AND GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!
We just thought we'd give y'all a little present on this fine Chinese New Year Monday, before we get to Max. If there's one thing y'all might have missed from last week's inaugural coverage it might have been Diane Sawyer on Good Morning American who appeared slightly "intoxicated" after all the celebrating Tuesday night. High-larious? Yes. Why? Because, been there, done that and this time it's not us!
Our own in house Republican, Max Newport shares his inaugural thoughts from last week in a piece we'd like to call (in yet one more nod to miss Aretha's hat), "Change, Change, Change, A Change From Fools", but Max calls it;
SO GENTLY SWAYING THROUGH THE FAIRYLAND OF LOVE
Tuesday afternoon. A one of those “where were you” moments. I know where I was. In my car, on the way back to my office. The radio signaled the oath of office and I made it back to watch most of the inaugural speech, but I was thinking of the Grover Cleveland trivial pursuit moment while riding in the elevator, thanks to my eighth grade civics teacher, Miss Gonyers.
Maybe I missed the best part of the speech while riding the Otis, but I was expecting something a lot better. Maybe Obama’s 27 year old speechwriter was having an off day but later I heard that the new president actually wrote the speech himself. There was a lot I was hoping to hear but not much was said, but when you have great expectations there can be a likelihood of great disappointment.
Through the magic of constant replays and commentary, I was able to see Sister Aretha and the hat. Helluva hat and she sang “America” as good as it has been sung. Max is more of cap kind of guy but if some of the ladies want to emulate the Queen of Soul’s stunning headgear, this is where she got it.
Later I found out the original John Williams inaugural music was prerecorded and that Obama had taken the oath of office again later in the day (does this make him the 45th president now?). The press was upset that they weren’t allowed to videotape the second swearing in and I was upset that I wasn’t in my car and able to listen to it. President Obama, as a constitutional scholar, knew the first oath, although muffed by the chief justice, covered the legal grounds and was sufficient. The press is starting to lose their idolatry of Obama but the real question is whether or not Chris Matthews’s leg is still tingling. Which leg was it anyway? The words “left” and “right” have so much significance in this country, the identification of the tingling leg could be an important omen of things to come.
I did not appreciate the pure bad manners displayed at the introduction of the two former presidents Bush and their families. When George W. Bush took the platform, he was the president. To boo and jeer a sitting president in the last moment of his term is simply low class. Is this the kind of “change” we can look forward to? When Nancy Pelosi said that Bush leaving “felt like a ten pound anvil was being lifted off my head”, my first thought was that anvil was probably the only thing keeping her vacuous head from floating into the hemisphere.
Like many Republicans, I woke up Tuesday morning thinking “Thank God it’s not Hillary”. Now Hillary is Secretary of State and may have to curb some of her husband’s financial dealings with rogue nations to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Since when has this been a concern to the Clinton’s? The mere appearance of propriety for that crew is a novel concept. Bill Richardson had to withdraw his nomination as Secretary of Commerce due to a grand jury probe into possible corruption regarding political glad handing to his financial supporters. The proposed Secretary of the Treasury is a tax cheat. The only qualification Leon Panetta has as C.I.A. director is that he looks like Inspector Clouseau.
Rewind to Sunday afternoon. We watched the concert at the mall on HBO. The music was great, except for Herbie Hancock, who appeared to be playing a different song on the keyboard than Sheryl Crow and Will.i.am were singing. Maybe they should have pre-recorded that little number. Why was Jack Black there? He should have been singing with his “Tenacious D” buddy. Pete Seeger was trying a sing-along that was just plain embarrassing, but I guess it looked good on paper. It was great to hear Stevie Wonder. Garth Brooks did a good job of belting out “American Pie”, which I never thought of as a patriotic song since Don McLean wrote it as a tribute to Buddy Holly. Where was Bob Dylan? He wrote the civil rights anthem “Blowin’ In The Wind” and made it clear he was a supporter of our new president.
Within 48 hours of the inauguration, President Obama announced the closing of Gitmo, a symbol of everything evil associated with Bush and the ongoing war on terrorism. By announcing the closing of the prison in a year, Obama gave the impression of doing something, when in effect he was doing nothing. If this prison is such a travesty, close it now damn it! At least make it one of those first 100 day projects. The folks in our county jail would trade those facilities in a heart beat (take a tour of our local jail and you will agree). Does Obama want to be the president that actually brings known terrorists into the United States? How about that nutjob John Murtha suggesting that he would be comfortable putting the Gitmo prisoners in a prison in his district?
Would we be applauding our local congressman for suggesting that we relocate 245 known terrorists to our local prison? Not bloody likely.
President Obama also made a symbolic nod to abolish torture by reverting to the “Army Field Manual” which has enough “interrogation” loopholes to accommodate almost any situation. These symbolic gestures give his base the appearance that he is making “change”, when in essence, he is doing nothing.
Based upon the editors of the National Review; “So to summarize (Obama’s position): We’d love to close Guantanamo, but we can’t right now; we’d love to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo, but other countries don’t want them; we’d love to give every detainee a civilian trial, but we don’t have enough evidence; we’d love to release the detainees we can’t charge with crimes, but our intelligence tells us they’re dangerous, so doing so would be irresponsible; and we’d love to stick to the highly civilized, detainee-friendly interrogation practices approved by the Army Field Manual, but every now and then there may be an emergency when something more severe is warranted.”
Once again, the appearance of change to placate the easily impressed but in reality no change at all. I am glad that he is taking this approach since the easily fooled are in fact, easily fooled. If Obama thinks he can play patty-cake with the likes of those terrorists who beheaded Daniel Pearl, he is simply wrong, but I hopefully believe that he knows that. (I was going to link the Daniel Pearl murder link here but it is just too disturbing. You can do a Google search if you really want to see how terrorists treat our citizens).
As an American, I have high hopes for the Obama presidency. I want him to succeed because I want our nation to succeed. Soon he will present an agenda that is more than mere symbolic hyperbole shown during the first few days. It is then that we will see what he is made of.
Until then my prayers are with you, Mr. President, and the people of this great nation of ours.