11-9-2008 Godspeed, Muttly

President-elect Barack Obama caused quite a stir with his first press conference following the election night scrum.

I’m not sure what he was thinking with the Nancy Reagan nonsense. And I think he’d admit to not thinking before speaking. As to the “mutt” comment, I didn’t think it was a big deal. Quite the contrary. I thought it was interesting to learn that he doesn’t take himself nearly as seriously as do his legion of wild-eyed followers.

In response to the “mutt” quip, the phones were lighting up for Steve Rodham-Corbett at WILK. I guess it ran about 50-50, with half of the callers saying it wasn’t an issue, while the other half were muttering the dreaded “I’m offended” disqualifier. A disqualifier as in, if damn near everything offends you, please do us and yourself a giant favor by leaping off of a 300-foot platform.


What else? Oh, yeah, we’ve gone socialist. We’re going to favor the blacks. Guns are going to be confiscated. No more Electronic Battleship. And Jeremiah Wright will be named America’s first ever Department of Homeland Morale director.

That’s what I’m gleaning from the right-leaning blogger folks.

As for the folks from the left, I’m hearing high-minded stuff like ‘We’ve got to come together,’ We’ve got to heal as a nation,’ or “We’re all Americans.’ While that’s all well and good, just as soon as the next election draws near, they’ll revert right back to form by calling us (insert slurs and insults here).

Funny thing about those democrats. When they win, it has this healing, this soothing effect. But when they lose, the election was stolen cries ring out followed by four years of acrimonious hell broken completely loose.

Thing is, the truth of the matter lies somewhere in the middle. The soothing effect is being felt by half the voting populace, but not by the other half. Barack Obama is not the devil. But with that said, he’s not the messiah, either. He’s just a man, but a smart one for sure. And hopefully, he’s smart enough to lead from the center, or somewhere thereabouts.

The bipartisanship, the rancor, the gridlock and the infighting will not come to an end because of anything Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid say or do. If we’re ever going to find that illusive kinder, gentler Washington, that new tone, it’s Obama’s to deliver. He can be a strict ideologue, or he can bring to the table what he promised all along, change. And to that end, I am indeed hopeful.

In case they missed it, Rome is, in fact, burning. And for the first time in a very, very long time, it has to be country first, party second. They can outlaw republicans later on. They can get around to muting talk radio at some later date. We can confiscate and burn the Electronic Battleship games before the next election go-round. As of this very moment, the nation needs clear and concise leadership. Not the democrats. And not the republicans.

Yeah, I held my nose and voted for John McCain. Who else? Um, McCain, Lou Barletta, a couple of democrats and a couple of libertarians. Oh, and I voted Yes on the clean water question. How dumb was that anyway?

Do you want cleaner water?

Um, ah, not sure. Let me get back to you on that one.


I was disappointed to learn that Uncle Paul retained his congressional seat. Change? Yeah, that’s what I’d call change by sending that short-tempered, under performing, less than truthful party hack back to the fray. The local democrats wanted change like a Soviet wants political diversity.

After the stock market electoral gift was handed to Obama, I figured John McCain was all but sunk. So his defeat did not come as a surprise, and it did not deflate me. I voted, and we got ourselves a new president. It’s time to move on.

And much unlike those crazed folks on the left, I will not devote myself to hating my new president that I did not support. I will applaud him when he deserves as much. And I will rip him when I think it’s warranted. So never, ever misconstrue anything I write as being any form of racism, which is likely to be the charge du jour for those taking to task America’s first black president. No, despite reports to the contrary, Bill Clinton was not the first.

Election day was different here in Ward 5. I hit the polling place at 7:14 AM only to find a line of 14 people waiting patiently in front of me. That was a first, the line. Usually, the line is two or three deep, if that.

During your typical election cycle, I am quite often the youngest person at the school. And that was not the case on this morning. It was split right down the middle, the young and older folks. And for the very first time ever, there was a black person on hand and looking to vote. Young guy, maybe 22-years-old.

He not only looked out of place, he acted out of place. He seemed to be treading very lightly, as in, he had no idea what the usual routine was. The poll watchers nudged him in the right direction. Good for him. And before he left, he took with him a souvenir, an Obama poster that was attached to a tree.

I was voter number 29, and I was in and out of there in 15 minutes, and despite the fact that our usual machine operator had pulled a no-show to that point. And guess what? I finally secured that Obama button I was hunting for. Took it from one of those folks handing out the literature. He was reluctant to give it me, but I was not to be denied. The collection grows.

What I’m wondering is, are women really invited to the big dance? Hillary was thrown under the bus by her own party for a political neophyte with no resume to speak of. And Sarah Palin was savagely attacked from minute one. And with the election now over, she’s still being smeared by anonymous assassins. What’s up with that?

And don’t put any stock in this ‘end to racism’ talk. Barack Obama may have shattered that glass ceiling, but the Secret Service Counter Attack Teams are mobilized like never before and poised to earn plenty of overtime pay while trying to keep him safe.

As I said before, sad as it is, I don’t want to be caught standing anywhere near him. Somebody should check and see if that Pope mobile is available on eBay. Just a thought.

Obama won, all right. And now he’s saddled with a daunting task, a job most sane people would run screaming from. And with it, our future hangs in the balance. What’s that dumb thing they always say in the movies?

Godspeed, Muttly.

Good luck with all of that.

One other thing, I guess the politicians don’t have to abide by the do-not-call list they were so happy to provide us with, heyna?

I got me a copy of the new AC/DC CD yesterday. And, no, I did not step into the local Wal-Mart, those predatory, loss-leader pricks.

Nope, since AC/DC and Wal-Mart conspired to screw over small record stores the world over by making the new release a Wal-Mart exclusive, I chose not to partake of their predatory ways.

Being that Wal-Mart chooses to steal from small businesses by way of their unfair practices, by way of a CD burner, I decided that two could play at that game.

They steal revenue from Gallery of Sound. So, I stole from Wal-Mart and AC/DC. And I feel good about that.

Sez me.

From the e-mail inbox I’m not a racist, but…

…I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

Dear Seeker After Truth:
While PrezElect Obama may not have a lot of the experience we’d look for in The Leader of the Free World, Father-Figure of the Nation and Possibly First Black Person at 1600 (there have been rumors over the years, you know)…

…while he may not personally possess it, I have hopes he will know where to find what he needs. In other words, appoint people with the knowledge he needs to advise him.

I had those hopes with Howdy W. Doody, as well, but it turned out most of his advisers should have ended up in a rag before being loosed upon this world.

This country is in the same merde-hole as Our Fair City before Tom Leighton took over. It took Tom a lot of time and a lot of money before you could see even the slightest change of direction after McNuts left office. It’s going to take Barack & Co. time to effect the massive changes needed after McDuh and pals realize the party’s over.

Speaking of parties, have you realized the electorate who elected (thank you, Executive Branch and Supreme Court) W in the first place, finally woke up, repented and said, “Holy Furking @holes! We got taken for a ride to the cleaners!” I sincerely hope that PrezElect Obama’s charisma, when it wears off, will reveal a genuine intellectual who knows how to listen, to take guidance and to lead.

Tom Carten
* * *
Visit me at http://northfranklin.blogspot.com

Well, it’s hard to envision him doing worse. Although, he has a multitudinous amount of complex problems to wade through. And time is of the essence.

I do have hope, in that, as this country’s first black president, I think he’s determined not to be deemed an abject failure when his run is done. If ever there was a president that needs to leave a strong, positive, resonating legacy in his wake, I figure it’s this guy. He’s got the weight of his race weighing on his shoulders, as well as that of the entire nation.

He may be a mutt, but he’s now our mutt. And we need him to do a kick-ass job. But you are absolutely correct in noting that it’s going to take some time. As I did with Tom Leighton before him, I will remain patient.

Thing is, what other choice do I have? I’ll watch and wait and hope.

From the e-mail inbox Mark, Haven't read your blog in awhile so i decide to drop in and see what the latest you had to say..i have to admit i didn't see anything about the 12 firemen that have to prove their residency how come? I always find your responses amazing. What ever happened to Chief Lisman? Does the city plan on hiring a new chief? I seem to recall when Chief Lisman got appointed there were statements made about how and why he got the job lot of nonsense it was but now look how the fire dept. is doing fine without one and we thought it couldn't be done

Take care i hope one day the fire dept. will be organized and all turns out well with the 12 in question if not they can always be like me and be a volunteer!

As for the residency issue, it didn’t really concern me. That’s in the contract as far as I know. The firefighters have to live in the city, the police officers have to reside within a 10 mile radius and so on. If there’s some question about the status of their residency, I figure it’s fair game to investigate as much.

