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January 09, 2004
Sadly, the Bush Administration

I dunno why Dick Meyer is so bitter about the No Child Left Behind Act. Bush got it through Congress in 2003 and he's almost promised to actually, you know, fund it in 2005.

I read an article yesterday, can't remember where, (no, wait, here it is) about an interview with Colin Powell where he admitted that there was no policy decision he could conceive of that would drive him to resign in protest. I guess there's something to be said for loyalty. Anyhow, the article went on to say that signs that Powell is contemplating retirement are starting to appear. Taking a look at the job that faces him this year, I can't say I blame him. Loyalty or no loyalty, he has to be feeling the strain of what he's said and done for this Administration.

We're holding 13,000 prisoners in Iraq without formally charging them? That seems a bit extreme.

The U.S. will attempt to ease such anger this week as it begins releasing 506 detainees, including 28 juveniles....

Well, aren't we special?

By the way, for anyone who cares, we're still at war in Afghanistan, too.

Snarking aside, this Peter Canellos column suggests a dramatic change in the Bush Administration's foreign policy is taking place...and for the better. It's worth considering.

I haven't discussed it here because it's something I'm always thinking about on my daily commute and I never get the thoughts written down, but it's not that hard to take a look at what the Bush Administration has done (well, aside from embarrassingly cheesy photo-ops and wishful-thinking interpretations of intelligence and obscene fund-raising while pretending to be too busy to think about campaigning, which isn't, in and of itself, a bad tactic since the record shows that whenever Bush actually spoke to an audience during the last campaign, his approval rating went down) and find a rationale for it.

There is a case to be made for ending the endless frustration of decades of sanctions and talks that go nowhere while the situation doesn't improve. There is a case to be made for letting war-minded countries of the world know that their freedom to slaughter their own people, or their neighbors, has a limit. There is a case to be made for zero-tolerance of repressive dictatorships, genocide, and other human rights abuses. And there is a case to be made for standing up, at least once, and taking some psychopath out of power, even if it's just as a warning to other psychopaths in the world.

I'm just saying, I'm not sure I believe it, because Dubya's history isn't one of compassionate empathy for the downtrodden, but I can look at what's happened and make a case to myself for their view of things.

Okay, they did it the wrong way at the wrong time, but I'm not defending their good sense.

Bush's cousin thinks the 'war on terror' will be the Number One Issue in the upcoming election.

On NPR this morning, they said that economists had been predicting up to 100,000 new jobs being created in December. The actual number? 1,000. At this time, they're estimating there are about 1.5 million people who have dropped off the unemployment statistics because they gave up looking for work, meaning that the supposedly declining unemployment numbers are screening the truth about the ever-growing number of homeless and/or jobless panhandlers dotting the streets of our cities. Productivity is up, hooray for management, but employment isn't, meaning that the remaining workers are living in daily fear of losing their jobs and they're taking on extra work for no extra money.

The new provisions, well, at least the ones that save the government money, the ones related to "new" benefits don't kick in for a year or two, of the Medicare 'reform' are kicking in and across the nation, nursing homes are kicking out the frail, the ill, and the elderly who have exceeded the 20-day cap on critical care.

The Levi corporation has closed it's last two USofA-based sewing plants. The jobs are moving overseas. Sikorsky, USofA DoD contractor is considering moving production of the Black Hawk helicopter overseas. The state of Georgia is already bracing for the projected loss of another 1,300 jobs to overseas labor markets this year. IBM is rumored to be about to move 4,700 jobs overseas. Predictions are that by the end of 2004, "1 in 10 jobs within U.S.-based IT vendors and service providers will have moved overseas"

I'm thinking George's cousin should get his head out of that bucket and take a look at the real world, okay? This next election cycle is going to be about jobs and the economy.

Krugman:

Two years after Enron, then one of America's most admired companies, was revealed as a fraud, prosecutors finally seem to be getting somewhere. Andrew Fastow, the company's former chief financial officer, and his wife, Lea, are reported to be engaged in plea-bargaining. Mr. Fastow's testimony will probably lead to charges against other former Enron executives.

He goes on to say that the system still doesn't work and that catching Enron was a fluke, and that's true. It's on the excessive greed of the company headed by the man who, I believe I'm right about this, was the #1 personal contributor to Bush's presidential campaign and certainly a long-time personal friend that took the company over the edge. (I can't help it. I keep wondering if the Enron guys watched the whole Harken money-juggling act and applied what they'd learned to Enron? I mean, I don't know, and certainly they didn't have the good sense Bush Harken execs showed by getting out before the dominoes fell, but I do wonder.)

But not to worry. Bush won't suffer. I hear that the names of the new executives put in charge of what's left of Enron, I hear that those names are already showing up prominently on Bush's "donations received" campaign list.

I hadn't seen this before. Susan Douglas is running a contest to create some nicknames for Bush Administration activities. Bush should like that, right? He's Mr. Nickname, after all.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:12 AM


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