All posts by Gary

Elections Are Crux Of GOP’s Strategy

Elections Are Crux Of GOP’s Strategy: “‘The president’s run into a perfect political storm where the confluence of natural disasters from last fall, gasoline prices, staff changes, the continuing war in Iraq, all are giving conservatives a defensive fatigue,’ said Kenneth Khachigian, a California GOP strategist who served in Ronald Reagan’s White House. ‘And let’s put immigration in there, too. . . . There’s just wave after wave washing over them at this point.'”

What is it about the “conventional wisdom”? I keep seeing this type of statement about the position the White House finds itself in and I can’t quite understand the thought process behind it. Look at the list…”natural disasters from last fall, gasoline prices, staff changes, the continuing war in Iraq”, the only thing here that can’t be laid at the President’s door is the first one. Personally I do not feel that it is the natural disasters so much as the administrations reaction to them, so in that regard even this “problem” could be tacked to the door of the Oval Office.

What appears to be happening, at least to me, is the bait and switch tactics that the GOP has used so successfully in the past decade is beginning to cause their base to wonder about the genuineness of their intentions. After almost five years of preaching the politics of fear…the lack of a proven policy of providing for the security of American’s and not American Corporate Interests is coming back to haunt them.

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Why the National Guard?

From The Washington Post Editorial, May 17, 2006

“Why the National Guard?: “Disingenuously, Mr. Bush declared in his address that ‘we have enough Guard forces to win the war on terror, to respond to natural disasters and to help secure our border.’ That may be true in strictly numerical terms. But the president neglected to mention that the tens of thousands of Guard troops who will be rotated to the border over the next year will do so during their annual two- to three-week training periods. In other words, they will be deprived of time to train for war missions or natural disasters in order to drive trucks and staff desks for the Border Patrol.Administration officials say the deployment is designed to provide such auxiliary services until civilian contractorscan be brought in…”

The emphasis in the above is mine but I think it is telling that our CEO President is again moving government services to the private sector. Maybe it is only poetic that in all likelihood these civilian contractors will not be able to find any “American Workers” willing to apply for the jobs at the pay scale they will be willing to pay in order to guarantee the profits of the CEO’s. Which explains the “Guest Worker” plan, who else will we be putting on the border to protect us? Wouldn’t it just be easier to hire the Mexican Army to work the other side for us? We could call it foreign aide…

I find this reliance on “civilian contractor” very troubling in all of its various guises. Why do we now pay a company to do what we used to pay citizens to do? Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but I find it very hard to trust the good intentions of a corporate board. And I have yet to meet a Corporate Citizen with an inherent morality. And the fact that the courts wish to guarantee Corporate Free Speech while the “elected” officials take this very same “speech” to the bank is ruinous to the “common good”.

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A Lonely Warning On Debt

A Lonely Warning On Debt: “‘The question I ask is, what sacrifice are we making? Anyone in the know who is watching us has to wonder about our character, our intellectual honesty, our concern about our national security, our nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace now and in the future, and, last but not least, our don’t-give-a-darn attitude about the standard of living and quality of life of our children and grandchildren.

‘The question is, are we willing to be honest with ourselves and the American people and make these tough decisions?'”

George Voinovich, a Republican Senator from Ohio said the above in a speech on the floor of the Senate on May 3rd.

George Voinovich, United States Senator photo ...
George Voinovich, United States Senator photo portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find myself thinking that if there were more politicians in America today who would speak and vote these sentiments, I might still consider myself an Independent.

I was proud in the first 20 years of my voting history to vote the man not the party. That changed in 1992. That was the year I had the misfortune to attend every minute of the Republican Convention (it was my job not choice), and it was what I heard and saw there that caused me to change my mind about a lot of things. At the convention I tried to explain my political philosophy and I called myself a “fiscally conservative, social liberal” and the person I was speaking with could not understand what I was talking about.

Many things have changed in the last decade, but, the one thing that hasn’t changed in my opinion is the basic makeup of the American People. I feel that the majority of us still believe that America should live up to the ideals upon which it was founded. Someone recently commented on some trait or the other (I think it might have been something about the way we were treating prisoners), and the sentiment they expressed was that this was how our prisoners were being treated. My comment was that “as Americans, we are better than that, and I expected us to act like it.” I guess what I was really saying was that I chose to be better than that, and I expect the people who chose to represent me in government to live up to and by the Ideals I have chosen.

This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with morality. And my morality seems to boil down to the old “Golden Rule”, do unto others as you would have them do unto you…

Unseasonable Spring

I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning with the doors and windows open enjoying our unseasonably cool morning, answering email and reading the daily news and views (as in blogs), when my youngest daughter wandered in and wanted to know why the AC wasn’t on. Now folks, the outside temperature at the time was just hitting 72 (I told you it was unseasonable for SE Texas), and I had really been enjoying the breeze along with the birdsong and wind chimes.

I think the poor girl would shrivel up and die if she had to go through the summers we went through with only an attic fan. Now for those of you who don’t know what an attic fan is, it’s a large fan that is built into the ceiling (usually in a central hallway) that pulls the hot air out of the house. Usually, when you ran it all night with the bedroom windows open it would get so cool you had to have a quilt or a blanket before morning. During the day you would turn the speed of the fan down and close up the house to keep the cool in while blowing just enough fresh air through the attic to keep the heat from building up too high before evening when you would start the whole cycle over.

As I remember things, the fan would provide a low white noise (not that we knew what that was back then) and you could still hear the night sounds through the open window. I guess we could be a little more trusting back then, ’cause I’m sure not many folks today would want a window open all night by their bed…

Being as we were deep south here the only real disadvantage to this whole affair was that the humidity would still permeate the whole house and everything in it. Even so, some night I really miss the old days.

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