Archive for August, 2008

The MLK Code

August 31, 2008

I didn’t listen to Obama’s acceptance speech, at least not completely, because I don’t like getting lectured to. But I was watching Bill Moyers just now talk with two of his friends on his chat show and he pondered that Obama never mentioned MLK by name in that speech. Apparently he called MLK “the Preacher”. That triggered something that I remembered from Sunday school many many years ago – that Jews are not supposed to say the name of God. I’m not sure why, exactly, because I didn’t really understand anything that they said in Sunday school. Religion is like biology, you kind of have to memorize everything because the logic that connects things is… not logical. I’m pretty sure Christians can say the name of Jesus whenever and however they wish, and they wish to a lot. I also remember hearing that Muslims are not supposed to say the name of their prophet without giving his title. Many muslims seem to prefer to just give the title and skip his name, because he is “The Prophet.” That got me wondering if calling MLK “The Preacher” was some sort of code, a subconscious way of elevating MLK from preacher to prophet. Maybe this is something he learned in Rev. Wright’s church, or maybe somewhere else.

The Mother of All Blog Posts

August 31, 2008

I hear the expression “Mother of all …” a lot on the TV these days. Today, Geraldo referred to hurricane Gustav as the “Mother of all Hurricanes.” I guess people don’t get the joke, in this case Geraldo doesn’t (unless he knows something we don’t). The phrase “Mother of all …” originally came from the lips of Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War in 1991. Let me review the war (at least what I can remember, I’m sure there is a “fair and balanced” view of the war on Wikipedia): the U.S. (called the coalition) started the war by bombing Iraqi military forces for one month to “soften them up”. Then the U.S. rolled armored tanks into Iraq and destroyed the entire Iraqi Army in about 3 days. Then the U.S. stopped. A few hours after the bombs started to fall on Iraq, Saddam broadcast a message declaring that “The Mother of all battles has begun.” The expression, therefore, means something thought be big and important that turns out to be nothing. Let’s hope Geraldo is right and Gustav turns into the Mother of all Hurricanes

Panic in Camp Obama

August 29, 2008

John McCain showed his “commander in chief” credentials today by selecting Sarah Palin for his vice presidential running mate. Minutes after the selection was announced its strategic value became evident. Team Obama quickly attacked Palin on her inexperience and her blue-collar roots. Hours later Obama himself had to shut them up seeing that attacks on her immediately deflected and amplified against him, all without a single shot being fired by any McCain partisan.

I predicted that McCain was going to pick a good-looking woman (I thought it would be Carly Fiorina) as his running mate because he likes good looking woman. You can see it in his eyes. Bill Clinton is probably kicking himself in butt right now thinking, “The Democratic party has a lot of good looking women in it, and I pick Al Gore? I had to go out trolling for interns and he’s going to be flying in his personal jet all over the place with this VPILF. McCain is a real genius.”

Meanwhile, in Camp Obama, it seems that they do not yet have a response to the McCain pick. I can imagine the Obama planning session for VP attacks: “Let’s put the A team on Romney and Pawlenty, the B team on Jindal, Ridge, Lieberman and that chick from EBay. We should have some coverage on them other presidential candidates too. Hey, Herbert, you cover the female Republican governors, if there are any.” Herbert was the janitor.

Yesterday, during his speech in Denver, Obama pivoted and moved in the direction of all previous Democratic candidates. He promised everything to everyone but didn’t say how or how much it would take. Today McCain outflanked Obama without firing a shot. The war in Iraq is going McCain’s way. We’ll have to wait and see if this war does the same.

Bill Clinton’s Best Argument

August 28, 2008

Bill Clinton tonight made what may be the most important argument why not to vote for Obama. Going back to the 2004 election, I always felt that John Kerry never made the one winning argument for his election: a Republican Congress and an Republican President at the same time are a bad idea. Well, the same goes for a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President. Clinton stepped into it when he declared:

“… [McCain] still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and Congress. Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades were implemented.”

I think the same argument applies this year to Obama. The last time we had a Democratically controlled Congress and White House was during the first two years of Clinton’s Presidency, two years that brought the fastest possible demise of Democratic power in Congress. The previous time was the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, the biggest disaster in American history. Revising Clinton’s line to reflect Obama’s candidacy yield a most powerful argument:

“Obama still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we rarely had a real chance to see in action, but if the Democrats finally gain control of both the White House and Congress, then we will see what will happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades are implemented.”

Sounds about right.

Have a Nice Dinner

August 27, 2008

The Democratic National Convention started yesterday and I’m bored already. So far the only interesting speech was given by Obama’s daughter who asked her dad, “Where you are Daddy?” Apparently she knew where he was, but he didn’t. The keynote speaker today said that we are engaged in a “race to the future”. What does that mean? Most people over 30 are trying to keep the future as far away as possible. But guess what, the future will always going to happen, 10 minutes will happen 10 minutes from now.

Then the Governor of Montana came on and said that McCain voted against solar energy 26 times. What does that mean? I doubt that McCain voted to make solar energy illegal, as many Democrats (and some Republicans) had voted to make nuclear power illegal, to make reprocessing plants for nuclear fuel illegal, to make the storage of nuclear waste illegal, to make new offshore drilling for oil illegal, etc.. Perhaps what he meant was the McCain voted against spending billions and billions of Federal money on programs that promised to make “commercial” success of solar and wind power. I can believe that. but that hasn’t stopped people from building solar plants or wind turbine farms. My guess is that the first bill in Congress to make wind farms illegal will come from Democratic sponsors in the name of conservation.

