02.26.2012 0

The state of America – February 2012

By Rick Manning — Mini-riots broke out all over America this past week.

Had the nation gone mad while in mourning for Whitney Houston?

Perhaps, a nationally important political figure had been imprisoned?

No, Nike released a very limited edition $250 tennis shoe. A tennis shoe. Not one you could practically wear, but one you could put on your shelf. As evidence, purchasers used non-Nike bags to carry their new shoes out of the mall in order to prevent themselves from being robbed.

The lines were so long one would have thought that Apple had finally figured out how to get their I-Phones onto a 4G network, while upgrading the device so it actually makes phone calls.

At a time when our federal government is determined to continue spending trillions that they don’t have, it seems reasonable that those who elected them are punching each other out in the parking lots of America over a tennis shoe.

Speaking of the government, officials are now worried that the newly passed, bankrupting social security, payroll tax cut extension will be all used up due to higher gas prices. What makes this eerily familiar is that the current President of the United States admitted the same thing… in 2011, when gasoline prices began their upward ascent.

Is it possible to spend the same tax cut twice?

I guess in the strange world of federal government accounting it is. Perhaps this explains how our nation is stumbling along spending $1.3 trillion a year more than we take in, and somehow no one seems panicked.

Finally, football fans got their fix this weekend, as former college stars went to Indianapolis to run around in shorts in front of team executives in a weird job interview called the NFL Combine. When I hear the word combine, I think big machines threshing and harvesting fields of wheat. And in some ways that is exactly what the annual ritual is intended to do, separate the wheat from the chaff of pro prospects.

However, every year some team executives get fooled by a kid who looks great in tights, but cannot play a lick of football. It is almost like the four years of video of the kid getting beat in college doesn’t matter, he looks good in the job interview and some fool General Manager of a woeful team picks him early based upon his athleticism and potential.

One overriding lesson from the NFL is that the teams which draft players who look good in the uniform but haven’t performed on the field invariably end up with losing records.

Hopefully, America will remember this lesson in November, as we choose whether to rehire someone who’s on the field performance has been disastrous but is very good in the job interview.

If the voters chooses based upon the video tape, we will have a 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2013, but if they get seduced by someone who can mimic Al Green during the job interview process and choose to ignore his on the field performance, it will be a long 21st century in America.

And that is the state of the nation in February 2012.

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government.

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