Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Ask but I'll tell you about Civil Rights

In the never-ending fight to guarantee Civil Rights for all mankind, the United States has scored another knockout blow with the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy ending years of legalized and systemic discrimination against gay men and women serving openly in the US military. There will come a day when we look back on this huge step forward and wonder "What was the big deal anyway ?" much as we (at least MOST of us) now look at the Right to Vote and other inalienable rights for African Americans and women. With this monumental achievement by President Obama and the US Congress, the nation is saying that when it comes to doing your country the great honor of military service it matters not what race you are, what sex you are, or what sex you prefer to have sex with.

As the US stays actively engaged in 2 official wars and military operations in several other countries while facing an inherent resource shortage, it is unconscionable to think service men and women would be dismissed from military service simply for "who they think is cute". Besides the obvious homophobia buried in their souls, those in favor of maintaining this discriminatory policy tend to believe that allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces would disrupt cohesion of military units. I say that if you are a US soldier and who your fellow soldiers choose to sleep with disrupts your focus and your ability to serve, then you don't need to be a US soldier.

During the Vietnam War in the 60s at the height of the Civil Rights movement, I am CERTAIN that there were several US soldiers who probably weren't exactly thrilled about being in a foxhole with black soldiers. However, with that military sense of purpose and duty, whether or not you'd have a guy over for dinner has very little to do with fulfilling the mission that you have been commanded to achieve. Military service men and women are probably more resilient and disciplined than your average citizen. The mission will carry on just the same as it did before the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

It was the great Dr. Martin Luther King who stated that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". Injustice to gays serving in the military is a threat not only to them but is a threat to society at large. You may not be in the military and you may not be gay but wherever injustice and discrimination exist, we ALL have an obligation to speak up. After all, you never know when injustice and discrimination will end up at your front door. In that hour of need, you'll certainly want others speaking up for you. The following famous statement in reference to the silence of the German people as Nazis rose to power, speaks to the importance of fighting for equality and justice regardless of whether or not you believe it DIRECTLY affects you.

First they came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me; by that time no one was left to speak up.
Reflect on these thoughts as you consider what the repeal of "Don't Ask; Don't Tell" truly means.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Democratic Cannibals

In the latest Washington D.C. political drama, Republicans obstructed and blocked the Democrats from extending the Bush Tax Cuts for those making $250K and below which accounts for 98% of the US population. Republicans opposed this measure so as to guarantee that the richest 2% of this nation were included in this provision, further adding BILLIONS to the deficit that they claim to care so much about. In light of Republicans refusal to budge on this policy decision, President Obama reluctantly negotiated and struck a deal with the GOP resulting in everyone INCLUDING the richest 2% of Americans keeping their tax cuts originally enacted by "Dubya" back in 2001 which contributed mightily to flipping the Clinton Surplus into the Bush Deficit . And here's where the REAL drama begins.

Republicans blocked Democrats policy objectives so CLEARLY liberal Bloggers, TV Analysts, and Talk Radio hosts would spew the full wrath of their venom on Obstructionist Republicans, right ? WRONG !! They are Democrats !! They instead choose to attack their own !! From sea to shining sea, across all liberal radio, TV, newspaper, and web sources, their very own President Obama was attacked as "spineless", "weak", a "sellout" and various other rants that would have you question whether you are watching MSNBC or Fox, listening to Keith Olbermann or Rush Limbaugh. On the day that the Republicans blocked not only the $250K but also the $1Million and under tax cut, casual passing mention was made by most liberal media sources of the fact that the Republicans ONCE AGAIN played the role of the "Just Say No" party who continue to place politics and party above country. However, on the day that Obama did the dreaded "C" word and "Compromised" with Republicans, the liberal media LITERALLY went left.

Although I agree with the idealist Democratic position on this tax cut issue, one that is also shared by President Obama, ideological idealism unfortunately must meet against the formidable force of political reality. Simply speaking, the ideal Democratic position required 60 votes in the Senate to pass that bill but after all votes were accounted for, Democrats could only muster up 53 votes, NONE of which included a SINGLE Republican. Without the Great Obama Compromise, when the clock struck midnight on New Year's Day 2011 and the ballons dropped and champagne bottles popped , millions of families would have awaken from their hangover to realize that their extended unemployment benefit checks had disappeared and ALL employed people would've realized that their paychecks were a lot smaller due to increased tax rates. A deal with the Republican devil had to be made or the nation as a whole would've suffered greatly in light of the obvious political realities.

