I just posted my first thoughts resulting from yesterday’s townhall meeting with Congressman Jay Inslee. You can read them over at The Sundries Shack. It occurs to me, we’re not asking the right questions about health care. What do you think?
Monthly Archives: August 2009
Despite the concerns I voiced here, Sherrill Huff retained her position as Director of Elections for King County. In a move that initially allays some of those concerns, Huff has hired Evelyn Arnold as her Superintendent of Elections. Ms. Arnold is a CPA and has served as the Chelan County Auditor since 1990.
Arnold first came to my notice in 2005 when she testified at the trial challenging the results of the 2004 gubernatorial election. The election results were contested due to shoddy ballot handling practices by King County. At the time, she impressed me as a person who took her work seriously; in her view, a ballot discrepancy of one was unacceptable. She has also been serving on the King County Elections oversight committee since 2005, making her well qualified to step in and make an immediate impact.
Ms. Arnold’s punctiliousness is exactly what is needed to restore confidence in the integrity of the King County Department of Elections, not only for King County voters, but for those of us in the rest of the state as well.
Congressman Jay Inslee has scheduled two health care townhall meetings with his constituents. Given the cowardly behavior of other legislators across the country, he’s to be commended for doing so on his own initiative.
Unfortunately, given his recent statements, it’s unlikely that he’s really interested in hearing what his constituents have to say, unless, of course, they’re likely to vote for him in the next election. Further evidence of his lack of interest can be found in the leaked e-mail from Dwight Pelz, Washington State Democratic Chairman, to various progressive groups that reveals a possible astroturf situation. (Jimmie Bise provides an excellent explanation of astroturfing at The Sundries Shack.)
Whether or not the e-mail constitutes astroturfing remains to be seen but that isn’t really my point. What I find disturbing here, as I already mentioned, is the evidence that Pelz and Inslee are taking steps to pack the townhalls with supporters. If Inslee were really interested in what his constituents think about health care reform, he’d merely announce the meetings and wait to see who showed up.
What really is the point of a townhall meeting if it’s not to engage in an honest dialogue with constituents? Disturbingly, it appears as though Inslee and Pelz consider it an opportunity to control the dialogue by manipulating the composition of the audience and mislead the public about the level of support for a fundamental transformation of our health care system…on our own dime.
Recently, I announced a new direction for It’s Only Words. My decision to focus on local issues is directly related to my resolve make a conservative impact on Washington politics. That being said, I do have one last obligation remaining that is national in scope, Project 2996. This excellent effort is a collaboration of bloggers who have committed to memorialize the victims of 9/11.
This will be the first year I’ve participated and I’m honored to be doing so. With the redesignation of September 11th as a “National Day of Service and Remembrance” we run the risk of losing sight of the victims of that sad day.
At the time of this post, only 687 of the 2,996 victims are slated to be memorialized and 9/11 is just around the corner. If you have a blog, please consider taking part in this worthy project.
Nansen Malin has an excellent post at NW Digest describing her difficulties participating in Congressman Brian Baird’s most recent tele-townhall. Baird, you may recall, has been in the news for comparing health care protesters to Nazi Brown Shirts and Timothy McVeigh.
After the initial flap, Congressman Baird had agreed to a face-to-face, honest to goodness townhall in Ms. Malin’s home, where she offered to act as his bodyguard. That meeting has since been canceled, apparently because the Congressman didn’t like the tenor of Ms. Malin’s earlier postings, such as this one.
For those of you who have been following the evolution of It’s Only Words, I’d like to say thank you. You don’t know how incredibly gratifying it is to have people take time out of their busy schedules to read my ramblings and occasionally even take time to comment. I truly appreciate every visitor.
One thing you may have noticed is that my posts here have had a tendency to be all over the place: national politics; local politics; abortion; my wacky neighbors and so on, as I’ve written about whatever happened to capture my attention on a given day. While that’s served me well as an outlet for frustration, it’s quite possibly not the most effective means of making any lasting impression on, well, just about anyone or anything.
