Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Random Political Thoughts

Aaaahhhh… Wednesday… middle of the week… humpday… the week is more than halfway done… and most important, it’s time for Random Political Thoughts…

All In The Family. Reverend Al Sharpton is descended from a slave owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond… the “former” segregationist. Sharpton said the news was “probably the most shocking thing of my life.”

In The Market. While everyone and their brother announces their presidential bid, the Christian Right is finding it difficult to find a Presidential candidate that fits their ideal profile… (in other words, they can’t find someone who hates the things they hate)

The Last Smoke-Filled-Room Hero. It’s not often that we at TBWA hail Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), but he gave what could be one of the best political quotes about bipartisanship ever when he said: “You can’t catch a socially transmitted disease by sitting down with people who hold ideas that are different than yours.” (Well said Governor… very well said…)

Jack Bauer Was Here. Usually shrouded in secrecy, there’s some new information coming out on the CIA’s ‘Black Site’ prison system. While reading the linked WaPo article, keep in mind that what you are reading about is real and not something lifted from the pages of a Tom Clancy novel…

Call It As You See It. Mike McConnell, the new director of national intelligence, said yesterday that “Osama bin laden is in Pakistan actively re-establishing al Qaeda training camps.” In the same speech, McConnel also admitted to the Senate that the term “civil war” is an accurate description of the Iraqi conflict.” (Ok… besides being the most “definitive statement” about the conflict given by anyone in the Bush(whacked) Administration, this is definitely notable… my question is; where’s the mainstream media’s reporting of it?? Oh right… Anna Nicole…)

When Chairmen Attack. Former Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle has begun to criticize a few of Bush’s key aides for having failed him. Of Condoleezza Rice, Perle said that she was “in way over her head from the beginning,” and that Colin Powell was a “disaster.” (Had to be said…I’m just surprised it took someone this long… I wonder who’ll be next??)

Talk The Talk. You can file this in the ‘I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it’ files… The US has agreed to join “high-level talks” on the future of Iraq… at which Syria and Iran will also be present. Analyst Steve Clemons noted, “Time will tell whether this is meaningless flirtation” or more… (If this actually happens, it could go a long way in getting something done in regards to Iran… let’s hope…)

NGA. A lot of state’s governors are in Washington this week at the National Governors Association meeting… and they’ve been busy. Quite a few have warned “President” Bush that his Iraq escalation is gonna put a heavy burden on an already overstretched Guard and Reserve – with Gov. Mike Easley (D-NC) saying; “Currently, we don’t have the manpower or the equipment to perform that dual role” of responding to both state and federal needs. A few other Governors also pushed Bush to “provide more money” for the Children’s Health Insurance Program as a lot of states are running out of program funding. The White House’s response? That states should make better use of the money they already had… (Hmmmmm… I wonder what would happen if Congress told Bush that about his policies…)

Shift… Then Blame. “President” Bush is using one of his most important allies to place pre-emptive blame on Congressional Democrats. He told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that the “newly Democratic Congress could cut aid to his country” unless Pakistani forces become far more aggressive in hunting down Al Qaeda operatives. (One would have to hope that Musharraf is not as dumb as Bush and wouldn’t fall for this crap… but one never knows…)

Sad. There are approximately 200,000 homeless U.S. veterans in this country, and approximately 500-1,000 of those have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. (What more can be said? If you want to help, contact the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans)

2008 Presidential Race Update. African-Americans are starting to swing to Obama… Romney’s campaign tries to cover-up a leaked strategy memo… Clinton forgot to include a family-charity on Senate disclosure forms… Edwards is learning that you don’t always speak the truth on the stump… Huckabee is being oddly quiet… ditto for Giuliani… McCain is still pandering to anyone who will listen… and John Kerry is enjoying some sweet, sweet revenge… (I’m kidding; Kerry isn’t running. How many people threw-up a little in their mouths when they saw his name under this title… )…

Take ‘em as you will…

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Time to act

Sigh…

We made huge in-roads last November… winning control of the House and (more or less) the Senate…

The euphoria was heartwarming and enjoyable…

It was

Now we’re back to doing things half-assed.

The Democrats had big plans when they were running for and winning a plethora of House and Senate seats last year. But now, nearly four months later… the Democrats are back to acting like the unorganized and uninspiring Dems of yore…

Sniping at each other, ignoring what the public wants, kow-towing to the administration, putting egos ahead of what needs to be done…

We all heard about the ambitious plans to change the wrongs that Bush and the republicans had imposed… we heard about the big change to limit President Bush's war authority and force a change of course in Iraq…

Now… all of these plans have seemingly fallen apart amid intra-party disagreement over how quick and aggressive the Dems should be acting.

This is pathetic.

Winning last November doesn’t do any good if we don’t get something done and get it done soon…

Scott and I have said it before… all the talk is fine and good, but it doesn’t mean a god damn thing if we don’t act on it and do something…

The Day Ahead

Couple of things to monitor as the day progresses (yeah, they do this over at Wonkette and Think Progress… so why not do the same thing here?):

  • WaPO: One of our bases in Afghanistan was hit with a bomb while Vice President Cheney was visiting. (Said Cheney after the bomb hit; “I’m awake…”)
  • CNN: Former aide to Bob Ney (R-OH) has pleaded guilty in the Jack Abramoff case. (Another one bites the dust…)
  • Chicago Tribune: The city of Chicago hits the polls today (When was the last time Richard Daly was scared about an election?)
  • WaPo: new polls suggest that age is an important factor when considering presidential candidates, not so much gender or race (buh-bye href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022600313.html?nav=hcmodule">favors a pullout in Iraq. (And this is new information… how??)
  • NY Times: Libby case will continue with 11 jurors and will not see the insertion of one of the alternates ()
  • Boston Globe: Newspaper somehow obtains document with Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) campaign strategies (Miraculously, ‘Looks stiffer than Al Gore’ not on the list…)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Now what?

First it was reported that Americans don’t trust “President” Bush to solve the healthcare crisis in this country…

Then it was reported (just this past weekend) that Bush has lost the support of a handful of his generals and admirals who have stated that they would quit rather than carry-out any plans to attack Iran…

Now, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Americans trust Congress (and specifically Democrats in Congress) more than they trust Bush to handle the situation in Iraq, with 54% supporting Congress to Bush’s 34%.

(And in the interest of fairness, I want to mention that these results do show that the gap has narrowed a little since Bush's State of the Union speech when there was a 27-point gap. And while the Democrats did lose six points from that point, let’s be clear that Bush did not reclaim those points… they shifted to trusting neither the Democrats in Congress nor the president to handle the situation in Iraq…)

With Bush's approval ratings in the crapper mired in mediocrity… what more can possibly be done??

It’s sad.

It’s pathetic.

And it’s relatively unprecedented…

Think about it… have we ever seen a presidency where the American public, foreign allies, and members of the U.S. military have lost respect and trust in their leader?

America is on the cusp of being the laughing stock of the world… and, while the republicans are happy in their ignorance… the Democrats obviously don’t care about changing it either.

If they did, they would be doing more to end the war in Iraq… they would be mindful of sniping at each other over comments made by a campaign donor… they would be trying to reinstate habeas corpus… they would be trying to right all the wrongs that are within their power to right… they would actually be, I don’t know, doing something…

Instead… they’re not doing a damn thing but trying to keep up appearances.

