Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Passing of a President

We here at TBWA would like to extend our condolences to Betty Ford and the rest of the Ford family on the passing of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Holiday Message

From Scott and I, we wish all of you:

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Weekly Rewind: Christmas Holiday Christmas Version

This week we give you a special Christmas/Holiday version of The Weekly Rewind.

What makes it a a special Christmas/Holiday version you ask?

It’s being posted two days before Christmas… that’s why.

On we go…

Applaud: to a federal grand jury that subpoenaed congressional records from Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) this past week. All of this is part of an ever-escalating Justice Department probe aimed at determining whether Weldon used his political influence in order to benefit family members. (Sure, using political muscle to get things for your family is old school, but the continuning probe into republican and, to a much lesser extent, Democratic politicians using said influence signals a change in the way the American public views such actions… or I could be wrong… but let’s face it, that’s highly unlikely…)

Heckle: to the unbridled and, in the words of the Washington Post colossally stupid, clear-cut racism of Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA). Racism that blatant and unhidden should NOT be allowed to serve in Congress. What a tool…

Applaud: for not following in the footsteps of “President” Bush. Newly-minted Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Generals in Iraq recently, and he acknowledged that they have “expressed (a) concern(s)” regarding Dubya’s plan to increase U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Good news, too bad commander cuckoo-bananas won’t listen…

Heckle: to milestones we DON’T want to reach. With the deaths of three U.S. servicement in Iraq yesterday, the death toll stands at 2,959… just 14 shy of the total of deaths in the U.S. on 9/11. At this rate, the toll from 9/11 could be eclipsed just before or on Christmas Day… nothing more needs to be said…

Applaud: to more republicans refusing to fall in line behind Bush and his thuggery. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) are going to “reintroduce legislation” aimed at limiting the government’s strongarming journalists to disclose confidential sources. Now that’s what I call an –inter-gop SMACKDOWN! Way to go guys. As Prince Leia said to Grand Moff Tarkin in the one and only Star Wars: “

Heckle: to idiocy… presidential style. At a press conference Wednesday, “President” Bush had some inspiring advice for a country that is currently caught in the middle of a bloody civil war halfway around the world and is facing an economic recession, among other things: “I encourage you all to go shopping more.” What. A. Tool.

Applaud: continued applauds and well-wishes to Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) as he recovers from emergency brain surgery last week. Good news: Johnson’s made it through the first 72 hours since the brain surgery, often considered a benchmark that doctors consider a good sign for recovery.

Heckle: to an economic recession that everyone (with a brain) can see looming. “Economic growth slowed to a 2% pace in late summer”, which is even more sluggish than previously thought. What powered this surge? Two words: Real. Estate.

Applaud: to the Washington Post (did I just write that??) for examining White House censorship of former Bush National Security Council Middle East Director Flynt Leverett. Click HERE to see the story on ThinkProgress. And the downward spiral continues… heh, heh, heh.

Heckle: to the continuance of the “President” living in his own little world. While the is “aggressively promoting” a plan to send upwards of 30,000 more troops to Iraq, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in almost “unanimous disagreement”. That’s all fine and good, but it won’t mean a damn thing to this commander-in-chief. After all, he is “The Decider”… I’ve said it before today, I’ll say it again: What. A. Tool.

Heckle: to missing the real threat… again. U.S. allies and other parties fear that Somalia is spinning “rapidly out of control.” Even better: Al Qaeda has established a presence in the Somali capital while a “major war” looms between Somalia and Ethiopia. Once again… the real threat is being ignored as the administration concentrates soly on Iraq… 2008 can not come fast enough…

Heckle: to missing the real threat… again!!! A documentary says French special forces had Osama bin Laden in their sights twice about three years ago but their U.S. superiors never gave the go ahead to fire. An anonymous French soldier is quoted as saying: “In 2003 and 2004 we had bin Laden in our sights. The sniper said ‘I have bin Laden’.” Lovely… we all know that Bush let Bin Laden slip away at Tora Bora, and that he nixed going after al-Zarqawi in 2002, but this is scary. Naturally, the French military is denying these events, but it makes for some interesting speculation. Think about it; how would it have looked, if after everything the Bush administration had said abour France, and all the jokes republicans had told, that Bin Laden was taken out by the… the cheese-eating surrender monkeys French? Hmmmm…very interesting

All I have... take 'em as you will...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

We Have Comprehension... sort of

Stop the presses… look out the window to see if you can spot any flying pigs… call hell to make sure they haven’t frozen over (Dick Cheney has the direct line)...

“President” Bush announced that the U.S. is “not winning in Iraq.”

Well gloryorsky! How about that?? Let us all welcome Dubya to the self-evident point that people with brains came to days weeks months years ago…

The U.S. is not winning in Iraq.

Well, duh…

With normal people, this would be a cause for celebration, as this would signify a new path in Iraq and the chance for a decrease in troop levels…

But this isn’t a ‘normal’ person we’re talking about… this is “President” George W. Bush… and he’s got his own way of thinking (and I use that term very loosely…)

Rather than taking this new-found intelligence and vowing to lessen troop levels, he’s using it as a means to suggest upping troop levels…

Yes… you read that right… upping troop levels…

He wants to ignore what the Pentagon and many Congressmen are saying (including Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee) and is instead looking to raise troop levels.

He’s just living in his own little world, isn’t he? Tell me Mr. "President", what color is the sky in your world?

What will it take for him to see that this war is, and was, (besides being unjust), lost? I agree that we can not just pack up and leave all at once… but a phased withdrawal is what the people of the U.S. and the people of Iraq want… and it’s the right thing to do.

But why do I have the feeling that Dubya won't care?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Color me NOT surprised

A new Gallup Poll was released last week that judged the last six presidents, and it shows that the majority of Americans believe that “President” George W. Bush (R-TX) will go down in history as the country's worst president.

Well duh… seriously, did we really need a poll to figure that out??

Simply put; Bush is the worst with 54% saying that history will show him to be a poor or below-average president. (It should be noted that last week Bush told friends of his that he expects to be better understood and appreciated after he is dead… take from that what you will…)

Presidential standing usually does improve over time. For example, former President Bill Clinton rebounded with 25% thinking he will be viewed as a poor leader, while 45% think he will be rated outstanding. Another President that has seen his ratings climb since leaving office is Jimmy Carter, with 38% now seeing him as an above average commander-in-chief.

But back to Dubya. The man from whose loins he was fruited, former President George H.W.Bush, will have a much better place in history per the poll, with 32% rating him into the elite class and 18% rating him poorly.

So his Dad, a one-termer, will be viewed as a better President… the man who decided to let Hussein stay in power… the man who lied to the masses (“No new taxes… psyche!”)… the man who unleashed Dan Quayle onto the electorate… the man who cried when speaking about his son Jeb… the man who hit the charity trail with former President Bill Clinton to raise money for Hurricane Katrina & Tsunami victims… he’s a better President…

That’s gotta hoit...

