Signs of the Times

The New York Times > Times Select:

The content of today’s New York Times opinion page sums up the world we live in. Two articles, by the newly reinvigorated liberal side of the page, about the failure—utter and abject failure—of the Bush Administration and the conservative columnist, David Brooks, who is trying to dismiss criticism of the right by saying it’s only as sophisticated as high school cliques battling over who is coolest. The latter, of course, is backhanded nonsense that confirms the basic conservative notion that the people are the least qualified to govern, since they don’t even rise to the level of high school cliques in adult governance.

So, offered for your consideration, from the Twilight Zone….

FRANK RICH

Bush of a Thousand Days

President Bush’s victory jig on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and the publication of the so-called Downing Street memo bracket all that has gone wrong for this president.

NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Opening Classroom Doors

Let’s relax the barriers so people can enter teaching more easily, either right out of college or later as a midcareer switch.

DAVID BROOKS

Lunch Period Poli Sci

When it comes to politics, high school explains most everything you need to know.

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CIA fires leaker. Can Bush/Cheney be far behind?

From Yahoo News:

The CIA said on Friday that it has fired an intelligence officer who acknowledged leaking classified information about the spy agency’s operations to the news media.

The CIA, which declined to identify the officer or describe the officer’s duties at the agency, said the dismissal was the result of a three-month-old investigation of CIA operations that had been the subject of recent media leaks.

Hmm. We’re holding case officers to higher standards than we expect of our president, vice president and their aides. What happened to Bush’s promise that he would restore honor to the White House? How is an administration that constantly equivocates and accepts lower standards of behavior than those enforced on career service public employees more honorable?

The sad sick thing is that Bush will nuke Iran to distract Americans from how utterly bankrupt his Administration really is.

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Mmmm, mmmm good, taste that economic imbalance

The Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported that usual weekly earnings are falling behind expenses. In short, on average, the typical American family can buy one percent less than a year ago, because wages are not keeping up with expenses. But if you dig in a bit, you see that the differences become exaggerated the higher you go on the management hierarchy. Managers’ income rose about 250% more than the typical workers’ income, so you can see in even one BLS report the growing wage gap in the United States.

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Democracy: Serving the people, not people serving the government

So, here’s the question: Who does the government serve? Where John F. Kennedy would say that we should not ask what the country can do for us, but what we can do for the country, George W. Bush would say that the government, the people and the military exist to serve the winners of election. Political capital, it seems, needs to be bought back from the winner with abject servility to the goals of, in Bush’s case, Bush’s whims about war and the truth.

Case in point: It turns out that the biological weapons trailers that Bush crowed about for months to justify his war with Saddam Hussein were never believed to be related to chemical or biological weapons-making. He’d been told this before he started touting the trailers as evidence he’d been right to put American troops in harm’s way. According to Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War, which appears today in the Washington Post:

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq — not made public until now — had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president’s statement.

The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped “secret” and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

“Stamped ‘secret’ and shelved” is the same way that totalitarian governments operate. Democracies do not conspire to hide the awkward decisions made by government officials, even if certain people have done it. The decision to lie to the American people is more proof that Bush believes that the country exists to serve him and his “base,” the top one-percent in wealth, as long as they can fool the people into going along with them. He won’t even be honest with us, because it’s apparently his country to run for the duration of the term.

A honest democratic politician serving the people of a republic like the United States cannot believe himself above reproach and honest debate. The only explanation for this behavior is that Bush doesn’t share the principles on which the United States was founded and has been governed for the 210 years before he took office.

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Another bankruptcy for the CEO President

U.S. Plan to Build Iraq Clinics Falters:

A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.

I’d really like to see a study of the performance record of the Bush Administration based on the management principles it espouses. The results would certainly show it was time to toss the current management.

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