Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

Without further ado… here’s today’s Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon…

Hmmmm… The White House has flipped-flopped (wow, imagine that… what are the odds) and reversed its position and has now agreed to “brief all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees” on the warrantless domestic spying program. Hmmm… something fishy is going on here, don’t ya think?

Doublespeak… congressional style. Sure, to the constiuents and anyone who’ll listen they spew anti-lobbyist rhetoric like a volcano, but lawmakers are still asking lobbyists for money. Case in point; House Speaker Dennis “XX” Hastert (R-IL) once stated to one lobbyist that “ we need to minimize our contact with lobbyists, implying something is not right,” The lobbyist received a fundraiser invitation from Hastert this past week where the “suggested minimum contribution” was $2,500. (Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it to…)

69 That the percentage of American’s who believe the nation is on the wrong track., with 66% disapproving of Dumbya’s handling of Iraq and 33% (a record-low for this poll) approving of his job. All this according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. (Every week comes a new poll and a new record-low… I don’t think anything more needs to be said…)

That’s gotta hoit. And the hits just keep on coming as public confidence in the governance of the GOP has dropped to the lowest levels of the Bush presidency. A new poll says that Americans, by a wide margin, now trust Democrats more than Republicans… on everything; Iraq, the economy, immigration everything... (I’ve always been told to not kick someone while they’re down, so I refrain from saying anything like: ‘Karma, baby!!!’… oops)

The Taxman cometh. The “President” plans to sign a bill today that will extend $70 billion in tax cuts. “It is the latest — and perhaps finest — example of the perpetual motion machine that passes for tax policy in Congress and the Bush administration: making the tax code ever more complex and easier for those with squadrons of tax lawyers to exploit.” (… and this surprises you… how???)

Screw the deadline. The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Charles Grassley (R-IA) said earlier this week that he would get the Senate to waive the penalty for all elderly adults and Americans with disabilities who missed the May 15th deadline to sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. It should also be noted that the “President” has come out against this measure… but Senator Grassley doesn’t care about that. (Another week, another Republican who would rather tell Bush to shove-it then accept his policies… you can color me… not surprised.)

’What? Me worry?’ Friends and colleagues of White House DCOS Karl Rove told NEWSWEEK that the senior Bush aide has struggled to remain upbeat about his plethora of legal troubles in the last few weeks, even going as far to say that he’s appeared distracted when they’ve talked with him. (And we should be empathetic… why?)

Hide and seek… actually, just hide. Almost four years after the detention center in Cuba opened, the Bush administration has (finally) given the Associated Press the first list of everyone who is being/has been held at Guantanamo Bay. The list contained 201 names that had never been disclosed before, yet the AP reports that “none of the most notorious terrorist suspects were included, raising questions about where America’s most dangerous prisoners are being held.” (Sounds as though there is something rotten in the state of Denmark…and it’s not the cheese)

Terrorist Detention Center: Spin classes now forming. The Pentagon is launching a public relations/spin campaign aiming to “offset the negative publicity about its terrorist detention center.” Why? Well, it could be because the International Committee of the Red Cross has said the dentention center houses “an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture.” (Spin that boys… I dare ya…)

The Doctor is OUT. An article explains that soldiers that show any signs of psychological distress are being kept on duty, even though there’s a congressional order that the military has to assess the mental health of all troops being deployed. What’s more is “fewer than 1 in 300 (are) being able to see a mental health professional before shipping out,” which, according to the article, increases the risk of suicide.

The answer is none of the above. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s created a set of flashcards that were designed to help applicants for U.S. citizenship learn basic civics. Problem is, the flashcards fail to mention the First Amendment. The Director of the office of citizenship Alfonso Aguilar, tried to wave it off by stating “The person who developed the test was not necessarily a civics or constitutional scholar.” (Again, and this should surprise us… how?? It’s the Bush Administration, of course they’re going to ignore the First Amendment… and btw, maybe the person who develops constitutional tests should be a constitutional scholar… or at the least have some knowledge of the Constitution… I’m just sayin’…)

There’s no business like ‘Snow’ business. New White House Press Secretary Tony Snow had his first official briefing the other day… it wasn’t pretty… on any level.

Gratuitous Op-Ed Plug. Not really an Op-Ed piece, but a good read nonetheless from the Washington Post. Another plug, this one from a diary by DarkSyde on Daily Kos. You can read it HERE…trust me, it’s definitely worth a look.

Sure, I believe them… don’t you? Earlier this week, BellSouth officially denied that it helped the NSA compile a phone records database. Verizon quickly followed suit and also claimed they did not give the government records of millions of phone calls. Ok, fine, but THIS STORY on Think Progress gives a possible reason why the companies may be saying this… (read it and get chills and fear where our country is headed…)

As the campaign turns… This week, in the saga that is the Katherine Harris for Senate campaign: it was the end of a candidate forum that had featured the two Democratic hopefuls for Florida Governor that was hosted by the nonpartisan Forum Club of the Palm Beaches. After that forum ended, club President Dennis Gallon got up and announced next month's attendee: U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris. The crowd’s response? A resoundingly excruciating, "Uuuuhhhhhh.” (Who needs late-night comedy when you have the Katherine Harris campaign?)

Take 'em as you will...

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