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Friday, August 29, 2008

Rich Speeders Get Slap On Wrist in AZ

I think it was Ray Charles who once lamented in a song, "Them that got, get." That is well illustrated in a recent law passed by the Arizona Legislature just before they took their break a few weeks ago.

Under the new law, if you are wealthy, you can speed all you want on the state’s highways with no fear of losing your driver’s license or insurance coverage. All you have to do is pay the fine of about $180 when you are caught by one of 100 speed cameras to be erected through a private company, and you are free to hop in your car and do it all over again. If you are poor, the same rule applies but how many average citizens can afford those multiple $180 fines?

In an E. J. Montini column from The Arizona Republic in July, Nicole Mahrt of the American Insurance Association states that "It’s like your politicians have turned highways into toll roads." That is basically what is happening. When a speeder is caught, he/she pays the fine but the ticket does not become part of their permanent record and the information is not made available to their insurance company. They can speed all they want, pay those $180 fines, and be on their way with no penalty. Hey, Governor Napolitano has to work on that deficit somehow, right?

Nicole Mahrt adds that "Insurance is about assessing risk and you need information to do that. This law encourages people to speed and their behavior is not being punished because their insurance company doesn’t hear about it." She is correct, of course, but since when do politicians pass up the chance to pull in another $90 million a year in revenue?

How is this for logic: One lawmaker justified the law by saying that if the speeder knows the ticket will not go on his record, he is more likely to pay the fine. Excuse me? What happened to arresting him for not paying the fine? The law is a joke and they know it.

I’m sure you will feel a lot better now knowing that when that gas sucking Escalade roars around your ‘92 Datsun, he will basically not be punished for speeding other than a fine he can pay out of his pocket change. That’s not too bad. As Montini reported, I feel sorry for the family who has a loved one killed by a speeder who goes unpunished.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bush should imitate Truman in 1948


Peter Bronson writes of an incident during the 1948 presidential race that had a profound effect on the outcome which was a stunning upset by President Truman over Thomas Dewey.
The polls loved Dewey as Truman’s approval rating was in the range of President Bush, very low. The Democrats were in the same unenviable position that the Republicans face today: certain defeat.
Little did the powerful Republicans know, President Harry had a trump card up his sleeve.
During his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he called Congress back into session to "finish the people’s business." The Republicans had already taken their summer break but before they left town, they had obstructed several of Truman’s policies on items like civil rights, health care, and Social Security. At the Republican Convention, however, some of Truman’s polices suddenly appeared in their platform.

On June 26, 1948, the so called "do nothing Congress" was ordered back in session by Truman proclaiming "they can do this job in 15 days if they want to do it." Congress refused to return.
In 2008, we see a similar situation. President Bush has a low approval rating and the rating of Congress is even lower. Before recess this year, Bush asked them to vote on his proposal for offshore oil drilling. As Republican House leader Robert Taft did 60 years ago, Nancy Pelosi refused. Suddenly, with about a week to go before the Democratic Convention, Pelosi and Obama are adding offshore drilling to their policy. If that is so, Bush should make them vote on it now. If they refuse, Bush still wins and can relate to the "do nothing Congress" of 1948.
When Pelosi and Harry Reid shut down Congress last month, their approval rating was 9% and dropping. Regardless, many in the media are now ready to print the "Obama Defeats McCain" headlines. Not so fast, fellas. The polls show BO with a lead of 2% to 5% with a long way to go and something like this over oil may give McCain that extra boost to pull off the same type of upset that Truman accomplished in 1948. In politics, one never knows.

Every senior guy's dream

There have been some wonderful inventions within the last century.

In 1926 Robert Goddard invented the liquid fueled rocket. Without it, we probably wouldn’t have discovered water on Mars recently. I know you are thrilled about that.

In 1927, Philip Farnsworth invented the electronic television system. Technicolor for movies was also introduced that year as was the first talking motion picture, The Jazz Singer.

By 1938, items like automatic transmissions for cars became available as did the ballpoint pen, Teflon, and freeze dried coffee.

I know you are impressed by these accomplishments and there are more things invented after that time that are even more amazing. However, while watching a sporting event on television recently, I saw advertised the most amazing and useful invention probably in the history of mankind: Gentlemen, welcome to the world of the Cialis daily dosage pill.

We all remember when Viagara was introduced to help the guys out in times of stress with their ladies. The jokes were everywhere about Sun City, AZ being renamed Viagara Falls, etc. Funny stuff and Viagara was a nice help for many guys. However, it didn’t last very long and took a while after dosage to take effect. What self respecting stud could put up with that?

Fear no more, there is now the Cialis daily dosage pill that keeps the guys at full power all the time. No timing involved anymore, guys, you are always ready for action. I can see it now: The dry cleaners in Sun City and elsewhere are receiving hundreds of maroon and lime green leisure suits to be pressed for party time. The stores are running out of white shoe polish and the bars have been asked to extend happy hour by thirty minutes to 7:30. Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby records are flying out of the stores and there has been a run on used Buicks with Dynaflow. Run for the hills, ladies!

In 1969 we put a man on the moon. So what! We now have daily dosage Cialis.