White House beer summit

30 July 2009 |permalink | email article

President Obama sits down late this afternoon at a picnic table on the lawn with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley over beers to try and reconcile the recent incident in Cambridge, Mass.

Huffington Post reported White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs saying the drink orders are basically in place. The President will drink Bud Light, Professor Gates is said to prefer Red Stripe and Sergeant Crowley, who first mentioned the idea of détente, told the commander–in-chief he likes Blue Moon.

But I found something far meatier to chew on in a relevant Truthdig essay by my old friend Gore Vidal: Two excerpts:

As I listened to the fallout from these stirring events, I wondered if this might be a moment when the media would reform themselves and only print actual news; for one thing, not all explosions of temper and so on are attributable to race. It would be nice if the media realized how dangerous they are when they begin to falsify motives which, to be blunt, they have no authority to do….

So let me mention the real issue. The real issue is class. We have the greatest divide between the very rich and the very poor of any country on Earth, surpassing even France. And this division gets wider and wider as financial disasters overwhelm us….We must acknowledge that our character, never much good in these matters, is now reprehensible….Everybody is lying. Television lies, candidates lie. And everyone says, “Oh, they always have.” I love that excuse. Well they haven’t always done that. Sometimes lying to the people is a great mistake. And it is well-known that the rich will tell almost any lie to avoid paying taxes.

Read ‘em and weep

“And I got a letter the other day from a woman. She said, ‘I don’t want government-run health care, I don’t want socialized medicine, and don’t touch my Medicare.’ (Laughter). And I wanted to say, well, I mean, that’s what Medicare is, is it’s a government-run health care plan that people are very happy with.” Obama at an AARP town hall meeting, pushing back more directly at criticisms aimed at his health-care push.

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