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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Washinton Post Confirms Deep Throat's Identity

The best kept secret in the history of American politics has been confirmed by The Washington Post. W. Mark Felt, the #2 in the FBI at the time, was confirmed by Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and executive editor at the time Ben Bradley. A secret that has captivated Washington for three decades unfolded in a rather peculiar manner. Felt inadvertently let it slip that he was Deep Throat to a close friend of his, and then she proceeded to let Felt's daughter know. Felt's daughter then confronted her father, where Felt then grudgingly admitted being the famed source named after a 70's porn flick. Felt was early on a noble man. Born in Idaho in 1913, he attended law school, and then joined the FBI, where in the early 40s he was stationed at the FBI offices in Houston, Texas. He was later moved to the Washington FBI headquarters where he quickly became a J. Edgar Hoover favorite. He rose quickly to become the #2 in the FBI, but was passed for the top spot when Hoover passed away.

The motivations for Felt's actions have been a topic of endless debate. From dusgruntlement towards the Nixon Administration for passing him for the top job, to wanting to protect the integrity of the FBI when it was being corrupted by Nixon's men and the CIA, regardless of what these were, Felt performed a noble action at risk to himself and his family, and protected the integrity of the U.S. constitution at a time that the Nixon Administration was raping it beyond anything we could ever have imagined. Felt undoubtedly performed a service to this country that protected not only the FBI, but also the entire country by exposing those who were planning to take over the government in a totalitarian manner. He changed the way the people view the government and especially politicians. Politicians were no longer to be taken at their word and always to be kept in check, a practice that has waned terribly in the last four years. I would refrain from going as far as to call him a hero, but I would definitely call him a patriot. He protected the interests of this country and its people by doing something very dangerous, but something that was right.
Washington Post confirms 'Deep Throat' ID

Mark Felt Claims to be Deep Throat

I've been waiting for the identity of Deep Throat to be revealed for quite some time. This is a teaser, not because I don't believe Mr. Felt. He certainly was in a position to be Deep Throat as the #2 in the FBI, and he was also an outsider in the Nixon administration. The thing is, Woodward and Bernstein will not confirm it nor will they reveal who Deep Throat is until he dies. To me the most important confirmation of the best kept secret in government history has to be that of Woodward and Bernstein. Until that happens, doubts will always remain.
Report: Felt claims to be 'Deep Throat'

Saturday, May 28, 2005

What Bush Really Means!

This is a segment that I will label Bushspeak. It is in no way a shot at our President, but more of a dictionary to decipher what he really means when he speaks to the press (which we know is not his strongsuit). Click on the following link:
What Bush is saying when he's talking

Intelligence Failures on Iraq Win Performance Awards

I suppose we have become a country that rewards mediocrity. Now, in the private sector, anyone who makes a mistake on the scale that the Iraq Intelligence failure was to the intelligence sector, would be fired and probably never hired again in that field. That is the way most logical industries work. But, if you work for our government, I suppose you only have to be mediocre to receive a performance award. I mean, just look at our President, no offense meant, but he was never the most qualified person to run the presidency, but he is doing it (I wouldn't say efficiently though). We are slowly becoming a country that rewards poor performance and mediocrity while the rest of the world gets more competitive. Our schools our turning out dumb kids, ignorant and stupid, and worst, proud of it. Sometimes it is the teacher's fault, but mostly it is lack of funding and poor teacher pay. Most bright minds shy away from one of the most noble professions in the world because the pay is so poor and the appreciation nonexistent. This I have some experience on seeing that my father is a teacher in Texas, one if the poorest academic states in the nation. Teachers are treated so poorly that no one wants to become one. How can we expect to compete in the world if we cannot give our children a good foundation to succeed with?
Analysts Linked to Intel Failures Rewarded

