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…

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