E J Dionne
First, you might want to send a Thank-You card to George Bush or the RNC for their economic policies of the last eight years. Their versions of tax cuts helped someone, but it turned out to not be me or you. Paul Krugman reports: "Last week the Federal Reserve released the results of the latest Survey of Consumer Finances, a triennial report on the assets and liabilities of American households. The bottom line is that there has been basically no wealth creation at all since the turn of the millennium: the net worth of the average American household, adjusted for inflation, is lower now than it was in 2001."
The bad and violent news is that the religious civil war is continuing unabated, with these recent reports: "A bomb attack on pilgrims in Iraq has killed at least six of them and wounded as many as fifty. The attack took place in the city of Karbala as Shia Muslims marked one of the most important dates in their religious calendar.
There have also been attacks in the northern city of Mosul, still regarded as a stronghold of al-Qaeda fighters. Four police were killed by a car bomb in the centre of Mosul, while a Sunni politician was shot dead by gunmen."
"At least 32 pilgrims have been killed by a female suicide bomber south of Baghdad, Iraqi police say. Sixty-five people were also injured in the attack in Iskandiriya, 40km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. The blast targeted Shia pilgrims, many of whom have been travelling south to the city of Karbala to take part in an annual religious ceremony.
The Iskandiriya attack happened despite increased security along the route."
Now for some old late night jokes on the war in Iraq:
"The Bush Administration said there will be a delay in restoring a newly elected democratic government in Iraq. However, they said the delay will not be as long as the one we have had in this country." —Jay Leno
"The Pentagon said this week that the war in Iraq has cost $20 billion so far. The breakdown is operations: $10 billion; personnel: $6 billion; getting Bush re-elected: priceless." —Bill Maher
"Today, President Bush announced he's been mispronouncing the name of Iraq all along. He said it's actually pronounced Syria." —Jay Leno
"Now there are reports from Baghdad that officials are taking bribes for favors, giving jobs to their relatives, taking money under the table from contractors. You know what this means? The war is less than a week old, and already they have an American-style democracy." —Jay Leno
"For the first time the people of Iraq are united. Today on CNN I saw a Kurd, a Shiite and a member of the Republican Guard coming together to cart off a big screen TV." —Jay Leno
"All over Baghdad, Iraqi looters have been breaking into banks and walking out with millions of dollars in Iraqi money. As a result, they now qualify for President Bush's tax cut." —Conan O'Brien
"The military said we'll be able to confirm Saddam is dead with DNA testing. Apparently we have a sample of his DNA. So Monica Lewinsky is working for the CIA?" —Jay Leno
"We have an important decision to make now about who controls Iraq. You know, that's a critical question, because it's who we're going to be fighting in five to ten years." —Jay Leno
"In Iraq, the U.S. military's whack-a-mole approach to killing Saddam Hussein may have finally paid off. ... The bombs destroyed the area and left behind a 60-foot crater, or as coalition forces prefer to call it: a freedom hole." —Jon Stewart
"War continues in Iraq. They're calling it Operation Iraqi Freedom. They were going to call it Operation Iraqi Liberation until they realized that spells 'OIL.'" —Jay Leno
"There was another war-related casualty today. The French were injured when they tried to jump on our bandwagon." —Jay Leno
"President Bush said the other day the war is not about timetables. It's about winning. Hey, it worked in Florida." —Jay Leno
"CNN said that after the war, there is a plan to divide Iraq into three parts ... regular, premium and unleaded." —Jay Leno