Monday, November 13, 2006


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The New York Times

November 13, 2006

Hiding From Oversight

There have been many examples of the shambles that the Republican-controlledCongress made of its responsibility for oversight of the Bushadministration. But none was so peremptory as the mass firing of 60 Houseappropriations investigators last month - virtually the entire hired staffresponsible for tracking spending abuses in such money pits as the Iraq war,intelligence operations and the $62 billion Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

The dismissed investigators - former F.B.I. and C.I.A. agents and otherprofessionals - did not have their contracts renewed because their work has"not been that good," in the words of a Republican spokesman who offered nocompelling evidence. An attempt was made to sell the purge as a bipartisandecision, but it turned out to be the unilateral order of the committee'sRepublican chairman, Jerry Lewis of California.


The New York Times

November 13, 2006

Giuliani Says That Last Week's National Elections Were Not a Major Rebuke toRepublicans


WILKES-BARRE, Pa., Nov. 12 - In his first public comments about last week'sDemocratic sweep of Congress, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former Republicanmayor of New York City, who is a possible 2008 presidential candidate, saidon Sunday that he did not view the election as a major rebuke to his party.But he said that Republicans "have to go back to your principles in figuringout how you react to something like this."

Mr. Giuliani's comments came at a news conference at Wilkes University,where he delivered the keynote address at a leadership conference sponsoredby the university's Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership.


The Washington Post

How Bush and Olmert Could Help Each Other

By Jackson Diehl
Monday, November 13, 2006; A21

Today two bruised, weakened and defensive politicians, George W. Bush andEhud Olmert, will sit down together at the White House for the first time insix months. Whether the tide of extremism now roaring across the MiddleEast -- from the Gaza Strip to Baghdad -- can be turned back could depend onwhether they find a way to buck each other up.

The last time the Israeli prime minister was in Washington it looked likethe two allies still commanded the regional agenda. Bush was overseeing theformation of Iraq's first permanent democratic government; Olmert waspreparing a bold plan for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the WestBank. Both men emerged from the Oval Office radiating confidence that Iranwould not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

November 13, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist
The Fading Dream
"America moved me all over again - it was an amazing place, the idea of it astounding."

-Arthur Miller

Rumsfeld is exiting stage left and the curtain is coming down on George W.Bush's Theater of the Absurd. A rival company is setting up shop andexpectations are high.

O.K., Democrats. Now what? Inquiring minds want to know if the new troupewill make us laugh, cheer, or cry.

First, let's stipulate that there are limits to what the party can achievein the next two years, even with control of both houses of Congress. But thetwo most important tasks facing the Democrats are doable. The first is toensure that Congress fulfills its constitutional obligation to impose acheck on the excesses of the executive.


The New York Times

The Washington Post

A GOP Unchanged

By Robert D. Novak
Monday, November 13, 2006; A21

The depleted House Republican caucus, a minority in the next Congress,convenes in the Capitol at 8 a.m. Friday on the brink of committing an actof supreme irrationality. The House members blame their leadership for theirtasting the bitter dregs of defeat. Yet the consensus so far is that, insecret ballot, they will reelect some or all of those leaders.

In private conversation, Republican members of Congress blame MajorityLeader John Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt in no small part for theirmidterm election debacle. Yet either Boehner, Blunt or both are expected tobe returned to their leadership posts Friday. For good reason, the GOP oftenis called "the stupid party."


November 13, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

True Blue Populists

Senator George Allen of Virginia is understandably shocked and despondent.Just a year ago, a National Review cover story declared that his "down-homepersona" made him "quite possibly the next president of the United States."Instead, his political career seems over.

And it wasn't just macaca, or even the war, that brought him down. Mr.Allen, a reliable defender of the interests of the economic elite, foundhimself facing an opponent who made a point of talking about the problem ofrising inequality. And the tobacco-chewing, football-throwing, tax-cutting,Social Security-privatizing senator was only one of many faux populistsdefeated by real populists last Tuesday.


The New York Times

November 13, 2006

With Changes on Capitol Hill, California Is Set to Assert New Clout

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12 - Among the many beneficiaries of last week's seismicpower shift in Washington, few states are in the position to reap as muchgold as California.

The nation's most populous state has also counted itself among the mostmarginalized in the Republican era, a place where primary votes inpresidential contests happen after the fact, federal dollars do not flow insufficient amounts and American values are said to go to die.

But with Representative Nancy Pelosi as the emergent House speaker andseveral other members of the state's Democratic delegation in line toreceive crucial committee positions in the House and the Senate, much ofthat stands to change.


US is top purveyor on weapons sales list
Shipments grow to unstable areas

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | November 13, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The United States last year provided nearly half of theweapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales tothe most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to thehighest level in eight years, new US government figures show.

According to the annual assessment, the United States supplied $8.1 billionworth of weapons to developing countries in 2005 -- 45.8 percent of thetotal and far more than second-ranked Russia with 15 percent and Britainwith a little more than 13 percent.

Arms control specialists said the figures underscore how the largelyunchecked arms trade to the developing world has become a major staple ofthe American weapons industry, even though introducing many of the weaponsrisks fueling conflicts rather than aiding long-term US interests.


The New York Times

November 13, 2006

Truth About the Trade Deficit

Just as the summer driving season was winding down, oil prices started tofall. The combination of less demand and lower prices was a potent mix,helping to narrow the United States' trade gap significantly in September,to $64.3 billion from $69 billion in August, according to the latest tally.

That's welcome news, illustrating yet another upside to curbing the nation'soil consumption. But it's also sobering. The decline in September's tradedeficit was the largest in nearly two years. And yet, the United Statesremains squarely on track for a record trade imbalance in 2006: a projected$790 billion, compared with $717 billion last year.

The Bush administration has played down the dangers of bloated deficits.Acknowledging them would compel an effort to tame the borrow-and-spend waysof the past six years, including curbing the tax cuts that have been such aboon to the rich.


Washington Post

Pelosi Endorses Murtha as Next Majority Leader

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 13, 2006; A01

House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed Rep. John P. Murtha(D-Pa.) yesterday as the next House majority leader, thereby stepping into acontentious intraparty fight between Murtha and her current deputy,Maryland's Steny H. Hoyer.

The unexpected move signaled the sizable value Pelosi gives to personalloyalty and personality preferences. Hoyer competed with her in 2001 for thepost of House minority whip, while Murtha managed her winning campaign.Pelosi has also all but decided she will not name the ranking Democrat onthe House intelligence committee, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) to chair thatpanel next year, a decision pregnant with personal animus.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Nov. 10, 2006

Accountability arrives after a long absence


Looks like we won't have Donald Rumsfeld to kick around anymore. Ding
dong, the Wicked Witch is dead.

Circle the date in red. In announcing his resignation Wednesday, themorning after voters angry over Iraq delivered the GOP an epochal,sea-to-shining-sea beat-down, Rumsfeld -- albeit at metaphoric gunpoint --shows us something we have not seen from a political leader in a very longtime, a thing so rare that the oldest among us can just barely remember it.

It's called accountability.

You are forgiven if you don't know the word. Who can blame you? Inrecent years, we've seen it very little. Oh, we've had plenty stay thecourse. Heaping helpings of stay the course, full plates of stay the course,steaming, fetid chunks of stay the course. But accountability? Not so much.So the administration's newfound willingness to admit, albeit implicitly,that the course might not be worth staying, its fresh readiness to hold oneof its own answerable, comes like rain in the desert to those who havethirsted for someone to behave as if truth matters and facts arenonnegotiable.


The Palm Beach Post

With a new Congress, create a new Part D
Palm Beach Post Editorial

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's hard to get excited about annual insurance enrollment, even if you haveaffordable coverage and clear choices. So forgive beneficiaries of MedicarePart D, many facing the double whammy of neither, if they are slow to signup during the enrollment period that opens Wednesday and ends Dec. 31.

After a dismal start, improvements were made in Part D's inaugural year. TheBush administration stopped seizing reimported prescription drugs fromCanada and required companies to honor the list of drugs they said theywould cover for the whole coverage period. As the coverage gap proved to bea financial nightmare for patients and a political nightmare forRepublicans, Part D added more plans that cover the "doughnut hole," thatgap in coverage between $2,250 of total drug costs and $5,100. Next year, itincreases to $2,400 and $5,451.25.


Nov. 11, 2006, 7:19PM

Disturbing Diagnosis
In deadly denial over the crisis facing U.S. health care
Sickly system is morbidly obese and headed for a multiple organ failure


If American medicine were a patient, he would weigh 350 pounds and begaining fast. Despite being repeatedly counseled about the dangers of morbidobesity, he would be making at best half-hearted attempts to mend hisgluttonous ways. Meanwhile, his doctors, insurance company, politicians andregulators would remain in a deep state of denial, clutching the illusionthat their patient, other than being a bit overweight, was in tip-tophealth.

Truth be told, the U.S. medical system is headed for multiple organ failure.

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1 comment:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Michael,

I want you to pay very close attention to the fact that my birthday was August 11th, the day of Mr. Allen's "Macaca" gaffe. His defeat during month 11, along with many of his ilk, was an apt belated birthday present for me. Inspect my photo in my Free Ebook... and see the hat I'm wearing to appreciate the full scope of this blunder.

The following article will further expand your understanding of the nature and purpose of the current social earthquake. Notice the statement 11 Roars Loudly !!
NOTE: These messages contain heavily symbolic leading paragraphs, they are not to be taken literally.
Let Wisdom's Seventh Chapter unseal the symbols

Now comes the truly important work of preventing the excesses of the last six years from ever happening again. As long as people cling to money, religion, and politics, these seemingly never-ending cycles of evil scoundrels, war, great struggles, and repeated injustices will never end.

These scoundrels need to be taught a lesson about truth and justice that all of humanity will take to heart, once and for all.

Did it ever dawn on you that money, religion, and politics are the prime sources of human struggle and continuing to beat a dead horse (or donkey, or elephant) will never solve our seemingly never-ending cycles of calamities? One good lesson to take from this election is that politics is a cycle that will always produce greedy scoundrels who must later be defeated or else. Why beat your heads against the same old wall when the door has been sighted and waiting for you to open your eyes and "see the light?" Truth, Wisdom, and Justice are non-political, non-religious, and non-monetary.


Here is Wisdom !!