When You Endorse A Convicted Crook

It’s hard to imagine that one of the two major political parties in America would endorse a corrupt, convicted felon in a race for a congressional seat but, unbelievably, that’s exactly what has happened in Louisiana.

The Louisiana Democratic Central Committee has endorsed former Governor Edwin Edwards in the state’s sixth congressional district.  Edwards was convicted of various federal crimes, including racketeering, extortion, conspiracy, and fraud, and served time in the federal pen — 8 years, to be exact.  In fact, because of his recent federal conviction, he’s disqualified from running for statewide office in Louisiana, yet the state’s Democratic Central Committee nevertheless sees fit to endorse him for a federal office.

The Central Committee apparently voted “overwhelmingly” to endorse Edwards, and the Louisiana Democratic Party Vice Chairman said that while the congressional race is “challenging terrain” for Democrats, “I am impressed with the team and the energy coming from Team Edwards — and I have often been told to never count out Edwin Edwards.”

What better evidence of the fact that political parties put party affiliation above the good of the state and country?  No rational person could possibly contend that putting somebody like Edwards in Congress is a good idea — regardless of whether his “team” has “energy.”  If the Louisiana Democratic Party had any self-respect, it would shun Edwards.  That the party has done the opposite is an embarrassment — and also shows all of us that political party endorsements shouldn’t be given much credit by voters.  If a major political party can endorse a crook like Edwards, can a yellow dog be far behind?

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Cows Are Hot, Cows Are Cool

Cows are pretty cool right now.  The Chick-Fil-A TV commercials prominently feature our bovine friends, who can’t spell very well but can climb onto billboards, scale water towers, and turn up just as somebody is getting ready to bite into a cheeseburger.  There’s even a Cow Appreciation Day.

Now we know that cows are hot, because they’ve got their own webcam.  In fact, the Modern Farmer Cow Cam offers you the choice of two cow cams, both of which are at the Never Rest Dairy in Watertown, Wisconsin.

The settings are different, but either way, you get to watch cows, live, doing what cows do — which is really nothing at all except eating their feed, drinking lots of water, chewing their cuds, and maintaining a placid expression at all costs. Oh, and producing other cows, milk, and the best darned fertilizer known to mankind.

It’s pretty mesmerizing, really.  And perhaps we could all learn something from the Holstein’s unsurprised acceptance of the vicissitudes of life.

That Unseemly Campaign Mode

Kish and I watched President Obama’s speech about our response to the depravations of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria last night.  I think we have to do something about those vicious Islamic terrorists, so I am glad the President has decided to take action.  As for his strategy — well, if it doesn’t work, we can try something else.  The main takeaway is that we’re going to act, once again, in an effort to lead the world to a better place.

The President struck a jarring note at the end of the speech, when he invoked both the 9/11 attack and the economic downturn of 2008 and argued that the United States “is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.”  He added:

“Our technology companies and universities are unmatched. Our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving. Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades. For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history. Despite all the divisions and discord within our democracy, I see the grit and determination and common goodness of the American people every single day, and that makes me more confident than ever about our country’s future.”

This snippet of happy-talk was dubious — Our universities are great when they are gouging students with outrageous tuitions and producing debt-crippled graduates?  Our auto industries are thriving when GM produces defective cars while living on federal support? — and obviously has nothing to do with ISIS or terrorism.  It came across as unseemly politicking as a mid-term election approaches and thereby detracted from the rest of the speech.  Perhaps the President doesn’t realize it, but when he is addressing national security and describing our strategy to defeat another bloody terrorist group and then veers into campaign mode, he presents himself as focused on internal politics and less than serious about the external mission he is announcing. It’s not a positive juxtaposition.

Today marks another anniversary of 9/11 and, as a result of the President’s speech last night, we will open another front in the long and difficult struggle against terrorism.  The memories of that black day 13 years ago remain raw and painful.  Due respect for 9/11 requires that our leaders continue to focus on our bipartisan, national goal of keeping our country safe from another attack.  When 9/11 is invoked, electioneering should not follow.