Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Distant Shores Song of the night: Vive la charite'!...

Tonight's DSS is a charity record under the title "Ici Les Enfoirés". A changing group of singers and actors, the "Enfoires" (translated roughly into "the Dumbasses") raise money for Restaurants du Coeur, who give food packages and hot meals to the needy. No idea what they're singing, but it's cool nonetheless...

To buy the benefit CD Les Enfoires Font Leur Cinema at Amazon France by clicking here.

Story of the day: Road trip!

Today Barack Obama arrived in London for the G-20 economic summit today. The G-20 is comprised of the 19 of the largest economic powers of the world, as well as a representative from the European Union (which already has members France, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy individually). From North America you've got the US, Canada, and Mexico; from South America Brazil and Argentina; from Africa there's South Africa;in Asia you have Turkey, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea; and lastly Australia. Now if this truly were the top-19 you'd include Spain at #12, Iran at #17, and Taiwan at #19, and lose Saudi Arabia (surprisingly to me), Argentina, and South Africa. But nevertheless, this is a true powerhouse of world leaders.

With every economy in the world in a tizzy, there's some hard work ahead, making the protesters there look almost sort of foolish. However, at least we won't have to be embarrased by scenes like this:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Distant Shores Song of the night....Apple-flavored whiteboy funk...

Tonight's DSS is by Scottish band Franz Ferdinand, who's latest single, "No You Girls", you may have caught on the new IPod Touch commerical. It's in the UK top-40, as well at almost hitting the US Billboard Hot 100. It's been an earworm in my brain ever since, though it's worth it..

and here's the IPod clip...

You can pick up FF's album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand at your local record store or by clicking here.

Oh yeah, what happened there?

Lest we not forget, scumbag Bernie Madoff's in jail, but his Marie Antoinette wife Ruth runs free..click to embiggen...

Thanks to the inimitable Danziger - go see his cartoon archive and if you likey buy his books by clicking here...

An early Cee U Next Tuesday award...

I had to do it. It couldn't wait until tomorrow.

This week's Cee U Next Tuesday award for female acheivement in the long-standing glass floor of douchebaggery goes to Miss Universe Dayana "my tiara is brighter than I am" Mendoza of Venezuela.

After visiting Guantanamo Bay with the current Miss USA Crystle Stewart as part of a USO tour, Miss Mendoza proceeded to gush about it on her blog like she just came back from a cruise to the Bahamas.

We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting.


I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Jesus Christ. What brand of stupid are you? Better yet, why did we let her leave? Hell, I'm sure those happy detainee would be more than happy to her around to "recreate" with.

Story of the Day: The axe swingeth, but in a different direction...

Well this week's political/economic news started off with a bang - it was announced that as part of its bailout, General Motors' chairman Rick Wagoner (pictured above) was forced to resign.

GM will get 60 days and Chrysler 30 days in which to make a final push toward proving they can run viable businesses. If Chrysler succeeds, it will receive a $6 billion loan. In GM's case, the officials would not specify how much money the carmaker might receive.

In addition to the resignation, it was broadcasted that the companies had to make drastic changes, including concessions by the auto union UAW. Now of course, this leads me to think this: at what point does the administration believe that a union contract is more malleable and passable than the supposed "contracts" that insured the fatcats at AIG, Citigroup and Bank Of America get their million-dollar bonuses and perks. What the fuck is that? Remember where you came from, dude.

Of course, the right isn't too happy either, whether it takes the "interfering with private business" bullshit or the left wondering why the banks are left with no restrictions and dinosaurically huge (yes, I made up the fucking word!)..

Why is Rick Wagoner getting the boot while the management of the big banks remains in place? Whatever resonance the question has on first blush, it gets more complicated on further inspection. Citi does not have the same CEO it did at the start of the crisis. And the government installed a new CEO at AIG after the initial bailout. Another rejoinder might be that the automakers' plight is of a much more longstanding vintage than that of the finance barons, though I suspect, as we learn more, we'll be revisiting those assumptions. And even after getting substantial government aid, I think Wagoner's the first auto industry CEO to get the boot. So perhaps we should be asking why it is that something like this hasn't happened sooner.


The only difference between the fucked up financial industry and the fucked up auto industry is that the financial industry has found a successful way to have us by the balls, scaring the nation and most importantly its government that they are all truly necessary and that any shakeup to their status quo and they'll throw some sort of 1000-point hissy fit.

What Obama is hopefully laying the groundwork for is once the Wall Street thing settles, to do the same slice and dice that he's doing otherwise. However it's best to do this when you've got the rest of the country on your side. Otherwise they can play the "everything is fine" card until the next bubble breaks.

And General Motors as a company should be just ashamed in general. They were all so fucking proud (and that includes a good portion of its workers as well) of the behemoth gas-guzzling shit that they were producing until OPEC decided to pull the rug from under them. Just for the Hummer alone part of me wants the whole shit to fail if it wouldn't have too much an effect on the whole area (bad enough as it is)...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Distant Shores Song for the night: Space Swedes!

