Russia’s favorite commentator

Clay Bennett

The Face of the GOP

Convicted criminal and Republican representative Lauren Boebert is married to a guy who went to jail for showing his penis to a teenager in a bowling alley.

Meanwhile, “Marjorie Taylor Greene spent last weekend speaking at a conference organized by a pro-Putin white nationalist. Klan Mom, this woman, has so many issues when it comes to people wearing masks. When it comes to people wearing hoods, none at all…” – Jimmy Kimmel

Legitimate Political Discourse

Ruben Bolling

15 Albums That Changed Your Life

OK here is the challenge I just received:

Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wasu, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean.

(Disclaimer: I tried to limit this to one album per group, otherwise the Beatles would be here more than once)

In no particular order:

1. The Beatles: Abbey Road. Once of the first albums I ever had, made from a copy of a cassette someone made for me. The only problem was that the cassette was 45 minutes long and the album is 47 minutes long, so for years I never heard anything past the drum solo in “The End”

2. The Monkees: Pisces Aquarius Capricorn and Jones Ltd. OK, I was just a kid, but watching the Monkees on TV and listening to this album convinced me that I wanted to be in a band too! I started learning how to play guitar after this.

3. The Ramones. What a kick in the teeth. Didn’t like it at first and then grew to love it. It was just so different at the time! Although later albums were better (Rocket to Russia especially) this one had the most influence on me.

4. Elvis Costello: This Years Model. The first album wasn’t released in America until just before this one (the second). I liked the first but when the second came out I played it over and over and then went back and saw the genius in the first. And the addition of the new band made all the difference; Steve Nieve especially who I later found played on many other albums I love.

5. Sparks: Kimono My House. What a revelation! Loud and fast before the Ramones, high and quirky before Queen, clever lyrics and complicated and catchy melodies. My music writing was definitely influenced by these guys.

6. XTC: Oranges and Lemons. OK, I was an XTC fan from early on, but their quirky music was always important to me. This album is my favorite — and one of the best mixed albums ever. Very complicated, but you can hear each instrument perfectly. I just love to wear the headphones for this one.

7. Warren Zevon: Genius. This is a collection of his greatest hits that I got after he died and although I always knew I liked him, this just blew me away at how much of, well, a genius he was.

8. Frank Zappa: Shiek Yerbouti. I remember when this first came out and a friend said “You have to hear this!” and we listened to the whole double album while reading the lyrics. My favorite Zappa album (except I usually skip the long guitar solos he likes to do)

9. Panic at the Disco: Pretty Odd. I fell over backwards when they released it. It was a departure from their original sound, and it caused the band to split in half afterwards because of it, but it’s my favorite. I’ve always loved the psychedelic creative mid 60s sound, and this recreates it better than anyone other than XTC’s “Dukes of Stratosphear” album.

10. Kate Bush: The Kick Inside. Although I hardly ever listen to this now, when it was released I fell in love with it. Such a unique voice and such clever songs. In retrospect it’s a bit pretentious, but hey, I was in college and was pretty pretentious myself then.

11. Split Enz: Mental Notes. Their first American album was one of the weirdest I had ever heard, and I still love it. Songs that have no verses or choruses, but just wander all over the place yet it all works!

12. Funkadelic: Tales of Kidd Funkadelic. I was working in a record store when one of the other employees stuck this on the system and I immediately fell in love with the fun, the silliness, and the funk! Saw them in concert but I don’t remember too much because of all the strange sweet smoke that filled the place…

13. The Clash: London Calling. One of the few perfect albums ever made. Not a bad song in the lot. Impossible for them to top and they never did, it was all downhill from there.

14. Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food. I actually won this and a bunch of other albums in a record store contest and along with all the top hits, I said “What is this weird group?” I eventually gave away all the other albums and played this over and over. My band Big House did a cover of “Found a Job” too.

15. Ack, only one left! OK, well, Bruce Springsteen: The Essential. A 3 CD set of all his greatest hits. No wait! They Might Be Giants: John Henry — the first album with a real band instead of a drum machine. No! Joe Jackson’s “Volume 4!” No! Say Anything! Weezer! Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Argh!!!

Cold War, then and now

Matt Davies

Stop lying about the Treason Flag

“It’s heritage!” claim racists and people who don’t think. “This confederate flag — which wasn’t even the actual flag of the confederacy but was adopted as one by the Klan and other racists to symbolize their hatred — is just about our proud southern heritage!”

Sure, of course. That’s why you see so many people of color in the south flying it. Pride.

That’s why you see people who have never even been to the south flying it. It’s why you see northern Trump supporters putting it on their vehicles. It’s why a recent right-wing trucker protest in Canada had the Confederate flag flying. Canada! You know, that country that had absolutely nothing to do with the American Civil War.

Heritage. Sure. Of course.

Look, just come out of the closet already and admit you fly it because you’re a white supremacist. We all know it anyway.

This is a real picture from the recent Canadian protest. I am not making this up

Justice Thomas at home

Chris Britt

Ban this book!

Our children should not be reading books filled with sex and violence!

There’s one in particular that is completely outrageous! There’s tremendous violence, incest, and detailed descriptions about the size of male sexual organs and what they can produce. It glorifies and justifies slavery, treats women as property, and encourages readers to believe in fantasy like unicorns and magic. Some readers of this book have been inspired to violence, causing outrageous damage to people and cultures.

I’m talking, of course, about this book called “The Bible.”

Instead, let’s have our children read books that enlighten and educate them. Like Art Spiegelman’s “Maus.”

Mutations

Matt Wuerker

Biden’s economy is great, how are you?

It was reported today that the economy is doing great under Biden. It grew at the fastest rate since Reagan. Employment is up, the stock market is rising, and businesses are reporting record profits.

How are you doing?

The problem with talking about the economy is that for almost every economist out there, they look at these factors and not instead at how most Americans (like us) look at it.

Wages are stagnant. The cost of living increases constantly. Inflation is out of control. People can’t afford to buy houses because they’re paying off huge college loans. Whereas in my parents’ day, one worker could feed and house a family of four, such a thing is a fantasy these days.

The days are over when parents could imagine that their children would be better off in the future.

We’ve been heading this way ever since Reagan destroyed our economy in favor of the big businesses. It used to be that as the rich got richer, so did the rest of us. When the economy did well, we all benefitted. No longer.

The Republican party insists this is the way to go. Don’t forget that they passed another huge tax cut for billionaires and corporations under Trump, while increasing the taxes on the rest of us.

And we the people know that. The vast majority of Americans, liberal and conservative alike, say in surveys that the economy only favors the rich.

So when younger people today turn away from capitalism and start talking about socialism, this is why.