Tarheeltalker

Name Calling or Am I Really a Freak?

Based on a couple of things I have recently read, I am a freak, hate intellectuals and am just  downright ignorant. I may be even worse than that since those characterizations come from  just two sources. A brief elaboration on the intellectual  comment. Not only do I hate intellectuals  but I probably don’t  even want to associate   with them since there is no room for them in the Republican Party, or so says Chris Matthews. Oops,  I wasn’t supposed to mention his name. Should I  not quote him as saying that Rick Perry is  a clown?

I realize that politicians have to accept a certain level of name calling as part of the territory but I so wish that those in the media who make their living with their words, could describe a candidate or office holder without the use of epithets.  This applies to both ends of the spectrum  since both are guilty of using this tactic and I just cannot stand it. It reminds me of  one of my  #1 pet peeves, tearing down another to make oneself look good.

I could probably be  called lots of things but I am relatively  certain that freak is not one of them. That was the name applied to Rep Louie Gohmert just a few weeks ago. and it has been amplified with the word crazy among others. And, since I  like the  congressman, while not always agreeing with him, guess I am a freak by association.

So, is there a cure  for this political name calling?  I really doubt it since the practice is time-honored in American politics as far back as he days of George Washington. In fact, the names used to describe some of our  earlier presidents were generally far more creative than those used today.

In fact, if I hear another conservative  called  Nazi, I think I might have a fit. What makes  this epithet so abhorrent to me is the person using the name has got to know better, He or she has to know what Nazis did and i daresay that none of those so described have done things to equal those.

So, the next time  you see fit to “attack”  a politician, try to use an appropriate word.

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Media | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Gaggle of Republicans

As of today, there are officially 10 republicans in the running for the party’s presidential nomination. There are at least 4 other  potential candidates. This is definitely a case for that old baseball axiom that you can’t know the players without a scorecard.

At this stage of the process, anything is possible and hope springs eternal  as in baseball’s  spring training. While it is early, of course it is not as early as it might seem. President Obama will obviously run for  a second term and among other advantages that he has are an excellent fund-raising apparatus and a significant advantage in name recognition over most of  his potential  opponents ( other than Palin and maybe Bachmann, who will still only the second most well-known Michele-hint, hint).

It is fascinating to me to see the interaction among those already declared and the coyness of those on the sidelines. And, let us not forget the curse of the front-runner. Mitt Romney is probably still in the ” head lead” as a childhood friend of mine said. But, Michele  Bachmann is closing fast and may actually lead in Iowa polls.

Right now, Iowa native Bachmann has 22% and Romney 23% in a Des Moines Register poll. If one has any math skills that would leave 55% to be divided 8 ways and that doesn’t  sound so good. Can you win Iowa and lose the nomination oh yeah- and the opposite is also true. It is also true that one can be ruined in the Iowa caucus which will take place on February 6, 2012.

This will be an interesting journey to chronicle so just for the record, I will at least name the 10 who are in and the four who are not.

Hovering  on the sidelines are Sarah Palin, Rick Perry ( Rush’s choice and mine) , John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani.

Those in it to win it, I guess, are the aforementioned Romney and Bachmann along with the following, in no particular order: Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, Mitch Daniels and Rick Santorum. ( ” Fringe  candidates not included.)

Perhaps the best candidate would be  a guy who has already recused himself, Jeb Bush. Should be quite lively with Paul, Palin and Bachmann in the fray, should it not?

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Congressman Alan Grayson

There are some members of Congress whose names are familiar to most people. Those would include Pelosi, Murtha, Conyers,Boehner, Kasich, Pence, William( the refrigerator) Jefferson, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, Sheila  Jackson-Lee, to name a few. Some are known because of the position they hold or their  tenure or even their propensity to say nonsensical things. My representative is G K Butterfield, D, NC. As far as I know  Rep Butterfield is not widely known and does not fit into any of the preceding categories.

