Tuesday, January 4, 2011

AB.com Hot Topics - 1.4.11

You know the drill. Busy day. Here's the rundown.

Republican Repeals - Now that the GOP's regained a modicum of power, they're going to revisit ObamaCare by attempting to repeal the legislation by defunding it piece-by-piece. I can predict with no uncertainty that this exercise in futility will backfire. After harping on the jobless number for two years, why would the GOP now want to have healthcare legislation dominate the new cycles yet again? How does that help you politically? Every exit poll showed the GOP won last Fall because of disillusionment with the economy. Most polls showed healthcare reform (along with deficit reduction) was waay down the list. So what's the point in this pointless grandstanding? If it's to show the Tea Party they are living up to their promises, then fine. But someone might want to remind Republicans that the Tea Party is a very small segment of the American populace. The rest of us don't want to see time and taxpayer money wasted when the White House and Senate are still controlled by Dems. Mark my words, this obsession with repealing what a large number of Americans see as solid legislation (witness the positive reaction to closing the donut hole) is going to backfire and backfire badly.

The Debt Ceiling - I've said it before and will say it again. When you're in times of financial strife, eff' a deficit. Period. Bush and Co. believed it in. So did Reagan. So why the heck is the GOP threatening to shut down the entire gubb'ment instead of raising the debt ceiling slightly? This high stakes game of chicken will be playing out in coming weeks, and we'll see if Obama blinks first. Staging this sort of whimsical protest, just to please the Tea Party (notice a pattern here) is exactly the sort of situation that calls for a public chin-check. As much heat as Obama took for caving in during the tax negotiations, unemployment benefits pale in comparison to a total government shutdown. He should call this lunacy (as well as the healthcare repeal) out during the upcoming SOTU address. Whether he does, or spouts his usual bipartisan pablum will go a long way towards proving to me that he's learned the true lessons of his first two years in office.

Sugar Bowl Controversy - Yes, Terrelle Prior and his fellow Ohio State Buckeyes were wrong for violating NCAA rules by selling team memorabilia for personal profit. The rules are the rules, they knew the rules, and knowingly broke them. Still, how hypocritical is it for the NCAA to suspend these guys next season, all in the name of good TV ratings for tonight's big game. No Prior = no interest. So, it's perfectly fine to break the rules, so long as you don't cost the University a bowl payout. It's also perfectly fine for the same university to auction off the very same memorabilia (ie: game worn jerseys) to fund the booster club. Bullsh*t. If this isn't proof enough that players need some form of payment (ie: profit sharing) in exchange for participating in collegiate athletics, I don't know what is.

Question: What's on your mind today?

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