Friday, March 30, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Friday… time for, well… you know. . Relax… and enjoy!

Applaud: to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who told “President” Bush to “calm down” earlier this week after Bush threatened to take his ball and go home crying to momma renewed his threat to veto legislation that would set a time line for withdrawal from Iraq. Said Pelosi: “Calm down with the threats. There is a new Congress in town. We respect your constitutional role; we want you to respect ours. This war must end. The American people have lost faith in the President’s conduct of the war. Let’s see how we can work together. This war is diminishing the strength of our military, not honoring our commitment to our veterans, and not holding the Iraqi government accountable.” (Well said Madam Speaker. Democrats, trying to raise the bar despite Bush setting it so damn low. He acts like a spoiled brat – which he is – and the Dems try to act like adults. This should end well…)

Heckle: to Karl Rove. Usually it would be just on general principles alone, but he’s been working under the radar the last few weeks and is driving a “bold, behind-the-scenes” push to ensure that “President” Bush will achieve at least one crucial policy victory in the last two years of his presidency; immigration reform. Under the plan that began to circulate around Capitol Hill Thursday, undocumented workers could apply for three-year work visas, which would cost $3,500 each time, the undocumented workers would have legal status with the visas, but in order to get a green card, they would have to return to their home country, apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate to re-enter legally and then pay a $10,000 fine… (I am split on the immigration issue, but I can say that these monetary amounts are obscenely high…

Applaud: to the American people. 59% of Americans want their congressional representative to support a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by August 2008, with a scant 33% percent opposing…(That number is almost as dismal as the incredibly low – and seemingly idiotic – 36% that believe the escalation plan will work…)

Heckle: to even less time at home and a more-strained military. Air Force Gen. Lance Smith said earlier this week that if “President” Bush’s escalation goes beyond this summer, there would be a “high probability” that many Army units would have less than a year at home between combat rotations, further constricting the already limited time to train and the chance to “reconnect with families.” (Once again, the party that supposedly cares about the military shows the exact opposite…

Applaud: to the House of Representatives who unanimously voted to “improve the care of wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” by adding caseworkers and counselors to the military’s medical system.(About time…)

Heckle: to spin gone awry. This past Monday, on “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America” radio show, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) claimed that the beginning to succeed” in Iraq and said that “there are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through…today.” This past week has seen two truck bombs go off that killed at least 85 people in Tal Afar, along with a group of gunmen, a group that included Shiite policemen, began going door-to-door and assassinated 70 Sunnis… and did we mention the insurgent attacks on the Green Zone have increased recently, with attacks “on six of the past seven days.” A State Department official then noted, “There are increasing attacks on the [U.S.] embassy.” (But things are getting better…)

Applaud: to telling it like it is. Retired General Barry McCaffrey wrote in an assessment on the situation in Iraq, based on a recent round of meetings there with Gen. David H. Petraeus and 16 other senior U.S. commanders that the Iraqi population “is in despair,” while life in many of the urban areas is “desperate.” (But according to McCain, Iraq is getting better…)

Heckle: to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was revealed this past week that they are maneuvering to fundamentally weaken the Endangered Species Act. The proposed changes include limiting the number of species that can be protected (Stupid Idea #1), it would “curtail preserved acres of wildlife habitat (Stupid Idea #2), and would “dilute legal barriers that protect habitat from sprawl, logging or mining.” (Stupid Idea #3) Add to that the fact that Interior Department inspector general is now reporting that a senior Bush political appointee, Julie MacDonald, repeatedly altered scientific field reports “to minimize protections for imperiled species.” (Well… at least we know now that this administration will never use the motto; ‘Friend of the Environment.’ Thankfully though, when word of these actions and plans leaked, it lead to an:)

Applaud: to a gaggle of Senators who vowed, after environmental groups leaked the Interior Department’s secret plan to “gut” the Endangered Species Act, to block the proposed changes through appropriations legislation.

Heckle: to this news: a pair of aircraft carriers, backed by warplanes, took up position off the coast of Iran, bringing together two strike groups of U.S. warships and more than 100 U.S. warplanes in order to conduct simulated air warfare in the crowded Gulf shipping lanes. This is the largest demonstration of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq… (Wait… what? Oh shit…)

Applaud: to refusing to be thrown under the bus. Sensing that he was about to go the way of Scooter Libby, former Chief of Staff for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is apparently refusing to play the pats and, while in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday offered testimony that did not disappoint, telling the committee that AG Gonzales and Harriet Miers approved the firings of eight federal prosecutors. Said Sampson; “I and others made staff recommendations but they were approved and signed off on by the principals.” (The “principles” would be Gonzales and Miers, btw) When asked a question by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sampson rejected Gonzales’ theory that the dismissals were ordered by young or inexperienced Justice Department officials, saying; “The decision makers in this case were the attorney general and the counsel to the president.” (In other words, Alberto Gonzales is a big ol' liar… granted, that’s not really news to most of us, but it’s still enjoyable to read in print, isn’t it… and also makes one ask just how long Bush can keep this albatross around his neck…()

Heckle: to cockfighting (no smart-ass comments Scott…), or rather to a unfathomable attempt to keep it legal. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is holding up a very popular and very bipartisan bill that would crack down on cockfighting… a bill that was expected to pass easily in the Senate yesterday. House bill co-sponsor Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said that Coburn’s hold “testifies to the powers of these shadowy forces” that allow this “illegal and barbaric” concept continue. (This one just boggles the mind. Maybe Sen. Coburn has another type of cockfighting in mind and NOT the ones with chickens. Sorry, couldn’t resist)

Applaud: to columnist Bob Novak (wait – did I just write that??). He wrote this past week that “With nearly two years remaining in his presidency, George W. Bush is alone. In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress. The saving grace that some Republicans find in the dispute over U.S. attorneys is that, at least temporarily, it draws attention away from debate over an unpopular war.” (I’m not sure how to feel right now… am I smug in my opinion that Bush is losing his grip on his own party or scared that I agree with Bob Novak?? Help me please…)

Heckle: to losing more allies. Remember how I wrote that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had canceled a dinner with the White House? Well, it might have something to do with King Abdullah’s recent declaration that the U.S. is “illegitimately” occupying Iraq… which left the White House, a tad “surprised.” White House spokesman Dana Perino responded that “it is not accurate to say that the United States is occupying Iraq.” (What would you call it then Dana?)

Applaud: to, once again, the American people. 48% of Americans believe that the fired U.S. attorneys were fired because they “refused to be pressured by politics”… with a scant 22% believe that the Bush administration dismissed them “for proper reasons.” To add to your enjoyment, 55% of those polled also believe Bush is refusing to allow top aide Karl “President” Rove and other White House aides to testify under oath “because he’s trying to cover up the reasons for the firings” and not, as he repeatedly has said, because he “wants to preserve the Constitution’s separation of powers…” (Game over man… game over…)

Heckle: to the question of whether the Justice Department and the White House worked together to mislead Congress in AttorneyGate. (I vote ‘yes’)

Applaud: to not buying it. House Minority Leader John Boehner was booed earlier this week by members attending the AFL-CIO’s Building & Construction Trades Department’s legislative forum for saying the United States needs to fight the war in Iraq or face terror attacks at home. “Who doesn’t believe that if we just pull out of Iraq and come home that the terrorists won’t follow us here and we’ll be fighting them on the streets of America?” (Well… apparently most in the crowd don’t believe that ridiculous reason Mr. Boner… get a clue)

This week’s Wing-Nut Tool of the Week is: Rush Limbaugh. Essentially, Limbaugh said this week that Bush shouldn’t fire Gonzales, despite the fact he’s incompetent, because winning elections is much more important. Said Limbaugh: “I’m at a loss to understand why it is that even some people on our side and the conservative media think throwing Gonzales away is going to stop this. Now, they’ll say, “Well, that’s not what we’re trying to do. We want competence. We are conservatives, and we have high values, and high standards.” This is a battle going on here. There’s an election that’s going to hinge on stuff like this, and everybody the administration throws overboard is a tantamount admission to people that pay scant attention to politics there’s all kinds of corruption going on in there.” The man Al Franken likes to call a ‘Big Fat Idiot’ went on to say “USA Today’s got a poll: ‘Do you think something’s wrong about the firing of eight US attorneys?’ 72% said yes. 72% of the American people, a bunch of blithering idiots who have no idea what they’re talking about, but yet they voted, so these polls matter.” (Do I even need to say it? Ok, I will; What. A. Tool.)

And finally… the week that was in the 2008 Preznit race. On the left; Edwards told people not to vote for him because of sympathy or compassion for his wife’s cancer & is enjoying his status as the most wired-in candidateClinton tried to lay a smackdown on McCain & enjoyed a lengthened lead in Pennsylvania … Obama received an endorsement from George Clooney (so?) & chatted it up with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. On the right: Romney threw out some possible VP names (including Jeb Bush – EVERYONE PANIC!!!!)… Giuliani says he would want his (3rd) wife Judith to sit-in on Cabinet meetings should he become President & showed that he can flip-flop with the best of them… McCain had to defend himself from accusations that he almost left the republican party & tried to persuade people that the Iraq war is changing… and a newcomer to the bunch, with Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) set to announce his bid for president on Monday in Iowa (I join everyone when I say; ‘Who?’)

And we all know that 2008 may see us elect the first female or first minority president, but have you considered this earth-shattering question from heavyweight Fox “News”: Are we ready for our first bald president in modern times? (That’s some damn-find reporting there Fox… don’t tax your “journalistic” abilities TOO much… give me strength )

Take ‘em as you will…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Random Political Thoughts

It’s Wednesday... We haven’t done this in a while so, have a couple of random political thoughts:

Nail, meet Mr. Coffin. I’m not a big fan of his, as he tends to go too far and usually ends up sticking his foot in his mouth…but at times, Bill Maher just nails it, like this one from his most recent show:

“Valerie Plame was the CIA's operational officer in charge of counter-proliferation. Which means she tracked loose nukes. So when Bush said---as he once did---that his absolute, number-one priority was preventing terrorists from getting loose nukes, okay, that's what she worked on. That's what she devoted her life to, staying undercover for 20 years, maintaining two identities every goddamn day. This is extraordinary service to your country. Valerie Plame was the kind of real-life secret agent George Bush dreams of being when he's not too busy pretending to be a cowboy or a fighter pilot. ... George Bush likes to claim that he doesn't question his critics' patriotism, just their judgment. Well, let me be the first of your critics, Mr. President, to question your judgment and your patriotism. Because let's not forget why they did it to her. Because Valerie Plame was married to this guy---Joe Wilson---who the Bush people hated because he busted them on one of their bullshit reasons for invading Iraq. ...Mark Twain said, "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." And I say Valerie Plame is a patriot because she spent her life serving her country. ... Valerie Plame kept her secrets. The Bush Administration leaked like the plumbing at Walter Reed.”
Nicely done Bill… you can read the whole thing here, or watch the whole thing here.

Good luck, Tony. Despite what we think about his abilities/bias as White House Press Secretary, our thoughts and prayers are with Tony Snow as he battles his recurrence of cancer

It starts? Senate Democrats got a victory earlier this week in their pursuit to make “President” Bush end the Iraq war. The win was notable because they were able to turn back an amendment from some republicans that would have erased the troop withdrawal plan from emergency military funding legislation. (It’s a start… it’s definitely a start…).

Guess Who’s NOT Coming to Dinner. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah inexplicably cancelled a formal state dinner with the White House… and Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post says that the cancellation was “One more warning sign that the Bush administration's downward spiral at home is undermining its ability to achieve its policy objectives abroad.” (At this rate, the only person who will still be counting Bush as a friend is XX)

The ERA returns, & I don’t mean earned run average. There’s new and sudden movement underway to pass an Equal Rights Amendment… and that’s all I dare say about that…lest I get smacked upside the head…

Another Scooter? Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ former COS, Kyle Sampson, is heading to the Senate tomorrow to tell them what he knows about AttorneyGate… and I’m sure he’ll be entirely truthful… (Note to self, don’t be a COS or DCOS in the Bush White House, it means almost certain employment termination and Senate appearance…)

As always, take 'em as you will...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A New Way?

Editors Note: This post is informative, neither Kemp nor Scott are endorsing this group and we ask that you not construe this post in that manner… thank you.

Are you sick and tired of the same old game of politics being played? Are you more interested in the potential of a candidate as opposed to their political party?

If so, then you are the target demographic for a political organization that is looking to get millions of online voters to pick a bipartisan ticket that will challenge both the republican and Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential election.

Unity08 is the brainchild of Democrats Hamilton Jordan and Gerald Rafshoon (both onetime aides to President Jimmy Carter) and former gop consultant Doug Bailey

The group is trying to reach out to voters that are currently discouraged by the partisan gridlock in Washington, DC and wants to offer them a chance to take part in a high-tech experiment that the organizers hope will change the nation's political landscape…

And it very well could.

Unity08 was formed for a myriad of reasons, including their belief that political fundraising is getting/already is out of control… they also believe that most, if not all, politicians are out of touch with their constituency… and they think that an administration that is bipartisan wouldn’t be beholden to either party.

