Tag Archives: Obama

Maybe We’re Not Doomed After All.

I’m finding it hard to hang onto my protective cynicism through the inauguration, so maybe I’ll just put it down for a few minutes.

It already feels like everything is better, even if just a little.

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The Audacity of Hope at War With the Depression of … the New Depression.

The inauguration tomorrow has me, like so many others, all verklempt.  The excitement here in Chicago is palpabale, and now I’m regretting not taking the kids to one of Obama’s rallies during the campaign (public crowds make me uncomfortable even when I don’t have my kids with me; the idea of bringing my young children to a rally made me so uncomfortable that it was literally unthinkable).

I did, however, take advantage of Paste Magazine’s tool for making Obama campaign poster-style photos.  Here’s my YES WE CAN! pic:

yes-we-can

I am tremendously proud of my country for electing (1) our first African-American president, and (2) a really smart guy with good judgment.  I do have a lot of hope for the Obama administration, that he and his advisors will be able to make real progress in fixing some of the foreign policy and national security problems caused by the Dumb and Dumber administration, such as our lousy reputation internationally, the debacle in Iraq, and the all but ignored war in Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, I have very little faith in the government’s ability to deal with economic problems.  I believe that a sizable stimulus package may help short term, but I’m afraid that, if the proposed trillion-dollar package goes through, five years from now we’ll have triple-digit inflation and we’ll be burning wheelbarrows of hundred-dollar bills to keep warm.  And that’s my best case scenario.

So I used the Obamicon maker to make a more pessimistic image, not intended as a knock on Obama, but just to demonstrate my concerns about the mess he is walking into:

were-still-doomed

Update: For the perspective of someone who is embracing the hope without any “Yes, but,” check out Eric Zorn’s inauguration day column at the Trib.  He’s right, of course, and nails the right emotional tone for the day.  I’m a paranoid cynic (or a cynical paranoid), and it’s hard to let go of that, even for a day.

I Thought I Was Ready

for this, but then I saw (on MSNBC) Jesse Jackson in Grant Park, crying.

My daughter’s social studies teacher gave her class a little election coloring book a few days ago.  Unfocused Girl used the brown marker to color in the man on the “a candidate is…” page.

Jesus, Nevada just went for Obama, and he’s leading — not by much, but still — in Indiana.

I don’t think I’ve ever wept at an election result before.  President Obama.  Wow.

You’ve Heard It Before…

Now you’re hearing it from me:  if you haven’t voted yet, don’t forget to vote tomorrow.  Even if you think your candidate will win without your vote, go vote.  Pollsters make mistakes.  Eight years ago, I schlepped down to Fort Lauderdale to monitor the Florida recount; believe me when I tell you that EVERY DAMN VOTE MATTERS.

I can’t wait until this damn election is over.  I need the brainspace.

Update: According to MSNBC, they’ve already voted in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.  Obama won, 15 to 6; he’s the first Democrat to win Dixville Notch since 1968.

Fall Sunday Stats #5: Ronald Reagan, Commie Scum; John McCain, Terrorist Fundraiser.

The Republicans have pushed me over the edge with their latest lunatic ranting.  The most impressive thing about McCain’s — very funny — appearance on Saturday Night Live last night is that he managed it without visibly looking under the Weekend Update desk for commies hiding under it.

I’m not going to link to all of the videos of Republican candidates and talking-point spewing mouth breathers slandering Obama by calling him a socialist, Marxist, or communist; they’re available on in the ‘tubes.  Google “Obama socialist” and you’ll find plenty.  Let me get through the stats for the week and I’ll give you my rebuttal.

Miles run today:  None.  The Mrs. is singing excerpts from the Faure Requiem at church this morning, and I don’t miss her performances except for emergencies.  She’s got a wonderful voice.

Words written:  590 words of the short story I’m working on.  Between a tough week at work and election coverage at night, I haven’t been getting much writing done.  Back on track after Tuesday!

