Friday, May 30, 2008

Asleep at the keyboard

The chatter is still reverberating on the new book by Scott McClellan, Bush's former press secretary. The funniest chatter to me is the identical use of the word "puzzling" as the official White House response. Everybody's puzzled that McClellan, who probably was more interested in the health and well-being of his family than lapping at the trough of mindspeak, never verbally dissented while holding his job.
Hello? Is it possible that even if he had outed the administration for the Plame episode, he would have been quietly "resigned" from his job in retribution? Anybody who's worked in a hostile environment knows how impossible it is to trust anybody to secret your concerns.
There are also-whines who are complaining the media was effective during the march to war. On this, I get the willies on the realization that I agree with Katie Couric. When asked, she admitted we got beaten with the American flag for even suggesting the rush was too rushed.
Even though the McClatchy newspapers was screaming from their pages, the powers that be either were afraid to agree or decided it was beneath them to admit a smaller chain was outprying them on examining the administration's goals.
Back in 2005, Newsweek ran with the words of a "unidentified American government official who had incomplete knowledge of the situation" that a copy of the Koran had been flushed down a toilet in Guantanamo Bay. Of course, the recent report of a soldier using the Koran for target practice was as loudly rejected...until it it was confirmed. I still believe Newsweek's retraction signaled to media to lay off looking deeper into the war or risk being called unpatriotic.
Now McClellan's speaking out loud in clear, measured, knowledgable tones that we were all unwitting soldiers marching off to war, not only as fearful volunteers but unpaid ones as well. We gave up our children, spouses and lovers in sacrifice to the campaign of spreading democracy all over the Middle East. Never mind we took over the wrong playground for the wrong reasons and threw the key over the fence so we can't get out gracefully. My only nagging thought is if McClellan talked to Fitzgerald about this, how did Cheney escape prosecution?
If I had a job, I'd buy McClellan's book to read about what nuggets haven't been pulled out yet. But I give him ceremonial cojones for leaving and writing what he knew for the sake of history.
Even whistleblower John Dean says this administration's deeds are "worse than Watergate."
Thanks, Scott. Time will reveal you did the right thing and you can sit on my porch since Bush's invitation on your resignation is probably a no-go now....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Manchurian Candidate redux?

If you read my earlier post on the subject, I was willing to offer a historic exit strategy to the Clinton campaign based on her ground-breaking run for the White House.
I had suggested she turn the moment into a clarion call for those women behind her who would dare to follow her path to electability. Lay the campaign gently down with class, grace and intelligence.
Today, she turned history on its ear. And ripped that ear off in a fashion worse than Mike Tyson did to Evander Holyfield.
In the same week Sen. Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the same week one newspaper illustrated Sen. Obama in the crosshairs of a rifle, Sen. Clinton evoked the image of the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy in a meager attempt to justify her continuing vault-over-reason campaign.
While commentator Keith Olbermann, among others, drew a line from the inference of an assassination from her mouth to Sen. Obama, I see a different line that should make white folks, even the hard-working ones, seethe.
In the dark recesses of her mind, is she counting on the possibility that some white person will attempt to take out her rival? Does she think whites are so base as to automatically resort to violence between now and January? Does she think so little of the people she claims to be a part of that she believes someone weak enough to cast a death threat will be crazy enough to carry it out?
With the exception of the two Puerto Rican nationals who tried to kill Pres. Harry S Truman in 1950 and the Palestinian convicted for killing RFK, all successful and would-be assassins have been white. And two were women. But in this election, Sen. Obama has been lifted almost to the ring of candidacy by white voters. They supported them even when blacks looked askance at his racial intent.
Were I a white American, I would be most offended that Sen. Clinton would assume that history would have to repeat itself as it did in June 1968.
Is this some sort of Manchurian Candidate-type chant to change the direction of inevitability? Does she agree with Mike Huckabee that violence gets a vote on deciding who the next president will be? Even women who have "drank her Kool-Aid" are now wondering if there was more than sugar in the mix.
The worst part of this is she never apologized. She "regretted" but never apologized. That's like "if I offended anyone, I apologize" as if the fact you have to say it doesn't mean you must have offended somebody.
Even if she blames it on fatigue, the President of the United States will be more fatigued than enduring a campaign. Do we want someone as a world leader to fall off the tact wagon so easily?
To borrow from Al Gore, "it's time for you to go," Hillary. And sleep well because your days are about to get longer...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh no, not the gender card again

A friend recently wrote on another website that Hillary's supporters, like Geraldine Ferraro, are mad because they believe the media's in Obama's pocket and everybody is sexist.
Mad ain't the word. This is like the feeling you get when you get beat in chess. You know in chess you always have to think several moves ahead to make sure you position your men in the best possible stance to win.
Obama beat Clinton in a political chess game with a move she never saw coming. And the best post-mortem she can come up with is that he and his crew are all sexist. The w(h)ine doesn't match the meal.
If Ferraro and the others supported Clinton purely because she is a woman, they sold her shorter than she sold herself. She wanted to run on her husband's past, they wanted her to run on a historical first. Didn't matter what she stood for. She should advance because she's a woman, the first to bring pockets and baggage with her for the race.
They're making feminists like me look bad as they go all wonky over the math not adding up for her.
I would not and have not ever voted for any woman just because she's a woman. I've been screwed over more by women than men in my life and I'm straight. And for the record, I'm not favoring Obama because he's black like me (although we both had white grandmothers). I looked over both candidate's platforms and his lined up with what I believe this country needs, although theirs are very similar.
Funny Ferraro and the others aren't calling the other candidates who've dropped out sexists for abandoning her fight against Obama.
This "sexist" cry is almost as annoying to me as the "white working-class" argument. And as my older sister said, "doesn't everybody work? Why do they call it working-class?" Of course, she also wants to know why we can get a list of superdelegates but not members of the electoral college. I can't answer that one, Pam...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Excellent NYT story on jobless

