by Colin McNickle, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Consider first this quote:
"It is a puerile amalgam of exploded imbecilities, many of them in flat contradiction of the rest. It proposes ... to lift the burden of debt by encouraging fools to incur more debt and to husband the depleted capital of the nation by outlawing what is left of it. It heads in all directions at once and gets precisely nowhere."
Those are the 1936 words of the curmudgeonly contrarian social essayist H.L. Mencken, describing Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.
The more things "change," the more they stay the same. Think of the current "stimulus" bill:
• Several hundred thousand illegal aliens could be directly stimulated by the government's "recovery" largess, says Mark Krikorian at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is promoted as the creator of 2 million new construction jobs, thanks to a $104 billion taxpayer kitty. Given how CIS estimates that 15 percent of American construction workers are illegal aliens, that means about 300,000 of these jobs would be filled by illegals.
A better name for the bill would be the Foreign Recovery and Remittance Act.
• Pennsylvania House Democrats are at it again, affirming a practice that effectively allows members to also work for lobbying firms. What is it about conflicts of interest these Clarabells don't get? Does anybody require any further proof that the General Assembly is an organized racket?
Never has contrarian lexicographer Ambrose Bierce's definition of "politics" been more apropos: "A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage."
Start heating your tar and plucking those feathers, folks. Seriously. These Dimmycrats and a handful of Republicans are due a sticky lesson they'll never forget.
First to be "treated" should be Reps. Phyllis Mundy, D-Luzerne, and John Pallone, D-Westmoreland, the machinators in chief of this latest unconscionable defense of self-dealing.
• Dan Rooney thanked President Obama upon receiving the Pittsburgh Steelers' record sixth Super Bowl trophy last Sunday. He also thanked the fans. Something was missing, of course.
Oh, that's right, John and Jane Q. Six-pack. They're writing his private entity those big fat debt-payment checks for years and years and years to come to cover most of the cost of what should be the Steelers' capital costs -- Heinz Field, the building where Mr. Rooney's company does its work.
It's one thing to be shafted. But it's quite another to not even be offered a cigarette after the shafting, if you catch the drift. And on national television, no less.
Here's hoping that sixth Lombardi Trophy doesn't grease the skids for even more public dollars to be spent to help underwrite the Steelers' proposed "entertainment complex."
• "Global warming" is such an escalating trend that three of the last 10 years have been the warmest on record. That's a fact those Chicken Littles (whose feathers should be plucked for their own tarring and feathering) likely will employ as some kind of "proof" that their theology has some semblance of scientific bases.
But as S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery reminded in their 2007 book on the subject, four of the Top 10 warmest years on record are from the 1930s. And never mind the growing body of evidence that it's not CO2 that causes planetary warming but that planetary warming causes CO2 levels to rise.
Facts are a pesky thing, aren't they?
• With "climate change" nuts now threatening even the sacred American hearth, it's refreshing to find neither horse manure nor cow patties in the words of Kent W. Peterson, chief engineer of P2S Engineering in Long Beach, Calif.
In a Friday New York Times dispatch, he defends the family fireplace as an example of "biomass renewable energy."
Ah, such common sense in these nonsensical times.
Colin McNickle is the Trib's director of editorial pages. Ring him at 412-320-7836. E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.