Monthly Archives: November 2009

Seven Stories Obama Doesn’t Want Told

Brilliance by John F. Harris in Politico, via RCP. The author is a longtime professional journalist and media expert, and founder of The Politico.

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How do you fight a bureaucracy?

There are a few topics I’d like to catch up on – my trip to Casa Bonita, responding to a shout-out from my friend Kitty in Denver, reviewing a few excellent pieces of commentary that were linked to on Real Clear Politics yesterday and today, and offering my thoughts on the White House’s attack on my favorite political columnist, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Harvard MD-earning, Charles Krauthammer.

However, all that takes a back seat for a moment. Because today, the behemoth bureaucracy of a certain institution of higher education has declared war on me. Long story short, they’re saying I owe something that I do not believe I owe. [UPDATE: Note: My frustrations with the bureaucracy do not stem solely from this incident, nor am I intending to refer specifically to any individual directly involved with this incident. While this episode has frustrated me, I am largely speaking in general terms here].

My question is, how do you fight against a bureaucracy? How do you overcome the inertia of an institutional system? How do you out-maneuver a mind-numbingly absurd net of incompetent or impotent administrators, impersonal or even adversarial employees, circular system loops and perpetual paperwork? Is it possible? Or, should I just remember the old adage that “you can’t fight city hall” and fork over the bucks?

If you have your own story of fighting a bureaucracy – particularly any higher education institution – I would like to hear your story. If it’s compelling and you want to spotlight the issue, I’ll consider publishing it. At the very least, you’ll have someone to feel your pain.

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Filed under Education, Just For Fun, Personal Living

Casa Bonita: world’s worst Mexican food?

Today I am in Denver, Colorado. And so, like any self-respecting South Park fan, I am planning a pilgrimage to the famed Casa Bonita. The Mexican restaurant was popularized in season seven of the irreverent animated cartoon, as the fantasy destination of the childish, scheming Eric Cartman. Like others, he was lured by cliff divers, a mariachi band and other dramatic distractions.

The food is absolutely awful, apparently. This is the uniform opinion of every source I have consulted, in person and online. The “cheese” is especially bad – and there’s lots of it. So, my brother and I are needless to say not going for the food – although I’m intrigued by anything that people say is that bad – but the experience. Will have to post about it tonight or tomorrow:)

If you’ve not seen the Casa Bonita episode on South Park, you can watch it here. If for any reason that doesn’t work, just go to Episode 7-11 at http://www.southparkstudios.com.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Nothing political today – just Happy Thanksgiving wishes!

I’m in Denver, Colorado for the holiday, staying with family. This morning, ten of us gathered in the living room to talk, drink coffee and admire the new baby in the family. It was a good time. 

This afternoon we’ll have a Thanksgiving meal, and apparently a nearby outlet mall is opening up early for Black Friday, at 10pm. I’m not much of a shopper but I did find a couple good deals there the last time I went, so perhaps I’ll join the group for another outing this year. 

This Thanksgiving, find happiness in finding things to be thankful for.

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Filed under Just For Fun

Obama slide continues

Rasmussen Reports published its latest poll results today, with President Barack Obama‘s numbers continuing to slide. Only 45% of the American people approve of the job the president is doing, his lowest rating since taking office nearly one year ago.

The presidential approval index, which Rasmussen measures as the difference between those who strongly approve and strongly disapprove of the president’s job performance, now stands at -15%, also the worst figure in that category for the Mr. Obama.

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Why?

President Obam bows to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

President Obama bows to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

Why does President Obama continue to bow to foreign leaders? To those of  Saudi Arabia, then Japan, and now China.

Did the White House not recognize the negative response that the gesture received from the American people on the first two occasions?

And if so, why does the president continue to bow?

More importantly, why is he doing so in the first place, regardless of whether it is popularly received or not?

It is not the place of an American president to bow to the leader of another country.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

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Filed under Barack Obama, International Relations

The Great Awakening

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) expressed his vision for the country and the conservative movement at a dinner hosted in Washington, D.C. last night by The American Spectator. A former head of the Republican Study Conference and now Chairman of the House Republican Conference, Pence has been slowly but steadily gaining notoriety in recent years as a leading voice for the party.

I’ve felt for some time that Mike Pence is a potential contender for the Republicans. He’s got a lot of the right assets as a candidate. While I don’t know what his sense of timing might eventually be, he’s got time and I do believe that he will at some point be taking a serious look at making a run.

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