But, we also have another category.It seems to be occupied by only one person and that person is  Florida Democrat Alan Grayson. He is a first termer  who narrowly won election, 52%-48%. Why, one might ask is Florida’s  historically  Republican 8th district congressman well-known? Perhaps it is because he is trying very hard to live up or down to a title just bestowed on him, “The Biggest Jerk in Congress.”  Human Events  writer  Ross Kaminsky has so anointed  the congressman in an article  from February 3. I don’t know about the title. I was kinda leaning towards Al Franken, myself.

Kaminsky makes some pretty good points though. Grayson shares a profession with John Edwards and ranks as the 12th richest member of Congress and #7 in the House of Representatives. But, alas his wealth has bought him no immunity from foot-in-mouth disease or his  I never saw a Republican I did not want to attack affliction.

He has a particular disdain for Dick Cheney, likening him to a vampire and wondering if Satan did the intro for his  new book. He called Rush a” has-been hypocrite loser.” So many untrue metaphors in one sentence.  Maybe my favorite is this one since it includes me.  Fox News and the Republicans who collaborate with them are the “enemy” of America. Really. I had no idea.

At last count, there were 8 Republicans lines up to challenge Grayson this fall, I certainly hope the good people of Orlando and vicinity can find one to their liking, please.

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Obama and the BCS

Well, guess what the Obama Administration is up to now. Why, its college football. Specifically it is the Bowl Championship Series that is in place to decide a national champion. We need not be surprised since President-elect Obama made reference to this issue in 2008. The phrase was “throw my weight around a little bit.” Now, we have a letter from Utah senator Orrin Hatch and ominous sounding words from Assistant Attorney General  for the Office of Legislative Affairs, Ronald Weich.

Mr Weich is apparently considering  an investigation into the possible violation of antitrust laws by the BCS.Mnay fans and critics are unhappy with the system now in place, but Senator Hatch may be the most vocal and influential. His ire was raised when the University of Utah was denied a spot in the  championship game last year, after going undefeated. This year, two other teams, Boise State and TCU fell into the same group.

Yes, there is a lot of money involved in the  BCS, primarily from television. Perhaps, the system could use some tweaking to make it more fair. I have often wondered, even before there was  a BCS, why  a playoff was not in place. My alma mater  Appalachian State plays in the  what is now known as the Football Championship Subdivision for schools a bit less high-powered. This division has had a playoff system in place for some time. It would seem that the big boys could make use of a similar system, incorporating a number of the existing bowl games.

What I do not want to see is the feds once again jumping into the middle of an issue and completely mucking things up, no mater their intentions. Shame on you Senator Hatch, a Republican no less, providing the administration an opening, which they seem to relish.

Besides, I think that Eric Holder and the Justice Department have much bigger things on their plate. Maybe a terrorist trial and whether to have it in New York City,hmm?

Sports and politics- not  a good combination.

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Showdown in Baltimore

The President traveled all the way to Baltimore today to meet with a number of Republican lawmakers. What ostensibly was  an attempt for the two sides to listen to one another quickly became something else entirely. I heard some audio from the  meeting that seemed rather pointed and blunt, both in tone and word. For example, “I’m not  a pundit, I’m just the president.” The Associated Press used the phrase ” a sometimes barbed exchange.” So, one thinks that there was very little meeting of the minds at this session.

So, why have the get together at all? I will applaud  the president  for attending while at the same time wondering why he did so. I think that even though  the President was actually invited to what is an annual Republican event.  Given the nature of some of his public comments since the State of the Union address, perhaps it was an attempt to sway public opinion. See, he could tell Americans, I tried to work with the Republicans but  how can I work with the ” politics of no?”

Some of those attending liked it, some not so much. Representatives Tom Price  of Georgia and Jason Chaffetz of Utah being two of the most vocal. The President seemed to relish the give and take, sort of like a British House  of Commons. Reading some accounts of the meeting it struck as me  a lecture given by  a professor. At least one Republican, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin agreed. He likened it at times to being lectured by his high school principal, although not for the entire session.

Obama asserted that 95% of Americans had received tax cuts (not sure about that figure) and that his agenda was not at all radical but mainstream. Republicans , particularly Mike Pence of Indiana ,defended Republican health care proposals against claims that  they had offered no options. Obama shot back that theie proposals  were not practical anyway.

So, both Pence and Virginia’s Eric Cantor said that the event was a good idea and should happen again. But it sounds like to me that the president defined  bi-partisan more as you work with me than me work with you. Did that make sense? Probably as  much as the Baltimore bull session.

January 29, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

No Beau

It appears that there  we will not  have another Biden in the U S Senate. At  the least, the Senate will be sans Biden  for a while.  The vice-president’s son has announced that he is going to stay as Delaware’s Attorney General . Not sure  why he made the announcement now since ole Joe was actually re-elected last November. That in itself is  a very strange concept for me. Biden was on the presidential ballot as the Democrat’s choice for  vice-president while simultaneously running for re-election. That was a classic hedge  your bets was it not?

Anyway, the election will be for the last 4 years of the term and with the younger Biden stepping aside, prospects  improve a lot  for Republican Representative Michael  Castle who has been in Congress for 17 years.

I’ve been thinking about this and I have a thought that might help the Democrats. The vice-president already has some Senate related duties. Just let him have the seat. He did win it in November, 2008. When he is noy doing veep stuff he could do senator stuff. Just a thought.

January 26, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did He Win or Did She Lose?

Of course, the he is Senator-elect Scott Brown, R, Ma and the she is Martha Coakley. The obvious answer is yes to both questions since Brown won the election. But in politics, the obvious answer is not always the correct answer. So, what might we discover when we look a bit further.

On the Democrat side of the equation, the game could well be  the Blame Game. But who does  one blame . The Coakley campaign blames the Obama administration’s health care bill and its perceived failures  regarding the attempted terrorist bombing on Christmas Day. The administration on the other hand says Coakley ran a poor campaign. So, wherein lies the truth?

Hard to say that voter unhappiness over health care reform was not a factor. But, Coakley was ( rightly so, I think) perceived as being in favor of that effort and a guaranteed 60th vote. So which side was more accurate with their blame? Believe i shall go with the Obama folks on this one. With Massachusetts such a reliably Democratic state, her nomination was tantamount to election, right?( The last Republican senator in the Bay State was elected some 43 years ago and he was Edward Brooke. )My wife heard an interesting comment attributed to Coakley. You mean I have to stand outside shaking hands in this weather? Slight paraphrase. I think that she was in trouble before she realized it and then called the Axelrod cavalry  too late. ( He did actually pay Brown a compliment for running a smart campaign.)

As for Brown, he says the election was not a referendumon Obama. But don’t you know that both parties will study this campaign til the cows come home, from wherever it is that they go.

Brief summary- voter angst- and it spells trouble for incumbents or for  any candidate who is  perceived-rightly or wrongly- as not in tune with the voters. Should make for an interesting political season.

Welcome to the Senate, Mr Brown. The fun has just begun!

Footnote: This particular seat has been held by a Democrat for 57 years, was occupied by Henry Cabot Lodge before that.

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Will Their Tactics Be Successful?

The Senate race in Massachusetts is coming down the homestretch with the election just a couple of days away. Republican Scott Brown has an excellent chance to win over Democrat Martha ( Curt Schilling is a Yankees fan) Coakley. It seems that the Democrats are pulling out all the stops now.

Chuck Schumer has blasted Brown, the Dems have run an unauthorized commercial “borrowing” the UPS advertising slogan and have been told to stop. Bill Clinton is even  linking Coakley’s election and  aid to Haiti. He called them ” two sides of the same coin.” And these are just the politicians talking.

Members of the mainstream media are chiming in as well. Two of the most intriguing/outrageous  examples both work for MSNBC. Our old friend Chris Matthews longs for the day when one could just by enough votes. Shucks, that might still happen. An even better line comes from Ed Schultz who says he would vote 10 times if he lived in Massachusetts. “I’d cheat to keep these bastards out.” Finally, an honest cheater.

All this in a state, uh, commonwealth, where registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans. Almost forgot, the President has visited as well. Who knows if that helped or hurt. If Coakley loses, the Democrats can always blame her for running  a bad campaign or being a weak candidate. But they would not do that, would they?

Guess Tuesday will tell the tale.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Pariah or What?

Joe (the outspoken) Wilson

Joe (the outspoken) Wilson

Congressman Joe Wilson of upstate  South Carolina is  a Republican in his 5th term in the U S  House of  Representatives. Betcha before last Wednesday you had never heard of him. He is  a native of Charleston, a father of four who have all served in the military in some capacity. I suppose  you could call him a back bencher. But his life has dramatically changed since he uttered a two word phrase  during the President’s speech on health care. “You lie” said Congressman Wilson and the proverbial firestorm has ensued. From earning a stern look of disapproval from Speaker Pelosi, a sad comment from Vice-president Biden, an accusation of racism from some media outlets, a huh from some in South  Carolina, a huzzah from Limbaugh and words of encouragement from Drudge; it has been quite a few days for the Congressman.

Both he and his probable opponent, Rob Miller, have raised tons of money since the outburst. Wilson has since apologized to the President through Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. However, House leaders are demanding a public apology which he is refusing to do. There could very well be  a vote to admonish him or worse.

So, what does one make of all this? First, a bit of humor, I think. I saw a picture somewhere that showed the two congressmen on either side of Wilson when he made his comment. They looked as they would have rather been anywhere else in the world at that moment. Will that be  how the Republican leadership reacts? Perhaps.

So, what about the comment. Wonder it was the comment or the venue? Senators(see Harry Reid) have called Presidents  liars before, State of the Union speeches have been booed. Even Presidents have called others  in the media, etc liars. I tend to think his comment was poorly timed and also an ill chosen one. I know that tarnishes me  a bit as a c nservative and I can accept that, I  suppose.

I might add that had it been in the House of Commons in England , it would have somewhat routine behavior. let’s just say for a moment, just for the sake of discussion, that Mr Wilson was genuinely convinced that there was info in the speech that was not truthful. What recourse is there that is suitable? Go to your Congressional leadership, make your own speech, go on CNN(oops, sorry), who knows.

Suffice to say that if he is your Congressman, you no longer can speak of having an obscure representative.

FYI , the White House rejected the claim of the esteemed Maureen Dowd that the comment was racist in nature.

September 13, 2009 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Feeling Global Warming?

Have you ever wished for a do over or a say over? Maybe you said something  and as soon as the words went forth, you reached out to try and  grab them? Well, I wonder if Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D, MI feels just a little like that? The Michigan senator was recently appointed to the Senate Energy Committee and perhaps to celebrate that event she made some  interesting observations to the Detroit News. as reported by Henry Payne of the Detroit News she said, ” Climate change is very real ( well, duh, it changes every day and sometimes multiple times) , Global warming creates volatility. I feel it when I am flying.The storms are more volatile.We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes.” There is a lot of interesting stuff in there. But let us hone in on just one sentence- “I feel it when I am flying.” Now, admittedly, I don’t fly a lot so I cannot speak as any kind of expert. But Mrs THT just returned from a round trip flight to Atlanta and did not report feeling any global warming. A bit of turbulence perhaps, but no global warming reported.

It would be easy and  kinda fun to laugh at a statement like this and if I made it at work tomorrow, I would get some laughs or perhaps some strange looks. But, come on now, this lady is a  United States senator and is in  a  position to influence legislation that could have a dramatic effect on energy costs, legislation, etc. And she feels global warming. Somebody, say it  ain’t so.

Do you think if someone gave her the quote about if you don’t like the weather now, wait a minute  and it will change, she would even tie that in to global warming, uh, climate change?  I saw some climate change over the weekend when it rained buckets. Does that count?  Our Senators from North Carolina don’t seem to say really cool stuff like this. Should I be happy or unhappy? Just wondering. And, just one more. Is the weather a Democrat or a Republican?

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Weather | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments