Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quiz! Sex and Politics in the 21st Century: How are these men similar, yet different?

1. What do these guys have in common?
a) All are politicians
b) All are married
c) All involved in sex scandals while in office
d) All the above

2. What made Sen. Craig's story different from the others?
a) He was looking for sex in restrooms
b) He plead guilty after getting busted
c) He pleaded his innocence after pleading guilty
d) All the above

3. What makes Sen. Ensign's story different from the others?
a) He was the first Senator to call for President Clinton to resign when the Monica Lewinsky affair broke
b) He got his mistress a better job
c) He got his mistress's husband a job
d) All the above

4. What makes Sen. Vitter's story different from the others?
a) He was linked to the services of the D.C. Madam
b) He was linked to the services of a New Orleans Madam
c) Like Larry Craig he had no Presidential ambitions
d) All the above

5. What makes Gov. Sanford's story different from the others?
a) He went to Poland without letting key people know
b) He went to Argentina without letting key people know
c) His dereliction of duties is impeachable
d) All the above

6. What makes former Gov. Spitzer's story different from the others?
a) He's the only Democrat
b) He was the only one caught by the FBI, and as a result of "anti-terrorism" legislation
c) He's the only one who resigned his office when the scandal broke
d) All the above

Where's the spin in this?
It's all spin. In these times, we need smart, dedicated, hard working problem solvers in government, not believers in the status quo or hypocrites.
We are hypocrites though, because we believe our privacy should be private, and not fodder for the media. Yet, we believe those who put themselves in the public eye deserve no privacy. To get good people in office the media and our leaders for both practical and ethical (Let he without sin cast the first stone) reasons need to restore that wall of separation between a person's private life and their public life.
There is one caveat: As long as it doesn't disrupt their work. This is the Sanford exception.
I don't think Spitzer should have resigned, and New York is suffering for it. Gary Hart shouldn't have been outed over Donna Rice, and $46 million dollars and months of obsession with Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky did nothing but a harm to the country. On the other hand, Sanford for purely selfish reasons--beyond his unexcused absences and deceit, has made South Carolina suffer and he should go.
If you didn't figure it out, all the answers for all the above are all the above.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Will the Star Tribune print it? Well, they didn't.

Here's a Letter to the Editor of the Mpls. Star Tribune
I sent off a few minutes ago.

In the Star Tribune of June 7, the AP story, "Justice lawyers sought to limit interrogation tactics against terror suspects, but overruled," cites the New York Times for much of the information. The article closes with this excerpt from the Times web site,"that even among those Justice Department lawyers who objected to some of the methods, there were few claims that specific methods violated the law banning torture."

One claim should have been enough to stop it. However, more troubling is the fact that torture of "enemy combatants" is not a domestic issue for the Department of Justice alone. Why didn't these discussions, memos and emails on torturing people from other countries in different countries around the world during a "time of war" include the opinions of lawyers from the State Department and the Defense Department?

These are the organizations that would be most affected, yet their opinions, insight and wisdom are absent from the record. Isn't this the story that the journalists of the Associated Press, the New York Times and Star Tribune should be writing?

--end of letter--

Note: I didn't want to suggest the AP, New York Times and Star Tribune were engaged in spin, nor did I want to diminish the focus of the letter, so I didn't ask another pertinent question: How many of the Justice Department officials involved in these discussions were Bush appointees?

Will the Star Tribune print it? Take part in this week's poll.