Day: August 11, 2010

Congressional Candidate Ben Quayle: A “Chip Off The Old Block”! :(

Ben Quayle is a Republican Congressional candidate in Arizona who has issued a political commercial stating that Barack Obama is the worst President in American history, and that the drug cartels in Mexico and the “tax cartels” in Washington, DC, have a lot in common! He also says that he, Ben Quayle, was brought up right!

So you might say, so what? Well, understand that Ben Quayle is the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, arguably the absolutely worst Vice President in history, under George H. W. Bush from 1989-1993!

During those years, the country had to be concerned about the competence of our Vice President, who came across as ignorant, foolish, and someone to fear possibly becoming President!

Quayle is best remembered for misspelling “potato”; criticizing a television show (“Murphy Brown”); comparing himself to John F. Kennedy (which led VP opponent Lloyd Bentsen to say that Quayle “was no Jack Kennedy”); stating that he wished he had studied Latin so he could understand Latin America; asserting that he wished the Middle East was like the Middle West; and alarming the nation when President Bush had medical issues, concerning all Americans as to the thought of what if Quayle became President!

Dan Quayle lost all credibility as Vice President, and totally flopped when he tried to win the Republican Presidential nomination in 1996! He was the constant butt of jokes, including that his wife, Marilyn, was so much smarter and brighter than he was!

Now his son is running for Congress on the family name, and has already had problems, including posing two children in a campaign commercial implying they are his, when he has no children; and denying that he had written on a salacious website in Scottsdale, Arizona, and then having to admit that he had done so a few years ago!

So was he brought up “right” , when he has lied twice already, and has the gall to claim after 18 months that our President is the worst ever? Does this man have good judgment, or is he clearly very honest? ๐Ÿ™

You make the judgment, but whatever you decide, we may be blessed with another Quayle in public office–more mediocrity, as if there was not enough in Congress already! ๐Ÿ™

The Connection Of Charlie Rangel, Dan Rostenkowski And Ted Stevens! :(

Three veterans of Congress have been in the news in the past two days, none of them in a happy situation! ๐Ÿ™

First, former Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens died in a plane crash at the age of 86! After 40 years in the Senate, he was convicted of corruption charges, although later the conviction was reversed, and the Justice Department decided to drop the charges, but only after Stevens had lost his Senate reelection contest. Stevens, the longest serving GOP Senator in history, left office under a cloud! ๐Ÿ™

Then, New York Congressman Charlie Rangel mounted an awkward defense of himself in the House of Representatives yesterday, interrupting a vote on funding of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public servants, by a party line vote. His defense was an embarrassment, and made many fellow Democrats angry and frustrated, as his upcoming ethics trial will certainly hurt the image of the Democratic party, but Rangel, age 80 and 40 years in the House, made it clear that he was not going to disappear and admit any wrongdoing or resign, therefore burdening his party at a time when there are thirteen charges against him, and the tone of corruption is clear and evident. Rangel has given up his leadership of the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful committee in the House, but his refusal to admit any wrongdoing is a sad likely ending to a career which will probably hurt his party! ๐Ÿ™

Now today, former Democratic Congressman Dan Rostenkowski of Chicago, Illinois, who served 36 years in the House from 1959-1995, and was for 16 years Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, passed away at the age of 82.
He had been convicted and sentenced to prison for corruption after losing his seat in the 1994 Republican wave into power, which was helped by the controversy over Rostenkowski’s corrupt leadership. Bill Clinton later pardoned him, but still the corruption and conviction and imprisonment are part of the historical record! ๐Ÿ™

So Stevens, Rostenkowski and now Rangel all had a lot in common: long term service in Congress, leaving Congress at advanced ages, all becoming involved in corruption that sullied their reputations, but all having made major contributions to the Congress before going over to the “evil” side!

All three can be seen as sad commentaries on the problem of longevity in public office! People can come to Congress with great idealism and decent motivations, but somehow longevity and gaining of powerful positions over time seems to lead to temptations and greed, part of the human condition! ๐Ÿ™

While there is no way to enforce term limits, there is a growing argument for turnover and change so as to prevent temptation and greed taking over! No constitutional amendment is possible, but it becomes clear that the American people must take responsibility for promoting turnover so that power does not continue to lie in the hands of older, overly arrogant legislators!

Should anyone be the head of a committee in Congress for endless number of years? NO!

Should members of Congress serve more than the 30 years that marks most people’s careers in one employment position before retirement? NO!

It is up to us, the people, to enforce these changes, and argue that seniority and longevity have their limits, by their close attention to politics, and their votes! ๐Ÿ™

Second Anniversary Of “The Progressive Professor” And Counting! :)

Today, August 11, marks two years of this blog, and one year since the name change on the new website!

Over these two years, there have been 1,320 entries, starting off slowly but accelerating rapidly, whereby the average month sees approximately 75 entries!

Over 24 months with 1,320 entries, it averages out to 55 entries per month so far, but again that average will continue to rise from a slow beginning!

Additionally, there have been 578 comments, and that number has been growing rapidly as well!

I appreciate everyone who participates, even those who are nasty and angry, as with the illegal immigration issue which led to my detailed response, but interestingly, not one of those critics ever reacted to my response!

As always, the purpose of this blog is to promote discussion, whereby readers learn and the author learns! There is no need for insults, or anger, and I hope that one event that was so sudden and shocking will not occur again, and instead, civil discourse can be promoted!

In any case, as the third year of “The Progressive Professor” begins, as always, good reading! ๐Ÿ™‚