Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The American President

The American President

Let us all as Americans this spring, in the thick of graduations galloping by across the country take a moment to stop and warmly witness a family picture when one crosses your sight lines. It’s the best, and worth taking a moment of your own to soak in and register. Any kids, grand kids, best friends, junior mafias or cousins going through the annual ceremony of graduating from a place of education and guaranteeing you the right to advance to the next academic challenge should you dare is great news. I think there are things in Washington DC that both sides of the aisle can agree on, education, graduation and being kind to children. In fact if you trace the most successful immigrant ethnic groups you’d not be surprised to find out ala the millionaire next store that the Russians and the Jewish both take education very seriously. And this is reflected in their quality of life in the great American land of promise. And I hope every American regardless of your work situation; political views or ups and downs of your person life take a moment to reflect when you see the youthful pictures this spring of graduation triumph. In a world of increasingly fast and free information, stressors for our families, school and planet itself take Ferris Bueller up on his unsolicited advice, “stop and look around.”

I love the graduation song whatever it is; it’s my all time favorite seasonal delight topping even the coveted yet charming milk chocolate pastel hard candy covered mini eggs from Cadbury. All of which brings me to the highlight of today in America, and it involves our very much American and one of a kind 44th president Barack Obama. He gave a speech I happened to read via the subway on my new I phone (holla!) en route to the DMV to obtain a new license that a bar had taken unusually from me with my credit card to start a tab Friday and then gave both to a stranger who proceeded the next day to spend over $1,000 in a twelve hour period.
And it was go day on our new office my two partners and I had spent 14 months, twin lawsuits, time and money to finally open its doors. Meanwhile Cities the new “hot” spot in DC, the manager said she meant to call me back but they never saw anything on the tape, “there were like allot of people there that night Mr. Easton.” Thanks Cynthia. And I’m leaving work after just three hours our fields of dreams on the office tip, our own office, finally and I felt violated. Not like I’d been dungeon deep in Austria for a long while out of the blue but violated, I lost my breath opening my wallet. I felt empty and vulnerable.
And I needed my ID first thing, Omer and Saygin both agreed. Omer was trying to keep it in perspective his cool hand Luke senior analyst taking the needed, “it happens pal” approach. Saygin was more angered and I liked that because I wanted to get mad. I had never had this happen to me in the history of going out. And heading to the DMV this afternoon I was frustrated but also had just finished reading the “Townie” which was kind of all about this type of situation. And that, and me, and time, but most importantly this news article about our president's speech flipped my day.

My perspective was regained I didn’t care about being lost, I didn’t care about those people, look, the bank had caught it, business was good, I love Summer some people our the worst and I’d eventually got my license back.

The Turnaround.

The president this morning gave a speech at a high school in Memphis, Booker T. Washington. And I couldn’t help think reading this amazing article and after watching him mold into the role of president with increasing confidence, candor and results of Donald Trump. This fucking guy Trump?
Republican or Democrat you probably ask yourself at some point not to sound like John Bender from the Breakfast club whether or not you could hang out with them. Politics is passion; it runs deep, and against mass opinion the who is everything in regards to this office. Donald Trump questioning the president’s origin of birth, he is this guy? Donald Trump running with the racist birth movement and then questioning his academic credentials? This thought popped into and creased my thinking cap seconds into reading the presidents commencement speech in the inner city of a majority black Memphis high school which had recently turned it’s misfortune into positive results. Fucking Trump

Who is this guy, dam I use to love him in the 80’s as an extremely idiotic kid but I’m pretty sure he went to Fordham and then attended Wharton home of the “Raj” on his brothers connections and his parents wallet. And he’s up and he’s down but it’s not anything too revolutionary. And besides Barack is on fire and the fact of the matter anybody the Republicans throw out there is JV next to Barack Obama or even Hillary. If you didn’t like Barack Obama a little bit more after he trashed the Donald and essentially beat him at his own game then you take it all too seriously.

