Friday, December 25, 2009

"Walken in a Winter Wonderland"

Because it's just not Christmas without Christopher Walken...



Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers, and I'll see you again sometime next week.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Twelve


"Uh, Santa?... Santa?... Hello?... Oh, crap. Looks like I lost him, too..."

Bob & Doug McKenzie Sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Because at this point, I'm in Canada...



...and will probably have to haul all these gifts back to the States in my extra carry-on bag.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Eleven


"Ho! Ho! No! You again."

"That's right, Santa. Me again. And let me tell you something. You're whole attitude these last few days has not been helpful."

"Not 'helpful'? You think Santa Claus trying to guide you toward some kind of reasonable Christmas request is not 'helpful'?"

"You heard me. And let me tell you something else, Santa. I'm sick and tired of your fat cat ways."

"Ho! Did you just call Santa a 'fat cat'?"

"You heard me. You think I'm going to stand here while you outsource toy manufacturing to cheap Third World elvish labor instead giving those jobs to decent, hard-working, politically powerful unions here in America?"

"But Christmastime and Santa belong to all the world!"

"Don't pull that 'Post-National Citizen of the World' routine on me, old man. That's my shtick. And don't even get me started on those windfall profits you make each Christmas."

"But Christmas only comes once a year!"

"Christmas comes every single day in the Obama administration, Santa. The stimulus, the earmarks, health reform, saving money by spending even more money, haven't you been paying attention? Time to get with the program, man, and start being Saint Nicholas again instead Saint No-We-Can't-Afford-That, you dig?"

"But -- But --"

"Zip it, fat cat, and let me tell you about the new Christmas Czar..."

Mr. Smith Reacts to the Senate Health Reform Bill

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Ten


"Ho! Ho! Oh, let's just get this over with."

"Don't give up on me yet, Santa. I have a really good request this time."

"All right. What do you want for Christmas, young man?"

"Well, Santa, the estimated GDP growth for the third quarter just got revised downward for the second time. Can you believe that? Instead of the original nifty 3.5% growth rate taking us into a shiny new recovery, now we only have a 2.2% growth rate, and most of that came from my awesome Cash-for-Clunkers program. So, I was thinking, maybe you could give all the hard-working Americans a really crappy, fuel-inefficient, pollution-inducing car, which I could then buy up through an expanded Cash-for-Clunkers program to prop up those GDP numbers. Everybody wins!"

"Ho! Ho! Ho! And I suppose you want me to pay for this expanded program, too, right?"

"Actually, I thought we'd use that unspent TARP money for this instead of reducing the deficit... Hey, Santa, where are you going?... Hey, Santa!... You Secret Service guys, don't let him out!"

The Start of the 2010 Tide

I doubt it will get the same attention as Arlen Specter's switch from Republican to Democrat, but the decision by Representative Parker Griffith of Alabama to switch from Democrat to Republican has far greater implications:



I used to believe that America was strong enough to survive four years of anyone in the White House. But never in my most fevered political dreams did I imagine what I've seen over past year of one-party rule with a 60-vote majority in the Senate, all culminating in a 2,500-plus-page Senate health "reform" bill with a real 10-year cost of roughly $2.5 trillion, a mad dash to pass something (anything) "historic" by an artificial Christmas Eve deadline, and the most sickening level of outright vote-buying that I have ever seen.

Ever.

Griffith is right: We are at a cross-roads. The health "reform" bill was the final straw for him, as it will be for many, many others in this country. And I can only hope Griffith's change of party is the first sign of the change I pray, for all our sakes, that the 2010 elections will bring.

Like fiscal sanity.

If the Obama administration thought the Tea Parties and the town-hall meetings of this year were bad, they ain't seen nothing yet, and they are literally bringing it on themselves. Because they really have done something "historic" -- in less than one full year, they've managed to make the Republicans look good again.

