Thursday, September 04, 2008

Do What I Say...

I still want to talk about Republican economics tonight. But in my wandering about the blogosphere I came across two items that tell me pretty much everything I need to know about the GOP's version of social responsibility:

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's daughter is pregnant at 17. The Palins are making sure that little missy gets hitched to the feller who done got her in a family way. And, to help make sure that YOUR pregnant teenager can't run off and escape marrying the little thug who sweettalked his way into her va-jay-jay, she cut funding for teen pregnancy services in Alaska's budget by 22 percent.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's littlest has Downs Syndrome. She chose to carry the child to term so she and her husband could care for it, rather than abort the child. She has promised to be a "friend and advocate" to special needs children if she is elected. And, to help make sure YOUR special needs kid gets his or her help from YOU alone, she cut funding for special ed in Alaska's schools by more than half.

Republicans: they'll tell you how much they'll do for you.

And then they'll do it TO you.


Lisa said...

If this isn't the God's honest truth, Chief. The Republican's love the fetus, hate the child.

Strange, considering a lot of those out-of-wedlock babies raised in economically deprived homes will be manning the guns for the next war.
I guess if they don't kill them on the front end, they'll get them on the way out.

We really are becoming more like Brave New World each day.

You Know Where You Are With said...

Fucking appalling.

Here is a list of some of the books she wanted banned:

* A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
* Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
* Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
* Anything by Stephen King
* Everything by J.K.Rowling
* Most of William Shakespeare's work
* Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff

She's an absolute nightmare.

You Know Where You Are With said...

Here's the link to the Times Article that mentions the book banning:,8599,1837918,00.html

There is, it seems, some dispute as to which books she wanted banned, and when. We need to get this librarian on record.

FDChief said...

YK: Willie The Shake?

I mean, I know the wingnuts go apeshit about the Harry Potter series ('cuz you know that you start telling little peeps about witches and wizards and pretty soon they're capering naked around Satan's altar, right?) and stuff like Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse Five make them worry that their little culture warriors will want to sit down and sing kumbaya. And I'm sure there's something that Makes Baby Jesus Cry in Huxley or L'Engle or Steve King.

But Willie The Shake?

Dude! He's...he's CANON. He's Bill Buckley, "God and Man at Yale", Alan Bloom, port and cigars at the New Century Club...WTF was she thinking!?!?


*(too dumb to live)

FDChief said...

Lisa: The Republican ideal is the 19th Century Victorian "beehive", with the humble workers deferring to the queens and drones at the top.

Guess that explains the Gilded Age fiscal politics, too...

Lisa said...


I agree; public education has always only favored educating the masses to the point at which they would be proficient tools to operate machinery. 6th grade was considered adequate until recently.

One might say with the dumbing down of the curricula, that a 12th grade education rivals that of a 19th century 6th grader.

You Know Where You Are With said...

I would go further than Lisa: I had to leave the community college I taught at last because their dumbing down was so extreme. Again, call me elitist, but I'll only ever teach again at a private, liberal arts college. At the CC, the idea was students as consumers, not students as thinkers.

And Will the Shake? Well, well. That naughty Romeo and Juliet. *head shake* I mean, really. Teenagers? the greatest love story of all time? I mean, we wouldn't want our teenagers getting the wrong message, now would we, Ms. Palin?

basilbeast said...

I was watching Lindsay Graham of S.C. accusing Obama of wanting to see our troops fail in Iraq and not giving them proper credit for the Victory in Iraq.

Several camera shots showed fellows in military dress uniform in the arena.

I thought that is not proper?


Lisa said...

You Know,

Having taught at C.C. myself, I second your observation of students-as-commodity. It is very sad. There is much to say on the topic.

So many students who are not prepared to succeed at college are herded through "weeding" classes, sometimes 3 and 4 times, and the college-as-business grows fat from their unfitness to perform.

rangeragainstwar said...


I believe appearing at a partisan political event in any military uniform is against regs, as it politicizes what should be a non-partisan organization.

Further, I believe it may be against regs to display partisan political bumper stickers on your car, esp. if the car is registered on post.

FDChief said...

YK, Lisa: Our Portland Community College works the same way. Pack 'em in, milk 'em dry, flunk 'em out.

There was a very self-pitying column in Harper's back in June or July from a CC instructor moaning about having to flunk his duds who showed up completely unprepared and unable to do even low college level work. I wanted to pimpslap him. Word, yo, that's your JOB, dummy! Some people aren't going to hack it above a certain level. That's what things like standards and grades and evaluations are SUPPOSED to do - sort out the people who can think from those who just shouldn't be allowed to express an unsupervised opinion.

YK - I think you'd be disappointed. I taught at a small private liberal arts school - now, admittedly, Concordia is pretty bush league for a PLA college - and the frosh science students were 1) slightly better prepared because they'd attended better high schools, 2) WAY more "entitled" because of the tuition their mommies and daddies were spending, and 3) much crappier attitudes towards using their heads for anything beyond holding their hoodies up. I dropped that job just because the honest blue-collar dopes at PCC were preferable to the spoiled little caucasian mommas darlings at Concordia.

Basil: you are correct, unless they were on some sort of duty. Given the venue, I doubt it, but in the present political climate the possibility of disciplinary action is minute.

rangeragainstwar said...

Maybe Palin had Alaska National Gurads standing duty. A sort of pre-emptive invasion toward Minn. and the Lower 48. "Take that!"

I doubt anyone should have been on duty there, either.

rangeragainstwar said...

To all, Vote vets is indicating that the RNC used phoney soldiers and scenes during the convention to depict funerals and actual events.It's possible that this is what we've been discussing.. jim

FDChief said...

Just as an aside, I believe that this convention marks the end of 9/11/01 as any sort of apolitical national "day of infamy". ISTM that the unwritten rule of American politics was that images of the day or direct references to partisan gain from 9/11 (the dog-whistle terms the GOP used to hang responsibility for the attack on the Dems was never really called to account) were out-of-bounds. By using 9/11 directly for political advantage the McCain Convention has, I believe, finally moved the day officially into the GOP camp. It's as though FDR had chosen to use his "Day of Infamy" speech to vilify the Republicans of 1941 and insist that only by voting Democratic could Americans defend against the Japanese. Now the Republicans have assumed the full responsibility for the Crusade Against Islamic Eeeeeevil and accused their political rivals of collusion with their formulation of the Islamic Axis of Bad Really Nasty Dudes.


But, whatever. I'm happy to hang this dog around McSame's neck. You want to refight the 10th Crusade, dumbass? Knock yourself out. I'll be fighting you to jerk that cash back to something useful like, say, the 60-some billion in upgrades suggested for the national power grid your pals the power generating CEOs have been ignoring...

sheerahkahn said...

Ladies, let me know if you ever encountered a guy like this...

The Republicans strike me as the consumate teenage boy, looking to get laid, and like the teenage boy, the Republican will say anything...any.thing. A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to get you to lay down with them, and as soon as you give it up...they look at you with the same, "yeah, you're alright, I'll call you if I need to get some, later babe."
Thats how the Republicans strike me...a pack of teenage boys all looking to score a hot chick on a Friday night, so they can go back to their fav hangout and brag about their "victory."

FDChief said...

Sheerah: The really frustrating thing for me is that we've seen this again and again and again.

Yep, the GOP is on another electoral booty call. And we know, that based on past experience, that once they get into America's governmental pants they'll do what they always do: flail around uselessly, pleasing only themselves, ignoring the mutual satisfaction of their victim in their relentless quest for what's best for them.

And after they've gotten their nut (deregulated everything in sight for the greater profit of their corporate masters, lined their pockets and the pockets of their cronies, gone as far as possible to satisfy their christopathic legions with back-to-the-Victorian-Era social policymaking), they'll grin at our furious frustration with decaying infrastructure and ripped social fabric and tattered national honor and ask "Wassamatter, babe? Am I just too much man for ya?"

The problem the U.S. has right now is that the party that has figured out how to win elections can't fucking govern for the general good. And the party whose goals are closer to the general good can't fucking win elections.

Good Christ! we're so fucked.

pluto said...

I might as well chime in since you're all so depressed already. If McCain wins, this isn't going to be the same as the Bush years for one VERY large reason that no sane politician wants to discuss: Medicare.

The Medicare Trustee board (Paulson, Chao, and a few other Federal appointees) have just issued their annual report on the health of the Medicare Trust fund. In short, even skewing the numbers as much to the positive as they dare, it looks really bad because this is the year that Medicare starts it's short and exciting ride into fiscal hell.

The Trustee board's numbers show that the single biggest part of Medicare will start consuming the fund (rather than just using up the interest the fund generates) starting in two years. And it will go completely bankrupt in 2019.

Several important things to note here:
1. The Feds use the excess interest that Medicare and Social Security generate to hide the size of the deficit. In two years things are going to start going the other way, Medicare and Social Security are going to start making the deficit bigger.

2. The Feds are optimists, they assume that the fund will last that long because they are required to assume that Congress will stop vetoing pay cuts to doctors and start spending responsibly. That's just NOT going to happen!

If we take out the rosy Congressional assumptions then Medicare will go bankrupt in 2016. That's two presidential elections from now and Medicare will make itself felt BEFORE the next election.

If we take out their rosy economic assumptions and put in something approximating the last 5 years, we're probably looking at going belly-up in 2014.

And yet I hear NOTHING from either political camp on how they are going to get on top of this beast before it eats the the Federal government! Speaking from experience, either you own the debt or it owns you. Does ANYBODY here believe our government will be proactive for a change?

