As I was watching morning news earlier today, I noticed that there was a serious lack of any big news. Are Democrats doing anything important? Their lips are moving and there is some activity but will it influence anything?
Saddam's half-brother's head fell off during his execution. That must've been dramatic, heh. Also 24 just started last night. Is anyone watching that? A lot of lefty sounding drivel has been inserted into it.
This is an Open Thread.
The site seemed to be down today. A lot of the US is experiencing an ice storm. We just have lots of rain here. The big story of the last few days is the two boys who were found in MO, one of whom had been missing for four years. The Colts have advanced thanks to their defense.
So what's on your mind?
The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal .
In 1985, the US vs. Yonkers ruling challenged the institutionalized housing and educational discrimination of an entire city. It was the first time housing discrimination was linked to a segregated school system and this ruling codified a remedy for both.
On February 9th, at 9:00 PM, Brick By Brick: A Civil Rights Story , a one-hour documentary about Yonkers will air on New York's local PBS station Channel 13. This important documentary was produced and directed by William Kavanagh . Kavanagh is a good friend who I came to know through regularly reading his blog . I'm hoping with the help of the progressive netroots, PBS will be persuaded to show his documentary to a national audience.
The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal on January 11th.
It's not possible to be a little bit pregnant. Yet the Bush Administration prosecuted the Iraq War as if they were awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. Under Donald Rumsfeld the Pentagon tried to win on the cheap. Without boots on the ground however order could not be established after Saddam fell.
In 2004, President Bush ridiculed John Kerry during his re-election campaign for suggesting more troops were required. In his twenty minute speech Wednesday night the President finally acknowledged an insufficient number of troops resulted in chaos. Iraq was a war of choice and Bush waged it with timidity while claiming the fate of western civilization was at stake.
Of course this war was never about weapons of mass destruction, democracy, liberating people, empowering moderate Islam or saving western civilization. Thousands of young soldiers and who the hell knows how many Iraqis at this point have died for war profiteering, oil and to market George Bush as a magnificent war leader. Iraq was a neat diversion allowing Bush and his cronies to steal billions of dollars.
Underneath all the rhetoric about winning and catastrophic consequences if we don't prevail is the truth. The simple truth is that 20,000 troops will not make a strategic difference. At this point military tactics are useless. The best we can hope for is containing the violence within Iraq's borders until they grow tired of killing each other.
A policy of containment is despicable because it leaves Iraqis in the lurch after we wrecked their country. Shamefully, Bush/Cheney's incompetetence leaves us no choice. Our military presence will not facilitate a political solution. Containment is the only viable option left through a strategic redeployment.
The Bush/Cheney Administration is aware of this reality. They're not as stupid as many people think they are. Hence, the "surge" is not about winning. Bush/Cheney are hoping to kick the can down the road with Iraq. They don't want a helicopter lifting off the rooftop in Saigon moment happening on their watch. They prefer retreat to take place under the next president. If some more American soldiers must die or become permanently wounded, so be it. They don't care.
Meanwhile, these insipid sociopaths are hoping they can divert us into another war by blaming the Iranians and Syrians for our failures in Iraq. It's not hard to imagine another speech in five or six months claiming all of Iraq's problems will be solved if we topple the regimes in Teheran and Damascus. The neocons especially want a crack at Iran. Finishing the job right in Afghanistan is not sexy enough for the neocons. They're a waste of skin.
A wise office colleague of mine wonders why the neocons have stopped distancing themselves from the Bush Administration and embraced "the surge." It had become fashionable for intellectual elitist right wing crazies such as William Kristol to diss the Bush Administration about Iraq but lately they've been having love-ins. Perhaps the neocons know this surge is a pretext to widen the war and go into Iran? Just as Nixon's escalation in 1970 resulted in an illegal invasion of Cambodia? Are we going to let it happen?
Non-binding congressional resolutions make for nice symbolism and may demonstrate bipartisan opposition to the Bush regime. Congressional leaders are pushing for that and Republican legislators may see it as an easy way to voice their opposition without having to really confront their President. I hope such a resolution leads to stronger action by congress. By itself however a non-binding resolution is worth a bucket of warm spit. Lives are on the line. As I've written previously there are only three viable options to save our country:
- Impeachment and removal of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney;
The weekend is close, though ours here in Arkansas will likely be cold and maybe wet. President Bush's approval ratings are hitting all time lows. Here is one sample of that.
What's on your mind?
It's almost the weekend! Bush had a decent speech last night, minus a lot of the usual stumbling with a very sober tone. No idea if his plan is going to make a difference, but it sounds like a more honest attempt at resolving Baghdad violence.
Pentagon wants 92,000 more troops, and economy is doing well.
What's new with you?
UPDATE by Mike P: Here is a link to a story about the request for 92,000 more troops.
The US strike in Somalia actually killed the embassy bomber, according to the Somalis. Bush is set to deliver his Iraq address tonight announcing the last troop increase before we hand Iraq off. I wish him luck. Dems look like they will go the non-confrontational route of non-binding resolution pronouncing their displeasure. Boo hoo.
This is an Open Thread.
I posted the following at Dkos :
Two days after Christmas my father had a massive heart attack. He has never regained consciousness. Today he took a turn for the worst and he is unlikely to live more than a day or two. I'm flying down to be with my mother in the morning.
My dad was an arch-Republican. When my parents lived in Louisiana, he voted for David Duke for governor. Whenever he came to visit, he insisted on watching Fox News instead of CNN -- the "Clinton News Network."
As you may suspect, this was always a source of conflict in our relationship. But despite my dad's political leanings, I always respected his extraordinary work ethic and his inherent fairness.
This is breaking:
A first wave of additional U.S. troops will go into Iraq before the end of the month under President Bush’s new plan, a senior defense official said Tuesday.
Up to 20,000 troops will be put on alert and be prepared to deploy under the president’s plan, but the increase in forces on the ground will be gradual, said the official, who requested anonymity because the plans have not yet been announced.
Moving first would be the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, which is in Kuwait and poised to deploy quickly into Iraq.
So it's on, and in full disregard of the Dems... I'll stay neutral because I can't support either party on this one. Just hoping that our guys stay safe.
US Air Force attacked Al Qaeda in Somalia, interesting situation there. More fighting going on in Baghdad. Any predictions for the Bush plan tomorrow? Is the "surge" going to happen?
This is an Open Thread.
UPDATE by Mike P: A Turkish plane has crashed in Iraq near Balad. (link ) Airstrikes and raids on Haifa Street in Baghdad kills some foreign militants, captures others. (link ) A new video of Saddam's body has surfaced. (link )
The Japanese American creator of Scooby Doo has died. He evidently learned to draw in an American concentration camp during World War II. (link )
I'm having trouble with the link but I see that some odor has shut down Macy's in NYC and at least part of the Subway. Anyone have any details?
What else is going on with you?
This is an open thread.
UPDATE by Mike P:Here is a link to the story. Seems to be some kind of widespread gas leak.
I keep seeing that kiss that Boehner gave Pelosi as he gave her the gavel. He is a pretty smooth guy, I gotta say. People are walking around with short sleeved shirts here today as temperatures are hovering around 70 though I hear it is wintery in Colorado :)
Bush is going to announce some plan for Iraq soon.
What are you all up to this weekend? I have some things to do but otherwise rest up for the long full week of work ahead.
This is an Open Thread.
US Job Picture brightens - The economy is still chugging along quite well. The unemployment held steady at historically low 4.5% as another 167,000 jobs were added.
Many employers showed not only a greater appetite to hire in December but also more willingness to boost compensation to workers.
Workers, many of whom had seen their paychecks eaten by inflation, saw wages grow robustly last month. Average hourly earnings jumped to $17.04, a sizable 0.5 percent rise from the prior month. Analysts were forecasting a more modest, 0.3 percent increase.
Over the last 12 months, wages grew by a strong 4.2 percent. That matched the annual gain registered in November and was exceeded only by a 4.3 percent annual increase in November 2000.
So despite all the whining, the economy is doing well. This is an Open Thread.
By now most of you have heard about the new signing statements by President Bush claiming to himself the right to open our mail.
(link ) I have written about signing statements here before, suggesting that they essentially make congress irrelevant. (link ) Leon responded by writing that mine was an objection without merit, inasmuch as the signing statements have no proven legal effect. He actually suggested that Clinton had more signing statements than Bush. (link ) My response came later, in which I pointed out a case where at least one signing statement had a legally verifiable affect on a whistleblower. (link ) To clarify my position, it isn't the signing statements that are the real problem, but rather a presumptuous president who chooses to to grant himself unnecessary powers. These include using his "war on terror" as an excuse to take away civil liberties, punish political opponents, and other dubious activities."
I am back at work. How's everyone doing on this fine Thursday morning? It's a bit chilly in NY but still warm - going up to upper 50s and even 60s for the weekend before going back to mid 40s for the next week. That Global Warming is really kicking in this year!
Dems are about to take over... Anyone watching that live? Any spontaneous rallies occurring to celebrate power going back to the people? :)
What's new with you guys? I know I haven't been around much with all of the problems, but I should be back to semi-normal now.
This is an Open Thread.
In the news today, an official who presided over Saddam's execution, the man who allegedly filmed it, is the target of a probe which has already yielded his arrest. (link ) President Ford's body to be interred in Michigan today.
Elsewhere, in an op-ed President Bush has called on Dems to cooperate with him and warning that “political statements” in the form of legislation would result in a stalemate. (link ) That sounds like a threat to veto things he doesn't like. If I were him I would really hesitate to veto most of the things Democrats are promising to pass, such as raising the minimum wage.
Hey all. Hope everything is going well in this New Year. I am sick as a dog which is why I am only posting this brief open tread - got a stomach virus or something and am spending all my time in bed with a fever.
So yeah, I hope your guys' New Year started on a more positive note.
So how is everyone today?
Over 80% of Americans consider themselves Christian. The one thing I read, that strikes me as truthful, is that if most Christians really truly believed in God and the Bible and Heaven, you would see a very different moral climate in this country with people tripping over each other to do good deeds, go to Church, and aspire to Christlike life instead of just mouthing empty convictions (on both the Left and the Right) and applying them to various pet issues: poverty, death penalty, abortion, homosexuality, etc. This faith, though stronger than in Europe, is so diluted and ritualized and normalized that many people don't give it much serious thought except for when they perceive one of their pet issues being threatened. Then all hackles are raised and the process of defending the faith, either via selective application of the Bible or an emotional religious appeal, begins.
Annoyingly enough, these hypocrites, of whom perhaps 5% lead fairly morally consistent (at least according to their perceived morality) lives, claim that it is only through Religion can one be moral. Well then what is morality? Morality is the knowledge of "good and evil" or the more sanitized "right and wrong".