Friday, November 10, 2006

Who is this new man in gray flannel, W.s new choice for secretaryo of defence?

I don't know but apparently he has some memory loss concerning Iran/Contra. Not enough to get proscecuted but. . .

hapoer 16: Robert Gates

Looking for Gilad Shalit in all the wrong places.

Well, it looks like while the world has been focused on the IDF blowing up Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Israelis have been up to their old tricks in Lebanon, again. The WaPo reports:

"French peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon came within seconds of firing missiles at Israeli F-15 fighter jets that repeatedly dived on their positions last week, according to French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie. Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy summoned Israel's ambassador to Paris to his office on Thursday to express 'serious concern' about the incident and demand that Israel halt its flights over southern Lebanon."

This is nothing new, though, on October 31st Newsvine reported that,"In south Lebanon, officials and witnesses reported Israeli planes staging mock raids over the towns of Nabatiyeh and Tyre. Eight Israeli jets crossed the border and dispersed over southern and central Lebanon, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give press statements."

Apparently, the Israelis have not only been violating the cease-fire on an almost hourly basis since the war took a break. Geir Pederson, Koffi Annan's personal representitive to Lebanon, has said that these constant overflights "constitute a breach of Lebanese sovereignty," but who cares about that, right? Who's going to stop them, W.? Condi Rice?

If I were the French or the Germans I'd do well to remember what happened to the USS Liberty in 1967. When it comes to Israel's natioanl interest, nothing will stop them. They killed 34 US sailors and hardly broke a sweat.

Meanwhile, back in Gaza:

Yesterday, thousands of Gazans attended the funerals of 18 Palestinians who were killed in an early morning IDF attack on Wednesday in Beit Hanoun. Seven Israeli shells fell on the home of the Al-'Athamneh family in the middle of the night killing 11 of them. Israel had just wrapped up a week long occupation of the town, leaving what one resideend called "the worst raid we have ever witnessed . . . This is the tsunami of Beit Hanoun." [BBC]

Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, said the attack was "a regrettable incident." Don't you just feel the sincerity of that regret? Ehud Olmert blamed tbe incident on a "technical failure." He says, "I checked it and I verified it. This is not the policy." Well, that's reassuring, right? But it sure seems like the vaunted IDF has a lot of these "technical failures," doesn't it? Maybe, Israel should launch another "investigation" and get to the bottom of everything.

I seem to remember back in July, just after another raid of death and destruction by the IDF in Beit Lahiya, Israel shells falling on a beach and killing seven members of one family. (Remember Huda Ghalia?) Of course, back then Israel denied it had anything to do with the deaths, but then launched another one of those thourough "investigations," and found that 'yes,' they actually were responsible.

If those Palestinian militants would just stop firing rockets into Israel -- the ones that haven killed one single Israeli this year -- then this would all stop. All Israel wants is peace.

And where Gilad Shait anyway? You'd think all this killing and shelling, all the tearing up of water pipelines, the humiliation at Israeli checkpoints and the cut off of money and power would have brought him home by now?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dems returning to form: Running scared.

I apologize to my loyal reader that I haven't been blogging too much lately. Since I got my second job -- see how great the economy is, I need two jobs! -- I haven't had a whole lot of time to get my thoughts together to comment on all the news that's been going on the past week or so.

Let me just start by saying how gratified I am that the voters of Pennsylvania have sent Rick Santorum and Curt Weldon packing. Halleluiah! I actually heard Curt Weldon, who even on a good day isn't too tightly wrapped, blaming the "pagans" for his crushing defeat. It looks like the voters of America are mightily PO'd and they have sent a strong message that 'enough is enough.' Whether this will make any difference in changing business as usual in Washington is yet to be seen.

I'd like to think the Dems would go in there like gangbusters and start cleaning up the joint, but Nancy Pelosi doesn't exactly inspire a great deal of hope in me. Part of the reason is that the Dems strategy was to find "moderate" candidates to run against right-wing Republicans, which worked pretty well, but the result is that the party has moved even further to the right than is was before (if that's possible.) I hear a lot in the media about how the Democratic Party is moving to the "center," but the center has moved so far to the right that someone like Richard Nixon wouldn't even be able to run as a Dem. I can just imagine David Brooks ridiculing him as some sort of left-wing radical: 'Price and wage controls? Decriminalizing drugs! Expanding welfare!!! This man is too far out of the mainstream!'

