the true thief, there can never be "ill gotten gains"
or "an embarrassment of riches." What's to be embarrassed
about? says George Bush's face, looking ever so slightly confused
just above the eyes. Then the smirk gets smirkier, a few new crinkles
of satisfaction signifying that Bush's rock-hard greed is infinitely
stronger than the questioner's weak attempt at rebuke.
same with "ill gotten gains." Once you've gotten those
gains, especially the capital kind, there's nothing to be ill about.
What an alien concept, thinks the thief, amused, but only for a
smirk of a second.
W. Bush is pulling off multiple, simultaneous, history-shaking heists
at home and abroad, all in plain site, with the calm and aplomb
of a born criminal, a prodigy, a "natural." He hauls the
people's treasury from the vault, crosses the lobby nodding howdy-do
to bystanders, deposits the cash at the curb for pickup by limo,
then turns to pause for applause. After a few awkward seconds, the
onlookers oblige him.
announces that he is about to seize the second largest deposits
of oil on the globe. Assembled emissaries of the planet's governments
clear their throats to ask if he will be kind enough to sit down
and talk about the matter awhile. Bush shouts that the world should
be glad he hasn't taken the oil fields already but, being the nice
guy that he is, he'll wait until he's good and ready. Well, say
the diplomats, that's reasonable.
$300 billion smile
steals with all due diligence. He disposed of an unprecedented projected
federal surplus in his first months in office, dispensing $1.35
trillion of it to his fellow pirates before anyone else had a chance
to even think about rebuilding the national infrastructure, repairing
social safety nets, or making real investments in education. A year
and a half later, with the nation now deeply in debt and at the
brink of a $200 billion war, every state in fiscal crisis and joblessness
stalking the land, Bush announces that the ten year tax breaks he
gave to the wealthy in 2001 must be speeded up. And he demands that
the rich receive another ten year, $300 billion dollar gift
through elimination of the tax on stock dividends. His own advisors
warn that this might cause a public backlash. They caution Bush
to ask for only a halving of the tax. Bush reasons that the walk
from the vault to the limo is still the same distance, whether with
half or all the loot, and tells his friends to line up at the curb
for the full 100 percent.
rammed his entire legislative package through the waning days of
last year's 107th Congress, benefits to corporate America so numerous
that no single list was compiled before the final vote. Republicans
lined up to pencil in gifts to their favorite special interests.
Somebody - almost certainly Tennessee Senator William Frist - made
sure that Homeland Security legislation immunized the giant drug
company and GOP contributor Eli Lilly against suits for harm caused
by its vaccines. Frist is now Senate Majority Leader.
pointedly did not tell his congressional troops to extend
unemployment benefits before they dashed home for the holidays.
Instead, he waited until the session was over to join Democrats
in bemoaning the impending cutoff facing 800,000 jobless workers
on December 28. The Congress that does everything Bush tells it
to do had screwed up, said the President. He, Bush, would fix that
an all or nothing deadline, on Tuesday Republicans passed a bare
bones unemployment benefits bill, just in the nick of time to keep
checks going to the 800,000 families whose holiday had been spoiled
by Bush. It was an up or down vote, with no debate allowed on Democratic
proposals to extend assistance to people who had already exhausted
White House pretended that it had no hand in "rigging the process,"
as Wisconsin Democrat Rep. David Obey put it. Harlem's Rep. Charles
Rangel accused Bush of playing "good cop - bad cop."
House Republican Leader Tom DeLay accused Democrats of being the
party of the loafing class. "What the Democrats' problem is,
nothing is good enough for them," said the far-right Texan.
"In fact, I would venture to guess that they would have unlimited
unemployment compensation so somebody could stay out of work for
the rest of their lives and get unemployment compensation if they
had their way."
will have little difficulty gaining House passage of Bush's $674
billion economic package. Corporate media dutifully refer to it
as an "economic stimulus plan," while failing to find
a single economist who will vouch for its near term stimulative
effects. The most that even Wall Street economists will venture
is that the rich will feel better if the stock dividends tax is
eliminated. They will look forward to the future with "confidence."
it costs $300 billion to put a smile on a rich man's face.
WPFW: More than just a job
has never posted a job opening notice, but we think the search for
a general manager of Pacifica's WPFW in Washington, D.C. is of general
interest to African Americans and progressives. The radio station's
strategic political and demographic location is enough to thrill
an activist broadcaster's heart, although the past several years
of turmoil within the Pacifica chain will give pause to the unadventurous.
89.3 General Manager Application
radio station WPFW in Washington DC is soliciting resumes for
the permanent, full time position of station General Manager.
WPFW's 50,000 watt signal, transmitting from the nation's capitol,
has the ability to reach nearly four million potential listeners.
WPFW GM has a unique and important leadership position within
the Pacifica network, and is provided challenges and opportunities
to contribute to the examination and debate on the nation's political,
economic and social agendas. Deriving funding from listener sponsors,
Pacifica's position is unique in the current corporate dominated,
commercially driven broadcast industry. The WPFW General Manager
position is more than a job, it's a commitment to make a more
peaceful, more sustainable, and more socially just world.
GM will interact directly with the WPFW Local Advisory Board,
the Pacifica National Board, other Pacifica stations and affiliates,
staff, volunteers, and listener/members.
exceptional candidate will have:
proven track record championing progressive issues. Proven excellence
in radio management and audience development or other comparable
and transferable management skills. Strong leadership, goal setting,
and assessment skills. An interest and preference to work in a
culturally diverse and dynamic station environment. Superior interpersonal,
communicative, and conflict resolution skills. Non-commercial
fundraising skills within the context and principles of the Pacifica
mission. Ability to insure the station's fiscal health through
excellence in fund raising, budget planning, and fiscal management.
Knowledge of and the ability to insure that FCC requirements are
met. A strong commitment to news, public affairs and community
education and the expansion of WPFW's and Pacifica's ability to
reach and provide significant benefits to the communities served.
will be commensurate with experience. Pacifica values diversity
in action, not just in words, and encourages all qualified candidates
to apply. Please submit your resume electronically to e-mail addresses:
notice was sent to us by Sam Husseini , chair of WPFW's local advisory