GenY, get off your a** and vote, you jackwagon!

Yeah, that’s the old geezer me yelling at you to go vote. Does a blog post from a geezer voter make a really bad motivational speech to go vote?

Probably, but I’m doing it anyway.

This is not the first time I’ve read about GenY pouting about being ignored and protesting by not voting. The five reasons listed sound more like excuses than reasons. Did you all not overcome these obstacles for the 2008 election? Did you do it for yourself or for Barack Obama?

And now you are not voting as some sort of protest? Who pays attention to people who don’t speak up?

Nobody, that’s who.

Not speaking up is the same as agreeing.

If you don’t vote, you are just giving the folks who win a reason to ignore you and take advantage of you. Will you look back at your 24-year-old self from your 36-year-old self and ask why you didn’t care enough to get involved? Do you really want people in power to ignore your point of view, even when you’ve taken the time to write a letter, find a stamp and mail it?

People we vote into Congress have very real power. Congress is not like some Facebook protest group or Twitterstorm. A vote cast in Congress affects millions of actual lives. A vote in Congress puts people back to work or puts them out of work; decides whether they get health care or dies in an ER from a treatable condition; takes away their home or stops banks from foreclosing. While it may not seem like much, one vote begets another and another and another. Just like you may only be able to whisper as one person, when gathered together, you are deafening.

WIll you be proud of you or will you still be pouting?

Manup. Vote.

NOTE: The voice in my head while writing this was R. Lee Ermey in the Geico commercial. Click here to view in YouTube if you have not seen it.

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No party for old men

It is sad what the Democrats are doing to Joe Lieberman. The only “sin” Sen. Lieberman committed was having opinions that did not quite align themselves with the new leadership. 

I looked up the Senator Oath of Office. It reads:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

There is no mention of party loyalty, no mention of suspending personal beliefs and opinions when taking the oath, no mention of “with us or against us.”  To paraphrase from several Obama speeches, there is no Democratic Senate or Republican Senate, there is the Senate of the United States of America.

I want my senators to think for themselves. I want my senators to take risks. I want my senators to have the freedom to have liberal opinions on social reform, but conservative views on national defense. I want a healthy, authentic discussion of ideas in the US Senate. That was the mandate we gave Barack Obama, not a mandate to further divide the country with the “victor” handing out spoils of war. 

Joe Lieberman knew the risks he was taking, but I think at some level — perhaps naively, perhaps with more hope than was pragmatic — that this election cycle held two candidates, each had the ability, political capital and personal stones to rise above partisan government and lead a country. That he chose to back John McCain who eventually did not prevail is incidental to the academic argument.

President-elect Obama needs to show strong leadership with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. He need to put a face of cooperation, but firm leadership, on the “New Democratic Party.” All three are at a crossroads at this very moment, with Joe Lieberman being the turtle in the road.

If you have not yet read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, read it now. Focus on the turtle. The question remains; will the Democratic Party be the truck driver that swerves to try to hit the turtle for sport or Tom Joad who shelters the turtle in his jacket. (Spoiler: the turtle prevails, despite setbacks…)

These are the tests that determine the character of a man. I hope Obama passes.

Posted by email from rufus’s posterous

Joe Mamma?

First, just watch the video. All the way to the end.

I know Alaska is part of these United States, but how ignorant of racism is Sarah Palin? It is almost as surreal to watch as John McCain singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to a Beach Boys tune! Before she can lead America, she needs to understand that Real America is made up of many different cultures. And what works as a long-standing line to a “knock-knock type” joke by African Americans is used as a slam by whites to demonstrate how ignorant and inarticulate Blacks are.

For those of us who perhaps did not grow up in the ’60s-’70s when Black culture was taking hold, the joke goes something like this:

“Hey man, Joe was looking for you.”
“Joe who?”
“Joe mama!”

Or alternatively,
Hey man, I was getting it on with Joe last night”
“Yeah? Joe who?”
“Joe mama!”

