Friday, October 14, 2005

ramblins of buddy don: could it be a curse?

dont know whuther ye have notissd, but seems lack thays a curse on this administrayshun. seem lack everthang they dun tride to do since cindy sheehan set up camp near mr bushs ranch set ('quiet on the set!') has faild. they caint git no brakes, no how no way. tiz a day when the stories in the noosepapers speak fer thar self!
  • Scandals Take Toll On Bush's 2nd Term:
    With Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove returning to a grand jury as early as today, associates said the architect of Bush's presidency has been preoccupied with his legal troubles, a diversion that some say contributed to the troubled handling of Harriet Miers's nomination to the Supreme Court. White House officials are privately bracing for the possibility that Rove or other officials could be indicted in the next two weeks.

    Bush's main partners on Capitol Hill likewise are spending time defending themselves as the president's legislative initiatives founder. The indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for alleged campaign funding illegalities has thrown Republicans into one of the most tumultuous periods of their 11-year reign and created the prospect of a leadership battle. And while Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) deals with a subpoena in an insider-trading investigation, a bipartisan majority rebuked Bush over torture policies.
  • DeLay's Telephone Records Subpoenaed:
    AUSTIN, Oct. 13 -- A Texas prosecutor subpoenaed telephone records for the home phone of former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and the phone of his political campaign Thursday.

    Also subpoenaed by prosecutor Ronnie Earle were records for two phone numbers of DeLay's daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro.

    DeLay is facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy in a Texas campaign finance case.
  • For Injured U.S. Troops, 'Financial Friendly Fire'; Flaws in Pay System Lead to Dunning, Credit Trouble:
    His hand had been blown off in Iraq, his body pierced by shrapnel. He could not walk. Robert Loria was flown home for a long recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he tried to bear up against intense physical pain and reimagine his life's possibilities.

    The last thing on his mind, he said, was whether the Army had correctly adjusted his pay rate -- downgrading it because he was out of the war zone -- or whether his combat gear had been accounted for properly: his Kevlar helmet, his suspenders, his rucksack.

    But nine months after Loria was wounded, the Army garnished his wages and then, as he prepared to leave the service, hit him with a $6,200 debt. That was just before last Christmas, and several lawmakers scrambled to help. This spring, a collection agency started calling. He owed another $646 for military housing.
  • Ex-FDA Chief Would Not Aid Plan B Inquiry:
    The former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration declined to cooperate with an inquiry by the Government Accountability Office into the agency's controversial decision to reject nonprescription sales of an emergency contraceptive.

    According to congressional staffers who have read the draft GAO report but were not allowed to copy it, the document has several footnotes indicating Lester M. Crawford did not respond to requests for an interview.

    During the period examined by the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, Crawford was deputy FDA commissioner and then acting commissioner of the agency. He was confirmed as permanent FDA commissioner in July and then abruptly resigned last month.

    The draft report, which is being reviewed by the FDA and members of Congress, describes the agency's decision-making process on Plan B as highly unusual because officials in the commissioner's office were directly involved and the FDA office directors who normally rule on applications refused to sign the rejection letter. An FDA advisory panel earlier voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal.
  • A Polling Free-Fall Among Blacks:
    In what may turn out to be one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling, President Bush's job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.
  • Losing That Wealthy Feeling:
    Ours is a wealth-driven era, when huge increases in home values and, before that, stock prices make people feel richer and cause them to buy more. They spend more of their regular incomes, borrow more or sell something, most likely stocks. You can imagine this "wealth effect" as a powerful afterburner that's boosted the economy for roughly 20 years.
    While everyone is now worrying about the economic impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- on consumer confidence, energy prices, inflation and the federal budget -- the real story may be whether the afterburner is flaming out.
  • That Was a Short War on Poverty:
    As soon as President Bush announced his first spending package for reconstructing New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the Republican Study Committee and other conservatives switched the subject from poverty reduction to how Katrina reconstruction plans might increase the deficit that their own tax-cutting policies helped create.

    Unwilling to freeze any of the tax cuts, these conservatives proposed cutting other spending to offset Katrina costs. The headlines focused on the seemingly easy calls on pork-barrel spending. But some of their biggest cuts were in health care programs, including Medicaid, and other spending for the poor.

    Thus, the budget Congress is now considering would cut spending by $35 billion and cut taxes by $70 billion. Excuse me, but doesn't this increase the deficit by a net of $35 billion?
  • Bush's Chat With Troops Draws Flak; War critics and some military leaders disapprove of the president's carefully staged videoconference with soldiers in Iraq.:
    WASHINGTON — President Bush touched off a new round of controversy over his policies in Iraq on Thursday when he conducted a videoconference interview about this weekend's constitutional referendum with a small group of handpicked troops stationed in Iraq who reinforced his upbeat view of the conflict.

    The closely coordinated exchange drew disapproval from Democratic critics of the war as well as some Pentagon military leaders.

    The soldiers were carefully coached. Before the session began, a Pentagon communications official, Allison Barber, was heard asking one of them, "Who are we going to give that [question] to?"
so whut kin the dimcrats do to take add vantage of this kinda news? duz innybidy have a idee? turns out, thay is sumbidy, witch he writ his idee in a letter to the new york times. ye mite be sprized who tiz. i lack his idee!

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