Featuring the works and commentary of Andrew Bruss

Friday, December 9, 2011

Is Barack Obama Jewish?

No, he is not. You should know that by now, but I got you reading didn’t I?

To be fair the man has identified himself as a "mutt" on more than one occasion so I cannot prove as a matter of fact that he has no Jewish blood in him. Can you?

Although Obama is clearly not Jewish, he is celebrating Chanukah two weeks early though, which makes you wonder how observant the Chosen People within his administration are.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

US Drones Launched From Inside Pakistan

By now most Andrewbruss.com readers have heard the news that a NATO strike within Pakistan’s borders killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, causing an unparalleled diplomatic crisis.

Pakistan has closed off their borders to NATO, leaving our forces in Afghanistan without a direct supply rout. But what is not getting as much attention is that the Pakistani’s have told the U.S. that they are no longer allowed to use Pakistani airfields to launch drone strikes.

The C.I.A.-led  drone program aims at targets inside Pakistan and is one of the worst kept secrets in the history of secrets. However, the fact that these drones were being launched from within Pakistan offers a groundbreaking new dimension to the complicated relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.

These two nations actively work against each others interests but are still dependent on one another. Pakistan depends upon the U.S. for military funding, training and technology and the United States depends on Pakistan for intel and supply routs to Afghanistan.

Relations between the two hit an all-time low after Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan without informing the Pakistani’s that a team was being sent in. While it is news to the public that NATO had access to Pakistani airfields, the C.I.A. had been allowed to station agents in the country for some time. So this is not the first time we have learned that Pakistan allowed U.S. assets on their soil.

It is now irrelevant that we had drones in Pakistan because we aren’t allowed to base them there anymore. As eye opening as this fact may be, the unquestionable future of NATO supply routs to Afghanistan must be the biggest worry for NATO… aside from security of Pakistan’s nukes.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Interview: Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino

I had the pleasure of interviewing Donald Glover at Boston’s House of Blues recently and the fine folks at Glide Magazine just published my interview.

Glover was at the House of Blues to perform as Childish Gambino, but he is most famous for playing Troy on NBC’s Community. His writing credits on shows like 30 Rock and The Daily Show only add to his resume but if I tell you any more, you won’t read the article…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn State Students: Epic Disgrace

It's the media's fault Paterno didn't contact the police?

Pennsylvania State University students disgraced themselves and their school last night by engaging in a selfish riot that demonstrated an utter disregard for the victims of sexual abuse. Football Coach Joe Paterno was fired after a decades-long tenure because of his handling of a sex abuse scandal revolving around one of his subordinates. To be more specific, it is alleged that Paterno’s defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, sodomized a child in a locker room shower stall. Sandusky was arrested on November 4th on dozens of charges of sexual abuse. The schools athletic director, Tim Curley, and Gary Shultz, Vice President of Finance and Business have both been arrested for perjury as a result of their failure to report the sexual assault.

Although Paterno is not legally accountable because he did the bare minimum (reporting the allegations to his supervisors), the fact that the police weren't notified is unconscionable. This scandal resulted in the firing of Paterno and Penn State University President Graham Spanier by the Board of Trusties last night, and immediately afterwards, students took to the streets to riot, turn over media vehicles, throw rocks and damage property.

Were they rioting in anger over the fact that their school looked the other way when children were raped on campus? No. The New York Times quoted student Paul Howard, 24, as saying, "Of course we're going to riot! What do they expect when they tell us at 10 o'clock that they fired our football coach?"

Jeff Heim, 19, said, "We got rowdy, and we got maced. But make no mistake, the board started this riot by firing our coach. They tarnished a legend.”

These students seem under the impression that their coach is the victim, not the child who was raped in his locker room. If you want more evidence that these students were more worried about football than Sandusky’s victims, hear what the alleged victim’s sister had to say. Her name was not used to protect the identity of the victim, but she told local media outlets that she has avoided going to class because students made jokes about being “Sanduskied.” She added, “I’ve just been really upset about it all because a lot of people aren’t focusing on the victims in this. And instead they’re focusing on other things, like football.”

These students trashed their community out of anger directed at the Board of Directors, not the assistant coach who raped children. Where was the anger when news broke that faculty were facing charges of perjury in a sex abuse case? Why didn’t they riot when they found out that Sandusky was given keys and access to athletic facilities after he was let go for his “indiscretions?” If you judge last nights crowd by their actions, they were much more upset that their coach lost his job than they were about the fact that his protégé allegedly used his stature with the school to rape eight boys over the course of 15 years.

