Saturday, April 29, 2006

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

It... is... Friday.

Which can only mean that it is time for The Rewind...

So sit back, relax... and enjoy:

Applaud: to the new Blogads readers survey which shows the demographics of “Democratic” bloggers. Most of them, like me, have a post-graduate degree. Their median annual income is over $80K. This is welcome news and is a direct assault on many Conservatives who believe that Liberal bloggers are high school or college students with no aspirations of any kind. The site also polled Republicans but I can’t comment on that one because my computer doesn’t go that far to the right [rimshot] Thank you, I'm here all week, try the veal... it's lonely.

Heckle: to the GAO’s lack of support for our troops: the GAO issued a report earlier this week that details how close to 900 soldiers (all of whom have fought in Afghanistan or Iraq) are being pursued by the feds for a total of $1.2 million in government debt. The issue with this is that the soldiers shouldn't owe the money. The fault is with the military's “complex, cumbersome” and, dare I say it, antiquted pay system. A pay system that screwed up every single one of the 900’s pay records.

Applaud: to Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei for asking for a TV on Air Force One to be switched from Fox “News” to CNN. Soon-to-depart Press Secretary Scott “Nyah, nyah, I’m getting out of here before the you-know-what hits the fan” McClellan obliged him… after making fun of his request and his intelligence. And Scott wonders why the media wasn’t nice to him… to that I say ‘Karma, baby!’

Heckle: to Jack Abramoff’s lawyers. They claim that the lobbyist is “broke”, despite the fact that earlier this month, Abramoff and his family spent a week at the oceanfront Turnberry Isle Resort and Country Club in Aventura, Florida. A resort that charges a “minimum of $3,600 per adult for a nine-night Passover package.” Abramoff’s lawyers responded by saying the trip was paid for by “extended family.” Sure it was… I believe that as much as I believe that XX.

A guarded Applaud: to news that the economy rebounded in the first quarter of this year. I’m pessimistic and optimistic at the same time. I mean, how long can the economy stay ‘strong’ when gas prices continue skyrocketing so quickly? Stay tuned...

Applaud: to political farce. Just when you think things couldn’t get any more comically worse for Katherine Harris… they do. Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who’s a Republican like Harris by the way, is publicly asking Florida House Speaker Allan Bense to run against her in the GOP primary. Bense is considering it, as the filing deadline is May 12th. This woman just will not take a hint… drop out already, you’re making a mockery of the GOP in Florida (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my opinion), a mockery of the campaign process, and the entire country (Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians and yes! Even Communists) is laughing at you...

Heckle: to $320 billion, which would be the cost of the war after an emergency supplemental spending bill is passed next month. A ‘heckle’ within a heckle in the fact that that total is likely to more than double before the war ends.

Applaud: to Sen. Specter (R-PA) for wanting more debate on the domestic spying issue. We’ve applauded the good Senator from PA on this blog before; it’s just refreshing to see a Republican taking our rights seriously. Keep it up Senator!

Heckle: to levees that are too damn short. There is a little more than a month left until the hurricane season begins and the levees in New Orleans remain “flawed.” “Flood walls are too weak in some places; earthen levees are too short in others. Locals say the only thing that will save the low-lying region from more flooding this summer is not getting hit with a strong storm.” That must be what the local, state and federal governments are hoping for as well; them not getting hit with a storm. I’m sure that’s a feasible plan… right FEMA? Right?? Hello?? Is… is anyone there?

Yet another guarded Applaud: to the passing of an ethics bill. Yeah.. ok… sure. I’m sure it will be very effective (it’s so damn hard to express sarcasm in the written word)

Applaud: to not kowtowing to the Bush Administration. Amid a surge of anti-American sentiment in his country, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf insisted that he is not George Bush’s poodle. “It’s not a question of being a poodle. I’m nobody’s poodle. I have enough strength of my own to lead.

Heckle: to not acting your age. Congressman John Sweeney (R-NY) went to a frat party at Union College on April 22nd. and proceeded to get drunk. Nice…what’s even better is that UC is not even in Rep. Sweeney’s district. My question then is this; what the hell was he doing there, trying to score with a co-ed??

Applaud: to Rice and Rumsfeld looking stupified and stumped by a reporter’s question regarding their ‘covert’ visit to Iraq. It seemed like days passed after a reporter asked Rice and Rumsfeld what the intense security surrounding their visit to Iraq meant in regards to the stability (or lack thereof) of the country… three years after the U.S.-led invasion. With no answer, Rice turned to Rumsfeld who then “glared at the reporter.” Well, the glare pacifies me, how about all of you?? Granted, he did snap some uninformative comment back... but does anything Rumsfeld say anymore matter??

Heckle: Iran... nuclear weapons... Bush administration... 'nuff said.

Applaud: to uninvited guests. Rice and Rumsfeld’s trip to Iraq drew a LOT of criticism from various Iraqi politicians. Why you ask? Because some of them feared the visit would do more harm than good. Kamal Saadi, a Shiite legislator, stated “We didn’t invite them. It would be more appropriate if they would leave us alone.” A senior Kurdish legislator, Mahmoud Othman, added “Let us solve our problems by ourselves.” Wonderfully put fellas... wonderfully put.

Heckle: to oil and gasoline prices. What can be said that hasn’t already been said other than “Give me a fuc**** break!”

Applaud: to news that Special Prosecuter Patrick Fitzgerald will decide within the next few weeks whether to charge DCOS Karl Rove with perjury or not.

A confused and bewildered Heckle: to what seems to be the new rage in DC this week of hiring people who have spoken ill of you or left damaging info about you someplace public. Following Jack Snow being named White House Press Secretary this week, the Pentagon has a new one as well, Eric Ruff, who in 2004, accidentally left handwritten talking points for Secretary Rumsfeld and a map to Rumsfeld’s house at a Starbucks in Washington, DC. Brilliant... absolutely brilliant...

Applaud: to the news that Rush "I'm my own best friend" Limbaugh has been arrested on prescription drug charges... well, well, well... isn't that an interesting turn of events... try not to laugh... try not to laugh...

Hmmmm???? Read THIS and let me know your thoughts as to whether it's an Applaud or a Heckle.

When photo-ops attack, Part 2

Photo from Washington Post photog Ricky Carioti

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert took a ride (supposedly back to his office) in a hydrogen vehicle to demonstrate his "commitment" (and I use that term loosely) to alternative energy sources. The problem is that he only went about a block before he got out of the enviro-friendly vehicle and stepped into his pre-positioned (and armored... and gas-guzzling) SUV to take him the rest of the way to his office.

I'm sure other Congressional types (including Democrats) did the same thing, there just isn't photgraphic proof (by a LOT of photographers) of them doing it.

Wonder how Hastert and his people will spin this one?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer

One of my favorite blogs, and a Daily Read on TBWA's blog-roll to the left (pun intended), 'Think Progress' rounded up a ton of quotes yesterday from new Press Secretary and former Fox “News” talking head Tony Snow, primarily coming from his radio show and his Fox "News" appearances.

(BTW, click HERE to read an agreeable op-ed piece from the Washington Post by the first Bush PS, Ari Fleischer)

Take a moment, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and take a gander at some of the more memorable quotes and potshots that Snow has taken at Bush.

But... before I give you some of the priceless quotes, consider this if you will: naming Snow as Press Secretary could very well be a brilliant logistical move by the Bush Administration.

You’re all saying to yourselves; ‘‘Huh? How?’’

Follow me for a moment… Bush hires someone who has made negative comments against Bush, and the comments are well-documented. Add to that that the appointment itself was regarded as “news” and that most of the media attending the White House briefings will be pestering Snow about his quotes during the first few weeks of his tenure.

They’ll be questioning Snow about his anti-Bush remarks of the past while ignoring the daily going-ons of the Administration. (editors note: Ignoring the daily going-ons of the administration will hereafter be referred to as a 'Snow Job' - sorry to interrupt folks, Scott)

So you have to ask yourself; what will the administration be doing during that time??

Maybe I’m being a paranoid nudnik. Maybe I’ve seen one too many articles about conspiracies.

Or maybe… just maybe… I’m right on the money.

Or maybe they hired him in order to, as my esteemed colleague Scott suggested, silence a critical conservative voice...

Stranger things have happened...

Anyway, here are some of the better anti-Bush quotes from new White House Press Secretary Tony “Don’t call me Scott” Snow:

  • “George W. Bush and his colleagues have become not merely the custodians of the largest government in the history of humankind, but also exponents of its vigorous expansion.” [3/17/06]
  • “George Bush has become something of an embarrassment.” [11/11/05]
  • “No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives.” [9/30/05]
  • “When it comes to federal spending, George W. Bush is the boy who can’t say no. In each of his three years at the helm, the president has warned Congress to restrain its spending appetites, but so far nobody has pushed away from the table mainly because the president doesn’t seem to mean what he says.” [The Detroit News, 12/28/03]
  • “George W. Bush, meanwhile, talks of a pillowy America, full of niceness and goodwill. Bush has inherited his mother’s attractive feistiness, but he also got his father’s syntax. At one point last week, he stunned a friendly audience by barking out absurd and inappropriate words, like a soul tortured with Tourette’s.” [8/25/00]
  • “He recently tried to dazzle reporters by discussing the vagaries of Congressional Budget Office economic forecasts, but his recitation of numbers proved so bewildering that not even his aides could produce a comprehensible translation. The English Language has become a minefield for the man, whose malapropos make him the political heir not of Ronald Reagan, but Norm Crosby.” [8/25/00]
  • ON BUSH’S MEDICARE AND EDUCATION POLICIES: “Bill, how does the president persuade conservatives in his own party that he’s one of them, given what we’ve seen with spending? You’ve seen Medicare, you’ve seen an education bill. These are things, I dare say, that if they’d been done under Bill Clinton, Republicans would have been howling.” [Fox News Sunday, 11/30/03]
  • ON THE RULE OF LAW: “The president, in his responsibilities as commander in chief, sometimes has to do things that may or may not comport with the law…[T]he argument has always been that the constitutional obligation to serve as commander in chief sometimes pushes aside contemporary laws. [O’Reilly Factor, 1/20/06]

Strange but true...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

It’s that time of the week… Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon.

Here ya go…

Schmuck. Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-NC) is blocking a $10 million request that would buy land for a memorial to the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pa on 9/11. Why? Because he thinks the federal government already owns too much land (and that no additional tax dollars should go to buy land for this or ANY OTHER memorial) Give me a break…

Doesn’t bode well. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iran will harm U.S. interests anywhere in the world if the United States launches an attack on the Islamic Republic. I thought the US was going to be the ones doing the saber rattling, not Iran. Methinks this is not going to end well…

“Fitzmas” coming soon? CNN is reporting that Karl “I had a full head of hair in 2000” Rove (Dubya’s DCOS) is meeting with his attorney in preparation for a meeting later today with special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald. Stay tuned…

It’s the fall that’s gonna kill ya. And by ‘fall’ I mean dropping approval numbers. A telephone poll by Opinion Research Corporation, which was done for CNN (think CNN regrets parting ways with USA Today/Gallup yet?) put Dubya’s approval ratings at a new personal low with 32% of respondents saying they approve of Bush's performance (for those of you who can’t do arithmetic, that means 60% disapprove and 8% do not know.

Lots of flash, little substance. “President” Bush ordered the Department of Justice to investigate the rise in gasoline prices and see if it comes as a result of illegal manipulation. He also will be asking the EPA to temporarily ease clean air regulations. Sounds like a good start… and it’s just that, a start. Bush has the power to help ease the pain at the pumps more, but has so far refused to do so, such as the plan put forth by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ); a 60-day suspension of the federal gas tax. Not surprisingly the White House has all but ignored this plan. Why?? Well… there are two oilmen in the White House… but I’m sure that has NOTHING to do with it (it’s called sarcasm people)

Speaking of high gas prices. Oil and gasoline industry experts believe that the actions proposed by Dubya will actually do very little in regards to cutting fuel costs before the summer driving season. Why? Because the factors driving the record gasoline prices are “varied and complex.” If the ‘experts’ know what the factors are that are driving prices up, can’t they… you know… try and do something about them??

Gratuitous Op-Ed plug of the week. The first one comes from Roll Call, which can be read HERE. The second one comes from CBS News’ Bob Schieffer from last Sunday’s “Face the Nation”, you can read it HERE. Both are intelligent and thought provoking… if you can utilize your brain.

A new dog wagger. Fox “News” hack Tony Snow has been named as the new White House press secretary today (wow, the line between politics and news is getting blurrier by the minute now isn't it? Well, at least Snow's job description will stay largely unchanged) Seemingly Snow took the job only after top officials told him that he wouldn’t be ONLY a spokesman but rather have a voice in administration policy (I’m sorry, I seem to be a tad confused… when you overhaul, excuse me, shake-up, isn’t the idea to improve?? Well, at least it’s official that Fox “News” is now the mouthpiece of the Bush administration)

A un-truth or a un-lie? Is it truth or is it merely spin to coordinate with Secretary of Defense Donald “The Un-retirable” Rumsfeld’s visit to Iraq? General George Casey, the U.S. commander in Iraq, said that he remains on track to recommend a “substantial” reduction of U.S. troops for this year. As much as I’d like to believe it, I know better than to take anything said about the Iraq war at face value… so I’ll believe it when I see it…

Testify! Sen. John Warner (R-VA) stated yesterday that he is considering having the retired generals who have called for “Rummy” to resign come in to give testimony regarding the “progress” (or lack thereof) of the war in Iraq. While some Republicans think that having the generals testify would send the “wrong message” about the nation’s commitment to the war (as if all polling data about the war doesn’t reflect that already). Personally, I don’t see what would be accomplished by having the generals testify and think doing so would be a colossal waste of time.

When photo-ops attack. Picture this; Rep. John Carter (R-TX), whose district includes Fort Hood, is in Iraq and his media people arrange a photo-op of him and an array of soldiers… some of whom are from Fort Hood. One shot was of Rep. Carter and Sgt. 1st Class Rob Harrell. They take a nice picture… and Carter leaves… did anyone mention that Sgt. Harrell’s mother, Mary Beth, is a lawyer in Killeen, TX? And did they mention that Ms. Harrell is Carter's Democratic opponent this November? They didn’t… oops.

Take ‘em as you will…

And down we go....

As of today, there are only 999 days left in this debacle of an administration.

Unfortunately that is still enough time for the White House to:

  • Lessen our countries respect level in the world (as if that is possible)
  • Let thousands more American troops die on foreign soil (for a policy based on lies)
  • Continue to fail to adequately protect our borders
  • Continue to expand uncontrolled spending and ballooning the national debt
  • Let the economy continue to further degrade (does the average American truly believe we are in an economic upturn?)
  • Further embarras itself with continuing indictments of high ranking staffers

999 is better than 1000 however I can't wait until the clock says 99 days, by that time most of the stuff that Bush and his cronies can screw up will be done with. Then we can watch with surprise as he pardons people like 'Scooter' Libby, Jack Abramoff and former Enron Executives ....

Monday, April 24, 2006

Still time for one more war..??

This is a great article by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. It appears in the Washington Post and concerns the remaining one thousand days of the Bush Administration.

The author hits on a scary reality, "There is no more dangerous thing for a democracy than a foreign policy based on presidential preventive war."

Insert foot next to fist in mouth

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga) was caught on a television station's tape bad-mouthing one of her senior staff after ending an interview with a reporter. She then tried to tell the reporter that they could only use audio that was captured while she was sitting in the chair used during the interview.

McKinney, who had a run-in with a Capitol-Hill police officer earlier this month, was asked repeated questions about the scuffle. After the interview ended with a WGCL-TV, CBS 46 reporter, a microphone McKinney was wearing picked up comments about her communications director Coz Carson.

"Oh crap now you know what. ...," said an irritated McKinney, D-Ga., "they lied to Coz and Coz is a fool."

When McKinney realized her remarks had been recorded by the microphone, she returned to face the camera and told the reporter that comments about Carson were off the record. “Anything that is captured by your audio, that is captured while I’m not seated in this chair is off the record and is not permissible to be used. Is that understood?”

Cynthia you want to see a fool?....take a look in the mirror. And yes, that sound is the country laughing at you.

The Week Ahead

A few things to pay heed to as the new week begins…

  • File this under the ‘Color me NOT surprised’ files. House Republican leaders have (very, very quietly and very, very significantly) watered down their plan to lessen the influence of lobbyists by eliminating the parts of the proposal that would have required lobbyists to disclose which lawmakers had been contacted and also the portion that would have required disclosing how the lobbyists may have raised money for said politicians. Shocked… shocked and appalled aren’t ya?
  • This week marks a thousand days left in the Bush presidency (personally, that end can’t come fast enough).
  • Gas prices have rocketed skyward nearly 25 cents per gallon over the past two weeks and crude oil hangs around $75 per barrel, What will happen to that average this week?? Only time can tell, and she ain’t talkin’.
  • Speaking of high gas prices, some may be wondering what our “fearless leader” is planning to do to help… he’s warning that it’s going to be a “tough summer” for American consumers at the pumps. Wow! Way to help there Dubya… don’t overexert yourself or you’ll have to take even more time off to relax…
  • That “Most Wanted Fugitive that Time (and by that I mean the Bush Administration) Forgot,”aka, Osama Bin Laden, released a new audio tape over the weekend. The tape was full of the same nonsensical fluff he usually spews. The release of playing of this tape though points out one of the most glaring examples of the (many) failures of this administration… the “high priority” that was placed on catching Bin Laden. If this is how the administration reacts and operates to “high priorities”, I’m scared to death to see how they react to lower priorities…
  • Keep an eye on Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) this week. A mere 2 months ago Burns’ seat seemed like the easiest win for the Democrat’s in November, but now he’s coming back strong from a plethora of Abramoff ties. My question is this: why are the Democrats allowing this to happen??? In last week’s debate, NOT ONE DEMOCRAT questioned Burns about his relationship with Jack “Fedora” Abramoff, and now Burns is enjoying a bounce-back in polling data. Brilliant job Dems, you had a chance to knock down a long-serving Republican tainted by a lobbying scandal and you are wholy letting the opportunity pass by. Brilliant… absolutely brilliant…
  • Keep an eye on two Republicans this week (and not for ethical reasons… can you believe it??) as Senators Frist (R-TN) and Hastert (R-IL) plan on asking Dubya to direct the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to investigate whether there is price gouging going on or if oil markets are contributing to the current high price for gasoline. I’m sure Dubya will be receptive to that suggestion… uh, huh… sure… and the Chief of the Capital Police is taking Rep McKinney out for dinner…
  • Reinstating the draft??? Well, no one is really ruling it out as the general public is against it, but when an article comes out of the blue about how under-worked draft board workers are… it makes anyone with a brain think.
  • They’re all walking on egg shells at the White House this week as the axe continues to hover over everyone’s neck. This week, keep an eye on who will be the next one to vacate the premises with a LA Times editorial piece saying that it is Vice President Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney who should resign.
  • Joe Lieberman’s stock continues to fall faster than a Bush approval number as many Democrat’s are starting to think that he is too friendly with Bush (the kiss sealed his fate) and is “too Red.” With Ned Lamont making some serious headway, and Lieberman airing his first television ad in a decade, see what Lieberman does this week in order to calm his constituent’s worries that he is becoming a Republican in Democratic clothing…
  • Keep an eye on the Harris for Senate campaign this week (if for nothing else, keep an eye on it for it's entertainment value) as everyone begins to ask what’s next for Katherine Harris’s senate campaign? Another attempt to “score” with a college newspaper reporter? Another bus tour (cuz the first one helped her SO much… hard to express sarcasm in the written word you know) Only time will tell as her senate campaign begins to fade into… into… well, it’s already faded into obscurity… so I guess it will fade into even deeper obscurity.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Riddle me this, what is telling and insightful and costs you nothing? Quick boy wonder…to the Batmobile…, sorry, to The Weekly Rewind !!

Applaud: to the writing on the wall. Incoming White House COS Joshua Bolten told senior aides to be prepared for more personnel changes. He also urged staffers who are ‘thinking’ of leaving to inform him immediately. Essentially, leave now before we throw you out…. This will be interesting.

Applaud: to not wasting any time. Scott ’Don’t call me Ari’ McClellan submitted his resignation this week. To most people this was not a surprise as he appeared to be on a path to implosion for many weeks now. After some recent exchanges with members of the media, most notably NBC’s David Gregory, it appeared that Scott was becoming more of a liability to the President at a time when he can ill afford it. Bye Scott, we won’t miss you.

Heckle: to shuffling the deck but not taking a new card. Also this week it was announced that Karl ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain’ Rove would step back from his role as a policy advisor and focus on political agenda items. Yeah ok, we believe that one…..

Applaud: to the rumor mill. Word is that White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Treasury Secretary John Snow should pay heed to Josh Bolten words. Rumors have both of them on the short list. Can someone get Harriet and John boxes for their personal items?

Heckle: to someone get Rummy’s bags please. Retired Generals (including combat veterans) were joined this week in their call for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation/firing by former Virginia Governor Mark Warner. He is one of a number of Democrats eyeing the 2008 presidential nomination, but is the first to set himself apart from the pack and speak out for Rummy’s resignation.

Applaud: to Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). While appearing on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” the senator stated that while President Bush is personally “pleasant” and “charming”, the administration has governed with the “politics of fear” ever since 9/11. He further stated that the countries greatest presidents appealed to American’s sense of hope and can-do spirit, and that “you can only play the politics of fear, I think, for too long”. Well said Senator.

Heckle: to being clueless. Polls show that Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) has fallen further behind in her bid to unseat Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). A new poll this week shows only 27 percent of voters favor Harris, which is 4 percent less than 2 months ago. In response Harris stated “I’m confident that we’ll continue to only go up.” What a moron…

Heckle: to being the ‘decider’. What the hell is that? I think the message here is that the Texas education system did a miserable job on at least one student?

Heckle: to being clueless #2. During an appearance on the White House lawn by President Bush and China’s President Hu Jintao, the national anthem of China was introduced in the name of the Republic of Taiwan and a short time later the appearance was interrupted by a member of the Falun Gong religious sect who screamed at the Presidents. Embarrassing your guest by referring to his countries nemesis and letting a protestor yell at him in what should be a secure setting….you can bet a couple of people in the administration are out looking for new jobs next week.

Heckle: to playing chicken little. A copy of the police report regarding the altercation between a Capital Hill police officer and Congresswoman Cynthia “racial profiling is my middle name’ McKinney (D-GA) was released this week. The police report states that when the officer attempted to stop the congresswoman for not presenting proper id and avoiding a metal detector when entering a House building that the congresswoman “stuck the officer in the chest with a closed fist”. Rep. McKinney has apologized for the incident. However this only further labels her as an opportunist who people will have a hard time believing. Watch out for that Karma!

Applaud: to say no more..wink, wink, nudge, nudge. A Texas appeals court upheld a lower court ruling throwing out a conspiracy charge against Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). The court upheld the lower courts decision that the statute making conspiracy to violate election law a crime was not enacted until a year after DeLay is alleged to have violated the statute. However the wording that the appeals court used was such as to suggest that the prosecutor take a different route to the charge and move ahead on a new charge.

Heckle: to rising fuel costs. Petroleum hit an all-time high topping $75 a barrel on Friday and helped push gasoline prices over $3 a gallon in some parts of the country.

Heckle: to how much is too much? Last years record oil company profits are on track to continue this year. As Americans spend more and more at the pump, oil executives put more and more in there pockets.

Heckle: to standing on the sidelines with your thumb up your ass. In the wake of record oil company profits and continually rising fuel prices, congress and the administration are standing to the side and doing nothing to try to curtail this ever increasing problem. The president and many fellow republicans are too close to big oil to challenge this issue, and the democrats are quietly challenging but are ineffective when at a whisper. Even though congressional leaders are calling on the administration to order an investigation. It may be too little too late. Wake up Washington!! The situation is only going to get worse and then watch out for the ripple effect through the economy. We ain’t seen nothing yet!

Heckle: to- Special Interests, Cronyism, Favoritism, PAC’s, Political Lobbyists….why because they deserve to be heckled.

Heckle: to President Bush, on principles alone.

Noticing that there is not much to applaud about this week, welcome to George Bush's America....

Friday, April 21, 2006


Many times on this blog Scott and I have urged action, any action, from the Democratic Party to unite behind a single message and a single agenda; and we weren’t the only ones as posts have been written on Daily Kos, Wonkette, My DD, and other “main steam” outlets like Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp.

Is it starting to sink in?? Maybe... just maybe... it is.

The DNC is down in New Orleans this week for their annual ‘Spring Meeting,’ and the topic of striking a single message for the American people to unite behind has been foremost in everyone’s mind as the Democrats find themselves leading in many polls. The problem though, is, at times, the party seems sharply divided over whether they need (or even already have) a national message and agenda that will tell the American voters exactly what the party stands for, but that is not as easy as it sounds, as Alvaro Cifuentes, the head of the DNC’s Hispanic Caucus, stated, “You can't try to simplify your politics with a slogan. You can't.”

When asked what the party’s message was, a few (according to the linked article by AP reporter Liz Sidoti) said that the party stands for affordable and quality health care. Others mentioned human rights and the search for new energy sources. Still others cited a new Medicare system (you know, one that actually works) more funding for education and a Social Security re-haul program that would actually be useful and feasible.

Democratic leaders (in an attempt to make their election-year message clearer to voters) have launched a series of six policy statements with “Honest Leadership & Open Government” and “Real Security” the first to be rolled-out, with messages about energy, the economy, health care and retirement to follow.

(While it is true that the current political landscape favors the Democrats for the upcoming mid-term elections – especially as approval ratings for Bush and the Republican-led Congress are at their lowest points since Bush took office and the fact that close to 70% of the population thinks the country is heading in the wrong direction – the DNC needs to realize that solely emphasizing the travails of the GOP is not enough to win on Election Day this November. A single message that will unite and solidify Liberals and garner those Independents that are sitting on the fence needs to be made and made soon. But, the problem with that is that if you ask Democratic leaders to name their party's election-year message now you’ll get a wide array of answers, some similar, some radically different… and all far from a “consensus” of a single, unifying message.

If political history has taught us anything, it’s that the GOP has always been more adept at crafting a single, unifying message while the Democratic Party has been hard pressed to explain their messages in a concise and simple way that, when repeated often enough, can resonate with the voters and thus convince them to vote Democrat (Ms. Sidoti’s article states this fact as well.

The fact of the matter is this; politics in this country have changed dramatically in the last dozen or so years, and solely relying on the public’s distrust in the GOP and that party’s recent ethical and law-breaking ways is not enough to win this November. We now live in a “freeze-dried world” where people’s attention spans are shorter and things need to be shown and explained in simple, easy-to-read ways. Of course, all of this is solely my opinion... and I could be wrong...

... though I highly doubt it)

Allow me to end this calculated, albeit rambling post, with a quote from the same article by Linda Chavez-Thompson, the AFL-CIO's executive vice president. When asked what the Democrat’s message was, she said it will come together and that “We're formulating it now, and that is, we are going to change things in Washington and the Democratic Party has the answer.”

Wonderfully put Ms. Chavez-Thompson… wonderfully put.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

Here we go, another Wednesday, another show, another Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon, yo! (Had to rhyme...)

A moment of silence. On this date in 1995, at 9:02 AM CDT, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City, OK was destroyed by a terrorist bomb, killing 168 people... Let us never forget them.

Mightly small shoes to fill. As mentioned in a quick post this morning, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation this morning (see the remarks HERE) The big question now is will anyone be able to fill his shoes? Is there anyone out there who can master the art of saying nothing while ignoring the real question? In short… yes. (In fact, I’ve heard that there is a 10th grader from Fillmore AC elementary school in DC that could match his daily briefing abilities… hell, a chimpanzee with a speech impediment could match his daily briefing abilities) That announcement was followed immediately by…

Give it up. Karl Rove, a dominant force in the Bush administration and one of the president's most influential advisers, gave up some strategic policy responsibilities today. He’s not leaving his Deputy COS post, but he will (once again) put all his focus into a broader scope of strategy and politics, specifically the 2006 mid-term elections. This is most likely the first step of Rove getting less and less involved in the Administration. The idea I am sure is to put distance between him and doing anything important should a connection between Rove and the Plame investigation pop up (fingers crossed…)

Another poll, another low. According to a new Harris Interactive poll, President Bush’s approval rating is at 35%, having slipped for the third straight month. I know this calls for a big ol’ snark… but when it’s this damn easy… there’s no sport in it so I’ll leave it alone.

Not surprised. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finds that the Bush administration, despite having over four years of legislation, executive orders and presidential directives to do it has “yet to comprehensively improve sharing of counterterrorism information.” Well, duh. How this could come as a surprise to anyone is beyond me…

The blogger knows. Sights seen, a headline in The Guardian (a UK newspaper for those of you that aren’t ‘in the know’) earlier this week: "Ignore bloggers at your peril." Good advice, especially when you consider phrases like this: “Bloggers and internet pundits are exerting a ‘disproportionately large influence’ on society.” … and we will not be ignored. Well, some will be, others will stand up and be counted and heard.

The CIA knows. The new Open Source Center (OSC) at the CIA recently started to collect data based on bloggers around the world and is trying to develop a new method to gauge how reliable the content is. OSC Director Douglas Naquin stated in the interview: “A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we're getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot…” Hmmmm, so that's why I keep seeing a CIA url on my sitemeter... at least I hope that's why I keep seeing a CIA url on my sitemeter... uh, oh.

Son of a... An appeals court Wednesday upheld an earlier judge's ruling that threw out a conspiracy charge against Tom “the bug killer” DeLay (R-TX). Sure, he still faces a charge of money laundering and another conspiracy charge that stems from the financing of state legislative races in 2002, but it was the first conspiracy charge that was the chain rattler. It’s a setback, but I still think that DeLay will soon find himself getting the same treatment as former Illinois Governor George Ryan… who’s a Republican by the way (which merits mentioning since hardly any other story speaking about his guilty verdict pointed that out)

A shell game? In naming Rob Portman as the new head of the Office of Management and Budget, the “President” sent a dark signal to trade experts and policymakers in regards to the possibility of achieving any sort of significant gains in foreign trade talks. In losing Portman, the U.S. lost its primary negotiator whose “genial manner, combined with his political skill and mastery of detail, has impressed counterparts from other nations.” So Bush picks someone for a department that actually has the qualifications (wow, that’s a concept) but takes them out of another area where, it seems, they were highly regarded and needed… brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Does the man think before he does something??

Give me a break. Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) has proposed an amendment to the Higher Education Act that would allow private Christian colleges to legally reject students merely because of their sexual orientation. My question, if they don't allow homosexual students, what will that do to the college's theater departments... Seriously though, what kind of ridiculous crap is this?? Is he trying to outdo the Omaha, Nebraska school board for the most outrageously silly/idiotic/inane educational move of the week??

Gratuitous Op-Ed Plug(s) of the Week. This week, it’s not so much as an Op-ed piece as a very striking post by Daily Kos founder Markos Zuniga, which you can read HERE. Runner-up is this snarkish piece by WaPo columnist Dana Milbank, which you can read HERE. Here's another golden piece that sums up Dubya and his 'failed presidency' perfectly, you can read it HERE.

How’s that reconstruction coming along? Power plans unfinished and behind schedule. Sanitation plants unfinished and behind schedule. Police stations unfinished and behind schedule. The U.S. Embassy in Iraq…right on schedule. The size of 80 football fields and costing $592 million. Nice… at least we’ll have a nice, up-dated building to evacuate when the civil war reaches the embassy doors...

The Decider. President Bush, in defending Def. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday and while stating that he’s doing a “fine job” (despite the plethora of calls for him to resign) said that when it comes down to the issue of Rumsfeld resigning that he himself will be ‘the decider.’ The Decider??? Tell me Dubya, does that come with tights and a cape? Talk about empty rhetoric…

Who? And he's running for what? Earlier this week (Monday), former Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK) declared that he will seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008. The Senator, who describes himself as a "maverick," lost his Senate re-election bid in a 1980 primary... which was after nominating himself for Vice President at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, which was summarily rejected by convention delegates. Talk about a long shot...

Take 'em as you will...

Another one bites the dust...

... as the dominoes continue to fall.

First Chief of Staff Andrew Card... now comes word of Press Secretary Scott McClellan's resignation (no surprise there) and Deputy COS Karl Rove announcing that he is “scaling back” his responsibilities to focus on the mid-term elections...

Who... is... next??? (in order to get the full-effect you have to imagine ominous music in the background)

More to come in this afternoon’s “Random Thoughts”

At the request of Rumsfeld's family the letter is being kept in the drawer

From The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

Jon Stewart: "Will Rumsfeld resign?"

Dan Bakkedahl: "No, Jon, no. His family has urged him to stick with it. Right now, they'd still rather have him oversee the biggest fiasco in military history than have him spend more time at home. He's a bit of a dick."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I am sure there are letter templates for others as well

Ok, this letter is a little far-fetched ..... or is it?

Don't worry girls, you can take over "The Simple Life" from Paris and Nicole.

Granted, we would like to see a 'REAL' letter for Scotty 'Don't call me Ari' McClellan and Donald 'What the hell are the generals whining about now' Rumsfeld, but we'll take what we can get as long as the Bush Administration continues to drag down the rest of the GOP and slowly drowns itself under the weight of its own egotism.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ever Arrogant

"I believe this decision today is not in accordance with the kind of public service that I have provided to the people of Illinois over the last 40 years"....."And needless to say, I am disappointed with the outcome."

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan speaking to the media after a jury found him guilty on 22 indictment counts against him in a 6 month long corruption trial.

Funny but it doesn't sound like a person who was wrongly convicted proclaiming his innocence. It sounds more like someone who is guilty trying to justify his wrongdoing.

Or am I just oversimplifying this to much?

The Week Ahead

Following the “guilty-on-all-counts” verdict of former Illinois Governor George Ryan, here’s a few things to keep in mind as this week gets under way…

  • The new sheriff in town is promising a “shake-up” in the administration as new White House Chief of Staff Joshua “No relation to Michael damn-it” Bolten has given clues to possible staff shake-ups after his first meeting with Senior Staff ended today. Expect more on this as the week continues… my guess for first one out is Press Secretary Scott “Slowly losing my mind” McClellan. Hopefully Bolten is referring to a more significant shake-up than the one that resulted with him being named COS.
  • Debate regarding U.N. sanctions against Iran will get more serious and more heated this week as we’ve had a long weekend to wrap our heads around the fact that the country has ‘enriched uranium.’ Here’s a question for you; seeing as how they folded like origami in regards to Iraq, will the Senate (both sides thank you very much) rebuff and stand up to “President” Bush in regards to Iran? We’ll see, but I sincerely doubt it. What about the U.N.? Again… I doubt it.
  • As seven retired generals call for Rumsfeld to resign, his “firm grip on the Defense Department is slipping” as officers are now starting to question his judgment publicly. Because of this, expect the calls for ‘Rummy’ to resign to do one of two (rather obvious) things this week; quiet down to a whisper… or build to a fever-pitch. As I stated in an earlier post… Bush won’t fire him… and he won’t resign under pressure. Stay tuned…
  • Congress is still on recess this week… that sound you hear in DC are lobbyists going through a mild case of withdraw.
  • Disapproval of the “President” could drive a GOP ousting in November’s mid-terms. According to an article in WaPo, a GOP pollster stated: “Democrats will have an easier time of getting out their vote because of their intense disapproval of the president. That means we Republicans are going to have to bring our ‘A’ turnout game in November.” Bring their ‘A’ game? What’s next? Win one for the Gipper?? Seriously though, he’s right, the Democrats have an excellent chance to win back the majority if they can do what I and hundreds of other Liberal bloggers have said… get united behind a message, an agenda and the candidates and act damn it!
  • Life after being an exterminator and a Congressman can be XX too. Look to soon-to-be-former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) as an example. Lobbyists in DC are saying that DeLay could be a strategic lobbying dynamo (does that come with tights and a cape??? Ugh, there’s an image I could have done without) with many lobbyists saying he has the skills to get the job done. Well sure, he’s already shown that he’s adapt at lying, looking out for yourself, cronyism, and behaving with an amazing lack of ethos.
  • The Bush Budget is slashing the budget of National Parks with the administration ordering America's national parks to give proof that they can function at 80% of their operating budgets, causing some parks to cut services… despite summer approaching fast.
  • From Thinkprogess, keep an eye on this as it will alter how things are done in the if it’s passed: “Conservatives in Congress are resorting to gimmickry to try to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. ‘A Senate rule designed to make it harder to increase the deficit would be circumvented with a maneuver that would end up increasing the deficit. And a tax cut for wealthier Americans that would cost $50 billion over 10 years would be ‘paid for’ in part by another tax cut for the well-off, which would end up costing billions more.’” Conservatives using subterfuge to get what they want?? I’m sorry, I can’t except that… I just can’t… unscruoulous morons.
  • Is Tony Blair snubbing Dubya? The Huffington Post certainly thinks he is as he has canceled an upcoming visit to the U.S…. lest he have his picture taking with Dubya and mar his image in the U.K. even more. Now it seems that the only people who will shake-hands and do photo-ops with the “President” are either desperate… or are dictators… or even desperate dictators. Watch this as it unfolds this week as it will be harbinger of things to come in England (like which party will stay in power) and in the U.S.
  • When I heard about this I honestly yelled “What!!??” It seems Nebraska has built a time machine and has gone back to the 1960’s as the state legislature has divided the Omaha school system into three districts: “one mostly black, one predominantly white and one largely Hispanic.” The debate about this is sure to get louder as this week continues… and rightfully so; talk about the wrong message to send to children.

Stay tuned…

They have reached a verdict- Part 2

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan and friend and lobbyist Larry Warner have been found guilty on all charges against them.