I weep for the future…

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Models of a modern major general

The Sunday Times is reporting that up to five Pentagon generals and admirals would resign rather than approve what they would consider a "reckless attack" on Iran.

Said a source with ties to British intelligence; "There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran."

That's just lovely, isn't it?

When a President loses the backing of his generals in the Pentagon, isn't that the ballgame? Shouldn't Bush just pack-up his toys and go home??

Think about it... if this would actually happen, Bush will be viewed as more of a loser/idiot abroad... and our nation would be viewed with the same contempt and disgust... thus lessening our already-dropping standing on the world stage.

2008 can not come fast enough...

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Today’s post takes place between 5:00 pm and 5:15 pm...

...

Sorry, I’ve apparently been watching too much “24”.

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means… it’s time for Blog of the Week winner; The "Bush"-Whacked Administration’s ‘Weekly Rewind.’

So sit back… relax… and allow us to wrap-up the week that was in the world of poltics…

Applaud: to funny news items. According to ABC’s he Blotter’: If the jury finds Scooter Libby guilty it could spur Fitz and his merry band of investigators to “explore further whether Cheney was involved in conspiring to obstruct justice.” (Wait a minute… can the Prince of Darkness really be investigated??)

Heckle: to spinning statistics that shouldn’t be spun. A government audit found that a majority of the statistics on terrorism cases from the Justice Department are “highly inaccurate” and they routinely counted cases that involved “drug trafficking, marriage fraud and other unrelated crimes.” (Foregoing any of the standard marriage jokes, this is just wrong. We are talking about terrorism here, and we should only be counting the true cases of terrorism – not using things that aren’t terrosim-related just to pad the statistics)

Applaud: to the Pandering of the Week from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Earlier this week the Senator said that he would rate the Bush(whacked) administraion’s record on Global Warming as “terrible,” and was “very happy to see the president mention global warming and a renewed commitment from the administration to this issue.” He then added a curt, “It’s long overdue.” (I know, I know… applauding him for pandering is bad… but it’s more so an applaud of the snark than the act itself. After all, with all his pandering, McCain is proving himself to be quite un-electable..)

Heckle: to this sobering statistic from the National Health Statistics Group: U.S. spending on health care is “expected to double to $4.1 trillion over the next decade” with health insurance premiums expecting to rise 6% annually as well.

Hopeful Applaud: to Army Vice Chief of Staff Richard Cody, who stated earlier this week that he will “take responsibility” and will make sure that all problems are fixed at the hospital. (Let’s hope problems are fixed and changes are made… our brave men and women deserve better care and better residance)

Heckle: to news that, somehow, doesn’t take me by surprise. According to a stufy done by Mother Jones, the “rate of fatal terrorist attacks around the world,” along with the “number of people killed in those attacks” has “increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq.” Even if you discount terrorist acts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the study did, there was still a “35% rise in the number of attacks and a 12% rise in fatalities.” (Color me; not surprised.)

Applaud: to UK lame-duck Prime Minister Tony Blair. Since he’s a lame-duck now, he’s seemingly cleaning his conscience. Days after announcing that the UK would be going againt the White House and withdrawing some of its troops, he continued to show his own will yesterday when he “declared himself at odds with hawks in the US Administration” over Iran, telling BBC News, “I can’t think that it would be right to take military action against Iran. What is important is to pursue the political, diplomatic channel.” (What’s that saying; ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ Apparently Blair has finally grown himself some balls realized that Bush lied about Iraq – welcome to the Club Mr. Blair, we’ve got jackets – and he is NOT going to let that happen again. Mark my words, everytime Blair opens his mouth from now until he leaves office will be against whatever Bush may be proposing)

Heckle: to, once again, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Even though the Bush(whacked) administration swears that it’s not considering military action against Iran, the BBC reports that US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran “extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure.” (But we’re not considering military action… just like we exhausted all avenues of diplomacy towards Iraq… and if you believe that, I have a bridge to seel you in Florida. Good traffic, mostly drug smugglers, but )

Applaud: to targeting the proper demographic. According to a new study by the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), Ballot initiatives for increasing the minimum wage boosted “voter motivation in five targeted states in 2006.” The study went on to say that voter motivation and reported interest in the election was “disproportionately high” among African-Americans, unmarried voters and women. (And with Senate Finance Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) saying that he may block the recently passed minimum wage bill unless a larger tax cut package is included, the Democrats should continue to reap the rewards for republican idiocy and hypocrisy. Now, if only the Democrats can unite and stop arguing like toddlers, we’d be golden)

Heckle: to “revolving doors” (no, this isn’t about Michael Dukakis’s 1988 crime plan) Remember those 39 lawmakers who got booted out of office last November? Seems that five of the 39 are now at firms that lobby Congress including Sen. Conrad “Don’t Call me Monty” Burns (R-MT), who just last year said that “Congress is not for sale.” (Hey Congreess, that ‘revolving door’ lobbying restriction is working really well… it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written form…)

Half-hearted Applaud: to Rep. Thomas M. Davis (R-VA), the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Applauds for ripping the army a new one earlier this week when he released a statement that said the army has known for years about “shortcomings at Walter Reed” but did nothing. The applaud is half-hearted because, being a member of Oversight, don’t you think he would have known about this before… and maybe he could have done something?? But obviously, that’s merely conjecture…

Heckle: to Rush “Drug Mule” Limbaugh. The conservative blow-hard radio host said on his program earlier this week: “If we launched attacks on Iran and Syria today and went heavy metal, pedal-to-the-wall, this country would be cheering. The Democrats and the media would be in panic, but the people in this country would be cheering.” (Okay, first of all, Limbaugh wouldn’t know what the people in this country wanted if it came up and bit him on his fat ass… second, the people in this country have clearly shown that they don’t want the U.S. to attack Iran, at least not yet… and third, Limbaugh needs to stop wearing his rose-colored-conservative glasses long enough to see what is going on in this country. A change is coming… God willing…)

Applaud: to what I am sure is more Dog and Pony show theatrics, but the fact they’re doing it is still a sign of hope. A few Senate Democrats are going to unveil a plan next week that will aim to repeal the 2002 Iraq war resolution. (Ok, it probably is all for show, but still… it could work. This is something to definitely keep an eye on next week…)

Heckle: to Vice President Dick “Bunker King” Cheney. When he was asked about Tony Blair’s announcement that the U.K. will cut troop levels in Iraq by 1,600, Cheney said the move was “actually good news and a sign of progress in Iraq.” Never mind the fact that a Pentagon report starkly contradicted the White House’s “rosy” rhetoric. (Noooooooo…. Cheney bent the truth???? I can’t believe that. After all, Cheney is a stand-up guy who never lies... Ow, I think I just rolled my eyes right out of my head…)

Applaud: to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who gave a “detailed and businesslike” summary of the prosecution’s case against Scooter Libby earlier this week that was a stark contrast of the summary of the defense laywer, Theodore Wells, who decided to go the “Drama Queen” route and countered with an “intensely emotional defense” complete with a crying episode at the end… (Who does Wells think he is, Judge Larry Seidlin?? Thank you, thank you… I’m here all week…)

Heckle: to Bush’s escalation plan. Because of his plan 14,000 National Guard troops will return to Iraq next year after seeing their time between deployments shortened in order to “meet the demands of President Bush’s buildup.” (Nice… just nice. I’m sure the troops and their families are thrilled by the prospect of having their time cut just so Bush can try to save his ass legacy…)

And finally...

