if you can't make it here...

...then apply for a job with the W administration!

Tim Harper, a Toronto Star columnist, has a good wrap-up of how incompetent losers are rewarded by the Bush White House, as long as they fall into lock-step and kiss enough butt.
One will always live in infamy for gravely misjudging the cost of the Iraq war and the reception accorded U.S. troops, publicly underestimating the American death toll and blaming scared journalists for not reporting the war's good news.

The second sat behind Colin Powell in the U.N. Security Council, nodding solemnly and sagely as Washington provided a dossier of inaccurate, fanciful intelligence to justify the Iraq war.

The third was described last week as a "serial abuser" — a bully who berates and intimidates subordinates and a U.S. unilateralist who once declared that no one would notice if the top 10 floors of the United Nations secretariat disappeared.

In the private sector, Paul Wolfowitz, John Negroponte and John Bolton may have been shown the door for their transgressions.

In George W. Bush's world, they all received promotions, joining others who have been honoured, lauded and handed plums after dishing up faulty pre-war intelligence or mismanaging the Iraqi occupation.

Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary who said Americans would be greeted in Iraq as liberators, takes over as president of the World Bank on June 1.

Negroponte, Bush's envoy to the U.N. in the run-up to the war, is headed to easy confirmation as the country's first national intelligence director.

Undersecretary of State Bolton — a caustic purveyor of American muscularity who has emerged as the most controversial of all the president's men (and women) — looks as if he will be confirmed in days as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

They join a long line.

Condoleezza Rice, who sounded some of the most apocalyptic pronouncements on Saddam Hussein's imminent threat to Americans, is the secretary of state.

Alberto Gonzales, complicit in a memo that was interpreted as a green light for prison torture, is now the attorney-general.
I'm tempted to copy the whole thing here, but I'll restrain myself for now. The column is here.


After ALPF sent me this good analysis of the current Canadian political crisis, an interesting discussion developed (or is still developing) between RobfromAlberta and G. I'm finding it very educational. Contrary to what my friends over at Big Soccer think, I'm not worried about this supposed emerging conservatism in Canada. One, it strikes me as not all that conservative. Two, it's not like Paul Martin's Liberals are my political ideal. Three, I'm not convinced the Conservatives are really taking over, or if they do, how strong a power they would be. I definitely don't like Stephen Harper, and I've read that he talks more centrist than he really is. But I'm not pretending to know much about this - I'm just watching and reading. Comments welcome.


I hope you're still out there. Either Statcounter isn't working properly, or my readership has had a sudden and precipitous drop-off.


Anonymous said...

Go find "A War Against Truth", if you can find it in American not-so-Liberal-even-though-we-say-we-are bookstores. It will answer a lot of the above. If not, you will certainly find it when you get here.

But you know, American is today's Rome. That's it, and it explains basically all. All roads lead to you guys ... the globalized corporate world is evidence enough of that, as is the influence of the Yankee buck. Don't agree with what another country is doing, or you want something they have but don't like the trade conditions they instill on their own property? Rome went and took them over in the name of its European empire. Hmm ... sounds so much like the Iraq thing. Rome claimed the people it overtook would be better off for it. Can anyone say "Freedom" seventeen times per speech? Aaarrgghh ...

laura k said...

There's no problem finding that book, at least not in New York City, and probably most major US cities. It's bad enough here, no need to exaggerate.

By the way, I'm not looking for "an answer". I'm just reading and sharing.

Anonymous said...

PS On the Canadian politics thing:

One of three things happens, should an election get called.

(1) Conservatives get more votes than anyone else, but mistrust of Harper, plus the Liberals currently holding steady, and the fact that the majority of Canadians do not want an election so soon, means the Liberals get enough votes to force a minority and become the opposition party. Basically the two in power now simply switch seats.

(2) Further sponsorship scandal testimony damages the Liberals more, the public decides an election is cool, and the rightie Conservatives win hands-down a majority. Left-lefties NDP become the opposition - now that would produce some interesting sessions in the commons.

(3) Conservative deal with Bloc is what everyone fears it is, Bloc holds a referendum on separation, lack of trust in Liberals in Quebec means Bloc wins referendum, Quebec leaves and Canada is fucked.

My guess is #2 happens ... which may be good ... the NDP might just be able to keep the Conservatives near centre, which is what this country needs ... although the task would so much easier if Peter MacKay was in charge of the party. They'd get my vote - which given most of my views actually says quite a lot. But I digress.

laura k said...

And please don't call the US "you guys" here! I am scrupulous to never refer to the US as "we". (The only we I use is for New Yorkers.) I know you only meant it rhetorically, but it creeps me out. Not in my name, and all that.

Anonymous said...

But Americans are my neighbors - I call all my neighbors "you guys". If I'm not talking about Canadians, then in lieu of repeating "Americans" repeatedly, what am I supposed to use as the subject of my sentence?

But, in lieu of the sensitivity (and all rhetoric and joking aside, I do understand it), I will try to use something other than that.

