Friday, January 28, 2005

Bush Backpedals

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is reporting that the Bush Administration has notified the Millennium Challenge Corporation that he is not going to provide funding as promised:

The president quietly notified the Millennium Challenge Corp., a newly created foreign-aid agency, that his proposed fiscal 2006 budget likely will include billions of dollars less than he promised during his first term. Mr. Bush's budget plan, scheduled for release early next month, also includes an increase in global anti-AIDS funding that is much smaller than the pledge he made when announcing an ambitious health initiative two years ago.

The shortfalls are raising alarm among health and antipoverty activists who had rallied to the president's side when he promised tens of billions of dollars to help developing nations in Africa and elsewhere.

The deficit outlook continues to look bleak, the troops in Iraq (and Afghanistan) are in want of more money and equipment (as they certainly should have), and the poor it seems are going to be neglected too.

Inauguration Day Observations
Land of the scared and home of the boob. Although it is a celebration of American democracy for Americans, this political celebration seemed to highlight that they are not like other countries. Having a big bash like that for a swearing-in ceremony to start with seems a bit over the top in my opinion. And then, for this particular event there was security like a police state, a president too scared to get out his car and when he did he was surrounded by goons. And this was right after he had given a speech about being free and spreading freedom!? It was a weird mix of war-time security (or paranoia) and boon time parties and extravagance. It made me nauseous.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui