Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Well here it is the end of another fun filled week (as my esteemed colleague says, it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written form). However, being the end of the week, you know what that means, no not payday (ok, for some it might be payday), not laundry day (that’s Thursday), no it’s time for The Weekly Rewind. You know that little thing we do to go back and give a ‘quick-hit’ overview of some of the political happenings of the past week, as well as any major news events. So without any further delay, let’s get to it.

Before we get into the political dealings of the previous week I have to give a serious what the hell is wrong with this guy?, Heckle to just being senseless.

Another deranged idiot took children hostage at a school in Bailey, CO and when the standoff ended, a 16 student was dead as was the deranged idiot. With all the safety precautions that schools take today how was this 53 year old able to get into a school in the first place. At a later press conference the Sheriff stated that while the idiot (my word) held six girls hostage he sexually molested all of them. I am glad that the idiot is dead, but for what he did to those ‘children’ he should have suffered before he died. My heart goes out the girls family and all the children in Bailey whose lives have been forever changed by this senseless act.

Ok, let's get on to the political happenings of the past week.

Applaud: to telling the truth and nothing but the truth. At this weeks Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Iraq planning, retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, the former commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, said the administration’s “plan allowed the insurgency to take root and metastasize to where it is today.” He and retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton declared that Rumsfeld must go. “He knows everything, except ‘how to win,’” Batiste said. Click here to see highlights of the hearing.

Heckle: to stating the obvious. “Americans clearly want a system that guarantees health care for everyone,” concludes a new report by the Citizens Health Care Working Group. The group was created by Congress and is composed of 15 members, including Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. We needed a ‘group’ to tell us what we all already knew…nice waste of time and tax dollars.

Heckle: to facts behind the obvious. Since 2000, workers’ health insurance premiums have risen a total of 84 percent, while their wages have increased 20 percent and inflation has risen 18 percent.

Heckle: to a sad reality. Most of the 9 million uninsured children in the U.S. live in homes where at least one parent works full time,” a new Families USA report finds. “In more than one-quarter of the cases, there are two working parents.” This is truly sad when families with two working parents cannot afford basic health insurance benefits.

Heckle: to the number 6. Why?, well that is the United States’ position on the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings, a fall from first last year. The U.S. lost its position as the world’s most competitive economy to Switzerland as budget and trade deficits prompted a slide.

Heckle: is it warm in here or is it just me? The Earth’s temperature “has climbed to levels not seen in thousands of years, warming that has begun to affect plants and animals,” the National Academy of Sciences reported. “This evidence implies that we are getting close to dangerous levels of human-made pollution,” NASA’s James Hansen said.

Heckle: See I knew it was warm! The journal Nature reports that Bush administration officials “blocked release of a report that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes,” the third such cover-up accusation in the last two weeks.

Heckle: I am sure glad that I don’t have to be the one to tell them. In a new sign of mounting strain from the war in Iraq, the Pentagon said that 3,800 U.S. soldiers will be staying in Iraq about six weeks beyond their one-year combat tours. Rumsfeld flew to the tiny nation of Montenegro with hopes of tapping a new source of troops for Iraq and Afghanistan. Hey how about seeing if any of the citizens of the tiny nation of Monaco are interested as well?

Heckle: And we all know how the first report went over. Bush terrorism adviser Fran Townsend acknowledged yesterday that a second intelligence estimate on Iraq exists, and will be released in January 2007. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), ranking member on the intel committee, said yesterday the White House is deliberately withholding the second NIE until after November’s elections. Wow, what a surprise! The administration withholding potentially self-damning information until after an election, who would have been able to guess that one?

Heckle: Congress is on the verge of barring the construction of permanent bases for U.S. forces in Iraq. The ban, which was inserted into the annual defense spending bill, won House approval last night with the passage of the defense appropriations bill.

Applaud: Thank you Rudy. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said yesterday, “The idea of trying to cast blame on President Clinton [for 9/11] is just wrong for many, many reasons, not the least of which is I don’t think he deserves it.”

Heckle: to still not getting it. The New York Times calls the “compromise” military commissions legislation about to be approved by Congress “a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.” Congress should hang it’s head in shame.

Heckle: to 'President' Bush on principles alone.

Heckle: to more of the same stupid stuff from this clueless administration. “The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there,” according to Bob Woodward’s new book. Woodward also claims “Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms,” and that Bush said as recently as November 2003, “I don’t want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don’t think we are there yet.” Well George listen to your Generals and read the papers, do you think we are there now?

Heckle: I wonder if George is starting to realize the problems with misplaced loyalty? Former White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. on two occasions tried and failed to persuade President Bush to fire Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, according to a new book by Bob Woodward that depicts senior officials of the Bush administration as unable to face the consequences of their policy in Iraq. So when can we expect to see Donald’s resignation?…not soon enough.

That's all I got this week. Noticing not a lot to applaud, welcome to America under George W. Bush.

Be good, stay informed...later.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

We’re halfway through the week, still celebrating our 1-year anniversary, and still doling out our spin on the political news of the day…

Since it’s Wednesday, we all know what that means…

No, not Ladies Day at the Quick Lube…

No, not Seniors Day at the carwash…

It’s time for TBWA’s Random Political Thought…

Not a surprise. Since 2000 health insurance premiums have risen 84% . Wages have 20% and inflation has risen 18%… (Hmmm, something’s amiss… oh, right… the average American worker is getting screwed with their pants on…)

Well, duh. A new report by the Citizens Health Care Working Group concludes that Americans (surprise, surprise) clearly want a system in place that guarantees health care for everyone”. The group was created by Congress and is composed of 15 members congressmen… (Did we really need a committee and a report to tell us this??)

Not a surprise, Part II. The journal Nature reports in the most-recent issue that Bush administration officials blocked the release of a report that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes… wait a minute, didn’t I put something in last week’s random about this?? What’s that? This is the third such cover-up accusation in the last two weeks?? Color me… not surprised…

This is progress? A coin flip decided the primary race for Alaska House of Representatives yesterday. Deadlocked in a 767-767 tie, incumbent Rep. Carl Moses and challenger Bryce Edgmon watched nervously as a “gold-and-silver commemorative coin spun through the air” and “landed on a sea otter pelt - tails up - giving” Edgmon the spot on the ballot.

We have comprehension! A recent Gallup Panel survey shows that the American public puts the primary blame on “President” Bush and NOT Bill Clinton for the fact that Osama bin Laden has not been captured with 53% blaming Bush and 36% blaming Clinton.

Speaking of Osama... Osama bin Laden is dead alive dead alive dead alive… screw it, let’s just say he’s something and leave it at that. Seriouosly, this is going to get more out of hand than the “Paul is dead” rumors…

Generally speaking, it’s a smackdown. Earlier this week the Democratic Policy Committee heard from retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste (the former commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division in Iraq) who stated that the Bush administration’s Iraq war planning “allowed the insurgency to take root and metastasize” to its present strength. As if that wasn’t damming enough, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, along with Batiste, declared that Rumsfeld must go; with Batiste saying “He (Rumsfeld) knows everything, except ‘how to win.” (Ouch… I love it…)

Today’s Gratuitous Op-Ed Plug. Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson’s “The Moderate Republican Scam.” Also, Garrison Keillor asks a very pertinent question: “Are photo ops ruining America?”

