November 11, 2008 question

Just saw Greta VanWhatserface interview Sarah Palin and was a little disgusted to see over 5 minutes spent on clothes. Then the next 5 minutes were spent on her knowledge of 5th grade Social Studies. It seemed incredibly ironic to me that a journalist for Fox News–or anyone in cable news for that matter– would be questioning Sarah Palin about why ridiculous stories become overblown in the media as a gigantic BREAKING NEWS: GOV PALIN SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT graphic gets plastered on the screen. Gee, I don’t know, why has the media become so sensationalist? Tune in for our exclusive, life-or-death, no-holds-barred investigative report uncovering the most shocking details in this devastatingly destructive trend in popular culture–DON’T GO AWAY!!!

So I propose a boycott of all electronic news outlets. Read your newspaper in the morning, throw it away, and get on with your day. Who’s with me?!? No one? Okay. Here’s today’s question:

What spelling of today’s holiday is correct and officially recognized by the U.S. government:

A) Veteran’s Day
B) Veterans’ Day
C) Veterans Day
D) None of the Above
E) All of the Above

Oh, and I mustn’t forget Thursday’s champ, Karen M (the M stands for Massachusetts) for knowing the commonwealth’s first governor was John Hancock (I would have also accepted Herbie Hancock). Woo hoo to you!

We the Peephole

This is unacceptable. It’s a Yahoo! news story that paints a bleak picture of the next four years, a picture that does not include laughing at the president.

First, let me acknowledge that the title of this blog has almost nothing to do with anything. I just thought it was funny. In its unrelatedness, however, it makes my point perfectly. Comedy does not have to be just a caricature of the obvious perceptions of the masses, which is what SNL and most late night monologues has become. W sounds dumb in his press conferences, so let’s make him super dumb. Bill Clinton is a letch, let’s make him Hugh Hefner. Jesse Jackson waxes poetic, let’s turn him into Dr. Seuss. This is what most modern political satire has become, with the Daily Show and the Colbert Report the exceptions. Those shows make fun of the situation, the media, the politicians, the country, the world, and without just inflating the obvious weaknesses of the famou–granted, they do inflate the obvious weaknesses of the famous, but they do it well.
There is plenty to make fun of about Obama being president. I’d love to see a sketch about Obama’s first press conference as president in which he requires the press corps to conclude their questions with “Amen” in order for him to answer. I’d love to see a comedian do a whole monologue in praise of Obama . . . no jokes, no punchlines, no innuendos. Nothing. And that’s the joke. I’d love to see someone dressed as Obama do this . . . 

No more laughs at the White House? May it never be.

Quick Questions

Do you think it’s ironic that the church wants our government to be small when it comes to our money but big when it comes to enforcing our beliefs?

Is it hypocritical that we vote based on values but spend our money based on value?
Do we really think the only place the Spirit can move in this country is in a voting booth? 
Why do we depend on the law instead of the Spirit?
Why do we spend so much time arguing and so little time helping?
Why do we get irate instead of getting involved?
Does the separation of church and state prevent our faith from leaving the building?
If you only love people who agree with you, do you really love anyone but yourself?
Is it logically possible to correct arrogance in anyone other than yourself?
If the climactic event in all of Christian history culminated in the death of the Son of God, why do His followers still have such a problem with defeat?

November 6, 2008 question

MSNBC has yet to declare a winner in North Carolina in the presidential race. Obama leads by a mere 14,053 votes, with all precincts reporting. That’s only a 0.3% edge, and since the ballots are being counted by Doug the dyslexic Democrat and Rita the rolling-eyed Republican, a final verdict isn’t expected anytime soon. Over at CNN, by the way, the juries are still out in Missouri as well . . . Show Me my eye.

Anyway, the only person who knew was Heather M (the M stands for Maybe It Helped That I Live In North Carolina, Maybe It Didn’t). Congrats!

Now I’ll just get to the question. Here you go:

Who was the first governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

November 5, 2008 question

Last night, we witnessed the beginning of a new era, something I never thought would be possible in my lifetime. Last night was a landmark, a watershed, a milestone . . . I can’t find the words.

Last night our country rose up as one and decided that we were no longer going to accept the mistakes of our past as the inevitability of our future. Last night we spoke in one voice, “Never again will we bow to at the altar of pretense and mindless tradition.” Last night, America spoke, and the verdict rang loud and clear as the Liberty Bell . . . before it cracked. Last night we declared, perhaps for the first time, as the United States of America:

We will not use the words “an historic” ever again. Yes, that’s right. Tears were rolling down my eyes as I heard commentator after commentator, pundit after pundit, leader after leader loudly and proudly saying phrases like, “a historic moment,” “a historic achievement,” and “a historic event” again and again. The most pretentious, inexplicable little n in all of English usage has fallen off the map for good. I believe that America has decided it is time for change. Our united voice has said with unprecedented clarity that “an historic” is a stupid, stupid phrase.

