June 26, 2008

Curveball still serving Whoppers

One of the douchebags who peddled questionable intelligence, of the variety that helped Bush and Co. make their flawed case to invade Iraq, is living, working and lying in Germany. Now at a Burger King.

When you read this article, please try to keep in mind this guy is a joke. He was a joke way back in 2002 and 2003 when the assweevils were trying to bring their case for war (when Condi and Cheney were talking about mushroom clouds). I wonder sometimes if they were dumb enough to believe him (the Germans already knew he was a liar) or if he just came around at the right time with the right lies.

It really doesn't matter now. Especially since it's unlikely anyone in this Administration will ever go to jail for lying us into war.

Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 17, 2008

THEY said it would pay for itself...

...and Tom Tomorrow has his take on the Iraq War.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2008

Things aren't all that rosy in Iraq... nor are they completely dire

The NYT released their Iraq scorecard which can best be summarized with the following...

It is far too soon to predict that Iraq is headed for stability or sectarian reconciliation. But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.

This is all with a lot of stuff in the backdrop, namely the election season. Which is kind of interesting since the Republicans are solidly failing to land hits or adequately defend their position to keep troops in Iraq for the next 100 years. Here's the problem, which the Times glosses over... are our troops worsening or helping the political situation in Iraq? The Iraqi's seem to be pretty clear that it's the former.

Now the Senate wants to know what happened to all the money the Iraqi's have made on oil sales.

Despite the dire need for better health care, more electricity and clean water, a functioning sewage system and other services, the accountability office has previously estimated that Iraq spent only 22 percent of the oil money set aside for reconstruction in 2006. And in January, the office, which is charged with overseeing the Iraqi government’s finances, reported that Iraq had spent a meager 4.4 percent of its 2007 reconstruction budget by August of that year, the most recent figures available at the time.

As a result, the letter from the Armed Services Committee says, “we believe that it has been overwhelmingly U.S. taxpayer money that has funded Iraq reconstruction over the last five years, despite Iraq earning billions of dollars in oil revenue over that time period that have ended up in non-Iraqi banks.”

The Pentagon is releasing a detailed and thorough analysis of Iraq's connections to terrorism prior to the invasion. The conclusion? It's the same one you've heard before... there were no ties to terrorism. Period. Bush, Condi, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz made it all up. Which makes them liars.

Unfortunately, none of them can be prosecuted. Well, at least not the ones that didn't testify before Congress.

At the end, it's time to acknowledge we've done all we can do. We're more a crutch than a real help at this point and it's time for our men and women to come home from Bush's attempt to create a friedmanite paradise. We owe it to them.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2008

More problems in Iraq

Apparently, our troops are having some problems with our Iraqi friends.

The biggest reason for the recent drop in violence in Iraq, especially among our troops, has been the Iraqi civilian brigades known as the Awakening Movement. These are Sunnis who have joined the United States forces in fighting al-Queda in Iraq. These groups have been a huge help to U.S. troops.

But eveidently, the U.S. troops aren't getting enough training or enough intelligence, because they have been attacking fighters from the Awakening Movement without provocation. And the Iraqis don't like it. While they are trying to help us, they must be as afraid of our troops as the enemy. It looks like our soldiers can't tell their friends from their enemies in Iraq.

Because of this, the AM fighters in at least two provinces are saying they will no longer fight with U.S. troops. In Babil and Diyala provinces, our troops are once again on their own. This is not making progress -- this is going backwards. You can't blame the AM fighters. Why should they help our troops when we are attacking them?

This is just more evidence why we must get our troops out of Iraq. Bush has placed them in the middle of a civil war, where they can't tell their friends from their enemies. Instead of winning friends, we are losing them. Is it any wonder that the casualties are starting to rise again?

Enough. Let them fight their civil war and bring our friends and family home.

Posted by mcblogger at 06:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 03, 2008

30% of Iraqi refugees fled during US 'Surge'

From McClatchy

Of the refugees polled, 78 percent said they'd come from Baghdad, which has been the focus of military operations since the U.S. troop buildup began last February. Thirty-five percent said they'd fled between July and October, when U.S. troop strength peaked. Another 30 percent said they'd fled to Syria last year, as violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims intensified.

More than half the survey's participants said they'd received direct threats or had lived through bombings. Eleven percent had been assaulted and 6 percent had been kidnapped.

The number of refugees with missing or dead relatives has risen steadily in the past four years; 54 percent had dead or missing family members this year, up from 22 percent last year. Murder was cited as the No. 1 cause of death, listed in 78 percent of the cases in the U.N. survey. A majority of respondents, 62 percent, blamed sectarian militias for the deaths. Twenty-eight percent listed "unknown" and 2 percent listed "al Qaida."

So, the real success of the surge was removing 500k good people from the country and making them refugees?

Posted by mcblogger at 01:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2007

Saving al-Maliki

You remember that military funding bill that all the Kucinichites were all pissed as hell about? Bush vetoed it on Friday. As it turns out, there was a provision within the bill that would have allowed American military personnel held and tortured by the Hussein government in Gulf War I to sue the current Iraqi government.

Yeah, I don't see anything wrong with it either. But apparently, it would have resulted in close to $1bn being paid to veterans and their families. The Iraqi's for their part, threatened to pull $28bn from US banks if the bill passed. Uhm, wait a sec... WE ARE THE FINANCIAL BACKING FOR IRAQ. US taxpayers have been happily subsidizing the puppet government in Iraq and now it wants to threaten us? Apparently, it worked with Bush the Weak who caved in like a horny teenage girl after sucking three Zima's through a straw. Screw the troops who fought in Daddy's war! We gotta help our Iraqi friends.

The Democrats, for their part, have been on heavy offense...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, criticized the president's decision.

"The defense bill passed both houses of Congress by overwhelming bipartisan margins and addresses urgent national security priorities," including the pay raise and money for veterans' health care, Pelosi and Reid said in a written statement. "It is unfortunate that the president will not sign this critical legislation."

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, also expressed dismay at the president's decision.

"This bill is important to our men and women in uniform," Levin said. "It is unfortunate that the administration failed to identify the concerns upon which this veto is based until after the bill had passed both houses of Congress and was sent to the president for signature.

"I am deeply disappointed that our troops and veterans may have to pay for their mistake and for the confusion and uncertainty caused by their snafu."

The disputed legal claims provision in the defense bill prompted the Iraqi government to threaten to withdraw $25 billion in Iraqi assets from U.S. banks, White House officials told CNN.

You mean the Iraqi's have been storing OUR money in our banks? Well, that's awfully big of them. As for threatening a withdrawal, that's some bullshit. We're still holding frozen Iranian assets. We could easily add Iraqi assets as well.

It should be clear, even to the most ardent Republican voter, that Bush is a useless piece of shit who is thoroughly incompetent. It should also be clear that he is the archetype of a Republican elected official. Which means, if y'all want this country to endure, you better start voting Democratic. Republicans certainly can't do the job.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2007

Xerox needs you (to thank the troops)!

Via Hal at Half Empty comes a new service from Xerox to let all of us slobs sitting on our asses send a thank you note to the troops in the middle east. Whatever your opinion of Bush and this war, these men and women are doing their jobs as best they can. Take just a moment and say thanks!

Posted by mcblogger at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 04, 2007

Vets being shoved aside

This is some bullshit...Apparently, the numbers of Veterans arrested for drug and alcohol abuse in Travis Count have jumped dramatically. That's the obvious issue but the underlying cause is far more disturbing.

Because of the symptoms with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other psychiatric problems developed while in combat, veterans have succumbed to alcohol or drug abuse. This is frequently an attempt to self medicate the pain. This typically results in a dishonorable discharge, which denies any veteran VA benefits. As such veterans are thrown into the civilian population, their drug and alcohol abuse continues, yet they have no way to seek treatment for the abuse and/or their severe psychiatric problems. Furthermore, it is very difficult for veterans with dishonorable discharges to gain employment. Thus the downward spiral continues with no apparent way out.

The second problem is equally bad, but much more despicable. What is happening is that veterans returning from combat deployments take the right steps to receive treatment for PTSD and other lingering mental issues. In some of these instances, the military has pressured (coerced) the service members to sign a document stating that their mental condition was pre-existing. Such veterans are then discharged, and again denied access to VA benefits (because their disability is classified as existing prior to the military). The two primary ways these service members have been so coerced are:

1) Military members are threatened with disciplinary action. Their fragile psychiatric condition makes it very difficult for them to challenge this threat. In addition, they are pressured into signing such papers, with the "promise" that once signed, they will be discharged, and not be in further trouble. (They of course cannot get in legal trouble for having a psychiatric disorder, though when so pressured, they do not realize that this is the case).

