Quick Hits for October 17th, 2009
* I gotta feel for the Heene Family and ask what this tells all of us in terms of how to deal with possible accidents. This is a family that almost had a major loss but it turned out to be a normal childhood mistake that got more media than it ever should have in a slow media cycle craving ratings for the unusual. The result has been a bashing of the family, even in the times where people thought the child might still be in the balloon, that no family should have go to through. The unintended consequence of this media bashing may well be that the next family that has a real problem may not report it to avoid this kind of scrutiny and media circus. I feel for the loss of the family that loses a child as a result of this circus that deterred them from getting the help they needed.
* The Louisiana case of a Judge refusing to issue a marriage license because the couple was of two different races really has to make me wonder. The Judge, Keith Bardwell, claimed that he was protecting the children that may result from the couple because in his experience, interracial couples "don't last." The problem is that his actions unconstitutionally restrict the choices of the couple to associate with other adults of their choice in the ways of their choice. Whether or not their marriage lasts is up to them, but given the overall divorce rates in this country, regardless of race of the couple, to proclaim it as grounds for denying them is shallow justification at best which may hide other racial issues.
To his defense, Judge Bardwell proclaimed he married black couples all the time to indicate he wasn't racist, but it may indicate an "us", "them" view of the world whereby they are "acceptable" as long as they "stay in their place" which would be "with their own kind." While those aren't his words, it certainly seems to be a reasonable interpretation of his statements to this point, which certainly does show racist issues on his part. America has a freedom of association for individuals, and a Justice of the Peace has no right to deny that freedom for the reasons Bardwell gave. To his credit, Governor Jindal is calling for Bardwell's removal from the bench. Score one for Jindal.
* Fox News is reporting that Democrats are getting defensive over the budget deficits, but I am not sure why they should. Given the economic situation, it would seem normal to run deficits to spur the economy. That is a normal economic action to create stimulus by cutting taxes or spending more, which creates deficits. The deficits are worse because of the deficit situation that Republicans created from 2001 to 2006, and the first stimulus packages to save Wall Street that President Bush pushed last fall as part of his bailout proposal. Republicans sometimes forget that this year's budget deficit is the result of President Bush's budget and budget priorities. President Obama's budget is about to kick in for the next fiscal year, but this deficit belongs to GW and given the news of the deficits, it isn't surprising that President Obama will end up cleaning up another Republican budget deficit mess.
Strange Things Are Afoot at the Lege
1 month ago