April 2, 2010 archive

President Placeholder?

Following up on Michael Gass’ One Term President.



How temporary must a Chief Executive feel when he doesn’t even want to replace the last guy’s office furnishings?

President Obama has not, as yet, changed the Oval Office dramatically. Three subtle changes are the addition of a hand-carved wooden sculpture obtained by him on a 2006 trip to his ancestral home of Kenya. The figurine shows an egg placed gently into a human hand, symbolizing the fragility of power [1]. He has also replaced the Laura Bush-inspired floral decorations with a bowl of wax apples and has replaced the decorative plates on the oval office bookshelves with books. It has been confirmed that some changes will happen to the Oval Office decor; during a meeting with military officials during the first week of the Presidency, Obama surveyed his new environs with a critical eye. “He looked around,” said one of his guests, retired Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, “and said, ‘I’ve got to do something about these plates. I’m not really a plates kind of guy.’

He also added a bust of MLK.

There may be no better metaphor for Obama’s Presidency so far.

His ‘big’ changes from the Bush era are:

– getting rid of Bush’s tacky plates.

– replacing live flowers with phony fruit.

– adding a bust of the man whose peace loving philosophies he internationally repudiated and another statue that reminds him of his own insecurity.

And that’s all.

A Champion for Change? The guy won’t even order new curtains.

It’s not as if there’s some Presidential decorating convention that says Obama can’t make significant renovations to the Oval Office decor.

Quite the opposite in fact.  

Of all the sitting Presidents since the oval office was rebuilt in 1934, only Eisenhower and Carter did NOT change the decor to suit their own personal styles.

Clinton (“Candy Striper”)

Bush I (“Colonel Kurtz” aka “George of the Jungle”)

Reagan (“Iran-Cointreau”)

Ford/Carter (“Unpardonable”)

Nixon (“Sound Studio”)

LBJ (“Easy Green”)

Kennedy (“Red Menace”)

Truman/Ike (“Fallout”)

FDR (“The Toy Room”)

I don’t know if he wants another term or not, but judging from his studied lack of interest in making the Oval Office his own, the President may very well be anticipating NOT taking a second lap.

After all, there’s no great reason for Obama to invest emotional capitol in creating his own personal White House legacy if he already knows he’s one termer.

Far easier simply to borrow Dubya’s for the duration.

The “Poor” Will Always Be With Us

Today is Good Friday and as a result I pause to reflect upon a particularly crucial passage of the story that is as frequently misunderstood as it is frequently quoted.  In it, the actions and responses of the principle players still speak to us, even 2,000 years later.  The impetus and motivation upon which Judas makes the ignoble decision to betray Jesus lies with this anecdote.  I cite it today in an attempt to put the impeding Crucifixion in context.  Chronologically the verses fall shortly before Palm Sunday, where Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem to the adoration of thousands of cheering supporters.  Jesus has stopped to rest at Lazarus’ house, the man who he had but recently raised from the dead.      

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”

He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.  “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.  You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Judas was a Zealot, a member of a Jewish political movement devoted to the removal of the occupying Roman Empire by any means necessary.  At first, Judas assumed that the Kingdom which Jesus talked about was an earthly one to be established after a violent conflict.  However, once he discovered that the Kingdom of Heaven was a spiritual state arrived at neither through violence, nor through material gain, Judas made the decision to betray Him.  Judas’ primary devotion was to money and profit, and thus his own selfishness belied his rationalization.  

Some have believed over the centuries that Jesus meant that there would always be poverty and that we ought not to worry about it.  This is not the case at all.  In honesty, I have always felt that Jesus’ response in this situation is directed squarely towards activists, particularly those on the Left.  So often we justify our actions and deeds under the guise of piety.  It is easy to make a great show out of doing what is best for the less fortunate, especially when our true motives are neither noble nor especially charitable.  But there’s also a second dynamic at play too, the idea that our own human desires to help people are subordinate to God’s plan for us.  It is as if Jesus is saying “You’ll always have some excuse or some reason to seem socially conscious.  After all, the “poor” will always be with you.  If it isn’t the “poor” today, it’ll be something else tomorrow.”  If it isn’t Darfur today it’ll be Katrina, and if it isn’t Katrina, it’ll be Haiti.

Good intentions quickly become obscured by profit, accumulation, and a desire to win the adulation and approval of others.  We fight against the injustice of the world, but often are distracted from the ultimate mission at hand by worldly temptations.  Mostly we wish to superimpose our own will and our own itinerary upon the work we do for others, and I imagine God laughs as He brushes that aside.  As for me, so long as I follow that voice inside myself that is God and is divinely inspired, I will never go wrong.  When I deviate from that guidance and that surety of purpose for whatever reason, then I find myself running into complications and frustrating situations with no resolution.  God’s plan for me might be scary at times, but it is never confusing or unclear.

For many people it is difficult to have faith in something that is unfamiliar or cannot be comfortingly explained by reason or readily available information.  Humanity is, as we know, inherently mortal and inherently flawed, so missteps and problems are inevitable.  Perhaps the best perfection we can achieve is that of complete trust and obedience to a guidance beyond ourselves, one that will not always place us in comfortable spaces, but will certainly always ensure that we are learning and growing.  Our resistance is often designed as a means of preventing ourselves from being uncomfortable or braving the unfamiliar, but to be guided by God never promises the easy way out.  We can take comfort not that we will always have all the answers, but that we can reach a point where we know that answers will be granted in due time, and in the meantime we will never be given a greater burden than we can handle.  In many respects, this is almost Zen-like in its application.                

