Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sympathy For The Devil?

The pithily titled Midwest Towns Sour on War as Their Toll Mounts provides some brief but intimate portraits of small-town folks coming to grips with the fact that the scion’s of their communities are coming home dead from an adventure they supported and even encouraged.

Retired electrician Bob Peck voted twice for Bush […] Peck would not vote for him again, even if he could.
Woody Marshall, a Vietnam War-era Navy veteran, described his own evolution as he trained his gaze on an elegantly stitched tapestry of a smiling Aaron Sissel in a VFW corridor. At first, he was "thrilled" that U.S.-led troops toppled Saddam Hussein and his tyrannical government


Like so many Tipton residents who saw the war delivered like an unwelcome package when the cortege passed, Pelzer realized that it took her son's death for her to focus on the war.

So where’s the counterpoint in this article, the “balance” we expect?

Where, for instance, is GOP representative Ann Coulter’s typical grief-counselor perspective? Strangely absent it seems.

How about a quote from the most famous war-widow in the US, Cindy Sheehan? Or the next-most famous, Mrs. Tillman?
There’s no mention of any effort to contact them for their view—perhaps the apparent reticence is due the intimate focus of the article and to introduce such “celebrities” into the story might detract from its essential tale.

The six weeks since have been a fog, she [Dixie Pelzer] said, an initiation into a parallel world occupied by the families of the 3,611 U.S. troops who have died in Iraq.

How about some quotes from those parents of the 3,611 who were actually opposed to the war-- not just from fear for their own sons and daughters lives but also from fear of the larger meaning and consequences of Bush’s and the Republican’s rabid and predictably destructive policies?

There is no time or column inches for them apparently; perhaps they aren’t victims the way these grieving staunch, twice-voting, moral, god-fearing family-values Republicans are.

No, there’s no sympathy for the anti-family, pro-abortion, homosexual-loving, tree-hugging, liberal, Democrat, immoral god-haters who opposed the war from the beginning and were branded traitors and lunatics by those who now bury their blind, bloodied and ignorant faith in the ground and weep over the bitter harvest they have sown.

Our sympathies should be with them for their personal loss, and they always have been from the beginning. But from them, to those liberal Democrat strangers who feared for others lives and railed in opposition of their likely waste have been called traitors and ghouls delighting in death by the champions of war and yet it seems no sympathy for the victimization of sage oppnents even now. is worthy of record.

Even now it seems there’s still no sympathy for the humanistic, altruistic, liberal “Devil”.

NOTE: I appreciate there are technical editorial contsraints on any story, but has anyone yet seen an MSM article or report anywhere that sympathetically adresses the pains of those who have lost their sons and daughters for a cause they knew was false but suffered the same sacrifice (or perhaps worse), despite their vehement oppostion?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bush Budget

"My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire." —George W. Bush, radio address, Feb. 24, 2001

In 2001 the US had a $128-billion surplus. Bush’s super-fast national debt reduction plan turned that into a $157-billion deficit by 2002. In other words he spent $285 billion to give me and millions like me a $300 refund (or about 85-cents a day extra).

“Tomorrow I'm going to talk about the size of the deficit. I'm not going to guess what that will be, but I can predict it's going to be substantially lower than it was three years ago.” ---George Bush July 12, 2007. Ohio.

Three years ago the deficit was 412 billion against a $100-billion drop in federal receipts since 2001.
From 2004 to 2005 the deficit dropped significantly from $412-billion to $318-billion. From 2005 to 2006 it dropped to $248-billion.
For 2007 the deficit is estimated to be $244-billion.
By 2012 George insists that the US will have a surplus again, of $61-billion

UPDATE: These figures of ACTUAL deficits and surplus from Page 13
for the benefit of anyone who thinks I might use invented statistics to make my arguments.

Now this is all very complicated stuff, I’m no economist and George Bush is a complete clod BUT….

From 2001 to 2003 we went from a surplus of $128-billion to a deficit of $377-billion (total $505-billion). Of that we can assume say $100-billion for Iraq and Afghanistan and $285-billion for tax-cuts which are the extraordinary expenditures of the period. That leaves $120-billion of “miscellaneous expenses” (assuming national debt repayment didn’t change).

Now Bush’s Budget mid-session review says (emphasis added):

“This Budget improves the timeliness and specificity of the information provided to Congress and the American public about the cost of the war"

No it doesn’t; in as much as I couldn’t find anything that referred specifically to Afghanistan or Iraq.

It shows the full cost of the war through the rest of the President’s term –and also provides detailed justifications.”

Again, no it doesn’t (as far as I could tell) though it does project increasing the DoD budget from it’s current $485-billion (-ish) to over $600-billion by 2012. (Oh, and we’ve heard all the justifications for war and they have been and are, all bullshit).

Given that there is zero chance that oil prices will [edit-only continue to rise-edit] drop (especially as the US continues to drag its feet on energy efficiency) it makes sense that Government expenditures will rise. But so will consumer costs, yet Bush somehow expects ‘reciepts’ ( otherwise known as income taxes) to rise without raising taxes—which he is totally agin’. He also has no plans to increase the tax “burden” on big business, so how will “receipts” rise? By the public paying more for taxed goods and services I assume.

And let’s not forget that Bush originally asked for something like $70 billion to get the Iraq War over and done with in one year with Iraqi oil revenues and a new free-market economy there expected to pay for the peaceful reconstruction.
These “supplemental” requests have increased each year (with every “success”) and now he’s asking for around $130-billion! Part of this increase has to do with the doubling of oil prices that his invasion has triggered and the occupation has sustained!

Add to this the assertion that “It shows the full cost of the war through the rest of the President’s term” which means he has no intention of bringing US forces home before he leaves office (but we all know that anyway). So for 2008 he’ll be asking for probably another $150-billion whilst the ‘receipts’ continue to decrease because the cost of living will continue to increase and the corporate world will maintain profits by passing increased costs to consumers and cut jobs whilst retaining their rebates and tax advantages—as long as Bush remains in power.

So where will the savings come from to drive down the deficit? Bush’s ass and our hides I reckon.