Eleven Years

It seems impossible to me that it was 11 years ago.

As always, the thing that always strikes me in my memory of the September attacks on this country in 2001 is what a pitch perfect, beautiful day it was in Washington D.C. How I noticed that and appreciated it before I walked to my office downtown, only to have to evacuate and walk home an hour later.

I don’t have much to comment about it today really, nothing I haven’t said before. Although, I will add this.

We have a President now who is intelligently and semi-covertly screwing up the global terrorist network like nobody’s business. Some of my political stripe are concerned about this, and I appreciate their concern. But. I would compare this President’s response to September Eleventh with the previous guy any day.

He’s keeping us safe, folks. Really.

They Made the Case

Sadly, I work when the Democratic Convention was broadcast. But, it’s amazing what you can do with an IPhone with the C-SPAN app installed. I was able to listen to many of the convention speeches, including Obama’s and Biden’s tonight.

I was also able to hear the Foo Fighters perform, and to hear Scarlett Johansen and Eva Longoria as well. They had Clint Eastwood. We had hot chicks and one of the most awesome rock bands of our day. Heh.

I think the case was made, and, I am pleased that the general message that is needed seems to be going forward: President Obama has earned another four years.

I’ll Do That One More Time

This is disgusting.

The Democratic Convention. Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio brings two amendments to the Democratic Platform to the floor, one to say that Democrats believe in the Lord too, and the other to say that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The chair ran roughshod here over what was clearly a contested vote. He had to take the voice vote three times, and the third time, even though the vote was still contested, he just said screw it and went with the God squad.

God should not be anywhere near any political platform. The Constitution is explicit about this; there is no intepretation needed; it is a matter of Original Intent.

Article VI, paragraph 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

If you include God as a plank in your political platform, you are dictating that the leader of your party, generally thought to be the President of the United States, will carry out that platform plank. That in my book is a religious test because there is no way in hell that an atheist President (like there will ever be one) could or would support that platform issue.

Then there’s this Jerusalem nonsense. This policy statement flies in the face of U.S. policy, of the preference of the United Nations, the stance of the European Union and most all of our European allies. Generally policy on Jerusalem says that it should be an international entity. What is the party doing contradicting U.S. policy on this matter?

More weirdness from Ohio. Good-NESS.

Convention Time

I have been absent from these pages for some time, it is true. The Serious Poo-Poo Institute of Technology has been in the midst of relocating, and therefore I have been without Internet access for weeks. You know how it goes. These are the travails of the blogger.

The Democratic Convention has been going swimmingly, I think. I was unable to hear Michelle Obama, the Most Elegant First Lady of the United States in History, speak. I will catch up on her speech later, now that, well, you know, I have access to the Internet.

I often bang my head against the steering wheel of my car trying to figure out how in the wide wide world of sports there is any question that President Barack Obama should be re-elected. He has earned a second term. There has not been a President in recent history who has deserved a second term more handily than has Mr. Obama.

This man is not the cause of current state of the economy. He is the architect who stopped the economy from running all the way off the cliff. He reformed our health care system. He led the effort to shoot Osama Bin Laden in the eye. He got rid of the hideous policy of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He saved the automobile industry, indeed, he saved the automobile industry at a time when his opponent was all like “screw those guys.” He went all bad-ass on those Somali pirates. He scolded the United States Supreme Court right to their faces.

I am convinced that Obama will win, by the way, although I am bewildered that there is even any question. I am convinced he will win based on the strength of the votes of women. Based on the stupidity that was the whole contraception debate and a general concern that the government is sniffing around in their nether-regions a bit too much, I predict that women will come out in droves and will preserve a well-earned second term for Mr. Obama.

I have more predictions, too, if you like.

I predict that if my previous prediction is incorrect, that is, if instead Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States, I predict that Mr. Romney will have a robust jobs bill on his desk by 1:15 p.m. January 20. This is the most cynical prediction I have ever made. But it is what is happening. Congress is holding you hostage as surely as the Iranian students held their hostages until Ronald Raygun’s inauguration in 1980.

In this short-term regard, a Romney Presidency would not be terrible. We would have full cooperation from Congress under his White House. I mean, if you like voting with a party that would hold you hostage. And the party that caused this whole mess in the first place. And the party that wants to regulate your vagina. And the party that brought you the attacks of September Eleventh.

Fired up.

90 Days, 90 Reasons

Cheers to McSweeny’s for doing something excellent.

As their editorial staff put it:

We are three months away from the presidential election, and there is a stunning lack of energy displayed by likely Obama voters.

Some who voted for Obama are disappointed in decisions he’s made, things he hasn’t done. And so millions of voters, the same ones who campaigned so fervently for Obama in 2008—the same ones who achieved history by not only overturning eight years of disastrous Republican leadership, but by electing the first African-American president—these same voters are collectively looking at this election and thinking, “I’ll sit this one out.”

And until a few weeks ago, we were more or less in this camp, too. We had attended no rallies, donated no funds. No one we knew had. Everyone—no matter how inspired they were in 2008—was watching from the sidelines.

Then we had a revelation, which sounds less like a revelation and more like a plainly obvious reality: if this doesn’t become an all-hands-on-deck movement to re-elect President Obama, he will lose. And Mitt Romney, who has campaigned as the most conservative Republican candidate in history, will become president.

I have been remiss as well here in the ol’ blogosphere. You know. Real life going on and all. Not that I think this space actually moves and shakes. However, I think this McSweeny fellow is pretty smart, and I think it’s worth spending some time at 90 Days, 90 Reasons.

Paul Ryan for VP

It is confirmed today that what Mitt Romney has in mind is to continue down the darkened road of converting our fine nation into a modern serfdom where everything is for sale and government’s only role is to protect the interests of the fat cats.

Paul Ryan is your typical Ayn Rand boot-licker. He is a true believer; I’m guessing one of those warped little frogs who picked up Atlas Shrugged at age 14, an age when most young men tend to be narcissistic little assholes anyway, and then they pick up this tome that tells them, hey, it’s okay to be a narcissistic little asshole, in fact, you should make it your life’s guiding principle, and that’s how you get Paul Ryan.

If these boys get in, this country’s going to get fun real fast. They will continue, nay, they will intensify the Bush administration’s efforts and policies, an effort that was so helpful that we ended up having to loot the national treasury just to save our necks. How quickly we forget that Bush indeed believed in economic stimulus: It was called TARP.

Paul Ryan. Interesting. If you had any doubt about where President R-Money would take us, well, doubt no longer. So long reproductive rights, so long Medicare, so long government stimulus and any current policy that has actually slowed our grand march to the cliff’s edge.

Eat Mor Chikin. If You Want.

I have seen many ejaculations of opinion on the internets of late that go something like this regarding the weirdly current offender in our culture known as “Chick-Fil-A”: “And besides, you know what else, too? THEIR FOOD SUCKS.”

No. It doesn’t.

No, that particular fast food chain makes one mean chicken sammich, crispy, juicy, piping hot out of the little foil bag, and every one has that little pickle in the center. And do not get me started on the waffle fries. No, sir, that argument regarding our latest icon in a hot seat does not fly.

Now I think it’s important in considering in all of this odd debate exactly what was said and done and what’s actually of concern here. About a month ago, The Biblical Recorder, a weekly newspaper published by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, interviewed Dan T. Cathy, President and COO, and asked about opposition to his company’s “support of the traditional family.” He replied: “Well, guilty as charged.”

“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Mainly, what Cathy is defending is Chick-Fil-A’s financial support of outfits like Marriage & Family Foundation and the Family Research Council, and also that his company had sponsored marriage retreats that excluded gay couples. And I’m not about to defend any of all of that. But I think there are some things that it’s important to understand about this issue.

First, understand that Chick-Fil-A is a widely Southern phenomenon, and that the chain is widely beloved among Southerners. Among the things believed by South-dwellers about Chick-Fil-A is that it makes the most delicious sweet tea in all the land. And if you don’t understand the significance of that, then you have clearly never spent any time in the former confederacy. If you have, then you know I have amply supported the significance of Chick-Fil-A to Southern culinary life and let’s move on. Suffice it to say: It’s a Southern thing.

Also understand this about Chick-Fil-A: If you manage to get hold of a franchise, you must understand that you yourself do not own the restaurant, is is the case with many other chain operations. Chick-Fil-A retains ownership of the restaurant itself and pays all the bills. You just kicked in that $5K for the licensing, that’s all. Nope, no pyramid scheme here. Everyone answers to Mr. Cathy.

