Saturday, November 24, 2012

"...And The Republicans Insist On Calling It The Grand Old Canyon..."

Politics, as oft observed, is about perception.

Because perception is reality.

The perception of that reality, though, can be easily altered with spin.

Spin, in the political sense, is like a universal remote control.

It can be configured to be usable, and useful, in any and all occasions.

The end of the logic trail and evidence of assorted assertions to follow momentarily.

(YahooNews) While camping in the Grand Canyon with her boyfriend earlier this month, Samantha Busch, 22, decided to pull a prank on her overprotective mom, Rebecca.

Busch texted a photo of herself looking like she was falling off a cliff, when in reality, she was perfectly safe standing on a ledge below.

"For five days up to when we left, my mom had warned me about falling off the cliff or being blown off," Busch told "So when we were hiking around the corner, I found a good spot where I could stand on the ledge. He angled the camera just right and he took a great picture."

Her mom and all her co-workers, however, were not amused.

"I messaged it to her first and she works for a medical auditing company and there are women who have known me since day one, and they freaked out over it also. I emailed it to them, too, and they were all freaking out over it saying I gave them a heart attack," Busch said.

To take the prank one step further, Busch, of Westmont, Ill., turned off the GPS locator on her phone so her mom could not track her.

"I work for her, so constantly every single day we communicate over work stuff," Busch explained. "So for the whole week I decided not to let her know where I'm at. I had to give her some practice to not know where I am every day."

She posted the photo to Reddit with the caption, "Mom was worried about my trip to the Grand Canyon, I sent her this picture," and it instantly went viral.

Luckily, Busch's mom has forgiven her.

"She's fine. She wasn't even angry. She was just relieved upset," Busch said.

When asked if she had more pranks on the way, she replied, "There's no end to my pranking."

As to the earlier supposition about the the simplicity of spin application?

Allow me.

Upon release of this photograph...

ABC interviewed the mother and daughter and spun the story into a humorous segment illustrating the mischievous, if slightly twisted, relationship between parent and offspring.

PETA announced that this unfortunate incident could have been avoided if only Grand Canyon officials would install the pet guardrails they insist will save doggie lives.

Ann Coulter released a statement accusing the girl of being a retard for actually hanging on to the rocks instead of simply Photoshopping it while waiting for her Amazon order of Coulter's new book to be confirmed.

Rachel Maddow told her nightly MSNBC audience that this episode marked a new advance in the lesbian movement, given that this is apparently the first time a woman has pulled the kind of doofus stunt you most often expect will be pulled by a drunken male.

Wolf Blitzer interrupted the regular broadcast of The Situation Room with a breaking news segment of The Situation Room and brought "the best political team on television" on live to discuss what effect this prank would have on Hillary's chances in 2016.

Mitt Romney announced that forty seven percent of people seeing the picture assumed it was real because they were too lazy to read the story accompanying it.

Donald Trump issued a statement saying he had documented proof that the Grand Canyon was, in fact, not in Arizona, but in Kenya.

And Fox News pre-empted Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the whole Fox News gang to devote an entire evening to, in their words, proof positive of the impending collapse of the American economy in the form of irrefutable photographic evidence of the first victim hanging on, for dear life, to the edge of the fiscal cliff.


Makes you just a little dizzy reading all that, doesn't it?

That's why they call it spin.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"...Well, What Ya Got Here Is A Cassette Deck That Yer Tryin' To Play Yer BlueRay In...."

The outcome of the 2012 presidential election is good news.

But not for, depending on the color of your particular political stripe, the conclusion to which you might be immediately tempted to jump.

More in a moment.

(YahooNews)(NOTE: BOLD lettering added by original author of the news piece)

Losing is never a great way to increase your popularity. But to an unusually vocal degree, Republicans are going out of their way to show Romney the door.

A week and a half ago, Mitt Romney was the king of the Republican Party, drawing big, genuinely enthusiastic crowds to his presidential rallies and basking in glowing press from the conservative media. Now, after a landslide loss and post-election comments blaming his crushing defeat on "gifts" President Obama had doled out to young and minority voters, "Republicans are essentially coming together in a collective 'go away, Mitt,'" say Benjy Sarlin and Evan McMorris-Santoro at Talking Points Memo. "For conservatives and Republicans trying to make the GOP friendlier to those groups, Romney's comments have not been well-received. To say the least."
Romney is still in shock over his loss, and wants to keep on "rehashing why he didn't win" — blaming the voters, not his campaign — while Republicans are clearly trying to "move on as quickly as possible from an election that badly exposed their weaknesses," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. And since Romney embodies just about everything his party is trying to ditch — namely, "the stereotype that it is of, by, and for white, affluent men " — you can't blame the GOP for telling its failed nominee: "Thanks for playing. Now go away." The problem for Republicans is that "Romney has no motivation to toe the party line now," and no incentive to shut up.

But it doesn't really matter what Romney says now, says Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast. His losing campaign already irreparably — and unforgivably — damaged one of the GOP's sacred cows: Trickle-down economics.

Yes, Romney "killed Reaganomics." Voters had a stark choice between Obama's pledge to raise taxes on the rich while keeping middle-class taxes the same and Romney's central promise to cut everyone's taxes by a fat 20 percent.

There was a time when a promise of a 20-percent tax cut would have ended the whole conversation in Romney's favor. But all it accomplished this time was to raise questions — legitimate and never answered — about how he was going to pay for it. Romney had nothing to say to the middle class beyond cutting taxes and watching the magic happen. But voters have stopped believing in that magic. Some conservatives understand this. But it's literally three or four people right now.... The rest of the Republican Party is still in fantasy land.
Hey, let's give Romney some credit here, says Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. He's already managed to do something that's eluded Obama for four years: "Uniting the country across party lines." Of course, what's uniting everyone's is the belief that "he's someone who should leave as soon as possible and not say anything publicly again." But even there, Romney's hardly the first losing candidate to be thrown down the memory hole by his own party. Michael Dukakis? Bob Dole, anyone? The part of this that's amusingly unique to Romney is that a candidate who "was never more than a tolerated transplant among professional conservatives" is being drummed off the national stage by the GOP "precisely because he's continuing to make the kind of makers-and-takers type statements you might hear on a particularly feral and untethered right-wing blog."

First, I'm not entirely sure that the outcome constitutes the "landslide" that the author labels it in the second graph, so, I'm swallowing the whole of what he/she has to say with the obligatory grain of salt.

That said, though, I think there are a couple of key observations made that relate to my own opening assertion that the results of the election constitute good news.

Primarily that "......Republicans are clearly trying to "move on as quickly as possible from an election that badly exposed their weaknesses," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. And since Romney embodies just about everything his party is trying to ditch — namely, "the stereotype that it is of, by, and for white, affluent men..... "

When it comes to a preferred position, I would, if pressed, freely admit that, as a rule, I tend to find my feet on the liberal side of the line betwen liberal and conservative.

Although, I would always feel compelled to add to any admittance the assertion that I've never really been much for the whole "one side or the other" way of doing business, believing that life's issues are far too complex for them to boil down to a strictly "either/or" choice.

Unless, of course, a particular issue clearly belongs in the common sense folder in which case common sense would prevail.

Notwithstanding the amusing human paradox that common sense often seems neither common nor sensical.

But, I digress. And meander a bit.

The good news that comes from this election is that while the change that many were wanting will, obviously, not occur, change, in another form, will, in fact.


That being that the old, traditional, once tried and true, but now no longer viable, practical or, more fundamentally, relevant way the Republican Party did business will evolve into a more viable, practical and relevant alternative recipe to whatever the Democrats are cooking up at any given time.

Spirited, passionate, even emotional, but, at its core, loyal opposition is a bedrock upon which this country was founded and has continued to survive/flourish through two plus centuries of its existence.

And all of the rambling rhetoric in the world (present dissertation included) can't alter the fact that our progress as a country and civilization always hinge on a couple of very simple premises.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If it is broke, fix it.


Out with the old. In with the new.

A lot of people would have preferred seeing that last one defined as a change in the hands opening the "OCCUPANT" mail at 1600 Pennsylvania come January.

And they are, for the moment, feeling like they were robbed of the change they expected.

Not yet realizing that what they got, instead, was the change that they needed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"...I Won't Be Greedy By Asking For The Ann Coulter Muzzle..."

Whatever our differences might be, we all, as Americans, share one particular challenge each and every holiday season.
Finding the perfect gift for that special someone, or someones, in our life.
At this point, this year, I think I have the what to give to who pretty much laid out, if not already done and did.
Of course, I've been around enough years now to realize when it's time to start thinking about Christmas and planning accordingly.
I just keep eyes and ears peeled as to when my friendly, neighborhood retail stores start decking the halls, and aisles, and know that its time to start fa la la la looking.
Usually sometime in late July.
This year, though, I was stumped as what I might offer up in glad tidings to my favorite little Fox News gnome.
Then, as our friends and/or loved ones so often do, he, himself, provided me all the inspiration I needed. 
Conservative political strategist Karl Rove has used a provocative phrase to explain how Mitt Romney lost the presidential election Tuesday, saying President Obama won reelection “by suppressing the vote.”
Really? Few others make that assertion about the Obama victory.

