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February 4, 2010

Obama, Blaine Young, and The Super Bowl

Derek Shackelford

How long would it last? Now that didn’t take long. Much of this nation was tuned into President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address. With the myriad of problems that this country is facing, many wanted to hear the solutions that would decrease the deficit, lower unemployment, health care reform, and the abuses on Wall Street.


These were just for starters. It is true that many of these issues existed before President Obama was sworn into the office, but he owns the store now. It has just been one year and the ambitious agenda is still waiting to take shape. The attempt to solve everything has left the administration wide open to criticism. Some wise advice would be to focus on two of these major issues and zero in on some serious resolutions.


It appears this could be significantly difficult considering the amount of partisan politics that is taking place in Congress. Last week’s State of the Union looked more like a sporting event. Applause and cheers on one side, while the other side sat stoically with a look of disdain for anything that was mentioned.


Has the partisanship really gotten this serious? The presumed answer would be “yes.” And one has to wonder how we have gotten into this mess.


There is no need to wonder as long as we are defined by labels and “go along to get along.” We will find ourselves in the same situation year after year. Our political system appears to be shaped in a way that campaigning is the norm instead of governing or legislating. No matter where one lines up politically, we can’t help but hope for the best.


So last week we waited with enthusiastic optimism for President Obama to say something that would encourage us. That enthusiasm has to wane when Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to work together for the good of the country instead of the good of the respective parties.




Radio host Blaine Young was recently nominated to the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners by the Frederick County Republican Central Committee. The question that now remains is: Should Mr. Young continue to host his three-hour radio show on WFMD (930am).


It is certainly a slippery slope when it comes to the federal rule for equal air time for political candidates. Mr. Young has gathered an audience based on his opinions. It should be noted that he has consistently criticized the same board he is now a part of. No need to mention several individuals in particular.


If he continues as host, does he offer the same level of criticism? Or does he temper it? If he does not temper his criticism, how will it affect his working relationship with the other commissioners? If he does temper his remarks, then why the sudden change? Mr. Young’s shtick for entertainment on the show apparently does not seem to entertain anymore.




This Sunday is the most popular sporting event of the year. Super Bowl XLIV pits the New Orleans Saints against the Indianapolis Colts. This is certainly an intriguing matchup.


The storyline of the New Orleans Saints is one worth mentioning. Nearly five years ago the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Now the NFL’s Saints have brought attention back to New Orleans.


When tragedy befalls us, it is often said that it really puts sports in perspective. Sports should always be put in perspective. I really have no stake in this game from the standpoint of who wins or loses. Somehow a part of me is rooting for the Saints because of my visit to the region after Katrina.


So, let’s go with the Saints with apologies to my barber at SLB Barbershop.

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