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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

President Bush's Prime Time Address Old News

Yesterday's presidential speech did not serve up anything that we had not know before. What President Bush did was make it very clear that we will not pull out troops anytime soon. That, and I find myself at odds with my thoughts, is likely the right decision. Pulling out of Iraq right now would spell disaster because the country is in such shambles and completely unable to provide its own security. But let me point out that this is a disaster of Bush's making. Now he is forced to clean up his own mess, and we, the American taxpayers and parents of those soldier's, are the ones sharing the real burden. Whether Iraq will work as a democracy will not be determined for quite some time. The Administration would have you believe that everything is going well, and yes, some progress is being made. What they will not tell you is that the progress being made as compared to what needs to be accomplished falls far short. The insurgency is not in its "last throes" as Dick Cheney would have you believe, it remains at least as strong as it was (according to Army commanders themselves), or if you are practical, take some of the facts into account and you can see that the level of activity by insurgents has actually increased tremendously since May 1st.

So what was Bush's speech about? It was about buying more time for the mission. He may have bought himself a little bit, but the public is impatient now. His support for the war has steadily declined and the White House is panicking. President Bush and his Administration, whose highest marks are on the War on Terror, once again wrapped himself around 9/11 and tried to morph the Iraq War into the War on Terror. As long as those two remain linked, the White House believes they can shore up the support needed. So, in yesterday's speech, the President brought up 9/11 five or more times, not only trying to make Iraq and Afghanistan one, but also trying to make support for the mission and support for the troops one and the same. While support for the mission dwindles, support for the troops NEVER dwindles. They are two separate things not to be confused. These men and women fighting did not choose to go there, they are just doing their jobs, and doing a good one at it. They are fighting the politicians' war. It was the White House that crafted the story to take us into Iraq, it was the White House along with the Pentagon that sold the country on this course of action. No surprise here that after 2 years and still no end in sight the public is starting to have doubts about a war that was sold to us in a well packaged lie.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Rumsfeld Faces the Heat in Congress

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld got a good grilling yesterday during testimony to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. The grilling came from Democrats, most pointedly from Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd. Kennedy blasted Rumsfeld on everything involving Iraq and even asked him if he didn't think it was time for him to resign. Rumsfeld was his usual self, defiant and smug, and stood his ground. But the exchange was another example of just how bitter the atmosphere is in Washington. Along with Rumsfeld were the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers and Gen. John Abizaid. Abizaid also testified about the situation in Iraq. His testimony was at odds with vice-president Cheney's comments that the insurgency is in its last throes. Rumsfeld also countered GOP claims that we are losing the war and claims by Kennedy that there is no end in sight to the conflict. When asked to give a timetable for a withdrawal he refused to do so, contradicting himself about the no end in sight denial. At one point Rumsfeld got emotional but he quickly regained composure.
Rumsfeld Faces Questions on Troops in Iraq

Supreme Court Rules On Land Ownership

This Supreme Court ruling could possibly be the most destructive and irrational to have been handed to the American people. Why should the government be allowed to take your land and give it to another private party? We all understand it is necessary to make that sacrifice sometimes if it is for a public service, something like a highway. The ruling, which is related to a case in New London, Connecticut, might not necessarily be bad for the their particular situation, but it sets a precedent. It opens the floodgates for local government to take anyone's property if they can soundly make a case about economic benefit for the community. Sure, you are suppossed to have checks and balances to prevent this abuse of power, or so they claim. This action would have to be approved by the legislature and the judicial branch. The questions is: once the process becomes politicized (as it will surely become), what is to prevent the inner workings of politics to corrupt it, just like it does everywhere else? To think that it cannot be abused is stupid. When we have an Administration in the White House, the highest office of the land, that has proven that checks and balances can be sidestepped, do they really think that this precedent will not be subject to abuse because there are checks and balances? This ruling will have far reaching consequences, maybe not immediately, but a case will come up in the future where this ruling will hurt Americans.

How far we have fallen from where our founding fathers stood. This nation was built upon the right to own your land, it drives everything we stand for, ownership. Our President believes in it so much that he is pusing a Social Security plan that fails to solve the problem, but it includes ownership. So why is the most important asset that an American can have being raped by the Supreme Court of the United States? It is a sad day in our country.
Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

CIA's Porter Full of It?

This is a joke!!! Hahaha!!!

"We know were Bin Laden is." says CIA director Porter Goss.

Yeah, sure you know, that's why we haven't gotten him yet.

