Trashing of Barack Obama
The President of the United States is a public servant. Therefore, he's subject to scrutiny from supporters and opponents alike. But, during his first months in office, criticism of his policies and performance seemed to come fast and furious. Comments, from some quarters, seemed tinged with ridicule and racism. He could do no right. He was described as aloof, devious, wishy-washy, less charismatic (than on the campaign trail), un-American, and untrustworthy.
Political commentators, mostly conservative, assailed him for going on a date with Michelle, promoting "socialism," not stemming the loss of jobs, creating the bailout for corporations, waffling about sending troops to Afghanistan, pushing through a health care bill on the down-low, and not being presidential, and for getting (accepting?) the Nobel Peace Prize. It will be interesting to see how historians assess his presidency. My suggestion to the Prez: Keep doing what you and your advisers think best for the country.
We're a nation of addicts--for food, prescription drugs, alcohol, porn, "reality" TV, and violence in its many forms--from movies and video games.
Yet, revelations of Michael Jackson's use of drugs--for whatever reasons--seemed to bring out finger-pointers and head-shakers even before autopsy results were in.
Entertainment "news" shows featured pop commentators ( most of whom had no dealings with Michael) who reveled in expressing unfounded opinions.
Then, the City of Los Angeles, demanded that the Jackson family repay costs for the public memorial. Shouldn't this issue have been decided prior to assigning police and other personnel for that day?
Whatever his faults, Jackson has a worldwide fan base. His music continues to cross cultures and generations. Rest in peace, Michael.
A Star is Born
What a joy to see watch Gabourey "Gabe" Sidibe enjoy fame. She's got a bubbly personality and a dazzling smile. Most important, she defies all the stereotypes about fat, black women. Beauty comes in all sizes. And in a culture where thin-to-skinny women are idolized, it's a pleasure to see her hold her own.
Our First Lady continues to be popular with the American public. She's a fashion trend-setter, a hands-on mom, and active in a variety of causes, especially support for military families. She garners much positive publicity for the White House. Hail to the Lady-in-Chief!
Since my nephew is about to be deployed to Afghanistan, I've paid closer attention to the news accounts of what we face in that complex country. Our battles in this century involve fighting non-traditional enemies on foreign, often brutal, turf. Our effectiveness depends on a knowledge of countries and the cultures in addition to military might. Whatever it takes, let's hope our troops come home as scheduled. Not a sure thing according to some experts.
Health Care Debate
I've listened to both sides of the health care debate and am not impressed with how either opponents or proponents presented their cases. The plan (s) were discussed in terms that meant nothing to most of those I talked to. Both sides talked mostly about costs but offered no examples of how providing health insurance to the uninsured would raise (or maintain) premiums costs, harm (or preserve) doctor-patient relations, take away from (or leave intact) Medicare, increase (or decrease) costs for businesses.
There's been a lot of bombast and name-calling but no easy-to-understand explanation of each side's views. I hope Congress does pass a health care bill to provide a safety net for most Americans. Perhaps, the emphasis should be on preventive care as a way to contain medical costs.