Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Applaud: to the coalition of injured Iraq war veterans that have filed a class action law suit charging outgoing Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson of “breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.” The lawsuit asks the federal court to “order the VA to make immediate improvements” that would, among other things, speed-up the payouts for disability, ensure fairness in the award of disability payouts as well as providing more complete access to mental health care… (Veterans are heroes, and should be treated as such. To make them go through this crap when they’ve already been through so much is both sad and pathetic)

Heckle: to Attorney General Alberto “Albatross” Gonzales. Do I really need to re-hash the reasons??

Applaud: to the Senate for approving antiterrorism legislation stemming from a few of the recommendations of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission. (It’s a start… it’s definitely a start…)

Heckle: on so many levels to the US embassy in Iraq. Besides the fact that it “epitomizes to many Iraqis” the worst of the US tenure in Iraq, it might have also been built with slave labor. During testimony before the House Oversight Committee earlier this week, Rory Mayberry, a former subcontract employee of the firm overseeing the construction, said that he thinks that at least 52 Filipino nationals had been kidnapped to work on the embassy project… click HERE to read more via ThinkProgress. (If true, an immediate criminal investigation needs to be launched… though that will do little to change Iraqi’s views of it…)

Applaud: to the plurality of Americans that are finally starting to see the light. According to a new UPI-Zogby poll, 80% of Americans believe that the “Iraq war has hurt the United States’ standing” around the world. (While it’s a heckle that our standing has fallen this dramatically, I have to applaud that more people are finally starting to realize what this administration has done to this country….)

Heckle: to talking out of one’s ass. Earlier this month “President” Bush stated his commitment to his escalation plan, saying “I’m going to remind the people in the audience today that troop levels will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, D.C.” All fine and good, but the DC Examiner made an excellent point earlier this week that “a bunch of arm chair generals in Washington” from the American Enterprise Institute “almost single handedly convinced the White House to change its strategy” on the Iraq war… (so which is it Bush… who’s deciding what happens in this war? The “commanders on the ground” or “political figures in Washington?” Inquiring minds want to know…)

Applaud: to not falling for the spin. A few months ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote an op-ed piece about Lebanon… and when she shopped it around for publishing, no one wanted it. The State Department’s director of media affairs Price Floyd, said that the piece was “littered with glowing references” to Bush’s “wise” leadership and that the op-ed “read like a campaign document.” (Nice…way to sticl up for non-politicalization there)

Heckle: to even more republican and White House oppositon. At first a lot of republicans were all for the Farm Bill that would have helped struggling farmers… but then they found out that the Democrats’ proposed legislation would have been paid for by taxing US companies who hide profits in offshore subsidiaries… and then the support quickly vanished not only from House republicans, but the White House as well… and I think we all know why…

Applaud: to more plurality of Americans starting to see the light. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, “public animosity” for Bush has hit an historic high, with 65% of Americans disapproving Bush’s job performance. The fun fact, along with the fact that Bush has “endured bad numbers” longer than any other president besides Harry Truman, is that the only president to “exceeded that level of public animosity,” was Richard Nixon, who hit 66%… four days before resigning. (Too bad George can’t get the hint that a majority of America is trying to tell him…that it’s time to resign)

Heckle: and scary as Hell. The New York Sun published an editorial a few months back called “Cheney’s Chance” that encouragied him to jump into the presidential race (eep) and now that same editor, in his review of Stephen Hayes’ new biography of Cheney, has trotted it back out saying that he believes the Hayes book is part of an effort by Cheney to “drum up support for a potential campaign run.” (Oh good God noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!)

Applaud: to the Senate for passing the “Wounded Warrior” bill that would, besides overhauling military health care, see an increase of troop pay by 3.5%.

Heckle: to elected officials in Alaska apparently not getting it. First you have Sen. Ted Stevens (r-AK) being investigated, now there’s word that Rep. Don Young (r-AK) is embroiled in an “expanding federal criminal investigation involving an Alaska oil company and state elected officials.” (I don’t quite know which way my snark should go on this one. I don’t want to make fun of Alaskans, but good God… two of your elected officials are being investigated for corruption, is there something in the water or are Stevens and Young simply putzes that don’t know any better?)

Applaud: to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). After he read an op-ed in the July 21st edition of the Washington Post called “The Phony Debate,” he decided to write a letter. In the letter, Mr. Reid responded to the paper’s opposition to the Senate’s recent all-night debate on Iraq. Said the letter; “On reading the July 21 editorial ‘The Phony Debate,’ it became clear why The Post’s editorial writers have been such eager cheerleaders for the Bush administration’s flawed Iraq policies — the two share the same disregard for the facts en route to drawing dubious conclusions.” (Well said Mr. Reid… very well said…)

Heckle: to gop presidential candidate Mitt “Rhymes with twit” Romney. It seems that he thinks the upcoming CNN/YouTube debate is too undignified for him to attend. (Uh… yeah… way to knock something obtainable by the masses there Mitt. How ya think missing a debate is going to go over with your supporters?)

Applaud: to Sen. Arlen Specter (r-PA) for not only laying the smackdown on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales earlier this week but also for announcing his plans to review Supreme Court justices’ John Roberts and Samuel Alito’s Senate testimony in order to “determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation.” (very nice Mr. Specter… though I think I can help you with the latter with my unique brand of answers… YES)

Heckle: to the Department of Agriculture. According to a new GAO report, they sent $1.1 billion in farm payments to more than 170,000 dead people over the course of seven years… and 40% of those payments were to people who had been “dead more than three years.” (Wow… that’s all I can say about that is… wow…)

Applaud: to Defense Secretary Robert Gates for issuing an apology. In yet another letter to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Gates apologized for Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman’s recent attacks on her. Writes Gates, “I emphatically assure you that [the Defense Department does] not claim, suggest, or otherwise believe that congressional oversight emboldens our enemies, nor do we question anyone’s motives in this regard.” (I still believe that Edelman acted so-far outside the authority of the Pentagon that he should be relieved of his duties. Partisan or not, the letter he sent to Ms. Clinton was wrong… and I applaud Mr. Gates for knowing that it was wrong – or at the least knowing it looked wrong – and attoning for it)

Applaud: to the possible end of nepotism in political campaigns. Under a bill approved by the House this past Monday, members of Congress would no longer be able to put their spouses on their campaign payrolls and would also have to disclose any other immediate family members employed by the campaign. (while I’m sure a lot of them will find ways around it, the fact that they’re trying to outlaw it is rather refreshing…)

And has devised a list of the 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill… yes, you read that right… I’m not quite sure if that should be applauded or heckled, so I want all of you to click on it and let me know your thoughts…

That’s all I have, take ‘em as you will…

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