Yesterday I wrote a post about the Obama/Clinton feud. Give it a read if you haven’t yet. As Democrats and Liberals, we need to send a message to the party that we need to stop the in-fighting, come up with a united front and do what we can, all of us, to defeat the republicans in 2008 and beyond. It’s a moral imperative…

Take ‘em as you will...

And then there were 1,221...

Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack has just announced he has withdrawn from the 2008 Presidential race and the reasoning can be summed-up in one word:

Money.

Vilsack’s campaign had estimated that they would need $20 million to be competitive in the primary portion of the race, and didn't think they could raise it.

Vilsack was the second Democrat to “officially” step into the race (he declared on November 9, 2006) and is the first to drop out… though certainly not the last (Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd – you’re all on deck!)

While it is an incredibly early withdrawal, it is the best and most realistic decision for Vilsack to make. He is not well-known outside of his home state, and he has not proven himself to be a good fundraiser while also coming down on the wrong sides of some issues.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My plea to Obama & Clinton: "Stop It!"

This is going to be a long campaign… not for the candidates so much as for we the voters.

We are barely months into a race that has started WAY too early, and already we have two contenders barking at each other and slinging mud over the opinions of someone who, in all honesty, shouldn’t matter when speaking about the next President of the United States.

David Geffen is not a politician, David Geffen is not a political strategist… his political dealings are only as a donor. He’s in the entertainment business… so why should we be putting so much stock into what he says?

Plus, seeing as how this is the United States, Geffen is entitled to his opinion, and it should not be taken as anything but one person’s opinion…

Instead, it’s turned into a battle with the campaigns of Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) trading accusations of nasty politics.

The root issue is that the Clinton campaign is demanding that the Obama campaign not only give back Geffen's $2,300 contribution, but also denounces the comments made by Geffen, who once backed Bill Clinton but now supports Obama, in a New York Times articles where he said "Everybody in politics lies," and added that Bill and Hillary “do it with such ease, it's troubling.”

Uh… correct me if I’m wrong, but people are entitled to change their minds about something… and people are also entitled to voice their own opinion about something… something Geffen pointed out when he released a statement that said “My comments, which were quoted accurately by Maureen Dowd, reflect solely my personal beliefs regarding the Clintons.”

Granted, what Geffen said was harsh… but I’m not quite sure why a candidate should apologize for something said by a campaign donor (something that Obama himself questioned)

If Ms. Clinton expects this of Obama’s campaign… then shouldn’t her campaign do the same?

Recently Sen. Clinton won the support of South Carolina state Senator Robert Ford. Ford is on the record as saying that if Obama were to win the nomination; he would drag down the rest of the Democratic Party “because he's black.”

Where’s Hillary’s crusade against obnoxious stinging quotations now?

Bear in mind I am not throwing support behind either candidate yet… it’s still too early for that… but I am on the side of Obama’s campaign on this issue. Making someone apologize for something a campaign donor said is wrong…wrong and, quite frankly, pretty damn stupid.

I’ve said it before on this blog. Rather than throw mud and insults at each other the Democratic party needs to unite itself as one entity and come out against one enemy and one enemy only; the republican nominee… and “President” Bush, but that’s a given.

If that doesn’t work, maybe we could feed off the voyeuristic reality-show tendencies our nation has become enveloped in and arrange a steel-cage match… winner takes all.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Random Political Thoughts

Want some Random Political Thoughts? Here you go… enjoy;

Walking his own line. You can add yet another former ally turning their back on Dubya. Lame-duck British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced this week that the the U.K. will cut troop levels in Iraq by 1,600 (from 7,100 to 5,500). Naturally, the White House tried to put a positive spin on it with Vice President Dick “Dick” Cheney stating that the move was actually good news and a “sign of progress” in Iraq… (Uh… okay… sure… Tell me Mr. Cheney, what color is the sky in your world?). In more ‘other-nations-are-being-smarter-than-us-and-slowly-withdrawing-troops-from-the-quaqmire-of-Iraq’ news, it’s expected that Denmark will follow Britain’s lead and announce plans to withdraw its 460 troops from Iraq. (Losing them will hurt because… because… yeah, I got nothin’…)

Good luck. A little more than two months after suffering a brain hemorrhage, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) has left a Washington hospital and has entered a rehabilitation facility. (God speed Senator…)

And for his next failure… “President” Bush wants to reform our nation’s health-care system and is aiming at the reform to be a huge part of his final two years in office. The problem is that nearly half of Americans don't trust Bush to reform the nation's health-care system, at least that’s what a new Wall Street Journal Online/Harris health-care poll found. When respondents were asked how much they trust the president to come up with good policies for improving and reforming the U.S. health-care system, 49% said “not at all” and 16% said “not much”. (When Dubya goes to sleep, does he have nightmares of pollsters?? These are not surprising numbers… yet they do bring a smile to my face…)

Cronyism: Texas Style. Six (long, agonizing, disasterous) years into the presidency of George Bush, his loyal Texan corps, those who accompanied him to Washington from Austin, are still a force to be reckoned with inside the White House and, according to the NY Times (New motto: We suck less than the other NY papers) remains a steady source of comfort for a president that is becoming increasingly isolated.

To the jury-mobile! Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald gave a “detailed and businesslike” summary of the prosecution’s case against Scooter Libby, with Mr. Fitzgerald saying that Libby; “told a dumb lie and got caught.” Then it was Libby’s chief defense lawyer Theodore Wells turn, and he decided to go the “Drama Queen” route and countered with an “intensely emotional defense” complete with sob-ending, (and by sob ending, I don’t mean a sad ending, I mean he actually cried) “He’s been under my protection for the last month. I give him to you. Give him back to me.” After those words, Wells “teared up, sobbed audibly” and sat down. (Sigh… I don’t even know where to begin…)

Unsettling news. The Washington Post (new motto “Not like the NY Times anymore… we’re much worse”) started a reporting series this past Sunday about the “deplorable conditions” at Walter Reed Army Hospital (PART 1, PART 2, PART 3). Now, swift action has been promised, and two Midwest Senators, Barack Obama (D-IL) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), have also promised swift action. (My question is this; with the conditions as bad as they are at the hospital, it seems as though it’s been like this for a while... how come we’re just finding out about this now? Granted, with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the hospital is probably over-taxed with patients… but this is supposed to the military’s best hospital. And the way the White House is trying to spin it… something very strange is going on here, but I just can’t quite put my finger on it…)

2008 Presidential Race Update. Barack Obama is in California asking for money from Hollywood heavyweights like Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington & Steven Spielberg (which I guess means that Hillary will have to settle for Spielberg’s non-Union Mexican equivalent… trust me, some people get that…)… Hillary Clinton is hoping to have Bubba take her Senate seat should she win the White House (anything to keep him away from the WH interns)… John McCain is still rolling over to suit whichever group he’s addressing at that moment (he’s this race’s version of Bob Dole… )… Mitt Romney is already starting-up the media war (still won’t help…)… and John Edwards is… keeping strangely and unusually quiet…

I apologize now for putting this image into your head. According to Ariel Sharon’s new biography, “President” Bush once told him that if he (Bush) ever got his hands on Osama bin Laden, he would “screw him in the ass.” (I don’t think anything else needs to be said as that line speaks for itself…)

All I have, take ‘em as you will…

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thank You Ms. Rice

“And the final thing I want to say is I know that a lot’s going on in Washington and that you’re hearing it. A lot’s going on because we are a great democracy. And people have their views and they’re going to express them. And some do not think that this was the right war to fight, and others think that we in the Administration haven’t fought this war quite right. By the way, all of them know that the sacrifice and the labor of our men and women here has been honorable. And so when you hear the criticism of the war or the criticism of the President or of me or of anybody else, I do want you to know that to a person at home, your honor and your sacrifice and your labor is appreciated. People know what you’re doing and it’s appreciated across the board. I don’t care what people think of the policies; it’s appreciated across the board.”
-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice,during a speech to a gathering of military personnel during her surprise visit this past weekend to Baghdad


Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this quote contridict every damn thing the White House had been saying for days weeks months???

