Frontier Former Editor

January 15, 2009

Even better than a ‘Simpsons’ rerun!

Our soon-to-be-ex-president makes a live speech to family and friends at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Guess he needed a sympathetic laugh track .

Just the other day, MSNBC ran parts of his press conference in defense of his presidency. The national lack-of-command-of-his-faculties authority defended the federal response to hurricane Katrina, noting that 30,000 New Orleans residents were rescued from their rooftops.

Let’s see. Thirty thousand people recovered from rooftops, as opposed to evacuating them – and thousands of others stranded in the city – before the hurricane. That doesn’t sanctify the federal response. It does, however, speak volumes of the courage of hundreds of military helicopter aircrew who risked their lives to rescue the victims of criminally stupid municipal, state and federal government officials.

Enjoy your speech, Dubya. If there was any justice on January 20, you’d get nothing more than a car ride to the train station so you could buy your own train ticket home.

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November 4, 2008

Vote, dammit!

Filed under: 2008 election, politics — Tags: , , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 8:27 am

For those few who read this blog, you probably already do vote and I thank you. Sorry I haven’t been particularly active here the last few days, but I got an idea for a project and I’m trying to get a decent start on it.

For the rest of you who stumble on this blog, stop reading it and go vote. I don’t care who you vote for. Just vote.

If you’re a U.S. citizen and haven’t registered to vote, shame on you. Tomorrow, go to your local registrar’s office and register to vote so you don’t miss out on the next opportunity to vote in an election.

If you’re registered to vote and don’t vote today, I don’t want to hear any of your whining about how our next president is worthless. You had a chance to vote for him or her, and you didn’t. Therefore, you have no moral right to gripe about it.

If you vote, you have every right in the world to cuss, hiss, spit, cast the evil eye, bitch, moan, cry and repeat. You voted.

Vote. Vote. Vote. (Preferably once, since more than once is a violation of federal and states’ election law. Except, of course, in Louisiana, Florida and perhaps Ohio and Illinois.)

And in a personal aside; Jim Gilmore, I voted for Mark Warner in the sincere hope that you will realize that your attempts to regain any elected office are a sick joke at the expense of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please, just go home and take up fly-tying or ship-in-a-bottle making or something that will keep you from any more publicly embarassing displays of the kind that got George Allen in the hot water he so richly deserved.

And yes, jim, you can still vote.

September 2, 2008

I’m having a Lewis Black moment . . . .

except that I’m not as lovable and funny as Lewis Black is when I’m stunned, dazed and ultimately pissed off.

What have I missed in the Republican Party in that black hole starting with Dubya’s nomination for President in 2000? The post 1970’s Republican Party has, of course, gone through an evolution where it has adopted pro-life principles, except of course, when it comes to lower-class people.

In that case, the Republican Party attempted to undo the damage wrought by a mutated Great Society welfare program by the simple expedient of doing everything possible to dismantle social welfare programs and tell zero-income people to get a job and low-income people to get a better job. Having watched this concept in action in Virginia – as implemented by a Republican legislature led by Virginia’s favorite racial schizophrenic George Allen – I can also add that critics of it constantly received two responses: Stop coddling welfare queens and frauds, and don’t worry because cutting welfare will mean lower taxes and greater distribution of wealth from the upper levels of the private sector.

What those responses always seemed to lack was the answer to another question: just how is the economy going to improve when you start getting thousands of people – after weeding out ‘welfare queens’ and ‘frauds’ who either can’t work or who have been unable to find a job – into gainful employment with a salary adequate to cover medical and child care expenses as well as food, shelter, heat and transportation to and from work, medical care and child care?

I won’t go into how well trickle-down economics worked during and after the Reagan administration, but suffice it to say that even Arthur Laffer admitted that he supported Bill Clinton’s economic policies.

In several cases I saw as a reporter, the resulting ‘workfare’ programs as often as not ended up with local and state governments subsidizing employment and training for participants as the economy shambled toward the conditions it now faces.

But back to the ‘pro-life’ portion of today’s post.

Sarah Palin’s minor daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock (and this is in no way a judgement upon her daughter) and Palin drones on about how her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law are facing a tough choice but with the support and love of their familiy. Meanwhile, the Republican Party goes on with its pro-life call to arms without realizing just how economically frightening it has made this society as a place to survive and raise children. And, of course, there’s still the traditional stigma that modern conservatism (as practiced by modern conservatives like Rush Limbaugh et al) attempts to place on everyone else who has a child out of wedlock or before reaching legal adulthood.

Lest you think that I’m a big-time supporter of Lyndon Johnson’s ‘Great Society,’ I think it merely reinforces the saying about paving practices on the road to hell. But seeing a political party which blathers on about life and economic well-being but declares war on terrorists and then diverts its effort away from where the terrorists are?

