Monday, June 16, 2008

Obama got it right on Father's Day

I'm glad Barack Obama and I are on the same page.

Last Friday, in this space, I gave my take on the subject of homeless pregnant teens. In essence, I said the problem isn't going to be solved until young men stop equating manhood with fathering children.

Yesterday, Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said essentially the same thing. On Father's Day, he said being a father is much more than making a child. It's assuming responsibility for the children you father.

Read one take on what he said here:

That's come a long way. I remember when black pride and black power were the watchwords of African-American leaders, anyone who tried to preach birth control for young people was accused of promoting genocide.

Obama isn't the first black leader to come out against young men who plant their seeds and then move on. But the most politically powerful African-American man in America saying it lends more power to the responsibility movement.

Page 2

This one's true. Really.

Manhattan Surrogate Judge Renee Roth has reduced the trust fund for the late Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley's dog from $12 to a paltry $2 million. Trouble (that's the dog's name) is a 9-year-old Maltese that lives in Florida.

The court's April 30 decision was made public Monday. The rest of the cash goes to the hotel and real estate queen's charitable trust, where it may be used for more humane causes.

Page 3

Yesterday was a fabulous day around here. All the kids and all the grandkids showed up.

The ruse to get me out of the house was to take the kids to the beach, which means Lighthouse Point Park. This lovely and well-maintained space is also free to New Haven residents.

I had promised the kids a ride on the carousel and was disappointed when we got there and was told it wouldn't be open until 1 p.m.

My bad. If I had just consulted the Parks Department's Web site, I would have seen that the thing is scheduled to open at 1 Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The guys cleaning the place up were polite and one even called his boss to be sure of the schedule. The kids played on the playground and one even stuck a foot into the surf.

When I returned, the whole family was there and we had a marvelous time.

Page 4

Well, it looks as if President Bush's hat-in-hand trip to Saudi Arabia may have paid off after all.

The oil-rich nation has said it would up production by a half-million barrels a day. Read all about it

I hope this brings the price of gasoline down a little. I drive what used to be called compact cars. I don't know what the correct term is now, but they are smaller than the Chevys and Fords and much smaller than even the cross-overs, which is an industry term for an SUV that is only a little bit huge.

At a discounter, I paid more than $50 for a fill-up. A bargain at $4.15 a gallon. My word, what has this world come to?

I ask that question again after watching Fox News Sunday yesterday. Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas had a speaking point of increasing supply by drilling for oil in this country. She didn't mention the environment.

Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota correctly pointed out that much of the run-up in oil prices was the result of unchecked speculation in oil and gas futures. Even Chris Wallace, hardly a flaming liberal, tried to hold her feet to the fire on speculation and how that should be outlawed. She wasn't having any.

Read all about it yourself.,2933,367192,00.html

Let me get this straight. A few hedge fund managers and some oil speculators should be allowed to get rich beyond measure while the nation's economy and millions of people suffer. Airlines, that is those unlike Southwest who did not lock in fuel prices months ago, have to resort to silly things such as charging for a glass of water on flights.

Poorer people who had been forced to choose between rent and food are now forced to add fuel to the equation. Just wait until next winter.

Until next time...

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