Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'll have the gradual pullout, hold the timetable

Editors Note: My company has joined Scott’s in blocking blog access at work, so the posts will be coming in the evening now until I get mine back (I need the access to properly do my job). Enjoy.

Ironic - I-'rä-nik – adjective – relating to, containing, or constituting irony, which is an incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result. See also: James Baker, the Bush family consigliore, and his panel’s recommendation of an Iraq pullout that are in clear disagreement with Bush’s ideas.

That’s right, you heard me…. The 10-member panel calls for a gradual pullback of the 15 American combat brigades that are currently in Iraq. What it boils down to is this: the group is advising that the U.S. gets the hell out of Iraq.

That’s great in and of itself, but the only thing is, they are vague, and one has to think they’re being intentionally vague, on setting an actual timetable.

While the 10-member panel, led by gop lapdogs James Baker and Lee Hamilton, calls for a gradual pullback in Iraq, they stop short of setting a firm timetable for the withdrawal.

Yes, the group wants a gradual pullout.

“President” Bush was quick to nip this idea in the bud.

In a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki today, Dumbya dismissed the commission’s recommendations even before it’s been officially released saying “I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq. We’re going to stay in Iraq to get the job done.”

Sigh… Dumbest. Person. Ever.

What is Bush thinking??? The American people want a gradual pullout… the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people want a pullout… and a commission led by a Bush-family confidant wants a pullout… yet Bush is still flapping his gums about staying “until the job is done.”

Could one person really be this stupid??? What more needs to happen for him to see he screwed up and it’s time to start moving on? How many more people need to die?? How many more lives need to be shattered??

I was never against the war, per se, what I was against was being lied to by the “commander in chief” for the justification for war… and now I’m against not setting a timetable. Let’s be blunt… setting a timetable and gradualy pulling out is NOT cutting and running… cutting and running would be to pack up everything today and be on the first plane out tomorrow, and I (partially) agree with the thought that that would cause more harm than good to the country.

But the idea of setting a timetable and pulling our troops out in a gradual process is the only possible exit.

How long will it take for this “President” to see that???

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Hey folks we here at TBWA hope that your Thanksgiving was happy and filled with friends and family. And since you are full of turkey and consequently the dreaded tryptophane, we will keep this weeks rewind brief so that you can alternately nap and decorate. So let’s get to it….

Applaud: to putting pen to paper. As a gift to our troops the Army is rewriting a key field manual, the authoritative guidebook on how to conduct ground operations. The gift is that it is being rewritten in a way that rejects the Rumsfeld doctrine [emphasizing speed over massive troop numbers] and counsels against using it again. Thank god someone is taking a serious look and hopefully this rewrite results in decisive actions for our troops and an honorable and effective end to our overwhelming presence in Iraq.

Heckle: to backpedaling to late. Tony Blair’s apparent agreement with a suggestion that the Iraqi war has been disastrous was a ‘straightforward slip of the tongue,’ said the British Prime Minister’s official spokesperson on Saturday. Come on Tony, it’s alright to say it, everyone else is.

Applaud: to someone in the GAO using a little commone sense. A new report by the Government Accountability Office has “criticized the Bush administration for failing to check if federally funded abstinence-only programs actually work to curb teen sex.” You know you’d think that someone might have done a little research into this issue before going forward full steam with a funded program, but hey, why should this administration change it’s track record of failed initiatives now.

Applaud: to silence speaking a novela. Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance bill: Not gonna happen. Last week, Bush sent Capitol Hill a plea for a legislative stamp of approval on the controversial spy effort, calling it an “important priority in the war on terror.” Senate Republicans responded with “deafening silence.” You think that after the mid-term’s the right side of the aisle is finally getting an undstanding of what the american public will and will not tolerate?

Heckle: Ok, so they really don’t have an understanding. The Do-Nothing Congress passes the buck. Republicans vacating the Capitol are dumping a big spring cleaning job on Democrats moving in. Congressional leaders have opted to leave behind almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills, which promises to consume time and energy from the 110th Congress. Talk about passing the buck. Or is it more akin to behaving like spoiled brats? I’ll stick with the latter.

Applaud: to still getting the opportunity to do well. Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, who ran and lost a high-profile congressional race in Illinois this year, has been appointed director of the state’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) announced yesterday. We here at TBWA feel that this was a smart move by the Governor and wish Tamm well in her new job.

Heckle: to starting the spin before ball is thrown. The Iraq Study Group is nearing completion of a first draft of its report. The co-chairmen, James Baker and Lee Hamilton, hope to complete it this weekend and give it to the eight other group members in time for a meeting next week. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is readying counterproposals for Bush in case the Iraq Study Group comes up with ideas he does not like. Ok, we already know that George is not going to like what the group recommends…..

Heckle: to color me not surprised. Leaked drug company memo: Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) loss “creates a big hole we will need to fill” and “we now have fewer allies in the Senate.” Raise your hands those of you who are actaully surpised at this attitude among the pharmacuetical industry. Good, I sense that there are very few if any hands in the air. I’m proud of all of you.

Heckle: to again and again having it thrown in your face. A previously undisclosed video shot in the months before the U.S. invasion in 2003, shows Saddam Hussein and his top officers demonstrating not biological or nuclear weapons, but primitive slingshots, Molotov cocktails, and crossbows. Ok, so we have lost over 2,500 men and women because of Weapons of Medieval Destruction? Not the kind of WMD’s that we were led to believe were present in Iraq.

