Thursday, June 28, 2007

JibJab’s “Star Spangled Banner” Breaks Fallout’s Top 5 List

Monday night I stayed up to watch Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” just to see Michael Moore and hear him talk about his new film, “Sicko.” (Note: Health Care is THE reason I entered the political arena in 2000.) Hopefully, his new film will turn people’s heads, but noT too far, because most HMO and private insurance policies don’t cover injuries due to rubbernecking and/or sticker shock. Trust me, I found out the hard way.

Before Moore’s appearance, Leno played JibJab’s video of 20th century presidents singing the “Star Spangled Banner.” The splicing, a perfect homage to Michael Moore’s splicing of stock political footage, takes words from the president’s mouths and strings them together to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” in its entirety.

JibJab’s “Star Spangled Banner”

By the end of the second commercial brake, JibJab’s version had already moved up to second on my list of all-time favorite renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

What are the remaining versions, you ask? Rounding out Political Fallout’s top 5 renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner” are as follows:

No. 5: Rosanne Barr’s “Star Spangled Banner”

No. 4: Canadian Caroline Marcil’s “Star Mangled Banner”

No 3: Hillary Clinton’s “Star Spangled Banner” in Des Moines

No 2: JibJab’s Star Spangled Banner (see above)

No 1: Jimi Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner (Woodstock)

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Thank God for Hendrix, or is it the other way around? Either way, I had to inject some sense of dignity back into “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Note: Marvin Gaye’s version had been disqualified from the running, because whenever I hear it, all I think about sex. Having seen “Dr. Stangelove: Or I How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” on numerous occasions, I’ve come to realize that sex and politics don’t mix.

(Warning: Watch at your own discretion. Political Fallout cannot be held responsible for any more children born out of wedlock.)

Marvin Gaye’s “Star Spangled Banner” (NBA Finals Game)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Edwards’ Campaign Launches Pre-emptive Excuse Strikes

Why's everybody always pickin' on me?

With only five days remaining until the FEC’s QRF-Day (that’s Quarterly Report Filing Day for those of you who don't have the campaign finance lingo "down"), it appears the John Edwards campaign is concerned about its war-chest intake. The Edwards’ campaign set a $9 million goal for this quarter, but as of yesterday, they’re $2 million shy of their mark.

To help soften the blow on QRF-Day, the Edwards campaign has been sending out messages that blame the Washington establishment and their media pawns (including the New York Times) for John’s fund-raising woes.

Strike 1: "Obscene Money Game or Policies that Matter?" (e-mail message received on Jun. 23 from Joe Trippi, the Edwards' Campaign)

But while thousands of people are building up this campaign, the Washington establishment is trying to write us out of the race. And their reason? They say it's MONEY - they don't think we are raising an obscene enough amount. But the truth is, they don't want people to hear what John Edwards is saying, because it will mean the end of big money's stranglehold over our government.
Strike 2: "Haircuts and Hatchet Jobs" (e-mail message received on Jun. 25 from Jonathan Prince, John Edwards' Deputy Campaign Manager)

The whole Washington establishment wants our campaign to go away, because they know that John Edwards means the end to business as usual. The Washington lobbyists and PACs don't want us to win because John is the only candidate who has never taken money from them. The political mercenaries and the chattering class don't want us to win because they can't imagine a president who doesn't play by their rules. And you can bet that the big corporate interests—from the insurance companies to the drug companies to the oil companies—don't want us to win because John has been taking on special interests his entire life. So they attack him—personally.

It's classic—they don't want the American people to hear the message, so they attack the messenger. They call him a hypocrite because he came from nothing, built a fortune while standing up for regular people during some of their toughest times, and—heaven forbid!—he has the nerve to remember where he came from and still care passionately about guaranteeing every family the opportunities he had to get ahead.
Strike 3: "The Right Wing's Worse Nightmare" (e-mail message received on Jun. 26 from Joe Trippi, the Edwards' Campaign)

Yesterday, Jonathan told you that the folks who benefit from the status quo are attacking John personally because they don't want the country to hear his message. And you know what happened when we called them out? The attacks started pouring in. That same day, the Ann Coulter-wannabe Michelle Malkin blasted John on her blog. Fox News has been bashing him around the clock. And Coulter herself said, "if I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."
Meanwhile, these pre-emptive excuse strikes have been unleashed with simultaneous pleas for more money embedded in them.

