September 2015

Politicians run into trouble when they gild the lily. Maybe the Clintons were in debt when they left the White House. But they weren’t broke as Hillary claimed. Ex-Presidents will never go hungry or worry about the next paycheck. Board seats, speeches, consultancy fees and the like will cushion their retirement.

The $250 million man, Mitt Romney, told an audience that he was just another unemployed guy. Marco Rubio said his parents fled persecution – but they left Cuba 3 years before the revolution.

All stupid claims, but not central to their campaigns.


The reinvention of Carly Fiorina.

However, Carly Fiorina’s presidential aspirations are underpinned by her rags to riches, ‘Horatio Alger’, life story. And her term as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. If she has significantly misrepresented herself, her brand will be fatally damaged.

Did she indeed rise from ‘secretary to CEO’? Did she start at the bottom and climb to the top? Not really. It’s true she had both jobs. But the secretarial position was a placeholder between law school and business school. She was a young woman in search of herself, who had to earn a living for a year.

Her background was privileged. Her education first class. Her father was a law school professor, then a law school dean, before being appointed an assistant US attorney and a federal appeals court judge.

Carly Fiorina was indeed a secretary for a real estate company between attending UCLA Law School and entering the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. But to claim that was her career starting point is as ridiculous as claiming your summer job at the Gap was the first step on your corporate ladder.

The actual starting point of her business career was as an AT&T management trainee.

And it is all so unnecessary. Politicians who massage their biography or even outright lie usually have compelling life stories. Fiorina started her career in 1980 when women were scarce in corporate management. By 35 she was AT&T’s first ever female corporate officer. Now there’s a real achievement

By any standard, her career was a huge success. Culminating as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company for 5 1/2 years. It wasn’t handed to her – she earned it. Whatever her opponents might say of her tenure as CEO – or whatever they uncovered of her time at Lucent – she reached the pinnacle. That is what she should brag about.

As for the quality of her work and the nature of her firing she is entitled to present it as she sees fit. However, her version will be challenged. And she has done herself no favors by appearing duplicitous about the nature of her career.



Really? – 9.28.15 – Fear of Muslims Unites Evangelicals and an Atheist.

September 28, 2015

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims]” – Treaty of Tripoli, negotiated under George Washington, signed by John Adams and approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate […]

Read the full article →

Catholic Conservatives Confront the Pope’s Christianity.

September 25, 2015

“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities” – Pope Francis Catholic American Conservatives have a problem. The Pope doesn’t think as they do. For them, he’s good on abortion and gay marriage. But on the other stuff. The Jesus Christ stuff. He’s on the […]

Read the full article →

The GOP Push for Lax Regulation Benefits Business, Not the Consumer.

September 23, 2015

“And the so-called ‘political process’ is a fraud: Our elected officials, like our bureaucratic functionaries, like even our judges, are largely the indentured servants of the commercial interests” ― Edward Abbey. The GOP doesn’t like regulation. They don’t like it because their corporate sponsors don’t like it – regulations cost money. But the GOP would […]

Read the full article →

On Trump – while he’s still relevant.

September 20, 2015

The Trump expedience. Or how he is out-mitting Mitt. Donald Trump has espoused conservative views. However, he is a Johnny-come-lately to the party. Much of his success has come from a loving relationship with local government. His dowry being millions in tax credits and other municipal goodies. It’s to be expected. You can’t be in real […]

Read the full article →

Which Republican Candidates are in for the Long Haul? And Who’s Packing His Bags?

September 19, 2015

“One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten – and to leave off fighting at once” – Samuel Butler America is now familiar enough with the Republican field of 15 to make some judgments. And to ask the question who’s next to bow out, after Perry and Gilmore […]

Read the full article →

Really? – 9.15.15 – Jeb and the Suffering Rich; Bernie Sanders in the Lion’s Den; Politics Wears a Tiara

September 14, 2015

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” ― Hélder Câmara Jeb thinks the rich have suffered enough. His father called ‘voodoo economics’. His brother tried it and blew up the deficit. And now Jeb Bush wants […]

Read the full article →

Really? – 9.12.15 David Vitter, prostitute magnet; Trump redefines perfection; Rand Paul whines & asks dumb questions.

September 12, 2015

“I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy” ― Steve Martin. Commercial sex addict runs for Governor of Louisana. Rumors that he was a lover of prostitutes dogged David Vitter while he was a State Legislator in Louisiana. No matter. Louisianans elected this ‘family values’ conservative […]

Read the full article →

Really – 9.10.15 – Bobby Jindal shows some spine; Palin’s fading light.

September 10, 2015

Fighting Trump with Trump. The GOP candidates have been pusillanimous and quiescent in the face of Donald Trump’s ad hominem invective. Finally, an unlikely candidate has thrown down the gantlet. For Bobby Jindal, Trump’s questioning of the profoundly faithful Ben Carson’s religious bona fides was a step too far. At the National Press Club today, he […]

Read the full article →