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Posts Tagged ‘obama’

I know that the use of language in today’s mass media is geared toward a fifth-grade (or thereabouts) comprehension level. Surely, though, the folks we elect to serve in the highest offices should be at least a little smarter than a fifth grader. Perhaps we should have Jeff Foxworthy come and test the entire lot of our nation’s politicians for actual fitness to serve.

Jeff Foxworthy
Our nation’s savior?

Allow me to illuminate a few things for all of you in national politics.

1. Bush was not a Nazi. Obama is not a socialist. Labels of ‘fascist’ (which few of you appear able to spell) and ‘communist’ are similarly inapplicable to either of them – though it is inordinately amusing to hear words like these applied to two men of quite different ideology. Less amusingly, I believe anyone who has suffered under the rule of such regimes as those of Hitler and Stalin would be rather offended to hear the comparatively trivial measures taken by these Presidents compared to the savagery they were forced to submit to.

Enough name-calling. If you have an issue with a President’s policies, come up with a reasonable alternative and we can all have a civilized debate. If you can’t do that, then keep your mouth shut.

2. Stop talking about whether there is too much God or too little God in the running of the country. Both of these are meaningless. The country was founded in part to ESCAPE the notion of any kind of state endorsement of religion. I have no problem with people worshipping according to their beliefs and legislating according to their values, but don’t use confuse the two and use religion to justify your political acts. In a nation whose founders specifically tried to avoid mixing religion into the law, such actions are hypocritical and offensive.

3. Related to the above: if you’re a bigot, just man up and be a bigot. If you have a problem with blacks, or Muslims, or the poor, or women, or gays, or conservatives, or any other group, just say so. Don’t get into the “un-American” line of bullshit. They’re just as American as you are. They love freedom just as much as you do. (Not that you even know what ‘freedom’ means, if you’re trying to deny it to anybody else.) Last but by no means least: any right which you would claim for yourself, you should also accord to them, whether it’s specifically spelled out in the Constitution or not.

4. Keep your promises. Don’t tell the public one thing and then do another, unless you also give us a damn good reason for the change. Don’t tell one group something and another group the opposite. We live in the Internet age, and we WILL find out. When it happens, enjoy your retirement money. We won’t vote for you to keep darkening our doorsteps.

5. When you watched movies as a youngster, remember how you cheered when the schoolyard bully got his comeuppance. Look at America’s standing in the international community around, say, 2006-7. If elementary school parable is indeed the limit of your understanding, maybe it can at least be allowed to guide foreign policy in years to come.

6. The national media have provided you with a means of understanding whether you are acting logically – whether you identify with the right or left. His name is Jon Stewart. If your name is mentioned on his show more than twice in any given month, you might wish to take a look at your priorities. Jon Stewart, you see, IS smarter than a fifth grader.

7. Perhaps above all, remember this quote from former President Harry Truman – another individual who was smarter than a fifth grader:

“Don’t piss in the soup, boys – we’ve all got to eat.”

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Looks like it’s Congressman John McHugh.

Although I get the ‘team of rivals’ philosophy, any time Obama nominates a Republican for a post I find myself looking for the benefits to the Democratic party. Naming Jon Huntsman ambassador to China, for example, takes a potentially credible 2012 GOP contender out of the public eye quite handily. So why McHugh?

Here is John McHugh’s congressional district map:

Not much help there. Most of that is pretty solidly in the redder parts of NY, so a special election would most likely still result in a Republican seat. No guarantees, though – NY-20 squeaked to Murphy in their own special election, and NY-23 is considered a slightly more Dem-leaning district than that.

McHugh’s voting record is somewhat mixed – he consistently voted with the GOP on key issues regarding the “war on terror”, but has broken with them on other issues such as S-CHIP, federal minimum-wage increase and repeal of oil company tax credits. He also takes positions in favor of educational grants and fair trade.

It sounds more as though Obama would be losing a potential ally in Congress than strategically removing an obstructionist. So perhaps he really thinks McHugh is the right man for the job. He certainly has the credentials, having served on the House Armed Forces Committee for a long time now.

Here’s hoping that having a moderate choice in there will do some good.

Also of note is that McHugh apparently has something of a sense of humor; having worked hard to support the Army base at Fort Drum, NY, McHugh took issue when the TV show The West Wing mentioned closing it – and went so far as to co-write a letter (with Hillary Clinton) to the character Josh Lyman to urge him to reconsider his position.

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Earlier this week I got involved in Facebook discourse regarding suitable materiel for the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Upon reading the assertion that Dr. Seuss might be a little highbrow, I found myself in disagreement. Seuss would be fine as long as there were ready adaptations more pertinent to the political realities faced by the outgoing administration.

In evidence, I offered the following:

I do not like him, Rahm-I-Am,
I do not like that Kenyan man.
I do not like his Yes We Can,
I do not like him on Iran, 

I do not, will not, change or hope.
I will not read him “My Pet Goat”
I do not like his big blue map
I also think his VP’s crap.

I think he’s wrong on education
And his misunderestimation
Of my entire eight-year span,
I do not like him, Rahm-I-Am!

I do not like his stimulus,
He’s weak on defense, what a wuss!
He won’t sign a gay marriage ban.
I do not like that Kenyan man.

They say his middle name’s Hussein –
I’d rather go with John McCain
Or maybe Sarah, she’s a cutie
I really like her… sense of duty.

I’ll always back the GOP
No matter what they do to me
I am a staunch Republican,
I do not like him, Rahm-I-Am!

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1. Tina Fey

With her portrayals of Sarah Palin, Tina Fey almost single-handedly made SNL good again.

 

2. Joss Whedon

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. If you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so, because it is simply so off-the-wall laugh-out-loud funny. And the music rocks, too.

Honorable mentions to Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day for this also.

 

3. Barack Obama

The exhilaration of Obama’s victory still hasn’t faded in all places. The Blagojevich affair, the continued economic crapness and the violence in Gaza have largely overshadowed it, but Obama allowed a great many people to believe in something better, inspired many people to get out and vote for the first time, and stopped the election from being a quasi-Hobsonian choice between Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

 

4. Harry Redknapp

As I mentioned in my “2009 won’t suck” post, the new Tottenham manager has been turning the team around and getting some good results under the collective belt. Here’s hoping we see more of the same.

 

5. Juande Ramos

The previous Tottenham manager. Although things turned sour later on, Ramos steered the team to a Cup win and thereby ensured our continued competitive presence at a continental level as well as national. But enough was enough.

 

6. Anne Mulcahy

While Xerox’s CEO didn’t have a direct hand in the decision to hire me, her continued support for my department is a big part of what made it possible. 2009 has brought layoffs, it’s true, but 2008 was still made better for me. And while the layoffs have stung all over the company, the aforementioned support was probably also a major factor in keeping the attrition down to the levels we ended up seeing.

 

7. Aaron Sorkin

I know The West Wing has long since finished its run. That said, it is still one of the greatest shows ever to air, and watching it on DVD for the third or fourth time through was still great. Especially knowing that certain of the West Wing characters were based on actual politicians who figured strongly in the 2008 campaign.

 

8. Nate Silver

A less well-known name, but one which made a few headlines in 2008 and which I believe will make more and more, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com made a name for himself using statistical models and a huge amount of polling data to predict the results of the 2008 election, which he did with remarkable accuracy. His efforts inspired me to make my own predictions – using less advanced math, of course – which also went rather well.

 

9. Arianna Huffington

2008 was the year in which The Huffington Post shed at least some of its liberal bias and made an effort to become a very credible news source. While many of the articles, particularly the op/eds, continue to show a strong liberal slant, the more objective “HuffPo” overtook The Drudge Report as my news site of choice.

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Is It Time Yet?

Obama: Is it time yet? The fat lady’s done singing…

 

Inauguration Crowds

Crowd: Is it time yet? The guy 1235965th from the right in row 213958365 needs to pee, and he can’t hold it much longer.

 

sworn_in

Obama: I do solemnly swear that I am up to n… umm, faithfully defend and execute stuff. What you just said, Mr. Chief Justice.

 

spielberg

Spielberg: CUT! Get him the script again and we’ll retake in five minu– oh. I’m not in charge here.

 

hell_yeah

Obama: OK, speech time! Can I get a HELL YEAH!

 

Obama Inauguration

Obama: The economy is in crisis, but you can still get a Five Dollar Footlong at Subway. We now return to my speech.

 

bush_hug

Bush: Nice speech. By the way, to get the sink to work in the executive bathroom you have to jiggle the handle.

 

rahm

Emanuel: SO glad I had Bill Clinton tell Dubya that thing about the “sink”.

 

APTOPIX Obama Inauguration

Sasha Obama: You did good, Daddy. Now where the hell’s my puppy?

 

Photos from Drudge Report and Huffington Post.

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I suppose the title of this post is a little misleading, in that if I have bothered to list something here, then I apparently at least a partial fuck about it, enough to write about it. Some would argue, though, that a partial fuck is in its own way more pathetic than no fuck at all, but most of all, these nine things could vanish from the face of the earth and I would not miss them in any way.

1. Miley Cyrus

By extension, Hannah Montana and High School Musical in their entirety. So, so sick of seeing these bloody things advertised on everything that is large enough to contain a facsimile of Miley’s unfeasibly large and artificial smile.

2. The dodgy activities of the neighbor of the boyfriend of the daughter of the former employee of the college buddy of the pastor of the husband of a defeated vice-presidential candidate.

Why are the media still squeeing over Sarah Palin? Until she gets indicted for something or runs for office again, stop trying to make a scandal over people she might vaguely recognize if she passed them on the street.

3. Slash fiction

House isn’t screwing Wilson. Snape did not bugger Harry. And I’d be willing to bet that Ernie is not giving it to Bert.

Just stop.

If you want to write fiction with gay protagonists, and include explicitly or implicitly sexual scenes, then great – I have no issue with this, and will quite happily read it. If you want to take somebody else’s characters out of context just to have them shag, regardless of how inappropriate and unrealistic it might be, I think you might need to root out whatever pathological impulse is driving this and stomp on it.

4. Screamo

This is where I’m going to sound like an old person: if you can’t make music without screaming tunelessly into the microphone while your band throws their instruments down fifteen flights of stairs… don’t bother. Find something else to do, like whining on your MySpace about how nobody understands you. At least there, I don’t have to encounter it.

This is where I hope to sound less old again: there is such a thing as good emo, contrary to some of my earlier assertations. Panic at the Disco, The Academy Is, and several other bands from the FueledByRamen/DecayDance stable are well worth a listen.

5. Superhero movies

Facile plots, wooden acting and outrageous special-effect budgets. Did I miss anything?

There are a few exceptions to this, of course, but haven’t we had enough superhero movies for one decade? Maybe something totally new and creative and well-acted wouldn’t actually kill anyone.

6. The Jolie-Pitt family

Nothing else I can really say here. There’s drama. There are many babies. There are tabloid ‘scoops’. I simply don’t care.

7. Drug-resistant hyper-virulent strains of bird flu

There’s no point worrying about this. It’s hyper-virulent. It’s drug-resistant. So if it has your name on it, you’re going to get it. Take the usual precautions you would take against getting sick and hope for the best.

8. Snowed-out global warming conferences

It was ironic to hear about it the first time. Now it’s just annoying. Yes, it’s still going to snow. Sometimes even in May, or September. That’s because the issue is more complex than “OMG the world is gettin hotter :(“. Many people have chosen the path of referring to the issue as ‘climate change’ in order to make it less confusing for the retards who point to snowflakes as proof that global warming is a myth.

Ultimately, even if we’re not actually causing global warming, we are still pumping ton after ton of toxic chemical shit into our air and water – shouldn’t we be doing something about that even if we’re not staring the Grim Reaper in the face?

9. The novelty song about ‘Barack the Magic Negro’

It’s racist. It aired on the Rush Limbaugh show. Was anyone still looking for proof that Limbaugh is a dick? This was just one more example in a long career of dickitude.

This may well be all I have to say on any of these topics for the rest of 2009 if not beyond. Now for some more positive content.

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This is the start of a new temporary (maybe 9 days) feature wherein I make lists of stuff. So yeah. Reasons 2009 won’t suck.

1. New albums from Guster and Carbon Leaf

They’re not the only ones, of course, but two perennial favorites who will be releasing new material for the first time since 2006. Perhaps this will be as good a music year as that was.

2. Radical topiary

By which I of course mean the wholesale removal of the Bushes from the political landscape. I know that Obama has an extraordinarily difficult year ahead of him, and as such I am hesitant to expect a full reversal of the Bush policies I have disagreed with. However, I believe that he is likely to bring a change for the better, and I look forward to seeing it.

3. The return of Jermain Defoe

Tottenham have been woefully short on goals this season, largely due to the previous management’s boneheaded decision to sell off our three most prolific strikers in 2008 without lining up a proven replacement. As such, we were languishing at the foot of the league for a long time. Mercifully, said management has fallen under the proverbial axe, and due to the arrival of the new manager one of those strikers is now returning. Two other existing players are beginning to find their rhythm as well, and we have won more games than we have lost in the last 4-5 weeks. Here’s hoping this continues and we can climb the table again.

4. Going to Florida

On the 23rd, we will be escaping the cold and wet and dreary weather for a week in the sticky-out bit at the bottom right of America. More on that when it happens.

5. Getting our own place

2009 will in all likelihood see us moving into a house of our own, away from the mental depredations inflicted upon us throughout the years by noisy neighbors and flaky landlords. 

6. Baby steps

L is very close to taking his first steps, and will almost certainly do so either this month or next. It’s something that is second nature to any of us, but an extremely important milestone for him, and I can’t wait to be the proud daddy when he manages it.

7. Commemorative coinage

2009 sees the extension of the State Quarters program for one more year, four new Presidential dollar coins and four commemorative pennies. OK, so it’s only 14 coins and thus about 1.2% of my collection, but there are new coins coming out and I’m a coin nerd and that therefore makes me squee like a 7-year-old seeing the newest line of Hannah Montana merchandise.

8. More interesting work

Ever since I started at Xerox, I’ve been working on one big behemoth of a project, now mercifully complete. This means that I get to do a wider variety of things.

9. Steve Jobs is still not dead

Notwithstanding the rumours that keep screwing with Apple’s stock price, one of the computer industry’s titans is still alive and kicking, and thus there will be more pretty shiny toys released this year.

So yeah. Should be a good year.

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