I've mulled it over and I decided that the primary difference between voters and elected office holders is the perception of truth.
Voters, regular Joes and Janes, can't call their banks and creditors up and lie about when they can pay their bills. They can't authorize a bill-pay and hope it doesn't hit for two days until the paycheck arrives. We live in the here and now. Our word is our bond. Our survival, and any hope we have of prospering, depends on our accountability. In the here and now, buy here pay later doesn't work. Just because something is advertised doesn't mean it makes financial sense.
If you have kids during the Christmas advertising season, this point has already been brought home.
Politics run a different gambit. The point in politics is persuasion. WHY something MIGHT be better. If ONLY. What MIGHT happen. Based on the PROJECTED anticipated whatever.
Voters are repeatedly asked to authorize who has authority to move mountains of cash that belong to all of them. Them
. The voters. The taxpayers. There are 535 members of Congress. There are 295,734,134 citizens.
This tells me that 295,734,134 people, or a goodly portion thereof, make an honest accounting of their finances. They do not lie in order to borrow, or lie in order to avoid their financial obligations.
They can't because the people directly affected by those lies will not put up with it. We have a system of responsibility in place that REQUIRES responsibility. So, in the nicest possible way, why shouldn't the Americans look to their politicians and bellow:
Seriously, we ARE
in charge. 2006 is upon us. If your representation isn't running our
house the way you're running yours
, you've got a vote.
Holier Than Whom?
Here's the beloved Conservative Christian in action. This is turning the other cheek, Bush style. I'm sure the press feels blessed by this compassionate conservative. As for me, I'm feeling a little bit tired of dealing with these self righteous, finger pointing, name calling, do as I say and not as I do Republican extremists. It's called hypocrisy, and it's your self inflicted mandate. The moral mandate, apparently, was too much uphill work to pull off.
Speaking of Manners...
This week all the undies have been bunched over Lt. Gov. Knoll passing out her business card at Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich's funeral. The righteous right have been indignant and twelve kinds of pious about it. (I personally felt it wasn't her finest moment either. Society has manners for a reason.)
My last post here was about the death of my beloved cat. Many of you were kind enough to be here for me. All except for one.
This comment was left:
Moonbat Lookout said...
http: // no linky love for you, loser - I deleted your link
July 27, 2005 10:36 PM
This right wing nut thinks he can come into MY house, during MY eulogy, and advertise his moronic site leaving his "business card" link to where he sits all day attacking the very people who are going to have to clean up this sorry fucking mess after the extremist republicans get the well deserved boot.
I think we all know what we need to do.
When you leave your comment, come back here and paste a copy. That way, when the chickenshit deletes them over there, we can all still laugh.
I loved my cat, you son of a bitch. And you can go to hell.
The Life of Riley
I first met Riley in 1991. Specifically, he was my gift. At five weeks, he fit in my hand. Tiny and of dubious origin, Mr. Jet rescued him from a run down trailer park near our place and tucked him into my heart.
This was a serious gift. Mr. Jet did not.like.cats.
Riley may have started out small, but he dreamed big. Loving and cuddling were sissy stuff, best left to lesser cats. Life was a battle worthy of strife, mayhem and gore. To the victorious came the plunder, namely treats and admiration.
A friend of ours insisted he was part mountain lion. I gave him a band-aid and agreed.
In 1999, my warrior was laid low in battle; the hated vet advised that, with only a single kidney, the prognosis was poor.
What the hell do vets know, anyway? Living to spite the vet was Riley's MO.
When my warrior stumbled again last week, it was at the end of a full life, one worthy of song around fires, praises of strength and virtue, feats of legend and immortality.
Still, seeing the once mighty grow feeble bruises your soul.
I spent last week caring for him, and willing the impossible. Thoughts of last times flooded me.
I never realized that bath last month was the last bath. It hurt that the last lick on my cheek passed without fanfare. The last special treat eaten, before the many he turned from resignedly, was nothing more than a bit of chicken. If I'd known, it would have been better, more spectacular somehow, served with flourish.
