I’m going to be out of town for a few days, so I’m leaving all of you in the capable hands of my esteemed colleague Scott. But before I go, allow me to give you this week’s Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon… enjoy.
Out of touch. White House Press Secretary Tony “I wish Scott hadn’t upped and quit” Snow has stated that “President” Bush only learned of the reported Haditha massacre after Time magazine reported the events back in March, which was almost four months after the events in question took place to begin with. (Nice… way to stay in touch Mr. President. You too ‘main stream’ media… way to go.)
New evidence. “Climate researchers at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology separately reported new evidence yesterday supporting the idea that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes.” (Yet this administration still ignores the evidenve… what’s it gonna take… mutant Poison Ivy or something?? Oh wait, that’s right, that’s already happenning. Apparently, as carbon dioxide levels increase, Poison Ivy grows “faster and bigger” and makes more and itchier poison ivy. Lovely…)
Pork-stuffed entrée. Interesting scene in the Taiwanese parliament yesterday as parliamentary deputies tried to prevent a female colleague from destroying a document. Seems she snatched a document on opening direct transport links with China and then tried to eat the proposal in a desperate attempt to prevent the issue from coming to a vote. (What I would pay to see the same thing happen in our congress. Can you imagine a cat-fight between Congresswoman XX and Katherine Harris (R-FL)? Talk about a battle royale…)
Let’s do lunch. The US is now willing to meet with Iran and other nations for talks on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Of course, that’s only if they give up uranium enrichment (which I don’t see happening) and if Russia and China agree to UN sanctions “if it (Iran) remains defiant.” (This should be interesting. Again, I really need to get to work on that bomb shelter…)
Fall-out boy. The fall-out from Jack Abramoff continues as the former Chief of Staff to Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), Neil Volz, testified earlier this week that “Ney was a champion on Capitol Hill for Jack Abramoff and his clients before the lobbyist was disgraced.” Volz also admitted that he conspired with Ney in order to underreport costs of a golfing trip to Scotland back in 2002. (And the hits just keep on coming…)
Sad. The Pentagon released their quarterly status report on Iraq. Not surprisingly, it reports an increase in the overall average number of attacks; from fewer than 500 per week in this quarter of 2005, to more than 600 per week in the most recent quarter. “On average, nearly 80 Iraqis were killed or wounded every day…up from the previous quarter’s 60 per day.” (What else can be said?)
Gratuitous Op-Ed plugs of the week. Lou Cannon’s The Art of the Smear and Fareed Zakaria’s A Political Path Out of Iraq, both from the online edition of The Washington Post. Read… and enjoy.
An obvious outcome. the theft of millions of pieces of veteran’s data has lead to a surfeit of firings at Veterans Affairs, including the idiotic senior career data analyst who took the data home and had it promptly stolen… and the head of the department said more firings are likely. (Firing should be the least of the analyst’s worries as this was an incredibly reckless act and something else needs to be done. First, to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, and second, to make sure the analyst knows the severity of what they’ve done…)
Hide and seek. The Justice Department is enthusiastically defending their raid on the offices of William Jefferson (D-LA) and have released documents that state the Congressman tried to hide papers from the investigators. (My thought, Mr. Jefferson needs to resign… and he needs to do it now… no one is above the law regardless of their party affiliation.)
Switch-aroo. Former Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mark Parkinson switched his party affiliation to Democrat earlier this week. (Always a good thing when we can greet a reformed-lemming)
Goodbye Sen. Bentsen. there was a memorial service at First Presbyterian Church in Houston for former Senator, Treasury Secretary and VP candidate Lloyd Bentsen earlier this week after a private graveside service for his family. Former President Bill Clinton was in attendance as was Senators Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, Representatives Jim Wright and Tom DeLay, former Secretaries of State James Baker, Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, former Senator and Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, former President George H.W. Bush, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan; former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and former Texas Gov. Ann Richards. Whew… (Nice bi-partisan mix that really exemplifies the type of politician and person Bentsen was…)
Take ‘em as you will...
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I’m going to be out of town for a few days, so I’m leaving all of you in the capable hands of my esteemed colleague Scott. But before I go, allow me to give you this week’s Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon… enjoy.
Friday, May 26, 2006
It's Friday and you know what that means...yep it's time for The Weekly Rewind. Our review of news stories and events of the past weeks political and sometimes not so political happenings. I have a feeling that the Heckle's will take the lead once again this week, so let's get started...
Heckle: to same old, same old. This morning the Senate confirmed General Michael Hayden, a four-star general and career Air Force man, to head the CIA. He will take over the agency from Porter Goss, whom the administration has referred to as essentially a transitional director. As head of the NSA from 1999 to 2005, Gen. Hayden has come under fire for Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program. Many in Washington were concerned that he would be tied to tightly to the pentagon to lead the CIA independently. No one connected to the administration does anything ‘independently’, what we are more worried about is what other invasions of our privacy will this ‘spy-master’ now oversee.
Applaud: it couldn’t happen to two more deserving guys. On Thursday, jurors returned guilty verdicts in the trial of former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling. In a statement on the courthouse steps, Lay said that he was "surprised, and it's probably more accurate to say we're shocked." (I find it hard to believe that he is that clueless, although he could be that delusional)
Heckle: to what else can I say but, DUH! In a televised press conference last night Britain's PM Tony Blair and Bush admitted to a number of errors in dealing with Iraq and making statements that have hurt the US image abroad. No f***ing kidding George! It only took poll numbers that are stuck in the basement to get you to eat some humble pie. By the way, it's too little too late. You only have 969 days left in office, do us a favor and take another vacation.
Applaud: to continuing to spout off and dig yourself deeper. In interviews following the verdicts, jurors said that the executives own testimony helped cement their fate. Lay’s demeanor of being frustrated at not being in control of the courtroom, and Skilling’s being able to spend days explaining the most minute financial details of the company were a direct contrast to his claims of not being aware of the illegal business maneuvering done under his watch.
Heckle: to spinning the wheels. Also on Thursday, the Senate passed an Immigration reform measure that they proclaimed would dramatically overhaul the current system. Among other things, the legislation would strengthen border security, establishes a guest worker program, and provide the way for millions of illegals to remain in the country and eventually become citizens. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) called the measure "a bad bill" that "puts more emphasis on amnesty than on border security." This bill is in sharp contrast to the House bill passed in December which emphasized border and workplace enforcement. So what did this really get us? Nothing except the Senate can go home and say that they did something to address the issue, but not really since now the huge differences between the House and Senate versions must be dealt with…..which will take many more months.
Heckle: to more double talk. Despite Condoleezza Rice’s insistence that “No one would like to shut down Guantanamo more than this administration,” Bloomberg reports, “They’re settling in for the long haul at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” Work is almost complete on a new $30 million state-of-the-art detention facility.
Applaud: to doing the right thing. In response to the recent events surrounding Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) , House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) sent Jefferson a simple letter calling on him to resign his seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Members of the CBC were all over Pelosi and were ready to revolt until they emerged from a meeting with her on Wednesday. Ok, Jefferson was caught on video accepting $100,000 in cash from an FBI wired informant. We don't need democratic congressmen acting like republicans and soiling what the party stands for. We stand behind Ms. Pelosi, well done.
Heckle: to the more things change the more they stay the same. Despite Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff’s assertion that the U.S. is “much more prepared as a nation than we have ever been to confront a major hurricane,” problems remain as hurricane season approaches. “Hundreds of thousands of displaced victims from last year’s hurricanes [are] still living in more than 100,000 trailers,” efforts to effectively track supplies are “uncoordinated,” and “FEMA’s hurricane operations plan is unfinished.” Wow Mike, what a surprise! Who are you going to blame this one on?
