Sunday, September 30, 2007
The story of a modest man
Until now no one outside of Panama's Health Dept. knew his name. He has received no reward or honor or even thanks.
He did not seem to mind.
“At least I contributed something,” he said.
Bill Maher asks the question that Rahm can't answer
And unless you are crazy about Maria Bartoromo, you can bail out in the middle of the clip.
It's for a good cause
Joshua Jackson Reeves, four days old, slept undisturbed in his mother’s arms, blissfully unaware of war, or a city called Baghdad, or his mother’s shattered heart.Maybe it has something to do with his legacy.
Leslie Reeves, gently traced her baby’s chin, a miniature version of another’s chin, and smiled through wet eyes.
On Friday, Sept. 21, Reeves delivered her 7-pound, 14-ounce boy into this world without complications. Soon afterward she phoned Iraq to deliver the happy news. There, Spc. Joshua H. Reeves, her soldier-husband of two years, was stationed with troops from Fort Riley, Kan.
He was due to come home in November for two weeks of vacation from war.
One day’s joy turned to sorrow on Saturday, Sept. 22, as a bomb detonated as Joshua Reeves’ Humvee drove down a Baghdad street. Leslie Reeves, a Hendersonville native who had returned to be with her parents while she delivered, was still in the hospital with her new baby when she learned she was a widow.
And let's not forget one for Uncle Dickwahd.
Since May, the women have packed their suitcases every 10 days and flown from Columbia to San Antonio. There, they spend up to 10 days at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, caring for Sgt. Terry Fleming of Eastover.Or maybe we can put this into John Boehner's small price.
He is Ida Fleming’s son and Bennett’s brother.
Terry Fleming, 25, was severely burned on his arms and legs in a May 12 roadside bomb blast in Iraq. He has spent the past five months in the medical center’s intensive care unit for burn patients.
Fleming has undergone multiple skin grafts and blood transfusions. He can’t lift his arms and is missing tips of his fingers. The burns on his left arm have not healed. He has tried to stand and walk, but even two steps cause horrible pain where his skin is tight from grafts and surgery, Bennett said.
But there are positive signs for Fleming’s future. The heat from the explosion singed his face but did not disfigure it, Bennett said. “You can tell he had on his helmet because he’s not burned on top of his head,” she said. “But you can see the imprint of the strap on his chin and face.”
Those marks will vanish with time. Recently, Bennett caught him looking at his reflection in a hospital window. “I asked, ‘You like what you see?’ and he said, ‘No, not really,’” she said. “But I told him, ‘You’re living. That’s the important thing.’ “
Sy Hersh looks at the Cheney Plan to attack Iran
At a White House meeting with Cheney this summer, according to a former senior intelligence official, it was agreed that, if limited strikes on Iran were carried out, the Administration could fend off criticism by arguing that they were a defensive action to save soldiers in Iraq. If Democrats objected, the Administration could say, “Bill Clinton did the same thing; he conducted limited strikes in Afghanistan, the Sudan, and in Baghdad to protect American lives.” The former intelligence official added, “There is a desperate effort by Cheney et al. to bring military action to Iran as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the politicians are saying, ‘You can’t do it, because every Republican is going to be defeated, and we’re only one fact from going over the cliff in Iraq.’ But Cheney doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Republican worries, and neither does the President.”And all signs indicate that we are in the run up to an attack. And just like the attack on Iraq, the possibility that the other side will react differently than expected has no place in the planning.
“They’re moving everybody to the Iran desk,” one recently retired C.I.A. official said. “They’re dragging in a lot of analysts and ramping up everything. It’s just like the fall of 2002”—the months before the invasion of Iraq, when the Iraqi Operations Group became the most important in the agency. He added, “The guys now running the Iranian program have limited direct experience with Iran. In the event of an attack, how will the Iranians react? They will react, and the Administration has not thought it all the way through.”Having not yet been able to convince enough Americans that this is a good idea, Dickwahd will have to create an incident to justify his attack. As there are no radio stations on the border, expect US troops to be "ambushed" by "Iranians", another Republican small price to pay.
That theme was echoed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national-security adviser, who said that he had heard discussions of the White House’s more limited bombing plans for Iran. Brzezinski said that Iran would likely react to an American attack “by intensifying the conflict in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, their neighbors, and that could draw in Pakistan. We will be stuck in a regional war for twenty years.”
Saturday, September 29, 2007
A good year for farmers
Illegally-grown marijuana seized in Nevada County through August this year appears, conservatively, to be worth between $123 million and $205 million, based on federal estimates of crop value and local figures on plants confiscated. That figure is based on state and national law enforcement wholesale costs per pound, assuming a yield of 1 pound per plant.The dollar values are probably overblown, makes the authorities look good, but that is a lot of plants laid low by John Law. Think of the good they could have done. Oh, and the local paper, The Union, is located in Grass Valley, CA.
That dwarfs the value of legal crops grown here in 2006 - the latest figures available - when farmers, loggers and livestock producers produced goods valued at $16.2 million. Those figures appeared in the annual crop report submitted by Nevada County Agriculture Commissioner Jeffrey Pylman in August.
The 41,000 marijuana plants seized here this year far exceed the 4,863 found during 2006, which would have brought roughly $14.6 million on the low end and $24.3 million at the high. That compares more closely with the county's $16.2 million value for legal crops in 2006, but does not count legal pot crops and illegal plants not seized.
Spend 15 months in Iraq and what do you get?
Specialist Barranco-Oro remembered him as a joker, a wiry leader from Standish, Mich., who was nicknamed Ski. He had been close not just with Sergeant Wisniewski but also another soldier shot that same day by a sniper, Pfc. Matthew Bean of Pembroke, Mass.
Private Bean later died. Specialist Barranco-Oro, a medic, said he still wished he could have been there to help. He was in another patrol area at the time.
The shock, he said, has flooded back as his return home approaches. “You would never, never think one of your friends won’t be there with you,” Specialist Barranco-Oro said. “Never.”
“You make so many plans: ‘We’re gonna go to Bean’s wedding and live it up; we’re going to Standish with Ski and go hunting and to party it up.’”
He leaned forward and stared straight ahead.
“We’ll still go see the families and stuff,” he said. “But it’s going to be different.”
Looking for real soldiers
His post would shame a normal human being.
Rush and his friends will probably attack him.
