Ever played Monopoly and ran out of money? If you run out of money, then you have to mortgage your properties. If I remember correctly, the rent is lower on a mortgaged property, so you can’t even collect as much as you could if you owned it free and clear. And even with rents coming in, you still have to keep rolling the dice and traveling around that board, trying to collect $200 and trying not to land on someone else’s property.
Well, if you’ve played Monopoly and gotten down to mortgaging your properties, then you know that you’re on hard times and could possibly be the loser of the game.
That’s us. We, the people of the United States of America. But this ain’t Monopoly. This is real life and we, as a country on the whole, are broke. In our economic heyday, we let the good times roll and now it’s time to face the man in the mirror.
It’s Tuesday night and President Obama is giving his first speech to a joint session of Congress. VP Joe B. and House Speaker Nancy P. are seated behind Pres. B.O. clapping, standing and clapping, smiling, and listening making those listening faces. Pres. B.O. is giving us the good, the bad and the ugly.
In broad brush strokes, he’s painting a nice lush landscape of a picture of the USA getting to its rightful place — the leading position — on issues like “green” jobs, creating a business environment more conducive to keeping businesses here, modernizing healthcare, and pulling the plug (responsibly, of course) on the continued invasion of Iraq. And a whole lotta other stuff too. Man, he’s talking about a lot!
This speech is covering everything – national security, the economy, poverty here and worldwide, history, his budget plans. This speech, according to the pundits, was supposed to be inspirational. Pres. B.O. has been called on to help lift the spirits of people, many or most of whom have been through better days. People are losing or have lost their jobs and their homes. People’s kids who attended college on that home equity line of credit for the past few years are probably taking out loans themselves, or returning to that mortgaged-up house to enroll in a local school or community college. I mean, it’s hard out here for a pimp – or a student.
When I watch this sort of thing, I usually watch one of local public TV stations, WETA. Jim Lehrer is doing the play-by-play tonight. David Brooks, a conservative leaning NY Times columnist is riding shotgun. With all of that background and all of that subject matter to cover and all of the pundits and their speculations, you know I was mad as hell to hear that bama David Brooks say that he’s pretty sure that Michelle Obama’s bare arms is a first for an occasion like this.
Jim Lehrer then quipped that Mr. Brooks might be a little out of his area of expertise, referring to Brooks’ specialty in political issues — not fashion firsts or lasts or anything.
Yeah Mr. Brooks – maybe you need to shut your trap and focus on the reason why you’re there in the first place, which is to hear the President “break it down so that it can forever and consistently be broke.”
I thought it was a great speech: semi-inspirational, but stern and yet understanding at the same time. A very complex speech that was well-delivered and well-received. I don’t know WHAT he was thinking giving this speech on Mardi Gras but whatever.
I know I would’ve missed it had I been home but alas…I was here…in super freezin’ cold DC, at work, attending meetings — and missing out on my 2nd favorite holiday next to my birthday! But happy Mardi Gras to my friends and family who are celebrating (or just enjoying these 3 days off work) and I will be back to ride on the float next year!
Laissez le bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)