Regular readers of this blog know that I don’t much like the Republican government that’s currently in charge of ruining this country. But today I want to cast aspersions fairly and in a bipartisan manner.
Let’s start, for a change, with stupidity, greed, and ethical blindness on the part of a leading Democrat. Yes, I’m talking about Senator Harry Reid, who “accepted free ringside tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission to three professional boxing matches while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing.” (Washington Post) Yes, this leading Democrat who has been assailing the Republicans for ethical lapses thought it was A-OK to take these tickets as a gift, even while working on legislation that could affect the givers. I mean, how stupid can you be? Even if you, personally, thought there was nothing unethical about taking the tickets, wouldn’t you think—just for a moment—that maybe it would look bad for yourself, and especially for the political party you represent? Jeez.
Of course, that’s not as bad as the Congress rolling over and playing dead yet again for Mr. Bush, by confirming Gen. Michael V. Hayden to lead the C.I.A.—yes, the man who as head of the National Security Agency oversaw the illegal, warrantless wiretapping of the phone calls of American citizens. One just has to wonder, will the Congress ever show any spine in defending the rule of constitutional law?
And finally, there’s the new U.S. Embassy going up in
Baghdad, the mother of all embassies. According to MSNBC, “The embassy complex — 21 buildings on 104 acres, according to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report —” will occupy six times the acreage of the UN compound in New York, and will be self-supporting, with a pool and a food court and all the luxuries of home. Now, it’s not that I begrudge U.S. diplomatic officials a decent place to live, but given that most of Iraq is still in shambles, and reconstruction of hospitals and basic infrastructure is way behind schedule, doesn’t it seem just a little off that the one project that’s rumbling along hugely and on-time is the building that will symbolize U.S. presence and influence in Iraq? Of course, we’re not occupiers anymore, so there’s no reason that Iraqis might resent this presence in their country…no no, that would just be paranoia.
Well, one final bit of paranoia-feeding-news comes with the word that Budweiser is buying the Rolling Rock beer company. Man, can’t anything be left alone anymore? Not that Rolling Rock is great beer—it’s decent, a good light summer beer, but hardly a craft beer as this article calls it—but still, I hate it when little brands disappear into the maw of big brands. Don’t even get me started about how the Hershey company bought out Switzer’s Licorice only to put it out of business.
(But…I just learned that heirs to the Switzer company have relaunched the Switzer Licorice company, and made the original Switzer Licorice available again! Hallelujah! Now, if I can just find a store that sells it….)