Sunday, January 9, 2011
Will We Learn Anything?
There is little I can add to the millions of words already written about Saturday’s Tucson tragedy.
I hope that politicians everywhere—no matter what level of government or ideology—internalize the reality that this violence truly could have happened to them.
Our national and local external discourse has become so crude and edgy that no matter what the issue, someone perceived to be “on the other side” can get physically harmed or worse by those who disagree.
There was nothing in Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-Air.) profile—except moderation—to warrant someone shooting her with a nine millimeter handgun loaded with a 30 bullet magazine and then killing six more, including a nine year old girl, and further wounding fourteen.
Both political parties in Washington can help, especially if the early sentiments they all are mouthing at all reflect their future intent.
Public officials should take a deep breath and realize how their daily public comments—especially if insensitive, exaggerated, and angry—give rise to violence in others less buttoned up.
All of the nuts (gun and otherwise) are not on the Right. Crazed liberals angry at whatever could feel justified like some of the more right wing extremists in turning to firearms to justify their beliefs.
If politicians understand this fact, maybe all of them will lower the heat on their hyperbole and impose some controls.
(Prayers for Rep, Giffords recovery and return to office, if she so chooses.)
Congratulation both to Bill Daley and the Washington Post, the former for being named President Obama’s Chief of Staff—clearly with an eye on the President’s 2012 reelection campaign--and the latter for doing a far better job than it has in the past, with senior appointments, of not ignoring or fudging the candidate’s Fannie Mae connections. (See Daley “diagram/flow chart” in last Friday’s W Post.)
Bill Daley is a long time friend of former Fannie Chairman and CEO Jim Johnson, owing to Johnson’s work organizing Illinois for the Carter- Mondale presidential campaign.
President Bill Clinton named Daley to the Fannie Mae board of directors where Daley served for some years.
Daley can help Barack Obama in many ways, since—besides being a sound and veteran Democrat politician—Daley has an excellent rapport with the nation's business community, as was evidenced in many of its comments after the announcement.
Good choice Mr., President!
With Fannie Mae on your resume no longer being a hazard, I wonder of the President might turn to me for help? Just to make his choice easier, let me establish in advance that I won’t take any position which fails to give me total access to the US government’s files on UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness monster!
I’ll try and help President Obama get reelected but it will cost him!
Reading the Constitution on the House Floor
I have no problem with the GOP reading the Constitution taking to the House floor and reading the Constitutions, both parties have frittered away far more House time doing far less valuable things.
I suspect that Members, like many others, never have read the Constitution from beginning to end, let alone hear others do so. So, in that context, the exercise was good. I also suspect that any other reading wouldn’t “overlook” two provisions dealing with slavery, as the GOP did last week. (Gee, Speaker Boehner, you and your posse are so sensitive.)
If reading the Constitution makes the new House majority vote and act according to its standards, that doesn’t bother me.
Two things do.
It’s less significant what’s in the Constitution, but it’s how the courts and judges interpret those provisions that are important.
For instance, you’ll not find “school busing” written anywhere in the Constitution or “recount chads.”
It is the latter that provokes me, too, since the GOP traditionally has been all about “state’s rights” and wanting the states--not the evil (and “liberal”) federal government--to make final decisions which serve the Republicans interest.
I believe that Al Gore beat George Bush in the 2000 election, winning in Florida, the final state necessary for Electoral College support.
But decades worth of GOP paens to states rights and the Constitutional support for same went out the window, when faced with the American people’s choice—Al Gore--the Bush lawyers asked the conservative majority on the Supreme Court to quash that exhibit of states right, overrule those state vote counters, and give the win and the next 8 years of Washington control to George W. Bush.
So please, Speaker Boehner, read that hypocritical behavior into the Congressional record, along with the words of the Constitution—where “the end justifies the means” isn’t written—and then ask the America people to decide if GOP actions speak louder than words.
Pearlstein on the Adverb/Adjective “Job Killing”
I won’t bore you with a reprise of Steve Pearlstein’s W Post column, but just will post a link to it and let you read it yourself. What he wrote is something to keep in mind—as well as the speaker—the next time you hear it “job killing.”
For Pro Football Fans Everywhere
It’s the Steelers versus the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC semi-finals, while New England and the New York Jets grapple to see which team will play the winner of the “real game,” in Pittsburgh.
The New England Patriots, right now, are the class of the AFC and better--on paper--than their challengers and should come out on top next week.
If the Jets surprise the Pats (and the world) and beat Brady and company, the AFC Championship will be played in the home town of Steelers-Ravens winner.
Go Pittsburgh!! The Ravens are a quality group and neither they nor the Steelers will have any easy time prevailing, but one of them will.
(That is evidence of me taking my own advice to politicians and toning down the rhetoric vis-a-vis what I might have said about Baltimore.)