Category Archives: Poplitico

Andrew W.K. Launches The Party Party

unnamedMusician Andrew W.K., best known for songs like “Party Hard” and “We Want Fun,” has decided to dive into politics launching The Party Party. The musician who has long stood for “the uplifting and unifying power of positive partying” thinks this attitude is desperately needed in governmental politics and thus the launch of this new party. His goal is “to remove the disillusioning aspects of politics and just have the party.”

In the release announcing the launch of this new political party, Andrew expressed his dismay and frustration with the discord due to the two party system.

This polarizing form of government has contributed to an adversarial mentality among voters and politicians. The binary ‘Us versus Them’, ‘Red versus Blue’, ‘Right versus Left’ mindset has been a perpetual distraction and distorted our shared quest to make tangible improvements to our country and ourselves. Constantly battling and blaming each other has hindered our ability to collectively and individually contribute towards the true destiny of the United States of America: the complete and total liberation of the human spirit.

Buried deep inside this mountain of overwhelming national anxieties, complex international dilemmas, and endlessly competing principals, there is a fundamental truth – that we are all in this together. Many of us fail to realize that at our very core, we ultimately do share many of the same essential values. These values are what make us Americans and also make us human beings. And if we can celebrate these shared qualities first, and look to find the best in ourselves and each other, perhaps we’ll find the path ahead to be slightly less treacherous. The world isn’t being destroyed by ‘Red or Blue’, ‘Left or Right’, ‘Us or Them’ – it’s being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. Perhaps right now we just need a little less politics and a lot more party.

The release says the relevant paperwork is being filed with the “Secretary of State,” though not quite sure what that means since that’s not exactly how being recognized as a political party works. Unless he means a local state Secretary of State, then also which state?

The site mentions issues such as “reliable access to education, healthcare, and a sense of social equality” as issues the party is focused on.

Watch the announcement video below.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Invokes Star Wars in Her Latest Email

In an email called “I won’t be enutered,” Senator Elizabeth Warren got her geek on with a Star Wars themed fundraising appeal. The email is in response to comments that Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer told an American Bankers Association conference yesterday that she’s the “Darth Vader of the financial services world.”

Geeky references are nothing new in political email. The Congressman Grayson regularly references comics in his appeals and did so in one where he talked about Green Lantern. He’s also talked about the Avengers and Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Check out Warren’s full email below.

Friend –

Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer – a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee – told an American Bankers Association conference yesterday that I’m the “Darth Vader of the financial services world.”

My first thought was: Really? I’ve always seen myself more as a Princess Leia-type (a senator and Resistance general who, unlike the guys, is never even remotely tempted by the dark side). Clearly the Force is not strong with Congressman Luetkemeyer (maybe he’s a Trekkie).

But just before the whole room broke into applause for calling me a Sith Lord, he told the very same room of bankers:

unnamedWhy would he go out of his way to say something so sexist and offensive? Is he hostile to all women? Clueless? Afraid? And then I had a second thought: This is all about money.

Congressman Luetkemeyer was on a panel about the “changing political landscape” in a room full of Wall Street bankers – powerful people who have been working for years to roll back financial reform. Trying to land the best zinger with my name is just one more way to earn chits and try to cash in big time with that audience.

Luetkemeyer is a Wall Street yes-man, and the financial industry has rewarded him handsomely for his reliability. Since first running for Congress in 2008, he’s received nearly a million dollars from the big banks, hedge funds and credit card companies – and he’s taken $50,000 specifically from the American Bankers Association.

Luetkemeyer probably thinks that he’ll make big bucks from his Wall Street friends off of his sexist remarks. So how about if we push back in the way the Congressman and his Wall Street buddies understand: It’s a big goal – but can we match the $50,000 that the American Bankers Association has given Blaine Luetkemeyer? Please chip in whatever you can afford right now.

Let me be clear: No amount of offensive remarks will stop me from standing up to House Republicans who are bought and paid for by the big banks. And no amount of name-calling will keep me from fighting for Wall Street reform, for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and for real accountability when the big banks break the law.

They can call me Darth Vader or Voldemort or the Wicked Witch of Massachusetts for all I care – but I won’t be neutered. I won’t be muzzled. And I won’t stop fighting to level the playing field for working families.

Let’s send the big banks and their buddies in Congress a message: They can try to roll back financial reform and they can have a few laughs about the woman they want to neuter, but we’re ready to fight back anytime anywhere. Help us match Rep. Luetkemeyer’s big bank contributions right now.

Thanks for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

It’s been interesting to see geekdom bleed into politics more and more and while this isn’t the first (though the Trekkie dig might be), it definitely won’t be the last.

Toe Tag Riot Endorses Bernie Sanders

Today Toe Tag Riot, the foul-mouthed punk rock band cursed to become zombies whenever they perform their music raised their fists and their voices to speak out in support of Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.  The band released the following joint statement:

TOE TAG RIOT may be an irreverent band of loud punk rockers that seem straight out of a bonkers comic book concept, but we’ve spent our lives fighting for equality among all people. The very real and damaging issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia are very near and dear to us as we are a band full of hetero, homo, and bisexual individuals – we are men and women, white, black, and mixed races.  We are proud to officially endorse a candidate who speaks to the things in our hearts, Bernie Sanders.

Additionally, each of the band members added their own personal endorsement:

Dickie Tagz (vocals):

Bernie’s messages on rich people sucking really hit home for me.  I mean, we struggle and fight for bookings against crappy mega corporations churning out awful pop music while we’re forced to live on Top Ramen and the brains of bigots and homophobes (see you soon, Donald!)  We work just as hard, maybe harder, than all those rich a-hole bands – we want a fair shot, dammit!

Evie Vee (drums):

I knew Bernie was my guy when I saw the pictures of him in the 1960s, defiantly chained to a black woman while protesting against segregation.  This is a man who marched with Dr. King, was arrested in the civil rights movement, and has been fighting for African Americans like me, and other minorities, his whole life.  His father’s family was wiped out by Hitler and right now we need a warrior against fascism like Bernie.

Annie Maul (bass):

I’m a lesbian woman married to Evie, the love of my life, and sometimes it’s like the whole world is against us and that totally sucks.  But here comes Bernie who’s always had the backs of the LGBT community and didn’t need to ‘evolve’ on the subject and that’s less sucky.  He was for us even when speaking out in support of gay people was political suicide.  He’s for the people – ALL of the people.  Even sometimes-zombies like Toe Tag Riot.

Paulie Propylene (guitar)

What’s not to like?  The guy was against the Iraq war from the start, he’s for total and complete equal rights and pay equity for women, and he’s the only candidate to have spoken in support of the transgender community, a subject very much intertwined in my soul.  Trans women are real women and trans men are real men and Bernie Sanders is the only politician I’ve ever seen who seems to ‘get’ that.  I’m feeling the Bern in a big big big way.

TTR BERNIEBand managers Matt Miner (co-creator/writer)  and Sean Von Gorman (co-creator/artist) add:

Toe Tag Riot Volume 1 is available to pre-order NOW with Diamond code MAR161159!  Don’t miss the comic the Westboro Baptist Church claim will “Split Hell wide open”!

Toe Tag Riot is a punk rock band cursed to become zombies whenever they play their music.  Using their zombie “superpowers” for good, they only slaughter and kill the worst of humanity: racists, homophobes and other assorted bigots – all careening to a showdown with the Westboro Baptist Chruch themselves!

The trade paperback includes issues 1-4, the rare issue #0 (a convention exclusive), and the short story printed in Alternative Press magazine #330!

tpbPrint the coupon below and bring to your local comic shop before the end of March:

ttrpreorder

Donald Trump is Sebastian Shaw? Political Commentator Van Jones Thinks So.

Van Jones is a political activist who has done everything from founding Color of Change to advising the White House. Currently he’s a commentator for CNN during the election season and during tonight’s primary coverage he showed his geek side in describing the phenomenon that is Donald Trump.

In the discussion, Jones compared Trump to the X-Men villain Sebastian Shaw who gets stronger the more he’s attacked (and also uses the energy absorbed in his attack).

