Lipstick on a Pig

Yesterday I was standing in the park outside CHNN World Headquarters, waiting for the streetcar in the humid 96 degree heat, and I spotted a familiar sight around here, a clipboard-carrying signature gatherer, approaching people in the park with a petition of one sort or another.  Rather than the usual scruffy college kid (for liberal initiatives, working for free) or frumpy suburbanite (for the right-wing initiatives, getting paid) this one was a leggy blonde in a micro miniskirt with long tresses hanging down her slender frame.  ”Smart,” I thought, even the most petition-weary Oregonian, were he of the male persuasion, would at least give her a listen.  Still, I hoped the streetcar would come before she got to me.

No such luck.  As she strode toward me, high heels clicking on the pavement as she crossed the streetcar tracks, my initial impression of hot babe quickly was overcome by reality; close up, she was, to be charitable, as big of a hag as I am, despite the peanut butter tan and heavy, sloppily applied eyeliner, and had the stringy appearance of Ann Coulter, which I soon found was what she was trying to be.  Tossing aside the usual polite and solicitous approach, she launched into her spiel in a harsh, scolding manner, railing as she did at the speed of Sarah Palin on crack like a true believer, against a “job-killing” $733 million tax increase passed by a legislature trying to close a $1 billion budget gap, “The largest in history,” natch.

As I listened to her angry rant about “letting the voters decide,” knowing that that meant a torrent of out-of-state money swamping us with misleading TV commercials, I knew I was in the presence of a home-grown teabagger in a miniskirt.  As Oscar Wilde wrote, “Sometimes it’s more than just a moral duty to speak one’s mind.  It becomes a pleasure.”  My heart leapt.  As soon as I was able to get a word in edgewise, I told her that it was pretty stupid of her to want Oregon to end up like California, and she of all people, working as a signature gatherer, was the least likely to benefit from the machinations of the people who paid her paltry wages.  ”You know what kills jobs?  These right-wing tax policies, and then they use the ensuing disaster to scare dimwits like you into supporting more of the same.  Good luck, and tell Bill Sizemore to fuck himself.”  The last part I shouted after her as she clicked away.  No one else signed her petition, and by the time the streetcar arrived, she had vanished.

Later, when I got back from my meeting, I picked up an early copy of the Sunday Oregonian, and sure enough, on the front page, was a story about how the same thugs who have been abusing our initiative system for thirty years were at it again, trying to revive their utterly discredited movement.  This time they’d chosen new front men, Sizemore himself having slinked away in a series of the kind of scandals that invariably befall those like him who live their whole lives on nothing but wingnut welfare: tax evasion, misappropriation of funds, election law violations and such.  Now failed gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix has teamed up with some other irrelevant wingnuts, financed as always by the mysterious and creepy Loren Parks of Nevada have 14, count ‘em, 14 measures filed for next year’s elections, complete with the usual misleading ballot titles and paid signature gatherers.  Few, if any, are ever expected to make the ballot, let alone win.

You see, Oregon has the special privilege, due to its relatively cheap media markets and lax laws governing its initiative system, to be continually used as a “laboratory” for rich creeps around the country to see what media strategy will fool the rubes into voting for things that will further enrich rich creeps like themselves.  Whichever scare tactics, buzzwords, smears, or outright lies are shown to work here can then be taken national, while the clunkers are dropped, before too much hard-earned money is spent.  They’re always trying, god bless ‘em, to figure out a way to fool more of the people more of the time, at the lowest price.  Nice work if you can get it, and don’t happen to have anything better to do with your ample free time.

And when they succeed, pretty soon the state is handing out IOU’s.  I guess that inconvenient fact is what led them to haul out the miniskirts.

27 Comments

  1. dirigo says:

    Why didn’t you suggest you could use her as a CHNN stringer in Naples?

    Might help her focus and get some sun too.

  2. heru-ur says:

    Ah, taxes, that ever popular topic.

    Hag, I tell you, the power to tax is the power to destroy. No, literally. Most of our tax money pays for wars, weapons, police, prisons, and other wonderful benefits of democracy.

    I would, if I could get a national vote on some ballot, propose the total elimination of all taxes on everyone who makes under 100,000 a year. (pick your own number, this one is just for an example) That would save the economy almost immediately and also give dignity back to the working man. I would then move to change the tax structure to tax the corporations almost entirely. After all, they have been the beneficiaries of government gifts for 230 years; why not give a little back, eh?

    The above is “fringe kook” talk no doubt. But I would dig my grave even deeper and ask you if there is not at least 85 percent of government that could be eliminated. (think doing away with all drug laws first, end the empire, and then look for other cuts)

    See-ya around.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Amen, Heru. The tax “reform” Sizemore got passed in 1990, after several tries, was just like California’s: touted to help the homeowner but really shifting the tax burden away from big business to the homeowners. Clever, huh? We also have no sales tax, so out-of-state visitors get a free ride, which causes more consternation about the other taxes, and on and on.
      Unfortunately for Miss Teabag, for the past several years, people have come to see these measures for what they are, and they usually never make it to the ballot anymore. They’ve devolved into a jobs program for a few “activists,” like Sizemore.

