For the next 5 weeks or so I'm going to - for the first time in the almost 4-year existence of this blog - actually get a bit political. I guess you could say I'm "suspending" my Friday cartoons until the November election. I feel that strongly about it this year.
There's so much to say, I'm not sure where to start. But since tonight's debate is supposed to be on foreign policy, let's go there.
If foreign policy is your litmus test, your priority item for your country's president, its commander in chief, then I present to you this list of the current candidates, in order of their foreign policy experience with #1 being the most and #4 being the least:
- Senator John McCain, Presidential candidate for the Republicans, 22 years in the U.S. Navy, 26 years in Washington
- Senator Joe Biden, Vice Presidential candidate for the Democrats, no military service, 36 years in Washington
- Senator Barack Obama, Presidential candidate for the Democrats, no military service, almost 4 years in Washington
- Governor Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential candidate for the Republicans, no military service, no years in Washington
Which means that the most experienced candidate in foreign policy is at the top of the Republican ticket and the third least - or even tied for least - experienced candidate in foreign policy is at the top of the Democratic ticket.
So if foreign policy experience is your priority for our next Commander in Chief, John McCain would be the logical pick.
That's all I'll say on that for right now. But I'll leave you with this story reprinted from today's New York Times. For copyright reasons, I probably can't reprint the whole thing ethically in this space so I'll link to the rest of the article at the end and urge you to click through to read the whole piece.
Palin’s Parents Helped With 9/11 Recovery EffortBy Katharine Q. Seelye
Gov. Sarah Palin visited ground zero today, and said that her parents had come to New York after 9/11 to help with the recovery effort.
Her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, worked at Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island in January and February of 2002 as part of a federal Department of Agriculture program.
In a phone interview this evening, Mr. Heath said that he and his wife worked to keep sea gulls and rats from scavenging. Mr. Heath, who is a retired science teacher and is 70 now, and Mrs. Heath, 68, a retired secretary, have worked for the Agriculture Department for the last 15 years. They travel around the world dealing with “nuisance” animals like rats and bears.
“A lot of people just didn’t like the job, it was kind of a morbid thing,” he said of the work at the Staten Island landfill. “But I thought it was part of history.” He said they worked alongside detectives and firefighters and enjoyed “rubbing elbows” with them and hearing their stories.
While working at Fresh Kills, they stayed in Edison, N.J., about 17 miles away. Mr. Heath said that was the only part of their tour that they did not like, because the traffic was so heavy. “I’m a country boy,” he said.
Ms. Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, spent more than half an hour inside the Tribute W.T.C. Visitor Center, a non-profit museum dedicated to the personal histories of the victims, their families and the first responders. The museum had less than two hours’ notice that Ms. Palin was coming.
She also visited a nearby memorial to firefighters, viewed the pit at ground zero and spoke briefly with reporters, saying she agreed with the Bush administration’s policy of “taking the fight to the terrorists and stopping them over there.”
Ms. Palin toured the museum with Jennifer Adams, chief executive officer of Tribute W.T.C., and Lee Ielpi, president of the September 11th Families Association. Mr. Ielpi’s son Jonathan, a firefighter, was killed that day, and Ms. Adams had worked in Tower One as an investment banker.
During her tour, according who a reporter who accompanied Ms. Palin for part of the time, she listened to audio tapes of calls made from passengers aboard the planes.
“Oh my goodness,” she said, inhaling sharply.
Ms. Adams said in an interview later that Ms. Palin was “very down-to-earth.”
“We get a lot of people who come through here, but she took a lot of time, and she was genuinely moved,” Ms. Adams said. “She wanted to understand the history of what happened here. She asked where the families are today and we shared with her the importance of education. There’s not a state in the country that teaches 9/11 in the curriculum, and she thought that was important.”
At one point, Ms. Palin turned to Ms. Adams and said, “This is why we have to stay vigilant.” She said Ms. Palin seemed especially moved by a child’s series of drawings that showed the towers, a plane hitting them and the towers being rebuilt.
In the last of the museum’s five galleries, Ms. Palin came across a pre-planned book-signing event with Michael Daly, author of “The Book of Mychal,” about Mychal Judge, the chaplain of the New York Fire Department, who was killed on 9/11.
Ms. Palin was introduced to Mr. Daly, a columnist for the Daily News, he said in an interview later, and someone handed her a copy of his book. He said he was suddenly at a loss as to what to inscribe. “You try to figure out what is appropriate but true,” he said.
He opened the book to a well-known picture of Mr. Judge being carried away from the rubble which has been likened to Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” and watched Ms. Palin’s reaction. “You look behind those famous glasses of hers, and her eyes welled up, just as Hillary’s did,” Mr. Daly said.
“I told her Mychal’s favorite saying, which was, ‘If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans for tomorrow,’” he said. “And I said that probably a lot of people in the country had been feeling that way lately.”
He inscribed the book, “To Gov. Palin, who would have loved Mychal.”
On her way out, Ms. Palin signed the museum’s guest book, writing: “God bless New York and all of America, from your 49th state. We will never forget. Thank you for your reminder to America. Gov. Sarah Palin, Alaska.” ...
Read the rest of the article here.
I'm changing my sign-off for these posts as well. Instead of "enjoy," I say