I think I just rolled on ya. scoot. -------------------------- Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
Ah, another White House-style revelation that the industry leaders installed in the cabinet are doing precisely what they were hired to do. Protect investments. Apparently, rather than address the cause of Global Warming (or even admit its existence) the administration's taken the most logical Rube Goldberg approach.
The US government wants the world's scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming...
Scientists have previously estimated that reflecting less than 1% of sunlight back into space could compensate for the warming generated by all greenhouse gases emitted since the industrial revolution. Possible techniques include putting a giant screen into orbit, thousands of tiny, shiny balloons, or microscopic sulphate droplets pumped into the high atmosphere to mimic the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption. The IPCC draft said such ideas were "speculative, uncosted and with potential unknown side-effects".
To those who still hold to the belief that Bush only watches sports on TV... this is proof positive that his tastes aren't quite that limited and he's expanded his repertoire to include Jimmy Neutron for scientific investigative balance.
One hot summer day Jimmy Neutron comes up with a boy-genius idea to beat the heat — 900 SPF sunblock! He launches the potent cream toward the sun, and the whole town becomes a winter wonderland. But things get a little too cold for comfort when Jimmy's sunblock causes a new ice age. He's got to find a solution before the angry cave people of Retroville find him!
Judy: J-j-j-james Isaac N-n-n-neutron! Haven't we warned you about tampering with the unstable structure of a chaotic system?!
Hugh: We'll just have to learn to adapt to this hostile, savage environment. (grabs a spear) I better run! Me and the other dads are off to hunt caribou! Spotted a big herd up on Abner Boulevard, gotta keep fresh meat on the table, buh-bye!
* Need your informational source slanted? Familyfacts.org is your new Google.
* Insurgency's becoming sophisticated and using covert tactics during their last throes.
* King George the first joins momma in hating the media over his son's behavior.
* Obama, striking irrational fear in the minds of small people.
* Botched? Can the AP use words like that in reference to our international goodwill?
* There are some things one just can't get enough of.
* Yes, those were empty vessels on display in the SOTU.
Dumbfuckologist : n. 1. Individual focused exclusively on the behaviour of a persons or persons who displays with regularity; a wilful rejection of reality, an unquenchable desire to pick nits over the dismissably irrelevant and a tourrettes-like approach to debate and acceptable discourse.
This week's quotable examples: avec requisite insightful commentary
1. High school cheerleaders must now cheer for girls' teams as often as for boys' teams thanks to federal education officials' interpretations of Title IX, the civil rights law that mandates equal playing fields for both sexes.
--- ew icky icky icky... ew!!! what if this leads to lesbianism?
2. The ideologically decrepit anti-war crowd returned to Washington last weekend for a reunion.
--- we prefer our ideologically decrepit crowds be pro-war but not willing to serve.
3. The fight against Roe, therefore, is more than a fight for the lives of the unborn. It is also a fight for the survival of our constitutional republic.
--- ah yes.. the rights of the unborn and the loss of them post-birth. This from Jeb's representation in the Shaivo case.
4. Several months ago I asked what the Iraq war effort might look like today if those on the left and in the media had conducted themselves differently.
--- it would look just like overwhelming success in Afghanistan. Hope this helps.
5. After 9/11 we had a brief infusion of backbone. Afghanistan was liberated, Pakistan tamed, Libya intimidated and al Qaeda scattered. But when Iraq proved difficult, the voices of retreat and failure gained momentum.
--- you mean, when all of our WOT'ism focus and funding shifted away from the primary goal onto the preznit's planless vendetta it all went to hell in a handbasket.
Extra class credit: please shoot these barrel-housed fish.
Continuing in the theme of "how in the world could an elected official be that deluded", we get a glimpse into Bush's economic vision, his sense of how things have gone over the last 6 years and why we are where we are fiscally.
MR. WILLIAMS: So, some people would say, well, if you believe in spending restraint, why haven't you vetoed one bill, you know, one appropriations bill?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Because the United States Congress that was controlled by Republicans exercised spending restraint. Now, I didn't particularly like – the size of the pie was what I requested. It's some of the pieces of the pie that I didn't particularly care for, but that is why the president needs a line-item veto, and that is why Congress has got to reform the earmark process. What the American people need to understand is that sometimes special projects get put into bills without ever having seen the light of the day. In other words, they don't get voted on; they just show up, and we need transparency in the earmark process, and expose the process to hearings and votes so that the American people will know that any project was fully heard on the floor of the House and the Senate.
His view would be laughable if it wasn't so incredibly sad. Alluding to the Democrats as the problem for the deficit, bloated budgets, unfunded war mandates and rampant 'earmarking' and last minute additions is irrational at best and wilful delusion at its worst.
* Not touching his need to make the pie higher.
The leader of the free world, able to convince his audience he's convinced but incapable of convincing the public his convictions are convincing. He's his own echo chamber.
From his "Oh my god I can't believe how bad he is unscripted" interview with Juan Williams.
MR. WILLIAMS: All right. You know, you mentioned timetables. NPR has a reporter embedded with the Minnesota National Guard in Iraq, and one of the soldiers there asked the question – says, my name is Specialist Ryan Schmidt (sp) from Forest Lake, Minnesota, and my question for you, Mr. President, is what if your plan for a troop surge to Baghdad does not work?" What do you think?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I would say to Ryan, I put it in place on the advice of a lot of smart people, particularly the military people who think it will work, and let us go into this aspect of the Iraqi strategy feeling it will work. But I will also assure Ryan that we're constantly adjusting to conditions on the ground.
MR. WILLIAMS: Let's talk about Iran for a second, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT BUSH: And let me also say to Ryan, thanks for serving. I mean, one of the amazing things about our country is that we have people who volunteer to go. And one of the things I look for is whether or not we're able to recruit and retain, and we are. And it's a remarkable country, Juan, where people are saying I want to serve. And I appreciate that soldier, and I hope this message gets to him that not only do I appreciate him, but a lot of Americans appreciate him.
For the record, the Commander in Chief avoided a direct question from a soldier on the ground in Iraq regarding "next steps" should this faux surge fail and then played 'pep squad' member on the soldier's choice to go to Iraq. Choice to serve sir, I doubt this young man chose to *go*.
Sidebar: One of the reasons we're keeping such a close eye on Iran...
We're just deeply concerned about a government that is insisting upon having a nuclear weapon, and at the same time, rewriting history – the history of the past, and regards, for example, the Holocaust.
As opposed to what, rewriting the history of the present... the future? Does this give the public enough justification to attack the Bush Library upon completion?
* Cheney on Iraq: We fucked it up for all the right reasons.
