Friday, January 12, 2007

Who Knows CPR for the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

Will the dems and republicans put aside party differences for the good of the country? Do the republicans know what "for the good of the country" means?

Governor Strickland's Inaugural Ball is this weekend and should be a good time. Fred Phelps, who also picketed soldiers funerals, will be picketing the ball also. He found out our new governor is not a bigot and wants to point this out to the public.

You see, Fred doesn't like the military policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and prefers to hold signs saying "God hates fags." Gee, Prissy must wonder how Fred has come by this knowledge. Fair warning to fluffy Fred, Prissy's escort will be in uniform...

Hot Links

Press release from Central Ohio Military families:

President Bush tells us that in the end, more bloodshed will justify that which has already come about.

Most military families agree that this president proceeded with reckless indifference to the consequences of the troops, their families, and the people of Iraq. Mr. Bush is unwilling to accept advice that does not adhere to his insulated vision of Iraq. Our loved ones were there and we understand what kind of damage war does to a country.

This latest re-marketing of the war is more of the same rhetoric without substance, which he has continued to use in his attempts to rally Americans to his failed policies. This president disregarded the advice of General [Eric] Shinseki when in 2002 he advised a multi-national force along with nearly half a million troops. He advised that anything else would be a strategic disaster. His replacement was named early for his candor; others offering such candor have received a similar fate.

Military advisors and other security experts, as well as the American people repeatedly acknowledge Iraq’s problems can only be solved by political means. We call on our representatives to reflect this thinking.

Our military have been placed in the midst of a civil war, which experts and the military well predicted would occur. Our troops continue to be misused by a president who cannot see the consequences of his actions and is incapable of charting a new course for our troops or the occupation of Iraq.

The only course of action supported by members of Military Families Speak Out is to bring the troops home now and take care of them upon their return.

More neorepublican family values come home to roost as well as "taking care of the troops" Iraq Vet Fatally Shoots Wife, Kills Self

The family of Patricia Gwinn said she was working full-time, doing well in college and had recently left her husband Michael in an attempt to get a divorce.

The family said that Michael Gwinn was in the National Guard and had returned from Iraq earlier in the year, Bowersock reported. According to police, officers had responded to the apartment on domestic calls before.

“We do have a history of police coming out here on domestic situations and I haven’t confirmed this yet, but I believe there was a protection order,” Pilya said.

Patricia Gwinn’s family said she did obtain a protection order against her husband two weeks ago, Bowersock reported. Her other sister Soraya Benjamin said she was excited about getting out of the relationship.

Two thirds of women killed have ended the abusive relationship-that's why abusers kill; he's not letting his property (i.e. family) get away...this man was in deployed in Iraq with the same unit as Prissy's young relative. He did not know Michael Gwinn.

Police: Ex-candidate chased 3 after they crashed fence but the very misleading headline in Cinci? "Hackett part of gun incident"

Indian Hill lawyer and former congressional candidate Paul Hackett - armed with a loaded assault rifle - chased down three men in a car after it crashed into a fence at his home in the early morning hours of Nov. 19.

The driver was charged with failure to maintain reasonable control, driving under suspension and carrying a concealed weapon - a pair of brass knuckles found in his pocket - according to the Indian Hill police.

Indian Hill Rangers consider the matter closed, but a Hamilton County grand jury two weeks ago took testimony from the three men in the car and the ranger who investigated the incident, according to an Indian Hill police report.

Crash Prissy's gate at 4:30AM and you may get a similar response...Hey Hackett, is there anyone left who can say you are a democrat who is soft on defense? hehe

Time The Psychology of a Surge

"What we're driven by in these cases is what's called sunk costs," says Eric Stone, a cognitive psychologist at Wake Forest University who studies human judgment and decision-making. "Basically, a sunk cost is any resource that's already been spent and can't be reclaimed, but that affects your actions all the same."

There's a gravitational suck to sunk-cost behavior, one that makes it almost impossible to resist throwing fresh capital into the hole in the hope that lost capital will somehow come back out. Couples in a bad marriage who might be better advised to cut their losses will instead multiply them, buying a new house or having a new baby in the hope that that will bring them together again. Producers of a sinking movie will roll out a new ad campaign in the hope that that will get people to the box office. And, similarly, tacticians behind a floundering war will send living soldiers in to replace lost ones, even though stone cold reason tells them that troops killed on the battlefield today will not make the ones killed yesterday any less dead. "Rationally, you know you should deal with the situation as it is at the moment," says Stone, "but that's hard to do when your sunk cost is lost life."

Ever heard of cutting ones losses and moving on?

NYT A 2-Month Debate on Iraq, Capped by ‘the Big Push’

In the end, the official said, Mr. Hadley’s teams concluded that an American withdrawal from Baghdad would “crater the government.”

