Well, I take a week off to get drunk on the beaches of Lake Huron and what happens? After Bush's "baby bounce" last week, the old boy walked into his 60th birthday with violence in Iraq escalating to scary proportions, North Korea hurling rockets at us knowing full well there's fuck-all we can do about it, and another congressman questioning the legality or the President's various surveillance programs—this time it's a Republican. It makes me feel bad for the poor stooge. As a favor to the non-news reading President, here's a round up of what else is in the news.
Campaign Reform Stalled
Despite lots of hot air and promises to reform the way our politicians are bought, the do-nothing Congress failed to pass even a lame version of campaign finance reform. The lack of any reform may not bode well for Republicans in the mid-terms since most of the recent pay-off scandals involved their members, but some critics of the watered down bill aren't shedding any tears. As quoted in Reuters, "I'd much rather see Congress fall on its face and not pass anything this year," said Craig Holman, a campaign-finance lobbyist for the nonpartisan group Public Citizen. "What they're considering is really nothing but a PR gimmick to placate the American voters."
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
A few years ago, our lovestruck President gushed after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, "I've looked into his eyes, I've seen his soul." Well, not only is the honeymoon over but so is the marriage. Pootey, as Georgie used to call him, is pissed about some disparaging remarks relating to the Russian's bad habit of falling on old traits to restrict a free press in Russia. He also doesn't like the expansion of NATO into his turf, but fuck him. He wouldn't take our side against that asshole Kim Jong Il so we hooked up with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who is totally hot and puts out. Still, George and Pootey are going to have some dinner at the upcoming G8 conference and see if we can still be friends.
Cut and Run Generals
Those cowards who are fighting and dying in Iraq want to cut and run, according to two Democratic Senators fresh back from Hard Rock Café: Baghdad. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware made a trip to Baghdad this weekend and met with Iraqi government leaders and US brass who told the Senators that troop withdrawals could start as early as this year. According to a Reuters story, Reed said that among the U.S. military and the leaders of Iraq's government there was a growing recognition that an indefinite stay by U.S. forces would produce as many problems as benefits.
Biden said that "one of our military guys said, 'Look, it's like we have our hand on the seat of the bicycle, and as long as they know we are holding the seat of the two wheeler, they are never really going to take control. We've got to let go'."
No word yet on how many ways Ann Coulter can call these folks sissies.
Biden Goes Bolly
Speaking of Joe Biden, seems the 2008 Presidential candidate got stuck with his baba ganoush hanging out. In a C-SPAN televised moment of candor, the knucklehead from Newcastle County said, ""You CANNOT go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts without an Indian accent." To be fair, Biden was trying to compliment the work ethic of one of the fastest growing ethnic minorities in his district. His full quote (not often cited in major news reports) was, "I've had a great relationship. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking," Biden said.
Watch the video for yourself. Still, right wingers are going bonkers and trying to suggest Biden's comment should raise the same ire as Trent Lott's hopelessly tone deaf tribute to Strom Thurmond a while back. Of course, the difference is Joe Biden wasn't waxing nostalgic for the failed presidency of a segregationist and professional race baiter.
Socialism is Dead (in Wisconsin)
There was a time when farmers and blue collar workers who were tired of being stuck by big business would band together and fight from the left instead of vote against their own interests in the name of "family values." It's hard to believe that states like Kansas and Wisconsin sent Reds (and I don't mean Red Staters, but real live Socialists) to congress or the highest local posts in the land. On July 7, Frank Zeidler, a former Milwaukee mayor who was the last Socialist to run a major American city, died. He was 93. Zeidler also ran for President on the American Socialist ticket in 1976. Somehow the idea of a Socialist running for President in the year of our Bicentennial didn't sit well with voters and poor Frank only garnered 6,000 votes. Godspeed, comrade!