culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Crimes of compassion. How long will it be before the country wakes up and realizes that the "compassionate conservatism" in the AIDS in Africa rhetoric of last night's State of the Union speech will turn out to be federally funded Christian missionaries sent to preach abstinence to the heathen?

How much of that supposed $15 billion will be spent not on antiviral drugs and condoms for Africans, but on packs of pious Caucasians from Utah and the deep South? How will he "prevent" 7 million cases of HIV infection without speaking about sex, as his religious constituents have forbidden?

The speechwriting was often stunning in its projection of the opposite of what was being said. Did you get the impression that W was going to get tough on HMOs and insurers? Wrong. He proposed a health plan for CEOs of health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. We're back to yet another form of privatization, and the private enrichment of corporate interests versus the common good. From the
New York Times (last paragraph):
Representative Pete Stark of California, the senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, said: "It is clear that President Bush intends to privatize Medicare. He's cleverly using the promise of a meager drug benefit as a bribe to push Medicare beneficiaries into second-rate, low-quality health plans, putting seniors at the mercy of health maintenance organizations and the big drug companies."
Not enough can be said about the abject irresponsibility of the lies told about the "stimulus package" which preferentially benefits the wealthiest 1% US households. Nancy Pelosi's on-camera disapproval recognized that W's statement — "This tax relief is for everyone who pays income taxes" — is a lie that shows utter contempt for working people who pay taxes on wages, not dividends.

The federal deficit is out of control, thanks to the Bush enrich-the-rich giveaway. Each new forecast increases the amount of money squandered on lavish financial gifts to the wealthy, we'll-prove-it-real-soon evidence of threats from Iraq, and highly politicized Christian initiatives. From CNN:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Congressional Budget Office increased its forecast for U.S. government deficits of $199 billion this year and $145 billion in 2004, affirming a bleak fiscal outlook already fueling battles over taxes and spending in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election.

In August, the CBO anticipated a deficit of $145 billion in 2003 and $111 in 2004.

In a report set for release later Wednesday, the CBO also predicted the 10-year U.S. cumulative budget surplus will rise slightly to $1.3 trillion from the $1 trillion it last forecast. As recently as 2001, the CBO saw 10-year surpluses of over $5.6 trillion. A CBO spokeswoman confirmed the contents of the report to CNNfn Wednesday.

Democrats generally blame President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut package in 2001 for the steep slide in the U.S. fiscal position and say the $674 billion in new tax cuts he recently proposed will only dig the deficit hole deeper.

Republicans counter that tax cuts, coupled with strict government spending restraint, will help the sluggish economy grow and, ultimately, move the budget back toward balance.
In two years, a move from $5.6 trillion in surplus to $1.3 trillion in surplus. Where did the missing $4,300,000,000,000.00 go? Market ruptures and wealth disappearance due to corporate fraud by the likes of key campaign contributor Ken "Kenny Boy" Lay? Tax cuts for the families — and the heirs — of Bill Gates and George H. W. Bush? War plans? All of the above.

The compassion in W's conservatism is directed toward a small and tight-knit corporate elite, who plan to use American citizens' lives to build its wealth and secure its borders, and then burn and bulldoze their bodies into mass graves once they have served their noble purpose.

How compassionate is that?

UPDATE: The best sentence-by-sentence dissection of the entire speech was written by David Ehrenstein. (Via Roger Ailes.)

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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