Friday, September 11, 2015

First Pitch

Wonderful video highlighting one of the most positive moments following 9/11.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

What is Hilary Clinton’s Greatest Accomplishment?

Great leaders have accomplishments, not just titles.  Just for fun, next time you are in a crowd of progressives, ask them what Hilary Clinton’s greatest accomplishment is.  Most likely you will get her titles: First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State.  But what did she actually achieve in those positions?  I’ve searched for the answer, and I haven’t found anything significant.

Let’s start with her position as First Lady.  Her most notable contribution during that time was her effort on health care reform, where she was the chair of the task force set up to design a reform plan.  Any objective reading of that effort was that it was an abject failure.  Her proposal was shunned almost universally, with critiques from the left and right, and it did not even make it to a congressional vote.

Next, consider her time as U.S. Senator.  Can anyone name a significant bill that she sponsored?  Some have argued she deliberately kept a low profile not to draw attention to her famous name.  I find that laughable.  What was the point of her being senator then?  Some state that she “argued on behalf of [something]”.  Yes, well pretty much every senator does that.  No doubt she was involved in drafting some minor bills.  But really her most notable vote was her vote in favor of the Iraq War.  So, if you don’t like President Bush’s record on Iraq, you need to put Mrs. Clinton in that same sentence.  I doubt that is something she will put in a campaign ad however.  Also of note is that she voted against two tax reduction packages and against a free trade bill.

Finally, consider her term as Secretary of State.  The most absurd achievement here that you see mentioned regularly is that she travelled to 112 countries while Secretary.  Yippie!  Once again, this is not really an achievement is it?  Two more notable events in her time as Secretary of State were that she gave Russia’s Putin a “reset” button and she presided over Benghazi.  These are clearly two large failures (even if you think Republicans have overdone the attention on Benghazi).  Russian relations have worsened dramatically since that so-called reset, and, putting it kindly, Benghazi was handled very poorly by her office (just to remind you, 4 Americans were killed by Islamic militants while serving our country in Libya, and their requests for additional security prior to the attacks was denied by the State Department).  Trying to find any meaningful foreign policy achievement that she orchestrated is a significant challenge.  Of course we may not know what else she accomplished, since she destroyed all her servers.

So I ask genuinely, what is her greatest accomplishment?  The answer:  she married Bill Clinton.  Is that unfair?  Well, ask yourself this question.  If someone else was running for president with this record, who didn’t have the name Clinton, what would you think of their prospects?  Chair of a failed health care reform task force, voted for the Iraq war, and presided over failing Russian relations and the Benghazi disaster.  I think if you are fair, you would say they wouldn’t even bother trying to run.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Everything is Free!

The New York Times has a headline today that says, "Obama Plan Would Help Many Go to Community College Free".  Not long ago, many were touting how Obamacare provides "free" birth control for women.   Obama has also pushed to make pre-school "free" for all children.  And he has pushed to give "free" cell phones to the poor.  When someone wants to make something free, who wouldn't like it?

Well, of course, these things aren't free.  Someone still has to pay the teachers at the community college, and someone still has to pay the drug companies for birth control pills, someone still has to pay the electricity bills at the pre-schools, and someone needs to pay for those phones.  That someone is taxpayers.  In the case of the community college plan, by some estimates that bill comes to about $34 billion per year.  But of course it isn't as appealing if you say, "Obama Plan Would Force Americans to pay $34 Billion in Community College Tuition for other Americans".

Monday, December 15, 2014

Balance in life

Some great perspective during the holidays...