Thursday, January 31, 2008

I’ve talked about the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a few times on this blog, HERE and HERE… and it should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows the MO of this administration that throughout Bush’s presidency he’s installed people in the CPSC that put business interests over the public interest… in case you need examples (HT to ThinkProgress);

  • The first CPSC chair under Bush, Harold Stratton, assured the business world that he would “break the barrier of fear” by making it more difficult to order product recalls… recalls that protected the public…
  • His nominee to replace Stratton, Michael Baroody, opposed asbestos regulations and highway safety reform…
  • And then there’s Nord… the current acting head Nancy Nord, who famously opposed Congressional efforts to strengthen the CPSC… despite millions of Chinese-made toys were recalled due to incredibly dangerous levels of lead.
  • Both Nord and Stratton took nearly 30 trips at the expense of industries and companies the CPSC was supposed to regulate… which is clearly a conflict of interest…

Well… apparently the schmuck has not learned his lesson as the Bush(whacked) Administration is strongly considering nominating Gail Charnley to head the CPSC…

Ms. Charnley, in the past, has been a consultant for the tobacco and coal industries... which makes her perfectly qualified for a post that deals with consumer product safety.

Yes Virginia that was sarcasm...

Ignoring for a moment her shilling for coal and tobacco (see more about that HERE and HERE).

She also has a nasty habit of hiding her ties to the coal and tobacco industries (which is nothing new in this administration)… including her hiding the fact that a study that was partially funded by pesticide makers was her basis for a 2004 letter to a technical journal supporting the human testing of pesticides…

Like the people preceding her at the CPSC, Charnley also opposes government regulation at all costs and of any kind and doesn’t think the CPSC needs to regulate environmental hazards to children’s health because “government agencies do not know which environmental exposures actually pose risks to children.”

I want people in DC to remember something; Bush is a lameduck, so you don’t have to give him everything he asks for… the nominating and confirming of this nominee should not happen quickly if at all…

Why? Because she is yet another in a line of nominees from this administration that not only does NOT have the qualifications for the post, but is in bed with industries that could very well be policed by the CPSC…

Just once it would be nice to see the Democrats in DC find their balls and NOT hand Bush everything he wants… he has less than a year in office, start treating him as such…

The Thursday ‘BushWhack’ing

Another day closer to the weekend…

  • The republican presidential candidates held their final debate before Super Tuesday last nightMcCain came off as smug, wearing his front-runner label (handed out by the media) as if it guaranteed him the nomination… things can happen Johnny boy… Romney came off as worrisome… Huckabee came off as not knowing when to quit, and Paul came off as… well, as Paul, do I really need to expand on that?
  • The Democratic candidates (which sounds strange considering there are now only two after Edwards dropped out yesterday) go at it tonight… stay tuned.
  • A new AP/Yahoo poll found that Americans have a “decidedly dour view” of how things are going in the country and carry “great expectations” for the next president’s ability to get things done. All the candidates should take full notice of this news and do their best to answer the call…
  • The Senate Finance Committee passed the economic stimulus package yesterday, paving the way for it to hit the Senate floor for voting as early as today. However, because it’s the Senate and they have an ego the size of Dubya’s, they had to make changes to the one created by the White House & Democratic Leaders that was approved by the House. The Senate proposal calls for rebate checks of $500 for individuals, $1,000 for couples and $300 per child, less than the $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples in the House bill. One plus is that the Senate version would also offer rebates to 250,000 disabled veterans who wouldn't qualify for rebates under the House plan… stay tuned…
  • And have we mentioned? That yet anotherr republican is retiring? Hot on the heels of Reps. Ron Lewis (r-KY) and Kenny Hulshof (r-MO) who announced this week, comes word that Tom Davis of Virginia will become the 28th (and still rising – we hope) gop congressman to announce their retirement since the 2006 mid-terms. If my math is correct, that would be close to 15% of the seats the GOP has in the House... (Heh, heh, heh… would it be wrong to gloat?)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Wednesday ‘BushWhack’ing

Hump day, so here’s your Hump Day Edition of the Daily BushWhacking…

  • McCain won the Florida primary on the gop side (Giuliani was a DISTANT third), and Clinton “won” on the Democratic side, though the delegates won’t count… though that didn’t stop her from crowing about the victory… which does give the two of them some momentum going into Super Tuesday…
  • Sen. John Edwards, whom I was leaning towards, is going to be dropping out of the race today
  • So is Giuliani… (good riddance. Rudy was banking all of his money and hopes on one state, a disastrous move that cost him a LOT of support. Plus, I think the American people have finally spoken and told him that he can not ride his 9/11 coattails to the White House… don’t let the door hit ya on the way out; on second thought…)
  • Attorney General Michael Mukasey is still planning to refuse to discuss the legality of the “waterboarding” interrogation method when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee today… this should end well…
  • While the House easily passed (385-35) the economic stimulus package, it’s not expected to get as easy a passage in the Senate. Why? My response; ego… Maine’s republican Senator Susan Collins says that “President” Bush needs to negotiate the bill with the Senate… (awwwww, does someone feel left out?? Poor babies… screw having to negotiate with the senate, this is a bi-partisan bill that is wanted, and needed, by a majority of Americans and you want to hold it up so the president can negotiate with the Senate?? Give me a break… what egotistical tools…)
  • Congress gave “President” Bush a minor victory yesterday, passing a 15-day extension of a temporary surveillance law that was set to expire later this week… they say it was passed so they could have more time to come up with a permanent fix for the measure. (I call bullshit… once again the DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED CONGRESS kowtowed to a LAMEDUCK PRESIDENT and, while only for 15 days, gave him a victory… when the hell are the Dems in Congress going to grow a pair, realize this president is a lame duck who should not be able to get anything, let alone something this controversial, passed!!)
  • And have we mentioned? That you don’t want to piss-off Methodists? More than a few Methodists are preparing to mount a “last-ditch effort to block” the placement of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, museum and policy institute at Southern Methodist University. How you ask, by forcing a vote at a regional church conference this July… (Nice… though one has to wonder just what kind of books will be in the library section of the building? I can see it now… rows and rows of ‘Where’s Waldo’, ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ and Archie comics…)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Tuesday ‘BushWhack’ing

Sorry I’m late this morning… the SOTU put me to sleep so hard I couldn’t wake up…

  • “President” Bush’s final (YAY!!!) SOTU was last night… I tried to listen to it, but somewhere between ‘war’ and ‘peace’ I blacked out… though I did read a transcript this morning and… well… close your eyes hard and that’s what his speech was; nothingness… a big ol’ bag of nothingness.
  • The republican Florida primary is today and… well, that’s it really…
  • CNN Headline; “Bush Overshadowed by Presidential Race” (That’s some mighty-fine journalist work there Lou… Do we really need an analysis to tell us this?? Bush is a lameduck that only has an unpopular war as his legacy… while in the Presidential race we have a woman, an African-American, a Mormon, a Preacher, and someone who can best be described as bat-shit crazy; of course he’s being overshadowed… and with good cause…)
  • The Economic Stimulus package that is being touted as a way to stop the looming recession even though the checks won’t be in people’s hands until, at the earliest, late June – thus negating it’s actual impact on the economy, is being “honed” by the Senate… and we all know how that usually goes. So we should expect the checks to start arriving in, say, October 2008…
  • Sen. Obama won another strong endorsement yesterday, from Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MT), days after his niece, and JFK’s daughter, Caroline, endorsed him…
  • Attorney General Mike “Please don’t call me an Albatross” Mukasey is planning to avoid the subject of waterboarding when he appears before Congress tomorrow… which brings to mind this when thinking of Mukasey and Gonzales… here comes the new AG, same as the old AG…
  • And have we mentioned? That “President” Bush lives in a bubble… and that he’s okay with that? During a recent interview with Fox “News”, Bush admitted that he lives in a “bubble” but that “life’s pretty comfortable” inside said bubble… (Ok, I know the president of the US should be inside a bubble, but not to the point this one does… it’s clear from what he says that he has no true idea of what is going on in the world as he gets spoon-fed particular information from his staff and doesn’t dare ask questions. As I’ve said on this blog many times before; January 20, 2009 can NOT come soon enough…)

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Monday ‘BushWhack’ing

The State of the Union is tonight… anyone have a SOTU drinking game to share?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Weekly Rewind

Good Day and welcome to our review of the weeks political events that we call The Weekly Rewind.

We await the results of today’s Democratic Primary in South Carolina. There has been a lot of speculation that all of the mudslinging back and forth between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama could in fact help the primary chances of Senator Edwards. I personally do not see much of a fall out effect from the debate and can see Senator Obama winning by a very commanding margin.

Okay, I am going to call the parties ticket for the November general election, Senator Obama for President and Edwards as the Vice-Presidential running mate.

Alright, enough of my own speculation, lets get to the rewind.

Heckle: to leaping onto the wagon when it’s moving at full speed. The Federal Reserve, confronted with a global stock sell-off fanned by increased fears of a recession, cut a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Tuesday. Funny thing is that it didn’t turn the markets around as they are looking for even more cuts.

Heckle: to waiting until it’s too late to take any action. President Bush’s attempt to revive the world’s biggest economy was greeted with heavy skepticism on Tuesday as markets tumbled across the globe. Markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney all fell farther in late trading Tuesday than they had all day on Monday. They continued an up and down pace for the week. Watch your 401k!

Applaud: to a little humor on the campaign trail. In this weeks CNN Democratic presidential candidate debate, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was asked about novelist Toni Morrison’s salute to Bill Clinton as “the first black President.” Obama replied: “I would have to investigate more Bill’s dancing abilities and some of this other stuff before I accurately judged whether he was, in fact, a brother.” I’m sure even the audience was glad for a more humerous moment.

Heckle: to not coming out publically with your opinion. In “private,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke “has expressed growing pessimism about the economy,” reportedly saying that “the first six months of this year will be “bad.” He also suggested that “there is better than a 50-50 chance for a recession” and believes the ensuing recovery will be “weak.”

Heckle: to holding justice and truth hostage. The House has postponed votes on “criminal contempt citations against White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers” in order to foster “bipartisan unity” while working on an economic stimulus package. I’m sorry, is anyone surprised by this?

Heckle: to a statistic that is just plain sad. Many of the poorest people in the United States are still struggling to recover from the effects of a recession that ended six years ago, making them very vulnerable as the country stands on the brink of a new downturn. In 2006, 12.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty, compared with 11.7 percent in 2001, the year of the last recession. In this day and age there is no reason for a increase in the number of our citizens living in poverty.

Applaud: to standing up for what is right. “I am a Republican, and at times I’m embarrassed by the lack of cooperation that this president and his appointees have had with the legislative branch,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) in a hearing yesterday. “There is a seething resentment by members of Congress who are Republicans by the fact that this administration has not even cooperated with us.” Now if we can get more house members to stand with Congresswoman Rohrabacher!


Applaud: to keeping up the pressure. Americans United for Change plans to spend $8.5 million in an effort to make sure President Bush’s public approval doesn’t improve as his days in the White House come to an end. The bulk of the money will be spent on advertising that keeps the focus on the Bush administration’s failures. Although I think the administration does a nice job of airing their shortocmings and failures all by themselves!

Applaud: to an ever increasing base. A new Harris Poll finds that Americans are unhappy with the current state of the union, a few days before President Bush gives his own State of the Union address on Monday. Eighty-one percent of Americans believe “the current state of the country is fair or poor” and 66 percent say the Iraq war is “going poorly.” It’s nice to see more and more people coming around to realize the truth surrounding this administration.

Heckle: to once again being perceived as an Ostrich. A group of nearly 200 “climate experts, scientists, and mayors” delivered a “State of Climate” assessment this week , ahead of Bush’s State of the Union speech. In it they stated “[T]oday our nation stands virtually alone in the world community in refusing to accept the need for decisive action,” they report. “We regret to report that the state of the nation’s climate policy is poor.” But what do they know, they are only educated, learned experts ?

Heckle: to the Administration for 79 percent. Which is the percentage of Americans who believe that a recession is likely within the next year, according to a LA Times/Bloomberg poll. Ninety-two percent of people earning more than $100,000 a year “feel safe” financially, “while more than half of those bringing in less than $40,000 a year describe their finances as ’shaky.’” Count me among the 79 percent.

That’s it for now. Back to waiting for primary results.

Be good, stay informed….later.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tough to swallow

Last month EPA administrator Stephen Johnson rejected California’s request for a federal law waiver so the state could implement its own landmark regulations to slash greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. At the time, I thought it was not only a gross overuse of his powers, but something that went against what the rest of the agency’s people believed.

What do you know, I was right…

Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) released some very interesting documents earlier this week that showed how Johnson overruled his own staff, who apparently recommended that California receive the waiver, because the staff believed that legally, the agency could not deny California’s request.

Moreover, the staff argued back in October that California needed the waiver in order to mitigate the effects of climate change as California continues to have compelling and extraordinary conditions in general such as the state’s geographic, climatic, and human factors… all of which have been confirmed by several recent EPA decisions by the way…

After the ruling, California did not go quietly, as they, along with 15 other states, sued the EPA over the refusal, and if you consider that California has regularly been allowed to set its own standards under the 1970 Clean Air Act, the decision to not allow it is even more staggeringly dumb…

But this IS the Bush(whacked) Administration we’re talking about, so it’s not entirely surprising… neither is the fact that a Bush crony political appointee has put politics over, well, everything that doesn’t fit into the Bush agenda…

Senator Boxer isn’t done with this yet, so stay tuned…

The Friday Presidential Race ‘BushWhack’ing

It’s Friday, so how’s about a healthy dollup of the past week in the presidential race...

