Archive for April, 2007

Believe in Nothing

Posted: April 5, 2007 in Media, Music, Pop Culture

“If you wanna hang out you’ve got to take her out…”

Some stories are just too good to be true.

Richards Denies Snorting His Dad’s Ashes
Keith Richards Denies Snorting His Father’s Ashes; Magazine Says It Wasn’t a Joke

LONDON Apr 4, 2007 (AP)— Off the cuff or up the nose? That was the question Wednesday as Keith Richards said he was joking when he described snorting his father’s ashes along with a hit of cocaine.

“It was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke, and it is not true. File under April Fool’s joke,” said Bernard Doherty, a Rolling Stones spokesman, about Richards’ quote in NME magazine.

But the magazine said on its Web site that the remark was “no quip, but came about after much thinking” by the 63-year-old guitarist.

In a statement posted on the Rolling Stones Web site, Richards said:

“The complete story is lost in the usual slanting! The truth of the matter is that I planted a sturdy English Oak. I took the lid off the box of ashes and he is now growing oak trees and would love me for it!!! I was trying to say how tight Bert and I were. That tight!!! I wouldn’t take cocaine at this point in my life unless I wished to commit suicide.”

The result? Keith Richards is now the subject of two of the greatest urban myths in the history of rock n roll. I think the other myth was a little more believable: that he checked into a clinic in Switzerland and had a complete blood transfusion to try to kick his heroin habit. Kudos to the New York Post as well for the best headline ever written.

You know those polls showing Rudy Giuliani as the current frontrunner in the GOP presidential field? His stock is about to take a dive.

See this teaser for an interview he did with CNN’s Dana Bash:

Giuliani stands by support of publicly-funded abortions

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNN Wednesday he supports public funding for some abortions, a position he advocated as mayor and one that will likely put the GOP presidential candidate at odds with social conservatives in his party.

“Ultimately, it’s a constitutional right, and therefore if it’s a constitutional right, ultimately, even if you do it on a state by state basis, you have to make sure people are protected,” Giuliani said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash in Florida’s capital city.

When asked directly Wednesday if he still supported the use of public funding for abortions, Giuliani said “Yes.”

“If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right,” he explained, “If that’s the status of the law, yes.”

But the presidential candidate reiterated his personal opposition to the practice.

“I’m in the same position now that I was 12 years ago when I ran for mayor — which is, personally opposed to abortion, don’t like it, hate it, would advise that woman to have an adoption rather than abortion, hope to find the money for it,” he said. “But it is your choice, an individual right. You get to make that choice, and I don’t think society should be putting you in jail.”

Giuliani also vowed to appoint conservative judges to the bench, though denied such a promise was a “wink and a nod” to conservatives in support of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision on abortion.

“A strict constructionist judge can come to either conclusion about Roe against Wade,” he said. “They can look at it and say, ‘Wrongly decided thirty years ago, whatever it is, we’ll over turn it.’ [Or] they can look at it and say, ‘It has been the law for this period of time, therefore we are going to respect the precedent.’ Conservatives can come to that conclusion as well. I would leave it up to them. I would not have a litmus test on that.”

This interview, along with the YouTube clip of him as mayoral candidate from 1989 announcing his support of public funding for abortions for poor women, should provide all the ammunition in the world for a candidate like Sam Brownback. Every GOP ad maker and opposition researcher not involved with Giuliani’s campaign is going to go through the transcript with a fine tooth comb and use it for talking points, fundraising appeals, or negative ads.

I have no doubt he would make a formidable candidate in a general election, regardless of whoever the Democratic nominee is. But his problem is that his position on abortion rights and other social issues is often a polar opposite of social conservatives, the people in the Republican base who go out and volunteer or vote during primaries. There will always be arguments of ideology vs. pragmatism, but given the GOP’s rigid insistence on ideological purity regardless of potential electoral consequences [i.e. Club for Growth-funded challenges to Republican senators in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island in 2004 and 2006] Giuliani might be shot down by the Republican base even though he might be one of their best candidates for a national race.

Photo from Reuters.

In what was probably the worst-kept secret in Washington, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was semi-quietly setting up a campaign operation to run for president again in 2008.

The problem with McCain is that he has tried to be all things to all people for so long, and under a glaring national spotlight in an energized electorate, it’s all coming out into the open.

While in 2000, he ran on an image of being a maverick willing to buck his own party. Eight years later, he’s running as the establishment candidate, trying to create a sense of inevitability with a political machine featuring some of the biggest GOP operatives and elected officials signing on to support him.

About a week ago, The Hill came out with a front page bombshell that McCain had been thinking about switching over to the Democrats in spring of 2001, and had made overtures to then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.). After Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) defected and gave Democrats control of the Senate, discussions about possible defections with McCain and Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) ended.

Following on the Hill’s lead, MyDD posted its bombshell from an interview with Sen. John Kerry: that McCain’s people approached him about getting on the 2004 ticket as his running mate.

The McCain campaign has denied both stories, but the fact that they’re coming on the record from three Washington insiders in Democratic circles is not good for McCain. If it had been anonymous sources, McCain could be more dismissive, but given that two of his fellow senators are making the claims gives them a certain amount of gravitas, regardless of how accurate they may be or not.

While McCain may not be trusted by some elements of the Republican base, both of these stories could torpedo any hope he had of winning the nomination. Only in a hyper-accelerated campaign season on steroids such as this year is raising $12.5 million in the first quarter considered NOT good enough.

The news cycle has not been kind to Senator McCain. Between his back-and-forth with the media at large and CNN’s Michael Ware over the coverage of the war in Iraq, followed by his visit/photo-op at a Baghdad market, the last thing he needed were two articles that raised questions about his commitment to his party. If the allegations are accurate, the implications – that he was a crass, calculating politician willing to say or do anything for his own benefit – would be devastating to his presidential ambitions.

It’s still early – things could change and I could be proven wrong – but I have a feeling that McCain is not going to be as competitive or significant a force in the campaign this year as he was in 2000. His time has come and gone, and he will not be the next president.

Back from Hibernation

Posted: April 3, 2007 in Uncategorized

So I logged off this thing in Ireland over Thanksgiving break and completely forgot about it for about 5 months. D’oh! I’m going to start writing again Stay tuned.