Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Can We Agree To Be Disgusted Yet (Part 2)

This whole Iraq spending bill drama is getting ridiculous.

1. Yes, people, it's a spending bill. It's kind of like the war spending bills that the Republicans have been passing for the past four years. You know, the great panacea of Republican proffered pork that Bush never once thought to veto. Except the Dem pork in this sinister bill is, well, mostly a bunch of aggie help (still porkish but God forbid we should try to feed ourselves instead of off shoring our food production to Mexico).
Here you go:
* $25 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant.
* $24 million for sugar beets.
* $3 million for sugar cane.
* $100 million for security at the Presidential Conventions in 2008.
* $20 million for insect infestation damage.
* $2.1 billion for crop production losses.
* $1.5 billion for livestock production losses.
* $100 million for Dairy Production Losses.
* $13 million for Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program.
* $31 million for one month extension of Milk Income Loss Contract program.
* $3.5 million for guided tours of the Capitol
* $2 million for the University of Vermont
* $32 million for Livestock Indemnity Program.
* $40 million for the Tree Assistance Program.
* $100 million for Small Agricultural Dependent Businesses.
* $6 million for North Dakota flooded crop land.
* $35 million for emergency conservation program.
* $50 million for the emergency watershed program.
* $115 million for the conservation security program.
* $18 million for drought assistance in upper Great Plains/South West.
* $165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief.
* $50 million for fisheries disaster mitigation fund.
* $12 million for forest service money.
* $640 million for LIHEAP.
* $388.9 million for road projects.
* $22.8 million for geothermal research and development.
* $500 million for wildland fire management.
* $13 million for mine safety technology research.

2. The withdrawal language in the bill is nonbinding. Maybe I'm missing something but are Democrats really claiming this as a great victory? And are Republicans really accusing the Democrats of legislating defeat with this nonbinding date? Good grief.

3. The Democrats gave the president every penny of supplemental funding he asked for and then some. It's beyond disingenuous for any Republican to insist that the Democrats are cutting funding for the war simply because Bush plans to veto the bill. Bush is only planning to veto because he doesn't like the verbiage around the the nonbinding date. If Bush vetoes the bill and then runs out of time to shuffle another bill through congress then HE has disrupted the funding, not the Democrats.

4. The minimum wage insertion was dirty. I support the wage increase but I would rather see it fought and won out in the open. This kind of subterfuge is bad for America and, no, the ends do not justify the means.

5. The surge is not working. The surge is not going to work. If we occupy Iraq for the next 50 years, it will dissolve 10 minutes after the last troops leave. The Shiite militias are only laying low because it's convenient to let the US do the dirty work of killing the insurgents (referred to by the Shia as "the future Sunni army"). And even so, look at how fast the Shiite militias (including the f*ing Iraqi police) emerged to retaliate with random Sunni executions after the latest bombicide. People in America are naive, myopic, and just painfully ignorant about the nature of the Iraq war. They continue to visualize victory in Iraq in very romantic, patriotic terms. Yoohooo, good citizens: The BEST outcome we can hope to achieve in Iraq is a Shia majority theocracy that is comfortably aligned with Iran. Is that really worth your kids dying for?


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