My youngest sibling is getting ready to turn forty. The next youngest turned forty either last year or the year before. With all the brothers and sisters I have it’s pretty hard to keep track of my own birthday and year, let alone theirs. But one thing I know for sure and you can trust me on is that we’re pretty old.
But I can remember as clear as day how they would respond to the occasional dirty word they heard when they were little. About thirty five years ago give or take a year or two, if they were to hear something relatively benign like “pee-pee”, meaning piss, or “doo-doo”, meaning shit, they would howl with laughter. They would spend the rest of the day making references to their new favorite word, getting on everybody’s nerves until somebody did something to inspire them to move on to bigger and better things. Like mom slapping the shit out of them because she had finally had enough.
However, in the hour or two or three or four, after they had their vocabulary expanded, if at least only temporary, my little brother and sister would act like a dirty word was the funniest thing they ever heard. One would be like four and the other would be about six. They would walk up to each other, say “doo-doo”, and then fall out laughing over and over again. They’d do this until mom would say something like, say that shit one more time and I’ll knock you into the middle of next week. Most intelligent people would heed the warning and make the necessary changes. Not my little brother and sister. You could count the seconds on your fingers before you’d hear something like,
Next thing you know while they’re running around yucking it up as if they discovered the funniest thing known to man, mom’s got one of dad’s belt or his razor strap that would hang on the back of the bathroom door and is going through the house like a Tasmanian devil going after Bugs Bunny. My little brother and sister might have regretted the end result. But ‘til then, they would be having the best time of their life. But that’s what you can expect from a four and six year old.
Last week, Vice President Joe Biden used a dirty word. Right after the introduction of his boss, President Barack Obama, Mr. Biden tried to whisper in Mr. Obama’s ear a private comment. But the microphone caught wind of Mr. Biden’s private statement for the world to hear. In reference to the just passed healthcare reform bill, Mr. Biden said it was a big fucking deal.
For some, it was not as big a fucking deal as the Vice President using the term big fucking deal. This weekend, on one of the talk shows, somebody put together a montage of video clips from various news reporters referring to the Mr. Biden’s latest oral gaffe. Some of the stuff was funny. Initially it was something that would cause a snicker or a smile. But really, is this the gaffe of gaffes heard ‘round the world? Judging by the media attention I think even my little brother and sister from thirty five years ago would’ve tired of hearing about this nearly a week later.
I know adding my two cents to the subject only adds fuel to the fire in some people’s eyes. But I have to ask, who honestly didn’t think our national politicians dropped four letter vulgarities like the best of them? There was a video of George Bush junior trying to insert himself into a line of military personnel in Afghanistan or Iraq. The soldiers weren’t happy about being so close to the President and were trying to avoid standing next to him. There was one soldier who was actually trying to push Mr. Bush out of the line. Mr. Bush looked her in the eye, made a quick statement, and a whole opened up as if he was Moses and the line was the Red Sea. Now I don’t read lips and I never talked with anyone who was actually there. But I’m willing to bet my twenty against a five Mr. Bush said something similar to, you’d better fucking move.
Politicians use salty language. I wouldn’t put it past a single one that makes it to the national stage. I’m willing to bet that even Jimmy Carter could do a rant that would make the Jheri Curl wearing Samuel L. Jackson character in Pulp Fiction sound like a choir boy. You know Mr. Carter used to be a sailor. I can easily imagine him turning to one of his daughter Amy’s college boyfriends and saying at the top of his lungs,
“Say what again! I dare you! I double you, motherfucker! Say what one more goddamn time! I’ll put my Georgia stompin’ foot up your goddamn ass so far you’ll open your fucking mouth so I can trim my goddamn toe nails!”
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the fact that Mr. Biden using the “F” word is newsworthy. I can understand it hitting the nightly news the day it happened or even the day after. But please, this isn’t news come a week later. The media needs to grow up and give us all a big fucking break.
President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden take a break from the White House to have burgers at a local restaurant. Undoubtedly a photo-op. But I can’t help but think that waiting for him back at the White House is an executive chef with access to a kitchen and staff that regularly feeds every top foreign dignitary in Washington DC a feast for the record books. And I’m sure it was a fortunate timely coincidence that the four parking spaces right in front of this greasy spoon were waiting for that beastly presidential limo.
I really, really tried last night. But no matter how hard I tried to stay awake, the sandman would not be denied. I fell asleep about nine Central Standard Time, about ninety minutes before Senator John McCain gave his concession speech. I had fallen asleep on the couch and woke up to go to bed when I heard Mr. McCain’s voice. I don’t remember exactly what he was saying, but I heard enough, he was conceding. It registered on my sleepy brain that Mr. McCain, but I don’t think it registered that Mr. Obama won.
Ms. Peacemaker and I started tracking the polls about six thirty in the evening. Mr. McCain was first on the board with eight votes to Senator Barack Obama’s three. I think that was the last time Mr. McCain was in the lead. At one point, the polls had Mr. Obama with about one hundred electoral votes to Mr. McCain’s thirty eight. Mr. Obama pretty much was enjoying a two to one lead.
Now, I don’t know what officially makes a political landslide, but the 2008 election should be considered a prime example on the national scale. But all night long the people monitoring the election claimed that the race was close and that Mr. Obama failed to flip some crucially needed traditionally Republican voting states. When there were two hundred electoral votes for Mr. Obama and ninety for Mr. McCain, a few minutes before I lost consciousness, I figured all Mr. Obama needed was to win two more states, Florida with twenty seven votes and California with fifty five. With awareness quickly fleeing away I knew it was pretty much in the bag. It was virtually impossible for Mr. McCain to overcome his more than a hundred vote deficit and pull off an upset.
Regardless, I woke up to an expected surprise! The forty fourth President of the United States will be the first President who is not known as a hundred percent Caucasoid male. President Barack Obama will be the first visible minority President. More than two hundred and thirty years after the birth of our nation we finally have a little racial variety in our highest executive office. The historic nature of the occasion is monumental.
But then again, the challenges ahead of him and the rest of America are truly monumental. No President has ever come into this office facing the variety of problems that await Mr. Obama. Yes we may have had a President that had to face a great depression early in the twentieth century. Yes we may have had Presidents that had to guide the country through wars. But now we have an economic crisis of its own monumental proportions, a war fueled by differences in ideologies in two countries, a healthcare crisis with so many Americans losing everything including their lives, global competition as well as global animosity for the previous administration’s unilateral global policies, and so much more. We voted for the black man to lead the country after the last white man screwed it up so royally.
Voting for Mr. Obama is only the first step. He is not a dictator of a nation but a leader. His predecessor, President George Bush, was at one time fond of saying that he is the decider who controls the fate of this country. But if this election has done anything it has drilled home the fact that it is the collective people of America that are the deciders of this country. The President might feel like he, or surely one day she, can operate with personal impunity, but he leaves the rest of his or her party to face retribution. It wasn’t Mr. Obama who was the greatest contributor to the defeat of Mr. McCain but Mr. McCain’s association with an immensely unpopular President who explicitly and implicitly said that he didn’t give a shit about what the American public thought.
Mr. Obama goes into the presidency with the momentum of the world behind his back. This great victory was achieved with a great deal of effort and coordination of people around the nation. Mr. Obama cannot do it all alone. He needs the help of the American people and he needs to stay accountable to the American people. A lot of people supported Mr. Obama because they felt he was truly the best man for the job. But on the other hand, there are a lot of other people who voted for Mr. Obama simply because we felt he was the lesser of evils.
If anything can be learned from the story of George Bush it is that the support Mr. Obama may enjoy today can evaporate quicker than a snowball in the hottest pit of hell. He needs to remain focused and he needs to remember who he serves. It was the people who donated the most to his political effort. A lot of people wanted to see change. Business as usual is not an option. Two years from now there will be another national election and the Democratic Party that is firmly in charge of the legislature and the executive branch will be held accountable. I strongly suggest that he, nor anyone else in politics, doesn’t continue the tradition of taking the people for granted.
Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the debate live and had to settle for watching what happened on video clips on various television shows and over the internet. I heard some of the accusations of limited or of a total lack of experience. I heard the disdain competitors had for opponents. I heard absolutely nothing but support for political affiliations. I heard the total rejection of any facts, evidence, or manifestation of anything that would show the weakness of political hopefuls. There was rhetoric. There was bluster. There was emotion. And there was cute and meaningless mannerisms designed to do nothing but endear the speaker to the viewing audience.
I saw nothing unexpected. I had expected the rhetoric in support of the Republican ticket to be thick of patriotic language without much patriotism. It really is nothing that hasn’t been heard before. I swear if I hear another argument about how much of a maverick Senator John McCain has been in his political career. The man votes with President George W. Bush ninety percent of the time and supports what could be successfully argued as some of Mr. Bush’s most disastrous policies for this country and the Republican Party continues to successfully market this “me too” record as maverick.
I watched the woman behind the podium refer to Mr. McCain as an experienced military leader. Private Gomer Pyle had military experience and often led Sergeant Vincent Carter to reason. I saw the polar political opposite on the other side of the state respond that the presidency is more than military leadership. The presidency requires an understanding of a variety of issues. I watched the woman say that a governorship requires leadership of the National Guard during a time of war.
I saw the opponent respond by arguing that the Governor of Alaska never issued a single military order and simply holding the office does not give default military experience. I heard the woman claim that being Governor of Alaska is demonstrating leadership in a microcosm of America. But on the flipside, running a household in the Untied States is demonstrating leadership in a microcosm of America. Charles Manson had leadership experience in a microcosm of America. And when asked what experience the Governor of Alaska had that qualified her to be a heart beat away from the presidency the woman responded asking what experience did Senator Barack Obama have that qualified him to be President in truly typical unable to answer the question fashion. All of this happened on the October 2nd edition of The View.
