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Monday, June 6, 2011

Despite the continuously bad news about the economy, jobs, and personal wealth, Obama's popularity is holding. Why?

This is an analysis I find inspiring, by friend Ralph Benko writing in Forbes today:
Strong Medicine For The GOP: From ‘Hope And Change’ To ‘Be The Change’
June 6th, 2011

Unemployment rate rises to 9.1%. Home prices resume their descent. The federal government is revealed as inept in two areas of greatest concern to voters: work and home. Weathering punch after punch of bad news about “the economy, stupid,” President Barack Obama remains, under the circumstances, astoundingly popular. The president is proving to be a crowd-pleasing palooka who just refuses to be K.O.’d.

Why is Obama’s popularity holding up?

The most compelling answer, one worthy of a Carville or Rove, came not from a Washington Pundit but from a mere voter like us. Dave Barry nailed it over a decade ago:

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.

Another Excerpt:
There’s a lot more going on out here than just “Democrat vs. Republican,” “Left vs. Right,” “Libertarian or Authoritarian.” Educator and educational entrepreneur Michael Strong unraveled the puzzle in an under-noticed book published by John Wiley & Sons unassumingly titled Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems. A few additional heavyweights have contributed chapters: The guy from whom you probably buy your groceries, John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods; Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus; Hernando de Soto, selected by TIME as “one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century.”

Click here to read Benko's op-ed
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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