2) The second form of coercion involves a horrible play on the condition of the service member. They are told that if they do not sign the document, their discharge will take longer. The nature of their illness is often such that they see the military as a cause of their pain, and are willing to sign away their benefits so that they can be immediately discharged.

This is a real problem nationally that's leading to extremely high suicide rates among our returning troops. The sad part is that it seems to be directed from the Administration down through DoD to classify as many Vets as possible this way to cut down on benefit payments over the next 50-60 years.

This is an absolutely inexcusable situation and one which people in liberal Austin seem to be taking seriously and working to address. The only question is why Republicans think their support of the troops begins and ends with the magnetic ribbon on their car? Is it any wonder that recruitment is going so badly?


Posted by mcblogger at 10:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 28, 2007

Another look at reality in Iraq

While the Republicans crow about success (because they're mooks and they think THEY are the ones actually fighting), there's another take on the decreasing violence. Part of it is how many members of the warring factions have been killed off as part of a civil war. The other, as NTL reveals, is how much we're spending to bribe them.

Fun, isn't it? And don't forget, our troops are still in the middle of this crap.

Posted by mcblogger at 04:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2007

Way to miss the point, Cal...

Cal Thomas seems to think that the President has pulled off some kind of miracle in Iraq. At least, he seems to in his column this week talking about how good the news is from Iraq and how it's all great for the GOP.

What Cal doesn't remember is that the Democrats and the American people FORCED the President to change strategy to something that might finally make things better. They also forced the Iraqi government to finally step up to the plate and get in gear. If Democrats hadn't started holding their ground on troop withdrawal in the face of patriotism-baiting attacks from the White House and Republicans, the Iraqi's would have no need to do anything other than occasionally telling Bush not to worry and asking for still more money.

Of course, the reality of the situation in Iraq is far easier to understand when you actually look at Iraq for what it's been, not what Cal and Bush want it to be. We won the initial invasion, then screwed up the pacification (we're still screwing that up). In the meantime, a civil war started which our President refused to acknowledge and decided to keep our troops in the middle of. That war is beginning to wind down since in many cases, one side or another has been victorious. Just look at Anbar... fighting has stopped there because one side killed the other. That's the kind of success Cal calls a homerun. Only problem is, we didn't need to be there for it.

Let's not even talk about the re-Baathification of the government in which we effectively bought off the remaining members of Saddam's regime with posts in the new government. Let's never forget that it was Bush's appointee Bremer who famously de-Baathified the Iraqi government and created the initial insurgency, which would later become what Bush and others have called al Qaida in Iraq. Bush, time and time again, creates his own problems while folks like Cal Thomas cheer lead from the pages of papers across the country.

Nah, the reality here at home is that people like Cal have been so wrong, so many times, that they just can't sit still when it appears that things are going their way, even though their designs had absolutely nothing to do with it. In all honesty, we could have had this result in late 2004. Instead we had 3 wasted years of our soldier's lives and our country's treasure.

As for the notion that the Democrats are all about defeat, WE HAVEN'T BEEN DEFEATED. We never were. Our troops toppled the dictator we were told was soon to have WMD's capable of reaching the US. Every thing since has been a waste of our time.

That's what Democrats are sick of, Cal. Wasting lives, money and time on a situation which the locals have to make better for themselves. They appear to finally be doing that, if for no other reason than that the majority of people in this country finally demanded a clock be put on this thing.

And we'll not forget your part in all this, Cal. Don't ask us to take you seriously since it's frankly just not possible for us to suffer fools gladly. Especially not those dumb enough to fooled by a charlatan of a leader who happens to be our President.

Posted by mcblogger at 08:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 15, 2007

Iraq War Cost equates to a 5 time increase in taxes!

Building on McBlogger's post, let's take a little bit of a closer look at these numbers. First of all, Bush has continuously referred to the War in Iraq as the War on Terror. Yes there are terrorists in Iraq, but they have come into Iraq because America invaded their regional neighbor, in defense of Islam. There were no WMD, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Afghanistan, which by the way has been all but written off by the Bush Regime, only accounts for approximately 25% of the spending in this report. And we wonder why we have been unable to catch Osama. Limited Resources = Limited Possibility of Capture.

So what is the deal with the current War Spending? For Iraq alone, the cost for the average family over the last six years comes out to $15,900. When broken down by year, and compared to the average tax burden for a family of four making the median income ($43,200), this equates to about 3 1/2 times the federal income tax for a family of four making the median income (I calculated this the other night, but haven't been able to recreate the number, with subsequent calculations being much lower. What this means is that if the right credits are applied, the tax burden can come out to zero, producing an infinitely higher cost per family for the war). When compared to the total cost, including Afghanistan, that multiplier becomes 5!

Enough of the dry numbers (and I am no statistician, so I make no claim of exactitude). What really gets me is that the Republicans continuously preach that the Democrats are all about taxing. Well, if we were to invest as much in Health Care, Education and every other desperately deficient area in America, many more American's would be able to live long, healthy and happy lives. But, God forbid an increase in health care coverage for children. It is simply more important to pay for 8 days of the Iraq war, at least in the twisted mind of the Bush Regime, than to significantly increase S-CHIP coverage for a whole year!!!

I am Closet Purist. Expect me to say all the pointed, in your face, honest truths here. I would love to say them minus the anonymity, but politics is politics, and purists are laughed at. I hope you will all enjoy my venting in the days, months and years to come.

CP

Posted by Closet Purist at 12:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 03, 2007

Iraqi's don't like being shot?

You go, Iraqi cabinent! You hold Blackwater accountable because it's sure as hell obvious the US won't.

The Iraqi cabinet approved draft legislation Tuesday that would repeal a law granting immunity to foreign security firms working in Iraq.

The draft, which still requires the approval of parliament, is part of the Iraqi government's response to a shooting last month involving guards from Blackwater Worldwide, a North Carolina-based private security firm, that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead and 27 wounded.

Ali al-Dabbagh, a government spokesman, said the cabinet unanimously approved the draft. Several important pieces of legislation have been stalled in parliament for months, but Dabbagh said he was certain legislators would approve a tough law on foreign security guards.

"There has been a lot of anger because of this Blackwater incident," he said. "There was a bit of a sense of urgency."

The measure would repeal a law known as Order 17 that was issued by L. Paul Bremer, who led the U.S. occupation in Iraq until June 2004. The move by the Iraqi cabinet follows reports this week that Blackwater guards were granted partial immunity during a State Department investigation into the Sept. 16 incident.

Dabbagh said in an interview that the new law would not apply retroactively, meaning that private security guards could not be prosecuted for crimes committed before the legislation is passed.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also gained a political victory Tuesday when he succeeded in filling cabinet posts that had been left empty after some of the major political blocs departed the government this year.

The appointments of Salih al-Hasnawi as health minister and Ali al-Bahadli as agriculture minister were approved by parliament. Dabbagh said the vote was legal, despite reports from some opposition parties that there was not a sufficient quorum to confirm the appointments.

The political developments came as bloodshed continued to convulse Iraq. At least 32 people were killed in attacks across the country, according to an Interior Ministry official.

Wait. I thought the violence was going away... that the surge worked! Are you telling me that all the additional troops and money did was drop the absolute number of killings and attacks per day? McWOW! Put our troops in harms way, spend billions we don't have all to drop the # of killings from 40 per day to 32 per day?!?!?!?!

Posted by mcblogger at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2007

Al Qaida in Iraq dealt a serious blow?

According to the WaPo, yes. Which will make, what, the 18th time we've heard this story? Not everyone is as sure as the White House...

"I think it would be premature at this point," a senior intelligence official said of a victory declaration over AQI, as the group is known. Despite recent U.S. gains, he said, AQI retains "the ability for surprise and for catastrophic attacks." Earlier periods of optimism, such as immediately following the June 2006 death of AQI founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. air raid, not only proved unfounded but were followed by expanded operations by the militant organization.

There is widespread agreement that AQI has suffered major blows over the past three months. Among the indicators cited is a sharp drop in suicide bombings, the group's signature attack, from more than 60 in January to around 30 a month since July. Captures and interrogations of AQI leaders over the summer had what a senior military intelligence official called a "cascade effect," leading to other killings and captures. The flow of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq has also diminished, although officials are unsure of the reason and are concerned that the broader al-Qaeda network may be diverting new recruits to Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Of course, today was a big day in geopolitics, with Syria voicing support for Turkey (strange) and bin Laden (who doesn't matter, remember?) staged a comeback with another tape on al Jazeera.

