Poll numbers have been slipping for U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) since he announced he candidacy in April and one of his top advisors is pointing the finger at Rush, the Canadian progressive rock trio whose libertarian-themed lyrics have made them a long-time favorite of Paul’s.
“As an individual, Rand Paul can listen to any music he wants,” says Chip Englander, the candidate’s campaign manager and one of his top strategists. “It’s not for me to weigh in on someone’s taste in music, no matter how horrible. But as a candidate trying to build a base of support, Rand Paul is doing himself no favors playing music that causes his base of support to run away, screaming ‘Make it stop!’ We’re telling him he can’t go on listening to this music.”
The day after he announced his presidential bid, on April 7, Paul’s poll numbers shot up to 14 percent of likely Republican voters, putting him in a virtual tie for the lead with former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Since then, his numbers have dwindled, and most recent polls put him hovering at about 2 percent, far below other candidates, including real estate mogul Donald Trump, Texas senator Ted Cruz, and Florida senator Marco Rubio. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also reportedly a Rush fan, and his poll numbers are in the tank, too, although they’re bette than Paul’s and no one expects Kasich to play Rush if he wins the White House.
Englander says a lot of people might be willing to put up with Rush’s music during the campaign but the idea that songs like early-1980s hits “Tom Sawyer,” “The Spirit of Radio,” and “Limelight” could be rocking the White House at night is too much for many people to absorb.
“If you think the White House has a problem with drones landing behind the Oval Office and postmen flying rickety contraptions into the vegetable garden are a problem now, wait until people hear Geddy Lee’s voice screeching out of the Red Room on a Friday night,” says Englander. “One can hardly imagine the effect that will have on thousands of unstable people in this country.”
For much of Paul’s political career, Rush has been his music of choice. Paul often comes out on stage to the band’s 1981 hit “Tom Sawyer” and he likes to use the band’s songs, with their libertarian-themed lyrics, as discussion points in his speeches. One of his favorite songs for this purpose is a 1977 piece called “The Trees,” which talks about the government cutting down oak trees so they’ll be the same size as nearby maple trees rather than let the oaks take all the sunlight. Paul has pointed to the song as an illustration of what happens when liberal government tries to create equality of outcome rather than let individuals become the best they can be.
Other songs, like the band’s 1976 breakout hit, “2112,” sermonize on libertarian ideas, including the ideas of Objectivist philosophy founder Ayn Rand.
The band’s management, Anthem Entertainment, has asked Paul to stop playing Rush’s music at his events but the candidate continues to play it.
Dave Groton, a budding technology entrepreneur who works part-time at a car rental booth in Des Moines, Iowa, would seem to be the ideal Paul supporter. He says he wants as little government as possible, both in economic and social spheres, but he hates Rush’s music more than he hates liberals. He puts Geddy Lee’s voice on the same category as water boarding and he says the drumming of Neil Peart, who also writes most of the band’s lyrics, is “good only if the sound of tin cans and garbage can lids falling on asphalt at six o’clock in the morning is something you like.”
Becky Reynolds, a dental hygienist in Scottsdale, Ariz., says she likes where Paul is trying to take the Republican party, with his message of economic conservatism and social inclusiveness, and she thinks Rush’s guitar player, Alex Lifeson, “used to be kinda cute,” but no one she knows really likes the band’s music and, in any case, Paul should start playing music that’s more contemporary. “There are a lot of good bands today,” she says. “How cool would it be if he opened with The War on Drugs or Alt-J? Maybe Rush is cool if you’re, like, 60 years old, but most of those people are dead, aren’t they?”
It also doesn’t help that they’re Canadian. “There are no good American rock bands he can choose?” says Peter Glenn, a construction supervisor in Trenton, N.J. “Last time I checked, the Americans invented rock and roll and Bruce Spingsteen perfected it, so I don’t see why this guy has to play a Canadian band that no one liked 30 years ago and no one listens to today. If you can’t make good music choices, how are you going to make good policy choices for the country? Maybe a few minutes locked in a room with Geddy Lee’s voice will bring ISIS to its knees, but beyond that, I don’t see why Paul would make the country listen to the worse rock music ever made in the history of the world. Does this guy hate America?”
Englander says he’s pulling the plug on Paul’s Spotify account if the candidate’s poll numbers drop another two points.
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: gs and pd (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
Russian hacking of Democratic and Republican campaign emails have led to upheaval this election year, analysts say, not the least of which is the presidential victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. But in the latest bizarre twist, the hacked email of Republican elector Christopher Suprun of Texas indicates this “faithless” elector is a big fan of Neil Peart of the aging Canadian prog-rock group Rush. In an email made public by WikiLeaks, Suprun, who made news weeks ago by saying he could not in good conscious cast his vote as an elector for Donald Trump, was quoting Neil Peart’s lyrics from the Rush song “Faithless” as he mulled what to do. More.
Ayn Rand, Back from the Dead, Calls Americans Ninnies for Threatening Election Violence Rather Than Going Away to Build Utopia in the Rockies
Ayn Rand, the objectivist guru who helped launch the Libertarian movement and serves as inspiration for those in the tea party and others who believe Americans should be self reliant rather than live under the yoke of a paternalistic government, came back from the dead today to tell Americans supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that they’re “ninnies” for questioning the legitimacy of the election. “If you read Atlas Shrugged all the way through, you know objectivism isn’t about violence and questioning the vote; it’s about withdrawing from the hopeless liberal society and building a utopia in Colorado,” said Rand, who spoke to reporters and a small crowd of people outside Trump Tower in New York City. More.
The Republican party establishment, desperate to prevent Donald Trump from walking away with the presidential nomination, has repeatedly asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to leave the race. But Kasich, despite his mostly lackluster performance, says he has a stash of secret support from a large and important constituency and he doesn’t want to see that bloc of voters left without a champion. “I owe it to Rush fans all over the United States to stay in the race and make sure their values are represented on the campaign trail and reflected in the party platform when the Republicans meet in July for the convention—which, by the way, is in my home state,” says Kasich. More.
Just when they thought it was safe to go to presidential campaign events without having to listen to the Canadian band Rush, voters have learned that Rand Paul, the libertarian candidate who recently dropped out of the race, isn’t the only fan of the band. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also a fan, which means the piercing screech of Geddy Lee and the tin-can thumping of Neil Peart once again threaten to send property values down around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. “Please, tell me this isn’t true,” says Jim Robinson, 40, an attorney in Carson City, Nev., who was interested in voting for Rand Paul but decided he could never vote for anyone who quoted Rush lyrics at campaign events. More.
LONDON—After a raucous parliamentary debate, members of the House of Commons voted to allow the combover of Donald Trump into Great Britain, should he be elected president of the United States, but Trump himself was not welcome. “We do not want to hold Donald Trump’s bigotry and nativism against his hair,” said Gavin Blair, an MP from the southwest district of London. Nigel Robinson, an MP from Birmingham, argued that the hair should be banned as well, but his argument left many unconvinced. “I made my case and I lost, and I accept that,” he said. “But I do believe his hair should not be allowed to get off scot free in this debate. My apologies to the Scots, who I hope won’t try to secede again.” More.
AMES, Iowa—Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed real estate mogul Donald Trump for president yesterday, saying he is the one candidate who lives and breathes for the spotlight, a quality the United States needs in its leader. “Our country does not need another politician to debate the finer points of policy,” said Palin in her endorsement speech here. “Our country needs someone who hungers to be on TV, to be treated like a celebrity, to be famous. That is the quality we need in our president, and that is the quality we get with Donald Trump.” More.
Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump said last night in the latest national primary debate that he is the biggest asshole among contenders to lead the United States. But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has been closing in on Trump in many national polls, said that he’s the biggest asshole. “You’re the loudest, Donald, but when it comes to promoting policies that marginalize the most people and give the greatest advantage to wealthy white people, I think I can say I have a record of accomplishment on that,” Cruz said last night in one of the largest applaud lines of the night. More.
For some reason, Republican presidential nominaton contestant Carly Fiorina thinks everyone in the United States wants to see her debate Hillary Clinton when the presidential race moves into the general election. Apparently, Fiorina thinks because she’s a woman and Clinton is a woman, people want to see the debate. But, actually, no one wants to see them debate and in fact most people don’t even care that Fiorina is runninge”As far as I can tell, the only person who wants to see Hillary and Fiorina debate is Fiorina,” says John Stewart, a Republican political consultant who is not aligned with any candidate. More.
Political analysts are giving former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who has less tan 1 percent support in most national polls, virtually no chance at winning the Republican presidential nomination contest, let alone the presidency of the United States. But several political insiders say all the pieces are in place for the second-time presidential hopeful to surge into the lead and win the general election in November. “What people don’t understand is that Santorum has a plan,” says Bill Davis, a Republican political strategist who is familiar with Santorum’s campaign operation but is not aligned with it. “His team has put together a 3-step plan that will in fact take him all the way to the White House.” More.
