Thursday, March 30, 2006

It could be worse.

That's about the strongest endorsement anybody could give the Bush foreign policy at this point.

While slow-motion ethnic cleansing continues in Iraq, outright civil war has yet to break out - instead, we have more of an Argintinian style "Dirty War" scenario going on. For the last month, American soldiers have been dying at the relatively modest pace of one per day. And journalist Jill Caroll and the three non-American members of the kidnapped Christian Peacemaker Team have been released (the American was killed). So all of these teams could be worse.

But the Administration's effort to spread democracy throughout the middle east are little short of disaster. The neocons seemed to think that establishing elections will inevitably lead to pluralism and freedom, which is proving terrible naive.

1. Our elected warlords in Afghanistan threatened to put a man to death for converting to Christianity, under pressure they decided he must be mentally ill and thus unfit for trial, and allowed him to flee the country, so I guess we dodged yet another bullet. Freedom is on the March!

2. Iraq still has no government three months after the December parlaimentary elections. Since there was no elected majority, it will be necessary to form a coalition in order to name a President and Prime Minister. This is proving to be nearly impossible, as the Shiites refuse to share power, especially with Baathist and insurgents, believing it's their turn to rule, while the Sunnis accuse them of setting up death squads. The whole country seems to have no concept of compromise and minority rights, the fun stuff we in the West used to call "pluralism." Speaking of which:

3. Palestine. Fatah has no interest in forming a coalition with HAMAS, believing the new government will fail and hoping the disaster propels them back into power. The fundies were only elected to root out deep-seated corruption, but don't seem to have the ability to moderate their platform even when it's clearly at odds with voters - the few towns who elected them in the last round of local elections actually voted them out this time, over their strict Islamic laws leading to the cancellation of a popular music festival. Young Palestinians, in my admittedly very limited experience, being more interested in punk rock and dope than in fundamentalism - and thus still more likely to develop a live and let live free society than Afghanistan.

I'm not without hope, but I think putting elections before human rights and development has been a classic blunder so far.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

FY07 Budget

from The Center for American Progress' The Progress Report

A Blueprint For Fiscal Disaster

This week, the Senate is debating the 2007 budget resolution, a blueprint for how Congress plans to allocate $2.8 trillion in federal spending next year. The federal budget is a concrete embodiment of policy choices, a moral document that reflects the values and priorities of our nation. The budget that the Senate is currently debating runs counter to many of our nation's longest and deepest held beliefs; it prioritizes tax cuts for the rich and wasteful spending in the defense budget while shortchanging veterans benefits, education, health care, energy research, homeland security, housing for the elderly and disabled, and child care for working families. The Washington Post writes, "[I]t's time to pause and consider the unabashed recklessness of the Bush administration's fiscal policies and its unwillingness to alter its tax-cutting course to accommodate new budgetary realities." Indeed, while President Bush and his conservative allies claim their cuts to domestic programs are needed measures to assert fiscal discipline, the reality is that the Senate budget plan would actually increase the deficit over the next five years by $266 billion.

I like the way that they approached this. A "moral document". Nice.

Then again, republicans pay lip service to a lot of things and rarely do they follow through. I'll give one example:

By SUDEEP REDDY / The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON – The nation's previous energy crises inspired presidential calls for sweeping action and billions of dollars in new funding to address consumers' soaring energy bills.

President Bush appears to be taking a far different approach, at least when it comes to funding. Administration officials are touring the nation this week touting renewable energy programs, but they're doing so with overall funding that barely grows from previous years. Some long-running programs for renewable energy research and energy efficiency have been gutted in the president's latest budget proposal.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This is unbelieveable

Retirement Fund Tapped to Avoid National Debt Limit

When you have to sell your TV to support your drug habit, it should be clear that you have a problem. When you have already sold your TV and have steal someone else's TV in order to support your addiction then you've absolutely hit rock bottom.

And if you can't see it for yourself, then you should at least be able to count on a friend to intervene on your behalf.

John Snow should be ashamed of himself. When he was the CEO of publically traded CSX, he wouldn't dare do something like this. Now that he's the CFO of the United States, he has no problem? He has the audacity to scold congress to simply raise the debt ceiling? As if that is a solution?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the media, if at all.
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Monday, March 06, 2006

Safe, Legal and Rare

About Last Night

This is a fun blog. But this post in particular is well thought out and well written. I am a progressive; a liberal. I have a hard time with my pro-choiceness. That is, I tend to be more pro-life. But then again, I am a man, so who cares what I think? But this post really spoke to me.

Most of the posts on this blog are thin on message and flirtatious. You should read this blog for those posts. But this girl can write on important things too.

I just wanted to share with you all.
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