Negative 21


Bonus taste of political things to come:

For the second straight day, the update shows the highest level of Strong Disapproval yet recorded for this President. That negative rating had never topped 42% before yesterday. However, it has risen dramatically since the Senate found 60 votes to move forward with the proposed health care reform legislation. Most voters (55%) oppose the health care legislation and senior citizens are even more likely than younger voters to dislike the plan.
Yet President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Rahm Emanuel still believe it was the failure to pass HillaryCare that cost Democrats control of Congress back in 1994. The bad ideas that made up the actual specifics of HillaryCare itself had absolutely nothing to do with it, in their minds, because voters don't really care about those things. ("Hey, look! It says Reform right on the first page!")

Talk about whistling past the political graveyard...

Monday, December 21, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Nine


"Ho! Ho! Ho! Against my better judgment, I'm going to ask you again: What would you like for Christmas, young man?"

"Well, Santa, I just read how Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said how the world just doesn't have enough money to keep buying U.S. Treasuries. That's really going to put a crimp in all this deficit spending I have planned to pay for all my awesome new government entitlement programs, like health reform. So if you could just give a whole bunch of money to the rest of the world, so that they can turn around and buy up our U.S. Treasuries to fund our awesome new deficits, that would make for a pretty awesome and fiscally heart-warming Christmas, don't you think?... Hey, Santa, where are you going?... Hey, Santa!... Santa, come back here!"

Dumbest Political Ad Since Ashton Kutcher's "I Pledge"

Remember, the youth of today are the future of tomorrow. So let's all get out there and RockTheVote! for health reform by... well...

(WARNING: Strong language, sexual situations, lame innuendo, and general idiocy ahead.)



Fortunately for these impending futures of tomorrow, Harry Reid apparently did get two smoking hot Colombian chicks to stand on either side of Senator Ben Nelson for that 60th vote, so these bright lights of political and policy promise can now go back to f***ing cougars and creepy, uncommunicative guys in lame t-shirts. Yea!

Unfortunately, I doubt using the line "Sorry, sexy older lady, but I spent all my scratch on the fine for not buying that federally-required health insurance policy I still couldn't afford" will get the cougar to pick up the check...

RELATED: I Pledge...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Eight


"Ho! Ho! Ho! For the eighth time! What would you like for Christmas, young man?"

"Well, Santa, it's better to give than to receive. So I'd like for you to give Senator Ben Nelson a special gift for being the 60th vote needed to pass Harry Reid's awesome and historic Senate health reform bill."

"Ho! Ho! Ho! Didn't you already give him the gift of all the taxpayers in the nation picking up Nebraska's tab for that Medicaid expansion, even though all the other states still get stuck paying their own share?"

"Oh, Santa! That was just part of the political pay-off to buy Senator Nelson's vote. I'm talking about a gift now. And if you give this gift to Senator Nelson, then we don't have to count it as part of the cost of the Senate bill, and we can keep on saying that health reform won't add a single penny to the deficit. Kind of like that whole 'Doctor Fix' thing."

"That's it, Barack. You're back on my Naughty List..."

Pop Quiz: The Better Christmas Edition, Part II

As symbolized by our dog, which of the following is the better Christmas?

A) Christmas 2009:


B) Christmas 2008:


(Hint: It's the year without any paint chips scraped off the wall whenever the poor girl tried to turn her head.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Seven


"Ho! Ho! Ho! We're going to keep going until you get this right, young man! Now, what can Santa bring you for Christmas this year?"

"Well, Santa, I'm tired of giving better gifts than I receive. So for Christmas this year, I'd like to get gifts that are every bit as awesome as the ones I give to everybody else."

"Ho! Ho! Ho! You got it, Mister President! Just let me give Gordon Brown back his pen holder carved from the timbers of the British ship that helped end the African slave trade, and I'll bring you a boxed set of unplayable Bonekickers DVDs in PAL format!"

"Red State Update Moves to Canada"

Just a little something to get me in the mood for where I'll be spending this holiday season!

The Editor In Me Weeps...

"U.N. Averts Climate Collapse by 'Noting' New Deal"

Friday, December 18, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Six


"Ho! Ho! Ho! Once again! What would you like for Christmas, young man?"

"Well, Santa, I'd like a climate deal in Copenhagen that dramatically cuts our output of carbon dioxide, transfers $100 billion a year from the developed to the developing world, yet doesn't cause a shaky U.S. economy to lose a single net job or raise the cost of energy one dime for our hard-working families."

"Ho! Ho! Ho! I think someone's been attending one-too-many beer summits!"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Senator Franken Gets Petty

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Five


"Ho! Ho! Ho! One more time, Mister President! What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?"

"Well, Santa, I want bring the War on Christmas to a responsible end, so a very helpful gift would be if you could get everyone to start calling it the Pan-Cultural Inclusionary Contingency Operation."

"Ho-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o, my..."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Santa Hats and PBJs


President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Four


"Ho! Ho! Ho! Let's try this again, Barack. What would you like for Christmas this year?"

"Well, Santa, I'd like for my approval ratings to stop tanking in all the polls."

"Ho! Ho! Ho! Why don't I just get you a second season of Firefly instead?"

Conan and Al Discuss the End of the Polar Ice Cap


"Thank you for having me back on the show yet again, Conan. I appreciate this chance to clarify my latest remarks at the climate summit in Copenhagen."

"That would be, and I quote, 'These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Doctor [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.'"

"That's right, Conan."

"And then Doctor Maslowski said about your comment, and I quote, 'It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at. I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

"Exactly."

"So you were wrong."

"Not in the slightest, Conan. You see, Dr. Maslowski is not really Dr. Maslowski, at least not anymore. The real Dr. Maslowski was recently replaced by a semi-intelligent, pod-borne doppelganger."

"A pod-borne doppelganger? You mean like in that movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers?"

"Frightening but true, Conan. Only instead of being from outer space, these pods are a rare, tropical species now relentlessly spreading across our doomed Earth's doomed temperate zones as a direct result of unchecked anthropogenic global warming. Much like how malaria will soon be epidemic in Britain."

"That's terrifying!"

"Even more terrifying, these ghastly pod creatures have a vested interest in preventing us from tackling the threat that is man-made global warming. Their vile facsimiles of our human vocal apparatus will say literally anything, no matter how outrageous, to prevent an agreement in Copenhagen."

"Don't these creatures know the debate is over?"

"Apparently not, Conan. But then, they are pods."

"So if we listen to this doppelganged former scientist, our choice will be death from malaria or replacement by a pod? That's quite the devil's bargain!"

"No, Conan. That's science."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Three


"Ho! Ho! Ho! And what else would you like for Christmas, young man?"

"Well, Santa, I want you to take that liberal-torturing, filibuster-threatening Joe Lieberman and just --"

"HO! Don't make me put you back on my Naughty List, Barack!"

Tuesday Morning Christmas Dog


Monday, December 14, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Two


"Ho! Ho! Ho! And what else would you like for Christmas, young man?"

"Well, Santa, I'd like for all the numbers to add up in the Senate's health care reform bill."

"Ho! Ho! Ho! Why don't I just get you another Nobel Prize instead?"

Pop Quiz: The Better Christmas Edition

As symbolized by the car that my wife and and I drive, which of the following is the better Christmas?

A) Christmas 2009:


B) Christmas 2008:


(Hint: It's the year without any chestnuts roasting by an open fire...)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

President Obama's Twelve Days of Christmas: Day One


"Ho! Ho! Ho! And what would you like for Christmas, young man?"

"Well, Santa, I'd like a $1.8 trillion increase in the federal debt ceiling."

"Ho! Ho! Ho! How about I just get William Shatner to read your autobiography on The Tonight Show instead?"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spice Rack Nixon

If George W. Bush Had...

[Guest post from The Captain...]

How much better off the United States is in 2009...

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said it is more proof of how he inept he is on his own, and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced the value of your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, without fundamentally changing the downward spiral of the corporation, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive (and incorrectly formatted DVDs), when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved? Emperor of Japan? Premier of China?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had misspelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years, like Dan Quayle and potatoe, as proof of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush's administration had approved Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan, causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had created the positions of 32 (and counting) extra-constitutional czars, who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate, on so much of what is happening in America, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had proposed a budget plan that within 10 years would triple the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had spent more than all the Presidents combined since George Washington, would you have approved?

So, tell me, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant, so impressive?

Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in ten months, so you'll have three more years to come up with an answer.

Red State Update: Ole Timey Country Simple Christmas

Friday, December 11, 2009

Conan and Al Talk ClimateGate


"Thank you for having me back on the show again, Conan. I appreciate this chance to clarify those remarks I recently made about this nonsensical, so-called 'ClimateGate' scandal."

"That would be the thousands of documents hacked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, correct?"

"That's right, Conan. You see, many anti-science right-wing zealots have latched onto my comment that I hadn't actually read all the e-mails before declaring that this supposed controversy was nothing more than a lot of 'sound and fury signifying nothing.'"

"Ha!"

"Ha!"

"HA! So you really did read all those e-mails."

"Well... No... What I actually read, Conan, is what's known in the scientific community as the Abstract."

"The Abstract? Sounds vague."

"Not in the slightest, Conan. You see, the Abstract is what real scientists read instead of the actual study. Because the Abstract gives you the conclusions of that study without wasting your time on all those caveats, uncertainties, and potential problems with the study's methods and results, which the Patriot Act requires the full article to include in truly unconstitutional detail."

"What an invasion of privacy!"

"It's the Republican War on Science, Conan."

"And how! But then you made another comment that also raised some eyebrows, didn't you?"

"Yes, I did, Conan. You see, many anti-science right-wing zealots have latched onto my claim that all the e-mails in this hacked material are more than 10 years old, even though the most recent e-mail was actually sent on November 12th of this year."

"So you were wrong."

"Hardly, Conan. As Albert Einstein discovered, time is relative. It can flow at different rates depending on your velocity. So what was ten years ago to all of us was also November 12, 2009, to the distinguished researcher who sent that e-mail, because he was moving through the universe at a different velocity than we were."

"Wow! You must have invented some serious quantum servers to go along with that Internet thing of yours!"

"I certainly did, Conan. And anyone who says differently is just an anti-Einstein denier, funded by the Newtonian-industrial complex."

"So there really is nothing to worry about in all those e-mails and that computer climate modeling code that doesn't actually work."

"I'm sorry, Conan, but did you just say there was actual bad computer climate modeling code in this hacked material, too?"

"Tons of it."

"Really? I wonder why that wasn't in the Abstract?"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our Lost Fashion Generation

While walking our dog the other morning, my wife and I found ourselves behind this fashionable pair:


The cell phone tucked into the pink sweatpants with sequins emblazoned across the butt is what really completes the look, don't you think?

Harry and Nancy Talk Speech-ifying Strategy


"If you want to get health reform through the Senate, Harry, you need to get out on that floor and give a rousing speech that really knocks those Republicans back on their heels."

"The problem with passing this bill is actually my fellow Democrats, Nancy."

"Focus, Harry. First, you need to compare Republicans who are against our health reform proposals to people who support slavery."

"But weren't the Republicans the ones who freed the slaves?"

"Focus, Harry. Next, you need to compare Republicans who are against our health reform proposals to people who don't want women to have the right to vote."

"Women's suffrage? Isn't that a bit --"

"Focus, Harry. Then, you need to compare Republicans who are against our health reform proposals to people who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

"Senator Byrd is not going to like that one."

"Whatever. Now personally, I'd finish off with a pro-Holocaust/Nazi-sympathizer comparison, but that's just me."

"How about I propose opening up Medicare to another 20 or 30 million people instead, while simultaneously cutting $500 billion or so in Medicare funding?"

"Well, I suppose you could go that route, Harry, or you could listen to the woman who actually passed a health reform bill through her house of Congress. Now, let's talk cap-and-trade..."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are You Really Unemployed?



(H/T: Panzramic)

Pop Quiz: "Presidential" Poetry Edition

Which of the following "presidential" poets has composed the finest bit of verse?

A) President Barack Obama:

Under water grottos, caverns
Filled with apes
That eat figs.
Stepping on the figs
That the apes
Eat, they crunch.
The apes howl, bare
Their fangs, dance,
Tumble in the
Rushing water,
Musty, wet pelts
Glistening in the blue.
B) Almost-President Al Gore:
One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
Neptune's bones dissolve

Snow glides from the mountain
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly

Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning's celebration

Unknown creatures
Take their leave, unmourned
Horsemen ready their stirrups

Passion seeks heroes and friends
The bell of the city
On the hill is rung

The shepherd cries
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools
(Hint: I think I just remembered why I ran screaming from that PhD path in English Lit all those years ago.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

White House Phone Logs: President Obama Calls the Climate Research Unit


"Hey, Phil. It's, ah, it's Barry. I need you to do me a huge favor. Um, can you please, ah, take your name off your phone? James Inhofe put out a subpoena and went through my phone records and may be calling you. So if you can, please take your name off that. And, ah, what do you call it, just have it as a number, just have it as your telephone number on your voicemail, that's it. You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Bye... Oh, yeah. Tiger might be calling you, too."

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Best of the First Year

Somehow, I completely missed my first-year anniversary as a blogger here at In My Copious Free Time. And considering that I'm still drowning in the latest evil editing marathon, I might as well "celebrate" that anniversary today by looking back the 10 favorite posts of the last year, in no particular order:

1) 24 Shots at Love: The Lost Episode

Jack Bauer goes undercover on a VH1 celeb-reality dating show.

2) The Endless Adolescence of Joel Stein

Joel Stein is desperate for attention. Really. He's said so himself. And it's the only way to explain his columns.

3) Larry King Live: The Lost Episode

The success of Larry King... well...

4) Tale of the $1 Car

The life (and death) of my wife's first car. Which she really did buy for $1.

5) Having a Serious Conversation

My first Instapundit link.

6) Susan Roesgen: The Lost Episode

It's almost a shame Susan Roesgen disappeared after that infamous Tea Party report for CNN. I was hoping to make a whole series out of spoofing her nonpolitical, unbiased take on the news.

7) Tale of the Chihuahua

I hate chihuahuas. 'Nuff said.

8) Credit Card-tastic!

President Obama updates us on his efforts to secure a new credit card for America.

9) Bonekickers

One of the reasons I started this blog was just so that I could rip apart possibly the worst television show I have ever seen.

Ever.

10) The Obligatory Prop 8 Post

One of the few times I've gotten out of bed at 2 AM, because a post just had to be written.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Still. The Worst. White House. Press Secretary. Ever.



Oh, Robert...

Then again, wouldn't it nice if the White House Press Corps went after issues like the wasted $787 billion stimulus, the incomprehensible health reform bills currently in Congress, our failed efforts to halt the Iranian nuclear program, and the internal contradictions of the president's new Afghanistan policy with the same aggressiveness and dogged determination they show here on the subject of ... Desiree Rogers, White House Social Secretary?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The President at West Point: The Lost Footage


"Cadets, let me be perfectly clear. No one should harbor any doubts about my commitment to the escalation of forces I am announcing here tonight. I could no more disown this war of necessity in Afghanistan than I could my own grandmother."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear Neighbor (Again)

Dear Neighbor,

It is now the morning of December 4th, and your Halloween pumpkin is still on display for all to enjoy.


For the love of God, girls, please throw this rotting thing away before it attracts the raccoon living in that drainage pipe down at the intersection. Or gets "accidentally" knocked onto the center of your lovely patio table.

Thank you. That is all.

Sincerely,

Your Neighbor

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Love Trek

Because I'm still "engaged" in the current evil editing marathon. And because I really need a laugh after the disappointment of President Obama's West Point speech.



