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Steven Clifford

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Stop the Presses: The Rich Get Richer

Posted: 04/ 2/2012 5:50 pm

Born a Catholic, I was briefly euphoric as five of my brethren (Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Roberts, Alioto and Scalia) coalesced to protect our health care system from reform, assuring that it will remain the most expensive and least effective health care system known to man.

My visceral tribal pride was quickly extinguished by more important breaking news -- stories you may have neglected:

Monday, March 26: The New York Times published an op-ed titled "The Rich Get Even Richer." I guess their next scoops will be "Hudson River Full of Water" and "Pope Benedict XVI Is Catholic."

Grousing that the top 1 percent snatched 93 percent of income increases in 2010, the Times buried the lede. The rich pocketed 93 percent, (Dog Bites Man) but the lower 99 percent got 7 percent. This means that the poor are getting richer (Man Bites Dog).

I'm not sure this is positive news. The poor getting richer sounds like Socialism, and I remember reading somewhere that Socialism is bad. The American Dream is that one can become successful through pluck, hard work and foisting complex derivatives on dumb German banks. What happens once the poor learn they can become richer simply by remaining poor? Or worse, what if the poor learn to trade derivatives?

Tuesday, March 27: A conservative Republican organization began running TV ads featuring Pat Boone, delivering, according to The New York Times, "a somewhat convoluted message that President Obama and Democrats are cutting Medicare spending and rationing care while ignoring Medicare's financial troubles."

For you youngsters, Pat Boone attempted to euthanize rock 'n' roll in its infancy with whitebread covers of "Ain't That A Shame," "At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama)" and most risibly, Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" and "Tutti Frutti." Boone's plodding tempi, wooden delivery and careful enunciation of each syllable -- Tooti Frooti Oh Rooty -- would be hailed today as a brilliant parody of a white man with no sense of rhythm, syncopation, soul or shame. Boone also wrote a No. 1 bestseller in the 1950s, an advice book for teenagers, with the edgy title of Twixt Twelve and Twenty.

In most cultures Boone, whom musicologists credit with enabling England to surpass the United States in rock music by the early '60s, would be judged a discredit to his race and floated out to sea on a melting iceberg. Fortunately America always has a place for the aging man who doesn't get it, and a plethora of fans, who also never got it, to age along with him.

Wednesday, March 28: The Seattle Times reported that a man driving a stolen pick-up truck ran into a ditch and drove through lawns before hitting a home. The arrested man said he was eating a croissant and reading a text message when he lost control of the truck.

This is one more example of the pernicious French influence on America. Had the thief been eating an Egg McMuffin he would have retained control of the truck. A buttery croissant was the culprit. Those surrender monkeys who refused to help us find WMD's in Iraq are now causing texting criminals to run stolen trucks into American homes and instructing us on Bringing Up Bébé. Tellingly, the French have no word for savoir-faire.

To avoid being labeled a cynic, I close with an upbeat story proving there is no end to progress in America:

Friday March 30: Reacting to criticism, Albuquerque police union terminated its practice of awarding bonuses to police officers involved in shooting instances. Last year the union paid bonuses of $300 to $1,000 to 20 officers involved in a shooting.

Onward and upward!

 

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