Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Appalling Extent of Republican Failure

Courtesy of our friends at AlterNet, a depressing compendium of Bush and the Republican Party's incompetence, venality, and general buffoonery. Such a target rich environment, shall we say. Examples:
Emergency Management: They completely failed to manage the first large-scale emergency since 9/11. Despite all their big talk and hundreds of billions of dollars spent on homeland security over the past four years, this administration proved itself stunningly incompetent when faced with an actual emergency. (Katrina Relief Funds Squandered)

Fiscal Management: America is broke. No wait, we're worse than broke. In less than five years these borrow and spend-thrifts have nearly doubled our national debt, to a stunning $8.2 trillion. [Emphasis added.] These are not your father's Republicans who treated public dollars as though they were an endangered species. These Republicans waste money in ways and in quantities that make those old tax and spend liberals of yore look like tight-fisted Scots.

Medicare Drug Program: This $50 billion white elephant debuted by trampling many of those it was supposed to save. The mess forced states to step in and try to save its own citizens from being killed by the administration's poorly planned and executed attempt to privatize huge hunks of the federal health safety net.

Iraq: This ill-begotten war was supposed to only cost us $65 billion. It has now cost us over $300 billion and continues to suck $6 billion a month out of our children's futures. Meanwhile the three warring tribes Bush "liberated" are using our money and soldiers' lives to partition the country. The Shiites and Kurds are carving out the prime cuts while treating the once-dominant Sunnis the same way the Israelis treat the Palestinians, forcing them onto Iraq's version of Death Valley. Meanwhile Iran is increasingly calling the shots in the Shiite region as mullahs loyal to Iran take charge. (More)

Iran: The administration not only jinxed its Afghanistan operations by attacking Iraq, but also provided Iran both the rationale for and time to move toward nuclear weapons. The Bush administration's neocons' threats to attack Syria next only provided more support for religious conservatives within Iran who argued U.S. intentions in the Middle East were clear, and that only the deterrent that comes with nuclear weapons could protect them.

The Military: Overused and over-deployed.
Former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned in a 15-page report that the Army and Marine Corps cannot sustain the current operational tempo without "doing real damage to their forces." ... Speaking at a news conference to release the study, Albright said she is "very troubled" the military will not be able to meet demands abroad. Perry warned that the strain, "if not relieved, can have highly corrosive and long-term effects on the military.

With military budgets gutted by the spiraling costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration has requested funding for fewer National Guard troops in fiscal 2007 -- 17,000 fewer. Which boggles the sane mind since, if it weren't for reserve/National Guard, the administration would not have had enough troops to rotate forces in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 40 percent of the troops sent to those two countries were from the reserve and National Guard.

The Environment: Here's a little pop quiz: What happens if all the coral in the world's oceans dies? Answer: Coral is the first rung on the food-chain ladder; so when it goes, everything else in the ocean dies. And if the oceans die, we die.

The coral in the world's oceans are dying
(called "bleaching") at an alarming and accelerating rate. Global warming is the culprit. Nevertheless, this administration continues as the world's leading global warming denier. Why? Because they seem to feel it's more cost effective to be dead than to force reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. How stupid is that? And time is running out.

Consumers: Americans finally did it last year -- they achieved a negative savings rate. (Folks in China save 10 percent, for contrast.) If the government can spend more than it makes and just say "charge it" when it runs out, so can we. The average American now owes $9,000 to credit card companies. Imagine that.

Ah, we could go on and on. The 50,000,000+ without medical insurance. The highest medical costs in the world. Millions more in poverty since 2001. The use of torture against our enemies, in contravention of all our country's traditions. Halliburton feeding vampire-like on the U.S. budget and U.S. service personnel. The decline in median incomes. The general hatred of Bush (and by extension America) in much of the world. Vote suppression and vote stealing. Corruption that would embarrass a professional grifter. And lie after lie after lie after lie about all of it from the most dishonest, most criminal administration in American history.

Read it all. And then make sure ALL of your Democratic friends are registered to vote and fired up for 7 November.

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