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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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Location: NYC

I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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Its been simply AGES! And how are YOU?
Friday, December 17, 2004
This is probably the longest I've gone without an entry, and I feel just horrible. Well, OK, not really. I guess its just that time of year-- Christmas parties, shopping. Of course, I haven't been to any parties or done any shopping. But still...

Item: Bernie Kerik, segueing into rambling. I thought I liked the guy, mainly because the two biggest knocks on him were not political enough and not bureaucratic enough. But boy, everything I've heard about him since his nomination-- including first hand from NYC cops and firemen-- has been pretty negative. Oh well... I note that he was recommended by Giulliani, who I thought was a logical candidate for the job himself. Kerik works, I believe, at Rudy G's company. If Rudy thinks a subordinate should get the Homeland Security gig-- a job that reports to the president-- it kind of suggests that he sees himself as on the presidential level. Personally I could never stand the guy (he was my mayor for 8 years). But my wife says he'll never run for public office, owing to the cancer, and my friend Ira says he'll never run owing to all the wives and the cheating. Anyway, I don't see him beating McCain in the 2008 Republican primary. And maybe I'm just a sap who is taken in by world class spin and manipulation, but I can't help but like McCain, and if he gets the Rep nomination in '08 I will vote for a Republican presidential candidate for the first time. Of course its a long ways off. But you gotta love his digs at Rummy. He strikes me as the only national politician who tells the truth; even when he isn't telling the truth, he makes such a face you know he isn't happy about it.

Gin Rummy. So Rumsfeld says that bit about going to war with the army you have, and suddenly everyone wants his head. I was once a fan (I watched CNN constantly after 9/11, and his press conferences always contained a line or 2 that made me laugh out loud.) Now, not so much. But isn't it disingenuous for the press to make such a fuss about his comment, while neglecting to air the STANDING OVATION he got from the troops for his answer? I think he's mishandled Iraq badly-- you DO get to wait for the army you want when the war is a discretionary one, and anyone paying even a little attention to the region's recent history saw the insurgency coming. But should he resign over this? No way. If abject incompetence isn't a reason to resign, surely a straight answer that gets a standing O from the troops isn't a reason either. Personally I think he and Bush deserve each other.

But spare me the bojive that this proves a liberal media bias. The media has one bias, and that is for events with a strong narrative component. (That's my way of using different words to say, they like a good story.) No one in the "liberal" media had any problem playing pile on the president over the Lewinsky affair. And if someone somewhere snatches a pretty young blond child, or goes and kills his pretty young wife, sudden;y Rummy is yesterday's news faster than you can say Larry King. Politically, the media likes the eternal drama of rise, fall, redemption. So they love Bama (rise); pile on Rumsfeld (fall); and have embraced revisionist history with respect to Carter, Nixon, and Clinton (redemption.) Actually their attitude toward Dubya is a good example of the redemption angle; doesn't matter he was a lazy drunken failure his whole career pre-Texas governor; he found Jesus, and that is text book redemption (especially if your text is the bible.)

Item: The end of the year. This means that soon, readers of APW will be treated to an early look at my outrageously popular top-20 album list for 2004. Watch this space; it'll be up before Christmas, and here before anywhere else. See if you can guess some of the albums that will make the list based on what I've written before. Hint: I'm virtually sure the BoDeans, Tan Sleeve, Smile, Silos, Jonathan Rundman, Jill Sobule, and Chris Stamey will be on there. That's 7 slots before I even dig. But I found this to be a surprisingly good year for music, and I'm actually still wading through stuff. Like the new U2; universally lauded, but the phrase that sticks in my mind is, "Stuck in an album that you can't get out of." And I bought the new Green Day, which everyone is raving about, but its just punk to me, and I don't care for punk. And the Prince album hasn't had legs with me, although the concert was outstanding. And I don't know what to do about, say, the Instant Live recording of the September 25 Allman Brothers show, made available via Clear Channel (and later by the Allmans web site) immediately after the show. Should I count things like this as albums? It was commercially released (I bought it legally), and if I do count it as an album-- it is a better live album than the one they officially and more broadly put out-- I could have 5 or more live concerts on my top-20 list. Stil pondering that one. I mean, I liked the new Gov't Mule album (and Warren Haynes really seemed to enjoy my explanation of why when we spoke about it in Atlanta), but you can buy and download shows of their fall tour online, and if I want to hear these new songs, I listen to the concerts. So what to do?

By the by, I have an article in the next edition of the Allman Brothers magazine Hittin' the Note, covering their 3-show Fox run. Not sure when its out, but after it is I'll be happy to send my (unedited) version to anyone who wants to read it. Look for it in Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Tower.

There is an album that came out in 2003, alas, that I'm touting. (I say alas because if it was an '04, it would make my list.) Donna Hopkins Band, Free to Go. Biting blues rock, sounds like if Bonnie Raitt fronted Gov't Mule.

Item: Maureen Dowd. Liberal commentator for the NY Times. I think she's really hot. I'd like her to have at my policy wonk.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 11:41 AM  

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