Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

It

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

It

Much Ado about So Little It Hurts

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are the ultimate made-for-TV event. The

AMERICA! (sigh) HOW COULD YOU?

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Let’s come to grips with the fact that this country is going down. Straight out — no one is happy. Sure, we’re thrilled to see someone new leading us, it’s cool that some big box stores are reporting less-than-stellar results, and oh yeah Wall Street, don’t get me started, is in a hole it long deserved to be in.

But mostly, we’re mad at our country and countrymen for taking the easy way out during the so-called good years (circa 2002-06).

America!

You don’t need me to review, but who out there wasn’t at least a little surprised to hear about acquaintances getting mortgages way beyond their means, or friends spending money they didn’t even nearly have? Or, worse, companies that were getting away with “things” we knew in our hearts someone should stand up to! Finally, what was UP with the way the people let the Government be run amok by their friends: the money-chucking corporate hounds?

I think for a while now, it’s been hard for the citizenry to stand up to what’s wrong, mainly due to our SSLR drugs (Prozac, Xanax, et al) keeping us feeling good. How can you revolt if you’re dulled? But it’s got to be more than that — it’s time, in my never humble opinion, for us to become more vigilant regarding those we suspect and those (Hello, Barack) we have the faith in. Let’s not just sit around and feel like it’s all eventually going to be all right. There is a time (turn turn turn) to stand up for what we know in our churning gut is just smacking wrong!

Recently on twitter a tweep cracked wise how politicians should wear their “sponsors” on clothes like NASCAR drivers and while I laughed like you, it also seemed like a good way to start a new kind of thinking. No matter what political party you think you’re part of, you are definitely suspicious of IT today. There was Barbara Boxer, who is a good one, on MSNBC laughing and saying to Rachel that the tawdry way our stimulus pack was played out in Congress is “simply the way it works!” But then I see whole towns out of work with formerly fine families living in shelters and desperate for some help from DC.

The scene seemed like a placard for people in power playing with the patsies.

So it may be a good time for red-blooded Americans (we’re not being Dems nor GOPers here) to start doubting the motives of everyone- not cynically, but rather realistically - and seeing politics like usual as the killer of what this nation stood for.

Gee, let’s see. Does it seem as though a party voted away a “spending bill” as if to make a point? And was that point “it’s going to be bad no matter what and we want to be right?”

Gee, let’s see. Did celebrating righteousness while Rome, err, the U.S. is burning, have an awful taste to it?

Gee, let’s see. What contributors to which party leaders made sure that “Buy America” was in the package when in fact that is not necessarily the best way to get the infrastructure truly, finally fixed?

Final gee: Is politics as usual going to be the ruination of what we stand for?

I thought this nation did super well during crises. Now I see how the dastardly “meeting culture” (art of bringing everything to a committee in corporations and Government) has made it easy to paralyze even a major player like us.

We just elected a new super powerful dude with some measured yet electric ideas. This week we will see a central list of what will be done, as President Obama gives us information about the state of our union. Let’s listen carefully–let’s also judge a little. Okay, it is good, as P-Clinton said on Friday, “to think hopefully,” but we’d be better off with clenched fists reminding one another that we are already in hell in a hand basket. If those we elected to “high” office are not going to get us into anything better, we can get up and take things into our own hands.

I say use our vigilant typing fingers to find out who actually advises our politicians, whether it’s fine corporate friends, eager beaver lobbyists or overpaid influencers. Because, yes, our officials really can be the ones who bring us to a place like hell, depending on their actions right now.

Can’t we all agree on one aspect of scary times: blindly being led hasn’t worked for a while!

I’m Richard Laermer and my stuff is on twitter @laermer.

The Real American Idols are Going to Mess It Up For The Fake Ones

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

With the inauguration yesterday of Barack as rockstar-in-chief, America has seen the merciful end of the vapid celebrity. Let me rephrase that as a question. Is it really possible that the Jennifer Anistons of the world will at least temporarily take a back seat to famous people who

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?”

Resolve to Be Pessimistic: An Eager Lesson for 2009

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

The year we just lived through saw unparalleled amounts of optimism. Despite the worst economic recession since the early 1990s, record gas prices, high unemployment, incompetent leadership, and so much more direness, America came out of the woodwork to vote in November on a belief that happy days can be here again

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 — Gawker.com 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.

Buy the Book - 2011

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