The WALTHER REPORT
By Tony Walther
Right off the bat I want to get something out of the way that’s been bothering me. During last Friday’s McCain-Obama debate, John McCain said or indicated in a statement that Barack Obama did not go to Afghanistan (in was in reference to Obama’s remarks that more emphasis was needed in the war in that country.) I had thought he did go and checked back and yes he did. But I read through a fact check on the debate and it did not mention that misstatement. Various outlets have put out fact checks on the debate and they are fascinating in that both candidates made several misstatements or mischaracterizations (or lied). And, by the way, that thing McCain said about Obama not going to Afghanistan was in a transcript and it is how I remember hearing him.
This whole thing reminds me of a forwarded e-mail I received from, well I won’t name the source to save the embarrassment. The forwarded e-mail purported to be from a soldier in Afghanistan. The person who forwarded the e-mail said she received it from that soldier in Afghanistan, a friend. The gist of the e-mail was that Obama landed there but only swooped by the troops in his motorcade, met with the brass, and left, thereby snubbing the troops. Well a website that calls itself fact check says that e-mail is basically bogus and apparently is one of those mass mailers sent out by the opposition to smear a candidate. According to the fact check, it was written by an Army officer who has since said he lied and only meant it to be a personal e-mail (I guess if it is personal it is okay to lie) and was deeply embarrassed that it was disseminated so widely. Well, I still don’t know what really happened but it appears that a lot of those e-mails were sent out under the guise of being personal e-mails from friend to friend, but were more like gossip, spreading rumors if you will, an apparent McCain campaign dirty trick (and maybe Obama’s campaign does the same. I don’t know).
I had indicated in an earlier blog that I might go into more detail about the debate, but I got caught up in writing so much about the Wall Street bailout fiasco. And I was disappointed in the lack of substance in that debate and then doubly disappointed to realize how much untruth took place on both sides.
But here’s something. They kept arguing back and forth about whether we should go into Pakistan to chase the enemy. Actually, the way I hear it from what they say is that both candidates think we should, but McCain doesn’t think we should publicly state it because Pakistan is our ally. Well let’s tackle this by the numbers: 1. Too late. We already are going in there with at least commando raids and some overflight. So I think the cat is out of the bag. It’s no secret to neither the Pakistanis nor the enemy. In fact, the Pakistanis have been firing at us. With friends like them, do we need enemies? 2. The Bush administration has publicly admitted it. 3. McCain himself agreed we need to do it, he just said we should not state it outright (we already have, sorry). 4. Today (well Tuesday) on TV the CIA director said that the enemy is running all of its operations out of Pakistan (seems to me Pakistan either helps us and gives us access or we go to war with them too, and if you read my blogs you know I am no war hawk, but if you are going to fight, take it to the enemy and win). 5. Sarah Palin keeps saying we need to go into Pakistan (and so does Obama, and really so does McCain, so I come full circle with the conclusion that McCain is double talking, wonders of wonders).
… They say it’s not really a proposed bailout for Wall Street, that $700 billion. It’s an economic rescue plan. But I say if it looks like a duck and if it quacks like a duck and if it walks like a duck, it is a duck.
They also say that the credit market has dried up. I doubt it. The cost of money is no doubt up. But if folks need credit, the folks with money are always glad to lend it – at a price.
One story on the nightly news told of a small businessman who could not get the usual loan to buy supplies. But he was able to secure a loan from his customers who needed what he produced. On the larger scale that probably does not work. But the point is, life goes go on. If products and services are needed they will be produced.
Another point. All my life I have heard about the needs of the rich and the middle class and the poor. But there are no clear delineations of these classes. But I think there is something called lower (and maybe lower lower) middle class or even working poor. I’m not proud to admit it, but I have probably been in the lower middle class or working poor most of my life.
Let me tell you, while I believe that folks from all classes make major contributions to our society, it is this class, the lower middle class or working poor, who does so much of the work, helps make others wealthy, helps the poor (out of taxes if nothing else), and gets little in return. We are in the embarrassing position of being looked down on by those above us for working hard, but not smart and by many of those on the dole for working at all.
Sometimes one gets a break. My last job promised to pull me up to at least lower middle class, but alas I got cancer. Now my health insurance will run out. But the Republicans say that universal health care is too expensive.
To that, considering all the work I put in over the years and all of the taxes I paid, my little contribution to the economy, I say, “you’re welcome!”