November 2009

30,000 troops to Afghanistan

Obama has made his decision about Afghanistan-

Behind door number 1: Send no troops and begin withdrawing. This would put a smile on the faces of every anti-war protester, everyone who wanted to go with a short-term aid package in the first place, and everyone who is fully for peace and not war.

Behind door number 2: Send no more troops but roll a full strategy out that focuses on going into the hills and working more aggressively with the troops that are already there. This would put a smile on nobody’s face.

Behind door number 3: Send somewhere in the neighborhood of the recommended 40,000 troops in order to ramp up the aggressive assault on al Quaeda. This would put a big smile on the faces of the generals and all those who feel we are not doing everything we can to make the mission in Afghanistan actually happen.

Little Known Political Figure Prince Giorgio Carbone Dies at 73

In the world of movers and shakers where politics are played out as large as life, there are a few lesser known figures on the political stage who may not carry the grandiose power and international prestige as other world leaders but who are none the less, inspirational and influential in their own right. Giorgio Carbone, also known as the Prince of Seborga, was such a man.

Knowing Your Political-Isms Part 2: Understanding Communism

In the first part of this series on knowing your political-isms we took a brief look at what socialism was and reviewed a few of its primary concepts. In this article we are going to go over the idea of communism to find out its history, what it really entails, and whether or not holding communist ideas is actually a danger to us or not.

Dubious Dubai Investments

Things are not getting any better for Dubai or Dubai World. If you’ve been keeping up, the city that built its own map of the world in what was to become a series of interlocking luxury canals and resorts has asked for a standstill on paying their debt. Not a good sign, by any means.

I feel like Dubai was thinking that they were cool with everyone, and that their investors would “understand” that the economy was bad, right? Bad for everyone, and this is just something that we all need to band together and get through. Together. We’re good for the money, we just want you to wait a few months, give us some time to scrape it together and we’ll get it to you- right? Good, good. Now let’s go meet down at the pool.

The Fed Under Fire

Here’s the imaginary conversation:

Congress: Hey, Bernake! What are you guys up to with the money supply?

Bernake: Don’t worry about it- we’ve got it covered.

Congress: No, seriously, we want you to account for what you are spending and doing.

Bernake: No, seriously, don’t worry about it! We’ve got it covered. And look, if we had to account for what we are doing, it could very well mean bad things for the economic and financial future of the U.S.
Congress: …

Thanksgiving Secrets

Alright, diary. I don't have much time so I'm just gonna go over the major points. I snuck off in the middle of dinner because I had to get out of there for a little while. The White House Thanksgiving Dinner (tm) is absolutely bonkers. The table is bigger than my first apartment, everybody's asking me tons of questions and they all look at me like they're waiting for me to keel over from poison every single time I take a bite. I mean, I know the death threats against me have basically tripled lately, but come on, you think the Secret Service doesn't check the freaking turkey?

Iran and Patience

I think I’ve been seeing headlines like this for weeks. Months even. The U.S. or the world or the U.N. or somebody else is talking about how their patience with Iran for one reason or another. I mean, how long is everyone going to sit around and talk about how Iran is trying their patience? When I was a kid and my mother said, “Don’t make me come over there…” or used my middle name or something, it certainly didn’t take her weeks to get around to punishing me or letting me know how she felt about the general situation.

Iran, however, seems to have the ability to try everyone’s patience without any kind of actual punishment or action. What’s the deal, world?

Politics of Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Yes it’s that fabulous and decidedly American holiday, famous for so many timeless traditions- the turkey, the gathering of family, the football, and of course the pumpkin pie. These are the timeless traditions that make Thanksgiving what it is- can you even imaging the 4th Thursday of November bringing anything other than more food and drink than you could ever ask for, people you see just a few times a year, and an onslaught of time sitting on the couch?

But how long has it been this way? Are there really political edges to this grand holiday of thankfulness, family and togetherness? There most certainly are.

Here are a few of the political building blocks behind the day we call Thanksgiving.

Knowing Your Political-Isms Part I: Understanding Socialism

Various political-isms ranging from socialism to communism to fascism have been thrown

around in the political arena as of late and various talking heads on the right often warns us to be aware of Mr. X, Y, or Z because he, or she, is an evil...(insert selected political-ism here). But what do all of these terms really mean? And are these things that we need to actually be concerned about or is it merely propaganda and fear-mongering to discredit anyone that the right disagrees with?

Obama's Take on The Job Issue

This week President Obama made creating jobs a top priority- it’s no easy task, as he has been ostensibly trying to create jobs ever since he took office- the problem being this pesky recession and financial crisis that took root well before he became president. Nothing he has done so far has been able to do much to reverse the tide of job loss, though it could be argued that programs like Cash For Clunkers and his various economic stimulus packages have done their part to make things easier if not better for the millions who are unintentionally part of the 10.2% unemployment statistic.

The Ethics of Sanford's Ethics Violations

Mark Sanford- remember this guy? He is the Republican governor of South Carolina, widely regarded as a possible presidential candidate until he got busted disappearing for an affair with an Argentine journalist. Now, the media has been skewering him as some kind of horrible entity every since- Well, it doesn’t help that he has gone on television and done tearful press conferences where he called her his soulmate (which might be true, who knows?), and then his wife told someone that it was gay marriage corrupting the purity of the idea of marriage that ultimately led her husband to lose touch with the sanctity of marriage… Point being, this has certainly produced plenty of fodder for the press. It’s a low hanging fruit you don’t even really need your eyes open to find.

Obama's Got It Right

Well, he’s come out and said it: Creating jobs is a top priority. President Obama said so. And I believe him.

With so much else going on in the world, from the Mideast peace talks that are stalled out to the Iran nuclear issues, to the Palestinian president Abbas playing tag with his own office, there are enough international issues to make any president’s head spin. And beyond that, there is the whole Copenhagen issue to deal with. That isn’t going away anytime soon, certainly not over the next year, and it may just nestle in nicely with the job creation that he is talking about.

Health Care is still alive

The game is on in the Senate! Yesterday the health care reform bill got exactly the 60 votes it needed to open the debate on the actual bill, so as of this weekend it is up for official consideration. This is adding an incredible final piece of drama to the health care reform push by Obama- what will happen with the 60 democrats in the senate- will they support the president and his initiative? That’s already not happening across the board, so I don’t think we have to worry about blind party loyalty. What about
Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu finally agreed to support the motion to put the bill up for debate and on the floor but balked at guaranteeing that they would support it in the final vote- they alluded that there would need to be some changes.

My Brother, China and Health Care

I'm so glad I have you, diary, because without you I wouldn't be able to vent all the really awesome secrets I learn, like, every single day as President. Seriously, I thought this kind of stuff only happened in those National Treasure movies (which rule, by the way) but the neat-o presidential super-secrets are totally a part of the job. The thing that sucks is that I can't tell anybody about them. All the people I'm allowed to talk to about them already know them, so where's the fun in that? Anyway, these are my three favorite secrets I just learned recently. If I don't get them out somewhere, I'm gonna explode.