Saturday, January 29, 2011

President Obama Orders Own Speeches Sent Into Turmoil-Stricken Egypt

In a bold move of solidarity with the citizens of Egypt, and also the rule of law, this morning President Obama took action and ordered hundreds of thousands of copies of his own speeches into the distressed nation, effective immediately.

"There exists a wall of separation between the people of Egypt, and my speeches," Obama said in prepared remarks earlier today. "That wall of division is too much for any people to handle with pastoral serenity, and thus there is now uprising. Mr. Mubarak... Mr. Mubarak... Mr. Mubarak... tear down this wall."

The speech collection includes many of his most unprecedented works, including the Speech on Race, the Speech to the Muslim World, and the Speech to Convince Everybody That Healthcare is Good. These works of incredible austerity and solid human emotion have the ability to stop oceans from rising, and to make a lonely planet heal. A few minor protests here and there will simply be no match for those dulcet tones.

"This is about human rights," Obama continued, "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, listening to my speeches, and the pursuit of happiness. This country was founded on an idea. The idea that a simple man like myself, born to an immigrant father and a single impoverished mother, could one day be sitting right here as the most powerful man in the world, and talking to you. But it's not just about me. It's about you. And me."

President Obama has not given any indication what the next steps are beyond everyone in Egypt listening to his speeches, but we at The Mega Independent are sure that whatever it is will be well deliberated.

Veering off the script of his prepared remarks, Obama momentarily opened up and spoke from the heart. "To the people of Egypt, let me tell you what I was thinking about this morning. I have thought long and hard about your struggle over the last 24 hours, and there's something I've come to realize. You see, the world, well, it's like a giant golf course. And Egypt, is just one big sandtrap. And sandtraps, though not inherently good, do serve a purpose during a 9 or 18 hole round."

Immediately, his handlers jumped in and tried to stop him from saying any more, but he held his hand up, closed his eyes, and insisted on continuing.

"Egypt, much like a sandtrap, is like a challenge to everyone. An obstacle. And right now the Ball of Bedlam is stuck there, and it's going to take a steady hand and a keen eye to get us all out onto the Green of Gratification. And though in the end, we may be a few Strokes of Struggle over par, the important thing is we all learned something."

At that moment, it was announced over the loudspeaker that the speech was over and everyone should leave the room immediately, but Obama persevered at the microphone and drew out his thoughts some more to a stunned and transfixed audience. His handlers then yelled "Fire!!! Fire!! There is a FIRE!!!!!" and yet everyone sat in rapt attention, as the President hung in.

"No, no, I've got this one. You see, in order to be better at WorldGolf, we must try our hardest to keep it on the Fairway of Frankness. And if that doesn't work, we must then be conscious of where the Winds of Wishes are blowing, and then the Sand Wedge of Social Justice will carry us all right through the Putt of Progress and into the Hole of Happiness. Thank you."

No, President Obama. Thank you. For that amazing metaphor. Maybe you should send them that speech, too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obama's 2011 SOTU Translated Into Layman's - For Internal Distribution Only

State of the Union 2011

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and {cough} {cough} ahem {cough} {cough}...

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner.

Bipartisanship, baby. Listen to my humility. I'm so humble, it hurts.

And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague - and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

And those who would dare politicize this tragedy by libeling their political enemies, and good hard-working Americans, with widespread voices of media savagery, I say, shame on you. Oh wait, just kidding!

It's no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years.

And I've lead into that with the Tuscon shooting, implying by connection that it had something to do with "our differences". Pretty clever, huh?

The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs.

And now people have been shot. Are you happy, Tea Partiers??? With your divisive rhetoric???

And that's a good thing. That's what a robust democracy demands. That's what helps set us apart as a nation.

Oh, I mean, "that's a good thing". No really, it is. It's good. The talking is good. The shooting that came from it isn't so good.

But there's a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.

That connection I made earlier? Ignore it. There's no connection between a shooting and our national political debate. That's why I'm talking about both at the same time. To refute that very idea! There's nothing subliminal going on when I talk about both at once. Don't connect the two. They're unrelated!

We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled. That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

Hope and Change, baby.

Now, by itself, this simple recognition won't usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

And this moment will determine whether together... we can thrive. (tm).

I believe we can. I believe we must. That's what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they've determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties.

Instead of just those nasty Republicans, who ruined this country with eight years of failed policies.

New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward

Move forward. Make progress. You know, like progressives.

together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics. At stake right now is not who wins the next election

LOL, you know I'm already campaigning, right?

