Saturday, November 25, 2006
Palestinian militants have agreed to stop firing rockets into Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and a halt to targetted killings, it emerged last night.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, telephoned Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and told him that all Palestinian factions had agreed to a ceasefire from 6am this morning.
Head for the hills! The Democratic Caucus in the House is; (divide/split/at war with/disagreeing,) having been out of power for oh, the last twelve years, must suddenly become the party of Delays, and any, any discussion of any, any prognosticators inside byline on any, any chairmanship over ethical concerns means of course, many other internal problems.
Either that or the pundiotry has the gas.
Now, I’ve noticed in some emails and on some blogs that some are saying that because we’ve been reporting on the ethics cloud over Hastings that this must really mean we’re really secretly pulling for Harman to hold the post. That must be a convenient read for some people. But, alas, not a correct one. TPMmuckraker is a different sort of site than TPM. It focuses on reporting, not opinion. My issue with the intel chairmanship, however, has nothing to do with Jane Harman. I just think it’s a bad idea to have someone chair the intel committee who has previously been impeached and convicted by Congress for corrupt acts.
That goes for any particular individual Congresspep. I don’t think anyone in the blogosphere seriously wants to tell Pelosi who should go where, except maybe on the other side of the spitoon that is, but I do think the leftosphere wants it to be done right and that means being effective in obtaining the goals of the people, who elected them, and a serious consideration of ethics was a part of it.
That last statement of course is a loaded statement meant to show the split in the, (Democratic/left/nutosphere/not tenth dimensional reporters/journalists/commentator/FOX News Consultants,) over just who is responsible for voting all those votes, cheering all those cheers, jeering all those jerks, and generally raising mayhem and consternation amongst the overly stuffed turkeys in the MSM, whose prognostications will be re-served, (next year/six months/FU/RSN/2008,) as they stand athwart the thwarted, just as they alway have.
Social Security Reform – Enough to Make One Curse PGL makes the rounds on the next round of the great bamboozle;
When Max wasn’t cursing at Lori Montgomery, he managed to draw a neat graph showing “costs” as a percent of GDP (slowly rising) and “the drain on the non-Social Security budget” also as a percent of GDP, which actually starts off with non-interest surpluses from now until 2018. But pay close attention to Max’s green line, which he calls the “money legally owed to the program”. It seems the Social Security Trust Fund continues to grow and best yet – earns interest. OK – after a while, it starts to decline as the baby boomers take the retirement benefits out that they’ve been putting into the program for decades.
Nothing new here folks, just the same old shame old WaPo.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that the Israel Defense Forces would end military operations if Palestinian militants uphold a pledge made earlier in the day to halt Qassam rocket fire.
Olmert made the remarks to Abbas during a telephone call in which the PA chairman informed the prime minister of the offer to end rocket strikes in return for a cessation of military activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
We can all pray for that to happen.
We can rule out the Left, that artifact of past history. Socialism ceased being a real option long ago, perhaps as early as 1914. Since I have just published an entire book, After Socialism, and detailed its innumerable myopias and faults, I need not say more than that it is no longer is a threat to anybody. The fakirs who lead the parties who still use “socialism” as a justification for their existence have only abolished defeats at the hands of the people from the price capitalism pays for its growing follies….
from Gabriel Kolko, looks into the travails of unchallenged capitalism.
So — If we want to augment the force in Iraq we will need to send more units. Do we have them? Yes. We could send regular units (active duty) back again no matter how recently they have been in Iraq or Afghanistan. We could send national guard and reserve units back on the same basis. We could do that but the force we send that way would have to rotated out of the war in a year or so. With whom would we replace those units? We would already have “screwed up” the rotational queue by pulling units that had a place in the queue out of line to send them back early.
Some people express surprise that the ground forces can not generate a larger number of combat brigades/regiments than they do given the “in service” manpower. In fact, the Army has been re-structuring itself for years to do just that and it is as a result of that re-structuring that the present level of force can be maintained in Iraq/Afghanistan. About 6/7ths of all available active duty combat soldiers and marines are now committed to the war mission. They are either “there,” “just back” or in training to go back.
You can finish the rest of it. Think of it as an interactive internetter inside joke.
which keeps the rest of us working.
I can’t help but note that Dick is out of his bunker and in Saudi Arabia telling the King about the necessity of moving quickly against Iran before the American people throw his administration out on their ears, (which given the location of their heads, allows for the more earthy expression, “ass,” one would suppose.) I’m sure Dick is telling His Majesty what a revolting anti-monarchical group of people the American left is, and our animosity towards all things Saudi, rather than the more mundane and accurate American response to a Saudi Arabian monarchy, “eh.”
Josh has noted the “silence of George,” which is a pretty dangerous development itself, since if the President isn’t talking he may be thinking, or worse, doing something.
But I don’t hear the president. Not his voice. The one thing that’s been a constant over the last three and a half years is the president as the voice of American Iraq policy. Whether he’s the author of it is another question entirely. But the voice and pitbull of it, always.
I can see a TV service upgrade coming.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Look I don’t care if Mr. Rangle introduces his legislation so long as he deals with the reality of being in the majority, and likely to have all the authority he needs to do what he wishes to do without the bill. I advocated the same thing;
He said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, “young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it’s our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals,” with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.
in 2003 as well, as with the additional benefit of teaching our young people the Constitution, while having finished up Boot, ‘A’ school, ‘B’ school, OJT, and other necessary training.
As far as I am concerned it is one thing to offer tactical defensive responses to an illegal war, and quite another to make those same tactics a strategy for either ending the war or winning elections in the future. The Democrats need to establish their ground game too, and you can’t always run and throw left.
An all volunteer military gives those most directly affected the option of voting with their feet.
A 17-year-old US student has, after two years’ work and 1,000 hours of research, managed to achieve nuclear fusion in the basement of his parents’ Oakland Township home, The Detroit Free Press reports.
And you’re sweating Padilla?
Ten police forces in England and Wales are to test handheld fingerprint checking devices on the roadside.
The forces’ automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) teams, who already cross check vehicle number plates against databases, will be able to verify a person’s identity within five minutes without having to take them to a police station.
Those without drivers licenses will be subjected to a rectal exam, to press the necessity of obtaining one.
I don’t know where to begin to tell you start reading, except at the top.
I am so glad the election is over.
I understand that the Attorney General of the United States said last week that the problem with a particular ruling by a federal judge in the Middle West was that the man was using an undesirable and dangerous definition of “freedom.” Maybe this is more of the same stuff?
The Department of Homeland Security proposed new rules back in July that would fundamentally undermine the right of American citizens to travel abroad. Public carriers–airlines, cruise lines, even fishing boats–will be required to submit the names of all passengers to Homeland Security prior to departure and to obtain permission from Homeland Security to board those passengers. These new rules will take effect January 14, 2007.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
We protested the conclusions of the NIE, citing evidence such as the Iranian government’s repression of the communist Tudeh Party, the expulsion of all Soviet economic advisors and a number of Soviet diplomats who were KGB officers, and a continuing public rhetoric that chastised the “godless” communist regime as the “Second Satan” after the United States.
Despite overwhelming evidence, our analysis was suppressed. At a coordinating meeting, we were told that Gates wanted the language to stay in as it was, presumably to help justify “improving” our strained relations with Tehran through the Iran-Contra weapons sales.
Personally I’m all in favor of using the expertise of tainted officials, MoCs, and industry, but I wonder why in the world anyone would press their luck with the issue of ethics reform still fresh in some of the electorates minds.
Act 15:22-29 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with all the assembly, to send chosen men from them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, Judas having been surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, writing by their hand these things:
The apostles and the elders and the brothers, to those throughout Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, brothers from the nations: Greeting. Since we heard that some of us having gone out have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, Be circumcised and keep the Law, to whom we gave no command; it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to send chosen men to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have given up their souls on behalf of the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have sent Judas and Silas, they by word also announcing the same things. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to put not one greater burden on you than these necessary things: To hold back from idol sacrifices, and blood, and that strangled, and from fornication; from which continually keeping yourselves, you will do well. Be prospered.
Act 15:30-39 Then they indeed being let go, they went to Antioch. And gathering the multitude, they delivered the letter. And reading it, they rejoiced at the comfort. And Judas and Silas, themselves also being prophets, exhorted the brothers through much speech, and confirmed them. And continuing for a time, they were let go with peace from the brothers to the apostles. But it seemed good to Silas to remain. And Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and announcing the gospel, the Word of the Lord, with many others also. And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Indeed, having turned back, let us look after our brothers throughout every city in which we announced the Word of the Lord, how they are holding it. But Barnabas purposed to take John with them, the one having been called Mark. But Paul thought it well not to take that one with them, he having withdrawn from them from Pamphylia, and not going with them to the work. Then there was sharp feeling, so as to separate them from each other. And taking Mark, Barnabas sailed away to Cyprus.
