We at TBWA will be taking some time off in the next 2 weeks to not only wind-down from a spectacular and at times odd political year, but to spend time with family & friends over the Christmas and New Year's Holidays.
We'll be back on January 1st with our annual Year End Rewind, a look back at the things that happened in the last 12 months.
Until then, continue reading past posts of our fine blog, and we'll be back in 2009 ready to sum up the Bush presidency while keeping tabs on an Obama Administration.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
We at TBWA will be taking some time off in the next 2 weeks to not only wind-down from a spectacular and at times odd political year, but to spend time with family & friends over the Christmas and New Year's Holidays.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Waiting for the ice…
- And the President-elect cabinet picks keep on coming…
- Rick Warren, seriously?
- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined other Bush(whacked) Administration officials in granting legacy-saving, end-of-days interviews, covering a wide array of matters including her acknowledgement about “erroneous” assumptions about Iraq and labeling the inability to prevent the September 11 attacks as a “systemic failure.” (the interview revealed nothing new… she maintains the administration’s talking points about Iraq and the invasion while blaming faulty intel – rather than a faulty president – on the invasion of Iraq. Rice has had her reputation tarnished by being a member of this administration – as have others – but one has the feeling that she will bounce back more resiliently then say, Alberto Gonzales)
- “President” Bush is convening a plethora of ex-Presidents next month to discuss the transition. Expected to attend are former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush along with President-elect Obama. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said; “the gathering will be a chance for them to discuss life in the White House, politics, and domestic and world affairs.” (and that the toilet in the West Wing runs unless you jiggle the handle…)
- And have we mentioned? That Vice President Dick Cheney is going senile? At least that’s the only thing I can think of after reading that Cheney said in an interview with the Washington Times that Bush’s “place in history likely would grow during the next 20 to 30 years.” (Um… okay. Granted, no one can tell what the future holds or what history will say, but this sounds like forced. Bush’s failures are massive, and his successes minimal, so how his place in history can improve is anyone’s guess… so stay tuned)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Hump day is upon us, so let’s get a-humpin…
- Not surprisingly, Time magazine has named President-elect Obama as its “Person of the Year.”
- The Blagojevich saga continues… and will continue and continue and continue until we’re all so sick of the damned thing we tune it out. Much like we have the ridiculousness in New York to replace Sen. Clinton.
- Another day, another PE Obama cabinet pick…
- “President” Bush sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley yesterday and spoke about the auto industry bailout, Iraq and so on. During the interview, Bush said about the auto bailout that it's important to make sure he doesn’t waste taxpayers' money… (Sure, NOW he starts saying that…)
- Yesterday NASA released a statement saying that the year 2008 was the ninth warmest year since 1880 and that “all of the nine warmest years have occurred in the past 11 years.” (Take from that what you will…)
- And have we mentioned? That Vice President Dick Cheney is living up to his name? In an interview with ABC News, Cheney said the administration “made the right decision” in invading Iraq maintaining that the “world is better off with Saddam [Hussein] gone” while also admitting that he shared “frustration” over faulty intelligence regarding WMD’s. (All fine and good… but we were sold on the invasion of Iraq based on them having WMD’s… NOT Hussein being in power. Yes, he was a tyrant and the world probably is better off with him gone, but that doesn’t change the fact that the electorate was lied to… 1/20/09 can not come soon enough)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Department of Labor announced this morning that consumer prices fell in November by the largest percentage, 1.7%, in the 61 years that records have been kept, much of the decline being attributed to energy prices that have plunged drastically.
With inflation being rather minimal at this point (according to an AP story, the 1.7% decline in consumer prices was larger than economist’s forecast of a 1.2% drop) there is some good news on the financial horizon because, with inflation being rather low, the Federal Reserve has a lot of leverage and can pump money into the economy because they don’t have to worry (yet?) about fueling inflation. And that’s exactly what they’re doing; having the central bank print more money and then pumping it back into the economy, much like Japan did years ago successfully.
All of this is a more complex way to say that the Fed will probably reduce federal funds rate 50 basis points to 1/2% in the next few days.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke to Fox “News” yesterday about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich; “Now is the time, not just for governors, but, for all elected officials to try and start shoring up some trust with the electorate. […] You cannot be in this business to get rich...can't be in this business with anything but a servant's heart. I'm wondering how long the guy thought he was gonna get away with it.”
There’s something I should be saying here… something regarding a pot, a kettle and the color black… but I'm laughing so hard I can’t think of it at this moment.
We at TBWA are waiting for the other shoe to drop…
- The 538 members of the Electoral College gathered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia yesterday and exercised their constitutional prerogative and cast their votes for president and vice president… officially electing President-elect Obama and Vice-president Obama.
- The Secret Service is getting flak for allowing two shoes to be thrown at “President” Bush…
- President-elect Obama is poised to announce more cabinet posts today, including Chicago Schools CEO Arne Duncan as Education Secretary.
- JFK’s daughter Caroline has made it public to anyone that will listen that she wants Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. According to Sen. Chuck Schumer, there are twelve other people also interested in the post, though no other names have been publicly announced. (I am torn about this… while I appreciate the historical aspect of it, putting someone who has little political experience other than being around politics is a tad disheartening. New York Governor David Paterson has the power to appoint the replacement that will face a special election in 2010.
- PE Obama and VP-elect Biden will be taking a train to the inauguration…
- 70% of Americans say President-elect Obama should “fulfill his campaign promise to withdraw U.S. forces from the country within 16 months.” (All fine and good, but I have a radical idea. Let’s allow Mr. Obama to actually, you know, take office before demanding he fulfill campaign promises…)
- And have we mentioned? That someone took a poll asking if Obama should get a new dog from a breeder or a shelter? That’s a good use of money and resources…
Monday, December 15, 2008
Another week begins…
- “President” Bush made a visit to Iraq over the weekend and his appearance prompted one Iraqi reporter to throw his shoes at Bush and call him a “dog”... I guess he wanted Bush to… ‘heal’…
- The Blagojevich saga continues… and it’s obvious that he’s living in his own world as he continues to go about his business despite calls for his resignation or impeachment.
- President-elect Obama is poised to name his energy team today or tomorrow… may I suggest “The Obama PowerUps”?
- And have we mentioned? That Sen. McCain is unsure about backing a possible Palin presidential run? Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday, McCain said that he would not necessarily support Palin if she decided to run for president, saying; “I can’t say something like that. We’ve got some great other young governors. I think you’re going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party.” (This is probably the largest sign that McCain and Palin did not get along well, and his refusal to support her, even four years early, is a slap in the face to Palin. Tee-hee.)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Louisiana UAW Local 2166 official Morgan Johnson responds to republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter's vote against the auto bailout; “I don't know what Sen. Vitter has against GM or the United Auto Workers or the entire domestic auto industry; whatever it is, whatever he thinks we've done, it's time for him to forgive us, just like Sen. Vitter has asked the citizens of Louisiana to forgive him. [..] He'd rather pay a prostitute than pay auto workers.” Pwnd!
Friday, December 12, 2008
One wouldn’t think it possible, but weeks after ending one of the most poorly-strategized and poorly-ran presidential campaigns in recent memory, the McCain-Palin campaign is STILL making mistakes;
Private information at bargain prices. It was a high-tech flub at the McCain-Palin campaign headquarters in Arlington when Fox 5's Investigative Reporter Tisha Thompson bought a Blackberry device containing confidential campaign information.Smoooooooooth…
The hottest item? Blackberry phones at $20 a piece. There were only 10 left. All of the batteries had died. There were no chargers for sale. But people were snatching them up. So, we bought a couple.
And ended up with a lot more than we bargained for.
When we charged them up in the newsroom, we found one of the $20 Blackberry phones contained more than 50 phone numbers for people connected with the McCain-Palin campaign, as well as hundreds of emails from early September until a few days after election night.
I am not, as a rule, a cynic. I’m a realist, evened out with a healthy dose of cynicism and optimism that gives me a nice balance… but something about the way the auto bailout is unrolling is giving me pause.
Was this whole scenario designed to give “President” Bush an opportunity to ride in on his white horse and save the day – thus helping his ‘legacy’ and numbers?
Part of me thinks not, as the gop – evidenced in how they ran some of their campaigns this season – is NOT that calculated and coordinated…
But then I think, perhaps it was.
