The pragmatic (i.e. GenX) President

Word is Obama has been tapping “Republican Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser in the first Bush administration” for advise and input as he makes his transitions, as well as considering keeping Robert Gates on as Sec. of Defense, evidence that Oamba is being pragmatic in his approach:

During a recent appearance on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” Scowcroft said it would be a wise move for Obama to keep Gates in the Cabinet.

“I actually think it would send the kind of signal that I think the president-elect intends, or spoke about in his campaign, and that is that we need to work together. We need to work as Americans,” Scowcroft said. “And I think giving Bob Gates some more time to do the kinds of things he’s doing would be a very wise course of action.”

But a senior Obama aide told CNN not to see the conversations as a signal that Gates may keep his job. “Don’t read anything into this — he was an admirer [of Scowcroft] long before running or even needing to select” a secretary of defense, the Obama aide said.

The Obama aide said the president-elect “respects and admires Gen. Scowcroft’s bipartisan, pragmatic approach to foreign policy,” adding that Obama “looks forward to continuing the dialogue with Gen. Scowcroft — as well as other key Republicans, Democrats and independents — to get the very best advice.”

Read full article here.

Pragmatism is the defining characteristic of Generation X, even though many still believe it is being a slacker, which was always more slander and libel than truth.

Thus the evidence mounts in favor of Obama being Generation X and not Generation “WTF is that anyway” Jones.

Happy Toilet Day!

Now that the election is finally over, it is time for the public to turn its attention to more important matters.

Such as: World Toilet Day!

No. I am not making it up. It is a real deal. Hey, it was in the Washington Post, the paper that broke Watergate, so, you know….

Happy Toilet Day

For those who believe the country is headed down the toilet, there’s new evidence out today that they may be right: It’s World Toilet Day, and Capitol Hill is involved in the celebration: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is listed as a participant in this afternoon’s “Sanitation is Dignity” exhibit on the Capitol’s West Front in honor of World Toilet Day.

The purpose of the day, declared by the World Toilet Organization, is to bring attention to excrement-borne illness, and the fact that 2.5 billion people “do not have a toilet and instead are forced to do their business on roadsides, in bags or bushes, or anywhere they can.”

The World Toilet Organization, or WTO (not to be confused with the World Trade Organization) is firmly of the of the view that “toilets deserve better social status.” Specifically, the WTO seeks “to elevate the status of toilets to make them status symbols and objects of desire.” It also seeks to “upgrade the skill sets of the restroom cleaners” and is responsible for the slogan: “We deserve better places to defecate.”

How does one raise the status of toilets anyway? I mean, making them an object of desire sounds kind of, um, creepy to me.

Unexpected house guest

So I get a call at work today from the Principal of the middle school near our house, telling me there’s been an incident involving our house and one of the students. I was confused. First, because I thought the call was about my daughter, and I wondered if she was in trouble for something. I mean, why the hell yes does the Principal call you. It took me a moment to realize that ths wasn’t the Prinicipal of the Elementary school, where my daughter attends.

Then she tells me there is a police officer with her and they put me on speaker phone. Now, I’m getting a little concerned.

Turns out one of the autistic students at the middle school somehow got out of the school, made his way down the block, and found his way into our house. I left the back door to the garage open. My bad!

Anyway, apparently there was no damage done to the house. The kid just came in, helped himself to an icecream sandwich from the freezer and watched TV. No big deal. 

I could tell that the Principal and the Officer were cocnerned that I might be upset, but I wasn’t. Didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I was just glad the kid was all right, that he wasn’t hurt, and that they found. In fact, I was impressed with  his choice of movie. He managed to find my copy of Repo Man that I keep in the office on a shelf with my other GenX books and movies. So…he’s got that going for him.

Actually, in a way I’m glad our house was open, because the kid was known to be a runner, and who knows how far he might have gone before they found him had he not stopped in at our house.

When I told my wife about it, she thought it was pretty funny. So do a lot of people upon hearing the story.

The Principal was relieved and very grateful that I was so understanding. There might have been a time when I would have been more concerned, just because I used to be so unfamiliar with people who have autism, but for the last four years I’ve worked with a guy who is autistic. He’s quirky but intersting, and funny sometime too.

He processes books here at the library as well as shelving books and he is quite good at both.  His autism is actually a benefit in this case, his need for order makes him good at what he does.

I remember realizing that the guy I worked with liked me when he started giving me coupons to fast food places. I used to have a pretty good collection. And though being autistic means he doesn’t like physical contact and rarely engages in it, one day passing him in the staff lounge he wanted to slap me high five and I did. I took that as I big compliment.

Generation X enters White House

So reads the headline from and AFP article.

The lead:

NEW YORK (AFP) — Generation X used to stand on the sidelines. Now, with Barack Obama’s victory in the presidential election, they’re taking the White House.

Read full article here

For those knuckleheads so obsessed with attaching the Generation Jones labl to Obama, just keep reading:

Ironically, Generation X, or those born between 1961 and 1981, have long been identified by sociologists as reluctant to get involved, individualistic and cynical.

Which only backs up my point that there is no consensus on the exact date range for defining Generation X, or any other generation for that matter. Thus we must consider a broader definition, as Jeff Gordinier, author of X Saves the World does:

Gordinier says Obama not only fits the Generation X mold in age, style and biography, but came to power partly thanks to the enthusiasm of that same demographic group.

Gordinier isn’t the only one either:

Neil Howe, author of “Generations: the history of America’s future,” also sees Obama as the archetypal X-er, growing up in the 1960s and 70s and experiencing early on all the major social changes in family values and behavior.

“Obama was the product of an experimental inter-racial marriage: the father left, he travelled all over the world, a topsy-turvy, chaotic childhood, which is characteristic of Xers,” Howe said.

No doubt some will refuse to except this obvious and inevitable reality, but hey, this is America, where any idiot can be a parent but you need a license to drive car. (I don’t even know what that has to do with anything; it just sort of popped into my head. eh.)

The point is the Boomer’s are no longer in control, and that will mean a new kind of governing. GenX style. Cachow!

Obama’s “mission is to put an end to everything that is dysfunctional and bad about boomer politics,” Howe said.

“You are going to see a style of leadership which is much more pragmatic, less wed to ideology. A Generation X-er will love to crunch all the numbers, demand transparency, analyze the data and come to decisions,” he said.

Obama has already given indications of that more eclectic, non-ideological direction.

Pragamatic is the main thing. GenX is pragmatic. If we adhere to any kind of ideology (if you can even call it that, which I seriously doubt) it is pragmatism. We focus on getting things done, done well, and done right, regardless of politics.

Hilary as Sec. State

(CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama met with his former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton to see if she would be interested in a role in his administration, two sources told CNN Friday.

Read full CNN article here.

I skip watching the news one night and this is the kind of thing I miss. Danm! I didn’t hear about until this afternoon because I had a morning meeting with my financial advisor (saying that makes me feel important, although it was fairly depressing, what with the economy sucking ass and all) when a guy I work with told me about it.

I have to say I like the idea of HIlary as Sec of State. Better to have her as an ally in the White House then as a potential opponent in the Senate. It certainly makes more sense than trying to put her on the Supreme Court. Did anyone seriously think that was going to happen. And anywaay, Hilary is a stronger candidate then John Kerry for sure. I’m divided on Bill Richardson, having heard mixed reviews of his past performace as Ambassador to the UN (right?). 

I still want to see Chuck Hagel in the administration, but perhaps not as Sec of State. I figure him for Sec of Defense, after Bob Gates leaves.

What do others think:

More evidence to boot Lieberman

I missed Rachel Maddow last night but apparently she really went after Lieberman, urging the Dems to dump his ass. Watch:

Pretty compelling, anyone would have to agree, even if not publicly.  Got me thinking, well, you know, maybe he should go. I mean, you jump to the other side you deal with the consequences. Why should Joe get special treatment? Just because he could be the 60th vote in the Senate. I don’t agree that’s a good enough reason.

On the other hand a partisian squabble right out of the gate would be bothersome, or worse.

Maybe Joe needs to be stripped of his chairmenships or whatever they’re called and have to prove himself. Of course, why would he want to do that? He could turn Republican. He could resign and let his seat got to a Republican.

In any case, it certainly is a pickle.