Gaaaaaah: An Open Thread

My internet connection is not playing nice today, and I have too many other things to do today to spend a lot of time on it. So, here, have an open thread. To get the conversation rolling, consider one (or both) of these two topics:

1. Should there be a corollary to Godwin’s Law that says that whenever a Republican apparatchik brings up Clinton to excuse/justify/distract from whatever damn fool thing the GOP is doing, that they’ve lost the debate?

2. Tell me what good new music you’re listening to, “new” being “come out since January 1, 2006.” If you find yourself typing “Well, this came out before 2006, but…” or some variation thereof, please self-administer a tasering. New music, people.

I’m listening to the new Jet album myself. It’s pretty good so far.

You can also talk about other things too. That’s why it’s an “open thread.”

184 thoughts on “Gaaaaaah: An Open Thread

  1. 1) Oh hell yes.

    2) Just bought the new Beck. It’s sitting in the car waiting to be played. I have good expectations. What else? Uh, the new Paul Simon was surprisingly awesome and I normally HATE Paul Simon except for the fact that Mrs. Chang loves him as does Lil’ Changette. Other artists?
    a) I love you but I’ve chosen darkness
    b) Ghislain Poirier
    c) Kidz Bop 10
    d) Madonna – Confessions from a Dancefloor (don’t start, cuz I will fight you)
    e) Boris – Pink
    f) Gorillaz (I think this counts)

    That’s all I can think of.

    Is this the right thread to say today is my 10th wedding anniversary? And Mrs. Chang is getting some sweet gifts?

  2. My favorite new music purchase is Designs in Music, by Ben Vaughn. It’s jazzy, feels like it could be part of a soundtrack, and makes for wonderful background noise when I’m working or reading.

  3. Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor
    Non-misogynistic hip-hop that actually sounds hip and relevant. Original content, nothing about grills or Cristal or whatever. The radio hit, “kick, push”, is about riding a skateboard with his girlfriend.

    Yo La Tengo -
    I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
    And not just because of the cool album name. Just awesome indie rock.

  4. 1. yes, there is no doubt that they’ve lost the debate once the name “clinton” is spoken. i don’t care if they’re talking about the quaint new jersey town or george clinton, it’s over.

    2.
    a) nine black alps-everything is
    b) lovedrug-everything starts
    c) boy kill boy-civilian
    d) editors-the back room (i’m almost positive this came out in 06)

    btw, i’m about halfway through old man’s war and i am in awe of your writing, you are my new favorite author. looking forward to reading everything you’ve ever written.

  5. 1. yes, there is no doubt that they’ve lost the debate once the name “clinton” is spoken. i don’t care if they’re talking about the quaint new jersey town or george clinton, it’s over.

    2.
    a) nine black alps-everything is
    b) lovedrug-everything starts
    c) boy kill boy-civilian
    d) editors-the back room (i’m almost positive this came out in 06)

    btw, i’m about halfway through old man’s war and i am in awe of your writing, you are my new favorite author. looking forward to reading everything you’ve ever written.

  6. My faves as of late:

    Grouper: Wide (Free Porcupine Society) – One woman, her voice, and a ton of effects = spooky

    Dream/Aktion Unit: Blood Shadow Rampage (Volcanic Tongue) – A great wonderful noise featuring a pedal steel player and a member of Sonic Youth

    Iversen/Bjerga: There’s a Ghost in the Dream Machine (Time-Lag)- Beautiful drones

    Vampire Can’t: Key Cutter (Load) – hi-test electric trio improv featuring the drummer from Dream/Action

  7. 1. Yes.

    2. Bruce Cockburn – Life Short Call Now

    I’ve been a Bruce fan since the early 80s (he’s been around since the early 70s). I think the last three or four studio albums he’s put out have been among the best of his career.

    This came out before 2006 bu–OW!–never mind.

  8. 1. Yes.

    2. Bruce Cockburn – Life Short Call Now

    I’ve been a Bruce fan since the early 80s (he’s been around since the early 70s). I think the last three or four studio albums he’s put out have been among the best of his career.

    This came out before 2006 bu–OW!–never mind.

  9. Verdammt! Bad internet, no biscuit.

    (John, does this mean you didn’t get my email about Ye Old Booksellers Convention? If you are still going to that, I sent one along with handy info about places to eat while in the area.)

    Listening to:

    Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not by the Arctic Monkeys

    (I particularly like Fake Tales of San Francisco and Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong. Vampires even has a reference to Quake with: “You better give me some pointers since you are the big rocket launcher and I’m just the shot gun.” )

    Also, listening to the first Nouvelle Vague album, but I’d like to point out that the second one came out 2006. (Nouvelle Vague has a lot of breathless French women covering various New Wave and punk hits. Your mileage may vary. I’m not too big their cover of Guns of Brixton, but I get a kick out of their cover of Too Drunk to Fuck and their rendition of A Forest is tres awesome.)

    Also, honorable mentions to Imarobot (particularly Paint the Town Red) and I Hate Kate, particularly
    the songs I’m In Love With A Sociopath and Always Something. (Saw I Hate Kate recently, and actually I liked their live performance better than the version of Sociopath they have online, but oh well.)

    http://www.myspace.com/11040954

    I think every thing else on my new list is stuff I’ve heard recommended on here, like Rock Kills Kid.

  10. The Weepies.

    Little Willies.

    Lots of stuff from the Paste Magazine samplers (highly recommended magazine — music, movies, books. Based here in Atlanta.)

  11. The Weepies.

    Little Willies.

    Lots of stuff from the Paste Magazine samplers (highly recommended magazine — music, movies, books. Based here in Atlanta.)

  12. Should there be a corollary to Godwin’s Law that says that whenever a Republican apparatchik brings up Clinton to excuse/justify/distract from whatever damn fool thing the GOP is doing, that they’ve lost the debate?

    Using it to excuse or justify the perp? Absolutely. What Clinton did was shameful and he deserved to resign, and it just doesn’t make any damn sense to compare to him in order to justify or excuse someone else.

    Using it to note hypocrisy in their opponents? That, I’m sad to say, is well within bounds, and a fair cop in many cases. Way too many people on the left, and in particular the feminist left and some Senate democrats, jettisoned a few principles to publicly defend Clinton or downplay his actions. Taking this opportunity to remind the voters of that fact is well within the standards of US national politics. If you don’t want to be called a weasel, don’t act like a weasel.

    If the page turns out to have been legal at the time, as is looking possible, there’s a lot of people who are going to look deeply weasely.

  13. I just checked Wikipedia’s entry for Godwin’s Law and there’s nothing like this listed under Collaries. So pending further investigation, I guess it’s yours. Scalzi’s Exception, maybe?
    Aurally, I’ve fallen in love with Vienna Teng, a former Cisco engineer who knows her way around the piano. If you want to get your mellow on, her newest CD is Dreaming Through the Noise.
    Henry: thanks for pointing out the Yo La Tengo album title. Cracks me up. It could caption the picture of Athena’s backyard summit with the cat.

  14. Well, the new album isn’t out yet, but when this guy drops his second disc on October 23, you can bet I’ll be importing it.

    His name: Simple Kid

    His album: Simple Kid II

    His website: http://www.simplekid.com

    His music previews: http://www.myspace.com/simplekidmusic

    And yes, this does count, because ever since I heard he was making a new album, I’ve been listening to the track samples at every opportunity. (His old album is awesome too, but since it’s a pre-2006 disc, it wouldn’t count.)

  15. ship: There are only four Republicans who know who George Clinton is.

    Did you by any chance see this column?

    Musically, I’m perversely enjoying Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

  16. Repubs accusing Dems of hypocrisy is … let’s see, what’s the word …? Dang, it’s right on the tip of my tongue.

  17. John,

    RE: Question #1

    I already have a built-in filter for that kind of GOP nonsense. It’s called a remote control.

  18. John,

    RE: Question #1

    I already have a built-in filter for that kind of GOP nonsense. It’s called a remote control.

  19. POP! goes the weasel.

    So Dave, you appear to be defending the good name of Foley and the GOP? You get uptight about Clinton, but when it comes to your own party the moral outrage is diminished. Gotta love selective values. Do they teach this in bible study?

  20. D.:

    “Did you by any chance see this column?”

    I had not. Although, interestingly, Jon Carroll and I went to the same high school (a couple of decades apart; even so).

  21. D.:

    “Did you by any chance see this column?”

    I had not. Although, interestingly, Jon Carroll and I went to the same high school (a couple of decades apart; even so).

  22. So Dave, you appear to be defending the good name of Foley and the GOP?

    How the hell to you get that out of what I wrote???!?

  23. Yeah, I was kind of wondering that myself. Dave’s formulation doesn’t seem notably sympathetic to the Foley mess.

  24. Yeah, I was kind of wondering that myself. Dave’s formulation doesn’t seem notably sympathetic to the Foley mess.

  25. I am deeply amused by the musical stylings of Lordi (yes, the band who won Eurovision). How can you NOT like a band that uses “The Arockalypse” as an album title and “the Day of Rockening” in their lyrics? Did I mention the axe (both musical and physical)? And things on fire! I’m thinking U.S. tour… with Tenacious D.

  26. 1. I thought it was a drinking game. Every time I hear a Republican say “Clinton,” I take a shot. I’ve been totally ripped for six years. Sfun.

    2. I’m feeling out of the loop. I get neglectful with the radio and I’m in this anti-DRM spiteful mode, so I won’t buy CDs or iTunes. So, having said, that I did snick OK GO from a friend and it’s fun, poppy fun. And I went to the ShineDown/Rob Zombie/Godsmack concert which kicked ass. Godsmack IV is pretty good (disclaimer: they’re hometown boys for me, so they get extra luv).

    I like my music like I like my liquor: hard (but not my pages thx). Any of the above metal I should check out?

  27. 1. I thought it was a drinking game. Every time I hear a Republican say “Clinton,” I take a shot. I’ve been totally ripped for six years. Sfun.

    2. I’m feeling out of the loop. I get neglectful with the radio and I’m in this anti-DRM spiteful mode, so I won’t buy CDs or iTunes. So, having said, that I did snick OK GO from a friend and it’s fun, poppy fun. And I went to the ShineDown/Rob Zombie/Godsmack concert which kicked ass. Godsmack IV is pretty good (disclaimer: they’re hometown boys for me, so they get extra luv).

    I like my music like I like my liquor: hard (but not my pages thx). Any of the above metal I should check out?

  28. New music – Old Crow Medicine Show’s Big Iron World album – saw them on Tuesday at the TLA in Philadelphia and the crowd was great.

    New Book – World War Z by Max Brooks. I’m 150 pages in and can’t stop.

    interesting link- http://large-regular.blogspot.com/2006/10/charlton-heston-today-is-charlton.html
    There is an Alternate History short story in here somewhere – how would Chuck have ended the Cold War if the election in 1980 went differently?

  29. 1) Yes, there should be such a corollary. On the other hand, there are commentators out there who have built entire careers out of blaming Clinton. and they have a lockstep fanbase that’s unlikely to be put off by having a flag called on their shenanigans.

    2) I keep hearing good things about the Decemberists (including a pretty solid piece on All Things Considered last night), so I’ll probably pick that up over the weekend.

  30. I’ll second the Regina Spektor nomination, I’m presently listening to the concert of a couple days ago via NPR webcast.

    I also find Lily Allen fairly amusing, though I couldn’t remember the name of the artist (she just kept popping up on Pandora) until Kung Fu Monkey caught a song and got an artist ID.

  31. I’ll second the Regina Spektor nomination, I’m presently listening to the concert of a couple days ago via NPR webcast.

    I also find Lily Allen fairly amusing, though I couldn’t remember the name of the artist (she just kept popping up on Pandora) until Kung Fu Monkey caught a song and got an artist ID.

  32. My new favorites include a local (Boston area) band and a folk singer:

    1] Dresden Dolls “Yes Virginia” – flat out wicked sounds coming from just two players. Great stuff.

    2] Spider (aka Jane Herships). Her self-made album has some great folk songs. Spider on CDBABY

  33. 1. Yes

    2. I like the new album just out by the Killers. And the new Jet single is good, have not listened to the whole album yet.

  34. 1) I would phrase the corollary thusly:

    Whenever a politician brings up a former political leader from the opposing party to excuse/justify/distract from whatever damn fool thing their own party is doing, that they’ve lost the debate?

    2) Legal, schmeagal. Monica Lewinsky was legal. Sure, what she and Clinton did is more than Foley is accused of doing with the page. But she is and was an adult. Much more of an adult than the page. Sixteen year olds may be legal in some states. But I don’t think any one would seriously argue that the boy could have consented to sex — which is what the legal age refers to. (unless, of course, you’re a member of the North American Marlon Brando Lookalike Association) So why are they arguing that he could consent to this?

  35. 1) I would phrase the corollary thusly:

    Whenever a politician brings up a former political leader from the opposing party to excuse/justify/distract from whatever damn fool thing their own party is doing, that they’ve lost the debate?

    2) Legal, schmeagal. Monica Lewinsky was legal. Sure, what she and Clinton did is more than Foley is accused of doing with the page. But she is and was an adult. Much more of an adult than the page. Sixteen year olds may be legal in some states. But I don’t think any one would seriously argue that the boy could have consented to sex — which is what the legal age refers to. (unless, of course, you’re a member of the North American Marlon Brando Lookalike Association) So why are they arguing that he could consent to this?

  36. For all your new music needs, just listen to kexp.org for a few days. That’ll give you all you need and more. It’s a public radio station in Seattle. I couldn’t possibly get through a single work day without it.

  37. Dave – the thing is, there is no ‘the page’ to turn out to be legal or illegal. ABC supposedly has IM transcripts going back five years, and I don’t see any indication that Foley limited himself to one or two pages. One former page was reportedly contacted by him 10 years ago, albeit when he was 17.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061005/ap_on_go_co/foley_georgia;_ylt=Apw_0vT5FcptN3xEq6LTjTGyFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ–

    The IMs already released strongly indicate actual sexual conduct between Foley and at least one page, and how many more pages were contacted by him when they were below the age of consent? And how many had sexual contact with him while below the age of consent?

    If the page was under *18* and he had sex with him in either Californis or Florida, then he committed a crime. In DC, the age of consent is 16, so he could be ok there. But even if he asserts the fact that he never had illegal sexual contact (which I believe his attorney has said on his behalf) – how does he prove that negative? Affidavits from every page over the past ten years saying that they didn’t sleep with him? And I don’t think that we can just assume that he limited himself to congressional pages.

    In order for defenders of Clinton to be ‘deeply weasely’ Foley would have to *prove* that either no sex ever happend, or that all of his encounters were consensual and with people above the age of majority in the state or district where the contact happened. And that he did not violate his own cyber-pedophile law after its passage.

    This is obviously a very high, if not impossible standard. And I can already here people gettting the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ speeches started. But he’s only innocent in a court of law until proven guilty. One can still have a legitimate and reasonable opinion about the conduct of another without having to wait for a verdict.

  38. As to why I mentioned Californi(a) – in one IM, Foley wrote, “i miss you lots since san diego.” Was it just for dinner, like they were planning for a friday later in DC? Was there something more? At this point, a blanket dinial is insufficent to counter the conclusions that can be made from the IM transcripts.

  39. Music, eh?
    “Black Turtleneck” – “Musical Chairs”.

    The group’s sound is an amalgamation of electronic techno backbeats and melodic pop vocals. The two musicians take a retro approach to electronic music on their debut release titled “Musical Chairs” with a sound reminiscent of Depeche Mode, Yaz and Soft Cell.

    (from http://tinyurl.com/np4jo)

  40. Here are a few new records I’ve been playing constantly:

    a) Post War by M. Ward
    b) The Letting Go by Bonnie “Prince” Billy
    c) Join Dan Sartain by Dan Sartain
    d) Magic Potion by the Black Keys.

    The first two are indie pop/folk kinda things, Dan Sartain is more psych/garage rock, and the Black Keys are a hill country blues influenced rock band from Akron.

    Listen, Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

  41. Here are a few new records I’ve been playing constantly:

    a) Post War by M. Ward
    b) The Letting Go by Bonnie “Prince” Billy
    c) Join Dan Sartain by Dan Sartain
    d) Magic Potion by the Black Keys.

    The first two are indie pop/folk kinda things, Dan Sartain is more psych/garage rock, and the Black Keys are a hill country blues influenced rock band from Akron.

    Listen, Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

  42. In order for defenders of Clinton to be ‘deeply weasely’ Foley would have to *prove* that either no sex ever happend, or that all of his encounters were consensual and with people above the age of majority in the state or district where the contact happened.

    Well, no. Several of Clinton’s accused sexual encounters were alleged to be non-consensual (and indeed forcible), just not the Lewinsky encounters. Clinton’s defenders at the time (quite correctly) argued that nothing was legally proven, so those accusations should be ignored. If they apply different standards in the Foley case, that certainly qualifies as “weasely”, if perhaps not “deeply weasely”.

  43. The Hold Steady. Are lovely. They sound like Husker Du and Afghan Whigs and Arab Strap and Bruce Springsteen and Guided by Voices and McClusky. They are the most anthemic and authentic indie band ever, and I have thoroughly embarrassed myself with this outburst. Ahem.

  44. In no real order:

    Hot Chip – The Warning
    The Knife – Silent Shout
    The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely
    Jason Molina – Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go
    Junior Boys – So This Is Goodbye
    Burial – Burial
    Excepter – Alternation
    Horse Feathers – Horse Feathers
    Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out Of This Country
    Thom Yorke – The Eraser

    …I used to listen to normal music, really. Err, I like that Snow Patrol record?

    More seriously, Camera Obscura, the Mountain Goats, Hot Chip and Horse Feathers are probably the most accessible above. Although Molina’s album (he’s also known as Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co, but his record under the latter name this year (Fading Trails) kind of sucks) might be up some people’s alleys as well; skeletal, desperate and gloomy…

  45. No, there should be a corrolary to Godwin’s law that says that the minute you engage in any kind of baiting bullshit, whether you are Democrat or Republican, you’ve lost the debate. Unfortunately, the people do not have the will to enforce this rule, so it’ll never happen.

    As far as I can tell, the only things I’ve purchased with 2006 copyrights are the V for Vendetta soundtrack and a single of Brokedown Palace by Joan Osborne (which is quite good, although very different than the original).

    Face it, I’m an old fart. They haven’t made any decent new music since the 1980s, etc. You know the litany.

    Having said that, just to be an obnoxious non-rule-following asshole, what I have *purchased* this year so far includes all three of Michael Hewett’s albums, which are great, Emiliana Torrini’s Love in the time of Science, which is really great, both Grey’s Anatomy soundtracks, which are pretty good, the Veronica Mars soundtrack, which is okay (I’m a little down on it because the CD crashed my Mac, which leads me to believe there’s some weird copy protection goo on it). I also bought the original Matrix soundtrack, which I have to say isn’t as good as the other two soundtracks.

    Music is in a weird time for me right now – there aren’t any new bands I particularly love, but despite my protestations good new work does seem to be getting done. I could just sample on iTMS if I didn’t mind the DRM, but I do, so I wind up buying soundtracks, which seems to be working out for me. But it would be nice if there were a better way.

  46. No, there should be a corrolary to Godwin’s law that says that the minute you engage in any kind of baiting bullshit, whether you are Democrat or Republican, you’ve lost the debate. Unfortunately, the people do not have the will to enforce this rule, so it’ll never happen.

    As far as I can tell, the only things I’ve purchased with 2006 copyrights are the V for Vendetta soundtrack and a single of Brokedown Palace by Joan Osborne (which is quite good, although very different than the original).

    Face it, I’m an old fart. They haven’t made any decent new music since the 1980s, etc. You know the litany.

    Having said that, just to be an obnoxious non-rule-following asshole, what I have *purchased* this year so far includes all three of Michael Hewett’s albums, which are great, Emiliana Torrini’s Love in the time of Science, which is really great, both Grey’s Anatomy soundtracks, which are pretty good, the Veronica Mars soundtrack, which is okay (I’m a little down on it because the CD crashed my Mac, which leads me to believe there’s some weird copy protection goo on it). I also bought the original Matrix soundtrack, which I have to say isn’t as good as the other two soundtracks.

    Music is in a weird time for me right now – there aren’t any new bands I particularly love, but despite my protestations good new work does seem to be getting done. I could just sample on iTMS if I didn’t mind the DRM, but I do, so I wind up buying soundtracks, which seems to be working out for me. But it would be nice if there were a better way.

  47. Sure – if different standards apply, I’m fine with deeply weasely. But keep in mind that Foley has admitted to the emails, has at the very least, not denied the IMs, which themselves strongly suggest sexual activity. Which is different from Clinton, because he never admitted to forcable sexual contact, and the sexual contact itself was not illegal.

    The difference here is that it is per se illegal for Foley to have sex with someone under 18 in California, while Clinton’s affair or alleged affairs were not in themselves illegal.

    If Foley claims that the IMs were forged, then that is a different story. The emails themselves may be inappropriate, but I don’t think are illegal under any law. The IMs open him up to a deeper level of criticism.

    In any event, I would assume Foley will stay in rehab until after the elections, so I doubt that we’ll get much more clarity. Except for the fact that ABC will likely continue to dribble out the IMs to keep their ratings up…

  48. I’ve mentioned We Are Scientists’ “With Love And Squalor” the last time you had a new music thread. That I’m still listening to it regularly 9 months later should serve as my underscore for that recommendation. (And now you can get the whole shebang streamed from their website, so no excuses for passing over a great thing.)

    “Sleep Is The Enemy” by Danko Jones is every bit as good as the previous “We Sweat Blood.”

    “Under The Covers, Vol. 1″ from Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs reveals a friendly, faithful turn on psychedelic pop-era songs.

    The Prototypes’ eponymous CD is basically “Blondie meets the Ramones in Paris.” I like it a lot.

    The latest Puffy AmiYumi, “Splurge,” comes across as fun, but not as infectious as their previous release, “Nice.”

    Finally, I’ve ordered the full Cobra Starship CD on the strength of “Bring It (Snakes On A Plane),” which was far better than it had any rigth to be. Maybe it’ll be worth the freight, maybe not.

  49. I’m fascinated by the breadth of selections here. I’m fairly eclectic (have faves of course) but I’m amazed how many acts I’ve never heard of here, never mind heard. It kind of demonstrates just how fragmented the musical market has become. There was a time (I think, I may be waxing nostalgic) when I may not have listened to a particulary act, but I knew who they were. Now…eep.

    I think the last time we as a nation stood together united in our adoration of a single song, I think…I think….yes, I think we Vogued. Forget Clinton. I blame Madonna.

  50. I disagree. As a nation, we once moved in harmony to… the Macarena. VH1 (music for old people) rated it not only the number one ‘one hit wonder,’ but also as first out of ’40 Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs.’

    That’s a hell of a pedigree.

  51. 1. Hell, yes.

    2. I guess I’m a bit more mainstream than the folks on this thread – my favorites for this year are:

    A. Joy Denalane – Born and Raised
    B. Evanescence – The Open Door
    C. Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne Bailey Rae

  52. 1. No. In the Republican worldview, if they can find an excuse to bring up Clinton, they’ve WON!

  53. 1. No. In the Republican worldview, if they can find an excuse to bring up Clinton, they’ve WON!

  54. 1. No. In the Republican worldview, if they can find an excuse to bring up Clinton, they’ve WON!

  55. 1. No. In the Republican worldview, if they can find an excuse to bring up Clinton, they’ve WON!

  56. 1. No. In the Republican worldview, if they can find an excuse to bring up Clinton, they’ve WON!

  57. King Wilkie: Live at the Jefferson Theater

    Download the whole concert, for free.

    How did I not hear about a new BNL album until now? It is better than Everything for Everyone, which, ironically, was not everything I hoped it would be?

  58. Jefferson had sex with Sally Hemmings.

    Roosevelt certainly had an affair with his wife’s secretary.

    Eisenhower was fucking his female chauffer.

    JFK was probably balling Marilyn Monroe.

    Clinton got a hummer.