Osama Bin Laden has called on fighters in Iraq to unite and stand shoulder to shoulder in a new audiotape. In the tape broadcast by Al Jazeera on Monday, a voice sounding like bin Laden admitted that mistakes have been made in Iraq and exhorted the fighters to rectify them. "Some of you have been lax in one duty, which is to unite your ranks," bin Laden said. "Beware of division ... The Muslim world is waiting for you to gather under one banner."

Again, I'd just like to ask... why isn't this guy dead yet?


Posted by mcblogger at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2007

Blackwater's founder has a suggestion

The WaPo has a great article up about Blackwater which ends with the following...

n the end, he said, Blackwater is always ultimately answerable as a business to its government customers.

"We're open honest Americans trying to do a good job," he said. "If they don't like what we're doing then" -- he snapped his fingers -- "cut off that revenue steam right now."

Couldn't agree with you more, Mr. Prince.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2007

A tax proposal that makes sense...

Steve over at Who's Playin' has the deets on an upcoming Democratic proposal for a new surcharge to pay for the Iraq Occupation and the ongoing War on Terror.

If this war is important enough to fight, then it ought to be important enough to pay for.

We know that this proposal is going to be controversial – I don’t expect to get the support of our leadership or the support of our caucus at this point – but by putting together this bill we hope people will stop ignoring what this war is costing American taxpayers and call the President’s bluff on fiscal responsibility.

And please realize, that if such a proposal is not passed, and the war continues, one of two things will happen. We will either run up insurmountable debts, or we will drain the treasury dry of funds that are essential to making the domestic investments in education, health, medical research, science, law enforcement, that our crucial to creating a stronger country and more prosperous families.

It is time for the President and the Congress to face up to some really hard choices. It is time for all of us to face up to the consequences of the President’s actions.

I'm all for it. The Republicans have financed everything on a credit card and the result is declining economic prospects in the US and a substantially weakened dollar. It's up to the Demcorats to fix it. And woe be to any Republican who dares to call them tax and spend liberals. At least we don't pass our debts to our kids.

Posted by mcblogger at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 08, 2007

Geopolitics and the stupid, irrational candidates

I have to tell you, when it comes to policy in the middle east, the Democratic candidates are about as dumb as the Republican candidates.

None of the top three can say they'll have the troops out by January, 2013, a little more than five years from now. Does that mean we should support Gravel? It just might because crazy old man bullshit aside, he's the only one who seems to get it. Kucinich is just pretending and those of you who think differently are a bunch of tools. Kucinich is an even bigger egomaniac than Bush.

The political reality in the region is that the Saudis don't want the Iranians in control of Iraq. Neither do the Syrians. Neither do the Turks. The Syrians don't want the Turks in control of Iraq. Neither do the Saudis and Iranians. Get the picture? It's a complex balance of multiple forces and we could pull out tomorrow and no faction would be able to move in. Should the Iranians start pumping up the Shia, the other powers will aid the Sunnis. There is no risk, despite what our idiot President says, of an Iranian or 'al Qaida' takeover of Iraq.

The Democrats need to get that through their obstinate heads and realize they CAN pull troops out of Iraq, certainly before 2013. There is a civil war going on in Iraq. One power or another will eventually be victorious. None of the players in the region will allow anything other than a fully independent Iraqi state to be created, probably around a strongman. Let's hope he's more like Putin and less like Hussein.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 05, 2007

Blackwater : Another case of corporate welfare

Texas Kaos has a great piece up on Blackwater and it's operations in Iraq. Forget for a moment that the company's employees have acted poorly and with malice in Iraq, damaging the reputation of the United States. Forget that many of their employees are little more than murderers. Focus on one thing and one thing only... Corporate Welfare. This is a company that wouldn't exist if they weren't part of the government food chain. This is a company that survives not by the managerial panache of it's leadership, but only through the largesse of the Republican Administration that pumps our tax dollars into it.

Don't shut it down... nationalize it. The grounds are war profiteering. Screw the investors.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 21, 2007

Integrity

Yesterday, the United States Senate voted for a resolution condemning an American political organization for exercising it's First Amendment right to free speech. A resolution put forward by a man who has so thoroughly abrogated his oath of office that he's called The President's Senator. A man who can't be bothered to send our troops to war properly equipped and armored. A man who won't even let them have a leave they desperately deserve before asking them to return to the middle of a civil war.

The Constitution either means something or it doesn't. You don't get to condemn people for exercising their rights, even if you disagree with what they have to say. The 72 men and women who voted to condemn the MoveOn.org ad violated their oath of office. Further, they rose in support of a liar, a man who has become a political operative of this Administration. They condemned an organization for telling the truth. Where is the integrity we expect from our leaders? Does it always dissolve when it becomes politically expedient?

This is shouldn't be a political issue. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you voted for this political stunt you deserve even less respect than the man who stood up and lied about Anbar. A man who is, himself, playing politics while betraying the men and women under his command. Worse, he's betraying his fellow Americans. People like you and me. I can separate my criticism of him from my feelings for the troops. The American people can as well. Why can't Congress?

And I will NEVER accept even a scintilla of criticism from someone like George W. Bush, a man who abuses our armed forces while hiding behind them for political gain. A man whose political party made fun of a wounded vet by wearing band-aids with purple hearts on them. A man who led his party in DEMONIZING a quadriplegic Vietnam Vet. Not from him. Not ever.

Support MoveOn.org here.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2007

Bobo's Ever-Shrinking "Coalition of the Willing"

Whatever was the deal with the "Coalition of the Willing" anyway? Is their actually any other kind? Wouldn't a hypothetical "Coalition of the Unwilling" be a "Shotgun Wedding"?

Anyway, the "Coalition" is getting smaller, as Iceland is withdrawing its Army of One.

Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir has decided to remove an Icelandic Crisis Response Unit (ICRU) member from a NATO training program for the Iraqi army in Baghdad next month, causing disappointment among NATO leaders.

The ICRU member has been working in Baghdad for the last two years, primarily as a media representative, and will cease working there October 1, Morgunbladid reports.

This is a very troubling development, as the number of Iraqis rated as "proficient" in writing press releases and operating the fax machine has actually declined to 6, down from eleven just a year ago.

(Thanks to TPM Muckraker}

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 06:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

We left too many in place in 2006

Democrats in Congress are being forced to move toward the center to get any traction on a policy shift in Iraq war policy because of Republican intransigence and a Presidential Veto from Mr. Temper-Tantrum at 1600 Penn. Ave. The White House is, of course, counting on continued support from Congressional Republicans to sustain the veto...

House and Senate Democratic leaders are now working in tandem on legislative efforts, knowing that if Iraq legislation can make it through the Senate, GOP moderates in the House will be more likely to change sides, Van Hollen said.

"If the Senate starts actually passing legislation, that could really change things," agreed Rep. Michael N. Castle (Del.), a GOP moderate who has been working with Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) on a more bipartisan approach to Iraq.

Administration officials are equally aware that congressional Republicans will be the key to the legislative fight, said former White House policy aide Peter Wehner. But White House officials believe the president's hand was strengthened by two days of testimony by Petraeus and Crocker.

"What this is really about at its core is congressional votes about a war policy," Wehner said. "And that policy will go forward as long as Republicans hold -- and that was the first order of business. And they achieved it very well."


'Go forward'. Stay the same. Continue the disaster.

We are moving toward a time when people ARE marching in the streets. Not students, HOUSEWIVES and BANKERS, REALTORS and TRUCK DRIVERS. Do you get this, Republicans? Ordinary people who don't think a lot about this stuff are becoming angrier and angrier while you people play politics.

We left too many of them in place in 2006. It should be obvious by now that we have to take as many of them out as possible. This just goes to show you that there is no such thing as a moderate Republican and the only good Republican is one you don't elect.

Donate to a Democrat today.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What he said

Couldn't agree more!

Posted by mcblogger at 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2007

Cornyn : Day 20,287 as a douchebag

From Senator Box-Turtle himself:

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this morning called on the Democratic leadership in Congress to condemn the full-page advertisement that appeared this morning in the New York Times suggesting that General David Petraeus is a traitor.

“Every American, including a Washington special interest organization like MoveOn.org, has the right to voice their opinion on the Iraq war. But to suggest that the four-star General leading the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq has ‘betrayed’ his country is abhorrent.

I'll tell you what's abhorrent... a General acting for political purposes and a Senator who doesn't represent his constituents, abdicates his Constitutional responsibilities and makes himself THE lapdog of a deranged and out of control President.

Texans will be well rid of you in January, 2009. AND THE AD WAS SPOT ON. THE MAN IS A LIAR.

Posted by mcblogger at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

Cornyn still pimping for Bush...

Cornyn had a busy day with General Betrayus, the man who went to Congress to lie about the success of the surge yesterday. Click the Betrayus link if you think I'm being a little mean. The man has lied time and time again to further the political agenda of the White House.

Oh, yeah... I'm totally going to trust him over Shinseki or any of the other Generals who have talked about what a disaster this invasion has been.

This has been an exciting time for everyone who thinks 9/11 changed everything. Brit Hume has been saying that al Qaida was in Iraq before our invasion (an outright lie) and in general conflating the war with 9/11. For those I offer only this... two posts about 9/11.

Throughout the entire nightmare, Cornyn has been talking about success in Iraq and how well the Administration has done. He's been little more than a sock puppet with Bush's hand up his ass. Texans deserve better... they deserve Rick Noriega's leadership in the US Senate. Here's what HE had to say about Cornyn's performance and the Petraeus Report.

It's time for a change and you can help make that happen by clicking here. Maybe then we'll be able to elect a leader who will actually help us bring the mastermind of 9/11 to justice.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2007

Army exceeds recruitment goals

Good news for everyone thinking we wouldn't have the troops necessary to maintain The Surge after the Petreaus Report comes out detailing the failure of The Surge. Recruitment is going well...


Army data obtained by The Washington Post show that the Army recruited 10,128 new troops in August, 528 more than the monthly goal of 9,600. Last month's recruiting total -- aided by a new $20,000 "quick ship" bonus that spurs people to leave for basic training within 30 days -- was the largest monthly total this fiscal year. The Army will now need to recruit about 8,000 people this month to meet its goal for the year.

The Bush Administration hasn't budgeted enough for health care for the veterans we already have and now they are giving out $20,000 enlistment bonuses? That's some sound fiscal planning, Mr. President. Don't worry, men and women of the Armed Forces... Democrats will take care of things once jackass and his crony's in the Congress are gone.

Democrats don't let Veterans suffer with substandard healthcare.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2007

Attorney General Greg Abbott loses Iraqi munitions

Not really... the munitions are lost but we don't really know who lost them. So naturally we assumed it was Attorney General Greg Abbott who's all the time losing things. However, we think it might just be the Pentagon. From Reuters (via Somervell County Salon)

The Pentagon cannot account for 190,000 AK-47 rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, or about half the weapons earmarked for soldiers and police, according to a government report.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, said in a July 31 report to lawmakers that the Defense Department also cannot account for 135,000 items of body armor and 115,000 helmets reported to be issued to Iraqi forces as of September 22, 2005.

The GAO said the Pentagon concurred with its findings and has begun a review to ensure full accountability for the program to train and equip Iraqi forces.

"However, our review of the 2007 property books found continuing problems with missing and incomplete records," the GAO report said.

No joke, I just want to know how y'all can be such colossal FUCKUPS?!?!?! FedEx and UPS manage to keep track of and move tons of shit all over the world daily, yet you people can't keep up with guns and body armor?

Posted by mcblogger at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2007

Editorial Wrap Up : Get us OUT of Iraq, fuckers!

Two editorials stood out to me today, both had the same point: Congress needs to get us out of Iraq now since the President has continued to follow is own insane advice and refuses to acknowledge reality.

This is NOT a 'let's beat up on the Congressional Democrats' post. They've done all they can to date. It's been up to the President to change and adapt. That hasn't happened. So, the only choice we have left is to put a terrific amount of pressure on Republican Senators and Representatives to flip and override a Bush veto on a withdrawal. In short, it's time for Congress to fully emasculate the crazy man in the White House.

To that end, the Star-Trib in Minneapolis-St. Paul is calling on Senator Norm Coleman to flip and join Senate Democrats in this effort.

President Bush, having dispatched top officials to Capitol Hill to shore up support on Iraq, saw defections occurring instead and ended up in a high-stakes power showdown on Thursday. After lecturing Congress on its role (consultation, by his lights), he emphasized his power as chief decider. But it's way past time for all that. Members of Congress must counter his stance with a strong new, and newly bipartisan, effort to responsibly end this war. ... Since Bush is having his logic all ways and clearly is in denial about the state of affairs in Iraq, senior members of Congress -- despite Bush's implication that they are overstepping their authority -- must get beyond their party interests and/or 2008 campaign maneuvering and craft a firm, joint message to Bush. Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who has shown at least a limited willingness to differ with the president on Iraq policy, is in the right position to be a player in such an effort. But it can't be Sen. Levin this and Sen. Warner that. Just as it took truly bipartisan cohesion to get out of Vietnam, it will take more than a determined majority and a few straggling Republicans to turn Bush around.

Then this from the Sac Bee, for those Democrats out there who still want to beat up on the Speaker...

Three significant events happened last week regarding U.S. policy in Iraq.

First, the president issued a preliminary report required by Congress on progress in Iraq. It offers unwarranted optimism and no adjustments to Bush's current strategy. It states that the "overall trajectory" has "begun to stabilize" compared to the "deteriorating trajectory" in 2006. But, the administration notes, none of 18 benchmarks has been reached. In eight, "satisfactory" progress has been made; in 10, only "unsatisfactory" or "mixed" progress.

Second was the 223-201 vote in the House in favor of a bill (HR 2956) to require U.S. combat forces to start leaving Iraq within 120 days. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will bring back similar bills "as often as necessary, hopefully with an increasing level of support from our Republican colleagues, until pressure from the American people causes the president to change his mind and change his policy."

Third, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., have drafted legislation that admits reality: A "unified, pluralist, democratic government" is "not likely to be achieved in the near future" in Iraq, and the U.S. military cannot "interpose itself indefinitely between sectarian factions." It rejects a "poorly planned or precipitous" pullout, but requires Bush to come up with a plan by Oct. 16 to keep U.S. troops from "policing the civil strife or sectarian violence in Iraq" and focus instead on protecting Iraq's borders, targeting terrorists and defending U.S. assets. Implementation would begin by Dec. 31.

The President has already shut the door on the Republican proposal, proving once more than he has no intention of working with Congress or acknowledging reality. Now you can be mad the Speaker for not bringing up impeachment (personally, I'd love nothing more but the investigations have not yet uncovered enough evidence to prosecute, nor are there the essential Republican votes to impeach... we don't have THAT large a majority) but don't jump up her ass over this. Call Republican members of Congress. ANY Republican member of Congress. Bitch them out.


Posted by mcblogger at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Editorial Wrap Up : Get us OUT of Iraq, fuckers!

Two editorials stood out to me today, both had the same point: Congress needs to get us out of Iraq now since the President has continued to follow is own insane advice and refuses to acknowledge reality.

This is NOT a 'let's beat up on the Congressional Democrats' post. They've done all they can to date. It's been up to the President to change and adapt. That hasn't happened. So, the only choice we have left is to put a terrific amount of pressure on Republican Senators and Representatives to flip and override a Bush veto on a withdrawal. In short, it's time for Congress to fully emasculate the crazy man in the White House.

To that end, the Star-Trib in Minneapolis-St. Paul is calling on Senator Norm Coleman to flip and join Senate Democrats in this effort.

President Bush, having dispatched top officials to Capitol Hill to shore up support on Iraq, saw defections occurring instead and ended up in a high-stakes power showdown on Thursday. After lecturing Congress on its role (consultation, by his lights), he emphasized his power as chief decider. But it's way past time for all that. Members of Congress must counter his stance with a strong new, and newly bipartisan, effort to responsibly end this war. ... Since Bush is having his logic all ways and clearly is in denial about the state of affairs in Iraq, senior members of Congress -- despite Bush's implication that they are overstepping their authority -- must get beyond their party interests and/or 2008 campaign maneuvering and craft a firm, joint message to Bush. Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who has shown at least a limited willingness to differ with the president on Iraq policy, is in the right position to be a player in such an effort. But it can't be Sen. Levin this and Sen. Warner that. Just as it took truly bipartisan cohesion to get out of Vietnam, it will take more than a determined majority and a few straggling Republicans to turn Bush around.

Then this from the Sac Bee, for those Democrats out there who still want to beat up on the Speaker...

Three significant events happened last week regarding U.S. policy in Iraq.

