Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The United States of Wingnuttia

I propose this as the new name of the country we are quickly becoming, the one in which the private values of wingnuts will be the law for all of us, the one in which the government works not for all of us but for the specific political interests of the Republican party. The most recent example of the trends towards USW is here:

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson publicly admitted that he canceled a government contract with a business because the CEO was critical of President Bush. From the Dallas Business Journal:

"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something … he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect — the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Barney Franks are demanding an investigation into this and possibly Jackson's resignation. We'll see what happens.

In other similar developments:

Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" -- saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" -- in every speech they give for the department.

"The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began.

The e-mail, sent to about 60 undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and other political appointees, was also sent to "a few people to whom it should not have gone," said the department's communications director, Terri Teuber . The career people, we are assured, are not being asked to spread the great news on Iraq in their talks to food stamp recipients, disadvantaged farmers, enviros or other folks.

Maybe my name suggestion for the country we are morphing into is misplaced. Maybe the name should be The United States of Bush, and maybe the country should be a monarchy. King Jeb next?