Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dingy Gingy is Ringy Dingy

A couple of minor pensées

There are two reasons I cheer on blowhard Newtie: 

One, it makes the "true" GOPers crazy to think the electorate could be so stupid to think he could beat the President if he should win the nomination, and...

....two, it would be so much fun to watch his intellectual and mnemonic gymnastics and discover how many ways he can convolute facts.

Daily checking Google and Politifact for lies, exaggerations and an assortment of insane proposals (such as the moon being our 51st state)  would be as much fun as searching out theater cartoonist Hershfeld's Ninas used to be.

Eureka! I've got seven!

Beyond that entertainment, there is further fun to be had. I keep waiting for someone to accidentally brush an arm (or rolled up newspaper) against Callista's hair to see if it will either come off or snap in two.

There may be some few who are taking this slate of candidates seriously, but I doubt it.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Governmental Gobbledy Gook

TPM's morning banner reads, in part,  "GOP's Pipeline Ploy".

It is referencing the comically eponymous  Keystone Kops game of Russian roulette, played with our environment instead of with someone's  little balls or bullets. 

"Ploy" is a good word to employ when attaching a description to this congress's method of operating.

I have to admit that I understand very little of this whole scheme to make money and, purportedly, make jobs by piping stuff from one country through our country to another country to be sold to still another country. It sounds like a lot of rigamarole and maybe Occam's razor can apply here in that the simplest answer is usually the right one. In this instance: greed.

Maybe you can read Brian Beutler's story - Why the Pipeline Ploy May End up Killing Keystone - - and keep your eyes from crossing. I couldn't. It is a report that appears to recount in exquisite detail the inanities of governmental bureaucracy.

Beyond being an obvious trap set to snare President Obama, it is the nightmarishly convoluted  stuff bureaucrats live for.  I have come to the conclusion that most legislation is written to hornswoggle the electorate into believing only people with "Representative" or "Senator" in front of their names can sort out this crap.

Hell....why not? They've created it.

But I am also of the opinion that Andrew Sullivan is right in determining that the Republicans may be dumber than even they know.Successful and unsuccessful attempts to back President Obama into corners may be the end of their game since their tactics are starting to look like they were designed by Wily Coyote.

I'm no expert on economics, and I have only the slightest concept of the mechanics of actual governing, but I do have a fair amount of common sense. And this sense tells me that building a pipeline to transport tons of filthy, oily, black shale across 1,700 miles of the United States, using as much uninhabited land as possible, is a recipe for disasters of so many descriptions as to defy imagination.

I suspect the terrorists have already started to map possible routes and are noting a variety of vantage points from which they could puncture the damned thing. And, of course, you can't ignore Murphy's Law.

This is a scheme conceived in the backrooms of hell and I hope the Republicans' heavy hands have aborted it. A nice kind of symmetry.


Monday, January 9, 2012

A Pundit! How Twee

Meghan McCain has put on her big girl pants and is sitting at a table of talking heads on MSNBC.  She just used, twice in nearly the same sentence, the new, Internet-inspired term "emoticon" (a smiley face?) for the term "modicum" - which means "small amount."

Granted, she has a very pretty face; she has a great deal of self-assurance; she has been around politics all her life; she may appeal to young people; her father is a U.S. senator with a very recognizable name. 

Apparently these are the attributes that win you an interesting job associated with enlightening the public. I would have thought something more exceptional would be required.

On this same television channel, Lawrence O'Donnell has been doing promos for education. In one he reveals the information that only 20 percent of the population in this country is college educated.

He made the argument that when the G.I. Bill of Rights was instituted after WWII, (when only six percent of the  populace was college educated) conservatives called the Bill "welfare." O'Donnell pointed out that this educational advantage (given in exchange to his father for risking his life for his country) allowed him to get a good job and put his five children through college.

Why is it conservatives are so eager to keep mediocrity a standard to strive for?

In the half century since that war, the rise from six percent to 20 percent of college graduates is not a very impressive advance. While it is in itself a startlingly modest figure, added to that is the depressing fact that many college "educated" leave their alma maters nearly as stupid as when they entered.

As much as I am egalitarian by nature, I truly hate ignorance and those who wallow in it. No, I don't like unkindness and unfairness to the least among us, but it makes me wild with fury when those with more material wealth than they need are chary of sharing with those who have nothing. Especially when the plight of the underprivileged is brought about through lack of educational  and cultural advantages denied to them by the resistance of the right to invest in their betterment.

While I have no real beef with Meghan McCain, I would hope that since her advantage over others has been mostly a fortune of birth, she would make every effort to expand her horizons and invest some time in exploring the mysteries of her mother tongue.