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Leonard Pitts Jr.

Okay, so my regular readers (all four of them) will attest that I don’t often find reason to praise my local newspaper, the Portland Oregonian, especially this last year, during the “Obama boot-licking marathon” of the editorial staff. 

In fact, overlooking the comics, crosswords, and Margie Boule’s articles, most of my opinions on Oregonian’s content hasn’t included a great deal of re-printable language.

So, it is with great enthusiasm that I find myself able to recommend another writer in this paper: Leonard Pitts Jr. (a Miami Herald columnist whose syndicated work runs regularly in The Oregonian.)

In my public opinion poll of one, I’ve found myself nodding to his articles about 80 percent of the time, and cursing his name the remaining 20 percent. Ask any writer who isn’t interested in racking up a sycophant mailing list, and they’ll tell you that a pretty darn good average.

(Pitt’s essays are to be found in the “commentary” section.)

Read Pitt’s essays. Unlike most of the drivel out there, this guy can not only write stuff that makes you think, he can write stuff that can change your mind. We NEED more writers like that!

Pitt’s isn’t afraid to tackle tough issues, and has been willing to voice his own opinion even when it doesn’t mesh with the liberal brown-nosing that seems to steer the rest of the ship. Today’s article, “Why George Bush deserves a pay raise” is a great example.

I found his ideas on this to be revolutionary, and wonder what kind of leadership we would garner if the president’s salary was based on his (or her) approval ratings.

I mean, after all, the job of the president it to do the will of the people, right? So, what better way to evaluate this than approval ratings?

Pitts recommends that the presidential salary is one million dollars per year (which, as he points out, is a fraction of what US industry leaders make) but I say, let’s go a step further…let’s say that the “base” salary is $500,000 but that the figure doubles with every ten percentage points of public approval over 70 percent. IE:

70% Approval rating = $500,000 annual salary.
80% Approval rating = $1,000,000 annual salary.
90% Approval rating = $2,000,000 annual salary.
100% Approval rating = $4,000,000 annual salary

Now, that said…let’s add a little safety net for the American people…

The President’s salary will be paid, in full, at the end of their term (be it four or eight years) based on the AVERAGE approval rating of their administration. None of these people are living on food-stamps, they can wait for the pay-off! (This keeps them from saying “screw ‘em” in month 49.)

I mean, C’mon, even at four million a year, the President is still deep in the shadows of our pill-popping Hollywood heroes, but we get ourselves a leader that is doing what WE want (and that’s his/her job, right?)

Personally, I would be a lot less interested in what party my president came from if I could look back after four (or eight) years and say, “Man, they did everything they said they would do!”

Your thoughts?


PS – Here’s a scary addition…what if any president that could garner a 98% average approval rating over eight years could continue to be president for as long as they could maintain that average???

PPS – Anything less that 50% and they get ‘nuthin???




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17 thoughts on “Leonard Pitts Jr.

  1. The biggest hitch in this system is that the majority of Americans might approve of something I find morally abhorrent. Since a candidate who shares my convictions (and lives them with integrity) is about as likely to be elected president as a snowball is likely to become hell’s mascot, I don’t think the approval rating pay system will get my vote.


  2. Meg,

    I understand where you’re coming from and, in theory, I agree.

    I think, however, that there is a BIG misconception in this country about just how many people take the liberal/leftist view on things, numbers that are skewed and inflated by a smaller, but far louder minority.

    I think the opinions of the real “majority” (ie: those not supported by the ACLU or Entertainment Tonight) might surprise us all.

    Then, of course, there is a good size group of sheep that will agree with whatever the Hollycrats are saying this week, lol.

    Sadly, my ideal candidate is the same as yours.

    Let’s hear it for the “Flaming Snowball Party!”

    Hmm…Actually, “Flaming” might not gather the constituency we’re looking for either…


    PS – Before the rest of you get your tye-dyed, recyclable hemp panties in a twist over the “Flaming” joke…

    I just want to say…suck it up!

    I’ve never made any hint of being PC. -P

  3. dinana on said:

    Time for the liberal on the left to speak (i say…”is that all the farther left you can go?”)

    I have been a fan of Leonard Pitts Jr since 9/11. His words after that event were truly what I needed to read.

    Good luck this year, right wingers!

  4. It’s a nice thought from our perspective but not very practical. Heres why.

    1. How much are our current candidates spending a month for their campaign. When your spending 10 million a month to get yourself elected a 3 million bonus doesn’t sound like much of an incentive.

    2. It would be interesting to find out how many of our past presidents didn’t make more from their business, and investments than they did from their presidential salaries. My guess is it’s 90% or more.

    My personal opinion is that the salary accounts for about .0000000001% of their decision to become president.

    PS you could open a restaurant called “the Flaming Pit” or “the Flaming Boar” or maybe” the Flaming Hog”

  5. So, can you recommend a store for those “tye-dyed, recyclable hemp panties”?

  6. Drew,

    You’re missing the whole point!

    One does not “BUY” tye-dyed, recyclable hemp panties.

    One WEAVES tye-dyed, recyclable hemp panties, by hand, while sitting on the dirt floor of a grass hut on their self-sustaining, eco-friendly, fruitarian* farm (currently subsidized by the democratic party.)



    *Fruitarian: “We only eat foods that have fallen from the branch and have, in fact, died already. Those asparagus were murdered.”

  7. dinana on said:

    Flaming Boar works for Perk…

    i disagree with drew…i think one of the “perks” of being president is that you become a money magnet (maggot?)…it may not be the reason, but it is the result…

    The thing is, once they’ve been president they become so stoopidly rich, that i wonder if they really need a salary…

    ok…i’m not that kind of liberal…i don’t weave my own panties

  8. the southern version of “fruitarian” is roadkillarian: they dont murder either they just collect their food from the local highway, and the apples for their moonshine from their neighbors yard.

    the advantage of the southern version is the availability of fallen bamboo for a really good hut.

    Dinana I think we actually agree because I completely agree with your comments.


  9. OK-
    Call me crazy, but I’d still like to see a leader (and I do mean LEADER, not politician) that will do the right thing, even though it’s not popular. We Americans are very fickle little bastages and I, frankly, don’t really trust “popular opinion” a whole lot. Look what it did for Jesus.

    I’m pretty sure that the salary is not a real selling point for the Presidency, and, I like it that way.

  10. Dana Ramsey on said:

    i think this whole side line of hand woven hemp panties in a twist is funny, a little ictchy i would say. let’s burn those hemp panties at our next campout!
    I don’t think this having the Presidents wage based on his performance would work very well for the good of the people. i agree with vic that we need a LEADER not a politician but how do we get there? Is there a time in history any where where there has been a perfect government. even children with the best parents complain.
    I was thinking back to high school civics class and how this whole replublican-democratic party thing has gotten misconstrewed from what was orginal to the idea. I want to see this country become more globaly minded, care for the planet and God’s creation rather than becoming powerful and rich.This can be so complicated.

  11. Duck on said:

    To think money is any kind of motivation is frankly a bit naive. George Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and so on down the line already have money.

    The pull is money and they are controlled by what special interest group got them in power.

    I do agree that our country is far more conservative than the media portrays as in the previous election the media couldn’t stop saying how ‘presidential’ Kerry looked compared to Bush and yet Bush beat him fairly easily.

    Unfortunately Bush isn’t a conservative. Is a pragmatist just like his father but it is the Bushites that control the Republican party at the moment and they are free spenders. How about we start a new conservative moment…

    Flaming Conservatives of America?

  12. Duck on said:

    Oops…I meant the “The pull is power”

  13. Can we make a rule that Dana is not allowed to bring her BBQ to any potlucks at the next campout. Or atleast that anything from her cooking fire is well marked!

  14. Burning hemp panties would certainly make church camp out more interesting!

  15. You people and your tangents!

    Oh, and Drew…you hopeless yankee…you don’t make ‘shine from apples.

    You make it from cornmeal, sugar, water, yeast, and malt.

    Or so I’ve been told.


  16. Mary Lou on said:

    “Or so I’ve been told” ?!!
    You inherited the recipe from your cousin-uncle Earl, you show me the charcoal etched directions on the moth eaten opposum skin everytime you break out a new batch to be tested. Usually it’s right after we prank call local officials and right before we go cow tipping.
    I can remember you proudly telling that nice guy that was sharing a cell with us and …. well the point is you know shine!!
    Save that innocent stuff for people that don’t share your criminal record!!!!

  17. 1. you can make alcohol from apples
    2. I didn’t want to be intolerant and generalize about corn theft.
    3. The point was supposed to be humorous. Involving apples that had flung themselves to their deaths from their trees of life by which the red ne… err roadkillarian would not be involved in any sort of plant or animal murder.

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