Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Passing of a President

We here at TBWA would like to extend our condolences to Betty Ford and the rest of the Ford family on the passing of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Holiday Message

From Scott and I, we wish all of you:

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Weekly Rewind: Christmas Holiday Christmas Version

This week we give you a special Christmas/Holiday version of The Weekly Rewind.

What makes it a a special Christmas/Holiday version you ask?

It’s being posted two days before Christmas… that’s why.

On we go…

Applaud: to a federal grand jury that subpoenaed congressional records from Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) this past week. All of this is part of an ever-escalating Justice Department probe aimed at determining whether Weldon used his political influence in order to benefit family members. (Sure, using political muscle to get things for your family is old school, but the continuning probe into republican and, to a much lesser extent, Democratic politicians using said influence signals a change in the way the American public views such actions… or I could be wrong… but let’s face it, that’s highly unlikely…)

Heckle: to the unbridled and, in the words of the Washington Post colossally stupid, clear-cut racism of Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA). Racism that blatant and unhidden should NOT be allowed to serve in Congress. What a tool…

Applaud: for not following in the footsteps of “President” Bush. Newly-minted Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Generals in Iraq recently, and he acknowledged that they have “expressed (a) concern(s)” regarding Dubya’s plan to increase U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Good news, too bad commander cuckoo-bananas won’t listen…

Heckle: to milestones we DON’T want to reach. With the deaths of three U.S. servicement in Iraq yesterday, the death toll stands at 2,959… just 14 shy of the total of deaths in the U.S. on 9/11. At this rate, the toll from 9/11 could be eclipsed just before or on Christmas Day… nothing more needs to be said…

Applaud: to more republicans refusing to fall in line behind Bush and his thuggery. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) are going to “reintroduce legislation” aimed at limiting the government’s strongarming journalists to disclose confidential sources. Now that’s what I call an –inter-gop SMACKDOWN! Way to go guys. As Prince Leia said to Grand Moff Tarkin in the one and only Star Wars: “

Heckle: to idiocy… presidential style. At a press conference Wednesday, “President” Bush had some inspiring advice for a country that is currently caught in the middle of a bloody civil war halfway around the world and is facing an economic recession, among other things: “I encourage you all to go shopping more.” What. A. Tool.

Applaud: continued applauds and well-wishes to Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) as he recovers from emergency brain surgery last week. Good news: Johnson’s made it through the first 72 hours since the brain surgery, often considered a benchmark that doctors consider a good sign for recovery.

Heckle: to an economic recession that everyone (with a brain) can see looming. “Economic growth slowed to a 2% pace in late summer”, which is even more sluggish than previously thought. What powered this surge? Two words: Real. Estate.

Applaud: to the Washington Post (did I just write that??) for examining White House censorship of former Bush National Security Council Middle East Director Flynt Leverett. Click HERE to see the story on ThinkProgress. And the downward spiral continues… heh, heh, heh.

Heckle: to the continuance of the “President” living in his own little world. While the is “aggressively promoting” a plan to send upwards of 30,000 more troops to Iraq, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in almost “unanimous disagreement”. That’s all fine and good, but it won’t mean a damn thing to this commander-in-chief. After all, he is “The Decider”… I’ve said it before today, I’ll say it again: What. A. Tool.

Heckle: to missing the real threat… again. U.S. allies and other parties fear that Somalia is spinning “rapidly out of control.” Even better: Al Qaeda has established a presence in the Somali capital while a “major war” looms between Somalia and Ethiopia. Once again… the real threat is being ignored as the administration concentrates soly on Iraq… 2008 can not come fast enough…

Heckle: to missing the real threat… again!!! A documentary says French special forces had Osama bin Laden in their sights twice about three years ago but their U.S. superiors never gave the go ahead to fire. An anonymous French soldier is quoted as saying: “In 2003 and 2004 we had bin Laden in our sights. The sniper said ‘I have bin Laden’.” Lovely… we all know that Bush let Bin Laden slip away at Tora Bora, and that he nixed going after al-Zarqawi in 2002, but this is scary. Naturally, the French military is denying these events, but it makes for some interesting speculation. Think about it; how would it have looked, if after everything the Bush administration had said abour France, and all the jokes republicans had told, that Bin Laden was taken out by the… the cheese-eating surrender monkeys French? Hmmmm…very interesting

All I have... take 'em as you will...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

We Have Comprehension... sort of

Stop the presses… look out the window to see if you can spot any flying pigs… call hell to make sure they haven’t frozen over (Dick Cheney has the direct line)...