Not a surprise to anyone who isn’t a Republican. A big shocker came to light this week (PDF link)… and by big shocker I mean to anyone who can’t use their own brain, that the war in Iraq has created a new breeding ground for terrorists (well, duhhhhhh…) according to a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Naturally “President” Bush' is only allowing for a partial declassification of the NIE report… lest anyone learn the truth.

Not a surprise, Part III. It seems that “President” Bush's new torture bill “eviscerates the promise of Nuremberg.” See the title of this entry for my reaction…

First water wasn’t allowed, now words. THIS STORY is just sad and pathetic… but unfortunately, not at all surprising given who’s in charge in DC.

An army of (Brit)ons. British soldiers killed a high-ranking Al-Qaeda member in Iraq earlier this week… this is the al-qaeda member that previously escaped from an American prison in Afghanistan. (Well, at least we weren’t bailed-out by French soldiers)

Take ‘em as you will…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Economic Roller-Coaster

For the past few months years, the Bush(whacked) Administration and the gop have been sounding the horns about the phenomenal state of the U.S. economy.

Turns out they were lying.

I’ll give you a moment to get over the absolute shock of republicans lying about something…


In what can only be described as an enormous blow to the republican's spinning that the U.S. economy is “doing great,” the World Economic Forum has released their study for this year… and the news ain’t good.

Last year the United States had the #1 economy in the world.

This year… we have the sixth.

That’s right… #6… as in there are five nations in front of us.

(How did the World Economic Forum arrive at this number you ask? The study ranks countries around the world according to a range of criteria – including, but not limited to) macroeconomic policies, market regulations, technological development, education systems and public institutions – that the Forum thinks influences an economy's level of productivity, and therefore its ability to sustain economic growth, over a period of years.
Those factors are then combined with economic indicators and findings from a survey of business executives to arrive at the final rankings.

In an article on, the World Economic Forum said stronger performing countries “were distinguished by their competent economic stewardship, investment in higher education and an emphasis on technological development and innovation.”

(Makes you wonder if that was the moment everyone in the forum looked at the republican budget priorities and started laughing their asses off )

Now… if you’re like me, you’re sitting at your computer, staring agape at the screen and wondering how our once-economically strong nation has fallen to sixth place.

I can name that tune in 2 words...

Dub. Ya.

You read that right… George W. Bush and his entire crony-led Bush Administration.

Granted, that may be a slight oversimplifying, but according to the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: “The U.S.'s huge budget deficit threatens to make the country's economy less competitive… The Forum's annual study of global competitiveness says the U.S. is only the sixth most competitive economy in the world, slipping from first place in last year's ranking thanks to mediocre scores for its public finances.”

The forum went on to cite the administration’s “huge defense and homeland security spending commitments, plans to lower taxes further, and long-term potential costs from health care and pensions" as some of the reasons for the change in ranking.

To put it another way; we lost our position as the world’s most competitive economy due to budget and trade deficits.

Thanks Bush Administration!


Just so you know, Switzerland was ranked No. 1 in this year’s survey (thanks to what the Forum sees as a combination of efficient public administration and flexible markets) followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Singapore.

Insert your own snarky comments now…

A Guest Post from . . .

Editors Note: As our week-long One-Year Anniversary celebration continues, we have another guest post to present. Up to now, this contributor was a lurker, dropping by this blog and the blogs of other blogmigos, but rarely leaving a comment. After seeing that we were celebrating one-year of existence, he decided to de-lurk in a grand fashion; by writing a guest post for us. An "open letter" if you will to the majority party... aka; the gop. This letter isn't so much a direct jab at the right only, but more so a direct jab to the right, left, and everything in between (but more so at the right). So sit back, relax, and read today's guest post:

Dear Majority party:

I often find myself throwing things at the television, my computer and the radio. Every time I watch, read or hear another one of your right wing Politicrat (is that a word?) espousing your right wing company line about how well the war in Iraq is going or why we NEED the government in our bedroom or why we NEED to cut taxes for the wealthiest among us while cutting funding for the poor, it makes me feel, well…. Ignored!

I don’t like this feeling and I want it to change. I want to read about good policy, not bought policy.

So here is what I propose. I would love to see the “Uniter” not divide us anymore. Let’s take politics back to the basics when we make policy decisions based on what is right for the country and not what is right for the lobbyists and their deep pocket clients. Let’s care about our citizens first and the lobbyists last. Why don’t you give equal access to the poorest among us and those without a voice. Why not start by being idealistic and caring. Just for one year. Then let’s see how this works.

Who am I, you might ask? Well, I am NOT Republican, nor a Democrat. I am part of the discarded along the roadside party and we are the fastest growing party in politics. We feel policy and politics should never be about who has the deepest pockets. A campaign contribution should never buy a meeting. Doing what is right should be your primary motivation. Because you see, caring about the people who elected you is not about left or right, it’s about right and wrong. Oh and we feel the majority party has never been more wrong and that needs to change.

Congratulations to Scott and Kemp and their BushWhacked Administration blog 1 year Anniversary.

You have a fan in


Monday, September 25, 2006

Different Views

Caught wind of this via Wonkette.

Do you want further proof that we (meaning Americans) as a whole are becoming a nation of pop-culture whores?

The new issue of Newsweek is out.

Here’s the cover illustrations for the European, Asian & Latin American versions, all with the title for the cover story: “Losing Afghanistan"

Now here's the cover art and cover story title for theUnited States version:

Notice anything??

Yes… while the other three are pushing the serious topic of how the U.S. is losing the battle in Afghanistan, the U.S. version is pushing a story about Annie Leibovitz...

Pathetic... isn’t it??

I mean... come on now are you fuc**** kidding me?? A cover story on Annie Leibovitz???

I don’t know who to be more mad at: the media for fostering this absurdity and Bush-love mentality... or we the people for allowing us to be ‘dummed-down’ by the media.

Your thoughts??

The Week Ahead

We’re still in our First Anniversary celebration here at TBWA, but we still need to take care of the mundane, every-day tasks at hand… including the never-mundane Week Ahead.

So as we get underway for the week of September 25th… here’s a few things you may want to take heed of as the week (and the months) progress… lest you like being a lemming.

  • Pay attention to the infighting with the GOP. Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) specifically cited several techniques that would be banned under his “compromise” bill on detainee policy (including but seemingly not limited to extreme sleep deprivation, forced hypothermia and waterboarding). Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) said McCain’s statement would “help(s) the terrorists.” (Apparently that’s the buzz phrase for republicans as,according to republicans, everything helps the terrorists). That’s not even bringing into account the fighting between House and Senate republicans that was started by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) demanding certain things be inserted into a defense policy bill. (That’s a sight I love to see; the republicans fighting amongst themselves… always brings a little smile to my face. Let’s all hope that it continues…)
  • Keep your eye on Osama bin Laden as he may be dead… or alive… or sick… or healthy… or dating Whitney Houston… or if could be living in Scotsdale Arizona… or in a cave in Pakistan. Actually, let’s just leave it at this: Osama bin Laden is… something
  • Keep an eye on Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). It seems the senator is suffering from delusions of grandeur as he’s still convinced that he could win re-election to his Senate seat. If he wins… then we should all call hell to make sure it hasn’t frozen over…
  • Watch former President Bill Clinton. He was on Fox “News” yesterday and gave the “host” a good tongue-lashing despite Fox’s attempts to portray him as a “crazed” politician.
  • Watch the Pentagon this week as some internal strife seems to be in the making as the 2008 budget has been withheld by the Army's top officer (Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker ) who has been imploring Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld about it being billions of dollars short… short to the point that the service would not be able to maintain its current level of activity in Iraq along with all the other (global) commitments it has. (Well, sure… why would we need to maintain a healthy budget for the military after all? It’s not that important… yes, I am being sarcastic. I’m not one of those Democrats that think the military should be restrained by a meager budget… after all, they are the ones keeping us safe by risking their lives. This administration… this republican administration… seems to cast an askew eye towards the military as if they were their own personal toy soldier collection and doesn’t seem to give a rats-ass about the military; of course that’s just my opinion…)
  • Pay attention to Congress as they being their final week of work… wait a minute… why should we pay attention to them when they haven’t done a damn thing?? This group has epitomized the “do nothing congress” and I assign blame to both parties. Granted the gop is the majority, but I don’t believe the Democrats did enough either.
  • Pay heed to a classified intelligence report that cconcluded the war in Iraq has indeed, despite White House officials denying it, spawned a new wave of Islamic radicalism and also increased the global threat of terrorism. Quick show of hands… does this surprise anyone??? Anyone with a brain of their own at least? Once again, the disaster that is the Bush administration has endangered the lives of Americans by fostering terrorism rather than eradicating it… good job guys, keep up the good work… schmucks.
  • Pay attention as the Democratic Policy Committee is going to hold hearings this week on the planning (or lackthereof) and conduct (or lackthereof) of the Iraq war. They are scheduled to take the testimony of a handful of retired generals who have gone on the record and criticized Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. The committee expects one of them, Major General Paul Eaton, to rate Rumsfeld as “incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically.” Let’s also make note that sometime this week (even though he is destined to go down as the worst Secretary of Defense ever) he’s going to become the longest-serving Secretary of Defense.

All I have for now… take ‘em as you will.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Guest Post from Queen of Spain

Editors Note: Scott and I are pleased to welcome another member of our circle of blogmigos; Queen of Spain. Like the previous guest post, she's graciously written a post for us to help us celebrate our First Birthday/Anniversary. So without any more ado, here's our second guest post in our celebration calvacade.

The hubby and I were watching Bill Maher last night, once again wallowing in the down spiral of this country due to the Bush Dynasty, discussing just who the Dems will run in ’08.

The problem with my answer to who I think should run is I’m so very beaten down by Bush-isms that I only have my heart left. Just emotions. Common Sense and actual brain power have officially left me after too many years of King George and his bumblefucks.

As a woman, and all things woman lover, I’d love to see Hillary run. But this country is so very divided right now, that I just don’t thin she would help matters. Everyone would still hate each other and everyone would still fight like idiots.

I want that warm fuzzy hope feeling back. I want to BELIEVE in the good of this country yet again. I want to BELIEVE that most Americans really aren’t the sheep-like idiots
they have seemed to become under this administration.

I want Barack Obama to run... and win.

I have such a crush on him. He makes me feel all giddy and hopefully and willing to fly my flag instead of burn it and move to Canada.

Stick with me here, I realize he’s young and inexperienced. And I realize the Dems wouldn’t take the chance because they immediately lose votes simply because he’s black.

But who else do they have? And who else could actually use their charisma and fantastic speaking abilities to actually HEAL this nation? Give back some HOPE to this nation? Bring this nation back together?

Right. So let’s just pretend this is possible. It would show the Dems have balls. It would bring them back to what their party was really all about. And it would restore my faith that something exciting and wonderful and energizing and warm and fuzzy could actually be possible in this great land.

I think Obama could overcome the race issue by speaking his ass off everywhere. He actually had my husband’s ultra-Christian, West-by God-Virginia family members talking after the last convention. “What a nice man. He was really something. I would vote for him.” Which lead me to believe he had the power to make people look beyond race, ala Michael Jordan.

I need to have hope, because right now I have less than zero. I need to believe anything is possible. I need to believe this country could elect a moderate Democrat. A black man.

And then we can all hug and cry and forget the past 8 years ever happened.

I need to believe this is possible. I have to hold out hope. Because I currently am one more Bush decision away from the Great White North.

Or Europe.

Or Down Under.

Anywhere but here.

Obama in ’08. Or bust.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wow, has it really been a year?

17,729... What does this number represent? This is the number of visitors to this blog since we started one year ago. Not bad for two guys from the Midwest who on a whim decided to start a blog that would be a forum for discussing what we see as being right and wrong in this country of ours. Basically we decided to take all the things that we would talk about on a daily basis, put them in written form and share them with the rest of the world. Mainly our discussions would focus on things that are happening that result in giving this great nation a ‘black eye‘.

What 'black eye' you say? Well a figurative black eye at the least. You see ever since a misguided bureaucrat in Florida opened the door for the SCOTUS to give the highest office in the land to the person who lost the popular vote, we as a country have lost our standing in the world and lost the financial security gained during the 1990’s. But have no fear, we can and will regain our standing on the world stage and with hard work and determination we can and will regain our nations financial security. Unfortunately we are witnessing the result of having one ideology controlling all levels of government, and unchecked power has proven dangerous.

I used to take pride in the fact that I could quickly write a short post about a breaking news item that I had an opinion about. However, last spring my employer (aka: Big Brother) decided to throw up a filter that would block access to any website that had anything to do with blogs or blogging. (Although god knows that all the fantasy sports fanatics can still access their precious web data from the office…sorry I don't do fantasy sports nor would I know the first thing about how to work or run them.... Politics is my sport...) So in addition to working long hours and being a divorced (but very involved) dad, my time to blog has been limited.

So anyway, Kemp and I decided that we would choose our favorite post from the past year and I am sure that he is having as difficult a time as I am trying to pick just one. So I am torn between two (or three if you count the first in two parts).

The first one goes almost back to the beginning, and was the first post on our blog concerning Tom DeLay (R-TX) who has since resigned his congressional seat in disgrace. This post was followed up 3 days later and marked the beginning of the end for dear old Tom.

The other post that I would point to is one that raised the troubling issue of the narrow-mindedness that seems to permeate all levels of our society. (It also touched off a few interesting e-mails)

I hope to be able to post more frequently in this next year and have an even harder time choosing a favorite post this time next year. Until next time-

Be good, stay informed…later.

A Guest Post from Sarah

Editors Note: Scott and I are please to welcome our good blogmigo; Sarah. Because today is TBWA's First Birthday/Anniversary, she has graciously written a guest post for us... so without further ado, here's our first guest post in celebration of our 1-Year Anniversary.

I have something I want to say about same sex marriages.

If you have a problem with gay marriage the answer is simple. DON'T MARRY SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX AND LEAVE EVERYBODY ELSE THE HELL ALONE!

Seriously. Just marry someone who is of the opposite sex and mind your own beeswax.

I have a huge problem with people who have snakes as pets. It freaks me out. I find it creepy and I think it is disgusting to keep a snake in the house. I can't think of one good reason why anyone would want to do that on purpose. So guess what? I don't own one. I have cats. I think that having a snake should be legal, but it just isn't for me. (I feel the same way about abortion, but that is a whole different post.)

I'm sorry if you feel that your god has a problem with it. But understand, no matter who you are, your god is not the same as everybody else's gods. I had a conversation with a good friend of mine who is intelligent and educated and who considers herself to be liberal. She believes in gay unions, but does not believe that they should get to call it marriage because it takes something away from her marriage.

I totally disagree.

That is like saying that having a second child makes you love the first child less, or the people who believe that if you raise the minimum wage their income will be less, just because some other guy went from making $5.15 an hour to $5.50 an hour.

Here is my point - if you are against it - don't get gay married. It doesn't effect you.

(And I thought I didn't think I had anything to write about that I felt strongly about. Ha!)

Happy Birthday "Bush"-Whacked Administration! It's been one hell of a year.


I mean, That's right, You heard me,

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Can you believe it's been one year?

We’ve written about WMD’s and bankruptcy reform bills, GOP corruption and the pathetic governmental response to Hurricane Katrina, the idiocy of Michael Brown’s position as head of FEMA and former Illinois Governor George Ryan (R-IL), disgraced House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) and this administration’s inane, failed and sad attempt at overhauling Medicare, the cronyism of “President” Bush and the stupidity of tying a so-so television show about a female president to the real-life presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton, political ads we would have liked to have seen and an example (first of many) of the current administration censoring their own federal departments, an argument about discussing facts in a political campaign rather than focusing on one issue and asking who the hell in their right mind would vote for Tom DeLay, believing that Dumbya actually nominated someone qualified for Chairman of the Federal Reserve (the jury is still out on that one) and the sad saga of “Scooter” Libby, H.R. 1606 the Online Freedom of Speech Act and the sad state of affairs in this country while the GYP GOP is in charge, an important Gubernatorial race in Virginia and the sputtering PR machine of the Bush Administration, a shift in the political winds and a (all-to-premature) goodbye to the GOP, questioning if hell froze over after a Bush Administration official admitted to being wrong and asking if we dodged a bullet at the U.N. Technology Summit, asking (months before he actually stepped down) if White House spokesman Scott McClellan was losing his mind and marking a sad day in this country on the anniversary of JFK’s assassination, the Bush Administration’s plans to bomb the headquarters of Arab-language television channel al-Jazeera, questioning what makes people say something stupid – like Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) calling Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) a coward – and a guest post about pensions & unions, the narrow-mindedness of school administrators in Oak Ridge High School in Tennessee and the lemmings continual support of ousted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), the truth about job growth and the crass commercialization of Christmas, a remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Democrats (at the time) early thoughts about adding additional primaries to the mix of Iowa and New Hampshire, the Bush Administration’s pathetic and ill-timed attempt to ban Cuba from playing in the World Baseball Classic and Bush admitting there were no WMD’s in Iraq that went largely unreported in the main stream media, Tom DeLay’s continued use of intimidation to get what he wants and a salute to a great American in Dr. Martin Luther King, the GOP’s defense of Bush’s “domestic eavesdropping program” and the SCOTUS nomination of Samuel ‘Sc’Alito, a recap of the state of the union address that didn’t really address the state of the union and a salute to the 1987 Challenger disaster, a solemn goodbye to Coretta Scott King and Attorney General Alberto “Liberties - Schmiberties” Gonzales’s pathetic defense of the administration's domestic eavesdropping program in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the misstep of the president’s budget and calling Bush on a handful of lies, a short post about secret courts and FISA judges and questioning the discovery of a new element; “Governmentium”, Michael Brown defending himself to the Senate and a re-appearance of “Scooter” Libby, the Dick Cheney shooting incident (does anything else really need to be said for this one) and wondering why did it take the White House so long to report that V.P. Cheney shot fellow quail hunter, Harry Whittington in the face, the fact that some smaller, yet still needed, health programs were on the budget chopping block and the sad state of FEMA a mere months after reforms were promised, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s request of $75 million to promote democracy in Iran and former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge asking the Bush administration to come clean, the miracle of keeping your job after being fired from said job because the “President” was coming to visit your plant and the Dubai Ports World fiasco, a return of PlameGate and the continued exploits of Portgate, us at TBWA not being surprised that newly-minted SCOTUS Justice sent a letter of thanks to James Dobson and a question to former President Bill Clinton, the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and the start of the ever-dropping approval numbers for “President” Bush, Claude Allen and wondering if Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) pushing a censure of Bush was politically motivated or just the right thing to do, the U.S. Senate approving a bill that allowed the government to borrow another $781 billion to raise the national debt to close to $9 trillion and Russia questioning the motives of the U.S., the rock-star-like demand of Veep Cheney and the changing of the Chief of Staff at the White House, the news that Tom DeLay dropped out of his re-election race and the president’s continual drop in the polls, reports that the administration was considering nuclear strikes against Iranian nuclear sites and breaking news of a verdict in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, the stupidity of Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and support for a life sentence for 9/11 co- conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, the pathetic attempt by France to get Moussaoui transferred to France so he could serve his sentence there, a new approval rating low of 31% and a request (read:demand!) that the Democratic party get united before the mid-terms, the dumbest thing ever written and the GOP-like behavior of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), the death of Al-Qaida co-leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi by a U.S.-led airstrike and asking if anyone gave a rats ass if he was alive when U.S. forces first found him after the bombing, a welcome to Bizarro World and the inanity of a flag-burning amendment when there are other, much more important things, to be worrying about, the SCOTUS smackdown of the President and questioning why the administration would be looking into taking out Cuba rather than a more-dangerous country and many, many, many other things.

All of us at TBWA (and by all I mean Scott and I and our occasional guest-posters) would like to thank you for reading us for the past year and hope you stay with us as we start our second year of doling out common sense in an un-common sense world.

Today, and over the next few days, we’ll be having a plethora of guest posts. One about the legacy of Ann Richards (D-TX), perhaps one about “Gay Marriage”… something that I’m sure will ignite some discussion, and who knows what else...

So stay tuned… while one year is down, as long as Commander Cuckoo-Bananas is President… we’ll be here, doling out our unique brand of views and news.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Tomorrow, this blog will celebrate it’s One Year Anniversary. To commemerate the event, we have a few guest posters lined up, as well as some reflective posts from Scott and I… but until then, here’s this week’s edition of The Weekly Rewind... enjoy...

Applaud: to this GREAT BIT . You really have to read the link to comprehend and get the full-effect, but to sum up; it relates certain politicians to whichever “The Simpsons” character they are… damn funny stuff.

Heckle: There was a “compromise” reached earlier this week regarding detainee policies. What exactly does the compromise mean? That “U.S. violations of international human rights law can continue as long as Mr. Bush is president, with Congress’s tacit assent.” . Further Heckles that CIA Director Michael Hayden has “praised the deal” that will, essetially, allow CIA interrogators to use techniques that most critics define as torture. Isn’t that spiffy? We can’t play by the rules, so we have to become the thing that we have always fought against… welcome to George Bush’s America…

Applaud: to forcing the Bush administration to “blink first.” I don’t really think anything more needs to be said…

Heckle: to the number 1,137. That’s the amount of laptops that the Commerce Department has lost since 2001, hundreds of which had “personal information” on them. Only one word comes to mind when I saw this; idiots.

Applaud: to telling it like it is. Read this lovely quote from Colin Powell while speaknig about his opposition to “President” Bush’s proposals for the treatment of terrorism suspects: (he says what millions of us are thinking) “If you just look at how we are perceived in the world and the kind of criticism we have taken over Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and renditions, whether we believe it or not, people are now starting to question whether we’re following our own high standards.” Brilliantly put Mr Powell… brilliantly put.

Heckle: that only 25% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. (Well, it is hard to approve of a group that didn’t really do anything this year…)

Applaud: to the New Orleans Saints playing their first game at the Superdome; a little more than a year after the local, state and federal governments bungled everything before and after the hurricane. Good luck NOLA!!

Heckle: to more lip service from Commander Cuckoo-Bananas. “President” Bush said earlier this week that he would order U.S. forces to go into Pakistan to catch Osama bin Laden if he received good intelligence on his location. How the hell can anyone believe what this man says? Think about it; he hasn’t followed through on one thing that he’s promised… and now we’re supposed to believe that he would go into Pakistan? What do I say to that? Bull. Shit.

Applaud: to the fact that people are finally starting to take notice. Word came out this wek that aides of “President” Bush met many, many, many times with associates of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. (I am shocked to find out that this went on… yes, that was sarcasm)

Heckle: to all the attention being given by the media to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez after he declared Bush was the devil. Ignore him… and he’ll go away.

Applaud:to the news that five, -count `em-, five---Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told “President” Bush to stop being a wanker about illegal interrogation. Truth of the matter is it wasn’t only them, they were joined by dozens of other Generals, Admirals, intelligence officers and the entire JAG Corp. (Brings a smile to my face… how about yours?

Heckle: to the news rumor that former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe will chair Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) presidential campaign next year. (I’m conflicted on this: ‘A’- I hate McAuliffe, ‘B’- I hate McAuliffe, and ‘C’ – this almost guarantees that Clinton won’t be the Democratic nominee… which makes me happy because I just do not think she’s ready for that yet… if ever)

Applaud: to yet another blow to the Bush(Whacked) administration as a District Judge has reinstated the Clinton-era “Roadless Rule” that prohibits construction, logging and mining in a huge swath of our national forests---specifically 58½ million acres in 38 states. As Daily Kos’ Bill in Portland Maine said: “We suspect the ruling won't be appealed---the White House is so roadless in everything it does so they probably won't even notice.” (Hear! Hear!)

Heckle: to the Dumbass of the Week: Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). Last week she said that the South could have won the Civil War if the Confederates had better intelligence (as we said in this past week’s Week Ahead; we assume she meant military intelligence and not intellectual intelligence) Her exact words were: “If we had better intelligence in the Civil War we’d be quoting Jefferson Davis, not Lincoln.” With those words, she’s our. Dumbass. Of. The. Week.

Applaud: to some in the GOP for urging Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) to resign from Congress… now. So far, Ney “hasn’t taken the hint.”

Heckle: to “President” George W. Bush… just on general principles alone.

Applaud: to proving that we (as in Liberals/Democrats) are the more mature of the two parties as two of “President” Bush's harshest critics (Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) & Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)) leapt to his defense earlier this week after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called him "the devil" in a speech before the U.N. Way to take the high road there guys… nice job.

Heckle: to the news that Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machines are vunerable to… well… to just about everything. Naturally, Diebold is not taking the results of the study well… especially after CNN’s Lou Dobbs agreed that the machines suck (I’m paraphrasing. Click HERE to see Dobbs’ entire article)

Take ‘em as you will… and remember to come back tomorrow to see some special First Anniversary posts…

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Afternoon Opinion Round-Up

Since every time I try to put a new post up Blogger decides to delete, I thought I would instead throw up a few op-eds, diaries etc that we should all be reading.

Take a gander and contemplate… we’ll see you back here tomorrow for The Weekly Rewind.

And coming Saturday… a special post to mark the one-year anniversary of The BushWhacked Administration… so stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Censorship: NOAA Style

I saw an article about this on Think Progress and knew I had to write about it myself.

Here’s some news that should not come as a surprise to anyone… after all; we are talking about the Bush(Whacked) Administration.

A ranking Democratic member of the Government Reform Committee has released a series of emails from the Department of Commerce that suggests the Bush administration tried to prevent a federal scientist from talking about a link between “global warming and hurricanes.”

This administration censoring someone who disagrees with their tenets?? Impossible… I don’t believe that for one minute…

For those of you who couldn’t tell; I was being a smart-ass sarcastic.

Nothing, absolutely nothing that this administration does surprises me anymore.

Back to the topic of this post; BuchCo putting the squeeze on a NOAA scientist.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), in a letter to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, details how CNBC requested an interview with NOAA scientist Tom Knutson in October 2005 (just over a month after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf States, btw) in order to discuss if “…global warming is contributing to the number or intensity of hurricanes.”

We at TBWA have touched-on this administrations censoring federal departments before (October 19, 2005), but it’s never really gotten a lot of notice… until now.

(Why the sudden interest now you ask? Because someone in the “main stream media” was inconvienced, so naturally; something had to be afoot)

CNBC sent a request for an interview with Dr. Tom Knutson, a scientist at NOAA. The request was then forwarded to Chuck Fuqua, the NOAA press officer.

When Mr. Fuqua got the reqest, he sent it back to NOAA and asked:

“What is Knutson’s position on global warming vs. decadal cycles? is he consistent with Bell and Landsea?”

(Let’s make note that Dr. Gary Bell and meteorologist Chris Landsea both have dissenting opinions about ay connection between hurricane intensity and global warming.)

NOAA responded to Mr. Fuqua and said Dr. Knutson has projected a “very small increase in hurricane intensity” due to increased greenhouse gas pollution.

The request died at this point…
As I said above, the Bush Administration censoring anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe is nothing new… but to ignore something as potentially dangerous as global warming is inexcusable.

There is a link to global warming and hurricane intensity (backed up by THIS report and THIS report), and the sooner this administration and this government understand that… the better.

Or who knows what might happen…

The Much-Belated Week Ahead

Because Blogger/Blogspot bites the big one, yesterday’s Week Ahead couldn’t be posted and was subsequently lost to the blogosphere, therefore, enjoy this abridged, and belated, version of The Week Ahead:

  • Pay attention to the people behind the curtain, as there are now 50 49 days until the mid-term elections.
  • Keeping that in mind, it seems the issue of corruption that so-man” voters had problems with earlier this year isn’t doing anything to alter the mid-term elections. That’s just great isn’t it? Not so much for the fact that the corruption bug isn’t doing anything to help the Democrats, but more so that the average person doesn’t care if the politicians representing them are dirty… pathetic… sad and pathetic…
  • Keep your eye on Senator Barack Obama (D-IL). The Des Moines Register said that the Senator’s first trip to Iowa this past weekend had “all the glow of a presidential campaign visit," though Obama is still insisting that he is solely focusing on the Democratic party in '06. Hmmm….. should be an interesting next 2-years.
  • Keep an eye on Iraq… and this statement pretty much sums it all up: “A wrong turn, a detour, an untoward stare, a pointed finger, an anonymous denunciation, a nod of the head - these can, and do, lead regularly to death.”
  • Pay attention as members of his own party are hoping that Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) resigns from Congress ASAP. This was brought about with his guilty plea last week in connection with Jack Abramoff. So far, Ney “hasn’t taken the hint.”
  • Keep an eye on Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). Last week the schmuck said that the South could have won the Civil War if the Confederates had better intelligence (we assume she meant military intelligence and not intellectual intelligence - insert own joke here.) Her exact words were: “If we had better intelligence in the Civil War we’d be quoting Jefferson Davis, not Lincoln.” Dumbass…
  • Keep an eye on the senate race in Virginia as republican George “I Love Minorities” Allen and Democratic challenger Jim Webb debated with Tim Russert this past weekend and showed (and this should not come as a shock to anyone) that Allen is out-of-touch with many voters.
  • Pay attention to what the dummy on Cheney’s lap says, or rather… doesn’t say. “President” Bush visited the U.N. Monday to make a speech about Iran and the world. I’d like to report on what he said, but all I heard was bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah (I swear; it was like listening to an adult from the old “Peanuts” cartoons)

Unfortunately, that’s all we have… take ‘em as you will…

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

This past Monday marked the 5th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11. I will not applaud or heckle anything specific to do with that date.

So with that being said, lets get on with the weekly rewind.

Heckle: to empty threats. Iran is ready to consider complying at least temporarily with a U.N. Security Council demand that it freeze uranium enrichment, which can be used in developing atomic weapons, diplomats told The Associated Press on last Sunday. I’ll believe that when I see it, I mean who are they really afraid of?

Applaud: to an honest evaluation. The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country’s western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there. I remember hearing this story all over the news, don’t you? Heckle to the fact that this will fly under the radar.

Heckle: to a lack a intelligence. The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years, the Washington Post reports. Nothing from the vast U.S. intelligence world…has led them anywhere near the al-Qaeda leader. But yet I am sure that we know what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had for breakfast every day this past week.

Heckle: All you need is love, yeah sure. For decades in Iraq, marriages between Sunnis and Shiites were considered as ordinary as the daily call to prayer and the glue that held a fragile multi-ethnic society together. But post-war sectarian violence is now leaving no hope in this country anymore for Sunnis and Shiites to fall in love. Cause we all know that Sunnis/Shiite love is one of the signs of the apocalypse “Rivers and seas boiling! … The dead rising from the grave! ... Human sacrifice! Sunnis and Shiites living together!"

Heckle: to continued inequality. A black man living in a high-crime American city can expect to live 21 fewer years than a woman of Asian descent in the United States, according to a comprehensive new study of life expectancy in the U.S. The man’s life expectancy, in fact, is closer to that of people living in West Africa than it is to the average white American. Obviously we still have a long way to go until our society can truly say that all people are equal. And just why the Rev. Al Sharpton has not jumped on the comparison to West Africans being derogatory is a wonder.

Heckle: Who turned up the thermostat. New study “closes the loop” showing that human-induced global warming is making hurricanes globally more violent and violent hurricanes more common. I guess the conservatives will have to take notice now that a study shows it to be true. As my esteemed colleague says, it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written form.

Heckle: 74.5 degrees. The average temperature in the continental U.S. this summer, according to the National Climatic Data Center. It was the second-hottest summer temperature the government has recorded since it started keeping track in 1895. See my comment above…nuff said.

Heckle: Johnny do you really needs that many ice cubes in your drink? A new paper by a NASA climate scientist finds “the amount of ice being formed in the Arctic winter has declined sharply in the past two years.” The scientist called the new data from satellite imaging of ice formation and temperatures “the strongest evidence of global warming in the Arctic so far.” Do I really have to spell it out again…

Applaud: to a crisis averted. Islamic militants attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Tuesday,” but were unable to breach the embassy’s high walls. Four guards, all Syrian, were killed. We may not see eye to eye with Syria, but you have to applaud the guards who defended our Embassy.

Heckle: to talking and talking and not really saying anything. In a press conference White House press secretary Tony Snow expressed gratitude to Syria. "Syrian officials came to aid of the Americans," Snow said. "The U.S. government is grateful for the assistance the Syrians provided in going after the attackers, and once again, that illustrates the importance of Syria being an important ally in the war on terror. It does not mean they are an ally. We are hoping they will become an ally and make the choice of fighting against terrorists." Tony, have a point, it makes it more interesting for the listener.

Heckle: $68 billion: The trade deficit in July, a record level for a single month. This year the overall deficit is running at $776bn, which, if met, would set a record for the fifth year in a row. Ok, let’s do some simple math, this is 2006, Bush took office in January 2001, that would make his time in office 5 years as well…..who woulda thunk it? Take your time, I can wait.....there it just registered didn't it?

Applaud: to another one biting the dust. Tom Noe, a rare-coin dealer and “GOP fund-raiser at the center of a scandal that has rocked Ohio’s Republican Party,” was sentenced to more than two years in prison Tuesday for illegally funneling about $45,000 to President Bush’s re-election campaign. Ok, yet another person with illegal jail-able activities tied to Bush, what a surprise. I wonder if George Bush Sr. has gotten around to smacking his namesake yet?

Heckle: to same shit, different topic. Yesterday, a “nearly toothless” House resolution to require lawmakers to sign their names to earmarks became “bogged down” in a “three-way squabble.” Nine months after Congressional leaders vowed to respond to several bribery scandals with comprehensive reforms, their pledges have come to next to nothing. Wow, color me surprised on this one folks. I think I would need medical help if the congress ‘actually’ did something meaningful .

Applaud: to calling it as it is. Officials of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran’s capabilities, calling parts of the document ‘outrageous and dishonest‘ and offering evidence to refute its central claims. I am shocked, shocked to find gambling in this establishment, and shocked that a House committee report would be in any way deceptive…once again, sarcasm, written form…well, you know…

Heckle: to more of the same. On Thursday the House approved a “sham” earmark reform bill that critics say is filled with loopholes that would still permit anonymous projects to be inserted into law without public scrutiny. Rep. David Obey (D-WI), former chairman of the appropriations committee, called the bill “the death of lobby reform.” Get ready for you TV sets to be filled with news reports on this very important issue…but don’t hold your breath, you’ll quickly be sorry….

Heckle: to George W. Bush on pricinple alone.

Ok, well I can’t stomach anymore of this oh so uplifting review of the weeks events. Sure there are more things that I could point out and bring to your attention, but do you really want to read more depressing things about our lack of leadership and direction in our country. I’m off to take some TUMS and an anti-depressant.
Be good, stay informed…later…

Friday, September 15, 2006

Diebold vs Princeton

You may not heard (as usual the ‘mainstream media’ is ignoring a story that doesn’t involve Anna Nicole Smith, George Clooney or Whitney Houston) but a Princeton University professor and two of his graduate students have proven (again!) that the electronic voting machines being used across much of the nation are vulnerable to hacking.

A paper (and video) on Princeton's web site describes how Edward Felten, a professor of computer science and public affairs, found ways to upload a computer virus that was able to spread between Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machines (which was donated by an unidentified party back in May).

The professor and his students said they were able to change vote counts and that the machine did not detect the tampering, once again proving just how damn-easy it is to compromise the Diebold voting systems.

You can see the video from Princton’s site HERE and from YouTube HERE.

These are normal folks… not superstar celebrities… not blogging royalty… just a college professor and a few of his wards… trying to show, once and for all, just how piss-poor these Diebold voting systems are in relation to voting security.

Now… it’s not a new thing for people to be attacking Diebold, what is new here is that these aren’t Liberal bloggers or candidates decrying their system, but Academics who have decided to discover for themselves if all the nagative hype against Diebold is warranted.

Apparently… it is.

And it’s struck a nerve with the folks at Diebold. Before the Princeton study, the company would ignore any charges about their machines and claim it was propoganda, but this time they’re pushing back… and they’re using PR to do it.

Now the company has started to issue press releases that are meant to sully the report and ignore the issue altogether.

In fact, one such release stated that the system used by the Princeton group was outdated (version used in the 2004 elections across the country) and therefore not relevant.

So… the systems used in the 2004 Presidential Elections were security risks, but these “aren’t”?

And they also claim that since the machines aren’t networked (meaning they’re not attached to others) they are low-security risks… despite the fact that the study reports that when election judges usually start-up the election process, they tend to take one machine’s memory card and insert it into another machine… this would certainly spread the virus in that particular polling place.

Here’s a thought Diebold… since the company claims that the machine the Princeton group used in their study is old, hows about you let them test your current generation of machines?

What do you say guys???



I don’t think that suggestion is going to get a response... what do you think?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

What is wrong with us? For the last few weeks, Scott and I have been suffering from a severe case of writer’s block (blogstipation as I like to call it).

When will it end?

To pacify the unruly mob that has sent us emails asking where we are, we are attempting to continue on with our short-posts like the Rewind, The Week Ahead (which took Monday off in observance of the 9/11 anniversary, and this one; Random Thoughts.

Look for us to get our writing mojo back within the next few days as our writing and snark talen has to be around here somewhere…

Anyhow, enough excuses, here’s this week’s ‘Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon’

Spin Zone. Pay attention to your safety as Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released a videotape (coinciding with the fifth anniversary of 9/11) that (besides stressing the fact that he still free as a bird) where he addressed the West and said; “Your leaders are hiding from you the true extent of the disaster.”

Blah, blah, blah. Listen to the droning from Washington as, once again, Dubya is trying to correlate the Iraq war with America’s safety and had the balls to say, on the 5th Anniversary of 9/11, to say that failure in Iraq would leave the United States more vulnerable than ever to Islamic extremists and terrorism attacks. terrorism attacks.

Losing her mind? Keep an eye on Condi Rice as I (and others) think she is losing her mind… witness this quote from her earlier this week regarding the state of the country in the five years after 9/11; “I think it's clear that we are safe - safer - but not really yet safe.” Well gee, thanks Condi, that cleared things up really well… have you been taking elocution lessons from Dubya? How many times do we have to tell you, what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom… sorry, I meant ‘boardroom’…

Not up where we belong. The trade deficit in July has reached $68 billion (yes, with a ‘b’) which is a record level for a single month. “This year the overall deficit is running at $776bn, which, if met, would set a record for the fifth year in a row.” Fifth in a row… wait a minute… why, that almost directly correlates with Dubya’s reign of terror… who’d a thunk it???

Really slow news day. Radar magazine examined the worst congressional hair and labeled Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) as having “dead animal hair,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) having “painfully precise bangs,” and Rep. Cynthia “Slappy” McKinney (D-GA) having “just-nuts hair.” The magazine tried to legitimize this story by saying that hair is “… one of the first things voters notice” and can have a negative impact on their campaign. I can destroy that theory in one example Wink; the gubernatorial race in IL… helloooooooo????

Well duh… A new study “closes the loop” and shows that human-induced global warming is indeed having an effect on the worlds weather by making hurricanes more violent and more common. Lovely… yet the conservatives still think it’s a myth… what the hell more proof do they need? A goddamn tidal waving washing over the Capital? Idiots…

The trail is cold. The clandestine U.S. commando unit whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in over two years according to an article in the Washington Post reports. (Well, sure, Dubya isn’t worried about him, so why should we as a nation be worried about him? I’m sure he’s sitting in his cave somewhere, watching YouTube and playing on his X-Box and not thinking about the United States at all… yes Virginia, that was sarcasm…)

Arm twisting. Vice President Dick “Dead-Eye” Cheney, White House Chief of Staff Josh “Don’t call me John” Bolten, and former British Prime Minister Margaret “Still more popular than Tony Blair” Thatcher were putting pressure on senators earlier this week regarding detainee legislation and urging (read: pressuring) them “not to be too restrictive in setting legal limits on CIA interrogations of enemy combatants.” (And the senators should listen to Ms. Thatcher… why??? Hell, come to think of it, why should they listen to Cheney and Bolten now??)

Iran update. A diplomat has told AP that Iran may be willing to consider complying (temporarily) with a U.N. Security Council demand that they freeze uranium enrichment. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in responding to the offer, suggested that the U.S. might suspend its pursuit of U.N. sanctions against Iran if the suspension can be verified. (Wow, do my eyes deceive me? Or is that a softening of our nation’s stance??? Could it be that someone with brains realized that getting into a war with Iran right now would not be a good idea for us? I am impressed… though I am still finishing that bomb shelter…)

Gratuitous Op-Ed Plug of the Week. Keith Olbermann’s wonderful 9/11 oration. Read it and see it HERE… you won’t be dissapointed.

And last but not least…

Hastert Can’t Sing. Crooks and Liars has video from Monday’s Senate tribute to the 9/11 anniversary. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert not only can’t sing, but he doesn’t even know the words to our National Anthem… witness the train-wreck for yourself…

Take ‘em as you will…

Monday, September 11, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Between a long holiday-weekend, being sick, and extremely busy at work, neither Scott or I have had a chance to post this week. We apologize and assure our loyal reader that we will be back in force next week.

Until then, there's always time for (a very brief)'Weekly Rewind'...

Applaud: to the U.S. Senate for unanimously reinstating a special CIA unit whoe main focus was hunting Osama bin Laden. The CIA and the Senate got some harsh criticism after closing the unit in late 2005. (Wow… maybe not everyone in DC is asleep at the switch, just the White House)

Heckle: to news that, unfortunately, doesn’t really surprise me at all. A recent GAO report shows that the United States “isn’t prepared to handle disasters” and also “lacks an effective way to track” all the money handed out that was meant to help rebuild the Gulf Coast.

Applaud to the fact that we got a short reprieve and, after weeks of worrying that we wouldn’t have her antics to laugh at, Senate candidate Katherine Harris (R-FL) won her GOP primary earlier this week, meaning we get to enjoy her behavior for another few months… let us rejoice as she continues to be: Pure. Comedy. Gold.

Heckle: to the fact that 54% of Americans believe things are going “badly” in this country, add to that the fact that 22% believe the economy is “very poor” and you have yourself a country going to hell in a handcart…way to go Bush administration… way to go…

Applaud: to the news that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised to step down within a year. (It wasn’t always like this… he was loved once. But somewhere between 1999 and 2002… he became reviled… must just be a coincidence that his downfall correlates with the election and presidency of George W. Bush… right?

Heckle: to even more piss-poor analagies from this administration. Last week it was fascists, then references to Hitler… now, it’s slavery’s turn to be the new White House “buzz-word” of the week as a handful of administration officials have said that Iraq war critics would have tolerated slavery. This was followed by Secretarty of State Rice saying “I know there were people who said, ‘Why don’t we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?‘” (Yes… slavery is relatively the same thing as the Iraq war… and by that I mean no fuc**** way in hell do the two relate in any way. The administration needs to start focusing on things that matter and leave the spinning to someone else…)

Applaud: to New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) for successfully negotiating the release of Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune journalist Paul Salopek from the Sudanese government. Nice job Gov…

Heckle: to idiocit blathering. First, Bush says “America makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror, and those that harbor and support them, because they’re equally guilty of murder.” Around the same time, a Pakistani general reportedly said that Osama bin Laden “would not be taken into custody” as long as he agreed to live like a “peaceful citizen.” (Quick, someone check the name of the general and verify that it isn’t Clancy Wiggum…)

Heckle: to “President” Bush for this quote from his appearance on the CBS Evening News earlier this week: "One of the hardest parts of my job is to try to connect Iraq to the war on terror." (Wait a minute… I thought that was on of the reasons we invaded Iraq… and come to think of it, shouldn’t you have looked into that before you invaded Iraq?? Doesn’t this amount to ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ but on a much-grander scale

Heckle: to Governor Schwarzenegger (R-CA) for once again putting his foot into his mouth... though, speaking as a Hispanic... I have a hot-temper as well... so take that as you will...

Heckle: to “Unique interpretations of the Geneva Conventions”. Which is BushCo-speak for: "We’ll do whatever the hell we want and ignore the laws of the US and the World... unless someone finds out... then we'll lie our asses off..."

That's all I have time for today... as always, take 'em as you will.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Well folks, while my esteemed colleague is on a long weekend retreat with the family, I will be your guide on a review of some of the more positive and not so positive news / political items that occurred this past week.

So let’s take a look at the week behind in a little piece we like to call The Weekly Rewind.

Applaud: to throwing it in Tony Blair’s face. Former President Jimmy Carter called Tony Blair “compliant and subservient” to President Bush. “I think that more than any other person in the world,” Carter said, “the prime minister could have had a moderating influence on Washington. He has not.

Heckle: to the continued screwing of the average American. The inflation-adjusted median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, the NYT reports, while “wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947.”

Heckle: The new Census figures show that “the gap between the richest and poorest Americans widened last year.” “What have been missing,” the New York Times explains, are policies “like strong support for public education, a progressive income tax, affordable health care, a higher minimum wage and other labor protections.” Ok, with the average hourly wage reducing and the economic gap widening this next Heckle is no surprise…

Heckle: to a ridiculous and unnecessary amount of income. $32.7 million: the average compensation in 2005 of the CEOs of the largest 15 oil companies, according to a new study. Yeah you read that right, the average Americans hourly wage has reduced, but the oil company CEO’s are making tens of millions. Remember that next time you fill up at the pump.

Heckle: to not in my house! Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev — “an autocrat who runs a nation that is anything but free” and is accused in U.S. court of pocketing some $75 million in bribes — will be hosted next month at the White House and the Bush family compound in Maine. If you want to make nice with another deceitful politician do it in your own place, not in the “peoples house”.

Applaud: to something that just had to happen. Fox News ratings have plummeted, down 28 percent since Aug. 2005. If you have ever tried to watch any of their programming this is no surprise.

Heckle: to Israel starting something that we would get pulled into. Israel has appointed a top general to oversee a war against Iran, prompting speculation that it is preparing for possible military action against Tehran’s nuclear program. Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, Israel’s air force chief, will be overall commander for the ‘Iran front. Just what our ‘cowboy’ President needs, a posse for riding with into a fight.

Applaud: to diplomatic endeavors. Former President Jimmy Carter has expressed his willingness to meet with former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami after Iranians indicated their desire for such a meeting. Carter’s spokesman said, “He believes that it is much better to be talking to people who you have problems with than not to, and that’s the approach he takes now.” I doubt that President Carter will be able to resolve this issue with discussions alone, however I applaud him for making the effort.

Heckle: to when being Frist means coming in last. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) “will probably be fined” and face other penalties for falsely telling the Tennessee Department of Health he had fulfilled all the requirements that doctors with active licenses must maintain in the state. Just another spike in the nail of the coffin of conservative deceit.

Applaud: to making the attempt no matter how much the administration tries to minimize it. A crowd of thousands cheered Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson at a protest of President Bush’s appearance in town yesterday, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Anderson called Bush a “dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights violating president.” I think that he just about covered it all with that statement.

Heckle: to preying on our servicemen and servicewomen. As many as one in five members of the armed services are being preyed on by loan centers set up near military bases that can charge cash-strapped military families interest of 400% or more, a new Pentagon report has found. The people running these loan companies should be tar & feathered…better yet, pushed out of the back of a truck into the streets of Iraq. Let’s see how quick they are to want to take advantage of our troops then.

Applaud: to a study that says what we have all been thinking. Sixty percent of Americans think there will be more terrorism in the U.S. because of the Iraq war. Not only that, but any future President is going to have a difficult time pulling troops out of Iraq without a strategy to win. And winning includes the overwhelming support of the various ethnic factions so that they can work together to avoid the widening insurgency (ok, can we call this a civil war yet?)

Heckle: to a book that will quickly be on the discount/closeout shelf. “No Retreat, No Surrender: The American Passion of Tom DeLay.” DeLay announced that he has a deal to publish a book that will explain how “everything I’ve done in my career furthered the conservative cause.” Based on what Tom plans to put into the book, it should be about 2 pages thick…

Applaud: to taking a step in the right direction. I will give a cautious applaud to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Democratic leaders who agreed this week on the “most sweeping controls on carbon dioxide emissions in the nation,” which call for a 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020, “and could establish controls on the largest industrial sectors, including utilities, oil refineries and cement plants.” Like I said, it appears to be a step in the right direction, but I want more details.

Well there it is, nothing fancy, nothing flashy, just a quick look at the week in review.

You know the rest of the year will prove to be interesting what with the mid-term elections, the continuing mess in Iraq, the developing messes in the rest of the middle east and Arab regions.

Do yourself, your family, friends and especially your children a favor, stay in touch and aware of what is happening. You will be amazed at the things that can affect your life.

Be good, stay informed….later.