I don’t watch The View very often. In fact, I don’t watch it at all. But the news that Elisabeth Hasselbeck slammed the Democratic Party presidential hopeful piqued my curiosity, again. I saw Ms. Hasselbeck tell Mr. McCain that he has her support no matter what. She said this just before she asked him some question regarding his desire to overturn Roe versus Wade on the September 12th edition of the show. If he has your support then what was the point of the question? I saw Ms. Hasselbeck stand in front of the Republican National Convention and talk about how unprofessional Michelle Obama was as a guest on The View compared to Cindy McCain. Ms. Obama had a list of topics that were not to be discussed while Ms. McCain was willing to talk about anything and everything. The way Ms. Hasselbeck and so many other conservative political pundits are so willing to attack Ms. Obama as part of an obvious political agenda it really is no wonder Ms. Obama would give a list of subjects that should not be broached.
Ms. Hasselbeck asked why anyone would think that Mr. Obama could be President. I thought it would have been appropriate if she would compare the question as to why Ms. Palin would be qualified to be Vice President with the question as to why Senator Joe Biden would be qualified to be Vice President. After all, it is Mr. Biden who is campaigning for the same job that Ms. Palin is shooting for. But instead we have to examine Mr. Obama’s experience that coincidentally has the same amount of executive experience as his opponent Mr. McCain.
To answer Ms. Hasselbeck’s question I think Mr. Obama is qualified because he can convey political principles with comprehensible messages that are direct answers to questions. I think people can appreciate the fact that Mr. Obama can respond to questions in a debate in a professional and presidential manner without having to rely on an occasional wink of the eye to the camera or with folksy colloquialism that are more appropriate on Hee Haw, and even that show has been cancelled for decades. I also think people appreciate the fact that Mr. Obama doesn’t use a national debate to give a shout out to some second grade class in some obscure little school back in his home state and promises the entire class extra credit and a gold star. Maybe that was a demonstration of the techniques she would use to motivate the military during a time of war.
Why Ms. Hasselbeck so strongly supports Ms. Palin is beyond my comprehension, kind of like Ms. Palin’s explanations during her interviews with Katie Couric and Charles Gibson. Maybe Hasselbeck sees a kindred soul. Ms. Hasselbeck looks at Ms. Palin and sees a woman with a lot of potential who happens to be in a position of a great deal of influence but swimming upstream and struggling hard to explain her self and her positions. But even Ms. Hasselbeck doesn’t close each debate she has on The View with a wink and a nod to the boys and girls of Who Gives a Shit elementary. This is national politics and not a congeniality contest.
The Saint Louis Rams are off to a dismal start. They lost their first four games usually by wide margins, on average twenty six points. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing at home or if they’re playing away. It doesn’t matter if key players are injured or if key players are healthy. If the Rams are playing then the Rams are losing. Just this past Monday head coach Scott Linehan, has been dumped after the hapless football team lost seventeen of its last twenty games. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has been given the unenviable task of trying to revive the franchise. Considering how well the other teams have been able to score against the Rams I really don’t see much of an improvement. Just this past week the Buffalo Bills were able to outscore the Rams by twenty five unanswered points in the first half alone on the way to their 31-14 victory on Ram’s home turf.
With all that said if the Rams lose their next game only by five points, they will still be winless losers. The fact that they made an improvement in their performance is notable. But the fact of the matter is that the other team will still be their superior with a better record. Nobody in the National Football League wins games by losing by less than what’s expected. That only happens in gambling and, unfortunately, in politics.
The world waits with baited breath as Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin prepares to debate her Democratic opponent Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Mr. Biden is a seasoned veteran of the United States Senate with a long history of accomplishments. Ms. Palin is the spunky first time Governor of one of the most beautiful and remote states in the country. And the debate is expected to be one of the most anticipated television events is broadcast history.
Ms. Palin doesn’t have much experience in national politics. In fact, prior to being selected to be Arizona Senator John McCain’s as the best candidate as his running mate, Ms. Palin has never operated at the national level. Ms. Palin has been protected from reporters with levels of security that could protect an Israeli prime minister walking though the toughest Palestinian neighborhood on a moonless night. Her first interview with Charles Gibson of ABC News exposed her limited understanding of global politics. Her interviews with Katie Couric of CBS News exposed her inability to form comprehensive sentences under pressure and admit that she doesn’t know everything. The fact that Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live can do a hilarious skit based on Ms. Palin’s answers practically word for word is testament to the fact that Ms. Palin is somewhat lacking.
