Saturday, February 11, 2006

three great tragedies

An update on three of the many tragedies being inflicted upon us or exacerbated by the current de facto Administration...

Scientific Censorship
NASA scientist James Hansen again talks about the censorship being imposed upon government scientists by the Bushie politicos. The topic Bushies most fear is climate change, but as the flap about the young political hack at NASA who had falsified his resume shows, it extends even to scientific theories like the Big Bang. This Administration, kowtowing to its lunatic religious fringe and catering to Big Oil, simply refuses to deal with scientific realities. And unfortunately we could be missing a chance to mitigate the effects of climate change as a result, a price the entire planet will pay.

Spying
A second tragedy is the warping of our Constitution and the balance of powers by an overweening Administration that claims the President is all-powerful in times of war, and also insists that we are in a Long War. Specifically they defend the NSA's domestic surveillance program, without judicial warrants. Not everybody likes it -- former House member Bob Barr, an extremely conservative Republican from Georgia, has been one of the most outspoken critics of the NSA spying. He was not warmly greeted at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference Friday. Bob Barr dared to voice the idea that just because the current President is One of Them, conservatives should not automatically assume that anything he says or does is right and righteous. As Barr said, "Do we truly remain a society that believes that . . . every president must abide by the law of this country? I, as a conservative, say yes. I hope you as conservatives say yes."

Barr correctly dismissed the disingeneous allegation this time voiced at the conference by conservative professor and Patriot Act author Viet Dinh that anybody who opposes Bush's unwarranted spying is opposed to national security, saying "That, folks, was a red herring. This debate is very simple: It is a debate about whether or not we will remain a nation subject to and governed by the rule of law or the whim of men."

I was not a fan of Bob Barr when he was in the House. His role in the Clinton sex impeachment was unforgiveable. But I give him full credit for refusing to give this President a pass merely for being a fellow Republican, and for sticking to his insistence that we have not given up our constitutional rights simply because Congress authorized Bush to go into Afghanistan.

Financial Chicanery
A third tragedy of this Administration is the fiscal ruin it is bringing on us by slashing taxes repeatedly on the rich (not to mention the class-war element as it reduces services to the middle class and poor). Well, the Administration has a solution to this problem too. Speaking at the same conference as Bob Barr, de facto Vice-President and pro-torture advocate Darth Cheney discussed the Administration's proposal to create a new Division on Dynamic Analysis in the Department of Treasury. What would this new division do? It would "prove" that Bush's tax cuts have increased revenue and spurred the economy to new heights, and no doubt would further "prove" that even more cuts would bring about even greater prosperity. Maybe it could even take things to the logical conclusion and decide that GIVING money to the rich instead of taxing them at all would make us even MORE well off.

See, the Republican pro-rich-people wing needs something like this, because entities that are not in its control like the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office inconveniently keep on noting the fact that surprise! tax cuts reduce tax revenues and increase our budget deficit.

Summary
So to summarize... science and economics are being creatively interpreted to meet the biases and interests of the GOP's religious and rich wings respectively. And the NSA's spying is good for America and anybody opposed to it like Bob Barr is a Bin Laden-worshipping Enemy of America. Although the conservative consensus particularly on that last point is showing signs of weakening...

Three more years. I hope we can survive it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeremy said...

Very well summed up. Just the other day I was accused by a conservative of "sounding just like" al-Zawahiri because I was saying the conservative movement is harmful toward civil rights.

When right-wingers perpetrate the idea that simply defending the Constitution makes you a terrorist, it totally kills any debate, any conversation and any reason.

8:47 PM  
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11:18 AM  

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