19 July 2009

News Duet with Allen

The blog author seems unable to write this week. Whatever point I start seems too obvious or too obscure to merit posting. I'll offer this commentary on the news, coupled with my buddy Allen Warren's (AW) musings about the week. If this works out, we might get a blog show like Click and Clack.

RD: Our distinguished legislators just seemed to have wasted a week of intense activity pretending that there was some reasonable chance that Sotomayor might not be confirmed. The time suck that was this parade of platitudes effectively stole a month's worth of potential productivity (which, depending on your level of cynicism about the work of Congress, is either a good thing or a bad thing.)

AW: I’m thinking ‘Barnum & Bailey’ must be happier now that the ‘National Circus Show’, aka Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings has gone into hiatus until the next Supreme Court Justice chooses to retire.

AW: It’s been amazing the past week the questions asked of Judge Sotomayor in terms of her rich life experiences as Republican Senators want to insure she follows the letter of the law. I have no doubt our Founding Fathers would be so happy to know this. After all, I’m sure the experiences suffered by those under British Rule probably had no bearing on how our Constitution was written.

RD: Obama remains supremely confident of himself even as the evidence for the efficacy of his stimulus package has yet to come in. (The joy of being an opposition candidate is that there is a freedom in being able to criticize someone else's policies rather than play cheerleader for one's own.) One might think that the unreasonable adulation coupled with the unreasonable criticism might be enough to cancel out, leaving our president's fairly fair minded about their own foibles and strengths. Instead, it seems as though the job brings with it a conviction of one's great ability. The exalted leader seems to make about as much sense as wigs and horse drawn carriages. The man is just a man. But we insist on mixing politics and religion, making him into either deity or demon.

RD: Sean Hannity recently ran a piece on exorcisms. I went to his site the other day and was amazed at the number of ads (or was it mere click throughs to more material?) that warned of the coming apocalypse. There is an element on the right that really does seem convinced that there is no happy ending possible for a country that has embraced happiness and science over sober superstitution.

AW: Einstein noted we can’t “simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” Maybe we can’t support universal health care and health insurance companies for much the same reason.

AW: The people who have the compassion and courage to donate an organ to save another person’s life should not have to wonder whether they will be punished for it later by health insurers concluding that they have a “pre-existing condition”.

AW: And about healthcare . . . a young Portland couple have been charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter and criminal mistreatment in the death of their 15-month-old daughter because they are members of a religious group that believes in prayer healing vs. modern medicine. I’m thinking it might happen that more and more parents will rely on faith when the cost of health insurance puts any other ideas out of the question.

AW: Our President told Africa, “No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top . . .”. Hmmmm . . . looks like Obama will have to consider reducing the federal income tax.

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