Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Weekly Rewind

Lengthy entry this week as the things we’re applauding and heckling are involved topics that require much thought, analysis and intelligence.

In other words, everything that Sarah Palin lacks…

The Weekly Rewind starts… right now!

Applaud: to a new report that nails the White House for improper usage of funds. A report in draft by the House Oversight Committee finds that the White House used the political affairs office to “orchestrate an aggressive strategy to use taxpayer-funded trips to help elect Republican candidates for public office.” (I know, you’re shocked, aren’t you?) Under the direction of erstwhile BushCrony Sara Taylor the political affairs office identified struggling gop candidates and promptly arranged for cabinet members to make appearances on their behalf. From the report; “From January 1, 2006, until the mid-term elections on November 7, 2006, cabinet secretaries and other senior officials traveled to over 300 events recommended by the political affairs office. All of these events were held with Republican candidates, and in most cases, the travel costs were paid for with federal funds. […] In some instances, the White House specifically requested that travel be billed to the taxpayers to save republican campaigns money.” (While I like the reports finding, I have serious doubts as to if anything will actually be DONE with this information. That’s the way this administration works; screw the public, get caught, don’t get in trouble. Sad and pathetic… 1/20/2009 can NOT come soon enough)

Heckle: to even more bad news… a soon-to-be completed U.S. intelligence assessment portrays the situation in Pakistan as being “very bad,” “very bleak,” and “on the edge” with one official summarizing the estimate’s conclusions about the state of Pakistan as: “no money, no energy, no government.” (Lovely… I’ve said it before; Pakistan scares me more than Iraq ever did, and after 8 years of Bush essentially ignoring the problems in that country, it has an absolute chance to come back and bite us in the ass…)

Applaud: to Liberal economist, Paul Krugman. The New York Times columnist and Princeton economics professor was the lone winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in economics for his “analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.” For, at the LEAST, three years, Krugman has been warning about the dangers of ballooning housing prices and the trade deficit, writing in August 2005; “One way or another, the economy will eventually eliminate both imbalances.” (how right you were Mr. Krugman… how right you were). And Krugman hasn’t let up, writing earlier this week that; “It’s politically fashionable to rant against government spending and demand fiscal responsibility,” Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman writes. “But right now, increased government spending is just what the doctor ordered, and concerns about the budget deficit should be put on hold.”

Heckle: to disenfranchising voters. More than 200,000 registered Ohio voters could be blocked from casting ballots on Election Day because of a federal appeals court decision on Tuesday that required the disclosure of lists of voters whose names did not match those on government databases. Then, after local officials receive the names, they may “ask partisan poll workers to challenge these voters on Election Day.” (as I’ve said before, it’s entirely possible that the only way the republicans can win on Election Day would be to steal the election… though on the plus side, if this holds true, Joe the Plumber won’t be able to cast his ballot for McCain… so we have THAT going for us)

Applaud: to telling the truth to the masses and getting it out there… one of the top generals in Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Schlosser, told 60 Minutes this week that “the enemy has increased by up to 30 percent in the last year” and because of that he’s seeking re-enforcements, saying; “I’ll tell you that they are doing more complex activities which concerns me greatly.” (This despite McCain saying Afghanistan isn’t vital and that it’s getting better. Afghanistan IS vital, and it’s getting WORSE. Perhaps if you and Bush took your heads out of the sands of Iraq, you’d be able to see that…)

Heckle: to sobering news that should help anyone on the fence about whom to vote for. A new ABC poll released this week shows that a staggering 90% of registered voters say the country is going in the wrong direction, the most since this question was first asked in 1973. Combine this with the results of a USA Today/Gallup poll that found a record 91% of Americans are “dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States” and 84% predict the economy is going to get worse” and you have an idea of how scared and frustrated people are.
(a vote for McCain is a vote for four more years of Bush-like economic policies… and we certainly don’t need that)

Applaud: to news that makes me smile from the aforementioned pole. According to the poll, Bush’s disapproval rating is at an all-time record high of 73% while his approval rating has fallen BELOW Richard Nixon (he’s at 23%) and is one point away from the LOWEST rating in 70 years of polling… Add the USA Today/Gallup results that show a scant 31% are confident that “would be able to turn things around” economically compared to a hearty 44% who express confidence that Obama could and you have an excellent idea of where the election might be heading. Though, again, I still want to meet these 23 percenters and ask them what the HELL they’re thinking…

