Monday, February 16, 2009

What A Great Joke!! Or Was It??

I was watching The Tonight Show several nights ago when they had a segment called Celebrity Jeopardy. During this segment, there were three contestant characters; Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. A Jeopardy answer was given,"DEATH AND TAXES". Lincoln rang in first and said these were the only two things that were certain in life. Jay Leno said that was wrong, whereupon Barack Obama buzzed in. His answer was, "What are the only two things that will keep you out of my cabinet." CORRECT!! It was humorous. The caricatures of the characters were funny. But, was the joke really a joke or a caricature of the truth.

I know, I know, you think I am just being down on our new president. Perhaps that is true, but not without some real justification. Many people who voted for Barack Obama to be our president did so because he promised real changes in our government. He promised open, honest government and transparency in the way things would be done. He promised change from the same old Washington politics and an end to the rule of the same old DC insiders. Has he kept those promises so far?? Let's examine just a few items.

First, the honesty issue. Two of the nominees for Barack Obama's cabinet had "tax problems." Translation: they cheated on their taxes and got caught. Oh, sure, after getting caught they fessed up to their "mistakes" and paid at least some of the money owed, with little or no penalties and/or interest. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was confirmed for his post but Senator Tom Daschle withdrew as the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico was originally named to be Secretary of Commerce but had to withdraw because he is now the subject of a grand jury investigation looking into possible "pay to play" activites as the governor. OLD ADAGE: "WHERE THERE IS SMOKE, THERE IS FIRE."

Second, we look at the issue of transparency. I realize that we are in a current financial crisis in this country. However, even in the name of EMERGENCY, I find the way that the Economic Stimulus Plan was ramrodded down America's throat to be anything but OPEN and TRANSPARENT. The final legislation was put together and voted on so quickly that there was virtually no time for the American voters to really examine the contents of the legislation and voice their feelings to their elected representatives, many of whom also did not have time to read the legislation that they voted for or against. FOR OPEN AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT SPENDING, I AM AFRAID OUR ESTEEMED PRESIDENT MISSED THAT MARK, TOO!

Third, let's talk about the end of the Washington insiders. Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden...Are you kidding me?!?! Those three people alone have more insider years in Washington DC than a Kentucky hound dog has fleas. Where is the change? It still looks like the same DC insiders are calling the shots that always call the shots.

And so, we arrive at the end of my rant. There is an old lawyer joke that goes, "How many lawyer jokes are there in the world?" ANSWER: "Three...the rest are all true stories!"

I sincerely hope that the term of Barack Obama's presidency is not going to be the caricature of truth that I mentioned in the beginning of this entry. But so far, it does seem like the same old same old that we all got sick of and hoped to change with the last election.


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