Setting the Record Straight

August 23, 2008

This Just In

Biden Says Obama to Alter Earth Orbit

     In his maiden speech as a candidate for vice president, Joe Biden made a couple of amazing assertions, which, if true, suggests he and Barack Obama should not be elected.
     Biden said that when Obama stands on the Senate floor, he stretches his body full length to reach across the aisle to pass legislation. Anyone who has been on the Senate floor knows, that even at Obama’s height, he cannot stretch that far.
     And why would he even try? In the Senate, to pass legislation actually means you help pass legislation by voting for it, and that means going into the well of the Senate and expressing your aye or nay to a clerk at a table in front of the dais.
     But Biden said Obama does it another way. He said, “He made his mark literally from day 1 reaching across the aisle to pass legislation….”
      As president, of course, Obama would no longer have a vote in the Senate, so he doesn’t have to behave in the silly way Biden describes.
      But Biden, and this is the real news, said if elected president Obama would have the opportunity to change the orbit of the Earth. If this is to be his solution to global warming, this is scary. It isn’t clear how he would go about it, but that is a scary prop- osition.
      Yet Biden said, “he will have such an incredible opportunity, incredible opportunity, not only to change the direction of America, but literally, literally, to change the direction of the world.”
      First job for the Obama/Biden campaign advisers: convince Biden, literally, to quit using the word “literally.” If he wants to use emphasis, choose another word or repeat it in the next breath as he is wont to do.



June 9, 2008

Random Musings

Some Random Musings from Veritas
        Some news report mentioned recently that we have 150,000 troops in Iraq. Think of that for a moment. The only things we see on television are small patrols kicking down doors and such. What are 150,000 troops doing? Think of the cities in your state of that size, just to get an idea of the immensity of our military presence in devastated Iraq.
        Every drummer in America seems to have a job. I am talking about the fact nearly every television advertisement, and some of the shows, feature insistent drumming. Consider the “theme” music for CNN’s newscasts: a rhytmic drumbeat with orchestral background in an increasingly frantic theme. Some rock bands may be missing their drummers.
        The Democratic Party is sure to have a debate over its proportional granting of delegates from primaries. Hillary Clinton said that if there were not the proportion system, she would have won the nomination long ago. Winner-takes-all seems a good idea for some things, like tennis matches, but across the nation for choosing pledged delegates to a convention, the proportional system seems fair. Or does it?
        Speaking of tennis, what about the shriek? Some of the best players in modern tennis–Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters come immediately to mind–have adopted a shriek. For a while, opponents objected, but to no avail. The shrieks are of a wondrous variety: Sharapova’s a high-pitched scream of seeming agony; the Williamses’ full-throated roars punctuating every shot; the yell of Dementieva coming close to “Yuh-HOO.” This all started, I theorize, with the little squeak of Chrissie Evert. It grew from there. But Bill Tilden did not need to shriek; Althea Gibson never roared; Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver played without yelling. What changed?
        Some cliches we can do without: Somebody said that at one point in the campaign, Clinton led “in all the important metrics.” “Metrics”? My dictionary does not list “metric” as a noun. But it is a usage popular on Capitol Hill with speakers who forget there is “measure” or “measurement” or “criterion” or “element” or any number of correct words in place of “metric.”
        And while we are being once again a schoolmarm, why does everything have to be “great”? A restaurant tells us on television that it has “great food at great prices.” That may mean just affordable hamburgers. The amusement park promises “a great time with great bargains,” which may mean just affordable fun. By me, “great” should be reserved for really historic items or events. Otherwise we have to look for the next superlative.



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