Old Fart Roundtable: May 18th

Welcome to the Old Fart Roundtable, where some of our older members get to look back on events with a little more perspective than normal. Everyone has voluntarily admitted to being over 30, or have at least bought a VCR.

This week we talk, Heroes, Fat Man, Stamps, Detroit and even the Supreme Court!

1. Thoughts on Charles Ramsey’s record?Charles Ramsey

ARCHIE: I don’t see him as being very credible at all. Given his record and the fact that he stated that he ,”had been raised to help women in distress” gives me reason for pause and concern.

Bill: I’m a bit leery on just how much of a factor he had in the whole deal. Like Archie, I’m not buying much of it but am happy that the women are now free… thanks to him and that additional good samaritan.

EJ: I’m leery of him too. Yes, I laughed during his interview, and I have heard the auto-tune remixes of it but his record does give me some concern. The past is the past, and his act has made him a good samaritan but I wouldn’t go overboard in praising him.

David: I’m far right, I admit it. But this man did what any human being should have done, nothing more, nothing less. The problem is, MANY MANY people WOULD have done less. I am reminded of Dan LeBatard when talking about the Penn State scandal. (Paraphrase) We all would have run the shower with an ax and stopped him from doing whatever he was doing – but how do you know if you have never faced that situation? But if this man EVER has to pay for a Beer or a McRib in the Cleveland city limits- EVER, I hope they never win a playoff game, EVER, in ANY SPORT.

2. Is Chris Christie’s weight THAT big a deal? (no pun intended?)Chris Christie

ARCHIE: It will only become a big deal if the Republican party tries to run him in 2016. There are way too many health nuts out there with their fingers on the pulse of the health system to not point out that he sets a bad example for our youth. As of now, I like the man as he is and do not see his weight as a big issue.

Bill: I don’t necessarily see it being an issue, but I do see him shedding a bunch of it should he decide to give it a go. I don’t think Christie wins anyway seeing as how he has sided with Obama several times. Doing so is a cardinal sin in the eyes of the hardcore Republican camp and will make any previous efforts by Christie that may have helped the party immediately worthless.

EJ: As someone who has some extra pounds I wish this wasn’t a big deal but image is absolutely everything. If he’s going to make a run for the Presidency (and I hope he does as a fellow Northeastener) him having the lap band surgery is an advantage to him.

David: Absolutely. If he was a Democrat, then not so much, but anyone coming from the right side of the aisle is going to be subjected to any and all fat jokes that can be thought of. The good thing is he’s been fat for decades, so its not really going to hurt him. What is going to hurt him more is there have been a TON of one term successes in the Northeast that have dropped off the radar after term 2. (I remember a certain gov of NJ whom I would have put money on to be the first female president a while ago)

3. Detroit’s net cash position was negative $162 million as of April 26 and that the projected budget deficit is expected to reach $386 million in less than two months. HOW?

ARCHIE: Let’s start with the $11 million dollar a year City Council budget. Then add the 14.3% unemployment rate. Add on that 10% of all Detroit citizens are at or below the poverty level. Then throw in the mix of one of the highest crime rates in the U.S. and  you have  your recipe as to How Detroit is sinking fast in debt.

Bill: Mismanagement is a huge factor in any government be it on the state or federal level. While Jan Brewer has had her hand in several issues relating to the budget that have had the number crunchers scratching their heads and wanting to place their hands around her throat, the situation in Phoenix is far, far different than that of what’s transpired in Detroit.

EJ: I’m in agreement with Archie and Bill here. Mismanagement in Detroit has been rampant and in a city that has high unemployment, a good amount of citizenry below the poverty line and some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States of America it’s easy to see why the City is struggling. Some will argue that Detroit has never truly rebounded since the riots of 1968.

David: This is stunning. Lets also throw in that there are FIVE MAJOR Union contracts that the city is trying to renegotiate to try and save costs. The one I love the most is the police one. Stating they will leave personnel costs where they are in EXCHANGE for BRAND NEW STATE OF THE ART equipment, new cars and more days off. If I’m a criminal, I’m moving to Detroit, if there is anything left. I work in a union shop by the way.

4. Stamps are going up again? Do you care?USPS

ARCHIE: My wife and I mail one letter per month, that is the mortgage check to the individual that holds the lien. So quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. Snail mail has almost become a thing of the past. Where they should raise their postage however is with all the unsolicited flyers that keep showing up in my mail box marked any/local resident. Charge those guys double. (Ed Note: Archie remembers when his mail smelled like horses)

Bill: Not really. Seeing as how I, like Archie, seldomly use the USPS beyond a letter/bill or two a month, it doesn’t make much difference to me. The situation that’s driven the USPS to this point could have been avoided, but it would seem as though very little interest in righting the wrongs of their retirement system have gained no ground. The option to discontinue Saturday service would save them a ton of money as well, but alas, that too has been discarded back to the “smart ideas” trash bin. If things aren’t resolved soon, the possibility of seeing the USPS dissolve completely isn’t out of the question.

EJ: I could care less. If I have to buy something I will buy a stamp. It’s a necessity but not a huge one.

David: Nope. I have not mailed a letter in MONTHS. To me, the easier thing would be to close on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays., and push more for package deliveries. I remember it wasn’t that long ago that USPS was one of the few governmental entities that MADE money. Short term solutions (Like the “forever” stamps are just more and more bandaids- I know a business owner who has several THOUSAND of those stamps and he won’t use them until stamps are a buck a shot.

5. During this entire SCOTUS session, only 1 black man argued, the entire time. First time you have heard it? Be Honest. Thoughts?

ARCHIE: Being honest? Well, I could not have even told you when the argument session was active; let alone who argued. Much of what the SCOTUS deliberates on or discusses  never make the news until some decision has been handed down.

Bill: Despite being someone who closely follows politics and the destruction of our government by the current administration, I didn’t have any clue that this was going on or what was being argued. Unless the case being presented is of a wide ranging scope to affect the nation as a whole or has had national attention throughout the process, I rarely pay much attention to be honest. I’m rather disappointed with the SCOTUS as it is anyway seeing as how it has become little more than a tool to get Obama what he wants through the highest court in the land. Seeing him repeatedly stack the court in his favor is terrible. Bipartisanship is out the window in that court and party line votes are all the norm anymore even if that’s not in the best interest of the case or the people.

EJ: I haven’t heard it. However, pardon my ignorance: but what does his race have to do with who argued? As a black man, I’m just asking.

David: I asked the question because I was stunned. To argue before the SCOTUS is to be legitimately be considered a VERY smart lawyer. Moving to the future where we have “The Token ____ seat” I wonder if 2 or three rotations will we end up with idiots on the bench who JUST happen to fit a role and are correctly connected? (On BOTH sides of the aisle?) If a NFL team doesn’t look at a minority candidate- people scream, Obama’s cabinet is less diverse than Bushes – Certain people scream, to me, this is IMPORTANT. You don’t get to argue in front of the SCOTUS because its YOUR TURN, you argue in front of the SCOTUS because you KNOW SHIT. Every time a potential justice is brought up for a vacancy, how many times they argue before the court and why is brought up. THERE IS A REASON. John Roberts, for better or worse, is considered a VERY smart man- went up before the court 39 times, winning 25. Clarence Thomas? ZERO. Ginsberg? SIX. (All Women’s right cases, but still) Try and find Souter and Sonia Sotomayor doing even THAT.

That’s why it important.

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Comments

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1 Comment

  1. Good stuff guys. I enjoyed this read.

    OH, and David, I don’t recall “smelling the mail”. …LOL

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