“President” Bush announced that the U.S. is “not winning in Iraq.”

Well gloryorsky! How about that?? Let us all welcome Dubya to the self-evident point that people with brains came to days weeks months years ago…

The U.S. is not winning in Iraq.

Well, duh…

With normal people, this would be a cause for celebration, as this would signify a new path in Iraq and the chance for a decrease in troop levels…

But this isn’t a ‘normal’ person we’re talking about… this is “President” George W. Bush… and he’s got his own way of thinking (and I use that term very loosely…)

Rather than taking this new-found intelligence and vowing to lessen troop levels, he’s using it as a means to suggest upping troop levels…

Yes… you read that right… upping troop levels…

He wants to ignore what the Pentagon and many Congressmen are saying (including Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee) and is instead looking to raise troop levels.

He’s just living in his own little world, isn’t he? Tell me Mr. "President", what color is the sky in your world?

What will it take for him to see that this war is, and was, (besides being unjust), lost? I agree that we can not just pack up and leave all at once… but a phased withdrawal is what the people of the U.S. and the people of Iraq want… and it’s the right thing to do.

But why do I have the feeling that Dubya won't care?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Color me NOT surprised

A new Gallup Poll was released last week that judged the last six presidents, and it shows that the majority of Americans believe that “President” George W. Bush (R-TX) will go down in history as the country's worst president.

Well duh… seriously, did we really need a poll to figure that out??

Simply put; Bush is the worst with 54% saying that history will show him to be a poor or below-average president. (It should be noted that last week Bush told friends of his that he expects to be better understood and appreciated after he is dead… take from that what you will…)

Presidential standing usually does improve over time. For example, former President Bill Clinton rebounded with 25% thinking he will be viewed as a poor leader, while 45% think he will be rated outstanding. Another President that has seen his ratings climb since leaving office is Jimmy Carter, with 38% now seeing him as an above average commander-in-chief.

But back to Dubya. The man from whose loins he was fruited, former President George H.W.Bush, will have a much better place in history per the poll, with 32% rating him into the elite class and 18% rating him poorly.

So his Dad, a one-termer, will be viewed as a better President… the man who decided to let Hussein stay in power… the man who lied to the masses (“No new taxes… psyche!”)… the man who unleashed Dan Quayle onto the electorate… the man who cried when speaking about his son Jeb… the man who hit the charity trail with former President Bill Clinton to raise money for Hurricane Katrina & Tsunami victims… he’s a better President…

That’s gotta hoit...

BTW, in the poll, former President Ronald Reagan (R-CA) topped the field of the last six Presidents, with 64% believing that he will have an outstanding or above-average place in history.

So it’s easy to say that Dubya is the worst in the last six Presidents, but how about if we open it up to ALL presidents… where do you think Dubya would stand?
In other words, who has been the worst president ever?

Was it James “No relation whatsoever to Pat” Buchanan? The man that was confronted with Southern secession in 1860, dithered to a degree that amounted to disloyalty - and who handed his successor, Abraham Lincoln, a nation already torn apart?

How about Andrew “Not Jackson” Johnson? The Prez who sided with former Confederates and undermined Reconstruction?

Or Warren “No relation to Tanya” Harding, whose administration was famously, and fabulously, corrupt?

What about Herbert “Not the Hoover that wore dresses” Hoover? The man who tried a few reforms but remained imprisoned in his own outmoded individualistic ethics and then collapsed under the weight of the stock-market crash of 1929 and the onset of the Depression.

Then there’s always Tricky Dick, Richard Nixon, the only American president to resign from office.

That’s some pretty still competition mind you, but I think Dubya can pull it off.

But this is neither here nor there yet, this is, at this time, all conjecture and hearsay and supposition as only time will truly tell what Dubya’s legacy will be…

Personally, I think it will be even lower than what this poll said, but then again, I have a brain.

Take it as you will…

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be good, stay informed….later.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

What’s that? It’s Friday? No it isn’t... it is?? Really?? It’s… holy hell, it is Friday… where did the week go?

