Sen. Collins on the Administration’s Handling of the Christmas Bomber

Senator Collins does an excellent job in laying out the problems in the handling of the Attempted Christmas Day Bomber in the following video. There has been little reason given by those who want terrorists tried in civilian courts as to why military tribunals are not adequate. There is a media perception that military tribunals are ‘less fair,’ but that has not been backed up by evidence. The complaints under the Bush administration were legitimate because there was no timeline for detainees to be tried. That was rectified with the bipartisan vote to institute military tribunals. Those who want civilian trails would be wise to answer the questions, ‘Why civilian courts?’ and ‘Why are military courts not suitable?’



Senator Collins Upset About The Handling of The Christmas Bomber

Vote every Democrat out in 2010

Cross posted from HillBuzz
Guaranteed to piss tons of people off today: we now want every last Democrat in elected office to lose in 2010

Excerpt:

Only part of this is because of the personal attacks the Left has made on us this week, but another large part of it is something we read over at www.Hillaryis44.com, regarding the need to eject every single Democrat from office in 2010.

It took us a long time to come to this point, but the Liberal-Socialist Democrat party needs to not only be defeated in 2010, it needs to g-damn be EVISCERATED.  Every last Democrat needs to be brought down, because we have had all that we are going to take with these nuts.

Saying this could very likely get us killed in a place like Chicago.  So be it.  The Left has already destroyed one of our ability’s to ever earn a living in this town again.  The DNC sanctions these kinds of attacks, if not directly orders them.  THAT is what the Democrat Party has become.  Breaking Godwin’s Law, we state the obvious and call this Liberal-Fascists what they are:  g-damn Nazis.

Oppose them in the slightest, and they will destroy you.

Speak out against them, and they will get you fired from your job and make you unemployable.

Stand up to them, and they’ll ruin your friendships, chase relationships away, and launch full-on war against you.

THAT is what Democrats are all about today.

In the 30+ years we’ve each been alive, the worst a Republican ever did to us was tell us, to our face, we were going to Hell because we like guys.  Some added, “I will pray for your illness” when they found out we were gay.  We’ve been through most of the states in the South.  We grew up in places like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Rochester, and Milwaukee.  We’ve been lectured by Catholics, Protestants, Fundamentalists, and Jews of the Republican persuasion, and never once did these people ever do anything worse to us than saying, “Boys, you ain’t right”.

Democrats, however, have sought to destroy us, working page by page through the Alinsky Playbook.

 Read full article here:

 

Freedom of Choice Deserves Equal Time

Another Rant by BettyJean Kling

I am befuddled!

Pro-Choice Americans want the opportunity to have choices about what to do with their own bodies but it appears they mean only if their choice to have an abortion. Doesn’t Pro- choice also include the choice not to?

Pro- Choice women do not want government dictating what a woman can or cannot do with her body! Fair enough? Here are two cases tell me please why we fight like hell for one woman’s right but refusing the other woman’s option equal time instead of covertly and overtly disrespecting what Mrs. Tebow, and millions of other women have chosen to do in the same  circumstances. 

In Florida, a woman presented herself to an emergency room with false labor at 7 months. The Doctor finding her baby to be in serious condition, asked her to remain in the hospital in bed rest to save her child. When she refused the doctor obtained a court order maintain the child was in danger – the court agreed this was a case of child endangerment as she was in her 7th month and she would surely miscarry if she left. The judge agreed with the doctor.

Indeed, the pregnancy was precarious and her baby died within a few days. The woman is now suing believing she had a right to live as she liked regardless of the welfare of the unborn child.

ACLU Asks Florida Court To Protect The Rights Of Pregnant Women To Refuse Medical Care

Tallahassee, FL – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Florida today filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the state’s decision to force a pregnant woman to remain hospitalized against her will.

“Women do not give up their right to determine the course of their own medical care when they become pregnant,” said Diana Kasdan, a staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Faced with similar cases, courts throughout the country have made clear that pregnant women have a right to make decisions about their own health, including refusing medical care.”

In March 2009, the Circuit Court of Leon County ordered Samantha Burton – a mother of two suffering from pregnancy complications – to be indefinitely confined to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and forced to undergo any and all medical treatments deemed necessary to save her fetus. After three days of state-compelled hospitalization, Ms. Burton suffered fetal demise and was released from the hospital.

“We should all be alarmed by Florida’s wholly unwarranted intervention in Samantha Burton’s care,” said Randall Marshall, Legal Director of the ACLU of Florida. “Not only is it unconstitutional for the state to override a pregnant woman’s decision to refuse medical treatment, but the medical community, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Women’s Association, and the American Medical Association, strongly advises against it.”

According to the ACLU’s brief, “f the decision below stands, it invites State requests for court intervention in nearly all aspects of pregnant women’s behavior and medical judgments. In turn, some women will be discouraged from coming to a hospital for pregnancy care if they know that any disagreement may lead to forced medical treatment. Such a result does not advance maternal and fetal health by any measure and is not constitutionally permissible.”
http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom_womens-rights/aclu-asks-florida-court-protect-rights-pregnant-women-refuse-medi

On the other hand- and there is another hand- women are fighting to have children in this country. Children are wanted by many women both liberal and conservative and they want them desperately. They want children of their own and if not they will adopt unwanted children. They are traveling to other countries to adopt children. They eagerly lay in bed for months if necessary to avoid miscarriages. I do not understand why this is to be hushed up? Perhaps if we did not hush this up there would be more alternatives for young pregnant women than abortions. Perhaps there would be more adoptions right here in this country.

In either event , here is a story of a women ordered to abort and took a different path and who is now taunted by of all things women’s groups for daring to be proud to have a son who is wonderful! What the hell is wrong with us? What the hell are we thinking?

Women’s Rights groups, like NOW, have begun to call out advertisers and networks for airing sexist and demeaning portrayals of women that lead to young women’s diminished self-esteem and acceptance of roles as mere sexed-up objects. They could and should do more like the outrage they are showing  with  their protest of CBS airing a Family First ad during the upcoming Super Bowl game. The ad will feature Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mom. Messages like this empower women rather than objectify and sexualize them! This speaks to the strength and commitment and nurturing spirit within women. The message says everything positive and nothing negative about the power of women.

Frankly, I don’t like the message Women’s Goups are sending and this Women’s Group refuses to go along to get along. Our message is Freedom of Choice for ALL women. I would rather see our groups fight against violence against women- sexualization of women- and frankly more women representing us as legislators, in the workforce, as mothers, and free to make any and all choices acess they choose  freely not as lemmings in a group of this half vs that half.

 Wake up keep your personal preferences to yourself and let’s move on  as women united!  

 Timmy Says Thanks and Feminist Women’s Group Scream

Focus on the Family’s first Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow. The Gator’s shining star will appear with his mother, Pam, to share a personal story with the theme, “Celebrate Family.” According to a NYT’s article last week, “issue ads are rare during Super Bowls, partly because almost all the time is bought by marketers of consumer products.”

The topic of the commercial is different from the few issue ads that ran in previous years because it sends a pro-family message. Mrs. Tebow chose life against her doctor’s advice to abort Timmy; her personal decision is now becoming a national controversy.

 The Women’s Media Center sent a protest letter to CBS arguing that CBS should have dropped the ad simply because it was bought for by Focus on the Family. According to Char-O’s the letter states:

         “By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-          equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself
          with  a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers,
          and  discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers,”

But when CBS chooses to air half-dressed women wrestling in mud to sell beer that doesn’t alienate viewers. Or, when “wardrobe” malfunctions happen on national TV to an audience with children, viewers aren’t discouraged from supporting CBS. Shouldn’t feminist women’s groups be fighting against aforementioned mud wrestling and wardrobe malfunctions?

 Sounds like this is a case of “free speech” for me and “no speech” for you.

Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, said CBS officials closely examined Focus on the Family’s history and found no reason to reject the ad.

“We understand that some people don’t think very highly of what we do,” Schneeberger said. “We’re not trying to sell you a soft drink – we’re not selling anything. We’re trying to celebrate families.”

 And that’s the message athletes should be celebrating—family drove you to your first game, sat on a cold bench and screamed your name above the other moms in the crowd. It’s about time to say thank you. 

 Personally, as a knocked up 15 year old myself, I was urged to abort my Denise. I lost her to Cancer at age 46. I had and lost two other children. 1 son,  Mikie to cancer at age 34 and another daughter Louisa to domestic violence aged 41. And I I would not have missed on damned second of any of their lives – not one! And I think that every woman in this world should have the opportunity to see and hear and learn and decide how to proceed with their pregnancies based on every bit of information available to them before she makes any decision.

Each individual is unique and has her very own conscience- let her have all the information and make up her own mind based on that informed decision – because she has to live with it for the rest of her life! Women’s groups have saturated the this country with  a pro-women message , let’s not have it be a double standard. Pro-women includes motherhood.

The very thought of stifling information tells me that the stifler is hiding something – what are you afraid of? Let the full truth be known and decisions be made. I believe this ad scares the hell out of Pro- Choice women because it shows what would have been lost had this woman aborted this star athlete. Unfortunately for those who chose abortion – that is the truth – deal with it! You have no problem dealing with all the starving – beaten children that aborted children could have been- this is another case. Deal fairly.

You Probably Think This Speech is About You

You Probably Think This Speech is About You! Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you? A jobs speech should be about you and jobs for you but it was really about him wasn’t it? Isn’t it always about him? What are all these folks in the audience applauding about? Did they serve Kool-Aide just before he spoke?

I wonder what the State of the Union will be about. Wait let me guess—I know I know – it will be all about that bad boy Bush – the deep deep hole that he dug for Obama and how hard Obama is working to try and dig us deeper – uhhhh – I mean –get us out of it. You would think somebody forced him to take this job and he no clue what he was getting into. Hmmmm- come to think of it – he had no clue !But I clearly remember him convincing folks that he was “The One ” the only one who could get us out of this mess and now all he does is blame it on Bush like it was a surprise. Sorry it was a real job he applied for huh?

First Obamaversary

Dems Potentially Try to Ram Through Health Care

Since last week’s MA election of Scott Brown to the Senate, the consensus on cable and network news is that the Democrats would need to redraw their health care plans as they are not interested in cramming the Senate health care bill through the House. RealClearPolitics.com is reporting that may be precisely what the Dems now plan to do with regards to health care.

Democratic congressional leaders are coalescing around their last, best hope for salvaging President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care overhaul. Their plan is to pass the Senate bill with some changes to accommodate House Democrats, senior Democratic aides said Monday. Leaders will present the idea to the rank and file this week, but it’s unclear whether they have enough votes to carry it out. Last week’s victory by Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts cost Democrats the 60th vote they need to maintain undisputed control of the Senate, jeopardizing the outcome of the health care bill just when Obama had brokered a final deal on most of the major issues. “We’ve put so much effort into this, so much hard work, and we were so close to doing some significant things. Now we have to find the political path that brings us out. And it’s not easy,” the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said Monday. The new strategy is as politically risky as it is bold. There is widespread support for Obama’s goals of expanding coverage to nearly all Americans while trying to slow costs. But polls show the public is deeply skeptical of the Democratic bills, and Republicans would certainly accuse Democrats of ignoring voters’ wishes. Obama initially voiced doubts last week that a comprehensive bill was still viable, but he now seems to be pushing for it. Asked Monday if the president was backing away from his pursuit of major changes, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded: “No.”

Dem leaders coalesce on health care strategy


Dems Try to Ram Through Health Care

Obama: Better than the Bitch and Bill Too

Another Rant By: BettyJean Kling

He’s got o be kidding right? Audacity is one thing but this clown is just plain narcissistic.  I did not vote for Bill Clinton – I was a Perot Gal – I didn’t vote for Bush, I voted Green Party then Kerry. Last time around I worked my heart out for Hillary till there was no Hillary to work for then I worked for John and Sarah so it’s safe to say – I never liked this guy. I admit it.

 I never like the audacity of this man who never really held a real job- hell he is not holding this one. Have you noticed congress and the Czars are running everything?  He never won a law case of consequence neither he nor his wife yet ran down Hillary’s experience.  This man who has no real past to point to and has hidden his entire life except for that which he painted for us to believe.

This man who held on to a Pastor for 20 years until he couldn’t hide him anymore- who pretended to be a Christian but no longer attends any church. A man who hid his crazy friends as mere acquaintances or who happen to live in the neighborhood but who actually wrote his books or paid his way or launched his career or appointed him something or affirm him in some way or another for things no one else has ever seen him do.

This man is as impotent a man as they come and now when confronted with the idea of having to come to the Center as Bill Clinton had to do in 94 he has the nerve to say Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ This man can’t shine Bill Clinton’s shoes- and that is not a racist connotation- Its one I use all the time and I ain’t gonna walk on eggs for this president just cause he is half black.  Truth be told- he is the least qualified POTUS we could possibly have chosen with our country in good times let alone bad. And except for the Clinton crew he brought in – his Chicago crew sucks.

Un-be-known to those who did not realize it when he came on the scene with his Obamatrix, this guy has the same mental makeup as every dictator in history. Go through the list of every despot you can think of; each and every one would have privately spoken exactly the same words. This one freely speaks them out loud and often and without conscience. He and his followers call it audacity. A more appropriate description may be severe personality disorder or sociopathology.

Now The Campaigner in Chief brings back David Plouffe- not that he ever left campaign mode himself but he intends to run every democrat’s campaign from now to November – talk about audacity! Good! That ought to help us prevent him from getting back 60 senators! And we thought he was a smart man at least. Not so! He is too damned full of himself to be smart! Narcissist!

Did you hear this fool on ABC? He said” I’d rather be a great one term president than a mediocre two- term president” what an oxymoron- a great president would certainly be re-elected – no? And a mediocre president probably wouldn’t get the second shot? But maybe it’s just me!

So first he thought he was better than Hillary, remember Iowa’s Victory Song by JayZ 99 problems (but the Bitch ain’t one?) and now he thinks he is better than Bill! There is no end to this guy’s conceit! No end- except we can end it and we shall – if we the people clear em out and end his reign and prove he was a mediocre one time lame duck in his first year of his  only less than mediocre term!

Women in Politics

As the political landscape changes, we are faced with the daunting task of choosing the right candidates for the midterm elections. 

Many of us at The Majority United want strong women who can be a  Republican,  an Independent or a Democrat, who are willing to work in the best interest of the American people and not the party! 

The American people have voiced their dismay with both political parties.  Right at the present,  the Democratic party is the worse of the two and when all is said and done and the smoke clears, they will lose their majority in congress in November and be replaced by the People’s candidate!

Betty Jean’s  topics “Wanted: Women to replace corrupt politicians in DC this November”,  “Voter Imposed Term Limits – opens doors for women this November” and Sarah Knows: Incumbents and incumbent party need not apply”  have most definitely struck a cord in our group and with women and yes, even men, who stop by to visit from time to time to read our weblogs or to post their thoughts on a variety of subject matter.  This is also true for our Blogtalk radio show that is held on Monday and Wednesday evening.

Whether we agree or disagree as to what we believe as individuals or as a whole, Betty Jean is right about “unifying” our efforts and stop the bickering among ourselves and pull together to find the right people to govern our country.  

We need all of the insightful input.  This helps each one of us to hopefully make the right choices in candidates when November rolls around.

I ran across Mary Katharine Ham’s article:  “Women will be willing to listen to the GOP in 2010″

This was posted in  The Washington Examiner on December 16, 2009.  She is a political contributor to Fox News and staff writer for The Weekly Standard.

I find her perspective on the GOP women who are running for office in 2010 very well put.  Her article touches on some of our discussions, as to the principle roles of women in politics and how their roles affect their ability as individuals, as wives, as mothers and as leaders in the field of business.

Here is the article in it’s entirety. 

Women will be willing to listen to the GOP in 2010

By: Mary Katharine Ham
Weekly Standard
December 16, 2009

In early November, Democratic representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida accused House Republicans of giving women “back-of-the-hand treatment” during a parliamentary dust-up over a health care debate.

Her ridiculous rhetoric, about what amounted to a heated argument, happened to coincide with the media blitz of newly ordained press darling Dede Scozzafava, playing the role of mistreated moderate woman ousted from the Republican party by rabid conservatives because of her views on social issues.

And thus a storyline was born. The Politico‘s coverage led the way, under the headline, “The GOP’s women problem”:

Conservatives say they pushed Dede Scozzafava out of the House race in New York’s 23rd District a week ago because of her left-of-Republican social views–and not because she is a woman. But the growing schism between the Republican party’s ascendant right wing and its shrinking moderate core has clear gender undertones.

When did you stop beating your promising, reasonable, moderate female candidates? Hmm?

The storyline relies on a misunderstanding of Scozzafava, willful ignorance of the recent behavior of women voters, and denial of the GOP’s 2010 candidate field.

Scozzafava’s ouster had little to do with her sex and a lot to do with the fact that she was a “moderate” Republican only if you believe “moderates” are endorsed by Markos Zuniga of Daily Kos, support card-check and the stimulus, work closely with ACORN-entangled liberal advocacy groups, and are funded primarily by Planned Parenthood and the Service Employees International Union.

Scozzafava is far from the model for reasonable, moderate Republican women. She’s the kind of woman who calls the cops on a reporter for asking her policy questions. But she’s the woman liberals wish represented Republicans–because she’s a liberal herself, which is why she became an improbable fetish of the Fourth Estate.

If the media had cared to look beyond the fluky, three-way race in NY-23 for national implications, they could have considered women voters in battleground Virginia.

On November 3, Virginia governor-elect Bob McDonnell won women by eight points, 54-46, against Democrat Creigh Deeds. A year before, Obama had won women by seven points; in his historic campaign to turn the state blue, he relied largely on the educated, affluent, suburban vote McDonnell would recover for the GOP. This information was obscured under the CNN headline, “Male, rural, suburban votes boost McDonnell.”

McDonnell’s edge among women–27 points among white women–is all the more astonishing given the particular line of attack Deeds employed throughout the campaign, with the help of his devoted oppo researchers at the Washington Post.

When the Post discovered a thesis McDonnell wrote at evangelical Regent University in 1989, the attack was on. In the thesis, McDonnell had controversial takes on working women (federal tax credits for child care were “detrimental to the family”), contraception outside of marriage, and marriage (government policies should favor traditional families and make divorce more difficult).

McDonnell released a statement saying his views had changed. He pointed out that his record in government did not jibe with the ’89 policy prescriptions, and lauded his working wife and two daughters, one of whom served in Iraq as a platoon leader in 2005. Then he moved on.

The Post and Deeds didn’t. A Northern Virginia paper, the News and Messenger, accused Deeds of making “McDonnell’s thesis the main talking point of his campaign, almost to the exclusion of anything else.” His ads leaned heavily on it, culminating in “Why Did You?”–a parodic parade of women pleading with the camera and McDonnell, “Why? Why? WHY?”

In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie lost women by 5 points, but shrunk McCain’s ’08 losing margin by 12 points.

The exit polls reveal a model for speaking to women voters in 2010: “Here was a guy [McDonnell] who was a conservative, who was not afraid to speak to that,” said RNC chairman Michael Steele. “But what he did was he applied it to the issues that were important to the people in his state. He didn’t need to run away from it.”

Representative Pete Sessions, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has recruited 26 women to run in 2010, agrees.

“The economy and jobs and debt dominate, not just the political landscape, but what people are talking about around their own tables,” he said, which was what McDonnell stuck to while Deeds attacked. “The [message] that worked in New Jersey was corruption.”

Sitting atop Sessions’s list of top-tier young candidates is Martha Roby in the 2nd District of Alabama. She’s a Montgomery city councilmember and mother of two, taking on Bobby Bright, a Blue Dog precariously perched in this right-leaning district.

