Sunday, February 3, 2008

Biden digs his own grave with intolerant words

Can You really Believe This??

Biden digs his own grave with intolerant words

Joe Biden has a big mouth.

He doesn't think before he talks and he never stops talking.

To those of us who have had to endure the Delaware senator's presidential delusions over the years, it was no surprise at all to see in the news that Biden's mouth had gotten him into trouble, although even his harshest critics might have been surprised at how quickly he got himself into hot water.

Biden, talking about Democratic phenomenon U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, described him as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

The implication that previous candidates Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were not "clean" has had Biden backpeddling ever since.

It doesn't help that just last summer he made a crack about Indians working in 7-Eleven and Dunkin Donuts. This latest misstep also served to inform those who might not have known about the plagiarism charges that led Biden to drop out of the presidential race in 1987.

The fact is, after you get to know Biden, you realize you wouldn't trust him with the combination to your bicycle lock.

As the old expression goes, loose lips sink ships, and sometimes, mercifully, they also sink presidential candidates.

Parade safety up to towns, not state

The tragic death of a Greenland boy in a float accident at the Portsmouth Holiday Parade in December has given us all a reason to pause.

The death of 9-year-old Thomas Fogarty is understandably an emotional issue. While we agree old regulations should be closely reviewed and perhaps new ones considered to better ensure the safety of those participating in local parades, we believe it's not the state's job to determine the breadth and depth of those rules.

Rep. Paul McEachern, D-Portsmouth, is prime sponsor of a House bill, and Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, is sponsor of a Senate bill, both which aim to enhance parade float safety. They call for a parade permit for any float that carries minors, and they seek safety regulations such as having a three-foot railing to keep kids from falling off or requiring adults to tether or seat belt kids onto the platform.

These are among many sensible measures legislators are reviewing, but enacted at the state level, they raise a host of enforcement and jurisdictional issues that would be lessened if individual towns and cities set their own parade safety regulations.

For example, Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand said he hopes to discuss different possibilities with other city officials as well as groups that have traditionally had floats in Portsmouth parades to develop any specific recommendations.

We believe the state can be helpful in providing guidelines to cities and towns or fostering the sharing of best practices between municipalities. But parade safety is strictly a local issue and not one requiring state legislation.

-- Portsmouth Herald

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