Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How Low Can The GOP Go?

Amid the never-ending flow of Republican scandals, this week the GOP has reached a brand-new low. The GOP has become so prone to it, that the number of scandals blur like the number of US casualties in Iraq.

Last month we saw the end of Round One in the CIA leak investigation (or Treasongate), leading to the resignation of Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby for obstructing justice. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, once one considers what has happened to this nation since the Bush Crime Family came to power five years ago.

In the last five years we have seen a nation at peace and prosperity fall into a never-ending war on “terrorism.” Since Dubya has taken the reigns, we have seen a large amount of Manhattan wiped out with the World Trade Center, one of the five walls of the Pentagon destroyed, and the entire city of New Orleans wiped out. Strangely, the President did stand on the rubble in New Orleans and declare a war on hurricanes.

In those last five years, Dubya has cut taxes (primarily on the top one-tenth of 1% of wage earners) by 3.9 trillion dollars, while adding nearly another trillion of spending in the federal budget. Meanwhile, the American middle class is becoming increasingly an endangered species, as good paying union jobs continue to flow to China, India, and Mexico, while every single year the US trade deficit has increased to a new high of $66.1 billion dollars in September of 2005.

In the last five years the US has waged two new wars, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. With the budgets bleeding red all over the place, the Pentagon has decided that instead of putting US soldiers on potato duty, that they’ll just contract that no-bid work out to Dick Cheney’s former company Halliburton…at ten times the price.

There’s been so much scandal and just plain bone-headedness in this administration, it’s almost enough to make you forget that the PNAC neo-con running Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad is now nothing more than the mayor of Kabul.

And one hardly needs to be reminded of the repeated lies and deceptions that brought us into the war in Iraq, that an individual known as “curveball”, an associate of Ahmed Chalabi, told the Bush administration that he personally knew that Saddam had WMD’s. Unfortunately, German intelligence knew that curveball was lying, and the CIA did too, after they gave him a polygraph test prior to our invasion, which he failed. Still, the Bush administration ran with his claims. The Downing Street Memo reminding us all that the Bushies were fixing the intelligence to the policy of invading Iraq, and a brand new Downing Street memo in the UK paper The Daily Mirror shows that the president wished to bomb the Arabic TV network Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar. While Dubya’s apologists call the memo “outlandish”, one needs to be reminded that the US did bomb Al-Jazeera’s bureaus in Afghanistan and in Baghdad in 2001 and 2003, respectively. It’s enough to make one wonder if this President isn’t above nuking CNN or perhaps The Washington Post.

The Post might find itself first in line to that nuking after it reported yesterday that the Bush administration is considering getting the Pentagon to spy on American citizens. A little known Pentagon agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity is preparing to investigate certain domestic crimes. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said “We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America.” Who said living in a police state isn’t fun?

With all this going on at the federal level, it’s hard to remember what is going on at the local and state level. Ernie Fletcher, the Republicans governor of Kentucky, when he was running for office in 2003, promised to cut the number of state-employed aids, which Fletcher called “make-work for friends”. But according to The Courier Journal the Kentucky governor has seen those number of aids increase, including a friend of his named Jimmy Holiday. You see, good ole Jimmy is a Transportation Cabinet employee, who was hired to answer phones on a state help desk. Unfortunately, Jimmy refused to do his job, so in an e-mail to a subordinate the Deputy Secretary of Transportation for the state of Kentucky asked, “So do we have another place to put him where he will work? Otherwise put him in a corner and we’ll ignore him.” Those Republicans sure do love to cut wasteful government don’t they? And in case you were wondering, yes, Jimmy Holiday is a registered Republican.

And in further local news, the Republican Governor of Ohio, Bob Taft, has been found guilty of ethics violations and has seen his approval ratings take such a drive that he wishes he had Dubya’s ratings. But the news isn’t all bad for Taft. The good ole Ohio governor was named “The Sexiest Man Alive” by the Log Cabin Republicans, making “Snotty” Scotty McClellan enraged in jealousy.

And speaking of “Snotty” Scotty, has anyone noticed that he’s stopped giving press conferences ever since he said a Marine veteran, Representative Murtha was siding with “the extreme left and Michael Moore”? You’ll remember that the vast majority of Americans want us out of Iraq (I suppose we’re ALL the ‘extreme left’ now). Since “Snotty” Scotty made the comment we haven’t seen hide nor hair of him in the last 20 days. Some insiders are thinking that Scotty is now toast, since he’s lost all his credibility with the press, especially for lying about Rove’s involvement in Treasongate. But I would wager to bet that a certain gay hooker (ahem! I mean reporter!) has at least seen Scotty’s hide recently.

And with the Reich-wing still going nuts over Murtha’s comments, tomorrow President Dubya is expected to make a major speech at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, in which he is to say that Iraqi security forces are doing “a heck of a job” and that we can now start withdrawing our troops. I will be eagerly awaiting the Bill O’Reillys of the world to call the Dubya a “cut and run” coward who is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, but I won’t hold my breath.

