Wednesday's Post reported that at a White House reception for newly elected members of Congress, Webb "tried to avoid President Bush," refusing to pass through the reception line or have his picture taken with the president. When Bush asked Webb, whose son is a Marine in Iraq, "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "I'd like to get them [sic] out of Iraq." When the president again asked "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "That's between me and my boy."Kinda sounds like Webb was being a bit snippy, disregarding a fellow parent's caring (who's daughters Jenna and Not Jenna were busy getting drunk and disorderly in South America) and the President of the United States eh? After all, this is George Will, nationally known and respected political observer of Washington, right?
[Will says the episode demonstrates Webb's] "calculated rudeness toward another human being" -- i.e., the President -- who "asked a civil and caring question, as one parent to another."
At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.So. Webb tried to avoid Bush. Webb is not the kind of guy to take a bunch of shit off someone so he knew it would be better to let sleeping dogs lie. But Bush sought him out. And then when Webb wasn't taking any crap, Bush lashed out in that tight lipped, fratboy, smartass, pushy style of his to try and intimidate the guy.
"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.
"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.
"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"
"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
The ISG's final report, which had unanimous approval, will focus in large part on recommending the Bush administration should pursue a more agressive (sic) diplomacy, which should include, as expected, direct talks with Iran and Syria. There seems to have been little disagreement among commission members on the diplomatic front, and most of the debate was centered on whether the ISG should recommend a specific timeline for troop withdrawal.Duh. Join the crowd.
In the end, commission members decided against mentioning specifics, citing fears that any dates would merely bolster the insurgency. Democratic members of the commission also said they got the feeling James Baker didn't want to put forth a recommendation that Bush has specifically rejected numerous times. "What they ended up with appears to be a classic Washington compromise: a report that sets no explicit timetable but, between the lines, appears to have one built in," the NYT states near the end of its story.Baker's got to be careful to keep those statesman creds polished. He also knows who he's dealing with .... Plus, shooting for a concensus report made any conclusion doomed to be vague.
Barring any unexpected revelations next week, it's pretty safe to say a common reaction might be: Is this it? And that is exactly the kind of reaction some commission members seem to have before the release, says the LAT. "I think expectations of our group are seriously overrated," former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, a commission member, said. The Pentagon and the White House are also creating their own reviews, but they're all faced with pretty much three main options, which the USAT helpfully outlines for those needing a refresher. Apparently worried that the Pentagon review would also be the victim of high expectations, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned yesterday the country should not anticipate any definitive conclusions.They're seriously lowering expectations. The reaction is likely to be just that ... "is that all there is?".
AMMAN, Jordan -President Bush's high-stakes summit with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was put off Wednesday after public disclosure of U.S. doubts about his capacity to control sectarian warfare. The White House said the two leaders would meet on Thursday.Like the old joke, you can always tell that White House spokesmen are lying because their mouths move.
The postponement was announced shortly after Bush arrived here for talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II and al-Maliki. Bush's meeting with the king was to proceed on schedule.
White House counselor Dan Bartlett denied that the move was a snub by al-Maliki or was related to the leak of a White House memo questioning the prime minister's capacity for controlling violence in Iraq.
In what may be the first chink in the badly beaten Bush body armor, Blackwater Security Consulting was ordered yesterday to stand trial for killing four of its employees in Fallujah in 2004. As seen in "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers," Blackwater sent a small, undermanned convoy into the most dangerous city on the planet - Fallujah - in March 2004, without maps, proper equipment or proper protection.
Blackwater founder Erik Prince shares Bush's fundamentalist Christian views. He comes from a powerful Michigan Republican family and social circle, and his father, Edgar, helped Gary Bauer start the Family Research Council.(If you really want to raise your blood pressure, go read the above article about Blackwater and their involvement in New Orleans post-Katrina.)
Respected Saudi government adviser and security analyst Nawaf Obaid has startled many in Washington with an op-ed in the Washington Post today warning that Saudi Arabia could come to the aid of Sunni militias in Iraq should the U.S. pull out precipitously.The only dire prediction that has not come to fruition regarding Iraq is the prospect of a regional religious war.
The piece lays out a scenario, if the U.S. did leave, in which Iranian-funded Shiite militias would essentially face off against Saudi-funded Sunni militias in a battle over Iraq’s future. Obaid also says that Saudi Arabia could move to dramatically increase oil output in an effort to cut oil prices in half, a step that would be “devastating” to Iran’s economy.
