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Molly Ivins: New News Is Bad News

Posted on Sep 25, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas—Noshing on the news ...

—The National Intelligence Estimate, agreed upon by 16 Bush-controlled spy services within the U.S. government, says the war in Iraq is making the war on terrorism harder and worse. It gives the phrase “leaking intelligence” a new meaning (a line not original with me).

We’ve been having a debate in this country about whether to continue the war—or “the comma,” as the president calls it—until it has become a semicolon. Now, the debate is over, and what we need to discuss is the best way out. This war is not a goddamn comma.

—According to the Associated Press, the directors of the Legal Services Corp., a program for poor people, have been trying to get rid of their inspector general, who has clocked them for, among other things, expensive meals, using limousine services and wasting money on a ritzy headquarters.

The board members said the inspector general had a “fetish” for independence (how horrible) and that he’s a character assassin backed by a delusional staff, and so forth. While this was going on, one half of the poor clients applying for legal services were rejected.

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—The AP reports the Education Department has ignored the law and ethical standards to steer money how it wants. The billion-dollar-a-year Reading First program is apparently riddled with problems, including political favoritism, conflicts of interest and mismanagement.

In a hair-raising memo, the director of Reading First, Chris Doherty, wrote members of the staff at the Department of Education regarding one company, “They are trying to crash our party, and we need to beat the (expletive) out of them in front of all the other would-be party crashers who are standing on the front lawn waiting to see how we welcome these dirtbags.”

Doherty recently resigned from the department “to return to the private sector,” a spokeswoman said. Isn’t that nice? I kind of wish he was back in government helping to answer the eternal mystery, “Is our children learning?”

—For the second time since August, the Army is ordering the combat tours of thousands of soldiers past the promised 12 months. This time, it’s nearly 4,000 soldiers in the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored.

Again in Iraq, the Army chief of staff is refusing to submit a budget because he says he needs billions more dollars before the Army can meet its obligations. He will surely get help from ol’ “Anything They Ask For” Bush.

The question is: Can these people run anything right? The other question is: Is there anything they can’t screw up?

I don’t know about you, but I think the Education deal has me more upset. I mean, we already knew the Big Comma was producing a backlash, didn’t we, really? Where are we now—2,700 dead Americans, nearly 50,000 dead Iraqis ... come on, that’s at least familiar, what Donald Rumsfeld would call a “known-known.” But stealing money from little kids’ reading programs? What is that about?

Iraq—Bush made a horrible mistake because he knows relatively little. But stacking the bidding in favor of   a reading program that may not be the best available? I suppose the answer is that Republicans (except for Bush) never did think having the feds in education was a good idea.

I’m ready to settle for a bar of common decency. Lead us into an insane war, get the troops killed, lie about whatever you want, eat fancy meals on the government tab ($14 for a chocolate dessert?), but please, oh please, do not rig the bids for reading material for our adorable little children, who will soon be appearing with President Bush in a rainbow of colors in ads dreamed up by Karl Rove. They’re really great for photo ops.

To find out more about Molly Ivins and see works by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.



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By MARIAM RUSELL, September 30, 2006 at 11:37 am Link to this comment
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Scuse me, Eugene Scalzo, this mess did not originate with the gang in office now. Speaking of assholes, you can include yourself, me, and all of our fellow citizens as we have tolerated leadership that has brought us to where we are now. We have known for years that almost every pol in our statehouses and in Washington were bought and paid for by the big corps. Did we even try to curtail the power of these corps….no. DID WE SEND THE ASSHOLES HOME….NO. We sat and watched while they whittled away at the few freedoms we actually had while we stared at someone´s crotch or tried to peep into someone else´s bedroom window. SHAME ON US.

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By Robert MacIntosh, September 29, 2006 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is a puzzle: Why is it that I have yet to see a single comment since the Iraq war began what Bush’s real reason is for invading that country virtually half way round the world. As many who pay attention know (yay Molly), Bush had Saddam in his sights back when he was still a cowboy/oilman governor of Texas.
And why? Not because of 9/11 and the terrorists around at that time, Not because of the way Saddam brutilized Iraq, Not because of any ghost WMD, Not because Iraq was a supposed danger to his neighbors (much less the US), Not to instill “Democracy” in Iraq, Not even for Big Oil.
It is because GWB is on a Crusade for REVENGE.
All the mass destruction that has taken place throughout that country, the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilian lives and the resulting chaos and virtual civil war threatening those still living there, the deaths of almost three thousand American and Allied troops and the grief and disruptions to their families, the hundreds of billions of dollars already spent and hundreds more yet to be spent (already mounting towards a trillion and the future consequences of such massive debt), the proliferation of terrorists now underway throughout the world and the almost total worldwide condemnation of the war policies of the Bush administration (all of which is going to continue for years to come) has been brought about because our “leader” has wanted personal REVENGE after Bad Saddam allegedly dared to have his Daddy killed when he was on a multi-million dollar reward visit to Kuwait after leaving office.
And if anyone doubts that, it is all on record. Right, Molly?

