go to 23:43 of video timeclock below and see the greatness of LBJ —
These are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem. Today as never before — man has in his possession — capacities to end war and preserve peace — to eradicate poverty and share abundance — to overcome the diseases that afflict the human race — and permit all mankind to enjoy their promise in life on this earth.
I like Robert Caro’s method to “examine the acquisition and use of political power in American democracy, from the perspective both of those who wield it and those who are at its mercy. In an interview with Kurt Vonnegut, Caro once said: ‘I was never interested in writing biography just to show the life of a great man,’ saying he wanted instead ‘to use biography as a means of illuminating the times and the great forces that shape the times—particularly political power.'”
Caro’s chronicles “are quite breathtaking… These [writings] challenge the view of history that politics is just about individual maneuvering. It’s about ideas and principled policy achievements. That’s what makes great political biography… nothing short of a magnificent history of 20th century America.”
Not only to remind yourself of the history of our nation and the stories of those who sacrificed themselves in defense of our core values, but also to gain insight into living a life based not in fear but in the Habits of Love.
President Eisenhower’s prescient genius — so to timeclock 39:30 on Ike’s superior mind & continue on to 42:40 on JFK’s steep learning curve from Ike —
President Obama’s cowardly capitulation to Wall St. & our mega-money plunderers
go to timeclock 42:40
Brian Lamb: Let me throw some politics into this. President Obama all through the
campaign positioned himself as being anti-Wall Street and anti-big banks. In reality was
Sheila Bair: Well it was
– look I think the – I met with him several times, so when he
first came in he was very accessible and then kind of after several months that faded
away and I think Larry and Tim probably didn’t want everybody else having access to
Brian Lamb: Larry Summers, Tim Geithner?
Sheila Bair: Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, yes. So I think his heart was in the right
place but at the end of the day he picked people who had been very much part of this, I
Brian Lamb: Make the connection because you do in the book about Robert Rubin and
Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson and all the people that come and go out of government
to the Wall Street. Is there
– again what’s going on here?
Sheila Bair: Well it’s perspective, it’s narrow focus on Wall Street and viewing the needs
of the country though the needs of Wall Street and the idea that if you fix Wall Street,
you fix the rest of the country and it’s just not so. Their interests are different from ours
and them making big profit
s and big bonuses isn’t necessarily in the benefit of the
country. It’s to the hindrance of the country if they think they can take big risks and put it
on tax payers. That makes for a less
Brian Lamb: Why didn’t they put a restriction on these outfit’s that were bailed out?
Sheila Bair: Well they were all sorts of reasons. They did finally for B of A and Citi
because they had to have multiple bailouts. They did out more severe restrictions on
them but then that’s when we found ourselves at the end of 2009 treasury putting
pressure on everyone to let B of A and Citi repay their TARP, their bailout money, so
they could pay bonuses again. Which I thought was premature; those are still very sick
institutions. But the healthier ones and to some extent this is right, the healthier ones
really didn’t need a lot of bailout money. There was a bit of a liquidity problem but they
had enough capital, the commercial banks and so
– but I think in a desire to camouflage
the ones that had real problems like Citi Group, they pretty much told everybody to take
But you go to a healthy bank like a Wells Fargo or J.P. Morgan Chase and the markets
are open to them, they just had done big capital raises they weren’t in really any kind of –
you know they had capital, they had access to liquidity. You go to them and say we want
you to take
this TARP money and, oh by the way, we’re not going to let you have your
bonus next year or whatever and they’re going to baulk, they’re not going to take it. So
that was the reason.
Brian Lamb: I’m going to read you just another sentence from your bo
ok. I have seen
many instances when career staff have been too differential to industry wishes.
Sheila Bair: Yes, absolutely.
Brian Lamb: Why? How many of them want to go out of being in government to work
for these institutions?
