Here's Your Moral Majority
There's just no point in commenting on something as self-evident as the cold, calculating fascism in this:
"The White House on Friday threatened to veto a $440.2 billion defense spending bill in the Senate because it wasn't enough money for the Pentagon and also warned lawmakers not to add any amendments to regulate the treatment of detainees or set up a commission to probe abuse."
Not enough money for the most wasteful program of corporate welfare ever devised by man! And we'll have none of that "accountability" horseshit, while we're at it; that stuff's for impoverished shitkickers and ghetto denizens. This is an administration that has carved out previously unhoped-for Executive power, thanks to the likes of John Roberts and Alberto Gonzales, and there's no way the Little Man is going to start answering to the American people, let alone Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Constitution.
Why, if we started expecting Bush to look critically at the waste of the Defense Department, or demanded he be held accountable for the deterioration and ruination of Constitutional law, we might actually expect him to put some of those much publicized Christian principles into play and help the hurricane victims. And Christ knows, that way lies madness. As Paul Krugman noted this morning:
"Start with health care, where conservative senators, generally believed to be acting on behalf of the White House, have blocked bipartisan legislation that would provide all low-income victims of Katrina with health coverage under Medicaid.
In a letter urging Senate leaders to reject the bill, Mike Leavitt, the secretary of Health and Human Services, warned that it would create "a new Medicaid entitlement." He asserted that victims can be taken care of by Medicaid "waivers," which basically amount to giving refugees the health benefits, if any, that they would have been entitled to in their home states -- and no more.
As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, many needy victims won't qualify for aid. For example, Medicaid doesn't cover childless adults of working age. In fact, surveys show that many destitute survivors of Katrina are being denied Medicaid, and some are going without medicines they need."
We have neither the time nor the dogma to get behind ministering to the health needs of those of our citizens who have lost everything but the clothes on theire backs. It simply doesn't fit into the Conservatives' New World Order. And we're not going to house them, either, unless it's to sit them on the curb while we funnel plenty of money to our buddies, then shove them into some trailer that will dump over like a toy when the next hurricane comes along:
"These days, both conservatives and liberals agree that public housing projects are a bad idea, and that housing vouchers -- which help the poor pay rent -- are much better. In the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, special housing vouchers issued to victims worked very well.
But the administration has chosen, instead, to focus its efforts on the creation of public housing in the form of trailer parks, which have been slow to take shape, will almost surely be more expensive than a voucher program and may create long-term refugee ghettoes."
Krugman comes to the conclusion that Bush is trapped between being politically unable to ignore the needs of the hurricane survivors, and yet wanting to forge ahead with his destruction of the social safety net:
"So here's the key to understanding post-Katrina policy: Mr. Bush can't avoid helping Katrina's victims, but he doesn't want to legitimize institutions that help the needy, like the housing voucher program. As a result, his administration refuses to use those institutions, even when they are the best way to provide victims with aid. More generally, the administration is trying to treat Katrina's victims as harshly as the political realities allow, so as not to create a precedent for other aid efforts.
As the misery of the hurricane's survivors goes on, remember this: to a large extent, they are miserable by design."
As are the poorest and the working poor among us, and as are the prisoners of war being held legitimately and illegitimately by our war machine.