* Don't you miss dictatorships who simply remove from government, those that disagree and ensure that puppets are installed as footsoldiers in the "cause"?
* Oh Kevin, we don't *hate* Christians, we're just simply tired of being told how less good we are by those who were born without a pre-installed moral compass and have to resort to checking in with an invisible 'God' before behaving properly. We are though, amused when the voices cross over and begin contradicting each other. The results are usually worth the airtime they receive.
* The last throes are throwing and lasting much longer than anyone at 1600 Pennsylvania expected. Please, Puh-leeeze, could one of Bush's dad's friends bail us out of this. We're willing to try anything at this point.
* Will the Scooter trial morph into discussions around individual peccadillos to ensure the attention of the American public is sufficiently acquired?
Too good to pass on...
Sammy declares himself ready for the presidential stage.
I am declaring today my candidacy for President of the United States.
Ours is a great nation and I make one pledge to you... to use our greatness for goodness.
We are a great nation because our greatness is built on the foundation of fundamental goodness. If ever we lose our goodness, we will surely lose our greatness. Our purposes, from the time of our nation's founding, have always been bigger than we are. They must be if we are to fulfill our destiny.
Goodness Greatness Sakes Alive.
It's helps to know how he maintains his view of goodness.
“Lobbyists are children of God, too.” — Brownback on his attitude toward influence peddlers.
The hubris of King George the Second
WASHINGTON - President Bush, on a collision course with Congress over Iraq, said Friday "I'm the decision-maker" about sending more troops to the war. He challenged skeptical lawmakers not to prematurely condemn his buildup.
The president had strong words for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are lining up to support resolutions opposing his decision to send 21,500 troops to Iraq. He challenged them to put up their own ideas.
"I know there is skepticism and pessimism and that some are condemning a plan before it's even had a chance to work," the president said. "They have an obligation and a serious responsibility therefore to put up their own plan as to what would work."
Despite doubts in Congress and among the public about his strategy, Bush said lawmakers agree that failure in Iraq would be a disaster and that he chose a strategy that he and his advisers thought would help turn the tide in Iraq.
The primary disaster the Boy King's worried about is the impact to his legacy. Once he steps back 5 paces and examines the other catastrophic disasters resulting from his decidering, he'll realize Iraq's not his only blight. Don't we wish he was still decision-making for the Gulf Coast?
Oh and that Constitutionally granted oversight provided to the Congress... could someone refresh Bush's memory on the reason why we have a balance of power in the United States?
Presidential Candidates... now guilty for the sins of the fathers?
But apparently ostriches can't read. Because Obama's alleged "debunking" didn't debunk a thing. It raised more questions. For starters, many have cited an AP story and a CNN story, both of which sent "reporters" to check into the Muslim school that Obama attended.
And we should trust him because Muslims never lie or propagandize. Taqiyyah is a concept in Hinduism or maybe atheism?
Gee, if he wasn't a Muslim, but a Catholic, why would a Catholic identify as a Muslim in a Catholic school? He and his parents were trying to hide his Catholic background from a Catholic school?
And I doubt that's the reason Obama self-identified as a Muslim at Catholic school.
The real reason might just be the logical one: that it's the truth. That he actually was a Muslim.
George W. Bush gets a pass on the cocaine and booze abuse through his 30's, his lack of showing in the TANG and run-ins with the law but Obama has to justify why his parents put him in a school for Muslims at the age of eight? We learned all about 'youthful indiscretions in the late nineties when Henry Hyde was found to be as guilt of the "crime**" he was angry at Clinton for committing. Apparently the window for sowing wild oats closes for the GOP at 40 and at 7 for Democrats. So the trick is to grow up as a Republican and switch parties at 39 and grandfather your behavior under the new rules.
In a parallel comparison, Obama went to a Muslim school and eventually became a Christian, I went to a Baptist school and eventually became an Atheist.
** consensual sex... even adulterous is not a crime. yet.
Yeah zero... I won't budge, waiver or consider any alternative options until my approval rating is at zero.
Who opined with great wisdom, the precise emotion that wells up when she herself, pops off with witless abandon?
He then palavered on about the vast military experience of his entire family in order to better denounce the war in Iraq. As long as Democrats keep insisting that only warriors can discuss war, how about telling the chick to butt out?
You know, most American's didn't want to be pessimistic about Iraq... but looking back at all the sage wisdom, advice and consultation made available and outright ignored by the 'go it alone' team, failure was sadly, inevitable.
The Bush administration has embraced a set of expectations about the costs and consequences of a preventive war with Iraq that incline it to act. Those who do not share those optimistic expectations are much more fearful about the price that may be paid, about the problems that may arise, and about the consequences that may ensue. Where proponents of the war tend to see opportunity, opponents see risks and dangers. Where proponents of this war see it as a fulfillment of Washington’s global leadership role, opponents worry that it may undermine the ability of the United States to play a constructive role in shaping the international order. Where proponents of the war believe that it will buttress respect for American power and shore up Washington’s global standing, opponents fear that it will damage America’s reputation and subvert its international influence. Many of these differences, in truth, have their origins in very different attitudes about the value of American predominance, about the international order to be desired, and about the likely effects of the use of force.
In effect, this debate involves a competing set of predictions about the impact of a preventive war against Iraq. If the Bush administration’s predictions are correct, then a desirable end will have been achieved at modest cost with few, if any, adverse consequences. But what if some of those predictions are incorrect? What if all does not go well? How far does the course of events have to diverge from the rosy scenario painted by the Bush administration before this war ends up looking like a costly, counterproductive mess, or even a disaster? These are the questions that haunt worried skeptics about the war. They see many ways that costs could mount, many scenarios in which the interests of the United States and its partners are adversely affected. To be sure, it is not likely that all the negative predictions about the war will come true. But if the critics are even partially correct – if Saddam does succeed in implementing some of his options for making the war painful and messy, if the conflict does produce some of the undesired counterproductive effects feared by opponents of the war – then the costbenefit calculus associated with this war will be very different from the one offered by the Bush administration. That is what makes this war such a gamble.
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that. I'm constantly looking back to see if things could be done differently or better. A classic example -- first of all, I meant what I said on the strategic objective in Iraq. I said in the '04 campaign, I'm going to say it to you again: Knowing what I know today, I'd have made the same decision.
Nothing to improve here... move along.
Guest Poster: Retrogrouch
Last night, President Bush gave his 7th State of the Union address. In it, he made only two obvious biblical allusions. The second was a reference to Luke 12:48 “To whom much is given, much is required” and I will address that at a later time.
The first allusion, and the one I want to address here, came in this paragraph about Iraq:
This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in. Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. So let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory.
In this paragraph, Bush is seeking to assert that the end of the world is right now, that he stands in the role of King Solomon, and frame his continued prosecution of the Iraq war as divine covenant.
Specifically, when Bush says “On this day, at this hour” he is referencing Mark 13:32 (KJV) “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
Note the deliberate matching of the cadence to that of the well known King James Version. In his passage, Jesus is telling his disciples to be constantly prepared for the end of the world and his return because no one knows when it will happen. By changing the formulation from “that day and that hour” to “this day, at this hour,” Bush is claiming that time is now.
Bush’s preceding statement that “it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned” echoes this passage from 1 Kings 6:
11 The word of the LORD came to Solomon: 12 "As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel”.
Shorter YHWH: Keep my commandments and I will keep my promise and not abandon my people.
Shorter Bush: God told me to invade Iraq, we need to keep his commandments so God will keep his promises, and not abandon America, his chosen nation.
(Aside, I like to use gender neutral language for YHWH, however in the above I’m assuming Bush’s voice)
If this sounds a bit much for even the more credulous Evangelicals to swallow, one should remember that these extremist Christians view the Eschaton (end of the world) as something that needs to be brought about by themselves. It is a truly bizarre and unbiblical belief.
The vast majority of Christians interpret Jesus’ discussion of the end found in Mark 13 as a call to work to bring about justice and let Jesus worry about his return. The extremists view it as a call to work to bring about Jesus’ return and let Jesus worry about justice.
But here is the good news: even the majority of Evangelicals would not buy into the idea that Bush and his policies are the instrument of God’s will if it were explicitly stated as such. This is why Bush and the GOG Party liaisons to the evangelical community such as Robertson, Dobson and Falwell never state it in those terms. They are perfectly happy making these oblique allusions and appealing to the imagination instead of the intellect. All we really have to do is call them on it.
Repent America Denounces Proposed Federal Hate Crimes Bill
Repent America (RA) has joined in the fight against the newly proposed hate crimes bill now before the U.S. House of Representatives, and is calling Christians to pray for this emergency situation and to voice opposition to their elected officials.
Earlier this month, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 254, which calls for the establishment of a new federal offense for so-called hate crimes. The bill is similar to hate crimes measures passed by the House in 2005 and the Senate in 2004, which would commission a separate federal criminal prosecution for state offenses tried under its provisions. If convicted, an offender could face life in prison.
"The proposed federal hate crimes bill is a dangerous threat to our civil liberties," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "Having been charged under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law for declaring the truth about homosexuality, I can assure you that if this bill is passed and signed into law, it will be used to put Christians behind bars," Marcavage continued.
Dear Christian-esqe types.
When your behavior is such that you become a perceived threat to the well being of others, efforts to curtail your vitriol cannot be construed as persecution. Your use of scripture to justify your actions differs very little from the early language adopted by the Klan. You may find scriptural justification for your disapproval of others, you will not however, find the same justification for your behavior.
* Thank you Mydd for articulating my position on Hillary perfectly.
* The silent killer in the Iraq War, bacteria. Read this, be creeped out.
* Would this bill have passed if they'd pushed for a retroactive measure?
* How strong a threat is Iran, really?
* Wow Scooter, you squeal when squeezed.
Between co-opting revised Democratic positions and ending on a positive note with the prop recognitions, ya have to hand it to the guy, he knows how to look like he's trying.
The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour -- when decisions are hard and courage is needed. We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us. We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies -- and the wisdom to face them together.
… And I encourage you all to go shopping more.
We're not the first to come here with a government divided and uncertainty in the air. Like many before us, we can work through our differences, and achieve big things for the American people. Our citizens don't much care which side of the aisle we sit on -- as long as we're willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done.
Now that I don't have quite the stranglehold on policy I used to... this seems important.
Next, there is the matter of earmarks. These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour -- when not even C-SPAN is watching. (Laughter.) In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion. Even worse, over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate -- they are dropped into committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You didn't vote them into law. I didn't sign them into law.
My signing statements, all ~750 of them, they don't count. heh. heh heh.
A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care.
First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents
No health care without me gettin' another tax cut. It solved the War in Iraq, it'll solve all the ills at home.
For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists -- who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy.
Which is why we invade them, like Canada... and Mexico.
A future of hope and opportunity requires a fair, impartial system of justice. The lives of our citizens across our nation are affected by the outcome of cases pending in our federal courts. We have a shared obligation to ensure that the federal courts have enough judges to hear those cases and deliver timely rulings. As President, I have a duty to nominate qualified men and women to vacancies on the federal bench. And the United States Senate has a duty, as well, to give those nominees a fair hearing, and a prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.
Thanks to Arlen Spector for that provision in the Patriot Act, I was able to fire an assload of judges and now am going to fight to bank my army. The fair and impartial part, I didn't write that.
We've added many critical protections to guard the homeland. We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us -- unless we stop them.
When we eventually find them. 9/11, no speech is complete without it.
The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. Whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans, kill democracy in the Middle East, and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.
But only now, post Shock & Awe.
This war is more than a clash of arms -- it is a decisive ideological struggle, and the security of our nation is in the balance. To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and to come and kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom
My god vs. your god. May the best
mandiety win... and as for that freedom thing, it's precious sure enough, but worth sacrificing for the good of other freedoms elsewhere.
This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in.
This is my bed, I pissed in it... you now have pay to clean it before sleeping there.
In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital. But the Iraqis are not yet ready to do this on their own. So we're deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq.
Like I said last year; "The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home. As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels -- but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C."
In such courage and compassion, ladies and gentlemen, we see the spirit and character of America -- and these qualities are not in short supply. This is a decent and honorable country -- and resilient, too. We've been through a lot together. We've met challenges and faced dangers, and we know that more lie ahead.
Please pay no attention to the legal proceedings surrounding Mr. Libby and the apparent finger-pointing towards my buddy Karl.
See you next year. Thank you for your prayers.
I'm gonna fuckin' need em.
It's truly fascinating to watch Bush chew through political capital like Rush Limbaugh at a trough full of Oxycontin. Just in time for him to announce how strong the nation is and how spectacular his visions are.
Mr. Bush’s overall approval rating has fallen to just 28 percent, a new low, while more than twice as many (64 percent) disapprove of the way he's handling his job.
Two-thirds of Americans remain opposed to the president's plan for sending more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq — roughly the same number as after Mr. Bush announced the plan. And 72 percent believe he should seek congressional approval for the troop increase.
Good news though, according to the Monkey's "trajectory estimate", Bush is right on target to use up 100% of his 51% political capital annuity by the end of his term. Kudos to the first of any measurable successes.
Bill Kristol the War Architect with a run rate equivalent to that of Texas A&M bonfire builders, has weighed in on Bush's decision to stay the course avec augmentation.
KRISTOL: They’re playing — they’re leap-frogging each other in the degrees of irresponsibility they’re willing to advocate. And I really think people are being too sort of complacent and forgiving almost of the Democrats. ‘Oh, it’s politics, of course. One of them has a non-binding resolution. The other has a cap.’ It’s all totally irresponsible. It’s just unbelievable. The president is sending over a new commander, he’s sending over troops, and the Democratic Congress, in a pseudo-binding way or non-binding way, is saying, ‘It won’t work. Forget it. You troops, you’re going over there in a pointless mission. Iraqis who might side with us, forget it, we’re going to pull the plug.’ It’s so irresponsible that they can’t be quiet for six or nine months and say the president has made a decision, we’re not going to change that decision, we’re not going to cut off funds and insist on the troops coming back, so let’s give it a chance to work. You really wonder, do they want it to work or not? I really wonder that. I hate to say this about the Democrats. They’re people I know personally and I respect some of them. Do they want it to succeed or not?
Think Bush can work this into his speech tonight. A healthy "Y'all should just STFU till I'm done", approach?
It's past time to deploy Mr. Kristol into the theater of battle or at least into the ditch he referred to on the Daily Show. His time to shine is now.
Guest Poster: Retrogrouch
It should be apparent to all by now that Christian Fundamentalists make up the core of the GOG (Grand Old Graft) Party base. The GOG Party loyalists subscribe to a very extreme and very marginal theology. They are a tiny and wholly unrepresentative sample of Christianity. However, they do have disproportional influence in American politics today.
Machiavellian political operatives in the GOG Party are aware of this and have become quite expert at communicating with this base in a way that calls them to support Bush and his policies in the face of all logic and reason. Frankly, they are attempts to influence these Christian Fundamentalists with complete disregard for the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.
For those not familiar with Christian scripture, this presents a problem. Too often these communications fly under the radar. It is my modest hope that I can illuminate some of these communications. I believe that if we can expose these virulent ideas to a little sunshine, we can rescue both politics and Christian theology from their ill effects.
Many people, including many luminaries in the liberal blogosphere, have been rightly outraged by comments by the Stupidest Secretary of State Ever describing the war between Israel and Hezbollah as the “Birth Pangs” of a new middle east. In fact, the “Birth Pangs” comment is an allusion to several passages in the Christian bible.
First, it should be clear that the phrase was a calculated one and not some off-the cuff description based on the way she backtracked from saying “Growing Pains”. Let’s roll the tape:
“What we're seeing here, in a sense, is the growing -- the birth pangs of a new Middle East and whatever we do we have to be certain that we're pushing forward to the new Middle East not going back to the old one.”
So what is Stupidest Secretary of State Ever trying to communicate to the GOG Party faithful? Of the several passages this alludes to, the two that are most relevant for this message are from the gospel of Mark and the book of Isaiah.
Mark 13:7-8 (Emphasis added)
7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
In this passage, Jesus is telling his disciples about the end of the world. In a moment of irony lost on the GOG Party faithful, immediately before this passage, Jesus warns his followers not to be deceived by people claiming to speak in his name.
The Stupidest Secretary of State Ever is making this allusion in order to calm any uneasiness on the part of the loyal GOG Party base.
“Don’t be alarmed,” she is saying, “Our policy here is ordained by God and will bring about the end of the world you so fervently hope for.”
The second allusion is to the book of Isaiah. It reads as follows:
Isaiah 13:3-9 (Emphasis added)
3 I have commanded my holy ones;
I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath—
those who rejoice in my triumph.
4 Listen, a noise on the mountains,
like that of a great multitude!
Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,
like nations massing together!
The LORD Almighty is mustering
an army for war.
5 They come from faraway lands,
from the ends of the heavens—
the LORD and the weapons of his wrath—
to destroy the whole country.
6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
it will come like destruction from the Almighty. [a]
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp,
every man's heart will melt.
8 Terror will seize them,
pain and anguish will grip them;
they will writhe like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at each other,
their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the LORD is coming
—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—
to make the land desolate
and destroy the sinners within it.
By referencing this passage, the Stupidest Secretary of State Ever is seeking to claim for Bush the mantle of holy chosen instrument of God’s wrath. This passage comes in the middle of an oracle concerning Babylon – the land we now call Iraq. It is important to note that both Christian and Jewish scholars consider this a discussion of Babylon’s fall to the ancient Medes (Persians). In fact, later in the chapter Isaiah identifies the Medes as the instrument of God’s wrath.
It is important to understand that the extremists in Christianity view prophecy as literal predictions of future events. The vast majority of Christians view prophecy as explanation of what happens when a people stop being faithful to the will of a loving God. This is an important distinction, for where most Christians hear the prophets call the people to tend to the poor, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and turn away from war, the extremists hear a checklist that must be fulfilled for Christ to return.
When dealing with the extremist Christians, those who want to complete a checklist, you have to keep focused on what they are called to do by their own scripture. Isaiah calls the leaders of the nations to “Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” (Chapter 1:16-17). Micah says it more simply: Act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with your God. (6:8)
After all, to paraphrase Mill, we are not in danger from their Justice, Mercy and Humility.
2008 is going to be a fun and colorful year. Who *isn't* happy that the GOP frontrunners are so comfortable in their own skin they can dress in drag and or dry-hump the Commander in Chief on stage?
Last minute talking points for tomorrow night's speech.
Got some thoughts you might want to use, sir.
* The strength of the nation's heathcare system and it's relationship to freedom and democracy.
* Why intelligence doesn't matter when your mind is already made up.
* Why the road map for rebuilding Iraq seems so much more hopeful than the one being used in New Orleans.
* In 100 words or less, outline why not reinstating the Fairness Doctrine makes sense.
* Share with the American people how your continued external praise for al-Maliki aligns with the voices in your head and how his role will guarantee the safety of your
* Does the increase in American body count impact your strategic decision making at all or you comfortable "feeling the pain" of the families?
* When we invade/attack Iran, will you, as Commander in Chief lead the charge this time? We look forward to you flexing those brush-clearing muscles in the theaters of battle you create.
It is our assumption you will choose another informational path tomorrow night, ignoring the needs of the public and continue with your verbal shock and awe program. We expect nothing more than platitudes and vague indications of plans that are not on your desk. We know you have no direct interest in the heath and welfare of your nation and prefer to reward corporations despite corrupt behavior. We've lowered our expectations to the point where the pulse of our excitement couldn't be measured with the most finely tuned EKG.
Prove us wrong.
All y'all's are workin' my everlovin' last nerve... next critic who thinks they can do a better job, should find one.
When you boil Dinesh D'Souza's arguments down to that funky scum you get when you abandon a pot of water on the stove, scrape it out, arrange it on a saucer and read it like left over tea leaves, the subtle messages that begin to appear are magical.
1. It's easier to fight the left over here for the same reasons the radical extremists hates us than to fight the actual extremists overseas.
2. By eliminating cherry-picked freedoms now we won't have to worry about military blowbacks later as we will have eliminated all the reasons our enemies really hate us.
3. The cultural left simply encourages our enemies by suggesting talks or negotiations. Anything short of anihilation is too lefty and must be met with vitriolic contempt and assumptions of collusion.
4. By critiquing Bush's blunders and inabilty to focus on the real war on terror, all thinking Americans are in bed with the enemy. Pay no mind to the misdirected war focus or the still absent Osama.
5. Gay marriage and the right to an abortion will ensure a repeat of 9/11... they will never stop hating us until Hollywood, the NYT and Nancy Pelosi are extinguished and we've returned America to some period before the 1950s.
2008 Fantasy Ticket
Mario Cuomo for President
Bill Richardson for Vice President
Barak Obama as Secretary of State
Wesley Clark as National Security Advisor
thus ends the fantasy
It's gotta be rough being waterboys for the culture of corruption, malfeasence and failure.
* Mike Adams: Sorry you're down on your luck... wanna suck a Glock?
* Brent Bozell: Ignoring the Geneva Convention and making an international spectacle in bad taste is fine as long as it's not happening to us.
* Rich Galen: By my logic since Monica had nothing to do with Whitewater, Clinton's perjury charge is moot and should be pardoned.
* Debra Saunders: My talking points do not allow me to see the truth in Barbara Boxer's statement that personal sacrifice is not felt by either her nor Ms. Rice... I must be angry, I must seethe and defend the indefensible arguments set forth by my editors.
* K-Lo: One hundred hours and the Democrats haven't provided us with a quick solution to un-fucking Iraq. Curse those losers.
"Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for terrorists. Afghanistan is a key partner in the global war on terror. Our troops have fought and will continue to fight side-by-side to defeat the few who want to stop the ambitions of the many."
President Bush, May 23, 2005
BAGRAM, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday he would consider more troops for Afghanistan where U.S. commanders say the Taliban insurgency, controlled from Pakistan, is expected to intensify.
Gates, in Afghanistan to ensure commanders have the resources to counter an expected Taliban offensive in the spring, said it was very important the United States and its allies did not let the success achieved there slip away.
Violence in Afghanistan increased last year to its bloodiest since U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001.
Another success that hasn't happened yet.
Page 30 of the ISG Report: (Some Alternative Courses in Iraq)
3. More Troops for Iraq
Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq, which is the absence of national reconciliation. A senior American general told us that adding U.S. troops might temporarily help limit violence in a highly localized area. However, past experience indicates that the violence would simply rekindle as soon as U.S. forces are moved to another area. As another American general told us, if the Iraqi government does not make political progress, “all the troops in the world will not provide security.” Meanwhile, America’s military capacity is stretched thin: we do not have the troops or equipment to make a substantial, sustained increase in our troop presence. Increased deployments to Iraq would also necessarily hamper our ability to provide adequate resources for our efforts in Afghanistan or respond to crises around the world.
Washington - President Bush and his aides, explaining their reasons for sending more American troops to Iraq, are offering an incomplete, oversimplified and possibly untrue version of events there that raises new questions about the accuracy of the administration's statements about Iraq.
President Bush unveiled the new version on Wednesday during his nationally televised speech announcing his new Iraq policy.
"When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation," he said. "We thought that these elections would bring Iraqis together - and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.
"But in 2006, the opposite happened. The violence in Iraq - particularly in Baghdad - overwhelmed the political gains Iraqis had made. Al-Qaida terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq's election posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis.
"They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra - in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq's Shia population to retaliate," Bush said. "Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today."
That version of events helps to justify Bush's "new way forward" in Iraq, in which U.S. forces will largely target Sunni insurgents and leave it to Iraq's U.S.-backed Shiite government to - perhaps - disarm its allies in Shiite militias and death squads.
It's just George and Barney making policy and military decisions at this point, no other explanation holds water.
New Rule: Don't Google Your Past.
Ok, honestly I wasn't Googling when I brushed shoulders briefly with a ghost from the past... but what a ghost. My old youth minister from the early eighties (a lifetime ago) is not just still in the industry but a leading kookster. Even more the devout fundamentalist, he's now juxtaposing Orwell with justifications for a church-state?
Bless my soul.
It would be cliché to quote Orwell here were it not for the fact that fundamentalist intellectuals do so with even greater frequency than those of the left. At a rally to expose the “myth” of church/state separation I attended this spring, Orwell was quoted at me four times, most emphatically by William J. Federer, an encyclopedic compiler of quotations whose America’s God and Country—a collection of apparently theocentric bons mots distilled from the Founders and other great men “for use in speeches, papers, [and] debates”—has sold half a million copies. “Those who control the past,” Federer said, quoting Orwell’s 1984>, “control the future.” History, the practical theology of the movement, reveals destiny.
Federer, a tall, lean, oaken-voiced man, loved talking about history as revelation, nodding along gently to his own lectures. He wore a gray suit, a red tie marred by a stain, and an American flag pin in his lapel. He looked like a congressman, which was what he’d wanted to be: he was a two-time G.O.P. candidate for former House minority leader Dick Gephardt’s St. Louis seat. He lost both times, but the movement considers him a winner—in 2000, he faced Gephardt in one of the nation’s most expensive congressional races, forcing him to spend down his war chest. Federer considered this a providential outcome.
Federer and I were riding together in a white school bus full of Christians from around the country to pray at the site on which the Danbury, Connecticut, First Baptist Church once stood. It was in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists that Thomas Jefferson first used the phrase “wall of separation,” three words upon which the battle over whether the United States is to be a Christian nation or a cosmopolitan one turns. Federer, leaning over the back of his seat as several pastors bent their ears toward his story, wanted me to understand that what Jefferson—notorious deist and author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom—had really meant to promote was a “one-way wall,” designed to protect the church from the state, not the other way around. Jefferson, Federer told me, was a believer; like all the Founders, he knew that there could be no government without God. Why hadn’t I been taught this? Because I was a victim of godless public schools.
“‘Those who control the present,’” Federer continued his quotation of 1984, “‘control the past.’” He paused and stared at me to make sure I understood the equation. “Orson Welles wrote that,” he said.
To Bill's point, I attended both godless public schools and "godly" private schools and don't recall ever being taught that government couldn't exist without god. Even in a Baptist school with the sister of a Congressman as my American Government teacher I missed out on the how god build the three branches of government and how we should thank him by relinquishing control to the church. I would encourage Mr. Federer to examine closely the successes of all the countries that have by will or force, instituted church-states and explain to the class how it would improve the United States.
Washington - Military operations in Somalia by American commandos, and the use of the Ethiopian Army as a surrogate force to root out operatives for Al Qaeda in the country, are a blueprint that Pentagon strategists say they hope to use more frequently in counterterrorism missions around the globe.
But since the retreat of the Taliban in 2001, when American Special Forces worked with Afghan militias, Mr. Rumsfeld's ambitious agenda for Special Operations troops has been slow to materialize.
The problem has partly been a shortage of valuable intelligence on the whereabouts of top terrorism suspects. Mr. Rumsfeld also dispatched teams of Special Operations forces to work in American embassies to collect intelligence and to develop war plans for future operations.
Alright, I'll bite. As the blueprint for future operations what have we learned in the last 7 days about the success of our approach?
The US air strike on Somalia failed to kill any of the three top al-Qaida members accused of terror attacks in east Africa.
A senior US official said yesterday that Sunday night's attack had killed between eight and 10 "al-Qaida affiliates" near the southern tip of Somalia.
But he said that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Abu Taha al-Sudan and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, all linked to the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2002 Mombasa hotel attack, were still on the run. "Fazul is not dead," said the official, contradicting earlier reports. "The three high-value targets are still of interest to us."
BRUSSELS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - EU Aid Commissioner Louis Michel on Monday warned the U.S. strike on suspected al Qaeda targets in southern Somalia last week could lead to an escalation of violence there.
"I repeat: the future of Somalia depends on political solutions," Michel told reporters after talks in Brussels with Somali Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan on ending weeks of war in the Horn of Africa country.
Michel said such attacks could not only hit civilians but lead to "an escalation of military activity in south Somalia which risks having a negative impact on the process of peace process and reconciliation -- which should be our main priority".
Michel, whose office said last week the U.S. strike was "not helpful", said he could not rule out the presence of al Qaeda in the area but insisted he had seen no intelligence confirming it.
MOGADISHU -- Somali lawmakers voted yesterday to authorize the government to declare martial law, the deputy parliament speaker said, as the country's internationally recognized leaders struggle to assert their authority after battling an Islamic movement that had controlled much of southern Somalia.
Parliament's approval allows the government to impose martial law for a period of three months, starting at a time of its choosing, said Osman Ilmi Boqore, who made the announcement during a parliament session broadcast live on a government-owned radio station.
Somalia's main broadcasters have been ordered to close, shortly after the interim president set up a new team to end the "chaos" in the capital.
Three top Somali radio stations and al-Jazeera TV are affected. They have been ordered to appear before the national security agency.
Well done architects!
* Dignity and respect complete with a decapitation prize package. Better than a cheap toy in a happy meal.
* Dear Christians... If you aren't a GOP apologist down to the last fiber of your body you're not Jesusy enough and your personal beliefs are now in question.
* Fail me once, shame on me. Fail me twice shame.... Fail me and you won't get failed again.
* After all the information made available on Bush's performance in the private sector, why do facts like this keep surprising people? He's failed at *EVERYTHING" he's put his hand to. Winning elections weren't his successes.
"Under the new rights granted to me by the re-enacted Alien and Sedition Act, I can now shoot you in the face while going over your credit report. No questions asked."
It's good to be the vice-boy-king.
After the White House's Constitutional scholar and spokesmodel for all that is true and just within the beltway blessed us with this, I was confused. I was lost in an internal mental struggle how one could construe such clear language as is set forth in Article 1, section 8 of the constitution regarding the powers of congress relating to the declaration and funding of war.
MR. SNOW: You know what, I don't want to play junior constitutional lawyer on this, so let's wait until we see what happens, if you have specific questions about constitutional authority. But, you know, Congress has the power of the purse. The President has the ability to exercise his own authority if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way.
Let me just say that the early sessions that I've seen have been conducted, as I noted the other day, in a spirit of real respect and they've been constructive. So I know it's tempting to think, boy, this is going to set off a big old political firestorm -- and it very well may. But on the other hand, it may actually set off a period of reflection and constructive activity. And that would be a good thing, as well.
So I will continue to sort of dance around details until they become available. And then it's going to be a whole lot easier -- my guess is the press briefings will be a whole lot longer as we go through these things, and I'll be able to give you a much better answer.
Pray that President Bush will make wise decisions as he fleshes out the details of our foreign policy in this volatile part of the world. Ask God to grant him the ability to express the threat we face today, tomorrow and in the decades to come in terms that will resonate with the American people. Ask our Heavenly Father to walk alongside President Bush as he lays out the stark, scary realities of the enemy we face -- an enemy in no uniform, with no respect for innocent life. Prepare him and strengthen him for the criticism that is sure to come. May his tone be measured and decisive and the context of the speech be laced with the consequences of pulling back. Ask God to impart to an impatient nation a new understanding of the threat we face and a desire to meet the challenge now when it is more manageable than it would be years from now.
The Constitution's validity has been erradicated and replaced by the random voices in the heads of select individuals. The rules of law are now applicable only to those willing to follow them. Happy new Democracy.
If perhaps, you bought into the notion in 2004 that Kerry was a flip-flopper and Bush the steadfast stalwart capable of moving mountains... take a moment, reflect on the truths of history and the pattern of his performance. Using of course, performance in the loosest of terms as he is the worst actor, ever.
OLBERMANN: President Bush makes no secret of his distaste for looking backward, for assessing past results. But in our third story on the COUNTDOWN tonight, and his speech coming up at the top of the hour, that will not be possible. Any meaningful assessment of the president‘s next step in Iraq must consider his steps and missteps so far.
So, let‘s look at the record. Before Mr. Bush was elected he said he was no nation builder. Nation building was wrong for America. Now he says it is vital for America. He said he would never have put U.S. troops under foreign control. Today U.S. troops observe Iraqi restrictions.
He told us about WMDs, mobile labs, secret sources, aluminum tubing, yellow cake. He has told us the war is necessary because Saddam was a threat, because of 9/11, because of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, because of terrorism in general, to liberate Iraq, to spread freedom, to spread democracy, to keep the oil out of the hands of potentially terrorist controlled states, because this was a guy who tried to kill his dad.
In pushing for and prosecuting this war, he passed on chances to get Abu Musab al Zarqawi, Moqtada al Sadr, Osama bin Laden. He sent in fewer troops than recommended. He disbanded the Iraqi army and deBaathified the government. He short changed Iraqi training. He did not plan for widespread looting, nor the explosion of sectarian violence. He sent in troops without life saving equipment, gave job to foreign contractors and not the Iraqis, staffed U.S. positions in Iraq based on partisanship, not professional experience.
We learned that America had prevailed, mission accomplished, the resistance was in its last throws. He has said that more troops were not necessary and more troops are necessary, and that it‘s up to the generals, and then removed some of the generals who said more troops would be necessary.
He told us of turning points, the fall of Baghdad, the death of Uday and Qusay, the capture of Saddam, a provisional government, the trial of Saddam, a charter, a constitution, an Iraqi government, elections, purple fingers, a new government, the death of Saddam. We would be greeted as liberators with flowers, as they stood up, we would stand down. We would stay the course. We would never stay the course. The enemy was al Qaeda, was foreigners, was terrorist, was Baathists.
The war would pay for itself. It was cost 1.7 billion dollars, 100 billion, 400 billion, half a trillion dollars. And after all of that, today it is his credibility versus that of generals, diplomats, allies, Republicans, Democrats, the Iraq Study Group, past presidents, voters last November, and the majority of the American people.
Choice moments in the Commander in Chief's 'hail mary'.
The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people -- and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.
Please ignore the violent irony of my admission of previous mistakes while making another.
It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq. So my national security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a comprehensive review. We consulted members of Congress from both parties, our allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts. We benefitted from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. In our discussions, we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq. And one message came through loud and clear: Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.
...and the bestest part of being the leader of the free world is the freedom to disregard a multitude of council.
I've made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people -- and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.
but the minute anyone starts talking about a timetable, I'll shut them down.
...And Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq.
Jack Abramoff's volunteered.
Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship. But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world -- a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people. A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them -- and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and our grandchildren.
We've already had one political failure on the deck of a battleship... no one's looking to repeat that. We hope to install a democracy so robust that's its eventual erosion in the future, is as palpable as my attempt has been here at home recently.
This new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq. Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States, and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq's borders and hunting down al Qaeda. Their solution is to scale back America's efforts in Baghdad -- or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces. We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear the country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale. Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.
Ignoring of course that we have seen the Iraqi government become toothless and ruthless, seen the sectarian violence increase and senseless slaughters skyrocket while the troops do a 3rd or even 4th tour. If we don't put more troops in now we'll have to put more troops in later to replace the dead and wounded.
Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.
Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed. Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can, and we will, prevail.
Your sacrifice, my resolve. I've taken care of that freedom burden, you no longer have to worry. Our struggle is a global one despite the evaporation of the willing in my coalition.
My way or the highway. Good Night.
Just in case you've not seen it and want the proof.
Gawrsh they're cute together.
The gays have it easy don't they... protected from both, PTSD, IEDs and Divorce.
"What happens then?" asked the wife of an Iraq War veteran who has not received treatment for his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Part of the MFSO contingent, she cried quietly while talking about the recent end of her marriage, one of more than 56,000 Army marriages that have been broken by the war, according to a 2005 Department of Defense report, which doesn't include the Marines, Sailors, or Airmen who have also been affected.
Geoffrey Millard, who joined Iraq Veterans Against the War after serving 13 months in Iraq, said, "I don't think any of the guys in my National Guard unit that went over are married any more." Since the 2003 invasion, divorce rates in the military have skyrocketed, with a 28 percent increase among enlisted, and almost 80 percent among officers, according to MSNBC. Experts estimate that there will be at least 100,000 war-related divorces by the time the war ends. The veterans and military families here today say that, for them, "It never will."
Why again, aren't we hearing a major uproar in defense of marriage from the religious right on this data? The holy war factor keeping them mum?
As the congresscritters continue to excuse decisions on Iraq as being Bush's to make as the Commander in Chief and not within the scope of their branch of government, would one of the talking heads flag this point to them?
The Delegator in Chief is out of ideas, aint' he?
Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who declared last month that he was at the end of his rope on Iraq, said Bush told him and other GOP senators Monday at the White House that the new war plan was devised chiefly by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who presented it to Bush last month.
WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush’s new Iraq policy will include “benchmarks” for the Iraqi government to meet to ease sectarian violence and stabilize the country, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
The newspaper cited senior administration officials as saying that the goals include steps to draw more Sunnis into the Iraqi political process and to finalise a measure on the distribution of oil revenue. A plan to ease the Iraqi government’s policy toward former Baath Party members was also among the benchmarks, the newspaper reported, citing officials it did not identify by name.
The New York Times said Bush was expected to refer to the benchmarks in a speech this week outlining his new Iraq strategy, including plans to send as many as 20,000 additional troops. Administration officials plan to make the benchmarks public sometime after the address, the report said.
Exciting isn't it? You cannot effectively institute benchmarking for progress without establishing timetables. This means we're actually going to start seeing real planning complete with dates now, right?
Maybe all of Bush's posturing's a big understanding and with all the personnel shuffling and directional changes we've simply misunderstood him and instead of meaning "Surge" as in to push forward he meant "Serge" as shown below.
"It's Serge....Seeerrrgggge. The way you say my name, Surge, it's sounds like a detergent."
In an effort to appear open-minded and willing to seek outside council, Bush meets with his newly formed Strategic Team Under the President's Iterim Desperation group.
Wait, 150 to 180 thousand troops, billions in wasted reconstruction dollars, overwhelming loss of both military and civilian life, outsourced military tasks given to contractors with no audit trail, no plan for exit, no real tangible goals, ongoing re-orgs of top staff and a complete collapse of Iraqi infrastructure and Bush declares he won't commit resources to strategies that don't work?
Arizona swamp land anyone?
One senior White House official said yesterday that the president considers the skepticism of lawmakers and the public "warranted" and that Bush will not "commit resources to a strategy that is not working." But the official said Bush was heartened by recent promises and plans from Maliki, citing the prime minister's speech in Baghdad yesterday in which he pledged a crackdown on sectarian militias, with U.S. assistance.
* Missing piece of information: In the rush to export freedoms we forgot to see if it would exhaust our own reserves.
* $1 billion jobs program in Iraq? Too little, too late for the hearts and minds. Ironic note: Had Bush proposed additional funding like this for America, the GOP would have had a snit fit.
* The policy of preemtion. Upside, no one will claim Israel doesn't have nukes, once they use em.
* Will Lieberman have to invent another party in 6 years?
* It makes sense, if you're going to have a war, it might as well be holy.
* Separation of church and state... more about church not being the litmus test for the state.
* No Dennis, if the US abandons "Judeo-Christian" values, hell on earth does not occur. We may though, stop cherry-picking biblical rules to suit our individual needs and stick with the rule of law. Humanistic morality doesn't need scripture to function effectively under the rule of law and respect for others.
* If you're the self-declared king of media watchdogs two things are required; 1.) a firm understanding of the features of your TV remote (off/on & channel changer primarily) and 2.) thick skin. Not everything is done as a personal affront or insult to you... sometimes we're just lucky that way.
In the comma phase of the War on some Terrorism, the terms surge, stay the course and accomplishment are relics of history. With the removal of Abizaid & Casey and the insertion of 20 to 30 thousand new troops we're officially in a bump. Please adjust your terminology accordingly.
Now, if the American people would simply focus on the rules of engagement, everything will work out just fine.
The Financial Times reports that Mr. Bush is expected to look for an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 troops "as a short-term boost to the existing 140,000 level, with the aim of stabilising the violence in Baghdad and surrounding provinces." But again, opposition within his own party could create a problem.
then... in effect, this has been a dramatic failure with overwhelming consequences, no?
VICTORY IN IRAQ DEFINED
As the central front in the global war on terror, success in Iraq is an essential element in the long war against the ideology that breeds international terrorism. Unlike past wars, however, victory in Iraq will not come in the form of an enemy's surrender, or be signaled by a single particular event -- there will be no Battleship Missouri, no Appomattox. The ultimate victory will be achieved in stages, and we expect:
- In the short term:
- An Iraq that is making steady progress in fighting terrorists and neutralizing the insurgency, meeting political milestones; building democratic institutions; standing up robust security forces to gather intelligence, destroy terrorist networks, and maintain security; and tackling key economic reforms to lay the foundation for a sound economy.
- In the medium term:
- An Iraq that is in the lead defeating terrorists and insurgents and providing its own security, with a constitutional, elected government in place, providing an inspiring example to reformers in the region, and well on its way to achieving its economic potential.
- In the longer term:
- An Iraq that has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency.
- An Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country.
- An Iraq that is a partner in the global war on terror and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, integrated into the international community, an engine for regional economic growth, and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region.
Will changing course and or inserting additional troops band-aid an already hemorrhaging amputation? Losing the hearts and minds in the first wave of violence after declaring Mission Accomplished eroded any hopes of establishing support for our efforts. Failing on the rebuilding plans and refusing to use local expertise and manpower will be a strategic error we'll never recover from. Re-resorting to shock & awe logic will not provide Iraq or the US with the peace in the final step above.
Faced with looming democratic opposition and for the first time, something less than a chorus of angels behind him singing Hallelujah ever time he hiccups, Bush is on the offensive.
His Op-Ed in the WSJ's full of nuggets of goodness.
Together, we have a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that many don't expect us to tackle, let alone solve, in the partisan environment of today's Washington. To do that, however, we can't play politics as usual. Democrats will control the House and Senate, and therefore we share the responsibility for what we achieve.
I get to blame them for the failures in Iraq now.
In the days and weeks since the November elections, I have been encouraged by the productive meetings I've had with many of the new leaders in Congress from both parties. I am hopeful we can find common ground without compromising our principles.
My principles are no secret. I have campaigned on them in my races for governor and in two presidential contests, and I have worked hard during my presidency to translate these principles into sound policy.
My principles dictate that I only listen to the still small voice of the Christ-child. He says we need more troops on the ground and a greater sacrifice. Ignore the failure of all of my "policies".
Our priorities begin with defeating the terrorists who killed thousands of innocent Americans on September 11, 2001--and who are working hard to attack us again. These terrorists are part of a broader extremist movement that is now doing everything it can to defeat us in Iraq.
Threw that in for taste. Can't have good soup without some 9/11 in there. heh heh. Need more money and less budgetary oversight. Can't let fiscal responsibility get in the way of good war'ing.
But we can and should do more. It's time Congress give the president a line-item veto. And today I will announce my own proposal to end this dead-of-the-night process and substantially cut the earmarks passed each year.
Best way to ensure I can lop off a minimum wage hike and still keep my "negotiated" tax cuts in the bill. I rule!
Our Founders believed in the wisdom of the American people to choose their leaders and provided for the concept of divided and effective government. The majority party in Congress gets to pass the bills it wants. The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take. And the Constitution leaves it to the president to use his judgment whether they should be signed into law.
That gives us a clear challenge and an opportunity. If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate. If a different approach is taken, the next two years can be fruitful ones for our nation. We can show the American people that Republicans and Democrats can come together to find ways to help make America a more secure, prosperous and hopeful society. And we will show our enemies that the open debate they believe is a fatal weakness is the great strength that has allowed democracies to flourish and succeed
You hear me Nancy... Checks and Balances are quaint. Ain't nuthin' gettin' passed unless I get my way too. Now is the time for bi-partisanship. Didn't really need it the last 8 years.
Good Luck Y'all.
President: Thank you for that question. Yes, it's true... actually I can pass gas and lie to the American people at the same time. I've been a multi-taskinating deciderer for years... uh, David?
Dear Pat Robertson,
The voice in your head suggesting the end of the word, a major catastrophe, anything about gays being the cause of (insert tragedy) or any other wing-nutted theory is not your god. In the case where both your god does exist and might even have the inside scoop on forthcoming events, he's not going to use you as the vessel of truth. Your wolf calling days are over and your legacy as Nostradamus' replacement is equally hit or miss.
The Communicator in Chief reassured the world that the trial and subsequent execution of Saddam was both fair and just.
Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.
Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's prime minister ordered an investigation Tuesday into Saddam Hussein's execution to try to uncover who taunted the former dictator in the last minutes of his life, and who leaked inflammatory footage taken by camera phone of the hanging.
The unofficial video, on which at least one person is heard shouting ''To hell!'' at the deposed president and Saddam is heard exchanging insults with his executioners, dealt a blow to Iraq's efforts to prove it was a neutral enforcer of the law.
Ah, blossoming democracies. So precious, so fragile, so adorable as they look up at you with their wide innocent eyes and coo. It's such a blessing to see all the best aspects of what makes America great being passed on to those forced to endure senseless slaughters, staged monkey trials and worst of all, torture. Just makes you want to hug em, squeeze em and send in more troops, don't it?
What a vacation, morning after morning sitting in front of C-SPAN with no internet connection... oh the nervous ticks that develop.
While offline, the landscape's changed so dramatically.
Welcome to 2007 and may all of our dreams of fiscal responsibility, pork reductions, congressional oversight and a reduction in abuse of power come true.