Thursday, February 08, 2007

Random Thoughts for a Thursday

Once again it’s that time… Random Political Thoughts for a Thursday.

No Way Out. Heard on grand jury audiotapes played at his trial earlier this week, Scooter Libby claimed he learned about Valerie Plame’s CIA identity from Vice President Cheney, then “forgot it, then learned it again” from Tim Russert (who said is was “impossible” for him to have told Libby about Plame). Testimony also revealed that Cheney was “upset” at Ambassador Wilson for his criticism about the lead-up to the Iraq war.

Cry Baby. Some lawmakers are unhappy about having to work full time like the majority of Americans. It seems a few in the 110th Congress have a problem with their five-day work week. (Waaaaa, my heart bleeds for them… not!!)

Liar Liar. Last week I applauded a White Hosue proposal to increase Pell Grants. While it was announced and meeted with great fanfare last week, Dubya’ FY08 budget contains no new money to pay for it… (Did I miss something… )

Wall Street. Vice President Dick “Dick” Cheney’s investment manager, Jeremy Grantham, sent out a letter last week to all his clients, including Dick, that criticized the administration’s oil-based energy policy. The letter stated: “Successive U.S. administrations have taken little interest in either oil substitution or climate change, and the current one has even seemed to have a vested interest in the idea that the science of climate change is uncertain.” (Nice letter Mr. Grantham… one has to wonder how much longer he’ll be Cheney’s investment manager…)

Fight Club. Senate leaders squabbled yesterday over how to consider resolutions opposing President Bush's plan for more troops in Iraq, but the quarrel did not stop lawmakers from launching an informal debate on the chamber floor over the war. While conservative senators may have blocked debate on Iraq for a while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promised, “We are going back to Iraq again and again and again. The debate on Iraq is going to continue. The American people demand it.” (Yes we do… but that hasn’t stopped republican’s from ignoring us before…). Now comes word that seven Senate conservatives, five of whom had voted to protect Bush and block debate on Iraq have suddenly changed course and are now vowing that they will use “every tactic at their disposal to ensure a full and open debate.”

The Painted Veil. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) is introducing legislation aimed to raise the “veil of secrecy” on the work of military contractors, which would require several departments to report how many contractors and subcontractors they have employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with a description of the work they’re doing and the total costs of contracts there… (It seems like a great idea, but I have doubts that it will be passed. Too many skeletons in those closets I think…)

Norma Rae. Lawmakers introduce earlier this week the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would “streamline unionizing” and also assure newly organized workers a contract while at the same time sanctioning lawbreakers who deny workers the right to organize. (Impressive bill that should be passed. If you want to learn more about the legislation, click HERE)

A.I. Three U.S. officials who are “familiar with unpublished intel” have told Newsweek that evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq is “ambiguous.” (hmmmm… where have I heard that before??? Oh yeah!! Regarding Iraq and its WMD’s… and that stopped the Bush(whacked) Administration from invading… oh, wait….). Now, Iran is saying that they will retaliate against U.S. interests “around the world” if the U.S. attacks them… this just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

Mutiny on the Bounty. Just when you think that former backers of the Iraq War couldn’t jump ship, someone comes along and proves you wrong. Now it’s a group of veterans who have come out against the war in Iraq…

Narc. Despite cutting funding to PBS, “President” Bush has proposed a 31% jump in funding for an anti-drug advertising campaign that government-funded research shows is “useless” and has “increased drug use among some teens.” Bill Piper, national affairs director for the Drug Policy Alliance is on record as saying the program is the “baby of Rep. Dennis Hastert’s (R-IL).

All I have, take ‘em as you will..

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