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

No comments: