Being as we have settled deep into the dog days of summer, most of the people who create political news are making themselves scarce. Even those with dirt on their souls need a break now and again.
Remember the photos of Nixon attempting (in vain, I might add) to appear casual as he walked along the beach in wing-tipped brogans at San Clemente? Anyway, this makes it difficult for your friendly, neighborhood columnist to scare up major breaking stories that deserve the standard full column treatment, thereby necessitating that we must sometimes resort to a scattershot approach to punditry.
To this end I have mined as many sources as I could in order to excavate a few nuggets of pertinent information for your perusal. Pickings were admittedly slim. Still, I have found a few gem-quality stones among the dross.
In no particular order:
• The interest for college students borrowing money to further their education is 4.7 percent. The interest on banks borrowing money from the government is .75 percent. What does this say about our priorities? Possibly it says that students lack the economic wherewithal to buy even a single member of Congress, whereas the major banks can buy so many that they get the wholesale discount.
In a related story, banks collected over $30 billion in overdraft fees last year. Consider that for a moment. This means that banks siphoned $30 billion off of people who were flat broke. On the other hand, I could not verify that they had kicked any puppies or canceled Christmas. Humbug!
• There is a humanitarian crisis along our southern border. A diaspora of displaced kids from Central American countries is leaking over our border with Mexico. They’re fleeing into other countries as well because the rule of law has evaporated in their native lands. Despite the fact that decades-long American war on drugs is the core reason for most of this strife, somehow, according to the right-wing noise machine, it is entirely President Obama’s fault. He’s trying to deal with it by (humanely) facilitating deportations, but the obstructionist Republican faction in Congress is blocking his every proposal. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has compared this crisis to George W. Bush’s disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina.
Perhaps his aides should point out to him that Katrina was a Republican debacle. Maybe he can come up with more appropriate disaster to use for purposes of blaming Obama. The sinking of the Titanic could work. Pearl Harbor might fit the bill. If not, there’s always the Alamo. I’m told that always works in Texas.
• Former Missouri Sen. Todd Akin is back in the news. Apparently, he’s written a book. You may remember that Akin lost to current Sen. Claire McCaskill largely because of his contention that there exists something called “legitimate rape,” from which women rarely get pregnant. See, if it’s real rape, the woman’s body somehow knows this and shuts down its reproductive function. If not, she’s lying. It’s quite simple, really. It seems rather obvious when you think about it.
Akin apologized at the time, but now rescinds his apology. Science, he says, supports his contention, and if you don’t believe him, “Google it.” I did. Ahm, no. Akin also begs forgiveness that he did not do more to “end this evil (the Obama presidency) that easily trumps slavery as the greatest moral evil in history.”
My goodness. Even worse than the Nazis? Let’s take inventory. He’s substantially lowered the deficit, unemployment is finally at pre-crisis levels and 20 million Americans are much less likely to die because of a lack of health insurance than before he assumed office. And yet, I’ve had long-term friends bristle and cease communication with me forever and always because I dared to link Obama’s unpopularity among 35-and-up whites with his race.
By the way, for those of you who regularly rant and rail, and label virtually everything I write as “hate speech” simply because it doesn’t jibe with your conservative outlook ... everything in this column (that is not blatantly tongue in cheek) is factual. I’m not picking on non-entities. I regularly single out behaviors and views that are manifested and promoted by mainstream Republicans. If I highlight extremist views and deeds, so be it. They’re out there…and multiplying, exponentially. I fervently believe that shinning a light on them weakens their appeal to people of moderate temperament. As to the oft-repeated contention that I only focus on conservative extremes at the expense of “balance,” that is because it is among conservatives that the most violent swings from what once was considered the ideological and philosophical center can be found.
Don’t believe me? Google it. I did. Ahm, yes.
Bud Wright is a published author who lives in Pasquotank County.