Heckle: to see, what did we tell you! A new study finds New Orleans “is the U.S. city most likely to be struck by hurricane force winds during the 2006 storm season.” Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers has finished repairing the city’s levees, but experts say New Orleans is “still very much at risk… because the level of protection the corps has reached is still not as strong as the city needs,” not even good enough for a Category 3 storm. No shit, I'm not an engineer but even I could have seen that one coming a mile away.
Heckle: to what in the hell are you people smoking? The winner in last weeks New Orleans mayoral election was....Ray Nagin!? That's right 'Mr. I Made Mistakes' before during and after Hurricane Katrina was re-elected to another term leading the city under the bay. This should be interesting folks, the levees are not as stong as they need to be, the city is far from being rebuilt, hurricane season is less than a week away and Ray Nagin is once again in charge. Maybe Mayor Nagin can hire Michael Brown to be the City Disaster Coordinator.
Ok, it's a holiday weekend and we all want to get outside and enjoy the 3 days. So let's cut this week short. Oh, by the way, I was right. Many more heckles this week. It just reminds you that you are living in George Bush's America.
Be good, stay informed....later.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I know all of you are jonesing for it... so here it is; this week's Random Political Thoughts. Enjoy.
The waiting game. Despite learning about the theft of electronic data on 26.5 million veterans shortly after it occurred on May 3, Veterans Affairs Department waited two weeks before telling law enforcement agencies and now officials are saying that the investigators in the Justice Department and F.B.I. are complaining that the delay might have cost them clues to the whereabouts of the data (ya think??) stored on computer disks that were stolen in a burglary on May 3 at the home of an agency employee in Maryland. (Okay... let's ignore the obvious question of why the hell the employee took this home, but why wait so long to report it? These are people's lives and they're playing with them like it was a fu***** toy. Speaking as one who has had their identity stolen, someone needs to get into a LOT of trouble for this screw-up... and it shouldn't matter how high-up the food chain they are. Nail the fu***** hides to the wall... and do it now!) (editors note: As a veteran myself, I am not at all happy about this situation. Firing this idiot isn't good enough, but it's a start.- Scott)
You’re approved. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden won approval (12-3) to head the CIA from the Senate intelligence committee earlier this week, with legislative leaders saying they hope to have the full Senate confirm him by this Thursday. Four Dems voted for Hayden and three voted against, Evan Bayh (D-IN), Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). (That’s a shock isn’t it? I mean… who would have ever thought that he would have won the first stage of confirmation this easily?? It’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written word you know…
Here comes the pass. The Senate is expected to approve the most significant and wide-ranging immigration reform legislation in two decades this week. The bill would grant citizenship rights to an estimated 10 million illegal aliens currently in the country (and thus allowing them to collect Social Security benefits for any work they performed while illegally employed in the U.S), would grant amnesty to employers who have drawn the estimated 12 million aliens to the U.S. by illegally providing them with jobs and will allow an estimated 2 million new foreigners to be admitted to the country annually, which would more than double the current immigration flow. (editors note: Social Security eligibility should not begin until 'legally' employed. Anything else is a slap in the face to the citizens of this country- Scott)
How to kowtow. The FCC will not investigate whether a spy agency has access to millions of Americans' telephone records, citing the secrecy of the National Security Agency and due to the fact that the FCC “cannot obtain classified material". The decision has elicited calls for a congressional hearing from the Democratic congressman who had requested a probe, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). (Hmmmm, that’s convenient… isn’t it??)
The comeback. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Senate… it returns… Former Senate majority leader Senator Trent Lott has never stopped keeping tabs on his fellow senators, which could come in handy now since he is eying a return to a Republican leadership position after the November elections. Lott is considering running for whip, but he isn’t ruling out a bid for the top spot if Republicans lose so many seats in November that the caucus demands leadership changes and resists promoting McConnell.
Let’s talk about the weather. Homeland Security Secretary Michael “Don’t blame me, I didn’t do it” Chertoff is assertive in his announcement that the U.S. is “much more prepared as a nation than we have ever been to confront a major hurricane.” Despite those words of wisdom, many people have serious doubts about the program. “Hundreds of thousands of displaced victims from last year’s hurricanes [are] still living in more than 100,000 trailers,” efforts to effectively track supplies are “uncoordinated,” and “FEMA’s hurricane operations plan is unfinished.”
Now that’s irony. The ACLU (a group I am not all that fond of…) has been a longtime champion of free speech, which makes this bit of news all the more ironic and troubling. The group is weighing new standards that would prohibit a director from criticizing A.C.L.U. board or staff, but would allow “a director (to) publicly disagree with an A.C.L.U. policy position.” (Uh… okay… am I missing something here??)
Who’s on trial? The trial of David Safavian, the ex-top procurement official for the Bush administration, begins today. Safavian “is charged in a five-count indictment with making false statements to Senate and GSA investigators” that were looking into his relationship with uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. (It starts… this could be the beginning of a beautiful process… let’s hope.)
Deflection! Prominent conservative fundraiser Richard Viguerie wrote an article in last weekend’s Washington Post, that criticized “Bush’s base betrayal.” The White House’s response was not unique in Viguerie’s view as they responded by emailing around previous quotes of Viguerie’s criticisms of Ronald Reagan. Viguerie response was that this is, “standard operating procedure for this White House: Put the spotlight on the president’s critic, rather than respond to the critic’s arguments.” (in other words; deflection. Deflect the criticism back onto the the person doing the criticizing… it’s a brilliant strategum if it works but should be done cautiously by this White House as it seems that people are starting to wake up about this administration)
Gratuitous Op-Ed Plug of the Week. This article HERE from CNN’s Lou Dobbs is a must-read (did I just write that?) as he says that Bush & Congress are “telling working folk to go to hell.” Well said, Mr. Dobbs… very well said.
The label maker. Once again, the “President” has put a label on another political milestone in Iraq as the crucial “turning point.,” stating; “We can expect the violence to continue, but something fundamental changed this weekend” Well, thanks…that clears eveything up nicely and ties-up all loose ends…
Common sense. The Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature recommended that “Oregon legislators and staff members should not be drunk while performing their official duties.” (Kind of sad that that doesn’t go without saying… isn’t it?)
Take ‘em as you will…
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
A few (just a few) things to pay attention to as we embark on yet another week in the month of May...
Keep one eye ahead of you, and one to the side… lest AG Alberto Gonzales sneak up on you. He made the rounds on the Sunday news shows, at one point suggesting that journalists could be prosecuted for publishing classified information, saying; “There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility,” – (I’m sorry… did I black out there from boredom?? Every time someone from the administration opens their mouth, it sounds the same…blah, blah, blah…)
Watch Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) this week as he continues his masterful impersonation of a Republican. After authorities searched his DC office this past weekend, news was released that an FBI informant posed as a Virginian businesswoman and succesfully videotaped him accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from the informant. ( Mr. Jefferson, you need to resign.. and right now. We don’t need the likes of you in our party…)
Keep an eye on Iran and the Bush administration this week and in the coming months. It seems the administration is “shunning pressure from allies for direct dialogue with Iran [and] shifting toward a more confrontational stance” (shocked, aren’t ya?) and are also trying to intensify efforts to undercut the country’s ruling clerics. Additionally, four of the biggest European banks have started curbing their activities in Iran,” due to pressure from the US… (that reminds me, I really need to get to work on that bomb shelter…)
Watch the courts this week as yet another WhIte House aid goes on trial.The former top procurement officer in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), David Safavian, goes on trial this week to face charges, that “he concealed [Jack] Abramoff’s interest in government business when seeking permission to accept airfare for a Scotland golf trip from the lobbyist in 2002.” He is also accused of obstructing inquiries into the matter. (Not surprisingly, he says he’s innocent… prosecutors say there are e-mails that say different…I say don’t bend over for the soap…)
Watch Commander Cuckoo-Bananas this week as he tries to resusitate his pathetic approval numbers by dropping the immigration reform ball and going back to the subject that has become the most pressing issue of his administration: Iraq. First stop; Chicago as Dubya intends to deliver a speech on the "Global War on Terror." His audience? The National Restaurant Association… (uh, okay… global war on terror… restaurateurs… I can see the connection… can’t you??)
Speaking of his Nixonian-level approval numbers, keep an eye on those incredible shrinking numbers as political pundits have stated that there is no precedent for climbing out of the abyss that are his approval numbers. Even some White House strategists have made this realization and have concluded that no level of staff shake-ups are going to change that path. Because of that, the President and his cabal are focusing on the fall midterm elections as the best chance to salvage his presidency. (Call me strange, but I don’t see that happening… I really don’t…)
Keep an eye on the GOP as a whole as the party is starting to see losses “in morale, in fundraising and in early election contests.” (Fantastic news, isn’t it? We can only hope it contines well into November 2006… and November 2008…)
Pay attention to Patrick Fitzgerald and his “Scooter” this week. Seems ‘Fitz’ is trying to prove that Scooter Libby lied based on his knowledge of Valerie Plame’s classified status as a CIA agent when he told (read: lied to) the Grand Jury that he found out from NBC News's Tim Russert that Plame, (who is the wife of former ambassador Joe Wilson) worked for the agency. (Nice… here’s to hoping that Fitz gets his man, or men, this week and in the weeks ahead…)
Keep an eye on the First Stepford Wife as First Lady Laura Bush is using “her popularity” to help boost Republican candidates when her husband can’t. (Uh… okay… sure…)
Watch as two congressmen; Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MI) and Kendrick Meek (D-FL), demand 118 reports from the Department of Homeland Security that are late… really… really late (they were due in 2003… yes, you read that right; 2003) The reports all deal with security plans for mass transit, rail, aviation, ports and borders. (Uh… this is kind of important isn’t it?? Maybe we should, I don’t know, all be putting pressure on the department to get Congress the reports…)
Continue to keep an eye and ear on Al Gore… he’s… en fuego.
Proving once again that the left side of the aisle can sometimes be as stupid as the right. We have the case of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.).
It seems that Rep. Jefferson was videotaped accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from a Northern Virginia investor who was wearing an FBI wire, according to a search warrant affidavit released yesterday.
Upon serving the search warrant a few days after accepting the money, investigators found $90,000 in cash wrapped in aluminum foil and placed inside frozen food containers in the congressmans freezer.
In a rebuttal to the allegations the congressman had this to say, "As I have previously stated, I have never, over all the years of my public service, accepted payment from anyone for the performance of any act or duty for which I have been elected."
OK, you are on videotape and audiotape accepting what I am sure was marked bills that were found days later in your freezer.
All I can say is.....yeah, sure, you just go on thinking that. That is why for the first time in history the FBI raided a congressional office (your office) over this past weekend.
ps- Randy 'Duke' Cunningham called, he said to stop copying him.
Friday, May 19, 2006
The Weekly Rewind starts for the week ending May 19, 2006… right… now…
I said right… now…
Oops… forgot to plug it in…
Applaud: to this quote. While it’s not related to politics, it’s a great quote that I think more people need to hear. It comes from David Feherty, a former PGA player and current CBS golf commentator who has battled depression: “Tom Cruise says there’s no such thing as depression, that you can get better with physical exercise. Well, maybe he’s right — beating the [bleep] out of Tom Cruise would be physical all right, and it would [bleeping] cheer me up, and a whole lot of other people.” Brilliant quote, Mr. Feherty… absolutely brilliant…
Heckle: to Pat “Overcompensation” Robertson. The “good” Reverand says God has told him that storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America's coastline this year. (Yeah, I can't top that... anyone??) (editors note: God told me that Pat Robertson is an idiot- Scott)
Applaud: to a former senior official in President Bush’s re-election campaign, James Tobin, getting sentenced to 10 months in prison earlier this week for his role in suppressing votes in a New Hampshire Senate race with U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe stating; “It was a direct assault on a free and fair electoral system. We’ll never know if the wrong people are sitting in government because of this effort.” (Be warned… people are starting to wake up… about fuc**** time…)
Heckle: to sitting on one’s laurels and thusly allowing a “big catch” to get away. Sure, after 16 months of doing absolutely nothing, the House ethics committee will finally start bribery investigations into Reps. Bob Ney (R-OH) and William Jefferson (D-LA), but Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) will escape unscathed because he’s leaving office next month. (Nice inaction there everyone… I’m sure this wasn’t done on purpose just to save DeLay… it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written word…)
Applaud: to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (did I just write that???) for telling his fellow Conservatives to mind their own beeswax. Nicely put Mr. Justice… well done. (and I can almost guarantee this is the last time you’ll see him applauded on this blog… though you never know…)
Heckle: to the bad news coming from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Earlier this week he said, “[T]he risks to inflation are perhaps the most significant at the moment” with consumer prices rising by 0.6% in April. Higher prices are cutting into consumers’ purchasing power and diminishing the outlook for economic growth and has fueled concerns that the Fed might push interest rates up in order to push back inflation. (Yet again, another of the things that had been a strength of the Bush Administration is faltering. As I’ve said already in this post… people are starting to wake up… and Bush and his cronies better start paying attention.)
Applaud: to the Justice Department. They are accusing Abbott Laboratories of inflating prices of its drugs as “…part of a fraudulent billing scheme alleged to have cost government health programs more than $175 million over 10 years.” (Well, duh. About time they made that realization… maybe now some changes will be made… though I highly doubt it)
Heckle: to BellSouth. The telecommunications company is seeking a retraction to the USA Today story under pretenses that the paper gave “false and unsubstantiated statements” in their story about NSA phone logs and the phone companies, all but Quest. (Whatever…) THIS STORY on Think Progress gives a reason why the companies may be suggesting the story is falsified… (Makes one really wonder where this country is headed… doesn’t it?)
Applaud: to newly-minted Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi for acknowledging the real impact of the Iraq war and speaking his mind rather than fall into line with Bush and Tony Blair: “We consider the war and occupation in Iraq a grave error that hasn’t solved - but has complicated - the problem of security. … Terrorism has found a new base and new excuses for internal and external terrorist action.” (I couldn’t have said it better myself Mr. Prodi, grazie)
Heckle: to temper tantrums, Senate style. It was a pathetic display by both Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), earlier this week during debate on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. (Grow up guys, isn’t that a strategy that we all learned doesn’t work when we were like seven or eight?)
