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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Pondering Putin (and other stuff)

By on April 4, 2014 in See It Here

April 3, 2014

As you may be aware, President Obama is having a tiff with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a result of Russia taking over Crimea. President Obama has imposed economic sanctions on Russia, and now, Putin has told Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell they aren’t allowed to visit Russia. President Obama is now rethinking his Russia policy…

A Trio Of Congressional Wonderings:

(1) Anyone have a problem with the idea we pay Congress $174,000 a year and give them free health insurance to represent the rest of us with an national average income of $50,502 who have to pay for health insurance? And on the very day I write this, Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (my congressman) says he isn’t paid enough. Hey Jim, I hear you as one who only has a job two days a week. People just don’t understand do they…..

(2) After members of Congress are invited to the Oval Office to discuss a specific issue, they usually make a dash to a stakeout (a set of nearby microphones and cameras) after the meeting and tell us why the President is right or wrong. Now, this practice has been criticized by some who would prefer the members go back to their party members or respective state legislators and talk over the just-held discussion with the President. Unfortunately, they don’t understand these are busy people. In fact, their time might be  better spent if they just blow off the White House meeting altogether and go to the microphones because they’re going to say the same thing anyway.

(3) When somebody is asked to testify before a senate or house committee about a topic they’re an expert on (although some Congressional members spend time questioning their expertise, which is part of why there are committee hearings), they take an oath they won’t BS anyone. Then, they have to listen for half an hour while committee members give five-minute speeches about why they like or don’t like the person or the issue. This is a test of patience for the person who doesn’t want to be there in the first place. Wouldn’t it be better to let the witness testify first and then answer questions about the issue and then everyone leaves to continue their work on governing America? One might wonder if it really is all about what the members have to say and the witness is just a side show.

Much Ado About Dope

Major League Baseball has upped the penalties for using performance-enhancing drugs. They’ve been dealing with doped-up stars for a decade  and last year, 14 players received suspensions. I have a suggestion: let’s have a league for dopers and a league for players who don’t use drugs. There can be a World Series—and, of course, ads: “Hi, I’m Barry Bonds. You don’t need jack to change the tire. Just take a “Don’t Need Jack” pill, lift up the truck and get a friend to put the new one on. Or, take two pills and change the tire yourself.” Let the Free Market work. Where’s Rand Paul when you need him?

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