One of “President” Bush’s longest-serving and most-revered cronies is leaving his administration for good.
Karen Hughes, a vital component of Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign is resigning from her post as Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department.
(I know it’s mundane when we ask this now, but I have to; will the last member of the Bush(whacked) Administration leaving please turn off the lights?)
Before taking the job at State, Hughes was a Senior Counselor to the President and her departure marks the final Texas crony to jump ship.
When the US’ standing in the world started taking a hit due to Bush’s disastrous foreign policy, he asked her to go to the State Department to not only help sell the war on terror but also to spread the word about America’s ideas about democracy.
The only problem with that is that recent polls show that there has been no improvement in the way the world views the United States since she took over.
Reports are that she plans on returning to Texas and told her staff that “improving the world’s view of the United States is a ‘long-term challenge’ that will outlast her.”
Well duh!!! After the clusterfuck that IS this administration, a baby born at this exact moment will not outlast improving the worlds view of the US.
As I’ve said many times before; January 20, 2009 can NOT come soon enough…
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
One of “President” Bush’s longest-serving and most-revered cronies is leaving his administration for good.
It’s Halloween… boo.
- On Halloween, here’s some words guaranteed to make you, and many others, shiver; there’s a movement afoot to convince Laura Bush to run for President… aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
- The Democratic presidential candidates held another debate last night, and it was a group attack on ftontrunner Sen. Clinton (D-NY). Sen. Obama (D-IL) had the best, and most true I might add, line of the night when he said to Clinton; “Part of the reason that Republicans, I think, are obsessed with you, Hillary, is because that's a fight they're very comfortable having.” (Ouch. With just over 2 months before the first primaries begin, this race has all the markings of becoming contentious very quickly… stay tuned)
- Now the ball is in the Democrat’s court. “President” Bush told a group of republican lawmakers yesterday that he won’t approve SCHIP until the tobacco tax increase is removed. Fine, that was one of the things I DIDN’T like about the bill, and neither did a lot of other Liberals. Now we get to see if the Dems are serious about insuring children or if they were using SCHIP to gain ground on Bush and the republicans. Stay tuned…
- Hello kettle, this is pot. You’re black. “President” Bush blasted the Democratic-controlled Congress on Tuesday and said that “Congress is not getting it's work done.” (He did not go there…). He went on to say that; "The House of Representatives has wasted valuable time on a constant stream of investigations, and the Senate has wasted valuable time on an endless series of failed votes to pull our troops out of Iraq." (Wow, he DID go there. Let me get this straight, the House is wasting time investigating various incidents of the White House breaking the law and such, and in setting a timetable aimed at getting our troops out of Iraq – despite the majority of Americans WANTING both of those. Hmmm, maybe Rep. Kucinich was on to something)
- And have we mentioned? That the republican candidates for president have blown-off another minority debate? Barely a month after skipping a PBS debate aimed at issues facing minorities, most of the gop candidates are postponing, AGAIN, another black voter forum due to the ever-popular “scheduling conflicts.” (Fellow republicans blasted them for missing the PBS debate, and here they are doing it again. What the hell is wrong with these people?)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
With toy recalls seemingly happening every week, the Senate Commerce Committee is trying to write legislation to return the Consumer Product Safety Commission to its former strength so it can prevent things like lead-filled toys from entering the market.
But Nancy Nord, "President" (a term I use very loosely) Bush’s acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is trying to preserve republican "ideals" of small government and is asking Congress to reject legislation that would strengthen the agency by giving them more money and resources so they could properly do their job.
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With toy recalls seemingly happening every week, the Senate Commerce Committee is trying to write legislation to return the Consumer Product Safety Commission to its former strength so it can prevent things like lead-filled toys from entering the market.
But Nancy Nord, “President” (a term I use very loosely) Bush’s acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is trying to preserve republican “ideals” of small government and is asking Congress to reject legislation that would strengthen the agency by giving them more money and resources so they could properly do their job.
From the New York Times;
On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff. [...]
Ms. Nord, who before joining the agency had been a lawyer at Eastman Kodak and an official at the United States Chamber of Commerce, criticized the measure in letters sent late last week and this afternoon to the Democratic leaders of the committee. She was critical, for instance, of a provision to ban lead from all toys. [...]
She opposed making it easier to bring criminal prosecutions of companies that knowingly sell defective products and also criticized a measure that would make it easier for the commission to publicly disclose reports of faulty products.
So let me make sure I have this straight; she opposes a ban on lead in toys. She opposes making it easier to bring criminal charges against these companies and she opposes making her committee stronger...
What in God’s name is wrong with this woman? Government regulation is needed for consumer goods as it will NOT come from the companies whose primary goal is to make themselves money. Think about it; to oppose a ban on lead in toys, and on top of that refusing to explain yourself, is, at its core, criminal, especially when so many children, and adults, are at risk.
Makes you realize that the old mantra about the Bush administration is pertinent; their concern for children is conception and birth, and after that they’re on their own.
Isn’t it ironic that Nord recently complained to Congress about the agency's lack of resources, and confirmed that the commission only has one person who tests toys? Hearing that, then hearing her now makes an intelligent person, and by intelligent I mean a non-lemming, wonder – she was complaining to Congress about lack of funds and all that before, but suddenly she thinks these measures are no good... methinks Ms. Nord got chastised from someone on top above her, despite a White House spokesman insisting that the White House didn't coordinate with Nord on her comments (cause they’ve never done anything like that before) but still "shared many of her concerns."
Irony notwithstanding, the line of incompetent Bush officials never seems to end and we as a nation will be very lucky to come out of 8 years of this 'mis'- adminstration’s lies and deceptive dealings with even 50% of the national societal strength that we had at the end of the 1990's.
January 20, 2009 can NOT come soon enough...
Returning to normalcy… or at least something resembling normalcy.
- Mitt Romney is leading in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire… which is important; what with them being the perfect cross-sections of America. (Sarcasm is fun…)
- We reminded you last week that Vice President Dick “President” Cheney went hunting this past weekend, and when we didn’t see any news items about it I’m sure the White House was relieved. Well, a NY Daily News photog snapped a picture of a small Confederate flag that was hanging inside a garage on the hunt club’s property…
- The fallout from the FEMA fake-reporter fiasco continues as FEMA Director David Paulison has publicly criticized FEMA public affairs department. And it’s also cost former FEMA public affairs director Pat Philbin a new job. He was scheduled to become the director of public affairs for the director of national intelligence this week, but yesterday National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said Philbin will not be getting the job. (Refreshing to see government actually taking care of someone who did some that was not only incredibly stupid, but ethically wrong. Way to go…)
- Blackwater USA just can NOT stay out of the news. First, Iraq's parliament is considering a bill that would require security companies that operate in the country to obey Iraqi laws (which they should anyway) with no immunity. Second, a US investigator allegedly offered Blackwater guards immunity from the September incident in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. (Stay tuned… I have a feeling this story is just getting started…)
- And have we mentioned? That the dominoes are continuing to fall? Now it’s Rep. Tom Tancredo’s (r-CO) turn as he announced yesterday that he plans to retire from the House at the end of his term saying that he wants to spend time with his grandchildren (wow, how original). Having said that, he is continuing his bid for the gop presidential nomination. (Ok, I realize that he has little chance of winning the nomination, and he apparently knows it. Why else would you say you’re retiring in order to spend time with your grandchildren but continue to campaign for a job that, if you were to win, would keep you away from said grandchildren more than his current job… or am I putting too much thought into this?)
Monday, October 29, 2007
It’s Monday; yay.
- A new book about former President Gerald Ford shows that he feared that Vice President Cheney was a “liability” to Bush, that President Clinton was a “sex-addict” and the best pure politician he had ever seen, and that he preferred Rudy Giuliani as Bush's running mate... (Fascinating stuff, isn't it?)
- 75% of Americans think Congress is doing a piss-poor job. My only surprise is that the number is that LOW…
- The presidential race is heating up… actually it’s not, but I wanted to see if you’re paying attention…
- Oil prices broke through $93 a barrel for the first time today at hit $93.20. Let the panic begin!
- And have we mentioned? That the person responsible for FEMA employees portraying journalists during a presser last week has resigned? Yep, FEMA Director of External Affairs John Philbin has resigned amid the controversy. Not surprisingly, the department is denying that his resignation was involved in any way with the revelation that employees of FEMA acted as reporters and tossed softball questions during a press conference last week describing FEMA’s response to the Southern California wildfires…and if you believe that, then I have a nice bridge to sell you in Chicago…
Friday, October 26, 2007
EDITOR'S NOTE: Blogger bites it. I went through all the trouble of adding hyperlinks and all,and when I go to publish, they're gone. So enjoy this Non-Linked version of The Weekly Rewind:
It’s Saturday, we all know what that means; time for The Weekly Rewind…
Applaud: to having the balls to tell the truth while a member of an administration that doesn’t. Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen has expressed concerns that the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have undermined the military’s ability to prevent other conflicts. Said Mullen; “Because we have had such an intense focus on the Middle East and Iraq and Afghanistan, there is risk associated with those other parts of the world.” (Ya think?)
Heckle: to what could be the worst-kept secret in Washington that DOESN’T involve Larry Craig. Considering that the administration has increasingly been throwing out threatening rhetoric on Iran, combined with Bush’s recent budget request of additonal money for wars and his request to equip B-2 “stealth” bombers with a new 30,000-pound bunker buster, many in DC and around the world are thinking that the administration has “plans for an attack on Iran”… (Look, I understand that Iran can not be allowed to have nuclear weapons, but so far there is no evidence that they do, and we are in NO position to get involved in another war right now… so I think Bush should keep his war-libido in check for a while, lest he get our beloved country into another senseless war…)
Applaud: to snarky comments from “President” Bush. During a tour of the California disaster area yesterday, he took a shot at Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, saying; “It makes a significant difference when you have somebody in the statehouse willing to take the lead.” (Yes, the Bush White House and FEMA fucked up royally, but Gov. Blanco deserves an equal share of the blame, and getting smacked down by Bush HAS to hurt…)
Heckle: to not knowing when to leave the limelight. Former FEMA director Michael “Sucks to be me” Brown, remember him, he’s the one who mismanaged the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, issued a press release earlier this week that said he is “available for interviews” on the wildfires. As if that wasn’t enough, he then went on to draw parallels between the current situation and Katrina. (Seriously, why is he still talking? He needs to STFU and slink away and not mention FEMA, Katrina, disasters EVER AGAIN… get a hint ‘Brownie’, no one cares…)
Applaud: to the Bush(whacked) Administration’s new “worst nightmare”, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). He’s become the administration’s nightmare because he’s a Democrat in the majority that not only has subpoena power, but also the inclination to overturn rocks.” (Keep at it Mr. Waxman, you seem to be the only one with balls…)
Heckle: to hypocrisy; presidential style. “President” Bush has been spouting off lately about being a believer of small government and budget-slashing and moderate spending. Well, according to an analysis by McClatchy, that’s a pile of bullshit as Bush is the biggest spending president since 1964, with annual growth of discretionary spending, having been adjusted for inflation, has increased 5.3% under Bush’s watch which far exceeds the spending of his recent predecessors… (I am shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment. Yes; that was sarcasm…)
Shallow Applaud: to a new “record” set by the House earlier this week as they recorded the 1,000th vote of the year. Last year’s gop-led Congress held just 543 votes. While that’s all fine and good, some of the votes they haven’t had have been ones that were important to a majority of Americans… so as I said, it’s a shallow applaud…
Heckle: to the silly-looking new logo from the CIA. Who created this, someone’s 2-year old?
Applaud: to Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington and their plans to join California’s lawsuit that is suing the EPA for stalling on a decision about whether to allow states to force car makers to produce cleaner vehicles. (It probably won’t do much good, but you never know…)
Heckle: to a new poll that tells us what many of us already knew; that the American public not only doubts whether the Bush(whacked) Administration’s foreign policy is working, but is “increasingly skeptical about whether anything can turn the situation around,” with 79% believing that the world “has become more dangerous” for the United States, and 64 percent “think the rest of the world sees the U.S. negatively.”
Applaud: to Valerie Plame. She gave her first interview since Bush(whacked) administration officials outed her covert CIA agent status and she revealed that she was covert and that her primary function was preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon. (Oops. If Bush and his merry band of cronies were capable of humiliation, this might do it… but they don’t care what others think, so it won’t have any effect on them…)
Heckle: to $2.4 trillion, which is, according to a CBO estimate, the potentially the cost of the wars in
Afghanistan Iran Afghanistan (?) and Iraq through the next decade. That breaks down to almost $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country. (And I’m sure it will only go up if we do eventually attack Iran…)
Applaud: to Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Mel Watt (D-NC) and Brad Miller (D-NC). Because of the hundreds of thousands of families facing foreclosure in recent months, the trio has introduced legislation that aims to protect consumers against predatory mortgages. (Good for them. Some of these mortgage companies operate barely within the law, and should be held accountable… though I have a feeling the trio’s conservative brethren might have something to say about this…)
Heckle: to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. The CBO released a report earlier this week that total spending for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and other activities related to the war on terrorism “would amount to between $1.2 trillion and $1.7 trillion for fiscal years 2001 through 2017.” When you add the $705 billion in interest, the cost of the wars could easily amount to $2.4 trillion. Perino attacked, saying that the report containes “a ton of speculation” and downplayed it as a creation “based on questions that Democrats in Congress that don’t want us to be in the war asked.” Never mind that it was prepared by the CBO. Perino then got really moronic and added that the White House is not concerned about the exact cost of the war. Yes, according to her, the White House doesn’t care how much money it costs to fail in Iraq… is it ever wonder why Bush’s ratings keep dropping. And before a conservative troll leaves a comment about why I don’t mention Congress’ low ratings, I’ll mention that Congress does indeed have low approval ratings… feel better now lemmings?
Applaud: to the Frost family for not backing down. Despite being attacked by various right wing pundits, they are not and will not back down from the fight for children’s health insurance. Earlier this past week matriarch Bonnie Frost stood up at a Baltimore church and made an appeal for broader health coverage… (Way to go Ms. Frost. I would wager that most of the “people” that attacked you wouldn’t have that kind of courage… keep it up)
Heckle: to placing blame just in order to score points with their like-minded
sheep viewers. Earlier this week Fox “News” morning hosts blamed the wildfires in California on a new culprit: al Qaeda. Pointing to a 2003 FBI memo that raised the possibility that al Qaeda may try to set wildfires around the western United States they noted that men in a “hovering helicopter” saw “a guy starting one of these fires.” (Well then; it’s official. It was al Qaeda…)
Applaud: to 25%, AKA; “Bush’s latest approval rating”. And because of his “weakened approval ratings”, he’s being forced to take a “much more personal role in opposing Congress.” (Riiiight…)
Heckle: to more gop hypocrisy. Last spring, Rep. Patrick McHenry (r-NC) berated a plethora of Democrats because they were blocking his proposal that would require Members to disclose the existence and value of their personal residences. Interestingly enough, or maybe not if you know how republicans act, McHenry himself has not disclosed at least three pieces of property that he owns that are worth more than $300,000 combined… (gop fever; catch it!)
Applaud: to another Bush cabinet member biting the dust. This time it’s Richard Griffin, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security. He announced his resignation earlier this week… (If they keep falling off like flies in this manner, how long until one of the Bush twins is in Daddy’s cabinet?)
And now it’s time for the gop Tool of the Week. This was another close week, but this time we have to give it to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Appearing on Fox “News” last Sunday, he declared that the U.S. was close to victory in Iraq and argued that the “only” concern left for the U.S is dealing with alleged Iranian involvement in Iraq. Said Kristol; “We’re winning in Iraq. That is the absolute crucial precondition to having success in the broader fight against Islamic jihadism. […] And I think we are going to have to be serious about dealing with both their intervention in Iraq — which is now the only real threat, I think, incidentally, to relative success in Iraq — and their nuclear program.” Um, okay… there’s no doubt that Iran is most likely causing some violence in Iraq, but there are more worse threats. Consider that a NIE released earlier this year concluded that Iranian involvement was “not likely” to be a major driver of violence. No, it’s not… let’s have some intelligence people…
Just when you thought that Bush and his merry band of cronies couldn’t sink any lower (eventually you would have to go underground; right?), they do.
Just when you think that FEMA couldn't do anything more to embarrass themselves, they do.
According to Washington Post's Al Kamen, during a presser yesterday with FEMA Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson, there were an odd number of so-called softball questions levied against him… well Kamen has revealed that the “reporters” in question were actually FEMA employees.
You read that right, FEMA employees posed as reporters in order to give their boss an easy press conference…
That’s just sad and pathetic…
From Kamen’s WaPo article:
“The first questions were about the "commodities" being shipped to Southern California and how officials are dealing with people who refuse to evacuate. He responded eloquently. […] He was apparently quite familiar with the reporters -- in one case, he appears to say "Mike" and points to a reporter -- and was asked an oddly in-house question about "what it means to have an emergency declaration as opposed to a major disaster declaration" signed by the president. He once again explained smoothly.
But something didn't seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA's greatness.
Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We're told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of external affairs, and by "Mike" Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John "Pat" Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.”
I don’t know what’s more incredible; that they did it, or that they tried to pass it off as being okay.
When they started getting negative feedback, public affairs deputy Mike Widomski defended the propaganda pageant and insisted that FEMA staffers were simply asking the same questions that real reporters had been asking all day…
The AP does NOT agree;
“One way to get decent coverage in this rough-and-tumble city is to arrange to have your own employees interrogate you at your news conference. […] That would seem to be the strategy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago.”
Nor does E&P;
“It appears the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has found the answer to nosey reporters in the two years since Hurricane Katrina: have a press conference and have your own people ask the questions.”
Nor Rolling Stone;
“Somebody needs to be fired for this.”
This has to be one of the most pathetic displays ever carried out by a Bush(whacked) Administration leader… and considering the source, that’s saying a lot.
It’s Friday… you all know what to do…
- WARNING! WARNING! The Poughkeepsie Journal in New York reports that Vice President Dick "President" Cheney is going hunting this weekend. So anyone in the region should maintain alertness... don't say we didn' warn you.
- CNN headline; “Iran becoming new Iraq on campaign trail.” (Wow, they certainly are on the ball in Atlanta, aren’t they? It’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written form. I, personally, still think that Iraq is Iraq on the campaign trail; but that would be too logical, wouldn’t it…)
- The House passed the revised SCHIP bill yesterday, although once again “President” Bush has vowed to wield his veto crayon to stop it saying that is covers TOO many kids. Stay tuned, I doubt that this is the end of it…
- The Representatives who sponsored the resolution that would label the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to delay the vote because they’re worried that it would fail. (I understand the symbolism in this resolution, but the timing is off and delaying the vote is probably a good idea…)
- Fearful of not being relevant anymore, Iowa Democrats are planning to have their caucus on January 3rd. (All fine and good, but Iowa has not been relevant in the primary process for a very long time, and the more they strive to BE relevant, the more ridiculous they look…)
- And have we mentioned? That ex-Senator, and current gop prez candidate Fred Thompson (r-TN) said that he doesn’t share Dick Cheney’s views of executive power? It’s true, he said; “No, I think the constitution in times of war, especially, is very definitive about that. […] [I]t’s divided power in the constitution. Our founding fathers divided that up. … So no one branch of the government can misuse power.” (Wow… truer words have never been spoken by
a republicana politician. Too bad his campaign is already on the rocks and taking on water…)
Thursday, October 25, 2007
One day closer...
- Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those effected by the Southern California wildfires.
- The gop is angry because Democrats are actually trying to DO something in the House. Apparently taking a page from the gop playbook the Democrats have decided to hold the next vote on SCHIP today… when, by pure coincidence I’m sure (sarcasm alert), many republicans will be in California with “President” Bush as he tours the areas hit by the devastating Southern California wildfires… (the timing is suspect to be sure, but the tactics are nothing for the republicans to get upset about, as a quick review of history would show that the gop has done the same thing. I welcome it because it – finally! – shows that the Dems may have some balls…)
- The US has apparently taken a page from the UN handbook and has “slapped” sanctions on Iran.
- We now have an entry in the most ridiculous, inane, and unlikely-to-ever-be-kept campaign promise of this campaign as Rudy Giuliani has said that if he is elected president, he would end illegal immigration… (Uh, huh…)
- Yet another member of “President” Bush’s staff has resigned… this time it’s the State Department's chief of diplomatic security Richard Griffin. His resignation comes during the State Department getting scrutinized for the use of private military contractors after the September 16th killings of Iraqi civilians by Backwater USA… if Bush’s staff keeps abandoning the ship like this, we’ll be looking at Jenna or Barbara in the State Department... (shudder)
- And have we mentioned? That the White House is now admitting that they “heavily edited [the CDC director’s] testimony on global warming”? At first the White House denied that they had “watered down” the congressional testimony by Dr. Julie Gerberding but admitted it after they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar… (Ok, they admitted doing it, but that still shouldn’t excuse it… when the government starts censoring their own departments, they’ve crossed a line.)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The standing of the US continues to circle the drain.
It should come as no surprise that a new opinion poll shows that Iran is the country most people around the world would like see having less power 39% wanting to see the influence of Iran diminished.
In second place, at 37%, is the United States.
That’s right; people around the globe put a startling 2% difference between Iran and the US when it comes to wanting diminished power for that country.
The poll, which was commissioned by a new think tank on EU affairs named the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), surveyed 57,000 people from 52 countries in June and August and is not entirely without positives.
For instance, it shows that a scant 14% wanted Iran to have more power but 26% thought that more U.S. influence would make the world a better place.
High praise indeed…
Having said all this, no one can actually be surprised by any of this, right? Sure, seven years ago this headline would have shocked people, now? Not so much.
Let’s face facts, it was only a matter of time before the Bush(whacked) Administration’s stumbling and bumbling drunken frat/cowboy routine put the final nail in the coffin for many folks around the world.
Add to that that another new poll finds that American's not only doubt that Bush's foreign policy is working, but they are “increasingly skeptical" as to if anything can turn the situation around. Per the poll, 79% believe that the world “has become more dangerous” for the US, and 64% thinks that “the rest of the world sees the U.S. negatively.”
We’re circling the drain, and who knows who could help? Certainly not this president, and, for now, certainly not this Congress…
Where did Tuesday go?
- Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are being affected by the Southern California wildfires…
- Speaking of which, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael “Brownie Who?” Chertoff said that lessons learned after the Bush(whacked) Administration’s inept, non-existent, pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina are being used in responding to the fires in Southern California… and the less said about that the better.
- “President” Bush wants $42 Billion more for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq even though Congress hasn't even approved the administration’s initial request of $147 billion for the two wars… (I would like to ask the question of how he would even know he needs the $42B more when he hasn’t even gotten the initial request, but then I might get an answer, and my Doctor told me to cut down on rhetoric this week…)
- This could be filed in the ‘No Surprise to Me’ file; the White House edited congressional testimony given by the director of the CDC on the impact of climate change on health, going as far as removing specific scientific references to potential health risks. (I’m sure this is the first time they’ve ever done anything like that… he wrote, laughing himself into convulsions. How could this possibly surprise anyone, it’s the Bush(whacked) Administration and we’ve seen evidence of this before. And we’ll probably see it again before Bush leaves office…)
- What’s happening on the campaign trail this week? Pretty much the usual; pandering, spinning and sliming from BOTH sides…
- And have we mentioned? That Fox “News” is insinuating that al Qaeda is behind the California wildfires? It’s true, on “Fox and Friends” this morning, the hosts pointed to a 2003 FBI memo that raised the possibility that al Qaeda may try to set wildfires around the western United States (the memo mentioned Colorado, Montana, Utah, & Wyoming btw). They also spoke of men in a “hovering helicopter” seeing “a guy starting one of these fires.” (Now, I’m not naïve enough to not think that terrorists could very well carry out acts of terrorism in this manner. My snark is more reserved for Fox “News”. Where is the proof? Where is the evidence to support the possibility? Give more than “hovering helicopter” men and all…)
Monday, October 22, 2007
American Research Group published new poll results today, and it’s not good for “President” Bush as it shows his approval rating to be a lowly 25%....
I’ll pause a moment to let that sink in…
The 25% mark matches Bush’s lowest approval rating by the American Research Group.
And the bad news doesn’t end there.
In addition to the approval ratings, the poll also asked Americans about the economy, more specifically if the national economy is getting better.
8% of Americans say that the national economy is getting better, 18% say it is staying the same, and 69% say the national economy is getting worse.
And when they were asked if the national economy will be better a year from now, 18% say yes that is will, 27% say it will be the same as it is now, and 53% say it will be worse.
But the real tell is that a total of 38% of Americans rate the national economy as excellent, very good, or good… meaning that 61%, 61%! rate the national economy as bad, very bad, or terrible.
What does this mean? It means that the only people who believe the economy is doing good fall into one of two categories; they work/live in the White House or are goats that follow the herd.
And the only group that has lower ratings than Bush is Congress... so how's about we get off our asses out there in DC and do something like, I don't know... GOVERN?
Monday… let’s get it on…
- The republican presidential candidates debated again yesterday… and this time it amounted to little more than the candidates having a game of ‘my gop credentials are bigger than yours’…
- Vice President Dick “President” Cheney gave a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Studies this past weekend and said something that is sure to get things moving around the world, saying; “We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.” (Uh, oh… I really need to get to work on that bomb shelter…)
- The major labor unions (AFL-CIO, Teamsters, etc) are playing their cards close to their vest when it comes to the plethora of presidential candidates, Democrat and republican… they haven’t thrown support behind anyone yet... and the candidates know this and are kissing their collective asses… so stay tuned.
- Valerie Plame Wilson gave her first interview since the Bush(whacked) Administration
sold her outouted her as a covert CIA agent. In the interview she revealed that her primary job was to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon… (oops…) by delivering “fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran”… (again; oops…)
- And have we mentioned? That ousted U.S. attorney John McKay revealed that, at the conclusion of the investigation, the U.S. Inspector General may recommend criminal prosecution of departed AG Alberto Gonzales. And the plot thickens… stay tuned.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Well folks, here it is, your heaping helping of a tasty dish we like to call The Weekly Rewind.
Heckle: to doing only half the job. The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday voted 13-2 to approve a bill tightening rules on government wiretapping. The legislation would also contains a “highly controversial” grant of legal immunity for telecoms, a provision demanded by the White House. Once again, a voice of common sense, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said he was not prepared to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies for their participation in the warrantless wiretapping program. “I certainly would not give them immunity retroactively on programs that we don’t know what they are,” he said. Thank you Senator! I, and many other Americans are getting tired of half-assed legislation.
Heckle: A new report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction states that U.S. attempts at political reconciliation, economic growth, and building an effective police force in Iraq “have failed to show significant progress in nearly every one of the nation’s provincial regions and the capital.” And this surprises anyone?
Heckle: 136: Number of people who were killed by a suicide bomber in Karachi, Pakistan, on Thursday. Thousands turned out for the return of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. What is is about freedom and democracy that threatens people in the middle east and surrounding areas?
Heckle: Oil prices have soared to “another record high,” hitting $90.07. Can $100 be far away? Who would have ever thought….
Applaud: Our favorite conservative, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) won second place in the annual D.C.’s Funniest Celebrity contest, beating out Wonkette founder Ana Marie Cox and Grover Norquist. Specter joked that Bob Dole once told him, “Arlen, you know [Viagra] costs $10 a pill?” “Bob, how in the hell would I know about that?,” Specter replied. “And then Elizabeth said to him in anger…’Bob, you can afford $40 a year!’” Watch it here. Nice! He’ll be here all week folks, be sure to tip your waiter…..
Heckle: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is still under the microscope from the Kentucky press over his office’s involvement in smearing Graeme Frost. In an editorial entitled “McConnell versus truth,” The Courier-Journal writes, “It’s clear what Mitch McConnell knew and when he knew it. It’s clear he deceived the public.” The Herald-Leader also weighs in. And the Georgetown News-Graphic. What do you expect when you pick the wrong side of an issue and you pick on a kid.
Applaud: to finally getting your head out of your ass. Under pressure to help override President Bush’s veto, at least five of the eight House Democrats who voted initially against expanding a popular children’s health insurance program now say they’ll switch sides.”
Heckle: to 24 percent. What is it? It’s President Bush’s approval rating in a new Reuters/Zogby poll, which sets yet another record low for the President. Can he get to the teens? He has a little over 15 months left to continue his downhill slide.
Heckle: During his townhall meeting in Arkansas yesterday, “not a single questioner criticized” President Bush. With polls showing Bush’s disapproval at record highs (see above), the White House is staging “let-Bush-be-Bush events” in front of “friendly audiences” with “increasing frequency.” Sorry guys, no one is buying it, go peddle your crazy somewhere else….
Applaud: to seeing the writing on the wall. This week, Rep. David Hobson (R-OH) announced that he will retire at the end of his term. Hobson is the 11th Republican House member to announce retirement ahead of the 2008 election.
And Finally- Colbert throws his hat in the ring. On the Daily Show this week, comedian Stephen Colbert “made a surprise appearance” to officially announce he was considering a run for president. About 20 minutes later on his own show, Colbert announced “Yes, I’m doing it!” He then welcomed CBS political analyst Jeff Greenfield to analyze his impact on the race “in the past three minutes. Could he do worse than we currently have? I doubt it…
There you go.
Be good, stay informed…..later
Friday, October 19, 2007
Friday is here, and my heart knows no bounds.
- Oil prices have soared to “another record high,” hitting $90.07 yesterday…
- A strategist on Sen. Clinton’s (D-NY) made a prediction yesterday and said that close to 25% of republican women could vote for her… which drew a sharp retort from one of her opponents; Sen. Obama (D-IL). (Wow… talking like that, saying that your candidate would garner votes from the opposition party, almost like he’s paid to say that and was strategizing something… … it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written form.)
- Religious conservatives, one of the gop’s most treasured groups and a group they could always count on for bringing them votes, are having trouble with all of the gop presidential candidates. (Meh. It could only help the Dems in the end and maybe, just maybe, might bring some enlightenment to a FEW people, though I doubt it...)
- Did I mention that oil prices have soared to “another record high,” and hit $90.07 yesterday?
- Democrats failed to override “President” Bush’s SCHIP veto but are vowing to go back to the drawing board until they create a bill that will get presidential approval. Uh, huh… just like they did on Iraq… and FISA…
- Bush’s nominee to replace Attorney General Gonzales, Michael Mukasey, is frustrating Democrats with his answers on torture… (and this is surprising people because??? Despite some republican’s objections of his nomination, he IS a republican with republican ideologies, and if you were truly expecting something different, then you should get a new job… preferably one that makes use of the phrase; want fries with that?)
- And have we mentioned? That the Iraqi government has “put the U.S. on notice” that they do not want permanent U.S. bases in Iraq? It’s true… Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak Al-Rubaie gave the message “directly to Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House” and later told CNN that Iraqis say, “No, big fat no, N-O for the bases in Iraq.” (It will be interesting to see how the Bush(whacked) Administration reacts to this and what they do… though, since it IS this White House, they’ll probably do what they always do. Ignore the will of people and do whatever the hell they want… stay tuned)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
One truly has to wonder how “President” Bush’s logic works at times…
During his presser yesterday, Bush was asked about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and he warned for the first time, or at the least he warned for the first time in public of the risk of “World War III” if Iran gets nuclear weapons. TPM has the video HERE.
Said Bush; “I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III… […] It seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”
Sure… whatever you say Mr. Bush.
What this does is make it clear that attacking Iran has replaced attacking Iraq as the official Presidential wet dream…
Like it was with Iraq, the rational from ‘diplomacy’ to ‘attack!’ shifts until something sticks or the White House confuses everybody by claiming that their shifting rationales were, in fact, serious diplomatic efforts.
The administration’s first rational was that Iran was secretly developing nuclear weapons… but that has now been debunked by UN weapons inspectors.
The second rationale was that Iranians were arming Iraqi insurgents… this too has been debunked.
This brings us to the third rationale, “possessing the knowledge to build a nuclear weapon.”
This isn’t new technology, so Iran almost certainly possesses the technology to build a weapon. So we go from having weapons, to arming, to having technology to build nukes.
So in three simple steps, the bar to attack Iran has been lowered.
On we march to war...
It's Thursday; meh...
- The Kentucky media is not letting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (r-KY) off easy over his office’s involvement in smearing a 12-year old. The Courier-Journal writes in their editorial “McConnell versus truth” that “It’s clear what Mitch McConnell knew and when he knew it. It’s clear he deceived the public.” (Ouch… word of advice to Mr. McConnell; fess up, or the scrutiny will only get worse for you… and better for everyone who supports SCHIP)
- 8 in 10 Americans favor Congress’s legislation to expand SCHIP, with “large majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.” Compare that to 22% public approval “President” Bush’s handling of health care, and you have a clear picture of just what the American people want… but why should that enter into Bush’s mind. He’s shown time and again that he will do whatever the hell he wants, the wants of the American people be damned…
- Lynn Cheney wants a leader in the “Dick Cheney mold”… there has to be a joke in there somewhere, I just can’t think of one right now… anyone?
- According to gop sources, who I can only imagine walk around in herds, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (r-IL) will resign his seat later this year rather than complete his term…and the dominoes continue to fall…
- Sam Brownback (r-KS) is abandoning his republican presidential campaign… that sound you just heard was thousands of people asking; “Who?”
- And have we mentioned? That outed CIA operative Valerie Plame is releasing her book, “Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House” next week? The book, which is the first time that she has publicly detailed the scandal, offers up some harsh words for “President” Bush. Should be a good read… certainly better than any claptrap released by Ann “Any nickname I give her would be too cruel and I would go to hell for writing it” Coulter…
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Remember how we told you earlier this week that the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Retired Vice Admiral Scott Redd, said this weekend that the U.S. is not “tactically” safer as a result of the Iraq war and that, over the short term, the Iraq war has created a “giant recruiting tool” for terrorists and that his view is the polar opposite of the White House’s view?
Well, citing a need to have both knees replaced and the desire to more time with his grandchildren, he resigned today.
Yes, you read that right; he resigned today.
I’m sure there’s no correlation between his interview and his sudden departure... no, not at all.
Hump day… mid-week… halfway to Friday…
- A new Reuters/Zogby poll puts “President” Bush’s approval rating at a record low 24%... (ya know; sometimes the snark just writes itself)
- Speaking of polling, a new CNN poll by the Opinion Research Corporation shows that one-time gop presidential wunderkind Fred Thompson’s star is falling fast. Back in September when he entered the race his support was 27%, neck and neck with Rudy Giuliani. Now it’s at 19% and John McCain is nipping at his heels…
- Twenty. Four. Percent.
- The Nevada Democratic Party announced that it will hold its caucus on January 19th and will not petition the national party to move it up a week.
- National Institutes of Health Director Elias Zerhouni threw out another chastising of “President” Bush’s stem cell policy. Said Zerhouni; “ All avenues of research need to be pursued,” to which White House spokesman Tony Fratto responded by saying that Bush has a “broader view” than scientists, which takes into account “moral and religious views.” (What a tool…)
- And have we mentioned? That republican presidential candidates are beating the war-drums for Iran? (Sigh… what more needs to be said other than this. If another republican gets into the White House in 2008, you can take it to the bank that the US will get involved in another war… if Bush and his war-mongering cronies haven’t done it already…)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Over the weekend we were treated to another former US General slamming the Iraq war and the Bush(whacked) Administration’s strategy (a term I use very, very loosely…)
Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top American commander, gave a speech in which he offered up an extensive condemnation of the four-years the U.S. has been in Iraq.
Not only did he say that that administration’s war plan was “catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic”, he also said that the Bush(whacked) Administration’s handling of the war was incompetent. He then denounced the current “surge” strategy as a “desperate” move that will not achieve long-term stability before saying that the US was “living a nightmare with no end in sight.”
The number of people who are starting to see this for the first time is staggering, but not surprising. It was only a matter of time before people’s minds caught up with their eyes and they saw what a true mess the Iraq war is.
And following hot on the heels of Gen. Sanchez’ comments that the Iraq war is a “nightmare with no end in sight”, 12 former Army captains have come out declaring that “five years on, Iraq is in shambles,” and that “short” of a military draft, “our best option is to leave Iraq immediately.”
So much for the Bush(whacked) Administration’s claims that all in the military support the war… but the 12 soldiers weren’t done… they went on to say;
“As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we’ve seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it’s like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it’s time to get out. […] To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition. America, it has been five years. It’s time to make a choice.”
When will this administration see this for themselves??
Another day, another payment to a program that I will never receive money from.
- Headlines you love to see in the NY Times: “Democratic Candidates Keep Outraising Republicans.” Things are still not going well for the gop in the fundraising race. In addition to the fact that the DCCC has a lot more money than their gop counterpart, the leading Democratic presidential candidates raised twice as much money as the republicans this summer. Hell, Hillary has $35 million in her war chest… (Now, if only the Dems would get off their ass and, I don’t know, DO something…)
- Rudy Giuliani would be prepared if Aliens (the kind from outer space, not from other countries) attacked the U.S… uh, huh…
- CNN reports that the gop presidential candidates are breaking Ronald Regan’s so-called 11th commandment and are focusing their vitriol on each other rather. (I, personally, do not think that there’s anything wrong with that. The in-fighting they are doing can only help the Democrats in the long run… and if that is indeed the case, I’m all for it…)
- And have we mentioned? That a republican Senator may be joining the retirement cavalcade? A spokesman for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (r-TX) will not seek re-election so she can focus on running for governor of Texas. (I know it’s trite to say this now, because we’ve been saying it so much, but it’s oh-so-fun… will the last republican leaving DC please turn off the lights. But in all seriousness, the republicans are hemorrhaging, and the Democrats need to focus their energy in beating them and, possibly, having control of the House, the Senate AND the White House after November 2008…)
Monday, October 15, 2007
As if we needed more proof that some people are not only idiots, but shouldn’t be allowed to come within 1 mile of a voting booth, we get this ‘gem’…
“President” Bush was in Rogers, Arkansas today, and during a Q&A, one individual stood up and told the president that a lot of his friends wished that Bush could serve “another four years.”