Quite frankly, the Democrats anger is misplaced, mistaken, and misdirected. Republicans were the ones willing to flip off the unemployed and raise everyone's taxes, be damned the consequences, in order that the richest 2% maintain their tax cuts. Obama chose to protect the fate of the unemployed and those who could least afford a tax increase rather than engaging in a political street fight on an ideological position and remaining politically popular with the left-wing. Democrats being Democrats, however, chose to instead cannibalize their own and attack the leader of their Party and the nation's President seeming as uncompromising as the far right. In a political climate that features Republicans unwilling to work with Democrats on ANYTHING for the good of the country, the Obama Administration has a monumental task in front of them to help the country rebound from horrific economic conditions. With the far left liberal wing of the Democratic party now ALSO on the attack, the political conditions have just gotten that much worse.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Swinging from the Left

As a Democratic President going up against a Republican party firmly rooted in political obstructionism, Barack Obama undoubtedly expected to face a tough fight coming from the ideological right. I doubt, however, that he saw or expected as tough a fight coming from his left. As anyone who has ever been in a fight will tell you, it's the punch that you do NOT see that will lay you flat on your backside. President Obama is facing an increasingly combative and feisty opposition coming from the very far left of his own Democratic party that could prove to be very destructive to the party in future elections.

For a President that ran as a left-leaning ideological moderate and pragmatist rather than a stubbornly ideological far-left partisan, Obama finds himself in the unenviable position of being too liberal for the right-wing and too centrist for the left-wing. For far-left uncompromising ideologues such as Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, anything short of the most liberal stance on all policy issues seems to be viewed as complete and utter failure, caving, and capitulating. Tune in to any 5-minute appearance by Adam as a guest analyst on any of the cable shows, and you  are likely to hear the word "FIGHT" repeated at least 25 times. Mr. Green has even gone so far as to produce and broadcast a campaign-style "attack ad" against President Obama for not holding on to liberal positions. For many liberals such as Adam, it seems as if a staunch and stubbornly ideological "fight" is the ultimate prize regardless of whether "compromise" on ideological positions brings forth a much more desirable result for the nation as a whole.

Being a pragmatist who is willing to compromise on most issues to move his agenda forward is precisely why Obama faces increasingly harsh opposition from the far left. In a desire to checkoff policy objectives and move on to the next battle, he often chooses negotiation, deal-making and compromise over fierce partisan battles which further infuriates the left. Rightly or wrongly, Obama seems to operate on the notion that "if I have the votes for my position in Congress, then I'll fight for it. If I don't have the votes, then I'll compromise to get it done". In the healthcare debate and most recently in the Bush Tax Cut debate, Obama made the politically unpopular decision to compromise on the favored position of the left in order to search for a middle ground that could secure the necessary congressional votes. The question is, however, "At what cost ?".

President Obama has a historic number of legislative accomplishments thus far in his presidency but his willingness to compromise on positions held near and dear to the far-left has put him at odds with this very important component of his political base. Liberal talk show hosts such as Ed Schultz routinely throw around terms such as "spineless" and "weak" in describing the President and seem to swing as hard as the most rabid right-wing lunatics when things don't go precisely their way. What Obama has to bank on is that his manner of governing will gain him more independents and moderates than the left swinging ideologues that he undoubtedly loses with each compromise. A risky political calculation indeed that I certainly hope works out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Democrats SUCK ... at Marketing

"What we have here is a failure to communicate", as the oft repeated phrase goes, precisely characterizes the messaging capabilities of the Democratic party. For the many years that I have been closely following politics, one of the many observations that I have made is that Republicans are GREAT at Marketing/Messaging/Communicating/Campaigning yet SUCK at actually governing, while Democrats SUCK at Marketing/Messaging/Communicating/Campaigning but are GREAT at governing. Republicans do an excellent job of communicating to and rallying their mostly single-minded base while the much wider tent Democrats struggle to communicate a common message and rallying cry to their more diversely thinking base.

In life, business, and politics it is often not enough to simply do a good job. You also have to be able to effectively COMMUNICATE and SAY that you've done a good job in order for people to take notice. That is a short coming of the Democratic party. They seem to think it is enough to simply do good works and the keenly aware people will notice and sing their praises. Nothing could be further from the truth. Democrats do a horrible job of communicating their accomplishments. Simply speaking, the Democrats need a new transmission on their "Messaging Machine".

