Sunday, November 16, 2014

I See Dead People

As a nation we genuinely have our priorities misplaced.  We are spending millions upon millions of dollars attempting to prevent people with Ebola from entering our country.  Don't get me wrong, Ebola is very frightening and we are not well prepared to fight this deadly infection.  And we had that one very well documented, reported and investigated case of a man from west Africa dying in Dallas, Texas.

Meanwhile tens of thousands of young Americans are dying every year due to gang and gun violence in virtually every American inner city and pocket of poverty.  Many, many are completely innocent, guilty of only being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  And many, like Laylah Peterson, are just children.  Laylah was shot and killed last week while sitting safely on her grandfather's lap in their own home in Milwaukee.  Two men fired shots into the house, for some unknown reason, and shot the child.



Laylah was white and the shooters allegedly were black and some are claiming this was racial violence.  I'm pretty certain the reason doesn't matter.  If you want to write this off to racial violence, I'll be happy to post the story of a black four year old girl shot the day before in nearby Racine, Wisconsin.  Here the shooters were also black. Race doesn't matter.

That fact is that deaths from Ebola here in the United States will be rare.  Yet by the time I finish writing this blog entry another child, perhaps two or three, will be dead from the massive violence right here in America.

You probably know all the steps we are taking to prevent Ebola, airport screenings, triage centers, CDC edicts, hospital preparedness and more.  We even have an Ebola Czar.

What are we doing to end youth violence in our inner cities? On a Federal level virtually nothing.  Not a damned thing.   Unless the victim is black and the shooter is a white policeman (or neighborhood watch patrolman), you are unlikely to hear a peep from the President or the U.S. Attorney General.   Again, this isn't about race, it's about priorities.

The greater St. Louis area is preparing for riots and an eruption of violent protests this week when the Grand Jury might possibly fail to indict patrolman Darren Wilson who fatally shot eighteen year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

"Hands up, don't shoot."  Do you suppose if little Laylah had raised her hands, they home invaders would have held their fire?

In Milwaukee there are no protests, there are no riots and there will be no violence over the murder of a 5 year old girl.  Police have few leads and there have been no arrests. There isn't even a person of interest. The FBI isn't there and neither is the justice department.

But by tomorrow there will be one or more similar murders in the same Milwaukee neighborhood.  And by next weekend there will be more.

My personal hero today is Milwaukee District Seven Alderman Willie C. Wade.  Alderman Wade is walking his district alone, knocking on doors, looking for a lead as to the identities of the shooters who killed five year old Laylah in cold blood.  He is hoping that his constituents will talk to him, a black, a trusted friend, when they might not talk or "snitch" to the police.



Willie C. Wade is a real hero.  We need more heroes.  I'm tired of seeing dead people,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ebola Infects the Presidency

Three Short Ebola Observations:


  • We American citizens were over confident and, well, downright smug about the ability of our vastly superior Health and Medical Structure to combat Ebola if it ever invaded our country.  Now, as it turns out, our strengths have proven to be our weakness.  In small African nations, the population is very poor and relatively stationary making it easy to locate and quarantine the infected people.
    Here in the United States, people are relatively wealthy and extremely mobile, taking trips constantly by plane, train, bus and even vacations on cruise ships.  In Africa an Ebola victim generally can only infect family, friends and very close neighbors.  Here anyone EXPOSED can jump on a plane, train or ship and expose hundreds or even thousands of people.  Our wealth and independence make controlling the disease both more difficult and vastly more expensive.
  • President Obama's extremely poor management style where no one is ever held accountable for anything, has created a massive bureaucracy of sheer incompetence throughout the Federal Government.  Never in our history has our government been less prepared to face a crisis.  As error after error piled up on the gross mishandling on the first Ebola patient, no one from the CDC ever did so much as issue an intelligent guideline, let alone provider hands-on direction to health care workers.  
    The hospital did not even have the correct protective gear for doctors and nurses for days.  The CDC never issued guidelines on how to handle the infection.  CDC Director Thomas Frieden, no matter how intelligent or educated he might be on infectious diseases, is a grossly incompetent manager. Worse, he is an ineffective spokesperson.  Many Democrats as well as virtually all Republicans are calling for his resignation.

    Peggy Noonan writes in The Wall Street Journal "The administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis continues to be marked by double talk, runaround and gobbledygook. And its logic is worse than its language. In many of its actions, especially its public pronouncements, the government is functioning not as a soother of public anxiety but the cause of it."
    To be certain Mr. Klain will have, as his primary job, communicating with the press and public.  Since he cannot credibly answer a single question, the press will eat him alive and the public will further lose confidence in the Obama Administration.
    You would think at least on person advising the President would have said, "Sir, you know this appointment of a political manager is going to look very bad and will reflect poorly on your continued handling of this crisis.  This IS NOT a political crisis, Sir, it's a medical crisis." 

    Perhaps it was said. Perhaps the President chose not to listen.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Ebola: Coming to a City Near You

Zsuzsanna Jakab, the European Director of the World Health Organization warned today that Ebola is certain to spread throughout Europe.  He stated it was "quite unavoidable."

This warning was tempered in a way that he hoped would not frighten Europe but enable them to prepare for the certainty that people in their countries, and perhaps their cities would contract the disease. 

It's not easy to contract Ebola, but it is difficult to provide the necessary isolation to keep the disease from spreading.  Fear is our very worst enemy.  People will lie to both avoid isolation and to seek treatment.  It's a dangerous brew.


Jakab's warning should have been made for the United States as well.  As it spreads through Europe it will invade the USA increasingly often.  And we lack practical methods of prevention, reasonable methods of isolation, and we have zero efforts at education.  


I'm frankly more worried about the impact on our economy even more than our national health.  Even a relatively minor outbreak will frighten most citizens.  And frightened citizens do desperate things.  The cost of prevention will be astronomical.


As has been the case under President Obama, virtually every threat has been underestimated, minimized or dismissed by the administration.  Ebola is no different.  We need a national health response plan now and our citizens need to be educated and informed to avoid panic.  



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Will Hatred Ever Be Replaced with Understanding? Remembering Sue Kim Hanson on 9/11

Last night I prepared to watch President Barack Obama's Address to the Nation about the latest continuation in the war with Islamic Terrorists, the SIS or ISIL threat in Iraq and Syria.  Megan Kelly on Fox News interrupted her broadcast to show the twin beams of light thasat had, seconds ago, be illuminated on the site of the 9/11 attack.  It is a beautiful site, a beacon of strength, hope and spirit.


And yet here we are, thirteen years later, facing the same threat that destroyed so many lives on Spetember 11, 2001 and we face the same threat, perhaps even greater.  It is a threat based entirely on blind hatred.

Can we ever possibly overcome that?  Are we doomed to an ageless war that will eventually destroy us all?

September 11, 2001 was horrific.  In a few short hours 2,996 were murdered by the same terror from Islamic Fundamentalists that threatens us today.  We will make it through today? Last year the terrorists attacked Benghazi on the Anniversary of 9/11 just to commemorate the anniversary of the attack.  Our Ambassador and three others were murdered.

Since 2006 I have maintained my own small commemoration of the tragedy that was 9/11 by repeating here in this blog the story of Sue Kim Hanson and her husband Peter and their beautiful daughter Christine who were killed in the holocaust of 9/11.  I've placed a series of links at the bottom of this post to each of the preceding eight years of blog entries.

Last year I wrote that I hoped we might eventually learn to replace hate with love if we focus on the people, their lives, their loves, hopes, fears and dreams.  With a heavy heart this morning I light again that small candle of hope.  I believe understanding and love may somehow overcome hatred and evil.  At least I pray so in the memory of Sue Kim, Peter and Christine.

Please join me in remembering Peter Hanson, the handsome, young software engineer, Sue Kim Hanson, his Korean-American bride, and their two their old daughter, Christine.

The Hanson's were killed when United Flight 175 was hijacked by the terrorists and purposely crashed into the World Trade Center.

-------------------------------------------------------

Susan Kim Hanson was one of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack that took the lives of 2,996 souls in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the fields of Pennsylvania.

Sue, her husband Peter, and her two year old daughter Christine were on United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Her daughter Christine was the youngest victim of the September 11th attack.

Sue Kim HansonSue was a great scientist in the making. She was a doctoral candidate in micro-biology immunology at Boston University and working on her final thesis. Her work promised to reveal the workings of a chemical believed to regulate immune responses. She had isolated in lab mice a gene suspected of being involved in asthma sufferers and AIDS patients. Her work had the potential to help millions of people.

Susan Kim was one of those wonderful American success stories. A Korean-American, Sue had lived with her grandmother in Korea until she was 6. Her mother died when she was 15 and she was raised by her strict Korean father. Through hard work and discipline, sacrifice, dedication and sheer will power she neared the goal her mother and father and grandmother had hoped she would achieve, her doctorate degree.

Dr. Hardy Kornfeld, Hanson's thesis adviser, said "She was sort of fearless. Sue just took on tasks that were incredibly challenging, and more often than not she was able to make a go at them."

That she would be attracted to the wild and undisciplined Peter Hanson was a great surprise. Three years younger than Sue Kim, Peter gained his education by following The Grateful Dead. Peter believed that the group and its music would become classics, up there with Beethoven, Bach and company, and he tried to sway the opinion of anyone who would listen. Many of our listeners to Wizard Radio would certainly agree with Peter.


But even if Sue wasn't quite convinced about the Dead, she believed in Peter. And her faith was well placed. Peter was, by all accounts, a brilliant software engineer, a great salesman and a wonderful person.

He was passionate about Sue and Sue fell head over heals in love with Peter. She obviously had a great effect on him.
Legacy.com has a reprint of a New York Times article about Sue that tells the story:
    "The relationship spurred Peter Hanson to clip his tangle of brownish-red dreadlocks, trade in tie-dyed T- shirts for suits, go to business school and become one of the best software salesmen his friends and family had ever met. He was vice president of marketing at TimeTrade in Waltham, Mass."

    "Her bond with the Hansons was so strong that they accompanied her to California when she went to inform her father about her engagement. She worried that her father would protest because Peter Hanson was not Korean. But her family embraced the Hansons."
Sue and Peter were married and had a beautiful daughter. Sue continued to pursue her doctoral degree. She was scheduled to defend her thesis in November, 2001.
Sue, Peter and ChristineTaking a last break before finalizing her research and thesis, Sue, Peter and Christine were on their way to visit the Sue's father and grandmother in California, and take Christine to Disneyland, when they boarded United Airlines Flight 175. Peter was one of those who made a final cell phone call to his parents moments before the plane crashed into the south tower.

Sue's friend
Mona Pengree writes, "Sue was awarded her PhD posthumously, as her professor finished her work on her behalf. This is a wonderful picture of her, and she shone every bit as brightly in person. Probably more. Her loss was a loss to all mankind."

Sue gave a great deal to Boston University and she gave a great deal to all of us. Her work in immunology inspired her fellow students, faculty and the University to continue her research and finish her thesis. They awarded her a doctorate degree. And they established the Sue Kim Hanson Lecture In Immunology, not just to honor her memory, but to give full credit to her work and the inspiration, the strength and the courage Sue provides to us all.

Michelle Malkin wrote this in her syndincated column:

"Eight children were murdered on hijacked airliners that crashed on Sept. 11. Christine Hanson, 3, was on United Airlines Flight 175 with her parents. She was on her first trip to Disneyland. Christine was brown-eyed and rosy-cheeked and button-nosed. At family meals, she made everyone stand and hold hands while singing the theme song from Barney. During Christine's funeral, mourners re-enacted the scene, singing:

"I love you, you love me . . ." "

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Back in 2006, the 2,996 Project asked bloggers to prepare tributes to all who died in the tragic events of September 11th. Many of those blog entries remain on line and many will be reprinted today.   Each year since the project began I have repeated my effort to honor Sue Kim, Peter and Christine.  You can read each of my essays following the links below:

September 11, 2006 - Susan Kim Hanson

September 11, 2007 - Remembering Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2008 - Remembering Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2009 - Remembering the Reality: 9-11-2001: Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2010 - Reflections on the Life of Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2011 - Tears in Tragedy - Remembering Sue Kim Hanson

September 11, 2012 - Honoring the Memory of Peter, Sue and Christine Hanson

September 11, 2013 - The Tragedy of War, The Victims of Hate - Remembering Peter, Sue Kim and Christine Hanson

Friday, August 29, 2014

"...you have to get shot by a white cop to get any justice..."


America's Genocide continues every day.  It's a damned shame American's don't know about the "killing fields" right in their own country,  Maybe they know but they don't care. Maybe they're just numb.

Here's just one story. Marcus McCarty, only 14 years old, was fatally shot Sunday afternoon. He's just one of several young black men murdered on Sunday. There is no day of rest in America's killing fields. 

Marcus was standing on the sidewalk when two older boys (or men) walked up. One of them was carrying a gun and opened fire, striking the boy in the back. The murderers walked calmly back to their Infinity and drove away.