I believe it does.

In fact… I seem to remember this administration oftentimes saying that a debate on Iraq policy would be “detrimental from the standpoint of the troops” and would hurt morale…

Apparently Condi never received that memo… meaning that she’s in for a toungue bath lashing from Dubya…

And while we’re on the subject of missing memos, it should also be noted that Ms. Rice’s statement echos those of Joint Chiefs Chairman General Peter Pace, who has gone on record as saying that all U.S. troops understand that the debate is being carried out by “patriotic people who care about them and who care about their mission.”

If these two believe that… than what the hell is the problem with the rest of this administration?

Maybe the reason the administration doesn’t think someone can think two things at once is because they’re taking their cues from a man who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, much less have two thoughts in his head at one time.

If only Bush could buy himself a clue…

Monday, February 19, 2007

You tell me...

What’s wrong with this list?

Abraham Lincoln - 18%

Ronald Reagan - 16%

John Kennedy - 14%

Bill Clinton - 13%

Franklin Roosevelt - 9%

George Washington - 7%

Harry Truman - 3%

George W. Bush - 2%

Theodore Roosevelt - 2%

Dwight Eisenhower - 2%

Thomas Jefferson - 2%

Jimmy Carter - 2%

Gerald Ford - 1%

George H. W. Bush - 1%

Taken from a USA Today/Gallup poll

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

It’s that time again… Friday… and you no what that means…

No, not the early bird special at the Sizzler…

It’s time for The Weekly Rewind.

It’s been an interesting week, with rhetoric debate about the Iraq escalation plan, an attempt to get bailed out of another war, and so much crap about Anna Nicole Smith that every time I hear the latest item about her, I die a little inside…

Here we go…

Applaud: to defections. More and more republicans are coming down in favor of the Democrat-led escalation resolution, and not all of them are in danger of being unseated.. meaning that some of them are, ohmhgod, voting their conscience… quick, call Hell to see if it’s frozen over…

Heckle: to utter, unbiased, unadulterated stupidity. Just when you think republicans have said the craziest thing you’ve ever heard, they surprise you. The chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, Warren Chisum, doesn't believe that the earth revolves around the sun, Yes, you read that right; a grown man who doesn’t believe that the earth revolves around the sun so much that he distributed a memo pitching the website of, evidently, bat-shit crazed wingers, who believe the earth doesn't spin on its axis or revolves around the Sun yet stands still… and just when you think it couldn’t get any better, you then find out that this group believes that Copernicus was part of a Jewish conspiracy to undermine the Old Testament… you can’t write shit like this I’m telling ya. It would be hilarious if it weren’t true…

Applauds: to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Earlier this week she “strongly endorsed binding legislation” that would require the Bush(whacked) Administration to seek congressional authorization even before the thought of military strikes on Iran enters their collective minds… (oops, too late…). Now she’s tied her support for Dubya’s war-funding request into strict standards of training, equipping and resting combat forces. (I think it would be safe to say that Ms. Pelosi has larger balls than her predecessor, Dennis Hastert, ever did…unfortunately, I still have doubts that Congress will be able to stop Bush from doing anything he wants to do… he’s really like an over-aged frat-boy in that regard…)

Heckle: to incredibly unrealistic assumptions and piss-poor analysis. According to documents that have just been releasd, the U.S. Central Command’s original war plan for invading Iraq “postulated in August 2002 that the U.S. would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq as of December 2006.” (Uh, yeah… I think we’re a little off the mark on that one. 5,000 troops LEFT in Iraq, and here we are, February 2007 and we’re getting ready to send 20,000+ additional troops over there. All you people out there who defended this administration’s war-planning strategy still want to defend it??? Didn’t think so…)

Applaud: to the House Ccommittee on Government Reform for unanimously passing strong new whistle-blower protections, thus ensuring court reviews of whistle blower complaints and extending protection “for the first time to the F.B.I. and to intelligence agencies where wastefulness is draped in secrecy.

Heckle: to hookers at the point… or maybe more appropriately; hookers at the Come-on-I-wanna-lay-ya. In a 25-count indictment disclosed yesterday against Defense contractor Brent Wilkes shows he was able to boondogle a plethora of Pentagon contracts by giving then-Rep. Duke Cunningham, besides cash, a prostitute on August 15, 2003 and, at the Congressman’s request, a different prostitute for the second evening, on August 16th… (First of all; eeeewww… second of all; eeewww again… third; is this what they mean by ‘poleing the electorate’?)

Applaud: to the power of Progressive Blogs. Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) launched a new blog (named The Gavel). Later in the week, a group of conservative House members issued a release claiming Pelosi had “violated copyright and trademark law” by “using pirated content” from C-SPAN, suggesting that “the Speaker bring the gavel down on ‘the Gavel Blog.’” (Naturally, within hours, the group who led the charge learned that their legal analysis was stupid idiotic petty wrong and retracted their complaint… Nice way to show that bi-partisanship you were all crowing about before the session began. And it also makes you wonder what exactly this group of conservatives didn’t want peopl to see. Dumb. Asses.)

Heckle: to lowering your standards. The number of waivers that the Army has granted to recruits with criminal backgrounds has grown 65% in the last three years… (Meaning, once they shoot the enemy, they then take their wallets…)

Applaud: to the end of the Scooter Libby case. Scooter Libby’s defense team has rested. Now, with Libby having decided to not testify himself, it’s over… and all paths lead to the White House. Now we just have to wait to see whose path it leads to…

Heckle: to dumbing down your comments. During the House’s Iraq debate, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) explained her support for sending tens of thousands of U.S. forces to Iraq with language you would usually only hear in a trailer park:

“In the South, we have a wonderful saying and it goes like this: Get ‘er done. Our soldiers want to get it done and come home, and our President wants the same thing, and this Congress should demand the exact same thing. Let’s get out there and get ‘er done.’
Come on now,that has to be an impeachable offense, right?? Saying something as inane as that on the floor of the House of Representatives… what’s next? You might be a redneck…

Applaud: to more gop dominoes falling. Governor Jim Gibbons (R-NV) is being investigated by the FBI for failing to report gifts from a military contractor that he received while he was a member of Congress… (no word if hookers were involved or not…)

Heckle: to quoting quotes that aren’t actual quotes from the person you’re quoting… During yesterday's House debate on Iraq escalation, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) repeated a misquoted quote from Abraham Lincoln, a “quote” that was used in a Washington Times op-ed piece by Frank Gaffney. Disregarding the fact that the quote was never delivered by Lincoln, a point which Gaffney admits, Young is refusing to retract his statement and using the toddler-like excuse that the paper hasn't printed a correction yet either… (Usually I would use this space to say something akin to; What. A. Tool. But for this one, I prefer; what. A. Child. Grow up, Representative… grow up…)

Applaud: to the news that, for now, North Korea has agreed to nuclear disarmament… does that mean we can stop panicking? Probably not, it is Kim Jong Ill we’re talking about here, and he’s more bi-polar than... well... anyone...

