I’m not really in the mood to go off on a political rant, but I will say that these First 100 Day grade reports on the Obama Presidency strike me as utterly ridiculous.  FDR did all Presidents a disservice by introducing the notion of the “First 100  Days” into the political lexicon.  Yes, Roosevelt accomplished a tremendous amount in the first three months of his Presidency.  He also had won an overwhelming election majority and carried with him huge majorities in both the House and Senate.  He didn’t have to deal with the world of 24 hour news channels, and early on he didn’t have to deal with idiots like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity (though he did eventually have to cope with Huey Long and Father Coughlin).  And though he did face opposition to some of his programs, the sense of crisis in the nation at that time was so great that he had as much of a legislative free hand as any President in modern history.  No President since has accomplished nearly as much in his first 100 days, and no matter how much Obama has gotten done (and I’d argue that he’s done quite a bit) it will pale in comparison.

That said, the benchmark itself is worthless.  The problems he has faced since taking office were years in the making.  Expecting him to have solved them in three months isn’t realistic.  Yet I heard someone on CNN today lamenting that stimulus spending had yet to pull the nation out of its economic troubles.  It was all I could do to keep from throwing my glass through the screen.

You disagree with his policies?  Fine.  I can understand that.  You don’t expect them to work?   That’s fine, too.  Time will tell.  But declaring his Presidency a failure after 100 days is ludicrous, and judging his Presidency in historical terms when he’s less than a tenth of the way through his first term is a waste of time.

A Post About Ideas

April 27, 2009

Today’s post about the source of ideas can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the blog on writing that I share with Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and C.E. Murphy. Please visit the site and enjoy the post.

More From RavenCon

April 25, 2009

RavenCon has been great fun.  I’ve caught up with old friends — Ed Schubert, Gail Martin, Stuart Jaffe, Misty Massey and her husband Todd, Bryan Prindiville, James Maxey, Mike Kabongo, Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail, Jagi Lamplighter and John Wright, Jamie Rubin, and several others I’m forgetting right now (it’s late and I might have had a beer or three). I’ve also met some new friends — Maggie Stiefvater, Gray Rinehart, Valerie Griswold-Ford, to name a few.  I’ve been invited to submit stories for a couple of anthologies, I’ve discussed a collaboration with a friend, I’ve signed a few books and spoken on a few panels and laughed a great deal.

Good con.

At RavenCon!

April 24, 2009

Okay, let me start with an apology to all the Edgar Allen Poe fans out there. I actually do know that this year marks Poe’s 200th birthday and not his 150th. I just had a brain-fart moment while writing Wednesday’s post, and I’m sorry for that. Whatever year it is, I will be reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” tonight here at RavenCon to help commemorate Poe’s birthday. If you’re at the con please stop by. I’ll also be reading from one of my own stories or books (not sure which yet) on Sunday morning at 10:30. Please stop by for that, too.

I’ve already run into Misty Massey (with whom I blog at http://Magicalwords.net ) and several other friends, and I look forward to seeing more familiar faces as the weekend goes on. I got to hear Misty’s reading, which was wonderful, and I saw an Edgar Allen Poe action figure for sale, which I might just have to buy…. More as it develops!

Today’s post, “More on Revising and Editing,” can be found at the SFNovelists web page. Please visit our site and enjoy the post.

So, I’m off to Richmond, Virginia tomorrow for RavenCon.  I’ll get to see many good friends, I’ll be on a panel or three, I’ll do a reading from one book or another, and since the con is honoring Edgar Allen Poe’s 150th birthday this year, I’ll also be doing a Friday night reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart.”  If you’re in the area, please stop by.

I’ll be posting occasionally from the road, and will have a new post up at SFNovelists tomorrow morning.

More as the weekend develops….

A Post About Revisions

April 20, 2009

Today’s post, Revising and Self-Editing,” can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the writing-themed blog I share with fellow fantasy writers Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and CE. Murphy.  Please visit the site and enjoy today’s post.

Rites of Spring

April 17, 2009

First lawn-cutting of the year this afternoon. It sucked just as much as the last one of 2008. Some things never change…. Tomorrow is kind of a big day for me. We have a local spring festival at my daughter’s school every year. It’s called Trails and Trilliums, and there are hikes, talks, art, games and fun for kids, etc. It’s a fun weekend. And this year I’m the featured artist. My photos are on the publicity posters and I’ll be giving a talk on macro photography tomorrow afternoon. I also hope to be selling my photos. Should be lots of fun. For the locals among you, if you’re in the area, stop by and say hello.

I’m torn, because I have a friend who has been heavily involved in the “Tea Party” protest that took place in Chattanooga near my home town, and I don’t want to denigrate his hard work. There are legitimate concerns about the growing national debt and I respect those who are willing to get out and express those concerns publicly.

That said, a few points that I just have to make. 1) Americans are not overtaxed. Not at all. Compared with the taxes paid by citizens of other free market economies, we pay relatively little. 2) I will state once again (as I did during the 2008 campaign, after Joe Biden made his statement to this effect) my belief that paying taxes is, indeed, an act of patriotism. We live in a wonderful country. We enjoy a standard of living that remains the envy of much of the world. We have well-maintained roads; an air traffic control system that it is remarkably effective given the amount of air traffic our airports see on a daily basis; a well-trained, well-armed military. These things cost money. We have social security, which isn’t perfect, but which has served our seniors well for nearly eight decades. We have Medicare and Medicaid, without which millions more in our country would be without any viable health care. We have an educational system that is good but could be better; a food safety system that is flawed but better than nothing; and a host of other government programs that serve us with varying degrees of competence. Are they perfect? Not at all. But take away public education or food inspections or law enforcement and we’d be far worse off than we are. All of these things cost money, money that is collected in the form of taxes at the Federal, state, or local level. No one likes paying taxes, but living in this country is a privilege, and it doesn’t come free of cost. 3) For all the complaining about Barack Obama being a “socialist” and raising taxes, his plan calls for returning the upper income tax rates to the levels they were at after passage of Ronald Reagan’s tax legislation. If Obama is a socialist, then so is Ronald Reagan. 4) When Fox News sponsors a protest, when it creates a movement so that it can then cover the movement in its newscasts, that’s not grassroots activism. That’s political theater with a corporate sponsor. 5) If you’re going to create this kind of political stunt, don’t call what you’re doing “teabagging”. For that matter, don’t call it anything that will invite comparisons to any sort of sexual behavior. That’s just not smart.

Today’s post, “What Are You Waiting For?” can (finally) be found at Magical Words, the group blog I share with fellow fantasy writers Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and C.E. Murphy. Check out the site and enjoy the post.