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By eugene scalzo, September 29, 2006 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

im afraid to suggest that we are such a small % of the total population that whining anymore abuse within the system means virtually nothing. i find that we are so much closer to loosing the next pres electon because weve supported so many spineless assholes that we have no one of substance to work with. since i have no faith in this paper democracy i find it truly difficult to see good citizens being awfully optimistic in political system that consistently rewards graft corruption and lawlessness[ie the debate about the rules of the geneva conv., lets be realistic].what would be wrong with legislators that had the peoples interest at heart first rather than the manipulators dollar first.

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By tofubo, September 29, 2006 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the iraq war (the lives shattered, the billions spent, the goodwill lost, the fear instilled, the country divided) is not a “,”, but bushco, it’s apologists, and enablists are “&&##^*@*&^@ @*^@^@ little #*@(((@^s”

one day, when america has awoken and the leaders of the war of terror have been charged, convicted, and sentenced to life @ club gitmo

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By Chuck Moreland, September 27, 2006 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I helped my daughter through four years of college to save her life. She came home from high school one day and told me that the air force would pay for college. I told myself, like hell they will and we sat down as a family and figured out how to do it ourselves. I couldn’t avoid a stint in the military myself, nor either of my sons, but by God I wasn’t going to let them have my daughter. She will graduate in the spring. Whether she has or has not learned anything is irrelevant. She is alive. Peace, but don’t fuck around, Chucky Moreland.

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By Margaret Currey, September 27, 2006 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can children learn to even take a test when the questions are multiple choice, you can pass easilly when the tests are multiple choice, as with math, if you know a little of the princples, you can go through a multiple choice test faster because you can guess and 1/2 of the time you would be right.

Leave no child behind is just political, when Bushie boy wasgovernor of Texas their schools were in bad shape, almost as bad as La.

Now children have to learn how to pass the test, and how to take the test, but in the meantime they are not learning how to think, the children of the future will be people who know how to push buttons, but they will be airheads.

Marge from Vancouver, WA

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By Karen, September 27, 2006 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why do we hear only 2700 dead?  That is inaccurate-it does not include those who have died off the battlefield.

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By jackie, September 27, 2006 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

is there no end to their bullshit?

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By osisbs, September 27, 2006 at 5:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m voting Republican.  Why should they be able to squander the nations resources in the form of cash and bodies and then simply leave to have the Dems come in and clean up the mess?  Eight more years of Republican rule and their party will be on the scrap heap along with the Nazis, the Whigs, and the Fascists. 
I encourage all of you to visit your local church on Sunday and get people to sign their children up for The WAR ON TERROR!  Bring it on.

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By dominica argento, September 27, 2006 at 4:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is part of the business model started in Texas, but better.  Go in, build up lots of investment, ‘lose’ the money in administrative cost overruns, claim a big loss, walk away with fat pockets for you and all your friends.  What’s better with this model is you just raise taxes on the middle class..investment is mandatory.  They get buddies in place(administrators) to make lousy books with no real educators on the writing staff(they cost too much) and you converted your business model for any governmental program.

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By Bukko in Australia, September 27, 2006 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What Molly doesn’t understand is it’s not “TORTURE”. (Imagine me doing air quotes with my fingers when I utter the word…) It’s “aggressive interrogation techniques.” Only “aggressive” sounds too, well, aggressive. We have to get the marketing department to tweak that one.

And don’t call it “waterboarding.” It’s “desert surfing”! “Stress positions” sounds so much better than “being chained up by your wrists in an icy-cold room whilst someone throws freezing water on you.” There was a proposal to call this technique “relief from global warming” but of course that ran into trouble with the “G.W.” words.

Pet therapy” sounds so much nicer than “attacks by snarling dogs.” And “sleep deprivation” is out—“all-niter prep for exams” is the P.C. (persecutorially correct) phrase. Oh, we had a ball with that one!

So Molly, stop saying “torture.” Remember, War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is… Oh wait. Disregard that last bit. Big Brother—oops, I mean President Cheney—isn’t rolling those slogans out until the 2008 election. Which unfortunately will have to be cancelled. To protect democracy, you see…

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By Steve Schultz, September 27, 2006 at 2:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At least Mortimer Snerd, Knucklehead Smith, and Homer Simpson are likeable in their dimwitted fog. So Bush is still at the bottom of the list. But I will continue to search high and low for an example of someone, anyone, who belongs on the list below “Chainsaw Tex”. It might help if Bush puts down the shovel and quits digging the hole he is in deeper and deeper. That, folks, is the sign of the true idiot. And he still insists on treating us as though we are the problem.

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By Robin Ruble, September 26, 2006 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment
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Why are we surprised?  The main goal of this administration has always been to make things easy for others of their kind.  Obviously it’s not in their best interest to have an educated electorate.

