Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

It’s that time again… no pomp… no circumstance… no ado, just…

The.

Weekly.

Rewind.

Applaud: to the Senate. They approved a $124 billion Iraq war spending bill earlier this week that would force troop withdrawals to begin as early as July 1. While this forces a showdown with the White House, it does show some strength and balls for the Democrats… keep it up.

Heckle: to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. This past week she said that she will not comply with a subponae since she has “already answered the questions she has been subpoenaed to answer.” She added; “I am more than happy to answer them again in a letter.” (This is how this administration works… they don’t dare speak under oath because they know they’re lying and that they will be caught in the lie. And besides, I’m no attorney, but doesn’t one have to comply with a subponea??)

Applaud: to the lowest numbers of his presidency. “President” Bush’s job approval rating, according to a Harris survey, is at 28% and is approaching Nixonian levels. As we mentioned earlier this week, sometimes the snark just writes itself…

Heckle: to WaPo columnist David Broder baseless claim that there’s a “long list of senators of both parties” who are ready for Sen. Harry Reid (D-XX) to step down as majority leaderdue to his views on Iraq. (Apparently Mr. Broder doesn’t read his own paper let alone any other paper as Mr. Reid’s sentiments of the war are shared by a plurality of Americans. What is it I say about people like Broder? Oh right; Mo. Ron.)

Applaud: to the 50 members of Senator Harry Reid’s caucus, who wrote a letter to the publisher of WaPo fr that praises him for his “extraordinary leadership” and directlty contradicts the baffoonish act described above.

Heckle: to news that economic growth is at a four-year low and is raising concerns that troubles in the housing market are gonna spread and throw the country into a recession before the year is out. (Naturally, the Bush(whacked) Administration doesn’t see anything wrong and maintains the economy is strong… and that pigs will dance on pinheads and angels will fly… wait…)

Applaud: to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)… I know, I know, but hear me out. Earlier this week, Sen. Brownback stated that “the Bush administration and Republicans are not doing enough politically in Iraq” and that while they have a strategy (Which I disagree with – I don’t think they do) it’s “dominated by military and Maliki.” (I love it when a republican says something against this administration’s doctrine… no matter how much of a wingnutjob they are…)

Heckle: to Scott Bloch, the chief of the Office of Special Counsel. While I applauded his actions earlier this week (though now, after more reading about it, I’m not so sure his investigation will do a damn thing), it was learned this past week that he himself is “under investigation” by the inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management because of accusations that he politicized his agency and is using this new investigation into Karl Rove to “divert attention from his own problems.” (This shouldn’t surprise me, since it is a member of Bush’s administration – but it does. I had high hopes for an investigation into Rove, but now it all looks like a sham… just like the rest of Bush’s presidency.)

Applaud: to a handful of retired generals that endorsed Congress’ Iraq withdrawal legislation earlier this week. Maj. Gen. John Batiste called it “important legislation [that] sets a new direction in Iraq,” while Lt. Gen. William Odom said it will “re-orient US strategy to achieve regional stability, and win help from many other countries - the only way peace will eventually be achieved.” (Once again, members, or former members, of the military are expressing their distrust of this administration... keep it going everyone…)

Heckle: to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who returned to Capitol Hill earlier his week and… meh, they’re still not buying it. Time to go bye-bye Alberto…

Applaud: to saying it like it is. Britain’s top counterterrorism officer, Peter Clarke, stated that Al Qaeda and its supporters have established “an inexorable trend towards more ambitious and more destructive attack planning… (and) … the only sensible assumption is that we shall be attacked again.” (Rather than spin the truth and make it a political issue like we do over here – if the Dems get elected we’ll be attacked again – Clarke is speaking the truth and ignoring the politics. Wish someone over on this side of the pond would follow suit…)

Heckle: to putting responsibility in the wrong hands. An expose by the New York Times revealed how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA for you acronym-lovers out there) has killed dozens of existing and proposed regulations and delayed adopting others under “President” Bush and has also placed safety “in the hands of industry.” Essentially meaning that the companies are now monitoring themselves when it comes to worker safety… (Wow! That sounds like a good idea that doesn’t have any negative repurcussions, doesn’t it? –Yes, that was sarcasm. This is just another example of how little this administration cares about the worker and how much they care about companies…)

Applaud: to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). He’s widening the scope of his investigation into potentially illegal partisan activities and has requested 27 federal departments to turn over information related to White House briefings about elections or political candidates. (And the blitz just keeps on coming. Don’t let up guys…)

Heckle: to Rudy Giuliani. In a turn of events that is not at all surprising and is a stark “departure from his previously stated position on civil unions” he came out this past week “in opposition” to the civil union law recently passed in New Hampshire… (Let the flip-flopping begin in five, four, three, two…)

Applaud: to U.S. Attorney Carol Lam for being named outstanding attorney of the year by the San Diego County Bar Association… good job Ms. Lam… oh, did I mention that she was one of the eight former U.S. attorneys across the country who were dismissed because of “poor performance.” Give me a break, with his ever-dropping approval numbers “President” Bush would kill to have this kind of “poor performance.”

Heckle: to the Pentagon for spinning people’s lives to either save face or create a hero. This past week, former Army private Jessica Lynch accused the Pentagon of creating something out of nothing when they made her rescue look like something from a Hollywood movie. At the same time they were taken to task by the brother and mother of former NFL star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman for their mis-handling of his friendly-fire death…. Sad… and pathetic the Pentagon’s handling was.

Half-Hearted Applaud: to the former director of the CIA George Tenet. He has a new book out that lays-into Vice President Dick “Dick” Cheney as well as other Bush(whacked) administration officials. In the book, he says they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a “serious debate" about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States. (Why is this a half-hearted applaud? Four words; too little, too late. If Tenet had said something about this lack of debate before the war started instead of falling in line with all the other BushCronies, think of how many lives could have been saved. Instead, he waits until he can seemingly make money off of it in a book. You, Mr. Tenet, are both sad and pathetic.)

Applaud: to the Democratic candidates for president. All of them, yes – ALL of them, participated in the first of a series of televised debates Thursday night. Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Obama, & Richardson were all on their best behavior as they tried to assail themselves to the American people. There were no miscues, no screw-ups and no clear winner. Let’s hope they can all keep things this civil as the campaign wears on…

This week’s Wingnut Tool of the Week is… Rudy Giuliani. During a campaign stop at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire this past week, Giuliani suggested (he didn’t expressly say it – but it was very much implied) that if the Democrats get into the White House there will be another terrorist attack and that; “If any Republican is elected president — and I think obviously I would be the best at this — we will remain on offense and will anticipate what [the terrorists] will do and try to stop them before they do it.” Wow, nothing like politicizing 9/11 for your own gain… I think it might be possible that he might mention 9/11 more often than Bush, and because of the inanity and narrow-mindedness of this comment, he’s our; Tool of the Week.

