Two for Tuesday

1. Hopefully, the WNY Food Truck Association will have something to celebrate later today, as the Buffalo Common Council is set to vote on proposed food truck permitting and regulations at 2pm today (Tuesday the 24th).  Buffalo Place, which governs much of the downtown CBD, has said it will follow the same guidelines the city sets forth, although trucks may have to pay a separate fee for a Buffalo Place permit. Follow along at #BUFTruck on Twitter.


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2. The Boston Bruins traveled to the White House yesterday as part of a traditional ceremony where the President congratulates the winner of last season’s Stanley Cup. All the Bruins attended, except for one. Goaltender Tim Thomas is a Glenn Beck “conservative” and decided to skip the ceremony, issuing the following statement (verbatim, all SIC):

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

Setting aside for a moment the statement’s inherent inconsistency, no one is disputing Thomas’ right as a “Free Citizen” to opt to skip the White House event. But what, precisely, did it accomplish? I’m not aware of a similar snub taking place during George W. Bush’s administration, and if it had I’d have been critical of that, as well. Because the White House event wasn’t a political one. It wasn’t a Bruin endorsement of Barack Obama and his policies.

You don’t have to agree with the President to attend a ceremony honoring you, and I think it’s somewhat indicative of a complete breakdown of fundamental civility in our society. Regardless of your thoughts on the current occupant of the White House, the office and what it stands for deserve a certain degree of honor and respect. If the President wants to congratulate you for an achievement, I think it’s better form to go, rather than to stay home and make a political point about why.  Although the Presidency is a governmental post, it needn’t always be a political one, and this wasn’t a political event.

Again – not because Thomas isn’t free to do whatever he damn well wants to do. But I think it was a childish and self-centered move that reflects poorly on him, and is deserving of criticism.


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15 comments

  • Tim Thomas has the right to be a doofus if he so chooses, but I’m not sure I get your GWB reference. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup last season, its first since the early 1970s. Tim Thomas played a fair amount of international hockey and North American minor league before making (and ultimately starring) with the Bruins, but this was his first NHL championship and therefore likely didn’t have a chance to snub GWB or anyone else.

    The President was honoring the team. Thomas is part of that team and, out of respect for his teammates and the organization that pays him, he should have gone.

  • There was the sound of crickets from the Left when Manager Ozzie Guillen and five of his World Champion Chicago White Sox players declined an invitation from Bush-43 in 2006. (Alan–now you can say you are “aware of a similar snub taking place during George W. Bush’s administration”.)

    And similar mute reaction when Michael Jordan likewise snubbed Bush-41 in 1991.

    What is the Lefty athlete counterpart to a “Glen Beck Conservative”?

  • @Ward Some of the White Sox declined their invites to see George W. Bush in 2006, but upon closer inspection, they were either being honored in their native countries, on their honeymoons or practicing with their national teams. Oh, and Ozzie Guillen already met the president in 2003 with the Marlins.

  • Wow, Ward turns out to be full of crap on closer inspection? Whoda thunkit!

  • @saltecks — Nice excuses for the previous snubs. You sure know your sports history (like Tim Thomas is in the middle of an NHL season).

    And, of course, Ozzie had no need to represent the White Sox in 2006 after they won their first World Championship since 1917. No biggie. (Although Aaron Rowand, who had been traded away a month after the World Series, still saw fit to join his former teammates on that Ozzie-less occasion.)

    Of course, saltecks, you have an equally valid excuse for Frank Thomas’ and Bobby Jenks’absences? Ask @Jaquandor. He can help–look for him at Wegman’s.

  • It’s a dick move for anyone to turn down the White House invite, regardless of president, without a legit excuse. Whatever happened to just enjoying a friendly invite into a man’s house? It wasn’t like Obama was going to ask all of them to support tax hikes. I have countless conservative friends that have invited me over to visit. Why does have everything have to be political with these people?

    And by the way, anyone who believes that paranoid rantings of Glenn Beck is a retard. No exceptions.

  • I am sure if Bush was offering a halfway decent buffet, Bobby Jenks would have showed up.

  • It is a dick move. Theo Epstein of the Red Sox failed to show the two times he was invited, although he didn’t issue a political statement explaining why he didn’t show up

  • As usual, Charlie Pierce nails it.

    This kind of thing is now some sort of tradition. Golfer Paul Azinger blew off Bill Clinton — bad choice of words there — because Clinton’s penis offended the memory of Azinger’s Air Force vet father or something. Both Ozzie Guillen and Michael Jordan stiffed W. I still think Villanova’s Gary McLain had it right. When he and his Villanova teammates went to be honored by Ronald Reagan, McLain got really stoned on cocaine and stood behind Reagan, wondering what would happen if he gave the president’s head a little nudge.

    Of course, Thomas had every right — as an American citizen — to do what he did. And I find myself increasingly unconvinced by the “respect for the office” argument that people are throwing up there against him. Here’s the deal: Just in my lifetime, the Office Of The President has hosted several blowjobs, some other unrelated sexytime, the organizing of coups, the abetting of savagery in a hundred distant places, the plotting of burglaries, the covering-up of same, the selling of arms to terrorists, the covering-up of same, the legitimation of a war based on lies, and the covering up of same, the concoction of torture, and the covering up of same.

    When you come right down to it, the Office Of The Presidency needs to respect us more.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/tim-thomas-white-house-6643498

  • this is such a non issue WHO THE hell cares .. oh yeah stupid bauerle

  • Hey Ward – what does the newest Siena poll say about this topic?

  • I get that Obama gets less respect as President than previous presidents have. But people are too sensitive about people snubbing Obama for this and that. TT said in his statement that it is not about parties and that both parties are to blame. What more do you want from the guy?

    When THE President asks you to come to the white house, you come to the white house…. Why? Are we in England talking about the King and Queen’s place? We are supposed to bow down to this guy because he raised the most money from rich people and won and election in 2008? The better part of American tradition is made of muck raking, rabble rousing, pot stirring etc, not going along to get along. Not to say that TT skipping the event was a great example of rebellion.

  • *an election

  • It just would have been a whole lot cooler if he stayed home to protest the length of the war, or Obama’s stance on detention.

    His reasons were paranoid and ridiculous.

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