Saturday, March 01, 2008

The (Overstuffed) Weekly Rewind

Another week down, there's 324 days left in the Bush(Whacked) Presidency, let’s get to it…

Applaud: to the memory of William F. Buckley. While I obviously didn't agree with much he ever said or wrote, he was leagues better than the hate-spewing Limbaugh-Fox-Coulter types that pass for “conservative commentators” nowadays. Scott and I, always ones to practice tolerance for those we disagree with, will miss his greatness – despite the side of the aisle he played on.

Heckle: to lame-ducks wearing rose-colored glasses. “President” Bush predicted earlier this week that voters will replace him with a republican president that will “keep up the fight” in Iraq saying; “I believe the American people understand that success in Iraq is necessary for the long-term security of the American people.” (And as I’ve asked a few times this week Mr. Bush; explain how. Explain how success in Iraq is necessary for the security of us… tell us how… and remember – Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11… Iraq had nothing to do with al Qaeda… and Iraq had no WMD’s… so explain to all of us HOW success in Iraq is necessary. I’ll be waiting…)

Applaud:to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – wow, haven’t said that in a really long time. She asked Attorney General Mukasey for a “grand jury investigation” into whether White House COS Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers should be prosecuted for contempt of Congress while also demanding that misdemeanor charges be pursued against the two of them for their refusal to cooperate in the U.S. attorney scandal. (While it’s great to see the Dem leadership show some balls, I am relatively positive that nothing will come of it because the White House will claim executive privilege… but I could be wrong. Though I doubt it…)

Heckle: to “President” Bush for just not getting it. Earlier this week he said; “I don’t think we’re headed to a recession, but no question we’re in a slowdown.” (What. A. Tool. It’s not a slowdown when every economist in the world agrees we’re headed for a recession… and if we weren’t in a recession, why create the stimulus package?? Putz…)

Applaud: to the resignation of Defense Department General Counsel William Haynes. Haynes was a strong advocate of the administration’s bypassing of the Geneva Convention and announced earlier this week that he is “returning to private life next month.” (Nice… Haynes was always controversial, but the spotlight was brightened last week when Gitmo prosecutor Col. Morris Davis insisted that the administration “can’t have acquittals” at Guantanamo Bay and resigned his post…)

Heckle: to already acting like our current commander in chief. Sen. McCain, according to Huffington Post, “may have taken steps to protect his Republican colleagues from the scope of his investigation” into disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff earlier this year. (So there ya go. He’s promised to essentially be a third-term for Bush, and he’s already acting like Bush by protecting his friends and cronies – the law be damned. Let’s do everything we can to make sure that McCain does NOT win the presidency by voting for whomever the Democrats nominate, and ensure that we get some law and order back in the nation’s capital…)

Applaud: to Lee Camp. He appeared on Fox “News” earlier this week and, at the end of the segment, said, “What is Fox News? It’s just a parade of propaganda, isn’t it? It’s just a festival of ignorance.” (Niiiiiiiiiiiceeee…)

Heckle: to the news that “wiretaps will resume under the current law ‘at least for now,’” as “telecommunications companies have agreed to cooperate ‘for the time being’ with spy agencies’ wiretaps.” (and the dumb-ing down of our Constitution continues…)

Applaud: to the news that, the day before a House Judiciary subcommittee was going to discuss issuing a subpoena against him, former Attorney General John Ashcroft has agreed to testify before Congress as they look into no-bid contracts Ashcroft and others received to monitor out-of-court corporate settlements. Heckle within the Applaud to the news that the U.S. Attorney who awarded Ashcroft this sweetheart of a deal, Chris Christie, has not agreed to testify.

Heckle: to news that makes me, and everyone else with a brain, nervous as hell. According to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics, more and more economists foresee the country falling into a recession, with 45% of economists on its forecasting panel expecting a recession this year… (and yet, the administration continues to maintain we’re only in a slump… apparently those rose-colored glasses come with blinders as well…)

Applaud: to Army Chief of Staff George Casey for not kowtowing to “President” Bush and his merry band of Iraq cronies. He told a Senate panel that he would not embrace going back to longer tours, even if “Bush decided to suspend troop reductions.” Why? Because Casey is looking out for the wellbeing of US soldiers and the US Army and recognizes that the Army is “under serious strain” from years of war and must “reduce the length of combat tours as soon as possible.” (Well said Mr. Casey… too bad it seems to be falling on deaf ears at the White House…)

Heckle: to once again speaking out of his ass. “President” Bush spoke to the republican Governors Association earlier this week and was in full rose-colored glasses mode when he claimed that Americans will ultimately be thankful for his foreign policy decisions, saying; “I believe 50 years from now, people will look back at this period of time, and say, thank God the United States of America did not lose its faith in the transformative power of liberty to bring the peace we want for our children and our grandchildren.” (Um… I sincerely doubt that, but let’s meet in 50 years and we’ll talk…)… it’s almost as good as his quote about his prognosticating of the presidential election; “When I say I'm confident, I am so because I understand the mentality of the American people.” Uh-huh, and that explains your ever-dwindling approval ratings… how?

Applaud: to an op-ed in the Washington Post (did I just write that?). In the piece, John Podesta, Ray Takeyh, and Lawrence Korb debunk the scenario that an American departure from Iraq would lead to genocide and mayhem, saying; “It is entirely possible that in the absence of a cumbersome and clumsy American occupation, Iraqis will make their own bargains and compacts, heading off the genocide that many seem to anticipate.” (Interesting read… I don’t know about genocide breaking out, but I do see mayhem if the US totally withdrew from the country… that’s why I favor a progressive withdrawal over time…)

Heckle: to Senator Lindsay Graham (r-SC). The eternal optimist took a week-long trip to Iraq and returned brimming with optimism and telling Fox “News” that he wishes Washington DC was more like Baghdad, saying; “The truth is that political reconciliation in Iraq is going better there than it is here at home because of better security.” (Pretty stupid comment there Mr. Graham, but what should we expect from someone wearing rose-colored Iraq glasses that are thicker than Joe Lieberman’s???)

Applaud: to not waiting for November. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was speaking to reporters earlier this week and made mention of the fact that the Dems aren’t waiting for next year and are planning a robust agenda in the months ahead to tackle things that got voted down by republicans before… (this is an interesting strategy, and it could help tremendously in November. If some of the things they bring up are issues that are important to the American people, it could carry over to the presidential election in November, not to mention the House and the Senate… stay tuned)

Heckle: to Jose Antonio Ortiz and his taking of politics WAY too seriously. For those of you who haven’t heard, he’s the Pennsylvania man that ‘allegedly’ stabbed his brother-in-law in the stomach after they argued about their support of Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton… for the record, Ortiz is the Clinton supporter and his BIL, Sean Shurelds, is the Obama supporter.

Applaud: to Sen. McCain (wait a minute – hear me out) for NOT playing the Obama-is-Muslim card. After being introduced with an embarrassingly sad and pathetic introduction from conservative radio host Bill Cunningham, the Senator refused to play the part and apologized for Cunningham’s lame attempts at painting Sen. Obama as a ‘Manchurian candidate’ while stressing his middle name. (I understand it was pandering, but I still applaud you for the act Mr. McCain, after all, it’s dumbass comments like those of Cunningham’s that spark hatred for the right… besides – what does it accomplish?)

Heckle: to taking a page from the republican fear-mongering textbook. Israel’s ambassador to the US said earlier this week that Iran was becoming a “very, very dangerous ticking bomb” and urged the world to take a more active role in forcing Iran to give up its uranium-enrichment program… (Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t they already given up on the program according to the NIE released last year???)

Applaud: to news that could really help the Democrats… the LA Times reported earlier this week that Mitt Romney may rejoin the race for the White House. Romney “suspended” his campaign in February and, while he endorsed Sen. McCain, did not pledge his delegates to McCain… (If Romney jumps back into the race, it will further embolden Huckabee to stay in and could also take quite a few votes away from McCain… stay tuned)

Heckle: to House conservatives for not being able to decide on a proposed moratorium on earmarks… now they are “conceding that they do not have support for the idea from their colleagues” and the “votes aren’t there,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas… (Nice… getting republicans to vote against something that gives them free crap is like trying to get cats to march in a parade… it can’t be done)

Applaud: to the House for actually passing a bill – woot, woot! In a 236-182 vote, the House approved an extension and expansion of tax breaks and incentives for wind, solar, and other alternative energy sources. The bill also closes $18 billion in tax loopholes and subsidies for Big Oil.

Heckle: to SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts. Earlier this week the Court heard oral arguments on how much money ExxonMobil should be forced to pay as damages for its Exxon Valdez oil spill 19 years ago. According to WaPo's Dana Milbank; What bothered the chief justice was that Exxon was being ordered to pay $2.5 billion — roughly three weeks’ worth of profits — for destroying a long swath of the Alaska coastline in the largest oil spill in American history.” After hearing how much they would have to pay, Roberts asked in court (that’s how it’s done Mr. Thomas); “So what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive-damages awards such as this?” (Wow, a conservative placing business above the environment, that’s something we don’t see often) Though Roberts question did elicit an Applaud-worthy response from the lawyer representing the Alaska fishermen; “Well, it can hire fit and competent people.” As you could imagine, Mr. Roberts was not amused…

Applaud: to the results of the 2007 Children’s Defense Fund Action Council’s Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard. While the scorecard does report some positive news, many people didn’t fare so well, in fact current gop presidential candidate John McCain received a 10 percent rating — the worst in the U.S. Senate. (10% Ouch… that’s even lower than Bush’s approval ratings, and that says a LOT)

Heckle: to internet… um, I don’t want to call him a reporter… how about internet wannabe Matt Drudge. After months of a consensual and international media blackout, Matt Drudge decided to reveal on his page yesterday that Prince Harry has been “in Afghanistan for more than two months,” Drudge’s inane and idiotic decision to break the story has been to the “fury of the Ministry of Defence and condemnation from the head of the British Army.” Because of Drudge reporting it, Harry is now being sent back to Britain.

Applaud: to Prince Harry. Do I really need to explain why? Okay… while other children of powerful people (cough cough – Bush twins) stay home and drink themselves into a stupor, Harry has been serving on the front line in Afghanistan with the British Army, calling in airstrikes on Taliban positions and going out on foot patrols.

And this week we have a two-fer four our conservative Tool(s) of the Week. The first choice goes local… Last week Florida state Rep. Donald Brown (r) introduced a bill aimed at creating a “Confederate Heritage” license plate, saying “it would give motorists a way to show pride in their heritage.” Under his plan the money would benefit educational programs run by Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that considers the Civil War to be “the Second American Revolution.” You can be proud of your heritage, whatever it is… but for something that is a symbol of hostility towards an entire race to be sanctioned by a state is wrong, plain and simple. And because of that, Mr. Brown, and possibly the entire state of Florida, is our first conservative TOTW.

Our second choice this week is republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas. Forgetting for a moment that she’s being volleyed about as a possible McCain running mate (ewwwww), she said earlier this week that Sen. Russ Feingold’s bill to begin an Iraq withdrawal within 120 days puts “a bullet right in the hearts of our troops who are there.” (Nice…) Her staff quickly started to backtrack her comment, saying that she meant to say “bull’s eye”, never minding that that wouldn’t make an ounce of sense. (So for saying that it would be a bullet in the hearts of people being shot at on a daily basis and wondering how this meshes with the fact that our troops do not want to be there, she is our second conservative TOTW)

All I have, take ‘em as you will…

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