CSotD: Sunday Variety Pak

Walt Handelsman pings a continuing annoyance here. It’s not a “pet peeve.” A pet peeve is people who write “if it was” when they mean “if it were.” It’s wrong and it’s ignorant, but it’s harmless.

Equating national budget issues with family budgets is generally wrong and ignorant, but it’s far from harmless because it misleads people on issues of critical importance.

But Handelsman makes the analogy hold, because the headline in the paper and most of the bills on the table are for nondiscretionary spending, and those in the discretionary spending category — food, gas and energy — only offer so much flexibility.

You don’t have to eat filet mignon. You can switch to hamburger. And you might save money by carpooling to work and setting up a pool to get the kids to school, plus combining trips. I don’t think people in New Orleans spend much on heating their homes, and life without air conditioning could be tough, but you might cut that a bit and turn off a few lights.

But you have to pay your existing bills. The debt ceiling is for costs you ran up last year. Yes, do better in the future, but you’ve got to pay those now.

As for future budgeting, even discretionary spending includes mandates: You have to eat, you have to get to work and school, going off the grid includes significant investments, and, in New Orleans, you need flood insurance (it’s likely required by your mortgage).

Handelsman doesn’t propose a solution, but the next logical line is either, “I’m gonna have to get a better job” or “I’m gonna have to take a second job.”

It’s not “We’ll have to stop feeding the kids.”

Only on the federal level does feeding kids rate lower than raising taxes as a possible solution.

Juxtaposition of the Day

The cascading revelations about Clarence and Ginni Thomas don’t seem to stop, and it’s hard to keep track of the “latest.” Was it the $6,000 a month tuition for their semi-adopted son (of whom they had legal custody), or was it the secret $25,000 “no mention of Ginni, of course” payment?

We seem to be disproving that thing about people who don’t learn history being doomed to repeat it, because Abe Fortas resigned from the Supreme Court over a far less lucrative financial scandal, while Clarence Thomas is as stubborn in denying a problem now as he was during his confirmation hearings.

Fortas also protested his innocence, but he stepped down. Don’t expect to see Thomas forced off the bench, despite, as Sutton notes, the odd personal tastes of his rightwing benefactor.

Bagley has an easy job, simply quoting Utah Senator Mike Lee, who, together with Mike Pence, has come to Thomas’s defense, not just insisting on his innocence but hailing him as a hero.

Meanwhile, when it comes to this topic, Chief Justice Roberts is doing a pretty good imitation of Alfonso Bedoya.

It hardly matters. Clarence Thomas could shoot an armored car driver on Fifth Avenue and drive away with the shipment and he wouldn’t lose a vote among Republican Senators, at least until they’ve got one of their own back in the White House to nominate a replacement.

While, as Jack Ohman (Tribune) points out, CNN seems to be joining in the effort to help put that compliant GOP nominee in the position to replace any SCOTUS vacancies.

Trump has announced that he has no interest in participating in any debates and who can blame him? He’s all but sewed up the GOP nomination with DeSantis’s constant series of pratfalls, and nobody else seems interested in challenging him.

But that doesn’t explain why CNN is handing him a free hour of TV exposure, in a town hall filled with Republican voters and “undecideds,” and moderated by Kaitlin Collins, who covered the White House during his time there. If that means she has the background to fact-check him on the fly, it might work out, but, if she does, she won’t be “libeling and abusing” him in front of a friendly audience.

Meanwhile, the GOP knows that, if he doesn’t get the nomination, he’ll likely launch a third party campaign, taking his third of the Republican electorate and handing the presidency to the Democrats, as well as a likely slue of down-ballot candidates.

The Donald knows how to get Republican hearts and minds to follow.

Judgetaposition of the Day

A judge I do respect — Lee Judge (KFS) — hits a pair over the wall, an expression he would appreciate. His first is a grim fact that nobody wants to do anything about.

Well, let me back off that, because most people do want legislators to do something about it, but the legislators are afraid of the people who don’t, and so they make sure to do nothing, while they actively campaign against those seeking reform.

When I auditioned for talk radio, I chose gun control as my topic and it worked: The phones lit up and I had a lively hour. That was 40-some years ago and nothing has happened since except a whole lot more guns and a whole lot more senseless murder.

And a whole lot of pro-gun people echoing the philosophy Judge mocks in his second cartoon.

Scott Stantis is certainly right that flooding the nation with guns and taking away any restrictions has had a result that any fool could have predicted. But I’m taking away points because they aren’t simply shooting each other, and, while the Dallas Morning News carried this cartoon a few days ago, this morning they’re writing about dead shoppers in a local mall.

That, too, is no surprise. One of my routines before I write this blog in the morning is to hit Google News, and every morning there’s been another shooting. Or two or three.

I threw this meme together last week, but the more I think about it, the more I truly wish they’d do it. Keep the numbers in constant public view.

No word yet from Greg Abbott how many of yesterday’s victims actually count and how many were just illegal aliens.

Woody Guthrie wrote a pretty good song about heartless people who don’t consider immigrants to be worth mourning. I guess that hasn’t changed since, either.

2 thoughts on “CSotD: Sunday Variety Pak

  1. As a regular shopper at that mall, I was incensed when the state rep (R) from that district offered thoughts and prayers. This has got to stop! Thanks for your post, I appreciated it. I posted your meme on FB.

  2. Thanks for the H/T to that Guthrie song ! Like “Pastures of Plenty” it is sadly overlooked.

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