The lack of public exposure combined with her somewhat unintelligent answers to Ms. Couric’s and Mr. Gibson’s questions is enough for some people to see that Ms. Palin is not ready for prime time on a national level. Her approval rating has dropped significantly in the past few weeks where all she did with respect to political campaigning is reread her acceptance speech. Thank god she’s stopped with that thanks but no thanks line. In response to one of her interviews with Ms. Couric, Mr. McCain decided to sit in on the next interview in order to do damage control. Not a very strong move for building confidence in the decision to pick Ms. Palin as the vice presidential nominee.
Some conservative political pundits say that Ms. Palin could serve her country, her party, and Mr. McCain if she would just step aside and remove her self from the political race. But in typical political fashion Ms. Palin promises to finish what she started. She has campaigned against Democratic presidential hopeful Illinois Senator Barack Obama in his bid for the White House and she has come out swinging against her VP opponent with references about being in the second grade when Mr. Biden made his first appearance at the national level in a not so subtle jab at Mr. Biden’s age. The fact that her own running mate Mr. McCain is six years Mr. Biden’s senior was overlooked. Ms. Palin has a knack for leaving herself open by overlooking exactly what she’s saying like when she slams community organizers. There was a serious backfire.
But nevertheless a lot of people say that if Ms. Palin can do a little more than just show up and not say anything stupid she’ll win the debate. Some people say that if Mr. Biden makes the woman look too incompetent it can actually backfire and she’ll win the sympathy of many voters. Are American’s supposed to pick the next leader of the free world based on sympathy? It appears so.
I don’t expect much from Ms. Palin. I don’t think she’ll do all that well. But even if she does a decent job and avoid embarrassing herself and her party she still doesn’t have much to stand on to prove that she can handle the job of being a moment away from being President of the United States. It is a job best left to people with clear demonstration of national level politics and global understandings. As Mr. McCain likes to say, this is not a congeniality contest.
Earlier this week, American International Group, Inc. had to be bailed out of its self inflicted hole of social irresponsibility. After years, decades even, of dealing in credit default swaps, a form of credit insurance designed to pay a lender if a borrower was unable to repay a loan, the inflated value of the assets used as collateral no longer covers the value of the loans. AIG received a bailout from the federal government at a cost of eighty five billion dollars. That’s an eight and a five with nine zeroes. That’s more than enough dollar bills to wrap around the Earth well over three hundred times.
When news of the bailout broke, Arizona Senator and Republican presidential hopeful John McCain made a statement before his supporters that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. These are the same exact words from President George Bush who insist that everything’s normal and this is just a minor adjustment. In this week alone the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down over eight hundred points or seven percent of its value. If you have a wife that has inherited a hundred twenty million dollars and own nine homes on seven properties, you too would probably think that the nation’s economy is sound. Otherwise, like most Americans out here who are struggling with just buying the basic necessities, you might have a different opinion on things.
A couple hours after Mr. McCain did his Mr. Bush impersonation, Mr. McCain made a statement that the economy is sound but is being tested. His solution is to create a blue ribbon panel to study the problem so that they can make a recommendation on how to correct the problem a few years from now. I’m sure that sounds pretty good to people who are millionaires and live in the upper crust of the American economy and don’t have to worry about their retirements and earning enough money just to exist.
But I know for a fact that the way things are going I don’t have the luxury (pun damn well intended) to sit back and wait for a group of eggheads to come to a consensus about what to do next. That’s like dialing 9-1-1 because your house is burning down, you’re spouse is having a heart attack, and there is a serial killer outside with a rabid bear on a leash and a sniper rifle and the emergency operator tells you that a blue ribbon panel is going to get together to discuss the problems in order to determine the best course of action. I can appreciate the desire to study the phenomenon of rabid bears in order to develop future solutions. But if I’m the caller I need help with my problem right now!
The fundamentals of our economy are strong. Buy low and sell high is a fundamental that is a pretty strong principle for the development of anybody’s economy. That’s a given. The problem is that our market economic pretty much fucked up. And the basic philosophy of Mr. McCain’s market proposals has always been less oversight, less legislation, and fewer rules because private industry is more than capable of taking care of itself. This is the same private industry that led to such notables as Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and the like. This is the same private industry that fights against minimum wages and limits such as usury laws.
The government doesn’t need to set any standards for fair corporate behaviors. The market is capable of taking care of itself. For example, once a bridge builder build’s a bridge that collapses, no one would be willing to hire that bridge builder again without huge discounts. The bridge builder will go out of business because it couldn’t make a profit. The market took care of itself. Unfortunately, a few people probably had to die in the process, but the fundamentals for bridge building are strong. Setting standards for bridge building so that no one has to dies is too much like big brother watching.
Mr. McCain is ready to give American corporations everything they need to compete in the global economy. He’s ready to eliminate government oversight, he’s ready to reduce corporate taxes, he’s ready to nominate Supreme Court justices that are sympathetic to corporate entities, and he is ready to look the other way as the public gets taken for every nickel and dime that people can spare and then some. In other words, Mr. McCain is more than ready to continue the same policies as his immediate forebear, Mr. Bush.