Heckle: to Michelle Malkin. Just because I can…

Applaud: to the American public. A USA Today/Gallup poll finds 63% of Americans want all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of 2008…

Heckle: to delusions of grandeur. WaPo Op-Ed columnist David Broder says President Bush is poised for a political comeback… Uh…. Okay… Let me ask you Mr. Broder; what color is the sky in your world?

Applaud: to the Fark poltical headline of the week. “"Leadership" issue plays to Giuliani's strength. "Not sticking your weener in other women while still married" issue plays to his weakness”

Heckle: to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Earlier this week he said that he’s extremely concerned about the possibility of a “Tet Offensive” in Iraq that would “switch American public opinion the way that the Tet Offensive did” during Vietnam… (Uh… Senator… more than two-thirds of Americans already oppose the war… what more do you want??)

And finally…

Half-Hearted Applaud: to the House of Representatives for “rebuking” Bush on his troop-escalation plan (246 for, 182 against). Why is this a half-hearted applaud you ask? Because it amounts to less than a slap on the wrist and won’t stop Bush from doing a damn thing. But, I suppose, it’s better than nothing… but not by much. For those of you who want to see it, here’s the text of the resolution:
Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That—
(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and
(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

Tomorrow, the Senate votes, and at least four GOP Senators (Smith, Warner, Snowe, and Collins) have said they will switch sides and back the Democratic-led resolution.

All I have, take ‘em as you will and have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Let's talk about wars...

The Dog and Pony show that is the House of Representatives’ Debate on Iraq escalation continues, and now we’re seeing republicans jumping sides and coming out against Bush’s Iraq escalation plan (but NOT the President himself… go figure) in droves.

How many rethugspublicans are going to jump you ask? One particular republican lawmaker stated that the gop house leadership has 50 to 60 republicans on their watch list and are expecting anywhere between 40 and 60 to switch sides by the time the debating ends tomorrow.

Will this actually do anything?

I doubt it.

Let’s be honest, “President” Bush doesn’t listen to anyone but his cadre of cronies (Cheney, Rice, Rove, et al) while blatantly ignoring the will of the American people, the will of Congress, and the will of other world leaders. He wants what he wants, and he doesn’t seem to care how he achieves that… So why would the escalation in Iraq be any different?

(Come to think of it, why should we expect this administration’s dealings with Iran to be any different?? I really need to get back to work on that bomb shelter…)

And while we’re on the subject of failed wars, let me use this space to talk about a speech Bush gave this morning. In the speech, he declared the war in Afghanistan as a success… apparently ignoring the facts that we never caught bin Laden (even though we know for a fact he was there), the Taliban are enjoying a nice resurgence in the country, and the plans we had in mind for the country (ya know, like being able to read a book without fear of retribution) have gone the way of the Dodo.

Because of this, the “President” has released his much-less ballyhooed Afghanistan escalation plan

Let me see if I have this straight… Bush royally fucks-up screws-up the war in Afghanistan by turning his feeble mind and ever-decreasing attention span to erasing his Daddy’s failures, namely Iraq & Saddam Hussein. He does this even though (and there is proof out there) the U.S. not only had the Taliban on the run, but Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida on the run as well.

Fast forward five years… he’s screwed up two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (the latter being the true “war-on-terror” battleground) and now he’s saying, nee – demanding – that other NATO countries help us out by sending troops to Afghanistan stating in his speech at the American Enterprise Institute

“When our commanders on the ground say to our respective countries ‘We need additional help,’ our NATO countries must provide it.”

They "must" provide it… do you really want to go there Dubya? Saying they “must” provide help? Even your staunchest allies in Europe have washed their hands of you and you’re going to have the audacity to demand they provide troops???

Do you even know who your friends are anymore?

Do you even know what the hell you’re doing anymore??

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Random Political Thoughts

Wednesday… I’ve shoveled myself out and now have a walking path, so here you go with this week’s Random Political Thoughts…

Remembering Dead Eye Dick. It was one year ago this week that Vice President Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney “accidentally” shot his “friend” and lawyer Harry Whittington. (And he still can’t escape it. Cheney is scheduled to go fly-fishing this month in Tasmania. Someone, with a sense of humor like yours truly, wrote to the local newspaper, “Please assure us that Dick Cheney is coming to Tasmania to fish and not to shoot.” When you start getting heckled by Tasmanian newspapers, you know you’ve become a laughing stock…)

Prisoner 24601. The number of waivers granted to Army recruits that have criminal backgrounds has skyrocketed to 8,129 in 2006, drastically up from 4,918 in 2003. That’s about a 65% increase in the last three years… (Yeah… this should end well…)

Poll, polls and more polls. A new USA Today poll shows that 63% of Americans want all U.S. troops home from Iraq by the end of 2008. A CBS poll shows 63% of the public disapproves of the President’s escalation. (All these numbers and Congress can’t find the balls to debate, much less intervene, about the escalation… all the while the White House ignores, once again, the will of the people. I’ve said it before here, and I’ll say it again. January 2009 can NOT come soon enough…)

It Was Only a Matter of Time. Looking for love and afraid that the person you might find will not be Mr. Rright, but instead will be Mr. Left? Worry no more as political matchmaking sites are springing up faster than Anna Nicole Smith memento’s on eBay. ActForLove.org will help Liberal progressives find love while ConservativeDates.com aims for conservatives (If VP Cheney is in charge of shooting, you should get matched right away. What’s next? Dating sites for dogs… oh, wait….)

Not Paying Attention. Methinks Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has lost his mind. Earlier this week he said that he’s extremely concerned about the possibility of a “Tet Offensive” in Iraq that would “switch American public opinion the way that the Tet Offensive did” during Vietnam… (Uh… Senator… more than two-thirds of Americans already oppose the war… what more do you want??)

Here We Go Again? “President” Bush held a press conference today and said that Iran is supplying weapons to insurgents in Iraq but stressed that he is not using this issue as a “pretext” for a war against Iran… (and I totally believe him, don’t you? I mean, has he ever given the world American people any reason to not believe everything that comes out of his mouth?? Sarcasm becomes me…)

Making Scott Evil Proud. Dolphins and sea lions have been trained to detect and apprehend waterborne attackers and could be sent to patrol a military base in Washington state soon (Ignoring the fact that Dr. Evil has been heard laughing maniacally nearby… how exactly would dolphins and sea lines apprehend a perp???)

The Forgotten (& True) War on Terror. Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the man who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan for 21 months has gone on the record saying that “The intelligence has gone cold on Osama bin Laden.” He threw down more sunshine by saying he also expects a fresh offensive by the Taliban this spring. (Mr. Goodnews Happy Guy he ain’t… but this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. The Taliban has already regained a foothold in the country and has been attacking our troops constantly, most people don’t know that because the MSM has been ignoring it and giving us hourly updates on the latest news about Anna Nicole Smith instead)

Dog and Pony Show. The House of Representatives has started debating the escalation of troops in Iraq. Nobody is paying attention because: A - It’s not going to have an effect on the administration. B - Everyone knows this debate is purely for show. C – A chance to spout more rhetoric than a campaign stop. D - All of the above. If you guessed ‘D’ you would be right.

