The Almost Three and a Half Minute Year-end Review

December 31, 2008


Let’s face it: 2008 will go down in history as the year of “Change.” It will also go down as the year that personifies the old axiom. “Be careful what you ask for. You might just get it.”

There’s absolutely nothing I can add to the below year-end review to make it better, more concise, or more fun. So let me just paraphrase Paul McCartney by saying:

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Uncle Jay, he comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom… Tee-Hee-Hee!”


HAPPY NEW YEAR from all of us here at Grand Rants!

CWCID: The Anchoress

Gerry Ashley

Chicago Politics in Post-Racial America

December 30, 2008

Well, it sure didn’t take long to find out what it means to be living in a post-racial, Chicago-based America.

What it really means, at least in Illinois, is that if you’re black, you should get whatever you want, and to question that is to be a racist.

Case in point: IL Rep. and former Black Panther Bobby Rush , in response to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s naming of Roland Burris to the Illinois Senate seat vacated by Obama, made a point to come to the podium during Blago’s announcement and make the case for Burris by asking the public not to “hang or lynch the appointee as you try to ruin and castigate the appointer.” (Allahpundit at HotAir has the video.)

He also stressed how important it is to remember that there is currently no African American serving in the U.S. Senate. Further, Mr. Rush made it very clear that he would use that fact as his defense of  Mr. Burris’ naming, and defied any sitting Senator to have the gall to try to breach that defense.

Oh goody! Whatever happened to the idea that the brightest and most capable should lead, regardless of race or sex? Oh never mind, this is “Deep-Dish America”… That is, America “Chicago style”.


Revisionist History in Action

December 30, 2008

Shortly after IL Rep. Bobby Rush made his overtly racist plea not to “hang or lynch” Blagojevich Senate appointee Roland Burris, I took a quick look online to see what I could find out about Rep. Rush. Interestingly enough, I came across this Wikipedia entry for Rep. Rush at about 3:30 PM today:


The text outlined in red was part of the entry as of 3:30 (the red outlining is mine). By 3:50, the entry had changed:


Clearly as a result of his impassioned defense of Roland Burris, Rep. Rush is no longer a racist asshole.

Actually, I’m not terribly interested in whether Rep. Rush is a racist asshole or not. I feel the original comment was in hopelessly bad taste. What I found interesting is the speed and the ease by which information is changed on Wikipedia. History can now be changed on a whim, based on the ideals, biases, and outlooks of those who write it, and especially those who can go back and re-edit it. This “airbrushing of history” is nothing new, and what in the past was a labor-intensive and arduous process has now become, given the technology available, the work of an instant.

While those in the know understand that Wikipedia is, in fact, an ongoing and collaborative effort which is constantly changing (and not always for the better or even for the more correct information), there are many who treat it as the font of all knowledge, the be-all and end-all of information services, unchanging and omniscient. This is a mistake.

Once upon a time, it may have been that history was written by the winners. But in the information age, history is written by the persistent. Digital information is subject to constant revision, unless care is taken to document its state over time.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at Wikipedia, where government agencies, public companies, private organizations, and concerned individuals continually revise the online encyclopedia’s entries to suit their respective agendas.

It behooves us all to be careful, not only of what we read, but of what we accept as true, as reliable, as honest.

As Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, “Trust, but verify.” Especially if you’re looking for information on Rep. Bobby Rush.


Blago Backs Dems Into Corner

December 30, 2008

At 3:00PM EST today, beleaguered Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich backed the Democratic party into a corner by naming former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. This presents the Democrats with several problems:

  • First, should the Dems accept the naming, they destroy the tenuous construct of Obama’s concept of transparency. (Well, OK… I guess that things will be plenty transparent at that point.)
  • Should Blagojevich’s pick actually go through the Senate without a tantrum on The Left, the fact that Burris carries his own pricey “designer Blago baggage” will speak volumes.
  • Should Burris be accepted, that simply offers legitimacy to Blago.
  • On the other hand, if the liberals take the high road and muss and fuss away the naming as Reid says they will, they face the possibility that the citizenry will become so fed up with Chicago politics (note to Obama, stay in Hawaii for a little while longer), that they will demand a special election and perhaps even usher in a Republican. Gasp!

Maybe, just maybe, the very best thing that the GOP could do right now is just go politely mum, and let the Lefties squirm.

Alan Speakman

BREAKING: Blago Names Burris

December 30, 2008

In a political power play just bristling with chutzpah, scandal-enmeshed Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich just named former IL Attorney General Roland Burris to fill President-Elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

This presents something of a quandry for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has previously threatened to decline to seat anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich. It also contradicts the statement made on December 17 by the governor’s attorney, Ed Genson:

The attorney, Ed Genson, was asked at a news conference after an impeachment hearing in Springfield if Mr. Blagojevich was planning to appoint anyone against the wishes of Democrats across the state and country including Mr. Obama.

“No,” Mr. Genson replied. “(U.S. Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid said that they’re not going to accept anybody he picks. Why would he do that?”

The entire theatrical gesture may, in fact, be moot. According to the AP, the Illinois Secretary of State has said that he will not certify Burris.

But who is Roland Burris? He will definitely be arriving with his own baggage. In examining his record, the Chicago Tribune reports:

“…Burris has given more than $20,000 to Blagojevich’s campaign fund on his own and through his consulting and law firms, state campaign finance records show. Burris’ consulting company received about $290,000 in state contracts with the Illinois Department of Transportation a few years ago, according to state comptroller records.”

Sounds like Burris knows very well how to play this game.

UPDATE: Chickens coming home to roost, indeed! From the an article published on February 26, 1998 in the Washington Post:

Burris, the only black candidate in the Democratic field of four, issued a cryptic response to reports that he told an African-American community group that his opponents are “non-qualified white boys.”


Suggested New Year’s Resolutions

December 30, 2008

Well, it’s that time of year again, when we all try to think of some sort of easy-to-do resolution so we can impress our friends at parties. I find it’s always best to make public those resolutions that can’t be independently verified. You know, “I resolve to increase the amount of my donations to Save The Armadillos.” That one, in particular worked great at parties. Not only did it make me look like a great nature lover, but a quick visit to Wikipedia before the party and I can spout out armadillo facts as if I were the founder of the organization. Chick magnet!

This year, I have decided to branch out and make recommendations to those public figures who could stand to improve themselves in the eyes of the public. Toward that end, here’s my initial

“List of New Year’s Resolutions For The Rich And (In)Famous.”

1.) Caroline Kennedy – Your initial attempt at a press conference pretty much reminded me why I moved out of Massachusetts, home of the Kennedy Clan. My suggestion: Purchase (and READ) “How To Win Friends And Influence People.” Also study the wit of your father. I’m reminded of Lloyd Bentson’s admonishing of Dan Quayle nearly two decades ago when he said, “I knew John Kennedy, Senator,  and you’re no John Kennedy.” Caroline, you could benefit greatly by studying how your dad approached the media.

2.) Barney Frank – Quit while you’re ahead. You’ve managed to trash the state of Massachusetts, but that wasn’t enough. So you went to Washington and trashed that (while your boyfriend ran a male-prostitution ring from your home that you claimed you knew nothing about). But even that wasn’t enough, so you championed the Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac programs until they were so out of control it’s trashed our economy and will take us possibly DECADES to recover from completely… that is if we are EVER able to climb out from under this massive mess of yours. So please. Quit before you manage to find a way to reverse the magnetic polarity of the planet.

3.) Barack Obama – Join Toastmasters. Listening to you speak off the cuff is as painful as it is listening to Ted Kennedy speak off the cuff. It’s a regular “Battle of the Uh-Stars.” Don’t want to join Toastmasters? Then consider having a mini teleprompter surgically implanted into the palm of your hand.

No, seriously.

4.) Joe Biden – Sit next to Barack at Toastmasters. No, seriously.

5.) Roger Clemens – Ah, never mind. You’re beyond help at this point. More to the point, nobody cares anymore.

6.) Jay Leno – Do as good a job at 10 PM Monday – Friday as you do at 11:30 and we can all get a good night’s sleep. No one’s gonna need to stay up for Conan. And you’ll start getting Christmas Cards from Letterman again.

7.) Conan O’Brien – Pray that CBS and ABC have some bitchin’ programs on at 10PM.

8. ) Jimmy Fallon – See if you can get back on Saturday Night Live before it’s too late.

9.) Jesse Jackson – Give it up. You had a nice long run shaking down corporations for “donations.” The gig is up. For years your subliminal message to the African American community has been “No we can’t!” and they needed YOU to “keep the struggle alive.” Well, America has elected a black President, and not because of you, but because Barak Obama’s message has been, “Oh yes we CAN!” And now that African Americans know they CAN, they just don’t need you’re dog and pony show any longer. Fact is, we never did. Buh-bye…

10.) Jesse Jackson Jr. – Don’t make such a big deal about “getting back my good name.” It really wasn’t all that stellar to begin with. See # 9 above.

11.) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Borrow the book from Caroline Kennedy when she’s done with it. Oh, by the way. Did you know your Luger P-08 is jammed? Yeah, take a look down the barrel. Now, watch what happens when you pull the trigger. Nothing, right?

12.) Sean Hannity & Rush Limbaugh – The Democrats won. Get over it. Keep in mind it was you who wanted to “Stop The Hillary Express” with your “Operation Chaos.”  Well, there’s an old expression, “Be careful what you ask for… you might just get it.” And President Barack Obama is what you wound up with. Deal with it.

13.) Al Franken – Give it up. And you had the cajones to accuse the REPUBLICANS of stealing Florida in 2000? Bwahahahahahaha!!! To paraphrase the words of your alter-ego, Stuart Smalley, “You’re, dull, you’re a loser and, gosh darn it, you just don’t fool enough people…”

14.) Sarah Palin – Start a comedy troup in Alaska. Do a parody of Tina Fey. Every week. They say that “Payback is a you-know-what.” Well, with all the awards she’s won for parodying you, turnabout is fair play. And that “you-know-what” could stand being taken down a notch.

15.) Brad Pitt – Did you see the current issue of GQ?  Yep, that’s Jen. Your head: get it examined.

Gerry Ashley

The RIGHT Way to Poke Fun

December 29, 2008

They’ve done it again. Unlike the heavy-handed and politically tone-deaf distribution of the “Magic Negro” parody, JibJab comes through with a 2008 Year in Review video that manages to be funny, clever, and (relatively) clean, all at once.