Sessions also touts Nan Hayworth in the 19th District of New York, a well-funded retired ophthalmologist and mother of two married to another doctor, who wants to concentrate on “restoring fiscal sanity to the federal government,” she told her local paper.

In Florida’s 24th District, a right-leaning seat that went blue in 2008, there were at one point three Republican women vying for the party’s nomination.

The message of political newcomers like Hayworth is one Sessions thinks can “widen the bandwidth” of the party’s message.

“We’re seeing just a lot of people sitting around their tables saying, ‘Something’s wrong,’ ” Sessions said. “And then mom and dad look at each other, and sometimes mom says ‘I’m gonna do something about it.’ ”

Senate races boast five high-profile GOP women candidates for 2010: Sue Lowden in Nevada, Linda -McMahon in Connecticut, Jane Norton in Colorado, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, and Carly Fiorina in California. As leaders in their communities, business, and politics, several of these women are leading the polls in the early going, and have experience speaking to fellow women, sometimes in powerful ways.

Lowden, for instance, is a well-known face in Nevada for her 10-year stint as a reporter and anchor on local news in the ’70s and ’80s–a career that made her a symbol of the working woman’s life and choices, particularly when she anchored the news through her pregnancies. “It has nothing to do with politics, necessarily. People remember that,” she said. “[Women] say, ‘I feel like I know you. I watched you growing up. I remember when you had your kids.’ ”

Some of these candidates face primary challenges, some from the right, and some may lose. This does not constitute a “women problem.”

While most Republican operatives acknowledge the party needs to extend its reach to more women and minorities, conservatives are loath to turn primaries into a race-and-gender bean count, just because an open and fair process might mean a white man gets the nod.

Fiorina illustrated the dangers of treading too close to this line when she told a group of conservative journalists that she’d make a better challenger to Senator Boxer than her competitor for the nomination, Chuck Devore, because she’s a woman.

“With all due respect and deep affection for white men–I am married to one–” Fiorina said, “but [Barbara Boxer] knows how to beat them in California. She has done it over and over and over.”

She was knocked for playing the identity politics card on a conservative challenger.

Sessions is more circumspect about what he’s looking for in a candidate. “We’re after a community leader and we’re after someone who has thoughtful articulation to include everybody when they speak,” he said. “Does that mean a woman against a woman? Hey, if we find one.  .  .  .  My evaluation is our women can speak to a wider group of people.”

In the liberal mind, and in media coverage, the GOP woman seems to exist only as a parody of Sarah Palin–all bumpkin, no brains–or as the fictionalization of Dede Scozzafava–all centrist, no cynicism. Both are caricatures of liberals’ own invention.

Without resorting to them, we could talk about Meg Whitman running for governor in California, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee warning Congress about the costs and results of her state’s TennCare health care program, or Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington prominently pushing the Republicans’ no-cost job-creation plan in Congress. Within two hours of Rep. Brian Baird’s retirement announcement last week, a former aide to McMorris Rodgers turned state senator had announced she’d enter the race to replace him. Despite her youth, 31-year-old Jaime Herrera’s experience and growing political base have Democrats worried.

The Republican party has work to do, especially with single women, but polling suggests women will be willing to listen to the GOP in 2010, and the GOP is working to speak to them, with the help of women in its ranks. The truth is that neither party can afford to treat women as simplistically as the “women problem” narrative does.

Mary Katharine Ham is a staff writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Retraction and Apology to Women’s Organizations

The women of NOW, The Majority United RIDs and everyone who participated in sending a message to the Albany Republican Examiner and reporter Mr. Robert Wappman’s allegations that the women’s organizations were unconcerned about the victim in the Senator Monserrate case has finally been resolved with a retraction of the article titled “Where are they NOW?” and a full apology from Mr. Robert Wappman and his dismisal from the Albany Republican Examiner! 

“I, personally, would like to sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended in any, way, shape of form by the article “Where Are They NOW?” All of the groups cited in the article, especially the National Organization for Women (NOW), have, and continue to advance a positive agenda that benefits not just women, but everyone.” 

“The article “Where Are they NOW?” has been pulled from any further circulation, and all of this column writer’s work will no longer continue for EXAMINER.com. For any further inquires, please contact EXAMINER.com.” 

Here is the link to the entire article “Equal Time, For Now”

http://www.examiner.com/x-33513-Albany-Republican-Examiner~y2010m1d24-Equal-Time-For-NOW

Harold Ford Jr. in the “Big Apple”

Memphis, Tenn.  home to the world  famous Beale Street “Home of the Blues”, Graceland Mansion, home of the “King” the late Elvis Aron Presley and home to and epicurean’s delight,  the world renowned barbecue.  

Memphis was also home to former congressman Rep. Harold Ford Jr. who left behind Memphians for the “Big Apple”. 

There was a most informative article posted in the local newspaper The Commercial Appeal, dated Thursday, January 21, 2010 by local columnist Wendi C. Thomas titled: “Cussin’ calls say Junior’s no gent” 

DEAR NEW YORKERS:

Perhaps you don’t read the Memphis newspaper, but thanks to the miracle of the Interwebs, I’m hoping this important message will find it’s way to the Northern climes.

Former congressman Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who, depending on the day and the audience, might claim to be from this neck of the woods, is now pondering whether he wants to represent you Yankees by challenging and beating U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary.

I wouldn’t know Gillibrand if she kicked me in the shins, but Junior, as we call him down here, I know fairly well since I’ve written about him many times.

Junior was facing Republican Bob Corker in the general elections for U.S. Senate nearly four years ago.  Just about every time I’d write a column that touched on Junior-before and during the race-I’d get a late Sunday afternoon call from him.

Because I contend he’s a flip-flopping opportunist who pimps God for his purposes and didn’t always vote in his constituents’ best interest (his vote for the bankruptcy bill would be one stunning failure) and whose integrity could be measured in milligrams, not pounds, we often did not agree.

But my boss discourages me from using every curse word I know when talking with someone with whom I disagree.

Junior has no such compunction or personal guidelines.

In our late Sunday afternoon phone calls, Junior would start out pleasant and turn nasty quick-something I’m sure many of his former aides could relate to.

Junior had the courtesy to introduce himself on the phone, and then the profanity would fly.  A brief cussing out wouldn’t warrant much mention, but Junior either had a lot to say or liked to hear himself talk-maybe a little of both.

After a few of these calls, I realized that my presence really wasn’t necessary.  I could set the phone down, fry an egg, eat it, come back and Junior would still be on a tear.

Now, I don’t expect politicians to be enduringly polite, especially with their critics.  And if I had a dime for every such conversation (if you can call it that) we had, I’d probably only have 70 cents.

But while I was listening to Junior, a quote I’d heard about character came to mind.

It’s attributed to advice columnist Abigail Van Buren and it goes like this: The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.

I could not do Junior any good, unless ceasing to write about him would be good for him.  And in those conversations, I could have hung up, but honestly, I wanted to see just how far he’d go, just how crude he’d get, how hot his temper was, what kind of man he was when no one was watching.

And it wansn’t pretty, as I’m sure many politicians’ behavior isn’t pretty when they think or hope no one is watching.  (Appalachian Trail trip, departing from Argentina, anyone?)

But I haven’t seen or heard from Junior in awhile.

The Democrat-depending on-the-day has been scarce since he lost his Senate race.  Junior’s chances then of beating a Republican in a red state with a blue left corner were never good.

Since then, he’s moved to New York, gotten married and gotten his first real job as vice chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

He’s taken a leave from his job to explore whether he should run.  He’s also changed his stance on gay rights-he was against gay marriage, now he’s for it.

So voters may be inclined to think that Junior has grown and changed, isn’t the kind of man who would be abusive to journalists or staff.

He’s in a new enviroment, in a more liberal, educated pool of voters.  Maybe now the real Junior can emerge-a politician whose public and private words and deeds New Yorkers and Tennesseans could be proud of.

But then, I remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: No change of circustances can repair a defect of character.

Contact Wendi C. Thomas at 529-5896 or e-mail thomasw@commercialappeal.com.

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