John Zogby On Huff Post: 72% Of US Soldiers In Iraq Think US Should Pull Out Within A Year...
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
(CBS) The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.
In a separate poll, two out of three Americans said they do not think President Bush has responded adequately to the needs of Katrina victims. Only 32 percent approve of the way President Bush is responding to those needs, a drop of 12 points from last September’s poll, taken just two weeks after the storm made landfall.
Still, the incident appears to have made the public's already negative view of Cheney a more so. Just 18 percent said they had a favorable view of the vice president, down from 23 percent in January.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
The President's simplified explainations of this war may come back to haunt us. The ONE Iraqi Battalion capable of fighting without US support has been downgraded to "only" being ready to fight with US Support. This indicates that we may have years before the Iraqi's can defend themselves...and that assumes all goes well over there.
Now, the real problem is what happens if Iraq falls completely into civil war? What do we do? crackdown on unrest? That won't work in the same way we experienced before. these people won't be captivated with the idea that they can get along and form a government. this will be dealing with people that gave up on that notion, aka our goal. If that is the case, then we can expect a great deal more resistance to our efforts.
And what then?
Bush tells us if we leave, then we've cut and run. We've betrayed the deaths of the soldiers that came before. These are his words, and they set up this false dilemma between their goal (which they can't seem to verbalize into an actual thing they can describe) and all out defeat (anything other than their uncertain goal).
This is a great way to pitch your side of the war in a Presidential campaign, but if the planning and the reality don't go much deeper than that, you create a deadly disaster that toys with the lives and patriotism of people that have dedicated their lives to your cause. I believe the root problem here is the fact that we've never had enough troops to occupy the nation. With that as a fact, you run the risk of a civil war you cannot contain and from which you may not be able to return.
Bush has said many times it is up to the Iraqi people. He's said that Democracy is a gift from god and spreading it is doing God's will. He hasn't said what he will do if Iraq doesn't want this gift, and I'm not sure he's allowed himself to think of such problems. When bush sees everything but his version of things as losing, then he cannot see any other vision as a way of winning. This is our lot today.
I guess i could be wrong about what i heard, but i was concerned enough to call 911. I heard a couple of pops and wondered what someone was working on so loudly late at night...i mean, BOY were they being inconsiderate! then some more. squealing tires. more pops. More tires. More pops. I must have heard somewhere between 12 and 20 gunshots tonite. It's so foreign to me i really didn't know what to think. It didn't even occur to to me to call 911 until it all stopped.
I'm thankful that gunshot protocol isn't an oft utilized skill of mine.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
This time it's Virgil Goode (R, VA) and Katharine Harris (R, FL) recieving illegal contributions. As you will recall, Katharine Harris was the bush campaign worker who JUST happened to work as the Florida Secretary of State during the 2000 election. She was in charge of 'handling' the irregularities.
As for this deal, you know the drill. Illegally donated money nets some sweetheart legislation for a company needing to make a few million with the help of a new law.
Business as usual. Sorry to bore you.
NPR reports that some Suni's in Iraq have been pulling Shiites out of their homes and committing attacks. This sis the sort of thing, paired with the earlier attacks leave Iraqi's with less of a willingness to try.
The attack of the shrine this week came in one of the few spots where there was more Suni control of the security (generally, and of the Shiite shrine itself). This just makes the average citizen feel like they may as well give up on the peace process.
I think that the only item left to make this a full blown civil war is a Sunni Insurgent Leader to emerge with an agenda he's acting on. Everyone says the insurgents are getting stronger and more organized, but we're not quite seeing a major leadership figure among them. I have to wonder if that's because he hasn't emerged or the press hasn't covered him yet (Not to imply its on purpose).
Actor Don Knotts dies at 81 - Television - MSNBC.com Growing up, he was always one of my favorites. From the Apple Dumpling Gang to Barney Fife To Mr. Furley, I usually liked everything he did. it was especially cool to see him a few years ago in the movie Pleasantville. What a good guy.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Let me follow up on that post a couple down. Things in Iraq have turned very bad and there is a lot of talk about the country being plunged into civil war. Well, they are short of that on about 1 account. There are not armed factions trying to seize control of the governmental apparatus. Right now we have people trying to disrupt or disassemble peaceful governing of the nation, so we're not that far of the mark. I suppose all that's really left is for everyone to get their own national flag an then we have all the other pieces of the pie.
Aw Hell, I think they've already done that too.
