February 10th, 2005 ~ I haven't felt very chatty this last month or so; perhaps because 2005 has, thus far, felt a lot like 2004. The Iraqi elections went pretty well on January 31st (if you look past the nearly 40 people killed by terrorists and the nearly complete boycott by Iraqi Sunnis). Still, if it gets our Guard and Reserve people closer to coming home where they belong, then it was a worthwhile exercise.
Mr. Bush gave us his vision for the future of Social Security during his State of the Union address and has been barnstorming the heartland with his Raw Deal dog-n-pony show ever since. Yet, when he submitted his compassionately conservative budget to Congress earlier this week, his Social Security intentions were conspicuously absent. Perhaps he intends to sneak his "reforms" in through a series of emergency resolutions. Hey, it worked for funding the war in Iraq.
Excuse me, did I say "the war in Iraq"? Sorry. I didn't mean to imply that thousands of American soldiers have been killed or maimed in actual combat operations. We all saw our President declare "Mission Accomplished" on that aircraft carrier back in April 2003. Certainly, a group of six Marines recently discovered that their Purple Hearts are to be returned for not having been maimed during combat operations. Perhaps they'll be compensated with a gold star on the forehead and a pat on the back. That would be nice.
In other developments, two of the President's pet tort reforms - limiting malpractice awards and moving class action cases to federal courts - passed in the Senate and now go on to the House. So, instead of riding the necks of the Big Insurance companies to provide a sliding scale of premiums for physicians based on malpractice awards, let's stick it to the patients and their families instead. Big Insurance must be very proud of their boy.
We have a new Attorney General and Secretary of State; both confirmed despite strident, but ultimately pointless opposition speeches in the Senate. Since we are all hostage passengers aboard this particular ship of state, I can do little more than hope they make better choices in their new positions than in their previous roles as White House counsel and National Security Advisor respectively.
Finally, a tenured professor at Colorado State, Ward Churchill, has been stirring up quite a tempest with his characterization of the 9/11 World Trade Center victims as "little Eichmans". I'm sure the busboys, secretaries, mailroom clerks, and maintenance folks murdered in the towers, as well as the women and children aboard the hijacked airliners were all complicit in a vast, genocidal conspiracy. After all, if a college Professor says so, it MUST be true.
Under intense public pressure, Colorado Governor, Bill Owens, has launched a campaign in both the state legislature and the court of public opinion to remove Churchill from the faculty. An underfunded university board, is, however, reluctant to take any action which would trigger a costly First Amendment suit by Churchill. They should relax and just fire this idiot on grounds of professional incompetence. If his rantings had even a shadow of the fiery logic in the speeches of Malcolm X or Nelson Mandala, their inflammatory nature might have some purpose. Instead, his tirades are so much sound and fury, signifying nothing except his own exalted opinion of himself.
That's about it for now. I'm sure I'll have something to say later about our staunch ally, Pakistan, white balling two new members of the Nuclear Club, but for now I'll let Dr. Rice earn her salary.