Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hillary Speaks

Finally our Secretary of State showed up for the Congressional hearings on Benghazi. I was not sure what to expect from the 5-hour session. Neither Clinton is friendly with the truth. Bill and Hillary aren't even honest with each other, so I didn't exactly expect her to be honest with the American people. 

She did say that she takes responsibility (in terms of the-buck-stops-here), but then she dodged each question that would have called for her to actually take responsibility. As I listened to her answers, I thought I was hearing the slippery answers of a teenager. I do however think she was sincere when she recalled greeting the families and the caskets. 

I am confused about something she said. When she said that the State Department received 1.4 million letters/cables/communications per year and they are all addressed to her, I could understand that. But what is the hierarchy? If a message comes from an ambassador to the Secretary of State, would that be a higher priority than a message from an underling? And doesn't she have staff that read, prioritize, and summarize communiques for her? Wouldn't she receive daily briefings about developing situations that would have alerted her to the problems in the region in the prior months? There are still too many answered questions. 

The rant was surprising to me. She is not prone to outbursts. I guess she thinks that it's not that important how the attack happened, but that the attack happened. I disagree. If my teenager takes my car and then calls to tell me it's totaled, I want to know how. All the more important to know how the attack happened and how these Americans were killed so as to not have it happen again. There is something to be learned here. Policies or procedures were either not followed or need to be reviewed. Communication channels were either broken or something serious is wrong. I would like to think that Mrs. Clinton did not know about the problem ahead of time, but that means that she was not properly informed. If Mrs. Clinton knew of the problem and did nothing, that is a serious issue. Whether she knew or whether no one told her, both are failings. And both need fixed.

The other discouraging thing to me is that most people don't really care and aren't paying attention. They will only hear her testimony when it's a sound bite in a 2016 commercial in her run for president. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Father of the year? You're kidding, right?

Just this week the National Father's Day Committee announced that one of their choices for their 2013 Father of the Year Award is Bill Clinton. WHAT? I thought I must have misheard that. Great politician. Sure. Great humanitarian. Sure. More deserving of a Nobel Prize than Al Gore or Barack Obama, but I digress. This called for an investigation.

Promptly, I looked at the reasons for choosing Clinton as father of the year. It's odd. The journalists talked about his foundation, his humanitarian work, barely mentioning his doting on his daughter, but I am still waiting for how this qualifies. I lived through the 90s... the women procurement... Monica... the public news conferences and hearings on whether oral sex is sex. Of course, my sons were quick to point out that this award is not for "husband of the year".

I started looking at former winners, of which there are many. In 2009 George Stephanopoulos won. Maybe he is a great dad, but his oldest child at the time was about 7. The award should surely go to someone who has parented teens and survived! The 2005 list included Donald Trump, so maybe the list isn't about how many baby mommas, but how many of your children you can employ. (They all seem well-adjusted, so I probably shouldn't comment too much). The most glaring name was in 2007... John Edwards. Good heavens! I think this was just about the time that there were rumblings of a girlfriend followed by a love child while his wife was dying. No more talk about these men who are doing wrong. Let me mention one that is doing right... and has always done right.

My father is the hardworking family man that most of us are familiar with because we had our own similar dad at home. No sacrifice is too great for the purposes of supporting his family. My dad is amazing. He worked his first job for 40 years while working a second job for almost as long while riding his bike 10 miles every day (one way) so that my mom could have the car for us. He is 72 and still works. I think there is something to be admired about a man who quietly but strongly does the right things. He is faithful, honest, and will make you laugh in a minute. There are so many things I learned about from my dad, but probably most importantly, I learned that I am valuable and unique and important. Dads impart lessons in many ways, but one of the most crucial lessons that my dad imparted daily is that my mom is to be respected, admired, and loved. That, folks, is Father-of-the-Year material!