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August 17, 2009

The Cook In The White House Needs Your Help!!

A good friend and I went to see Julie and Julia yesterday, August 16, 2009. It was a perfect reprieve after viewing the Sunday morning line-up of talk shows masquerading as news. I did get particularly excited when I saw that Rachel Maddow was going to be a guest on Meet the Press. Great! A woman with balls that will set the male dominated panel straight. Wrong - but I will get back to that.

My girlfriend and I enjoyed Julie and Julia immensely, and agreed that if we had believed the reviews of the critics we would have missed a delightful film. I left the theater with my head brimming with the dishes I would prepare, loaded with butter of course, and a bowl full of cooking metaphors to write in this posting. The movie reminded me that you don't have to be Parisian to master the art of cooking French food. So it stands to reason that you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out there is something amiss in the kitchen in the House - and I don't mean where they cook the vegetables planted in Michelle's White House garden.

Over 56 million Americans decided in 2008 that the cook that had been in the White House for eight years, and his prep cooks, had not only ruined most of the food they attempted to cook, but poisoned most of the country that swallowed their concoctions as well. We, the people, decided to get a new cook, new apprentices to assist in the kitchen, and feed the American people something that had been missing from our country for a long time - truth, change, courage, civility, non-partisanship, hope, empathy and leadership. Ingredients that are essential to this country and remedies to help us recover from the food poisoning that still has us retching. Remember those main ingredients the last cook left in the White House kitchen? Big banks and wall street bailouts, GM, Ford and Chrysler hearings, the Iraq war, loss of jobs, lack of health care, homeless, trade agreements that benefit everyone but Americans, torture, deceit and cover-ups. To say the new cook got stuck with a filthy kitchen and rotten food would be an understatement. But I know (as an experienced and great cook myself) that you work with the ingredients at hand. Mixing ingenuity, creativity and purpose you can make something delicious out of the bland. In this case feed the multitude with a lot of hope and very little help.

Now back to Meet the Press with my hopes pinned on Rachel Maddow turning up the heat on the invincible cast iron skillets known as old white men. It didn't take long to see that she was like the newly elected cook, President Obama. Both expected to prepare gourmet food with not a hint of gourmet ingredients. Rachel and President Obama had the same instructions to prepare a recipe for change and truth in common;

1) White males, including the moderators, dominate the show, congress, corporations and the media. To add flavor there is a sprinkling of women and people of color. Not too much though lest the dish be strange to the right.

2) The show and the White House have the same talking points delivered by the same old chefs so that one would have to conclude that the same program director writes copy for all of the shows and the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats share the same agenda which is the status quo. This of course keeps the pots boiling over food burning, and what is left is for their constituents and donors only. The rest of us can go to the empty shelves of the local food bank.

3) All of the experts that appeared with Rachel peppered and poisoned the dialogue just as they do with the White House. The experts either passed legislators, disgraced legislators, legislators with questionable ethics and/or under investigation, or people who show up Sunday after Sunday that agree and demand that the status quo remain.

4) If Rachel or President Obama dare try and change the recipe to give more palatable information or food for thought they are not called upon by the moderator/right wing constituency, drowned out or called out, shouted down or intimidated and/or threatened.

5) Lastly Rachel and President Obama are dealing with people who have not a twit of knowledge about cooking. What these people do bring to the table however, are unannounced guests, lobbyists, special interests, alliances and associations with unnamed and concealed donors. Unexpected guests can ruin a perfect meal. Wouldn't you view these shows differently if you knew who these people represented and where they usually cooked and ate their meals?

Haven't you considered that what you are being spoon fed by the media is not fair or balanced, objective or truthful? Nor is the kitchen at the White House staffed with a congress that is cooking for the left, independents, and progressives that elected them. Put your fork and spoon down and stop shoveling in the horse manure. Acquaint yourself with some chefs that are mixing up digestible fare. Take your pick. National Public Radio (NPR), Democracy Now, Huffington Post, AlterNet, The Ed Show, Rachel Maddow and Rollin Martin to name a few. Taste them and see if you might push back from the table of one-sided information without indigestion and heartburn.

Over the pass six months we have been fed a consistent diet of all the things the newly elected cook in the White House has not done. Let me remind you of some of the dishes he has prepared; He signed a stimulus bill that was imperative to quiet wall street and jump start a economy on life support, He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act aimed at eliminating wage discrimination, a bill expanding government health insurance for children, a bill that advocates for consumer against abusive credit card lending practices, a measure giving Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco, a cash for clunkers program to save auto makers behinds, encourage the manufacture and purchase of fuel- efficient vehicles (which incidentally helps our environment) and the nomination of the third woman and first Latino on the Supreme Court. The preparation of these dishes feeding a hungry country might not seem like much to the minority of naysayers but for a President/cook that started with no money, whining children a/k/a congress he has accomplished in six months what the last administration took eight years to destroy.

This President has much left to do in the kitchen in fact his most challenging dishes to date; Health Care Reform with a public option, green jobs for a green economy, strong international alliances, an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, care and support for our Veterans and most importantly a different way of doing things in Washington and in this country. He needs a few adequate cooks to help do the job are you available?

The cable networks and mainstream media seem to relish the idea that Obama's popularity with the American public is falling and they have covered their hands with lard to insure that he fails. Is it clear to these short order cooks/media that if the chef fails so goes the kitchen/America? Have we, the guests at the table, recognized that it is we that he is trying to feed? Do we not recognize that the rising number of hungry, lack of health care and loss of homes could be us and ours?

In conclusion, the President, our cook, needs your help to keep the country from closing down and the kitchen from burning up. If we do not stand up and support the change in the kitchen we voted for, there will be no need to pull a chair up to the kitchen table because there will be nothing left to eat. Get off of your attitude and kick some apathy. Do it now, and just maybe tomorrow we all can eat.

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