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Pure Insanity: Making Sense Of 'News' And Politics

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It keeps happening -- every day the "news" is filled with statements that give me no other choice than to just shake my head and say, "Huh?" These stories just don't compute. And I've tried every way I can think of, including adding up the IQ's of the reporters and then dividing by those of the pundits. It's a wash. The politicians are no help. The ideas they put forth don't add up, either. So, once again, I'll share just a few observations. And, once again, I'll invite your help in trying to make sense of it all.

  • At all of those "tea party" rallies, nobody said, "Put down the Nazi signs"? Not Boehner? Not Bachman? Not Beck? Nobody?
  • To give Sean Hannity his due -- yeah, I know -- but, back in July, he rightly said that Obama overreacted after the Henry Louis Gates/Cop controversy. Yet after the tragedy at Fort Hood, Hannity called Obama an idiot for encouraging the public to not overreact. Sean should make up his mind, don't you think? I'm sorry, I keep forgetting that Hannity's chosen to hate Obama no matter what he does.
  • I don't happen to have children but, if I did, I'd have no idea how to teach them right from wrong. There are so few people to point to and say, "Be like them, they're honest." Politicians, athletes, clergy and CEO's are in the news every single day making confetti out of The Golden Rule, The Ten Commandments and The Constitution. I'd list all of them by name, but it would use up all of my allotted space.
  • I keep hearing Senators say, about a variety of different topics, "There's just no time to look into this." Well, that's your job. So how about making time? You know, like doing more of what you did this past weekend when you stayed in session over the weekend to work on health care. And quit whining about it. The rest of the world works long hard hours to get their work done, why not our legislators? My thought would be -- less recesses to go home and raise money for the next election, and more work to make good on the promises you made during the last election.
  • Obama promised transparency. That, of course, means to look through something to really be able to see it. We were hoping we'd be able to see the workings of our government and not wonder what sleight of hand was going on behind the magician's curtain. But here we go again. Two wannabes manage to crash a state dinner and the First Lady's social secretary is asked to share her thoughts on how that might have happened. But the President invoked executive privilege to keep her from doing so. Come on, Mr. President, this is a gimme. If transparency is the goal, just take down the curtain.
  • Liz Cheney recently criticized Colin Powell's aide Larry Wilkerson, saying that he'd made a cottage industry of trashing her father and defending his former boss. As opposed to Liz whose cottage industry is defending her father and trashing everyone else.
  • And while we're on the subject of pots and kettles, Darth Vader's daughter said that there should be no trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City because she was worried that then terrorists would have a public platform where they could spew their venom. Guess Liz Cheney doesn't get irony. Because, amazingly, she said this on Fox!
  • For some reputation-shredding reason, C-Span had Tucker Carlson on to share his views. Apparently his bowtie's a little too tight, because one "view" that caught my ear was this: "Sarah Palin's more experienced than Obama and she's smarter than Al Gore." Really? So, Tuck, if the three of them were on "Jeopardy," you'd put your money on The Thrilla from Wasilla? Really?
  • Rev. Rick Warren said that he won't condemn homosexuals being put to death in Uganda because he doesn't feel it's his place to be political. But lobbying for the passage of Prop 8 in California and being publicly against abortion, even though it's legal -- that he's fine with. I'm guessing he wouldn't condemn being a narrow-minded hypocrite, either. Hopefully, President Obama would like a "do over" on his choice of who delivered the prayer at his inauguration.
  • Hannity again. Sorry. During a long-winded rant about the terrorist trials planned for New York City, he said, "I'm glad they waterboarded KSM." Why doesn't he just say he's glad the Bush administration broke the law? Now that would be fair and balanced.
  • I believe that everyone should worship at the alter of their choice. Organized, disorganized, recognized or not. As long as you're not hurting anyone, do whatever gives you comfort. But be consistent. For instance -- Cardinal Barragan recently wrote that the Catholic church believes that gay people will never go to heaven because they're an insult to God and that homosexuality is a sin. But in the very same article he said that those comments are not discriminating against gays because, as human beings, we all have the same rights. Unless, of course, we don't.
  • And Glenn Beck, compassionate Conservative that he is, complained that Obama's recent speech on Afghanistan would preempt "A Charlie Brown Christmas." He said it would be better to watch the gang from Peanuts because they had a message that "actually means something." You'd think he might feel there was at least a little meaning in the President's decision because it will put more of our soldiers in harm's way, kill innocent Afghanis and cost U.S. taxpayers billions. But, no. Glenn wanted his cartoons.
  • And on the topic of Afghanistan - I don't happen to agree with President Obama about sending in more troops. History tells me that it's not a war that can be won. And since we've achieved our stated goal of chasing out Al Qaeda, I don't believe it's worth the taking of another life. However, nobody consulted me. That decision's been made. But, I did take some solace when the President announced that we'd start drawing down our troops in 2011. He did say that, right? Right. So why did Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton go to Capitol Hill and say that there is no deadline or exit strategy? Why must his minions be sent out to tell us what the President really meant? Why must we parse his words so carefully? I think it would be great if our President would call a press conference and tell the country exactly what he meant and exactly what he wants to have happen and let his be the last word. But apparently he needs some wiggle room. Seems he wasn't completely transparent about transparency. Too bad.

And just so I won't be accused of only finding fault in the news -- I have some compliments to pay.

  • First to John Stewart and his writers on The Daily Show because it is they who came up with this wonderful analogy: "The Special Olympics is to winners as Fox News is to experts -- if you show up, you are one." Brilliant and accurate.
  • And, lastly, three cheers for Fox's Shepard Smith. He pointed out that when Bush took months to make his decision about whether or not to surge the number of our forces in Iraq, nobody accused him of "dithering." It was nice to hear it said out loud. And on the network least known for its objectivity. Wonder where Shep will work next?

Unfortunately, I have no doubts that there will be many more "Huh?" moments in my future. I'll share them here.

Thanks for your time.