And it’s good we didn’t take the lead on Libya; there are about ten more of these things about to fire off this Arab spring. A worldwide economic revival will ensure freedoms continuing thirst, and more uprisings will ensue and that’s counter intuitive but true because of the internet. And it could never be too late because it’s happening. I’am a man
Thomas Friedman, I’am a man article, good Sunday piece. Anyway Barack Obama went down to Memphis part of our nation’s beloved grounds of the deep rooted south. And it was a mostly black inner city school that had brought up it’s averages and beat the naysayers. And it’s hard to imagine how inspiring that must’ve been if I’m a child in that audience graduating high school. It could happen to you

And that’s why who inspired a leader an athlete a musician a master of something is always an essential question. And it’s hard to measure the impact of something like that. And it’s hard to empathize with a huge part of our American culture so many are completely isolated from. And I wonder who really gets it. And often I resign myself to the fact that it doesn’t matter. A leader will always be born on both sides, and that’s why it’s a fight, but the man who never faced adversity and beat the odds will never be that story. And there’s weight, fear, and consolation in that. And it’s not always true. And when our president told these students we’re competing now not with Indiana kids and North Carolina kids but kids from India and China, calling them a “stiff challenge” you’ve got to be prepared, he’s right. And when he calls the stock market a casino he’s right. And when he tells those kids that they can be anything that want to be if they work hard and study hard he’s fucking right. He beat the odds, and he’s a guy’s guy, and he’s a father, a lawyer a neighborhood activist, a Nobel prize piece winner and to Tiberland boot, actually holds a respectable basketball game.

Our country will always love the rarity, which is the Lincoln esque true American president rise from nothing to the leader of the free world. And that’s not mythology, that’s America and guess what, it’s not that long ago. And Barack Obama our US President is black, not a TV show, imagine that? And in all of today’s worldly volatility I believe someone in that class will do something special and cite that speech as an inspiring factor that helped him or her take on the challenge that brought head line attention. And that is America, and even though it's sometimes fixed against inner city minorities, it can still happen to you.

And it happens here more than anywhere and it’s rare, oh yes, but that’s not the point. There are no classes for confidence. And it’s worth noting for that child who overcomes when least protected will go on to rise to challenges that leave even her competitors wishing they had something they simply weren’t born with or out of.
America! We have to fight our way back to middle ground at the bargaining table, it’s what politics is all about, it’s why the systems works, it’s why the Sons Of Libery ensured it would be like that and also for the record made it pliable to adapt to an always changing planet.

Here’s a link to his speech,

and you guys thought slick Willy got paid a handsome dollar to speak post presidency. Black America it’s worth spotlighting turned the tide of the civil war and from my eyes and my city through the years has largely been forgotten for as long as I can remember. And it always bugged me, and you go to college, then off to work, Chicago, new York, London chase your dollars and dreams. And most kids were who you’d expect and it was mildly sobering. It’s hard to even find a kid that went to public school much less a child representing true social mobility. And adulthood only cements the fact that life is hard the rich always win and you have to look out for you. I can hear the union guy in Boston who actually is rich spouting off that line right now watering a beer hole in his throat somewhere in JP.

But it’s that likeable underdog, that once in a lifetime legend, who often blows up too soon happening as only a memory, turned to dust as a myth that maybe never happened. You need to be reminded. Because you know what, sometimes the Red Sox do win the World Series. And sometimes the one great kid doesn’t get shot, doesn’t die in a car wreck, and survives, and leads with a fond charisma untouched and completely unfolded. And again while difficult to measure there is no doubt what a powerful centripetal force something like that can be. A tangilble inspiration we’re all aware of and somehow connected to, the president of the United States of America you must respect that. And is this not what we teach our children. That’s the American story, that you can be anything you want to be if you work hard. And when you’re a kid these are the types of comforting things across the board that cultivate your early understanding of macro issues your not yet programmed to prosecute or praise.

And the sad fact is people typically our more liberal and progressive when they are younger, the old adage of you have no heart if you’re a liberal at 20 and no brain if you’re a liberal at 40 is an old adage because it happened to a huge group of now old people. The babyboomers, yes, the babyboomers, the oft mentioned eternally praised, sell out baby boomers, steeped in mystique, and rock and roll fame and revolution for the one’s that survived are in fact the mass of people from which this adage came about.

And with little explanation other than a wise man saying that’s just the way it is, or an adult railing a teachers union because when you get older fiscal prudence takes precedence, that’s what I was told and it’s lost all value to me. Besides I was a Republican first. Where were the baby boomers, mr and Ms. Hippy trippy 60’s on the Iraq war? And let us not forget that singular fact that Barack was the one guy out there that understood invading Iraq was a mistake. And I believe that, and it’s obvious now. It’s a thin minority that believes it was the right call. And for my money that’s the one thing I want to be comfortable with my president handling, assumptions as they relate to bombs, war and most importantly the loss of young American lives. It’s not a laundry list. The W. guy has to stick to his guns on that to some degree because for the 5,000 lives lost in the world trade center he gave them all back (pretty quickly) in trader / gambling talk. And it’s so fucked up. I remember 2 minute long commercials aired during the Super Bowl of 2002 asking only LET THE INSPECTORS DO THEIR JOB. It’s astounding he won re-election.

We should all take more active roles in our local and national political affairs and or charitable causes, here’s a link to our cause,
Speaking of elections I remember 1 week in DC half a year before the national election and Barack Obama not only sewed up the primary but also the general election in one under the radar week. It was in the summer, I believe the democratic primary was still up in the air with Mcain the front runner of the right. Anyway I just happened to read an article about the young democratic “hopeful’s” week in review stuffed somewhere in the middle of the A section in the print Post. And it was as if, lending suggestion, ABC's, always be closing, fake it until you make it was on full display for this one week and he won right there.
W. was kind of mailing it in at that point and Barack seemingly was green lighted by his buddy George to forever end the discussion that he didn’t like black people and invited Barack to handle the gears and take the presidency out for a one week spin around the block. He met with Bernake and later the NY Fed before flying to Isreal via Iraq before coming back to meet with the Treasury Secrary to discuss the forth coming housing crisis. And people noticed. And Hilary knew she was fucked. And he ran the country for a week. That was July.

And he won in November, no re count, no Florida, he out campaigned every body with the credentials to back it up and America still works right when you felt it didn’t, the one thing the hopeless have to hold onto, the underdog. The underdog had lost his holy power to frighten the establishment and challenge a reckless course both fiscally and with our armed forces which is now being reversed ala Vietnam ala Kennedy and Johnson in a derivative sense because the establishment lost.

And story matters when facts are facts. It matters Obama grew up without a father because it’s difficult and allot of kids don’t. And it’s good that he is black because only if you were would you understand people’s biggest fears. And it’s a joke, but it’s real. So that’s good. And he came into one crazy situation, and he’s blundered as he said he would but boy, he’s really hitting his stride and there are absolutely no indicators any of this will soon stop. The economy fell a long way in allot of the country, it’s not happening overnight it’s a big world, huge economy, but the signs are all there. Throw a baby in the deep end and it’ll probably figure out how to swim, these unprecedented challenges at the onset of his inagural presidency so young to begin with but battle tested from the bare knuckled ring of gritty Chicago politcs has built him better off because of it. And he’s taken some lumps, some deserved, some not, but he averted the shutdown, found comprimise in an inregular degree of bi partisan ship and how can all Americans not take pride in Detriot’s new found profibality and snazzy new commercials?

Republicans disdained the stimulus to Detriot even I had beraided against it but there is no doubt it was the right call, a good, good thing just like leaving Iraq alone in 2002 would have been and catching that other bastard.
And wall St. crooks from the last decade are still being rounded up, there are a few more but “Rag” was our Milken an end of another era of greed until it happens again in ten or 20 years, or not. But reform is in the air these days, and the SEC is being bulked up again thank god. Cheats on Wall St. swindle the regular investors rewards of prudence and calculation. It’s bull shit, I don’t need a hedge fund to advise me to buy Apple and Google, but yet that’s what it is, the timing, Gecko told us the whole tale many moons since past. But that’s a rant and this is an article about our president.

Because he gave a speech today to a high school class down in Memphis and he swiftly removed my anger of a hellacious day and I’m pretty sure inspired a couple students in that class to be great that will succeed. And that’s like the President referred to his plane earlier today in the first line of his speech, cool.