Thursday, August 03, 2006

What A Change A Year Can Bring

I wish I could point to more change for the better. We're still in Iraq, only now the civil war is getting fully underway and U.S. efforts seem to be stalling badly. We're still in Afghanistan as well, only now the Taliban has been making a comeback in the southern part of the country. In fact, none of Bush's foreign policy goals of a year ago have been realized and now even his shining example of Middle Eastern democracy, Lebanon, is being pounded into rubble by our putative allies in Israel. North Korea and Iran remain every bit the threat they were a year ago, possibly more so in the case of Iran.

On the home front, while Social Security privatization died, bankruptcy reform did not. The Republicans continue to push more tax cuts for the wealthy, while economic growth for the poorer 99% of the country is nearly flat. While both the Gay Marriage ban and Flag Burning amendments failed (barely), they still represent a tremendous waste of time by the Republican Congress. New Orleans remains an unmitigated disaster; a mute testimony to the gross incompetence of our current leadership in Washington. Intelligent Design failed in Pensylvania and will do so soon in Kansas, though the state of science education in our public schools remains sorely inadequate. We keep sliding ever closer to an elimination of a woman's right to an abortion, followed closely by an unrelenting assault against contraception. The theocratic agenda is very much alive and rolling on towards the November elections.

There is some good news, though. Numerous Republican crooks, such as Tom Delay and Scooter Libby, have been indicted for their malfeasance, though whether they'll serve any time or not seems unlikely. A jury of his peers convicted Enron Chairman Ken Lay and fate carried out the sentence. A current Quinnipiac poll shows progressive Ned Lemont with a solid lead over stealth Republican Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut primary. Sorry, Joe, but most of us only tolerated you as the VP nominee because we believed in Gore and understood what a trainwreck a Bush presidency would be. Too bad your fellow DLCers didn't see the danger. November is looking awfully good all around, with a recent Cook report showing the Republicans under seige in the House. I'm not willing to call it a Democratic takeover just yet, but something sure feels different this time around. I'm cautiously optimistic...

All of this is a round-a-bout way of saying "Happy Birthday" to A Beginner's Mind. As of Tuesday, I've officially been spouting off publicly for one whole year. It hasn't yet brought me the money, fame and appearance on "Meet the Press" I so desperately crave, but that's alright. I've learned more than I could have possibly dreamed just from the conversations here, and I look forward to another year of pedantic ranting.

For the comments: Let me know what you think the world will look like a year from now? Assuming Armageddon isn't really happening...

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