Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I don't care if he's president, I gotta get to work!

Wow. I am overwhelmed by your responses to yesterday’s blog post. A far cry from when Opie & Anthony fans took issue with something I said and flooded my comments section with death threats. But just know I really appreciate your kind words. Since I’m not making any money off this folly, the satisfaction is knowing I’m reaching a few people.

And your lovely comments were especially welcomed yesterday because I was reeeeally pissed at our president.

Not for any policy he proposed or speech he gave. Not for any program he wants to institute. It’s because…

HE WAS HERE! In Los Angeles.

Completely fucking up the traffic. The entire Westside of the city from Hancock Park to the beach was in complete gridlock so one guy could zip around and make campaign appearances. LAX was closed last night thus diverting flights to Ontario and probably Portland.

And this morning he completely snarled up the Westside yet again, this time during morning rush hour as he made his way back to LAX, causing major inconvenience, half a million people late for work or appointments – and here’s the worst part:

HE WASN’T EVEN ON THE ROAD!

He was in a fucking helicopter! So why the hell were the streets all closed? Roads leading to the Staples Center aren’t blocked when Kobe Bryant helicopters in for Laker games. Does Obama want the option of landing along the route if he sees an In & Out Burger so everything has to be cleared for fifty miles?? Here’s a news flash Mr. President, the kids making the In & Out burgers aren’t there because they can’t get to work because the fucking streets are all closed!

Nixon used to come to town – it was never like this. Reagan was here all the time – no problem. Clinton would show up and as long as you didn’t live on Barbra Streisand’s block or near the Playboy Mansion you weren’t inconvenienced. But Obama literally caused a traffic jam of epic proportions. And it’s not like he was in LA to attend a crucial summit that would end the war in Afghanistan. No. He was going to producer John Wells house for a fund raiser.

So in the future here’s my stand: Other than Sarah Palin (because I will never vote for Sarah Palin ever for anything, even if she’s running for hall monitor) I will now vote for whatever candidate (Democrat or Republican) promises to NEVER COME TO LOS ANGELES during the length of his term.

That’s it. Save the rhetoric. Skip the debates. You want my vote? Do whatever the hell you want in Washington just stay out of my town. How's this for a slogan? Forget NO NEW TAXES. How about NO BARRICADES WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO DRIVE TWO BLOCKS TO PICK UP A FUCKING LOAF OF BREAD?

As much as it would be a thrill to meet the President of the United States, more important is knowing I can get to In & Out.

47 comments:

Nat G said...

If you're just going two blocks for a loaf of bread, why the Shatner are you taking a car in the first place?

A. Buck Short said...

“I will now vote for whatever candidate (Democrat or Republican) promises to NEVER COME TO LOS ANGELES during the length of his term.”
That’s why the country still thinks so highly of Washington and Jefferson; although, to be fair, Jefferson did send two other guys – but they missed.
PS. I’d also like to thank your 78 commenters for having given me the day off too. This is one of the most demanding jobs I’ve ever had. But you are appreciated.

David O'Hara said...

Not to mention why the taxpayers are spending MILLIONS OF DOLLARS so Obama
(formerly HE WHO WALKS ON WATER) can do fundraising?????

laoleary said...

I may be naive....but perhaps it's because the other Presidents haven't had as many life threats as he's had/have? Not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Can you imagine the degree of upset this country would be in if he were assasinated? Anyway, I know, I know, it's easy for me to say because I don't live in LA. :)

Barry in Portland said...

re: '...loaf of bread'.

Amazingly funny - you ARE a pro!

Tom said...

I'll go out on a limb here and, with no actual knowledge of what I'm talking about (God bless the Internet) suggest it's the Secret Service's doing....? I live in Chicago, not that far from Obama's house, and streets are blocked off around his place even though he's hardly ever here.

Emily Blake said...

I am now really glad I had no need to leave the house for two days.

Flyover Country said...

