Tag Archive: Harry S. Truman


“Poor George. He can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” — Former Texas Governor Ann Richards (1933-2006)

You’ve probably received a hundred of these ‘feet’ but I want you to have this one from me – a peace offering.” – President-elect George H.W. Bush note, sending a silver foot pin to soon-to-be Texas Governor Ann Richards November, 1988

”I think it was a kind and generous gesture on his part. I was delighted that he saw and enjoyed the humor in the keynote address.” — Ann Richards upon receiving the silver foot pin

How come our politics can’t be practiced with clever satire, even a smile, a wink, and better yet … take it that way?

Ann Richards gave #41 the business in her keynote address to the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta with a smile on her face, an endearing Texas drawl, and great sense of timing and humor.

Yes, Harry S. Truman once said that if you needed a friend in Washington, D.C. — get a dog. Does that require everyone to be so doggone mean?

Maybe, just maybe, that old dog can still hunt.

See The Other Point Of View

“Do it with all you’ve got. Keep your cool, work like hell, don’t let the meanness that will surface get you down, don’t overreact, see the other guy’s point of view. See his merits but convince people you are the better man — for you are.” — Former President George H.W. Bush advice to his son former President George W. Bush in 1977

“Ellen (Degeneres) and George Bush together makes me have faith in America, again” — Tweet from Matt highlighted on Ellen’s Show

The broadcast image of Ellen Degeneres sitting right next to former President George W. Bush at last Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game went viral, and generated a series of unpleasant comments about how she could occupy the same space with #43.

The CBS Evening News’ headline said that Ellen “defends” her friendship with the former president.

CNN along the same vain noted that Ellen “explains” sitting next to the Republican chief executive.

Almost DailyBrett must rhetorically ask these media elites: Why does someone, anyone have to “defend” or “explain” being nice?

Have we reached a point that being kind to someone, who does not share your political philosophy, is somehow a crime?

People were upset, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president? I am friends with George Bush.” — Ellen Degeneres

Your author is mature enough to remember vividly Ann Richards chiding George H.W. Bush, literally bringing down the house in Atlanta with laughter. Richards was effective, but she was not mean … not even close. The prevailing civil behavior of our politicians at that time was a model for the nation.

The outright hatred and hostility in Washington toward those who do not share a given philosophy has extended to public discourse and nasty behavior from sea-to-shining sea. We are talking about the way each individual sees the world and the direction of the country.

There are some that are even amazed that a Reaganite Republican and a Obamaesque Democrat cannot only inseparably co-exist for seven years, but most of all … love each other. Jeanne even happily joined me for a 2017 visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Almost DailyBrett will speak in an ex-cathedra manner: If a couple cannot love each other because they hold differing … maybe even diametrically opposed … political philosophies, then the relationship is doomed from the start. How about focusing on areas of agreement?

Your author is often chided for romancing a better time, somehow turning back the clock. Guilty as charged. It was better then, why can’t it be better now?

As Ellen stated on Tuesday: “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to people,’ I don’t mean only the people who think the way you do. Be kind to everybody.”

Amen, Ellen. Amen.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ellen-degeneres-defends-george-w-bush-friendship-cowboys-game-tweets-monologue-2019-10-08/

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/entertainment/ellen-degeneres-george-bush/index.html

 

“Now was I wrong a few weeks ago, to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men (i.e., James Eastland and Herman Talmadge) who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes, I was. I regret it. I’m sorry for any of the pain or misconception that I caused anybody.” – Former Vice President Joe Biden

Poor Joe Biden.

Has he become an elderly Dan Quayle in the headlights?

When will it be time for his next apology to anybody and everybody?

Can he apologize his way to the Democratic presidential nomination, let alone the presidency?

Reflecting on the June 27 Democratic debate, California Senator Kamala Harris berated Biden for working with the two segregationist senators, and for openly opposing busing. She more than implied that he was weak on racism.

Old habits die hard. During the debate Almost DailyBrett was whispering, ‘Obama … Obama’ and ‘Busing failed. It was well-intentioned (the road to hell is paved with good intentions), but it failed miserably.’

For some reason a seasoned politician with a career going back at least to 1972, seemed verbally paralyzed on the stump.

Earlier this week, Biden finally said:

“They (opponents) don’t want to talk much about my time as vice president. It was the honor of a lifetime to serve with a man who was a great president, an historic figure, and most important to me, a friend. I was vetted by him and selected by him. I will take his judgment of my record, my character and my ability to handle the job over anyone else’s.”

Too little too late, Joe.

It’s time for a refresher course in media training, Joe. We are assuming you want to be president. Right?

Are you sure about that, Joe?

Can you fight off your younger, more agile competitors for the Demo nomination, not to mention the biggest bully of them all, one Donald John Trump?

Acknowledge-Bridge-SOCO

The best media trainer on this planet is Anne Ready of Ready for Media in Malibu, California.

She pioneered the concept of acknowledge the question, bridge to your answer, and deliver your SOCO (Strategic Operating Communications Objective).

Your SOCO response is your agenda.

Biden knew going into the June 27 debate, he was going to be questioned about his collaboration with segregationist Democratic Senators James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia.

Even though he is a white, straight male (all demographic negatives for the Demo presidential nod), what is Joe Biden’s ace in the hole?

He was chosen and served as vice president to America’s first president of African-American dissent.

Envision Joe Biden looking right into the eyes of Senator Harris last month and saying: ‘When Barack Obama was seeking a running mate, he chose me. I served President Obama and our country with distinction for eight years. I am proud of my longstanding record on Civil Rights.”

Bingo. Joe Biden just uniquely separated himself from the pack. No other Democrat can make that (Obama-Biden ticket) assertion.

Almost DailyBrett is 100 percent certain Kamala Harris would come back with a rejoinder – heck, she’s an attorney — including the glorification of the failed busing social engineering experiment.

Macht nichts!

Biden would have been seen as defending his turf with a strong Acknowledge-Bridge-and-SOCO (e.g., Obama VP) response.

The stories would have undoubtedly still focus on Kamala challenging the former vice president, but they wouldn’t have been so lopsided. There would have been two strong sides to the televised exchange.

Motor City Meltdown? We Have A Problem, Houston

The second Democratic debates, hosted by CNN, will be held in Detroit, July 30-31.

The third round, moderated by ABC, will be located in Houston, Sept. 12-13.

Will the “frontrunner” be ready for these crucial encounters? Their is little doubt that Kamala Harris and others are sharpening their verbal knives.

As political strategist Mary Matalin said repeatedly: “Politics is a contact sport.”

How will we know that Biden is truly serious about running for president? He was Hamlet in 2016.

The answer lies with Acknowledge, Bridge and SOCO.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/06/biden-apologizes-segregationist-2020-1399254

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/biden-segregationist-eastland-talmadge/592228/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/business/media/democratic-debate-abc-houston.html

https://www.readyformedia.com/about-us/anne-ready/

https://www.readyformedia.com/what-no-media-training/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/busing-nostalgia/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/what-happened-to-the-exceptional-nation-that-twice-elected-barack-obama/

 

 

 

If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog – President Harry S. Truman

If you want a friend in Washington, get a bitch – Shock Comedian Bill Maher

maher

Time to go on the record: The first quote was uttered by the former president. The second one very well could be attributed to Maher…and after a few days virtually no one would give a whit.

President Truman was reminding those contemplating entering public life that having a tough backside is absolutely essential, particularly with all the slithery creatures that populate that zone of infinite wisdom that we commonly know as “Inside the Beltway.”

But when is enough, enough? When are lines crossed that should never be crossed?

Certainly we all enjoy the First Amendment right of free speech, but even with this precious liberty there are limitations (the famous restraint against yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre comes immediately to mind).

What about uttering the N-word to describe African-Americans? Everyone knows this word is hateful and goes back to the bad ole days of bad ole Bull Connor and the attack dogs. Mercifully, those extreme days are over even though racism still exists. We should celebrate that the nominee for one political party this fall will be an African-American and the other most likely will be a Mormon. We have come far as a civilized society.

bullconnor

And yet, even with this progress, we hear that Maher in March 2011 in Dallas called former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin a “cunt,” adding, “There’s just no other word for her.” Really Bill? You also called her a “twat” and suggested that she and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are “boobs” and “bimbos.” Any other gender specific slang for female reproductive parts that you want to throw in, Bill?

Maher’s past use of the C-word came simmering to the surface for a few nanoseconds when he gave $1 million to the president’s Super PAC. This revelation came just a few days after the president called a college student that was mocked as a “slut” and a “prostitute” by conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh.

Mumsy was right when she said that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” The nation’s elites came unglued when white Anglo male Limbaugh used the “slut” word, but essentially dismissed  white Anglo male Maher’s use of the ugly C-word to describe Governor Palin. Why? Is “slut” more egregious than “cunt?” Both are awful; I dare to opine the latter is the absolute nadir of hateful sexism when it comes to crudeness and ugliness.

palin

CBS fired Don Imus for calling members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, “nappy headed hos,” (racist and sexist at the same time), but HBO gladly rakes in “Real Time” advertiser bucks with Maher and his liberal use of the C-word.

Is the C-word the equivalent of the N-word? I am not a sociologist, so I cannot offer empirical evidence that the C-word invokes the same reaction in women that the N-word provokes among African-Americans (sounds like a critical qualitative study for a major university). One thing I do know is that both African-Americans and women have been repeatedly discriminated against during the course of this nation’s (and other nations) history and we have not wiped out the last vestiges of racism and sexism.

For those who use the N-word and/or the C-word, does it say more about the targets of the verbal venom or does it say more about you? Should we just dismiss Maher because he is a comedian because comedians are there simply to entertain?

Or should we take a stand for decency, even though some will mock us? There is never, ever any excuse, any rationalization, any explanation for using the gross c-word to describe any woman regardless of her profession, her political philosophy or place in life. There is no equivalent in terms of crudeness to the c-word. It stands alone in vulgarity. There I said it.

As a society we have learned to speak out and shame those who use the N-word to describe African-Americans. I am proud of the infrequent use of that racist word even in private. It should be totally stricken from the nation’s vocabulary.

The same applies to the C-word. We should not laugh at the ugly, hateful name calling, culminating with the C-word about any woman. Maher is not funny. The little smirk on his face and his self-adoration of his “cleverness” is egged on when we as a society express no outrage. If the C-word becomes common place in our society, it will be because we applauded and laughed when we should have deplored and condemned.

http://www.dallasvoice.com/maher-your-beautiful-theater-gonna-long-1070487.html

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bill-maher-calls-sarah-palin-the-c-word-during-his-stand-up-act/

http://reason.com/blog/2012/03/06/its-like-totally-different-when-a-libera

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/20/bristol-awaits-obamas-call-shoulder/

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/17982146/

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-2675273.html

The setting is a Darth Vader-style black bus, capable of waging simultaneous nuclear warfare on two or more fronts, rolling through the farm fields of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. An unlikely visitor has just boarded the bus…

obamabus

Little Ole Me (LOM): “You asked for me, sir?”

POTUS: “You are probably wondering why I summoned a Republican from Eugene, Oregon…even though that sounds like an oxymoron…or maybe just a moro…”

LOM: “With all due respect sir we probably don’t want my neighbors to know my political affiliation. They are already really concerned about neighborhood property values.”

POTUS: “Look I only have limited time. In fact my time is running out, if things don’t change pronto. Comprende senor?

LOM: “Si, el Presidente…I am willing to serve my country. What can I possibly do to help the red, white and blue?

POTUS: “You mean the Tea Party colors? Don’t get me started…Let me get to the point. You write Almost DailyBrett, a strategic communications blog…”

LOM: “You know about Almost DailyBrett? I don’t know if I should be flattered or appalled…”

POTUS: “The question is how can I change my image, my perception and my messaging to turn around my 39 percent polling numbers nationally, and in particular win Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and all the other swing states.”

LOM: “They really like you in San Francisco…

POTUS: “Think again. They don’t like anyone in San Francisco. Have you ever seen a happy social-justice activist?”

LOM: “Can’t say that I have ever seen a ‘happy’ activist in my entire life.”

POTUS: “What I really need to do is embrace Republican principles without setting off a rebellion among my liberal…err…progressive base…”

LOM: “That’s going to be tough sir. You are trying to do the right thing…Sorry sir…You are trying to do the correct thing without pissing off the pissed off. How can you satisfy the insatiable?”

POTUS: “I can’t afford a Ted Kennedy or Pat Buchanan-style primary challenge. I have enough problems with Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann…They are all more telegenic than me.”

LOM: “Especially Michele Bachmann…I get lost in her eyes…”

POTUS: “So do I…Let’s get off this tangent before I get in trouble with my Michelle, my belle. I already have enough comparisons with Jimmy Carter, particularly his incompetence, to have to face a similar primary challenge from the left wing of my party…”

LOM: “Mr. President. Can someone really run to the left of you? Do you really think it is still possible for a credible primary challenge to be mounted at this late date? And do you think the redistributionist social justice crowd is going to sit it out next November, if Mitt Romney or Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann is the GOP standard bearer? I think not.”

POTUS: “Maybe I just blame the Standard & Poor’s downgrade, the massive unemployment and the record $14 trillion deficit on George W. Bush and the Tea Party?…And then I can vilify the Republican nominee. I think I have a winning strategy. You don’t think I should run on my record?”

LOM: “Do the names Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan ring a bell?”

POTUS: “Of course, they were well respected throughout all 57 states, Alaska and Hawaii too…”

LOM: “Truman said, ‘The Buck Stops Here.’ You should declare that you are the president. You accept responsibility for the past three years, and you have a plan for the future.”

