Wait for it.
It’s a Shar Pei.
You think that’s how he spells it? Just asking.
Last Tuesday, the day of the Alabama special senate election, Randy Turner posted the following interesting tidbit:
The most recent campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows no one gave more money to embattled Alabama U. S. Senate candidate Roy Moore than Sen. Roy Blunt.
Blunt’s support was not a personal contribution to Moore, but came in the form of a $5,000 contribution from Blunt’s Rely On Your Beliefs PAC.
Turner notes that other Republicans who gave big, like Mitch McConnell, asked for their money back when it became clear that Moore had sexually assaulted teenagers when he was in his thirties.
But not our Roy Blunt.
Blunt did talk the talk, stating unequivocally that “the women have a more credible story than Judge Moore. Alabama voters should have a better choice and Judge Moore should have better answers to these charges.”
Blunt just doesn’t seem willing to walk the walk.
Our MO GOP Senator’s just got a different point of view; we call it a “bottom-line” mentality. What’s good for the bottom line of his campaign donors – and the various lobbyists in his family – that is. And he evidently thought that insuring important deliverables by boosting a criminal (who avoids prosecution by virtue of Alabama statutes of limitation) was worth the moral taint. After all, Moore wouldn’t be the first criminal in Congress to offer a reliable Republican vote.
Given Roy Moore’s notorious Christian predilections it seems appropriate here to note the words of a famous religious figure Christians tell us they revere above all others: “By their fruits shall ye know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?”(Matthew 7:16).
I’d advise you to keep an eye on those thorns and thistles sprouting in various congressional offices.
*Last two paragraphs revised slightly for clarity (12/16, 11:32 am)
Today from Senator Roy Blunt (r), via Twitter:
Senator Roy Blunt @RoyBlunt
The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, passed out of committee yesterday, would provide law enforcement a critical tool in their efforts to #EndHumanTrafficking
11:51 AM – 9 Nov 2017
Except in Alabama?
Some of the Twitter responses:
Uh…. Roy Moore?
Does your disapproval of sex criminals extend to disavowing Roy Moore?
It’s Okay If You’re Republican. That’s ol’ Roy’s mantra. It’s how he sleeps at night
A couple of days ago Digby drew my attention to Paul Krugman’s definition of the term “derp”:
Derp” is a term borrowed from the cartoon “South Park” that has achieved wide currency among people I talk to, because it’s useful shorthand for an all-too-obvious feature of the modern intellectual landscape: people who keep saying the same thing no matter how much evidence accumulates that it’s completely wrong.
Based on that definition, many of you may notice that there’s lots of examples of derpiness around SMP in the past few days as well. I allude to all the posts about the doings of Kansas Governor Brownback and the economic disaster that he has created in Kansas with his tax-cuts for the wealthy friends of the GOP (see here, here, and here). Nevertheless, in spite of the emergency created by epic budget shortfalls and ranking 44th in job creation this year, there are those who persist in their embrace of derp, claiming that the “Kansas experiment” has been at least a moderate success, or, given time, will succeed colossally.
Notable among Kansas-disaster deniers is billionaire Rex Sinquefield who set out to buy himself enough compliant politicians to take Missouri down the same road. Sinquefield wants the Kansas experiment to be successful so badly that he doesn’t scruple to re-engineer the facts as he did in a recent Forbes Magazine article. Of course maybe that’s an example of plain garden-variety dishonesty rather than derp.
Sinquefield’s dollars though have had their effect on many of the Republican members of the Missouri legislature who passed their own gift to the very well-heeled, S.B. 509, last year. The standard rationale for ignoring what similar cuts did to Kansas: it’ll take more time for the positive effects of the Kansas tax-cuts to be felt. In other words, unless you belong to the intrinsically deserving 1%, you should suffer now since we’ve heard that there’ll be pie in the sky someday. Maybe. This is classical derp, folks.
The same kind of derpiness makes Scott Walker a viable Republican presidential candidate. Walker cut taxes for Wisconsin corporations and the wealthy by almost $2 billion dollars over his tenure, and, in spite of trying to pay for the cuts on the backs of the poor and middle class via massive cuts in education, other public spending, and tax “reforms” that cost the poor and seniors, he is facing a $283 million budgetary shortfall this year alone. He also failed to create more than half the jobs he promised would follow his tax-cuts.
How can we still regard the Republican economic philosophy as
financially fiscally responsible when it leads a governor to put his state into debt default as Walker has done? What responsible, clear-thinking individual could even entertain the thought that after destroying the prosperity and endangering the public well-being of Wisconsin, Walker should be entrusted with the keys to the White House? But hey, he’s still singing the same tune and he won re-election. Derp at its best.
Examples of red-state tax-cutting failure abound. Most recently, we’ve read about how Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindall and his Louisiana legislative cohorts are begging Grover Norquist, instigator of the GOP endorsed anti-tax pledge, to let them off the hook so that they can salvage the Louisiana economy from the effects of their tax-cuts.
Want another example? Here in Missouri we’ve recently been learning about how the municipal courts have been used to generate revenue for small jurisdictions that would be unable to pay the bills otherwise. But what about a whole state that works on a similar principle? I’m talking about Albama here:
AL.com points out some of the examples of costs that are now paid for by court fees, not tax revenue: “In Chambers County, drug offenders pay into the fire and rescue fund. In Madison County, since 2000 fees for serving court papers have paid for county employees to get a raise. In Lawrence County, court costs help fund the county historical commission, so ostensibly future generations can learn about a time when Alabama adequately funded its court system.”
The State of Alabama has become so dependent on money extracted from increased court fees that, in 2014, Cleburne County officials were apoplectic when they realized that construction on nearby I-20 had cut traffic tickets in half.