The Board of Trustees used good judgment in firing Paterno and Spanier with the hopes of getting this disgusting mess under control, but it is not enough. I'm sure we will see more steps taken to earn back trust and demonstrate a situation like this will never happen again. But getting rid of a coach is not enough. Every student on camera who destroyed property, attacked the media or fought with police should be expelled. Students like Heim, who acknowledge taking part in the riots, need to be shown that there is no place at Penn State for students who use violence to voice their frustration.

The U.N. estimates that over 3,500 protesters have been killed in Syria by a government that tortures its people. An Iraqi war vet was seriously injured in Oakland, California while protesting economic inequalities at home. In comparison, Penn State students decided to riot because they were mad their coach was fired for protecting a sexual predator.

This is a story about a monster that brutally robbed eight young boys of their childhoods and the failure, or disinterest, in stopping him. In the eyes of Penn State students, this is a story about football and the victim is their once-great coach. In a just world, their inability to grasp the severity of this situation demonstrates an intellectual shortcoming that would bar them from any facility of higher learning. Unfortunately, any of Sandusky’s victims could tell you that the world is not just.

It’s time Penn State students stop worrying about their coach and start worrying about the children who were terrorized on his watch. The Board of Trustees are not the ones with blood on their hands.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

War with Iran Close?

The U.K. is working under the assumption that a U.S./Israeli strike against Iran is in the works. More importantly, they are planning with the understanding that they will be expected to help.

Both Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post are going wild over a story in The Guardian that the U.K. is prepping to strike Iran.  The report says that the Royal Navy is preparing to deploy in the coming months to assist a possible U.S. attack on “key facilities in Iranians.”

Last year, Israel and the United States attacked the Iranian nuclear program with the largest, most sophisticated cyber-attack in history, and the U.K. has concluded that Iran has fully recovered.

All of this is being reported days after the U.K. military chief visited Israel and while Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in London.

The British have ships and submarines capable of launching ordinances to assist a joint U.S./Israeli strike, which would likely include land and sea-based Tomahawk cruise missiles. And don’t be surprised if you hear stories about sophisticated cyber-super weapons being used to disable Iran’s air-defenses ahead of an attack.

People have been reporting that an attack is imminent for years now but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been itching to push the red button. Between the withdrawal from Iraq coming to a close and the vindication of his Libya policy, President Obama may be feeling a little more comfortable taking risks in the region.

If The Guardian is right, and the U.K. is preparing for a future strike, god help us. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Deadmau5 Review: Ghosts 'n Stuff

I don’t care what the Chinese calendar says, 2011 is the Year of the Mau5. Deadmau5’s final performance of his four-night run at Boston’s House of Blues demonstrated plain and simple how he has become the epicenter of the electronica universe.  Glide Magazine published a photo gallery of mine from the event and my review has some solid youtube video as well.

Mau5 spent the summer playing music festivals while competing against acts across the field like Arcade Fire and the Foo Fighters. His electronica contemporaries, such as Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold, have been singing his praises loudly, and it’s likely that everyone in attendance at the 16+ show in Boston will continue to spread the gospel like an army of dedicated publicists.

For anyone who isn’t well versed in the differences between house, big beat, acid house or dub step electronica subgenres, the one aspect of Mau5’s show you will rant and rave about are the production values. Daft Punk’s Alive Tour is probably the only other electronic act to tour behind such a spectacle, but Mau5 is the first to bring a production of such epic proportions into a nightclub.

Amongst the converted, the production values of the beats themselves are what has made Deadmau5 legend with the house heads. Deadmau5, AKA Joel Zimmerman, has developed a sound instantly recognizable within moments of a listen. In addition to the melodies he pumped on his hits such as “Ghosts ‘n Stuff” and “Raise Your Weapon,” Mau5 infuses every one of his tracks with digitally crafted tracks mastered to perfection. While the intro to “Some Chords” may have sounded simplistic, the multiple layers of bass, fuzz and high-end pitch are definitively Deadmau5. After infusing a slow creeping drum beat, the dance floor didn’t stop moving.

While his crafty music productions and impressive stage schematics have played a major part in his meteoric rise to fame, Mau5’s branding is what has him the most commercially viable electronica artist of the new millennium. Sasha & Digweed were huge, Tiesto still draws a crowd and Pretty Lights is bringing the party to every dance hall across the country, but who among them has an image as recognizable as Deadmau5? The proliferation of the Deadmau5 brand has played a big part in his ability to sell out multiple nights in a row at Boston’s House of Blues, New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, and plenty of other top-tier clubs. In Boston alone, Mau5 was selling roughly 400 sets of mouse ears made out of glow sticks at $5 a pop. In New York, I was told the number was closer to 800 sets a night.

