And Now A Lesson In Political Science

Today’s lesson plan is another proof that the late, great Molly Ivins was perfectly correct when she said that one must look at the record and not listen to the words of politicians.


Here’s what St. Ronnie said during a speech at a May 1987 fundraiser for the American Foundation for AIDS Research:

“It’s also important that America not reject those who have [AIDS], but care for them with dignity and kindness,” he said at the time. “Final judgment is up to God; our part is to ease the suffering and to find a cure.”

And here’s what he did (two years earlier, before an untold number of deaths):

Then-First Lady Nancy Reagan refused a request from actor Rock Hudson to help him get experimental treatment just weeks before he died of AIDS in 1985, Buzzfeed reported on Monday.

And that ends our lesson. Remember: always check the record. Always.


Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead made it to the top of the UK charts following the death of former PM Magaret Thatcher.

And of course, the BBC tellie program, The Official Chart Show finds itself in a bit of a sticky wicket:

As of Friday, the song was No. 1 on British iTunes.

Still, many people say the campaign — which aims to see the song played this weekend on the BBC’s Official Chart Show — is in bad taste. Some have called on the BBC to promise it won’t broadcast the song.

A cover-up!

John Whittingdale, a lawmaker from Thatcher’s Conservative party, told the Daily Mail tabloid that many would find the ditty “deeply insensitive.”

Yes, many would find the ditty “deeply insensitive,” and that’s why many actually paid for the song and drove it to the top of the charts.

“This is an attempt to manipulate the charts by people trying to make a political point,” he said.

I think that is the point, John. Nothing gets past you. Mind like a steel trap, eh?

In a statement, the BBC said it had not yet decided on whether it would feature the song on its show — which normally plays all the week’s best-selling hits.

“The Official Chart Show on Sunday is a historical and factual account of what the British public has been buying and we will make a decision about playing it when the final chart positions are clear,” the taxpayer-funded BBC said.

Well, if it is a historical and factual record, then I think you have your answer, Kreskin.


Idaho Goes Galt?

BOISE – Coeur d’Alene Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the Idaho Senate’s Education Committee, introduced legislation Tuesday to require every Idaho high school student to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and pass a test on it to graduate from high school.

When Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, asked Goedde why he chose that particular book, Goedde said to laughter, “That book made my son a Republican.”


Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, questioned the choice of the book for a graduation requirement. “We have a wide variety of children who will be trying to graduate and reading and grasping some of these things, and their cultural context may be different,” she said.

Goedde responded, “I don’t plan on moving this forward – it was a statement.”

Nevertheless, as a formally introduced bill, the measure will be read across the desk in the Senate Wednesday morning and will receive a bill number; it will be among the bills posted on the Legislature’s website for the session and preserved in its records.

OK, it is not moving forward, but there it is.

“When I read Atlas Shrugged, and it’s been probably 30 years since I read it, but it certainly gives one a sense of personal responsibility,” Goedde said.

Like the personal responsibility to introduce legislation you have no intention of moving forward, wasting everyone’s time and money for your own personal vendettas? Congratulations, sir, you have learned the true essence of Atlas Shrugged: Fuck you, I got mine. What an assrocket.


School Lunch and the Young Wingnut

Wingnuttia recruited a bunch of kids and made a pretty professional looking video mocking eating healthy and having smaller portions:

Even the teachers at WCHS have jumped on the bandwagon. Brenda Kirkham, an arts and publications teacher, came up with the idea for the video, while Linda O’Connor, an English teacher, wrote the lyrics for the song, according to USA Today.

Kirkham, who told USA Today she is starving at lunch time, said she just wanted to help the students express their feelings in a constructive way.
“We wanted to give kids a voice and make fun of something that’s very frustrating for us — but not be over-the-top angry,” Kirkham told USA Today.

And all this time I thought that Wingnuts wanted to end the schoold lunch program entirely?

(Oh, yeah: the school that made this? It’s in Sam Brownback’s Kansas. Being promoted by Fox News. Not that I think that there is a nexus there, but I’d be surprised if the school gave permission to promote a federal guideline.)

Today in History


At a state dinner at the Kremlin, Saint Ronnie nods off during Gorbachev’s toast, then offers his own remarks, which are dominated by a long-winded synopsis of the 1956 Civil War film, “Friendly Persuasion.”

“It has fun,” says the President, who gives his hosts a copy. “It has humor. There’s a renegade goose, a mischievous young boy, a nosy neighbor, a love-struck teenager in love with a gallant soldier …”

Today in History

President Reagan observes that nuclear weapons “can’t help but have an effect on the population as a whole.”

This is my way of letting you know that I left a Noonan paid my respects at the Reagan Ranch Center before leaving for San Diego, and except for some sound advice from my esteemed attorney, I would have mooned Semi Valley on the way down here.

My bucket list is never ending.

The Feast of Saint Ronnie


One hundred years ago today, Sweet Baby Jeebus appeared to President Howard Taft and said to him, Pull my finger. Out pooped little Ronnie Reagan, and the rest was history.

Today we gather to honor the memory, the legacy, the lunacy of Saint Ronnie, on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Throughout the day, I will update this post with links to your fond remembrances of the old cabbage. Send links to your posts on your blogs to: tengrain AT mockpaperscissors DOT com. I will post them here:

Come back and check often.

Please feel free to leave lengthy, pointless comments (as Ronnie would).



Whet your Reagan appetites


Social secretary Muffie Brandon reveals that the White House is experiencing a “terrible tablecloth crisis.”

“One set of tablecloths, to my complete and utter horror, went out to the dry cleaner and shrunk.”


“I don’t think that we have a crisis here. I think we’ll manage. I don’t see this as a frightening thing.” –Sheila Tate, Nancy Reagan’s press secretary, downplaying the tablecloth alarm.

Phew! That was close!

(I’m re-reading The Clothes Have No Emperor by Paul Slansky. He chronicled the Reagan presidency in tiny, one or two paragraphs very nearly daily. It is like an analog blog of the time. I forgot about all the silly drivel that the Reagan’s various press secretaries released nearly daily, and how everyone in that White House hated each other. It really was a pit of vipers, each out for himself or herself. Rgds, TG)