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Posts published in “Day: March 1, 2013”

The unfunny

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

Have you noticed that comics in what’s left of our newspapers aren’t funny anymore? They’re really not. Some deal with families and kids. Others have weird characters appealing to narrow audiences. Even my favorite - “Doonesbury” - uses mostly unfunny political issues - but does so with wit and savagery. I love it.

I was brought up with “Dick Tracy,” “Terry and the Pirates,” “Smilin’ Jack,” “Li’l Abner,” “Smoky Stover,” “Little Orphan Annie” and dozens more. Funny and adventurous and memorable for well-drawn characters and good storylines. Even some laugh-out-loud stuff. All gone.

So, what’s a guy who likes daily doses of the humorous do for giggles? Well, I turn to the right wing of what remains of the old Republican Party. If you don’t take the characters therein as seriously as they take themselves, you’ll get lots of laughs. And much of the time, those characters are no more real than a good comic strip. But nearly always laughable.

I used to watch folks on the Democrat left, but they weren’t much fun. Even going back to the ‘60's, they’d pick a spot and usually stay put. Maybe anti-war. Maybe anti-Wall Street. Things like that. Pretty predictable stuff. No fun.

Ah, but the GOP right. The far right is the amoeba of American politics - always moving, shape-shifting, splitting, re-splitting. Then splitting again. Always predictable - but always different - because that’s how the right was born. Folks who were afraid and distrustful. It hasn’t changed in decades. Fear and suspicion are in the DNA. People drawn to the right move far out on that political limb because they fear government - they fear foreign countries - they fear the United Nations - they fear any monetary currency except gold - they fear people of color - they fear chlorine - and sooner or later, they come to fear each other. Always! More predictable than gravity.

And, because they’re the most fearful of any of our native political movements, easy pickin’s for the Karl Roves, Rick Perrys, Gingrichs, Bachmans, Koch Brothers and all the other hustlers that come along. Full of fear, the far right’s accepted them But, then, they’d trust anyone who talks like they do or “thinks” like they do or says things they want to hear.

Take the Tea Party scam. “Grassroots,” right? “Just we ‘average’ Americans in the street,” right? Yeah, right. Wrong! In spades!

The whole scheme was created several decades ago by the Koch boys and others in the tobacco and fossil fuels businesses. National Institutes of Health - in particular it’s National Cancer Institute of all places - discovered the long-term strategy to promote anti-science and anti-government agendas going back to 1971. Here’s a direct N-I-H quote from the research. (more…)

First take: Tax hikes, university presidency

news

TAX RESTRICTIONS The big governmental news story of the week, the Washington Supreme Court's overturning of an initiative requiring a two-thirds vote of each legislative chamber to pass tax or fee increases, may have long-term effects. But it likely will have only marginal effects for the time being. Half of the Washington legislature effectively is in Republican hands, and tax increases are a no-starter there, for this term at least. At the same time, expect plans for a two-thirds-based constitutional amendment to be, similarly, a no-starter.

NELLIS HEADING TO TEXAS University of Idaho President Duane Nellis apparently has been all but formally chosen for a university presidency in Texas. Nellis has been at UI for about four years. So: How high will be the proposed salary to be dangled at the next president, with the idea of ensuring long-term loyalty and stability?