Day three. And this one hurts a little.
One of the great double-edged swords of our modern mobile-technology age is that everyone–and I mean damned near everyone–almost always has a camera with them. And more likely than not, that camera has internet access. This means that those people can post cute pictures of their kids, animals, or landscapes; or they can mock misspelled signs or bad wordings in menus; or, unfortunately, they can post self-portraits. A lot.
Lucky for you, I’m not a fan of selfies.
But I do find a simple kind of joy in looking at stupid pictures of all kinds of stuff online. And there are enough that make me laugh that it makes the stupid ones go right by. So I admit to you, here and now, that I am a frequent viewer of content from the Cheezburger sites–a complete collection of internet memes ranging from animal pictures to bad clothing choices to bad repairs to celebrity photos.
And yes, there are times I wish I could say that a picture or two were my idea. But they never are. It’s a blow to my creative ego.
When you’re needing cute pictures of animals, just hit the Daily Squee. If you want to see a bunch of useless and funny information and truisms placed into graph form, hit Graph Jam. Whichever of the channels you check out in your daily sprint across the internet, something there is bound to catch your eye and make you ask just where humanity is going.
Just don’t expect any kind of satisfactory answer. Because it’s just too damned scary.
See you tomorrow.
Continuing from yesterday’s website theme, the next guilty pleasure is a set of sites I go to at least once a week, and sometimes twice a week. They’re the types of sites that I believe makes the internet such a wonderful place–with so many people of varying interests, it’s great to have well-made and maintained sites that cater to the specific interests of a relatively small group of people, and do so unapologetically.
One site is called UniWatch. It’s a fairly simple daily blog run by Paul Lukas who appears to have spent his lifetime collecting and reviewing unique and interesting sports uniforms. He’s done this so well and for so long at this site that a couple of years ago, ESPN.com picked him up as a weekly columnist to write for their site on some of the unique things he sees in the world of uniforms.
I know. Many of you who either don’t follow sports or don’t see anything special about uniforms may ask why a site like this would be interesting. But it is, when you consider that for almost every season these days every sports team at the college and pro levels makes some changes to their uniforms, be they minor tweaks to full-on makeovers. And the site does not hesitate to let their opinions be known about how that latest look works (or doesn’t).
Yes…It’s a fashion blog for sports. Thus it’s manly.
I’ve always found ballparks and stadiums to be remarkable and unique buildings. And for a while, I thought it was just me, or maybe a few people in the world who held the same thought. Growing up, I was intrigued to see the differences between baseball parks, football stadiums and the like in different cities, and only as I’ve grown up, I’ve found that there are many out there who have the same interest. So there are a few sites that I hit on a regular basis that serve those needs.
Ballpark Digest has pretty well carved out an exclusive niche in reporting on all things baseball ballpark in the country–from major league parks to the minors, college and independent league news. And while it doesn’t have as many pictures or reviews or data on the stadiums as some other sites, it’s the easiest to use, read and check in on and follow on a weekly basis.
For other stadia news around the world, with a definitely snarky and anti-public funding bent, there’s Field of Schemes, run by a group of people who have put out a book reporting on how public funding of stadiums helps support the profits of individuals and companies who run sports teams, concessionaires, and the like. As such, it’s best to read it through a filter, but it still does a great job of collecting information about the planning, financing and building of these unique buildings.
If it’s just pictures you’re wanting to see, then hit these sites, though don’t expect them to necessarily be user-friendly: Ballparks by Munsey and Suppes is one of my favorites, though it’s updated infrequently. Ballparks of Baseball focuses on major league ballparks, but is a horror to look at. Digital Ballparks probably has the best collection of pictures of every ballpark out there, but it’s also just a mess. But you have to love the enthusiasm about it.
And finally, there’s Ballpark Reviews, which is a site that I love if for no other reason than it’s run be someone with a true passion about ballparks and sharing pictures and stories about them. The site offers personal reviews of everything in the stadium, from the architecture to the comfort to the atmosphere and concessions offered there. And while the design is a jumbled mess, it’s fun to go look at because it feels like you’re sitting looking at a photo album with the guy while he’s telling you about his visit…And having done that with half-interested people in the past myself, it’s fun to participate in his exercise in sharing.
See you tomorrow.
Welcome to a new feature here at the ol’ blog, wherein I lay out the guilty pleasures I enjoy both around this time of year and during the rest of the year. Might as well give thanks for all of them and air my shame all at the same time, right?
First up, I’ll celebrate the odd and wonderful collection of off-beat websites I visit. Some I go to on a daily or weekly basis. Others are seasonal or occasional destinations. And those that are occasional are occasional for reasons you’ll discover here shortly.
A couple of years ago, my darling wife introduced me to this little pop culture horror show, which is a surprising and always entertaining mix of pop culture appreciation and deprecation. The site celebrates the good in all pop culture, but also revels in the train wreck that can be some of the great pop culture misses of all time.
Over the last couple of years, the site has hilariously reviewed, song-by-song and disc-by-disc, several Time-Life CD music collections, the worst of the Billboard Top 100 throughout the ’90s (often arriving at the “what were we thinking?” conclusion), and, during the holiday season, offers reviews of some of the greatest Christmas recordings most of us have never heard.
They call the feature “Mellowmas,” and this is the feature I was first introduced to by Jenni.
Mellomas features two of the staff writers for the site commenting (occasionally profanely, depending on just how bad or over-the-top the song is) on the selected song for that day. The song is offered in a player on the page, and you can read along through the comments and almost follow them as the song progresses, thus welcoming you into an almost “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ style running commentary on the songs. If you hit the link above, you’ll find several years’ worth of the Mellowmas entries, just waiting for you to waste an entire afternoon on.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Oh. And you’re welcome.
See you tomorrow.
Somehow, it isn’t at all surprising that a president–especially one as generally well respected by history as Franklin Delano Roosevelt–would have a mistress. Or perhaps mistresses. Which may be part of the point of the movie Hyde Park on Hudson: to portray FDR as a regular, flawed man, and not the overblown four-time leader of the free world that he sometimes is viewed as.
The story is based on the diaries and journals of Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, FDR’s sixth cousin. These manuscripts weren’t discovered until her death at the age of 100 in 1991. In them, surprising stories were told of her–and apparently others’–intimate relationships with FDR.
The film focuses on the June 1939 visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to the summer home FDR and his mother shared: the Springwood Estate at Hyde Park, NY. The King had been sent expressly by the British government to ask for American support in the likely event that Britain would become involved in World War II. FDR knew this, but he and his mother worked to make the visit a low-key affair, which put the royals on their heels a bit.
Intertwined in this is Daisy’s love affair with FDR, the discovery of an affair by the president and his secretary, and a disclosed third mistress, along with the arrival of his wife Eleanor, and the whole event takes on comic and dramatic overtones, even when it’s supposed to be an important meeting of the two countries.
All told, it’s a wonderful film. Laura Linney is, as always, simultaneously proper, dramatic, and nervous. But Bill Murray’s FDR is remarkable. Nothing is over the top, and yet you almost feel like the character is being properly played as a caricature. He’s convincing, but in the dramatic parts and in the comedic parts of the movie. And what’s even better is that everyone’s character, while played with deserving weight, seems almost effortless and light, making the 95 minute movie move along quickly.
If you’re into the docudrama kind of thing, enjoy great stretches of dialog, and well-played acting, then this movie is definitely for you. Four out of Five Stars.
See you tomorrow.
Ages and ages ago, like most of my 8th grade peer group, I’d stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights (or I’d videotape the episodes) and watch this British sci-fi show called Doctor Who.
Being a British show, and being sequestered to late nights on our local PBS station made it hard to find out much about this show–its history, how far behind we in the states were (one season, until the BBC started exporting earlier episodes of the show), etcetera. In fact, we were being fed shows featuring the fourth incarnation of the lead character: “Doctor Who,” a Gallifreyan “time lord” who travelled through time in a “Police Box” and could regenerate into a different body when the old one had worn out or was dying. This would be like trying to join the TV series “Dallas” right after J.R. Ewing had been shot.
Except it wasn’t quite like that.
Each episode was kind of a stand-alone item, with common threads like the Doctor’s history and his travelling companions running through the episodes to maintain some sort of cohesion from one episode to the next.
Eventually, I found a few books on the series. I’d discovered just how long it had been on–nearly 20 years to that point–how many Doctors had gone before, who they were, and what their stories were like. But that didn’t come until later.
And then the fourth Doctor regenerated. He regenerated into “my Doctor.” Every “Whovian” has their Doctor–the one they associate most closely and dearly with the role. The fifth Doctor was mine: he was young, fun, and the show brought a new-found modernness to it. And then came the 20th anniversary episode: “The Five Doctors,” featuring, as you could guess, the five Doctors in one episode (well, three really, as the actor who played the first had died and was replaced by a look-alike, but he was active in the episode; and the actor who played the fourth Doctor didn’t want to come back to the role at the time because he didn’t want to be typecast). My friend group was thrilled: all five Doctors! In one episode! What a great idea for the show!
This was 1983. It wasn’t until a few years later that I’d discovered there had been a “Three Doctors” episode.
We all graduated from high school. But I still watched Doctor Who. And so it was a big deal when Doctor Who celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special episode…Well, not terribly special like “The Five Doctors”, but it was “special.” The show had become bloated, costing the BBC too much money, and not attracting the ratings and foreign purchases they’d been hoping for.
They put the show on “hiatus” in 1989.
Oh, I was fan through some of those years, even dressing the role, somewhat regrettably. But I enjoyed watching it and still retain some of those old stories.
It’s all come back lately. See, in 2005, the BBC revived the show, and my entire family has become huge fans. So after Patrick and I got home from the Gopher football game on Saturday, we watched the new big special episode: the 50th anniversary episode.
“My Doctor” wasn’t in it, really–there was a fuzzy shot of him that I’m pretty sure was pulled from one of his original episodes, in fact there seemed to be those from several of them. But it all fit in the episode and helped make it a great episode that really seemed to move the story forward while honoring the past.
And this time, Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor, agreed to be in the show.
I don’t know if I’m as huge a fan as I once was. I mean, I enjoy following it, but for some reason, I just haven’t been as excited about the shows as my family and have actually missed a few over the last few seasons, and can’t recite the plot points as well as Patrick can. But I can say that I do kind of enjoy being asked about the old shows…
You know. The ones from 30 years ago.
See you tomorrow.
This is something that I know we techies experience a lot: we sign up for an account somewhere, and then years later come back and discover we need something from that account. In the intervening years, the account has been forgotten, disused and neglected, to the point that retrieving the account information through a forgot password link nearly becomes an exercise in futility.
Alas, here I am.
The backstory is this: Patrick had a band concert last week–his first of his senior year. They played a piece by Holst that was nearly a companion piece to one that most of the same band members were challenged to play as freshmen. Being the dutiful, if not good father that I am, I went back through the 70+ YouTube videos of concerts of years past to find that freshman performance. But it wasn’t in my current account.
The reason quickly became clear. My current YouTube account is not my original YouTube account, which was created before I had a smartphone capable of shooting and uploading HD video to the interwebs. Even before Google owned the half of the internet not already owned by Apple, Microsoft or Yahoo. Thus, my original account, created in the dark ages of the last decade, had no relation to much of my current digital signature.
But I knew I had videos out there on that old account. At least a dozen or so, from Patrick’s 7th grade on. So that raised the question: how do I find that old account?
Google, as with all online services, has a method for retrieving forgotten usernames and passwords. Except the problem is that I couldn’t remember which e-mail address I’d tied to that old account. So I’ve tried every e-mail address I have to find one that matched.
And all it wanted to do was change my current Google account password. Damn it.
Somewhere out there, in YouTube land, sat an account, with my videos in it, all locked down so that only people with the links could get to them. Except while I was supposed to have the links, I couldn’t get to the links because I didn’t have my account information.
This was a conundrum.
After a few days of trying to figure this out, I went back through old e-mails in three accounts before I found one that had the sign up information. I found the account name, reset the password, and then got interrupted. I remembered to go back in tonight. Except I’d forgotten both the account name and the password I’d changed it to–no, for whatever reason, I couldn’t make it follow my usual password routine, and no, I didn’t put it in my password file. So sue me.
Tonight, I got it reset. I got in to see the uploaded videos–fifteen in all, covering some of Patrick’s 7th grade year, the girls’ third grade, and a couple of songs from Patrick’s 8th grade year.
Yep. You guessed it. They’re not there.
9th grade hasn’t been digitized, apparently. I’ll add that to the list, along with our wedding video and countless other hours of stuff…Maybe I’ll just lock myself in my den for a couple of days over the Christmas break.
See you tomorrow.
I’ve tried. Really, I’ve tried. But I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to do this.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has fallen in love with this series. Except me. Because, I’m starting to think, it’s taken an excellent original version and twisted it so much that it’s become aimless and uninteresting. But there’s enough it’s trying to keep in common that it’s distracting.