If it’s Friday that can mean only one thing… it’s time for TBWA’s The Weekly Rewind, our irrevelent…sorry, I mean irreverantt… review of what’s happened in the world of politics this past week.

Applaud: to numbers that tell the whole story. 71% of Americans disapprove of how “President” Bush is handling the Iraq war. The number, according to an AP-Ipsos poll is an “alltime high” (Color me not surprised. And now, with the release of the Iraq Study Group’s report, I’m sure that number will get higher and higher… and Dubya’s approval ratings will get lower and lower…)

Applaud: Heckle: can’t yet decide, other than a big-ol, ‘meh’. The Iraq Study Group presented their findings to the Bush(whacked) Administration and the public this past week. While they suggest the Xxing of US troops by 2008 (Presidential year – big surprise), they didn’t offer up an actual timetable.You can read excerpts of the ISG report HERE.

Heckle: to employers who are as dense as our “President.” The amount of National Guard members and reservists that are losing their jobs, their benefits or getting reassigned from their civilian jobs after they return from duty has skyrocketed by 30% since 2002. (Nice…)

Applaud: to letting the door hit your ass on the way out. Retiring Senator Bill “Doctor” Frist gave his farewell address to his senate colleagues this past week. I tried to watch and listen to what he said but all I heard was a constant droning sound….

Heckle: to bad photo-ops and meetings. British Prime Minsiter Tony Blair visited the White House this week… jokes just kind of write themselves when these two get together, don’t they?

Applaud: to former U.S. U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, who passed away this week. Once a Democrat, she switched to the dark side later in life and embraced the emperor President Regan, but she was always one tough broad who spoke her mind, and for that I respected her. Her policies on the other hand, not so much.

Heckle: to the 2008 presidential process getting a WAY too early start. It’s not even 2007 yet people… cool your jets… I’m talking to you McCain (R-AZ), and to you too Vilsack (D-IA)…

Applaud: to trying to get the job started even before the new Congress convenes. Incoming House Speaker Nancy “I’m scaring the hell out of republicans” Pelosi (D-CA) wants to “fast-track” an effort to boost the federal minimum wage by pushing for a “stand alone” bill that would go “straight to the floor for consideration.” (Hmmmm, maybe the incoming congress can actually get something done… though I wouldn’t hold my breath…)

Heckle: to the Bush(whacked) administration for “considering” doing away with standards that cut lead from gasoline, which is widely regarded as one of the country’s biggest clean-air accomplishments. According to the Associated Press, “Battery makers, lead smelters, refiners all have lobbied the administration to do away with the Clean Air Act limits.” (Nice… if republicans believed in global warming, we’d be in trouble. But since they don’t, I guess we’re fine… yes, that was sarcasm.), This is bad news, especially upon the news that NASA satellite data reveals that warmer ocean waters are shrinking the vital base of the ocean’s food cycle.

Applaud: to incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), (FYI, it’s the majority leader who sets the schedule for Congress) for telling members that they will “work five days a week starting in January.” (Nice way to set the tone. Let me say this: crack that whip Mr. Hoyer; crack it!)

Heckle: to the most do-nothingness congress ever. Upon leaving Friday, this congress would have been in session for only 241 days over a two-year span, yes, a two year span… which would be 13 days less than the “Do-Nothing Congress” of 1948. (Nice job everyone… way to go) Better gird-up though guys, because:

Applaud: to calling a spade a dirt-redistricting device. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated this past week that the Iraq situation is ‘much worsethan a civil war. (Well shoot, that’s what the administration must have been meaning when they’ve refused to call it a civil war in the past. It’s not… it’s much worse…()

Heckle: to slow-ass working. The second phae of the levee replacement work in New Orleans has slowed to a crawl. Why? In their genius, the Army Corps plans to “save money,” and has put their focus onto longer-term plans… long-term plans that critics say will leave New Orleans at risk “until 2010 at least.” (Nice… let’s continue kicking the entire city while they’re down, and while we’re at it, let’s screw ‘em with their pants on…)

Heckle: to this comment from a Bush spokesman “Jim Baker can go back to his day job.” Nice way to have your people talk about one of your father’s confidants there junior… ya dumbass. This is a perfect example of how Bush and his people ignore everything and everyone that are looking to help him… 2008 can not come fast enough…

That's all we have, take 'em as you will...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7, 1941

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."

- President Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to Congress, December 8, 1941

On this, the 65th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we salute and remember all who lost their lives...

Thank a WWII Veteran

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

IRG vs Dubya

Granted, I haven’t actually read ALL of the Iraq Study Group report that was released this morning, (though I have perused it) but I think the underlining fact is relatively clear:

Smackdown, baby! Otherwise known as: Karma, baby!

The mainstream media (my vote for phrase that needs to go away for 2006) began leaking some of the details last week and now are reporting the report’s details in full, and it doesn’t bode well for the Bush(whacked) Administration… especially in regards to their managing of the war… or rather, their lack thereof.

You want snippets, we got ‘em:

"It's clear the Iraqi government will need U.S. assistance for some time to come, especially in carrying out new security responsibilities. Yet the U.S. must not make open-ended commitments to keep large numbers of troops deployed in Iraq."
It’s the second sentence that makes it art.

It’s the second sentence that, essentially, tosses the Bush Administration’s talking points of “staying the course” out the window as the Iraq Study Group report says, emphatically, that the U.S. cannot have an open-ended commitment.

Too late…

Every single person in this administration from the President down to the White House gardener has been saying the U.S. needs an open-ended policy to stay in Iraq until the job is done (what is the job exactly is what I want to know… but that’s another post altogether) and that the U.S. will need a presence in the country even after the job is done.

By definition, this means that the U.S. has to come up with a timetable (which the Iraq Study group failed to do) as the report calls for Bush to begin withdrawing troops by early 2008 (ooo, a Presidential election year… big surprise!)

The report contends the United States:

"Cannot achieve its goals in the Mideast" unless it embarks on a "renewed and sustained commitment to a comprehensive peace plan on all fronts,"
As part of this initiative the panel calls for direct talks between the United States and Iran and Syria, something the Bush administration has repeatedly refused to do.

Let’s see if I can put the above into simple words that even Bush could understand…

I got it: It's the diplomacy, stupid.

It’s not war… it’s not guns blazing... it’s not even getting all “Ramboed” up… it’s called discussion and diplomacy, and it’s worked before so let’s try it again.

"Iraq's neighbors and key states in and outside the region should form a support group" to help Iraq achieve long-term security and political reconciliation -- "neither of which it can sustain on its own.
This passage refers to the “government” of Iraq and its shakiness. Put another way; everything is not ‘fine and dandy like sour candy’ regarding the Iraqi government that’s currently in place and the Iraqi government needs to open its doors and allow everyone to have a voice.

"What we recommend demands a tremendous amount of political will and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government."
Translation: keep the partisan bickering out of this situation and let’s get Congress and the White House to agree

The report concludes with:

"Foreign policy is doomed to failure -- as is any action in Iraq -- if not supported by broad, sustained consensus."
You can almost hear Dumbya whining… though he could be whining about his Daddy loving Jeb more than he… but that’s a whole other post.

Let this be your lesson “President” Bush; you need to work with everyone, and not merely live in your personal bubble where you can do no wrong.

Tony Snow(job) and the White House can’t spin this one in their favor… it’s a smackdown, plain and simple, with a little thing we like to call Karma thrown in for good measure.

Let’s hope “President” Bush listens this time… for everyone’s sake.

Though it certainly sounds like he's gonna ignore it... but only time will tell.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Weekly Rewind

Live from the snow-filled streets of Northern Illinois, it’s TBWA’s Weekly Rewind…

Applaud: to telling it like it is… even if it does come from a republican. Outgoing RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman told a (hee hee hee) somber and (hee hee hee) diminished gathering of republican governors that their party will see years of being stranded in the “political wilderness” until it corrects the screw-ups that led to last month's election losses (hah hah hah hah hah hah…)

Heckle: to paperless electronic voting machines that are being used throughout the country. Apparetnly, according to the federal agency that advises the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, they ‘cannot be made secure,’ and instead the agency recommends “optical-scan” ballot systems. (Wow, no kidding… electronic voting machines don’t work.. I am shocked… actually, I’m not… it’s so hard to express sarcasm in a blog…)

Applaud: to the Iraq Study Group for reaching an agreement earlier this week on a gradual pullout of the 15 American combat brigades that are currently in Iraq. While we applaud this, we have to:

Heckle: to Exxon Mobil’s top executive who said earlier this week that; “Proposals by congressional Democrats to eliminate oil industry tax breaks and subsidies would set a bad example overseas and discourage new industry investments.” Sure they would… and by that he means it will take away the record profits and record bonuses that the companies and their executives enjoy… what a maroon…

Applaud: to not kowtowing to the “President”. This past week at a private reception “President” Bush asked Sen.-elect Jim Webb (D-VA), how his son, who is serving in Iraq was doing. Webb replied with a curt “I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President”, which illicited a response from Bush of “That’s not what I asked you.” Webb retorted with a nice verbal smackdown of “That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President.” (Nice job Mr. Webb… nice job…)

Heckle: to Christian conservatives that, on the day that the world commemorates AIDS Day, are pushing Congress to cut support for President Bush’s AIDS initiatives due to a perceived lack of support for “faith-based” programs. (Let’s see, how do I respond to this… oh yeah… give me a fuc**** break… let’s not worry about spreading AIDS, let’s worry about our (stress OUR) standards not being acknowledged. Idiots…)

Applaud: to incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who has promised to “do away with the do-nothing Congress” and will have them put in hours like they haven’t put in in “ a long time”. Mr. Reid went on to say that they will start off the year with “seven weeks without a break.” (Niiiiiice…crack that whip Harry… crack it!!)

Heckle: to the administration for not only saying ‘screw you’ to various Eurpoean nations, but also to the environment. Saying it would put an unfair disadvantage to U.S. carriers, the White House has come out against plans by European nations that would require airlines to curb greenhouse gases. James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (who has to have the easiest job in the White House) stated: “We are strongly opposed to the imposition of a tax. We think this will violate trade rules.”

Applaud: to doing what the Iraq Study Group wouldn’t do… set a timetable. Britain’s Defense Secretary said this week that UK troop levels in Iraq would be “significantly lower by a matter of thousands” at the end of next year. Hmmmm… maye we can take a cue from the Brits (scary thought, I know) and give an actual timetable of withdrawal…

Heckle: to idiotic changes that, on the surface, don’t seem like they’re gonna offer any usefulness. For the first time in 20 years there has been a revision to the U.S. citizenship test, that’s fine. What I, and quite a few others, find odd are some of the questions, like asking applicants how much the federal minimum wage is. I’m sorry, I just don’t see how that’s a useful question… can someone explain it to me… please…

Applaud: to former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), yes you read that right – we’re applauding Newt. Earlier this week he stated that “unless the Bush administration admits that the war in Iraq is a ‘failure,’ it will never develop a strategy to leave the country successfully.” Wow… that’s impressive, maybe I misjudged you New— wait, what did he say?? Sigh… now I’ve gotta throw out a…

Heckle: to former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). Yes, we applauded him above, but then I found out he uttered some idiotic statements at a “First Amendment awards dinner.” At the dinner, he said that the U.S. will be “forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism,” and added that a “different set of rules” would be needed to limit “terrorists’ and their ability to “use the Internet and free speech.” (Huh?)

Applaud: to the return of Pure. Comedy. Gold. Rumors are floating around in Florida political circles that outgoing Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), (her of the most disastrous Senate campaign ever) is plotting an House campaign in 2008. Excellent… even more comic hijinks are on the way…

Heckle: to bad signs of things to come. SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia: “That’s why I don’t want to have to deal with global warming, to tell you the truth.” Great…gives you warm fuzzys all over, doesn’t it??

Applaud: to even more saying it like it is. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said earlier this week that the “stakes in Afghanistan are much larger in the near term than they are in Iraq,” as it could have “enormous repercussions” on Pakistan and India. Mr. Armitage than went on to predict that Iraq’s troubles would remain internal for a really really long time. (Could someone explain to me how everyone, even a lof of republicans, can see the writing on the wall but our commander in chief is still dumb as a box of rocks?? It’s scary…)

Heckle: to more bad signs of things to come. About $2 billion worth of Army and Marine Corps equipment is wearing out or being destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan every month. It’s gotten so bad that the wear and tear may lead to future equipment shortages.”

That's all we have, have a good weekend everyone...