Friday, April 6, 2012

Pres. Obama's Knee-Pad Media; Economy Still Weak; Is Obama Just Arrogant?; What if Spike Lee Had Been A White Guy?; Marion Barry: The Gift That Keeps On Giving; Chavez: Going Down

Headline in the Onion's Economic News sections: High Unemployment Linked To Increasing Number of Face Tattoos.

  • It's certainly no secret that most of the mainstream media is in the president's hip pocket. I used to refer to them as Obama's "knee-pad" media. But how pervasive is it or will it be in the coming months?  Let's take a look back 4 years in time. During the 2008 campaign, I recall being in Borders at the time (now out of business) and I noticed a remarkable phenomena---images of then Sen. Obama or Michelle Obama or both were on a plethora of magazine and book covers. So the inquisitive part of me decided to do an anecdotal survey. During one of my clandestine visits to either Barnes and Noble or Borders, I found 42 covers of Obama's on the cover of magazines and books. In fact, MSNBC, the premier knee-pad media for Obama, actually took a count in December of 2008. They found Obama appeared on half of Time magazine's covers and about the same for Newsweek.  Almost every single cover and article were praising them as the new saviors of humankind. Oh, and how many times did McCain appear on the cover of Newsweek during that same period?---a whopping 4 times. But all is not lost. Slo Joe Biden was never featured on Time. Newsweek obviously felt sorry for Slo Joe and put him on the cover---once (there were rumors abound at the time that Biden was a tad depressed. His hair follicle physician had told him he needed some of his hair replugged. Hey, but I'm not part of the main stream media that makes stories up, so let's leave that as what it should be---an unsubstantiated leak by a government source who wishes to remain anonymous).

  • The economic numbers came out for March, and to say they look miserable would be an understatement. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3% to 8.2%. That's like saying instead of paying $4.25 for gas; you paid $4.24. But the numbers within this report were disturbing. One of the reasons unemployment fell was that we now have a record number of people no longer in the labor force. Get your duct tape out and prepare to wrap your head: Almost 88 million people (these are American out of work and aren't searching for a job (Bloomberg). One more thing: a whopping 120,000 jobs were created. Remember, we're still hovering around 350,000 first time unemployment claims every week!
  • Several days ago I accused Pres. Obama of being a bully. I think he is. There is evidence to prove this claim from the manner in which he bullied insurance companies to the scorn he showed toward bankers and Wall Street (which, I've always been convinced was just for show considering he's surrounded himself with both)  to even accusing physicians of doing operations just for financial gain. And, most recently, the attacks on people of faith and the Supreme Court. I sincerely believe his behavior (and I am a behaviorist by trade) is evidence of arrogance. In fact, arrogance and bullying generally go hand-in-hand.

  • And yes, other presidents also took on the Supreme Court. I would contend for valid reasons. For example, when Lincoln was running for president, he warned that he would not enforce the Dred Scott decision upholding slavery in the United States. I'd say that was good use of the "bully pulpit." It was used for a moral purpose. Even William Ross, a law prof at Samford University in Birmingham, said: "It's virtually unprecedented for a president to criticize the institutional powers of the Supreme Court...I don't know of any other instance where a president has publicly questioned the legitimacy of judicial review."  (USA TODAY) But, retreating to my earlier point, a president who is arrogant would find it perfectly fine to do so even though that president has a background in Constitutional law.
  • Earlier this week, it was reported that Martha Johnson, head of the General Services Administration (GSA), resigned because of the over-the-top spending on conferences in Las Vegas for her staff. In fact, she had sent an advance team to Las Vegas six times before the conference even took place.  The conference cost almost $900 grand. We now know they spent $7 grand on sushi, $4 a piece for hundreds of shrimp and about $50 bucks a head (no pun intended. I know it's Vegas) for breakfast. It was also reported when this was reported to Pres. Obama, he was not a happy camper. That might be true, and I actually gave the president props for ensuring Ms. Johnson would no longer be wasting tax payer money. There's only one problem: he's been doing it for over 3 years now and wants to spend even more. Perhaps Ms. Johnson just took her cues on over-the-top wasting of taxpayer money from her boss?

  • Remember when Spike Lee thought he tweeted Zimmerman's home address, but instead tweeted the address of another family with the same last name? And they actually had to go into hiding because his Tweet endangered their lives. What do you think would have happened if Spike Lee were white and tweeted the address of a black family? Hey, just askin.'
  • Many younger folks might not remember Marion Barry, former mayor of D.C.  In 1990, he was arrested after a televised police surveillance video showed him smoking crack in a hotel room. I believe he got some jail time (the video is hilarious. If I recall, he's with a woman at the time and after the cops bust into the room to arrest him, he yelled out something like, "the bitch set me up." Really, the entire episode is worthy of an SNL skit). But this incident didn't bother his constituents. He was re-elected mayor a few years later and now sits on city council. But what got him in trouble recently was his declaring, "We've got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops." He did apologize while at the same time saying his comments were taken out of context.

  • There is some good news today especially for the good people of Venezuela. It's being reported that  the cancer treatment, their dictator--Commie admirer Hugo Chavez---received in Cuba, failed. We can only pray he hooks up quickly with that other Commie murdering thug, Che, in the afterlife---very soon.

  • It's being reported now that Keith Olberman plans on suing Al Gore's Current TV network for 70 million. (NY Daily News). I don't know. I'm in between a rock and hard place. I despise both of these dummies. But I don't know if I should be happy for Herr Olberman. Wow!!! I'm actually facing a dilemma. Which knucklehead do I side with? Considering both of these guys have been discredited, it makes my decision that more difficult.  I'll get back to you on this one.