This exercise in job hunting in midlife is for the birds. Half the time, the contact people never send you a "You suck. We picked somebody else" letter. So you get stuck in this wallflower limbo and continue feverishly throwing resumes and snappy cover letters out the window in hopes someone thinks you worthy of an interview.
So imagine my surprise to see a story from the NY Times, who are also doing the desk do-si-do with offering buyouts to long-time, high priced employees. Hey, I thought, people are actually as depressed as I am. And yes, the language does change after you tell someone you lost your job or run into someone you use to work with and you want to ask how they're doing but you feel uncomfortable asking for fear they have a job now and you're still a schmuck.
So here's a cautionary tale: don't let this happen to you...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The fierce urgency of now

Today's title comes courtesy of Sen. Barack Obama, but it speaks more about the 18-30 year-olds who support him than why he's running for president.
And it says why he has a good chance of winning in November.
I saw an annual report on what this year's high school graduates have that their parents didn't. Like compact discs, plasma TVs and microwaves. This is the generation that has raised itself with television as babysitter and cultural sherpa. They are post-integration, post-affirmative action, post-civil rights and don't know that Richard and Mildred Loving went to court to keep their interracial marriage legal.
This is the "I want it and I want it now" generation who have found their kindred soul in the form of Barack Obama. His fierce urgency is now and so is theirs. Psychologists warned for years that praising our children and letting them have what they want when they want it instead of delayed or earned gratification will only increase their desires.
That's why I chuckled to myself when I saw a Republican pundit on TV say his own children were voting for Obama. Growing up with conservative values was not enough to keep them from favoring a Democratic candidate. They knew they liked what they saw and heard and they wanted him to be their president.
Parents, regardless of party preference, have told their children that everybody's equal and the playing field's level and if you play by the rules, you can succeed. And now our teachings have come back to haunt us. What are we gonna do, tell them no? That we lied to them? Even that Republican father couldn't tell his kids why they shouldn't support Obama. He displays that cool persona everybody really wants or wants to see in others. He's controlled under pressure and he knows when to smile even when there's nothing funny.
He's the me we want to be.
If he can play that on a world stage, this country will be back on top in no time. And he actually says stuff like he really believes it. Some kids can't get that at home. They get mixed messages and sometimes no attention at all. They're hungry for a real adult in their lives to make them want to do for others instead of their parents' Me first generation mentality. Talkin' bout my generation....

Game, set, match

This has to have been the world's longest political tennis match between Barack and Hillary. And just when it seemed like we'd have to go to a tiebreaker, John Edwards hands Barack a baseball bat to hit the ball out of the park.
For those not keeping score, Edwards got 7 percent of the West Virginia vote, meaning some people still support him. While I had been channelling Obama's people to persuade Colin Powell to be his running mate, John Edwards is the antidote for what's been ailing the Democratic Party.
And I feel so much better, even though my "don't trust anybody" voice is wondering how much is concerted effort and how much is hold-back-until-Obama-has-a-really-bad-primary.
In anyway, if Edwards becomes the VP pick, it is strategic genius. This is as good as the day Caroline Kennedy's words popped up in the New York Times.
And it is strategic genius to announce today that the two candidates would pool their money to create a presidential kitty for the campaign.
I gotta go cut down my nails 'cause the real fight for the White House begins now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hillary: Making history takes time

Let me start by saying that being an unemployed journalist has given me a longed-for political freedom. I am one of those weirdos who doesn't believe journos should be directly involved with political contests. That being said, one of my first acts of employment liberation was to donate $50 to Sen. Obama's campaign. Yeah, I said it. Took me a while to come around. My now ex-coworkers were on his wagon before I was but I had to vet the brother out.
All this to say that, in spite of my favoritism, I very much want people to get off Hillary's cheeks about getting out of the race. Yes, the numbers are stacked against her. Yes, Frosty's almost down to his last snowball. But I think people need to back up, regroup and contemplate on the historical air in all of this.
I'm typing as loud as I can but I know she can't hear me: go the distance, girl. Yeah, you'll be incredibly in the red, campaign-wise, but every woman and girl who supports your program is running right along with you like your dreams are tied to theirs. You owe it to them to complete the journey.
Just turn it into a nationwide tour on the power of women. Tell them to never give up on what they want and to hold on to the audacity of hope. Oh wait, that's Obama's phrase. No, finishing this is like crossing the line at a marathon when everybody's gone home. Do it because you're supposed to. This ain't like the Barbie doll who said "math is hard."
Do the damn thang. Don't get ragged and bloody with this toward the end of the season. Just see it to the end with grace and style and courage so the next woman who runs for president won't cower when things get thick and dicey. Leave a graceful, proven path so she'll know how to mix it up with the men and still have flawless skin.
You owe it to the future, Hillary, not to the past.

Welcome to my world

There are times when my brain screams me awake or won't even let me sleep because of a mental errand I forgot to run to its conclusion. For this and a few others reasons I'll unveil over time, I finally decided to create this blog.
To the friends and family that have read my screeds over the years and said "gurl, you need to put these thoughts somewhere," this is for you.
And although it seems odd to have the wedding before the engagement, I plan to be wedded to this blog and look forward to "engaging" my readers as I dissect my life and our world.