Let me explain. The 1990 original follows Francis Urquhart, the Chief Whip of the Conservative Party. In the post-Thatcher era, his party is hanging on to a majority by a thread, and when a new Prime Minister is elected, and Urquhart believes he’s going to benefit from years of loyalty and support to the party and the new PM. But the PM tells him instead that he’s more valuable where he is, passing him over for a promotion. So Urquhart concocts a scheme to take down the PM and other party leadership through a carefully concocted smear campaign that he conducts through manipulation and leaks through a relationship with a young, ambitious reporter.
The new American version is about Francis Underwood, a South Carolina Democrat, and House Majority Whip. He, too, is passed up for promotion when a new president is elected, and is told the same thing. So he hatches a plan to…um…Oh hell, I’m nine episodes into a thirteen episode season and I’m still not clear what his plan is. So far, he just seems to be trying to undermine the president’s influence over congress, and take control of the Democratic party, which obviously would put him in a good position, but it’s so convoluted that you wonder how he’ll ever get there.
Sure, both Urquhart and Underwood are despicable people, but Ian Richardson’s Urquhart is evil while still being incredibly charming. Kevin Spacey’s Underwood comes off as just conniving and unlikable.
And I’m not really sure if they’ve tried weaving gay undertones into Underwood’s past or not…
I know what part of it is: the American version is trying to make the story complex and deep by developing more characters and introducing more subplots so that the suspense will build. And that would be okay if the story actually deserved subplots. Frankly, it’s a simple story, and one that played out brilliantly and quickly in the original.
A key example of this is with the men’s wives: Urquhart’s wife is supportive of his political goals, and knows and encourages him to do what is needed to secure his place in the government. But what she does outside of their home life is completely left alone because it doesn’t need to contribute to the story. Underwood’s wife, on the other hand, heads up a non-profit and is ruthless on her own, and ends up being wrapped into part of Underwood’s scheme to get a drug-addicted congressman elected as Pennsylvania’s governor.
Both men directly address the camera frequently, though Underwood’s asides are usually angry and fail to actually explain things, except for his own hatred of things and people he has to work with. Urquhart’s asides are illustrative, occasionally floral in their description, and act as a window into the depth of his plan. He still comes off as almost completely affable.
I think I know where some of the differences come from: this version was made during this complete congressional stalemate. No one in congress has appeared to be above the fray, and maybe this is just a grander statement on that. But if that’s the case, this isn’t the story to portray that.
I think I’ll fight through the rest of the episodes of the American version, because I am over two-thirds of the way through. But I went back and watched one episode of the original and found it light and intriguing by comparison. I suppose there’s a chance that things could completely change in the last few episodes, but I’m prepared to be disappointed.
Then I’ll have to consider if I’ll watch the next season of the show.
See you tomorrow.
Friday night, I wanted to just shut down my brain and watch something that required no thought, no engagement, no need to actually actively pay attention. But there was nothing immediately appealing in my Netflix instant queue, my Netflix DVD (which I’ve had since the Carter administration, I think) is Life of Pi, and from everything I’ve heard, that requires a great deal of engagement, and there seemed to be little of interest either on TV that night or recorded on the TiVo.
Except this: Too Big To Fail. It’s an HBO produced docudrama about the beginnings of the 2008 financial collapse that basically set off the “Great Recession.”
Sure. Something light to entertain me for the evening. No problem.
The thing is that the movie accomplished a couple of things without being overly heavy: first, it’s paced remarkably quickly. I just started watching it thinking I’d duck out at some point and find a sporting event or Warner Brothers cartoon or something. But before I knew it, I was two-thirds of the way in, and I wanted to see how it ended–not because I didn’t know how things came out, but because I wanted to know where it went with the story. The second thing is that it’s fascinating because it simplifies and explains the things that were going on without feeling like it’s dumbing things down or treating the viewers like an idiot. The movie is based on a book by the same name, which, apparently, lays things out in pretty clear, easy-to-read detail.
The cast is remarkable: William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Topher Grace, Cynthia Nixon, Bill Pullman, Tony Shaloob, James Woods, Ed Asner, among others. All play it with the requisite attention to detail while not going too far over the top–well, except Giamatti, but we’ll discuss that in a minute.
I think most of us know the story by now, or at least the basic framework: For several years, banks had been gambling on mortgages by loaning more and more money to less and less qualified borrowers at higher interest rates that would go nowhere but up over the course of the loan. Meanwhile, they backed their gambles with insurance policies in the form of mortgages backed securities which were sold to other banks and large insurance companies, most notably AIG.
