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(Today’s installment of Notable Quotables is dedicated especially to those of you who accuse me of bias against Donald Trump. You have called me and those who offer their comments traitors, haters, socialists and even communists, which I find rather ironic given Trump’s infatuation with Putin. Today’s Notable Quotable is provided to show that bias and hatred is not limited to the so-called “Never Trumpers.”):

“So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, ‘Okay, I’ll send you a response…I hope he fails.”

“I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: ‘Limbaugh: I hope Obama fails.’ Somebody’s gotta say it.”

—Rush Limbaugh, recent recipient of the Congressional Medal of Freedom (a symbol of patriotism and devotion to American ideals, ostensibly awarded for “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”), on Barack Obama becoming president, Jan. 16, 2009.

(And before Fairness, Outlaw or Zoe jump in, let’s be perfectly clear: No one here has ever once said he or she wanted Trump to fail. Not once.)

The town was divided as it had never been before in its history and it was all because of one player on the Allendale high school Fighting Scapegoats football team.

Ronald had gone out for the Scapegoats his freshman year even though he had never played the game, gone to practice or so much as cracked a playbook. He proclaimed it was unnecessary to subject himself to such pedestrian routine because he watched NFL football on Fox, so he knew “all there is to know about the game.”

Teachers and administrators said he should not be eligible to play because of his refusal to conform to the rules and regulations of the school. He declared that rules and regulations were for others, not him.

His arrogance appealed to about 40 percent of the student body—those who regularly were given detention, who painted graffiti on the walls, who slept in history class and who never opted for advanced courses in math and science, or who otherwise did not seem to fit in with the mainstream students.

When he defied authority, they cheered him on even as local businessmen and the newspaper’s sports editor opposed allowing Ronald to join the team when his only qualification was that his father was wealthy and gave him an allowance that exceeded the income of most of the town’s executives.

When the school’s conference demanded to see Ronald’s transcript to determine if he was even academically eligible to play football, he sued to block release of his grades.

“I’m a stable genius,” he boasted. “I know a lot of words.” He promised to release his transcript at some future, unspecified date. “I’m the most transparent student at Allendale,” he said as he launched his campaign to make the team.

He proceeded to plaster the school’s hallways with posters proclaiming his ability to “Make Allendale Great Again.” He passed out specially-made baseball caps with block letters “MAGA” emblazoned across the front. The caps were the school colors, of course: red with white lettering.

His campaign was a dog whistle to bigots at the school and in town as he vowed to rid the team of “undesirables”—the code word for Hispanics and the team’s Islamic kicker. The 40 percent of the student body cheered even louder as he advocated roughing up any student dissenters.

School administrators and the local citizenry became even more alarmed at the prospect of Ronald representing the school but Ronald went on Twitter to condemn all his critics as “losers—just like Allendale’s football program has been a loser.” He promised to turn things around the first season and to erase the athletic program’s deficit when he began attracting “record crowds.”

It soon became evident that no one could match his campaign rhetoric, financed as it was by his allowance and the groundswell of support from the raucous sector of the student body that drowned out protests from the more rational but silent majority. One by one, community leaders who initially opposed his acceptance became his advocates in the hopes they could be included in his inner circle and not incur his wrath later on.

The first to curry favor was the head football coach, who received a generous offer—with threatening overtones—to keep his job if Ronald was named quarterback and captain.

School administrators, in an effort to demonstrate the lack of mainstream support for Ronald, decided to put the question to a vote. The student body decisively defeated the proposal to allow Ronald to play. But the team, at the urging of the head coach, voted unanimously to accept him. So, despite a majority of votes against him (he claimed hundreds of non-students voted), he became the Allendale Fighting Scapegoats’ quarterback and captain.

The first few games were against weaker opponents, so-called rent-a-wins in football parlance. But even against inferior opponents, quarterback Ronald had far more interceptions than completed passes and the team managed to lose every game. Ronald, however, declared himself as the most valuable player in tweets after each loss.

His teammates resented his attitude of superiority as did the head coach. But oddly enough, large crowds turned out to watch this clown disguised as a football player. They had never seen a player this dirty who would flagrantly hit opposing players out of bounds and trip, body slam, and blindside his own teammates. For the first time in years, home games were sold out and the school’s booster club suddenly jumped on the Ronald bandwagon.

Loss after embarrassing loss ensued, but one would never know it from listening to Ronald who declared his performance in each loss as stellar and blamed his leaking offensive line for allowing sack after sack. The 40 percent likewise picked up on his proclamations and tweets and blamed the offensive line, the defense, even the cheerleaders and the band and on at least one occasion, the lunchroom supervisor.

As teammates began leaving the team in disgust, players Ronald had once hailed as “great players” were suddenly described as “quitters” and “losers.” Sometimes he tweeted insults about ex-teammates during games and even while in the huddle.

When the local sports editor, who had become a supporter, had the temerity to criticize his play, Ronald called him “the enemy of the people,” calling the story “fake news,” and suggested tightening libel laws in order to make easier to sue sports writers.

When the head cheerleader turned him down for a date, he tweeted that she “wasn’t his type” and that she had begged him for a date.

The more boasts Ronald made, the more people turned out for the games, curious to see what the outrageous quarterback would do next. Fumbles, interceptions and blown plays failed to curb his grandiose assertions of awe-inspiring performances. In fact, the worse his performance, the more frequent his tweets became and the more outlandish were his claims of superior dominance on the field.

Curious fans were pouring into the stadium, which was good for the program’s finances, but Ronald had insisted on several sets of new uniforms for the team in various color schemes, new lighting and artificial turf for the football field, a modernized weight room (which he never frequented), and an upgraded dressing room complete with tanning booth, all of which created ever-larger budget deficits.

All Ronald touted and the only thing his support base understood, however, was that the program had more income now that he was on the team. Never mind that there was an overall deficit, or that the team’s record was worse than it had been in years and that other teams literally laughed as they rolled over Allendale, which now had no offensive line to protect Ronald. He ridiculed his defense which he said was incapable of stopping opponents’ drives. He distrusted the team’s scouts, many of whom had quit or been fired—because of Ronald’s tantrums—so there was no way for Allendale to prepare game plans for opponents.

When the school came under investigation for his insistence on withholding funds from the decoration committee unless the student council president promised to dig up dirt on his rival for homecoming king, Ronald called the probe a “witch hunt” and “a hoax,” and blamed his fellow players and the sports editor—and the lunchroom supervisor. He claimed he “barely knew” the student council president and had only met him “once or twice.”

Meanwhile, the 40 percent never wavered in their fealty to Ronald and they were already talking excitedly about his return next year.

“I read where Russia is helping Bernie Sanders. Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed me about that at all.”

—Donald Trump, on the latest intel that the Russians are trying to interfere in the 2020 election on his and Bernie Sanders’ behalf. (Perhaps if he hadn’t gutted his NSA staff and the intelligence agencies….or maybe it’s because they know he wouldn’t believe them anyway….or maybe if he’d just stop tweeting long enough to listen to his advisers…)

24/7 Wall Street, that research outfit that reports on vehicle resale values, education, oil, infrastructure, state rankings in poverty, wealth, health, obesity, taxes, crime, and anything else that might possibly be of interest, has come up with a survey with a twist: the worst statistic for each state.

Readers of LouisianaVoice are aware that Louisiana has a lot of negatives—and positives—because we’ve been reporting 24/7 Wall Street’s findings for years now.

But to list the single worst negative for each state tells us a lot about not only Louisiana, but our neighbors as well.

Sadly, for Louisiana, it’s our murder rate: 11.4 murders per 100,000 residents, the highest in the nation and in fact, more than double the national homicide rate of 5.0 murders per 100,000, according to FBI figures.

That pretty much goes hand in glove with another statistic that was not mentioned in the latest survey: Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the nation, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world, making Louisiana the prison capital of the world.

In fact, a story in the BATON ROUGE ADVOCATE just last week noted that the number of people serving life sentences in Louisiana today—nearly 5,000—is almost three times the total prison population in Louisiana in 1970.

It should come as no surprise that Louisiana imposes life sentences at the highest rate in the nation—another harsh statistic you won’t find on tourist brochures.

But lest one get the impression the grass is always greener, here’s a peek at the most negative factoids about our neighbors:

Mississippi: Highest poverty rate in the nation (a staggering 19.7 percent, 50 percent higher than the national rate of 13.1 percent).

Alabama: The lowest concentration of mental health professionals of any state (91 for every 100,000 people, far behind Massachusetts which ranks first with more than six times that ratio).

Florida: Hit with more tropical storms and hurricanes (229) than another other state since 1851.

Georgia: the lowest immunization rate (65.6 percent) of young children than any other state for diseases like mumps, measles, and tetanus.

Kentucky: The smallest pension funding ratio of any state (33.9 percent).

Missouri: More drug labs (3,022) over the past 20 years than any other state—far exceeding number 2 Oklahoma with 2,357.

North Carolina: “The highest amount spent on out-of-pocket medical expenses (14% of median income) by residents under age 65.”

Oklahoma: Highest uninsured rate among adults age 19 to 64 (20 percent compared to the national uninsured rate of 12 percent).

South Carolina: More driving deaths per capita (20.4 per 100,000 population) than every other state except Mississippi. The national per capita figure is 11.5 per 100,000.

Tennessee: A larger percentage of adults (5.4 percent) have suffered a stroke than in any other state. Nationally, 3.4 percent of American adults have had a stroke.

Texas: A larger share of the Texas population (18.6 percent) lacks health insurance than any other state. Nationally, the uninsured rate is 10 percent.

Virginia: The worst ratio of minimum wage to what is needed to sustain a family of any state (26 percent). The state also has no mandatory paid sick leave or guarantee for paid time off for a pregnancy and child birth.

West Virginia: Perhaps saddest of all, West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation (48.3 per 100,000 population—far more than double the national rate of 19.2 per 100,000.)

It’s worth noting that even Louisiana’s high murder rate is still less than one-fourth West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate.

Apples and oranges? Yes, of course.

But as I wrote in an earlier post, I love our people, our food, our music and our culture.

I’m still stayin’.

 

“I am in control here.”

—Alexander Haig, President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, immediately after Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981, because Vice President George H. W. Bush was not in Washington that day. (WRONG: The U.S. Constitution designates both the Speaker of the House and the president pro tem of the Senate ahead of the secretary of state in the line of succession when both the president and vice president are unavailable or incapacitated.)

“I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country.”

—Donald Trump, Feb. 18, 2020. (WRONG AGAIN: That would be news to William Barr; the Constitution designates the attorney general as the chief law enforcement officer in the U.S.)

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