Monday, February 03, 2014

"Tougher Than A Boiled Owl"

(Cartoon by Jim Morin/Miami Herald published 1/30/14 and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge.)

The promise in his State of the Union address that because Congress wasn't cooperating in passing his agenda Obama was going to exercise his executive powers to get things done caused me to raise an eyebrow.  That promise certainly was a bit surprising, given his record so far (see Morin's cartoon above).  As far as I'm concerned, our president is a DINO:  "Democrat In Name Only," so I doubt we'll see much movement to the left from Mr. Obama.  So, no real news there, although there was one bit of news that I think was momentous enough to cause me some chest pain.

The news of Henry Waxman's retirement from Congress really stunned me.  I didn't think he'd ever retire.  The news also saddened me.  He is one of the last "real" Democrats in Congress, and I think he did a creditable job on behalf of his constituents and the nation as a whole. Doyle McManus paid a fitting tribute to Congressman Waxman in the L.A. Times.

 From Doyle's column:

Henry Waxman's wall has bills, dozens of them — bills he helped turn into law, along with the pens that six presidents used to sign them, going back to Jimmy Carter.

There's the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, which virtually invented the generic drug industry (Ronald Reagan signed that one). There's the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, which put the now-familiar nutrition label on food products (George H.W. Bush). There's the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, which reduced pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables (Bill Clinton). There's the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which launched Obamacare (Barack Obama).

That's certainly a great record, but in the op ed piece, Waxman lamented some of things that he wasn't able to get done: a public option as part of what became the Affordable Care Act and some strong action on climate change are two of his regrets.  Even so, his view of government is one I hope his successor keeps in mind:

"Government is the way we all get together collectively to do things for the public good," he told me in his big corner office overlooking the Capitol on the afternoon he announced his retirement. "The way we are protected from abuses in the marketplace is to have the government act as a referee so that people play fairly. If that stops, greed will take over."

We're going to miss you, Henry.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home