Category Archives: My Two Cents

My Two Cents: Always Running

“Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels. I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels. I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through. Looking into their eyes, I see them running too.”

-Running on Empty (Jackson Browne)

twocentsSome people run “for” things (noble things like charity or good health); while others run “from” them (insecurities). Then there are those people who always seem to be running.

Confused a bit? Let me explain.

People across the political spectrum in this country are heavily divided on what direction we should go. Personally, I have no problem with people having differing opinions and leaving things open for debate. It’s actually what makes our country so great.

My problem is that some of these people are always running (in this case, for public office) 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has the right to be an elected official, and you can call it wanting what’s best for the country; sour grapes or just being a sore loser. But why is it that even after all of the whistle-stops, debates, conventions and the actual election itself are over, many of the same people who lose the election are immediately running again? And why is it “news” that the same congressmen, senators, political pundits and reality television hosts (who have already demonstrated unsuccessful attempts) plan to run for president/congress again in two, four or six years from now?

Why is everyone in such a hurry for years to go by as quickly as possible?

I know. I l know. No one wants to hear “The people have spoken”; especially if you’re on the losing end of the situation. But can’t we at least give it a break for just a few months? For instance, does it really matter (right here/right now) that Donald Trump is exploring the possibility of running for president for the millionth time in 2016? Or that we’re busily talking about the November 2014 elections in August of 2013? It boggles my mind to think that people would willingly sacrifice years of their lives just to get another opportunity to get into office.

Here’s a thought. How about we all put the brouhaha about the next election off until January 1st? Let’s actually enjoy what’s left of 2013. Just once, I’d like to see the candidates that want to run again do something else instead of immediately opening exploratory committees, peddling talk shows or writing letters to the editor.

For those of you who fall into the category of always running for office, here are a few suggestions of things you can do instead:

1. Run for others: Donate time/talent to a local charity (and not just writing a check).

2. Run for your health.

3. Run to increase your artistic ability: Paint a picture or learn a musical instrument.

4. Run to increase your mental capacity: Read a book (or better yet, write one – so long as it’s NOT about politics).

When the election is over, and all the ballots have been counted find something else to run “for”. There will be plenty of time for campaign speeches, kissing babies and hand shaking later.

You’re alive, so you’ve already won. And that should count for something.

And The Weiner Is….

oscarmeyerJust a quick little rant on this fine Tuesday morning:

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted by all of the weener jokes that have been going around.

The gist of the story goes like this: Former Congressman (and now NYC mayoral candidate) Anthony Weiner continued to perform sexting rituals with women even after he had resigned in disgrace and promised taxpayers (as well as his embarrassed wife) to never to do it again.

Ever since news of the story and fresh allegations broke, you can’t read a single newspaper or internet site without seeing a headline that doesn’t indirectly poke fun about his manhood.

Examples:

“Weiner Needs To Pull Out” (of the mayoral race.. just wanted to clarify as this is a family friendly blog).

“Shrinkage” (referring to his poll numbers after the latest accusations).

“Weiner’s Pickle” (the dilemma he now finds himself in).

or how about this ambiguous headline:

“Poll: 78% of Young Women approve of Weiner”

Don’t get me wrong, I found many of these headlines to be hilarious (and well deserved, all things considered), but enough is enough. Mr. Weiner, please pull out… uhm… withdrawl.. uhm. Oh, you know what I mean – Just get out of the race already!

It’s shocking that in an age of instant knowledge, NSA spying and whistle blowing Mr. Weiner believed he could keep this stuff secret and still run for political office (in New York City no less). Apparently, he doesn’t get what the rest of us already know. To the media, SEX is like chum for hungry sharks. They LIVE for stories like this (just ask guys like Bill Clinton, John Edwards and Mark Sanford). To say that he didn’t know ahead of time is naive at best and at worst, proof positive that Mr. Weiner has no regard for the people he wants to represent.

Then you have Eliot Spitzer claiming Weiner’s not fit to be Mayor. This from a married man (himself also once again running for office) who regularly had call girls pay him a visit while he was Governor of New York.

But perhaps the most ironic thing of all was this Tweet I saw from the Associated Press:

tweet

For those who don’t know: “The Good Wife” is a TV series that focuses on Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), whose husband Peter Florrick, a former state’s attorney, has been jailed following a very public sex and corruption scandal. The series was partly inspired by the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, as well as by other prominent American political sex scandals.

I guess it’s nice to know that Ms. Margulies can relate to Weiner’s loyal spouse, since she does play a fictional version of someone like her on TV. But having this featured as one a major new outlet’s main headlines??

I’m beginning to think this is all one big episode of The Twilight Zone.

It’s All Part of The Plan

It’s been a little while since my last rant, but given the events of these last few days, I feel it’s time to opine. So here goes. I’d like to take this time to give you my thoughts on why the media’s current marketing business model is quite possibly the greatest thing ever.