Applaud: to Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) who, earlier this week, demanded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launch an investigation into phone and telecommunications companies that provided millions of customers' phone records to the National Security Agency OR explain how the program is lawful. (Sounds good, but I have a feeling the “demand” was only made in order to appease others and that nothing will be done or investigated, making this entry a “Heckle”)
Heckle: to fencing… “President” Bush has suggested building a fence along the US border with Mexico in order to help keep illegal immigrants out, saying in a speech in Arizona; “It makes sense to use fencing along the border in key locations in order to do our job.” (I have to ask.. isnt this a concept that was pretty much declared useless by Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape”?) At the same time, the Senate passed immigration amendments that would require all native-born and immigrants workers to “submit their names to two huge federal databases to verify their legal status before taking any new job.” (Okay… that part makes sense…)
Applaud: to the House of Representative for voting in favor of repealing $7 billion in subsidies for oil companies that drill in publicly owned waters. The vote was approved 252 to 165, over the “surprising” objections of many Republican leaders.” It now goes to the Senate where it’s expected to also pass… again by a slim margin. The House also voted 279 to 141 to reject a provision that would have lifted a 25-year ban on oil drilling in coastal areas outside the western Gulf of Mexico.” (Wow, that had to really piss of the oil companies… kinda makes you feel warm inside, doesn’t it?)
Heckle: to the news that, in the past two days, as many as 105 people were reportedly killed in Afghanistan, in what can be described as the “deadliest violence since the Taliban was driven from power in late 2001.” (Do you get the feeling that the Bush administration has forgotten about Afghanistan? Sure seems like it. I haven’t seen such a pathetic and transparent attempt to find someone since OJ’s declaration that he wouldn’t rest until he found the “real killers.” How’s that goin’ Juice?) There was also “Heavy fighting involving several hundred Taliban fighters and Afghan and coalition forces in southern Afghanistan” that also resulted in a slew of deaths. Good thing we took care of Afghanistan before we got knee-deep in Ira—, wait, that’s right… we didn’t take care of Afghanistan… morons)
Applaud: to ever-falling approval numbers. Nothing new to report this week as Bush’s numbers are still falling faster than Tom Cruise’s popularity and don’t seem destined to rebound any time soon… did you just hear a collective belly-laugh coming from the left??
Heckle: to this (not really surprising or shocking) news from The Travel Industry Association of America. Earlier this week the group said that high gas prices will add “$30 and $50 to the gasoline cost of a typical trip this summer,” adding that prices “will limit travel growth this summer to less than 1%.” (Wow, tell me something that I, along with 98% of the population, didn’t already know…)
Applaud: to the news that the atrocious $2.7 trillion that passed in the House, will most likely falter when it reaches the Senate. (Good news indeed… if it comes to fruition)
Heckle: to talking out one’s ass. Remember a few months ago when all the talk was of a 30,000 troop drawdown coming in the months ahead? Well, turns out they were lying. Earlier this week Defense Secretary Donald “Generals love me” Rumsfeld stated that he “…cannot guarantee that there will be substantial withdrawals of U.S. troops from Iraq this year.” (Nice… get the hopes up of military families and U.S. citizens and then yank the rug out from under them all… what a tool)
That’s all I got… what are you applauding and heckling this week?
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Without further ado… here’s today’s Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon…
Hmmmm… The White House has flipped-flopped (wow, imagine that… what are the odds) and reversed its position and has now agreed to “brief all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees” on the warrantless domestic spying program. Hmmm… something fishy is going on here, don’t ya think?
Doublespeak… congressional style. Sure, to the constiuents and anyone who’ll listen they spew anti-lobbyist rhetoric like a volcano, but lawmakers are still asking lobbyists for money. Case in point; House Speaker Dennis “XX” Hastert (R-IL) once stated to one lobbyist that “ we need to minimize our contact with lobbyists, implying something is not right,” The lobbyist received a fundraiser invitation from Hastert this past week where the “suggested minimum contribution” was $2,500. (Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it to…)
69 That the percentage of American’s who believe the nation is on the wrong track., with 66% disapproving of Dumbya’s handling of Iraq and 33% (a record-low for this poll) approving of his job. All this according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. (Every week comes a new poll and a new record-low… I don’t think anything more needs to be said…)
That’s gotta hoit. And the hits just keep on coming as public confidence in the governance of the GOP has dropped to the lowest levels of the Bush presidency. A new poll says that Americans, by a wide margin, now trust Democrats more than Republicans… on everything; Iraq, the economy, immigration everything... (I’ve always been told to not kick someone while they’re down, so I refrain from saying anything like: ‘Karma, baby!!!’… oops)
Screw the deadline. The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Charles Grassley (R-IA) said earlier this week that he would get the Senate to waive the penalty for all elderly adults and Americans with disabilities who missed the May 15th deadline to sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. It should also be noted that the “President” has come out against this measure… but Senator Grassley doesn’t care about that. (Another week, another Republican who would rather tell Bush to shove-it then accept his policies… you can color me… not surprised.)
’What? Me worry?’ Friends and colleagues of White House DCOS Karl Rove told NEWSWEEK that the senior Bush aide has struggled to remain upbeat about his plethora of legal troubles in the last few weeks, even going as far to say that he’s appeared distracted when they’ve talked with him. (And we should be empathetic… why?)
Hide and seek… actually, just hide. Almost four years after the detention center in Cuba opened, the Bush administration has (finally) given the Associated Press the first list of everyone who is being/has been held at Guantanamo Bay. The list contained 201 names that had never been disclosed before, yet the AP reports that “none of the most notorious terrorist suspects were included, raising questions about where America’s most dangerous prisoners are being held.” (Sounds as though there is something rotten in the state of Denmark…and it’s not the cheese)
Terrorist Detention Center: Spin classes now forming. The Pentagon is launching a public relations/spin campaign aiming to “offset the negative publicity about its terrorist detention center.” Why? Well, it could be because the International Committee of the Red Cross has said the dentention center houses “an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture.” (Spin that boys… I dare ya…)
The Doctor is OUT. An article explains that soldiers that show any signs of psychological distress are being kept on duty, even though there’s a congressional order that the military has to assess the mental health of all troops being deployed. What’s more is “fewer than 1 in 300 (are) being able to see a mental health professional before shipping out,” which, according to the article, increases the risk of suicide.
The answer is none of the above. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s created a set of flashcards that were designed to help applicants for U.S. citizenship learn basic civics. Problem is, the flashcards fail to mention the First Amendment. The Director of the office of citizenship Alfonso Aguilar, tried to wave it off by stating “The person who developed the test was not necessarily a civics or constitutional scholar.” (Again, and this should surprise us… how?? It’s the Bush Administration, of course they’re going to ignore the First Amendment… and btw, maybe the person who develops constitutional tests should be a constitutional scholar… or at the least have some knowledge of the Constitution… I’m just sayin’…)
There’s no business like ‘Snow’ business. New White House Press Secretary Tony Snow had his first official briefing the other day… it wasn’t pretty… on any level.
Gratuitous Op-Ed Plug. Not really an Op-Ed piece, but a good read nonetheless from the Washington Post. Another plug, this one from a diary by DarkSyde on Daily Kos. You can read it HERE…trust me, it’s definitely worth a look.
Sure, I believe them… don’t you? Earlier this week, BellSouth officially denied that it helped the NSA compile a phone records database. Verizon quickly followed suit and also claimed they did not give the government records of millions of phone calls. Ok, fine, but THIS STORY on Think Progress gives a possible reason why the companies may be saying this… (read it and get chills and fear where our country is headed…)
As the campaign turns… This week, in the saga that is the Katherine Harris for Senate campaign: it was the end of a candidate forum that had featured the two Democratic hopefuls for Florida Governor that was hosted by the nonpartisan Forum Club of the Palm Beaches. After that forum ended, club President Dennis Gallon got up and announced next month's attendee: U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris. The crowd’s response? A resoundingly excruciating, "Uuuuhhhhhh.” (Who needs late-night comedy when you have the Katherine Harris campaign?)
Take 'em as you will...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Following up on the "President" and his sleep-inducing address towards immigration last night comes this tasty tidbit via Daily Kos, via CQ:
It's December 2005, and Bill "I hate Keith Olberman" O'Reilly of Fox "News" was speaking with Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff and offered up his own stop-gap measure for the immigration issue: "Why don't you put the National Guard on the border to back up the border patrol and stop the bleeding, and then start to increase the Border Patrol, the high-tech and all of that?"
Michael Chertoff didn't like this idea and dismissed it without hesitation, stating; "Well, the National Guard is really, first of all, not trained for that mission. I mean, the fact of the matter is the border is a special place. There are special challenges that are faced there."
(Ignoring for a moment the fact that this plan has a lot of holes and a LOT of opposition, especially from the President's own party; let's ponder on that a little: special challenges... no proper training... methinks that this does not bode well)
Chertoff went on to add that he thinks: "... it would be a horribly over-expensive and very difficult way to manage this problem. Unless you would be prepared to leave those people in the National Guard day and night for month after month after month, you would eventually have to come to grips with the challenge in a more comprehensive way."
This was Michael Chertoff today in an interview with MSNBC Anchor Randy Meier (transcript found at the Washington Post: "Well, Randy, there are about 450,0000 total members of the National Guard. And all that would be serving at any one time, at most, would be 6,000. So the National Guard's comfortable that this is not going to interfere with the other important missions that the guardsmen do."
Apparently the administration and the department could not find a way to combat the problem that was comprehensive enough for them... I wonder what changed??
Oh, that's right.... approval ratings that are absolutely Nixonian in their levels.
This administration is making flip-flopping an art form...
Monday, May 15, 2006
I saw this on Crooks and Liars and have to agree.
This could very well be the dumbest thing I have ever seen written. I mean, think about it… what kind of columnist would cite the Nazis as an example to show that the U.S. could deport twelve million people easily?
”Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.”
I understand using historical events to prove a point... but the Nazis?? When you start going that far to prove a point... you've lost something...
It’s just wrong....
A few things to keep an eye on and keep in mind as the new week gets underway...
- Keep a sharp eye on the “President” and his ever-falling approval numbers. 31%, 29%, it looks as though they will get lower and lower… and ignore what the First Lady said when she remarked recently that she doesn’t “really believe those polls.” Yeah, I bet she would if they were… say… 60% approval rather than 29%… keep it to yourself ‘Lady Macbeth’… Oh, and Karl Rove thinks the war in Iraq is responsible for Dubya’s hilariously-low approval numbers… well, duh.
- Keep an eye on Venezuela and Libya… why? Well, the US has imposed sanctions on Venezuela due to terrorism concerns, but is dropping sanctions against Libya. I’m sorry… when did I arrive in Bizarro-world??
- Pay attention as immigration reform steps back into the spotlight. Tonight, Dubya will address the nation that will announce the calling-up of thousands of National Guard troops that will then be deployed along the southern border as a temporary solution to the influx of illegal immigrants. Yeah… that doesn’t sound like a good idea… maybe Bush shouldn’t have cut those 10,000 border patrols jobs in his budget last year after all...
- Keep an eye on Rep. Duke Cunningham’s blood pressure. Federal prosecutors are trying to interview a few more current and/or former staffers on the House Intelligence, Appropriations and Armed Services committees so they can widen their probe into the bribery scheme that he’s already up to his neck in...
- Keep an eye on all those fair-weather-friends and colleagues (and by ‘weather’ I mean ‘approval ratings’. Seemingly in fear of their own political futures, House and Senate Republicans are becoming increasingly “divided and disloyal”in regards to their relationship with Dubya; they don’t agree with his policies (NSA surveillance for one), his nominations (General Hayden) or his announcements (the impending immigration announcement), and now it’s starting to show… poor little President… no one wants him to come out and play with them...
- As the week, and months, go on, we should all pay attention to what happens in the NSA/phone database news cycle. 53% think the program goes too far, 51% dissaprove of the program period… let’s see how the administration spins this… should be entertaining to say the least… and insulting to millions at the most.
- Lawsuit alert. Bruce Afran, an attorney from New Jersey filed suit against Verizon last week on claims that the company violated privacy laws by turning over calling records to the National Security Agency. The attorney is now saying that customers of AT&T and BellSouth want to join the lawsuit, which would make it the largest class-action lawsuit ever filed.
- Keep an eye on Karl Rove this week. While he wasn’t indicted on Friday like many outlets reported (or on Saturday as XX reported, word on the Beltway is that he will be indicted in the coming weeks, or even days, ahead. Stay tuned...
- The Democratic party needs to be watched like a group of children this week… lest we have another temper-tantrum like we had last week when DNC Chair Howard Dean and DCCC mid-term election leader Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL) got into a spat about the party and its money strategy. Then Paul Begala had to get into the fray and insult thousands of party-members with some moronic comments. Here’s some free and simple advice to all of them: shut the hell up and show a united front. We keep acting like this, and people are going to start mistaking us for Republicans… and I don’t think any of us want that...
- Keep an eye on two political females this week. Though they are on different sides of the team, they both have a tendency to put their foots into their mouths. First, we have Katherine Harris (R-FL)… her of the pathetic Senate campaign in Florida. What can be said that hasn’t already been said… granted, it’s been a while since she said anything idiotic, but knowing her it’s only a matter of time. It’s also only a matter of time until Hillary Rodham-Clinton (D-NY) says something else moronic as she did this past week when she disparaged young people and their work ethic… which was quickly followed by an apology to her own daughter, who is a member of the crowd that she just insulted. Brilliant people skills there Senator. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… if she is the nominee in ’08, we should all just kill ourselves. Here’s some free advice to the two of you; keep… your mouths… shut. On second thought, Rep. Harris, you can continue to talk, cause it will only help us in November.
- Keep an eye on another Democrat acting like a Republican as the Washington Post is reporting that Rep. Allan Mollahan (D-WV) “set up a network of nonprofit organizations to administer the millions of dollars he directed to such public endeavors as high-tech research and historic preservation.” It should also be noted that Mollahan’s assets grew from $565,000 to at least $6.3 million from 2000 to 2004… that’s normal… right?? Rep. Mollahan… do the party a favor… stop impersonating a Republican, it’s only going to confuse people.
- Keep an eye on Al Gore… after this past weekend, I think it’s safe to say he’s up to something...
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
It’s the end of the week and you know what that means….no not partying all weekend, although in itself not a bad idea. No it’s time for The Weekly Rewind. This is the time of the week where we like to take a look back at some of the newsworthy items that you may have overlooked in your striving to stay one step ahead of “The Man“.
Heckle: to what else would you expect from this administration? The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has closed its investigation into the Bush administration’s warrantless domestic surveillance program because investigators were “denied the security clearances needed to conduct a probe.” Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) called the denial of clearances “hard to believe.” However anyone who has read this blog or kept up on current events should not be surprised at all.
Applaud: to The Washington Post editorial board (did I just write that??) for taking HUD Secretary Jackson to task over his “anecdotal” story about issuing contracts based on political views: “Either Mr. Jackson broke the law and then lied about it, or he lied that he had broken the law. Which of those actions makes him fit to be secretary of housing and urban development?” Couldn’t have said it any better fellas… good job, keep it up.
Heckle: to another black eye for the republicans. (my sarcastic side calls it an applaud) “Federal prosecutors have begun an investigation” into powerful House Appropriations Committee chair Jerry Lewis (R-CA). The probe is focusing on Lewis’ (no this is not Frances favorite comedian.) connections to “longtime friend” and lobbyist Bill Lowery. “As chairman of the Appropriations panel, Lewis has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts for many of Lowery’s clients.”
Applaud: to 29… as in 29%. Bush’s latest approval ratings from a new Wall Street Journal/Harris poll. Hee hee hee…
Heckle: to the US Army for using a year-old and little-known Army Reserve policy. Due to this policy, groups of reservists are suing to have it overturn. The policy bars officers from resigning “unless they fulfill various conditions: They have to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan, work in much-needed specialties, or have serious family issues.”
Applaud: to telling it like it is. A new Center for American Progress report finds that household debt is not rising because people “are using credit cards to buy plasma TVs and premium coffee drinks at Starbucks.” “The real culprits…are the rising costs of housing, health care and education.”
Heckle: this being an administration that begs for things like this. Sportsbook.com is “offering odds” on whether President Bush’s approval rating will be over or under 35.5 percent on his birthday, July 6th. Bettors can also gamble on the answer to the question: “Will Donald Rumsfeld be U.S. Secretary of Defense on December 31, 2006?”
Applaud: to taking a step forward for what’s right. More than 1.9 million U.S. workers earned the federal minimum wage ($5.15) or less last year. States are taking action by “using legislation and ballot initiatives to do what Congress has not done since 1997, when it last increased the federal minimum wage.” How many of you reading this could live on 40 hours a week at minimum wage?
Heckle: to a bigger Big Brother. As reported earlier this week by every news organization and blog across the country, the National Security Agency has been “secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.” The goal of the program, created shortly after 9/11, is “to create a database of every call ever made” within the nation’s borders. “Among the big telecommunications companies, only Qwest has refused to help the NSA.”
Applaud: to we told you so. The Washington Post reports that Karl Rove “talked with White House colleagues about the political importance of defending the prewar intelligence and countering Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.” Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is expected to decide whether or not to indict Rove for making false statements as soon as this month. I wonder what the odds at sportsbook.com are on this one?
Heckle: to another clueless congressmen. House conservatives gave Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who is better known as “Representative #1” in the Abramoff court pleadings, “a standing ovation after he told them yesterday that he has no plans to resign and will vigorously fend off a likely federal indictment.”
I could go on and on…..
Be good, stay informed…later.
New feature here at TBWA, a weekly recap of some of our favorite political cartoons from the past week, to be followed later tonight with The Weekly Rewins. Click on 'em, and enjoy.
The Cartoonists: Vince O'Farrell - The Illawarra Mercury - Australia, Jeff Parker - Florida Today, RJ Matson - Roll Call, RJ Matson - Roll Call, Mike Keefe - Denver Post, Tom Toles - Washington Post
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Apparently the leaders of the Democratic Party are ignoring me, and just about every other Democratic/Liberal blogger out there.
Rather than creating a united front and a united agenda, they are starting to act like Republicans by arguing amongst themselves…
The chairman of the Democratic Party and the leader of the D-Triple C (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) are not seeing eye to eye these days on how best to use the party’s funds.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean (D-VT), and many state party chairmen, believe that the party needs restructuring from the ground up while DCCC leader, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), is leading the effort to regain the party's majority in the House this November and he feels that Dean's DNC is spending their money too freely and too early in the election cycle.
According to The Washington Post, quoting sources, this disagreement reportedly led to an angry exchange recently, that points to a long-standing tension between congressional leaders and the leaders of the party.
There’s no denying that Dean is a proven and effective fundraiser as the DNC has raised $74 million since the start of this election cycle in 2005, all the while with Dean maintaining that the party cannot strengthen itself over the long haul unless it competes everywhere… even in areas that have been heavily Republican the last few years.
That’s all fine and good… and Mr. Dean needs to keep it up on his end, as does Rep. Emmanuel… but what we don’t need is for the Democrats to start acting like a bunch of whiny kids and yell and scream to get what they want… we could listen to the Republicans if we wanted that.
Here’s a novel concept Democratic leaders; let’s all take advantage of the piss-poor approval numbers, the desctruction of our civil liberties, the ineptitude of the administration and others in the GOP and get on one page. Let’s set one universal agenda… allign one united message… get behind each other and get out there and beat the damn Republicans into submission this November and beyond.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
It’s Wednesday, and we all know what that means. So here we go…
Wavering. After making excuse after excuse, the White House is going to be releasing visitor logs that document “when (uber-lobbyist Jack) Abramoff was at the White House, how long he was there, and who signed him in for the visit.” (And we are supposed to believe these documents are authentic and not altered… why??)
Looming. The May 15th deadline is approaching… approximately 7 million eligible Medicare members (roughly half of whom did not have any drug coverage before) still have not signed up and yet “President” Bush has once again “rejected renewed pleas for an extension” of the deadline. (He really does cares about seniors… doesn’t he?? By the way, that was sarcasm there, in case you missed it)
Raising. Back in March, President Bush signed a bill that raised the national debt ceiling to a record $9 trillion… well, it’s not a record anymore as that apparently, wasn’t enough. Signalling the fifth such increase under Dubya, “A $2.7 trillion budget plan pending before the House would raise the federal debt ceiling to nearly $10 trillion.” (Let’s see… first he mortgaged off our civil liberties with wiretapping, then he mortgaged off our military by sending them off to a senseless war that has no end in sight, and now he’s mortgaging off our economic stability. “Please mommy, make it stop…”)
Holding. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is holding up an extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as he is insisting that the House strip away the bilingual assistance provision that is required at certain polling places. In April, King said of the people who need the assistance “either they are naturalized citizens who did not meet the required language proficiency or they grew up in an ethnic enclave without benefit of learning English. If that’s the case, it’s high time they learned it.” (Good to focus on the important things in life there Stevey. Let’s instead focus on the fact that, somewhere along the way, the system itself failed if people were able to become naturalized citizens without meeting the language proficiency. Maybe we should look at that instead, ya think?)
Giving. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan personally donated $500,000 to the U.N.-led relief efforts in Darfur in order to “highlight, and help alleviate, the severe lack of donations.” (Very nice Mr. Annan… we’ll look past the fact that the U.N. ignored the situation in Sudan for so long that so much money is now needed and if the U.N. had stepped in earlier, things would have gotten better a whole helluva lot sooner)
Flailing. It’s not a good year to be Katherine “Captain Oblivious” Harris. Her colleagues in the Republican Party made it crystal clear that they are ready to work for a candidate they believe can actually… you know, win… against incumbent Bill Nelson (D-FL). Right now, with the filing deadline of Friday fast approaching, many are pointing to State Rep. Allan Bense, currently finishing his term as speaker of the state House, as the man who should run… but he won’t be. It should be mentioned that one of those coming out against Harris’ campaign is the state’s GOP leader, Gov. Jeb “At least I’m not my brother George” Bush, who stated: “I just don't believe she can win.” (What can be said about this train-wreck of a campaign that hasn’t already been said but two words; ‘unmitigated disaster’)
Urging. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is urging his fellow Democrats to show some gumption or backbone in challenging President Bush on his Iraq policy. (About fuc**** time!)
Gratuitous-ing. Op-ed plug of the week. The Washington Post’s Cass Sunstein’s “It's Only $300 Billion” (which speaks out in favor of adopting the Kyoto Protocol) and The Chicago Tribune’s Jonathan Turley’s “Gen. Hayden earns his `bones' and a nomination” and a “brilliant!” smackdown called An Open Letter to Richard Cohen by William Rivers Pitt, this is a must-read.