Sheila Bair: Well that is part of it. I think the
– this accepted practice of having a career
trajectory where you work for a regulatory agency for several years and then go work for
an institution that you regulated, I think that impairs thinking. But the political pressure
too can be quite profound and I think at the FDIC we had much less of that in terms of,
examiners thinking they were going to go work for banks, but they had really been beaten
down. As I talked about there’s been some significant downsizing prior to the crisis and
then on our backup authority, when our staff in the past had tried to exercise backup
authority over some of these large banks, the board actually had slapped them down
because of political pressure from the large institutions.
So they had also not gotten the support that they needed from the political leadership of
the agency and I think this has happened in the past at the OCC and the Fed too. The
principals, the leaders of the agencies have to support their staff and let their staff know
that they want them to be independent, that they want them to take enforcement actions
or whatever else needs to be done if these banks are operating in an unsafe and unsound
manner. And the examiners don’t
always know that they have that support, so that’s a
Brian Lamb: During this period we’re going th
rough the inauguration and the President’s
group have called for a million dollar contributions from big corporations. If you were
sitting in the FDIC and you’re having meetings with the Secreta
ry of the Treasury and the
Comptroller of the Currency and you knew that a company had given a million dollars,
what impact would that have on you?
Sheila Bair: Well it wouldn’t have an impact on me but I’m difficult what
can you say?
I’d make it work.
Brian Lamb: What impact would it have on most of these situations you’ve found?
Sheila Bair: Well it would make them stop and think; yes sure of course it would make
them stop and think. It’s
– and I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s good for these
agencies to be independent so they don’t work for the P
resident and I think if you’re a
lower level person at the FDIC and you have a chairman like me or a Marty Gruenberg
now who is a very independent person.
Brian Lamb: He’s the new chairman?
Sheila Bair: He’s the new chairman, you’re going to understand that’s’ not going to
matter to us.
Brian Lamb: I want to show you some video tape
– this is Neil Barofsky, who we had on
this program, who had a book talking about what it was like working inside the treasury
department as a Special Inspector General for TARP which is all very gobbly gook
language that most of us don’t understand but watch what he has to say.
Sheila Bair: All right, ok.
Neil Barofsky: And as I laid that case out to him and explained to him that he was not
being sufficiently transparent the meeting got very contentious. He
– to put it mildly
disagreed with my contention. He used a lot of obscenities in expressing his view that he
had been one of the most transparent secretaries of the treasury in the history of the
country. That he had forced the banks to disclose things that no one else would and it
sort of followed this pattern for about 40 minutes of really very explosive obscenity laid
in tirades against me as I was sort of trying to make that argument. And let me make this
clear, I’m not complaining about that. It was just sort of the nature of a very contentious
meeting. But still, inside, I’m still just a line prosecutor from Manhattan, and also n
I’ve got one of the most powerful officials in the world, dropping F bombs on me. It was
sort of this very remarkable moment. And my deputy would come with me from New
York, Kevin Puvalowski, after us, just looked at each other, and it was sort of this
remarkable thing that here we are trying to advocate for what we think is some pretty
common sense changes and this deep level of animosity and condescension, was
Brian Lamb: He’s talking about Tim Geit
hner the secretary of the treasury who’s leaving
but you write a lot about Tim Geithner in here and I guess I’m not sure at the end. So
many people quarrelling about him was he successful or was
– what’s all this contention?
Was it good or bad for the process?
Sheila Bair: Well I think the lack of tolerance for different views was not helpful. I think
you know the FDIC had a lot to add to the discussion especially when we got on to 2009
when the system was stable and we didn’t have the opportunity to restructure some
banks and that’s what the FDIC does. They deal with troubled financial
institutions. They restructure and they clean them up, they return them to the private
sector and there was not a willingness or an openness to always listen to our contributions
and I think that hurt the process. The discussion about whether the things were
successful or not I mean define success, we didn’t go over the cliff so that was a good
thing. But we didn’t have a robust recovery we had a re
-struggling recovery we still do.
The financial sector has still been a drag not a source of strength for the economy.
Hopefully that’ll change this year. They are finally cleaning up the balance sheets and
doing a better job of lending but it’s been a long time coming. I think
there could have
been some things that were done differently and it would have been nice if there had been
more openness to different viewpoints at least having open discussions, serious dialogues
about it we just didn’t have that.