  • The Democratic South Carolina primary is tomorrow, showing Obama with an increasingly large lead over Clinton and Edwards. Personally I think Edwards may surprise some people in the state like he did in 2004…
  • The republican candidates held a debate last night in Florida that was more cordial then the Democratic version held earlier this week and the candidates, rather than sling mud at each other, took aim at Sen. Clinton and the economy… the picture will be slightly clearer after next Tuesday’s Florida primary, but not enough to actually declare a front-runner, so stay tuned.
  • Speaking of Florida, Rudy Giuliani is seeing his numbers plunge in Florida, a state in which he has concentrated all his money and effort on… and it’s becoming more and more likely that it will all be for naught, especially after finishing finished fifth in Iowa, fourth in New Hampshire, sixth in Michigan, sixth in Nevada and sixth in South Carolina
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) will be making an official announcement today that he is dropping out of the Democratic race for president… ( Considering that he is getting some serious Democratic challenges for his congressional seat, the only thing that surprises me about this is how long he stayed in the race…)
  • Speaking of dropping out, Fred “Ronald Reagan: The Sequel” Thompson dropped out of the republican race after incredibly poor showings in the aforementioned states…
  • McCain is “Bush on steroids.”
  • Earlier this week, Sen. McCain said; “I still believe our fundamental underpinnings of our economy are strong.” Last night in the debate he said that he welcomes the stimulus package to boost the economy… let the pandering begin! continue…
  • The New York Times endorsed Sen. Clinton on the Democratic side and Sen. McCain on the republican side… while slamming Giuliani so hard that his grandchildren’s children will feel it later, describing Giuliani as “a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man.” (Damn, that’s gotta hoit…)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Can we blame the Iraq war for the looming recession?

With a hat tip to ThinkProgress...

Knowing about this afternoon's agreement on an economic stimulus package, it's now time to think about how we got to this point...

Before Bush decided to avenge his father’s shortcomings and the war in Iraq started, a plethora of economists predicted that soaring oil prices could possibly send the US economy spiraling into a recession, and during yesterday’s press briefing, White House Press Tool Dana Perino was asked about the tie between the current U.S. economy and the Iraq war.

Not surprisingly Perino quickly dismissed the reporter’s question and stressed that the U.S. economy has been “very strong” (it hasn’t been strong for a couple of years Dana, wake up and smell the recession!) and added that the money for the Iraq war was necessary to “take the fight to the enemy” after 9/11 (despite the oft-repeated FACT that Iraq had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11!!!!!)

Want proof?

CBS MarketWatch; “If war with Iraq drags on longer than the few weeks or months most are predicting, corporate revenues will be flat for the coming year and will put the U.S. economy at risk of recession, according to a poll of chief financial officers.”

Robert Shapiro, Commerce Undersecretary under President Clinton; “If the conflict wears on or, worse, spreads, the economic consequences become very serious. Late last year, George Perry at the Brookings Institution ran some simulations and found that after taking into account a reasonable use of oil reserves, a cut in world oil production of just 6.5 percent a year would send the United States and the world into recession.”

If you read those and have a brain of your own to use, it’s safe to say that the Iraq war is, at the least, partially to blame for the looming recession.

Now if only this administration, and this Congress for that matter, had listened to them years ago, maybe we wouldn’t all be bracing for hell…

Watch the mail

For all of us that are able to use our own brains and have been worried about the looming recession and the sad state of the US economy, fear no more as Uncle Sam will be sending you a check in the next few months.

In a bi-partisan agreement that wouldn’t have gotten done as quick if it weren’t an election year, individuals will receive $600 while couples that filed jointly will receive $1,200, with an additional amount per child believed to be in the neighborhood of $300.

The Democrats won when it was agreed upon that people who did not pay federal income taxes, but who had earned income of more than $3,000, would get checks of $300 per individual or $600 per couple.

The republicans won when Democrats dropped their calls for an increase in food stamps and an extension of unemployment compensation.

This is all fine and good, and needed… but the fact remains that if the Bush(whacked) Administration and Congress had opened their eyes to the economy swirling the drain earlier, things could have been done in a much more expedient fashion.

Regardless of that, I’ll be on the look-out for that check…

The Thursday ‘BushWhack’ing

It’s Thursday, the temperature is about 0 degrees Farenheit here in Chicago with some heavy wind. Speaking of heavy wind, how about some politics…

  • Obama and Clinton are still sniping at each other… I know, you’re shocked…
  • A package aimed at staving off the looming recession is imminent, and Democrats snagged a victory when it is was leaked that the package would not only cover those that have paid taxes, but those that don’t because they don’t earn enough. If the rumors hold true, individuals would receive a tax rebate check in the neighborhood of $800, while families could receive up to $1,600… (This is all fine and good, but may not be enough to stop the falling economy. Perhaps it would have been better to have started looking at ways to help the economy when it started circling the drain months ago… but that’s just me…)
  • In an attempt to reduce the stress on a force battered by more than six years at war, the US Army is considering a proposal that would cut cut soldiers’ battlefield tours from 15 months to 12 months starting this August, erasing Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ order to move to 15-month deployments a year ago. (Good news indeed… hopefully it comes to fruition…)
  • I know I mentioned this yesterday, but I don’t think I can say it enough. A new study by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism found that President Bush and his top officials issued 935 false statements about the threat from Iraq in the two years following 9/11? (I know; you’re shocked…) it seems, according to the report, that Bush himself led with “259 false statements” with 231 stressing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda, both of which have been proven to be false…
  • A new Harris Poll shows that, days before “President” Bush gives his own State of the Union address on Monday, Americans are unhappy with the current state of the union with 81% believing that the current state of the country is “fair or poor” with 66% also saying that the Iraq war is “going poorly”…(and once again, more people are waking up to smell the ineptitude…)
  • And have we mentioned? That a chart that was put out by the House Democratic Caucus compares the state of the country when Bush took office to the state of the country today? It’s true, and as you can probably imagine; the differences are starkly staggering… click HERE to see it…

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Wednesday ‘BushWhack’ing

Hump day… lets hump it out

  • Sen. McCain was speaking near the naval academy in Florida where he trained eons ago, and he’s hoping that his veteran status and his ties to the state will propel him to victory in next week’s primary. Speaking of gop candidates, as I said would happen, Fred Thompson has dropped out of the presidential race. The man waited too long to declare himself (if he would have done it when his buzz were high, he probably would have fared better), his campaign was stagnant from the get-go (never a good sigh), and he acted as though he didn’t want to be there. For someone that was allegedly the ‘second-coming’ of Ronald Reagan, he certainly wasted an opportunity…
  • And then there’s Rudy… and his I’m-sure-to-be-disastrous strategy of putting all his eggs into the Florida basket...
  • Sens. Clinton and Obama are still sniping at each other… and with each sling of the mud, probably pushing one more undecided towards Edwards. If he repeats his 2004 South Carolina performance, he could become a Super Tuesday factor super-quick, stay tuned.
  • Chris Matthews is apparently drinking from the Giuliani Kool-Aid… that or he’s losing his mind from his battles with Keith Olberman. Appearing on Hardball last night, Matthews said that Rudy Giuliani and his presidential campaign hasn’t been beaten yet… this despite finishing fifth in Iowa, fourth in New Hampshire, sixth in Michigan, sixth in Nevada, and sixth in South Carolina. (I know Rudy is banking on Florida and 9/11, but to overcome these pathetic finishes is going to take more than winning the sunshine state)
  • “President” Bush is pushing his economic stimulus package and, something very odd for him, is stressing that ‘common ground’ is possible when negotiating a package (Knowing Bush and his ways, I’ll believe it when I see it)
  • And have we mentioned? That a new study by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism found that President Bush and his top officials issued 935 false statements about the threat from Iraq in the two years following 9/11? (I know; you’re shocked…) it seems, according to the report, that Bush himself led with “259 false statements” with 231 stressing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda, both of which have been proven to be false…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Less than 1 year

Let’s be honest… “President’ Bush does what he does and acts the way he acts because he can… he has the entire Executive Branch at his disposal with a Congress that is too scared and worried about re-election to do anything…

He can order people to testify or not testify according to his whims…

He can claim executive privilege for things that he shouldn’t be able to claim executive privilege for…

He can claim certain bits of information are classified... even if they have no legal recourse to be classified…

He can pardon anyone who admits to wrongdoing… wait, they’re republicans so let me rephrase that; He can pardon anyone who is found guilty of wrongdoing but stops short of admitting wrongdoing…

He can do all this because he is cloaked in the legitimacy and the executive privilege of the presidency… but as of this past Sunday, he only has one year left… well, now less than one year left; 363 days to be precise.

On January 20, 2009, at approximately twelve Noon Eastern time, the 44th president of the United States will be inaugurated… and if things go right, it will be a Democrat, and it will be a Democratic that has the majority not only in the House of Representatives, but the Senate as well…

What will be the first course of action?

With the utopian feelings we’ll be having finally being rid of Dubya, there will be the allure to simply turn the page and start rebuilding everything that Bush had destroyed in his eight years in power… but we must resist that and instead delve deeper into the abyss that WAS the Bush presidency… after all, there are a lot of things we want to know…

We have questions about FISA and the Patriot Act…

We have questions about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay…

We have questions about how we got dragged into Iraq…

We have questions about Halliburton and Blackwater…

We have questions about VP Cheney and the National Energy Policy Development Group…

We have questions about FEMA and Hurricane Katrina….

We have questions about NCLB and Valerie Plame…
We. Have. Questions.

And for the past seven years, it has been nothing but subterfuge and slight of hand, and with Bush gone, the people that Bush had been protecting, who in turn were protecting him, won’t have the Seal of the Presidency to hide behind…

I'm a relatively patient man who can wait 365 364 363 days to find out… but then, you better watch it Georgie boy… because the hand of the law will be right above that smirk-laden, frat-boy head of yours.

Game. On.

The Tuesday ‘BushWhack’ing

As I pull my money out of the bank and put it into my mattress, here's today's 'BushWhack'ing...

  • Citing continued concerns about a looming recession, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates 3.5% at an unscheduled, hastily-called meeting this morning… the stock market didn’t take notice as stocks plunged at the start of trading today, with traders virtually ignoring the emergency rate cut… (this is not good, and the next conservative lemming that says to be the economy is healthy is going to get a good swift kick in the balls…)
  • The Democratic presidential candidates held a debate last night in South Carolina, and the mud was slinging and the jabs were trading… with Obama and Clinton being the primary instigators with Edwards sitting back and promising to ignore the mud and speak on the issues…
  • House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has had enough of the sniping and has publicly told President Bill Clinton to “chill out” regarding his attacks on Obama on behalf of his wife’s campaign… one has to think that Mr. Clyburn is not the only one getting sick of the petty sniping, and if it continues, both Obama and Clinton could see their voters flock over to Edwards…
  • Today is the 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade… I merely mention it because I like to see conservatives reaction when they read those words…
  • With the a week away , the republican presidential candidates have descended like locusts onto Florida this week. All eyes are on Giuliani in this primary… he’s put all his eggs into one basket and is counting on Florida to propel him to front-runner status... Rudy, you may want to start working on that resume of yours…
  • And have we mentioned? That the Bush(whacked) Administration “scrapped a custom archiving system” for e-mail records? The system had been adopted, due to a federal court order, by the Clinton administration but discontinued by the Bush White House, who also recorded over computer backup tapes despite a similar practice by Clinton’s people that landed them in legal trouble… but since this is the Bush White House, the law doesn’t apply to them, remember?

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Monday ‘BushWhack’ing

Another weekend has flown by… and with it, more primary and caucus results…

  • Let’s remember that today is the day we recognize the birth of one of the greatest people to ever live; Dr. Martin Luther King… let us never forget his message, and his dream…
  • Nevada held their caucus this past Saturday, with Sen. Clinton winning on the Democratic side (but still getting less delegates than Sen. Obama) and Romney winning the republican side… and Sen. McCain won the South Carolina gop primary. And with this, CNN is taxing their journalistic abilities by offering this ground-breaking headline; No clear party front-runners emerge (Thank you for that assessment Mr. Sherlock…)
  • South Carolina is the next primary stop for the Democrats… and Sen. Edwards is vowing to continue his quest
  • Florida is the next primary stop for the gop, and the whole kit and caboodle for Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani has long been pinning his presidential aspirations to Florida, so it’s safe to say if (and when in my opinion) he crashes and burns in Florida he will become the second big name to drop out of the race (I think Freddy is history this week). Stay tuned…
  • The South Carolina primary was hampered, not only by bad weather, but also by a plethora of voting issues ranging from the ever-popular “human error” to computer glitches... knowing this, I think the Dems should pay extra-special attention to thier primary this Saturday, lest we face the same fate...
  • Missed among the football and post-primary buzz yesterday was acknowledgement that yesterday was January 20, 2008… which means there is now, officially, less than a year until “President” Bush leaves office… try not to cry too much with happiness…
  • Rep. Duncan Hunter (r-CA) has dropped his presidential bid… I think you can all join me in asking; WHO??
  • And have we mentioned? That we have a joke? Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

I Have a Dream

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial - Washington D.C. August 28, 1963

Happy Birthday Dr. King. Let your memory, dreams, and life never die or fade from our nation's memory.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The (Over-stuffed) Weekly Rewind

It’s Friday, we’re more than halfway through the first month of 2008, and the presidential race is heating up like… like… well… um… sigh, never mind.

Anyway, here’s this week ‘Over-Stuffed’ Weekly Rewind…

Applaud: to polling data that shows more and more people waking up and smelling the cluelessness, the donothingness, and the inanity of the Bush(whacked) Administration. First, 79% of Americans say the next president needs to “set the nation on a new course rather than following the direction in which Bush has been leading.” (Good, keep it coming…). Second, 75% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track (more good news, keep it coming…). Third, a scant 32% of Americans now approve of the way Bush is handling his job, with a staggering, but not surprising, 66% disapproving his job performance… Add to that the fact that, per a USA Today/Gallup Poll, Americans are “revved up — and ready to vote.” According to the poll, 62% of voters say they’re “more enthusiastic about voting than usual.” That’s a significant increase from this point in 2000 and 6 percentag points higher than this time in 2004, when the November turnout was the highest in a generation. (Again, good news that more and more people are finally starting to come around and see this administration for what it truly is… as we get closer to Bush leaving office, those numbers are almost certain to get higher… stay tuned…)

Heckle: to having no shame what-so-ever… Rudy Giuliani has a new ad out this week, and he’s no longer creating images in the mind of 9/11, he’s now using actual 9/11 footage… and if that weren’t enough, the ad’s dialog makes it worse as against video of the towers falling, discussing Rudy's role in the 9/11 drama, the announcer intones; “And when the world wavered, and history hesitated, he never did.” (Reason enough right there to NOT vote for this toolish shill… the man has no shame and should not be allowed to every run for public office again… EVER)

Applaud: to finally telling us what we already knew… David Kovacs, a quantitative investment strategist at Turner Investment Partners in Pennsylvania said earlier this week; “Yes, this is going to be a recession.” (Well duhhhhh). You have that, you have the fact that 47% of Americans believe a recession is likely and that “barely more than one in five” gave Bush high marks for economic policy, and despite things like this, for the last few weeks, people in the Bush(whacked) Administration have been doing their best to ignore the looming recession… well, not anymore… now they’re talking about economic stimulus packages and the like. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers earlier this week that he could “support tax cuts or spending measures to stimulate the economy” that are “quick and temporary,” even “if they increase the budget deficit.” (Wow, welcome aboard the bandwagon guys… we’ve got jackets… naturally they’re low quality and cheap, ya know, because of the recession you wouldn’t admit was coming…)

Heckle: to news that is becoming all too common. According to an Army task force study released earlier this week, approximately 10% to 20% of Marines and soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq may have suffered traumatic brain injuries, and, naturally, there are “major gaps”, created by a “lack of coordination and policy-driven approaches”, that in the identifying and treating of these injuries. (One would think that after the disaster at Walter Reed that this administration would have done something to redo the process of military injuries… but they haven’t, and this is a byproduct of their inactions… sad)

Applaud: to the the House Oversight Committee. Responding to White House claims that there is “no evidence” of missing emails, Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) released an internal White House study identifying “473 separate days in which no electronic messages were stored” by White House offices… which was followed by the HOC announcing earlier this week that it will hold hearings on missing White House e-mails.

Heckle: to the company we keep in the eyes of some of our allies. CTV in Canada reported earlier this week that it had obtained documents that “put Guantanamo Bay on a torture watch list” by the Canadian government. The list is part of a “torture awareness workshop” that tells diplomats where to watch for abuse and includes the countries of Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and China… (lovely company we’re keeping now, isn’t it? This is going to be one of the biggest and most critical actions any new president – Dem or repub – has to undertake after being sworn in; getting our standing in the world back to where it was pre-Dubya…)

Applaud: to the House for promising to take up contempt of Congress resolutions against White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers again. The promise was made earlier this week and is a result of each of them refusing to appear before Congress for questions about the 2006 removal of nine U.S. attorneys. (Good news indeed, but it’s been heard before, so I’ll take a wait and see approach… though I have a sneaky suspicion something might actually happen this time… stay tuned…)

Heckle: to strange and shady things relating to CIA TapeGate®. Earlier this week, Congress was all set to ask former CIA official Jose Rodriguez why the CIA destroyed tapes showing interrogations of suspected al-Qaeda operatives and to inquire if the destruction was part of a cover-up (One-Word-Answer-Man says; YES)… but then the House Intelligence Committee postponed Mr. Rodriguez’s testimony after they were told that he would not answer questions without a grant of legal immunity for his testimony. But they still heard from CIA Acting General Counsel John Rizzo, who said that in late 2005, the CIA’s then-director of clandestine operations, Jose Rodriguez, authorized the CIA station chief in Bangkok to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogation practices and that he had consulted CIA lawyers and officials, who told him that he “had the legal right to order the destruction. After hearing Rizzo’s testimony, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (r-MI) indicated that Rodriguez himself “ordered the destruction of videotapes depicting agency interrogation sessions even though he was directed not to do so.” (so they have their fall guy… and a muddled storyline… I haven’t seen this much mud since… well, any other story involving this administration – cough cough – AttorneyGate, EmailGate)

Applaud: to funny snubs… “President” Bush’s former chief political strategist, Karl Rove, delivered a speech earlier this week that attempted to lay a smack-down on Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton… in the entire 3,200 word speech, Rove never mentioned Dubya once… (stay classy Karl, stay classy…)

Heckle: to reversing course, again. WaPo reported earlier this week that FEMA has once again changed their minds on what to do with its Katrina trailers. “Because of concerns that the trailers are tainted with formaldehyde”, FEMA is now seeking to repurchase the trailers, at the original price, after having sold them at a steep discount because communities refuse them because if the formaldehyde… Nice work FEMA, you’re still doin’ a heckuva job…

Applaud: to this week’s FARK Political Headline of the Week: “Cuba announces it will not deal with the U.S. until Bush leaves office, a policy which pretty much sums up the rest of planet Earth's feelings” (’nuff said…)

Heckle: to the possibility of Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman… paired with republican John McCain (ew, ew, ew, ew). According to a Wall Street Journal report, in an interview with McCain, he “did little to dissuade” the notion that he may select Joe Lieberman as his running mate, saying; “He’d be a great partner in any endeavor, including joining America together. Let’s reach across the aisle, let’s work together for America. That’s what Joe Lieberman is all about.” (Seriously?? That’s what Lieberman is all about? Bi-partisanship??? What the hell have you been smoking John???)

Applaud: to the House for passing a new $696 billion defense authorization bill that includes a pay raise for troops. Bush had rejected an earlier version of the legislation because he said it would expose the Iraqi government to expensive lawsuits (don’t try to figure it out, he’s using BushLogic…). Per AP: The new bill, which passed, 369-46, would let Bush grant Iraq immunity under the provision, which otherwise guarantees that U.S. victims of state-sponsored abuse can sue foreign governments in court. Iraqi officials had also objected to the measure (because they’re opinions about US bills should matter – yes, that was sarcasm) because they said it would have subjected Baghdad to high-dollar payouts in damages from the Saddam Hussein era. The revised measure also makes the 3.5 percent pay increase for troops, included in the original bill that Bush threatened to veto, retroactive to Jan. 1.

