Thursday, January 27, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: It's Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Even Worse.

Caesar Threatens Senate With Plebiscite In the latest of what seems to be a never-ending series of stories detailing the buyer's remorse that California should feel over electing the drug-using son of a Nazi to the governor's mansion, Gov. Schwarzenegger has announced a brilliant new strategy to avoid having to deal with the Democrat-controlled legislature: eliminate them. Because of California's goofy-ass law on referendum votes, Arnold is going to use his celebrity to get enough signatures to put laws up for referendum that would never be passed by the legislature. Most importantly, he's going to put the entire budget up for referendum vote; the privatization of the state employees' pension plan; and a redistricting plan that will neuter the legislature. California, you're jingling all the way to dictatorship.

America's Newest Foe: Gay Cartoon Characters After Margaret Spellings was confirmed as federal Education Sec'y, people in Washington thought she would be a breath of fresh air after the controversial, journalist-bribing tenure of Rod Paige. Those hopeful souls were quickly disappointed, though, when Spellings' first act as Secretary turned out to be a bizarre attack on a PBS cartoon show in which a bunny rabbit named Buster travels to Vermont and encounters two lesbian couples, among others. PBS has now agreed not to air the episode, thus saving our children from a life of sin. Hot on the heels of James Dobson's war on Spongebob Squarepants, this signals a new front in the conservative culture war: the completely ridiculous front.

Waiting for the Man...the Man Named Hamid Karzai Afghan puppet ruler Hamid Karzai has managed to block a U.S. plan to spray crop-killing chemicals on the vast, productive opium fields of Afghanistan, thus frustrating a U.S. effort to control what is now the largest crop of heroin in the world. Currently, 5.1 million acres of land in Afghanistan is being used to grow poppies for opium cultivation. Now, before you say "Well, at least heroin is better than terrorism," you should note the reason for the belated U.S. alarm: the heroin trade is funding Islamist terrorists in the region.

I Predict Social Security Will Go Bankrupt, Exactly 17 Years Ago Much has been made in the sinister liberal media of the fact that the Social Security "crisis" George Bush is forecasting for 2018 and 2042 (depending on what mood he's in, apparently) is no such thing. But this is not the first time the son of privilege has gone all Chicken Little on the government's most effective entitlement: During his unsuccessful run for Congress in Texas in 1978, Bush made it a campaign point to stress that Social Security would be bankrupt by 1988, and that the government should allow private investment accounts. As we all know, Social Security did, in fact, go bankrupt in 1988, and now there is no longer any Social Security.

Conservative Opinions at Rock Bottom Prices First, there was the revelation that the Department of Education paid hack columnist Armstrong Williams $240,000 to hype the No Child Left Behind Act. Now, we have another example of the government bribing a journalist to promote opinions they would have pimped for free. Maggie Gallagher apparently received somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 in 2002 and 2003 from the Department of Health and Human Services to promote George Bush's wacko marriage policies, while simultaneously writing a syndicated column extolling the virtue of the selfsame wacko policies. Gallagher's excuse, which I am not making up? "I would have disclosed the payments if I had remembered them." Boy, the conservative racket has to be more lucrative than I thought, if you can just forget when someone lays 40 G's on you.

-Consider Arms