Monday, September 18, 2006

How the Right Lost Iraq, Terror Parasites, Iraq, Afghanistan, Baghdad Moat, Iran, The Pope, Electon Trouble, GOP Feud and George W. Christ.

A lot of us knew that the invasion of Iraq was a stupid thing to do before we even went into Iraq. Not the main reason, but one of the reasons, was that George Bush didn't have the intellectual capacity to understand the seriousness of the undertaking or the ability to manage the country after we defeated it's military.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post brings us proof that Bush and his administration were incompetent to the extreme and were more interested in party affiliaton than ability and knowledge in the reconstruction efforts. Efforts may be too strong a word.

Read the whole article, it's a rare insight into right-wing, fantasyland principles applied to the real world.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003, the
opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted
all manner of Americans -- restless professionals, Arabic-speaking academics,
development specialists and war-zone adventurers. But before they could go to
Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O'Beirne's office in the Pentagon.

O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic
politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the
president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the
U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade

Many of those chosen by O'Beirne's office to work for the Coalition
Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004,
lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in
finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's
stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a
recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were
tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a
background in accounting.

The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and
the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort
to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest
errors. Many of those selected because of their political fidelity spent their
time trying to impose a conservative agenda on the postwar occupation, which
sidetracked more important reconstruction efforts and squandered goodwill among
the Iraqi people, according to many people who participated in the
reconstruction effort.

It's no wonder that Iraq is the mess it is today, considering the types of looney toons that the White House put in charge over there.

As more and more of O'Beirne's hires arrived in the Green Zone, the CPA's
headquarters in Hussein's marble-walled former Republican Palace felt like a
campaign war room. Bumper stickers and mouse pads praising President Bush were
standard desk decorations. In addition to military uniforms and "Operation Iraqi
Freedom" garb, "Bush-Cheney 2004" T-shirts were among the most common pieces of

"I'm not here for the Iraqis," one staffer noted to a reporter over
lunch. "I'm here for George Bush."

The hiring of Bremer's most senior advisers was settled upon at the highest
levels of the White House and the Pentagon. Some, like Foley, were personally
recruited by Bush. Others got their jobs because an influential Republican made
a call on behalf of a friend or trusted colleague.

So it shouldn't come as any surprise that the Bush Administration's war on terror and our so-called national security is being run the same way.

WASHINGTON — At the National Counterterrorism Center — the agency created
two years ago to prevent another attack like Sept. 11 — more than half of the
employees are not U.S. government analysts or terrorism experts. Instead, they
are outside contractors.

At CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., senior officials say it is routine for
career officers to look around the table during meetings on secret operations
and be surrounded by so-called green-badgers — nonagency employees who carry
special-colored IDs.

As far as I'm concerned, all the fear mongering by the President and the Republicans is designed to use your tax money to subsidize an army of parasites.

There are 33,890 companies with federal homeland security contracts. Seven years
ago -- after some decades of terrorism kicked off with the Olympics in 1972 --
there were only nine. Since 2001, $130 billion worth of contracts have been
handed out by the same thundering, blundering pen pushers who mismanaged the
hurricanes Katrina and Rita to these merchants of fear.

An industry that makes so much money has to have an army of lobbyists, with
only one incentive: to increase the real fear of the threat to America and to
our hearths, and augment fears for our mortality and eternity. Our recovering
economy is based on fear of the unimaginable becoming the inevitable.

The field is crowded today. There are now some 550 lobbying firms
registered for homeland security, compared with two in 2001. One of the new
leading consultants is former Attorney General John Ashcroft, who while in
office said his department had unearthed more than 1,000 terrorist cells in the
United States and warned in May 2004 that 90 percent of the arrangements for a
major attack on our country had been made by al-Qaida. Today, he leads the
Ashcroft Group.

And to support these parasites, we reduce funding of renewable energy.

Out at the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, a new turbine is being tested
that generates more electricity, but won't kill so many fish - thanks to
research dollars from Uncle Sam.

Down in California's Long Valley, on the Sierra Nevada range, federal
researchers are working to boost efficiency of geothermal energy, which uses the
earth's natural heat to generate power.