Thursday, May 26, 2005

McCain Seen as Unofficial Leader, Not Frist

My my , how fast things change. Just last week there was all this talk about Senate majority leader Bill Frist's presidential run in '08, about the power the right wing of the party has and how they could control the Senate's agenda. What a change a week's worth of events has brought. As of monday evening, Frist is no longer seen as a powerful figure in the Senate, he is now a lame duck who cannot even keep his rank and file in line. The question has become: how can he lead the country if he cannot even lead his party in the Senate? Senator John McCain has emerged as the new indirect leader in this mess. A moderate from Arizona, and by far the most popular of the 14 Senators involved in brokering the agreement, McCain has always been the party's maverick and this last move definitely fell in line with his past actions. He will pay some for his "betrayal" of the party (the religious right will try to hurt him), but I think in the eyes of the American people he has shown to be a man that puts his country before his party, and this goes a long way in today's partisan government. I have always liked McCain, and I would have liked to see him win the party's nomination in 2000 but he fell victim to Karl Rove's political dirty tricks (and this is a proven fact), where once again the Bush campaign smeared an honorable war hero's name to get ahead politically. I hope this week's move is enough to put him in the front seat for an '08 run, just as long as the moderate side of the party regains control of the runaway right wing. If this doesn't happen, McCain will not get past the primaries, where conservatives vote heavily.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Newsweek Allegations True After All??

I was right!. Like I stated before, the allegations made in the Newsweek issue of May 9th were not retracted, only the confirmation of the Army regarding the allegations was retracted. Now other reports are surfacing that state the allegations were made as far back as 2002. These new reports state the same allegations that were reported in the Newsweek article and in this case the White House and the Pentagon cannot deny something that comes from declassified FBI documents!! What are they going to say now??
Feds Cite Koran Abuse at Gitmo
FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran

Owen, Bolton Confirmations Almost Assured

It seems like the compromise deal reached on monday evening will not only pave the way for embattled U.N. nominee John Bolton's confirmation, it has already allowed a confirmation vote on controversial federal appeals court nominee Priscilla Owen. Owen passed the vote with a 56-43 count, effectively confirming her new judgeship after four years of being held in limbo through the filibuster. Democrats, after this new deal, have softened their stand on a lot of the nominees that Bush has put forth and have definitely made it easier for confirmation hearings to be held. Whether this deal will benefit Republicans or Democrats remains to be seen. And most likely when there is a Supreme Court vacancy the strengh of this agreement will be tested severely.
Priscilla Owen Confirmed As Federal Judge
Democrat Drops Hold on Bolton Nomination

Stem Cell Bill Passes in House, Veto Looms

In a defiant move against President Bush, the House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday easing the restriction on stem cell funding. The President vowed to veto the bill, his first ever veto on anything. The bill passed but with less than the 2/3 majority needed to supercede a presidential veto. Now the bill will move to the Senate. Unless the House and Senate can manage a 2/3 majority the bill is doomed to be vetoed in the Oval office.
House passes stem cell bill despite threat of veto

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Filibuster Deal Reached

Yesterday evening an agreement was reached by 14 moderate senators, 7 Republicans, and 7 Democrats to prevent the Nuclear/Constitutional option from being used. Led by Sen. John McCain from Arizona, the group agreed to allow votes on three of the current nominees and the Democrats would reserve the right to filibuster judges in the future under extreme circumstances. The definition of extreme circumstances is being hotly debated as we speak. The three judges that would go up for votes are Priscilla Owens, Janice Rogers Brown, and William Pryor. Others were not dwelled upon until the time came. This agreement is heavily reliant on trust and many are questioning just how strong this trust is. Sen. Bill Frist, who will undoubtedly be harmed by this agreement, was already this morning trying to poke holes at it. It is also likely that those Republican senators that were involved in the agreement will suffer politically as the right wing of the party punishes them for being more bipartisan. Unfortunate. The White House will also be stung by the agreement, although President Bush has been wise to stay away from the center and put Frist on the forefront of the issue. The WH still wants votes on all the nominees, something unlikely to happen if the agreement holds. The right wing of the Republican party is extremely angry with the agreement. They have supported the use of the nuclear option so they could place more conservative judges in the judiciary, one that they believe has been hijacked by activist judges in the last 30 years. This was their opportunity and they feel betrayed and angry toward these seven Republican Senators. Democrats on the other hand are delighted that the fight seems to be over.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Stem Cell Veto?

