The blog vacation has a week to go, and I have a stack of projects to grade — like right now. But the vacation also has allowed me a bit more time to read the news and ponder the nonsense around me.
Today, I found two items you absolutely must see if truth and intelligence in government mean a thing to you (oxymoron intended).
In yesterday’s New York Times, Tom Friedman comments on the proposal by two of our three candidates to suspend the federal gasoline tax for the summer driving season. Under the headline, “Dumb as We Wanna Be,” Friedman calls out McCain and Clinton for their shameless pandering to Americans suffering from gasoline sticker shock. Yesterday I experienced my first $50 fill-up with the old Subaru. I’m not happy about it, but I’m not stupid as a result.
The McCain-Clinton gas holiday proposal is a perfect example of what energy expert Peter Schwartz of Global Business Network describes as the true American energy policy today: “Maximize demand, minimize supply and buy the rest from the people who hate us the most.”
Good for Barack Obama for resisting this shameful pandering.
An acquaintance who did PR for a U.S. Congressman once urged me to steer students toward more noble careers. In politics, it’s not a matter of whether you’ll sell out your principles, he said, it’s just a matter of when. I hope I never become so jaded, but this election season is testing me.
In today’s Plain Dealer, we learn that Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has admitted to sleeping with his former scheduler, Jessica Utovich, and is begging forgiveness from his constituents (and we hope his wife and family). Dann finally came around and fired his two two generals, one who played fast and loose with the truth (PR man Leo Jennings), the other who tried to play fast and loose with a female employee’s button fly. Anthony Gurierrrez is facing two sexual harassment complaints and who knows what else. Two other employees quit: Dann’s Chief of Staff Edgar Simpson and Ms. Utovich, who apparently picked the wrong guy to sleep with.
If you aren’t an Ohioan following this juicy scandal, just crank up the search engine. That’s Marc with a “c” and Dann, with two n’s. And if you’re seeing a parallel to Elliot Spitzer here, forget it. Spitzer may have broken the law by hiring a high-priced hooker, but at least he didn’t schtoop a trusted staffer or surround himself with cronies so devoid of character they could be cast in an episode of the Sopranos.
The Governor isn’t buying Dann’s lame approach. From the Plain Dealer:
Gov. Ted Strickland suggested that there was a double-standard at play — Dann survives while others lose their jobs. Strickland, who said he was disappointed and angry, again called for an independent investigation of the harassment allegations and any links to Dann.
Is it too much to ask that our leaders deal with us honestly? Is it too much to ask that those who live in glass houses keep their pants on — except maybe when they visit their wives? Will someone please return my copy of Pollyanna?
And while you’re at it, will someone please tell Marc Dann it’s time to resign? Dude, for once in your life, show a little class and go home — that is, if Mrs. Dann hasn’t changed the locks!