Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is my hero. Our county has a GDP per capita that is 800% higher than Venezuela, yet Chavez is donating heating oil to us and calling it “humanitarian aid”. But but we’re the richest country in the world!
Chavez has sold the discounted oil in two U.S. markets, New York and Massachusetts. Citizens Energy Corp., a Boston-based nonprofit cooperative, bought 12 million gallons at a steep discount after U.S. oil companies ignored its written plea for help. Similar oil deals are in the works for other parts of New York and some New England states.
But on the second snow day in the Bronx, where scrawled graffiti warns pedestrians of rats, fleas and maggots, it did not escape the notice of tenants that a foreign government stepped in after Congress did not.
Let’s see what else is in the news today… House Passes 3 Tax Cuts, Plans a 4th.
Some moderate Republicans have expressed misgivings about those cuts, which overwhelmingly benefit affluent investors, especially as Congress moves to cut programs for the poor in the name of deficit reduction.
Last month’s budget-cutting bill would save $50 billion over five years by imposing new fees on Medicaid recipients, trimming the food stamp rolls, squeezing student lenders and cutting federal child support enforcement.
In summary, Chavez moves to serve the poor of Venezuela and the United States, while our government moves to cut services to its own poor while simuatenously cutting taxes for the rich. Politics as usual.
Related: Republican framed headlines.
If you follow political blogs, you may have seen the biggest conservative blog self-ownage in the history of blogs. Senator Biden recently came out with a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq that was viciously attacked by many popular conservative blogs. But later, the White House endorsed Biden’s plan, and the blogs were left with their pants down.
And yet, oddly enough, not one of these worthies has seen fit to comment on Bush’s embrace of Biden’s plan. And it’s not lack of time: they have somehow managed to fit in posts on Whoopi Goldberg, Cindy Sheehan, the Carnival of the Cats, and all sorts of other momentous topics. But somehow the fact that our President is, by their standards, unfit to direct our foreign policy seems to have escaped their notice.
I think by now most of you will agree that the reasons for invading Iraq and Afghanistan are more geopolitical than anything else. It’s fascinating that in the history of civilization the art of politics hasn’t really changed. I guarantee that hundreds of years from now there will be leaders pushing wars that are unfavorable to the working classes, who end up supporting them anyway. (The US Civil War comes to mind, where Southern land owners convinced poor white men to fight for “freedom” when it was just about free labor.) While Bush’s gross incompetencies can not be ignored, they would have never surfaced if he was a better marketer. Otherwise, this war is no different from other conflicts we have been in. It wasn’t that long ago when we invaded an entire country and lost almost two dozen Americans to capture a drug dealer (who will be eligible for parole in 2029).
A lot of people complain that this war is a total waste, both in monetary cost and human life, but I know at least one defense contractor who disagrees. The war in Iraq has transfered huge sums of public money to the military complex of private contractors and big business, helping a weak economy while shifting wealth to the rich. But a war like this alone isn’t enough to prop up our economy, so you have a Fed with lax interest-rate policies and the scandal-ridden Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac charters to create a huge housing bubble where people are taking imaginary money out of creative loans to buy the latest SUV and 60-inch plasma television. Without this war, bubbles or bloated agencies, our unemployment and GDP growth rate would make France look like a superpower.
The only way I can sleep at night is by knowing that I will never fully understand how bad things really are. When you live in a country whose citizens are more worried about gas prices and fetuses, and politicians who are more willing to investigate football than spy leaks, there will be no full disclosure, no detailed descriptions of cigars in vaginas. This can only be good, because if we only knew the extent of the house of cards we live in, we’d be boring people talking about things like economic indicators instead of hot celebrity marriages.
Isn’t it the conservatives who campaign on bringing morality and ethics into government? Poor Republicans. They were so close to making the Democrats irrelevant, but they had to go and blow it by breaking these things called laws (DeLay, Frist, Cunningham, etc).
Let’s recap American politics today:
Blow job… cause for impeachment
Outing a covert CIA agent and making up reasons to go to war… not so much.
Prediction for the future: Bush freaks out, starts drinking again. Gets the munchies while drunk, but this time the pretzel takes him out. Dick Cheney takes over, but his ticker finally gives out after his 9th coronary bypass surgery. Say hello to your new President.
POSTSCRIPT: Libby indicted.
CNN.Com Breaking News Banner: ?New Orleans hospital halts patient evacuations after coming under sniper fire, a doctor who witnessed the incident says. More soon.?
What do you say about this DCB? What do you expect the rescuers do when this happens? FEMA is doing what they can, but what happens when the people they are trying to rescue turn against them?!
September 9, 2005
Exaggerations to buy time and give excuses of this massive failure of a relief effort. While I have no doubt that a few bad apples are making it difficult, to think that a homie with a pistol is preventing rescue or supply drop-off of 60,000 people is ludicrous.
September 9, 2005
Five weeks after Hurricane Katrina laid waste to New Orleans, some local, state and federal officials have come to believe that exaggerations of mayhem by officials and rumors repeated uncritically in the news media helped slow the response to the disaster and tarnish the image of many of its victims.
Claims of widespread looting, gunfire directed at helicopters and rescuers, homicides, and rapes, including those of “babies” at the Louisiana Superdome, frequently turned out to be overblown, if not completely untrue, officials now say.
October 5, 2005
On a lighter note, am I the only liberal celebrating an early Christmas present with the unraveling of Bush’s White House? Katrina debacle, corruption scandals, trouble with the latest Supreme Court pick, escalating violence in Iraq, and now we may be looking at possible indictments of actual White House staff.
:pika: :drama: :pika:
me -> :laugh:
George Bush voter -> :shudder:
Look for the Democrats to somehow find a way to blow it in next year’s election.
POSTSCRIPT: Do you believe in coincidences?!
“Power don’t come from a badge or gun. Power comes from lying. Lying big, and gettin’ the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you got everyone agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain’t true, you’ve got ‘em by the balls.”
Many of you have probably noticed that Cindy Sheehan’s protest against the Iraq war is featured very prominently in the news. Either you see footage of the massive camp outside Crawford, Texas or the conservative parrot heads doing everything they can to Swift Boat her out of the news (there is no doubt in my mind that their identical character assassination arguments come from the same faxed talking points memo). The reason why she is getting so much press time while other protests get only brief coverage is simply because she is a normal American.
I went to President Bush’s inauguration this past year and got to witness the most vocal protesters first hand. Most of them are hippie freaks who do not mirror the values of middle class America. They were young white people people with alternative clothing and red hair whose views are so far to the left that the only place they can get food and not hate themselves is from a university co-op. Or it is teenage pyro anarchists whose burning of the flag is for some reason seen as worthy of cheer.
Until middle class America starts to raise their voice and actually give a damn, instead of simply sitting in their office cubicle whining on political blogs while drinking a latte, the conservative power-base will feel it is okay to push misguided agenda, partly sanctioned by religious leaders who were born with the miraculous ability to speak to a magic man in the sky. The people who can do the most by speaking up are more worried about fitting in and keeping up with the Jones, instead of wondering about what type of country their children will grow up in.
I agree with the people of France in their rejection of globalized capitalism. While you are working 40+ hours a week for someone else in a job you probably don’t even like, the French are enjoying their vacations, 35 hour work-weeks, and job security. When Americans were presented with a contract for outsourced labor, war, and massive budget deficits, they happily signed. It doesn’t make sense.
The French people are standing up for their way of life, even if it sacrifices their world power. I say fuck the GDP indicators; you create a country of materialistic zombies when you only focus on wealth, something that a very small percentage of people control.
“You’re an idiot. I make so much more money than the average French person. I can afford Coach bags, appletini’s, and this BMW car lease.”
You are a slave to material possessions, voting away your human desire to happiness with each dollar you spend on things you don’t need.
Many [French] voters said they were eager to snub members of the country’s political, business and media elites, which were largely in favor of the measure.
Wow look at that, people voting for their own needs instead of doing what big companies and politicians tell them to do. :thumbup: