America’s mayor, &c.

San Diego mayor Bob Filner


Every now and then, I’ll quote something in this column and say, “A perfectly representative statement of our age.” Well, have another one.

It comes from San Diego mayor Bob Filner, described by the Associated Press as “a feisty liberal” (here). One of the feisty things he does, apparently, is hit on women. Or harass them. Or something. These matters are under dispute.

What is not disputable is this: In a save-my-career speech to voters, he said,

I am . . . humbled to admit that I need help. I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach. In addition, my staff and I will participate in sexual harassment training provided by the city. . . .

If my behavior doesn’t change, I cannot succeed in leading our city.

This is worrisome news — because we all know that there’s no one else who could possibly be mayor of San Diego. The city — the world, the universe — must have Bob Filner, feisty liberal.

The headline said, “Immigration mired, early Term II wins elude Obama.” (It appeared over this article.) And it really hit me: We are barely into O’s second term. We’ve got three and a half years to go.

How ya doin’? Holding up all right?

This article is headed “Texas abortion providers fear major shutdowns.” Its hero is an abortion doctor named Howard Novick. He says, “I have saved some women’s lives. They are so grateful we’re here for them and nonjudgmental.”

In the abortion world, I guess, nonjudgmentalism is celebrated. But when it comes to environmental policy and a million other things — judgmentalism is where it’s at. I trust you know what I mean, so I can move on to . . .

. . . more abortion. A photo in the above-linked article — which is an AP dispatch — shows pro-choice protesters. One of them is holding a sign that says, “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries.” I thought, “Is that still around?” It’s a real golden oldie.

Another vintage slogan — indeed, a bumper sticker — is “Keep Your Laws Off My Body.” That was pretty big in my hometown, Ann Arbor (as was the rosaries thing). At some point in my life, I thought, “You know, another body — much smaller — may be involved.”

A little more abortion? Just one more item: I was faintly amused by this article. The Missouri legislature passed a restriction — quite minor, it seems to me — on abortion. The state’s governor is a Democrat named Nixon: Jay Nixon. And, as the article tells us, he announced that he had “decided not to veto the new abortion measure but also wouldn’t sign it — a strategy he employed with other abortion restrictions passed in 2010 and 2011 that were also allowed to passively become law.”

I was thinking, “Is that a little like Obama in the Illinois legislature, voting ‘present’?”

We now learn that Israel attacked Russian-supplied missiles in Syria on July 5. (Try this article.) Of course, the Israelis also took care of Assad’s nuclear facility, back in 2007. They took care of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear facility in 1981.

And how about Iran? (Speaking of things Russian-supplied.) Will that job be left to the Israelis too? With every passing month, I think, “If the Israelis don’t do it — no one will.”

A bunch of congressmen have some lead in their pencil — good. “A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding answers from the Pentagon over a contract to buy helicopters for the Afghan security forces from a state-run Russian arms exporter that is a top weapons supplier to the Syrian government.” (Article here.)

These guys — our congressmen — say it is “unconscionable” for U.S. taxpayers to buy from a company supplying Assad.

What I want to know is: Don’t good old Amurricans make choppers no mo’? Or did we ever? I think we’ve been out of the television business for some time . . . (I mean the manufacture of TV sets. I think we continue to make TV shows.)

I should say that the Pentagon may have good and honorable reason to buy choppers from this Russian company, for the Afghans. I just don’t know it.

Speaking of Afghanistan: Obama is dithering over whether we’ll keep a residual force there. I like something that a Tennessee Republican, Senator Bob Corker, said about this: “I think the administration has got to quit looking at its navel and make a decision on what the force structure is going to be in Afghanistan.” (Article here.)