Hot Dog Delight

Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

I attended the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States.  I didn’t have tickets, but I had a prime viewing spot in front of one of the various jumbotrons to the left of the Washington Monument.  I spent the weekend in D.C. with some friends from college, and it was a great weekend.  I will remember it for as long as I live — partly because it was so cold (and it was the first time in my life I wore 7 layers on top, 3 layers on bottom, two hats, two pairs of gloves, and 3 socks — all at the same time), but mostly because I was surrounded by a couple million other people, all there for one reason, all united in support of one person.  It was incredible.

Crowds of people filled the streets and the metro stations all weekend long, especially from the day of the free concert on Sunday at Lincoln Memorial until after the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday.  Traveling in the crowds made me feel like I was back in college.  Walking the streets with my friends reminded me of the last day of classes at Cornell, when everyone was headed to the slope for Slope Day festivities.  Excitement was definitely in the air!  Below are some highlights from my weekend.

On our way to the concert at Lincoln Memorial -- it was metro station madness!

On our way to the concert at Lincoln Memorial -- it was metro station madness!

Coming out of the metro station

Coming out of the metro station

Walking to the Lincoln Memorial

Walking to the Lincoln Memorial

Me, miles away from the Lincoln Memorial

Me, miles away from the Lincoln Memorial -- we got there a bit late

But still amongst a crowd eagerly staring at the jumbotron, trying to catch a glimpse of Beyonce, etc.

But still amongst a crowd eagerly staring at the jumbotron, trying to catch a glimpse of Beyonce, etc.

People even climbed up trees to get a look (I think they were more interested in seeing the massive crowds more-so than the jumbotron)

People even climbed up trees to get a look (I think they were more interested in seeing the massive crowds more-so than the jumbotron)

It's Beyonce!

It's Beyonce!

And at that time, President Elect Barack Obama!

And at that time, President Elect Barack Obama!

It was a beautiful morning on the day of the inauguration...

Fast forward to Tuesday, January 20, 2009: It was a beautiful morning on the day of the inauguration -- a view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

We started out at the Lincoln Memorial at 8AM...

We started out at the Lincoln Memorial at 8AM...

We took a short break before continuing on...

We took a short break before continuing on...

We walked past the line of port-a-pottys...

Past the line of port-a-pottys...

And found a lovely spot in front of one of the jumbotrons!

And found a lovely spot in front of one of the jumbotrons -- to the left of the Washingotn Monument!

We waited for the next 3 hours in the cold...

We waited for the next 3 hours in the cold...

But somehow kept ourselves entertained.

But somehow kept ourselves entertained.

By this point, I can't feel my face anymore...

By this point, I can't feel my face anymore...

Close-up on the hat...Yes, I am wearing it proudly!

Close-up on the hat...Yes, I am wearing it proudly!

But then the moment finally came, when we welcomed our new President!

But then the moment finally came, when we welcomed our new President!

The crowds began to disperse.

Before we knew it, the crowds began to disperse.

And before I knew it, it was the end of a lovely weekend! Thanks to all those who made it very special!

And before I knew it, it was the end of a lovely weekend! Thanks to all those who made it very special!

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The End.

The End.

 

Last night I tuned into The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.  Apparently Rachel Maddow has been the talk of the town recently – she’s doubled the audience for a cable news channel in just a matter of days.  So when I was channel surfing last night and stopped at MSNBC, I decided to give her show a go, and I watched as Rachel spoke with Pat Buchanan about the “Palin Problem” – how Sarah Palin, who once boosted John McCain’s ratings, might now be negatively affecting McCain’s campaign for office. 

 

Now, I’m not a political person.  I don’t feel strongly about most elections.  I rarely watch CNN or MSNBC, and I’m not very well-versed on the issues.  But ever since Palin has become the Republican nominee for VP, I’ve not felt so many things and so strongly about a politician before:  a mix of shock, confusion and awe after learning about her practices as Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska, anxiety and worry about her views on certain issues, and terror that someone so unqualified and unprepared to hold the second highest office in the country could actually be considered for the job.

 

The shock and incredulity continued as I watched Buchanan defend Palin last night by saying:  

 

“Of course she’s under such savage attack, because she’s so attractive and so conservative – she’s a Christian pro-lifer…” 

 

He continued by asking Rachel,

 

“What causes the press to go feral on this lovely, attractive woman who has great intelligence, ability, decisiveness, not a great information base?”

 

Let’s back up for a moment and think about Buchanan’s defense of Palin.  So, let me get this straight.  The reason she’s under such savage attack by the media is because she’s so attractive.  That’s why the press goes “feral” on her – she’s just too darn pretty.  We’re all just jealous of her, really.  We all want to be Sarah Palin.  We want to go on Neiman Marcus and Sax shopping sprees, spend over $150,000 on our clothes, hair, and make-up (yet still maintain the notion that we’re just a hockey mom at heart) and use $20,000 in taxpayer dollars to fund our family’s travel across the country.  On second thought, maybe that’s why I want to be Sarah Palin…but is that really why the media attacks her?

 

What are we, in junior high?  What is Buchanan saying?  Yes, Palin is a woman.  And yes, I don’t think she’s ugly.  She’s not my cup of tea, but I wouldn’t argue with someone if they told me they thought she was attractive.  But let’s make this clear.  That’s not why people question her abilities to lead.  Her looks have nothing to do with the way the press handles their coverage on her.  Her ridiculous responses to questions, her absurd remarks and comments are really enough ammo for the press – her appearance is not what we have fault with. 

 

The media attacks Palin because she fails to rise to the same standards as former vice presidential candidates.  She makes a fool out of herself in interview after interview.  She repeats the same, mindless responses that the RNC has drilled into her.  My ears want to bleed every time I hear her talk about how she is a Maverick, how McCain is a Maverick, how she wants to put government back on the side of the people, how she’s all for Joe the Plumber and Molly the Dental Hygienist, how she would never meet with dictators without preconditions. 

 

Palin might be a smart woman.  She might be hard working and have executive experience, but she is unprepared to lead a nation.  I don’t think it’s a good idea to put someone in office – especially with such difficult times ahead – who is just like me.  I don’t have any insight on how to fix the economy or how to bring the country back to its glory days.  Heck, I don’t even know what I want to do with my life or what I’m going to eat for dinner.  I don’t believe Joe Six Pack or Joe the Plumber have the answers either.  And frankly, I find it insulting to be identified solely by one’s profession.  We are defined by more than our jobs.  It shouldn’t be seen as flattering to give a shout out to someone simply because of the title they hold in only one aspect of their life.  We should be praised for our actions, our ideas, our efforts to make a better life for ourselves, our drive, determination, motivation, our empathy.  Not just our occupation.  Our jobs don’t make who we are. 

 

Palin is not someone I relate to.  She is not someone who inspires me.  I am not impressed by her tough-talking, gun-toting, moose-hunting, wolf-shooting (from airplanes) and creationist-loving ways.  I disagree with her world views, and I don’t believe she commands the level of respect necessary for someone to create real change.  Contrary to McCain’s belief that she is the “most qualified” VP pick in recent history, she is not.  She doesn’t even know what the job specifications of a VP are.  When asked by a third grader what a VP does, she responded that a VP is in charge of the United States Senate. 

 

“They can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom and it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job.”

 

No, Governor Palin.  Wrong again.  According to the Constitution, the role of a Vice President is to become President in the event the President cannot serve.  The VP also acts as President of the Senate, which entails casting tie-breaking votes and presiding over the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College.  That’s it.  Isn’t it about time she familiarized herself with the workings of American government?  Shouldn’t we expect more from someone running for such a high level position? 

 

It’s time we repair our country’s reputation.  There is a lot of work to be done in the coming years.  The country has already voted for someone they can relate to, someone they’d like to have a beer with.  Look at what that’s done, and look at where we are today.  On November 4, please make the right decision and pick the team (because it is about a team, a package deal, and not just the front man) who is most qualified, who will most likely make the changes we so desperately need.  Let’s not make the same mistake again. 

 

See for yourself — Watch Palin answer the job specifications of a VP incorrectly:

 

 

In honor of the last presidential debate, tonight at 9PM, in our great state of New York, I have decided to spread the public service announcement below, brought to you by the Partnership for a McCain-Free White House.  Three out of five parents may be considering voting for John McCain.  It’s time you sat down with your parents, and try to reason with them.  They might not want to hear it, and they might deny they have a problem.  Have the talk with your parents, or anyone else you think might be considering voting for McCain, today.  Your life, your livelihood, and America’s future depend on it. 

For more information on having the talk, please check out the website at:

http://www.mccainfreewhitehouse.org/having-the-talk.html