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Politics // Coffee Break
Jerry Coffee

Items In The News Worth Noting

Last week, upon my return from a two week Mainland trip, I picked up the July 26 Honolulu Star-Advertiser at the airport between the arrival gate and baggage claim just to catch up. There on the editorial page were three very disparate writers: a local, Cynthia Oi, and syndicated regulars Maureen Dowd and Leonard Pitts.

Oi had been assigned the task of reviewing the brief autobiographical sketches of every candidate running for office in the upcoming elections. She cleverly char-acterized the answers to a questionnaire according to the individual’s status, i.e., veteran office seekers gave the “most characterless” answers, like “I always … ” or “I firmly believe …” or, as Oi puts it, “yadda yadda yadda!” But she seemed to feel those new to politics sounded more innocent and more hopeful, i.e., “I am untainted by politics as usual.”

Then she writes “the cliche factories work overtime, i.e., ‘kupunas and keikis,’ ‘America’s working men and women,’ ‘the future of our children and our children’s children.’”

The King of Koverup? AP photo

And, she says, “Buzz words abound,” especially those tired ol’ standbys like “‘sustainability,’ ‘energy self-sufficiency,’ ‘good listener’ and ‘collaborative.’”

Finally after a pretty much tongue-in-cheek column, Oi graciously acknowledges, “For whatever reasons, they have stepped forward in a time when holding public office can be thankless and unappreciated.” Having run for public office, I can attest to that. The best way we can show our appreciation for those who do step up is simple. For gosh sake, get out there and vote. As John McCain put it – and proved – “elections have consequences.” Let’s face it, if you don’t vote, you are inconsequential. Is that really OK with you?

What really struck me about the Maureen Dowd column was her hypocrisy. After taking a few cliched swipes at the Democrats’ usual pinata, Dick Cheney, she digs Mitt Romney for, of all things, his “secrecy” in his campaign. Here’s a liberal columnist whose own Democratic Party’s standard-bearer, Barack Obama, is the King of Koverup. How many years did he cover up his birthplace until finally revealing his “birth certificate” (and how difficult could it be for the most powerful man in the world to produce a believable, digitally manipulated fake?).

And how many more years will he cover up his college records, which more than likely would reveal his enrollment as a foreign student, and his answer to the “place of birth” question, Kenya, Africa?

And how long did he cover up (until just recently discovered) the biographical information he must have provided his literary agent for the writeup touting his book Dreams From My Father, i.e., “Born and raised in Kenya, Africa …”?

And just to show you it continues to be an ongoing problem, how about Obama’s leadership in his Justice Department’s coverup of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation to Mexico resulting in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent?

Executive privilege? Give me a break!

And finally, Dowd’s desperate summary of Romney’s “secrecy … hid ing his fortune in foreign tax havens, hiding tax returns, destroying and hiding records as head of the Olympics (not a shred of evidence for any of this), and as governor, hiding a specific sense of where he would take the country.” Dowd must be trying to cover up the coma she’s been in for the last several months.

Leonard Pitts’ column on the Aurora, Colo., massacre is aptly summed up by its headline writer: “In midst of violent chaos, protective heroes emerged.”

Pitts suggests that the evil perpetrated by “the goggle-eyed, mentally disturbed young man with the orange hair” was at least somewhat balanced by the goodness of the heroes who emerged from that “violent chaos,” i.e., several men and women selflessly shielded others with their bodies, and died. Others remained with and ministered to wounded companions.

For years, as a part of my professional speaking, I have asserted, “There are heroes among us; not the least of which is the hero in each of us!” It’s just been proven in Aurora, Colo.

Correction to my last column: The Beehive state is Utah, not Idaho. Idaho is the Gem State.

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