Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

President Obama Will Not Mow Your Lawn

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

…or shovel your walk, or find you a job, or raise your children, or make you rich.

The Expectations Game

Time is near - finally! In a handful of days the Bushes will mercifully vanish and a new hope will inherit the crisis that is the United States. We have elected a man who, while light on so-called traditional experience, represents how America

Caroline Kennedy And Her, You Know, Problems

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Caroline Kennedy

New Yorkers have always had an interesting relationship with Senator Hillary Clinton. We weren’t quite sure what to make of it when she moved into our state apparently for the sole purpose of running for one of our senate seats, and we really didn’t know what to do with her during the now famous race against Rick Lazio. We do know now - on the eve of 2009 - that for the mostpart, we like Senator Clinton, and that she has done an admirable job in her role. She is battle-hardened enough to satisfy even the gruffest of City dwellers, yet thoughtful enough to be genuine. We wish her well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

With Senator Clinton soon to leave the legislative branch, Gov. Patterson has to perform a Constitutionally-mandated duty of choosing the much-discussed newbie. This is an awe-inspiring and worthy task, uh isn’t that right, “Governor F-Word”? One prospective name that seems to be circulating is that of a certain Ms. Kennedy - daughter of the last Obama. While Kennedy certainly meets the legal requirements to become a U.S. Senator, I have to wonder if she is up to the task of being one of New York’s crucial legislators.

New Yorkers (like me since birth) strongly dislike non-authentic types. We don’t do bullshit. If you aren’t going to talk straight, we wish you’d get out of our way. There are millions of people in our state and surely someone will give us what we need. That said, when Ms. Kennedy gave an interview to the New York Times, she repeated the phrase “you know” an astounding 142 times. One hundred and forty two! I mean… Palin may have been a public catastrophe, but she has to be cackling now.

Ms. Kennedy, we don’t know. We want to know what qualifies you to be in the Senate as opposed to, say, a public servant at a lower level. We want to know why the interest to become a political figure? All of the sudden? Why after 50 years of “leave me alone and let me raise my children in peace”-iness. Mostly though, we want to know why you don’t deserve comparisons to our dear friend from Alaska, who was ridiculed even by those who did not doubt her.

Objectively speaking, Mrs. Palin has infinitely more political experience than La Kennedy. Palin has been elected to municipal office and statewide office, no small feats, and was (still is) widely lampooned as “not experienced enough” for a shot at Washington. If she lacks experience, what does Ms. Kennedy have besides the President-Elect’s vote to escape this double-standardized criticism?

Look, Caroline (can we call you Caroline?)-we like Teddy. He’s a good man We loved your Uncle Robert. We adored your dad, and because we, like she, epitomized New York, we were beyond infatuated with your mother. We want to like you. But we’re smart and see through the noise.

Please give us something of substance. And add a decent public speaking course to your resume. Or your argument stops at “Gee, my name is Kennedy… you know?”

Good News Is Out: Bad

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Bad news is the new good news. Jump on the bandwagon.

Bad news is absolutely everywhere. It is unavoidable. The economy is in shambles, 50 million Americans are without health insurance, unemployment is on the rise in numbers that scare even me, and 43 out of 50 states are now operating on a budget deficit. Meanwhile, some enterprising projects have figured out how to keep their heads above water and even prosper in some cases despite experiencing these bleakest of times by making the (now official) recession seem almost cool.

Kind of.

A great example of the general mopiness of society today is found on television. Maury Povich, the veteran host whose syndicated

Obama Wins: America Has Nothing to Whine About Anymore

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Barack Obama: President of Sunglasses

I was reading through a bunch of email newsletters and saw the travel guy I used to respect relating how we might not be able to “trust” Obama. That’s when it hit me: Of course he will win. Republicans with attitudes like the newsletter dude need to be pushed aside in favor of positive enforcement that the world is actually a decent place.

Quote from him: “I’m certain that in one case we can [trust the candidate] - a man with a proven record of decades of unswerving integrity and loyal support and love for his country. I fear the other candidate’s vision of change (because, for sure, he has no record to run on at all, except that of shadowy associations with people who hate America and wish us harm) may be a dark and scary thing quite different to that which many of his starry eyed supporters wish it to be.”

Then the so-called Travel Insider ended with “Nuff said” a smiley face, and I unsubscribed to his letter after seven years. (Travel Idiot for sharing: I’m sure I was one of several hundred who did.)

Obama has done everything in his power to prove himself as a good man — a solid individual who has zigzagged throughout this country telling us what he will do when elected. He’s been consistent and has run a fabulous campaign. We know that. But one aspect of his candidacy is hardly spoken about — the fact he has strived to keep everything above board. He has nothing to apologize for and has handled the entire 21 months with aplomb and forthrightness. Even when I wasn’t sure of him (admittedly) there was always that part of me that shook my head and said “I wish I could be like that.” Even-handed and measured, the way I imagine a president was before I was born.

The fact is, Mrs. Clinton, John McCan’t, Tina Fey Palin, Crazy Huck, and most of the other candidates in this never-ending freak show worked our nerves every time we listened to them, tossing out bright shiny objects until we were dizzy. It made me feel bad that they had to take such cheap shots in order to stay in the race. But our man, Senator O, did not see that road, never even took the easy shots at President Bush when Obama could have beaten the Chief up for acting, if not being, a real shmuck.

It’s time for the world to stop being snarky at every turn (too easy anyway) and to realize we’re all in this together. There’s a lot of muck out there and in the end we are better for it when we act respectfully and honorably, no matter what. In the last few weeks of this election season two of the two biggest purveyors of “oh my G-d did you see that” rumors — and Radar magazine — have seen their fortunes die out. This is not by chance. I think us all, Republicans and Democrats alike, so-called independents and the ones who side fervently, have a single thing in common: we want us to stop complaining, bitching, or making fun! Let’s see the good side instead of piling on the dirt.

To paraphrase a song from my 20’s: Whine time is over. After this election is over, let’s all take a deep breath, live with the meltdown, and say out loud: “What can I do to make this a better world?” And to you who think this all sounds Pollyannaish, I offer the final words of this soliloquy:

“Deal with it. You’re secretly hoping everyone can start acting like our country (and perhps the world) is one big village. Smile a little. Encourage good behavior. Compliment someone for the hell of it. Don’t make fun of the next guy. Just be yourself. Look upwards. Hide from no one. Say something to the person standing by you about where you are headed in life. And celebrate a new beginning, one that says “Uh huh, the last eight years were one big messy period. So what? We don’t have to look backwards anymore. We can change.”
Congratulations. We are on the way up.

I’m Richard Laermer, and I’m the author of a hopeful book, 2011: Trendspotting.

Demeaning (Any) President (Really): America

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Last year, responding to a question about President Bush, now-beleaguered Representative Charles Rangel told his television interviewer:

Oh Baby: The Grandmama Drama

Saturday, September 6th, 2008


Yes you heard it right: “I’m a fuckin’ redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes. But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some shit and just fuckin’ chillin’ I guess. Ya fuck with me I’ll kick ass.” (MySpace)

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet America’s future groom and parental kick in the pants, namely Levi Johnston. Fisherman? Hunter? Ass kicker? I don’t know how Bristol Palin feels, but I can tell you for sure that George W. Bush just found the love of his life, damn!

Levi is choosing life and Levi is pretty much choosing a life in politics. And he has singlehandedly changed the Republican Party - forever.

If you ponder what happened (stop laughing and think), Conservatives all over our fine nation are thrilled with the couple’s decision to keep the baby. Gosh, Bristol and Levi are role models for pregnant teens.

NY Daily News coined the parents-to-be “the all-American teen twosome.” They have taken the shame associated with teen pregnancy and somehow turned it into all American bravery. (What the hell? Diablo Cody must be pissed that Juno didn’t have anything like Bristol going on!)

Already making a real impact on politics, the self-proclaimed redneck - yes, America, Alaska too has rednecks - is is expected to be publicly unveiled (and lovingly so) at the Republican National Convention.

Sure to draw wads of nonstop attention during the dull post-Clintonian election month, this couple was all atop the stage this week, singlehandedly bringing (Republican) politics to its knees. Levi and Bristol have pulled off something quite extraordinary,’cause not only have they taken teen pregnancy out of movie theatres and trailer parks and into our living rooms, but the hopeless future First Family have given both GOPers and Dems a giant jolt: they have switched roles, a la Parent Trap. Yep, Levi is being trapped into being a parent. Too two terrible!

A couple of harmless teens got the Right and Left wingers really up in arms. In a newfangled twist, howvever, Conservatives have changed their tune about teens being with child for the very first time. Instead of a moral lynching, the Grand Old Party is offering only blessings to Sarah & Family throughout this Grandmama drama while the Befuddled Libs are screaming hypocrisy. Turns out teenage pregnancy outside of a marriage isn’t so bad, huh? It’s a big case of mistaken identity and two teenagers are behind it all. It’s like Tina Fey cooked it up.

(Yes, I know who Sarah looks like.)

Well, the amniotic fluid is on the wall and a pretty fly fishermen and his 17-year-old baby mother are the people’s people. They are changing party identity, taking the election by a storm even bigger than Gustav. Esteemed politicians have spent decades in politics without shaking things up as much as this all-American duo has in less than a week.

Get used to, kids, since the charming Pallins from Lake Whateverwasi are going anywhere. John McCain, you are being pushed aside by a Levi from the other side of the tracks.

…I’m Richard Laermer, author of the infamous book 2011: Trendspotting. And you bet I approved this message.


Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Our long in the tooth President, George Dubya Bush, recently said “So long as I’m the President, my measure of success is victory — and success.” While the statement clearly does not make any sense, it sure explains a lot. If success is measured in success, and he

The First Post (Duh)

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

The Man!Vonnegut was a genius.

No one understood creativity in our world like Kurt Vonnegut did. He always said the problem was that people thought too small.

In his last TV interview, the great thinker said he thought what America needed was a “cabinet post” of Secretary Of The Future.

On “Now on PBS,” the esteemed PBS program hosted by David Brancaccio, he said he thought such a hosted position “would help us live a more sustainable life, not pollute a place where generations in the future have to live. You could also take that to businesses being run in a more sustainable way. Politics. The deficit. “Listen to his words:

KURT VONNEGUT: Look, I’ll tell you. It’s one thing that no cabinet had ever had, is a Secretary Of The Future. And there are no plans at all for my grandchildren and my great grandchildren.

DAVID BRANCACCIO: That’s a great idea. In other words a Cabinet post–

KURT VONNEGUT: Well, it’s too late! Look, the game is over! The game is over. We’ve killed the planet, the life support system. And, and it’s so damaged that there’s no recovery from that. And we’re very soon going to run out of petroleum which powered everything that’s modern. Razzmatazz about America. And, and it was very shallow people who imagined that we could keep this up indefinitely. But when I tell others, they say; Well, look there’s– you said hydrogen fuel. Nobody’s working on it.

DAVID BRANCACCIO: No one is working seriously on it is what you’re saying.

KURT VONNEGUT: That’s right. And, and what, our energy people, presidents of our companies, energy companies never think. All they want to do is make a lot of money right now.

We will miss you, Mr. Vonnegut. And you

Buy the Book - 2011

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