And with all of this insanity raging, Republican Representative “Duke” Cunningham of California resigned his post yesterday, admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Cunningham said, “The truth is I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my office.” Cunningham, 63, could face ten years in prison for that conduct. It would appear that a certain Texas Republican could learn a lot of Duke. Cunningham may have broken the law and broken his promise to defend the Constitution, but at least he admitted his guilt that will permit him to live with some amount of dignity.

And while Bush continues to push for even more Reich-wing nutcases to sit on the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land is beginning to show some strain. Yesterday, a basketball sized piece of marble from the façade over of the entrance of the Supreme Court fell, crashing onto the steps. One wonders if Pat Robertson will say that this was a sign from God, warning us that Bush’s nominees to the court are just too loony. I putting my money on not.


Blogger MiamiMiami said...

Wow, all this and the Democrats sill can't manage to win any important elections? There is something wrong here! Something very , very wrong.....

I heard that Bush has a secret plan to nuke California and put it into the ocean too.....

10:56 AM  
Blogger Alva Goldbook said...

Miami...you might have noticed that the GOP went down in flames in the 2005 state elections just a few weeks ago. Signs of things to come? Most political strategists seem to think so.

11:51 AM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

Alva you may have noticed that the Iraqi reently had elections too and the hopes of the Democrats wishing for our failure has gone down in flames. Sign of things to come, hopefully. Most Iraqis seem to think so...

6:22 PM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

Finally a Democrat who gets it!

I am sure you will hate him because he actually supports common sense but what a revelation! If only the others got it right!

Our Troops Must Stay
America can't abandon 27 million Iraqis to 10,000 terrorists.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there. More work needs to be done, of course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood--unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.

Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.

There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.

It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

Before going to Iraq last week, I visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has been the only genuine democracy in the region, but it is now getting some welcome company from the Iraqis and Palestinians who are in the midst of robust national legislative election campaigns, the Lebanese who have risen up in proud self-determination after the Hariri assassination to eject their Syrian occupiers (the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias should be next), and the Kuwaitis, Egyptians and Saudis who have taken steps to open up their governments more broadly to their people. In my meeting with the thoughtful prime minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, he declared with justifiable pride that his country now has the most open, democratic political system in the Arab world. He is right.
In the face of terrorist threats and escalating violence, eight million Iraqis voted for their interim national government in January, almost 10 million participated in the referendum on their new constitution in October, and even more than that are expected to vote in the elections for a full-term government on Dec. 15. Every time the 27 million Iraqis have been given the chance since Saddam was overthrown, they have voted for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000 terrorists offer them. Most encouraging has been the behavior of the Sunni community, which, when disappointed by the proposed constitution, registered to vote and went to the polls instead of taking up arms and going to the streets. Last week, I was thrilled to see a vigorous political campaign, and a large number of independent television stations and newspapers covering it.

None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.

The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and they asked me for reassurance about America's commitment. The question is whether the American people and enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties understand this. I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead.

Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.

The leaders of America's military and diplomatic forces in Iraq, Gen. George Casey and Ambassador Zal Khalilzad, have a clear and compelling vision of our mission there. It is to create the environment in which Iraqi democracy, security and prosperity can take hold and the Iraqis themselves can defend their political progress against those 10,000 terrorists who would take it from them.

Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do. And it is important to make it clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still but has changed over the years. Mistakes, some of them big, were made after Saddam was removed, and no one who supports the war should hesitate to admit that; but we have learned from those mistakes and, in characteristic American fashion, from what has worked and not worked on the ground. The administration's recent use of the banner "clear, hold and build" accurately describes the strategy as I saw it being implemented last week.

We are now embedding a core of coalition forces in every Iraqi fighting unit, which makes each unit more effective and acts as a multiplier of our forces. Progress in "clearing" and "holding" is being made. The Sixth Infantry Division of the Iraqi Security Forces now controls and polices more than one-third of Baghdad on its own. Coalition and Iraqi forces have together cleared the previously terrorist-controlled cities of Fallujah, Mosul and Tal Afar, and most of the border with Syria. Those areas are now being "held" secure by the Iraqi military themselves. Iraqi and coalition forces are jointly carrying out a mission to clear Ramadi, now the most dangerous city in Al-Anbar province at the west end of the Sunni Triangle.

Nationwide, American military leaders estimate that about one-third of the approximately 100,000 members of the Iraqi military are able to "lead the fight" themselves with logistical support from the U.S., and that that number should double by next year. If that happens, American military forces could begin a drawdown in numbers proportional to the increasing self-sufficiency of the Iraqi forces in 2006. If all goes well, I believe we can have a much smaller American military presence there by the end of 2006 or in 2007, but it is also likely that our presence will need to be significant in Iraq or nearby for years to come.

The economic reconstruction of Iraq has gone slower than it should have, and too much money has been wasted or stolen. Ambassador Khalilzad is now implementing reform that has worked in Afghanistan--Provincial Reconstruction Teams, composed of American economic and political experts, working in partnership in each of Iraq's 18 provinces with its elected leadership, civil service and the private sector. That is the "build" part of the "clear, hold and build" strategy, and so is the work American and international teams are doing to professionalize national and provincial governmental agencies in Iraq.

These are new ideas that are working and changing the reality on the ground, which is undoubtedly why the Iraqi people are optimistic about their future--and why the American people should be, too.

I cannot say enough about the U.S. Army and Marines who are carrying most of the fight for us in Iraq. They are courageous, smart, effective, innovative, very honorable and very proud. After a Thanksgiving meal with a great group of Marines at Camp Fallujah in western Iraq, I asked their commander whether the morale of his troops had been hurt by the growing public dissent in America over the war in Iraq. His answer was insightful, instructive and inspirational: "I would guess that if the opposition and division at home go on a lot longer and get a lot deeper it might have some effect, but, Senator, my Marines are motivated by their devotion to each other and the cause, not by political debates."
Thank you, General. That is a powerful, needed message for the rest of America and its political leadership at this critical moment in our nation's history. Semper Fi.

Mr. Lieberman is a Democratic senator from Connecticut

This may be the ONLY Democrat I would even think of considering voting for...maybe.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Alva Goldbook said...

I am curious to why you would think how the Iraqi elections are a "win" for anyone (much less the GOP) and a "loss" for the Dems? Everyone hopes that Iraq will turn out well, but most Americans have begun to see that they don't have the option of hope in Iraq, as the country falls further and further into choas.

Iraq is today in a state of a civil war. And that will continue whether we are there or not. The only question now is if another American should die for US control of energy reserves. I should think not.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Alva Goldbook said...

This is the same Joe Lieberman who is buddy-buddy with Pat Robertson. But lets think about this for one moment...

Joe Lieberman is a Jew. Why would a Jew want to occupy and control an Arab nation? Hmmm.

5:35 AM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

I am curious to why you would think how the Iraqi elections are a "win" for anyone (much less the GOP) and a "loss" for the Dems?
===>Because for the Democrats the actual fact that their is anything positive coming from Iraq is a negative for them. If the Democrats were to actually applaud a positive thing in the war it would undermine their effort to regain power. For the Iraqis it is a win. They are able to vote and practice this little thing we call democracy. Unfortunately the Senator from Connecticut got it right when he was pointing out how the media here is so clearly biased in only presenting the negative and not reporting all of the positives. This plays into the Democrats hands, plus the fact that my own party has been seriously lacking in getting the message out as well. Good news is bad news for the Dems.

Everyone hopes that Iraq will turn out well, but most Americans have begun to see that they don't have the option of hope in Iraq, as the country falls further and further into choas.
=====>Did you read the piece from Senator Lieberman? Is he also in the pocket of Halliburton and the "Bushies"? Is he a "reich-winger" now too? I think that what he did took real guts! He is not anywhere mentioned lately in the MSM because he is going against the grain of themodern liberal Democrat. He is trying to tell us that their IS good news coming form Iraq but we will never see it form the MSM.

Iraq is today in a state of a civil war.
====>Wrong. Again you choose to ignore what the Senator from Connecticut wrote. It's a war between 27,000 Iraqis and 10,000 terrorists. That's NOT a civil war. It's not even close.

And that will continue whether we are there or not.
=====>Civil war is not necessarily a bad thing either you know. Look how we turned out after ours. but to counter your statement would require me to agree that there indeed IS a civil war when there isn't one.

The only question now is if another American should die for US control of energy reserves. I should think not

=====>Silly man. You still want to believe that this is a war over energy reserves? Why can't you at least admit that you are sad to see that a Democrat is saying the truth for once. A truth that goes against all of the idiocy spouted by the left in this country. You should be proud of this guy. He has won my respect hands down!

1:45 PM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

This is the same Joe Lieberman who is buddy-buddy with Pat Robertson. But lets think about this for one moment...
=====>Yes let's think about this one. The same Joe Lieberman that was supposedly robbed of an election by the people you call "reich-wingers". The same Joe Lieberman who holds very conservative Judaic beliefs. The same Joe Lieberman who is sane enough to separate himself from the morons in his own party.

Joe Lieberman is a Jew. Why would a Jew want to occupy and control an Arab nation? Hmmm.
======>Huh? So now there is a Jewish conspiracy to occupy Iraq? And Bush is the Nazi? You need to get yourself checked in to a clinic or something my friend. It's sad that when a lefty in this country is told by someone that they supposedly wanted for Vice-President badly, so badly, that they would make up this farce that he was robbed of the election, that what is happening in Iraq IS the right thing and we must continue to bring it to the enemy that they revert to the old "Jewish" conspiracy theory. This from the person that wants to compare Bush to the Nazi party. Sad, sad, sad.

You have to wonder why Kerry and his ilk lost to a guy that liberals consider so dumb....

5:35 AM

1:52 PM  

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