Friday, December 29, 2006

Iraq May Become a Quagmire?!

A few weeks ago former Defense Secretary, under President Clinton and a member of the Iraq Study Group, William Perry warned that if the Bush administration fails to change course in Iraq it could become a quagmire. My reaction to this is to ask, well what the hell would you call it now?! If the current situation in Iraq doesn’t qualify as a major clusterf**k/quagmire then what would? The thing that’s truly scary is that judging by the reaction of the Bush administration so far to the Iraq Study Groups suggestions, I have a feeling they’re going to answer my question over the course of the next two years, by managing to do the seemingly impossible; make the Iraq situation even worse than the disaster it already is.

President Bush may be the only person left on earth who honestly still believes the Iraq War is winnable. He’s not talking about us getting out at some point reasonably unscathed, or with Iraq somewhat stabilized, this guy, our fearless leader is still shaking his cheerleader pom poms and yelling that we will triumph, in a situation where we’re down 42 to zip with two minutes to play!! I used to think he was misguided and stubborn, but at this point I seriously believe the man’s delusional, not to mention none to bright.

Some people out there may think I’m over the top in calling the President delusional and/or dumb, but I look at it this way, if an executive of a company screwed up a project the way the Bush administration has screwed up this war, and when confronted by a whole slew of people in the company and told his work was inadequate, his plan inept and his thinking just plain wrong, and he nodded and then continued to think, say and act in the exact same way, because he believed that everyone was wrong, but him, I’d guess that not only would he be out of a job mighty quick he’d also have a tough time getting a positive job recommendation from the people he left to clean up his mess.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sad But True!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I won't be posting for the next week or so, as I leave early tomorrow morning to fly to Montana for Christmas. I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas! I hope all of you have a great holiday. Take care and I'll see you, so to speak, after Christmas.

Democrats Call For 5 Day Work Week!

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Democrats, who will take control of Congress next month, have outraged some of their colleagues by their decision to work five days a week, which will almost double their workload.
According to an announcement made by the next Democratic majority leader, Steny Hoyer, representatives will have to be present to vote Monday through Friday.
What's more, instead of waiting for the traditional State of the Union address by the president at the end of January to begin legislative work, the House of Representatives and the Senate will put themselves to work as early as January 4.
A Republican member of Congress immediately complained.
"Marriages suffer. The Democrats couldn't care less about families -- that's what this says," Congressman Jack Kingston told The Washington Post.
Since then, he has been the subject of ridicule.
"My wife just returned from a yearlong tour in
Iraq," wrote a reader of The Post. "Our marriage and family -- we have two sons, ages two and three and a half -- are stronger than ever."
After gaining control of Congress by untiringly lambasting the "culture corruption" introduced by the Republican Party, Democrats have become impatient to display their determination to uphold "ethics."
They are making this effort in a country that upholds free enterprise, does not have a mandatory retirement age, where many juggle several jobs and where laziness passes easily for vice.
In 2006, the House of Representatives was in session for only 103 days -- three days less than the House of 1948, which was punished by voters the same way the Republican-controlled Congress was punished in November.
Even right-wing commentators had trouble criticizing the Democratic initiative.
"Congress can't do real oversight, let alone legislate, on a two-day schedule (and not all oversight is a game of get-the-president)," wrote Ramesh Ponnuru in a blog at the National Review.
Over the past two years, the House officially worked on Tuesdays, but generally to rename post offices or vote on general statements.
The first votes were usually scheduled for the evening to give elected officials time to return from their districts.
Important press conferences and hearings were usually held on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with almost all Fridays remaining free.
However, Americans lawmakers, as wells as some of their European colleagues, defend the importance of work in their districts.
"The question is, do you want Washington to have more influence on congressmen?" asked Kingston, who travels nearly 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) every week to Savannah, Georgia.

