The Olympic Movement

Aug 10 08

The Olympic Movement

Paul Weinstein

When the week started out with political comparisons of Paris Hilton and Dead Presidents one has to wonder if the gutter can’t be far below for the election as a whole. Sure enough it made it, but only after a little hearting “debating of the issues”. 

Senators McCain and Obama debated their stance on energy, McCain sighting his preference to expanding oil drilling within the United States, mostly in terms of off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and nuclear power. While Obama stated his preference to alternative fuel research and corn subsidies for increased ethanol production. Of course between the public debate on issues each candidate managed to get in a few sideway insults, trying to brand the other as either anti-drilling – reason for high gas prices or anti-farmer – wishing to continue our dependency on (mostly foreign) oil for the sake of big oil companies. 

As is always the case the answer is somewhere in between and – just in case you’ve forgotten about her – Paris Hilton released her own “campaign ad” stating as much. More than a few critics mentioned her ad was; 1) funny, 2) better executed than any campaign ads that have run thus far 3) insightful.[1]

To be fair, Senator Obama has been trying to communicate his comments in “a compromise is possible” mode noting more drilling is possible, if any proposed energy bill also includes some repeal of tax cuts on auto manufactures and oil companies for funding of alternative fuel research.

Of course, to be fair to Senator McCain, to some extent subsides on corn, as well as other farm subsidies the federal government has maintained over the last 75 years or so is, if not exactly the definition of, is close to the definition of “pork barrel”. In other words Obama, being from Illinois and counting on Midwest states, is pandering.

And then, the floor fell in. Just before the broadcasting of the opening of the Olympic ceremonies, John Edwards admitted to having an extramarital affair with another woman in 2006, after being picked as a VP running mate of John Kerry in 2004 and before he attempted to run for the 2008 Democratic nomination. [2] And this man was a likely VP candidate for Obama![3] Hell the man could have been the Democratic nominee![4] And there may be a possible love child![5]

Incredibly, neither candidate suggested that a safe and stable Iraq might result in short-term reduction in the near record high price of oil. Perhaps each side feared a rolling debate on oil and foreign policy that could not be “controlled” or “spun” in a helpful manner.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, Senator Obama made a quick appearance for a fundraiser in Minneapolis and a photo opportunity in St. Paul on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Having my own campaign duties our paths didn’t cross so, as of yet I have not actually meet “my boss”.

Not that I would be talking much about the difficulties of my job if and when I meet up with him. No, I doubt I will be listing my grievances that few people seem to consider IT issues, until it’s an issue and that, as seems usual for most non-technology corporations, there is little “strategic thinking” of technology beyond, in the case of the Obama campaign, “new media[6]“, which seems to boil down to – blogs, social networking and mass emailing as far as I can tell.

This means my stress results from trying to herd three organizations; the national campaign, the state campaign and the state party organization into a cohesive, well running technological infrastructure from wholly nothing; no IT staff, no coordinating staff or equivalent individual in the DFL[7], et cetera.

Sure I’m earning my pay, plus some. But that’s not what I would talk about with my “boss”. Nope got something else on my mind for that encounter.

[1] Why I haven’t purchased my one-way ticket out of this country yet is beyond me at times like these.

[2] Oh, and two former Soviet states, Russia and Georgia are in a firefight over some disputed territory, but befitting the way the U.S. media has treated this story, we’ll just mention it in a passing footnote. 

[3] Did I mention that Russia is invading Georgia? No, not the southern state within the U.S., the country. Yes, there is a country name Georgia, it is a former Soviet state, just as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are.

[4] A region within Georgia, South Ossetia as well as another region, Abkhazia have been in dispute between the two states since the early 90s.

[5] Yes, there is a country name Georgia, why won’t you believe to me? Um, I’m not sure if they have a large oil reserves or not, why do you ask?

[6] Xavier, the New Media Director, is part of the senior staff. I am not.

[7] Minnesota’s state Democratic Party, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.