"As he has before, Bush told the story about how his first presidential decision was to pick a rug for the Oval Office..." In a speech before Ohio High Schoolers and business leaders in a Republican district outside of Dayton, the President made some interesting commentary on marriage, chicken-plucking, polling, his own legacy, comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, and of course, the rug. Apparently, he loves the rug like Ronald Reagan loved Jelly Beans, talking about it all the time, even on the whitehouse.gov's video tour. Shortly after a President takes office, they make their own imprint on the character of the Oval Office by redecorating, a task usually taken by the First Lady. The rug, designed by Laura Bush is sunshine yellow, as the President stated he wanted the room to convey a sense of optimism, "because you can't make decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow." Hopefully the rug doesn't become a bookended anecdote to another Presidential "rising" sun.
NASCAR as an example of a meritocracy with equal opportunity for all. While frequently maligned for it's relatively primitive technology (excluding safety ), the total lack of mechanical resemblance (other than appearance) of the "stock" cars to the brand they represent, soap-opera-slash-professional wrestling story lines, and being ripe political target for both the right and the left as well as marketers, it is a strong cultural force. The entrance of Toyota (likely to surpass GM as #2 US automaker in the near-future) into NASCAR (with the hopes of "winning on Sunday and selling on Monday" in the heartland) and the cheating scandal currently unravelling highlight an important concept woven into NASCAR's culture. [more]