Washington, DC comic shop Fantom Comics noticed the reference and Tweeted up the video.

Jones seemed to have appreciated that:

In X-Men: First Class the character, played by Kevin Bacon, was also a Nazi which seems rather appropriates considering some of Trump’s imagery.

So, agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments!

S.H.I.E.L.D. Jokes about Clinton’s Email Servers

Comics are often thought of as pretty liberal, but that doesn’t mean writers aren’t willing to take shots at or make jokes concerning Democrats. In Marvel‘s Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 which is out today, writer Nick Spencer takes a jab at the controversy over Hillary Clinton‘s email servers.

While being questioned over their actions, a low lever S.H.I.E.L.D. agent makes a crack about wiping servers.

For those unaware of the issue NPR has you covered.

Marvel_Clinton_Email_Servers

Trump is Gollum? Rand Paul Butchers the Lord of the Rings

Rand 2016Politicians and candidates referencing comic books and movies is nothing new. Cong. Alan Grayson sent an email referencing Green Lantern. Marco Rubio’s Presidential team listed their love of comics on their Twitter profile.

Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul has gone on a weird tangent comparing fellow Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump to Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.

In a Facebook post entitled “Electing Gollum Should Not Be Our Objective,” Paul for President wrote:

One candidate on this national stage wants you to give him power. He tells you he is rich, so he must be smart.

If you give him power he claims he will fix America, but there is another tradition in America. A tradition that believes that power corrupts, and that our goal should be not to gain power but to contain power or limit Presidential power. Our founding fathers feared centralization of power.

They wrote the constitution to restrain the accumulation of power by the government. Trump is ignorant of this tradition, or worse yet, he is overtly opposed to the limited government tradition.

This race should not be about who can grasp the ring. Electing Gollum should not be our objective. This race should be about which candidate will best protect you from an overbearing government.

I am the only one on this national stage who really doesn’t want power or dominion over you. I want to set you free, I want to leave you alone, and I want a government so small you can barely see it.

The Lord of the Rings reference comes out of left field a bit. In an email Paul’s team continued, expanding on the metaphor with a fundraising pitch:

In many ways, the campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States has reminded me of one of my favorite movie series.

Lord of the Rings.

You may recall the character Gollum. Gollum was a man who become corrupted by absolute power, and became obsessed with obtaining the “Ring of Power, the ring to rule them all”.

Donald Trump shares Gollum’s unquenchable thirst for absolute power and to rule over Mordor. Or in this case, Washington, D.C.

Patriot, you and I must do everything that we can stop Gollum from gaining the Ring of Power.

Will you donate anything you can afford to help my campaign?

You may also recall there is a scene in the last movie, where Aragorn is leading his men into battle against Suaron and his Orc armies.

He tells them this before the battle:

“I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day… Today we fight!”

As we approach the Iowa Caucus, your support means more than ever.

Together, we can defeat Donald Trump, win the Iowa Caucus and defeat the Washington Machine. Donate anything you can today.

I am counting on you.

Ok, maybe they shouldn’t have expanded on it? Where to begin, but we’ll go for the easiest:

  1. Gollum is a Stoor Hobbit, not a man
  2. Gollum doesn’t want to rule Mordor

So, while a nice attempt recounting Paul’s “favorite movie,” the email fails on multiple levels, and should cost him the Tolkein fan vote.

Doraville, Georgia SWAT Think They’re the Punisher

I was watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and while he was discussing the militarization of police he showed a controversial training video for the Doraville, Georgia SWAT team. Oliver highlighted the video used heavy metal music, and started off with the Punisher logo…. what!?

Well I did some digging, and found out, according to this CBS 46 Atlanta news report, the video was modified adding heavy metal music and the logo by an individual…. which the Doraville police then posted on their Facebook page.

Tip for the police, when looking for comic characters to emulate, the Punisher is not one of them, and linking to videos like this isn’t the best of ideas. There’s that whole vigilante killing thing you’re supposed to be opposed to.

Check out the full video below.