The result? Working class people are paying for the cost of giving tax cuts to the wealthier residents of these states.
That last sentence? It’s true about Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, and red states everywhere. What allows this situation not only to persist but to become even more prevalent? Which is to say, how does the wrecking crew get re-elected? Easy-peasy. Misinformation: think Fox news, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, spin and outright lies from elected officials. Deflection: steer the conversation to abortion, guns and gays (did it ever occur to you that Obama took so much heat for a similar observation because it hit too close to home?). Fear: ISIS is coming, or Sharia law, or the U.N jack-booted troops. And last, but not least: derp: if you don’t wanna believe the facts, don’t; if they’re inconvenient, disregard them.
From the Alabama Secretary of State:
CANDIDATE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (Vote For 1)
35 of 67 Counties Completely Reporting
MICHELE BACHMANN (REP) 0.26% 1,393
NEWT GINGRICH (REP) 29.43% 155,068
JON HUNTSMAN (REP) 0.17% 900
RON PAUL (REP) 4.97% 26,181
RICK PERRY (REP) 0.28% 1,468
MITT ROMNEY (REP) 29.52% 155,511
RICK SANTORUM (REP) 33.90% 178,585
UNCOMMITTED (REP) 1.46% 7,715
You Super PAC friends spending millions gets you what?
And there was Mississippi.
Apparently, Hawaii and American Samoa went a little better.
There’s the old Monsanto, the corporate behemoth that trashed the environment with chemicals, then lied about the danger; and the new Monsanto, the one riding on a white charger to the rescue of the world’s hungry with Roundup ready seeds.
And there’s no connection between the two.
In fact, the old Monsanto was renamed Solutia and all of the old corporation’s sins have been transferred onto Solutia’s books, including a still accumulating backlog of lawsuits. The latest incarnation of Monsanto, though, shriven of some fifty-plus EPA Superfund sites, barely refers to its first 100 years in its literature and lists instead its accomplishments since the corporate reorganization in 2002.
But while its officers enjoy selective memory loss, citizens in many locales are still living with the depredation the old Monsanto caused.
From 1929-1971, for example, one of its plants in Anniston, Alabama produced PCBs as a byproduct of manufacturing lubricants, hydraulic fluids and sealants. Those PCBs–though the plant workers and townspeople didn’t know it at the time–can adversely affect liver function as well as several of our systems, namely neurological, reproductive, immune and endocrine. And that’s just the effects on humans. It doesn’t do the environment much good either.
People in Anniston find themselves in this fix today largely because of the way Monsanto disposed of PCB waste for decades. Excess PCBs were dumped in a nearby open-pit landfill or allowed to flow off the property with storm water. Some waste was poured directly into Snow Creek, which runs alongside the plant and empties into a larger stream, Choccolocco Creek. PCBs also turned up in private lawns after the company invited Anniston residents to use soil from the plant for their lawns, according to The Anniston Star.
So for decades the people of Anniston breathed air, planted gardens, drank from wells, fished in rivers, and swam in creeks contaminated with PCBs-without knowing anything about the danger. It wasn’t until the 1990s-20 years after Monsanto stopped making PCBs in Anniston-that widespread public awareness of the problem there took hold.
Studies by health authorities consistently found elevated levels of PCBs in houses, yards, streams, fields, fish, and other wildlife-and in people. In 2003, Monsanto and Solutia entered into a consent decree with the E.P.A. to clean up Anniston. Scores of houses and small businesses were to be razed, tons of contaminated soil dug up and carted off, and streambeds scooped of toxic residue. The cleanup is under way, and it will take years, but some doubt it will ever be completed-the job is massive. To settle residents’ claims, Monsanto has also paid $550 million to 21,000 Anniston residents exposed to PCBs, but many of them continue to live with PCBs in their bodies. Once PCB is absorbed into human tissue, there it forever remains.
Naturally, Monsanto was loath to admit that it knew before 1971 the dangers to which it was exposing the countryside and the residents of Anniston. But it could hardly have failed to know.
The evidence that Monsanto refused to face questions about their toxicity is quite clear. In 1956 the company tried to sell the navy a hydraulic fluid for its submarines called Pydraul 150, which contained PCBs. Monsanto supplied the navy with test results for the product. But the navy decided to run its own tests. Afterward, navy officials informed Monsanto that they wouldn’t be buying the product. “Applications of Pydraul 150 caused death in all of the rabbits tested” and indicated “definite liver damage,” navy officials told Monsanto, according to an internal Monsanto memo divulged in the course of a court proceeding. “No matter how we discussed the situation,” complained Monsanto’s medical director, R. Emmet Kelly, “it was impossible to change their thinking that Pydraul 150 is just too toxic for use in submarines.”
Ten years later, a biologist conducting studies for Monsanto in streams near the Anniston plant got quick results when he submerged his test fish. As he reported to Monsanto, according to The Washington Post, “All 25 fish lost equilibrium and turned on their sides in 10 seconds and all were dead in 3½ minutes.”
As soon as the Food and Drug Administration caught on, in 1970, to what was happening in Anniston, Monsanto official Paul Hodges issued an internal memo titled: “confidential-f.y.i. and destroy” that outlined the plan for quashing the story. That plan called for the Secretary of the Alabama Water Commission to keep the story under wraps. When that didn’t work, when the story leaked out anyway, the company–with the help of the Water Commission Secretary–convinced a local reporter to write that the danger was recent and that Monsanto would correct the problem quickly. The newspaper story reassured residents that there was no cause for public alarm.
Oh really? 39 years hence, the environment in that part of the country is still toxic. With that sort of history at its back, no wonder the officials of the new Monsanto have become amnesiac.