It is a historic moment in the world of grammar, and I, for one, am overcome with joy. But let us remain vigilant. If you hear someone saying the “an” word in what should be a historic context, don’t let their articlely incorrect speech go unchecked. Pounce. Lash out. Glare. Glower. Tsk. Tell them, “It’s a new day, buster. We say, ‘a historic,’ now!” Then turn on your heel and march off in a grammatically superior huff.

Oh, and yesterday, the answer was Obama. Don’t worry, I checked Google before I asked the question. Today, there are about 50 million additional Obama results, but it was Obama in a landslide yesterday morning anyway. Here’s who knew (or defied the urge to suspect me of tricking them):

Steve T (the T stands for Tsk)
Paul C (the C stands for Change We Can Spell)

As for today’s question, here it is:

According to MSNBC dot com (as of 9:30 am, ET), what is the only state yet to be declared for either candidate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election?

November 4, 2008 question

I voted. Our polling place uses scan-tron forms. There was a line of about 100 or so people. They had three polling booths set up in the Liberty Township Firehouse where I voted. Three polling booths. Two fire trucks. And a partridge in a pear tree.

I do believe America needs a change, and I have no doubts that change is coming this evening. That change, of course, is the fact that the negative campaign ads will stop airing. For now, at least. It’s been hard to get through a commercial break without the feeling that America, my state, and my locality are all doomed. Thank heaven for DVR. And now, today’s question:

Which name yields more Google results: Obama or McCain?

Yes, that’s right, it’s a Google search election. Oh, and may I not forget last week’s answer! The Dunkin’ Donut with the least fat is Gingerbread, and only Karen H (the H stands for How Could Something So Delicious Have Only 4 Grams Of Fat?) knew the answer. Congratulations, you’re the First Lady of low-fat donuts!

The W Years

For the past 7 years, I have felt 9-11 was like a really bad case of abuse on a national scale. I don’t think America really knew how to handle it. How could we? It seemed to change everything, but nothing anyone did in response really seemed to change anything. We went through all the stages of grief, except instead of acceptance we bought a lot of flags, started singing “God Bless America,” watched the Taliban get pummeled, and then we sort of moved on.

At the time, I thought Bush’s presidency was ruined. What could he have done? After the invasion of Iraq and the troubles that eventually spread throughout it all, the missing Weapons of Mass Destruction . . . I just thought, Bush can’t win. I didn’t hate him as a president, I just thought he inherited an impossible situation. But he did win. The Democrats’ best option was that bad. If I’m not mistaken (which would be shocking) I think Bush’s take in the election was higher than his approval rating. That is to say, he got 51% of the vote while only 42% of America approved of his performance as president. I guessed on those numbers, but I don’t think either of them are far off. Yikes.
In the second W term, the W stood for Waiting. We were just waiting for the next batch of candidates. I think the whole world was waiting. I think Osama bin Laden has been in a cave somewhere just scratching his head and saying, “Man, I can’t believe he’s still president. I’m out of ideas.” A quarter of America still approves of how he’s doing . . . but that’s not good. It’s twice as good as Congress’s approval rating (12% last I checked). 
It leads me to believe that America is just fed up with the whole government. We want to start over. We want to see a president on TV that doesn’t remind us of 9/11. We are desperate for a fresh start. We want a guy who, policy be damned, commands respect, inspires hope, and unites like-spirited Americans who are anything but like-minded. I say “we” knowing there are a great deal of people who wouldn’t agree with these statements. But I speak for them nonetheless, because . . . it’s my blog.
But I’m focusing now on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. I recently came to the conclusion that, disappointed as 75% of America is in Dubya, had we known in November of 2000 that within the year, America would suffer a major terrorist attack on our own soil, the majority of America (myself included) would have wanted the Texan and the Evil Genius at the helm. I refuse to call George W. Bush the worst president of all time or even include him in the argument, because in the 8 years since I first voted for him, he has carried us past a great tragedy. 
Call the Taliban a scapegoat. Call Osama bin Laden our common enemy. Call Iraq the country we had no business attacking. But I think George W. Bush was the one America has blamed the most. I truly believe that all the negative trends in America, all the major sources of dissatisfaction in the American public, have some roots in 9-11. After 9-11, everybody said, “We will never forget,” but most everybody did. I think the negative effects of that tragedy linger on oppresively, but we thought Bush would have done something about them by now. We don’t associate our country’s problems with the numbers 9 and 11 anymore, we associate them with the letter W. 
(What did 9-11 have to do with Katrina, you ask? I think the Bush administration has been completely disorganized from September 2001 on. I think on some level, a culture of hopelessness and purposelessness overtook the federal government. A better leader would have done a better job, but no qualified applicants stepped forward for the job in 2004 because 9-11 was still only 3 years in the past and frankly, the Oval Office was damaged goods in the eyes of most people capable of leading this country. So they Waited, with a capital W.)
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe W would have stunk even without 9-11. Maybe our country would have recovered if anyone else had been in office. But I respect George W. Bush because he took it. He ran again for president when being president had proven to be a crappy job. He served his country, which is more than I can say for myself. And quite honestly, I can’t wait to read his memoirs.