Recently in Current Political Events Category

Would you believe McCain is proud of his Health Care proposal which would decrease benefits and increase costs? Would you believe the Bush Administration's Pentagon is sending 44,000 US jobs overseas? Would you believe plans are underway to link ports in Mexico with a central super-port in Kansas City that will be the hub for Chinese imports? Would you believe nuclear power will be paid for twice by consumers? And there's more!

This last 7 days has witnessed one of the most packed weeks for political news and activity I have ever seen. From a rash of Republican retirement announcements to a rash of new information about Iraq, on balance, it appears many wrongs and ills are being set right, and a few not. Following is a recap.

Pres. Bush wants our soldiers to fight Iraq's civil war with them. Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has a vested interest in seeing the numbers of our soldiers fighting his battles grow, not decrease. A very large number of Iraqi's believe a lot of the violence is due to America's presence in Iraq. If, however, our presence is reduced, then al-Maliki becomes the person to blame for violence, not the Americans.

This is why the Prime Minister is quoted in the NY Times as saying: "The security plan has been a dazzling success during its first days." But this "success" which Bush and al-Maliki refer to, is anything but success. When the police launch a raid on a criminal gang only to find the gang has left the premises to whereabouts unknown, do we call that a successful raid?

Blogger or Lobbyist?

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When does a blogger cease to be a blogger and become a political special interest lobbyist or action group? In a bill being hotly debated, Democrats say it is when a blogger is making a living at politics.

As ZDNet reports:

Much of the bill's wording is obtuse. But one section says that certain political bloggers who make or spend $25,000 per quarter and who encourage readers to contact their elected representatives would be forced to register as lobbyists--or face up to 10 years in prison.

Courts and States are battling towns and counties across America who have enacted ordinances to restrict illegal aliens from everything from jobs to housing. So far, the towns and counties are losing. But, this issue is beginning to get folks really riled, especially toward the federal government whose abrogation of responsibility is breeding a growing dissent. Civil unrest may be just around the corner...

The L.A. Galaxy has hired a foreign soccer star for $50 million a year for five years. That should raise the mean income level a bit, so Americans can relax about wages and the economy. Capitalists are rejoicing at a new Dow Jones Industrial Average record, sparked by a higher than expected employment report. One has to begin asking how many illegal aliens are being included in those reported new hires statistics? The Bureau of Labor and Statistics will never tell.

Democrats ran on cleaning up ethics violations and corruption in government. Now, some are back stepping, and an internal feud is building. At the center of the looming conflict, Sen. Barack Obama is calling for an independent ethics commission, and in opposition, is Sen. Diane Feinstein who says this can be handled in a bi-partisan way by the recipients of obscene sums of legal bribes for their reelection by special interests and lobbyists.

The NY Time's David D. Kirkpatrick has an excellent article written yesterday, providing a lot of information on the players and background of this looming inter-, and intra-party fight which is going to scare the bejeesus out of a number of politicians both Republican and Democratic, whose own affairs and actions in the Congress may not stand up to independent scrutiny.

This incident with the Rep. Foley's solicitations toward a teenage page volunteering his time in support of our government, in and of itself, is simply a crime, likely a misdemeanor, perhaps a lower category felony using the internet for solicitation of a minor. The Justice Dept. should handle that like any other crime of its nature.

The bigger story here is the cover-up. Incidents such as these should be reported to the House Ethics Committee and oversight personnel for the page's supervision. The cover-up is manifest in that the only Democratic member to have been notified of this ethics breach and potential danger to pages, was never informed. This incident was kept under wraps by the Republican leadership, hiding truth in order to protect themselves and their party from scandal.

Political Perversions

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Politics is all about appearance - forget substance; that comes later, if ever! This last week has seen all manner of political actors mugging for the media attention. Election season is officially open. Following are a number of stories highlighting the mugging for cameras and print news. A few even hold out the promise of substance later on, but, don't hold your breath.

Nedra Pickler reports:

President Bush presided over a citizenship ceremony on Monday for three soldiers injured in Iraq, calling them "men who knew the cost of freedom and were willing to pay that cost so others could live free."

Bush also used his visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to promote his stalled proposal for overhauling the nation's immigration laws.

The Deficit Hoax

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Pres. Bush said yesterday, that we are making real progress on the deficit. "We" in this context meant Republicans under his leadership, and "progress": well, I will get to the meaning of progress in a moment. First, here are some facts: some of which, were stretched and absent in Republican's touting their great economy and deficit reduction yesterday.

One fact was straightforward and honest. Our economy is seeing job growth. This fact is not surprising in light of the fact that we have been rebounding from a worldwide recession, and job growth has been rebounding across the globe. That is not to say that corporate tax cuts which, lowered the cost of doing business, did not help create jobs. They did. Whenever businesses see increased consumer demand, as when we are coming out of a recession, and lowered costs of doing business, jobs will be created.

Sen. Joe Lieberman is willing to run anyway he can. And he is willing to reject the voter's choice at the Democratic primary in Connecticut, if necessary, to preserve his incumbency. He says he is doing it for the good of the people.

If the voters choose Liberman's challenger in the primary, Ned Lamont, Sen. Lieberman announced he will reject the voter's choice and run in November as an independent. This is precisely the kind of behavior that demonstrates how little respect far too many incumbents have for our political system, our democracy, and our government. Winning is everything, and everyone else's concerns are secondary.

In a somewhat biased article, Paul Rogat Loeb, writes about Lieberman's loyalties. Loeb's article misses the mark though, pointing to Lieberman's loyalty to the Republican leadership, when reality appears to reflect Lieberman's loyalty to the preservation of his own power, regardless of which party's voters he must pander to.

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