The 2008 Presidential Campaign Weekly Rewind. Before we begin with that, next week, keep an eye out for a new feature here at TBWA. With the 2008 already heating up and one debate already out of the way, we’ve decided to break-off the Presidential Campaign Rewind unto it’s own post… keep a look out…

First, the Democrats. Richardson gave AG Gonzales a chance to defend himself but he “didn’t do well”… Clinton didn’t quite pick up an endorsement from NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer but got raves… Obama rebuked Giuliani’s assertions that a Dem in the White Houe would bring another terror attack & had to defend his history of charitable donations… Dodd is frustrated by the lack of media attention his campaign is getting… Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment for Cheney… Edwards had a relatively quiet week… ditto for Biden… and in the words of my esteemed colleague Scott, Gravel came off a lot like Admiral Stockdale in the debate.

And now, the republicans… McCain officially announced his candidacy while drawing a very small crowd & missed another Senate vote due to his campaigning … Romney purchased $2M more of campaign ad airtime… Huckabee’s son was arrested with a gun & he called Gonzales a distraction… the two Thompsons made little noise this week, and former Gov. Gilmore tossed his hat into the already crowded ring

And one final thought… is it hypocrisy or irony when Rudy Giuliani claims to be a protector of the sanctity of marriage? I’m just askin’…

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Short Stack: Poll Positions

Dropping Faster than Alec Baldwin’s Chances at Father of the Year

According to a new Harris survey, “President” Bush’s approval rating has now bottomed-out at 28%… the lowest of his presidency.

Sometimes, the snark just writes itself…

Reid vs. Cheney

Ever since Mr. Reid spoke the truth, Cheney has been attacking him, and rather than cower in the corner, Reid is fighting back and, according to the New York Times, has been quoted as saying, "I’m not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9% approval rating."

Ouch.

Why we all dream of both Cheney AND Bush hitting that low-low mark, his numbers aren’t that bad… but they are bad.

According to Mystery Pollster, they are in the 29-34% range.

Again, like I said above, sometimes the snark just writes itself…

To add more humiliation to Cheney, all of this is being talked about while he prepares to deliver the commencement address at Brigham Young University amid protests by students and faculty alike.

2008 Presidential Race – The Democrats

The first of what I am sure will be many, many debates for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination occurs tonight in South Carolina, and, on the verve of that debate, MSNBC has a poll up that expresses voters’ perception of a candidate; whether it’s negative, positive, or neutral.

Some of the results are surprising, but don’t take my word for it, see for yourself:

Obama: (-) 29% (neutral) 27% (+) 44%

Edwards: (-) 31% (neutral) 32% (+) 37%

Clinton: (-) 50% (neutral) 24% (+) 26%

Richardson: (-) 36% (neutral) 40% (+) 24%

Biden: (-) 45% (neutral) 39% (+) 16%

Kucinich: (-) 53% (neutral) 37% (+) 10%

Dodd: (-) 49% (neutral) 45% (+) 6%

Gravel: (-) 53% (neutral) 44% (+) 3%

Senator Clinton leads the first tier candidates in the negative area with 50%… 50! Meaning half of the people polled have a negative view of Mrs. Clinton while a little more than a quarter have a positive perception of the former first lady and current NY Senator. No matter how you spin it, that’s not good news for her campaign.

On the flip side, 44% view Senator Obama in a positive light. Granted, while he leads in this poll, it’s still dramatically less than half of those polled.

Sen. Edwards and Gov. Richardson each came in with some respectable numbers that are well within range of Obama and Clinton… but the third tier candidates (Biden, Kucinich, Dodd & Gravel) had unsurprising results that seem to support my theory that people either don’t know them outside of their respective home-areas or view them negatively due to their performances in the past.

Looking at the numbers you get the sense that Clinton may be more of a long-shot for the nomination than some may think… but one can also get the idea that Gravel, Dodd and Kucinich should just pack up their campaigns now rather than waste more money and time.

Democrats Know Best?

Remember how all those conservative pundits and politicians called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) remarks about Iraqun-American.”

Apparently, the rest of America is also “un-American” in those conseravtive’s eyes as 55% of respondents in a NBC/Wall Street Jounal poll don’t think that victory in Iraq is possible. What’s more, the poll shows that 56% say that they agree more with the Democrats in Congress who want to set a deadline for troop withdrawal as opposed to those that agree with “President” Bush, which stands at 37%.

So, even though the majority of Americans don’t support the President and think that we are fighting a war we have no chance in winning, the Bush(whacked) Administration continues to hum along like everything is hunky-dory.

As we’ve said many times here at TBWA, January 20, 2009 can NOT come soon enough…

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The FCC Cometh...

The Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to make a recommendation to Congress to pass legislation aimed at restricting the airing of violent television shows before 10:00 p.m EST (9:00 CST).

According to the Washington Post, the legislation would give the FCC the authority to levy fines on broadcast television networks and stations that air violent programming in the same manner that it does in cases of so-called “indecent” programming.

It’s clear that a First Amendment battle seems to be building-up between DC and the television industry, and the children seem to be in the middle of it all.

The looming request to Congress just happens to come the same week the FCC will release the results of a TV violence report that was commissioned by a group of lawmakers back in 2004.

According to the Post story, the FCC has concluded in the report that allowing the government to regulate "excessive violence" on TV is in the public interest, especially between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when kids are likely to be watching.

How exactly does one define "excessive violence"?

And even if the FCC can come up with an acceptable definition of violence, how do you objectively determine what’s excessive?

You can’t, of course, because the question of what is and what isn’t excessive is entirely subjective and open to interpretation.

What I think is excessive could very will be different from what you think is excessive.

Not to mention that this ploy by the FCC essentially says that all of us are incapable of doing our parental duties and can’t be trusted to decide for ourselves what is appropriate viewing materials for our children.

Before this piece of legislation is passed, I’d like to see proof that the government can do a better job than parents at monitoring what our children watch... oh wait, that’s right, no such proof exists.

Said FCC Chairman Kevin Martin; "I think it would be better if the industry addressed this on its own, but we can also give parents help through regulation." Or... we could let parents be parents and have them monitor what their children watch... or would that make too much sense?

Here’s what I want to say to Mr. Martin; I don't need your help and I certainly don't want any help.

Monitoring what is watched by our children is the job of the parent and not the US Government. My wife and I choose what they watch and when they watch, and they are not allowed to watch any shows unless we approve it first.

Mandating what we are allowed to watch is another form of Government censorship even if it is done under the guise of protecting children from violence.

Aren’t there more important things our government should be focusing on right now?

Cross-posted as a diary on Daily Kos

Here Comes the Probe

Well it’s about friggin’ time

The Office of Special Counsel is about to do what thousands of Americans have wanted to do for a very long time… stick a probe so far up Karl Rove’s ass that they find his head…

From the Washington Post:

“The Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.

The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.”