– after all, we just had an election.

But that's never stopped me from campaigning before!

At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else.

At stake is my reelection.

It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded.

It's whether you will vote for me, or vote for someone else.

It's whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.

And you can tell that's what's at stake because I start referring to America as a "light to the world", instead of apologizing for it all the time.

We are poised for progress.

Progress! Progressive? It's the root! See? It's a good word!

Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known,

Bush's fault.

the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.

Change! Hey, did you even notice I didn't mention how employment's doing? Pretty good, huh? Sounded like I covered all the bases.

But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone.

Progress! I did it again. You'll come to love that word, America.

We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise.

Thriving. Together We Thrive (tm)

By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.

Debt? What debt?

That's the project the American people want us to work on. Together.

Together. Together We Thrive (tm)

We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans' paychecks are a little bigger today.

That tax cut was yet another one of the "failed policies of the last eight years" that I have adopted. Funny how I keep doing that.

Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans,

Notice I said "taken by Democrats"? You should really get used to hearing those words.

will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.

Add that to the 7 bajillion jobs we saved last year, and you'll see that business is booming!

But we have more work to do.

But we have more money to spend.

The steps we've taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession


– but to win the future, we'll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.

Bush's fault.

Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown.

Not that I've ever shown up at a factory or nearby business for a job, but here I go with my everyman part of my speech. I understand you.

You didn't always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors.

I understand you.

If you worked hard, chances are you'd have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and the occasional promotion. Maybe you'd even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.

I understand you.

That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I've seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts of once busy Main Streets. I've heard it in the frustrations of Americans who've seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear – proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

I'm not a witch. I am you.

They're right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there's an internet connection.

And together we can put a stop to that, if we just tax everything with a "Global Warming Surcharge".

Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science.

We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families

They're investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world's largest private solar research facility, and the world's fastest computer.

Communism! See?

So yes, the world has changed.


The competition for jobs is real.

And there's the new way to describe high unemployment: competition

But this shouldn't discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember – for all the hits we've taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline,

And remember - I was one of them,

America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world.

And the Democrats and myself would still have a chance to fix that, if it wasn't for those meddling voters!

No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world's best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.

Sounds like a place that any American can and should be most proud of for their entire lives. Uh, errrr, {cough} {cough} ahem.

What's more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.

Here I go. The conservative talk gets them every time.

That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It's why our students don't just memorize equations, but answer questions like "What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I don't really know what this means. Because two seconds ago, I said we needed to focus more on math and science, and suddenly I'm getting all artsy-schmartsy and "no answer is wrong" again.

The future is ours to win.

And only someone who didn't understand either the concept of A. "winning" or B. "the future" would ever talk about "winning the future".

But to get there, we can't just stand still.

We need to move forward. To make progress. Progressive. Remember that word. Please???

As Robert Kennedy told us, "The future is not a gift. It is an achievement." Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

Progressive. P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E. Progressive.

Now it's our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time.


We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.


We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business.

Because from businesses we get taxes and that's where all the real progress is made.

We need to take responsibility for our deficit, and reform our government.

Now that the Republicans have taken over the House, we need to start talking about the deficit and MUST reform our government.

That's how our people will prosper. That's how we'll win the future. And tonight, I'd like to talk about how we get there.

And we're winning the future again. Because the future is like a game show. Or maybe the future is like a prize on a game show. Tell them what they've won, Johnny. You've won a trip to Puerto Vallarta! And you've also won.... the Futurrrrre!!!!

The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.


None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from.

By "us", I of course mean my administration.

Thirty years ago, we couldn't know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution.

See? The internet was a revolution. The internet is good, and so therefore revolutions are good. So is progress. Are you paying attention?

What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people.


We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It's how we make a living.

Innovation is how we make a living. Just before we win the future.

Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation.

How about that conservative talk folks? Are you buying it? I said "free enterprise".

But because it's not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need.

Screw free enterprise! You hear me, America??? Screw free enterprise!!!!

That's what planted the seeds for the Internet. That's what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.


Just think of all the good jobs – from manufacturing to retail – that have come from those breakthroughs.

And to think, I'm responsible for it all! Hope and Change, baby!

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. The science wasn't there yet. NASA didn't even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn't just surpass the Soviets

Notice we merely "surpassed" the Soviets. We don't want to offend anyone by saying we "creamed" them or "beat them like rented mules".

we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.


This is our generation's Sputnik moment.