Scooter Trial. the defense in the Scooter Libby is poised to rest their case soon with neither Libby himself or VP Cheney taking the stand. (regardless of who takes the stand next, I think some damage has been done and someone, though I’m not sure whom, will be going to jail. Unfortunately I don’t think it will be Cheney… and that has me a little bummed…)

Op-Ed Piece of The Week. this week I’ve chosen an op-ed piece from The Hill, which for those of you that do not know, is the newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress. The piece is entitled “Game plan”, written by Brent Budowsky and it’s definitely a must-read.

Doesn’t Know When to STFU. Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John “Don’t Call me Michael” Bolton says the deal with North Korea is rewarding their “bad behavior” and is sending “bad signals” to Iran. (First of all, if North Korea actually follows through, which is never for certain when dealing with Kim Jong Ill, it essentially means nuclear disarmament for them… which is a good thing. The U.S. isn’t giving them anything that we haven’t given other countries before, and if it stops them from making nuclear weapons, it’s worth it. And to Mr. Bolton I say: you aren’t the ambassador anymore, why don’t you shut up, trim your ugly-ass mustache and get a new job… ya schmuck)

A Political Prognosticator’s Dream. This is already going to be the most wide-open Presidential campaign in eons, and it seems anyone and everyone on both sides (republicans and Democrats – ignore Nader… please… for the love of God ignore Nader!!!!) is going to, at the least, form an exploratory committee and consider a run. Something that carries a lot of weight within Congress but is essentially ignored by the public is the so-called Capitol Primary. A win in this “primary”, unofficial as it is, definitely helps to build momentum for candidates, but with such a wide-open field, the support from members of Congress may be beneficial and helpful to those that are making a run for the White House and are already on the outside looking in, I guarantee you that this Presidential election is going to be one for the books and one that everyone, and I mean everyone needs to pay attention to.

All I have, take ‘em as you will…

Next stop, Iran

(HT to ThinkProgress.org)

The Bush(whacked) administration has long-said that a war with Iran is not something they’re working on, but yet there are continuning signs that point or suggest otherwise, now someone in the administration has flat-out said otherwise.

Vice President Dick “Dick” Cheney’s top national security aide has been quoted by the Washington Post that a war this year with Iran is “a real possibility.”

The aide’s name is John Hannah… and he is no stranger to rhetoric, subturfugeor good old fashioned lying…

According to ThinkProgress, Hannah replaced Scooter Libby as the head of Cheney’s national security staff in Bush’s second term. During the first Bush term, Hannah wrote the first draft of the ever-infamous speech given by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations while trying to drum-up support for an invasion war with Iraq. Additionally, Hannah was one of the primary sources for (false) pre-war intelligence garnered from Iraqi exiles that bypassed all U.S. intelligence agencies (at who’s request is not known) and sent directly to the White House…

As ThinkProgress notes; “John Hannah’s comments about Iran should be taken seriously. He knows how to mislead a nation into war”, and this is why we should all be worrying.

Is there anyone left in this world, let alone this country, that believes the United States can handle another war??

We’re fighting one in Afghanistan (such as it is with troops being moved out of there and dropped into Iraq), and a huge one in Iraq… can we afford to fight another?

While I realize that I am not a military strategist… I know what I think, and in my opinion the question of whether or not our nation can afford to get involved in another war is simple…

No.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Day Ahead

Things to pay attention to and thing’s we'll (possibly) write about today:

  • WaPo: North Korea agrees to Nuke Disarmament (everbody stop panicing)
  • WaPo: Mitt Romney has entered the 2008 gop presidential fray (people are saying he’s unelectable, but let’s remember that was said about Dubya as well…)
  • Chicago Trib: Scooter Libby trial continues… (who will be the next contestant in the ever-growing list of wintesses for the defense?)
  • ThinkProgress: Cheney aide says war with Iran is possible this year (everbody panic)
  • CNN: House debating Bush(whacked) administration Iraq escalation plan (not that this administration would listen anyway…)
  • USA Today: USA Today/Gallup poll finds 63% of Americans want all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of 2008 (want troops home, don’t favor escalation, but don’t want funds cut for escalation… can we say ‘mixed messages’???)
  • NY Post: Giuliani is 100% committed (insert own joke here) on winning 2008 presidential campaign (better choice than McCain or Romney that’s for damn sure…)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

In case you haven't heard...

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), has officially announced he is running for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, making his announcement in the same location that President Abraham Lincoln threw his hat into the ring.

Seeing as how Sen. Clinton (D-NY) made her announcement of an exploratory committee shortly after Sen. Obama did, I wonder if we can expect her to make her "official" announcement soon as well.

The race is already shaping-up to be a hard-fought and (possibly nasty) melee that is starting staggeringly early in the process.

Further developments as they warrant...

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

It’s Friday, you all know what that means… it’s time for our ever-popular, ever-knowing feature; The Weekly Rewind… long-winded edition.

Applaud: to low polling numbers for the President and the Vice President. According to a new Harris Interactive Poll, “President” Bush’s approval is hovering at 32%, while Dick “Dick” Cheney’s numbers have him at an all-time Vice-Presidential low at 29% approval. (Hee hee hee hee… I love when hubris come back to bite people in the ass. What is it I used to say a lot here? Oh yeah… ‘Karma, baby!’)

Heckle: to the Department of Homeland Security for failing to tell Congress how the department is spending billions of dollars on major programs that run the gamut from aviation security to Gulf Coast rebuilding. (Checks and balances? What checks and balances???)

Applaud: to the republicans who are supporting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s right to travel back and forth from DC on a military plane, like her republican predeccesor, Dennis Hastert (R-IL) did. According to the New York Times (new motto: all our reporters are now out of prison), a lot of republicans were put off by the flight fight. Said Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) “This is a bunch of baloney.” Rep Jeff Flake (R-AZ) followed that up by declaring; “Next week, we are going to steal their mascot and short-sheet their beds.” Now the White House is backing Ms. Pelosi with Spokesman Tony “Job” Snow saying in a briefing earlier this week: “This is a silly story, and I think it's been unfair to the speaker.” (I never thought I would say this, but nicely said Mr. Snow. This is a non-story that is being brought up by a slew of junior gop representatives who apparently have absolutely nothing better to do but criticize something that their former leader did and something aimed at protecting the SECOND person in the Presidential line of succession. To everyone who is making this molehill into a mountain; STFU)

Heckle: to the Bush(whacked) administration. According to the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the administration, in its elan to secure the nation’s borders and slow the flow of illegal immigrants, might be leaving asylum seekers vulnerable to deportation and harsh treatment. (I’m sorry, what were the principles this country was founded on?)

Applaud: that all 435 House members will be allowed to view the classified version of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq which should provide some much-needed “fuel for a House debate” on Iraq and escalation next week where every single Rep. “will be given five minutes to speak” on Bush’s escalation plan. (Bush has to be feeling scared now… things are seemingly starting to slowly unravel regarding his build-up for not only the escalation plan, but for the whole Iraq war… makes one smile ear to ear…)

Heckle: to news that should not be a surprise to anyone with a brain. The Pentagon’s Inspector General has found that Donald Rumsfeld’s aide Douglas Feith’s rogue pre-war inteligence group was an “inappropriate” use of intelligence by Pentagon civilians, and was also “predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.” (I am shocked… shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment…). Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the Senate intel chairman, vows that his panel will probe whether the Pentagon broke the law by “failing to notify Congress about the group’s work.” (This is definitely a step in the right direction, though one has to wonder if anything will actually be done… I guess only time will tell… and remember, you read it here first second third again…)

Applaud: to “widespread” dissatisfaction. A lot of voting conservatives say they pick “none of the above” when faced with the options of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MT) and Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) as the 2008 republican presidential nominee. Such dissatisfaction with the leading Republican presidential candidates is widespread among the party's conservative stalwarts and should make this presidential election the most contested in decades.

