4-19-2008 The world according to a ď302Ē

Clinton said Friday that if Obama thinks the debate was tough, it pales in comparison to the pressures a president faces.

ďIím with Harry Truman on this ó if you canít stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,Ē she told voters while campaigning in Pennsylvania. ďJust speaking for myself, I am very comfortable in the kitchen.Ē

Clinton said that getting tough questions is part of what happens in a debate and campaign. ďHaving been in the White House for eight years and seeing what happens in terms of the pressures and the stresses on a president, that was nothing,Ē she said.

Despite being a political junkie, I am not big on watching candidatesí debates. Not at all.

The way I look at it, their usual effect on me is akin to my having taken a few sleeping pills and probably twice as many domestic beers. But, being that the Democrats and all of their left-leaning fans seem so supremely cock-sure of winning back the White House just a few months from now, I thought Iíd take in the recent Clinton/Obama throw down in Philthydumpia.

Point blank, I thought Hillary came out the victor, but just barely. And then the next morning I read some adept analysis of what I had taken in only to learn that the Democrats and their myrmidon faithful were seriously taken aback simply because Saint Obama was finally forced to face some tough questions. Up until now, our recently canonized saint has been excused from what candidates typically come to expect in national campaigns of these sorts: very, very pointed questions.

And I have to admit to snickering when I read that Obama himself was whining about the questions he was asked by Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. Let me get this straight, he wants to be the leader of the formerly free world, but he expects us to stick with the kid glove routine until he claims the prize. You know, whenever heís asked anything be doesnít want to answer, he segues into that overused bit about having to get past the ugly politics and whatnot.

And Iím thinking, whatís worse? Putting a battle-tested chick in the White House, or a thin-skinned metro sexual male who apparently canít hang with the big boys? Or even hang with the big chicks, for that matter.

And whatís up with the left-leaning bloggers complaining that the entire debate was unfair or somehow invalid because George Stephanopoulos served in Bill Clintonís cabinet? What a bunch of effing clueless, whining maroons!

For many years now, George Stephanopoulos has posed as an unbiased journalist and then proceeded to tarnish every Republican within distance of being tarred and feathered. And not a single leftie saw that as a problem. Not a single one. Nope, he was a credible political pundit worth listening to. Credibility? Ah, who cares so long as heís biased towards our side? Right? The end justifies the means. Right?

Oh, but since George Stephanopoulos was a party to stripping away Obamaís suddenly thinning coating of Teflon, suddenly heís a no good so-and-so. Last week you loved him. Now, heís reviled as if heís Rovian to the very core. If there were to be a 22nd debate between Clinton and Obama, Iím thinking that the oft-whining Obama camp would prefer to see the entire affair moderated by none other than Ernie and Bert of Sesame Street fame. Why take a chance and risk facing further tough questions? And since weíve got to get above the rancor and rhetoric that is typical dirty politics as the saint keeps telling us we do, why have to face any more pointed questions?

In my mind, I donít think the actual debate damaged Barack Obama near as much as the pussy-whipped aftermath did. And I think that Hillary nailed it as correctly and succinctly as humanly possible when she said, ďif Obama thinks the debate was tough, it pales in comparison to the pressures a president faces.Ē

Suddenly, the unthinkable, the previously unimaginable has abruptly come about. Suddenly, unbelievably, Hillary sounds very presidential. And Barack sounds as if heís got himself in way over his head. So after but a wee bit of contemplating things retrospectively, Hillary Clinton not only won the debate, but the ultimately damaging aftermath hands down.

In conclusion, Iíll ask you what I asked of one Steve Rodham Corbett just yesterday.

Can you say...President...McCain?

From the e-mail outbox Steve Rodham Corbett,

I realize you, like so many others in these embittered coal patches, are probably busy clinging to your guns, your god, your prejudices and your xenophobia, but I was wondering about something.

Can you say...President...McCain?

If not, I strongly suggest that you start practicing before the big November upset. Ease into it...President...McCain. One more time...President...McCain.

Easy, ain't it? Hayna?

Repeat that exercise as many times as is necessary while posing and prancing around in your black pajamas at the dojo. Oh, and are you willing to bet on it?

Yours always,
Markie in Merrittville (Formerly Nord End: a dojo-free community)

Being that the rapidly aging hippies that fancy themselves as all-knowing, all-seeing journalists absolutely hate bloggers, Rodham Corbett did not reply to my e-mail.

Either way, he canít hang up on me in this forum.

YOU BETTER LISTEN!!!

I knew this would get me in trouble somehow. Okay, in response to an e-mail I received, I wrote my no-sh*t honest assessment of the local blogosphere. In actuality, I hate that word--blogosphere.

To me, it smacks of a scientific experiment or something. Iím picturing a bunch of butt naked people procreating in a giant dome or something. And with a bunch of white-coated geeks scribbling away on their clipboards while observing from just outside. And watching gauges and whatnot. As a matter of fact, I saw as much on the internet a while back. Porno, I think they call it.

Anyway, as a result of that posting, some of the recipients of my comments have weighed-in as well with posts of their own:

Mark Cour on the NEPA blogging scene

The Future Of Blogs

"Things at Kings is almost indescribable."

As did a couple of others via the e-mail inbox. Hereís one:

From the e-mail inbox Marc,

I read your post on the blogs you link to. I think you have mischaracterized partisan blogs. Being one of the most partisan people I know, I can say that I'm truly passionate and my writings are very creative. I have recently had some writings in both the CV and TL also - thus showcasing my talents as a writer and that I'm not just a one trick pony. I put my name (as do you) on my material because I care and I know most partisan bloggers ARE a dime a dozen...but not all. Talent does exist out there, it's just buried among the many bloggers who are truly nothing more than typical opinion possessing citizens.

Rick Tennesen
TheAmericanCheckUp.Com, PAWatercooler.com

First of all, I will readily admit that you are a well-read, if not, an intelligent professional type. And you do deserve credit for attaching your name to your words, a very rare undertaking in the not so wonderful world of blogging these days. But with all due respect, partisan blogs bore the hell out of me. And thereís no other way I can put it.

As far as passion is concerned, while thatís all well and good, even the easily-led and hopelessly partisan moonbats, the conspiracy theory types who incessantly rant and rave and cuss and spit about George Bush day-in and day-out have passion. Too much so, but thatís a whole other topic. I guess what Iím trying to say is, while passion can be a productive and enviable thing, it just as easily leads to ultimately destructive endeavors and/or mindsets.

And to be painfully blunt, it is the ultimate in naivete to think that American politics canned be summed up as a battle between good and evil. Truth be told, thereís black, thereís white and plenty of gray sprinkled in for good measure. Like you, I lean to the right. But not hard to the right. And even though some think of me as one of those dreaded right-wingers, I do not live my life based on what some religious scribbling commands me to do. Iím not a neocon, a member of the religious right, or what they call a chicken hawk. Iím more of a traditionalist, a person who remembers those simpler, slower, safer times in the America of my youth. I simply want for everyone else what I once had. Although, I am growing increasingly skeptical that the America of my youth will ever be revisited.

The long and short of it is that our many ills cannot be cured by electing only Democrats, or only Republicans. And any author of any sort that claims as much is seriously off the mark. If we had all three branches of the Fedrule Govmint under the complete control of the Democrats, weíd be living in a socialist state where freedom of speech would be seriously discouraged, where working hard to earn a confiscated dollar would no longer make much sense, and where single-issue jerk off groups would continue to dominate the agenda.

If we had all three branches of the Fedrule Govmint under the complete control of the Republicans, itíd be easier to obtain a slew of military-style assault rifles, itís be illegal to experiment in the bedroom, itíd be illegal to employ birth control of any sort, and itíd be heresy and punishable by law to swear our allegiance to anyone but the God of whatever religious group currently holds sway with the majority of the elected class.

But all too often, the folks of the hopelessly partisan variety are telling me with absolutely no uncertainty that one or the other is the only option that makes any sense. And that, my friend, is the worst sort of unproductive subterfuge. That is the opinion of the prevaricators, the dummies and those who are too caught up in politicking as if itís a prime time, kill-or-be-killed sporting event.