Marcus was rushed to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, but was pronounced dead minutes after arrival.

As is often the case, no arrests have been made and no one is in custody for the shooting.

The story received almost no press, but here is a short story in the Chicago Homicide Watch.

In the middle of the afternoon on Sunday in a residential neighborhood, it is likely several people witnessed the murder.  Gangs and criminals have instilled a "don't snitch" mentality into the folks who must live in the area the gang controls.

In addition we cannot minimize the impact of the police killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri two weeks ago.  Inner city blacks already didn't trust the police.

The saddest comment of all came is a comment attached to the story linked above. 
In his comment a person using the name "Tracksuit Al" noted (quite correctly), Sickening that you have to get shot by a white cop to get any justice in this country if you're black.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

America's Genocide

No teenager, black, brown or white should ever be murdered by a police officer.  Not ever.

Fortunately, it actually is a very rare occurrence, in spite of what you might "feel" after listening to the non-stop television reports and the rantings of certain pundits.  In  fact, it makes the national news because it is so rare.  We can spend hours upon hours concentrating on the events in Ferguson, Missouri because not one other similar event (white officer, black victim) happened since that date.  I am thankful for that.

But events in Ferguson further distract us from the real American Genocide happening EVERY SINGLE DAY WITHOUT EXCEPTION all across America.  Not one of these stories make national news. Not one of these genocidal murders ever gets the attention of President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, or any leaders in the Black community.

None-the-less, black teenage males are being murdered at an alarming rate, every day.  The dead numbers in the thousands just this year.  When do we make this a priority? When do we step in to save lives? When do we stop the Genocide?



Thirteen year old Nizzear Rodriguez was shot and killed Sunday in Atlanta by three black men (ages 17 to 24) as he slept in bed during a home robbery to steal his Play Station.



Nine year old Antonio Smith was shot and killed execution style, shot four time, just minutes after he ran outdoors to play. in his Chicago South Side neighborhood.  

The shooter or shooters have not been identified and the crime may never be solved. The Chicago Tribune has an excellent story here: Parents Visit the Block Where Antonio Was Killed

I could go on...... I have over seventy more stories in just over the last ten days......

We cry for justice for Michael Brown, exactly as we should, but we ignore the American Genocide of young black men happening right before our eyes.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Straight Talk from Rand Paul

Ferguson, Missouri, USA is downright scary.

I think nearly everyone in America who is aware of the police shooting of an unarmed 18 year old boy, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri and the aftermath of riots and police confrontation is terrified by what is happening there.

This level of racism in the midwest was unexpected.  And the attitudes of the police in their interactions with the public and the press after the shooting is frightening.  We have a police force that is genuinely out of control and we don't know what to do about it.

Unfortunately 99 percent of the nations politicians are busy staking out their old, worn-out, pre-programmed, hackneyed political positions.

Imagine my surprise this morning to find one politician is actually, "gasp," telling the truth.  Even more remarkably, it is a Republican, telling truths his fellow Republicans generally don't want to hear.


My hero today is Senator Rand Paul.  Writing in Time Magazine he attacks the issue of Racism head on:
Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.
If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.
More importantly Ron Paul attacks head on the over-reaction, military style response from the police who are attempting, unsuccessfully, to address the reaction of the people of Ferguson.

Republicans generally want to defend the police, but here their actions are indefensible. Paul knows that and takes the issues head on.
The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.
Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security. This has been a cause I have championed for years, and one that is at a near-crisis point in our country.
It is incredibly refreshing to hear a politician, especially in an election year, tell people the truth and address the issues affecting our nation. We don't need sugar coated, focus group tested, platitudes. We need to be able to handle the truth. I urge you to read Senator Puals full essay here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Ok, I don’t know where to go with that"



"Ok, I don’t know where to go with that."

Assuming you've seen the Sprint "Framily" commercials you recognize that line, spoken by the father (alright, he is a hamster living in a plastic ball) in response to his rather dim witted son Chuck's comment at the dinner table with "Grandpa." Here is a link to the commercial in case you somehow missed it ---> Dinner with Grandpa

Dad's frustrated punch line in the commercial, "Ok, I don’t know where to go with that," mirrors my frustration with the inexplicable behavior of our virtually absent Commander in Chief, who appears to be nearly totally uninterested in world events in Gaza, the Ukraine or Libya, the border crisis here in the United States or even his own plummeting poll numbers.  He seems to be blissfully ignoring them all.

