Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Never elect a governor named after a piece of sporting equipment

For reasons too strange and wondrous to explain in the available space,* the People's Republic of Massachusetts has had Republican governors for the past 12 years. That's about to change, big time. Meanwhile, the last of the dying breed, Mitt Romney, is running for president on a platform of moral values, courting the support of right-wing Christians. He may be in for disappointment -- a recent gallup poll finds that 37% of Americans would not vote for a Mormon for president, and the number is much higher among the evangelical Christians he has been assiduously cultivating. (Atheists fare even worse, but I'm not running.)

Regardless of how that works out for him, Mitt's moral values consist of militant opposition to same-sex marriage -- he led a rally at the Statehouse against it this past weekend -- and wanting to outlaw abortion. He was for abortion rights before he was against them, since he never could have been elected governor of Massachusetts otherwise, but he changed his deeply held faith-based principles just in time to run for president.

Anyhow, another one of his deeply held faith-based principles is that people should not pay taxes and that Massachusetts should have a smaller state budget. His assiduous reading of the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and long conversations with God, convinced him that God wanted the toll booths removed from the Massachusetts Turnpike, but only west of Worcester. (Something to do with where the godly vs. ungodly people are to be found in our state.) The $9 billion in funds desperately needed highway and bridge maintenance will no doubt fall in the form of manna from heaven, since God forbids us to raise the money from taxes.

God also told him to cut the funding of the state Department of Mental Health, because God wants seriously mentally ill people to be wandering the streets conversing with the Emperor of Jupiter, rather than immorally requiring fabulously wealthy venture capitalists such as Mitt to pay 5.25% of their income instead of 5% to take care of them. As the Globe reports,

State psychiatric hospitals will stop admitting new patients tomorrow , and 170 Department of Mental Health staff positions will be eliminated in response to Governor Mitt Romney's emergency budget cuts announced earlier this month, according to private hospital groups briefed by state officials.

In addition to the freeze on hospital admissions, the cuts would do away with 37 percent of the staffers who provide care to hundreds of emotionally disturbed children and teens in their communities; cut dozens of inpatient jobs for nurses, aides, and psychiatrists; and reduce funding for medical school research, according to an overview circulated by the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

The mental health agency began sending out notifications on Friday that its hospitals, which have about 850 adult inpatient beds, would stop accepting psychiatric patients who would normally have transferred to them for longer-term care.

Well, I'm glad we're putting a stop to all the ungodly caretaking for sickos and wackos. And Mitt isn't stopping there. If they aren't getting psychiatric care, they most certainly should not have any place to live. After all, Jesus said, whatever you do, don't house the homeless, you'll just encourage them. Specifically, if you don't feel like clicking the link:

Three of the largest public housing authorities in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit yesterday accusing the Romney administration of shortchanging the state's nearly 250 local authorities by millions of dollars, causing housing conditions to deteriorate and forcing the closing of hundreds of substandard apartments. The housing authorities in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline contend that Governor Mitt Romney violated state law by freezing subsidies for operating and maintenance costs starting in 2003. The move has resulted in a "near crisis" for authorities that run nearly 50,000 apartments statewide for poor, elderly, and disabled residents, the suit said.

"If something isn't done now to fully fund or properly fund these housing units, then the next time the budget process comes around, it's going to be fiscal year '09, and by then the number of units that will have deteriorated and have to be taken off the market is enormous," Steve Young, a lawyer for the three authorities, said in an interview.

As you know, without God, there is no basis for ethics or morality. That is why I am unable to perceive that Mitt is morally superior to me, and you certainly can't trust me to provide moral guidance. I trust that everyone who believes in a moral, Godly government will overlook his membership in a heretical cult and give him their support.

*In a nutshell, the former Dear Leader and Dictator for Life of Massachusetts, House Speaker Tom Finneran, didn't want a Democrat in the Governor's office because that would have diluted his personal authority. So the Democratic party didn't support its own nominees. Weird, huh?