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The Cowardly Bully

January 28th, 2010 1 comment

I have been thinking more about the “Supreme Court moment” during President Obama’s State of the Union speech yesterday.  During that lovely act of un-presidential scolding, the President reminded me of the guy in the schoolyard who is not so tough himself, but who is popular and persuasive and therefore gets the tough guys to follow him around.  He gets his minions to hold down the victim of his choosing, and then he throws some punches.  He is willing to be bold only when he knows his opponent is defenseless.

For those who are unaware of the offending comment:

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.

What are the members of the Supreme Court supposed to do in response?  Is Scalia supposed to jump up and say, “Wanna thrown down, Mr. President?”  Perhaps Alito should yell back, “You’re a liar who feels as if the separation of powers does not apply to your grand plan (despite your claim of deference) and who apparently doesn’t mind that McCain/Feingold tramples all over free speech!”  No, I suppose not.  Instead, the viewing audience was able to discern a whispered “not true.”  Gasp!  How dare a member of the highest court in our land take issue with our President attacking one of the Court’s decision in a completely inappropriate setting!

President Obama’s words for the Supreme Court were tacky, childish, and just as inappropriate for the environment as the outburst by Rep. Wilson last year (and perhaps even worse, as the President’s were a deliberate component of his prepared remarks).

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President Obama Pretends to Want Transparency Again

January 27th, 2010 No comments

I know I indicated in an earlier post that I want to focus on being positive this year.  I still do … really!  But, his speech tonight made me downright angry.

At first I thought that perhaps the stomach bug that had graced our home a couple of weeks ago was making a return visit, but I soon realized that my nausea was based on what was emanating from my television screen.

I can get past Vice-President Biden focusing real hard on trying to figure out what facial expression would be most appropriate at any given moment and Speaker Pelosi wiping the sides of her mouth over and over again with her thumb and finger (just gross!).  Those things are just cosmetic.

What really bothered me was that President Obama had the audacity to mention the “deficit of trust” in our country (which he either inherited and/or continues to perpetrated by the Republicans, of course) and to claim that his administration had taken action to “do our work openly.”    Please.  Don’t pretend like you think Americans deserve to know about what you are trying to accomplish in Washington. You’ll say that when you are aware that people are listening, because it sounds good, but you really don’t have enough respect for the American people to follow through with that pledge.

When running for President, then-Senator Barack Obama promised that he “will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.”  He lied.  There have been numerous bills that became law with his signature that never saw one moment on a website, let alone five days (SCHIP legislation, Fair Pay Act, credit card reform, Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, economic stimulus bill, extension of SBA benefits … just to name a few bills that were not made accessible to the public for the promised time frame).  Were we just not supposed to notice?

During the campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama also promised to put all negotiations regarding health care reform on C-Span.  Ummm … not so much.  There have been plenty of discussions regarding health care done out of the public eye.  For example:

“The House and Senate plan to put together the final health care reform bill behind closed doors according to an agreement by top Democrats,” House Speaker Nanci Pelosi said today at the White House.

I understand there’s a separation of powers and that it’s the legislative branch, not the President and the executive branch, that controls the health care debate and bill creation.  However, we have not heard one word from the President advocating/requesting/imploring the Congress to make sure all health care discussions are put on C-Span, as he promised to do.

There are plenty of other problems that I had with tonight’s State of the Union speech, but the call for transparency got to me more than the rest.  Don’t stand up there with your holier-than-thou attitude preaching the need to respect the American people when your year-long track record has shown that you really couldn’t care less.

I liked Candidate Obama’s pledge to place all non-emergency bills online for review and comments before he would agree to sign them.  It’s one of the few campaign promises I actually wanted him to keep.  Maybe he really means it this time!!  Oh, please, President Obama … say it is so!  Sure, you’ve lied to us before but I still want to believe you.  I’ll take you back!  I’ll believe you when you say it will never happen again.  You’re going to be a real leader and not pass the buck when someone calls you out for not standing by your word.  Right?  I’ll turn on C-Span and log onto WhiteHouse.gov so that I’m ready and waiting!

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My Morning Joe Crushes … and Donnie Deutsch

January 26th, 2010 1 comment

joe and mika

I watch Morning Joe with my breakfast every day (well, at least for the next few days … I am bidding cable farewell in about a week).  This is my program of choice because, as advertised, it really is the “Place for Politics.”  The guests and the conversation are interesting.  Plus, who can’t help but love the unrequited sexual tension between Mika and Joe?  And, I will admit to having a bit of a crush on Willie Geist , even though I just discovered he is a Vandy grad.  Willie still comes in second when compared to my odd attraction to another MSNBC host, Dylan Ratigan.  Can’t explain it … can’t deny it.

What are my other choices in the morning?  The lack of excitement and personality offered by the CNN anchors cannot be countered by copious mugs of coffee.  Then there’s Fox and Friends.  I try it occasionally, but I always feel like I am watching a tabloid program except with less substance.

