Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

It’s Wednesday, and we all know what that means. So here we go…

Wavering. After making excuse after excuse, the White House is going to be releasing visitor logs that document “when (uber-lobbyist Jack) Abramoff was at the White House, how long he was there, and who signed him in for the visit.” (And we are supposed to believe these documents are authentic and not altered… why??)

Looming. The May 15th deadline is approaching… approximately 7 million eligible Medicare members (roughly half of whom did not have any drug coverage before) still have not signed up and yet “President” Bush has once again “rejected renewed pleas for an extension” of the deadline. (He really does cares about seniors… doesn’t he?? By the way, that was sarcasm there, in case you missed it)

Raising. Back in March, President Bush signed a bill that raised the national debt ceiling to a record $9 trillion… well, it’s not a record anymore as that apparently, wasn’t enough. Signalling the fifth such increase under Dubya, “A $2.7 trillion budget plan pending before the House would raise the federal debt ceiling to nearly $10 trillion.” (Let’s see… first he mortgaged off our civil liberties with wiretapping, then he mortgaged off our military by sending them off to a senseless war that has no end in sight, and now he’s mortgaging off our economic stability. “Please mommy, make it stop…”)

Holding. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is holding up an extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as he is insisting that the House strip away the bilingual assistance provision that is required at certain polling places. In April, King said of the people who need the assistance “either they are naturalized citizens who did not meet the required language proficiency or they grew up in an ethnic enclave without benefit of learning English. If that’s the case, it’s high time they learned it.” (Good to focus on the important things in life there Stevey. Let’s instead focus on the fact that, somewhere along the way, the system itself failed if people were able to become naturalized citizens without meeting the language proficiency. Maybe we should look at that instead, ya think?)

Giving. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan personally donated $500,000 to the U.N.-led relief efforts in Darfur in order to “highlight, and help alleviate, the severe lack of donations.” (Very nice Mr. Annan… we’ll look past the fact that the U.N. ignored the situation in Sudan for so long that so much money is now needed and if the U.N. had stepped in earlier, things would have gotten better a whole helluva lot sooner)

Flailing. It’s not a good year to be Katherine “Captain Oblivious” Harris. Her colleagues in the Republican Party made it crystal clear that they are ready to work for a candidate they believe can actually… you know, win… against incumbent Bill Nelson (D-FL). Right now, with the filing deadline of Friday fast approaching, many are pointing to State Rep. Allan Bense, currently finishing his term as speaker of the state House, as the man who should run… but he won’t be. It should be mentioned that one of those coming out against Harris’ campaign is the state’s GOP leader, Gov. Jeb “At least I’m not my brother George” Bush, who stated: “I just don't believe she can win.” (What can be said about this train-wreck of a campaign that hasn’t already been said but two words; ‘unmitigated disaster’)

Urging. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is urging his fellow Democrats to show some gumption or backbone in challenging President Bush on his Iraq policy. (About fuc**** time!)

Gratuitous-ing. Op-ed plug of the week. The Washington Post’s Cass Sunstein’s “It's Only $300 Billion” (which speaks out in favor of adopting the Kyoto Protocol) and The Chicago Tribune’s Jonathan Turley’s “Gen. Hayden earns his `bones' and a nomination” and a “brilliant!” smackdown called An Open Letter to Richard Cohen by William Rivers Pitt, this is a must-read.

Emailing. There have been 900 more pages of emails belonging to Michael Brown released, with one showing an exchange at 9:53 am on the day Katrina made landfall. It shows that Brown received a warning that “a levee breach occurred along the industrial canal.” Less than three hours later, Brown wrote, “I’m being told here water over not a breach.” (Huh?)

Karma-ing! Rev. James Dobson ran into some trouble on the Senate subway yesterday as Roll Call is reporting that just as Dobson entered one of the cars, the doors closed on him, right across the midsection, and smaked him down by hitting his ribs and his butt. An unnamed Senate staffer remarked. (I guess he never learned the Bible strategy of.. turning the other cheek. All I can say to that is, Karma, baby!!)

Sweating. Jeb Bush (R-FL) has repeatedly said he will not run for president in 2008 when his brother leaves office (thank God!!!!) But, that hasn't stopped both his father and brother from feeding into the idea and suggesting that Jeb should run for President in 2008. (Okay… just stop right now before I start having nightmares about President Bush III… great, now I’ve broken out in a cold sweat…)

Frightening. This does not bode well… a sanitation worker in Washington, D.C. found a thick stack of papers yesterday, nothing unusual about that, right? Well, this stack of papers contained almost every detail of Dubya’s Florida trip, offering up to anyone who found them the exact arrival and departure time for Air Force One, Marine One and the back up choppers, every passenger on board each aircraft and the order of vehicles in the Presidential motorcade. ( Regardless of the president’s party affiliation and his complete ineptitude at governing, and the fact that this incident exemplifies the incompetence of the Bush administration, for someone to allow this to happen is alarming… and I only hope that they can find whichever careless dolt lost, or threw away, their copy of his private schedule and fire them on the spot.)

Falling. Pssssttt… the President’s approval ratings are in free-fall. Pass the word and say hallelujah!

Criticizing A former director of the NSA, Bobby Ray Inman, has criticized the Commander Cuckoo-Bananas’ warrantless domestic wiretapping program, making Inman, “one of the highest-ranking former intelligence officials to criticize the program in public.” Inman was quoted as saying “This activity is not authorized,” and that the administration, “need(s) to get away from the idea that they can continue doing it.” (Brilliant!)

Take ‘em as you will…

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