Poplitico: Transformers, IDW’s Political Drama

transformers_3When you think of Transformers, I’m sure you think of giant robots that change into things that fight against each other. What if I told you they were so much more. For quite a few years now, IDW Publishing, with numerous talented writers, has created the most subtle political drama of our time. they’ve transformed what were pretty simple characters into political dynamos, and by doing so, given us an epic story that questions the idea of revolution, armed resistance, and the corruption of government and individuals through power.

For me, much of the groundwork came to the forefront in issues #22 and #23 of Transformers written by James Roberts and released in 2011. While there was more previously, this is the clearest time, in IDW’s world, that there was much to the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons.

During a journey to Cybertron, through flashbacks we’re presented with how Megatron, a manual laborer, went from lowly cog to revolutionary raging against a class system, apartheid, based on how one was created, as well as a government run amok.

It’s best to start with the issues to rage against. The Transformers race is divided based on what they change into, ie their utility, and how they were created either forged or constructed cold (think born versus genetically engineered). If your ability to change is that of a miner, you worked in the mines, never to rise above. There was a division of class based on labor and birth.

tranformers_1After being caught up in an unfortunate incident, Megatron, who already feels oppressed, is arrested and abused by local police, causing the former worker to radicalize.

At the same time, a young Orion Pax (later to be known as Optimus Prime) is a local police office who truly believes in the law he must enforce. He’s the uncorrupt cop in a clearly broken system. A system that wears the sigil of the Autobots and run by a Senate and leader dubbed the Prime. As we know though, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and this Senate and the Primes are examples of that. That belief in justice and freedom puts Pax on a collision course with that corruption, forcing him to choose whether to continue be a pawn of a broken system or ensure freedom for all beings.

transformers_2

Pax has been won over by Megatron who has released his manifesto to Cybertron which asks three questions to the government:

  1. In whose interests do you exercise your power?
  2. To whom are you accountable?
  3. How can we get rid of you?

Pax, after an outburst before the Senate, showing off its corruption, is saved by a young Senator, in a twist that has taken 3 years to play out and a storyline just concluded with this week’s Transformers: Dark Cybertron Finale.

Megatron’s resistance of course is met with brutal action by the government, who through their actions radicalize the upstart further and labels them terrorists. All of this eventually leads to the war between the Autobots and Decepticons and the story you might be more familiar with.

Flash forward millions of years, and an event has led the Autobots back to Cybertron to rebuild, shifting the series to one of governance, and the difficulty to do so. At the same time, the series split into two, taking one storyline and a group of Transformers on a religious mission, while the others stayed and attempted to rebuild their world leading to drama worthy of Shakespeare in the crosses, double crosses, and subterfuge.

transformers_4And here we are, at the end of another major event. Those seeds place three years ago has paid off into a political drama unlike anything else in comics. The story clearly wasn’t about Optimus, or his band of brothers, it turns out this is Megatron’s story. A revolutionary, a radical, a terrorist, whose extreme methods lead to death and destruction. A man whose beliefs became corrupted and used to justify death and subjugation. And much like we’re shown Megatron eventually realizes his folly.

The Decepticon cause was never about that, we fought for peace – for equality.

Three years since we were presented the genesis of his political cause and the philosophy and it’s application is still evolving. We’ve been presented a tale about oppression, politics, corruption, and revolution. And soon we’ll be presented with the after effects of war, the nation building.

While you might see giant robots with guns, in reality, there’s more than meets the eye.

Poplitico: Captain Planet at Keystone XL Pipeline Protest

XL Pipeline Protest

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

At a protest this past Sunday an estimated 1,000 individuals protested they proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. During the protest dozens were arrested including Captain Planet pictured here in a photo by Susan Walsh…. and it looks like Blade is working for the feds now too.

(via National Post)

Poplitico: President Obama Announces an Iron Man Project

Each week for Poplitico we look at a “political” moment in comics or a “geeky” moment in politics. During a White House manufacturing innovation event, President Obama joked that it was really an announcement that we’re building Iron Man. Again, the President in Geek shows off his nerd cred. It’s a pretty funny moment and worth the watch.

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