Friday, June 24, 2005

How Low Can He Go?

We were right, part II. We were right about Shrub, his needless war, and most everything else:

Zogby. 6/20-22. MoE 3.2% (5/23-25 results)
Bush job ratings

Approve 44 (46)
Disapprove 56 (53)

American Research Group. 6/19-22. MoE 3% (May results)
Bush job ratings

Approve 42 (43)
Disapprove 53 (51)

Bush handling the economy
Approve 37 (37)
Disapprove 59 (57)

Harris Poll. 6/7-12. MoE 3% (4/5-10 results)
Do you favor keeping a large number of U.S. troops in Iraq until there is a stable government there OR bringing most of our troops home in the next year?
Wait for stable govt 33 (40)
Bring home in next year 63 (60)

Do you think the invasion of Iraq strengthened or weakened the war on terrorism?
Strengthened 43 (49)
Weakened 44 (47)

Gallup. 6/16-19. MoE 3% (3/18-20 results)
Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war with Iraq?
Favor 39 (47)
Oppose 59 (47)


Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. [...]

Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.

--Karl Rove

WARNING: Readers are advised to beware that any statement issued by Karl Rove, George Bush, Bill Frist, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Condoleeze Rice, and similarly situated chickenhawks quoted herein could very well be a lie, misrepresentation or "misstatement" Unless Round is Funny and all affiliated persons and entities makes no representations about the accuracy, veracity or truthfulness of statements from the above named individuals quoted herein.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bonnaroo Roundup - Part III

We stayed in the hotel Saturday night and, mercifully, got a good night of sleep and a long hot shower on Sunday morning. Very nice.

After returning to the campground, and parking the car near the RV (we were leaving early on Sunday, and having the car nearby helped that process), we ventured back to Centeroo for the final day. Wendi and I caught Amos Lee first. Amos had some good songs (he's opened for Dylan and some other big acts), but he didn't really fire me up, so I left early to catch the set by Dr. Dog. Dr. Dog played at the Other Tent, the smallest tent, and the crowd was sparse. I did get to meet Jim James of My Morning Jacket at the show, he was milling about in the regular crowd. I told him how much I enjoyed the Birmingham show on June 3rd, and he complimented me on my "Achiever" Lebowskifest t-shirt (My Morning Jacket played Lebowskifest '04). Dr. Dog's set was fun. Pictures here here and here. Another one here.

Following a few moments of panic (the details of which I won't go into here), we chilled out in the sprinkles and then headed over to the Which Stage for the finale of My Morning Jacket and Modest Mouse.

My Morning Jacket put on a great show. Pictures here.


Off The Record, The Way That He Sings, 0 Is The One, One Big Holiday, Golden, Just One Thing, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You+, Lay Low, Heartbreakin' Man, Don Dante, Run Thru, Bermuda Highway, I Will Sing You Songs, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man^,Mahgeeta

Highlights for me were the new tune "Off the Record," "I Will Sing You Songs" and the Prince cover.

Modest Mouse was excellent, as well, but we didn't get any pictures (was just tired of taking pictures).

We then walked around Centeroo some more, caught a few songs of Earl Scruggs and Friends (including "The Ballad of Jed Clampett") and then back to the campground and then hit the road.

A fantastic Roo, the best ever!

A fairly complete list of all available recordings of Roo shows can be found here.

Ryan Adams - "Wharf Rat"

"Wharf Rat" is my all time favorite Grateful Dead song. Give me 3 hours and I'll tell you in excruciating detail exactly WHY it's my favorite Grateful Dead song. Heavy, pretty, always thrusting forward with power and drive, with that beautiful hopeful bridge and the final two verses with both resignation and hope.

No one has ever done it as well as Jerry, until now. Ryan Adams and his band performs the song brilliantly, sings it brilliantly and treats it with the sort of respect I think it deserves. Phil Lesh sits in on this version here, recorded just five days ago. It's an audience recording, but the sound is nice. Pay attention to how the song STARTS, the slow driving buildup, just sensational. That's probably in large part due to Phil's driving bass.

Ryan gets the song, a remarkable version of the song. Go and listen.

Wharf Rat (Garcia/Hunter)

Old man down, way down down, down by the docks of the city.
Blind and dirty, asked me for a dime, a dime for a cup of coffee.
I got no dime but I got some time to hear his story.

My name is August West, and I love my Pearly Baker best more than my wine.
More than my wine - more than my maker, though he's no friend of mine.
Everyone said, I'd come to no good, I knew I would Pearly, believe them.

Half of my life, I spent doin' time for some other fucker's crime,
The other half found me stumbling 'round drunk on Burgundy wine.
But I'll get back on my feet again someday,
The good Lord willin', if He says I may.
I know that the life i'm livin's no good,
I'll get a new start, live the life I should.
I'll get up and fly away, I'll get up and fly away, fly away.

Pearly's been true, true to me, true to my dyin' day he said,
I said to him, I said to him, "I'm sure she's been."
I said to him, "I'm sure she's been true to you."

