Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Cautious Catch-Phrases

"AS THE IRAQIS STAND UP, WE WILL STAND DOWN."

This phrase has been the essence of President Bush's strategy in dealing with Iraq. Unfortunately, it has many holes:

1. It puts an unfair amount of pressure on citizens who have already had to endure invasion, an occupation, and now constant terrorist attacks. How anyone could hope to properly train in such a fragmented and hostile environment is beyond me.

2. It implies that the majority of Iraqis wants us to leave. So far, any evidence of this has been subjective. I never believed we were going to greeted as liberators, but I strongly suspected that as time went on, a number of citizens would become dependent on us.

3. It suggests a timetable, but Bush has yet to give one. What defines a sucessful "stand up?" will it be different based on the troop size and location? What Iraqi unit "stands up," the corresponding American unit "stands down" and then the Iraqi unit gets attacked and destroyed? What then?

4. Can't you imagine just one soldier thinking: "These people better get their act together. I want to go home! " and then doing something..."questionable" to speed up the process? do we really want to put our soldiers in that situation?

5. The most obvious, especially with the Katrina tragedy: if we send too many of our soldiers away, we have less troops here to protect the homeland not only against terrorism, but natural disasters.

This phrase is the bedrock of our President's "exit strategy." If it not revised or replaced, many more lives (American, Ally or Iraqi) will be lost.

Once More, With Feeling

Let recap some things JBlaze and I have found, K?

They way Bush's numbers are going down, you'd think he'd had spent his vacation kicking puppies and setting babies on fire. But nah, it's 'cause of Iraq and gas prices.

Katrina hit the South East with a vengence, and because of certain distractions, the area wasn't as prepared as it could have been. The President gets a good view from his plane.

Speaking of Iraq, things are still bad and it may get worse. Plus it's costing us in dollars and in lives.

On tap: Social Security reform, a possible new Supreme Court Judge, and maybe, just maybe, a working consitution in Iraq.

Hell on Earth

Most of you know by now about Hurricane Katrina's Almost total devestation of New Orleans, and Western Misissippi. And many of you know there are oil refineries in that area of the Gulf. But, do you know that gas will surpass $3.00 probably even by the time I finish writing this post? In Richmond, VA gas stations here have hit 2.95 in the last 16 hours. And it's been reported that gas will top 3 dollars by the end of the week. It won't be long now. People are gonna have to ride horses to work........

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Changing Directions

Safia Taleb al-Souhail was once all for President Bush's strategy in Iraq. But problems with getting a modern-day constitution designed has made her re-think her position.

I wonder how many changed minds it will take before the Bush Administration admits that mistakes were made. Or that advice that should have been heeded was not. Or why people who were once proponents are now becoming opponents.

Monday, August 29, 2005

No Time for "Showtime"

ESPN's Ric Bucher doesn't think the Miami Heat will be the title contender most people are saying they are. I agree, and for the same reasons:

1. Shaq's decline in production, which decreases his role as the Alpha Dog;
2. Their new additions are offensive-minded, and their coach is defense-first;
3. The '03-'04 Lakers had more firepower and better defenders and they still lost.

What I'm not so sure of is Bucher's implications that ex-coach Pat Riley is setting this all up so he can return to the floor.

Friday, August 26, 2005

It's Not Easy Being Green (at politics)

Jeanine Pirro just isn't getting the love.

Divided We Stand?

As our troops fight a war abroad, Americans here fight each other over whether our troops are fighting the right enemy in the right location.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

United Front?

The American Legion wants everyone who considers themselves American or freedom loving to support the GWOT.

Of course, their position on such types of conflicts was different under Clinton's administration, as seen here.

Attempts to verify this on the American Legion's homepage were fruitless because they don't have any records earlier than September 2001 (even though the site's been up since 1996).

Hmmm....

My kingdom for some cheap gas

How many people have had to give up a kidney for gas recently? Some blood? Your first-born son? Signing your soul over to Satan? With gas prices nearing $5 billion a gallon, what would you do for some inexpensive gas?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Y'all gon make me lose my mind, up in here up in here..."

Pat Robertson done lost his damn mind yall! He says that the U.S. should just assassinate the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. on his show, "The 700 Club," this past Monday, Robertson said: "I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." The guy has gone off his nut! what do y'all think? Is he crazy or what? You what else is wild? That while the Bush Administration didn't necessarily agree with Robertson they didn't exactly condemn his remarks either. Hmmmmm.................

If you're interested, read the article in its entirety here.

