Rose Bouquet (Marc Amos)FDL’s Christy returned from a well-deserved vacation and asked whether anything had happened. It’s my job to update her, so . . .

Looking back, it seems nothing changed this last week. It’s same old, same old.

According to David Brooks’ [Thursday] column and appearances on News Hour and This Week (confirmed by Clarence Page on CNN), Obama adopted the Bush II (2005-08) not so bad terror policies, which Condi "we didn’t torture, but if Bush does it, it must be legal" Rice had managed to salvage by slaying Dick Cheney, who’s ghost emerged to become rhetorical head of the crazy 21 percent still left in the Republican Party so that he could argue against being prosecuted for war crimes, which we should not pursue because it would upset the Washington Post.

Cheney opposed the Obama policies on Gitmo, detention and torture by arguing that they’ll lead to al Qaeda nuking Montana when they break out of the local jail, which had to lay off people during the economic recession that was not caused by anything done in the last Administration[s]. He has to oppose Obama’s policies because they were either the same as or different from the Bush II policies, which Rice imposed on Cheney but which Obama rejected in the campaign because he didn’t think we would vote for Bush III but which we now think look like Bush II, or is it Bush I?

Early in the week, some hippies — defined as anyone who still believes in the Constitition and the rule of law — went to the WH to be told by the President himself that, in his view, they are hippies.

Meanwhile, a House Committee adopted a far-reaching proposal for climate change (but only if the proposal itself is changed), an initiative Obama campaigned on. The bill works by setting CO 2 reduction targets while giving way 85% of the compliance/price incentives until 2026, even though Obama said he wanted 100% not given away. But he then praised the House’ noble effort, knowing that by the time it gets out of the Ag Committee, which wants to protect corn growers, and out of Ways and Means, which doesn’t vote for anything that looks or works like a tax on carbon use that might actually work, and out of the Senate, which thinks the most sensible way to reform the banking industry’s credit card abuse is to allow crazies to carry automatic weapons in Yellowstone and Yosemite, which apparently Obama agrees with because he signed the bill, not having discovered that he’s allowed to veto really stupid stuff . . . so there will likely be little left of climate change unless a miracle happens.

To everyone’s/no one’s surprise, the coal industry apparently won (which caused their stocks to go up), unless state regulators figure this out, and we are betting a cool $100 billion on carbon capture/sequestration, when all the scientists are telling us they don’t have a clue how to make this work, but never mind, because we’ve put science back in its rightful place: on the shelf when it really matters.

And on health reform, the Senate Committee looking at this has already reformed the Senate process so that anyone who advocates single payer is excluded from the hearings, and if they protest, they’re seized and escorted out of the hearing room so they won’t upset the non-reform effort.

In the meantime, the health insurance industry openly betrayed Obama, who said he appreciates their good faith cooperation in not really promising to reduce health care costs by $2 trillion, by trotting out the next generation of Harry and Louise ads, all for the purpose of killing off the only remaining reform of creating a "public health option" to compete with the private insurance options, because they’re so concentrated that effective competition is impossible, so why are we even talking about that?

But not to worry, because 28 Senators have endorsed a public insurance "pool," which they sometimes call an "exchange," having confused that with a public health plan option, which should not be confused with a public health insurance option, which Senator Schumer has offered to water down so that whatever competition it offers to private insurance will be so diluted and hand-behind-its back hobbled that it won’t really threaten the private insurance industry, which won’t allow it anyway because they want everyone to be forced by the government to purchase private insurance, which is exactly the problem and failed model that reform should be trying to get rid of and/or cut down to size.

The Republicans clamored even louder for Nancy Pelosi’s resignation, after she committed the unpardonable sin of suggesting the CIA, whose duty is to lie to some people all of the time, and to all of the people some of the time, and who during the lead up to Iraq joined with others to lie to all of the people all of the time, has not always told Congress the truth, but of course, we know from George Tenet that whatever the spooks said that Cheney’s/Rumsfeld’s boys told them to say was a slam dunk. According to emptywheel, the media has done its usual excellent job of sorting out who said what. Thank the dogs for McClatchy.

But there are the usual hopeful signs. Today, George Will said that we should not bail out California because letting them fail is the only way they will learn, thus elevating the principle of public and government accountability to its rightful and lofty position, just as it was during the previous Administration that George held in such high esteem and which principles he himself aspires to, as exemplified by his unwavering adherence to truth [when Krugman’s on the same panel to correct him] and his belief that he should not be summarily fired for writing columns repeatedly misrepresenting climate change and melting ice caps even after his own editors, having ignored the scandal for weeks, finally corrected him.

Nothing new here. Welcome back.

p.s. I regret to say that every point is true, but don’t make me find the links again; it’s too depressing.

(image courtesy of Marc Amos)



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley