How about commenting on how your predecessor sowed the seeds of Democracy in the Arab world, and those seeds have blossomed into something great.
Obama told the World in January 20th that the time to set aside petty differences is upon us. Would it have been so difficult to acknowledge the man who had the vision, and how that vision is coming true.
This is a story I want to tell ALL athletes who think that what they do, how they act, the little kindnesses they give or withhold from fans don't matter.
It'll take only a minute.
My wife, Cynthia, is adopted. At 36, she found half her biological family on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. Turns out she had four half brothers, one named Lil Bob, who was as big as a tree.
Lil Bob, a bar owner, could pick a man up with one hand and throw him out the front door. He was gregarious and funny and always seemed to have his son, Jake, hanging onto one of his huge legs. Unfortunately, he was also a full-blown alcoholic. Many were the days that started and ended with a quart of Jack Daniel's, although you could never tell.
In size and in heart, Lil Bob was one of Montana's biggest Broncos fans. His hero was John Elway. He joked that he wanted to be buried in an Elway jersey, with pallbearers in Elway jerseys, and an Elway football in his huge hand. His one regret was dropping out of school in eighth grade, ending his football career. His one dream was to take Jake to a Broncos game. Sometimes on the reservation, the dreams come small.
Last March, Lil Bob's liver failed. One awful hospital day, Jake, now 13, walked up to the bed, took his dad's head in his hands, put his mouth on his forehead and told him he couldn't go yet. Told him he needed him to stay and take him to a Broncos game. Stay and watch him grow up and play for the Broncos.
Lil Bob's death, a few days later, seemed to send Jake into that shapeless, black sinkhole where boys go when their best friend is gone for reasons they can't understand. "I tried to talk to him, but he was closed to it," says Jake's mom, Lona Burns. "He started doing bad in school. Kids picked on him. Every day I fought him just to go. His grades dropped. He didn't even care about going to football practice, didn't want to play.
Worse yet, since the day Lil Bob died, Jake hadn't cried.
And then, this past October, one of Lil Bob's best friends—a restaurant owner named Christopher Hamlet—decided to make good on an unfulfilled dream: He bought two plane tickets, packed up Jake and flew to Denver. Jake was finally going to a Broncos game.
As locals, Cynthia and I took them to lunch at one of Elway's restaurants so Jake could see all the jerseys and photos. The kid was so excited he hardly ate. And that was before a certain Hall of Fame QB walked in, all keg-chested and pigeon-toed. Immediately, Jake turned into an ice sculpture.
We introduced them, and it took a few seconds before Jake could even stick out his hand. Apparently, 13-year-olds are not used to meeting gods.
Elway took the time to sign Jake's football and pose for a picture. He even made us all go outside, where the light was better. Then, as we said good-bye—Jake's feet floating a foot off the ground—Elway turned and said, out of nowhere, "Hey, why don't you guys come by the box today?"
And the next thing Jake knew, he was in John Elway's box, asking him any question he wanted, all with a grin that threatened to split his happy head in half.
Then Elway said, "Comin' to dinner?"
And suddenly Jake was having his lettuce wedge cut for him by the legend, who tousled the kid's cowlick. Like a dad might.
Halfway through the night, a guy came out of the bathroom and said, "Are you guys with that kid? Because he's in there talking to his mom on the phone, crying. Is he okay?"
Yes, Jake would be okay.
"Jake came back a changed boy," his mom says. He started climbing out of that hole. He started making A's again. Started loving football again. He told his mom, "When I make it to the NFL, I'm going to buy you a big house in Denver so you can come to my games."
And I ask myself: Why did Elway do all that? Maybe because his late father, Jack, was his best friend too? Maybe because his own son, Jack, went away to college last fall? Or maybe because that's how he is. In my 26 years of knowing him, I've never seen him turn down an autograph request, a picture request, a Can-I-just-tell-you-something? request.
A lot of athletes don't want the burden that comes with being a role model. But what I want to tell them is: You don't get to choose. You don't get to tell 13-year-old boys with holes in their hearts who can help them heal.
I know it's a hassle, but it matters. Because you never know when you might just lead a kid out to where the light is better.
This week, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput told a Canadian audience, "A spirit of adulation bordering on servility" had sprouted up around Barack Obama. "In democracies," he went on, "we elect public servants, not messiahs."
Disciples at the Church of Transcendent Hope will, of course, learn that all politicians, even breathtaking orators, will disappoint. And Republicans should re-learn the very same lesson.
For the past year, conservatives have been grousing about all the messianic adulation (at least on this plane of existence). They've mocked it. They've criticized it. And, with great eagerness, they've been prowling the nation trying to find their own savior to lionize.
When Sarah Palin first appeared on the national scene, she was greeted with an enthusiasm that far exceeded her achievements — much like Obama. As soon as Palin's flaws emerged, Republican critics were treated to some Old Testament-style fury from the blindly faithful.
The newest contender for Redeemer is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose intellectual prowess and personal story rival the president's. The problem is that his retort to Obama's address Tuesday only rivaled Jimmy Carter.
"I don't want to hear from you ever again if you think that what Bobby Jindal said was bad or what he said was wrong or not said well, because, folks, style is not going to take our country back," an agitated Rush Limbaugh bellowed.
When Limbaugh invites me on his show (and God only knows why I haven't been on yet), I will be forced to recuse myself. Yet, I do believe he's on to something. Style alone isn't going to take the country back.
Too many conservatives have convinced themselves that Obama's temporary success is attributable solely to a remarkable aptitude to blow smoke with hopey-change bromides. The party out of power, in fact, always presumes that Americans are clueless imbeciles. But what if we are getting exactly what we want?
Let's partake in a theoretical exercise: Do you believe that a majority of Americans would accept socialism or nationalization if it meant saving their home? Would they surrender their constitutional rights to rescue their cars or 401(k)s or keep them safe from terror? Would Americans forfeit freedom for safety, liberty for "fairness"?
We do it all the time under all administrations. But today we are undergoing a radical change in the role of government. Do we want it?
According to a Rasmussen poll, 72 percent of voters say they believe that a free market economy is more advantageous than one managed by the government. So either these Americans have no clue what a free market economy means or they have no clue what sort of massive expansion of government control Washington has deployed.
Republicans can only make a comeback if they convince us once again that a vibrant free market, with all its risks and pitfalls, is preferable to the stagnation of a centrally controlled economy.
So it's ideas, rather than personality, that matter. The leader comes later. And if that day ever comes, perhaps the Republican Party will actually adhere to the principles they advocate.
US plans $900 million for bomb-flattened Gaza. No worries, it won’t go to Hamas. It’s going to the UN! via Yahoo:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel’s invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.
“This money is for Gaza and to help strengthen the Palestinian Authority. It is not going to go to Hamas,” said the official, who asked not to be named as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to announce the funding at a donors’ conference in Egypt next week.
I wouldn’t want my name attached to that stinker of a trial balloon, either. Looks like “why do they hate us” reparations. So, was Hillary not paying attention to the extensive use of UN facilities as Hamas firing positions?