In the recently concluded presidential race, I was unwillingly thrust upon the stage and asked to play a role in a profoundly dishonest drama. I refused, and here’s why.
Donald Rumsfeld is writing his memoirs, and if his op-ed in the Nov. 23 New York Times is any preview, it should be a classic of self-serving revisionism.
His real intent is clearly to justify his own policies on the war in Iraq, to refute the (properly) widespread idea that he committed serious errors, and even more to deny that he held the views that he actually did hold.
The more we learn, the more it seems the appeals to fear that Bush used to rally the nation behind him were unfounded.
The latest example came yesterday in a federal courtroom in Washington, where a Bush-appointed judge ordered the release of five Algerian men who had been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for almost seven years.
The human race cannot continue to go forth, multiply and take dominion over the earth. Why? Simple: we're killing the earth with too many humans! We overload the planet's ability to feed, water and sustain us.
Why can't the Pope get that into his understanding? Why can't he add 2+2=4? Why continue doctrines clearly out of step with reality in the 21st century. Why promote 5,6,7, 8, 9 and more kids when more than 10 million children under the age of 12 die of starvation or starvation related diseases around the planet annually? (Source: World Health Organization) Do the Pope's doctrines on prohibiting birth control and then prohibiting pro-choice make any sense? How about nonsense!
According to the New York Times, 524,000 Americans lost their jobs in September and October. Unemployment spiked at 6.5 percent. Additionally, 28 million Americans subsist on food stamps. Millions maintain heat and lights with assistance from 'energy banks' subsidized by other Americans who still enjoy jobs.
"The economy is slipping deeper into a recessionary sinkhole that is getting broader," said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. "The layoffs are getting larger, and coming faster. We're likely to see at least another six months of more job reports like this."
The Wall Street bailout looks a lot like Iraq — a "free-fraud zone" where private contractors cash in on the mess they helped create.
As soon as the bailout was announced, it became clear that Treasury officials would hire outsiders to perform their jobs for them — at a profit. Private companies wanting to help manage the bailout were given just two days to apply for massive, multiyear contracts. Since it was such a mad rush — after all, the entire economy was about to implode — there was no time for an open bidding process. Nor was there time to draft rigorous rules to make sure that those applying don't have serious conflicts of interest. Instead, applicants were asked to disclose their conflicts and to explain — and this is not a joke — their "philosophy in fulfilling your duty to the Treasury and the U.S. taxpayer in light of your proprietary interests and those of other clients." In other words, an open invitation to bullshit about how much they love their country and how they can be trusted to regulate themselves.
As president, Barack Obama will face the most daunting and complicated national security challenges in more than a generation — and he will inherit a military that is critically ill-equipped for the task.
Troops and equipment are so overtaxed by President Bush’s disastrous Iraq war that the Pentagon does not have enough of either for the fight in Afghanistan, the war on terror’s front line, let alone to confront the next threats.
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