August 3rd, 2007

just Chris

Why Bush Won't Ax Gonzales

I guess the optimist's way of reading this article is this: When Gonzales goes down, the whole house of cards goes down with him. Here's hoping.
Thursday, Aug. 02, 2007
Why Bush Won't Ax Gonzales
By Massimo Calabresi

If cabinet members were perishable goods, Alberto Gonzales would have passed his "sell by" date sometime last spring. Since January, when he first faced sharp questioning over the firing of U.S. Attorneys, the Attorney General has earned disastrous reviews for his inconsistent testimony, poor judgment and for appearing to place loyalty to the White House above service to the public. By June it was hard to find a Republican willing to defend him. Now Gonzales' dissembling testimony about a controversial domestic-spying program has raised suspicions about what he is hiding and fueled new calls for him to go. Senate Democrats have called for a special prosecutor to investigate his activities as Attorney General, and a group of moderate House Democrats has called for the House to weigh impeachment proceedings against him.

Yet the embattled Gonzales' grip on his job seems unshakable. Bush tossed Donald Rumsfeld last fall despite support from conservatives for the then Defense Secretary, and the President chucked Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace at the first sign of congressional resistance to his renomination. So why the extraordinary support for Gonzales in the face of a protracted meltdown at the Department of Justice (DOJ)? Here are four reasons why Bush can't afford to let Gonzales go:
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graffiti monkey

troubled bridges

The visual survey below shows the percentage of bridges per county that are "structurally deficient" as of 14 years ago. Red is a third or more of the bridges in that county. I wonder how many more are ready to collapse today?

Kinda scary to think that the bridges I cross regularly appear to be in the red, and that the Minneapolis bridge that failed this week was in a county that wasn't red.

Click the image to see the story.

Fixing all of our dangerous bridges would cost a lot of money, though, and that requires taxes. Unless we do something drastic like, say, abandon our adventures abroad for a year. Yes, according to a story I heard today, one year's expenses in Iraq could fix our failing infrastructure. Ponder that for a moment.

But there is no political will for projects like this, or for anything that requires more than four years to complete. Our stupid electoral cycles and the way politicians have to focus all their efforts on re-election prevents us from making long-term investments. Makes me sick. We'd be populating the Solar System by now if we could plan long-term... but just think about infrastructure failing out there, where failure=certain death. Do you think our current system would ensure ongoing maintenance? Doubtful. It's just not as glamorous as a war.

I suggest that we use the NeoCon tactic of fear-mongering to fix our infrastructure. Bridges can kill you! Underground steam pipes can kill you! Gas lines can kill you! Etc. Raise the fear level to red for things and people will gladly pay for it.

Oh, wait; we're not actually paying for the War on Terror™ right now, are we? Our grandchildren are. Back to having to fix the system after all.