Sigh ... you guys, sometimes ... (just kidding!)

Cheers :-)

laura k said...

Well that just made me smile. Laugh even. So thanks.

I'm sure I'm over-sensitive about it. But there you are ranting about the Evil Empire, and you're saying it's me. Ack.

Thanks for catering to my sensitivity and good luck finding alternative subjects. Sentence subjects, that is, not subjects of the empire...

Anonymous said...

Didn't mean you ... just a general rant-inspired poke at the way the country seems much of the time. Nothing like a good rant to take the edge off, exagerrated or not.

Besides, I wouldn't be writing to this so often if I thought that was you. Well, maybe I would, but more in the Big Soccer tone and less in the ascerbic G-tone I hope everyone has come to know and love (or at least tolerate - I can settle for that).

Nice exchange today, on several posts ... but now I gotta get off the CPU. 5 days x 8 hrs each on it (again) this week coming up ... laser eye surgery becomes more of a reality with each day.

Sigh ...

laura k said...

Well, for next time you log on:

Of course I know you didn't mean me in that way. Thanks for saying so. Next time I get that creeped-out feeling, I'll count to 10. Or 25.

The ascerbic exaggerations of G The El Bee are always welcome on wmtc.

Omg, that rhymes, how obnoxious.

Anonymous said...


(yes, even the library bitch can be made to smile at something other than a good dig, from time to time ... )

Rognar said...

I'd have to say I disagree with G on the most likely outcome of the all-but-inevitable election this year. I think a Conservative minority government is far more likely than a Conservative majority since there really is not enough support in Quebec for the Tories to get even a single seat there. The Liberals may actually fall far enough so that the Bloc could be the official opposition, especially if Tory-Liberal vote-splitting allows the BQ to grab some ethnic/Anglo ridings. Either way, if the Tories win a minority, there will probably another election in less than a year since the other three parties will take the first opportunity to bring down the government.

As for Stephen Harper, I would agree he is from the rightwing of the party, but the leader does not set policy. He is not being deceitful when he talks like a centrist, he is simply speaking as the leader of a centrist party. The old conservative party suffered the most humiliating defeat in the history of Canadian government back in '93. Conservatives learned from that humiliation. The new conservative party is far more democratic.

laura k said...

That's good news re Harper. I'm confusing the Parlimentary system - where parties have platforms and have to stick to them - with the US system, where parties say anything to get elected, then do anything else.

Rognar said...

To a degree, a political party in Canada is bound by its platform, but there is no legal force behind it and parties may break promises if they think the electorate will forgive them. For example, in '93, the Liberals said they would drop the hated Goods and Services Tax (GST) which the Tories introduced to replace a variety of hidden taxes. Four consecutive Liberal governments later and the GST is still here.

Anonymous said...

I dunno about the Bloc, Rob. Outside of Quebec, not a chance for a vote. NDP have much of the Maritimes, especially with the Liberals falling out of everyone's favor. If the Conservatives somehow fail to win a majority (whenever the election will be eventually held), I think Liberal mistrust and Bloc voter limitation could likely result in the NDP holding more opposition seats than anyone else. Quebec has a strong vote, don't get me wrong, but I just don't necessarily think it will get as many seats due to the Bloc's nonexistance outside the province.

On that note, notice how Layton is now trying to be Harper's buddy? Boy's learning the game, finally. Might just do himself enough of a favor in that move to win some jaded Liberal voters who are looking to vote elsewhere, but still feel the Conservatives are too rightwing for them. Good move.

Rognar said...

I crunched some numbers for Quebec. Currently the BQ has 54 seats. The Liberals have six seats in QC which are very vulnerable, the BQ would almost certainly win them if the election were held today. So worst-case scenario for the BQ is 60 seats. I see four more Liberal seats in play, so the Bloc could conceivably win 64 seats. To match that total, the NDP would need an extra 45 seats above what they already have. That's a pretty tall order.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, on second look I put it a 60 also ... for some reason had it pegged as 10 less. Good call on the actual count, bud. Appreciate that.

Really the NDP seat count will depend on what happens in the Maritimes, and how many Ontarian Liberal defectors choose left over centre-right. In the GTA and golden horseshoe, they'll go mostly right. Southwest, and the North, will go left. So it's hard to tell what will happen. BC is also always an interesting place for the NDP, but since Liberal party existence is often minimal in the West, it may not matter anyway.

But you are right - it is a tall order ... but if testimony continues the way it has, the Liberals stand to fall as bad (or worse) as the Brian Mulroney/Kim Campbell PCs did way back when. So you never know - the unlikely has been known to occur in Canadian politics - enough seats just may become available to edge out the Bloc.

Rognar said...

I can't see Liberal support dropping any lower than about 30 seats. At that point, you are talking about the urban bastions, people who owe the Liberals for their very lives in Canada. These include Montreal anglos and the ethnic communities in TO and Vancouver. These people will vote Liberal till the day they die.