3. The size of the problem is daunting in multiple dimensions. Medicare served 40+ million Americans. What happens when SOMEBODY wakes up in the government and finally either:
a) Doubles (or triples) the fees those 40 million social security-dependent voters have to pay or
b) Slashes services and payments to the point where clinics refuse to take Medicare patients and they have to go to hospital emergency rooms?

Either way, I suspect we're looking at a health care system that resembles the decaying old Soviet system more than it does the standard Western model.

What a horrible thought and it's only a few years away! Get your shots now before the crush comes!

Here's the link for the Trustees report:

FDChief said...

Pluto: Medicare is just the biggest entitlement elephant in the room. SS, Medicaid and the military entitlement programs like the VA are going to get bigger in the future.

The other thing we don't like to talk about is that our defense budget grabs something like $0.40 off each federal tax dollar before the first sickly grandpa, hungry kid, creaky highway bridge or bribed meat packing plant inspector gets a penny. We pay a hell of a price for being the baddest mo-fo in the valley.

And, as I've said before, the current system is so overwhelmingly weighted in favor of the hogs at the trough right now the probability of a Democratic administration reforming this mess is statistically approaching zero.

Of course, another four years of the GOP and we'll be in the double-negative number range...

Reading Thucydides' account of the decline of Athens and Gibbon on the Fall of Rome you get the sense that in both cases there were many, many people; smart people, well-connected people, who sensed that things were going badly wrong. But everything seemed so well, everything seemed only a little less sound than the day, the month, the year before...

And when the end came, it came so gradually that no one recognized it until their time was already past.

I'm convinced that we're heading in that direction. I just don't see anyone or any organization currently standing with the combination of vision and drive to reverse our course.

Ael said...

You folks are hitting the outer ring here.
Margret Thatcher and Ronnie Raygun realized that you never need a majority of the people to support you.
You only need a majority of the voters.

Because of silly voter registration rules, all a clever politico need do, is get out their vote and discourage everyone else.

Negative election advertising is vital to a modern democracy.

Lisa said...

1st to Sheerahkhan: Yes, Republicans of any age always remind me of teenage boys, even the women.

Pluto makes the sobering observation that none of the candidates will touch real issues like Medicare, which face its day of reckoning, sooner or later. As Chief notes, everyone feels something awry, but somehow, there seems to be a doctor there when we go to the clinic. In Florida, that may not be the case soon.

ael reminds us of the importance of the game: getting majority of voters, and dissuading the rest. In Florida, a shameful cabal to keep released prisoners from the vote is being imposed by our recently jilted Governor Crist.

Fasteddiez said...


Maybe some you Gator people can get The good Governor Crist to hook up with McCain's frequent Gal Pal, Senator Graham. That is unless they hadn't already agreed on a continuance of sorts after a hasty rendez-vous at the convention's de rigeur hot spot, The twin Cities airport men's lounge (of a particular repute).

So commenters, which of them two hombres would you suspect of having the widest stance?

FDChief said...

"Negative election advertising is vital to gutting a modern democracy."

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance, From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy, From apathy to dependence, From dependence back into bondage."

Alexander Tyler, 1787

rangeragainstwar said...


This concept of not doing for the voters is similar to what the Army used to call "career planning."
And they did it with a straight face!

They would always start off with-"this is good for your career,"when you knew in fact you were getting screwed.

McCain will be the new career planner-in-chief if elected. jim

FDChief said...

"So commenters, which of them two hombres would you suspect of having the widest stance?"

Being card-carrying members of the Wealthy White Boys Governing Club, regardless of whose stall they're rapping on, you KNOW that in the end it's the Public Good that'll end up on it's knees...

FDChief said...

"They would always start off with-"this is good for your career,"when you knew in fact you were getting screwed."

I'm shocked, Jim. You mean the career counselor that suggested I re-up "6 years PDA" didn't have MY best interests at heart?

Whenever I had a troop come to me talking about stuff the re-up guy was selling him I used to point to this little cartoon I had taped to the filing cabinet behind my desk. It showed two dogs sitting in a living room looking morose. The one dog is saying to the other:

"They're my family. They care for me. They love me. They cut my balls off."

After my initial enthusiasm wore off - much as I loved the Army and still do in so many ways - I never forgot that my relationship with the Army was that of a horse to its rider. For all the pats and the carrots and the currying, when the time came to ride me to death he would strip off my tack and walk away. I was as valuable to the Army as I was useful at that moment. If they needed me to be more compliant they'd cut my balls off without a moment's hesitation.

I used to think that the relationship between we American citizens and our government was a different quality. This Administration has me seriouly questioning that assumption.

Lisa said...

Roger that.

Lisa said...


I always thought that Graham was a bit hokey with his Florida workdays.
However, he has done some good work as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and has staunchly opposed the Iraq invasion.

I think the press unduly skewered him as "peculiar" b/c of his assiduous note taking.

Lisa said...

Oops--Jim sent the "Roger" msg. while I was online.