After six years of Bush, everyone has gotten used to the idea that the way things are today has always been the way it's been. Of course, the government funds religious organizations, and; of course, we've always had secret prisons around the world where we torture people who may or may or may not be actually guilty of anything. Habeas Corpus, evidence, fair trials? That's all code for 'soft on terror.' The vice-president of the United States can actually go on a radio show and say he thinks water boarding is a no-brainer, and the media, instead of discussing how we can get this dangerous loon out of office, has a debate about whether water boarding might not be a useful tactic in gaining intelligence. Is there any other country in the world where pundits openly discuss how much torture is too much torture?

In any case, the Dems have just won a huge election; from taking the Congress, to picking up governorships; to state houses and already they're playing into the GOP's hands. Most folks in the Party's base like me would like to see the majority start the supeonas flying, looking to Iraqi war contracting, Jack Abramoff's visists to the WH and about a million other things the GOP congress ignored. But all Bush has to say is that he's been the good guy all along and the, "The Democrats will have to make up their minds how they are going to conduct their affairs," and Dems like Pelosi and Sen.-elect Sherrod Brown say, "if Democrats go in and seek retribution, we lose."

This isn't about retribution, don't play they're game. My God they've let a bunch of corporate crooks run off with half the government and started a war that's killed 2,800 US troops and cost almost a trillion dollars!

Please, grow a pair Nancy!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Goodbye, Robert Ehrlich. Goodbye to bad rubbish!

Wow, how low can you go Bob Ehrlich?

The WaPo reports:

"At least six chartered buses carried mostly poor, black men from as far as Philadelphia to hand out inaccurate voter guides in Baltimore and Prince George's County yesterday as part of an effort by backers of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and U.S. Senate candidate Michael S. Steele to woo black voters."

Oh, that low.

Apparently, there aren't enough homeless men in DC, so Ehrlich & Co,. had to outsource. Unbeleivable!

In his own defence Ehrlich said, "If folks are here from out of town, that's fine with me. That's what the Democrats have always done. It's legal, and it's what the Democrats have done forever. This is a story?"

Are you kidding? It's one thing to ship motivated college-age kids to various races around the country to work long hours for no money, but rounding up homeless people -- who ironically would most likely have voted against you if they had known you were a Republican -- and make them distribute phoney fliers is just beyond the pale. Seriously! And what about Steele? Here's a black man exploiting mainly black homeless men to urge other poor blacks to vote against their own interests!

Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are not about payback, I don't know. She might be in the minority on that one.

Monday, November 06, 2006

JOhn Kerry, botched Democratic victory. Again!

I have been trying to stay away from the election stuff lately because I'm just too nervous about the whole thing. But, this news really makes me quiver. The new Pew Research Center poll shows Republicans getting a boost in the waning hours before the polls open tomorrow.

"The new survey finds a growing percentage of likely voters saying they will vote for GOP candidates. However, the Democrats still hold a 48% to 40% lead among registered voters, and a modest lead of 47%-43% among likely voters."

This is down form just a few days ago when a generic poll showed voters more likely to vote for Dems by 53% to 38%. For this apparently we have John Kerry to thank.

"Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" about the war in Iraq attracted enormous attention. Fully 84% of voters say they have heard a lot or a little about Kerry's remarks ? with 60% saying they have heard a lot. By comparison, just 26% say they have heard a lot about President Bush's statement that he will keep Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense until he leaves office in 2009. Most voters say Kerry's statement is not a serious consideration in their vote, but 18% of independent voters say it did raise serious doubts about voting for a Democratic candidate."

Hey that's just great! A month ago 90% of Americans had heard about Mark Foley and the GOP was paying a heavy price, but now that's ancient history. I'm thinking maybe sending John Kerry to Iraq for a long, long deployment might be the best strategy for the Dems at this point. I swear to God if we go to sleep tomorrow night with the GOP still in control of the House and the Senate . . .
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