I wish that someday the “poor” might not be with us, as I recognize that there will always be work to do and that inequality and injustice are unlikely to leave us any time soon.  May we resolve to help those who need it with a singular purpose of service, setting aside anything else we might wish in the process.  That which we need will be provided.  We have everything at our disposal that we could possibly ever want, and my prayer is that someday we’ll believe it.  

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Catholics mark Good Friday amid abuse scandals

by Gina Doggett, AFP

Fri Apr 2, 10:46 am ET

VATICAN CITY (AFP) – Pope Benedict XVI marked Good Friday, the Christian world’s most solemn day, under a cloud as the Roman Catholic Church grappled with paedophile priest scandals.

With new cases being reported almost daily, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope’s vicar for Rome, told Vatican Radio that it was a “moment of suffering” for the Church.

Benedict, 82, was to lead a Good Friday observance at St Peter’s Basilica before presiding over a traditional procession at Rome’s Colosseum re-enacting Jesus Christ’s final hours and crucifixion.

Updated!!!!!: Breaking News: Sean Hannity Sucks

*** Update 12.37 PM : Hannity STILL SUCKS ***

And the Republicans suck too.

They suck



Did I mention, that Sean Hannity sucks?

Rush too.


Sucks Sucks

<>Note: Insert Embedded Video Of A Republican Sucking Really Bad Here<>

Tea Party






(Long Dead But Sucks)

 (Note to self, things not to mention in this or any diary:

 Democrats are in power?  

 Who knew?  

Things not to mention-Afghanistan, Goldman Sachs, AIG, Bonuses, Outsourcing, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Israel, Medical Insurance Companies, For Profit Health Care, Racial Profiling In Airports, Offshore Oil Drilling, Endangered Species, Torture, Rendition, Justice Dept, The Appointing Of US Senators by party insiders, Nuclear Power, Clean Coal ‘Technology’, Increased Military Spending, Military in the Schools, More Cops, The Attack On Public Education, Social (in)Security, Nuclear Weapons, Patriot Act Renewal, Mandates…

well, don’t mention any actual issue at all.  )

Sean Hannity:


“McVeigh wannabes” promote Tea Parties, Glenn Beck on their website. Tell me about that Snark again

     If you haven’t heard about the 30 Governors who have received “Resign or else” threats, you might be interested to learn about this.

    The group, “Guardians of the Free Republics,” wants to “restore America” by dismantling parts of the government, according to its web site.      


    The website also promotes tea party protests, calls for revolution, videos from Glenn Beck, and sympathetic articles about recent right-wing domestic terrorist activities, like the suicide attack on an IRS building in Austin earlier this year.


Bold added by the diarist

    More below the fold.

Open Devotion


Bipartisan Open Thread

Wild Wild Left Radio #59: Richard Gage, AIA; AE911Truth.Org Interview

Tonight at 6PM to 8PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, WWL Radio’s exclusive interview with Richard Gage, AIA!!!!!

Join Diane Gee and Michael Gottlieb tonight for our interview with the esteemed Richard Gage, AIA, creator of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

Richard Gage, AIA, will be speaking to us from 6-7pm. There is an additional hour available for post-interview questions and discussion, as needed. I remind all callers to be brief and respectful. This is a “G” rated show.

Every single failure in the last 9 years is linked in some way to the events of September 11th, 2001 and the entirely impossible “official story” about how the buildings collapsed.

Our Honored Guest is the leading expert in the study of this evidence, and the science that proves that the “official story” cannot possibly be correct.

Please visit www.ae911truth.org, and acquaint yourself with their mission, and Sign the Petition for a new, thorough, unbiased investigation into what happened on 9/11. Available there is the enlightening Documentary “911: Blueprint for Truth~The Architecture of Destruction” which you can view wholly online, or purchase to share with everyone you know.

Join us in spreading the word, and getting involved, armed with FACTS to demand a new, unbiased investigation to the events of 9/11.

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On the census, this is another of great wonder as to the mentality and intelligence of the opposer’s to. Not only especially their reps who should know better, hey they work in congress or in the capital, but to their ‘tea party baggers’, if you fill out and send it costs Us the taxpayers only the postage, the rest of the costs are already known and budgeted from that point. But if you refuse to fill it out and mail it it averages to a $60 cost for each house that needs to be visited, some numerous times!!! Oh and as to illegals, those who do give information aren’t known as so they add to the count that helps the communities!!

Docudharma Times Friday April 2

Friday’s Headlines:

Kids stranded in Haiti often not welcome home

Britain names Chagos Islands world’s largest marine preserve


Democrats map out midterm campaign strategy for Obama

Census project adds to the job picture when it counts


Shared nuclear submarine patrols would benefit Britain and France

Vatican was warned about paedophile priests in 1963

Middle East

Israeli planes strike multiple targets in Gaza air raid

Saudis ‘give Lebanese sorcerer stay of execution’


Robert Fisk: Glossy new front in battle for hearts and minds

Signs of life in China’s flooded mine: state TV


Nigeria forced to deal with revival of Islamist group Boko Haram

Sudan opposition parties in elections boycott

Latin America

Why are beheadings so popular with Mexico’s drug gangs?

Wash. refinery blast kills one; 3 are missing

Witnesses in homes as far away as 5 miles said they felt their houses shake

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Hot Sprocket

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Doubling down…

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

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