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What a hoot it was to watch the Repubs squabbling with each other over what issue should be their focus in this week’s congressional elections.
George W, flailing in the face of polls showing deep and angry opposition to his Iraq war, decided last month that he could rescue Republican candidates by highlighting – guess what? – his war! Good grief – the candidates ran from him like he was a tub of eColi spinach!
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Senate leader Bill Frist, on the other hand, said the GOP should ditch the Iraq issue and try “to get Americans to focus on pocketbook issues.” Good grief, again! Did Frist really want voters to check their pocketbooks at a time when 80 percent have seen their incomes steadily go down, when health care has become a sick joke for most families, and when the minimum wage has been held to an abject poverty level, even as congress has raised its own pay eight years in a row?
If Frist is under any delusion that today’s economy is a political plus, he should go meet Timothy Bowers. This 63-year-old gentleman is easy to find, since he’s doing time in a Columbus, Ohio, jail for bank robbery.
Bowers lost his job in 2003 when his company shut down, and he’s only been able to find odd jobs since then, all paying minimum wage. So, in the midst of what Frist would call the “Bush Boom,” Mr. Bowers came up with a way to survive: go to jail for the next couple of years until he’s eligible for his Social Security benefits.
He handed a robbery note to a bank teller, who gave him four $20-dollar bills. Bowers then calmly turned the money over to a security guard and waited for the police. Earlier, he had handed his apartment keys to his landlady and said he probably wouldn’t be back. As the prosecutor put it, “It’s not the financial plan I would choose, but it’s a financial plan.”
This is Jim Hightower saying… Welcome to the Bush Boom.
“Just Asking to Be Caught, Thief Solves Joblessness,” The New York Times, October 13, 2006.
“Bush’s Gamble: Turning the Spotlight on the Iraq War as Republicans Try to Dim It,” The New York Times, October 26, 2006.