Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Build It And They Will Come: Obama's Field of Dreams

After reading about Obama's press conference on the stimulus package, I thought did he hit a home run with the press corps?

Some of the highlights (not necessarily in the order) of the press conference:

Number two is that although there are some programs in there that I think are good policy, some of them aren't job creators. I think it's perfectly legitimate to say that those programs should be out of this particular recovery package and we can deal with them later. But when they start characterize something as pork without acknowledging that there are no earmarks in this package, something, again, that was pretty rare over the last eight years, then you get a feeling that maybe we're playing politics instead of actually trying to solve problems for the American people.

On kids and Alex Rodriguez:

Our kids, hopefully, are watching and saying 'You know what? There are no short cuts.' That when you try to take short cuts, you may end up tarnishing your entire career. And your integrity's not worth it," he said.

Home run, stimulus package, Alex Rodriguez, stimulus package, home run, stimulus package.

This got me thinking about baseball, apple pie, and a Field of Dreams.

What were the chances of Obama hitting a home run in his press conference? They were pretty damn good.

Baseball and American Pie

We all know that baseball is big in America and baseball is as American as apple pie. So it should come as no surprise that large amounts of federal dollars are being asked to go to install astro-turf on baseball fields, build concession stands, etc, etc.

Because baseball is as American as apple pie, I have to ask, why are we contemplating spending millions of dollars for baseball fields in Puerto Rico.

How does this stimulate the economy? Is the federal government looking out 10 years in hopes of a baseball franchise opportunity in Puerto Rico?

Acquire Properties for properties city baseball stadium Cost $15,000,000.00

Construction of a new mini baseball stadium with cafeteria areas, communication area, parking lot, and a grand stand for 500 persons. Cost $2,000,000.00

New Mini Baseball Stadium at AGUILITA Ward. Cost $2,000,000.00

Construction of 12 baseball parks to serve 12 communities townwide. Cost $600,000.00

To steal a phrase from Garrett Morris playing a Dominican baseball player named Chico Escuela; "baseball been berra berra good to me". But instead of me, make that Obama.

Wait, make that basketball. I forgot, Obama likes to play basketball jones and travels a bit when talking about the truth when it comes to pork and dreams.

A Field of Bad Dreams

Obama through his campaign talked about dreams. He talked about an era of responsibility. And in this press conference, he blends semantics with lawyer speak in his stories to gloss over the fact that this stimulus bill's financial numbers are built on pork.

I found it interesting Obama brought in kids when he talked about A Rod and short cuts. That is precisely what Obama has done through his political career. He has taken short cuts. And he is taking short cuts on stimulating the economy.

But what I also find interesting in the stimulus package is that we are teaching our children to no longer dream big, because kids today are being taught that there are short cuts to life.

They can have many things now.

As a kid growing up, my friends and I would go around the neighborhood getting a few friends to play a game of baseball at the school baseball field. We would take rakes to clean out the rocks and we would use what ever was handy as bases.

There was a clear disconnect between our reality and professional baseball. Our ball fields back then didn't have astro-turf, concession stands and other amenities that copied professional baseball.

But today, for some reason, many people like Obama are compelled to spend money in a manner that short cuts the dream of many aspiring young kids who want to play professional sports by building baseball parks like the professionals.

Unfortunately, it isn't until baseball fields are built like the professional ones, will many parents go to see their kids play.

And for that, we will reap what we sow. Professional sports players like A Rod and others.

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