Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting back to business

Check out the following on the Washington Post:
Production of commemorative coins scrapped to save money:

Are you waiting desperately for that dollar coin with the face of Warren G. Harding or Calvin Coolidge? It may now be harder to find.

The U.S. Mint is suspending production of commemorative presidential one dollar coins as part of a government-wide plan to cut wasteful projects and reduce fraud.

Vice President Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made the announcement Tuesday at a Cabinet-level meeting that touted the progress of the White House’s Campaign to Cut Waste, an effort launched at the height of the summer’s federal debt negotiations to demonstrate the Obama administration’s commitment to curtailing federal spending.

I'm confused. I thought the reason the mint was making these commemorative coins is because they made money doing it ... like the USPS does on commemorative stamps. Oh. Maybe the postal service isn't the model quasi-government agency to follow.

Personally, I'd like to see the mint do only what they have to. And I'd like them to scrap pennies. And I'd like the postal service's monopoly on mail to go away. And I'd like a million dollars. I'll probably get all those things at the same time.

Rick Perry adds hate to the mix

Last week it was Herman Cain. This week, we’re focusing our attention on the reincarnate of George W. Bush — Rick Perry.

I want to like the Texas governor for his folksiness. I want to like him because he’s simple and down to earth. But I can’t. He comes across as an unintelligent thug. And last week he added hate to the mix.

Perry’s latest campaign gimmick is his latest television commercial, which he entitled “Strong.” It’s a 30-second ad summing up what is wrong with America in the following fashion: Gays can openly serve in the military, and kids cannot openly pray in school or celebrate Christmas.

First of all, to think that the problem with America is that everyone, no matter their sexual preference, can serve in America’s armed forces is foolish. It’s also divisive and hateful.

The Republican mantra on gay marriage is that it shouldn’t be allowed because it affords homosexuals special privileges and everyone should be equal. If equality is the issue, then how can anyone say that gays should be barred from the military because of their sexual preference? It’s blatant hypocrisy.

The second problem with Perry’s ad is the imaginary war on Christmas. I’ve been complaining about the pretend war on Christmas for years. There seems to be a theory among the Bill O’Reillys of the world that inclusiveness is bad. Somehow asking people to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is an affront to their delicate nature.

Perry says that kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas in school. I know of no schools that bar children from saying “Merry Christmas” or wearing Christmas-related T-shirts, sweatshirts, whatever. I also am unaware of any public school in America that has school on Christmas. I’m pretty sure they all have the day off —even on years where it doesn’t fall on a Sunday.

Sure, maybe the school doesn’t put up a manger scene or even a Christmas tree. And I understand that some people — including Rick Perry — would have a problem with this. I don’t, however. My children get their religious instruction at home. And, frankly, that’s where I want them to get it. They go to school to learn. In theory.

Lastly, Perry’s claim that kids can’t openly pray in school is also hogwash. When I was in school, we didn’t have daily prayers. But there was plenty of praying. Silent pleas to God for good test grades, the right food to be served in the cafeteria and Friday night dates. The fact that those prayers were most often not answered tells me God didn’t want to be in school, either.

I’m pretty sure that kids still pray for exactly the same things. And even if it were illegal for them to do so (which it’s not), they’d still do it anyway.

Last week, the Cain Train derailed. This week it’s Rick Perry’s turn to find greener pastures. Anyone who so openly uses mistruths and divisiveness is not fit to hold the office of the presidency.

I wonder whose campaign will implode next week.