Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm baaack,, well at least to stick it the Cheney's

After a long absence for many reasons (self pity for my employment at the heart of it) I was inspired to share a brilliant bit of journalism.

Filling in for Keith Olberman on Countdown,,, Lawrence O'Donnell absolutely skewered and destroyed both former VP Dick Cheney and his recently very outspoken daughter who criticized President Obama for going to Dover Air Force Base to honor fallen troops who were returned home.

I'm hoping to get the itch to write again,, and could be contributing more on this blog or maybe a new creation sometime soon.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Horoscopes Are Accurate????

My horoscope for March 26, 2009 in the Chicago Tribune read.

Apply for that promotion or better job. Conditions are right to have more
money come in your direction. Can you put yourself in the right place to
make that happen.

Well I am now in that position as 4 co-workers and I were let go from our jobs yesterday.

It has not been a funny day since but that horoscope made me smile a bit. Maybe this is a moment to do better.

(Click on the picture above for a better view of an entertaining comic appropriate to my current plight)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Thank You To CNBC

I owe the financial mega channel,,, CNBC a big thank you.

That thank you would be for reminding me to put The Daily Show back on my scheduled series recordings on my DVR.

See what happened is that the great Jon Stewart took some time off after the election and I was tiring of watching reruns of the show so I took The Daily Show, which recorded every time it was on off my 'Series Recordings'.

Then like many people a few weeks ago I saw CNBC's Rick Santelli now infamous rant against the Obama housing plan. The reaction of the news media,, even lefty MSNBC made Santelli into a hero of the 'everyman'.

I was beginning to wonder if anyone other than Press Secretart Robert Gibbs was going to take Santelli on for his rant.

Well last week, Jon Stewart came to the rescue with a brilliant montage of the bullshit spewed by CNBC over the period of the 'financial crisis'.

Then CNBC's, Jim Cramer (who I have to admit I have enjoyed watching) made a mistake that I can only describe as comparable to the 'heckler at the comedy club'. You know the guy who thinks he's quicker or more able than the comedian who only has the comedian on stage rip him to shreds.

Cramer, playing the role of the heckler,, decided to take on Stewart and for the past two nights has paid a merciless price. Stewart has absolutely filleted Cramer and done so in a way that has made Cramer,, and CNBC look like complete idiots.

To Cramer's credit,,, he is going on The Daily Show tonite to face Stewart in person.

And more importantly than that,, I owe Jim Cramer,, not for stock advice,, but for bringing my DVR back,,, to The Daily Show.

The clips are below for your viewing enjoyment.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Thought On The Obama Budget

The $3.6 trillion budget sent to Congress by the Obama Administration has caused consternation in a lot of places. Republicans are railing against deficits as are moderate Dems highlighted by Indiana Senator Evan Bayh who wrote in the Wall Street Journal today that the spending bill should be voted down.

While an admitted liberal I am a big believer in fiscal discipline and a $1.75 trillion deficit makes me very uneasy.

That being said,, I think that the Obama team is handling the budget more strategically than they did the Stimulus Bill. This budget number is an effort on his teams part to strengthen their negotiating position.

In the case of the Stimulus Bill, some believe that Obama went in asking for what he wanted and then negotiated from there and ended up losing some of his priorities like state funding and education.

In this case I think he is following the rather successful method of the Bush 43 administration. Ask for way more than you want,, if you get it,, great. Yet, if you compromise you end up going down to the number you wanted anyway.

17people would not be surprised if this bill ended up being significantly smaller than the $3.6trillion number initially proposed. Obama knows that he can ill afford to end up negotiating to a number that isn't adequate enough to get money into the system. So he is asking for much more than he really wants, but is at the max at what he wants to spend.

Its a negotiating ploy and a smart one. In the end whether he comes down $250bln, $500bln or $750bln, he's going to get what he really wants in the bill.

The final number is and the subsequent effects are all people will remember.

And one more thing to note, being a popular President with a muscle-less opposition Obama has many plays that will work for him.

If Obama makes concessions, he wins by looking bi-partisan, if he passes it without any Republican votes, he wins because they look unwilling to work with him because they are listening to Rush Limbaugh.

The public won't remember or care what the original budget number was as long as people begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The far more important fact is this... whether it be the budget battle, the stimulus fight, or the upcoming war for health care, the politics are secondary if these programs don't begin to turn around the economic situation that we are in.

Monday, January 19, 2009

17People Returns,,, Cynically

Had two conversations this morning that surprised people.

Here they are...


"Did you watch the festivities yesterday?" a co-worker asked me this morning.

"Yeah, those were two good games and that Ravens-Steelers game was outstanding," I responded.

"Ugh,,,, I meant the Obama Inaugural deal they had yesterday on HBO," he responded.


"I thought you'd be heading to DC for the inauguration this week. Are you taking tomorrow off to watch it right," a co-worker asked.

"Uhh, no. Not worth the day off to watch and not worth the money to go," I responded.

So by no means am I surprised by either of these questions or conversations, but my responses really seemed to surprise my co-workers.

While there are many metaphors made,,, politics is not sports. The big events are all we see in politics,, but the truth is the real moves are made behind closed doors. Where the money is spent or how the laws are written are never seen by the public.

As a country we get too lost in things like debates, speeches, or pep rallies.

This is the part of politics that really irritates me.

Worthless pageantry like concerts are all fluff.

While I'll sound like a total cynic,, I don't care what school Sasha and Malia are going to or what Church the Obama's are attending in DC or what celebrities are attending the inauguration or inauguration Balls.

I don't care about any of it. I don't care what Obama says tomorrow and I don't care about how 'historic' the moment is.

These are unprecedented times and the country action and results. We now need our government to get its act together and figure out a way to stabilize our economy.

And to be honest, I hope that President Obama doesn't care about it either.

Like many Americans I am more uneasy about my future than ever before. I worry about losing my job and then not being able to pay my rent. It could happen as easily as my company losing a major account, not because we lost the business, but because our customer is cutting back or declared bankruptcy.

On Friday I came across an article which to me encapsulated just how scary our current economic situation. It isn't written by an economist offering theories of a 'doomsday' or 'depression' scenario. Instead it just listed companies that were laying people off. It wasn't just the auto industry, or the banking industry as we have come to expect. It was over 20 companies,, some of which are the best known companies in the world.

Hell, if Google, GE, Pfizer, and Halliburton are laying people off,,, then any company could be in the same situation.

Here's the deal,, I am proud to have voted for, supported, and worked to get Barack Obama elected. I think he has handled the transition exceptionally well and has assembled a first rate team. I believe in him now as strong as I did when I voted for him.

Yet, believing in him or thinking he is brilliant is not enough for me.

I am not part of a cultish group who thinks that the mere presence of Barack Obama is going to fix the country. He isn't a messiah, he isn't a savior. He is a smart guy who is about four years removed from being a State Senator from the South Side of Chicago.

Now he is facing the hardest job in the world, in some of the most trying times in generations. It isn't enough to 'hope' he is the right guy for the job,, he damn well better be the right person for the job.

I'm ready for the 'pageantry' to be over and for our 'lame duck government' to do it's job and work for the American people.

Bottom line, it's time to put up or shut up.