Seen, Heard, Read

News from the Road, If I Were On The Road

What’s Snoo?

  • Unemployment figures for the month of October: 240,000, which means that Americans have lost approximately 1,000,000 jobs so far this year
  • Claims from aides in McCain camp: Sarah Palin thinks that Africa is a country (no . . . this is is a joke, right?)
  • Claims from Sarah Palin: The most that she ever asked for was an occasional diet Dr. Pepper (okay, governor)
  • Republicans want Joe Lieberman to caucus with them; Dems don’t want to lose a Senate vote since we are so close to the all-powerful 60. I say we should buy him a new wardrobe and let Joe the Plumber decide.
  • Joe the Plumber who hates Socialism has benefitted from that entitlement program called “Welfare” on two occasions. Hmmmm
  • W. has given permission for uranium drilling within three miles of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, which provides drinking water for three states. Way to go George! Just when I thought that you couldn’t do anything more asinine, you go and prove me wrong. Who needs a natural monument that is eons old? Who needs fresh drinking water? What a bunch of sissies. You show ’em. After all, you’re going to be far, far away in a land called Oz.
  • Michele Bachmann, who just weeks ago was calling for McCarthy like hearings into anti-American liberals in the Senate had this to say about Barack Obama’s presidential win: She was“extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.”
  • Gay marriage was defeated in California, but the defeat is not sitting well with the Gay/Lesbian community, as it shouldn’t. Expect to hear a lot more about this issue.
  • Since President-elect Obama’s election, the Iraqis have been more willing to sign the security agreement that they had been stalling. The Iraqis were worried that the agreement for withdrawal of forces by December 30, 2011 would not be honored by a Republican White House. However, they are more willing to negotiate an agreement with the upcoming change in the White House. The new agreement also prevents the launching of attacks of other countries from Iraqi soil (such as Syria).

    eugene-allen
    Eugene Allen (Clark/Washington Post)
  • And finally, if you want to know who really makes the White House run, please read this incredible story about Eugene Allen. If this doesn’t touch your heart, then you are made of stone. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008361980_webbutler07.html

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

This time last week we were getting ready to watch the returns from what would become one of the most historic elections in our country. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this process. I only wish that I could take it a step further and apply for a job with the new administration. That would be like something out of a dream, to participate in an administration that is going to make sweeping changes. I mean, I know that it’s going to be a really hard row to hoe.

The problems that this country faces are enormous: Unemployment is creeping up every month, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it hit double digits. Our three major car companies are going under and need major help. This is probably going to be one of the worst holiday seasons for retail in a dozen years. I know that I won’t be out there spending my usual amount. That’s for sure. One of the only companies to turn a profit last quarter was Wal Mart; even Target recorded a loss. And we all know how I feel about Wal Mart. Everyone is hurting.

So I don’t delude myself that President-elect Obama is going to take office and miracles are going to happen. His first year is going to be hell, and there are going to be a lot of people pointing fingers and saying “I told you so,” because there is so much blame, and he is the easiest target. But I also have no doubts that given enough time, his plans can work.

The best laid plans of mice and men, and all of that. Everything worth having is worth waiting for, at least that’s what the cereal boxes and fortune cookies say. I just hope that when the finger pointing starts, and the naysayers begin with their doom and gloom, they remember how this country has felt for the past eight years, how as a nation, we have collectively lost hope, lost faith, lost our status as a global leader,

And so, like the Eugene Allen’s of the world, we must remember to put our coats on one sleeve at a time, and go to work, and do our jobs, and carry on, and give this man who we believed in enough to put into office a chance to do his job.

Here endeth the lesson. More later. Peace.

Wait a Minute, Haven’t We Seen Him Before?

Best Seen, Heard, and Read

Hampton Roads Talks About Race Before Virginia Beach Rally

I thought that this was an interesting extra piece that The Virginian-Pilot did in the long wait before Senator Obama took the stage at his appearance in Virginia Beach yesterday. For me, his race has always just been an afterthought, truthfully. I have always been drawn to his intelligence, his insight, and his abilities as a speaker. Even though he is not as experienced as some of the other Democrats he faced, I believe that his other qualities will serve him well. The fact that he happens to be half black is about as meaningful to me as the fact that I am half Filipino. Oh well.

However, I do not kid myself. I realize that I am not like most people, or some people or a lot of people. But it was nice to see this piece, so I thought that I would share it with you. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Just a Funny Aside

Last night, a phone number showed up on the caller ID that looked vaguely familiar, so I answered it. Turns out it was someone from the Barack Obama Headquarters wanting to speak with Corey to see if he wanted to volunteer his time. I politely told the woman that he already volunteered his time and that, in fact, we both did and that we would be in the following evening to work the phones. Corey said, “what do you want to bet she calls back and wants to speak to you?” About a minute later the phone rings, and sure enough, same thing. I said, “Hi. Just talked to you. We’ll both be in tomorrow night.”

I know that it’s not nice to screw around with phone bank people, but really, it was during the beginning of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” so you understand.

Joe the Plumber, Again?

I really didn’t think this guy would have a shelf-life of more than a couple of days, but it seems that Sarah Palin isn’t the only one with pit bull tendencies. I almost felt sorry for John McCain yesterday when he called out for Joe the Plumber, and the bald-headed nonplumber didn’t respond from the crowd. I said almost.

Seems someone forgot to let Joe know that he was supposed to be there. He was probably at home shaving his head. Personally, I think that he’s losing some brain cells every time he cleans that dome because he certainly isn’t getting any smarter with each appearance, but that’s just my opinion.

