Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Congress, America’s Tajikistan

Well, what is more fun than listening to a politician laying out an indictment against foreigners and having it mirror his American image?

Rumsfeldtajikistan
I am fascinated by a quote from Donald Rumsfeld. The Donald has just been to Tajikistan and, in talks with the Tajik foreign minister, worried about the money generated by opium poppies coming from Afghanistan through Tajikistan on their way to other markets. Then, this quote:
"I do worry that the funds that come from the sale of those products could conceivably end up adversely affecting the democratic process in the country (Afghanistan). "I also think anytime there is that much money floating around and you have people like the Taliban, that it gives them an opportunity to fund their efforts in various ways."
Well, what is more fun than listening to a politician laying out an indictment against foreigners and having it mirror his American image?
A real comedian, the Donald. Playing his own straight-man. Consider his quote with only minor change:
"I do worry that the funds that come from lobbyists could conceivably end up adversely affecting the democratic process in the Congress. I also think anytime there is that much money floating around and you have people like elected officials, that it gives them an opportunity to fund their efforts in various ways."
Notes on other things:
Having spent $43 billion so far on missile defense, the president says we would have had a reasonable chance of shooting down the North Korean long-range missile, had it reached our shores. Well, thank God we spent the dough. Can't help wondering what a good chance would have cost, but I certainly will sleep better, knowing the chance was not ‘unreasonable.’
According to Dan Froomkin at WaPo,
"A little-noticed study by the Government Accountability Office issued in March found that program officials were so concerned with potential flaws in the first nine interceptors now in operation that they considered taking them out of their silos and returning them to their manufacturer for 'disassembly and remanufacture."
Unfortunately, the unnamed officials no longer had the sales receipt and Wal-Mart refused to honor the warrantee.
SenharryreidBack to the subject at hand, Congressional bribery and the pay-for-vote conditions in which we find ourselves today. Healing will not come from the afflicted. "Physician, heal thyself" is wonderfully homey, but it ain't going to happen, not in this congress.
As various Congressional studies recommend this or that reform—some of them actually enacted into law to nail shut the front-door—side windows, the basement, the rooftop and the always-ajar back-door are carefully left open for access.
Which is why you never heard a squeal from lobbyists when all the Jack Abramoff hubbub was at its peak. They knew the Representatives in their employ would find a way to keep their habit fed. They recognized the age-old truth that Senators are addicted to the money-trains that regularly pull into station.
Not a single member of either of those august and thoroughly bribed chambers of our national government have sued an individual or media source for slander. Not one. There's no case and they know it. They call press meetings to extol their virtue, rise in righteous indignation over employed wives or family and raise themselves to the limits of their Gucci loafers in outrage. But wind is wind and windbags are windbags.
Kstreet_1K-Street, home of the unfree and the unbrave, who put financial advantage ahead of principles of governance, are expanding like a virus. Far from trimming their sails or keeping a low profile, they’ve broadened their reach to the fifty states and the countless cities and towns, villages and burgs within those states.
To be unrepresented is to be overlooked, left off the gravy-train. There’s gold in them thar hills. Be there or be square. Whatever the metaphor of choice, the cap is off the pen, the checkbook flattened on the desk and the only question is how many zeroes?
We deserve it. We thirst for it. We revel in it.
This age we live in, with its body-bags and contempt for honesty has come a long way, baby. The Moral Majority decided that Janet Jackson’s breast is more important and Senator (insert last name here) taking the money and running. Some morals.
Some majority.
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