Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Damn that Lincoln. Abe's to blame for Jindal"

Mercifully, I dozed off during Jindal's throwback talking point response to President Obama's speech last night. I didn't miss anything. I knew what he was going to say and he said it. Stepped on his weenie big time too and I'm enjoying hearing the reactions to him, especially from some of the Repugs who may finally realize the deep shit they're in if that jingoistic little jiveass is the best up-and-comer they got. Heh.

Greg Palast

Damn that Abe Lincoln. When Louisiana and Mississippi seceded from the Union, a sensible president would have sent them a box of chocolates with a note, "Goodbye and good riddance."

Jindal, and some other Republican governors, notably Haley Barbour of Mississippi, are actually turning down millions in federal funds for their own state's unemployed out of fear that, four years from now, they may have to maintain full unemployment insurance like the rest of America.

As an economist, I can tell you that the only industry Mississippi leads in is deep-fried chicken-dog manufacturing. I will admit that Louisiana and Mississippi can boast of growing employment at several casinos and cathouses spilling across what the locals charmingly call the "Coon-ass Riviera." Jindal's Louisiana is, after all, the state that solved its unemployment problem by sending its unemployed to Texas in FEMA trailers.

Smart. Make thousands of homeless and unemployed leave the state = no homeless and unemployed! Our state's doin' just fine, thank you.

Jindal himself is a product of a more advanced culture: His parents are Democrats. The Jindals are Hindus who come from the Punjab in India, a state known for its welfare safety net. Jindal, turning away from the successful example of his parents' politics and culture, has gone native, becoming a born-again Christian Republican who doesn't accept Darwinian evolution nor Keynesian economics. (I hear he may complete his redneck makeover next week by marrying his cousin at a tractor pull.)

Sounds like Jindal has the same kind of daddy complex as George Bush. Oh fucking swell. I think we know how that works out.

Years back, when I worked as an economic consultant to New Orleans, the Louisiana State Legislature was about to require that schools teach evolution as merely a theory equal to the Bible's literal creation myth. When asked if this would harm big employers' views of the state, I said, "Not at all: most national employers think of Louisiana as a state filled with Bible-thumping, dumb-bell rednecks. You won't have to worry about changing that impression."

OK, it's easy to make jokes about America's own Third World states. And before I get a zillion complaints, I'll be the first one to note that Louisiana has birthed the extraordinary, including the greatest of America's investigative journalists, the late Ron Ridenhour, jazz, Ruth Chris' Steakhouse, and gris-gris. And it was Louisiana that long ago led the nation in social reform, whose governor in 1932 led the national fight to create a program now known as "unemployment insurance." Really.

Nevertheless, Jindal's rejection of funds for his state's own unemployed simply follows a history of local Republican plantation-mentality cruelty. [...]

Now, once again, the Republican Party, by making Jindal the party's official spokesman, is adopting the Barbourous refusal to reach out a saving hand to Americans drowning in this economy.

So, let me make a suggestion for Governors Jindal and Barbour. If you cannot join America in accepting our President's call to arms against disaster, if you reject our President's State of the Union -- then leave the Union.

I think it would do just as well to exempt those states from paying federal income tax. And also exempt them from receiving any of ours.

A 'comment':

There once was a cracker named Hollis
Who used animals for his solace.
His children had scales
And prehensile tales
And voted for Governor Wallace. (c. 1966)

Jindal is planning to run for President, I think it's safe to say. Let him. If he's the best the Repugs can do, we're safe.

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