Mad as hell

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Remember those memorable words from the crazed anchor in the movie Network? "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

That same anger is building against the current cast running the nation's affairs in Washington.

• President Bush. The office of the president is one we all should respect, Republicans and Democrats alike. Richard Nixon diminished it with criminal conduct. Bill Clinton erased much of his record with immoral conduct.

Unfortunately, Bush has done much to damage the office with his continuous attempts to disguise his mistakes. To be sure, he belatedly admitted a few the other day in a news conference with Britain's Tony Blair. But he is still caught in a web of dissembling by invoking 9/11 as a singular response to the war on terrorism.

Long ago Bush announced an end to major hostilities in Iraq. In fact, they had just begun and continue every day. And his goal of showing off Iraq as a shining light of democracy seems more distant every day–if ever.

• Vice President Cheney. How many times has he misled the country? His repetitious line that insurgency has peaked or been reduced has led to an increase in the bombings in Iraq and more deaths of the military and Iraqi civilians.

Mr. Vice President, it is time to stop your posturing and predicting. Your crystal ball has been shattered. If you keep watching only Fox News, you'll hear only what you want to hear. Other voices will give you a far different story.

• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The leadership in the Pentagon continuesto play down its monumental errors inpost-Saddam Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Mr. Secretary, Saddam was and is an evil man. But the real haters in the pre 9/11 world were from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Egypt, and evena friendly Jordan. All the president's men were so eager to go to war with Iraq that Afghanistan was left far too soon and is boiling over again.

Democrats, meanwhile, are caught in a bind. To call for any sort of withdrawl, such as one suggested by Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, brings down the wrath of the GOP. Murtha, a decorated marine, is accused of everything short of treason.

• Karl Rove. Judging by past performances, Rove will cast the war as the GOP weapon in the fall elections. Rove will find a way to denigrate the opposition as soft on the war and patriotism. It is Rove's stock in trade.

A few years ago, Rove was incensed over a book by two Texas reporters titled Bush's Brain. It depicted Rove as the inside man for Bush in Austin and in Washington. But he still operates as Bush's political hit man.

Then we have the administration's apologists. Take right-winger Laura Ingraham and her wonderful sense of timing. She ripped the media for failingto report good news in Iraq and watching the conflict from hotel balconies. A few hours later,a CBS cameraman and technician were killed and a female correspondent was seriously wounded. The death toll of reporters doing their job is now over 70. Nice going, Ms. Ingraham.

So why shouldn't some of us be mad as hell?