Sunday Weekly Review
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Freedom with an Asterisk
In the President’s Inaugural address, he mentioned “freedom*” 27 times, “liberty*” 15 times, and “free*” 7 times. Yet he apparently did not read the fine print following the asterisk:
*This offer not good in Sudan, Liberia, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, North Korea, Algeria, Burma, most of Africa, ….
How do Neo-Cons handle the disconnect? Do they realize the President’s policies are inconsistent? Or do they rationalize them away?
Why didn’t the President just tell Americans the truth? “We care about democracy in any country that will not sell oil at good prices to American companies. And we will fight and die for your oil!”
That, at least, is consistent. And has the added advantage of being honest.
The President’s “social security” reform plan has two fundamental points:
Make it less “social,” so that everyone takes care of himself or herself.
Make it less “secure” so there is a lesser guarantee of retirement funds.
Maybe we should change the name as well?
One more interesting statistic:
if you crunch the numbers according to the Social Security administration, benefits run out in 2042
if you crunch the numbers and include projected economic growth according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, they run out in 2052
if you crunch the numbers and include projected economic growth according to the Bush Office of Management and Budget using the same projections used to justify the Bush tax cuts, the benefits NEVER run out.
Hiding Intelligence from Congress
Rumsfeld has set up a new intelligence agency, “the army of Northern Virginia,” to collect intelligence in order to avoid the Congressional oversight of the CIA. Is it legal? No. But that doesn’t matter. He’s Donald Rumsfeld! He is above the law.
The Nomination of Alberto Gonzales and the Arrogance of the One-Party State
News from Israel and Gaza
For once, it’s good! Mark praises Palestinian President Abbas.