Monday, July 17, 2006

The Week Ahead

As we always do on Monday, here’s a handy list of things to keep an eye on as the week progresses. It’s gearing up to be a busy week, so there are a lot more items than usual…

  • If you have to be told to keep an eye on Israel and Lebanon, then you’re probably not smart enough to live… Earlier Monday (the sixth day of the escalating conflict in the Middle East) several Hezbollah rockets hit the city of Haifa, in Northern Israel. Besides that, Israeli ground forces entered southern Lebanon momentarily so they could attack Hezbollah bases on the border.
  • In addition to the escalating tensions and fighting, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is calling for the deployment of international forces to quell the violence while G8 leaders “crafted a plan to stop the fighting.” (Here’s hoping that something can be done to stop the violence and stave off any more attacks… lest we see the beginning of what could become World War III)
  • Keep an eye on the Bush administration (really, shouldn’t we be keeping an eye on them at all times??) as the administration is planning “sweeping changes in Medicare payments to hospitals” with a plan that would cut Medicare payments anywhere from 20 to 30% for a lot of complex treatments and new technologies. Many doctors and patients’ groups believe that a move like this “could be devastating.” (Brilliant… as if they didn’t screw-up Medicare enough with their prescription plan, now they’re going to screw it up even more)
  • Keep an eye on the Democratic primary in Connecticut, specifically Joe Lieberman’s as he slowly starts to make the realization that he probably shouldn’t have kissed the President.
  • Keep an eye on the foreign policy legacy of “President” Bush. Already in shambles due to his ineptitude and bumbling of Afghanistan and Iraq, some pundits believe that he could reshape it by the way he handles the current crisis in the middle east…. Even though he appears (at least to Newsweek… and anyone with a brain) to be staggeringly unprepared for it.
  • Keep an eye on Dubya’s feet as he continually puts them into his mouth. During this weekend’s G8 Summit, a microphone picked up some private conversations between Bush and other world leaders. Examples; Bush on Putin’s flight home: “You eight hours? Me too. Russia’s a big country and you’re a big country. … Russia’s big and so is China.” (Huh??) Bush on Blair’s departure: “Yo Blair, what’re you doing? Are you leaving?” (Can we say professionalism kids??) His airheadedness also stated that some of the speakers at the meeting had the tendency to talk too long (granted, they probably talked for a long time, but I can guarantee you they probably made sense…). Another example where he sort of stuck his foot in his mouth was when the hot mic caught him using an expletive to Tony Blair in describing the violence in the Middle East. (Sigh… way to go Georgie. I swear, quite a bit if I can be honest, but not in professional situations or a professional setting. Could someone please tell Mr. Bush that this isn’t a fraternity mixer but a meeting of the world’s most powerful leaders??? Moron…)
  • In case you haven’t been, remember to keep an eye on Iraq and the ever-escalating rise in insurgent attacks. Today, Monday, saw “one of the bloodiest incidents in Iraq this year,” as a bomber attacked a market just outside Baghdad with officials estimating the death toll to be as low as 40 or as high as 70… but things are getting better if you listen to Bush and his cronies. (If this is better, I would hate to see worse…)
  • Keep an eye on Mississippi & Louisiana as federal aid is (finally!) beginning to get into the hands of those who lost their homes. For now we’ll ignore the fact that it’s coming almost a full year after Hurricane Katrina hit, and just say this; “Thank God.” (There are a lot of people who believe that the reception of federal dollars is a significant component in the rebuilding of areas left devasted… here’s to hope!)
  • Keep an eye on Washington DC as the “President” gets ready to veto a bill that the majority of US citizens (and many politicians – Republicans included) want, and that is embryonic stem cell research
  • Pay attention to Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) as he begins to sound more and more like someone who is weighing a run for the presidency in 2008. In two separate speeches, Bayh will criticize his own party for losing touch with middle class Americans and that a failure to reconnect with them could result in this November and beyond. (I’ve always been a fan of Bayh, and I, in the words of Chancellor Palpatine, will follow this part of his career with great interest)
  • Keep an eye on the NAACP. Since taking office in 2001, Bush has slighted the group and has never spoken at their annual convention (the first sitting president to not speak at the group’s annual meeting in decades). This year, with the meeting getting under way, NAACP chairman Julian Bond opened the convention by criticizing the war in Iraq and pushing for voting protections. Mr. Bond then threw out a message to Bush that was anything but a veiled invitation for Bush to speak on Wednesday: “This year the convention has come to the president and we hope and pray he is coming to us," Did we mention that this year’s conference is at the Washington Convention Center which is about a mile from the White House? It should be noted that Dubya’s schedule for Wednesday lists an event with the notation “TBA.” (One would have to think that Bush’s handlers will send him this year… with near-record low approval ratings, not going will only make things worse…

Keep an eye on ‘em and take ‘em as you will


romunov said...

You mention Haifa rockets, yet you fail to mention that Israel has destroyed at least one powerplant, bridges and an airport, along with military installations (not owned by Hezbollah™)

Kemp said...

Romunov, your comment seems to be sniping at me for not mentioning things Israel had done, yet I mentioned that Israeli ground forces had entered the southern portion of Lebanon to attack Hezbollah bases on the border.

If I failed to mention the things you cited in your comment, it was nothing more than a time/space issue.