Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Couldn't We Do It Right Just Once?

Will the political parties that represent us ever grow up?  Better yet, will we demand that they do?

I was reading headlines on Drudge a few minutes ago.  Jeb is seriously considering running.  We know that.  The next one read Democrats already digging up dirt.  Please.

Let's look at this.  If it's Hillary versus Bush we know the Republicans will dig up tons of dirt on Hillary.  There is plenty going back to their days in Arkansas, Bill's moral shortcomings, Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State and so on. I wonder too, in this moral client where women are coming out of the woodwork to accuse Bill Cosby of indecencies, how Hillary tolerating Bill's peccadilloes will wash.

On the Bush side, it is known Jeb's wife had some issues with custom's over some shopping items while he was governor.  I have no idea what else there may be to be found or manufactured but you can be sure there will be something.

So what do we have without the dirt?  Two people vying for the presidency. One has a great deal of experience having been a two term governor of Florida.  The other has a great deal of experience being the wife of a former President.  Which looks better?  Forget who you'd like to have a beer with.

Bush has some perceived drawbacks.  One being his support for common core, the other being his support for a legal path to citizenship for certain illegals.  He has said he will run on what he believes which I would like to take to mean he will not pander.

Hillary?  I don't know.  I have heard her parrot other's opinions but has claimed none for her own. Wanting to be President shouldn't be enough. She is pretty good at pandering.

No matter.  Other's will in time enter the race because these two in their individual ways are vulnerable.  It would be nice, though, to have them all be judged on the merit of their ideas for regaining the stature of the country and moving the economy so we can all get back to living what used to be normal.  A decent job, good wages, a future and respect around the world shown toward our President and our country.

I know negative advertising works.  Only because we allow it.  We should dig, not for dirt, but truth.  If we don't we'll end up once again mired in nothing but mud. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's Try For A Governor

The more I look at the potential candidates for the presidency for 2016 the more I find myself waiting for a governor or former governor.  And not Jeb Bush.

Not that I don't like Bush, it's just that I think we need to introduce some new blood and there are plenty to choose from that don't share his name.  He would, however, be better than Hillary who seems to have little more than celebrity to offer.

I look at Ted Cruz, among others, and his grand standing and see that he doesn't want to follow how the game is played in Washington. It is a game and there's little we can do about it except elect people who will ease it back to where it works well for us.  Slash and burn doesn't cut it.

That's why I lean toward a governor.  Someone who has experience in running a multifaceted entity.  That gives us a record to look at.  What does he or she know about trade, environment, education and so forth.  They can be grilled on foreign and defense policy for they will all have to have a policy to offer especially since our current President doesn't and the lack thereof is painfully obvious.

We will be able to see if they delegate or micro manage.  Whether their policies as governors were successful or not and why.  Maybe all states should pass laws that if you hold one office and want to run for another you have to give up the one you hold.  No more going back to the Senate or House if they fail.  That should force them into adopting strong enough positions to give them a chance to succeed rather than merely trying to promote a personal agenda.

It would be nice, too, if we'd adopt regional primaries so the same two or three states don't get to choose the candidates who pander to them then change their positions once nominated or even worse elected.  I won't hold my breath on this one.

It seems we're doomed to have professional politicians running our country.  At least let's choose ones who have some practical experience.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Some People Never Learn

So the Omnibus Bill has finally passed.  I suppose I should take some pleasure in the fact that people from both sides of the aisle tried to stop it but I don't.

The way I see it, it's how government is supposed to work.  Neither side got everything they wanted but both got something.  It's called compromise.

It also means they might actually get some work done next year without the threat of  having to pass continuing resolutions or shutting down the government.

Ted Cruz and his ilk have yet to learn the art of compromise.  They are the obstructionists because, like the President, their modus operandi  is their way or no way.  They think that's what the American people want.  Or so they keep telling us.  This American person doesn't.  I want them to put their heads together and draft legislation that will move the country forward.  Not their personal agendas.

That's what the last election was about.  I am going to be a very unhappy camper with the Tea Party Republicans if they continue obstructing forward movement. I'm already fed up with the "conservatives" on the air who have done nothing but bash McConnell and Boehner since the election.  Give them a chance when they have the power.  Until January they don't and even after, the President still has the final word so expect compromise unless the demands are egregious.
We're going to have to know when  members of Congress are working toward their own ends for 2016 versus working for us. Especially those wanting to bid for the presidency.  Their ideological base may help them in the primaries but they best remember they're supposed to govern for all of us, not just those who share their point of view.

We've had six years of one who has not learned that lesson. I'll be holding those vying for his job to a much higher standard.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Risk Management

The air waves were full of praise yesterday for the men who attempted, for a second time, to rescue an American hostage.  This time in Yemen.  And well they should be praised.  It's risky work to say the least and success depends on training, intelligence and expedience.  The expedience is what was missing.

If you remember the first attempt failed because by the time the rescuers got there the hostage had been moved. Would that have happened if the rescue plan hadn't had to go through a bureaucracy of high placed White House officials who have no business being in charge of the areas in which they are in charge? Especially the President who insists he must sign off on everything no matter how much time is wasted.

This is another example of why micro-management doesn't work.  And what happens when a President has contempt for his military advisers.

He made flowery speeches that the second attempt, which was given away by a barking dog and wary hostage holders I might add, is an example of the lengths to which we'll go to rescue a fellow American.  The trouble is the length was too long.

In trying to look at the bright side, it was said at least the enemy knows we'll come after our people and theirs are likely to die.  What wasn't factored in to that cheery news is that they don't care.  Their cause and their religious zeal outweighs any desire they may have to live. We don't understand that.

Until we do, or if we can't understand then accept, that fact they will continue to kidnap Americans and kill them.  Period.

If there is an up side to this debacle it's that the hostages weren't beheaded.  Not that being shot is preferable but I think it may be.

Our special forces will continue to do the right thing.  It's what they do.  Too bad their commander-in-chief has such a hard time coming to the same conclusion.

No one with the disdain for the military shown by this President should ever be the commander-in-chief. Remember that in 2016.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Cops And Robbers

There are two sides to every story and it seems in the case of the current protests neither side has it exactly right. Forget that 90% of the protesters who are there are there to protest no matter what.  For many of them it's a way of life and I always wonder who foots the bill for their travel, their bail and the fancy signs they carry.  But this isn't about the protesters.

It's about the cops, for one. They aren't totally innocent in all of this.  They tend to be by nature aggressive.  Of course they have to be.  Meek and mild doesn't get the job done.  But too often they come across as over armed bullies and behave in the same manner.  In defense of that behavior, when the majority of the people you deal with are criminals of one sort or another your defenses and defensiveness are always up. People not used to functioning in that environment get their own defenses up and unintended conflicts occur. What I'm suggesting here is the police need to know when to mind their manners and better sense who they're dealing with.

Now for the blacks who refuse to do more than cry victim.  I've addressed it before and won't go into another lengthy diatribe but attitude and behavior do a lot to put police on edge.  Plus the numbers who are disproportionately involved in arrestable crime.  When there are so many who have raised themselves above ghetto mentality and have become fantastic role models for any race, you know it can be done.

I'm tired of the blacks versus police argument.  The police have a job to do.  If the blacks are the ones most often on the receiving end of the baton ask why.  It's not because of their race.  It's because of their behavior.

Until we all behave by the same code we will continue to be misunderstood by one another. The black population reminds me of other social misunderstandings we harbour.  Take gays who flaunt their lifestyle, are in your face with it knowing full well their behavior is offensive to many. Or other foreign groups who refuse to learn English.  All are minorities of their particular segment of their populations yet they garner the headlines making it difficult for those who would and have risen above it and have become one with the country as Americans.

Perhaps the media, too, needs some retraining.  They need to return to objective reporting.  Truth should trump ratings.  Why doesn't it?