Now… while I think this endeavor is admirable in theory, there are holes in this concept that scream that it won’t work…having said that… think about it for a moment and you realize that a good portion of people in this country believe that politics has gotten a little out of control in the last dozen years or so and we all deeply need something we can be proud of.

Also think about this… even if this group doesn’t actually accomplish anything in the ’08 election, it still might be able to enlighten some people to the fact that they can, indeed, make a difference and thus, possibly, increase voter turnout.

It’s still too early to tell if the group will succeed or not, especially since their largest problem right now is attracting the millions of delegates that Unity08 would need in order to give the group the political clout that it needs to be seen as a true third choice and an organization that the two major parties would have to reckon with. As of today, March 27, there are 42,000 delegates who have signed up at the Unity08 website, which is drastically less than the 500,000 that Bailey originally had thought would be on board by last January.

The primaries are coming up in less than a year, and, as of right now, they still have quite a ways to go.

As always, stay tuned…

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Friday… time for The Weekly Rewind, in five, four, three, two, one…

Applaud: to Elizabeth Edwards as she once again faces a battle with breast cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, John and their family.

Heckle: to the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War this past Monday. I don’t think anything more needs to be said…

Applaud: to Al Gore. He was on Capitol Hill this past week speaking about global warming and laid a smackdown on Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) when Mr. Barton tried to de-rail Gore’s speaking points. (Lesson learned, you don’t fuc* with Al…)

Heckle: to something I posted about earlier this week. The percentage of Iraqis that have confidence in U.S.-led coalition troops is 18%. Six in 10 Iraqis say their lives are going badly, and nearly 90% say that they “live in fear that the violence ravaging their country will strike themselves and the people with whom they live.” (When I posted this earlier this week, a meandering, yet well intentioned, comment was left. While I applaud their commitment to the troops, their pathetic attempt to tie the Iraq war into terrorism was inconceivable at best…)

Applaud: to the House Armed Services Committee, for passing The Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007 by a 59-0 vote earlier this week. The bill aims at “making immediate improvements in the treatment…of wounded combat veterans.” (About. Effin. Time. Rather sad though that an Act even had to be created for something that you would have thought was common sense… best treatment for the brave men and women risking their lives for our freedom… go figure)

Heckle: to Bush, Cheney, Gonzalez, et al. The New York Times reported that in his first weeks on the job, defense secretary Robert Gates repeatedly argued that the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay had become so “tainted abroad” that any legal proceedings there would be viewed as illegitimate and that it should be shut down ASAP. The idea was quickly shot down by AG Alberto “Whadya mean George isn’t taking my calls anymore” Gonzales first. This initial rejection came despite the fact that Mr. Gates gained an ally in Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who joined Gates in urging the closing of the detention facility… those discussions were then thrown-out after Bush rejected the suggestions outright… (Wow… Mr. Bush went against Condi… things must have been frosty in the bedroom Oval Office that week…)

Applaud: to Chris Matthews (mark the day & time – it probably won’t happen again). He interviewed ex-Senator Tom DeLay (R-TX) and talked about passages in DeLay’s new book where he ripped into fellow (corrupt) Texan Dick Armey by describing Armey as “drunk with ambition.” When Matthews brought it up, DeLay denied writing that and said; “I wrote that he was ‘blinded by his ambition.’” Matthews then started to flip through the book and found the “drunk with ambition” quote and read it to DeLay… with DeLay STILL denying it. Finally, Chris handed the book to Tom and told him to read it himself. DeLay looked down, paused, and said; “I don't have my glasses.” (Once a tool, always a tool. Here’s a personal note to Mr. DeLay; Go away… no one cares…)

Heckle: to just not getting it. Tom DeLay still refuses to admit any impropriety in his dealings with Jack Abramoff. “So yes, I took a trip to Scotland. Yes, I played golf. Yes, it was privately funded… If I had the opportunity, I would do it again.” (What is it I said about DeLay above? Oh right; the man is a tool… always has been, always will be…)

Applaud: to biting the hand that feeds you because you know they’re wrong. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen has stated in a pronouncement that at best can be described as “a stinging, wide-ranging assessment,” found that the U.S. was “unprepared for the extensive nation-building required” after it invaded Iraq, and every time there was a chance to alter their efforts, they still “failed even to understand the problems it faced.” (Once again, the ego of this administration has hindered its ability to do something properly and has screwed the country with its collective pants on…color me surprised)

Heckle: to censorship. The censorship issue returned to Congress this week as the House oversight committee resumed its inquiry into reported “Bush administration interference in federal climate science.” The inquiry is expected to see testimony by one-time Bush crony turned Exxon lobbyist Philip Cooney. Heckle within a heckle to Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) who stated at the hearing that “free speech is not a simple thing and is subject to and directed by policy.” (I>Uh… no, it’s not; it’s the constitution you putz… and it’s not subject to and directed by policy. Can’t we have a law passed where candidates, before they get elected, have to take a Constitutional exam???)

Applaud: to the political headline(s) of the week: “A new study finds that one-third of D.C. residents are functionally illiterate. Bush would like to address this, but he's in that one-third.” Runner-up: “When historians sort out what happened to the U.S. in the 21st century, one of the mysteries will be why the press ganged up on Al Gore while giving his dimwitted Republican opponent a free pass”

Heckle: to “President” Bush (I know, I know; you’re shocked aren’t you?). This one is for his promise of a veto on the narrowly passed $124 billion supplemental war spending bill… all because it does something revolutionary… it sets a timeline that calls for the removal of troops from Iraq by August 31, 2008. (Tool.). An extra ‘heckle’ thrown-in for this quote from Bush; “Democrats in the House, in an act of political theater…” (Hello kettle, this is the pot… you’re black.)