And understand, too, that all this Jesus stuff isn’t just what this guy thinks off the top of his head. It’s in Chick-Fil-A’s corporate charter. Here, from the Wiki:

The company’s official statement of corporate purpose says that the business exists “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

So. You’ve got a corporation, which in these Untied States of America is now officially recognized as a person, and so that person is a redneck, revered by other rednecks, who has staggering control issues and runs around town waving a Bible, and you really think the problem is whether or not you stop your little hiney into the food court for a bite to eat?

This Dan Cathy has been allowed to inject opinions and mores into his little corporation being, and I think that’s the real problem; not some smirky quote he gave to a softball interviewer in the Jesus press trade, not even his corporation’s support for those hideous groups.

The problem is that the system abides it. I say, so long as that continues, you might as well just park yourself down and enjoy your waffle fries.

They are really scrumptious.

Independence Day

otto

It has been nearly a month since I have sat down to jot here. As many bloggers understand, sometimes you just lose the spark.

So. What’s new and exciting?

Oh, yes. Somehow, Chief Justice Roberts (pictured at right) managed to save the Affordable Care Act. From the accounts available, it seems that even Roberts couldn’t bear the notion that his Supreme Court would be the institution that would stake this reasonable and moderate reform of our health care system in the heart.

By the way: I strongly recommend checking out this Reddit thread, a straightforward explanation of the Affordable Care Act.

Anyway, I’m meandering. This here’s Independence Day. And I think there are two things worth reading and ruminating on a day like today.

First is this little document called the Declaration of Independence. The second, and I think just as vital, honestly, is an excerpt from an American thinker named Thom Hartmann, who argues rather effectively I think that the Boston Tea Party wasn’t just a revolt against taxes, but rather, it was the first revolt against global corporatism.

I heard a guy just the other day repeat the oft-muttered charge that today, all we’re doing is remembering a bunch of rich white guys who did not want to pay their taxes. I take nobody seriously who ever utters this nonsense. When these guys signed this piece of paper, they put their fortunes and their lives in danger. You cannot and should not trivialize what the Declaration signers risked and what they accomplished, and, indeed, what remains in the ever-present danger of evaporating each and every day.

Independence. Let’s try to keep it.

Obama to Rick Warren: Drop Dead

As often happens, there is an event in the news and the prognosticators come out for analysis, and I sit back and roll my eyes because not a single one of them actually gets it right. This is true of the reportedly blockbuster event of yesterday, wherein President Barack Obama went on the television and made his mouth actually form the words in public that he believes in marriage equality.

I think the event is both incredibly mundane and insignificant in the light where people are stating this to be a historic event. However, there are darker, deeper nooks and crannies where this event presents itself as downright awesome.

The reason I find this to be mundane where so many people are filled with shock and awe is that this administration has been in the habit of letting its policies speak for its stance on the general issue of equality for teh gheys. This administration has managed to make the armed forces a reasonable working environment regardless of orientation by striking down DADT, one of the silliest policies that has ever been established, thank you Bill Clinton. He signed hate crimes legislation, he…well, here, go look for yourself.

In that light, I think the guy going on TV and saying that is pretty insignificant. Of course, we live in an era when going on TV and saying things is like the most important thing you can do. So of course Obama going on TV and saying this eclipses years of progress on the issue via actual policy in most peoples’ minds. In that light, however, this statement is actually pretty mundane.

However.

Remember in 2008, when Obama was running for President, and he was required to go have an audience with Rick Warren and kiss Rick Warren’s ring? And Rick Warren was somehow wearing his ring on his ass? So when you were kissing Rick Warren’s ring, you were actually kissing his ass? Remember that? Here’s what Obama told Rick Warren at the time:

The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern that — about same-sex marriage. I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions.

This, my friends, is why yesterday’s statement was significant in my opinion. The President is walking back his remarks to Rick Warren. He is telegraphing a significant change about how he’s going to run for office this year versus how he ran in 2008. I think he understands that he does not have to waste his energy this time around trying to lick the asses of superstitious, backwater freaks any longer; that what he needs to do to win is to energize his base. That is why yesterday’s interview was significant. It represents a true tide change in how the President intends to run for office in 2012.

And it is quite welcomed.