Archive for June, 2008
I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Last Friday evening, in The McCain Update, an e-mail newsletter sent out to supporters, McCain provided a link sure to interest those young video game enthusiasts who, left to their own devices, might vote for Obama.
Right there on John’s campaign web site was Pork Invaders. I kid you not. Pork Invaders, in which you use your keyboard to move your “veto” gun back and forth and fire at a brigade of little pigs (no, I’m not making this up). If you manage to move from one level to the next, you are rewarded a snippet of anti-Obama propaganda concerning how much “pork” Obama has pushed through Senate legislation.
John’s game of course is patterned after Space Invaders. Space Invaders, folks, was invented in 1978. Wow, sure shows just how “hip” John is. Now I’m just waiting for John to show his youth appeal by writing campaign ditties to be sung to the melodies of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. Does it get any cooler than this?
To those who feel they just don’t get enough excitement from my blog, I provide for you below a link to Pork Invaders. Fire away!
There is only one thing that bothers me about the recent Obama flip flop on campaign finance. He started his statement to his supporters by saying that he would be foregoing more than $80 million in funding by opting out of public financing. Why on Earth did he say that and why did his handlers let him say that? The $80 mil he is “foregoing” is a drop in the bucket compared to what he has and what he will continue to raise. Why he felt he needed to frame this in the context of sacrifice is beyond me.
That said, the idea that this flip flop makes him a typical pol is ridiculous. A typical pol, works within the current system and plays it for all it’s worth. McCain will stick with public financing and let the 527’s do the dirty work for him in the traditional fashion. Rather than being a typical pol, Obama is going outside the established system and is really running a campaign “of the people”. As other pundits have noted, Obama’s approach makes him beholden to no one. He has millions of small contributors, none of whom alone can unduly influence his policies. For that matter, his flip flop is not of the gargantuan proportions that McCain supporters would have you believe. Almost from the minute that Obama signed the “pledge” he started hedging, indicating that he would only accept public financing if he was assured that the playing field with McCain would be fair. He has obviously figured out that a fair fight this year means he needs all the money he can get. It’s a very sensible decision.
I guess the other thing that puzzles me is if public campaign funding is provided by tax payer dollars, why wouldn’t conservatives be overjoyed that their tax money is not going towards Obama’s campaign?
The Cindy McCain cookie scandal got me thinking about what we might expect from Cindy during her days in the White House. So let’s fast forward to September of 2017 to see the highlights of her reign as First Lady.
April, 2009 — When a fire breaks out in the White House, Cindy risks life and limb to save precious presidential portraits. With Chuck Norris waiting on the South Lawn, Cindy valiantly tosses portraits of Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and both Bush’s out the window as Norris catches them below. Portraits of FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton perish in the blaze. 
June, 2010 — Cindy bans all alcoholic beverages from the White House, claiming to be the first First Lady to do so. She is henceforth nicknamed “Soda Cindy”. 
May, 2011 — Defying all reproductive expectations, Cindy gives birth to a baby, whom she names Ruth. She subsequently demands that Nestle name a candy bar after her daughter. 
June, 2012 – November, 2012 — No longer able to tell Sunnis from Shia, Iran from Iraq, or R Kelly from Jay-Z, President McCain is prescribed prolonged bed rest. From behind the scenes, Cindy gives combat orders to the generals in all the countries with which we are at war: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Vietnam (again) and Switzerland (McCain — “It’s time we kicked those fence-sitters asses.”) John recovers in time for the November election which he wins in a landslide sympathy vote against Hillary Clinton. 
June, 2015 — In another stroke of originality, Cindy begins serving afternoon tea on the South Lawn to honor the fallen soldiers in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Vietnam, Switzerland and England (McCain declares war on England in 2013 based on old grudges he’d held onto since the Revolutionary War days.) 
September, 2017 — President McCain’s failed attempt to change the Constitution, allowing him a third term, sends Cindy into despondency. However, shortly after leaving the White House, Cindy announces her various addictions to the public and is instrumental in the founding of the Cindy McCain Clinic, the first, so she says, rehab facility ever named after a First Lady. 
When asked to summarize her years in the White House, Mrs. McCain said, “I think I was quite productive. I certainly didn’t spend my time sitting around baking cookies, even though I had many original recipes from which to choose.”
Watching MSNBC Friday afternoon and evening was like sitting in the living room of a family in mourning. Understandably so. Moderator of “Meet the Press”, host of MSNBC’s “The Tim Russert Show” and NBC Washington Bureau Chief, Tim Russert had collapsed while preparing for Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press.” He died soon thereafter.
It was hard to watch the MSNBC coverage because this was no obligatory tribute. There was a genuine sense of loss. It was heartbreaking to watch Andrea Mitchell choke up as she recalled how Russert was the only one besides her own father who would affectionately call her “Mitch”. Throughout the afternoon and evening’s coverage the predominant message was what a high bar Russert had set for his NBC peers and the news industry in general. He set a high standard for how to conduct oneself personally and professionally.
However, I think he also set a high standard on how to die. Tim Russert died doing the work he loved to do. He had a genuine passion for his work and in this most unusual political season, he was like a kid in a candy store. He was at the top of his game, most recently (back in May) declaring Barack Obama the Democratic nominee before it was officially so, yet by his pronouncement, making it so for anyone who was following the race. If Russert said it was over then surely it was.
So we take from the sad news of Tim Russert’s passing a lesson on how to live and how to die. Enjoy every minute of life right up until the end if you possibly can. By staying on top of your game every day of your life you guarantee that when your time comes, you go out on top. That’s what Tim Russert did.