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Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Dave!The topic du jour seems to be, what else, Barack Obama's inauguration.

Ultimately most conversations boiled down to how confident everybody was in Obama's ability to turn things around for the USA and leave it in better shape than he found it after four years in office. Everybody I've talked to was surprisingly optimistic. Even the Republicans felt that Obama has such momentum behind him that things were bound to improve in the short-run, even though they were wary of his policies over the long haul.

My only contribution to the conversation was this: "When you're at rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up. Obama has no choice but to make things better because they can't get any worse." Which is not entirely true (of course things can get worse), but is still an accurate assessment on many levels. After all, we now have a president who can speak in coherent sentences and knows how to pronounce the word "nuclear" so he doesn't sound like a complete moron. See? Things are improving already.

But where does hope-fueled fantasy end and fact-based reality begin?

With Obama, it's hard to tell. As I've said numerous times, he got my vote not because I think he has magical powers to fix the country... but because he's who I felt would be least likely to fuck things up further. Not a ringing endorsement, to be sure, but it was motivation enough to get me donating money to his campaign.

I have no idea what's going to happen next. If we're lucky, Obama will live up to the hype and a golden age will ensue. Sure it's unlikely, but it's not inconceivable. One thing is for certain, however... the days ahead should prove very interesting.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey waving US flags.

In other news... did anybody else see that the Aurora Borealis was out last night? It was a pretty sight...

Animal Crossing Aurora Borealis

Blargh. Where did this day go?

Categories: News - Politics 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. whall says:

    The first 100 days will tell us what to expect.

    I’m sure most Obama hero-worshippers didn’t think He was referring to them when he talked about the “new era of responsibility”. They probably thought he was talking about the Government’s responsibility to take care of them.

    Congress is already getting ready for the Nanny States of America, and the way Obama has been talking the last year, buying votes with promises to take care of people, I worry for our country.

    HR15 creates a nationalized system of free health care.
    HR414 requires cameras in cell phones to make an audible sound to alert others when a picture is taken.
    HR254 moves voting to the weekend
    HR40 is about paying reparations to African-Americans
    They’ve even had hearings on confiscating private 401K and retirement funds from citizens and turn them into government-controlled accounts managed by Social Security Administration.

    Man, it must be nice to be paid to come up with this crap.

    I think I have the beginnings of a blog post!

  2. Dave2 says:

    Before doing a blog post, you might want to do some actual research first. As an example, HR40 was introduced by a Democrat in a previous session of Congress UNDER BUSH, NOT OBAMA and never went anywhere (MOST DON’T!!!). HR15 is not about free health care, it’s about health insurance for ELIGIBLE individuals as determined BY THE STATE. HR414 is to address gross violations of privacy from unaware individuals who are having their picture taken by devices that are not easily identified as cameras (such as in school locker rooms)… not exactly evil intent there. And why in the heck would somebody like you object to HR254, which moves voting day to a time when more people are able to vote because THEY WORK DURING THE WEEK?!?

    As for the confiscation of 401Ks… don’t make me laugh. Have you read the ACTUAL opinion which was rendered? Of course not… it’s far easier for you to believe the propaganda on FOX News than to do any actual work before going off half-cocked and raving over something that’s not true. Yes, there is an opinion rendered which would force a 5% income to be rolled into a “Guaranteed Retirement Account” where half would come from workers, half from their employers, in response to all the people losing their 401Ks (which only wealthier workers can afford in the first place, making the wealthiest retirees poor)… but it says nothing… NOTHING about “confiscating 401Ks.” Could that be part of future dangerous legislation? Of course… ANYTHING is possible! Bush introduced legislation to spy on American citizens, which was unthinkable a decade ago… but “confiscating” 401Ks is simply nowhere to be found. Except by people like you who pick up on bad information and repeat it. Personally, I don’t agree with eliminating tax breaks on 401Ks and forcing a savings account with poor returns that eliminates investment into American business, but I’m not going to MAKE SHIT UP like FOX News to sell my opinions. You shouldn’t either, Wayne… you’re smarter than that. At least I hope you are.

    So write your blog post… but at least be informed about what you write. Otherwise, you’re just a mouthpiece for propaganda that isn’t helping anybody.

  3. Sue says:

    I saw… snow. I have never see the northern lights. They were visible here once when I was a child, and my parents didn’t think to wake me up so I could see them.

  4. Crail00 says:

    Obama gives us hope which is a major start; but that does not lie entirely on his shoulders. We need to pull together without divisions to see The United States on an even keel and reduce the world-wide tensions. That is no easy task.

    On a brighter note, it has been my pleasure to observe the Aurora Borealis in Dawson Creek, BC; the beginning of the Alaska Highway and in Stirling, Scotland (my home town) which is on the same latitude as Dawson Creek.

  5. Whitenoise says:

    It’ll be hard to live up to the hype, but he does seem to be a high-quality individual.

    The Aurora Borealis can be mesmerizing in northern Canada. I’ve endured mind-numbing cold to watch the lights snap and crackle, hence my avatar. 😉

  6. Avitable says:

    So, should I get notification of which superpower I get by mail or email? I’m hoping for invisibility.

  7. Finn says:

    One more reason to hate living in the south. I want to photograph the Aurora someday… last night would have been perfect, I think.

    I hope and pray that we are on to something new and better in this country. I don’t have any expectations, but I do have hope.

  8. SJ says:

    That was my main reason for voting for Obama, also. Well, that and the fact that his opponent was John McCain.

    I feel sorry for Obama, because how can ANYONE live up to the starry-eyed expectations so many citizens seem to have of him? He’s still just the President, not God.

  9. karla says:

    Dave, as I sat at the Hard Rock Oslo watching the speeches and thinking fondly of you, I mentioned to my friend Elaina, through my tear stained face, that I was so happy to once again have a president who could enunciate correctly and pronounce NUCLEAR as it is intended. We both shed a happy tear, hugged, and continued on with our large plate of nachos.

    Great times ahead indeed.

    And to Wayne (hi!): And even if the government does take our 401k’s, who cares? Mine’s not worth shit anymore anyhow. Thanks Bush!

  10. martymankins says:

    I’ll be honest… I’m excited for change, but as I blogged about today, I know it’s going to take some time. There is a lot of hype, but there’s some substance, too. Like the fact that there’s going to be someone at the top that thinks logically. That can only produce good results, even if it’s not 100% (no politician can do 100%)

  11. I know he’s going to be hard pressed to complete everything on his agenda. The country/world is far from a perfect place and he’ll have to make compromises along the way. But his vision for America is a step in the right direction for the country as a whole I think. I just hope the American public have a little patience and don’t expect everything fixed by March. “So much for that Obama guy, he turned out to be an Epic Fail”.

  12. Sybil Law says:

    You mean it’s not nuke-you-ler?!

  13. Sarah says:

    I hope he is good for the country. I just don’t want the first president I voted for to be a sucker.

  14. Oh man, I’ve always wanted to see an Aurora Borealis. Sounds so amazing. Some day!

  15. whall says:

    Dave, ALL of the bills I mentioned were proposed before Obama. Naturally. I don’t judge the President on something Congress does – Congress are the ones who can spend money. Congress are the ones with the near-single-digit approval rate, laughing at Bush’s twice-as-high approval rating.

    I did do a little research. I’ll take that first one about health insurance.

    I didn’t mention it, but HR15 actually imposes a *NEW* 5% tax on commercial property sales. It is NOT about “access” to health insurance (if that’s what you meant); it is about FREE health insurance to MASSIVE numbers of people (one of the eligibility requirements is that you earned at least $2000 in the last year; another drops it to $1500; and yet another drops it to $150). And then you know what? Then it has another provision that says “aww, never mind. even if someone isn’t eligible (ie, ‘needy’), they’re still going to get the free health care!

    Notice they don’t say “health care”. They call it free “health insurance.”

    No “access”

    No “guaranteed access”

    free. health… insurance.

  16. whall says:

    Ok, I only took one but I gotta say more.

    HR414 has one requirement, and one requirement only:

    Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, any mobile phone containing a digital camera that is manufactured for sale in the United States shall sound a tone or other sound audible within a reasonable radius of the phone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera in such phone. A mobile phone manufactured after such date shall not be equipped with a means of disabling or silencing such tone or sound.

    It doesn’t mention locker rooms or children other than in the “finding”. It doesn’t mention gross violations of privacy. It will mean any concert gathering, restaurant, high school hallway, or blog meetup will have not just cell phone ringers creating the cacophony of the Internet ages, but will now have added to that mix of noise the alluring sound simulated camera shutters. It’s yet another step towards making someone ELSE responsible and making it OK for someone to be offended.

    It’s a recipe for creating victims.

    You know what it *will* do? It will create a TREMENDOUS demand for cell phones manufactured outside the United States. Why? Because the bill only addresses phones manufactured *IN* the US.

    Gee, I wonder how many of the sponsors and cosponsors have stock in cell phone manufacturers based outside the US. Um, all of them?

    I haven’t watched Fox News in ages.

    re: the 401K’s – it seems we at least agree on disagreeing with the stuff you found. Here’s what I saw:

    In a radio interview with Kirby Wilbur in Seattle on Oct. 27, 2008, Ghilarducci explained that her proposal doesn’t eliminate the tax breaks, rather, “I’m just rearranging the tax breaks that are available now for 401(k)s and spreading — spreading the wealth.”

    All workers would have 5 percent of their annual pay deducted from their paychecks and deposited to the GRA. They would still be paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, as would the employers. The GRA contribution would be shared equally by the worker and the employee. Employers no longer would be able to write off their contributions. Any capital gains would be taxable year-on-year.

    Yes, I listened to the hearings (the webcast and the transcript). What I heard Miller outline is how bad it is, that Republicans are responsible, the rich blahblahblah and we have all these people who will not survive life unless we go help them. We must act soon to correct this. blahblah.

    Teresa’s remarks extend to the confiscation idea. Sure, she didn’t say that word. But the absence of that word doesn’t lessen the impact of the spirit she suggests. She says that our instability in the economy is due to 401K’s. She talks about 401K’s “voluntary” nature being a bad thing, and social security’s “guaranteed” nature being a good thing. She’s calling for a mandate of 5% on-the-top tax to go into this fund. Many of the people paying into this won’t see it because they’ll still have other retirement plans because, well, they *planned*.

    They treat the concept of a 401K as though it’s supposed to be guaranteed. This, to me, screams “nanny state! nanny state!” Who ever promised a 401K is guaranteed?!?!? It’s a savings / stock / speculation mechanism that *could* be used for retirement, and then when lazy greedy people play the stock market with their savings, and then lose…. we’re supposed to bail them out with an added tax?

    Bailout = nanny state.

  17. Justin Scott says:

    I’ll stay away from politics (OBAMA!) and will just say, your aurora borealis is stunning. I’d love a Macbook Pro 15″ version for my desktop teehee

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