Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Weekly Rewind

Here it is a little thing we like to call The Weekly Rewind. There are 255 days left of the Bush presidency...

Applaud: to poking holes in arguments most know to be holey… a new CBO report shows that the reasoning behind Sen. McCain and the Pentagon’s opposition to the bipartisan Webb-Hagel GI Bill (claiming that “too many will use it,” and it will therefore “harm” the military) is… bunk. The report does explain that troop retention will decline because some troops will take advantage of their new education benefits, but goes on to say that the loss in retention will be entirely made up for by increased military recruits… (so to McCain I say; suck it. Want to prove you’re “GI Friendly”? Get behind the bill, and not in front of it…)

Heckle: to speaking out of one’s arse… again. Speaking in front of more than 400 people last Friday night during a reception in Tulsa, Okhahoma, Vice President Dick “President” Cheney said that history will be very favorable to the Bush presidency, saying; “When the history is written, it will be said this is a safer country and more hopeful world because George Bush was president.” (Uh-huh… and how will history remember Cheney? Manipulator? Constitutional destroyer? Deranged? All of the Above? Stay tuned…)

Applaud: to some of the lemmings finally seeing the light. 23%, fewer than one-in-four, republicans now rate economic conditions as excellent or good, a sharp drop from a few months ago. What makes this even more delicious is that as recently as last June, 56% of Republicans said the economy was in excellent or good shape (20% of Democrats and 30% of independents believed that), but since then conservative views have plummeted… but remember, our current president says the economy is only in a ‘slow-down.’

Heckle: to news that wakes me up in cold sweat at night. Former lobbyist Charlie Black, an adviser to Sen. McCain said this week that McCain’s campaign staff talks to Bush’s staff “everyday”, even giving them a “heads-up” when they’re about to get slammed by the campaign, as Black said they did before McCain’s tirade last week about Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. (still believe that a McCain presidency wouldn’t be 4-more years of Bush-style governing?)

Half-hearted Applaud: to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who endorsed the need for government intervention in stemming home foreclosures earlier this week. He said that letting markets take their own course could “destabilize communities” which would result in a reduction of property values of nearby homes and thusly lower municipal tax revenues… (Uh-huh… too little, too late Benji. You should have been on top of this – as well as the recession – a LOOOOOOOOONG time ago, but your head was so-far up Bush’s ass, you couldn’t see the forest from the trees…)

Heckle: to incredibly obtuse statements from a Democrat. Appearing on Fox “News” last Sunday, DNC Chairman Howard Dean told host Chris Wallace, “There are some things in the [Fox] news department that have really been shockingly biased and I think that’s wrong and I just say so right up front.” (I like Howard Dean, I really do…and think he has done a so-far outstanding job as DNC chair, but this could very well be one of THE largest understatements in the history of the world and shows, I think, a bit of Dean’s naivety)

Applaud: to Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for saying something that I wish people in this administration who decided these things would comprehend. In remarks broadcast on Israeli television this week, he dismissed any near future war with Iran, saying that because of U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, “it would be a very significant challenge for the United States right now to get into a third conflict in that part of the world.” (Anyone with a working brain can see this, why the hell can’t anyone connected to the White House?)

Heckle: to John March, executive vice president of Ride and Show Engineering. Appearing on Fox “News” he discussed the plans to develop the “Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience.” When asked whether there are safety concerns associated with the park’s development, March answered; “Well, you live here in Southern California and there’s drive-bys and everything else.” (Yeah, that’s relatively the same thing… Dumb. Ass.)

Applaud: to speaking one’s mind. Warren Buffett, the world’s richest person who knows a little about money and economic, said this week that “the U.S. is in recession as I define it. I would define that as a situation where people are doing less well than they were three months, six months or eight months earlier and most businesses find themselves in that position too.” This follows his comments back in March, when he said that the country was in a recession “from a common sense standpoint.” (Warren Buffett, trying to put common sense back into the American lexicon by using some, what a concept. Thanks Mr. Buffett, I can’t wait to hear you sing ‘Margaritaville’… oh, wait)

Heckle: to more proof that things in this country are in a downward spiral. State welfare rolls (which had been declining for more than a decade after a Clinton-led 1996 overhaul of the program) are beginning to rise due in part to, not surprisingly, the looming recession. (welcome to George Bush’s America)

Applaud: to the mother of former Army Ranger, and Arizona Cardinal, Pat Tillman who had the courage to appear on CBS’s 60 Minutes last Sunday and take the military to task for the cover-up of her son’s death, saying;. “The point that everyone seems to miss, [is that] this isn’t about us. It’s about what they’ve done to the public. This was a public deception.”

Heckle: to shady doings by auto industry lobbyists. They’re engaging in a “state by state battle” to “dissuade lawmakers from following California’s move to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.” Dave McCurdy, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said; “No state should set national policy.” (yeah… problem with that is, they’re NOT setting national policy but merely state policy… so instead it makes the auto industry look like nervous nellies…)

Applaud: to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and 40 other lawmakers who sent a letter to the Pentagon’s Inspector General this past week to demand an investigation into the department’s propaganda program. The program, which was first revealed by The New York Times on April 20 and ignored by the MSM ever since, has been gaining steam since White House Press-room stalwart Helen Thomas brought it up recently. The letter reads; “We write to express our deep concern over an extremely troubling report recently published in The New York Times detailing a high-level, well thought out and extensive program within the Department of Defense to use military analysts to generate positive news coverage of the war in Iraq, conditions at the Guantánamo Bay detention center and other activities associated with the Global War on Terror. We believe that this unethical, and potentially illegal, propaganda campaign aimed at deliberately misleading the American public should have been disclosed long ago by your office, and not by a newspaper that needed to resort to suing the DoD for the information.”

Heckle: to CNN. First they add Tony Snow as a contributor and now Bush sycophant (and former Homeland Security Adviser) Fran Townsend… WTF???

Applaud: to House Democrats for preparing a war spending measure that would, among other things, extend unemployment assistance and new educational benefits for returning veterans. The $178 billion measure, hoping to be brought to the floor this week, has Bush insisting that he will “not approve any legislation that exceeds his spending request for the war” or “adds domestic money he opposes” because, you know, it would be beneficial… what a tool.

Heckle: to the fact the Pentagon can’t send additional troops to Afghanistan (where the true war on terror is) until sizable numbers of forces withdraw from Iraq…(sad…)

Applaud: to not keeping quiet about an issue that the White House wants under wraps… House Veterans Committee chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) “lashed out” at Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake earlier this week for having previously attempted to “cover up” veterans suicide data. Said Peake; “What we see is a pattern — deny, deny, cover up, cover up.” (and yet, the media continues to pay little attention to the story… sad…and pathetic)

Heckle: to the news that the number of suicides among veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may exceed the combat death toll because of inadequate mental health care… and the fact the administration seems determined to ignore it. (Of all the things this administration has done – and it’s a VERY long list – this is the most degrading and pathetic (in)action…)

Applaud: to resignations… and for letting the door hit their ass on the way out. Earlier this week EPA Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett announced his resignation (family time of course). Burnett has been a tool since his first day there and was not only responsible for crafting legal arguments that promoted arsenic in drinking water (nice) he also kowtowed to industries on mercury regulations, overruled scientists on soot health standards, and defied the Supreme Court’s decision on global warming… (all in all, a Bush crony in the highest order who, like Albatross Gonzales, will have a hard time finding a new job. Join the Bush(whacked) Administration and stall your career. Just ask Powell, Gonzales, Libby and anyone else who left the eternally-sinking ship that IS this administration)

Heckle: to more conservative ass-talking… on the heels of John “the mustache is the only thing people see” Bolton saying that “the use of military force” against Iranian training camps “is really the most prudent thing to do,” American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Ledeen declared that Bolton is “right.” (This should end well…)

Applaud: to irony that would make O. Henry envious. According to The Wall Street Giuliani Journal, former New York mayor (and pathetic presidential candidate) Rudy Giuliani is working on getting his newest client elected Mayor of Kiev, Ukraine. The richer part of this story is that Giuliani’s consulting firm was hired by the candidate, retired boxer Vitali Klitschko, because his campaigns primary goal is to root our corruption… (yeah, and when I think corruption, I immediately think of Rudy “dump wife while dating mistress, dump new wife, former mistress, for another mistress while using the NYPD as security for said mistresses” Giuliani… wow, I love irony)

Heckle: to too little, too late. Like they did with the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed, the Army has appropriated $248 million in emergency funds to fix problems found during inspections of 148,000 rooms at bases worldwide over the past two weeks. (All fine and good, but my question is why the hell were they allowed to get into these conditions in the first place?? These are where our troops live, and they’re not being checked periodically? Sounds like someone has dropped the ball here… and because they’ve been in power for 8 years, I’m gonna blame the cronies in the Bush(whacked) Adminstration…)

Applaud: to possessing AND using some common sense. The chief executive for Marriott International, Bill Marriott, is considering a deal that would have Marriott opening a hotel in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone but is concerned about safety issues. So, instead of falling in line with a request from U.S. government officials that the area is safe and in need of hotels and the like, Marriott is looking at all sides of the issues… nice job Mr. Marriott…

BIG EFFIN’ HECKLE: to Big Oil’s primary lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute. They’ve “embarked on a multiyear, multimedia, multimillion-dollar campaign” to convince voters that “rising energy prices are not the producers’ fault and that government efforts to punish the industry, especially with higher taxes, would only make pricing problems worse.” (BULL. SHIT. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit! If they honestly think that will work, then that explains a LOT about how the oil industry is run)

Applaud: to Rep. Tom Davis (r-VA) for calling for the resignation of Office of Special Counsel chief Scott Bloch. The request came a day after close to two dozen FBI agents raided OSC headquarters in a “probe of Bloch’s activities.” Said Davis; “[I]t’s hard to believe he can continue to operate effectively.” (though I have to give a heckle for assuming that he ever operated effectively in the first place…)

Applaud: to outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. A federal judge dismissed her case against the Bush(whacked) Administration last year but she is now “trying to resurrect a lawsuit against those in the Bush administration she says illegally disclosed her identity.” (And considering that they’re lame ducks on their way out, it might actually get somewhere this time… stay tuned)

And now it’s time for our Tool of the Week. It was a tough decision this week as Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh all proved themselves worthy… hell, I even considered changing to this week and showcasing Mark Penn’s brilliant ineptitude… but the name I came back to again and again is due in large part because it’s a PERFECT example of the ‘looking-at-the-world-with-blinders’ conservative viewpoint.

Having said all that, this week’s TOTW is none other than First Lady Laura Stepford Bush.

Ms Bush accused Myanmar's military rulers Monday of failing to warn their citizens in time about a killer cyclone and not doing enough to help with the aftermath…

Let me guess, you immediately thought of a pot and a kettle, didn’t you… I did. And for that brilliant example of conservative stupidity and naivety, we give this week’s conservative TOTW to Laura Bush. Congratulations…

All I have, take em as you will.

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