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Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Legacy Already

If Bill Clinton is as popular as he is today after failing to deliver on two huge campaign promises, health care reform, and open military service for gays, imagine how history will judge Barack Obama. While it is true that in fulfilling Clinton's agenda Obama had the benefit of 18 years of general public attitude shifts, the congressional opposition to his plans have still been strong. In his approach he was vilified by both sides for either causing detriment or not doing enough.

Throughout being called "disengaged" by members of his own party for his coolness Obama has steadily delivered on the issues for which he campaigned. Two weeks after being accused of weakness by avowed progressives for postponing a repeal in tax cuts for the wealthy, Congress successfully took up his cause to repeal the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. With the clock ticking down to Christmas, the Senate then immediately went into discussion on the nuclear arms treaty Obama is looking to have ratified. It may very well pass!

Obama's biggest challenge thus far has not been the predictable confrontation coming from the Republicans, but the flack he has taken from his own party. Impatience is part of what has stirred his base. The other factor is the tendency to focus on the news of the day rather than on the big picture. The most antsy progressives have followed and propelled an inaccurate narrative that Obama does not fight hard enough for what he believes in. They go through flashes of outrage when they see coverage of how fast his agenda is not moving or when there seems to be backward momentum. They are chasing the ball. Meanwhile, Obama seems to be studying the men on the field. Either that or every victory he has won has been by sheer luck. If the latter is the case he is the luckiest president this country has ever had.

On any given bad day people line up to eulogize Obama's presidency yet few proclaim a likely second term when things go right. If there is any reason why he seems disengaged, that would be it. If Obama paid his loudest critics any mind it is doubtful he would have racked up the successes he has. To justify their decision to be dissatisfied with Obama, the put off progressives deride what he has done as not good enough or watered down. Like the Republicans they have resolved to just be against him. Some have even chastised him for his Afghanistan policy, though it is the policy he campaigned on when they were donating money and knocking on doors for him.

It is Obama that history will judge and not the armchair chiefs of staff who give up on Obama on a weekly basis. The president knows this which is why he is playing for the long term; not just for reelection, but for the books.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Was It Karma?

In 1953 Eartha Kitt recorded her classic Christmas hit "Santa Baby." Nearly 60 years later the song sits in the Pantheon of seasonal classics along with the likes of "The Little Drummer Boy," "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing," and "O, Come All Ye Faithful." The only difference is that none of those songs sexualize Santa Claus.

Though Kitt is never explicit in the song, her tone is graphic enough to the point that when she sings "come and trim my Christmas tree..." I'm not imagining an evergreen if you know what I'm saying. You may ask, why would Santa Claus be adorning her pubic region with some decorations bought at Tiffany. I don't know, but why else why would she be singing the song like that?

Until this writing I had always put Jimmy Boyd's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" in this same category of "sexual Santa carol" until just moments ago it occurred to me that in that song Mommy was kissing Daddy who was dressed up like Santa. It may be the values voter in me to point this out, but engaging in sexual activity with the use of costumes is fetishism, be it suggested or clear cut. Still, "I Saw Mommy" comes off as more innocent even as a child aged in the single digits witnesses the intro to this romp under the mistletoe.

"Santa Baby" sees "I Saw Mommy"'s fetishism and raises it one prostitution. Right? She is purring out her pricey Christmas list as we are led to believe she is going to screw Santa in return. A convertible? A sable? A platinum mine? If you're daughter got that stuff from Santa you'd smack her in the head and ship her off to a South Pole nunnery.

"Santa Baby" is a song at the line of sacrilege. Right on the other side of that line would be a song called "Jesus Baby." I do not know what the words to that one would be and frankly I don't want to know, but Kitt knew the limit and she took us all there. We loved her for it and it was a blessing for her for the rest of her life... or was it? It was a big day when Eartha Kitt died. It was a Thursday in 2008 on which many of us gathered together, but not to mourn the loss of a singing icon. We gathered together to open presents and eat a big dinner while possibly listening to Santa Baby in the background. Eartha Kitt died on the very day she sang about (presumably) in her biggest hit. What is up with that?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WEEPER OF THE HOUSE by Ray Richmond

Things that make John Boehner cry:

--Baby ducks swimming in line behind their mother on a lake.

--The scent of rose petals.

--Watching Larry King’s final night on CNN.

--Moonlit walks on the beach late at night with his beloved (himself).

--Rainbows, puppy dogs and lollypops.

