Elliot: Somewhere south of Pluto


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Nightmare bacteria are running wild, according to the Washington Post, and apparently, the newspaper was not referring to Republicans.


This in the aftermath of the shutdown of the Republican shutdown of the government, which boomeranged on them — the GOP’s poll numbers now seem south of the toilet, which is somewhere way south of Tierra del Fuego, perhaps even south of Pluto, which is no longer a planet.

That is, if you’re keeping score at home, pretty far south.

Whine, whine, whine go the Republicans, especially the College Republicans, because that’s what they know.

Hey, Republicans — you lost badly in the shutdown. You lost badly in the last presidential election. Just as you lost badly when Newt Gingrich and the Republicans tried the shutdown ploy against President Bill Clinton, and then he trounced Bob Dole in 1996. Don’t you ever learn?

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” as Albert Einstein famously once said.

Well, if nothing else, the recent U.S. government partial shutdown demonstrates that a lot of Americans love their pandas (though not their Republicans) — at least at pandacam distance.

Well, hmm. Of course, a lot of Americans love pretty much everything at pandacam distance.

Or whatevercam distance.

Speaking of whatevercam distance, the shutdown shenanigans were spawned because conservative Republicans apparently believe only rich Americans deserve to have health care.

Republicans deride Obamacare as socialism, but they fail to note that the plan involves private insurance companies — which, you have to admit, is a weird version of socialism. It’s kind of like socialism light. With the accent on “light.” One of things conservatives hate is the health-insurance mandate, meaning that people must buy insurance or pay a penalty. The penalty is so mild that many Democrats believe it’s too light. The other thing people should remember is that the insurance mandate is a conservative Republican idea from the early mid-1990s. After Republicans whacked Clintoncare, they came up with their own plan, which introduced the insurance mandate.

Of course, the big bogeyman in the china closet (yes, Virginia, I realize that China is way too big a country to keep in the closet) for Republicans is the deficit.

But, as John Cassidy of The New Yorker notes, quoting the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. government’s deficit has fallen from roughly 10.1 percent of GDP in the bad days of the recession to 3.4 percent now — an unprecedented drop in so few years, he notes. Yet, as Cassidy points out, conservative Republicans, particularly Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, are still running around screaming the sky is falling, the sky is falling.

I admit, I don’t know if the sky is falling, exactly, because I’m not a physicist.

Meanwhile, the sky, rather that falling, seems to be about in the same place it was when I was a kid. Not that I was ever a kid. I mean, are you kidding me?

Meanwhile, NPR reports that sales of wool clothing is way down, and the number of sheep in the United States has fallen considerably. Meaning? Americans don’t want to pull the wool over their eyes anymore?

One could hope. (Of course, I hear that one is the loneliest number.)

On the other hand, NPR reports, the drop in wool sales is at least partly due to synthetic materials used in clothing. So Americans prefer to have the Rayon pulled over their eyes?

Apparently, a whole new cliché (which I know sounds oxymoronic) is about to be born. Or about to be borne.

Talk about being south of Pluto.

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