Between the near-perfection of the beats, the extravagance of the live show, and the development of a recognizable brand (the message boards light up whenever Zimmerman reveals a newly built mouse helmet), Deadmau5 showed Boston in no uncertain terms why 2011 has been the Year of the Mau5.

Editors Note: I am contractually barred from running photographs from the concert on this blog. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Was Gaddafi Sodomized?

You videotaped this? Really?
Global Post is reporting that Muammar Gaddafi was sodomized after being captured by rebels in Libya last week. Frame-by-frame analysis of the video footage shows what looks like a knife being forcefully inserted into the former dictator, whose death last week is looking more and more like an extrajudicial execution.

While Gaddafi’s treatment pales in comparison to what he spent over forty years doing to Libya, let's call a spade a spade. If this report is true, it means Gaddafi was raped. While the editorial staff of andrewbruss.com has refrained from shedding a single tear over Gaddafi’s death, we are whole-heartedly opposed to this type of action being committed by anyone, without exception.

The National Transitional Council just declared liberation in Libya but that news has been overshadowed by reports of Gaddafi and his loyalists being executed. Democracy is often born in chaos but sodomizing their former-dictator is pretty extreme. Even Saddam got to keep his pants on... 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gilad Shalit: The Cost of Freedom

These are the real losers in the trade.
Gilad Shalit and I were both born in 1986 to a loving Jewish family who only wanted what was best for us. While I was studying journalism at Emerson College, Gilad was being held captive by Hamas. I think it’s fair to say that every Jew has strong feelings regarding the kidnapping and emotional release of Israeli Defense Force Sergeant First Class Shalit. In 2006, Shalit was kidnapped from his army post inside Israeli territory by Hamas agents who took him to the Gaza Strip. This morning Shalit was returned home to his parents and greeted by Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. Shalit’s freedom cost the State of Israel 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, many among them guilty of planning horrific suicide bombing.

It is fair to say that no other country in the world would trade over one thousand prisoners for a single soldier. Then again, no other country in the world is in the situation Israel is in. Plenty of countries draft soldiers, but no country besides Israel is as dependent upon the service of every 18 year-old as is the Jewish State. This is why the nation's pledge to return every soldier, even their corpse, is considered sacred and the Israeli public overwhelmingly supported this prisoner swap.

But does that mean it was the smart thing to do? Will the Israeli public still support the prisoner trade if (when?) the freed prisoners return to terrorism? The cost of Shalit’s freedom rewards Hamas for what was a legal act of war and will only encourage them to kidnap another soldier.  Will the Israeli public still support the swap when Hamas brags that the success of Shalit’s kidnapping encouraged them to kidnap whomever they nab next?

How should we feel about Svuel Schijveschuurder, whose parents and three siblings were killed in a Jerusalem suicide bombing, only to see the criminal responsible being released in this deal. Along with Yossi Mendelevich, who lost his 13-year old son in a suicide bombing, Schijveschuurder and other victims tried to block the trade because they are convinced it will lead to their nightmare being renewed.

I personally feel nothing but joy for Shalit and his family as he returns home after a horrible ordeal he will spend years recovering from. But I also feel great sorrow. The final outcome of this ordeal is the greatest victory in the history of Hamas, and while it is also a victory for Shalit and his parents, the 18 year-olds currently serving in the IDF are the real losers in this deal. Their value as Hamas captives has just gone up. Way up.   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The City of Boston v. The Bill of Rights

This was designed by EddieAtari and posted on the Occupy Boston Facebook

I’ve been hesitant to weigh in on the Occupy Wall Street protests because to be honest, I am still not sure what to make of them. I support the movement’s general aim of improving the financial sector, but without stated goals or any sort of leadership, I’m still not sure what the end game is.

The movement has spread to dozens of cities around the country, including Boston, and my reluctance to weigh in on this movement vanished when the Boston Police Department arrested 141 people for protesting peacefully, only to be followed by Mayor Thomas Menino telling the world, “Civil disobedience does not work for Boston; it doesn’t work for anyone.”

Come again Mayor Mumbles? Ever hear of Martin Luther King Jr.? Mohandas K. Gandhi? The Boston Tea Party!?!?!?

The city was fine with Occupy Boston protesters (an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street) filling in Dewey Square, but when their protest spread to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Menino’s tolerance for the Bill of Rights ran out.