Another option discussed was to try to steer the Iraqi government toward a political realignment that would essentially depose Mr. Maliki, and put a stronger figure in place. By elimination, those discussions led Mr. Bush’s top advisers back to the idea of a troop increase. According to an account by one senior official, General Pace traveled to Crawford, Tex., to meet with Mr. Bush after Christmas and took with him a recommendation calling for two more American brigades in Baghdad, with three more American brigades on call, along with two additional American battalions for Anbar.

According to a senior administration official, Vice President Dick Cheney was among those who wanted a bigger force. Ultimately, Mr. Bush concluded that General Pace’s initial request was too small and should be augmented by three more American brigades for Baghdad. General Pace said that General Abizaid, who is retiring this year, had opposed the idea of a troop increase. But General Abizaid came around, General Pace said, when he saw that the additional American combat forces would be accompanied by a “political and economic surge.”

Yes, just like the last election was going to bring in a new surge of democracy. Dubya has no intention of stopping this war on his watch, it will only be Congress, We the People and military who can stop him from more blunders. The best description of Dubya lately: "he is a raging, blind giant"

ABC Iraq Troop Surge Will Change Rules for Guard Units

Pentagon policy is to give Guardsmen five years off after a deployment. But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he may not stick to that policy. "Today's global demands will require a number of selected Guard and reserve units to be remobilized sooner," Gates told a White House news conference.

A Pentagon spokesman went further. "The goal (five years between deployments) will not be met. … It's a temporary situation," said Bryan Whitman. To soften the blow of being sent to war more often, the Pentagon announced two other changes. First, rather than being called up to duty for as long as two years, Guardsmen and reservists will be activated for only one year. And if they are called up before their five years between deployments, they will get extra pay.


Even if he loses, his friends say, he doesn't lose. He'll just change the score, or change the rules, or make his opponent play until he can beat him. "If you were playing basketball and you were playing to 11 and he was down, you went to 15," says Hannah, now a Dallas insurance executive. "If he wasn't winning, he would quit. He would just walk off.... It's what we called Bush Effort: If I don't like the game, I take my ball and go home. Very few people can get away with that." So why could George get away with it? "He was just too easygoing and too pleasant."

Another fast friend, Roland Betts, acknowledges that it is the same in tennis. In November 1992, Bush and Betts were in Santa Fe to host a dinner party, but they had just enough time for one set of doubles. The former Yale classmates were on opposite sides of the net. "There was only one problem—my side won the first set," recalls Betts. "O.K., then we're going two out of three," Bush decreed. Bush's side takes the next set. But Betts's side is winning the third set when it starts to snow. Hard, fat flakes. The catering truck pulls up. But Bush won't let anybody quit. "He's pissed. George runs his mouth constantly," says Betts indulgently. "He's making fun of your last shot, mocking you, needling you, goading you—he never shuts up!" They continued to play tennis through a driving snowstorm.

It is something of an in-joke with Bush's friends and family. "In reality we all know who won, but George wants to go further to see what happens," says an old family friend, venture capitalist and former MGM chairman Louis "Bo" Polk Jr. "George would say, ‘Play that one over,' or ‘I wasn't quite ready.' The overtimes are what's fun, so you make your own. When you go that extra mile or that extra point ... you go to a whole new level."

WaPo to At Fort Benning, a Quiet Response to a Presidential Visit

Soldiers being soldiers, those who met the commander in chief Thursday saluted smartly and applauded politely. But it was hardly the boisterous, rock-star reception Bush typically gets at military bases. During his lunchtime speech, the soldiers were attentive but quiet. Not counting the introduction of dignitaries, Bush was interrupted by applause just three times in 30 minutes -- once when he talked about a previous Medal of Honor winner from Fort Benning, again when he pledged to win in Iraq and finally when he repeated his intention to expand the Army.

Bush's speech essentially repeated his address to the nation the night before, and he appeared a little listless as he talked. Aides said he was deliberately low-key to reflect the serious situation. Whether the audience was sobered by the new mission or responding to Bush's subdued tone was unclear, because reporters were ushered out as soon as his talk ended.

White House officials had promised reporters they could talk with soldiers. But that was not good enough for Wojdakowski. "The commanding general said he does not want media talking to soldiers today," spokeswoman Tracy Bailey said. "He wants the focus to be on the president's speech." Only hours later, after reporters complained, did the base offer to make selected soldiers available, but the White House plane was nearing departure.

Reuters Suspected Greek militants fire rocket at U.S. embassy

"There are one or two anonymous phone calls which claim that the Revolutionary Struggle was behind the attack," Public Order Minister Byron Polydoras told reporters outside the embassy. "Most likely, it is an act by local perpetrators."

The leftist guerrilla group has emerged as the most serious domestic threat since the dismantling of the deadly November 17 group in 2002, adopting its anti-U.S. polemics in proclamations usually sent to Greek media.

WaPo Too Casual To Sit on Press Row?

When the trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice opens next week, scores of journalists are expected to throng the federal courtroom in Washington, far too many for the 100 seats set aside for the media.