And now, my Keith Olbermann-style special comment:

REAGAN WAS A SOCIALIST!

Okay, Republican neo-McCarthyites, what in your mind makes Obama a socialist? Is it his support for the progressive income tax structure (increasing marginal rates as income goes up)? McCain/Palin support the same structure, they just differ over the rates. Let’s assume that you don’t believe we’re living in a socialist state today.  The top marginal income tax rate is currently 35%.  Obama has proposed raising the top rate to 39.6%, which is where it was during the boom years of the 1990s. Are you saying that the line between a capitalist society and a socialist society is crossed somewhere between 35% and 39.6%? Where is that line, exactly? Is it 36%? 37? 38.2%?  Were we socialists during the tech boom?

I also think that it’s unfortunate that you’re defaming Ronald Reagan by calling him a socialist. If Obama’s a socialist for proposing a 39.6% top marginal rate, Reagan must have been positively Stalinesque in his support for the communist system, because under his self-proclaimed “tax reform” the top marginal rate from 1982 through 1986 was 50%. What a pinko! Now, to give credit where credit is due, maybe the Gipper saw the light, because in 1986 he signed another tax bill that lowered the top marginal rate to 38.5%. Perhaps that’s the line we should never cross – 38.5%=capitalist market economy, freedom, and the shining city on the hill, while 38.51% = socialism, tyranny, oppressed masses, and another Evil Empire.  Who knew the red revolution would be so subtle, and yet so well defined?

All tax systems are redistributionist, even a flat tax.  Back in 2000, McCain called the Bush tax cuts “irresponsible.”  So is going back to the pre-2001 top rate “socialistic” or simple fiscal responsibility?

MCCAIN FUNDED RADICAL PALESTINIAN TERRORIST!

As for Khalidi, while McCain served on the board of the International Republican Institute, that organization gave Khalidi several hundred thousand dollars in grants in the 1990s. Obama spoke at a dinner where the guy was in attendance, and says that in a couple of conversations Khalidi challenged some of Obama’s biases. Assuming Khalidi is some kind of radical terrorist (a charge for which there doesn’t appear to be any evidence), which association is more offensive?

Let’s get this straight:  Obama, not a socialist, not someone who pals around with terrorists.  He’s just the guy who’s kicking Republican ass.

There Are Pigs Flying Through the Snow in Hell Tonight.

The Chicago Tribune just endorsed Barack Obama for President, the first Democrat the paper has ever endorsed for President.

Remember to vote early if you can — you never know what could happen to you between now and Election Day.  I voted yesterday.

One more reason to vote for Barack:  Unfocused Junior told me this evening, “John McCain was the cranky old man who lived on the corner of your block when you were a kid.”  I explained that McCain had never lived on my block.  “Well, then,” he said, “John McCain is just a cranky old man.”  Exactly.

My Wife Isn’t Speaking to Me, Except to Mock. Sweet, Sweet Mockery.

We just had an enjoyable night shouting at the weird smiley cranky man on TV.  I was sorry to hear about those damn community organizers and how they’re destroying the fabric of democracy, but maybe it isn’t as bad as all that — apparently the cranky man loved the community organizers before he abhored them (Thanks, Boing Boing!).

I’m traveling on Election Night, and Mrs. Unfocused is … displeased with me.  We have spent four presidential election nights together; this would have been the fifth, and the first where we were really enthusiastic about the candidate that might actually win.  She is very, very displeased with me.

So she’s told me to tell you that you’re all invited over to watch the returns on November 4, while I’m out of town.  We have a few nice bottles of wine we’ve been saving for special occasions; she’s going to break them out, win or lose (it’s possible we opened one of these evening already, and may even have almost finished it).  Also, she’s an excellent cook, so you can look forward to lovely hors d’oeuvres — probably all of my favorites, including the bacon-wrapped dates.  Damn, those are good.  Enjoy.  I’ll probably call in a couple of times during the evening, but she won’t stay on the phone long with guests in the house.