Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

I don’t wanna do Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon today… I’m tired… and cranky… and my fingers hurt… can’t someone else do it??

What? He said that??

That son of a bi—… ok, where’s my computer??

Here we go…

Two more years! Two more years! President Bush said Tuesday that American forces will remain in Iraq for years (probably until, at the least, 2008) and that it will be up to a future president (Condi? Hillary? Russ? John? Kemp?) to decide when to bring them all home. But despite ever-dropping polls and a plethora of critics Dubya stated, “I'm optimistic we'll succeed. If not, I'd pull our troops out.” (Whatever. How old are people when they usually learn that simply ignoring a problem never makes it go away? Dumb-ass)

Do we have comprehension? In the same speech, Bush admited that the Iraq War is eating away at his political status. (Well… duh. Apparently the comprehension has gotten through the 17 layers of Bush's hard head, so let’s all welcome Commander Cuckoo-Bananas to the self-apparent fact that thousands of others realized months and months ago… dumbass)

About friggin’ time. Weeks after Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) made remarks about the nation’s chemical plants being a security risk, the Department of Homeland (In)Security has decided to do something about it. Homeland Security Secretary Michael “I won’t let the door hit me on the way out” Chertoff said that the nation must move rapidly to bolster protection of its chemical plants against a terrorist attack and urged Congress to adopt regulations that the industry has already largely endorsed. It’s strange… a few months ago the Bush Administration was against this… now, in a move that can only be seen as a turnabout brought about by low approval ratings, the administration is now lobbying for regulations that senior administration officials worked privately to block shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Back then they said that voluntary measures would be sufficient. (Amazing what piss-poor approval ratings can do… isn’t it?)

The fat lady has sung… finally. The seven-year, $70 million Whitewater investigation officially came to an end earlier this week (Monday) when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the last remaining appeal from former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (Wow, if it took that long for this investigation to end, how long will it take for the investigation of Bush, who has done far-worse stuff than Clinton, take? 10 years? 15 years? One can only hope... fingers crossed, fingers crossed...)

Immigrant wars? Congressional elections are looming… now lawmakers on Capitol Hill are preparing for a major showdown over immigration reform. It should be known that this is an issue that carries an “explosive mix of national security concerns, social pressures, and financial realities”. Hard-line Republicans are demanding that the country tighten its borders and deport all undocumented immigrants with very few exceptions. President Bush and business interests want temporary work permits for people from other countries who break the law to fill jobs few Americans want. Some Democrats are joining with some Republicans to insist that those immigrants follow paths to legal US residency (wherever you may fall on this issue, I advise to keep close eyes on it as any changes will happen quickly as to avoid protests or anger)

The end is near? It’s been about a year since he took over from Tom “Duct-tape is our friend” Ridge at Homeland Security, so how is Michael “I miss Tom Ridge” Chertoff doing? Well, he’s getting a lot of the blame for the inadequate Hurricane Katrina response, the piss-poor supervision of the Dubai port deal and domestic defenses that remain, by most standards, incredibly weak. The White House is denying any calls for Chertoff to resign or be forced out, but calls for his dismissal are still being heard throughout Washington. (It’s hard to blame him for everything. After all, he did have help with his inadequacies and poor planning/execution, but he seems to be the likely scapegoat… be afraid whom Bush would pick as a replacement if it does happen)

DeLAY(ing) the inevitable? Travis County, Texas prosecutors will attempt to resurrect a dismissed indictment against U.S. Rep. “Smilin” Tom DeLay (R-TX). Lawyers will argue about the possibility that the trial judge erred when he dismissed an indictment accusing DeLay of conspiring to violate the state election code during the 2002 elections. The money-laundering indictment against DeLay is still there, but all criminal proceedings have been put on hold until the issue of the dismissed indictment can be resolved. (Just when he thought he could shimmy out of the charges, they're gonna pull him back in. 'Karma, baby!'

The tumble continues. U.S. Rep. Katherine “Makeup is my friend” Harris (R-FL) continued in her attempts to salvage her disastrous senate campaign by taking her message to national television. In an appearance on ABC News’ “Nightline” last night, Harris told John Donvan that she intends to sell all her personal assets in order to fund her campaign. Since she made the desperate and frantic pledge to put $10 million of her own money into the race, her people have made the phrase “putting everything on the line” a new campaign theme. (She just makes it too damn easy sometimes, doesn't she? This is a desperate attempt to save her campaign, and, if polls are any indication, will not work. Oh, well. Couldn't have happened to a nicer, wait, I meant, bitchier person...)

The real end? Basque separatist group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna - Basque Country and Freedom) announced a permanent cease-fire today for its nearly four-decade long fight for independence in northern Spain and southwestern France in a printed statement and videotape that was given to Basque broadcast and print media. Analysts say a concerted police crackdown in recent years in Spain and France, along with the March 11, 2004 terror attacks in Madrid (carried out by Islamic extremists) helped to suppress the group. (Having had family directly affected by the actions of this group, I welcome the news… but I welcome it with a grain of salt and a wait-and-see approach)

Support Bush, get a Grant. Wow, am I shocked to learn this (hard to express sarcasm in the written word ya know). It seems grants flow freely to any group that Bush agrees with on Social Issues. For years conservatives have complained about the “liberal tilt” of federal grant money as taxpayer funds went to abortion rights groups and groups aligned with the AFL-CIO. Now, in the Bush administration millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have flowed to groups that support President Bush's agenda on abortion and other social issues. (Sigh… nothing I can say about this. When the Democrats regain power, liberal groups will be getting the money. Thee who controls the power, controls the wealth)

Lame duck or lame brain? You decide. President Bush “seems to be enjoying his swim,” as a lame duck. At least that’s what Dana Milbank writes in WaPo. Check out the whole story HERE.

Take them as you will...

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