If you do know, what the hell are you waiting for? An invitation? What? You have to worry about international obligations and foreign sovereign states? You didn't do that with Iraq! Why do you care now?
Goss Claims He Has Idea Where Bin Laden Is

Frist Backtracks, Will Call for Bolton Vote Anew

This ought to be a testament to who is really calling the shots. This morning, Sen. Frist told reporters that the Senate would not schedule any more votes on John Bolton's nomination for U.N ambassador. He said that the votes were not there and it would be a waste of time. Come in President Bush. Frist had lunch at the White House with the President and after leaving the WH he was singing a different tune. He will now push once again for a floor vote on Bolton. It remains to be seen if he will have the votes to bring cloture, then proceed to a full Senate vote. Some have suggested that Frist arrived at this decision on his own, no real push from the President. Well, I'm not stupid. I doubt very much that he went in there and thought: Wow, this is a great meal, I think I'll call for a vote on Bolton again. To me it seems more like Mr. Bush pressured him into calling for another vote to try and avoid having to appoint Bolton on a recess appointment, which would send a weak representative to the U.N.
Frist Reverses Himself, Pushes Bolton Vote

Sunday, June 19, 2005

British Memo Details Rice Conversation

More and more memos regarding the British government's qualms about invading Iraq are surfacing. Each memo shows clearly that British officials had doubts about the Bush Administration's reasons for war, stating that it might be illegal under international law and at one point suggesting that it looked more like a grudge between Bush and Hussein. In total there are 8 memos that were leaked to the British press. The latest contains excerpts from a conversation that then national security advisor Condoleezza Rice had with Tony Blair's chief foreign policy advisor. In it, only six months after the 9/11 attacks, Rice does not want to talk about Bin Laden, but wants to discuss regime change in Iraq, although they had no credible rationale for war. The authenticity of the memos has been verified, and neither the White House nor British government have claimed otherwise. So far, the White House has not responded directly to the information contained in the memos, but it seems this political hot potato is gathering steam and soon the WH will have to respond directly.
Memos Show British Fretting Over Iraq War

Bush Will Not Pull Troops, but Pressure Will Mount

I do not think there has ever been a doubt as to whether President Bush will reduce the number of troops in Iraq. He has been clear that pulling out is not an option. Knowing that Bush has that quality of being persistent, or stubborn depending on who you talk to, the most persistent point he has pressed is that the U.S. will not pull out of Iraq. I believe him, and honestly, even though I did not support the invasion, I do think it would be a bad move to pull out the troops prematurely. The big question is, will Iraq ever be successful? I find it a very difficult undertaking, but I keep my hopes up. One things is for sure: the country will descend into chaos, more than it is already, if U.S. presence is pulled too early (unless we decide to concede defeat). This is President Bush's legacy and I do not think he is ready to give up on it. What will determine whether the President decides to pull the troops out will be the level of ongoing violence in conjunction with extreme political pressure here. What I mean by extreme political pressure is that in next year's midterm elections, congressmen will feel heavy heat from constituents to withdraw from Iraq and focus on the people's business, and those who do not comply with their constituency's demands may very well be voted out of office. I think that the amount of pressure put on the President by members of his own party as the elections get nearer will triple or even quadruple. Then you are talking about a very serious vote for pulling out, one that the President could choose to ignore, but at his own peril.
Bush: Pulling Out of Iraq Not an Option

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bush's 2nd Term Not Off to Good Start

Bush won the election on Nov. 2nd, 2004. He claimed he had a mandate, with only 51% of the vote. What a difference 7 months make. Bush now has the lowest approval rating of his presidency, a Republican led Congress has its lowest approval since 1994, and both are among the worst approval ratings ever. The President's own party is starting turn against him, after all it is politics and everyone has to watch their own back. President Bush's Social Security reform has almost gone down the drain, although he deserves credit for trying to take on it (unfortunately for him, his approach is wrong). The Iraq war is going to hell in a hand basket, but not according to the White House, the economy seems to be going in the right direction then erratic numbers come out, gas and energy prices are high, healthcare is astronomically expensive, we are hated around the world... I could go on and on. Is this the recipe for a successful and healthy country? It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. Idealism is not realism. When your leaders try to force an ideology that does not bode well with the majority of the country and goes against any rational and feasible implementation, the results are what we have today: War, erratic economic conditions, a divided country, a divided party, poor standing in the world, rich richer, poor poorer, and more.
Newsview: Bush's Problems Have GOP Worried

More U.S. Soldier's Die in Iraq

Amid proclamations by the Bush Administration, most recently Vice President Cheney on Larry King Live, the Iraq insurgency is 0n its last throes. Well, for an insurgency that is suppossedly dying, it sure is doing a good job of appearing otherwise, and killing a lot of soldiers along the way. This month alone, more than 40 U.S. soldiers have been killed, and more than 1100 people since April 28, when the Iraqi governtment took over. The American public does not support the war, neither does the rest of the world, but to hear President Bush and his cronies, all is going well, but it is going to take time. Well, you could have fooled me!