BTW, in the poll, former President Ronald Reagan (R-CA) topped the field of the last six Presidents, with 64% believing that he will have an outstanding or above-average place in history.

So it’s easy to say that Dubya is the worst in the last six Presidents, but how about if we open it up to ALL presidents… where do you think Dubya would stand?
In other words, who has been the worst president ever?

Was it James “No relation whatsoever to Pat” Buchanan? The man that was confronted with Southern secession in 1860, dithered to a degree that amounted to disloyalty - and who handed his successor, Abraham Lincoln, a nation already torn apart?

How about Andrew “Not Jackson” Johnson? The Prez who sided with former Confederates and undermined Reconstruction?

Or Warren “No relation to Tanya” Harding, whose administration was famously, and fabulously, corrupt?

What about Herbert “Not the Hoover that wore dresses” Hoover? The man who tried a few reforms but remained imprisoned in his own outmoded individualistic ethics and then collapsed under the weight of the stock-market crash of 1929 and the onset of the Depression.

Then there’s always Tricky Dick, Richard Nixon, the only American president to resign from office.

That’s some pretty still competition mind you, but I think Dubya can pull it off.

But this is neither here nor there yet, this is, at this time, all conjecture and hearsay and supposition as only time will truly tell what Dubya’s legacy will be…

Personally, I think it will be even lower than what this poll said, but then again, I have a brain.

Take it as you will…

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Ok folks it’s that time once again…..stop don’t panic, no it’s not Christmas, that is still 9 days away. (thank goodness..)

It’s time for The “Bush”-Whacked Administrations award winning Weekly Rewind. Alright so it hasn’t won any awards, but we are still proud of it. So let’s get right to it.

Heckle: to giving folks the perverbial finger on the way out. Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise trip to Iraq last Sunday “to thank US troops for their service.” On all of his 14 previous trips to Iraq…Rumsfeld has taken reporters who cover him regularly at the Pentagon. But on this trip, Fox News host Sean Hannity was the only member of the media allowed to accompany Rumsfeld. Wow that just speaks volumes doesn’t it!?

Heckle: to giving a panel of distinguished thinkers/leaders the finger in thanks for their hard work. The administration says that their preliminary review of the Iraq Study Group report has concluded that many of its key proposals are impractical or unrealistic, and a small group inside the National Security Council is now racing to come up with alternatives to the panel’s ideas. Nothing says job well done like a slap in the face from a White House that acts like a spoiled brat when they don’t get one they want.

Applaud: (sarcastically) to good riddance. Outgoing U.N. ambassador John Bolton will return to the conservative American Enterprise Institute to speak, consult and replenish the coffers after six years of public service. Well look at the bright side at least he won’t be speaking to the world on our behalf.

Heckle or is it an Applaud: to results oriented management. Major partners in Iraq’s governing coalition are in behind-the-scenes talks to oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki amid discontent over his failure to quell raging violence, according to lawmakers involved. Imagine, the leader of a country may be thrown out of his office for ‘failing’ at his job…..now who else do we know that is failing miserably ??? I’ll give you a minute to think of it…it will come to you….. see the lightbulb went off didn’t it?

Applaud: it’s a start. Democratic congressional leaders announced yesterday (Monday) they plan to “place a moratorium on all earmarks until lobbying changes are enacted.” Nice thought, let’s see how far they get.

Heckle: your team lost and you still didn’t get the message. After drawing criticism from Florida lawmakers for calling Miami a third-world country, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) will visit the city Thursday to speak on ‘The Need for Assimilation, The Hill reports. Tancredo agreed to visit Miami only if the trip included a stay at a five-star beachfront resort.

Heckle: to bowing to their masters. Federal prosecutors are backing away from some of the aggressive tactics they have employed against corporate crime. The Justice Department on Tuesday said that prosecutors “will largely refrain from demanding that companies refuse to pay for the legal defense of executives who are under investigation, and significantly limit their demands for privileged attorney-client communications.” What, they don’t want another high level corporate fraud conviction only to have the defendant die on them to avoid paying any fines or restitution?

Applaud: to more people waking up. Fifty-four percent of Americans now believe that Bush will be judged as a below-average or poor president, more than double the negative rating given any of his five most recent predecessors. Just 19 percent expect him to be seen as outstanding or above average, placing him last among the six. Comes as no surprise to us.

Heckle: forgive us if we don’t quite believe it. Karl Rove disclosed during a Washington speaking engagement last week that he will not return to his lifetime profession as a political consultant when he leaves the White House. Rove referred to himself as ‘a former political consultant’ and said that he was leaving the game. If you don’t mind, Kemp and I will not hold our breath for this one.

Heckle: what is it that you have to hide? The Bush administration asked an appeals court Wednesday to overrule a federal judge and allow the White House to keep secret any records of visitors to Vice President Dick Cheney’s residence and office. I wonder who Dick has been seeing? or who has been seeing Dick?

Heckle: did we really need a poll to tell us the obvious? New Zogby poll shows that “Arab attitudes toward American people, products and culture grew increasingly negative last year,” in large part from U.S. policy toward Iraq and the Palestinian conflict. To this I can only say ‘Duh!’

Heckle: to the continual Snow job. White House press secretary Tony Snow apologized yesterday to NBC News correspondent David Gregory, whom he accused last week for posing “partisan” questions at a briefing for journalists. “I’ve thought a lot about that, and I was wrong,” Snow said. You know every time Tony speaks without thinking he proves why the administration hired him in the first place.

This last item does not fall into the category of an Applaud or Heckle but is something important worth noting. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) underwent emergency brain surgery overnight Wednesday after falling ill at the Capitol and was recovering in critical condition late this week, introducing a note of uncertainty over control of the Senate. CNN reports Johnson has been diagnosed with a congenital arteriovenous malformation.

Ok, but if you think about this it could also be a good thing in broader terms. Not that the Senator is seriously ill, but that the control of the Senate could fall back to the Republicans.

Follow me on this one. With a majority in the House and only a slim majority in the Senate, how much was actually going to get accomplished in the next two years? Probably not much.... for which the Republicans would be all over during the 2008 campaign saying that the Democrats came into power in 2006 and made all these promises but they did nothing.

Now if the House and the Senate become split, during the campaigns in 2008 the Democrats can point to the fact that the House had all these great ideas that they passed and tried to move into law but that they were squashed by the senate and the White House. We will have to wait and see, but we here at TBWA wish Senator Johnson our best for a healthy recovery.

There you have it, a re-cap of some of the stories of the week and a little political strategizing as well. Nothing like being balanced.

Remember there are only 9 days until Christmas, if you haven’t started your shopping you are running out of time.

Be good, stay informed….later.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

What’s that? It’s Friday? No it isn’t... it is?? Really?? It’s… holy hell, it is Friday… where did the week go?

