The Little Pluckers

Two articles as juicy fruits hanging for the plucking from the bounds of mush. Or is it two hands in that game of smack’em? You know it – think being a kid again. Let’s start in the lower right hand corner and go over just to the otherside in a moment. Why not? They can be willy nilly, so can I. Let’s see if I can either pluck or smack.

“GOP winmay cost La. $300,000,000.” By Gerald Shields of the Advocate.

No. Not at all. If the legislative purpose of Mary Landrieu’s proposal is sound there is no reason that she could not submit it tomorrow morning. She’d have 59 other Democrats already, for they did vote for the provision once, why not again, amongst friends? And surely, well, surely Mr. Vitter could be on board for a measely $300,000,000 – since I have yet to see a word by him about this one provision, I don’t know. I do know he was against the entire package of taxation and control that was masquerading as a health care reform bill into which this perhaps very worthy provision was inserted, as if almost an after-thought. Oh yah, that’s right, I can hear Dear. Landrieu thinking (they think loudly in Congress indeed) “we can use the money to clean up a weird mathematical jab in the ribs of Louisiana because I wasn’t paying attention the last time this got discussed. Or something. And it’s unfair. And who cares if I can craft a bill that would resolve this problem for any state with a disaster, to whom this dastardly mathematical formula would deny needed funds, when I can do it just for Louisiana, and make me seem important.” But, then I hear no more, for I clog my ears.

Oh yea, the GOP win does Save the Country from the utter absurdity in which this “secured” provision (Shields uses that word again!) was inserted, like a suppository in Jabba the Hutt. So, Louisiana, momentarily, is bereft of being saved from a mathematical formula on the books today because the monstrosity has been tossed overboard like said suppositorial effluent of Mr. Hutt by a simple vote of the people. Ah, but for a few more simple votes to come, to clean the ship of state. Mop? We’ll need a stinkin’ WetVac!

But, the Nation is Saved, Mr. Shields and employer Advocate. Thanks to a Yankee of all things! Can you imagine!

Meanwhile, get cracking Ms. Landrieu, so that we might still be saved the admitted and stated horror of the FEDERAL provision which SCREWS Louisiana. Rally us to your cause! Me? I think if Medicaid is a Federal Program, well, then, let the Federal Government pay for it. I do not say that we should not provide medical care to those who cannot afford it. I do wish them all to get as rich as possible to afford what they want, too. Meanwhile, they are unable to pay for medical care. OK, what does that cost per poor person in Aemerica? Let’s pluck a number from the air, for argument’s sake: Good, say $2,000. Now, multiply that number by number of poor. Oh I don’t care how you define it – state your case, maybe someone has a better definition, maybe you. Meanwhile, that’s how much money the federal government, to be fair to each and every poor person for whom we should be compassionate, seriously, and say to the 160,000,000 American taxpayers – OK, here’s what’ll cost. As Emeril might say BAM! There’s your number. State the real numbers Ms. Landrieu. Don’t go down the gobblydigook road of state funds, and city funds, and matching funds, and federal funds, and grants, and awards, and special programs, and tax credits, and set asides and whatever other words you would use to hide the number – what in tarnation is the Number dear? Then tell the Feds to pay that – lead America into the real world were numbers are real and people who wish to dispense such largesse should do so equally among all recipients. And everyone knows what it costs and can say, ah, I did contribute by $10 a week to care of the unfortunate by our current definition by Congress Assembled.

On the other hand: “Leaders stress Development at Mardi Gras” By none other than Gerald Shields! My, my, busy guy. Yes, he writes, since 1957 the Annunal Washington Mardi Gras hosted by the whomevers of Louisiana in cooperation with grandees and poohbahs near and far — to whom I wish much luck, if only not one taxpayer dime went to the party – it’s not related in the story if the dime is gone – coagulate in our far off Capital City for fun and frolic – and, get this – to boost Louisiana for Economic Development. Why, wonders never cease. Since 1957 we have managed to stay right up near the bottom of every positive indicator of human and economic development as defined by the coagulates. And we have managed to stay right down at the top of every since negative such indicator, as defined by the coagulates. Of course, much of the defining is also done by so many others – the UN, the Media, AP, our own Advocate, you know, the usual suspects. Also, our very actions themselves often speak louder than words, like voting in cads and shills, though we do find our corrupt well enough, to our credit. And still, it is good that such effort has gone yet once again into developing our economy by this or that guideline as prescribed by the various combinations of coagulates that are possible, and arrived, magnificently, here in 2010, exactly where we were right back in 1957 – the bottom of the best, and the top of the worst! Such a success rate is not to scoffed at. For the article does tell us that it’s not, wink, wink, about the business, really. It’s about the fun! And yes, Louisiana did with the Happy Award. Numereaux Une! Quelle Fantastic. The France of America – yet still far better off than France itself, or even Quebec, the closest major piece of Frenchness to ourselves.

BUT, Did Shields see Landrieu and Vitter – surely both at the party – shake hands and come out fighting for the $300,000,000 which we so richly deserve? Nope, it seems that one hand, truly, did not know what the other hand was doing. Except to try to stick it to the GOP right there on the front page, in a state with a GOP winner in many a public office, including the highest. Surely Jindal could call Obama – they met at the crashed-fest remember? — and say, Com’n Pres, can you alter this formula so that we can get the bucks? It’s only $300,000,000, and we’ll it helps the poor? What would Obama Do?