This is the best news I've heard in a long time!! It would be nice if our congressmen would work even half the hours of a normal American. After all they make a fortune compared to most of us, and supposedly hold important jobs! We didn't elect them so they can take our money and be on a permenant vacation!! Perhaps if they work a few more than two days a week they might actually accomplish something for a change!!!! As for their families suffering, I say tell that to the Americans working two and three jobs just to make ends meet or tell it to all of our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan for the good of the country, I'm sure they'll be really sympathetic to our poor congressmens plight!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Edwards to Run In 08'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards intends to seek his party's nomination for the 2008 presidential race, two Democratic officials said Saturday.
Edwards, who represented North Carolina in the U.S. Senate for six years, plans to make the campaign announcement late this month from the New Orleans neighborhood hit hardest by last year's Hurricane Katrina.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt Edwards' announcement.
As Edwards enters the crowded field, the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood in New Orleans provides a stark backdrop to highlight his signature issue -- economic inequality.
Edwards also plans to travel from New Orleans through the four early presidential nominating states -- Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Among Democrats, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are drawing the most attention almost two years before the actual vote.
Edwards, however, is in a strong position as the leading candidate in Iowa. He was a top fundraiser in the race for the nomination in 2004 before he became Democratic Sen. John Kerry's running mate.
Since the Democrats' loss to President George W. Bush, Edwards has worked to build support for a repeat presidential bid.
Edwards' spokesman, David Ginsberg, would not confirm or deny that Edwards planned to announce he would run in 2008.
Ginsberg said Edwards would make an announcement about his future when he is ready.

Personally I am not suprised, but I am pleased that John Edwards has decided to run for President in 08'. I think he has a lot of charisma, and a good message. I am by no means decided on who I will support in 08', but at this point I have to say I do have a very positive opinion of John Edwards.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rudolph the "Red" Nosed Reindeer

Monday, December 11, 2006

Maverick to Front Runner

As a rallying cry. "Common sense conservatism" doesn't have quite the ring of "Straight Talk Express." But the new slogan on the website of John McCain's presidential exploratory committee--a slogan he manages to repeat at least three times in every speech he gives these days--tells you all you need to know about how different this presidential campaign will be from his last one. McCain '08 will be a bigger, more conventional operation--a tank, not a slingshot. The prevailing wisdom about McCain used to be that his bipartisan appeal would make him a sure bet in a presidential race--if only he could get past the Republican primary. But as more and more of the party establishment climb aboard a campaign that McCain has not yet even formally launched, it's starting to look as if the opposite may be true. By trying to become the perfect candidate for the primaries, McCain could be creating difficulties for himself in a general election.
His hard-line position on Iraq is a perfect case in point. McCain has continued to press for more troops there, and spent last week dismissing the Iraq Study Group recommendation to bring them home as nothing short of a recipe for defeat. That's the kind of strong, consistent hawkishness that G.O.P. primary voters look for. "Besides," says McCain strategist Mark Salter, "it's what he believes." The problem is that exit polls in last month's election said only 17% of voters overall share that view, which could leave the other 83% wondering whether McCain's famous independent streak, so appealing on most issues, would be such a good thing to have in a Commander in Chief who has the power to take the country to war. Already there are signs that his image is taking a hit. In the CBS/New York Times poll, McCain's favorability rating slid 6 points, to 28%, between January and September. By Karen Tumulty

It will be interesting to see how McCain attempts to walk the fine line between being conservative enough to get nominated and being independent enough to draw bipartisan support and get elected. Of course he could simply run in the mode of the latest Republican candidates as a neo-conservative only concerned with the support of his base, but as we saw in the latest elections that strategy may not be as sure fire as it once was.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Good Read!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

President Bushs' Fairy-tale!

So the Iraq Study Group report is in and it says that we need a change of strategy in Iraq and that Iraq is a “dire” situation. The report makes it clear that, the Iraq Study Groups members, all big brained Washington insiders, do not think we’re winning in Iraq and in fact think that we should withdrawal all of our troops by the end of 2008. Our new Secretary of State, Mr. Gates, does not believe we’re winning in Iraq either. So what is our fearless leaders (Pres. Bush) response to all this? To reiterate that HE still believes we’re winning in Iraq. The man lives in his own imaginary kingdom! Unfortunately, he is determined to try and impose his make believe view of the world on the rest of us. It should be interesting, as I think he will have a tough time continuing to ignore the actual, real facts with so many Washington insiders, many from his own party, now aligned against his fairy-tale views.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What Big Eyes You Have!

Ok, again I'm not sure what this is, but it kind of looks like it's smiling, huh?!-lol

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

CIA Agents Charged With Kidnapping

Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr
MILAN, Italy (AP) -- An Italian prosecutor on Tuesday requested the indictment of 26 Americans and five Italian secret service officials on a charge of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric in Milan in 2003 -- a case that continues to be an irritant to U.S.-Italian relations.
Prosecutor Armando Spataro, who has been leading the investigation, said the indictment request is aimed at CIA agents and the former head of the Italian military intelligence Nicolo Pollari for alleged involvement in the kidnapping.
All but one of the Americans have been identified by the prosecution as CIA agents, including former station chiefs in Rome and Milan, and the 26th as a U.S. Air Force officer stationed at the time at Aviano air base near Venice.
Spataro last month asked the new center-left government of Romano Prodi to request the Americans' extradition, but has not yet received a response.
"There will certainly be a response," Justice Minister Clemente Mastella said in Rome.
The operation was believed to be part of an alleged CIA "extraordinary rendition" program in which terrorism suspects are transferred to third countries where some are allegedly subjected to torture. It is the first known prosecution of alleged participants in such operations, which have come under increasing criticism by America's allies in Europe.
The United States and Italy have an extradition treaty, although it was not likely that CIA agents would be turned over for trial abroad. In some instances, only the aliases of the agents are known, a further impediment.
Obviously the U.S. will never turn over these agents, but it's an interesting story as you don't often see anyone standing up and questioning the right of the U.S. government to do whatever it wants, legal or not.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Is She Electable?

NEW YORK (AP) -- Call it the front-runner's paradox.
While Hillary Rodham Clinton tops every national poll of likely 2008 Democratic presidential contenders, the New York senator is dogged by questions of "electability" -- political code for whether she can win enough swing states to prevail in a general election.
It's a gauge typically applied to Democrats, as few question the crossover appeal of the GOP front-runner, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. And for activists eager to recapture the White House after eight years of George W. Bush, electability remains a crucial yardstick by which Clinton, especially, seems to be measured.
Clinton began discussions last week with fellow New York lawmakers about her White House prospects and met Sunday with the state's Democratic governor-elect -- all indications she is stepping up plans to join a growing field of potential contenders for 2008.
But some Democrats still believe the odds are against her actually being elected president. Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party not aligned with any presidential hopeful, is among the nay-sayers.
"She's a senator, she'd be the first woman running, and she's Hillary Clinton," he said. "All of that is almost insurmountable for a general election."
He added: "There are people who would write a check and die for her, but there are plenty of others who wouldn't vote for her if she promised to eliminate the income tax and give free ice cream to everyone. People have made up their minds about her, and that doesn't give her much room to maneuver."
Clinton has not yet declared whether she plans to seek the presidency, and aides say the question of whether she can win tops the list of considerations. She's also said she is eager to return to the Senate, where, come January, she'll be a member of the new Democratic majority.
"Hillary Clinton has a good sense of self," said Chris Lehane, a longtime Democratic strategist who worked in the White House for President Clinton. "I don't think she makes this race unless she thinks she has a pretty good chance of winning the whole thing."

Personally, I'd like to see the Democrats run someone who could actually win for a change. I don't think Hillary is electable, and I'm not so sure Obama is either. It would be wonderful to believe that this country has come far enough away from prejudice to elect a woman or a black man, but frankly I don't think it has and I don't think it will happen anytime real soon. I hope I'm wrong however.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Better Not Pout!

Friday, December 01, 2006

U.S. Government Rates Travelers

By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Without their knowledge, millions of Americans and foreigners crossing U.S. borders in the past four years have been assigned scores generated by U.S. government computers rating the risk that the travelers are terrorists or criminals.

The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years.
The government calls the system critical to national security following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Some privacy advocates call it one of the most intrusive and risky schemes yet mounted in the name of anti-terrorism efforts.
Virtually every person entering and leaving the United States by air, sea or land is scored by the
Homeland Security Department's Automated Targeting System, or ATS. The scores are based on ATS' analysis of their travel records and other data, including items such as where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meal they ordered.

The use of the program on travelers was quietly disclosed earlier this month when the department put a notice detailing ATS in the Federal Register, a fine-print compendium of federal rules. The few civil liberties lawyers who had heard of ATS and even some law enforcement officers said they had thought it was only used to screen cargo.

The Homeland Security Department called the program "one of the most advanced targeting systems in the world" and said the nation's ability to spot criminals and other security threats "would be critically impaired without access to this data."

But to David Sobel, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group devoted to civil liberties in cyberspace: "It's probably the most invasive system the government has yet deployed in terms of the number of people affected."

Have no doubt people Big Brother is definitely watching! Is this a good or bad idea? What does everyone think? I don't have a problem with this program as long as it's only being used on international flights. If it were being used on domestic travelers, then I would take major issue with it. Security versus personal privacy is an issue with some extremely fine lines to try and navigate.
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