If it’s Friday that can mean only one thing… it’s time for TBWA’s The Weekly Rewind, our irrevelent…sorry, I mean irreverantt… review of what’s happened in the world of politics this past week.

Applaud: to numbers that tell the whole story. 71% of Americans disapprove of how “President” Bush is handling the Iraq war. The number, according to an AP-Ipsos poll is an “alltime high” (Color me not surprised. And now, with the release of the Iraq Study Group’s report, I’m sure that number will get higher and higher… and Dubya’s approval ratings will get lower and lower…)

Applaud: Heckle: can’t yet decide, other than a big-ol, ‘meh’. The Iraq Study Group presented their findings to the Bush(whacked) Administration and the public this past week. While they suggest the Xxing of US troops by 2008 (Presidential year – big surprise), they didn’t offer up an actual timetable.You can read excerpts of the ISG report HERE.

Heckle: to employers who are as dense as our “President.” The amount of National Guard members and reservists that are losing their jobs, their benefits or getting reassigned from their civilian jobs after they return from duty has skyrocketed by 30% since 2002. (Nice…)

Applaud: to letting the door hit your ass on the way out. Retiring Senator Bill “Doctor” Frist gave his farewell address to his senate colleagues this past week. I tried to watch and listen to what he said but all I heard was a constant droning sound….

Heckle: to bad photo-ops and meetings. British Prime Minsiter Tony Blair visited the White House this week… jokes just kind of write themselves when these two get together, don’t they?

Applaud: to former U.S. U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, who passed away this week. Once a Democrat, she switched to the dark side later in life and embraced the emperor President Regan, but she was always one tough broad who spoke her mind, and for that I respected her. Her policies on the other hand, not so much.

Heckle: to the 2008 presidential process getting a WAY too early start. It’s not even 2007 yet people… cool your jets… I’m talking to you McCain (R-AZ), and to you too Vilsack (D-IA)…

Applaud: to trying to get the job started even before the new Congress convenes. Incoming House Speaker Nancy “I’m scaring the hell out of republicans” Pelosi (D-CA) wants to “fast-track” an effort to boost the federal minimum wage by pushing for a “stand alone” bill that would go “straight to the floor for consideration.” (Hmmmm, maybe the incoming congress can actually get something done… though I wouldn’t hold my breath…)

Heckle: to the Bush(whacked) administration for “considering” doing away with standards that cut lead from gasoline, which is widely regarded as one of the country’s biggest clean-air accomplishments. According to the Associated Press, “Battery makers, lead smelters, refiners all have lobbied the administration to do away with the Clean Air Act limits.” (Nice… if republicans believed in global warming, we’d be in trouble. But since they don’t, I guess we’re fine… yes, that was sarcasm.), This is bad news, especially upon the news that NASA satellite data reveals that warmer ocean waters are shrinking the vital base of the ocean’s food cycle.

Applaud: to incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), (FYI, it’s the majority leader who sets the schedule for Congress) for telling members that they will “work five days a week starting in January.” (Nice way to set the tone. Let me say this: crack that whip Mr. Hoyer; crack it!)

Heckle: to the most do-nothingness congress ever. Upon leaving Friday, this congress would have been in session for only 241 days over a two-year span, yes, a two year span… which would be 13 days less than the “Do-Nothing Congress” of 1948. (Nice job everyone… way to go) Better gird-up though guys, because:

Applaud: to calling a spade a dirt-redistricting device. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated this past week that the Iraq situation is ‘much worsethan a civil war. (Well shoot, that’s what the administration must have been meaning when they’ve refused to call it a civil war in the past. It’s not… it’s much worse…()

Heckle: to slow-ass working. The second phae of the levee replacement work in New Orleans has slowed to a crawl. Why? In their genius, the Army Corps plans to “save money,” and has put their focus onto longer-term plans… long-term plans that critics say will leave New Orleans at risk “until 2010 at least.” (Nice… let’s continue kicking the entire city while they’re down, and while we’re at it, let’s screw ‘em with their pants on…)

Heckle: to this comment from a Bush spokesman “Jim Baker can go back to his day job.” Nice way to have your people talk about one of your father’s confidants there junior… ya dumbass. This is a perfect example of how Bush and his people ignore everything and everyone that are looking to help him… 2008 can not come fast enough…

That's all we have, take 'em as you will...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7, 1941

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."

- President Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to Congress, December 8, 1941

On this, the 65th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we salute and remember all who lost their lives...

Thank a WWII Veteran

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

IRG vs Dubya

Granted, I haven’t actually read ALL of the Iraq Study Group report that was released this morning, (though I have perused it) but I think the underlining fact is relatively clear:

Smackdown, baby! Otherwise known as: Karma, baby!

The mainstream media (my vote for phrase that needs to go away for 2006) began leaking some of the details last week and now are reporting the report’s details in full, and it doesn’t bode well for the Bush(whacked) Administration… especially in regards to their managing of the war… or rather, their lack thereof.

You want snippets, we got ‘em:

"It's clear the Iraqi government will need U.S. assistance for some time to come, especially in carrying out new security responsibilities. Yet the U.S. must not make open-ended commitments to keep large numbers of troops deployed in Iraq."
It’s the second sentence that makes it art.

It’s the second sentence that, essentially, tosses the Bush Administration’s talking points of “staying the course” out the window as the Iraq Study Group report says, emphatically, that the U.S. cannot have an open-ended commitment.

Too late…

Every single person in this administration from the President down to the White House gardener has been saying the U.S. needs an open-ended policy to stay in Iraq until the job is done (what is the job exactly is what I want to know… but that’s another post altogether) and that the U.S. will need a presence in the country even after the job is done.

By definition, this means that the U.S. has to come up with a timetable (which the Iraq Study group failed to do) as the report calls for Bush to begin withdrawing troops by early 2008 (ooo, a Presidential election year… big surprise!)

The report contends the United States:

"Cannot achieve its goals in the Mideast" unless it embarks on a "renewed and sustained commitment to a comprehensive peace plan on all fronts,"
As part of this initiative the panel calls for direct talks between the United States and Iran and Syria, something the Bush administration has repeatedly refused to do.

Let’s see if I can put the above into simple words that even Bush could understand…

I got it: It's the diplomacy, stupid.

It’s not war… it’s not guns blazing... it’s not even getting all “Ramboed” up… it’s called discussion and diplomacy, and it’s worked before so let’s try it again.

"Iraq's neighbors and key states in and outside the region should form a support group" to help Iraq achieve long-term security and political reconciliation -- "neither of which it can sustain on its own.
This passage refers to the “government” of Iraq and its shakiness. Put another way; everything is not ‘fine and dandy like sour candy’ regarding the Iraqi government that’s currently in place and the Iraqi government needs to open its doors and allow everyone to have a voice.

"What we recommend demands a tremendous amount of political will and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government."
Translation: keep the partisan bickering out of this situation and let’s get Congress and the White House to agree

The report concludes with:

"Foreign policy is doomed to failure -- as is any action in Iraq -- if not supported by broad, sustained consensus."
You can almost hear Dumbya whining… though he could be whining about his Daddy loving Jeb more than he… but that’s a whole other post.

Let this be your lesson “President” Bush; you need to work with everyone, and not merely live in your personal bubble where you can do no wrong.

Tony Snow(job) and the White House can’t spin this one in their favor… it’s a smackdown, plain and simple, with a little thing we like to call Karma thrown in for good measure.

Let’s hope “President” Bush listens this time… for everyone’s sake.

Though it certainly sounds like he's gonna ignore it... but only time will tell.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Live from the snow-filled streets of Northern Illinois, it’s TBWA’s Weekly Rewind…

Applaud: to telling it like it is… even if it does come from a republican. Outgoing RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman told a (hee hee hee) somber and (hee hee hee) diminished gathering of republican governors that their party will see years of being stranded in the “political wilderness” until it corrects the screw-ups that led to last month's election losses (hah hah hah hah hah hah…)

Heckle: to paperless electronic voting machines that are being used throughout the country. Apparetnly, according to the federal agency that advises the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, they ‘cannot be made secure,’ and instead the agency recommends “optical-scan” ballot systems. (Wow, no kidding… electronic voting machines don’t work.. I am shocked… actually, I’m not… it’s so hard to express sarcasm in a blog…)

Applaud: to the Iraq Study Group for reaching an agreement earlier this week on a gradual pullout of the 15 American combat brigades that are currently in Iraq. While we applaud this, we have to:

Heckle: to Exxon Mobil’s top executive who said earlier this week that; “Proposals by congressional Democrats to eliminate oil industry tax breaks and subsidies would set a bad example overseas and discourage new industry investments.” Sure they would… and by that he means it will take away the record profits and record bonuses that the companies and their executives enjoy… what a maroon…

Applaud: to not kowtowing to the “President”. This past week at a private reception “President” Bush asked Sen.-elect Jim Webb (D-VA), how his son, who is serving in Iraq was doing. Webb replied with a curt “I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President”, which illicited a response from Bush of “That’s not what I asked you.” Webb retorted with a nice verbal smackdown of “That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President.” (Nice job Mr. Webb… nice job…)

Heckle: to Christian conservatives that, on the day that the world commemorates AIDS Day, are pushing Congress to cut support for President Bush’s AIDS initiatives due to a perceived lack of support for “faith-based” programs. (Let’s see, how do I respond to this… oh yeah… give me a fuc**** break… let’s not worry about spreading AIDS, let’s worry about our (stress OUR) standards not being acknowledged. Idiots…)

Applaud: to incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who has promised to “do away with the do-nothing Congress” and will have them put in hours like they haven’t put in in “ a long time”. Mr. Reid went on to say that they will start off the year with “seven weeks without a break.” (Niiiiiice…crack that whip Harry… crack it!!)

Heckle: to the administration for not only saying ‘screw you’ to various Eurpoean nations, but also to the environment. Saying it would put an unfair disadvantage to U.S. carriers, the White House has come out against plans by European nations that would require airlines to curb greenhouse gases. James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (who has to have the easiest job in the White House) stated: “We are strongly opposed to the imposition of a tax. We think this will violate trade rules.”

Applaud: to doing what the Iraq Study Group wouldn’t do… set a timetable. Britain’s Defense Secretary said this week that UK troop levels in Iraq would be “significantly lower by a matter of thousands” at the end of next year. Hmmmm… maye we can take a cue from the Brits (scary thought, I know) and give an actual timetable of withdrawal…

Heckle: to idiotic changes that, on the surface, don’t seem like they’re gonna offer any usefulness. For the first time in 20 years there has been a revision to the U.S. citizenship test, that’s fine. What I, and quite a few others, find odd are some of the questions, like asking applicants how much the federal minimum wage is. I’m sorry, I just don’t see how that’s a useful question… can someone explain it to me… please…

Applaud: to former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), yes you read that right – we’re applauding Newt. Earlier this week he stated that “unless the Bush administration admits that the war in Iraq is a ‘failure,’ it will never develop a strategy to leave the country successfully.” Wow… that’s impressive, maybe I misjudged you New— wait, what did he say?? Sigh… now I’ve gotta throw out a…

Heckle: to former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). Yes, we applauded him above, but then I found out he uttered some idiotic statements at a “First Amendment awards dinner.” At the dinner, he said that the U.S. will be “forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism,” and added that a “different set of rules” would be needed to limit “terrorists’ and their ability to “use the Internet and free speech.” (Huh?)

Applaud: to the return of Pure. Comedy. Gold. Rumors are floating around in Florida political circles that outgoing Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), (her of the most disastrous Senate campaign ever) is plotting an House campaign in 2008. Excellent… even more comic hijinks are on the way…

Heckle: to bad signs of things to come. SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia: “That’s why I don’t want to have to deal with global warming, to tell you the truth.” Great…gives you warm fuzzys all over, doesn’t it??

Applaud: to even more saying it like it is. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said earlier this week that the “stakes in Afghanistan are much larger in the near term than they are in Iraq,” as it could have “enormous repercussions” on Pakistan and India. Mr. Armitage than went on to predict that Iraq’s troubles would remain internal for a really really long time. (Could someone explain to me how everyone, even a lof of republicans, can see the writing on the wall but our commander in chief is still dumb as a box of rocks?? It’s scary…)

Heckle: to more bad signs of things to come. About $2 billion worth of Army and Marine Corps equipment is wearing out or being destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan every month. It’s gotten so bad that the wear and tear may lead to future equipment shortages.”

That's all we have, have a good weekend everyone...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'll have the gradual pullout, hold the timetable

Editors Note: My company has joined Scott’s in blocking blog access at work, so the posts will be coming in the evening now until I get mine back (I need the access to properly do my job). Enjoy.

Ironic - I-'rä-nik – adjective – relating to, containing, or constituting irony, which is an incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result. See also: James Baker, the Bush family consigliore, and his panel’s recommendation of an Iraq pullout that are in clear disagreement with Bush’s ideas.

That’s right, you heard me…. The 10-member panel calls for a gradual pullback of the 15 American combat brigades that are currently in Iraq. What it boils down to is this: the group is advising that the U.S. gets the hell out of Iraq.

That’s great in and of itself, but the only thing is, they are vague, and one has to think they’re being intentionally vague, on setting an actual timetable.

While the 10-member panel, led by gop lapdogs James Baker and Lee Hamilton, calls for a gradual pullback in Iraq, they stop short of setting a firm timetable for the withdrawal.

Yes, the group wants a gradual pullout.

“President” Bush was quick to nip this idea in the bud.

In a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki today, Dumbya dismissed the commission’s recommendations even before it’s been officially released saying “I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq. We’re going to stay in Iraq to get the job done.”

Sigh… Dumbest. Person. Ever.

What is Bush thinking??? The American people want a gradual pullout… the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people want a pullout… and a commission led by a Bush-family confidant wants a pullout… yet Bush is still flapping his gums about staying “until the job is done.”

Could one person really be this stupid??? What more needs to happen for him to see he screwed up and it’s time to start moving on? How many more people need to die?? How many more lives need to be shattered??

I was never against the war, per se, what I was against was being lied to by the “commander in chief” for the justification for war… and now I’m against not setting a timetable. Let’s be blunt… setting a timetable and gradualy pulling out is NOT cutting and running… cutting and running would be to pack up everything today and be on the first plane out tomorrow, and I (partially) agree with the thought that that would cause more harm than good to the country.

But the idea of setting a timetable and pulling our troops out in a gradual process is the only possible exit.

How long will it take for this “President” to see that???

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Hey folks we here at TBWA hope that your Thanksgiving was happy and filled with friends and family. And since you are full of turkey and consequently the dreaded tryptophane, we will keep this weeks rewind brief so that you can alternately nap and decorate. So let’s get to it….

Applaud: to putting pen to paper. As a gift to our troops the Army is rewriting a key field manual, the authoritative guidebook on how to conduct ground operations. The gift is that it is being rewritten in a way that rejects the Rumsfeld doctrine [emphasizing speed over massive troop numbers] and counsels against using it again. Thank god someone is taking a serious look and hopefully this rewrite results in decisive actions for our troops and an honorable and effective end to our overwhelming presence in Iraq.

Heckle: to backpedaling to late. Tony Blair’s apparent agreement with a suggestion that the Iraqi war has been disastrous was a ‘straightforward slip of the tongue,’ said the British Prime Minister’s official spokesperson on Saturday. Come on Tony, it’s alright to say it, everyone else is.

Applaud: to someone in the GAO using a little commone sense. A new report by the Government Accountability Office has “criticized the Bush administration for failing to check if federally funded abstinence-only programs actually work to curb teen sex.” You know you’d think that someone might have done a little research into this issue before going forward full steam with a funded program, but hey, why should this administration change it’s track record of failed initiatives now.

Applaud: to silence speaking a novela. Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance bill: Not gonna happen. Last week, Bush sent Capitol Hill a plea for a legislative stamp of approval on the controversial spy effort, calling it an “important priority in the war on terror.” Senate Republicans responded with “deafening silence.” You think that after the mid-term’s the right side of the aisle is finally getting an undstanding of what the american public will and will not tolerate?

Heckle: Ok, so they really don’t have an understanding. The Do-Nothing Congress passes the buck. Republicans vacating the Capitol are dumping a big spring cleaning job on Democrats moving in. Congressional leaders have opted to leave behind almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills, which promises to consume time and energy from the 110th Congress. Talk about passing the buck. Or is it more akin to behaving like spoiled brats? I’ll stick with the latter.

Applaud: to still getting the opportunity to do well. Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, who ran and lost a high-profile congressional race in Illinois this year, has been appointed director of the state’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) announced yesterday. We here at TBWA feel that this was a smart move by the Governor and wish Tamm well in her new job.

Heckle: to starting the spin before ball is thrown. The Iraq Study Group is nearing completion of a first draft of its report. The co-chairmen, James Baker and Lee Hamilton, hope to complete it this weekend and give it to the eight other group members in time for a meeting next week. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is readying counterproposals for Bush in case the Iraq Study Group comes up with ideas he does not like. Ok, we already know that George is not going to like what the group recommends…..

Heckle: to color me not surprised. Leaked drug company memo: Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) loss “creates a big hole we will need to fill” and “we now have fewer allies in the Senate.” Raise your hands those of you who are actaully surpised at this attitude among the pharmacuetical industry. Good, I sense that there are very few if any hands in the air. I’m proud of all of you.

Heckle: to again and again having it thrown in your face. A previously undisclosed video shot in the months before the U.S. invasion in 2003, shows Saddam Hussein and his top officers demonstrating not biological or nuclear weapons, but primitive slingshots, Molotov cocktails, and crossbows. Ok, so we have lost over 2,500 men and women because of Weapons of Medieval Destruction? Not the kind of WMD’s that we were led to believe were present in Iraq.

OK, folks that is it for this week. Please return to your decorating…

Be good, stay informed…..later.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Scott and I wish all our regular readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! Rather than infuse our wishes this year with snark, we thought we would let you enjoy this snippit (about 5:30 minutes in length) from what I consider the best Thanksgiving sitcom episode EVAH!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Well, well, well… it’s another end of another week and that means one thing…

No, not ‘Numbers’ on CBS tonight…

And no, not Las Vegas on NBC tonight…

No, it’s time for TBWA’s The Rewind, where we look back on the way we was and the week that was in the field of politics… let the good times roll… speaking of roll, can I get a drum roll please.

No… not a turkey drumstick…

No… not a dinner roll… a drum roll… sigh… never mind… let’s just get on with it…

You would think that after the events of the last week or so that there would be more Applauds than heckles… not so. After all, Democrats can illicit heckles from Scott and I (nowhere near as many mind you, but they can), and they won’t technically retake the house until the new year.

Anyway… here we go:

Applaud: to world-class snark. Earlier this week, after Sen. Trent Lott (R-XX) was elected to the minority whip office, Fark put this up on its site to push the story: “Trent Lott selected as Senate Minority Whip, because if there's one thing that Trent Lott likes, it's whipping minorities.” Best. Fark. Headline. Ever.

Heckle: to CNN’s Glenn Beck. Earlier this week on his “show” (and I use that term very loosely), the conservative nimrod (really… is there any other kind?) showed his ignorance when he started his interview with Keith Ellison (D-MN), and the first Muslim member of Congress, by calling him a terrorist, stating: “I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’” (What. A. Tool.)

Applaud: Heckle you decide as it depends on your view of the two possibilities. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) routed Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) to become the new majority leader in the House earlier this week. (Despite Murtha being heavily favored by new Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hoyer won in a walk. Pelosi and Hoyer have never seen eye to eye, but this new partnership will force them to. We’ll be watching these developments with great interest…)

Applaud: to 31%, otherwise known as President Bush’s AP-Ipsos approval rating on his handling of the war in Iraq. This marks the “lowest level ever.” (Seriously… this can not come as a surprise to anyone… can it??)

Heckle: to a “last big push” to win the war in Iraq. President Bush told his senior advisers (and considering the age of some of them… that makes the moniker even more apt) that the United States needs to make one more major attempt to finish the war in Iraq. He followed that up by stating that instead of seeing a withdrawal of troops next year, we most likely will see a 20,000 soldier increase. (What the hell is wrong with this man?? Even members of his own party say we need to start withdrawing troops… but he says we have to increase troop size… can this man be more out of touch??)

