Who will win the 2012 Presidential election (and by how much)?

MacLaren’s First Presidential Experience

Mac got to experience his his first presidential rally today (September 7, 2012) when President Barack Obama visited the University of Iowa. Roslyn made him an “I heart Michelle” onesie and he was waving at everyone he saw on the Pentacrest, as well as during lunch at Iowa City’s famous Hamburg Inn (a political tradition in Iowa City).

He had a great time!

Mommy has her ticket and we're ready to see the President

Mommy has her ticket and we’re ready to see the President

Ros and Mac get ready to see the President

Ros and Mac get ready to see the President

Mommy made Mac an "I Heart Michelle" onesie for the occasion.

Mommy made Mac an “I Heart Michelle” onesie for the occasion.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa on September 7, 2012

ken starr named president of baylor university

Kenneth Starr, Dean of Pepperdine University's Law School, has been named President of Baylor University.

yesterday, it was announced that pepperdine law school dean, kenneth starr, has been named president of baylor university. it was no surprise that the former solicitor general of the united states and former independent counsel, whose investigation led to the impeachment of president bill clinton, was named to lead a university. i just always figured he’d be pepperdine’s president one day.

regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, and regardless of what you think of bill clinton and the monica lewinsky scandal, and regardless of where you stand on california proposition 8 and gay marriage, dean starr is a wonderful man. he is kind and very sensitive to the opinions of others. in my interactions with him, i have always found him to be a fair and sincere man and scholar.

even though we disagree on prop 8 (he testified in defense of the measure, arguing that the same-sex marriages performed in california while it was briefly legal should be nullified, while i wrote against of the measure), i find him to be a wonderful thinker, educator, and leader. and despite the fact that one may disagree with him on a particular issue, dean starr remains a professional, open to debate, and always very soft spoken and kind.

and of course, he knows the law very, very well ;-)

i wish dean starr well on his new challenge at baylor, and thank him for being a wonderful leader during his time at pepperdine. baylor has certainly gained an incredible scholar and leader.

on the white house’s enemies list and the free press

In this June 6, 2008, file photo President Barack Obama huddles with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

In this June 6, 2008, file photo President Barack Obama huddles with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

there is an old adage: never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. this is as true for joe citizen as it is for white house.

the obama administration recently experienced another humiliating, yet little publicized setback stemming from their apparent policy of playing nice only with those organizations they feel support them. the white house recently attempted to make newly appointed ‘pay czar’ kenneth feinberg, who will oversee the obama administration’s efforts to limit the pay of top executives of companies that received federal bailout money, available for interviews to every member of the white house press pool except fox news. bad move. this kind of tit-for-tat access makes president obama look petty, and only reminds the nation of the corrupt, vindictive, and corrosive political environment in chicago that produced the likes of rod blagojevich, richard j. daley, and president obama.

how powerful is the press? and how wrong was it of the obama white house to attempt to grant press access only to those networks they believe provide favorable coverage of them? despite being competitors, the press stuck together!

the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included.

good for them. and shame on the white house power brokers. whether you love or hate fox news, one simply cannot pick and choose with whom one is going to deal as an elected official. the press in this country are granted nearly unfettered access to all things. anyone remotely appearing to deny access or hide things from the press – especially from the established networks – is just asking for relentless investigations and badgering from the press. this is especially true if you have made a public pledge to run a transparent administration.

and this news of singling out fox news comes at the same time as criticism of the white house mounts for cultivating what many say is an ‘enemies list,’ harkening back to the corrupt days of the nixon white house. and it is not only republicans that are making this claim, but now democrats are beginning to worry about the heavy handed tactics of white house chief of staff rahm emanuel and the obama white house as well. a recent politico piece by jonathan allen states:

“It’s a mistake,” said Rep. Jason Altmire, a moderate Democrat from western Pennsylvania. “I think it’s beneath the White House to get into a tit for tat with news organizations.”

barack obama should know better. and he is learning from these embarrassing setbacks. he first thing he should learn is that experience is king in washington. the should dismiss the young brash advisors, and stick to some experienced folks like savvy genius david axelrod. because, and correct me if i’m mistaken, but i don’t believe a great strategy for a president who promised to bring all sides together is to deny access to those reporters who dare criticize you or attempt to hold you accountable. how’s that strategy working in the health care debate? chicago’s olympic bid? closing guantanamo? perhaps saturday night live said it best.

kanye west: jackass

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift during the MTV Video Music Awards

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift during the MTV Video Music Awards

the scene was a typical mtv video music award presentation. taylor swift had just won the award for best female video. she was in the middle of her acceptance when something highly unexpected happened. kanye west stormed the stage to protest the fact that his friend, beyoncé knowles, should have won. in doing so, he humiliated himself, embarrassed winner taylor swift, and set race relations back a few years.

west grabbed the microphone from taylor swift and stated:

i’ll tell ya, i’m really happy for ya, i’m gonna let you finish, but beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. one of the best videos of all time.

and then west handed the mic back to swift as he was roundly booed off the stage.

swift was speechless, her moment ruined. those in attendance booed west, then applauded swift. music fans cringed. white americans shook their heads. country music fans were furious. african-americans were embarrassed. and according to a tweet by terry moran, someone else was even more upset. while sitting next to president obama, moran tweeted the following:

president obama just called kanye west a jackass.

tmz obtained audio of president obama saying kayne west was a jackass, corroborating the story.

regardless of the fact that the tweet was deleted minutes later, the word was out: the president doesn’t think much of kanye west.

it can’t be any fun for the president to call you out by name. i remember an interview with rap pioneer ice-t shortly after the congressional hearings in 1992 that investigated profanity and hate lyrics in popular music and resulted in the riaa’s (recording industry association of america) ‘parental advisory: explicit content‘ labels being added to album covers. ice-t said he knew he had overstepped a line when the vice president of the united states (then dan quayle) called him out by name.

well, kanye, this isn’t the vice president, and he’s not of another race. he’s the president and he’s a fellow african-american. he’s president barack obama and he’s absolutely right: kanye west is a jackass! and i agree with the president 100%.

kanye west has set back race relations another couple of years. perhaps this is why president obama had such a visceral reaction. following his own slip of the tongue when he said the cambridge police department acted ‘stupidly’ when investigating the report of a break-in at the home of harvard professor henry louis gates, president obama does not want to see anything that could further ignite any possible race relations conversation. kanye west didn’t help.

Country music artist Taylor Swift.

Country music artist Taylor Swift.

taylor swift handled the matter maturely. and the outcry against kanye west from others besides the president is completely justified. can you imagine if the roles were reversed? can you imagine if beyoncé had won the award for best video and some country singer had stormed the stage and humiliated beyoncé by stating in a drunken stupor that taylor swift was should have won? there would be riots and protests. los angeles would be burning like it did after the lakers’ nba championship (any reason to riot is a good one in la).

i don’t care if terry moran deleted deleted his tweet or not. president obama said it and should stick by it!. i’ll say it too: kanye west is a jackass!

fool me once shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me.

west humiliated himself (and mike myers) in 2005 when during a live telecast on national television, he stated the now immortal words:

george bush doesn’t care about black people.

while comedians have had years’ worth of field days with that line, and while kanye’s words resonated with many bush haters back when openly hating the president and heckling him during a joint session of congress was still in fashion (apparently joe wilson didn’t read the vogue article that declared heckling a president is only fashionable when the president is a white republican), kanye’s ‘bush doesn’t care’ quote cast serious doubt upon his credibility as anything other than a talented hip hop artist. but now, with this latest drunken offering, kanye west has solidified his position as true jackass: the man whose music african-americans love, but who they wish would shut up, sing, and stop embarrassing them.

west has since apologized four times, but only once (the last) to taylor swift personally.

kanye west may think george bush doesn’t care about black people, but barack obama thinks kanye west is a jackass. i could not agree more with the president.

chief justice john roberts botches the presidential oath of ofice

so the question is: who botched the presidential oath office? on a nearly flawless inauguration day, which leader of two of the three branches of government botched the constitutional presidential oath of office?

the answer: it was chief justice john roberts.

the oath is as follows:
‘i do solemnly swear (or affirm) that i will faithfully execute the office of president of the united states, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states.’

roberts forgot the word ‘faithfully,’ placing it after the words ‘united states’ instead of before the word ‘execute.’ president obama, who must have practiced the oath a thousand times, politely paused and allowed chief justice roberts to correct himself. the chief justice caught his error, and corrected himself, but only after president obama began to say the altered oath.

roberts also said ‘to the unided states’ instead of ‘of the united states.’ 

it was a bad day for the chief justice. thirty-five constitutional words, and the chief justice mixed them up. talk about rewriting the constitution…

the beginning was no better. president obama may have started a little soon, beginning after his name was spoken by the chief justice, instead of waiting for the line ‘do solemnly swear.’ it is unknown if president obama spoke too quickly, or if the chief justice forgot to pause.

i also found it clever that the chief justice asked, ‘so help you god?’ at the end of the oath, which allowed president obama the option to say the line, which is not in the constitution. however, it would have been awkward had he not repeated the line. president obama said that he would indeed conclude with the line ‘so help me god.’

if this isn’t a snl sketch by this weekend, i’ll be surprised.

 

JAN 21 2009 UPDATE – president obama has retaken the oath of office. because of the botched oath of office taken yesterday, the president has retaken the oath of office despite the fact that the constitution understands the president elect to become president at noon on jan. 20th.

it also could be an attempt to extend the inauguration celebration just one more day… ;-)

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