Thursday, February 03, 2005
I've said it before and I'll say it again: all the Democrats are good for right now is to obstruct and delay. That's it. It shouldn't be a moral question, because any Democrat with any heart would realize that any dissent is, in discourse, just that: obstructionist and delaying. They are the embodiment of opposition right now. They stand for nothing, they create nothing, they do nothing. And yet, the only role which could in any way gain them any support, is actively shunned by their leadership.
There are, to my mind, two major issues they could get behind in oder to win in 2012. Unions and fuel efficiency. Unions are the lifebread of America. They need to shed the socialist stigma (which is almost as tough as shedding the "Im a Sex Offender" stigma) and if they do, they'll see that it embraces the very basics of our Constitution, and the very foundation of American democracy. Living wage. Health care for all. Equality. Respect for the working people. Much of the unions' fall is the unions' own fault, but they have a working infrastructure that could be very powerful again with the right PR people. And their values are every American's values. There was a time when the unions were a formidable voting bloc. I don't think it would take much to get it back there. And the beauty is, if they do it right, it could be a nationally-funded campaign that yet works from the grass roots level. This is where change happens.
Number 2: Fuel efficiency. This encompasses so many issues, from foreign policy to the environment, to NIMBY to wallet stress at the pump. They need to get ahead of the curve on this one. It's an issue that crosses party lines unlike any other. In five -- ten years, tops -- this will be what everyone is talking about. Fuel efficiency is such a simple thing to accomplish, and even a modest step forward in this regard can and will do so much. So why do they cower? Why do they play to Bush's will? Term limits. Greed. Myopic and selfish perspective? That's too shallow. We need and should demand more.
I am telling you. If I were head of the Democratic party, I would put them on these two issues. It's the best way to unite the elusive "Southern Vote" (which doesn't amount to shit anyway, if you do the math) and to prove that you're thinking ahead, which -- despite the 8 million who still believe the Rapture is coming any day now -- most of America wants.
Instead, after that nightmare of a State of the Union Address, we get this.
Said [Senate Minority leader and coward Harry] Reid, "We will be first in line to work with him. But when he gets off track, we will be there to hold him accountable."
Republicans successfully embraced the word "values" in the 2004 elections, and on Wednesday Democrats invoked it.
That's great! You'll be the FIRST to work with him, but occasionally, you'll raise a stink. Good job! You're really serving our country (and God) well!
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Now. Well. Where does one begin? I guess I could start with a treatise on the marketing of war. How video games, commercials, movies and, yes, toys, all glorify war to us young boys and girls before we have a concept of what it could possibly mean. I could then parlay that into an argument against the indoctrination of the American Myth, suffered in school and the press. I suppose I would then close it off with a funny but provocative lesson about the unintended consequences of one's actions. But I'll just let this speak for itself. (From DU.)
Web Site Claims GI Captured in Iraq
Feb 1, 3:03 PM (ET)
By ROBERT H. REID
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi militants claimed in a Web statement Tuesday to have taken an American soldier hostage and threatened to behead him in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners. The U.S. military said it was investigating, but the claim's authenticity could not be immediately confirmed.
The posting, on a Web site that frequently carried militants' statements, included a photo of what that statement said was an American soldier, wearing desert fatigues and seated on a concrete floor with his hands tied behind his back. The figure in the photo appeared stiff and expressionless, and the photo's authenticity could not be confirmed.
A gun barrel was pointed at his head, and behind him on the wall is a black banner emblazoned with the Islamic profession of faith, "There is no god but God and Muhammad is His prophet."
A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, Marine Sgt. Salju K. Thomas, said he had no information on the claim but "we are currently looking into it."
EDITED BY ADMIN: COPYRIGHT
Now the funny part... the image of the captured soldier is a toy.
Please compare the image on the AP site with the following image from www.monkeydepot.com, a full blown military miniatures site.
It's the same figure.
I sure hope Fox and the others run with this... ROFLMAO!!!!
I'll probably say this 250 more times in the next year or so, but if it weren't so sad, it would be funny.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
America has innovated a lot of things, but corruption is certainly not one of them.
But when we work with others in corruption, well, that's just a thing of beauty.
The US-led authority that governed Iraq after the 2003 invasion did not properly safeguard $8.8 billion of Iraq's own money and this lack of oversight opened up these funds to corruption, said a US audit released on Sunday.
"We believe the CPA management of Iraq's national budget process and oversight of Iraqi funds was burdened by severe inefficiencies and poor management," [an official from the US Inspecor General's office] said.
The report said the occupation authorities failed to ensure funds were not used to pay "ghost" employees and cited one example where occupation officials authorized payment for about 74,000 guards but only a fraction of these could later be validated.
Former occupation authorities chief Paul Bremer, who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom last month for his work in Iraq, rejected the US audit's findings and said it did not "meet the standards that Americans have come to expect of the Inspector General."
"The draft report assumes that Western-style budgeting and accounting procedures could be immediately and fully implemented in the midst of war," said Bremer in a written reply to auditors when he received the first draft.
Aw, Mr. Bremer, that's just adorable! Nine billion. Not bad. That takes a really outrageous amount of incompetence. But, but, where did it all go...?