Tag Archives: barack obama

Casting call

I’m giddy with anticipation.

All the coverage around who Barack Obama may or may not pick for the dozens of positions he needs to fill just has me fidgety.  I tend to be a bit of a political watcher, and I find all this stuff pretty interesting anyway.  It’s been eight years since all this happened with Bush 43, and it was pretty interesting to watch then.  Now, that I’m pretty psyched that ‘my guy’ won, and that he’d already picked the guy I REALLY liked for VP, I’m just super interested to see who he taps for his key positions.  It’s not so much because I’m a political junkie, because I wouldn’t label my level of interest “junkie” level.  I think it’s more because Obama/Biden, and the Secretaries, and the Attorney General, and other key folks will take frequent turns in the spotlight on CNN.com and I’m just interested to see who it will be I’ll be reading about for the next four-to-eight years.  Sort of like a casting call for an unprecedented political TV drama… only the plot lines affect my life on a daily basis.

I really have no point in writing this.  Just that I’m keenly watching it, and it’s fun.

OK, I need to stop babbling.  The problem is, I accidentally left the keys in the ignition of my minivan earlier, in the battery-on position…. yeah, duh, I know.  Then I went to pick Lane up from preschool and, ta da!  Car wouldn’t start.  In-laws weren’t home, friends next door weren’t home, and didn’t have the numbers in my cell phone of anyone else I felt comfortable calling on short notice to beg for help.  So I resorted to the double jogging stroller.  We live about a mile away from Lane’s preschool and I’ve made the trip bipedally before, many time actually.  It’s the only exercise I have gotten lately.  But I didn’t expect to do it today, when it is very cold and windy, and I didn’t expect to have to do it as fast as I had to do it.  But I bundled Jake up to the gills in his snowsuit and a blanket, and off we went.  And I did the 1.2 miles it takes to get from door to door in about 12 minutes, which is by far a personal record for the trek… and pushing 30 pounds in the jogging stroller and in the bitter cold besides.  And for kicks, I jogged some of it on the way home, too.  The funny thing was, when I tried to start the van when we got home, to show Lane how it was broken, the damned thing started right up.  So, it’s running in the driveway, and I’m still feeling short of breath.  Good times.

What kind of dog should the Obamas get?

Barack Obama famously promised a puppy to his daughters for when they move into the White House. For a kid, perhaps there is no greater thrill than getting a puppy! I am, admittedly, envious of them. 🙂

What kind of dog should they get?

First off, I rule out a small dog. Barack and Michelle are both people of tall stature, and I think a small dog would look more like a rodent next to them. Not only that, but the toy breeds just aren’t very presidential.

There are lots of sporting breeds, hounds and such, but to me these don’t fit with the Obamas. So beagles and bloodhounds and that sort are out.

I also don’t see them taking on an exotic breed, such as a Chow or Shar-Pei.

They are an active family, so a more active breed of dog would certainly be a good fit. Labradors and Golden Retrievers have a high activity level, but they can be pretty wacky when they are younger. I’d hate to think of the destruction an exuberant Lab could rain down upon the China Room.

So maybe one of the gentle giants… a Newfoundland, or St. Bernard, or a Bernese Mountain Dog, or a Great Dane. Hmm. I think I’m really digging them with a Great Dane. And these breeds are all so great with kids.

Of course, there are rescue opportunities, so maybe they’ll go in that direction. A quick look at the Petfinder web site for the Chicago area found these potential rescue pups for them:

http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=12317543

http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=12103131

http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=12184316

And sorry, but how funny would it be if they adopted a puppy named McCain or Palin? LOL!

http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=12218751

An open letter from Colin Powell to the Republican party

Dear Sirs and a Madam or two:

There are many in the party who have expressed shock, outrage, disappointment, and feelings of betrayal over my decision to break with Party lines and endorse Senator Barack Obama.  Well, let me tell you, I can sympathize!

You see, a number of years ago, I was given some information and a vial of fake anthrax and asked to plead a case for war in front of the U.N.  I was somewhat dubious, but I was assured that the information and intelligence upon which I was making our plea was solid, and that this was a just and necessary war.  It turned out, you all were full of crap.  Years of war have proven that our primary reason for starting that trillion-dollar mess was based on unsubstantiated intelligence from questionable sources, and nary a weapon of mass destruction has been found.  Oh I know, some of you are claiming all the WMDs hauled ass into Syria, but you’re full of it.  We’ve got dozens of high-tech spy satellites with their eyes trained on that region; if any sort of mass shipment of weapons happened we would have seen it.

You used me.  You used my name and my good reputation in the world to make your case, and it blew up in all our faces.  To say I felt betrayed, disappointed, shocked and outraged is putting it mildly.  I wanted to drop a bus on you frigging people, since you so symbolically dropped one on me, on my good reputation, and on my honor as a soldier and a man.  I was a shining example of nonpartisanship, of leadership, of integrity.  Nearly overnight you made me into another worthless Bush lackey.  Not only that, but I had a pretty good shot at becoming the first black president.  And as a Republican!  It wasn’t something I actively aspired to, but I’ve dedicated my life to service to my country, and had the calls for me to run been compelling and resounding, I would have.  I would have run with honor and sincerity and honesty and I probably would have won, because I’m pretty moderate and cool and the American people frigging loved me.  Now people on the left lump me in as just another chump in the administration, and people on the right… well, some of you have just gone stark raving mad, and while you may like me I really don’t want to have much to do with you.

However, it would be unfair to say I endorsed Barack Obama out of spite.  I hope you know me enough to know that I’m bigger than that.  I mean, let’s just take a look at the guy — he’s got charm, and charisma, and brains, and if I were a woman I would be madly in love with him.  Heck, even as a guy I have a bit of a man-crush on the dude.  He’s a light in the fog these days in a country craving some leadership and calm in a storm of woes.  And it’s not like the guy the Republican party nominated makes me quiver with excitement.  Sure, I like him, the way you like that crazy uncle that mumbles conspiracy theories at Christmas dinner and tells off your grandpa for being a pinko commie who never understood him.

And of course there are the people who are already saying I’m backing him because he’s a brother.  Come on.  I’m the same color as George W. for chrissake, and Obama ain’t much darker.  But if there’s one thing about his outward appearance that sways me, it’s his ears.  I know they look pretty dorky but you know what?  He uses them for more than holding up a frigging cowboy hat.  He listens.  He seeks knowledge and advice and wisdom, and wants you to tell him what he doesn’t know.  That’s a drink of water in the desert, man, especially after so many years of the administration not giving a damn about what I might have to say, and then the American public mostly despising me for helping make the case for war.  Not only is this guy smart enough to take advice, but he’s so awesome and transformational that maybe he can help me regain at least a little of the respect and credibility I lost because of you.

It is certainly fair to say you didn’t exactly make it hard for me to choose which horse I wanted to back.  You eviscerated all the party loyalty I had when you threw my reputation under a bus to further your pet project in Iraq.  So, I may have sounded my own political death knell, but it was frigging worth it, you assholes.

********************

OK, so maybe Gen. Powell didn’t really write that.  But it’s certainly fun for me to imagine him thinking it.

Multitasking: It’s kind of a big deal

It looks like John McCain is bailing out of the first presidential primary tomorrow. I find this really disappointing; I LOVE presidential debates.

His reasoning is the economic crisis and all the work that needs to be done on his part to see the country through this hard time. Noble on the surface, but is it, really? He sits on a couple relevant committees and subcommittees in the Senate, but it’s not like they’re twiddling their thumbs waiting for him to gallop in on his noble steed to save the day. The way I see it, the main thing he needs to do is vote on stuff. He’s not in a position to be crafting the terms of the bailout packages or anything like that. Is he? Maybe I’m wrong about that.

McCain just seems to me to be pretty poor at multitasking. He makes a point of only scheduling one campaign stop a day. And now, he can’t take the time to prepare for a debate because of this current ‘crisis’? (I’m a bit dubious of the word ‘crisis’ as applied to the current situation. Oh, it’s not good, I agree wholeheartedly. And granted I don’t understand and am making no attempt to understand the nuanced effect that these government takeovers could have on the market as a whole. But I just don’t see how McCain playing hooky from the debate tomorrow is suddenly going to make rainbows and daisies out of the current situation.) Regardless, I see the presidential debates as like the pinnacle of the election process, the most important steps. Does McCain really want to be president? Or does he want to pretend to act Presidential by hiding in D.C.? It would be really impressive that if he’s going to do something to save us all from this corporate greed, that he could accomplish it AND show up to the debate to tell us all about it. I’d hate to see him have to try to handle two important things at once as president. “Sorry, Iran, you’re just going to have to wait a minute even though you’ve just rolled a nuclear weapon into your main square — we just got hit with a giant earthquake here. Can I pencil you in for next Tuesday? Will that work for you, crazy Iranian people? Swell. Thanks!”

The truth is, I really think he’s using AIG as the dog who ate his homework. We’ve spent the last few weeks watching Sarah Palin being kept under tight wraps from all first-hand media scrutiny (except of course for Charlie Gibson nailing her, that was funny — and damn, how annoying was it the way she said “Charlie”?). I’m not even going to get started on how pot-calling-kettle-black sexist that is of the McCain camp. Can’t they trust this woman to stand her own ground and handle the tough questions, even if it’s to issue her own personal “no comment”s? But now, John McCain is just throwing himself into the media black hole. In his first chance to face off with Obama on national TV, he’s bailing?? That seems so weird. And it’s not like I’m salivating because I think Obama is going to trounce him in the debates; I think McCain is probably going to prove to be a more effective debater than Obama in many respects. Mostly, because he’s a sound bite sort of guy and the American populace doesn’t seem capable of absorbing much more than neatly-packaged sound bites. But since the debates might very well be his forte, why bail? Why not use the forum to share your thoughts on the economy and other matters with the American people? It just smells like a three-day-old fish to me.

Or, maybe he’s just at a point in the campaign where he’s feeling like he’s not quite confident enough to quit his day job. 🙂

Spoiler alert

I tend to like spoilers.  Not movie spoilers or anything like that, but those behind-the-pack forces that wreak havoc for the people out front.  A last place team ruins a playoff chance for another team but pulling out an unlikely victory?  Awesome!  Maybe it’s something twisted about my personality, or maybe I just dig the expression of power that comes with it.

It’s probably not a secret that I am fairly left-leaning on the political spectrum.  Although my fiscal heart sits a smidge to the right side of moderate, for social issues I’m quite aligned with the Democratic party, and am registered as such.

I’ve written before about how much Ralph Nader gets my goat.  And it’s not necessarily because of his general role as spoiler, but that he was spoiler for MY candidate.  I suppose it’s fair to say that I like any spoiler, except when I’m vested in he for whom the spoiler works against.

But the campaigns of Ralph Nader, especially in 2000, have duly demonstrated the power of the political spoiler.

And now, I’ve got a spoiler I can get behind!

Bob Barr is running for president on the Libertarian ticket.  He’s got an uphill battle for sure — right now his campaign isn’t even certain they can get him on the ballot in all 50 states.  But people are loving him.  He’s garnering the attention of conservative Republicans, and independents are showing him a lot of interest, too.  Pollster John Zogby’s organization has done a really interesting poll that illustrates just how much influence Bob Barr might have in the ’08 election.

I don’t have the financial clout to max out my $2300 contribution limit for a candidate.  But Barack Obama‘s had a few bucks thrown his way from my wallet.  MoveOn.org Civic Action gets a few bucks when they are starting up a campaign I’m interested in (like now, they are about to embark on a big push in support of universal health care).  And today I decided to throw Bob Barr a bone, too.  If he can wreak half the havoc that Nader did in 2000, it will be money well-spent.

I’m also left to wonder how many of Ralph Nader’s political contributors were registered Republicans.