----------------------------------Recent Developments---------------------

Thursday August 25, 2005

Just yesterday, Pat Robertson apologized for the comments he made concerning the assassination of Hugo Chavez. When asked about his remarks, Chavez reportedly said "Who's Pat Robertson?".

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Guess This Means We'll be Invading

Bush's approval numbers are at an all-time low, and Iran has no known arms program running.

Do the Math

The Kool-Aid's Getting Low

I can only guess that Karl Rove is being distracted with his own problems, cause Rumsfeld is telling anyone who'll listen that the Iraq constitution won't stop the violence.

So two questions: (1) why are they bothering with a constitution anyway, instead of setting up a provisional government that could construct a capable army; and (2) if the constitution won't stop the violence, what will?

Forgive me if I don't hold my breath and wait for an answer.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

iBook Sale Turns Into Stampede

I have some news from my home state of Virginia. I guess since I've seen this on Blackplanet, this now qualifies as national news. This past Tuesday, there was a sale by the county of Henrico to sell off about 1,100 Apple iBook laptop computers--at $50 each! By the way, new iBooks cost between $999 and $1299. The catch was that you had to be an actual county resident in order to obtain one. These laptops were at least 4 years old, and were scrapped in favor of the new Dell laptops kids in Henrico County schools will be using instead. People from as far away as California came to Virginia to try to get their hands on one of the iBooks in hopes of turning a profit by selling it for many times its asking price on Ebay. Originally, this sale was open to everyone on a first-come-first-serve basis, but then county residents griped about it until they got their way. Anyway, the sale got underway finally this past tuesday.

Officials opend the gates at about 7:00 A.M. About 5,500 people made it out the Richmond International Raceway to try their hands at picking up the computers, and at that $50 dollar price tag, you could've guessed there was pandemonium out there. People screaming, getting pushed to the ground and then trampled on, it was hell out there to be sure. There was even a report of an elderly man being shoved to the ground, and person trying to drive through the crowd in a car! One child's stroller was crushed in the melee. The child was fine as her father pulled her out of harm's way just in time. One woman was so desperate that she wouldn't leave the line and she urinated on herself! She evidently fell ill and the rescue squad worked on her in the line because she was determined not to give up her spot. The iBooks were gone by 1:00 p.m.

He Could Never Be a Bank Robber

Rush Limbaugh, the radio voice for conservative America, is caught in a lie. What's worse is he never even bothered to cover his tracks.

Must be a Busy News Day

The Washington Post reports that the leader of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia was killed. That's not surprising news; what's surprising is that it's not splattered on the front page of their website.

This should be a big story; a majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.

A "Frist"ful of Problems

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott blames current Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist for his political downfall. Funny; I thought his fall from grace came because he said an ex-segregationist would have made a great president.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

In Baseball, it's an Out

Back in 2002, President Bush labeled North Korea, Iraq and Iran the "Axis of Evil." So far, his tatics for dealing with all three have had mixed results.

"The Gas for the Bus Goes Up & Up..."

For the DC/VA/MD area schools, gas prices are starting have an impact.

Eviction Notices

Israel began it's evacutaion late yesterday from the Gaza strip, and naturally some people did not want to leave. The Washington Post also has their own FAQ on the subject.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Nice Place to Visit

There's a little town in Austria with a very interesting name. So interesting, in fact, visitors can't help but steal their signs.

Cindy's Struggles

A Slate writer thinks Ms. Sheehan's protest has taken a wrong turn. Maybe the fact that her critics want to focus more on her family matters than her reason for being in Crawford has something to do with it.

Southern Comfort?

South Carolina has an interesting way to address Medicaid in their state.

"I'll Never Tell"

Biden and McCain play hard-to-get in regard to their presidential aspirations.

A Matter of Perspective

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan doesn't see anything wrong with Mexican president Vincente Fox's prior comments.

Deadline, Interrupted

Despite the fact Iraqi officials had to extended their deadline, President Bush feels confident that they'll have everything ready.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Roberts Connection

SC Nominee Roberts has unexpected enemies and allies, according to the Washington Post.

Alan Greenspan: Muse

Proof positive that anyone can be made into art.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Rose-Colored Economics

President Bush is praising the economy (he has to taut something with bad poll numbers across the country and a very determined woman protesting in front of his yard) but not all of his Cabinet members agree with his glowing assessment.

Who's Your Dealer?

Iraq is getting some of its weapons from Iran; the same Iran that makes the President's Spidey-Sense tingle. Should America be concerned? According to one poll: yes.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Always be Prepared

Just in case we have to fight the enemy over here (and they way we pulled out of Saudi Arabia, we may have to) the military has a plan.

Short Term Memory

Saudi Arabia says relations are good with the US; so much so it's like 9/11 never happened.

Read that sentence again.

I wonder if the Iraq War has generated a change in attitude...

Gotham Cat Fight

Hillary Rodham Clinton will have some competition, according to the Yahoo/AP: Jeanine Pirro, a high-profile prosecutor from the New York area (duh).

And she's coming out guns-a-blazin':

"When Mrs. Clinton first came to us and said she wanted to be a New Yorker, she asked New York to put out a welcome mat and we did," the Westchester County district attorney added. "But now she wants us to re-elect her even though she won't promise to serve out her term and wants to use us as a springboard to the presidency. She's asking us to become her doormat. I believe we deserve better."

It says here Ms. Pirro was chosen because she is a moderate-minded female lawyer, to give Republican voters an option against Clinton (a moderate-minded female lawyer). In other words: catfight.

The Pen and the Sword

Secretary of State Condolezza Rice says that while we may not see it, the insurgency is losing this conflict...politically.

Forgive me, but that comes as a small comfort. Does this mean their sympathizers will stop providing them weapons and bombs? Does this mean young men will stop offering themselves as sacrifices? Does this mean the American troops (and the remaining allies) will be able to train more Iraqi troops faster without fearing for their lives?

What I see politically is an Iraqi consitution that may give women fewer rights than under Saddam Hussein's reign. How that conflicts with the philosophy of the insurgents is beyond me.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bush: The Presidential "Bad Boy"

After taking a more analytical look at the President's recent poll numbers, it dawned on me: how can so many people find him untrustworthy yet likable?

If you still remember life in high school or college (or even post-college) the answer is simple: he's a "Bad Boy."

I don't mean like P. Diddy or Biggie Smalls. I mean in the traditional sense. From a relationship point of view, they're the "Negative Challenge." Check out some of these traits (excluding their treatment of women):

The typical Bad Boy:
1. is cocky, arrogant
2. always puts himself first
3. does what he wants when he wants to do it, regardless of what anyone else

thinks
4. acts like a loose cannon
5. struts his masculine sexuality
6. isn't even remotely a "nice" guy


Does this sound like anyone you may know? Well, going back to relationships, do these guys always seem to have someone on their arm? Are they always getting numbers? "Envied by men, adored by women" and all that jazz?

Numbers 1 and 3 look definitely like characteristics your Average Joe would attribute to Bush (critics may tack on Numbers 2, 4 and 6). I think it's those characteristics, however dismissive, that attract voters to Bush. He comes off as a take-charge AlphaMale and those who've always fell in place during their life follow. He comes off as a Rebel Without a Cause, so when the going gets rough his supporters make up causes for him. And let us not forget the record vacations (Bad Boys are never around when you need them and are frequently out of touch; they only come around when they need something from you).

Compare those traits to the "dull" Al Gore or the "wishy-washy" John Kerry.

So how do the Democrats turn this to their favor? One of two ways: expose Bush's "bad boy" image (most self-proclaimed "bad boys" are frauds) or come forth with a "bad boy" of their own (in the Clinton mold?).

Scott Must be on Vacation Too

From the 7/29 Press Briefing:

Q -- 1,241 days after Pearl Harbor, Adolph Hitler was dead. And today, it's 1,417 days after 9/11 -- Osama bin Laden is still alive. We've got a pretty good idea that he's in western Pakistan. Why can't we get this guy? Is it Musharraf? Is it -- who is keeping us from --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, his safe haven in Afghanistan has been taken away. We went in and liberated the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban that was supporting his activities has been removed from power. The remnants of the Taliban and the al Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden are on the run. We have worked to bring to justice, in one way or another, some three-quarters of the al Qaeda leadership and management structure. So we are dismantling the al Qaeda network.

But this is an ideological struggle that we are engaged in. It is a long-term struggle. We are continuing to pursue all those who seek to do harm to the civilized world. They will be brought to justice. We are now fighting the war on terrorism on the offensive by taking the fight to the terrorists overseas, so that we don't have to fight them here on our own shores.

OK. So then why are these guys doing what Homeland Security was designed to do?

Look Out Below

Bush's approval ratings are sinking. Maybe taking a vacation right now was a bad idea.

You Can't Handle (to be asked) The Truth

Reporter, interview thyself: Robert Novak, the eye of the storm that is the Plame/Rove Leak, decides CNN isn't worth his time. CNN says, "Fine."

My question: if Janet Jackson had behaved this way (and it wasn't on cable), what would the FCC have done?

Loyal to Her Faults?

Anyone who thinks that Republicans are ridiculously loyal to one another need to remember one name: Katherine Harris.