Tonight's DSS is by Swedish singer September (real name: Petra Eos Marklund). A big dance star in Sweden, she's crossed over to the US before with her hit "Cry For You". The followup to that song, and the first single from her latest album, Dancing Shoes, is "Can't Get Over". The track has already hit the top-10 in Sweden, Spain, Finland, and Poland, and is just making waves in Britain, debuting in the top-20.

You can pick up their US self-titled album, which includes both "Cry For You" and "Can't Get Over", at your local record shop, or by going to Amazon by clicking here.

Story of the day: Rock star economist?!?

It's not ordinary circumstances when you see an economist on the cover of a major news magazine. Not even a Nobel prize-winning one. But with the economy in the tank and the whirlwind on Wall Street the talk of the day, it was time that Paul Krugman would get his due. A columnist for the New York Times, a professor at Princeton University, a TV presence on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and an author to boot, it's hard to believe the man has time for anything. And instead of living in spotlights like a lot of recent political types can be (including the totally not-ready-for-primetime Tim Geithner), Krugman's work seems to be more of the guy who walks around with the "end is near" signs if that man were sane and business-savvy.

The Newsweek article does try to trump up the difference between him and the administration, while the real concern is that he thinks we are just going half-way from where we really should be going.

Krugman is not likely to show up in an administration job in part because he has a noble—but not government-career-enhancing—history of speaking truth to power. With dry humor, he once told a friend the story of attending an economic summit in Little Rock after Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992. As the friend recounted the story to NEWSWEEK, "Clinton asked Paul, 'Can we have a balanced budget and health-care reform?'—essentially, can we have it all? And Paul said, 'No, you have to be disciplined. You have to make choices.' Then Paul says to me (deadpan), 'That was the wrong answer.' Then Clinton turns to Laura Tyson and asks the same questions, and she says, 'Yes, it's all possible, you have your cake and eat it too.' And then [Paul] says, 'That was the right answer'." (Tyson became chairman of Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers; she did not respond to requests to comment.) Krugman confirmed the story to NEWSWEEK WITH a smile. "I'm more tolerant now," he says. But at the time, he was bitter that he was kept out of the Clinton administration.

Like Howard Dean, the most thoughtful members of our team are seemingly shut out. Read the whole article here. And in honor of Paul, here goes...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Distant Shores Song of the night...doing it for a thrill...

Tonight's DSS is by British electro-pop duo La Roux. Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid channel the sparse beginnings of new wave to provide a new kind of retro. Their latest single, "In For The Kill", just missed the UK top-10.

You can pick up a copy of La Roux's "In For The Kill" at Amazon here...

Story of the day: Lights out!

Tonight between 8:30pm and 9:30 is Earth Hour, a worldwide push spotlight the movement to conserve energy. It will be pretty hard, but I'll try to do it. I'll just keep one light on and read a book and maybe a game w-SB.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Distant Shores Song for the night...

Tonight's short but funny DSS comes from France. Helmut Fritz, seemingly produced by the fab dance act Discobitch, provides us with the funny and funky "Ca M'enerve", which translates to "It Annoys Me".....damn straight!

The US Amazon site is out of stock of the single, but if you really like it you can head over to the French Amazon site...just read everything when buying...

So THIS is how the financial system works!

It all comes down to a Margaritaville machine. God Damned Jimmy Buffett!

twostepcub's music chart for March 27, 2009...

Hey guys, it's time for my top tunes for the week. This week Beyonce hangs on to a fourth week at #1, while Kelly Clarkson's latest hit jumps into the top-3. Beyonce also makes one of the biggest moves in the list, along with LaBelle and Jimmy D. Robinson. Meanwhile, former big hits by Seether, Dierks Bentley, Kristine W., Coldplay, and Moby fall out. Link-O-Rama is still in full effect, so you can click on the highlighted name of any artist to go to their website. So when's grilling time?

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - Beyonce (1)
2. Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback (2)
3. My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson (7)
4. Circus - Britney Spears (5)
5. Poker Face - Lady GaGa (10)
6. Love Hurts - Incubus (8)
7. Sweet Thing - Keith Urban (4)
8. Second Chance - Shinedown (6)
9. Just Dance - Lady GaGa f/Colby O'Donis (9)
10. White Horse - Taylor Swift (13)
11. Sober - Pink (16)
12. I Hate This Part - The Pussycat Dolls (12)
13. Heartless - Kanye West (3)
14. Here I Stand - Usher (14)
15. Hot N Cold - Katy Perry (11)
16. Love Story - Taylor Swift (17)
17. The Fear - Lily Allen (27)
18. You Found Me - The Fray (19)
19. Broken Strings - James Morrison f/Nelly Furtado (21)
20. Sex On Fire - Kings Of Leon (18)
21. Away - Enrique Iglesias f/Sean Garrett (25)
22. T-Shirt - Shontelle (23)
23. Gives You Hell - The All-American Rejects (26)
24. IfULeave - Musiq Soulchild f/Mary J. Blige (24)
25. Bring The Love - Nicki Richards (28)
26. What I Cannot Change - LeAnn Rimes (22)
27. I Will - Jimmy Wayne (29)
28. Imagination - Jes (30)
29. Light On - David Cook (20)
30. Lucky - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat (34)
31. There Goes My Baby - Charlie Wilson (40)
32. It Won't Be Like This For Long - Darius Rucker (37)
33. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz (31)
34. Not Meant To Be - Theory Of A Deadman (38)
35. Where I Stood - Missy Higgins (35)
36. Long Distance - Brandy (41)
37. Spaceman - The Killers (47)
38. 1,2,3,4 - Plain White T's (45)
39. Nothin' To Die For - Tim McGraw (44)
40. Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon (56)
41. Not Falling Apart - Maroon5 (60)
42. I Stay In Love - Mariah Carey (32)
43. I Told You So - Carrie Underwood f/Randy Travis (51)
44. Shattered (Turn The Car Around) - O.A.R. (42)
45. Here Comes Goodbye - Rascal Flatts (55)
46. Diva - Beyonce (69)
47. Get On Your Boots - U2 (49)
48. Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn f/Reba McEntire (50)
49. Don't Think I Can't Love You - Jake Owen (52)
50. River Of Love - George Strait (54)
51. Let Me Be Myself - 3 Doors Down (46)
52. Candle (Sick & Tired) - White Tie Affair (70)
53. Sometime Around Midnight - Airborne Toxic Event (53)
54. Human - The Killers (33)
55. Feel Your Love - Kim Sozzi (62)
56. Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf f/Lil' Wayne (36)
57. If I Were A Boy - Beyonce (39)
58. God Love Her - Toby Keith (43)
59. Kristy, Are You Doing OK? - The Offspring (63)
60. Untouched - The Veronicas (75)
61. Thinking Of You - Katy Perry (73)
62. That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings (48)
63. In The Night - JimmyD. Robinson f/Ceevox (89)
64. Last Call - Lee Ann Womack (66)
65. Superlover - LaBelle (92)
66. Rock & Roll - Eric Hutchinson (68)
67. Lifeline - Papa Roach (83)
68. Soulmate - Natasha Bedingfield (82)
69. Down The Road - Kenny Chesney f/Mac McAnally (59)
70. I Run To You - Lady Antebellum (90)
71. Angels On The Moon - Thriving Ivory (78)
72. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life - Lula (74)
73. Ride - Martina McBride (77)
74. Brother - Pearl Jam (DEBUT)
75. Cool - Anthony Hamilton f/David Banner (93)
76. Eat You Up - BoA (64)
77. When It Hurts - Avant (79)
78. Don't Go Away - Buckcherry (84)
79. Promise You - Deep Step (81)
80. What About Now - Daughtry (80)
81. So What - Pink (76)
82. How 'Bout You Don't - The Lost Trailers (86)
83. That's A Man - Jack Ingram (85)
84. So Close, So Far - Hoobastank (98)
85. In A Song - Bobbyblue (87)
86. Audience Of One - Rise Against (DEBUT)
87. It's America - Rodney Atkins (91)
88. She's Country - Jason Aldean (94)
89. Right Round - Flo Rida (DEBUT)
90. Every Word - Ercola (95)
91. Shuttin' Detroit Down - John Rich (96)
92. Just Can't Get Enough - The Saturdays (DEBUT)
93. Never Enough - Crystal Waters (97)
94. Marry For Money - Trace Adkins (100)
95. Irgendwas Bliebt - Silbermond (99)
96. Dust Off And Dance - Hydra Productions f/Tiffany (DEBUT)
97. The Only One - Chris Lake (DEBUT)
98. It Happens - Sugarland (DEBUT)
99. Always The Love Songs - The Eli Young Band (DEBUT)
100. Liberta - Pep's (DEBUT)

This week nine new songs enter my chart. First up is the iconic grunge rock band Pearl Jam, who have re-released their debut album, Ten, in a special edition that includes a disc of the original album, and a disc remixed by their long-time collaborator Brendan O'Brien. On that disc are six songs that didn't make the cut, and one of them now is the hottest song on modern rock right now. Here's "Brother"...

While Pearl Jam were often at their best when they got "political", the next band takes that to another level. It's Rise Against, and their follow-up to "Re-Education (Through Labor)", which made the top-10 on my chart.

Flo Rida has the #1 song on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Chart, and it makes it to my list. The rapper incorporates a bastardized version of Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" to back him up...

England's charity event Comic Relief/Red Nose Day provides us with the next debut, with the Irish girl-group The Saturdays with a peppy remake of the Depeche Mode cult classic "Just Can't Get Enough"...

80's mall-pop queen Tiffany had a minor hit on my chart at the end of 2007, "Higher". This time she pairs with dance team Hydra Productions to come back with "Dust Off And Dance"...

Also on the dance tip, British DJ Chris Lake debuts with "The Only One"...

Since last year, country act Sugarland has seen their former member Kristen Hall suing the remaining two members for monies on an agreement to share profits on any work. It's a toughie - on the one hand she's clearly not collaborating with them, but I'm very suspicious that the record label forced her out. Well, either way, the third single from their latest album, Love On The Inside, enters. Here's "It Happens"...

Another country band follows suit; Texas-based Eli Young Band, named from the last names of two of their members, come on with "Always The Love Songs"

and finally, from France comes eclectic outfit Pep's, led by Florian Peppuy (the group name comes from his nickname). Fluid in its membership, Florian and the boys debut with "Liberta" (which is in French and English)...

Good night, and sweet dreams...

Story of the day: The river's rising...

In a horrible spat of weather, the Red River in North Dakota is overflowing due to heavy snows over this winter, and is threatening the city of Fargo. People are doing their best to sandbag the area and build up on the dikes, and I certainly wish them the best. According to Mayor Dennis Waleker,

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker cautiously expressed hope that the river would stay below 43 feet — the limit of the reinforced dikes. Walaker said there was not enough time left to build the levees any higher.
Damn. It's one thing to have to wade through water to save yourself or anything you have. It's another to try to do it in frigid temperatures and icy waters.

One thing though, how can anyone criticize the Obama Stimulus plan to both give jobs and supply needed resources when example after example like this happen? Or does the Republican party just stand for every man for themselves?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Requiem for a soft rocker....Light of the world, shine on me...

Singer, songwriter, and mustache afficianado Dan Seals of the 70's duo England Dan and John Ford Coley (pictured above, Dan on the right) passed away from lymphona, a form of cancer, yesterday. ED&JFC were the subject of my first "true" blogpost, and for that they own a lil' ole place in my heart. With songs like "I'd Really Like To See You Tonight", "Love Is The Answer", and my personal favorite "Nights Are Forever Without You", they were all-guns for the late 70s.

Nights Are Forever Without You - England Dan & John Ford Coley

Love Is The Answer (Single Version) - England Dan & John Ford Coley

After that, Dan returned to country music, and had great success before the "hat acts" of 1989-1991...Some people don't even know this is the same guy...

Rest in peace, and thanks for the tunes...

Added fact, Dan's older brother Jim was also in a self-named duo responsible for hits like this...

Now go and buy one of their albums! Click here to start, or go to your local record shop!

Distant Shores Song of the Night: Acoustic P0rn!

Tonight's DSS is by Belgian singer Milow (real name Johnathan Vanderbroeck). After three charting singles in his home country (including the #3 "You Don't Know, which was popular enough to make the top-100 in all of Europe), Milow released an unplugged version of 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake's "Ayo Technology", which explores the normally non-folky subject of strippers and skin mags, and turns it into a really cool tune. It hit #1 in Belgium and the Netherlands, and just the month was released in Germany, making the top-10 there.

and for comparison here's the original...

You can purchase Milow's "Ayo Technology" online by clicking here.

Charts for dummies!

Well the lil' ole Republicans were gettin' their feelins hurt by being called out by President Obama (among others) for the stream of televised whinefests over his proposed budget, without offering any concrete plan of their own.

And because we've inherited an economic mess and a fiscal mess -- (laughter) -- this budget makes the tough choices necessary to cut the deficit by the end of my first term in half -- even under the most pessimistic estimates. We've already proposed $2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. We'll continue making these tough choices in the months and years ahead as our economy recovers.

And to a bunch of the critics out there, I've already said, show me your budget. (Laughter.) Show me what you want to do. (Applause.) And I'm happy to have that debate -- because I believe in the vision of the Democratic Party. (Applause.)

Well, the Villagers were called, that there will be a big! news! day! for the GOP. Of course, the Villagers (villagers=Washington correspondents who have no basis in reality - see Todd, Chuck; Henry, Ed; Gregory, David et al...) came a-runnin' - I think they may be electrically collared - to the big moment where the Republican leadership would point the way to a better America where the debt turns into flowers and unicorns shit rainbows. What they got, is this...

I think my 5-year-old nice make this in art class.

Well, of course it was more than this. About 18 pages more. Of nothing but philosophy and them trying to perpetually re-run the 2008 election, since being a Republican these days is only about the "game" of politics, not the reality. No numbers (well save for a massive tax cut for the rich only), no deficit projection, no empirical comparison to Obama's plan other than the same old whining they've been perfecting since the inauguration.

And as John Cole at Balloon-Juice points out, courtesy of fark, this is really only what they have to offer as a vision.

And apparently not all the Republicans are happy for this little sideshow....When Eric Cantor is on the side of semi-sane pissiness, something's aflutter. Even the media cut through the shit.

So, the architects of this turd, Reps. John Boehner and Mike Pence (R-fucktarddom) you co-win the Republican Douchebag of the Week award (after too long of a lapse)....

Meet the ...wait, no correspondents? Yay!

President Obama, in one of his most progressive moments, held his "online town hall" called Open For Questions. Anybody was encouraged to submit and vote for questions to the president, who answered a good chunk of those questions in front of a live audience. Imagine George W. Bush trying to stammer through that. Pity that the online swarm pushed questions about legalizing pot to the fore, though Obama did call "them" out.

"I don't know what this says about the online audience," he said with a smile, adding that he opposed legalizing the illicit drug.

That's how you do a dignified smackdown.

You can read the truckload of questions by clicking here, proving that the collective ordinary America people can for the most part be lightyears better than a gaggle of reporters.

and here's the video. Thanks, Barack, for making the internet(s) your friend. It makes me feel like you may know what you're doing..

Story Of The Day: Another WATB!