Applaud: to one of the best responses to why someone would run for President. Former Wisconsin Guv and Health and Human Services Secretary (under Dunbya) Tommy Thompson (R-WI) said earlier this week yesterday that he plans to run for president. When asked why, he responded: “Why not?” (Nice line…even for a republican)

Heckle: to delusional acts of ‘partisanship.’ Earlier this week, “President” Bush renominated six judicial nominees (six controversial judicial nominees by the way) that the Senate had blocked once before for being either unqualified or “too partisan.” Adding to Dubya’s view of partisanship, he also appointed a new chief of family-planning programs that has some strict Christian beliefs that some people don’t feel is in line with what the Department of Health and Human Services stands for. (Nice way to show your new “bipartisanship” there Dubya… ya moron.)

Applaud: to the reporting to prison of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Despite the protests of prosecutors who wanted him to remain free so he could cooperate in further investigations, he reported to prison earlier this week to start serving his sentence. (Well… might as well use this space to say what EVERYONE else has been saying: ‘Don’t bend over for the soap there Jack.”)

Heckle: it’s not political, but I have to throw a heckle out to Fox Broadcasting, publisher Judith Regan (also owned by Fox) and O.J. Simpson. The program and book you are about to show/release is the single most vile and ignorant thing you have ever done. And when speaking about a network that carried “XX Island” and “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire”, and whose news division airs Bill “Want to see my microphone” O’Reilly (who says that “Fox Broadcasting has nothing to do with the Fox News Channel.” And if you believe that, than I have a bridge to sell you in Florida, but that’s another post) that’s saying a LOT.

Applaud: to the staff of former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). Yes, I’m applauding them, stay with me a moment and you’ll understand why. DeLay’s staff, who was to stay on temporarily with his seat’s fill-in until the “official” end of his term, walked out on said fill-in earlier this week. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is now demanding a probe of the aides that walked out on her. This woman is obviously delusional as she was also upset that “President” Bush wasn’t on hand for her swearing in the other day. I’m bummed because, as Wonkette says, without Katherine Harris (R-FL) and Cynthia McKinney (D-XX), we needed a nice crazy-woman in DC.

Heckle: to an atmosphere of fear and hardening sectarianism” that empowers militias, is shaking the people’s confidence in the government and security and is the cause of a mass-exodus out of Iraq. At least that’s what Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. MichaelMaples told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this week, which means that the violence in increasing in “scope, complexity, and lethality.” (Anything that anyone says about Iraq falls onto this administration’s deaf ears (Cheney’s?), so I’ll just ask this: “How much longer Mr. Bush? How much longer?”)

Applaud: to the memory of Milton Friedman.

Heckle: to not doing their job properly or in a timely manner. The House approved a stopgap spending bill (again) this week in order to “keep the federal government running” until at least December 8th. I say “again” because there was another stopgap back in September (which expires today, Friday) that was implemented by Congress because… well, because it “left most of the work on regular spending bills unfinished” when it adjourned in early October so members could campaign for re-election… (Well… that was a beneficial use of their time… much better than doing what they’re paid for and trying to keep the federal government running…)

Applaud: to CNN’s Lou Dobbs… he just seems to be hitting the nail on the head every week in his CNN.com columns… and this week was no exception. Give it a read HERE.

Heckle: to high-priced, high-tech pieces of crap (no this isn’t about Microsoft Vista). The Bush administration’s plan to build the “high-tech” “virtual fence” along the U.S. border is gonna cost a lot more than the $2 billion that the “industry analysts” initially thought (color me NOT surprised) according to a government watchdog group said it could go as high as $30 billion.

Take ‘em as you will…

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Democrats 2007 Senate Ledership Team

Ladies and Gentlemen... from the office of newly-elected Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), put your hands together for your 2007 Democratic Majority Senate Leadership Team...

  • As President Pro Temp, please welcome… from West… Virginia: Robert… Byrd! In this position, Senator Byrd will provide the Democratic Caucus with leadership and experience that has been gained from a lifetime of public service.
  • As Assistant Majority Leader, please welcome… from Illinois: Dick… Durbin! As Assistant Majority Leader, Durbin will serve as the Majority Leader's key aide on the floor and off the floor as he helps lead the Democrats' fight to protect America and help working families get where they need to be.
  • Coming to you from New York as Vice Chair of the Conference: Charles… Schumer! Besides being the 3rd ranking member of the Democratic leadership, Mr. Schumer will oversee strategy and policy designed to keep and build support for Democratic values.
  • From the state of Washington please welcome as your Secretary of the Conference: Patty… Murray! As Secretary of the Conference, Ms. Murray will help shape and set the Democratic agenda.
  • Coming to you once again from the state of New York, please welcome Charles Schumer as the Campaign Committee Chairman. Even though he is already the Vice Chair of the Conference, Mr. Schumer is once again serving as Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Considering how good he is at fundraising it should be no surprise that he’s decided to take another term in this position.
  • In the position of Chairman of Policy Committee,please welcome, from North… Dakota: Byron… Dorgan! In this position, Mr. Dorgan will continue to provide strong leadership at the Democratic Policy Committee (DPC). The DPC under Dorgan, conducted aggressive Congressional oversight and created some innovative policy ideas.
  • From the state of Michigan, please welcome… as your Chair of Steering and Outreach Committee: Debbie… Stabenow! Ms. Stabenow will engage Democratic Senators and community leaders across the country in an active dialogue about the pressing issues facing our nation and our party.
  • From the state of New Mexico (wait a minute… there’s a New Mexico???), please welcome as the Chairman of Committee Outreach… Jeff… Bingaman! In this position, Mr. Bingaman will harness the Committee Chairs' tremendous knowledge and experience, and “ensure their important committee work is advanced in a united and consistent manner.”
  • From New York… please welcome your new Vice Chair of Committee Outreach: Hillary… Clinton! In this position, Ms. Clinton will work (closely) with Senator Bingaman in efforts to help coordinate the committee work of the Democratic Caucus.
  • From Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkanas, put your hands together for the Chair of Rural Outreach: Blanche… Lincoln! In a position that was created in the last Congress as a sign of the Dems' commitment to engage and communicate with rural Americans, Ms. Lincoln will continue to guide rural outreach for the Caucus and look for new ways to reach rural, suburban and exurban American communities.
  • From the big ol’ state of California, please welcome the new Chief Deputy Whip: Barbara… Boxer! As Chief Deputy Whip, Ms. Boxer will be responsible for managing and implementing Caucus efforts on the Senator floor as well as working as the “right hand” of the Democratic Leader and Assistant Democratic Leader, she will play a key role in the articulation, advancment and achievment of the Democratic Caucus’ main objectives.
  • And as your Deputy Whips: Bill Nelson from the voting problem state of Florida, Russ Feingold from the Cheese-head state of Wisconsin and, last but not least, from Delaware: Thomas Carper.