Consider that Senate republicans assured UAW President Ron Gettelfinger that the Senate would pass the auto loan bill, only to renege on their agreement to the UAW and kill the bill.
Then during this morning’s UAW press conference on the failed Senate bill, an announcement from the Treasury Department is released that says it will open TARP funds because Bush will not let the auto industry fail.
More indicative is that during Gettelfinger’s presser, he spoke about the manner in which he was mislead by the gop, saying the gop had lied to him and killed the loan guarantees bill. It was then that a reporter informed him that the Treasury Department, on Bush’s urging, had just pledged support from the TARP funds for the auto industry because the Senate had failed to reach an agreement.
Granted, no one that has a brain and uses it is going to think better of Bush for “saving” the auto industry, they’re rightfully going to place the blame at the feet of the gop for sinking the rescue package, and the rust belt knows that.
Having said all that, if in fact there is collusion between Senate republicans and the White House, I think it still scores very few points for Bush.
But still… it’s ‘interesting’ to say the least.
- Despite ‘threats’ by the White House that they would tap into the bank bailout funds to help the auto industry, the auto bailout died in the Senate yesterday as republicans resisted an attempt to help the workers.
- Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the Swedish government is preparing a $3.5 billion bailout for Saab and Volvo that consists of credit guarantees and rescue loans. The plan now goes to parliament for approval… and I bet ya they get it right.
- Outgoing republican Senator, and current felon, Ted Stevens of Alaska is acting like a spoiled brat, refusing to speak to the man who knocked him out of his seat in November. Incoming Senator Mark Begich called Stevens a “couple days after the race was final, left a message and there was never a call back.” (Classy as always Ted…)
- CNN is reporting that officials in DC are planning for a ‘massive’ inaugural turnout… Um, guys; two weeks ago called, they want their headline back.
- The Bush(whacked) Administration’s war against animals and the environment continues as Lame-duck President Bush cleared the way yesterday for federal agencies to skip consultations with government scientists when starting on projects that could impact endangered wildlife…(This administration’s disdain for the environment is staggering, and it’s going to take a LONG time to clear it up…)
- The Blagojevich fiasco continues… and has now ensnarled his wife.
- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke with CNN this week (the full interview will air Sunday) and said the republican party’s attempt to “to use polarization for political advantage” backfired last month and rather than “shouting at the world” the party should listen to minority groups if they want to win elections in this century. (that’s all fine and good Mr. Powell, but we know they can’t…at least the conservative base can’t, and they’re the ones that run the show. Attitudes need to be changed in your party Sir, otherwise the gop has seen their last majority rule)
- And have we mentioned? That Vice President Dick “DICK” Cheney has experienced a scratch in his rose-colored glasses? Speaking at a closed-door gop lunch yesterday, Cheney supposedly said that it will be “Herbert Hoover” time in the US if an auto bailout failed to pass. (Granted, we’re already there… but each time a member of this administration admits it, a bailout gets its wings…)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Weekend is approaching, but not nearly fast enough…
- The House passed a vote yesterday (237 to 170) that approves a $14 billion government rescue of the American automobile industry.” The deal would provide emergency loans to General Motors and Chrysler but the deal is in peril due to republican opposition in the Senate. Stay tuned…
- The stocking of the cabinet continues as President-elect Obama has chosen former Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota to lead the Department of Health and Human Services… and physicist Steven Chu as Energy Secretary.
- 76% of Americans don’t think the financial banks receiving federal bailout funds should dole out bonuses this year… show of hands who believe that will actually happen… anyone? Anyone? Helloooo????
- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is ready to pounce and “take action” against Illinois Governor Rod “Dumb as a box of rocks” Blagojevich if he doesn’t resign. (I think we all know the chances of Blago resigning are slim to none. He maintains he hasn’t done anything wrong, and that – coupled with his staggering stupidity in talking freely when he knew he was being recorded – shows that he could very well be nuttier than a squirrel’s cheeks in October. While this is an embarrassment for the state of Illinois, it is making for some interesting theater. Stay tuned)
- Speaking of which, Illinois lawmakers are moving quickly to take the decision of who will take the Senate seat of President-elect Obama away from Blagojevich. Announcement of who will be replacing Obama by the governor’s office in five, four, three…
- The misery of the gop continues as one of their favorites to run for president in 2012 is saying on the record he’s not interested in being president and is running for a second gubernatorial term in 2011. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal – you thought I was gonna say she-who-must-not-be-named, didn’t ya? – told a group of Bob McDonnel supporters (he’s running for Gov of Virginia) that he’s not interested in the presidency but did stop short of saying he wouldn’t or couldn’t change his mind.