Quote of the Day
"I turned and engaged the car with approximately 20 to 30 rounds from my M4 rifle. After I no longer felt the threat to my life, I turned back to cover my sector,"Unnamed Blackwater employee describing his actions during the Blackwater Massacre. The car contained an unarmed man, woman and child.
Left of Boom
As early as 2003, Army officers spoke of shifting the counter-IED effort "left of boom" by disrupting insurgent cells before bombs are built and planted. Yet U.S. efforts have focused overwhelmingly on "right of boom"-- by mitigating the effects of a bomb blast with heavier armor, sturdier vehicles and better trauma care -- or on the boom itself, by spending, for example, more than $3 billion on 14 types of electronic jammers that sometimes also jammed the radios of friendly forces.
For years the counter-IED effort was defensive, reactive and ultimately inadequate, driven initially by a presumption that IEDs were a passing nuisance in a short war, and then by an abiding faith that science would solve the problem.
"Americans want technical solutions. They want the silver bullet," said Rear Adm. Arch Macy, commander of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Washington, which now oversees several counter-IED technologies. "The solution to IEDs is the whole range of national power --political-military affairs, strategy, operations, intelligence."
Chasing the silver bullet, which requires $Billions in new defense spending while short changing the strategy that could have prevented much of the "small price" our troops are paying, is the ne plus ultra of Republican war fighting. Make lots of money and let someone else's kids get killed.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Bush family capo caught in 'strong arm' move
Aides to State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard threatened two investigators with retaliation this week if they cooperate with a congressional probe into Krongard's office, the chairman of a House of Representatives panel and other U.S. officials said Friday.Blackwater, again. And now we have our government using its offices to try to muscle the investigation. And another turd lands on the pile of Our Dear Leader's Legacy.
The allegations are the latest in a growing uproar surrounding Krongard. Current and former officials in his office charge that he impeded investigations into alleged arms smuggling by employees of the private security firm Blackwater and into faulty construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
We got smoke, we got mirrors, Roll 'em!
A small group of Republicans facing election fights next year have rallied around war legislation they think could unite the GOP: Call for an end to U.S. combat in Iraq, but wait until President Bush is out of office.It is going to take a lot more than this lame proposal to make voters forget that the Republicans have supported the war all the way, through every single death and dismemberment.
Public Service Announcement
Wes Clark needs your help
Thursday, September 27, 2007
McClatchy has done some journalism
Batoul Mohammed Ali Hussein came to Baghdad for the day.She's dead, she must be a terrist.
A clerk in the Iraqi customs office in Diyala province, she was in the capital to drop off and pick up paperwork at the central office near busy al Khilani Square, not far from the fortified Green Zone, where top U.S. and Iraqi officials live and work. U.S. officials often pass through the square in heavily guarded convoys on their way to other parts of Baghdad.
As Hussein walked out of the customs building, an embassy convoy of sport-utility vehicles drove through the intersection. Blackwater security guards, charged with protecting the diplomats, yelled at construction workers at an unfinished building to move back. Instead, the workers threw rocks. The guards, witnesses said, responded with gunfire, spraying the intersection with bullets.
Hussein, who was on the opposite side of the street from the construction site, fell to the ground, shot in the leg. As she struggled to her feet and took a step, eyewitnesses said, a Blackwater security guard trained his weapon on her and shot her multiple times. She died on the spot, and the customs documents she'd held in her arms fluttered down the street.
Anyone who moved was shot until the convoy left the square, witnesses said. Also among the dead was Kadhim Gayes, a city hall guard.
It took two days for Hussein's family to retrieve her body from the morgue. Before they could, her sister signed a sheet acknowledging the contents of her purse, which had been collected by security guards at the Baghdad city hall — a Samsung cell phone, a change purse with six keys and 37,000 Iraqi dinars ($30), gold bracelets, a notebook, pens, and photos of her and her children.
And to think, this was the same company that just three years ago was doing business on the cheap and getting a lot of people killed in Fallujah.
Quote of the Day
Our Army today is out of balance for several reasons. The current demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply.Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, describing the state of the US Army as Dear Leader gets ready to attack Iran.
Somebody still believes in the Constitution
A federal judge in Oregon ruled yesterday that two provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional, marking the second time in as many weeks that the anti-terrorism law has come under attack in the courts.Ill advised indeed! I recommend that everyone send this news to their congressional delegation as a reminder that outside the Beltway most of us have not conceded our way of government to Osama.
In a case brought by a Portland man who was wrongly detained as a terrorism suspect in 2004, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Patriot Act violates the Constitution because it "permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment."
"For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law -- with unparalleled success," Aiken wrote in a strongly worded 44-page opinion. "A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised."
Blackwater, fastest guns in the Middle East
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Joe Galloway has seen the face of evil.
The Bush White House may have gotten most everything it's touched wrong, but it's raised fear mongering to a fine art. It's wrapped itself in a cloak of invisibility named National Security that quashes all questions, stifles all debate and conceals a multitude of sins.How long can we 'Party Hearty' as the Republicans rip the heart out of our country?
The equal branches of government, meant to keep a chief executive greedy for power under control, have failed the American people for nearly seven years of the Bush administration. Shame on Congress and shame on the judiciary for their dereliction of duty and failure to protect the inalienable rights of the American people under the Constitution.
Shame, as well, on the American people, who've been too busy shopping, too busy partying while Rome burns, to pay as much attention to the steady erosion of their rights as they do to Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton or O.J. Simpson. Shame on most of the news media for regularly parroting so many of the administration's assertions about Iraq, Iran, terrorism and so on without bothering to ask whether or not they're true.
Meanwhile, men whose incompetence has become legendary, men who seemingly have no common decency, nor even a smidgen of good intentions, dare to claim for themselves the mantle of Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman.
The Soul of a New Republican
There is something about D Dock
There, across the Washington Channel from the Jefferson Memorial, is the Capital Yacht Club, where Craig lives on a forty-two-foot Bertram yacht called the Suz II, named for his wife, Suzanne, who stays back home in Idaho....Some people just aren't meant for a life at sea.
...Craig’s boat shares D Dock with the Cw S Way, a thirty-eight-foot Chris-Craft out of Valdez, Alaska. That boat’s owner is Senator Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. In July, federal agents raided Stevens’s home outside Anchorage; now the F.B.I. is investigating whether he took illegal gifts from an oil-field-services company. (Stevens denies any wrongdoing.) Craig sponsored Stevens for membership in the club, describing him, on the application, as an “experienced boater, great guy, and longtime friend.”
Another of Craig’s neighbors on D Dock was Randy (Duke) Cunningham, the California Republican congressman who is serving a prison sentence for accepting millions of dollars in bribes, including the hundred-and-forty-thousand-dollar cost of the Duke Stir, a forty-two-foot yacht. On board, Cunningham kept a document that prosecutors called the “bribe menu.” The Duke Stir’s previous owners, a gay couple, had named the vessel Buoy Toy, but Cunningham quickly changed it. “I bought the boat,” he once said, “not the life style.”
It's official, The Plan is working
The Interior Department’s program to collect billions of dollars annually from oil and gas companies that drill on federal lands is troubled by mismanagement, ethical lapses and fears of retaliation against whistle-blowers, the department’s chief independent investigator has concluded.This is another piece of the picture of the Republican administration. Less an administration than a plan to loot the treasury and strip the nation of its assets.
The report, a result of a yearlong investigation, grew out of complaints by four auditors at the agency, who said that senior administration officials had blocked them from recovering money from oil companies that underpaid the government.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Headline of the Day
Bush astounds activists, supports human rightsA word to all activists, he was just talking, don't hold your breath waiting for anything remotely resembling action.
How do you define Hypocrisy?
For more than 25 years, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement authorities say they have suspected the New York-based Alavi Foundation is a "front" for Iranian espionage and anti-American activities.So the nominee for Attorney General has had a close working relationship with what may be the prime Iranian espionage group in this country. And if Dickwahd gets his way, when we go to war with Iran, Iran may very well have an agent in one of the top cabinet posts in our government. Because you know, if given a choice between a piddly government salary for 18 months and a fat juicy retainer from a long time client, the Republican will always work for the long time client.
For more than 25 years, court records show the foundation has been publicly defended and represented by the New York law firm where attorney-general nominee Michael Mukasey is a partner: Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.
The foundation says the firm continues to represent it.
Mukasey personally handled at least one matter in court for the foundation.
41 days' worth of Iraq spending would provide health coverage for 10 million children each yearAnd Our Dear Embattled Leader wants to veto the S-CHIP bill and stay in Iraq forever, without ever telling us why we are there. That pretty well sums up the soul of a Republican.
Just in case the words seem bland I stole this (sans regrette) from The General.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Bait and Shoot
"Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy," Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. "Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces."Things are going so well that any Iraqi with a little curiosity is now an insurgent. That should pretty much cover all of the population still breathing.
Here come the Thunder Chickens
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, nicknamed ``The Thunder Chickens,'' will be based at the Al Asad Airbase in western Iraq for at least seven months of combat operations. The Marine Corps Ospreys, known as MV-22s, will be used to ferry Marines as well as cargo throughout predominately Sunni Muslim Anbar province.Seeing as how we spent all that money developing them, we might as well see if they work. Let's just hope they don't kill too many Marines.
A moment of wonder from 60 Minutes
AHMADINEJAD: As an American citizen, tell me what trait do you admire?A real Wonder of Duh moment there. Maybe Dan Rather is right.
PELLEY: Well, Mr. Bush is, without question, a very religious man, for example, as you are. I wonder if there's anything that you've seen in President Bush that you admire.
AHMADEINEJAD: Well, is Mr. Bush a religious man?
PELLEY: Very much so. As you are.
AHMADEINEJAD: What religion, please tell me, tells you as a follower of that religion to occupy another country and kill its people? Please tell me. Does Christianity tell its followers to do that? Judaism, for that matter? Islam, for that matter? What prophet tells you to send 160,000 troops to another country, kill men, women, and children? You just can't wear your religion on your sleeve or just go to church. You should be truthfully religious. Religion tells us all that you should respect the property, the life of different people. Respect human rights. Love your fellow man. And once you hear that a person has been killed, you should be saddened. You shouldn't sit in a room, a dark room, and hatch plots. And because of your plots, many thousands of people are killed. Having said that, we respect the American people. And because of our respect for the American people, we respectfully talk with President Bush. We have a respectful tone. But having said that, I don't think that that is a good definition of religion. Religion is love for your fellow man, brotherhood, telling the truth.
PELLEY: I take it you can't think of anything you like about President Bush.
Monday Music Blogging
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Who was hurt
Shanan Conklin couldn’t fight back her tears as she watched her husband, dressed in his Army uniform, play with their 16-month-old daughter.
A few short hours later, he would be on a plane, headed for 15 months in Iraq.
Two Christmases and more than 450 days of separation.
“My whole heart is right there,” Shanan Conklin said. “I tried making sure the bills were taken care of, making sure we took enough pictures, making sure we took enough walks, making sure we spent enough time together. As much as you do, I don’t think you’re ever prepared for it. I’m not ready. I’m not ready at all.”
At least eight of the Army’s 44 active-duty brigade combat teams have deployed three or more times. Another six, including three from the 101st Airborne Division, will leave this month or next for Round Three or Four; and three more brigades will deploy before January.But these people count as nothing compared to how badly Dear Leader would feel if he had to end the Republican Party War Against Iraq. And so they deploy and redeploy and redeploy and every time a few less come back standing up. And of those that do.
About 30 percent of Fort Drum soldiers screened three to six months after returning from deployments are referred to the post behavioral health clinic, said Todd Benham, the department chief.More stress on the family as these problems are treated and then 12 months is up and it is back again to make ODEL look good.
“We’re pretty aggressive about getting them seen,” he said. “Eighty-five to 90 percent are coming in for follow-up care. The biggest referral issues are [post-traumatic stress disorder], sleep or anxiety concerns and [traumatic brain injury].”
They deserve so much better from our government.
Adm Fallon comes out against war with Iran
“This constant drum beat of conflict is what strikes me which is not helpful and not useful,” Adm. William Fallon said in an interview with Al-Jazeera television, which made a partial transcript available Sunday.Does he have official sanction to say this? Or will he be fired next week. I hope he did so with approval because if he is fired, we will get some ass kissing chickenshit in his place.
