Monday, March 14, 2011

What Separates Wingnuts From The Rest of Us

Answer: A lack of common decency and empathy. It's really true. Larry Kudlow, a former cokehead and right wing business guru, pontificates on "business channel" CNBC, along with Jim Cramer, the clown who dispenses bad investment advice (Matthews likes him; 'nuff said) and Rick Santelli, the jackass whose rant on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange is said to have given rise to the Tea Party. This trio alone ranks CNBC as serious contender for FREAK SHOW co-dependent with Fox, and a prime reason sane people should avoid it like the plague. Kudlow made this unbelievably crass statement about the tragedy in Japan: "The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that."

As Joe Conason wrote in 1999 about Kudlow's CLASS SKATING, a topic as relevant today as EVER:
"First, let's consider the typical drug defendant, who as we all know is likely to be a young jobless male without a high school diploma. A disproportionate number also are black or Latino. The average sentence for narcotics possession meted out to this typical defendant is roughly four years behind bars, according to statistics compiled by the Justice Department.

Upon conviction, the prospects for this typical offender are poor, since he is unlikely to receive treatment and will eventually emerge into society with a criminal record that leaves him pretty much unfit for any kind of work except the criminal conduct that sent him to prison in the first place.

Now let's examine the contrasting case of a more fortunate druggie — a prominent Reaganite not altogether unlike the current Republican presidential front-runner. Lawrence Kudlow, the conservative Ivy-educated son of a rich New Jersey businessman, once served as chief economist for the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration. Later, he earned $1 million a year at the investment house of Bear Stearns. He was also a cocaine addict who checked into the Hazelden clinic in 1995, after he blacked out and his third wife threatened to divorce him.

Following successful treatment, the reformed Kudlow has told his sad story on television and returned to the good graces of his sympathetic fellow Republicans. He currently advises the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee on tax and budget policy, no doubt urging big cuts in domestic spending (including publicly funded drug treatment programs for those who can't afford Hazelden or the Betty Ford Clinic).

In short, Kudlow has benefitted from liberal attitudes toward drug abuse, which prescribe medicalization rather than criminalization. Among his Republican peers, however, that kinder, gentler approach is considered too lenient to be applied to the poor."

If those hypocrites in the high councils of Marbles-Mouth media were consistent, and applied the same sanctions across the board as they have meted out to, oh ... Keith Olbermann and David Schuster, Kudlow the cokehead would be fired outright. What are the odds? Less than zero.

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