In what was already expected to be a rough election cycle for  Democrats based on historical patterns of past midterm elections combined with the unacceptably high unemployment rate, the Democrats "failure to communicate" made a bad situation worse. Dems had a strong record of accomplishments to run on, but did a horrific job of emphasizing and running on that list of accomplishments. (Here's a long list ... excuse the language ...). At the time that Obama took office, there was a VERY REAL possibility of the 2nd Coming of the Great Depression. Though highly politically unpopular, most Economists agree that the bailouts of the financial institutions WORKED and prevented the entire US economic system from spiraling downwards rapidly. Incidentally, those same "bailouts" were actually a LOAN and were paid back WITH INTEREST by the at-risk major financial institutions.

Last week, the iconic General Motors Corporation had an enormously successful IPO after staring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy directly in the face merely a few months earlier. Though Republicans fought hard against a government "bailout" of GM. criticized Democrats for "getting into the car business", and were seemingly just fine with the loss of over a million jobs in the pioneering US auto industry, President Obama and the Democrats stepped in and LOANED  the necessary funds to GM, and ONCE AGAIN IT WORKED !! Democrats had this major success story of saving the US Auto Industry to run on as well but inexplicably didn't seem to make that a focal point of their 2010 "Marketing Campaign". Completely running from and hiding from a Healthcare bill that they fought for for over a year would take an entire blog post for me to rip apart the Dems on that, but that is yet another MAJOR accomplishment that Democrats failed to effectively communicate to the voting public.

With every defeat, there comes a lesson. With a defeat the size of the one that the Democrats took at the hands of the Republicans in the midterm elections, there should be a WHOLE LOT of lessons to learn from. One of the major lessons that the  Democrats should take from their "shellacking", is that if you fail to effectively communicate and tell your compelling story, your opponent will effectively tell a tall tale for you. And you won't like what they have to say.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Support the Troops by BRINGING THEM HOME !!

Yep, it's that time of year again !! It seems that about once or twice a year, typically around Veteran's Day or Memorial Day, Americans SERIOUSLY think about the debt of gratitude owed to the young men and women who put their lives on the line daily to fight for US interests, regardless of whether or not they agree with the policies in place. War is HELL and these brave souls are thrust into the middle of it daily, while VERY FEW people ACTUALLY give 15 seconds of thought to what they truly endure on a daily basis.

I wholeheartedly believe that if more Americans had FIRST HAND knowledge of the brutalities of war, there would a lot less Americans who support ongoing war efforts. It is extremely easy to sit back in one's Congressional office, behind one's radio microphone, in front of one's TV camera, at one's keyboard, and talk matter of factly about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here", "ridding the world of evil wherever it exists", "taking the fight to them", and a buncha other macho "kick their ass" talk. It's quite another thing to be on the frontlines of battle, hear the sounds of bombs and bullets all day, see your fellow comrades lose limbs and lives everyday, smell the stench of death every day, and several other brutal realities of HELLISH WAR.

The vast majority of Americans sacrifice very little for ongoing war efforts and most of our leaders that make decisions about war have NO IDEA and no concept of what a battlefield is truly like yet the wars go on and on regardless of the loss of life, limbs, blood, and the trillions of dollars spent to sustain war efforts. All across the land, from California to Florida, "Support the Troops" bumper stickers can be seen but that means different things to different people. For some, "Support the Troops" simply means "let's continue to fight wars regardless of economic and human consequence". For me, "Support the Troops" means provide every single possible resource that is required for them to DEFEND this nation but DO NOT put them in harms way any longer than is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. With that said, I call on President Obama, Rep. John Boehner, Sen. Mitch McConnel, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, and all other leaders of this nation to "fold up the flags, turn out the lights, pack up all equipment" and end these senseless wars. Support the Troops by BRINGING THEM HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES !!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BOTH Left AND Right are WRONG

"I had much more fun last election"
In the aftermath of the Midterm Election "shellacking" that the Democrats took at the hands and wallets of Republicans, both parties seem to be completely misinterpreting exactly what the results of last Tuesday's election truly mean. Was this a rejection of the Obama administration agenda ? Was it a yearning for the "good ole bad days" of Republican leadership ? Was it a protest vote born out of frustration of not enough economic progress in 2 years ? Was it Obama "not going far left enough" and disheartening the liberal base ? Wherever you stand on the root causes of a nationwide Republican resurgence, one thing is perfectly clear. BOTH liberal and conservative columnists, bloggers, and TV analysts have been insufferable in their over-the-top rhetoric in overanalyzing what the midterm results truly mean.

For the overly giddy Republicans, they have taken the election results to mean that the country has "soundly rejected the Obama agenda" and is ready to try it their way again. They somehow have concluded that the country is now yearning for their "under-taxing", "over-spending", and "regulation-free" manner of governing which resulted in the worst recession seen since the Great Depression and the magic of turning a record budget surplus into a record budget deficit. How could we not miss such GENIUS policies ? "The Socialist, Big-Government, Anti-Business, Left-Wing Obama Administration has gone too far left" is their basic conclusion.

For the far left, they've taken the opposite view that the Obama administration has not gone far left enough and that has "dispirited" the left and so they've concluded that they'd be better off not even voting. They believe that the President's attempts to work with, negotiate, and compromise with the Republicans shows him to be a weak passivist and not fighting hard enough for liberal causes. If the right believes you've gone too far left and the left believes you've gone too far right, chances are you are smack-dab in the middle and out of that comes an inherent frustration felt by both liberals and conservatives.

"It's the economy STUPID !!"
Both left and right-wing conclusions since the election quite simply miss the mark. This election was about ONE THING that can be summed up in 5 words; "Nine point Six percent Unemployment". Simply speaking, when unemployment is high, the voting populace gets frustrated with whichever party is in power and wanna "throw the bums out" to try something new. It matters not to most people from whence we have come, how deep the hole was that we are coming out of, what catastrophic circumstances DID NOT take place, and how much economic progress has been made, when the employment situation is not back to a level that most people are comfortable with, incumbents will get kicked out on their asses. It's as simple as that.

"Hmm ... I wonder why the base is dispirited ?"
So when liberal talk show hosts like Ed Schultz go on and on about "how he's losing faith in the President because he keeps throwing olive branches out trying to work with the Republicans" , they miss the mark and seem to miss the point that Obama is the President of Democrats, Independents, AND Republicans and he MUST now find a way to work with one Republican controlled branch of government. When Republican leaders like Sen. Mitch McConnell and the "soon-to-be" Speaker John Boehner say "the American people have soundly rejected the Obama agenda" they also miss the mark and choose to overlook the fact that the Republican Congress poll even LESS favorably than the Democratic Congress.

"The people want ME, ME, ME"
The only thing that we can and should conclude after the midterm results is that the people are fed up and frustrated with political gamesmanship, partisanship, and placing "party above country". They simply want JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. If either party believes that Election 2010 gives them a green light to stay bullheaded and stubbornly rooted in party politics regardless of what's taking place in the lives of REAL PEOPLE, they will do so at their own peril. The people have spoken. Do you speak their language ?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sanity Restoration Project COMPLETE

In this election season with so much at stake in the midterm elections, it seems as if every weekend features a new rally aimed at revving up and exciting a certain segment of the population.This past weekend it was the comedians turn to have their impact on democracy. Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert marched on Washington on Saturday, October 30, 2010 in the first but hopefully not last "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear". Though both comics are left leaning in their political ideologies, no one was quite sure what to expect of this rally from the King and Prince of political satire in this somewhat unusual but turns out very necessary rally.

For regular viewers of Stewart's "The Daily Show" and Colbert's "The Colbert Report", you're well aware that both comics take numerous shots at politicians being politicians with their frequent lies and bad behavior but both tend to dish it out a lot more towards right-wing politicians (perhaps because they lie a lot more ... I'm just saying ). With this in mind, one would expect the rally to be 2 and 1/2 hours of right-wing Republican bashing with about 30 minutes of "Oh ... and Democrats, you need to do better also" type talk. This assumption could not have been further from the truth. This rally was as "non-partisan" as possible and really didn't strongly advocate one political ideology over another. For the 3 hours of the rally, it turns out that it was about 2 and 1/2 hours of entertainment (with performances by The Roots, John Legend, Cat Stephens aka Yusef, Ozzy Osbourne, Mavis Staples, The Ojays, Sheryl Crow etc.) and about 30 minutes of very important thought provoking political commentary.

The political commentary was saved for the very end of the rally and should have left all with very important thoughts to go home and meditate on and discuss amongst their peer groups. As the name of the rally indicates, the main point of the rally was to restore sanity in a nation often overcome by fear, vile rhetoric, and not much room for substantive discussion. For about 15 minutes towards the end of the rally, Jon Stewart ventured out of comedian mode and into the mode of political philosopher as he made some very key points that underscored the importance of the rally.

The tone of the political discourse in this nation has taken a sharp turn for the worst, particularly since the beginning of the Obama Administration (coincidence ? I don't think so). Whether on the left-wing or on the right-wing, the highlight of most cable news and AM radio talk shows features guests yelling at the top of their lungs shouting their point of view and completely drowning out the tone of what the other side has to say. When ideological disagreements turn in to the other side being characterized as Socialists, Marxists, Communists, Nazis, and a bunch more over the top rhetoric, it is difficult to find any common ground on which to work.  We accomplish NOTHING as a nation when this is our only means of discussing intrinsically very difficult issues.

In law offices, doctors offices, accounting firms, software companies, and many other businesses all across the United States, Democrats, Republicans, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Blacks, Whites, and Latinos find means of moving beyond their differences and working together EVERY DAMN DAY to get things done. Why can't this be done also in Washington ? The main point of the rally is that IT CAN BE DONE. We simply need to restore a little sanity, tone it down, and work together to advance the greater good of this nation. Difficult but NOT impossible. It's been done before. Why not now ?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Open Season on Muslims

Whether Summer, Winter, Spring, or Fall, apparently any season is a season to openly crack on Muslims and still be in the mainstream of political thought and discourse in the United States of America. Nearly 10 years since the horrendous attacks of September 11, 2001, the rage and discriminatory feelings towards the ENTIRE Muslim faith, and not just the extremist violent wing, don't seem to have dissipated one iota and may even be on the increase. The climate of intolerance towards all Muslims seems to be socially acceptable in all circles. One would expect these thoughts to be acceptable in right-wing circles but  apparently these thoughts have permeated liberal circles as well as is evident by recent happenings.

Well-known and respected journalist and analyst Juan Williams of NPR and Fox News (how's that for serving 2 distinctly different masters), was recently fired from NPR as a result of comments he made on Fox's popular O'Reilly Factor program. Juan apparently felt very comfortable expressing the uneasy feelings that he has whenever he is in an airport and sees someone dressed in traditional Muslim garb (you know, since all Muslims are apparently terrorists). To put the comments of the lone liberal voice of reason of Fox News in its proper perspective, Williams said the following in a discussion with Fox's Bill O'Reilly.

"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot,” Williams said. “You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
The left-leaning NPR reacted swiftly and fired Williams shortly after the comments circulated throughout the mainstream media and blogosphere. In light of this firing, many have jumped to Williams defense, including Williams himself, by claiming that  this amounts to "censorship" and "political correctness gone wild". Really Juan ? REALLY ? As a black man, you more than any other should fully realize the dangers of associating the actions of a few with the whole. Do the actions of Crips & Bloods gang-banging in South Central Los Angeles in ANY WAY reflect on you as a man and a professional ? OF COURSE NOT !! Juan, I wonder what your reaction would've been if another notable journalist and analyst had said:
"You know Bill, I'm no racist. I have several black friends and even had one at my house last night. But I tell you, when I'm at a red light and see them standing there with their hats on backwards and their baggy jeans on, I get worried. I get nervous"
THAT my friend is the EXACT equivalent of what you just said. I don't doubt that many people feel this way about Muslims and also about black people but that doesn't mean that it is OK to OPENLY and comfortably express these thoughts especially as an influential thought leader in the media spotlight. You expressing those feelings and being defended by people in both liberal and conservative circles, makes others feel quite justified in the similar feelings that they have.

As was quite evident during the passionate debate regarding whether or not an Islamic Community Center should be allowed to be built within a few blocks of Ground Zero, there is a climate of intolerance, hatred, and discrimination towards not only the extremist wing of Islam but towards the large majority of Moderate Muslims that represent a religion of Peace. It is disturbing how widely accepted these discriminatory views are. As a black man, I know VERY WELL what it is like to have the actions of a few cloud the perception of the whole. That is NEVER a good thing and voices of tolerance should speak out against such expressions, feelings, and voices of intolerance WHEREVER they exist.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Voted Today ... Did You ?

As one who was born in another country and has only being eligible to vote in the US for less than a decade, I make it a point to vote in every single election. It actually behooves me that a nation as powerful as the United States has such a poor record of voter participation in elections as especially as important as the one that we'll face in only a few weeks will be. And yet, people will continue to bitch, whine, and complain about everything under the sun as if failing to realize that we all have the ability to influence the direction of the country.

