In an interesting coincidence involving Lee Enterprises' largest newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Davenport-based media firm announced it had paid off debt related to acquisition of that paper in 2005, while confirming today (6/26) it was laying off eight St. Louis newsroom employees... more
GOP: Man of the Year
- As Davenport simmers over gambling give-aways; similar questions should be raised in Bettendorf
- Gap in wealth grows partly because we keep electing politicians who promise nothing less
- Government by bagmen: Our experiment in self-governance spawns a highest-bidder-take-all bazaar
- Farm pollution of rivers and streams parallels city/industry sewage pollution of 100 years ago
- Presidential candidates belatedly get worked up about inequality, but lose touch with reality
- The Baltimore uprising's backstory: Race riots as American as baseball and apple pie
- Bettendorf, aka Bettenberg, makes the big time on Emmy winning Netflix series 'House of Cards'
- Ahhh, the presidential primary campaign season and the unmistakeable whiff of hypocrisy in the air
- Proposed Bettendorf comprehensive plan truly would be a game-changer for city development
- Campaigns begin for presidential election and the trash-talking from SuperPACs isn't far behind
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Republicans hit on the strategy of acting as though they'd won the 2008 elections.
Time Magazine has its Man of the Year Award; I have mine.
There was a bumper crop of candidates this year, a year marked by one bizarre turn of events after another.
Who would have imagined, for example, that President Barack Obama, having gotten a commitment from oil giant BP to set aside $20 billion for damages caused by its oil spill, would be accused by a Congressman of "blackmail" or that the Republican Party would call it a "$20-billion shakedown"? Or that the lawmaker, Rep. Joe Barton, could be the ranking GOP member of the House Energy and Commerce committee?
That's like letting a practicing alcoholic teach driver education.
Ultimately, I suppose, if you had to distill the year's madness into one award, you'd have to say that the Man of the Year is the Republican Party. (That's neither a man nor woman, I know. So sue me.)
The GOP this year accomplished a feat so extraordinary as to beggar the imagination. Nothing like it has been seen in living memory.
Two years ago, Republicans were sliding toward oblivion. Their presidential candidate had been trounced by a virtual unknown. They faced a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate and an equally large majority in the House. The outlook was grim.
Until they hit on the strategy of acting as though they'd won the 2008 elections. They locked arms and voted as one against pretty much everything the President wanted to do, then blamed him for not getting it done.
But what was really extraordinary was that they did it by shamelessly taking the side of the rich against the poor, while claiming that they were speaking for the common man.
And even more extraordinary yet was the fact that the American people bought what they were selling. It was one of the great feats of political jujitsu of our time or any other.
As a long-time observer of American politics, I can only tip my hat in admiration and give them the highest honor it is in my power to bestow: the un-Timely Man of the Year Award for 2010.
As I said, there were other deserving candidates, so I thought I'd give them some love too.
- The barely coveted "It Pays to be Ignorant Award" goes to none other than Sarah Palin, who managed to go through an entire year without saying one intelligent or knowledgeable thing while growing exponentially in political popularity (not to mention in riches). Watching her is like seeing a high-wire artist who works not only without a net, but without a wire.
- The competition for the "Ignorance Award," by the way, was fierce. Right behind Sarah was Christine ("I Am Not a Witch") O'Donnell, the Republican Senate candidate in Delaware who, during a debate on religion in public schools, said incredulously: "You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"
Right behind her was Sharron Angle, the Senate candidate in Nevada, who thought that Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, was governed by Sharia law.
Other notable achievers:
- Rep. Charlie Rangel, the New York Democrat who demanded a House ethics investigation of his finances, which then proceeded to prove he was a crook.
- Tiger Woods, who, robbed by divorce of the chance to cheat on his wife, went from being the world's greatest golfer to a middle-of-the-pack hacker. There's a moral in there somewhere, but I'm afraid to look for it.
- Rush Limbaugh, who disappointed millions of Americans by promising to leave the country if health care reform passed, then not leaving when it passed.
- Rep. John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who apparently can't tell the story of his rise from saloon keeper's son to Speaker of the House without bursting into tears, when it's the rest of us who should be crying.
- Judge Henry E. Hudson, the conservative Virginia judge who ruled that health care is unconstitutional. Who knew?
It was a heck of a year. I shudder to think of what's ahead.
Bettendorf pumped 18.4 million gallons of untreated sewage mixed with storm water into the Mississippi River over a four-day period earlier this month after heavy rain and high water clogged the main interceptor along the riverfront and flows overwhelmed the treatment capacity of the Davenport/... more
Tigers, lions, wolves and African wild cats at Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester "are suffering inhumane living conditions that result from owners, zookeepers and veterinarians who lack the expertise, the experience and the resources to care for captive wildlife," a California vet with 21 years... more
Despite $2 million in storm sewer interceptor work, high water and heavy rains are again forcing Bettendorf to dump raw sewage into the Mississippi River.
Here's an unpleasant thought for Bettendorf and Riverdale residents: most of the sewage you're flushing down the toilet... more