Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blogging About Hope

I have a tough decision tonight. Mavs v. Spurs v. Obama. I am obviously torn. I need a whole lot of hope about both the Mavericks and the United States. I have started the night out with the Mavericks, who need as much good news and lucky breaks as they can get. They are, unfortunately, not getting those lucky breaks as Tony Longoria Parker is on fire. Two minutes until the State of the Union address. The Mavericks first half of the season was full of bitterness and despair. It was an atrocious start to the season with some lingering resentment about the Kidd trade and Josh Howard’s YouTube oopsies that happened in the off-season. But now, despite technically being almost dead last in the Southwest division, there seems to be some hope that the Mavs can turn this season around. Maybe they got some sort of stimulus from the Diop trade? Maybe JJ Barea’s marked improvement and increased playing time is giving them a boost? Bob Ortegel did just point out that, despite San Antonio’s 11 point lead right now, that San Antonio will probably not be able to continue to shoot at 75% for the entire game. Yikes. And that’s without Ginobli and Duncan.

Now to the State of the Union pregame show. Apparently, what Obama brings into this speech tonight is at least a 65% favorable public opinion. Charlie Gibson thinks that he has to ensure the general public that his plan and his stimulus package is not just intended to bail out Wall Street and the banks and their overpaid executives. Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her first appearance since going on IR for cancer treatment. She’s getting high fives. At least she’s doing better than Michael Finley does with his home crowd. Donna Brazille lays it out that Obama will have to “keep it real” with the American people on what he’s going to do to help them out. Here comes the cabinet. If only Bill Bradley had gotten a Cabinet appointment, I really could milk this basketball analogy. I hope I am not the only person who, when someone announces that Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is entering the room, thinks “Why is the lady from Concrete Blonde at the State of the Union address? I hope she closes the show out with “Joey.”

Finally! State of the Union Tip: 8:11pm CST. The Senate would look much more convincingly enthusiastic about their plan for economic reform if they had noisemakers. Maybe even some Acme bricks to wave when the Bush Administration is mentioned.

Mavs have pulled back to within 5 points which I learn while Obama is still trying to make his way to the podium 16 minutes after the State of the Union was supposed to begin. Obama tries to start his speech before Pelosi introduces him. Obama is the Flozell Adams of the Executive branch. I actually admire Obama’s persistence to power through the applause and keep the speech’s flow going. Also, I really want to be able to see the second half of the game. Joe Biden looks like he’s repeatedly checking his iPhone under the desk. I hope he and Joe the Plumber are iChatting. Sorry, iMeant that iHope he and Joe the Plumber are iChatting.

Beginning on April 1st, (I really hope this isn’t a joke) I am going to be seeing a Federal tax cut in my paycheck. Good news considering I have been stealing apples from the break room fruit basket to take home. He’s going to hold the people responsible for faulty banks and force the prosecution of those who abuse their power. Hear that Mavs defense? Hold Parker to taking bad outside shots then push down the court when you get the rebound on his missed shots. There’s a guy in the second row who keeps thumbing through the printed version of the speech that was handed out and checking his Blackberry. I imagine he’s the kind of guy who starts doing a jerky white guy dance when he appears on the Jumbotron. While I am totally into this speech, I can’t help but wonder how much better it would be if they superimposed Obama, Pelosi, Biden and Clinton’s head on the bodies of the Beatles to really get the crowd going.

Standing ovation for the GI Bill. I have no snark for that. That is pretty awesome. I guess it’s only after 8 solid years of Bush State of the Union addresses that I am finally realizing that we did it! We elected a guy who talks seriously about environmental reform, alternative sources of energy and really tightening the screws on the unchecked power of the superrich minority. Wow, it’s like I’m eating a prime cut of beef after eating clearance Banquet dinners for 8 years. Also, I ate two apples for dinner tonight which may account for the abuse of food analogies in this entry. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I am hearing things like stem cell research for cancer treatment, renewable energy sources, health care reform and tax cuts for the middle and lower class instead of WAR ON TERROR…..TOUGH ON TERRORISM…..US OR THEM….NATIONAL DEFENSE…..GIT R DUN.

And now education. To cut off the boo-hissers before they can boo hiss, I do understand that every president puts on his best face and puts his best foot forward in the State of the Union speech. And no, I don’t think that free health care for all and free college for most is just around the corner. But the fact that these are the key points in his speech is amazing to me. I have yet to hear about how people are coming to kill us and how we are going to crack down on extremists. He just challenged every American to further their education by some degree in the next four years. High School Dropout Amanda just slinked into her couch a little. Man, now I gotta deal with my Mom AND Obama on my ass about giving college a try. Great!

Iraq and Afghanistan make their first appearance in his speech. 45 minutes into the speech is the first mention of the word “extremism” which makes me feel much better about the direction of our country. And when speaking about the military, his focus is not on initiating or escalating conflict but making sure that veterans are taken care of. And closing Gitmo. “The United States of America does not torture.” Got a little choked up on that one. Alright, the story about the little girl asking the Senate for help for her “hopeless” school….I’m toast. I hope I can switch back to the Mavs game soon because I am like a teenager watching The Notebook right now.

Speech over and back to the Mavs game. Mavs down by 11 and shooting 36%. I am afraid all my hope and optimism went towards one event tonight and it wasn’t the Mavs game. Sorry guys. I will be at the game tomorrow night and will be at 100% hopeful again.

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