The sign was not cute, adorable or in any way clever. It was racist. By not really knowing that, Sarah Palin has once again demonstrated her inability to learn and lead.

Do they talk american?

Here’s a tip when running for President of the United States of America: Pay attention in English class.

From an email on October 18, 2008 from the McCain/Palin camp, they write:

Help John McCain and Sarah Palin win in November!

With less than 18 days until Election Day our volunteer activities are in full swing. With your help here in Ohio John McCain and Sarah Palin will win on November 4th. To sign up for volunteer shifts at your local campaign office please click here!

What they meant to write was: “With fewer than 18 days until Election Day…” in addition to the comma after the dependent clause.. (…Election Day, for those who need a nudge.)

Guess The Elements of Style is one more thing Palin doesn’t read. These are the people we want in charge of reforming education in America? Perhaps what is really needed is just a federal mandate to lower the bar for everyone. Then, we can all look smart.

The problem of typos in the McCain camp is systemic. Take a look at his education issue page (just the last paragraph will do ya!) Is the world moving too fast that they can’t take a few extra seconds to proof their published material? Or, are they really that ignorant? Perhaps Peggy Noonan is right.

Stay in school, kids. Or, maybe just drop out now and get your name on a ballot somewhere. You’re probably already qualified!

You can reach more people with a blog than a bullhorn

Last night, I met Kealan on http://election.twitter.com. We have not spoken, I know nothing about her, but she said something during the debates that I thought was interesting and I wanted to be a part of the next really sage thing she says, whenever that is. So, I’m following her on Twitter.

I saw she tweeted again this morning. Nothing of consequence to me, but what the heck, maybe her blog had something on it. Sure enough, it was a post-debate post titled 3 miles in the snow, uphill both ways. That got my attention right away because, while I knew it was going to be a GenY rant against old people, the title was so clever that I knew the rest of the post was going to be good. It was.

GenY may not be out in the street protesting the rapid decline of this country, but they are online with a vengeance. And, apparently, they do care and they get it. They understand that respect is the root of peace, that you can reach more people quicker and deeper with a Twitter account and a blog than you can with a bullhorn and a flag and that party and company affiliation doesn’t matter as much as not being obtuse and condescending.

And, not only are they watching as things are going on, but they are recording it, playing it back, digesting it and analyzing it. They are predicting the death of spin and revisionist history.

And yeah, mom and dad, they have been listening to you. If not, how would they know to use a phrase like “3 miles in the snow, uphill both ways” in the correct context?

I just can’t wait to see what Phil DeFranco is going to video about the debates. Please hurry, Phil. We dogs need our fix.

Pay attention to the news cycle and do something with it

Clever focus on Arizona, with McCain running for president
Clever focus on Arizona, with McCain running for president
Yesterday, I received the monthly issue of Association News, read the front cover and was immediately in awe of the level to which this organization is paying attention to the world around them.

One could say that the choice of featuring Arizona was merely coincidental or that the state was next on the calendar to be featured. OR, one could give these really clever, in-tune and aware folks credit for recognizing that if they were to include Arizona — the state John McCain is from — on the front cover, right about now in the election and news cycle and talk about it that they would get some lift in the blogs, Google News and just an overall heightened interest in Arizona by the otherwise complacent national media.

Just plain clever. I just hope they increased their circulation just a bit with the GOP events and their CPM to advertisers.

Election Message to Gen-Y

Do you care who wins this election? Here is why you should.

If you are 24 now, you will be 28 when McCain/Palin runs for president again in 2012. Incumbents are almost always favored to win elections, so most likely they will win four more years. That will make you 32 years old. Four years after that when we vote for another president, you will be 36.

No candidate really cares about what is important to a 24-year old. But, they do care about what is important to someone who is 36. What issues will be important to you when you are 36? Will you have kids? Will you own a home? Will you have a job that pays your health insurance? Will you be healthy? Will your parents still live independently? Will they still be able to help you when you need it? Will they have to choose between buying their grandchildren birthday presents or medication? Will your parents be one of the now 47 million who live without health insurance? Will they fall victim to bankruptcy because they had a stroke and insurance just got too expensive at their age? Will we have continued to drill our way out of our energy problems or have we started to look at other ways of powering our nation? How big will China really be? How important will our economy, culture and way of life that the GOP wishes to preserve be? Will the USA look like a boxer way past his prime or a regenerated culture that has learned how to grow old with grace and pass the baton with passion and dignity?

Will you look back at your 24-year-old self from your 36-year-old self and ask why you didn’t care enough to get involved?

You are not risking the next four years of your life by not getting involved. You are risking your entire formative adulthood where you will most likely choose a community, start a family, buy a home and have a dog (please, have a dog. We’re a lot of fun and we’re really smart!) You are risking the first 4-5 years of your childrens’ lives and the last 10-20 of your parents. And, you probably owe them at least one month’s rent already.

Do you want to live in a country that raises the human spirit, endorses the ideal that says human being can do anything they can dream or do you want to live in a country where new ideas are evil, sarcasm is the new rhetoric and your political opposite is your sworn enemy?

The time to decide is now. You’re not getting younger.

Advice to Hockey Moms

I was listening to Sarah Palin speak in Lebanon, OH yesterday and one piece of advice hit me that I really wish all the hockey moms and soccer moms would start embracing.

Celebrate your victory, not your opponent’s defeat.

It’s a simple bit of wisdom, but one that keeps you from turning into a vindictive, rapid animal who will tear at anyone and anything to win an argument, hockey game or an election.

This is an election, not a war. Obama is your opponent, not your enemy. If you should win, allow your opponent grace in defeat. Your recent comments will not give you this competitive edge.

I know it is easier to stir up people with negative ads, snarky comments and sarcasm. Win or lose with this tactic, it does not move our country forward, only fuels a social revolution. It shifts the goal from winning a contest of ideas to defeating an “enemy.” It divides this country more than unites it.

I hope Obama does not get negative, skarky and sarcastic. I hope he rejects that path. I hope that he would rather “lose an election than lose his soul.”

Clinton many things, but not a proud dog owner

Not a proud dog owner and no record of advocacy for canine rights, but still a pretty good speaker. Listen for the reference to “Iran” at 8:29-8:52 clever.

A note to the Democrats: We don’t want to be “taken care of.” We just don’t want to work our entire lives to create a home and a small amount of wealth and always be one heart attack away from bankruptcy. We just don’t want our income to be eroded by bad dollar policy. We don’t want our homes to be worthless because we can’t sell them. We just want a fair playing field and opportunity to achieve reward for smart and hard work.

Don’t strive to “take care of us.” Strive to create a country that values human life and effort beyond the value to which dogs can contribute economically. Dogs are so much more than their economic viability. Value that as well.

The assault on Ohio begins…

Flag City, USA Findlay, Ohio I now know that Ohio is a serious, serious battleground state for the US Presidential election. On Saturday, the WSJ ran an opinion piece entitled “The Self-Inflicted Economic Death of Ohio” in which Finn outlines all of the ways Ohioans have sabotaged their state’s economy. His thesis appears to be along the lines of: Ohio has not invested in its human capital infrastructure and what is being left are old men with no skills, education or prospects. And as this population ages, they demand more services from their government and therefore government is the only industry that is expanding. The implication is the population is getting dumber and dumber, “clinging more to guns and God.”

In today’s Washington Post, Findlay, Ohio (not ironically known as the Flag City) got an assault with an article that claims rumors about Obama are running rampant.

Here in Findlay, a Rust Belt town of 40,000, false rumors about Obama have built enough word-of-mouth credibility to harden into an alternative biography. Born on the Internet, the rumors now meander freely across the flatlands of northwest Ohio — through bars and baseball fields, retirement homes and restaurants.

