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. “When John Kasich surged in New Hampshire, I thought to myself, ‘This is the guy. He’s everything Rand Paul is plus he doesn’t have that weird Rush thing going on.’ Now I learn he also has that weird Rush thing going on. Do I have to vote for Trump?!”
Rush burst onto the music scene in the late 1970s with its heavy metal anthem “2112.” The piece fused the hard rock of Led Zeppelin with the progressive rock of Yes. It then solidified its place as godfather of a new genre, progressive metal, with a series of high-concept albums before hitting the mainstream in 1981 with its multi-platinum album Moving Pictures, which included the chart-topping “Tom Sawyer.”
But while the band has a loyal following, many people say they can’t listen to the screeching vocals of Geddy Lee and the thumping of Neil Peart’s 50-piece drum kit without pulling out their hair. And the band’s over-wrought philosophizing, which in the early years gave a thumb’s up to Ayn Randian libertarianism, is said to trigger the gag reflex in people all across the United States.
Kasich, whose state is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, spent years sharing the dismay of Rush fans that their band kept getting passed over for induction into the big pyramid on the banks of Lake Erie.
“Just met w/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board & demanded to know why @RushtheBand isn’t in the @Rock_Hall of Fame,” Kasich tweeted on May 18, 2011.
Then, after the band was inducted in 2012, he took to Twitter again, on December 11, 2012, to say, “Just got word that Rush made the @Rock_Hall of Fame. Long overdue. They’re a great group of guys that still put on an amazing show.”
Will Kasich’s open admiration for the band doom his chances for the White House? His campaign manager, Beth Hansen, doesn’t think so. “We’ve talked to him and he knows not to say or do anything that would connect him to this band whose name is not to be mentioned,” says Hansen. “Yes, for voters who look into his past, there are these embarrassing episodes that they might find. But just as Trump once supported abortion rights and expanded health insurance, past positions on some things don’t have to doom a candidate. We think voters are smart enough to understand that people do things when they’re younger that they later come to regret. And the Governor certainly has a few of those. But I can assure you he doesn’t listen to the band now and might not even like them anymore. So, I think this band will not be an issue for him going forward.”
But for some voters, it’s too late. “I knew Kasich was too good to be true,” says Ron Madison, an accountant in Charleston, S.C. “I wanted a fiscal conservative who was a little bit on the moderate side when it came to social issues, and Kasich fit the bill perfectly,” he says. “But to know he actually likes ‘The Spirt of Radio’ and ‘Limelight?’ What choice do I have but to hold my nose and vote for Trump? Well, as Hillary Clinton says, life is full of hard choices.”
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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.
Boasts and counter-boasts about who among the remaining U.S. presidential candidates has the longest fingers, and therefore the most impressive endowment, took an unexpected turn when it was revealed that Democratic nomination front-runner Hillary Clinton has the longest fingers of them all. “Donald Trump might think he has his competition beat when it comes to the length of his fingers, but he might want to get out his ruler again because no one’s got an endowment like Hillary Clinton, if the length of her fingers is any guide,” says political consultant John Mayberry, who spoke this morning on CBS News. “I think this might give us some insight into who the real man in this campaign is.” 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.
John Kasich finally broke through the crowd in the Republican presidential race earlier this week with his second-place finish in New Hampshire, but a detailed look at exit polls shows that it’s his wife, Kathy, that voters want in the White House. “John Kasich is okay, I think, especially given the rest of the GOP crowd, but his wife, now she’s a person that would make a great president,” says Jane Reynolds, a school teacher in Portsmouth, N.H. “Smart, articulate, and knows the business world—yep, she has it all. And she’s better looking than that woman who just dropped out. Carla Farina? Cari Ferraro? I can never remember her name.” “Can I look at Kathy Kasich for the next four years on nightly television as our First Lady?” asks Bill Jones, a retired engineer. More.
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.” More.
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.
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.
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.
Robert Plant, the golden haired and golden voiced singer for the legendary hard rock band Led Zeppelin, says in an interview on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” that he should have listened to his dad and become an accountant rather than leave home when he was 16 to live the rock-and-roll lifestyle. “If I were to live my life again, would I have that nasty break with my family and sing for various bands before finally joining Pagey and the others to form Led Zeppelin? I think on balance what I did was a mistake and, in retrospect, I should have listened to my dad.” More.
After months of taking hits for not disclosing the identity of the foreign policy expert advising him, Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders said today his go-to person is former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. “Secretary Clinton has been an invaluable member of my team,” says Sanders, senator of Vermont who’s been surging in the polls since winning the New Hampshire primary. “She has shared her experience to help me understand the nuances of Middle East politics, South Asia power struggles, and the challenges of keeping Russian aggression in check.” More.