Do as I say, Not as I do…
In his speech Tuesday night at the RNC, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke to the lack of civility and cooperation in American politics. “We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America,” Christie said. Of course, he immediately began the negative attacks on Obama and almost every other speaker followed suit. Now, being realistic, we know that is what happens at these conventions – whether they be Republican or Democratic. It is to be expected. But there is something here that I see as a good deal of the problem with the Republican leadership today (and over the past three years). Say one thing and do another. Talk cooperation and then take a contrarian action. Speak of embracing diversity and then pushing agendas and legislation that further divides. Again, not saying it doesn’t happen on both sides of the aisle, it is just not so obvious on the other side. I’d bet, say $10,000, that the likes of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell can’t actually put aside their own agenda’s set to make that happen.
Is there some way to give Texas back to Mexico?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement today about the Voter ID court ruling.
“Chalk up another victory for fraud,” he said. “Today, federal judges subverted the will of the people of Texas and undermined our effort to ensure fair and accurate elections. The Obama Administration’s claim that it’s a burden to present a photo ID to vote simply defies common sense.
- With Perry in the lead, Texas rose from second to first among states with the highest proportion of uninsured residents and had the lowest level of access to prenatal care in the U.S. Perry and the Republican-led state legislature have cut Medicaid spending and made it more difficult to enroll in the program, which now covers one-third of Texas children. The cost of caring for uninsured Texans has been borne by those with insurance, leading to substantial rises in insurance premiums and leading Texas to rank next-to-last among states in terms of affordability of health insurance. The Los Angeles Times wrote that under Perry, “working Texans increasingly have been priced out of private healthcare while the state’s safety net has withered.”
- In 2010 Perry signed into law a bill requiring that a sonogram be performed prior to every abortion, and that the practitioner discuss the sonogram images with the patient except in limited cases where the patient may waive the explanation.
- In 2011, Perry had an epiphany and now opposed all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest. He did come back a little and said he would allow an exception for abortions that would save a mother’s life.
- In February 2007, Perry issued an executive order requiring all girls in Texas receive the HPV vaccine, a positive (in some aspect) step given the vaccine protects against some strains of the human papilloma virus, a contributing factor to some forms of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, it did not seem that his decision was necessarily based on looking out for the welfare of his citizens. Shortly after the edict, news outlets reported various apparent financial connections between Perry and the vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck and Merck’s PAC has contributed $28,500 since 2001 to Perry’s campaigns. What a guy.
- Perry supported the Texas 2005 ballot proposition which amended the Texas constitution by defining marriage as “only a union between a man and a woman” and prohibiting the state from creating or recognizing “any legal status identical or similar to marriage”.
- In 2008 in his book On My Honor, Perry offered his view that there was a parallel between homosexuality and alcoholism, writing that he is “no expert on the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate”, but that gays should simply choose abstinence. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he criticized the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
- During his run for the 2012 Republican nomination for President, the Washington Post reported that Perry’s family leases a hunting camp once called “Niggerhead” (apologies – I even hate to write it). According to local residents interviewed by the Post, the Perrys had used the camp for years before painting over a large rock with that name on it, which stands at an entrance to the area, and during this time Perry hosted many friends and supporters at the camp. Perry’s campaign disputed the claims, stating that the Perrys painted over the rock almost immediately after acquiring a lease on the property in 1983. Of course, being the broad-minded thinker he obviously is.
- Perry again showed his open-minded when, in a presidential campaign video he stated “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but your kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas.”
Given this recent proclamation about Voter ID as well as Rick’s long-standing role as a big thinker leading to a better America, I have no other option other to award Rick the latest “Head in the Butt” Award. Congratulations Rick – you can hang this one on your belt right above the concealed weapon you carry!
We have a 2-for-1 special today as I think it is only right to further recognize the great state of Texas which again shows continued evidence of excess, imbalance of the “haves and have-nots” given the news today of the opening of a new football stadium. Normally not news but this stadium cost a mere $60 million for a Texas High School stadium with free Wi-Fi, and a high-definition video screen. It is a sunken design and “has a more intimate feeling than the old one” according to some locals. While it would seem that the old stadium was in need of replacement, given the struggles in meeting educational and student needs across the country (and I would expect equally if not more so in Texas), this outright in your face move by the people of Allen, Texas deserves a bit of attention. While probably more deserved by the city of Allen, given that this is not the largest stadium in Texas, as I’m feeling a bit magnanimous (being it is Friday and a long weekend), I also want to award the state of Texas their own “Head in the Butt” award. Maybe they can hang it in one of the many corporate boxes in the new stadium!
I leave today with one more thought – especially given the level of rhetoric we are currently experiencing in our country with the great divides we see. Our real challenge is focusing on what we are leaving those who follow us. A little too much hate going around at the moment. The quote is by Golda Meir and is specific to the Israeli/Arab relationship at the time but I think the sentiment (just take out “with the Arabs”) is one that can be applied universally –