And so I come to my announcement that It’s Only Words will be taking a new direction and focusing exclusively on issues and events of significance here in my home state of Washington. That’s not to say that I won’t occasionally have thoughts on national issues; when I feel I have something of value to add to the national debate, Jimmie at The Sundries Shack has graciously invited me to post my thoughts there. Jimmie has been very supportive and helpful from the first days of It’s Only Words, and expanding my blogging career with guest posts at The Shack feels like a natural progression.
Once again, thank you. Here’s to a new focus and a new beginning for It’s Only Words.
Here in the Soviet of Washington, our elected officials skew heavily to the left so those of us who call ourselves conservatives are accustomed to them saying and doing things that make us want to bang our heads on our desks in frustration. Who can forget, for example, Patty Murray’s glowing tribute to Osama bin Laden or Jim McDermott’s trip to Baghdad in the run up to the 2002 military action in Iraq. Living here, we have to be prepared for the outrageous.
Recently, however, Representative Brian Baird of Washington’s 3rd Congressional District made some comments comparing townhall protesters to Nazi brown shirts and Timothy McVeigh that caught even the most prepared of us off guard. Now it seems he’s joined by Jay Inslee of Washington’s 1st District.
Sam Stein, writing in the Huffington Post:
As effective as the angry anti-reform town-hall protesters have been at getting media attention, that does not mean they are actually influencing members of Congress. “When a person stands up and points their finger at you like a 54-caliber automatic, and calls you a liar, you can be sure they didn’t vote for you and won’t vote for you under any circumstance,” Rep. Jay Inslee, (D-W.A.) told the Huffington Post. “Those folks never voted for any of my colleagues on this side and wont [sic] vote for folks on my side in the next election. They are mad that they lost the last election. They didn’t vote for Barack Obama. They will never vote for Barack Obama and they won’t vote for Barack Obama’s friend.” (Full Article)
In its way, Inslee’s statement is even more bizarre than Baird’s assertions.
First, in a dangerous display of irresponsible imagery, he likens pointing a finger to pointing a “54 caliber automatic.” It’s hard to say if Inslee actually intended to conjure up pictures of naval cannons, or if Stein is so ignorant he doesn’t know there’s a difference between a “.54 caliber” firearm and a “54 caliber” cannon.
Assuming Inslee meant the smaller firearm, one still has to wonder why he chose a .54 caliber automatic, a firearm that exists only in his over-active imagination. Google it and try to ignore the fact that Google doesn’t understand the difference between .54 caliber and 54 caliber either. While .54 caliber firearms do exist, they’re either antiques or reproduction pieces. As a friend said on Twitter, “I’d like to see the automatic weapon that pours in the black powder, drops in the ball, tamps it down, fires and reloads!”
Still, despite the laughable ignorance of both Inslee and Stein, the message is clear: if you’re a conservative, the left may concede you have the right to free speech, but only on their terms. No backtalk. Know your betters. Show some respect. Keep your voices down and keep those hands at your sides, darn it! Better yet, check those fingers at the door!
Moving on to the really disturbing part of Inslee’s comments, when he says, “they didn’t vote for you and won’t vote for you under any circumstance,” he makes it clear that he’s not in D.C. to represent all of his constituents – just those who have or are likely to vote for him. I guess that’s not surprising, but it is rather disconcerting to see him state openly that some constituents are more equal than others.
While it’s bad enough to know that Inslee has written off all opponents of the current health care legislation as irrelevant to his re-election and, therefore, irrelevant indeed, looking at the larger picture one has to wonder if he ever really considers dissenting opinions. Given his lifetime rating of 9.61 (out of 100!) from the American Conservative Union, it appears not. It also explains why he never responds to my correspondence with anything other than condescending form letters that pimp his viewpoint and fail to acknowledge my concerns.
Inslee has revealed himself to be arrogant and close-minded. The only remaining question is how has he managed to pass himself off as a moderate?
From The American Heritage Dictionary:
spam: (n) An unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals or newsgroups.
