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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Iraiq WMD, Fiscal Restraint, and the Tooth Fairy

Yesterday, two fairly important news stories hit the wires, not that you could tell from Scaifenet though.

The first was a Senate Intelligence Panel report that corroberated much of what Scott McClellan, David Kay, Gens Collin Powell, and Eric Shinseki told us. Namely, that George W. Bush, not just his administration, but the President (and the Vice President) were involved in deceiving the American people into war. They ignored nearly all of the best intelligence, insisted on seeing ALL intelligence (including things which were considered highly dubious), and then took those dubious snipets, those offered by liars (like 'Curveball' and Ahmed Chalabi) to concoct a case for war. War wasn't the 'last resort', it was the wished for first course of action.

There are those on the right who will say "It isn't news, it was a partisan panel" - and it WAS a partisan panel, but it was also an investigation the Republicans in Congress prevented for four years. If they wanted a 'Fair and Balanced' outcome, all they actually had to do was allow the investigation in 2004. They refused - almost certainly because the data that would have been presented in such a report - even if the findings were sculpted by the Republican majority (as they undoubtedly were by the Democratic majority here) - but the data would have been damned embarrasing. Rather than seek the truth, they sought to hide it. Shall we forevermore seek to dismiss any investigation by any person simply because they are from one party or another?

The second story yesterday was about the largest single jump in unemployment in 22 years, and as a percentage of the unemployment figure, undoubtedly longer than that. In the summer of 2000, we were in the middle of a Presidential campaign (between Gore and the man who currently still resides in the White House). The economy was humming, the annual deficit was instead a surplus, and the national debt had fallen for the first time in decades.

Now it is the summer of 2008, we are again in a Presidential race, this time between the FIRST Black man to ever be nominated, and a man who claims to be a maverick, but spent much of the past 4 years voting with the President.

This 'businessman' President has an economy in shambles, facing extroardinary threats of recession and run-away inflation (due to Oil and Food prices), has taken the national debt from $5.2 Trillion to $9.7, an astounding level of fiscal irresponsibility which of course has contributed to our $139/bbl price of oil.

The fact is, whatever your political stripe, it would be hard to claim the country is in any meaningful way, on really any meaningful subject, better off today than 8 years ago.

Even, for example, on social issues where the righties (wrongly) attempt to claim moral superiority, they've failed. Teen pregnancy, after two decades of decline, is on the rise, while safe-sex and condom use is down. So much for the myth of 'examples of integrity' leading to better conduct. Of course, Bush didn't evidence integrity, but to think for a moment that teens give a rip about the President's words or conduct when considering sexual activity, is probably as stupid as thinking you can 'shock and awe' a country into submission.

In no meaningful way has the Republican experiment (the neo-con experiment) been successful, except in creating an ultra-rich super class - created by diverting wealth and opportunity away from the average worker, and by fooling the people into agreeing to use the public treasury to pay private industry. In that, they've been enormously succesful, to believe anything else requires you to think that giving a tooth to a mythical being will result in pennies from heaven. Supply-sideism, which is all that has been pursued by the righties for 30 years - repackaged as 'Ownership society' or other baloney - has been an abject failure - the plight of the people has declined dramatically. Perhaps the next lie/line from the right will be that it's now time to look to Santa Claus?

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