    Do I give a good goddamn about any of this? Does anyone else? All I want is for the person in power to do a good job and take care of the country – that’s it.

    Is that too much to ask?

  59. Jefferson had sex with Sally Hemmings.

    Roosevelt certainly had an affair with his wife’s secretary.

    Eisenhower was fucking his female chauffer.

    JFK was probably balling Marilyn Monroe.

    Clinton got a hummer.

    Do I give a good goddamn about any of this? Does anyone else? All I want is for the person in power to do a good job and take care of the country – that’s it.

    Is that too much to ask?

  60. The complusion to bring Bill Clinton into the debate is pathological. Consider the following clip:

    Hastert was unable to offer any proof of a liberal conspiracy. “All I know is what I hear and what I see,” he told the Tribune. “I saw Bill Clinton’s adviser, Richard Morris, was saying these guys knew about this all along.

    Bill Clinton’s advisor, Richard Morris? As in, Bill Clinton’s advisor from ten years ago, Richard Morris? As in, the guy who has spent the past ten years writing hatchet job books on both Clintons, and becoming a darling of the Fox News set? That Richard Morris?

    Yeah, that’s credible.

    Kinda like, you know, the House Ethics Committee being able to really dig into this case, the GOP having done so much to strengthen the committee in recent years.

  61. The complusion to bring Bill Clinton into the debate is pathological. Consider the following clip:

    Hastert was unable to offer any proof of a liberal conspiracy. “All I know is what I hear and what I see,” he told the Tribune. “I saw Bill Clinton’s adviser, Richard Morris, was saying these guys knew about this all along.

    Bill Clinton’s advisor, Richard Morris? As in, Bill Clinton’s advisor from ten years ago, Richard Morris? As in, the guy who has spent the past ten years writing hatchet job books on both Clintons, and becoming a darling of the Fox News set? That Richard Morris?

    Yeah, that’s credible.

    Kinda like, you know, the House Ethics Committee being able to really dig into this case, the GOP having done so much to strengthen the committee in recent years.

  62. Question: (since John did declare this an open forum)

    Are we as a bipartizan society to be forever prohibited from declaring someone from the other party’s actions to be wrong if ANYONE from our own party EVER did ANYTHING remotely similar? (There was a democratic page scandal in the 1980′s so Foley must be exonerated, Clinton went after Slobodan in Bosnia so Bush should get to do whatever he wants to in Iraq. and on and on)

    Don’t we have enough current problems that need brainpower and solutions?

  63. I just got my copy of Notes from the Underworld by Persephone’s Bees yesterday. Nicely hooky, stick-in-your-brain kind of music.

    All Music Guide lists some of their influences as: “drawing from Moysov’s childhood influences of Russian folk, Gypsy music, her brother’s collection of British and American music, new wave, and underground Russian punk.”

    It’s the kind of thing you’ll catch yourself humming next week.

  64. I just got my copy of Notes from the Underworld by Persephone’s Bees yesterday. Nicely hooky, stick-in-your-brain kind of music.

    All Music Guide lists some of their influences as: “drawing from Moysov’s childhood influences of Russian folk, Gypsy music, her brother’s collection of British and American music, new wave, and underground Russian punk.”

    It’s the kind of thing you’ll catch yourself humming next week.

  65. I just sat here for five minutes trying to think of anything I’ve bought that came out in 2006. Not “liked,” you understand. Bought.

    Okay, here’s two things I got that I really enjoy:

    Tsotsi – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Mostly, it’s rap in a language I don’t understand.
    Lindsey Buckingham – Under the Skin

    Lindsey’s last solo album came out when I was in high school. He chose the wrong leadoff track (ease people into it, man!) but there’s some lovely stuff there.

  66. Jenny Rae Rappaport:

    “I agree with James that the new Killers album is some good stuff.”

    Really? I was listening to it today and I was mostly thinking, “Man, someone need to pop Brandon Flowers’ head with a pin.” That boy got awfully self-important awfully fast.

  67. The King’s Singers’ recording of Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis. All the standard adjectives for really good choral music (spellbinding, ethereal, etc.) apply.

  68. The King’s Singers’ recording of Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis. All the standard adjectives for really good choral music (spellbinding, ethereal, etc.) apply.

  69. All of the albums I’ve bought this year that came out this year got a rating of “incredibly… okay” from me:

    The Flower Kings, Paradise Hotel: Yes, another double album from this group. Sheesh. As usual, has a few good tracks, and a bunch of filler.

    Jadis, Photoplay: Some nice up-tempo stuff, and generally a more interesting album than their previous one, but didn’t bowl me over.

    Magenta, Home: I was disappointed in this one, but the “outtakes” album, New York Suite is pretty good. Home gets away from the orchestral feel of their earlier albums, which is what I really liked about them.

    The Tangent, A Place in the Queue: Another lengthy album with a few really good tracks and others that just didn’t grab me.

    For those who are unfamiliar with these groups, they’re all progressive rock bands, i.e., the stylistic grandchildren of Yes and King Crimson.

  70. An aside concerning Jet’s album. Pitchfork’s review of it is… well… unique. Thought you all might get a laugh…
    Be warned. Not flattering. I think it’s SFW though… only just.
    Pitchfork’s Review

  71. Man, I don’t know who ANY of these new bands are.

    I tell you one thing though, George Clinton is way better than Bush. He’s the grandfather of funk! Bush was just another grunge band.

  72. James: re your question: Until each side stops treating each situation as though they are 100% blameless, now and throughout history – and each side stops acting as though each new situation is the ABSOLUTE MOST IPORTANT ISSUE OF OUR TIMES AND OHMYGODTHESKYISFALLING – then no.

    Actually, the real answer is “No, not until we have more than two sides.” We need a real, strong third party to point out where the middle ground is.

  73. I’ve bought a lot of music this year, but doing a SORT>YEAR in WinAmp indicates the only 2006 albums I picked up were:

    Thom Yorke The Eraser
    Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris All The Roadrunning
    David Gilmour On An Island

    I strongly recommend the first two. The last is a record I like a lot but have a hard time pimping: if you like Pink Floyd/Gilmour, you have a master guitarist doing what he does best, never sounded sweeter, sounding completely comfortable with himself for the first time in 40 years. For anyone who’s not a Gilmour fan, that last bit will probably do the record in–it’s extremely mellow and sometimes (hate to say it) maudlin (the song about his kids would’ve been better as an instrumental). And it certainly isn’t a groundbreaking or innovative (or whatever) record–it’s a veteran artist excelling at what he does best, which is either everything or nothing depending on whether you like what he does at all. (Personally, Floyd’s probably my all-time favorite band, so there’s where my bias is.)

    Anyway (for whatever an internet stranger’s opinion is worth), grab Roadrunning and The Eraser for sure. Take a pass on Island unless you like Gilmour’s sweet, sure touch on a six string, in which case you probably already own it (if not, pick up a copy).

  74. I’ve bought a lot of music this year, but doing a SORT>YEAR in WinAmp indicates the only 2006 albums I picked up were:

    Thom Yorke The Eraser
    Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris All The Roadrunning
    David Gilmour On An Island

    I strongly recommend the first two. The last is a record I like a lot but have a hard time pimping: if you like Pink Floyd/Gilmour, you have a master guitarist doing what he does best, never sounded sweeter, sounding completely comfortable with himself for the first time in 40 years. For anyone who’s not a Gilmour fan, that last bit will probably do the record in–it’s extremely mellow and sometimes (hate to say it) maudlin (the song about his kids would’ve been better as an instrumental). And it certainly isn’t a groundbreaking or innovative (or whatever) record–it’s a veteran artist excelling at what he does best, which is either everything or nothing depending on whether you like what he does at all. (Personally, Floyd’s probably my all-time favorite band, so there’s where my bias is.)

    Anyway (for whatever an internet stranger’s opinion is worth), grab Roadrunning and The Eraser for sure. Take a pass on Island unless you like Gilmour’s sweet, sure touch on a six string, in which case you probably already own it (if not, pick up a copy).

  75. Okay, here’s some metal for you guys.

    This first group is going to be more accessible type metal–for those of you who don’t normally listen to it, but wanted to check some out.*

    (1) Mercenary — The Hours That Remain
    (2) Rise Against — The Sufferer And The Witness
    (3) Herod — Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Fight
    (4) Poisonblack — Lust Stained Despair
    (5) Amorphis — Eclipse
    (6) Chrome Division — Doomsday Rock N Roll

    And here’s some harder stuff that’s not for the faint of ear, but kicks some serious ass:

    (1) In Flames — Come Clarity
    (2) Enforsaken — Sinner’s Intuition
    (3) Scar Symmetry — Pitch Black Progress
    (4) Callenish Circle — Pitch. Black. Effects
    (5) All That Remains — The Fall of Ideals
    (6) Unearth — III: In the Eyes of Fire

    (An unfortunate coincidence that Scar Symmetry and Callenish Circle came out with albums this year with almost the same name.)

    If you’re interested in checking out any of these bands, you can probably find tracks online either on myspace or on their home page. I’ll mention one URL, for Mercenary (http://www.mercenary.dk/media.php), because their website is a little tough to google since their name is a generic word.

    * Note that this “accessible” tag only applies to the album in question; some of the previous work by these artists is not necessarily accessible to non-metalheads.

  76. Okay, here’s some metal for you guys.

    This first group is going to be more accessible type metal–for those of you who don’t normally listen to it, but wanted to check some out.*

    (1) Mercenary — The Hours That Remain
    (2) Rise Against — The Sufferer And The Witness
    (3) Herod — Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Fight
    (4) Poisonblack — Lust Stained Despair
    (5) Amorphis — Eclipse
    (6) Chrome Division — Doomsday Rock N Roll

    And here’s some harder stuff that’s not for the faint of ear, but kicks some serious ass:

    (1) In Flames — Come Clarity
    (2) Enforsaken — Sinner’s Intuition
    (3) Scar Symmetry — Pitch Black Progress
    (4) Callenish Circle — Pitch. Black. Effects
    (5) All That Remains — The Fall of Ideals
    (6) Unearth — III: In the Eyes of Fire

    (An unfortunate coincidence that Scar Symmetry and Callenish Circle came out with albums this year with almost the same name.)

    If you’re interested in checking out any of these bands, you can probably find tracks online either on myspace or on their home page. I’ll mention one URL, for Mercenary (http://www.mercenary.dk/media.php), because their website is a little tough to google since their name is a generic word.

    * Note that this “accessible” tag only applies to the album in question; some of the previous work by these artists is not necessarily accessible to non-metalheads.

  77. With a heavy indie rock wank bias:

    Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies: Weird fractured art rock. Gets all meta on his own back cataloge with lyrical references etc.

    Final Fantasy – He poos clouds: Worst album title ever. It also won the Polaris prize (best canadian album of the last year). Violin. Loop pedal. Kettle drums. Loose concept based around the 8 schools of magic in dungeons and dragons as a belief system for athiests. Utterly unique, and very good.

    TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain: Just as adventurous and interesting as their last album, but the songs are actually appealing.

    Lambchop – Damaged: Collection on nashville weirdos. They’ve never put out a bad album.

    Also recommend everything Ian Mathers did – the man has good taste in music (and is by far the most sensible reviewer on Stylus).

  78. Ray Davies, Other People’s Lives. Far better than any of the post-Arista Kinks stuff.

    Also, I think what I’ve heard of the new Who album Endless Wire is very good, but then I’m very biased when it comes to the Who.

  79. I am surprised that you would even consider wanting to cut off one side of political argument, without any similar rule for cutting off the other side. You disappoint me.

  80. Idgy Vaughn – Draggin’ the River

    The latest Iron Maiden – my kids don’t play anything else that isn’t Japanese

    Rosanne Cash – Black Cadillac (came out here in 2006)

  81. Well, I haven’t actually listened to it yet, but *tasers self*.

    Ugh, . . ., I have a copy of the newest Decemberists album on its way as we speak. Should be pretty damn decent.

    Also, Gosling’s first LP “Here Is . . . ” is pretty damned amazing. I have to admit I’m just a LITTLE biased because they’re kind of hometown heroes for me, but that doesn’t change the fact that the album is amazing.

    Go go gadget amazon links!
    The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

    Gosling, Here Is . . .

  82. Jon:

    “I am surprised that you would even consider wanting to cut off one side of political argument, without any similar rule for cutting off the other side. You disappoint me.”

    Oh noes! I’ve disappointed someone who I don’t know and couldn’t possibly care less about! I shall immediately throw myself off of something. Possibly the couch. Yes, I think throwing myself from the daring height of fifteen inches is exactly the response this particular comment deserves.

    You should probably read this entry, Jon, to fully appreciate my absolute lack of concern about being fair. And if that disappoints you too, well, there are many other places on teh Intarweebs for you to go, and maybe you should go there.

    Aside from this, the whole point is that hauling up the Boogeyman Clinton does not constitute an “argument”; indeed, it constitutes a shrieking abandonment of an argument, and should be considered as such. I have no doubt other political factions have their own shrieking abandonments of argument as well, but it is neither practical nor interesting me for me to list them all at once in order to fulfill someone else’s expectations of my discourse on my own site.

    If you feel there needs to be a corollary for the Democratic side of things, well, apparently your typing fingers ain’t broken, Jon, and I’ll assume your brain is in working shape. By all means, introduce one.

  83. Jon:

    “I am surprised that you would even consider wanting to cut off one side of political argument, without any similar rule for cutting off the other side. You disappoint me.”

    Oh noes! I’ve disappointed someone who I don’t know and couldn’t possibly care less about! I shall immediately throw myself off of something. Possibly the couch. Yes, I think throwing myself from the daring height of fifteen inches is exactly the response this particular comment deserves.

    You should probably read this entry, Jon, to fully appreciate my absolute lack of concern about being fair. And if that disappoints you too, well, there are many other places on teh Intarweebs for you to go, and maybe you should go there.

    Aside from this, the whole point is that hauling up the Boogeyman Clinton does not constitute an “argument”; indeed, it constitutes a shrieking abandonment of an argument, and should be considered as such. I have no doubt other political factions have their own shrieking abandonments of argument as well, but it is neither practical nor interesting me for me to list them all at once in order to fulfill someone else’s expectations of my discourse on my own site.

    If you feel there needs to be a corollary for the Democratic side of things, well, apparently your typing fingers ain’t broken, Jon, and I’ll assume your brain is in working shape. By all means, introduce one.

  84. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium.

    I’ve been a Chili Peppers fan forever, and I think Stadium Arcadium is the best album they’ve put out since Californication. I highly recommend it

  85. 1. Absotively, gotta have it. Personally I REALLY like the drinking game idea. Have to get it some practice.

    2. Ray Wiley Hubbard – “Snake Farm”

    Comment: I must be getting OLD. I have never heard of 99.9% of those bands/artists. Sigh, so much music, so few ears…

    Dave

  86. Mr. Scalzi:

    With regards to your proposal about Republicans pulling out the Clinton boogeyman, you should read this column/post/rant by John Rogers over at Kung Fu Monkey: http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/06/elllllloooo-clinton.html. His “plate of crap” analogy is both delightfully vulgar and perfectly appropriate. I guarantee you’ll never think about Clinton-bashing the same way again.

    Love Rhino

  87. if you like Pink Floyd/Gilmour, you have a master guitarist doing what he does best, never sounded sweeter, sounding completely comfortable with himself for the first time in 40 years. For anyone who’s not a Gilmour fan, that last bit will probably do the record in–it’s extremely mellow and sometimes (hate to say it) maudlin (the song about his kids would’ve been better as an instrumental). And it certainly isn’t a groundbreaking or innovative (or whatever) record

    I’ve heard the CD and I’ve heard some bootlegs from the 2006 tour and I have to say the songs sound much better live. The CD seems over-produced to me. And while there are moments of truly A+ guitar work on it, in the end I only liked the album…didn’t love it.

  88. My jar-o-balls test got a mention on one of Australia’s major news sites, and right now I’m sitting here watching the web server purring away with a “tail -f /var/log/apache2/access_log”

    Fun, in a ‘lookit all those people’ kinda way. Right now it’s running at one visitor every 8-10 seconds, but people are just having their first coffee at work here in Oz.

    (The test is SF-themed, which makes this mention sort of relevant.)

  89. My jar-o-balls test got a mention on one of Australia’s major news sites, and right now I’m sitting here watching the web server purring away with a “tail -f /var/log/apache2/access_log”

    Fun, in a ‘lookit all those people’ kinda way. Right now it’s running at one visitor every 8-10 seconds, but people are just having their first coffee at work here in Oz.

    (The test is SF-themed, which makes this mention sort of relevant.)

  90. What, politicians are hypocritical? Jeez, wish I’d known *that* earlier.

    Anyway, if you like guitar – raging guitar played with wild abandon but limitless talent then you gotta get Joe Satriani’s Super Colossal.

  91. What, politicians are hypocritical? Jeez, wish I’d known *that* earlier.

    Anyway, if you like guitar – raging guitar played with wild abandon but limitless talent then you gotta get Joe Satriani’s Super Colossal.

  92. Rolling Stones 2112 reunion tour.

    (They had their frozen and then put on new cloned bodies in 2111)

    You need the time machine thingy to get this one, but I soooooo recommend it, if you can.

    New enough?

  93. Steve

    I’ve heard the CD and I’ve heard some bootlegs from the 2006 tour and I have to say the songs sound much better live. The CD seems over-produced to me. And while there are moments of truly A+ guitar work on it, in the end I only liked the album…didn’t love it.

    We’re probably on similar pages. There are parts of it that I do love, but on the whole it’s not as good a record as the 1978 album.

    I’ll have to see if I can find some of those bootlegs.

  94. Nathan, may I assume the preserved brains of Rush will be opening? Will this be at the Syrinx Coliseum, or the Babylondome?

  95. Awww, I was all set to pimp my latest musical love “Lordi” and then I remembered it was this very blog which turned me onto them in the first place.

    Shoot.

    I think there needs to be some way to disallow political arguments which have been overused. Here is a non-threatening example – we Americans reminding the French or English how we saved their bacon in WWII.

    We should be banned from using that ever again. It was a long time ago and everybody who really deserves the credit is pretty much dead.

    At some point the past has to stay in the past.

  96. As long as the Stones’ “2112 Reunion Tour” refers to the year and not to their becoming a Rush cover band, everything will be alright.

    Because if the Rolling Stones become a Rush cover band, the terrorists will have won. Probably because of something Bill Clinton did.

  97. As long as the Stones’ “2112 Reunion Tour” refers to the year and not to their becoming a Rush cover band, everything will be alright.

    Because if the Rolling Stones become a Rush cover band, the terrorists will have won. Probably because of something Bill Clinton did.

  98. Let’s see … one, two, three, four … and five. Yep, those are all spelled right. Good job.

  99. To: That Neil Guy,

    O.K. I’m over it. No longer harboring irresistable impulse to do you bodily harm.

    Wanna come with me to Jeff Hentosz’s house and, you know?

  100. I believe *politician’s sexual misconduct* should be between a Man and a Woman.

    So by this dumb conservative logic Clinton gets a pass, yet Foley’s man-on-boy cybersex does not. Dave/John, What I’m saying is… if it’s OK to bring up Clinton to excuse/justify/distract from Foley, then it’s tantamount to supporting Foley’s man-boy misconduct. Which I feel MUCH more weasely than supporting Clinton. Sure, Clinton is a philanderer. But Foley is well, sick, illegal, etc. Anyway, where is the Republican outrage? Where is the dog-pile of Christian conservatives and their angry indignation? So yes, this IS the hypocrisy that I should not be shocked about…

  101. We’re probably on similar pages. There are parts of it that I do love, but on the whole it’s not as good a record as the 1978 album.

    I’ll have to see if I can find some of those bootlegs.

    Yep, I think we have similar opinions about the new album. And I love Gilmour’s first solo album. Great one. The 2006 bootlegs are floating around the internet for free download, you’ll just have to locate a tracker that still has them available.

    And I just remembered another CD to pimp that actually came out this year:

    Fields of the Nephilim – Mourning Sun

    You may ask yourself: Is this version of the band as great as the Neph in their heyday? No. But it’s still a mighty good album.

  102. We’re probably on similar pages. There are parts of it that I do love, but on the whole it’s not as good a record as the 1978 album.

    I’ll have to see if I can find some of those bootlegs.

    Yep, I think we have similar opinions about the new album. And I love Gilmour’s first solo album. Great one. The 2006 bootlegs are floating around the internet for free download, you’ll just have to locate a tracker that still has them available.

    And I just remembered another CD to pimp that actually came out this year:

    Fields of the Nephilim – Mourning Sun

    You may ask yourself: Is this version of the band as great as the Neph in their heyday? No. But it’s still a mighty good album.

  103. Political discussions aren’t my cuppa, so no comment there. I’m way behind on any new music of late (and that makes me feel real old). So I guess I’ll take the third option. Seen any good movies lately? I enjoyed The Illusionist. Thanks for the thread.

  104. Mostly I’m listening to Chris Smither’s “Leave the Light On.”

    Other good stuff this year:

    Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, “Seven is the Number”
    Red Molly, “Never Been to Las Vegas”
    Mark Erelli, “Hope and Other Casualties”
    Jeffrey Foucault, “Ghost Repeater”
    The Duhks, “Migrations”

    Yes, just like everybody else, I like posting about music that hasn’t already been mentioned. These are all from the Wide World O’ Folk, which is pretty much what I listen to.

    (Quick descriptions: Smither is literate and thoughtful blues-folk, and Foucault pretty much the same, while Erelli tends toward the country side. Red Molly is old-timey/bluegrassy; the Duhks mix bluegrassy and Celtic and gospel-ish and I don’t know what else. Carter & Grammer described their stuff as “postmodern mythic Americana.”)

  105. Republicans keep bringing Clinton up because they can’t get over the plain fact that even after everything that’s happened, we’d sleep with Bill rather than any of the Republican leadership. It’s true. If you had a sex dream about Cheney, would you tell anyone?

  106. Music?

    KT Tunstall’s debut CD fires me up in the mornings.

    “Rock Bottom Riser” by Smog (just that one track) puts me back to sleep at night. Zzzz.

  107. Is it truly an open thread when you can only talk about one of two topics?

    I was going to use this opportunity to tell you that I saw a photo of bacon stuffed into a condom today, and imediately thought of your cat.

  108. I’ve bought a lot of music this year, but I must have been filling in a lot of holes in my collection, because it’s a pretty short list of 2006 releaaes.

    Already mentioned and rightfully raved over: Muse, Camera Obscura and Lily Allen.

    Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit. Pure pop for intermittently depressed people.

    Easy Star All-Stars: Radiodread (a reggae/dub version of OK Computer). You can hear previews of each track on eMusic. This is not a novelty record: there are some beautiful pieces here, especially “Paranoid Android”, “Let Down” and “Karma Police”.

    And for my finale *places paper bag over head* a few songs from the Clay Aiken covers/originals CD that, according to most critics, is the greatest threat to the nation since the water supply got fluoridated. I agree that there are several 80s power ballads on this thing that I never wanted to hear again from anaybody, and they’re pretty lame here. But move past the first half of the tracklist (mostly crap) and you’ll find a mix of covers and originals that I found to be surprisingly understated and effective, in a mainstream, chamber pop kind of way. The best of the lot in a bonus track available only at iTunes. If his next CD follows this vein, I’ll buy it.

  109. Albums from this year:
    1. Shaken By A Low Sound, Crooked Still. An odd bluegrass band, with a unique banjo style, a wild cellist, and a lead singer who sounds a bit like a higher-energy Allison Krauss.
    2. Playhouse of the Universe, the Wild Band of Snee. Less mainstream. The singer and the cellist from Crooked Still, plus three more strange friends, doing songs from another dimension.

  110. Albums from this year:
    1. Shaken By A Low Sound, Crooked Still. An odd bluegrass band, with a unique banjo style, a wild cellist, and a lead singer who sounds a bit like a higher-energy Allison Krauss.
    2. Playhouse of the Universe, the Wild Band of Snee. Less mainstream. The singer and the cellist from Crooked Still, plus three more strange friends, doing songs from another dimension.

  111. KT Tunstall all the way for new music (and the new Dixie Chicks – gotta love the ‘tude on those girls!)

  112. 1) Boogeyman-conjuring is a tried and true political tradition; it started long before Clinton, and will continue long after Foley retires to the NAMBLA Ranch for Retired Boy-gropers. In years to come, it’s quite likely a democrat, or libertarian, or greenie, or whatever, will invoke the ‘Foley excuse’ and the teeth-gnashing and moon-howling will commence. I think we can all agree that politicians in general are professional responsibility shirkers; it’s not just a GOP thang. Meh.

    2) Nickle Creek’s latest came out in late 2005, so at the risk of Scalzi stomping my liver, I will say it’s terrific. I used one of their songs in a project last year and they are very cool cats.

  113. 1) Boogeyman-conjuring is a tried and true political tradition; it started long before Clinton, and will continue long after Foley retires to the NAMBLA Ranch for Retired Boy-gropers. In years to come, it’s quite likely a democrat, or libertarian, or greenie, or whatever, will invoke the ‘Foley excuse’ and the teeth-gnashing and moon-howling will commence. I think we can all agree that politicians in general are professional responsibility shirkers; it’s not just a GOP thang. Meh.

    2) Nickle Creek’s latest came out in late 2005, so at the risk of Scalzi stomping my liver, I will say it’s terrific. I used one of their songs from an ealier album in a project and they are very cool cats.

  114. I’m with Scott Mactavish on this one – Monicagate isn’t the first excuse used to mitigate a current sin. Heck, when Clinton was having his troubles, people were mitigating that with talk of JFK. It’s a practice as old as, well… the stuff they got caught doing. So I vote no on the corollary.

    One other thought, though: I can’t believe how many people are currently excusing what Clinton did because Monica was over 18. How many supervisor/supervisee, teacher/student, officer/enlisted person harrassment cases do we need before we remember that sex between a person in power and his/her subordinate is hardly ever (if ever?!?) purely consensual. And when the “person in power” is the President of the United States, that’s about as bad as it gets.

    Forget about how old Monica was/is. Forget about the fact that he’s married and has a child. If any one of us did what he did in our own workplace, we’d be out the door so fast we’d have a doorknob imprint on our backside.

    Foley’s still a creep. An unbelievable creep. He deserves the relentless ridicule he gets. But let’s not be guilty of the reverse to John’s corollary: let’s not excuse Clinton’s sins because Foley went after a minor…

    (Oh, as for music: not listening to anything right now, but when the iPod gets turned on, it’ll very likely be Classic Rock. I know, boring. But what can I say – I like my music with some good old fashioned melody/harmony mixed in. What can you do…)

  115. I’m with Scott Mactavish on this one – Monicagate isn’t the first excuse used to mitigate a current sin. Heck, when Clinton was having his troubles, people were mitigating that with talk of JFK. It’s a practice as old as, well… the stuff they got caught doing. So I vote no on the corollary.

    One other thought, though: I can’t believe how many people are currently excusing what Clinton did because Monica was over 18. How many supervisor/supervisee, teacher/student, officer/enlisted person harrassment cases do we need before we remember that sex between a person in power and his/her subordinate is hardly ever (if ever?!?) purely consensual. And when the “person in power” is the President of the United States, that’s about as bad as it gets.

    Forget about how old Monica was/is. Forget about the fact that he’s married and has a child. If any one of us did what he did in our own workplace, we’d be out the door so fast we’d have a doorknob imprint on our backside.

    Foley’s still a creep. An unbelievable creep. He deserves the relentless ridicule he gets. But let’s not be guilty of the reverse to John’s corollary: let’s not excuse Clinton’s sins because Foley went after a minor…

    (Oh, as for music: not listening to anything right now, but when the iPod gets turned on, it’ll very likely be Classic Rock. I know, boring. But what can I say – I like my music with some good old fashioned melody/harmony mixed in. What can you do…)

  116. One other thought, though: I can’t believe how many people are currently excusing what Clinton did because Monica was over 18. How many supervisor/supervisee, teacher/student, officer/enlisted person harrassment cases do we need before we remember that sex between a person in power and his/her subordinate is hardly ever (if ever?!?) purely consensual. And when the “person in power” is the President of the United States, that’s about as bad as it gets.

    Brian, you appear to be forgetting an important detail–Monica’s account of what happened, from which she was never shaken despite Starr’s determined efforts: Clinton was receptive, but not the initiator; Monica went after him. Had he been the initiator, it would have been sexual harassment, almost by definition; as you point out, the power disparity between the President and an intern is too extreme for anything else. But he didn’t. She, according to her, did all the pursuing.

    Forget about how old Monica was/is. Forget about the fact that he’s married and has a child. If any one of us did what he did in our own workplace, we’d be out the door so fast we’d have a doorknob imprint on our backside.

    Um, no. Absent the age difference and the marriage, he would not have been doing anything wrong. Consenual relationships between co-workers is the most common thing in the world in the US, and I suspect in much of the world. A few employers make an attempt to ban them; more make an attempt to ban relationships between workers where there’s a supervisor/supervisee relationship–but I’ve been in workplaces where that meant somebody transferred to a different department when they started dating.

    It really, really does matter that–just as with Gerry Studds(D) and Dan Crane(R) from the early 80s, Clinton/Lewinsky was between legal adults and completely consensual on both sides. Doesn’t make it right, in any of those cases, but it does make it substantially different from Foley’s creepy and vile pursuit of non-consenting underage teenagers.

  117. One other thought, though: I can’t believe how many people are currently excusing what Clinton did because Monica was over 18. How many supervisor/supervisee, teacher/student, officer/enlisted person harrassment cases do we need before we remember that sex between a person in power and his/her subordinate is hardly ever (if ever?!?) purely consensual. And when the “person in power” is the President of the United States, that’s about as bad as it gets.

    Brian, you appear to be forgetting an important detail–Monica’s account of what happened, from which she was never shaken despite Starr’s determined efforts: Clinton was receptive, but not the initiator; Monica went after him. Had he been the initiator, it would have been sexual harassment, almost by definition; as you point out, the power disparity between the President and an intern is too extreme for anything else. But he didn’t. She, according to her, did all the pursuing.

    Forget about how old Monica was/is. Forget about the fact that he’s married and has a child. If any one of us did what he did in our own workplace, we’d be out the door so fast we’d have a doorknob imprint on our backside.

    Um, no. Absent the age difference and the marriage, he would not have been doing anything wrong. Consenual relationships between co-workers is the most common thing in the world in the US, and I suspect in much of the world. A few employers make an attempt to ban them; more make an attempt to ban relationships between workers where there’s a supervisor/supervisee relationship–but I’ve been in workplaces where that meant somebody transferred to a different department when they started dating.

    It really, really does matter that–just as with Gerry Studds(D) and Dan Crane(R) from the early 80s, Clinton/Lewinsky was between legal adults and completely consensual on both sides. Doesn’t make it right, in any of those cases, but it does make it substantially different from Foley’s creepy and vile pursuit of non-consenting underage teenagers.

  118. Lis, yeah, I’ve seen those places as well. But I think Brian has something of a point there. Even given the differences in what happened (Monica seducing the President vs Foley exercising the control power of minor aged subordinents), both were wrong. They were wrong for different reasons, but they were both wrong.

    The confusion is what Clinton did was not criminal behavior. His lying about it to his family wasn’t. His lying to the people who employeed him was a moral lapse. Lying to a grand jury investigation was actionable.

    What Foley did, which was at it’s best harrasement, is criminal. And all the lying or potential cover-up going on since then is then also criminal.

  119. Lis, yeah, I’ve seen those places as well. But I think Brian has something of a point there. Even given the differences in what happened (Monica seducing the President vs Foley exercising the control power of minor aged subordinents), both were wrong. They were wrong for different reasons, but they were both wrong.

    The confusion is what Clinton did was not criminal behavior. His lying about it to his family wasn’t. His lying to the people who employeed him was a moral lapse. Lying to a grand jury investigation was actionable.