- And have we mentioned? That Blago’s actions have untied Senate Democrats like never before? According to Sam Stein of Huffington Post, all 50 members of the Democratic Senate caucus have signed Majority Leader Harry Reid’s letter calling on Blagojevich to “step down from his post and refrain from appointing anyone to the vacated Illinois Senate seat.” Impressive… getting all the Senators to agree to something is akin to trying to get cats to march in a parade, but an incredible lapse of ethics gets them all aligned and agreeing to the same thing… we may have something here.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
After being sick and looking like death on a triscit, I am back…
- Is an auto bailout nigh?
- By now everyone knows that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested yesterday for, among MANY other things, trying to sell President-elect Obama’s senate seat. Being an Illinoisan all my life, I can honestly say I have never been more ashamed of my state than I am now… more so than with former Gov. George Ryan.
- Joe the non-licensed, non-working Plumber says he was “appalled” with Sen. McCain but says that Gov. TurkeyKill is the “real deal.” And so his evolution into lemming-ness is now complete.
- PE Obama and former Vice-President Al Gore say it’s time to deal with climate change. While it seems unlikely that Gore will have an official position within the Obama Administration, it does seem like he will be working closely with it to battle climate change. Stay tuned.
- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told “CBS Today” that the US is “is very well regarded” in terms of popularity. (Um… yeah… maybe in Bush’s little world, but certainly not in reality)
- The House Ethics Committee has voted to expand its investigation into Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), which means they will also be examining Rangel’s role in preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company whose chief executive pledged $1 million to a City College of New York project that will bear Rangel’s name. Despite this, Rangel maintains he will not step down… maybe he and Blago can get a group rate on a jail cell?
- And have we mentioned? That Sen. Larry “Wide-stance” Craig can NOT withdraw his guilty plea? After being arrested, and pleading guilty, for soliciting sex in a Minneapolis-St. Paul airport restroom, Craig tried to withdraw his plea saying the cop that arrested him misunderstood his ‘wide stance’ in the stall and that he had plead guilty in order to quickly resolve the issue. The Appeals court didn’t buy it (hard to imagine why he wrote as he rolled his eyes) and issued their decision yesterday. Naturally Craig is already thinking about appealing the ruling…
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Forgetting the fact that last week’s ‘Rewind’ was lost somewhere among the “tubes”, we at TBWA are thrilled that January 20, 2009 is getting closer with each passing day.
It the world goes all “Groundhog Day” on me, I’m gonna plotz.
The Weekly Rewind starts… right now!
Applaud: to President-elect Obama’s continued mastery of the presidential transition. Grumble all you want about his choices (despite the fact we don’t know how they will act under Obama), complain about PE Obama not ‘doing enough’ for the country (ignoring the clear fact that he’s not yet president), and amaze at the swiftness he’s utilizing in stocking his cabinet and his administration.
Heckle: to the devastating news from the Labor Department this week that reported that 533,000 jobs were lost last month (the largest such decline since 1974) while unemployment surged to 6.7%. (And yet the Bush(whacked) Administration continues to act like the lamest duck ever and does absolutely nothing… thanks for the leadership Dubya; ya putz)
Applaud: to putting one’s foot securely in one’s mouth. Regarding the economic meltdown, “President” Bush said this week; “I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived.” (A decade ago? Wait a minute, I’m doing math in my head… carry the two… that would be 1990… that would be the presidency of George H.W. Bush… or Papa as Dubya calls him. Oops…)
Heckle: that it took the White House and some conservative economists this long to realize what we’ve been saying for
days weeks months; ‘it’s a recession stupid!’
