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Political Rantings

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Through the Filters: Obama Sings!

Friday, January 20th, 2012

I was very impressed with this:

This makes Obama only the second politician I can remember (after Bill Clinton) to do something musical in public and not come off looking foolish. I also love that he basically did it on a dare from whoever he’s talking to offstage.

Categories: Political Rantings, Through the Filters | 1 Comment »

In the news…

Friday, January 20th, 2012

I promised myself when I started blogging again that I’d stay away from overtly political posts, but I saw a couple of articles in the news lately that I found interesting in various ways, so I thought I’d share:

BP Makes Amends
When the oil spill first occurred back in April of 2010, environmentalists claimed the damage could last for years, if not decades. Economists predicted economic doom for the Gulf region, already damaged by past hurricanes and other natural disasters. But now, less than two years later, we read this in the New York Times:

BP has performed quite admirably in [the] aftermath. It has spared no expense in cleaning up the oil. It has set aside $1 billion to restore the environment and coastal ecosystem. It underwrote an advertising campaign to lure tourists back to the Gulf Coast. Today, less than two years after the spill, the beaches are sparkling, most fishermen are working and many of the hotels are full.

At the urging of President Obama, BP also agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate anyone who could show that they

Categories: News and/or Media, Political Rantings | 2 Comments »

President Obama’s 2011 NCAA Bracket

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Another one of Google’s oddities struck yesterday: well over 500 of you wound up at my site by searching for “obama bracket” or something similar. I posted his 2010 and 2009 picks here in past years, and Google Images has somehow ranked me #2 in its search results for my efforts. So, while it might be too late, I don’t want to be the guy who disappoints 500 more people, so here you go. The 2011 picks from the Prognosticator in Chief:

(Click on the image to see it (a little bit) larger)

Categories: Political Rantings, Sports Talk | Comments Off on President Obama’s 2011 NCAA Bracket

September 11, 2010

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

It’s become a bit of a personal, annual tradition for me to write something on the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Each one, quite obviously, is a little different, and reading through them all now (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), provide an interesting (at least to me) perspective on how one processes a traumatic event like this one over the years.

This year, I once again note the degree to which we are moving on. There will be memorial services of course, but the President’s remarks at his most recent press conference show the shift in emphasis:


Categories: New York, New York, Political Rantings | 1 Comment »

About that Mosque…

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that an Islamic group has received permission to build a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. Everyone from Newt Gingrich to Sarah Palin to Glenn Beck has weighed in against the project, claiming that the mosque’s presence would be seen by some as a victory for the 9/11 terrorists. Others have taken a more passive-aggressive tack, claiming that they, personally, don’t mind a mosque, but that putting one so close to Ground Zero would be a cruel reminder of the attacks for the families of those who died there. A smaller contingent is in favor of the mosque, pointing out that one of the things the terrorists attacked on 9/11 is our freedom of religion, with which any American has the right to worship as he/she chooses.

Fortunately, that last group includes New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who, surrounded by religious leaders of many different faiths, gave an impassioned speech about religious freedom while announcing that the petition for the building’s landmark status has been denied, clearing the way for construction to begin.

Today, the New York Times ran an article about the woman in charge of the mosque project. Here are some things I learned from reading the article that I’m sure Newt, Sarah & Glenn don’t want anyone to focus on:

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: New York, New York, Political Rantings | 13 Comments »

Presidential Quotable Quotes

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Some kids memorize the words to Elmo’s World. Some kids know all of the Jonas Brothers’ names. Then there’s this kid, who’s parents have taught him to memorize some altogether different fun facts:

Categories: Political Rantings, Random Acts of Blogging | Comments Off on Presidential Quotable Quotes

Taxation without Representation – Again?!?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Britain’s fiscal year has ended, and the results of its 50% tax on bank bonuses have been tallied:


Categories: Money Talk, Political Rantings | 5 Comments »

Long time, no politics…

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

It’s been quite a while since I posted about politics around here, but tonight I want to talk a little about two of the hot-button topics that have permeated politics in recent months: health care and financial reform. And while I’m at it, I’ll throw in a little about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, just for good measure.

