Monday Morning Politics

Welcome to the dreadful day we call Monday.  After watching a couple of great football games yesterday and knowing the big game is about two weeks away, today seems even more of a downer than most Mondays (probably not as much as in San Francisco and Baltimore, though).

But there’s good news – we are still above the grass!

Almost every Monday I compile some of the political stories from the past weekend and put them in one place for all to see – and also offer some personal commentary!

Today I take a look at the Gabby Giffords announcement, I comment about who is fighting for F-15s, I let veterans know about a problem, I reveal the contents of a special letter, I look at a really good-paying job, I let you know that Tuesday is Juneau day at the Capitol, I share my thoughts on South Carolina, and let you know that the State of the Union address is Tuesday!  There’s even more!!!

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Caught My Eye…

For some reason “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama is stuck in my head today.  Here’s the video so you can have it stuck in your head, too.

It has been a “cruel summer” with all the unemployed people among us, but we get to end it with a three-day weekend – but if you don’t have a job, you have more than a three-day weekend…

By the way, autumn really does not start until September 23.

Here at The Western Word we know you’re itching to leave work and start your weekend.  We understand that – but “Caught My Eye” will serve as filler until the boss lets you go (I hear everyone is getting to leave early today).  It might give you something to talk about on the beach or around the campfire this weekend, too.

This week we take a look at a man named Bullock, a lawsuit, Iraq, the President’s speech, my political inbox, jobs, t-shirts, pigs, and much more – so read on! Continue reading

One Good Thing

The one and only thing that was good about yesterday’s vote in the U.S. House on the debt limit was that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., made a surprise showing in the House chamber to cast her vote.  Giffords had been absent from the House since January after being shot in the head.  Thank God she is well enough to return to the House.

That was the one good thing.

The bill, the final product, those in leadership working on the bill, and most of the elected folks in the House, the Senate, and the White House have all terribly disappointed most of the citizens in this country the last few weeks.  That disappointment reached the zenith yesterday evening and will continue today with the senate vote.  Continue reading

Just Shut Up…

Within a few minutes of the tragedy in Arizona the blame game started. The left blamed the right and the right blamed the left.

The cable news networks picked their sides and the debate started.

It’s time for everyone to just shut up – take a step back. Do no harm. People were murdered – one was a nine year-old girl – who just wanted to meet the congresswoman – a role model. Others have also suffered and some will be scarred for life both mentally and physically. Continue reading

The Security Issue

With the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six people in Tucson on Saturday, people are coming up with some ideas on how to keep this from happening again. Some of the ideas are:

-More gun control

-Less vitriol

-Less angry political rhetoric

-More security for office holders

I’m not in favor of more gun control laws, but I am in favor of enforcing the laws that are already on the books – and we can sure use less vitriol and anger at our elected officials – and our elected officials can tone down the political rhetoric some.

This column is about security. As one who has been involved with security issues for most of my life in one job or another, I say it’s well past the time to take a closer look at the security of elected officials.

I would wager that every elected official has at least been threatened in some way throughout their careers.

There are wackos galore roaming around the country who write letters or send e-mails, make phone calls, and there are few who are brave enough to show their faces at public meetings. Continue reading

Breaking News Coverage

Like a lot of people, I receive most of my news from through Twitter by following several news organizations and through text messages from several major news organizations. When the news broke about the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords being shot along with several other people in Tucson, Arizona, it was the media at its best and at its worst.

First, the media quickly and accurately reported that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and several others had reportedly been shot in Tucson.

It went downhill from there. It was chaos. Everyone wants to be first in the news-reporting world, but sometimes being first leaves you with the distinction of being the most wrong.

Several news organizations reported that Giffords had died. Others jumped on the media bandwagon and reported the same thing. Cable news station soon broke in to their regular programming and reported the “breaking news.”

Then someone reported that Giffords was alive and everyone took a step back – and some blamed “authorities” for giving them incorrect information.

Someone on Twitter asked why is it so important to be the first one to report a death.

There were also incorrect reports about the shooter’s last name, which is not that big a thing unless your name is the same as the one erroneously reported.

Here’s a story that explains the whole mess.

We see this happen a lot in this age of the internet and 24-hour news channels. Everyone wants to be the next Walter Cronkite and get their little piece of fame during a major event – and it’s easy with cell phone cameras and wireless access – but it is ultimately up to those who actually report the news for a living to get it correct.

In this case, and for reasons we may never know, they failed.