Posts Tagged 'politics'

WSJ Opinion Suggests Treatment of George W. Bush Has Been Disgrace?

Last week Jeffrey Scott Shapiro suggested in a WSJ Opinion article that the treatment of George W. Bush has been a disgrace – citing as an example the San Francisco proposal suggesting to name a sewage treatment plant after him.  Mr. Shapiro suggests that like President Harry S. Truman, who also had a low approval rating of 22% before he left office but is now ranked as one of our most popular presidents, George W. Bush will also be seen as a strong president who lead our nation during a difficult time.  Mr. Shapiro further suggests that our disloyalty to our current president is a “shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.”

 

Well Mr. Shapiro… you are a patsy.  President George W. Bush is a disgrace but I also believe that he has also been played like a fiddle by his own team.  Cheney, Rumsfeld and their policy wonk lawyers (like Douglas Feith) have been of equal disgrace.  This president and his staff have lied to the American people on numerous occasions and put to doubt the patriotism of the American’s who have questioned his strategy and motives with the “embolden the terrorists” rhetoric.  America is great not because we all fall in line but because we think and we question, we have the courage to point out our flaws and shortcomings and not by covering them with the American flag in blind patriotism.  When faced with the conclusions of the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission Report, the president was asked if he agreed with their recommendations – his answer was “I didn’t read it” and that was his same response on the memos concerning “aggressive interrogation techniques”.

 

Well Mr. President, I am sorry to say that it is your job to read these opinions – whether you agree with them or not.  Your arrogance, hubris, and lack of respect for all of us “non-Bushies” is your legacy and you will have to live with that in infamy.

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Turn of the Tide

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve been struggling with what to post on the recent election.  But, I just got off the phone with a friend in the UK who was more enthusiastic about Obama than I was, and I voted for him!  And, then Bill B. forwarded this article by William Kole who got a kiss from a stranger on the train in Vienna because he’s American. 

So, I realized that after spending 21 months immersed in this election, I lack perspective.  And, while I’m relieved that Obama was finally elected, I haven’t had a sense for how huge this is.  Looking at the election from the outside, whether you’re a foreigner or an expatriate, it’s obvious.

Along these same lines, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column three weeks ago titled “Rebranding the US with Obama” about a conversation he had with a friend in Beijing:

She: Obama? But he’s the black man, isn’t he?

Me: Yes, exactly.

She: But surely a black man couldn’t become president of the United States?

Me: It looks as if he’ll be elected.

She: But president? That’s such an important job! In America, I thought blacks were janitors and laborers.

Me: No, blacks have all kinds of jobs.

She: What do white people think about that, about getting a black president? Are they upset? Are they angry?

Me: No, of course not! If Obama is elected, it’ll be because white people voted for him.

[Long pause.]

She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!

We are at the lowest ebb.  The tide is turning.  What an amazing country, indeed.

Truth, Lies, & Taboos… how dearly do they cost us?

I have been doing a lot of think lately about several of our societal taboos… specifically talking about religion, politics, and money.  I have always been a fan of the quote “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, which refers to the benefits of openness and transparency.  There was a further suggestion from Louis Grumet, Publisher of The CPA Journal, who offered “We should not only accept criticism and suggestions, we should embrace them.  If questions from constituents, the public, or the media make leaders or other responsible parties obfuscate, the questions are usually valid and the answers are not.  People who feel uncomfortable under the bright light of scrutiny and criticism often have something to hide.”

I am suggesting that this impartive not only holds true for politicians but for all of us and that by conforming to the norms and labeling subjects as taboo we are supporting prejudice, hatred, misinformation, lies, deceit, and unaccountability – we are letting these lies survive in the dark alleyway between Truth & Freedom.  When women like Gayle Quinnell of Shakopee suggested that she didn’t trust Senator Barack Obama and called him “an Arab” at a Lakeville, MN, McCain rally we all thought wow… did she just say that in public?  My next question was, where had Gayle been “hiding” this racism?  Hasn’t she talked with others about the candidates?  Doesn’t she know that Barack is actually a Christian?  If her friends, family members, or fellow parishioners had heard her mention this idea before did no one speak up?  Did no one correct her on the facts?  When we avoid discussing our religious and political beliefs with others who do not agree with us we are protecting ourselves from having difficult or uncomfortable questions that we may not wish to face.  The latest of these taboos is the belief that we should not talk about money with friends, neighbors, or family.  A couple of stories that I thought I would share… 1) two years ago in a local fast food establishment I overheard a couple talking about how their daughter and son-in-law planned to file for bankruptcy immediately after returning from the cruise trip that they were on, 2) a year and a half ago friends were trying to sell their condo and plan for a down payment on their house – they had almost no money in savings but drove new Cadillac and Audi vehicles and spent lavishly on expensive clothes and purses, and finally 3) this weekend I overheard a few patrons talking in a restaurant about how one of them had four different vehicles in four years but had no money.  Where was the sense of responsibility from these people?  Did no one question their actions?  Did no one question their sense of accountability?  We need to again talk about our beliefs and actions… we need to expose them to the light of day… and we need to be more accepting of those who might question us or our motives… or we will continue to provide safehavens for prejudice, hatred, misinformation, lies, deceit, and unaccountability.

Jesse to decide about running for MN Sentate seat…

Jesse Ventura, Minnesota’s 38th governor from January 4, 1999 – January 6, 2003, is back at it again… he is going to announce on Monday night on CNN’s Larry King if he will run as an independent in Minnesota’s US Senate race.  Anyone want to place a bet on how this one will turn out?  If he does jump in, this should one wild ride for Norm Coleman’s US Senate seat.

Update 7/14: Whew… dodged a bullet… Jesse has announced that he will not run for the US Senate.

Why I will NEVER live in Edina…

Thought I would share a story from today’s StarTrib on the political fight that is intensifying throughout Minnesota at the local level. Susan Covnick, a republican, from Edina tells us that “I grew up in Edina. I am very protective of it.” She said that the Edina of bygone years didn’t allow Laundromats or car washes, and that “we get National Geographic, not the National Enquirer. We don’t even like buses coming through. But the Democrats are moving in from Kenwood and downtown condos.”

This statement leaves me with a few questions? What sort of shallow person would stereotype as such? Where the F#$% does she go to get her car washed then… to those working class neighborhoods? Does her superior intelligence come from reading National Geographic (a great periodical for the record)? Is that the same superior intelligence that told her to vote for George W. Bush in the last 2 elections?

Ms. Convick please put your rose-colored glasses back on and take another hit from your sanctimonious crack pipe. And let’s all remember why they called it Edina – Every Day I Need Attention!

An additional reason of why I will never live in Edina: Shameful in Edina via Star Tribune

What is a Caucus anyway… and why in Iowa of all places?

For those who want a scoop on the Iowa Caucus… here is a great little article from NPR detailing the Iowa Caucus.  Gentlemen, start your engines for the 2008 Primaries!  Mike B… time to break out those American Flag earings again!


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