Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stars & Boulevards



One of my favorite songs ever written by one of my favorite bands. One's understanding of a song is unique. It is also fluid. This song has never better spoken for me.


Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

AA-CC IV: Brooke Bombshell Baldwin


For the past couple months CNN has offered its afternoon viewers a truly wonderful treat in the form of the radiant and lovely anchor Brooke Baldwin, my latest choice for the AA-CC award. And since "moving in a different direction" from their most famous Latino Jew-basher, CNN has given even more blissful airtime to this goddess of the midday mundane and topical "hard news" toe-dipping. Brooke's star is still on the rise, but that doesn't excuse the Internets from the shameful dearth of search images that do this TV treasure justice. With the fashion sense of a savvy 20-something, the sharpness and intellect of a straightforward newswoman, a charm and playfulness that makes Ali Veshi's head blush, and an arsenal of sexy power dos for that gorgeous auburn hair, Brooke is easily the hottest AA-CC award recipient yet. My colleagues know my affinity for Brooke well, and last night I elatedly delivered them the the thrilling news that-GASP-she had tweeted at me!

A twistory of a courtship (with intermittent interruptions from Piers Cockblock Morgan):


Why is CNN having a Christmas party in late January? Irrelevant. The point is I contacted Brooke on private message and pleaded with her to decline Piers' advances, reminding her that you can't ever trust the British. She said she'd told Piers he was a gentleman but she was waiting for her true love. Can't you tell? Look at how she winked at me. I booked the first flight to Atlanta I could find. Wedding invites are in the mail! I hope she dances like this at the reception.


MUAH!



Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Force Is Strong With This One


After battling Darth Boehner in the control rooms of Cloud City on Bespin, a battered Obama Skywalker escapes through the thermal exhaust shafts before reuniting with Lanjoe Biden Calrissian and Princess Pelosia on Air Falcon One.

Hashtag: nerd.

Photo via Politico.

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

What About This Doesn't Surprise You?


"My mom left me at home when I was 14 with a credit card, and a box of condoms and the keys to the car and said, 'Don't get pregnant and don't drink and drive.' I had to be responsible for myself."
We already had proof of skank.

Labels: ke$ha, slut; Hashtag: idstillhitit

Via Huffington Post.

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tone It Up

I always feel a bit cheap when I merely amplify the satirical genius that is The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. But after watching this clip of Stephen Colbert, I feel as if everything I have said about the asspimple of America known as Sarah Palin has not only fallen well short of the sheer rhetorical deftness and wordsmith prowess necessary to aptly sum up her wretched phenomenon as he has but has been written in a strange, guttural, incomprehensible language. Where I struggled to find the words, Colbert, voci nostrum:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mika Brzezinski Experiences Palin Fatigue
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>Video Archive



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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tone It Down

This is a clear example of the heated, harmful, hateful imagery that we must condemn if our republic is to endure. This is wrong and it is insulting. Let me be clear on this: there is no place for this in our society, and we should not find this sort of thing in any way acceptable or remotely amusing. Our words, actions, and animated gifs have consequences. In light of recent events, we must tone down our rhetoric. Again, this is an example of what we should not be laughing at during our lunch breaks:



Sigh. Shameful.

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

La Chose La Plus Adorable



Oh why oh why did I not pursue my French classes with the rigor, focus, and more than just an air of whimsy that would have enabled me to not only understand this precious gift from God without the use of subtitles but to pick this little bowl of sugar up and put her on my shoulders and zoom through the hills and forests of France like a kite while she giggles joyously and tries to catch papillons et oiseaux avec ses mains?

UPDATE: Just clarifying that I would bring her back to her parents. If they asked.

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

By The Content Of Their Character



You have seventeen minutes that you would've spent watching some travesty of a show on TLC and/or reading recaps of the Golden Globes best/worst dressed that you can sacrifice to watch this instead, on this day. This speech has brought me to tears twice today (thank you to NPR for playing it in its entirety and with great audio this evening). Listen.

"Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last!"




Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gulp



That crack you heard, that was your heart.


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Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Let's Be Better" vs. "We're Not Perfect, Deal"

President Obama speaks at the event ‘Together We Thrive: Tucson and America’ honoring the January 8 shooting victims at McKale Memorial Center.

Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together...
The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better. To be better in our private lives, to be better friends and neighbors and coworkers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their death helps usher in more civility in our public discourse, let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy -- it did not -- but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make them proud.


Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those calm days when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world, all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our founding fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels there would be no need for government.

Once again, a clear and distinct demonstration of the difference between a leader of a nation and a leader of a mob.

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Codename: Celtic


I made this because I can only dream of being the certified BAMF that is our Vice President.


Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hands Clean


"If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those second amendment remedies."

Sure, we shouldn't blame Sharron Angle and her endorsement of armed violence against the federal government, or Sarah Palin for exclaiming "don't retreat, RELOAD!" in reference to defeating liberals, for the tragedy that took place yesterday in Arizona. It's not fair to link the shooter to the Tea Party gun-toters who showed up at presidential rallies with firearms or whose vitriolic condemnation of the 111th Congress was so vehement that it contributed significantly to a tripling of violent threats against federal officials in the past year. We certainly shouldn't blame the likes of Glenn Beck, who for the better part of the last two years has insisted that the very fabric of our republic is under open and vicious attack by the cabal of the Obama administration, a progressive Congress, and an elite propagandist media machine, and that time is quickly running out before everything about America as we know it is fundamentally altered into an unrecognizable socio-fascist dystopia.

Too little is known about the political ideology of 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner, who yesterday afternoon opened fire at a congressional meet-and-greet outside of a grocery store in Tucson, killing six people, including a nine-year old girl and a venerated federal judge, and gravely injuring twelve others, most notably a dedicated, sharp, gifted, and lovely congresswoman who was kicking off her third term as a public servant in the United States House of Representatives. We know the man's YouTube page (which, along with Facebook profiles and MySpace accounts have now become the go-to place for post-rampage dissection of the bat-shit insane) featured hints of government conspiracies, references to Mein Kampf as well as The Communist Manifesto (obviously the sign of a confused and mentally vulnerable, unstable young man), flag-burning, constitutional lecturing, rants against government-dictated grammar, and calls to establish a new currency. But in the aftermath of the shooting, all too many members of the Internet Idiot Brigade either accused this guy of being a right-wing, teabagging, Obama-hating gun-lover (because well, who else would try to kill Democrats?) or chose to steadfastly defend the aggressive, heated political rhetoric employed by those on the right to rally their base.

The truth is, I don't give a shit what this guy's leanings are.

Jared Lee Loughner was the sole actor in this attack. He and only he decided to wake up yesterday morning, drive down to the Safeway with his modified Glock, and open fire on a group of innocent people in an attempt to kill his representative in Congress, whom he called "unintelligent." Loughner did this, and Loughner alone will pay the price determined by the just laws of our land. Jared Loughner's gun didn't kill people. He did.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin and her team of PR professionals can sleep soundly knowing that this lunatic was a vaguely defined "leftist," or something. Sarah Palin won't lose any sleep, because even though she spoke of Gabrielle Giffords the same way she does an Alaskan caribou just before she makes it her dinner, it wasn't her words the shooter was listening to. He was reading Hitler, or Marx, whatever, same thing. After all, she doesn't really mean what she says about "reloading." It's just a metaphor. The liberal media shouldn't try to paint it as anything else but that. Sarah Palin's hands are completely clean. As are Sharron Angle's. Sure this guy indirectly took her "second amendment remedies" suggestion as a sound one and exercised it with lethal results. But it's not like he supported her, or anything. And when Michele Bachmann rants and raves about the government becoming so oppressive and so monstrous that it is actively seeking to harm and enslave its own people, surely she wasn't speaking to this half-brained warped conspiracy theorist, nor was he listening to her. Right?

Hands clean.


"Sarah Palin...has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that."

-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), March 2010




Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Friday, January 7, 2011

Practicality

From an article entitled "Some Republicans embrace their federal healthcare plans":

"What am I, not supposed to have health care?" [newly-sworn in Republican Congressman from New York Michael] Grimm told the New York Daily News. "It’s practicality. I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care, and God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation."

Via The Hill.

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Darrell Issa And The Napoleonic Code

"There will be a certain degree of gridlock as the president adjusts to the fact that he has been one of the most corrupt presidents of modern times."

Nevermind the fact that Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) for some reason believes President Obama will simply "adjust" to the fact that he's actually a modern day Al Capone. This line--spoken with such conviction on the radio show of a man famous for squeezing out the very worst (read: best) inflammatory statements from his guests only to have them subsequently dial these statements back and then apologize to him for their apparent lack of backbone--reveals quite a bit when trying to predict the impact of Issa's planned hearings on administration activity. Issa is quick to remind us all that elections have consequences and that one of those consequences is the transfer of the power of subpoena. This power, now in his possession, forms a critical duty of the legislative branch: a powerful check on the power of the executive branch. It should be wielded vigorously and where appropriate to ensure the service of justice on behalf of the law and the taxpayers.

