Seeking Attention…For All of the Wrong Reasons

I’ve stopped trying to figure out Alex Rodriguez. All I know is he keeps shooting himself in the foot. it’s so bad, even the when he fires the gun, the blanks are hitting him in the foot. (NY Sports Kings)

Alex Rodriguez is a piece of work. Or he is just as confusing to understand, because no one knows what’s he thinking of, doing next, or why he’s doing what he does.

I think I have the appropriate song for him. The Beatles summed A-Rod up with this one.

I think it’s perfect.

Listen to ESPN’s Chris Singleton‘s thoughts on Rodriguez as he spoke to Yahoo Sports Radio and KLAA‘s Travis Rodgers on Thursday. Go to the 5:27 mark. I think you find Singleton’s observation very interesting about A-Rod’s personality.

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Well, I guess everyone wants to say something about Steve King. I have some advice for you, if you want to accept it or not.

Stop talking about him. Seriously, stop. And yes, you can ignore him. You have no excuses. You have a mute button, a remote control, and a mouse. You can change the channel or click to another link.

The more you talk about him, the more attention he gets. That’s what he wants, and you’re helping him as his unofficial PR hacks.

I ignore him. Plain and simple. And no, don’t offer excuses on why his comments merit attention. Remember Joe McCarthy? How did McCarthy get silenced? People stop listening and talking about him, when he went overboard in his zeal to paint everyone and their momma a Communist.

Josef Stalin thought that was insane.

I wonder why some people will never get the message. Then again, I’m not a Democrat or a Republican.

No one gives a damn what an Independent thinks anyway.

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Anthony Weiner.  No further comment.

He’s got some serious issues. Pervert.

Do not pass go, do not collect unemployment extension

Extension of unemployment benefits....DENIED

Late last night, the U.S. Senate “failed” to pass a bill extending unemployment benefits to people who are out-of-work.  They approved it 57-41, but as the Iowa Independent put it, “in the strange logic of Congress, that is enough to prevent the motion from moving forward for now.  The cloture vote has failed, likely meaning the dissolution of the jobs bill and the separate passage of its most important provisions.”

A better way of saying it is that the Senate fell 3 votes short of passing it. And now, 1 million unemployed Americans are going to lose the short-term financial help they need to keep a roof over their heads and food on the plate as they struggle to find work.

This is a clear cut reason why promises are always made to be broken, especially when it comes to Congress.  Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts came out with an initial response, of course pointing a partisan finger at Republicans.  He’s better off asking the 12 members of his party who broke rank to go against the “tax extenders” provision in the bill.  If not for those 12 Senators, it would have been more than enough votes to pass it.

And yet, Congress passed a financial overhaul bill that would “straighten” out Wall Street.

Well, that’s just fine and dandy.  Fixing Wall Street is a bigger priority than individuals who are laid-off, being told don’t apply for jobs (unless you’re employed), and are starting to be looked at in disdain because they’re so many of us pounding the pavement, trying to get back in the game.

Wall Street > unemployeds.

Partisanship aside, today may not be the next “Great Depression”, but it’s starting to feel like “The Great Unemployment Depression” for people who lost their jobs during this downturn in the economy.

On lighter news (sort of), Des Moines was ranked as the 8th most recession-proof city in the United States, according to CNN Money.

Like that is going to put a smile on several thousands faces in this town.

Going Overboard for Attention

From time to time, you’re going to come across someone that is so far off the deep end, rather than talk about that person all of the time, it’s better for you to ignore that person…for your own sanity and common sense.

Steve King, 5th District (R), of Kiron. Trust me, not all Republicans are like him, if you're willing to take off the blinders and see the "whole" picture.

Since being elected to Congress in 2002, Steve King has created quite a niche for himself as a rabble rouser extraordinaire.

There’s too many quotes and antics to list that would prove my previous statement. The latest one doesn’t bother me one bit. But I do have to disagree with his statement.  Obama doesn’t favor “all” black people.  In return, not many African-Americans are in love with Obama right now.  Particularly with African-Americans running for elected office.

However, I have to disagree with the notion that he’s an embarrassment to the state of Iowa.  He’s not an embarrassment to the whole state of Iowa.

He’s an embarrassment to western Iowa and the 5th District.  I don’t live in his district.  Many of you who are commenting about it on Twitter don’t live in his district.  Leonard Boswell is my Congressional representative in the 3rd District.  And don’t give me the “King represent Iowa in Congress, so he represent ‘all’ of us” excuse.  He represents the 5th District, not you.  Therefore, that is the 5th’s issue to deal with.

By taking off the political and ideological rose-colored glasses, King craves attention by saying things to “shock” the public into noticing him.  People who do anything to garner attention to themselves are people who either lack self-confidence or is trying to fill a need that they couldn’t achieve at some point of their lives.

He uses the political realm to achieve that.  Not all Republicans or Democrats are as nutty as King is.  The less you pay attention to him, the less relevant and attention he receives.  It’s too bad many of us don’t learn how to ignore the drama.

I’m not a shrink, but I did stay at a Super 8 motel.

A thought on the health care bill

Personally, I don’t care if the health care legislation that Congress could vote on Sunday passes or fail.  My interest has waned considerably about this, because of the misinformation that has clouded this bill.  Many feel it’s the elected officials who have taken liberties of skewing what the bill should look like.  To me, it’s us, as citizens, who have taken as much liberties to put our own spin and agenda to it as well.

How many of us have read the entire bill that is to be voted on?  I’ve tried, but let’s be honest, the problem is that this bill is trying to cover everything and it’s still going to leave something out.  That’s reality.

If it does pass and gets signed, put it in use, see if it works.  If some parts of it is ineffective, go back to the table, straighten it out or dump it.

If it falls short in Congress, the issue is dead for the rest of the year.  Obama will have to regroup and roll out another version next year.

This bill isn’t going to help me today or anytime this year, if it passes.  I’m unemployed right now, and a diabetic.  I need to take care of myself now. I have no patience to wait on Congress to vote on a bill to help me, or anyone else.

Finding out about Eli Lilly’s patient assistance program = six months of insulin at no cost.

Rather than sit and wait on a bill to be passed, I made the initiative myself to search on-line for programs to receive free meds from reputable pharmas through my doctor.  Yes, you can apply to get free meds.  I applied for assistance through Lilly to get insulin at a reduced cost.  I ended up with a 6 months supply of insulin, at no cost.  It was a godsend.

It’s ridiculous on how many Americans who need medicine and do not have insurance are unaware of these types of programs that is available, if their doctors won’t tell them or they don’t ask the doctors themselves.

I email my doctor weekly on my progress and we talk on the phone if I have a question.  Yeah, I’m saving $$$ by not going to see her, but she cares enough to help me during this period until I get back on my feet.  It’s on me to stay vigilant and healthy. I am my own health care plan right now.

I have to think outside of the box and find alternate ways to get by.  I understand if most people do not have that luxury.  But for those who have a phone or a computer, pick it up and tell your doctor that you can’t afford to come in and ask for help.  If they are not interested, maybe it’s time to find a doctor who does.

Will a government-supported system help everyone?  We hope, but reality is that not everyone will be covered and it’s hard to enforce it when there are still roadblocks to disseminate.  Most of us understand that last sentence.  It’s those who refuses to accept that sentence are the ones who will be deeply disappointed if they get left out or partially covered.

This isn’t about the tea parties, Stupak’s amendment, the blanket statements on the GOP, or death panels anymore as far as I’m concerned.  The bill is now in Congress’ hands.  If it falls short, it’s disappointing, but I’m not waiting for another bill or a promise.  I don’t have time to wait for a bill.

Keep It Short…or Download It For Later

For the record, I didn’t watch the State of the Union address Tuesday night.  It doesn’t mean that I didn’t care.  I prefer to read (yes read, kids) the text of the President’s speech than watch it.  That’s what the internet is for.  Did you know that you can download it and read or watch it at your pleasure?

The State of the Union is a yearly report on the status of the United States.  It’s not a pep rally or a Debbie Downer poop party.  However, as a society of getting the information right away, I’m starting to sour on watching the SOTU simply because I want to hear the speech.  I’m not watching it to see him get interrupted every 30 seconds into his speech by loud applause and standing ovations.

You know, George, I could bore you all night with this speech in my hand...

It’s quite nauseating and a waste of time.  In college, I took an old Ronald Reagan SOTU speech and timed myself reciting the speech.  It took roughly 27 minutes to do it without interruption.  Then when I took out the things that wasn’t needed in the speech (human-interest stories, gallery acknowledgments, etc), it was 21 minutes.

I’m an analytical guy.  I need the numbers and the facts and what type of ideas are out there to help tweak, or resolve a problem.  With that in mind, I have four suggestions that should be cut out or reduced from all SOTU speeches that would bring me back to watching it.

-Ditch the long-winded human interest stories. It’s nice and appealing, but it’s a waste of time for those at home.  Yes, it’s inspiring and sad, but the individuals who sit up in the gallery balcony that gets acknowledged are not always “the Face of America” as every President waxes poetically.  I’m a single guy, currently unemployed, and a diabetic.  I’m one of many Americans who make up roughly 10% of Americans who are looking for jobs.  I’m one of so many millions of Americans who have a chronic disease or an ailment/illness of some sort.

Everyone is going through the same thing:  job loss, trying to stay insured, looking for that light at the end of the tunnel.  There’s no need to remind us of that.  We see it everyday, through good times and bad.

-Hold all applause until the end of the speech. Both sides of the aisle need to end this silly practice of applauding every 30 seconds, prolonging the SOTU to nearly 90+ minutes.  Most of us at home want to hear the President of the United States, not watching Nancy Pelosi clapping wildly or Steve King stewing in his seat like the devil.  The Des Moines Register nailed it with the sidebar next to their editorial about the State of the Union Tuesday morning, titled “Hold the Applause”.  To have a speech interrupted 60 times so that Congress can applaud is overkill.

-Eliminate the opposition party’s response. Since 1966, the minority party in Congress has delivered their response to the President’s SOTU speech.  A simple written statement would suffice now, rather than have CBS start their shows at 9:32pm CST, forcing the late local news.

-Special guests in gallery. Unless the person is a visiting head of state from another country, there’s no need to call the names of every special guest in the gallery.  The majority of Americans are not going to remember all of them anyway, unless we have some direct connection with that person.

George got to the point and did it in 833 words.
George didn't screw around. It took him 833 words to get his point across.

The following words I typed out and timed took 4 minutes and about 550 words.  George Washington’s first State of the Union was 833 words long.  No one interrupted by clapping, and George didn’t time to acknowledge a neighbor or his wife.

We live in a high-tech society in which if we don’t have time to watch it, we’ll download it at anytime and listen to it, or read it.  It sounds like I’m dissing the President, but I’m not.  I have better things to do with my time and life than sit and be irritated with the distractions when the POTUS is trying to read through a speech.

I’ll read the text of the SOTU tomorrow.

If I get a chance to.

Hopefully.

By the end of the week.

Something like that.

Shortening the speech would help.  To recite a 50,000 word speech today can be long and boring.  Keep it simple.