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Author: Subject: Is There Anything These Folks Can't Screw Up?

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  posted on 1/26/2006 at 09:14 PM

Another Molly Ivins gem of a column -- this Texas lady has a knack for cutting right to the chase. I'm sure there will be some that disagree with her, though ...

Is There Anything These Folks Can't Screw Up?
Posted on Thursday, January 26 @ 09:37:27 EST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Molly Ivins, The Columbus Free Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Several great minds were asked to help think up interview questions for George W. Bush. I liked, "Are you the worst president since James Buchanan, or have you never heard of him?"

Sorry about the snarkiness quotient, but is there anything these folks can't screw up -- and then refuse to own up to? Iraq is the most difficult to judge because it's so far away. I can find no indication -- from hours of electricity available to amount of oil being pumped to number of dead people -- that hints at any improvement.

On the other hand, even though I don't think it's my job, I can't prove that pulling out won't make things worse. Judging the good news-bad news volume from Iraq took such an exceptional lurch to ludicrous, it's now difficult to even try to judge it with a straight face.

(For those of you who missed it: The Pentagon is now investigating itself to find out why it was paying American soldiers to write phony stories about how well things are going in Iraq and then paying a politically connected Republican public relations firm to in turn bribe Iraqi news outlets to run the phony stories. Presumably, this fooled a lot of Iraqis.)

In matters closer to home, however, it is not that hard to miss total disaster when you see it. The Medicare prescription drug benefit comes to mind. As governmental screw-ups go, it ranks up there with Katrina, which in turn is the latest in a parade of fiascoes inspiring the administration to an impressive level of dishonesty.

Following its usual m.o., the administration's first step on Katrina was to clam up on all the information possible about how the government handled it. Why should a congressional committee have any right to question the Bush administration? Whom do they think they represent?

I couldn't even bring myself to snicker at poor Joe Lieberman, chair of the committee trying to find out what went wrong, as he forlornly announced a "near total lack of cooperation." Despite his record as a Bush toady, Lieberman couldn't get enough information to even start on the problem.

The committee had one interesting item -- Bush had claimed that "no one anticipated" New Orleans would be leveled. Turns out they not only expected it, but the Department of Homeland Security sent an urgent warning to the White House situation room, saying Katrina will likely leave "the New Orleans metro area submerged for weeks or months."

Meanwhile, the White House informed Louisiana reps it would not be supporting legislation for a federally financed reconstruction program for the area, despite Bush's promise to make it the grandest reconstruction since the Marshall Plan.

Looking on the bright side, this may yet turn out to be a good thing, since a new audit of the federally financed reconstruction in Iraq indicates -- well, a great deal left to be desired. That would be counting untold billions of dollars wasted, millions left lying around in footlockers and filing cabinets, millions gambled away and -- here's a note -- three Iraqis who fell to their death in a repaired hospital elevator that had been certified as safe.

I also like the one about the contractor who got $100,000 to refurbish an Olympic-sized swimming pool (clearly a high priority in war-torn Iraq) but only polished the pumps. Well, polished pumps are nice.

Governance in this administration is like Casey Stengel with the early Mets: "Doesn't anybody here know how to play this game?" But lest you think I do nothing but pick on the Bushies, let me devote some loving attention to the best Congress money can buy.

Last month, in a closed-door, Republican-only "conference committee" meeting, a $22 billion change was inserted at the last minute. The taxpayers were supposed to get $26 billion in relief over 10 years by altering a formula for Medicare reimbursement. But lo, many insurance lobbyists for the HMOs knew about the committee meeting attended only by Republicans, who helpfully lowered the savings estimate of the formula to $4 billion and handed the other $22 billion back to the insurance industry.

We can certainly see how serious the Republicans are about "reform" -- we can't wait to pay, er, hear more. One sign to look for would be if they stop calling it "lobby reform" and call it "congressional reform," instead.

2005 The Columbus Free Press

Source: The Columbus Free Press
http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/1/2006/1306

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/26/2006 at 11:18 PM
Well, that was perfectly depressing. Thanks!

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 01:48 AM
quote:
Well, that was perfectly depressing.




Funny, I always find Molly refreshing even when she lets off some stinkbombs....

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 06:22 AM
quote:
"Are you the worst president since James Buchanan, or have you never heard of him?"


I have to admit, that's a pretty good question. And I even voted for the man.

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 08:04 AM
Forget whether they lied to us deliberately(about Iraq, WMD, 9/11 links to Saddam, etc). These clowns deserve to be thrown out for incompetence.

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 08:45 AM
These great Americans are serving our great country keeping our borders and our world safer from pinko communist terrorist basdads. God Bless G.W. Bush and all the soldiers that VOLUNTARILY serve our NATION.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 08:54 AM
quote:
These great Americans are serving our great country keeping our borders and our world safer from pinko communist terrorist basdads.

No argument from me regarding the military. Politicians, on the other hand...

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 09:36 AM
quote:
quote:
"Are you the worst president since James Buchanan, or have you never heard of him?"


I have to admit, that's a pretty good question. And I even voted for the man.


Which one, Buchanan or the W?

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 09:55 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
"Are you the worst president since James Buchanan, or have you never heard of him?"


I have to admit, that's a pretty good question. And I even voted for the man.


Which one, Buchanan or the W?


I probably would have voted for Buchanan if I had the chance. I don't have a very good track record. I really should just rip up my voter registration, cause I always seem to make a bad choice. If my driving was as bad as my voting they'd revoke my license.

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 11:06 AM
quote:
Forget whether they lied to us deliberately(about Iraq, WMD, 9/11 links to Saddam, etc). These clowns deserve to be thrown out for incompetence.



I agree, all of them, from the President down to the local clowns who support him!

It's time for a strong movement in this country. A movement that began in the 60's and was curtailed by Vietnam. We've sat back to trust the gov't in making all our decisions. I believe this procrastination and ideology of most Americans, myself included, has gotten us into the trouble we're in today. Politicians know this and they manipulate and capitalize from this fundamental knowledge.

What is a Democrat, what is a Republican? Do any of you really know your true political affiliation or know why you are supporting that affiliation? Curiosity, not an accusation.

Why does it have to be just two parties with predominance in politics? Two parties who get the media attention, the funds, etc?

I'm completely off subject with my statement, but thats on my mind.

Back to the topic, " is there anything these folks can't screw up?". Based on what we've seen the past 40 years or so; there's plenty of screwing left to do with the same old worn out whore, if we allow it to continue.

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 11:16 AM
quote:
These great Americans are serving our great country keeping our borders and our world safer from pinko communist terrorist basdads. God Bless G.W. Bush and all the soldiers that VOLUNTARILY serve our NATION.


I can only assume, Philly, that you're being entirely sarcastic. Well, except for the military, I agree, they deserve great thanks. Especially for having to deal with such corrupt and inept leadership from "W" and his evil henchman. In my relatively short lifetime, I have never seen one administration completely demoralize our military the way these guys have. But alas, Rummy, George senior, and Cheney have made boatloads more money in the process. I should end by saying I sleep so much better at night knowing those evil communists aren't a serious threat any longer......thank god Georgie boy stemmed that tide (sarcasm intended).

 

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  posted on 1/27/2006 at 03:45 PM
a 2 party system is only one party short of a dictatorship Keep that in mind....

 

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