"Bad show, Mr. President," says John Andrews in the June round of Head On TV debates, concluding the botched Gulf oil spill shows Obama is in over his head as president. But Susan Barnes-Gelt faults him only on doing too little to save the planet. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over three taxpayer ballot issues and the unseemly White House meddling in Senate races, while finding agreement on summer pleasures and college football. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Here are all five scripts for June: 1. GULF OIL SPILL
Susan: When President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval, he should have said four words: "No more deepwater drilling." Instead he did his best to dance around a subject no U.S. politician will touch: We must change our energy supply and consumption habits. It will be painful.
John: The Gulf oil spill, two months and counting, has unmasked Barack Obama as an incompetent executive and a weak leader – over his head in the presidency. Never mind the politics, this is bad for country and the world. Left and right seem to agree – the spill is Obama’s Katrina.
Susan: A federal judge ruled the moratorium on deepwater drilling is illegal because of the loss of jobs. The White House is right to challenge this - though of course we must address job losses in the Gulf. Let's see - jobs or the planet? No contest - the planet.
John: Obama took huge BP contributions. Salazar gave BP lax oversight. They didn’t seriously address the spill for many weeks. When they finally responded, it was more political damage control than responsible policy for energy and the environment. Plus they trampled the law, as the courts have now found. Bad show, Mr. President.
2. JOB OFFERS TO SENATE CANDIDATES
John: Susan, I’m disgusted. With sleazy Chicago-style job offers to buy off the Senate candidacies of Andrew Romanoff in Colorado and Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, President Obama dabbled in bribery. The evasive conduct of Romanoff and Sestak is troubling as well. This case cries out for a special prosecutor.
Susan: If the Tea Partiers can't find something stronger than this weak leaf to brew in their tiny tin teapots - they got Trouble - with a capital T. And shame on the party of Lincoln - that would be yours - to focus on this nonsense.
John: Shooting the messenger won’t work on this one. Obama and his White House thugs ignored the law against paying someone to drop out of a race. Romanoff and Sestak tainted themselves by covering for him. Neither should be a senator, and Obama should be investigated.
Susan: Neither Sestak nor Romanoff was offered a job. Romanoff - like thousands of others - applied for various positions during the 2008 transition, long before he challenged Bennet. This is an issue only for cable TV talking heads and desperate Republicans. End of story,
3. CU BUFFS JOIN PAC-10 CONFERENCE
John: What an uproar in college football. So what if the Buffs will leave the Big 12 and play in the Pac 10? Color me underwhelmed. Colorado is not part of the Left Coast. We’re the heartland. Gold plated athletics are distracting CU from the real problems of sagging academics and soaring costs.
Susan: The CU Buffs join the PAC-10? Ho Hum - should I care about this? Probably a bid to shore up the school's TV revenues, the school hasn't hit the television lottery yet. Some think the coach is on the hot seat and it's the wrong move at the wrong time.
John: I love sports and education. I even played a little college football – very little. But sports as big business, NCAA style, and education on the taxpayer’s dime don’t mix well. CU Boulder is a sandbox for leftist politics and a black hole for spending. Address that, Board of Regents.
Susan: If university leadership focused as much on academic excellence as they do sports, this would be a better country. Unfortunately the sports pre-occupation reflects the public's priorities. Isn't a touch down when the airplane comes in for landing and hits the tarmac!
4. JUDGE RAPS DOUGLAS BRUCE IN BALLOT CASE
Susan: Doug Bruce has gone from merely destructive to psychotic! He is in contempt of court for refusing to take responsibility for 3 destructive tax-slashing measures on this November's ballot. His anti-tax crusade is crippling Colorado while he slips into paranoia.
John: Easy there, Rachel Maddow. Let’s talk facts. The spending lobby hates TABOR because it protects taxpayers. Ballot issues 60, 61, and 101 will restore TABOR after liberal judges gutted it. We the people will decide them in November. A courtroom sideshow with Douglas Bruce is beside the point.
Susan: The most conservation members of the business community - the Chamber of Commerce, Colo Association of Commerce & Industry and dozens of professional organizations are opposed to Bruce's wacky ballot issues. TABOR needs to be modified, not strengthened. Colorado's budget vice is strangling the economy.
John: Colorado’s economy isn’t weak because taxes are too low. It’s weak because Big Government and Big Labor, dominated by Democrats, have closed the state for business, especially small business. Corporate lobby groups live off political pork, paid for by us taxpayers. Our only protection is TABOR.
5. MAKE THE MOST OF COLORADO SUMMER
Susan: Summer is my favorite season. The flowers are blooming, the fountains running, the days are long and the parks are beautiful. Go to the mountains, take a hike and try to ignore the nattering nabobs of negativism and their whine festival!
John: We talk of the Glorious Fourth, but all summer out here is glorious. “It’s a privilege to live in Colorado,” as the paper used to say. Have a barbeque, ride a horse, root for the Rockies, lie in a hammock, ring doorbells for a candidate, catch a trout. (And minimize your TV!)
Susan: Turn off the TV, your Smart Phone and news alerts. Read a book, learn a foreign language, cash some fish, plant a garden. Reconnecting with the earth, friends and family is a terrific stress reliever and all the world's anxieties will be there when you plug in again.
John: Since it’s 2010, not 1910, everyone’s Colorado summer can include some TV. At our house it’s a mix of this station and Fox News. Our house also celebrates Independence Day throughout July, volunteers for campaigns, and loves the 14ers. You can hike one, or drive up Pike’s Peak or Mount Evans.