Brian Lamb: Let me back into something you were talking about earlier Citi Group, how
big a company is that?
Sheila Bair: Right now it’s about 1.2 trillion I think, it was close to
two when this crisis
started. They had been whittling down their assets.
Brian Lamb: At one point one of the top people there was Bob Rubin who was former
secretary to the treasury under Bill Clinton.
Sheila Bair: Right, yes that’s right.
Brian Lamb: You say basically in your book that Bob Rubin was responsible for
bringing Tim Geithner to the secretary of the treasury?
Sheila Bair: That’s my assumption, yes.
Brian Lamb: And he came out of the New York Fed?
Sheila Bair: Yes.
Brian Lamb: And then you say in your book “Tim had always played a staff
role; even as
the head of the New York Fed he had basically been the mechanic who had engineered
the bailout programs. Hank and Ben, Hank Paulson Ben Bernanke treated him almost like
Sheila Bair: Right.
Brian Lamb: “He had been elevated to the role for all of the wrong reasons. Boo
Bob Rubin with no doubt had, had every expectation that Tim would continue his Citi
Group friendly pol
icies.” That seems to be the nub of part of what you’re writing about
here. Did he continue the Citi Group friendly policies and did the people at Citi Group
make out better because he was at the secretary of the treasury?
Sheila Bair: Oh I think there’s no question about that. That’s objective fact. I mean the
government was quite generous to Citi. That was a very, very sick institution. They had
made just about every mistake in the book.
Brian Lamb: But they all went away. I mean Bob Rubin is worth millions.
Sheila Bair: Yes, yes.
Brian Lamb: Never was punished in any way whatsoever.
Sheila Bair: No, no.
Brian Lamb: He’s still a
confidante of the president.
Sheila Bair: I don’t get it. He shows up in Op Ed columns and in conferences and as
near as I can tell never really accepted responsibility for any of this. Which I find
amazing and he helped create the beast when they got Glass-Steagall repealed and he was
secretary of the treasury and drove that and supported that and got that done and to go
and become the chairman or the executive chairman as
– they made special title for him
at the institution that was the primary beneficiary of this major policy change I think the
optics were terrible.
Brian Lamb: Another piece of tape
– another piece of something you were involved in,
it’s Suzie Orman and Sheila Bair, let’s run it, it’s not very long and then I’ll ask you how
you got into this.
Sheila Bair: OK.
Suzie Orman: Ever lose one of these? Everyone has, except for people whose money is
fully insured by the FDIC. Those depositors have never lost one penny in the 75 years of
the FDIC. Good to know in times like these. So here’s the question. Do you know if all
your money is safe and sound?
Sheila Bair: Go to myFDICinsurance.gov
Suzie Orman: Click on EDIE the Estimator.
Sheila Bair: Because the more you know…
Suzie Orman: …the safer your money.
Brian Lamb: First question, did you pay her to do that?
Sheila Bair: No we didn’t. She did it all pro bono.
Brian Lamb: She makes out like a bandit though, when she’s standing next to the head of
the FDIC and she’s done big business.
Sheila Bair: I think the benefit was mutual actually. She had been a critic of ours and I
started engaging her because she had criticized and several justifications were appropriate
at the complexity of our deposit insurance rules and the difficulty of understanding how
deposit insurance rules work. So we simplified it and she gave us a lot of free time
helping us set up a very user friendly Web site called EDIE to better explain our deposit
insurance system and our limits. And as we got into the crisis more and more when there
was a tremendous amount of press speculation about whether we were going to run out of
money. People were raising questions about the safety of their insured deposits and I was
fighting that but I was the head of the agency so it was going to be my job to do that and
we thought it would be good to have a third person and Suzie is never one to pull
punches, to vouch for us basically and she was willing to do that. She spent
donated all of her time, she donated a lot of time her consulting services were completely
free on EDIE and on doing those ads and that was a full day of taping.
Brian Lamb: Those ads run free of charge on television stations.
Sheila Bair: They are public service announcements.
