President Barack Obama should not be a source of hysteria over the government shutdown -- even if it'll score him political points. (Carolyn Kaster / AP)
Stocks finished the government shutdown week mostly down, but not nearly as much as they could have fallen, given President Barack Obamaís efforts to panic investors. When Wall Street gave a ho-hum response to the shutdown, Obama went on TV to question why the markets werenít more concerned by the standoff in Washington, and warned the U.S. could default on its debt.
They were highly reckless remarks by a president whose job it is to cultivate calm and confidence, not fear.
Fortunately, investors had already discounted the shutdown and the Dow fell just 1.6 percent for the week, and the S&P 500 just 0.5 percent. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, was up slightly.
Seek competitive bids
Rochester Hills, after several months of study, decided to extend the contract of its current waste hauler, Republic Services Inc., instead of seeking bids. The company, based in Phoenix, dropped its rates from about $17 a month to $15 a month for the average homeowner. Did the residents get the best deal?
Mayor Brian Barnett says yes, noting the service provided by Republic is worth the cost.
Critics say the City Council should have taken competitive bids. They point to trash-hauling services in neighboring communities that are significantly less than the monthly cost of Rochester Hills trash service.
Competitive bids are the most cost-effective approach. Neighboring Shelby Township, for example, receives similar services for $13 a month per household. Competitive bids would have confirmed whether Rochester Hills got the best deal.
Think first, then act
Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he is changing the departmentís policy on executing search warrants after an incident Tuesday at a home across the street from Pasteur Elementary School.
Two police officers were executing a warrant around noon as scores of youngsters were outside on the playground.
The officers reportedly fired two shots at attacking pit bulls and created a panic among the children.
The officers made the wrong call, in light of how close they were to these young students.
Fortunately, no one was hurt.
But the incident could have been disastrous for the department.
A policy change could help prevent future incidents.