Pundit Wire

Don’t Romanticize the Confederacy

tumblr_msod517M9z1s0hipbo1_1280Furl that Banner, for ’tis weary;

Round its staff ’tis drooping dreary;

Furl it, fold it, it is best;

For there’s not a man to wave it…
Photo by: Richard Norris Brooke

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Jon Stewart is getting serious

cul_jon-stewart_61815_539_332_c1What will we do without Jon Stewart?

I hear that a lot.  Of course I hope his writers will be able to make more magic with his successor, Trevor Noah.  And no matter what happens on “The Daily Show,” we will still have John Oliver and Larry Wilmore, and I’m praying that Stephen Colbert will find room for political satire on “The Late Show.”  We can keep counting on the openers on “Saturday Night Live,” the closers on Bill Maher and the vicious brilliance of “South Park.” But the question remains: How will we survive the mendacity and imbecility of American politics and the media that cover it without Jon Stewart?

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“A Conservative Government is Organized Hypocrisy.” Benjamin Disraeli

InhofeSnowball“One of the wonderful things about hypocrisy is that it so often comes around to bite the hypocrite on the butt.”

Of all the more popular political sins, my personal favorite is hypocrisy. One of the wonderful things about hypocrisy is that it so often comes around to bite the hypocrite on the butt. It’s widely practiced by people on both sides of the great political divide, but my friends in the Republican Party are working hard to raise the level of insincerity to new and dizzying heights.

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FCC Chief Tom Wheeler is five-sixths of a superhero

11934229614_66a3256877_oThe last best hope to stop Big Money’s rout of American democracy is a former trade group lobbyist who’s reluctant to stretch his spandex superhero suit too thin.

Plutocrats have been on a roll for a while in the U.S., and campaign finance reform is in full retreat. Though Americans hate money’s “obscene” role in politics, according to a new New York Times/CBS poll, they feel hopeless about changing it. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Buckley and Citizens United decisions, money is speech and corporations are people, so forget about limiting what billionaires and Super PACs can contribute to campaigns.

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When it Comes to Outrageous Lawmaking, Don’t Mess With Texas

gov-rick-perry-gun-240jdf0428101…if Congress wants to challenge the Texas Legislature to a crazy contest, they’d better bring their lunch.

For example, Congress voted to cut funding for veterans’ programs and then complained about veterans’ services being cut. Big deal! Back in Texas, just a few days after nine people died and 18 were injured when bullets flew in a Waco biker bar, the state senate voted to allow people to carry guns openly wherever they go, accept, of course, in the Texas Capitol Building. Not really a surprise because most Texans agree that packing heat is just about our most sacred Constitutional guarantee, placed in the founding document by the Almighty him or herself. If everybody in that bar had been armed, they could all have defended themselves instead of running for cover.

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“A Dealer In Hope”

speakerNapoleon once said that a leader is “a dealer in hope.” If putting heart into people is the touchstone of leadership, then General Colin Powell is one of the outstanding leaders of our time.

I had the chance to observe the General at close range during the three years that I worked for him as his speechwriter. (See the picture of me with the General on the home page of my web side, www.ringingwords.com. I no longer have the beard but I’m still recognizable.)

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Some Still Don’t Know What We Knew Then and Aren’t Sure What We Know Now

Jeb_Bush_at_CPAC_2015,_National_Harbor,_MD_05“…every other real or imagined candidate felt compelled to jump in with their response to what they would have decided twelve years ago based on what we knew then or what we know now or what we thought we knew then or think we know now but didn’t know then.”

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Looking before you Leap

IMG_20150514_102213At $50.3 billion (FY 16 projected), the U.S. budget for diplomacy and overseas development is a pretty good deal.  One-tenth the spending of the Department of Defense and well below two percent of national public expenditures, it comes in almost unnoticeable by people like me, baffled by zeroes.

Even so, it’s real money and needs to stand up to scrutiny.

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