Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Three relatively small notes in a short blog entry to begin the New Year....

The Good

I find a great deal to like about Roland Burris, the former Attorney General of Illinois, who has been appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Blagojevich to fill the United States Senate Seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

In an effort to redeem himself, Blagojevich made an excellent pick. And, not coincidentally, put the U.S. Senate is a very awkward position.

I am hopeful that the Senate will find a compromise that will allow Burris to be seated. Senator Harry Reid is sending some hopeful signals.

The Bad

I have been 100% supportive of Barack Obama's choices for his staff and Cabinet. He has shown great judgement and is building a solid team.

But I am in no way disappointed to see New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdraw his name from consideration for Commerce Secretary.

My issue is NOT the current Grand Jury investigation into Richardson's awarding of contracts to his financial supporters. That might well end Richardson's career, but it's not my issue.

I lost all respect for Bill Richardson's intelligence and judgement when he proposed a six month withdrawal timetable from Iraq during the fall election campaign. I realized this was just one-upsmanship in campaigning as Richardson gasped for air in his long-shot candidacy. But the proposal was just plain dumb. And, I believe the man actually is "just plain dumb." Obama is much better off without him.

The Ugly

We are about to see death on a massive scale in Gaza as Israel launches a ground offensive. This is a tragic moment in a long and tragic conflict.

But one of the worst moments came earlier today when the bodies of a slain Hamas leader's small children were paraded through the streets of Gaza in an effort to enrage the entire Palestinian population into becoming human sacrifices facing the incoming Israeli army.

The death of these ten children, as well as Nizar Rayan's four wives, was unnecessary and completely avoidable. Rayan ignored repeated warnings to send his children and wives to safety. In effect, Rayan planned the death of his family.

So the children were used for propaganda purposes.
The Daily Mail Online reports, "In grisly scenes, mourners held up the bloodied bodies of the children to the cameras in a clear attempt to blacken Israel's name and highlight its brutality. Graphic images showed the young children's uncovered faces as the victims were carried by thousands of angry Hamas supporters during the funeral procession."

We in the west simply cannot understand this level of hatred. We work to protect our families and to shelter our children, not send them to slaughter for political and public relations gains.

The Internet is littered with these pictures. You will not find them here.


Stella said...

Aw, Gee, Wizard. Say you don't mean it about Richardson. Look at his record.

I don't know if he is crooked or not: but his record is dynamic for human rights.

On the other hand, On The Issues (I love this site), printed a similar story to the one that had him bowing out of the Cabinet:

Peregrine Systems was a San Diego-based software company whose CEO was Stephen Gardner, brother-in-law of Richardson’s wife. Richardson was put on the board as an outside director from Feb. 2001. During this period, the directors were trying to hide financial dealings, including non-existent sales, and hiding the severity of its losses. The company eventually went into bankruptcy and Gardner was later charged with securities fraud. When he ran for governor, Richardson got away with claiming “I had an involvement because I was an ‘outside director’“ --he didn’t attend numerous meetings and ”didn’t have time“ to read corporate reports, he said.

But according to the San Diego Reader, ”Records show that Richardson attended, in person or by phone, 15 board meetings. In those meetings, directors were hearing that the company might get caught cooking the books.“

In May 2002 the company announced it had found accounting irregularities and the stock collapsed. Richardson resigned in June.


And, yes, trying to get out of Iraq in six months was overly optimistic. It was all about politics: most politicians make promises they can't keep to get elected. However, like him, I wish we could have found a way.

Under Clinton, Richardson did a spectacular job. And you did it again, Wizard: a spectacular job giving me food for thought.

Rusty Shackleford said...

I fully agree with your assesment of the Burris appointment.Its been reported today that Harry Reid called Blagojevich prior to Patrick Fitzgerald's announced investigation asking the governor not to appointment one of three black candidates (one being Jesse Jackson Jr.)to the open senate seat,because,he Reid, felt neither could win in 2010.Interesting.

Stella said...

Rusty Shackleford? LOL, I love King of the Hill. Don't let 'em find you in your bunker.

Lee said...

How will Roland Burris play out in the MSM? Tainted? Untouchable due to race? or what...

I'm agreeing with you on Richardson.

When Hamas came to power, the bulk of my friends new it was a matter of time before violence.

I think your previous post would be better titled "Peace was never an option".

Where is the Common ground when one side wants the other side dead and buried?

Stella said...

Aw, Lee. Both sides want each other dead and buried.

Lee said...

So I did a quick look see around the various MSM sites about Richardson and Leon Panetta. Looks like they are asleep at the wheel or they just do not care about scandals anymore.

Not surprised.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

I am unhappy about Panetta. It's Obama's first big mistake..... but it's a doozy!

I hope to do a whole entry on this later, if time permits.

Lee said...

Had Republicans refused to seat a legally qualified African-American appointee, the MSM would have covered this much differently.
If Harry Reid were a Republican they would have demanded his resignation for his lack of sensitivity.

More and more I see the MSM out of control and not held accountable.

Vigilante said...

Just pausing long enough to state for the benefit of the historical record:

I am not a fan of:
1. Bill Richardson.
2. Roland Burris
3. Nizar Rayan

Never have been, never will be.

Stella said...

For once, Vig and I part company—well, slightly. I was happy about Richardson's appointment. However, after reading the possible fraud from the comment I posted. His current investigation with the Beverly Hills company to which he awarded a contract for New Mexico and they, out of the goodness of their hearts, gave him $100,000 for his campaign.

I was disappointed because his progressive record was undermined.

BTW, Lee, your comment "If Harry Reid were a Republican they would have demanded his resignation for his lack of sensitivity" is true. Hell, I wanted his resignation. He's not someone I would want as my Senator.

Vigilante said...

Well, Stella, Richardson is the best of the lot. By far, too! I'll hand you that much. I just don't know why Liberals love him so. I don't live in New Mexico. That must be my problem. He's never done anything for me, that I know of. 'Cept endorse Obama, which was a big thing at the time. What else?

sm said...