Surely President Obama is not as dim witted as Chuck in the above mentioned commercial.  So what is he doing?  It's a great mystery to nearly everyone.

Frustration among Democrats is starting to boil over as President Obama faces criticism from many members of his own party in Congress who simply don't understand why he is so unengaged, detached or oblivious to events swirling around him.

He demonizes Republicans at every chance (mostly at fundraisers), but never attempts to actually engage them. He claims to have a "pen and a telephone" but the telephone is never used.  He never calls John Boehner or Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan in an attempt to broker a deal, reach a compromise and reduce tension.  He quite literally has no friends or allies in Congress or anywhere on the world stage.

The entire nation, indeed the entire world, simply "doesn't know where to go with that."  No one alive today has ever seen the President of the United States simply abdicate his role in world affairs.

Yesterday, spokesmen from the White House suddenly gave credence to the wildly speculative talk of possible Impeachment.  I simply must say, "Ok, I don’t know where to go with that."  It's almost as if they wish Republicans would engage in that behavior as it might actually raise the President's approval rating much as it did for President Clinton. Perhaps they believe talk of impeachment would help turn out Democrats in the fall elections.

However, curiously, two polls about his possible impeachment were released yesterday.  It's laughable to read CNN's downplaying the fact that their own poll indicated an astonishing 35% of Americans favor impeachment.  That number is huge and more than a little scary.

The media downplayed a Fox News Poll, also released yesterday, that showed a nearly identical 36% favor impeachment.

I don't believe that impeachment is even a remote possibility today. House Speaker John Boehner says it's "off the table."

But.... If Barack Obama continues his absentee role as President and his approval rating continue to fall.... and more Democrats continue to criticize him... well, "Ok, I don’t know where to go with that."

--------------------------------

Perhaps because I spent a good part of my career in Advertising I really appreciate the genius of the new Sprint "Framily" commercials. They have become a cultural phenomena.  Virtually everyone I meet, both friends and random acquaintances seem to know virtually every line from every commercial in the series.  It is a client's dream and I'm sure Sprint loves that this series of commercials has gone viral.

The voice of Dad, also known as Tom Frobinson (the hamster), is voiced by Andrew Dice Clay.  The part of Mom, or "Tacos" Mollie Frobinson in the commercials is played by brilliant Judy Greer  The son "You can also text" Chuck is played by Kyle Mooney. And the part of "It's pronounced Gor-don" is played  fantastically by Justin Michael.

The series of commercials, referred to in the industry as "The Frobinsons" was created by Figliulo & Partners and is their first campaign for Sprint.  The campaign was created in partnership with DigitasLBi and MediaVest and designed to promote a rather unique cellular telephone plan now called the Sprint Framily Plan.  Under Sprint's concept you get to decide exactly who you consider to be members of your "Framily." It can be actual family, friends, acquaintances, roommates or even hamsters.  The more members of your "Framily" the lower the bill for each member.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job,"

"Brownieyou're doing a heck of a job," is probably the most famous quote by any President in our lifetime.  President Bush's praise of FEMA Director Michael Brown during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 illustrated to ALL the American public exactly how out of touch the President was concerning the unfolding disaster in New Orleans.  The public was watching the disaster unfold, live, on television.  President Bush, briefed badly by incompetent advisers simply had no idea what was happening.

Bush rallied and by all impartial accounts did a masterful job in directing the efforts in the aftermath of Katrina, making over a dozen grueling trips and personally overseeing every aspect of the recovery*, but he is always remembered for that one quote.


Because we are now so used to President Obama lying about absolutely everthing, his stating that he's “not interested in photo ops" in defending his decision to not visit the border even one time will never receive the legendary status of the Bush "Brownie" quote.  Never-the-less it does illustrate exactly how horribly out of touch he is concerning the current border immigration crisis.


Fortunately ABC NEWS is covering the situation in depth.  Their report Here's What Obama Would See If He Visited the Border is frightening.  Be certain to read and watch the entire story at the link above. Below is a tiny portion of the report.




