Friday, January 18, 2008

The (Over-stuffed) Weekly Rewind

It’s Friday, we’re more than halfway through the first month of 2008, and the presidential race is heating up like… like… well… um… sigh, never mind.

Anyway, here’s this week ‘Over-Stuffed’ Weekly Rewind…

Applaud: to polling data that shows more and more people waking up and smelling the cluelessness, the donothingness, and the inanity of the Bush(whacked) Administration. First, 79% of Americans say the next president needs to “set the nation on a new course rather than following the direction in which Bush has been leading.” (Good, keep it coming…). Second, 75% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track (more good news, keep it coming…). Third, a scant 32% of Americans now approve of the way Bush is handling his job, with a staggering, but not surprising, 66% disapproving his job performance… Add to that the fact that, per a USA Today/Gallup Poll, Americans are “revved up — and ready to vote.” According to the poll, 62% of voters say they’re “more enthusiastic about voting than usual.” That’s a significant increase from this point in 2000 and 6 percentag points higher than this time in 2004, when the November turnout was the highest in a generation. (Again, good news that more and more people are finally starting to come around and see this administration for what it truly is… as we get closer to Bush leaving office, those numbers are almost certain to get higher… stay tuned…)

Heckle: to having no shame what-so-ever… Rudy Giuliani has a new ad out this week, and he’s no longer creating images in the mind of 9/11, he’s now using actual 9/11 footage… and if that weren’t enough, the ad’s dialog makes it worse as against video of the towers falling, discussing Rudy's role in the 9/11 drama, the announcer intones; “And when the world wavered, and history hesitated, he never did.” (Reason enough right there to NOT vote for this toolish shill… the man has no shame and should not be allowed to every run for public office again… EVER)

Applaud: to finally telling us what we already knew… David Kovacs, a quantitative investment strategist at Turner Investment Partners in Pennsylvania said earlier this week; “Yes, this is going to be a recession.” (Well duhhhhh). You have that, you have the fact that 47% of Americans believe a recession is likely and that “barely more than one in five” gave Bush high marks for economic policy, and despite things like this, for the last few weeks, people in the Bush(whacked) Administration have been doing their best to ignore the looming recession… well, not anymore… now they’re talking about economic stimulus packages and the like. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers earlier this week that he could “support tax cuts or spending measures to stimulate the economy” that are “quick and temporary,” even “if they increase the budget deficit.” (Wow, welcome aboard the bandwagon guys… we’ve got jackets… naturally they’re low quality and cheap, ya know, because of the recession you wouldn’t admit was coming…)

Heckle: to news that is becoming all too common. According to an Army task force study released earlier this week, approximately 10% to 20% of Marines and soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq may have suffered traumatic brain injuries, and, naturally, there are “major gaps”, created by a “lack of coordination and policy-driven approaches”, that in the identifying and treating of these injuries. (One would think that after the disaster at Walter Reed that this administration would have done something to redo the process of military injuries… but they haven’t, and this is a byproduct of their inactions… sad)

Applaud: to the the House Oversight Committee. Responding to White House claims that there is “no evidence” of missing emails, Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) released an internal White House study identifying “473 separate days in which no electronic messages were stored” by White House offices… which was followed by the HOC announcing earlier this week that it will hold hearings on missing White House e-mails.

Heckle: to the company we keep in the eyes of some of our allies. CTV in Canada reported earlier this week that it had obtained documents that “put Guantanamo Bay on a torture watch list” by the Canadian government. The list is part of a “torture awareness workshop” that tells diplomats where to watch for abuse and includes the countries of Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and China… (lovely company we’re keeping now, isn’t it? This is going to be one of the biggest and most critical actions any new president – Dem or repub – has to undertake after being sworn in; getting our standing in the world back to where it was pre-Dubya…)

Applaud: to the House for promising to take up contempt of Congress resolutions against White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers again. The promise was made earlier this week and is a result of each of them refusing to appear before Congress for questions about the 2006 removal of nine U.S. attorneys. (Good news indeed, but it’s been heard before, so I’ll take a wait and see approach… though I have a sneaky suspicion something might actually happen this time… stay tuned…)

Heckle: to strange and shady things relating to CIA TapeGate®. Earlier this week, Congress was all set to ask former CIA official Jose Rodriguez why the CIA destroyed tapes showing interrogations of suspected al-Qaeda operatives and to inquire if the destruction was part of a cover-up (One-Word-Answer-Man says; YES)… but then the House Intelligence Committee postponed Mr. Rodriguez’s testimony after they were told that he would not answer questions without a grant of legal immunity for his testimony. But they still heard from CIA Acting General Counsel John Rizzo, who said that in late 2005, the CIA’s then-director of clandestine operations, Jose Rodriguez, authorized the CIA station chief in Bangkok to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogation practices and that he had consulted CIA lawyers and officials, who told him that he “had the legal right to order the destruction. After hearing Rizzo’s testimony, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (r-MI) indicated that Rodriguez himself “ordered the destruction of videotapes depicting agency interrogation sessions even though he was directed not to do so.” (so they have their fall guy… and a muddled storyline… I haven’t seen this much mud since… well, any other story involving this administration – cough cough – AttorneyGate, EmailGate)

Applaud: to funny snubs… “President” Bush’s former chief political strategist, Karl Rove, delivered a speech earlier this week that attempted to lay a smack-down on Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton… in the entire 3,200 word speech, Rove never mentioned Dubya once… (stay classy Karl, stay classy…)