And normally, the words voter suppression refer to efforts by the politically powerful to make it harder for people – especially people who might oppose the politically powerful at the polls – to cast ballots. The online reference Wikipedia defines it as tactics that "can range from minor ‘dirty tricks’ that make voting inconvenient, up to blatantly illegal activities that physically intimidate prospective voters to prevent them from casting ballots.”
Mr. Rove, a force behind big-money ad campaigns aligned with Republican candidates, appeared to redefine the term.

Appearing on Fox News Thursday, Rove implied that Obama’s suppression strategy was to make Romney unlikeable, so that the Republican’s potential supporters wouldn’t show up to vote for him.

“He succeeded by suppressing the vote, by saying to people, 'you may not like who I am, and I know you can’t bring yourself to vote for me, but I’m going to paint this other guy as simply a rich guy who only cares about himself,' ” Rove said.

By his definition of suppression, it sounds just like traditional “opposition research” and negative advertising. Does Rove (himself a purveyor of negative ads in his work for George W. Bush and now at the Crossroads GPS group) have some different point to make, or is this just sour grapes over the election outcome?

Fox News host Megyn Kelly responded to Rove. “But I mean [Obama] won, Karl, he won.”

Before she interjected, Rove had also said this: Obama has become “the first president in history to win a second term with a smaller percentage of the vote” than four years before.

Twas the month before Christmas / and bless all my stars /
I know just what gift / I should get Karl R.

A one of a kind, personally printed and published dictionary.

With the clear and concise definitions of only a few, very special words and/or terms.

Cry baby.

Sore loser.

Candy ass.

Whiny puss. (Although that one's similarity to cry baby might result in its being edited out of the final version).

And, last, but not least, the one word I'm pretty sure would suffice if the cost of this very special custom made volume should necessitate cutting back.


Excited as you can imagine I am about this idea, I've already fired off my letter to the North Pole.

Dear Santa,

Please bring my favorite Fox News gnome, Karl Rove, a one of a kind, personally printed and published dictionary with the clear and concise defintions of only a few, very special words and or terms, which I have included here.

Oh, and Santa, if you think I've been a good enough little boy this year to add a little sweetening to the nog, I'd be delighted if you could have Karl take the place of Grandma this year when it comes to that getting run over by a reindeer thing.

Thank safe and say hello to Rudolph and the posse...

P.S.      Cookies by the tree will be double stuff this year if you can pull all of this off.

Two feelings like no other each and every year about this time.

The joy of knowing the joy of the season.

And the joy of knowing all my shopping is done.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"....Might As Well Starting Calling The G.O.P The VHS If This Is What They're Going To Bring To The Marketplace..."

Every pundit from Memphis to St. Joe, not to mention Boulder to Birmingham, is ready, as always, to offer up their post game observations as to why Mitt Romney isn't out having his business card changed to "President-Elect Of The Unted States."

The observations, and the complex details of same, will likely be with us, at least, until well after we've all said a prayer thanking God that Santa has come and gone lest we have to endure one more retelling of the tragic story of the day Grandma and that reindeer crossed paths.

I love a complicated, verbose discussion and/or debate as much, or more, than the next guy.

But, much like Johnny Nash, when it comes to 2012, I can see clearly.

It really all comes down to eight track tape players.

While the Democratic Party gets stereotyped as the party of change, the party that likes to zig when zag is in fashion, and vice versa, the party that likes to bring the party, I think the Republican Party capable of bringing some game to the game.

From the history books, one need only look up 1964 and that zany madcap Barry Goldwater, hell bent on not only straightening out the country, but straightening out anybody else who needed straightening out.

Think Chris Christie, less a hundred pounds or so, and add Buddy Holly glasses.

And, with no intention to help promote Steven Speilberg's box office receipts, let's not forget that other fairly well known Grand Old Partier.

Abraham Lincoln.

Make no mistake.

There has, historically, been a lot more to the G.O.P. then just fat cats making other fat cats fatter while riding around on the backs of the middle class.

There is some genuine 21st Century talent in the Republican Party.

And one of these days, as all things that are meant to happen one of these days happen, the party of Barry G. and Honest A is going to come out of its desert wanderings and find itself in the 21st Century.

Not this time, though.

Because this time, in their mission to make it necessary for Barack Obama to give United Van Lines a call, instead of offering up a shake, rattle and roll shake rattle and roller like, say, a Chris Christie...or a Bobby Jindal....or, hell, even spunky little Paul Ryan, the Republican Party reached into the file drawer labeled "serious, but, hip, contemporary and relevant alternatives to Obama" and pulled out....