It was only a matter of time before mass outcry against the taxpayer-funded bonus payments at AIG caused a pushback from the whiny ass titty babies who work there. It does take hubris though for the Vice President of the financial products unit, in other words the section majorly responsible for the collapse of the mega-company (as well as taking down the economy with it), to have a walk-away hissy fit on the editorial pages of the New York Times. What he accomplishes is a look into the entitlement culture in the financial world, especially in New York.

Jake DeSantis is the guy who "resigned" from AIG via this open letter, which is so self-aggrandizing you'd think Sarah Palin wrote it. Vacillating between saying he stayed with the company as a sense of duty, while bemoaning that he stayed because he was assured his bonus payment. So let me get this straight, you say you humbly accepted a $1 salary for this year, but only if you get the million dollar bonus? How fucking stupid do you think we are? And where would you be if your company went bankrupt? Well, just like all the other people who lost their jobs from bankrupt factories and small businesses. Shit out of luck and looking for a job.

His second stupid-ass premise is that he was gracious to stay there because he could've been getting a better job somewhere else, like he's some crew member on the Titanic. So, genius, who exactly would be hiring your ass, since your work experience apparently includes contributing towards the largest quarterly loss in history. That's like trying to get a job at Burger King after setting fire to mcDonald's as the fry boy.

Which brings us to the third point Jakey boy tries to make - that he wasn't responsible for the crash. Um, you were in the Financial Products division. The one that sold unregulated glorified betting tickets on people's loans. Right. So if you didn't, what the fuck were you doing there in that division? Baking cookies? You sure are quick to point out

I started at this company in 1998 as an equity trader, became the head of equity and commodity trading and, a couple of years before A.I.G.’s meltdown last September, was named the head of business development for commodities. Over this period the equity and commodity units were consistently profitable — in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million.
Isn't that the "bubble" of earnings that collapsed once the house of cards fell?

After this babble of excuses, he snottily closes by saying he chooses to donate his bonus money (supposedly 742,006.40 after taxes) to "charity". Is this the same charity that Sarah Palin's clothes were intended for? And who's going to prove you did? Or choose the charity, which could be some right-wing 501? And finally, if you can really afford to give away 3/4 of a million, how fucked up is your life right now? How about spending a night here, in one of the many "tent cities" popping up across the country, due to nutjobs like you on Wall Street, playing Casino with our 401k's?
No? Then take your toys, give back the money and get the fuck away.

Related rant: This rundown from Business Week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Distant Shores Song of the Night - More Swedes!

Tonight's DSS comes again from Melodifestivalen, Sweden's semifinals to the song competition Eurovision. Alcazar isn't really a new act, with this song being their thirteenth top-40 single in their homeland. They've also crossed over, albeit lightly, with two songs making the US dance chart, their remake of the Human League's "Don't You Want Me" as well as "Crying At The Discotech", which made the top-10 in 6 countries and the top-20 in six more, including Great Britain. The new song, already a #2 hit in Sweden, is "Stay The Night". It didn't win Melodifestivalen either, but it's still sugary sweet.

Story of the day....and what did we learn?

Last night was President Obama's first press conference since February 10th, when the economy was still is "burning flames" mode. Since then a whole ton of shit has happened - the AIG bonus debacle, the budget proposal, the Geithner spectacle, and the up and down of the stock market that has people pretending like it's supposed to make any sense. And true to form, after a very clear yet a little didactic "I got this" speech, a good portion of the reporting pool proceeded to play this week's edition of "Media games!".

In "Media Games!", each Beltway hack tries his best to not really report news, but to become part of the news themselves. Chuck Todd from NBC tries to prove himself amongst the cool kids by being a total tool, asking the president whether Americans have suffered enough since times are tough. Fuck you, dickweed. Maybe if you're out of work, or your 401K has gone to shit, or you're forced to take a second job to get health insurance, maybe that is a sacrifice. Think about that when you're at your next cocktail party. Chip "talking point" Reid rehashed the false GOP lines about the budget being completely irresponsible and that he's hurting our children. The camera must have cut away when the nurse came to change his diaper when Obama dismissed his confrontational non-question just with #1) my plan is long-ranging, the budget is only one component, look at everything else, and #2) ballsac, did you happen to forget the trillion dollar deficit we inherited from Bush, to whom you couldn't care less to ask anything?

But the cherry on the sundae was CNN's Ed "Doughface" Henry, who is so totally in love with himself over his last performance in February (the left-field question about showing the fallen troops returning home in the media), that he is convinced that the purpose for being there is for himself to be the story. First off, the fallen-soldier thing was a red-herring question to begin with. You weren't concerned with the actual ramifications of the situation, but rather to cause Obama to possibly go back on a pledge or stumble through something that would cause a right-wing furor. Fuck you for that.

This time he tries to channel the actual populist outrage over the AIG bonuses as some sort of "gotcha" moment. But rather than trying to ask a valid question about Americans' perception of Wall Street's delusions of entitlement affecting their faith in the financial plan, he goes with the "why did it take you so long to say you're mad about it" bullshit. In which case Obama did give Henry his wish, providing the most memorable line of the night, with...

Obama: Look it took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak. Alright?

Ooh, snap.

