The tragic events that took place in Tucson, AZ about two weeks ago have garnered much attention and have generated a lot of commentary and analysis. Sadly, the event draws our attention, sometimes for good reason and sometimes not. There are an almost innumerable number of ways to discuss the event and I have pondered just how to do that. I have noticed that at least one media source focused on just one aspect of the tragedy(Sports Illustrated) and I shall attempt to do so as well.
Having said that, it is still exciting to see the great progress made by Rep. Giffords who headed to rehab today. Our prayers go with her as well as for all those adversely affected by the shooting
But the aspect that I want to focus on is a person who has been quite visible and quite outspoken since the event took place. That is Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. Like most people outside of Arizona and probably law enforcement circles I had never heard of the sheriff until a few days ago. But now methinks I have heard far too much.
But, first a little background. Sheriff Dupnik was first appointed to his post in 1980, then elected and re-elected six more times. He is a native Texan, aged 75. Although I heard him say that he graduated from the university( presumably Arizona) with a degree in psychology, he actually got his degree from Keeler Institute in Chicago which is probably a fine institution even though he failed to mention it by name.
Until being silenced by the local district attorney’s office a couple of days ago, he has been the “face” of the investigation or maybe the voice would be more accurate term.I haven’y been fortunate to hear or read all of his statements but some of which I am aware have been real humdingers. Before elaborating, this makes one wonder about his media experience. It would seem that in a county as large as Pima, there would have been a number of somewhat high-profile cases, requiring his interaction with the media. Admittedly, there were probably none this high-profile. But with someone who has been described as fond of the limelight, how he could he say some of the things he has said.
This statement came on January 8, the day of the shooting when he opined that Arizona was the “mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” Bet the chamber of commerce and tourism people cant wait to use that one. Or, a comment that the Bush-era tax cute and their recent extension (which Obama favored) was some kind of motivation for violence. In the same interview with Sari Horowitz on a Washington Post blog he maintained that rush had published his office’s email address, nearly crashing the system. Only problem, Rush didn’t do it. Of course, he had had already blamed Rush by name, before it was learned that the shooter was an apolitical guy.
There are calls for his recall(no pun intended) but I think there are misguided. The voters of Pima County have voted for him 7 times, they surely should get their money’s worth. Makes one wonder how that happened, huh?
- “Comments from Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik via the AP:” and related posts (scaredmonkeys.com)
- Bummer: Pima County Attorney muzzles Supercop (hotair.com)
……. so very hard to do. Compliments of Neil Sedaka from a number of years ago, we have an apt description of the departure of Rahm ( never let a crisis go to waste ) Emanuel. It was a little surprising to me to see that ole Rahm become a mite emotional during his farewell appearance. Perhaps that contributed to his historical faux pas in describing his soon to be former boss. His praise of Obama was borderline effusive as he called him “the toughest leader any country could ever ask for in the toughest times any president has ever faced.” Being an ardent observer of political hyperbole I was attracted to Emanuel’s statement. A brief examination ensues. Starting with part#2 I wonder where that places such historical crises as WWII, the Civil War, the real Great Depression and even such things as the war of 1812. Other presidents who have faced demonstrably tougher times? That would be a lengthy list. Let’s see, Washington, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, James Madison, and possibly even Kennedy, Truman, etc, etc. But it was an emotional time, lots of sorrow in the room so maybe we shouldn’t judge ole Rahm so harshly, should we? Oh, yeah, we should, since these are ways in which Obama refers to himself. He’s the most criticized, maligned president ever, blah, blah. I repeat from an earlier post. He needs to read just a little about Lincoln’s treatment in the media and by people within as well as outside his own party.
So, we now move from the era of Rahm who heads to Chicago to become ethe next Richard Daley and we begin a new day with Rahm’s successor, or at the latest his interim successor. His name is Pete Rouse, or Mr Fix-It as Obama referred to him. Rouse has been on the Obama team for about 6 years since his then boss Tom Daschle was defeated for re-election in 2004. Mr Rouse is known as a savvy politician and not nearly so media friendly as Emanuel. Shucks, he seems to resemble a prototypical Chicago pol, so he should fit in very well.
Just a thought to consider, Emanuel announced his departure last week and today Gen James Jones, the president’s National Security Adviser said that he will be leaving. Do we have a simple mid-term shuffling ( although it’s not mid-term) or something of a rats jumping the ship situation? Whichever is true it is quite fun to watch, is it not?
- *sob* We Can’t Believe It! Rahm Emanuel Is Really Gone! (shortformblog.com)
Birthdays are usually rather neat events. One celebrates them with family and friends and as a rule, a god time is had by all. Today is the President Obama’s 49th birthday and we wish him well. But it seems that this birthday will not follow the norm. You see, the President will celebrate this particular birthday in Chicago without his family.
Seems that the First Lady had a previous engagement and will be on the Mediterranean coast of Spain with her younger daughter in the Costa del Sol area, aka the Sun Coast. Don’t know the exact name of her hotel, but it is a 5 star and her party has booked 60 ( originally said to be 30 ) rooms. I believe she is meeting with King Juan Carlos, the country’s head of state, during her visit. Does that make it a diplomatic event and thus taxpayer-funded? Probably so.
Anyway, the President is going to Chicago and staying in his own home. While there he will doubtless catch up with some old friends. Let’s see, probably not former Gov. Blagojevich but perhaps Mayor Richard Daley. It might be good if they discussed the crime wave sweeping through the Windy City.
What makes this even more interesting is that Press Secretary Gibbs was asked about the President being apart from his family today. The question was phrased so as to ask if there was any family tension. Desiring to retain his job, Gibbs gave quite a diplomatic answer by saying they would be together soon.
But really, the First Lady has already given the President quite a gift. Emails were sent out ( probably in the thousands, I’m guessing) ostensibly asking loyal Democrats to wish him a happy birthday. The catch is they were directed to a link by which they could donate money to the Democrat Party. I’d say that in itself was gift enough!
A couple of days ago, I shared a slightly tongue-in-cheek poem about our good friend Al ( protector of the environment) Gore. So, we and others wonder, where is the goracle these days? I assume most,if not all, of the snow has left Washington and he was not located in a makeshift igloo. So, where might he be?
Granted, this may violate top-secret government information guidelines, but I think I know where he is or at the least where he is headed. It would be the desolate regions near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border to meet up with his compatriot and climate change brother in arms, Osama bin Laden.
Yep, bin Laden is now part of the Gore team. Some weeks ago bin Laden declared on al-Jazeera that he deplored climate change. He went on to condemn the United States and other developed countries for causing climate change, even including an obligatory criticism of George Bush junior. He went on to compare United States politics to the Mafia (Chicago maybe?) and calling Americans the true terrorists.
What had to warm algore’s heart though was his assertion that his was a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions. He added, “speaking about climate change is not an intellectual luxury-the phenomenon is an actual fact.” Who knows, Gore may have even helped him write the statement. Sounds Gore-like does it not?
James Buchanan? Yep, the 15th president of these United States, known for little more today than being Lincoln’s predecessor and dithering his way through a sorta lame 4 year term as the country hurtled towards Civil War. So, what about the linking of these three? The first two have been widely connected by many,including yours truly. I had not seen a link to Buchanan until today.
The article is by David Reilly in Bloomberg and it is just fascinating. Even the title is great.Man up, Obama or Make Way for President Palin. That is also the first time for that last phrase, but I digress. In the interest of full disclosure, financial blogger Eric Salzman made the Buchanan comparison.
One more log on the fire of criticism. former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder thinks Obama needs to fire some people, including DNC Chair Time Kaine, also a former Virginia governor. Wilder also thinks a number of the Chicago people need to go. No names, but think Emanuel, Jarrett and Axelrod. What Wilder neglects to mention is that the President himself is one of the Chicago people. Alas, yet another digression.
Back on topic for a moment. Reilly even suggests Obama could draw some inspiration in dealing with things from, gasp!!, Richard Nixon, George Bush and even Dick Cheney.
Specifically, learn from Clinton (veto) , don;t fear the banks and clean house; parroting Wilder a bit, bye-bye Emanuel ,Geithner and Summers among others.
In so many words, he tells the President get tough or ……………
I thought it was a great article and will doubtless be ignored.
Just a bit of bonus Olympic coverage. The Oprah flew over with the first lady in stage one of the Obama blitz. The first lady said that it was a great sacrifice for both she and the President to make the trip. But it is for a good, no, make that a great reason. According to her, they are doing this for the kids. Whose, have no idea. Remember , while they are there, undoubtedly there will be a party or two, a little schmoozing, etc.
Listen to what else she said. ” Athletics is becoming a fleeting opportunity.Funds dry up so it becomes harder for kids to engage in sports, to learn how to swim, to even ride a bike. It is so important for us to raise the platform of fitness and competition and fair play.”
I would dearly love to explain what she said but I have very little clue as to what it means and even less as to what it has to do with the Olympics. And, no telling what the President will say when he buzzes in on Friday. He arrives on Friday and returns home on Friday. Lotta jet fuel being used on these trips. Sure hope some people in Chicago will profit financially from this.Oops! Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
By now we know that both the president and first lady will be off to Denmark this week. Why, not just the shopping, but maybe there will be time for that also. No, we have bigger fish to catch,the 2016 Summer Olympics for Chicago. Do sitting presidents usually throw the prestige of their office behind such efforts? Not sure. Maybe he already had a Denmark trip on the schedule. Sure, major ally there. Of course, nothing is too good for Chicago.
Perhaps even more interesting than the Obamas joing the campaign is word that maybe Chicagoans don’t really want the games so much anymore. The cost figures are probably a bit scary, the city’s finances are not so good and why did we want this honor anyway?