Fallon, the head of U.S. Central Command, wraps up a seven-nation tour of the region on Tuesday that included stops in Persian Gulf countries, Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the talks with military and political leaders were dominated by worries about expanding Iranian influence and U.S. accusations that Iran is supplying arms and training to Shiite militiamen in Iraq.
“I expect that there will be no war and that is what we ought to be working for,” said Fallon during the Friday interview at Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar. “We we should find ways through which we can bring countries to work together for the benefit of all .... It is not a good idea to be in a state of war. We ought to try and to do our utmost to create different conditions.”
This is how Republicans begin a presidential debate
Osama would be proud of them.
A bit of Bill Maher
The Iraqis are feeling their oats
"The Iraqi government is responsible for its citizens and it cannot be accepted for a security company to carry out a killing,"..."There are serious challenges to the sovereignty of Iraq." In Arabic, he used the word "tajawiz" which can be translated either as "affronts" or "challenges."Last Sunday's Blackwater Massacre was the final straw, now the Iraqi government is demanding it be treated asif it really is what Our Dear Embattled Leader says it is, a sovereign country. There were also separate calls for the release of an Iranian seized by US troops in Kurdistan.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, demanded the Iranian's release on Saturday, saying he was a member of an official delegation that was in the autonomous Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah with the full knowledge of the Iraqi government and local authorities.Soon Dear Leader will make the reality of the situation clear to Miliki and Talabani. Asituation made very clear by Juan Cole.
Plus, Mam Jalal, if you are a president and have to plead with a foreign general to release your own guest from prison, you don't have any sovereignty left and haven't had for some time. You've been colonized.
A neat trick
R I P Marcel Marceau
Bip est mort.
From the pen of Stuart Carlson
Saturday, September 22, 2007
|Your Love Life is Like Pretty Woman|
"I want the fairy tale"
You believe that love is truly blind, unpredictable, and surprising. Two very different people can easily find true love.
At least, that is how it will happen when you marry a gorgeous billionaire someday ;-)
Your love style: Sensual and flirty
Your Hollywood Ending Will Be: Surprisingly happy
Up yours! Georgie
Go here if you want to do your part in the fight.
We've reached 99% of our NEW goal of $1,500,000! ($1,493,550.88)
George W Bush plays politics with childrens lives.
These people deserve so much more
March 16, 2006. Southeastern Afghanistan. A fierce ambush and bloody firefight. It was over in a flash and Moss was left on the verge of death.Their bravery is daily mocked by the stupidity and cowardice of George W Bush and Dick Cheney. These soldiers, and all their brothers and sisters in arms, deserve so much more from those who sent them in harms way.
He was impaled through the abdomen with a rocket-propelled grenade, and an aluminum rod with one tail fin protruded from the left side of his torso.
His fellow soldiers worried: Could he blow up and take them with him? For all anyone knew, the answer was yes.
Still, over the course of the next couple of hours, his buddies, a helicopter crew and a medical team would risk their own lives to save his.
Two quotes of interest
The U.S. weapons-smuggling investigation was mentioned in a letter sent Tuesday to State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard by Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who for years has been investigating wrongdoing by private contractors in Iraq.You see, if you poke a Bushovik in the right spot he will tell you what you didn't know you wanted to know. Or as the New York Times puts it.
Waxman didn’t name Blackwater but charged that Krongard, the State Department's top watchdog, was impeding an investigation "into whether a large private security contractor working for the State Department was illegally smuggling weapons into Iraq."
Waxman said that when Krongard heard about the criminal investigation, he sent an e-mail ordering his investigative staff to stop work until federal prosecutors in North Carolina could brief him. Krongard delayed the briefing for weeks, then assigned a member of his congressional and media staff, instead of an investigator, to the case, Waxman said.
Krongard disputed the charges in a statement.
"I made one of my best investigators available to help assistant U.S. attorneys in North Carolina in their investigation into alleged smuggling of weapons into Iraq by a contractor," he said.
The North Carolina investigation was first brought to light by State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, who mentioned it, perhaps inadvertently, this week while denying he had improperly blocked fraud and corruption probes in Iraq and Afghanistan.While the full details won't be known until after Dear Leader's Democratic successor is sworn in, between now and then they should be revealing where a lot of the "bodies are buried".
Krongard was accused in a letter by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, of politically motivated malfeasance, including refusing to cooperate with an investigation into alleged weapons smuggling by a large, unidentified State Department contractor.
In response, Krongard said in a written statement that he ''made one of my best investigators available to help Assistant U.S. Attorneys in North Carolina in their investigation into alleged smuggling of weapons into Iraq by a contractor.''
His statement went further than Waxman's letter because it identified the state in which the investigation was taking place. Blackwater is the biggest of the State Department's three private security contractors.
The other two, Dyncorp and Triple Canopy, are based in Washington's northern Virginias suburbs, outside the jurisdiction of the North Carolina's attorneys.
Dr. Doom knows all about you
The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.But you have nothing to worry about except that not all the information is accurate. So you may still be taken away for a mistake.
The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as long as 15 years, as part of the Department of Homeland Security's effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country. Officials say the records, which are analyzed by the department's Automated Targeting System, help border officials distinguish potential terrorists from innocent people entering the country.
Oceania is at war with Eastasia
New York's tabloids and assorted pols came unglued yesterday about the very idea of Iran's crackpot hardliner Mahmoud Ahmedinejad wanting to visit Ground Zero.It is all politics and rather than have any real animus to each other, what we see is all posturing to give the other guy a hand keeping his people satisfied.
Where were they when Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov, whose regime boils people to death, was courted by George W. Bush and Mayor Mike Bloomberg?
Don't let your own blood boil at the thought of a bad guy visiting our sacralized 9/11 site. Condemn it, if you want, but Ahmedinejad was just trying to score political points, as our own pols do all the time at Ground Zero. He got what he wanted: The angry U.S. reaction will play well back home in Tehran, especially with the radical mullahs who really run Iran and like to stir up hatred for the "Great Satan."
Friday, September 21, 2007
Picture of the Month
You can read the cover story here.
Quote of the Day
It seemed to be typical of the recent over-hyped success of the Anbar Awakening that you would have to fly from Baghdad to Damascus, and then drive six hours back across the desert, to get only 40 minutes outside Baghdad in order to see it for yourself (you could go with the U.S. Army as well, but you learn mostly about Americans if you are with Americans and end up sounding like a visiting columnist for the New York Times).Patrick Graham, "How George Bush became the new Saddam"
Hi-Yo Blackwater Away!
American diplomats today resumed travel in Iraq in convoys escorted by Blackwater USA, the private American security contractor, less than a week after the Iraqi government banned the company following a shooting in which at least eight Iraqis were killed....No one really expected Our Dear Embattled Leader to stand between his good old boys and their profit, but it does point up something very disturbing. Even with the bulk of US ground forces in Iraq, we need to hire a warlords private army to protect our diplomats. Just one more turd in the pile of Dear Leader's Glorious Legacy.
....That the American Embassy chose to resume work with Blackwater, when so many questions are currently being raised by the Iraqis about the company’s work, showed how hamstrung American civilian officials are here without private security contractors, who provide the bulk of the protection for diplomats.
Yesterday Georgie threw a hissy fit
If the New York Times can get it
The current Republican leadership, now in the minority, has organized its entire agenda around the filibuster. In July, the McClatchy newspaper group reported that Republicans were using the threat of filibuster more than at any other time in the nation’s history.
Remember, this is the same batch of Republican senators who denounced Democrats as obstructionist and even un-American and threatened to change the Senate’s rules when Democrats threatened filibusters in 2005 over a few badly chosen judicial nominees. Now Republicans are using it to prevent consideration of an entire war.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
On the edge of collapse
mission requirements and report high overall readiness rates for their deployed units in the midst of the demanding wars.But what is really going on is Peter robbing Paul to maintain that level.
The strain on military gear caused by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is forcing the Army and Marine Corps to operate on the margins worldwide, shorting next-to-deploy units in favor of longer-term needs at increasing risk to worldwide readiness, according to a new report.And then when it is done we will have to pay to replace all that has broken or worn out.
As a result, the cost to repair, replace and recapitalize that equipment is going to “increase significantly,” GAO said in a report released Wednesday.And the important point to remember is that this is just the equipment cost. Personnel are extra.
But the task of figuring out those costs is being hampered by Defense Department accounting procedures that do not require the Army and Marine Corps to report the costs of equipment reset with enough detail to give Congress visibility on whether the money is being spent as planned for the units deploying or preparing to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan, GAO said.
And because the Army was not required to track its reset costs from the start of the wars, it has no historical data that can be used to estimate future costs, the GAO found.
The precise cost won’t be known until the end of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, GAO said, “It will likely cost billions of dollars to repair and replace equipment.”...
...“Units . . . continue to report significant shortages during their training cycles that affect their ability to train,” the report states. “Thus, the services may be sacrificing short-term equipment needs for longer-term modernization goals.
“Until the services’ reset strategies target shortages of equipment needed to equip units preparing for deployment and give priority to those units over longer-term needs, the Army and Marine Corps will be unable to minimize operational risk by ensuring the needs of deploying units can be met.”
Before the surge
In another sign of U.S. struggles in Iraq, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped yet again, to at least July.Some may call this a failure, but in reality it was Our Dear Embattled Leader's fallback positions in the event that Republicans in Congress got a brain. You see, if the Iraqis stood up and we stood down, ODEL would have been required to bring some troops home. And we all know that won't happen on ODEL's watch. The fewer troops there, the fewer troops die and that would make Li'l Georgie very unhappy. Of course, ODEL didn't need the plan but since it was already started, it was allowed to finish and add another page to the Republicans efforts to destroy the US Army.
The delay, noted in a Pentagon report to Congress on progress and problems in Iraq, highlights the difficulties in developing Iraqi police forces and the slow pace of economic and political progress in some areas.
It is the second time this year the target date for completing what is known as ``Provincial Iraqi Control'' has been pushed back. The Pentagon report submitted to Congress on Monday hinted at the possibility of further delays.
This should promote stem cells
Men have a source of potentially life-saving stem cells between their legs.Or if you have a mean streak, you could tell your Republican friends that to get the cells they need to cut off your sack. Don't worry, they will believe you, they believe anything if you tell it right.
A team of American researchers has found a way to easily identify stem cells in the testicles of adult mice that can be coaxed to turn into brain cells, muscle cells, heart cells, blood cells and even blood vessels.
One day, they say, male patients may be able to turn to their own testicles as a source of stem cells to repair an ailing heart or kidney or to fix the brain damage caused by Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
Bring back KO!
E-Mail MSNBC at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know what you think.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
H.L.Mencken, the Baltimore Nostradamus
On July 26th, 1920, the acerbic and cranky scribe wrote in The Baltimore Sun: "...all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily (and) adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."What follows is a litany of the many ways that our IBC fits this description. Sadly he ends with the only words appropriate for the state we are in..
God help us.
Republicans show they hate the USA, the troops and the District of Columbia
A proud day for Republicans, they have loudly proclaimed to all their unbound hatred of the United States of America.
Arrrgh! I just be recollectin'
There will be a test later.
S.O.P or B.A.U
A preliminary Iraqi report on a shooting involving an American diplomatic motorcade said Tuesday that Blackwater security guards were not ambushed, as the company reported, but instead fired at a car when it did not heed a policeman’s call to stop, killing a couple and their infant....In the movies nobody likes the gang of gunslingers hired by the evil cattle baron. In an administration locked into image over substance,it is curious that our cowboy preznit would hire a gang of gunslingers to protect his evil oil barons. Maybe he isn't really a cowboy.
...The report said Blackwater helicopters had also fired. The Ministry of Defense said 20 Iraqis had been killed, a far higher number than had been reported before....
...“The traffic policeman was trying to open the road for them,” he said. “It was a crowded square. But one small car did not stop. It was moving very slowly. They shot against the couple and their child. They started shooting randomly.”
In video shot shortly after the episode, the child appeared to have burned to the mother’s body after the car caught fire, according to an official who saw it.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Harry is calling the Republicans hand.
The Democratic leader said he will call for a vote this month on several anti-war proposals, including one by Sen. Carl Levin that would insist President Bush end U.S. combat next summer. The proposals would be mandatory and not leave Bush wiggle room, said Reid, D-Nev.Lest you wonder if he knows what he is doing, consider this quote.
"There (are) no goals. It's all definite timelines," he told reporters of the planned legislation.
