Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Different Application Of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Money Down the Drain in Iraq - New York Times:
The latest contracting revelations came in a report issued Tuesday by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The office reviewed records covering $1.3 billion out of the $18.4 billion that Congress voted for Iraq reconstruction two years ago. Reported overhead costs ran from a low of 11 percent for several contracts awarded to Lucent to a high of 55 percent for, you guessed it, the Halliburton subsidiary, KBR Inc.

On similar projects in the United States, overhead is typically just a few percent. Given the difficult security environment in Iraq, overhead was expected to run closer to 10 percent. But in many of the contracts examined, it ran much, much higher, in some cases consuming over half the allocated funds. And the report may have actually underestimated total overhead because the government agencies that were supposed to be supervising these reconstruction projects sometimes failed to systematically track overhead expenses. (emphasis mine)
Just give the money to our friends at Haliburton, et al, and you can be sure it will get into the right pockets do some good. After all, money is everything. Isn't it?

Clueless In Washington

Bush Focuses on Iraq as G.O.P. Tries to Change Subject - New York Times:
“We are on the verge of chaos, and the current approach is clearly not working,” said Jill Hazelbaker, spokeswoman for Thomas H. Kean Jr., the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in New Jersey. “We’ve seen an enormous amount of violence in Iraq, and Kean thinks it’s a responsibility of the U.S. to determine: are there other strategies we can pursue? So, in that sense, yes, we welcome tactical changes.”

But other Republicans were skeptical. Tony Fabrizio, a pollster working for several Republican candidates, said the president did his party more harm than good by highlighting a troublesome issue and seeming to change course so close to Election Day.

“It makes it look like they have a confused policy,” he said. “Now the question will be, every day, what are the parameters of flexibility?”

Senior Democrats in Congress said the president presented little more than an old policy in new garb.

Senator Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Mr. Bush gave little ground on Wednesday and was unlikely to reap any political benefit.

“I don’t see any reason to believe the president is any more realistic,” Mr. Levin said. “What he said was an effort to get himself past the election by telling the American people that he’s changing course while telling the Iraqis he’s not changing course.” (emphasis mine)
Don't call it "stay the course" or "more of the same" but rather "stall and hope for the best."

Yeah, that ought to do it.

Bigotry May Help Republicans In Close Races

NJ gay marriage decision boost to "values voters" - Yahoo! News:
"DALLAS (Reuters) - U.S. religious conservatives could be energized by a New Jersey Supreme Court decision granting gay couples the same rights as married heterosexuals and could tilt the balance for Republicans in close races in the November 7 congressional elections, analysts and activists say."

I hope they just stay home, but if the bigots want to make fools of themselves and doom the nation to more of the same old corruption and profiteering, that's their choice of course. Pray for them, for they know not what they do.

(Google) Bombing Campaign

Doing my part to help. The links below lead to the most negative story on the Republican candidate in each race. This will help Google find the truth about them whenever somebody asks. Join in by following the link above or below to get the HTML and paste it into your blog. Isn't this fun?!

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Here's the link again:

Still Getting Worse

My Way News - U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Worst in a Year

Finally! Some Good News From Jersey!

New Jersey Court Backs Full Rights for Gay Couples - New York Times

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ethics? We Don't Need No Stinking Ethics!

My Way News - Hastert Testifies in Foley Probe:
The four ethics committee members serving as investigators are not tipping their hands on the timetable or whether they plan an interim report before the Nov. 7 elections. Polls have shown the scandal has hurt Republicans, who are trying to maintain their majority in both houses.

Republicans have asked the committee to interview Democrats, to see whether they had copies of Foley's messages and strategically released them near the election. Nothing to support the accusation has turned up publicly.
The only way the committee would "tip their hand" before the elections is if they found out that Hastert was telling the truth about finding out only last month that Foley was a sexual predator. This is not going to be the case, given how many others have come forward to say it isn't so.

And it's just wishful thinking to look for Dems who knew about it any earlier than the rest of us. I can't see a Dem holding on to this information just to create an October surprise. No, this would have come out sooner if the Dems knew of it then. That way the "ethics" committee (like they'd know an ethical act if it bit them in the ass!) would have had to do something with it before the election.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OMG! How To Make Social Security Worse!

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Monday put Social Security reform on his list of 'big items' to deal with in the final two years of his presidency, possibly including indexing benefits for wealthier Americans.

Interviewed on CNBC television, Bush said: 'I want to deal with the unfunded liabilities inherent in Social Security and Medicare.'

'I believe we can do that and at the same time assure those who are on Social Security they have nothing to worry about and those who are going to pay into Social Security that you don't pay into a bankrupt system,' he added.

Bush said 'my idea' is that Americans at lower income levels would see benefit payments continue on the current basis, but 'if you're a wealthier citizen, your benefits increase at the cost of everybody's benefits go up but some go up faster than others.'
Excuse me, but shouldn't the rich get less from social security, not more? Especially since they didn't give more to the system in the first place?! What kind of bizzaro economics -- oh, never mind.

Hastert Should Be Ashamed

My Way News - House GOP Officials Likely to Be at Odds:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House Republican campaign chairman and the speaker of the House are likely to be at odds this week as they testify about the handling of ex-Rep. Mark Foley's come-ons to male pages.

Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., who entered the House ethics committee chambers Tuesday morning, has said he warned Speaker Dennis Hastert about Foley last spring.

Hastert, expected to be questioned sometime later this week, has said he doesn't remember that conversation.
Yeah, I wouldn't "remember" it either if I were he. Then again, I wouldn't have stood idle if I'd known about Foley. Hastert must go! He should be brought up on charges for aiding and abetting a child molester, for pity sakes!

Justice Grinds On -- Even Now

Bush prosecutors targeting GOP lawmakers - Politics -
Sex, bribery, corruption and more

Experts say the spike in reported corruption cases is likely caused by one-party control of both the House and Senate. Investigations by the Republican-controlled House Ethics Committee, for example, ground to a near-standstill for more than a year because of partisan squabbles over staff and rules for its inquiries.

'It's far worse than what we've seen for decades on Capitol Hill,' said Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen. 'We've got sex, we've got bribery, we've got lobbyist corruption, earmarking, money laundering. ... The people who are in power become very comfortable with their positions, and they don't think that they can get in trouble for stepping over the line.'
Therefore, the people in power have to be taken out of power. QED!

Most Americans Agree

Poll: Most Americans say no one winning in Iraq -
(CNN) -- One in five Americans believes the United States is winning the war in Iraq, according to a poll. The number has dropped by half since December.

About the same number -- 18 percent -- believe insurgents are winning. But the majority, 60 percent, say no one is winning in Iraq.

The poll of 1,013 adult Americans interviewed by telephone found two-thirds -- 64 percent -- of those polled oppose the war in Iraq.
And that's why Bush doesn't get it. He can't side with the majority, because he's never been in it.

He Can Spin It All He Wants...

Trying to Contain the Iraq Disaster - New York Times:
No matter what President Bush says, the question is not whether America can win in Iraq. The only question is whether the United States can extricate itself without leaving behind an unending civil war that will spread more chaos and suffering throughout the Middle East, while spawning terrorism across the globe.

The prospect of what happens after an American pullout haunts the debate on Iraq. The administration, for all its hints about new strategies and timetables, is obviously hoping to slog along for two more years and dump the problem on Mr. Bush’s successor. This fall’s election debates have educated very few voters because neither side is prepared to be honest about the terrible consequences of military withdrawal and the very long odds against success if American troops remain.
Not using the "stay the course" phrase isn't going to make any difference for BushCo. They can't win. They can't figure out how to leave or stay, for that matter. They're screwed, and the only way out for us is to get rid of BushCo ASAP!

Go, Baby, Go!!!

Polls: Democrats closer to taking Senate control - Politics -

As I've already written, it's going to be a real fine election day next month. Oh, yes.

Independents For Democrats

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Independent voters overwhelmingly favor Democrats to take over the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 7 election and back them on major issues, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said on Monday.

The independents surveyed said they plan to support Democratic congressional candidates over Republicans by a roughly 2-to-1 margin -- 59 percent to 31 percent -- the largest gap in the poll this year, The Washington Post said.
In other words, the swing voters are swinging to the left this time. Yeehaa!


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