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Lets's talk about democracy
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Monday, 17 October 2005
One of these days USA; Pow! Straight to the moon!
Topic: General News.

Two Chinese Teikanauts completed their 5 day mission orbiting the Earth and safely returned to accept "bouquets of flowers from their cheering retrieval crew." [RED NOVA] This is a big feather in the cap for the Chinese, especially when you consider NASA is asking the Russians for help to get us into space. The Chinese plan on going to the moon in 2010 and they'll probably do it, too. They won't be lacking for funding now that they hold about a trillion dollars in US currency. Isn't it ironic that the country who first went to the moon is not only bankrolling the Chinese but is utterly dependent on the Russians to get our astronauts up to the ISS? [And what about that pesky Iran Act?}

Meanwhile, Rummy is on his way to China for a military "fact finding" mission; he wants to now why the Chinese need to be spending so much on their military: "Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases?" [ATimes] One might ask why we need to spend $5 billion a year on the pentagon when the only threat we face is a bunch of bearded freaks hiding out in caves. Are there any actual countries out there that threaten us? I can't think of one.

China on the other hand might have more of a real concern about a hyper-power with a penchant for unilateral military action with its new shock and awe first nookleer policy. (Oh and, just incidently, is the undisputed naval master of the Pacific Ocean.) Then there's that little issue of Taiwan which we've pledged to defend if China decides to use force to bring that splitest province back into the fold. Just in time for Rummy's visit the US has invited former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui to the US on an official visit. That shouldn't cause any tension between Rummy and Hu Jintao, right?

Why now of all times would we do that? Probably another neocon ploy to show em' who's boss. [We're back to the China is a threat thing.] Of course, the Chinese usually have some reason to be angry when any US official comes calling; if we hadn't given them a reason they would have come up with one themselves. It's always good to keep the barbarians guessing when they visit the Middle Kingdom

Despite Maj. Gen. Zhu Chengu, a dean at the National Defense University, saying China might respond to an American intervention in any attack against Taiwan with the nuclear option, the Chinese aren't quite ready to drop the big one on LA yet. A mission to the moon would sure make the point that they could plant a nuke anywhere on the globe, though. The Chinese usually take the long view on these things, so I wouldn't expect WW III within the next few years but they are only going to get more proficient at this sort of thing.

Rick Santorum:

Our good friend Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is at it again. This time he's finally decided to take a stand against Bush and question the nomination of Harriet Miers to become a Supreme Court judge. He calls Bush's choice of Miers, "the president's second faith-based initiative, which is 'trust me.' I think, candidly, we deserve better than that." He's concerned that Bush "didn't put someone up there with a record we could examine." Not that the Republicans are for litmus tests or anything, but in this case; unless she can prove she's a frothing-at-the-mouth-fetus-defender, who makes Antonin Scalia look like Lawrence Tribe, he's going to have to seriously think about voting against her confirmation. Wow! Not that he actually will, of course, he's just feeling the heat now that he's locked in tight race for re-election.

His Democratic challenger, State Treasurer Robert Casey, is out fund-raising him and is leading him in the polls: a Republican loss of Santorum's seat would be huge. Yesterday at their first joint campaign appearance Casey said he would push for repealing Bush's tax cuts for the top 1% and use the money to help small business by restoring Bush's cuts to the SBA. Santorum mocked that idea by saying repealing the cuts would hurt small businessmen. [PI]

This is the typical bogus argument the GOP always uses: the Estate Tax hurts small farmers and making millionaires billionaires some how helps the rest of us at the bottom of the ladder down the line. By the way, how many small businessmen make over $300,000 a year, and if they do, why do they need the SBA's help? I am going to go out on Election Day next year and vote several times for Bob Casey. (Hey, it's Philadelphia, the rules are different here.) I would like nothing more than to see that sanctimonious smirk wiped right off Santorum's face.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 6:36 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005 6:43 PM EDT
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