Ross Mackenzie

Scatter-gun comments on a variety of targets in the news....

-- Given their miserable Nov. 2 record, it's difficult to understand why Democrats don't demand the departure from party posts of Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Having proved a major factor in the loss of more than 60 House seats, Madam Pelosi will stay on -- as House minority leader in the next Congress. Having said prior to the elections he wants to be judged by results, DNC Chairman Kaine, oddly, has not been sent to the showers.

-- Prior to the Nov. 2 elections, Bill Clinton, with the clear backing of President Obama, urged Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek to quit his race for the U.S. Senate in Florida so victory might go to formerly Republican (now independent) Governor Charlie Crist. Imagine the outcry if any Republican had urged the nation's only serious African-American seeking a Senate seat with any chance of winning -- to get out of the race.

-- Or imagine the outcry if anyone had urged Lt. Col. Allen West to drop out of the race for Florida's 22nd District congressional seat (Palm Beach and Delray). A Republican self-described as a carrier of "the torch of conservative, small-government principles," West won, and scarcely can wait to knock on the door of the Congressional Black Caucus to become its lone Republican member.

-- Oh, and here's one. Mark Kirk ran (a) to fill the unexpired term of Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, appointed to the seat vacated by Barack Obama, and (b) to serve a full term in that seat come January. Kirk prevailed at the polls. With the lame-duck session of the outgoing Congress now underway, Democrats Chris Coons of Delaware and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have been sworn in to vacated seats, but Republican Kirk has encountered problems relating to, you know, Illinois electoral paperwork. It's the bipartisan Chicago Way.

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-- From the "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" department, The New York Times reported this -- in a lead story Nov. 7: While Michelle Obama (and others) lead a federal "anti-obesity drive that discourages over-consumption of," among other things, cheese, a Department of Agriculture (USDA) marketing creation -- Dairy Management -- is "vigorously promoting" cheese sales. Americans now eat annually three times the amount of cheese (33 pounds) they ate in 1970. With USDA help, cheese has become Americans' largest source of saturated fat.

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Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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