Children, wrapped only in Red Cross blankets, sleep on cement floors. Hundreds of young children apprehended at the border are crowded into sanitary but impersonal detention cells, their faces pressed listlessly against the glass.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, told ABC News that the president risks looking “detached,” calling the optics “horrible.”
“If you go down to the border, he has to see the kids that I’ve seen, young girls, young boys, you know, that have come through very difficult situations. It is a humanitarian crisis, and he can either do two things,” Cuellar said. “One, as a leader, he can be defiant and say I’m going to roll up my sleeves and see the humanitarian crisis. Or he can look detached, appear detached and say I’m doing everything long distance.”
Today it is certainly Barack Obama who is out of touch.  And, unlike President Bush during Katrina, Obama isn't doing a damned thing to alleviate the situation,  Instead he demonizes Republicans.  He makes speeches calling Republican's evil.  He doesn't even try to win over popular public support. He seems more interested in making enemies than allies. He has yet to appeal to the American Public, who would, most assuredly, rally to the cause.

Today it is Glenn Beck of all people who is doing the right thing for all the right reasons.  It is Beck who is illuminating the crisis and it is Beck who is appealing directly to the American People for support, tolerance and understanding.  


The President ought to ask Glenn Beck for a ride and join him on the border.  The President ought to appeal to the public for donation, support and a willingness to take in refugees in their local communities.  The President ought to pretend, for just a few hours to be a leader.  Frankly, Obama needs a photo-op.


------------------------------------------------

* See and read how President Bush handled the aftermath of the Katrina Crisis in Jonathan Tilove's New Orleans Times-Picayune article written in October 2009

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Nation Cries out for a Leader

For five and one half years we've had, as President, a man who loves the trappings of the office, but dislikes and avoids any of the real responsibilities of the job.  Barack Obama is a gifted orator, perhaps the greatest to even hold the office of President. He is a visionary and a man who, at least at one time, had a real feel for the pulse of the people.

He has vision, but lacks virtually any ability.  He is not a leader and he is not, most certainly, a politician.  He cannot negotiate and is completely unwilling to compromise.  He rails daily against Republicans for not bending to his will, but never works with them to achieve a mutual advantage.  Mutual being the operative word.

Slowly, but surely, the press and the public have turned against him. Today most people (a surprisingly large majority) wish they had elected Mitt Romney president. Add me to that column, because today we really need a President. And we don't have one.

Because he has no ability to manage the office, Barack Obama has checked out. Republican's claim Obama has chosen to become an "Imperial President," acting on his own as if he were a king.  Even that is not true, he simply has embarked on a two and a half year retirement tour doing the only thing he knows how to do, give speeches to dwindling and increasingly hostile crowds.

Have we ever had a President have complete breakdown in office?  Rumor has it that Woodrow Wilson did.  Wilson's wife managed much of the last years of his Presidency.

Today the border and immigration problem has reached crisis proportions.  The administration is furtively hiding tens of thousands of illegal immigrants all over the country, many of them children.  Even Congressmen and Governors are being kept on the dark, not allowed to visit immigrants or encampments or even allowed to know the locations where illegal immigrants are held. Rumors are rampant.

Rich Lowrey (yes, I know he is a partisan Republican) has written a brilliant essay in The New York Post, The President's Man Caused Disaster. Below are some key points, rearranged and abbreviated by me. Be certain you follow the link above and read his original and complete essay.


The first rule in a crisis for any executive is put on his windbreaker and boots and get out on the ground. President George W. Bush didn’t do it soon enough after Hurricane Katrina and, politically, could never make up for it.
Obama’s bizarre resistance to visiting the border on his fundraising swing out West fueled talk of the influx as Obama’s “Katrina moment.”
The president didn’t have any depressing visits to frightened ranchers, overwhelmed border agents or desperate migrants on his itinerary.
Obama’s policies are responsible for the influx of immigrants from the border. It is, in the argot of his administration, a “man-caused disaster.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of immigrants younger than 18 who were deported or turned away from ports of entry declined from 8,143 in 2008 to 1,669 last year. There were 95 minors deported from the entire interior of the country last year.
At the same time, the number of unaccompanied alien children arriving from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras exploded from less than 4,000 several years ago to 40,000 since last October.
The White House brushes off criticism that Obama is avoiding the border as mere “optics,” in contrast to its highly substantive focus.
But it’s still not taking the crisis seriously. In a letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett downgraded the erstwhile “humanitarian crisis” on the border (the president’s words) to an “urgent humanitarian situation.”
When pressed on the shift in verbiage, ever-judicious White House press secretary Josh Earnest explained that it is both a crisis and a situation. Yes, it’s that bad.
The real question is can President Obama "Man Up" and accept the responsibilities of President?  We really need a leader.  Actually we really need several leaders.