“We have 7 days to reach $9 million and every dollar counts. Please give what you can.”

“Please do what you can today to help take the next bold step for real change.”

“It's up to all of us to do our part. I (Edwards’ Campaign Manager Jonathan Prince) just gave $100—can you please give whatever you can afford today?”

In response to the Edwards’ Campaign “please give us” letters, it looks like I have no other option but to exacerbate the perpetual “War on Excuses” with another installment of “Please Excuse the Excuses: A Series of Excuse Letters”

Dear Friends/Contributors,

Please excuse John for not quite living up to the money expectations of the other candidates this quarter. He’s been under a lot of pressure at home, and to be quite frank with you, the Washington establishment has not made life easy for John. Our John has always shied away from these folks, and now they’ve taken it upon themselves to pick on him because he won’t play their D.C. games. This is really hard for us to believe. John has always received high marks for playing well with others, and we can’t understand why they would single John out for attacks. This political bullying needs to stop, for it’s taking a serious toll on John’s ability to raise more money.

As you well know, John grew up the son of a mill worker and has always had the ability to surpass financial expectations, but the Washington establishment and the media are dampening John’s spirits. Just last night, when John and Elizabeth were on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, you could see that John wasn’t his usual self. While talking to Leno, his million-dollar smile felt more like a $100,000-smile at best. Not to mention, he’s had to resort to humor as a coping mechanism to help mask the pain inflected upon him by the Washington establishment-controlled media. We’re not sure how many more haircut jokes John can tell before he simply cracks.

It’s in this spirit that we’re writing to you. We hope you can help save John from cracking under pressure from these attacks. $2 million dollars should suffice to help seal the cracks, for now anyway. Please send us anything and everything you can spare to help us fight these big bullies. Don’t worry, if you have to pawn some things now, it will be well worth it when John takes the White House back and sticks up for people like you. So we’re asking you, for John’s sake, to send us whatever you can. Pretty, pretty, please with sugar on top…

Concerned Parents
Joe Trippi and
Jonathan Prince
Originally posted on "Iowa Independent"

Monday, June 25, 2007

GOP Hoefuls Hit on Hot-Button Issues?

The "Cedar Rapids Gazette" (online edition) gets the catchy-title award for today’s headline, “GOP hoefuls hit on hot-button issues.” (see below) The question now is whether or not the title was a copy-edit slip or a Freudian slip?

The problem with Freudian slips is that, like an unanticipated rush of blood below the equator of an adolescent school boy, once they pop up, they’re hard to conceal -- let alone ignore.

It’s with this unbridled notion, coupled with my trained Shakespearean eye for double-entendres, that I proceeded to take a trip down Sophomoric Lane and read the article. For whatever reason (after all, double-entendre’s are in the eye of the beholder), the following phrases managed to probe my Freudian senses, dear Reader:

“Pork wasn’t on the menu…but was a topic for two presidential hopefuls…”

“…John Cox touted, with tongue in cheek, that he comes through when the chips are down.”

“When presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., arrived at the fundraiser Sunday, he donned a pair of plastic gloves and was asked to serve fruit salad to the crowd.”

`”’If you were a committee chairman ... they'd have let you hand out the pork,'’ joked one attendee.”

``We've passed far too many bills increasing the size of government,'' he (Tancredo) said.

``Leave No Illegal Alien Behind bill.'

“If elected, he said, one of his first objectives would be to tell `(House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and (Majority Leader) Harry Reid, `Stop playing general and let our military do their job in Iraq.'''
Now, I’ve been to some rousing sausage-festivals in the past, but I’ve never had the chance to attend a GOP Hoeful Pork Fest – but there’s always the hoe another one will swing through Iowa. In the meantime, I’m left with images of Tom Tancredo and Nancy Pelosi role playing General/Dubious Whipping Boy as they roll around in the fruit salad. Why Tancredo is wearing plastic gloves is beyond me, nor will I allow my imagination to go there to find out. I have to draw the line in the sand of decency somewhere, eh Freud?