Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thoughts on Who I Read and Why, and on Politicians, Pundits and Predators - Part 2

When reading Charles Krauthammer, I am reminded that Henry Ford said "the hardest thing to do in the world is to think, and that is why people do so little of it." This is especially true during Presidential elections which start about a year too early and end about a year too late.

It is often hard for me to decide which is wearier, the droppings of a contentious person or a Presidential election.

We have 18 more excruciating months to go in this one and will probably be no better informed on the day we vote. This is because we are going to be inundated with lies, misrepresentations, hateful remarks, character assassination, snide remarks and insults, and there is not a nickel's worth of difference between the bickering parties and candidates.

Ann Coulter, in her book How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), points out that "When Democrats make an accusation against Republicans, newspaper headlines repeat the accusation as a fact," like "U. S. Law Chief Failed to Heed Terror Warnings," or "Bush White House Said to Have Failed to Make al-Qaida an Early Priority."

"But when Republicans make accusations against Democrats" says Coulter, "the headlines note only that Republicans are making accusations," to wit: "Ashcroft Faults Clinton in 9/11 Failures."

The second story I read on Giuliani was an Associated Press piece on May 15, 2007 with this headline: "A President Giuliani Could Face Ethical Web." Was this another example of Coulter's observation? You decide.

The boldface subhead and introduction to the story said this: "An Associated Press review of Rudy Giuliani's law and lobbying firm finds it would spell ethical trouble for him if he won the presidency."

This is exactly what Coulter was pointing out.

This is the kind of crap we get for news in newspapers today: the writers weave an elaborate trail of "facts" arriving at a conclusion of wrongdoing without the reader even having to think.

The writers of this piece of tripe—Sharon Theimer and Devlin Barrett—are trying to convince me that they have uncovered some brilliant piece of investigative reporting when what they have really done is present their own prejudiced views and convicted Guiliani of some wrongdoing.

These writers are masquerading as news reporters but are actually political hacks that do not even recognize how misguided they have become. They probably think Giuliani is as stupid as they think they are smart.

It is probably true that Giuliani made more than $16 million in earned income during the past 16 months, so what is the big deal? Do they think he is a trained attorney and a former prosecuting attorney who is now pig-slopping his way though deals to make income?

Heck, virtually every candidate running for the presidency who could possibly win is at least a millionaire.

John Edwards reported $1.25 million in earned income last year and has listed assets of at least $5 million. Heck, even newcomer Barack Obama knocked down more than a half-million in royalties for one of his books and an advance on another. I believe he earned at least $900,000+ in income last year.

They could investigate Giuliani until they are blue in the face and fine nothing illegal has been happening.

You can bet that any of the presidential candidates, regardless of party affiliation, are not going to be doing illegal moneymaking deals that could ruin their shot at being elected. They would likely wait for a more opportune, less media exposure time to cut a back room deal that would line their pockets.

They may have some moral indiscretions along the way, but will likely cover their heinie in their financial dealings while running for the presidency.

The AP story cites example after example of how Giuliani could be implicated in his lobbying and other money-making activities, and covers all of the supposed conflicts of interests arising from lobbying efforts, like every other candidate has not had any dealings with any government agency since becoming a politician.

Good grief, all politicians make money hand over fist in all kinds of dealings, hundreds of which never become a matter of public record. So what? If any politician really screws up today, he or she is likely to be found out, right down to the money in the cooler.

Virtually every politician at the national level has had their hand greased at one time or another, directly or indirectly. Almost any political candidate who takes campaign contributions of any kind could be shown, upon examination, to have rewarded the contributor with a timely vote that could be justified as legal, moral or honest.

Lyndon Johnson did not make squat when he went into the Texas legislature as a schoolteacher and was a multi-millionaire before he was a President, all on a politician's wages.

(Editor's Note: This ends Part 2 of a 5-Part Series)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

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