Tuesday, February 24, 2009

President Obama Addresses Congress/Nation, Governor Bobby Jindal Flops Rebuttal, And Analysis With The Best Political Team On Televison

Yo peoples. Woo! Are you pumped after President Obama's first ever (Non) State of the Union Address? What a difference a year makes, huh? I kept waiting for the freaky part where he promises to protect us from human-animal hybrids or some other bizarreness, but it just never came. Change is here. Anyhoo, I'm pretty tired, so I think I'm going to go about this thang in the easiest way I know how. That's right, you know 'em, you love 'em, the bullet points are back:
  • Obama's speech was good. Optimistic, but not delusional. Verbal bullet points gave it some meat. Four years of this? Yes, please.
  • I wonder how many calories the Congresscritters burn off with all their many standing ovations. You'd think there'd be some kind of rule to keep things moving, but I guess not.
  • I am lucky enough to have one of the most technology savvy senators out there. Claire McCaskill tweeted from the hall. Later in the coverage, Dana Bash brought up Twitter and seemed a little comfuzzled on the explainer. I almost expected her to use the word, "newfangled."
  • I think my favorite line might have been what Obama said regarding dropping out of high school: "It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country." Not exactly, "ask not what your country can do for you...," but it evoked similar sentiments for me.
  • I had to laugh at all the giddy autograph seekers. Suddenly Congress turns into an *NSYNC concert. (Yes, I know, I need to update my references by about a decade. Who would it be now, the Jonas Brothers?)
  • Even the people who were just greeting our prez all made sure to touch his back or shoulder or something--like the awesomeness was going to rub off.
  • Following the speech, we immediately picked up with The Best Political Team on Television (TBPTOT) who couldn't wait to ponder whether or not Obama was promising too much. Oh good lord. Yesterday he was too mopey and now he's being overly optimistic. I love my CNN peeps, but I gotta say, you guys are insufferable sometimes. (Though I did chuckle when Anderson dryly noted that Obama had also talked about curing cancer.)
  • Mad props to our anchor for his 50 Cent analogy. I have to admit, when I heard him start to go for it, I was all, "Hold on there, (really) white boy. Do not attempt." So, color me surprised at the mastery. Anderson Cooper, laying down the street cred. Who knew?
  • Poor Bobby Jindal. That did not go well. A lot of people thought he was pulling a rather excellent Mister Rogers, but I'm totally going with Kenneth the Page from "30 Rock."
  • Before Jindal's speech I was listening to David Gergen talk about how this could be the governor's big break and I thought our Gerg had gone crazy. First of all, most people probably turned the TV off or switched channels before Jindal even came on, and the rest of them were probably like, "who's this guy?" C'mon, how are you supposed to make a good impression following Barack Obama, when all you have is a standard speech and a boring camera set-up? These rebuttals are destined for failure.
  • I liked Tom Foreman's fact-check. It was refreshing that he was up front about the fact that Obama gave a truthful speech, so he was just going to mention some nit-picky stuff (though that wasn't his phrase). I actually don't mind them nitpicking as long as it's all put in proper perspective. It's the fake balance that I loath. If Obama's oopsie about cars had been treated with the same kind of weight as, say, Palin's bridge to nowhere lies, I would have been ticked. It's all about perspective, which is something that is unfortunately often in short supply on cable news.
  • Anderson's bemusement over Congress peeps waiting all day for aisle seats cracked me up. "Don't they have anything better to do?" Apparently, they do not. But going back to Anderson, I'm a little confused about his shock because, uh, Congress does that every year. Unless there's been some sort of amnesiac incident I don't know about, I'm thinking he knows that.
  • I almost fell out of my chair when we were introduced to Joseph Stiglitz and Stephen Moore. Zoh mah God, economists! Inviting on economists to talk about the economy? What a novel idea (and about damn time).
  • Man, as pleased as I am, I could have done without the talking-point spouting winger. Yeah, Stephen, there's a silent majority. They just inexplicably haven't participated in any polls. And I love that Anderson had to correct him that no, he didn't call Obama the Madonna of the Democratic Party, but rather simply noted Congress was acting like they were waiting for Madonna tickets or something. Very different. A Wall Street Journal editorialist massively misquoting? No!
  • Argh, Anderson got a bit interrupty with the non winger economist and threw him off a train of thought I wanted to hear. Oh Silver Fox, you're lucky you're so cute.
  • Finally, CNN and Facebook apparently hooked up tonight or something, but I did not participate because I'm still resisting peer pressure to join Facebook. I'm pretty close to caving though. Anyway, Anderson blogged and wanted us to ask questions to be posed to Facebook users about the speech. Okay 1) I love how about half of the comments were questions to Obama (reading comprehension, people!) and 2) so, basically they were asking us to come up with questions to ask ourselves. Way to outsource. I guess if they have more events like that we'll know it was a success. That'll do it.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

Thanks for summing up what the TBPTOT said. You watched so I didn't have to. I really have no patience with slicing and dicing by pundits who tell us how to interpret what we heard for ourselves. I don't understand Twitter, it's "newfangled" to me. For the first time in years, I actually sat through a whole State of the Union address. It's like someone noted at a blog, Obama talked as though we were adults plus his pace was with an understanding that you should be able to keep up with him. Before the speech, the people sure were all over him, I saw one woman actually rubbing his back. Oh, Jindal don't read any newspapers for a few days or watch TV. David Brooks among others panned the rebuttal, it certainly didn't do the R party any favors. Anne D.

3:31 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne: Yeah, I'm not big on being told what I just saw either. One of the best things to happen to politics is the snap polls that allow the public to weigh in immediately following a debate, thus prohibiting the pundits from influencing perception.

I love Twitter. I don't tweet that much myself, but it's fun and interesting to follow all the news and political people. Plus, you come across a lot of great links and information.

I saw the back rubber too! OMG, that was a little much. I like the guy as much as the next person, but oh my.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justice For The Clarence Center 50 – FIRE FAA’s Lynne Osmus and Hank Krakowski
Photos and biographies of the aircrash victims, links, and the full text of this message, can be found at:

America continues to learn that the victims of the Clarence Center aviation disaster were great people.

But one example:
The late “Dawn Monachino of Clarence typically drove 10 hours round-trip to Pennsylvania, every two weeks, to be with her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease”.

Dawn was a hero. So were her fellow passengers. They died to make our air travel safer. But they should not have been taken from us.

Quiet Rockland extends thoughts, sympathies, and prayers to families and friends of the victims of the horrible airplane crash which occurred near Buffalo, New York in the nearby hamlet of Clarence Center, Continental (Connections) Flight #3407, on Friday, February 13, 2009. The crash of Flight #3407 was but part of the legacy of harmful malfeasance rendered to us by now-exited failed Acting FAA Administrator Robert Allan (“Bobby”) Sturgell, now-exited failed FAA “Safety Officer” Nicholas Sabatini - and still-in-office FAA COO Hank Krakowski and Acting FAA Administrator Lynne A. (Dobler) Osmus.

The victims of the Flight #3407 crash were kind and decent people, with hopes and dreams. None of them deserved to die at the hands of malicious bureaucrats. We again call upon the President, USDOT Secretary LaHood, and Congress, to immediately remove Lynne Osmus and Hank Krakowski from FAA and from all other government work, permanently. We again call upon President, USDOT Secretary LaHood, and Congress, to now give FAA the top-to-bottom clean-out of other FAA personnel recommended by Congressman Oberstar last year, before Flight #3407 ever happened. If the clean-out of FAA had happened already, the crash of Flight #3407 may not have happened. Finally, we want a Congressional investigation into the circumstances of the timing of the hasty departure announcement by NTSB Member Steven R. Chealander, which announcement occurred but a week after he commenced work on the February 13 Flight #3407 crash. We want answers. We want justice. We want a new FAA.

Photos and biographies of the Clarence Center crash victims, and the full text of this message, can be found at:

7:32 PM  

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