Never has President Bush vetoed a bill in his four years in office, but the first one he threatens to veto is one that is supported by most Americans, and even by over half the Republican party. Go figure.
Bush Vows to Veto Stem Cell Legislation

British Tabloid Prints Humiliating Saddam Pictures

In another public relations fiasco, British tabloid The Sun released pictures today of Saddam Hussein in his underwear among other pictures. Not only is this a violation of the Geneva Conventions, it will also be fodder for more anti-american violence. For practical purposes beyond assigning blame to anyone not a top Pentagon official, it does not make any difference if they find who leaked the pictures. They are already out there and the damage is done. It is particulary bad when we have to spend more time in a public relations damage control campaign than focusing on solving the many problems that face our country, inside and out. The Sun claims that they were given the pictures by a military source to try and discourage the insurgency in Iraq. Now, this is just stupid. I do not know if I can believe that someone would be foolish enough to think this would actually work. But then again, the CIA also said that we would be welcomed with flowers in Baghdad, and there were WMD. Who knows with the incompetency today.

Pentagon Condemns Publishing Saddam Photos

Newsweek Did Not Retract As Claimed By Media

Let me touch up on the Newsweek scandal once again. If you are to believe everything that has been reported in the media, Newsweek magazine has apologized, retracted from its story, basically done everything except go back in time and prevent the story from being printed. Not so, Newsweek has not retracted its story, only the part that claims the Pentagon had confirmed them. Go to Newsweek.com and check for yourself. What did I say in my first comment about this? The Pentagon will never confirm or admit any involvement in the issue. Newsweek most likely made a mistake a la Dan Rather by jumping the gun before having all the verifyable facts. But the idea that this story was the sole reason for the outbreak of violence in Afghanistan last week is ignorant and stupid. These allegations served as a catalyst for the entire incident, and had Newsweek not printed the story it was only a matter of time before something else was used as an excuse to protest against us. Allegations regarding the desecration of the Quran, humiliating interrogation methods and sexual abuses have been around since the beginning of the war, this is nothing new. The complete dismissal by the Bush Administration is a farse. There are probably some truths to these allegations, but as far as the public will be told, they are false. Who knows, maybe the media will grow some ****s and go after the story like Woodward and Bernstein did in the early 70's.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

British Galloway Tears Into Silenced Senate

The British know how to talk up a crowd. Sadly, we cannot say the same about our President. This is not Bush bashing, but President Bush is not known for his oratory skills, that much is clear. On the other hand, British MP George Galloway ripped into the U.S. Senate regarding allegations that he was involved in the U.N.'s oil-for-food scandal. Talk about a silenced crowd. Not a single Senator spoke up when Galloway tore into them regarding the hypocrisy with the Iraq war, Halliburton and other issues. It is funny to watch our lawmakers go up against someone who can speak up, someone that serves in a government that has to answer on a daily basis for its actions. Our lawmakers where put to the task and they performed poorly. What did committee chairman Sen. Norm Coleman have to say? "Mr. Galloway was not a credible witness." Please!!! Spare me the bureaucratic trash. Mr. Galloway expressed sentiments that are felt around the world and our Senators sat there motionless. He is not credible? Ask the hundreds of millions around the world that saw the exchange and see if he is not credible.

British MP Galloway says 'blew away' U.S. committee

Newsweek or Newsweak?