Brian Lamb: And so for her it gives her a tremendous amount of
Sheila Bair: Well
I don’t think – does Suzie Orman needs that? She’s written several
bestselling books, she’s
got a very well watched show. I mean I think her name
recognition frankly was much higher than the F
DIC’s. I’m not sure I think we benefited
actually from her credibility with Main Street not the other way around.
Brian Lamb: Let me asked one last series of questions; what did you decide to do once
you left the chairman’s job because obviously in this book
you write about a people the
revolving door business.
Sheila Bair: So I joined a Pew Charitable Trust.
I’m a senior advisor there, I also – I
wrote the book.
I’m joining a couple of boards, I go give speeches and it’s a nice
combination of things and I’m
enjoying my life right now and I wanted to practice what I
preached and I didn’t think it would be appropriate to go work for a bank
regulated and I won’t take speaking fees either–
for people who use our debt guarantee
programs or insured banks.
So it’s what I’m comfortable with, other people do not
follow the same path and that’s fine but you know I think it’s good to show by example
and we did a lot of things to assist banks during the crisis like with the debt guarantee
programs and a higher deposit insurance limit
s and I didn’t want anybody to think – that
there was anything on my mind other than protecting the public in taking those measures.
So again it was my personal choice. I don’t judge people who choose different options
but I do think I wish they would think hard about that because it really, it undermines
public confidence in the regulatory process and in government and when they see these
regulators who had helped industries go and work for them.
Brian Lamb: Our guest has been Sheila Bair. The book is called Bull by the Horns.
She’s the former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairman and we thank you.
Sheila Bair: You’re welcome.
Among our Hawaiian Islands greatest leaders is Paul M. de Silva born 1934 — Paul is the greatest prosecutor who ever stood in the hall of justice — Paul broke the Mob’s knees nearly half a century ago when the Mob shook our common citizenry into morbid fear via killings & shakedowns. Paul is our Sir Galahad for all eternity.
Hawaii County’s greatest-ever chief prosecutor Paul M. De Silva born 1934 is reminiscent of President Harry S. Truman — fearlessly transparent/ablest administrator/tremendous equanimity, not to mention greatest-ever cognition/litigator. Still drop dead Hollywood handsome with a full head of lustrous hair, Paul is not Jesus by a stretch, but as close to Jesus as one comes on this earth. It saddens our common folk that Paul never ran for political office (other than as our unbeaten elected prosecutor). Neither Paul’s predecessors (incl. Billy Beers/Marty Pence/Yoshito Tanaka) nor Paul’s successors (Jon Ono/Jay Kimura) ever had the DNA/practical wisdom of Paul. If you recall, Paul’s most recent progressive reform was to put teeth into our police commission and avert political machinations — sadly, our politicians rejected Paul’s prescient measures.
Ironically, our tough as nails former chief prosecutor Paul also was our most merciful leader.
As sage Steve Kalas says, mercy is a sublime virtue –put a bridle on the animal instinct to attack vulnerability. It means that, when our antagonist has dropped his sword and shield, bows before us and asks for another chance, we give a “thumbs up.” We allow sincere remorse to gentle us instead of provoke us to increased aggression.
Paul always embraced the reproached,
the outcasts of society, knowing that
these imperfect ones had a closer affinity
with living authentically, more so than the overproud
sentients full of contemptuous opinions and
scathing comments vs. others.
To Paul, imperfection is a natural part of life,
not outcome dependent (as in self-interested loathsome organized religion) for us all. Let’s remember that Paul’s grandpa Rev. Ernest Gomes De Silva by far is our greatest inspiration to the forsaken of society, and that Paul’s dad Ernest B. De Silva is our greatest educator who believed in actualizing everyone’s potential. I never forgot that DPI (today’s DOE) chief Ernest B. De Silva embraced the “repulsive” Uchinanchu/Okinawan and Filipino immigrants as Ernest’s own ohana.