Got up and wandered, wandered downtown, nowhere to go but just hang around.
I've got a girl, named Bonnie Lee, I know that girl's been true to me.
I know she's been, I'm sure she's been true to me.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Hats off to former Sen. John Danforth (R)

His piece in today's NYT is just terrific. I wish there were more like him left in Congress.


Many conservative Christians approach politics with a certainty that they know God's truth, and that they can advance the kingdom of God through governmental action. So they have developed a political agenda that they believe advances God's kingdom, one that includes efforts to "put God back" into the public square and to pass a constitutional amendment intended to protect marriage from the perceived threat of homosexuality.

Moderate Christians are less certain about when and how our beliefs can be translated into statutory form, not because of a lack of faith in God but because of a healthy acknowledgement of the limitations of human beings. Like conservative Christians, we attend church, read the Bible and say our prayers.

But for us, the only absolute standard of behavior is the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. Repeatedly in the Gospels, we find that the Love Commandment takes precedence when it conflicts with laws. We struggle to follow that commandment as we face the realities of everyday living, and we do not agree that our responsibility to live as Christians can be codified by legislators.

When, on television, we see a person in a persistent vegetative state, one who will never recover, we believe that allowing the natural and merciful end to her ordeal is more loving than imposing government power to keep her hooked up to a feeding tube.

When we see an opportunity to save our neighbors' lives through stem cell research, we believe that it is our duty to pursue that research, and to oppose legislation that would impede us from doing so.

We think that efforts to haul references of God into the public square, into schools and courthouses, are far more apt to divide Americans than to advance faith.

We were right

We said that there wasn't justification to invade Iraq and murder its citizens, and we were right.

We said we wouldn't be greeted as liberators and would be involved in an interminable civil war, and we were right.

So, where's the credit, where's the due? Finally most people are coming around to what we knew all along, that President Bush misled a country into a needless invasion of a bad country (but one that posed no threat to the United States) and botched it all along the way.

CBS News/NYT. 6/10-15. MoE 3%. (May results)

Bush approval
Approve 42 (46)
Disapprove 51 (48)

Action in Iraq
Right Thing 45 (47)
Should have Stayed out 51 (49)

Approve 52 (58)
Disapprove 40

Approve 39 (38)
Disapprove 56

Foreign Policy
Approve 39 (40)
Disapprove 51

Approve 37 (38)
Disapprove 59

Social Security
Approve 26 (26)
Disapprove 62 (62)

Bush shares your priorities for the country?
Yes 35 (34)
No 61 (61)

Question: So why do Democrats and the press treat the president if he's unassailable and wildly popular. He's not. He's not even close. Now is the time for Democrats to start attacking on all these points, and hard, so maybe, just maybe, we can start to win back Congress.

Bush won reelection, but just barely, but he governs (and is treated by press and opposition) as if he won in a landslide. He might be likable, but the public is clearly rejecting most, if not all, of his policies.

Bonnaroo clip of Gourds doing "Gin and Juice"

can be found here. Caution: it's sort of long (1:38) but it's pretty cool and gives you an idea of a little of what it's like at the Roo.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Some good news

Score one for good ole common sense and privacy rights:

From The Guardian:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Advocates of rewriting the USA Patriot Act are claiming momentum after the House, despite a White House veto threat, voted to restrict investigators from using the anti-terrorism law to peek at library records and bookstore sales slips.

Wednesday's 238-187 vote came as lawmakers ramped up efforts to extend the Patriot Act, which was passed quickly in the emotional aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. When Congress passed the law, it included a sunset provision under which 15 of the its provisions are to expire at the end of this year.

Bill Frist: Doctor, Senator, Fibber?

See here.

Majority Leader Bill Frist this morning on the Today Show:
LAUER: But when you stood on the floor and you said, She does respond, are you at all worried that you led some senators…
FRIST: I never said, She responded. I said I reviewed the court videotapes – the same ones the other doctors reviewed – and I questioned, Is her diagnosis correct?

Frist on Senate Floor, 3/17/05:
I have looked at the video footage. Based on the footage provided to me, which was part of the facts of the case, she does respond.

More from Frist, 3/17/05:
She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli…

I guess it depends on what your definition of "is" is.


Children, gather 'round:

From an FBI report:

"On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor."

President Bush, October 8, 2003:

"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."

President Bush, January 12, 2004:

"One thing is for certain: There won't be any more mass graves and torture rooms and rape rooms."

Scott McClellan, December 10, 2003:

"There was an announcement by the Iraqi Governing Council earlier this week about the tribunal that they have set up to hold accountable members of the former regime who were responsible for three decades of brutality and atrocities. ... We know about the mass graves and the rape rooms and the torture chambers of Saddam Hussein's regime. ... We welcome their decision to move forward on a tribunal to hold people accountable for those atrocities."

Steve Soto has it just about spot on-->

If you consider torture legal and acceptable (even if innocent people are tortured), then Dear Leader's main post-hoc justification of the Iraq invasion it itself illegal, because Saddam Hussein would have been doing something that was legal (in your eyes - for he was only torturing "his enemies"). So, if you have a problem with torture being highlighted and publicized, then maybe it's time for you to become Saddam Hussein's lawyer. That is a more appropriate role for those who seek to condone, ignore, minimize or support torture.


