Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Post Debate Run-Down

Senator Clinton...Senator Edwards...Senator Obama...back to you Senator Clinton...

The most frustrating thing about these debates is the ineptitude of the "moderators."
I can't stand Tim Russert anyway, but Brian Williams was just following the Russert playbook with regard to questions asked. The question to Kucinich about UFO's was utterly ridiculous. Russert was able to "get" Hillary with a question about driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. It was the first time I've ever seen her flustered when trying to express herself. Thankfully, the other candidates are no longer letting her get away with dodging questions and speaking out both sides of her mouth.

Here's the run-down of worst to best:

7. Dennis Kucinich: While I appreciate your candor and honesty, you sound more and more like a socialist everytime you speak. While I'm sure a great many of your supporters like that sort of thing, most Democrats won't buy it. Try to hold your composure when talking about ET's.

6. Barack Obama: Call it coming short of expectations. "Coming out hard against Hillary" means getting a little more energetic in your responses. You have the best speaking voice in the field. Let it get fired up!

5. Bill Richardson: I'm starting to get a little fed up with your performances. I really think you are the most qualified candidate on either side and you have the right ideas. Just start ignoring the questions that are asked like everybody else. Get some shit started. Oh, and don't defend Hillary!

4. Hillary Clinton: For the first time, I can honestly say you lost a debate. This one was all about you. Howard Dean had a similar moment in 2003. And guess who took him down...

3. John Edwards: By far the best anti-Hillary of the night. You didn't handle the trial lawyer contributions rebuttal by Sen. Dodd very well. You always seem a little too privileged to be the champion of the lower and middle classes. Maybe that's unfair, but it's a common perception.

2. Chris Dodd: I think you had the fewest minutes of the night, but they were all quality minutes. You were the first person to give the "right" answer on DL's for IA's without sounding like you were hedging your bets. Maybe Connecticut's illegal population is insignificant enough for you to feel no fear. Either way, you took Sen. Clinton down a peg or two.

1. Joe Biden: I thought you had the best debate performance, even though I think John Edwards technically won. It all came down to the minutes you were given. I have the feeling that the next debate will give you more time to deliver those gems for which you are famous. "Gaffe machine" or not, kudos to you. "Rudy Giuliani...a noun, a verb, and 9/11..." Priceless!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kill a Child, Save a Nation

I'm really tired of being told I can't have or do something because of some other dumbass that has or does something dangerous. The latest culprit is over-the-counter pediatric medicine. ApPARENTly, a few dozen kids a year have died as a result of either overdosing by PARENTS or intolerances to medications that are congenital or genetic in nature (inherited from PARENTS). Yet the hundreds of thousands of young children and infants who benefit from these medications with no serious complications are at risk of losing helpful products because of a few dumbass PARENTS (who, by the way, tend to have dumbass kids) and some unfortunate children with rare disorders that will likely incapacitate or kill them later in life anyway.

I'm sorry if I sound a little ticked off, but this isn't the first time this kind of crap has been presented as reasonable thinking by so-called "child advocacy" groups. Many states have made mandatory child restraint laws, products with extremely low potential for harm are constantly being recalled, and PARENTS' hands are tied quite effectively when it comes to forms of discipline. Enough is enough people!

No matter how many protections you put in place, people die. I know it's sad, and we should do what is reasonable to protect everyone we can, but you can't save everybody. Accidents happen. Mistakes in judgement take place. You can't legislate or regulate common sense and caution. It never works.

I'm not opposed to labelling for product dangers. I'm not opposed to safety standards and purity standards (we should have to worry about how much lead our water supply has or whether our child restraint will fall apart at 40 miles-an-hour). But there is a big difference between providing good products and good information as opposed to trying to stop people from doing stupid things. I've never known anyone whose child had died as a result of correct dosage of an over-the-counter drug. Only children with particularly rare disorders (i.e., the inability to process dextromethorphane) are at any real risk otherwise.

Non-prescription drugs have saved me alot of urgent care and emergency room visits over the years with my children. It's amazing how fast a "little sniffle" can turn into a full-blown chest cold without prevention. Tying PARENTS' and doctors' hands from doing what's right for your child's health is no job of the federal government. Just make sure the medicine is free from lead, mercury, or other poisons that aren't listed on the label. Hell, let 'em put out a pure lead supplement, I don't care. If people are dumb enough to give it to their kids, they're probably doing us a favor anyway.