Eventually, as the lower interest rates on these loans ratcheted upward and those homeowners were unable to pay the loans, they defaulted, leaving the bank with a house and less money than they counted on. The mortgage-backed securities that the banks bought and sold each other became nearly worthless, wiping billions of dollars off of their balance sheets. And in the meantime, there was a run on the insurance companies to try to recoup some of these losses, and AIG started running out of money itself.
In the movie, we almost have four sides to root for and against: Hurt’s Henry Paulson, the Treasury Secretary; and Giamatti’s wimpy Ben Bernanke, both of whom recognize the problem but feel that government doesn’t have a role in fixing the problem because they believe the banks should take care of themselves and the weaker ones should be bought by the stronger ones. Then there’s the stronger banks, who refuse to touch the weaker ones without being forced to because of the toxic mortgage assets that are being held. And then the weaker banks, run by a bunch of greedy men who found that the formula worked for a few years, but now everything they’d built is crumbling as they watched. And finally, there’s the rest of the government–President Bush and congress–who were unable to agree to any kind of hard-edged, pointed solution because that would have required more government regulation.
Paulson is treated as the hero here, mainly because he came to the Treasury position from the leadership of one of the eventually weaker banks, so he knows the people involved, and knows how things “should work.” But the problem is that things moved so far so quickly that decision-making quickly became a full-blown panic. None of the banks come off very well here, for obvious reasons. Bernanke is made to be a whimpering idiot for most of the movie, deferring to Paulson on all of the decisions. So it’s left to Paulson to make all of the decision as the financial system threatens to collapse over the course of a couple of weeks.
In the end, TARP is passed, giving billions of dollars to banks across the country, with the expectation that they’ll loan out the money, which they didn’t do.
The only thing I can’t quite work out is whether we’re supposed to feel any kind of empathy for Paulson: clearly he’s worried, as everyone would be in that situation. But the fact of the matter was that he was part of the problem for a while when he headed up one of the banks, and also that he now no longer understands the mindset of the CEOs of the banks so consistently underestimates their ability to make the decision that he expects them to.
Okay…I’ve rambled, but if you want a quick-moving recap of the near complete collapse of our banking system, then check this movie out. If not, watch a Three Stooges movie or something.
Oh…Four out of Five Stars.
See you tomorrow.
Holy hell, this is a mess…
Friends, I stand before you as one of about 27 people in the entire city of Minneapolis not running for Mayor, city council the park board or the school board. This position has come to be revered and celebrated, earning accolades and all kinds of mail asking for my support as any of the thousands of candidates seeks the office to which they have been called…This year.
Ah, but don’t forget that our city fathers have saddled we lucky few voters with the imperative to choicely rank our votes, in essence, picking the trifecta of candidates as if they were greyhounds in the 3rd race at the dog track. Yet, oddly, the payoff may not be as great. Go figure.
So today I was preparing myself–electorally girding my loins, if you will–and doing some final research to make sure the ranked choices I had previously…um…ranked, were indeed the ranks that I wished to choose. And I discovered that I took more exception to the issues of my previous second choice than I thought I had. So I’ve un-ranked or un-chosen Cam Winton in favor of Betsy Hodges for the second spot, even though I think she has great ideas but no idea how to actually achieve them and I think he’s actually thought this thing through but is flying a little too centrist to achieve anything in this town.
Well, let’s be fair. I think that none of the 35 people running for mayor seem to actually understand just how difficult running this city can be. It isn’t a simple matter of stopping one thing to fund something else. Or promising to do something better or influence the school board by using the power of the office to force some change. It won’t work that way. And this BS about growing the city to 500K by 2025 is possible, but probably not feasible if for no other reason than I don’t think the infrastructure can handle it without dumping some serious money into it. And we don’t have that yet.
So okay. I’ve got the first two choices chosen. But I’ve got the third spot empty. You see, this, I think, is the great failing of this whole idea: requiring too many choices, especially from a pool this huge. I’m actually worried that a goofy candidate like “Captain Jack Sparrow” (yes, he’s really running) could pull out some sort of showing simply because people will throw him into the third spot because they don’t know who else to put there.
But you need to understand the process to see how this is going to work: They will tally up the first choice votes and see if anyone gets a majority of the vote. If not, the lowest vote recipient is dropped from the list, and the second choices are added to the pool. This continues until either unicorns and naked dwarves begin running the streets in search of a veggie pizza or some singular candidate receives over 50% of the vote.