This week Newsweek magazine issued a retraction from a story that they printed on their May 9th issue. The story claimed that American soldiers had committed certain actions involving the Quran, among them flushing it down the toilet. Subsequently, protests erupted in the middle East and a number of people lost their lives in the process. Newsweek has apologized for the error, issuing a retraction. Unfortunately, those who lost their lives are not lucky enough to receive that apology. I admit when something like this is reported (this being the Newsweek claims) I am among the first to jump the gun on the issue, maybe not necessarily sinking my teeth into the matter before I comment on it. I have always said that American culture has been isolated throughout its history, by oceans and by the choices that we make here. We are inherently a lone society that is still finding its way in the world (and finding that too much power has come to the country so fast that inexperience has reared its ugly head). There is a general lack of understanding and knowledge regarding other societies, therefore some of these kids (that is what they are, kids, 18, 19 year olds fighting a war) are going to be just that, kids. Can we really be surprised if something like this happens? No. Is it right? No. But we have to bear some of the responsibility for creating a society that at times is insensitive to other cultures. So, when Newsweek made the allegations it was not terribly surprising. Like I had mentioned on my previous post, Newsweek is supposedly a respectable magazine, and naturally I expect them to support their stories with facts and reliable sources. It seems that nowadays the sensationalist side of a story supercedes its factual content. This is a trend that has been coming for a while now. You would think that the press would be careful to protect itself with facts, verifyable facts, when printing stories as sensitive as this one. But the eagerness to pin the Bush Administration on its heels has become a major aim of the press and its seems that they do not understand what it is they are up against. Taking on the government has never been an easy thing to do, but it is especially difficult today, with the Patriot Act (one that has nothing patriotic about it at all), increased security, and most of all increased secrecy. Everything said and done, let me offer this bit (and this is not to foster any conspiracy theories or so forth, just laying out what could be):

with the abundance of stories coming out at the same time, and with the power that the Bush Administration wields, all it takes is a rumor to cast doubt over the validity of any story. The story might be true, but just suggesting that is fabricated will taint it irrepairably. Just look at what happened with Dan Rather's story about President Bush in last year's election. They still haven't found the source of the fake documents. But I find it extremely curious that bloggers were able to verify the validity of the documents in thirty minutes, without having a copy!!!! I guess some of us bloggers are experts at reviewing documents on TV screens and faxes. OK, the documents have questions surrounding them, but how in the hell would those people who posted within thirty minutes of the story being aired know so soon? They Didn't! Why did they do it? Because you cry wolf and someone will listen, always. As I mentioned, just questioning the story creates a cloud of doubt from which it cannot recover. And when you go up against the Bush Administration, the odds are against you. Newsweek has retracted its story, although I have some reservations as to what the reasons were. If indeed it was a mistake on Newsweeks behalf, they should be held responsible for the lives that were lost. They should know fully well that in today's anti-american atmosphere stories of this nature are going to incense people. They have a responsibilty to the public to provide fair, accurate, and unbiased coverage, not to print stories that are inaccurate and possibly, as was proven, deadly stories. But as I mentioned, I have reservations.

I'm Back!!

Finally I can get back to keeping you up to date with the goings in my head. So let me start by saying that it has been a bad week and I haven't had the time to write as much as I would like. But, alas, here I am.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Correction on Newsweek Story From May 13th

Newsweek has issued a correction on its May 9th story regarding the Koran being flushed down the toilet by a military officer in Guantanamo. They have apologized for the misprint. I will write more on this as it develops.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Why Desecrate A Religious Book?

This is an uprising that has been brewing for several days, yet the mainstream media is still crawling when it comes to this. In Afghanistan, and other areas in the mid-east, there have been large protests against the U. S. resulting from claims that soldiers have desecrated the Koran, some claims going as far as saying that it was flushed down the toilet. Is it true? Maybe, possibly. But we do not know definitively. Newsweek magazine reported the actions in its May 9 issue and angry protests began subsequently. I do not think Newsweek would fabricate a story like this . The Army, as it always does, is playing dodgeball, and they say they cannot confirm the claims yet. Now, let me just venture a guess, do you really think that the Army is going to confirm claims that our soldiers desecrated a sacred religious document? No they are not. They will not admit anything. But let me also say that whoever committed these atrocities, if true, are idiots of unimaginable proportions. Can they not see that desecrating the sacred book of a religion that is well known for its extremist factions is going to inflame followers? Fools!! How would people in this country feel if North Koreans desecrated the Bible? Now multiply that anger times ten. Fools! As if we didn't have enough problems already!
Protests Spread in Afghanistan; 8 Killed

Battle Over Bolton Not Over

As the battle over John Bolton heads to the Senate, Democrats have vowed to block the nomination, although they have not provided details as to how they might do it. Democrats will be looking to delay the vote by requesting more information and hopefully pursuading a few Republicans to vote against Bolton. Even with the nomination being sent to the Senate without a recommendation for approval, the White House breathed a sigh of relief because now Republican's have a commanding majority in the Senate floor that they can count on.
Democrats Move to Slow Action on Bolton

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bolton Vote Today

We will have to see how the vote goes, but if Sen. Voinovich's speech is any indication, Bolton will be approved for a full Senate vote. This is particulaly disappointing to see because a Senator that publicly acknowledges his lack of support for the nominee knows full well that sending him for full Senate vote will result in confirmation because the Senate is controlled by Republicans. This will never be a vote on the Bolton's appropriateness as the face of America to the world, it will be a vote to demonstrate loyalty to the White House who has pressured Senators to fall in line with vote.
Voinovich opposes Bolton but backs full Senate vote

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Protect and Improve the FOIA

This goes to the heart of the American people's right to be informed about what the government is doing. I know off all the bureaucracy involved in requesting information through the Freedom of Information Act because I have requested documents using it. Not only is it extremely slow in responding, but there are so many different labels and sections that just finding the right place to search for the information itself is a search. After that, if the information is available they may or may not release it. They can use national security as an excuse, like they do so often, or just possibly say that it doesn't exist and unless you have some powerful contacts you will never know whether it has been destroyed or not. I know, I tried.
Congress Urged Not to Undermine FOIA

Monday, May 09, 2005

Pick Your Washington Poison

The latest on embattled House majority leader Tom Delay,
Increasingly Embattled, DeLay Scales Back Usual Power Plays
What Happens Next With DeLay, Ethics Panel

Senator Hillary Clinton,
Sen. Clinton's Financing in the Spotlight

U.N. Ambassador nominee John Bolton,
Bolton OK Expected on Party-Line Vote
Bolton fight tests Bush's 2nd-term strength

Appeals Court Judges Nominations,
Schumer Urges Bush to Rein in Judge Fight
Renegade Senate Republicans hold power in judicial nominees fight
Bush, GOP Keep Up Pressure Over Nominees


And Senate Filibusters,
Clash Over Judicial Filibusters Nears Boiling Point.

Washinton's fights read better than a headliner at the MGM Grand Arena in Las vegas.

Tony Blair Not Out of the Blue

Tony Blair might have won the election, but by no means is he out of hot water. There is increasing dissention within his own party brought about by his weak victory. Some have called for his resignation and others have predicted that his third term will last less than 18 months before he passes the reign to his more popular treasury chief Gordon Brown. Blair's party majority was reduced from 161 to only 67, a sharp statement that the public is not satisfied. The New Labour party has to protect itself so it will pressure Blair into passing the batton down early to avoid more punishment from an angry people. Blair and his party's weakend position in parliament does not bode well for the bold agenda that Labour wants to pursue this third term. Its opposition also feels emboldened by the election results and they will put up a tougher battle.
Blair Finding Dissension Within Party

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Clinton Fundraising in Spotlight

Sen. Hillary Clinton might be in hot water and you can bet that the Republican attack machine will go after her. If there is any validity to the allegations, then Republicans should go right ahead. After all, Democrats are doing the same with Tom Delay. Right?
Sen. Clinton's fundraising in spotlight at trial

Name Calling Not the Answer

I think this particularly sad. You may or may not agree with him, but he is still the President of the United States and deserves the respect that the position demands, even if you do not respect him as a man. These are the types of opinions that are better left unsaid. In a partisan atmosphere beyond what we have seen in the past few decades, the last thing we need are inflamatory statements such as this one that will only cause more harm.
Reid Calls Bush 'A Loser,' Then Apologizes

The pressing question here is: why is the State Department stalling?
Sen. Biden Asks Rice for Bolton Documents