"I think they've decided definitely they want this to be the Senate Republicans' war, not just Bush's. They're jealous," he said with a smile.It sure looks like we will be seeing Republicans reading from the phone book as they really and truly have to filibuster their saggy old asses of to protect Our Dear Embattled Leader. And show what they really care about, and no it is NOT the troops.
Quote of the Day
"Iran is not a suicide nation,"Gen John Abizaid, US Army Ret., not realizing that Dickwahd al-Cheney is a suicide bomber awaiting his appiontment with martyrdom.
Headline of the Day
Fallon denies animosity with PetraeusYou see, when Adm Fallon referred to Gen Petraeus as “an ass-kissing little chickenshit” he was merely praising two of the generals better qualities.
Tom Toles Tuesday
A comic interlude
Monday, September 17, 2007
Quote of the Day #2
“If mothers ruled the world, there would be no god-damned wars in the first place.”Sally Field, from her Emmy acceptance speech. If you don't remember it, that is because Fox cut out the italicized words.
Mercs shoot up bystanders, lose license
Monday Music Blogging
Emmylou Harris, some guy named Cash and a kid name of Marty Stuart
PS Don't miss the bit at the end, a must see.
Quote of the Day
"The issue here is, having been engulfed with terrorist activities from the beginning, from 1948, we learned a good lesson — if you want to remain a democracy you must be willing to let them have their day in court.''Emanuel Gross, a retired Israeli Army colonel and military judge writing in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court on behalf of Guantanamo detainees.
Yup, even the Israelis think Gitmo is a bad idea.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Temple hopes an influx of Iraqi sergeants trained in two-week courses led by his battalion can help solve the problem. That senior enlisted rank didn’t exist in Saddam Hussein’s military, but U.S. officers say it’s critical to an efficient command structure.Two weeks. That should make "Shake N Bakes" look like lifers.
Army Capt. Majid al-Imara, who said he has been charged with establishing the new force, said each battalion will be made up of 350 men chosen by tribal leaders, and they will be armed and equipped by the Iraqi government and paid $300 monthly, he said.And so we set up another organized armed group. To do what the Iraqi Army or the police is supposed to do. In an area where they probably don't like us any more than they do in Anbar. Sounds like a good idea to me.
Col. Peter Baker, the commander of the 214th Fires Brigade that took over Forward Operating Base Delta near Kut in June, also said the idea was for the tribal volunteers to act as an “auxiliary police force” that could provide security in an organized fashion but let the sheiks maintain control of tribal members.
One of the obstacles is the lack of a single enemy, such as al-Qaida in Iraq, which alienated Sunni tribal leaders and even other insurgents by killing sheiks and trying to impose a strict interpretation of Islam.
Shiites are getting increasingly fed up, however, with the fighting among rival militia groups, as well as the criminal nature of gangs engaging in extortion and setting up illegal checkpoints.
Weems acknowledged fears that the tribal leaders could abuse their authority and said he expected the movement to start with small groups that would receive mandatory training in when and how to use force, with careful monitoring.
Know your enemy
Asia Times Online talked to Abu Risha this past spring in Iraq. He explained, crucially, that he had set up the council after his father and two brothers were killed by al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers. Yes, it was personal. Petraeus then joined the bandwagon. Abu Risha is not, and never was, a Salafi-jihadi. He considers himself an Iraqi nationalist. He's not in favor of a caliphate. But he's definitely in favor of restored power to Sunni Iraqis.To his credit Petraeus grabbed an opportunity that came his way. To his shame he smudged the colors and blurred the edges of the true picture to support an unsupportable position. And in this country we have a CEO president doing what all CEO's do, covering his ass. A power crazed VP, his critical faculties destroyed by strokes, charging ahead with his preconceived notions. A Secretary of State who can't even tell when someone is bouncing quarters off her ass. And a Congress that has come to embrace its own impotence.
Petraeus was indeed smart enough to marvel at the possibilities of a marriage of convenience between the occupation and Sunni tribes. Al-Qaeda for its part was clumsy enough to force "Talibanization" down Anbar people's throats. But this does not mean that Abu Risha and his 200 tribal leaders are pro-occupation, or even pro-Iraqi government. Eighty percent of these tribes are sub-clans of the very powerful Dulaimi tribe. Al-Qaeda's close relationship is with the Mashadani tribe, which used to be very close to Saddam Hussein. What matters is that with varying degrees of disgust, both big tribes detest the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad.
Way beyond any "success" claimed by Petraeus, what's happening in Anbar is once again a replay of what happened in eastern Afghanistan in 2001. Local tribes profit from US largesse - and weapons - and then proceed with their own tribal and/or nationalist agenda. What matters for all these players, most of all, is restoration of Sunni power. The Dulaimi tribe and sub-clans, armed by the Americans, as soon as they have a chance, will try to topple the US-sponsored puppet government in Baghdad.
A year and a half can be a very long time.
Gates hates the troops as much as Our Dear Embattled Leader
With the Senate expected to resume debate this week on anti-war legislation, Gates sharpened his criticism of Webb's proposal. It would require troops get as much time at their home station as their deployments to the war front.No way the troops get a break while Georgie is still around to take the rap.
Gates was asked in broadcast interviews about recommending a veto to Bush should the proposal pass. "Yes I would," the Pentagon chief said.
UPDATE: John McCain doesn't like Webb-Hegel, it must be good.
Give me liberty or give me another look at that weapons system
The growth of Islamist terror, always described as "al-Qaida linked" (as international crime was always "mafia-linked"), meets Eisenhower's thesis. With the threat of communism gone, the military/industrial complex needs a new cause. Allied to a booming police and intelligence bureaucracy, it has grasped eagerly at terrorism. It has no interest in keeping that threat in proportion, and every interest in exaggerating it. To cover the bungles that led to 9/11, this security/industrial complex portrayed the terrorists as awesome and ubiquitous, capable of building vast bomb-proof bunkers in the Hindu Kush, fake plans of which were dumped on a gullible press. State security agencies dance to the tune of Oh! What a Lovely War. They enslave the language of freedom in the cause of repression.So long as you stay properly afraid, they will make their profits and keep their chosen "leaders" in power. Because power is more important than any liberty you may think you should have.
Every army needs a supply line
The route, a lifeline that carries fuel, food, ammunition and equipment for the war, crosses desert territory that is home to rival militias and criminal gangs. In interviews, Americans stationed in the southern provinces and Pentagon planners say they are closely watching the situation there as the British pass security responsibility to local Iraqi units.The good general's faith in the Iraqi forces is touching but it is not matched by any similar feelings among the locals of that region.
There is little talk of increasing the American troop presence along the major supply route, which links Baghdad and Kuwait and is called M.S.R. Tampa, although officials in Baghdad and Washington say other options include increased patrols by armed surveillance aircraft, attack helicopters and combat jets.
The significant attention being paid to security in southern Iraq came as the senior allied commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, announced plans in Washington this week to reduce American troop presence by five combat brigades across the country by next summer.
General Petraeus, in an interview this week, said he was confident that continued allied and Iraqi patrols along the supply routes, and a growing Iraqi security presence in the south, would guarantee protection of the desert roadways.
But Iraqis in the Basra region fear that the Iraqi security forces are too heavily infiltrated by the militias to ensure order in the city, a vital oil hub where smuggling, banditry and carjacking have long been a way of life for powerful criminal gangs.With responsibility for security being given to forces like this consider what needs to be protected.
Iraqi policemen in Basra privately concede that they are afraid to confront the militias, who have powerful backing in the religious Shiite parties that run Basra, and that if they arrest criminals they face retribution from powerful tribes and criminal gangs....
....“Since a year ago the British forces started to only worry about their own safety, neglecting the locals’ safety,” said Hakim al-Mayahi, the provincial council member in charge of the security portfolio, on Sept. 2. “The tribes and the locals have better weapons than our security forces, who weren’t provided with more than the usual Kalashnikovs and R.P.G.’s while the tribes even have mortars and heavy machine guns.”
To keep the war effort going each day requires about 3.3 million gallons of fuel, the equivalent of filling the tanks of 150,000 automobiles, as well as enough food to serve 780,000 meals, according to statistics at the Third Army headquarters.In an emergency, airlift could probably supply the basics until a relief could be organized, but with the Army stretched to the max who would be available to go to their relief? And if Cheney gets his way and attacks Iran? With an administration that has done its damnedest to destroy the Army and Marines, shouldn't we be expecting the worst? And no, Blackwater and KBR won't be riding to the rescue, at least not until they renegotiate their contracts sharply upward. The only real solution is to redeploy forces southward, including all the 'penny packet' outposts in the cities, and prepare for the eventual pullout while the Army can still control events in their AO's.
Although far more vulnerable to attack by roadside bombs and ambush, land convoys are cheaper than hauling the same volume of goods by air.
In comparison, on any day, the Third Army headquarters launches about 110 airlift missions, moving about 3,200 people and 400 pallets of supplies
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The enemy of our enemy doesn't like us either.
among a random national sample of 2,212 Iraqis, 72 percent in Anbar expressed no confidence whatsoever in United States forces. Seventy-six percent said the United States should withdraw now — up from 49 percent when we polled there in March, and far above the national average.And Georgie said Anbar was a success.
Withdrawal timetable aside, every Anbar respondent in our survey opposed the presence of American forces in Iraq — 69 percent “strongly” so. Every Anbar respondent called attacks on coalition forces “acceptable,” far more than anywhere else in the country. All called the United States-led invasion wrong, including 68 percent who called it “absolutely wrong.”
Up yours, McCain!
From the good people at MoveOn.org
Quote of the Day
Iraq is, and forever will be, one of the most extraordinary wastes in all of American history.Mark Morford
A lesson in war for deserters and draft dodgers
Don't ever, ever go to war unless you can describe and create a more desirable end state. And doing so takes a whole lot more than just the use of force.Failing to learn this lesson results in this.
How tragic it is to see old men who are unwilling to talk to potential adversaries but seem ready to dispatch young people to fight and die.Sadly, the lessons of any war usually fade faster than the last notes of Taps.
An interesting idea
The Army said Tuesday it will begin testing a composite, nonmetal Humvee utility vehicle that is 900 pounds lighter than its conventional counterpart so it can carry extra armor to better protect soldiers against roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.The extra armor may help to sell this, but bending the fenders won't win a lot of hearts and minds.
The prototype vehicle’s frame and body is made of nonmetal composites — a combination of fiberglass, balsa wood, foam and carbon reinforcements all held together with resin.
The body of the tan composite prototype has a sandpaper feel. The fenders are pliable and can be easily bent by hand, flipping back into place when released.
“We can put the strength where we need it,”
First, the Surge and now the Tease
One day after President Bush announced a limited drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq by next summer, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that it might be possible to reduce U.S. forces there further over the course of next year, down to approximately 100,000 troops by the end of 2008.The back filling began almost as soon as he spoke those words.
Gates spokesman Geoff Morrell later emphasized that the defense secretary's comments were his "personal views" and did not represent administration policy or a formal military plan.You see, despite his important position in the administration, he wasn't speaking officially even thogh every news agency was hanging on his every word. And after 6+ years of this crew we should know better than to believe what is said. It is what they do that hurts our country most.
Friday, September 14, 2007
The Webb amendment is resurrected
Bill Richardson scores a touchdown
"The President has been allowed to spy on Americans without a warrant, and our U.S. Senate is letting it continue," Richardson said. "You know something is wrong when the New England Patriots face stiffer penalties for spying on innocent Americans than Dick Cheney and George Bush."
"And ordinary life is beginning to return."
Muhsin al Ribaawi, 45, a Shiite, lives in Hurriyah, a once-mixed neighborhood in northwest Baghdad that's been devoid of Sunnis since they were forced out in December. The change was good, Ribaawi thinks. He can travel freely through Shiite neighborhoods throughout the capital, though he never ventures into Sunni enclaves. He no longer sees as many bodies dumped on the streets. As a supervisor for roads and bridges in Baghdad, he used to encounter as many as 20 a day. "I'm so happy for that," he said.How many bottles of Jack Daniels does it take to make a Connecticut born preppy see this as ordinary?
Still, life is hardly back to normal. Dirty and disease-ridden, the water that comes from his tap is "terrifying."
Joe Galloway has seen this before.
It’s a long journey from now to January 20, 2009, and the blood of many Americans and even more Iraqis will flow freely and stain the hands of those who allow this insane war to continue at the behest of a stubborn, unseeing, unthinking man from Crawford, Texas.George and every Republican who votes with him have the same blood stained hands.
Quote of the Day
But no amount of smoke could obscure the truth: Mr. Bush has no strategy to end his disastrous war and no strategy for containing the chaos he unleashed.New York Times editorial
I hope Krugman is wrong
What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq — and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war — will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
If you're not too busy
More than 1,000 Marines have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a grim milestone reached Sept. 6 with the death of four Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based Marines, according to Defense Department statistics.One more shining moment in Our Dear Embattled Leader's Glorious Legacy
The four Marines were assigned to 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion. They were Cpl. Christopher L. Poole Jr., 22, of Mount Dora, Fla.; Cpl. Bryan J. Scripsick, 22, of Wayne, Okla.; Staff Sgt. John C. Stock, 26, of Longview, Texas; and Sgt. Michael J. Yarbrough, 24, of Malvern, Ark.
The Petraeus Bump
Poll: Bush approval holds at 36 percent
Tom Toles Today
Rest in Peace
By DAVID STOUT
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 — “Engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act,” the seven soldiers wrote of the war they had seen in Iraq.
They were referring to the ordeals of Iraqi citizens, trying to go about their lives with death and suffering all around them. But sadly, although they did not know it at the time, they might almost have been referring to themselves.
Two of the soldiers who wrote of their pessimism about the war in an Op-Ed article that appeared in The New York Times on Aug. 19 were killed in Baghdad on Monday. They were not killed in combat, nor on a daring mission. They died when the five-ton cargo truck in which they were riding overturned.
The victims, Staff Sgt. Yance T. Gray, 26, and Sgt. Omar Mora, 28, were among the authors of “The War as We Saw It,” in which they expressed doubts about reports of progress.
“As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day,” the soldiers wrote.
Sergeant Gray’s mother, Karen Gray, said by telephone on Wednesday from Ismay, Mont., where Yance grew up, “My son was a soldier in his heart from the age of 5,” and she added, “He loved what he was doing.”
The sergeant’s father, Richard, said of his son, “But he wasn’t any mindless robot.”
Sergeant Gray leaves a wife, Jessica, and a daughter, Ava, born in April. He is also survived by a brother and a sister.
Sergeant Mora’s mother, Olga Capetillo of Texas City, Tex., told The Daily News in Galveston that her son had grown increasingly gloomy about Iraq. “I told him God is going to take care of him and take him home,” she said.
A native of Ecuador, Sergeant Mora had recently become an American citizen. “He was proud of this country, and he wanted to go over and help,” his stepfather, Robert Capetillo, told The Houston Chronicle. Sergeant Mora leaves a wife, Christa, and a daughter, Jordan, who is 5. Survivors also include a brother and a sister.
While the seven soldiers were composing their article, one of them, Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Murphy, was shot in the head. He was flown to a military hospital in the United States and is expected to survive. The other authors were Buddhika Jayamaha, an Army specialist, and Sgts. Wesley D. Smith, Jeremy Roebuck and Edward Sandmeier.
“We need not talk about our morale,” they wrote in closing. “As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.”
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Quote of the Day
to say that you don't know when a war is going to end doesn't mean that you don't think it's going to end.Tony Snow, proving that this administration has done more to keep Tinker Bell alive than any Democrat, ever.
Chris Dodd has a good idea
The janitors hate ideas like this because it means a bunch of pee stains on the Senate seats and floor to clean up after the vote.
A small price
Just what you can expect from a big prick, figuratively speaking.
Leave it to MoDo
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Nope, not safer yet
But the safety of America is not the reason why we are in Iraq. That is still a state secret.
Warren Stroebel of McClatchy has a good rundown of the important points today.
Quote of the Day
The next six months in Iraq are crucial -- and always will be.Eugene Robinson, explaining how Our Dear Embattled Leader needs Tom Friedman, inventor of the Friedman Unit, almost as much as he needs Osama
"Bush has found his exit strategy,"
The talk in Washington on Monday was all about troop reductions, yet it also brought into sharp focus President Bush's plans to end his term with a strong U.S. military presence in Iraq, and to leave tough decisions about ending the unpopular war to his successor.That last bit may require a heavy endowment to George's post White House Thimk Tank. In the meantime we are treated to the same tired old patter, gussied up with some ribbons and paint, as Betrayus and Crock call for more American deaths in Iraq.
The plans outlined by the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, would retain a large force in the country -- perhaps more than 100,000 troops -- when the time comes for Bush to move out of the White House in January 2009.
The plans also would allow Bush to live up to his pledge to the defining mission of his presidency, and perhaps to improve his chances for a decent legacy. He can say he left office pursuing a strategy that was having at least some success in suppressing violence, a claim that some historians may view sympathetically.
A simple question
Monday, September 10, 2007
Just 2 more Friedman Units
BaghdadPity, they can't enjoy the increased security.
- Around noon, a parked car bomb targeted civilians in Al Atifiyah near the ambulances center. Two civilians were killed and 5 were injured. Several ambulances were damaged.
- Around 5 p.m., a roadside exploded at Yousifiyah ( south of Baghdad) killing 2 people and injuring 13 others.
- Police found ( 10 ) unidentified bodies in the following neighborhood in Baghdad : (8) were found in west Baghdad (Karkh bank) ; 2 in Saidiyah, 2 in Bayaa , 2 in Amil , 1 in Risala and 1 in I'laam . While (2) were found in east Baghdad (Risafa bank) ; 1 in Sadr city and 1 in Sleikh .
- Around 10 a.m. a road side bomb targeted an Iraqi army convoy in southern Kirkuk. One civilian was killed and 4 others were injured.
- Around 3.30 p.m., a truck bomb exploded at a village north west of Mosul killing 10 people and injuring 60 others.
- Around 5 p.m., gunmen killed and then burned the body of the manager superviser of finance in Basra city ( north of the city near Basra gate).
Coming soon to a Theater of Operations near you
Thanks to Joe at AmericanBlog for this
David sings Georgie's tune
Petraeus testified that in Baghdad, the number of deaths due to "ethno-sectarian violence" has dropped by 80 percent since December.As every body else has reported this past week, the death squads have learned to shoot their victims in the front of the head to keep the totals of "ethno-sectarian violence" to a non threatening level. Regardless of what the dynamic duo may say, the deaths, American and Iraqi, will continue because Our Dear Embattled Leader is never going to pull out of Iraq while he is in office.
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