Which means that by the end of the counting, the winner will have had a majority of the voting public vote for them. The only problem being that they weren’t necessarily the popular first choice. But what could happen is that half of the voters tomorrow could be in the same predicament I’m in, not finding any of the candidates to be a palatable third choice, so we’ll fill in the circle for “Captain Jack Sparrow.” And when they get to the round where the third choice votes are factored in, we’ve suddenly got some wahoo in office who probably just threw his hat in the ring on a dare from an old frat buddy. But enough about Mark Andrew! (bada-bing!)
It’s the one thing I see that’s wrong with this idea: the assumption is that everyone will go in with three good choices. And as much as I like to think that people will take elections seriously, I know that people don’t think and research and really come up with well-reasoned decisions by the time they head to the polls. And that’s why, when it’s all said and done tomorrow, we’ll have elected a llama.
On the upside, though, there’s supposed to be anywhere between 2 and 28 inches of snow here, so that will probably keep the turnout low…For those of us not running for office, good luck tomorrow!
See you tomorrow.
I recall feeling this same way about leadership I’d supported all the way back in 1979 and 1980. Jimmy Carter’s presidency, so hopeful at the outset because we were communally digging out from the morass that was Nixon/Ford, had become a mess. Unable to move forward in any substantial fashion in key areas of the economy, the energy crisis, and the hostage crisis in Iran, things just felt sad.
These days, Obama’s presidency is marked with similar problems that feel insurmountable: the economy, spying scandals, the rollout of the affordable Care Act, and as a supporter listening to the news, hopeful that something will suddenly change the sad undercurrent of the whole dynamic, you just start to feel like things can’t end soon enough.
The only difference these days is that Obama is a lame duck, or technically, is about to become one next year. These are the days that a president is supposed to just cruise, put in place programs and international accords that mark the presidency as a success.
But that won’t happen.
I was afraid that the overreaching that the administration kicked off right after being elected might have a backlash, and it has. The ACA, regardless of whether or not it’s a good piece of legislation, is a lightning rod, attracting the ire of anyone who hates government spending and oversized government programs. And rightly so, because in a democracy, these things should be discussed and adjusted to make them better serve the people of this nation. But instead, through hard lines adopted by both sides, no one budged. The law was passed and defended in court. It’s been implemented, and like most things this big and sweeping, killing it once it’s been started will be extraordinarily difficult.
The bigger problem, though, is that for such a tech-savvy bunch, they really don’t have a clue about how to really use their resources once in office. I mean, they had a killer database of voters and supporters that really did the work in helping win both elections. And their polls were demonstrably more accurate than anything the media or the GOP managed to come up with. Plus, there were and are people within the administration who are great planners, organizers, and motivators. And somehow, all of that evaporated when they were elected.
They’ve ham-handed the whole healthcare.gov rollout, which should have been a slam-dunk for a crew that practically invented the effective modern campaign website. They’ve botched communications at every turn, which seems odd for a group that proved over and over again that they could masterfully manipulate social media. And to top it off, they’ve taken forever to own up to problems and then work quickly to fix them.
It’s disappointing because I think everyone who supported them during the campaigns knows what the whole team is capable of, and they’ve fallen so far short of that. I mean, the money was there from the start to build a tremendously effective and efficient website for healthcare.gov, but they didn’t. They left it to the usual government contractors who don’t care about anything, except to make sure the check clears.
With the NSA scandals, Benghazi, budget issues, and the like, this administration has, unfortunately, been unresponsive. Given every opportunity to take the offensive and effectively put their message out to the world, they’ve been late, clumsy, unclear, and occasionally evasive, forcing them to clarify things, explain themselves, and seem like no one knows what’s going on. Which is exactly the opposite of the image the group ran on.
Think back to 2008. Obama was a political rising star, but still wasn’t in the minds of many outside of the beltway. Within months, he was building momentum at an amazing rate because his team knew what to say, how to say it, who to say it to, and when to say it. Scandals and questions were quickly dealt with and attention shifted. Problems were fixed promptly and with the proper humility.
When’s the last time that happened in the Obama administration?
Don’t get me wrong: I still support them and their ideals. I just believe that they’ve fallen down during a difficult period in this country’s history and haven’t been as effective as they could have been. And that’s disappointing because they’re capable of so much more.
See you later.