Because there's nothing Americans love more than being compared to the Commies. Also, I'm saying we've hit our peak and the rest of the world is about to pass us by.

Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't seen since the height of the Space Race.

Two years ago, I said a lot of things.

In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.

A budget? What's that?

We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.


Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company.

I received a letter. Nah, I think the ObamaCare debacle killed the whole "letter" thing.

After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard.


Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert's words, "We reinvented ourselves."


That's what Americans have done for over two hundred years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we've begun to reinvent our energy policy.


We're not just handing out money.

We're taking it, too!

We're issuing a challenge. We're telling America's scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we'll fund the Apollo Projects of our time.

Shhhh. I won't mention that we're "funding" it with your money. That never goes over well. But funding sure sounds good.

At the California Institute of Technology, they're developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars.

In Oregon, they're doing it with rainbows. And in Massachusetts, you will one day be flying in a spacecar powered only by clouds, and the imaginations of young children.

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they're using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities.

Nuclear? Whoops, more conservative talk. Americans are gonna lap that up. Moderate!

With more research and incentives,


we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.

And electricity comes from unicorns!

We need to get behind this innovation.


And to help pay for it,


I'm asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.

But those billions aren't coming back to you, the taxpayer. Oh, is that what you think I'm gonna do with it? Give it back? Hahahahahahahahaha. It's MIIIIIIINNNNE.

I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own.

And I don't know if you've noticed, but the government isn't. So we need to "spread the misery around".

So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's.


Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they're selling.

And so government will simply create the market via fiat. That always works!

So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources.

Clean energy sources... like bunnies.

Some folks want wind and solar.

Some folks want to bathe in $100 bills.

Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas.

Others want dames. Lots and lots of dames.

To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.

Fiat, baby! Fiat! We tell the markets what to do and it just happens, baby! Now excuse me, I have to go refill the Skittle machine with my Number 2.

Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America's success. But if we want to win the future – if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas


– then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.

Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree.

But remember earlier when I said none of us predict where the next "innovation" would come from? That was just a bunch of pablum they thought you'd like. In reality, I can predict everything.

And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations.

Look for the union label.

America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us – as citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what's necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.


That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It's family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done.

And only the State can make sure that parents are making sure the TV is turned off and homework is getting done.

We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

But all the same, congratulations Michael Vick!!!

Our schools share this responsibility.

And since you pay for our schools, so do you. Are you following this yet?

When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don't meet this test.

Look for the union label.

That's why instead of just pouring money into a system that's not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all fifty states, we said, "If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we'll show you the money."


Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what's best for our kids.

We're more than halfway through this thing and I've finally mentioned something I've done. It's a government program! Wheeeeeeeeeeee.

You see, we know what's possible for our children when reform isn't just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.

This sounds pretty obvious, but it isn't! Really, this is something that four people had to think about before committing it to this speech!

Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school's transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said "Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it."

I received a letter. Just kidding!

Let's also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child's success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom.

Look for the union label.

In South Korea, teachers are known as "nation builders." Here in America, it's time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones.

But I still won't mention unions!!!

And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.


In fact, to every young person listening tonight who's contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you.

Don't become a nasty entrepreneur. Those people never changed or shaped anything.

Of course, the education race doesn't end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American.


That's why we've ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students.

Those new bank fees you're facing? Well now you know where they're going.

And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college.


Because people need to be able to train for new jobs and careers in today's fast-changing economy, we are also revitalizing America's community colleges.


Last month, I saw the promise of these schools at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina. Many of the students there used to work in the surrounding factories that have since left town. One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. And she told me she's earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams too. As Kathy said, "I hope it tells them to never give up."

Hey did I mention that I found this out in a letter? No? Yeah, letters don't poll so good anymore. Look that way!

If we take these steps – if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they're born until the last job they take – we will reach the goal I set two years ago: by the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

And all because I knew how to tax and how to spend.

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

I received a letter from a Chico Escuela, a migrant worker that came here via unintentional catapult. He said "Mr. Obama, I just want a job and an education, and to be a good American just like you so I can live the American dream. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all." {whispering compassionately} Indivisible. With liberty and justice for all. {biting lip} But he does not have liberty. And his people are most divisible. And there is no justice for him. If there is no justice for Mr. Escuela, then there can be no justice for any of us. As Americans. Americans who love this country and who love freedom. The freedom to innovate and invest. The freedom to {end whisper}

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let's agree to make that effort. And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.


The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.

And with all that, the future can be full of win. Lolcat, roflcopters, Khaaaan. +1!!!!

[.....End Part 1....]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Obama SOTU 2011 Live Blog

The Mega Independent. With minute by minute coverage of the State of the Union 2011.

8:57 PM: Just waiting to get a look at the president.













Whew. That was some amazing speech. The Mega Independent, working for you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Green Recipe #156 - Lettuce Soup With Tabouli Curry Biscuit Infusion

Learn how to go green with The Mega Independent! This delectable meal starter is healthy for you and kind to the environment.
Lettuce Soup With Tabouli Curry Biscuit Infusion


1/2 cup tabouli
1 cup hemp milk
1 block soy cheese (finely grated)
1 head lettuce
2 tbs curry powder
1 sprig mint (for garnish)


1. Drop the head of lettuce into 8 cups of boiling water. After ten minutes, turn the flame off and allow to steep overnight.

2. In the morning, fish the lettuce out with a pair of lettuce tongs. Strain the broth into medium sized bowl. Set aside.

3. Place the cooked tabouli in another bowl and mix with curry powder. Mash.

4. Take the tabouli curry mix and press onto baking sheet. Flatten top with mallet.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until middle is crispy and top appears dark and inedible. Cool on wire rack and then slice into one inch squares.

6. Mix lettuce broth and hemp milk with hand blender until foamy. Add grated soy cheese and continue mixing on high speed until soup base is tender. Return to pan.

7. Simmer soup base over medium heat and when mixture begins to bubble, add the baked tabouli squares. Simmer for five more minutes for full flavor infusion.

Serve soup in a recyclable paper cup. Garnish with mint.
Happy being oh-so-kind to Mother Earth! She will return the favor by making the tornadoes smaller.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tea Party Refuses to Moderate Rhetoric, Incites Tucson Victim Into Threatening to Murder Them

Eric Fuller, a victim of last Saturday's possibly Tea Party inspired massacre that killed six and wounded 13 others is now himself the latest victim of Tea Party incitement. Just one week after the monstrous attack that may or may not have been politically motivated, Mr. Fuller was driven into threatening to kill Tea Party spokesman Trent Humphries, who had just made some inflammatory comments of his own.

This is how far people are being pushed by the Tea Party, and it looks like Fuller's crime, for which he has now been arrested, is standing up to merely say "I've had enough". And also, "I'm going to kill you".

When will this Tea Party madness end? Did they not hear the President's clarion call for everyone to moderate the rhetoric and start thriving together?

"This is just another disturbing example of how the Tea Party and conservatives in general are pushing people in this country over the edge," explained a Democrat strategist. "Some right wingers have forcefully argued all week that the Tea Party's pattern of dangerous, violent rhetoric had absolutely nothing to do with last week's shootings. Fine, but how are they going to explain this one away? This man was clearly inspired by the Tea Party. In fact, he specifically mentioned one of their leaders!"

The bottom line is, if it wasn't for the Tea Party, the victim Mr. Fuller would have been guilty of absolutely no crime at all. You cannot get in trouble for making threats against something that doesn't exist. Solutions to societal ills are rarely simple, but this one is abundantly clear. No Tea Party, no threats. No Tea Party, no violence. No Tea Party, no problem. It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out the answer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Obama's Moment

An Opinion Column by Frank Finger

Say what you want about about the tragedy in Tucson, this was Obama's time to shine. I turned on my TV last night and sat transfixed as I watched a one-term President reach down inside and find the second term that lurked deep within.

The tone was pitch perfect, like an unfinished Beethoven composition suddenly completed from Heaven above. I was both soothed and moved, not so much at the victims (we've had days to think about and reflect on them), but at how presidential Obama was. On a scale of one to Presidential, he was Very Presidential. Last night wasn't about right or left, conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican. It was about President Obama and the way his dulcet notes can heal a nation in a time of prodigious longing.

The Democrats proved last night beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are not just the party of any one side, they are truly America's Party. They know how to put on a show and rock the house when angst beckons at our door. Let me ask you a question. Who do you want in charge? Some party that is going to light candles, sing a few hymns, mourn with so-called "decorum" and then march us all into some illegal war? Or do you want a party that's going to throw an actual party?

What do you want to hear? Slow, boring "Amazing Grace" for the fiftieth time? Or "Go Ba-rack. Go Ba-rack. You're the President. You're the President."?

I know my answer.