    What Foley did, which was at it’s best harrasement, is criminal. And all the lying or potential cover-up going on since then is then also criminal.

  120. It was mentioned in passing above, but if you want to find new artists in a similar genre, do not miss Pandora music service which does a geneology on the music you tell it and creates a playlist for you (and streams the mp3s) of music with the similar styles and root influences.

    As far as recent physical CD’s – I’m listening to the new Evanescence CD The Open Door. If you liked Fallen you like this one, if you didn’t you probably won’t like this either.

  121. Brian – there is a reason why companies have anti-fraternization policies – to restrict or eliminate dating between co-workers. There are arguments pro and con, but sexual harassment is a totally different thing. There are two types of sexual harassment – quid pro quo and hostile work environment. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_harassment#Quid_pro_quo_sexual_harassment

    The key is that for either to be present, the sexual behavior must be unwelcome. Monica has admitted that not only was it not unwelcome, she pusued it.

    In Foley’s case, there isn’t any evidence that the IM’s were in fact welcome… And there is plenty to show that it was in fact unwelcome.

    But none of this is aimed at excusing Clinton for what he did with Monica. There was lots wrong with it, and he was punished under the law. If you say that Foley is similar to Clinton, and I tell you that what Clinton did was no where near as bad, I’m not excusing Clinton – I’m saying what Foley did was really really bad. The absolute fact that what Foley has been accused of is orders of magnitude worse than what it has been established that Clinton did, for many reasons including the fact that Monica was 22, and the pages were 16 and 17.

    Yeah – the ‘age of consent’ used to mean something to some people.

  122. Speaking of professional responsibility avoiders, check this out. It’s an excerpt from Bob Woodward’s new book. Pay particular attention to the end of the excerpt, where Rummy essentially claims he bears no direct responsibility for the soldiers who have died in Iraq.

    I have now officially entered Bizarro World, where the idea of personal responsibility is as rare and amazing as the fabled Unicorn. Is it any wonder that the war has gone badly, when the men who are responsible for its execution do not feel the burden for its success is on their shoulders?

  123. Janiece, Rummy has also been using a signature machine for the condolence letters. “And he signed it in his own, personal, rubber stamp.” I’m sure he also has a secretary run the letters through a template that adds name and identifying information (like place of death, etc) as well. That way he can keep focused on “what’s important.” Sigh.

  124. Lis Carey:
    Absent the age difference and the marriage, [Clinton] would not have been doing anything wrong.

    Lis – I disagree. As Tor points out, Clinton Clinton did not harrass Monica, as per the law. But his behavior was inappropriate for the workplace, and in most workplaces in the U.S., a repeated pattern of inappropriate behavior is also grounds for dismissal. Also, anyone who saw or knew about their affair could easily claim harrassment under the hostile work environment clause, as could anyone who felt that Monica received special treatment because of her relationship to the President (i.e., the job Vernon Jordan found for her). There are all sorts of reasons why what he did was wrong, and many of them could easily have resulted in dismissal from a “normal” workplace, and yes, possibly even prosecution.

    Tor:
    If you say that Foley is similar to Clinton,

    Oh, no you don’t. I never said any such thing – please don’t go putting words in my mouth.

    They are only similar in the sense that they both involve sex to some degree. My comments were not intended to excuse or mitigate Foley’s behavior, only to point out the hypocrisy of using Foley’s behavior to excuse or mitigate Clinton’s.

  125. 1) In most workplaces, you can be fired for any reason, or no reason, so long as it is not an illegal reason (employment at will). So, yes, inappropriate behavior (so long as it is not otherwise protected by the ADA or some other statute) is grounds for termination. But an affair with a subordinate is not normally grounds for a discrimination claim, either by a willing subordinate, or by the other employees (California may be an exception – but only under state law – not federal). See Tenge v. Phillips Modern Ag Co., 05-2803 (8th Cir. 04/28/06) – which expains that ‘sexual favoritism’ is not grounds for a claim under Title VII because the favoritism is the result of legal sexual conduct, and not the gender of the individual. Somewhat tortured logic, but the law nonetheless. So no – the sexual favoritism (under the ‘paramour’ line of federal and state cases (again, except possibly California under state law)) is not illegal or actionable. So no one could claim harassment and expect to win their case. And there is no exception under the federal discrimination laws for same sex conduct that would be otherwise illegal if the parties were of different genders (see the Sundowner decision by the Supreme Court).

    So what Clinton admitted to doing was not actionable – for either Monica, or anyone else who worked in the White House. Which is a *huge* distinction from what Foley has admitted to doing, what he is accused of doing, and what is likely he actually did over the past ten years.

    2) And who’s defending Clinton by using Foley as an example? The Clinton issue is over and done with. He isn’t president anymore. I haven’t seen any commentary anywhere saying that Clinton’s behavior should be excused by the entirely unrelated conduct of Foley – for the most part, Clinton’s behavior is no longer on my radar screen. The only people talking about Clinton now are those who wish to minimize Foley’s conduct by example.

    And I didn’t say that you said that Foley was similar to Clinton (notice the ‘if’ that was in your quotation of me) but comments that attempt to show that the two politicians’ behavior was somehow equivalent certainly implies that Foley’s behavior should somehow be minimized because of various people’s defense of Clinton years and years ago. Clinton’s misconduct is a dead issue. Foley’s conduct is very much alive – at least and until the full scope of what he did is discovered and punished.

  126. 1) In most workplaces, you can be fired for any reason, or no reason, so long as it is not an illegal reason (employment at will). So, yes, inappropriate behavior (so long as it is not otherwise protected by the ADA or some other statute) is grounds for termination. But an affair with a subordinate is not normally grounds for a discrimination claim, either by a willing subordinate, or by the other employees (California may be an exception – but only under state law – not federal). See Tenge v. Phillips Modern Ag Co., 05-2803 (8th Cir. 04/28/06) – which expains that ‘sexual favoritism’ is not grounds for a claim under Title VII because the favoritism is the result of legal sexual conduct, and not the gender of the individual. Somewhat tortured logic, but the law nonetheless. So no – the sexual favoritism (under the ‘paramour’ line of federal and state cases (again, except possibly California under state law)) is not illegal or actionable. So no one could claim harassment and expect to win their case. And there is no exception under the federal discrimination laws for same sex conduct that would be otherwise illegal if the parties were of different genders (see the Sundowner decision by the Supreme Court).

    So what Clinton admitted to doing was not actionable – for either Monica, or anyone else who worked in the White House. Which is a *huge* distinction from what Foley has admitted to doing, what he is accused of doing, and what is likely he actually did over the past ten years.

    2) And who’s defending Clinton by using Foley as an example? The Clinton issue is over and done with. He isn’t president anymore. I haven’t seen any commentary anywhere saying that Clinton’s behavior should be excused by the entirely unrelated conduct of Foley – for the most part, Clinton’s behavior is no longer on my radar screen. The only people talking about Clinton now are those who wish to minimize Foley’s conduct by example.

    And I didn’t say that you said that Foley was similar to Clinton (notice the ‘if’ that was in your quotation of me) but comments that attempt to show that the two politicians’ behavior was somehow equivalent certainly implies that Foley’s behavior should somehow be minimized because of various people’s defense of Clinton years and years ago. Clinton’s misconduct is a dead issue. Foley’s conduct is very much alive – at least and until the full scope of what he did is discovered and punished.

  127. Actually I purchased this album earlier this year and just broke it out the other day “The Cure” by the peerless Saw Doctors, not to be confused with the band “the Cure” which is pretty good too.

  128. 1) If you equate Clinton’s misdeeds with the heinousness of those of the Nazi’s… then sure.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but c’mon, saying “Clinton was just as sleazy as we are” isn’t quite on par with genocide.

  129. Sorry, Brian, I have to agree with Lis and Tor on this one: workplace romances are so common in the US, you’d be laughed out of court claiming you feel harassed it’s going on around you (if you’re not part of it). Everywhere I’ve worked in the last 25 years has had 1) a sexual relationship going on 2) an affair involving a married person or 3) someone who is, did or will marry a co-worker, usually all three at the same time. It’s only harassment if you’re involved and don’t like it.

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