The second example of The World's craziness was yesterday's story of mad defrauding of Iraq by some of its former pols, specifically, some $800 million from the Defense Ministry (if I remember correctly). The host asked if this was a unique case, or just like general "graft in the 3rd World." IN THE 3RD WORLD?!!????? aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. Beyond the fact that graft and greed aplenty occurs in the 1st World, they wondered at the size of this debacle, with NARY A MENTION OF THE LARGEST DEFRAUDINGS OF ALL TIME, WHICH WERE EXPOSED A SCANT FEW YEARS AGO -- they were in the private sector, but with publicly traded companies -- as much a violation of the people's rights as any government that was INSTALLED BY US undemocratically. (The Iraqi defrauding took place during L. Paul Bremer's late and unlamented Interim Coalition Authority and the Iraqis they appointed to lead the country -- no mention of it occurring on our watch, though!) To add heinous insult to subtle injury, the reporter said that much of the money ended up being defrauded through no-bid contracts. But surely, says the host, no-bid contracts have some pedigree as legitimate, after all, they were extensively used by the Coalition Authority to award contracts to Halliburton and others. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH. This same Halliburton that has been widely reported to HAVE SWINDLED THE US GOVERNMENT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND OUR TROOPS IN THE FIELD??!!!!???? This host must be: a) an incredibly biased ideologue (medialogue?) staying on message, b) really really dumb, and/or really, really uniformed, or c) tryiing to be weakly ironic by pointing out another case where fraud is KNOWN to have happened (and it seems to me likely it was on a similar scale) and hoping his guest would point it out so that his ass-covering "neutral" self wouldn't have to. It sounded to me, however, most like A or B. Ahh.
Just cuz the short memory of the American people has slipped past the numerous reports of Halliburton's malfeasance, DOESN'T MEAN IT NEVER HAPPENED. Ah P.S. Ahhhhhhhh.
Speaking of ideologues, I know that I've thought that David Brooks has lost his mind, but wow... Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson reportedly (reportedly since I can't find the primary source) said of the President's speech: "[Bush's] line that 'racism causes poverty,' and that federal spending is the solution to that" is "not conservative" and "to hear a purportedly conservative President say that is unreal." Racism of course is not the cause of modern poverty, at least, not in its blatant form, but rather in institutional racism, which some don't seem to believe, or which Tucker Carlson (and, sadly his liberal guests) don't appear to have heard of. Chuck D, Rachel Maddow (two Unfiltered alumni!) both were unable to answer his questions about how a predominately black city, with a black mayor and predominately black first responding force, and a governor elected with a lot of black votes, could possibly be racist. (Apparently he's never read Norm Stamper*.)
I hate it when people who agree with me, and, effectively, represent my views on the national media just don't seem well-informed on how things actually work (or at least are believed to actually work by us reality-based lefties).
*From a story about Norm Stamper, former Seattle Police chief:
"His voice gained credence on the San Diego force as a series of enlightened chiefs came to power that, with Stamper's help, made the department nationally famous. One, Bill Kolender, called for an investigation of racism in a troubled graveyard patrol squad. He assigned Stamper, then a captain, to the task. The year was 1976. What he found, as described in Breaking Rank, was shocking. Thirty out of 31 officers admitted to using racial epithets and demeaning terms. The use of the N-word was just the start. Officers said they radioed "no human involved" for a situation involving blacks, or used the code for an injured animal. One cop refused to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a black woman. Another sang, "Mammy's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin',"to a suspect in the back seat of his patrol car. The only black officer on the squad fell into a weeping jag when he admitted that he went along with it all."From the The Seattle Weekly; see also Mr. Stamper on CSPAN's booknotes.