Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another One From The 'House

Pardon me while I continue to try to catch up on my favorite blogs after a few weeks away from the 'sphere, which means that I will probably be linking to progressively older posts for the next day or nineteen, but anyway, here's a passage from Mr. Riley that is just wonderful. No one reminds us what life under St. Ronald was really like better than he.

Y'know, the three great non-magical accomplishments of the Reagan administration were 1) bringing the fusty Savings & Loan industry into the 20th century; 2) solving the open revolt of the meat industry over stricter health and labeling laws--which it had met at that point by the simple expedient of thinking up new names for every cut of beef in existence so they weren't covered by the new regs--by cutting the number of food inspectors in half, putting representatives of the Slaughter industry in charge of what was left, and down-shifting the standards for beef grades, so that overnight "Choice" became "Prime", "Good" became "Choice", "Standard" became "Good" (which was renamed "Select"), and "Roadkill" became "Would you like Fries with that?". Reagan's first head of the USDA Food Marketing and Inspection Service was the Vice-President of the National Cattleman's Association. His second was the President. You can look this sort of shit up. The USDA then instituted something called the Streamlined Inspection System for Cattle (SIS-C), which efficiently replaced all those missing inspectors with the slaughterhouse employees themselves, on the grounds that they were already there anyway. If you can do this sort of thing and keep a straight face, or, better yet, one with a genial, more-or-less Out Of It smile on it, they name airports after you.

Keeping count, were you, my sweet little anal-retentive-obsessive? Ah, you're someone after my own heart. Of course there is a "3)," and you may see it by continuing to read "Of Economics And Morality. Ha-ha, Just Kiddin'."

But really, the post is actually mostly about cable teevee, by which I mean it is still good history, but also more immediately relevant to today.

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