Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Bush, baseball and balloting baloney

FROM A FRIEND comes a report of a speech by ex-President George W. Bush to a loving business group in Erie, Pa. in which he first asserted that he would not criticize President Obama - and then spent the next hour attacking Obama's policies on a wide range of issues from the plan to close Guantanamo Prison to the stimulus package. (I'll assume that he didn't also attack his one-time military guru, Gen. Petraeus, for supporting the closure.) The conservative audience responded gleefully to Bush's non-assault assault. As for me, it has often occurred to me when I see Dubya that his mien is much like what inspired Lillian Hellman to say of Norma Shearer: "A face unclouded by thought."

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FROM ANOTHER FRIEND comes word from Baseball America, the go-to publication for all things baseball, that the shrinking newspaper world is impacting on how BA gets its reports from the beat correspondents on the hometown newspaper's sports pages as newspapers shut down or the baseball writers resign for other jobs. This is not the sort of shifting sand that would help us cope with melting glaciers. But it does add another downside piece to the fallout from the industry's melt-down.

On that point, Journalism.Org reported earlier that while the number of Washington-based reporters for American newspapers has shrunk dramatically by more than a third since 1985, the number of foreign media based in DC has increased ten-fold since the late 1960s. There has also been a huge increase in so-called niche newsletters and magazines of interest to special audiences. The decline in the mainstream media has been accompanied by less accountability for whomever is running the government. "Symbolic of the state of this relationship, George W. Bush is the first president since Theodore Roosevelt not to address the National Press Club during his his years in office," Journalism.Org. noted. In this instance, I'd say all's well that ends well.
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It's conclusively OVER! In response to a column by the Beacon Journal's Steve Hoffman, on the recall campaign against Mayor Don Plusquellic, former Councilman Warner Mendenhall, the messy effort's icon, declared "success in many ways." That being the case, should there still be a costly election on Tuesday by Akron's voters? In years of covering elections , I found this one to be the first that failed to connect any of the dots. Could it be that the dots were never there in the first place?


fargo said...

Grumpy,it should be noted in the comment section on Steve Hoffmans column today Mendenhall offered that "The Mayor is on the ballot" as his #1 reason that the recall has already been a success. Seems to me the Mayor has been on the ballot every 4 years for the last 20 years without having a recall.

Mendenhall would make a great snake oil salesman. For $175K you get something you already had.

Mission Accomplished Warner.

Mencken said...

Richard Thompson has a song entitled "The Uninhabited Man" which I think describes Bush as well.