Act 15:40 But having chosen Silas, Paul went out, being commended to the grace of God by the brothers. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, making the assemblies strong.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Really I do have time for that;
We’re really deep into the primitive brainstem phase of our long national nightmare of presidential denial and mendacity on Iraq. Poetically, politically and intellectually it’s appropriate that Henry Kissinger is now along for the ride.
The basic content of what Obama is saying, divorced from the larger debate, is fine, but as to how it plays in the current debate it’s not fine. It allows us to wait around one more Friedman… and then something will happen. Except it won’t happen. Troops will not start coming home 4-6 months from now. And, most likely, 4-6 months from now Obama won’t be saying “bring them home now,” though I’ve put him on my little calendar and will make sure to check back then and let you know.
With the “bipartisan” Baker Commission trolling for a solution to the Iraqmire, the White House running a separate review of the situation, and the Pentagon trying to figure out what to do next, one cannot help but wonder whether the main thrust of current American policy in Iraq is launching as many lead balloons as possible before the 110th Congress is sworn in.
As world attention is fixed on events in the Middle East, particularly the continuing meltdown of the American occupation in Iraq, another crisis brews. It is the coming showdown between the U.S. and Russia, centered in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Relations between Russia and Georgia, never good, degenerated recently when members of Georgian opposition parties were arrested, along with four Russian military officers, and charged with espionage. The Russians retaliated by ending commercial ties, deporting Georgians living in Russia, and closing the border.
and hopefully this too;
Charles Rangel thinks that having a society where human beings own each other is perfectly okay as long as the slaves are destroying lives and property for the state rather than producing things for private plantation owners.
From USA Today:
“Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way.
Ok Charlie, Bwahahaha that’ll fly.
I know most of us are aware of the difference between stating one’s political position, or a party platform, and governing from it. Personally I think I’m somewhere between Billmon, Atrios, and Raimondo, which is my own personal take on differing points of view, but I’m not above arguing for their points of view that I disagree with in detail, or whatever, if it can specifically address an opinion that I disagree with completely.
How to reconcile their positions into any governing coalition at this point would be ludicrous in the max, but that doesn’t preclude it from being done either, or including Southern Democrats, which Duncan has noted and linked to the abandon the South strategy. The neocon hegemony rising from the ashes of Iraq in the Democratic Party is also a very real possibility, so nothings really changed so much as the moorings of various interest groups within the parties.
The Democratic Party cannot discount the disaffection of the coalitions within the Republican Party with each other, or of the current Congress, nor of the “mushy” middle, in the next Congress. How much the next Congress impedes the President in foreign and domestic affairs is an equation without defined variables at this point. There are a lot of mostly right policy options available for consideration by those who must govern. Those who govern must be given room to do so, however, and so if that is moderate position of mine, then so be it. Sometimes you have to be an American second, if your a Christian, and a Democrat or Republican third. They are all very distinct things that make the sum worth more than the parts.
I have mixed feelings about not monitoring traffic because I fear I will cease to write what I think, and while everyone wants to have some readership if one is a writer of blogs and such, I know my egotism a little too well to allow it any more room than I have already allowed. All in all I have greater respect for those I’ve read, and linked to, than I do my own work. Room for improvement is a necessity I hope. I hate to wind up like Carville on Dean, lost on Route 66 in a Star Trek world.
Please bury the dead?
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I’ll be spending the next two weeks reacquainting myself with a USN sailor, his wife, and son. Blogging will be a less frequent. (We’ll see.)
David Kurtz has an interesting thread going on US torture policy, which is actually what it is, a policy of torture.
As I said, CH was just one of several readers who had emailed to suggest I was living in a bubble. Pointing to the School of the Americas and the dirty wars in Latin America, they noted that U.S.-sanctioned torture has been going on for far longer than I was willing to acknowledge. You might call those the “where have you been?” crowd.
Read more here;
How do you fit this into your sermons there, padre?