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Saturday, January 15, 2005

SOCIAL SECURITY, THE NEXT IRAQ 

It's comforting to know that in these times of great uncertainty we can count on at least one verifiable fact: If the President of the United States makes a statement about anything, we're guaranteed reality is the exact opposite of what just came stumbling out of his mouth. If he says its raining, you know its sunny; if he claims that no two snowflakes are alike, you can bet that every flake falling was manufactured on an assembly line outside Shanghai; if he says he's proud of his accomplishments, it's a stone cold fact he hasn't any.

George II's latest attempt to distract attention away from the abject failure of Iraq is his campaign to reform Social Security. The President claims the system is looking like death warmed over and desperately needs a facelift, boob job, Botox injections and hair transplants unless American want their benefits to resemble Otzi the Iceman. Knowing what we already know about Bush's veracity meter, Social Security probably looks more like Jessica than Homer Simpson.

Though he hasn't provided any specific policy measures, Bush continues to emphasize turning a portion of payroll tax over to private investors or lest we forget, the self same mutual fund managers and investment bankers who exited from the dot com bubble with smiles on their faces and plenty of cash to bankroll any legal defense arising from the shennanigans that made a small minority richer and had most folks searching their sofa for quarters and dimes..

Something tells me that a Bush Administration Social Security alternative would be the equivalent of asking the owner of a race track where you should put your money. "Hmmm.. let me think a moment... oh, how about my horse track!" Chances are pretty good that unless you have a direct line to the jockey's locker room, you're not going to be collecting much at the end of the day.

Because Bush has convinced millions of suckers he has a direct line to the Almighty and is infallible, we can expect the president to conduct the fight over the future of Social Security on a "moral" plain; the White House pointing a rightous finger at the obviously amoral Democrats and their obstruction of God's will, conveniently and suddenly made manifest in the form of Citibank and JP Morgan/Chase.

Whatever reasoning Karl Rove feeds to an eager public anxious to believe in God's messenger, we can be assured that it will be emotionally charged, drowning in fear and entirely false.





Thursday, January 13, 2005

FBI CAN'T DE-BUG ITSELF 

If the FBI ends up pushing the delete button on its four year $170 million dollar project to create a "virtual file sharing " system, then we should expect to see Bureau Director Robert Mueller at the White House getting a nifty "Medal of Freedom" just like the ones the president recently bestowed on those two paragons of failure, George Tenet and Paul Bremer.

The system, besides being a hunk of junk, is according to the NY Times both late and over budget; two words you never expect to see applied to a government program, especially one being managed by the same operation which failed miserably in its domestic security mission prior to 9/11.

And wouldn't you know it, conveniently enough, the public doesn't hear boo about this SNAFU until 8 weeks after the election . Yet anyone who has been involved in large scale IT projects knows failures of this scope don't just happen overnight. This screw up must have been shelved in the Post Election closet along with the recently released report from the CIA's inspector general blaming top agency officials (Can you say "Slam Dunk") for pre 9/11 lapses.

As is common practice in this administration, no one will be fired, no one will be held resonsible as long as they have signed Karl Rove's loyalty oath. George II will tell us the Bob Mueller is a good man and that we should be grateful we have him around to torch $170 million and compromise national security.

By this time next week all will be forgiven and forgotten and the FBI will still be doing business the old fashioned way, just like it was doing before 9/11.







Tuesday, January 11, 2005

CLOSE CALL FOR "THE MESSAGE" 

My coffee had made it's way halfway up my sinuses and was headed for my nose when George II corrected himself yesterday, just in time to avoid what might have been the mother of all Bushisms and my keyboard getting a french roast tsunami.

While gushing to reporters over the joys of democracy in Palestine, the president couldn't help but to remind everyone of the truly important electoral event taking place in January (no, not the Oscar nominations). Bush's hubris and lack of mandible dexterity collided in the following seemingly innocuous sentence.

"This is an extraordinary year, when you think about it," the president said. "In the first month of a new year, there will be an election in the Palestinian territory and there will be an erect....uh, election in Iraq."

There is no evidence that Viagra and Cialis are sponsoring the Iraqi polls. Then again, we're still looking for those WMDs so don't be surprised if the voters in Baghdad keep their latest "uprising" a secret.




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