Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Evil Democrats and Saintly Republicans?

When I wrote about John Kerry and his big mouth, I didn't go far enough with what I feel is going on right now regarding Iraq, the military and George Bush. I was trying to be nice, to be polite. That's the way of a Libra, but the farther it goes, the more I see happening, the more I am losing any desire to be nice or give anybody the benefit of the doubt where it comes to what has happened in Iraq.

If Bush is smiling today over Kerry's inability to talk straight, then he's a cruel man to go with his ineptness, or was it ever ineptness? What is really going on with Bush and what were his goals with Iraq? If he attacks Iran next, which with Republicans controlling Congress, he could possibly do (after all this is the guy who said having a dictatorship would be fine if he was the dictator), where will that leave our country in two more years? The bunch behind him are favoring military action there-- not paying for it with their own dollars though.

Bush is good at talking like he is on the side of the military; but this is a man who sent them to war not fully equipped, who under supplied their numbers (against the recommendation of generals), who substituted fast food in their commissaries for sufficient armor on their vehicles, who believes so much in this war but doesn't even count its cost into the budgets, who tried to stop increasing benefits for veterans, and evidently must be hoping for some miracle drop from heaven to cover the bills. They won't come due until he is out of office. Maybe that's all he and Rove care about.

He has hidden from the American people any real reason for attacking Iraq (Spare me saying it was to get rid of a dicator who killed innocent people. The war has killed at least as many and the ones supporting it don't care. They didn't care before either) , hidden the cost, tried to say that everyone dying there is for a purpose. Who knows what that purpose is. He says the Democrats don't have a plan for Iraq but he won't tell us what his plan is or rather hasn't told us.

Paul Krugman at New York Times had a great column for November 3 on what is happening in Iraq. I just wish it wasn't membership only as it is something Bush supporters especially should read. I know how the right sees Krugman, as the devil's advocate, but he has facts in this column that should be read and denied if someone doesn't think they apply.

Bechtel, the engineering company, is pulling out of Iraq after having gotten 2.3 billion dollars of taxpayer money for restoring electricity, water and sewage... Finished their mission and going home right? That's how the right would spin it. No, they failed on every level and lost a lot of their employees in the process of being there. Electricity in Baghdad is maybe 6 hours a day if the people are lucky, and the countryside not only doesn't have that but doesn't have clean water or sewage. The growing civil war in Iraq doesn't make doing the work possible or else the Bush people have decided that throwing 21 billion dollars into this with no results is enough for anybody.

For you on the right, who still support this man, take out a membership in NY Times and read Krugman (or I'd be happy to email this column to anyone who doesn't have the money for the NYTimes or sees it as a corrupt organization that only favors commies), however, you get it, figure out where he's wrong and write a comment here about that... but if he's right, then I would like you to face something.

This president has been a money-making machine for a certain group of people. Bush is good at strutting around like a war hero, which he never was, apparently great at lying with a sincere face and hiding any facts that don't suit his agenda. He has an ego as big as his pal, Rush Limbaugh's. After Limbaugh ridiculed Michael J. Fox, by mimicking his spastic movements due to Parkinson's Disease, Bush went on his show. Does that tell you who Bush is?

I am just plain furious that people like me, who not only support the troops but want to pay for them to be full equipped, who want them to receive full benefits and all the help they need once they get home, are being accused of not being good Americans because we consider GW Bush to be the worst president in our lifetime or maybe in this country's existence.

This is a man who sent troops to war and now produces a few tears of sympathy while he continues his personal power trip. A man who made his own jokes at the troops expense when he joked about not being able to find the weapons of mass destruction anywhere, not even in his own office. What was he thinking when he said-- bring 'em on? Why does he get a pass on such awful things but someone who isn't even running for office can convince a lot of people that Democrats hate the military? Go figure!

If you managed to read Krugman and still support Bush, try this from Olbermann.... Yeah, he's mad too. We on the left are mad at what has been done in this country's name, at the accusations that because we do not see Bush as a Messiah we are not only immoral but also un-American. And we're mad not just at the president but at those who continue to defend his wreaking of havoc around the world.

None of us can vote Bush out. Thanks to the Democrats choosing an inept choice two years ago (which was shown again this last week), Bush has two more years to continue on his path, which might even include attacking Iran for all we know given the secrecy and attitude of that administration that their opinions are all that count. I hope if it does, he recognizes a tax increase and draft are required. The idea that a war can be fought with no cost is a lie in itself.

