18 May 2009

As the World Spins

The Republicans are expressing outrage at Obama's deficits. This is like the runner up in a fart contest calling the winner gross. If they're truly outraged at big deficits they ought to finally give up their worship of Reagan and defense of Bush2.

Some Catholics attacked Obama and Notre Dame because they didn't think that one of the nation's leading universities should invite the president to speak (because he's pro-choice). Those Catholics should be reminded that the protestants, deists, closet agnostics, and general collection of anti-papists who founded this country reluctantly let them in because they were worried that once safely here, the Catholics would try to subordinate our laws to the whims of the pope.

Tomorrow Californians will likely vote down provisions to fund their state government. Californians are so angry that even our local public radio station in San Diego has begun to sound like right-wing talk radio. They don't even deny that needy constituents will lose out without more taxes (e.g., the mentally ill), but insist that the only way to get politicians to stop wasting money on (trivial) appointments for each other is to deny the government money. How brilliant. Anyone who looks across the border at Mexico where tax rates are only 18.5% can see that the best way to reduce corruption and abuse in government is to cut taxes, budgets, and the ability of the government to actually govern.

Lest you think that I'm a mindless Obama defender, I'll say that his policy for education suggests a history of paste-eating. He is spending $100 billion to "fix" the 5,000 worst schools in the nation by firing all the adults in those schools and starting over. There is nothing in his (and his Education Secretary Arne Duncan's) policy that suggests that he realizes that the 5,000 worst schools are just as much a product of the educational system as the 5,000 best. To act otherwise is to de-moralize millions of professionals, create chaos, and miss the opportunity to actually make systemic change. If Obama's plan worked, education would have already been "transformed" by the half dozen previous presidents. The only thing unique about his approach is the magnitude of the budget he'll waste.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been rebuked for calling the swine flu a pandemic. Apparently casual users of the term have something other than three nights in bed with a fever when they think of a pandemic.

Republicans are now claiming that Pelosi knew about torture back in 2003. This would have been remarkable. In 2003, even Bush and Cheney were unaware of torture. Or so they told us. So if Pelosi knew about it, she'd have been unique. This is sort of like the devolution of their protests against climate change.
1. We aren't torturing.
2. I mean, we are torturing but it is not authorized and was just the act of a few mavericks.
3. Okay, we authorized it but it worked.
4. Ha! Nancy Pelosi never once said a word of protest and she knew! We might have done something immoral and ineffectual but Pelosi didn't stop us.


Big Al said...

Do you know how many Republicans recently voted in favor of Obama's proposed budget? If you guessed any number greater than zero, you're incorrect. That's right. ZERO Republicans voted in favor of our President's proposed budget. Yet did our POTUS lash out calling them unpatriotic? Not that I've heard.

Notre Dame . . . that bastion of all that's good in the Catholic faith when it comes to a higher education. Being raised in the Catholic faith, including attending a High School that used Notre Dame's fight song, it was the dream of my parents that I should attend Notre Dame. Unfortunately, getting a good Catholic University education is very, very expensive, unless you happen to be very wealthy or an All American high school football or basketball player. Sadly, I was just basically a Catholic farm boy from Ohio.

Government budgets are tricky, Ron. You have to remember there is still the problem of folks who believe if they don't spend all their budget for the current fiscal year, next year's allocation will get chopped down to what was actually spent in the current approved budget. It's the old "spend it or lose it" mentality. And evidently it's still alive and well, hence the mistrust in the private sector: we just don't truly know how all the money is being spent.

As far as education goes, until funding for education is ranked as *THE* #1 expenditure by our federal government and all 50 states, funding will continue to be just another alley cat waiting with the pack for leftover scraps to be tossed out the kitchen backdoor. With Dubya it was "no child left untested!" With Obama it now seems to be a case of fixing up the supposed 5000 worst schools. But what happens to the school listed as number 5001? Or schools from 5001 to 10000? This reminds me of the few pro basketball teams with the worst records who somehow seem to lose most if not all their final games so as to improve their odds in the draft lottery to get the #1 pick. Why not try this novel idea: try to find a way to adequately fund *ALL* schools so you don't have such disparity?

As far as the Republicans now attempting to jump all over Pelosi about what she did or did not know about torture, Fox News evidently has finally found something truly meaty to sink their teeth into instead of complaining that our POTUS asked for "spicy mustard . . . you know, some of that brown mustard . . . and no ketchup" on the cheeseburger he ordered along with VP Biden on a recent stop in Pennsylvania.

And I can just imagine how it went wrt Pelosi and torture . . .
CIA Agent: "No, REALLY! Pelosi knew!"
CIA upper management: "But *WE* didn't even know at the time about torture, so how could Pelosi know?"
CIA Agent: "She's a woman. Women *ALWAYS* know these things. She had to know. Yeah, we're cool!"

Anonymous said...

I especially liked your summary of the torture scenario. (It would be nice to have an independent media that could point out these things as they happen.)

Lifehiker said...

Thanks, Ron. I can now forego reading any news magazines for the next week!

1) Republicans are challenging the world's record for hypocracy.

2) Thankfully, American Catholics would put Obama far ahead of Pope Benedict in a popularity poll.

3) Prop. 13 was a terrible mistake.

4) But, Obama likes charter schools...I wish he could make 5,000 of them and let the principals both take off the gloves and make school "fun" (like it should be).

5) A rash of hangnails could be a pandemic under the WHO's definition.

6) Pelosi's news conference was painful beyond belief, but you are right. Once again, if waterboarding was not torture, why is Hannity avoiding it at all costs? Those that did it are 1000 times more responsible than those who "may" have known about it.

I'm glad you're back from your business trip!