Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Simple Wisdom of Mad Kane

The Simple Wisdom of Mad Kane

Mad Kane was so pleased last week to see that Bush wasn't exploiting and politicizing former President Ronald Reagan's death. So pleased was Mad that she was inspired to write this lovely poem in his honor:

Dubya Takes The High Road
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Reflected glory Dubya seeks
From Reagan's mourned demise.
Too bad that next to Forty-Three
Ron's statesmanlike and wise.


Philadelphia Daily News Endorses Kerry Before Nomination Accepted

Philadelphia Daily News Endorses Kerry Before Nomination Accepted

It's very unusual to see an endorsement of this kind in the pre-election season. I wanted to share it with you because it is so politically unique. They explain that this endorsement is being made now, when the election is months away, because this race promises to be close and Pennsylvania is one of 18 swing states that can go to either candidate. I'm not sure if this is the first time in American history that such a strong endorsement is made this early, but it certainly stands out as significant and indicative of an expected tough contest to come this fall.

The endorsement is titled:
Why Him, Why Now-
And How To Put Him In The White House"

An excerpt:

The Case Against Bush

George W. Bush received - and deserved - praise for his leadership during the dark days immediately following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But since then, the Bush administration has been marked by failure - failure to shepherd the country through a tough economic downturn, failure to keep the nation focused on the true enemies to our security.

He has failed in even the one challenge he set out for himself at the beginning of his administration - to bring the country together. His has been one of the most ideologically driven and divisive administrations in recent times.

Instead of moving forward, the country has been on the wrong track. These last four years have been wasted.

Bush wasted the opportunity to lead an international movement against al Qaeda, the real terrorist threat. Instead he has led us, with false intelligence, into a senseless war. In less than two weeks, the United States will hand over control of Iraq to the Iraqis. But our troops will remain - and will have to remain for years to come.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, there was a sense of national unity. Bush wasted the moment by deciding to appease the most strident in his conservative base, opposing gay marriages, gagging abortion information and giving comfort to the more irresponsible voices in the National Rifle Association...

The Case For Kerry

Kerry acknowledges that his privileges left him with a responsibility to serve and an ambition to lead. And he has - from combat in the Navy, then as the cleancut (and therefore highly effective) leader of the Vietnam veterans' anti-war movement, as a prosecutor in Boston, and in four terms in the U.S. Senate.

He is not the indecisive waffler the Bush team would have you believe. Instead, he is offering a concrete, pragmatic direction for the nation.

On the issue of high unemployment he is proposing changing the tax laws that give U.S. companies incentives to outsource jobs to India and China.

Kerry promises to roll back the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $200,000 to help cut the federal deficit and help pay for his health-care program, which seeks to expand coverage. He will withdraw the special privileges given to polluting industries and the oil companies as we work toward freeing ourselves from dependence on oil from the Middle East.

On homeland security, Kerry understands that if we are attacked again, the first to respond will be firefighters and emergency medical teams, which have been largely ignored by the Bush administration. Kerry is proposing recruiting an additional 100,000 firefighters. Bill Clinton did the same with police during his term. Afterward, crime went down across the country. Coincidence? Hardly.

On Iraq, there's little evidence that Bush can enlist the international help necessary to bring more of our troops home. There's reason to believe that Kerry, who understands the human cost of war, will.....

Because he respects the intelligence of the American people, he rarely talks in sound bites.

He understands that sound bites aren't solutions.....


Plundered/Sabotaged: Iraq losing oil revenue all around

Plundered/Sabotaged: Iraq losing oil revenue all around

Is it any wonder there is so much anger amongst the people of Iraq?


"Despite Allawi's words of assurance, the scene on the street suggested that popular revulsion against the U.S. occupation and the government is growing...."

--From a news report describing Monday's rioting in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, the worst since Baghdad fell in 2003


Plundered by the Ones They See As Occupiers

Our Coalition Provisional Authority is positively scrambling to beat the June 30th date to give away $2 billion of Iraq's oil revenues in reconstruction bids to private contractors. The Bush administration knows the new Iraqi government is going to take the reins in just 14 days and they will then have a rightful claim on how their own oil revenues are used. It's ethically disgusting for the CPA (ie: Bush admin/Pentagon) to commit the money to their preferred contractors now. It's really no wonder they're despised and mistrusted by so many Iraqis. The money will come out of the Development Fund for Iraq. The UN Security Council resolution (passed on June 8) requires the new Iraqi government to satisfy all outstanding obligations against the Development Fund for Iraq made before June 30, leaving the new interim Iraqi government with no choice but to honor these questionable expenditures by the CPA.

Just as bad as robbing the Iraqi people's revenues, the business of the State subsidizing corporations through the use of these private contractors (far out of the realm of the "free market") is little more than State-sponsored theft from the People of the U.S. America is providing the capital necessary to undertake Iraq's reconstruction projects. The organization known as the Program Management Office Concept of Operations has the responsibility to ensure Americans receive the best value possible from their investment into the Iraqi infrastructure for the benefit of the Iraqi people. What are they doing? Are you paying attention?

The whole story of the pre-emptive attack upon Iraq is nearly of the most obscene moral tales you could ever hear.

Sabotaged By Those Who Fight Occupation

Iraq's oil exports have been hurt badly by the Basra sabotage. It would take about $30 billion a year in income for the Iraqi state to run the country properly and repair everything that needs to be repaired, as well as servicing its debts and paying reparations. In the past year, Iraq has only been able to generate about $10 billion from petroleum. This is a real kick to Iraq "sovereignty's" credibility-kiester since the direct hit to oil-revenue will be an economy-buster for the new government. Reviving petroleum exports is the key to restoring Iraq's economy after decades of war, international sanctions and Saddam Hussein's tyranny.

If the instability-trend in Iraq spreads to Saudi Arabia (which it seems to be doing right quickly), prices at the pump are soon going to be devastating to us.

American citizens..have you considered that you are being robbed alongside the citizens of the new Iraq? Do you see where your tax-dollars are going?

And you thought IRAQ was terror-connected?

And you thought IRAQ was terror-connected?

The Bush administration and the right-wingers who love them have been desperately attempting to tie Saddam with 9/11 terrorists. VP Dick Cheney constantly tells us there was a connection while offering no proof. We just found out that Osama was rebuffed by Saddam, matter-of-fact. While the Bushites continue to lie (bald-faced) to us and then dig and dig for more fake proof of the slightest coincidental connection, we see stories like these from Saudi Arabia that SCREAM 'terror-harboring'.

We understand that Saudi Arabia knowingly harbors terrorists (voluntarily or not, it's sure terrorists exist fairly openly amongst them).
We understand that Saudi Arabia is a dangerous place for Americans.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has appeased terror-abiding Saudi Arabia by pulling our military bases out.
We've warned American citizens to leave the country.

Saudi Arabia has promised George W Bush a re-election campaign boost by manipulating oil prices at the 'right time'.

This leads me to believe that if a government will cooperate with the U.S., it doesn't matter what their terror connections are.

If Saddam had played the U.S. game, he may have been sitting pretty still today. He was not a 9/11 terrorist nor was he "connected". He was a rebellious ex-friend of the Reagan era.

If American contractor Paul Johnson is murdered by these terrorists who hold him captive, we'd better get ruthlessly tough on Saudi Arabia if we're going to be consistent and credible. Saudi Arabia is no less than infested with terrorists and the Saudi government is not firm enough in their resolve. They are too bloody afraid of their own populace.

Why are we allowing them to get away with their inadequate responses? Why aren't we chasing Prince Bandar into a spider-hole?

The hypocrisy of our foreign policy is astounding.


Note: If you think chasing Prince Bandar into a spider-hole seems a ludicrous idea for a civilized nation to propose, think about the proportion of 9/11 terrorists who were citizens of Saudia Arabia compared to the number that were from Iraq. The Bush administration has made a hypocritical circus of this war on terror...attacking a nation who played no part in killing so many of our citizens in NYC in 2001.

Ashcroft: Worst Attorney General in History

Ashcroft: Worst Attorney General in History

Paul Krugman says there's no question:
John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in American history.
(This particular column is focusing only on Mr. Ashcroft's role in the fight against terror.)