  3. heru-ur says:

    Hag, please look at this link:

    http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/08/total-spent-on-homeless-frequent-fliers.html

    It is a lawyer blog I read. It is about Dallas trying to help the homeless, but being totally ineffectual. It is stuff like this that gets me so depressed that I think I’ll just read my Taoist texts and forgetaboutit.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Other, more civilized governments have long since spotted the fact that homelessness requires, uh, housing. Even progressive cities like San Francisco and Portland don’t do it much better than the Texans.

    • rmp says:

      Actually, not all of the efforts according to the article are ineffectual heru-ur. Those, mostly Repugs, who believe in the “bootstrap” approach are most of the problem. During the Reagan Administration the outstanding decision was made to close our mental hospitals and put the mentally ill out on the street. Now the underserved either are housed in prison or live on the street served by a non-profit system that facilitates their street life instead of rehabilitation and helping them help themselves.

      Having worked in social services in Chicago for 14 years, I can say that voters have absolutely no idea how large this system is and how much government money goes into it.

      On the positive side, it does provide jobs at low pay for an awful lot of people who work very hard at their jobs. Far too much money is wasted by education and foundation types that study things to death. There are some excellent programs and a lot of bad ones as well as fraud.

      Michelle Obama ran a very good one called Public Allies that I was somewhat involved in while she ran the Chicago program.

      I don’t have time to post more right now, but per usual, I think you oversimplify solutions, but are very good at pointing real problems.

      • heru-ur says:

        I would have to disagree with your statement, “I think you oversimplify solutions, but are very good at pointing real problems.”

        We agree that I can see the real problems. I hope many Americans can do that. Certainly hag and you both often seem good at seeing the utter stupidity of our current situation.

        Solutions? I don’t often go into any detail or depth because it would take a tome of enormous size to explain to a liberal how the situation could best be solved.

        Let me give you a story to illuminate. There was a young lad who went to the park and was given candy at the government give away stand. He eat it and was taken ill; the only medical help nearby was a paramedic of unusually poor training, but he saved the boy’s life and the boy rejoined his family.

        One could concentrate on any one part of the story and find a “better” way to prevent the illness, or cure it afterwards, or whatever. One could mention that the candy was made for the government on a no-bid contract by a crony, or various other problems not even apparent in the story itself.

        In like manner, I often go to the heart of the problem but that is of little immediate benefit since we are forced to play by the rules of today’s government. I would do away with government but I still play by the government’s rules since we do, in fact, have a government now. Am I a hypocrite for noticing that they are in control now, even as I would wish them away?

        It is just like Ron Paul’s answer to welfare on TV when he was interviewed by a bunch of lefty women on The View (I think it is called that). He said that the government should not be taking money from some and giving it to others; but we had been for generations so you could not just cut it off instantaneously. It would be a process. Good answer, I thought.

        To take Paul’s position a little deeper; it is the ruinous taxation on the working poor that put us on the ragged edge of hopelessness by stealing 60 percent of our pay though various taxes. Give that money back to the poor — not though an agency that will return a dime for every dollar taken, but let the working man keep his funds to spend on his own family. (and he will have a little left over to help others)

        rmp, as I read over what I just wrote I see that it will most likely not make much sense to others that have not spent a lifetime reading and studying the subjects I have. I recommend that you take a little time and read a book form long, long ago. It is called Human Action and is not technical at all. You will not agree with everything von Mises wrote, but you will see his predictions hold up well. This is because he wrote about human nature; not how to make money on Wall Street.

        Anyway, sorry for going on so long.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Von Mises? Sheesh. Why didn’t you just recommend Ayn Rand? The trouble with all these free-market utopians is that their theories have been tried and proven disastrous every time. All they do is create a two-class society; the elite and the serfs.

          • heru-ur says:

            When has the policies that von Mises recomended been tried in the USA? I would love to hear of it if you would so kindly point out when and where.

            Now, surely you don’t mean the policies of the lying asshats called Republicans that love to propagandize that they believe in “free markets” while really believing in fascism, do you?

            Besides, von Mises is not the same thing as “free markets” anyway; there is a lot more there. He wrote about what makes a man do what a man does. That is a much deeper subject than the typical Republican/Democrat scream fest.