Heckle: to Budget waste. “President” Bush’s proposed budget includes a slew of high-cost weapons that will not even be in operation for years to come, thus using a funding request aimed at supporting the troops to actually get money for some of the Pentagon’s pet projects… (and the White House and Pentagon have the audacity to say people against escalation and the budget don’t care about our servicemen/women… give me a break. I’m all for making new weapons to help our military, but right now, in the middle of fighting two wars and possibly a third with Iran, instead of funding tools that cant be used now, how about giving them the best of what we have now. Or would that make too much sense?)

Applaud: to the Fark.com political headline of the week: “Rice grilled over lack of smoking gun in allegations against Iran. Critics demand evidence, saffron”

Heckle: to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for announcing that he will be skipping a forum for Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada later this month, despite assertions that seven other announced or expected Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton (D-NY) & John Edwards (D-SC), will participate in the forum. Obama’s campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said that they couldn’t fit the forum into his itinerary. (This is disappointing… this is the first chance for a lot of people in this country to see Obama with the other cast of characters and thus giving them the chance to start thinking about whom they want as the Democratic nominee… Personally, I think his campaign team should do some re-shuffling in order to make sure Senator Obama can be at this forum…)

Applaud: to becoming spectators instead of players. With neither a president seeking reelection nor a vice president being a presumptive nominee, the Bush(whacked) Administration has been turned into mere spectators for the 2008 presidential election. Ya think the gop wishes they could have had their 2000 VP nomination back instead of giving it to someone who they had to have known would not run for the big office in ’08. Personally, I think the fact they even chose Cheney in the first place shows just how much the gop was not confidant in Bush’s ability to run the country…

Heckle: to lying liars… Last week in the Rewind I applauded a White House proposal to increase Pell Grants. While it was announced and meeted with great fanfare last week, Dubya’s FY08 budget contains no new money to pay for it… (Bat rastards…)

Applaud: to Democratic presidential candidate and former governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA). No particular reason other than the fact he needs a little reassurance, doesn’t he? He’s gonna be this race’s Dennis Kucinich…

Heckle: to republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R-MT). No particular reason other than the fact he needs a little smackdown, doesn’t he?

Applaud: to resting cases. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wrapped up his portion of the Scooter Libby trial this week… a week that saw jurors hearing Libby’s grand jury audiotapes in which Libby claimed he learned about Valerie Plame’s CIA identity from Vice President Cheney, and that he then “forgot it, then learned it again” from Tim Russert (who said is was “impossible” for him to have told Libby about Plame). It was also revealed this past week that Cheney was “upset” at Ambassador Wilson for his criticism about the lead-up to the Iraq war. (All of this stuff coming out… and it’s getting more and more interesting…)

That’s all I got, take ‘em as you will and have a good weekend. Later.

He’s at it again

Once again, despite getting stopped in his tracks the last time, “President” Bush has set his sights on the dastardly evils over at PBS by slashing funding for NPR and PBS in his new budget and thus enacting devastating cuts to public broadcasting.

How devastating?

Consider that Commander Cuckoo-Bananas’ budget would cut federal funds for public broadcasting by almost 25% and, according to PBS, the cuts could mean the end of their ability to support some of the most treasured educational children's series, not to mention the myriad of adult programming, and that’s not even bringing up how destructive the cuts would be to NPR.

Now comes the troubling part; Bush has tried this before… he tried it when he had a friendly, republican-controlled Congress. It didn’t work then, what the hell makes him think this Congress will approve these cuts? How stupid does he think we are anyway

Bush knows that this won’t get through Congress, and yet, he’s proposing these cuts in order to add to the illusion that he can wipe out the massive deficits (that he and his administration have created!) within five years… the problem is that his numbers (no matter how much “fuzzy math” you use) just don’t add up.

I think this whole thing is a ploy…

Humor me for a moment and think about this; he’s proposed this budget to slash PBS/NPR funding, and when the Democrats restore funding to these programs, Bush will be able to point to the Democrats and accuse them of not wanting to eradicate the deficit…

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I doubt I’m the only one.

With this latest attack on PBS, Bush’s budget has come under attack by, like last time, MoveOn who is leading the charge to protect Elmo and “All Things Considered”.

While I am not a huge fan of MoveOn (they do some good but, like the ACLU, they do tend to go too far), click on their link to sign their petition to rescue PBS.

After you sign your own petition, please forward the information and the link to your all of your Progressive/Liberal family and friends.

We banded together to stop these cuts once, and we can do it again.

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..

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Here we go a-budgeting

I’m going to forgo the fact that a group of republicans have stalled the debate on an Iraq troop increase or the “shocking” revelation that the Iraq vote could have a deep impact on the 2008 Presidential election (that’s some crack journalistic work there guys… I’m sure that tidbit caught everyone by surprise… as I’ve always say; it’s hard to express sarcasm in the written word?) or the fact that Katherine Harris just refuses to accept the truth that her political career is over and instead focus on something else today; the budget.

“President” Bush submitted his budget to the Democratically-controlled Congress Monday that has four substantial volumes and will now kick off what I’m sure will be months and months (and months) of debate.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Democrats have already made clear the fact that they have considerably different views on spending and taxes

Bush’s budget comes in at a whopping $2.90 trillion (yes, you saw that right; trillion with a ‘t’) that essentially screws the middle-class with their collective pants on…

Consider (hat tip to Think Progress):

  • $77 billion in funding cuts for Medicare and Medicaid over the next five years - $280 billion over the next 10 (This won’t come back to bite us on the ass I’m sure)
  • $223 million in funding cuts) to the Children’s Health Insurance Program which represents a 4% decrease from this year’s levels (Damn kids should get jobs and pay for their own insurance)
  • $4.9 billion, cut in education, training, employment and social services grants (cause none of these things is imporant when our econmy is oh-so-good…)
  • $100 million cut for Head Start, which provides child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families (Nice…)
  • $2.4 billion cut in community and regional development grants that often provide funding for low- and middle-income communities (because if a community can’t sustain itself, they shouldn’t be allowed to exist… right?)
  • $400 million cut in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program that provides $2.2 billion to help people pay their heating bills (not really needed since heating a home is oh-so-cheap anymore…)
  • $172 million cut in funding for housing for low-income seniors (They don’t need any help since they’ll have social secuirty to rely on… right?)

I apologize for my sarcasm… it’s just that this is getting ridiculous…

Bush's spending plan would make his first-term tax cuts permanent, at a cost of $1.6 trillion over 10 years

Bush maintains that he had made the right choices to keep the nation secure from terrorism and also to keep the economy growing (growing?)

Don’t worry though, despite Bush essentially saying ‘screw you’ to the Middle class, he’s doing the exact opposite regarding the wealthy as, according to Tax Policy Center notes, “People with incomes of more than $1 million would get tax cuts averaging $162,000 a year in perpetuity.”

Originally, the White House had projected a deficit of $244 billion.

Democrats, however, challenged those projections, contending that Bush only achieves a surplus by leaving out the billions of dollars Congress is expected to spend to keep the alternative minimum tax from ensnaring millions of middle-class taxpayers.

Said the “President” about his budget; “My formula for a balanced budget reflects the priorities of our country at this moment in its history: protecting the homeland and fighting terrorism, keeping the economy strong with low taxes and keeping spending under control while making federal programs more effective.”

I prefer Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND)’s take; "The president's budget is filled with debt and deception, disconnected from reality and continues to move America in the wrong direction.” Couldn’t have said it any better myself Senator Conrad…. Thank you.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Rather lean week when it comes to reporting what’s happened in the world of politics… and there are definitely more ‘heckles’ than ‘applauds’ this week, let’s hope that that is not a start of a trend.

The Weekly Rewind starts…

Right now…

Applaud: to Molly Ivins. ‘nuff said.

Heckle: to a study released earlier this week by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO for you acronym-lovers out there) that shows the real troop increase associated with “President” Bush’s escalation could be as high as 48,000… which is more than double the 21,500 soldiers that Bush has claimed for all you suffering from arethemia.

Applaud: to telling it like it is. A new international climate report has revealed that there is little to no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are “dominated by human activities.” A White House official called the report “significant,” but didn’t say if it would alter “President” Bush’s “policy” (and I use that term loosely). (What exactly would it take for this administration and this president to accept that global warming is real? A blizzard to cover his ranch in Texas in the middle of July??)

Heckle: to concerns about another Iraq forming. According to US News, “Democrats on Capitol Hill are increasingly concerned that “President” Bush will order air strikes against targets in Iran in the next few months or even weeks.” (Repeat after me George, and I’ll use small words and go really slow: We. Can. Not. Get. Involved. Into. Another. War. At. This. Time. Now, write that on a chalkboard about 500 times and maybe, just maybe it will get through to you… though I doubt it. Does anyone in this country really think we can afford to get bogged down into another war/military campaign?? This is what keeps me up at night… well this and .)

Applaud: to calling it what it is. David Ignatius writes in an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post that the Libby trial is exposing a “failed cover-up” by the White House. About times someone calls it what it is… now let’s see if anything actually happens to anyone involved…

Heckle: to idiots who don’t know when to stop. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) says that universal health care is “socialist” and thinks that such a plan “would be a nightmare for America.” (Well, okay… ignroing the fact that 69% of Americans favor a universal health care system… what exactly is he getting involved in this discussion for? And for that matter, why the hell am I feeding into his ego like the media is and talking about it. The man lost and he’s still obsessing about it apparently. Here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice Rick; ‘STFU’)

Applaud: to Great Britain who has plans to put children on “the front line of the battle to save the planet.” How you ask? By making issues such as energy saving and recycling a compulsory part of the school curriculum. (Great to see some counry take an active role in teaching children about global warming… But… this being the week it is with more heckles than applauds, this applaud directly leads to a…

Heckle: In contrast with Great Britain, many U.S. schools are banning , Al Gore’s Oscar nominated global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth. (Nice…)

Applaud: to the Senate for (finally!) voting to increase the minimum wage. Granted, it includes $8.3 billion in tax cuts to small businesses., but that should help get the bill passed and, in the long run, should help small businesses (which in reality are part of the backbone of this country) cope with the much-needed raise. Way to go Senators! (I bet you won’t see me write that a lot…)

Heckle: to piss-poor “kickoffs”. Joe Biden (D-… how do you abbreviate Delaware exactly??) kicked off his 2008 presidential campaign earlier this week… and promptly stuck his foot in his mouth. How you ask? In explaining Barack Obama's (D-IL) appeal as a presidential candidate, he called him "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” I think the quote is an example of actually putting one’s foot into his mouth and nothing else, but at the least this should be a learning experience for Biden as he needs to realize that every single thing he says now is going to be scrutinized and put under a microscope and, in some instances, taken out of context… just ask John Kerry (D-MA).

Applaud: to “President” Bush. What!!?? Did you just read that right?? Did I just see you guys applauding Bush??Yes, you read that right, we at TBWA are applauding him for his budget calling for the “largest Pell Grant increase in three decades.” Granted, it was because there were proposals by both the House and Senate to raise it. (This is a good thing as the maximum Pell Grant has been stuck in neutral at $4,050 a year since 2002 and was lagging way-behind tuition increases and inflation.)

Heckle: to being inarticulate. “President” Bush said earlier this week that Sen. Obama (D-IL) has a “long way to go to be president” and then followed that by saying that Obama was, no lie, “articulate.” (Wait… where’s the moral outrage that the media had when Biden said it?? Why does most of the media in this country keep fellating Bush??? Give me a break…)

Applaud: to Federal Judge Reggie Walton for agreeing to let prosecutors show video clips of former White House stool pigeon Press Secretary, Scott McClellan telling reporters that Scooter Libby “had nothing to do” with leaking any information about Valerie Plame. (Nice job Judge, every little bit helps…)


Heckle: to ridiculous spin. White House spokesperson Dana Perino, while reacting to yesterday’s compromise between Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Warner (R-VA) on a resolution opposing escalation, said that the resolution would “send mixed signals to our troops and our enemy.” (First of all… the troops in Iraq aren’t in favor of an escalation, but once again the White House is ignoring them. Second, I’m not exacty sure what type of “mixed signal” this would be sending to our enemy’s, but it’s not a solid argument. I have an idea Dana, why don’t you stop spinning and start communicating… I’m just sayin’…)

Applaud: for doing something that they said they would do. Congressional leaders agreed earlier this week to a $463 billion spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year and stripped “all earmarks, or narrow, special-interest provisions” from the plan. (Wow… who would have thunk it? They actually did something to, at least, ebb the flow of pork… will wonders never cease?)

Heckle: to the U.S. for selling Cobra hellicopters to Pakistan. I’m sure this won’t come back to bite us in the ass at all…

Applaud: to Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) for making “significant progress” in his recovery. Keep it up Senator.

Heckle: to football cliches. Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC) a washed-up former football “player” is apparently a fan of tired, football-themed clich├ęs now that he’s in Congress. He says that success in politics is about "teamwork" and "having the right playbook." He then went on to say that Iraqis need to “get off the sidelines” and act towards their freedom. Uh, Rep. Shuler… can you please try not to be like former Virginia republican Senator George “Always carrying a football in my hand to remind people that I use to be a football player” Allen and try to draw some more original analogies? Please… we’re begging you…

Applaud: to the best political headline via Fark this week: “Dennis Hastert has swollen and enflamed gall bladder removed. Which is understandable, because it certainly takes a lot of gall to claim a president who lied about a BJ deserves impeachment while one who lies us into a war doesn't.” (Nice… couldn’t have said it any better myself…)

Heckle: to toothless resolutions. As I said in this week’s Random Thoughts… maybe, just maybe this ‘toothless resolution’ will make some people think twice about this escalation disaster… one can only hope.

Heckle: to backpeddaling that is not likely to impact voter’s thoughts. Sen. John “polling numbers droppnig like Dubya’s” McCain (R-AZ) is backing away from his statements about Iraq now that he has seen that the very people he wants to serve don’t agree with him… way to backpedal there Senator… but be careful you don’t hit your ass…

Heckle: to the latest immigration fiasco. I don’t even know where to begin, so I implore you to read the article for yourself…

That’s all I have… take ‘em as you will and have a good weekend.