This time in 2008 I recall vividly looking forward with hope unbound, to all manner of possibilities. The long forlorn that was the Bush-Republican sham had been so much like an all encompassing flu: it had savaged my head with the most unrelenting and tortuous aches and my stomach and gut with endless spasms of the most awful retching, and it had absolutely refused to go away . . . was actually going away! The sun was going to rise, bright and golden! Flowers would once again bloom in the fields! Songbirds would fill the cloudless azure skies with glorious melodies!
Sure, the country was wracked with troubles. But . . . given the cup overflowing with hope and the genetically American DNA to work willingly and cooperatively, what challenge could withstand such a barrage? One at a time, in short course, of course the dominoes of despair would fall.
Understand that 2009 did not actually commence until Marine 1, with the Decider strapped aboard, disappeared into the gray Washington sky. We all bid good-bye to the 2,922 days too long in office president with our own 1-finger signing statement salute.
Goodnight and thank you George W
You've completed your task
What more can we ask of you now?
Please sign the book on the way out the door
And that will be all, if we need you we'll call
But I don't think that's likely somehow.
We were just plain giddy . . . this time last year. This year what I feel, and what I sense much of the country feels is fatigue; fatigue born of repetitious let down. Sort of disappointment, but, well, more disappointing. Somehow. Just . . . let down. It's like, you say 2009 is saying goodbye and 2010 is at the door, waiting to be let in, like the cat. And I'm just so So what?
We learned two things yesterday: The public option had been sent to the public restroom; flush, it's gone. Was it ever here? I don't know . . . don't see a trace of it anywhere. Do you? And also in the Senate were seated at the witness table General David Petraeus, Ambassador to Afghanistan, retired General Karl Eikenberry, and Deputy Secretary Jack Lew. When New Jersey's Democratic Senator Bob Menendez accessed his six minutes to either address or inquire of the witnesses, escorted into the hearing was an estimate from Harmid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, that if everything goes as hoped (Interpreted here and translated yesterday by Senator Menendez as So long as the US keeps the funds rolling in and the troops at the ready, as in ready to be blown to bits or shattered like top-quality crystal, which they are, you know.), Afghanistan should be able to fully defend itself by 2024.
Wait. I am very certain you did not hear and ingest that fully. Let me raise the amplitude to say, 2024!
2024 is more a WTF year than anything comprehensible. See, Menendez was trying to attach some sort of cost figures to what another 15 years there might be to the American taxpayer. No one at the witness table would hazard a guess.
Let me see if I understand this. The Republicans in the Senate, along with a handful of Republicans in sheep's clothing so-called Democrats and the Joe the Quisling Lieberman, have eviscerated the health care reform bill of anything reformative on the premise that it would represent a huge government entitlement the country cannot afford. And they are so money conscious, these Republicans and the conserva-Dems. Nonetheless, another 15 years in Afghanistan at . . . (Going to my calculator here) . . . chata, chata, chata, punch number, crunch numbers . . . THATS ONE HELLOVA LOT OF MONEY folks.
Eight years so far in Iraq and Afghanistan and we're heading north of $3 TRILLION! So, divide $3,000,000,000,000 by 8, then times that by 15, equals . . .. Hey! I ain't got it. Let's see if China does.
And not a one of those GOP guys even flinched. What gnaws at my brain is Whatever happened to the chorus, you know, the one that went something like, Don't lay this on the kids and grandkids'? Add, a few days ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took any suggestion of a war-tax, to pay for the wars, off the table, and are there any adults in Washington, or is it just another session of Play School?
I realize it's Christmastime and all the health insurance company execs, regardless of religious predisposition, are ready to receive their gifts from congress and the White House; Deck corner suites with truckloads of dollars, fa la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Hey! Joe the laid-off and uninsured Schmo, you, over there, you're not singing. What, no Christmas spirit?
Wanna know what I want for Christmas? It's not one of Obama's speeches. Man, I've got them coming out the stockings hung by the chimney with care, and under the tree, and out every window. And they're not returnable. Nope, no more speech. SPIT! Spit is what I want to see. I want to see Obama and Reid and Pelosi at a Spit-In, where legitimate anger is accompanied by spittle flying along with, Americans don't want to send any more troops to Afghanistan, they want jobs and they want a strong public option in the health reform bill. Those are the lines, dammit! Spit, spit, spit.
But, back to Afghanistan. Let's recap. To see if we've got this right; according to the generals.
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