Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Egypt and other Stuff

A recent painting of mine is Sailing the Nile. There's a saying, "Revolutions begin with enthusiasm and end in tears." So I'll offer this painting as a "picture prayer" that Egyptians can find their way to a better tomorrow. Alliances with military dictatorships, however short term our narrow interests may be served, do not work out very well for us in the long run......After listening to the many Republican talking heads on the news lately, their position appears to be that the US should be for democracy in Egypt and the Middle East but that no Muslims should be involved. I'm not sure they've quite thought that through. The Obama Administration, sadly, appears to be siding with the wrong side of history on this one in backing away from support for the removal of Mubarak and for tolerating the continuation of Mubarak's reign at the expense of the people of Egypt. Be a leader for democracy, President Obama.

An interesting vote took place Feb. 8 on the renewal of portions of the PATRIOT ACT, or The Government can Wiretap any American for any Reason Without a Warrant Act. Tea Party Libertarians broke from the Big Government Republicans and joined with enough Democrats to defeat the extension of portions of the act. Time will tell how this works out. Meanwhile, the Culture Wars Religious Right branch of the Republicans, who want Big Government to be in charge of women's pregnancies, continues to introduce bill after bill to take away women's reproductive rights.

And after all the Republican campaign blather about jobs, jobs, jobs, and deficit, deficit, deficit, the House Republicans so far have voted to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, adding $1 Trillion to the deficit over ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office, cut taxes for the wealthiest of the wealthiest, adding hundreds of billions of $$$ to the national debt. Items on their budget cut "target" list include the EPA, the Dept. of Education, NEA, Public Television and Radio, and virtually every program for women, sick children, the disadvantaged, college students, people with disabilities, people of color, and everything Democrats have done since Franklin D. Roosevelt. And after all his campaign posturing, Republican budget "genius" Paul Ryan's proposed budget cuts have been pared down from $100 billion to about $32 billion. And he won't even include the $56 billion in budget cuts the Pentagon is proposing by eliminating weapons systems the military doesn't want.

In the meanwhile, John McCain and Donald Rumsfeld are publicly calling each other names, former President George W. Bush cancels a trip to Switzerland for fear of being arrested as a War Criminal, and a prisoner at Guantanamo dies after 9 years without being charged with a crime. House Republicans are trying to reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell back and end Social Security. Republican William Kristol says Glenn Beck goes too far with his nutty conspiracy theories (the two Bush Presidents and a whole list of others are in conspiracy with Iran to create a world caliphate), Lindsey Graham sides With President Obama over Sarah Palin On Egypt, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann relentlessly say goofy stuff illustrating the contemporary truth of Thomas Brackett Reed's 19th century assertion: “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.”

So there you go. Everything's back to normal.


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