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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bring on the crazy!

The world of politics seems to be getting even crazier, if that's possible. It's now normal to call school teachers, police officers and fire fighters the villains in the on-going persecution of millionaires and billionaires. It's now ok to consider throwing senior citizens and the disabled under the bus rather than raise taxes on the filthy, stinking rich.

South of One millionaires cry crocodile tears that their seaside mansions haven't been assessed high enough, although they still don't want to pay taxes for schools.

Donald Trump is tied for first place in polling among Republicans as their choice to be President in 2012 (and almost as crazy, Trump's co-leader is Mike Huckabee).

I could go on (and will) but first an important announcement. On Wednesday, April 13th, the Washington Post announces the winners of its annual Peeps® contest. This is almost as big a day for me as International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19).

Now, back to the crazy....

No cause for alarm. We have an old, probably obsolete 2 megawatt nuclear reactor at URI's Bay Campus that costs the taxpayers several million a year to operate. But “it’s a nice facility, and it’s a state facility, and Rhode Island should be proud of it,” says the guy who runs it. Instead....

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid. I predicted the Charlestown and NO Kingstown free-for-all competition to see who can be the most reactionary about wind power. NO Kingstown, by its latest action, has at least pulled into a tie with C-Town, if not pulled ahead, in the competition to cave into unreasoning, unscientific and assinine NIMBYs who are afraid of the wind.

Toss the baby, the bath water, the rubber ducky, everything. Rep. Bob Watson (R-East & West Greenwich) wants the Governor and General Assembly to toss out the entire proposed state budget and start over because Chafee dares to propose raising taxes. Even though I personally think raising the income tax on the top brackets would be better, Chafee's approach may be the best he can do, given RI's crazy taxophobia. Great leadership, Mr. Watson. I'll bet if he could, he'd try to shut down the government.

How about a little blackmail? Taking a somewhat different approach to killing the budget is air-conditioning oligarch John Hazen White, CEO of Taco, Inc. of Cranston. He's the guy whose picture looking pretty harsh is on those billboards all along I-95, advertising his right-wing "Look Out Rhode Island" blog. Looks like he's trying to strong-arm the state by postponing his company's expansion while the company is  "reviewing the potential costs" of the new state budget. Very subtle. He's also the guy suing the block the Deepwater Wind project (so he'd probably be right at home in Charlestown).

GOP touches third rail and lives (for now)! I don't know how they do it, but the Republicans in Congress are charging right ahead with their plan to destroy Medicare. It wasn't very long ago that no politician would even dare to think about cutting Medicare, never mind hacking it to pieces as the GOP plans to do.

This might have something to do with it. One of the shining lights of the Republican Party is freshman Tea Party Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). His crusade against low-flush toilets and low-energy lightbulbs has exposed some of the fundamental threats to life and liberty posed by out-of-control liberal government.

Speaking of dim bulbs....The news lately hasn't been all bad. It's great to see that former Cranston Mayor and failed US Senate candidate Steve Laffey has made a new life for himself out West raising horses and cows. And very pretty ones, too, judging by the photos on his web site. I wish him great success, mainly so that he never, ever comes back to Rhode Island.

Be sure to click all the links and check out the great Peeps® displays in the Washington Post contest.

Author: Will Collette