Sunday, March 01, 2009

Jindal's Last Stand; Fighting to the Last Drop of Someone Else's Blood

Latest Newspaper Column:

Well, the economic stimulus has passed, despite the loud opposition of prominent Republicans. But they're not giving up.

In fact, it seems that some Republican governors like Louisiana's Bobby Jindal are making noises about actually turning down the money coming from the government.

According to the online journal Human Events, which styles itself "the Headquarters of the Conservative Underground" (no, really, and I think they're serious): "State governors -- looking down the gun barrel of long-term spending forced on them by the Obama 'stimulus' plan -- are saying they will refuse to take the money. This is a constitutional confrontation between the federal government and the states unlike any in our time."

Wow! When you put it that way, it sounds pretty epic. I mean, it's almost like that film "300":

VOICEOVER: A messenger came to my governor one day. An emissary from Obama, whom some called a god-king.

MESSENGER: Oh, hi, Governor. My name is Elmer Hadley, and I'm from Washington. I'm here to deliver your stimulus check?

JINDAL: Choose your next words carefully, Washingtonian. They may be your last!

MESSENGER: What? Oh. Ha-ha! What a kidder. Funniest darn thing. We mailed the stimulus check and some guy sent it back all torn up. So President Obama thought he'd have me bring it personally.

JINDAL: Take this message back to your master, Washingtonian!

MESSENGER: Message, Governor? I'd be glad to, but I could just give you the e-mail address for the president's BlackBerry. ... Hey, are you guys going to a costume party or something? What's with all the capes and leather underwear? And are those real spears?

JINDAL: Tell him this! Let all America and all the world know that brave men stood this day against tyranny!

MESSENGER Tyranny? Um, sir, are you feeling OK? This is money to help prop up your unemployment insurance program, build roads, put people back to work! Refusing it would be ... well, it would be madness!


MESSENGER: Hey! Ow! That hurt!

VOICEOVER: And so it was, my governor and 300 loyal political advisers marched from Baton Rouge and assembled at the border, to face the combined might of Obama's forces. They were joined by some citizens from the state's other cities...

CITIZEN 1: Hey, Governor? Some of the fellows wanted me to talk to you about turnin' down this stimulus money.

JINDAL: Speak, then, citizen.

CITIZEN 1: Well, we were wonderin' if this is such a good idea, what with the economy bein' in the dumper an' all. I mean, we all voted for you. We're all Republicans.

JINDAL (pointing at a man in the crowd behind): You there! What is your profession?

CITIZEN 2: I drive an asphalt truck.

JINDAL (pointing at another): And you! What do you do?

CITIZEN 3: I'm a bricklayer.

JINDAL, turning back to his advisers: Advisers! What is your profession!?

ADVISERS, waving "Jindal/Palin 2012" banners: AAA-OOH! AAA-OOH! AAA-OOOH!

JINDAL: See, citizen, I have more good Republicans than you.

CITIZEN 1: What?

VOICEOVER: My governor stood firm and waited for the onslaught of the tyrant. Would he bring archers who would wrap stimulus money around arrows and fire them into Louisiana? Catapults to throw it into the state over the heads of the men? They waited ... and waited ... and waited. ...

ADVISER: Governor, it's been weeks. Maybe they aren't coming.

JINDAL: Nonsense! It's obviously some trick by the tyrant. They're waiting for us to lower our guard, and then when we least expect it, we'll wake up to find ourselves solvent. Tell the men to stand firm.

ADVISER: Yeah, about that ...

JINDAL: Wait, where are my troops?

ADVISER: Most of them packed up and moved to California. Said something about jobs there.

JINDAL: Treasonous dogs!

ADVISER: Hey, look at the bright side. You reduced your unemployment rate!

JINDAL: That's right!

ADVISER: Of course, that’s ‘cause they all moved where jobs were…

JINDAL: Don't trouble me with details! I'm a genius!

ADVISER: Yes, sir. Oh, I have a letter for you. It's from Governor Schwarzenegger.

JINDAL: Read it to me!

ADVISER: "Dear Bobby. Thanks for the extra cash. We sure could use it. P.S. I still look better in a leather loincloth than you, you little girly-man."

JINDAL: Curses!

Seriously, though. I'm sure the people of Louisiana will appreciate that not getting stimulus money will be better for them, or that it won't really work, or whatever this week's justification is.

This is an ideological battle, after all, and some of Louisiana's citizens are just going to have to keep suffering like good conscript soldiers for the Right, and to burnish Gov. Jindal's political reputation.

But I'm sure that last part's just a coincidence.


