Talking Points: Politics and the Public Good

Why is it so difficult to solve problems that are hurting all of us? That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

Rising energy costs, bad schools, drug addiction. Little seems to be getting done about those vexing problems. That's because special interests now hold the power in America, not the regular folks.

That's because most of the regular folks are not paying attention. Less than 25 percent of us read a newspaper or watch TV news on a regular basis. So those who are paying attention can put a lot of pressure on politicians.

This is why California has run out of energy. Governors Wilson and Davis and most of the legislature folded under pressure from the environmentalists. More power plants? No. Nuclear power plants? No way. Drilling for oil and natural gas? No.

So what did the people of California expect? Now, as usual, the California politicians are playing the blame game, pointing at the federal government. This, of course, is absurd, but plenty of dumb people are buying it.

The truth is that America needs to find energy sources or our economy will be in big trouble. That's the truth. Geologists say there are billions of gallons of oil and natural gas under the arctic ice cap.

But, still, there is an outcry against drilling. This is insane. The greens say they want wind, solar, and fuel-cell energy. Hey, I'm for that, but those things need to be developed, and we need energy sources now because OPEC closes the spigot any tighter. Come on. Even a moron can see that.

The USA is 19th in nuclear energy use. Switzerland, Sweden, Lithuania, and France are way ahead of us. If those countries can make nuclear power work, why can't we?

The same thing is true with education. Sixty percent of poor kids can't read in the fourth grade. Where's that child-care expert Hillary Clinton on this one? Oh, yeah. It takes a village to educate a kid, not a public school, right, Mrs. Clinton? She wouldn't dare say a word because she needs the teachers' unions to prop her up, and the unions simply want more money, not more performance accountability.

Then there's the Mexican border. President Bush knows from his reign in Texas that the only way the illegal drug and immigrant flow is going to be stopped or even halted a bit is by a massive presence on the border, and that means the military. But the president will not do that for fear of offending Mexico and some Hispanic-Americans. Thus, the problem will not -- I repeat will not -- be solved and hard drugs will continue to pour into your neighborhood.

Talking Points is distressed that we live in a country where politics is often put ahead of the public good and that many of us are too dumb or lazy to even care.

And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has apologized to anyone who was offended by Steven Tyler's rendition of the national anthem last Sunday. The lead singer of Aerosmith played the harmonica and changed the words to "and the home of the Indianapolis Speedway" instead of "the home of the brave." Now, some people were very appalled by that. Not me.

OK, it was a bit ridiculous. But this Tyler guy is 54 years old and runs around looking like Tiny Tim on steroids. So what do you expect? You want a traditional rendition of the anthem, get Wayne Newton.

Come on.

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points weeknights at 8 p.m. ET.  And send your comments to: