of a lifetime, but one that desperately needs to happen and one that we can win with a President John Edwards.

From here on out, if and when something so momentous comes to pass and I haven’t mentioned it on this blog, please send me an email or reach me through the contact page.

Joy Division too?!!

I don’t know that I have ever seen a band have so much fun making music. Amazing. Simply amazing.

When we owned our home back in Columbus, we had a older gentleman named Burly update the ancient knob and tube (hehe) wiring throughout the house. I happened to see him changing outlets and replacing fixtures without first turning off the electricity. Of course, I asked him why. Turns out it’s quicker, go figure. Then, I asked him how. And no, he didn’t wear one of those suits, he just kept the wires from touching.

Sounded easy enough, so I tried it once. Yep, once. And then never again.

This video makes my palms sweat.