Saturday, April 12, 2014

File this one away for safekeeping: the Republican presidential nominee in 2016 is not going to be Jeb(!) Bush. 

When the tired old pundits dust off their scripts, ignore their perfunctory musings on Jeb. Total waste of time.

Jeb's policy problems have become well known; he's on the "imprudent" side of vote-swinging issues such as Illegal Immigration and Common Core. His last name, also well known, recalls the presidencies of his older brother and father, which were endorsed by the GOP establishment and (perhaps not coincidentally) also included wars and recessions. Most importantly, though, Jeb simply doesn't have a burning desire to do what it takes to become president. His heart's not in it. The thought of touring Iowa's 99 counties gladhanding the yokels and pretending to care... makes his stomach turn. And that's the dealbreaker that can't be overcome.

This isn't some grand revelation. But when you cross his name off the list, it adds prognostic clarity. Without a Bush or an ancient warhorse (like Dole or McCain) to nominate, this will be an "unusual" cycle for Republicans.

Remember: the sample size in presidential politics is very small yet the temptation to compare present cycles to previous ones is intense. You'll hear pundits say that "in the past, Republicans have usually nominated...[insert trend here]," or that "Democrats fall in love (with their nominee), Republicans fall in line." Disregard those analyses; they're unhelpful this time around. Like 2008 for the Dems, 2016 sets up as a trend-breaking year. (See comment from 9/15/07 re-printed here.)     

So it could be pretty volatile and surprising. Who is my "pick"? I don't have one yet.

But let's assume the top tier includes Grover Norquist's six favorites plus Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Eliminate Jeb.

If Sen. Rand Paul's rEVOLution part deux gets traction, there will come a point (likely occuring at the most crucial juncture of early primary season-- late fall of '15) when the media pounces on Paul with startling ferocity. If I had to guess, I'd say the controversy will involve race. Establishment GOP media organs distrustful of Paul will likely seize the opportunity to pile on, perhaps couching their criticisms in words like "temperament." Does Paul have the chops to handle that?

Governor Chris Christie is currently embroiled in scandal, probably has more closeted skeletons, and I'm disinclined to think the nominee will be from the Northeast (again).

Does that leave an opening for Rick Perry, Scott Walker or *gasp* Bobby Jindal?   
Upside Down - Diana Ross by peakers

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rest in Peace, Morwen 

Adrastos posts a fine photo of Morwen Madrigal at First Draft. [Update: ICYMI, like I did, Liprap penned a fine memoriam.}

Below is a reprint of an open letter she wrote in 2008:

An Open Letter On Trans and Intersexed Issues

Dear Sir or Ma’am,

I writing this because I’m part of a community and an activist for those who are continually forgotten or legislated against in this country. This community is called Transgendered. Yes, those of us who have Gender Identities that don’t match our Birth records.

I’m doing this because I am one example of the most extreme versions of this community: I was born with all of the parts. I have ovaries, a uterus, a sewn-up vagina, and a man-made penis. My “role” in Life was determined by people that never asked me who I saw myself as. I didn’t get to state my preferences. I got “assigned”.

Now I’m living my life as I should have… as myself and female.

I’m also doing this because I believe the values that our Founders enshrined in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I believe each and every citizen of this Country is endowed with Rights to be who and what they are. There is no middle ground on this. These are our rights as Human Beings under our country’s Constitution and our Bill of Rights. This is the gift of the Founders to each and everyone of us. I respect their work greatly. It is why I can wake up everyday… and can know that I live in the greatest country on the planet.

To support my belief in this country and the reasons for our kind of Culture, I gave 9+ tears of my life to the Military. I’m am very skilled in Physics, Chemistry, Fluid Flow Dynamics, Geology, History and Anthropology. I became everything that was asked of us decades ago. We were asked to become the best and the brightest. I lived up to that, not just because I had interests, but because I believed in our Nation. My Homeland asked for this and I felt that I could not ignore the call.

Now, there are two Bills floating through Congress concerning citizens such as myself.

The bills are labeled as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. One is H.R. 3685 (covering only the LGB folks), the other is H.R. 3686 which covers us Trans folks. Both of these bills deal only with employment issues. Originally both were covered under H.R. 2015, but certain interests didn’t want my kind in the bill.) Right now, institutionalized discrimination is a hurdle that these bills must pass, but the one that deals with Trans folks has the worst chance of passing.

More is needed: like housing issues, and safety in Public. You see, coming out as Gay or Lesbian involves only who you sleep with. There is no L, G or B on your I.D.s. Unless you announce it to the world, nobody really notices, but for a Trans person, we change our clothing, gender and our names. We must, by the criteria of the Benjamin Standards, live in our chosen gender for at least a year, and that means employment and housing discrimination. During what we call Transition we cannot hide. Every one can see what we are doing, and we get hurt.

That’s the danger for our folk: there are so many people out there that cannot accept our Realities.

Religionists curse us, others just think we are freaks or child-molesters. Using the restroom in public can be a horrible adventure. Getting pulled over for a traffic infraction can make things even worse. Much of this boils down to intolerance of the “different”, or a lack of education concerning Biological realities. (More info on the biological situation and history, is here. I’m rewriting my site right now so this will have to suffice.)

Many of my sisters work in the biggest corporations in the country… some work for companies that are involved in National Security, many are engineers and others are in the financial markets. The bulk of us just work “normal” jobs. Our community is valued for it’s intelligence and tenacity. When one has to survive and become under the B/S Societal norms, you’ve got to be the best. (Many of our kind never make their 30th B’Day.)

I have been hurt because of being Trans in the Past, but that hasn’t been the case for several years. I am here in New Orleans, a very tolerant place, and my partner and I own our home. We have good friends, and no they aren’t all LGBT folks. We live up to my statement of years ago; “Prove who we are, and what we are not”. That has earned us respect.

To heal the wound of Gender Identity, we have had to become ourselves, and that means understanding what it means to be Human. Our little tribe is usually kind and thoughtful. We work our tushes off to just BE in the face of ignorance-based discrimination. It’s all that we can do.

In summary, what I’m asking you for is to come to an understanding of Trans folk, and maybe let your Congresspeople know that we do need protections against prejudice and hate. To speak out when some people condemn us. To not be afraid of us. “Only Humans cry… only Humans sing and laugh and bleed and dream”. That’s exactly what my tribe does.

We are not a threat, but we are being threatened. Please think about this. It’s the Human thing to do.

Be Blessed!

Morwen Madrigal,
The GentillyGirl

Monday, March 24, 2014

Up-tempo dedications 

This cut goes out to Pat because he is from Georgia, as are the boys from Mastodon. They both have drums, too.


Zero Boys are one of the great 80s punk bands, straight outta Indiana (not kidding). Here they perform at a Pizza Castle. This goes out to Alli, because Notre Dame is somehow in Indiana, and to hoosierleanians Editor B and Xy.

Please ignore the song titles. They don't really jibe with the theme here, which is marital bliss and universal connectedness. But all that's obvious, I'm sure.

And, for the locals, acquaint yourselves with the "hypersonic pop-rock" stylings of Testaverde.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Welcome, Jello. But who might Bruce be?

"just think, there's more to come"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Operation Ivy named their band after a series of nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Gambit political columnist Clancy DuBos interviews the zombie.

A crisp salute to DuBos for this line: "That’s right, a blogger broke open this [Nagin] scandal, on a blog called American Zombie ( TV and newspaper reporters have crowed about their 'scoops' on this story, but the truth is no one had it before [Jason] Berry."

Berry's tip jar is open. Show your appreciation.

Monday, February 10, 2014


 They put it up in different styles
But it still looks pretty ugly to me... (whistling parts start at 1:17 and 3:21)

There's something ugly inside of you There's a big empty hole inside of you There's something creepy crawling on your brain There's something in you It's red white and blue inside of you ... See, there's something vapid inside of you There's a sweet little robot inside of you So take off that silly moustache