In order to convince the public that his understanding of economic happenings matches our understanding, Mr. McCain quickly retracted his statements of strong economic fundamentals and replaced them with calls for more regulation and government oversight and blue ribbon panels. The only problem is that his behavior as a politician is indicative of what he truly wants for the current market.
American corporations aren’t hurting because their taxes are too high or they have too much regulation. Most of the corporations that are hurting are in their situation because generally speaking the American public cannot afford to support them any more. It is the purchasing power of the majority that needs to be strengthened and protected. Until Mr. McCain understands this basic fundamental of economic policy, it is seriously doubtful if he will ever be ready.
On Tuesday, September 9th, I caught the tail end of a discussion monitored by John Roberts between Paul Begala, former political aid to President Bill Clinton, and Alex Castellanos, a former consultant to Mitt Romney’s campaign for the presidency. Mr. Roberts was standing in front of the two men who were appearing together, side by side on a giant floor to ceiling television monitor.
Mr. Roberts asked Mr. Begala how come Senator Barack Obama cannot make it more clear to people that Governor Sarah Palin is actually misleading the public over the significance of her involvement in stopping the bridge to nowhere. Mr. Begala charges that it is because the press refuses to do its job. Mr. Begala said, “It is the media’s job, when a politician flat out lies on this bridge to nowhere, to call her on it. Or this matter of earmarks where she’s attacking Barack Obama for having earmarks when she was the Mayor of little Wasilla, Alaska, six thousand people, she hired a lobbyist who was connected to Jack Abramoff, who is a criminal, and they brought home twenty seven million dollars in earmarks. She carried home so much pork home she got triganosis. But we in the media are letting her tell lies about her record.”
When Mr. Begala finished Mr. Roberts pointed to Mr. Castellanos, “Okay, we’re going to let Alex respond to that. Flat out lies Alex?”
Mr. Castellanos replied, “Let’s be a little gentle. Look. Every elected official in this country works under the system we have which is we try to get a little bit of your tax money back. You just don’t want to leave it all in Washington. The amazing thing about Sarah Palin is that when she became Governor she actually stood up and said no. And she made changes and she took a strong stand. That is rare and that never happens.”
There was more back and forth between Mr. Begala and Mr. Castellanos when Mr. Roberts broke in with, “We still have fifty six days to talk about this back and forth…”
Mr. Begala interrupted, “You see this is the problem. We have this false debate when we ought to have the agreed upon facts.”
The camera switched over to Kiran Chetry at the anchor desk who told people if they wanted to check the accuracy of the candidates’ statements they could go to a couple of websites. In other words, don’t expect any fact checking from the people at CNN. The network is doing its best to keep the political race close and as competitive as possible despite facts like a vice presidential candidate is lying about her record and is blatantly hypocritical about earmarks. As her supporter Mr. Castellanos himself said, this is the political environment we find ourselves operating in these days. A little gentleness would be appreciated. When it comes to earmarks, Ms. Palin should not be throwing rocks in her glass house.
On Friday morning, the former Mayor of New York, New York, Ed Koch made an appearance on CNN and he was asked his opinion on Sarah Palin. The Mayor said that the woman bothered him because, among other things, she used her political office to try and have books banned from the library in Wasilla. When the librarian refused, Ms. Palin tried to have the librarian fired. Right after he said that, Ms. Chetry challenged him and said that CNN found proof that it never happened. Mr. Koch argued that he didn’t know where they got their proof but there is evidence to show that Ms. Palin tried to have books banned and people fired. Ms. Chetry repeated that CNN is on record and have proven beyond a doubt that Ms. Palin never did that. The two went back and forth until the network had to cut for commercial. Mr. Koch was thanked for his appearance.
When they program continued, Ms. Chetry wanted to make the network’s position clear. The network had proof that books were never banned from the library and no librarian was ever fired for not removing books from the library. Ms. Palin did try to use her position to remove books and fire librarians, but since she was unsuccessful the actual events never happened. Ms. Chetry apologized for any misunderstanding. If this is news reporting then it must be its darkest hour.
CNN was once billing itself as the most trusted name in news. CNN is probably still using that tag line. However, now the network appears to be doing its best to blur the lines between facts and reality. Whether someone in politics tried to do something or not is not important. If they weren’t successful then it didn’t happen. No one who is concerned about their reputation for honesty would claim such a narrow and rather asinine interpretation of actual events. Yet CNN appears to be ready to stoke controversy for the next fifty odd days or so in order to keep people tuned in. But if you want to know actual facts, you have to go elsewhere.
It should not be a political candidate’s job to prove that his or her opponent is lying. It is the responsibility of the press to assure that the candidates stay truthful. When a political candidate lies about his or her record it isn’t the job of the other candidate to root the untruths out. The more our trusted news sources do to generate controversy the more the public is misled. The majority of the people won’t check other sources.
