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Front Page

In This Issue: 

Þ President Bush’s recent book, Decision Points

     A review and commentary

Þ Are you aware of Congress and the Democrats

Þ Congress and the Media

Þ A slobbering love affair

Þ It’s time to disassemble the House!

 DECISION POINTS

           By George W. Bush

 

 

 

A review and comment on

President Bush’s recent book

 

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

 

 

DECISION POINTS is a memoir by former President George W. Bush featuring key issues in his Presidency. For me it is reassuring.  I had supported Bush throughout his presidency, but at times with some reluctance.  I am now convinced that he will, or should, someday rank among the few who have been our greatest Presidents.

 

What Bush discloses most clearly is his great wealth of contacts with exceptionally able people who offered him their counsel.  Many were clearly more informed than he in the areas of their specialties.  Bush has an unusual capacity to accept such advice with grace, weigh its frequent conflicts logically, for what is most pertinent and valid, and determine his own position with confidence.

 

Much as Bush’s first term was shaped by events growing out of 9/11, his second was shadowed by Katrina and the barrage of media disinformation that followed it.  He admits to considerable anguish over the image of his leadership that emerged.  A key element of that disinformation was his praise of FEMA director, Mike Brown.  That praise was based upon the performance of FEMA and Brown in the record number of hurricanes (4) that hit Florida in 2004, and prior thanks re Katrina from governors of Alabama and Mississippi. All of those states had effective emergency plans and local leadership with which FEMA could work. Those essentials were almost totally lacking in New Orleans. The governor of Louisiana never did give permission for federal troops with policing powers to enter; after three days Bush sent them in without such powers.

 

{State sovereignty can be a sticky legal issue in emergencies.  It was in the Detroit riots of 1967, but Governor Romney gave in after a few hours.  The Bush Administration attempted to remedy that in 2006; a Democrat controlled Congress repealed the remedy in 2008.}

 

Bush’s Chapter Eleven, entitled Lazarus Effect, relates to his support for medical aide in Africa.  Coming after the chapter on Katrina, it might impress a careless reader as atonement.  It is not.  His first trip to Africa was in 1990, a minor ceremonial service to his father, the President.  Prior to 9/11 he responded positively when top aides Colin Powell and Condi Rice suggested he support a multi-national program.  He not only increased, greatly, the finance and scope of programs to fight and prevent HIV/AIDS, he also expanded the fight against malaria, and made several trips to check on progress.  His wife and daughters worked at several of the African sites.  Not much of that had reached me via other sources.

 

“Whatever the verdict on my presidency, I’m comfortable with the fact that I won’t be around to hear it.”  Apparently, Bush, like some of our most significant Founding Fathers, values evidences of long-term service to the nation more than contemporary applause.  I believe that, for Bush, it is a sound bet.

 

Side Note:

Windy Times:

 

 In 1992, the United States was struck by hurricane Andrew; property damage (in current prices) was the greatest this nation (mainly Florida) had ever suffered from that type of tragedy.  In 2005 Katrina wiped out that record.  Do you even recall the third greatest such loss.  It was inflicted in 2008 by Gustav, partly on New Orleans, but mainly on Galveston.  All three occurred during Bush Presidencies. And, the record four hits on one state in one year occurred in 2004, to Florida, while Jeb Bush was the Governor.  What a wind blown Clan!

 

CONGRESS, DEMOCRATS

AND -ARE YOU AWARE?

From an earlier (2009) page:

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

Are you aware that Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat majority in the House is more than twice as large as any Republican majority that a Republican President has had since President Hoover won in 1928?  It is also just about average size for the advantages enjoyed by Democrat Presidents most of the time since 1928. And, every previous Democrat President has had support of at least one House majority larger than Pelosi’s.

 

One of the first things that Congress did after forcing President Nixon out was to vote itself a larger role in the process of budgeting –and taxation.

 

President Ford, advised by his medical experts that a very dangerous flu season was coming, approved expenditures and legal protection to assure adequate flu vaccine.

In order to do that he had to approve a bill that also included a larger expenditure for job training that he had recently vetoed.

 

President G.H.W.Bush, trying to counter Saddam Hussein’s seizure of Kuwait, was faced with Democrat resistance, not only to war, but to enacting the annual budget without substantial increases of social spending and taxes.  Bush gave up his “no new taxes” pledge, won the Gulf War, and lost his chance to be reelected.

Congress and the Media

 

Do no have the interest of the country as their motives!

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR. The Morning Sun, 6/9/92

 

By Ivan W. Parkins

On the night of June 4, some Americans witnessed, on CNN, an example of why our political system no longer works.  The President of the United States held a news conference and the three largest TV networks chose not to carry it.  American politics is increasingly media-dominated.  Our official, popularly chosen, leaders are usually frustrated, and the issues mostly determined, by the media.

 

The problem Thursday night was not simply a matter of whether President Bush could reach the American people directly.  The questions asked of him by reporters reflected little or no interest in his agenda, much of which is legislative proposals now pending in Congress.  Most questions were demands that the President respond or react to a political agenda identified and promoted by the media.     . . . . . . .

 

Since early 1968, every American President, Johnson and Carter, as well as Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush, has struggled to maintain priority for his agenda.  They, especially the Republicans, have had to deal with Congresses which were attuned more closely to selfish interests and the media than to the American public.  Clearly, America needs effective political leadership.  But, the need is more specific.  America needs changes that will, again, enable its elected leaders to actually lead.

   A SLOBBERING LOVE AFFAIR

A review and comment on Bernard Goldberg’s book.

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

     The above book title nearly drove me away, but the authorship of Bernard Goldberg and the picture of President Obama on the jacket had the reverse effect.

 

     Journalist Goldberg, previously a CBS correspondent for 28 years, also the author of BIAS, is for me well worth reading.   As usual Goldberg is quite direct and substantive.  He is not averse to harsh judgments, but seems to let them follow from his evidence, rather than reversing that order as too many writers do.  His account of the Obama-Ayres (terrorist) link was more informative than the others that I have seen.

 

     Like Goldberg, I believe that what we are witnessing is not a conspiracy, but the logical consequence of people (for Goldberg journalists, for me a broader range of information providers) who live like fish in the ocean.  Fish, Goldberg says, know only “wet.”  To them, all else is alien and dangerous.  Many journalists (and some other information providers) know only their environments. Of media liberals, Goldberg says, “To them, conservatives are not simply wrong—they are repulsive.”

 

      I would add to the above that a huge and heavily one-sided media is not at all what was anticipated by the authors of our First Amendment.  In the late eighteenth century there were keen memories of two institutions that had contested the power of the nation state.  They were the army and the church.  The Framers limited the roles of both in our Constitution.

 

      What we have now is the emergence of  a communication elite, especially in large institutions of journalism and higher education.  And this elite, largely united with the Democrat Party, seeks to make the nation “theirs.”  President Obama has emerged as the vehicle.

 IT’S TIME TO

DISASSEMBLE THE HOUSE

Now more than ever.

 

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

The excessive centralization of our government has been accompanied by, and is partly due to, an excessive centralization of the media of information.  Occasional public uprisings, as that we see now, are helpful, but they are not appropriate long-term solutions to an overly centralized government.

 

One way to facilitate a less centralized government, and to reduce centralized opinion formation without direct government interference in the media, is to move Representatives back to their districts.  That was characteristic of our Federal Government in its youth.

 

A larger number of Representatives, living in and contributing to national policies from their districts, should also help to reinvigorate state and local opinion media.  No doubt many, but hopefully fewer, of our political opinions would originate from New York City and Washington, D.C.

 

Let’s increase the numbers of Representatives, and disassemble the House!