Monday :: Oct 31, 2005

All Trick, No Treat

by pessimist

Back in 1965, Lyndon Johnson was waging two wars, one military and one social - just like his political descendant is today. In both cases, the military war was costly and didn't look like the objectives were going to be achieved. It's the social war where the differences emerge.

Johnson's social war was intended to end poverty in America. It was hardly a success, but the motivation was moral.

The immoral social war of King George, on the other hand, appears to be incredibly successful in creating even MORE poverty:

The Unsung Triumph of George W. Bush

George W. Bush gets a lot of guff these days about his "incompetence" as a war leader, with critics harping on and on about the bloodsoaked spiral of chaos, death, ruin and atrocity that continues to gush from the open wound that he has made of Iraq. But strangely enough, you never hear these nabobs of negativity talk about the indisputable success of the larger conflict that Bush has directed since his first day in office: the War on the Poor. From his smashing victory in the first Battle of the Elitist Tax Cuts to the scorching blitzkrieg triumph of the Bankruptcy Bill, Commander Bush has gone from strength to strength in his relentless crusade to grind the poor, the sick, the weak and the millions of hard-working people living on the margins into the dirt beneath his thousand-dollar boot-heel.

Want some examples of the successes of the Bu$hkrieg? Read on!

Taking the Machiavellian approach, Bu$hCo seeks to solidify its stranglehold on America through the mechanism of making more poor people and offering them assistance at the cost of their freedoms and liberties:

Housing bill bars nonprofits from nonpartisan voter sign-ups

A provision included in legislation before Congress creating the Affordable Housing Fund would prevent nonprofit groups seeking money from participating in nonpartisan voter registration activities.

The bill says that any nonprofit that has done nonpartisan voter work in the last 12 months, including displaying registration forms in a rental office, would not be eligible. It forbids the group from engaging in that work for the duration of the grant and limits the group from doing lawful lobbying on behalf of its clients or residents. The bill prohibits the groups from affiliating with organizations involved in such work.

The restrictions do not apply to for-profit developers.

Gee - why would they be exempt? Has the mistaken adaptation of a head note from the Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Supreme court case grown into a Frankenstein's monster? It seems so. An artificial creation of 'life' complete with rights equal to real humans is out to crush the humans for daring to have rights equal to it.

But this isn't the only monster roaming the land. The Bu$hCo hunger vampires lurk about as well:

House panel votes $844 mln cut in food stamps

About 300,000 Americans would lose benefits due to tighter eligibility rules for food stamps, the major U.S. antihunger program, under the House plan. The cuts would be part of $3.7 billion pared from Agriculture Department programs over five years as part of government-wide spending reductions.

Antihunger activists said hunger rates were up for the fifth year in a row, so the cuts were a mistake.

It's almost as if Bu$hCo is saying to the nation "Hunger? Kwitcherbitchin! That's how Texas does it!"

Texas Leads Nation in Household Hunger

A higher percentage of Texas households were at risk of going hungry over the past three years than in any other state, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Agriculture Department. Between 2002 and 2004, more than 16 percent of Texas households at some point had trouble providing enough food for all their family members, the USDA report said.

Nationwide, 11.4 percent of households were at risk of going hungry during that period, and 3.6 percent of U.S. households had at least one member go hungry, the USDA said.

See? The nation has a ways to go before they can be like Texas! And in order to speed up that condition, we'll leave your minimum wage right where it is!

GOP Senate to Workers: It's Fine to Be Paid 1/3rd Less Than Depression-Era Laborers

Pictured here are some day laborers working on construction of the Hoover Dam in 1932. These men were part of a corps of 5,000 men paid 50 cents an hour to do the dirty unskilled labor that created the magnificent dam over 5 years of hard dangerous work. Those who got that 50 cents an hour considered themselves lucky, as wage rates were depressed by the height of the Great Depression.

Now fast forward to 2005. The GOP dominated US Senate has just voted down the first increase of the minimum wage since 1997: from $5.15 to $6.25 an hour. All the Democrats plus four Republicans voted for it. It failed 51-49. In the time since the last increase in the minimum wage, Senators voted themselves seven pay raises totaling $28,000 per year.

What does this have to do with the Hoover Dam workers? Well, 50 cents an hour in the Depression translates into $7.89 per hour in today's dollars. (Don't believe me? Do the math with the historical Consumer Price Index.)

What the Senate is saying is that today's minimum wage workers should be getting a wage 35% LOWER than unskilled, non-union labor in the height of the Great Depression. This is progress? No. It's a crime against Americans. Next election time, remember who did this to us.

Begin to see why the housing assistance bill insists that recipients take no non-partisan action? Those who need the assistance wouldn't be supporters of those offering it! They just might seek to unseat their betters!