Although, these days, there’s no love lost between the fire department and the city’s administration, so who knows? The union honcho keeps the (under) staffing issue in the press no matter what, so maybe there’s some political payback going on here. You got me on all of that.

With no bottom in sight for our floundering economy, I’d say the staffing has to stay where it is. Would I like to have a few more firehouses and lots more firefighters on duty at all times? For my safety, as well as theirs, sure I would.

But with the reality of the rapid economic decline being what it is, I see the staffing issue as an economic moot point.

You know, I’m not really sure about the chief. I remember him retiring, but I do not recall reading about who the replacement would be. Interesting? Do we even have a fire chief? Good question. Being that I do not know, I would have to surmise that, no, we do not have one. It’s either that, or we promoted one on the fly and without any official announcement.

Hmmm. Now you got me all curious and whatnot. Time for a cell phone call to be made.

From the e-mail inbox Good evening,
Just getting a chance to catch up on your latest rantings. I passed through your town for the first time in two years and things seem to be improving. New book store a nice addition but you seem to be getting a surplus of fast-food joints. I don't understand the need for a new bus terminal; I was told that it will reduce congestion in the downtown area. Seems a little congestion might be a good thing. Next time you are enjoying a cappuccino with Al Boscov suggest that he convert a portion of his store into a supermarket. Friends living in the downtown area say it is badly needed. No chance of Percy Brown resurrecting his old store, I suppose. I still remember the place from when I lived there in the late fifties.

It's too bad you weren't able to oust Kanjorski but I am afraid you'll have to find someone other than Lou Barletta to do the job. I saw him on TV and he doesn't make much of an impression.

I cast my first vote for a Democrat president and I am hoping it brings some redemption for my last two votes for George Bush. Obama is going to inherit a rough situation and I hope he is up to the task; I think he will be. Your friend, Sarah, will be heading back to Alaska to resume her duties but, with her knowledge of Geography, she may end up in Maine.

The city is starting to shape up, isn’t it? There’s a ton of money, both public and private, being invested in this city right now. But this economic distress is worrisome for me.

The first time, we destroyed our finances from within. And know that they’ve been stabilized, budgets remained balanced and with our bond rating restored, what, now outside influences are going to wreak more havoc on them? That stuff troubles me. We’ve come so far, and don’t need to take any backwards steps that are not of our making.

I think the bus terminal is a great addition, 750 parking spaces. As those offices and storefronts fill, the need for additional parking increases. And removing the LCTA buses from Public Square and the new streetscape envisioned is going to be liked by one and all. Well, we’re always going to have a few grumblers.

You are correct with the supermarket thing. Percy’s department store used to do a very brisk business. And while the indigenous downtown population was lowered after the flood and the corresponding remodeling of the downtown, the bulk of it’s old customer base still remains.

Look at all of the high-rises, and look at all of the additional student housing recently added to the mix. A supermarket, albeit, a modest one by today’s standards, would probably do well.

Barletta? Oh, well. He tried. And since too many of our local races go uncontested, he should be applauded for jumping into the race and bringing a spirited campaign to the mix. He had ole Paul Kanjorski shaking n his shoes. For the first time ever, I think Uncle Paul had to consider what his concession speech should sound like. We’ll get him next time.

Poor, poor Sarah. She thinks Wyoming is a country.

And if they expect me to believe that Sad Sack nonsense, they’ve got another thing coming. It’s not enough that she was on the losing ticket. It’s not enough that she’s now a political footnote. Nope, she’s a chick in a man’s world and she has to be thoroughly savaged, politically destroyed. She’s inexperienced, she’s stupid and, without makeup, she’s really kind of ugly, too. Whatever.

No Hillary. No Sarah, No chicks, no time soon. If I was a woman, I’d be mildly annoyed right about now. I really would. Hillary may have put 18 million cracks in that other glass ceiling of ours, but I’m thinking the good ole boys have already ordered newer, thicker, super-reinforced replacement panels.

Perhaps they should revolt. Perhaps we should see a Clinton/Palin ticket in 2012. Wouldn’t that be fun? A chick uprising?

Wait, let me be clear, that would be a Hillary/Palin ticket, and not the Clinton/Palin ticket the way Bill Clinton fantasizes about it. You know, like in the back of his El Camino?

I have to cut this malarkey short. Big to-do in fantasy football this week. We’ve got three teams fighting for first place in the same division, and two of them are facing off against each other. Good stuff.

Join us next year.