They have reached a verdict

Breaking news in Chicago is that jurors have reached a verdict in the criminal trial of former Governor George Ryan and his friend Larry Warner. They are on trial to answer charges of Racketeering Conspiracy, Mail and Tax Fraud among others.

TBWA first wrote about this trial way back when we were a fledgling blog. It's been a long road, but the trial is now nearing completion. (This phase know there will be an appeal)

We will follow up once a verdict is announced later today.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

It's the end of another week. We all know what that means.

The Weekly Rewind... rewind... rewind... (did anyone else hear that echo...echo...echo...?)

Take 'em as you will... the Weekly Rewind starts in "Bush's America"... [rimshot]...

...right now! [plink]

Sigh, well, that's what happens when you buy a gong off of ebay...

to military-types that haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid and are calling for Secretary of Defense Donald “sorry, I'm too tired to make up a nickname, so please make your own” Rumsfeld to resign. It seems the calls for him to go quietly into that good night are getting louder and louder as two more retired U.S. generals called for him to resign yesterday. Nice… about 6 years too late, but at least it’s coming around.

Heckle: to the events that transpired 141 years ago yesterday (Friday April 14), specifically that of John Wilkes Booth assassinating President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre.

Applaud, Heckle, your choice: to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walston for threatening to impose a gag order by barring statements or disclosures to the news media by both Libby's defense team and the special prosecutor investigating “Scooter” Libby. Not sure if this will work as leaks tend to happen in D.C., but I suppose it’s worth a try.

Applaud: to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for “temporarily suspended” Operation Last Call (for those of you who hadn’t heard, this was a plan to send undercover agents into bars to arrest drunks. You read that right, into BARS to arrest drunks. I could understand if they sat outside the bar and arrested drunk people getting behind the steering wheel, but arresting people in a bar… even if they’re not disorderly sounds a little preposterous… but that’s just me and my silly love of civil liberties)

Heckle: to “President” Bush, and his puppet Scott McClellan, for standing by Rumsfeld. Bush didn’t actually speak on Rumsfeld, but had McClellan talk him up at a briefing yesterday with Scott saying things like “The president believes Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a very fine job during a challenging period in our nation's history,” and reading quotes from Marine Gen. Peter Pace that praised Rumsfeld's dedication and patriotism. My personal opinion is that Rumsfeld WAS one of the great political minds of the country and may have been a brilliant mind earlier in his career, but I think his time has come and he needs to resign before he allows more U.S. servicemen to be killed or, to a lesser importance, harms Bush’s administration… I really don’t care about that mind you.

Applaud: to the ever-dropping approval numbers for Dubya. WaPo-ABC poll is 38% and AP-Ipsos poll is 36%, and now 54% don’t feel confident with Bush handling the situation in Iran… I wonder why??? Iran needs to be stopped (and to those who are asking ‘why didn’t Iraq have to be stopped’ show me the proof that Iraq had uranium and nuclear weapons, than we’ll talk – remember, conservatism is a mental disease) but I don’t think Bush is the answer. Allow the U.N. to actually do something (that wouldn’t be a first would it?) and let’s see what happens before we get all “Rambo’ed” up and get involved in a 3rd war.

Heckle: to Zacarias Moussaoui. I think we all know why. What have I said on this blog before about him?? I remember now, ‘Kill the fuc***’ my thoughts on this haven’t changed one bit.

Applaud: to a universal lack of kool-aid drinking. Commander Cuckoo-Bananas speeches about Iraq aren’t working at convincing Americans to not only approve of the way Bush is handling the war (the numbers for that have dropped back to 32%) but to also have faith that his administration knows what they are doing and have an exit strategy. (Finally! A glimmer of life and intelligence in the American public in finally seeing Bush as what he is. Let’s hope it lasts…)

Heckle: to the “discovery” that FEMA “produced vast sums of waste and misspent funds…” Well, duh… did we really need an internal Department of Homeland Security audit to tell us this?? Didn’t we all know this already?? Talk about waste and misspent funds.

Applaud: to Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) for trying to demolish partisan politics (did I just write that?? Wow, I did…). Once again, the Gov. has appointed a Democrat (and one of his harshest and most outspoken critics) to a prestigious position within his administration, this time to the California Board of Education.

Heckle: to the Bush Administration for their pathetic response to the break of the mobile weapons lab story this past week. From McClellan asking for an apology from the media to trying to pass it off as a non-story (here’s a question, if it’s a non-story, why is the White House so keen on gettting an apology from the media?? Hmmmm… I wonder…)

Applaud: to inner-party lethargy. And by ‘lethargy’ I mean indolence towards their party leader. It seems quite a few Republican politicians are declining visits by President Bush. Due to constantly low approval ratings, some Republicans are suddenly unavailable when the president comes to town. Examples: Ohio, Sen. Mike DeWine cited scheduling conflicts during three presidential visits this year. Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum appeared briefly with Bush during a visit late last month, but held no public events together. Illinois (and this one is my favorite example of displaced loyalty) Gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar-Topinka stood quietly by as an aide stated that her campaign would like the president to raise money in the governor's race “late at night, in an undisclosed location.” (Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant…the more in-fighting and discourse in the GOP with their leader can only help us in November…if the Dems ever decide to get off their asses and ACT)

Heckle: to the politicizing of a tradition, namely the White House Easter Egg roll. I don’t care about your politics, I don’t care about your sexual orientation, what I do care about is taking something that is for children and turning it into a (essentially) poltical sit-in. And before we blame the parents, let’s also blame the media, who were it not for them, would we even know that this was taking place??

Applaud: to ‘A Republican on the Edge.’ It’s about Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and the perception that he’ll have a tough road to re-election. I don’t really know, or care quite frankly, who he is, but I love the phrase ‘a Republican on the Edge.’ The edge of what I ask? Of a nervous breakdown… of a building… of the world… the mind just explodes with possibilities. Having said that, he is a Republican running for reelection in this November’s mid-terms, so a loss by him would be a good thing.

Heckle: to Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) for making staff members baby-sit his children while they were on his congressional payroll. I always knew that politicians on both sides had a tendency to be unethical, but having a staff-member baby sit your kid is better than taking money from a lobbyist in order to stiff some Native Americans or funnel money to a business where you receive kickbacks. Unless of course the kid has a messy diaper… then all bets are off!

Applaud: ???? I certainly hope this is an applaud. The U.S. government has released their plan for a Bird Flu outbreak. Pray we don't need it, and pray that the plan works.

That's all we got. See you all next week.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Rumsfeld out? Not a chance...

Despite overwhelming shouts to oust him (including an editorial in today's WaPo, which can be read HERE, one in the The Capital Times which can be read HERE and a handful of others) "President" Bush is standing by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Keep in mind that there is no way Bush will ever fire "Rummy," and it's even less likely that he would resign now (keeping in mind that before all the recent calls for him needing to resign, it was thought in some circles that he would resign before the end of this year)

But now... with former generals along with editorials calling for him to resign coming out of the woodwork, there is NO WAY that Donald Rumsfeld would resign.

Rumsfeld has always been the type that does his own thing and doesn't allow his actions to be predicated by what others do or say.

For more, click HERE to read a fantastic diary on Daily Kos, which explains it in a better way than I ever could.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Political Cartoon of the Day

by 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Anderson of the Houston Chronicle.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Random Thoughts UPDATE

Feeble spin-moves. More proof that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is slowly losing his mind and needs to resign. During today’s briefing he demanded a public apology from the news media for covering the mobile weapons lab story. When pressed about when the White House became aware of the Pentagon field report, McClellan couldn’t say and told the press corps “I’m looking into that matter” but that the answer was “not the point.” (Than what is the point Scott? Could you explain it to me and the others out here who are wondering what the hell you’re talking about??? Your press briefings are getting as bad as a Katherine Harris senate campaign… and by that I mean they’re a train wreck. Resign now Scott, before you do something or say something you shouldn’t and get your boss into more trouble)

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

It’s that time again, it’s time to check in with our editorial department and find out what passes for Random Thoughts today.

We have a wide-array of things today, Medicare and phone scams, polling numbers and immigration, lies and spin… all that and Katherine Harris too.

So sit back, pull down the shades, grab a drink and read Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon.

It starts…

When Medicare attacks. There’s barely a month left to sign up for the new Medicare drug benefit, and because of that, “President” Bush is traipsing across the country this week (Jefferson City, MO on tuesday) to encourage seniors to enroll in one of the plans. He acknowledged that the process is confusing, what with dozens and dozens of plans to choose from, but still opposes extending the May 15 deadline that so many other lawmakers (both Democrat and Republican) want. Bush’s chief Medicare official, Mark “Don’t call me Scott damnit!” McClellan, stated that more than 29 million seniors have enrolled with 400,000 more enrolling each week. But they still won’t extend the deadline. (It’s hard to figure out why they won’t extend it, but since it’s the Bush administration, we’ll have to consider the far-fetched possibility that it’s for unethical reasons… it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written word, isn’t it??)

When Medicare attacks…again! Democratic lawmakers are pushing the Bush administration to repay tens of millions of dollars to 46 states that took action and covered Medicare patient prescription drug costs during setbacks with the program's launch back in January due to the administration’s incompetence (yeah, like that’s anything new. Maybe, just maybe, lawmakers should consider this; if anything to give them something positive to report on, seeing as how almost everything else coming out of DC right now is, by and large, negative)

When telemarketers strike back? According to phone records introduced in criminal court, key figures in a phone-jamming scheme that was meant to keep Democrats in New Hampshire from voting in the 2002 presidential election had regular contact with the White House and the Republican Party as the plan was unfolding. (There’s only one thing I can say to them… ‘Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater’… so there…)

The truth is an illusion. President Bush has acknowledged that he declassified parts of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to answer questions about why the United States invaded Iraq, it was to counter critics who charged he manipulated intelligence to justify the war. (I am shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment. This isn't by some chance a desperate attempt to cover one's ass, is it?? Nah.. couldn't be. Bush isn't that clever to have come up with that... Cheney on the other hand...)

And the lying continues… The Washington Post is reporting that the Bush(Whacked) Administration knew that two trailers captured by U.S. troops in Iraq in May 2003 were NOT mobile "biological laboratories," (UPDATE: There are conflicting reports on that with varying experts in the article taking both sides that the trailers were/were not weapons labs) even though they publicly asserted that they were. (Just keeps on piling up, doesn’t it? When are people going to see Bush for what he is? He lies and so far, no one is calling him on it, and I want to know one thing: WHY THE HELL NOT???)

Leave and don’t ever come back.Katherine Harris will not be the next senator from Florida. She will almost certainly win the Republican nomination on September 5, but she will not defeat Democratic senator Bill Nelson two months later. For the good of her party, and for the good of her own reputation, she should withdraw from the race as soon as possible and allow another Republican to have a chance at victory." (Kind of says it all doesn’t it? BTW, this isn’t coming from a liberal pundit or politician, it’s coming from the founder of one of the most respected conservative magazines out there, William F. Buckley of The National Review. When Buckley says you won’t win and should drop out, shouldn’t you get the hint? Apparently not… read the next ‘thought’ for more on this topic)

Bite me Bill. How did Harris respond to the column in The National Review that stated “for the good of her party and for the good of her own reputation,” she should drop out of the race? She sent a letter to the column’s writer, magazine founder William F. Buckley. In the letter she stated that she was “disappointed in the short-sighted editorial” and that she “will be the next senator from Florida.” (Wow, she just doesn’t get it, does she?? Can she really be that thickheaded?? Everyone, conservatives, Liberals, Independents, can see that she is embarrassing the party…and that that embarrassment is reaching a national level, why can’t she?? It absolutely boggles the mind…)

Immigration issues, part 134. The fallout from the immigration bill is more likely to hurt the GOP than the Democrats (doesn’t surprise anyone, does it??) as any bill that’s passed is sure to polarize the party as it will appeal to the hard-line GOP base, but will most likely drive moderate conservatives over to the ‘other side’ (and by that I mean Democrats or Independents). This all comes as Republican leaders speak of a massive shift in the language of the immigration bills. (The longer the debate on this issue continues, the worse off the GOP will be. The best thing for Democrats and Liberals to do on this issue is to sit back and let the GOP fight amongst themselves then go in and get the job done when they have exhausted all their options… just sit tight guys… and wait)

Numbers continue to drop. New polls out this week and last find that Bush’s job approval ratings are still dropping and reaching new lows. Really isn’t anything more to say about that is there? Check them out for yourselves: WaPo-ABC poll is 38% and AP-Ipsos poll is 36%. (Nice)

Gratuitous Op-Ed plug of the week. You’ve heard of the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’, how about the ‘Iranian Missile Crisis’. David Ignatius writes about that possibility in the Washington Post, read it HERE. Runner-up goes to the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board for this ONE calling on VP Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney to answer questions about the Valerie Plame incident.

Speaking of Iran... Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated today that Iran's assertion that they have enriched uranium will require “strong steps” from the U. N. (Which I am positive will do the trick as the UN has had so much luck lately in getting things done that aren’t related to Oil and Food. Anyhow, as Scott said yesterday, you may now resume building your bomb shelters.

Take them as you will...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What's the difference? Part 2


Iran has announced that they have enriched uranium. But, according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it's ok as it was done for 'peaceful purposes.'

White House spokesman Scott "Scooter" McClellan told reporters that Iran is "moving in the wrong direction" and if it continues, the United States will consult with other allies about how to respond (yeah, sure, just like they did with Iraq).

Relax, remember yesterday 'Scooters' boss, Dubya, said that the watch word for Iran was Diplomacy.

You may go back to building your bomb shelters...

Monday, April 10, 2006

What’s the difference ?

During comments earlier today at John Hopkins University our ‘President’ spoke to reports that the administration is considering tactical nuclear missile strikes against Iranian nuclear sites. He responded that those reports are "wild speculation".

He went on to emphasize that his administration is trying to resolve concerns over Iran through diplomacy.

"The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon," Bush said. He suggested that in Washington "prevention means force." However, he added, "It doesn't mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy."

Gee there is an idea… diplomacy !! So where was the idea of diplomacy when talking about Iraq back in 2002?

Iraq- They (may) have WMD’s and we need to go in with force, damn the diplomacy !

Iran- Diplomacy, Diplomacy, Diplomacy !

So what’s the difference? First, Iran didn’t threaten to kill Bush’s father, that was Iraq. Secondly, Iran didn’t have a hand in making Bush’s father a one-termer, than was Iraq. Lastly, at a time when we are now faced with potential adversaries that do posses WMD’s (North Korea and Iran), Bush has absolutely zero credibility. He can’t even get a coalition of his own party, let alone other countries.

So he has nothing left to his disposal but diplomacy.

Way to go George, you and your cronies have destroyed our credibility in the world. Not only that, but our grandchildren will be ‘paying’ for your mistakes, literally…..


p.s.- Hey George, one more thing, do the troops a favor and fire Rumsfeld. It certainly can't hurt your ratings, but it might help save a few lives.

