Catch Phrase Fever

Get Smart was one of the best, funniest shows of the ’60s.  It was excellent from beginning to end, from the great theme song and the wonderful opening credits with the doors and the phone booth to the gadgetry like the shoe phone and the Cone of Silence.  Of course, Get Smart also featured dimwit agent Maxwell Smart — played to perfection by Don Adams — and his trademark phrase “Would you believe . . . ?”  This clip purports to be the first time that phrase was used on the show.

Chris Christie Weighs His Options

In the past few weeks there have been some loosely sourced reports to the effect that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is considering making a run for President.  This story, for example, is largely based on anonymous sources and unattributed statements.

I don’t know whether Christie is, in fact, considering getting into the race, but I hope he does.  I would like to learn more about Christie and his views, because I have liked a lot of what I have seen of him so far.  He’s a governor who has made some tough decisions.  He has actual administrative experience.  He inherited a bad budget problem and he did what was necessary to bring the New Jersey budget into balance, without resorting to budget gimmickry.  He hasn’t been afraid to rattle cages or wield the veto pen.  He has taken a strong position on holding down taxes and reducing spending.  He also brings a different perspective on social issues than many of the other candidates currently in the Republican race.

I also have enjoyed reading, and watching, some of Christie’s remarks.  I admire his refreshingly candid, straight-from-the-shoulder, plain-spoken responses to questions.  He doesn’t seem to dodge questions or rely on sterile talking points.  Instead, he appears to be that rare politician who expresses his actual views and is willing to accept the consequences.  We need more people like that running for national office, not less.

If Christie were to make a bid for the presidency, I might actually watch one of the Republican candidate debates.  He would make the race much more intriguing.


A Costly Solar Flame-Out (IV)

The Solyndra story — a tale of a company that got more than half a billion in federal loan guarantees as a showcase for green energy jobs, then plunged into bankruptcy — continues to unfold.

Today there will be hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, at which certain Solyndra executives have said they will exercise their Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.  In the meantime, Solyndra employees have told the Washington Post that, after the company got the federal support, executives started spending recklessly and exhausted funds, in part, on totally unneeded goods and technology.  No one should be surprised by that result, of course.  When people, or companies, are flush with cash, they are likely to liberalize their spending habits.  Ask any drunken sailor out on the town after getting paid.

The Solyndra hearings are a good test of whether Republicans and Democrats can find some kind of reasonable common ground on a significant issue.  Every American, regardless of their political views, should want to get to the bottom of a situation that likely will cost taxpayers half a billion dollars.  Those tax dollars weren’t stamped Republican or Democrat.  If our government was duped by Solyndra executives, or if federal funds were committed recklessly to serve a partisan political agenda, we should get to the bottom of it so it doesn’t happen again.