Give the poor kid a break, Ken. He's doing good to find his way to the West Wing much less have a clue how to run the country. And now you want him to give up the perks of having everybody kowtow to his every whim and caprice?

Give it a break. Maybe by the time he's out of diapers he'll have lost the election and we can pay his way back to Hawaii...or wherever the hell he is from.

John said...

It's never a really great idea for a president to travel a whole bunch when people are grumbly, whether it's about the economy or the normal rush-hour tie-ups on the 405. At least you didn't have Air Force One doing low passes over downtown, the way someone had it do last spring near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan scaring the hell out of the townies (given what's going on now, I'm surprised Glenn Beck hasn't come up with the theory AF1 was scouting on that trip for good sites for the Park51 mosque/community center/fun dome).

Michelle said...

At least he didn't scare half of Southern California by triggering a sonic boom the way he did when he was in Seattle yesterday.

brickben said...

So post # 2001 was about an Odyssey of sorts...

Simon H. said...

It's one thing to be disrupted by a President motorcade of one you kind of like. It's another thing when you don't really care at all for the guy currently in office. I got stuck behind a motorcade for GWB in Florida in 2005, and I can't begin to tell you how pissed I was. Almost like a criminal returning to the scene of the crime 5 years previous.

The Curmudgeon said...

Tom has a point -- it is the Secret Service that makes these arrangements. I, too, am from Chicago, and, during the transition period, there was a huge police presence -- and no parking anywhere -- around the Federal buildings in the Loop because Mr. Obama's transition office was located there.

We now have gates -- like for trains -- that can be lowered to block the entrance ramps into the Kennedy between O'Hare and the Loop. I've given Mr. Obama high marks, though, for taking helicopters while here instead of tying up the road.

I recall driving home one evening as an Al Gore motorcade was coming into town. There was a solid phalanx of police cars leading the way, then a string of SUVs strung out behind -- for the press, for staff, for Mr. Gore, maybe another for his masseuse (who knew?) -- and a solid phalanx of police cars bringing up the rear. I couldn't imagine how the police cars stayed in parallel formation like that. Maybe they had stunt drivers instead of cops.

Anyway, the ramps were closed in advance of this procession -- no gates then, just police cars blocking the way -- and not opened again until the procession was long past. It was quite a sight to see -- very appropriate for a 20th Century Roman Emperor -- but a lot less so for an elected representative of the people. Especially only the Vice-President.

Of course, I seem to recall that Harry Truman used to ditch them so he could take his morning walks. The Secret Service should take orders from the President too.

Maybe Mr. Obama does not know the mess that's being made in his name. Maybe you could mention to Ari... and suggest he tell Rahm?

Gary said...

What's the big deal? You know when the Pres. is coming to town so you plan accordingly. But I guess it is something to complain about, and we're all pretty good at that. A funny thing happened in Seattle however. During the Pres. visit, a small plane ventured into restricted air space. The AF scrambled 2 F-15s out of Oregon (we knew they were from OR cuz they both had the Nike Swoosh on their tails). But the Cessna managed to avoid the interceptors and land on Lake Washington before being shot down. In the chase process, the F-15s twice broke the sound barrier, which in turn, flooded the 9-1-1 center in Pierce County and knocked it off-line. Now we're hoping the Nike Air Guard can afford to buy some Cessnas in order to keep up with rogue pilots over Lake Washington.

te said...

funny so many people blaming this on this particular president, as if he were the first to travel or the first to have streets blocked for security reasons.

I don't much like it either, but I believe earlier presidents have visited Los Angeles, and special accommodations were made for them, as well.

Also: if he didn't come out here every once in a while, certain people would be whining that we were being ignored. Of course in New Orleans, they'd have a point. But even that isn't limited to the current administration.

Paul said...

You have a very selective memory, Ken. Reagan always screwed up traffic whenever he was here. It was just as bad as the other day.

This visit was also highly publicized throughout the area. If you were caught off guard, then it's your own fault for not reading or watching some form of news every day.