Applaud: to outstanding approval ratings for President-elect Obama. While some continue to mope and grope, most Americans – those that realize Obama isn’t president yet – approve of the job he’s doing, to the tune of 67%. Hopefully this continues…
Heckle: to the continued raping and pillaging of the environment under the Bush(whacked) Administration. Earlier this week the Department of the Interior Department unveiled a new rule that challenges the authority of Congress to prevent mining planned on public lands who, had had “emergency power” to stop mineral development. No more as Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has “ignored that Congressional directive” by saying it was “procedurally flawed.” (The animosity this administration has for the environment is bone-chilling… makes you think that Lame Duck “President” Bush was mistreated in his life by nature…)
Applaud: to the news that President-elect Obama is considering a stimulus package when he takes office that would see a heavy dose of spending on environmentally friendly projects aimed at creating “green-collar jobs” while also saving energy. 1/20/09 can not come soon enough…
Heckle: to Attorney General Michael Mukasey for saying this week that he sees “no reason for prosecutions or for pardons” for any people that gave legal advice on the Bush administration’s terrorism policies, saying there was “absolutely no evidence” that legal opinions on surveillance or interrogation policy were issued for any reason “other than to protect the security of the country.”
Applaud: to Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) for having the balls to call Attorney General Michael Mukasey onto the carpet to clarify his inane statements mentioned above. The two representatives said they were “troubled” by breadth of the statement… (And the attempts to protect Bush and his merry band of cronies begins…)
Heckle: to inane proposals whose only purpose seem to be keeping her face in the news. Alaskan Gov. she-who-must-not-be-named unveiled her “health care proposals” in order to “improve Alaska’s health and education.” The initiatives include an emphasis on… are you ready? Outdoor activity. Said you-know-who; “With amazing outdoor activities in fresh clean air and consumption of healthy clean protein in the form of wild game and Alaska’s sea food. We got berries, we’ve got Alaskan-grown produce and those things need to be promoted.” (What? This is considered a healthcare proposal? Telling people to go outside?? Way to tax your creativity and thought process there Governor…)
Applaud: that theMore » Blackwater Worldwide guards that shot and killed 17 Baghdad civilians in 2007 are facing a mandatory 30-year prison sentence.
Heckle: to SCOTUS Justice Clarence “Silent” Thomas. After the petition to hear a case that challenges President-elect Obama’s right to be president based on his citizenship at birth was denied by Justice David Souter, Thomas picked up the petition to hear the lawsuit and referred it to the full court, who then decided to distribute the case for the judges’ conference… (again, trying to beat Mr. Obama in the courtroom because you couldn’t beat him a the ballot box only shows your desperation, your wretchedness, and your abject stupidity. This has been disproven how many times? And for it to reach SCOTUS is sad and pathetic. But not AS sad and pathetic as Justice Thomas’ attempt to act as the petitioner’s muscle. Question; if SCOTUS does hear the case and finds against the petitioner, will that end this charade of justice? I doubt it…)
Applaud: to Virginia businessman Earl Stafford for paying $1 million to provide hundreds of poverty-stricken, terminally ill, wounded men and women in uniform, an inauguration party complete with food, drinks, formal wear and a heated viewing stand from whence to watch the parade… I would write more, but I have something in my eye…
Heckle: to news that should not only send a shiver up everyone’s spine but should also give everyone nightmares, it seems as though we haven’t seen the last of a political Bush. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Politico that he is “considering” a run for the Senate being given up by Mel Martinez in 2010. AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Applaud: to the silencing of a conservative hero. Fifty four years ago this week (December 2nd, 1954 to be exact), the US Senate voted 67-22 to condemn Sen. Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.” PWNED… big time!
Heckle: to the administration’s disdain for unions. Lame duck President Bush signed an executive order this week that prohibits approximately 8,600 federal employees from joining a union because “they are engaged in intelligence gathering, investigations and other national security work.” Seriously? That’s your reasoning for not allowing them to join a union? Talk about another abuse of the office of the president in the waning days of a sad and pathetic administration.
Applaud: to ANOTHER anniversary worthy of hearty applauds. Fifty-three years ago this week (December 1, 1955), black seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her arrest and the ensuing bus system boycott became a rallying point for the civil rights movement… God bless you Ms. Parks.
Heckle: to the news that a new report from the Energy Information Administration bears; that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 were 1.4 percent above the 2006 total….
Applaud: that House leader Nancy Pelosi is actually doing something and hopes to have an economic recovery bill all ready for President-elect Obama's signature on January 20th… let’s hope she actually does what she says.
Heckle: to Texas judge Manuel Banales for dismissing indictments brought against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Color me NOT surprised…
Applaud: Applaud: to republican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert for having the audacity to suggest a two month tax moratorium that would allow American workers to keep all of their wages… (While I highly doubt the validity of such a concept, having someone in DC actually address the problem with some kind of a solution, regardless of how impossible it might be, is refreshing… thanks Mr. Gohmert)
Heckle: to even more bad economic news. The new annual report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education reports that the rising cost of college will “threaten to put higher education out of reach for most Americans” as tuition and fees increased “439% from 1982 to 2007.” (Nice hole this administration has put us in, isn’t it?)
Applaud: that D.C. bars may be open 24/7 for the inauguration… I’d say more, but I’m already seeing two keyboards right now… damn absinthe.
Heckle: to THE most pathetic EPA EVER. Earlier this week the White House approved a regulation that will make it easier for coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys,” which EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson says would “protect fish, wildlife and streams.” More »(Explain to me, to everyone actually, how tossing rock and dirt into streams help fish, wildlife and streams? Anyone? Hellooooo??)
And now, our conservative Tool of the Week. This week we pay homage to conservative putz Robert Novak.
During a recent interview with the National Ledger, Novak was asked if he would reveal Valerie Plame Wilson’s secret CIA identity again, and he said; I’d go full speed ahead because of the hateful and beastly way in which my left-wing critics in the press and Congress tried to make a political affair out of it and tried to ruin me. My response now is this: The hell with you. They didn’t ruin me. I have my faith, my family, and a good life. A lot of people love me — or like me. So they failed. I would do the same thing over again because I don’t think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever.” Wow… he would leak it again because Liberals tried to “ruin” him – nothing like being petty – and the leaking didn’t “hurt” her “whatsoever.” First, yes it DID hurt her as, after her identity was leaked, she no longer had a career as a covert CIA agent. Second, leaking a cover operatives identity could very well put her family in peril. Third, the leaking had national security implications Plame’s CIA job was to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and when her name was leaked and she left the post, CIA officers found it hard to recruit sources for fear of having their identities leaked…
We all know Novak leaked the identity of Valerie Plame as some mis-guided attempt to get back at her husband, Joe Wilson… but the fact he shows absolutely no regret or deference to the leak, shows he truly IS a putz who puts himself and the republican party ahead of other people’s lives and national security. And because of that Novak is our conservative tool… of the week.
Friday, December 05, 2008
- The US economy has lost 533,000 jobs in November, the most since December 1974…
A majority of Americans, 55%, favor President-elect Obama’s troop plan for Iraq that would see a movement of US troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. (This is one area that if PE Obama falters, people will remember for a LONG time. I’ve said in the past that I agree that we can not withdraw our forces all at once and plunge the region into more chaos, but a 16-month plan like Obama favors, and moving some to Afghanistan is a big step in the right direction, and a majority of people agree with me. Stay tuned.)
- The incoming Obama Administration is considering a change in our current interrogation and detention policies.
- PE Obama’s presidential campaign raised a staggering, and historic, amount of cash in the LONG presidential campaign, closing in on $750 million, more than Bush and Kerry raised combined in 2004 and more than double what Sen. McCain raised in his presidential campaign.
- As more and more information comes out about Rep. Charlie Rangel’s questionable practices, the latest being that between 2004 and 2007 he steered $79,560 in campaign cash to an Internet company run by his son, it’s becoming increasingly clear that he needs to, at the least, step down from his chairmanship. Ms. Pelosi, we’re waiting for you to lead on this, don’t let me us down… again.
- Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer is an online columnist now… and no, it’s not about romance or sex. Ewwwwww…
- The Minnesota Senate race continues…
- A conservative advocacy group, Judicial Watch, says Sen. Hillary Clinton can’t be nominated for Secretary of State because Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution reads; “No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.” Translated that means a lawmaker cannot fill a position if the salary for that position has been raised during that lawmaker's term in office. The group therefore says she can’t be nominated, despite the fact that legal scholars say otherwise. (J*d*c*a* W*t*h is obviously trying to do in a courtroom what it couldn’t do at the ballot box – thank you Mr. Sorkin – and beat PE Obama. Constitutional Law Scholars call bullshit, and since I’m much more likely to listen to the experts rather than sore-losing conservatives, I can sum this action up in one word; Fail.)