First, the president issued a preliminary report required by Congress on progress in Iraq. It offers unwarranted optimism and no adjustments to Bush's current strategy. It states that the "overall trajectory" has "begun to stabilize" compared to the "deteriorating trajectory" in 2006. But, the administration notes, none of 18 benchmarks has been reached. In eight, "satisfactory" progress has been made; in 10, only "unsatisfactory" or "mixed" progress.

Second was the 223-201 vote in the House in favor of a bill (HR 2956) to require U.S. combat forces to start leaving Iraq within 120 days. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will bring back similar bills "as often as necessary, hopefully with an increasing level of support from our Republican colleagues, until pressure from the American people causes the president to change his mind and change his policy."

Third, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., have drafted legislation that admits reality: A "unified, pluralist, democratic government" is "not likely to be achieved in the near future" in Iraq, and the U.S. military cannot "interpose itself indefinitely between sectarian factions." It rejects a "poorly planned or precipitous" pullout, but requires Bush to come up with a plan by Oct. 16 to keep U.S. troops from "policing the civil strife or sectarian violence in Iraq" and focus instead on protecting Iraq's borders, targeting terrorists and defending U.S. assets. Implementation would begin by Dec. 31.

The President has already shut the door on the Republican proposal, proving once more than he has no intention of working with Congress or acknowledging reality. Now you can be mad the Speaker for not bringing up impeachment (personally, I'd love nothing more but the investigations have not yet uncovered enough evidence to prosecute, nor are there the essential Republican votes to impeach... we don't have THAT large a majority) but don't jump up her ass over this. Call Republican members of Congress. ANY Republican member of Congress. Bitch them out.


Posted by mcblogger at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2007

Dude... the mafia is more competent.

Major General Taguba, the officer charged with investigating the abuses at Abu Ghraib, apparently was kind of shocked by the pressure he received from all sides of the DoD and the Administration. Not long after his report was released (which happened to drop the CIA, MP's and others in the grease) he remembers a conversation with General Abizaid

General John Abizaid, then the head of Central Command. A few weeks after his report became public, Taguba, who was still in Kuwait, was in the back seat of a Mercedes sedan with Abizaid. Abizaid’s driver and his interpreter, who also served as a bodyguard, were in front. Abizaid turned to Taguba and issued a quiet warning: “You and your report will be investigated.”

“I wasn’t angry about what he said but disappointed that he would say that to me,” Taguba said. “I’d been in the Army thirty-two years by then, and it was the first time that I thought I was in the Mafia.”

General, the mafia is far more competent. If they'd been in charge, there wouldn't have been any pictures to investigate.

So, what was the end result? Taguba was asked to resign... for doing his job

In January of 2006, Taguba received a telephone call from General Richard Cody, the Army’s Vice-Chief of Staff. “This is your Vice,” he told Taguba. “I need you to retire by January of 2007.” No pleasantries were exchanged, although the two generals had known each other for years, and, Taguba said, “He offered no reason.” (A spokesperson for Cody said, “Conversations regarding general officer management are considered private personnel discussions. General Cody has great respect for Major General Taguba as an officer, leader, and American patriot.”)

“They always shoot the messenger,” Taguba told me. “To be accused of being overzealous and disloyal—that cuts deep into me. I was being ostracized for doing what I was asked to do.”

Taguba went on, “There was no doubt in my mind that this stuff”—the explicit images—“was gravitating upward. It was standard operating procedure to assume that this had to go higher. The President had to be aware of this.” He said that Rumsfeld, his senior aides, and the high-ranking generals and admirals who stood with him as he misrepresented what he knew about Abu Ghraib had failed the nation.

Damn skippy, General.

Posted by mcblogger at 06:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 31, 2007

Funny you should ask

Can the Iraq 'Surge' Be Salvaged?

Wonders the WSJ.

Wait, wasn't the "surge" supposed to be the salvation for Bush's War?

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The result is still the same...

Here's a great article demystifying what it really means to de-fund the war. It's also a bad article because, in yet another way, it calls the Democrats in Congress cowards.

It also ignores political reality which is that any bill to 'de-fund' the war will fail because Bush will veto it and there are not enough Republicans who will cross to override the veto.

Until Republicans in Congress start feeling real heat, they are going to keep enabling their out of control President, Connecticut native George W. Bush. That's reality, it sucks and blaming Democrats in Congress is going to change none of it.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 29, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, Cindy Sheehan has left the building!

Living saint and self-annointed face of the movement against Bush's War Cindy Sheehan popped up again over the weekend. You may remember her for the great role she played in galvanising the antiwar movement with her month-long encampment outside El Presidente's Crawford, Texas pigfarm in August, 2005. That event, with the Katrina catastrophe coming right on its heels, set the credibility of the regime on a downward path from which it has never recovered.

Unfortunately for Cindy Sheehan, she then made saving the world a full-tiime job. Well, saving the world is a tough job. Just ask Jesus. Never able to recreate the magic of Crawford, she spent a year and a half engaging in the usual slew of civil disobedience stunts and fasts popular with folks who draw the wrong lessons from Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Saturday she posted an angry diary on Daily Kos, denouncing the Democratic Congress and adding

The Camp Casey Peace Institute is calling all citizens who are as disgusted as we are with you all to join us in Philadelphia on July 4th to try and figure a way out of this "two" party system that is bought and paid for by the war machine which has a stranglehold on every aspect of our lives. As for myself, I am leaving the Democratic Party.

To be honest, the only surprise in that for me was that Cindy Sheehan considered herself a Democrat. I suppose she may have voted for some in the past, but over the last couple of years her interaction with the party has been limited to lecturing prominent Democrats who don't measure up to her standards and disrupting their press conferences. Now she's "leaving" because the Congress can't wave a magic wand and end Bush's War in an instant. Whatever.

Then, two days later came another tablet down from Mount Sinai.

I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such "liberal blogs" as the Democratic Underground. Being called an "attention whore" and being told "good riddance" are some of the more milder rebukes.

Oh dear, Cindy. Some of the people who "disgust" you DARE sling a little mud back at you? How unseemly!

Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

Ta ta, toots. Sorry we'e not good enough for ya!

But wait, there's more!

Just a day after announcing her resignation and turning in her halo, Cindy Sheehan made it onto both the Ed Shultz and Randi Rhodes radio shows, and she'll be on Democracy Now! on Wednesday. Uhhh, "attention whore"? If the thigh-length boots fit...


Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 28, 2007

Memorial day... a time to reflect

Austinsgudpackage has a nice post up regarding the lead up to the invasion of Iraq and points out how nice it would have been had someone just listened to the CIA. Seems appropriate this Memorial Day to take time to reflect on those we've lost and the reason we lost them.

Posted by mcblogger at 10:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2007

The Hangman

In "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder (one of V. I. Lenin's chattier polemics) the Bolshevik strategist advises his British comrades to offer a temporary alliance with the reformists. He argues that, whether accepted or not, the result would be to the advantage of the radicals and their offer would support Labour "in the same way as the rope supports a hanged man"

Speaking of infantile disorders, one which has been pandemic lately is the notion that Congress, be it this one or any other, past or present, would end a war by shutting off the money spigot. They will not do it. Nor should they be expected to. Like it or not, the Constitution designates the President as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and also assigns him the responsibility for conducting foreign policy. You may not like it, but there it is. Ending the war is not the responsibility of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. There is only one person who can end this war and he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue .

Tragically, Bush has made it clear that he intends to bequeath this war to his successor, and it seems this is one of the few promises he intends to keep. And as long as enough of the republicans choose to accompany him on his road to disaster, that successor will take office on January 20, 2009. Until then, this cruel war will continue. What happens then will depend on who the next President is. The good news is that all the credible Democratic candidates have made it clear that they intend to end the war; all the credible GOPers want to continue the catastrophe under the guise of the "Global War on Terror" and if they can torture a few ragheads along the way so much the better. I know which side I prefer.

In the meantime, let's put an end to all this "support the troops" nonsense. The whole business began during Gulf War I as a way of expresing reservations about the war without actually criticizing the policy in any meaningful way. Sort of like praising omelettes while insisting you can't stand the taste of eggs. Well, the 1991 operation was a splendid little war, victory was quick, casualties were low and there were plenty of medals to go around. Son of Gulf War has turned out to be a whole 'nother matter... endless, stupid and futile. And this "support the troops" meme has become the noose (of yellow ribbon) used to hang the antiwar movement. Supporting the troops has turned out not to mean wishing them well, wishing them a safe return. Supporting the troops is just a code phrase to demand that you support the war, now and forever, no matter how misguided, barbaric, pointless. Let us speak no more of supporting the troops. Instead let us demand an end to this war and let us demand that of the one and only person who can stop it. And if he will not hear us, let us replace him with one who will.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2007

Adding insult to injury

Just a few hours after the passage of a supplemental funding bill widely interpreted as a huge defeat for congressional democrats and a betrayal of an electorate longing for an end to a dreadful, failed war, what sort of fucking idiot would send out a fundraising email? Well, a fucking idiot like Brian Wolff, Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Today marks a new beginning for America. We took a step forward together as a nation - away from the failures of the President's policies and toward a more hopeful time. Democrats are committed to redeploying our troops and ending the war in Iraq once and for all. Our commitment will never change and our dedication will never stop.