Somersby Creek said...

There are lots of things to get upset about...This ain't one of them.

Anonymous said...

@laoleary, You are the voice of reason and right on the money. I was in the same traffic and thought like Ken, then remembered the insanity I see on TV every night and the venom directed at this president. I missed two meetings, but at least didn't have to turn on the television and see another president injured or worse.

SuperBK said...

I think the traffic snarls for presidents current and past are kinda ridiculus. When Obama came to Asheville, NC they closed the interstate for over 20 miles! Sure we heard about it in advance - for days. They even announced the exact time Airforce One would be landing, so I knew when it was going to fly over my house.

Tom Quigley said...

Richard Nixon's motorcade once drove through Rochester, NY and nobody noticed... But we know it happened because there were tapes of it...

Jeffrey Leonard said...

Ken, I just moved to Westwood at the beginning of the month. Bad timing for me. However, I was lucky to miss the very last barricade going up on Wilshire Blvd. as I shuffled off to work. Had I left home two minutes later, I would STILL be sitting in traffic. The good side to this...I am happy to know that we are now neighbors!

Chas Cunningham said...

Unrelated to motorcade snarls, but I appreciate that at least this president has never dressed up in a flight suit, then comandeered a fighter jet and rerouted an active-duty aircraft carrier as props for a self-serving photo op off the coast of California.

al smitty said...

Call all your Hollywood friends and have them preemptively donate to the Democrat's campaign fund. Then, he won't have to come back.

(Until his second term is over and he decides he wants to run a studio. Hey, it could happen. He went to Occi for the first couple of years.)

............................................ said...

My wife got snagged in that mess, yesterday. I can understand the visits, but someone should have a clue and not shut down Wilshire during morning rush hour. I don't think it would have hurt the President to sleep in and catch his flight at eleven. I'm sure AF1 would have waited on him.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Jeez, Ken, you're about five minutes away from yelling at those kids to get off your lawn. When I lived near the UN in New York, every September the streets were closed -- not just for The President, but for every penny-ante prime minister, generalissimo, tribal chief and presidente-for-life who wanted to make a speech. I wanted to build a pneumatic tube that would suck them from JFK to First Avenue and back again. So be glad you weren't sitting in a cab watching the meter climb like the National Debt Clock yesterday.

Nathan said...

Best quote from the LA Times:

"It was a beautiful thing, Young, old, black, white - everyone was pissed off"

William C Bonner said...

I had a similar problem with traffic when he was in Seattle earlier in the day yesterday. I was wondering if traffic would have been much better if he'd used a helicopter to get around. Your post tells me that it probably wouldn't have made a difference.

D. McEwan said...

"Nixon used to come to town – it was never like this. Reagan was here all the time – no problem."

Possibly true, but the damage they did to America was GIGANTIC! Obama is still trying to get us out of the economic hole Reaganomics has put us in.

"Gary said...
What's the big deal? You know when the Pres. is coming to town so you plan accordingly."


We do? Does he call you with his travel plans? He doesn't call me, even though we're Facebook friends! Who thinks each day: "I gotta be on time to work. Let me check the President's travel plans."?

I remember going to see President Ford speak in my neighborhood while he was President, and was running against Carter. (I wore a "Carter for President" button so no one would take my presence for support.) No streets were closed, and I parked only half a block from the site. (Nor was I not allowed in because I was supporting the opponent. Unlike Bush, the audience wasn't vetted for loyalty). But I wouldn't trade Ford for Obama ever.

DJ said...

It depends on the locale. When the President is home in Chicago, he can helicopter from O'Hare to Soldier Field, then motorcade about 15-20 minutes to his home. Sucks if you're on South Lake Shore Drive, but at least he keeps the Kennedy from being shut down.

Bob said...

You want my vote? Do whatever the hell you want in Washington just stay out of my town.

Well, of course. Remember FDR's Four Freedoms:

1. Freedom of speech
2. Freedom of religion
3. Freedom from want
4. Freedom from inconvenience.

te said...

If there's a relatively unheralded culprit here, it's the local radio stations for not giving frequent and detailed traffic updates.

But why establish precedent?

JE said...

Actually, the Secret Service does take direction from POTUS and of course in this case POTUS can't direct, so you get this result.

It is the fool for a President that is to blame, not the Secret Service.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

What bothers me is that the POTUS is campaigning for Democrats at taxpayer expense. And it isn't just one jet wasting fuel for this ripoff. A second one follows him in case there is a problem with AF1. I know, I watched the backup jet sitting outside my building yesterday at McChord AFB, WA.

Gary said...

D. McEwan: If you don't know that the Pres. is coming to your town, it's because you choose to remain ignorant of the fact. You likely can read, perhaps a large assumption on my part, but it appears you can write. If you don't read a paper or choose not to watch the local news; if you choose not to listen to a local radio station, and choose not to access a local internet news provider, you have chosen to remain ignorant. Even by accident it's difficult not to know that the President of the United States is going to be in your hometown, in advance of his arrival. Interesting about your trip to see Pres. Ford, but it doesn't state that you didn't know he was coming. It just says you got good parking and wore a Carter button. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't know Ford was coming. I guarantee you, however, that Squeaky Fromme knew when he was coming to her town, she knew what time and exactly where he'd be. Just have to read the paper and/or watch the news. Or remain ignorant. Nobody would trade for Ford. He's dead you know, it was in all the papers...

D. McEwan said...

"Gary said...
D. McEwan: If you don't know that the Pres. is coming to your town, it's because you choose to remain ignorant of the fact. You likely can read, perhaps a large assumption on my part, but it appears you can write. If you don't read a paper or choose not to watch the local news; if you choose not to listen to a local radio station, and choose not to access a local internet news provider, you have chosen to remain ignorant."


I'd have replied sooner, but I had to find someone to read this to me, being illiterate and all.

I take in plenty of news media every damn day. You know what? No one leads with where the president is going to be tomorrow, unless it's overseas. They tell you where he was today, and what he did.

If I wanted to know his schedule, I could certainly visit the White House webpage, but on the whole, it's not important to me where he's going to be. He won't be knocking at my door.

Maybe you make certain to know the president's schedule each day, but I, and most people, are more concerned with our own schedules. (which was part of the point of Ken's posting.)

Yes, I did know in advance that President Ford was coming to my neighborhood BACK IN 1976, but he was running for re-election then (Well, not re-election. He was appointed, not elected.) so guess what? They publicized the appearance in advance, and posted pamphlets and posters all over town for it. He as making a speech. They wanted a crowd.

And yes, I know Ford is dead, but I'm certain everyone else here understood what I was saying. Unfortunately, you are clearly too stupid to catch on.

Well, I won't keep you. I'm sure it's time for your daily check of the President's schedule. What time is his bathroom break scheduled for, BTW?

Anonymous said...

Clinton came to Oslo once, some years ago, and Obama has been here. In both cases, the cost went into the millions for the city.
I think "overkill" is the new SOP.
I want the president (even the ones I dislike) safe, but this stuff gets out of all proportion. After both presidential visits the police force the whole year after couldn't really do their jobs (they dropped cases with solid evidence, wouldn't investigate others, and cut way down on patroling, making the streets wild-west like) because the whole years budget was eaten up by the presidential visit.

If the US were interested in bankrupting a country, all they'd have to do is do presidential visits every few months.

Ref said...

Must be the word "Obama" you used. It brings out the commenters who actually believe in Faux News and its minions.

Shelia said...

Mr. Anonymous (at 8/18, 11:15am) referred to the "venom" directed at this president. If you mean comments by people who dislike him, please tell me how that's any different than things said by people who hate Bush. Every president is loved, liked, adored, dismissed, hated, loathed by people in varying degrees. He doesn't get special treatment because you've decided that certain remarks about him are unfair. Sorry, but I get really tired of the double standard.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Ken, that was a good solid funny kvetch!

