Friday, March 30

Sure, Liberals Admire Native Americans For Using Every Part Of The Buffalo. But Beef Products, Inc. Is All Evil An' Stuff.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, left, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, toured Beef Products Inc.'s plant Wednesday in South Sioux City, Neb. The governors say the beef product known as lean finely textured beef, or pink slime, is safe. Associated Press photo via Winston-Salem Journal

A hundred thousand dollars says none of 'em saw the front end of the line. Or came back to give the night clean-up crews a hand.

Josh Funk, "Governors urge consumers to reconsider pink slime". March 29

OUR sermon, yet again, will be from the Book of No, Conservatives Aren't Any Crazier Than They Used To Be, It's Just That Lying Is More Popular Than Ever, Chapter 6.

And, again--you may be excused if you'd heard this the previous 168 times--it's not really that Lying is so popular, it's that caring about the difference has gone out of fashion.

Yesterday's example, which could come from anywhere, comes from this Tim Alberta piece in the National Journal:
And despite recent scrutiny of his family history (Rubio's parents left Cuba before, not after, Fidel Castro's rise to power)...

Of course the scrutiny hasn't been applied to the story so much as to Rubio's lying about it, then fudging when caught, and the resultant portrayal of the matter as if he'd momentarily confused a Clovis point with a Folsom point in dating some minor archaeological site, rather than obviously and fraudulently doctored his political resumé to pander to a group of Miami voters who accidentally hold the American electorate by one or two short hairs. Scrutiny is not a dirty word. Bald-faced liar is three.

Marco Rubio's Inspiring Biography is the approved way of saying "The Continuing Republican Pipe Dream That Electoral Tokenism Will Hoodwink Minorities", last seen wearing Sarah Palin's purloined wardrobe, and prior to that haunting left blogtopia comment boards with "Dick Cheney will step down and Condi Rice will run for veep, as no librul would vote against a black and a woman" from 2003-2004. The Press is now like the earnest and humorless brown-nosed high schooler who tailors his Current Events speech for maximum chance of winning a trophy from the Kiwanis.

So it's amusing, if you're that sort of person, to see this at work in one of those rare instances where it races off in the other direction: the joint Prairie Republican Sons of the Smallpox Immune statement that calling liquified ammoniated scavenger scrap ooze "pink slime" is just unfair, dammit.

Oh, sorry, Brownback was with 'em. Make that "dagnabbit".

For starters, this is the party of Revenue Enhancements and Death Taxes and Operation Enduring Bright Shining Eternal Righteousness complaining about how something is being mislabeled. It's the party of Holy Climate Change Denial and Evolution is Just a Theory, the one whose members don't trust science, assuring us that science says everything's okie-dokie, so eat up. The really amusing thing for someone of my limited remaining lifespan is that sausages and laws are the two things you don't want to see being made, and right here at their intersection is the Republican party.

Why the pronouncements of a bunch of prairie politicians is supposed to assure people I'm not sure. Or maybe I am. This:

looks for all the world like one of those times you walk into the Kroger meat department and find six suits blocking the aisle. And you know that a) some poor working stiff is gonna wind up taking it in the shorts for anything wrong; and b) come tomorrow the whole section will be rearranged, top to bottom, the better to justify the suits' per diems.

And, of course, this little photo op wouldn't have been complete without the dignitaries actually chowin' down on some slime, which scrutiny suggests is why Nebraska and South Dakota were wise enough to send their Lieutenant Governors. I was hoping that Rick Perry would still be resentful enough to say afterwards that while he didn't eat fast food as much as he'd like to, he had friends who sat on the Yum! board, but no such luck. Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad announced, "It's lean. It's good. It's nutritious," so I he call Michelle Obama with a personal apology.

Of course no such news report is complete without getting the same side of the story from a different perspective:
Russell Cross, who is a former administrator of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, said this product is getting a bad rap from a food safety standpoint.

