In a story that came out this week, former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge stated in his new book (coming to a discount rack near you) that he was pressured by the White House to raise the terror alert prior to the 2004 presidential election, for purely political reasons.
Let me pause while the shock of that revelation sets in.
The sound you just heard was that of me going, “No Shit, Captain Hindsight!”
So maybe we skeptics weren’t so paranoid about the Bushies’ shenanigans after all. Why am I not surprised these clowns would manipulate a supposed public service to further their clandestine efforts to maintain their grip on power? It’s what they do and it’s emblematic of their entire administration.
Ridge went on to write that he wasn’t invited to the really good meetings and was frequently blindsided during daily morning briefings with the Shrub.
I wonder if that’s why he wrote the tell-all book… because he didn’t get to sit at the cool kids’ table.
It’s not like the old color-coded Terrorism Chart wasn’t without problems of it’s own… I was watching a Lewis Black HBO comedy special (Black on Broadway) from 2003 where he went off on having 5 color categories thusly…
“All we really need are three…
Speaking of institutional misinformation, how do you like this health care reform debate? You know, the one that’s rolling along like a monkey screwing a football?
First off, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert in this particular field, but I do know when something is seriously wrong. This “debate” has the greasy fingerprints of big business and their political lackeys, the conservative Republicans, all over it.
Just look at all the misinformation willfully disseminated to the public… Death panels, euthanasia, covering illegal immigrants, health care rationing, government-sponsored abortions… it never ends.
None of these issues are actually in the bills being considered. None. And one issue, we already HAVE… Do you think the insurance companies don’t ration health care? You KNOW they do… it’s not even a secret. Who hasn’t had to fight their insurance company over paying for a doctor-prescribed procedure?
You have to remember that the people putting these idiotic notions out there are NOT trying to protect the public; they’re trying to protect the status quo, meaning the obscene profits being made by the insurance, drug and medical industries. They have a dog in the fight and it is in their best interest to kill anything resembling real health care reform.
The public health option scares the hell out of the insurance industry. If they had viable competition that provided care without the drive for profit, they’d be forced to make changes in their policies that would lead to lower profits. They’re going to do everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen. So they lean on their lapdogs in Congress (or certain northern backwater outposts) and suddenly our Pols are demonizing policies that they themselves were on record as having supported.
Another disconnect, and I’ve harped on this one before, is all the fuss now about the deficit… like the Republicans finally remembered that they are traditionally against deficits. It’s just that they had 8 years worth of amnesia while their guy was turning a surplus into the largest deficit in the country’s history on tax cuts for the rich, a giant gift to the drug industry with that no-negotiating-for-lower-drug-prices bill, 2 wars that enriched the defense contractor industry THAT AT LEAST 2 CABINET MEMBERS HAD TIES TO, and many other programs that benefited the few at the expense of the many.
So now that the Democrats are trying to spend some money on things that benefit the ENTIRE country, now they want to be all “Oh the deficit, the deficit.”
Their transparency is showing.
It surprises no one then, that these outrageous claims are getting thrown out there and are getting taken up by people that are still trying to redo the 2008 election. (Note: when we tried to redo the 2000 election, we actually had a reason beyond, “but we lost.”)
Look at that quote by SC Senator Jim DeMint: “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
There it is. The last thing the Republicans want is a solid bi-partisan bill. They want to break the President and they’ll take the country down to do it.
So they charge up a bunch of their flunkies and send them to Town Hall meetings with no objective but to shout down the speaker and cause chaos. Don’t get me wrong, they have a perfect right to make their opinions known. Then they have the obligation to sit down and shut the fuck up so that the speaker can actually address their opinion. Shouting down people that don’t agree with you is nothing but parroted behavior learned from talk radio. And we KNOW that they have no interest in shaking things up in the DC/Corporate world. An angry listenership is an active listenership. Inspector Kemp would approve.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Dept.
Lastly, I want to let those of you that have been following the PittGirl turned That’s Church saga (see 3 previous posts) know that she got fired from her job after coming out as the author of The Burgh Blog. She is far too talented to remain without a gig, so I know that she’ll bounce back better than ever. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less for her, or any less fair.