The last wink, the last smack of the paw, the last time with the string toy all slipped by unheralded. It is so hard, knowing the lost last times, all gone like whispers into the wind.
The last time I held him will never leave me. He meowed in protest at death; I'm whispering to him that it is OK to let go, that I am there and it is OK to just let it go, just go....
So he did.
Now my days are full of firsts. First morning without him sit beside me watching the sun rise. First time brushing my teeth without him nosing water droplets off my shins. No lap time after work, no treats during dinner preparation, no body beside me on our bed. I used to lay on my back next to Mr. Jet, and Riley lay by my side. My hand fit perfectly into the curve between his front leg and his side. I never realized that it put both of us to sleep. I'm not sleeping well.
As I type this, there is no cat on my hard drive, leaning his nose off the back so the fan blows on him. I can barely believe he is gone, but everywhere I look, he is not there.
I know this will ease. But right now, in this moment, I still look around the corners. I still whisper for him.
Perhaps, across the battlefields of heaven, my mountain lion hears, and winks back.
We've all had them, and they suck.
Wal-Mart, that is.
Where I live, we're undergoing a development boom of monstrous proportions. Land that cost around $5500 an acre back when we bought our little slice of heaven, is being sold, less than a mile as the crow flies from my farm, for $100,000 an acre. While that is insane, the financial aspects of the situation do not escape me.
Momentary greed-induced delirium aside, I must make the point that money clouds judgment. Looking at all that money tends to skew your data. It's like a chocolate counter during PMS or a very short skirt when it's been too damn long; creative accounting begins at home.
Having a big pile of money for my dirt cannot replace what that dirt actually is: a safe haven of teaching, interacting and developing the minds of my children, a slice of rustic stress-be-gone for my husband and me. It's also, tied so intricately that the strings are unseen, the root-place of this little American family. This is where the tears fall, knees are skinned, children were made, and values (like tolerance, respect, and open-mindedness) are instilled.
Greed is the reason for the lies that are undoing this administration. Lies were told, and more lies to support the original lies, strictly for profit. Greed usurps the goodness in people, it overwhelms potential in the individual and replaces it with stuff. We're turning from a nation of creators into a nation of Wal-Mart shoppers.
And we're making China billions
Big fun and games in Washington last week. The House Government Reform Committee's subcommittee on national security got a wonderful opportunity to see how running a government like a business really works. You see, there was a big pile of money. Then, there wasn't. Mr. Bart Simpson, Springfield, testified: "I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove a thing."
It weighed 28 tons and took up as much room as 74 washing machines. It was $2.4 billion in $100 bills, and Baghdad needed it ASAP.
The initial request from U.S. officials in charge of Iraq required the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to decide whether it could open its vault on a Sunday, a day banks aren’t usually open.
"Just when you think you’ve seen it all," read one e-mail from an exasperated Fed official.
"Pocket change," said another e-mail.
Then, when the shipment date changed, officials had to scramble to
line up U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo planes to hold the money. They did, and the $2,401,600,000 was delivered to Baghdad on June 22, 2004.
It was the largest one-time cash transfer in the history of the New York Fed.
We can see Mr. Simpson's point. Swiping, er, transporting that cash would be impossible on a skateboard. Sounds to me like he had a little help. But who? Who could possibly stoop that low? Whose money was it, anyway?
The cash -- a total of 363 tons, generated mostly from oil revenues -- was Iraqi funds that had been held in trust by the Federal Reserve under the terms of a United Nations resolution.
Held in trust.... like, protecting it legally, with oversight... ah, gotcha. Kinda hard to steal it when it's being watched. This money is separate from the 18 billion Congress OK'd in October 2003 for rebuilding Iraq. 18 billion more coming in, so NOBODY will even notice this money is missing, right?
Disclosure of the frantic transfer in the final days of U.S.
control over Iraq came during a daylong hearing Tuesday that indicated growing worry from Congress over U.S. oversight of spending in Iraq.
Both Republicans and Democrats appeared taken aback by the volume of cash sent to Iraq: nearly $12 billion over the course of the U.S. occupation from March 2003 to June 2004, said a report by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), who had reviewed e-mails and documents subpoenaed from the bank.
High Carumba! So the transferred money was really Iraq money, held for the Iraqis to rebuild with. Seems like a reasonable plan. I believe it was the plan I was sold originally when this war was pitched to me with an attractive low-cost price tag. What was that, 240 billion ago? Something like that.
Previous reports by the inspector-general have faulted the
CPA for failing to implement adequate controls over 8.8 billion dollars in DFI money. The hearing before the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Government Reform was the first to focus on the DFI. Pressure to convene it has been led by the panel's Democrats, led by California's Henry Waxman, but the magnitude of the apparently mismanaged funds appeared to produce bipartisan shock.
So how did Simpson and his, ahem, oily
henchmen pull it off?
The largest single recipient of Iraqi funds was Halliburton, the oil services firm once led by U.S. Vice Pres. Dick Cheney, which received 1.6 billion dollars in Iraqi oil proceeds under a contract to import fuel and repair oil fields.
According to DCAA auditors, Halliburton's overcharges under this
contract are more than 218 million dollars. A security firm, Custer Battles, received over 11 million dollars in Iraqi funds, including over 4 million in cash. The company has been barred from receiving federal contracts and faces a False Claims Act lawsuit for multiple fraudulent billings. Over 600 million dollars in cash was shipped from Baghdad to four regions in Iraq to allow commanders flexibility to fund local reconstruction projects. An audit of one of the four regions found more than 80 percent of the funds could not be properly accounted for and that over 7 million dollars in cash was missing. CPA officials gave over 8 billion dollars in cash to Iraqi ministries. The Special Inspector
General found significant funds paid to ”ghost employees” and billion-dollar discrepancies in some expenditures.
OK, I just have to interject here. Billion dollar discrepancies? Billion? How in the hell can you be off by a billion? How many businesses do you think are OK with discrepancies just in the thousands? That's simply idiotic.
Waxman said the largest single recipient of DFI funds was Halliburton. ”The company vastly overcharged to import gasoline into Iraq and to provide other oil-related services. These overcharges -- which exceed 200 million dollars -- were billed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But U.S. officials arranged for over 80 percent of them to be paid out of the DFI.” The DFI, which was run by the United States, is the successor to the Oil-for-Food Programme, which was run by the United Nations. More than 8 billion dollars in the Oil-for-Food Programme was transferred into the DFI by the U.N. Security Council. In a separate development, Democratic legislators stepped up criticism of Halliburton for what they said was ”war profiteering,” citing Pentagon audits that question more than 1 billion dollars of the company's bills for work in Iraq. At a Democrat-sponsored forum on Tuesday, Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota said that estimates of excessive spending and improper billing by Halliburton are more than twice as high as those in previous official reports.
Now, about that "nobody saw me do it" part... Halliburton has some well placed friends, (Yo, Dick! How ya doin' dere?) and these friends knew how they could help their buddies finagle their windfall. All they needed were a few black markers!
One major recipient of DFI money, Halliburton Corp., was a point of contention between subcommittee members and Pentagon officials
Subcommittee members objected to the fact that Pentagon officials
had heavily redacted internal Defense Department audits before providing them to a U.N. board charged with monitoring the DFI program. The audits found more than $200 million in questioned charges that Halliburton had passed to the government, primarily on a no-bid contract for importing fuel.
Pentagon officials said they relied on the company's suggestions for deciding what parts of the audits to redact because they didn't want Halliburton's proprietary information made public. House members from both parties objected to that reasoning.
"Overcharges to the government are not trade secrets," said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).
Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's subcommittee on national security, emerging threats and international relations, said the redactions "regretfully, very regretfully, make it appear DOD has something to hide. This undermines our international standing and, even more importantly, harms our efforts in Iraq."
