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Archive for September 2008

Gov. Palin and the press: Micheal Deaver redux

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In some grand Rovian afterlife, the late Michael Deaver, Republican image machinator extraordinaire, is smiling, even laughing.

You remember Mr. Deaver, don’t you?

As the White House deputy chief of staff during the first term of the Reagan presidency, Deaver orchestrated Reagan’s every public appearance, staging announcements with an eye for television and news cameras. From a West Wing office adjacent to the Oval Office, Deaver did more than anyone before him to package and control the presidential image.[emphasis added]

Were Mr. Deaver with us today, he’d be overweeningly proud of whoever’s handling — abusing, actually — the press for Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for vice president.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 23, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Who’s gonna run the government? Tell us, please. Now.

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Yo, Barack! Hey, John! I know you’ve been busy, cruising around the country, giving those same ol’ stump speeches over and over again. (Doncha get tired of that? We sure do.)

Park for a minute and tell us something. After you’re elected president, what are you gonna do with those buffoons running the Minerals Management Service that collects each year oil and gas royalties of $10 billion from oil companies? The Interior Department’s inspector general says top officials there have been involved in “financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

And while you’re at it, what about Nancy Nord, the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission? You plan to let her keep on defending “trips she took that were paid for by the industries that her agency regulates“? You gonna let her keep on telling Congress that her agency does not need a larger budget to police the the industries that produce the nation’s consumer goods?
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 18, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A truth is a truth is a truth, isn’t it?

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Y’know, these days, so many people with so many different motives are trying to tell me in so many ways what the “truth” is that I wonder whether I’d recognize a “truth” — any “truth” at all.

I give up. I’ve collapsed under the oppressing weight of lies, prevarications, deceits, “policy adjustments,” rhetoric, no-longer-operative statements, attack ads, Perino-isms, cunningly packaged spin, and Rovian stump speeches with the rhetorical content equivalent to the unflushed contents of a toilet bowl.

Would someone please make possession of a Teleprompter a federal crime, punishable by listening to Rush Limbaugh 24/7 for life? Or Al Franken, for that matter? Can we stop the incessant harangue so reminiscent of “Father Knows Best” or, in the event Sarah Palin is speaking, “Mother Knows Best”? Or Hillary or Bill: “We Know Best”?
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 16, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Quotabull

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With the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Reagan revolution has at last realized the robber barons’ dream: privatize the profits and socialize the debt. Nicely done, fellas.

— a letter to the editor of The New York Times from Candida Pugh of Oakland, Calif.; Sept. 10; emphasis added.

We now see the compensation wasn’t deserved. I don’t think taxpayers want their money to go to the C.E.O.’s of these very large institutions.

— Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the exit pay packages of Daniel H. Mudd of Fannie Mae and Richard F. Syron of Freddie Mac who, The Times’ Eric Dash reports, are eligible for as much as $24 million in severance, retirement benefits and deferred compensation; Sept. 10.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 12, 2008 at 5:23 pm

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My state rep ‘reports’ hype instead of actions

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As you ponder the possibilities of Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain as leaders of the free world, forget not the state legislators in your own backyard.

It’s their election season, too. And their taxpayer-funded mailings can be equally as murky as “I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” as Sen. McCain told Politico about the number of homes he owns. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”

My New York state Republican assemblyman, Joseph M. Giglio, has sent me and, presumably, the other 51,000 households of the 149th District his latest “Report to Constituents.” It’s filled with typographical bombast signifying nothing.

The “report” contains about 425 words spread over both sides of a two-color, tri-folded, franked, 11-inch by 17-inch piece of paper. The smallest type is actually my address. The remaining type shouts: The copy is 18 point; normal newspaper copy is 9 point. The headlines are 48 point. Apparently, bigger is better in the world of Assemblyman Giglio.

But the hype-size type cannot hide the vagueness of the “report” itself. It tells his constituents squat about what he’s actually done.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 8, 2008 at 10:12 am

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Who helped me become me?

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I am 62 years old.

More than 40 years ago, I met Dick Dils. He became my climbing partner for two decades and friend. He taught me about the wise assessment of risk in life.

I met Joseph Hartshorn, a geology professor at UMass. Ever since, I could only bring myself to address him as “Dr. Hartshorn,” never “Joe.” He taught me to observe and listen to life around me with great care.

I met Bob Dolan. He became the editor of my hometown newspaper at which I worked for 20 years. He taught me much of what I now teach to my journalism students. He taught me to pay attention to the smallest details.

Within the past few weeks, I learned Dick, Dr. Hartshorn, and Bob died.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 6, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Blame game sabotages highway trust fund

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If you live in America, undoubtedly you drive on roads and highways maintained by the state in which you reside. And, just as certainly, many miles of those byways are in poor repair. They’re not safe. The rutted, pot-holed macadam causes expensive damage to your vehicle. Don’t count on this changing any time soon.

Friday, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters asked the Senate to prop up the federal highway trust fund with $8 billion. The fund, established in 1956 as the national financial engine of road building and repair, has a deficit. The fund provides the money the federal government uses to reimburse states for up to 80 to 90 percent of highway construction and maintenance costs. The House has already approved the extra cash.

If the Senate fails to add its approval, at the end of this month the federal government will delay and occasionally reduce the payments it sends to the states for construction it has agreed to underwrite. That means you’ll keep on driving your vehicle over the same badly damaged, poorly maintained roads that you have been, probably for years.

What should anger you is that every time you fill your tank, you’re paying 18.4 cents a gallon into that fund (24.4 cents if you’re tanking with diesel).

Why has this deficit come to pass?
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 6, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized