Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Constitution and the House floor: are you $#*&#ing kidding me?!?!

So, the first day back to work and what do the members of the lower chamber decide to do? They decide to recite the U.S. Constitution into the Congressional Record. Congratulations! The members of your body now know about as much about the legal machinations of our government as the average middle school civics student!

Grandstanding is certainly nothing new to politics, but this has lowered the bar to Lilliputian levels. I hope some House members realize that all 44 Presidents in this country's history have signed DOZENS of bills into law since the Constitution was ratified in 1787 (except poor William Henry Harrison, of course; the poor guy died only 32 days after his inauguration). To keep up their Constitutional fidelity, I trust the House leadership will immediately begin reading every piece of legislation passed during the George Washington Administration. This is only fair if they want a complete picture of our nation's legislative history.

Reading the Constitution and its 27 Amendments and claiming to have a command of the U.S. body politic is akin to someone claiming to be a master of the Star Wars Trilogy after simply watching the opening sequence of Darth Vader boarding the rebel ship at the beginning of the original movie (Episode IV: A New Hope for those of you keeping score at home).

I have a simple message for the House leadership: go back and hit the books some more. You have two more years before your final exams and you're nowhere near ready.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Gainesville Mayoral Candidate Forum - Who are their comedic doppelgangers?

As I sat watching last night's mayoral candidate forum on WUFT's North Florida Journal, I noticed the odd similarity of Richard Selwach to Chris Farley, both in appearance and mannerisms. Later while on the pot (where most of us do the heaviest of thinking whether we admit it or not), I realized that you could match each of Gainesville's mayoral candidates to a famous comedian. Here ya go, for entertainment purposes only.

Ozzy Angulo - Carlos Mencia

This political neophyte was very matter-of-fact and represented the working class of Gainesville. While not as boisterous as Mencia, Angulo pled his case in a language that everyone could easily understand. Dee de-dee!

Monica Leadon Cooper - Julie Hagerty

This was a bit of a tough call. You could also go with Lily Tomlin. There are also some elements of Rita Rudner there. But Julie Hagerty as Elaine in Airplane II just kept coming back to me, especially the line "we're also out of coffee" when a passenger asks her if she's telling them everything. Arguably the winner of the forum, Monica was at times an amalgamation of several classic comediennes and she was often hard to peg down.

Craig Lowe - Andy Kaufman

Craig was not what he seemed last night, which described Andy to a T. He was often stumbling over his words as he looked into the teleprompter with a deer-in-the-headlights look. If you've ever spoken with Craig privately, you know his intelligence and passion for certain issues know no rival. Kaufman was the same way: he exuded lovable, feigned ignorance and innocence, but all along you knew he was the smartest person in the room.

Don Marsh - Eugene Levy

A man who speaks in plain language matter-of-factly states his case so emphatically that he believes there is no way that others could have a position more correct than his own - sort of like that friend's father whom you can't convince is wrong. A candidate for those who remember the George W. Bush years with fondness.

Richard Selwach - Chris Farley

From the Javier Bardem-like haircut to his fidgety nature, Richard channelled the late fatman several times last night. See my initial impressions above.

Are these comparisons accurate? You decide for yourself as North Florida Journal repeats several times this weekend and WUFT-TV Channel 5. Check your listings and have a chuckle.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Get a job in the Obama-Biden administration!

Okay, I know I haven't written about my election night experience yet, but I just wanted to share what I did a short time ago. The incoming administration already has a government domain:

The first time I saw it, I was speechless. Wow. This is the beginning of what could be a new era in transparent government. After exploring the site a bit, I noticed a "jobs" button on the top banner. Five minutes later, I had applied for a job in the incoming Obama Administration. And why not? An administrative position at the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) sounds pretty good to me!

Yes we can...GET EMPLOYED! Try it yourself. You have nothing to lose...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Michelle Obama rocks Gainesville!

It was a warm October afternoon and thousands of people descended on downtown Gainesville to catch who is certain to be the next First Lady. I headed toward the entrance only to be told that I had to get in one of two lines. I followed one line to its end and finally found it...FIVE BLOCKS LATER. The queue was moving pretty fast, however, and I found myself inside within about 20 minutes. The place was already packed when I made it in. I finally staked out a spot in front of Mr. Sidhu's market. I did wander up as far as Starbucks -- even though volunteers kept telling me that there was room that far up, people were packed in like sardines, so I fell back to my safe spot by Sidhu's.

What followed were a litany of speakers, including our Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, Cynthia Moore Chestnut, Rep. Corrine Brown, and Sen. Bill Nelson. Then, The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" blared through the speakers before Michelle Obama's entrance.

Michelle was, in a word, phenomenal. She got everyone fired up to vote early and told tales of how she and Barack strugged with student loan debt burden and other economic woes that our family also faces. It will surely be great to have someone who understands such things in the White House instead of someone who can't remember how many houses they own.

Perhaps most impressive was a standout statistic: with about 11,000 in attendance at this event, it was the largest crowd Michelle Obama had ever spoken to without her husband.

Special thanks to my co-worker Alena Lawson for the above photo. YES WE WILL!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our kid loves pizza rolls!

Last night at dinnertime, Aiden was acting finicky when Michelle was cutting up pizza rolls to give him. I found it hard to believe that our son could not like something so yummy. After waiting for the rolls to cool a bit, I gave him a WHOLE one and he wolfed it down! After about 5 or 6 more rolls, his face looked like this:

Kids: ya gotta love 'em!

Final Obama-McCain debate tonight

Well, I'll keep this short and sweet. The final presidential debate is tonight on all major TV networks. McCain threatens to bring up Bill Ayers tonight and I hope he's a man of his word. Americans want to hear about what these candidates will do for the economy and the rest of America instead of who knew who when. The Drinking Liberally Gainesville chapter will be meeting at Gators Dockside in the front room tonight at 8:30 to watch for all interested parties. Early voting begins here in Gainesville on Monday. I'll be one of the first in line. Hope to see you there!

Finally, here's what the front of our house looks like now thanks to my co-worker Rachel and the posters she scored from Obama headquarters. After the Obama victory next month, she should receive a personal letter of thanks from Barack himself. Her efforts have been selfless and tireless. Hooray for her! VOTE!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today would have been my mother's 77th birthday.

My mom passed away this past April 15th. (Yeah, it was tax day. My parents both chose memorable days to go: my dad passed on New Year's Day 1986.) She was simply the most selfless person I've ever known. Her kindness, caring, and charity knew no bounds. After my father's passing, she simply lived to help others, often to her own detriment. As much as I encouraged her to go out and socialize in order to find new friends, she instead chose to remain home, constantly reinforcing her faith and helping as many charities as she possibly could.

It's been a tough year when I revisit the memories of the last moments we spent together. She was strong and dignified until the very end of her life, though. Her charities of choice were wide and varied: from Native American children to Special Olympics to the Humane Society, my mom supported them all. This is not even to mention her tithing to her favorite ministries of choice, including Frederick Price and Robert Schueller. I know we'll be getting mail addressed to her from these charities and more for years to come. It will make future visits to the mailbox filled with fond memories of her boundless mercy and faith.

Although I most closely relate to the Unitarian Universalists these days, I always admired and respected my mother's faith. It provided her with the basic rules of life that she followed. Those rules ultimately influenced me a great deal through my occupations that require empathy and diplomacy. She was simply the greatest woman I've ever known.

I miss you, Mom. I hope you're enjoying all of the benefits you did without while you walked on this Earth. Happy Birthday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A PSA you'd never see on the air in the US

Due to our really uptight nature, this is a humorous, yet, many would argue, risque PSA about STDs that would never be seen on American television. Belgium's got us beat!

The end is just priceless. He's going straight to hell, though. ;-)