March 2009

Now Fred Thompson has stated he wants President Obama’s policies to fail. Brother, where to begin?

Democrats did not want Bush to fail, not in the war(s), not in the economy, and certainly not by trashing the Constitution, but he did.

Now Republicans want Obama to fail. This is not complicated. If Obama fails, America suffers.

Remember, Republicans think of themselves, and present themselves, as the “true Americans.” I believe a true American would only wish the best for the good old U. S. of A..

Thompson joins noted statesmen Bobby Jindal and Rush Limbaugh in the desire to see us fail.

Jindal – political lightweight (but not without some smarts)
Thompson – wealthy, slow-witted codger
Limbaugh – insanely wealthy hack/shill

Who next will join this distinguished trio? (I gag just thinking about the governor of Alaska, so I won’t mention her name.)

I have noticed that it is the people who aren’t at the end of their rope financially who most want the Obama administration’s financial policies to fail. Most people, no matter how long they have worked, are in a paycheck to paycheck position. They hope to just keep their house and not have to file bankruptcy. For the majority, if the Obama policies fail, they will fail.

At the end of the day the wealthy will continue to have the best health care, access to the best education and jobs. Why would they care about anyone else? I got mine.

What else will the very-wealthy have? The Republican Party, deep in their pockets.

Other than tax cuts for the wealthy, Republicans have no creative ideas on how to solve this mess, so instead, their only possible “validation” would come in the form of the failure of Democratic policies.

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I heard a recent complaint about how Obama has nothing a true president would need, a true leader would need. In fact, according to her, he had many very unleaderlike (that’s a word now) qualities. She also finished her comment with several less-than-friendly terms for the president, which I have decidedly chosen to omit.

First, she said Obama shouldn’t be working on a basketball bracket while at work. Unless she spends every waking moment at work, I don’t think she should fault anyone else for doing something they enjoy during their downtime.

Second, she says it is irresponsible to call people “sweetie” in the workplace. I find this interesting because the president has yet to say “sweetie” in the White House (with the possible exception of his wife). As I recall, the last recorded person he called “sweetie” was a reporter who was trying to interview him In early May, 2008.

Third, she says that anybody who had made jokes about the Special Olympics would be fired in any other situation. I disagree. Most, though not all, bosses would ignore it altogether, or even laugh themselves. The Special Olympics has reached a point in American society, for better or worse, where it is respected enough that most people feel it is safe to make a joke. After all, nearly everyone would agree that Congress is an important and irreplaceable body of the U.S. government, but that won’t stop people from poking fun at it.

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I saw a personalized license plate the other day that said something to the effect of “MY ST8 TAXS 2 MUCH.”

This was not a bumper sticker, it was a personalized plate. This person paid an extra tax to complain about taxes. THAT is passion, with a touch of stupidity.

Surely some people in every state feel their state taxes too much.

Who are these people? What are they bitching about?

License-plate guy was driving on a road paid for by taxes. The police that monitor the road and try to catch insane drivers are paid by taxes. If his house is on fire, tax-paid firemen will risk their lives to put it out.

You know what is interesting? I never see this plate (or bumper sticker) on the cars of the truly wealthy, and they are taxed the most! Hmmmm, why is that?

I am guessing license-plate guy is middle income, but lives beyond his means, and needs to blame his monetary shortage on someone else.

I would bet I make no more than this guy, and pay the same amount of tax. So why am I not moaning and groaning about taxes all the time?

Because I don’t spend more than I have. I am not in debt up to my eyeballs, so taxes don’t seem so high.

I love having good schools, and good roads, and firemen willing to try to rescue my house.

Of course, this ties together nicely with our current mortgage disaster.
(1) unscrupulous lenders were finding the income-impaired and granting them loans to buy houses
(2) other people (morons) decided they wanted mega-houses, two and three times bigger than they needed.

I am confident license-plate guy falls into the latter category. He overbought on a house and/or a boat, and has credit-card issues, and needs someone else to blame.

License-plate guy, you are breaking my heart.

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The Dalai Lama has been refused a visa for a peace conference in South Africa. South Africa says it doesn’t want to shift attention from the 2010 World Cup (to be held more than a year after this visit). South Africa also said that they have, in recent years, had a good trade relationship with China. My guess is that China told South Africa to deny him entrance.

The peace conference was meant to showcase South Africa’s leading human-rights efforts. Talk about irony.

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In 1870, the 15th Amendment was passed enfranchising black men, but not women, with the right to vote. American women were not granted the right until 1920.

It is amusing to see how many countries granted women this right before the United States. Poland, Russia, Germany, Canada, Finland, Austria, Ireland, Finland and Australia all allowed this before 1920. God help us, even Estonia and the Ukraine beat us to the punch. There were many others also, most a bit too difficult to spell.

We keep hearing about the foresight of the founding fathers (FF’s), but they sort of whiffed on this one. If the FF’s really wanted to be thought of as visionaries, they would have granted women all the rights they granted men.

(It was probably too much to ask, in the late 1700’s, to ask them to free slaves and give them voting rights too.)

Back then, landowners pretty much called all the shots, and apparently weren’t all that excited about sharing power. Power was based on your wealth, which is different from today because….ummm… because….uh…

Know this though, there were people back then, Americans, who were mortified by the treatment of slaves and even the concept of slavery. These objectors would surely have been jeered, and called the 18th century version of the worst of all insults….”liberal.”

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I will confess here that I am ‘oldish’ (but not yet old). I have a large collection of record albums that I never got rid of. I just couldn’t let go of these old “friends,” in spite of the fact that I hadn’t played any of them in decades.

I have somehow come into possession of an iPod. The first thing I did was to transfer all of the better songs from my cd’s to it.

Then I was given a bit of magic. I now have a device that can transfer the songs from my old records onto cd’s. From there it is only a short step to my computer and then to my iPod.

Some of the album music I have transferred are part of two-record sets, such as Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

Almost always, one record of a two-record set will have side A and side D, while the other has sides C and B. To clarify, on the flip side of A is side D. The flip side of B is C.

If you are my age or older you know why they are formatted A/D and B/C. On stereos you would physically stack the albums atop the spindle (the silver pole in the middle of the turntable), side A would play first, then the other record would drop down to play side B. After B ended, you would flip them both over and play C and D.

This concept is not so complicated (assuming I have described it adequately).

Here is the point (finally): WE LISTENED TO FOUR ALBUM SIDES OF ONE ARTIST ALL IN ONE SITTING.

That was a long time ago. We would never do that today. Aside from being at a concert, can you imagine listening to 20 consecutive songs by the same artist? No, you cannot. No patience.

And remember, we were listening to the whole album, including all the lame songs.

There are almost no complete albums on my iPod. From most albums I only selected one or two songs, and many albums I skipped altogether. (Did I actually pay money for those disco albums?)

So far my iPod has 1,200 cherry-picked songs, all songs I really like. It is set on “shuffle”. I never hear two songs in a row by the same artist.

It doesn’t matter. I now have an “MTV attention span.” This means if I am not entertained in the next 15 seconds, I am skipping this song and moving on to the next.

Remember, I CHOSE EVERY SONG on this device, I am never forced to listen to the same artist twice in a row, and I am still skipping songs all the time.

“Bored” has been redefined.

How did this happen to me? I expect this type of impatience from young, terribly immature people. I thought I would be immune due to my unusually high ‘intelligence and wisdom’ content.

Nope. No patience. None.

It has gotten so bad that I really don’t give a song 15 whole seconds. After about seven or eight notes I am usually done and movin’ on (thank you Bad Company).

Maybe deep down I DO think I am old, and can’t afford to give three whole minutes to a song that doesn’t just kill. I will call the shrink and check on this…

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Monty Python once did a skit titled “The Argument Clinic.” In it a man approaches the counter of a business to request an argument. He is told that a specific argument counselor is in today, “but is feeling a bit conciliatory.”

Well that is the way we feel today.

By the time this blog began in September 2008 the presidential election had heated up considerably.

We argued long and hard about the direction of this country. We made some effort to point out that the eight years of Bush rule were less than ideal in so many ways.

We were not especially enamored with how Senator John McCain ran his campaign. Who knows what lessons were learned from the beating he took in the popular vote and electoral college. Any?

And now the current GOP leadership has decided to vote en masse against everything the newly elected president proposes, defying historical precedent.

By amazing coincidence, each & every Republican Congressperson and Senator (save three) found the exact same reasons to oppose the stimulus package, aimed at righting our very sick economy. Hello lemmings!

The favorite GOP word is “socialist.” (Our current favorite word is “recession.”)

So far they are afraid to attack President Obama personally, because they feel he got elected due to his charm, or smooth speaking ability. They feel the populous is empty-headed, and so smitten with Obama-mania that there will be a backlash if they (the GOP) make the personal attacks they have grown so comfortable doing.

Reason #1 why Barack Obama was elected: The GOP, led by G W Bush, totally F’d up the country for eight straight years. We were a disaster nationally, and a catastrophe internationally.

Republicans tried playing the ‘fear’ card throughout the election, and continue to do so. This always sells well among the naïve and the stupid, but only occasionally sells among people who are actually paying attention. In this election the fear card held little sway.

But, again, we are in a conciliatory mood, so no slash and burn commentary here, just some friendly advice to Republicans: Put your “fear card” away for a while, and do yourself a favor. Re-examine the whole election process. If, upon completion of the examination, you still feel that Obama charm (rather than Republican culpability) was the significant factor, you may be beyond hope.

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Wait, what?

Yes, a conservative is right about something. I am talking about Ben Stein. He occasionally gets pretty nutty about what he thinks, but he hit this topic right on the nose.

He said that the biggest problem with the market today is the fear fueling its downfall. When Barack Obama was elected, he himself said that the people had elected hope over fear. The problem is, he has only used fear to get whatever bills necessary passed in order to save the economy. I am not stupid enough to believe that this is not urgent; haste is important in this situation. However, Obama is only showing the bad side of the issue to get what he wants. As Ben Stein put it, 92% of Americans still do have jobs, and more than 90% of loans are being paid off on time. Those are the numbers you need to look at. If the American people weren’t panicking, then in all honesty, we would still be relatively safe.

That becomes a big difference between Barack Obama and FDR. Roosevelt always had a confident and calming nature, and it instilled confidence back into the public.

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The Republican Party likes to think of itself as the staunch defenders of all that is right with America. They are standing strong as defenders of liberty and morality, and all that is just.

There is only one thing wrong with this. They do not stand strong. They have no spine.

Three Republican leaders, in the last two weeks, have said the equivalent of “Rush Limbaugh is an idiot”.

Again, this was said by Republican leaders, not Democrats.

Why did they say it? Because Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. His moronic pronouncements, if followed by the party, will move the Republicans further and further right.

How did moving further and further right work in the last election? Just ask John McCain.

So Rush says something over-the-top stupid like “I hope Obama fails.” It doesn’t matter that if Obama fails the country might suffer economic catastrophe. Rush hopes for disaster because it would somehow validate his own fiscal credentials. (Rush, you know this does not hold water scientifically, but you also know your followers aren’t exactly scientists…)

Anyway, these types of crazy statements might possibly alienate a percentage of the centrist voters, so the three Republican leaders disavowed that Rush is the leader of the Republican Party, and said really nasty things about him like “he is an entertainer”. Vicious.

Oops.

Within 24 hours, each and every “leader” had placed his lips on Rush’s gargantuan ass, and publicly begged him for forgiveness. These are obviously not “leaders”, they are just Rush followers. Pathetic.

Dear GOP “Leaders”:

You make us sick. Be conservative, we don’t care, but have a spine. When you say something, mean it.

You always get on liberals for being soft-hearted. You guys are being soft-headed. Tough up. Tell Rush to take a flippin’ hike and stick with it.

Stand by your own words. You know Rush is a pinhead. You are just too big of a coward to say it out loud.

We hate to give away trade secrets, but here is a clue: Make some effort to reach out to the middle. Hint: Rush ain’t the middle.

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