OK, folks that is it for this week. Please return to your decorating…

Be good, stay informed…..later.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Scott and I wish all our regular readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! Rather than infuse our wishes this year with snark, we thought we would let you enjoy this snippit (about 5:30 minutes in length) from what I consider the best Thanksgiving sitcom episode EVAH!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Well, well, well… it’s another end of another week and that means one thing…

No, not ‘Numbers’ on CBS tonight…

And no, not Las Vegas on NBC tonight…

No, it’s time for TBWA’s The Rewind, where we look back on the way we was and the week that was in the field of politics… let the good times roll… speaking of roll, can I get a drum roll please.

No… not a turkey drumstick…

No… not a dinner roll… a drum roll… sigh… never mind… let’s just get on with it…

You would think that after the events of the last week or so that there would be more Applauds than heckles… not so. After all, Democrats can illicit heckles from Scott and I (nowhere near as many mind you, but they can), and they won’t technically retake the house until the new year.

Anyway… here we go:

Applaud: to world-class snark. Earlier this week, after Sen. Trent Lott (R-XX) was elected to the minority whip office, Fark put this up on its site to push the story: “Trent Lott selected as Senate Minority Whip, because if there's one thing that Trent Lott likes, it's whipping minorities.” Best. Fark. Headline. Ever.

Heckle: to CNN’s Glenn Beck. Earlier this week on his “show” (and I use that term very loosely), the conservative nimrod (really… is there any other kind?) showed his ignorance when he started his interview with Keith Ellison (D-MN), and the first Muslim member of Congress, by calling him a terrorist, stating: “I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’” (What. A. Tool.)

Applaud: Heckle you decide as it depends on your view of the two possibilities. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) routed Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) to become the new majority leader in the House earlier this week. (Despite Murtha being heavily favored by new Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hoyer won in a walk. Pelosi and Hoyer have never seen eye to eye, but this new partnership will force them to. We’ll be watching these developments with great interest…)

Applaud: to 31%, otherwise known as President Bush’s AP-Ipsos approval rating on his handling of the war in Iraq. This marks the “lowest level ever.” (Seriously… this can not come as a surprise to anyone… can it??)

Heckle: to a “last big push” to win the war in Iraq. President Bush told his senior advisers (and considering the age of some of them… that makes the moniker even more apt) that the United States needs to make one more major attempt to finish the war in Iraq. He followed that up by stating that instead of seeing a withdrawal of troops next year, we most likely will see a 20,000 soldier increase. (What the hell is wrong with this man?? Even members of his own party say we need to start withdrawing troops… but he says we have to increase troop size… can this man be more out of touch??)

Applaud: to one of the best responses to why someone would run for President. Former Wisconsin Guv and Health and Human Services Secretary (under Dunbya) Tommy Thompson (R-WI) said earlier this week yesterday that he plans to run for president. When asked why, he responded: “Why not?” (Nice line…even for a republican)

Heckle: to delusional acts of ‘partisanship.’ Earlier this week, “President” Bush renominated six judicial nominees (six controversial judicial nominees by the way) that the Senate had blocked once before for being either unqualified or “too partisan.” Adding to Dubya’s view of partisanship, he also appointed a new chief of family-planning programs that has some strict Christian beliefs that some people don’t feel is in line with what the Department of Health and Human Services stands for. (Nice way to show your new “bipartisanship” there Dubya… ya moron.)

Applaud: to the reporting to prison of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Despite the protests of prosecutors who wanted him to remain free so he could cooperate in further investigations, he reported to prison earlier this week to start serving his sentence. (Well… might as well use this space to say what EVERYONE else has been saying: ‘Don’t bend over for the soap there Jack.”)

Heckle: it’s not political, but I have to throw a heckle out to Fox Broadcasting, publisher Judith Regan (also owned by Fox) and O.J. Simpson. The program and book you are about to show/release is the single most vile and ignorant thing you have ever done. And when speaking about a network that carried “XX Island” and “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire”, and whose news division airs Bill “Want to see my microphone” O’Reilly (who says that “Fox Broadcasting has nothing to do with the Fox News Channel.” And if you believe that, than I have a bridge to sell you in Florida, but that’s another post) that’s saying a LOT.

Applaud: to the staff of former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). Yes, I’m applauding them, stay with me a moment and you’ll understand why. DeLay’s staff, who was to stay on temporarily with his seat’s fill-in until the “official” end of his term, walked out on said fill-in earlier this week. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is now demanding a probe of the aides that walked out on her. This woman is obviously delusional as she was also upset that “President” Bush wasn’t on hand for her swearing in the other day. I’m bummed because, as Wonkette says, without Katherine Harris (R-FL) and Cynthia McKinney (D-XX), we needed a nice crazy-woman in DC.

Heckle: to an atmosphere of fear and hardening sectarianism” that empowers militias, is shaking the people’s confidence in the government and security and is the cause of a mass-exodus out of Iraq. At least that’s what Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. MichaelMaples told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this week, which means that the violence in increasing in “scope, complexity, and lethality.” (Anything that anyone says about Iraq falls onto this administration’s deaf ears (Cheney’s?), so I’ll just ask this: “How much longer Mr. Bush? How much longer?”)