Just as the Parables and Beatitudes feature the dramatic presentation and reversal of expectations that are characteristic of the Social Gospel, to the De Silva familia/ohana — the poor are accepted as constituting the primary recipients of the Good News and, therefore, as having an inherent capacity of understanding humbleness/compassion/patience/generosity better than anyone else. Yes, pretty disturbing for any comfortable patrician. Comfort the afflicted, and if necessary, afflict the comfortable. The poor have less standing between themselves and God, vs. arrogant and disdainful perpetrators of mammon/overpride.
Irony, reversal, and frustration of expectations were characteristic of common folk inspiration Paul.
Disinterested, self-giving care for the “other” (agape). We are to act on behalf of those who have immense needs and who reside along the social margins (the hungry, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the oppressed).
Do you have something to offer in terms of your own life experiences — reversal of convention/a confounding truth which reveals a disguised blessing for us all??
Paul M. De Silva is someone very special — no matter the accolades/adornments bestowed upon him by society, Paul always will be a hero to the common folk
Thank you for allowing me to feature Paul de Silva.
Politicians today don’t have the leadership skills/clear edge because politics today are more a business than in Paul’s time 40 years ago — politicians today are very risk-averse.
In Paul’s era great leadership manifested, not via egotism but as bragging rights in the sense of attacking & solving the problem at hand — instead of falling prey to thug pillagers such as special interests UPW/HGEA/developers/engineers/etc.
Folks like Paul blend right into the landscape at a salt-of-the-earth McDonald’s eatery, but when the s-h-*-t hits the fan, we all know who is our leader – hitherto unobtrusive/incognito/mild-mannered knight in shining armor Paul M. de Silva.
Thanks again, Tiff. When I was 16 years old, Paul spoke to our civics class at Hilo High. I never forgot how kindly and sweet and humble that educator-at-heart Paul was. He still is, Tiff!! I still remember young prosecutors like Andy Wilson and corp counsels like Earl Nakasato fully subscribing to loving & inclusive Paul’s teaching method (Socratic with equal footing between teacher & pupil).
Paul refrains of the beautiful tune here. Paul is a musico duende like McCartney of Liverpool.
President Obama falls far short of Lincoln & LBJ in implementing the Social Gospel [blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth & the kingdom of heaven — Matthew 5/Isaiah 58] —
From a Democracy to a Plutocracy: Why This Democrat Despises Barack Obama
Equality of rights and obligations, in people’s treatment under the law, is the very basis of democracy. When our nation was founded, the slave states demanded ignoring this legal concept, so it didn’t become part of our Constitution until 1868, when the 14th Amendment was added, including its Equal Protection Clause, which requires states to accord equal rights to everyone. Since that time, the major Constitutional battles have extended the meaning, and scope, of that Clause, regarding women, homosexuals, small religions (or “cults”), etc.
Other remaining areas of Constitutional ambiguity focus upon equality of obligations, not just of rights. However, any nation that fails to accord equal rights and obligations to all citizens, is a plutocracy, a rule of some legal category of people over another legal category of people; and is, therefore, to that extent, a dictatorship, by some, over others – not an authentic democracy.
A plutocracy has nothing to do with any natural hierarchy, such as, for example, parents having an obligation to serve basic needs of their children up to a certain age, nor to do with any other situation in which a dependency exists by nature instead of being legally imposed. A plutocracy is precisely a legally imposed hierarchy; it is not a naturally imposed one.
For example, homosexuals dictating to heterosexuals would be no more natural than heterosexuals dictating to homosexuals; in a democracy, no law will grant either category of persons rights or obligations to the other category.
This is what freedom means: it means legal equality. It does not mean (as many conservatives think it means) capitalism. (For example, dictatorial capitalism is called “fascism,” and democratic socialism is called “progressivism,” or is called whatever other term one might apply to the ideology of legally equalitarian nations such as Denmark.)
Freedom means legal equality, and it exists only in democracies. That’s the reality, not the “patriotic” propaganda, such as one often hears spouted by conservatives.
