First, we had the ineffable mid-month public dust-up between Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Governor Dayton. Ineffable, as in impossible to explain.
I was taught from a very young age to keep family fights behind closed doors because — you never know — there might be a few Orangemen lurking about. In fact, in my neighborhood growing up, the hausfrau’s always hung the undies on the inside lines between the bedsheets. And they grew the backyard lilacs tall. They didn’t want the neighbors to know the family wore underwear, I guess. That’s how closely people conducted their private affairs.
Might could be that Bakk and Dayton could learn from their example. But Hey! — who am I to judge? If our honorable leaders at the Capitol want to act like a couple of boozy bruisers from the Marshall Street scrap yards slugging it out at Frank’s Stand-up over a 25-cent tune on the jukebox, it ain’t really my business. Just don’t spill my beer.
Except, of course, that it makes the party look bad.
So, already burdened with a lengthy bout of dyspesia, which I had just about suppressed herbally with thrice daily doses of Moroccan Mint tea ($3.79 at better grocers everywhere), along comes the budget surplus announcement, which is projected to be $1.86 billion as opposed to the $832 million projected in the last forecast. An increase in funds available of $1.03 billion.
Now, that should have been ‘A Good Thing’, as Martha Stewart liked to say about insider dope before she did prison time for stock fraud. In earlier times, politicians on both sides of the aisle would have thrown their arms in the air and erupted with cheers and vigorous back-slapping all ’round. Yay! Minnesota is back on the road to Fourple-A bond ratings, expansive job growth and increasing prosperity for everyone! Let’s all be real happy!
But, no; sadly, no. It took a veteran whitebread buzzkill like Speaker Kurt Daudt to fug-up the festive mood by injecting partisanship into the announcement and simultaneously squander all the careful work I’d put in to drown-out the bellyfire that the Bakk-Dayton flap had ignited. That’s known to Coolers in the Vegas casino’s as a twofer. Maybe that’s where Daudt’s real talents lay.
With that statement, I knew instantly that I’d have to bring up the heavy guns and elevate the alimentary counter-assault to Kaopectate® milkshakes morning and night to have any hope of victory. Still, I tried desparately to follow Speaker Daudt’s logic: since January 6, 2015 — a little more than seven weeks of “balanced” government (when T-Paw was gubner, they called it “divided” government) — economic confidence among consumers has been restored to the tune of an extra Billion-Plus dollars in tax revenues? Is that really what he’s claiming?
To her admirable and enduring credit, Pioneer Press Capitol Bureau Chief and political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger instantly called ‘B*llsh*t!’ on that one and asked that Daudt “… reiterate that theory …that this forecast is good because Republicans now have the House and there is balance restored to the Capitol? Tell me more about that.”
I think she wanted to see if Daudt was dumb enough to keep digging. He was.
That’s when Herr Daudt decided to double-down and put fancy paper doilies on each end of a plattered and garnished bovine turd. “I think the November forecast represented very clearly that the policies they (the Dems) put in place last year and the year before didn’t help Minnesota families and they didn’t help Minnesota’s economy.” No? The Dems didn’t pay back the schools, pass all-day kindergarten, increase the minimum wage, freeze college tuition, restore the homestead tax credit and local government aid, and wipe out a $6.2 billion deficit starting in 2012? None of that happened?
Never trust a guy whose tribal instincts overrule his common sense — or his integrity.
Although admitting that the increase in revenues was mostly because gas prices have been low, Daudt went on to say, “I think Minnesota’s economy also understands that we don’t have a runaway government that when we didn’t need to raise any taxes put in place one of the largest increases in state history.”
A word jumble worthy of Sarah Palin. And another lie to boot. Hey, another twofer! The simple fact is that we did need to raise taxes to climb out of the hole we were in and the proof lies right next door in Wisconsin where they took the austerity approach and are still filling the hole. Besides, a majority of Minnesota’s voters decided to do just that when they elected Dayton, twice, who truthfully told voters that he was going to raise taxes, by how much, and on whom.
Are you saying, Speaker Daudt, that a majority of Minnesota’s voters were wrong?
So there you have it. Rep. Kurt Daudt thinks his job is selling partisan nostrum’s to the unlettered and gullible amongst us. In other words, other Republicans. It’s clear that he intends to conduct the office of Minnesota Speaker of the House in the tradition of a snake-oil salesman, selling laudanum-laced, licorice-flavored cure-all’s at $6.50 a pop to sick people too desparate or too ignorant to know they’re getting flim-flammed.
Step right up, folks, get ’em while they last. Limit two per family. Discounts good for today only.
Doctor Daudt, do you have anything to cure this g*ddam bilious stomach? Bile beans, you say? Where can I get ’em?
From Dog Gone: Glorious — enjoyed reading every word. Spot on.
And I haven’t seen such an appropriate use of the verb ‘fug’ for a long time. Really enjoyed that. Reminiscent of the content of an old paperback of mine, the dictionary of vulgar slang, from the 19th century and earlier. Very nice.
I shall have to find an occasion to use the word ‘bint’ soon, another favorite.
From Dan Burns: The censors made Norman Mailer use “fug” throughout The Naked and the Dead. The story is that after the book became a critical and commercial success, and Mailer a minor celebrity, he was introduced to the actress Marlene Dietrich at a New York club. “Oh,” she exclaimed, “why, you’re that young man who doesn’t know how to spell f*ck!”