Tag Archives: President Obama

I beat The Onion to a joke

With a nod and a smug smile, I point out that The Onion and I have made the same joke.  Back on November 16th, I wrote about Republicans trying to repeal Obama’s fantasy football victory.  Today, from The Onion: Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth.  Solid piece, quite funny, but it’s the same joke, fellas.  Maybe include a little more research time in the ol’ production schedule, mmmkay?  Google search “republicans+to+repeal+obama+fantasy+football” and there is my piece, first result.  Hard to miss, really.  One ounce of diligence can save one pound of embarrassment, guys.

But it’s cool, The Onion.  We’re on the same side here.  Screw those obstructionist dirtbags.

Republicans To Repeal Obama’s Fantasy Football Victory

Washington, DC – House Republicans today announced their intent to fight President Obama’s expected victory in his fantasy football league.  Obama’s points-per-reception league team, “Malia’s All-Star Leopards,” holds a comfortable lead over Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke’s “Hasselbeck4Evahs.”  Behind Wes Welker, Roddy White, Michael Vick and draft-day steal Arian Foster, Obama expects to claim victory when the regular season ends on January 2nd.  Republicans plan to undo Obama’s victory by “rolling back” the league point rules once they claim control over the House in mid-January.

Brushing aside accusations of pointless obstructionism, Sen. Jim DeMint criticized Obama for trying to “sneak in” his victory during the lame-duck session.  “We intend to introduce legislation that will bring the value for receptions back in line with what average Americans think they’re worth,” McConnell said.  “Everybody knew Arian Foster was going to have a monster season, and I believe the American people deserve to know why the most liberal administration on Earth let him fall so far in the draft.” 

This comes on the heels of House Republicans successfully blocking Obama’s attempted purchase of Marvin Gardens during a family Monopoly game, calling it “yet another government takeover.”

an irresistible compulsion to post this

All sorts of cognitive dissonance in creating this montage

2005 Kanye West: “President Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

2008 Kanye West: “I’ll let [Taylor Swift] finish.  But Beyoncé had one of the greatest videos of all time!”

2008 President Obama: “He’s a jackass.”

2010 President George W. Bush: “[Kanye’s comment] was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency.”

An annoying hip-hop personality puts his foot in his mouth twice.  One President dismisses him in 3 words.  Another President declares it one of the worst moments of his 8 years in office.

There are several orders of magnitude difference between the first "lesser than" symbol and the second in this statement.

does this metaphor work?

The American roof is leaking.

The Republicans, not presently in charge of the roof, think we should return the roof to the size it was before we added some new rooms onto the house.  Any leaks in that original roof can just be patched.  If those new rooms get wet, well, Republicans don’t use those rooms anyway.

Democrats want the roof to cover the entire house, but can’t say succinctly why that’s important.  They also aren’t sure of the best way to go about it, and are afraid of being called roofers, even though a room without a roof is no room at all.

Obama wants to fix the leaks with a brand new roof.  It’s expensive, but it’ll keep everybody dry for a long time, and maybe we can put up some solar panels.

Sensationalist Journalism Legitimizes Debates That Never Should Be Legitimized

This video was posted on CNN yesterday with the headline, “Is Obama an Islamic Sympathizer?”  The sub-description of the video is, “CNN’s Anderson Cooper talks with a panel about whether President Obama’s views are ‘un-American.'”

The several-minute video is Anderson Cooper hosting 4 panelists: Paul Begala, Ari Fleischer, David Gergen, and Fareed Zakaria.  Cooper’s lead-in to the piece, and presumably the genesis of the entire video, is this poll:

A poll worthy of discussion, apparently

Cooper asks each panelist in turn what they make of this.  The first two, Begala and Fleischer, both agree that it shouldn’t be taken seriously and is nothing more than an indicator of the bitterness of America’s current political landscape.  The following two, Gergen and Zakaria, turn the conversation into a brief discussion of America’s tolerance or intolerance for Muslims and Obama’s role in that.  As you might expect, nobody really agrees with anyone, different viewpoints are offered, and the impression you get at the end is that America is a big country and some people really don’t like Obama but most Americans are reasonable.  Astounding!

What drives me up the wall about this video is the branding.  I clicked on the video because of the title, “Is Obama an Islamic Sympathizer?”  CNN’s webmasters gave it that title precisely so that it would draw page views, which generate revenue.  Of course, no one in the video agrees with that question, and they pretty soon stop talking about entirely.*  But the title legitimizes a debate which, in my view, should not be legitimized.

*(Not before Cooper offers this leading question to the first panelist: “Or do you really think that the numbers say that people think the President of the United States supports Sharia law?”  Which is, of course, very different than being an ‘Islamic sympathizer.’  I’m a doormouse sympathizer but I don’t let them eat my cereal.)  

Does the video discuss the various ways one can be “sympathetic” to Islam?  Does it discuss what it means to have “un-American views?”  No.*  Does anyone in the video even bring up the concept of a President with un-American views?  No.  The video would more accurately be titled, “Is American Politics Religiously Divided?”  But in going for the controversy and ad revenue, CNN legitimizes the “debate” over Obama’s patriotism and whether being “sympathetic” to Islam is an acceptable stance in this country.  It doesn’t matter that the content of the video mostly ignores the question and certainly doesn’t endorse it.  It is merely the presence of the question, prominently displayed on CNN.com, which legitimizes it as a question worthy of national discussion.

*(Again, the damage is done in the asking.  The question is raised by the headline, and you have to watch the video to find out that no, ultimately, Obama’s views are not un-American.  Or you would find that out, if they even addressed the question.  Perhaps we should post this discussion: “Is CNN Run by the Mob?”  Inclined readers can wade through 4 pages of comment board posts to find out that no, it isn’t.)

There are people in this country who fervently believe Obama wants to impose Sharia Law.  They point to CNN and say, “See?  The debate continues.”  I believe in freedom of speech, but the attention being given to that viewpoint and similar views is out of proportion to the number of people who legitimately believe it.  I believe others do not actually believe such things, but stoke this fire because it furthers their own political agenda.  The debate over Obama’s secret Islamic objectives is even less of a debate than the “debate” over global warming.  Yet a mainstream news outlet like CNN legitimizes the “other side” of the debate for…what?  Ad revenue.  And the national political debate suffers for it.

The problem is that the wackos don’t give the rest of us the same deal.  If you went to a website trumpeting the Obama-as-Muslim cause, you would not see a video called, “Three Reasons Why Obama May Be Christian.”  Even FoxNews does not have videos titled, “Is Obama’s Economic Policy Paying Dividends?”  No, at Fox you get links like, “How Much Will the Transition to Digital Medical Records Cost You?” and “Stimulus Plan in Hindsight: Did Obama’s Agenda Hobble Economic Recovery?”

The New York Times or CNN would not be muckraking to report on the Obama-as-Muslim conspiracy theories, or the elected officials who doubt global warming, or any other sign of these nutty times.  But there is a way to cover such trends and people that does not legitimize their viewpoints.  When the paper covers a house fire, it doesn’t use the headline, “Was House Meant To Burn Down?”

I believe the Obama-as-Muslim theorists are not only wrong, but the promotion of that debate materially hurts America’s pursuit of our diplomatic objectives and increases anti-American sentiment abroad.  There are stakes here.  But the media’s pursuit of bad news and provocative opinion creates a positive feedback loop which gives these fringe perspectives more clout than they deserve.  They can then point to the phantom debate created by the media coverage as a retroactive legitimization of what we dun been sayin’ since way back when Grandpop told us that de Foundin Fathers knew that dark-skinned folk ain’t mean to live in democracy.  Now we just glad we’s gettin some attentun fer it.

We need and deserve more sophisticated consideration from those organizations and individuals who, in these divisive times, sit in the control room of our national attention.

Obama is a liar!

Today Obama admitted, on national television, that he’s trying to trick the nation with his health care reform.  He said, and I quote:

“On…my…health care vote…I’ve been completely brainwashed…that’s the game.”

Here’s the full video:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5002940&categoryid=2459792

Republicans, can I get a what what?

State of the Union: Quick-Hitting Analysis

Some impressions, of questionable taste, from last night’s State of the Union address: 

  • At one point, Obama talked about injecting more money into the higher education system.  The Republicans did not applaud.  Why?  Because the more people go to college, the fewer people will vote Republican. (Of course, some conservatives say that this is due to ‘liberal indoctrination’ by liberal professors.)

Went to college, became socially liberal

Should have attended more college

  • Call me a snotty undemocratic elitist, but I kinda want the best and the brightest to run the country.  I dunno, I just think they’re more qualified to do the job.  I want the best cook making my meal, the best pilot flying my plane, and the smartest and most capable people running the country.
  • This (above) is why I want to enter a cheat code into my political system that allows Obama to govern without thought to, consideration for, any other politicians of any party.  I guess that’s a King, but I’m all for enlightened monarchy over lowest-common-denominator mob rule.

If I was good with photoshop, I'd replace Aragorn with Obama

  • In the last few days, Iran singled out Germany and accused them of helping support the civil unrest Iran has been experiencing.  Maybe it’s time we let the Germans have a real military again.  Hey, desperate times for desperate measures, right?  Give them five years to get back up to steam, and then let ’em loose.  I’m pretty confident they’d be on our side this time, and it’s pretty clear that Germany is good at having an army

Except instead of being a philosophical sociopath, Germany would be a bureaucratic but highly efficient and motivated military force

  • Let’s think about this for a minute.  What is hampering America’s fight against Islamic extremism?  Broadly speaking, we are having trouble funding the war, convincing allies to help, and we are losing the propoganda war.  History suggests a militant German state is good at all of those things.