Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dr Johnson was wrong...

when he said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

It used to be true. I am old enough to remember windbag senators and congressmen trying to outdo each other in their pure and disinterested love of the flag, motherhood and apple pie. They were also for the American Way of Life, the Boy Scouts, whiskers on kittens, etc. Everyone knew they were a bunch of humbugs and hypocrites, but what the hell; you might say they were on the side of the angels just the same. None of them maligned our servicemen or said that America (Amerikkka) was corrupt or evil.

I actually miss those guys. Now, the last refuge of scoundrels is the old bait and switch attack on our country, the military, and the commander-in-chief.

A perfect example is John Murtha.

In 2001, Murtha announced the creation of Scialabba's nonprofit agency for the disabled in Johnstown, Pa. The next year, with Scialabba still on his staff, Murtha secured a half-million dollars for the group, the Pennsylvania Association for Individuals With Disabilities (PAID), and put another $150,000 in the pipeline for 2003, according to appropriations committee records and former committee aides. Since then, the group has helped hundreds of disabled people find work.

But the group serves another function as well. PAID has become a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists with business before Murtha's defense appropriations subcommittee, and for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money obtained by Murtha.

Lobbyists and corporate officials serve as directors on the nonprofit group's board, where they help raise money and find jobs for Johnstown's disabled workers. Some of those lobbyists have served as intermediaries between the defense contractors and businessmen on the board, and Murtha and his aides.

That arrangement over the years has yielded millions of dollars in federal support for the contractors, businesses and universities, and hundreds of thousands in consulting and lobbying fees to Murtha's favored lobbying shops, according to Federal Election Commission records and lobbying disclosure forms. In turn, many of PAID's directors have kept Murtha's campaigns flush with cash.

In order to divert the voters' attention from his dirty dealings, he calls our military forces murderous crazed lunatics.

Unfortunately, the voters drank the kool-aid so obligingly served to them.

According to Texas rainmaker, the story was published in the WaPo on Christmas Day, when the electorate were busy emptying their Christmas stockings.

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