My Old Kentucky Fool and Other Tales of Political Chickanery


Were it not for the Army giving my parents the good fortune of being transferred to Fort Dix, New Jersey shortly before my birth, I would have been born in Kentucky, the state that continues to send the man on your left, Jim Bunning, to Congress.

My entire family was born and raised there. Many of them still live there. Some of them have been ravaged by the economy in Kentucky. Heck, one of my cousins works two jobs to keep her head above water.

It is because of these relatives that I’m kind pissed off at the Distinguished Gentleman from Kentucky. Bunning decided to have an attack of Fiscal Conservatism and until today held up a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and health care assistance for most of this week. As his reason he cited concerns about what the $10 billion bill would do to the deficit.

(There are always two things that I find hilarious when Republicans say stuff like this: one, that they never got these attacks of fiscal conservatism when President George W. Bush asked for $87 million a shot to fight the War in Iraq off the books and two, that they can say this crap with a straight face!)

After getting a lot of constituent reaction (including some from folks who thought he was doing the right thing believe it or not), Bunning decided to let the unemployment extension bill come to the floor for a vote.

On behalf of all of the unemployed folks who lost their health care subsidy, their unemployment benefits, and all of the other things this money was used for thanks to your actions, I say thanks a lot….dickhead.

The next time that you decide to have one of your concussion flashbacks from the fastball that you obviously took to the head when you were pitching for the Phillies Sen. Bunning, do us all a favor and take an extra Aleve. I’m so glad that this clown is retiring after this year!

While Bunning and his craziness stood out because of who it impacted, he wasn’t the only person playing the nut role this week. Nuts and other bad political actors were hanging out all over the place.

For example, I have to put the person who wants to slap Ronald Reagan’s visage on the $50 on this week’s Nut List.

Congressman Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, has proposed putting Ronnie Raygun on the $50. Citing a need to give this generation a dollar bill with one of their “heroes” on it, he’s suggesting that Ulysses S. Grant should step aside. Thirteen other Republicans agree with him on this.

Wow.

While I wouldn’t mind having Ronald Reagan’s face on a roll of toilet paper, having his mug on a $50 bill, something he made damned sure that most of us couldn’t get our hands on during his eight-year reign of terror, is more than a little disingenuous.

First of all, we still haven’t quite recovered from the “let business go nuts” fiscal policies that led to the deficit mess that Bill Clinton had to clean up as president. Secondly, any so-called human who allows thousands of people to die from a disease that he feels can be ignored because of who has it doesn’t deserve a tribute of any kind, much less his face on our currency.

But considering the fact that Republicans still think that this B-Movie actor practically walked on fucking water, I’m not surprised they’re looking for another way to remind us that many of us bought Reagan’s Morning in America bullshit. I guess they believe that we haven’t been screwed over enough yet.

Lest anyone believe that my Nut List only has room for Republicans, I end this post with Congressman Charles Rangel. Until yesterday, Rangel had one of the most powerful positions in Congress, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

However, he obviously didn’t learn the Adam Clayton Powell lesson and got busted accepting corporately financed travel. Now he’s under an ethic investigation and the Republicans are dancing in the streets, mostly because they see his departure as helping the Bush tax cuts inch one step closer to permanent.

If you’re making the kind of money that you make as a Congressman, I think that you should be able to buy your own plane tickets, especially if you’re a powerful Democrat with Republicans circling you like sharks.

What pisses me off the most about this is that Rangel was sloppy. Now is not the time to be sloppy in Congress, Charlie. You’ve been there long enough to know that.

Stay tuned for more Nuts. I’m sure they’ll be some.

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