Anonymous said...

It looks as though Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen will accept some but not all of the stimulus money; apparently, he doesn't like the provisions attached the unemployment compensation portions.

By the way, I haven't mentioned it lately, but I adore the heck out of you, Dusty. You're good people and you're a darn fine writer.

JD Rhoades said...

Thank you, Janet!

FerfeLaBat said...

They are refusing to take the dollars having to do with unemployment benefits because it requires - if I understand it correctly - that the states pass legislation that will extend indefinitely even though the dollars coming from the Federal government will run out in a few years. Once the Federal money runs out the states will be responsible for either finding it from the state budget or rescind the program. As we've seen with most entitlements, once enacted they are virtually impossible to stop. States that are required to balance their budgets by law have to look at the cost to the state down the road. My state, Florida, is struggling to balance the budget. If the money came without the strings I'm sure every state would be happy to take it.

I like you JD. I think you are a good person. But you've been writing a lot of very angry posts about conservatives with no counterbalance posts talking about why you are happy with what Obama has done so far.

How do you feel about HR1, The Omnibus Bill, the Mortgage thing and the Government run healthcare fund? Do you think this FDR approach is better than Freidman's?

Celine said...

The "Governator's letter" bit nearly made me kitten my iced tea.

charlie stella said...

Ferf: JD is a passionate guy ... and he sometimes makes steam pop from my ears ... and I always give him shit about his rants against the right ... frankly, however, I don't know how all Americans aren't ranting against what's been done to us collectively by both parties ... I work 7 days a week (and have been for a few years now {6 and 7 days a week} and tonight I found out that the 47K I have to give the feds (just the feds) isn't enough ... they want another 20K ... 67K of my and my wife's legitimate income (what an asshole move that turned out to be--going legit 10 years ago now) so bank execs can party in Hollywood at a Sheryl Crowe concert ... so the guys who put this economy in this position (bank ceo's could get fully compensated with golden parachutes worth millions, etc.) ... so now I get to pay for people who bought over their heads and the scumbags who "sold" bad loans to those willing to take them.

Both parties should be lined up and shot (whoever signed either one of these absolutely absurd bailout packages) .... lined up and shot.

I can't wait to sign that check for an extra 20K over to the feds and bankers and whoever else is in line for the next party.

It makes me sick that enough Americans aren't as sick of this entire political fiasco (republicans and democrats) ... enough ranting against either party .. if you think one is better than the other, you're kidding yourselves.

One more time ...

Lined up and shot ... repeatedly.

JD Rhoades said...

How do you feel about HR1, The Omnibus Bill, the Mortgage thing and the Government run healthcare fund? Do you think this FDR approach is better than Freidman's?

Well, considering that the approach that's been used during the last eight years hasn't worked all that well, I feel pretty good about it.

Oh, I'm not completely happy with everything Obama's doing. As I've said before, I don't agree with his gay marriage position and I'm really not happy with the way the bank bailout has been run. But on the whole, I think what's been proposed has a good chance of pulling us out of the tailspin the Bush GOP put us into, with the acquiescence of their stooges in the media and Democrats who rolled over for Bush because they were afraid the Republicans would say nasty things about them.

Am I angry at Republicans? You're damn right I am. They and their Dear Leader have nearly destroyed this country while calling anyone who dared question them a traitor or a terrorist sympathizer. I actually had some hope for the GOP when they nominated McCain...then he started into the same old "you're not a real American if you're not a Republican" bullshit. You tell me I'm not a real American, I get a little pissed off, and I'm not going to pretend to forget it especially when they haven't changed a bit.

John McFetridge said...

Do you think this FDR approach is better than Freidman's?

It's no longer really a question of "better." The rest of the industrial (developed? first?) world is taking the FDR approach and now they're going to go even further in that direction (I'm Canadian, by the way, and see it every day).

As globalization is now such a reality, can a country not using the FDR model win against competition that does?

The car companies are a good example. US companies have to compete against companies in countries with solid health care systems and retirement plans run by the government. Is it really possible to compete on those terms? The US car companies all have plants in Canada and the wages are much less here because the company doesn't have to pay all those health care and retirement benefits.

(then there's competing with communist, "non-profit" China - how can you win against that?)

Now, Charlie would freak at the amount of taxes we pay (and all the people in European countries) but really, how can you compete and win?

Linda Pendleton said...