Mark Leccese, a Boston Globe blogger and one of my favorite Emerson College professors, pointed out that between the Mayor and BPD Commissioner Edward Davis, they don’t even have a straight story regarding their decision to bust up the protest.  BPD spokeswomen Elaine Driscoll first told The Boston Globe they would not let protesters spread because of expensive renovations recently performed. However, Commissioner Davis did not seem as worried about the upkeep of city property as much as the threat of Anarchists. The Boston Herald quoted Davis as saying: “The group that was here for the first ten days was working very closely with us, but they warned us yesterday morning that a new group, the anarchists, wanted to take control.”

In the process of arresting 141 peaceful protesters, the Boston Police made a point of roughing up a handful of Veterans For Peace. The BPD even arrested Legal Observers who were properly identified. 

Given Boston’s reputation as the birthplace American liberty (the suburb of Lexington to be exact), this whole episode is an utter disgrace. I have always been known to give the Boston Police Department credit where credit is due, but in this case, they should hang their heads in shame.

Editors Note: If you would like a better understanding of how other police departments have responded to these protest, an NYPD officer using mace against a handful of defenseless girls at an Occupy Wall Street event says it all. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

NOFX Was Punk In Drublic

NOFX guitarist Eric Melvin

NOFX’s performance at Boston’s House of Blues last night was a total mess of epic proportions, but the band wouldn’t have had it any other way. They took the stage half-cocked, drinks in hand and ready to have fun. As fans affectingly chanted “NOFX Sucks” the band tore through a set of career-spanning tunes that were connected by some of the wittiest stage banter I have ever heard. They were far from tight, but the comedy alone was worth the ticket price.

Sure, there were more stalled starts than can be counted, and the sound guy was drunk (leading to some ear-splitting feedback at times), but their carefree interactions with the audience were almost as much of a highlight as their run through, “Stick It In My Eye.”

Singer Fat Mike made plenty of jokes about college kids taking Adderall, his early childhood in Newton, Mass, and the group even took a couple of well-intended jabs at local acts like Dropkick Murphys and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

The musical element of the performance was far from polished but it didn’t have to be. NOFX makes punk music and take themselves far from seriously. Anti-Flag, who played an energized set before NOFX, worked the crowd up with messages of unity, brotherhood, and resistance to capitalism and military aggression. Although both acts have a similar set of fans, the force-fed message of Anti-Flag couldn’t be farther from the on-the-fly humor NOFX brought on-stage. Anti-Flag encourages tolerance of all races, ethnicities and sexes. NOFX, whose makeup consists of “White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean,” made jokes about Jews, Mexicans, and even the death of Steve Jobs (“That’s just what the world needs. Less jobs”).

I’m sure they could have squeezed in an extra song or two if they’d been a little sharper, but if they’d been any tighter, it wouldn't have been as much fun.
NOFX guitarist El Hefe
"NOFX sucks!"
NOFX frontman Fat Mike
This guy didn't stop crowd surfing

Photographing punk shows is a contact sport



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

R.E.M. Breaks Up

This first ran with my review on Jambase.com

After 31 years, R.E.M. has called it quits. On their website they posted this note: "To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening." R.E.M. 

In honor of the group, the music they gave the world, the progress they made for gay artists, and the sanity frontman Michael Stipe helped Thom Yorke of Radiohead find, I have linked to a review of their live show I published a few years back. I've also included a few of the photos that didn't make the cut the first time around.

This one's for the Man On The Moon...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Secret Service Won't Spy For CIA

Where was he when that Iraqi started throwing shoes?

The Atlantic just ran a major feature that offered one of the most intimate views of the Secret Service that has ever been provided. How reporter Marc Ambinder convinced the agency to give him such an up-close understanding of how they protect dozens of world leaders during the UN General Assembly both puzzles and astonishes me.

One of the most interesting tales that came to light was that the Secret Service pulled their guns on the Turkish delegation during a misunderstanding that arose from Prime Minister Erdogan’s unwillingness to wait for Obama’s motorcade to pass.

Another interesting fact is that on more than one occasion, the CIA has asked the Secret Service to spy on the leaders they have been tasked with protecting. Although he refused to comment on the request, Mark Sullivan, Director of the Secret Service, told Ambinder that the agency is only a consumer of intelligence, not a collector.

Although the agency refused to confirm that the CIA asked them to collect intel on two occasions, former director W. Ralph Basham told Ambinder: “Once you lose the confidence of those individuals you protect…. It would never be a workable situation.”