Applaud: to the memory of Milton Friedman.

Heckle: to not doing their job properly or in a timely manner. The House approved a stopgap spending bill (again) this week in order to “keep the federal government running” until at least December 8th. I say “again” because there was another stopgap back in September (which expires today, Friday) that was implemented by Congress because… well, because it “left most of the work on regular spending bills unfinished” when it adjourned in early October so members could campaign for re-election… (Well… that was a beneficial use of their time… much better than doing what they’re paid for and trying to keep the federal government running…)

Applaud: to CNN’s Lou Dobbs… he just seems to be hitting the nail on the head every week in his columns… and this week was no exception. Give it a read HERE.

Heckle: to high-priced, high-tech pieces of crap (no this isn’t about Microsoft Vista). The Bush administration’s plan to build the “high-tech” “virtual fence” along the U.S. border is gonna cost a lot more than the $2 billion that the “industry analysts” initially thought (color me NOT surprised) according to a government watchdog group said it could go as high as $30 billion.

Take ‘em as you will…

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Democrats 2007 Senate Ledership Team

Ladies and Gentlemen... from the office of newly-elected Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), put your hands together for your 2007 Democratic Majority Senate Leadership Team...

  • As President Pro Temp, please welcome… from West… Virginia: Robert… Byrd! In this position, Senator Byrd will provide the Democratic Caucus with leadership and experience that has been gained from a lifetime of public service.
  • As Assistant Majority Leader, please welcome… from Illinois: Dick… Durbin! As Assistant Majority Leader, Durbin will serve as the Majority Leader's key aide on the floor and off the floor as he helps lead the Democrats' fight to protect America and help working families get where they need to be.
  • Coming to you from New York as Vice Chair of the Conference: Charles… Schumer! Besides being the 3rd ranking member of the Democratic leadership, Mr. Schumer will oversee strategy and policy designed to keep and build support for Democratic values.
  • From the state of Washington please welcome as your Secretary of the Conference: Patty… Murray! As Secretary of the Conference, Ms. Murray will help shape and set the Democratic agenda.
  • Coming to you once again from the state of New York, please welcome Charles Schumer as the Campaign Committee Chairman. Even though he is already the Vice Chair of the Conference, Mr. Schumer is once again serving as Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Considering how good he is at fundraising it should be no surprise that he’s decided to take another term in this position.
  • In the position of Chairman of Policy Committee,please welcome, from North… Dakota: Byron… Dorgan! In this position, Mr. Dorgan will continue to provide strong leadership at the Democratic Policy Committee (DPC). The DPC under Dorgan, conducted aggressive Congressional oversight and created some innovative policy ideas.
  • From the state of Michigan, please welcome… as your Chair of Steering and Outreach Committee: Debbie… Stabenow! Ms. Stabenow will engage Democratic Senators and community leaders across the country in an active dialogue about the pressing issues facing our nation and our party.
  • From the state of New Mexico (wait a minute… there’s a New Mexico???), please welcome as the Chairman of Committee Outreach… Jeff… Bingaman! In this position, Mr. Bingaman will harness the Committee Chairs' tremendous knowledge and experience, and “ensure their important committee work is advanced in a united and consistent manner.”
  • From New York… please welcome your new Vice Chair of Committee Outreach: Hillary… Clinton! In this position, Ms. Clinton will work (closely) with Senator Bingaman in efforts to help coordinate the committee work of the Democratic Caucus.
  • From Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkanas, put your hands together for the Chair of Rural Outreach: Blanche… Lincoln! In a position that was created in the last Congress as a sign of the Dems' commitment to engage and communicate with rural Americans, Ms. Lincoln will continue to guide rural outreach for the Caucus and look for new ways to reach rural, suburban and exurban American communities.
  • From the big ol’ state of California, please welcome the new Chief Deputy Whip: Barbara… Boxer! As Chief Deputy Whip, Ms. Boxer will be responsible for managing and implementing Caucus efforts on the Senator floor as well as working as the “right hand” of the Democratic Leader and Assistant Democratic Leader, she will play a key role in the articulation, advancment and achievment of the Democratic Caucus’ main objectives.
  • And as your Deputy Whips: Bill Nelson from the voting problem state of Florida, Russ Feingold from the Cheese-head state of Wisconsin and, last but not least, from Delaware: Thomas Carper.

It’s beginning everyone... it’s beginning. Now, if only we could get the House to be this efficient in naming their leadership, we’d be good to go...

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Week Ahead

It’s almost been a week since the citizenry of the U.S. displayed their disdain for the current political leadeship and started the country down a new path, and as we embark on the last few weeks of 2006 it is once again time for a little thing we like to call; The Week Ahead. Enjoy.

  • 31%… that’s what Bush’s job approval rating is according to a new Newsweek poll. That sound you hear is more air being deflated out of the gop…

  • Keep in mind that the final session of the current republican controlled lame-duck Congress begins today with legislation on the agenda that… that… well… that really doesn’t have any effect on life as we know it. Unless you count the Administration’s non-wavering desire to push through the nomination of John Bolton… which doesn’t sound like it’s really plausible anyway. And speaking of The Mustachioed One…

  • Keep an eye on Bolton this week… no real reason… just keep an eye on him… that bushy mustache of his makes me believe he’s up to no good…

  • Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he will NOT run for president in 2008 but instead will focus on his work in the Senate. (Unfotunately, this was one of the more-sterling possibilites that the Dems had, certainly better than Clinton or Kerry, and his annoucement has taken quite a few, including me, by surprise. Of course, that means that the possible field has now “dwindled” to approximately 123 potential nominees…)

  • Pay attention to the war in Iraq as Democratic leaders in the Senate have already announced their “top priority” when the new (Democratically-controlled) Senate convenes in a few months. The plan can be summed up in four words: Phased. Redeployment. Of. Troops. (I’ll believe it when I see it…)

  • You may want to keep an eye on conservative pundits in the next few weeks… lest they all commit acts of Hari Kari. Case in point: Bob Novak has stated that the republicans will re-elect its old leadership rather than go with someone new. Novak’s response to that was to label it an act of “supreme irrationality”… and he’s supposedly on their side…

  • “President” Bush’s plan to push through his domestic surveillance legislation through the lame-duck congress ain’t gonna happen. This newsflash comes from both sides of the aisle…

  • Pay attention as Daddy is coming to Dubya’s rescue to try and salvage what’s left of his “Presidency.” Interesting… he’s relying on a one-term president to bail him out. Is this a Greek Tragedy or U.S. politics?

That’s all, take ‘em as you will…

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You

As my esteemed colleague said....

No Potshots....

No Snark....

No Politics....

Just a great big thanks to all my fellow veterans.

And a thanks to the veterans in my family; Uncle Bill, Uncle Fank, Uncle Joe, cousin Tom, cousin Billy (who is in Iraq on his second tour), cousin Patrick, cousin Marsha and brother-in-law Steve. Thank you all, and may the above scene be played over and over again in the coming year.

Thank you...

No potshots...
No snark...
No politics...

Just big thanks...

...from a grateful nation...

And extra special thanks to the veteran's in my family: my Uncles Jimmy, Eladio, Henry & Warren. My cousin Tom (who is now back in Iraq for the fourth time), my father-in-law Bill and my brother-in-law Frank... Thank you.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Well, what a week this has been. What with the mid-terms and the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. In the past few days we have shared with you our thoughts about the election so with that being said lets not replay the obvious and get to the rewind.

Heckle: to being dirty down to the wire. The Washington Post reports on the “heavy volume of automated political phone calls” that has “infuriated countless voters and triggered sharp complaints.” Conservative groups have “crafted the messages to delude voters — especially those who hang up quickly — into thinking that Democrats placed the calls.” I’m shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment….

Heckle: to being dirty down to the wire part 2. The campaigns of Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R-MD) and U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele (R-MD) chartered at least six buses to carry mostly poor, black homeless men from as far as Philadelphia to hand out inaccurate voter guides in Baltimore and Prince George’s County yesterday as part of an effort to woo black voters. Ehrlich defended the practice, saying: “If folks are here from out of town, that’s fine with me.” Yeah as long as you gave them a bus ride and fed them so that they would happily hand out false advertising without question that’s 'fine with you.'

Heckle: to creating an electronic ‘Florida’ virus. In a number of states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah, voters reported that electronic voting machines were not working properly. Among the errors were voting machines not turning on, failing to scan the ballots, and software that failed to function properly. Evidently the conservatives were getting creative since they don’t have ‘hanging chads’ to play with anymore.

Heckle: to grinning and bearing it. In the aftermath of the Democrats taking the majority in both the House and Senate a “broad charm offensive by White House officials is unlikely,” Time magazine’s Mike Allen reports. “They’re not in the mood for it, and they don’t think it would work,” said one close adviser. Gee, ya think!? Is it just me or do the White House officials remind you of the folks you would see in infomercials at 3:00am trying to sell you stuff you don’t need that may or may not work…

Applaud: to not being able to hide behind anything. The election only spells more trouble for politicians under federal investigation who were voted out of office — including Sen. Condrad Burns (R-MT) and Reps. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and Katherine Harris (R-FL) — since it prompts prosecutors to pursue more aggressively a case since the potential defendant no longer has the institution of Congress defending him or her. I am going to buy a bunch of popcorn and settle in as the next few months should be interesting…

Heckle: to working out the details and then conveniently forgetting that you had done it. The U.S. government conducted a series of secret war games in 1999 that anticipated an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaos might ensue. Read the full study HERE. And Rumsfeld was left in charge of our defense policies for so long, why?….

Heckle: to talking out of both sides of your mouth. Federal prosecutors rejected 87 percent of the international terrorism cases brought by the FBI during the first nine months of fiscal year 2006. Prosecutions fell from 118 defendants in fiscal year 2002, to 19 defendants from Oct. 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006. The Justice Department disputed the findings. What, a division of the government that has been under the control of a conservative administration riddled with repeated failed policies disputing investigative findings, it boggles the mind!

Heckle: to I’ll believe it when I see it. FBI Criminal Division chief James Burrus says “the bureau is ramping up its ability to catch crooked politicians and might run an undercover sting on Congress.” He expects an emphasis on rooting out public corruption “for many, many, many years to come.” I may not be from Missouri, but come on show me that you mean it.

Heckle: to just being an idiot. News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch yesterday called the 2,832 U.S. troop deaths in Iraq “minute” from a historical perspective. This guy needs to be dropped blindfolded into any insurgent heavy area of Iraq.

Heckle: color me not surprised. A UN-sponsored audit of Halliburton subsidiary KBR found the company charged the Iraqi government as much as $25,000 per month for each of as many as 1,800 fuel trucks that were to deliver gasoline to Iraq after the 2003 invasion, but the trucks often spent days or weeks sitting idle on the border. Hmmm, so do you think they had more trucks then they needed?

Applaud: to the National Hurricane Center predictions being wrong. The quietest hurricane year in a decade officially ends in three weeks, but meteorologists and disaster managers on the Gulf and Florida coasts agree that the season is already over. We “dodged a bullet this year,” said meteorologist Gerry Bell of the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. “If there was ever a time that we needed a break, we got one.” I think that everyone in the Southeast, Gulf, and Mid-Atlantic states are pleased with the lack of activity this season.

Applaud: to the first positive thing to come out of the Senate after the election. Incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden (D-DE), said yesterday that John Bolton’s troubled nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is “going nowhere.” He added, “I never saw a real enthusiasm (for Bolton’s nomination) on the Republican side to begin with. There’s none on our side.” Ah, Senator there’s none out here among the American public either.

Applaud: to a ruling from the bench that we can all feel good about. A federal judge ruled the Center for Reproductive Rights could subpoena more than three years of Plan B-related communications between the White House’s domestic-policy office and FDA officials. The documents could determine whether the White House interfered with the FDA’s handling of a request by manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. to allow sales without prescriptions. Is anyone actually surprised that this administration would be involved in any attempt to keep a corporate industry (which was probably a big Republican contributor) from extending their profits?

Applaud: to the first positive thing to come out of the House after the election. Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised to press forward with an ambitious agenda that includes an increase of $2.10 an hour in the minimum wage. Her agenda for the first “100 hours” of Congress is filled with items that, though opposed by Bush, should attract near-universal approval from Democrats and could even win some Republican votes. Read about the agenda here. Say what you will about a woman being speaker, but I like the agenda and I am sure the average American will like and welcome a long overdue raise which will not only benefit the hourly wage earner but many other working people as well. I like what I see so far Madame Speaker!

Applaud: we can only hope. Unnamed White House officials say that President Bush is aware of Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates’ critique of current policy and understood that Mr. Gates planned to clear the ‘E Ring’ of the Pentagon, where many of Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s senior political appointees have plotted Iraq strategy. ok, you know that Rumsfeld did not come up with all these stupid plans by himself, sure he had help from the White House, but he also had assistance from his high level advisors and I for one will welcome a sweeping change in the Pentagon.

That's it for this week.

Be good, stay informed...later

Semper Fi!

Happy Birthday Marines

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It starts...

Well… I guess we can be grateful that he waited (almost) 48 hours before unleashing the horror of the 2008 presidential election upon us ...

Less than two days since the American public showed their intense displeasure with the gop, we had the opening salvo of the 2008 Presidential nominations thrown at us as Iowa governor
Tom Vilsack (D-IA) made an offical announcement that he is establishing a 2008 presidential campaign committee.


Vilsack is the first to “officially” toss his hat into the ring… and he won’t be the last by any means. Other politicians will soon follow, Democrats and republicans alike… it’s even possible that we could see another hopeful throw his (or, I guess, her) hat into the presidential ring before 2006 even comes to a close.

As you read this post, former Presidential candidate and retired General Wes Clark is
turning his attentiontowards a possible presidential run… add to that the “murmurs” of Bayh, Clinton (good god, no!), Obama, Edwards, Kerry (GOOD GOD, NO!), Gore, Feingold, Daschle, Biden, Richardson and myself, you have a plethora of possible candidate/nominees.

And that’s not even taking into account the republican side of the spectrum… but really, who wants to do that?

Now I’m sure we all would like to enjoy the euphoria of recent days (winning both the House and Senate while simaltaneously bidding adieu to Mr. Rumsfeld) a little more while we allow our elected officals to roll up their collective sleeves and turn their focus to a legislative agenda that benefits America's working families while at the same time cramping Bush’ s style and marring his ability to damage our country any more than he and his cronies already have.

Unfortunately… we live in 2006 and the 2008 roadshow is going to start competing for our attention (along with early-Christmas blitz), right now…

So get ready...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Caution, the winds of change can be fickle....

Nothing is formal yet but according to some reports Virginia will fall to the Webb camp. This would give the Democrats control of the Senate as well as the House.

But make no mistake, this win is 'Not' a mandate for sweeping change, but instead appears that it may have been a message of rejection clearly aimed at the President and Republicans in general. If the Democrats do not keep this clearly in mind then the cocky attitude of being in the majority may be short lived and could be threatened in 2008.

As of now the Democrats appear to have the majority due to having 49 Democratic Senators and 2 Independents who have stated that they will side with the left side of the aisle. However this could change with a decision by one of the Independents to officially declare themselves to be a Republican. I give you three guesses and the first two don't count....Joe Lieberman.

Why Lieberman? Well, Joe has a history of siding with the President (which is why the Dems basically kicked him out) and then there are the actual votes that were cast in Connecticut.

