Monday, May 21, 2012

Warning: Political rant: Obama, Romney

It is so difficult to understand how anyone with even a modicum of intelligence can support a presidential candidate like Mitt Romney. Many of the people who fill the audiences at his speeches seem to be normal Americans, middle class folks who have borne the brunt of the recent downturn in the American economy and still support a guy who helped that along by managing a company that bought failing businesses, milked all the money they could out of them then declared bankruptcy, leaving the taxpayers with the bill and putting those companies' employees out of work.

A guy jumped me on facebook one day for pointing that out, saying those companies already were failing.  I suggested, under that rule, that if someone came upon a person bleeding in the street and shot him to put him out of his misery would he then not be guilty of homicide.  Silence greeted that comment.
Day after day some Republican says something highly critical of President Obama.  Lately one called the president the most divisive person in America, this from a member of a party that refuses compromise and has at least tried and often succeeded in saying "NO" to every element of the president’s legislative program.  The fellow's comment raises some interesting psychological questions.  He probably believes what he said is true, that the president is divisive. But, why does he see it that way?  He sees it that way because his party's stand is to oppose everything the president does.  When the president refuses to oppose his own programs, this is certainly divisive to someone who is doing the opposing and that person can only see his own point of view. So, the fellow goes on television to advertise his myopia and by using it to criticize, somehow elevates himself, his party and his candidate above that "divisive president."

Among other things, this divisiveness includes a Congress refusing to confirm judges, creating a serious number of vacancies on the federal benches and creating a huge backlog in the courts.

Others point out his association with a controversial preacher whose church Obama attended more than 10 years ago.  And in Arizona, that bastion of intellectual politics, the secretary of state has held up allowing the president's name on the election ballot because he has received 1,200 emails questioning whether the president was born in the United States.  Give me an hour and I can send him 1,200 emails, but the website Left Action has gone one better, urging people to send emails demanding proof that Mitt Romney is not a unicorn.  Is Mitt Romney a Unicorn? So far the site's members have sent more than the "required" 1,200 emails to  the tune of more than 15,000 at last count and the site has officially declared Romney a unicorn and therefore ineligible to be president, although nothing in the Constitution states specifically the president has to be human.

Meanwhile, our very own Governor Interrupted stepped off her bus long enough to criticize Obama's agreement made with Afghanistan to end the war there as a cheap photo opportunity.  Of course, to her it would be a photo op, because she would never have understood what happened, but it sounded good so by all means smile for the cameras and say "you betcha"  a couple of times. 

The Republicans also criticize Obama  for politicizing the death of Osama bin Laden, something Bush couldn't get done in seven years despite standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier in a flight suit under a sign declaring Mission Accomplished.  Of course if somehow they could take credit for that it would  be a major campaign issue.

Still Romney who claims understanding because he is "unemployed" (insert snarky chuckle here), who bullied a gay kid in high school, who put thousands of people out of work, who claims credit for resurrecting the auto industry, a move he opposed, claims foul when the Democrats bring up his vile record with Bain Capital and that he supported the auto industry when he bought two Cadillacs.

Maybe, above all, Romney is the poster boy for the Occupy Movement, the target of the Buffett rule, the uberrich patrone who makes and possess millions of dollars but pays a lower tax rate than I do, a tax, incidentally taken from Social Security benefits, one of those supposed entitlements his gang threatens to get rid of, despite the fact that I paid into it for more than 50 years.

None of this even begins to address the war on women.  Is it true Republicans and their crazy religious zealot supporters only care about human beings who are still in the womb?  It doesn't address the GOP efforts to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as they can in the states that have allowed it, either.

Having been a member of the press for many years, I  find it particularly offensive how the national media jump on the band wagon.  This morning just for fun, I watched CNN for a while.  Now, CNN isn't Fox News, but that doesn't mean there is no bias. My patience for CNN's beautiful, overdramatic actresses playing news anchors is very thin.  I started watching the streamer underneath while trying to tune them out.  I noticed a trend, so I counted as the headlines scrolled by.  There were seven headlines concerning Republicans, Obama or the campaign.  Every one of them had something of a negative slant against the president.  The most even-handed of them said something like "Obama campaign presses Romney on Bain; GOP increases criticism."

It goes on and on and most days I  feel like I have followed Alice down a modern version of the rabbit hole or through that looking glass. An entertaining game of flamingo croquet looks pretty darned good right now.  Maybe when I get the yard cleaned up I can find a large enough flat space to place some wickets; they would be good employment for the pesky squirrels around here,  We might have to play with sandhill cranes in Alaska though.  Not many flamingos around. But, there aren't many people you would call progressive either.

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Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve