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Absolute Ignorance

Digby watches television so I don’t have to and saw the following discussion among three of the denizens of the Village: Wolf Blitzer, Paul Begala, and Mary Matalin.

Wolf Blitzer: “In an interview the other day with the New York Times, the president said about his press secretary Robert Gibbs, Paul let me read it to you:

He said “We’ve been on this ride together since I won my Senate primary in 2004 … He’s had a six-year stretch now where basically he’s been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay.”

Blitzer noted that the modest pay was $172,200 per annum without considering the perquisites. The responses show that none of them has any math skills, nor any judgment as to the difficulty of a position.

Paul Begala: “And, as Mary points out, if it’s a hourly wage, then Gibbs is probably making about fifty cents an hour.”

Mary Matalin: “For those kinds of jobs, and those hours, it is minimum wage. That’s how hard those jobs are.”

Actually the current Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and assuming an hourly wage for all of the available hours in a year, Mr. Gibbs is making $19.66 per hour. US Senators only make slightly more than Mr. Gibbs, $174,000, and the Vice President only makes $200,000.

The totality of the job is to talk to the press. There are thousands of kindergarten teachers in this country who are qualified to do what he does, and they work for a lot less money.


1 Jim Bales { 01.07.11 at 11:37 pm }


With all due respect, I must disagree with your statement:
The totality of the job is to talk to the press. There are thousands of kindergarten teachers in this country who are qualified to do what he does, and they work for a lot less money.

I would argue that the “the totality of the job” is to say to the press that which one has been told to say to the press, no matter how absurd it may be. It is to put forth one’s story and stick to it, even when one’s nose was long enough for a cricket to perch on the end.

None of the kindergarten teachers my kids had were capable of bearing such false witness.


2 Bryan { 01.08.11 at 12:06 am }

Point taken, Jim. Teachers are too honest for the job, which is probably why they are so badly paid.

3 cookie jill { 01.08.11 at 3:21 am }

If the DC Inside the beltway crowd complains “how hard the work is for such low pay”, might I suggest they try berry or lettuce picking for a year. Let them try working at a slaughterhouse. Ship them out with Captain Sig out in the Bering Sea for a little winter crab fishing.

I am so tired of these wussies sitting around botching, moaning and complaining how difficult their little lives are….and how little they are freakin’ paid.

Interesting to note one DCer who lost his election who isn’t going to work for a K Street lobyist or DC law firm – Sen. Russ Feingold is going back to WI to teach law.

4 Bryan { 01.08.11 at 8:13 pm }

I wonder how they would like working a snow emergency in NYC with the Sanitation Department for less than half that if they had 20+ years on the job and got all of the regular promotions?

5 Kryten42 { 01.08.11 at 10:11 pm }

Yes, have to agree with Jim on this.

OT: Just read this at TP (after hearing it on our TV News earlier). The USA really is now nothing more than one big insane asylum.

[UPDATED] Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 18 Others Shot At Event In Arizona; Judge, Child Among Dead

And nothing much will be done to stop this insanity, because the USA is also the land of the gutless wonders.

You truly do reap what you sow.

And yeah, I’m very annoyed.

6 Kryten42 { 01.08.11 at 10:34 pm }

Here’s a couple more links.

Assassination and the GOP’s eliminationism

Of course there is no way Palin will ever take responsibility, even though she is responsible. And no way in hell anyone in the USA will hold her (and other wingnuts who pushed her agenda) accountable. Just let it slide… like everything else.

Inside the mind of a suspected mass murderer

At least the Amerikan murderer was honest enough to have called himself a terrorist, rather than the usual *Crusader* etc.

Totally ironic really… The USA is fighting two un-winnable International wars (for no return), whilst all your real enemies are domestic! And they are winning! 😆 It really is laughable! But it isn’t at all funny, it’s insane.

7 Bryan { 01.09.11 at 12:41 am }

As long as the media take these whackoes seriously and give them air time, this will continue. Ms. Palin would have faded into obscurity weeks after the 2008 election if the media conglomerates hadn’t viewed her as a profit center and given her access. There is no justification for Glenn Beck who was promoted by CNN before being given a slot on Fox.

Reporting on these people gives them standing and credence they have done nothing to deserve. The minimum would have been to limit coverage to the Entertainment section, rather than covering them under politics.

The media shares the blame in this, but they won’t accept responsibility either.

