Okay. Are the cobwebs cleared out? Hangover gone? Just in time for the swearing in of the new mayor with his new administration and the party that surely will follow. We see victories in the Police office and Firefighters office. We see some new blood, some old blood, some young and some old, and what seems to be a good mix of business savvy. I for one am encouraged. Is there debt? Yep. Some hard times yet to be uncovered? Yep. Is there a brighter future ahead? Yep.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year, and a blessed Christmas.
On the eve of the "Bush is a Nazi" ads that will soon be flooding our mainstream media outlets, we see the launch of the liberal talk radio station and all the hype that is coming with it. I'm sure they will have a vast audience...ahem. When I was in Connecticut, 1080AM picked up a local liberal talk show host. He was fun to listen to when he talked about movies or TV or the theater. But according to him the US was the worst place to live in the world, even though he had never been to another country. He was very intelligent, one of the enlightened, highly educated ones, and an elite member of the media and we were his lowly subjects. Yet his Yale education could not give him clairvoyance enough to actually answer callers that would take him to task about his factless opinions. His modus operandi was to casually dismiss those small New England minds with a laugh and a flip of the switch. I guess folks got tired of hearing all the doom and gloom and how bad their country was because he lasted less than a year.
So with all the hype I think it is time for some of my own hype, thank-you very much. Since the official war was claimed over:
The first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty and over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.
Nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning and for the first time the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts, exceeding the prewar average. We have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production and there are 4,900 full-service connections with expectations of 50,000 by January first.
All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools and by October 1, Coalition forces had rehabbed over 1,500 schools-500 more than their target. Teachers now earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
All 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open with Doctor's salaries at least eight times what they were under Saddam and pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons. The Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq's children.
A Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.
The wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.
Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses and 95 percent of all prewar bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily. For the first time, the central bank is fully independent and Iraq has one of the world's most growth-oriented investment and banking laws, better than the US's, and finally, Iraq has a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.
Foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for minders and other government spies. In fact, there is no Ministry of Information and there are now more than 170 newspapers. In fact, foreign journalists and everyone else are free to come and go.
A nation that had not one single element, legislative, judicial or executive, of a representative government, does. In Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman. Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.
25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government. The Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.
Shia religious festivals that were all but banned aren't. For the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.
The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of a strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Uday and Queasy are dead-and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to his zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games...murdering critics.
Children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government. Political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam. Millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.
And you thought it was about oil, or a father, or created for political gain. Not bad for a stupid Texas redneck and an administration without a plan that was going to be slaughtered in Baghdad because we had too few troops (or too many depending on what the current talking points are).
Oh yeah. Is this having an impact on surrounding countries? Saudis will hold municipal elections for the first time. Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents. Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian, a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.
What a failure. We would be so much better if the UN had run things...like they did for 12 years...with 17 resolutions (on paper mind you, on paper and agreed to by Saddam)...under President Gore...or Dean. I mean just look at all the attacks that have happened on US soil since 911. Can we be hit again? Sure. Will we? I pray to GOD that it won't happen, not because George Bush is my President, but because I don't want to see any more bodies falling or jumping out of windows on our soil-Democrat, Republican, alien, or otherwise.
Idiot of the month...hey, I realize we are not even through January yet, but this one will be hard to beat: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for this remark, "the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election." But if anyone can do it, it will be Howard Dean, who's own party is turning on him for his ridiculous remarks and for directing foreign contributions to a liberal political donor site. Did anyone catch Joe Lieberman call him on his absurd comments that middle class Americans got no tax relief-there were no tax cuts? It was classic. Or how about him being called on statements he made on NAFTA? Funny. He claimed one of the candidates running against him voted for NAFTA until that candidate pointed out that he wasn't even in the Senate then. Dean's comment "I understand," which brought howls of laughter from the audience and finally Dean relented and told the truth, "Okay, okay, I'll admit it-you weren't there and you didn't vote for it." Talk about a duh!
Verve Pipe spinning. INXS on deck.
Keep the faith.
Private Sector Dude.