          • cocktailhag says:

            I must have missed the scream-fests; Democrats (for the most part) and Republicans (all of them) seem to agree on some, if not all of the most odious policies we’ve lately undertaken.
            I’m sure that it’s just my liberal blinders again, but since Von Mises is, along with Rand and Milton Friedman, one of the Holy Trinity of Righty economic gods, they look a lot like selfish charlatans with a very low opinion of most of humanity to me. I could of course be wrong, but thousands of years of history show that governments are the only thing that can stand up to corporate power and effete elites playing Battleship, vicariously, natch, while everyone else barely gets by, and pays for it, too.

      • Steven Rockford says:

        RMP, I really like your comments on UT lately about the real issue-of-the-day, Health Care Reform. I’ve been having an Email discussion with Harry Mitchell, my local blue dog representative, about the importance of having a Public Option included with the plan.

        So far he has avoided taking a stand on this issue, but we’re still working on it. AZ Senators McCain and Kyle are hopeless causes on this issue. The only response I’ve received from them is the standard boiler-plate “anti-socialism” comments taken from the insurance/pharma lobby.

        I hope you’re having better luck in Illinois.

        • rmp says:

          No problem with my senators, Durbin and Burris. A real problem with my House Rep. Judy Biggert who talks the game of a moderate, but is a rubber stamp for what the Repug leadership wants. A group set up a Town Hall event and invited her to it and of course she declined. She was more than happy to send me that ridiculous propaganda chart that claimed to show the terrible bureaucracy of the Dem proposal, yet she never offers one that the Repugs support.

          I hope she keeps voting against reform and the Clunker program because that gives my Dem House candidate running against her again more leverage to expose her.

          I did some more posting today on UT on health care including yelling at one Jackass troll. I normally don’t stoop to their level, but my emotions are running high these days for all those suffering.

  4. BobV says:

    Shoulda snapped a photo of her to enhance your post.

  5. Jim White says:

    Wow, so Oregon is the wall against which they throw all their crap to see what sticks? Looks like your gonna be installing a lot more sheet rock soon to repair all that damage…

    • cocktailhag says:

      Our equivalent of Prop. 13 took effect in 1990, and after the effects appeared, its proponents got quite discredited, thank god. The damage, naturally, hasn’t been fixed, because they also used the same tricks as they did in CA; supermajority laws, mandatory rebates, etc. We, as a state, may be out of danger of any more, but keep at it they must, otherwise they’d have to get jobs.

      • bystander says:

        Colorado didn’t escape unscathed either. Our Bill Sizemore is Doug Bruce. Oregon got Taxpayers United. Colorado got Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

        • cocktailhag says:

          I read about TABOR, but I thought it was recently repealed. It’s remarkable how just a few people in every initiative state pull off these shenanigans again and again.
          To think that the initiative system started out as a progressive reform. The road to hell, and all that.

          • bystander says:

            Repealed? We dream. Individual communities have gone to their voters to de-Bruce for school funds, fire department funding and the like. There has been some limited success on a municipality by municipality basis; but it’s piecemeal as heck. Referendum C (2005) imposed a 5 year moratorium on refunds mandated by TABOR, and will expire. Amendment 59 placed on the Colorado 2008 ballot might have killed TABOR for good, but it was defeated. We also failed to pass Referendum O 2008 which would have made initiatives like TABOR much harder to get on a ballot.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Well, probably the only thing good to roll out of Colorado lately has been Amendment II, which got shot down in the courts, thank god. I apologize for being so uninformed; heads will roll at the CHNN Denver Bureau.
            You see how they’re all related; tax cuts for the rich and corporations, coupled with restrictions on ever reversing them, and huge corporate givebacks all along the way.
            Welcome to the laboratory.

    • Karen M says:

      …the wall against which they throw all their crap to see what sticks?

      Not the pitchfork in Jim’s avatar? He knows whereof he speaks. Personal experience, in fact.

  6. timothy3 says:

    Excellent.
    I particularly enjoyed this Good luck, and tell Bill Sizemore to fuck himself because I just happened to ask rhetorically over at UT

    One question I have is, how can anyone–on television or radio–not use “foul” language when declaiming against these people?

    I’ve got no problem whatsoever in declaiming loudly and pungently, and even though I tell myself from time to time, both here and privately, “Hey, man, that’s a little too pungent,” I forget my oath and return the next day as the salty, swearing sailor I never was.

    The Wilde quote was especially pleasurable to read.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I believe that quote was Cecily addressing Gwendolyn in “The Importance of Being Earnest.” As BobV noted, I totally fucked up not having my camera with me to capture that gal, who was only about three hangovers away from full CH. Usually, I feel guilty turning down petitioners… not this time. I may have enjoyed it a little too much.

    • Karen M says:

      Yeah, Timothy! Wilde was probably one of the most moral of writers and artists… despite his reputation.

  7. heru-ur says:

    At the following link is the response I had to your last message to me:

    http://taogovernment.blogspot.com/2009/08/reply-to-hag.html

    It is there because your site went down as I was trying to post it here yesterday, and I did a fast copy&paste to save having to retype it. (if I could remember)