The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Politics and "politics."

An illuminating post at Daily Kos points out the disingenuousness of our foreign policy. When we promote our agenda in a thoroughly hostile nation, that's goodwill. When another nation outdoes us on the charity front, that's propaganda.

On a personal note, I have yet to turn my heat on this winter. That's the life of a student for ya. Luckily for me, it's been mild. If I had to cover the $400 per month bill my folks have been paying, I'd be on the streets. Which really makes you wonder about those multi-billion dollar subsidies our government is still handing out to big oil companies-- you know, those guys making unprecedented profits.

What does the incumbent party say about inexpensive heating oil for Americans? That Venezuela is full of damn, dirty rats:

The House Energy chairman said Thursday he suspects politics, not charity, is behind the Venezeulan offer to provide cheap heating oil to poor Americans.

They said they are concerned the oil deals are "part of an unfriendly government's increasingly belligerent and hostile foreign policy toward" the United States.

What do they say about efforts to Farsi-language broadcasts into Iran? Charity, naturally. But definitely not politics.

The bulk of the money, $50 million, would go toward establishing a round-the-clock television broadcast into Iran in Farsi, according to a state department official, along with improvements to radio and satellite broadcasting.

"The regime's policies are risking the total isolation of Iran, and the people of Iran shouldn't suffer from that," Ms. Rice told the Senate panel.

Ahhh, the homes I could heat with $50 million dollars. And weren't these guys adamantly opposed to intervensionism and 'nation-building' back in 2000? (For you slowpokes out there: Yes, they were.) Seems to me as though that kind of dough could also save some lives in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have already died.

Speaking of the House Energy Chair stepping down, though, you might recall that the last Chair, Louisiana's Billy Tauzin, stepped down in February of 2004-- and immediatley became one of the highest-paid lobbyists in Washington on behalf of... energy companies. I believe the current Chair is California Republican Bill Thomas, who in April 2005 fought for energy company tax breaks. Welcome to government by CEOs, for CEOs.

Which reminds me of the other phrase that makes my flesh crawl every time I hear it these days. "Playing politics." When you hear a Republican utter those words, you know it involves the public getting screwed.