But the funniest line so far was given by Chuck Schumer who, when being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News was asked whether he (O’Reilly) should stick around to hear Hillary Clinton’s speech or go to dinner. Schumer when saying his goodbye after 5 minutes of postulating about what Hillary was going to say, told O’Reilly: “Have a nice dinner.” I took his advise too.

Presidential Newlywed Game

August 17, 2008

Except for the omission of Bob Eubanks and the big 25 point question, last night Barack Obama and John McCain played the Newlywed Game at the Saddleback Church forum. The pastor Rick Warren stood in for Mr. Eubanks. The format showed the differences between the two candidates more effectively than any ad or interview to date. Some highlights of the show included McCain saying Obama was “not rich,” (actually McCain reluctantly/jokingly offered $5M/year as the threshold for being rich, and Obama made only $4.2M last year), and Obama reflected on another black man’s inexperience as disqualifying him for high office (in this case Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court).

It was clear that Obama’s ideas come from a very theoretical base and that he has a difficult time with the idea of absolutes. Obama also did not explain why he thinks the way he thinks, rarely sighting specific events or philosophies he used to come to decisions. In fact, Obama seemed to enjoy thinking about issues more than resolving them. If you could run for the Supreme Court, then Obama might be a good candidate.

On the other hand, McCain showed that he has definite opinions on things and those opinions are formed, for the most part, on his own experiences. Perhaps McCain is equally thoughtful in private, but in answering questions it was clear that he had come to conclusions on most issues.

The most telling comparison of the two candidates came as they answered the question about whether there is evil in the world. Obama said that all of us have the potential for evil and it is something for which we must be continuously mindful and confront. McCain said that strapping bombs onto mentally retarded women and detonating them in the middle of a crowded public market is evil and he will destroy that evil. God willing.

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Barack, Can We Talk

August 14, 2008

This week Presidential candidate Barack Obama was on vacation visiting his senior citizen Grandmother in Hawaii (she lives there). This week the Obama’s campaign also announced their own “no tax” policy: senior citizens making less than $50K should pay no taxes. I can imagine the conversation over the Obama dinner table. “Barack, sweetheart, you know¬† I pay way too much in taxes and I make less than $50K. That’s not fair.” Obama, who has said that tax policy should be based not on increasing revenues or improving the economy but on “fairness”, must have taken his Grandmother’s pleading to heart. I’d like to invite Obama to dinner so I can plead my case that people who start their own businesses employing lots of people in high paying jobs should not pay taxes. I think that’s fair.

National Enquirer Only Journalists Left

August 12, 2008

The National Enquirer has shown that mainstream journalism is indeed dead. When your local tabloid has a better editorial policy (i.e. not politically biased), a better staff of reporters, and is actual capable of publishing a story based on its own research, all things that the mainstream media CANNOT do, then tabloids have become news, and news has become tabloid. Watching the Edwards mistress story unfold shows that the news networks are STILL incapable of doing their own research, they are just re-reporting the Enquirer’s story.

My two favorite tidbits from the story so far: Edwards claim that he did not love her, he just fucked her; and the claim that his “supporter” that has shelled out two houses and $15K a month is doing it “because he really cares for people who are down on their luck.” Edwards and his cronies sound like a real nice bunch of guys.

It is obvious that Edwards has been deeply involved with his mistress for at least two years, maybe three. He is still sleeping with her (not that I care) and has been all through his campaign. The kid is obviously his. All of this is interesting but only shows that Edwards is a liar and a philanderer, nothing new for politicians.

What is new here is the unreported headline: “Presidential Candidate Edwards’s Mistress a Kook.” According to the REAL journalists on the story (the Enquirer), Edwards spends hours and hours with this woman even lately. Why? Maybe he is just spending it with his kid. Maybe he can last that long in bed. Or maybe he likes hanging around with kooks. That would be my guess. I hope Edwards wrote down every second of their conversations, because I would actually read that book (note: I don’t read). I now understand his campaign about two Americas: the normal rational America and the kooky America. I think we know which America Edwards lives in.

Inflated Words

August 8, 2008

In a clever marketing gimmick, the McCain campaign handed out tire gauges labeled “Obama Energy Plan” to a crowd of Obama supporters a few days ago. This was in response to an Obama speech wherein he informed the crowd that if everyone kept their tires inflated properly we would not need off-shore drilling. The irony here is that while Obama does his usual pontificating on issues where he knows he is 100% correct (although he is not), his opponent takes real action to really do something about the issue. Maybe, next, Obama will ask for legislation requiring oil companies to perform free tire pressure checks with each fill-up. Didn’t gas stations do that in the 50’s? I think they call that full service now.

Change We Can Believe In?

August 7, 2008

Obama’s campaign tag-line is: Obama, change we can believe in. Here are my top 8 follow-on lines:

8. Change we can believe in. By the way, got any spare change?

7. Change we can believe in, until after the election.

6. Change we can believe in. They don’t.

5. Change we can believe in. Just don’t ask for proof.

4, Change we can believe in. Really. Trust me. Really. I’m not joking.

3. Change we can believe in. That is, the Royal “we.”

2. Change we can believe in. I believe in unicorns.

1. Change we can believe in. See, I changed my energy policy yesterday.