I enjoyed reading your post...I was thinking the other day if the Republicans are "smart" enough to have a Jindal/Palin ticket I will be assured we will have President Obama for another term, and I will be delighted with that. I am optimistic that things will turn around in our country--I have felt a positive and optimistic shift of energy in our country since the election results. Funny how some cannot accept (or even recognize) that the last eight years really screwed up this country and our standing in the world.

I'm in CA and I have to say the job situation is not great here nor the state economy--and I would be outraged if I lived in any state that was turning down Federal help in this economic crisis.

charlie stella said...


I started as a socialist back in my poly sci days ... then slipped into bleeding heart liberal territory ... life taught me it wasn't meant to be so easy. I voted Republican twice (for Bush) and regret it big time ... but not because I didn't vote Democrat. I had it with both parties.

I'm fine with paying taxes, my friend ... if it went to national health insurance ... education ... taking care of the elderly after they've given their entire lives to help build society, no problem. Tax away. What I don't believe in is paying taxes to a government that turns it over to bankers who gambled and lost.

Anybody (with HALF a brain) would freak over what's being done with our tax dollars now. They're being shoveled at the rich at the expense of the middle class. Last year we bought a house in Jersey and should've qualified as first time homeowners with a $7,500 tax credit. Nope, our collectively salaries (which could be gone tomorrow) was too much by a few thousand dollars.

A few thousand dollars ... but bank CEO's, after bankrupting their companies, took bailout money and rewarded themselves with multi-million dollar golden parachutes.

What's wrong with that picture?

Where the fOck was Barney Frank and his oversight committee? Where the fOck was anybody to protect us, the suckers in all this?

Banks, auto makers and ripoff artists (Madoff, et al) get rewarded for fOcking up at the great big casino on Wall Street. Madoff gets to hang in his penthouse and will probably die (like Ken Lay) before he ever sees a fOcking jail cell. How many billions did he rip off?

Put my tax dollars to real use and I won't get pissed off. Give it to some fOcking banker and I want it back. I'd rather see it burned to heat some poor bastard's home that can't afford heat than give it to the dirtbags who ruined this economy.

There's been ZERO accountability. Those who plundered walked away with big smiles on their faces. Neither party has done a thing about it (or ever will).

The Democrats who Bush-bashed for 8 years had their chance with two years remaining on his clock and did nothing but give him whatever the fOck he wanted. Then the "Yes We Can change Washington" Messiah SUPPORTED the Bush bailouts twice (as a Senator and as President) ... the Democrats had a field day with "their victory" ... except the victory was for Wall Street and not the people they claim to represent.

Great ... bash Bush for 8 years and then take HIS advice and follow through with a federal bailout of institutions that gambled and lost.

Maybe Congress should attend a few GA meetings (gamblers anonymous).

Maybe this President should, too.

The Democrats and the Republicans have more than proved themselves useless (unless you're one rich SOB).

Picking on one or the other is just funny from where I'm sitting. Sad, but funny.

John McFetridge said...

Well, Charlie, you do make it sound hopeless.

the rest of the world would prefer it if the USA didn't slip into Third World status, but a lot of people see similarities between the USA today and the fall of Rome.

For myself, I have a little more faith in America, but maybe it's easier for me as I don't actually live there.

Charlie Stella said...


This is the land (America) where you can sell shit in a brown paper bag (meaning the public will buy anything) ... those so passionate about their party (Dem or Rep) being the one that's so much better than the other is proof. Both parties, in spite of the popular "change" rhetoric, maintain the status quo at all costs.

This morning I see where JD is off on another rant against the GOP for their loyalty to a moron like Rush Limbaugh (and he makes a very valid point in doing so) ... but the problem is his rants against the right (whether he likes to hear it or not) sound very much like Keith Olbermann's (of MSNBC) rants against the right and/or Rush Limbaugh's rants against the left ... and the truth of the matter is the difference between the two parties (for middle class America) is, at best, an unwashed pubic hair ... so all the ranting is for what?

Whatever happens here (bad recession, actual depression, etc.), it won't make a bit of difference when the next election rolls around. Ralph Nadar will still be viewed as a nuisance by the Dems and a lunatic by the right. They'll make jokes about Dennis Kucinish and Ron Paul. The communist party will be ignored as well (as will the genuine socialist party). The Dems and the Reps will rule the roost yet again and the taxpayers (numbed by electronic opium and these absurd quasi right vs. quasi left beefs won't know or care about the real options) ... the taxpayers will go about the business of surviving the only way they know how ... by taking it on the chin over and over and over again.

JD will rant from the left and Rush will rant from the right ... and the big money in this country (and the world) will be forever grateful for all the ranting ... it's manna from heaven for them. Lots of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Rome it was ...