Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011


As we mark the tenth anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks on our country, you will be, no doubt engulfed in media coverage (if you choose to turn on your television, radio or computer). For the days leading up to this day, I myself have viewed hours of, 911 emergency calls from those in the top floors of the WTC, and interviews from survivors and widows.

And as I continued to watch program after program dedicated to the event, I wondered if this wasn't wrong. Wrong to continue to watch....continue to feed my morbid curiosity. Continue to listen to the 911 calls from people almost certainly aware they were about to die....and see pictures of victims who chose to die, not by fire, but to leap to their deaths 80 or 90 stories off the ground. I could tell you chapter and verse of where I was, and how the events unfolded for me, but I wasn't there. I couldn't feel the palpable fear NYC must have felt, nor the atmosphere days later, as New York City struggled to understand why 4000 people perished that day.

I don't have anything to add to the information storm available today if you so choose. Only that the feeling of togetherness we felt as a country, that "one nation, indivisible" mindset we felt on that day, and for weeks and months after, has inextricably vanished. Quite possibly never to be seen again.

And for all our high minded bloviations of how we are number one, or are the only great super power remaining on we are indeed, "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all....." not true today. We are not one nation...we are many nations, rendered fractious and weak as a result.

So, as we seek to remember that ominous day ten years ago, let us mourn our fellow Americans that were murdered in a cold hearted, diabolical fashion...yes. But let us also remember the feelings we shared, the resolve we felt towards a common enemy, and that feeling......quite possibly the last time we ever feel we strip ourselves clean of the labels we don politically, socially and in every other way.....and remember what it felt like to indeed be..."one nation, indivisible..."

God bless their memories, God bless you, and

God Bless the UNITED States of America.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

"To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.
It was this cast of characters and the pernicious ideas they represent that impelled me to end a nearly 30-year career as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill. A couple of months ago, I retired; but I could see as early as last November that the Republican Party would use the debt limit vote, an otherwise routine legislative procedure that has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis. Then, they would use that fiscal crisis to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages.
The debt ceiling extension is not the only example of this sort of political terrorism. Republicans were willing to lay off 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, 70,000 private construction workers and let FAA safety inspectors work without pay, in fact, forcing them to pay for their own work-related travel - how prudent is that? - in order to strong arm some union-busting provisions into the FAA reauthorization.
Everyone knows that in a hostage situation, the reckless and amoral actor has the negotiating upper hand over the cautious and responsible actor because the latter is actually concerned about the life of the hostage, while the former does not care....."

Please click on the link for the complete article by a GOP insider who retired, because he could no longer stomach the incidious behavior of a political party who would rather the American people suffer....if it means they acheive victory down the line.