Cash-out refinancing never amounted to more than $50 billion in a year before 2000, his charts show, but is running at more than $75 billion a quarter so far this year.With home prices dropping, in some places precipitiously, you gotta wonder what's gonna happen to the economy. The best estimates have a 50/50 chance of recession next year.
"Republican officials briefed by the White House tell Time that the president will have something big to say in coming weeks. The president plans to combine the recommendations of James Baker's Iraq Study Group with findings from his administration and advice from Capitol Hill into what is being dubbed 'a way forward' for Iraq. .Bush gave us a hint as to "the way forward" today in Latvia:
"There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete. . . . We can accept nothing less than victory for our children and our grandchildren."But then he said Rumsfeld would be his lifelong SecDef a week before he canned him .... so who knows.
The New York Times leads with an anonymous "senior American intelligence official" telling the paper Hezbollah has played a role in training some members of Iraq's Shiite militia groups. According to the official, Hezbollah in Lebanon has trained anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 members of the Mahdi army, the group led by Muqtada Sadr, and some members of Hezbollah have gone into Iraq to help train militia members.Isn't this one of those "no-shit-Sherlock" stories? Maybe it's just me, but I've assumed that this was going on from the get. I also have no doubt that Sunni's from throughout the region (they are the majority in the region after all) are bolstering the Sunni insurgents. Cheney was called on the carpet by Saudia Arabia (Sunni's), probably lobbying for the U.S. to side with them. This is why Iraq is already a regional war that is outside U.S. control.
According to a New England newspaper, Newt Gingrich "spoke to about 400 state and local power brokers last night at the annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner, which fetes people and organizations that stand up for freedom of speech."
Gingrich said that a "different set of rules" should be considered to reduce the ability of terrorists to use the Internet and abuse free speech to get out their message.
"We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade," Gingrich said.
This madness has to stop.
11/30/06 Zalmay Khalilzad sez Maliki has a window of a couple of months.We'll likely be adding the Hamilton-Baker commission to the list very soon.
11/18/06 Joe Klein says we should give Iraq "One last shot." Time ambiguous, so I gave him a Friedman.
11/19/06 Lee Hamilton says next 3 months are critical.
12/31/06 Joe Lieberman says significant troop withdrawals begin.
1/06/07 Senator Warner sez "In two or three months if this thing hasn’t come to fruition and this level of violence is not under control," Warner said, "I think it’s a responsibility of our government to determine: Is there a change of course we should take?"
03/05/07 General George Casey says "This is a decisive period for everyone and everyone knows it. The next six months will determine the future of Iraq"
05/20/07 Obama says reduction should start in 4 to 6 months.
05/26/07 Cornyn says we need another 4 to 6 months to get this right.
05/26/07 McCaffrey says the next 4 to 6 months are crucial.
06/12/07 McCain sez we're going to win or lose this thing within the next several months.
12/31/07 Joe Lieberman says half the troops will likely be home, with full withdrawal possible.
[Zbigniew] Brzezinski said that while the commission “will probably come out with some sound advice on dealing with the neighborhood,” it essentially “will offer some procrastination ideas for dealing with the crisis.”
CNN’s John Roberts called the situation in Iraq an “absolute mess,” and said the media has “sanitized” their coverage of the violence. “The amount of death that’s on the streets of Baghdad for U.S. forces and for the Iraqi people is at an astronomical level,” Roberts said.I think the coverage is less sanitized than absent. No one in their right mind would go out to actually do any reporting.
The LAT fronts word from environmentalists that as more cell phone towers pop up, more birds are dying as a result. Apparently birds can confuse the lights on top of the towers for stars, and they circle the towers until they end up crashing into them or something around them. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says anywhere from 4 million to 50 million birds die a year as a result of these towers. It seems using white strobe lights, instead of the continuous red ones that are currenty in most towers, could solve the problem.Seems like a pretty big range of estimates. On the other hand, a simple light change doesn't seem like too much to ask.
The Ministry of Love announces its fourth-quarter plan to gather 315 separate copies of George Orwell’s landmark novel 1984, from proles and party comrades alike, all across our brave homeland.
Once collected, all 315 copies will be mailed separately to each Member of Congress who voted YEA on the Military Commissions Act (a.k.a. The Torture Bill) on September 28th and 29th, in the sixth year of our glorious leader’s regime. These shipments will occur with great fanfare, and hopefully, a television news crew on hand to capture the momentous occasion for inclusion in the Ministry of Truth’s ever-growing archives.
In case you’ve forgotten, our glorious leader’s regime has gifted us with the following remarkably Orwellian achievements:
* spying on ordinary citizens without their knowledge
* paid propaganda masquerading as news reports
* removal by Thought Police of ungoodthinkers (protesters) from all Party rallies and celebrations featuring our glorious leader
* community members encouraged to report “suspicious activities” of neighbors and co-workers
* the promise of an endless war
(for a more comprehensive list, go to studentsfororwell.org)
The Overton Window is a concept in political theory, named after the former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy who developed the model. It describes a window of majority acceptable ideas in public discourse, from a spectrum of all possible options on an issue. It provides a plan of action to make the options one would prefer acceptable to the public by priming them not with the leaders of the political movement, but with media spokespeople.This is the real religious rights bible .....
The steps an idea takes to full legitimacy are roughly as follows:
It's a means of visualizing where to go, and how to assess progress.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.I wish the "centrists" Liebermanites and appeasing Democrats would read this. Note the difference between a negative peace and a positive peace. Democrats have too often sought the absence of tension based on compromise rather than the presence of peace based on justice. The rethugicans have used this appeasement to max advantage since Nixon.
Iraqi state television reported that Vice President Dick Cheney was in Baghdad, but U.S. officials said Cheney was not in the capital. The occassion of Cheney's alleged trip is to visit American troops for the Thanksgiving holiday.Why not just give him a gun and let him stay? Seriously! He's so much for the war, and he likes to hunt, and we know he can shoot people in the head.
The WP's Robert Novak has been talking to Republicans about their feelings on how Donald Rumsfeld was fired, and all say they were in some way surprised by the way the president treated the secretary of defense. The president's action toward Rumsfeld "connotes something deeply wrong with George W. Bush's presidency in its sixth year," writes Novak. Although the secretary of defense has always been loyal to the president, "loyalty appears to be a one-way street for Bush."Is that the epitome of hackery? Bush having problems with loyalty? That's like saying Cheney has problems with hunting ... ah ... nevermind.
Advocating war is easier when you and your family are not endangered by it. I've reached a Rangel-like breaking point with my TV pundit colleagues who championed the Iraq war and now say we can't leave even if we went there for the wrong reasons. For every one of them, I have a simple question: Why aren't you in Iraq? Or why did you avoid combat in your generation's war? The one unifying characteristic that all of us men in make-up on political chat shows share is fear of combat. Every one of us has done everything we can to avoid combat or even being fitted for a military uniform. Just like George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Dick Cheney, we are all combat cowards. It takes a very special kind of combat coward to advocate combat for others. It's the kind of thing that can get you as angry as Charlie Rangel.Aside from the minor detail of Rangel and O'Donnell being correct, what's wrong with this? It's good politics to discuss at a time when the public is against the war, and the military constituency has to be feeling some of these things. Calculating whether this is a "good" issue is just the kind of political consultant thinking that gets liberals in trouble. If you believe it, if you're passionate, go for it! Even those who disagree will maintain respect for you.
When Jim Stauffer of Petaluma saw a chicken crawling out of a mound of compost like the living dead, he knew something had changed at the egg farm next door.
"We called them zombie chickens," Stauffer said. "Some of them crawled right up out of the ground. They'd get out and stagger around."
What changed was the method used to get rid of "spent hens," which are chickens that no longer produce eggs. And the change isn't just in Petaluma; it's throughout the country.
The market for spent-hen meat has collapsed. Since May, there isn't a California facility willing to take them.
That means finding a way to dispose of more than a half-million spent hens a year - and that's just in the Sonoma County area, mostly around Petaluma, where chickens and eggs have been an agricultural staple for a century.
As a last resort, many farmers have turned to killing the chickens and using them to make piles of compost.
Hens are placed in a sealed box which is filled with carbon monoxide. Within seconds the chickens are unconscious. Less than two minutes later, they die from lack of oxygen.
Farmers say the method for euthanizing and composting the chickens is humane and health officials say they have heard no complaints.
The dead chickens are layered into a mound of sawdust. In about a month, it turns into compost, farmers said.
They said the incident described by Stauffer, in which about two dozen chickens crawled out of compost piles, was an anomaly probably caused by inexperience.
One farmer said no chickens survive the process, which he personally oversees. The biggest chicken farmer in the region said usually two survive out of 40,000 gassed.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush will meet Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Jordan next week with grim new statistics showing record numbers of Iraqis were killed last month and many more fled the country.I know what to do. Let's have a meeting!
A U.N. report put civilian deaths in October at 3,709 -- 120 a day and up from 3,345 in September. Nearly 420,000 moved to other parts of Iraq since the February bombing of a Shi'ite shrine in Samarra triggered a surge in sectarian attacks.
It said as well as those displaced within Iraq, nearly 100,000 people were fleeing to Syria and Jordan every month -- proportionally equivalent to a million Americans emigrating each month, depriving the U.S. economy of a city the size of Detroit.
The WP and WSJ point out that the Bush administration is telling the incoming Democratic majority it wants to once again talk about Social Security with "no preconditions." Although officials deny it, this offer is leading some to speculate that the White House would be willing to drop the requirement that workers be allowed to put some of their Social Security taxes into private accounts.Ah huh.
The NYT fronts a dispatch from Iraq reporting snipers are proving not to be as effective as initially hoped in stopping insurgents. With the war lasting as long as it has, insurgents have become familiar with the U.S. tactic of using snipers and are now careful to avoid them. Their positions are well-known, and insurgents often have local civilians who warn them when a sniper is spotted.Pardon me if this seems obvious, but don't you need the support of the general population to defeat an insurgency?
The UCLA police officer videotaped last week using a Taser gun on a student also shot a homeless man at a campus study hall room three years ago and was earlier recommended for dismissal in connection with an alleged assault on fraternity row, authorities said…. In May 1990, he was accused of using his nightstick to choke someone who was hanging out on a Saturday in front of a UCLA fraternity.Good security management UCLA. Sounds like the makings of a pretty nasty little lawsuit.
He's going to be left with no option but to call for even more escalation going into '08 if they do this. I can't help but wonder about the political implications. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the number is the same and that Abizaid famously said recently that the extra 20,000 weren't necessary. If the Bush administration now "gives" McCain exactly what he's asked for they are effectively passing off the war to him. McCain is positioning himself to be Lyndon Johnson in this thing without even becoming president.
When I asked someone close to the Iraq Study Group if the group intends to save Bush from himself, the source laughed. The greatest utility Baker and Hamilton's report will provide, he suggested, is for Bush's would-be successors. In one fell swoop, the commission is likely to transform the nascent 2008 presidential primary fields. By blessing withdrawal, it will unite the Democratic Party -- and rip the Republican Party wide open, along its most volatile fault line.
The New York Times leads with leaked Israeli government documents that seem to show Palestinians privately own 39 percent of the land currently held by Israeli settlements in the West Bank.Property rights?
Peace Now, an Israeli advocacy group, provided the documents to the NYT, which are supposedly from an Israeli government database. The group plans to make an official release of its findings today. If true, it would suggest the Israeli government, and the settlers, are consistently violating private Palestinian property rights. According to a spokesman, the Israeli government has been looking into this issue for the last three years but it has not finished its analysis. The NYT points out that this is not the first time concern over private Palestinian land has been brought up, and in 2005 officials promised to destroy a number of settlements, although in the end only one was taken apart.
U.S. is most unfriendly country to visitors, survey says
The survey showed that the United States was ranked "the worst" in terms of visas and immigration procedures by twice the percentage of travelers as the next destination regarded as unfriendly -- the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent.
Vern Buchanan [R] might have been certified as the winner in this race, but it's far from over. Democratic candidate Christine Jennings is already contesting the results, citing reports of malfunctioning voting machines, and if Jennings refuses to concede and shows enough evidence of malfunctions, the race could be decided...in the House itself.Jennings is down by 349 votes and has a very good case for the machines malfunctioning. Watch the media go apeshit over this if it ends up in the House. Why. The Republic itself will be on the line!
A new article in Roll Call spells it out (paid subscription): Election watchers around the country think that the race could end up before a House committee — the House Administration Committee, which oversees Federal elections. If so, the full House, which in the end is responsible for seating new members, could potentially vote on which of the two candidates to seat, thus deciding the race's outcome itself — or could call for a new recount, or even declare the seat vacant and mandate a new election. Right now, of course, the House is still GOP-controlled, but by the time of this vote it could be in the hands of Dems — meaning Jennings could conceivably pull off a win after all.
Well, I met dozens of Democrats running in 2006 - no, not everyone, but most of them - and I can’t find much more than a couple who merit the label "conservative." That’s not meant to be either criticism or praise. It’s merely a statement of fact.His post goes on to prove this assertion.
Everybody mentions Israel called off an airstrike against a Palestinian militant's home after about 200 neighbors and supporters ignored the warnings of the impending bombing and went into the house. The Palestinians claimed victory, but the Israeli military said it was yet another example of how militants use civilian shields to protect themselves.Ever notice how there's seems to be a bit of condescension or confusion whenever a foe uses assymmetrical warfare? It's sort of like "hey that's not fair! Cummon, sit still and let us kill the guy!" Or if they use a terrorist tactic it's like there should be a referee that emerges from the smoke, blowing a whistle and throwing a flag, then clicking his microphone to announce, "improper warfare tactics on al Qaeda, fifteen yard penalty from the spot of the foul".
In 1968, Robert Kennedy seemed likely to follow his brother, John, into the White House. Then, on June 6, he was assassinated - apparently by a lone gunman. But Shane O'Sullivan says he has evidence implicating three CIA agents in the murder.
Forty-nine is not a bad number of Senators to have, in a chamber that requires sixty to control. And I can assure you that our Democratic friends will give President Bush's judicial nominees a floor vote - if they want to get anything done, in a chamber that requires 60 to control.You gotta wonder. When this happens, will all the hand wringers in the media proclaim the Republicans are "obstructionists"? Will the so-called "moderates" all have a DaVinci Code-like meeting to save the Senate?
How would that [the election results] affect policy toward Iran, which is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? At that point, according to someone familiar with the discussion, Cheney began reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early nineteen-sixties, for a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was expensive, and the linemen were instructed to return all unused pieces three feet or longer. No one wanted to deal with the paperwork that resulted, Cheney said, so he and his colleagues found a solution: putting “shorteners” on the wire—that is, cutting it into short pieces and tossing the leftovers at the end of the workday. If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The White House would put “shorteners” on any legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.Hersh then goes on to detail how Reagan and his crew did that with Congress during Iran Contra, leading to "other sources of funding".
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An influential Democratic lawmaker on Sunday called for reinstatement of the draft as a way to boost U.S. troop levels and draw a broader section of the population into the military or public service.Thankfully, they'll be no graphic for this one.
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the incoming chairman of the House of Representatives' tax-writing committee, said he would introduce legislation to reinstate the draft as soon as the new, Democratic-controlled Congress convenes in January.
Now, he [McCain] has hired the debate coach from Falwell’s Liberty University, Brett O’Donnell, to advise him on his communications strategy. O’Donnell has been executing Falwell’s strategy to train scores of debaters to confront “the culture on moral default.”That new communications strategy must be working because now McCain flip-flops on Roe V. Wade.
AP says that Secretary of State Condi Rice asserted Saturday that Iraqis only have a future if they stay within a single state. She pointed to Vietnam's success in reforming its economy and making up with the United States and held it out as a model to Iraq.Whaaat indeed. You know things have gotten bad when Bush uses Vietnam to prove the importance of staying the course (pissing off his hosts in the process), and Condi uses Vietnam to prove that national unity works.
Only the WP gives front-page play to Friday's Republican leadership election, despite the amount of copy devoted to the Democratic elections. TP [Today's Papers] concedes that John A. Boehner and Roy Blunt keeping their positions in the minority is less of a shock than Steny H. Hoyer trouncing John P. Murtha with Nancy Pelosi awkwardly sandwiched in between. But as the WP points out, the story here is not the success of the old guard but the failure of the new,[my emphasis] as the caucus rebuffed attempts by more conservative members to chart a new course for the party. The news might not be flashy, but it says a lot about how Republicans are planning to handle life in the minority.Not nearly as juicy as that grandmother bitch Pelosi getting the smackdown by a bunch of libruls, but it might be relevant to the country. At least a little. Eh?
You can get caught with your fly open and diddling a teenage page and elicit sympathy, while a drug hoarding radio host gets a pass for using his housekeeper as a pusher. That same host can then get caught with sex drugs in a bogus bottle at an airport, coming back from an all male weekend in one of the child sex capitals of the world, but his radio show doesn't miss a beat. Meanwhile, the former (we assume) foot fetishist Dick Morris is still Sean Hannity's favorite hack, pontificating out his pie hole about all things anti-Hillary. Oliver Iran-contra North has his own TV show, with former felon G. Gordon Liddy holding court on radio. A compulsive gambler is not only kept on radio, but given a spot on CNN, while telling the world about morals. Newt Gingrich, the disgraced speaker of the House and multiple marriage man, is still the go-to guy for Hannity on Fox. A man who reportedly married his third cousin (then divorced her), one of 2 (or is it 3?) marriages, just announced his presidential bid; the other GOP bidder a self-proclaimed philanderer, as well. But God help you if you're a woman against a war with a champion you want to promote to leadership; a person who helped raise the war debate to a campaign issue that carried your party to power, but loses that race. Let the corporate clucking begin.Breeeeaaath.
The October 06 Housing Starts were the weakest since July 2000, with Starts down 27% from the same period a year ago.The magnitude of what's happening is astounding. Remember, interest rates are still under 6%. We've had times when interest rates were much much higher. Obviously the speculative bubble has popped with liquidity moving into the stock market. Wonder how long until that begins to deflate? If the housing problem spills into consumer spending, watch out for that landing Mr. Economy!
At present, the Housing situation will exert a much greater drag on Q4 GDP -- even more of a drag than the negative 1.1% of Q3.
Bloomberg quoted Phillip Neuhart, an economist at Wachovia, who said: "This is a shocking number. The market is going to remain weak well into next year.''
USA Today leads with word that the war on terror, focused mainly in Afghanistan and Iraq, will likely cost more than the war in Vietnam, which would make it the most expensive conflict since World War II. Congress has already approved $70 billion for the 2007 fiscal year and the Pentagon is currently considering asking for anywhere from $127 billion to $160 billion more. So far, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on terror. Notably, USAT reminds its readers that in 2003, the Bush administration estimated the Iraq war would cost $50 billion to $60 billion.There's plenty to comment on in this story. But what I wanted to mention was the upcoming oversight hearings in Congress regarding the budget request. You can bet the Dems will essentially give Bush what he wants, after answering a whole bunch of questions about where the money goes. Also note the accelerating amount of money being requested, perhaps anticipating that it will get cut? Or maybe it's the funding for the emerging "plan" of one last push (see Friedman units). Either way, it's clear that we won't be leaving Iraq for some time.
The concerns are the latest involving "And Tango Makes Three," the illustrated children's book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City's Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.
Complaining about the book's homosexual undertones, some parents of Shiloh Elementary School students believe the book _ available to be checked out of the school's library in this 11,000-resident town 20 miles east of St. Louis _ tackles topics their children aren't ready to handle.
I've got news for you parents: it isn't the children who aren't ready to handle the topic.
Congress would only have to spend $6 per citizen per year to publicly fund each and every election for the House, the Senate and the White House. When you consider that "pork barrel" projects cost every one of us more than $200 last year alone, it’s no contest.
Think of it. With public funding, wealthy special interests and their hired lobbyists would no longer have a commanding influence over our politics and government. Instead of begging for campaign donations, candidates would spend their time communicating with voters. Once elected, our leaders would be free to focus on our nation's challenges rather than having to worry about financing their next campaign. And there's no doubt that more of our most able leaders would run for federal office when the ability to finance a campaign isn't such a daunting obstacle.
Americans for Campaign Reform is building a nonpartisan grassroots movement of citizens who support voluntary public funding and want Congress to act now. We can make this happen. Public funding is already working in Arizona and Maine, and was just passed by the Connecticut legislature.
Moments after electing Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Speaker of the House, Democrats chose Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as their new House majority leader, the No. 2 leadership post, over Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), the AP reports.I guess this proves that Democrats don't have the party discipline that Republicans have .... for good and bad.
The final vote, 149 to 86, wasn't even close.
As was expected, GOP senators also elected Mitch McConnell as their minority leader.
The U.S. military announced yesterday that six U.S. troops were killed in Iraq on Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Times also leads locally with news that hospital giant Kaiser Permanente was charged with dropping off homeless patients on skid row. Kaiser is the first, but there are currently 10 hospitals under investigation for the practice.
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!