Barack Obama has been imposing upon the United States a plutocracy. A recent commentary by Robert Reich provides one clear example of Obama’s doing this. Headlining “Why BP Isn’t a Criminal,” Reich documents that President Obama (via his “Justice” Department) has been imposing legal obligations upon BP’s lower-level employees but not upon the top-level executives who had set up, and had become wealthy from imposing upon those lower-level employees, the reward-system that caused those lower-level employees to produce the Gulf of Mexico blowout and its consequent deaths and destruction. Indeed, On Nov. 18, the AP headlined “Defense Lawyers Say BP Rig Workers Are Scapegoats,” and quoted lawyers for one worker saying “No one should take any satisfaction in this indictment of an innocent man. This is not justice.” The entire chain of command above those workers were ignored by Obama’s “Justice” Department. That’s typical.
In Obama’s America, benefits go upward, and costs go downward. The rights go to the aristocrats, while the obligations go to their workers. Equality before the law is merely an illusion in Obama’s America. This is the basic takeaway I derive from Reich’s superb essay.
There are other examples. On Oct. 2 2012, Bloomberg News headlined “Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened,”and Peter Robison reported that, “The earnings gap between rich and poor Americans was the widest in more than four decades in 2011, Census data show, surpassing income inequality previously reported in Uganda and Kazakhstan,” both of which countries are well recognized to be plutocracies. The reason for this yawning gap is that when Timothy Geithner, whom Obama chose to become U.S. Treasury Secretary, structured the bailout of Wall Street, he insisted that future U.S. taxpayers would be obliged to bail out the then-current bondholders in those bailed-out firms at 100 cents on the dollar, as if there were no “toxic assets” at all being held by those firms.
Shahien Nasiripour, at The Huffington Post, bannered, on May 16, 2011, “Confidential Federal Audits Accuse Five Biggest Mortgage Firms Of Defrauding Taxpayers,” and he reported that the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had carried out audits of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial, and found, in each case, that they had swindled the Federal Government. “The internal watchdog office at HUD referred its findings to the Department of Justice, which had to decide whether to file charges” under “the False Claims Act, a Civil War-era law crafted as a weapon against firms that swindle the government.” All of “the audits conclude that the banks effectively cheated taxpayers by presenting the Federal Housing Administration with false claims: They filed for federal reimbursement on foreclosed homes… using defective and faulty documents.”
Yet again — as with Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein, and with Countrywide Financial’s Angelo Mozilo — the Obama “Justice” Department was being challenged to prosecute banksters. And yet again, they refused. Obama still hasn’t pursued even a single one of them. Basically, Obama’s team has held harmless the top executives and investors in the Wall Street firms who had structured their incentive systems to reward the most the mortgage salespeople who deceived home buyers the most, and the bond-rating firms that deceived investors the most. This is what had ended up maximizing the bonuses for those top executives, so they did it. And yet Obama has refused to prosecute any of these “control fraudsters,” as criminologist William K. Black calls them. The same plutocratic operation that Robert Reich documents to have been imposed by Obama on BP, was earlier imposed by him upon the Wall Street firms whose mortgage frauds, and defrauding of investors, had crashed the U.S. economy.
Unlike Mitt Romney and his plutocratic financial backers, Barack Obama does this sort of thing only because he respects plutocrats, not because he is one. He won’t gain financially by turning this nation into a banana republic. But whatever his motivation is, I despise him for continuing George W. Bush’s and the Republican Party’s turning this nation into no longer a democracy, but a plutocracy. He doesn’t have to do it; he just wants to do it, and this is despicable, in the view of this committed democrat.
demagoguery & political observations —
I read your article that appeared in today’s (Nov. 11) Review-Journal. It made no sense that you would print it today (after the election). The only thing that made any sense to me was the expression you made about our rights to vote in this country. Your political views are laughable! I guess that’s why Mitt Romney lost the election. Sincerely, Clare Sklodowski
So, you open up your Sunday paper and read a column about the “upcoming” general election that has already happened. That is confusing. But not to worry, Clare! You simply got caught in a Human Matters time warp. It happens all the time.
You see, Clare, I don’t print my column. Not today or any day. The Review-Journal prints it. On Sundays. And they post my second column on the View website. On Tuesdays. I woke up early on Election Day and wrote that column. Then Sunday came, and the Review-Journal published the column. Just like clockwork.
So, the good news is, neither of us is losing our mind.
Next, it’s nice to know you thought the “expression I made about our rights to vote in this country” made sense. I like making sense, and I try every day to make sense. And while I never have used the expression “making sense with my expressions,” well, I suppose a man who values making sense should try to do so on multiple levels. So, again, thank you.
Next is what I assume to be the real thrust of your correspondence. You understand my political views to be “laughable.” And you believe those laughable views cost Mitt Romney his bid for the presidency.
Now it’s Monday, Nov. 12, and I’m sitting in an airport in Philadelphia. I received your letter yesterday morning. I tell you this because I want to be forthright about the time I’ve had to contemplate your argument. I did not want to seem to be exploiting an unfair advantage.
Not that it mattered, in this case. Give me a week to ponder this, and I’d still be overwhelmed. Completely buffaloed. I’m saying your argument is simply beyond me. You win. My political views are laughable. Touche. I am fallen. Bested.
Perhaps my victor would offer me the dignity of identifying the political views in said column. Because, if there are many political views contained therein, I missed them. I thought they were mostly observations. Let me list for you what I consider the observations I was making:
• That the Democratic party identifies historically and strongly with labor unions;
• That Republicans, under George Bush Jr., gave us the doctrine of pre-emptive war;
• That the Democratic Party identifies itself with “special interest” groups significantly more so than Republicans;
• That the Republican Party identifies itself with what has become known as the “religious right,” a relationship I first noticed during the Reagan administration.
• That both parties, starting around World War II, have not given a damn about balanced budgets and must and do share the responsibility for spending us into oblivion. They merely spend the money we don’t have on different things.
• That the two-party system in America abides in a painful and hostile gridlock, which I likened to the San Andreas fault.
For me, these are no more “political views” than my “view” that the sun rises in the east. Surely observing things aloud can’t cost candidates elections.
Yes, there are some “views” in the column, though a few are merely implied. At the very least, I’d be willing to call them political opinions. They are:
• That “special interest” and the “religious right” bog down and even distort the two parties, respectively, from serving their constituents and wider America;
• That labor unions are, today, in my opinion, near vestigial and worse, sometimes a hindrance to excellence;
• That the doctrine of pre-emptive war troubles my soul deeply, to say the least.
So, if you’d be willing to go the extra mile, perhaps you’d identify for me the “political views” my column contains and which of these are laughable. Or perhaps all of them are laughable. Either way.
Now, to your incisive argument: My “political views” (whatever they are) “are laughable.”
See, this is where you lose me. I’m a dinosaur. The world has passed me by. When I learned debate, they taught us to craft actual linear arguments. That the words “I disagree” would be immediately followed by content and substance. In short, we were required to bring actual arguments to the table.
Not today. Today debate is simpler. “You are laughable. You are stupid. You hate America. You suck. My opponent hasn’t paid taxes in 12 years. My opponent is a Kenyan nationalist ,” etc.
So, there you have it. You win. I’d love to engage you, but I’d need you to type things that might engender “Good point,” or “That made me think,” or “We disagree, and here’s why .”
If you would be so kind.
Our 2013-2015 Hawai’i County Council will have great progressive reformer Brenda Ford leading the way, backed up by land use observer Margaret Wille, but Wille needs to learn the art of compromise to avert ruining Ford’s policies — Wille a one track mind neophyte with no political wisdom whatsoever. Former solon Keola Childs also had land use knowhow like Wille, but Childs self-destructed via his surly persona, notwithstanding his criminal record. Hawai’i Island clean-balanced ecology/responsible land use preservationist genesis Debbie Hecht would have beaten pretentious reformer Karen Eoff [Karen just working for Karen’s pension] for the District 8 Council seat, but Debbie concentrated on the 2 charter amendments which passed by a 2 to 1 margin this month. Bobby Command as Mayor Kenoi’s Kona showstopper proves that Mayor Kenoi cares about Kona, inasmuch former mayor Harry Kim only has the nascent West Hawai’i Civic Center to show for, Bobby a knowledgeable Kona resident/former esteemed scribe.