Or maybe it's just Republican women who get kicked to the curb on a regular. When's the last time President Bush, Bill Frist or Tom Delay had Ann Coulter over for a power lunch? Anyone heard from Elizabeth Dole lately?

Let's face it: Republicans may say during elections that they are open, but it seems that in the clutch they feel safer with rich, white, straight Christian men.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"I Said it's a War, Y'all"

According to the New York Times, Bush doesn't really like G-SAVE as the new "fighting the bad guys" slogan. He's happy using "War on Terror." In fact he wants be very clear about it.

Summer Session Homework

The Republicans in Congress are getting homework in order to prevent some major losses in the 2006 midterm elections. It's basically a list of their so-called accomplishments. Nevermind the fact that they've become the Party of Spending in order to accomplish these tasks.


But with the bad news in Iraq, the Rove/Plame Affair, the Vacationing President and voter confidence going down, Republicans need all the good news they can find.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow...Maybe

While (some) Democrats mourn yet another lost election (this time in Ohio), many Republicans insist the close margin is nothing to fret about. "Not so fast," says former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Personally, I think a 4% margin of victory is hardly a mandate. What's interesting is that the Democratic candidate was an Iraq War veteran. What better way to "support the troops" then to vote for one when they run for public office?

"Well, that's politicizing the issue," one might say. "If I have a different political leaning than the candidate, then I should have to vote for him/her if I don't want to, whether they're a vet or not. I can support our soldiers and still disagree with their political views."

And to that I say, "If you can do that for Mr. Hackett, I can do that when the President tries to link the supporting of American soldiers to supporting his various policies."

It's (not) Always the Quiet Ones.

A writer for Slate says that based on his recent move and past actions, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is really Pro-Choice.

I still say that regardless of what he truly supports, if he continues to switch positions he'll lose what little support he has from his base and from moderates.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

FYI, America

President Bush wants to remind people that yeah, dude, we're still at war here.

Lost in the Mail, Maybe?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, after his daring flip-flop on stem cell research (actually, a flip-flop- flip, since he was for it before President Bush stepped in), has been cordially uninvited to the latest Justice Sunday rally.

Interesting how bad poll numbers for your party's president can change your opinion (again), even after you've denounced the opposition once for speculating about the benefits of stem cell research. Frist's desire to run for President is undeniable, but these feather-in-the-wind policy shifts will eventually make him look like the Republican version of Al Gore.

Frist has most likely lost the trust of the Republican base, and I doubt moderates of either party trust him any more now than his last announcement.

It's His Fault, Even if He's Dead

According to this story, there is a book that claims Hitler is (indirectly) to blame for Osama bin Laden's brand of terrorism.

I was wondernig when the Nazis were going to show up.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

At Least He's Persistent

So what about Social Security? This guys says that the issue is a dead one; the President still insists that there is a serious problem with Social Security that requires an overhaul.

I think that based on poll numbers concerning this issue (and others), he should cut his losses and find another domestic agenda.

But he won't. Bush is stubborn to a fault, and with stories of his legislative successes coming from the media, his ego and pride will not allow anything remotely relating to a defeat occur.

But make no doubt about it: every move he makes now is about maintaining control.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Army of One (less dollar)

Many in the Marine Corps will have to tighten their belts soon. Unfortunately for alot of them, their first notice will be this week's paycheck.

Out of the Past

Interesting story on Supreme Court nominee John Robert's early days. Whether this reflects his current views remain to be seen, but let's hope he's willing to answer any related questions on it.

Take That Mess Outside (the Country)

While the US abhors torture on native soil, some officials see no problem in sending prisoners overseas to countries that prefrom it regularly, according to this story.

Whether or not this has happened isn't relevant at the moment. What is relevant is the fact that we have people who are using a slipperly slope to potentially abuse prisoners, and that they think that this is OK.

Tough Luck, Denver Three

Federal prosecuters have decided that it's not important to find out why a White House volunteer (who was impersonating a Secrect Service Agent) kicked three Denver residents out of one of President Bush's Social Security pep rally events (although the event, like all the others, were funded with taxpayer money).

The good news? It's no longer an ongoing investigation, so I guess the President can comment on it now.

Power Moves

President Bush, finally understanding that the Senate wasn't going to confirm John Bolton to the UN anytime soon, decides to bypass the process altogether.

I doubt this will be the last time.

Your Services Are No Longer Required

Uzbekistan tells the US to pack up and go home. Rumsfeld and Co. dismiss it as a minor setback (but if it was so unimportant, then why'd we still use it?).