--Every rendition of “God Bless America” at every sporting event in America.

--The daily memory of his humble roots.

--The feel of faux animal fur on his sensitive skin.

--Weddings.

--Bar Mitzvahs.

--“The Simpsons.”

--Lady Gaga.

--The bumps and grinds of a stripper at The Royal Palace on Connecticut Avenue in D.C.

--Television interviews.

--Other people named John.

--The sound people make when they mispronounce his name “Boner,” “Banner” or “Limbaugh.”

--Democrats.

--Republicans.

--Men.

--Women.

--Children.

--Sunsets.

--Sunrises.

--Halitosis.

--Estate taxes.

--The memory of crying fits from the past.

--All of those “P” women (Pelosi, Palin, Plinton).

--The heart-rending tale of the illegal immigrant who cleans his home.

--Borat.

--Pantomime.

Things that make John Boehner laugh:

--Children without health insurance.

--The feel of genuine animal fur on his wife’s ruddy skin.

--Parole hearings.

--Funerals.

--Due process.

--The excruciating agony of others.

--Unemployment.

--Drug-induced coma.

--“Schindler’s List.”

--The thought of global thermonuclear war.

--Divorce.

--The idea that he’ll soon be third in line for the Presidency.

--Hearing people say the term “Jewish holidays.”

--Sexual abuse of children through the clergy.

--Watching video of rogue cops beating people senseless.

--Bedbugs.

--Oncology wards.

--Hearing people whine about that BP thing.

--Teen pregnancy.

--Vomiting.

--Famine.

--Someone else’s misfortune.

--Dog fighting.

--AA meetings.

--The stench of rotting flesh.

--When smart people try to pronounce all them fancy words.

--Unexplained hair loss.

--Afghanistan.

OK, I believe that my work here is done.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stop Stealing My Lead-In Lines!

I should be flattered and part of me is, but the other part is underpaid. Recently I've seen either by odd coincidence or pure theft titles of my posts appearing on some of the chatter shows I watch. Just today I saw this header pictured while watching "Hardball." My regular readers will notice that it just so happens that I recently wrote a bit called Bachman-King Overdrive"* about Michele Bachmann and some other tool Republican getting blustery over black farmers winning a case of discrimination against the Department of Agriculture. In case you have not read it, the link is here.

The "Hardball" piece today reported on how Bachmann was pledging to hold weekly civics classes for members of Congress so they can learn about the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and such. In typical Republican center-of-the-universe thinking, Bachmann assumes that just because she's an idiot, so is everyone else. At least she has enough class to admit she doesn't know shit. Now if she'd just shut the fuck up the world would be a much better place. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Click here to see the Hardball segment.

For readers under the age of thirty, Bachman-Turner Overdrive or BTO was (is) a Canadian classic rock band that originated from the lineup of the even more Canadian classic rock group The Guess Who ("American Woman," "Share The Land"). BTO had a string of hits in the 70s including "Takin' Care of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet." They obviously had a thing for droppin' their Gs.

*I apologize to Michele Bachmann for previously spelling her name wrong. (to self) One L, two Ms. One L, two Ms. One L, two Ms...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fun Times

Today the left-wing polit-erati had a field day Obama-bashing, not only for his perhaps ill-advised give-in to Republican tax cuts, but also for coming out swinging at his armchair Democratic critics who are now acting like he hasn't significantly reduced troops in Iraq, or signed into law landmark legislation that protects the consumer, or taken banks out of the student loan business, or directed the SEC to enforce the law, or saved millions of jobs, or poured money into much needed infrastructure. It seems to me like the guy has earned the benefit of the doubt. What have any of those talking heads done?

And Rachel Maddow, no offense but I'm positive you will become irrelevant long before Barack Obama. As an MSNBC commentator, don't be so sure you aren't already. Let's make a wager. If Obama wins reelection, you have to wear a dress.

Monday, December 6, 2010

CTFD


Ooooo. Everyone is hopping mad at Obama and I admit so was I for about 20 minutes until I calmed down and put things into perspective. I also watched a little Chris Matthews which also helped. I am now way back in Obama's corner and getting tired of everyone pissing and moaning because rich people get to hold on to their tax cut for another two years.

Well as much fiscal sense as that does not make, it is not the entire picture and people who are going to get caught up on the outcome of this one confrontation should take themselves out of the gallery now because, God forbid, Obama may have to toss more bones to Satan's dogs to do what's right.