It’s beginning everyone... it’s beginning. Now, if only we could get the House to be this efficient in naming their leadership, we’d be good to go...

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Week Ahead

It’s almost been a week since the citizenry of the U.S. displayed their disdain for the current political leadeship and started the country down a new path, and as we embark on the last few weeks of 2006 it is once again time for a little thing we like to call; The Week Ahead. Enjoy.

  • 31%… that’s what Bush’s job approval rating is according to a new Newsweek poll. That sound you hear is more air being deflated out of the gop…

  • Keep in mind that the final session of the current republican controlled lame-duck Congress begins today with legislation on the agenda that… that… well… that really doesn’t have any effect on life as we know it. Unless you count the Administration’s non-wavering desire to push through the nomination of John Bolton… which doesn’t sound like it’s really plausible anyway. And speaking of The Mustachioed One…

  • Keep an eye on Bolton this week… no real reason… just keep an eye on him… that bushy mustache of his makes me believe he’s up to no good…

  • Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he will NOT run for president in 2008 but instead will focus on his work in the Senate. (Unfotunately, this was one of the more-sterling possibilites that the Dems had, certainly better than Clinton or Kerry, and his annoucement has taken quite a few, including me, by surprise. Of course, that means that the possible field has now “dwindled” to approximately 123 potential nominees…)

  • Pay attention to the war in Iraq as Democratic leaders in the Senate have already announced their “top priority” when the new (Democratically-controlled) Senate convenes in a few months. The plan can be summed up in four words: Phased. Redeployment. Of. Troops. (I’ll believe it when I see it…)

  • You may want to keep an eye on conservative pundits in the next few weeks… lest they all commit acts of Hari Kari. Case in point: Bob Novak has stated that the republicans will re-elect its old leadership rather than go with someone new. Novak’s response to that was to label it an act of “supreme irrationality”… and he’s supposedly on their side…

  • “President” Bush’s plan to push through his domestic surveillance legislation through the lame-duck congress ain’t gonna happen. This newsflash comes from both sides of the aisle…

  • Pay attention as Daddy is coming to Dubya’s rescue to try and salvage what’s left of his “Presidency.” Interesting… he’s relying on a one-term president to bail him out. Is this a Greek Tragedy or U.S. politics?

That’s all, take ‘em as you will…

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You

As my esteemed colleague said....

No Potshots....

No Snark....

No Politics....

Just a great big thanks to all my fellow veterans.

And a thanks to the veterans in my family; Uncle Bill, Uncle Fank, Uncle Joe, cousin Tom, cousin Billy (who is in Iraq on his second tour), cousin Patrick, cousin Marsha and brother-in-law Steve. Thank you all, and may the above scene be played over and over again in the coming year.

Thank you...

No potshots...
No snark...
No politics...

Just big thanks...

...from a grateful nation...

And extra special thanks to the veteran's in my family: my Uncles Jimmy, Eladio, Henry & Warren. My cousin Tom (who is now back in Iraq for the fourth time), my father-in-law Bill and my brother-in-law Frank... Thank you.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Well, what a week this has been. What with the mid-terms and the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. In the past few days we have shared with you our thoughts about the election so with that being said lets not replay the obvious and get to the rewind.

Heckle: to being dirty down to the wire. The Washington Post reports on the “heavy volume of automated political phone calls” that has “infuriated countless voters and triggered sharp complaints.” Conservative groups have “crafted the messages to delude voters — especially those who hang up quickly — into thinking that Democrats placed the calls.” I’m shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment….

Heckle: to being dirty down to the wire part 2. The campaigns of Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R-MD) and U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele (R-MD) chartered at least six buses to carry mostly poor, black homeless men from as far as Philadelphia to hand out inaccurate voter guides in Baltimore and Prince George’s County yesterday as part of an effort to woo black voters. Ehrlich defended the practice, saying: “If folks are here from out of town, that’s fine with me.” Yeah as long as you gave them a bus ride and fed them so that they would happily hand out false advertising without question that’s 'fine with you.'

Heckle: to creating an electronic ‘Florida’ virus. In a number of states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah, voters reported that electronic voting machines were not working properly. Among the errors were voting machines not turning on, failing to scan the ballots, and software that failed to function properly. Evidently the conservatives were getting creative since they don’t have ‘hanging chads’ to play with anymore.

Heckle: to grinning and bearing it. In the aftermath of the Democrats taking the majority in both the House and Senate a “broad charm offensive by White House officials is unlikely,” Time magazine’s Mike Allen reports. “They’re not in the mood for it, and they don’t think it would work,” said one close adviser. Gee, ya think!? Is it just me or do the White House officials remind you of the folks you would see in infomercials at 3:00am trying to sell you stuff you don’t need that may or may not work…

Applaud: to not being able to hide behind anything. The election only spells more trouble for politicians under federal investigation who were voted out of office — including Sen. Condrad Burns (R-MT) and Reps. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and Katherine Harris (R-FL) — since it prompts prosecutors to pursue more aggressively a case since the potential defendant no longer has the institution of Congress defending him or her. I am going to buy a bunch of popcorn and settle in as the next few months should be interesting…

Heckle: to working out the details and then conveniently forgetting that you had done it. The U.S. government conducted a series of secret war games in 1999 that anticipated an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaos might ensue. Read the full study HERE. And Rumsfeld was left in charge of our defense policies for so long, why?….

Heckle: to talking out of both sides of your mouth. Federal prosecutors rejected 87 percent of the international terrorism cases brought by the FBI during the first nine months of fiscal year 2006. Prosecutions fell from 118 defendants in fiscal year 2002, to 19 defendants from Oct. 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006. The Justice Department disputed the findings. What, a division of the government that has been under the control of a conservative administration riddled with repeated failed policies disputing investigative findings, it boggles the mind!

Heckle: to I’ll believe it when I see it. FBI Criminal Division chief James Burrus says “the bureau is ramping up its ability to catch crooked politicians and might run an undercover sting on Congress.” He expects an emphasis on rooting out public corruption “for many, many, many years to come.” I may not be from Missouri, but come on show me that you mean it.

Heckle: to just being an idiot. News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch yesterday called the 2,832 U.S. troop deaths in Iraq “minute” from a historical perspective. This guy needs to be dropped blindfolded into any insurgent heavy area of Iraq.

Heckle: color me not surprised. A UN-sponsored audit of Halliburton subsidiary KBR found the company charged the Iraqi government as much as $25,000 per month for each of as many as 1,800 fuel trucks that were to deliver gasoline to Iraq after the 2003 invasion, but the trucks often spent days or weeks sitting idle on the border. Hmmm, so do you think they had more trucks then they needed?