Emailing. There have been 900 more pages of emails belonging to Michael Brown released, with one showing an exchange at 9:53 am on the day Katrina made landfall. It shows that Brown received a warning that “a levee breach occurred along the industrial canal.” Less than three hours later, Brown wrote, “I’m being told here water over not a breach.” (Huh?)
Karma-ing! Rev. James Dobson ran into some trouble on the Senate subway yesterday as Roll Call is reporting that just as Dobson entered one of the cars, the doors closed on him, right across the midsection, and smaked him down by hitting his ribs and his butt. An unnamed Senate staffer remarked. (I guess he never learned the Bible strategy of.. turning the other cheek. All I can say to that is, Karma, baby!!)
Sweating. Jeb Bush (R-FL) has repeatedly said he will not run for president in 2008 when his brother leaves office (thank God!!!!) But, that hasn't stopped both his father and brother from feeding into the idea and suggesting that Jeb should run for President in 2008. (Okay… just stop right now before I start having nightmares about President Bush III… great, now I’ve broken out in a cold sweat…)
Frightening. This does not bode well… a sanitation worker in Washington, D.C. found a thick stack of papers yesterday, nothing unusual about that, right? Well, this stack of papers contained almost every detail of Dubya’s Florida trip, offering up to anyone who found them the exact arrival and departure time for Air Force One, Marine One and the back up choppers, every passenger on board each aircraft and the order of vehicles in the Presidential motorcade. ( Regardless of the president’s party affiliation and his complete ineptitude at governing, and the fact that this incident exemplifies the incompetence of the Bush administration, for someone to allow this to happen is alarming… and I only hope that they can find whichever careless dolt lost, or threw away, their copy of his private schedule and fire them on the spot.)
Falling. Pssssttt… the President’s approval ratings are in free-fall. Pass the word and say hallelujah!
Criticizing A former director of the NSA, Bobby Ray Inman, has criticized the Commander Cuckoo-Bananas’ warrantless domestic wiretapping program, making Inman, “one of the highest-ranking former intelligence officials to criticize the program in public.” Inman was quoted as saying “This activity is not authorized,” and that the administration, “need(s) to get away from the idea that they can continue doing it.” (Brilliant!)
Take ‘em as you will…
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Yes… you read that right… 31.
As in 31%... as in President Bush’s latest approval ratings... as in his lowest ratings ever... as in pathetic... as in funny as hell...
A new USA Today/Gallup poll (taken Friday through Sunday and surveying 1,013 adults) shows Dubya’s approval ratings have nose-dived to a new low, 31% (that’s a drop of three percentage points in a single week for those of you scoring at home… or even if you’re alone… [rimshot] Thank you I’m here all week)
Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee stated, “It is a challenging political environment...” (Well, thanks for clearing that up Ms. Schmitt... great political insight there... my four year olds could have figured that out...)
Ms. Schmitt continued to blather on about how they are “confident” that, come November, the American votes would be duped aga—, I mean that voters “will recognize that a Democrat Congress would simply not be equipped to ensure either economic or national security for our nation.” (Yeah, cuz the Republicans have done such a bang-up job… and don’t mention the fact that there has not been an attack on U.S. soil, keeping us secure is bigger than that only and you know it)
And it’s not just liberals and Democrats who are disappointed in Bush. Moderates gave him an approval rating of 28% and liberals gave him 7% (I would really like to meet the 7% of liberals who give him passing marks, just because one really has to worry about their sanity)
Only 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing, both being record-lows among those particular groups.
How much more evidence do people need to back-up opinions that Bush is failing as a President?
His VP is questioning his political clout, his core group of supporters are slowly oozing away from him, his various political nominees are being denounced by both parties, policy initiatives are falling by the wayside, he’s being degraded by foreign leaders, the economy is starting to tank under his ineptness, he has become the focus of jokesters around the country, and our nation is losing it’s standing in the world because no one believes what he, or anyone else in the administration, is saying.
We have two more years of this… and I can safely say that I now know how Dante Alighieri felt on his way to hell.
In case you’re interested, there have only been four other presidents in the nation’s history that have scored lower approval ratings since the Gallup Poll began in the mid-1940s: Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush.
What’s even better news is that after Nixon, Carter and the elder Bush sank below 35%, they never registered above 40% again... never... never, ever...
Worst. President. Ever.
Monday, May 08, 2006
It’s Monday... we all know what that means...
Random Polit—, wait, no… that’s Wednesday’s feature... The Weekly Rew—, no... that’s on Fridays...
Ah… that’s right, it’s The Week Ahead, a short compilation of things we should all keep an eye on as this new week gets underway.
Read about ‘em, keep an eye on ‘em...
- With an enrollment deadline fast approaching (May 15th), Commander Cuckoo-Bananas dedicated his Saturday Radio Address to speak to elderly and disabled Americans and told them to review their options and sign up for the government's new prescription drug benefit. All I can say to that is this: it’s May 8th, do YOU know where your Medicare benefits are?
- Among news stories over the weekend that spoke of his best experience as President has been catching a fuc**** fish (though it now looks as though that's a lie as well, because the 7.5 pound perch he claims to have caught, though some speculate he meant bass, would make that a world record for the largest perch ever caught, read about it HERE) and the fact he is already thinking about life after the White House (is “The George W. Bush Presidential Library” an oxymoron? I mean, unless we add; ‘…and Fishing Emporium’ to the end of it… it certainly sounds odd) it was revealed by House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that Democrats are going to launch a series of investigations of the Bush administration when they take control of Congress in November… it should be noted that they state they are not out to impeach him… bummer. Incidentally, if you want to see how other presidents answered that question, click HERE.
- The Washington Post is reporting that DCOS Karl “I know noth-ing!” Rove “Talked with White House colleagues about the political importance of defending the prewar intelligence and countering Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.” Fitzgerald is expected to decide whether or not to indict Rove for making false statements as soon as this month, but is weighing Rove's “foggy-memory” defense against evidence he has acquired over nearly 2 1/2 years. Some of which shows Rove was very involved in White House efforts to beat back any and all allegations that Bush altered (‘spun’) U.S. intelligence in order to justify the invasion of Iraq.
- He’s waiting for a US Supreme Court ruling on whether the prisoners might face military tribunals, but Dubya has stated publicly that he would like to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Rhetoric or truth? Keep an eye on this story… if it’s rhetoric designed to divert attention from something else, you’ll never hear of it again. If it’s an honest idea, this presidency could get interesting… well, okay, not really, but I like how ‘could get interesting’ ends a thought.
- Following up on telling employees of NASA and NOAA what to say, last week employees at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) were stunned when they got White House talking points… not on bird flu or anything that would make sense, but on Iraq (uh…okay…) The “memos” told employees to include lines like “President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq” (Sure you do Georgie-boy… let’s see it then…) in every speech they give for the department. You can see the talking points received by the USDA HERE.
- Keep an eye on Sudan as things, hopefully, won’t get worse over there before they get better. Though keeping an eye on it may be somewhat difficult, what with the “main stream medias” incrediblly piss-poor reporting on the crisis. But hey! At least we know that Adam Sandler is a father…
- You thought he would have learned from his mistakes the last time… but evidently not. While he didn’t dismiss the idea that there is planning underway for a military strike against Iran, British Prime Minister Tony Blair (who, btw, refuses to speculate on his retirement) did say that any consideration of a nuclear attack against Iran would be “absolutely absurd.”
- More on Iran, which is something we should ALL be keeping an eye on… constantly. The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wrote a letter to President Bush, that proposed “new solutions for getting out of international problems and the current fragile situation in the world.” The White House isn’t saying if the first solution put forth by Ahmadinejad to Bush was; ‘resign’.
