Friday, July 20, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

This is a Harry Potter spoiler-free zone... so take a break from the 'Deathly Hallows' and read The Weekly Rewind...

to the news that eighteen months from today, Friday July 20, 2007… a new president takes the oath of office… it can not come soon enough. The countdown begins… now.

Heckle: to the NIE released earlier this week. Okay, we (hopefully) already know that al Qaeda is back to its pre-9/11 strength… and that they are intent on attacking us again on our soil, but what you may not know is that the report also warned that Hezbollah would be “more likely to consider attacking” the US if it sees us as a threat to the group or to Iran. Essentially they’re saying to not attack Iran… and it sounds like some pretty damn good advice… so the administration is sure to ignore and disregard it.

Heckle: to what could be the most worrying thing ever said about this administration; “Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.” The Guradian published a story this week entitled “Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran.” The articles states that Cheney may be winning the debate inside the White House over how to confront Iran… with military force. (This is absolutely unbelievable… as bad as the Iraq war is going… the readiness of our military… public opinion against military action towards Iran… and this administration is still considering it…it would be farcical if it weren’t true…)

Applaud: to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Jim Nicholson, whose primary qualification for the VA job was serving as chairman of the rNC from 1997 to 2000, for resigning. It should be noted that his department’s press release announcing the resignation kissed his ass praised him for “his leadership” in changing the “VA health care system to meet the unique medical requirements of the returning combatants from Iraq and Afghanistan.” (Uh… not really. Have we forgotten the whole Water Reed fiasco?)

Heckle: to the absurd levels of executive privilege and authority being wielded by the Bush(whacked) Administration. This past week they “unveiled” a brazen new assertion of executive authority by claiming that the Justice Department “will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.” This came shortly after a House Judiciary subcommittee ruled 7-3 that that the White House’s assertion of executive privilege to block the release of “documents sought in subpoenas issued to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and the rNC was “not legally valid.” (As usual, as expected, and not at all surprising, they reacted with a huge shrug of indifference and continued to do whatever the hell they feel like doing… laws be damned)

Applaud: to 60% of readers that “believe the US should withdraw troops from Iraq now or by the end of 2008.” What’s more, more than 40% of respondents agree that the pullout should begin immediately because “we’re wasting lives and resources there.” To give you an idea of how much things have changed, in a June 26 poll, 60% of respondents “agreed (that) the surge should be given more time.” (I can applaud it all I want, it won’t do any good. Bush doesn’t give a damn about anyo ne’s opinion but Cheney’s and, to a lesser extent, his own)

Heckle: to the Pentagon for going WAY beyond their boundries. Back on May 23, Sen. Clinton (D-NY) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates that urged him to “prepare plans for the phased redeployment of U.S. forces.” This past Monday, Ms. Clinton received a “biting reply” from Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman, who told Clinton that “public discussion” of withdrawal is inappropriate: and that; “Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda…” (I’m sorry… when did the Pentagon start offering-up political analysis towards presidential candidates?? And by what authority?? This is so staggeringly outside the boundries of what they do, it’s laughable…but maybe not AS laughable as Defense Secretary Robert Gates stepping in to mediate... it's like a bad reality show)

Applaud: to the House for rejecting “President” Bush’s plan to cut public broadcasting. Voting 357-72, they rejected his plan to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting… (Excellent… about time someone in this government listens to the American people…)

Heckle: to FEMA (I know; you’re shocked) for suppressing health warnings after Hurricane Katrina. A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing revealed that FEMA “suppressed warnings from its own Gulf coast field workers” about suspected health problems that may be “linked to elevated levels of formaldehyde gas” that was released n FEMA-provided trailers… (Lovely… what else can be said… it’s the same old, same old from that agency. All those agency reforms they babbled on and on about were apparently for naught, but at least they have 85 million pounds of unused ice in storage…)

Applaud: to something Scott and I have been saying for a while. If a Dem gets elected president, this man HAS to be on the top of the short list to be appointed AG. I’m speaking of Patrick Fitzgerald. And former Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey agrees, saying; “I think he would make a spectacular attorney general. […] He certainly is one of the very best federal prosecutors in America.” […] This is a guy who’s spent time in small rooms in a lot of countries around the world with people who’ve killed a lot of people. He’s not intimidated by pressure.” (Couldn’t have said it any better myself Mr. Comey… and I think a LOT of people agree with you)

Heckle: to Americans’ ratings of Vice President Dick “President” Cheney. According to the latest Gallup Poll, Cheney’s numbers are now “at their lowest point to date” with only 30% approving of the way Cheney is doing his job… (Ouch… I’m sure if he had a heart, it would be breaking…what am I saying, no it wouldn’t)

Applaud: to a new CBS/New York Times poll that finds 61% of Americans saying “the war should be funded only if there’s a timetable for withdrawal.” (Nice… too bad the republicans in the Senate don’t care what we think…)

Heckle: to a new Congressional Research Service report that shows that the war in Iraq has cost $450 billion to date, which is ten times greater than the administration predicted in February 2003. And if Congress approves the latest supplemental funding request, the total cost of the war will exceed $550 billion by October 1, 2007… (And that surprises you… how??)