Props to the Secret Service for standing their ground and being the more honorable agency. But you can’t blame the CIA for asking. Who ever said spying was supposed to be honorable anyway?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Right Of Return: I'm Going To Kiev!

These people also don't want Jews on their land.

The Palestinians deserve a nation of their own, but according to the PLO’s Ambassador to the United States, that nation should not allow Jews. Maen Areikat told USA Today that it was in the best interest of both Jews and Palestinians “to be separate.”

When asked to elaborate about a possible Jewish minority in the future Palestinian State, Areikat added, “I believe… that as a first step we need to be totally separated.”

On the surface, this statement seems logical enough. However, if Israeli’s and Palestinians need to be separate, then why have multiple Israeli peace proposals been denied on the grounds that Palestinians demand the “right of return?”

A key Palestinian demand has been that Palestinians should be allowed to return to the Israeli territory their ancestors inhabited, in addition to the right to a nation of their own.

You may wonder why Palestinians would even want to live in Israel if they have a nation of their own. I wonder  if Palestinians have a right to return to the lands their great grandparents were forced off of, does that mean I am entitled to my own farm on the lands in the Ukraine my great grandparents were forced off of?

But those are issues for another blog post. What needs questioning is if the Palestinian Authority insists on the right of return for Palestinians to Israel, but does not believe that Palestinians and Israeli’s should live together, then what kind of Middle East do they want?

The scenario this ambassador strives for would either not include a Jewish State at all (a scenario more aligned with the policy of Hamas than the PLO), or a Jewish State flooded with Palestinian refugees that boarders a Palestine that does not allow Jews. Both scenarios are unrealistic and anti-Semitic. But this can be expected from a people who plan to unilaterally declare statehood while in the midst of a bloody civil war between the separate governing bodies of Gaza and the West Bank.

Call me when the PLO gets practical… 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dropkick Murphys @ Fenway Park

I had the pleasure of reviewing a performance by the Dropkick Murphys at Fenway Park for Glide Magazine/Hidden Track this past weekend and I felt like sharing the review with the loyal readers of andrewbruss.com.

I’m well aware that 750 words can only convey an auditory/visual experience to a certain extent, and I can only hope the epic nature of this performance has been conveyed in my review. Additionally, I’ve attached a few photographs that did not run in my review to paint a better picture of how the ballpark was set up, as well as youtube clips of "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced," and an acoustic "Echo's On 'A' Street." Enjoy!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th, 2011

Time flies in trying times...

Ten years going and the memory of 9/11 is fresher than ever. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been dreading this post. It would have been great to write a piece about how far we’ve come as a nation in the past ten years and how the progress we’ve made disproves the ideology behind Islamic extremism. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be honest. We are no better off now then we were on that sunny Tuesday morning, and I think all signs point to our nation as a whole being in a place that is much, much worse.

Our armed forces have suffered thousands of lives lost, plenty of amputations and more emotional trauma than can be calculated. The decline in civil liberties has been so severe that shockingly unconstitutional acts like the suspension of habeas corpus has been embraced by both major political parties and is not even considered to be a contested issue.  The foolish military endeavors we embarked on following the attacks on the World Trade Center have drained our treasury and our influence on world affairs is lower than it has been since before World War II.

I’m not blaming us as a nation, nor do I hold any one person or party responsible. However, all of the reflection on that painful day has made this process that much harder for me. What lessons have we learned? What has been taken away from the scar that was branded into our nation's collective memory? But more importantly, in the next decade to come, can we expect our national decline to reverse its course? I don’t know, but for the sake of the children I would like to raise one day, I certainly hope so.

AB – 9/11/11

Monday, August 15, 2011

America's Next Top Rock Gods: My Morning Jacket

Hair like this is a requirement to be a Rock God.

I’ve called My Morning Jacket “The Greatest American Rock Band Of Our Time” on more than one occasion and their performance last night in Boston defended the title. Their two-and-a-half hour long performance touched on songs from throughout their decade long career, leaning heavily on their 2011 release, Circuital, performing tracks like “Victory Dance,” “First Light” and “Holding Onto Black Metal.”

In addition to the new tunes, Jim James and his cohorts welcomed opening act Neko Case to the stage for a rendition of “Islands in the Stream” by Dolly Parton. After blowing thousands of minds and eardrums, Jacket ended the night on a high note with “One Big Holiday,” a rifftastic track off 2003’s It Still Moves that every fan has come to expect to hear at a Jacket show.

