The American President (1995)

The American President (1995)

Tomorrow morning the White House is sending a bill to Congress for it’s consideration. It’s White House Resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a twenty percent reduction of the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming. The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today, it no longer exists. I’m throwing it out. I’m throwing it out and writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and hand guns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I’m gonna convince Americans that I’m right, and I’m gonna get the guns.

I can’t even imagine a president being able to say something like this now. This movie was released in 1995, made in 1994, and probably written years earlier. Our country has (fundamentally) changed. We don’t believe in common sense anymore. We don’t even believe in facts anymore. Everything is so unbelievably partisan.

The last scene in the movie shows President Shepherd walking into the House of Representatives chamber prepared to deliver the State of the Union. I can’t imagine Donald Trump walking into that chamber. I can’t imagine him standing in front of Congress, and giving us (the American people) an update on the state of our country. Not from someone who views his presidency as a gameshow.

We (collectively) are lost.

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‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’

‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’
by Garrett M. Graff
September 09, 2016

A wonderful recounting of one of the worst days in our nation’s history, told from a variety of perspectives. A true must-read…

A few thoughts I had while reading:

  • This is President George W. Bush’s chief of staff Andy Card:

    “I really think President Bush—I know President Bush took office on January 20, 2001—but the responsibility of being president became a reality when I whispered in his ear. I honestly believe as he contemplated what I said, I took an oath. Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. It’s not cutting taxes, it’s not No Child Left Behind, it’s not immigration, it’s the oath. When you pick a president, you want to pick a president who can handle the unexpected. This was the unexpected. That’s what the president was wrestling with that day. He recognized the cold reality of his responsibilities.”

    I can’t imagine Trump being a serious person. Not in the way that is needed to be the president. I just cannot. Believe me, my views of W. are easily noted as not being favorable, but I can absolutely see him as a serious man. I will miss that come late January. I am truly fearful of this.

  • As someone who loves (and prefers) wearing jeans, I do love this rule that Bush had for the White House:

    “Karen Hughes, communications director, White House: September 10th was my anniversary, so I had stayed back in Washington. I was scheduled to do a Habitat for Humanity event with [Secretary of Housing and Urban Development] Mel Martinez that required us to wear blue jeans. President Bush didn’t allow blue jeans in the West Wing, so I’d just planned to spend the morning at home.”

  • This is presidential:

    “[In 2011], the very first telephone call that President [Barack] Obama made after we were sure we’d killed Osama bin Laden was to President [George W.] Bush. President Obama knew that I’d been with him on 9/11, and so he asked me to fly down to Dallas after the raid to brief President Bush personally. I went down about two weeks later and walked President Bush through every aspect of the raid. I thought I could see in his face some sense of closure.”

“Large” Electronic Devices

Recently when traveling, I’ve heard the following from flight attendants: “Please make sure all large electronic devices are stored for landing”. I just heard it about 15 minutes ago when we landed. And I think to myself: why?

Is it because they’re afraid if we have some kind of trouble landing that electronic devices will be flying all over everywhere, hitting people in their faces? Ok, fair enough. But wouldn’t that be true of all electronic devices? Hell, wouldn’t it be true of some non-electronic devices? I know for one, I don’t want the gentleman next to me’s big-ass IPad hitting me in the face.
So, what we’re really saying is laptops, right? Well, unless you are one of those that likes to bring their secondary monitor onboard and hook it up on your neighbor’s tray table. And if you are that person, you need help. Or maybe you’ve transported back to the 80’s and early 90’s and have a boom box next to you, I think I’m at a safe assumption here.

But laptops. Yes, laptops are bigger than your phone. Bigger than tablets. But they aren’t that much heavier anymore. If they don’t even keep up the illusion of checking for cell connectivity anymore, can’t we just abolish this extra sentence/request that’s muttered hundreds if not thousands of times a day?