But before I give you my rant – here’s a little preliminary information for you to digest:

jennyPoint #1: After it was recently announced that Elisabeth Hasselbeck  was leaving her ABC show “The View” for the safety and comfort of the middle seat on Fox and Friends, Jenny McCarthy was named as the show’s new co-host.

This announcement really should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following along at home. McCarthy has already been popping up in the co-pilot’s chair on The View for quite some time, as well as finding her way on to other ABC shows like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. McCarthy also tested the hosting waters with her own short-lived VH1 show. But once her name was officially announced for The View, it immediately stirred up rage within the public domain.

The reason McCarthy stirs up a LOT of controversy is because of her views on vaccines and what she believes is its direct relationship to autism (a condition her own son suffers from). Because of her celebrity status and open promotion to not having children vaccinated when they’re young, the fear is she’ll use her chair to continue to have an open, unchallenged platform for her views.

I used this more appropriate Rolling Stone cover

I prefer this, more appropriate Rolling Stone cover

Point #2:  Rolling Stone magazine recently revealed its new cover; one that features Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a “GQ” like pose. Considering the heinous acts he (and his late brother) allegedly perpetrated, you’d think the magazine would have some sense of decorum and sensitivity towards the victims, instead of promoting him as some sort of celebrity (on a side note: I would have much preferred had they used a picture of his face all beaten and bruised after he had been captured).

Whenever these sort of things happen within the media, there’s an immediate cry foul attitude, the threat of infinite boycott and the sending of long emails to editors whose accounts will never be checked and messages that will be unread and deleted. Although all valid and noble pursuits, my real concern is that the situations that led to such a reaction were all preplanned right from the get-go, and will quickly be forgotten by an outraged public.

Let me explain why, once again using each “point” as an example.

Point #1: Was it a coincidence that McCarthy’s name was announced a full two months before she even becomes a fixture of “The View”? I don’t think so. I’m also convinced that there will be a big bruhaha the first week or so that she’s on; with everyone hoping she’ll say something controversial. Alas, that will soon wear off and things will eventually go back to normal, but in the meantime, the show will have already achieved its goal: it got people talking.

Point #2: If you honestly believe that the editors of Rolling Stone didn’t already know that putting a hip looking Tsarnaev on the cover would cause such a reaction, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you. In just 24 hours, social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with public outcry; stores have already put out press releases refusing to carry the issue and people have threatened to never read the magazine again (as if they already did).

As far as I’m concerned, they (the head honchos at RS) knew full well what they were doing and decided to do it anyway because (although sales may suffer in the short-term), the best publicity for anything is word of mouth and once again: it got people talking.

I’m also convinced the magazine was already well prepared for what was going to happen next. How easy it is to route all of their “customer service” complaints through a call center in India. Don’t worry, I’m sure every bitch and moan will be documented and every one of them used as statistics for their next marketing campaign.

Then there’s this: Rolling Stone is a bi-monthly publication. Do you think people will still be talking about this issue six weeks from now when Jay Z or Bruno Mars are back on the cover talking about important things? You know, like the VMA Awards.

But seriously, when was the last time you remember anyone discussing The View or Rolling Stone magazine at all?

My Two Cents: The Fiscal Cliff

twocentsIt’s a good thing I saved my final two cents for the end of the year. It looks like many of us are going to need the extra money in 2013.

You’ve just got to love all of the finger-pointing that’s going on in Congress right now regarding the so-called Fiscal Cliff.  Democrats are blaming Republicans for the whole debacle and Republicans are blaming Obama and Democrats for their unwillingness to compromise.

As if the whole Mayan thing wasn’t bad enough, last-minute proposals and late night meetings are taking place in the dead of night to offset rising taxes, crashing markets and double-digit unemployment. Not a good way to ring in the new year.

I know this may come as a shock, but I’m going out on a limb here and say that this whole thing isn’t the fault Obama, John Boehner or anyone else in the House or Senate. Sadly, the real reason for this whole pickle we’re in lies with you, me and everyone else who votes.

We continuously bitch and moan about what’s being done in Washington and see polls that show the approval rating of Congress to be in the teens. And yet, every two years (without fail) we continue to re-elect the exact same people we can’t stand.

I borrowed this doozy from Ballot-Pedia showing the results of the Congressional 2012 Elections. Grab a vomit bag before you read them.

2012Results
That’s right, out of 435 House seats “We The People” voted 349 of them back in. These results show that even though Congress as a whole has an 18% approval rating, we decided that 80% of them deserved to be re-elected.

Even though some of these people spent the last two years riding the Sunday talk show circuit for exposure or ran for president themselves instead of casting important (and necessary) votes for their districts, only 27 of them were doing enough of a bad job for us to get rid of them. Pathetic!

So in 2013, when you’re watching the news or reading blogs that blame Obama or Congress for the mess we are in, consider this chart. Then take a good long look in the mirror and you’ll see where the problem really lies.

Just my two-cents.

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