One of the OSC’s primary reasons for existence is to enforce the Hatch Act, a law enacted in 1939 to preserve the integrity of the civil service…

Oops…

Obviously the office has been severely lacking in their enforcement and monitoring with the current administration, but now, with a plethora of problems plaguing Bush’s White House, they’re starting to find their courage and are about to embark on a quest that could have wide-reaching implications on many, many people.

One also has to think, and it’s what I believe, that with a Democratically-controlled Congress, all the “non-partisan” agencies within our government (I.E.: GAO, CBO, etc) have become a little more brave in their attempts to point out wrongdoing within the Bush(whacked) Administration.

Think about it… now they can get information to the chairpersons of the various committees in order to, at the least, get the hearing process underway without fear of retribution

So the OSC is going to investigate Rove and try to discover not only what knows, but also what he’s done

Now we only have to hope that Rove has a better memory than Alberto “Bush Still Likes Me” Gonzales… which is highly unlikely. But, in my opinion, I think Rove seems like one to back down from a real fight and will probably plead the fifth…

Stay tuned…

Update: I’ve read a lot of other posts about this today, and badgervan mentioned it in a couple of comments on this story.

I know a lot of people are skeptical of the head of OSC, Scott Bloch, and for good reason as he seems to be a BushCrony in the highest order (I’ll try and hide my surprise…)

But, as I mentioned above, I like the chances of something actually getting done because of the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Also, Mr. Bloch might be looking out for his own ass and doesn’t want to be hungh up to dry like Scooter and, sooner or later, Alberto…

Monday, April 23, 2007

Short-stacks: A collection of short posts

King George & Jester Gonzales


After hearing “President” Bush’s news conference this morning and his defending of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales I want to ask him one question…

What color is the sky in your world George?

What the hell have you been watching?

Politicians from both sides of the aisle, along with employees in the White House, have lambasted Gonzales’ testimony last week as “pathetic” and described Gonzales as “going down in flames”.. but then Georgie-boy comes along and feeds us this malarky:
”The Attorney General went up and gave a very candid assessment and answered every question he could possibly answer, honestly answer, in a way that increased my confidence in his ability to do the job. One of the things that it's important for the American people to understand is that the Attorney General has a right to recommend to me to replace U.S. attorneys. U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. In other words, we have named them and I have the right to replace them with somebody else. And as the investigation, the hearings went forward, it was clear that the Attorney General broke no law. Did no wrongdoing. And some senators didn't like his explanation, but he answered as honestly as he could. This is an honest, honorable man in whom I have confidence.”


I’m sorry… what??

Gonzales answered every question he could possibly answer honestly???

What about the dozen or so questions he didn’t answer?

Rather than do what hundreds of people are calling for you to do to him (here’s a hint Mr. Bush; it rhymes with pire, you reiterate your faith in him and say that the attorney general’s testimony last week “increased my confidence” in him and that he answered every question

One would think that Cronyism has its limits… but juging Bush’s action today, it’s clear that HE doesn’t.

A handful of republicans have called for Gonzales to resign while others have stated they’ve lost confidence in him, but stopped just short of calling for his resignation (which is an idiotic concept since an AG with no votes of confidence is an effective AG, conservative pundits and the editorial board of the National Review want Gonzales to go as do a plurality of Americans.

It’s too bad that Bush can’t see that through his rose-colored glasses.



Crow vs. Rove: The Grudgematch


Singer Sheryl Crow, who is currently amid a cross-country global warming awareness trip, got into a dust-up with Karl “President” Rove over the weekend at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

The subject of the dust-up? Global warming.

Crow’s friend, Laurie David, describes the scene:
”We asked Mr. Rove if he would consider taking a fresh look at the science of global warming. Much to our dismay, he immediately got combative. And it went downhill from there. We reminded the senior White House advisor that the US leads the world in global warming pollution and we are doing the least about it. Anger flaring, Mr. Rove immediately regurgitated the official Administration position on global warming which is that the US spends more on researching the causes than any other country. […] In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, ‘Don’t touch me.’ Unphased, Sheryl abruptly responded, ‘You can’t speak to us like that, you work for us.’ Karl then quipped, ‘I don’t work for you, I work for the American people.’ To which Sheryl promptly reminded him, ‘We are the American people.’”


Rove’s version has a slightly different view: “She came over to insult me and she succeeded.”

Wow… Mr. Sensitive. Not only is Rove extremely sensitive, he’s apparently also very easily insulted, especially when the topic is global warming policy.

Here’s a nickels worth of advice to Mr. Rove. Get. A. Clue. While you may not agree with someone’s opinions, to express yourself in the manner that is being reported is not only sad and pathetic but spectacularly un-professional (though coming from someone in “The Huggers” inner circle it’s not entirely surprising). And considering the age we live in, where every cell phone has cameras and video cameras installed, it probably won’t be long before video of the encounter hits YouTube for the entire world to see…



RIP Boris Yeltsin


A man who helped lead a watershed moment in Global politics passed away this morning as Boris Yeltsin died at the age of 76.

Mr. Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, a post he held from 1991 to 1999 before being replaced by current President Vladimir Putin.

The Yeltsin era was a dramatic period in Russian history, marked not only by revolutionary political change and the arrival of democracy in Russia, but also with enormous political and social problems, including widespread corruption.

Picking up from Mikail Gorbechov, Yeltsin was a force to be reckoned with in Russian politics as he took his nation by its hands and led them through a new period. He was a politician who refused to backdown from a fight and, as my esteemed colleague Scott said; “ was instrumental in the collapse of the former socialist republic… in fact it was more his doing than (former President Ronald “Not Grecian Formula 45”) Reagan's.” (Rememeber, that’s S-c-o-t-t and not K-e-m-p… though I do agree with him)

Now it’s interesting to see that the freedoms that he fought for are slowly being challenged and, at times, eroded.

Goodbye Mr. Yeltsin…


And finally...


From Daily Kos:

Just bask in this AP story a bit:
"Campaigning in 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush would repeatedly raise his right hand as if taking an oath and vow to "restore honor and integrity" to the White House. He pledged to usher in a new era of bipartisanship.... Now, with fewer than two years left of his second term, the Bush administration is embroiled in multiple scandals and ethics investigations. The war in Iraq still rages. Bush's approval ratings are hovering in the mid-30s. And Democratic-Republican relations have seldom been more rancorous."


Hee hee hee hee...

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

I’m back from a nice soothing vacation in Las Vegas. I would tell you all about it but what happens in Vegas… well you know the rest…

Let’s get on with this week’s edition of (patent pending) “The Weekly Rewind.”

Here. We. Go.

Applaud: to the families and friends of those affected by this week’s attacks at Virginia Tech. And while we’re at it, our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those affected by the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred 12 years ago yesterday, and the Columbine attacks, which happened eight years ago today. Stay strong…

Heckle: to the Bush(whacked) Administration. Apparently, they keep records of anyone who has ever been prescribed anti-depressants. From ABC News, regarding the VA Tech shooter: “Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of such medication in the government's files. This does not completely rule out prescription drug use, including samples from a physician, drugs obtained through illegal Internet sources, or a gap in the federal database, but the sources say theirs is a reasonably complete search.” (Excuse me? We don't even have a list of gun owners in this country, but we seemingly have a list of every single person who has ever been prescribed anti-depressants…this is troubling…)

Applaud: to a majority of Americans who do NOT consider withdrawal from Iraq as “surrender.” According to a Fox “News” poll (I know, I would have though they would have altered it to fit their opinion also) that asked “Do you think it is accurate to compare withdrawal with surrender?” 61% said no, it’s not the same… so take that!

Heckle: to the prospect of a 3 mile long concrete wall being constructed in Baghdad. Yes… a wall… a wall designed to “cut off one of the capital’s most restive Sunni Arab districts from the Shiite Muslim neighborhoods” that surround it. Never mind that Iraqi’s have raised concerns about how this will enhance the “further Balkanization of Iraq’s most populous and violent city.” (Nice… cuz that idea worked oh-so-well in Germany…)

Applaud: to telling it like it is. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) suggested to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during his testimony on Capitol Hill that “the best way to put this behind us is your resignation.” Gonzales naturally disagreed, but one has to think that Coburn is absolutely correct and curious as to just how much longer Gonzales can hold on to this job

Heckle: to the “masked-senator” who has placed an “anonymous hold” on legislation that’s moving through the Senate requiring lawmakers’ campaign finance reports to be electronically filed and thus, made public more quickly. (Nice… nothing like blocking progress. Odds are 3:1 that the ‘anonymous moron’ is Ted Stevens, a republican from Alaska)

Applaud: to the Trials of Alberto Gonzales. At times he struggled to offer a coherent explanation while appearing frustrated, weary and at times combative, all while angering committee members “as he invoked a faulty memory more than 50 times.” Add to that this nice piece of information: 63% of Americans think Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is lying about the Bush(whacked) administration’s prosecutor purge… (It’s things like this that give me some hope that common sense is making a comeback in this country… though our commander in chief was “pleased” with Gonzales’ testimony… give me strength…)

Heckle: to the White House Correspondents Association dinner palnners. Just when you think they couldn’t get any more pathetic by hiring non-insutling Rich “Haven’t Been Popular in Over 20 Years” Little to headline (and thus giving “President” Bush and his administration a pass) they go out and make it more pathetic by inviting American Idol reject Sanjaya Malakar… (If the entire audience is asleep 10 minutes into the show, I’ll be surprised…)

Applaud: to the news that two republican lawmakers found themselves being raided by the Feds this past week for, how should I put this? “Shady dealings.” Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) had his house raided earlier this week due to his and his wife’s connections to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff (Another good thing was that because of that he is temporarily stepping down from his position on the House Appropriations Committee) Add to that the fact the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation. (Like Doolittle, Renzi is temporarily stepping down from a committee seat, giving up his spot on the House Intelligence Committee (Don’t you think that after a while they would realize they’re gonna get caught and stop?? Though it does make for some good theater…)

Heckle: to Senate conservatives who, earlier this week, “blocked legislation” that would have allowed the federal government to negotiate Medicare drug prices. (Never mind the fact that 85% of Americans support such negotiations, it’s the right thing to do. Too bad the conservatives in the Senate can’t grasp that concept…)

Applaud: to even more cracks in the conservative foundation. In what can only be described as another signal of just how much republican unease there is with the president’s Iraq policies, another gop senator (that would make three) gave support for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq under certain conditions. This time is was Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) who announced that she would sponsor a bill that would require American commanders to plan a withdrawal within 120 days of the bill’s enactment, unless the Iraqi government met a few goals. (Seeing republican/gop support for not only this war but also for Bush’s policies erode is rather enjoyable, so let’s keep it up)

Heckle: to the news that, for the 11th straight week, the national average price for gasoline in the U.S. rose. (What more can be said?)

Applaud: to The House for passing the Taxpayer Protection Act earlier this week. The act looks to protect taxpayers against “identity theft, deceptive Web sites and loan sharks” while also making it easier for taxpayers to retrieve property lost as a result of a wrongful IRS levy and additionaly directing the IRS to inform low-income returnees that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. (As a rule we at TBWA do NOT criticize the IRS, so we’re not gonna give any smart-ass comments)

Heckle: to, once again, the Bush(whacked) Administration. According to a post in Real Cities.com, for the past six years, the Bush administration, being aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued a legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in a way that has come down on the side of Republicans (And I can pinpoint when it started… right when the SCOTUS handed the presidency to Bush in 2000. 1/20/09 can NOT come soon enough…)

Applaud: to the news this past week that the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section is investigating connections between disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the White House… a potential White House problem that is expected to be exacerbated by missing White House emails. (Mr. Rove, please step up to the plate – you’re next)

Applaud: to some thawing (Pun intended) in the public’s views on Global Warming. A new poll shows that a third of Americans say “global warming ranks as the world’s single largest environmental problem” and that seven in 10 Americans want federal action on global warming. This comes as areas in the arctic north have been experiencing some of the worst impacts of global warming with Inuit hunters falling through thinning ice and dying and the fact that there’s not enough snow to build igloos for shelter during hunts… (But ask any republican and they’ll deny it… boggles the mind, doesn’t it?)

This was a hard week to determine this award, what with all the inane and idiotic comments coming from a handful of conservative pundits about the Virginia Tech attack, but I think we found a winner. This week’s gop tool of the week is former republican presidential and U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes. During an appearance on the Caplis & Silverman radio show, Keyes was asked about Senator Barack Obama (D-IL). Said Keyes: “He's an evil man and he needs to be stopped” and then proceeded to compare him to Adolf Hitler… (Besides it being an incredible case of the pot calling the kettle black, keep in mind that Keyes always has been and always will be a danger to common sense, and now he’s crossed the line and passed over to cartoon villainy. Alan Keyes: What. A. Tool.)

And finally…this week’s rundown on the 2008 presidential race.

On the Left: Richardson announced that he’s going to start airing ads in Iowa & has already bought airtime in New Hampshire… Clinton picked-up the endorsement of Hef & is going carbon neutral for a day… Edwards paid his campaign back for some obscenely expensive haircuts & hired a new strategist… Obama was out fundraising & announced that he would attend Rev. Al Sharpton’s NAN conference. The lower tier candidates? Meh…

On the right: McCain tried out for the Beach Boys & got heckled… Giiliani spoke this past week at Pat Robertson’s university & saw his lead in the polls start to shrink… Fred Thompson continues to “dazzle” even though he hasn’t announced his intentions yet… Tommy Tutone Thompson has already put his foot in his mouth and apologized for it… Huckabee had a ‘fun run’ in New Hampshire &… well, that’s really it… Romney flip-flopped on Clinton’s ‘It Takes a Village’ motto & managed to not stick his foot in his mouth for a week…

All I have, take ‘em as you will…

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Remember

It was 12 years ago this morning… 9:02 CST to be precise… that the face of our nation truly began to change.

It was on this date 12 years ago, in Oklahoma City, that two men detonated a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

168 people were killed…

… more than 800 were injured.

I was in college when it happened… getting ready for class, watching CNN, when they suddenly broke in with breaking news.

(Back then ‘breaking news’ was actual news… not something like the true father of Anna Nicole’s baby… but that’s another post for another day…)

My immediate thought was on my family, who lived in Norman but worked in Oklahoma City. I called my Mom, who was at work and hadn’t heard about the explosion, who then proceeded to try and get a hold of her brother and his family.

Thankfully, they were okay… physically okay, but mentally drained by the events of that morning.

On a trip last September to visit them in Oklahoma, my wife and I visited the Memorial, our second such visit. The previous visit was in January 1997 when the blast marks, and debris were still very-much visible.

This time we saw the completed memorial; The Field of Empty Chairs, The Survivor Tree, The Musuem… and still, to this day, it effected us.

For all who lost their lives on that day… and for all who were and still are affected by the events of that morning; my thoughts and prayers go out to you all.


Cross-posted at Kemp’s Blog

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday

How’s about some Random Political Thoughts…

Be Strong.Our thoughts continue to go out to anyone effected by the senseless tragedy at Virginia Tech University. Stay strong and know the country is behind you

Testify! AG Alberto Gonzales’ former COS, Kyle Sampson, in an interview with congressional investigators last Sunday, said that Gonzales was “inaccurate” in his assertion that he didn’t have a role in the deliberations about individual U. S. attorneys that were later dismissed.” This comes at the same time that Congress considers offering former Gonzales Aide Monica Goodling immunity in exchange for what is expected to be damaging testimoney. (Postponed because of the incident at VTU earlier this week, it’s only a matter of time before Gonzales has to face the music… and I don’t think it’s gonna be pretty… at least I hope it won’t be pretty…)

And Speaking of US Attorneys... 67% of Americans, “including a narrow majority of Republicans,” see political motives as the primary reason behind last year’s firings of eight federal prosecutors. Throw in the fact that 45% of those polled believe Alberto Gonzales should resign and you have the makings of yet another mis-step by the Bush(whacked) Administratioin… (Kind of brings a smile to your face, doesn’t it?)

Our Downward Spiral Continues. A new poll by the Program on International Policy (hence called PIPA) shows that 10 out of 15 countries believe that the United States cannot be trusted to “act responsibly in the world.” The new PIPA poll also finds that majorities in 13 out of 15 publics polled say the U.S. is “playing the role of world policeman more than it should be.” Furthermore, the poll shows that majorities in all 15 of the countries polled reject the idea that the U.S. should “continue to be the preeminent world leader in solving international problems.” (At one time, the United States was the country that other countries aspired to… we were the worldwide leaders… we were the ones they came to in their time of need… we were the one that other countries looked to to lead the way…Oh, how times have changed. Essentially, it took “President” Bush a few scant years in office to systematcially undo every damn thing that America ever stood for from an international standpoint. The way we as a nation are viewed by the rest of the world is pretty pathetic. At best they laugh at us for our choice of leadership – remember the headlines in Europe when Bush was re-elected? – and at worst they believe that Bush and his Administration are representative of ALL American values. This is just sad…)

Poll Positions. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds that 66% of Americans don’t’ support the war in Iraq. This comes as widespread feelings about the war going badly and the additional troops not making a difference come to the forefront.

Wolf Out the Door. Even as the World Bank’s board of directors gets ready to meet today to discuss the possibility of making him resign, World Bank President Paul “Socks” Wolfowitz is vowing that he will not resign over his role in securing a State Department job along with a huge raise for his girlfriend, a former communications official at the bank. (Wow… it’s almost as if Wolfie had someone teach him in the fine art of cronyism… I wonder who that could be??? Sarcasm Alert: Stage Magenta)

Op-Ed Piece of Mid-Week The New York Times says that there are still “64,000 people sleeping in trailers in Louisiana” and that “President Bush has reneged on his promises to Katrina’s victims.” (This albatross just won’t get off from around his neck, will it?)

More Poll Positions. According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) drew (relatively) high approval ratings as they passed their 100-day mark as leaders of their respective chambers. Pelosi had an approval rating of 53% while Reid hit the 46% mark. (While the numbers may not be astronomical, they are good, and that’s something that can only help the Democratic agenda. Keep it up guys…)

And the Hits Just Keep Coming. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will meet this week to consider whether to subpoena Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice has repeatedly blown off Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) requests for information on her pre-war claims about Iraq’s WMD programs and now they might try to do something about it. (While it’s obvious that Rice will NEVER allow herself to answer questions truthfully, muhc less be subpoenaed, it’s a nice move by the Democrats and one that shows some balls. As I said above, let’s keep it up.)

Take 'em as you will...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Eep

Here’s something to alarm you.

KUSA-TV in Colorado has reported that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) has not completely ruled out another run at the presidency, even in the upcoming 2008 election.

You may all be alarmed…
Even though he took himself out of the 2008 race back in January, he told a book-signing crowd in Denver that he has not completely ruled out a future presidential bid.Said Kerry: “Could that change? It might. It may change over the years. It may change over months. I can't tell you, but I've said very clearly I don't consider myself out of it forever.”

Uh-oh.

When pressed about the 2008 presidential race specifically, Kerry responded that while it's unlikely he would jump into the fray now, he would consider it if the field changed or the “dynamics of the nation shifted.”

Aw crap…

This is not good news. The Democratic field is already over-saturated, and to add an also-ran who is a very polarizing figure in his own party would be a huge blow to the Democrat plan as a whole, even if he does have close to $5 million in cash in his presidential warchest.

Kerry had his shot… and he lost it. Now he should concentrate on fulfilling his Senatorial duties for the people of Massachusetts and allow someone else a turn.

We at TBWA express our thoughts, prayers and condolences to any and everyone affected by the attacks at Virginia Tech University. Stay strong.

Monday, April 16, 2007

An Appeal for Redress

On January 16th of this year, 1,700 various members of the Armed Forces made their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

The media and the public either didn’t hear it, or didn’t listen.

U.S. Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, a veteran of the Iraq war was the one chosen to present their voice as one.

At that visit, he presented Congress with the “Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq.”

The appeal stated:

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.
While the appeal will not result in any changes in U.S. Foreign policy or the war itself, it’s still a noteworthy event.

Why?

A couple of reasons…

First, it’s the first time that a significantly large group of military personnel tried to organize a military lobby. Second; the attention paid by the public and the media was, at best, minimal.

Do any of you remember reading anything about it after it occurred three months ago?

I certainly don’t, and probably never would have heard about it if not for the article “Warrior Politics” by Andrew Bacevich in this month’s Atlantic Monthly.

But I’ll get to that point momentarily. First I want to look at how this reflects on “President” Bush himself.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that the appeal looked to, in Mr. Bacevich’s words, “hamstring” Bush from pursuing his escalation strategy, it more so shows just how little respect Bush has among some members of the military.

Sworn to obey orders and to obey their Commander in Chief, the appeal showed a willingness to disobey and obstruct the wishes of the President.

The appeal was clearly a message to Bush, but why didn’t the mainstream media report much on it?

The easy way out would be for me to blame the rigthwing media, but Fox “News” aside, I don’t recall hearing much, if anything at all, about this.
And that troubles me…

The most likely reason for its snub was the fact that it wasn’t higher-ups in the military (Like the generals rants against Bush’s Iraq policy months ago) but instead were the rank and file of the military.

Another possible reason was the group was relatively small and didn’t represent a good cross-section of the military.

But should that have mattered? This was an attempt by 1,700 soldiers to demand an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and, in the process, create a military lobby.

Essentially they were trying to throw a wrench into their Commander in Chief’s plans… and thus disobey an order.

Like I asked months ago when a handful of generals not only laid a smackdown on Donald Rumsfeld but also criticized Bush’s Iraq war strategy (and I use that term very loosely), how can this man lead when he starts to lose the support of his military?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Ok, it’s that time of the week again. Yep, the time tested, mother approved, patented….ok so it’s not patented….well anyway, it’s time for The Weekly Rewind.

Before we get to this weeks edition regular readers may be asking “Oh my god, it’s Scott! He’s posting again, where has he been?! Well I have had a number of things going on in my life the past 4 to 5 months that have been pretty stressful. I will write about those on my personal blog shortly for anyone who is interested. And while I may not have been writing and posting myself, Kemp and I talk almost daily and I have tried to keep my hands in with thoughts and opinions. To that point I must also say how much I appreciate Kemp having taken over and running everything for the past few months. He understood at the start many of the things I was dealing with and told me to not worry that he would run with things until I was ready to jump back in. He is a good man and a true friend.

Ok, now it’s time to hand out some applauds and heckles, please forgive me if I am a little rusty on the dive back into the fray.

Heckle: Finding someone who will volunteer to be a scapegoat. The White House wants to appoint someone to essentially be a “War Czar”. Good luck with that! I mena, look at the problems this administration is having with it's failing policy in Iraq and they think that someone is going to jumo at the chance to be named as an Assistant to the President, be given the 'power' to make decisions (again it's so hard to express sarcasm in the written form..) and then when things break bad (as if it could get worse) they would be the one that the White House would point to and blame for Georges ineptitude at running a 'war' that has now gone on longer than our countries actual involvement in WWII. Three retired Generals who have reportly been approached have flatly said 'NO'. Hopefully whoever ends up with this job asks for the giant tube of KY to make thier eventual ass reaming a little easier....maybe Scooter Libby wants the job.

Applaud: let’s keep this moving forward. This week the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to none other than Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The subpoena was issued as the committee has grown impatient with the Justice Departments delays in providing information deemed pertinent to the ongoing investigation of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. Those of us who think that Alberto will be totally open and honest with the committee, raise your hands……ok, now for the 70% of you who didn’t raise your hands, lets move on.

Heckle: Happy anniversary, now get out. On the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad and the toppling of Saddam’s statue, up to one million Iraqi Shias summoned by Moqtada al-Sadr “have gathered in the holy city of Najaf for a mass demonstration calling for US-led troops to leave Iraq. If you were looking for a sign, this would appear to be a big one.

Heckle: Straight from the horses mouth. The Washington Post interviews a man who helped sledgehammer Saddam’s statue: “We got rid of a tyrant and tyranny. But we were surprised that after one thief had left, another 40 replaced him. Now, we regret that Saddam Hussein is gone, no matter how much we hated him. I think this guy needs to do the Sunday morning talk show circuit.

Heckle: Say what? In a speech on Wednesday, perpetual Presidential Candidate John McCain (R-AZ) defended the ‘war’ in Iraq and stated that history will side with the President and the conflicts supporters. Nevermind that two-thirds of the country totally disagree with this viewpoint, and I have a feeling that number will grow before this is over. He also stated that the ‘war’ is “necessary and just”. I'm sorry, 'necessary'??

Heckle: Just when you thought the attack on civil liberties had taken a break. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has circulated a draft bill that would expand the government’s surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, liberalizing how that law can be used. The court-approved surveillance could include planting listening devices and hidden cameras, searching luggage and breaking into homes to make copies of computer hard drives. You know those e-mails of recipies from your aunt or the chain e-mails for good luck could actually harbor evil thoughts.

Applaud: We need more of this. Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca lambastes the Bush administration in his new book. “Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening?” Iacocca writes. “Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. … But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘Stay the course.’ Ok, where are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and the other new age ‘captains of industy’?

Heckle: more jobs lost. This week the financial services behemouth Citigroup announced it would cut 17,000 jobs and transfer 9,500 jobs to cheaper locations around the world. Now while 17,000 jobs being cut out a total worldwide workforce of 327,000 (operating in over 100 countries) doesn’t seem like much, nearly half (43 percent) of the positions being cut will be right here in the good ole U.S. of A. And if you think about it, the 9,500 transfers can also be counted as job cuts as those jobs will be moved oversees and will result in 9,500 less jobs here in our country. (Next time you hear the administration talk about how many jobs were created, you also need to remember and offset it with how many jobs were lost. But you never hear the administration make that comparison as it wouldn’t look that good now would it?)

Applaud: The continual awakening of the American public. A new Bloomberg/LA Times poll finds that six in 10 Americans expect a recession within a year and disapprove of President George W. Bush’s handling of the economy even though the unemployment rate is at a five-year low.

Applaud: Standing up to the bully. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have rebuffed an invitation to meet at the White House with the President to discuss congressional funding bills for the ‘war’ in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stating that since Bush has set ‘preconditions’ for any discussions (meaning it’s my way or the highway) any meeting would be an exercise in futility. In case you have been living under a rock recently, Congress wants to pass funding bills with timetables for troop withdrawls, while Bush states that any timetable will force him to veto the bills. Each side says they support the troops, but as we have pointed out before they have very different ways of showing support.

Applaud: Just say no to Fox News Channel. Sens. John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton are not taking part in the Fox News presidential debate cosponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. Why participate in an event where you know what the outcome is going to be before it even starts. Fair and Balanced my ass.

Heckle: What a surprise. President Bush has threatened to veto a Senate intelligence bill that’s inudated with provisions that would force the White House and spy agencies to be more responsive to Congress. Wow, what a concept, holding governmental actions to a standard of responsibility!

And finally this week’s Wingnut Tool(s) of the Week. Karl “If I were the King of the Forest” Rove. Who this week, through his attorney, on the topic of deleting e-mails from a Republican-sponsored computer system stated that his understanding “was that those e-mails were being archived” in accordance with the law. Nevermind the fact that these e-mails may be pertinent to the ongoing investigation into the firing of US attorney last year due to questions of administration loyalty. It was also disclosed that the Justice Department (co-tools) took political activism and membership in a conservative law group into account when evaluating our nations federal prosecutors. I guess it’s not enough to do your job and do it well, you gotta suck up and suck hard….

Well that’s it for this week. As I said, it’s my first time back in the saddle in a while, it feel good to be back, but if you will give me a week or two to get back into the swing of things, I am sure I will be back in true form.

Be good, stay informed, later…..

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

So you say you want a resolution an ultimatum?

“President” Bush is planning to invite Congressional leaders from both parties to the White House for milk and cookies to try and resolve the Iraq War funding stalemate.

The only problem is that it doesn’t really look to be much of an attempt at a resolution but rather the throw-down of an ultimatum as Bush made it clear that he would not change his position opposing troop withdrawals.

Said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino; “President Bush will invite Democrats to the White House to discuss their standoff over a war-funding bill, but he will not budge from his opposition to troop-withdrawal deadlines in Iraq.”

Lovely…

When a reporter asked her why lawmakers should even attend a meeting that already has rules of no negotiation attached Perino replied, “Maybe they need to hear again from the president about why he thinks it is foolish to set arbitrary timetables for withdrawal.”

In other words, Bush is going to act like the spoiled little brat that he is and pout and shout until he either gets his way or takes his ball and goes home…

But Bush better be careful, as this is not the gop-controlled parents congress that let him do any damn thing he wanted…
Enter Senator Harry Reid; “Iraqi leaders are not willing to take the political risk of governing their own country. That must change. That's what Congress is demanding. That is what the American people, by a large majority, demand. And the president should be leading us in that direction, not threatening to veto funding for our troops unless we rubber stamp his flawed plan.”

And Reid has a strong point there as the American people overwhelmingly support a change in direction for the Iraq Conflict. According to an April 2-4 AP/IPSOS poll that showed 64% of those polled “Disapprove” of how George Bush has handled the war in Iraq, 59% feel that going to war with Iraq was “A Mistake” and 50% saying the war is “Hopeless”…

During all of this, Bush is trying to increase pressure on the Democrats by playing a pathetic game of trying to shift blame to the Democrats by touting that funds will be cut off and the troops will be the ones to suffer…

Never mind the fact that there IS adequate funding for the occupation until July… (a fact that is backed-up by the Congressional Research Service, whose report shows that our troops have plenty of funds for the next few months)… never mind the fact that the Pentagon can shift funds as needed… and never mind the fact that the previous republican Congress took 118 days to pass a supplemental request, he's trying to create a false sense of urgency, and it’s now been…

... carry the two…...

... 57 days since Bush requested the latest supplemental funding bill and the Democratic Congress passed it.

It’s painfully clear that Bush is attempting to increase pressure on the Democrats and to force them to move, meaning a final decision on exactly what direction the U.S. will take in Iraq may be decided very, very soon.

The only question is will it follow the path that a majority of American’s want, more responsibility from Iraq and a timetable for U.S. withdrawal? Or will the President gather up his toys and go home?

Stay tuned…

Monday, April 09, 2007

Remind me again… who cares more for the military?

We’ve heard it before… ‘Liberals don’t care about the military, the conservatives do.’

‘Democrats are out to undermine our military while republicans look to strengthen it…’

I have two words to say to that;

Bull.

Shit.

Ignoring the outrageous costs of this occupation war, this quagmire is also on the verge of decimating our military.

The AP is reporting that for the second time since the war began, the Army is sending large units back to Iraq without giving them the mandate year off at home, a move that shows just how thinly stretched our fighting forces have become.

As a general rule, the Army tries not to shorten troops' U.S. time, but this time they had.said a senior Army official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "Obviously right now the Army is stretched," the official said.

And the planning isn't getting any better…

While “President” Bush has stated that the escalation is working, defense officials and military leaders have been disagreeing over just how long it will take to determine if this buildup is working…

For instance, Major General William Caldwell, the military's chief spokesman in Iraq, has stated that commanders won't know until autumn, at the least, if the escalation worked and if the military could then begin to bring troop levels back down.

This came a day before Defense Secretary Robert “Don’t call me Donald” Gates told a congressional committee that he was disturbed to hear that comment, and he said commanders should be able to make the evaluation by summer…

How about we all get on the same page guys…

But I’m straying from the topic of this post.
Let’s face facts; Bush and his minions are not only sending sick and injured troops back to Iraq, but they’re also sending troops that haven't received the requisite leave. The damage being done to our armed forces (and ultimately to our national security) has a high probability of being felt for years and years to come… and it’s an at that is no more a show of support for the troops than vetoing the funding bill that Congress has given to him.

And yet he has the audacity to claim that Congressional Democrats (and all Democrats/Liberals in his eyes) don’t support the troops all the while ignoring the fact that Salon.com has uncovered even more evidence that the military, in a desperate move to fill its ranks for “President” Bush’s escalation plans, are sending soldiers with “acute post-traumatic stress disorder, severe back injuries and other serious war wounds back to Iraq.”

Anyone with a brain could see the irony in that…but since we’re talking about George W. Bush… I doubt he ever will…

And that’s just sad…

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Short week, short rewind… enjoy:

Applaud: to Joe Klein. (Yes, you read that right, we’re applauding Joe Klein) It seems as though the comprehension of just how big a mess Bush has made things has reached his brain. In the coming issue of Time magazine, he concludes with a statement that is making some wonder if he is hinting that “President” Bush ought to be impeached. He claims, in referring to the president, that he has “tried to be respectful of the man and the office” but now he recognizes that the “defining sins” of his administration “are congenital: they’re part of his personality. They’re not likely to change. And it is increasingly difficult to imagine yet another two years of slow bleed with a leader so clearly unfit to lead.” (Welcome to the club Joe, we’ve got jackets…)

Heckle: to conservative pundits that have been piling on Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for covering her head with a scarf while in Syria this past week. Uh, excuse me… I seem to have recollections of Laura Bush AND Secretary of State Condi Rice doing the same thing so, rather than take the high road I’ll just say this: STFU.

Applaud: to once again showing that she has bigger balls than the “rich white men” in the White House. After numerous conservative pundits and the president attacked her trip to Syria and claimed she delivered the wrong message to Syria from Israel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is asking, nee, begging the White House to prove it… and oddly enough, the White House hasn’t said a damn thing yet… I wonder why??? It is so hard to express sarcasm in the written form…

Heckle: to, as always, “President” Bush as he’s decided to once again flip-off the Constitution and appointed three officials that wouldn’t have been approved by the Senate so he decided to take the cowards way out and once again did what he wanted and ignored little things like process and law… 2009 can NOT come fast enough…

Applaud: to the release of the British sailors, which, according to a lot of policy experts, was aided by the Bush(whacked) Administration NOT helping. That says a lot about our standing in the world, doesn’t it?

Heckle: to AG Alberto Gonzales. Why? Two words: Attorney. Gate. Even while another member of his staff takes the fall resigns, he’s practicing his testimony while the Senate threatens subpoenas. (again, as I’ve said before, how much longer can Bush keep this albatross around his neck until he gets rid of him?)

Applaud: to more facts & records coming to light that show (surprise, surprise) Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s regime was “not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda” before the US-led invasion… despite the Bush(whacked) Administration’s insistence that it was… (Color me NOT surprised)

Heckle: to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). We at TBWA have, in the past, voiced our support and backing for the former POW… but now he seems to have turned into a gop version of John Kerry; flip-flopping to appease the audience he’s talking to. After a disastrous fundraising quarter, he was further criticized for taking a photo-op “stroll” through a Baghdad neighborhood that subsequently blew up in his face… now after all that, word has leaked that next week he will try to turn his campaign around by suggesting that the war in Iraq is winnable. (You sometimes have to wonder just how much he wants to be president…)

Heckle: to messing with tradition (again). “President” Bush didn’t throw out a first pitch this baseball season, making it the second time in as many years that he didn’t. His people said he was too busy, people with a brain say he didn’t want to get booed… who do you think is right?

This week’s WingNut Tool of the Week: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (D-GA). For putting his foot into his mouth about Spanish being the ‘language of the ghetto’ than, when trying to back-peddle in a panic, trying to say he was referring to Hebrew… wait, what?

And the week that was in the 2008 Presidential election. As mentioned earlier this week, First Quarter fundraising numbers were released and the Dems kicked butt… let’s hope they can keep it up. On the left: Obama moved to a larger campaign headquarters… Clinton got some R&R… Edwards announced he won’t be attending the Fox “News”/CBC debate… Richardson announced that he will co-head a private bipartisan delegation to North Korea next week… Biden and Dodd kept relatively quiet this week after their relatively poor first quarter fundraising results. On the right: McCain screwed up (again)… Romney tried to act more macho than he is (again)… Thompson is threatening talking about running (again)… Giuliani is severing ties with his businessBrownback was to participate in the Annual Statewide Iowa Prayer Breakfast and… well, that was really it for him…

Take ‘em as you will…

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's a pleasure to just be nominated...

Lisa over at My Thoughts, Ideas and Ramblings has nominated us for the Blogger's Choice Awards - Best Political Blog.

So if you agree with her (and really, who wouldn't?), head over and give us a vote:

http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/698

It's a moral imperative...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fundraising: Part 2

The other day I posted about first quarter fundraising numbers for all the main (read: real) 2008 Presidential candidates…

And now… with all the first quarter numbers in, I think it’s safe to say, at least one has to think that it is safe to say, that republicans are shaking in their proverbial boots… after all… Democrats beat them by $27 million dollars.

On the republican side, Romney grabbed $23, Giuliani hit $15, McCain underachieved at $12.5 and Huckabee raised a rather pathetic $500,000 for a total of $51 million.

Then come the Democrats, Clinton nailed $26, Obama struck at $25, Edwards grabbed $14, Richardson raised a respectable $6, Dodd hit a tidy $4 and Biden netted $3 for a total of $78 million…

Granted, more fundraising does not a president make… but it’s a damn good start.

Rather than put the Democrats under the microscope, let’s put the republicans under the microscope and see what all this means for them.

After all, as they say; the proof is in the pudding… or in this case, the money…

It’s a popular consensus that out of all the candidates, McCain, even though he raised $12.5 million, was hit hardest as his rather low amounts are troublesome signs of an already-floundering campaign that is seeing its campaign finance operation overhauled due to the less than expected fundraising amounts.

And he hasn’t even “officially” announced his candidacy yet.

Romney, on the other hand, is enjoying the feeling that $23 million can bring.

Too bad he’s at 2-3% in the polls, which means that while he has a lot more money than the other guys, with his low polling, he's going to have to spend a lot more money to catch up.

And then there’s Giuliani, who raised $15 million. Fifteen is an impressive act when you consider the late start his campaign got, but the looming question with him is if he can build on that or not. And the popular thinking is that he won’t, primarily because the gop base doesn’t trust him and are leery about his wife-sitting-in-on-cabinet-meeting-ways.

And Huckabee… well, the less said about that the better…

With these numbers, it’s hard to argue that going forward the Democrats seem to have the energy and momentum… after all, the top two Democrats out-raised the top Republican. And let’s face it, with the incredibly early start of this race coupled with the fact that states that usually don’t matter are suddenly mattering, this race is going to come down to who has the most cash… and if the Dems can out-distance the republicans, the republicans won’t have a whole helluva lot left to work with.

Ain’t it grand?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Apparently, money does grow on trees

First quarter campaign fundraising numbers have been announced, and Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton (D-NY) raised a whopping $26 million (with an additional $10-11 million being transferred from her Senate campaign war-chest), thus easily surpassing her opponents with Senator John Edwards netting $14 million, Senator Joseph Biden $3 million, Senator Chris Dodd $4 million (whom also transferred an additional $5 million from his Senate account) and Governor Bill Richardson $6 million.

Senator Barack Obama, as of this writing, hasn’t officially released his numbers in what is either an astute move to keep his cards close to the vest or avoiding the risk of embarrassment over a lousy quarter… though there are reporting starting to come out that Obama raised approximately $20 million, but nothing official has been announced.

On the republican side, Mitt Romney (R-MA) packed away an impressive $21 million (or $23 mil, depending on which article you read…), easily pulling away from party rivals Rudy Giuliani ($15 million) and John McCain ($12.5 million).

What about the others you ask? Well… they barely raised enough to get noticed (for instance Governor Mike Huckabee raised a scant $500,000), so we’ll ignore them for now…

To date, Democratic and republican candidates have reported more than $80 million in combined campaign fundraising for the first three months of the year, and in the process obliterated the old record of $30.9 million set in the corresponding period of the 2004 campaign.

This election is going to put a lot of stock into early cash because candidates will have to bankroll a plethora of cross-country flights, a veritable army of political consultants and a slew of advertising… and that’s only going to be for the “First Elections” of nominating.

Think about it, with so many states trying to squeeze their primaries into January and February, all candidates will have to focus a lot on those states all at once rather than separating them out as they did in the past.

Then comes the “real” election in November… and who knows how things will be shaping up at that time.

Why is all of this important? Because the huge fundraising hauls with 10 months to go before the first nominating ballots are even cast are an indication of just how competitive (and dirty?), and tight this race is going to be.

Add to that that experts are already declaring that the 2008 election may reach one billion dollars and will go down in history as the most expensive presidential race on record (at least until 2012 rolls around…), and you have the makings for one heck of a political side-show.

And furthermore… by ignoring public money and the restrictions that go with it, we are once again seeing the corporate purchase of America. With all the money being spent by companies and corporations, how do you actually elect a good and honest person (that is if there are any left in the world) that you can trust to do what is right for the country and is not beholden to either Haliburton or (the next) Enron?

Stay tuned…