Applaud: to sweet, sweet irony. The Department of Homeland Security's new HQ is going to be located in a former insane asylum… sometimes the jokes just write themselves…

Heckle: to stupidity as there is really no other way to describe Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ assertion that the U.S.could fight a third war.” (Glad that bomb shelter of mine is almost done…)

Applaud: to those in the know that say the EXACT opposite of what Gates said above. Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker told Congress last week that, essentially, the military is ill-prepared to fight a major ground conflict elsewhere, saying “We have a strategy right now that is outstripping the means to execute it.” (Well said Mr. Schoomaker, very well said. Let’s hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears…)

Heckle: to incompetency. According to a GAO report released earlier this week, the U.S. military’s “faulty war plans and insufficient troops in Iraq” after the 2003 invasion left thousands, possibly millions, of tons of conventional munitions unsecured, allowing them to fall into the the hands of insurgent groups, thus allowing widespread looting of weapons and explosives that have then been used to make the IED’s that cause “the bulk of U.S. casualties.” (That’s just sad… it’s almost as if they were thrown into a hastily-arranged war and weren’t given the proper amount of time to stratgize and plan… but then that would mean the White House was to blame… oh, wait…)

Applaud: to the fact that we got rid of John Bolton before he caused even more damage. This past week he admitted to deliberately blocking peace efforts in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict… if he was still our UN Ambassador and did that to North Korea or Iran, we’d all be glowing within 2 years…

Heckle: to the Pentagon for “quietly seeking congressional approval for significant new military sales to US allies in the Persian Gulf region” in order to offset Iranian influence. The sale of arms could make some people concerned that it brings “Washington closer to a confrontation with Iran.” (Yeah… selling arms… this should end well…)

Applaud: to Defense Secretary Robert Gates (he certainly is getting a lot of our attention this week, good and bad, isn’t he?). Every evening Mr. Gates writes letters of condolence to families of soldiers killed in Iraq, saying; “I feel a personal responsibility for each one of these men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.” (Beautifully put Mr. Gates… and one thousand times more than your predecessor EVER did… please keep it up)

Heckle: to breaking the law and ignoring the Constitution, The Justice Department’s Inspector General told the House earlier this week that “the FBI may have violated the law or government policies as many as 3,000 times since 2003” as agents ‘covertly’ collected telephone, bank and credit card records of “U.S. citizens and foreign nationals residing here.”

Heckle: to Rep. Jean “Shrill as a Banshee” Schmidt, who said earlier this week that the Walter Reed Hospital scandal was “overblown” by, naturally, the media. An applaud within a heckle to Schmidt's congressional district colleague, and fellow republican, Rep. Steve Chabot. When told of Schmidt’s comments, he said that it is wrong to suggest that the media or anyone else has “overblown” the problems at Walter Reed. (Maybe she’s trying to replace Katherine Harris as the certifiable loon on the republican side of the aisle… that can be the only explanation, right?)

New feature in The Weekly Rewind: the Conservative Wing-nut Tool of the Week. This week’s inaugural winner is conservative columnist Ruben Navarrette. He wrote this week that the only people who want Gonzales gone are racists on both sides of the aisle and that Gonzales was being “whacked like a piñata.” (Speaking as a Hispanic, that’s bullshit… speaking as a Liberal, that’s an inane argument. The people who want Gonzales gone are the ones who have seen through the smoke and mirrors of AttorneyGate. I’ll ignore the hypocrisy of using the piñata metaphor for now. All together now; What. A. Tool.)

And finally…

The week that was in the 2008 presidential race. On the Left, Gore was on Capitol Hill this week (I know he’s not running, but I like playing with the minds of those who think he will)… Clinton picked-up an endorsement from former candidate Tom Vilsack… Edwards is still running, despite some incredibly bad news received this past week (see top)… Obama made-up some ground without him actually doing anything, thanks to YouTube… and Kucinich and Gravel haven’t done a damn thing.

On the right, McCain apparently ditches pandering for flip-flopping as he backs-up his thoughts on immigration Tancredo's presidential campaign (who? what?) has enlisted Republican strategist Bay Buchanan… Romney is talking immigration in Iowa… Giuliani, like McCain, is now working on his flip-flopping as he dramatically changes his gun views as he works to be more like ‘log-cabin republicans.’

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

Talk about a long time coming...

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have introduced the Fair Elections Now Act, essentially a bi-partisan bill that would bring voluntary public financing to Senate elections with a companion bill expected to be introduced in the House soon by Rep. John Tierney (D-MA).

The issue is relatively easy to understand… a hundred $20 donors can be made insignificant by one maximum contribution of $2,300, a fact that gains even more traction when you hear that a scant few Americans give campaign contributions of $200 or more… meaning that candidates then spend all their time running down the big money and therefore ignore the little people.

The Fair Elections Now Act would create a voluntary public financing system for candidates running for a seat in the U.S. Senate with three flowing parts;

‘Seed Money’, which refers to the amount that candidates can raise (up to $100 per individual/PAC up to a set limit) so they can get their campaign off the ground. If they do that, that leads to…

‘Gather Qualifying Contributions. In order to qualify for public financing, a Senate candidate would have to demonstrate his/her seriousness and base of support by obtaining a set number of $5 contributions from citizens across the state (and it can’t be anymore than $5). Once they get enough, (based on state size), they can then receive…

‘The Benefits’: For agreeing not to accept private funding, a candidate instead receives a large sum of money to run his/her primary campaign, and if he/she is successful, they will also receive a larger sum for the general election. Further enhancing this stage is the fact that the sum is based on the state’s size, if the candidate is facing an opponent that is receiving private money or independent expenditures, and media costs – thus allowing for the possibility that the funding can be as much as tripled to guarantee a level playing field. Also included in the funding formula is a possible adjustment for media markets that would, possibly, allow candidates to receive broadcast vouchers discounting the cost of ads run near the end of primary and general election campaigns.

Kemp, what are the benefits of this system?

I’m glad you asked. Primarily, it boosts grassroots organizing at early stages, and then, with the fundraising load taken off their backs, it allows the candidates to spend time with the electorate… more so than they do now. Furthermore, once elected, the politicians will no longer have to rely on large donor support to win re-elections but instead on the average citizen, thus dramatically altering the dynamics on a wide range of policy issues.

Good thing… right? I think so…

If you want to help ‘level the playing field’ a bit, there are things you can do…

1. Show your support for Clean Elections by becoming a citizen co-sponsor by clicking on the link.

2. Make a donation today to support to bring Fair Elections to the U.S. Senate.

And finally…

3. Tell your friends and family to support Fair Elections today.

Stay tuned… this could get interesting…

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wrong again Dubya...

- Updated Below-

During this whole attorney-canning fiasco both “President” Bush and Karl “President” Rove argued that the administration’s U.S. attorney purge was a “normal” and “ordinary” process that was also carried out not only by President Clinton, but also by President Reagan.

While a plethora of Liberal blogs (like Think Progress) have written that that wasn’t true, it was falling on the deaf ears of conservative pundits who used it as their rallying cry…

Well, they can stop the rallying and start the crying as the fat lady has sung. The Congressional Research Service, CRS, has nailed that possibility shut when they released a report earlier this week that examined the tenure of all U.S. Attorneys that were confirmed by the Senate between the years 1981 and 2006 (from Reagan, Bush #1, Clinton and Bush #2 – how fitting –) in order to determine how many had served and how many of them had been forced to resign for reasons other than an administration change.