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By Gary Vee, September 26, 2006 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But, he’s talking to god and restoration of moraiity in government is underway. What a nightmare, I think war crime trials are so in order for this bunch. I don’t know that I have ever been this angry.

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By rober puglia, September 26, 2006 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yet you print diane ward, paul kibble and rush limbaugh.

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By Judith Moriarty, September 26, 2006 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

EDUCATION: When you have a bunch of bureaucratic drones mandating education with ‘change agents’ instead of teachers you’ve got dumb kids. We now have testing instead of teaching, with children (creative - enthusiastic) put on addictive Ritalin! Special needs children in regular classrooms robs both classes of children of a good education. Zero tolerance is nothing short of behavior modification to instill obedience and control. Children today are being trained to work in Wigget factories or as future cannon fodder - little need for reading here! It’s time parents took back the teaching of their children and stopped being so damn intimadated. The children being destoryed are the future!

War: When you put corporate jackasses - moral cowards - egomaniacs - and Messianic mentally challenged egocentric fools in charge of war, my God, what else can you expect - except, chaos, mindless slaughter, corruption (billions missing), ill equiped soldiers, and junior high mantras of “we won’t cut and run”. WE? Not the designer suited frat boys or their kin, that’s a given. We’ve got ourselves in the land of OZ, with “No Heart” - “No Brain” and “No Courage” on the Oil Slick Road…to “Normalizing War” as Cheney puts it!  JM

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By Kemole, September 26, 2006 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In referance to comment # 25616 by lewis shugar: The people who are really “Qulifyed” to execpt a job like Presedent say are also to damned smart to want it in the first place.  That was the take that the late U.S. Senator Wayne Morse (D,Oregon) back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  I am sure that this is more the case now.

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By Tomack, September 26, 2006 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And that is how we can sum up this mans tenure: what’s worse, the poeple he kills or those he robs? As much as my heart goes out for the children, I still have to vote for the dead, and those about to die.

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By Patricia Herrick, September 26, 2006 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As usual Molly is so right on.  She has my vote anytime she can be persuaded to run. Nancy has to quit playing nice. She’s faltering as a DEM. as are so many of them. I am still reeling over her statement that impeachment would not be on the agenda.

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By Wyatt Hertz, September 26, 2006 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TAKE THIS PRESIDENCY AND SHOVE IT

ARTIST GENERAL’S WARNING:  Vice Precedent—VERMIN in Democracy’s Honeycomb…Fourth Estate: WHERE is thy STING?!

ENOUGH WITH THE DEMOCRATS’BSS (BATTERED SPOUSE SYNDROME) ...there’s a can o’ worms that Clinton’s “opener” cracked with a pent-up hiss—otherwise known as WHUPASS…

Remember Hackett’s Ohio run—not-mincing-words nearly won him that seat, way over the given odds…he called Bush “a goddamned chickenhawk”...

Re: Sulphur in the ‘$mell Test’...How does W do it? Demonic Mojo!

Memo to Nancy Pelosi: Chavez a “thug”? bad enough to carry his ‘water’—STOP with your chickenhearted carriage of Dubya’s ‘thundermug’! If we’re lucky, the time will come round again for “Miss Manners”...but for now, enter Stage Left, Tom Paine!

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By lewis shugar, September 26, 2006 at 9:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Molly Should run for president

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By Lily Maskew, September 26, 2006 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We HAVE to get out of this war in Iraq.  The latest justification we heard from this administration is that now all the world’s terrorists are located in one place.  Yeh, in Iraq.  Iraq never threatened us, and now we’ve enticed all the world’s worst people to their country.  They don’t deserve this.

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By MARIAM RUSSELL, September 26, 2006 at 1:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You have hit one of my sore points…....for almost 60 years I have been witness to about 10 year cycles of OH-MY-GOD-WE-ARE-SPENDING-GAZILLIONS-OF-DOLLARS-AND-JOHNNIE-CANNOT-READ….Then, in one of those epiphanic moments I said to myself…SELF, IF IT IS TRUE THAT YOU CANNOT KEEP A CHILD FROM LEARNING, AND YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS AND YOUR LAST DOLLAR IT IS TRUE, THEN HOW MUCH EFFORT NEEDS TO BE EXPENDED TO KEEP CHILDREN FROM LEARNING. NOW TO DO THAT, YOU WOULD NEED TO USE SOME SERIOUS SENSORY DEPRIVATION, BUT TO DIRECT THAT LEARNING TO TURN OUT GOOD LITTLE ROBOTS…..NOT SO DIFFICULT…BUT KEEPING THE DIFFERENT GENERATIONS OF PARENTS BELIEVING THAT IT IS THEIR FAULT…..NOW THAT REQUIRES THOUGHT AND PLANNING.

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By badgervan, September 26, 2006 at 1:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The republican way: keep ‘em dumb and evangelized = future repub votes.

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