While I listened to the three presidential debates, one thought came to my mind. Neither of the two candidates was really impressive.
Since I have lost my right to vote for the foreseeable future, I am posting the following thoughts to see if anyone would care to speak to them. Yes, if I could vote, I would probably vote for Kerry, but part of me would love to see what Ralph Nader would do.
I thought that a lot of the points discussed the different shades of a color, while agreeing that the color was the same for both parties. I was pretty turned off when neither candidate was able to switch out of one of the canned campaign phrases like wrong war, wrong time, etc.
The one true debate point I did hear was in the third debate when they were asked about the student loans. Kerry went first, stating that Bush made cuts, not increases, in the Pell Grant program. Bush responded that he did not; in fact, there was an increase in the number of students receiving aid. Kerry came back and said yes, the number of students getting the grant increased, but the amount of the awards and the overall dollar amount was less than in previous years.
One of my questions to Bush's statement that education was the answer to what ails this country is, how many college degrees are needed by Wal-Mart and the fast food industry? Somewhat tongue in cheek, I can see how using education, and specifically college education as the solution to the jobs problem, is that by the time you get a person through twelve years of undergraduate classes and two or more years of college, the Bush presidency will be long gone.
I am reminded of one of his earlier speeches where Bush said he knows that the job picture is not good, that he is not at all happy with it, and he wants to change it so as to give him four more years. I do not think either candidate can single handily "fix" the nation, and despite all the comments on this blog attesting to my intelligence, I am not ready to say I have a clue how to fix this mess we are in. I do think we need to have a serious investigation as to where all the money is going. I am puzzled by the local political ads that appear on the TV where incumbents state how much money they brought into the district in Federal spending. I would think the better boast would be how much they stopped the government from spending. The problem with that approach is someone has to go first, and no one is willing to be the bandleader on that front.
One interesting point I read in a book on the problems with the media was the point of how over the last fifteen years or so, the percentage of reporters with college degrees has gone from 10% to 90%. One might ask, are we better off with all that sheepskin hanging on the walls of the various cubicles in the newsrooms across this country?
On a recent Fresh Air show they rebroadcast a panel discussion held in the main branch of the NYC Public Library. The panel consisted of all three of the network news anchors, and they were asked what part of the current news system they would like to see changed.
They all agreed that they wished they had more than the nightly twenty-two minutes to tell the stories, and one of them went as far to say he was upset with the lack of money being spent for news people. Gee, let me see, each of them is making how many millions a year and could personally be responsible for hiring how many reporters to find the real stories? Methinks I smell a huge rat!
Yes, there is plenty of information we the people never see. I remember a story that ran in the New York Times about how many of the employees working with Tom Ridge jumped ship to the private sector the minute Homeland Security was to become its own department.
Where did they jump ship to, you ask? They all became lobbyists for the corporations that were now standing in line for the billions of dollars about to be handed out. Yeah, Bush raised the funding to $30 billion, but where exactly did the money go, and who is paying the $100,000-plus salaries that the lobbyists are getting? One guess: it is you, the Taxpayer. Other people’s money is always easy to spend.
I have not heard any further reports highlighting the riches that flowed directly and indirectly to the former workers (friends) of Tom Ridge. Now that would be a good news story, and would take more than the one or two minutes each story gets on the network news shows!