All to the delight of the GOP, to be sure. McCain probably does not even need to campaign in Ohio as he can just let the dumb people spread rumors about his opponent and rely on the even dumber people to believe them.

In the end, the fate of Ohio will come down to race. And there are enough conservative while folk here in Ohio who will simply not vote for a black man. We’re too dumb to know that black folk can be smarter than white folk. After all, we can point to over 300,000 web pages that cite scientific evidence. (We can’t graduate from college, read an entire book cover to cover, but we can Google!) It may not be what this country needs or wants to talk about, but visit any bar, any hardware store, any Little League game, any soccer parent sideline and you’ll hear it. And it is deafening.

Stick around, kids, it will be getting interesting in the “Heart of it all” as this election revs up!

PHOTO (Shamelessly stolen from the Post): In Findlay, Ohio, Jim Peterman, 74, keeps hearing that Barack Obama is Muslim, or was born in Africa, or is hostile to the flag, and he’s no longer sure what to believe. “It’s hard to ignore what you hear when everybody you know is saying it,” he says. (By J.d. Pooley For The Washington Post)

Clinton “pull-out” predicted

Sometimes, something is just way too funny not to mention. Do you think the copy editors writing the headlines at the Washington Post just did not drink enough Plain Joe Coffee before showing up for work today??

I thought that Clinton “did not have sexual relations with that woman…” Hillary, not Monica. So, why is there a pull-out opportunity? 🙂

And just in case the Post actually reads their headlines and some religious group doesn’t think it is uproariously funny like we dogs do, we took a screen shot. Enjoy. (Click on the photo for the full size)

Clinton pulls out

Party? What party?

I was settling in and almost asleep when some idiot on CNN was railing on and on about how this Clinton/Obama race is tearing the party apart, that it is bad for the Democrats, that they need to heal together to win the election in November. And, then as I hit that level of rage between annoyance at being kept awake and the dread of some human idiot won’t ever shut up, I got an epiphany!

Here is what CNN, MSNBC, Fox and all the other media is missing that the American people know:

The job of President of the United States of America is held by one PERSON, not by a PARTY. Nobody cares about the Democratic Party any more. Americans want the best PERSON to win the election, even if the two people running against each other for the job are members of the same party!

If anything comes of this, I hope it is the death of the two-party system. Against any of the two Hillary or Barack, McCain looks like a really, really old guy who can’t remember his name. But, Barack vs Hillary, that is a clash of Titans! THAT is a race to watch and people just don’t really want this one to end.

I sure hope the loser of the Democratic primary runs as an independent. Either way, Hillary or Barack would win this thing, whether as an independent or a Democrat. Choke on that, Howard Dean!

Ok, Colbert is on now… that’s a much quieter (boring) show and I’m curling up and taking a snooze.

Now you can listen to the podcast in Rufus’ own voice.. really!!

Is there a text in this election?

Oh, brother. Why is this DNC nominating process so hard for the common people to grasp? And why is the misinformation being fueled by the press? I saw the same thing happening when Bill Clinton was being impeached. The “mob” saw Clinton’s impeachment as him being thrown out of office. But wait, the Senate actually gets to decide the ultimate fate?? Oh, that’s right, cooler heads are in charge.

The New York Times ran an article by Stanley Fish that is just dead-on accurate about this whole process. My perspective from a dog’s point of view.

This super delegate issue is a NOMINATION by a political party, not an election by the people. It is about picking someone who has the best chance of defeating the other party’s nominee. The GENERAL ELECTION is about which nominee would make the better president.

Primaries and caucuses are “tests” to see how well each party-hopeful would fare in an election. It is a test-run, if you will. At the end of the day, the only “obligation” a superdelegate has is to the party and voting to nominate the candidate who has the better chance of winning in a general election.

If you don’t agree with your party’s nomination rules, work with your party to change their rules. Or join another party. And, if you don’t like who your party puts up for nomination or who it nominates for the general election, vote for someone else. That choice is the part of the democracy that is ours.