So Henry went and wrote a complete whinefest about how being a reporter is like an athlete, except you can be puffy and pasty like him. I don't know what's worse, his namedropping like a 14-year-old girl (the "Wolf Blitzer/Gridiron Dinner" double play), or his sports analogies (the quarterbacking bullshit), or the "war wounds" fantasy ("So he did slap me down a bit", the fellow DC bubbles calling to nudge or congratulate him). Here's his take on his moment in the sun...

The pressure was on now because the president had called on me. Someone handed me a microphone, millions were watching, and it's scary to think about changing topic in a split second because you might get flustered and screw up.

But it's fun to gamble and like any good quarterback (though I was never athletic enough to actually play the position), I decided to call an audible.

So I went hard on the AIG question, and took Wolf's advice and followed on a couple of colleagues who got pushback from the president when they asked about how his budget numbers do not seem to add up.

Now, does this sound like someone who goes out and researches a story and uses this unique moment to interact with the president about an important issue, or a game where only one person wants to play?

Well at least I'm not the only one that feels that way. Wonkette totally tears pasty-boy to shreds. Read their take (click here).

and for extra credit - Bobblespeak has the funniest "Twitteresque" sum-up of the conference. Read to get the jist (and a laugh) [Click here]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A preview of the 2012 Republican presidential primary...

Though, it's missing the token backwater like Palin and the stooge like Jindal..

Distant Shores of the Night: Swedish Meat-Balls...

Today's DSS is by Swedish boy-singer collab E.M.D. Comprised of 3 former (Swedish) Pop Idol contestants (Erik Segerstedt, Mattias Andréasson, and Danny Saucedo), the group had already scored 3 #1 songs in their homeland. Their latest single, "Baby Goodbye", was their entry into Melodifestivalen, Sweden's semifinals into the Eurovision song contest. Here's their "live" version from the finals. Unfortunately, they didn't make it to Eurovision, but having a fourth #1 isn't too bad...and it doesn't hurt that they're adorable as well...

Story of the day - Blame Canada...

If you don't know who Greg Gutfeld is, first off, you're pretty much better off. Besides looking constipated 100% of the time, Gutfeld is a perennially dumped editor (from Men's Health, Prevention, Stuff (where he was let go supposedly for a stunt involving midgets), and Maxim UK) and wannabe comedian whose shtick is apparently to out-Dennis Miller Dennis Miller. That's like trying to be the most annoyingly verbose psycho-beggar on the subway. After conning Arianna Huffington to be a blogger at her site, he proceeded just like his previous employers to piss everyone off and go running to the sagging bosom of Fox News (which is really just Roger Ailes' moobs).

Having a faux-comedy-news show on Fox has been tried before, so they let Gutfeld try to ape Bill Maher in a "no-hold-barred" shitfest called Red Eye. Ordinarily, all this information is totally useless, except this dickweed managed to create a little stir where he, with the help of Doug Benson, who is supposed to be funny because he's an unattractive perpetual stoner, decided to deride the Canadian armed forces helping the United States in Afghanistan. Really.

Nice timing. This came on the day that Canada received four of its fallen soldiers home. Money quote: "Meaning, the Canadian military wants to take a breather to do some yoga, paint landscapes, run on the beach in gorgeous white Capri pants". DICK-LESS.

This caused ripples up to the Canadian military, where Defense Minister Peter McKay responded that

It's crass, it's insensitive, it's in fact disgusting given the timing where Canada is just receiving back four fallen heroes here at CFB Trenton.
..as well as demanding an apology from Fox News.

Well, the tepid apology came...

Gutfeld said the five-minute spot "was in no way an attempt to make light of troop efforts."

"However, I realize that my words may have been misunderstood. It was not my intent to disrespect the brave men, women and families of the Canadian military, and for that I apologize. Red Eye is a satirical take on the news, in which all topics are addressed in a lighthearted, humorous and ridiculous manner."

Douchebag, we all know that if you say "misunderstood", you're not really sorry.

and to prove it, Gutfeld had to Twitter like a 12 year old girl (that he is).....

My apologies to the Canadian military, they probably could at least beat the Belgians.

Classy. Remind me to call your mom to get your balls back.

Cee U Next Tuesday Of The Week...The glasses aren't helping...

Michelle Bachmann, US Representative and Minnesota wackjob that isn't Norm Coleman, unfortunately was able to squeak by in her re-election last November despite her calling for new McCarthy-esque Anti-American investigations into Congress (why don't we do that to her now). This allows this clueless trollop to infest the halls of Washington to ask the inane questions a fifth grader won't. As much as I'm disliking Geithner right now, in this below clip I'd really like him to just flat out say "shut the fuck up, you ignorant fucktard!".

So let me get this straight - you think everything the government does is in the Constitution? Are you that intellectually stunted that you are invoking the fucking Constitution? Between that and the porn-librarian glasses, Bachmann is trying to out-Palin Sarah Palin. And not even knowing the freaking rules of her freakin' job, like how much time she gets, does this ignorant Cee U Next Tuesday even belong here at all?

Along with this, she's pretty much encouraging anarchy in the US over the fact that her "team" isn't winning...

“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.”