Saturday, May 07, 2005

England and Fellow Soldiers Are Scapegoats

This is an insightful collection of articles that goes to the core of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse, a point I have been making for a long time now:
Pvt. England and her fellow soldiers are being made the scapegoats in this entire mess. This report gives light to the lack of organization within the military ranks and the civilian leadership. It also explores how the Army's being stretched thin has affected leadership and behavior that was conducive to this incident.
Abu Ghraib guilt goes higher up

Delay Lobbyist Tied to White House

It seems even the White House had dealings with dirty lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has gotten Rep. Tom delay in hot water over his activities. This one goes all the way to the top.
Lobbyist Had Close Contact With Bush Team

Thursday, May 05, 2005

British Elections Taking Place Today

Elections are taking place today in Britain, where President Bush's strongest ally in the Iraq war faces a tough road. It is expected that British PM Tony Blair will be reelected, but voters might punish for his involvement in Iraq with fewer votes that would translate into less seats in Parliament. Blair's party, Labour, has enjoyed landslide victories in 1997 and in 2001, running strongly on social and economic issues, but Blair's much criticized decison to go to war in Iraq has cost him a lot of political capital. A weakened Labour Party in Parliament might put Blair's support in the party in jeopardy.
ritons Vote With War in Iraq on Minds

Explosions Rock U.K. Consulate in NYC

Two explosions rocked the U.K. Consulate in New York on the day that elections are taking place in Britain. No injuries have been reported and so far no motive for the bombings has been found. The blasts occurred at about 3:35 a.m. and caused minor damage. The devices used were two makeshift grenades, a rather unremarkable explosive device. The FBI and the NYPD are investigating the incident.
Grenades Damage British Consulate in NYC

Two Step Aside from Delay Probe

Slowly but surely, it seems like Congress is a making an attempt to halt questionable conduct. In the Delay scandal, now that the House Ethics Committee has convened, two Republicans on the committee have recuse themselves, wisely so, because they have ties to delay and they would not want to be percieved as biased, however unwarranted that notion might be. There is a good effort to investigate these allegations, and other similar ones, and reach a verdict in the issue that is satisfactory to all parties.
2 Republicans Step Aside From Ethics Panel

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

England Guilty Plea Tossed Out

Pvt. Lynddie England's guilty plea was tossed out today as the judge declared a mistrial stating he was unsure whether England knew she was committing wrongdoings. The way it is being reported is misleading, and you might think that the judge is siding with England. Not so. What happened was that the defense called upon Charles Graner, England's ex-boyfriend and superior officer, and he testified that he ordered her to pose for the photos. The judge immediately stopped the proceedings and ordered the jury out of the room. He proceeded to scold the defense and tell them that they could not have it both ways and also suggest that England was following orders so she did not do anything wrong. When her plea was accepted she admitted wrongdoing and Graner's testimony voids that, and therefore the entire plea deal. It remains to be seen if the Army will charge England once again after the situation is evaluated.

I disagree with the idea that Pvt. England did not know she was doing something wrong, unless she considers torture and humiliation acceptable types of action. I do agree with the claim that she probably felt peer pressure to join in the action. I've always thought that there is more to this than meets the eye, which would make Charles Graner (the ringleader and altogether a despicable individual) and those involved scapegoats. Don't get me wrong, they deserve punishment. But I do not believe for a minute that these soldiers would perform these actions of their own will without their superior officer finding out or in someway encouraging it and maybe turning a blind eye. Now, I do not have any proof, but that is just my opinion. It is up to the real journalists to have the guts to follow the bread crumbs.
Judge Throws Out England's Guilty Plea

Do we not have more important things to worry about? Is this what we pay those fools in our state govenment to work on? Give a break!
Texas House Bans 'Suggestive' Cheerleading

More Mismanagement of Funds in Iraq

This is truly incredible. First $9 billion goes missing, now this? How can we justify all the expenditures if the government cannot even run a smooth operation? Tax payers are footing the bills, and now so are Iraqi proceeds? And we are running a huge deficit? I would think that a more stringent accounting practice would be in place since we do not have money to spare. Poor planning in all aspects of the operation have slowly but surely turned public sentiment against the war. I feel badly for the troops that are serving in Iraq regardless of their opinions on the invasion. I think we could do better to account for all the money, specially when troops are not being equiped properly, because of poor funding. How can the government possibly justify mishandling billions in funds that could have been used to equip our soldiers?
Audits find flaws in U.S. handling of Iraq funds

War Funding Bill Set for Vote

The Senate and the House of Representatives reached an agreement on a supplemental war funding bill of $82 billion. The House will vote on it this week, the Senate next week. The core of the bill, some $76 billion will go to immediately supply troops with weapons, munition, armor, and medical supplies. This infusion of funds is expected to cover the costs through September 30, 2005. Once the bill is passed, it will officially tally the cost of the wars past $300 billion. Among other appropriations in the bill is an increase of $100,000 in death benefits for the families of those killed in combat. There are also appropriations for tsunami relief, a new embassy in Baghdad, and aprovision for tightening driver's license requirements.
Senate, House strike deal on Iraq war funding

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

More than three months after the elections, Iraq has finally assembled a government. Amid the surge in violence recently, Iraq made its anouncement, a much needed infusion of good news at the center of all the bad. Unfortunately, the newly assembled government has very low Sunni representation, a concern that has been at the forefront since before elections were held. One by one, cabinet members walked to the podium and pledged to defend Iraq and its people, a pledge that will carry a lot of weight in today's conditions. However, five ministries are held by temporary positions, among these are the key defense and oil portfolios. Currently the defense minister will be PM Al-Jaafari and oil minister the former U.S. sweetheart now disliked by the Pentagon, Ahmad Chalabi. How ironic. Two deputy prime minister spots also remain unfilled as Al-Jaafari attempts to bring more Sunnis into the cabinet.
Iraq's First Democratic Gov't Sworn In

Military Strained Says Gen. Myers

It is a strange admission, one you will never hear the Pentagon say. The military is strained. This is no surprise. We are supporting 2 wars and the military has been missing recruitment goals. Also, a large number of troops are reserves and national guard called into active duty. All said and done, General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, says that the U.S. military can still win any conflict presented to it, though it would be ugly under present conditions. I certainly would not like to see this statement put to the test. Would you?
Myers: Iraq, Afghan wars strain U.S. military

Monday, May 02, 2005

A very candid and informative article on the real crisis facing the United States, Medicare. I recommend reading it.
Social Security reform is simply a diversion

Evolution on Trial in Kansas

At this stage in our civilization's existence, with all the technologies and sciences available, with theories proven over and over again, facts readily available, it seems to me incredibly stupid for someone to discredit (or try to) evolution in favor of creationism. Evolution is a proven theory, one that is occurring as we speak. That some one would completely dismiss it in favor of creationism, which is solely based on the Bible, and unproven, displays a lack of intellectual understanding and development, in other words, stupidity. Let's get something clear, I do not criticize a person's belief in creationism, that is their personal choice and I respect it. What infuriates me is the idea of not teaching evolution in schools, it is stupefying, and so is teaching creationism as a fact. A majority of scientists around the world support evolution, and so does the Vatican. Can we really be so backwards in middle America that we refuse to see the facts when they are presented to us? Is it so difficult to accept the results of science because they might not be as beautifully orchestrated as the Garden of Eden? Can people not understand that religion and science, the further you go back in time, become one? Science does not threaten religion. In fact, when you come right down to it, science can only go back so far in explaining the origins of life, after that point there are no answers (yet, and maybe there never will be) and you have to take it on faith!! Fools they are.
Evolution on trial as Kansas debates Adam vs Darwin

Abu Grahib Soldier Enters Plea Deal

I firmly believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that these soldiers are being made the scapegoats for the higher ups. Don't get me wrong, they are guilty as Ted Bundy, but they are not the only ones that bear responsibility. Unless the press takes it upon themselves to follow the trail all the way to the top, a la Woodward and Bernstein, the issue will die with the scapegoats. Private England's plea deal is yet to be accepted by the judge, but if it is, it would reduce the maximum sentence from 16 to 11 years.
England pleads guilty to abuse charges

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