It can also be severely abused.

And much like this most famous abuse of congressional inquiry, it seems the individual responsible for determining the scope, target, and tenor of these hearings has already arrived at the conclusion that these hearings will undoubtedly yield evidence of guilt.

Today, the House GOP held a ceremonial reading of the (whitewashed) Constitution in an effort to enlighten those Democrat lawmakers who strayed so far from the founding principles of our country when they increased banks' capital holdings requirements, or something. As I'm sure the rest of you thought "constitution" was what you felt below your tummy when your fiber-to-cheese ratio plummets, I'll enlighten you to the merits of the 6th amendment, which secures the right of the accused to be judged by an impartial jury, among other critical civil rights. Congressional hearings aren't criminal prosecutions of course, but their investigations ought to be guided by the principles of American justice enshrined in the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments as well as the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." But when Darrell Issa--the man in charge of directing these congressional inquiries into the administration's activities within the realms of foreign affairs, health care, justice, and financial regulation--is already so sure of his ability to deliver a "conviction" that would irreparably tarnish the administration's purported ethical conduct, how can the American public be assured that these hearings won't turn into a witch hunt that seeks the damning information it merely assumes exists? The point of hearings is to use the tools of inquiry and investigation as a means to achieving the important goal of effective oversight. But what happens when the chairman of the top congressional oversight committee fails to find evidence that proves that which he already believes? What happens with Issa's fishing yields no dinner? Will he back down, admit defeat, and acknowledge that this administration is committed to transparency and ethics? Or will he press even further and further as a man possessed, determined to vindicate his pre-conceived opinions?

I wonder, had the jury and judge who heard Issa's grand theft auto case, or his unregistered handgun case, adopted the same pre-conceived notion of guilt that Issa is exhibiting, would we even be talking about a Chairman Issa today?

I'm not sure if that thought will cross the good congressman's mind today as he is much too busy embracing regulatory capture while staring longingly at his office art.


Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Alert: Lost Child in House of Reps

feature photo

"Okaaay if I could just have everyone's attention please! This young man's name is Johnny and he got separated from his mom and we're just trying to help him find her, so if you could please ask around for a Mrs. Boner and keep your eyes open that would great. Thanks everyone!"


Pic via Roll Call

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

Second Rain To Our Cheeks

The earth and we spin at discrete velocities,
And true degrees.
But there are times we move in harmony,
If only for a second’s reprieve.
I felt it when we biked along the river,
After an August rain,
We raced ahead and chased the airplanes.
The sun glowed in an evening nova,
Glistening the drops of water on the leaves,
Suspended in a breeze,
Sending second rain to our cheeks,
Raining waterfall reveries.
Raining waterfall reveries.

On Sunday night I had the distinct itch that I remembered well from the summer of 2008 when I took my first hit of The West Wing and never looked back. So, availing myself of the wonders of YouTube, I began clip searching. Not only was my ardent belief that this television show is and always will be superior to all others in writing and acting reinforced, but my binge led me to rediscover a scene that had a more profound impact on me than others (there are innumerable West Wing moments like this, truly):



West Wing fans know this episode from Season 2 well, entitled "Somebody Going to Emergency, Somebody Going to Jail," which is a line from The Eagles song "New York Minute" that rather cheesily opens the episode and plays it out (it's also, appropriately, the "Big Block of Cheese" Day in the Bartlet White House episode). I remember Sam saying to Donna "it's just there are certain things you're sure of, like longitude and latitude" after hearing some upsetting news about his father and how it lit something inside my head. Sometime that summer I wrote down the following line: "There are some things you’re just sure of like the coordinates of a heart. And movement’s just the mind chasing after for fear of being apart." From that came the song Second Rain, an incomplete, pensive track about movement, distance, wandering, and the wisdom they bring. Watching that clip reminded me of this song that I've not played for some time, and it also reminded me of the inspiration for this blog (sorry, "web log."). I hope I can complete this song soon along with the others I have worked on but have never fully committed to putting into motion. I also hope on the second anniversary of this blog I will be able to write more. 2009 witnessed an explosion of posts as I sought to maximize the potential of this newfangled medium of communication. 2010 saw the LSAT, my job, and commuting hamper my ability to write here, and I can't promise 2011 will bring more rain. But I shall try! Thanks to the few of you who read along every now and then; I relish your audience like a singer performing center stage, or what the rest of us call a sidewalk.

"What the head makes cloudy the heart makes very clear." -"New York Minute," The Eagles




Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com