Also, she's comparing herself to an insurrectionist, who...
"I’m a foreign correspondent on enemy lines and I try to let everyone back here in Minnesota know exactly the nefarious activities that are taking place in Washington."
How 'bout some anti-American investigations now! How about sending this bitch to Gitmo? Well, since it's being shut down, we'll have to settle awarding Palin-lite with the C-U-N-T award for the week. Congrats, dumbass!

Here's a spit-take compilation of her greatest hits!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Distant Shores Song of the night: Yes, they're still around...

Although America is pretty much over their love affair with British neo-mop-tops Oasis, their popularity in the UK remains pretty steady. Deservedly so, since the quality of their music is just as good as back in their heydey. The third UK top-20 single from their latest album, Dig Out Your Soul, is the dramatic "Falling Down"...

You can buy Dig Out Your Soul at your local record store or sites like here.

Story of the day: Does anybody in DC get it?

As the Washington media scrambles around the stupid non-story of the 60 minutes "laugh" meme-fest, just like the stupid fucktardery around the AIG bonuses shielding the public from the real issue at hand; that the economic team behind Obama is seemingly steering us into the same financial bubble shit that got us into this recession/depression/whatever we're in right now.

Yes, I'm stupefied that someone I thought as populist savvy as the president would be so dismissive of the huge and warranted outcry over the fact that, whether it was money doled before his term or not, public money was used to give out bonuses to dickwads who wouldn't have even a regular paycheck if we just allowed AIG to go under. When your work produces a pile of dick, dick is what you deserve back. Welcome to the real world, where the ordinary guy doesn't get a perk just because. I don't want to hear any more sob fucking stories about how these tools are scared for their wives or their kids or whatever the fuck else. FUCK YOU. You have your fucking gated communities while the rest of America is being evicted from their homes. If you're that concerned. Give the fucking money back.

However, as much as I hate the Geithner/Summers tack of saying the bonuses are a miniscule slice of the bailout money as a fakeout to ensure their friends on Wall Street don't get testy, the underlying point is correct. It is a small part of the problem. However, the big part of the problem, the completely unregulated crapshoot on securities and loan speculation that is going on in the financial realm isn't just not being stopped - it's now being encouraged. The "New" plan, which is a rehash of the Bush/Paulson plan that was scrapped before even a consideration, assumes that if we take all the "bad little loans and such" and sell them at closeout prices, that we'll start shitting rainbows and flowers will rain from the sky, is astonishingly crazy. McCain crazy. Relying on the greedy cunts and assholes that drove the economy down crazy. It's like punishing your son for hitting your daughter by giving him a baseball bat crazy.

I'm worried that something self-destructive lurks in the new administration that creates a pattern of shutting out ideas of those like Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman and more-fit-for-four-different-cabinet-positions Howard Dean because of their own weird clique thing. Combine that with a glib dismissal to do anything about the bonuses as the icing on the cake, and you're risking to fulfill the prophecy of the Washington hacks that have already (and relishingly) put your presidency as a soap opera already. I don't trust that Geithner and his people have the American people's good at hand, but are just trying to pump the stock market. Prove me wrong, or get the fuck out.

For a much better explanation about what's going on I really really recommend you read two things. First DEFINITELY read Matt Taibbi's complete breakdown of this economic crisis history in Rolling Stone (click here). Also, for the breakdown of the latest Geithner "plan", read Krugman in the Times (click here).

She's truly sorry.....

Classic Portia DeRossi clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Friday, March 20, 2009

twostepcub's music chart for March 20, 2009...

Hey everyone, it's time for my tunes for the week. This week Beyonce spends a third week on top, while as Britney Spears (pictured) swings along with her Circus tour, the title track hangs in the top-5. Former big hits by Donna Summer, Madonna, Gavin Rossdale, Blake Shelton, and Lifehouse fall out of the list, while songs by Brandy, Kings Of Leon, and Maroon5 make the biggest moves. Link-o-rama is still in effect, so you can click on the name of any artist to go to their website. Snow? Seriously?

