September 30, 2009
Being thoroughly preoccupied with more important (?) things, like baseball, birds, and teaching, I haven't had time to blog much on politics lately. If you can't tell, I'm growing weary of all the hyperpartisan cacophony. Anyway, here is a brief potpourri of musings on recent political happenings...
Jimmy Carter, widely regarded as among the best former presidents in U.S. history, created a big commotion by blaming racist sentiment for the vehement opposition to President Obama's agenda. Almost every sensible and honest person would acknowledge that there is a certain racist element present at some of the protests, but to smear the "Tea Party" folks or opponents of Obama in general with the racist label is both unfair and terribly damaging to our body politic. Carter spoke at James Madison University last week, but a scheduling conflict prevented me from attending. He was given the Mahatma Gandhi Global Nonviolence Award from JMU's Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence. See the News Leader.
Ironically, Carter referred to Barack Obama as "this Black Boy" at last year's Democratic National Convention. See for yourself at youtube.com. Hat tip to Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Association.
In Kentucky, a man who was doing preliminary work for the 2010 Census was murdered by someone who scrawled "FED" on his body. The details about the cause of death remain sketchy, however, and the authorities aren't saying much. See New York Times, hat tip to J.C. Wilmore, whose take on that elicited a hateful outburst from "Smash Mouth Politics". Also see CNN.com. It reminds you of the hillbilly moonshiners who used to shoot at "them revenuers" many years ago. The difference is that the latest incident may reflect the current deep polarization in American politics, exemplified by the recent "Tea Party" protests. I think that's a bit of a stretch to link that murder with the anti-Obama movement, and until we find out more facts, we should try to reserve judgment.
The "fair and balanced" FOX News was taking sides during the recent "Tea Party" protests in Washington. After a video was circulated, they have acknowledged that one of their staffers served as a "cheerleader" during the demonstrations. See politico.com, via Andrew Sullivan. Not exactly meeting the standards of TV journalism set by Edward R. Murrow, is it? Good thing their morning news anchor-babe Megyn Kelly is on maternity leave during this embarrassing interlude.
To find out who is on the list of "The Most Corrupt Members Of Congress," take a look at at businessinsider.com; hat tip to Stacey Morris. Clearly Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) belongs near the top of the list, and there is a growing clamor among Republicans to censure or try to remove him from office. I don't agree with some of the people on that list. Just because, for example, Sen. Mitch McConnell welcomes campaign contributions from just about anybody doesn't mean he is corrupt. He takes a defiant stand against arbitrary campaign finance restrictions, and he's just being consistent.
Last Friday, several thousand Muslims gathered on Capitol Hill for a prayer. See islamoncapitolhill.com; hat tip to Stacey Morris. "The peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America's capitol." I wish I could take such words at face value. Well, since our President has extended an olive branch to the Muslim world, we might as well give them a chance. The Ummah (worldwide body of Muslim believers) is growing in numbers in this country and abroad all the time, it seems.
Leftists used to cite the health care system in Cuba as a model for the United States to follow. How many of them have actually been treated there? Take a look at therealcuba.com; hat tip to Stacey Morris.