If the news programs don’t report the facts then many people will go without factual reports. When news anchors defend deviant behaviors then they increase public support for deviants. Phony debates and the blurring of facts are good for increasing the number of viewers but do nothing to educate people who need education in order to vote for what many people consider the most important job in the world. In that respect, no one should be so quick to blur the lines of reality in order to increase ratings and therefore the value of the network.
We might have fifty odd or X number of days to figure out who is the best to run the country. But the misinformation being supported now will be the foundation for people’s decision making in the voting booth in November. With the stakes so high, a series of global crises that could lead to world wide catastrophes, we need to be doing everything we can to assure that all the facts are laid out as soon as possible so that people can better exercise their judgment.
So many people have said that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is somebody with so much executive experience, along with her two time stint as the vetoing Mayor of Wasilla, she will be ready to replace a would be President John McCain any moment it’s necessary come day one. However, Ms. Palin just isn’t ready for an in depth interview with a reporter on day one. Today is the twelfth day since Mr. McCain announced his greatest political stratagem, or depending on perspective his greatest act of political lunacy, Ms. Palin as his vice presidential running mate. And to date, she’s been protected from the media as if the reporters were more like the proverbial pit bulls instead of the lipstick wearing hockey mom.
One of the biggest problems I had with this lame duck George Bush presidency was its lack of candor with the American people. How many times has the American public had to settle for the President telling reporters that he flat out isn’t going to answer questions or talk about issues that were affecting the American public?
Mr. President will you tell us who is behind your energy policy?
I’ve decided that I’m not going to talk about that.
Mr. President will you tell the American people why you gave Blackwater Security a billion dollar no bid contract to protect the refineries in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina?
I sincerely hope you’re not going to hold your breath while you’re waiting for me to answer.
Mr. President will you explain why you continue to give Exxon/Mobile a three billion dollar tax cut after one of their most profitable quarters but give the American people only three hundred dollars?
This interview’s over!
But now we are supposed to believe that this woman who is so courageous that she can stand up to all those big nasty Republican politicians that were forcing the Gravina Island Bridge on those poor people in Alaska, but she doesn’t have the bold initiative to stand before news reporters and talk about her personal beliefs and philosophies and why she is the best person to serve as a Republican vice President. What happened to all that talk about being ready day one? I’ve seen people on the news give interviews right at the moment something happened or some choice is made. Not many people have the luxury of saying, I’m running for public office but you can’t ask me questions about me for the next couple of weeks. But I’m ready on day one!
And when the reporters do get to ask what Americans want to know, the Republican Party will make sure its down with the softest of kid gloves and the gentlest of softball questions. Hey boys and girls! Say hello to Sarah Palin! Let’s give her a big hand for coming to the Romper Room Reporting Network! She’s the Governor and Mayor with so much executive experience that she’s ready to run our big old government on day one even though it’s taken her two weeks to prepare for our little show and tell segment! So Sarah could you please tell the boys and girls out in TV land what makes you so smart and why that big black man who wants to be the President is such a meanie wienie?
Given the fact that this woman, and all the people who support her, wants to be the back up study just in case the President goes down for the count, the American public needs to know who she is and where she comes from and what’s her thought process. Personally, I think you can look at the woman’s record to see how she handled her executive authority. We can see her delivery in her acceptance speech to see how easily she manipulates facts to suit her agenda. We can see first hand the lack of success of her abstinence only sex education program right in her own home with the pregnancy of her seventeen year old daughter but her refusal to readjust or try anything different that might be successful. We can see how the newest, brightest, start in the Republican galaxy secludes herself from the public as evidence of her inability to withstand scrutiny or to be ready at a moments notice. It’s just an interview. What would she do if she had to run the country?
We’ve already had eight years of a President who views the world through rose colored glasses. We don’t need such limited and thoughtless leadership one more day than absolutely necessary. When George Bush and his cronies pack that moving van and leave 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the last thing I want to see pulling up is someone who will make me actually wish Mr. Bush would come back. Giving Ms. Palin time to figure out where exactly Washington D.C. is on the national map doesn’t instill me with a lot of confidence in her preparedness.
Shortly after Senator Joe Biden was named Barack Obama’s vice presidential pick Mr. Biden went his own separate way to drum up support for the Democratic team. Mr. Biden did it without reciting his acceptance speech over and over and over again. Mr. Biden did his campaigning without a script at all. On the other hand, Sarah Palin goes to school to learn what it means to be the Vice President. Which one looks the most ready come day one?
