Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two plugs

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Something to offend everyone

From the Parkville Luminary

Today we offer some quick hitters, vignettes, we call them in the business. This installment has been deliberately written as obnoxiously as possible, with a goal of offending nearly everyone. Keep score along with me, please.

1. I know I’m a left wing tree hugging hippie, but seriously, have you seen that event at the Olympics where they ski and shoot at targets? Biathlon is as silly as it is borderline barbaric. By all means, let’s do all we can to glorify guns.

Hand grenade throwing also takes skill (and strength), so why not integrate it into some winter sport, perhaps figure skating? At least the exploding grenades would wake me up, since figure skating is as interesting as watching paint dry. And that’s even taking into consideration the fact that it features attractive women in skimpy costumes. I will say this—any sport is better than the one where the women prance around and wave ribbons in the air, making faux designs and patterns. This is a sport?

(Offended scorecard: Gun nuts, figure skaters and those who love them, feminists (the skimpy costumes crack), and rhythmic gymnasts and their fan (yes, fan).

2. Regarding yesterday’s scheduled public debate on health care, let’s not hold our breath for anything of substance to come out of this. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that the Republicans would rather see the country go up in flames than do anything that might make Obama look even somewhat good. The Republicans have made it clear that they could care less about those without health insurance, and they are nothing more than shills for the insurance industry. Please explain to me how anyone of good conscience could vote Republican.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are whiny, ineffectual hypocrites. They had super majorities in both houses, and frittered that all away. It’s clear they can’t govern. It’s also clear that the American people resent the dirty back-door dealing that was employed in the process of formulating a health care bill. Yes, this is Washington business as usual, but that’s not much of an excuse. Please explain to me how anyone of good conscience could vote Democratic.

As for you, Mr. President, despite the bricks thrown your way, I still hold out hope for you and your administration. But my patience is wearing thin. Eliminating don’t ask, don’t tell is a good start. Your next step should be to dismantle Dick Cheney’s immoral national security apparatus.

(Offended scorecard: Democrats, Republicans, gay-haters, Dick Cheney and his fan.)

3. Hurray for the Missouri Public Service Commission. This is not a mis-print.

The PSC recently sliced half off a rate hike request from Missouri Gas Energy, reducing a $32 million dollar request to $16 million. This move contrasts starkly to the PSC’s usual modus operandi, which is to acquiesce to almost any rate hike request coming from utilities.

This news is especially interesting for customers of Missouri American Water, which is looking to raise our water rates again—this time by a whopping 28%. If approved, the average 8,000 gallon per month user would see their bill jump $15.36 a month, or more than $180 a year. The PSC already approved rate increases for Missouri American Water the last two years. Last year, the company had asked for a 50% rate hike, but had to settle for 28% increase. In 2007, they snagged a 21% rate hike. This rate hike is wholly unwarranted. MoAm Water’s parent company saw its profits increase 4% to $91.6 million the third quarter in 2009, or 52 cents a share compared to the third quarter of 2008. Revenue increased 1% to $680 million. MoAm doesn’t need any more of our money.

Perhaps the new backbone shown by PSC will continue to grow, and the commission will do the right thing and turn down MoAm’s outrageous request as well.

(Offended scorecard: MGE and its fan, Missouri American Water and its fan, those who prefer higher utility bills).

Our new-found fondness for calculated offensiveness continues next week with a dissertation on religion: “Whose God is the real God?”

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