Friday, July 31, 2009

A Few Comments

-- From this morning’s newspaper:

“The Federal government on Thursday evening suspended its wildly popular “Cash for Clunkers” new-car rebate program less than a week after it began out of fear that the $1 billion appropriated by Congress for the deals had already been used up.”

Seems this poorly conceived idea did what it was supposed to do – got folks into car dealerships buying cars that are more fuel efficient, thus helping out the ailing dealers and helping the environment to boot.

But, apparently, it worked too well. This is our government at its finest.

-- I am still on the fence about the whole healthcare thing. I am extremely skeptical of the government’s involvement in anything (what if were to go the way of Cash for Clunkers and you just thought you were going to get that bypass surgery you needed?), although I strongly believe something has to be done to reign in this monster. I still believe that, although healthcare might be a right as well as a privilege (still not sure on that one), personal responsibility has to be considered. Can you MAKE someone purchase health insurance?

President Obama is disappointed that we have not all just fallen into line with his proposals and taken him at his word that this is the best plan for all, especially the “public option that will keep insurance companies honest.” Congressional leaders, even some of his stronger supporters, are struggling with this one, as well they should. After mortgaging our future with the so called economic stimulus, our Senators and Representatives will do well to give thoughtful consideration, and listen carefully to their constituents, before they commit even more money toward something that still has a lot of ambiguity.

So the president might just have to wait and he might have to be willing to compromise before he gets this, his “top domestic priority,” pushed through. It’s called checks and balances.

-- Isn’t it funny how the things you least expect or think about will just come up out of nowhere and grab you in the backside? Who would have ever thought that the incident in Cambridge, MA involving the college professor and the police officer would have become a major issue at the White House?

Mistakes were made – of that there is no doubt. The professor probably overreacted when the cops showed up (although I have no trouble at all understanding why it upset him). The cop was probably a little overzealous. The initial press reports were largely inaccurate, e.g. the lady who placed the call made no comments about the race of the men trying to enter the house until, for descriptive purposes, she was asked.

And, of course, President Obama made a very poor choice of words when he said the police acted “stupidly.” The Cambridge police force was 100% correct to take offense and come to the defense of their fellow officer.

But I think it’s time to put this one behind us. By all reports, Professor Gates and the officer, James Crowley, are exemplary in their respective fields. They are not prone to go off half-cocked. And President Obama does not make a habit of calling people stupid.

Their meeting at the White House to make nice over a beer, as the president arranged, should serve as the close of this story. I just hope Vice President Biden, who was included in the little gathering, sipped his slowly. It's bad enough when he's sober.


Hal Johnson said...

I agree that the professor overreacted, but the way law enforcement behaved in this case was, to me, far more disquieting. In California and in other states, jury instructions based on case law state that a person has the right to defend him or herself against illegal arrest. I wouldn't advise anyone to try that, though. It probably would not result in a visit to have a beer with President Obama.

quid said...

Joe had a beer substitute. He's apparently never had a beer in his life.

Go figure.


Debby said...

You know what I like about you, Bob? You look at a situation fairly, rising above simple party politics and name calling. You think about things, and you reason them out.

Bob said...

Thank you, Debby. May I put you in touch with my wife?

Quid, I saw on The Today Show, after I had written this, that the Veep had a Buckler's. My wife said she thought maybe he became a non-drinker after the tragic accident part of his family was in years ago. I have always liked him -- I really think he's one of the good guys -- but you have to admit he's had a few bumbling moments since taking office. My jab at him was all in fun.

quid said...

Bob - no problem on Joe. I consider him an honest bumbler. I think the next 3.5 years will raise plenty of Joe jokes.

PS - I guess its really true he never had a beer in his life. Wonder why?


Redlefty said...

I've only had about 1/5 of one beer in my life. Tried it with friends in good fun, and just didn't like the taste.

Three reasons I had never had one until then:

1) As a teen, my mom would've killed me if I drank

2) As a young adult, I reflected on the alcohol problems in my family and realized that this addiction ran deep in my genes. It just didn't seem like a good gamble for me to try it.

3) I didn't have social circles with anyone who drank, so opportunities just never came up

I never really saw myself as a teetotaler and don't have a moral problem with drinking. It's just not for me.