Category Archives: Lee Hamilton

Hot Air

Eamus Catuli

Spring, babies!

Never mind the thermometer, it is indeed that season of rebirth and all the rest of that rot. For instance, Bloomington’s Farmers Market opens outdoors today. Yay!

Our lawn is turning really, really green. The chives are running at least ten inches tall. And Steve the Dog and I ventured down to Lake Monroe late yesterday afternoon. We listened to the Cubs home opener on WGN as we drove. Well, I listened. Steve prob. heard some kind of shrill buzz coming from the dashboard. Either way, the sound was decidedly unpleasant: the Cubs were whomped 7-2. Sigh.

Anyway, the lake is brimming with runoff from this week’s biblically-proportioned rainfall. I’ve seen it more flooded — much more flooded — but still, I get a kick out of monitoring the pool level (as my pal, water boss Pat Murphy, would put it) from season to season and year to year. It reminds me that a dammed stream, a river, or any body of water more or less breathes — in slow motion, sure — like every other living, aerobic thing.

L.Monroe 20140404 I

The Cutright Ramp Almost Swallowed Up

L.Monroe 20140404 II

The Footbridge

L.Monroe 20140404 III

Water Laps At The Roadway

L.Monroe 20140404 IV

Steve: “Dude, Ixnay With The Pix. Let’s Go!”

[Wondering about the headline? Consult your Cassell’s Latin-English Dictionary. Once you’ve translated, then you can make fun of me.]

Pants On Fire

Y’know how the ever-aggrieved Right in this holy land is always complaining about that big old mean liberal media? Well, maybe complaining isn’t quite the right word; how about squalling like rotten little brats?

Bumper Stickers

W/o their laundry list of imagined slights, insults, and deadly threats, I don’t know how the Right could survive. But they go on, screaming about how the world’s out to crush them. Chief among the crushers, of course, are television stations, newspapers, news magazines, Hollywood, all the interwebs, talk radio, anybody with a pen or a keyboard, and every living being who’s ever listened to, seen, or read anything.

And guess what: It’s all bullshit. William Kristol, one of the Right’s chief theorists and himself a media creature, is quoted by Joe Conason in the book Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth:

I admit it. The liberal media was never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failure.

Thanks for the clarification, Billy-boy.

Hamilton’s Hoosiers

Staying with book larnin’, let’s look at a Lee Hamilton anecdote from Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland:

Lee Hamilton, an Indiana freshman Democrat, described what it was like to defend his civil rights record at the local taverns:

“Haven’t we done enough for the Negro?” someone will ask…. That’s where they begin calling me names.

Lee H. Hamilton

Freshman Wisdom

Hot Air

Bloomington’s Big Party

Monroe County Dems gathered together yesterday eve at the Convention Center to pat themselves on the back and to cheer each other on toward the fall elections. Politics, y’know?

The whole gang of Democratic elected officials in this town and county (almost all elected officials herein, truth be told) made the scene. Even B-town’s notoriously stealthy mayor, Mark Kruzan, showed his face. He contributed to the pep rally as befitting the star of the team but he did not say whether he’s running for a fourth term in 2015, as some have already whispered he may not.

Party chair Trent Deckard read off a seemingly endless list of candidates for the May 6th Democratic primary. When he finished, he told the throng he’d prob. be eligible for Social Security now. Fitting, because it was Franklin D. Roosevelt, after whom the annual bash is named, who signed SS into law.

FDR

FDR Signs The Social Security Act Into Law, 1935

The honored guest of the confab was former US Congress dude Lee Hamilton. The Party presented Hamilton, now a distinguished scholar at Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies, a certificate of gratitude for being a decent guy who could win an election or two. Hamilton said he tried to follow the path of Roosevelt, who looked upon any potential piece of legislation for what it did to benefit the average person. Sounds like county Dems have themselves a talking point for the 2014 elections.

And speaking of the upcoming beauty contest, the following Dem primary candidates were on hand yesterday:

Monroe County Republicans currently are looking for an old phone booth to reserve for their pow-wow.

[h/t to MC Dem Party sec’y Efrat Feferman for help with the abovementioned names.]

Like Father, Like Son?

For the benefit of those whose historical perspective reaches back, oh, say, 15 minutes, one Willard Mitt Romney once, very long ago, wanted to be president of these here Yew-nited States of Murrica.

He lost to a commie, socialist, sub-human mongrel, abortionist, non-Murrican citizen born in Kenya and our holy land has crashed into a sea of shit ever since.

Well, that’s the narrative of the audience Willard Mitt Romney played to back in those paleozoic days of 2012.

Now, anyone who could figure out a way to lose an election to such a blatant example of bold, bald evil, you would think, might consider it better to keep his trap shut in ensuing years. But Ol’ Mitt is traipsing around the country these days, campaigning for Republican candidates for US Congress and various statehouses. Politics, y’know?

Anyway, Candidate Mitt repped a zeitgeist that posited if you’re rich, you have worked hard and are wonderfully fabulous and whatever you did to get that way was good and pure, and by contrast if you were in need, well then, you deserve it and you’d better get the hell out of my face.

Many of Mitt’s supporters considered themselves members of something called the Tea Party. That’s an almost-perfect name for them. They were only off by two letters. More properly, they should call themselves the Me Party.

Murrica, the Romney gang sang, was made great by gun-owning, god-fearing individuals who excelled despite the onerous burden of gov’t regulations and tyrannical things like labor laws and consumer protections. The rest of this sanctified land was populated by takers — those too lazy, unmotivated, or dark-skinned to amass piles of cash.

Romney/Bain

Mitt (Center) And The Bain Boys: Good & Pure

Now, how could a man construct such a worldview? Romney himself might answer that by saying a man’s character is formed, in large part, by the most important male role model in his life — his daddy-o.

Mitt Romney’s old man was George Romney, auto company CEO, guv of Michigan from 1963 through 1969, and himself a candidate for prez in ’68. Romney pere is a relic of a long-gone age, a liberal Republican, if you can believe such a thing ever existed. In the 1960s, it did.

G. Romney Placard

The old boy spoke about poverty and civil rights and Americans helping Americans and he even became a dove after visiting Vietnam, saying that our little excellent adventure there was a “tragic” blunder.

George Romney had this to say about the American slant on economics, something we’ve liked to refer to as “rugged individualism”:

It’s nothing but a political banner to cover up greed.

Wow. Imagine if the Kenyan Manchurian Prez had said that! Oh, the Me Party-ists, the GOP, and Romney fils would scream to high heaven that it was the preamble to a Soviet invasion.

In reality, Romney the Younger didn’t give a good goddamn about the lessons his pop tried to teach him.

So, why am I bringing this up? I’m getting this strange feeling that Ol’ Mitt is fixin’ to run for president again in 2016. I’m no more an idolator of Hillary Clinton than I was of Barack Obama, but I sure as hell will vote for her over a man who doesn’t have the good sense to listen when his father tries to teach him to be a decent human being.

The Pencil Today:

THE (VIDEO) QUOTE

Courtesy of the White Rabbit.

RICK ‘N ROLL

A couple of things about my favorite Martian, Rick Santorum, before I get into the meat of today’s post.

  1. Yesterday, speaking before a crowd in Arizona, Rickey-girl slammed the Obama health care bill, natch. But he acknowledged that part of Obama’s reasoning was that every citizen should have the right to health care. Haharights. “When the government gives you rights, they can take those rights away,” he spewed. I’ve never thought about it that way before. I guess Martin Luther King, Jr. and all his cronies, were they still alive, would regret the enactments of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. Because, after all, who cares about rights when they can be taken away?
  2. Pennsylvania’s man-in-the-closet is taking heat for casting aspersions on Obama’s “theology.” He has declared he will not step back from the statements because they came from his heart. You know, that’s why Republican Cro-Magnons are attractive to a lot of voters. They won’t back down. It’d be refreshing to hear a Democrat once in a while saying, Screw it, I said it and I believe it, no matter how many people think I should apologize.

BALLOT BOXERS

Speaking of Democrats, the Monroe County party faithful gathered together last night in the Fountain Square ballroom to pat themselves on the back and tell each other how badly they’re going to spank the GOP this coming November.

Even Mayor Mark Kruzan emerged from his cocoon to press the flesh.

Kruzan Has Been Seen In Public Before

Dem hopefuls running in the May primary for city, county, and statewide offices were introduced by the somnolent county party chair Rick Dietz during last evening’s finger-food love fest.

BTW: perhaps Dietz does a fine job maintaining the records of the party, or maybe he finds the best deals on yard signs and bumper stickers. But when it comes to rallying the troops, Steven Wright would be a more emphatic orator.

Anyway, the star of the show was the mustachioed John Gregg, who’s running for governor. He grabbed the mic out of Dietz’s hand when he was introduced and wowed the crowd. The man has charisma in addition to that big furry thing on his upper lip.

A Hirsute Governor?

The five brave souls running for US Congress from Indiana’s 9th District met the flock as a unit for the first time. In fact, some of them met the flock for the first time, period.

At least three of the contenders threw their hats into the ring within the last few weeks. They’re all earnest and most of them paid lip-service to the memory of liberal Dem representative Frank McCloskey as well as the sainted Lee Hamilton. But from this vantage point, it seems likely the only one with a ghost of a chance to unseat Congressboy Todd Young is Shelli Yoder.

McCloskey: Local Hero

I came down hard on Yoder Monday. She’s best known as Miss Indiana 1992 and earned a second runner-up spot in that year’s Miss America drool-fest. Apparently, she’d earned her second-lieutenancy by smoking up the pageant stage in her swimsuit.

Being a licensed and certified smart-ass, I felt compelled to make fun of her beauty-queen past. But smart pols like Regina Moore and Linda Robbins dig her the most, so I can’t discount their evaluations.

On the other hand, I spoke to a couple of female pols last night who want to see more from Yoder — and they weren’t talking skin, either.

Here are the Dems running for the nomination:

I haven’t got time right now to reveal my impressions of the gang (there’s the little matter of catching my bus to get to the Book Corner) but I’ll run them all through my wringer within the next few days. It should be fun.

SEX, SEX, SEX!

Back to the-man-whom-Google-made-famous, Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times decided to check out his website. Steinberg reveals the results of his research in today’s column.

Steinberg

His conclusions? What I’ve been saying all along, these theocratic right wingers think about sex, sex, sex, and more sex.

To be frank, I do, too. As do you, I’ll bet. But, speaking for myself, I don’t flagellate myself for those thoughts.

And yeah, I tried the whole whipping-for-fun trick once. Didn’t do much for me. Still, I don’t run around screaming that my S&M pals ought to be banished to a desert island.

Maybe, Rickey-girl should try it. Could it be that’s what he really wants?

THE REAL RICK?

 

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