I can't believe they left out Twiki...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Speech at West Point

Even as I lost all "hope" (pun intended) over this past year that President Obama would be the moderate, deficit-trimming postpartisan he had campaigned as -- and even seemed to be during the transition -- I always believed that if nothing else, he would do the right thing on Afghanistan. This was the "good" war, after all. The real War on Terror. The War of Necessity. The war that we had under-resourced for so many long years after taking our eye off the ball and invading Iraq, in a mistake that he would correct. And I knew all this because he had repeatedly told me so.

Watching President Obama tonight, as he announced at West Point his plan to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, I not only wanted to support him, I wanted to keep believing that despite all the other issues I have with him, at least he still believes everything he had been saying about Afghanistan. That at least on this one issue, if on no others, he could rise above politics and be an actual statesman.

It was a nice thought.

Instead of rising the occasion, instead of a president acting presidential and conveying his determination and resolve not just to America but to its allies and its enemies, we got a small speech, delivered at a photo op, and given by a man who at times actually seemed to be annoyed that he was even there.

And the speech itself was vintage Obama: "[W]hat’s at stake is the security of our Allies, and the common security of the world," but we're going "to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011," because this "new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly 30 billion dollars for the military this year," and we really need "to bring down our deficit," even though "the common security of the world" is at stake. And did I mention that "I have prohibited torture and will close the prison at Guantanamo Bay"?

Like I said, vintage Obama.

You have to give him credit, though. Few politicians could stand there and say "by the time I took office the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan approached a trillion dollars" as a way to burnish his own fiscal responsibility bona fides after having himself signed off on roughly the same amount in a single bill!

Few politicians could give a major speech meant to rally both this nation and its allies to a plan for turning around a failing war yet avoid ever using the word victory. Because phrases like "responsible end" or "break the Taliban's momentum" are what really convey determination and resolve. Especially when "the common security of the world" is at stake. And besides, "successful conclusion" is so much less, well, militaristic...

Few politicians could announce a new, supposed counterinsurgency strategy without ever using the word counterinsurgency. Although the phrase "secure key population centers" does have more of a wonkier ring to it, I suppose, and President Obama just isn't the kind of guy who will let one word do the work of four. And I'm sure any Afghans who are not living in one of those "key population centers" will still happily sign on and help, because "our cause is just, our resolve unwavering." Or at least it will be until July of 2011.

Because "the common security of the world" is at stake.

And don't even get me started on his lament about how America has lost the unity it had right after September 11th. The president may "believe with every fiber of [his] being" we can summon that unity again, but I believe, with every fiber of my own being, that this summoning would be a whole lot easier if he would stop poking gratuitous sticks in the eyes of those who in good faith hold a different position on Iraq, or "enhanced interrogation," or Guantanamo Bay, or a host of other related and equally complicated issues. Especially when he's trying to build a common purpose in Afghanistan and the people who are most disposed to support this new surge of additional troops are, well, the very people whose eyes he just went around poking with gratuitous rhetorical sticks.

Then again, it also might be helpful in building support and "unity" for this strategy -- not just here in America but also among our allies abroad -- if the president had sounded, acted, and spoken like someone who actually believed in this strategy himself. Because he didn't. And you could see it on the faces of those cadets sitting in the audience. They knew the president was saying the words, but that his heart wasn't in them. And you just don't send in 30,000 additional troops unless you really, truly are resolved to see this fight through to the end, and to do whatever it takes to make sure that end is a certain word our president prefers not to use.

And that's my real dilemma. I support this strategy. I support sending those additional troops. I think this is the right thing to do, and the necessary thing to do. And I truly, honestly want to support President Obama in this.

But damn, did he ever make that hard to do with this speech.

The A Trek

So, after finishing Day One of the latest evil editing marathon, did I save that mammoth Word file and immediately go catch up on the latest news so that I could write and post an intense, thoughtful, well-researched political commentary?

Of course not! I went looking for more remix videos of old science-fiction shows on YouTube instead!