Just what color is the sky in your world, Brian?

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 10:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 22, 2007

Sadr the Savior?

Well, it would appear that the answer to all our prayers in Iraq is none other than the man endlessly demonized as a terrorist by el Presidente, Moqtada al Sadr.

How did this happen? How did a radical Islamic cleric become an honest broker in Iraq? As it turns out, it's not America's fault. It was the dipshit neocons who got us into this retarded thing. From Harpers (via Feet To Fire)

When I arrived at the demonstration, the streets were filled with men dressed in black, the soon-to-be legendary Mahdi Army. It struck me that if Mahmud lost his security guard job at the soap factory, he could be one of them. That's who al Sadr's foot soldiers are: the young men who have been shut out of the neocons' grand plans for Iraq, who see no possibilities for work, and whose neighborhoods have seen none of the promised reconstruction. Bremer has failed these young men, and everywhere that he has failed, Moqtada al Sadr has cannily set out to succeed. In Shia slums from Baghdad to Basra, a network of Sadr Centers coordinate a kind of shadow reconstruction. Funded through donations, the centers dispatch electricians to fix power and phone lines, organize local garbage collection, set up emergency generators, run blood drives, direct traffic where the streetlights don't work. And yes, they organize militias too. Al Sadr took Bremer's economic casualties, dressed them in black, and gave them rusty Kalashnikovs. His militiamen protected the mosques and the state factories when the occupation authorities did not, but in some areas they also went further, zealously enforcing Islamic law by torching liquor stores and terrorizing women without the veil. Indeed, the astronomical rise of the brand of religious fundamentalism that al Sadr represents is another kind of blowback from Bremer's shock therapy: if the reconstruction had provided jobs, security, and services to Iraqis, al Sadr would have been deprived of both his mission and many of his newfound followers.

While Bremmer and the American administrators (in some cases, kids barely out of college whose only previous employment was driving an ice cream truck) used their Friedman-based neocon gameplan, al Sadr was winning hearts and minds by doing the very things Bush's folks should have been doing... providing basic services to the people of Iraq.

And now they want a second chance? Fuck a bunch of that.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2007

When you wish upon a czar

Four out of five dentists agree democracy is a great system of government but sometimes it can get in the way of solving problems. So what's a president to do when faced with an intractable problem? Why, take a page from Russia, the country that INVENTED solving problems and name a Czar.

You may remember all the energy crises the US had back in the Seventies. What did President Carter do? He named an Energy Czar and the result is the rational, sane system we have today that brings cheap, abundant, earth-friendly power to all the good girls and boys.

In like fashion, bogged down in the stalemated War on Drugs, what happened? We got a Drug Czar to fix things. And as everyone knows, the imminent jailing of Paris Hilton will mark our decisive victory in that struggle.

So it should not be a surprise that after only four or five years of blundering around in the Middle East, the Great Decider has appointed a War Czar to fix things in Iraq and Afghanistan up. And we all lived happily ever after.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2007

Brit Hume: US Iraq policy is a failure

It's getting pretty lonely for the Iraq War cheerleaders. For a couple of years they dominated the landscape. Only kooks and crazies dared question our glorious struggle to bring Truth, Justice and the American Way to the benighted Baghdadis. But gradually the American people started souring on the war. Many Democrats decided it was safe to follow. Now even a group of Republican lawmakers have made the trip to the White House to warn BoBo that they are down to their last Friedman Unit of patience. This last group has drawn a swift attack from war party animal Brit Hume.

It’s been said that the setting of a timetable for withdrawal is the worst idea. If that’s true, the second worst is the announcement by Republicans and others that September is the drop-dead date for serious and major progress. That places an enormously useful bit of intelligence in the hands of the enemy and allows the enemy to mount possibly around that time something on the order of the Tet Offensive

First, I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that Hume brought up the Tet Offensive. For years, the rightwing windbags have been insisting that Iraq is nothing like Vietnam. For Hume to even bring up Tet shows he's losing faith in his own fairy tales. Frankly, I expect more from the managing editor of Fox News

But since he's brought it up, let's talk a little bit about the Tet Offensive. In the years following the massive US escalation which began in 1965 the Johnson Administration and the US military issued repeated claims about progress being made, the enemy losing his will to fight, the war being won. The Vietnamese insurgency's ability to stockpile the logistical wherewithall and launch a nationwide coordinated surprise offensive demonstrated that those predictions of success were wildly optimistic and largely untrue. American public faith in a military victory began to erode and the country began to look for a way out of the war.

American publc opinion about Iraq is already in the post-Tet phase. Only a handful beleve that the Administration's claims about progress being made are anything but tired, recycled lies. Victory? Who can even say what "winning" means... and who believes that it might be achieved? No, as Mr. Hume well knows, no Tet Offensive is needed to break the will of the American people to continue this war. That will has already been broken by four years of lies, of endless claims of progress totally divorced from reality, and of the steady stream of wounded and dead.

So all I can conclude is that Mr. Hume believes that the Iraqi insurgents do have the capability of launching a widespread military offensive that would threaten the very existence of our military forces there. And to believe that he must have even less faith in the past four years of our military and political progress than do I.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 02, 2007

"A trumped-up political stunt that is the height of cynicism"

So spoke White House mouthpiece Dana Perino yesterday, referring to the Iraq War spending bill Congress sent BoBo. Oh dear.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2007

Rat Shack supplies the terrorists?!?

Via BTC News

When the U.S. military claimed two weeks ago that the government of Iran was sending IEDs into Iraq, the evidence it provided was not very convincing, and the administration was forced to back down from the claim almost immediately.

Now we hear that one week ago, U.S. forces in Iraq discovered “the best evidence yet that the deadliest roadside bombs in Iraq are manufactured in Iran.”

The evidence?

Maj. Marty Weber, an “explosives expert,” says it’s “a no-brainer.”

According to the Times, Major Weber said that “use of passive infrared sensors, or P.I.R.’s, [is] one of the strongest markers of Iranian involvement…’Every P.I.R. in Iraq has been RadioShack, Digigard or Everspring,’ Major Weber said.”

Are there ANY Rat Shack's in Iran? Some of the other 'proof' that Iranians are supplying the insurgents in Iraq? Plastics made in Haditha.

Haditha is a SUNNI, not Shi'ite, town in IRAQ. The more the Administration makes the case that the Iranians are supplying the insurgents, the more ridiculous they look. I guess that's why they've decided to throw in the towel and actually work with the Iranians on regional issues.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2007

War on Terror spending to top to $745 Bn by EOY 2008

I just don't know what else to say... three quarters of a trillion dollars?!?! Hell, you could have fixed transportation in this country with that money.

If approved by Congress, the new war spending would bring the overall cost of fighting to about $745 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States -- adjusting for inflation, more than was spent on the Vietnam War.

What else could you have done? Well, you could have made a massive dent in the long term insolvency of entitlement programs. You could have also dumped federal money into improving schools. You could have had structurally 0% unemployment and massive economic growth through infrastructure improvements that would have led to a massive economic boom going into 2009 and beyond.

All of it has, however, been wasted on a war we can't win.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 01, 2007

Where we screw up, Iran steps in

Oh. Damn. Connecticut native George Bush is being outplayed by the Iranians in the Middle East. Like no one could see that coming...

"It's very bleak and it's very dangerous," said Dakhil, the Saudi writer. "We have a sectarian civil war in Iraq now and this is drawing sectarian lines through the region. This is the most important, the most dangerous ramification of the American war in Iraq."

It's not surprising that the heavy handed tactics of Americans (and, in Lebanon, the Israeli's) have had a deleterious effect. What is surprising is the extent to which Iran is stepping up their aid and support to those affected, creating goodwill from the Mediterranean to the Gulf.

