How Do You Think Obama's Doing So Far?

In the midst of all the euphoria and hope coming from the inauguration of Barack Obama, I feel it's my duty to remind you that not everyone feels the "Obama high." There are those who believe that Obama has already demonstrated that he is not a good President. Some of these people are just Democrat-haters. They are among those who, using some kind of new logic, blamed Bill Clinton for the 9/11 tragedy and felt that George W. Bush, who had been President for almost a year and ignored all the warnings, bore none of the responsibility for it. Then there are those who just feel Obama is an example of "too good to be true." And finally, there are those who enjoy puncturing balloons of hope. So, there were people who felt that Obama has been doing a poor job "from Day One."

You might have viewed the inauguration as an inspiring event. But this is how "they" probably viewed it:

At the swearing-in ceremony, Chief Justice Roberts made a mistake and made Obama stumble a bit. Roberts was obviously too busy to have rehearsed this oath, but shouldn't Obama have been smoother? If Obama can't even handle an oath, how is he going to handle the problems of a nation in trouble?

And speaking of trouble, Obama had promised to tackle our economic problems immediately. Yet on the day of the inauguration, the stock market went down 332 points. Nice work, Mr. President.

Over and over again over the past few months, he promised millions of new jobs. But while he was wearing his fancy tux, many people were still out of work.

And what about Iraq? Did the war come to an end right when he said the words, "So help me, God?" It did not. And now it is "Obama's war." How he ends it will determine how he will be remembered by historians. If we play our cards right, nobody will remember who started this war or why.

The fawning press is sickening. Why did nobody in the media have the courage to say, "That's an ugly dress?"

How bad was that inaugural poem? It didn't even rhyme.

And Aretha Franklin's hat looked like something Dick Cheney tried to shoot.

We've been told over and over again that Barack Obama and his wife Michelle care deeply about family and family values. Oh, really? Exactly how late did they allow their daughters to stay up after the inauguration? And it was a school night.

And then we come to broken promises. For months, Obama went out of his way to tell the public that there was one issue of the utmost importance that he would deal with. He committed himself to this issue above all others. This was, of course, the promise of acquiring a new puppy for his daughters. Where was the puppy on "Day One?" I didn't see a puppy up there with Obama and friends, did you?

Our new President told us that the selection of the alleged puppy is not easy because it is necessary for the Obama family to choose a dog which is as hypoallergenic as possible. At last report, the appointment of First Dog was said to be narrowed down to a Portuguese Water Dog and a Labradoodle. While either would be precedent breaking, neither seems like an appropriate choice for the White House.

The Portuguese Water Dog is, obviously, Portuguese. Wouldn't that be a slap in the snout to all of the perfectly good American breeds? The Labradoodle isn't even a recognized breed of dog. It's a combination of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle (and we know what country Poodles are from). The Labradoodle supposedly has the best characteristics of each – in other words, it is a genetically engineered dog. Have the American people really finished their debate on mad scientists fooling around with genes?

So, is there a President who has ever had a worse Day One than Barack Obama? You tell me.

That's how they may view him. Personally, I say give the guy a chance. Then you can blame him for 9/11, bad gas mileage, and that cold you have that doesn't seem to be going away.

2008: Not So Great

George Bush isn't the only one who's been a lame duck for the last couple of months of 2008. I have, too. I think all Americans have been lame ducks. We've been in limbo. We've been waiting to see how the financial crisis will be resolved, waiting to see what's going to happen with the automakers, and waiting to see how things will be under President Obama. Like a lame duck, we've been treading water. And time doesn't fly when you're treading water.

I can't be the only person who feels that the end of 2008 has dragged on and on. It seems like 2008 will never end. Doesn't it seem like it's been the longest year ever?

One of the reasons, of course, was because we had an interminable Presidential campaign. And the war continued without any hints of a dramatic ending. And we kept hoping that the bad financial times would be over. So it certainly was not a year's end that zipped by.

And to make it even longer, not only was 2008 a leap year, but scientists added a "leap second" to it. Apparently, they do this every once in a while when they notice that the earth's rotation is slowing down slightly. In case you're interested, the leap second will be added onto December 31st. Let's all make the most of that extra second.

Things that didn't really happen that long ago seem like they happened ages ago. For example, can you believe that John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate only four months ago? Doesn't it seem longer? Were we really able to live our entire lives, minus four months, without Sarah Palin?

Were the Olympics really just this past summer? And were the John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer scandals really this year? They seem like something from a distant, more innocent past. Of course, they have been trumped by year-end scandals, but neither Blagojevich nor Madoff made the time pass more quickly.

Think your memory of 2008 is perfect? Who won the 2008 Super Bowl? Not a sports fan? Who won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize? (Hint: it wasn't any of the football players from the Super Bowl).

Remember when gas prices were ridiculously high? Remember when houses sold ridiculously fast? Remember when I lost my cell phone? (Okay, that's a hard one).

Remember when the polygamists' ranch was raided? That really happened just this year.

This was a year when some things were all turned around. I don't know about you, but I can remember when people went to banks for money instead of the other way around.

And didn't you think pirates were a thing of the past?

One of the most outrageous Congressional earmarks was $50,000 proposed by California Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon. He felt the money should go to the National Mule and Packers Museum. And they say government doesn't support the arts.

Speaking of four-legged animals, a Norwegian equestrian was stripped of his Olympic bronze medal because his horse had taken a "banned substance." That's right. The horse didn't pass the drug test. With all the publicity about how harmful these drugs are, plus with every newspaper talking about how stringent tests are at the Olympics, how could a horse be so stupid and risk everything by taking drugs? What was he thinking?

The news story that defines 2008 has to do with Burger King. In the beginning of this month, the fast food company came out with a cologne – actually a men's body spray -- that smells like "flame broiled meat." "Who would want to smell like cooked meat?" But isn't this a perfect move for a company to make in 2008? People are worried about not having enough money to buy groceries, and they think that men are going to spend their hard-earned dollars so they'll smell like a hamburger? Maybe they're going for the burger bailout.

If "Flame" – as Burger King's cologne is called -- actually turns out to be a hot product, watch for the banks to follow suit. They could sell "Bucks," a cologne that smells like money. That way, Americans can walk around in 2009 with nothing in their pockets, but at least they'll smell like money.

And if the banks' cologne is successful, I'll bet other fragrances will follow. I just hope those in charge of that mule museum don't get any ideas.

Happy New Year, and have a great 2009.