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Umphrey's McGee @ The Brookly Bowl is the Musical Highlight of 2011
Was quite literally the best music experience I had all year. Umphrey's has skyrocketed to "favorite band" status. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 9/27/2011 5:30 PM
Since when did FOX News Become Big Brother? (thoughts on the conservative media in 2009)

Is it just me, or does anyone else on the left kind if miss the likes of John McCain, and - dare we say it? - even Sarah Palin when it comes to political opponents?

McCain's campaign was a misguided mess of neo-con talking points, delivered by a spineless shadow of a once-Maverick and sprinkled with VPILF gaffes so bat-shit crazy they were comical (much in the same way Bushisms are comical...). Throw that all together with a wildly unpopular sitting president responsible for a rapidly-collapsing economy and a Catch-22 double feature of Anglo-Arab wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all we on the left had to do was sit back, watch the GOP self-implosion unfold, and wait for victory. After what the Republicans had done to the state of our union over the past eight years no hard-hitting campaign was really necessary from the Dems. Double-ya, Dick, and the Mission they DID manage to accomplish was all the mudslinging we needed.

But now that these leaders and popular GOP politicians have faded back into the woodwork since Obama took office, someone worse has taken their place. It's the hard-line, neo-conservative agenda setters (*cough*FOX News*cough*) who have somehow convinced us that the opinions they circulate and leak into the mainstream media are representative of the majority of beliefs held by Americans. From the second Wolf Blitzer called the election for Obama they (and by "they" I mean "Rush Limbaugh") came out hard, denying the obvious facts and insisting that - despite the nation electing a liberal black president - America was still a "center-right country." Their hatred for Barack Obama and everything he did, didn't do, thought about doing, did once in the third grade, and promised to do (or not do) was so intense - and their scrutiny was so malicious, constant, and convinced of itself - that I honestly think FOX News lead us to believe that we disproved of the job Barack Obama was doing more than we actually did.

Trying to compromise with the right was a waste of Obama's time because, in the end, they had no tangible policy goals for which they hoped to achieve. Hyper-partisan rhetoric set the tone for hyper-partisan Congressmen and Senators whose only real mission in 2009 was to make sure that Barack Obama's policies did not succeed by making sure they never saw the light of day. Bills were filibustered, torn apart, and sent back to committee: despite bartering excessive compromises and successions Obama has STILL not managed to get the Health Care Bill he promised back in August across the Senate floor.

And so now what are we left with? A legislative stalemate and a resulting false sense of entitlement that has somehow given the pundits, politicians, and Tea Party protesters on the right the audacity to blame OBAMA for the mess they themselves created and then refused to clean up. And don't get me wrong, Obama hasn't exactly been Captain Stupendous this year, but I think the lesson he needs to learn in 2010 (if he wants any hope at re-election) is to drop the gloves and play hardball by refusing to appease GOP legislators on Capital Hill. Instead, Pelosi and Biden need to round support from their respective Senate and House majorities in order to pass the kind of policy that would fulfill the promise Obama made to Americans as their next Democratic President, and also begin to reverse the damage caused by Bush-era conservative legislation.

Just because Republicans have someone tangible to blame that's currently holding office doesn't mean they are no longer at fault. Just because Bush has disappeared from the public eye does not mean the damage he and his Rovian empire created has disappeared as well. And just because Democrats are now left to clean up that mess does NOT mean that they are the party responsible for causing it. I know it was easy for Dems to pick at Bush and McCain and Palin before the election, because right out the gate their campaign was running on a gimp leg that threatened the stability of their existence from the inside. But now that the Democrats face a stronger, more socially-pervasive and multi-faceted political counterpart it seems like we on the left are just rolling over and letting them win. Come on, Dems! This fight ain't over - they just want us to THINK it is.

In 2010 it all comes down to Congress. If we can fill the House and Senate with representative statesmen that will put the good of their country before the petty partisan power-play of Washington politics then there might just be a chance at this Obama Presidency still. Otherwise, we're in for 3 more long years of FOX News convincing us it's over long before the fat lady sings. Rush Limbaugh said it himself - he HOPES OBAMA FAILS, and would rather see the country fall further into despair than to see a black Democratic President succeed in passing effective legislative policy.God I hope that fat bastard doesn't end up getting his way....

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 12/23/2009 7:00 PM
Allston MA Jambanders?
Hey,

I'm a BU student moving off-campus to Allston for the first time this fall and wanted to connect with like-minded music fans and college students lucky enough to live in 02134. Railroad Earth and the Grateful Dead are my favorite bands - and this includes any spin-off of the Grateful Dead as well (the Other Ones, the Dead, Phil & Friends, Ratdog, Darkstar, Old and in the Way, etc.) I also love MMJ, TLG, and most everything by David Byrne, Levon Helm, Billy Corgan, and Warren Haynes. I'd love to talk music and connect to Deadheads in the area..... Also, I'm also looking for live music fans who would be willing to come and help out by volunteering with HeadCount at live music concerts and events around the city and New England.

I began working with the NPO HeadCount (HC) last year and through them have gone to and have access to hundreds of concerts and festivals around the country. Since starting with HC a year ago I've been to Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo, Gathering of the Vibes, and Farm Aid - and have seen Gov't Mule, My Morning Jacket, Mike Gordon, Ratdog, Bruce Springsteen, the Dead, Michael Franti, Neil Young, and Phish (among many others) all perform live. Through HC I have also had the opportunity to watch Dave Matthews do a private soundcheck with Tim Reynolds at Farm Aid: have had dinner with Marc Brownstein of the Biscuits before an Electron show: and have met Bob Weir backstage at GOTV before watching CS&N perform their headlining set stage-side. All for free. Needless to say it's a pretty sweet gig. This month we've got Phish, Derek Trucks, the Black Crowes, Bonnie Rait, and the ABB shows lined up; and this fall I will be following RRE on their New England tour as well as working and attending TONS of other concerts in the city. We've even got a permanent residency at the House of Blues.

If you're college-age, living in Boston, and a fan of live music send me a message and lemme know what's up with the jamband scene in Allston! I'm always willing to return the favor by hooking likeminded people up with free admission to tons of shows in the Boston area in exchange for volunteering their time at the shows. If you've got any questions about volunteering with HeadCount, shoot me a msg or email me at lizo@headcount.org.

May the four winds blow you safely home to Allston :) Until then, take care.
-Liz 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 8/11/2009 12:33 AM