Good speech by President Obama Tuesday night. Not boring at all, and his words defined exactly how he sees the government's role in shaping our lives.
Not since Franklin Roosevelt has an American president advocated such a large federal presence in problem-solving and quality of life. Mr. Obama fervently believes that massive federal spending and a huge central government can bring prosperity to the USA. So let's take his main themes one by one:
Obama believes the key to economic stability is strict government oversight of financial institutions like banks, and a switch from an oil-based energy policy to alternative fuels.
I concur, with reservations. There is no question that the feds must impose strict regulations on financial cons, like no-money-down mortgages. And every sane person understands that wind, solar, and even nuclear power is far better than buying oil from OPEC.
But "Talking Points" does not believe the feds can run the banking system. Do you want Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in charge of that? And "Points" also believes that the president does not know exactly what alternative fuels will work and is going rather blindly down this road, spending a huge amount of our money on speculation.
Barack Obama has not once said which alternative energy plan is best, which is the most feasible. Right now, America is simply throwing money at a phantom.
On health care, the president is, again, right in theory. Health costs are out of control and millions of Americans are getting badly hurt. But do I believe the feds can run the medical industry? No, I don't. Do you want Nancy Pelosi in charge of your health? Do you?
Again, there are no health care specifics on the table. The president said Tuesday night that meetings will take place on the issue. Good. Just don't have Secretary of State Clinton at those meetings, OK, Mr. President? We've been down that road before.
Another big money issue is education. Again, who doesn't want American kids to wise up in the classroom? Everybody does. But we already spend a record amount of taxpayer dollars on schools, and kids are generally less well educated than when I was sitting there with 60 classmates back in the Stone Age.
With teacher's unions often preventing meaningful reform, why should the feds throw more money at the problem? Teaching children is a matter of discipline and dedication, not simply dollars. I know. I was a high school teacher.
Finally, the nation's most populated state, California, is in economic disarray, primarily because of massive spending on health care and education. That should be a warning to President Obama, who is poised to spend more money than any other human being in the history of civilization. Think about that.
The liberal vision of a giant nanny state is in play right now. To some, a very frightening scenario.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
The biggest teen idols in the country right now are the Jonas Brothers, who seem to be everywhere, including on the Barbara Walters special.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: I know you don't like to talk about it, but when you watch your concert, everybody can see that you are wearing a silver band. Each of you do wear it. It signifies your values. Can you tell us what symbolically wearing the so-called purity ring means?
JOE JONAS: For us, it means that we'll treat ladies with respect, and I think just to be gentlemen and do our best to make our mom proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
For trying to make their mom proud, the Jonas Brothers are patriots.
On the pinhead front, we kind of like actress Sharon Stone. She seems to have some spunk. But occasionally Ms. Stone will say or do something dopey.
Here's how she appeared at a Hollywood benefit party Saturday. We blacked that out. It's a see-through deal. We did that — that little red thing, that's not part of the dress. We did that.
Of course, you can decide whether the outfit qualifies as a pinhead move. I, your humble correspondent, am staying out of it.