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ISSUE #107
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Features

ArrowGreat Gaffes Through the Ages
A comprehensive list

ArrowWhy ask Why?
Five years after 9/11, the question remains unanswered
Matt Taibbi

ArrowExtreme History Makeover
Lynne Cheney and the rules of history
Christopher Famighetti

ArrowYour Tax Dollars at Work
In Washington, another tale of waste and fraud unpunished
Matt Taibbi

ArrowBaby Suri Hates You, Wants You Dead
Scott Brochert and Josh Righter

Local BEAST
ArrowCON
Tom Reynolds, WNY’s human colostomy bag
Allan Uthman
Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Obscure Racial Epithet

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Hollywoodland, The Black Dahlia, The Covenant, The Last Kiss, Gridiron Gang, The Protector

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Gentleman Be Trippin', Hot Girl on Girl Misogyny, Our Illiterate Correspondent and more

CON
Tom Reynolds, WNY’s human colostomy bag
Allan Uthman

Congressman Tom Reynolds is a shameless liar. This may sound like an opinion to you, but it’s actually a demonstrable fact. I can prove it. All I need for evidence is his latest campaign ads in his bid for reelection in the 26th district. As chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Reynolds is in charge of getting the House Republican majority reelected, so his own campaign ads can be seen as indicators of his national campaign strategy in a very tough season for Republicans. For instance, Reynolds has chosen not to identify the party he belongs to in any of his ads, and a lot of his brethren have followed suit. But that’s just the beginning.

Tom Reynolds Ad

Reynolds’ ads are so disgustingly inauthentic he should win some kind of asshole award. It’s like Smith & Wesson launched a PR campaign to send flowers to the mothers of children killed with their guns. I’ll take them case by case:

“Saving Niagara,” claiming full credit for Reynolds in saving the Niagara Falls Air Force Base, is just garden-variety deceptive grandstanding. It fails to mention that Reynolds voted to consider base closings along with his fellow Republicans (referred to only as “bureaucrats” in the ad), and voted to move them up to 2005, only fighting the closing when he realized he was about to lose 3,000 employed Republicans. But as deceptive campaign spots go, it’s not a standout.

“Michelle Cox,” perhaps the most galling spot for its sheer illogic, features the pitiable plight of Michelle Cox, a local infant born with a facial deformity. Her parents’ health insurance wouldn’t pay to treat Michelle, so they pled their case to Tom Reynolds, who reached down from on high and fixed the situation.

What the ad neglects to point out, of course, is that Michelle’s family’s untenable health care predicament was a direct result of despicable, pharma-friendly Republican health care policies of which Reynolds is an outspoken supporter. The fact is, if there was a more equitable health care system in this country, something to which Reynolds is unquestionably and vehemently opposed, Michelle Cox’s parents would not have been forced to beg their congressman to help them, and Tom Reynolds would not have been able to exploit the opportunity to create a false impression that he gives a damn about poor people or their kids. Reynolds holds every possible wrong position on health care. He was a big part of the push for the ridiculous Prescription Drug and Medicare Modernization Bill, a stealth handout to pharmaceutical companies and HMOs which passed the House by one vote. He’s against reimportation of cheap Canadian drugs, because, you know, you just can’t trust those Canadians. He’s against stem cell research, a position which has swiftly become a litmus test for sensible Americans to determine when a politician is hopelessly stupid. He received a grade of 0% from the American Public Health Association. In other words, Reynolds is as responsible for the Cox’ dilemma as for its solution.

So what’s the message here? If GOP policies have robbed your family of decent health coverage, beg Tom Reynolds for help, and if your story is pathetic enough he might pull some strings for you? Real inspirational. By helping this one family, Reynolds hope to obscure his culpability in the deprivation of millions of families in America who are too poor to enjoy the benefits of what guys like Reynolds call “the greatest health care system in the world.”

“Fighting for Jobs” is an obvious attempt to steal the primary issue of Reynolds’ self-financed opponent, Jack Davis. Again here, Reynolds banks on his audience’s inability to synthesize information or truly comprehend an issue. In this spot, Reynolds is shown walking through a factory with regular workin’ folk, and talking to invisible companions about how the lack of jobs in Western New York stems from the fact that “we are not conducive in New York to creating jobs.” Reynolds’ solution? Make New York more competitive, with “lower taxes, and less burdensome regulations.”

In itself, this argument is not without merit. For better or worse, other areas of the country offer businesses a sweeter deal in both regards, and a lot of people think that WNY needs to adapt to the new free market economy. But there’s an important omission here: as a member of the federal government, Reynolds has literally no purview over any of the state, county and local taxes and regulations of which he speaks. The only taxes and regulations that Reynolds can impact are national, the same everywhere in America. If Reynolds “fights for jobs” by lowering taxes, he lowers them the same amount in Charlotte as he lowers them here, having zero net impact on our region’s competitiveness. Reynolds knows that, but he’s hoping you’re too dumb to get it.

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