Let’s not forget the biggest selling point of Morning Joe … regular appearances by Peggy Noonan.  To keep going with the apparent theme of this post, I have a significant girl crush on her.  I want to be Peggy Noonan when I grow up.  I love the measured way with which she speaks, I LOVE her writing, and I love that she is usually the smartest person in that studio without making anyone else feel bad about it.

On the flip side, there is one staple of the Morning Joe entourage for whom I don’t have even an inkling of a crush, and that man is Donnie Deutsch.  First off, I know that we have very little in common politically.  Come on … he told Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today that he’s a “big fan.”

During a discussion about Harold Ford’s flip-flop concerning gay marriage, Donnie Deutsch offered this brilliant analysis (I’m paraphrasing):

“Opinions on issues like abortion and gay marriage are very personal and come from your soul.  Those feelings don’t change.  I’ve never heard of or met a single adult whose opinion on abortion has changed.”

Really?  Hmmm … maybe I can think of one or two.  How about NORMA McCORVEY??  She’s kind of significant in the whole abortion debate.  And, I know these are rather obscure names, but Al Gore and Mitt Romney have done complete 180s on the abortion issue as well.

Come on, Donnie, let’s try thinking through some of these ideas before allowing them to exit your pretty mouth.  Otherwise, I might have to write a letter to the network requesting that you be allowed to contribute only to the Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz programs.

Sneak preview of my next media-related blog post: Glenn Beck and that blasted chalkboard!

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Before Passing That Law, Try Walking a Mile in Their Shoes

January 25th, 2010 4 comments

I have always tried to avoid being judgmental.  I don’t always succeed, unfortunately.  I think we are all guilty of passing judgments more often than we would like to admit.  My anger at those who make a career out of being judgmental is a significant reason that I find myself at home within the libertarian philosophy.  Don’t make decisions about another person’s choices thinking that you know better.

Before I became a mom, I knew that being a parent was a difficult job.  But, I didn’t really KNOW.  After I became a mom, I would watch the single mothers with their children and think, “Now, that’s even more difficult.”  But, I didn’t really KNOW.  Now, I do.

Being a single mom is many things.  Every day, I am lonely, exhausted, filled with guilt, and scared.  But, I also have found more inner strength than I ever knew I had, an intensified sense of love and protection for my kids, and a resolve to be the one who will provide a stable and safe home.

I also now feel the sting of comments that are directed at single moms, and they hurt.

I had a potential client email me recently about his book proposal.  He wanted to share his life story so that others could be saved and walk right with Christ.  He explained to me how he lived a clean life and stayed away from drugs, pornography, and people who had committed the sin of divorce.  Nice.  Guess he better steer clear of me … my divorce might be contagious.

While networking at a business luncheon last week, a woman asked, “Are you married?  Do you have kids?”  I skipped the first question and let her know I have two beautiful children.  She glanced at my left hand, threw me a look of disappointment, and moved onto the next person.  Again, nice.

I’m a big girl.  I am 34 years old and I can, over time, get past the loss of a relationship, even if it is one that was created with the intention of lasting a lifetime.  The only time I cry anymore, and I will admit that it happens regularly, is when I think about my kids and how they will grow and adapt to living in a “broken home.”  So, it would be selfish and petty for me to whine about the thoughtless people who make snap judgments about me.  I have more important people to worry about.

However, I feel like some politicians are making policy decisions, particularly on social issues, with the same approach as that woman who looked down at me when she realized I had kids and no husband.  Whether it be single moms who need legal advocates on behalf of their children, gay couples who just want the right to take a 50/50 shot at lifelong commitment the way that straight couples do, or a family that publicly wants to practice a faith that is not held by most others around them, you cannot understand the details and background issues of those lives unless you have lived them.

So, to take it back to where I started, I value the fact that the past seven months have taught me to be even more vigilant against my own tendencies to judge.  Maybe some of our politicians need to lace up the shoes belonging to some of their constituents back home and go for a walk as well.

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John Edwards is a Scumbag

January 23rd, 2010 2 comments

edwardshair

I think that John Edwards is one of the most disgusting public figures making headlines today, and he certainly has a lot of competition for that title!  I actually have a reaction of physical illness each time that I see a photo of him.  The question is, which of his decisions is the most “scumbag-iest” of them all?

Could it be the choice he made to cheat on his terminally ill wife?  Sure, that definitely qualifies, but it’s not that original.  Plenty of politicians have displayed a lack of loyalty to their sick or disabled spouses.  Yawn.

How about the allegation that he asked his aide to claim paternity of the child he sired while having an affair?  This has potential to win the prize, as it has the “two-for-one” quality.  Not only does he deny his own child, but he attempts to paint his mistress as a plaything who got passed around the campaign staff.  Now we’re talking.

While those first two scumbag moves are definitely quality contenders, Edwards’ actions this week make the others pale in comparison.

First, he admits to being the doting daddy to the almost two-year-old girl, who he hopes will someday understand his decision to publicly deny his association with her until it became necessary to admit that his roaming sperm contributed to her existence.

Then, as quickly as possible, he takes off to the devastated country of Haiti “to help people.”  Pay no attention to the admission of fatherhood I made just a few hours ago.  Look at me unloading water while maintaining a perfectly coiffed hairdo!

Disgusting.  Edwards is now using a tragedy that claimed thousands of lives to distract us from his admission of fathering a child during his affair (oh, and possibly stealing dirty diapers as part of a crazy “switch the DNA” scheme).

“Hi, everyone.  Just down here in Haiti trying to help some of these yucky poor people!  No ulterior motive here!  Did you get a picture?  Did you take it from my good side?”

I am just floored that he is taking advantage of earthquake victims in a pathetic attempt to improve his image.  He is an egomaniac whose world seems to revolve around what is best for him at that particular moment.

Scumbag.

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Pat Robertson is Back to Judging Others As Only He Can

January 13th, 2010 1 comment
pat_robertson
People like Pat Robertson are a big part of the reason that I was so turned off by Christianity for the first 25 years of my life.  Those who follow him as a leader who models their ideal of faith in practice are the reason why I have so little in common with self-defined social conservatives.  Statements made by Christian public figures that blame tragedy on assumed sin make me shrink back with embarrassment.  It gets so tiresome having to make the justifying statement, “Yes, I’m a Christian, but I don’t think like (fill in blank of offensive talking head here).”

Today, Pat Robertson explained that hundreds of thousands of people are dead in Haiti as a result of a pact the country’s people made with the devil generations ago.  This is a wonderful sequel to his remarks more than eight years ago that Americans and our sinful behavior were to blame for the 9/11 attacks.  Perhaps he also believes that New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina because those scandalous jazz clubs were playing secular music.  And, maybe the cow that tipped over the lantern in Mrs. O’Leary’s barn and started a blaze that consumed a city had a baby without marrying the bull that impregnated her.

Jesus Christ offers us an amazing model of love and forgiveness.  He taught us not to judge others, but to love them, help them, feed them, and clothe them.  This is just one gal’s opinion, but here is what I think Christian leaders with influence such as that unfortunately held by Pat Robertson should say regarding the earthquake in Haiti:

A terrible event took place in Haiti today.  Thousands are likely dead.  Millions are suffering.  Let’s all take some time right now to pray for every man, woman, and child who is living through that unimaginable nightmare.  Then, let’s each decide how we are going to help.  Each life in that country is precious, and we are going to make sure they know how much we care about them.

That’s it.  No judgment.  No hypothesizing as to why this horrific devastation happened in this particular country.  Just offer love, prayers, and anything else you can.

“The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Galatians 5:14

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Is Speaker Pelosi Afraid of Having a Stroke?

January 6th, 2010 1 comment

Nancy Pelosi

Glenn Beck said something on his radio station that made me giggle a bit this morning.  He was discussing why Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her underlings are resistant to having the C-Span cameras cover the health care debate.  Beck argues that the liberals learned their lesson after President Wilson’s failed attempt to take the League of Nations to the American people and they won’t make the same mistake again.  Really, Mr. Beck?  I wouldn’t give our Congressmen the credit to create such historical parallels.  Do you think the following conversation actually happened?

Rep. Steny Hoyer:  You know, Nancy, I think we should let the general public watch us debate this health care stuff.  After all, we are supposed to be advocates of the “transparent” administration that President Obama promised as a candidate.

Speaker Pelosi:  First of all, Steny, don’t call me Nancy.  I have earned the title of “Speaker,” and I expect to be addressed properly.  Second, don’t you remember what happened to President Woodrow Wilson more than 80 years ago when he traveled the country to share his plans for the League of Nations?  The man had a stroke, Steny!  He was a vegetable for the rest of his term!

Rep. Hoyer:  I didn’t think about that, Nancy … uh, I mean Mrs. Speaker, Your Highness.  I don’t want to have a stroke!  That would be bad!  Let’s forget about those silly cameras.  Our constituents are too busy watching football playoffs anyway.

Honestly, I don’t think the “Wilson had a stroke” conversation ever happened.  Instead, we are simply watching another politician who never had any intention of keeping his word.  Candidate Barack Obama told people what they wanted to hear, and they bought it.  And, I believe he laughed all the way to the Oval Office.

The fact that President Obama and the Democratic Congress want to create such transformational legislation as health care “reform” from behind closed doors is very telling.  If your plans are so wonderful for the American people, shouldn’t you want as many of us to hear about them as possible?

Here is the video going around that shares the eight times during which candidate Barack Obama pledged to have the health care debate in public and on camera:

I know that President Obama is just doing what nearly every other politician does when he wants to be elected … he is lying.  However, let’s stop making him out to be this great wonder who is going to change the political landscape.  He is simply one more guy who thinks he knows best and who will use the voters as his pawns in reaching his goals and grabbing as much power as possible.

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