Six U.S. Servicemen Die in Iraq Violence

More U.S.

Amid proclamations by the Bush Administration, most recently Vice President Cheney on Larry King, the Iraq insurgency is in its last throes. Well, for an insurgency that is suppossedly dying, it sure is doing a good job of appearing otherwise, and killing a lot of soldiers along the way. This month alone, more than 40 U.S. soldiers have been killed, and more than 1100 people since April 28, when the Iraqi governtment took over. The American public does not support the war, neither does the rest of the world, but to hear President Bush and his cronies, all is going well, but it is going to take time. Well, you could have fooled me!

Six U.S. Servicemen Die in Iraq Violence

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Another British Memo Hits the Street

A memo released in today's Washington Post edition reveals that Britain was not convinced with the Bush Administration's plans and most of all the post war plan for Iraq. The memo explains that the Brits felt the post war plan was inadequate. The memo, written 8 months prior to the war and directed to Prime Minister Tony Blair, also predicted that the invasion would have a "protracted and costly" post war occupation. So far, it seems that the memo was on the money. The memo, dated July 8, 2002, precedes the now famed Downing Street Memo of July 23, 2002. If some of you can recall, the Downing Street Memo claims that The Bush Administration fixed intellingence and facts around the policy to make the case for war. Blair and Bush have both denied that intelligence was fixed, but they have not outright denied the authenticity of the memo. Our British counterparts believed that the Bush Administration lacked the understanding of the aftermath. The Brits were also concerned that because of Washington's poor post war planning they might ask Britain to share a disproportionate share of the burden. This memo has been authenticated by British sources under the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about it.
Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Postwar Iraq Plan

Friday, June 10, 2005

Who Really Won in the Senate?

If we were to believe either party's story, Republicans and Democrats both won and the other lost. Nobody won or lost, they compromised. That is the nature of a compromise, you get something but you also give something. Upon further examining the agreement by the 14 maverick Senators led by John McCain, neither party got exactly what they wanted, but they did avert some showdowns that would have hurt their respective party irrepairably. But according to the party Leaders, neither of which where involved in crafting the agreement, their party won. I suppose the coveted Supreme Court vacancy that is expected soon will test the fabric of this agreement and ultimately reveal who the winner really is.
GOP, Dems Declare Victory in Confirmations

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This Week's Biggest Stories

The past seven days have been filled with interesting news, beginning with the identity of Deep Throat, to the failed attempt by the Pentagon to fly below the radar with its Quran story.

I am sure you have heard that W. Mark Felt was Deep Throat. I am also sure you have heard countless number of people praise him and criticize him. It strikes me that those who have chosen to criticize Felt for his role in the Watergate scandal mostly have been ex-Nixon aides or somehow involved with the Nixon Administration. And it amazes me that people like Bernard Barker and Gordon Liddy among others, convicted felons involved in Watergate, have the nerve to criticize a man's actions that resulted in their conviction of crimes. They are criminals criticizing the man that helped send them to jail. Do these people have any credibility? Then they also criticize Felt for wanting to make money out of the entire ordeal, when everyone has (Liddy, a criminal, released a book on Watergate after his release from prison). Delusional individuals in my opinion.

Michael Jackson's jury is now in deliberations, but honestly, who cares. I'm not going to mention anything else regarding this, although I think he will be found not guilty ( I still think he is a disturbed individual that has at some point done some of what he is accused of, but maybe not in this case, who knows?).

The Pentagon, trying to fly under the radar, released their results on the Quran investigation on Friday night hoping it would gather little attention (bad news are usually released on Friday nights because less people pay attention, supposedly). But the media is not dumb and by Saturday morning it was all over. Too bad Rummy, not this time. Five of the nineteen allegations were confirmed, but not the flushing down the toilet of the Holy Book. Still enough fodder for Muslims to get angry. Terrible situation for the military.

The young girl from Alabama that went missing in Aruba. Eightteen years old. A truly sad story that is still developing. We can only hope that a resolution to this tragedy comes quickly. Two suspects are in custody, but not much has been released about the extent of their involvement.

Janice Rogers Brown is approved for a confirmation vote, as agreed upon by the 14 Senators who brokered the deal a few weeks ago. John Bolton's fate is still undecided but he will most likely be confirmed.

The Supreme Court strikes down states' rights to prescribe marijuana for medical use. For advocates to legalize marijuana it is a severe blow, but one I think is in agreement with the majority of the country.

A more detailed account to come later on.

Monday, June 06, 2005


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