Am I a bad American for not having a political reaction?

James said...

"What's the big deal?"

You've obviously never been in L.A. traffic.

Scroll up to where Emily says she was glad that she had no reason to leave the house for 2 days. That wasn't hyperbole.

Ref said...

"Double Standard" my butt. Bush was reviled for things he did and said. The complaining about Obama, at least on the right, is about who and what he is.

Don't give me your crappy right-wing false equivalencies. The right hates Obama for being a Democrat, a moderate liberal, and not an old white guy. Their reflexive, intransigent opposition that started on day one of his administration is unlike anything any recent Republican President has had to deal with. Sheesh!

Bob and Rob Professional American Writers said...

@Shelia - Hi.

I'll weigh in on this. As an example, I don't hate George Bush, even though I disagree with a lot of his policies. Contrast this to an entire movement, fueled by a 24 hour news outlet, which will go to ANY lengths to destroy not just President Obama's political decisions, but the man himself.

I agree both sides can get nasty, and double standers do apply in some areas of politics. But in the case of this president we are in the DEEPEST of uncharted waters. Best, Bob

cal said...

President Bush Sr. lost Florida to Clinton partly because of a campaign appearance. They closed all the bridges from heavily Republican, Pinellas County so the President could go eat strawberries at the Plant City Strawberry festival. No one could get in or out of the peninsula for hours, stuck on the causeways. People were so mad that they either didn't bother to vote or voted for the Democrat.

Shelia said...

Ref said:

"Bush was reviled for things he did and said. The complaining about Obama, at least on the right, is about who and what he is."

Bullshit. For me, and for a lot of others, the complaining about Obama is about what he's done and said - and what he hasn't done and said. Lots of broken promises. Shall I spell them out? It's aobut his performance. Period.

Ref also said:

"Don't give me your crappy right-wing false equivalencies. The right hates Obama for being a Democrat, a moderate liberal, and not an old white guy. Their reflexive, intransigent opposition that started on day one of his administration is unlike anything any recent Republican President has had to deal with."

Good grief! I have an opinion. And you know what? I live in America. I get to have opinions, even about the president. No, I don't like his policies or what he's doing to the country. That doesn't make me stupid or crazy or a hick or anything else. Maybe it makes me an intelligent, thinking voter. I simply don't like the direction he's taking us. It has absolutely nothing to do with his race or any other external thing. Ok? Good God, can't you just accept it when some people don't fall all over themselves infatuated with him? Can't you allow that some people aren't in love with the guy and that's ok? Must there always be such venom directed at people who voice a negative opinion of the guy?

Bob and Rob, Professional American Writers, thank you for your note. I understand your position. You articulated it well. For the record, I am conservative. I voted for Bush (go ahead, Ref, take the potshots if you must), but I don't agree with everything he did (in fact, I disagreed with a lot of it) and I don't hate his guts. I can sift through it all and see the good and the bad.

Believe it or not, I can see the good and bad in Obama too. I just happened to voice an opinion. It's a shame that Obama supporters seem to get SO UPSET when people don't utterly LOVE LOVE LOVE the man. Case in point here. Yeesh.

Just Getting Home... said...

Maybe it was the worst ever gridlock because LA traffic is now the worst ever? Because we're, like, way overcrowded and stuff.

Even a little fender bender made me an hour late last week. Hate to think what would happen if we had a tsunami and everybody was scrambling for (shudder) the East Side.

Crazy, but I think the President should be able to visit if he wants. It's not like our traffic is great all the rest of the time.

I do love you, Ken, and I would have picked up a burger for you if necessary--but this one might just be our city's issue to deal with.

Ref said...

For the record, I don't like Obama much, either. He's too damned conservative.

ref said...

And your equivalencies are still false.