Heckle: to talking out of one’s ass… again. Fox “News” anchor Bill “Want to Play with my Microphone” O’Reilly was railing against Sen. John Edwards and his claims about there being approximately 200,000 homeless veterans in the US right now… said O’Reilly; “They may be out there, but there’s not many of them out there.” Um… okay... how do you explain the Department of Veteran's Affairs report that says there are about 195,000 veterans “homeless on any given night.” (What a schmuck…)

Taken-with-a-grain-of-salt-Applaud: to U.S. military figures that show about 75% of Baghdad’s neighborhoods are now secure, which is a dramatic increase from 8% a year ago… if true, excellent… but I’m sorry, I find it hard to believe anything that comes from this administration… so I’ll take it with a grain of salt…

Heckle: to news that makes me glad I took the aforementioned army report with a grain of salt. Right above here I applauded news that could have suggested that the surge was working, well not so fast. Iraq’s national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote earlier this week in WaPo that “Iraq’s government is at a stalemate. […] It has been impossible to maintain a political consensus on many important issues” partially because “the U.S.-dominated coalition, which has its own objectives, must be accommodated.” That’s not even considering that this week’s announcement that the de-Baathification law that was passed by Iraq’s parliament is “riddled with loopholes and caveats” and that Iraqi defense minister Abdul Qadir said earlier this week that Iraq would “not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012” (great) “nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018.” (again, great… how’s that surge working for us?? What’s that? Oh… well then;

Applaud: to Army Chief of Staff George Casey for once again having the balls to speak his mind and NOT kowtow to the administration’s song and dance. In an interview earlier this week, Casey said the high troop levels in Iraq are causing growing manpower strains on the Army while offering this assessment; “The surge has sucked all of the flexibility out of the system. […] And we need to find a way of getting back into balance.” (Great… just great… while I applaud Casey’s defiance to speak his mind, the news itself is ANYTHING but applaud-worthy… and with Bush and his cronies still war-mongering for Iran, I don’t like what the last months of Dubya may bring… God. Help. Us.)

Heckle: to a wasted trip that was merely a legacy-saving maneuver. “President” Bush made his first trip to the Middle East this past week and, well… it went about as well as anyone with a brain would expect it to…

Applaud: to Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), who took to the House floor earlier this week to push for the House Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment hearings into Vice President Cheney for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Wexler, who has already acquired nearly 190,000 supporters through his website, said; “Tomorrow, I will deliver these names to my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee with a letter to my friend, Chairman Conyers, calling for hearings. I will ask my colleagues to sign this letter … Continuing every day for months, I will publish in the Congressional Record several thousand names of supporters who signed up. History demands that we take action, because the case against Vice President Cheney is far stronger than the illegality surrounding Watergate.” (Booh! Yah!)

And now it’s time for this week’s conservative/republican/gop Tool of the Week. It was another illustrious week for this award as we had many individuals to choose from… but we finally decided on three of the major republican presidential candidates, all of whom refused to answer a simple question by NPR; whether or not they provide health care coverage to their staffs. Edwards, Obama & Clinton do on the Democratic side, and McCain & Giuliani do (which is ironic in Rudy’s case if you consider he had to ask some of this staff to not be paid this month) on the republican side… but Huckabee, Thompson and Romney refused to even answer the question… and for that, they’re this week’s Tool, of the Week…

Take ‘em as you will…

Is this the re-birth of EmailGate?

Now… I’m not one of those conspiracy-minded theorists… but every once in a while there is something in the news that makes me want to start working on my tinfoil hat… this article in today's WaPo is one of those instances that just screams; conspiracy…

Or gross incompetence…

A White House study found that there is 473 days worth of emails that are gone… vanished… nowhere to be found…

Now I would have to think that the Presidential Records Act should not be news to the IT staff working at the White House, especially since it’s been in place since 1978, meaning they’ve had 23 years before the Bush(whacked) Administration got involved to get this right. Which means, in my eyes, that there’s no excuse for this to have happened legitimately… which leads one to believe that there is something illegitimate to it… as in, perhaps, something to hide?

Apparently Rep. Henry Waxman agrees with me, as has announced that he is scheduling a hearing on February 15th in light of the news that no e-mail in the White House was archived on 473 days for various units of the Executive Office of the President and that there are also 16 days of no archived e-mails for the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, dating from Sept. 12, 2003, to May 23, 2005…

What’s with the secrecy, anyway? Doesn’t the Executive Branch (and all of the government for that matter) exist to perform the people's business? Okay, I know now I’m being na├»ve… but that IS what they’re supposed to be for…

I realize that there would be issues that are secret due to national security reasons, but a more thorough look at some of the agencies that “lost” emails makes one wonder… the Council on Environmental Quality, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative… not exactly agengies that are at the forefront of the so-called War on Terror.

So what gives? Is this incompetence? Or fraud? Or stupidity? The stonewalling we are getting from the administration tends to make me believe it's the latter…

Again, Mr. Waxman seemingly agrees with me, especially after White House tool spokesman tool Tony Fratto had this exchange yesterday; “I think our review of this… I think to the best of what all the analysis we've been able to do, we have absolutely no reason to believe that any emails are missing...we have no reason to believe that any email at all are missing.”
Reporter: “So where are they?”
Fratto: “Where are what?”

Nice… who’s on first Fratto??? Putz.

And, if I may make a wild suggestion here Mr. Waxman, rather than have months and months of sternly worded letters going back and forth, how about you cut to the chase, issue subpoenas now and, I don’t know, call me silly; enforce them…

Or would that make too much sense for Washington DC???

The Friday Presidential ‘BushWhack’ing

It’s Friday, so here’s your dollop of presidential race news…

  • Last Tuesday was the Michigan gop primary, won by Mitt “Rhymes with Fit” Romney, making it 3 winners in three contests. Needless to say the media is tripping over themselves to say the gop race is wide open and now headed to South Carolina… to them I say; well duhhhh.
  • Also this past Tuesday, the Democratic candidates held what could best be described as their most congeal debate and agreed to speak on the issues and not sling mud (or in the case of Clinton, have others – cough cough, Bob Johnson, who did apologize earlier this week) do it… but how long can that possibly last?? My bet is Sunday… why Sunday? Because…
  • The Nevada Democratic caucus is tomorrow… Obama is leading in polls, but he was also leading in New Hampshire. Having said that, the ruling by a federal judge earlier this week that kept nine casino-based caucus sites open certainly helps the man who won the endorsement of the state culinary workers union … stay tuned.
  • Sen. Obama received an endorsement this past week from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who is also the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. What does that mean for Obama? Not much, but it’s still an endorsement from a senior senator…
  • Sen. Clinton and her husband, President Clinton, are playing, per CNN, good cop/bad cop on the campaign trail… it’s not news, it’s sensationalism…
  • Speaking of sensationalism; Sen. McCain has been consistently spouting off recently about being attacked by his competition… who in turn are saying he’s exaggerating about the attacks…
  • The second-coming of Ronald Reagan, AKA Fred Thompson, is pinning his hopes on winning South Carolina… considering that Thompson was third in Iowa, garnered 1% of the vote in New Hampshire and got 4% in Michigan, where he even came in behind Ron Paul. If he doesn’t have a good showing there, expect him to drop out of the race sometime after Tuesday’s primary…
  • Gov. Huckabee is hoping his conservative credentials… excuse me, his “conservative, evangelical Southern credentials” are impressive enough to South Carolina voters that he wins big next Tuesday. (I certainly see Huckabee having a much better opportunity to win the state than Thompson - who will almost certainly be out of the race by this time next week – but I think it’s gonna be Romney or McCain)
  • And have we mentioned? That Sen. Edwards is also putting a LOT into Tuesday’s South Carolina primary? He’s hoping that, as a South Carolina native who won that state’s primary in 2004, lightening will strike twice and propel him back into the thick of the race… stay tuned