Look, I love busting on the left-leaning. And I do it all the time. Just the other day at work, a big time liberal type was talking about his religion when I interrupted him and said something along the lines of, I thought you Dems only pretended to care about religion when an election draws near. Ha, ha. Funny. I know, thatís the stereotype the Republicans have created, so I had some fun with it. Do I honestly believe that Democrats are all godless creeps who pray to the government? No. But if youíre going to wear your undying allegiance to the Democratic party on your sleeve, Iím going to bust your chops on occasion. I mean, itís not like Democrats are as completely low as, say, Eagles fans. Theyíre not that bad.

Are some of the hopelessly partisan talented? Sure they are. That goes without saying. Is Bill Maher talented? Hell yes! Is he the end-all authority on how the country should be managed? Hell no! Is Rush Limbaugh the absolute best at what he does, at what he alone created? Oh yeah. Should we put him in the White House? Nope.

Are there talented bloggers out here? Sure there are. Are there talented bloggers toiling away in relative obscurity? Again, sure there are. With that stated, would anyone really lose any sleep if any one of them suddenly reached for the delete button? Not on your life.

But what I like most about the internet is the wealth of opinion. Unlike many, I read the sites generated by those on both sides of the political fence. That is, the ones that are somewhat reasonable about things. The ones that are not calling for the abolition of the opposing party. But as soon as they start telling me that the Republicans blew-up the Twin Towers, or that the Democrats are in favor of (insert lunacy here), Iím out of there and unlikely to return.

Being that I never shy away from stating my opinions, Iíve been thumb nailed by my detractors very, very often, but never correctly. Iím not a hard core anything. Iím just a guy that wants to enjoy himself, keep more of what heís earned, a guy whoís tired of being told heís a racist, a bigot, or whatever it is that anyone might misconceive about him. If abortion floats your boat, have at it. I find it detestable, but Iím not going to play reproductive cop. If same-sex escapades are your thing, grab some grease and go for it. But keep that weird stuff to yourself, alright? And if youíre black, donít automatically assume that I do not like you because of the permanent tan alone. Donít make that oft-repeated mistake. If the Bible dictates the details of your daily planner, fine and dandy. But donít judge me harshly simply because I do not blindly follow as you do. You think I should alter my daily routine because some guy who would starve without federal research grants says weíre all going to die if we donít return to the ways of 1492 AD? Get bent, you freak. Hug your trees if you must, just leave me the hell alone. I donít begrudge anyone their assorted deeds and misdeeds.

But when you start spouting off about redistributing my hard-earned money because youíve awarded some group victim status, now weíve got a serious, serious problem. And if you think you should be able to monitor what I say, what I eat or what I do, now you had better be ready for a spirited fight. You are not the sole arbiter of the definition of freedom, so back the funk off.

Democrats? I donít really like it, but we do need a few just for the sake of balance. The Democratic party is a broad coalition of single-issue groups, who canít put a coherent message in place because of that debilitating makeup. Republicans? They are more traditionalist, but they need to stop kowtowing to the folks with the ancient religious transcripts. They need to stop pretending that a healthy Wall Street and healthy corporate profits translates into a healthy middle class. And they need to finally comprehend that the WWII-styled wars are never going to be prosecuted again. From here forward, war will mean door-to-door urban combat of the insurgent variety, and they are never easy or fun.

Republicans, canít live with Ďem, canít live without Ďem. Democrats, canít live with Ďem, canít live without Ďem. Jeez, thatís so utterly profound.

Who knew?

Lately, WILK radio has become one long, droning free advertisement for the two Democrats seeking the presidency. I thought there were laws about that sort of stuff. You know, providing hours-long, aboslutely free campaign commercials. Hmmm.

Anyway, for three hours every morning, Kevin Lynn does ďThe Barack Obama Show with Kevin Lynn.Ē And for three hours every afternoon, Steve Corbett does ďThe Hillary Rodham Clinton Show with Steve Rodham Corbett.Ē Iím not complaining, just making note of it. If I were to complain about it, my complaint would be that itís really getting boring. While Iím almost certain that host Sue Henry will vote for the Republican in this race, she hasnít allowed her show be taken over by the Republican National Committee, as the others have allowed the Democratic National Committee to do. Kudos to her.

One thing I noticed is that Nancy Kman, who co-anchors with Kevin Lynn for two hours every morning, keeps mentioning the dreaded ďRepublican Attack Machine.Ē Oh, no! Not the dreaded ďRepublican Attack Machine.Ē Yep, those dastardly people.

Those evil troll-like people, who meet in the burning bowels of hell and conspire to destroy all of those wonderful, honest and super intelligent people who are as clean as the wind-driven culm--the Democrats. Those tawdry and vile and disgusting and smelly mudslingers extraordinaireÖthe Republicans, who will Swiftboat those above reproach Democrats right below the knees virtually every time out. Itís patently unfair and very, very disturbing. I think I might cry.

Oh my god! Look out! Run for your political lives! ItísÖitísÖthe Republican Attack Machine coming this way.!!! Grab the three-legged poodle. Grab the crab-assed kids. Grab some toilet paper and recyclable batteries and head for the sticks!!! The National Guard is organizing at the bottom of the hill!!! It ainít stoppiní for nothiní, brother!!!

Wait a minute. Hold on. Look at what I found on the internet at The Hill.com, why, just this morning:

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with Cabinet-level agencies and inter-agency departments looking for opposition research to use against presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

In early February, there was a sharp uptick in the number of FOIA requests from the DNC with McCain as a specific target. February was about the same time McCain emerged as the front-runner and likely nominee.

A review of FOIA requests and independent confirmations obtained by The Hill turned up requests from the DNC at at least three agencies Ė the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Commerce Department.

According to one filing, Alicia McClintock, a DNC operative, wrote DOI asking for ďany and all records of communication (including but not limited to letters, written requests, reports, telephone records, electronic communication) between your agency and John McCain or his offices/staff from 1999 to present during which period he has been a United States Senator.Ē

Thatís odd. Nancy never mentioned the dreaded Democrat Attack Machine. I thought only the evil Republicans were mean and all. Huh. I wonder why she never made mention of it, the Democrat Attack Machine, that is.

Hopelessly partisan, perhaps? Spinning partial truths? Spinning whole-cloth untruths? Perpetuating this laughable myth that only Republicans know how to play hardball at the uppermost levels?

Republicans, canít live with Ďem, but we should be allowed to live without Ďem.

Sez herÖthe media.

From the e-mail inbox A cannibal was walking through the jungle and came upon a restaurant operated by a fellow cannibal.

Feeling somewhat hungry, he sat down and looked over the menu...

+ Tourist: $5
+ Broiled Missionary: $10.00
+ Fried Explorer: $15.00
+ Baked Democrat or Grilled Republican: $100.00

The cannibal called the waiter over and asked, 'Why such a price difference for the Politician?'

The cook replied, 'Have you ever tried to clean one?
They're so full of shit, it takes all morning.

Look, I could keep babbling on incoherently like this for hours on end. Iím nothing if not extremely long-winded. But, stupidly, as part of the Great PA Cleanup, I promised to get on out there and sweep a couple of streets. And since the City of Wilkes-Barre dropped-off the garbage bags and work gloves, I figure thereís no way I can back out now. Drat.

Before I get to sweeping (Urgh!), I want to cover the police ď10Ē codes I used in my last post. None of those codes were meant as an indictment of anyoneís character, or of their various and sundry publishing pursuits. As always, I was just having me some fun. More specifically, hereís what the codes I used mean to the police here in Wilkes-Barre:

10-47...holding subject

10-35...request for a paddy wagon

10-82...mental subject

While I seriously doubt that those codes actually apply to the people I assigned them to, donít try to tell me they couldnít be easily applied to anyone after the 9th or 10th boilermaker went down the hatch. 10-94 (intoxicated person)? 10-82? 10-47? 10-35? Whatís the difference after we go and get ourselves a good drunk on?

As for myself, I think a ď302Ē works very nicely. Judging by the e-mail inbox, Iím the guy who needs to be committed for my own protection. Oh, and for your protection likewise. And thatís what you get here, at this internet oasis of mine: The world according to a ď302.Ē Enjoy.

Oh, and this: And the very next it might be how beautiful it can be when celestial bodies collide, or how his car sucks.

Mr. Echo, I was simply pushing your buttons to see what would happen as a result. I know youíre happy with your wheels. And, personally, Iíd rather pay an occasion repair bill than a steep monthly car payment. Makes perfect sense to me.

Although, Iím of the opinion that buying any foreign automobile is an act of economic treason. Iíll not expound on that.

So, Iím sweeping and then taking in a lengthy bike about. I hope to see you out there somewhere.

Later