Sunday, February 3, 2013

Randi Rhodes: Tag Team

The jobs figures for January are out. The private sector added 166,000 jobs last month. But once again we lost public sector jobs—last month we lost 9,000 government jobs. Republicans in Congress won’t be satisfied until theirs are the only government jobs there are left. More

In the Senate hearings on the confirmation of Chuck Hagel yesterday, Afghanistan was mentioned just 20 times. Israel was mentioned 166 times. OK, enough, Republicans! If your point is that Chuck Hagel should not be the Defense Minister of Israel, I completely agree.

Hagel wasn’t prepared for how combative John McCain was. There are only two things you can expect from John McCain—anger or confusion. And this hearing took place in the morning, when the anger was fresh, and before the confusion set in. Yes, Chuck Hegel questioned the surge—the surge was essentially doubling down on the biggest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam. John McCain is trying to rewrite history to make the surge seem like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae of Iraq. The surge was a painful but possibly necessary step to put an end to something ugly. It was essentially popping the pimple that was Iraq.

In Alabama, the hostage stand-off in the bunker with suspect Jimmy Lee Dykes continues. Does everybody in these situations have to have a name that sounds like a character on The Dukes of Hazzard? Dykes fired shots at his neighbors in a dispute over a damaged speed bump. Welcome to the future of conflict resolution, if the NRA gets their way. A New York Times article about the situation says that locals describe Dykes as a man who hates the government and has been in legal trouble for firing a gun at his neighbors. In other words, he didn’t really stand out. The man has built a bunker out of cinderblocks and PVC pipe. Here’s a little advice for anti-government types—if you can get the materials for your bunker from Home Depot, chances are not good that it can resist an assault from the US military. If this guy didn’t have a hostage, the government wouldn’t exactly need a high-tech bunker buster bomb. They could do the job with a sledgehammer and a shovel.

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