Open Thread Feb. 8: Who Loves Paying for a Parade?

Filed in National by on February 8, 2018

Donald Trump’s childish wish for a military parade has drawn voluminous criticism from almost all corners. The objections range from the obvious (it’s a waste of money, an estimated $20 million) to the even more obvious (it’s a sign of deep insecurity). But nobody has said jack about the waste of money taking place in Philadelphia right now.

The Mummers march every year, but that’s in the annual budget. Nobody foresaw the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, so the city is out of pocket for today’s Million Meaningless Lives March. The mayor says the city will find the money, which is just as well considering how little teams pay even when cities try to force them to. Politicians are over a barrel — even most Eagles fans can find a voting booth, so they have to cater to this pitiful search for thrills.

Today’s White House Freakout concerns chief of staff John Kelly, who spent months protecting wife-beater Rob Porter from being fired before the axe fell yesterday. Porter is a “man of integrity,” Kelly said. Judging by the photos, he’s also a man who leads with his left. Kelly, by the way, was far from the only Republican to speak up for Porter. Why? Because Porter is a Mormon, and the LDS operate much like the Masons used to — one brother does not criticize another — so naturally greedy little Orrin Hatch spoke up for him. Unlike Kelly, he has not withdrawn his comments, either.

Publicity stunt or brave performance? The critics are split on Nancy Pelosi’s 8-hour speech on the House floor yesterday. On one hand, the speech was apparently the longest in House history, at least dating back to the 19th century. On the other, it didn’t work — the Dreamers are still in limbo. At least it should put a stop to complaints that she’s physically not up to her job. That 8-hour speech was uninterrupted by a bathroom break. Pretty impressive bladder control for a 77-year-old woman.

Lying is to Republicans what breathing is to mammals: Essential for survival. So when twisted little muff-monkey Mike Pence says USA Today’s Christine Brennan was lying when she reported that a gay Olympic figure skater refused to meet with the vice president, I would know which one to believe even if I didn’t know that Brennan is one of the most respected reporters in sports.

Well-meaning but hopelessly naive centrist Democrats are at it again. They’re taking part in a bipartisan effort to improve health care by getting insurance for everybody, as if that would do anything to push down costs. Granted, the ACA bent the spending curve downward, but nobody has yet been able to explain why. Single-payer is the only thing with a chance to do that, but this group doesn’t want to talk about that because they’re afraid Republicans will reject them out of hand if they do. I just hope that they’ll alert us when their Coddle the Morons strategy works, because it will be the first time it ever has.

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  1. chris says:

    Jeff Lurie should donate t least $5 million to the city of Philly to pay for costs, trash expenses, etc..

  2. Alby says:

    These parades usually cost in the range of $3 million, going by the USA Today article at the link.

  3. Arthur says:

    The nfl should pay for the annual parade in each city

  4. Mike Dinsmore says:

    Re: Porter – That black eye looks more like the result of a right cross, as opposed to a left jab. Just sayin’…

  5. Alby says:

    No way. He hits her with the right, her left eye would be blackened.

  6. Dave says:

    “as if that would do anything to push down costs.”

    While the “Begin with the end in mind” (Covey) is a “habit” whose objective is to envision the future, it is not actually practiced in helping to solve any societal problems. Otherwise we would envision things like, reducing drug addiction instead of campaigns for naloxone, reducing drug and hospitalization costs to make health care affordable, and reducing unwanted pregnancy through birth control and education.

    We seem to expend an inordinate amount of capital (energy and money) in addressing consequences instead of root causes. I supposed that’s because root causes tend to be more intractable and less visible than the symptoms. That’s why we feed the hungry instead of preventing hunger, building shelters instead of preventing homelessness and the like.

    ACA was a bold first step, but I question whether it was the appropriate first step. If we had spent energy on reducing costs, affordability would have been an outcome and if it had become more affordable, there would have been less resistance to universal health care.

    Ditto things like focusing on abortion instead of reducing unwanted pregnancy, which would have had the effect of reducing abortion. In short, “begin with the end in mind” doesn’t mean start with the ass end of things. It means create a vision that people can see, understand, and support. Buy hey, that’s just me being pragmatic and logical.

  7. Alby says:

    @Dave: The only ways to reduce costs are to cut overhead or cut services. Why would we cut services before cutting overhead?

    ACA was the necessary first step because in our crooked political system, all the artificial people posing as hospitals and health insurance companies get what they want before actual humans do.

  8. Dana Garrett says:

    I frankly wouldn’t put it past Donald Trump and this White House to deliberately select people who’ve committed offenses like wife beating. It gives them an advantage over the person. The threat of exposure can make them compliant, loyal, and non oppositional. So, yes, Kelly knew. But, no, he did not ignore it. He was counting on it.