Matt's opinion

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Last Week in Politics: A Review

Ok, so a lot's happened this week and I thought a little review would be in order. Most of the action this week has been from Congress so we'll start there.

This week the Senate passed a resolution demanding that President Bush give Congress regular updates regarding progress in the Iraq War, and that the administration develope and exit strategy to get the troops out of Iraq all together. Mmmmm, I smell election year politics. Why are Senate Republicans demanding this? Because Senate Democrats finally stepped up and grew a spine (well each of them grew their own, you understand). Finally Democrats are speaking out about the war and drawing a lot of attention as a result. The Democrats actually surprised the nation when minority leader Harry Ried asked for a closed session and demanded that the Intelligence committee stop draggging its feet on investigating whether or not the administration told the truth about pre-war intelligence. Afterwards the mouths of senators from each party exploded with campaign style rhetoric.

What got lost in all the rhetoric was that this investigation does not change anything about the current status of the Iraq war. So why is this investigation important? Because Bush outright lied to all of us, and just once I would like to hear him say he was wrong. Just once. Throughout his entire presidency, so far, he has never admitted a single mistake. That's like saying Dick Cheney is in perfect health.

The House was also an exciting place to be this week. Rep. Murtha (D-Penn), a decorated Vietnam vet and respected lawmaker by both parties criticized the administration's Iraq policy as failure wrapped in illusion (or something to that effect). Immediately after both House Republicans and the White House lashed out at him with rhetoric not heard since the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth adds. What I don't understand is why can't the two parties just sit down and have a civilized debate about the administration's policy? Everyone was so busy standing up for Murtha, or demonizing him, that no one ever mentioned whether or not we should change direction.

Meanwhile, the House managed to pass a series of budget cuts to try and make up for the federal money spent on all the natural disasters of late, namely Katrina. To accomplish the 50 billion dollar goal in cuts House Republicans took money from Medicade (healthcare for the poor and disabled), food stamps (food for the poor), and cut student loan programs. Wait just a minute. Does anybody remember the 2000 Presidentail campaign? What as it that Bush was running as? Ohhhhh yeah, I remember, a compassionate conservative. A conservative that will cut taxes but will take care of those less fortunate at the same time. BULLSHIT!!!! Turns out those tax cuts will come at the expense of those less fortunate.

This at a time when Katrina exposed just how horrible the situation had become in New Orleans in terms of how many people depended on programs that will be cut. Believe me, I've been there. Not only will the federal government cut those programs, FEMA announced this week that they will no longer pay hotel bills for Katrina evacuees and that they are completely out of money to keep up with recovery effots. As a result Congress must authorize more money for FEMA, which shouldn't be a problem seeing as that Medicare perscription drug program is about to roll out. That's the pattern right, start massive programs like No Child Left Behind and the new perscription drug benefit and then cut their spending so they are rendered wildly inneffective. Yeah that sounds about right.

So in review:
1. Rebublicans are starting to be wary of the administration's war policity
2. Democrats grew a spine (well, at least for now anyway)
3. House Republicans cut social programs for the poor (oh yeah, I forgot to mention their budget includes extending the capital gains tax breaks they passed a few years ago)
4. FEMA ran out of money, people will be kicked out to the street curb as a result.
5. Look for cuts in the Medicare perscription drug program (I've already read about them in the Tampa Tribune)

Lastly, if you haven't already noticed, I've added adds by Google to my blog. If you like the stuff click on the add and see what you think. Otherwise don't. The content should match what I'm writing about so it should at least be funny. We'll see.

Till next time

Monday, November 14, 2005

nice weekend

finally this past weekend, some time to relax. Three full days to pretty much sit around and do nothing. Well, almost nothing anyway. Of course there was the regular weekend errands to run: groceries, cleaning, etc but spread that out over three days and it's a breeze. We had some friends over on Friday night and we played Monopoly. We enjoyed it so much we went out and bought that game as well as Life and a 1000 piece puzzle. I wanted to start out at a 10 piece puzzle and work our way up, but Melissa didn't like that idea. oh well.

i can't think of anything funny or substantive at all so i'm leaving.

Friday, November 04, 2005

1 blog in the last month, sounds about right

I can't believe how busy I've been over the past few weeks, and things just keep adding up. Last night I was in my office until 11pm working on a project to turn in for my FL Keys class. Yes that's right a class about the Keys. With all the stuff that's going on I haven't had time to write outlandish comments about the news. Luckily you all have the Daily Show and the Colbert Report (the t's are silent) to tide you over while I'm away. Those shows are absolutely hilarious by the way, you should watch them.

I'll start out with an article Melissa sent me a while back to write about. I don't have the link anymore, but it was an article on about a law that passed the U.S. House and was being sent to the Senate. The bill was nicknamed the "Cheeseburger bill" because it shielded fast food makers from lawsuits by people who claimed that they got fat and their health suffered because they ate fast food. Let me just go ahead and start out with this: DUH DUMBASS!!!!! Granted, fast food is really good and it's so easy, but last time I checked no one was forcing it down your throat you friggin whale. The only thing making you fat and unhealthy is YOU and YOU are the only one to blame. What's worse is that the judicial system is turning out decisions for these people bringing lawsuits. I might be able to understand the need for a lawsuit before fast food chains started distributing nutrition info on all of their food, but now that they do it's not their fault anymore. Case closed, moving on..

I think I'm one of the only people in the country that admire what the Democrats did in the Senate chambers the other day. For those of you who don't know the Democratic leadership called for a closed session and demanded progress on the investigation into the Bush Administration's use of intelligence before the Iraq War. For whatever reason, no progress (or reports of progress from the media) had happened for about a year. It's about damn time the Democrats grew some balls and actually stood up for themselves instead of hiding behind the curtains in the back of the room. This investigation should have happened a long time ago and Bush should have been impeached a long time ago. I mean for crying out loud Clinton got impeached for a BJ in the oval office, but when Bush sends thousands to die on information that was outright false and is still doing so is absolutely insane. I could go on about how the Republicans are trying to cover up the issue and change the subject but that's what anyone in power would do and I don't blame them. I blame the Democrats for not pursuing this earlier. The time to strike on this was during the election and immediately after when it was front page news already. Now that everyone's forgot about it the impression is that they're only bringing it up because Bush's approval rating is at its lowest ever. This isn't just party politics its people's lives that are at stake.

On a similar note, Karl Rove or anyone else who was involved in the Plame case for that matter should resign immediately. This is the White House of the United States of America; if you can't respect that institution or jeopardize the country like Rove and Libby did you should not be allowed to be a part of it. And again, it's not a party politics thing either. Yes Rove is the devil in a gray suit but he committed a crime and now people are lying to cover it up and save his ass because if he's forced to leave Bush will become an even bigger clamoring idiot than he already is. The difference being that the public would see that Bush is a clamoring idiot if Rove wasn't there to set the stage just right. I can picture Bush weaving around a stage bumbling and drooling like a mental patient, which may be exaggerating but I think you get the point.

I'll leave you all with that mental image, because I happen to like it. I'll try to post more often, but no promises.