You’ve doubtless seen footage of the monster tornadoes that caused such carnage across the South this week.
“Scientists” . . . who work with “numbers” . . . at elitist “universities” (they may be elite, but let’s call them elitist, which turns a positive into a negative) have been telling us for years that the greenhouse gasses we dump into the atmosphere will cause ever more violent weather. So some of those scientists will probably – yet again – point to Wednesday’s 160 tornadoes and issue their tired old warnings.
There is another school of thought, which is that God sends natural disasters to punish sinners, and that greenhouse gasses are irrelevant to His thinking. He can suspend cause and effect any time He wants, so that – if we do something He likes – He can close the hole in the ozone layer as our reward. (It wasn’t our ban on hydrofluorocarbons that caused this result; it was His decision to close the hole back up.)
It won’t surprise you to know that I’m a fan of elite universities . . . that I don’t think God suspends cause and effect (or why would He have created it in the first place?) . . . and that, while we’re laying out our differences, I “believe in” evolution.
I don’t know of a single Democratic leader who doesn’t “believe in” evolution. Yet we all know of three 2008 Republican presidential candidates who don’t – watch them again here – one of whom, Mike Huckabee, is on the short list to be the 2012 Republican nominee.
A well-known Republican campaign strategist I was with at dinner Tuesday believes Huckabee wins it. Romney could have trouble getting through the primaries, he thinks, for reasons ranging from his Massachusetts health care plan to the religious right’s nutty perception of his religion.*
Which brings me to Paul Ryan’s Republican-backed budget plan.
Its overall goal – dealing with the deficit – is shared by all.
(You may recall that I’ve long decried the Reagan/Bush/Bush policies that sent our National Debt soaring from 30% of GDP when Reagan took over to 100% when Bush handed Obama a $1.5 trillion deficit and an economy on the brink of depression.)
And some of the ideas in that budget also make sense – like simplifying the tax code and removing loopholes and unnecessary incentives. (Does the oil and gas industry really still need tax subsidies? The Republicans think so, but I’m hoping we may be able to change their minds.)
But privatizing Medicare? Slashing tax rates for the rich – yet again?
Eviscerating the Education Department, the Energy Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency?
These are not good ideas.
The connection between the climate-change deniers and the Republican budget enthusiasts is that both are massively funded by corporate interests, now entirely unleashed by the Republican Supreme Court and its Citizens United decision. That’s the one that stacks the political system even more heavily in favor of the rich and powerful, and allows their influence to be hidden.
It’s not that the giant funders of the political right themselves believe natural disasters are God’s wrath visited upon women who take Plan B. They don’t think Katrina was the result of Bourbon Street carousing. But they represent Big Oil and Big Coal and others who reflexively oppose any threat to their profits.
And so we have a flood of ads now trying to tell us that up is down.
Just as candidate Bush assured us that “by far the vast majority” of his tax cuts would go to “people at the bottom end of the economic ladder” – up is down – so the secret right wing funders are telling people that the Republican budget saves Medicare. (It ends it.)
Up is down. The Big Lie.
It worked for Bush. The Bush years were a positively grand time to be rich and powerful in America.
Will it work again?
Watch Rachel Maddow to see how the rich and powerful have their thumb on the scale.
*His religion is nutty, too. Taken literally, what religion isn’t? One has to assume Romney doesn’t literally believe all the things you see on Broadway.
With BZ up nicely yesterday and the warrants at $1.82 – up 90-fold from what some of us lucked out and paid two years ago – you asked, “What now, with the warrants set to expire June 18?”
After first asking each of them to donate liberally to the President’s reelection, I replied that I am inclined to just watch it play out to the end, almost for the fun of it. Having sold 95% of mine at gains ranging from ten-fold to 75-fold, NOTHING from here on out could keep me from enjoying the rest of the ride, even if it’s to zero. And who knows? We might get $2 for these last few. Or even more.
Meanwhile, five days later . . .
Any interest in attending our June 23 national LGBT Obama Victory Fund 2012 dinner in New York? Our honored guest will be the President of the United States. Straight allies welcome! Click here to sign up. (It would be nice to meet you after all these years.)
Quote of the Day
Guys, just remember: if you get real lucky, if you make a lot of money, if you go out and buy a lot of stuff, it's gonna break. You got your biggest, fanciest mansion in the world. It has air conditioning. It has a pool. Just think of all the pumps that are going to go out. Or go to a yacht basin any place in the world. Nobody is smiling and I'll tell you why: something broke that morning. The generator's out, the microwave oven doesn't work, the cook's gay. Things just don't mean happiness.~Ross Perot to Harvard B-School students, quoted in Forbes
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