This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not really a supporter of President Barack Obama, so it came as a surprise to me when I started getting e-mails from the White House; from President Obama, the First Lady, Rahm Emanuel and most recently, from David Axelrod. It seems to be a trend.
At first I was mystified as to how the White House came by my e-mail address. Then I remembered that I had registered on the White House website for the “Open for Questions” program. At the time it didn’t occur to me that my name and e-mail address would be added to a mailing list. I certainly don’t remember an opportunity to opt out of being placed on a mailing list and had there been one, I surely would have done so.
This raises some rather disturbing questions. Such as…was “Open for Questions” just a ploy by the White House to collect e-mail addresses? If not, does the administration think it’s okay to ask for e-mail addresses for one purpose, then use them for another without permission? Really, why is the White House spamming me? Isn’t it enough to have their lapdogs in the mainstream media reporting adoringly on their every move? Must they also intrude into my inbox?
Especially given the recent questionable move by the Administration to collect names and contact information for people who are spreading “fishy” information (which can be defined as “any bit of information the Democrats don’t want you to know about, even if it’s true), it’s rather unsettling to realize that your e-mail address has been noted.
(Fairness requires me to report that there’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each e-mail. So far, I’ve not chosen to use it – forewarned is forearmed.)
Update: The White House now confirms they spent my tax dollars to spam me.
Watch this clip of Hillary Clinton, taped Monday in Kinshasa, Congo.
Look at Secretary of State Clinton’s body language as she listens to the question. Look at her hair, which appears to be unstyled and sadly in need of a trim and the apparent lack of makeup. Forget for a moment that everything about her is screaming, “You people aren’t worthy of my time and I’d rather be anywhere else in the world but here.” Consider that Clinton’s little meltdown, while addressing the citizens of another country, is a tantrum worthy of a three-year-old. It’s hard to imagine former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice behaving in this fashion.
Maybe someone forgot to tell Ms. Clinton that the Secretary of State is ostensibly a diplomat. From Dictionary.com:
1. a person appointed by a national government to conduct official negotiations and maintain political, economic, and social relations with another country or countries.
2. a person who is tactful and skillful in managing delicate situations, handling people, etc.
While it appears that Secretary Clinton does indeed qualify as a diplomat by the first definition, in this instance, at least, she fails miserably to qualify by the second. Rather than a considered response; rather than sincerely asking for clarification, Secretary Clinton reacts with a jarring lack of diplomacy that reveals her to be childish, petty and insecure. I don’t think it’s very likely that anyone left that room with a better opinion of the United States than they had when they entered it.
Although I find it disturbing to see Secretary Clinton behave so poorly while overseas, what I find even more disturbing is that there seems to be a pattern of unbecoming conduct from various Democrat leaders.
Barbara Boxer dressing down a United States Army General for having the audacity to call her “ma’am.”
President Barack Obama taking the side of a friend and calling a police officer’s actions stupid on national television…even though he wasn’t acquainted with the facts of the situation.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi penning an op-ed implying that citizens are un-American for wanting to be heard on the health care issue.
There are only a few reasons I can think of – ranging from pathetically insecure to unbelievably obtuse to coldly manipulative – for this kind of behavior from elected officials. No matter what the reason, it’s boorish behavior. Is it any wonder people are frustrated?
Update: You know I love the guys at Hillbuzz, but, wow, did they ever get it wrong when writing about Secretary Clinton’s diplomatic faux pas. Clinton’s response was not that of a strong, confident woman, as they seem to think, but the reaction of an insecure one. A confident response might have gone something like, “I’m sorry, I’m not sure what my husband thinks; you’d have to ask him. But here’s what I think about that….”
When liberals accuse conservative protesters of being paid, they’re only projecting their own actions onto others, as illustrated today by Dr. Melissa Clouthier, who today highlighted some Craig’s List job postings like this one:
Aug 7 – Make social change – Help Pass Obama’s Health Care Reform!!! – (Sacramento) img <
Read Melissa’s full article.