"The United States is the first to be blamed for the rise of Iranian influence in the Middle East," said Khaled al-Dakhil, a Saudi writer and academic. "There is one thing important about the ascendance of Iran here. It does not reflect a real change in Iranian capabilities, economic or political. It's more a reflection of the failures on the part of the U.S. and its Arab allies in the region."

Added Eyal Zisser, head of the Middle Eastern and African Studies Department at Tel Aviv University in Israel: "After the whole investment in democracy in the region, the West is losing, and Iran is winning."

Yeah, we've been thinking for a while that you gain more friends with honey than you do with bullets... but no one in Washington seems to be listening (they all think foreign aid is a waste of money)

In Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, a banner hangs near a bridge wrecked by Israeli strikes last summer: "The Zionist enemy destroys, the Islamic Republic of Iran builds." Even before the 33-day war ended, Iran had provided Hezbollah with $150 million to begin rebuilding, some of it going to victims in $10,000 bundles of crisp U.S. currency, according to a Shiite politician who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"You want me to give you my opinion? Honestly?" asked Hajj Hassan Sbeiti, a 44-year-old merchant, his face breaking into a wry smile. "If you say hello to me, you probably like me. If you say hello to me and ask what I need, you're a friend. If you say hello to me, ask what I need and put money in my hand, then you're going to be my brother."

Oh, sure... attacking Iran is a natural. We're guaranteed to make friends that way. Just look how well it's worked in Iraq. Quit with the bullshit about Iranian nukes and let's get down to winning the war of hearts and minds.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 07, 2007

Who do you have to sleep with to get out of this outfit?

And you thought Barbara Ann Radnofsky's emails were relentless...

The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2006

Hang high, Saddam; Bush cowers in Crawford

Regardless of what you think about Bush’s war of choice, the death of Hussein is welcome. Unfortunately, the time line of questionable decisions that got us to this point will go down as a dark period in U.S. history. Also, the potential for escalated violence due to his demise is real.

Only time will tell if his execution will initiate a positive or negative response from the Iraqis. The vast majority of the Iraqi people have had a huge burden lifted, but wasn’t that the idea behind the U.S. liberation.

You still have to question the timing. Why couldn’t this have waited till after the Kurds trial? Didn’t it seem hurried so as to take the heat off from the coverage of the worst sectarian violence since the U.S. invasion? Somehow you get the feeling that his execution is part of Bush’s “new” direction.

What will be the consequences? Hard to tell. Not to make light of this event, but less than an hour after his execution, Arab websites were advertising upcoming pictures and videos. Saddam as cottage industry? Some believe that Uncle Sam finally put down the old mangy family pit bull that had outlived its’ usefulness.

If we are putting people on trial for giving orders that led to the death of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, then maybe we should broaden our search. You might start by looking in Washington.

Oh, what the hell, let the conspiracy games begin.

Posted by Captain Kroc at 07:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2006

Who is this Serge I keep hearing about?

And what's so special about him that he's the only one who can fix up this Iraq mess? And if it's so important, why is the president waiting to ship him over there? Is he scared? Or just at some undisclosed location in a menage a trois with those slutty Bush twins?

Is this the same Serge who sent me this lovely poetic email?

Lackluster radioactive viagra, Godzilla of my pants defeated

Hi, I'm Serge, I'm looking for group mashed potato sex, can u help me?

Meet me here: married but looking

Honey, you had me at "Godzilla of my pants"!

Posted by sister ruth at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2006

Tillman's family upset because they are 'atheist'

Oh, this is just too rich. Andy (can I call you Andy? No? OK, Andy) Sullivan has a great piece up about the death of Pat Tillman and his family's continuing search for answers. Apparently, according to the officer who led the first official inquiry, they just don't have Jesus in their lives.

[Lt. Col. Ralph] Kauzlarich, [formerly the Army officer who directed the first official inquiry,] now a battalion commanding officer at Fort Riley in Kansas, further suggested the Tillman family's unhappiness with the findings of past investigations might be because of the absence of a Christian faith in their lives.

Here's the money quote

[T]here [have] been numerous unfortunate cases of fratricide, and the parents have basically said, 'OK, it was an unfortunate accident.' And they let it go. So this is — I don't know, these people have a hard time letting it go. It may be because of their religious beliefs."

Be sure and re-read Kevin Tillman's letter and ponder one final question that Sullivan astutely asks... what IS happening to the military under President Bush?

Posted by mcblogger at 08:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2006

Alas, Babylon

When I first heard that Donald Rumsfeld would be ending his term as Secretary of Defense with a trip to Iraq, I confess that for a brief moment I thought he might be planning to lead a suicidal charge on al-Sadr's bunker, hoping to redeem a little honor by dying General Custer-style in a hail of jihadist bullets. But of course it was not to be. The worst defense secretary since John Floyd will just close things out with a final reality-denying, self-excusing speech; perhaps visit some old acquaintances:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Then it's back to DC to pick up his Medal of Freedom, which has become the regime's parting gift for its minions who have distinguished themselves by their efforts to destroy the country; and so to retirement, awaiting prison or a pardon.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2006

Dregs : Iraq Study Group report and HB129:The Rewrite!

  • The report from the Iraq Study Group was presented today and it does a great of finally cluing the clueless (Connecticut native George W. Bush) in about the reality on the groun in Iraq:

    The commission recommended the United States reduce "political, military or economic support" for Iraq if the government in Baghdad cannot make substantial progress toward providing for its own security. Portions of the report were obtained by The Associated Press.

    President Bush received the report in an early morning meeting at the White House with commission members. He pledged to treat each proposal seriously and act in a "timely fashion."

    Which means, I suppose, that it will be acted on sometime in 2015.

  • Rep. Vicki Truitt, author of the infamous HB129 which would have held bloggers responsible for libelous content without the protections enjoyed by print media, has announced she is rewriting the bill. Thanks, Vicki. Vince over at Capitol Annex has some suggestions on how you can do that so you aren't perceived as a hater. Vicki, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said the bill was not about targeting blogs (yeah, right) but about.... identity theft. Uh huh. Let me allow Vicki to 'splain:

    Truitt said the bill stemmed from a talk with a constituent who had gone through a messy divorce. His ex-wife had put personal information about him on DontDateHimGirl.com, a Web site where women post photos and descriptions of men they say are dishonest or deceitful.

    Truitt said the bill was designed to allow people legal recourse if someone knowingly publishes information about them online that could lead to identity theft.

    So, Identity theft and the webequivalent of a ladies bathroom wall inspired the bill? Here's an idea... don't.legislate.the.internet. It's never going to work, y'all. Even China keeps failing at it and they're like 10x smarter than Republicans in the Lege.

    We at McBlogger look forward with eager anticipation to Vicki's do-over.


  • Posted by mcblogger at 02:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    November 21, 2006

    Kissinger : The Iraq War is unwinnable

    Things are prett-y bad when Henry decides to drop you in the grease.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 05, 2006

    Breaking: Saddam found Not Guilty

    Vows to devote life to finding the "real dictator".

    Plus playing the occasional round of golf.

    More as this story develops.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 27, 2006

    Tactical nukes detonated in Iraq?

    Take a look at this video and tell me at 3:56 that's not a low-yeild nuke.

    In the supersize I'm posting another video, supposedly from a Marine with a closer view of the blast which rocked most of Baghdad on October 10th as Forward Operating Base Falcon's ammunition supplies were targeted and destroyed by insurgents (The Islamic Army in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the attack), along apparently with the base itself. Although initial reports put the death toll at 0 (which no one believed) there are new reports surfacing that casualties may have been 'covered up' and are in fact at least 300, possibly higher.

    Why would DoD and the Administration cover this up? Simple... for the same reason Bush is saying we're going to get out of Iraq while privately delivering assuarances to the Iraqi's that it's all 'election year politics' and that we have no intention to pull out. They don't want to be devastated in the midterm elections now little more than a week away.

    At this point I'm disinclined to believe the massive explosion was a tactical nuke detonation because the Marine video was shot fairly close by and the detonation of a nuclear bomb always generates an EMP pulse. While I can't say for sure how localized the effects of the EMP would have been from a small nuke, I think it probable that had the blast been nuclear it would have fried out the camera the Marine was using to video. Anyone have any ideas as to what it might have been? Anyone have any info on the propogation of EMP from smaller weapons?

    Regardless, the fact remains that the attack on FOB Falcon was far more devastating than we were originally told.

    UPDATE As The Mayor points out in the comments, the marine video is not of the attack at Falcon. It was footage from ANOTHER ammo dump fire in April. I'm leaving it up because it's kind of cool footage. However, it is not of the event on October 10th.

    (Hat tip to Stephen Webster at The Gonzo Muckracker)


    Posted by mcblogger at 02:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    October 25, 2006

    The difference between a timetable and a benchmark

    "See, a timetable tells you what time the train is coming, see. Heh heh heh. And you sit on on the bench, while you're waiting, while you're waiting, for the train, see"
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    "And if something startles, that is, if there's any untowarderness while you're sitting on the Group W bench, then you might just leave a mark. Heh heh heh heh heh."

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 29, 2006

    Cut-and-Paste Republicans

    There's nothing I hate more than political sloganeering, especially when it's boiled down so much it doesn't even make sense anymore. From a CNN headline today.

    President Bush counterpunched at Democrats on Thursday, saying their criticism of the war in Iraq has turned their party into one of "cut-and-run" obstructionists.

    Ok, that doesn't even make any sense. In order to obstruct something, you have to block it, keep it from moving, in short, you are very much staying still and not budging. On the other hand, to cut-and-run very much would give on the sense of movement, fleeing, or leaving the general vacinity of a situation.

    So how then, pray tell, does one be a "cut-and-run" obstructionist? Do you block policy by stealing it and holding on to it for dear life while you scamper away with it? Um, bullshit- now the President's just making up words again like a drunken 4 year old.

    And how does one 'counterpunch' a political party? Was it giving the Prez too much sass so he grabbed it by its frumpled trashy hair and whamed it good against the formica tabletop? Is that a counterpunch?

    Of course, nevermind the fact that 2 inches over from that impossible configuration of the English language was a story headline calling out

    Poll: Nearly two-thirds say Iraq in civil war

    Better be careful Bush. So much of the country is cutting and running that it's obstructing the bowels of democracy. Or some shit like that.

    Posted by spamburgler at 02:44 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    September 02, 2006

    Smoking while stealing gas = super bad idea

    While stealing gasoline from a ruptured pipeline in Iraq, some idiot killed more than 60 people... by lighting the darkness with a cigarette lighter.

    Dr. Hussain al-Janabi, director of Diwaniya hospital, said several bodies had arrived charred or burned beyond recognition. He said by telephone that witnesses had said that the spark that ignited the blast came from a man who used a lighter to check if his can was full.

    Wow. It's when you think there is a bottom to the depths of human stupidity that something comes along and drops the bottom a few thousand more miles.

    Now, you may be wondering how people were siphoning gas from a pipeline in supposedly secure Iraq. Well, it turns out the guards protecting the pipeline were pulled away to help fight off a shi'ite militia. Oh... yeah. You may not have heard this but there is still a lot of fighting going on as the opening scenes of Iraq:The Civil War continue.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 23, 2006

    Marines pressed back into service in Iraq...

    ... LaGirlFriday has the story over at Latino's For Texas Blog.

    The U.S. Marine Corps said Tuesday it has been authorized to recall thousands of Marines to active duty, primarily because of a shortage of volunteers for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Up to 2,500 Marines will be brought back at any one time, but there is no cap on the total number of Marines who may be forced back into service in the coming years as the military battles the war on terror. The call-ups will begin in the next several months.

    This is the first time the Marines have had to use the involuntary recall since the early days of the Iraq combat. The Army has ordered back about 14,000 soldiers since the start of the war.

    Marine Col. Guy A. Stratton, head of the manpower mobilization section, estimated that there is a current shortfall of about 1,200 Marines needed to fill positions in upcoming unit deployments.

    The call-up affects Marines in the Individual Ready Reserve, a segment of the reserves that consists mainly of those who left active duty but still have time remaining on their eight-year military obligation.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 19, 2006

    Kristol v. Holbrooke

    Great write up of the performance of both when they appeared on Charlie Rose recently. It's a great read to get a glimpse at just how deflated and worthless the neocon position, repped by Kristol, of 'stay the course' has become.

    They've lost the initiative.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 22, 2006

    Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?

    Breaking from Unconfirmed Sources

    Washington, DC (Rotters) - After being rebuffed by the press yesterday for disclosing a two-month old report on the Army's continued destruction of deteriorated pre-1991 munitions containing evidence of mustard gas and sarin, Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum accompanied by Connecticut Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, as a sign of bipartisan support, produced one of the actual recovered canisters at a follow up press conference this morning. Santorum and Lieberman went on to reiterate that this was clearly evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction prior to the invasion of Iraq, therefore justifying the Bush administration's actions.

    "We have also clearly been able to discern that there was indeed a French connection involved in Saddam Hussein's WMD development program after all." stated Santorum. "We must support the president and our troops on the ground until their original mission is fulfilled and all of Iraq is free from the threat of mustard gas and saffron.":
    "There is a story circulating that these canisters are largely empty or that the contents are no longer potent and long since expired," stated Senator Lieberman. "This is a dangerous assumption to be making. As you can see, on this particular canister, it is clearly marked that the contents will remain potent through 2008."

    "We have further evidence," continued Santorum," that the insurgency in Iraq has been clandestinely hording stockpiles in refrigerated devices throughout the country, perhaps waiting for the right moment to spring a lethal trap. Our independent investigators have also concluded that this particular type of mustard as it deteriorates actually produces a far more noxious compound than the original."

    The White House refused comment on Santorum and Lieberman's presentation, stating only that it relished the support from the two. White House sources stated that the president may have something to say on the issue after his return from Europe later today, but for now they were merely playing catsup on the story.

    Critics immediately blasted Santorum and accused him of hot dogging for the press. Liberal blogs across the Internet seized upon Lieberman's support for the story and began referring to him as "Joe Condimentum" in anger and frustration.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 27, 2006

    What not to wear

    Iraq, as our Dear Leader and his Faithful Ally tell us, is well on its way top becoming a peaceful, stable beacon of democracy. With a fashion police that does't believe in taking prisoners...

    THE coach of the Iraqi national tennis team and two of his players were shot dead in Baghdad, apparently for wearing shorts, in a district where Islamic radicals have started to enforce brutal, Taleban-style law.

    Hussein Ahmed Rashid was shot at close range with two of his players, Nasser Ali Hatem and Wissam Adel Auda, in the al-Saidiyah neighbourhood, a national Olympic Committee official said.

    One of the players, wearing shorts, had left the car to drop off some items at a laundry. When he returned to the vehicle, gunmen in a grey saloon car swerved and blocked the players’ car, witnesses said.

    Three men in civilian clothes surrounded the car and ordered the passengers to get out. When they refused, one of the men produced a revolver and shot the players. The coach sat helplessly in the back while the assailants dragged out the players’ bodies and dumped them in the road. Then one of the assailants cocked a handgun and shot the coach in the head.

    Of course, isn't it just like us libruls to not write about all the Iraqi tennis players who weren't shot for wearing shorts?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 23, 2006

    Clinton to UT Grads : Global aid cheaper than War

    I would post this under MOTO but I have too much respect for President Clinton who, while speaking to graduates of the UT LBJ School of Public Affairs, said

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    "We have to realize in an interdependent world we cannot kill, jail or occupy all of our adversaries," he said, prompting applause at commencement ceremonies for graduates of UT's Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.

    Clinton's comments come as national support for the war in Iraq has eroded amid mounting casualties and sectarian violence, while President George W. Bush's approval ratings have dipped to new lows.

    The former president suggested that it would cost the United States no more than $40 billion a year to end the world's most extreme poverty, its worst threats of disease and send 130 million children to school who won't otherwise get an education.

    A big part of terrorist recruitment IS the need to feel useful and a 'part' of something. Sounds absurd, I know, but it's the truth. These terrorists are the product of their environments; Countries that gave up on their economies and on educating their populace have created terrorists that are attacking us. That's not to say I want to cut them any slack, the point here is that it's cheaper and better to make friends with people and help them modernize. No one is saying it will end all our problems. However, it's a start and one we should take if for no other reason than that it wrecks the least amount of havoc on the Federal Budget.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 15, 2005

    Iraqi poll fun...

    Wanna know what the Iraqi's REALLY think? Here you go, courtesy of the BBC.

    Is it obvious to anyone that the invasion WASN'T popular and that we AREN'T welcome to stay 'until the job is done'?

    You get it, too? Shame the rest of the country didn't catch on 13 months ago.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 08, 2005

    Thinking of the Troops this Christmas?

    Tom over at KeepAustinBlue's blog has an idea but forth by a soldier. The hot item this year on every soldier's list is someone who supports the war enlisting and coming to take their place so THEY can come home.

    Come on, put your yellow ribbon where you mouth is and feel the love!

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack