If you think political talk radio is a brutal place, you should try sports talk radio. In the world of news talk, you have a biased hosed with a political agenda attempting to spin current events to make you see them his way. In the world of sports talk, you largely have a field of minds so jammed with statistics and dates that they are unable to form a point of view on anything other than a simple Vegas line, let alone manage to try to find a way to spin the event for the mindless masses who tune it. This can make listening to channels like Mad Dog Radio on Sirius and XM Radio an exercise in frustration. Yet it is an exercise that I perform almost daily, and occasionally I call in to try to straighten some of these guys out. My latest beef? The New York Knicks.
Trying to get my Suburban back on the road.
Those of you who know me personally know that awhile back I bought a 1997 Suburban. It had a few problems, but I got a hell of a deal on it and I figured I could get them fixed and still come in under the Blue Book on it. The biggest problem seemed to be the transmission, so I took it in to get it checked out. The shop calls me back after they look at it and tells me he flushed the transmission and it seems to be doing fine now. $80 and it's fixed? Too good to be true, right? You guessed it. A week later she's back at the shop.
They have it for 2 days before they call me back this time. Turns out it needs one of the gears replaced, but everything else is fine. $600 should get me back on the road. Now originally it slipped going into 3rd gear, and wouldn't go into the top gear at all. When I get it back, it shifts into 3rd fine, but still no top gear. I take it back.
As I'm waiting to talk to the guy that runs the place, one of the mechanics pulls me off to the side. He tells me that the guy in charge is a nice guy but he's an idiot. He says the mechanics know that I need to get the whole thing rebuilt, but he won't let them because he wants to "save me money." Trouble is, after he's done with all of the nickle and dime work arounds, I'm still going to need a rebuild. The good news is the guy is retiring in a week, and this mechanic is taking over. So all I have to do is wait a week, and he can fix me right up and save me the extra bucks I would have wasted chasing this other guys ideas around the shop. To confirm his story, the guy tells me he wants to rebuild the 3rd and top gears and send me back out. So of course, I decided to hold out a week and get it fixed right the first time by the guy who knows what he is doing.
A week later the changing of the guard occurs and there's a new sheriff in town. He throws the rig up on the rack, and now he tells me it was worse than he thought. It turns out, the tranny is so shot that they can't rebuild it. I'm going to need a new one. Of course, I was a little irritated with this because he had said he was going to save me money, but I want it fixed so I give him the okay, and $4,000 and 3 weeks later I'm pulling out of the shop. Now it slips going into every gear, and still no top gear. I turn around and go back. Dude tells me that I just need to break it in. So for the next two weeks, I'm irritating everyone behind me in traffic as I try to get this thing to grab a gear. I decide to take it back.
Up on the rack she goes again. I stayed there and waited on them while they checked it this time. My now not so dear mechanic friend who was supposedly hooking me up comes and tells me that the transmission that they put in "didn't fit the way that they had hoped it would" and that it wasn't his fault because (my, how the worm has turned) he's trying to take care of me but "the mechanics don't know what they are doing." So now he decides to personally look at my old transmission, and he is telling me that he can replace 3rd and top and have me running like new. This, of course, is the idea that the first guy (who didn't know what he was doing) had before this guy decided to save me some headaches. So, I tell him to go ahead and do that.
And right about now you're probably thinking that I am an idiot. If that was a true story, you would be right. In fact, it isn't a true story. It is more of a parable. See if this sounds familiar.
You have a guy in charge who has ideas that don't work. You have another member of a different department of the same organization who says he has better ideas that will make things run better and save money. He tries his ideas and they cost more, but you look the other way just hoping that they will work. Then the guy who got the job by telling you he didn't have enough power to help you as a mechanic and you should wait until he is the foreman, now tells you that he's doing alright as a foreman but the mechanics are doing it wrong. And, his idea to prevent you from taking the car to the junkyard and declaring the whole thing a total disaster?
"The president was out there and will continue to be out there calling on Congress to take action on the middle-class tax cut," Carney said. "Republican leaders have been very clear they will hold hostage tax cuts for 98% of the American people to their insistence that millionaires and billionaires get tax cuts, too."
The dispute has stalled action in Congress not only on whether to extend former president George W. Bush's tax cuts, first passed in 2001, but also on automatic spending cuts set for Jan. 1. That's a result of an earlier impasse -- the failure of a special bipartisan congressional panel to agree on a package of spending cuts and tax increases.
You can't make this stuff up. The official stance of President Obama is that the Republicans don't care about the middle class because they won't extend George Bush's policies and make a deal to avoid his. And through it all, we're not supposed to notice that Bush, though he had no idea what he was doing and nearly destroyed the Country, managed to get things done despite then Senator Obama and the rest of the Democrats working hard to try and stop him. Yet President Obama, who is a genius who would save this great nation if we would just let him, can't manage to get anything done because of those damned obstructionist Republicans. Well to be quite honest and frank with you, if all it takes to completely stop a President is a little obstruction in one branch of Congress, than I would ask why Obama and the Democrats didn't run some obstruction and save us from Bush's ideas?
Now obviously, no matter how cool your mechanic was and how much you might like him, you wouldn't be dumb enough to give him your car for one more hack at it in the above scenario, right? So hopefully you can see why I point and laugh when I see you putting your liberal rear end down the road in your Chevy Volt with your Obama 2012 bumper sticker on the back. It's because he thinks you're an idiot, and he is right. You're like "Sure, Barry. Throw it up on the rack one more time and see what you can come up with." Consider President Obama's 2008 acceptance speech, when he spoke these words at the convention.
We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.
These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
What has changed since then? Is our economy in less of a state of turmoil? Does the phrase "Fiscal Cliff" ring a bell? He told us that he "brought us back from the brink," but now he merely points and says that we might go over it if the Republicans don't act. Yet that woman on the verge of retirement in Ohio has seen President Obama make sever cuts to Medicare. And yes, I know that the left disputes that, but look at the case they are making.
But Obama’s cuts were not directly aimed at Medicare’s 48 million beneficiaries; instead they affect hospitals, insurers, nursing homes, drug companies and other service providers. Simply undoing the cuts would restore higher payments to those service providers. And that would cause Medicare to spend money faster.
They are literally saying he didn't cut money from Medicare recipients, he saved money by cutting services that Medicare will pay for. And that helps that little old lady in Ohio how? And what about the business owner in Indiana? How did we go from empathizing with his tears over his lost business, to telling him he didn't build it in the first place? And don't even get me started on unemployment amongst our returning veterans, which is close to 9%.
Reading those words which the President himself spoke a mere 4 years ago leads you to only one conclusion. His Presidency has not come close to living up to the lofty rhetoric which lifted it off the ground at the last convention. Did he inherit a mess? You're damn right he did. The trouble is, so will the next guy. We have no control over that. What we can control is how much of a mess the next guy will inherit. Four years worth, or eight.
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