The UN Building, with about 7 stories lopped off the top, in honor of John Bolton (click to enlarge)
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the world of corporate government, where incompetence and inflexibility are directly proportional. You might want to keep the following links bookmarked for the next time you screw up at work and have the pink slip waved in your face.
And now, our feature piece for today comes from Shady Acres Mike, who we haven't heard from in a while. Today he answers the question, "is a Bush veto of the $124B Iraq Supplemental automatic?"
It appears so. These guys seem to be highly out of touch. Keep in mind though that they do have at least a year to forge a political deal (if it gets to be more than that, no one will deal with them--it will become the next administration's headache). If they are able to foster a political deal they would look somewhat reasonable.
As for the loyal opposition, they cannot lose in the eyes of the reasonable American. Thank God that the forces of reason won both houses because the position the Dems are in now is only because of their ability to set a legislative and oversight agenda.
However, I am not optimistic that a political deal is in the offing. There is no military solution to being an occupying force in the midst of a civil war where neither warring party wants you there. So only a political solution remains. This administration has not done the hard work needed to lay down a path for such a deal. As a matter of fact, they seemed to have done just the opposite by refusing, at least publicly, to deal with the various factions whether inside or outside of Iraq. They have been defiant by taking a unilateral course. They believe that the US no longer needs to be a participant in history-making with others, but rather be THE history maker. It is this hubris that will make it difficult to cut a deal. In effect, they thought they could take a short cut. They initially tried to favor the Shia so that they would hold sway over the country. That backfired and they are still in the process of backing out of that strategy.
In the meantime, no real centralized body or association of various Sunni factions exists. Who represents the Sunnis? The Shia seem split down the middle between two main factions as well. At the same time, this administration has threatened the neighbors who continue to fuel the sectarian violence. No short term political solution looks likely. This will take time, patience, negotiations, and compromise -all things this administration either lacks or has shown no actual ability to afford.
I found myself in rare agreement with Donald Trump the other day. He recently stated that he sees Condi flying all over the world, meeting with many world leaders, but he never sees a deal. What, he asked, is the secretary of state supposed to do other than cut deals? Perhaps it is too late and they have gone too far to be trusted at the negotiating table for any major negotiation, including peace in Iraq. What a mess they have made. What a mess they will most probably be leaving to the next administration.
Have you seen the new poll results form NBC? The Bushies are so out of touch once again. Large majorities of Americans think there should be a timetable - by approximately a twenty percent margin. Only 22% of Americans think we are headed in the right direction as a country. Large majorities of Americans thinks that the surge is not working - again, by approximately a twenty percent margin. This is why anyone associated with the quagmire that is Iraq is being painted with the same brush. McCain has hit free fall, even Hillary is sliding. Obama and Giuliani who did not vote on the subject have risen in their place.
As for the neocons, the noose is tightening around these hoodlums and incompetents: Abramoff and 10 other K Street influence-peddling convictions with three more Congressman to come about to go down, Plamegate and the Libby conviction, Tillman and Lynch, politicizing the Justice and other departments, Katrina, with investigations on torture, spying on the public without warrants, and intelligence manipulation yet to come. It's going to be hard for anyone who supported this administration to survive once it all comes out. Thank God for checks and balances, thank God for karma, for justice, for true oversight, and for the rooster coming home to roost. And the far right are out of touch again, they are simply trying to stall and deceive by making false comparisons with other administrations and by changing the subject.
If property values continue to sink and the economy slows down on top of all of the above, the 30 year trend to the right may be about to be swing the other way. The right could lose the independent vote for a long time to come. Even without the economy taking a slide, rising energy costs, rising health costs, rising education costs, and continued reliance on big oil and foreign carbon based energy at the expense of the very environment we live in could cost the Republicans the middle class independent vote for a long time to come. And the right is out of touch again if they think that can rely on all their past bromides with which they ran America into the ground.
It's time for a new America. Lets see who will be ready to usher that in.
--Shady Acres Mike