In My Orbit: the legacy of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

16 08 2013
Over 200,00 marchers met on the Mall that day in 1963--are we honoring and living up to the legacy? Some are, others not so much (Wikimedia/USIA)

Over 200,00 marchers met on the Mall that day in 1963–are we honoring and living up to the legacy? Some are, others not so much (Wikimedia/USIA)

The Girl has been bouncing around her universe and the country, so the Blog has been a bit neglected. Sorry about that, and I plan to do better, even if it means shorter posts.

We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. These types of milestones always get me reflective, as well as watching PBS and other documentaries like an obsessed person. My Washington Times Communities column does a bit of reflecting on what the legacy of this pivotal Civil Rights march means, and gives props to Don Lemon of CNN, and writer Danielle Belton for their perspectives. Give it a read.

Who I don’t give props to is Oprah Winfrey, and Russell Simmons. Oprah’s naked efforts at self-promotion with pegging a clerk’s supposed refusal to let her see a $39,000 purse as racism jumped the shark. Then to pretend she didn’t want to mention the name of the shop so as not to draw negative attention to them? You are frickin’ Oprah–the mere mention of it from your lips already did this. I am so glad that the shop owner and the clerk challenged her racism gripe. The whole brouhaha served its purpose, to promote her latest project, “The Butler”. I’ll wait for Redbox or DirectTV thank you very much. Way to go, Oprah: not only are you an entitled baby, but a poor example of honoring the legacy.

Russell Simmons ups the ante on Oprah by allowing a “Harriet Tubman sex video” on his All Def Digital YouTube site. Also an entitled baby, on top of being ridiculous and misogynistic, Simmons ultimately had the video taken down because his “buddies” at the NAACP asked him. Real big of you…

Simmons non-apology:

“‘I’m a very liberal person with thick skin,” wrote Simmons. “My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there’s still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset. I have taken down the video. Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry.'”

Pathetic.

But the NAACP takes the cake. A rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair chose to don an Obama mask and mock the President. In poor taste? Probably. A hate crime? Doubtful. Rodeo clowns have done the same thing to former Presidents George H.W., Clinton, and George W. so was it hate speech when they did it to them? Michelle Malkin takes it one step further by reminding us of the truly hateful speech and imagery directed at President George W. Bush during his eight years. So please, NAACP, cry me a river…

It took a Texas senator to call this group on the carpet for its inconsistency on what issues they choose to become outraged about:

“’A rodeo clown is really a nominal thing and it hurt no one,’ Stockman told FoxNews.com. ‘They didn’t speak out when George Bush was being portrayed as a murderer. To become relevant again, they need to become more of an honest broker and not have contrived anger.’

Stockman said the NAACP would better serve its constituents by focusing on ways to decrease unemployment among the black community. He also noted that the national civil rights group was silent after a July incident on a Florida bus where three black teens beat a fellow white student.”

Ouch. That must have stung.

 

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Epic Fail: Benghazi-Gate Cover Up

13 10 2012

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”

— Sir Walter Scott, Marmion

I was six when the Watergate scandal was raging, so its impact was mostly lost on me. It was only later in life that I understood the gravity of a President willfully deceiving the American people and believing he had done nothing wrong in doing this.

However, no one died in Watergate. Lost reputations for sure, along with the lost confidence of the American people in their elected officials; but no one lost their life.

We cannot say the same with Benghazi-Gate. Four dead Americans: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods are the result of the Obama administration’s malfeasance toward security and intelligence, and their willful deception about the true causes surrounding this terrorist attack.

The legacy media has finally stopped covering for President Obama and has begun to cover the scandal–three weeks after the attack on September 11, 2012. Our legislative body in the form of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called for hearings, and on Wednesday, October 10, the Committee took over four hours to grill various State Department personnel on the security failures in Benghazi. The testimony given was both revelatory and  deplorable. Requests for heightened security were made by top security officer Eric L. Nordstrom, but were denied by the State Department. Nordstrom reflected the fatalism of these refusals when he testified, “The takeaway from that, for me and my staff: It was abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is, again, ‘How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?’ “

Tragically, we now know the answer to that question. I recommend you view the hearings for yourself here. They are a strong indictment on the divide between the bureaucratic bubble of Washington, D.C., and the actual people who are putting their lives on the line every day.