But for the first time in a federal court, two of these seats will be reserved for bloggers. After two years of negotiations with judicial officials across the country, the Media Bloggers Association, a nonpartisan group with about 1,000 members working to extend the powers of the press to bloggers, has won credentials to rotate among his members. The trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the highest-ranking Bush administration official to face criminal charges, could "catalyze" the association's efforts to win respect and access for bloggers in federal and state courthouses, said Robert Cox, the association's president

That's only fair considering how the corporate owned media failed to tell Americans the whole truth in the lead up to the war. Prissy is going to try to attend a day or two of the trial. Other bloggers will attend daily and keep us well informed. Prissy looks forward to EmptyWheel and Christy at Firedoglake explaining what's what of the Libby trial.

Sino daily Iran, China to finalise 16 bn dollar gas deal despite sanctions threat

Iran will hold talks with China next month to finalise a 16-billion-dollar gas

agreement despite a US warning that the Chinese partner could become subject to sanctions, an official said Thursday.

"We start talks with the Chinese on North Pars gas field in February," Akbar Torkan, the managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company -- which is in charge of the project -- told AFP.

"(Negotiating) teams will be set up for four rounds of talks and signing a contract depends on when the talks are concluded," Torkan said.

Iran and China's biggest offshore oil producer, CNOOC, announced having signed on 21 December a preliminary deal to develop Iran's offshore North Pars gas field located in Gulf waters.

Alternet Another Vietnam

During March 1968, despite this discovery, President Johnson agreed to send 24,500 more troops to Vietnam on an emergency basis. President Johnson and Secretary Clifford thought that this increase in U.S. troops would lead to U.S. victory there. And in an address to the nation on March 31 President Johnson stated: "We have no intention of widening this war."

At that time, approximately 24,000 U.S. service members had died in Vietnam. By the end of that war, more than 58,000 U.S. troops had been killed. More U.S. soldiers died winding down the war than had in starting it. In addition, by the end of the war, the United States had greatly expanded the war into Cambodia and Laos.

But, little more than a year later, after he left office, Clifford wrote: "Nothing we might do could be so beneficial ... as to begin to withdraw our combat troops. Moreover ... we cannot realistically expect to achieve anything more through our military force, and the time has come to begin to disengage."

By recommending to President Bush that U.S. troops in Iraq should be increased, with no clear plan for achieving victory there, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates risks following in the footsteps of Clark Clifford. As with Secretary Clifford, Secretary Gates has succeeded the architect of a U.S. military failure. Like Clifford, Gates has proven incapable of calling for a dramatic change in course.


Independent UK Mr Bush's masterplan: to spread the blame around

In its grave tone and subdued staging, this was a broadcast whose sombreness rivalled the low points of the Nixon and Carter presidencies. From a commander-in-chief whose cheery outlook has twice contributed to his electoral appeal, the dark mood was doubly shocking. Alluding, perhaps, to his arrogant "mission accomplished" speech from the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, George W Bush warned that victory would not look like the victories of the past: "There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship."

The question, of course, is whether the United States can achieve anything approaching victory in Iraq at all. Violence is now endemic. The country is awash with weapons. Society is fractured along ethnic and religious lines several times over. There may be an elected government in Baghdad, but it, too, is splintered, and its authority does not extend much further than the heavily fortified "green zone".

The military push, or "surge", that Mr Bush has ordered almost guarantees that things in Iraq will get worse, perhaps much worse, before they have the slightest chance of getting better. More likely, the new plan will run out of time, money, manpower, or all three. It has, though, one key advantage for Mr Bush compared with the so-called Baker plan and the more gradualist alternatives on offer: he cannot - yet - be accused of cutting and running, and the blame for failure will be spread around.

Time Govt Criticized on Data Mining

A privacy advocate says the government's ability to use computers to gather personal information about citizens and act on it has far outstripped the federal laws designed to protect them from secret federal dossiers.

Guardian UK Isolated Bush faces rebellion over Iraq

· Congress to reject plan· Public against extra troops

President George Bush faced increasing isolation last night after his much-vaunted new strategy for Iraq met with overwhelming public and political opposition.

Mr Bush and his most senior staff embarked on a huge public relations exercise to sell the plan to send an extra 20,000 troops to Iraq, aware of formidable opposition in Congress which already promises an embarrassing vote next week rejecting the new strategy.

In contrast to the deference the president enjoyed in his first six years in office, he is confronting for the first time a combination of reinvigorated Democrats and rebellious Republicans. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, said: "In choosing to escalate the civil war, the president virtually stands alone."

Look behind you there Dubya, its only Laura and Barney the dog...

Quotes of the Day

RE: Bush, Iraq, Somalia, Oil The U.S. doesn't have a congress with ethics enough to stop Bush. If that was their intention, they'd be coming out in droves against him. You don't have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.-- Dennis, anon poster on RAW Story

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.-- Flannery O'Connor

There go the people.I must follow them for I am their leader.--Alexandre Ledru-Rollin,French politician

He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.--Aristotle