Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Ok folks it’s that time once again…..stop don’t panic, no it’s not Christmas, that is still 9 days away. (thank goodness..)

It’s time for The “Bush”-Whacked Administrations award winning Weekly Rewind. Alright so it hasn’t won any awards, but we are still proud of it. So let’s get right to it.

Heckle: to giving folks the perverbial finger on the way out. Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise trip to Iraq last Sunday “to thank US troops for their service.” On all of his 14 previous trips to Iraq…Rumsfeld has taken reporters who cover him regularly at the Pentagon. But on this trip, Fox News host Sean Hannity was the only member of the media allowed to accompany Rumsfeld. Wow that just speaks volumes doesn’t it!?

Heckle: to giving a panel of distinguished thinkers/leaders the finger in thanks for their hard work. The administration says that their preliminary review of the Iraq Study Group report has concluded that many of its key proposals are impractical or unrealistic, and a small group inside the National Security Council is now racing to come up with alternatives to the panel’s ideas. Nothing says job well done like a slap in the face from a White House that acts like a spoiled brat when they don’t get one they want.

Applaud: (sarcastically) to good riddance. Outgoing U.N. ambassador John Bolton will return to the conservative American Enterprise Institute to speak, consult and replenish the coffers after six years of public service. Well look at the bright side at least he won’t be speaking to the world on our behalf.

Heckle or is it an Applaud: to results oriented management. Major partners in Iraq’s governing coalition are in behind-the-scenes talks to oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki amid discontent over his failure to quell raging violence, according to lawmakers involved. Imagine, the leader of a country may be thrown out of his office for ‘failing’ at his job… who else do we know that is failing miserably ??? I’ll give you a minute to think of it…it will come to you….. see the lightbulb went off didn’t it?

Applaud: it’s a start. Democratic congressional leaders announced yesterday (Monday) they plan to “place a moratorium on all earmarks until lobbying changes are enacted.” Nice thought, let’s see how far they get.

Heckle: your team lost and you still didn’t get the message. After drawing criticism from Florida lawmakers for calling Miami a third-world country, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) will visit the city Thursday to speak on ‘The Need for Assimilation, The Hill reports. Tancredo agreed to visit Miami only if the trip included a stay at a five-star beachfront resort.

Heckle: to bowing to their masters. Federal prosecutors are backing away from some of the aggressive tactics they have employed against corporate crime. The Justice Department on Tuesday said that prosecutors “will largely refrain from demanding that companies refuse to pay for the legal defense of executives who are under investigation, and significantly limit their demands for privileged attorney-client communications.” What, they don’t want another high level corporate fraud conviction only to have the defendant die on them to avoid paying any fines or restitution?

Applaud: to more people waking up. Fifty-four percent of Americans now believe that Bush will be judged as a below-average or poor president, more than double the negative rating given any of his five most recent predecessors. Just 19 percent expect him to be seen as outstanding or above average, placing him last among the six. Comes as no surprise to us.

Heckle: forgive us if we don’t quite believe it. Karl Rove disclosed during a Washington speaking engagement last week that he will not return to his lifetime profession as a political consultant when he leaves the White House. Rove referred to himself as ‘a former political consultant’ and said that he was leaving the game. If you don’t mind, Kemp and I will not hold our breath for this one.

Heckle: what is it that you have to hide? The Bush administration asked an appeals court Wednesday to overrule a federal judge and allow the White House to keep secret any records of visitors to Vice President Dick Cheney’s residence and office. I wonder who Dick has been seeing? or who has been seeing Dick?

Heckle: did we really need a poll to tell us the obvious? New Zogby poll shows that “Arab attitudes toward American people, products and culture grew increasingly negative last year,” in large part from U.S. policy toward Iraq and the Palestinian conflict. To this I can only say ‘Duh!’

Heckle: to the continual Snow job. White House press secretary Tony Snow apologized yesterday to NBC News correspondent David Gregory, whom he accused last week for posing “partisan” questions at a briefing for journalists. “I’ve thought a lot about that, and I was wrong,” Snow said. You know every time Tony speaks without thinking he proves why the administration hired him in the first place.

This last item does not fall into the category of an Applaud or Heckle but is something important worth noting. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) underwent emergency brain surgery overnight Wednesday after falling ill at the Capitol and was recovering in critical condition late this week, introducing a note of uncertainty over control of the Senate. CNN reports Johnson has been diagnosed with a congenital arteriovenous malformation.

Ok, but if you think about this it could also be a good thing in broader terms. Not that the Senator is seriously ill, but that the control of the Senate could fall back to the Republicans.

Follow me on this one. With a majority in the House and only a slim majority in the Senate, how much was actually going to get accomplished in the next two years? Probably not much.... for which the Republicans would be all over during the 2008 campaign saying that the Democrats came into power in 2006 and made all these promises but they did nothing.

Now if the House and the Senate become split, during the campaigns in 2008 the Democrats can point to the fact that the House had all these great ideas that they passed and tried to move into law but that they were squashed by the senate and the White House. We will have to wait and see, but we here at TBWA wish Senator Johnson our best for a healthy recovery.

There you have it, a re-cap of some of the stories of the week and a little political strategizing as well. Nothing like being balanced.

Remember there are only 9 days until Christmas, if you haven’t started your shopping you are running out of time.

Be good, stay informed….later.

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