Today’s NY Times , in “Appeal to Young on Pension Plan Gets the Attention of Their Elders” , Robin Toner writes on Sen. Rick Santorum’s attempt to promote Pres. Bush’s Social Security reform plan in Pennsylvania, Santorum’s home state. It’s a funny article, as Toner writes how Santorum appears exasperated in trying to get the young people to be as motivated about this as the older people:
Almost no one is a more outspoken advocate of President Bush’s Social Security plan than Senator Rick Santorum, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate leadership, who is campaigning across his state this week, trying to get young people to focus on their retirement.
Mr. Santorum argued, again and again, that the debate over Mr. Bush’s plan for private accounts was really about young people’s futures, because their benefits were at risk and because Mr. Bush had repeatedly promised that he would make no changes affecting Americans over 55.
This is a key element of the Republican strategy, creating an energized and mobilized younger generation fighting for its piece of an ownership society.
But there is a problem with that approach: retirees and those near retirement, a legendary political force, refuse to be shut out of the debate. At Widener University in Chester on Tuesday afternoon, people over 50 occupied perhaps half the seats at a forum held by Mr. Santorum and asked many of the questions – most of them negative.
At one point, Mr. Santorum looked out at the raised hands and said somewhat plaintively: “I’m seeing a lot of older hands. I’m not seeing any younger hands.”
But, later in the article Toner puts in what must have been the strangest quote of the day:
Mr. Santorum did get some support from his audiences on Tuesday. At Widener, Katherine Dombrowski, a 21-year-old junior, said she already had an individual retirement account and was “completely in support” of the idea of privatizing Social Security. “I don’t understand what everybody has against the idea of taking care of yourselves,” Ms. Dombrowski said to a smattering of applause.
Hmm. Gee, Ms. Dombrowski, did you actually think your words through before letting them out of your mouth? Isn’t it sort of against most religions to not look out for one’s fellow man? To be charitable, civil, and other stuff. I’m hardly a saint myself, but I’d hate to actually say out loud that we ought to look out for number 1 (the old me/myself/and I). And, the idea of Social Security is “Social” – that we look out for each other, particularly in the Depression era when we were in need of help. While Social Security may need reform, I’m not convinced that privatizing it is the answer. (In which case, come up with some program with a new name, because “Private Social Security” sounds oxymoronic).
Plus, a food article, by Daniel Young: French pizza, with French cheeses. Mmm. Sounds yummy:
FRANCIS CRESCI’S decision to ban mozzarella at the pizzeria he opened here in 1956 was less a matter of taste than conviction. It echoed the insistence of his grandfather, an immigrant from Umbria in Italy, that nary a word of Italian be heard in the family’s new home in Nice. The young Mr. Cresci thought his pizzas should speak either French or, like his grandfather, Nissart, a dialect with Italian and old Provençal influences.
“In every region of Europe the locals were eating foods produced on their land,” recalled Mr. Cresci, now 78. “I reckoned there was enough cheese to choose from in France.”
The nutty, buttery flavor of semihard cheeses like French Emmenthal and Cantal distinguishes much French pizza from Neapolitan-style pies made only with milky mozzarella. When the cheese is spread over a thin round of dough coated with tomato and herbs and then subjected to the relentless whoosh of heat in a brick oven, the result is a bubbling, molten masterpiece.
“C’est une pizza qui vive,” said Mr. Cresci’s son, Ludovic, who now oversees La Pizza, his father’s business. Sure enough, that pizza is alive.
Last night’s “House, M.D.” on FOX was curiously interesting. We get more inkling of why Dr. House is such a misogynist – something didn’t work out with a woman in the past (isn’t it always?). House isn’t happy when his only friend in the hospital, Dr. Wilson, ditches House’s plan to go the see a Monster Truck event (a NJ thing, I daresay, for a show that takes place in NJ). Indeed, to House’s concern, Wilson is going to see a woman (who may or may not have been The Woman in House’s life; dare we detect jealousy? Well, House forgives Wilson, saying, “Well, she’s your friend, so I can’t stop you.”). House then turns to young Dr. Cameron to be his guest to the Monster Truck event (which they maintain is NOT a date for the two lonely singletons. Right – well, she is House’s student, so to speak, so perhaps they ought to avoid “dating” in that sense).