...a wealthy, late middle aged, white guy who would have probably been a dead lock shoe in to take possession of 1600 Pennsylvania..., say, 1956.

Until the Republican Party realizes that it's almost 2013...and not 1953, they are going, from here on out, to be as "shellshocked" as Mitt Romney has been reported to be about the outcome of any election where they figure they have the American voting public figured out.

Here's politics in plain English..

We live in an Mp3 world.

And, judging from the outcome this past Tuesday,  we're no longer interested in buying eight track tape players.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"...No One Cares That You're The Finest Steak In Town....If The Majority Is In The Mood For Sushi..."

Predictions of victory have now, as is traditional, been replaced with Monday morning quarterbacking.
And anyone who thinks they have a specific lock on why Obama was the winner of this election, or Romney the loser depending on your glass half whatever preference, is simply showing off.
A presidential election is monumentally too complex to boil down to one ingredient.
Upon reading the following piece online today, though, a piece written by Republican journalists and supporters, one key section struck a chord.
And afforded me not necessarily a key reason for Romney's loss, but, at the very least, a tactical error on the part of his campaign that certainly damaged it.
Romney lost embarrassingly among young people, African-Americans and Hispanics, a brutal reminder for Republicans that their party is ideologically out of tune with fast-growing segments of the population.
Obama crushed Romney among Hispanic voters by a whopping 44 points, a margin of victory that likely propelled the president to victories in Nevada, Colorado and possibly Florida.
The stunning defeat alarmed Republicans who fear extinction unless the party can figure out how to temper the kind of hardline immigration rhetoric that Romney delivered during his Republican primary bid.
"Latinos were disillusioned with Barack Obama, but they are absolutely terrified by the idea of Mitt Romney," said GOP fundraiser Ana Navarro, a confidante to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio.
In 1999, after a fairly lengthy hiatus during which I worked in songwriting, publishing and producing in Nashville, I returned to broadcast radio.
Since 1999, I have worked as a broadcast personality/producer in five different states, have produced and hosted radio programs in four different musical formats, have hosted radio programs in three different parts of the broadcast day (they're called "dayparts" in the biz, but, basically, it's "morning show", "mid-days" and "afternoon drive time") and in each state, each format and each day part, my radio program has been rated the number one show in its time slot in its market.
I'm not offering that information as an attempt to self congratulate.
Rather, it is to prove a point I think the Romney campaign might, in that distasteful, but inevitable, hindsight, have been well served to consider.
Although my personality, sense of humor, sense of theatrics, personal style, etc, etc remain, obviously, pretty much a constant, the one thing that I believe allows me to take my work to the head of the pack is an understanding that while I gotta be me, there is something equally, if not more, important that I must achieve in order to "win out" over my competitors, to get people to "choose" me, as opposed to others.
A "rule of thumb", as it were, when it comes to capturing the ears, and hopefully, hearts of others.
You gotta know your audience.
Because I work in radio, you can't "see" the research, preparation, production, analyzing, tweaking, re-tweaking, et al that goes on behind the scenes of my shows, but, please take my word for it, it is an ongoing work in progress. I try very hard to "listen" to what works for people, what resonates with people, what attracts people.
And then I fashion my show, the best way I know how, so as to attract the largest numbers of listeners.
Cynics who see where this metaphor is going might argue that politicians don't have the luxury of "tailoring" their show to the voters. Doing that, in the extreme, is nothing more than pandering.
Fair point.
But beside it.
I don't pander to my audience. I don't, for example, use very off color humor with one format's audience while refraining from using it with another.
I don't use it. Period.
Primarily because I personally think that approach is the lazy way out.
If you can't be witty, then just talk about the titty.
Not my style.
But I do make every effort to try and "listen" to the audience, hear what they like, hear what they enjoy, hear what they might find entertaining and informative.
It's been a lot of work and a lot of trial and error.
But I must have locked on to the formula.
Because my audiences tend to be appreciative, loyal and constant.
Mitt Romney made, if no other, at least one serious tactical error in his bid to become President.
He presented himself to the American public, all of it, as a specific and certain kind of performer.
And, in so many words, sent the message "this is who I me and listen to me....or don't."
In fairness, a lot of people did love him.
And listened.
Just not quite as many as loved and listened to the other guy.
I really do understand, and relate to, Mitt Romney's need to be Mitt Romney.
Cause Mitt gotta be Mitt.
I totally get it.
I gotta be me.
But you gotta know your audience.