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - Beyonce (1)
2. Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback (2)
3. Heartless - Kanye West (3)
4. Sweet Thing - Keith Urban (4)
5. Circus - Britney Spears (5)
6. Second Chance - Shinedown (6)
7. My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson (11)
8. Love Hurts - Incubus (9)
9. Just Dance - Lady GaGa f/Colby O'Donis (7)
10. Poker Face - Lady GaGa (13)
11. Hot N Cold - Katy Perry (8)
12. I Hate This Part - Pussycat Dolls (12)
13. White Horse - Taylor Swift (18)
14. Here I Stand - Usher (14)
15. Breakdown - Seether (10)
16. Sober - Pink (20)
17. Love Story - Taylor Swift (17)
18. Sex On Fire - Kings Of Leon (16)
19. You Found Me - The Fray (21)
20. Light On - David Cook (15)
21. Broken Strings - James Morrison f/Nelly Furtado (29)
22. What I Cannot Change - LeAnn Rimes (23)
23. T-Shirt - Shontelle (26)
24. IfULeave - Musiq Soulchild f/Mary J. Blige (24)
25. Away - Enrique Iglesias f/Sean Garrett (31)
26. Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects (28)
27. The Fear - Lily Allen (39)
28. Bring The Love - Nicki Richards (36)
29. I Will - Jimmy Wayne (30)
30. Imagination - Jes (35)
31. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz (27)
32. I Stay In Love - Mariah Carey (25)
33. Human - The Killers (19)
34. Lucky - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat (41)
35. Where I Stood - Missy Higgins (37)
36. Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf f/Lil' Wayne (22)
37. It Won't Be Like This For Long - Darius Rucker (43)
38. Not Meant To Be - Theory Of A Deadman (48)
39. If I Were A Boy - Beyonce (32)
40. There Goes My Baby - Charlie Wilson (56)
41. Long Distance - Brandy (66)
42. Shattered (Turn The Car Around) - O.A.R. (42)
43. God Love Her - Toby Keith (45)
44. Nothin' To Die For - Tim McGraw (49)
45. 1,2,3,4 - Plain White T's (53)
46. Let Me Be Myself - 3 Doors Down (40)
47. Spaceman - The Killers (61)
48. That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings (46)
49. Get On Your Boots - U2 (55)
50. Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn f/Reba McEntire (50)
51. I Told You So - Carrie Underwood (58)
52. Don't Think I Can't Love You - Jake Owen (52)
53. Sometime Around Midnight - Airborne Toxic Event (57)
54. River Of Love - George Strait (54)
55. Here Comes Goodbye - Rascal Flatts (64)
56. Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon (74)
57. Feel That Fire - Dierks Bentley (34)
58. Never - Kristine W. (38)
59. Down The Road - Kenny Chesney f/Mac McAnally (51)
60. Not Falling Apart - Maroon5 (77)
61. Keeps Gettin' Better - Christina Aguilera (44)
62. Feel Your Love - Kim Sozzi (69)
63. Kristy, Are You Doin' OK? - The Offspring (63)
64. Eat You Up - BoA (59)
65. Lovers In Japan - Coldplay (33)
66. Last Call - Lee Ann Womack (68)
67. Ooh Yeah - Moby (47)
68. Rock & Roll - Eric Hutchinson (72)
69. Diva - Beyonce (DEBUT)
70. Candle (Sick & Tired) - The White Tie Affair (84)
71. The Sweetest Love - Robin Thicke (60)
72. More Like Her - Miranda Lambert (62)
73. Thinking Of You - Katy Perry (80)
74. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life - Lula (76)
75. Untouched - The Veronicas (91)
76. So What - Pink (71)
77. Ride - Martina McBride (81)
78. Angels On The Moon - Thriving Ivory (83)
79. When It Hurts - Avant (79)
80. What About Now - Daughtry (78)
81. Promise You - Deep Step (86)
82. Soulmate - Natasha Bedingfield (DEBUT)
83. Lifeline - Papa Roach (DEBUT)
84. Don't Go Away - Buckcherry (98)
85. That's A Man - Jack Ingram (87)
86. How 'Bout You Don't - The Lost Trailers (90)
87. In A Song - Bobbyblue (89)
88. Everybody Rise - Muriel Fowler (88)
89. In The Night - Jimmy D. Robinson f/Ceevox (DEBUT)
90. I Run To You - Lady Antebellum (DEBUT)
91. It's America - Rodney Atkins (93)
92. Superlover - LaBelle (DEBUT)
93. Cool - Anthony Hamilton f/David Banner (94)
94. She's Country - Jason Aldean (97)
95. Every Word - Ercola (96)
96. Shuttin' Detroit Down - John Rich (100)
97. Never Enough - Crystal Waters (DEBUT)
98. So Close, So Far - Hoobastank (DEBUT)
99. Irgendwas Bliebt - Silbermond (DEBUT)
100. Marry For Money - Trace Adkins (DEBUT)

Ten new songs debut on my chart, and the highest sees Beyonce place her third concurrent single on the list, with the track "Diva"...

Next, British songstress Natasha Bedingfield. Her new single is actually a track on her original second album, N.B., which was reworked to be her latest Pocketful Of Sunshine here in the States. The fourth US single actually made the UK top-10 two years ago. Here's "Soulmate"...

Rock band Papa Roach is back with a new hard driving song - "Lifeline"..

Jimmy D. Robinson had a minor hit a couple of weeks ago with "A Tiny Shoe". This time he pairs with dance singer Ceevox for the pulsing "In The Night"...

Next is country vocal band Lady Antebellum with their third hit, and in my opinion their best yet, my pick "I Run To You"...

And for a reunion I'm excited about, Sarah Dash, Nona Hendryx, and Patti LaBelle have come back together to reform LaBelle, and their new single is the jumpin' "Superlover"...

Next, the woman who brought us "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" and "100% Pure Love" is back on the dance floor with "Never Enough"...

Rock band Hoobastank returns with "So Close, So Far"...

The all-in-French songs "Tatoue Moi" and "Si J'avais au moins..." drop off the list, and make room for my first all-German track, this time by the band Silbermond, with the great song "Irgendwas Bleibt", which means "Something Remains"...

and finally, we come back to hillbilly land as Trace Adkins proclaims he will "Marry For Money"...

Sleep well, SB. Loves ya.