The famous combover of Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump has been having an affair with lesbian comedian and activist Rosie O’Donnell and continues to meet with the TV personality on a weekly basis, investigators say. “We can confirm that regular meetings between the combover and the comedian are occurring and have been occurring for several years,” says David Rosten, an attorney who has been retained by Fox News to look into allegations of the affair. Donald Trump is married, although his combover is not. Roger Stone, a long-time associate of Trump who is now working independently of the candidate, says he’s also looked into the affair and is seeking media outlets to discuss his findings because American voters have a right to know about this important allegation. More.
The iconic combover of real estate billionaire and 2016 presidential aspirant Donald Trump is under investigation by U.S. immigration authorities on suspicion of being in the United States illegally. “We can only confirm that the combover of Donald Trump is a thing of interest to the United States concerning its immigration status and beyond that we have no comment,” John Goodman, director of fraud detection and national security for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), says in statement released by the agency today. April Sayers, a spokesperson for Trump, calls the allegation ridiculous. “Mr. Trump eagerly awaits the agency’s report and certainly expects his hair to be exonerated,” she says. More.
A Mexican who crossed into the United States 18 months ago and is working here illegally said it’s true that people from his country are mostly rapists and criminals. “I don’t know how Mr. Trump knew it, but he totally knows what we’re all about,” says the man, who asked not to be identified so he could speak freely to the media.The Mexican immigrant says he and millions of others like him are losers who are too lazy and stupid to make their own country work, so they come here to leach off the success of the United States. “Everything we touch reeks of refried beans and chiles,” he says. “Our hair is oily and we treat our women like dirt. We drive broken-down trucks and we take jobs from good Americans who could really use the work. I can’t say I disagree with Mr Trump when he says we should all be deported and a big wall erected to keep filth like us out.” More.
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Saying their favorite band has become too commercial since it was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last April, fans of Canadian power trio Rush say it’s time to make a push for their removal. “We were instrumental in getting the band inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first place, thanks to our years of persistence, but now we see we made a mistake,” says Randy Powers, a fan from Pittsburgh who has launched a petition drive calling for Rush’s removal from the Cleveland institution. “Bobbleheads, T-shirts, refrigerators—it’s just all too much. We don’t mind the band trying to make a buck. It’s hard to do that now with people so easily downloading or streaming music on the Internet. But enough is enough.” More.
Cowed by the recent success and outpouring of affection for the Canadian rock trio Rush, music critics have largely refrained from laying a glove on the band, which first hit the music scene in 1974 and today is enjoying something of a renaissance as it basks in the success of its most recent album Clockwork Angels. But several music critics, including most prominently Adam Carter of Rolling Stone, are bucking the trend and slamming the band for its pretentious lyrics, over-wrought drumming, and, most of all, the screeching vocals of bass player and lead singer Geddy Lee. “I know it’s fashionable for one to pay one’s respects to ‘legendary’ progressive rockers Rush, but I just can’t hop onto this bandwagon,” Carter says in his blog, Rock in/Site. “No one can tell me Geddy Lee has somehow learned how to sing. In fact, I would venture to say More.
The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is up for grabs, with several serious candidates already declared or about to declare their candidacies. But is it really as wide open as many believe? In fact, behind closed doors, analysts say Florida Senator Marco Rubio has already locked up the nomination—for four unbeatable reasons. More.
Ultra hard-righter Ayn Rand, one of the most influential voices in American politics in the last 50 years, was a nobody until a cabal of Canadian expatriates made her a star in a quest to destablize the United States so that Canada could gain a geo-political edge over its southern neighbor, according to a blockbuster book released yesterday. “People think of Canada as this quiet, do-gooder country that goes the extra mile to get along with its much bigger neighbor,” says Samuel Harper, a political science professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Harper is author of Ayn Rand Conspiracy: How Canada Unleashed the World’s Kookiest Political Philosopher on an Unsuspecting United States (Basic Books: 2014), which landed on the New York Times bestseller list upon its debut. More.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Canadian born firebrand of conservative politics, is a favorite of many Republicans, thanks to his strong social and fiscal conservatism, but, as a very scary man, he will never be elected president of the United States. “I like Sen. Cruz in the same way that I like movies about self-hating megalomaniacs, but I could never vote for him as president,” says Dave Laver, a Republican in Ohio, a key swing state. Cruz was very much a liberal in his youth, say people who knew him, and he was scary back then, too, but he applied his scariness in a liberal rather than conservative direction. More.
Acknowledging some of his tattoos are a bit rough and edgy, Greg Stent of Hell’s Vapors says he’s increasingly concerned he’ll have trouble getting a job once his music career winds down and he’s ready to get on with the work-a-day world. “I always thought I would play my music and nothing else, but that never stopped me from getting my B.A. in accounting in case things fell through in the music scene,” says Stent, who launched Hell’s Vapors with his Canton, Ohio, neighborhood buddy Alex Greel six years ago. Today, their band has a strong following in much of northwest Ohio, Iowa, and has even played shows in Michigan and Wisconsin. The band last year self-produced a CD, When Death Awaits You, which it makes available at its shows. More.
Jason Creel of Deth Knell says he had an epiphany three years ago in a Little Rock motel and since then his relationship with Satan, the embodiment of all evil in the world, has never been the same. “Let me put it this way,” he said while sitting down for a coffee outside the Orbit Room in Toronto, where his band will be shaking the rafters tonight. “Whereas before Satan was just kind of an idea to me, an abstraction, maybe a bit of a marketing ploy, now he’s quite real and, frankly, gunning for me. I’m in His sights.” Creel says his awakening to the torments of Hell that await him after this life came after he and some fans trashed his motel room. Police were called, but luckily one of the two officers that showed up was familiar with the band and the other was a big Metallica fan, although he hadn’t heard of Creel’s band. But, in any case, they told the motel manager to work it out among themselves. More.
You might have thought nothing but a trip down memory lane awaits legendary pop-rock band Journey, whose radio staples like “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky” provided the soundtrack to today’s forty- and fifty-somethings’ early adult years. But if you thought that you would be wrong. Because WBIG in Cleveland has just released the results of its listener poll and found that Journey is the “It” band for 2015, proving that time isn’t a factor for bands that are forever cool. “It was a ‘rock-us’ competition, but our listeners left little doubt who rocks their world,” says WBIG Program Director Rex Bartlett. “Our winner got quite a bit of heat from ABBA, Styx, and Kansas, but when the dust settled, it was Journey all the way!” The band released its 14th studio album, in 2011, which rocketed to 13th on the Billboard charts. More.
Trent Sanders says he had no idea the world was filled with other people like him until someone pointed it out after he had been driving around town with music blasting out of his car. “It was like a light went off in my head,” says Sanders, 25. “I was just driving around like I always do and while I was sitting at a stop light this guy pulled up next to me, rolled down his window, and yelled, ‘Other people live in this world, asshole! Not everyone wants to listen to your f**ing music!’ Then the light turned green and he peeled off. And I just sat there, stunned.” Sanders says he just automatically assumed he was the only person in the world, which is why he thought it was perfectly okay for him to blast his music while he drives around. “Did I know other people were driving around, too, some trying to listen to their own music? I confess, I did not.” More.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has endured a considerable amount of ribbing in the media for trying to give himself an intellectual look with his new glasses. But pundits and policy analysts say the glasses are more than just a cosmetic change; they say Perry’s IQ has actually increased, making him a formidable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 if he decides to run. “I asked Rick Perry what three federal agencies he wants to eliminate should he be elected president and he rattled them off like nothing,” says Charles Boyer, an analyst with the Hudson Institute in Washington. “Commerce, Education, and Energy. Boom. He nailed them.” Perry was considered the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2012 race but a series of nationally televised gaffes, including his flubbed answer on the federal agencies he wanted to eliminate, quickly deflated his standing and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney went on to win the nomination. More.
An explosive book by former Ayn Rand intimate Barbara Branden says the founder of the ultra-free market philosophy of objectivism was actually a heavy user of federal assistance and regularly sought meetings with federal officials to squelch competition to her free-market manifestos Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. “No one was more enthralled with the brilliance and charisma of Ayn Rand than I and my husband, Nathaniel Branden, were, but in the end, the great seer of free-market economics was no different than anyone else, taking government handouts whenever she could and using the coercive power of the federal government to make life miserable for true free-marketers whose work posed a threat to her bestselling books,” writes Branden in her book, Ayn Rand: Welfare Queen, just released from Pythagoras Publications. More.
The world’s worst investor says he’s going all-in on California swimming pools, because with the state’s new water meters and water-use restrictions, swimming pools will become the “forbidden fruit” of the moneyed set. “Where does the 1 percent live? In California. What does the 1 percent want? Swimming pools,” says the world’s worst investor. The world’s worst investor says he “took a bath” on his last big investment idea, Texas gun locks. But he thinks he’s backing a winner this time. “You want to go where people are going, only go there sooner,” he says. “Right now, where are people going? They’re going to California to swim.” More.