Don’t get Murtha started on Karl Rove, a chickenhawk-cum-military expert “sitting on his fat backside in his air-conditioned White House office” -- or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld recently accused war critics of “moral and intellectual confusion.”
Murtha questioned why anyone would listen to Rumsfeld since Rummy doesn’t know jack (and here). He reminded us that Rumsfeld said that Americans would be treated as “liberators” in a war that would last "five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."
In this endless war, for which too few troops were sent to make the peace, Rumsfeld's “few dead-enders” have our troops bogged down in the middle of a civil war.
Murtha’s solution: “responsible withdrawal. Tell the Iraqis you have a democratically elected government and you have to take over responsibility.” There should be a “staged withdrawal.” Troops should withdraw as quickly as possible and as soon as possible.
We need to elect a Democratic Congress. We need accountability. Accountability comes from hearings. You swear them in and then they have to tell the truth. Ask the tough questions and put the pressure on them. We honor our troops by standing up to these bullies.
When the winds and water of Hurricane Katrina brought utter devastation to residents of the Gulf Coast region, America promised a rebuilding effort that would surpass the revitalization seen in New York after 9/11. Despite these promises and the commitment of billions of dollars in aid from FEMA, HUD, and Community Development Block grants, the promised reinvigoration of the Gulf Coast region remains unrealized.
As the Gulf Coast region approaches the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the thousands of still ruinous homes in the region are clear evidence that our government's promise has not been fulfilled. Tens of thousands of homes were lost, and cities throughout this nation still host far too many of our displaced residents. Where is the money and what has slowed the return of tens of thousands of displaced residents who are primarily people of color?
One year after disaster struck, the slow-motion rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region looks identical to what has happened to date in Afghanistan and Iraq. We see a pattern of profiteering, waste and failure -- due to the same flawed contracting system and even many of the same players.
The process of getting Katrina-stricken areas back on their feet is needlessly behind schedule, in part, due to the shunning of local business people in favor of politically connected corporations from elsewhere in the U.S. that have used their clout to win lucrative no-bid contracts with little or no accountability and who have done little or no work while ripping off the taxpayer.
I hope everyone, African American and not, realize that we have an epidemic right in our backyard that is just as bad and caused by many of the same forces as that in Africa and that we’re paying no attention to it. It is criminal that we have all of these resources at our finger tips and some of our citizens are suffering this way.
For more info on African Americans and AIDS, click here (and here).
In less than two weeks, the nation will observe Labor Day. Illegal aliens plan to intrude on Americans’ end of summer ritual and launch another round of demonstrations to press their demand for imagined “immigrant rights” (and here).
We are now just beginning to see a glimpse of the staggering burden on American taxpayers the Reid-Kennedy immigration legislation contains. Twenty-four-and-a-half billion dollars for the earned income and child tax credits. Medicaid costs of $11.7 billion. Social Security costs of $5.2 billion. Medicare costs of $3.7 billion. Food stamps costs of $2.4 billion. The list goes on and on. This new social spending -- in the hundreds of billions of dollars later on -- will all be paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Additionally, this CBO report actually underestimates the Reid-Kennedy costs because the millions of illegal immigrants provided amnesty will not become citizens and thus, eligible for all social benefit programs, until after the 10-year time frame reviewed by CBO.
Providing a massive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants -- over half of whom have an educational level of a high school degree or less -- is unfair, unwise and unaffordable. It's unfair to the millions of people playing by the rules, waiting patiently in line, trying to immigrate legally. It's unwise because it sends a message that the U.S. will condone, and in many ways, reward illegal immigration. And, the Reid-Kennedy amnesty is unaffordable because of the hundreds of billions of dollars in costs that will be shouldered by hard-working American taxpayers.