...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Monday, January 12, 2004
      ( 2:30 PM )
New Year Summary

Okay, so just in review, here's how we're starting out 2004:

Unemployment is even worse that previously thought because thousands of people simply didn't feel like trudging around looking for work during the holidays - oh, and thousands more fell off the rolls because the White House and Republican controlled Congress refused to extend benefits. So, where there are no claims, there are no unemployed people -right!?

The war in Iraq remains incredibly dangerous, with 10 soldiers dying in just the last 3 days - along with hundreds being injured (some maimed for life) weekly. Oh, and not to forget, people are being killed and maimed in Afghanistan too - yep, that one's not over either. This whole Iraq thing was envisioned by this administration from the first moments it took office. Too bad they didn't envision some sort of REALISTIC post-invasion scenario. The conservative pundits continue to harp that the capture of Saddam proves Bush is in the right and that will put him in the victory slot in November. Whether people remember Saddam was captured come November, is another question.

The Primary Season begins next week, but according to Fox News, everyone might as well just bow out and let Joe Liberman take the nomination. Meanwhile, the other candidates don't understand how Dean can continue to inspire new activists and voters and continue to stay up in the polls when they throw every dirty trick at him that they can. Oh, except for John Edwards. Who is a very nice fellow. He'd make a mighty nice Attorney General...

The No Child Left Behind Act celebrated it's 2nd Anniversary last week - to the loud cheers jeers of teachers and administrators everywhere who continue to struggle under the mammoth weight of this unfunded mandate. In celebration of this law's 2nd year in action, children are being left behind at even greater rates. Yay for Education Reform!

The President has proposed a quasi-amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Great idea. Now if we can get around the bits about how it only benefits employers and slave masters, kicks the workers out on their asses after three years, and does not guarantee that they might have a chance at citizenship after doing the dirty work the rest of us citizens won't touch, it might actually be a great idea!

Unbenouced to most of America (and Congress), while the airwaves were full of pictures of Saddam being checked for lice, one of the huge appropriations bills slipped through (the one for intelligence) containing a line in it that was originally part of Patriot Act II. Since Patriot Act II will be harder to get through as one big law, the administration has decided to divide it up and put lines from it in other unsuspecting bills. Of course, we can't count on our Congresspeople who vote for these bills to know EVERYTHING that is in them! By the way, this one makes it legal for the FBI to get any personal or corporate financial records from any financial institution, bank or agency without a judge's approval or even needing probable cause. This was secretly passed - but it's in addition to the lovely proposition made this week that all airlines and travel reservation companies should have to hand over all information on travelers so that we can all be categorized accordingly. Oh, were you under the impression that they had given up on the whole fascism idea? Sorry to disappoint you.

But forget all that stuff - we're going to the Moon (daring to go where 12 men have gone before....)!!!

Man, what a great country!

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