Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

Rising They have record-low approval numbers and people don’t trust them but none of that matters as House lawmakers received a pay raise of $3,300, which increases their salaries to $168,500nice work if you can get it.

Scalping a GAO report reports (??) that FEMA handed out $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to “victims” of last year’s Hurricanes (Katrina & Rita). The money has gone to pay for, among other things, New Orleans Saints football tickets, tropical vacations, “adult erotica products,” and “Girls Gone Wild” videos. Seems that FEMA doesn’t have any safeguards to combat this kind of thing. Nice. Here’s an idea for all of you at FEMA, maybe you should create some safeguards to ensure that this doesn’t happen again… just a thought…

Failing An educational study from Harvard finds that No Child Left Behind is “failing to close racial achievement gaps and will miss its goals by 2014 according to recent trends.” Additionaly, the legislation has “had no significant impact on improving reading and math achievement since it was introduced in 2001, contradicting White House claims and potentially adding to concerns over America’s academic competitiveness.”

Falling As if Americans needed more good news when travelling abroad, seems that we are experience more fallout from Dubya’s “go-it-alone” foreign policy. The latest Pew numbers about how American are viewed around the world are out and they are… well… let’s just say the numbers ain’t pretty…check ‘em out for yourselves, I just can’t bring myself to do it, it’s too damn depressing.

Spinning The “President” secretly flew to Iraq earlier this week as part of a spin campaign aimed at bolstering support for the war. Part of the PR salvo was the announcement that 70,000 American and Iraqi troops would launch “a large-scale security sweep in Baghdad” (inlcuding military checkpoints and curfews) aimed at ebbing the insurgency. The early-morning raid by Bush was followed by a Rose Garden press conference this morning where Dubya expressed a new confidence that the rebuilding of Iraq is on the right track and that the insurgency is not undermining the country’s new government. It’s funny, even the Iraqi people don’t buy what he’s shoveling. The visit was clearly a publicity stunt and anyone who doesn’t see that clearly has some vision issues…

Roving Pssst, hey, did you hear Karl Rove isn’t going to be indicted?

Refusing Remember a few months ago when a former coal industry executive told the U.S. Senate that the nation’s mining laws are perfectly adequate, mere weeks after a series of disasters killed more than a dozen miners? Well, he’s facing a crucial Senate vote next week for approval as head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Again, like so-many other of Bush’s picks, this one reeks of cronyism. Think about it, anyone who has the audacity to say that the nation’s mine laws are good enough after the death of so many miners does NOT deserve to be confirmed. Reject him… outright… and force the administration to nominate someone who Misn’t a cartoonish sycophant

Beating For those of you who think Iran is just misunderstood, here’s this interesting news item. Seems a squadron of Iranian police beat a women’s rights activists after she “demanded equal rights for women and the nullification of a law allowing Iranian men to have four wives.” This was at a rally with about 200 people… oddly enough, none of Iran’s state-run media outlets reported on the protest. Shocked and apalled… aren’t ya?

Dawning Faced with an investigation into his ties to a high-powered lobbying firm that seems to be widening, Rep. Jerry “Not that Jerry Lewis” Lewis (R-CA) has hired a criminal defense attorney. Great… it only took him how long to realize he was in trouble?? Schmuck

Loosening There was an EPA rule in the books that was designed to keep “groundwater clean near oil drilling sites and other construction zones.” The rule was loosened after White House officials rejected it after they got complaints from some of Bush’s closest friends (and by that I mean energy companies) and after one oil exec appealed to DCOS Karl Rove. They think the rule is “too restrictive.” Well, sure… who needs clean water anyway?

Crippling As we mentioned earlier this week, college debt rates are skyrocketing at “crippling levels” Now, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) are proposing legislation to cut interest rates on student and parent college loans in half beginning July 1, 2006. Yay! Click here for a calculator to show how much you’d save under the plan.

Gratuitous Op-Ed plug of the week. Read this article by Sean-Paul Kelley from “Agonist” that states that a “knowledge of history is essential to formulating good foreign policy” as it will help you understand how you got there in the first place. Wow, what a concept…

Take ‘em as you will…

No comments: