Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Comment of the Day
by Lee

In this post, by LiveFreeOrDie.

Lee, I ditched this site about 6 months ago because of the Bush bashing and I perceived racism.

I’m here eating Humble pie. This bastard is a fascist fucktard. He’s letting huge fucking corporations make the bureaucratic laws.

And you’re right about the fucking torture issue too. Damnit.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

This damn immigration bill finally brought me around.

Did you see the post office rate restructuring? Both NRO and The Nation came out against it. WTF. Same shit.

Oh, btw. Remember when Clinton said “The end of the era of big government”. Yeah, this is what that bastard had in mind also.

American Liberty is in danger.

I get accused of “Bush bashing” all the time.  It’s funny how quickly the idea of “bashing” can turn to “telling the truth about.” LiveFree, welcome back bro.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 10:55 PM in Politics  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Charity Bleg
by Lee

Today I got a solicitation in the mail from an organization called Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.  They claim they provide services to veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Anyone know anything about this group?  Is it legit, or will a big chunk of my money go to political activities?

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 10:51 PM in Blegging  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Bush and Spending
by Lee

Following up on this post from this morning, some of you are miffed at me for blaming Dear Leader for something.

Lee, it was Bush who proposed reforming social security and retirement savings, even devoting 90 days of his presidency to traveling the country trying (unsuccessfully) to sell the reforms. It was the Democrats who stopped it. Blaming Bush for this is just plain wrong.

Before we get into the numbers, let’s talk about SS reform.  Wow, he devoted 90 whole days to it.  And do you know why it died?  Two words:  Terri Schiavo.  Remember all that political capital Bush built up with a solid win over Kerry?  He subsequently pissed it all away trying to keep a fucking drooling, brain-dead vegetable alive.  When it came down to it, keeping James Dobson and Pat Robertson happy was far more important to this president than actually using his political capital for something as vital as SS reform.  So, please, let’s not act like Bush is some kind of martyr, powerless against the Democrats (who, let us not forget, were the minority party in Congress at the time).  Okay, let’s get to the numbers.

Cato Institute, 2005

President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn’t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.

Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton’s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush’s first term.

The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.

The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001. Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs.  Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office.

Cato Institute, 2005

President Bush signed a $417.5 billion defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2005 on August 5,2004. With the addition of an $82 billion supplemental for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, in real terms U.S. military spending will be at a level exceeded only by that of the waning years of World War II and the height of the Korean War. The Defense Department had requested $401.7 billion, which was a 7 percent increase over the FY04 defense budget. The recently submitted FY06 Pentagon budget is $419.3 billion (notincluding funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan). The administration argues that increased military spending is a necessary part of the war on terrorism.

Those budgets assumed that the war on terrorism is primarily a military war to be fought by the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. The reality is that large conventional military operations will be the exception rather than the rule in the war on terrorism. Although President Bush claims Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism, the truth is that ridding the world of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime did not eliminate an Al Qaeda sanctuary or a primary source of support for the terrorist group.

The military’s role in the war on terrorism will mainly involve special operations forces in discrete missions against specific targets, not conventional warfare aimed at overthrowing entire regimes. The rest of the war aimed at dismantling and degrading the Al Qaeda terrorist network will require unprecedented international intelligence and law enforcement cooperation, not expensive new planes, helicopters, and warships.

Therefore, an increasingly large defense budget (DoD projects that the budget will grow to more than $487 billion by FY09) is not necessary to fight the war on terrorism. Nor is it necessary to protect America from traditional nation-state military threats—the United States is in a unique geostrategic position; it has no military rivals and is relatively secure from conventional military attack because of vast oceans on its flanks and friendly neighbors to the north and south.

Heritage Foundation, 2006

Why is spending restraint so important? Because, despite reducing tax rates, President Bush’s and Congress’ historic spending spree is laying the groundwork for the largest tax increase in American history.

Without a single veto, President Bush has overseen the largest spending spree since Franklin D. Roosevelt sat in the Oval Office. Surprisingly, new defense and homeland security costs account for less than one-third of all new spending. Even non-defense spending is expanding twice as fast as it did under President Clinton.

These guns and butter budgets are virtually unprecedented. During World War II and the Korean War, Presidents Roosevelt and Truman cut non-defense spending by 35 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Yet during the war on terrorism, lawmakers enacted the most expensive education, agriculture and highway bills ever, and created an $8.7 trillion Medicare drug entitlement. Since 2001, education spending is up 137 percent, international spending is up 111 percent, and health research and regulation spending is up 78 percent. Despite cries of “mean-spirited cuts,” even anti-poverty spending just reached a record 3 percent of GDP.

In sum, 2006 federal spending will reach $23,760 per household – the highest inflation-adjusted level since World War II, and nearly $5,000 higher than five years ago. And that figure is increasing $1,000 annually. Unless spending is pared back, within a decade balancing the budget alone could require a $7,000 per household tax hike.

American Enterprise Institute, 2005

Total real discretionary outlays will increase about 35.8 percent under Bush (FY2001-06) while they increased by 25.2 percent under LBJ (FY1964-69) and 11.9 percent under Reagan (FY1981-86). By contrast, they decreased by 16.5 under Nixon (FY1969-74) and by 8.2 percent under Clinton (FY1993-98). Comparing Bush to his predecessors is instructive. Bush and Reagan both substantially increased defense spending (by 44.5 and 34.8 percent respectively). However, Reagan cut real nondefense discretionary outlays by 11.1 percent while Bush increased them by 27.9 percent. Clinton and Nixon both raised nondefense spending (by 1.9 percent and 23.1 respectively), but they both cut defense spending substantially (by 16.8 and 32.2 percent).

… Total real outlays have increased by 23.4 percent under Bush, placing him second only to LBJ. As the architect of the Great Society, Johnson created vast new entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid, which continue to balloon the mandatory portion of the federal budget. Mandatory spending reached its zenith under Nixon, partly because entitlement spending tends to balloon during recessions, as poverty rates and unemployment increase.

Note the sources of these data:  Cato, Heritage, and AEI.  Those of you who love to fall back on that tired old liberal media conspiracy bullshit are going to have a hard time with this one, since I didn’t cite any media sources.

So, is Bush solely responsible for the spending situation?  Of course not.  But Bush is the president.  Bush is the guy who could have used his Constitutional power to check and balance the legislature by refusing to sign these spending bills.  Bush is the guy who chose to veto not a single fucking spending bill.  Bush is the guy who has presided over the largest spending increase in decades. 

So, do I place a big-ass slice of blame at Bush’s feet?  You’re goddamned right I do.  And only someone blinded by sheer partisan idiocy could refrain from doing likewise.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 07:32 PM in Politics  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

The Madcowness of King George
by Lee

I am as pro-business, pro-market a guy as any who have ever walked the face of the planet.  This quite often opens me up to unwarranted criticism from lefties as being “a tool of big business.” I don’t favor a single business.  It’s a good thing when companies go bankrupt, because those assets will be purchased by other companies who can put them to better, more efficient use.  Markets drive innovation, and innovation means progress. 

Note to lefties:  what I espouse does not make me a tool of big business.  People who support shit like this are tools of big business.

The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.

The Agriculture Department tests less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef.

But Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to test all of its cows.

Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone tested its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive test, too.

The Agriculture Department regulates the test and argued that widespread testing could lead to a false positive that would harm the meat industry.

This is as good a lesson in free market economics as I can think of.  A small company wants to increase its stature by offering a value-added service to its product, which in this case is testing all its meat for mad cow disease.  The big meat corporations know that this will probably resonate with customers, and the laws of the market ttell us that consumer demand will require them to test all their meat too.  So, what do the corporations do?  They go whine to politicians who they have bought and paid for and stifle the market forces which will in all likelihood require them to perform this same test.

End result:  innovation stifled, meat is less safe, and those huge checks the corporations gave to various politicians have been shown to be well worth it.  Liberals, please understand, this is not the free market at work.  This is the polar opposite of the free market.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 01:41 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

You Owe Half A Million Bucks
by Lee

Via Drudge, we get this report on the economy.

The economy nearly stalled in the first quarter with growth slowing to a pace of just 0.6 percent. That was the worst three-month showing in over four years.

The new reading on the gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department Thursday, showed that economic growth in the January-through-March quarter was much weaker. Government statisticians slashed by more than half their first estimate of a 1.3 percent growth rate for the quarter.

The main culprits for the downgrade: the bloated trade deficit and businesses cutting investment in supplies of the goods they hold in inventories.

I smell a recession coming.  Now read this.

The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year — far more than the official $248 billion deficit — when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

The loss reflects a continued deterioration in the finances of Social Security and government retirement programs for civil servants and military personnel. The loss — equal to $11,434 per household — is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006.

“We’re on an unsustainable path and doing a great disservice to future generations,” says Chris Chocola, a former Republican member of Congress from Indiana and corporate chief executive who is pushing for more accurate federal accounting.

Modern accounting requires that corporations, state governments and local governments count expenses immediately when a transaction occurs, even if the payment will be made later.

The federal government does not follow the rule, so promises for Social Security and Medicare don’t show up when the government reports its financial condition.

Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.

All this falls right on Bush’s lap.  He’s the guy who signed all this crap into law when he could have vetoed it.  Bush is under 30% right now.  I the economy continues on a downward slide toward recession, it will be right in time for the elections, and a massive Democrat takeover of Congress and the presidency.

The Bush Legacy, ladies and gentlemen.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 09:03 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grow A Brain, Morans!
by Lee

In the last few days many of you have mentioned how, during WWII, some interrogators chocked, beat, “put their nuts on radiators,” or engaged in some other aspect of torture.  Nobody ever provides any examples of documented proof (I wonder why), but they make the claim as if it was fact.  So it was with great relish that I stumbled upon this article in The Atlantic about a legendary WWII USMC interrogator who greatly influenced the widespread adoption of these techniques. 

Six months before the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison broke into public view, a small and fairly obscure private association of United States Marine Corps members posted on its Web site a document on how to get enemy POWs to talk.

The document described a situation very similar to the one the United States faces in the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan: a fanatical and implacable enemy, intense pressure to achieve quick results, a brutal war in which the old rules no longer seem to apply.

Marine Major Sherwood F. Moran, the report’s author, noted that despite the complexities and difficulties of dealing with an enemy from such a hostile and alien culture, some American interrogators consistently managed to extract useful information from prisoners. The successful interrogators all had one thing in common in the way they approached their subjects. They were nice to them.

Nice to their prisoners?  Those goddamned fucking pussies.

But it is hard to imagine a historical lesson that would constitute a more direct reproach to recent U.S. policies on prisoner interrogation. And there is no doubt that Moran’s report owes more than a little of its recent celebrity to the widespread disdain among experienced military interrogators for what took place at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo when ill-trained personnel were ordered to “soften up” prisoners. Since the prison scandals broke, many old hands in the business have pointed out that abusing prisoners is not simply illegal and immoral; it is also remarkably ineffective.

“The torture of suspects [at Abu Ghraib] did not lead to any useful intelligence information being extracted,” says James Corum, a professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the author of a forthcoming book on counterinsurgency warfare. “The abusers couldn’t even use the old ‘ends justify the means’ argument, because in the end there was nothing to show but a tremendous propaganda defeat for the United States.”

Corum, who recently retired as a lieutenant colonel after twenty-eight years in the Army and Reserves, mostly in military intelligence, says that Moran’s philosophy has repeatedly been affirmed in subsequent wars large and small. “Know their language, know their culture, and treat the captured enemy as a human being” is how Corum sums up Moran’s enduring lesson.

Of course, all you real men who piss red white and blue will disagree with this. 

Part of why Sherwood Moran became such a legendary figure among military interrogators was his cool disregard for what he termed the standard “hard-boiled” military attitude. The brutality of the fighting in the Pacific and the suicidal fanaticism of the Japanese had created a general assumption that only the sternest measures would get Japanese prisoners to divulge anything. Moran countered that in his and others’ experience, strong-arm tactics simply did not work. Stripping a prisoner of his dignity, treating him as a still-dangerous threat, forcing him to stand at attention and flanking him with guards throughout his interrogation—in other words, emphasizing that “we are his to-be-respected and august enemies and conquerors"—invariably backfired. It made the prisoner “so conscious of his present position and that he was a captured soldier vs. enemy intelligence” that it “played right into [the] hands” of those who were determined not to give away anything of military importance.

No, no, no!  You gotta beat it out of him, or freeze him, or some other macho manly stuff.

Moran’s report had an immediate impact. The Navy and the Marines recruited second-generation Japanese-Americans to teach an intensive one-year language course for interrogators that included a strong emphasis on Japanese culture. James Corum notes that the graduates of this course were among the most effective interrogators in the Pacific Island campaigns of 1944 and 1945: Marine interrogators deployed to the Marianas in June of 1944 were able to supply their commanders with the complete Japanese order of battle within forty-eight hours of landing on Saipan and Tinian.

In contrast, in late 2002 the military’s Southern Command had so few interrogators and interpreters that it was forced to employ inexperienced and untrained civilian contractors to perform these jobs at Guantánamo. The officer in charge of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at Abu Ghraib had no interrogation experience himself and no skilled interrogators or interpreters working underneath him. He, too, turned to civilian contractors. Government auditors criticized these deficiencies in early 2004 and noted that several of the firms that supplied civilian contractors had no experience in such work. Yet the shortage of military interrogators continues, and the Department of Defense continues to employ people outside the military for some of this work. “They let a bunch of out-of-control contractors, CIA freelancers, untrained military-intelligence people, et cetera get turned loose under the promise and pressure of getting quick results,” Corum told me.

No, no, no!  Those were just a few bad apples in the Army, and they’re all in prison!

This guy obviously has no idea about how to interrogate anyone.  Pfft, not torturing them?  He clearly doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 11:47 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

How They Support
by Lee

A sad anecdote from my girlfriend, Chickenfry.

I work with kids at an after school program. For the last week or so I have doing a project where we have the kids writing letters to wounded Marines out of Camp Pendleton. Today, as I was doing paperwork, I looked up and saw a very pissed-off mother walking towards me.  She said she needed to speak to me, then started off by saying her son had come home and told her that we were writing letters to wounded soldiers.  She then proceeded to tell me that her son would not be writing a letter, that she did not believe in the war, that the soldiers had chosen to put themselves in harms way, and because of this they did not deserve any letters.  She said that she didn’t want her son getting the wrong idea about the war being “okay,” and she would be talking to my boss about the letter writing project.

I stood there in complete disbelief.  I couldn’t even speak. I said okay, she flipped her hair, and walked away.

I don’t much believe in the war either but I do support those soldiers who give up their lives for us. I wanted to tell her what a heartless dumb bitch she was but kept my mouth shut because I wanted a job to come to tomorrow…

Ah, liberals.  Such classy people.  And there’s no liberal classier than a California liberal.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 10:17 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Good Cop, Bad Cop
by Lee

One of the saddest stories I ever heard was a few years back.  Some kids, who had had drugs found on their person by a police K-9 unit, actually went and found the dog in the kennel and beat it to death.  Believe it or not, this story is worse.

A 27-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department was arrested Wednesday after being charged with animal cruelty and an offense against a police dog.

Sgt. Allen Cockfield turned himself in Wednesday afternoon to investigators at the Turner-Gilford Knight Correctional Center after an arrest warrant was issued by the State Attorney’s office.

The charges stem from an incident in which a 4-year-old K-9 named “Duke” collapsed on June 7, 2006, during training. The German Shepherd was rushed to Knowles Animal Clinic, where he later died.

A source told Local 10 that Duke had barked when he wasn’t supposed to during a training exercise at the Miami Dade Training Bureau. He was participating in training with the rest of the K-9 unit. The source said that after Duke barked, Cockfield “lost it” and kicked the dog several times.

Cockfield shook the dog, and when he realized the dog was unconscious, he rushed him to the clinic, according to the source. Cockfield had been a K-9 officer for 25 years and had no record of any problems, Local 10 reported.

I hope, at a minimum, he is removed from patrol duty.  I’d like to see him lose his badge.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 10:10 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Shock of the Century
by Lee

Oops.  If you’re a Republican and you liked Frasier, this is cause for concern.

Actor David Hyde Pierce - maybe best known for his role of Niles on “Frasier” - has come out of the closet after an article on CNN today that nonchalantly said:

Pierce got to Los Angeles in the early 1990s when his partner, actor-writer-producer Brian Hargrove, wanted to write for television. A short-lived Norman Lear series, “The Powers That Be” led to “Frasier.” And the rest is, well, history...

Just think of all them good church folk, laughin’ at a durn queer all this time.  Haw haw haw.  I bet this makes them sorta queer too, don’t it?  God damn queers anyhow.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 10:07 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Back in ‘49
by Lee

Just because lately there have been a few ignoramuses on here who claim that the Geneva Accords are not primarily a result of WWII, let’s get the facts.

• First Geneva Convention “for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field” (first adopted in 1864, last revision in 1949)
• Second Geneva Convention “for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea” (first adopted in 1949, successor of the 1907 Hague Convention X)
• Third Geneva Convention “relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War” (first adopted in 1929, last revision in 1949)
• Fourth Geneva Convention “relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War” (first adopted in 1949, based on parts of the 1907 Hague Convention IV)

In addition, there are three additional amendment protocols to the Geneva Convention:

• Protocol I (1977): Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts. As of 12 January 2007 it had been ratified by 167 countries.
• Protocol II (1977): Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts. As of 12 January 2007 it had been ratified by 163 countries.
• Protocol III (2005): Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem. As of 12 January 2007 it had been ratified by nine countries and signed but not yet ratified by an additional 75 countries.

All four conventions were last revised and ratified in 1949, based on previous revisions and partly on some of the 1907 Hague Conventions; the whole set is referred to as the “Geneva Conventions of 1949” or simply the “Geneva Conventions”. Later conferences have added provisions prohibiting certain methods of warfare and addressing issues of civil wars. Nearly all 200 countries of the world are “signatory” nations, in that they have ratified these conventions.

Please, continue talking out your asses.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 09:03 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Barney’s Tattoo Removal Funhouse!
by Lee

If you’ve got little ones at home, and you’re wondering what sort of career choice they might make in the future, why not consider the fun and fascinating world of tattoo removal?  Here’s a picture I snapped with my phone on the way home for lunch today.

image

That’s right!  Your 4th grader could be learning how to remove the names of old girlfriends using high-powered lasers!

(And yes, in case you were wondering, that’s me in the black truck.)

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 01:59 PM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Pop A Cap In Yo’ Mouse
by Lee

From the Stereotypes In Action department comes this story from Florida.

Authorities said two Orange County deputies were shot at the Caribe Royale Resort on World Center Drive in Orlando as they interrupted a car burglary Wednesday.

They have been taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. One was shot in the arm. The other may have been protected by a bulletproof vest, according to the Associated Press.

Three suspects are in custody, according to Bay News 9’s sister station, Central Florida News 13.

Two cops shot, terrible business.  The funny part comes in the next line.

The hotel is playing host to the 22nd National Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community.

Seriously, folks, you can’t make this shit up.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 01:45 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Big Split?
by Lee

I’ve said a hundred times that I’d like to see the GOP die, and in its place arise two parties, one more libertarian in nature and the other one full of the Christian zombies who seem to be running things now.  Well, apparently I’m not the only one.

With former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leading in many national polls for the Republican Party nomination in 2008, some conservative groups are looking for ways to defeat him. One conservative activist has even threatened a religion-focused third party challenger if he wins the nomination next year, according to a blog post at the Christian Broadcasting Network.

“From the moment Giuliani is nominated—if they are stupid enough to do it next February—a third party will be started emphasizing pro-family issues and conservative economic and foreign policies, and probably within a decade or two that 3rd party will be the dominant party along with the pro-abortion and left-wing Democrat Party,” according to an e-mail written by an anonymous, prominent conservative activist. Excerpts of the e-mail were posted by David Brody, CBN News’s Senior National Correspondent.

At a weekly luncheon hosted at the conservative Free Congress Foundation, Brody also noted that a group called Conservatives For Peace was handing around a leaflet warning against a Giuliani nomination.

“If the Republican Party nominates Rudy Giuliani as its candidate for either president or vice president, I will personally work to defeat the GOP ticket in 2008,” the flyer reads. “If the Republican Party nominates him, it is saying to the American people that it has lost all purpose except the raw political desire to hold power. It will be time to put the GOP out of its misery.”

Brody puts these warnings in perspective, but still suggests they are notable.

“Look, this group isn’t a Focus on the Family or a Family Research Council but it gives you a sense of how some are already plotting to destroy Giuliani,” he writes.

It just shows how far some people will go to protect their God-given right to hate fags.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 09:34 AM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Last Throes
by Lee

It was two years ago today.

CHENEY:  “ I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time. But I think the level of activity that we see today, from a military standpoint, I think will clearly decline. I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

Let’s take a look at those last throes.

The latest U.S. combat deaths in Iraq – including 10 American troops killed on Memorial Day – made May one of the deadliest months of the war, a fact highlighted on the front pages of most of the major U.S. newspapers.

The Washington Post, citing figures from icasualties.org, a Web site that tracks Iraq casualties, said 116 American soldiers had been killed so far in May, making it the “deadliest month for U.S. troops in 2 1/2 years.

The Wall Street Journal said May was “the third-deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces,” while The New York Times said it was the “deadliest month for American troops since November 2004.”

The Los Angeles Times called May “the deadliest month for American forces this year, and the bloodiest since the battles for Fallouja in April and November 2004.”

And USA Today notes that 219 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since April, the “highest level for any two-month period of the war.”

But, to be fair, there is good news.

Meanwhile, despite the rising U.S. death toll, Iraq’s prime minister says the recent U.S. troop buildup has been effective. In his first television interview since the troop surge began in February, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told CBS News’ Lara Logan that the additional forces have stopped an even greater catastrophe.

“If the Baghdad security plan had not been implemented, we would have a true civil war in Iraq,” al-Maliki said.

The problem is that the surge should have been done at least two years ago, and I think it’s probably too little too late.  Unless we want to keep National Guard troops out on five year deployments.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/07 at 09:12 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Una Casa en Cuba
by Lee

I wonder if Michael Moore put down the corn chips and cake frosting long enough to watch tonight’s House season finale.

Posted by Lee on 05/29/07 at 11:31 PM in Michael Mooron  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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