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Catching Up With the World

POLJUNK has been on a limited publishing schedule these last couple of weeks as I have been busy raising my two week old little radical, Donovan, who was born on November 3. So, let's check in on what's been happening since I've been gone.

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Desperate for anything to celebrate after the stomping they got a few weeks ago, Republicans and they're hapless supporters pounced on the idea that the Democrats were tearing each other apart a scant few days after winning the majority in both house of Congress. One GOP lawmaker was quoted as saying his side was "giddy" over the in-fighting that was sparked by Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi's backing of Jack Murtha over Steny Hoyer for majority whip. Guess what guys, this is why you were run out of office on rails. The American public, by and large, doesn't know what the party whips DO in Congress, nevermind who they are. That's inside baseball that only matters to people in the beltway and those who read this site.

Now, Pelosi certainly employed some strong arm tactics in her bid to place an ally in the catbird seat, but that's why politics is a full contact sport. She was establishing herself as a strong Speaker and also showing her hand a bit. And yes, it may have smacked a bit of hypocrisy when her party won, in part, by promising to end the Culture of Corruption and then putting in the number two spot a man who has accepted more money from lobbyists than could e stuffed into an ABSCAM envelope, but this is still Washington we're talking about.

And speaking of Murtha...what the fuck was he thinking going into meet his incoming freshmen colleagues and telling them that the pending ethics legislation (a crown jewel in his pal Pelosi's legislative agenda) "total crap"? These kids are still starry eyed and idealistic. Why go and piss on their parade before they've even taken their oath?

George W. Bush said during his campaign for the presidency that he would have proudly gone to Vietnam had his National Guard unit been called to action. Well, 35 years later the President was finally called to Vietnam, but it wasn't to fight communism, but to work on improved trade. In justifying increased troop levels in southeast Asia, the Johnson administration said that to leave Vietnam early would be to hand over our very way of life to those who would like to destroy it. Yet, here we are working on fair trade policy with that very enemy. And what did President Bush say was a key lesson of the Vietnam war? That the US only loses when we pull out too early. This is the man we elected—twice.

What a couple of weeks in which to welcome my son into the world.

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