Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Bad News Just Keeps on Coming

Relax, I'm not talking about Kathy's pregnancy -- that's going fine. I was thinking more about all the bad news that keeps piling up concerning the governance of the good old U.S. of A. I hope the election that's scheduled for a couple of days after the baby is due throws out enough of the Republican rubberstampers that things improve. In the meantime, here's the latest crap in a long line.

I'll start with the NSA domestic surveillance stuff. It's supposed to be a compilation of who called whom rather than a review of content, which is bad enough, but given that just the other day Kathy tried calling home from work and we got this painfully loud tone (and yes, painful -- each of us had a sore ear for 10 minutes afterwards) and couldn't hear each other, and given how "unforthcoming" the Bush Administration has been about such matters (acknowledgement only takes place once the news has been made public), I have trouble believing that the full extent of domestic spying has been revealed. And it does bear repeating that General Hayden, up for nomination to head the CIA, was in charge of the NSA when this surveillance program was launched.
Then there's what passes for fiscal policy, which was summed up nicely thusly:

To recap -- $70 billion in tax cuts that actually are deeper, because the bill offsets the cuts by a measure that creates bigger liabilities in the future. Average benefit for a middle-income household is estimated at $20, while those who make more than $1 million would see an average tax savings of $42,000.
And here's something that seems to have slipped below most people's radar. Suppose you're in charge of a large garden and your employer thinks some of your staff has been filching some of the fruit. So you hire someone to look into it, and lo and behold, your employer was right -- some of the staff has been stealing. How would you handle it? Apparently, if you're the President and the Republican Congress, your garden is operations in Iraq, and your employer is the American people, you'd re-direct funding for Iraq so that it could no longer be subject to those pesky audits that have been showing lots of fraud and abuse. So I guess we won't have to worry about any more stories on that subject.
Rather than be all negative, there is one tiny kernel of good news, and it's that there's new hope that DC will get a vote in Congress. Admittedly we still would lack a vote in the Senate, but better to have one in the House than what we currently have, which is none at all.