Daily Archives: November 17, 2009

Tuesday Night Music Byte

Supertramp were a British progressive rock band that released a series of top-selling albums in the 1970s and early 1980s.Their early music included ambitious concept albums, from which were drawn a number of hits including “Goodbye Stranger”, “Bloody Well Right”, “The Logical Song”, “Breakfast in America”, “Dreamer”, “Give a Little Bit”, “It’s Raining Again”, and “Take the Long Way Home”. Supertramp attained superstardom in the United States, Canada, most of Europe, Australia and Brazil, although they were not quite as popular in their home country, the UK. Nonetheless, the album Breakfast in America was a big hit there, reaching number three on the UK charts and featuring two top 10 singles.

Crime of the Century, released in September 1974, began the group’s run of critical and commercial successes, hitting number four in Britain, supported by the iconic countercultural opening track “School”, and the top-10 single “Dreamer”. Its B-side “Bloody Well Right” hit the US Top 40 in May 1975, peaking at #35. Siebenberg would later comment that he thought the band hit its artistic peak on this, their third album, though their greatest commercial success would come later.

The band continued with Crisis? What Crisis? released in November 1975. It achieved good though not overwhelming commercial success. The following album, Even in the Quietest Moments, released in April 1977 spawned their hit single “Give a Little Bit” (#15 U.S.), and the FM radio staple Fool’s Overture. During this period, the band eventually relocated to the United States and moved steadily from the progressive styles of their early albums towards a more song-oriented pop sound.

This trend reached its zenith on their most popular album, Breakfast in America in March 1979, which reached Number 3 in the UK and Number 1 in the United States and spawned four successful singles, “The Logical Song” (#6 U.S.), “Take the Long Way Home” (#10 U.S.), “Goodbye Stranger” (#15 U.S.), and “Breakfast in America”. The album has since sold over 18 million copies worldwide.

The run of successes was capped with 1980s Paris, a 2-LP live album, in which the band stated its goal of improving on the studio versions of their songs. Instead of focusing on songs from the hugely successful Breakfast in America, it included nearly every song from Crime of the Century, another testament to the importance of that album in the group’s development. Initially, it was supposed to be a show recorded in Quebec City, Canada, but A&M vetoed the idea for a “more mainstream city”. Also in 1980, the song “Dreamer” was finally released as a single in the U.S., where it reached #15.

Tonight’s music byte is Supertramp playing Bloody Well Right in 1977. Please enjoy.


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Sarah Palin Faces The Truth Squad

Great comic from the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Sarah Palin’s ghostwritten memoir  officially crawls out from its dark, moldy underground tunnel and presents itself to the masses today. The work of fiction however, has already been released in advance to certain members of the media and from there its contents have leaked almost everywhere. What have we learned thus far? Well, it appears that most objective reviewers and many of those folks written about in the book believe it to be filled with much more fiction than fact.

For instance, John McCain’s former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt has labeled the book, “total fiction.” Another McCain campaign aide said, “The book fully reveals her. Dishonest, small and petty.” Ouch!!! That same aide told Politics Daily,

“It’s like, ‘What’s she so angry about?’ She was picked to be vice president of the United States. She had an exceptional opportunity. Everything is someone else’s fault. There’s no accountability. It’s mean-spirited. But if you look at the record, it is what it is.”

The Associated Press has gone so far as to publish a researched fact check of claims made by the former ex-quitting governor of Alaska and it is not flattering. Here are some excerpts,

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PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking “only” for reasonably priced rooms and not “often” going for the “high-end, robe-and-slippers” hotels.

THE FACTS: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard) overlooking New York City’s Central Park for a five-hour women’s leadership conference in October 2007. With air fare, the cost to Alaska was well over $3,000. Event organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. The governor billed her state more than $20,000 for her children’s travel, including to events where they had not been invited, and in some cases later amended expense reports to specify that they had been on official business.

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PALIN: Boasts that she ran her campaign for governor on small donations, mostly from first-time givers, and turned back large checks from big donors if her campaign perceived a conflict of interest.

THE FACTS: Of the roughly $1.3 million she raised for her primary and general election campaigns for governor, more than half came from people and political action committees giving at least $500, according to an AP analysis of her campaign finance reports. The maximum that individual donors could give was $1,000; $2,000 for a PAC.

Of the rest, about $76,000 came from Republican Party committees.

She accepted $1,000 each from a state senator and his wife in the weeks after the two Republican lawmakers’ offices were raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into a powerful Alaska oilfield services company. After AP reported those donations during the presidential campaign, she said she would give a comparative sum to charity after the general election in 2010, a date set by state election laws.

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PALIN: Rails against taxpayer-financed bailouts, which she attributes to Obama. She recounts telling daughter Bristol that to succeed in business, “you’ll have to be brave enough to fail.”

THE FACTS: Palin is blurring the lines between Obama’s stimulus plan — a $787 billion package of tax cuts, state aid, social programs and government contracts — and the federal bailout that Republican presidential candidate John McCain voted for and President George W. Bush signed.

Palin’s views on bailouts appeared to evolve as McCain’s vice presidential running mate. In September 2008, she said “taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution, to the problems on Wall Street.” A week later, she said “ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy.”

During the vice presidential debate in October, Palin praised McCain for being “instrumental in bringing folks together” to pass the $700 billion bailout. After that, she said “it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in.”

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PALIN: Says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession than the one that appears to be ending now, and “showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all.”

THE FACTS: The estate tax, which some call the death tax, was not repealed under Reagan and capital gains taxes are lower now than when Reagan was president.