Still, seriously, I live here, and you know what? We are happy. I’ve never met such a happy bunch of people as I have in Louisiana. Just charming, and festive, and ready for a barbecue or a visitor at a moments notice. That’s why I came for a week and wound up staying now lo these twenty five years. Well, the weather is pleasant too. Hot, like I like it. Go Global! Yet, so, apparently, and with my full approval, the coagulates have done nothing in some 50 years to change anything, so they have no knocked us off the one pedestal all Americans aspire to: To Be Happy. That’s that Pursuit thing — and that is good. Keep up the good work guys, don’t screw with the happiness too much, but can you all take a moment to clean up that dang mathematical formula forever for everyone? Thanks, then back to the party, where you can do no harm.

Ah, there, then, betwixt the hands of Shields — A picture of “Looting” in Haiti. But is it? “Sporadic looting … as people scavenge” in the RUBBLE is the caption, clipped. My emphasis. You are either scavenging for survival in RUBBLE or you are looting in a time of mild upset. Looting has the image of breaking down doors, and cracking windows, and prying open gates, and smashing locks, to get at good stocked on shelves in standing stores, all the while mobs of people run rampant in downtown streets (where all looting is apparently done, given AP photos of such events in the past,) that are just fine otherwise except for the damage from the um, break, crack, pry, smash, loot of the looters. But then, when you think about it, if something just so happened to have fallen out of a building that was pummeled to RUBBLE and rolled five feet out to the curb – is that scavenge or loot?

Scavenge – oh sure, we had the party hunts of years ago – but it’s such a harsh word. Such a word of bad conditions, and desperation. No one likes scavenging. Why, it’s even more harsh than scrounge.

And we learn, elsewhere, that 120 jets a day are landing in Haiti. I had thought, and I wrote yesterday, we could accommodate 720 – but no, not yet. Still, it was also said that there were 1,400 or so jets waiting to land now, more to come. Two more airports are being built right now, more to come of those too. In a country with one airport, they’ll have at least two real ones when this is all over, curtesy of the US military, which runs them. The work to do is staggering and there are the usual “Evil” folks doing what they do – US Military, Exxon, Haliburton, WalMart, you know, those mutlinational global corporations that have the expertise to handle just this very sort of thing, and being American, the heart to step in first and worry about who will complain because their knickknacks can’t get through the chaos like a Fed Ex package on a suburban Cleveland street in May.

Meanwhile, back with the hungry kids, I’d imagine that scavenging is going to come in handy. And meanwhile, the wholesale relocation of some 400,000 people is going to be organized, they think, because the RUBBLE can’t be repaired but must be removed, it seems. It is now concrete mush, which is not the soft sort of stuff we usually encounter in mushville, but still, mixed with tropic showers, turns to a cake like mush and then rehardens in the noonday sun. So, to conclude, I’d say let the people there, about to be relocated, strip bare every single usable and workable thing whatsoever. You got a list of the shopkeepers destroyed, each and every one – give them all a measely $25,000 US and you’ll have a new market up and running in a week or so. Let the poor folks of Haiti just get a break for a change. Let them just like, you know, win the GOOD LOTTERY, instead of the lottery of hard luck they have been having. Instead, by calling it Looting you are kicking a man when he’s down, down low. That’s not the decent thing to do.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court says – Corporations can donate money. Good. Who cares? Everybody. Why? Because corporations “influence” legislation. Yes, well, if you weren’t passing legislation that affected their every move and their future planning and their past existence and taxed them in a morass of rules, laws and regulations of astounding variety well, then, yes, I doubt they’d be asking you for favors. How’s this:

“All corporations shall pay a uniform 1% of Revenues Tax regardless of revenue source within the United States to the Federal Government, no exceptions.” Oh, don’t like that number, well, pick one, figure it out, 2%, or is it 5% or may it’s PI 3.14% and. In fact, if the total amount collected by the government was say, to be $2,000,000,000 – then by getting a number of corporations for a given year, you could figure out the percentage needed and zap, eliminate income taxes, and nearly every other tax around, so simple. Exxon had revenues of $50,000,000,000? – they owe $1,000,000,000 – done. Pick a number. That’s not to important. What is is the simplicty – make it simple as possible.

And then, without any more byzantine tax rules, there would be no more byzantine lobbying in the halls of marble that are getting awfully close to what old Byzantium had too. Oddly, that was before the Muslims crashed through the gates of that fabled city besotted with greed and avarice by public officials, and bureaucratic overlording of a most onerous sort, and a military stretchted far too thin, an an emperor who knew what was best for his people, in times increasing reminiscent of our own, as the Muslims are crashing through the air gates as our politicians in that fabled city on the Potomac, as exotic a name as the Bosporus, are besotted with greed and avarice by public officials, and bureaucratic overlording of a most onerous sort, and a military stretchted far too thin, an an emperor who knew what was best for his people. Meanwhile, as back then, in the palaces, the parties went on, mostly about economic development out there in the provinces, by the grandees and poohbahs come to gather for feast and fun, frolic and friendship with those most deserving as themselves.

Then there was a party, out there in the gloom of the nation, and only tea was served.

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