[Vision2020] New News is Bad News (Molly Ivins)

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Sep 26 06:52:59 PDT 2006

>From "Creators, a Syndicate of Talent" at http://www.Creators.com -


By Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas -- Noshing on the news ...

-- The National Intelligence Estimate, agreed upon by 16 Bush-controlled spy
services within the U.S. government, says the war in Iraq is making the war
on terrorism harder and worse. It gives the phrase "leaking intelligence" a
new meaning (a line not original with me). 

We've been having a debate in this country about whether to continue the war
-- or "the comma," as the president calls it -- until it has become a
semi-colon. Now, the debate is over, and what we need to discuss is the best
way out. This war is not a goddamn comma. 

-- According to The Associated Press, the directors of the Legal Services
Corp., a program for poor people, have been trying to get rid of their
inspector general, who has clocked them for, among other things, expensive
meals, using limousine services and wasting money on a ritzy headquarters. 

The board members said the inspector general had a "fetish" for independence
(how horrible) and that he's a character assassin backed by a delusional
staff, and so forth. While this was going on, one half of the poor clients
applying for legal services were rejected.

-- The AP reports the Education Department has ignored the law and ethical
standards to steer money how it wants. The billion-dollar-a-year Reading
First program is apparently riddled with problems, including political
favoritism, conflicts of interest and mismanagement. 

In a hair-raising memo, the director of Reading First, Chris Doherty, wrote
members of the staff at the Department of Education regarding one company,
"They are trying to crash our party, and we need to beat the (expletive) out
of them in front of all the other would-be party crashers who are standing
on the front lawn waiting to see how we welcome these dirtbags." 

Doherty recently resigned from the department "to return to the private
sector," a spokeswoman said. Isn't that nice? I kind of wish he was back in
government helping to answer the eternal mystery, "Is our children

-- For the second time since August, the Army is ordering the combat tours
of thousands of soldiers past the promised 12 months. This time, it's nearly
4,000 soldiers in the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored. 

Again in Iraq, the Army chief of staff is refusing to submit a budget
because he says he needs billions more dollars before the Army can meet its
obligations. He will surely get help from ol' "anything they ask for" Bush. 

The question is: Can these people run anything right? The other question is:
Is there anything they can't screw up? 

I don't know about you, but I think the Education deal has me more upset. I
mean, we already knew the Big Comma was producing a backlash, didn't we,
really? Where are we now -- 2,700 dead Americans, nearly 50,000 dead Iraqis
... come on, that's at least familiar, what Donald Rumsfeld would call a
"known-known." But stealing money from little kids' reading programs? What
is that about? 

Iraq -- Bush made a horrible mistake because he knows relatively little. But
stacking the bidding in favor a reading program that may not be the best
available? I suppose the answer is that Republicans (except for Bush) never
did think having the feds in education was a good idea. 

I'm ready to settle for a bar of common decency. Lead us into an insane war,
get the troops killed, lie about whatever you want, eat fancy meals on the
government tab ($14 for a chocolate dessert?), but please, oh please, do not
rig the bids for reading material for our adorable little children, who will
soon be appearing with President Bush in a rainbow of colors in ads dreamed
up by Karl Rove. They're really great for photo ops.


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Vandalville, Idaho

"Only by going too far can one possibly find out how far one can go." 

- Jon Dyer 

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