What the hell is wrong with these people?
The economy is circling the drain… the Iraq war is a lost cause… Afghanistan is a forgotten war in the White House… the gop is in disarray, primarily because of the current commander in chief… and the war-drums are beating for Iran…
All of this, and there are STILL some people in this country who think this man is doing a good job.
It’s absolutely mind-boggling… no, let me call it what it is; pathetic…
Weekend is done… Monday is here.
- House republicans are
hurtling themselves over the clifffalling into place behind “President” Bush and his SCHIP veto… they just don’t get it, do they?
- Following on the heels of Ralph Regula (r-OH) announcing his retirement last week, another republican is retiring at the end of their term. This time it’s Rep. David Hobson (r-OH), who made the announcement that he’s retiring at the end of his term Sunday, making him the 11th Republican House member to announce his retirement… I know it’s almost trite asking this, but will the last republican leaving DC please turn off the lights? Especially if you’re from Ohio…
- Ridiculous Political Headline of the Week comes from WaPo: First Lady's Influence Goes Global… uh-huh, sure it does…
- Remember those rules implemented towards regulating the effects that lobbyists have? Yeah, not surprisingly, everyone is finding ways around the rules. And they didn’t see this coming??
- And have we mentioned? That you don’t mess around with Sam Donaldson? During a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week”, right-wing columnist George Will mocked the Nobel committee for awarding the Peace Prize to Al Gore, saying that all Gore does is engage in “hyperbole” and was droing on and on that there is no “planetary crisis” until Sam Donaldson of ABC News interrupted him;“Now if you and Sen. Inhofe want to continue to stick your heads in the sand, I’m going to make it out. I’m old enough and I’ll will probably get out of here before the earth collapses. But I have grandchildren, George.” But Sam wasn’t done. When Will went on to say that a paltry number of the American public considers global warming their top concern, Donaldson then pointed out that “not long ago, the vast majority of the American people endorsed the strike against Iraq too. You telling me now that people haven’t gotten on to this problem, as they should, is not to say that the problem does not exist.”
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Heckle: to the smearing of a 12-year old, which shows the true nature of republicans. All of you attacking this kid better be careful, karma has a way of coming back to bite you on the ass…
Applaud: to winning YET again. First he was the true winner of the 2000 presidential election…then an Oscar, and a Grammy, and now former Vice President Al Gore has been named a co-winner, along with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The committee awarded them the prize early Friday in recognitiong of “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” (Way to Al, way to go…)
Heckle: to dwindling numbers. No, I’m not talking about the dwindling of republicans in Congress, but rather the number of the Iraq war coalition. Originally there were 49 nations in the coalition… that number has now plummeted to 21. (How long until it’s a coalition of 1?)
Applaud: to seemingly knowing where the TRUE war on terror is. The US Marine Corps wants to remove its forces from Iraq and send them to Afghanistan so they could take over the lead combat role there. (Interesting turn of events isn’t it? Stay tuned…)
Heckle: to “President” Bush and his pathetic claims that the U.S. economy is currently “vibrant and strong” and is full of “good news for people here in our country.” Luckily though, a new AP poll leads to a:
Applaud: to the American people for NOT believing the spin. A new AP poll shows that a “growing number of people say the economy is the nation’s top problem” and don’t agree with Bush’s assesment… keep spinning George, people aren’t believing it…
Heckle: to inane comments. During this past week’s republican debate, moderator Chris Matthews asked Mitt Romney if he would get congressional approval in order to “take military action against Iran.” Romney’s response was a less-than-stellar; “You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do.” (Putz…)
Applaud: that 70% of registered voters think “President” Bush’s $200 billion Iraq war supplemental spending request should be rejected or, at the least, conditioned on redeployment… (But will the administration care? Absolutely not…)
Heckle: to something that shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The opening of the obscenely large US embassy in Iraq has been delayed indefinitely… I know, it’s hard to believe. Apparently there is a laundry list of problems that the Kuwaiti contractor is trying to fix… nice oversight there guys… way to go.
Applaud: to a study that tells non-lemmings what we already knew. A wide-ranging study of abortion concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is legal and those where it is illegal… meaning, for those of you who have trouble using your own brain, that outlawing the procedure does VERY little to deter women seeking it and, shockingly (sarcasm alert!) that abortions were found to be much more dangerous in countries where it was outlawed… (what else can be said?)
Heckle: to unwelcome, but not totally surprising, news. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey recently said that the Army will need “three or four years to recover from the strains of repeated deployments to Iraq”… even with the supposed drawdown of US forces next year… (And still, the administration is war-mongering towards Iran… what part of this equation do they NOT understand?
Applaud: to a bad week for Blackwater USA. Let’s see, the UN is urging the U.S. to establish some kind of process that would not only hold security contractors accountable for “unjustified killings” but would also ensure that offenses committed in Iraq by “all categories of U.S. contractor employees” would be “subject to prosecution.” And have I mentioned that this came on the heels that the Associated Press is reporting that the State Department is looking to “phase out or limit” the use of private security guards in Iraq,… meaing a more than likely cancelation of Blackwater USA’s contract with the US. And lest we forget, the Iraqi government also wants the U.S. to “sever all contracts” in Iraq with Blackwater within six months and pay $8 million in compensation to each of the families of the 17 people murdered by the firm’s guards last month. (Sucks to be them, doesn’t it. though it’s probably too little, too late…)
Heckle: to stupidity in the form of the Bush White House. For years a private monitoring group had access to al Qaeda’s Internet communications system… until the Bush(whacked) Administration got wind of it, leaked it, and the access was blocked… smooth move there guys…
Applaud: to the British think tank Oxford Research Group, who stated that, six years after 9/11, the “‘war on terror’ is failing” and is “fueling an increase in support for extremist Islamist movements.” The group went on to state that the sky is blue, water quenches your thirst and a “fundamental re-think is required” if al Qaeda is to be rendered ineffective… (why is is that people in foreign countries can see this, but many in this country can’t??)
Heckle: to grossly overstepping their bounds… The NSA and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the telephone company refused to go along with a phone spying program… what country do we live in again?
Applaud: to the ever-dropping approval ratings for Mr. Bush as his most recent job approval rating according to the latest Gallup poll is below his previous reading of 36%. Not being one who enjoys the misery of others… that’s a lie, I do… I won’t reveal the actual number other than saying that it’s approaching Nixonian levels… heh, heh, heh…
Heckle: to Rudy Giuliani. Apparently not expecting people to actually look into it, his campaign web site claims that he was responsible for the staggering growth of the New York City police force by 12,000 officers. Turns out that someone DID look into it and the actual increase was about 3,660, or about 10%. His assertion that it had something to do with 9/11 starts in five, four, three…
Applaud: to the news that federal investigators are hinting that a fresh wave of campaign-related theft and corruption investigations of Members of Congress are moving quickly and may mean that there are more indictments on the horizon… couldn’t have happened to a better group of people.
Applaud: to Colorado State Rep. Debbie Stafford for refusing to go over the cliff. She’s fed up with the gop and has left the republican party and joined the Democrats. Ouch, that ones gotta hoit…
Applaud: to John Cole. Read my earlier post and you’ll understand why…
Friday, October 12, 2007
I was going to write a post about the gop’s smear-campaign aimed at a 12-year old boy… but instead I will let John Cole, a republican… after this disgusting display he’s now a former republican… give his opinion;
“If you look through this family’s dossier, it appears they are doing everything Republicans say they should be doing- hell, their story is almost what you would consider a checklist for good, red-blooded American Republican voters: they own their own business, they pay their taxes, they are still in a committed relationship and are raising their kids, they eschewed public education and are doing what they have to do to get them into Private schools, they are part of the American dream of home ownership that Republicans have been pointing to in the past two administrations as proof of the health of the economy, and so on.
In short, they are a white, lower-middle-class, committed family, who is doing EVERYTHING the GOP Kultur Kops would have you believe people should be doing. They aren’t gay. They aren’t divorced. They didn’t abort their children. They aren’t drug addicts or welfare queens. They are property owners, entrepeneurs, taxpayers, and hard-working Americans. I bet nine times out of ten in past elections, if you handed this resume to a pollster, they would think you were discussing the prototypical Republican voter. Hell, the only thing missing from this equation is membership to a church and an irrational fear of Muslims and you HAVE the prototypical Bush voter [...]
I simply can not believe this is what the Republican party has become. I just can’t. It just makes me sick to think all those years of supporting this party, and this is what it has become. Even if you don’t like the S-Chip expansion, it is hard to deny what Republicans are- a bunch of bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, vicious thugs, peering through people’s windows so they can make fun of their misfortune.
I’m registering Independent tomorrow.”
A poster at consertive website Free Republic spun information about the family which allowed him to claim that the boy was actually a rich kid who was being pampered by the government and that the boy and his sister attend wealthy schools that cost "nearly $40,000 per year for tuition" and live in a well-off home.
The only problem is that none of that is true. Rather than spin information to use as ammo, ThinkProgress did the unthinkable and did some investigative journalism and found that the boy has a scholarship to the private school, Yes, it costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.
The boy’s sister attends another private school to help her with the brain injuries that occurred due to her accident. This school costs $23,000 a year, but the state pays the entire cost.
Their “lavish house” was purchased sixteen years ago for $55,000.
Last year the family made $45,000 combined and have never earned more than $50,000, combined, a year…
The conservative pundits (Limbaugh, Malkin, etc) are so fucking desperate to defend Bush’s decision to cut SCHIP, that they are now launching baseless and uninformed attacks against a 12 year old child and his family.
The gop is neither passionate or family friendly… they’re a group of feckless thugs who WILL get theirs in the end via a little thing called Karma, baby!
Count on it…
Thursday, October 11, 2007
One day closer to Friday...
- The Army is lowering their recruiting standards… and paying officers $35K to re-up… no, that’s not a sign of desperation at all. Sigh, it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written form…
- The Bush White House is fighting Democratic changes to their surveillance act… Voting along party lines the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees approved a bill that would require the government to get approval from a special intelligence court for surveillance… not sure why the Bush White House would be against this bill. Sigh, it’s so hard to express sarcasm in the written form…
- In a case so complex it’s akin to understanding Quantum Physics, SCOTUS is debating the extension of executive powers. At issue is a rape and murder case that involves the power of the US judiciary, the authority of the World Court, Congress’ role in the enforcement of treaties and states abilities to ignore a presidential directive. This case could have far-reaching results, so stay tuned…
- And have we mentioned? That Vice President Dick “President” Cheney is no longer the gop fundraising ace he once was? Not that long ago, Cheney was popular enough to charge donors $4,200 for a handshake and a photo… but now he’s become much less sought-after for congressional republicans looking for fundraising help. At this point in 2005 Cheny had headlined fundraisers for 10 conservative incumbents. This year? One… for Rep. Sam Graves (r-MO)… sometimes the snark is clear enough that I don’t even need to add to it; this is one of those times…
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Back from my trip and ready to get back to it.
- The gop presidential contenders held a debate yesterday and, for the first time, Fred Thompson participated… no word on if the debate was held this early so Mr. Thompson could make the Early Bird special at The Sizzler.
- A former aide to “President” Bush has opined on the above-mentioned gop candidates and wasn’t kind. Former White House counselor Dan Bartlett was brutally honest in his assessments, calling Fred Thompson the campaign's “biggest dud,” that Mitt Romney has “a real problem in the South” because of his Mormonism, that Mike Huckabee's last name is too hick, and that John McCain could pull a repeat of his 2000 performance and win New Hampshire yet still lose the battle… ouch, and that’s coming from a fellow republican…
- As if we needed more examples of why congress’ approval ratings are lower than Bush’s, we are presented with this: there’s a resolution in the House that would label the deaths of Armenians as “genocide.” Oh, did we mention that the deaths of the Armenians was during the Ottoman Empire… which was more than 90 years ago… (our troops are still waging a senseless war… the economy is falling apart… our civil liberties are under attack… bin Laden is STILL running around… but let’s worry about this. I have nothing against Armenia, my middle name is, in fact, Armenian, but this is still somewhat sad that this is the only resolution/bill that the House can muster…)
- And have we mentioned? That Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey held a press conference yesterday? During the presser, Casey said that “It’s going to take us three or four years and a substantial amount of resources to put ourselves back in balance” and restore US forces to peak capability…and despite this, the White House and a handful of republicans are pushing for military action against Iran… with what, I have no idea.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Good day sports fans. As a Chicago fan when someone is in the playoffs you’ve gotta root for them. This year it’s the Cubs. They are down 2 games in the best of 5 playoffs and tonight they either live to play another day or go down swinging… we will see what happens.
While we are waiting let’s kick back and enjoy what we like to call The Weekly Rewind.
Applaud: 70 percent: Americans who want funding for the war to be reduced. Bush’s approval rating stands at 33 percent. Just 29 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, although the public rates congressional Republicans (29 percent) lower than congressional Democrats (38 percent). Once again we yell and wave our arms, but no one in Washington seems to care.
Heckle: The Anti-Defamation League is calling on Senator McCain to “reconsider and withdraw” his comment over the weekend that the Constitution established America as a “Christian nation.” I’m sorry, I may not agree with the Senator, but I do believe that while not expressly written, that the founding fathers did have in mind a Christian nation at our founding.
Applaud: Congress is pushing legislation to give Inspectors General “greater budgetary independence.” The measure would also make it harder for the administration to fire the the watchdogs. The White House is threatening to veto the bill. Of course they are, why would they want to be held accountable for their actions this late in the game?
Heckle: The State Department launched its own blog last week, called “Dipnote.” People have already complained “that the white print on a black background makes it hard to read” Finally, “unbiased news directly from the federal government, a news source long noted for truthful, unbiased reporting,” the Washington Post’s Al Kamen mockingly writes. Nicely done Al, I couldn’t have said it better.
A sad state of affairs: There were 317,000 applications for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week, and the biggest jump in four months. Analysts believe the increase could be a further sign that the labor market is slowing under the impact of the worst slump in housing in 16 years. A Heckle to the administration for continually trying to tell us that the economy is great. Any working American can tell you that they are not better off then they were 6 ½ years ago.
Applaud: Bush’s veto of SCHIP has divided conservatives. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said yesterday, “We’ve got to do what we can to try to override” the veto. “If we’re truly compassionate, it seems to me, we’d want to endorse this program,” added Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). A big thank you to the Senators for seeing what is painfully obvious to most Americans. Let's spread some of that to you fellow 'compassionate'conservatives.
Heckle: Over and over, President Bush confidently promised to ‘solve problems, not pass them on to future presidents and future generations.’ As the clock runs out on his eight-year presidency, a tall stack of troubles remain and Bush’s words ring hollow. And we were not going to be an ‘occupying army’ in Iraq. Anyone remember that??
Applaud: With bipartisan support, the House is expected today to take up legislation that would make it clear that U.S. laws apply to all armed private contractors hired for overseas missions.” The Bush administration opposes the bill, warning it would have ‘unintended and intolerable consequences’ for national security. Why is it that every time something goes against the administration it will always be bad for National Security? It’s gotten to the point of Chicken Little….
Applaud: Final score: Boxer 3, Inhofe 0. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has repeatedly challenged Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) authority over the Senate environmental committee. During one hearing, she had to inform him, “You don’t make the rules anymore.” Yesterday, Boxer slammed down Inhofe’s assertion that she couldn’t invite sitting senators to the hearings, pointing out that in Sept. 2006, he invited Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). “I don’t mind if we have disagreements, but…let’s get the facts right,” she admonished him. You get ‘em Senator!
Applaud: Some business leaders are drifting away from conservatives “because of the war in Iraq, the growing federal debt and a conservative social agenda they don’t share.” Some business people want bolder action on global warming as well, leaving the “core business vote” up for grabs. It’s about time!
And finally, This weeks “Tool of the Week” is the Department of Defense. Why? Well, besides being tool of the Bush Administration they are also busy thinking of ways to screw our troops. How, well consider the 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard, who when they came home from Iraq, had been deployed longer than any other ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as part of President Bush's surge.1st Lt. Jon Anderson said he never expected to come home to this: A government refusing to pay education benefits he says he should have earned under the GI bill. "It's pretty much a slap in the face," Anderson said. "I think it was a scheme to save money, personally. I think it was a leadership failure by the senior Washington leadership... once again failing the soldiers." Anderson's orders, and the orders of 1,161 other Minnesota guard members, were written for 729 days. Had they been written for 730 days, just one day more, the soldiers would receive those benefits to pay for school. "Which would be allowing the soldiers an extra $500 to $800 a month," Anderson said.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Once again the Veto crayon was removed from its box and used to dash the hopes of millions of kids as “President” Bush vetoed the SCHIP bill… and unlike his last veto of stem-cell research (which also had wide-ranging support), he did it without a plethora of children behind him… and with good reason.
On September 27th – 30th, a Washington Post/ABC News Poll asked this question; “There's a proposal to increase federal spending on children's health insurance by 35 billion dollars over the next five years. It would be funded by an increase in cigarette taxes. Supporters say this would provide insurance for millions of low-income children who are currently uninsured. Opponents say this goes too far in covering children in families that can afford health insurance on their own. Do you support or oppose this increased funding for this program?”
Sooooooo… a large majorty of respondents said that they DID approve of the plan…
But once again, Bush wielded his crayon and vetoed the plan…
Reaction has been swift from both sides.
rEPUBLICAN Sen. Orrin Hatch (r-UT); “Unfortunately, I believe that some have given the president bad advice on this matter, because I believe that supporting this bipartisan compromise to provide health coverage to low-income children is the morally right thing to do. I hope that we can muster enough votes to overturn this veto.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); “It's very sad that the president has chosen to veto a bill that would provide health care for 10 million American children for the next five years. ... I don't think the president wants to say to the American people that he as the decider, the self-proclaimed decider, wants to decide what children get health care and which children do not.”
rEPUBLICAN Sen. Gordon Smith (r-OR); “I believe this is an irresponsible use of the veto pen. I hope the House can garner enough votes to override the President.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); “Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people. By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America.”
rEPUBLICAN Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (r-LA); This is an important program with bipartisan support, and I'm committed to a responsible extension. ... Any long-term extension must include an effective plan focused on enrolling children who currently qualify but who for whatever reason are not signed-up, anything less is irresponsible.”
Even rEPUBLICAN Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, who very well could be a witch that eats children; said; “I believe there are valid concerns about expanding SCHIP, but the president should sit down with Congress so we can continue the SCHIP program within the scope of its original mission, which is to insure as many children as possible who are too poor to afford private insurance but do not qualify for Medicaid.”
And reaction from non-politicians?
American Academy of Pediatrics president Jay Berkelhamer; “Today's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will have a serious negative impact on low-income children and their families across this nation.”
Chair of the AMA’s board of trustees Edward Langston; “The number of uninsured kids has increased by nearly 1 million over the past year, and action must be taken to reverse this trend. The AMA strongly urges members of Congress from both political parties to stand on the side of America's parents and children by voting to override the veto.”
What does the president not get regarding the program??
As I’ve said many, many, many times before; January 20, 2009 CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH…
I’ll be out the rest of the week, so enjoy a hump-day, might-as-well-be-Friday edition of TDBW...
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has opened up a surmountable lead not only in fundraising, but in the polls as well. She now has a 33% lead over Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), her nearest competitor. (At one time I thought she was unelectable… now I’m not so sure. Stay tuned as this presidential race should be a good one…)
- While Ms. Clinton is enjoying a huge lead and seems to be the Democratic frontrunner, the gop’s poll leader is anything but. Former NYC Mayor Rudy “Buy me for $9.11” Giuliani leads all gop candidates, but the lead is unsettled to say the least as Fred Thompson has almost doubled his support since his official official announcement. (Like the Dems, stay tuned as this race should be interesting as well… but for vastly different reasons. Like who will drop out and/or snap first. My guess is on McCain…)
- In a show of bipartisanship that hasn’t been seen in a long, long while, the House voted yesterday, 377-46, on a bill that gives the Bush(whacked) Administration 2 months to give Congress its plan to withdrawal our forces from Iraq. (This is all fine and good, but we all know that Bush doesn’t care what anyone else wants. Only himself… expect this to be ignored/attacked/criticized by the White House very. Very soon…)
- “President” Bush vetoed SCHIP… despite a majority of Americans supporting it… a majority of Democrats supporting it… and more than a few republicans supporting it. Once again, as mentioned above, Bush ignored the people and did what he pleased… the man is a tool.
- And have we mentioned? That Former Bush(whacked) Administration lawyer Jack Goldsmith is speaking out? Yesterday he said that the administration’s surveillance program was “the biggest legal mess I had ever encountered.. […] [T]he White House so tightly restricted access to the National Security Agency’s program that even the attorney general and the NSA’s general counsel were partly in the dark.” (What else can be said that hasn’t already been said?)
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
As mentioned briefly in this morning’s ‘”BushWhack’ing,” a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that a majority of Americans want to see funding for the Iraq war cut, with 70% opining that the allocated money be slashed and a scant 25% supporting the $190 billion war funding request.
And despite the best attempts by the traditional media to paint the picture that only the “far left, anti-war wing,” of the Democratic party wants Congress to cut funding for Iraq… look closer at the poll results that shows close to seven in 10 Independents want Congress to cut back funds, nine in 10 Democrats and 46% of republicans… yes, 46% of republicans want Congress to cut back funds.
Sure, the chances of seeing the money reduced are about as good as the chances that Brittany will be voted Mother of the Year… but surely the Democrats can manage to remove their collective heads from their collective asses long enough to grasp the concept that the American public, the public, wants some bold moves to end the war and thus wouldn’t mind an antagonistic stance when it comes to the allocation of funds.
To that end, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee David Obey is playing like he might do just that… saying in a press conference this morning that he has “no intention of reporting out of Committee anytime in this session of Congress any such request that simply serves to continue the status quo.”
What does that mean exactly? That he won’t, for the time being at least, allow a blank check to leave his committee’s hands…
The poll also shows that there is deep dissatisfaction with both “President” Bush and Congress (though I don’t think we actually needed a poll to tell us that) partly because of the Iraq policy stalemate between the White House and Congressional Democrats… which, again, is not at all surprising.
The Senate has already passed the defense policy bill that authorizes another $150 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the final tally being 92-3… though the Senate bill doesn't guarantee that the money will be spent; only a separate appropriations bill will manage that.
So what we're looking at is an impasse in the House Appropriations Committee, and the question comes down to this; will Obey shut it down, or will he just… obey?