Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NOT a surprise

A few months ago on October 9th I criticized the prosecutors in the trial of former Alaskan Republican Senator Ted Stevens, who was convicted of lying on Senate financial disclosure forms to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations from an Alaskan businessman.

And on October 11th, I threw out this in The Weekly Rewind: “Heckle: to the continuing incompetence of the Sen. Ted Stevens (r-AK) prosecutors. If they don’t kill the case against him, I’ll be surprised…”

Turns out I was right, the prosecution did kill the case, it just took a while for it to actually happen.

The Justice Department is dropping all charges against Stevens as Attorney General Eric Holder has concluded that the conduct of the former senator's trial merits dropping the charges against Stevens as well as a potential review of the DOJ’s overall handling of the case.

Said Mr. Holder’s statement this morning; “After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial. […] In light of this conclusion and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.”

My first thoughts quickly turned to how this could impact the Obama Administration, as I’m sure some Republicans will seize on this to somehow blame it on rogue Democratic elements in the DOJ while ignoring the fact the DOJ has been incredibly politicized over the last 8 years under some of the most corrupt and incompetent Attorneys General ever while being as a political legal arm of the Bush(whacked) Administration.

Now while the decision to drop charges against Stevens is definitely a disaster, it also gives Holder ample opportunity to start clearing house as misconduct on this grand of a scale is reason to inspect everything the DOJ has, and has not, done over the last 8 years.

This example of DOJ ineptitude could also be the start of an effort to other investigations and/or Congressional hearings into events of the last 8 years.

The department's Office of Professional Responsibility will conduct a thorough review of the Stevens prosecution, and any findings could result in disciplinary or, though extremely unlikely, criminal proceedings.

The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, has repeatedly delayed sentencing of the former longtime senator because of the actions of the prosecutors, going as far as holding them in contempt last month for failing to turn over documents to him as he had ordered, labeling their behavior as “outrageous.”

Leia Mais…

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Daily Sigh

  • President Obama is expected to make a formal announcement today about his plans for troubled automakers General Motors and Chrysler. Having already been given $17.4 billion, the Obama administration found fault for the two company’s turnaround efforts and are now vowing a sweeping overhaul of the automakers. Stay tuned…
  • The Obama Budget is moving through the Senate Committee, with a possible House and Senate expected next week, despite some Republicans whining that it’s too big. (Insert own sophomoric joke here)
  • As mentioned here last week, the Obama Administration is trying to change the way the American people hear about things being done in the White House, even employing ‘campaign tactics’ such as door-to-door canvassing in an attempt to get their ideas and options out there. I say keep it up… for far too long the American people have been kept in the dark as to what was going on in the White House, despite it being the ‘people’s’ house.
  • While former vice president Dick Cheney believes that President Obama is “rais(ing) the risk to the American people of another (terrorist) attack”, Centcom Commander Gen. David Petraeus disagrees, telling CNN over the weekend; “Well, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that. I think in fact that there is a good debate going on about the importance of values in all that we do. I think that if one violates the values that we hold so dear, that we jeopardize. … We think for the military, in particular that camp, that’s a line [torture] that can’t be crossed.” (We all know Cheney needs to STFU, but when others in your former administration continually avoid badmouthing the current administration, it should tell you something. But then again, no one ever said that Cheney was a genius)
  • And one more thing… we all know RNC Chairman Michael Steele is maladroit, but apparently he’s also a tad out of touch with reality. While appearing on CNN this weekend, Steele said he is “done” talking to the White House because he thinks Obama has “got a little thing about me…” Asked if he was jealous of Obama, Steele responded curtly; “What would I be jealous of? I’m chairman of the RNC, so, what’s your point? We both have leadership responsibilities and roles.” (Methinks the man doth protest too much…)

Leia Mais…

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Weekly Rewind

It’s back… it’s bad… it’s rad… it’s... yeah I got nothin’ else

It’s the return of the a little thing Scott and I like to call; The Weekly Rewind.

This week’s rewind is short as we at Political Sighs continue to get back into the swing of things. I can assure you that next week’s installment will be full of the usual snark and analysis. Along with a good dollup of Daisy’s Sour Cream information.

And in continuing with the positive vibes the new administration is trying to roll-out, we present an Applaud-heavy Rewind this week… so sit back, open your minds real wide and enjoy this week’s installment of; The. Weekly. Rewind.

Applaud: to the Obama Administration for taking the presidency into the 21st Century. Appearances on The Tonight Show… a virtual Town Hall meeting… two live Town Hall meetings… an Op-Ed that appeared in 31 newspapers around the world and door-to-door canvassers, this Administration is using every medium and every avenue to get its message out to the masses. It’s a welcome change from the previous administration’s “Hush Hush” concept of barely telling the people anything… keep it up guys.

Heckle: to Newt Gingrich. The man who helped destroy the republican brand in the 1990’s is becoming more and more relevant in today’s Republican Party. Now while I enjoy seeing it because it further signals a party in disarray, the idea that so many people would be willing to listen to what the man says is downright scary, and the fact that some (such as the loons at Fox “News”) think he’s onto something when he says that Obama’s financial regulation plan will create a “dictatorship” is mind-boggling. Here’s a hint to anyone who believes him; crack open a book, look up the definition of ‘dictatorship’, and explain to me how you can come to that conclusion. I’ll be waiting…

Applaud: to the Senate for voting 78-20 to approve the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act. The Act aims to expand national community service programs by increasing the number of positions from 75,000 to 250,000 while also creating new groups of volunteers that will focus on single concepts such as education, clean energy, health care and veterans.

Applaud: to commentaries that write themselves and make me laugh. First, you all know how the republicans had promised to propose a budget today, but, big shock, didn’t? Well, do you know when they've promised to deliver it now? Next Wednesday. Next Wednesday, April 1st. Next Wendesday, April 1st… which is also known as April Fool's Day. So the gop is now promising to deliver its budget on April Fool's Day. You can’t make this stuff up…

Applaud: to MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer. In her exasperation over the gop’s constant criticism of the Obama Budget while not offering up any actual plans, Brewer said earlier this week; “Here’s the thing. They say, We have a plan — and proceeded not to tell us what that plan is. They sent us some paperwork. It’s got no numbers attached. I understand, it takes time to do math. I would be content even doing without the numbers. I’m just saying, What are your ideas? You have my attention. We cut away from the president. Give me some substance!” Way to go Contessa… though I think you’re railing fell on deaf ears as I doubt the republicans have any substance. Hell, look at their VP candidate last year.

Heckle: to Minnesota republican Rep. Michele Bachmann for saying this week… well, do I really need to give a specific reason? This woman is nuttier than a squirrel’s cheeks in October, and her saying that Minnesotans should be “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back” is just the latest example of her wingnutery.

Applaud: to the EPA… correction, the Obama Administrations EPA. Reversing the inane Bush EPA policies, the EPA said this week that all mountaintop coal-mining permits are being put on hold until the “projects’ impacts on streams and wetlands can be reviewed.” (Wow, a presidential administration that cares about the environment, who would have thunk it?)

Applaud: to former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (wait, don’t get out the tar and feathers our just yet). Since leaving office, Vice President Dick Cheney has refused to go into hiding and has criticized President Obama and saying his policies “raise the risk” of another terror attack in the U.S. (not even in office anymore, and the old fart still has to play the fear card). But others in the BushWhacked Administration didn’t get the memo. Days after ex-President Bush (GOD I love writing that) rebuked his former VP and said about Obama; “I love my country a lot more than I love politics…I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him. […] He deserves my silence” Bush’s former Secretary of State Rice sided with Bush, saying; “And I agree with the president; we owe them our loyalty and our silence while they do it. […] These are quality people. I know them. They love the country and they won’t make the same decisions, perhaps, that we did. But I believe they’ll do what they think is best for the country.” (Way to stay classy Ms. Rice. Say, who exactly did you vote for last November? Hmmmm?)

And while speaking about the former Dark Lord VP…

Applaud: to some congressional republicans are wishing that Cheney would “go back to his undisclosed location” so they could “rebuild the Republican Party without his input.” Ouch, that’s GOTTA hoit…

All I have, take ‘em as you will…

Leia Mais…

Is it amnesia, or stupidity?

It’s been reported this week, ad nauseum, that republican senators are considering shutting down the Senate through parliamentary maneuvers (the nuclear option they labeled it when Dems threatened to do the same thing during the BushWhacked Adminisration) if President Obama tries to use budget reconciliation to pass certain parts of his legislative agenda.

Budget reconciliation allows some legislation to be protected from ‘parliamentary maneuvers’ and allow passage with a simple majority… and, being the obstructionists hey are, republicans have a problem with this and some, such as Missouri’s Kit Bond, equate it to “Chicago politics” and are calling foul on the Obama Administration for doing such an “outrageous” thing.

