Sunday, August 26, 2012

The In-Elegant Campaign

Pants on Fire!

I am neither a Democrat nor Republican. But, you know, I don’t like Romney. He’s not just evasive, he’s either lying or instructing those whose job it is to represent his ideas, to lie. I’d one-hundred times rather have Ron Paul as the Republican nominee than Mr. Romney.

Ron Paul, for all his fustiness, is a “straight from the shoulders” kind of guy. If you don’t like what he says, “lump-it!” Remember back during some of the Republican Primary debates. Ron Paul said Obama was doing as good as anyone could do during the crises in Libya, Syria and Egypt? He even said that President Kennedy was masterful in his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis way back in the early sixties.


Who of the Republican Party today has the courage to say these kinds of things to their own constituents? Paul is my kind of politician. I wish there were others I could include here, but sadly . . .

Well, yes, there is another Paul, a Mr. Paul Ryan, who has recently appeared on the scene. Unfortunately, Mr. Ryan has allowed his ideals, energy and zeal in the House to become twisted into a chinese pretzel in order to please the devious Romney campaign.  He’s the one with the ideas and the guts to present them in Congress.  He’s the one with the budget plan, remember, the one who is on record as having voted for perhaps unpopular bills during his tenure and as a result is taking his knocks for those votes.  Romney, on the other hand, lurks in the shadows, ducking those pesky reporters, refusing to answer direct questions, wearing the same stoney non-smile, and leaving his henchmen to attack reporters with statements like, “. . . this is a holy place to the Polish people. . .” you ass-holes. My, my.

But back to Ryan. Why in the world has he hitched his wagon to Romney in the first place? In a few short years he would have been able to run on his own and not be tied to the babbling, in-articulate pablum we hear from the campaign. What, really, have they said?  What positions have they taken? What policy do they want to enforce?  The answer is, first beat Obama and then we’ll let you know. Is this the kind of paternalistic presidency we want for our nation?  "Don't ask questions, just do as I say?"

Ryan has made a huge mistake in his career I think.  He should have stayed out of this race;  he should have continued to do the work in Congress he was doing representing his own (albeit ultra-conservative) agenda.  His budget plan may not be a viable one, but it sure as heck was more viable before it was massaged by the campaign.  I certainly don't agree with him on women's issues.  But, like Ron Paul, he is talking about issues, and not just voicing vague and fluffy platitudes. He has presented his ideas to the House for everyone to see and critisize. He has done more than just obstruct.  I really hate to see him tied to Romney -- no matter how great his appearance at the convention may be.  I had thought he was his own man and now, his belongs to Romney, the elusive shadow behind the curtain.  

Don’t you see what’s wrong with us as a nation? No one wants to put himself on the line, because he may lose his seat by doing so. Ryan had guts. I admire him for doing something and sticking with it. I admire him for taking chances, like Ron Paul, and letting the mop flop where it may.

I do not admire Romney whose bid for the Presidency out-weighs any sense of honor or duty not to (not only) pander to the people, but to allow himself to continue with the lies. Lies that everyone knows are lies such as Obama’s willingness to “gut the welfare program” – this one, ad infinitum

I can’t wait for Ryan to defect. And if he does, remember: this is where you heard it first! And if he does, maybe someone will have the good sense to draft my guy. Tampa still lies ahead. Why not dream big?  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria has been caught in an episode of plagiarism.  I am very saddened by this story and disappointed beyond words. Still, I hope that he is reinstated and allowed to continue his posts as Editor-at-Large for Time Magazine and host to GPS, a regular Sunday morning international news show on CNN.  


I believe that apologies in a situation such as this, are meaningless,  because they occur only when one is caught; his apology is based in fear of losing what must have taken years to establish:  his professional credentials.  Being fired,  even temporarily, is not only embarrassing, but creatively and financially devastating.  Still it was the right thing to do, as I'm sure Fareed will agree.

The suspension is not just necessary but crucial,  because plagiarism should be anathema to any journalist of his stature with the academic background he posseses (a Phd from Harvard plus a long-standing academic association with Yale University).  But, I will miss the weekly international round-up of difficult to reach guests that few TV personalities are able to gather around them for in-depth conversations. There is no where else that you can get the kind of global coverage we see every week on GPS (except, of course, the incomparable Charlie Rose at his table on PBS).  For that reason, I am saddened.  I agree with the suspension, but I still feel he is the best on the air and will hope that CNN reinstates him in the next month or so, as TIME promises to do.

Perhaps, this is what comes from success, competition and deadlines.  But success is, as we all know, fleeting. Perhaps this is an opportunity for you, Fareed, to re-boot and re-think what you've achieved.  Be ambitious.  Be competitive.  But be also vigilant.  I am an admirer and this is my advice.   

Monday, August 6, 2012

Where are the Leaders?

  Re: Sikh Temple Killings in Wisconsin:
“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded.”

-President Barack Obama, Sunday August 5, 2012

“Our hearts are with the victims, their families and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead.”

-Presidential hopeful and former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, Sunday, August 5, 2012.

Yes.  Of course.  My deepest sympathies go out to the victims, the friends and families of the victims, as well. 

But, what else Mr. President? What else, Governor Romney?

Would either of you like to make a statement about how we've all had enough?  Enough gun violence, enough intolerance. There was a 9mm semi-automatic handgun used in this shooting, legally purchased according to news sources.

You are two very powerful men, but you are afraid to make a statement that could change the laws of the land and saves innocent lives.

We don’t need this kind of leadership. We need someone who’s not afraid to stand up and speak to the American people, someone who has the guts to “lead.”  No more pandering to the gun lobby. No more passing the buck.

Where are the leaders?