The GOP will send Boehner out to cry for the camera about this tragedy and the media will let it slide, rather than going into their archives and exposing the GOP for the enablers they are.

If Grayson were still around he would be on the floor of the House and let them have it, but the Obama corps will continue to negotiate with the “terrorists”, because it wouldn’t be polite to point out their hate speech.

8 JuanitaM { 01.09.11 at 8:26 pm }

“Might I suggest they try berry or lettuce picking for a year.”

Great idea, Cookie Jill! I just got this wonderful mental image of Boehner sobbing in his lettuce patch…

9 Kryten42 { 01.09.11 at 9:50 pm }

OMG! Just WHAT is Boehner’s problem??! Seriously, what a total wiener!

If you want a laugh, Jon did a good sketch on the latest Boehner crybaby antics, and also his stupid and worthless (to all non-wealthy Americans) ‘CUTGO’ plan! *SIGH* (Also some other great moments as only Jon can do). Sam Bee call’s Boehner ‘Captain Blubber Pants’. 😉 😆

TDS – January 06, 2011 – Patton Oswalt

Yeah… still laughing! 😉 😛

10 Bryan { 01.09.11 at 10:01 pm }

If he tried for enough dewberries for a pie, he really would have good and sufficient reason to cry. [Dewberries are a wild raspberry/blackberry that grow down here on the nastiest little thorny vines. They are really good, but they make you bleed to find that out.]

11 Kryten42 { 01.10.11 at 8:35 pm }

Hmmm! I wonder if they are the same berries here? Where I lived as a child, we had thickets of wild raspberries & blackberries, but I don’t recall them being called dewberries, (and thistles with prickly pears too)! We used to go picking them, and scratches were regarded as a badge of honor at school after. I remember they used to itch like mad after! 😀 (The things kids do, eh?) 😉 We used to pick mushrooms, get yabbies (a kind of small blue freshwater crayfish, I received a few nips from annoyed yabbies), all kinds of things… crab apples were another favorite then… 😆 When I think back on it all, it’s truly amazing we ever survived childhood in a rural community! And that’s not counting common snakes, spiders, and a long list of other critters that were very willing to teach one the meaning of caution! Even my horse bit me (hard) once when it was annoyed at me because I went away for a week (on a scout bivouac actually) and left a neighbor to feed and generally care for him, and forgot to mention that he got a nice shiny red apple every day! His fave food. *sigh* And people say animals have no emotions! HAH!! Piss one off and they’ll find out how emotional they can get! 😀

And today… all these cowardly wimps are scared of their own shadow! Just goes to prove that *survival of the fittest* is completely bogus!! 😐

12 Badtux { 01.10.11 at 9:03 pm }

Dewberries are a relative of blackberries but grow on a thin vine. Blackberries grow on a thick spikey semi-self-supporting bramble. That’s the biggest difference between them, the wild dewberries and wild blackberries tend to be about the same size and about the same taste. I planted some Brazos variety commercial blackberries on my farm in Louisiana, they’re still out there, having sort of hybridized with the natives and taken over the place, those berries are *huge* (much larger than the wild berries) and the brambles are very vigorous, to the point where the only way the tenants can deal with them is to bush-hog them every fall even though that reduces the next year’s harvest. Dewberries never take over a place like that, they tend to like to live next to poison ivy and virginia creeper along fencelines and other such obstructions.

– Badtux the Helpful Horticulture Penguin

13 Bryan { 01.10.11 at 10:50 pm }

They grow all too well in my Mother’s flower beds, along with the greenbrier, that make heavy gloves an must. They are good, no doubt about it, but I would hate to be required to pick more than a few.

14 JuanitaM { 01.11.11 at 8:05 am }

Blackberries vines grow wild and in profusion here, and they have large berries as well. It’s not at all uncommon in August to see people picking them in groups on the sides of the country lanes. No gloves either 🙂

On the high pay of government officials, as a contrast, I noticed a story this morning that should be filed under the category of “it’s getting mighty tough around here”.

Apparently, the Illinois Governor had such a fired up meeting about the budget that he had to hightail it out of the basement to get out of the building. Illinois Governor Flees Capitol

Wonder what his salary is.

15 Bryan { 01.11.11 at 5:44 pm }

When you talk about increasing taxes, you have to start wearing body armor anymore. No one wants to look at reality and face the tough choices, they want to shift the blame to someone else.