Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sonny Perdue for VP? You Must Be Joking!

I have seen Sonny Perdue's name come up in recent months as a possible candidate for VP. Now the Atlanta Journal is exploring that possibility once again. All I can say is, "you must be joking." The man has been basically a do nothing governor. He accidentally won the governor's office, when his opponent stumbled and fell. In fact he was so unprepared to be governor he had no agenda. His staff didn't know what to do.

He won his second term because he, basically, had no opponent. He talked ethics, then showed that he had little ethics himself, when it was found that his friend got a midnight bill passed to give him a tax break on property that he sold in Florida. His administration turned down the purchase of a pristine piece of property, then he was involved in it's private purchase.

Perdue has made poor choices to head state agencies. Under his administration the GA DOT went from a national leader to total disarray. It can't even keep up with its contractors. Basically, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing now in that agency. The state's child welfare agency is poorly run, as are the mental hospitals.

The State's environmental laws are methodically being dismantled under Perdue. Its coast, long known for pristine barrier islands, is now in danger of being overdeveloped because of the loosening of regulations. He touts conservation, but is heavily supported by developers.

I spend a few hours with this man not long before I retired from state government, when he wasted many state dollars over the course of a day, hedgehopping across the state to sign a bill in several different communities. He was rude and arrogant in private, but he flipped a switch and put on the smile, when the voters appeared.

Oh, once he prayed for rain and the rains came. However, rain was in the forecast, when the prayer vigil was announced.

The only good thing I can say about his being VP is that, "he ain't no Dick Cheney."

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Surge: Success or Prolonging the Inevitable?

The surge is being touted by many, including Republican presidential hopeful John McCain as an arousing success. Yet Defense Sec. Gates is hinting that the reduction of forces in Iraq may be delayed. One has to wonder if this latest decision isn't a political one.

One aspect in guerilla warfare is to live to fight again. In other words to paraphase a popular saying, "when the going gets tough the tough go into hiding" to save themselves for later as the pressures ease up. If the US removes forces the guerillas will certainly start to make themselves known again. In fact bombings look to be on the increase now.

If US troops are kept at current strengths through the fall and the election, Bush and McCain will be seen as successful in Iraq, at least by those who are willing to be taken in by talk. In the event that Republicans lose the election, then Democrats will have to suffer and take the blame for "surrendering" as McCain puts it, if they start to draw down troop levels. Certainly, once the troops start to come home, violence will begin to increase again.

Iraq, thanks to our current president, is a lose-lose situation. Once the country was destabilized, the three groups were free to open up old differences that were kept under wraps by Sadaam's government, much like the ethnic groups in the former USSR. Once we start to pull out soldiers they will once again open up on each other and Al Quaida, if they are indeed active, will be involved as well.

As long as we remain entrenched in the Middle East we will be the enemy. As long as we funnel billions of dollars to Israel, we will be the enemy. The governments in the Middle East are, for the most part, totalitarian, and there is little we can influence to change that. Theirs is a different culture, and we have made so many mistakes there for the last sixty plus years, it is doubtful that anything we do will be successful in the long term.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another Four Years of Bush?

As "W" endorsed the McCain campaign, I couldn't help but think about the fact that McCain has been sounding more like Bush each day. That spells trouble for the country, because we could face another four years of Bush policies, if McCain is elected. McCain continues to talk about the "surge" and how we must continue in Iraq as long as necessary. He has endorsed the right-wing Christian policies and talks about appointing judges, who will be biased in favor of the right. In other words, so-called "activist" judges, who will put aside the Consitution in favor of social issues. Sound familiar?

McCain, who once would criticize Bush almost at the drop of a hat, is now suffering memory loss. He blames the mess in Iraq on Rumsfeld, and fails to remember that Rumsfeld was carrying out the White House's policies. The only reason the 2nd invasion of Iraq is working this time is because the White House has stayed out of it. Prior to now, if a General spoke the truth in Iraq, he was immediately replaced. Rumsfeld was only replaced because of the extreme pressure placed on Bush, not because Bush disagreed with him. He was Bush's puppet.

If McCain is elected, we can be sure of continued involvement in Iraq, continued assault on our civil rights from the defense agencies, and a Supreme Court that will take further freedoms from us through backward thinking decisions. The people of this country who cannot afford health care, or are close to losing it, and those who suffer from abject poverty will continue to be forgotten. The middle class will contine to shrink as the rich get big tax cuts. In the event you haven't noticed, these issues have been completely ignored by the Republican candidates, with the possible exception of Ron Paul. The long winter's night of the last 7 seven years could be extended for another four years, unless we, the voters, speak and speak loudly.