So the latest controversy that has everyone talking is the new Iraqi flag (Washington Post: registration required). Yes, yes, a flag that makes the country it represents up at arms (though I personally don’t see the resemblance to Israel’s flag), but the thing that immediately strikes me is that the flag is HIDEOUS. I mean, seriously, when you invade a nation, you’re supposed to make things better for the people in that nation. And a flag that looks like it was drawn in KidPix (note: link makes scary and disturbing noises) does not do that. Although it is clear that the previous flag had to be scrapped, did we really have to replace it with this?
If you’ve visited in the last few days, you’ve probably noticed that we (lies are fun) at MiniPundit have been experiencing technical difficulties. However, thankfully, they’ve all been cleared up. So sit back and enjoy the new MiniPundit – complete with blogroll (list of my favorite blogs)!
Long time no see. Almost two weeks. Wow. Anyway, I’ve been on vacation, and started what is probably the best book by a neocon ever written: Of Paradise and Power by Bob Kagan. Kagan’s a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a friend of Bill Kristol (yes, ew), and probably the most brilliant foreign policy expert alive. The book’s on U.S.-Europe relations, a hot topic after the US. diplomacy failure at the U.N. It was written before we went into Iraq, so its references to the “possible” war there are quite amusing, but other than that it is simply brilliant word for word. Despite the neocon premises, and the attacks on Europe, it is persuasive, and really brings out the hawk in you. So, go ahead. Give it a shot. Sometimes neocons are right too.
Via Kos comes the the basis for what is probably the most liberal statement ever to be posted on this blog: Impeach Cheney! Indeed, the veep has accepted a bribe from his old employer, Halliburton. If Clinton got impeached for having unfaithful oral sex, Cheney surely deserves to be impeached for bribery. Besides, it’d do more good than impeaching Bush: anyone who follows the administration, especially with the joint appearance controversy, knows who’s really running things. No, we don’t have a majority in Congress. But we can at least try to cause a stir. That’d, at the very least, hurt Bush-Cheney’s chances this fall, and result in the administration’s fall.
I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of Richard Clarke running up and down D.C., scheduling appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows, the news magazines, the morning shows, and basically anything else he can find. His accusations against Bush are ridiculous, offensive, and very, very annoying. First of all, smell the coffee people: Clinton had 8 years after the first World Trade Center bombing to do something about al-Qaeda. Lobbing a few missiles into Sudan isn’t going to cut it. Little public support is no excuse: 81% of Americans opposed his peso plan, but it was one of his greatest successes. Bush is not the only guilty party: Clinton failed as well. And Clinton was the only one for whom an invasion of Afghanistan would have stopped 9-11: the plans would have gone on in a Bush invasion, as they were already made by the time Bush entered office. So with an invasion ruled out, what could Bush have done, anyway? Put fighter jets around every tall building in the country? Just putting them around the World Trade Centers wouldn’t cut it: the hijackers would have simply chosen a different site to destroy. And, even if he put fighter jets around every tall building, what would happen when no terrorists try to fly planes into them? Would the planes just stay there for eternity, spending ridiculous amounts of money? The only plausible thing that Bush could have done after the August 6th memo was up airplane security. Yes, he should have done this. I blame him for that. But besides that, he couldn’t have done anything. So, Dick, please stop. It’d be better for everyone.
Just looking at Bush’s campaign site, it struck me as odd that Bush didn’t have any positive ads lately. Then I realized that it’s not. It just proclaims to the world something that liberals have known for years: Bush has failed. You know that when, after three years in office, a president still has to resort to negative advertising to get ahead in the polls. Most incumbents run on their records: that’s what Reagan did in ’84, and what Clinton did in ’96. When you can’t do that (Johnson in ’68, Carter in ’76) it assures defeat. I only hope people realize that Bush’s negative ads don’t show how bad Kerry will be: they show how bad Bush was.
Just some clarifications: The MIA would be financed through a stock transaction surcharge, where a specified amount (I’m not the Congressional Budget Office, I don’t have an exact figure) would be paid by each party when a stock is purchased or sold. It would not be contracted out to private insurance companies, as this would cost more due to insurance administration costs (and the fact that that insurance companies are for-profit). Instead, it would function much like Medicare. Hope this helps.
I’ve decided to make a new section on this site. Every Wednesday, from today to whenever I run out of topics, I will write a piece laying out what the next president should do. When I say “next president”, assume I mean Kerry and not Bush. I’m not that naive. And not Nader either. I’m not that ignorant. So, here goes the first…HEALTH CARE!!!!
I propose the creation of the Medical Insurance Agency (MIA, pun intended). The MIA would fund all protected groups’ medical care, including prescription drugs, through a single-payer system, which regular citizens would be allowed to buy into. The protected groups would be: children from birth to age 25; current and former members of the military; people counted as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act; people making less than 150% of the poverty rate; Native Americans; federal employees; and senior citizens aged 65 and older. I realize that the ADA portion is a considerable chunk, but disabled persons, be they parapalegics or HIV-positive persons, have considerably higher medical bills than able-bodied persons, and it is thus essential that they be covered. For those 40 years during which most people would be uninsured, their catastrophic care costs would be covered, with all expenses over $10,000 being paid for through the MIA. The MIA would also use it’s huge buying power to purchase drugs on the cheap, à la Canada. In my view, the MIA would throw away the cobweb that is government-run healthcare, and replace it with an efficient, fair, alternative.
Look what I’ve made myself do: explain why liberals hate Bush. What a pickle. It’s the thing that no liberals really want to do, as it makes you sound extreme, radical, or otherwise wacky. But I think it’s high time now. So here goes nothing. First of all, it’s not the ideology. We love Ol’ Johnnie McCain, and he’s almost as conservative as Bush. It’s not the personality that turns us off, either: he’s not a slimy used car salesman-type like some people, and, lest Kos beat me, he doesn’t seem to be a jerk (he doesn’t seem that nice either, but nevermind). No, it’s something that, really, is not his fault. It’s his brain. Now I know you’re now thinking I’m a 6-year-old whose most most sophisticated criticism is “you’re stupid”. But here’s the crucial part – liberals don’t really hate Bush! We think it’s horrible to have three whole books published chronicling his verbal mistakes. We feel only pity for him. For he’s being exploited. He’s been drawn into a puppet government against his will, and he’s being made to do things that he didn’t want to do. That is wrong, that is evil, and whoever made him run for president should be ashamed. So we don’t hate Bush. We hate the Bush Administration. Remember that.
Is it just me, or is the conventional media taking blogging stories more seriously? I started noticing it two weeks ago, when Time ran this story (subscription only), recounting the actuary scandal and the Medicare Bribe scandal, which were broken by Atrios and Chatterbox, respectively. Now, this week, Time’s People section has taken up Atrios’s story on a bored kid at a Bush rally, which CNN blatantly lied about. I’m sure Atrios is grumbling about the fact that it’s basically on the back page, but this is not that big of a deal. Anyway, I think that this is not justing showing that reporters read blogs: it’s showing that they get liberal viewpoints more. It’s a whole different world when editorial cartoonists
and nationally-known politicians can, for better or worse, express what we liberals have been saying for three years: that Cheney is the real president. Proving this is a whole other issue (which I’ll address in my next post), but the fact that it, and the claim that Bush could have stopped 9-11, are getting wider press suggests a greater national tolerance for liberalism. This will help clear the the way for a Kerry victory in November.