Winners and Losers: July 31, 2008

Compiled by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

‘CELEB’ DEATHMATCH: John McCain takes yet another shot at Barack Obama

OK, I’ll bite. Who at the McCain HQ thinks Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are still international celebrities? What, are we running for president in 2004 now?

Seriously, the message in the latest McCain backwater offering, “Celeb,” is not only out of date, but it’s misleading in what it has to offer in the way of criticism of the Obama platform.

Considering that McCain himself has suggested that tax increases are very much on the table, it’s probably disingenuous for him to go on the attack against Obama for saying that he would support a rollback of the Bush tax cuts on the superwealthy.

And then considering that McCain himself has conspicuously sidestepped the issue of closing loopholes that are being exploited by speculators to artificially raise the price of oil on futures markets, well, his riff on offshore drilling that won’t have an impact on prices for 10 or 20 or 30 years rings hollow.

One has to start wondering at this point what McCain himself stands for. Is it tax increases, or not? Is it doing something about high fuel costs, or not? All we know right now is that John McCain doesn’t like Barack Obama, and that he’s not exactly partial to telling the truth.

 

PRIORITIES: Raising a ruckus over dinner

There was the controversy over the effective firing of Doug Walker. And the money that we’re paying Walker not to be city manager this year. Then it was the revelations about who was really behind the ultraconservative takeover of city council. And the talk that the new majority was being pressed to back public funding for a lavish welcome of a Chinese delegation that is doing business with one of those backers. And then it was the issue of the closing of the bulk-refuse center. And the matter of the fire station that might be on the outs despite what the voters had to say in last year’s referendums. And we can’t forget the nice sendoff that was given our departing economic-development director.

Interesting how it was an innocuous column about somebody making a big issue to me alleging that the new majority was seen having dinner together this week that elicited response, isn’t it?

I’m taking it as a good sign. The AFP has clearly become the place to go for substantive discussions of the future of Waynesboro and the Shenandoah Valley. I think it’s clear that we have something to build on here, and the more people who contribute to the discussions, the more points of view that are represented, the better off we all will be.

 

TODAY’S HOT OR NOT: Are earthquakes supposed to be funny?

I usually wake up to the “Today” show on NBC, and the item on the air this morning when the alarm went off was an offbeat segment looking at what the cameras that were rolling during Tuesday’s Southern California earthquake.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think a potentially devastating natural event like a quake is something to get all jolly about.

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