Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Weekly Rewind

You may notice something in this week’s ‘Rewind’… an abundance of ‘Applauds.’ Scott and I were discussing when this last happened and we realized; never. This has never happened. In the years we’ve been doing this blog we’ve never had a superfluity of applauds while seeing a lack of ‘Heckles.’

Until now.

I’m sure it’s pure coincidence that it comes on the heels of Sen. Obama’s election… uh-huh.

The Weekly Rewind starts… RIGHT NOW!

Mega-Applaud: to all Veterans… for risking your life or giving your life so our lives could be free. We salute you… we thank you… we honor you.

Applaud: to President-elect Barack Obama… cause we can never applaud it too much.

Heckle: to the whole Joe Lieberman fiasco. He needs to be stripped of his chairmanship, pure and simple. If that prompts him to caucus with republicans, fine. Let him act like a spoiled brat, it will just push him down further in his home state of Connecticut. A recent poll, across ALL party lines, shows that he is NOT liked in his home state and will be facing a HUGE re-election fight. Face it; he’s a traitor. He slammed Obama every chance he had… he fellated propped up McCain every chance he had. He gave a speech at the republican national convention for God’s sakes… why the HELL are Senate Democrats capitulating? Strip him, give him something smaller and make him sit in the proverbial corner for 2 more years, allowing him to only be seen and heard when we need him to. Otherwise, let him leave and caucus with the gop, a party that has such serious identify issues now that he’ll be lost in the shuffle and be even more politically insignificant than he is now. Applaud within this heckle to Senator Patrick Leahy for having the convictions (read: balls) to publicly denounce Lieberman while also saying that Lieberman SHOULD have his chairman ship rescinded, making him the first Democrat to publicly come out against him. Hopefully this will open the doors for others, stay tuned.

Applaud: to gop in-fighting. It appears that not ALL republican governors view Palin as the answer in 2012… those feelings weren’t helped earlier this week when, at the Republican Governors Associating meeting, a ‘Palin-centric’ press conference broke out… and was subsequently stopped dead in its tracks. A few of the governors in attendance called the presser “awkward” while another described is as “odd” and “weird” and that her taking center stage; “unfortunately sent a message that she was the de facto leader of the party.” (Oooooo, this could be fun to watch. Someone get the popcorn…)

Heckle: to more droning about the Iraq war from one of the ‘droniest’ Iraq-war apologists, Michael O’Hanlon. Speaking to Politico’s Arena earlier this week, O’Hanlon said that Obama needs a cabinet member who is skeptical of a timeline for withdrawal. (Just like Bush has cabinet members who were skeptical of an Iraq invasion, right Mr. O’Hanlon? Mr. O’Hanlon? Helloooo?? Are you there???)

Applaud: to positive hopes for the future. A new CNN/Opinion Research poll found that a healthy 59% think having Democrats control both the executive and legislative branches will be good for the country while an additional 62% have a “favorable opinion” of the Democratic party and a funny-because-it’s-them 54% have an “unfavorable view” of the republican party… hence the huge gains made on Election Day…let’s hope they continue.

Heckle: to depressing news about unemployment. The amount of people drawing jobless benefits hit a 25-year high this month as the Labor Department reported jobless claims rose by an “unexpectedly steep” 32,000 last week to 516,000, which is the highest since the weeks following 9/11… (If Congress is serious about helping the economy with a lame-duck session, then extending jobless benefits and another stimulus package would be a VERY good idea…)

Applaud: to environmental victories, no matter how small. Brad Johnson of The Wonk Room reported this week that the EPA’s final decision-making board has ruled that a proposed coal-fired power plant in Utah will HAVE to have its carbon dioxide emissions regulated, thus overturning an earlier decision by the EPA that granted the permit without considering the effects on global warming. What makes the ruling art is that the EPA describes the administration’s arguments opposing CO2 regulation as “weak,” “questionable,” “not sustainable,” and “not sufficient.” (Much like Bush himself…)

Heckle: to grossly overstepping their bounds… even after leaving office. It’s believed by MANY in the know that “President” Bush will attempt to block inquiries into his administration after he leaves office, with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) saying; “The Bush administration overstepped in its exertion of executive privilege, and may very well try to continue to shield information from the American people after it leaves office.” (This, naturally, would not surprise me in the least. Bush will continue to claim executive privilege as a means to protect himself, and it will take an act of Congress and the threat of a censure to get him to even consider revealing anything about his eight disastrous years in office)

Applaud: that the ballot-counting in Minnesota and Alaska is starting to lean left… stay tuned as neither of these are close to resolution with the Democratic candidates staying afloat.

Heckle: to more worrisome economic news. Following the US economy’s trip down the toilet, the world’s developed economies have slid into recession and, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, will shrink further in 2009 while also predicting that the U.S. economy will “contract by 0.9%” (Just another example of why President-elect Obama has a tough road ahead of him. If the current administration had listened to economists years ago when they started seeing signs of an economic recession, perhaps this could have been avoided… we’ll never know)

Applaud: that President-elect Obama is planning to quickly reverse some of “President” Bush’s more idiotic moves, such as his misguided limiting of stem cell research. Said Obama transition leader John Podesta; “There’s a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for Congressional action. We need to get off the course that the Bush administration has set.” (Yes… yes we do. God speed Obama Administration, God speed)

Heckle: to dropping the ball… again. While the Bush(whacked) Administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion financial bailout package, nothing formal has been done to fill the independent oversight posts that Congress set in place to prevent corruption and government waste… the monitoring report required by lawmakers haven’t been completed either even though the initial deadline has passed… (Way to stay on stop of everything guys… all of you, White House, Senate, House, deserve blame for this… and it needs to be fixed sooner rather than later)

Applaud: to outgoing DNC Chairman Howard Dean. Dean, who will resign his post when his term ends in January, helped shaped the Democratic Party since becoming chairman years ago, and his 50-state strategy, criticized by some Democratic insiders, was a stroke of genius that not only reaped whirlwinds in 2006, but helped the Party make strong gains in this past election.

Heckle: to the continued presence of J*e the P*u*b*r’… 14:57… 14:58… 14:59… 14:59... 14:59… 14:59... 14:59, damn thing seems to be stuck on 14:59…come on damn-it, turn over to 15:00!!

Applaud: to not letting this administration get away with “losing” e-mails. US District Court Judge Henry Kennedy ruled this past week that CREW and the National Security Archive may continue to pursue their legal case against the Bush White House in order to recover millions of possibly ‘missing’ e-mails. While the administration had argued that the courts did not have the power to order them to retrieve any missing e-mails, the judge disagreed. (With the way this administration covers its tracks, this may very well be the only way to charge them with any wrongdoing… stay tuned, this could get interesting)

Applaud: to acting presidential without stepping on the toes of the current president. President-elect Obama’s transition office said this week that it will send two emissaries, former Republican Congressman Jim Leach and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, to meet unofficially with delegations at the upcoming G-20 summit. The duo will meet with and listen to the delegates on the behalf of PE Obama. It’s worth noting that PE Obama will not be in attendance to convey his belief that there is only one president at a time… for some reason, I wouldn’t see Mr. McCain being like that. Or Mr. Bush. (Why do I have a feeling their messages will be greeted more enthusiastically than those from the current administration’s emissaries?)

Applaud: to trying to change the way presidential transitions are done in Washington. Earlier this week PE Obama’s transition head John Podesta unveiled what is being called the “strictest” and “most far-reaching” ethics rules of a presidential transition, ever. While some people (primarily lobbyists that are being shut out) argue that this will leave some experts on the outside looking in, others are hailing the move. Said Podesta of leaving some experts in the cold; “And so be it.” (Nice… let’s hope things continue in this manner)

Applaud>? Heckle? Depends on your POV: to the first ever Mac-using President. (I say if he can ensure that those annoying Mac/PC commercials never air again, he’ll increase his approval ratings ten fold…who’s with me?)

Applaud: to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for going against conservative ideals and saying he might repeal Prop. 8. (Question: does anyone else find it ironic that the group behind getting gay marriage banned in CA in order to protect the ‘sanctity of marriage’ is the same one that at one time allowed men to be married to multiple wives… I’m just askin’)

Applaud: to further proof that not all republicans are ready to embrace Gov. Palin as the party’s leader or presidential candidate for 2012. Since arriving at the Republican Governors Association (RGA) convention this week Palin has been rubbing some people the wrong way with her constant need for attention. They showed their dismay with her by not electing her to any RGA leadership positions. PWNED!

Applaud: to the Secret Service code names for the first and second families: President-elect Obama is Renegade. Michelle Obama is Renaissance, Malia Obama is Radiance and Sasha Obama is Rosebud. Vice President-elect Joe Biden is Celtic and Jill Biden is Capri. (is it just me, or does the Obama family’s names sound like a bad B-movie? Something with Jean Claude Van-damme? Though I have to say ‘Renegade’ is ten times better than Dubya’s ‘Tumbler.’ Which either refers to his penchant for tumbling off of things, or his penchant for drinks served in tumblers. Either one, it’s NOT a catchy name…)

Applaud: to possible feelings of repentance from “President” Bush. In an interview with CNN this past week, Bush said that he regrets some of his statements about the war on terror over the last eight years. The president also opined about PE Obama’s victory, saying it’s “good for our country.” (While I remain somewhat skeptical, it does seem as though the man with no shame is actually experiencing shame… let’s see how long it lasts)
This week’s conservative tool of the week was another toughie…what with Michael Barone and his inane ‘abortion’ comment about Palin… or Dennis Miller’s inane ‘better sex life’ comment about Palin, we had a helluva time choosing one.

But in the end we had to give it to the man who continues to claim he’s a top political strategist, despite the fact he keeps getting everything wrong; Karl Rove.

Whether it’s his call that the republicans would kick ass in the 2006 mid-terms (they didn’t), or that McCain would surprise everyone on Election Day (he didn’t), or that republicans will stage a dramatic comeback in 2010 (they might, though I doubt it), he’s outdone himself this time.

In tomorrow’s Sunday New York Times Magazine, Rove is asked; “Do you see the election results as a repudiation of your politics?” Rove’s response; “Our new president-elect won one and a half points more than George W. Bush won in 2004, and he did so, in great respect, by adopting the methods of the Bush campaign and conducting a vast army of persuasion to identify and get out the vote.”

Sure he did… if by barely you mean doubling the win percentage and getting close to 100 more electoral votes than a sitting president during war time, then yeah, Obama barely did better than Bush.

But if you use your own brain, you would see that Bush won 51% of the vote in 2004 with 62 million votes total and 286 Electoral College votes. Obama won with 53% of the vote, more than seven percentage points ahead of McCain, with 66.6 million votes and 365 Electoral College votes.

I’m not a mathematical genius, but that seems like a HUGE gap. Besides, Bush WAS an incumbent president in war time, and if even one state changed to blue, he would have lost… which I consider to be a serious indictment of Bush AND Rove. And to spin Obama’s victory as anything but a significant electorate mandate is just typical republican obfuscation.

And because of that, Karl Rove is our conservative Tool… of the Week.

Take ‘em as you will.

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