Bonnaroo Roundup - part II

Saturday saw us take it a bit more easily. Widespread Panic was playing Saturday night, and since we had no interest in hearing them (aside from "Doreatha", which we heard while walking around Centeroo), so that meant a few hours off to relax, unwind and regroup.

The first act we saw was M. Ward. We enjoyed his set very much. His albums are sleepy, JJ Cale/Nick Drake-ish, but his live set was a little more, well, lively. I got some great pictures here, here, and here. The highlight of the set was when Jim James of My Morning Jacket came out and did a song with M. Ward. Pictures of that here, here, here, here, and here. Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley also played a couple of songs with M. Ward. Pictures of that here and here.

Some pictures of the grounds on Saturday here and here.

After M. Ward, we chilled out, relaxed and listened to the bluegrass/jamgrass sounds of the Yonder Mountain String Band. As usual, they delivered a fun set, including a cover of the Beatles "Dear Prudence." As we were chillin', no pictures were taken.

Following that, we played some in the arcade, ate a bit, then staked out a spot for Iron & Wine. We were in front of the soundboard (my favorite spot, as you can tell), so the picture did not turn out very well, but the show was spectacular, the surprise (for me) of Bonnaroo. They mixed it up and really kept the set moving, mixing in ballads, groovy numbers, and rockers. We were quite impressed. The encore, the quiet, 9 minute long "The Trapeze Swinger" was sensational. Chill bump city. The crowd was appropriately quiet during the softer numbers and the experience was just fantastic. I cannot recommend Iron & Wine enough.

Following a little rest at the RV and some food, we headed out for the late night. We tried to find Jim Lauderdale, but, due to a misprint in the Bonnaroo Beacon (and my failure to 2x check the venue with my program -- a rookie mistake), we missed his set. I'm sure he put on a great show, but, alas, we missed it.

So, we then caught most of the late-night set by the trippy, Pink Floyd-like Secret Machines. They were good, but (aside from Amos Lee) my least favorite act of the festival. Picture here. They did a fair rendition of Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" (a surprising cover selection given how tripped out and synthesized they sounded).

After that, we called it a night and, mercifully, got to stay in the hotel room where we enjoyed Krystals, clean sheets and a shower the next morning to prepare for the final day.

More to come.....

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bonnaroo Roundup - Friday!

Bonnaroo 2005 was the best ever. Like the last two years, Bonnaroo had a diverse lineup, with everything from bluegrass (Earl Scruggs) to psychedelic rock (The Mars Volta, Secret Machines) to reggae (Peter Rowan and Crucial Reggae). A schedule of acts is here.

We drove all night Wednesday night and arrived on Thursday, around 9 in the morning and were at our campsite in less than two hours. Two years ago the wait to get in was six hours so it's nice to see that the organizers continue to improve the logistics of handling 80k+ plus people arriving in a town of 10,000.

On Thursday, we played in the arcade (Defender! Phoenix! Asteroids! Tempest!) and basically just chilled out. Caught a little of Trent Dabbs' set in a cafe stage but stayed away from the bigger tents because a) I drove all night and was just exhausted b) no one was compelling enough to see to endure the over-enthusiastic first night crowd and c) Dave Matthews Band was Friday night and we knew we needed all our energy to survive the full day.

On Friday we eased into the day with Ollabelle. They were a good choice. They do covers of traditional and gospel numbers. Some pictures here and here. Next were The Gourds. They put on a great show. Throughout their set we heard people screaming "Gin and Juice," their signature cover of the Snoop Dogg song. After about 40 minutes, one of the band members said "Don't worry, you'll get it." They closed the set out with a rollicking, crowd-pleasing "Gin and Juice" (you can see Snoop himself diggin on their version here) with refrains from AC/DC's "If You Want Blood" and Waylon Jennings' "Just Good Ole Boys" thrown in the bridge for good measure. A picture I took at the show here.

After resting a bit, it was on to see John Prine in This Tent. His set was excellent. He was clearly excited by the enthusiastic, loud crowd. He closed his set with a superb and rollicking "Lake Marie". Some pictures here and here (My spot wasn't that great view-wise, but the sound was impeccable.)

Then we headed over to the Main Stage (The What Stage) to get a spot for the Dave Matthews Band. We sat through a fairly typical, uninspired, yet still entertaining set by the Allman Brothers Band. They miss Dickey Betts something fierce.

It rained a bit, and it was intensely crowded in front of the soundboard, but Dave's set made it worthwhile. The band was absolutely on fire. Some pictures here. I also took some pictures when Robert Randolph came out to play slide guitar on "Louisiana Bayou" and "All Along the Watchtower". Here is one and here is another. I like this one, which is a picture of the big screen during the same time frame. You can see the setlist here. The highlights for me were "Bartender," "You Might Die Trying," and "Two Step." Just a fantastic set.

After his set we were so exhausted we just mosied back to the campsite to rest up. Sat/Sun roundup to come......