HIGH NOON ON THE TARMAC
I've been a little too busy at work lately and haven't kept up my posting.
But there's one news item that I want to go back to that happened a couple of weeks ago. It's when Arizona governor Jan Brewer apparently got into it a bit with President Obama on the tarmac in Phoenix.
The truth is that I know nearly nothing about Governor Brewer. I know she's the Governor and I know she's a woman and that's it. I have no idea what her political persuasion is or what party she is affiliated with. And I really don't care.
But from reading news reports she was pretty upset with the President over what she perceived as some less than cordial treatment in a previous Oval office meeting. At least that was the way she described it in a book she published. Apparently the President didn't care much about what she had written and in their meeting on the tarmac he let her know that.
I don't know who is right or wrong in the dust-up but one item that really seemed to ring true with me was the Governor's description in news reports about the Oval office meeting:
"I felt a little bit like I was being lectured to, and I was a little kid in a classroom, if you will, and he was this wise professor and I was this little kid, and this little kid knows what the problem is and I felt minimized to say the least."
That rang true to me because that is exactly the way I feel when I watch the President's speeches and interviews. And that's been true for me for some time. So I think I can understand why the Governor feels that way.
Maybe it's only my perception instead of reality. But it's my reality. It offends me so much that I don't watch him anymore unless it's a special situation like his 60 Minutes interview after the Bin Laden killing (which I give him credit for a very gutsy decision).
Full disclosure: that wasn't an issue for me with his predecessor because Bush III didn't have the communication skills to convince anyone that he was as smart or smarter than they were. Of course Ronald Reagan was the Presidential master communicator. He could make everyone from foreign leaders to the man on street to think they were listening to their friendly grandfather speak.
I think that the President could benefit from changing his tone. If he gets rid of the attitude I think he can win re-election fairly easy over what appears at this time to be some rather weak opponents.
And I'm not even speaking as a wise professor.
By: Lewis Medlock on January 31, 2012 in Politics
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I was never a fan or follower of John Edwards; I not only didn't like his politics. I also didn't like him as a man.
When he first came on the political stage I was initially impressed with him. Howerver it didn't take long for my phoniness meter to start ringing alarms. It soon became apparent to me that John Edwards was out for one thing--John Edwards. The country, his family and everyone else came second and in some instances never figured in his thoughts at all. Of course he's disgraced now, joining a long line of this century's politicians who were all hat and no cattle.
I'm slowly coming to grips with the fact that there are no more John Kennedy's or Ronald Reagan's out there. I hope I might see another one of those before I'm gone.
I wasn't a fan of Edward's wife either at that time. But I learned to respect her after her initial diagnosis with cancer and the subequent revelation of his affair. I thought she handled both situations with a strong dignity and courage that John Edwards never has had or ever will. I can only hope that I can handle my last days half as well as she did.
God bless Elizabeth Edwards and may she rest in peace.
By: Lewis Medlock on December 9, 2010 in Politics
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PEGGY NOONAN DOES IT AGAIN
I haven't quoted her in awhile but Peggy Noonan often puts into words exactly what I think (and beautifully so). She's done so again. This is from a column before the recent elections:
Peggy Noonan: Revolt of the Accountants.
Let me tell you something I’m hearing, in different ways and different words. The coming rebellion in the voting booth is not only about the economic impact of spending, debt and deficits on America’s future. It’s also to some degree about the feared impact of all those things on the character of the American people. There is a real fear that government, with all its layers, its growth, its size, its imperviousness, is changing, or has changed, who we are. And that if we lose who we are, as Americans, we lose everything.
And what I get from my mail is a kind of soft echo of this...there is a growing sense—I should say fear—that the weighty, mighty, imposing American government itself, whether it meant to or not, has for years been contributing to American behaviors that are neither culturally helpful nor, as we now all say, sustainable: a growing sense of entitlement, of dependency, of resentment and distrust, and an increasing suspicion that everyone else is gaming the system. “I got mine, you get yours.”
By: Lewis Medlock on November 12, 2010 in Politics
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OF DISMAL CHOICES
Tennessee is electing a new governor this year.
That's the good news. The bad news is who is running to replace him.