I heard a statistic lately that stated that the US ranks 139th of 172 democracies around the world in average voter participation. In Presidential Elections, when US voter participation is generally the highest, the US averages a voter turnout rate of a mere 54%. That means that, on average, as you sit in traffic watching hundreds of cars pass by or as you sit at your favorite sporting event or movie, then about 1 out of every 2 people you see decided that they have better things to do than to participate in electing the very people that will represent them in local, state, and national government and will make decisions that WILL affect their lives. And the minute that the roads in their neighborhood aren't fixed, gas prices soar sky high, or their job gets outsourced overseas, then 2 out of every 2 of those people will be the FIRST ONES to complain.

When it comes to the importance of voting, my guess is that either half the population doesn't know, doesn't care, or doesn't believe that their ONE VOTE will actually make a difference. Practically speaking, it is rare that ONE SINGLE VOTE swings an election one way or another. However, if 10 people have the attitude that "well it's only one vote", and those 10 people each convince 10 of their friends to do the same, who then each tell 10 of their friends and also convince them not to vote, that quickly adds up to 1,000 votes which WILL swing an election one way or another.

There is a tremendous amount at stake in the upcoming election and it is quite saddening to see that many of those who came out in droves to bring about a change in the direction of the nation in 2008, have thrown up their hands and are thinking about sitting out this election cause their change has not come fast enough. REAL CHANGE takes time, takes more than 1 election cycle, and is only achieved from the GROUND UP as citizens of this representative democracy fight day in and day out, from election to election, to push their agenda and force those who represent them in government to bring about policies that represent the way that they view the world. So in this coming election, make sure that YOU VOTE and then call 10 friends, and ask them to call 10 friends, who will then call 10 friends, and make sure that they ALL VOTE.

Oh and after you hang up the phone, call them back and say "oh the way, make sure you VOTE DEMOCRAT !!"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

USA, Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Christine O'Donnell ? One Doesn't Belong !!

Ahhhhh ... Christine O'Donnell, Republican Tea Party candidate for Senate in Delaware is the gift that keeps on giving as she continues to say the most wildly absurd stuff and not blink an eye in the process. To add to the list of "I used to dabble in witchcraft back in the day" (I mean, after all, WHO DIDN'T?), "There are mice with perfectly functioning human brains in them", "I have classified information that China is trying to take over the US", the wicked witch of the east jumped on her sailing broom and pulled one out of big black hat last night and managed to rewrite history.

In a nationally televised debate on CNN last night versus Democrat Chris Coons, Ms. O'Donnell proved why anyone taking her Senate candidacy seriously should SERIOUSLY seek psychological counseling. As the debate shifted to the topic of US foreign policy and the ongoing wars, Ms. O'Donnell offered this lil nugget of wisdom:
"Well if you remember when we (the US) were fighting the Soviets over there in Afghanistan in the '80s and '90s, we did not finish the job, so now we have a responsibility to finish the job".
Screeeech !! DJ-rewind !! Pull-up !! Come again !! HUH ? WTF ? The US and the Soviet Union, the 2 Super Powers of the 80's, engaged in a winner-take-all war at a "neutral stadium" in Afghanistan during the 80's and 90's and I MISSED IT ??  Perhaps I didn't pay my cable bill for a decade or more but that is BREAKING NEWS to me. I assume the witch-lady was probably referring to the decade-long war that the Soviet Union fought versus Afghanistan during the 80s but unless they were all disguised in fake beards and mustaches, there was not a single US army, navy, air force, or marine member on site during that war ... but WHO AM I to question the witch lady. I don't have frequent flyer broom miles.

Over the course of the night as the candidates debated issues ranging from the US economy, federal deficit, healthcare, China, foreign policy, Supreme Court decisions, and more, it was abundantly clear that Ms. O'Donnell, as pleasant as she may be, simply does not belong on this stage.

She is an interesting political figure who will likely sell a whole lotta books, make megabucks off speeches and such, given the new national spotlight that she is now under, but to put decisions that affect the lives of real people (not mice with human brains) into her hands is just simply irresponsible. But what else should we expect from the Republican party ? They are the same ones that gave us the utterly dim bulb Mrs. Sarah "I can see Russia from my house" Palin and tried to sell us on her being a heartbeat away from the Presidency. She managed to parlay her 15 minutes and months of fame into mega millions with books, TV contracts, and speeches. That same future awaits Christine which ain't too bad. Now scurry away and fly off on your lil broom and go make your millions. Just don't put our future in your hands ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Favre GIVETH ... and the Favre TAKETH Away !!

Stop me if you've heard this before. "With under 2 minutes to go in the game, Brett Favre threw a costly interception leading to his team's defeat." !! If I only had a dollar for every time future Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with a bad interception in crunch time, well, I'd have the type of money Brett signed with the Minnesota Vikings for at the beginning of this year. Last night, the old man did it AGAIN , with a chance to tie or even win a crucial Monday Night Football matchup against the New York Jets, Favre reverted to throwing to people dressed in a different uniform , and costing the Vikings  an opportunity for a much needed victory.

Look (copyright Barack Obama), nobody with any credible amount of football knowledge will argue against the fact that Brett Favre is one of the greatest QBs that the NFL has ever seen and he holds records that will likely never ever be touched as the old man continues to suit up at age 41. However, for a QB as accomplished and as experienced as there has ever been, Favre throws WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too many interceptions at crucial moments in a game, that unfortunately will be a part of his legacy when he hangs up his cleats and quits playing on his 75th birthday. Whether in a Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, or Minnesota Vikings uniform, we can all recollect a costly interception thrown at the most inopportune of times that led to his team's defeat. Last year, a crucial interception towards the end of regulation of the Minnesota vs New Orleans NFC Championship game, paved the way for the WHO DAT NATION to get to and ultimately win the Super Bowl. (I guess some good did come out of that costly pick)

Brett has and always has had a gunslinger's mentality that he WILL make something out of nothing and that has brought mega success for his teams throughout the years. However, that tendency can often come back to bite him in the arse when it's often best to opt for the safe conservative play. Prior to last night's game ending interception, Favre had rallied the Vikings back from a previously uninspiring performance with 3 perfectly thrown TD passes in the 2nd half to give them a shot at the victory. It was that sort of play that makes him one of the all time greats. However, as is far too often the case, he ended his team's chances with a beautifully thrown TD pass to the WRONG TEAM. Once again, the old gunslinger GAVE his team and their fans hope of an exhilarating victory but in an instant,  TOOK away that hope with a game clinching interception. It is unfortunately the price of signing the old gunslinger; he giveth... then he taketh away !!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cowboys vs. Titans ... Is it possible for BOTH TEAMS to lose ?

As we approach another fun-filled football weekend, I've got quite the dilemma on my hands. The Texas Longhorns are off this Saturday (actually they've been off all year, but they're NOT PLAYING this weekend) so I can enjoy a peaceful Saturday without breaking any more TVs and punching holes in any more walls. However, my 2 most hated teams in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys (the most loved and most hated team in the league) and the Tennessee Titans (formerly our beloved Houston Oilers that bailed on us and we still have scorned lover syndrome) face off this Sunday in the "Who Do I Hate More Bowl". This is gonna be a tough one.

Let's rationalize this. The Cowboys spanked my Houston Texans pretty good a few weeks ago and I've had to listen to caca from the INFAMOUS Cowboy fans and EVERYBODY knows how annoying they can be. Then there are the Titans fans. Where do I start ? Let me get this straight (from the perspective of fans of the former Houston Oiler fans who STILL consider the Titans to be "our team"), your ex-girlfriend (the Houston Oilers) cheated on you and left you for a dude who lives in Tennessee (the Tennessee Titans), and almost 15 YEARS LATER you've forgiven her and STILL want her back ? I simply don't get it.

So I'm left with 1 of 2 choices, neither of which is palpable. (1)Root for the Cowboys who aren't even in the Texans Conference meaning that win would be more or less meaningless for the Texans playoff hopes ... BUT then would have to hear Cowboy fans.(2) Root for the Titans who ARE in the Texans division, but SOLELY for the joy of seeing the Cowboys fall to a 1-3 start and have a frontrow seat as owner Jerry Jones goes into meltdown mode and starts whacking people, Tony Soprano style.

Hmmm ...  what's a guy to do ? GOT IT !! A nice 3-3 tie after regulation and overtime with BOTH teams missing FGs in overtime thereby prolonging the agony and heightening the frustration. That would equally suck for both teams and that's ALL GOOD with me :-)


Cowboy & Titan H8R !!