Somehow, these ungrateful wretches just don't seem to understand the needs of the wealthy:

Rich Senators Defeat Minimum-Wage Hike

U.S. senators -- who draw salaries of $162,100 a year and enjoy a raft of perks -- have rejected a minimum wage hike from $5.15 an hour to $6.25 for blue-collar workers. The lawmakers are hardly hurting. They get health insurance, life insurance, pensions, office expenses, ranging from $2 million on up, depending on the population of a state. The taxpayers also pay for their travel, telecommunications, stationery and mass mailings.

The proposed increase was sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and turned down in the Senate by a vote of 51 against the boost and 49 in favor. Under a Senate agreement, it needed 60 votes to pass. All the negative votes were cast by Republicans.

All the Democrats voted for the wage boost. Four Republicans voted for it. Three of the four are running for reelection and were probably worried about how voters would react if they knew that their well-heeled senators had turned down a pittance of an increase in the salaries of the lowest paid workers in the country.

But Wait! That's Not All!

The Senate also killed an amendment proposed by Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., which also would have increased the minimum wage by $1.10 but included drastic measures such as wiping out the 40-hour work week, cutting overtime pay and weakening job safety and health protection. At the same time, Enzi wanted to sweeten the pot for small business by providing tax and regulatory relief and to exempt small business from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Let Them Eat Yellowcake

The Senate's action comes at a worrisome time when motorists are paying much more for gasoline and heating bills are expected to rise by 56 percent this winter, according to Kennedy. As a result, families will have to tighten their belts to pay for the basic necessities.

"It is shameful that in America today, the richest and most powerful nation on earth, nearly a fifth of all children go to bed hungry at night because their parents, many of whom are working full time at the minimum wage, still can't make ends meet," Kennedy said.

According to the Census Bureau, there are 37 million Americans living in poverty, up 1 million in just a year.

Tell me again about that booming economy. The fact that the stock markets are only now returning to the levels they had at the beginning of the first four years of Bu$hCo famine must be one of the spectres haunting King George. He has SO many travails!

The week Bush got whacked

His second term was already floundering when, on Friday, a top aide was charged with perjury. Bush’s mood had already soured during Hurricane Katrina, when he was accused of being indifferent to the misery of New Orleans. It darkened further when Harriet Miers, his White House legal adviser and nominee for the Supreme Court, was scorned by his own conservative supporters as a hapless crony, forcing her to withdraw her candidature last week.

Worse, perhaps, so far as middle America is concerned, it raises a question mark over the one thing that the Bush administration has always been strongest on — its apparently unwavering sense of patriotism.

Washington conservatives were far less despondent this weekend than might have been expected. Buoyed up by their success in getting Miers to withdraw her nomination for the Supreme Court, many talk as if Bush now has a unprecedented opportunity to move forward.

It could work if the public has a short-term memory.

What could be better to encourage a short-term memory by invoking fright? If the Frankenstein's Monster of the loss of political rights and the Vampires of Hunger and the Spectres of Poverty aren't enough to scare the American people back into submission to the BFEE/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse and the Bu$hCo Plan to Plunder the Planet, we'll have to pull out the most frightening evil of all - OSAMA!

Bush turns to Iraq to deflect critics

An embattled President George W. Bush sought yesterday to shift the focus away from a host of domestic political crises by calling for the American people to back the struggle for democracy in Iraq.

That's not going to fly, Georgie! We already know too much about how you lied to us to get us to let you go to war. We already know that many people told you not to invade Iraq, and now your Italian Stallion Silvio says he warned you not to go to the Baghdad Bazaar seeking free bargains.

So since that doesn't work anymore, maybe one of the Bu$h twins can become pregnant. It's working in Spain!

THEY call it the “Letizia effect” and it has brought smiles to the faces of the Spanish royal family. Letizia Ortiz, the pregnant wife of Crown Prince Felipe, is credited with single-handedly reviving the appeal of royal Spain.

Opinion polls show that the Spanish royal family has reached a summit of popularity and experts put it down to Letizia bringing, in the words of one observer, a “welcome breath of fresh air” into the palace in Madrid.

The negative comments have now ceased and last week, by contrast, Spain was obsessed with the sex of Letizia’s child and what name would be chosen. Newspapers were filled with pictures of the princess and internet websites were singing her praises and debating whether Felipe should attend the birth.

People become total idiots when they are around babies, and you're looking to induce short-term memory in the American people so that you can pull the wool over that pile of stinking dung that was your last week's experiences. Tell the girls it's their patriotic duty to get pregnant and distract the rest of us from the continued progress of your agenda to turn America into a fourth-world nation. They ARE American princesses, aren't they? It will HAVE to work!

That is what really frightens me. Trick-No-Treat indeed!

Happy Halloween!

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