I caught a little of the Democratic National Convention in Denver and even less of the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul. I saw the Democratic nominee for the presidency, Senator Barack Obama, give his acceptance speech in a standing room only stadium of eighty five thousand plus seats. I saw the Republican nominee for the presidency, Senator John McCain, give his acceptance speech in a stadium of about fifteen thousand seats. The crowd at the Democratic National Convention was a racially diverse bunch with something like thirty some odd percent of the delegates of African American heritage. On the other hand, the Republican National Convention looked like a 1950’s Happy Days meets Lavern & Shirley reunion with a black people participation running along the lines of one point five percent. Thirty six black delegates out of more than twenty three hundred.
Now with just about one sixth the attendance at its national convention and only one race of people represented with audience participation about ninety eight percent white, I wake up this morning to hear that John McCain has a slight lead over Barack Obama. If that’s not enough, John McCain has a record of voting with his Republican Party and President George Bush ninety percent of the time. People say they want to change this political environment that has our economy, military, education system, our reputation, our housing market, and just about everything else you can think of on a national level in the toilet and getting shit on constantly. But now I’m supposed to believe that more than half the people polled these days think that our best bet for changing course is Mr. McCain.
After two terms with George Bush I can’t believe the American public would be so stuck on stupid. To make the same mistake again for a third time, and to expect different results, is truly madness. People at the high end of the income spectrum don’t need another tax cut. They have all the funds they need to fill up their Bentleys and their super class luxury yachts. What in the world they need another tax cut for? Exxon-Mobile made tens of billions of dollars last year. Why do they need another tax cut? Warren Buffet and Donald Trump did well. Bill Gates did well. Cindy McCain made out like a bandit. Why do they need another capital gains tax cut? Is it to help her go buy another house or two because nine just isn’t enough?
Mr. McCain promises to open up our coastlines to more petroleum drilling. He’ll open the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to more petroleum drilling. He’ll open your backyard to more petroleum drilling if that’s what the oil companies wanted. But drilling for more oil and keeping the price of gasoline cheap doesn’t do anything to give people an incentive to develop new energy alternatives or to conserve energy or curb wasteful energy expenditures. After eight years of having two former oil men in the White House, who allowed oil executives to develop America’s energy policy, I’m supposed to believe that over half of America is ready to reward the oil companies for their service to the American public by giving them access to even more potential inventory? I refuse to believe that our national collective short term memory is that short.
After eight years of having a President of the United States who was a strong, mediocre student with his average grades, over half of America is ready to now ready to vote for Mr. McCain, a man who wasn’t exactly a Rhodes Scholar when he graduated from the Navy academy. In fact, Mr. McCain wasn’t even a mediocre student. Out of eight hundred ninety nine students who graduated in his class, Mr. McCain came in sixth from the bottom. Mr. McCain graduated with a rank of eight hundred ninety four. Mr. McCain actually managed to avoid graduating in the upper ninety nine percentile. The man didn’t have enough moxie to graduate above the bottom one percent of his class. Am I supposed to believe that the majority of America wants another half-ass in the presidency?
I don’t have a problem believing that there are a lot of people out there who are hoping with all their heart that John McCain gets into the White House. These are the same people who’d be willing to vote George Bush back into the White House for a third term if they could. These are the same people who would be willing to give the Captain Edward J. Smith, the arrogant and complacent captain of the tragically doomed RMS Titanic, one of the United States Navy’s new high technology Ticonderoga-class Aegis guided missile cruisers. These are the same people that would let Michael “Brownie” Brown stay the chief of FEMA while black bodies are floated through the streets of New Orleans. These people have a lot to gain with a third Bush term even while the rest of the country is heading to hell in a rocket powered hand basket.
But I’m supposed to believe that the people of America are ready to put Mr. McCain, Mr. Bush junior, into the White House to change the political course of this country after eight years of Republican executive leadership, with six of those eight years with a complacent Republican legislature. In order to change the track of the current Republican leadership, America wants to put another Republican in the White House. I’m supposed to believe the news when they tell me that John McCain has not only tied Barack Obama but has taken the lead because of the bounce of his selection of Sarah Palin as his presidential running mate?
I refuse to believe that the people in America would be so foolish. This race isn’t even hardly this close. The majority of the American public are not that narrow minded. I believe that the news agencies and networks are trying to make a horse race of this political routing to sell some kind of political melodrama to keep people tuning in. At best, maybe one sixth of the public would vote for the McCain and Palin combo over the Obama and Biden duo. I would hope that the American public isn’t so gullible to think that Mr. McCain is going to change this country. Mr. McCain is another train wreck waiting to join the pile up that’s already happened. He promises more tax cuts that benefit the rich more than they benefit anyone else, more war with more of our soldiers dying, more disparity, and more of all the things that have us in the mess we’re in now. I seriously hope that the vast majority of America is smarter than the polls say we are.
“Just wondering, why is clean and articulate an offense? To me, it would be a compliment. I don’t see what AT ALL that has to do with race….. seems like sometimes (and I’m not trying to be offensive) people take offense to things that aren’t meant to be offensive because they’re a little overly sensitive in areas they no longer need to be. If you live in a constant state of defensiveness, how will you ever be able to get past it and see that nobody is attacking you anymore?
