Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hey Buddy, Got Any Spare Change?
We're doing some work around the house this week. I am painting the living room--no small feat for a person with utterly no skills in this area. Within the next two weeks, we're replacing the downstairs carpet. (The Mrs. won't allow me to do that job, as I am a danger to myself and others with any tool more complicated than a screwdriver.) Any minute now, the guys who will be replacing the windows will come knocking at the front door. So my blogging time is less than usual this week. Nevertheless, here are some quick hits and bits to get you through the day.

As the deifying of Ronald Reagan grinds toward its climax tomorrow night, you've probably had enough of reading about him. If not, there's Tom Carson's funny piece from the Village Voice: "A noted fantasist, Reagan is perhaps best remembered for the eight years he spent believing he ruled an entirely fictional United States. To the old trouper's delight, this was a delusion shared by most of his compatriots, which is why his imaginary nation still subsumes ours to this day." And also, "At the core of the Reagan legend is the mantra that his presidency made America feel good about itself again--an interesting claim for Republicans to make, since it sounds like just the sort of self-esteem therapy they snort at when say, first-graders are the beneficiaries."

If I had a nickel for every time the words "Reagan revolution" have been uttered on cable since Saturday afternoon, I'd have my new windows paid for and then some. The real revolutionaries, you might argue, are the Republicans who came after--those who wanted to further Reagan's legacy without having either Reagan's charm or his political skills. These are people who would burn down Reagan's "shining city on a hill" and turn it into a gated condominium community with guards who have orders to kill intruders. The unfettered id of this bunch is on display in Take Them at Their Words: Shocking, Amusing and Baffling Quotations From the GOP and Their Friends, 1994-2004, compiled by Bruce J. Miller with Diana Maio. Salon published some excerpts yesterday.

Miller and Maio can already start working on Volume Two, thanks to the Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Food and Nutrition Eric Bost, who dismissed his own agency's reporting of an increase in the number of people using community food banks by saying, "There's a bump, but how much of that is due to people taking the easy way out? I don't know." Furthermore, Bost said, the bump might be due to teenagers upset with what their parents serve them, or people dining at soup kitchens who aren't really in need. The Progress Report has the facts here.

Recommended Reading: One of the great benefits to humanity wrought by today's heirs to the Reagan Revolution is the twisting of science for political ends. The Bush Admininstration has edited scientific findings on global warming and mercury contamination, just to name two, to fit its conception of how the world should be, and to justify what it wants, reality be damned. This isn't new--it happened in Stalinist Russia, too, under the famous Trofim Lysenko. At Wired News, Bruce Sterling examines Lysenko's history, and notes that just as Soviet science was considered eventually considered a joke, American science is already getting a similar reputation elsewhere in the world.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?