"I'm not saying it's perfectly safe. Nothing is perfectly safe. All food is going to have bacteria in it. But this product has never been in question for safety," he said.

It will later be noted that Dr. Cross now heads the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. It will not be noted that he worked for the USDA during the Bush I and Clinton administrations, that is, after the Reagan administration had gutted (pardon) the regulations, reduced the number of regulators by 2/3, and turned over the safety process to rancher and meatpacker industry groups, nor that he spent the interim working for, if I remember correctly, industry groups. (That's okay; Funk will balance the report by getting the opinion of the spokesman for the National Meat Association, just to make sure all our information is fully vetted.)

And, look, I don't disbelieve Cross. The product is unquestionably safe, within the limits of our scientifical plerophory; meatpacking profit margins are too thin to actively poison consumers, for one thing. How 'bout if somebody asks Cross about the general safety of "Federally inspected" ground beef? Preferably under oath.

We're not even going to mention the fact that, yet again, Republican allegiance to market forces is considerably less than Republican obeisance to Big Slime. And I can't understand it for the life of me. We sell corndogs! fer chrissakes. Wrapped in chocolate-chip pancakes! People eat at White Castle! Without duress. Don't your friends who own regional distributorships tell you this sort of thing? Put the damn stuff in a plastic tube, with a juice-box straw taped to it, and market it as Pink Slime. Layoffs? Hell, they'll be flocking to South Sioux City from the North Dakota shale fields.


Chris said...

Anyone else reminded of Robert Downey Sr.'s 1968 salvo?

Product Tester: I got this great window cleaner. Cleans good and doesn't streak. But it smells bad. Cleans good, but it smells bad.

Putney Swope: As a window cleaner, forget it. Put soybeans in it for protein and we'll market it as a soft drink in the ghetto. Lay a picture of a rhythm and blues singer on the front and we'll call it Victrola Cola.

prairie curmudgeon said...

"How 'bout if somebody asks Cross about the general safety of "Federally inspected" ground beef? Preferably under oath."

Let alone the health consequences of eating 80% ground beef, which, doubting the accuracy of labeling, looks more like 70% ground beef, depending on the meaning of beef. And that'll cost you at least $4.00/lb (partly due to your mandated burning of corn with your gas).

When it comes to truthiness among 'servatives and free marketers, what's a little light on the lean among the happy reeducated campers?

R. Porrofatto said...

I love that picture. It took three hands from two Lieutenant Governors to hold up one package of beef by-products for intense study and approval. I hope they got a similar shot of all the politicos touching the giant reproduction of Beef Products, Inc.'s RNC donation check.

(I had to look up plerophory and I'm not ashamed to admit it.)

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

If you don't love Pink Slime, you're Anti-American!1!!!

Weird Dave said...

"In a 1M ammonia solution, about 0.42% of the ammonia is converted to ammonium, equivalent to a pH of 11.63."

Xecky Gilchrist said...

Woe. I went vegetarian in 2011 basically on a bet, and it was hearing about pink slime that convinced me not only to stick with it but tilt more and more toward vegan. I know not all meat is pink slime but there's been this sort of "one bad apple" principle at work.

I would pay, though, to see the spectacle of Republicans drinking Pink Slime through a straw, though it might be even better to have them suck it straight out of the tube for greater phallicity.

TM said...

Pink Slime is for their idiot voters.

These fellas look like filet mignon types (maybe porterhouse for Senor 'Stache with the Mid-Western Tragedy haircut).

Anonymous said...

Once again, The Simpsons has the answer for us:

"Troy: Gettin hungry Jimmy?
Jimmy: Uhh, Mr. McClure? I have a crazy friend who says its wrong
to eat meat. Is he crazy?
Troy: Nooo, just ignorant. You see your crazy friend never heard of "The Food Chain". [Flash to a picture of "Food Chain", with all animals and arrows pointing to a silhouette of a human.] Just ask this scientician."

Our modern Republican Party; ignorant, and damned proud of it.

mac said...

“If it's a it”