- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

Maybe the current bailout fever is Congress’ way of getting into the spirit of the season - saying in effect, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” They will undoubtedly also be saying, “Yes, New Jersey, there is a Santa Claus. … Yes, Ohio, there is a Santa Claus.”

A reader suggests that members of Congress should wear uniforms, like NASCAR drivers, so we will know who their corporate sponsors are. Many of those in Congress should also wear logos representing the teachers’ unions, environmentalist extremists and other special interests.

They say we live and learn. Often what we learn is what damn fools we have been.

If there are still any educators or others who think that both sides of an issue should be presented, the nonprofit Heartland Institute has put together Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and the British Channel 4 program “The Great Global Warming Swindle” in one package with two DVDs.

People who are impressed by how many of Barack Obama’s advisers have Ivy League degrees seem not to remember how many people with Ivy League degrees mismanaged the Vietnam War and how many people with Ivy League degrees mismanaged economic policy during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The fact that sales at Starbucks are going down, while sales at McDonald’s are going up, shows that people are adjusting to economic adversity by cutting back their spending. Only in Congress do people adjust to economic adversity and growing deficits by spending more money.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke seems to be pretty popular thus far. My own preference is for Federal Reserve chairmen who are unpopular. When Paul Volcker was chairman of the Fed back in the 1980s, he was hated like poison, but his policies finally broke the back of the inflation that was out of control for years - not without some painful costs, but few benefits can be gotten without costs.

It is fascinating to see that politicians whose interventions in mortgage lending have created a disaster in financial institutions are now moving on to intervene in the automobile industry.

After the San Francisco 49ers’ interim head coach Mike Singletary has breathed some new life into that team, if the 49ers do not make him their regular head coach some other team probably will. What happens to Mr. Singletary may tell us more about the 49ers management than about him.

Wal-Mart has done more for poor people than any 10 liberals, at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Wal-Mart.

Ronald Reagan had a vision of America. Barack Obama has a vision of Barack Obama.

One of the signs of how easily we are bullied by small and vocal groups is how many universities, among other institutions, dare not even refer to the Christmas vacation but instead refer to “the winter holiday.”

As American incomes have risen over the years, liberals have kept changing the definition of “poverty.” Otherwise, the dwindling numbers of people who could be called “poor” would take away the liberals’ main claim to influence and power.

If you didn’t know Gov. Rod Blagojevich was a Democrat, you are unlikely to find out from the mainstream media. But, if you didn’t know recently convicted Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was a Republican, the media made sure to tell you.

An e-mail from a reader whose job requires him to take urine tests, to make sure he is drug-free, wonders why he is taxed to provide money to people on welfare who are also on drugs. He thinks they should have to take urine tests too, before they get his money.

Recent covers on Time magazine and Newsweek - as well as the stories inside - suggest these magazines are as giddy as teenagers are over some rock stars, when it comes to Barack Obama.

Gov. Blagojevich may have inadvertently done us a big favor by discrediting the idea that we should look up to politicians as our protectors and saviors.

Thomas Sowell is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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