Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Romney Reaction

Mitt Romney will not be the 45th President of the United States of America.

Most of America (including his family) likely approve of this decision. It’s not because he’s not qualified. Rather, he had his chances, most consequentially in 2012, and did not deliver. However, make no mistake about it, Mitt Romney will be a factor come election day 2016.

How?

First, polls have revealed that a majority of Americans wish Romney had defeated President Obama in 2012. There’s a buyers remorse among many voters, specifically after Romney correctly forecast key foreign policy issues, like Russia as just one example. Plus, the economy’s foundation is weak, the tax system is outdated, entitlement programs need structural changes, unemployment is really 10-11% because of stunningly low labor workforce participation, there is a lack of quality jobs being created and debts and deficits are still soaring (wait a couple years for the latter to skyrocket again). Romney’s biggest strengths are as a job creator and a business leader. And despite the fact he isn’t running, people will remember their vote in 2012 and who and what vision they chose instead and the subsequent results both at home and abroad.

Most Americans are increasingly aware of the ineptitude of Obama’s foreign policy decisions and how it’s led to a perception (and reality) that the world continues to burn without a functioning extinguisher in sight. Also, the refusal to acknowledge our enemy by name is a major problem and, quite frankly, an inconceivable embarrassment of common sense.

Second, Romney can make good on his recent priority to help improve those living in poverty during the next two years (and beyond!) with his knowledge of lifting people up with opportunity, resources and, most importantly, time. He has the time to, as NBC says, “make a difference.” As has been mentioned on this blog, the Republican Party needs to prove that their economic philosophy of equal opportunity and belief in the power and ingenuity of the individual is superior to the predictable failings of big government fiscal liberalism. They need to make clear the correlation between the success of a local economy with the educational success of the community and its citizens (public and private schools) and how it creates a sustained environment of achievement and high standards, as well as how it improves the safety of that community. Romney (and other conservative leaders) need to embrace this challenge by bringing their economic philosophy and successful business records into the poorest neighborhoods to show (not tell) how fiscal conservatism works for everybody. The rewards will last generations.

The economic policies of President Obama and liberal mayors and governors have by-and-large not improved the lives or opportunities for the poor. The door is wide open for an innovative new idea to shine the American Dream on those in the forgotten corners of society who live in inescapable poverty. This is especially important for Romney himself after his infamous “47%” remark.

Mitt Romney will not be the 45th President of the United States of America, but he will be the third person people think about when they elect the new leader of the free world. Even if the Republican nominee is more libertarian than Romney on a host of issues, his presence will be influential regardless. There’s the saying that our first impression is everything. Yes. It’s also a fact that people don’t easily forget important people or important events.

Romney now has time to prove the latter true.

Throwback Thursday’s Tunnel Trip

Today, this blog will throw it all the way back to this past Tuesday’s news about a key departure from Blink-182 (He Said, They Said). Even though there is a replacement for Tom DeLonge in the short-term, the future of this famed band is still unknown. Ultimately, it seems like a primary battle for its future will rest in the hands of lawyers. Who will gain the rights to their songs? Who will have the right to play them?

As this inevitable mess gets sorted out behind-the-scenes, one truth from this still cloudy “break-up” is that the music world has benefited from Blink-182 and Angels and Airwaves. In an ideal world, both bands would co-exist in perfect creative harmony. Obviously, that’s been impossible throughout Angels and Airwaves’ path to its recently released fifth album with sporadic Blink-182 records and concerts in-between. And despite Tom’s reported pattern of passive aggressive withdrawal from Mark and Travis over the years, fans cannot help but enjoy that “other band’s” final product. The debut of their music video for “Tunnels” (from “The Dream Walker” album) seen below just so happened to debut yesterday, in the midst of the bands’ drama.

AVA (Angels and Airwaves) has always been original, futuristic, moving and wonderfully cinematic in its vocal and visual storytelling. And interestingly, the first stanza of “Tunnels” reads as follows:

I am still without devotion
Because we’re all asleep at the wheel
Asleep and so surrounded by what we feel
A bad dream… 

While many of their other songs are aspirational and love-centric, the timing of a long-held feud going public and this particular music video release is fascinating to say the least. It should not be immediately presumed that this was planned, but this occurrence should also not be ignored in its potential reference to feelings (specific or vague) towards an ongoing struggle that was splashed across music’s front page this week.

(UPDATE: Read that Tom wrote this song about his father passing away). Still, the above stanza seems relevant for what’s going on with him right now…

Will Mark, Travis and Tom see the big picture going forward?

In any event, Tom seems pretty content with his vision for the future…his tunnel vision to be more precise.

Whose Line Is It This Wednesday?

Ryan Stiles, you know what to do:

“Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward”
–Carol Channing

True, but laughter with applause is the best.

He Said, They Said

Blink and they’re gone?

The forever youthful members of the pop-punk rock band Blink-182 have defined their musical legacy of making it culturally permissible to write punk rock songs and play punk rock songs with catchy tunes, fun lyrics, outrageous music videos and a rebellious attitude, while also hitting the right chords of deeply personal and emotionally powerful songs. This combining of genuine pop and genuine punk rock is undeniably impressive. In other words, their street cred on-stage has always been strong.

Sadly, the bond off-stage between Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge reportedly has not.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Blink-182 would be reuniting for another record. Yes! In the past couple of days though, it seems that Mark and Travis are finally publicly revealing their long-held frustrations with their band mate and friend Tom. No! It appears Tom’s quit the band/is out indefinitely (depending on who you ask). And, if we’re to interpret recent statements, it appears that their relationship as both band mates and friends are on rocky terms at the moment. Rolling Stone got the exclusive interview, which reveals the three punk rockers have not been communicating in-person, the issue of having a label and whether this is just one big miscommunication…

“It’s hard to cover for someone who’s disrespectful and ungrateful…To say, ‘I didn’t quit the band’ is just not true. It’s disingenuous.”

Good news for the band’s fans is that it’s been reported Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio will replace Tom for their future show at the Musink Festival.

“Beyond that, we’ll see what happens. Last time this happened, Travis and I didn’t say anything and we did +44, which wasn’t Blink-182 because we weren’t playing Blink songs. But Travis and I are intent on protecting the legacy of Blink-182 and continue to do what we’ve been doing for the past two decades: continue playing the songs.”

The war of words will surely continue. Judging by the interviews and continuous responses by each party during the past couple days (and past several years), it seems like this separation has been building for quite some time. It’s really sad because of what the band and its songs have meant for so many. The band’s time hasn’t passed. Their staying power has more in the engine. But, this stuff happens. Only Blink-182 knows what will happen long-term, in terms of playing their hits, recording new music and touring.

For now, here’s the song all too appropriate for this situation:

All we can say about the original trio is that we’ll miss you.