01 January 2011

Obama Still An Outsider

Just after Christmas, unnamed sources in the Obama White House indicated that the President’s re-election campaign headquarters would likely be based in Chicago.  This is a break with most modern Presidents, which have established their re-election operations between the beltways.

The Windy City re-election headquarters would symbolically show Obama-atons that their candidate is still an outsider railing against the machine.  But based on reports from The Washington Examiner, Obama need not center his campaign HQ in Chicago to be a Washington outsider.

In his first two years in office, Mr. Obama has spent nearly half of his presidency outside of Washington.  According to CBS’s Mark Knoller, Obama has spent 339 out of his 712 days in office outside of Washington.  That means that America’s 44th President has spent almost 48% of his term outside of Washington.  This figure includes 58 days on vacation, 38 days at Camp David, 176 days doing domestic travel and 70 days abroad.  Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett has indicated that Mr. Obama will spend more time on the road engaging the American people.  TOTUS travels well.

With a new Congress convening, President Obama ought to spend some time working with  Congressional leaders of both parties if he intends to pass any further legislation and retain the gains that the Obama Administration has achieved, or else he may find himself a real outsider quicker than expected.

Sardonic 2010 Retrospectives

Trying to make sense of 2010 in less than 100 seconds as told by a narrator who sounds like an over-caffeinated chipmunk.

And then there are the cynical comedic sages of Jib Jab that offered a songspiel year in review:

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Demonym for the Decade Past

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine ! 
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,                                     
for auld lang syne.

          -Robert Burns   "Auld Lange Syne" (1788)

As we enter the second decade of this millennium, we ought to reflect where we have been.  Since we no longer reside in the decade past, we should designate a moniker for the era.

The British have taken to calling the period between 2001-2010 as the “Noughties” as a play on zero as well as an implication of naughtiness. It’s a clever label but gives a bit of a false flag.  Sure there were celebutards like Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohen but these are media grotesqueries that do not represent the age.

 The spurt of “naughty” pols in America, like Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL 16th ), Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY 29th ) Rep. James Traficant (D-OH 17th ), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH 18th), Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA 2nd), Rep. "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA 50th),  Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY 15th), Sen. John Edwards (D-NC),  and Governor Elliot Spitzer (D-NY), are more individual aberrations whose misdeeds are quickly relegated to the corner of one’s mind.  In fact, a year and a half after resigning in disgrace due to the Empire Club prostitution scandal, Elliot Spitzer has his own prime time show on CNN.  Arguably, Julian Assange might bespeak of the “Noughties” but I believe that for him the medium is the message.

My remembrance of things past is jaundiced by September 11th 2001, which marked the end to ignoring Islamo-fascist aggression against the West.  It was a time which governmental nudging and bureaucratic bloat led to an overreach which spawned a genuine grassroots resistance (known as the Tea Party) to a Leviathan government.  It is an era in which technology became infused in nearly ever portion of our lives.

With that in mind, I propose calling the last decade A.D. 2K.0.  It honors the new millennium but suggests a starting over.  It retains the Western heritage but displays a detachment to religion.  It really captures the digital age in which we have lived.  It also echos the second wave of the internet where we are contributing and not just reading what is there.

Although I think that A.D. 2K.0 captures the Zeitgeist, I appreciate that the moniker may be too precious or not age well.  So I’m open for suggestions.  But we had better come up with something quickly before the Lamestream Media inculcates their chosen label.