The answer is, shall we say, enlightening…

Of the 468 attorney confirmations made by the Senate over that 25-year period, a total of 10 left office involuntarily (prior to the firings that took place in December of course) for reasons other than a change in administration… you read that right; ten. Ten out of 468… why, that’s less than 2%…

‘It was done by every President before me’ Dubya implies… to that I say; “Wronggggggg! That’s wronnngggg!”

Furthermore, in almost every case there were issues of actual personal or professional conduct that seemed to be the issue prompting the axing… (there’s a concept for ya) and was not a retaliation for not playing ball or going against the grain of the party in charge.

This situation perfectly illustrates not only how much this administration lies, but also the fact that the administration pushed out close to as many U.S. Attorneys in December alone that had been let go total over the past 25 years…

Should this action come as a surprise from this administration?
Absolutely not…

Will it actually have any effect on the way this administration operates?


Will it allow the Democratically-controlled House and Senate to show Bush that he can no longer unilaterally operate anymore?

Most likely…

Will it make Bush actually change his ways?Abso-fuckin-lutely not… nothing will.

But it should give us some interesting and entertaining viewing for the next few weeks… so stay tuned…

UPDATE: The Bush(whacked) Administration is working overtime to make AttorneyGate disappear… but instead they’re making it look more and more like Watergate.

Most of us remember the 18-minute gap in the Watergate tapes? Well, now it seems that Bush has his own gap of 18… but his version is 18 days.

Researchers have discovered an 18-day gap in the 3,000 documents on the U.S. Attorney purge released this week by the Justice Department, with the gap extending from mid-November to early December, which was a “critical period as the White House and Justice Department reviewed, then approved, which U.S. attorneys would be fired…” all while developing a political and communications strategy that would counter any possible fallout from the firings.

One of the last emails before the gap is from AG Alberto Gonzales’ ex-COS Kyle Sampson to then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers, that asked, “Who will determine whether this requires the president’s attention?”

CNN’s Ed Henry noted that to White House spokesman Tony Snow, and Snow once again refused to explain the gap and told reporters, “I’ve been led to believe that there’s a good response for it,” before adding that “President” Bush has “no recollection of this ever being raised with him.”

Spin away boys… spin away… the more you do, the worse it will all be when the other shoe drops

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

One more thought...

about the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war, with a tip of the hat to Bill at Daily Kos for these tasty tidbits from various conservative pundits weeks after the war began…

“It's amazing that more than two weeks into the liberation of Iraq---as residents in Basra are cheering British forces and Americans occupy Baghdad's airport and Saddam Hussein's main presidential palace---the antiwar crowd is still spinning a doomsday scenario. But it's getting harder and harder to take seriously the claim that freeing Iraq will make it harder to win the war on terrorism. [...] Who said war never solved anything?” ---Brendan Miniter, Assistant Editor, Wall St. Journal's Opinion, 4/8/03

“There's a certain amount of pop psychology in America that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular.” ---Bill Kristol, 4/1/03

TED KOPPEL: “[Y]ou’re not suggesting that the rebuilding of Iraq is going to be done for $1.7 billion?”
ANDREW NATSIOS [Agency for International Development]: “Well, in terms of the American taxpayer's contribution, I do. This is it for the US.” ---Nightline, 4/23/03

“[Liberals] can't deny that President Bush has won his two wars, and won them resoundingly.” ---Paul Mirengoff, Powerline, 4/26/03

“Each morning, we sat reading our copy of The New York Times, The Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times and ruminated on their prophecies of doom and quagmire. Then we looked up to see, on television, correspondents actually embedded with our troops reporting quick advances, one-sided firefights, melting opposition and, finally, welcoming crowds.” ---Dick Morris, 4/15/03

“The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics' complaints.” ---Tony Snow, Fox News, 4/27/03

Uh... sure…

I can't stop thinking that all that narrow-mindedness got us real far... didn't it?? I mean, what's next... trying to spin that the war in Iraq is on the right track?

Oh, wait…

Monday, March 19, 2007

Poll Position: Iraq

It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone with a brain that, for the obvious reasons, they don’t conduct many opinion polls in Iraq…

But seeing as how today is the four year anniversary of the war, ABC News and a handful of other media outlets decided to do one, polling 2,200 Iraqis.

The results, not at all surprisingly, are not good


  • In November 2005, the number of Iraqis who say their own life was going well was 71%… that number has dipped dropped plunged to 39%.
  • About three-fourths of Iraqis report feelings of anger, depression and difficulty concentrating.
  • More than 50% of Iraqis polled have curtailed activities like going out of their homes, going to markets or other crowded places and traveling through police checkpoints.
  • Only 18% have confidence in U.S. and coalition troops.
  • 86% are concerned that someone in their household will be a victim of violence.
  • 51% of those polled say that violence against U.S. forces is acceptable, a significant jump from the 17% who felt that way in 2004.
  • In 2005, 63% said they felt very safe in their neighborhoods, that number is now only 26%.

To see the complete polling results in a PDF file, CLICK HERE.

With sobering statistics coming in daily about the number of dead and wounded, these results are a sad reflection on just how bad things are over there.

And yet, despite these numbers, the Bush(whacked) Administration is in full spin mode (and acting very snippy) about the war on its anniversary.

We had Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice hitting the airwaves calling for Americans “to be patient” and saying that the war in Iraq is “worth the sacrifice.”

We have “President” Bush saying that there’s been “good progress” over there and that U.S. security will suffer if we pull out too soon (Is there really anyone left out there who still thinks Iraq has anything to do with national security in this country?)

I’m sure there are things to say about this (read an Iraqi’s view of the war via WaPo HERE), and I could certainly offer my opionion like I always do…

But in this situation, I think the numbers profoundly speak for themselves…

UPDATE: Hindsight is always 20/20, but this conversation with Kadhim al-Jubouri, an Iraqi weightlifting champion who helped U.S. forces tear down the statue of Saddam Hussein, is most revealing, especially when he says: "I really regret bringing down the statue. The Americans are worse than the dictatorship. Every day is worse than the previous day."

I don't know about you, but reading that "Americans are worse than the dictatorship" really, really hurts... and I am not being a smart-ass... it hurts...

Way to go Mr. Bush...

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

It’s (finally!) the end to a very busy week. Hopefully next week will slow-down a bit. Anyhow, even though we weren’t able to post much this week, we still have this weeks Weekly Rewind, enjoy:

Applaud: to the American public. An overwhelming number of polled Americans, 67% to be precise, don’t want “President” Bush to pardon Scooter Libby. 67… as opposed to the 21% who are absolute morons believe he should (It’s things like this that give me some hope for the common sense of America coming back… )

Heckle: to CNN’s Glenn Beck. Speaking of Hillary Clinton (D-NY), the conservative schmuck commentator said that she is the; “stereotypical bitch”… (People in glass houses Glenn… people in glass houses)

Applaud: to the American public… again… 85% of Americans think that global warming is an important or critical threat and that something needs to be done sooner rather than later, which falls in line with a new poll that finds widespread agreement in 17 countries across the world that say climate change is a pressing problem… now, if only we could get conservatives to see the damn writing on the wall, maybe something could actually get done…

Heckle: to being involved more than they’re letting on. Emails have been leaked that point towards Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales being involved in discussions of a radical shake-up of U.S. Attorneys around the country… this comes amid a growing call for Gonzales’ resignation, Gonzales’ COS, Kyle Sampson, resigning earlier this week… and now, one of the purged attorneys, John McKay, believes a a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the entire matter… (this whole thing is funny to me, from the gop trying to claim Clinton did it when he clearly did not, members of the gop asking for the AG to resign, the use of “hazy memories” coming from the White House, the Justice Department saying they would have kept the attorneys on staff… it’s pathetic. But like the Libby trial, it’s a perfect example of the way this administration works. January 20, 2009 can NOT come fast enough…)

Applaud: to republican number 1… no, wait… number 2… no, wait… number 3. Three republicans, Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) & Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), have now joined the chorus of Democrats calling for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales… it’s only a matter of time…

Heckle: to the Senate rejection of a Democratic-led resolution aimed at withdrawing most American combat troops from Iraq in 2008 even though a similar measure advanced in the House. An applaud within a heckle to the Senate Democratic leaders who have vowed to keep challenging “President” Bush’s strategy (or lack thereof) in Iraq. (This is insane… this wasn’t going to ‘cut and run’ as the gop so inanely puts it… this was a gradual withdrawal of troops over time… and now even that’s been destroyed. What’s it gonna take for these people to see that Iraq is unwinable??

Applaud: to Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Ben Nelson (D-NE). They’re drafting a joint resolution on Iraq that would consider a “phased redeployment of U.S. troops. The resolution is contingent on the White House proving that the current escalation strategy has worked… and they’re giving them until September to prove it… (Interesting strategy… this could very well be the only thing that works with the cockiness that this administration has shown throughout its time in office. The only problem though, is I have to believe that this resolution will become as toothless and useless as every other resolution that’s been designed to help the U.S. eventually get out of Iraq… and for that I blame not only republicans, but the Blue Dogs, who seem to have it in their mind that the War in Iraq is a good thing… stay tuned for this one…)

Heckle: to idiotic veto threats with inane reasoning over a bill that is, quite frankly, too damn important to be held up . “President” Bush is threatening to veto a bill that would implement “many of the remaining reforms suggested by the Sept. 11 commission.” Why the veto threat? Because of a provision that would “expand the labor rights of 45,000 airport screeners.” Ignoring the fact that the Senate voted 60-38 to approve legislation that saw ten republicans cross party lines, Bush’s threaten of a veto is not only idiotic, but sophomoric and troubling, certainly more troubling than presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) skipping the vote so he could fundraise in California, but troubling all the same. This bill would make the country safer… isn’t that what republicans are supposed to be better at than Democrats???

Applaud: to allowing the public to see what is going on… with broad bipartisan support, the House passed three bills that are going to “roll back administration efforts to shield its workings” from the American public as the measures will “streamline access to records in presidential libraries, expand safeguards for government whistle-blowers, and strengthen the Freedom of Information Act,” (The going-ons in the federal government are our business and we should be allowed to see what’s going on… about time someone noticed that this administration was doing its hardest to shield itself…)

Heckle: to the government flipping-off the city of New Orleansagain. The Army Corps of Engineers, who were hurrying to meet Bush’s promise to protect New Orleans by the start of the 2006 hurricane season, “installed defective flood-control pumpslast year even though they were warned by one of their own experts who said the “equipment would fail during a storm.” (I don’t even know where to begin…)

Applaud: to someone hopefully clearing things up a little. Outed CIA agent Valerie Plame is on Capitol Hill today giving her side of the leak story… all I’ll say is; let the chips fall where they may, but when she says and does things like accusing the White House and State Department of "carelessly and recklessly" destroying her cover for political purpose… people are gonna listen…

Heckle: to Haliburton moving their base of operations to Dubai. Senate Commerce Committee member Byron Dorgan (D-ND) asked earlier this week; “I want to know, is Halliburton trying to run away from bad publicity on their contracts? Are they trying to run away from the obligation to pay U.S. taxes? Or are they trying to set up a corporate presence in Dubai so that they can avoid the restrictions that currently exist on doing business with prohibited countries like Iran?” (Uh… let’s see…I think I can succinctly answer this question; yes)

Applaud: to doing things by the letter of the law. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was asked to appear on Capitol Hill to give testimony about the Plame-outing, but he said he did “not believe it would be appropriate for me to offer opinions…about the ultimate responsibility of senior White House officials for the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s identity.” (very classy Fitz, very classy indeed. Question; could anyone have seen Ken Starr doing that? I didn’t think so…)

Heckle: to Fox “News”. Just on general principles alone…

Applaud: to picking up the slack for a temporarily sidelined colleague. A handful of Democratic senators have been holding fundraisers for Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) as he convalesces from a December brain hemorrhage.

Heckle: to the White House for just not getting it… and for being dumb enough to NOT cover their tracks regarding PlameGate. The Director of the Office of Security at the White House, Dr. James Knodell, told a Capitol Hill committee that the White House never ordered a probe, report, or imposed sanctions as a result of the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. (Talk about ego… Every politician knows to cover their tracks if they do something wrong– unless you’re so goddamned smug and egotistical that you don’t think you’ll ever get caught. All I can think of to say is this warning; karma’s a bitch boys, you better watch out)

And finally… what have the 2008 Presidential nominees been up to this week? Clinton has found a new strategy regarding Iraq, including keeping some troops stationed there… Richardson is pondering legalizing medicinal marijuana… Edwards is calling for the creation of a new cabinet position aimed at fighting poverty… Obama is vowing to not get personal in the campaign On the gop side, McCain has stuck his foot in his mouth again, but quickly apologized… Romney has publicly condemned the comments about homosexuals made by JCOS Chairman Pace, but remained silent when Ann Coulter called Edwards a “faggot”, interesting isn’t it… Brownback agreed with Pace…Giuliani’s lobbying firm has ties with Hugo Chavez

Take ‘em as you will...

Been busy...

This week has been crazy at work and home, but things should settle down next week and the posts will be popping up a little more regularly...

Don't fret, this week's Rewind is being worked on and will be seen later this evening...

Thanks for your patience...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday

Short collection of random thoughts today… must be my lack of coffee, which I have given-up for Lent… which leads me to ask; ‘What the hell was I thinking’???

Anyway… enjoy some random political thoughts…

Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics. According to a CNN poll, 9% of Americans believe things are going well in Iraq with 46% thinking that the United States will win. (First of all, who the HELL are these 9% that think things are going well?? I would really like to meet them so I could either ask them what the hell is wrong with them or, at the least, smack them over the head with a 2 X 4 to slap some sense into them…)

Running Mates. Dick Cheney’s favorability rating is 18%… as Ana Marie Cox, the original Wonkette, said: “If he had feelings, I’m sure they’d be hurt by this.” Tom DeFrank of the NY Daily News puts an interesting spin on the story when he wrote that “Cheney may be an overall net political minus, but he’s a huge asset where it counts most for Bush: the Republican base, which adores Cheney. Bush’s approval numbers are at 30%, roughly the same size as his base. If Cheney left, this weakened President couldn’t absorb the backlash. They’re all he has left.” (Hmmmmmm…verrrrryyyy interesting…)

War Crimes. According to a new CBS/NY Times poll, 78% of Americans don’t think that the Bush(whacked) Administration has “done enough to care for [Iraq war] veterans,”, with a majority of polled republicans “agreeing with all Americans overall on this issue.” (And this should come as a surprise….why?)

Posse Comitatus. The Pentagon has (finally!) started on plans on a “fallback strategy for Iraq” that includes a gradual withdrawal of forces with a renewed emphasis on training Iraqi fighters… all this just in case the President’s escalation strategy fails (which I believe is a pretty safe bet) Military experts say the new strategy is in line with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and partially based on the “U.S. experience in El Salvador” in the 1980s… cuz that went oh, so well…

The Fall’s Gonna Kill You. Let’s see… AG Alberto Gonzales’ chief of staff Kyle Sampson resigns as he was involved in generating the list of prosecutors that got the axe… Gonzales admits mistakes but insists he will not resignunless Dubya decides otherwise… all the while ignoring calls for his resignation or dismissal… the White House is trying to spin the story to break their way… (Is it just me, or does this sound like it was written by a group of bad soap opera writers??)

The War At Home. A new federal rule aimed at keeping illegal immigrants from receiving Medicaid has instead prevented thousands of US citizens getting Medicaid because they’ve had difficulty providing birth certificates or other documents that would prove their citizenship… (Too bad there wasn’t a group of people who could have said that that would happen ’if this bill was passed… oh, wait… there was. The key to stopping illegal immigration is not to cut off funding of certain things because, as history has told us many, many, many times… it NEVER works. Mo. Rons.)

Gone Quiet. Salon is reporting that the US military is “deploying troops with serious injuries” and other medical problems (all because of Bush’s escalation plan). Some of the GIs are medically unfit for battle according to their doctors, and some are too injured to even wear their body armor… reading all this, and yet it’s the Democrat’s that are always accused of not caring about or respecting our military… to that I say; give me a fucking break. This is more proof of how little the Bush(whacked) Administration cares about our military… and yet no one is reporting about it… I wonder why??

Internal Displacement. How about that… a glimmer of hope from within the White House. It seems some internal White House staffers are calling on President Bush to uphold his pledge to “have the highest of high standards” when it comes to granting pardons. One former White House staffer told Newsweek, “What you saw was a vice president’s office that was out of control.”

Privateers. We all know that Halliburton is moving their base of operations from the U.S. to Dubai, and while many people have questions, Senate Commerce Committee member Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is actually asking them. “I want to know, is Halliburton trying to run away from bad publicity on their contracts? Are they trying to run away from the obligation to pay U.S. taxes? Or are they trying to set up a corporate presence in Dubai so that they can avoid the restrictions that currently exist on doing business with prohibited countries like Iran?” (I think there is only one possible answer; all of the above Something needs to be done in regards to this latest move by a company that has screwed the country with its pants on many times… but, with Cheney still being in bed with the company – nothing will… and that’s just sad…)

All I have, take ‘em as you will…

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Friday… Weekly Rewind time… enjoy:

Applaud: to finally getting together a united front and coming up with a plan for Iraq Naturally, “President” Bush is swearing a veto... putz…

Heckle: to there not being a back-up plan in Iraq. According to a group of governors who met last week with Joint Chiefs chairman Peter Pace. Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) recalled Pace telling the group; “Plan B was to make Plan A work,” (Come on now, there’s always a “Plan B”, even in bad movies there’s a Plan B… you wanna tell me that this idiotic administration doesn’t have a Plan B??? Somehow though, I am not surprised…)

Applaud: to the Senate Judiciary Committee for voting to authorize subpoenas for Justice officials that are involved in the ever-growing case of purging U.S. Attorneys. During the last few days, this story has gone round the bend. First, in a USA Today op-ed, Attorney General Gonzales called the scandalan overblown personnel matter,” but the excuses given by the Justice Dept. for the firings were incredibly strained so people started looking deeper into the firings, then, one after another of the purged prosecutors came forward with information that they were forced out, with one example being Thomas DiBiagio, who said earlier this week that he was “forced out in early 2005 because of political pressure stemming from public corruption investigations involving associates” of Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R-MD). Oh… and now, under some intense scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzalez has changed his mind about the process of how federal attorney’s can be replaced…

Heckle: to the shabby way our disabled veterans are being treated. According to an article in the Honolulu Advertiser, more than a quarter of military veterans with a disability case before the Department of Veterans Affairs are waiting six months or longer for a decision – thus putting a huge financial burden on them and their families. The story continues to report that as of March 3, the Department had close to 401,000 pending cases – and approximately 115,000 have been “languishing for six months or more.” (This is uncalled for in every damn sense of the word. They’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and they can’t even get what they deserve… something needs to be done, and if you want to help – go to and see how you can help…)

Applaud: to going against the grain of your party and stepping up for what is right. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is saying that he will support the plan proposed by Democrats earlier this week that will lay-out a specific timeline to withdraw U.S. troops, praising the benchmarks in the plan and the inclusion of an actual date to begin withdrawing US troops, saying; “Conceptually I like what’s been proposed…I think this is on the right track.” (Excellent, I always like seeing a republican use their own mind and make a decision that is the right thing to do.. and keep an eye on some other republican reps as a new poll indicated that a good portion of Americans in conservative-leaning – and competitive in 2008 – House districts also approve of setting a date to withdraw troops from Iraq… it’s things like this that give me hope…)

Heckle: to Newt Gingrich. Usually, I could just say heckle to Newt Gingrich and be done with it… but this week we actually have something to heckle him about. Turns out that while he was leading the impeachment of President Clinton for getting his cigar smoked, he was having an affair… (Uh… “Hello kettle, this is the pot – you’re black.”). Then, in the interview where he acknowledged this, he had the audacity to say that he shouldn’t be considered a hypocrite… (No problem there Newt, I don’t think anyone considers you a hypocrite, I think they consider you something far, far worse… Mo. Ron.)

