Vol. 5    No. 24
ecember 2, 2010

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000

Subscription Information:
The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
($45 a year)
Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000
Advertising: Claire G. Mendoza


Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Heidi Pascual, Jessica Pharm,
Laura Salinger, Jessica Strong, &
Martinez White

Heidi @
       When I was driving back to Madison from Milwaukee after the Thanksgiving weekend, I couldn’t help but
notice a billboard brightly lit on the north side of I-94 near the Ixonia-Sullivan exit. It said something to the effect
of “picked Obama? Embarrassed Yet? This wording is accompanied by photographs of Presidents Bill Clinton
and George W. Bush. I would
imagine that this is a remnant of our recently completed electoral campaign when
the conservative strategy — successful I might add — was to pin all of America’s woes on President Obama as
if everything was fine and dandy on January 20, 2009 when Obama was sworn into office and job opportunities
were bountiful and America was at peace, involved in no conflicts. I guess they were correctly relying on the
lack of a long-term memory of a segment of the voters.
       While the caption in this billboard were in large letters that could be seen from a long distance away, I
couldn’t make out who sponsored this billboard because the print was so small it wasn’t discernable as my car
passed by. It probably wouldn’t have made any difference because it was more than likely put up by one of these
innocuous groups that funnel the money from anonymous, mostly wealthy individuals and corporations who are
now free to distort the truth or tell outright lies anonymously, protected by the conservative — surprise, surprise
— U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case. It’s like the notion in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
‘All people are equal, but some — including corporations — are more equal than others.’ Some people just have
too much money hanging around that isn’t being used to “create jobs.”
       I found this billboard to be neo-racist. I say neo-racist because a photo of President Obama wasn’t posted
and race was not mentioned directly in the caption. But why else would they be positing the photos of the past
two presidents — who are Euro-American — and ask if the people who voted for Obama are embarrassed yet. It’
s not like it was a partisan billboard because the past two presidents were Democrats and Republicans. The only
thing I can think of outside of the group who paid for this billboard saying that our past three presidents have
been embarrassments is that the group is saying that President Obama is an embarrassment when compared to
the records of our two past White presidents.
       Embarrassment? What embarrassment? President Clinton was caught basically with his pants down in the
White House with Monica Lewinsky and he is not an embarrassment and Back Obama who is faithful to his wife
— believe me if he wasn’t, it sure enough would have been exposed by now — and engaged with his children is
an embarrassment? Presidents Clinton and Bush deregulated the financial industry, which led to the meltdown
on Wall Street and the onset of the Great Recession is not an embarrassment and President Obama who
inherited the mess, bailed out Wall Street and stabilized the financial sector — not to speak of the auto industry —
and is considered an embarrassment?
       What is this billboard trying to say and what is it really trying to say? Is it putting up the photos of Clinton and
Bush hoping that people will wax nostalgic for the “good old days?” Or is it putting up the photos and subtly
saying that these two past White presidents — no matter what their actual records — are far better than the
current Black president? I can’t help but feel that the people behind this billboard are racist for they ignore the
transgressions of the former presidents and pin everything wrong on the current one. This billboard is arrogant
and a lie and we will never know who the racist individuals are who paid for this billboard because they are
hiding behind the cloak of Citizens United.
       Back during the 2008 election, President Obama correctly articulated how America’s dependence on oil
was fueling the terrorist efforts against the United States and therefore was pushing measures like high-speed
rail and energy conservation. It is interesting to see that in the current U.S. documents posted by Wikileaks is
mention of how Saudi Arabia is the source of a lot of the funds that are being remitted to the Tal
iban and the
Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan. While the control of oil is what got us into Iraq and an oil pipeline in Afghanistan is
what got us in this mess, the money that we are paying to put endless amounts of gasoline into our gas tanks is,
in turn, being used to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.
       High-speed rail is one of the initiatives that President Obama has instituted in order to wean us from our
dependence on foreign oil. Wisconsin won a $810 million grant to institute high-speed rail between Milwaukee
and Madison. Incoming governor Scott Walker has stated that he will ask the federal government to allow him to
spend the money on more highways and bridges instead of high-speed rail or he will send the money back to
Washington, D.C., some of which the state has already spent. Walker’s intentions would keep us energy
dependent on Saudi Arabia and others while delaying a project that will eventually be needed when the price of
gasoline increases as the world’s oil supply declines and India and China continue to consume more oil and the
price of the project would be triple of the cost to institute it now.
       Who is the embarrassment here, a president whose vision and initiatives are looking out for the long-term
interests of our country or a governor-elect who can’t see beyond Wisconsin’s borders or the next five years?
Have mercy on us!
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
                         Billboards and Trains