Just finished watching Larry King Live, although I don’t really know why. Larry just finished another rousing hour discussing the Obama’s vist to England and the G-20 summit. What was the focus of Larry’s discussion? Not the pending economic meltdown, but rather how the Obamas fared when the met the queen. He actually had a panel of experts discussing the protocol of the situation …. and whether Michelle Obama was proper in making contact with the queen, swinging an arm around the Queen Mum for a picture.
All this may make for a great picture and photo op, but it does an even better job of distracting us from the real issues. Did anybody notice that yet another Obama cabinet nominee has run into tax troubles? This time, Kansas governor and nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Seems she found an “unintentional” error in her taxes the last three years and paid $8K on back taxes to makes amends for the mistake. This wouldn’t be a big deal, but this isn’t the first time an Obama nominee had failed to pay taxes in the past … and had to fess up.
The Obamas meet the Queen Mum. Excuse me, was anybody back at home vetting the candidates for cabinet positions?
Treasury secretary Tim Geithner might be the most prominent of the nominees to either forget or just flat out not pay his taxes, only to have the “oversight” brought up during confirmation hearings. I’m not sure what’s worse: people who make the kind of money these folks do failing to pay taxes or the Obama administration failing to do their homework during the vetting process. I mean, I’m talking about the treasury secretary! This is the man responsible for the nation’s money during this time of economic duress and he can’t account for his own cash?
This missing of the big picture by the larger media … and maybe by us as Americans … has become troubling. Think about it. We spend billions to bail out financial firms and get no accounting of where that money is going or how it is spent. At the same time, the country is ready to have a coronary because these firms doled out $165 million in bonuses.
I know that – as a nation – we have the attention span of a five-year old after they have eaten a half bag of candy on Halloween. Still, we need to keep our eye on the ball and watch the bigger picture. That’s how the current economic crisis took place. That’s really how any bad situation gets rolling. We don’t see the forest through the trees.
As long as we are talking about Obama and his journey onto the world scene and protocol, what is the deal with giving the Queen of England an iPod as a gift? Is that the best our country has to offer.