Applaud: to even more going against the grain of your party and stepping up for what is right. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) gave some “scathing criticism” of Attorney General Alberto “Torture is my Life” Gonzales, saying; One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later…” (I’m gonna say ‘ouch’ for Al there… and a hearty ‘job well done’ for Sen. Specter, thanks Senator…)

Heckle: to speaking out of one’s ass… On the same day that Iraq saw suicide bombers and gunmen kill at least 130 people in one of the deadliest days of the four-year war, Bush had the balls to say; “It’s too early to judge the success of this operation, yet even at this early hour, there are some encouraging signs.” (Is it possible that his handlers aren’t telling him what is actually happening in Iraq? How else can you explain a President being this out of touch? It boggles the mind…)

Applaud: to 30%… which is “President” Bush’s job approval in the latest Zogby poll. Once again, he’s hit the “all-time low-water mark” of his presidency… and it doesn’t look to get any better any time soon… (How exactly does one write a stifled laugh???)

Heckle: to government-sponsored censorship. Internal memos from the Bush(whacked) Administration’s Federal Fish and Wildlife Service suggest that government biologists and other employees traveling in countries around the Arctic not discuss climate change, polar bears or sea ice “if they are not designated to do so.” (Uh guys… I think the cat is out of the bag on this whole global warming thing… give it up…)

Applaud: to a cold front in Latin America. “President” Bush better pack a warm coat as he will be getting a very chilly reception this weekend in South America. He’s starting a weeklong tour of Latin America and yesterday police clashed with protesters in Brazil and across the region. What’s even better is that a group of Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to “eliminate bad spirits” after his visit… (Ya know, sometimes the snark just writes itself…)

Heckle: to Ann Coulter… do I really need to give a reason?

Applaud: to a jury finding I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby guilty. Do I really need to expound any more on this subject? I didn’t think so…

Heckle: to polling that would seem to back-up what I’ve been saying about how much Bush and his cronies have eroded America’s reputation and clout. 51% of people in the world believe the U.S. has a “mainly negative” influence in the world… we ranked third behind Israel and Iran, and followed, in fifth place, by North Korea… I don’t think anything more needs to be said…

Applaud? Heckle? You decide:

Heckle: to this disturbing and startling fact and trend. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonpartisan organization, middle-class Americans are increasingly unable to afford health insurance with more than 1/3 of the uninsured, 17 million of nearly 47 million, have family incomes of $40,000 or more while more than two-thirds of the uninsured are in households with at least one full-time worker. (But the economy is strong…)

Applaud: to former Presidents who knew how to do the job… one more so than the other… The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is going to present its highest honor, the Frederick D. Patterson Award, to former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton for their philanthropic efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Way to go guys… too bad our current President didn’t take lessons from you two… and you have no idea how much it pains me to say that about Bush, Sr… I think I just lost some Liberal-points on that…

Heckle: to Fox News chief Roger Ailes for this comment: “… and it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?’” (Fox “News” More of a tool than “President” Bush… and that’s saying a LOT)

Applaud: Hmmmmmmmm, Cheney stepping down next week ?

And finally… a rundown of what happened this past week to some of the 2008 Presidential race imposters candidates… Kucinich must repay the government $135,518 in public matching funds from his ’04 race … Edwards kept a pretty low profile… Richardson did the same... Clinton put a call out for a G.I. Bill of Rights… Obama paid some really old parking tickets and all the Dem hopefuls opened their wallets to South Carolina’s state Democratic party in order to raise money for their, now earlier, primary in January 2008. And on the right side of the country; Hagel could join the race this Monday…or not… McCain praised potential rival Hagel and current-rival Giuliani… Giuliani’s heroic image could be outed by The International Association of Fire Fighters union, but he still leads his opponents in many polls… Huckabee could be the dark horse of the group… and is Gingrich a hypocrite?

Take ‘em as you will…

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pardon me?

Two days have passed since Scooter Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice…

Two days… and already we’re starting to hear the peanut gallery that is the U.S. right-wing media calling for Bush to pardon him.

(And my favorite reaction to the Libby verdict is this quote from uber-political strategist David Gergen who said; “

This is an administration that has been mostly free of scandal over the last six years and now they have the taint that they cannot erase,”
… uh, sure… I don’t know what Mr. Gergen is smoking, but whatever it is, I’d like some please… … but I’m getting off-topic)

National Review… The Weekly Standard… Wall Street Journal… and conservative blogs from across the country… all of them are calling for Bush to pardon VP Dick Cheney’s patsy fall-guy former aide.

First, let me explain what exactly a pardon is… well, not me really, but the good folks at… according to them, a pardon is: act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed...A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance.

Everyone got that? Goo— wait a minute…

‘…a crime he has committed’… ‘a crime’… ‘he has’… ‘committed’…

Now that sounds like a confession to me…wouldn’t accepting a pardon essentially mean that Libby is admitting that he did lie and that he did obstruct justice???

And while we’re on the semantics of what a pardon is and what it signifies, how about we look into the rules on granting pardons.

The Rules Governing Petitions For Executive Clemency, brought to us by the good folks at the U.S. Departent of Justice, are:

No petition for pardon should be filed until the expiration of a waiting period of at least five years after the date of the release of the petitioner from confinement or, in case no prison sentence was imposed, until the expiration of a period of at least five years after the date of the conviction of the petitioner. Generally, no petition should be submitted by a person who is on probation, parole, or supervised release.

So it seems there are some legal parameters and rules that have to be followed in order for someone to get executive clemancy,and that Libby would have to wait until 2012 to be eligible for a pardon… but… seeing as how this is the White House – the BUSH White House that is – I’m sure they’ll ignore all those parameters and make it work for them anyway they have to…

But they should keep in mind that this thing ain’t over yet… Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) will hold hearings investigating the outing of Valerie Plame… and has already got a veritable who’s who of people coming to testifying, including Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and the woman herself; Ms. Valerie Plame.

As always, stay tuned…