Sobering.

If you are not up to speed on the full scope of this debacle, this video from Western Journalism gives an excellent overview on the terrorist attack, the cover up, and what is at stake if this is not fully investigated before the election.

President Obama, who missed 62 percent of his intelligence briefings in 2011 and 2012, initially refused to acknowledge the Libya tragedy was a terrorist attack, preferring to blame it on an anti-Muslim video, and declaring the administration would gain “justice” for the fallen.

Four weeks later, there is little justice and even fewer answers. Marc A. Thiessen rightly compares the Bush administration’s response after 9/11/2001, and the stunning lack of response of the Obama administration toward this crisis.

“Three weeks to reach the “crime scene”? Within days, CNN reporters were able to rummage through the rubble and recover the ambassador’s diary, and Post reporters were able to access and photograph the destroyed diplomatic compound. But the administration can’t get the FBI to the scene for three weeks? It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration is treating the attack as a crime — but it can’t even get the criminal investigation right.”

The real Libya scandal: The failure to respond.”

So far, the heavy lifting has been done by investigative reporting: Eli Lake of The Daily Beast, Fox News, Breibart.com, the Daily Caller, and a host of other conservative websites have uncovered what looks increasingly like a concerted effort on the part of the Obama Administration to obfuscate the truth.

Aside from new media and the Congressional Oversight committee, the rest of Washington is giving the appearance of business as usual. And unless directly confronted on the matter, the Obama administration remains in campaign mode. President Obama would rather champion for Big Bird than talk about the breakdown that occurred on his watch. Of course, when anyone from the administration (or campaign) is asked to give an account, they continue to shift the story, and lay blame elsewhere.

In the Vice Presidential debate Thursday night, VP Joe Biden denied that the administration knew anything about requests for heightened security. Hours before VP Biden uttered that stunning lie, campaign stooge Stephanie Cutter blamed the politics of the Romney/Ryan campaign for that fact that Benghazi is even an issue. Fox News’ Bret Baier, (who conducted the interview), reminded Cutter that it might be an issue because four people are dead. Deer-in-the headlights Stephanie merely doubled-down on her claim. I would expect nothing less from a woman who makes her living off spin and slander.

On Friday, The Carney undercut the State Department and the Intelligence Community with more dancing and double-talk:

While all of this has been raging, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has remained largely incognito. She emerged Friday to address the Center for Strategic and International Studies. However, her speech did little to bring clarity or direction. From the Boston Herald:

“‘We do not have all the answers. No one in this administration has ever claimed otherwise.

“‘We are providing the best information we have at that time and that information continues to be updated, it also continues to be put into context and more deeply understood through the process we are engaged in,’ she said.”

The U.S. Intelligence community is not taking lightly these apparent efforts to hang this mess around their neck. In a piece in the UK Daily Mail, it highlights a joint statement by Michael Hayden, ex-CIA director, and Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security. Hayden and Chertoff  call out the Obama administration on their thinly veiled attempts to make Intelligence a scapegoat.

“During the Vice Presidential debate, we were disappointed to see Vice President Biden blame the intelligence community for the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi,’ they said in the statement.

“Given what has emerged publicly about the intelligence available before, during, and after the September 11 attack, it is clear that any failure was not on the part of the intelligence community, but on the part of White House decision-makers who should have listened to, and acted on, available intelligence. Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs.”

EX-CIA Chief slams Biden for throwing U.S. Intelligence Community under the bus

Brutal.

But an even more fatal blow was rendered by Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, when she appeared on CNN decrying the loss of her son’s life, and calling out the administration for its obstructionism and cowardice.

When families begin to call for your head, there is bound to be a reckoning, and rightly so. Let’s just hope it occurs before November 6.





Epic Fail: Benghazi-Gate

28 09 2012

Terrorist Attack on the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and four other Americans.

During George W. Bush’s administration, I worked in the hotbed of leftism known as West Los Angeles. Lattes, law firms, and liberals as far as the eye could see. Many of the cars bore their political leanings, with hateful bumper stickers reflecting the Bush Derangement Syndrome that was rampant at the time. One in particular said, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

This expression (and the bumper sticker h/t Zazzle) is making a comeback, and rightfully so–but this time, it’s the conservatives that are taking up the clarion call.

The Obama administration has overseen 42 months of 8 percent unemployment, a reduction of our credit rating, median household incomes dropping more than 8 percent, and gas and food prices soaring. This alone would represent an Epic Fail for any administration.

But it is President Obama’s ideological attachment to the Muslim world through appeasement and apology where he has doubled-down on failure.

On September 11, 2012, the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. Ambassador Chris Stevens, defense contractor Sean Smith, and two other Americans were brutally murdered. What was the first act of this administration? Well, not much.

President Obama made a perfunctory speech which blamed a video which was critical of Islam. Mind you, this video originally appeared on YouTube in July. As I said on my Twitter feed, “The kicker? They were able to hold their ‘offense’ over this video in check until 9/11/2012, and then they unleashed. Yeah….”

Words like, “spontaneous attack” and “nothing to do with 9/11” were bandied about by the Carney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the sycophant media. The President of Libya even said that this attack was indeed a pre-planned terrorist plot. He was dismissed as trying to deflect blame and protect his own interests.

To add insult to injury, President Obama trotted off to a campaign fundraiser in Las Vegas the evening after the attacks. Such a stunning show of leadership: The Middle East burned, Obama fundraised.

Despite the fact that this Benghazi debacle precipitated similar attacks in Cairo, Egypt and other U.S. embassies in the Middle East and Africa, our news media was obsessed with 1) blaming the video, and 2) pretending the world was not burning. Both of these takes outraged me greatly. Had this been the George W. Bush administration, there would be an immediate tie-in to the 9/11 date,  calls for investigations, and round-the-clock op eds about how the world hates us because of Bush.

The targeting and subsequent arrest of the filmmaker who made this video, and the administration’s attempts to  strong arm YouTube to pull the video down (they did not), continued to reflect the doubling-down on a ridiculous meme to cover over what was a horrific terrorist attack, on top of assaulting the First Amendment. Then there were the videos released in Palestine, featuring President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, effectively apologizing for the anti-Muslim video and for free speech.

President Obama even had the unmitigated gall to speak before the United Nations General Assembly and say “Peace is hard.” Gee, no sh%t, Sherlock! Then went into a defense of the Islamist crazies by saying, “The Future Must Not Belong to Those Who Slander the Prophet of Islam,” and tripled-down on the video meme. All of this while snubbing an urgent request by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with him in New York about Iran’s race toward a nuclear bomb, yet making room for the culturally relevant nags of The View.

Two weeks of this dog and pony show has come crashing down on the Obama administration and the State Department, and not a moment too soon.

The on-top-of-it activists like Breitbart were out of the box to immediately call foul. The rest of the media started to show up a few days later. Eli Lake’s well-executed story in The Daily Beast showed U.S. Officials knew within 24-hours that this was indeed a well-planned and executed Al Qaeda terrorist attack.

“A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment for the story. But another U.S. intelligence official said, “I can’t get into specific numbers but soon after the attack we had a pretty good bead on some individuals involved in the attack.”

U.S. Officials Knew Libya Attacks Were Work of Al Qaeda Affiiliates.

In the days following U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s tour of the Sunday shows, the administration continued to flip, flop, deny, and lie. As the Ogden Nash’s poem says,  “Golly, how the truth will out!”–thankfully, their lies continued to be exposed.

Breitbart hit it out the park again, Joel Pollack revised a BDS-ism for his title to fit this current scandal: “People Died, Obama Lied“:

“Worse, the Obama administration inflamed the supposed outrage over the film by telling the world that the U.S. condemned it and was not responsible for it–even buying airtime on Pakistani television to broadcast that apologetic message.

“It also sent a signal that American principles of free expression were up for negotiation by suggesting that free speech did not include the right to insult other people’s religions, and Islam in particular.

“Now, as new details emerge every day about what the Obama administration knew and when, it is clear that President Barack Obama lied shamelessly to the American people about a terror attack that claimed American lives.

“The lies were repeated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice, among other officials. That the lies were likely told for political reasons is not an excuse but cause for additional alarm. (emphasis mine)

“The reason the Obama administration believes it can get away with the lies is that it has done so before–and the media have generally looked the other way.”

Finally, Michael Graham of the Boston Herald joins the truth team (NOT Obama’s): Prez Weaves a Web of Lies:

“Last week, Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out to say the FBI was on top of the investigation in Libya. FBI Associate Deputy Director Kevin Perkins told Congress on Sept. 19 that an investigation was underway.

“Actually, Mr. President . . . no. As of this writing, no FBI agent has even arrived in Benghazi. CNN reports the “crime scene” has yet to even be secured.

“And on Tuesday, Mr. President, you gave a speech at the United Nations about the violence against America, in which you mentioned YouTube a half-dozen times, but didn’t use the word “terrorist” or “terrorism” once.

“Actually, Mr. President . . . that’s just pathetic.

“Karl Rove just said ‘Mr. Obama has taken ordinary political differences beyond anything we’ve seen.’

“I’m with Rove. I’ve seen ‘spin,’ I’ve seen parsing ‘the definition of “is,”‘ but I’ve never seen anything like this avalanche of outright lies.”

Neither have I. I am paying attention, and I am more than outraged.

Are you?





In My Orbit: A Tale of Two Videos

17 08 2012

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s actually a tale of three, but I loved the title and didn’t want to change it!

It is the story of my life that in most social and business situations, I am among the few, if not the lone Black person. It is more a point of curiosity, than a point of discomfort, and when I am among the chosen few, I sometimes sit back and observe the level of discomfort among the other Blacks in the same situation. I find this kind of sad–something I’ll expound upon on another day.

My friends have always been people of different races, and I am happy to say I have never experienced racial animus in my 27 years of working life. I have been persecuted for being smart and efficient (too many times), but never, ever, because I was Black.

This doesn’t mean I’ve never experienced racism, been called a nigger, or had negative fallout from being Black; that would be unrealistic and untrue. I’m just saying that compared to what my parents and grandparents had to walk through, my life thus far has been a cakewalk.

My mother grew up in the deep South (Arkansas and Tennessee), suffered under Jim Crow, and had lots of racist horrors perpetrated against her and those she loved. So while I could not agree with her perspective on all white people, I did understand her mistrust and hostility toward them; except at the voting booth: Mamma made sure Richard J. Daley stayed in power by voting straight Democrat every election. Heck, the way Chicago runs elections, she’s probably still voting, even though she passed in 2001. This type of disconnected political thinking exemplifies by some in my family (and other Blacks) has always befuddled me… but I digress.

Now to Video #1, which I cannot embed here, unfortunately, but here is the link: The Daily Caller: Toure-Niggerization of Obama.

The video comes from MSNBC’s “The Cycle,”, which should tell you all you need to know right there. Apparently the co-host Touré  said that Governor Mitt Romney was using racial code against President Obama.

How Touré and his ilk come to these perspectives mystifies me. These Gen X and Gen Y Blacks who grew up with more privilege than my mother could have ever imagined, who didn’t have to use the back door or sit in the back of the bus, yet somehow they look for, and find racism under every rock.