 I’d love to trail on about the multiple genres they blended, James’ showmanship, or the wonderful crowd who packed the Bank of America Pavilion, but sometimes photographs do the job better than words…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Straight Outta Brighton: Shooter Edition

This was a photo I took for Patch.com

Nobody ever said being a cop was easy, and the job is even harder when deranged gunmen fire on you. This was the case in Brighton yesterday when police arrived on the scene after an old man was wounded (and later died) of a gunshot wound.

Police responded to the scene only to be fired upon, and took up defensive position while they waited for a SWAT Team to arrive.

I was waiting for a bus when I saw an army of police cars drive by, which encouraged me to tune in to the Boston Police Department’s radio frequency, at which point I heard that SWAT and a negotiator were en route to a location two blocks from me. On the way to the site of the shooting, I got on the line with an editor from AOL’s Patch.com who expressed interest in my pending coverage and I showed up ready to report on the scene while gathering media. Said media is linked here.

Although the shooting victim died, no police officers were harmed subduing the shooter. Unfortunately the shooter made it out of the situation without a scratch. The BPD is currently offering no information on the shooter or his victim aside from their ages. 

Big props to the BPD for operating in a way that was nothing less than professional.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Obama and our Credit Rating: Downgraded

Now the country can have junkyard scraps on its lawn.

People have been asking me all weekend if I think the downgrading of our credit score from AAA to AA+ will impact Obama’s reelection. The short answer is yes, but it doesn’t matter.

People on the right think Obama is an abomination and the lefties consider him to be a serious disappointment… but he will be reelected. Very few people are pleased with the State of the Union or the President’s track record… but he will be reelected. Americans are growing frustrated with Obama’s Afghanistan policy and the pathetic lack of leadership he showed during the crisis to raise the debt ceiling… but he will be reelected.

The simple truth of the mater is it is a rare thing for Presidents to lose their reelection campaigns. It is even more rare during times of war (ask W. about that one).

The opposition is pretty weak. Gingrich is operating like he is on a course of self-destruction. Mitt Romney is unlikely to escape his image as an elitist who made his millions by laying off blue collar workers, and Bachmann, the most energizing figure in the running, will alienate independents with her “Pray the Gay Away” demagoguery.

The real contenders from within the Republican Party are keeping out of the race until 2016 when they won’t have to campaign against a sitting President.

So the economy will continue to slide, body bags will continue to return from Afghanistan, and if the last 3 years (or 3 weeks) are any indicator, this country will still be in for some hard times that are not likely to go away anytime soon. But mark my words: for better or worse, this President will be reelected. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Disaster Averted?

If I didn't know any better, I'd think he was trying to find his balls.

As of press time, the debt ceiling is expected to be raised in the nick of time and disaster has been averted. But has it? Unemployment is up, consumer confidence is down, we are digging ourselves into a greater pit of debt and our confidence in the government has been buried in a shallow grave alongside other absurdities such as Clear Coke and Green Ketchup.

For the record, economic issues are far from my area of expertise, but as an avid news junkie, I’ve followed this situation enough to know that one of the greatest fears relating to a default is that the Federal Government would see its AAA credit rating downgraded. Raising the debt ceiling and paying our bills will avert this scenario… for now. Plenty of experts predict our credit rating is destined to be downgraded and the robust editorial staff at Not Your Sunday Times is in full agreement.

The most disturbing aspect of this whole situation has been the utter inability of our government to function when the stakes are so high. True, the House of Representatives passed the bill within hours of default, but seeing Congress behave like a stoned philosophy major hammering out his term paper the night before finals does little to instill confidence.

The political deadlock we have seen over the past few months should disturb every American who wants to leave a worthwhile future for his or her grandchildren. President Obama told the country, “Americans voted for a divided government, not a dysfunctional government.” He couldn’t be more right. Too bad he maneuvered himself through this crisis without a semblance of political courage.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Debt Ceiling: Raise The Roof!

I WANT YOU to keep me in business...
With our economy in the state that it is, who’s to say the Chinese want to lend us $4 trillion more? Until bitter vitriol can power our automobiles, I personally wouldn’t be lending Uncle Sam any cash.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Jesus Christ Pose

I was pretty stoked to find out I won a photo contest that allowed me to work as Soundgarden’s photographer during their performance in Mansfield, Mass on their reunion tour.

I got Down On The Upside when I was in 5th grade and getting to hear “Burden In My Hand” live was such a rush, one of the aisle attendees told me to slow down as I raced back to my seat in order to sing all the words.

Without further ado, my photos!