Welcome to 2009

From the news the past few weeks, 2009 looks a lot like 2008. That will suck if it continues.
• Polls = “lies, damned lies and statistics.” One added benefit to Barack Obama’s election would be the cessation of the endless polling the news networks did during the campaign cycle. Wow, was I wrong about that. The polls have shifted from which candidate people support for the 2008 campaign to which GOP candidate is most favored (it’s Sarah Palin right now) to beat Obama and/or how much confidence the public – including the same Republicans who are already lining up to support Palin – has in Obama. WTF? Can’t the guy take office before the snarkiness starts? Apparently not.
• Petty, partisan politics are over. Uh, not in the US. Just as Minnesota says Al Franken won, Norm Coleman and his pals in the Senate vow to fight on. Granted, with an election so close, it’s hard to blame them. It’s how they got the White House in 2000. The other split seems to be in how the GOP machine will respond to President Obama. So far they have released obnoxious and racist videos. When called on the blatant racism of “Barak the magic negro” their response was “it was a joke.” Yeah, so were your response to Katrina, our participation in the ICC or adherence to the Geneva Conventions the economy and your general ability to govern. See, none of us are laughing at those either.
• No, really – everything I do it totally legal. One might think that if one governor is in the newspaper every day over a ‘pay for play’ scandal that if you maybe did the same thing, you might not want to subject yourself to anything that requires Senate confirmation. Poor, silly Bill Richardson. Of course, the adage that ‘those in glass houses should not throw stones’ never did mean much to politicians. Nice.
• Just because I am about to be impeached does mean I lose my rights to govern. Speaking of Governor Blogojevich, he hasn’t actually been indicted on anything. I understand that the ‘appearance of impropriety is worse than the impropriety itself.’ I do but legally he has the right to appoint anyone, who meets the requirements to be a Senator, to the Senate. He could make things easier on Harry Reid, but why should he? He should because anyone he appoints will be tainted and that may make it harder to them to keep the seat in 2010 when they have to run again. A veto proof Senate would be, well, I can’t say how strongly I feel about it because then I would have to list this post as ‘offensive’ but it would be awesome.
• Winter is cold and there is still plenty of war to go around. After 10 days in Florida and too many hours of CNN/the Weather Channel, I can tell you that in the winter most of the US is cold and people still try to kill each other all over the world. Israel is pounding Gaza (and I do blame Hamas for this), conflicts continue in the DR Congo & Darfur and pirates are taking ships off the horn of Africa. Good times.

I know I sound glib here and promise that is not my goal. It’s hard for me not to not be cynical about the state of the world. The US made great progress by electing Barack Obama but we have a long way to go in terms of the rest of the planet, our role in it and what we do within our borders. Democracy does not equal stability and peace. The US is not the only country on earth and political corruption runs rampant. We get the government that we settle for.

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