Shays said he has repeatedly "begged" the Pentagon to provide Congress with the documents underlying its decision to black out parts of the audits. Yesterday, he threatened to seek a subpoena if the documents aren't provided by Monday.
Why, you little... If you black stuff out, nobody can read it! Brilliant and oh, so evuulll! Montgomery Burns has reportedly purchased massive amounts of Sharpie
Marker stock. Business begets business, and the Pentagon is learning fast.
It was approximately three years ago the GAO (General Accounting Office) attempted to do what congress requested: an audit of the DoD/Pentagon. After a solid year, the GAO had to report back to congress that they could not complete the audit as there was no supporting documentation to account for what had happened to a little over $1.4 Trillion, yes Trillion with a capital “T” that was MISSING!
Now today we learn that even more money is missing. The GAO
(Government Accounting Office) has reported that the DoD has lost another $3.5 billion of taxpayer money—money and equipment have just disappeared and no one knows where.
HA-ha! Trillions! "What good is money if it can't inspire terror in your fellow man?"-- Montgomery Burns.
The amount of money Rumsfeld’s Department of War “loses” every few months would be more than enough to properly fund the V.A--instead veterans of this nation’s wars are being denied access on a daily basis; others wait for months to get appointments for even basic medical services; specialized care is even worse—all due primarily to under funding.
It's like living in the U.S. of Enron!
Look. All the tax cuts and program cuts in the world mean nothing if the government is allowing a few key corporate players to rob the taxpayers blind. Companies that are competitive and smart should be the winners. Not the ones who steal the most from the national treasury, whether by fraudulent contracts or outright theft. Our VA is in a nose dive and these guys let billons walk off unaccounted for. In the real world, people would lose their jobs and go to jail for this kind of gross negligence. If we're running this country like a company, it's way
past time for an impartial audit.
Stop Setting People Up To Steal From Us.
Stop Letting People Steal From Us.
(And while you're at it, buy our troops some armor and some freakin' health care, God Dem It!)
Water, Water, Everywhere...
...but none of it's on my farm.
It's Florida, it's July, and it's caved in. My well, that is.
I'm looking for the half full viewpoint here, but lets face it, what I'd settle for is my well half full of water, instead of completely full of sand.
While we figure out how we're gonna handle this, we have to haul water for ourselves and the kids, two and a half cattle, (she's due in February), a full grown pig, three goats, five turkeys and 30-odd chickens.
My social calendar is full.
Rove's on the run, and there's plenty to do. Carry the torch while I carry the pails, and we'll regroup in a few days to compare stories.
And say a little prayer for those folks in North Florida. They're fixin' to get creamed. My little problem pales to insignificance in comparison.
Pardon Me While I Puke
Terrorists believe they can scare people to the point they can control them. It's not about God. It's not about Allah. It's about being tired of being kicked. It's about wanting to be the boot. When dealing with crabby little power usurpers, there is no other option than holding your ground. When the U.S. went into Afghanistan, it was with the single purpose, not of kicking, but grinding into oblivion a bunch of unscrupulous bullies. It was Bar-time. They needed to pay their tab.
This may come as a shock to you, but I am convinced the war waged in Iraq is a mistake. Hmmmm? No surprise, there? So much for my gig as Woman of Mystery. Rats. I was kinda liking that title.
Iraq compromised Afghanistan, and for that reason alone, was unacceptable. We had Al-Qaeda on the run. They may have still been belligerent, but they WERE hauling ass away from us. Osama poked us with a big stick, and we were poised to strike and disable.
But, nooooooooooo. We had to pull our heroes out of there, and send them to Iraq. Osama must think the average American is a powerless little target, now that Bush is playing right into his manipulative game. Disruption, rendering families, destroying dreams, leveling infrastructure and sowing sorrow; all by the U.S., all away from the true enemy of our people, Al-Qaeda.
What happened in London today is a wake up call. We need to regain our focus. Iraq is the wrong war. To that end, this good news found at Reuters
Iran, Iraq to sign military cooperation agreement 07 Jul 2005 08:56:44 GMT Source: Reuters
TEHRAN, July 7 (Reuters) - Former foes Iran and Iraq said on Thursday they would sign a military cooperation agreement which will include Iranian help in training Iraq's armed forces.
The agreement marks a considerable advance in relations between the two countries who fought a bitter 1980-1988 war and comes despite repeated U.S. accusations that Iran has undermined security in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
"It's a new chapter in our relations with Iraq. We will start wide defence cooperations," Iranian Defence Minister Admiral Ali Shamkhani told a joint news conference with visiting Iraqi counterpart Saadoun al-Dulaimi.
If our mission in Iraq is to see them rid of Saddam and moving forward with elected governance and self policing, this is the type of help from neighbor nations that is invaluable to finishing the mission and re-directing 100% of our efforts toward eradicating murderous Al-Qaeda slime forever.
Of course, if our mission is to simply invade and plunder, directing profits to a select few, we need to take a long look in the mirror.
July 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. military has signed on Halliburton to do nearly $5 billion in new work in Iraq under a giant logistics contract that has so far earned the Texas-based firm $9.1 billion, the Army said on Wednesday.
...Halliburton shares have rallied 13 percent since the beginning of June, bolstered by high crude oil prices.
Despite the drop in the stock price, analysts said the latest news was positive for the company and indicated "the government has no issue with Halliburton's performance," said Kurt Hallead, analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
Pardon me while I puke.
Pants on Fire
I sat in on a course for crane operator safety once. (There is so
much you do not know about me...). While not the most riveting class, I did learn one crucial detail: You are only as strong as your weakest link.
This was a dandy bit of information, and I apply it frequently as a litmus test. Life is unpredictable. Car trips on new tires with dirty oil may not realize the gas savings you envisioned. Letting a kid sink or swim could result in your getting wet. Cobbling something together just to get by might not get you by.
Kind of reminds me of the train of thought that got Iraq on deck."(Iraq) could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given." George W. Bush,Septemberr, 2002
"...you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam." George W. Bush, September, 2002.
"Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program." George W. Bush, October, 2002.
"(Iraq) possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons." George W. Bush, October, 2002 (two days before an important U.N. vote).
"(Iraq) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." George W. Bush, January, 2003
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." George W. Bush, January, 2003
"Iraqi operatives continue to hide biological and chemical agents." George W. Bush, March, 2003
Ultimately, the lies are the weakest link.
When an operator tips a crane, sometimes he gets hurt. Often, he'll lose his job. The ones in real danger of being crushed are the Regular Joes on the ground. The weight of lies, the shifting of blame, the "hard work" of cleaning up the jobsite falls on their shoulders.
The crushing costs are not a year or two type burden, but an obligation spanning generations.
I understand the difference between who
is responsible and what
has to be done to fix it. Sometimes, people get fired. That doesn't mean the cost of cleaning the jobsite doesn't have to be borne, just that the employer will no longer tolerate shoddy work.
Georgie, here's your pink slip.
After eight months of fervent political discourse, (or, as I've repeatedly lied to myself, a series of stringent exercises to hone my skills as an essayist
), I've decided to spruce things up a bit. The template's lighter, I've re-dedicated myself to making the writing tighter, and I even put up a little caricature of my divinely bitchy self.
As the Whitehouse of cards collapses into yet another mess the Dems will patiently clean up, there's always room in this little corner for lefties, leaners, folks on the fence so long they have picket prints on their settin' cheeks, and the Eisenhower-style Republicans of yore. We need to work together to grow this country into something better than the free lunch it's become.
Independence is involving. We have to be there, and want to be there. America evolves
because we the people are involved
with her direction. When we sit the bench, greed has a field day.
Today I'm declaring my independence from apathy. I'm holding a place in line for you.