A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

On Senator Cotton’s Opposition to D.C. Statehood: An Examination Using Hard Data re the Variables To Which He Alludes

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 29, 2020

A couple of days ago, CNN reported Arkansas Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton made some idiotic comments and assertions in response to the House passing legislation to introduce Washington D.C. as an official state. He replied Wyoming is substantially more deserving because it is a “well-rounded working-class state.” Aside from the transparent reasons for his opposition and the transparent problems inherent in his little publicity stunt, I felt the potential damage done by such irresponsible and frankly moronic statements deserved some examination, so I did. And while variables surrounding such an issues are more complex than Cotton alludes to, the bankrupt intellect (and morality) he displays in asserting Wyoming (already a state, Cotton!) is more deserving of statehood than the District because since it’s heavily blue collar anchored by a manufacturing industry, it is a more”well-rounded working-class state.” And there are so very many problems in that line of unreason that I couldn’t resist actually applying his definition of state value to the test by comparing Wyoming to Washington D.C. and adding in Arkansas just for kicks. Among MY variables were state population, state GDP, GDP per capita, unemployment rates and numbers, states paying the most gross taxes and the most taxes per capita, states that suffered the worst “federal tax burden as a percent of income” and just to offset those who would say “Yeah, But…” an additional section on the so-called “dregs” of society as often identified by many in the GOP — those on food stamps, so the SNAP program. What I found in my research was far more confirming than my theories and placed into question that if one were to look at such variables as requirements for statehood and then discriminate against locations because of them, not only would D.C. be far more deserving of most states — specifically Wyoming and Arkansas — but using these data, many states should not “have the right” to exist as states and should revert to a territory status or something along the lines of a Puerto Rico or District of Columbia, etc.! Of course I know this is a very simplistic line of reasoning, but I’m not the one originating it. Hypocritical privileged politicians pretending to be one of the people they claim to represent yet have nothing in common with do, as in Senator Cotton, are responsible. Thus, I felt compelled to meet him on his own terms and essentially “kick his ass” publicly on such a stupid argument to support his opposition to D.C. statehood.

Thus yesterday, I published a (very long) article on Medium titled “Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton Opposed D.C. Statehood Stating Wyoming Would Be More Deserving For Various Economic Reasons. Let’s Examine That, Shall We?” Even though this blog usually draws readers more interested in book reviews, this isn’t unlike topics I’ve posted on before, so for those of you interested or who already care, feel free to check it out. And let’s continue to demand social, cultural and political change and justice, particularly where and when woefully overdue. Cheers!




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A Review of A Complicated Man

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 11, 2012

A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know HimA Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know Him by Michael Takiff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I generally enjoyed reading this comprehensive book on Clinton, ranging from his childhood to his post-presidential years. The author had quite an undertaking, interviewing more than 170 people who knew/know him and getting insights and opinions that vary wildly, ranging from total devotion to abject hatred. I learned that Clinton’s greatest strength was perhaps his empathy toward others, followed closely by his incredibly high intellect. His weaknesses? Perhaps some arrogance. A bit of a temper. Oh, and women. Yep. There’s quite a lot about Paula Jones and Monica Lewkinsky in here. Perhaps a bit too much, but that’s just my opinion. I’ll be honest. I’m a huge Clinton fan. I think he’s the best president I’ve seen in my 45 years on earth. He oversaw an amazing time during American history, presiding over the greatest economic boom ever. He sought Middle East peace accords, fixed the Bosnia and Kosovo crises, enacted controversial welfare reform, and so much more. I love the man. So it hurt me when I saw some of the really overly dramatic criticisms leveled at him by haters. Some people just genuinely hate him more than anyone on earth and make no bones about it. While the book is fairly balanced overall, I do think it spent quite a bit of time on his weaknesses and failings and not enough time on his successes, but as I said, I’m biased. I would have given this book five stars, but the final few chapters encompassing his post-presidential years basically trash him to hell and back and that really pissed me off royally. Very jaded. It ends with a couple of questions and an odd statement: “Can he overcome his outsized flaws so that his outsized talents can work to maximum effect? … Maybe now Bill Clinton will finally live up to his potential.” I didn’t like that. So Clinton didn’t end a world war. That’s really not his fault, and yet that’s actually held against him in this book. He never fulfilled his potential because there was not a major war or depression to fix — this is actually said in the book. That irks the hell out of me! He did a damn good job under the worst possible personal circumstances with a rabid Republican Congress and hateful media out to destroy him daily. I admire him for that. So, anyway, overall a pretty good read, yes, but like I said, the final few chapters leave me with a sour taste in my mouth. Pity.

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