Blog Archives

Link(s) for 12/2 – Politics on TV

Last night was a great night for political junkies.  From 7-8 we had a surprisingly explosive debate between the four Democrats vying to represent their party in the special election to succeed the late Senator Kennedy.  Then, at 8, President Obama took over the airways to announce his new war strategy in Afghanistan. 

Click here for a recap of the debate

Click here to watch the President’s speech

      I thought this was one of the best speeches of the Obama Presidency.  For the most part he stayed away from “political” rhetoric and focused on laying out the case for increased troop levels in a clear and convincing manner.  In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I was a supporter of the war in Afghanistan back in 2002 and I do believe our success or failure in that country will have long-lasting consequences for America and for the stability of the region.   However, no matter what your opinion on the merits of the war is the fact remains that we are there and, due to irresponsible decisions by the previous administration, we have lost ground.  I don’t believe leaving right now is an option (as much as I’d like it to be)  and, if you believe people on the ground, maintaining the status quo is a recipe for disaster.   Therefore, I support the President’s plan to send in more troops and am gratified to hear him lay out a clear and realistic mission for them, as well as an exit strategy.  To those who don’t like putting out a timeline for withdrawal, I would argue that such an announcement is critical to show President Karzai and the Afghan people that we are serious about turning over the security of the country to them and that they must step up to the plate.  However, I truly believe that, in 18 months, if the situation is not what we hope it will be, President Obama will reassess his withdrawal timeline.  Hey, at least we have an exit strategy – something the Bush administration forgot to consider as they planned their invasions of both Afghanistan AND Iraq.

The men and women in uniform have already given so much (one only needed to look around the room at West Point and in the various living rooms across the world where CNN had cameras to see the true cost of this war) and to ask them to give more is so hard.  But I do believe the President when he says that he asked the hard questions and considered all options before making this incredibly difficult decision.  It may not work, but I applaud him for taking a stand and setting out a plan that, at least on paper, gives us the best chance of success.

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Link(s) for 11/17/09 – Sports AND politics

Today I give you a few links for a few different worlds.  I’ll try to keep my commentary to a minimum and just let you enjoy the link.  However, I do want to point out that I am very close to 100 comments – I think what I will do is give a little prize to the 100th person to post a comment on my blog…and it could be you 🙂 I think I’ve given you a wide enough range of subjects so everyone has something to say. 

If you read back a couple of entries, you will see that I said that I understood the rationale of the choice Belichick made to go for it on 4th and 2.  Now, statistics and percentages have proven me right!   (Sorry Tony Dungy)   This article does make the REALLY good point that, if you were planning to go for it on 4th down, running it on third down would have made more sense.

According to ABC news, the Congressional Budget Office is about to release their findings on the long-term costs associated with the health care bill and, according to sources, it will be good news for the majority party and the president.  We’ll have to wait and see for specifics but this may help some moderate senators get on board if they see it might actually reduce the deficit in the long-run.  Of course, the really interesting question becomes if those opposed to the bill will ignore the CBO findings and make up their own numbers about the impact of the bill on the economy.  Can’t wait!

Yeah right.

Oh, Senator Sessions.  Why must you go back on your word?    Senator Sessions is reportedly considering a filibuster of Judge David Hamilton, an Obama nominee to the 7th circuit court of appeals.  However, back in 2003, Sessions (who was denied a floor vote in 1985 for a nomination to be a Federal Judge) said ““Of the many reasons why we shouldn’t have a filibuster, an important one is the Article I of the Constitution. It says the Senate shall advise and consent on treaties by a two-thirds vote, and simply “shall advise and consent” on nominations.”  But now, with a Democrat in the White House, he has changed his mind.  This continues the long-standing practice of the majority party deriding the minority trying to block the business of the senate and impose their will, only to change their mind when they lose the majority.   It’s like not stopping for a pedestrian when you are driving, but then calling the police when a driver doesn’t let you cross at the EXACT same intersection.  It is so transparent and is one of the many reasons people don’t trust their congress is actually working for them.   Just look at this quote from another article addressing this important issue “Two dozen conservatives led by former Reagan-era Attorney General Edwin Meese have signed a letter calling on senators to invoke the justification of “extraordinary circumstances” to block Hamilton’s nomination…Nine of the individuals who signed the memo also signed the 2005 letter to GOP leaders calling for them to abolish the filibuster of judicial nominees…”  The explanation for the about-face might go something like this ‘See, uh, the thing is, uh, well Sarah Palin told us, no, I mean I got a letter from Bill Belichick telling me to always go for it.  Yeah, see the economy is in trouble and, well, I don’t want to be dramatic, but we have to filibuster sometime, otherwise how am I going to get in the news and then campaign that the majority doesn’t do anything….also what if Barack Hussain Obama nominated his cousin Osama?  What then.’

Because I want another sports link and this list is priceless! (fair warning, a few are a bit creepy)

Candidate Tuesday coming later today on Joe Kennedy…No, no, no.  Not that one.  The other one.

Link for 10/12/09 – Obama and Lady Gaga?

United States Senator?  Check.  President of the United States?  Check.  Nobel Peace Prize winner?  Check.   Great family? Check.  Opening act for Lady Gaga? Check? Really?  Maybe they will take it on the road!

In all seriousness, this is a beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and I’m glad she, and the President, are helping us remember the Matthew Shepard tragedy and the incredible discrimination that gays experience in this country.  Here’s hoping the President lives up to his word and ends the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.  Here’s hoping that sooner rather than later, gays will enjoy the same rights as their fellow Americans and that we can move closer to putting all forms of discrimination behind us.  Thank you to all who marched and raised their voices for freedom and equal rights.  In the coming weeks, let’s see who heard you.

Link for 9/16/09

So, by now, most of you have heard about Kanye West dissing Taylor Swift at the VMAs.  His selfish, idiotic act has been all the rage and, if you haven’t seen it go find it on youtube.   I wasn’t going to post about it because it has nothing to do with sports or politics.  However, lucky for me, our President has become involved (big surprise) so now I have an excuse.  Check out these two videos – one of the President sharing his true feelings “off the record” on Kanye and the other…well just watch.  Thanks to loyal reader Becca for the link!

On the one hand, I appreciate having a President who shares his feelings and is clearly a real person with real emotions and not always a carefully programmed political robot.  On the other hand, I think people are making way too much of this.   Although Jay Leno had a good idea with this comment – “”Been a busy week for President Obama. I notice that he’s having Kanye West and Taylor Swift to the White House for a ‘root beer summit’ this weekend. See, she’s only 19. So, it’s got to be root beer.” –Jay Leno

Another funny line I saw…

“Of course, you all saw this. This is what I’m talking about. Kayne West at the Video Music Awards. Kayne West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech. And after he did that, after he was done interrupting her, MTV threw him out of the building. So it’s official. MTV has a lower tolerance for bad behavior than the United States Congress.” –Conan O’Brien