Applaud: to the National Hurricane Center predictions being wrong. The quietest hurricane year in a decade officially ends in three weeks, but meteorologists and disaster managers on the Gulf and Florida coasts agree that the season is already over. We “dodged a bullet this year,” said meteorologist Gerry Bell of the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. “If there was ever a time that we needed a break, we got one.” I think that everyone in the Southeast, Gulf, and Mid-Atlantic states are pleased with the lack of activity this season.

Applaud: to the first positive thing to come out of the Senate after the election. Incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden (D-DE), said yesterday that John Bolton’s troubled nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is “going nowhere.” He added, “I never saw a real enthusiasm (for Bolton’s nomination) on the Republican side to begin with. There’s none on our side.” Ah, Senator there’s none out here among the American public either.

Applaud: to a ruling from the bench that we can all feel good about. A federal judge ruled the Center for Reproductive Rights could subpoena more than three years of Plan B-related communications between the White House’s domestic-policy office and FDA officials. The documents could determine whether the White House interfered with the FDA’s handling of a request by manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. to allow sales without prescriptions. Is anyone actually surprised that this administration would be involved in any attempt to keep a corporate industry (which was probably a big Republican contributor) from extending their profits?

Applaud: to the first positive thing to come out of the House after the election. Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised to press forward with an ambitious agenda that includes an increase of $2.10 an hour in the minimum wage. Her agenda for the first “100 hours” of Congress is filled with items that, though opposed by Bush, should attract near-universal approval from Democrats and could even win some Republican votes. Read about the agenda here. Say what you will about a woman being speaker, but I like the agenda and I am sure the average American will like and welcome a long overdue raise which will not only benefit the hourly wage earner but many other working people as well. I like what I see so far Madame Speaker!

Applaud: we can only hope. Unnamed White House officials say that President Bush is aware of Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates’ critique of current policy and understood that Mr. Gates planned to clear the ‘E Ring’ of the Pentagon, where many of Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s senior political appointees have plotted Iraq strategy. ok, you know that Rumsfeld did not come up with all these stupid plans by himself, sure he had help from the White House, but he also had assistance from his high level advisors and I for one will welcome a sweeping change in the Pentagon.

That's it for this week.

Be good, stay informed...later

Semper Fi!

Happy Birthday Marines

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It starts...

Well… I guess we can be grateful that he waited (almost) 48 hours before unleashing the horror of the 2008 presidential election upon us ...

Less than two days since the American public showed their intense displeasure with the gop, we had the opening salvo of the 2008 Presidential nominations thrown at us as Iowa governor
Tom Vilsack (D-IA) made an offical announcement that he is establishing a 2008 presidential campaign committee.


Vilsack is the first to “officially” toss his hat into the ring… and he won’t be the last by any means. Other politicians will soon follow, Democrats and republicans alike… it’s even possible that we could see another hopeful throw his (or, I guess, her) hat into the presidential ring before 2006 even comes to a close.

As you read this post, former Presidential candidate and retired General Wes Clark is
turning his attentiontowards a possible presidential run… add to that the “murmurs” of Bayh, Clinton (good god, no!), Obama, Edwards, Kerry (GOOD GOD, NO!), Gore, Feingold, Daschle, Biden, Richardson and myself, you have a plethora of possible candidate/nominees.

And that’s not even taking into account the republican side of the spectrum… but really, who wants to do that?

Now I’m sure we all would like to enjoy the euphoria of recent days (winning both the House and Senate while simaltaneously bidding adieu to Mr. Rumsfeld) a little more while we allow our elected officals to roll up their collective sleeves and turn their focus to a legislative agenda that benefits America's working families while at the same time cramping Bush’ s style and marring his ability to damage our country any more than he and his cronies already have.

Unfortunately… we live in 2006 and the 2008 roadshow is going to start competing for our attention (along with early-Christmas blitz), right now…

So get ready...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Caution, the winds of change can be fickle....

Nothing is formal yet but according to some reports Virginia will fall to the Webb camp. This would give the Democrats control of the Senate as well as the House.

But make no mistake, this win is 'Not' a mandate for sweeping change, but instead appears that it may have been a message of rejection clearly aimed at the President and Republicans in general. If the Democrats do not keep this clearly in mind then the cocky attitude of being in the majority may be short lived and could be threatened in 2008.

As of now the Democrats appear to have the majority due to having 49 Democratic Senators and 2 Independents who have stated that they will side with the left side of the aisle. However this could change with a decision by one of the Independents to officially declare themselves to be a Republican. I give you three guesses and the first two don't count....Joe Lieberman.

Why Lieberman? Well, Joe has a history of siding with the President (which is why the Dems basically kicked him out) and then there are the actual votes that were cast in Connecticut.

  • Lieberman (I)- 50%
  • Lamont (D)- 40%
  • Schlesinger (R)- 10%

Ok, take a look at those numbers again....notice anything? The Republican only got 10% of the vote. You know the other Republican voters were not casting thier ballot for Lamont...so where did those other votes go? You got it....Joe Lieberman. It's going to be a interesting thing to watch and see what Lieberman does, how he votes and where his beliefs and loyalties will lie.

If the Democrats want to be effective and prove that we were right to place our trust in them, they need to be mindful of something that the President and the Republican party obviously forgot.....the will of the American people.

Listen to your constituents (and by that I mean the voters) instead of corporations and the majority may hold come 2008.

Be good, stay informed....later.

Another Guest Post

(Editors note: Kemp and I are always proud to welcome guest posters to our blog. After all, inclusion is one of the cornerstones of Democracy. Today we welcome our good friend and blogmigo; Sarah. Without any further delay let's see what is on Sarah's mind on this day after the md-terms.)

As I write this the Virginia Senate race still hasn't been decided. I don't know if I should be happy that Webb seems to be in the lead or bewildered that a Senator that called a guy from Falls Church a "macaca" has gotten over 1,162,000 votes.

Either way, that isn't what I want to talk about.

I know the last time I posted here I wrote about gay marriage, but this abomination takes ignorance a step beyond normal bigotry.

Read the full text of this amendment that my fellow Virginians just voted to include in our state constitution.

"That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."
Mother of God! You fucking morons. I don't care if you have a problem with same sex marriages (well, I do, but that isn't the point) do you realize what you just enacted into law?

Read the second paragraph again. I'll wait.

Do you understand what this means? Neither do I. It's pretty vague, but it sure does open up a lot of doors to deny rights and property and benefits to A LOT of people, straight or homosexual.

I see problems with common-law marriages, people who live together, (apparently a man and a woman living together who are not married is technically illegal in Virginia anyway) same sex couples etc.

If you share a home with someone and it is in their name and you are not married if they die you get nothing by law unless it is properly spelled out in their will. You guys had better hope that probate won't leave people homeless. It also ensures that same sex marriages or common law marriages recognized in other states will not count here. I could go on and on and on about our civil rights, but I will leave it at this - Virginia is for lovers, but only married heterosexual lovers who are over 18 and were married in a ceremony that the state feels like acknowledging.