Friday, February 01, 2008

The (Over-stuffed) Weekly Rewind

As I continue to dig out from the 10 inches of snow that fell, how about a nice healthy serving of snark, courtesy of The Weekly Rewind… enjoy!

Applaud: to “President” Bush’s final (woot, woot!) State of the Union address… not for what he said – I tried to listen, but my ears started to bleed – but for the fact it was his LAST. ONE. Drinks all around!Heckle: to talking out of one’s ass. “President” Bush has been trumpeting clean coal technology as a potential solution to global warming for years, insisting back in 2006 that the US should be “spending quite a bit of money” at the federal level to come up with clean-coal technologies. Then, during Monday’s SOTU Bush said, “Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions.” Less than 24 hours after his SOTU declaration, Bush’s Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, in a meeting with lawmakers from Illinois where FutureGen was set to be installed “all but drove a stake in” the $1.5 billion project, which was going to be a clean coal plant that was touted as “the cleanest fossil fuel fired power plant in the world. (Yes sirree… nice rhetoric there Dumbya… talk it up, then tear it down. 1/20/2009…)

Applaud: to polling data that shows even those in the Bush family that aren’t involved in politics are not well liked… a recent Pew Research Center poll found that First Lady Laura Bush’s favorability rating has dropped “sharply” in recent years, corresponding well with her husband’s numbers. Why is this important? Because there was a time when Ms. Bush was “almost universally liked” with a 70% approval rating back in Aug. 2004… now that number is just above the majority, with 54% now having a favorable impression her… (When the First Lady’s numbers start plummeting, you know things are getting bad… though it does bring a smile to my face…)
Heckle: to Ralph Nader… for launching a Presidential exploratory committee earlier this week. The man who many blame for Al Gore’s 2000 loss told CNN that he's likely to get in the race if he can put the resources in place… (as I said in yesterday’s BushWhacking, someone on the Dems side needs to throw this man a bone… offer him a role in your campaign, so he can be assured that his issues are talked about and he won’t get into the race… lest we have another loss like 2000)

Applaud: to a group of Methodists that are “mounting a last-ditch effort to block” the placement of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, museum and policy institute at Southern Methodist University… (keep up the good work… the man hasn’t even left office yet and, let’s face it, was a craptacular president that doesn’t need his own library… can’t he use the back of an old Chevy stationwagon outside his ranch in Crawford?)
Heckle: to breaking barriers that shouldn’t be broken. “President” Bush’s 2009 budget will total “more than $3 trillion”, marking the first time that barrier has ever been broken and will cause big increases in federal budget deficits, to about $400 billion for both fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2009.” It’s fun to note though that republican Bush’s “trail of deficits and debt” will “sharply constrain his successor… a Democrat… explain to me how republicans are about fiscal discipline…

Applaud: to “President” Bush (bear with me a moment) for finally admitting to what we’ve all believed these past seven years… that he lives inside a “bubble” but that “life’s pretty comfortable” in said bubble… wow, I don’t think I would have admitted that if I were the president…
Heckle: to startling news… a new report by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves found that the U.S. military “isn’t ready for a catastrophic attack on the country”, which should be pause enough, but the report continued and added that National Guard forces don’t have the equipment or training they need for the job and that 88% of Army National Guard units are not combat-ready… and yet this administration still wants to attack Iran before they leave office…

Applaud: to the FBI for opening an investigation into 14 companies related to the subprime mortgage crisis… the 14 were picked due to possible “accounting fraud, securitization of loans and insider trading” due to “allegations of fraud in various stages of the mortgage process” from these companies that allegedly “bundled the loans into securities to the banks that ended up holding them.” (the applaud is half-hearted… as it’s one thing to investigate, it’s another thing totally to do something after the investigatio…)
Heckle: to further draining America’s standing in the world… this time by antagonization. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s sent Germany an “unusually stern” letter that demanded combat troops, helicopters and paratroopers… Germany refused. (Who the hell does Gates think he is??? Demanding another country send troops into a war?? Give me a fucking break… what a tool…)

Applaud: to Choate Rosemary Hall Headmaster Edward Shanahan who, under intense pressure from students, canceled Karl Rove’s scheduled commencement address at this years commencement ceremony this year.
Heckle: to scary-ass possibilities… earlier this week on Fox “News”, Geraldo Rivera asked Bob Novak who McCain would pick as his running mate if he were to win the gop nomination… Novak responded by saying; “the most interesting running mate I’ve heard is Condoleezza Rice,” (Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo)

Applaud? Heckle? You Decide: to news that I have mixed feelings about… on one hand it shows that people don’t give a rat’s ass about Bush… but on the other it shows what I, and a few others, have been saying for a while – the media is undermining our society as most people would rather hear the latest about Britney or Lindsay than about politics. Case in point, a Pew Research Center study released this week reported: When asked to name the person they had heard the most about in the news lately, 24% of the public named Obama and 23% named Clinton… and a week that saw him propose an economic stimulus plan, a scant 5% named George Bush as the person they had heard the most about. About twice as many (11%) named Hollywood actor Heath Ledger, who died last week.
Heckle: to alarming news, though it does carry more proof that this administration has failed in the war on terror... the Bush(whacked) Administration is seeking to “re-energize its terrorism-fighting war efforts” in Afghanistan while at the same time “refocusing on Pakistan” where a regenerating al-Qaeda is posing fresh threats.” (Here we go again… al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan… we attacked the country and had them and the Taliban on the run… then we pull the majority of our resources from there and toss them over to Iraq to make up for Papa Bush’s errors… and now it’s coming to bite them on the ass… problem is, with less than a year until Bush leaves office, the bite won’t come until the new president takes office… way to go George… ya putz…)

Applaud: to the head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel Scott Bloch. Last week he wrote a letter to AG Mukasey in which he claimed that the Justice Department had repeatedly “impeded” his investigation of the politicization of the department under Alberto Gonzales by “refusing to share documents and provide answers to written questions.” (I am shocked, shocked to find gambling in this establishment…)
Heckle: to US automakers for lobbying to convince states that a proposal by California to cut tailpipe emissions sharply to fight global warming could further depress the struggling U.S. industry… which gives one reason as to why the Bush(whacked) Administration blocked the initiative…

Applaud: to the four republican presidential candidates (bear with me again) who, at this week’s debate, all appeared to express support for California in its battle with the EPA… (wow… republicans doing something in support of the environment? Quick, someone call hell to see if they’ve frozen over…)

Heckle: to saccharine-coated crap… after delivering his (FINAL!) SOTU Monday night, an unidentified republican congresswoman blurted out, “You make me proud to be an American!” (Sigh… I don’t even know where to begin…)

Heckle: to news that makes me cringe… Defense Department Inspector General Claude Kicklighter told Congress yesterday that weapons the U.S. provided to Iraqi security forces may still end up in the hands of terrorists, insurgents and criminals

Applaud: to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). Back in November he voted to confirm Attorney General nominee Mike Mukasey. Earlier this week Mukasey was appearing in front of the Senate and was avoiding any talk of waterboarding. Naturally Schumer said he was “disappointed” in the attorney general’s responses, but the best line came after that, when the good Senator said; “I thought there was a hope, not large, that you just might rise to the occasion. So I’m not surprised with your testimony, but I remain disappointed.”

Heckle: to Gen. David Petraeus…sure I could say because we can, but it’s more so his call for an operational “pause” in withdrawals… Petraeus will be testifying before Congress in April and he wants to stop withdrawing US troops from Iraq… despite Defense Secretary Robert Gates and top military officers saying they would “like to see continued withdrawals throughout this year.” Naturally Bush is following his lapdog, he had to replace Tony Blair, and has indicated he will likely be guided by Petraeus’s views… big surprise there. I agree, and always have, that withdrawing all our troops at once would be more detrimental than anything else, but a continued withdrawal would not only safe countless US lives, but could very well smack the collective head of Iraqi leaders (a term I use loosely) to get their act together… but the chances of that happening are as good as the chances of Bush garnering above 30% approvals before he leaves office…)

This week’s conservative tool of the week is Bill “want to rub me with a loofa” O’Reilly for his pathetic treatment and statements about US veterans. Earlier this month, O’Reilly challenged John Edwards for saying that there are 200,000 homeless vets in the US and claimed that there aren’t “many” homeless veterans in the country, he then pledged to take any homeless vets under his wing when he said; “If you know where’s a veteran, sleeping under a bridge, you call me immediately, and we will make sure that man does not do it.” Yesterday a plethora of homeless veterans answered O’Reilly’s challenge, staging a protest outside his office and offering up a petition, that contained 17,000 signatures, that demanded O'Reilly apologize on the air for his statements that there are no homeless vets…

Not surprisingly, O’Reilly was scared to meet them himself so, well, I’ll allow the New York Daily News tell you the rest of the story;
While O'Reilly wouldn't face the vets on the streets, their plight also escaped smarmy O'Reilly producer Jesse Waters, who wore Gucci loafers and a goofy smirk as he asked the vets if they had heard the comments firsthand, and then chided them about not traveling to Dallas to confront Mark Cuban about the depiction of G.I.s in his film ‘Redacted.’ “We're here to talk about Bill and his comments” one vet said, holding his ground. Waters' cohort, who refused to give his name, said, "I'm completely unfazed by this," as he stared into his BlackBerry.
Nice way to show appreciation for the people that risked their lives so you could be the asshat that you are Bill… and for that you, and your staff for that matter, are this week’s

Conservative Tool of the Week…

All I have, take ‘em as you will…


Anonymous said...

The “Fantastic Failure Institute” will undermine SMU
"I'm gonna build a fantastic Freedom Institute … an institute that really, you know, just kind of imparts knowledge and deals with big issues." In Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper

Elected delegates of the United Methodist Church will meet in Dallas in July and will be asked by Southern Methodist University (SMU) to give final approval to the use of university land for the proposed Bush presidential library, museum and institute (1). The 290 delegates represent the 1.83 million United Methodists living in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Louisiana who founded in 1911 and own SMU – “lock, stock and barrel.” Should a majority of them vote to allow SMU to use the land to build the partisan Bush institute, it will be a lamentable precedent in higher education.
While the wisdom of establishing a library and museum may be debatable, establishing an autonomous, partisan think-tank will unquestionably damage the academic reputation of a quality university. The partisan mission and independent structure of the proposed Institute, which has been obscured in the debate, is a bona fide threat to the academic integrity of SMU.
How do we know the shape the Institute will take? According to a Bush Foundation document signed by the president’s brother, Marvin Bush, the institute’s mission is “to further the Bush Administration’s domestic and international goals,” which precisely defines partisanship. Further highlighting its partisan nature is the likely appointment of Republican mastermind Karl Rove to “take charge…of the design, fundraising, and planning” for the Institute, according to U.S. News and World Report.
SMU President R. Gerald Turner admits that the Bush institute will engage in partisan hiring procedures and staffing. He explained to the SMU faculty that "the Institute will want to hire independently its fellows to address its areas of focus…. [T]his approach would fall outside of University practices and standards” (2). One can only imagine what this might bring to campus: How about Scooter Libby as distinguished fellow in political ethics?
SMU History Professor Alexis McCrossen, who has researched the topic and gave a comprehensive report to the SMU faculty, wrote in 2007:

There are twelve presidential libraries, all of which are administered and run by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Only three of them are associated with universities: the LBJ Library and Museum (University of Texas), the Gerald Ford Library (University of Michigan), and the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum (Texas A & M). None have associated institutes, although public policy schools are attached to the two presidential libraries in Texas (3).

Schools of public policy at Harvard and the University of Arkansas were established when the presidential libraries of JFK and Bill Clinton were established nearby (though not in affiliation with the universities). The explicitly non-partisan Carter Center is under the oversight of Emory University, although not located on the campus. Emory’s trustees appoint half of the Carter Center’s trustees and the university human relations department oversees all of the Carter Center’s hiring.
The four public policy schools are under the complete oversight of their respective universities. The schools report to the university president and trustees, all follow university personnel procedures, and each is pledged to the same goals as its host institution.
Although the Hoover Institution at Stanford University has been presented as similar to the proposed “Freedom Institute,” it is a misleading analogy. First, the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are not at Stanford, but in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Second, while the Hoover Institution has a reputation for sponsoring scholars with conservative agendas, its directors insist that it is a non-partisan think tank. Most importantly, the Hoover Institution is owned by Stanford and reports directly to the president of the University.
A more accurate comparison for the anticipated Bush Institute is the project that was proposed to Harvard in 1963-1964 in relation to its bid for the presidential library of John F. Kennedy. In the emotional aftermath of the assassination, the Kennedy circle of friends proposed to Harvard a partisan institute that would be “a memorial to President Kennedy.” It would have been administered by its own board, independent of oversight by either Harvard or NARA. Harvard rejected the proposal, but did build the JFK School of Government, which houses the bi-partisan “Institute of Politics” (IOP). The IOP reports to the Kennedy School’s dean, who in turn reports to the president and Board of Overseers of the university.
There are various political institutes on U.S. campuses. What they share in common is university oversight and non-partisan or bi-partisan agendas. These standards insure academic freedom and the unfettered pursuit of truth. If the SMU trustees establish an autonomous, partisan Bush institute on campus, it will undermine the university’s reputation and good-standing in the academy.
In part, as a response to this concern, 28 bishops and 11,200 plus individuals, mostly representing United Methodist laity and clergy, SMU alumni, faculty, and people with strong University connections, have signed a Petition of Protest that you can review and sign at

Rev. Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D. is a United Methodist pastor and research psychologist living in New York City. He is a graduate of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.

Tim said...

Hey there, what is the applaud to sensuousness for?

Kemp said...

Well Tim... I wish I knew...