I think the anger is mostly from people who simply got involved in the fight for the sake of the fight instead of navigating for what success was possible. As partisans, we love to stick it to the other side and we hoped ourselves until we were blue that the moment would come when the White House and Congress announced that the Republicans have lost yet another battle. Then we could dance and cheer about how we skewered those thin-lipped minions of millionaires again like we did with the stimulus and healthcare and financial reform.

Obama does not have that luxury. It is not a sporting event for him. Today he guaranteed that the people who really need help, the unemployed will get some relief. He may have had the option of playing all or nothing, but if he did, how would you feel about things then? Sure you would be blaming the scumbag party, but nothing would have gotten done when something should have been done.

The legislative session is not over either. If Obama starts taking his ball and going home now it would endanger what still has a slim chance of passing through Congress such as the START treaty and the repeal of DADT. It is about the big picture. He is not Dumbledore and this is not Hogwarts. Short of magic, there's nothing the guy could do but agree to an extension of tax cuts to the wealthy for the time being. It's not that big of a deal.

Part of the problem is that many of us envision the Republicans in a room popping champagne and listening to Lawrence Welk in celebration of how they really got Obama. Not the case. This little victory does not remedy the pain they feel of having Barack Obama sitting in the Oval Office. They are still smarting from everything that Obama has done so far that they were unable to block. They are still seething. This is not the big victory they've been waiting for, folks. What would really make them happy is if Obama was voted out of office in 2012. So go ahead and pull your support now. Because that would really give them hope.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Al Franken Points Out Who Has The Better Track Record

The meat of this speech starts at 4:30 where he says "Now frankly I'm a little tired of being lectured by my friends on the other side of the aisle on the deficit."


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bachman-King Overdrive

This week the House of Representatives voted to disburse funds for a settlement claim made by black farmers who were denied federal loans because they were black. It was passed with the help of 16 Republicans which in this political climate is a groundswell, but that bipartisan support was tempered by the subsequent behavior of the Republican race warriors. Michele Bachman (surprise surprise) accused the claimants of fraud and demanded an investigation. Steve King got up and cited a story of how one claimant named “Johnny” was actually an urban dwelling drug addict who filed for the money in the name of his father. Then he blamed Barack Obama for paying out these “reparations.” Was the story King told true? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no, he was just taking from the “say anything to make white people mad” playbook (ahem, death panels).

Frauds? Drug addicts? Reparations? The only thing missing from their screeds was the rampant use of the word “darkies” and intermittent tobacco spitting. What makes it more sickening is the $251,973 in government subsidies received by Bachman’s farm between 1995 and 2006, thank-you Wikipedia

Bachman and King are doing everything to represent the white people who are bent on the paranoid delusions of what America will become when in a few years white people will outnumbered by nonwhites. They are punching air over a fantasy of Blacks stealing everything that belongs to white people. Meanwhile the richest people in the very top earning tier are actually amassing more and more of the share of the American wealth, not black people.

Hey Michele and Steve, your people are STILL winning. You are the Michael Jordans of making money and no one contests that. Just remember, while Michael Jordan was the best, he never tried to keep other players off the court. He was a classy competitor who raised the bar in a way that made the game more interesting for everyone. Why can’t you do the same thing? Oh yeah, because you’re mentally unstable racists. Sorry.

Sarah Palin Has A Word For It: Plagiary

I usually stay away from cnn.com when I'm looking for news. They don't have any crosswords or jigsaw puzzles. Not even sudoku - and when I'm reading my news online I need my distractions. Then again I never really looked for any of those amusements on the CNN site so a couple hours ago I decided do a little online recon and make sure I wasn't falsely accusing CNN of being void of any fun. For the sake of debriefing, it was not a false accusation.

I was a little disappointed because a small part of me was hoping that I was wrong. I would have been curious to see if the CNN crossword puzzle was more like Sunday New York Times hard:

23. Leda's "swain" per Yeats

or TV Guide easy:

15. "Friends" star _____ Anniston

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

While at cnn.com I saw an Ed Rollins commentary entitled "Palin, I knew Reagan and you're no Reagan." It basically said the same thing I wrote in an earlier post regarding Christine O'Donnell. Read it here.

The only difference was that Rollins' piece had too many words. And of course, mine preceded his by two and a half months. Most people would be upset, but I think it's great Ed Rollins is stealing my ideas. I could use the wider audience. When I finish the piece I'm working titled "Glenn Beck Ain't Shit" I hope he steals that too.

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