All Rights Reserved © 2005 Thomas W. Day
Wow! This has been an incredible month to look through the rat hole into the real world. Republicans are drizzling ooze in all directions and they're presenting so many targets that writing about them is like shooting catfish in a barrel. Just as a reference, for those of you who aren't counting:
- Bush's mole in the last remaining piece of non-right wing media, ex-Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, quit before he was fired by the CPB's board. The CPB's inspector general had found that Tomlinson had hired lobbyists and contractors, without the board's knowledge, to campaign Congress to restrict public broadcasting's ability to report the news, unless it was favorable to the administration.
- Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pled guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion and resigned his office. Cunningham soaked up $2.4 million in graft to while working for a collection of crooked military contractors. Cunningham, who often promoted his military connection as a former Navy pilot, was one of the few Republicans in office who could actually make any kind of claim to national service. He's facing 10 years in prison and had to give back some of his booty. I'm sure he'll receive a sharp slap on the wrist. Republicans are really into "taking responsibility" when the responsibility can be passed on to someone else.
- Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his lobbying partner, Michael Scanlon, a former aide to Tommy DeLay, bribed Rep. Bob Ney and a collection of Republican congressmen into making bold statements in favor of gambling casino interests in return for at least $10,000 in contributions to the RNC. Big surprise, Republicans and the Mafia are connected. Who'd have thought? Funny, when cops find drugs on poor person, those drugs are astronomically priced. When they discover a Republican politician is taking bribes, we're barely talking any money at all. Raise your hands if you seriously believe that a gambling casino siphoned only $10,000 to the RNC. Ok, so there are a few really stupid folks still able to breed. Nature works overtime to populate the species, no matter how dumb a move that may be.
- Bush and Cheney are on the road promoting their right to torture captives while the rest of the world wonders what the hell happened to "the land of the free and the home of the brave?" On the upside, many people (Lawrence Wilkerson, Rep. Norm Dicks, Sen Jack Murtha) are beginning to locate their lost testicles and are speaking out against this abomination and perversion of our national values.
- Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. has become as interesting as an afternoon soap opera. He has ruled in favor of investment companies that, incidentally, he had considerable financial interest. Paragons of propriety, such as Arlon Spector decided, "It is my conclusion that there has been no impropriety on your part," but folks with a conscience and a lick of sense are less convinced. Alito ruled that a strip search of a 10 year old girl was within the powers of our police state. Alito has ruled that machine gun ownership is every (mobster) American's right. And on it goes. Where do Republicans find these whack jobs?
- The new Iraqi Congress resolved that Iraq’s opposition has a “legitimate right'’ to provide resistance to American occupation. They also asked for a timetable for an American troop withdrawal, something Bush has claimed he'd do the moment Iraq asked us to leave. Of course, now he's saying it's "premature" (wonder if he knows what that word means?) for us to consider withdrawal while Iraq still has oil and Halliburton hasn't yet extracted all of the gold in Fort Knox.
- Senator Tom Delay is sinking further into the Texas court system. For me, the highpoint of his legal mess has been the difficulty a Texas politician has had in finding a competent, unbiased Texas judge to hear his case. Bush seemed to think that every damn court in Texas was competent to try death cases, even without a state public defender system, but political corruption is beyond their capacity. How difficult is it to determine if a Republican is taking bribes? I'd be surprised if it's any harder than deciding if a politician is lying (are his lips moving?).
- New Orleans and Katrina are still spilling into Bush's lap. Corruption and incompetence seem to be the legal tender of this administration's attitude toward domestic issues. As our weather changes, lots of red states are likely to be experiencing natural disasters. I'm sure Pat Robertson will be praying for their contributions to his newest castle on a mountain. One thing for sure, Bush and the Republican wolf pack has made sure none of those damn homeless freeloaders can escape from natural disasters through filing bankruptcy.
- Lastly, a collection of "conservative think tanks" (an obvious oxymoron) have been advocating large families as a "solution" to the Social Security crisis. Their argument is that Social Security was "set up" to be a system that relied on the contributions of new workers to support retiring workers. This ignores the fact that the original system was a "pay as you go" insurance program that has been grossly mismanaged and liberally robbed from by every Republican President from Eisenhower to Bush II. Republicans hate "pay as you go," because it requires the people they represent, the grossly rich, to contribute to the nation's expenses. This idiot "solution" ignores the fact that large families are overwhelmingly the major contributors to poverty, child abuse, illiteracy, and unemployment. I heard one of the brain-dead "conservative intellectuals" explaining this solution on NPR and nearly hurt myself laughing at his justifications. Finally, the poor boy had to fall on his sword and admit that there was a religious/superstitious component to the argument that made large families "even more compelling." Ah, the Corporate God demands "more customers" and who are we to disobey?
The list is much longer and funnier than this. If it weren't scary beyond belief and dangerous beyond our wildest terrors of the Cold War, it would be a lot more entertaining.
The most important thing we should have learned from the Cold War was that a national government run by a single party is dumb beyond belief. Instead, Reagan imported Soviet Union-style politics to the United States and the right has promoted that incompetence to a fine, political art. There are few signs that the media is going to contribute anything useful to the reform of our political system and our elections have been contaminated beyond simple reform. Unless individual citizens wise up and rise up against the nuttiness of the right, we're screwed. For the short term, we're screwed anyway. Bush and his puppeteers have blown the national budget, decimated our national reputation, and lowered our future standard of living to third world status. Good thing they're entertaining, otherwise they would be totally worthless.