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no whining

From politico.com: “Republican Govs. Haley Barbour (Miss.), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Bobby Jindal (La.) and Sarah Palin (Alaska) have all said they intend to turn down some of the funding. Other Republican governors have said they will generally accept all the funds allocated to their state, though some have hinted they may join the group over certain portions of the bill they oppose.”

Putting ideology before practicality is not unfamiliar territory to the GOP. In this case citizens in at least four states may not reap the full benefits of the stimulus package because their Esteemed Leaders disagree with the rationale behind it, primarily the idea that Big Gummint may exert some influence on their fiscal policies. This should be especially worrisome to Alaskans, who face a particularly difficult situation because oil prices are down, undermining their chief source of tax revenues. Ironically, Palin traveled to Washington in January to press the case for federal assistance. Now that it’s forthcoming, thanks but no thanks?

What I’m curious about is this: if their objection is truly heartfelt then why don’t they refuse all of the stimulus package? If this is about ideology, then why waffle and pout and reject “only” $50 million? Because it’s not about ideology. First and foremost it’s about scoring a few political points, potentially at the expense of your constituents who are struggling to make ends meet and keep a job. Jindall has said he would reject a portion of the money aimed at expanding state unemployment insurance, fearing that it could lead to a tax increase down the road. While that could happen, this rejection of funds will be long remembered by the unemployed and not-yet unemployed. And they vote and pay taxes.

Rigid adherence to ideology contributed to the Republican spanking in November 2008. Some seem determined to repeat the experience, suggesting that spanking holds a certain appeal to them. If that’s the case, enjoy. Your next opportunity for a bit of voter-imposed discipline will be here before you know it.

no_musicWell, it’s not here yet, but keep your fingers crossed and your ears plugged for just a little longer.

Per the 2/10/09 WSJ: “Muzak, the company that provides the soundtrack for our elevator rides and grocery-shopping trips, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Tuesday. The 75-year-old Fort Mill, S.C., company is seeking to restructure a heavy debt load that includes about $370 million in bond debt and a term loan of $105 million. … the company’s soft-rock, pop and instrumental sounds reach 100 million people each day, according to its Web site.”

Imagine, a company that gets paid to create noise pollution that affects a third of the American public each day.

I was shopping recently when I heard Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in bland, syrupy Muzak format. It was sad. Sort of like Rod Stewart’s decline into singing old love songs.

Sigh…

Just in case there was doubt in anyone’s mind, Sarah Palin announced the formation of her political action committee with accompanying web site. At the bottom of her web page is the following statement: “Paid for by SarahPAC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.” The only explanation I can come up with is that she is completely unaware of the groundswell of interest in her political future. Right.

Palin PACThe web site goes on to say, “Your support of SarahPac will make it possible for Gov. Palin to continue to be a strong voice for energy independence and reform. By supporting SarahPac, you will allow Gov. Palin to help find and create solutions for America’s most pressing problems; priority number one is building a strong and prosperous economy that recognizes hard work, innovation and integrity by rewarding small businesses and hard working American families. SarahPac will support local and national candidates who share Gov. Palin’s ideas and goals for our country.” And to clear up any ambiguity, we are told that she is the “honorary chair” of SarahPAC.

In other news, she reportedly has an $11 million book deal in the works. I’m trying to understand what publisher believes they can make a profit on an $11 million book deal in this or any economy. I’m also trying to imagine the outline of this book being anything other than a whitewashed account of her performance during the presidential campaign in which she blames the McCain camp for keeping her under wraps.

Palin has always been entertaining. Her performance on SNL was better scripted than anything she did on the campaign trail. Now she’s working without a net, it’s just her and the media with no one else to blame when she does a face plant. Let’s see what she can do.