- You can put this in the ‘Color me NOT surprised files’ as Senator Majority Leader Bill “They call me Dr!” Frist (R-TN) and Speaker of the House Dennis “When Photo-Ops Attack” Hastert (R-IL) “plan to extend [tax] breaks that mostly benefit the wealthy and Wall Street at the expense of reductions for middle-income households.” I, personally, am shocked as I thought Republicans were the party of inclusion (warning: sarcasm alert)
- Keep an eye on the relationship between Bush and Dick. Sunday, Vice President Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney appeared to question the political clout of his “boss”, Dubya. When asked to comment on rumors that he may retire following the November mid-terms, thus allowing Dubya to appoint someone who could run on his coattails in 2008, the vice president was skeptical and stated; "Well, I'm not sure it would be an advantage.” Ouch…
- I’m sure this will go smoothly. Following Porter Goss’ sudden resignation last week, Bush officially nominated Air Force General Michael Hayden today to be the new director of the CIA, which is drawing some serious concerns and some heavy criticism on Capital Hill from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence panels raised some serious concerns about Hayden, calling him “the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Ok, forgetting for a second about the new nominee, how do you go from accepting a “surprise” resignation to naming a new head in a matter of days? The administration forced Goss out, pure and simple, and had their eyes on a military replacement a long, long time ago. All of this brings to mind two burning questions; what does Goss know that the White House doesn’t want the American public to know… and is someone from the military the best choice for our spying agency? This is THE ONE to keep an eye and ear on in the weeks ahead.
And one more...
- We should all be keeping an eye on the Sunday talk shows as we inch ever-closer to November’s midterms. But yesterdays “This Week George Stephanopolous” was particularly intriguing. Smilin’ Tom DeLay (R-TX) stated that Howard Dean is “creating a culture of hypocrisy” and criticized the Democrats for playing the “politics of personal destruction” (hello kettle, this is the pot; you’re black). Dean’s response; “I’m not going to get into an argument with a guy who’s on his way out of Congress.” Ouch… one could almost see the wind leaving DeLay’s gut from that punch to the stomach.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Due to some family emergencies, Scott is unable to post this week’s Rewind, so please welcome our Guest Poster… me.
We have a kinda-sorta off-kilter rewind this week, with more heckles than applauds with a few heckles aimed at Democrats.
Here ya go…The Weekly Rewind starts on TBWA… (bloop)… now! (sputter… choke… choke… sputter….)
Damn, that’s the last time I buy “Fanfare” from E-Bay…
Applaud: to the peace deal signed today in Darfur by all factions involved… let’s hope that the plan sticks and everyone abides by it…
Heckle: to Vice President Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney. Ok Dick, we hardly have any true allies left… why do ya gotta go and piss off the Russians??? Let’s try this strategy for you Dick; shut the hell up. Granted, I think Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the government-run newspaper, is wrong that Cheney’s comments are the birth of a new cold war, but Cheney really needs to learn to watch his mouth from time to time… don’t ya think?
Half-hearted Applaud: to Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-NC). It’s half-hearted because, rather than doing it because it’s the right thing to do, he has agreed to “drop his effort to block federal funds for a memorial to the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93” because he was “under intense pressure.” (Dick. Head.)
Heckle: to a sad state of affairs on the way Americans have to carry themselves abroad: “The official team bus to be used by the United States during the World Cup (of soccer for all you non-World Cup fans out there) in Germany will not bear a U.S. flag for security reasons. The 32 official buses were presented Thursday in Frankfurt and the other 31 buses have large national flags of the teams painted on rear sides.” Sad… just sad.
Applaud: to former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his challenge to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld lies about Iraq’s WMD program yesterday afternoon in Atlanta. First Harry Taylor… now Ray. Hmmm… is America starting to wake up? One can only hope.
Heckle: to money in the amount of $6.89 billion. Why? Because that was the first quarter profits of Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s third-largest oil company. )That much profit and we’re still paying HOW MUCH FOR GAS!!??? Am I missing something?? Give me a fuc**** break…?)
Applaud: to ever-dropping, lower than a snake’s belly, approval ratings for “President” Bush – 33%. This makes it the lowest ever recorded by an AP-Ipsos poll, with “45% of self-described conservatives saying he sucks… Nice…
Heckle: to stupidity and/or laziness... your call. Erie County, Ohio: an election on the central committee of the Erie County Democratic Party ended in a tie because the incumbent, William Crawford, has two voting age sons… who didn’t bother to vote. One of the sons lives at home, the other in a house across the street. (That’s it, you’re both out of the will!)
Applaud: to not kowtowing to the Bush Administration. The Senate defied and ignored the threat of a veto from Commander Cuckoo-Bananas yesterday and passed (handily, 77 – 21) a $109 billion emergency spending bill. Now we wait to see what happens next… in the meantime, we’ll applaud them for showing some gumption and backbone.
Heckle: to Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). What is this… a family trait?
Applaud: to the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”
Heckle: to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic… British style. British Prime Minister Tony Blair ‘shook-up’ his administration this week, axing home secretary Charles Clarke and demoting Jack Straw from Foreign Secretary to Commons Leader. This comes amid disastrous results for Blair’s Labour party after they came in third in Thursday's polls and lost about 200 seats to the Tories. (This is what happens when a leader aligns himself with Bush and doesn’t back away when the you-know-what hits the fan. Who wants odds on when Blair is gone?)
Applaud or is it a Heckle: to another exit stage left. It was announced today that Porter Goss has resigned as the Director of the CIA. What this says about the goings on in Washington is anyone’s guess… but one thing for certain, we haven’t seen the last of the heads rolling on the Beltway or beyond.
Heckle: to Rep. William Jefferson (D-NO) for “allegedly” (whatever…) taking bribes in excess of $450,000 from Kentucky businessman Vernon Jackson. Leave this to the Republicans Mr. Jefferson… it doesn’t suit you. Now, all you Dems in the House… you need to publicly call on him to resign… if not, then you will lose ALL credibility when it comes on calling for Republicans to resign amid bribery scandals, which, granted, does happen MUCH more often…
Applaud: to no more Scott “You won’t have me to kick around anymore Helen!” McClellan. He’s wrapping up his last day as Press Secretary pretty much the same way it always has been… spin, spin, and more spin with little, if any, substance. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out there ‘mouthpiece.’
Heckle: to the French for expecting the US to hand over Zacarias Moussaoui to them so he can serve his prison sentence there. Ok, let us think ab— no! As I said on a brief post yesterday, “How do you say, ‘Go suck it’ in French?”
Applaud: to irony. This was mentioned in this week’s random post, but it’s just too good to pass up. Michael Scanlon, Jack Abramoff’s former lobbying partner (who has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy) defended his graduate thesis at Johns Hopkins University earlier this week. His thesis’ subject? The House ethics process. Priceless…
Heckle: to big mouthed Federal Reserve Chairmen. Chairman Ben Bernanke learned a harsh lesson this past week that EVERYTHING, and I mean every… little… thing…, that he says makes the news. It doesn’t matter if it’s between him and another person or him speaking to a large group… whatever he says will be heard by the public.
Applaud: to the Judge in the trial of former Illinois Governor George Ryan (R-IL). The former governor was found guilty a few and the judge has found no jury prejudice and has shut down the inquiry requested by the defense.
That's all we got... remember to take our poll up top and check out the countdown clock at the bottom to see how many more days we as a nation have left to be 'BushWhacked.'