Heckle: to reversing course, again. WaPo reported earlier this week that FEMA has once again changed their minds on what to do with its Katrina trailers. “Because of concerns that the trailers are tainted with formaldehyde”, FEMA is now seeking to repurchase the trailers, at the original price, after having sold them at a steep discount because communities refuse them because if the formaldehyde… Nice work FEMA, you’re still doin’ a heckuva job…

Applaud: to this week’s FARK Political Headline of the Week: “Cuba announces it will not deal with the U.S. until Bush leaves office, a policy which pretty much sums up the rest of planet Earth's feelings” (’nuff said…)

Heckle: to the possibility of Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman… paired with republican John McCain (ew, ew, ew, ew). According to a Wall Street Journal report, in an interview with McCain, he “did little to dissuade” the notion that he may select Joe Lieberman as his running mate, saying; “He’d be a great partner in any endeavor, including joining America together. Let’s reach across the aisle, let’s work together for America. That’s what Joe Lieberman is all about.” (Seriously?? That’s what Lieberman is all about? Bi-partisanship??? What the hell have you been smoking John???)

Applaud: to the House for passing a new $696 billion defense authorization bill that includes a pay raise for troops. Bush had rejected an earlier version of the legislation because he said it would expose the Iraqi government to expensive lawsuits (don’t try to figure it out, he’s using BushLogic…). Per AP: The new bill, which passed, 369-46, would let Bush grant Iraq immunity under the provision, which otherwise guarantees that U.S. victims of state-sponsored abuse can sue foreign governments in court. Iraqi officials had also objected to the measure (because they’re opinions about US bills should matter – yes, that was sarcasm) because they said it would have subjected Baghdad to high-dollar payouts in damages from the Saddam Hussein era. The revised measure also makes the 3.5 percent pay increase for troops, included in the original bill that Bush threatened to veto, retroactive to Jan. 1.

Heckle: to talking out of one’s ass… again. Fox “News” anchor Bill “Want to Play with my Microphone” O’Reilly was railing against Sen. John Edwards and his claims about there being approximately 200,000 homeless veterans in the US right now… said O’Reilly; “They may be out there, but there’s not many of them out there.” Um… okay... how do you explain the Department of Veteran's Affairs report that says there are about 195,000 veterans “homeless on any given night.” (What a schmuck…)

Taken-with-a-grain-of-salt-Applaud: to U.S. military figures that show about 75% of Baghdad’s neighborhoods are now secure, which is a dramatic increase from 8% a year ago… if true, excellent… but I’m sorry, I find it hard to believe anything that comes from this administration… so I’ll take it with a grain of salt…

Heckle: to news that makes me glad I took the aforementioned army report with a grain of salt. Right above here I applauded news that could have suggested that the surge was working, well not so fast. Iraq’s national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote earlier this week in WaPo that “Iraq’s government is at a stalemate. […] It has been impossible to maintain a political consensus on many important issues” partially because “the U.S.-dominated coalition, which has its own objectives, must be accommodated.” That’s not even considering that this week’s announcement that the de-Baathification law that was passed by Iraq’s parliament is “riddled with loopholes and caveats” and that Iraqi defense minister Abdul Qadir said earlier this week that Iraq would “not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012” (great) “nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018.” (again, great… how’s that surge working for us?? What’s that? Oh… well then;

Applaud: to Army Chief of Staff George Casey for once again having the balls to speak his mind and NOT kowtow to the administration’s song and dance. In an interview earlier this week, Casey said the high troop levels in Iraq are causing growing manpower strains on the Army while offering this assessment; “The surge has sucked all of the flexibility out of the system. […] And we need to find a way of getting back into balance.” (Great… just great… while I applaud Casey’s defiance to speak his mind, the news itself is ANYTHING but applaud-worthy… and with Bush and his cronies still war-mongering for Iran, I don’t like what the last months of Dubya may bring… God. Help. Us.)

Heckle: to a wasted trip that was merely a legacy-saving maneuver. “President” Bush made his first trip to the Middle East this past week and, well… it went about as well as anyone with a brain would expect it to…

Applaud: to Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), who took to the House floor earlier this week to push for the House Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment hearings into Vice President Cheney for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Wexler, who has already acquired nearly 190,000 supporters through his website, said; “Tomorrow, I will deliver these names to my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee with a letter to my friend, Chairman Conyers, calling for hearings. I will ask my colleagues to sign this letter … Continuing every day for months, I will publish in the Congressional Record several thousand names of supporters who signed up. History demands that we take action, because the case against Vice President Cheney is far stronger than the illegality surrounding Watergate.” (Booh! Yah!)

And now it’s time for this week’s conservative/republican/gop Tool of the Week. It was another illustrious week for this award as we had many individuals to choose from… but we finally decided on three of the major republican presidential candidates, all of whom refused to answer a simple question by NPR; whether or not they provide health care coverage to their staffs. Edwards, Obama & Clinton do on the Democratic side, and McCain & Giuliani do (which is ironic in Rudy’s case if you consider he had to ask some of this staff to not be paid this month) on the republican side… but Huckabee, Thompson and Romney refused to even answer the question… and for that, they’re this week’s Tool, of the Week…

Take ‘em as you will…

1 comment:

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