Friday, April 03, 2015

10 Years After: 2008 -- The Cassandras Of The Left

The 10th blogiversary fundraiser continues with the Hope and Change year of 2008.

Liberals are once again way ahead of the curve, this time identifying the GOP as the once-and-future party of  intractable, mindless obstruction while everyone else was fanning themselves with reassuring David Brooks' columns.

And once again, nobody listened.

At the CPAC Obstructionist Pavilion

Mitch McConnell demonstrates the latest breakthroughs in Republican "Filibuster Every Fucking Thing" performance art technology.

Because, as Kevin Drum points out here (h/t Digby):
Now, it's obvious that everyone believes a stimulus bill of some kind is a good idea (the House bill passed nearly unanimously), so it's not as if anyone voted against the Senate version because they believe it's a fundamentally flawed concept. And since the last month's worth of economic news has been uniformly bad, no one who believes in stimulus has any real reason to balk at fattening up the package a bit. This wasn't a principled stand about letting the economy work things out on its own.

But what happened? Republicans filibustered the larger bill and then sustained the filibuster on virtually a party line vote. Why? Because it had a few billion dollars of spending targeted at Democratic priorities. There's nothing more to it.

The moral of the story is this: Republicans have no intention of ever working with Democrats on anything remotely like a bipartisan basis. Even on something as trivial as this, they filibustered and won. They will do the same thing next year no matter who's president. They will do it on every single bill, no matter how minor. They will never stop obstructing. Period. Presidential hopefuls, take note.
And Digby herself amplifies here:
If you look at the race so far, it's clear that it's no easy task to even unify the Democratic Party. And as long as the Republicans have 41 votes, they'll never stop- obstructing. They are doing this now simply because they can. (After all, they could pass a popular bill like this and let the president veto it if they wanted to play at bipartisanship for the sake of the public who everyone claims is desperate for it.) ...

And they will make damned sure the villagers proclaim the Democrats to be weak and loathsome losers whose refusal to reach across the aisle is failing all Americans. I wish I knew how either Clinton or Obama planned to deal with this, but I confess I haven't the vaguest idea.
Because they truly, genuinely despise this country and want more than anything else to destroy it's government, the GOP never once hesitates to hold the dispossessed, the elderly, the sick, the weak, the homeless, the veteran, the working poor, the middle class, race, gender, nationality, religion, school children, farmers, soldiers or the handicapped hostage to their feudalist agenda.

Never let anything stand in their way of accomplishing politically what Timothy McVeigh began demolitionally.

However their massive failure in Iraq coupled with their cowardice and contempt for the military has made it extremely difficult for them to continue to hide their fascist agenda behind the troops, which is why they're now scampering for cover under the sheltering bower of "Fiscal Responsibility".

Which is even more laughable.

The same people who, when they were in power, pissed away untold tens of billions in failed or non-existent reconstruction projects sole-sourced to Party loyalists?

Who shipped $12 billion dollar of your tax dollars
in untraceable shrink-wrapped pallets to the middle of a war zone so it could be used for "walking around money"?
How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish

Special flights brought in tonnes of banknotes which disappeared into the war zone

David Pallister

Thursday February 8, 2007
The Guardian

The US flew nearly $12bn in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent.

The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee.

In the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004, six days before the handover.

Details of the shipments have emerged in a memorandum prepared for the meeting of the House committee on oversight and government reform which is examining Iraqi reconstruction. Its chairman, Henry Waxman, a fierce critic of the war, said the way the cash had been handled was mind-boggling. "The numbers are so large that it doesn't seem possible that they're true. Who in their right mind would send 363 tonnes of cash into a war zone?"

The memorandum details the casual manner in which the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority disbursed the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets.

"One CPA official described an environment awash in $100 bills," the memorandum says. "One contractor received a $2m payment in a duffel bag stuffed with shrink-wrapped bundles of currency. Auditors discovered that the key to a vault was kept in an unsecured backpack.

"They also found that $774,300 in cash had been stolen from one division's vault. Cash payments were made from the back of a pickup truck, and cash was stored in unguarded sacks in Iraqi ministry offices. One official was given $6.75m in cash, and was ordered to spend it in one week before the interim Iraqi government took control of Iraqi funds."

The minutes from a May 2004 CPA meeting reveal "a single disbursement of $500m in security funding labelled merely 'TBD', meaning 'to be determined'."

The memorandum concludes: "Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste ... thousands of 'ghost employees' were receiving pay cheques from Iraqi ministries under the CPA's control. Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents fighting the United States."
The people who had absolutely no problem just plain heaving bales of cash out of airplanes and shoveling it into the pockets of Dick Cheney's cronies as long as the GOP-controlled Congress could guarantee that no one was paying any attention are now the same fuckers who have suddenly gone all green visors and sleeve garters?

Who have had a Party-wide, spontaneous Come to Jesus moment...but only when it when it comes to pinching pennies for the neediest among us?

Conservatives, a word of advice: Stick to rolling on the floor and screaming incoherently.

It makes you look slightly less ridiculous.

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