Seems like cruel and unusual punishment that the translators don’t get burgers or even fries!
I saw a headline today that found that something like 51% of Americans polled say they favor some kind of military action against North Korea. If true, that’s shocking and appalling all in one shot.
At a time in which we are still heavily involved in Iraq and ramping back up in Afghanistan, I can not believe so many people would favor opening up another front. For one thing, if the lives lost don’t phase you, than I don’t know how you can ignore the economic damage our foreign entanglements are doing to us.
Maybe it’s just ignorance. Maybe some Americans aren’t aware that we already fought a hard war against the North Korea. Maybe people don’t realize how heavily armed they are or that they have nuclear capability. I’m betting most who responded in favor of military action don’t have a son or daughter among the many U.S. Troops stationed in South Korea.
Mostly I’m betting that people search for easy answers and don’t really think when they answer poll questions. I don’t want to believe the alternative which is that Americans like war.
My vision of America is a strong country that fights only when it must and views war as a last resort. You know, kind of like the one that stopped Adolf Hitler.
Governor and now Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin introduced herself to America tonight. She did OK on the big stage. And she may yet prove to be an asset to John McCain.
It was still very surreal to see her up there. It really felt like something out of a movie. Here was someone coming out of nowhere to claim a 50% shot at the second spot in our society and government. I couldn’t help feeling like I’d like the plot a lot more if she’d somehow done more to earn it.
Despite much of the right’s protests against allegedly liberal media, it should be noted that MSNBC (not Fox News) served up tons of shots of Palin’s handsome family. In particular, the cameras repeatedly showed Palin’s youngest daughter holding her younger brother, who has special needs.
Palin and her family came across as real, nice, and ordinary Americans. I truly got goose bumps when she spoke about her young son and her eldest who is soon off to Iraq. So, job well done there.
As for her speech, Palin had no major bumps despite someone having to be escorted out for trying to (I think) run toward the stage in the middle of it. During the speech, Plain showed she wouldn’t be shy about slamming Obama with the lines provided to her by the GOP’s yucksters. A particularly good one was the one about a community organizer being like a mayor except without any real responsibilities. A good zinger there, but of course it ignored both Obama’s time as a State and US Senator and her own lack of credentials to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Mostly, and remember I’m really trying hard to stay undecided until the debates, watching her speech as well as the entire night tonight, I was struck by one major item. This campaign and perhaps this party is flat out of ideas. What I heard from Sarah Palin and company was a lot of negativity about their opponents, repeated promises to bring vaguely defined change and of course the same tired GOP standards.
I think if Palin is really to help McCain and frankly if McCain is to help his own cause, they need to come up with some ideas of their own. No doubt, as we heard over and over and over again tonight, John McCain is a bonafide war hero. America certainly owes him a debt for his service. America does not, however, owe him the presidency no matter how honorable his service and how horribly he was tortured. Despite his military record, McCain still has to earn the job.
Equally, it’s absolutely true that the Republican base is going to go hook, link and sinker for the following appeals that defined tonight’s session: liberals are the problem, the media is the problem, our enemies are the problem. For the core, chanting “USA, USA” and “America First” is going to be enough to get their vote out for McCain and Palin.
My guess and hope for America is that the undecided will need more in order to commit to McCain. McCain owes it to himself and us to define himself in terms beyond his war service no matter how honorable and the standard GOP scare tactic appeals.
As you can probably tell from this post, tonight’s session only further drove this undecided away from McCain. What is it about getting thousands of Republicans in a room together that results in an underlying negativity that has always scared the crap out of me?
As for the Democrats, they too issued a lot of their same cliched appeals at their convention. But, at the end of it, I got a real sense of where Barack Obama wants to take this country. I don’t know if he can get us there, but it was an exciting possibility and vision for tomorrow.
The vision is what McCain and Palin need. Sarah Palin didn’t trip up tonight. She proved likable if not presidential, but there’s still time to get her there.
The GOP tripped up tonight. If Sarah Palin is going to be a game changer then she has to bring a vision. For all her success tonight, I just didn’t see it. I’m guessing it’s not there.
Rudy Giuliani said tonight that his time as a lawyer taught him that when the facts aren’t on your side you make up new ones.
Tonight, we learned that when you’re out of any new ideas or any fresh vision, you just go to the old standbys and get the crowd chanting “USA, USA”.
I love America as much and maybe more than the next guy, but here’s hoping that undecideds ask for a few more specifics from the party that plunged us into an unnecessary war before chanting along. And I say this only because I want John McCain and America to be the best they can be.
God bless America.
Hey Palestinians! Good news! Bin Laden’s on the case. Clearly, it’s only a matter of time until all of your problems are solved! Just ask those cats in the Taliban!
Osama Bin Laden (or someone playing the role) recently explained on newly released audio tapes that the reason Bin Laden and his crew is fighting western civilization (us) is the Palestinian struggle.
I think most reasonable people want a fair solution to the Palestinian/Israeli problem. Americans do understand that there’s two sides to every issue and although our government is a strong supporter of Israel, they do understand that the Palestinians have some valid points in their case against the Israelis.
A little tip from me to the Palestinians, don’t cozy up to Osama and his band of terrorists. There’s no surer way to prolong the current unresolved status of Palestine.
And as for Bin Laden himself, who can take him seriously when he tries to add reason to his insane acts? Since the Twin Towers came down, Bin Laden has claimed various explanations for waging a terrorist campaign against the west. Our presence in Saudi Arabia, the perceived threat to Muslims’ freedom to practice their religion, our culture offending his with our more liberal stance on the role of women (like we actual allow them to have one) and I could go on, but the point is made.
Bin Laden is a little evil man desperately trying to grab onto any chance to explain his inexplicable actions in order to win allies. All, of course, so that he might one day be able to crawl out from under his rock.
Maybe President Bush is right after all and Osama Bin Laden IS irrelevant.
Still, I look forward to the day that Bin Laden is called to judgement and made to pay for his crimes, whether here on Earth or in front of God himself. Either way, I’m betting his rationale isn’t going to win anyone over.
Barack Obama is making a lot of news for comments about people in small town America being bitter. Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have called his comments “elitist”. They may be, but was he wrong?
Yes, Virginia, Barack was wrong. People aren’t bitter. That would be an improvement. What they are is apathetic. The American Dream may not be dead, but it has certainly turned on its snooze alarm.
People no longer believe America can achieve the things it sets out to. The very same conservatives who are busy cheerleading the war effort and double checking that everyone has the appropriate flag lapel pin or lawn ornament, have done much to kill the confidence Americans once had in America.
Think about it. For the last thirty or so years, America has been dominated by a bunch of people busy telling us what government can’t do. Gone is the government that won World War II, gone is the government that belatedly but doggedly pursued Civil Rights Legislation, gone is the government that put a man on the moon or was visionary enough to establish retirement programs such as social security.
Thanks in large part to conservative politicians and talk show hosts, we no longer believe. But, in fairness, it’s not just the conservatives, the liberals have contributed mightily to the loss of confidence too. Liberals, these days known as progressives, lost touch with the values of average Americans. They spent too much time and effort on causes America wasn’t yet ready for. I agree that you have to fight for the beliefs that will make a better future. But, you’ve also got to pick your battles. Liberals have been horrible at that for the last thirty years.
Worst of all, liberals stopped defending themselves. They somehow let the term “liberal” become a dirty word. For most people, the word now conjures up an elistist, ineffectual person who’s woefully out of touch and busy fighting for the rights of three billed horn-toed slugs rather than the average America. Somehow liberals lost the war for the American mind and soul to a group of people whose chief message is “we can’t help you”. Seriously, how did the conservatives do so well over the last three decades with such a bad message?
When you add the failings of conservatives to those of the liberals, you get stagnation. We’ve spent the last thirty years calling each other names rather than figuring out what we can agree upon so that we can actually fix some things.
Why is it that years after 9/11, we still haven’t figured out border security? How is it that we still don’t have universal health care when most CEOs are making millions even when their companies tank and when most people’s biggest worry is not losing their job, but losing their health care? Why are we stuck in Iraq after and despite the lessons of Vietnam? What happened to war as an absolute last option? Why is the gap between the wealthy and poor getting ever greater in the greatest country in the world?
With questions like these facing America can you blame any of us for losing faith? Or maybe getting bitter?
So, Barack was wrong. But, where he’s been right is offering hope. Here’s hoping that he’s the real deal and that he means what he says when he talks about wanting to work with Republicans to get things done.
We could use someone inspiring again in the Oval Office.
PS – Sorry if this post sounds bitter, but at least I’m not apathetic!
Today, I’m asking some BIG questions. They need answers. It’s a Saturday. You’ve got a few minutes. Do me a favor please & let me know what you think the answers are. Thanks in advance…
Here’s what I’m wondering:
#1 – We’ve had American troops in Iraq for five years essentially occupying a huge oil producing nation. American oil companies are bursting with billion dollar profits. Yet, somehow gas prices will soon top $4 a gallon.
We’re in Iraq for the oil companies. Our young men and women are their dying for them. Yet, somehow the oil industry can’t see their way clear to sacrificing some profit to make their product more affordable to the average American.
Why won’t our government do more than just hold hearings designed to make our politicians look like they are fighting for us? I like free market capitalism as much as the next guy but, it’s time to get tough with big oil!
#2 – Did Fidel Castro fund his retirement with a 401K or traditional pension fund?
#3 – Why do politicians spend millions just to get jobs that top out in the $200,000 per year range? Oh, wait, that question was answered when the Clintons released their taxe returns the other day. The post-Presidential money is SWEEEEET!
#4 – Why are people so upset over Reverend Wright’s comments when many of his comments mirror comments made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr?
This one I can answer. Dr. King, may he rest in peace, was a great man who did make comments that were justifiably criticical of American culture and policy and some do sound similar to Reverend Wright’s. The difference is the context. Dr. King made his comments 40 and 50 years ago. If Dr. King were alive today, no doubt he’d stick by many of them. However, time has changed some things and Reverend Wright’s mistake is not realizing that. His comments simply don’t reflect the full picture of where America is today.
#5 – If we all agree no children should be left behind, then how do we tolerate having 50% high school drop out rates in several of our biggest cities? We’re one of the richest countries in the world, how do we allow this to continue? Local government and school officials should get their share of the blame, but why are parents not rioting for better schools in those cities?
#6 – Final question on Candidate McCain. Should we be nervous that you are endorsed by Reverend Hagee, who when not calling the Catholic Church “a whore” is eagerly awaiting and praying for the end of the world? True story. Hagee wants judgement day to get here ASAP & he’s supporting John McCain. Should that tell us something??
Kathie Lee Gifford is back and I’m liking her better than ever!
NBC announced the return to Daytime TV of KLG recently and a strange thing happened to me. When I heard Kathy Lee was coming back to co-host the fourth hour of The Today Show, I realized I was an American through and through.
Let me explain.
There is almost no one alive who found Kathy Lee to be as insufferable as I did back in her heyday, except of course Regis himself. Maybe it’s because I’m a man or I’m not in her target demo or because I have good taste, but I could never stand Kathy Lee.
Then, Frank cheated on her. He was publicly caught asking for kinky sex from someone other than his world famous wife. It all played out in public and it was ugly.
Kathy Lee quickly exacted her revenge. She hit the interview shows and recorded a whole record album dedicated to recounting her suffering over Frank’s betrayal. To be honest, I was not moved.
I was probably more sympathetic to Frank. I think I felt that if I was married to her, I might be wandering too. It was also clear to me that by having to stand by as his wife publicly exposed how badly he hurt her that she’d evened the scored at minimum and possibly hurt him more than he originally hurt her with the affair.
Think about it, how would you like your spouse to record an entire CD about your public failings? Then on top of it all, how would you like your spouse expecting you to stay married to them?
Advantage: Kathy Lee
So why am I liking KLG better than ever? What does that have to do with my American-ness?
When I heard she was coming back, I was glad for her. Whether my cup of tea or not, Kathy Lee was a very successful daytime personality and after her time out of the public spotlight, I felt she deserved another shot.
It’s what America and Americans are all about. Second chances. Re-invention. We love to knock you down, but it’s also ingrained in us to cheer you when you have the guts to get back up.
So, congrats to Kathy Lee! May her new gig turn out well for her.
Of course, if it does, you know I’ll be rooting against her again…