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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Occupy Wall Street Tasting Menu.

In Economy, Politics on October 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm

As a reader pointed out, my stuff’s been a bit esoteric of late. So, it’s time to weigh in on some broader happenings. Thus, I give you my take on Occupy Wall Street: that rambunctious rebellion, that righteous resistance, that random ruckus, that risible revolt (depending on your mood, or if you are part of the NYPD crew that has to work an extra shift).

I hadn’t been down to Zuccotti Park since it began, except for the movement’s first Monday, when I passed by while visiting the 9/11 Memorial. After a coup at lunch this week (aka a tasty turkey burger in the Financial District), I was nearby and checked it out.

I walked around the perimeter, scoping out the scene, and eventually walked through the tarp city that has sprouted up, bearing a passing resemblance to Krzyzewskiville. Read the rest of this entry »

Talk To Me, Goose.

In Economy, Politics on September 1, 2011 at 1:27 am

So, there I was the other night, catching the last 15 minutes of Top Gun on AMC, when something that’s happening in the real world somehow dovetailed in my head (it’s been known to wander) with the climactic scene.

It came to me: for the last month or so, President Obama’s been like Maverick after Goose dies. Tom Cruise’s uber-confident Maverick becomes hesitant and unsure of himself. He’s lost his best friend and co-pilot, and calls out for help, for what to do next: “Talk to me, Goose.” (I mean, I get it: Anthony Edwards would be a great life coach.) Eventually, sweating profusely as a dogfight breaks out in his midst, he snaps out of it, and we hear, “Maverick’s re-engaging, sir!”

Now, I don’t know who Obama’s Goose is (perhaps the New Deal-toting ghost of FDR), but after a debt ceiling marathon that took it’s toll on him, it seems like we just might be seeing Obama re-engaging.

Read the rest of this entry »

Homo Run.

In Government, Politics on June 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I figured it was a good time to write more than 140 characters because it’s not every day that your home state makes civil rights history.

Y’know, considering that I’m not gay and have no plans to be gay in the future, I’m pretty jazzed about this gay marriage vote in New York state. I might even have jazz hands. Jazz hands!

And yet, I haven’t been invited to any gay weddings or gotten any save-the-dates so far. This is debilitating news because 1) they will be good parties, 2) I imagine they will be “the thing” to be at this summer, and 3) it’s common knowledge in New York that gay men maintain a deep bench of adorable girl friends. (And the gay male endorsement of the straight male friend may just surpass the parental stamp of approval these days.)

Much has been said by now about the overall vote, the well-coordinated, months-long effort to see it come to fruition, and the exuberant celebrations, so I won’t focus much on those aspects.

Instead, I’m going to point out a few things that are awesome, telling, or (if I’m lucky) incisive about this fabulous! legislation.

Let’s start with telling. In the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signing the bill into law, there are still nay-sayers out there.

These opponents of same-sex marriage raise flimsy arguments to “justify” their stance. Read the rest of this entry »

GOPoetry.

In Politics on May 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

For some reason, the last 10 days or so became the time when Republicans decided to declare their intentions for and against running for the presidency. Or in some cases, continue to jockey, pussyfoot, and engage in meaningless artifice.

Well, here at Brief Wit, we’ve always been a bit more Gauguin than Gaga. In that spirit, I’d like to turn their meaningless artifice into art. More specifically, poetry. Namely, Japanese poetry.

So, without further ado, I give you the 2012 GOP Presidential Haikus!

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Not Running

Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi

Boss Hog voice double.
Raise cash and get Hazzard vote.
Uvula transplant?

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas

Heart him, he hearts you!
Needs more time to hawk batshit
revisionism flicks.

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

Donald Trump

Biggest regret not
comedic, but Cabinet
sans Omarosa. Read the rest of this entry »

A Stillborn Campaign.

In Politics on May 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

[Ed. note: Before the world learned that Osama bin Laden died at the order of President Obama and at the hand of Navy SEAL Team Six, the national news obsession was over Obama’s birthplace and whether Donald Trump had a place in politics. Oh, how I long for those days. It was a simpler time. A time of absurd arguments that had absolutely no grounding or deserving of our attention. A time of brash demagoguery and speaking off-the-cuff without the slightest regard for factual accuracy. Sigh. Will we ever get back to those carefree cable news hours and rabid radio talk shows? I’m not sure, so I feel like I better savor the aftertaste. Also, I wrote most of this before Osama slept with the fishes. Hence, what follows…]

Hats (or is it toupees?) off to Donald Trump. His “carnival barking” was the straw that broke the camel’s back and swayed President Obama to ask the Hawaii State Department of Health to release his long-form birth certificate, which he made available a week ago Wednesday. Wednesday also marked the end of Trump’s presidential campaign. He just doesn’t know it yet. Well, after last Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner (more on that later), he might have had an inkling. (If he has any political instincts, the strike on bin Laden sealed the deal.)

My biggest fear coming out of the release is that Obama is going to lose the carnival lobby. With that snide remark, plus his support of safety regulations forcing ferris wheel and pirate ship operators to stay awake on the job, it’s in danger. And everyone knows, carnies vote. Oh boy, do carnies vote. We can only hope the carnies approve of bin Laden being plopped in the water like so many a dunk tank victim.

Read the rest of this entry »

Will Obama Get En-Gay-ged?

In Politics on February 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm

While the world focuses on Egypt and new uprisings in other Middle Eastern countries (and boy that sure is incredible), I was wondering if you wanted to join me in changing gears to broach a domestic social issue. I can’t hear you. What’s that? Muffled acquiescence? Smashing. Let’s get started.

Okay, here we go: by the way, the topic is gay marriage. Oh, don’t tiptoe backwards, I already lovingly dragged you here under vague pretenses.

The last time I let the neurons fire on this one was when DC voted to make same-sex marriage legal. After nobody in Congress raised enough grief to strike it down (yes, they get to do that), it became law last March. Since then, there have been a few major developments in the debate to allow guys-who-like-guys and girls-who-like-girls to be like us.

The unlikely, Unambiguously Straight Duo of David Boies and Ted Olsen, prominent Bush v. Gore nemeses in 2000, joined together to push back hard on Proposition 8’s repealing of California’s gay marriages. And they were successful last summer when judge Vaughn Walker, a reportedly gay man himself who was orginally nominated by Reagan and opposed by Pelosi, agreed with their side.

That District Court of Northern California ruling decreed that Prop 8 “violates due process and equal protection clauses in the U.S. Constitution.” However, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (one rung up the ladder) stayed (aka paused) that ruling as it is appealed. Whatever happens there, betting men say this one is going to The Supremes. And it’s hard to say which way the Court would go. Based on our law there appears to be a convincing case; based on its composition is another story.

Read the rest of this entry »

What The Duck?

In Politics on December 22, 2010 at 9:44 pm

What’s going on in Washington? Out of nowhere, our representatives became smooth-operating legislators.

It’s like somebody called in The Wolf from Pulp Fiction to clean up every mess that wasn’t handled in the last two years, and he came through in miraculous time, as always. Obama must have called Congress and said, “You ain’t got no problem. I’m on the motherf#¢%er. Go back in there, chill them senators out and wait for the cavalry which should be coming directly.”

I mean, there’s a reason they don’t call it the cool-duck session. We’re down to the shortest couple days of the year and these guys are suddenly overachievers.

We’ve just seen quite possibly the most substantively productive lame-duck session in over 50 years. Isn’t this supposed to be the most blah two months of the political year? I mean, in 1948 Congress shut that maimed mallard’s quacking down in less than two hours.

Instead, what the president has shown, by persuading his party to rally and negotiating with the opposition, is that politics is indeed the art of the possible.

Today, Obama kicked off the day by signing the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), after it passed both houses of Congress in the last week. I’m not gonna lie, I was skeptical that Obama, et al. were taking the wrong tactic in not issuing an executive order or touting the October ruling by a US District judge to overturn DADT, but in the end, they stayed the course and earned the W the right way in Congress. Read the rest of this entry »

That’s It?

In Media, Politics on December 2, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Today, the House of Representatives censured Charlie Rangel. Blink and you missed it.

After two years of investigation and conviction on 11 counts of Congressional ethics violations, the official “tsk-tsk” was read aloud by Nancy Pelosi to Rangel, made to stand in the well below her, as others watched on. I happened to catch it live on CNN and couldn’t believe it: that’s it?

It was not merely over as fast as a prick at the doctor’s office, it probably hurt less.

Is this supposed to be severe?  People who don’t pay their taxes don’t usually get off with a reluctant tongue-lashing.

It felt like as soon as Pelosi began introducing the statement, it was over. I was waiting for the real meat of the statement, after the statement, but it never came.

All told, it was less than 45 seconds. Watch for yourself:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Case Of Elephantiasis.

In Media, Politics on November 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm

The American people have spoken: They do not care to see former NBA player Rick Fox dance on television any longer. With a resounding voice and top ratings, they kicked him off Dancing with the Stars. Turns out they are also none too fond of Democrats.

Tango not being my forté, there are a string of observations to note from last night’s elections, wherein Democrats called in sick to the midterm with a case of Elephantiasis:

(Climate) change… or more of the same: The lede is of course that Republicans stormed back from two successive losing elections to take back the House with a formidable majority and make inroads in the Senate. Although he’s chastened and pensive, the president won’t be sticking around to sulk; he’s skedaddling to India (among other stops) for a twice-postponed trip on diplomacy and trade.

The impact that the sluggish recovery of the economy had on this outcome cannot be underestimated. Even with this result, we already heard that the Tea Party may have cost Republicans gains. Did it? I leave that to others to dig deep on, but the short answer is yes. Whatever you think of the Tea Party, its energized components did drive activity, fundraising, and turnout. Now we’ll see how easily Republicans are able to settle internal ideological problems with these new members. Will it be like liberal Democrats trying to win over Blue Dogs, but this time on the right? TBD. One thing is for sure: a father-son swearing-in mash-up is in order for Ron Paul and Rand Paul. Talk about a conference committee!

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Foregone Confusion.

In Media, Politics on October 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Did you know that the 2010 midterm elections have already been decided? Yup, it’s true. And I’m not talking about early voting. I’m not even talking about voting, actually. I’m talking about perception, which has a resilient habit of becoming reality.

We’re less than a week until the election, but as far as the media big dogs are concerned, it’s already over: “The Republicans won… just bear with us a few days, we’re still working on the final tally.”

This narrative can be tracked all the way back to the New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races going to the GOP a year ago. Ever since, it’s been a snowballing pile of tea bags careening toward the House floor.

Yes, the anticipation is that a Republican will pummel a Democrat with greater ease than the Giants taking down an opposing quarterback.

Read the rest of this entry »