Friday, January 24, 2014

Call of Dooty

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Yes, our old flea-infested self-described "mutt" Bark Obama is back...and therein hangs a tail (see what I did there?). So bear with me - today I'm going to ramble a bit, but I also have a point.

For those of you who follow Hope n' Change closely of your own volition (as opposed to our nation's security agencies, who read this as part of their job duties) you'll know that in early November of last year, the Jarlsberg family sadly lost our much-beloved dog Maggie (and you're damn right her name was a tip of the hat to Lady Thatcher). It hurt a lot. Still does, for that matter.

The last time this happened, we went years without getting another dog. Mind you, Mrs. Jarlsberg and Daughter Jarlsberg were ready...but I dragged my feet, afraid to get hurt again. And in the end, Maggie (an undernourished stray, heavy with child and not having easy access to Planned Puppinghood) wandered into our lives and adopted us. All of her ten pups went to good homes, and Maggie became a vital part of our family - and a huge comfort and calming presence when life and politics felt overwhelming.

I could easily drag my feet for years once again - except for the fact that I know in my heart that those dogless years were a mistake and an act of emotional cowardice. Which is why on Monday, my family went to a shelter and selected a new pup with whom to share our home and lives. Not to replace Maggie, but to become a new furry family member.

And frankly, I'm scared about it. Scared of getting hurt again, scared of the work and sleepless nights it will take to raise a pup (even with huge help from the whole family), scared of doing it wrong, and scared of the deep emotions that I've been suppressing and must now confront.

BUT (weren't you really hoping that I'd stop whining like a liberal about now?) I'm moving ahead with it all because I want change...and I have hope that we can make things work.

Oh yeah! Hope and Change.

And it occurred to me today that there's a parallel between my personal situation and the broader political picture. A parallel which is undeniably clear if, and I can't recommend this highly enough, you're drinking.

And this is it: I really want Change for the better...and I have Hope that I will have the strength, the endurance, and the responsibility to make it happen.

But that's not the same kind of Hope and Change that Barack Obama sold America (twice, God help us). He pushed Change that, realistically, couldn't happen - and that he had no intention of making happen. And he pushed Hope that really amounted to blind faith...with no work or commitment on a personal level required from the voters.  They wanted it all free - and that's exactly what the Kenyan Lion Dog promised them.

And here's an additional thought which occurred to me. I'm currently reading scads of puppy training manuals, emphasizing the ways you encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior. And guess what? The American press and electorate have done everything wrong when it came to training president Bark Obama before giving him free run of the White House.

There must be rules, and they must be consistently and immediately enforced. Good behavior needs to be rewarded, and bad behavior needs to see those rewards withdrawn. Otherwise, as years go by, you end up with horrible behavioral problems...

Peeing all over everything, destroying precious heirlooms, pooping in inappropriate places, tearing things to pieces just for the fun of it, begging and always wanting more more more, and totally inappropriate licking and humping.

I'm referring, of course, to Barack Hussein Obama. 

But I'm pretty sure that without guidance and discipline, these things could happen to a dog, too.

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 Here she is - Miss Hope n' Change 2014!
She's 3 months old, a mix of Shepherd and fast-talking stranger, 
and she currently lacks a name. Any suggestions, folks?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Race The Facts

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In a sweeping interview with the New Yorker ("sweeping" indicating something which belongs in a dustbin), Barack Obama declared that the reason he's suffered a steep drop in popularity over the past year is...wait for it...racism!

"There's no doubt," said the twice-elected president, "that there's some folks who just really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black president." Even though, oddly, they appeared to like the idea just fine back in 2008 and 2012.

So the question is whether the electorate is growing more racist, if Obama is getting blacker, or if just maybe more Americans are growing comfortable with the idea of judging a president by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin - a concept proposed by some vicious racist whose name slips our mind at the moment.

To support his contention that only racism could account for his falling popularity, the president used the interview to claim many magnificent successes in office: creating an incredibly robust economic recovery, presiding over nearly four years of continuous job growth, creating a spike in clean energy technology, and instituting flawless, inexpensive, universal health care.

No, really!

So if you think that the economy hasn't really recovered, that 92 million Americans out of work is too many, that Solyndra was a tremendous waste of taxpayer money, or that Obamacare is simultaneously raising the cost and lowering the quality of healthcare - you're a frickin' racist! 

And if you're still harping about little things like Benghazi, Fast & Furious, IRS harassment of conservatives, the deliberate forfeiture of two wars, the destruction of our immigration policies, selective law enforcement, and the dismantling of the Constitution through illegal Executive Orders, the chances are excellent (according to the president) that you're a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan. Perhaps a Grand Dragon or Imperial Kleagle or Exalted Cyclops.

Or, God help us, a Tea Partier.

Frankly, Hope n' Change is disgusted by the president's umpteenth playing of the race card and we think we have a better explanation for his plummeting popularity numbers.

Americans aren't upset because they've suddenly realized that their president is black - they're upset because they've suddenly realized that under his leadership their future is black.

Monday, January 20, 2014

With Friends Like These...

In a speech addressing Americans' growing fears that the NSA is collecting too much information on too many people, Barack Obama stated that we really have nothing to worry about because "the folks at the NSA and other intelligence agencies are our neighbors and friends," much like the civic-minded folks who peep into women's windows at night and watch while they're changing clothes, just to make absolutely sure they're safe.

But as reassuring as it is to be reminded that the intelligence agencies are just "neighbors and friends," can't that description be made to fit, well, damn near everyone?

When John Wayne Gacy wasn't sodomizing and murdering young men while dressed as a demented clown, he was considered by many to be a good neighbor and friend.  Surely the members of Al Qaeda are someone's neighbors and friends. And charismatic Kool-aid salesman Jim Jones had scads of neighbors and friends in Jonestown.

Confusingly, when Hope n' Change thinks of our own real-life neighbors and friends, we think of quiet, hard-working, taxpaying, patriotic folks who happen to favor Tea Party conservatism. And yet these friendly, neighborly people are routinely described by this president and his party as terrorists, arsonists, racists, misogynists, and fascists.

All of which is to say that even Barack Obama doesn't believe that a group of "friends and neighbors" should be trusted without question, or that their collective actions should be free from judgement or repercussion.

Nor should their leader. Especially if he's neither friend nor neighbor.