We have only one Democratic candidate. That would be Mike McWherter. He's the son of a former governor and that appears to be his best qualification to be our new governor. Unless you consider being a beer distributor a qualification for governor. Don't laugh, that might be the case this year.
On the Republican side, we have Zach Wamp. He's a current US Representative from the Chattanooga area and he's been trying hard to disassociate himself from that fact. I don't blame him. I wouldn't want that known either, especially if I'm trying to win a state office. I like his name though. I guarantee that somewhere in his political life he's talked about how he "wamped' somebody or something.
We also have Ron Ramsey, an East Tennessean who is the current Lieutenant Governor and Tennessee Senate Speaker. I actually met the man once in all places...the men's room. He had something wrong with one eye that causes it to look in a different direction from his other eye. He didn't seem to be the friendly type but neither was I in a men's room. I haven't quite figured out his qualifications other than being Speaker. He owns an auction house, which means that wandering eye must come in handy.
Finally, there's Jim Haslam. His father started Pilot Oil, which has gas stations around the Southeast and made him a millionaire. His son apparently got bored with the money and Knoxville elected him mayor. Knoxvillians seem to like him but I've never trusted rich guys running for political office. It makes me wonder why they would spend money to be a politician. I prefer my politicians to get rich while they're in office. At least that seems to be the traditional way.
As you can see, I don't find my choices very appealing. Unless I put them all together in one. Then I would have a candidate that was a rich former Congressman who owns a beer distributorship, has a wandering eye, and speaks so fast that I can't understand him.
I could vote for that dude.
By: Lewis Medlock on August 2, 2010 in Politics
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I'm just wondering if I'm the only one noticing the irony in the Kagan confirmation hearings .
I'm not a fan of hers but how the current U.S. Senate can say they are worried by her political views affecting her decisions as a Supreme Court justice is beyond my understanding.
That august body of legislation that Senator Byrd loved so much is the pure definition of partisan political views.
And they're questioning her if she can be non-partisan?
By: Lewis Medlock on June 28, 2010 in Politics
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Being the old fart that I am, I find myself unhappy with President Obama's choice for Supreme Court.
But it's not for the reasons you might think. She seems qualified to me. I actually see no problem with her background with the possible exception that she's never served as a judge. But that's simply an experience thing and shouldn't be a problem for someone with her education and background. The bottom line is she's probably very qualified.
But I have done some research on the current Court. First off, there will no Protestants when Justice Stevens retires. As in zip or zero. What's up with that? Our population is roughly 50% Protestant and there's no representation of that faith? That concerns me some.
I also don't like the fact that when she comes on board all nine justices will be from Harvard or Yale. That's a chummy little group they will have. Too chummy, in fact. I think we got ourselves a convoy, good buddy. If the Court were a for profit company, someone might make a case for some sort of discrimination. I can almost hear the justices questioning the company's lawyer about that. Simply put, it's hard for me to believe that we don't have qualified justices from other institutions.
Lastly, I literally dread to see the nightly news with the clips of her confirmation hearings. The whole thing has become a sham. All the Senators want to do is preen for the cameras. That started way back with the Robert Bork hearings and it's gotten progressively worse. They shouldn't even call it a confirmation hearing anymore because it isn't. It's a political show and like the Texans say, they're all hat and no cattle. But there is a big upside. Joe Biden won't be there.
That's my rant for the week.
Sarah Palin is in Knoxville testifying in the trial of the guy who hacked her email account. Or maybe it's Tina Fey. I can never tell which one is which.
The news coverage of her at the trial reminds me of how agitated Governor Palin makes the media and the Democrats. I find it highly amusing. And I find myself liking her a great deal because of it.
I can't see myself voting for Palin in any election but I can't rule it out either because I don't know who her opponent might be. But I find her appealing. One reason is because she drives her detractors bonkers. They truly don't know what to do with her because all their slings and arrows seem to bounce off her. In that sense she's a bit like Reagan was.
Her support is from the common folk who seem to recognize her as being a genuine person as opposed to a programmed robot by the party. And she seems to have common sense that most politicians lack. Ask her a question and she gives you an answer that may not match the party line. I think that after years and years of hearing programmed responses by politicians many Americans find her refreshing.
The Democrats and liberal news think she's a lightweight and it drives them nuts that a lot of Americans like her. And now even Joe Biden said this week that there was something about her he liked. That might be the first comment in years that wasn't programmed into Joe (except for the F bomb he let slip recently).
Do I think she can serve effectively as President? I don't know.
But I damn sure think she's doing a great thing for this country by even running for President. You betcha.
By: Lewis Medlock on April 23, 2010 in Politics
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THE SENATE'S BIZARRO WORLD
The news this week proved to me that Congress operates in what Seinfeld called in one episode "bizarro world". To quote Jerry in that episode, bizarro world is when up is down and down is up.
Senator Bunning of Kentucky decided to hold up a spending bill that extended unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits. His reason? He didn't think the bill supported the "pay as you go" rules recently approved by the Senate that mandate any new spending be paid for with offsets (they are referred to as
"pay-fors") in the budget. Therefore passing the bill would add to the budget deficit.
His actions got him pilloried by everyone from the Democrats to late night comedians. Even his fellow Republicans didn't come to his defense.
Let it be known that I have never been a fan of Senator Bunning but I think he was right doing what he did. Fiscal responsibility and discipline has to start somewhere in Congress. The Congress has a poor record of doing so the last twenty years or so to the point it has become routine for them to spend money we don't have. That is the very reason the Senate passed the "pay as you go" rules.
However I do think that it was unfortunate that he happened to choose this bill because it had a direct negative effect on citizens who are in a bad situation. With all the wasteful spending that Congress approves I would think he had his choice but he happened to pick this one.
That's too bad. The politics were too much and he caved in. Of course that could have been his plan all along--to create attention to the Senate's seemingly permanent inability to be fiscally responsible. It clearly showed that they aren't even disciplined enough to follow their own mandated spending rules.
They called it an emergency situation. I call it bizarro world.
By: Lewis Medlock on March 3, 2010 in Politics
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As I am writing this the leader of the free world is less than five miles from where I'm sitting.
You read that correctly. Our President is holding a town hall meeting in a blue state (where I'm not at) that closely adjoins a red state (where I am at).
And what's even more interesting is that the town hall meeting is being held in a grocery store. A Kroger's to be specific. In the produce section. OK.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the White House chose Kroger's. It's heavily unionized. For some reason I think they may like Obama's health care proposals. And the produce section? Well, let's just say that the Obama team has taken stage management to a new level. And by the way, only Kroger's employees and the media are invited. There might be a few city personnel too but that's it. I think one could call this a controlled environment.
I just wish we could get this type of thorough and detailed management from other parts of the government. Maybe Congress would be a good place to start. Or the Energy Department. Or Homeland Security. You get the idea.
I'm glad to see my tax dollars going to such good use.
Reporting live from the red state, this is Lewis Medlock.
By: Lewis Medlock on July 29, 2009 in Politics
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I've been looking forward to the Sotomayor confirmation hearings this week about as much as I look forward to going to the dentist.
That's because the confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court for the last twenty-five years have had zero to do with the fitness of the candidate. The hearings have become nothing but public relations for the senators involved. I say that regardless of which party was doing the nominating.
Unfortunately our society has become a television society. If a senator can get on the tube by saying something that a television news producer thinks is is good clip for the tube then he's on. It doesn't matter whether the comment or question has any bearing whatsoever on the candidate's ability. It only matters that the clip might attract more viewers.
Believe it or not, many years ago before the age of television, it wasn't uncommon for Supreme Court candidates to not even appear before the Senate committee. Now isn't that a coincidence.
So I won't be watching the hot air confirmation hearings this week. However I am grateful for two things. One is that Joe Biden, blow-hard extraordinaire, won't be there. I used to get so sick of his posturing for the camera I couldn't stand it. It turns out there are advantages to having him as Vice-President although anything happening to Obama sort of scares me. The other is that Al Franken of SNL (hello, I'm Al Franken) is on the committee. If there's any hope at all for confirmation hearings being anything other than political BS, he's it.
By: Lewis Medlock on July 13, 2009 in Politics
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