Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tim Pawlenty's Empty Words

Tim “Good ‘n” Pawlenty, the vanilla, republican apologist governor of Minnesota, said some things about President Obama in an interview with that I found to be stupefyingly ignorant.

Pawlenty called Obama’s economic policy “corrosive to . . . freedom and liberty”. Excuse me Tim, what about Bush’s economic policies like deregulating Wall Street which led to the collapse of the past year or spending $12 billion a month on the Iraq War, and I believe Bush was still president when the first $700 billion were given to the banks. And how exactly have your freedoms been eroded? You’re still free to say any disingenuous and asinine thing you want. The constitution hasn’t been changed by this administration’s spending policies.

More from Pawlenty: “His solutions are federalization of policy, spending way beyond anything we’ve seen in terms of deficit levels, spending the country into bankruptcy”. When Bush entered office we had a SURPLUS. A surplus, Timwit, is defined as “an amount in excess of what is needed”. When Bush finally, mercifully, left office we had a $600 billion deficit. If you are so worried about debt levels you should have opened your freaking mouth somewhere between 2004 and 2008.

Pawlenty: “History proves that it is weakness, not strength that tempts our enemies. And he is projecting potential weakness, and enemies may see that and their respect may be reduced as a result . . .” How could other countries respect us less than seeing us elect a chimp-brain like Bush TWICE? Opening dialogue and maintaining good relationships with world leaders is not weakness you clod. Do World War I and II ring a bell in your tiny, oxygen starved brain? One country allied with another, fighting a common enemy? Alliances built on trust and common ground, that’s strength.

He won’t shut up: “President Obama has governed in an extremely liberal way, and he hasn’t accomplished many major initiatives, but the few that he has have been almost exclusively partisan.” I agree partially. Obama hasn’t accomplished much so far and I’ve been disappointed in his administration. But for a republican to complain of partisanship is like Bill O’Reilly complaining that Keith Olbermann is a blowhard. Obama said he would listen to new ideas except the republicans don’t have any. They keep handing him the same old dead carp wrapped in newspaper and want to call it caviar. Obama’s smart enough to shove it into the trash disposal and move on.

This interview Pawlenty gave was a lot of empty words wrapped up in his own ambition. Pawlenty has presidential aspirations. God help us if someone this dense gets elected again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Comedy of Glenn Beck

MC: And now welcome to our stage from the FOX network, Glenn Beck!
Audience: Yea, woohoo, (whistle) (clap clap clap)
Glenn Beck: Thank you everyone, its great to be here at the Zany Banana Laughing Ha Ha Hut and it’s always a thrill to come back to Boise. It looks like we have a nice fiscally conservative crowd tonight. The other day I was on my TV show telling some lies and I got a phone call from Sean Hannity and he said “Hey, knock it off, that’s my job!”
Audience: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Glenn Beck: How many socialists does it take to screw in a light bulb? I don’t know because I don’t understand what socialism is. I just swing the word around like an uneducated, fear mongering baboon.
Audience: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Heckler: You’re a loser! You’re not funny!
Glenn Beck: Oh look we have a liberal in the crowd. You probably want me to talk about global warming.
Heckler: You’re a douche bag! Bring out Gallagher!
Glenn Beck: Hey pal, come up here and I’ll put my carbon footprint up your ass!
Audience: ha ha ha ha oooh ha ha ha ha
Glenn Beck: I’d better be careful or I’ll end up on Olbermann’s Worst Person in the World.
Audience: Yeah ha ha h a Go for it ha ha ha ha
Glenn Beck: Hey do you guys have hobbies? I have a hobby. I like to spin conspiracy theories. I had this one a few weeks ago where I said that President Obama had a deep-seated hatred of white people but I didn’t think he hated white people.
Audience: oooh ha ha ha ha ahhh ha ha ha ha
Glenn Beck: I know. Think about it. This is the kind of stuff I think about all day. It’s just how my mind works. Another thing I like to do on my show is cry. I like to cry a lot on my show because . . . the reason is . . . that I just . . . (sob) love this country . . . (weep) so much.
Audience: awwwwwww
Glenn Beck: What’s not to love? Where else could a doughy, talentless clod like me make millions speaking for hours on end on subjects I know nothing about? Thank you everybody! I’ll be here all week! Tip your waitresses! Try the veal! Don’t buy into socialized medicine!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Noble Nobel

When the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded each year it is inevitable that we have a collective conversation on whether the winner deserves the prize. The 2009 winner was announced last week and it was a shocker: President Barack Obama.

I support Obama but I don’t deify him. Those that do are as wrong as those that deified George Bush. I voted for Obama mainly because I didn’t believe in John McCain anymore. I was worried about Obama’s lack of experience, but like a lot of people I wanted to believe in his message of hope.

I am disappointed in the president’s desultory performance so far. I try to temper that with the fact that he’s only been in office for nine months, but there is little to be excited about. There are too many projects started and not getting finished or being completed in a half-assed fashion so we end up with watered down solutions to problems.

What I do agree with are his attempts to broker better relations with republicans and with other countries. George Bush called himself a uniter and not a divider and he was the exact opposite. He divided the citizens of this country and separated us from the rest of the world. Obama has had many meetings with republican leaders and leaders of other countries trying to bridge the gap the Bush administration created.

The operative word is “trying” or “attempting”. Partly because of limited time in office and partly because of reluctance by the other parties involved, Obama hasn’t accomplished any of these goals.

The Nobel Peace Prize should be for a person’s body of work or for one grand accomplishment that’s effect is felt worldwide. As much as I admire Obama for trying, he has not succeeded yet. I believe the Nobel committee made a mistake.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mr. Lucky

It's poker night and I finally have a good hand after an hour of crap. I bet, my friend Scott calls, and when we turn over our hands he has once again pulled the exact card he needed on the last deal to win the hand.

You might say, “maybe you just suck at poker” and I wouldn’t argue much. Maybe I do. But poker is part skill and part luck. My skills have improved over the years but my luck hasn’t.

So what is luck? I’ve been pondering this for years and cannot come up with a definite answer. Some people say its just random chance and there is no way to quantify or define it. But there are some people who never win at a game of chance while others win repeatedly, so how is that random?

Years ago when I was married we worked for the same company which had a Christmas party every year. During the night they pulled employee names for door prizes. We went to this party 6 years and in 5 out of the 6 her name was pulled for a prize. Me? The 1 year she wasn’t. In percentages that’s 83% to 16%. Does that sound random? We could add in the TV and $50 cash she won in drawings that my name wasn’t pulled either. That puts her at 87% and me at 12.5%. Random? I don’t think so.

So what makes some people lucky and others not? Is there a force in the universe that is attracted to some and repulsed by others? Can you really be “born under a bad sign” as Albert King sang? What about the God factor? Could some people just be more blessed than others without explanation? Certainly that’s possible, but I really can’t see God caring about who wins the majority of 60 hands of poker in a night. So how does Scott end up the big winner 90% of the time?

Some think it’s the power of positive thinking that brings success. While I believe it’s healthier to think positively than negatively, it can’t explain “luck”. By this logic if a million people bought a lottery ticket and they all thought positive thoughts they would all win, which is impossible.

So can we say luck is a combination of random chance, positive thinking, and blessings from a higher power? That doesn’t feel right either. Maybe luck really is unexplainable and that just pisses me off more. There are a lot of things I can handle not understanding, like quantum physics, but not comprehending “luck” bothers me. Much like the career of Charlie Sheen, it feels like you should be able to explain it, but you can’t.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bandwagons Ho!

Why are sports talk show hosts so quick to jump on and off someone’s bandwagon? These men and women are paid entirely too much money to just sit in front of a microphone all day and spout opinions about sports. Then doofuses like me listen and complain. Yes, I am helping to keep these knobs in their cushy jobs; you didn’t need to point that out.

So why is there no objectivity or real analysis among these sports talkers? The example I will use is something I just heard today. Before the NFL season started it was a consensus that the Denver Broncos weren’t going to be very good and the hiring of 32 year old Josh McDaniels as head coach was being questioned. Jay Cutler wanted out so they traded him. Brandon Marshall wanted out so they suspended him. Denver’s two best players wanted out of the organization and a lackluster preseason spelled mediocre at best for the Broncos.

Four games into the regular season Denver is 4-0. Today talking head #1 asks his co-host “Do we reassess McDaniels’ ability as head coach?” and the answer from talking head #2, “Yes, we do. He’s done a remarkable job.”

Has he? Brandon Marshall’s sudden love of his head coach could be nothing more than Marshall realizing he was flushing his career down the toilet by being branded T.O. junior. Let’s look at that 4-0 start:

Game 1: Denver-12 Bengals-7 Denver won on a fluke play with 11 seconds left. Take that away and they lose 7-6. You might say, “but the Bengals are a different team this year”. Are they? They followed up a big upset of the Steelers by going into overtime with the dreadful Cleveland Browns so how good the Bengals are is debatable.
Game 2: Denver-27 Browns-6 I could field a team of 8 high school players, 2 guys out of the stands, 4 women from a Pilates class at the local gym, 3 verbally abusive construction workers, 5 soccer players and Raider QB Jamarcus Russell and beat the Browns.
Game 3: Denver-23 Raiders-3 See above only replace Jamarcus Russell with Browns QB Derek Anderson and the Browns with the Raiders.
Game 4: Denver-17 Cowboys-10 The best team they’ve beaten this year but that’s still not saying much. If you said before the season started that Denver would beat Dallas in week 4 that would have meant more, but through 4 games Dallas is 2-2 and has turned out to be pretty quotidian. Romo looks terrible, they don’t have any big play receivers and the defense is average.

So Denver has beaten 2 horrible teams and 2 middling ones. But Talk Show Boys 1 and 2 think we have to reassess Josh McDaniels and the job he’s done. Denver is starting a stretch where they play San Diego twice, the Ravens, Steelers, Redskins and Giants. If they come out of it 8-2, 7-3 or maybe even 6-4 we can reassess the team and the coach, but they could easily be 5-5 or 4-6 after the Giants game. What will the Talk Show Twins have to say then? They will waffle back in the other direction and say “the Broncos are about what we expected them to be”.

All I want from my overpaid, ego-inflated talking heads is a little objectivity and analysis that goes beyond what I can do myself, and I’m getting neither.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Trent Franks: Doing Absolutely Nothing For You

Representative Trent Franks from Arizona, a staunch anti-abortion advocate, said last week that President Obama was an “enemy to humanity” and had “no place in any station of government.” These statements were made because of Obama’s support of abortion rights. Let’s take a look at what Trent Franks has done for us in 2009:

Unemployment Compensation Act of 2009—extends unemployment 13 more weeks in the hardest hit states. Franks vote: NAY
Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act—Federal government will now issue student loans, keeping interest rates low and saving $87 billion over 10 years. Franks vote: NAY
Food Safety Enhancement Act—updates food safety laws to improve the FDA’s supervision of the nation’s food supply. Franks vote: NAY
American Clean Energy and Security Act—establishes a system to limit emissions of greenhouse gasses. Franks vote: NAY
Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009—prohibits mortgage borrowers from certain abusive and predatory lending practices. Franks vote: NAY
Helping Families Save Their Homes Act—allows bankruptcy courts to restructure the debt on home mortgages. Franks vote: NAY
Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act—expands consumer protection for people using credit cards. Franks vote: NAY

So, basically, as long as you’re still a fetus Trent Franks has your back. He’s your best buddy, your pal and your benefactor. He’s the Sundance Kid to your Butch Cassidy, the Poncho to your Cisco, the Barney Fife to your Andy Griffith.

But once you’ve taken your first breath, Trent Franks doesn’t give a shit about you. He won’t lift a finger to help you, you bi-pedal, air breathing, non-womb living beings.

You don’t have a job? You should have stayed in your mama’s belly. It’s a hard world if you’re not ready for it, or if you’re not a Congressman. You want to keep your house or have clean air? You wouldn’t have to worry about those things if you’d have stayed unborn. You’re overextended on your credit cards and need help? You know who doesn’t need help with their credit? An embryo, that’s who. Stop whining you fully developed adults. Who told you to grow up?