Not interested? No offense taken. Move on to bigger and better things. Up for the discussion? Read on…

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Political Rantings | 3 Comments »

President Obama’s NCAA Bracket – 2010 Edition

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

In the last three days, the post I put up a year ago showing President Obama’s 2009 NCAA Bracket received 565 pageviews (in the previous three days, it received seventeen). Since there’s so much apparent interest, here’s the 2010 version:

(click to enlarge)

Have at it, folks…

Categories: Political Rantings, Sports Talk | Comments Off on President Obama’s NCAA Bracket – 2010 Edition

Rush to Judgement

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

I hate it when this happens. I hate it when everyone gets all over someone who I fundamentally disagree with on most things, but does so in a disingenuous way. Because disingenuity, particularly in the form of partisan spin, is more repulsive to me than political disagreement. And so I find myself wanting to defend someone I don’t like.

Here, word for word, is what Rush Limbaugh said about Haiti (the audio, in case you don’t believe me, is here):

Rush Limbaugh: OK, back to the phones or to the phones. We’re going to start in Raleigh, NC. Justin, you’re first today. Great to have you with us. Hello.

Justin: Mega-Rush, baby, ditto. My question is, why did Obama, in the soundbyte you played earlier, when he’s talking about if you want to donate some money, you can go to whitehouse.gov to be directed…you know, to direct you how to do so. Why would…if I want to donate money to the Red Cross, why do I need to go to the whitehouse.gov page and . . .

RL: Exactly. Exactly. Would you trust that the money is going to go to Haiti?

J: No.

RL: But would you trust that your name is going to end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?

J: Absolutely.

RL: Absolutely right.

J: That’s the point.

RL: Besides, we’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. Income Tax.

J: Rush, my mother was going to be on a missionary trip. She was gonna leave at 4:30 this morning to go to Haiti from our church.

RL: That’s another point too. Churches…

J: No government money, Rush.

RL: There are people – exactly right. There are people who do charitable work every day in Haiti. It’s not as though…like Debbie Wasserman Schultz – “It’s our fault.” Like Reverend Wright – “It’s our fault. There’s no excuse for such poverty when there’s a nation as rich as we are so close.” There are people that have been trying to save Haiti just as we’re trying to save Africa. You just can’t keep throwing money at it because the dictatorships there just take it all. They don’t spread it around. And even if they did, you’re not creating a permanent system where people can provide for themselves. It’s a simple matter of self-reliance. Nobody takes that approach down there because this has always been a country run by dictators – incompetent ones…

Now, call me crazy if you wish, but nothing in this exchange suggests to me that Rush Limbaugh doesn’t think private individuals like you and I should donate to Haiti. In fact, it seems pretty clear to me that the opinion he’s expressing is that people, like the caller’s mother, who go to Haiti and help the people directly, are being more effective than our government is being by sending our tax dollars to their government. He’s suggesting that the foreign aid the United States provides to Haiti doesn’t make it to the people who are suffering, and so the Haitian people are better served by private individuals, churches, and the so forth donating time (and, presumably, supplies?) directly to the people who need it.

Now, I have no idea if he’s right about that, and I certainly wouldn’t take Rush Limbaugh at his word about anything. But I think it’s quite a leap to go from the above quote to “Rush Limbaugh [says] Don’t Donate to Haiti Victims,” which is the headline of the above-linked article.

Sadly, though, the public zeitgeist has been poured and hardened: Rush Limbaugh thinks we should just let the people of Haiti suffer. And, thanks to Pat Robertson’s preaching about “pacts with the devil” on the same day, the two men are now inextricably linked in every news article, suggesting that Limbaugh believes that Haitians are devil worshipers as well. To dispute this storyline is as foolhardy as spitting into the wind.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash my face…

Categories: Political Rantings | 8 Comments »

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