At any rate, several people are sounding the alarm. The Huffington Post has a lot of dire headlines:
U.S. Ambassador Says Iraq On Brink Of Civil War... Daytime Curfew Instated... 140 Iraqis Killed Since Wednesday...7 US Soldiers Killed... 184 Mosques Attacked Or Destroyed, 10 Clerics Killed, 15 Abducted...Gunmen Execute 47 At Fake Police Checkpoint...is that hyperbole? Maybe, but it doesn't look good from any angle. Even the US Ambassador to Iraq says they're about to fall into full scale civil war.
Many claim that the tipping point was the attack on a Shiite Shrine in Iraq. The Shiites believe that Muhammad's family (the 12 Imams) were basically prophets themselves. They are thought to be the source of human understanding of Islam and the Koran. These were his successors. Sunni's, on the otehr hand believe Muhammad did not actually choose a family successor as the 'authority' of the faith. This rift in leadership and the varried teachings that followed is the basis for much of the Sunni/Shiite strife through the centuries (I am GREATLY simplifying this).
Anyway, these 12 Imams are (obviously) sacred to the Shiites. the 11th (Hasan al-Askari) and 12th (Muhammad al-Mahdi) were buried in a holy city in Iraq. the bombing that took place this week was at the shrine that marks the graves of these Imams, the prophet/forefathers of the Shiites. It is hard to conceive a more serious attack against that which the Iraqi Shiites find holy. This is an escelation beyond anything we have seen before and at some point people who have not wanted to live together peacefully in the first place will stop caring or trying.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The House and Senate plan to pass a law forbidding the transfer of port control which was described below.
Well, just days after the ensuing uproar, it's admitted Bush didn't know about this until it was actually in the press. Despite being that detached from the story, he's taken the move by the house and senate as a personal affront. he's vowed to veto any bill changing the decision (he doesn't remember) he made regarding the ports. Is the administration THAT afraid to admit they've made a mistake or is there another reason? If so, and there may be a good reason, I'd like to hear it. "Trust Us" doesn't wash anymore, evidently even with the Republicans.
As you may have heard, the White House put forth a deal to approve a Dubai corporation's (from the United Arab Emirates--Dubai Port World) assumption of the lease to run 6 major ports in america including: New Orleans, New York, Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.
they would not be in charge of security, but they would be in charge of running the day to day operations of the ports.
The problem is not one of race (i.e. just because this is an arab company). The problem comes from the fact that the company is actually owned by the COUNTRY itself. Two of the 9/11 terrorists came from UAE, but that alone isn't troubling. good and bad people are born to each nation. the problem is that the UAE has a history of turning a blind eye to terrorist fundraising, and in some ways acting as an enabler. They have a history of dabbling with muslim extremists in order to placate the unrest that the royal families may deal with back home. This is a conflict of interest that does not appear to make US port security a priority. There have been reports that the company's ties to a couple of key white house officials were the key to getting the administration's 'OK'.
I don't know if that last part is true. it is believable, but I'm not too concerned, compared to the REAL concern here. It was revealed this week, after a great uproar from Democrats and Republicans alike, that this act, made solely by the white house was one that THE PRESIDENT WAS UNAWARE OF UNTIL THE PRESS BROUGHT IT UP! It wasn't that the man was convinced that we were making the right decisions, and maybe he knew something that put aside the concerns mentioned above and in the linked story. The President didn't even know it had happened. that his office MADE it happen.
This President is asleep at the wheel.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Just in case you didn't know. as for Cheney on hunting:
"It's brought me great pleasure over the years," he said. "I love the people that I've hunted with and do hunt with. Love the outdoors. It's part of my heritage, growing up in Wyoming. It's part of who I am."And of course, by that he means he started hunting about 10 years ago because it let him tweak some business relationships while at haliburton and now with donors as VP. I'm sure he enjoys it greatly, but in his blood? hardly. Literally, John Kerry is more of a lifelong hunter.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
A few large groups using sophisticated communications increasingly have come to dominate Iraq's insurgency, a report released Wednesday said.
The report from the International Crisis Group, a nongovernmental organization that tries to solve conflicts, noted the insurgency "no longer is a scattered, erratic, chaotic phenomenon."
"Groups are well organized, produce regular publications, react rapidly to political developments and appear surprisingly centralized," the report said.
It noted the insurgency, a predominately Sunni Arab movement, has grown "more confident, better organized, coordinated, information-savvy."