  • Lieberman (I)- 50%
  • Lamont (D)- 40%
  • Schlesinger (R)- 10%

Ok, take a look at those numbers again....notice anything? The Republican only got 10% of the vote. You know the other Republican voters were not casting thier ballot for where did those other votes go? You got it....Joe Lieberman. It's going to be a interesting thing to watch and see what Lieberman does, how he votes and where his beliefs and loyalties will lie.

If the Democrats want to be effective and prove that we were right to place our trust in them, they need to be mindful of something that the President and the Republican party obviously forgot.....the will of the American people.

Listen to your constituents (and by that I mean the voters) instead of corporations and the majority may hold come 2008.

Be good, stay informed....later.

Another Guest Post

(Editors note: Kemp and I are always proud to welcome guest posters to our blog. After all, inclusion is one of the cornerstones of Democracy. Today we welcome our good friend and blogmigo; Sarah. Without any further delay let's see what is on Sarah's mind on this day after the md-terms.)

As I write this the Virginia Senate race still hasn't been decided. I don't know if I should be happy that Webb seems to be in the lead or bewildered that a Senator that called a guy from Falls Church a "macaca" has gotten over 1,162,000 votes.

Either way, that isn't what I want to talk about.

I know the last time I posted here I wrote about gay marriage, but this abomination takes ignorance a step beyond normal bigotry.

Read the full text of this amendment that my fellow Virginians just voted to include in our state constitution.

"That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."
Mother of God! You fucking morons. I don't care if you have a problem with same sex marriages (well, I do, but that isn't the point) do you realize what you just enacted into law?

Read the second paragraph again. I'll wait.

Do you understand what this means? Neither do I. It's pretty vague, but it sure does open up a lot of doors to deny rights and property and benefits to A LOT of people, straight or homosexual.

I see problems with common-law marriages, people who live together, (apparently a man and a woman living together who are not married is technically illegal in Virginia anyway) same sex couples etc.

If you share a home with someone and it is in their name and you are not married if they die you get nothing by law unless it is properly spelled out in their will. You guys had better hope that probate won't leave people homeless. It also ensures that same sex marriages or common law marriages recognized in other states will not count here. I could go on and on and on about our civil rights, but I will leave it at this - Virginia is for lovers, but only married heterosexual lovers who are over 18 and were married in a ceremony that the state feels like acknowledging.



I don't know which I am more pleased with-

The Democrats taking control of the House and possibly the Senate, or Rumsfelds resignation...

Both are appealing in their own ways. At the moment I will go with the joy that goes with Rumsfelds resignation. The only caveat is that it should have happened a couple of years ago, but better late than never.


No more Rum(sfeld)

After six crappy, demoralizing and devastating years at the Pentagon, "President" Bush has just announced that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has resigned and that he is nominating former CIA head Robert Gates to replace Rumsfeld.

Gates, by the way, has had more than his share of troubled nominations, such as his first time around when he couldn't get confirmed as CIA Director because of a myriad of questions about his role in the Iran-Contra Affair.

Ya know... I've been thinking that Christmas was starting early this year... and now I'm sure!


It's somewhat hard to write when you're gloating, but our mid-term election wrap-ups are forthcoming... watch for them...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

No More Rummy

Lost amid all the hoopla of today's midterms (don’t get me wrong – it’s very, very important hoopla) is the fact that the editorial board of the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Times are all (yes: ALL) calling for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld.

It’s an interesting and required read… so if you haven’t had the pleasure to read it, enjoy it here.


"So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth."

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the "hard bruising" truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington. One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "mission accomplished," the insurgency is "in its last throes," and "back off," we know what we're doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war's planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: "I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war."

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on "critical" and has been sliding toward "chaos" for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.

But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don't show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

This is a mistake.

It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.

And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go.

At last… someone within the echelon of the government that has the eyes and ears of our brave men and women that risk their lives for an unjust war has fired what one can only hope is the opening salvo of ending the employment of Rumsfeld.

Now... go back and check out the election results...

Just Do it...

I voted !!

Now get out there and do your part before the polls close....


I've voted... have you???

Monday, November 06, 2006

Some rambling thoughts....

This past weekend it was Kemp's turn to work magic on the Weekly Rewind and he did a brilliant job as always! But I just had a few things that have been rolling around inside my head that are just screaming to see the light of day. Lucky for you I thought I would throw a few of these out here into the blogosphere....

  • First off, I just gotta take a second and give a literal scream in response to the constant bombardment of negative political ads that assault me during the morning and evening news broadcasts. Here's an idea, how about an ad where instead of telling lies about your opponent, you actually tell the truth about yourself?! I think the last time I saw an ad like that it was a parody on SNL….pretty sad. Republican or Democrat both sides are guilty of this and the American public has to take a stand or this will never change.
  • With over 100 servicemembers killed, this October became the fourth deadliest month for American Troops since the war began. As a veteran myself, my continuing comment is that this is tragic and sad.
  • I still don’t get it. Am I the only one who finds it disturbing that the White House has 'regular' conference calls with various religious leaders....?? Not only that but they are categorized as 'advisory' conference calls..?? Separation of church and state? It seems like the church is setting (or at least influencing policy for the state....
  • The Bush administration is now targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs. Ok, I am going on the record right now as saying that this has not worked in the past and will not work now. Singles have had and will continue to have sex especially in their 20’s, that is just what they do… Maybe they should spend the money and resources to develop an abstinence-only program for evangelist leaders?
  • Are the conservatives really that stupid or do they just not think before they say something stupid? More top conservatives try to back away from Bush’s Iraq policy. House leader Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) told CNN this past week, “What’s happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me.” Wait, hold on, keep that thought......So I guess your prior support for the failed Iraq policies of the administration were not a reflection on you either?
  • Sometime you gotta love Jimmy Kimmel. After the administration jumped on John Kerry (D-Ma) for his ill-stated comments last week, Jimmy had this to say on his late night talk show. "I think it's important to note that nobody hates the troops more than decorated war hero John Kerry. We're all very, very lucky that we have draft-dodgers like George Bush and Dick Cheney to point that out to us." You know I would send copies of that to George and Dick but I don't think they would get the fact that the joke is on them.
  • The White House announced that Dick Cheney is going hunting on election day. I am sure the Secret Service will be wearing kevlar vests as they promise to take one for the V.P., and not take one FROM the V.P.