- And have we mentioned? That the RNC apparently spent more than $150K on new clothes for she-who-must-not-be-named? The RNC released a report – yes, the RNC released the report – that shows they spent a total of about $180,000 for clothes and various accessories for the former Veep candidate and her family, including expenses at outlets like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Toys R Us and Victoria’s Secret (Bill Kristol and Bill O’Reilly just passed out after that image). While I don’t care that it was more than 150K, I do find it interesting that the RNC released the report throwing her under the bus again. The republican party will not regain prominence if the in-fighting doesn’t stop… though it does make for some fascinating theater, doesn’t it?
Thursday, December 04, 2008
There are 47 days left until Inauguration Day.
- Microsoft Founder Bill Gates hopes that President-elect Obama gets together with Congress after he’s sworn in to create a wide-ranging stimulus package aimed to jump-start the recession-laden US economy. Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Gates said eh would also like to see the government increase investments in the US education system while push technological advances that would improve agriculture, prevent disease, and promote economic growth throughout the world…
- While a majority of the US approves of President-elect Obama’s cabinet choices thus far (75% approve of the picks), there’s still quite a backlash going on among some people that he’s not doing enough for the country yet… despite the fact he’s, you know, NOT yet the president. Expect a post about that later today…
- The UAW announced yesterday that they would make major concessions in its contracts with the big three auto companies to help them lobby Congress for federal aid. Saying that UAW members are “willing to sacrifice job security provisions and financing for retiree health care” to keep the three out of bankruptcy… stay tuned.
- Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, is already making a push for changes as he wants to oust FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair out of office, saying that Bair “isn’t a team player” and instead focuses on “protecting her agency rather than the financial system as a whole.”
- Yesterday in Oslo, Norway, more than 100 countries, including Afghanistan, started to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a treaty aimed at eliminating cluster bombs. The US has refused to sign the treaty saying it relies on them for it’s “defense strategy”, but when pressed by White House Reporting Icon Helen Thomas to explain the Bush(whacked) Administration’s opposition, Press Secretary Dana Perino said she “forgot” all the reasons they oppose it. Way to stay informed there Dana, keep up the good work…
- A release from the Energy Information Administration reported yesterday that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 were 1.4% above the 2006 total….
- And have we mentioned? That the Gov. who-must-not-be-named radio interview fiasco has had an adverse effect on a Florida Congresswoman? Florida republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was SO convinced that a purported phone call from President-elect Obama was a radio hoax, she hung up on him… she then hung up on COS Rahm Emmanuel before being convinced by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman that it actually WAS Obama on the phone. PE Obama did call back, fairly amused, and the two finally did speak… countdown to a skit like this appearing on SNL in five, four, three…
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Hump day… there are 48 days left in the Bush presidency.
- Here’s something that will send a shiver down your spine; Jeb Bush is considering getting back into politics and is considering a senate run… (Please God; make it stop. No more Bush family politicians, please!)
- Former President Bill Clinton says he will stay out of Hillary’s way, but at the same time says he would consider a role in the Obama Administration… (Don’t call us Mr. Clinton, we’ll call you…)
- On the heels of republican Florida Senator Mel Martinez announcing he won’t run for re-election in 2010, CNN pundit Bill Schneider opines that this is a harbinger of things to come while also declaring that his decision signifies problems for the gop. (well duhhhh. Martinez has not always seen eye to eye with his fellow republicans, specifically on the issue of immigration. While the Party tried to lure immigrants into their arms, the members of the party were doing and saying things that pushed them away; save for Martinez. All of this points to a breakdown in the core issues of the republican party, which in turn causes a breakdown among it’s members)
- President-elect Obama will nominate New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (my first choice for Secretary of State) as Commerce Secretary.
- Georgia Senator and all-around conservative tool Saxby Chambliss has won re-election...
- Current Defense Secretary Robert Gates has reluctantly agreed to stay on for a year as PE Obama’s Secretary, but has been “impressed” with some of the things Obama has said about Iraq. (while I don’t love Gates, carrying over a Defense Secretary during this perilous time is not a bad idea. While some worry that Gates will not pay heed to the wills of the administration, I think Gates is a professional that WILL do what he’s told, even if he doesn’t agree with it)
- The Big Three automakers are getting ready to plead their case in DC again…
- A dozen retired generals and admirals will meet with President-elect Obama’s transition team today to “plead for a clean, unequivocal break with the Bush administration’s interrogation, detention and rendition policies.”