Seems Joe has gotten himself a publicist, is looking for a book deal,* a country record deal, and has absolutely no qualms about answering off-the-cuff political policy questions on camera. I’m sorry, but perhaps everyone else knows something about this man that I don’t. When he first arrived mise en scène, McCain heralded him as an everyman (21 times an everyman) who would be devastated by Obama’s tax plan and be unable to buy the business he so wanted to buy. Well a reveal of the facts showed that Samuel J. Wurzelbacher never had the money to buy any business and, in fact, would benefit from Obama’s tax plan.

Never let a fact stop McCain. He has trotted Joe the Plumber around the nation, and JTP has eagerly joined the campaign trail, and now, like Palin, answers his own questions sans handlers. Take this exchange in Ohio just a few days ago: A Jewish McCain supporter asked him during an election rally in Ohio if he believed that ‘a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel.’ JTP replied: “I’ll go ahead and agree with you on that.” In response to Joe’s insightful commentary, the McCain campaign issued a statement saying “while he’s clearly his own man, so far Joe has offered some penetrating and clear analysis that cuts to the core of many of the concerns that people have with Barack Obama’s statements and policies” (Haaretz.com).

They’re kidding, right? They’re not kidding? Holy smokes, Batman. Someone needs to send out the Bat signal because Gotham has gone bonkers. Relying on the “penetrating and clear analysis” of Joe the Plumber”? I think that Bill Kristol may have had something when he suggested (strongly) that McCain fire his campaign. Well, at least someone at Fox (yes Fox) skewered Joe the Plumber for his nincompoop comments. Shepard Smith, in what turned out to be one of the best “you’ve gotta be kidding me” moments of the campaign hammered the pseudo plumber, and then finally gave up and closed the interview with a disclaimer. I won’t even try to summarize because it’s something best viewed in person:

 

 

On that note, more later. Peace.

*By the way, what to you want to bet JTP does get a book deal, and the rest of us working writers keep struggling for years just to get noticed? Ah, the ironies of life . . .

Joe the Plumber? Really?

Presidential Debate 3: The Game Changer

Just Who is Joe the Plumber?

This man got 21 mentions by John McCain and 4 from Barack Obama. It was almost farcical. I mean really. I almost snorted Pepsi up my nose when Obama turned to the camera and said with a straight face that he was talking to Joe, too. I know that when McCain gets a phrase under his belt, he just cannot let it go (e.g., “My friends” used 22 times in the last debate), but the promises that McCain was making to Joe tonight made me wish, just for a moment, that I could change my gender and career because, gee golly dontcha know, Joe is going to get a lot from the Senator if he makes it to the White House.

For the record, Senator McCain, I really DO want to spread the wealth around. I’ve been waiting around since Reaganomics was first implemented for that trickle down effect to trickle down to me, and it still hasn’t happened, so how about spreading the wealth around to some people who are really hurting. I nominate our household for the first round of spreading. Seriously. Here we are. Go ahead. Use a backhoe.

And that comment about not taxing anyone? Isn’t that just plain stoo-pid? Hello? Aren’t we in an economic crisis, which means that we need an influx of capital, and isn’t money from taxes capital going into the system? And don’t give me that cutting the capital gains tax line. Republicans have been hauling that out every year since Bush I, and the only people with substantial capital gains have more than 7 zeroes in their incomes, and hey, they don’t need tax breaks.

Let’s Talk About the Bad Stuff

Ooh, now I know why we haven’t put the two candidates at the same table before. It’s scary to have a close-up of John McCain. Have you ever looked into his eyes? Kind of like looking at a shark’s eyes—black and soul-less. And how about the rolling of the eyes and smirking when Obama was talking? Interrupting? Snarky. Naughty, naughty.

But putting the candidates in proximity was perfect for making them talk about Bill Ayers and ACORN. Let’s put it out their and see who blinks first. I believe that McCain was the one who said, “I don’t care about an old washed up terrorist.” Perhaps the senator should put that in a memo and distribute it to his surrogates, especially his pet pit bull. Nevertheless, the always smooth Obama was ready and answered the charges on Ayers and ACORN. However, I really wish that he had thrown the fact that John McCain, in March of 2006, headlined an ACORN event in Florida.

Nevertheless, my blood pressure soared when McCain had the audacity to say that he has “repudiated every time someone has been out of line whether they were in his campaign or not.” Can we all say liar, liar, pants on fire? And ooh, McCain’s feelings were hurt about what Representative John Lewis had to say regarding the dirty politics going on in the McCain camp. Obama responded by bringing up the point that people at the rallies were saying “terrorist” and “kill him.” To which McCain said that he is proud of the people who come to his rallies and there are just a few fringe elements out there.

Aw. Why Didn’t You Go There?

Now strategically, I understand why Obama didn’t go there when Bob Schieffer asked the candidates about their opponent’s running mates, the better part of valor and all of that. But was it my imagination or did I see just the faintest twinkle in his eye as he thought about it for a nano second, just a passing moment in which he thought, why not? But the statesman in him held him back and he gave a responsible, respectful answer when you know he wanted to say, “Are you kidding me? Seriously? I wouldn’t let that woman run my sprinkler system.” At least, that’s what I imagine he wanted to say. But didn’t. Because he’s a lot nicer than I am. But you know that Michelle was thinking it.

Seriously, Now.

Senator McCain, Trig Palin has Down’s Syndrome, not Autism. If you are going to exploit a special needs child, at least get the damned facts straight. Geez.

And by the way, the most disappointing statistic of which we need to be ashamed as a developed nation: U.S. ranks 29th in the world for infant mortality even though we are supposed to have the best health care. As 29th, we tie with Slovakia  and Poland, but lag behind Cuba. Singapore is first, and the Czech Republic is 8th. This is truly an abominable statistic, yet no one seems to be outraged. WHY NOT????????????

Tired now. More later . . .