Well that's all I will foist upon you at this time. Tomorrow is the mid-terms and just think, on Wednesday morning we can all wake up knowing that we will not be assaulted by negative ad after negative ad.

We can also wake up knowing that the conservative stranglehold on the congress will be over.

As for the claims that if democrats take control that they will raise taxes. Well if the Bush tax cuts are not extended some may see that as a tax increase.

However smart people will see it as a return to the status quo of how things were when Bush took office.

You know, when the country actually had a surplus instead of a large out of control deficit, and also when the economy was actually know interest rates AND gas prices were low.

So when you go to the polls tomorrow ask yourself, are you better off now then you were before Dubya stole the White House? If you take an honest and unbiased look at your life, you know the answer is no.

Be good, stay informed….later

Oh yeah, don’t forget to vote tomorrow…it’s important.


There’s less than 24 hours to go and while many politicians (and Liberals) are contemplating sedatives (if not something stronger) there is an election tomorrow and we at TBWA want everyone to get out and vote…

You can’t vote by sitting in front of your computer (at least not yet).

And you can’t vote by sitting on your couch at home…unless of course you have an absentee ballot.

You have to go to your respective polling place and pull the lever, punch the chad, push the button, scan the optic or fill-in the oval (which one of those do you think sounds sexual?).

In short; you must vote.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, republican, Independent, Libertarian, Communist, Green or even a Mickey Mouse party fan… you must get out and vote.

If you think your ballot is worthless and doesn’t carry any weight you’re wrong.

According to The Voters Paradox by Leon Felkins and Mack Tanner the importance of any single vote declines the more voters as having made a rational decision.

The other side of the coin says that with fewer voters, the influence of an individual’s vote rises. Furthermore, if you don’t’ vote, you’re allowing others to speak for you… and that ain’t right.

You want another reason? Voting is a profound statement of our democracy, a birthright if you will, that no one, absolutely no one, should take for granted and ignore.

Every voice counts.

Every opinion counts.

Every vote counts.

So get your ass out to the polls and vote tomorrow.

Now… if you want to use your own brain and make an informed decision that will help our country, then vote Democratic.

If you want to screw the country with it’s collective pants on while maintaining the status quo, then vote republican.

If you feel guilty and want to vote your conscience while drinking coffee from a styrofoam cup, vote Green party.

If you want to vote with an eye on common ownership, vote Communist.

If you want to vote with an eye towards being free to do whatever you want, vote Libertarian.

However you decide to vote… just vote.

Cross-posted at Kemp's Blog and Scott's Rant Spot.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

It's that time again, time for The Weekly Rewind

Applaud: I’m not necessarily a fan of Jay Leno, but I have to throw out an applaud for this quote from The Tonight Show: “President Bush warned Democrats not to celebrate (the mid-terms) too early. This is from the guy who put up the 'Mission Accomplished' sign three years ago.”

Heckle: There’s been yet another theft of personal data from a Veterans Administration facility, making it the third such theft in less than a year. This time it was a computer containing the personal data of military veterans that was stolen back in September from a V.A. hospital in Manhattan. Why are we just hearing about this now you ask? Because V.A. officials only sent a letter out to the veterans whose information was stolen within the past two weeks… way to be on top of things guys…

Applaud: to conserrvatives fears once again being undounded. Four years ago the state of Oregon raised their minimum wage despite conservative attempts to claim that it would hurt the economy. The Wall Street Journal examined those claims and found that (surprise, surprise!) “none of these fears materialized” and the state’s job growth is still strong… once again, the republicans have absolutely no clue, and that doesn’t surprise me in the least…

Heckle: to the new winner of the “Dumbest Quote About the Status of Iraq Award.” This one goes to U.S. Maj. Gen. Caldwell, who stated “Every great work of art goes through messy phases while it is in transition. A lump of clay can become a sculpture. Blobs of paint become paintings which inspire.” Uh… okay… The Chicago Trib’s Frank James had the best response to this quote: “I’m not making this up, he actually said this.

