To a significant degree, American politics is a story of insiders vs. outsiders, so it's inevitable that people among the latter group would be lumped together, even if they're quite different by any other measure.
Still, it's probably fair to say that when most people think of Nevada renegade rancher Cliven Bundy, the Zuccotti Park protesters of Occupy Wall Street don't immediately — or eventually — come to mind.
Yet on the Tuesday night edition of his Fox News show, host Bill O'Reilly drew that very comparison when he had a pro-Bundy militia man as a guest.
"What's the difference between Mr. Bundy and the Occupy Wall Street crew, that doesn't respect the federal government for a variety of reasons and feels it has a right to go into a city like Oakland and burn things down?" O'Reilly asked.
The militia-founding Bundy supporter, Scott Shaw of Oklahoma, who seemed a bit surprised by the question, answered that Bundy, unlike OWS, provides America with beef.
"He's a cattle rancher He's providing the country with beef," Shaw responded before adding, "The Occupy movement — to this day, I still don't know what they're providing the country with."
We find it remarkable that this lesson still needs learning, but a word to the wise: If you're running the social media accounts for a controversial organization or individual, don't try to be cute and create your own hashtag...unless you want to see it hijacked by your haters within 20 minutes.
Or, as of Tuesday, you can ask the NYPD.
In a brazen attempt to destroy the department's reputation for competence and efficiency (hold the civil liberties, please) the people manning the NYPD's Twitter account decided on Tuesday that starting a hashtag, #mynypd, would be a totally good idea that wouldn't backfire in a predictable and high-profile manner:
Liberals rejoice. The former mayor of New York City, megabillionaire Michael Bloomberg, recently announced to the New York Times that he will spend some $50 million dollars on an effort to confront the National Rifle Association and advance background-check legislation for gun buyers. I’m a strong supporter of gun control, so hooray, I guess.
What made the story worth noting was when the paper asked Bloomberg, one of the wealthiest men in the world, how much he planned to spend on the matter:
...he tossed the $50 million figure out as if he were describing the tip he left on a restaurant check.
“I put $50 million this year, last year into coal, $53 million into oceans,” he said with a shrug, describing his clean energy and sustainable fishing initiatives.
This sounds remarkably nonchalant, even indifferent. The reader naturally wonders what motivates a man who has dumped so many millions over the years with so little concern about results.
In this era of government austerity, particularly at the state and local levels, the median police salary in the small township of Saddle Brook, N.J., is more than $120,000. Virtually the entire force enjoys six-figure annual incomes. In North Brunswick, about an hour down the Garden State Parkway, the median police salary is over $110,000. Francis “Mac” Womack, the Democratic mayor of North Brunswick since 2012, defends this seemingly excessive compensation on the grounds that, while he “can go to sleep at night if we cut a recreation program,” he can’t sleep if his township is “doing without public safety" (the mayor did not specify who, exactly, was advocating a policy of no public safety).
The people who work at or attend recreation programs in North Brunswick must have felt all warm and fuzzy after hearing that. One expects this kind of sentiment from a law-and-order Republican, but this is a Democratic mayor of a blue city, with a relatively low crime rate.