Chicago Tribune numbers showed a 2-1 majority in support of the bid in February. Now it is about even;47% for and 45% against. Suppose that $300 million city budget deficit which had to be covered was a factor. Oh yes, there have even been mandatory shutdown days for some city services,such as libraries and sanitation. But not to worry. Obamas + Mayor Richard Daley may yet bring home the bid.
After all, who possibly could Madrid,Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro match in starpower. Still, I vote for Rio. Brazil has never been a host nor has any other South American country. Tokyo had it in 1964, Barcelona, Spain in 1992 and we just had it 1996. Better make that call to the International Olympic Committee quickly or the Chicago mafia will take over the show,
I had a really difficult time coming up with a suitable title, but I think I hit the jackpot with the one shown. How else to describe what could be the most powerful group of media personalities ever(? ) to have a common background. Not that there is anything common about this group. There are television shows ,( the Oprah herself, Dr Phil,Rachel Ray and the newest Dr Mehmet Oz) , magazines(The Oprah and Rachel Ray) and the list goes on.
Yep and you thought I meant another name beginning with O. Shame on you, although they do have Chicago in common. The width and depth of this media empire is staggering in its success and influence. But, just to cover the bases, allow me to list the names:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Bob Greene- fitness guru
- Dr Phil McGraw
- Rachel Ray
- Dr Mehmet Oz
- The Doctors- a Dr Phil spin off
Arguably, this is the most successful group of spin-offs ever. That would be the case even if you only counted the tv shows. But, of course, there are the magazines and books etc that ratchet up the success factor.
More numbers? Oh, alright. Oprah made $275 million last year from tv and Dr Phil made around $80 million. She led the media list and he was in the top 15. Magazine sales show The Oprah magazine with 2.4 million copies sold in 2008, ranking#27 and Everyday With Rachel Ray at 1.8 million copies, ranking#48.
Harpo Films produces award winning and highly rated shows for television and theatres. Oprah’s Book Club of course does wonders for those authors whose books she endorses. But, by doing so, she is also promoting reading itself, which is a great by-product.
And, there is OWN, a great acronym. It stands for the Oprah Winfrey Network. Although struggling to get going, launch date pushed to mid 2010, its pedigree suggests it will do well.
With all these things going for her is it any wonder that Ms Winfrey wasn’t interested in my proposed cabinet position as Secretary of Flash and Dash. It would have been a step down, for sure. But, in looking at that list again, Keith Olbermann still looks good as Secretary of Ranting and Raving since the job is still unfilled.(See post of 11/15/2008)
As about anyone who pays attention already knows, politics is definitely a contact sport. So, like the participants or not, sometimes one just has to admire results and how they were achieved. Rahm Emanuel is Obama’s Chief of staff which doubtless covers a wide variety of duties. You know, that line in the job description that says other duties as required. I think we could safely say that arm twister supreme would fall under Mr Emanuel’s purview. And true, all Presidents have them, some maybe have had several.
Remember, Emanuel comes out of Chicago style politics, one of the great arm twisting locales. No doubt, there are a number of instances that could be used as an example of his skill in this area. But let us pick one that involves the prime time presidential news conference. Mr Obama seems to like this venue, having employed it frequently. Originally the ratings were very good but of late they have been on somewhat of a decline, perhaps due to overexposure in the media? Maybe. Anyway, the most recent press conference was #4 since Obama took office. Do you remember the most memorable thing from that event- hint- Cambridge,Ma. In retrospect, it may have been a better idea to skip that one.
According to an article in the Washington Post, when the networks expressed a bit of reluctance at airing the latest press cconference live, Emanuel did a Mr Ed- he went right to the source. Not news people or network execs but the head honchos of the companies that own the 3 major networks. Slick move and it worked.
However, the Democrats least favorite network has skipped the last two such press conferences. Wonder if one of the others will try that the next time ? You know, for the policy wonks that like this stuff, they could just use CNN or PBS or something. Just as long as they don’t preempt NCIS. Jethro would not be happy.
Reports are circulating that GM boss Rick Wagoner, will be soon, very soon, announcing he is resigning. So what, you say.At first glance, perhaps his resignation is a good move, considering General Motors precarious position. But that is not necessarily why he is stepping down.Basically, he is being told to quit by his new boss, President Barack Obama.Yes, friends now the U S government is telling businesses what to do. Look for this to continue as federal money flows into companies as bailouts or stimuli. Never for a minute think that the government will not exert some control. However, the man in this photograph still does not look very happy, does he? Reminds me of a phrase I heard as a kid,”someone licked all the shine off his sucker”.
And, Politco.com as well as the WSJ are reporting other concessions and/or actions may well be required. The President told Bob Schieffer of CBS that”They’re not there yet.” Where Obama’s there is , is as yet undetermined as are the reasons for the administration asking for Wagoner to step down.
I bet that Ford is thrilled they don’t need bailout money. Let’s see, they will replace the bow tie emblem, Jeff Gordon’s car will be renumbered 1600 and oh who knows, move GM headquarters to Chicago maybe?
- Bible study
- Christian living
- Foreign Policy
- International politics
- Legal system
- Life and Death
- Local Politics
- State Politics