Applaud: to the Senate for passing, with a 78-18 vote, a bill that would “cut federal subsidies to college student loan firms.” Firms such as Sallie Mae would see their subsidies cut by $18.3 billion and the savings would be redirected to increase student grants and ease some student loan repayment terms, making the annual maximum level for Pell grants go up from $4,310 to more than $5,000… (But, since it’s for the people, and he’s a “compassionate conservative” – an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one – Bush is sure to veto it…)

Heckle: to our old friend Tom DeLay (r-TX). At a college republicans gathering, he attempted to blame abortion for undocumented immigration,saying; “I contend [abortion] affects you in immigration. If we had those 40 million children that were killed over the last 30 years, we wouldn’t need the illegal immigrants to fill the jobs that they are doing today. Think about it.” (Pretty spacious reasoning there Tom… By your logic I could claim that this rock I have keeps tigers away… but it doesn’t, it’s just a stupid rock… want to buy it?)

Applaud: to finally getting it… while the Iraq Study Group and the Bush(whacked) Administration think that training Iraqi forces is the key to success in Iraq and thus should be a top priority, Lawrence Korb and William Odom disagree… and their argument is more sound that anything else I’ve ever heard about the matter. They say that “training or equipping these forces is not a solution. In effect we are arming different sides in a civil war. It is no accident that as the number of trained Iraqi security forces has grown, so have attacks on coalition forces, Iraqi civilians and the Iraqi security forces themselves.” (About. Effin. Time someone sees this for what it is… we’re training the people who are attacking us… but so far no one in this administration has connected the dots yet…)

Heckle: to AG Alberto “Albatross” Gonzales. He has no “regret” over pressuring a sick and bed-ridden John Ashcroft. According to chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TV), “Gonzales did not express any regret” about his controversial 2004 visit to the hospital bedside of John Ashcroft, in order to pressure him into endorsing Bush’s surveillance program. (Why does this surpise anyone? To feel guilt or regret, one has to have a heart and a soul…)

On-the-surface-Applaud: to hearing that U.N. inspectors have verified that North Korea has shut down its nuclear reactor. This is first on-the-ground achievement toward scaling back Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions since the standoff began in late 2002… (let’s hope it’s true, and that they stick to it)

Heckle: to the plight of children in Iraq. According to a senior U.N. official, children in Iraq are “much worse off than they were a year ago” and “certainly are worse off than they were three years ago.” The official went on to say that the “gains made shortly after the United States toppled Hussein’s government in 2003…had been lost.” (Wow… the administration is REALLY ignoring children all over the world aren’t they? First they ignore the plight of un-insured poor children in the US and now they all but ignore the children in Iraq…way to appeal to the masses there…)

Applaud: to “stern rebukes from lawmakers of both parties” after they were pleaded with by not only top commanders in Iraq but also the American ambassador to Baghdad to allow for more time beyond their mid-September assessment. (Though I have to include a heckle to the lawmakers who, while constantly coming out against the war, don’t have the balls to act on it. Here’s a thought; stand by your fucking convictions for once…)

Heckle: to JetBlue for caving in to Fox “News’” Bill “Want to look at my microphone” O’Reilly. After being subjected to a smear campaign by O’Reilly for its “in-kind donation” to the upcoming YearlyKos convention, JetBlue has asked the organizers to remove its name from the convention’s website. (Do you folks at JetBlue really want to tell me that you suffered enough backlash from conservatives to justify backing-out of a sponsorship agreement?? And besides, when you cave to this kind of crap, it just gives O’Reilly dellusions of grandeur that he’s right… and really; who wants that??)

Heckle: to politicizing the capture of a “top” al Qaeda leader. Earlier this week the White House announced that it has arrested the “highest-ranking Iraqi leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.” All find and good, but the announcement came soon after the release of the NIE that said al Qaeda is back to pre-9/11 stregnth and had no visible presence in Iraq before the war… oh, and the capture actually occurred two weeks ago but wasn’t announced until this past week… uh-huh…

And last but not least… Applaud: to the news that “President” Bush is having a colonoscopy this weekend. While we all hope the doctors find his head while they’re poking around up there, the scary part of this applaud is that Bush will be ceding presidential powers to Cheney… and the less said about that the better…

All I have, take ‘em as you will…

1 comment:

DianeB said...

Here's one you can add to your list from last week:

Heckle: to "President" Bush for annoucing he's forming a "panel," called the "Interagency Working Group on Import Safety" (as if anything in the Bush (whacked) administration actually worked), to improve the safety of imported foods. The panel is to be composed of, among other high-ranking officials in the Bush (whacked) administration, Condosleeza Rice - no doubt, her positions with Chevron's Board and as a puppet Secretary of State (translation: Bush "groupie")qualifies her for this, Alberto Gonzales (Bush's "bitch"), Mike Johanns, Secretary of a Department of Agriculture which in 2005 publicly admitted that it has "failed miserably" to effectively do its job, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff (another "star" performer) and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters (!?! I won't even ask). So, once again, we have yet another hand-picked committee of clowns guaranteed to accomplish...absolutely nothing. Which, in view of Bush's scheduled colonoscopy makes me wonder: Is this Mr. Cheney's "Final Solution" for ridding the country of all who disagree with them?

Applause: to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who said, "Establishing a product safety panel is like stmaping out a single leaf in a forest fire."