Pop Tarts and No-Shows

NEW SLAUGHTERAugust is the month when most people take a break. Here in the exceptional US of A, where the average Jack and Jill have only a fraction of the paid vacation of their counterparts living European Socialist hellholes, (and are told to be proud of it), the working class isn’t packed up and idle on a beach so much as it is making the appearance of productivity while mouldering in their cubicles not really doing much of anything worthwhile.

August is the time of year when adult-level critical synapses are so muted that the annual ritual of a bratty pop tart running nearly naked around the stage at a video award show is not regarded as the time-honored rite of passage it is. It is not seen as the moment when the flirtatious rebel tweener singer/stripper formally morphs into contender for hot mess vixen of the year. Rather it is embraced as a cultural scandal.

A regularly scheduled cultural scandal for which the tart’s publicists and manager will all receive high fives and bonuses for getting cultural watchdogs like … Matt Lauer and every “Good Morning, Dubuque” chat show in the country  … to express shock and paternal outrage … again this August, just like last August. (Meet the new boss … .)

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Welcome to the First 2016 Republican Debate

NEW SLAUGHTERAnd … welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first debate of the 2016 FoxNews/Clear Channel radio Republican Presidential candidates, live from the Federal Premium Ammunition grandstand on the Neshoba County Fairgrounds in beautiful, well-defended Philadelphia, Mississippi.

I’m Ted Nugent. Y’all know me, and I’ll be your MC this evening as we introduce an entirely new format, flushed clean of liberal bias and BS. A format that gets right to what you want to hear.

As all of you know, because we’ve told you, Republicans haven’t been able to get a fair shake from bought-and-sold New York-elite debate moderators for a good 20 years. Over the years too much time has been wasted talking about crap in 2000-page boondoggles and what a bunch of moochers in some damned ghetto needed you to pay for.

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A Little Transparency Please for the “American Experiment”

NEW SLAUGHTERHere in Minnesota, there’s an organization called The Center of the American Experiment. It describes itself as ” a nonpartisan, tax-exempt, public policy and educational institution”, which means it must live by a fairly strict set of guidelines to avoid taxation. Despite being “non-partisan” the Center is an avowedly conservative collection of people formed into what is commonly described as a “think tank.” The best known face of the group is Katharine Kersten, former full-time, now part-time Star Tribune columnist.

The principal executive and flesh-presser is founder and president, Mitch Pearlstein, an affable, engaging character who has managed to keep the group’s visibility higher than most of its ilk for 25-odd years. Well, Mitch is currently engaged in and I suspect enjoying a public tussle with one of the great conservative betes noires of his time, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, he of stifling-the-freedom-of-our-money-lenders-to-do-what-they-need-to-do-on-behalf-of-The People fame.

In a nutshell Durbin wrote Mitch a letter asking him to reveal, publicly and transparently, the Center’s financial relationship with the, some say, (hell, I say), notorious American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Durbin correctly smells the ALEC’s territory markings all over the “Stand Your Ground” laws that suddenly/simultaneously blossomed in practically every state in the country, red states first.

Mitch is outraged! So much so he fired off a commentary in the Strib this past week accusing Durbin of everything short of being an agent for the Stasi. (As I say, this sort of “heavy hand of big government” is red meat for The Center, so you can hardly blame them for making an assault on their fundamental freedoms a cause celebre.)

A couple of choice moments from Mitch (and COO Kim Crockett’s) piece.

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I know, wrong?

i_know_right_-_Google_SearchEvery generation has its annoying catch phrases.  The valley girls and their wannabes famously sprinkled every sentence with “like.”  More recently,  “not so much” has been used ad nauseum to express disapproval or disagreement.

“Whatever!”  It’s not “all good.” Admittedly, often it’s “my bad,” “yada yada.”

I have a house full of teens and young adults these days, so I’m particularly aware of a prevalent catch phrase.  When I assert something that meets with the youngsters’ agreement, a rare event, they invariably respond with “I know, right?”

The main problem with this, or any catch phrase, is that I know it’s only a matter of time before I hear those words coming out of my mouth.  Catch phrases are contagious that way.

I desperately don’t want to let this phrase into my lexicon, because it particularly irritates me.  It makes no sense to respond to an assertion with a question about whether the assertion is correct.

My mama taught me that it is polite to respond to direct questions.  So, it strikes me that the “right?” part of the response requires a response, which leads to mind-numbing exchanges such as this:

Me:  “The Twins starting pitching is crappy.”

Youngster:  “I know, right?”

Me:  “Right.  That’s why I just said it.”

Youngster:  “I know, right?”

Me:  (stink eye)

I know, it’s not really a question.  But then, why include the “right?” part.

I guess this is the “everyone gets a ribbon” generation that we raised.  Even when they are agreeing with us, they need still more affirmation that agreement is acceptable.


– Loveland

The Greatest Ever? “The Wire” or “Breaking Bad”?

NEW SLAUGHTERIn the pantheon of great, conclusion-defying debates this one ranks up there with “Who’s Better, Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?” from my Little League days,  “The Beatles or The Stones? ” from high school, and, shifting criteria a bit to contemporary matters, “Who’s More of an Embarrassment to Their District, Steve King or Michele Bachmann?” There are no definitive answer. Everything is subjective. The only thing to agree on is that in each case peerage is close enough to warrant a discussion.

So too is the argument over “The Wire” and “Breaking Bad”, the latter of which begins closing out its run as “the best show on television” this Sunday night.

The case I make for “The Wire” is that like anything aspiring to art it made a conscious decision push beyond established convention. It pulled its audience into places, points of moral perspective and reflection that others of its type had not, could not and would not. Specifically, the authentic, unhygienic, street-level culture of the black inner city.

The running joke is that “The Wire”, created and frequently written by crusty, cynical, ex-Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon, is every white liberals’ favorite series, mainly because it is as close as any of them will ever get to scoring crack in the hood and the way it confirms everything we/they’ve ever wanted to believe about why hellholes like that exist. I.e. massive, chronic corruption up and down the political system, resulting in futile-to-non-existent social services, wretched schools, little to no community investment, counter productive police work and a gangland hierarchy that maintains its control by mimicking white-collar criminality.

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Let It Bleed, Bud

Good PR move, Bud Selig. And bless the fans in Chicago.

Bud has flung out suspensions for a dozen players who cheated the game, but he leaves Alex Rodriguez on the field to represent the absolute worst in baseball for the rest of the season.

Crisis management 101 — get everything out and get it behind you. Don’t let a wound slowly bleed.

A-Rod deserves to buried up to his nose in a vat of mustard for the rest of the season and the rest of his career — see how long his testosterone lasts treading mustard.

Baseball is busy congratulating itself for being tough on cheaters. Right. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who somehow missed that players like Bonds and Clemens and Sosa and McGwire were juicing and ruining the game’s grace and history and spirit, is trying to reclaim his reputation by being tough on the current crop of cheaters. Dozens of players have spoken out saying they’re tired of the cheaters winning pennants and MVP awards and lifetime records while honest players plug along. Fans are sick of it. Every exciting performance by a new home-run hitter or mow-em-down pitcher comes with the question — is he juicing?

Selig could have bounced A-Rod for life. Could have bounced him for the rest of this season and next, not letting him play while he appealed. But, apparently fearing a lawsuit or trouble with the union, Selig took the easiest way out and gave a suspension that allows the arrogant sniveling thief to still play, likely for the rest of the season, while a slow appeals process drips on.

You thought a lawsuit or union troubles would be bad for the game, Bud? How about the spectre of one of the most dishonest disgusting disingenuous hypocritical greedy bastards to ever pull on a jockstrap slouching into stadium after stadium modeling how well cheating works from now until October? How good is that for baseball?

Our only hope is that what the fans in Chicago started Monday, when they riotously booed every step Rodriguez took out of the dugout, will continue for every inning of every game the lying crook plays the rest of the season. Let’s take it upon ourselves to shame this creep under a rock.

Reach in your suit pants and find a pair, bud. Rid the game of this shameful imposter.

Or watch the great American game bleed to death. On your watch.

My brother David and I have watched Class A minor-league games the last two nights in gorgeous little ballparks in Iowa. Baseball remains a beautiful and amazingly difficult game to play. But when cheaters are chemically inflating their performances, there’s nothing on that field of dreams that we can trust. So we’ll turn away.

Unless you stop the bleeding.

— Bruce Benidt
(Image from epicurious.com)

Give the Women the Keys, Please

NEW SLAUGHTERThe gist of a “Daily Show” bit last week was, given the open sewer of fake rage, naked opportunism and incompetence that is Congress today, what sort of person even wants the title of U.S. Representative? “Reporter” Aasif Mandvi began with a personable state legislator — a woman — out in California who is resisting pleadings from state Democrats to run for Congress. As I translated her explanation it was, “Oh good lord, the place is an open sewer of … “.

So no, she isn’t interested, today. Smart gal.

Cut to GOP Cong. Steve Latourette, a kind of go-to guy for Capitol reporters looking for something crusty, cranky and vaguely wise from a Republican currently serving on The Hill. (That last one takes some doing.) The conclusion of that conversation? The only people running in the present environment are “ass[bleeps]”. In fact unless you’re an ass[bleep], don’t even try because you’ll be forced into connecting with your inner ass[bleep] by an opponent way more of an ass[bleep] than you can ever be.

(My wife tells me I cuss too much on this blog, and that I’m polluting a thoughtful environment populated by bona fide communications professionals, real adults, who instinctively no better than use harsh or inflammatory language where they might be quoted. Hence the [bleep].)

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