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Non-Solutions For Non-Issues

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:32 AM

As expected, President Bush today chose Air Force General Michael Hayden to take up the job of CIA Director.

Bush believes Hayden is, "... supremely qualified for this position. He knows the intelligence community from the ground up."

But in typical Washington form, Hayden's confirmation battle is shaping up to be a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. More than his involvement in the ILLEGAL domestic surveillance program, more than his FLAGRANT violation of Constitutional protections under the 4th Amendment, some critics are gnashing their teeth over Hayden's military status.

Their solution? Hayden should retire from the military, thus laying to rest any speculation that he has a military agenda.

And when he's wearing a blue suit instead of a blue uniform, the ILLEGAL domestic surveillance program will still be illegal, as will the largely glossed-over trampling of the 4th Amendment. (A tip of the hat to Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, who acknowledged that a pinstripe suit vs. an Air Force uniform doesn't make much difference. And a Boot to the Head for the Senator from my own state, Dianne Feinstein, who thinks it does.)

Non-solutions for non-issues.

Showing that there's absolutely no reason to believe our government will be any more effective during a Bird Flu outbreak than in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the USDA directed certain employees (namely political appointees) to include Bush Administration talking points in their speeches.

"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," states a memo issued on May 2.

The memo goes on to instruct loyal apparatchiks speakers to advise the USDA's Director of Speechwriting, of how, when, and where such speeches are given, so the White House may be informed of their patriotic fervor.

While I'm not expecting a letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to contain Nobel Peace Prize-worthy concessions or solutions, I'd like to see some more diplomacy coming out of the State Department.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blasted the letter, saying, "This letter is not the place one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort. It isn't addressing the issues that we're dealing with in a concrete way."

In other words, piss off. We're busy planning a war.

Ahmadinejad has already made clear his intent to defy any resolutions coming out of the UN Security Council. He's been quite vociferous about the consequences of any attack initiated by the United States.

Diplomacy is the art of engagement, not estrangement.

The best thing about the third Mission: Impossible film is the score by Michael Giacchino.

Tom Cruise spends the film looking distraught, stressed out, and sleep-deprived. Unfortunately, all of these expressions are the same.

And it's disgusting that two of the three films in the franchise have plots involving traitors-in-place. If I want to see a drama about corrupt, self-serving government officials, I'll go watch the news.

For all its high-tech gadgets, banana republics with insane dictators, arms dealers and other assorted villians, Mission: Impossible is about escapism.

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