Economists overwhelmingly say the current recession is far worse. The recession Reagan faced lasted for 16 months; this one is in its 23rd month. The recession of the early 1980s did not have a financial meltdown. Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent, worse than the October 2009 high of 10.2 percent, but the jobless rate is still expected to climb.

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PALIN: Criticizes an aide to her predecessor, Gov. Frank Murkowski, for a conflict of interest because the aide represented the state in negotiations over a gas pipeline and then left to work as a handsomely paid lobbyist for ExxonMobil. Palin asserts her administration ended all such arrangements, shoving a wedge in the revolving door between special interests and the state capital.

THE FACTS: Palin ignores her own “revolving door” issue in office; the leader of her own pipeline team was a former lobbyist for a subsidiary of TransCanada, the company that ended up winning the rights to build the pipeline.

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PALIN: Writes about a city councilman in Wasilla, Alaska, who owned a garbage truck company and tried to push through an ordinance requiring residents of new subdivisions to pay for trash removal instead of taking it to the dump for free — this to illustrate conflicts of interest she stood against as a public servant.

THE FACTS: As Wasilla mayor, Palin pressed for a special zoning exception so she could sell her family’s $327,000 house, then did not keep a promise to remove a potential fire hazard on the property.

She asked the city council to loosen rules for snow machine races when she and her husband owned a snow machine store, and cast a tie-breaking vote to exempt taxes on aircraft when her father-in-law owned one. But she stepped away from the table in 1997 when the council considered a grant for the Iron Dog snow machine race in which her husband competes.

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PALIN: Welcomes last year’s Supreme Court decision deciding punitive damages for victims of the nation’s largest oil spill tragedy, the Exxon Valdez disaster, stating it had taken 20 years to achieve victory. As governor, she says, she’d had the state argue in favor of the victims, and she says the court’s ruling went “in favor of the people.” Finally, she writes, Alaskans could recover some of their losses.

THE FACTS: That response is at odds with her reaction at the time to the ruling, which resolved the long-running case by reducing punitive damages for victims to $500 million from $2.5 billion. Environmentalists and plaintiffs’ lawyers decried the ruling as a slap at the victims and Palin herself said she was “extremely disappointed.” She said the justices had gutted a jury decision favoring higher damage awards, the Anchorage Daily News reported. “It’s tragic that so many Alaska fishermen and their families have had their lives put on hold waiting for this decision,” she said, noting many had died “while waiting for justice.”

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PALIN: Describing her resistance to federal stimulus money, Palin describes Alaska as a practical, libertarian haven of independent Americans who don’t want “help” from government busybodies.

THE FACTS: Alaska is also one of the states most dependent on federal subsidies, receiving much more assistance from Washington than it pays in federal taxes. A study for the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that in 2005, the state received $1.84 for every dollar it sent to Washington.

Perhaps the most biting comment of all however, was made by David Brooks on ABC‘s This Morning last Sunday. He was asked what he thought of Palin’s soon to be released book and he said, “She’s a joke. I just can’t take her seriously.” He then went on to say, “The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters are just not going to elect a talk show host.”

If the book is receiving this kind of negative criticism before its official release, how will it possibly hold up under widespread fact checking after others have had the opportunity to comb through its greasy contents? It appears evident that Palin’s autobiography is a work of fiction. If you are interested in being entertained by a more truthful account of the rise and fall of Caribou Barbie, please enjoy today’s song parody. remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with the parody.

The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U219P_zs7w

THE WRECK OF THE SARAH L. PALIN

(sung to the Gordon Lightfoot song “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald ”)

The legend lives on from the North Slope on down
To the town they call Sandpoint, Idaho
The Heath’s one would say, had a daughter that day
Why they kept her, I must say, “I don’t know”

They loaded up the truck and they tested their luck
When they moved to Wasilla, Alaska
Sarah enrolled in school and was nobody’s fool
On the court they called her “Barracuda”.

In 1982 she left for Honolulu
Off to Hawaii Pacific College
She did not last long there nor at anywhere
In her quest for some meaningful knowledge.

She finally did see a journalism degree
After stints at 5 or 6 safety schools
Sometime in between she was a pageant queen
Then she worked in TV for KTUU.

She met up with her fate sometime in ’88
When her TV career was a failin’
And everyone knew, as her parents did too
She would soon be the Bride of Todd Palin.

Long before she did wed, she conceived in his bed
That was the end of her abstinency
While laid out on her back, she gave birth to Lil’ Track
The result of an unwed pregnancy.

She was now in a lurch cuz of her right wing church
But she carried on without a care
She had a beehive hairdo, but had nothing to do
That all changed when she became the Mayor.

She appointed some crooks then she banned some good books
No one lasted if they weren’t on her team
Wasilla’s deficit grew, kids fired-up on homebrew
Not to mention the methamphetamine.

She became the next Guv and to show the state love
She proposed to unite remote shore banks
But once in a bind she politely declined
To the bridge she said,”Thanks but no thanks”.

John McCain now you see had to choose a VP
His campaign was certainly failin’
He wanted a she that was trés “mavericky”
So he chose Alaska’s Sarah Palin.

But poor press reviews of her live interviews
With Couric and Gibson oft replayed
Showed she could not spar with the nightly news stars
Let alone outperform Tina Fey

The election was lost and poor Sarah was tossed
From her seat on “The Straight Talk Express”
She went home and did pose in her new store-bought clothes
But  Alaskans were not now impressed

She’s no longer a saint due to ethics complaints
She has nobody left now to wink at
Her appointees ignored and her actions abhorred
She’s reduced to shilling for “Arctic Cat”

She gave Levi some lip about visiting Tripp
And Todd’s sister is facing some jailin’
But paternity laws might be the final straw
For the wreck known as Sarah L. Palin