Friday, October 16, 2009

Obama Avoids Second Line, Meghan McCain

Paul Krugman
David Brooks
Dana Milbank

"But all they seem to have killed with their cries of “socialism” and warnings about “death panels” is their own credibility."  - Paul Krugman
"But worst of all was the way he seemed to dismiss the idea that his administration could and should be doing much more."  - Eugene Robinson
"In fact, the only one who doesn't seem to have a plan for the conflict is the one who matters most: President Obama."  - Dana Milbank

let's hope he enjoyed the gumbo...
Like so many other people, I was disappointed by President Obama's too brief stay in New Orleans, before he left for war-torn San Francisco. His speech was filled with platitudes but gave no specifics or timetables for an accelerated recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Eugene Robinson has pointed out that New Orleans doesn't even have one full-time working hospital yet.

Harry Shearer, in the Huffington Post points out that: "The "damage" was not caused "just by a disaster of nature" at all; two independent engineering reports (the ILIT report from UC Berkeley and the Team Louisiana report from LSU) agreed that the damage was caused by the catastrophic breaching, in more than fifty locations, of an improperly-designed and built "hurricane protection system" (derided by its own builder, the Corps of Engineers, as "a system in name only"), under storm surge pressure considerably weaker than the system was supposedly designed to withstand." Unfortunately, the Army Corps of Engineers are also trying to fix the mess they created, and once again doing it poorly. They have installed "temporary" pumps that don't work, while trying to intimidate their critics. Maybe their motto should be changed to: To Fail and Serve...

To be a little fair, there were four Cabinet members who spread out and did photo ops around town. Janet Napolitano has been to New Orleans at least 3 times, and seems to have the best handle on the situation. Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal got some face time as they were driving to and from events, and did some serious talking: "Jindal said getting federal dollars to cover increased Medicaid costs, speeding the construction of hurricane-protection barriers and financing the proposed Louisiana State University teaching hospital will be his top priorities when he and Obama meet for only the second time since the president took office in January. "When you talk to the president of the United States, you want to be sure that you summarize the top-line issues," Jindal said."

A local blogger at Cliff's Crib seems to give Obama the benefit: "If can make sure that the Corps of Engineers completes all of their levee projects and somehow we can get new school buildings and a medical facility or three opened from Washington D.C then he doesn’t have to worry about coming back anytime soon. Let’s see what happens in the next few months and maybe after we get our new mayor and new city council we can invite him back to stay a day or two."

Personally, I would have stayed for several meals of gumbo and a muffaletta, listened to some jazz and blues... But Obama needs to concentrate more on fulfilling his campaign promises because he's beginning to disappoint even moderates like myself. I would be taking a more hands on approach to the bigger issues, letting Congress duke it out over health care creates a frustrating morass. It's entertaining to watch, but you have to be in the mood for all of those self-serving soundbites on the news each day.

conservative sheik chic tweaked...
I wanted to find a way to print Meghan McCain's controversial Twitter pic, the one she has gotten so much flak over. It was a picture she took of herself at home, wearing casual sweats and a tank top. But it was deemed risque by many older conservatives, so much so that she is considring dropping her Twitter account.

I'm too old to Twitter, barely understand Facebook, and I think I'd be labeled a dirty old man if I attempted My Space, where many kids under 15 lie about their age in order to make their own page. Anyway, with women and young adults leaving the Republican Party, they really can't afford to be be attacking those who are the future: "the Republican Party has a big problem with the youth vote, and Ms. McCain, daughter of former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, is at least trying to remedy that among her generation, the 20- and 30-somethings sometimes called the “Millennial Generation.” I really hate that, the Millennial Generation. It's made up by some guy in a think tank who's evidently not allowed to swim in the ocean or even go outside for fresh air... Oh yeah, and stop calling her a slut.

I like Meghan, enjoyed visiting her website while she was campaigning for her father, and like it that she is having fun blogging, twittering, facebooking, and writing for the Daily Beast. Unlike the Cheney daughters, who are trying to cash in on their bitter 15 minutes by manipulating their father, Meghan is trying to communicate with her peers as well to a bewildered older generation. Each generation grows up more tolerant of the bugaboos that gets their parent's underwear all twisted. My sister's 11 year old granddaughter, who's other grandparent is a Jehovah's Witness, doesn't see why people are so prejudiced against gay people, and this is before she truly understands the sexuality part of the equation. Currently, about 27% of those young adults who were straw polled during the last election said they were Republicans. Conservatives,  a few years from now, if they haven't all been hit by moooving trains, will be more moderate in their views. I wonder what issues they will be tea-bagging over...

Will Colorado's Boy in the Balloon turn out to be like the Man in the Mirror? I smell another reality show being pitched by his parents, who got a taste from being in an episode of Wife Swap... It will be one way to pay the bill from the state for all of the personnel and helicopters used to find a boy who actually was hiding in the attic, or so the family says...

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