Shenanigans


Can’t swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting some.

-The President Elect didn’t save jobs from Carrier. The state bribed them with tax breaks to not take them all. This is a strategy that worked out really well for Carrier in New York State where the only thing still functioning with the name Carrier on it is the dome.

-Saying you are “Draining the swamp” doesn’t preclude from the fact that you might just fool around and refill it.

-Coal jobs aren’t coming back. With wind and solar getting to be cheaper, it’s one of those industries that won’t dominate as it once did and for somebody to magically promise, without substantiation that the jobs are coming back is both exploitive and sad. But then again, so is believing that somebody.

-Did anybody ever take a more pained dinnertime photo than Mitt Romney? Whoever lit that table was editorializing in their own way. You can almost watch his soul leave.

-New York Times contributor Paul Krugman noted on Twitter that “Another metric: Trump would have to do one Carrier-sized deal a week for 30 years to save as many jobs as Obama’s auto bailout.”

-So the NFL decided to bust the Bills’ Offensive Lineman Seantrel Henderson for using medical marijuana…to treat Crohn’s Disease. First, just legalize it already. Look at the revenue that Colorado is reaping. Second, NFL? Really? Seriously? It’s not a performance enhancing drug, it’s a medical regimen. Good thing he isn’t beating anybody up. Oh, wait, you’re cool with that.

-The Affordable Care Act is a noble idea, but a flawed law. I think Congress wasted all those votes on repeal because they didn’t have to actually deal with the consequences of “what’s next?” Well, guess what, time to shine, obstructionists!

-Cutting Social Security and Medicaid, this confuses me a little, as they are things that we pay into, why would payouts need reduced? Oh yeah, because that pot of money keeps getting borrowed for other things.

-I’m not certain that Bernie Sanders would have won, but I’m glad the grumpy old man isn’t going gently into the good night.

-The recount efforts won’t change anything, but there is no harm in letting the process play out. I mean, unless you think it might not go your way, then panic on twitter.

-Nobody, and I mean, nobody ever gets everything they want or promise done once they get into office. That said, despite not being the most natural campaigner, Secretary Clinton was a pretty capable Senator.

-It would be good for our current President to take some action on Standing Rock, any action. And place his nominee on the court as a recess appointment. The court would be fully stocked for a year, while the obstructionists in congress publicly obfuscate, squirm and talking point their way around a nominee who actually meets their criteria.

-Steven Colbert was right, we are overpoliticked with the election. One of the worst mediums ever is the public comment sections of newspaper and tv websites. Laden with digital ninjas whose sole human contact is their moms yelling from upstairs to come up for breakfast, that style of uninformed, meme-posting, if you don’t agree with me, you must be a moron discourse is all over social media. I suppose this essay falls into that category, but it’s okay to disagree with me and I don’t live with mom.

-That said, everybody’s history has some poison in it. Every race, creed, color has a list of do-overs and we haven’t always come to grips with that. The naysayers who have issues with Black Lives Matter miss the point. All lives do matter and should matter, but the central point to me is that some lives haven’t mattered as much and correcting that takes time, time and recognition that a lengthy history of abuses, misconceptions and prejudice affects all involved and doesn’t magically go away. So, standing up for that is a good thing and that reminder very good.

So, another transition.

-The Buffalo Bills have me concerned. They had trouble with the 2-8 Jaguars at home and are going to play the Raiders, in Oakland, and the Raiders are pretty good again.

-It’s great that Jack is back, but should one guy….

It’s that time of the year where we act, mostly, like we should all year long. Let’s strive for less idiocy and realize that differing views don’t make the opposing parties morons. We can learn beyond facebook bickering.

 

 

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The Things We Choose to Care about


Wow, the world would be better if, if we weren’t so full of crap.

Is the decor of your $5 coffee cup really a problem and not for nothing, who is telling you you can’t say Merry Christmas? “Happy Holidays” isn’t anything new and I think most folks say it because there is more than one holiday going on and perhaps there isn’t a need to spend foreever checking off a never ending list of platitudes when your biggest goal is to escape the conversation. It seems to me that we are for freedom of religion until somebody actually exercises that. War on Christmas – an invented sentiment by those who aren’t paying attention to the problem of the real casualty – Thanksgiving. Donald Trump says that if he gets elected we can say Merry Christmas once more. I am sort of at a loss as to what might prevent me from saying it now…..oh, right, nothing.

I wonder at what point retailers will realize that they aren’t making any more money, it’s just coming in at different times, that midnight madness allure of shopping on Thanksgiving isn’t doing much for bottom lines and that folks see that the deals aren’t the greatest.

The things we choose to care about….

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With events unfolding in Paris, the world turns into the “forums” of every news paper page. U2 had a concert set for Saturday night to be broadcast on HBO. This was understandably cancelled as security personnel have more pressing concerns, but that didn’t stop people from posting on Facebook and Twitter griping about Bono should go on and not “ask us to give while he sits on billions.” I can understand Bono rubbing you the wrong way and all, but that is complaining for the sake of complaining. Whether you like the band or not, they are prominent enough that their picture will get taken when they lay flowers at one of the memorials, but I suppose if they hadn’t gone to do that, that would inspire digital grousing as well.

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The other thing I saw was a number of folks appointing themselves to be “social media” coaches, telling scrollers that they aren’t achieving anything by changing their profile picture with the french colors. I disagree. There is a bit of “everybody’s doing it” that goes into movements like that and I don’t believe that is necessarily a bad thing. If nothing else, it does get folks more involved. Perhaps it is in a purely passive way, but that is something. And anything that gets folks to lift a finger to being more informed even by a little is a good thing.

Anybody notice Beirut was attacked too?

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Nope, we were too concerned that Friday, the President said ISIS is contained and by Saturday morning, that wasn’t the case. Okay, he missed that putt, but what does it matter? The sound bite or lack of wouldn’t change a thing, just like nothing the candidates had to say since would raised the level of debate.

The digital age has presented us with many tools. We just shouldn’t be among them

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indecision 2016


I’m already sick of the 2016 Presidential Election.

If there was a way to make it all go away until 2016, I’d be fine with that.

There was a line in one of the episodes of the West Wing that was something along the lines of voters get stupid during election years. And the president’s aide replied that “No, people get treated like they are stupid in election years.” I’m not sure who is right except a staggering amount of money will be spent as if both things are true.

I don’t know who I like yet, but I want to vote for them for what they will do in office, not because they aren’t somebody else. Hillary’s listening, Christie wants to gamble but not smoke, Rubio and Cruz are well against Hillary, Huckabee is in a favor of microphones, pointed at him, Rand Paul doesn’t want to answer questions on the Today Show and Jeb Bush is testing waters with press conferences. None of it will make any difference at all to folks voting. You can’t read a facebook feed without somebody posting “Benghazi” with a tourette’s like fervor like that should trigger something (for me, it’s where were all you self righteous knuckleheads during the embassy attacks or did ya notice security budgets were cut bipartisan like.).

There’s enough good and bad for everybody on all sides. Don’t trust, candidate X? Good, you shouldn’t.

My main point isn’t your candidate is bad or mine is good (especially since I ain’t got one). It’s that we should be picking them for them. Living in New York State, we are almost a moot point as far as the presidential election is concerned. It was fascinating to walk a few blocks to work in Wisconsin in 2008 as the real thing was being fought out there. We were into the general campaign at that point, but actual positions were being discussed in Milwaukee.

Voters were selecting who they wanted to win, which strikes me as the whole point of the process.

The parties need each other, desperately. In the meantime, anybody who is running = tell me this, why should I vote for you.

I’d like that answer, but not until 2016.

The Mets are on.

Bing! Bing! Bing! Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!


I don’t care…..

With apologies to Kevin Meany, ignorance can indeed be bliss.

Recent news “coverage” suggests that Milt Romney was a bit of a prep school jerk. Are the networks so desperate for news that assignment desks are setting their way back machines 50 years? I mean, I don’t care and neither should you. Vote or don’t vote for the jerk you see before, not for some second hand account of jerkiness.

That fact that those things resonate with voters is scary. The story of President Obama eating dog as a child isn’t something newsworthy. At 9 or 10, you ate what was in front of you.

And the fact that either guy has changed his mind is a bad thing. Both the GOP and the Democrats like to point fingers and scream “Flip-Flopper” at the other. While it’s a fun turn of a phrase, it is a silly thing to get lathered up about.

It’s tough enough to get voters to make informed decisions when so much press coverage sounds like they are covering a beauty pageant. And that isn’t just a swipe at Fox News, it’s all of em and the effect the bloviating seems to have on us masses.

While I applaud the President for stating his position on gay marriage (as I agree with it) and taking a stand on something because that’s what he believes, what nobody notices yet is that the stance doesn’t change anything. Commentators are stumbling all over themselves as to the potential ramifications of the President’s speaking out. To see Mr. Limbaugh and his many divorces up in arms over the President’s “war on marriage” was pretty hilarious. As you go to City Hall to get your license and no one church has a monopoly on marriage, this is all a little odd to me. Don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married. Just like your faith or lack thereof is the rule in your house, but mine calls the shots in mine. But I digress…

Okay, one last point, we seem to be for religious freedom, until somebody actually uses it.

Okay, one final last point, shame on you, North Carolina.

Now, where was I…

Oh, yeah, let’s ask each guy about what matters, wouldn’t it be cool if that actually happened? You might get informed voters. If they toss out some bromide like “We’re gonna do what’s needed to get this country moving again,” ask what the hell that is suppose to mean?

It’s not a job that anybody can do and nobody should “settle” because that is what Beck, Olbermann, Limbaugh, Maddow, Blitzer, etc decide to cover. There are important questions to be asked, serious decisions that lie ahead with enough gravitas to sink an cruise ship. We’re never going find somebody we complete agree with, but we shouldn’t be satisfied with the McNuggets and neither should the folks with the microphones.

Ballot Casting and other fish tales


Or so it feels like. I came into my apartment on this day before election day to find 8 robo calls from candidates or their proxies or their high profile buddies urging me to get out to vote tomorrow. I will, half for the sake of doing my civic duty, half out of relief that at least one wave of rhetoric is closing for a bit. People are weary because of constantly be assaulted by trivial, inaccurate mudslinging that tells a viewer of a commercial the opinion of what one candidate thinks of another.

That is at the heart of the problem. While watching the various GOP front runners all grapple with being in the spotlight so poorly, that Pat Robertson has to tell them to cool it, I’ve been watching the local shenanigans and came up with a challenge that I would like to see, but probably never will. The prevailing winds say most candidates will tell why you shouldn’t vote for the guy running against them. I have this crazy idea and it crosses party lines. You want my vote? You want me to vote for you? You want me to install you in a position of power?

Well, here’s the deal. Tell me what YOU bring to the table. Tell me why YOU be picked, what YOU would do in office, why YOU want to be there. Nobody seems to want to do that. Decisions are made by those who show up, so the saying goes. Perhaps a little more directness might get more people to do so, more coverage would be on improving life instead of instilling fear, maybe that would separate the posers from the folks who have an interest in doing something.

Maybe.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

Vote anyway. It might seem hopeless sometimes, but the only way to keep it that is by showing up. Want term elections? We got em, there called elections.

Represent, yo!