Thursday, October 25, 2012

"B**ls**:T" America, I Shrunk the Presidency.

Remember the movie, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?”

We are now witnessing “America: I Shrunk the Presidency,” brought to us by the President of the United States.

It began when he went on his world apology tour, admitting to America’s misunderstandings, mistakes and miscommunications. He never actually used the word “apology,” but he conveyed the message.

He also bowed to foreign potentates, an act previous presidents did not do.

Let’s skip to the present.

The President’s Campaign has spent half a billion dollars trashing Governor Obama the past six months. The decision was made to savage the Governor rather than campaign on the President’s accomplishments. Ignore the economy, ignore TARP, ignore the Stimulus Bill. The economy is an albatross hanging over the President.

The problem is that the President personally, and incessantly, engaged in the Trash Romney Crusade, often exhibiting a malicious delight in attacking the Governor. He smirks at his own humor, all the while diminishing the Presidency.

He's losing the gender gap in the process.

The tradition is that the Vice President and surrogates are the heavy hitters, taking the low road while the President takes the high road. The purpose is to maintain the dignity and stature of the Presidency. The lower the President sinks, the lower the Presidency.

The Presidency has shrunk this past year as the President has been engaged in full time campaigning and part time presidency. He has not been executing the responsibilities he was elected to four years ago. He has not even listened to the daily security briefings, preferring to show up on The View.

Forget press conferences – do Jay Leno, David Letterman, John Stewart or Jimmy Kimmel. This campaign tour may help his reelection campaign but does diminishes the Presidency.

These are some of his campaign themes the past half year:


      Bain Capital


      Big Bird


      Free contraceptives



      Romney’s tax returns

      Tax the 1%

       War on Women

He just hit a new low though. A Rolling Stone Magazine interview with the President will come out tomorrow, but is currently available online. Eric Bates, Executive Editor of Rolling Stone, said to the President near the end of the interview that he had asked his six year old daughter if she had anything to say to the President. She responded “Tell him, you can do it.”

That’s a nice touching story.

President Obama’s reply was “You know. Children have good instincts. They look at the other guy and say ‘That’s a bullshiter. I can tell.”

So why the obscenity when talking about young children? He’s desperate and sees his reelection headed south – “DDT,” as we called it in high school – Down Da Tube.

He knows he losing. Even worse, he knows he blew it in the first debate, and even if he won the next two on points, he realizes he lost those by not winning. President Obama deep down recognizes he’s losing because of himself. That is an unacceptable reality for one as narcissistic as President Obama. He is becoming increasingly sarcastic and snarly. Sarcasm is an escape mechanism.

The President is also projecting.

The challenger looks like a confident, successful incumbent president, while the incumbent comes across as a beaten down contender.

We expect leadership from the President, - not a shrinking president.

Four years of “Hope and Change” have now become Bullshit. How low can it go?

Monday, October 22, 2012

All the News We've Missed

The New York Times prides itself on "All the News That Fits." Why not look at all the news we’ve missed during the election cycle. Political news will be kept to a minimum, as we peruse the human interest stories of the world.

Big Tex burned down, Big Bird was singed, and Banana Boat Sunscreen is combustible.

Eva Longoria proved she is a twit.

Tom Hanks dropped the f-bomb on Good Morning America.

Sylvia Kristel (Emmanuelle) died at 60, joining Linda Lovelace of Deep Throat, Maria Schneider of The Last Tango in Paris, and Marilyn Chambers, otherwise the pure Proctor & Gamble Ivory Snow Girl, of Behind the Green Door fame in porn heaven, having taught sex education to at least one generation of young men.

Hulk Hogan stars, if that's the right word, in a leaked sex tape.

Paul McCartney said Yoko Ono was not responsible for the Beatles breakup.

Texas cheerleaders at Kountze High School, at least for now, get to display Christian religious messages on their banners.

The voters of the financially strapped city of Arcata, California are pondering Measure I, an excessive electricity use tax on electric bills 600% of the baseline to tax the Grow it at Home crowd in the Emerald Triangle. 600 homes currently qualify for the tax, which is estimated to raise $1.2 million annually.

The best selling automobile in California is the Toyota Prius.

Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC, the manufacturer of the famous, iconic black London taxi cab, entered insolvency and may have to liquidate.

Seth MacFarlane will host the Oscars.

J. K. Rowling has published an adult novel, A Casual Vacancy

Newsweek is shutting down.

The Vice Presidential candidates held a debate.

57 year old incumbent Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman physically attacked the smaller 71 year old incumbent Democratic Congressman Howard Berman in their debate caused by reapportionment.

Tim Tebow is trying to trademark “Tebowing.”

The San Francisco Giants defeated the DetroitTigers in the little watched World Series.

Felix Baumgartner successfully skydived from 24 miles up at speeds that reached 833.9mph, breaking the sound barrier. He was sponsored by Red Bull.

Sean McMinn of the student newspaper at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo sought a one page email from the Chancellor’s office in Long Beach. The email on university letterhead reminded college officials of their legal responsibilities regarding the tax referendums on the November ballot. The Chancellor’s office said it would email the email to Sean, but only if he paid twenty cents in advance by check.

Cooper Barton, 5 years old, eagerly attended kindergartner in Oklahoma City when the school principal made him turn his shirt inside out.  He was wearing a maize and blue University of Michigan shirt with “The Big House” on the front. The school said he violated the city’s ban on any sports apparel not supportive of the state’s college teams. The University of Michigan flew Scott and his family to The Big House for a football game.

And then we have Anatoliy N. Baranovich, who proved you should not fly after a 50 day bender. His plane was landing when he awoke, screaming the wing was on fire and scraping the ground. As the plane touched ground, he attempted to escape out the emergency door. The inflatable slide engaged, damaging the Delta 757.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do You Suffer From Romnesia?

Do You Suffer From Romnesia?

President Obama has introduced us to a new word, Romnesia. He might get a second Nobel Prize, this time in medicine, for discovering a new malady, suffered only by politicians. The President also provided a cure. Since it is a preexisting condition, ObamaCare would cover it.

Romnesia is a selective form of amnesia whereby a politician running for President forgets his earlier position on a subject and now claims the opposite.  For those of us who are not as erudite as the President, the vernacular is “flip flop.”

Actually the word is “plagiarizer,” as in Vice President Biden was a serial plagiarizer. The origin of the word “Romnesia” is not from the Obama Administration or Obama Campaign. Neither Robert Gibbs nor Jay Carney could have coined it. Stephanie Cutter might have, but it actually goes back to an article, "A Case of Romnesia,” by David Corn in the June issue of Mother Jones Magazine.

Romnesia would be the President in January 2009 who said “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones” of his administration, but that does not apply in 2012 to Fast and Furious or Benghazi.

He campaigned on “If you choose change, you will have a nominee who doesn’t take a dime from Washington lobbyists and PACs.” Lobbyists started lining up after his inauguration and he supports PAC money thus year.  

An example of Romnesia would be the candidate who said on August 8, 2008 in an interview with the Reverend Rick Warren of Saddleback Church “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” but now supports gay marriage. That would be President Obama.

Let us not forget that Senator Obama in a South Carolina primary debate with Senator Clinton opposed the individual mandate in health insurance. His campaign even ran TV ads against her: “Hillary Clinton’s attacking, but what she’s not telling you about her health care plan is it forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don’t.”

Another example would be the 2008 candidate who said a comprehensive immigration reform bill was one of his highest priorities and that he would introduce a bill into Congress before the end of his first year in office. President Obama has yet to introduce that bill after 4 years in office.

Remember President Obama’s harsh rhetoric against the Bush Tax Cuts? He was vehement four years ago, but signed a two year extension after the November 2010 midterm elections. He’s opposed to them again.

Do you suffer from Romnesia?

President Obama has an acute case of it.

The cure is not ObamaCare, but November 6.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Big Tex or Newsweek? Which is the Biggest Loss?

Big Tex or Newsweek? Which is the Biggest Loss?

Newsweek Shutting Down or Big Tex Burning?: Which is More Significant? Which will society miss the most?

Should we reverse the decline and fall of print media?

The 80 year old Newsweek announced yesterday it could no longer survive as a weekly print magazine, and hence migrating to the internet, following U. S. News & World Reports’ lead of a year ago.

The Washington Post sold Newsweek in April 2010 to Sidney Harman, the audio magnate for $1. The magazine was reportedly losing $25 million annually at that time. Sidney died a year after acquiring Newsweek, and his family cut off the magazine. It’s current losses are up to $40 million.

The last print issue will be December 31, an appropriate time to sing Auld Lang Syne.

The market, in the form of subscribers and advertisers, abandoned Newsweek. A shallow news weekly, which has alienated half the market, cannot compete against the instantaneous news available online and through the cable news channels, or the targeted advertising of the web.

Perhaps if Newsweek finds a niche it might survive.

U.S. News is earning a profit, mostly because of its profitable college and graduate school publications. It has found a niche to survive.

Newsweek chose the wrong niche.

The niche that Newsweek staked out the past four years under two editors was to be the biggest media shill for President Obama with scores of Obama covers. I blogged on July 31, 2012 “Newsweek’s Last Hurrah: The Romney Wimp Issue” that Newsweek was on its last legs and that the August 5 cover story calling Governor Romney a wimp was not going to save it.

Newsweek went against the grain, its grain, on August 19 with an anti-Obama Cover by Niall Ferguson calling for the President ”To hit the road.” It generated commentary, but the last gasp didn’t generate cash. It’s back to pro-Obama.

The new digital magazine  will be directed at a "highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context." That may not be a distinctive niche.

The print Newsweek will not be missed. We will wait to see if the internet Newsweek survives.

Big Tex has greeted patrons of the Texas Sate Fair for 60 years. Big Tex is not the Walmart greeter. Everything is big in Texas, even the fire that consumed Big Tex today. Big Tex was reduced to his skeletal remains, hands, and a belt buckle in ten minutes.

Park patrons were traumatized; they lost a member of the family, the biggest member of the family.

Words alone cannot describe Big Tex. Seeing is believing, and a hearty “Hoooowdddde Fooolllllks” greeting through Big Tex’ Big Mouth hits us with stark reality; Texas thinks big. Big Tex was 52’ tall, that’s 52 feet, not 52 inches, wore Size 70 boots and a 75 gallon hat.

The dispatcher’s comment to firefighters was we “got a rather tall cowboy with all the clothes burned off.”

Big Tex is deep down a man of steel.

Big Tex can, and will, be rebuilt. Newsweek cannot be revived. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Three Debates and the Al Smith Dinner Down; One Debate To Go

We’ve witnessed three debates. Governor Romney clearly won the first, Vice President Biden may or may not have prevailed in the second, and President Obama may have both won and lost the third.

Governor Romney won all three. After 8 months of steady trashing by a President who cannot or will not lay out a vision for a second term, Governor Romney pulled a Governor Reagan.

President Carter tried to do to Reagan what Obama is attempting to do to Romney. They painted the Republicans as extremists.

Both Governors Reagan and Romney starred in the debates before America. They showed they were a viable alternative to an incompetent President and a tired administration, indeed a failed Presidency. The governors showed the American people they were not ogres, racists, sexists, skinflints, caricatures, or cretins.

They were decent human beings who presented a positive vision for America, a vision of “Hope and change” if you will. They  were articulate proponents of their vision of America.

President Obama may or may not have won Tuesday’s debate on points, but Governor Romney appeared presidential, confident, strong, assertive, and in control. The Governor offered leadership to a country sorely in need of it.

President Obama offered more of the same “I’m not Romney.” He couldn’t even say “Stay the course” – that was President Reagan’s theme. We don’t even hear “Forward” any more.

His only vision for the future was to offer green energy to transform America. That did not answer the question asked about lowering gas prices today. His vision is a utopian green nation. The history of American utopians is one of consistent failures.

The Governor missed the knockout blow that would be he 15 second soundbite for the remainder of th campaign. He was building up like a competent trial lawyer in cross examination. Having got the President to admit that in his Tuesday Rose Garden presentation he said the Benghazi attack was an act of terror, then the next question would have been: "If he stated on Tuesday the killings were an act of terror, then why did you send your Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, out on Saturday to say on five different shows that it was note an act of terror but rather a reaction to a movie trailer on YouTube?"