Here is my theory: we have become so far removed from REAL racism, that we feel the need to dig it up as the excuse for all ills against Blacks in general, and this so-called Black President, in particular. It makes no difference that he is doing an abysmal job (unemployment above 8 percent for three years, 1.5 percent GDP growth), and that he seems to care less about the rule of law or actually working within the bounds of his office, using executive privilege like “get-out-of-jail-free” cards.

Yet, this meme is being plugged among the mainstream media, and among Black communities. Setting up the President as some new Black martyr, to cover up and excuse what is simply fecklessness, lies, and overreach.

Which leads to Video #2, another MSNBC laughfest, which has Ron Reagan (son of the late President Ronald Reagan and now a liberal commentator), saying he is “astounded” at the level of disrespect from Republicans toward President Obama. Why? It must be because he’s Black!

I snagged the video off a relative’s Facebook page where said relative ranted (and used scripture) that we need to respect the office of the President, and that this treatment of President Obama is obviously racist. I rebutted this view in the comments, then left the page. This is also a discussion for another day.

It continues to amaze me that when it is mentioned that our economic situation is dire, and the two wars we are in continue  to drag on and on, that Blacks and others always want to blame George W. Bush. But when it comes to the maligning and disrespect of the office of the President, President Bush is conveniently forgotten.

One of my nephews expressed outrage when Representative Joe Walsh famously yelled, “You Lie!” during President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union. My nephew immediately labeled Representative Walsh as a racist. When I mentioned in the comments that worse things were said and done to President George W. Bush, my other nephew commented, “Well, he was an idiot!”, as if that excused what was done toward President Bush while he held that same office.

Appropriately named “Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS)” by Charles Krauthammer, BDS started manifesting sometime before the 2004 elections, and became a full-blown epidemic once President Bush’s reelection was secured. Terms like “BushMcHitler”, T-shirts that read: “BuckFush”, “Kill Bush”, and assassination artwork and films all targeted our 43rd President. It was all Bush-bashing, all the time, and rarely did I hear any protest about “respect” for the office of the President, even if we disagreed with his policies. Crickets, from the Left and in many cases on the Right–no one was clean.

Michelle Malkin recently reminded us of exactly how hateful the climate was, and how conveniently Dems and Leftists forget this, now that they are trying to protect their pet President. How Quickly They Forget.

Dems and Leftists also acquire convenient amnesia about President Obama having a fully Democrat House and Senate at his disposal for the first two years of his presidency. Despite his promise of a  “laser-like focus” on jobs, he decided to push through a bloated stimulus, where Solyndra, SunPower and foreign companies got much of the money, and to work at instituting Obamacare, which is already costing us more than it’s actually giving back.

If President Obama was any color other than Black, we’d be calling for his impeachment and doing all we could to get someone else elected. But not so. Any criticism or obstruction to this President is because Republicans, the Tea Party, and anyone who disagrees with his policies are simply racists.

Which leads me to the Video #3. I found this gem via HotAir. Ms. Kira Davis‘ “Open Letter to Toure of MSNBC” says it much more succinctly and articulately than I ever could. This young, Black, conservative woman remained respectful, while speaking truth to power.

Ms. Davis opens up a greater argument: all this irresponsible, and dare I say, illegitimate bandying around of these terms cheapens and waters down what was truly reprehensible and racist in our past, and any acts of present-day racism that still exist. This nonsense needs to stop, and it needs to first stop with the people who were (and still are) affected by it.

I’ve said it before, and I say it again: This is not a fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream, but a perpetuation of a fraud.

Wake up, my people.





In My Orbit…

29 09 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

CareerCampSFV and Social Media and Your Career were huge successes! But after planning two events back-to-back, along with my Yoga classes, writing and stirring all the other pots I have my fingers in, the Girl is, well… tired.

So I’ve been sorta taking the week off. More of a mental vacation than physical, as I still need to teach the Yoga. But I’ve probably taken more naps this week than I have in my entire life! I’ve turned 45 and become a napper–who would have thunk?!

Of course, my life would be remiss if I didn’t get back on the political junkie bandwagon. WARNING: This post will go long, but it will be well worth it!

This started with a Facebook post by my brother-in-law, who I have the utmost respect for in most areas, except his political leanings. I’m the black sheep of the family on a number of fronts, so why should politics be any different?

So he posted this chart (above), allegedly from the United States Department of the Treasury, about who really increased the deficit. Of course, it was the usual “blame Republican Presidents, Democrat Presidents are perfect” stuff.

I have no idea whether this actually came from the U.S. Treasury. Even if it did, we have a Secretary of the Treasury who is a known tax evader, and the height of the propaganda machine that exists in the Obama administration is legend–Can you say Attack Watch.com boys and girls?

I’m more inclined to believe the Heritage Foundation’s numbers. Yes, they are a conservative think-tank, but their work is respected across party lines, and generally reality-based.

Heritage Foundation: The Truth about Obama’s Budget Deficit’s, in Pictures.

So I chimed in on my BOL’s post with these comments. First, that “he’s a disaster”, then, with clarification on whom I considered the disaster and the reasons why I feel this is the case:

“President Obama. Unemployment was less than 6 percent at the end of both those Republican President’s (Reagan/Bush) terms. Businesses were able to grow and hire people. Obama has not been in office for one term and unemployment is 9.2 percent, and 16.9 among African-Americans. He has no interest in creating jobs and he has no interest in helping his people–he only wants to save himself and get re-elected.”

Of course it was met with disagreement by a number of people, and then the discussion went down the rabbit hole of how opposed the President is, and how he is not given a fair chance, “because he’s black!”

SMH.

After another clarifying and challenging comment, I gave up, because I liked my mental vacation better than a fruitless debate.

A nice young man, who happened to see my posts, private-messaged me. He thanked me for my courage in stating my views, and agreed with me that this President is no friend of anyone but himself, and anyone who can keep him in office.

I messaged him back, thanking him for his feedback, and added:

“It makes me very sad that my people are only interested in supporting a ‘Black President’ without looking at his accomplishments or his character, or holding him accountable for all he is not doing for the American people or Black people.”

Sixteen-point-nine percent unemployment among Blacks. Almost double the national average. I don’t even count myself among that number, because I do my own work, and I refuse to be another Black statistic.

And then there was that pathetic speech Obama gave before the Congressional Black Caucus last week. Don’t get me started on how useless this bunch is–that’s a topic for another post. President Obama put on his best black preacher dialect and pulled from folk tales to set his story, then ended it with a most curious charge:

“Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying.”

Take note my AA peeps: This is the thanks you get for turning out in droves in 2008. He’d rather pander to other interest groups, but tell his own people to “stop crying” and “complaining.” Yet, you are still defending him and harping on the old canard of racism instead of calling a spade a spade (Yes, I said it!).

If our President was any other color than what he is, there would be immediate calls for him to step down and let someone of competence run in 2012. Instead, racism is used as an excuse for a piss-poor leader, and your own poor choices.

Still SMH.

Now Janeane Garofalo, great font of political wisdom she is, decided to play the race card concerning Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain–who actually has a real black preacher dialect. Methinks being an actual preacher helps in that regard. From Janeane’s mouth to our ears:

 “Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same.

“People like Karl Rove liked to keep the racism very covert. And so Herman Cain provides this great opportunity say you can say ‘Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man.'”

Racists Republicans Support Cain.

So, Cain is a puppet prop, but all that propping up and fawning over Obama by the Dems because he is black doesn’t count? She calls into account the political side she doesn’t agree with, while ignoring it in her own party.

She doesn’t even deserve a head shake.

Finally, Morgan Freeman, a truly supreme actor who just needs to keep doing that, commented on the nefarious Tea Party and their motivations, and says racism has gotten worse under Obama. Morgan Freeman: Tea Party Racist.

I thought now that we had a Black President that racism as we knew it would no longer exist. So, whose fault is that?

Continually SMH.

 

 





In My Orbit…

12 11 2010

Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have been glued to the interviews and write-ups surrounding President George W. Bush‘s book tour for his memoir, Decision Points.  President Bush chose to  sit down with Matt Lauer, Oprah, and Sean Hannity, among others.

My favorite quote comes from a Joshua Greenman’s writeup: “George W. Bush never was a bad soul, he was just portrayed as one on TV.”

Of course, Mr. Greenman’s long title that includes the words “long road to restoring a reputation” says much about his viewpoint, and he digresses into the usual partisan sniping about Iraq and how we will never forget, blah, blah, blah.  More evidence that objective journalism and opinion journalism have lost their distinctiveness.

The saddest pull quote was from an article in the St. Petersburg Times, where Colette Bancroft interviewed two historians about Presidential memoirs in general:

“Although historians may comb presidential memoirs for revelations, and although they may sell well to the public, Reeves says he thinks they are ‘way up there among unread books. With a president’s book, there’s so much discussion on TV, radio, print, everywhere that you can talk about it without reading it.'”

A telling comment, and a reflection of the devolution of education in America.

I thought the Lauer interview was the least interesting.  Matt Lauer came off a bit pompous, as he was attempting to appear inquisitive and hard-hitting.  And the editing reduced the interview to a bunch of sound bites instead of a reflective treatise on what I consider one of the most compelling presidencies of my lifetime.

Oprah did much better, primarily because she is a more accomplished interviewer than Lauer.  Her sit down allowed us to hear President Bush’s full answers and watch his body language.  It felt as though we were having the conversation in our own living rooms, which I guess is Oprah’s calling card anyway. The interview is worth viewing, and Real Clear Politics excerpts it on their site.

Hannity’s was probably the least formal of the three, more akin to two friends shooting the breeze, than an interview with the former Leader of the Free World.  Where it succeeded was in giving us a view of Bush’s world, then and now, and how it shaped him.

Notwithstanding the sorry editing of the Lauer interview, in these three television appearances, President Bush came across relaxed, exhibiting a wicked sense of humor couched in light sarcasm, and as very comfortable in his own skin.  And dare I say it? He is a fascinating, multi-layered human being, which is the polar opposite of how the mainstream media chose to portray him in the years of his Presidency.

None of these attributes reflect our current President. He takes himself much too seriously to employ humor effectively, and is not at all comfortable in that substantially thin skin. Layers give depth, substance, and sometimes give insight into how someone might lead or act.  President Obama likes to obscure his layers, which is telling in and of itself.  A stark contrast of two Presidents, and contrasts not lost on Howard Kurtz.   The Decider v. the Agonizer.

Most of the writeups  are coming from the perspective of the memoir as a “reinvention tour” or “crafting a legacy”.  But President Bush,  in his interview with Matt Lauer,  said it best:  “I hope I’m judged a success, but I’m going to be dead, Matt, when they finally figure it out.”

In this information age where a President’s life and times is reduced to sound bites and images, I feel reading a Presidential memoir should be required for everyone, no matter what your political stripe.  Having heard enough from both sides, it will be refreshing to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Today’s my reading day, so I’m diving in.





Illustrating Absurdity: Or, lack of planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part…

27 05 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

Looks like the O-Administration is taking lessons from the L.A. Clown Posse, otherwise known as the City Council.  The BP oil spill gets increasingly worse by the day, Obama and his administration try to place blame, yet they are the ones with oil on their faces.   James Carville, famed Clintonista and Louisianan, is going all over talk shows screaming for the administration to do something.  Kirsten Powers of the New York Post (and a Democrat supporter) mentions Carville’s comments in her article: “He urged it [the administration] to rapidly ‘move to Plan B.'” But she goes further, hitting the nail on the head to ask: Where was Obama’s Plan A on the Oil Spill? A pull quote:

“It also shouldn’t be a secret that no matter how many inspections and safety requirements you have, you can’t ever completely prevent disasters like this one. If you’re going to permit offshore drilling, be prepared to respond to a spill.”

Now pundits are starting to call this “Obama’s Katrina“, but I think it’s far worse.  The supposed sins of George W. Bush’s inaction on Katrina occurred in his second term.  Obama is still out of the box of his first term, and save for a rosy few months, he and his administration have been stumbling and bumbling on every national and international issue and crisis.  We have a nationalized health care package very few people want to see enacted, Iran is still building nuclear weapons and thumbing their nose at us, Korea is on meltdown, and let’s not even talk about the Panty-Bomber, the Times Square Bomber, Jihad Jane and the Arizona-Mexico border.

So, I think a more apt term would be “Obama’s Iran Hostage Crisis”–but anyone born after 1970 who is not a political junkie wouldn’t get the reference.  “Katrina” is more immediate, sound-bitey and invokes a certain imagery; much of it manufactured by our own news media, but imagery nonetheless.  Haven’t seen as much non-stop imagery of oil-caked wildlife, have we?  Now with Louisiana’s fragile coast being destroyed, methinks that’s about to change.  And he’s not helping matters by headlining fundraising dinners for Barbara Boxer in San Francisco.  From the Mercury News:

“Obama attended a series of fundraisers for Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is facing a fierce battle in the fall to win a fourth term. It was his second trip to California in as many months to assist the liberal Democrat.  ‘We’ve got a lot on our plate right now, so I don’t travel for just anybody,’ Obama told Democratic donors Tuesday night at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel.  ‘But when it comes to Barbara Boxer, I’m a lot like you: When she calls and says she needs help, we’re gonna give her some help.'” (emphasis mine)

Ouch!  That soundbite is going to boomerang on him big time–if it hasn’t already.  Should have used the teleprompter.

And the New York Post is on fire this morning.  Writer John Crudele already interviewed Naomi Cohn, unemployed lawyer and 2010 Census worker, who blew the whistle on how the Census is cooking statistics to make the job numbers look good.  Well, Crudele brings us more good news on just how wasteful, disorgananized and corrupt this Census go-round is turning out to be.  Two more Census workers blow the whistle…  The anonymous Census worker writes:

“‘John: I am on my fourth rehire with the 2010 Census.

“‘I have been hired, trained for a week, given a few hours of work, then laid off. So my unemployed self now counts for four new jobs.

‘I have been paid more to train all four times than I have been paid to actually produce results. These are my tax dollars and your tax dollars at work.'”

Yours, maybe.  Like Naomi, the legal profession decided to cut me from their fat rolls two years ago, and I have not found a replacement full-time gig.  And just for your information, because I choose to work even part-time, they cut my unemployment benefits last year.

So like any hard-working American, I applied to work for the 2010 Census, as did a number of my friends, but we were never called–now I know why…

And what’s that phrase, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover up?”  Well, in the case of Joe Sestak, it may be a bit of both.  Now that Sestak has won the Democrat party nomination for the Senate in Pennsylvania, he is trying to play footsie with allegations he repeatedly made that the Obama Administration offered him a job if he would drop his primary challenge against Republica–Democrat Arlen Specter.  “Benedict Arlen,” as he is affectionately known by right-wing pundits.  The L.A. Times, no less, has an opinion on this: Joe Sestak and the phantom–or was it?

Even his own party claims to be interested in hearing what was said, and the GOP is calling for an independent counsel investigation.  Both parties want answers about Sestak.

I was six-years old during the Watergate hearings, so it wasn’t even a blip on my radar.  However, almost every presidency since then has been plagued by its own version of an embarrassing scandal: From Iran-Contra to Monica-gate.   Will this be Obama-gate?  From all indications, it appears that obfuscating, manufactured rhetoric, and finger-pointing are not making this go away.








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