I like parties. Everyone likes parties. Funerals are so depressing and passe. Obama promised change, and last night, we got more of it. He earned a standing ovation, not just from the roomful of people who rightfully worship him at a time when people desperately need someone, anyone to genuflect to, but also a standing ovation from my heart. I'll tell you what I learned last night - there's nothing like a memorial to remind us all of how to come alive!

Obama took those mass murder lemons and he made lemonade. Cool, refreshing lemonade, to quench our audacious national thirst, and not a moment too soon. We are a nation that finally has had enough partisanship and sniping. A country that has had it up to here with slick politicians who don't know how to poignantly crystallize a moment the way Obama did last night.

I wept at the end of Obama's speech, not for the victims or their families, but more at Obama's greatness. Say what you want, we have never seen a President like this. This wasn't mere Clintonian Triangulation, Obama went pure hexagon. This was double reverse triangulation by the new master of political geometry, President Barack Obama.

That cheering you heard every four words was the cheering in American hearts all across the land. When I heard the news on Saturday, my first thought after hoping everyone would be okay was, "Will we ever cheer again?". My addendum was, "And possibly even this week?"

And my question was answered last night, with a resounding "yes". My next question shortly thereafter was, "Could this be Barack Obama's 9/11?".

Yes it can, my friends. Yes it can.

A thank you, Mr. President, for giving us an historic, unprecedented speech of a lifetime. Again. Thank you for rallying our hearts and our minds, after days of hearing nothing but politicizing of this terrible tragedy from sick, deranged far right wingers. Slobbering mongrels from the Palin Wing who irresponsibly want nothing more than a country full of the twisted violence we saw on one sunny Saturday afternoon in Tucson. One sunny Saturday afternoon that was actually just a few days ago.

Thank you, Mr. President, for bringing us together in our time of exigency, and for crucially turning tragedy into triumph, the way only cartoon superheroes could do previously. But most of all, thank you for the t-shirt. Together We Thrive indeed.

You know, that would make one heck of a campaign slogan.

Frank Finger is a seven-time Pulitzer winning conservative columnist who writes for the Mega Independent. His best selling book, "The Conservatives: Why Did They Do This To Us?" is now in paperback. And his new book, "How ObamaCare Saved America, Even Before It Starts" will be in stores on January 25th.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TMI Poll: Dangerous Rhetoric! What Do We Do Now?

As dangerous political rhetoric has now brought the country to a violent overflowing boil, it is time to start revisiting the question over what speech is still acceptable and what speech goes too far. But before we talk about that, we need to first talk about what can be done to bring the perpetrators of heated rhetoric to justice before they speak or write even more of it in the future.

We polled 7,000 Independent readers to gauge their observations on this divisive issue, and for the first time ever, allowed votes for more than one choice. Thank you for voting!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Remember Back Before 2008 When Political Rhetoric Was Not Heated

The heated rhetoric in American politics has been simmering for quite a while, finally boiling over with a horrific mass murder in Arizona this weekend.

But as you'll recall, the crazy political talk only started in 2008. And it's not surprising since there are so many racists out there who hate having a black president. Unfortunately, one only need look to the Tea Party to see where this country has gone wrong in its divisive, violent rhetoric. Before 2008, America was a land where politics was discussed and reported on with sheer frivolity, and spoken of using only fun, safe metaphors.

As you remember, when George W. Bush was president, this country was a place of rational dissent (if you could even call it dissent), where "protesters" spoke and behaved very formally as if right out of Shakespeare. Who can forget when those scamps at Code Pink rushed a stage and tried to gently place handcuffs on Karl Rove for "war crimes" and shouted, "Forsooth, oh merciful tongue! And ye will disavow it, yet I must not. Our remedies in ourselves often do lie."

And we must certainly recall when only peaceful protesters stood near the doors to the Marine recruitment centers in Berkeley, California, how artfully their words were chosen. "Within this hour at most I will advise you where to plant yourselves, ye shall not behold your face at ample view," they casually announced.

And remember when our political commentators were solely composed of the rational and the sane? Like when Keith Olbermann simply went on TV and broadcast his peaceful opinion to all. "But, soft!", he said in a Special Comment in June of 2006, "What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and George W. Bush, whom everyone needs to respect completely at all times, is the sun."

As the animals on the right have lost control over themselves, it is time to not only restrict speech and guns, it is also time to choose our own words more carefully. For example, instead of "battleground state", The Mega Independent will be culling from a list of possible less inflammatory replacements, including, but not limited to, "important states", "states where the race may be close" and "places to watch". We, as the responsible media, must first lead by example. But Dick Cheney is still Hitler.

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