Items from the increasingly grim prognosis for the survival of the United States:
--The Republican candidates for president are all (except Ron Paul) beating the drums for a war with Iran, even a preemptive strike with nuclear weapons, on merely the suspicion that Iran is working on its own nukes.
--Rudolph Giuliani has proposed a tax cut more than twice the size of the catastrophic, irresponsible Bush tax cuts that have helped push this country toward fiscal meltdown. Giuliani's tax cut is just as gruesomely aimed at the rich as was Bush's. So what if the country's national debt will already be $11,000,000,000,000 by 2010? Screw it! Make the kids and grandkids pay for it! (And some conservative groups say Giuliani hasn't gone far enough! Ha!)
--Our national political discourse is run by cretins with the maturity and mentality of 14 year olds. Read The Daily Howler on a regular basis to see just how bad it really is (or read Glenn Greenwald, for that matter). Exhibit A: Chris "Man Crush on W" Matthews. Exhibit B: Maureen "Death to Hillary" Dowd. Exhibit C: William Kristol. (I like the nickname "Bill the Butcher" for Kristol, don't you?)
--Our conservative leaders are so committed to the destruction of government that there is literally NO area of public administration that they have not virtually ruined by corruption and incompetence. Right-wing hacks and corporate rich boys run almost every agency of the government. Cases in point: FEMA and the federal agencies that monitor the mining industry. Hey idiots: COUNTRIES HAVE TO BE GOVERNED.
--Our mainstream culture continues to be obsessed with celebrity news, reality tv, and other wretched vomit at the sacrifice of a broadly informed public. Case in point: the insane amount of coverage given to the pathetic Britney Spears. (But don't worry--the next time a white girl goes missing on vacation, that will get 24/7 news coverage.)
An empire overstretched. An economy near the crisis point. Public discourse that is beyond idiotic. A government rife with corruption. A people drowning in irrelevance and debt. Do you ever wonder why I get discouraged? Nations have life spans, just like people. Our right-wing dominated political leadership and media are doing their damnedest to cut our country's life span as much as possible. And the weak vessel of the Democratic Party has to stop them.
Oh well. We tried to keep our founders' vision going.