In 1974 it was a trio of Republicans in Congress who grew to accept the challenge and face down another "Imperial President," Richard Nixon.  It would have been impossible for a Democrat, a member of the opposition, to carry the hard facts to President Nixon.  If the crisis in leadership in 1974 was to be solved, it had to be done by members of the President's own party.

It was Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes and Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who had both the integrity and courage to face President Nixon with the news that he must resign for the good of the country.

It is quite interesting that just a few days ago Barack Obama named Richard Nixon as one of the Republicans he most admires [LINK: Obama's speech in Austin Texas]

Let's hope President Obama does not have to resign. Let's hope he can become the President our country so desperately needs.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Can Americans Ever Work Together Again?



This morning I watched Bob Schieffer's Face the Nation, as I often do. Bob's calm and disciplined look at politics and political issues is a refreshing break from the hyperbole found on the highly partisan cable news networks.  People are not yelling at each other but actually talking with each other.

One of Bob's guest commentators this morning was Todd S. Purdum, author of a new book about the passing of the landmark civil rights legislation during another time of great political partisanship, An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964

After discussing the book, Bob Schieffer wondered if we would ever see this type of cooperation between the political parties again.  Please keep in mind that is was a coalition of a majority of Republicans with only some Democrats who actually passed the Civil Right's Bill.

The answer to Schieffer's plaintive plea is actually in the book.  The answer in 1964 was President Lyndon B. Johnson's incredible style of management of the political process. Johnson never once even imagined, let alone threatened that would "bypass Congress" or usurp the Constitution to accomplish his difficult task.  Instead Johnson masterfully worked across the aisle to win support.

Lyndon B. Johnson picked up the phone, quite literally all day, every day and talked with supporters and opponents of the bill.  He wanted to understand, genuinely understand, the reasons so many in Congress opposed the bill.  He wanted to learn  how he could win the support of those who wavered.  He used the power of persuasion and politics.  He horse-traded. He cajoled. He begged and he promised.  And he enacted what is one of the single most contentions pieces of legislation even enacted in our nation's history.

I genuinely believe President Barack Obama could get immigration reform passed if he could just bring himself to stoop down to the level of one of the greatest politicians in our nations's history, and one of our greatest statesmen, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Judy Woodruff and the Betrayal of America by the Main Stream and Liberal Media

A brief five second statement, really almost an side comment in the midst of a larger discussion, illustrated the nearly complete bankruptcy of our Main Stream Media and our beloved Liberal Media in the face of major scandal in the Obama Administration.

The side comment was made by Judy Woodruff, the co-anchor of Public Broadcasting's PBS Newshour.  She is one of the leading luminaries at PBS and a highly respected journalist.  Her candid comment tells us everything that is going wrong in main stream Journalism today.

The discussion took place today on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday.  The complete transcript of the hour long program is available here: Kevin McCarthy talks Iraq, future of the GOP; latest on IRS scandal.  

As Wallace's panel on pundits discussed the stunning disappearance of two years of Lois Lerner's emails and the highly improbable instantaneous failure of not just one but six individual computer hard drives (on six different computers) all happening exactly ten days after Congress began questioning the IRS about the targeting of Conservative Groups.  Any (and I do mean ANY) computer expert or engineer will tell you this is simply impossible.

Worse, the hard drives were not repaired of reclaimed, but destroyed.  Destroyed, ten days after Congress began asking questions.  Stunning, in fact it's frightening.

This scandal is much worse than Watergate in both the facts and implications.  Now I doubt the President is involved, but this is a conspiracy of huge proportions. We need a Special Prosecutor.

But what was upsetting this morning was not any of that.  What's upsetting was Woodruff's candid admission:   Well, what I can say, Chris, is I haven't reported this story. I haven't -- I don't know what happened inside the IRS.

What's tragic here is that PBS has willfully ignored the story and has spent not one second investigating or even exploring the implications of a massive, coordinated government cover-up.

Had this exact same situation occurred with a Republican President, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I or Bush II, PBS would be tearing the very walls of the IRS down the ground.  And they should be doing it now.  We only survive as a free democracy with the aid and protection of a vibrant, active press.

FOX NEWS has few resources and limited access.  They cannot carry the ball alone.  Plus they might distort the story.  We need ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS on the case.

We cannot survive as a free nation if the main stream media only does it's job when a Republican is President. The press is either going to have to start doing their damned job or we can simply never elect a Democrat President again.