If you believe in anything . . .

September 13, 2007 by barbara

barbara writes

The Toxic Texan spoke from the Oval Office tonight. Whatever. Here’s a link to his speech if you care to have at it.

Here’s what Harry Reid had to say about it, followed by my insightful analysis:

"Tonight President Bush announced his plan to keep at least 130,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely, demonstrating that he is trying to run out the clock on his failed strategy and leave the hard decisions to the next president.

>>Read on and weigh in with your ideas.

"For months the American people, a bipartisan majority of Congress and countless military experts have called for a new way forward in Iraq, but the President has offered only a commitment to endless war that will continue to take American lives, deplete our treasury, and divert our focus from fighting an effective war on terrorism against Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda operatives.

"After almost five years, tonight was just more of the same. It's not progress nor is it the strategy for success our troops deserve. And as long as President Bush keeps them in harm's way without clear purpose or achievable goals, Democrats will keep fighting to responsibly end this war."

Aw, Harry. You know that thing you said about “more of the same”? That could be applied to the United States Congress. Just tootin’ along, drawing paychecks and bennies, and making very-serious-faced pronouncements about change and challenge and chastisement. Blah, blah, blah.

You know what? I really want to believe in Tinkerbell. But my hands are raw from clapping and nothing has happened. No impeachment for impeachable offenses. No end in sight to this deadly, immoral war. No teeth framing each hot air output.

Today, I finally figured out what's missing. What's called for here is benchmarks for Congress. Yes. Concrete objectives and dates certain for achieving them. Drawn up by the American people. And failure to satisfy those benchmarks will result in Americans withdrawing our support, including but not limited to November 2008 re-election attempts.

Folks, help me out here. Please. Let us begin drafting the U.S. Citizen Benchmarks for the U.S. Congress. What belongs in that document? You tell me.

Posted in


perhansa (not verified) | September 14, 2007 - 12:55pm

1. An energy policy/plan that reduces greenhouse gas emissions to pre-1980 levels within 10 years time. Deadline: Must be in place by July 1, 2008.

2. A summit that delivers plans for energy independence and goals post-Kyoto with the world's major polluters and developing nations. Deadline: Summit by July 1, 2008, final plans for post-Kyoto agreed to by December 31, 2008.

3. A formal exit strategy for Iraq with troop drawdown dates and hard numbers beginning in Spring of 2008 and being completed by Spring 2009. Limitiations placed on the war allocations to limit spending to the safe withdrawl of troops only (per R. Feingold plan). Deadline: January 1, 2008.

4. A formal plan to balance the federal budget by 2010. Deadline: July 1, 2008.

5. Long-term plan for Social Security and Medicare that ensures their long-term solvency beyond 2050. Deadline: January 1, 2009.

6. National Healthcare legislation. Deadline: January 1, 2009.

7. Repeal of the majority of the Patriot Act. Deadline: February 1, 2009.

8. Repeal of No-Child-Left Behind initiative.Deadline: February 1, 2009.

9, Repeal of Faith-Based Funding initiatives. Deadline: February 1, 2009.

10. Immigration reform. Deadline: July 1, 2009.

Congress should be required to provide the American people a report on progress on these deadlines twice a year. The report will be audited and vetted by an independent panel to ensure accuracy.

These come to mind first...


barbara aka babs (not verified) | September 14, 2007 - 3:59pm

Perhansa! I knew I could count on you. I hope you snag the interest of others. Bless you (and God bless America, of course). You realize that all of this feeds those who proclaim that we who find fault with Congress are playing into Republican hands. That Dem unity is paramount in these times. (Good luck on that one.) That we must trust the process. That Pelosi and Reid have a very difficult task and we need to support them. Just sayin'.


Poet (not verified) | September 14, 2007 - 7:30pm

Barbara, your post and challenge above very neatly illustrates that there is a greater problem than Messrs. Bush and Cheney. It is the entire bunch of elected office holders (with very few exceptions). For every Barbara Lee, Bernie Sanders, and Dennis Kucinich ther are 10-20 pieces of silly putty holding similar office.

You remember silly putty--pull it hard and it snaps, press it between your hands and pull on slowly and it expands and expands to take on any shape you want it to. Silly putty is also a good metaphor for the mass media stars who attend press conferences and briefings and either ask inane and stupidly irrelevent questions or swallow whatever excrement du jopuir is being fed to them by those in power.

It's sad to say but what we need are guilotines and a mob angry enough to imprison and behead all the corporate, academic, military, and (especially) banking leadership. The Shakespearean admonition "first kill all the lawyers" is also a good perscription.

But you and I know good and well that such is not going to happen, so fasten your seat belts it's going to be a bumpy ride.

I am sure that was not your intention but nonetheless the law of unintended consequences strikes again!


perhansa (not verified) | September 16, 2007 - 10:31am

A way out of Iraq? (thanks to George Bush)

Thanks to the Presidnets new slogan, "return on success," the Dems have a potential opening. George wants to tie troop reductions to so...Congress should tie war funding to it as well.

Fund the war for three months at a time. At the end of the three months, if there is "success" (i.e., demonstratable progress and troops come home) the "return on success" is continued funding for the next three months. And so on...

If there is no "success," the funding changes or the strategy changes. Or, better yet, the Pentagon has to dig into their war chest and fund the next three months on their own!


Poet (not verified) | September 17, 2007 - 9:48am

Perhansa writes:

Fund the war for three months at a time. At the end of the three months, if there is "success" (i.e., demonstratable progress and troops come home) the "return on success" is continued funding for the next three months. And so on...


HAHA HAHAHA--Perhansa you are shrewd! Milton Friendman must be grinding his teeth somewhere in Economist's Hades (where unrepentant economists are condemned to be "taught" by their antipodal opposites in endless classes forever!)

Surely this is the ultimate in "privatization'--quarterly zero- based budgeting predicated on achievement of predetermined criteria. I love it (he cackles between gleeful giggles!). But alas it will never fly and to find out the reason why one must, must, must, obtain a copy of "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein which is being released today.

The web sitre is at:


A short film (around 7 minutes) gives a thumbnail overview of the book's thesis and today's Democracy Now program devoted most of the hour to an extensive interview with the author.

Perhansa, the prudent and studious management consultant in you will especially appreciate the 70 (that's right no typo there!) pages of footnotes Ms. Klein uses to cite primary sources to confirm her arguments.



barbara aka babs (not verified) | September 19, 2007 - 10:58am

Return on Success. Brought to you by the same geniuses who gave us No Child Left Behind. The party of empty slogans and none but disastrous results trots out yet another. And because they're so damn good at it, the public (or at least some portion thereof) laps it up like Margaritas by the pool. I've managed a couple of businesses, and been part of the financial area of a major corporate entity. Memo pads with ROI emblazoned at the top. Fast forward from there to 2007. Email stationery emblazoned ROS, superimposed on a Mobius strip. Jeebus! These people are relentlessly, openly, visibly dishonest. Does anybody care????