THE GAP

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“A lit­tle fact-check­ing is in or­der. Satur­days and Sun­days looked quite dif­fer­ent even less than 50 years ago. In 1964 only 18 per­cent of whites said they had black friends; the fig­ure to­day is 87 per­cent. Raise the bar to ‘a fairly close per­sonal friend’ and the pro­por­tion jumps from a mere 9 per­cent in 1975 to 75 per­cent in 2005. The share of blacks with close white friends has soared from 21 per­cent to 82 per­cent over that same pe­riod.” “Read­ers of this col­umn know that I am a great ad­mirer of Barack Obama and those around him. And yet the gap be­tween my epis­te­mo­log­i­cal mod­esty and their lib­eral world­views has been ev­i­dent over the past few weeks,” New York Times colum­nist David Brooks writes.

“The peo­ple in the ad­min­is­tra­tion are sur­rounded by a galaxy of un­knowns, and yet they see this eco­nomic cri­sis as an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand their reach, to take big­ger risks and, as Obama said on [Feb. 21], to tackle ev­ery ma­jor prob­lem at once.

“Pres­i­dent Obama has con­cen­trated enor­mous power on a few aides in the West Wing of the White House. Th­ese aides are un­rolling a rapid string of plans: to cre­ate 3 mil­lion jobs, to re­design the health care sys­tem, to save the auto in­dus­try, to re­vive the hous­ing in­dus­try, to rein­vent the en­ergy sec­tor, to re­vi­tal­ize the banks, to re­form the schools — and to do it all while cut­ting the deficit in half,” Mr. Brooks said.

“If ever this kind of do­mes­tic revo­lu­tion were pos­si­ble, this is the time and th­ese are the peo­ple to do it. The cri­sis de­mands a large re­sponse. The peo­ple around Obama are smart and sober. Their plans are bold but seem sup­ple and chastened by a re­al­is­tic sen­si­bil­ity.

“Yet they set off my Burkean alarm bells. I fear that in try­ing to do ev­ery­thing at once, they will do noth­ing well. I fear that we have a group of peo­ple who haven´t even learned to use their new phone sys­tem try­ing to re­design half the U.S. econ­omy. I fear they are go­ing to try to un­der­take the big­gest ad­min­is­tra­tive chal­lenge in Amer­i­can his­tory while re­fus­ing to hire the peo­ple who can help the most: agency vet­er­ans who are reg­is­tered lob­by­ists.” re­ports at www.json­line.com.

Quincy Bio­science, based in Madi­son, Wis., will pro­vide free bot­tles of its flag­ship brain-en­hanc­ing sup­ple­ment, Pre­vagen, to any mem­ber of Congress or the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion who has for­got­ten to pay taxes dur­ing the last 10 years, the com­pany said Feb. 24.

“We’re con­fi­dent that af­ter 30 to 60 days of tak­ing the sup­ple­ment, most leg­is­la­tors and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials will re­call, without be­ing re­minded by aides or re­porters, all tax pe­ri­ods for which they have for­got­ten to pay state or fed­eral in­come taxes,” Quincy Bio­science Pres­i­dent Mark Un­der­wood said in a news release.

Pre­vagen is so ef­fec­tive it also should help most gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials re­call when they failed to make So­cial Se­cu­rity and Medi­care con­tri­bu­tions for il­le­galalien house­hold work­ers, Mr. Un­der­wood said.

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