Friday, May 12, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

It’s the end of the week and you know what that means….no not partying all weekend, although in itself not a bad idea. No it’s time for The Weekly Rewind. This is the time of the week where we like to take a look back at some of the newsworthy items that you may have overlooked in your striving to stay one step ahead of “The Man“.

Heckle: to what else would you expect from this administration? The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has closed its investigation into the Bush administration’s warrantless domestic surveillance program because investigators were “denied the security clearances needed to conduct a probe.” Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) called the denial of clearances “hard to believe.” However anyone who has read this blog or kept up on current events should not be surprised at all.

Applaud: to The Washington Post editorial board (did I just write that??) for taking HUD Secretary Jackson to task over his “anecdotal” story about issuing contracts based on political views: “Either Mr. Jackson broke the law and then lied about it, or he lied that he had broken the law. Which of those actions makes him fit to be secretary of housing and urban development?” Couldn’t have said it any better fellas… good job, keep it up.

Heckle: to another black eye for the republicans. (my sarcastic side calls it an applaud) “Federal prosecutors have begun an investigation” into powerful House Appropriations Committee chair Jerry Lewis (R-CA). The probe is focusing on Lewis’ (no this is not Frances favorite comedian.) connections to “longtime friend” and lobbyist Bill Lowery. “As chairman of the Appropriations panel, Lewis has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts for many of Lowery’s clients.”

Applaud: to 29… as in 29%. Bush’s latest approval ratings from a new Wall Street Journal/Harris poll. Hee hee hee…

Heckle: to the US Army for using a year-old and little-known Army Reserve policy. Due to this policy, groups of reservists are suing to have it overturn. The policy bars officers from resigning “unless they fulfill various conditions: They have to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan, work in much-needed specialties, or have serious family issues.”

Applaud: to telling it like it is. A new Center for American Progress report finds that household debt is not rising because people “are using credit cards to buy plasma TVs and premium coffee drinks at Starbucks.” “The real culprits…are the rising costs of housing, health care and education.”

Heckle: this being an administration that begs for things like this. is “offering odds” on whether President Bush’s approval rating will be over or under 35.5 percent on his birthday, July 6th. Bettors can also gamble on the answer to the question: “Will Donald Rumsfeld be U.S. Secretary of Defense on December 31, 2006?”

Applaud: to taking a step forward for what’s right. More than 1.9 million U.S. workers earned the federal minimum wage ($5.15) or less last year. States are taking action by “using legislation and ballot initiatives to do what Congress has not done since 1997, when it last increased the federal minimum wage.” How many of you reading this could live on 40 hours a week at minimum wage?

Heckle: to a bigger Big Brother. As reported earlier this week by every news organization and blog across the country, the National Security Agency has been “secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.” The goal of the program, created shortly after 9/11, is “to create a database of every call ever made” within the nation’s borders. “Among the big telecommunications companies, only Qwest has refused to help the NSA.”

Applaud: to we told you so. The Washington Post reports that Karl Rove “talked with White House colleagues about the political importance of defending the prewar intelligence and countering Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.” Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is expected to decide whether or not to indict Rove for making false statements as soon as this month. I wonder what the odds at are on this one?

Heckle: to another clueless congressmen. House conservatives gave Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who is better known as “Representative #1” in the Abramoff court pleadings, “a standing ovation after he told them yesterday that he has no plans to resign and will vigorously fend off a likely federal indictment.”

I could go on and on…..

Be good, stay informed…later.

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