Bond was merely echoing New Hampshire republican Senator Judd Gregg who said that any use of budget reconciliation by President Obama would be seen as an “act of violence” towards Republicans before likening the tactic to “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.”

Not to be outdone, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) decided to join in and called it a “purely partisan exercise” and that it “would be a mess” respectively.

But what they’re failing to mention is that ex-President Bush (GOD I love saying that) also used budget reconciliations.

A lot.

An awful lot.

Case(s) in point: the 2001 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 1836, 3/26/01], the 2003 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 2, 3/23/03], the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 [HR 4297, 5/11/06] and the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [H. Con Res. 95, 12/21/05] (HT to ThinkProgress for the handy-dandy links).

Furthermore, and this really should come as no surprise, the aforementioned Senators all supported Bush using the budget reconciliations.

Wow… how soon they forget.

As it is, it seems Senate Republicans seem to be suffering from some kind of strange political amnesia… because not only did Bush use this tactic, but so did Presidents Bill Clinton and (GASP), republican folk-hero Ronald Reagan.

And while Senators Bond, Gregg, Kyl and Hatch can’t see the forest from the trees one Republican Senator can…

Sen. John McCain.

Yes, Sen. McCain, the man who, during the presidential campaign, couldn’t even see how bad the US economy was, remembers and was the voice of reason about President Obama using budget reconciliations.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation yesterday, McCain said; “I fully recognize that Republicans have in the past engaged in using reconciliation to further the party’s agenda. I wish it had not been done then, and I hope it will not be done now that the groundwork has been laid.”

Wow… when Sen. John McCain is the logical one, you know your party is in trouble.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let's Give Him Some Time, Shall We?

We’re 65 days into President Obama’s presidency, and there are already grumblings that he’s not moving fast enough to fix the country because the US is still involved in Iraq, has massive unemployment and a recession that might get worse before we get better.

Can we chill for a moment?

America's instant gratification culture is in full tilt… heaven forbid a complex problem requires thought and time in order to both determine a solution and understand whether that solution is good or bad. To some in our society, doing that is just nuts… it’s un-American and they won’t tolerate it god damn it.

Excuse me, but it’s going to take some time to fix the country… hell, it took “President” Bush eight years to screw the nation with its pants on, at least give Obama half of that before you start calling his presidency a failure.

President Obama seemingly agrees with me as witnessed at last night’s presser when Obama, responding to CNN tool Ed Henry’s inane question of why he waited “days” to speak about the AIG fiasco, stoically (and snarkly I might add), said; “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak.”

Wow… a president that thinks about something before we speak… when was the last time we had one of those?

Ah yes; January 19th, 2001.

President Obama is trying to bring change to the nation, and it looks as though one way he’s going about that is by making smart and effective decisions, avoiding short term thinking as it rarely leads to good long term solutions (how those big-ass Bush tax breaks working out for ya America?) and, attempting to, craft policies that are designed to address fundamental, complex problems over time.

The fact remains that, after eight disastrous years of republican rule, it's going to be close to impossible (if not totally impossible), to regain the surpluses that President Clinton had when he left office. And rather than offer up their own budget to ‘rally behind’ (primarily because they can’t create one with all the in-fighting in their party), the gop stands idly by, taking potshots from the sidelines while refusing to get into the game.

The nation (well, SCOTUS at first, but then the nation) gave the republicans 8 years to screw up this country, the least the nation could do now is give the Obama Administration 8 months to start fixing it.

That would be the decent thing to do… and hell, after unleashing Bush on the world, isn't it about time that the country started to do the decent thing for a change?

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


We started TBWA to vent about the ineptitude of “President” you-know-who, and over 4 years we snarked, prognosticated, opined and vented about an administration that has not only pushed this country farther down the respectability scale, but also about politics in general.

After the election of Barack Obama, our intent was to stop writing… well, the banality of republicans, and some Democrats we might add, has prompted us to reconsider.

This is what Political Sighs will be about.

From Rush Limbaugh’s eternal-stupidity to CNBC’s right-leaning schlock, from the gop infighting and bashing… Scott and I have realized that we still have a lot to say.

This is also what Political Sighs will be about.

While we overwhelmingly voted for change, a new direction, and, dare we say, 'Hope' for the future.....Scott and I have realized that we still have a lot to say.

So here we are ready to snark, prognosticate, opine and vent all over again. It may be a new blog, but the attitude remains the same…

It’s coming.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's coming...

Leia Mais…