But renewable energy advocates may have to kiss goodbye those and other
research projects. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is quitting the hydropower
and geothermal power research business - if Congress will let it.

Declaring them "mature technologies" that need no further funding, the
Bush administration in its FY 2007 budget request eliminates hydropower and
geothermal research, venerable programs with roots in the energy crises of the

And with Bush's corporate-backed, faith-based attitude toward the environment, we can funnel even more money to the terror parasites by gutting the EPA.

WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency intends to close labs, cut
its cadre of upper-level scientists and reduce regulatory oversight, according
to an internal agency document.

In a memo dated June 8, a top agency official outlined "a set of
proposed disinvestments, innovations, efficiencies and consolidations" for the
upcoming 2008 fiscal budget.

"The decisions we make will be critical, difficult and will have
long-term consequences," EPA Chief Financial Officer Lyons Gray wrote.

And just what are we getting out of all these billions of dollars spent on the "War on Terror"? According to Harry Reid, not a single thing.

Five years after September 11, not a single terrorist has been brought to
justice under the President's flawed policy. There is a bipartisan process
underway in the United States Senate to fix the failed Bush Administration
system that was struck down by the Supreme Court. Instead of picking fights with
Colin Powell, John McCain, and other military experts, President Bush should
change course, do what the American people expect, and finally give them the
real security they deserve.

Well, surely after the hundreds of billions spent, combined with the brilliant leadership of the War President, things must be going great in Iraq.

BAGHDAD, Sept. 17 -- A wave of seven suicide car bombs and explosions rocked the
oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Sunday, killing at least 26 people and wounding 85
others, police said.

The string of attacks in Kirkuk came as police in Baghdad reported the
discovery of 24 bullet-riddled corpses that had been dumped in various parts of
the capital. Armed men also assassinated Muhammad Shihab al-Dulaimi, an official
with the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni political bloc in parliament,
while he was driving his car in the capital's Mansoor district, said Brig. Gen.
Fadhil Abdul Muhsin of the Interior Ministry.

In Fallujah, a volatile city in the Sunni Arab insurgent stronghold of
western Anbar province, two suicide car bombs exploded within minutes as the
drivers tried to ram into a U.S. military base, killing at least three Iraqi
police officers and wounding five others, police Capt. Ammar Yasser Halbousy

"All the talk and rumors that you may hear about alliances or new
initiatives to wipe out al-Qaeda by the tribes in Anbar is all pure nonsense,"
Sheik Faraj Khalid Essawi said. "We wish that we could build a strong tribal
alliance against al-Qaeda to defeat them and reestablish security in our area
and rebuild the dignity and the stature of the tribal sheiks. But frankly, we
are unable to stand up to or to confront al-Qaeda because even the American army
itself has not succeed in defeating it."

Also Sunday, the U.S. military announced that a sailor assigned to the
1st Marine Logistics Group died Saturday from combat injuries in Anbar

But the bad news from Iraq hasn't fazed our War President. The Iraqis have came up with the ingenious plan to dig a trench around Baghdad. President Bush is giddy with delight over the new plan, saying "The enemy is changing tactics, and we're adapting. And so they [U.S. and Iraqi security officials] have got a plan now, they've adapted. The enemy moves; we'll help the Iraqis move. So they're building a berm around the city to make it harder for people to come in with explosive devices, for example."

If there's anyone reading this that's as dumb as our War President, a trench is a innie and a berm is an outtie.

BAGHDAD, Sept. 15 — The Iraqi government plans to seal off Baghdad within weeks
by ringing it with a series of trenches and setting up dozens of traffic
checkpoints to control movement in and out of the violent city of seven million
people, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Friday.

What about our other front in the War on Terror? We don't hear much about Afghanistan anymore, so things must be getting better over there? Yeah right. The Bush magic works everywhere in the world.

BRUSSELS -- More than a week after NATO's top leaders publicly demanded
reinforcements for their embattled mission in southern Afghanistan, only one
member of the 26-nation alliance has offered more troops, raising questions
about NATO's largest military operation ever outside of Europe and the goal of
expanding its global reach.

The plea for more soldiers and equipment to fight resurgent Taliban
insurgents comes as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's forces are
suffering the highest casualty rates of the nearly five-year-long conflict in
Afghanistan, and as European governments are feeling stretched by the demands
for troops there and in Iraq, Lebanon, the Balkans and in several African

Since the news from Iraq and Afghanistan is such a drag on our usually happy-go-lucky Commander-in-Chief, he figures that the third times the charm and now he wants a war with Iran in the worst way. The Europeans are doing their best to disabuse him of this notion.

NEW YORK, Sept. 17 -- European efforts to get Iran and the United States
around the same negotiating table are at an advanced yet sensitive stage, with a
small number of remaining differences to be tackled this week when world leaders
gather at the United Nations, according to several American, Iranian and
European officials involved.

President Bush plans to make Iran a centerpiece of his speech Tuesday
before the U.N. General Assembly, explaining to the annual meeting of presidents
and prime ministers why he regards the Tehran government as a grave threat yet
is willing to support negotiations to ease those concerns.

The Pope and Bush have a lot in common, neither should be allowed to speak without handlers and a pause button. Pope Benedict XVI is setting new records at backtracking after making an incredibly dumb statement the other day.

Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday that he is "deeply sorry" about the
reaction in some countries to a recent speech in which he quoted a 14th-century
Byzantine emperor as saying that the prophet Muhammad brought "only evil and
inhuman" things to the world.

The pope said that the quotation from Manuel II Palaeologus does not
reflect his personal views, and that his speech last Tuesday at Germany's
University of Regensburg was intended to invite inter-religious dialogue "with
great mutual respect."

Back in the States. What would ever possess a state to spend good money on bad electronic voting machines? There's got to be something shady going on and it looks like we're going to have more screwed-up elections because of it. Canada's got the right idea on voting.

An overhaul in how states and localities record votes and administer elections
since the Florida recount battle six years ago has created conditions that could
trigger a repeat -- this time on a national scale -- of last week's Election Day
debacle in the Maryland suburbs, election experts said.

In the Nov. 7 election, more than 80 percent of voters will use electronic
voting machines, and a third of all precincts this year are using the technology
for the first time. The changes are part of a national wave, prompted by the
federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 and numerous revisions of state laws, that
led to the replacement of outdated voting machines with computer-based
electronic machines, along with centralized databases of registered voters and
other steps to refine the administration of elections.

But there is good news. There are actually some Republicans that don't get off on torture. And this is causing a schism between those Republicans that have gone completely over the edge and those that have only gotten to the brink.

Congressional Republicans had carefully orchestrated the finale of the
legislative year to be a showdown with Democrats over which party is best
equipped to keep the country safe, a handpicked fight on traditional Republican

But the high-stakes standoff between President Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) over military tribunals could ruin that
legislative strategy, political analysts and strategists say. Instead of
fighting Democrats, Republicans find themselves in the middle of an intraparty
struggle between an embattled president and two of the most respected figures in
their party, McCain and his ally on the issue, former secretary of state Colin
L. Powell.

And talking about over the edge, the latest from those Religious Right whackjobs, making children worship a picture of President Bush. Onward Christian soldiers!

Sept. 17, 2006 — An in-your-face documentary out this weekend is
raising eyebrows, raising hackles and raising questions about evangelizing to
young people.

Speaking in tongues, weeping for salvation, praying for an end to
abortion and worshipping a picture of President Bush — these are some of the
activities at Pastor Becky Fischer's Bible camp in North Dakota, "Kids on Fire,"
subject of the provocative new documentary, "Jesus Camp."

"I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel
as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places," Fisher said.
"Because, excuse me, we have the truth."

It's Monday, what do you expect?

Just ran across this, keeping with the crappy Monday theme, if you're relying on a 401K plan to retire on, good luck.

As opposed to Social Security, which you can count on, we can figure that
one-third or more of the people relying on 401(k)s are in for a disappointment.
It won't be there for them, at least not enough to live on.

No worries: Penniless pensioners can live with their children, if
they have any, or apply to a faith-based charity or take a job at Wal-Mart.
While they cope with the day-to-day crises, these same people may draw
satisfaction from knowing that they took responsibility for themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)