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More inanity from the man who made it an art form

Just when you think the Bush(whacked) Administration has learned something from past mistakes and has taken intelligence at face value, you realize who you’re thinking about and you’re snapped so-hard back into reality that you almost get whiplash…

A few weeks ago, when the NIE concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program WAY BACK in 2003, White House Tool Press Secretary Dana Perino said that the President “accepted the results of the NIE”, even saying this week that Bush had never expressed “anything but support” for the NIE’s findings.

Yet in an interview with Fox “News” earlier this week, the President made it crystal clear that he doesn’t share the NIE’s conclusions…

Uh-huh…

Sure, he admitted that the intelligence officials were probably “sincere” in what they wrote, but he refuses to say whether he believed them or not…

And while on his latest legacy-saving trip®, Bush tried so hard to distance himself from the NIE, that he not only hurt himself, he probably got a burnt tongue his mouth was open so much… though that could also have been because he was kissing everyone’s ass on the trip…

For instance, while in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Bush “made it clear” that the intelligence services that created the NIE are an “independent agency” and “come to conclusions separate from what I may or may not want.” He also, per an article in Newsweek, told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that the NIE’s “conclusions don’t reflect his own views.”

(Excuse me??? His own views?? He is not supposed to have his own views of these things… he’s supposed to rely on, wait for it, his intelligence agencies.

That’s the problem with this man… he ignores his counselors and thinks what HE thinks is the law… with these statements, Bush has positioned himself farther to the right than Vice President Cheney (and that ain’t easy) since Cheney told the Politico last month that he doesn’t have “any reason to question” the NIE.

Bush is indeed in a world of his own, and January 20, 2009 can NOT come soon enough…
)

The Thursday ‘BushWhack’ing

It’s Thursday, one more day closer to the next primary… and then the next one… and then the nex-- well, you get the idea…

  • With their third winner in three caucuses/primaries, the gop nomination is up for grabs… but the Democrats shouldn’t be getting to giddy, as they’ve had two caucuses/primaries and two winners… this thing is gonna be decided on Super Tuesday… mark my words.
  • A former republican lawmaker (who is so conservative he makes Dubya look like Clinton) has been charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges all due to his work for an Islamic charity that is thought to be funneling money to an Afghan warlord… or in simpler fearmongering terms; terrorism. (Let’s see how the gop tries to spin this… blaming the left starts in 3, 2…)
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is on Capitol Hill this morning where he said quite a few interesting things; “To be useful, a fiscal stimulus package should be implemented quickly” and that he would “support tax cuts or spending measures to stimulate the economy” even if it would “increase the budget deficit.”
  • “President” Bush has ended his middle-east tour with a resounding… meh. He tried to coerce the president of Saudi Arabia to coerce OPEC to raise oil production, he tried to convince people that there will be peace before he leaves office (uh-huh) and well, a lot more nothing… (The entire trip reeked of desperation and did nothing to change Bush’s tainted-laden legacy. The question he really needs to ask himself is this; is there ANYTHING – save for finding bin Laden himself and strangling him with his own hands – that Bush could do to alter his legacy? I. Think. Not.)
  • And have we mentioned? That Americans are “revved up — and ready to vote”? It’s true (and considering what we’ve been through the last 7 years not a surprise). A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that 62% of voters believe that they are “more enthusiastic about voting than usual.” It’s also worthwhile to note that the 62% is 17 percentage points higher than it was at this point in 2000 and 6 percentage points higher than it was in 2004, which was a year in which November’s voting turnout was the highest in a generation… (Again, it’s because of everything that we have been through, as a nation, and I am still optimistic, cautiously optimistic btw, that the Dems will regain the White House in November… stay tuned…)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

While people were sleeping

Once again, the Bush(whacked) Administration has done its unlawful work under the cover of darkness… this time admitting, finally!, in a midnight filing that the administration not only didn’t properly archive White House emails, (but also taped over the back-up tapes that contain the email records. And rather than have it come out during the day when the press corps is at the White House, they did it at midnight, apparently hoping that the story would get thrown out with the trash… something that doesn’t happen to easily with the glut of blogs out there.

These aren’t superfluous emails that are missing… these are emails that cover everything from the start of the Iraq War, the leaking of Valerie Wilson's identity and various other DOJ probes…

What’s even more troubling is that the White House’s only safeguard it has to its staggeringly inadequate method for preserving email, is back-up tape media, add that to the fact that these so-called “back-up copies” that they tape are merely a “snapshot” and aren’t comprehensive.

So let me see if I have this straight? There was a system in place to archive emails (using, if I am correct, a Clinton-era legacy system that was mandated by the 1990’s Dan Burton investigation) but the Bush(whacked) Administration stopped using it, thus the administration destroyed emails records, breaking at least two Federal Laws in the process… and switched over to a system, tapes, that was never a viable option to begin… right?

Think about it, 15 million missing emails are far more than an 18-minute gap on a tape, and Nixon was about to be impeached and resigned in disgrace before that could happen.

Why do I find it hard to believe that anything like that would happen to Dubya?

The Wednesday ‘BushWhack’ing

I was out sick yesterday, so how about a double-filled ‘BushWhack’ing?

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Monday ‘BushWhack’ing

Another week, another primary...

  • Don’t look now, but the republican presidential candidates are pandering to the masses in Michigan… wow, I didn’t see that coming…
  • “President” Bush is continuing his Middle-East trip. Today he’s in Dubai
  • We are starting to hear more and more complaints about the faulty, yet still “certified” fire-extinguishing system, in the $740 million U.S. embassy complex in Baghdad. Apparently the complaints have been coming out for a while but they were ignored and/or overruled. (I don’t know how this could surprise anyone, it’s the MO of the Bush(whacked) Administration…)
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, (with Murdoch at the helm, take anything you read in it with a grain of salt) the revision of the FISA law, which includes immunity for the telcos, may be out of commission until at least 2009
  • John Edwards is placing a lot of stock in the looming South Carolina primary, hoping to, like he did in 2004, win the primary and catapult himself back into the race. Being a SC native and, generally, well-liked, the idea is not totally not out of the realm of possibility… so stay tuned.
  • A new WaPo/ABC News poll shows John McCain moving into the national lead and Barack Obama overtaking Clinton’s once-insurmountable lead. As I’ve said many times already, this contest is no where near over, and we need to keep that in mind. Don’t let polls and poles affect your decision… make it up for yourself…
  • Fred Thompson’s campaign has become more vitriolic in recent weeks… but it ain’t helping…
  • And have we mentioned? That more and more people in this country are starting to see the light? It’s true… 79% of Americans say that the next president should “set the nation on a new course rather than following the direction in which Bush has been leading.” In comparison, Bush’s father had a rating near his end of 75%, Clinton had 48% and Reagan 58%... maybe change is more than a buzz word for this campaign. At least we can only hope…

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Weekly Rewind

Lot more heckles than applauds this week... but considering who we have in the White House - it's not totally surprising. So sit back and enjoy a little thing we like to call; The Weekly Rewind.

Applaud:
to more proof that people are getting wise to the Bush(whacked) Administration and its ways. Last month 36% of Americans approved of Bush’s handling of the economy. Now it’s 33% of Americans that approve of President Bush’s handling of the economy. Additionally, according to the new AP-Ipsos poll, a scant 27% believe the country is “headed in the right direction,” including fewer than half of republicans. (what else needs to be said other than; Haw-Haw!)

Heckle: to presidential spokesman Tony Fratto. Earlier this week aboard Air Force One, a reporter asked him if the Bush administration was at all worried about a recession. His response? “I don’t know of anyone predicting a recession.(Dude… open a damn newspaper... good to know Bush is surrounding himself with the best and brightest…)

Applaud: to CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Showing that they’re not partisan (despite a majority of their complaints being against republicans) the group filed an ethics complaint with federal prosecutors against Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) earlier this week. The group is accusing her of violating federal bribery law by obtaining a $2 million earmark for Voyager Expanded Learning, mere days after her campaign received a $30,000 campaign contribution from company executives and their relatives… (eventually politicians will learn won’t they?? Right? Anyone??)

Heckle: to more mind-numbing inanity from “President” Bush. Bush used his first extended tour of the Middle East to rally support for international pressure against Iran… despite that silly little NIE that not only significantly played-down Tehran’s nuclear ambitions but also left Israeli and Arab leaders rethinking their own approach toward Iran while questioning Washington’s resolve… but Bush didn’t abate and held his position that they need to be stopped. From what I have no idea…

Applaud: to the about-time resignation of republican Rep. John Doolittle (CA). For months he’s resisted calls for his resignation from other republicans, announcing in September; “I will not step aside. I am running again, period.” Wrong! Earlier this week he held a press conference where he reluctantly said that he would be retiring at the end of his term… (and the republican dominoes continue to fall… good riddance to bad rubbish)

Heckle:
to presidential pipe dreams and spin. “President” Bush predicted earlier this week that there “will be a signed peace treaty” to turn the West Bank and Gaza Strip into a Palestinian state “by the time I leave office.” Many, if not all, see this as highly unlikely. And for the president to ignore this region for 7 years and say this in his final lame-duck year is contemptible… but then again, this is George Bush we’re talking about. Expectations from those in the Middle East are so low that one Arab diplomat expressed “disbelief” that Bush will use the trip to renew his drive for Middle East democracy, sarcastically asking “Is that still on?” and a recent poll of Israelis found that “77% of those questioned” believed Mr. Bush would fail in that drive… what else needs to be said?

Applaud: AND Heckle: to the Pentagon for weighing an Afghanistan surge. Earlier this week Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he’s considering sending “3,000 additional marines to Afghanistan to boost forces ahead of a Taliban spring offensive.” (I applaud this because Afghanistan is the true terrorism theater of operations and it’s where our focus should be – personally I think it should have stayed our focus, but what do I know? – but I also have to throw out a small heckle because it’s a move that will stretch out our already thin military... but let’s wait and see what happens.)

Applaud: to the federal judge that ordered the White House to “reveal whether copies of possibly millions of missing e-mails are stored on computer backup tapes” earlier this week. According to AP, Judge Facciola gave the White House five business days to report whether computer backup tapes contain e-mails written between 2003 and 2005… (who wants to wager that the White House will either; A) claim executive privilege, B) say they were lost or C) all of the above…)

Heckle:
to yet another sign of a weakening job market. The number of Americans working part-time hours increased to 2.8 million in 2007 because of slower business conditions. That number is up 9% from 2006. (And yet we have a White House spokesman saying he hasn’t heard anyone talking about a recession… makes you wonder what the hell is going on in the White House doesn’t it?)

Applaud: to one of the best lines ever read on Daily Kos’ Cheers and Jeers column by Bill in Portland Maine.

“CHEERS to John Edwards. I still like ya, dude. But unless a YouTube video surfaces showing Hillary giving Barack a blow job on a church altar while taking bribes from Jack Abramoff and administering an abortion to a teenager, I'm afraid it's not looking good. But don’t rule out an independent bid with Gore. It's still early.”
Nice…

Heckle: to “The Surge”. One year ago this week, “President” Bush announced he was sending 21,500 additional American forces to Iraq. (if you listen to John McCain and Joe Lieberman the surge was a success… if you listen to anyone else the jury is still out. Quite a few military analysts and former military officials say that the surge may have “enhanced prospects for a bloodier civil war” because it allowed the “warring sides” — now with more segregation — to “re-group and re-arm” in anticipation of a new round of insurgent attacks. But McCain and Lieberman, and a few trolls, still believe that it has worked unequivocally… but then again; they’re schmucks)

Applaud: to the former chairman of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, Martin Feldstein, for telling it like it is and not spinning it for love of party. Earlier this week Mr. Feldstein said that ‘we are now talking about more likely than not,’ about the US experiencing a recession…(And yet we have a White House spokesman saying he hasn’t heard anyone talking about a recession… makes you wonder what the hell is going on in the White House doesn’t it?)

Heckle: to not paying your bills on time; government version. AP is reporting that telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to “eavesdrop on suspected criminals” because the bureau has repeatedly failed to pay their phone bills on time. Said DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine, the “FBI’s lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations” resulted in “telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence.” (Wow… the incompetence of the Bush(whacked) Administration apparently has filtered throughout all areas of the US government… Christ that’s scary…)

Heckle: to pathetic attempts to change history and change the meaning of the law all at once. Lawyers for Sen. Larry Craig (r-ID) are arguing that the “underlying act” of his airport bathroom arrest was not criminal because it “didn’t involve multiple victims” and that hand signals should be considered “constitutionally protected speech.” (What!!?? Are you fucking kidding me???)

Heckle: to wagging the dog. Earlier this week the Pentagon said that three of Navy ships asea in the Strait of Hormuz had been harassed and provoked by Iranian speedboats, to the point that they felt so threatened that it was about to open fire on the boats. The Pentagon even unveiled a four-minute video of the incident. Knowing the history of this adminstration, quite a few people were skeptical, which grew after Iran released its own video that didn’t show any Iranian boats approaching U.S. vessels. Today the Navy acknowledged that the verbal threat made in the tape may not have been Iranian