Well, the Democratic Party has done damned little to inspire me this year, but the Republican Party in the form of John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Republican National Committee can take all their warm fuzziness about the sanctity of life, defense of liberty and recovering economic trends and blow it out their ass. I’ll say it now. Sarah Palin’s selection as vice presidential candidate was nothing more than a cynical trick similar to that of Iran’s president saying that ‘we only want to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.’ It does nothing more than place the Republican Party in the position of saying, “Why, some of my best friends are women . . .”

To those who would say, ‘Well, FFE, what about the Democrats choosing Geraldine Ferraro as the vice presidential candidate?’ I would say that Ferraro was not much more than a third-rate ward politician herself.

As big an idiot on applied foreign policy as Condoleeza Rice is, she’s far more qualified than Sarah Palin or John McCain. And as bad a taste as she leaves in my political mouth, Hillary Clinton is a better adapted political animal than Sarah Palin might hope to be in the next four years.

Hell, Lucretia Borgia was a better political animal than any of the afore mentioned women.

If the Republican Party wanted a qualified woman in a position of responsibility and power, they surely did it in a half-assed way.

August 21, 2008

I’ve finally worked up my Election ’08 spleen . . .

and, for reference, I checked msnbc.com and cnn.com before I started just to make sure that Barack Obama still is about to announce his vice-presidential candidate any time now and hasn’t. Reminds me of that old joke, “How do you keep a moron in suspense? . . .”

Now, for all his faults, John McCain is a hero. He refused repatriation from North Vietnamese captivity as a matter of principle and honor, and I have to respect that. He’s far more of a hero than his fellow Republican and now-convict Duke Cunningham, who became the first American ace over Vietnam and went on to demonstrate his underlying lack of character while McCain got into a scrape over the savings and loan industry in the 1980s and came clean about his involvement.

Makes McCain sound like a saint, eh?

Well, while McCain certainly has a reputation as a straight talker, he also has a reputation for inconsistency, for impulsiveness, and for a general lack of depth when it comes to the more intellectual aspects of engaging in representative government. Case in point: McCain’s fellow prisoner of war Jeremiah Denton, who also became a member of Congress and who generally showed consistency and thoughtfulness during that career regardless of one’s opinion of his party choice.

As for Barack Obama, I don’t have any particular reason to doubt the general sincerity of his candidacy. I also don’t pay a great deal of attention to the McCain camp’s attempts to depict him as a rank amateur, because just about every President was an amateur at being President before they were first elected and/or sworn. Theodore Roosevelt was an amateur – albeit a reasonably gifted amateur – before he got bumped up a pay grade in 1901. Bush fils was definitely an amateur – a strong reason for the Republican National Committee to step back and think about its anti-Obama cant this late summer and fall, given that Obama hasn’t run any oil company into the ground and that he actually completed higher education with some degree of consciousness and good performance. As for Obama’s lack of military service, again refer to Bush fils and his performance as Commander-in-Chief.

Given that short-form assessment of the probable ballot choices in November, I’ve still not been even a smidge impressed with either man because they simply have lived down to the expectations upon American political candidates of the last few decades.  There’s not been many Washingtons, Lincolns or Roosevelts out there lately (and I seriously doubt that a Lincoln or Washington could get elected these days given the level of trust that government has engendered  amongst the citizenry), and McCain and Obama definitely don’t fall in their weight class. Even Reagan – perish the thought – had a concept of how he wanted to make a difference. Even more than in past years, this campaign basically has been a competition between two men presenting vague, disjointed, shifting and piecemeal platforms with damn little theme except the catch phrases of change vs. consistency. And when either candidate does happen to change a position for a good reason, then the imagery of shower shoes is dragged out for a noisy intermission.

I wish Sam Nunn would run. Probably the true architect of a resurgent moderate Democratic party that made Bill Clinton’s presidential pension possible, Nunn was no slouch on domestic and foreign policy issues and would have been a giant among candidates from 1992 to today.  And if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle . . .

Since Nunn’s not going to make the ticket, then let’s at least consider the issue of vice-presidential candidates. I haven;t heard of any apparently useful specimens listed among McCain’s supposed short list, but I can actually vouch personally for one of Obama’s list: Tim Kaine. I’ve known him since he ran for lieutenant governor, and have a had a few chats with him during that race and some contact since. I editorially endorsed him for his run for governor, and he’s done a pretty good job along with his predecessor Mark Warner in working through the fiscal wreckage left in Virginia by George Allen and James Gilmore. He may not be experienced in things like foreign and defense policies but, at the risk of sounding sappy and mushy, Kaine is a decent human being and has shown consistency, principle and ethics in his career.

As for Joseph Biden? What in hell was Obama thinking? Yeah, Biden has experience in foreign relations, and so did Ribbentrop, Molotov, Count Ciano and others. Biden also has shown poor judgement and even poorer skill in citing his sources.

It’s 1:07 pm Eastern time and I still haven’t checked back to see if there is a Democratic vice presidential nomination hopeful. Now I’m depressed and I’m going to stop here.

And I’m writing in Sam Nunn for President and Tim Kaine for Vice President on the first Tuesday in November.

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