Applaud: to the ever-growing number of conservatives running away from Bush. House leader Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) is just the latest republican to run as far away from Bush as they can as she told CNN earlier this week: “What’s happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me.” (Must not gloat… must not gloat… must not gloat…)

Heckle: to trying to cover-up the failings of their administration. The Bush administration has delayed the release of an annual hunger report (that’s usually released in October) until after next week’s mid-terms. This comes at the same time that it was announced that the House ethics committee report on the Foley page scandal won’t be released before Election Day either. Hmmmm… seems to me the administration is tying to bury some bad information … but this administration wouldn’t do that, would they??? No, I didn’t think so… (it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the writen form…)

Applaud: to more lemmings coming in from the cold. Almost 70% of Americans disapprove of Dubya’s handling of Iraq (meaing only 29% approve – which matches the lowest mark of his presidency) and can see through the rhetoric that amounted to nothing more than a change in language but not policy. (I love it when a plan, starts, coming together…)

Heckle: to our beloved country losing its status and position in the world. Because of the current administration’s actions, the U.S. is now seen as a “threat to world peace” by countries that are our neighbors and by countries that were once our allies. This according to a new survey of Great Britain, Mexico, Israel, and Canada. The poll shows “just how far the country’s reputation has fallen” (Way to go administration… way to go… fuc**** idiots….)

Applaud: to not being bullied by the current administration. Inspectors general from NASA and the Commerce Department are going to investigate if Bush and his cronies strong-armed their political appointees and prevented their climate researchers from conveying their findings about the greenhouse effect to the public. (Nice… looks as though things are starting to unravel at a higher clip for Bush than before… hope if keeps up…). However, this ties in nicely with this heckle:

Heckle: to the State Department who, in order to protect Bush and his cronies, screened all public statements and writings for criticism of the Bush administration before they would decide if they should be used for foreign affairs gigs. (Come on now… does this really surprise anyone??)

Heckle: to what appears to be never-ending stupidity from this administration. A federal government web archive of Saddam-era documents was shut down after weapons experts said some of the documents that were posted “could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms.” (Brilliant… absolutely brilliant…)

Hmmmmm.... the heckles seem to vastly outnumber the applauds. I won't say anything about that save for this: remember to vote on Tuesday, November 7th... our nation depends on it.

(Okay... that last part was a little much, but it's true. So do your civic duty and vote. And if you don't, then you lose all right to complain about politics...)

Take 'em as you will...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

Seeing as how we missed this week's Week Ahead (where has this year gone??), here's this weeks handy-dandy Random post, enjoy... or not...

Back to the table. It what should be a positive sign, Kim Jonh Il made the decision that North Korea will return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. Granted, it’s almost a certainty that nothing new will arise, unless, as former State Department official David Straub says, both the U.S. and North Korea “bring significantly different approaches to the talks.” (Actual progress or an attempt by the Bush Administration to attempt one final success before next week’s mid-terms? Whatever the reason for it happening, it has to be viewed as a good thing…)

The Numbers Know. According to a new Wall Street Journal poll, 63% of Americans disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war. (About time people started to come around…)

A 29-Year Old Virgin? Seeing every other program of theirs get ignored or dropped, the Bush administration is “targeting unmarried adults up to age 29” as part of their abstinence-only program… (What? The administration can screw the people, but the people can’t screw other people? That hardly seems fair… And really, if people are busy screwing each other, then who would be left for the administration to screw?)

Sad. In case you hadn’t noticed, and judging my the media’s incredible lack of covering this story you probably haven’t, the U.S. military suffered it’s fourth deadliest month in Iraq last month (October) that saw more than 100 serivcemembers killed.

Attack of the Allen. Liberal blogger Mike Stark was physically accosted yesterday at a campaign event by staffers of Sen. George Allen (R-VA). Now comes word that Virginia police are investigating the incident and are trying to determine the names of the perpetrators and… wait; sniff, sniff… ya smell that?? It smells like… desperation…

The Blame Game. A leading proponent of the Iraq war, and a conservative to boot, says that the Bush administration is “dysfunctional” (that’s putting it mildly). While Richard Perle doesn’t think Bush is to blame (then who… exactlly??), he does say that if the administration can’t create a program to find nuclear material on its way to the US, then it has to be replaced by “an administration that can.” (Ignoring the fact that he says Bush isn’t to blame, Perle is dead-on…)

Uh, okay. CNN is reporting that “President” Bush will be out on the campaign trail this week to rally the GOP base in five states… my question is this: Really????

Katherine Harris Update. Still delusional by thinking she’s going to win, but it’s now official that she has, what I would call, run the worst campaign in U.S. history. She has won no endorsements from any paper in Florida, which means that her opponent, Bill Nelson, swept every editorial endorsement in the state. Every. Single. One. (I’d offer my thoughts on this, but how can you add to something that already is drowning in snark?) BTW, the two of them have a debate tonight… should be entertaining..

Shameless Op-Ed Plug of the Week Lou Dobbs has been on fire recently, and he’s not letting up. This week he says that middle-class America will be “getting the bird” no matter who wins control of Congress next week… (If you actually read the article, you definitely get a sense that he thinks the middle-class would get screwed harder if republicans maintain control… and he’s right.)

Whew. Rather then announce a verdict before the mid-terms, it seems that the verdict for Saddam Hussein might be delayed until after next week’s elections. If you listen closely, you can hear Dems all over the county utter a collective; ‘Whew!’

Not a surprise. apparently, when you cast a vote for a Democrat in Florida, the voting machine changes your vote to Republican. When asked about this, the election “official” stated “This is not uncommon.” (Anyone who was around for the 2000 election isn’t surprised by this… how else would you explain a Bush victory?)

All I have, take ‘em as you will…