This is pretty amazing. Dish Network has a handheld device with a 40 gig hard drive. its similar to an ipod but this one connects to your satellite/DVR and can store/play up to FORTY hours of satellite TV on top of mp3s, games, etc. Actually it can record from your computer, VCR, TV, DVD, even acts as a portable DVR that you can connect to a cable box. jesus. they have different sizes with nice wide screen color displays. i'd be sold.
Seriously, putting DVR content in the handheld would be a REMARKABLE step forward.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Dick Cheney comes out of hiding after the shooting, and where does he go? into the safe busom of FoxNews of COURSE! Jack call's him on it:
BLITZER: First of all, Jack, what did you make of Dick Cheney's interview today?HAW! watch the tape!
CAFFERTY: Well, I obviously didn't see it 'cause it hasn't been released in its entirety yet, but I -- I would guess it didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the vice president to wander over there to the F-word network for a sit down with Brit Hume. I mean, that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it? I mean, where was the news conference? Where was the -- where was the access to all of the members of the media? I don't know. You know? Whatever.
60 photos of the tortured prisoners have been released. many are quite brutal.
Well, it seems cheney has been orchestrating the timing of this whole thing. you don't do this sort of thing with a straight forward accident, unless it isn't a straight forward accident.
Salon.com News & Politics | War Room: "Time: Cheney delayed hunting news
Relying on the word of several 'Republican sources,' Time is reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney played an active role in delaying news reports that he had shot a fellow hunter.
According to the magazine, White House press secretary Scott McClellan was not told of Cheney's involvement in the shooting until 6 a.m. Sunday, at which point, a Time source says, McClellan began pushing hard to have the information released immediately. 'But that did not happen right away,' Time says. Instead, the magazine reports, 'Cheney insisted on carrying out a strategy he had worked out with the ranch owner, Katharine Armstrong, in which she was to call a trusted reporter at the local paper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, to disclose the news.'"
The story of how Cheney wounded this guy keeps changing. slate.com notes some interesting bullshit:
At what range was Harry Whittington hit? The official story is that the blast from the vice president's shotgun hit Whittington at a distance of 30 yards. Hunters at the Vaughn Building are skeptical. The hunt took place on a cold, windy afternoon. Whittington and his fellow hunters were probably wearing warm clothing—say, a jacket and a flannel shirt. Cheney was using a 28-gauge shotgun, a smaller-diameter firearm with pellets smaller than BBs. Whittington's friends question whether the pellets could have penetrated his layers of clothing and skin at that range. Yet two pellets lodged against his larynx, another was in his liver, and another migrated into the heart muscle, causing the heart attack. The pattern of wounds was between the lower chest and the forehead, a pretty tight zone for shot of 30 yards. If the range was considerably less than 30 yards, then it is likely that Whittington's injuries were worse than the initial statement by Katharine Armstrong indicated. (The blast "knocked him silly," but "he was fine.")This idea that he might have been to blame himself for getting shot...I find this rather dubious. just HOW do you get shot in the face/upper chest by a shotgun at 30 yards (lets just trust the VP's math for a second) when he's shooting at birds? a bird in flight would either be at a higher angle OR if low flying, the man would have been in plain sight of the VP. None of this adds up to me.
Whose fault was it? If there is anything that Harry's friends at the Vaughn Building are angry about, it is not the shooting itself but the attempt by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to place the blame on the victim. It's the shooter's duty to know what he is shooting at and where his companions are. A shooting accident is always the fault of the shooter. Always.
click and see the part marked UPDATE
It seems that MSNBC quoted Katharine Armstrong (witness and owner of the place) as saying:
"There may be a beer or two in there," she said, 'but remember not everyone in the party was shooting.'"but NOW MSNBC has scrubbed that from their site! Now keep in mind, if she owns this hunting range and is providing the patrons with a place to hunt AND beers, well there may be a legal issue or 2 in there for her as well. Again, all of this seems to go a long way to explaining just why this has been handled in this manner.
The sheriff's office did not interview Cheney until Sunday morning (THE NEXT DAY). some reports I've read specifically say they 'weren't allowed' to interview him until Sunday morning. this is something that i find suspicious. In Mississippi, any accidental shooting in this hunting context triggers an automatic 'breath-alizer' test. The Sheriff's office specifically denoted that alcohol did not play a role in this shooting but there is no way they could have known that if they were kept from the VP until the next day.
The questions I'd like to see fromt he Press:
Why was the Sheriff's office denied an opportunity to interview a man that just shot another man.
(when is that EVER proper?)
Was the VP drinking?
Did he take a breath test?
Is it required by TX law?
Where are the results?
This would seem more like a silly conspiracy were it not for the downright weird handling of this by the administration, nevermind the fact that its FOUR DAYS after the sitting VP shot a man and the VP hasn't shown his face in public yet! A booze mix-up here sure would explain a lot about the bizarre handling of this matter by the VP.
Seems i'm not alone in my thinking...
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Dunno if you heard this, but the guy Cheney shot just had a heart attack. things aren't looking worse and worse. if this guy dies, i...uh...see some real problems.
I'm very sorry Mr. Cheney Shot that man. I'm pretty sure he feels terrible about it. I'm sure he didn't mean to do it. Those niceties out of the way, CHENEY can't just constantly hide in is 'undisclosed location' because he doesn't feel like answering questions. Three days after shooting a man, he AND his office has refused to answer ANY questions publicly. It's bad politics and it's irresponsible leadership. Such extreme incidents deserve to be in the public discourse. I expect to see him talk today, or else face a small backlash.
Monday, February 13, 2006
OK, anyone else thinking Harrison Ford's star is starting to fade a little? well, it isn't because people don't CARE about him anymore. Its because we're tired of his 1 dimensional roles. He seems to play the same character over and over...and that can be fine (Look at much of Bogart or John Wayne's Career). The key is to be putting that persona we love into interesting settings. Ford isn't doing that...and its by his own admission. people like to see him a certain way, so why stray from that? Sure, i get it. still don't miss the point i made above.
Ford is beginning to type-cast himself. He still has a great deal of star power, but Studios will not keep on paying $20+ Million dollars to him if he can't do better than a 4th place showing behind some poor competition.
I say all this because i'm a fan and want to actually see people i like in movies i'll like.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Dick Cheney, over the weekend, confronted what he thought was the largest, most dangerous quail stalking the earth with deadly gunfire. Much to his chagrin, it was actually 78 year old Harry Whittington. Cheney apologized for mistaking the man for an upright-walking, 6' tall bird.
Friday, February 10, 2006
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration officials said they had been caught by surprise when they were told on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that a levee had broken, allowing floodwaters to engulf New Orleans.A city and its people were in need and they just couldn't give a damn. Bush was on vacation talking the next day about how New Orleans had 'dodged a bullet.' We pay a price for electing a president that see's his job as playing dress-up and leaving the world (oh his underlings) to sort itself out. This administration is the shame of the nation.
But Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
IF you've been watching the news, you might have heard how the president sorta got his ass handed to him at Coretta Scott King's funeral. All i have to say to the conservatives that were 'ashamed' at the politicization of her memorial service...well, you clearly weren't paying attention when she was alive, protesting war and suffering from an illegal wiretapping program. its obvious you didn't give a damn back then so your 'shock' today is at best misplaced and at worst just bogus.
Here's a capsule of everything you need to know.
Ok, i'll toss in a bonus toon.
This lady has been making the rounds. she's been on hardball and the daily show hawking her book. its about how, now get this, we live in an age where there's just no spin. it doesn't work. She also used to work for Rumsfeld. Matthews really gets her here (link up top), but MAN...is it really that hard when your book's premise is based on make-believe? good job, none-the-less.
This is pretty funny. Jack Cafferty has had some John Stewart level moments of clarity in reporting the day's news that seem refreshing over at CNN. I love when he just lays it all out there w/o dancing around his words. often Wolf Blitzer is just there, mouth agape at how frank (and right) Cafferty is. Video from today, plus a few cuts about the newly elected Republican House Majority Leader (supposedly elected to help clean up the ethics problems):
Cafferty: These guys are either arrogant or stupid and neither of those is a good thing if you're going to be the House majority leader--am I missing something here? Where's the reform part? I wonder how long this guy is going to last.Watch how he makes Wolfie squirm a little.
Wolf: You did hear Ed Henry say that it is a basement apartment which is not necessarily all that desirable---
Cafferty: Yea...and pigs fly upside down and the moon is made of green cheese and there's no quid pro quo from a lobbyist who is also your landlord. Do I look like I just fell out of the back of a vegetable truck to you?
Wolf: No, you look like Jack Cafferty...
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
In news you don't hear about too often, two Jackson, MS strip clubs filed a restraining order agaisnt the CITY. The mayor, Frank Melton, has personally raided several businesses in town, including strip clubs, but it seems that he's not been arresting people for crimes as much as he's just come in and forced the businesses to close for the day.
I think if people are committing crimes, stop 'em. if they aren't, then what's the mayor DOING?
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
A Pre-1776 mentality.
This administration reacts to anyone who questions this illegal program by saying that those of us who demand the truth and stand up for our rights and freedoms somehow has a pre-9/11 world view. In fact, the President has a pre-1776 world view. Our government has three branches, not one. And no one, not even the President, is above the law.
--Russ Feingold (D, WI)
We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there [standing ovation]... but Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty aounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor." -Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery, at the Coretta Scott King funeral, in front of 4 presidents...
In light of the hearings over the Bush Administration's wiretaps, the senate should bring in the man that signed into law the statute in question. Anybody else watch Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony? I only got bits and pieces. it was pretty lame. he wouldn't even answer simple questions like "do you feel that you guys can go through people's mail under these laws, yes or no?"
He wouldn't even ANSWER that easy question straight! now that's ominous. a few things that bothered me in particular was his willingness to state the administration's past trustworthy behaviour as being a reason to trust them now. this is remarkably difficult to swallow in light of the unabated truth stretching that has gone on. 'trust us' is not a legal document. Another issue that i found alarming was the fact that under the Gonzales outline of how things should work, if an intelligence officer DID find rampant violations of law/civil rights by the NSA, that officer would be bound NOT to tell anyone because of the top secret nature of the work. this goes to the heart of the oversight problem people are objecting about. Gonzales had a response for this to:
Monday, February 06, 2006
I've gotta do a quick addition to the post before. When Gonzales was before the Senate Judiciary Committee before, the warrantless wiretapping was in effect at the time. It was being kept secret. in his testimony, Gonzales mentioned that the administration would have to get warrants to follow the law and that the idea of such 'warrantless' wiretaps were mere hypotheticals situations. as it turns out, that was a lie. it wasn't hypothetical. it was somthing they were doing at that moment and he knew about it.
Click the link above and see Gonzales explain himself in a cartoon.
The Hearings on the NSA spying on Americans w/o a warrant get started this morning. First up, Alberto Gonzales. He's the US AG and the go-to man whenever the bush administration wants some legal justification for whatever new idea they want to try out. Gonzales has been a good bit inconsistent in his explanation of how the Bush White House is spying on Americans without a warrant.
In light of this, Senate Committee Chair Arlen Specter (R, PA-A guy I actually like OK) decided Gonzales didn't have to testify under oath (thus no perjury for lying) even though he's testified before this committee previously under oath. This just seems unwise if not naive considering the situation.
Good grief. echoing back to the Ed Sullivan Show,
The Rolling Stones were censored at the super bowl. This time it was nothing to do with nudity or the Stones being made to sing different lyrics. ABC/NFL actually cut/obscured the audio on a lyric from Start Me Up (you know, the song we've heard uncensored on the radio for 25 years or so) and a double entendre off their newest record, Rough Justice. a bit over-reaching if you ask me. Then again, the Superbowl wasn't quite as overrun as before with ads about Beer and Boner pills.
If only the Seahawks had won.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
OK, I didn't mention it before while talking about the President's SOTU speech, but I have to bring it up. one of the priorities he highlighted for immedicate action just kinda dropped my jaw. He wants congress to ban Human/Animal Cross-cloning. Uh, OK. WHERE did that come from!?! I think the Prez got a little too scared when he last saw The Island of Dr. Moreau.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
I guess i Shouldn't complain. they've lasted me 11 years and cost me $10 (thank you american eagle outfitters after chirstmas clearance!). the support on the inside of the sole is literally collapsing at this point and it's time to get some new ones. OK, one day. Oh, I want a watch. Yeah. it'll be a while on that one too. oh well, just daydreaming.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
KR Washington Bureau | 02/01/2006 | Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports: "WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally."Wait. he didn't mean it LITERALLY? well why would he SAY it?! oh. he was lying. i understrand. sorry. i get mixed up when i hear people talk sometimes.
Quick note: The GOP members of the US House of Representatives elected Rep. John Boehner (R, OH)--Pronounced 'Boner'. oh lord--as the New Republican Majority leader.
However, the election didn't go off without a hitch. it seems the 1st vote had to be tossed out as there were more votes cast than there are total GOP members of the US House. You can draw your own conclusions about republican's ability to run fair elections. HAW HAW HAW!
Here in Mississippi, we have a controversial flag. I like flags a LOT, but not everyone likes our current state flag. My solution? i fly the OLD SCHOOL flag from the 1860s. We fly several flags at our house at different times of the year. Welsh or Italian when the in-laws come, and sometimes thereafter, Old Glory in the summer, and Bavarian for La Federala on special occasions. We also have the Democrat flag for election time and SOON I'll have an BAD ASS Tulane and Miss. State flag flying! woo hoo!
Oh, i should mention that we have some rivals down the street in our neighborhood. Those bad asses fly the US flag, the French Flag, the Indian flag, the Union Jack, and--I swear to god--both the United Nations flag and the European Union Flag. those guys are hardcore.
That reminds me, hey gorj. Remember that poli sci gal we met in college that had the UN Logo tattoo'd on her shoulder? that was pretty hardcore too.
....in the middle of the night, will anyone hear it? I WILL! when i heard this thing fall, all i could think was WHAT NEW LOG HAS HIT MY HOUSE!?! I couldn't find a flashlight so i circled the house with the light of my trusty cell phone and saw nothing shocking. that is, until the next day when i saw this next door!
This is the WAY too tiny desk i'm currently using. My, but I think it looks overcrowded. Luckily i spent most of the day on the phone or typing and didn't need actual 'surface space'. This is gonna sound stupid, but i think the full sized version of this makes my lamp look awesome.
Things of note: Myrna Loy mousepad, Learn Italian CDs, Map of Hinds County Senate Districts, GIANT workers comp book (Thanks Gorj.), freebie CDs from Uncut Music Magazine, hip lamp, and HOT Greta Garbo stamps.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Hmm...you think Bush Daughters would volunteer to fight in Iraq. I wonder if their father has told them how important Iraq is to the safety of our nation. You know, if you believe in the Iraq war enough to make the ultimate sacrifice (for other people's families), you'd think they'd make an effort in their own family.
Telegraph | News | Harry will go to danger zone: "Prince Harry is to be sent to Iraq next year as a troop commander and is likely to patrol the hazardous border with Iran, defence sources have disclosed.
The third in line to the throne will join the Army's 1st Mechanised Brigade, which will be deployed to Basra in May 2007."
The State of the Union speech last night came with surprisingly little 'scathing response' from the usual outlets. this site included. I was probably LEAST disappointed by this one than with any Bush has given, and i guess that's really saying something.
The speech had 2 highlights for me. One was when he commented that the Social Security changes he pushed were left unfinished. He meant this as a scold to the congress, but the Democrats started clapping loudly to say "hell YEAH, we didn't pass that crap of yours!" i think they even gave that a standing ovation. that's a sort of thumb in the eye you probably NEVER see and will NEVER see again. usually the opposing party's disdain is summed up in comically exaggerated raised eyebrows or head shakes. All done, one suspects in the hopes that they'll be featured in a crowd/reaction shot for the cameras.
You know, for a speech that's usually considered an overblown, clap happy, dog and pony show, that was a pretty brazen act by the dems. I guarantee speechwriters will never again put something in that will allow that sort of phrasing again!
The Second part i liked, and this is short, was the President addressing our 'addiction' to Oil. The problem is that is the beginning and end of his 'addressing' the issue. It's also important to note his words. He didn't say 'addiction to oil' he said "Addiction to foreign oil". that's the key difference. It was said to make a nod to high fuel costs that the people are feeling, but the reality isn't about removing our need for large amounts of oil. its about less foreign oil. this is a nod to expanded drilling and sweetheart deals to oil companies.
You see, when those oil companies want to drill in national wildlife refuges like in Alaska, they aren't just wanting permission to go there. they want to extract the oil that, technically belong to the US government, they want to lease the space for pennies (or free if they can get it) and they want to give little to no royalties to the people for the taking of their oil. THIS is the full picture of why arctic drilling is a bad idea, not just the environmental woes. its a matter of taking the people's oil out of the ground for free so that they can sell it back to us for a mint. Of course, the amount of oil there to drill is profitable to the companies, but as a portion of the total oil market, it is not enough to increase supply enough to lower prices.
The current mix of skyrocketing oil company profits and skyrocketing consumer costs keeps bush from going too deep into this one, but that's the gist of it. We need to have less dependence on a fuel that is in finite supply and located primarily in volitile portions of the world. a refusal to deal with that fact is a refusal to deal with the current state of the world. Ask Ford Motors how that's going for them right now.