Thursday, September 13, 2007

Democratic Presidential Hopeful: "Americans are fatter, dumber"

So, I've never heard of this guy before, but ex-Alaska Senator Mike Gravel during a Slate sponsored debate moderated by Bill Maher had those choice words for John and Jane Q voter. I'm sure if all Americans had access to the educational health care benefits granted to the offspring of a US senator, things would be different (in fact for every 'limousine insurance' receiving US senator there are approximately 500,000 people without ANY health insurance). Or the fact that the US legislature is probably the only institution in the country that gets to vote to increase its salary while millions of Americans have to live with the woefully inadequate minimum wage. In fact, Congress increased its own salary nearly 10 times between the previous increase in the minimum wage and the most recent.

Especially enraging to me is that this wanker's own party, the one from which he is seeking nomination for the presidency, has gone hand in hand with every measure coveted by the Bush administration, be it No Child Left Behind or continuing to fund and cheer lead the war that is depriving students and families much needed health and educational opportunities (not to mention killing them). He has the gall to suggest that much of the blame rests on 'lazy' teachers who don't work the entire year like 'every else' and that what we need are 'super teachers' who are willing to put in the extra effort. Now, I agree that teachers have a pivotal role in education, but it is hardly their fault that the Democrats and Republicans have gutted public schools from after school programs and subsidized lunches to slashing student aid at the university level while denying pensions all the live long day.

I'm sorry Mister Gravel, but I think you might want to do some reading yourself. As far as obesity, maybe if we had subsidized healthy food for people who can't afford them? I don't see the Democrats chomping at the bit to expand food stamps, WIC, or any other such programs. Oh wait, his party SUPPORTED Bush's 2005 budget that threw some 300,000 people off of food stamps. Perhaps if McDonald's and other fast food locations weren't the cheapest food and easiest solution for families that work too many hours to make meals, like the ex-Senators cleaning staff probably do, I'm sure that some changes could be made.

Interestingly enough, I find myself agreeing with Gravel's closing statement: You can't trust your politicians. They won't make change on their own.