[Hpn] This wasn't meant to be funny but...

joe reynolds jos_reyn@yahoo.com
Tue, 30 Sep 2003 13:21:36 -0700 (PDT)


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This is from The Nation magazine:
 

Check out just the most obvious pork salted into the President's $87 billion request for Iraqi military operations and "reconstruction" efforts. 

George Bush, for example, thinks Americans should cough up $9 million to establish postal ZIP codes in Iraq. "How has Iraq made it for these thousands of years without Americans helping them develop a ZIP code?" asks South Dakota Democratic Senator Tim Johnson. "It is amazing. ... What a generous thing for this Administration to do for other people on the other side of the planet, on our dime, borrowing money to do it." 

Bush has also asked for $100 million for 2,000 trash trucks -- which works out as $50,000 per truck. He wants to spend $400 million on building new jails able to hold 8,000 additional prisoners -- which works out to $50,000 per bed. "I have a lot of constituents in my state of South Dakota who live in homes that don't cost $50,000 per bedroom," Senator Johnson says. Or how about the $30 million we've reportedly set aside to teach Iraqis English as a second language. "Undoubtedly there will be a contract to be 'bid' out, surely to that great educational institution, Halliburton, to provide ESL teachers from the US at wartime salaries," writes Tom Englehardt, editor of the indispensable TomDispatch.com. 

Once the Iraqis at the Baghdad Fire Department's largest station learn English, they'll be able to read the English-language "Baghdad Fire Department" T-shirts we've decked their employees in. The BFD seems to be a symbol for our whole approach, by the way: US taxpayers have paid for a repainting of the station, new beds, air conditioners, office equipment, a television and a DVD player, reports ABC Nightly News. So the BFD probably on the surface looks more luxurious than most American fire stations. But ABC reports, that "after doing their best for the cameras, the firefighters told us there were still no replacements for the fire engines and protective gear taken by looters just after the war. 'I'm happy the Americans helped us,' said one of them. 'But if I'm going to fight fires, I'm going to need better clothing than a T-shirt. It's nylon and will burn right off.' " 

Sorry, did our shock & awe campaign cost you your fire trucks? Here, have a million-dollar T-shirt. And smile for the nice Americans back home. 

The Bush Administration request also includes $164 million "to improve the curriculum for training Iraq's new army," Associated Press reports. Not "to improve the new Army," simply to improve "the curriculum" for it. It includes $4 million to establish telephone area codes and a 911-emergency response number. It includes $100 million to hide the families of 100 Iraqis in the witness protection program, $19 million for post office Wi-Fi, $50 million for traffic cops. It includes $150 million "to begin work on a $500 million to $700 million children's hospital with all the latest technology." (Because there's no shortage of $700 million children's hospitals in America, right?) 

The request also includes nearly a billion dollars to import oil into Iraq, the country with the world's second-largest oil reserves. No wonder Bush couldn't find oil in Texas. 

* * * 

The National Priorities Project has put together "a state-by-state breakdown of how President Bush's requested $87 billion in additional war spending could be spent instead" at home.

Oil imports TO Iraq ? ! Talk about shipping coals to Newcastle... and of course there is no money for our kids' schools or the homeless or universal health insurance or to fix all the bridges...



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<DIV>This is from The Nation magazine:</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>
<P>Check out just the most obvious pork salted into the President's $87 billion request for Iraqi military operations and "reconstruction" efforts. </P>
<P>George Bush, for example, thinks Americans should <A href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0309280510sep28,1,7349141.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed">cough up $9 million</A> to establish postal ZIP codes in Iraq. "How has Iraq made it for these thousands of years without Americans helping them develop a ZIP code?" <A href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0309280510sep28,1,7349141.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed">asks</A> South Dakota Democratic Senator Tim Johnson. "It is amazing. ... What a generous thing for this Administration to do for other people on the other side of the planet, on our dime, <A href="http://www.cbpp.org/9-29-03bud-pr.htm">borrowing money</A> to do it." </P>
<P>Bush has also asked for $100 million for 2,000 trash trucks -- which works out as $50,000 per truck. He wants to spend $400 million on building new jails able to hold 8,000 additional prisoners -- which works out to $50,000 per bed. "I have a lot of constituents in my state of South Dakota who live in homes that don't cost $50,000 per bedroom," Senator Johnson says. Or how about the $30 million we've reportedly set aside to teach Iraqis English as a second language. "Undoubtedly there will be a contract to be 'bid' out, surely to that great educational institution, Halliburton, to provide ESL teachers from the US at wartime salaries," <A href="http://www.nationinstitute.org/tomdispatch/index.mhtml?pid=980">writes</A> Tom Englehardt, editor of the indispensable TomDispatch.com. </P>
<P>Once the Iraqis at the Baghdad Fire Department's largest station learn English, they'll be able to read the English-language "Baghdad Fire Department" T-shirts we've decked their employees in. The BFD seems to be a symbol for our whole approach, by the way: US taxpayers have paid for a repainting of the station, new beds, air conditioners, office equipment, a television and a DVD player, <A href="http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/World/iraq030827_reconstruction.html">reports</A> <I>ABC Nightly News</I>. So the BFD probably on the surface looks more luxurious than most American fire stations. But ABC reports, that "after doing their best for the cameras, the firefighters told us there were still no replacements for the fire engines and protective gear taken by looters just after the war. 'I'm happy the Americans helped us,' said one of them. 'But if I'm going to fight fires, I'm going to need better clothing than a T-shirt. It's nylon and will burn right off.' " </P>
<P>Sorry, did our shock &amp; awe campaign cost you your fire trucks? Here, have a million-dollar T-shirt. And smile for the nice Americans back home. </P>
<P>The Bush Administration request also includes $164 million "to improve the curriculum for training Iraq's new army," Associated Press reports. Not "to improve the new Army," simply to improve "the curriculum" for it. It includes $4 million to establish telephone area codes and a 911-emergency response number. It includes $100 million to hide the families of 100 Iraqis in the witness protection program, $19 million for post office Wi-Fi, $50 million for traffic cops. It includes $150 million "to begin work on a $500 million to $700 million children's hospital with all the latest technology." (Because there's no shortage of $700 million children's hospitals in America, right?) </P>
<P>The request also includes nearly a billion dollars to import oil into Iraq, the country with the world's second-largest oil reserves. No wonder Bush couldn't find oil in Texas. </P>
<P>* * * </P>
<P>The National Priorities Project has put together "a <A href="http://www.nationalpriorities.org/issues/military/iraq/factsheet03/index.html">state-by-state breakdown</A> of how President Bush's requested $87 billion in additional war spending could be spent instead" at home.</P>
<P>Oil imports TO Iraq ?&nbsp;! Talk about shipping coals to Newcastle... and of course there is no money for our kids' schools or the homeless or universal health insurance or to fix all the bridges...</P></DIV><p><hr SIZE=1>
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