Heckle: to still not getting it… we all know that a report released a week ago this past Friday by the bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council found that Palin “abused her power” and violated a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Since then, the McPalin campaign has been in full refusal mode with campaign manager Rick Davis (falsely) claiming that there was “absolutely no wrongdoing found in the report” (even though the report clearly says otherwise) and Palin herself saying during an interview with the local CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh that the Legislative Council’s report had found that she did not abuse her power, with her saying; “No abuse of power there at all.” (What the HELL are these people smoking??? The report says she abused her power, and she has the audacity stupidity to say there wasn’t an abuse of power? Why the HELL is the traditional media NOT reporting on this story??? This either proves she’s stupid… lives in her own world… or refuses to accept facts. Any of these traits are NOT one I would want in my VP…)

Applaud: to telling the truth, even if it hurts to hear it. During a speech in Singapore this past week former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker said, “The economy, I believe, is in recession. […[ The first priority is to stabilize the financial system. It is necessary even though the cost involved is heavy government intrusion in markets that should be private.” (Makes you wonder what might have been had Volcker still been at the Fed…)

Heckle: to the Bush(whacked) Administration. In this, their final weeks in office, the administration is pushing to rewrite a wide array of federal rules with changes or additions that could block product-safety lawsuits by consumers and states. Aimed at “pre-empting product-liability litigation” in everything from motorcycle brakes to pain medicine, the administration is once again putting big business ahead of the populace… thanks BushCo for screwing us with our pants on, once again…

Applaud: to good news that I not only take with a grain of salt but won’t believe until it happens. A revised draft of the Iraq-U.S. security agreement now includes a previously discussed – but not official – timeline for the withdrawal of American combat troops. The agreement has the troops moving out of Iraq’s cities and towns by the middle of next summer and leaving the country in 2011… (with it being in an agreement whose passage is very possible, this is a good thing… but, as I’ve said, I’ll believe it when I see it…)

Heckle: to hanging out and having people with questionable character on your staff. Earlier this week Murray Waas revealed that the head of Sen. John McCain’s transition team, power lobbyist William Timmons, was involved in a lobbying effort on behalf of Saddam Hussein to “ease international sanctions against his regime.” (Interesting… McCain and his people to learn that politicians in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, lest your relationships get more scrutiny and unveil something less than savory… too bad the traditional media is, as usual, ignoring the story…)

Applaud: to telling us something that those of us with our own brain already knew and that reinforces that NOT EVERY republican is a fan of Sarah Palin. Ari Melber and Sam Stein reported this past week that gop strategist Matthew Dowd sharply criticized McCain’s selection of Palin as his running mate, saying; “They didn’t allow John McCain to pick the person he wanted for Vice President. […]He knows in his gut he put somebody unqualified on the ballot and put the country at risk.” (way to put country first there McCain… selecting someone who puts the country at risk all so you can suck the gop base… hope you’re proud of yourself)

Heckle: to ridiculous and rampant stupidity. Gov. Palin’s office is charging news organizations $15 million for her e-mails because, when AP asked for state e-mails sent to Todd Palin, the governor’s responded that the request would “take up to six hours of a programmer’s time to assemble the e-mail of just a single state employee, then another two hours for ’security’ checks, and finally five hours to search the e-mail for whatever word or topic the requestor is seeking.”

Applaud: to more proof that Palin has the intelligence of a turnip. Speaking at a rally earlier this week in Dover, NH, she praised the area’s beauty and natural resources before claiming that New Hampshire is “kind of this microcosm here in the state of the rest of the entire U.S.” In the past, she has said her home state of Alaska “is like a microcosm of America.” (Um… right. Let’s take a loot inside the numbers and see just how UN-microcosm-like these 2 states are. First, the number of Whites in the US is 66.4% of the population. New Hampshire it’s 93.8 and in Alaska it’s 66.4. Blacks account for 12.8% of the US population and 1.1% and 3.7% for New Hampshire and Alaska respectively. And for Hispanics/Latinos the national average is 14.8%. New Hampshire is 2.3 and Alaska is 5.6. Perhaps the Governess doesn’t know what microcosm means. That or she’s dumb as a box of rocks)

Heckle: to Fox “News.” Earlier this week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell performed an impromptu dance alongside a few well-known rap stars after a speech at the “Africa Rising” festival. In an article on their website Fox “News” claims that Powell’s dance moves were “fueling speculation” about an “imminent endorsement” of Obama. (You heard me, they said he’s going to endorse Obama because he was dancing with rap artists…wow, how racist and condescending can one be at the same time?)

Applaud: to conservative columnist, and son of conservative icon and National Review founder William F. Buckley, Christopher Buckley for having the cojones to endorse Obama for president. Unfortunately, NR didn’t appreciate that and when he offered his resignation to the magazine’s editors due to the backlash he was getting, they accepted. After hearing about his accepted resignation, Buckley said; “But to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.” (We salute you Mr. Buckley for being able to, well, buck the trend of your party… and I would think, as smart as your father was, he would be more upset for the magazine not standing beside you then for you endorsing a Democrat…)

Heckle: to just not getting it. First it was John Mellencamp, followed by Heart, Jackson Browne, Foo Fighters, van Halen and a handful of other musicians that had demanded the McPalin campaign stop using their music at their rallies… now you can add Jon Bon Jovi to that list as he released a statement to TMZ earlier his week in which he objected to the campaign using his song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” during Palin rallies. (Bah, they’re musicians, what could they possibly to a McCain campaign with access to a bully-pulpit of thousands and thousands of fans?)

Applaud: to scores that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights released its scorecard for the 110th Congress this past week. The scorecard assesses how lawmakers voted on civil rights issues and gave Sen. McCain a score of 22% while Sen. Obama received a score of 100%.

Heckle: to the Army for not allowing Sgt. Gwen Beberg to bring home a puppy she and another soldier rescued from a burning pile of trash in Iraq this year. Ever since pulling the dog to safety, Beberg has been taking care of the dog, Ratchet. She’s slated to return home next month and the Army told her it won’t let her take him home with her. Not only as Beberg’s congressman, Keith Ellison (D-MN), written to the Army on her behalf, but 10,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Army to let an Iraqi puppy come home… stay tuned.

Applaud: to David Letterman. After giving McCain a rough time since McCain blew off an appearance, Letterman finally hosted the candidate this past week. Over the course of the night, Letterman fired shot after shot at McCain and Palin, but the best part was when Letterman brought up something from the second presidential debate: McCain’s declaration of “I know how to get” Osama bin Laden, which he then followed up with a promise that, as President, he would “get” him “no matter what.” During the appearance, Letterman tried to follow up to get the specifics of McCain’s plan;
LETTERMAN: You feel confidently that you have maybe the advantage of greater information than the current president?
LETTERMAN: But you have an idea–
MCCAIN: I think I know, because of my many years being involved in these issues, how to develop a plan. One of the areas, of course, is human intelligence, which we’re very badly lacking. And so I am confident that we can get him. (Um… that’s VERY different that saying you know how to get him… and all it took for the truth to come out was David Letter – a comedian – to ask a question that EVERY DAMN JOURNALIST COVERING MCCAIN SHOULD HAVE ASKED… Thanks Dave, we appreciate it)

Heckle: to tightly holding the reigns and ignoring the First Amendment. To no ones surprise, a report card issued today by the Union of Concerned Scientists finds that the EPA and OSHA have some of the “most restrictive policies” in the federal government regarding the release of scientific information to the press and public. According to the report card, based on surveys filled out by 739 researchers, the EPA rates a “D” and OSHA rates a “F.” (Pathetic…but not surprising. This administration’s animosity towards the environment is well-known, as is its animosity towards its citizens as the only thing this administration cares for is big business)

Applaud: to the kids of today, aka the leaders of tomorrow. The Scholastic Presidential Election Poll results are in and Obama won with 57% of the vote compared to McCain’s 39%. Interestingly the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice since 1940 when in 1948, kids voted for Dewey over Truman and in 1960, when more students voted for Nixon (seriously?) than for Kennedy.

Heckle: to speaking out of one’s ass. Earlier this week McCain gave a speech in Pennsylvania that showcased his new economic plan. Part of the plan is a provision that would temporarily lower taxes on withdrawals from IRA’s and 401(k)s and said of the plan; “it is essential we avoid an exodus of capital from the market.” Unfortunately, it does the opposite as his proposal would encourage an “exodus of capital.” Head over to ThinkProgress’ “The Wonk Room” for a much-better explanation than I can provide…

Heckle: to more findings that support the fact we’ve had 8 years of Bush-politics-as-usual. A bipartisan report released this past week by the House Oversight Committee found that “President” Bush made a ‘legally unprecedented and an inappropriate use of executive privilege” when the administration withheld Patrick Fitzgerald’s interview with Vice President Cheney on the CIA leak scandal. To add to that, a separate report also criticized Bush’s assertion of executive privilege regarding his recent climate change and Clean Air Act decisions… and yet he continues… and yet no one seems willing to take the next step. What, does Bush have compromising photos of everyone in DC??

This week’s conservative tool of the week was an easy one (No, not Joe the You-know-what), but another normal citizen who decided to change his newborn daughter’s name without telling his wife, the mother.

I won’t post the name of the couple as I’m sure they’re already hearing enough about it and I don’t want to invade anyone else’s privacy (I did enough about you-know-who).

The couple had a nice name picked out, Ava Grace, and at the last minute the father decided to change course and named the child Sarah McCain Palin.

Odds that this girl grows up hating her name? High.

Odds that this girl grows up to be an Uber-Liberal? Even higher.

And because he chose this name, AND didn’t tell his wife until well after the fact, he’s our conservative tool… of the week.

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