The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Making mistakes, making money

Incompetence Watch

The most important article which came out last week was Michael Tomasky’s "Ineptitude Redefined" in The American Prospect. In it, he argues that the last excuse that the Republicans have for their claim to power, that they are at least competent at governing, has been blown away by the stunning, continual displays of incompetence shown by this administration. A sample:

But there's another argument about this administration, and about the Republican Party in general, that needs to be made, because this argument can alter presumptions about the two parties that have existed for at least a generation and can change the way the parties are seen well into the future. And it is this: The Republicans are total incompetents.

It really should come as no surprise, I suppose. For years, Republican "government is bad" ideology has put them at odds with people who would actually like to see their government function. Tomasky goes on to compare Republicans’ conflation of the good of party and state with other societies in which that unfortunate ideology had taken place.

It’s a great article, short and to the point.

Corruption Watch

Dick Cheney has managed to foil a GAO investigation into his energy task force, again. Here is an example of how these closed government types stonewall an investigation:

Administration officials did not account for much of the money spent on the task force and could not remember whether anyone took official notes during the 10 Cabinet-level meetings the group held in 2001, the investigators said.

Isn’t that precious? They couldn’t remember if anyone took notes. "Gee, did you take notes?" "I don’t know; I thought that was your job." "I brought the sandwiches." Amazingly, the rest of our government seems willing to put up with this incredible bullshite. If you ever hear Cheney or anyone else in this administration talking about someone else not complying with "the rule of law", please tell them where they can put it.

That excuse is so lame I’m almost speechless. I don’t know whether to be enraged or insulted. On the one hand, these were top level meetings of business and the highest level of government, making decisions that affect millions of lives and trillions of dollars, and the very future of our country itself. They didn’t take notes??? On the other hand, maybe they didn’t need notes, because their checklist was so simple: "Create energy crises. Exploit crises. Profit from crises. Use US military to protect private energy concerns overseas".

Reality Surpassing Satire Watch

I was going through an old book of "This Modern World" cartoons last night, for some reason, and came across this old chestnut from 1995.

It’s strange to think that in only eight short years, our orderly society has trumped our constitutional rights to the point where everything in this cartoon, which was once wild, libertarian hyperbole, has become true. I’ve heard it said that our country’s response to 9/11 shows how strong our nation is. But all I can see is how our response shows how weak we are. Something horrible happened, and we immediately, gladly, handed all of our rights which protect individuals over to the authorities, on a silver platter and tied with a beautiful ribbon. 99 US senators voted for the "PATRIOT" act in the weeks after 9/11, most of them without reading much of it. That includes otherwise sane individuals like Kerry, Byrd, and the late, great Wellstone. Only Russ Feingold had the stones to oppose it.

The Bush administration made a mistake (let’s give them the benefit of the doubt), and we rushed to pour unprecedented, unconstitutional power into their hands. Tell me again what their motivation is not to make any more "mistakes"?


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