- And have we mentioned? That Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania has seemingly put his foot into his mouth? Apparently forgetting about this magical invention called “microphones” and the erstwhile politician plaguing ‘open mic’ problem, Rendell was speaking at the National Governors Conference yesterday and said that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano was “perfect” for the head of Homeland Security because “…for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19-20 hours a day to it.” (Oops. Here’s personal message to politicians; never, ever, speak “off the record” near a microphone… you never know when it might be hot and broadcasting)
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
You may have noticed that, since Election Day, TBWA has been rather absent lately… call it euphoria, call it a ‘coming down’, call it what you will, Scott and I have been, for lack of a better word, drained of writing about politics… but we assure you will be back doling out the snark soon… in the mean time we ask that you bear with us… thank you.
- Wow, I think most people forgot about Vice-president Elect Joe Biden…
- A few people might be asking why Sen. Hillary Clinton agreed to be Secretary of State in an Obama Administration, like everyone else, it boils down to her wanting to be a part of the “greatest adventure of our century.” I am still pondering what her nomination means, but at first blush I think it will be a success… stay tuned.
- Speaking of Sen. Clinton, former President Bill Clinton is NOT interested in taking over Hillary’s seat… take that as you will.
- A blue-ribbon panel (the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism) that Congress assembled to gauge the likelihood of a biologic or nuclear attack concluded that terrorists are likely to use a weapon of mass destruction (more likely biological than nuclear) somewhere in the world in the next five years…
- The Senate runoff election in Georgia between Democrat Jim Martin and republican Saxby Chambliss is today... hopefully it will be another pick-up for the Democrats.
- Former President Jimmy Carter has an Op-ed on CNN.com that states the US should lead the world on human rights. (This is one of MANY areas that President-elect Obama needs to smooth over. In the current administration, the US has been the leader in destroying human rights, and rectifying that will take a lot of work…)
- The national governors' meeting is taking place in Philadelphia, PA today, and President-elect Obama is expected to be in attendance to talk about how the economic crisis is affecting the governor’s respective states, who are already asking him for federal money to help them get their states back on track… (They all know that he hasn’t taken office yet, right?)
- And have we mentioned? That the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is now open? The structure, a $621 million underground center where Capitol tours will start and end, features exhibits, orientation theaters and a restaurant. (Having taken that tour before, this is a good thing. The wait for tours before was not only dull but heavily affected by the weather, and making the center underground, thus un-obtrusive to the Capitol area, is a good thing. Road trip!)
Monday, December 01, 2008
Monday already? December already??
- TBWA extends our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the Mumbai terrorist attacks…
- President-elect Obama is set to announce his security team today…
- Today is the 20th anniversary of World Aids Day, and to mark that, governments across the world are making the pledge to “step up the fight against HIV” while also combating the stigma that goes along with the disease. While PE Obama will deliver taped remarks to the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health, “President” Bush will be receiving the first ever “International Medal of PEACE” in recognition of his contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS…
- Erstwhile conservative tool Karl Rove is spewing inanity again… this time writing an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal last week that essentially said our nation doesn’t need a change in our health care system… apparently ignoring (as Rove and other conservatives wonks are prone to do) the facts such as 7.2 million more uninsured people since 2000 and the doubling of health care premiums. Rove’s time has come and gone… his staggeringly bad predictions in 2006 and this year show his knowledge of politics isn’t adapting to the changing attitudes of the nation. Word of advice Karl; STFU.
- Gov. Palin just won’t go away…
- First Lady Laura Bush is talking about post-White House plans and—aw who cares…
- And have we mentioned? That the 110th Congress had the lowest success rate since 1976? This shouldn’t be a surprise that only about 3.3% of all the bills introduced this year were passed and that 32% of those did nothing more than rename a federal building… (and that’s what happens when cowardly Democrats are taking hostage by a republican presidential administration. Let’s hope having a Dem in the White House will increase the size of the Dem’s balls so things can actually get done this year…)