The critical fact for me in the debates is that Governor Romney has grown as a campaigner. I saw him 4 years ago at a campaign speech at Chapman University during the Republican primaries. I was unimpressed by the Governor as a campaigner. He lacked an ability to connect with the people. I said to my wife and others that the Governor “looked like a preppy, walked like a preppy, and talked like a preppy.”

We now see a poised candidate. He may not be a “hail fellow well met,” and will not be a President Obama in delivering a speech, but he’s competent. He will be a worthy representative of America.

Did you catch his proposal for exempting dividends and interest from income taxes for those earning less than $250,000?

Even more surprising was his presence earlier tonight at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City, a fundraiser for Catholic Charities.

Check out his presentation as well as President Obama’s. The remarks are usually a combination of self-deprecating remarks and gentle barbs directed at the opposing candidate. Governor Romney surprisingly displayed an excellent sense of comedic timing and spacing.

The Mitt Man can do standup.

Let’s skip Monday’s foreign policy debate. It probably won’t change anything.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 99 Cent Store Slumming of Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills represents the pinnacle of Hollywood luxury. Forget Malibu, Brentwood, Holmby Hills and Bel Air; we all know of Beverly Hills. Such is the cachet of Beverly Hills that buyers will pay a premium for a house just outside of Beverly Hills as long as it has the magical Beverly Hills zip code 90210.

We all wish we could shop on Rodeo Drive. Jut walking along Rodeo drive causes nose bleeds.

Maybe we will be able to shop on Rodeo Drive shortly without tapping out the home equity.

Beverly Hill is going downhill. The decline began when the Beverly Hillbillies moved in. Troop Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Beverly Hills Ninja didn’t help.

Down and Out in Beverly Hills and the Slums of Beverly Hills convey the wrong image of the city.

Beverly Hills Cops, as portrayed thrice by Eddie Murphy, were unable to arrest Pretty Woman, a high class prostitute, or a modern Cinderella or Pygmalion, who hung out at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Then we have The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, aka the Really Desperate Attention Seeking Housewives of Beverly Hills, vying with the Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The tales of the Beverly Hills Housewives are much more gripping, literally and figuratively, than their counterparts in Orange County, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, and D.C.

In real time the Menendez Brothers killed their parents and then sought mercy by claiming to be orphans. Bugsy Siegel, the founder of modern Las Vegas, was murdered in Beverly Hills.

The city of 34,109 sits above the Beverly Hills Oil Field, but allows only one oil well within the confines of the city, which is on the site of the Beverly Hills High School, alma mater of the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The well is accused of poisoning the faculty, staff, and students at the high school. Check out Joy Horowitz’ descriptive book Parts Per Million: The Poisoning of Beverly Hills High School (2007).

Erin Brockovich was the lead in bringing a lawsuit by the victims against the school district. The plaintiffs did not experience a Hollywood ending. They lost.

Fortunately for the image of Beverly Hills High School, Monica Lewinsky transferred out.

Beverly Hills has survived all such challenges to date to its image, but the real test has arrived. This one cannot be laughed off.

One of the nation’s most successful retailers is eyeing Beverly Hills for expansion. It’s willing to pay the $500/square foot asking price on Rodeo Drive.

It’s not Apple, Target, WalMart, Costco, or Nordstrom’s. there's no need for a Home depot or Loew's in Beverly Hills.

The Beverly Hills retailing wannabe is a cheapie. No Haute Couture for this store. No pretentiousness; no ambience, no glitter no marble. Maybe some bling though.

The 99 Cent Stores is seeking a site on Rodeo Drive.  Its existing store on the outskirts of Beverly Hills grosses $12 million annually. That’s amazing since everything in the store is priced at 99 cents.

We may be able to shop on Rodeo drive. So could the maids who work in the city, not to mention the homeless who campout nearby. Stroll Beverly Hills. Walk past Armani, Barneys New York, Brooks Brothers, Bulgari, Cartier, Coach, Dior, Gearys, Gucci, Harry Winston, Lacoste, Lalique, Llado, Neiman Marcus, Niketown, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany, Valentino, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, and Rolls Royce, and drop into the 99 Cent Store with the two red 9's. 

The 1%, who reside in Beverly Hills, will experience reality.

If the 99 Cent Store comes to pass, we may witness the slumming of Beverly Hills.