POTUS: “I do?”

LOM: “And Reagan campaigned for re-election with the mantra, ‘Morning in America.’ It was a message of optimism and hope. Why can’t you go back to offering hope for a better tomorrow? Maybe even a Shining City on the Hill?”

POTUS: “You know, I remember mentioning the notion of hope in 2008.”

LOM: “Do you remember when Bill Clinton fried his fellow Democrats with a massive welfare reform bill, so much that it even upset Hillary?”

POTUS: “You are reminding me about upsetting Hillary?”

LOM: “Sorry sir. I am just suggesting that you should infuriate Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Let them start attacking you. Your polling numbers will skyrocket…even better than taking out Osama bin Laden.”

nancyharry

POTUS: “Do you think I can send in the Navy SEALS to take out Harry and Nancy?”

LOM: “No sir. Something about the messy Separation of Powers gets in the way.”

POTUS: “And then what should I do?”

LOM: “Propose a true compromise. In exchange for closing corporate loopholes, you should offer true entitlement reform for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which represent 60 percent of the budget. Exempt everyone over 50 years of age from these changes, and then apply means testing and raise the age limit to at least 67 for all of those under 50. All additional revenue will be used for deficit reduction. Wall Street will be happy, and maybe Standard & Poor’s will restore the nation’s AAA bond rating.”

POTUS: “You mean be a leader instead of a campaigner. I am really great on the stump…Do you really think I should hack off Harry and Nancy?”

LOM: “Have you ever heard the German word, ‘Schadenfreude?’

POTUS: “Schadenfreude?”

LOM: “When Harry and Nancy are unhappy, I am happy and a whole lot of other people too, especially in the swing states.”

POTUS: “Sounds like a great strategic communications strategy.”

LOM: “Thank you Mr. President. Can I get off the bus now?”

Wikipedia defines the term “Ivory Tower” in the following manner:

“The term Ivory Tower originates in the Biblical Song of Solomon (7,4), and was later used as an epithet for Mary. “From the 19th century it has been used to designate a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. As such, it usually carries pejorative connotations of a willful disconnect from the everyday world; esoteric, over-specialized, or even useless research; and academic elitism, if not outright condescension. In American English usage it is a shorthand for academia or the university, particularly departments of the humanities.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivory_Tower

In short, the term “Ivory Tower” (and by extension those who reside there pontificate and bloviate to the gathering masses below) is not a positive and in fact it can seen as a repudiation and rejection of the academic world.

So what am I getting to, and why should you even care?

The point is that I have left the so-called “real world” for the perceived ivory-tower academic world. As I walk to-and-from University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication classrooms http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/ for lectures and discussions, I have been wondering whether I am also guilty of living in my very own ivory tower.

hoover

How’s that and what the heck is the reverse ivory tower effect?

It is very easy for someone who spent nearly two decades in California’s Silicon Valley to think that all of the earth’s innovation resides between Fremont on the East and Palo Alto to the West (okay a few nearby places as well). Undoubtedly, the greatest concentration of engineering talent (at least in the United States) is concentrated right there. So do they rule the roost when it comes to devising the next killer app and the next destructive technology? If you ask them, they would be more than happy to respond in the affirmative.

Years before that, I worked at another Ivory Tower, this one with a dome on top of it. As laughable as it may seem to some, there are those in Sacramento (yes, the capitol of the biggest state in the union) that seriously believe the sun, moon, stars and asteroids revolve around this town that would have little reason for being other than it is the state capitol. And if you think the folks in Sacramento have an Ivory Tower complex, then let’s not even contemplate Washington, D.C. even though many are wondering out loud whether government is permanently Balkanized and broken.

sacramento

Did I bring my own personal ivory tower by way of Silicon Valley and Sacramento (and other places) to the academic world? Do I think that just based upon my years and years of experience that I can’t learn anything new?

Harry S. Truman said that he distrusted “experts” because if they learned something they wouldn’t be an expert any longer.

One very reassuring event occurred this week in J350 “Principles of Public Relations” (please do not be the next person to ask me if there are really ‘principles’ in ‘public relations’) Professor Kelli Matthews http://www.linkedin.com/in/kellimatthews was teaching almost 100 undergraduates how to write cover letters and resumes, so they could get their careers off the ground. That doesn’t sound like an ivory tower approach to me. In fact, it sounds very practical and incredibly useful in the face of a very bleak employment picture.

Sure beats answering a Silicon Valley engineer’s question about whether the Wall Street Journal would be interested in covering PCI (Peripheral Computer Interconnect) Express. The answer would be “no.”

Pass the ivory tower.

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