It's Friday: Things I think about


Now comes Pope Francis writing:

“Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires de­cisions, programs, mechanisms and process­es specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.”

And American liberals just couldn't contain their socialistic inner-selves any longer. Their hearts beat like hummingbird wings. They swooned.

But as the left too often does when it comes to affairs of the religious, it totally misconstrued the point.

The pope's recently published apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" was not a condemnation of capitalism nor was it an endorsement of socialism. It was a defense for the poor and the less fortunate. In fact, as Forbes points out: "He states that this is 'not a social document' and recommends the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" as a more substantial guide for study and reflection.

You can read more of Forbes' analysis here.

The point American liberals who seek to reinforce their economic biases in the pope's writing should bear in mind is "good" doesn't spring forth from the state, it rests only in the spirit of human beings who answer "yes" to the age-old question of whether we are our brothers keeper.

Capitalists know this because they understand it is good for all when the community moves forward in a way that affords dignity to every human being. Without that result capitalism is not sustainable.

For example, yesterday folks picketed fast-food restaurants urging a $15 minimum wage. But kids working part time to flip hamburgers isn't what ails America, no matter how much we pay 'em. Be honest. It just isn't.

What ails us is the lack of good jobs and the failure of this administration to bounce the economy back after the recession. In that regard, President Obama is the worst president in the last 60 years. Even Jimmy Carter managed a better economic turnaround than President Obama.

As one wag on Twitter put it: "Good news, kids! The president wants to raise the wage for those jobs you can't get."

There's no quicker way to a better society than a system that provides real jobs -- and no matter how you cut it, real jobs stem from a robust, free economy. The pope reminds us to remember the poor, which is a good thing. Slavery means remembering the less fortunate only by allowing the them to eat the scraps from under our tables. Freedom means creating economic opportunity, and inviting them to the table.

Choose freedom.

Dereliction of duty

In the 40-plus months before the rollout of HealthCare.gov, White House records show that President Barack Obama met face-to-face with Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (wait for it) just once.

Of all the startling revelations that have come to light about the ineptness of this administration, this one takes the cake.

The two people with the most authority in the rollout ... meet only once? That's nothing short of dereliction of duty.

You can get the sad details here. Read it. Weep.

Hypocrite Harry

President Obama likens support of Obamacare to support of civil rights or the support of the right to vote for women.

If you accept that whacko premise, then guess who hates blacks and women? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of course.

Reid, you see, has exempted some of his staff from the Obamacare law.

"But, but, but ... that doesn't make sense," you say? Obama says Obamacare is GREAT -- costs less and you get more, more, more.

Reid doesn't think so. Here's the opening graph of the story from CNN:

"Washington, D.C.  -- Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of Obamacare's architects and staunchest supporters, is also the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law's new exchanges."

Vintage Harry Reid. Make everyone else subject to his laws, but not his staff. Nevadans don't call him "Hypocrite Harry" for nothing.

The local, creepier Martin Bashir

It was amusing to see blogger Jon Ralston criticize a state legislator for her lack of decorum. Look, if behaving badly were a serving of shrimp cocktail, Ralston would equal all the shrimp cocktail of all Las Vegas buffets combined. He's off-color, nasty, a name-caller, a brow-beater and an all-round jerk. Especially if the target is a conservative.

Now comes Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who Ralston blasts for comments she allegedly made about union "thugs," Gov. Sandoval and Chancellor Dan Klaich.

He also quotes her as saying she was "raised a conservative, Catholic, gun-toting, Second Amendment, strong-ass woman."

Anyway, I'm not here to defend the assemblywomen's comments or her strong gun-toting backside. I'm here to tell you that Jon Ralston has no right to criticize anyone for being "off-color and bizarre."

In the Nevada media world, Jon Ralston is a dumbed-down version of Martin Bashir. Maybe the two of them could get together to share tips for cutting the eyes out of conservative women's photos.

(H/T David Burge for the eyes idea.)

The Ultimate Star

A shout out today to Las Vegas ex-pat Stephen Michael Shearer for his new book "Gloria Swanson -- The Ultimate Star."

He came through Las Vegas on his book signing tour while I was out of the country last month. But he left a book for me. It's the kind of book Stephen excels. Film buffs, as one reviewer put it, will want this book.

Las Vegas Review-Journal readers may remember Steven from did an ongoing series he wrote for the newspaper on Hollywood stars with Las Vegas connections. Congrats, Stephen.

A disaster, if ...

At 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, I watched a double-decker city bus run a red light at Sahara Avenue. The bus traveling south on Eastern shot through the intersection on a full-on red.

It could have been a disaster, if there were any people aboard.

OK, forgive me for that bus ridership crack. Riders or not, the RTC might want to look into it. That's a bus driver error you would not want repeated.

Frederick Fact: The most memorable movie quote ever (as judged by the American Film Institute) is ... "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Coffee cup of the day: We are using this morning a cup labeled "1989 Nevada State Press Association Convention, Carson City." If I remember correctly, the awards dinner was held at the Ormsby with Gov. Bob Miller speaking. Because of some kitchen snafu, we were not served until after 10 p.m. The governor called it "the last supper."