Friday, March 25, 2016

The Real Scandals

So the media is blowing up this Friday with stories about accusations towards Ted Cruz's personal life, and whether or not Trump had a hand in spilling the sleazy rumors.

Meanwhile, in Florida the state is reeling from a massive draining of toxic waters from one of our main sources Lake Okeechobee into surrounding rivers and canals, leading to horrific kill-offs of the fish and other animals dependent on the fragile ecosystem. The poisons are reaching our scenic beaches and disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands. And why is this a problem? Because the local sugar industry generates a ton of toxic runoff. When then-Governor Charlie Crist proposed between 2008 and 2010 a plan buying up land around the lake and sugar farms to create marshlands that could filter those toxins out, the Big Sugar owners raised a stink and did what they could to stop Crist from running for the Senate in 2010. Meanwhile, Crist's successor Rick "No Ethics" Scott came in and deregulated the state's environmental protection agency into shreds. And now, with fewer wetlands to handle the ecosystem, we're seeing the results turn our rivers brown, our beaches red and our wildlife dead.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina the Far Right in control of the state legislature called for a special session and sped through at historic speed a bill designed to stop their city governments from passing their own zoning laws protecting gay and transgender rights. The law, according to that Atlantic article, is specifically written to "prevent any local governments from passing their own non-discrimination ordinances, mandates that students in the state’s schools use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, and prevents cities from enacting minimum wages higher than the state’s." The law details that businesses actively discriminate, and that people have to police the bathrooms now to enforce these rules. And in an especially dickish move, the Republicans pushing this law added that cities can't create their own minimum wage hikes just so these self-righteous Bible-thumpers could screw poor people alongside Teh Gays.

Meanwhile, in Kansas the state is facing one of the most severe budget crises in the nation as the Republican-controlled government there has to cope with growing deficits. In the wake of massive tax cuts to the upper classes and corporations, Gov. Brownback and his legislative allies are fighting their state's Supreme Court that ordered the the state lege to increase funding for public schools. How are they fighting that court order? By making it easier for the Kansas legislature to impeach state judges who "dishonor" those very elected officials. Never mind the fact that the Republican obsession with tax cuts never generated those magical revenue increases that Brownback promised. Better to silence their critics and shut down one-third of the whole system of Checks and Balances that's supposed to exist in our American model of government.

Meanwhile, the state of Louisiana is reeling from eight years worth of gubernatorial mismanagement under "Future of the GOP" Bobby Jindal. Much like Brownback, Jindal had forced through budget after budget of massive tax cuts to where the state is one bad day away from closing all their schools including their public universities like LSU, and making it so that the Democratic governor Edwards who replaced him be forced to raise taxes to generate enough revenue to fix things, for which the tax-cut-obsessed Republicans will attack Edwards for raising those damn needed taxes they never had the balls to raise.

Meanwhile, the state of Wisconsin is having the standard economic woes of few jobs, fewer well-paying jobs, and almost nothing left in their economy as the Republican Governor Scott Walker and his legislative allies ship all funds into God Knows What. It won't be the schools by the looks of things as that state is apparently cutting back on public education and privatizing a lot of it into higher school costs for families and weaker standards.

And topping that all: Meanwhile in Michigan, the state is still reeling from the poisoning of the city of Flint, and with growing reports of how Governor Rick Snyder and his plan of unaccountable "Emergency Managers" screwed up the water supply for thousands of families that became a health hazard of lead poisoning, deadly diseases, and a wrecked infrastructure that will cost billions to repair.

Anyone notice how none of these scandals involve sex all that much? Anyone else notice how each of these scandals involve Republican mismanagement, Republican falsehoods, Republican obsessions with tax cuts and deregulation, Republican viciousness towards anyone NOT of their tribe?

Here's the real scandal, America. Here's what the major news channels and papers and pundits ought to be reporting on for the rest of time until all sins are answered for.

The Republicans are not governing with the nation's best interests at heart. The Republicans are not concerned with our economy, our communities, our families. The Republicans are not in this for anyone other than themselves and their rich drinking buddies at the country club golf courses.

Every one of the scandals I've listed here ought to be headlines every hour of every day. They're not. We're getting sleaze and distractions instead.

I should be shocked. But thirty-plus years of watching all this sh-t is getting me a little jaded. And more angry.

1 comment:

Infidel753 said...

And now, with fewer wetlands to handle the ecosystem, we're seeing the results turn our rivers brown, our beaches red and our wildlife dead.

"I listened close and I heard the ghost
Of Osceola cry....."

Seriously, I think most people have moved on from sex scandals. As far back as the 90s the country got a lot madder at the Republicans for trying to impeach Clinton over Monica Lewinsky than at Clinton for the affair itself. Trump's supporters don't seem to be bothered by his sexual history. If the Republicans try to exploit the lesbianism rumors about Hillary -- as they surely will -- I really don't think it will hurt her much.

Cruz's case is different because he's such a fierce Christian and most of his supporters are as well. They're more judgmental in such matters, and he's open to the charge of hypocrisy.

Sometimes real scandals like Flint do get a lot of attention, but mostly it's just that effects of Republican incompetence and neglect are so common they're not newsworthy.