Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – May 13, 2011

This week the governors of the Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida discovered that they had so much money that they could refuse over $2 billion in infrastructure funding from the federal government. And now there is Newt Gingrich as presidential candidate, threatening to “Win The Future”, whatever that may mean. And finally revisionists like Condoleezza Rice continue to try to spin the past and take undeserved credit for the death of Osama bin Laden while taking no blame for the bloody quagmire called Iraq.

We’re in the Money?

This past week the governors of Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida, seemingly chained to anchor of a truly stupid campaign promise, rejected an allocation of approximately $2.4 billion in federal funds that were to be used for infrastructure development related to high speed rail construction. It should be noted that the governors of New York and several other steps happily took the allocation of these dollars that were initially intended to help the citizens of Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida.

The unemployment rate in Ohio is now 8.9%. The unemployment rate in Wisconsin is currently 8.1%. The unemployment rate in Florida is running at 10.6%. And these numbers are not abstract statistics. These numbers represent men and women who are out of work as they watch the last wisps of the American dream blown away by the winds of poverty and hopelessness.

It will come as no surprise that three governors are all recent G.O.Tea Party candidates, elected this past November. Clearly they are men of their word. Just as clearly, their words are toxic.

And Now There is Newt

Newt Gingrich has now declared himself a candidate for the presidency of the United States. His campaign slogan is “Win The Future”, a meaningless phrase that might be better used in connection with the sale of condo units.

It is clear that Newt Gingrich is counting on the collective amnesia of the American electorate. We are supposed to forget his failed tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives when he was directly complicit in the shutdown of the federal government.

We are also supposed to forget him carrying a torch and pitchfork, calling for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Presumably we should forget his blatant hypocrisy in being engaged in an extramarital affair when he wasn’t busy with impeachment proceedings.

More recently Newt Gingrich is counting on you and me forgetting that he has called for a virtual crusade against Islam which has only served to cause more turmoil in the troubled relationship between this country and a faith adhered to by over a billion people.

Perhaps we are also expected to forget that it has been Mr. Gingrich who has termed the current President “dangerous” and a “socialist” while giving elbow-nudging support to the now completely discredited birther movement.

I would hazard a guess that it is much more likely that we will forget Newt Gingrich as a presidential candidate before we forget his many transgressions and failings.

Memories Are Made of This

It appears that Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush Administration just can’t let it be. The op-ed columns and news shows have been flooded with these discredited faux warriors’ claims that it was the Bush Administration that should be given credit for the downfall of Osama bin Laden.

President Obama noted in his announcement of the killing of bin Laden that the work over the military over the past ten years resulted in the success of two weeks ago. He was gracious enough not to point out that the Bush Administration was directly responsible for the thousands of lives and billions of dollars that were wasted in a stupid war in Iraq and a misguided mission in Afghanistan resulted in a loss of focus.

It is clearly too much to expect that Rice, Cheney, et. al. would demonstrate similar graciousness.

Have a great weekend!

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