(Editors Note from Kemp: Hell, getting rid of 'Rummy' may even help your numbers... as would ditching Press Secretary Scott McClellan, he's deadweight on a ship that's sinking fast. Just my opinion)

The Week Ahead

A list of things to keep in mind as the week gets started…

  • Did “President” Bush authorize the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame? Inquiring minds, including Republican Senator Arlen Specter, want to know. Stay tuned, as this is sure to be one of the hot-button topics this week even as Bush acknowledges that he declassified intelligence. (Hmmm… this week just got interesting…)
  • Tomorrow (Tuesday) we get the special election in the California 50th to see whom will replace disgraced (and, hopefully, the soon-to-be-jailed) ex-congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Some analysts say this could be a harbinger of what’s to come in November, but I’m having trouble putting that much faith into this one contest… but it should be an interesting election nonetheless.
  • From the ‘what could she possibly say next?’ files comes something that you definitely want to keep tabs on this week, just so you can see the next calamitous thing she can do. In an interview on a local Florida TV station, Florida senate candidate Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) said her campaign is “stronger than ever before.” (Two questions arise from this statement; what is she smoking and where is our share? Hmmmm, maybe she meant ‘stranger’…)
  • Immigration reform isn’t dead yet, especially with the news that close to 200,000 people may join the protest in DC today at the National Mall. As we’ve said on this site before, this is not a subject that will go away soon, and this week is building up to offer little more that past weeks have in relation to an agreement being reached.
  • From the ‘I better get the bomb shelter in order’ files comes this item that we ALL have to pay attention to in the days and weeks and months ahead. New Yorker magazine had a story this past weekend stating that said the White House was considering striking underground nuclear sites in Iran with nuclear weapons. Bush says that talk of attacking Iran is purely speculation. (This does not bode well)
  • Embattled Senator Joe Lieberman (“D”-CT) stated this past weekend that if he lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont he would not rule-out running as an Independent. (Someone who might as well have a corporate endorsement and logo tattooed on his chest is going to run as an Independent… it would be funny if he weren’t serious)
  • The “swoon” continues as Bush’s approval ratings continue to nosedive to Nixonian-like numbers. (With more polling expected to be done this week, keep an eye towards Friday as Bush could very-well be drinking again by that time… wow, even I thought that was in poor taste)
  • Treasury Secretary John Snow refuses to comment on rumors of his possible resignation while Bush endorsing Snow as still being the right man for the job.
  • Wonkette is reporting that White House press secretary Scott “I miss Ari” McClellan may be replaced with Dana M. Perino, who was just named by Bush as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary. Interesting choice. As my good friend and colleague Scott asked; “How can they pass on Ann Coulter?”

The screws continue to turn…

A short post I did last week on “President” Bush possibly being the one who approved the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name drew some heavy criticism from a conservative who left some comments, believing that I was inferring guilt onto President Bush (like he needs help from me or anyone else to infer guilt onto himself)

Now come incendiary words from a fellow-Republican who wants to know exactly what happened and is demanding that the White House explain the leak.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) told Fox “News” on Sunday that “I think that it is necessary for the president and vice president to tell the American people exactly what happened… We ought to get to the bottom of it so it can be evaluated, again, by the American people.”

This isn’t liberal-conjecture or spin here; this is a conservative Republican calling (on Bush media-whore Fox News) for the White House, specifically President Bush and Vice President Cheney, to tell the American people what happened in regards to the leak.

No spin is needed. Decide for yourself.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

No fanfare, no applause sign, just The Weekly Rewind coming at ya…..

Applaud: to telling it like it is. At a Bush Q&A session, audience member Harry Taylor said to Bush: “I would hope, from time to time, that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself.” Smackdown!!! Way to go Harry!

Heckle: to disgraced and soon to be out-of-work Rep Tom DeLay (R-TX). Hours after resigning his congressional seat and dropping out of his re-election bid, he had the adacity to to threaten Cynthia McKinney (though her actions were contemptible and merited a Heckle as well) by suggesting he may file an ethics complaint against her.

Heckle: to DeLay (sense a theme do ya) for dispatching his winged monkeys (read: his aides) to disrupt a Nick Lampson press conference and assault little old ladies. DeLay’s campaign manager (what exactly does a campaign manager do when there is no campaign left you ask… I’ll tell you) Chris Homan, sent out an email to his staff that stated: “Let's give Lampson a parting shot that wrecks his press conference.” (If you can’t beat them legitimately… act like a thug… or a goon… you’re choice) For photographic evidence of DeLay’s hired goons, click HERE. For video, click HERE and scroll down

Applaud: to Karma biting you in the ass. Seems that Clueless George himself authorized I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to disclose highly sensitive intelligence information to the news media. According to court papers filed by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, the reason for the disclosure was an attempt by the administration to discredit Joseph Wilson (husband of Valerie Plame), because his ‘views’ were publicly undermining the rationale for the invasion of Iraq. Seems ‘Scooter’ has taken the position ‘If I fall you’re going down with me”. Keep talking ‘Scooter’.

Heckle: to ‘Scooter’ McClellan. In trying to ‘spin’ the Libby grand jury papers, Scotty said that the President has the constitutional right (excuse me while I laugh, a republican concerned about the constitution) to declassify intelligence data and sensitive information “when it is in the public interest”. Watch out Scotty, it’s hard to keep so many plates spinning at the same time….ooops I think I see about a dozen starting to wobble !

Applaud: to kicking a couple of those plates. A former administration official said that “rebutting Wilson and other critics was an obsession of Cheney, Libby and many others” within the Bush White House. Also that there were frequent discussions about declassifying information to support the “Bush” argument for the war. (Scott you do realize that we can all tell when you are lying…)

Heckle: to taking more and spoiling it for everybody. Republican Senators proved why their approval numbers are diving like their leader. On Thursday Senators announced a bipartisan compromise on the very difficult task of re-writing the country’s immigration laws. But 24 hours later the deal was on hold as Republicans were demanding numerous changes to the agreed upon proposal. So now the issue has been tabled while the members of congress take a two week Easter recess. (since they act like children, they get recess)

Heckle: to censorship. Once again we are hearing that the Bush Administration is censoring our scientists. (I’m sorry is this 1930’s Germany?) It seems that the administration has been busy reprimanding and altering information released by employees and contractors working for, or at NOAA. Why the problem? It seems that these folks have been speaking out on policy questions, investigated news leaks, removed references to global warming from reports, news releases and Web sites. They even had the brass to tell people to stop talking to the media at all. Seems that the White House is not eager to have it’s ecological position challenged by actual experts.

Applaud: to telling it like it is part 2. The judge in the Zacharias Moussaoui trial had some sharp words for the Bush Administration. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a ruling granting families of 9/11 victims access “to the same unclassified aviation security documents that the government turned over to the al Qaeda conspirator’s defense team.” After granting the request Judge Brinkema said, "I've always been troubled to the extent which our government keeps things secret from the American people." She went on to add, "It is amazing what some agencies think is secret…..As a culture, we need to be careful not to be so wrapped up in secrecy that we lose track of our core values and laws." Slap !!! Way to go Leonie!

Heckle: to Katherine Harris, why? There are sooo many reasons…

Heckle: to the politician who cried ‘race’. On Thursday, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) made a brief statement in which she apologized to the House for an ‘altercation’with a Capitol Police officer that occurred back on March 29th. When the story of the incident first broke Rep. McKinney was stating she has been the victim of racial profiling (she is black and the police officer is white). Capital Police stated that the officer was stopping Rep. McKinney as she entered a House building without identification, bypassed a metal detector and ignored the officers repeated requests to stop and identify herself. Let’s look at this one….. Congressional Building, tight security (post 9/11 and during a time of “war”) no I.D., and just strolling into the building around various security points ….hmmm, oh yeah she must have been stopped just because of race alone. (Insert sarcasm in previous sentence) Not even the members of her own party or the Congessional Balck Caucus believed her. Here’s a tip, get the chip off your shoulder and follow the rues like everyone else.

Be good, stay informed….later.