We can't change what this president does for the next two years. Unless we vote in Democrats who can at least get heads of committees, we have no way to know if there has been graft or outright theft of taxpayer money sent to Iraq. Right now there is no outside oversight because the Bush administration and their minions in Congress don't want there to be.

We have been told this all has been to make a new democracy out of Iraq but who knows? Was it really only to make another fortune for certain already rich people. What I really don't know is how some people sleep at night.

(This was a rant and no pictures for rants! I am as sick of writing about politics as probably some of you are about reading about it. The election comes up soon. Thank God!)

31 comments:

robin andrea said...

Krugman is available on truthout.org. They don't always run the NYT editorials, but today they have it up. It is a great, sobering read. Amazing what we have done to Iraq. A tragedy all the way around.

Thanks for keeping on, rain. I couldn't do it, so I absolutely admire you for writing these thoughts about the dire straits we find ourselves in.

Rain said...

thank you for that link, Robin and for your constant encouragement here. It has meant a lot to me. We are going through a very tough time, enough to make a person cry but then we have to pick ourselves up and keep trying. Just plain hard times

Rain said...

I appreciate all of the comments that everyone has put here this last month. It is a difficult time, and I know that we don't all see the solutions the same way; but whether we agreed or disagreed, it has been the kind of discourse that I believe is good to have.

Ingineer66 said...

I heard a guy yesterday say that is what happens to you in hell. They play political commercials 24 hours a day. I think we will all be glad when it is over for a while.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Great Rant Rain!!! (Ooo, I like that!)
Seriously, everything you say is right on the money---BULLSEYE!

I love Olbermann's passion!!! And Krugman, too!

I cannot wait for this election to be over...especially so that I do not have to watch anymore political ads....They are disgusting!!!!

We need your voice, Rain...and I for one am very very grateful for your posts during this horrendous time in our country.

Thanks for your very kind words on my Anniversary!

Rain said...

Comments were down for awhile and Wintson asked if when they got back up, I'd post his--

Comment:

"Rain, you are unfortunately wrong on one point, I fear. If the Republicans retain control of all branches of government through these elections, Bush has, not just 2 years, but whatever amount of time he and his successors choose. He will exercise emergency Presidential powers to indefinitely delay all future elections in the name of "national security". At that point we have a de facto fascist dictatorship. Who can stop him then?

I hope I am wrong... More than that, I hope enough Dems win to wrest control of at least one of the Houses of Congress from the Reps, so that he will never have the opportunity to be king."

--
Winston Rand
http://www.nobodyasked.com

Ingineer66 said...

Oh my God I just fell out of my chair laughing at Winstons comment about Bush suspending elections.
Rain you are correct about W not prosecuting the war. He has tried to do war-lite to try to keep the dems off his back and his has backfired miserably. His father learned from Vietnam that you use overwhelming force and let the generals run the show. That is why in Gulf 1 we sent over 500,000 troops. Clinton didnt listen in Somalia and W didnt listen in Iraq. I think we should send another 100,000 troops into Iraq and kick ass or tell them that we are leaving and if we dont like what happens then we will come back and do another regime change. The Sunnis were a big part of the insurgency and now I think are figuring out if we leave the Shiites are going to slaughter them. It is turning into a much bigger mess than anyone expected.

Rain said...

Well, your thoughts aren't bad about some of that, Ingineer. Although do we keep those troops there forever? How do we pay for it? You figuring on a draft given I have heard we are stretched pretty thin now with using national guard as a backdoor draft.

As for your blaming the dems for this... amazing. I think you have to decide if they are really that powerful or the wimpy creatures you keep saying they are and stick with it!

Personally, I think you have this mixed up. It's keeping the hard right financial types off his back because they don't want to pay for what they are doing, are scared to death at tax increases, and don't want a bigger deficit.

He has tried to hide the true cost of what he's been doing, all right, but that's typical of his whole attidue. Could he be Marie Antoinette reincarnated-- Let them eat cake! Okay I know she didn't say it but it seems to me he is!

Rain said...

Somalia btw was something Clinton inherited, didn't start. Bush Sr. had the troops in there to start with and we weren't trying to conquer the country, just stop genocide if I recall... CRS ya know...

Ingineer66 said...

On the Krugman article, no argument from me about Bechtels political position or contracts, but I am wondering why it is so one sided as if I didnt know after reading some of other slanted writing on truthout.org.
I guess if we are going to bash Bush and Cheney for giving out sweetheart contracts for Iraq I think we should also look at the Big Dig in Boston. The project was built and managed by Bechtel and Parsons both mentioned by Krugman, but wait Massachusetts politics is ran by democrats including John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and the contracts were let when Bill Clinton was president. There have been billions of dollars of cost overruns and several significant construction defects including a concrete slab that fell off the ceiling of tunnel this year that killed a motorists. In your hatred of Bush you are missing the real story. These are huge companies that are politically connected no matter who is in office. Also there are very few companies that have the capabilities to move large numbers of men and equipment into a wartorn country. The fact that Bechtel is pulling out is scary and shows that it is turning into a possible quagmire and we need to either kick ass or get out. There is no middle ground.

Rain said...

I don't hate Bush. You have that wrong. I consider hate a wasted emotion. I can have zero respect for someone as a human being or leader and still not hate them. It'd take a lot to bring me to hating him...

As for the Boston tunnel, I have been reading a lot of pieces on who is being looked at for blame on that one. Mitt Romney, MA governor, hopes to run for president... maybe he will find a way to blame it on Clinton *s*

Ingineer66 said...

Somalia was a mess and Clinton did inherit it but his administration directly caused the troops to get slaughtered. Clinton had been in office a short time and the commanders in Somalia had asked for AC-130 gunships and armored personnell carriers and the Whitehouse said that would make us look like bullies and didnt want to project that message so they went in with humvees and we got to see video of US soldiers bodies being drug through the streets.
I am not blaming dems for this mess what I said was W knew he barely won the 2000 election and was trying to appease the dems and the other countries that only had moderate support for the invasion. As if any of those people were going to like him no matter what he did. Reagan figured that out and took his message to the people and kicked ass. He silenced Quadafi in Libya without permission from France and it made Americans proud that we were Americans again and not the spineless wimps we had been during the Carter years.

Ingineer66 said...

Well we still have troops in Germany and Japan. So maybe we do need to keep some of those troops there indefinately. But the world and the middle east are different places now than what we had before. These are backward places where half the people want a modern peaceful life and half want to return to the 12th century. After WWII us and the Soviets had so devastated the aggressor nations that there was no much desire by the citizenry to return to what it was like before the war. By contrast we have our Marines kick ass for a few days in Falujah and everone is upset. In WWII we would have firebombed the entire city for a week or two and killed most anything that moved.

Rain said...

bush presents an image that a lot of people feel more powerful for seeing. It doesn't mean he has done right, is strong or is not doing damage. It just means that to a lot of people someone's image is the main thing. I am not really interested in going back into Somalia but if you go online and do research on it, there were several sides on what happened and who was to blame. It was tragic and for me it's history. We have enough problems with today. If Clinton was still prez, i'd see the value in looking at it. As it is, I wish republicans would forget about him and concentrate on what is happening now!

As for Bush appeasing anyone. That's ridiculous. He gains his power with the right through knocking the dems around. He has never tried to appease dems. Even the education bill (if it was appeasing anyone) was more toward his wife and frankly he didn't do one damned thing for education with it. Bush has only been a divider and it's gotten worse. Whether it's his fault or just a cycle, I have never seen a time with so much bitterness.

Rain said...

And if we killed that many Iraqis, given we know that they never had weapons of mass destruction that endangered us, what would be our excuse? certainly not to plant democracy, not with that kind of brutal action. That's why I say those who try to say we are doing this for Iraq are not facing the truth because if you look at what it might take to end the bloodshed, given this goes back into history as far as we can see, then to end it, would require worse bloodshed. No wonder they don't consider us their friends. Would you if that was someone who had come into your state with that attitude? We are not talking about a country who attacked us or anybody else recently. This is all about some hidden motives-- if there even is a reason for it.

Rain said...

oh yeah and with Reagan, he also pulled our troops out of Lebanon after the attack on them there. He said he wouldn't but within months had... as for bombing Libya, that was in response to them attacking the West in that plane bombing. There was a justification that you don't see with our attack on Iraq at all. That was supposed to be about WMD but none were found and the UN had been searching and said none were there. I know they say it was to hit terrorists but they were in Afghanistan, still are, came out of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and that has never been addressed. Like that Pakistani scientist who sold nuclear secrets to North Korea and was pardoned by the gov't in Pakistaon... We aren't facing a lot of things in this country.

Winston said...

Wow, quite a lively 2-way discussion going on here. Hope you don't mind me coming to the party late on this ...

I don't know anything about the Boston tunnel or Mass. politics. And don't care. Every state, for as long as they have been states, has pork-barrel projects rammed through Congress by the Senators or Reps who represent that state. I have even heard there is an unwritten rule that every Senator and Representative is allowed one pork project per elected term. Some, of course, grab more - real "porkers", if I may.

I don't hate Bush either. I despise, detest and loathe the vermin he is... but never hate... ;-)

I am on the side that believes we should not have gone to Iraq at the time we did in the way we did and for the purported reasons we did. Quite simply, Bush had personal agenda items to fulfill so he lied to get his way. Since we are there and losing more of our troops everyday for no purpose at all, I agree with ingineer66, that we need to kick ass or get out. Given that we are there illegally and have already destroyed a country and killed many thousands of their innocent as well as their guilty people (collateral damage it is called), I really don't think Bush and company have the balls to do either, so they will maintain this ill-equipped minimum force until they are all wounded or dead. Before that end comes, we will already have an uprising and refusal to go by military and potential military folks. It will make the protests and draft-dodging of Vietnam era look like a Sunday school picnic. Remember Kent State? ...

Unless the Democrats can get control of one or both Houses of Congress this coming Tuesday...

Winston said...

Wow, quite a lively 2-way discussion going on here. Hope you don't mind me coming to the party late on this ...

I don't know anything about the Boston tunnel or Mass. politics. And don't care. Every state, for as long as they have been states, has pork-barrel projects rammed through Congress by the Senators or Reps who represent that state. I have even heard there is an unwritten rule that every Senator and Representative is allowed one pork project per elected term. Some, of course, grab more - real "porkers", if I may.

I don't hate Bush either. I despise, detest and loathe the vermin he is... but never hate... ;-)

I am on the side that believes we should not have gone to Iraq at the time we did in the way we did and for the purported reasons we did. Quite simply, Bush had personal agenda items to fulfill so he lied to get his way. Since we are there and losing more of our troops everyday for no purpose at all, I agree with ingineer66, that we need to kick ass or get out. Given that we are there illegally and have already destroyed a country and killed many thousands of their innocent as well as their guilty people (collateral damage it is called), I really don't think Bush and company have the balls to do either, so they will maintain this ill-equipped minimum force until they are all wounded or dead. Before that end comes, we will already have an uprising and refusal to go by military and potential military folks. It will make the protests and draft-dodging of Vietnam era look like a Sunday school picnic. Remember Kent State? ...

Unless the Democrats can get control of one or both Houses of Congress this coming Tuesday...

Ingineer66 said...

Great to have you at the party Winston. Just out of curiosity, if the dems get control of congress what changes are they going to make in Iraq? Other than threatening to cut off funding for the military and starting impeachment proceedings against Bush, I havent heard any foreign policy direction changes from the dems. And Rain you mention Pakistan. If the dems get in power are we going to invade them too.

Rain said...

I think no matter who wins on Tuesday there will be some reevaluation of what our goals are with Iraq. Republicans say keep going until we win but they don't define what winning means. If the country falls into total civil war, what do we do?

Did we win in Afghanistan with the Taliban regrouping and never getting bin Laden?

The problem with countries like these is the hatreds go way back and whose side do you take? How will we feel if a Khomeni type wins the elections in Iraq?

I think what dems will do if they win is subpoena for investigations on where the money went. I don't see any impeachment in the plans by anybody given that was disastrous to do it with Clinton. The distraction that proved to be for all those years didn't help our country. You know if he really has to work with democrats, he might turn out to be a better president. I agree with what Dick said somewhere in the comments-- I don't like either party to rule. They do better when they are forced to cooperate.

Someday Bush and his people might face legal questions as to whether they operated legally with the torture, arrests, secrets held back etc etc but more likely his only judgement will come from history and maybe his own soul if someday he stops to think how many died and whether his motives were pure. Unlikely he will do that given his personality type....

Dems will likely try to raise minimum wage to something more reasonable. Oregon's is now over $7 and it's still a really low wage for people who are forced to get by on it-- and there are those who are. While Congress has raised their own salaries over and over, they have held minimum wage down and it's hurt those who have no skills. If it isn't voted to increase it, at least the legislators will have to have their votes out there saying they voted against it.

I have also heard dems would like to allow medicare to bargain for lower rates on drug prices. Who could object to that except pharmaceutical companies?

Why would anybody attack Pakistan??? We would all like to get bin Laden but it's not going to happen that we would invade a sovereign nation to do that-- not again anyway.

If the Republicans win, will they okay invading Iran? Will they vote in a draft if we end up fighting a war in Iran? Will Republicans ever accept that they have to pay for the war they have wanted in Iraq and figure out how to do that? Will they investigate the companies that got all the money to rebuild Iraq just to make sure they weren't padding it badly? Will Republicans have any answers on how to solve the problem in Iraq if this is now civil war? Do we keep having people die there to justify Bush's mistake in going in (assuming his reason was to er uh what was it again?)

And it's always good to have others debating; so anybody who wants to comment on this-- agree or disagree-- is welcome :)

Ingineer66 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ingineer66 said...

Great topic transition Rain. Yet another thing we can disagree on. Raising minimum wage only hurts the people who earn it. One of the jobs I had in college I was making $4.25 an hour when minimum wage was $3.35. Then the minimum wage got raised to $4.25 but my salary did not increase. The prices of everything went up so I lost money by the so called increase. I ended up getting a third job making more money and only worked the $4.25 one once in a while.

Minimum wage is intended as a training wage that is mostly earned by teenagers. If you cant support yourself on the wage you make then YOU need to do something to make yourself worth more. Either get more education or get a different job. The most prosperous economic growth in this country comes when the government stays out of the marketplace. But if we must raise minimum wage, I say lets raise it to $72,000 a year. I think that is what rookie Congressmen make. Of course a loaf of bread will cost $25, but everyone will be making a "living" wage.

Rain said...

You asked what they would likely do and I told you. That's no transition of a topic. I totally disagree with you as to whether adult workers sometimes earn that wage. Many states have already recognized the need to raise it. If you want to keep it at $5.25, why even have one with your attitude? If you can hire someone at slave wages, why not do it if greed is all you care about? Many states have raised it. It does not hurt the teens as most people pay more than minimum anyway these days. You raise it as a point of being right. btw, you listen to Limbaugh way too much. I've heard him argue this point. He is ignorant of what ordinary people in some jobs are stuck with.

Ingineer66 said...

Your comments are a little harsh. I have never heard Limbaugh talk about minimum wage. My comments are based on what I have heard from financial people and personal experience. I think the minimum here is $6.75 but is going to be $7.50 January 1st. It is not about greed it is about the government telling the market place what to do and whether you believe in personal responsibility or the government taking care of everyone. I agree we should have some kind of minimum wage, but we still have plenty of people mostly immigrants that will work for less and the minimum wage has killed several parts of the agriculture industry particularly in Hawaii because other countries can provide the product much cheaper.

Ingineer66 said...

And I know adult workers sometimes earn that wage. I think my father earned close to it for a while after the mill he worked at got closed down. But the percentage of adults who earn minimum wage is very small compared to the rest of the workforce.

Rain said...

Rush has said exactly what you said and I just don't understand people who want low minimum wages. Like don't have one at all then. It's meaningless when it's below a reasonable level. As for agriculture, it is exempt from it in Oregon anyway. Personally we pay it and mostly $10 an hour for good workers-- whatever age they are. It's just sensible to pay others fair wages... and if the Republicans hold onto their majorities, it won't even be voted on by them. They favor industry over the workers-- especially the bottom of the barrel workers...

Rain said...

We don't have any regular employees though; so that is a factor in what we can pay. Also if you have a lot of employees, benefits get figured into it-- to give them or not-- and that becomes a factor in what is being paid.

Rain said...

I didn't make that clear. With agriculture, it drops back to the federal minimum wage, not Oregon's higher one, which like California is over $7 an hour.

Ingineer66 said...

I didnt say I was against paying a fair wage. To me $10-$12 an hour for manual labor sounds about right. Housekeepers here make more than that. As for industry there are not many factory type jobs that pay even close to minimum wage. Most are considerably above it. And you are correct benefits come into play. Starbucks has a good benefits program for any employee that works over 20 hours per week. But the company also spends more on health insurance for its employees than it does on coffee.

Ron Southern said...

Never been here before. Smart cookie about Bush. Glad to hear it one more place.

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