Same tired, old speech, but what a traffic jam!

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

Yep, I’m talking about the talk-meister in chief, our president, who took time out of his busy, soak-the-rich fund-raising efforts to talk with all us little folks here in Grand Junction.

Well, not all of us. Some of us had to work. Some of us had to make money to pay taxes so Barack Obama can continue to overspend. Who am I kidding? Whether we pay 100 percent or 0 percent of our income in taxes, nothing will stop federal spending. So perhaps we’re working so we don’t go to jail when Obama increases everyone’s taxes, because that’s what simply has to happen. And some of us simply didn’t care Obama was here because, quite frankly, when it comes to our president, as Led Zeppelin says, “The song remains the same.” Or maybe Herman’s Hermits put it better: “Second verse, same as the first.”

Either way, you could have placed an 8-foot, flat screen with a DVD player and a kid from the Grand Junction High School Audio Visual Club with a remote and replayed anything our president has said over the last four, five or six years — you know, when he really never had a job but was running for president on his “experience” — and the message would be the same. And as sure as Obama guaranteed Ken “The Hat” Salazar’s loyalty for another four years by letting him ride on that really, really big, cool

air-e-o-plane, our local press jumped right on board the Obama-mania, just like the Elvis-esque fainters in the Grand Junction High School gymnasium.

I know one reaction I will get from this column is the old, “but Craig, you guys didn’t even cover the event.” You’re right we didn’t. You see, Phil and I like to cover local business news. And let’s face facts: Nothing Obama has to say is new news. For the record, nothing Mitt Romney says in his speeches is new, either, and we didn’t cover him. The only thing that makes this story local is that Obama’s appearance was just three blocks from my office. But you know me, I literally wouldn’t go across the street for Obama, and I got to prove it!

As for the local coverage, it must have been difficult to report that over 2,000 people showed up and were enthusiastic, what with the other 140,000 people in Mesa County who didn’t bother to get tickets from the local Democratic party because there were better things to do, like avoid North Avenue at all costs. Did anyone else notice the inordinate number of Subarus, Toyota Priuses, assorted hybrids and Volkswagen micro busses slogging well under the speed limit starting early that same morning?

While I guess reporting what Obama said word for word in stump speech is indeed reporting, would it have been so hard to look into a couple of the guy’s claims and find someone with a different point of view to interview? I know this is an opinion column, but stuff in local papers that doesn’t appear on opinion pages is supposed to be news. Here are a few of my favorite Obamaisms from the speech that have the indications they’re being reported as anything but fact. And that’s what happens when you take dictation instead of being a journalist.

“Obama talked about his plans for growing the economy and helping the middle class by cutting their taxes. Obama also said he intends to make college more affordable and will continue to provide health care for families.” Well, he is indeed trying to do the health care thing, even though it’s none of the government’s business. As a matter of fact, since government got insurance companies out of the health insurance business and into the health care business, costs have skyrocketed because we’re forced to pay for little Billy’s scraped knee and poor Cindy’s sniffles. As for college costs, nothing says tuition increase like more student loans and government subsidies Think of it this way: How’s that ending dependency on foreign oil thing working out?

“… Romney’s economic plans would raise taxes for middle class Americans by about $2,000 per year, while slashing federal spending for education, training programs, science and research.” No sense in asking a Romney rep about how they see their plans helping and not raising taxes. And what is the government’s constitutional role in providing all of this stuff anyway? Well, it does sound nice.

“Outside, protester … a Green Party member, was quick to distance himself, however, from other nearby protesters—members of the Tea Party who ‘have all this hateful venom coming from their mouths.’ Ace reporting there! I guess the reason no one went to talk to the Tea Party was a lack of anti-venom.

Then again, this is what Obama needs. Parrotheads (my apologies Jimmy Buffet) in the media regurgitating his message, all while disparaging and ignoring the opposition. That, and the traffic cluster you-know-what. It’s gotta fly better than the truth.

Then we can all say with certainty one day: Remember when Obama really screwed things up in our town?