And I do believe that Mr. Obama is inexperienced, but that has nothing to do with his race. Perhaps, if that’s how Biden felt, it was not an issue of race, either. It’s simply the fact that he’s a first term Senator, coming off of one term in his state Senate, and he’s never been a diplomat, in the military, or a leader, or held any position of management in his career….. perhaps that’s why he’s inexperienced…. he’s just too young and his resume is lacking!
And I noticed at the top of your page, about the flooding in Florida….. have you considered that the government simply learned a valuable lesson from Katrina…. that in the future they need not let local state emergency systems take care of themselves, because obviously not all states are prepared to take care of themselves? If we do learn from our past mistakes, we shouldn’t take offense to that!!!
I hope you do not take offense to this, I’m just hoping to maybe give you a different viewpoint to ponder upon…” – Comment by Ura
Thanks for the feedback Ura,
Here are a few words of clarification for you.
“Just wondering, why is clean and articulate an offense? To me, it would be a compliment.”
I don’t know of any other presidential candidate ever being described as clean and articulate. As I said in the article Mr. Biden had offered an intellectual assessment of his other opponent’s policies and programs. But all he could say about Mr. Obama is clean and articulate. Let’s look at it another way; I work as a database applications developer. If I got my performance review at the end of the year and all it said was that I spent the year being clean and articulate I would be offended. I have created management reports. I have recovered and rebuilt databases that other people thought were irrecoverable. I have created user interfaces for various database applications. And all someone can say about me is that I was clean and articulate. Maybe you would be satisfied with such commentary. But I would find it insulting.
I’m sure if you were normally dirty and incomprehensible with a poor vernacular or poor pronunciation of words then there would be little doubt that you would be happy with such simple words of praise. However, I’m shooting for higher standards of recognition for who I am and what I have accomplished. You might think that I am simply living in a constant state of defensiveness. However, I think that you live in a constant state of denial in an attempt to appear as much of an assimilationist as possible.
“And I do believe that Mr. Obama is inexperienced…he’s just too young and his resume is lacking!”
When have you ever looked at Mr. Obama’s resume? If Mr. Obama did nothing but serve as a first time Senator of the United States then I might be willing to buy your argument. But you will forgive me if I say that your comment sounds like something you may have heard from a political expert or one of Mr. Obama’s opponents. A U.S. Senator is in itself a position of leadership. Most people like your self will dismiss this fact. But if that’s truly not enough the fact that he served as president of the Harvard Law Review should help assuage those concerns. But too many people are ready to buy into what they are told about Mr. Obama instead of finding out for themselves. When a person doesn’t bother to learn anything about someone else, it’s easy to say that others don’t have any experience.
When it comes to the presidency of the country, everybody is inexperienced. No one running for President at the moment has any presidential experience. Mr. Obama happens to have just as much experience as any other Senator including John McCain and Joe Biden. Why is it an issue for Mr. Obama? Add the fact that the most experienced person for President is George Bush, Jr., I really don’t think experience is the primary concern here. Mr. Bush is more experienced than anyone with the sole exception of Bill Clinton. However, Mr. Bush is also the most incompetent President this country was ever doomed to suffer. Mr. Bush proves experience isn’t all that and judgment should be a far greater consideration.
“…about the flooding in Florida….. have you considered that the government simply learned a valuable lesson from Katrina…”
The government learned valuable lessons from Katrina? Like what, don’t wait too long to fish people out of water? That doesn’t sound like something that needed to be learned. I think that’s common sense. No disaster experienced by this country prior and no disaster ever since has ever been handled so abysmally. Anyone who thinks that the American government had to learn that it shouldn’t wait four days to get food, water, medicine, and some form of relief to American citizens is truly fooling themselves. It was not a mistake. It was a coldly calculated decision not to help black citizens of this nation to the fullest extent that our government is capable of.
If anybody learned anything during the Katrina debacle, it should have been black people. We should have finally learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that the members of the dominant community do not care to help black people. Black people who want to pretend that Katrina and the government’s response was just a matter of confusion and learning lessons for handling disasters are drinking so much propaganda ladened kool-aid in a serious single effort to fool themselves. We should have learned the lessons of Katrina. Unfortunately, we choose not to. For many of us, it will take much more than that to wake us up. And by then it will be much too late.
“I hope you do not take offense to this, I’m just hoping to maybe give you a different viewpoint to ponder upon…..”
I take no offense to you and your attempt to offer a different viewpoint. But just like a house Negro would more than likely have a different perspective of the white plantation owner than a field Negro, it is obvious that the two of us have totally different understandings as to what is happening in the black community’s relationship with the racially generic dominant society that is predominantly white. Your words sound like the parroted, empty words of someone else. I hope you do not take offense to my viewpoint of your viewpoints.