Friday, June 16, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Well it’s almost the end of the 24th week 2006. The official beginning of summer is just around the corner. Grills are in full use in the neighborhood and the only thing that is missing is The Weekly Rewind. So in my effort to make you feel ‘complete’ I present this weeks Weekly Rewind.

Applaud to a very, very rare action by our President, doing something right. Earlier this week Bush used his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument. This is a 1,200 nautical mile stretch of Ocean and Islands that will encompass the northwest islands of Hawaii and the Battle of Midway National Memorial. This monument will give protection to more than 7,000 different marine species that inhabit the area as well as fragile coral reef systems. Nice job George, seems that someone figured out you needed to do a least one meaningful thing to insure your term in office is not totally worthess.

Heckle to the growing and continuing needless deaths of good Americans. “The death toll for American soldiers in Iraq hit the 2,500 mark yesterday with the national press not particularly eager to make much of it.” Columbia Journalism Review faults the press for not taking the “opportunity to do what newspapers and broadcast journalists and editors [have] too seldom done: look deeply into the lives of the young soldiers who are being lost in this conflict.”

Applaud to great write up on Crooks & Liars regarding another waste of space, Ann Coulter.’s Mike Krempasky calls Ann Coulter’s suggestion that Rep. John Murtha be murdered “disgusting.” He adds, “It’s despicable — and frankly, so is Coulter.” She was never deserving of ‘15 minutes’ and what time she has used so far should be considered theft.

Heckle to being smacked down by the State Department. Vice President Dick Cheney claimed that the Iraq war was “in part responsible” for the absence of terrorist attacks in the United States since the September 11, 2001 strikes. The State Department reported in April that the number of terrorist attacks worldwide increased nearly fourfold in 2005. None of the attacks may have occurred on American Soil, but they are happening with more frequency and with our ‘oh so secure’ borders it’s statistically just a matter of time before they come calling again.

Applaud to once again speaking out for the right thing. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is upset that he has not received a response to his request that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testify before his committee on the NSA’s warrantless spying programs. Specter said yesterday, “I will ask for authorization for a subpoena if we do not get an adequate response.” Seems that the Senator goes back and forth in our eyes depending on the topic, but we applaud his ability to see more than just the narrow party line.

Heckle to hurting our children. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education yesterday “voted to eliminate $115 million in federal funding for public broadcasting” like NPR and PBS, representing “a 23 percent decrease in the previously-approved 2007 appropriation.” Nice, why not just send in a Black Ops team to rough up Big Bird while you are at it.

Heckle to taking some of that money and putting it in your own pockets. “Despite record low approval ratings, House lawmakers Tuesday embraced a $3,300 pay raise that would increase their salaries to $168,500.”

Applaud to the irony of it all. Press Secretary Tony Snow acknowledged recently that his retirement plan is based on his prior membership in a union -– the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Without a union, Snow would have had to rely on Social Security. The AFL-CIO notes the irony.

Heckle to gifts befitting the occasion. A State Department report details the items given to federal employees in 2004 by “foreign government sources.” “President George W. Bush received a $10,000 sniper’s rifle, six jars of fertilizer, 11 antique handguns, ten pounds of dates, and a DVD of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ from various foreign leaders.”

Heckle to smelling fishy. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) has mixed his private interests with official business. Hastert “has used an Illinois trust to invest in real estate near the proposed route of the Prairie Parkway, a highway project for which he’s secured $207 million in earmarked appropriations.”

Applaud to someone getting their head out of their ass. An Ohio bill that would have banned abortion in all cases — including in cases of rape or incest and even if the life of the woman’s life was endangered — is “expected to be placed back in a file cabinet and left to die at the end of the year.” This country has to stop dealing in extremes and look at middle grounds which take into account all views on an issue.

Heckle to starting life after school behind the ‘8 ball’. The proportion of students who are leaving college with some level of unmanageable debt — debt they can’t repay without significant hardship — is swelling. The average college senior graduated this year with more than $19,000 in debt. Policy choices – like the freezing of the minimum wage and the shift in the tax burden from the rich to the rest – “have starved public services while leaving ordinary Americans more dependent than ever on debt.”

Applaud to trying to help those same students in some way. With college debt rates at crippling levels, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) have proposed legislation that would cut interest rates on student and parent college loans in half beginning July 1, 2006. Click here for a calculator to show how much you’d save.

And finally I would like to add a little spot called Worst Person of the Week. This will be reserved for someone who makes a statement or does something so stupid or so absurd that you can’t help but hear about it and say to yourself, what an ass.

This weeks Worst Person of the Week is conservative talk show host Michael Savage (whose real name is Michael Weiner), who stated that liberals could turn Zarqawi “into a hero even though he killed thousands of people and was arrested for sexual molestation in Jordan. … He was an altogether piece of human offal, you know. He was like a [Rep. John] Murtha — he was like a human Murtha.”

I don’t know where you are getting your info as every liberal we know is glad that Zarqawi is dead and couldn’t have happened soon enough. As for attacking Rep. Murtha, an honorable veteran of our nations military. Cheap shot Mike, but isn’t that what conservative mouthpieces are good at? Maybe you and Ann Coulter can have a good laugh over that at lunch.

There you have it folks, my thanks to Think Progress and all the other news outlets linked to this week.

Be good, stay informed….later.

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