Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We Has Met the Special Interests and They Is , Etc.
Angry Populism has burst forth across America, and high time. We haven't had any good quality Populism since Huey Long, unless you count the 1994 Gingrich-led hoo-hah. Let's do. So, take 2010, subtract 1994...let's see, borrow from the "tens", repeat from the "hundreds" column and...krimanee, it's been 16 years!
That's almost a generation of aimlessly bobbing around without the common folk steering a sensible course for our wallowing ship of state. I would never have thought that the elites could have insinuated themselves back into control so soon after Gingrich reached the "Contract With America". Guess the conservatives have a few elites of their own who think that they know how to steer, maybe even navigate. Bush/Cheney, now those boys could navigate and steer; in their time they reminded me of Columbus, the Italian who thought that he had reached the outskirts of China when he was actually in the Bahamas (and, he used Spain's money; attaboy Chris, a typical gummit project).
Anyway, it's "us" versus "them" now, the Real Americans (RAs) against those Elite Special Interest Bastards (ESIBs). The ESIBs don't care what is good for the Republic; they just care about what's good for them. And, the ESIBs have the ear of the lawmakers. But, methinks the tide is turning. Thanks to a recent split-decision by the conservative Roberts' Supreme Court, the RA Populists seem delighted that those ESIBs will now have even more money to wield in their....hmmm, wait, something's amiss here. Aren't most RAs fed up with big money influencing politics? So then...why are they cheering...oh, well, consistency of ideology was never that important to a staunch Populist. Anger, that's the ticket, consistency is for sissies.
I'm sure that Sarah Palin, RA in Extremis, will explain it in her charming, convoluted and somewhat tortured way on FOX. The other RAs will, no doubt, understand.
Just who are these ESIBs anyway? Let's review.
1. Anyone in the financial services business is an ESIB. They got bailed out by the RAs. As a result, they still have their fancy-schmancy 9 to 5 cushy jobs. CEOs, CFOs, loan officers, trust officers, check verifiers, tellers, branch managers, custodians and on-and-on. Schmucks. The RAs have seen through their game and insist that the government squash them like the bugs they are. I hope this doesn't mean that we can't still be friends when I need a loan.
2. Auto industry employees are ESIBs. Yo, fat cats, the RAs saved your behinds and your jobs; starting with the suits right down through the union guys bolting the axles onto the GMC Sierras. Morons, you couldn't build vehicles that RAs wanted and so you came whining to the RAs for money. Have you no shame?
3. Education Employees are ESIBs. Sure, educators claim to want better education for our little tykes. So, how come RAs can't fire a teacher's incompetent butt when it becomes clear that he or she couldn't teach a chimp to peel a banana? I'll tell you why, it's because they are part of a large and powerful ESIB group (a.k.a. a union).
4. Health Care Workers are ESIBs. This is a powerful group because of its size, 17% of our GDP: doctors, RNs, LPNs, lab technicians, hospital administrators, home health workers, makers of durable medical equipment, drug makers, ambulance companies, EMTs, etc. etc. Greedy Gus's the lot of them. A chicken pox on all of their houses. RAs are tired of the 8% health care price inflation every year and have risen up to kill any legislation that might slow it down even a littl.....wait, this inconsistency seems to need a Sarah Palin explanation.
5. Health Insurance Employees are ESIBs. As the premier category of ESIBs, this group causes slime to appear on my keyboard when I write about them too much. Ergo, I'll stop.
6. Agri-businesses (farmers) are ESIBs. Thought that you could hide from the wrath of the RAs you subsidy-taking slackers? Our good tax money is going into your pocket so that you WON'T PLANT STUFF! Puuuhlease. You've got those Congresspeople scared witless and you only account for about 3% of the nation's GDP. Please don't let this little rant keep you from putting some pork chops on my table this evening, plus a few artichoke hearts; I really, really love those artichoke hearts.
7. Business owners, large and small, are ESIBs. This category is so obvious that I hesitate to even write it out loud. Big businesses have the individual financial clout to buy all the "free political speech" that they need to get special favors and access, while the small businesses of America have the pooled resources of the National Chamber of Commerce, one of Washington's most feared and powerful arm twisters. Smack down those minimum hourly wage bills. Kick and scream about mandatory health insurance for your RA employees. RAs haven't been able to compete in this uneven policy marketplace but now they're fighting back. That Roberts Court decision is just a minor speed bump.
8. Churches are ESIBs. Reverend "Bucks-Up" in his Mercedes, Chrystal Cathedrals, Cable Network Clubs; they all rake it in on Sunday (as well as the rest of the week) and nary a tax dollar do they want to pay. And, they have all the best real estate, sans property tax of course. All this, while the RAs dutifully pay their fair share with no tax breaks in sight. Woe be to the politician who takes on this pious crowd.
9. Federal, State and Local Government Employees are ESIBs. Yet another category that almost goes without saying; too obvious. If there is any group of ESIBs that RAs really, truly despise, it's this one. The only exceptions are the enlisted military folk plus a few junior officers. Once a military man or woman reaches the Pentagon, however, they have clearly earned ESIB status. Bureaucrats are bureaucrats, uniform or no. I'm confident that this criticism of government employees won't impact my routine trash pick-up days (Tuesdays and Fridays with recyclables on Fridays) or my protection from enemies, foreign or domestic.
10. Non-Profit Enterprises are ESIBs. Tree-hugging, endangered-species-saving, soup-kitchen-operating, social-services-providing, bleeding-heart leeches. Do they want special favors? Yes. Do they want to pay taxes? No. (I sound like Donald Rumsfeld). These wimps appear before Congress and get all teary-eyed about this or that "special cause", contribute some campaign money--even more in the future thanks to the Roberts Court decision--and viola, get special deals; favors that simple, God-fearing RAs could never get. It's a damn shame is what it is.
11. Unions are ESIBs. Previously singled out in several of the categories above, the likes of the AFL-CIO, et al, are re-emerging as one of America's most influential ESIB groups. They don't want a tax on Cadillac health insurance plans, they condone--nearly outright encourage, in my experience--"featherbedding" and "closed shops" and favor anonymous union sign-up for employees. Tricksters. RAs are proud of the groups to which they belong and needn't hide behind some union rule in shame for their socialist beliefs.
12. Lawyers and Law Firms are ESIBs. This is another slime-producing category. As is their wont, these chameleons work both sides of the ideological street, often at the same time. They are either carrying the water for other ESIB groups who oppose RAs interests or are fighting proposed tort reform that would keep them from continuing to make a bundle off of the misfortunes of RAs (think John "Two Americas, One Illegitimate Baby" Edwards and his ten thousand square foot house).
13. Retirees are ESIBs. Need I say any more than "AARP"?
These thirteen categories do not constitute the entire list of ESIB groups. They do, however, cover those ESIB groups that provide the bulk of the special interest roadblocks that vex Real Americans at every turn.
This leaves me to identify the brave army of Real Americans, the Populists, who stand united against the special interests crowd; untainted in their desire for policies, procedures, taxes and services that benefit all equally and fairly, without favor and for the greater good of the Republic. By definition, an RA cannot be a part of an aforementioned ESIB group (or be dependent on anyone who is).
O.K., let's see, there's a guy in Omaha named Chuck; another fellow in Sacramento by the unlikely name of Carroll; two women in Tempe, Janet and Shirley (they don't know each other); a man and his adult son who live in an AirStream just outside of Joshua Tree National Park, Bill and Bill, Jr. and an unemployed husband and wife team in New Orleans whose last name is either DeCarbonnet or DeCarbonee, depending on which issue of the White Pages you are consulting. I continue to search for other qualified RAs and will find a few, no doubt. Right now, however, that's it. Eight Real Americans vs. a vast sea of ESIBs.
I'll give them credit, for such a small group, they have kicked up quite a fuss.
Observoid of the Day: A successful rain dance has a lot to do with timing.