Friday, March 6, 2015

A Quick Rebuttal

  There are quite a few things I don’t like about President Obama’s job performance. I like the idea of universal health care but his implementation of it has left the insurance companies with guaranteed profits and individuals on the hook for massive premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. I don’t think much of the idea of providing people who have come to this country illegally a ‘path to citizenship’ - I believe that only incentivizes people to come into the country illegally since if they can just hang around long enough they will also gain a ‘path to citizenship’.

  Speaking of immigration, I really dislike the idea of this President or any President deciding which laws to prosecute and which ones not to prosecute. President Obama’s decision not to prosecute illegal aliens is lauded by many but will a future president decide not to prosecute hate crimes, human trafficking, or murdering people you disagree with? It sounds silly today but gay marriage being a constitutional right sounded silly 15 years ago to, didn’t it?

  There are also some things I really like about President Obama’s job performance. When he took office in 2008 I was working at a place where people were getting laid off or taking pay cuts and 6 years later if I lose my job I could get a new one as quick as I could snap my fingers. In 2008 I was paying for my own health insurance and was told by Blue Cross/Blue Shield that because I had a knee operation in 2006 none of my joints would be covered by my insurance. I asked if I would be covered if I were to slam a car door on my hand and break my thumb and was told that I would NOT be covered because my thumb as well as all my fingers, toes, wrists, shoulders, elbows, and ankles were classified as joints. I don’t think that coverage could be denied me anymore but since the economy is way better than it was in 2008 I probably won’t have to test that assumption for a few years.

  Another thing I like about President Obama is that he doesn’t have a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ mentality when it comes to foreign policy. Yes, Russia is invading Ukraine, Iran is trying to get a nuclear bomb, and people in the Middle East are killing each other. As minimal as our involvement is I think it is too much involvement, especially in the Middle East where burning the American Flag is a regional pastime. In answer to the people who wish we were more involved I would say that Ukraine has been getting invaded for the last thousand years, people in the Middle East have been killing each other for longer than that, and we haven’t made any progress in keeping Iran from getting nuclear weapons except for the Stuxnet software attack on Iranian centrifuges. The major offensive this administration undertook in the Middle East was the use of NATO air strikes to effect a regime change in Libya and how did that work out?

  Now having said all that my wife got this email earlier this week:
Subj: FW: Breaking News - Bruce Jenner Transition Fires New Speculation
What do you think?
Wash. DC - Over the past year a rash of news stories surfaced speculating whether gold-medal winning Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner was undergoing a gender transition from male to female. Though Jenner has yet to publicly confirm the story, members of his extended family, including the Kardashian clan, have recently approached various news outlets confirming Jenner's intention.
Now it appears a number of world leaders have picked up on the story and are wondering aloud "What will happen to Jenner's balls if he completes the transition?" Sources this week quoted Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as suggesting it would be a monumental step if Jenner were to donate his balls to U.S. President Barack Obama. Netanyahu stated "Everyone knows Obama has no balls and it would be damn nice if he suddenly had Olympic sized balls. It would be a huge step forward for world peace. ”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel remarked " I don't even have any balls, but everyone tells me I have a bigger set than Obama. I think it would be a great idea. ”
On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin joined Syrian President Bashar Assad in proclaiming that Obama's lack of balls has finally enabled a number of regimes worldwide a fair chance to consolidate their power. Putin, on a shirtless fly fishing expedition in Kanchatka, said "The days of U.S. Presidents with big balls like Reagan are over. Now it's our turn. “ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani remarked earlier in the week that "It's been great the last six years. It's like playing soccer against the U.S. with no goalie in their net. ”
While world leaders debate the issue, closer to home New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady stepped forward to say they would each donate one ball to the President if Jenner does not come through. Belichick, however, cautioned that "The President would have to understand, our balls would be underinflated, but still probably an improvement over what he seems to be working with."

  I know this was meant as a funny kind of email and it was sent by someone I really like who is the parent of a veteran and one of the biggest believers in Jesus Christ that I know. This person also was a big supporter of George W. Bush and absolutely hated these goofy emails that would make fun of the previous president’s perceived lack of brain power or being in the pocket of Dick Cheney or etc…. It’s kind of sad to see even normal people get caught up in partisan stupidity like this kind of emails. Don’t forget that in 2001 then President Bush said of Putin "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul." What do you think Putin is saying about Bush today? Whatever he is saying I'm sure it is with a snicker.

  I don’t understand is why anyone would think President Obama lacks fortitude (I’ll use that word instead of the spherical description). Is Osama Bin Laden dead or not? When’s the last time the pirates from Somalia made the news? President Obama was mocked for making his ‘Red Line’ comment about Syria using chemical weapons because he asked Congress to give him approval for air strikes, but Russia was quite quick to broker an out for Syria to acknowledge it had chemical weapons and offer turn them over. Does that sound like Putin thinks President Obama lacks fortitude? It sounds to me like Putin thinks the President is slow to use force but deadly when he decides to use it.

  Like I said, I agree with the President on very little and I’m not naïve enough to think he is not just another politician that is any different than any other politician but this email (as jokingly stupid as it was) made me wonder what the person who wrote it and the people who forwarded it were thinking.

  I am going to show my fortitude by continuing to make my basketball picks despite a 2-7 record leaving me $570 mythical dollars in the hole with six weeks before the end of the regular season. And to show how much fortitude I have I'm going to switch to the moneyline and risk some large bets on the favorites using the lines as listed on the Yahoo Sports page for entertainment purposes only.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks
I was treated to the game of the year on Sunday when the Houston Rockets eeked out a two point overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers that featured physical play, kicks to the groin, and a near fight. Even though the Cavaliers lost they are looking more and more like a championship team that can play with finesse or physicality so I will pick them to make a statement and beat the league-leading Hawks on the road and give the 2 points.

Detroit Pistons at Houston Rockets
The Rockets beat the Cavaliers last Sunday and nearly beat the Hawks on the road Wednesday without all-world guard James Harden while the Pistons have lost four games in a row. The Pistons beat the Rockets at home on January 31st and I expect them to hang close so I'll wager $290 on the money line for a Rockets victory.

Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are finally back at home after a six game road trip that saw them go 3-3 with embarrassing losses to the Nets and Pacers. The Mavericks are on the second night of back to back road games and were blown out by the Trailblazers last night. I don't care for the line of 10 points so I'll pick the money line and bet $600 to win $100 that the Warriors will win.

Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies
In this matchup of one of the worst teams in the league against one of the best, I'll give the 8-1 odds and put $800 on the Grizzlies to win $100 (assuming a Grizzlies win).