Category Archives: War in Iraq

The “Gang of Ten” Offers Comprehensive Framework for Common Sense Energy Package

Ten members of the Senate, known as the “Gang of 10,” has proffered the framework, for consideration, of a comprehensive energy plan for America. The ten members of the bi-partisan group, five Democrats and five Republicans, have been working together for weeks to draft the plan – and it’s a good one.

First, the plan examines alternative energy as well as off shore drilling in the gulf region. Energy sources such as biofuels and nuclear energy, would combine with shorter term fixes such as drilling for oil and natural gas are part of a comprehensive approach. 

More importantly, the “Gang of Ten” is now hoping for a broad spectrum of support from entrenched Democrats and Republicans, who are juxopposed on this critical issue. To this end, letters of appeal have been sent to both the Senate majority and minority leader, with an eye on moving this bill forward before the end of the year.

The ‘gang’ claims the upcoming 2008 election did not factor in to this project – and I believe them.

In a press conference, they asked for Americans to register their collective support for the plan with their Senators.

The plan also calls for 85% of all major transportation be moved to alternative energy in the nest 20 years, at a cost of 84 billion dollars (less than one year’s spending on the Iraq War). Some of the money would come from a repeal of tax incentives that big oil companies now have, some from drilling rebates, and yet more from savings on purchased imported oil.

As for off shore drilling – the ‘gang’ believes that the gulf region would not take as long to produce crude oil as some expect.

Overall, these guys are making sense and cooperating, in a time when Obama is calling McCain “child-like,” and McCain is mocking Obama about ‘tire pressure.’

Less talk and more action is always a winner I say. If Congress and the American people had any brains at all, they would support this effort 100%. 

The “Gang of Ten”

Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)

John Thune (R-S.D.)

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)

Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)

Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

Democrats and Republicans working together of meaningful energy legislation? The end must surely be near. Seriuosly, these folks deserve a lot of credit.

Read related articles on Associated Content, The Swamp, Environmental News Network

  Like this post? Share it with others…

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


Filed under Congress, Democratic Party, Economy, Election 2008, Energy, Politics, Republican Party, Technology, War in Iraq

Iran Escalates ‘War-Like’ Rhetoric Over Strait of Hormuz

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohammad Ali Jafari, has issued a warning that Iran could easily cut off a key Persian Gulf shipping route.

Iran’s unofficial state media claims Iran has tested a naval missile capable of destroying any ship within 190 miles.

“The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has recently tested a naval weapon with a 300 km range in which no vessel would be safe and would be sent to the depths…”

Iran is also reporting recent showdowns between US and Iranian ships.

“Enemies know that we are easily able to block the Strait of Hormuz for unlimited period”, Jafari said. “The strait and vessels are in range of our various weapons.”

“In view of the proximity of the Strait of Hormuz … to our shores, this distance is within the range of an assortment of weapons and its closure for us is very feasible and we face no limitations from the point of view of time,” he said.

Foreign policy analysts say such sabre rattling may be overstated given the Iranian claims surrounding a recent missile test were later revealed to be overstated.

Read the full article at RawStory

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Congress, Democratic Party, Economy, Energy, George Bush, Politics, Republican Party, War in Iraq

U.S. Army Threatens Kids with ‘Jail’ for not Enlisting

Army recruiter Sgt. Glenn Marquette, has been lying to high school students about their obligations under a non-binding military “delayed entry program.” Worse yet, he has been threatening them with jail if they don’t follow through and enlist when the students are under no obligation to do so.

Eighteen year old high school senior Irving Gonzales told KHOU 11 News in Houston that he thought about enlisting in the Army as a way of helping out his family financially, so he signed up for the “delayed entry program.” The rules of the program are specific. Anyone who signs up for the program is in no way obligated to follow through and enlist. It’s like pre-season football sort of.

But when Gonzales told U.S. Army recruiter, Glenn Marquette, that he’d changed his mind and would, “…just stay here, go to college,” Marquette informed him he couldn’t get out because “you signed a binding contract.”

U.S. Army recruiting regulations state that “delayed entry members can leave any time” and “under no circumstances can a recruiter threaten or intimidate future soldiers,” much like Marquette did.

In an audio recording played by KHOU News in Houston, Gonzales asked, “What if I just don’t show up?”

Marquette replied flatly, “Then guess what? You’re AWOL. … You want to go to school? You will not get no loans (nice grammar)… As soon as you get pulled over for a speeding ticket … they’re going to see that you’re a deserter. Then they’re going to apprehend you, take you to jail.”

Marquette added, “All that lovey dovey I want to go to college and all that? Guess what? You just threw it out the window.”


Marquette refused to be interviewed and has not responded to Capitol Street’s request for comment via e-mail. 

The Army says that making threats as Marquette did, is a violation of recruting regulations and that he has been removed from his duties. 

This is the second time in the past year that KHOU News  has uncovered such behavior by U.S. Army recruiters. The last officer involved in that earlier incident was even promoted to station commander, responsible for training and supervising other recruiters.

And so it goes.

Remember kiddies, there are a few simple rules in life. One is, the house always wins. The other , is that recruiters always lie…always. Besides, you don’t have to enlist to lose your retirement and get screwed out of your benefits, just go to work for any American company and wait a while. At least you won’t be getting shot at in Iraq.

End of the lesson.

Link to KHOU story here

  Like this post? Share it with others…

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


Filed under Crime, Democratic Party, Law, Politics, Scandals, War in Iraq

Mid Day Discussion – David and Goliath, Iran is Defiant

Iran has launched several “test missiles” and shelled Northern Iraq in response to recent sabre rattling by the U.S. and Israel. Iran has also indicated that their “finger is on the trigger” if they are attacked by Israel or the U.S. Do you think the U.S. and/or Israel will be involved with Iran in warfare by the end of this year? 

Link to CNN story here

  Like this post? Share it with others…

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


Filed under Foreign Policy, George Bush, International, Mid-Day Discussion Thread, Politics, War in Iraq

Tracking Polls Show McCain Ahead of Obama – Let the Waffling Begin

This is the exact break the Republicans are looking for.

Tracking polls from this past week have McCain in a dead heat with, or ahead of Obama for the first time. So what is Obama’s response?

Thursday he reportedly backed off of his firm promise to withdraw combat forces from Iraq immediately. He is now saying that he instead could “refine” his plan after a trip to Baghdad in the coming weeks. A top Obama adviser had said that the senator is not “wedded” to a specific timeline.  The phrase, “going to do a thorough assessment,” in regards to troop withdrawal, is now on the table all of the sudden.  Obama stated, “When I go to Iraq and I have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies,” according to CBS News. “I have been consistent, throughout this process, that I believe the war in Iraq was a mistake.”  Later Obama said he still intends to “stick to the timeline.”

Can you smell those waffles cooking?

At a second meeting with reporters, Obama said:

“We’re going to try this again. Apparently I wasn’t clear enough this morning on my position with respect to the war in Iraq. … I have said throughout this campaign that … I would bring our troops home at a pace of one to two brigades per month and at that pace we would have our combat troops out in 16 months. That position has not changed. I have not equivocated on that position. I am not searching for maneuvering room with respect to that position. “What I said this morning and what I will repeat because it’s consistent with what I’ve said over the last two years is that in putting this plan together, I will always listen to the advice of commanders on the ground, but that ultimately, I’m the person who is making the strategic decisions.”

David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, began backing off during remarks Wednesday on CNN’s “Situation Room,” saying “a phased withdrawal, with benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet, that called for strategic pauses, based on the progress on these benchmarks and advice on the commanders on the ground.” “He’s always said that he would listen to the advice of commanders on the ground, that that would factor into his thinking,” Axelrod said. “He’s also always said that we had to be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. So he’s been very consistent on this point.”

As you might imagine, The Republican National Committee is licking their chops, and already has plans to make an issue of Obama’s indecisive language regarding troop withdrawal.

You think he needs those 43% of Democrats who want Hillary now?

I’m thinking he does.

  Like this post? Share it with others…

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


Filed under Democratic Party, Election 2008, Politics, Republican Party, War in Iraq

John McCain is ‘More of the Same’ on the Economy

The U.S. economy lost jobs for a sixth straight month in June. Current estimates indicate 62,000 non-farm jobs were lost, as the economy continues to slow down. Unemployment is still at 5.5 percent.

“Unemployment is still on a rising trend, payrolls are falling, and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel here, so the tax rebates may have pushed up consumer spending, but it doesn’t seem to have improved the labor market yet,” said Ian Morris, chief US economist at HSBC North America.

Job losses were particularly heavy in the goods-producing, construction, manufacturing and service sectors last month.

These job losses come at a  time when the housing market slump shows no signs of going away, a credit squeeze, a sharp downturn on Wall Street and rocketing oil prices that have now exceeded 146 dollars a barrel today.

HSBC’s Morris said the “continued rate of deterioration” in the job market could see the unemployment rate peak above six percent in coming months. Some say the U.S. economy must create 100,000 jobs every month to absorb new labor market entrants.

Good luck.

So there’s the bad news.

This isn’t what upsets me though. What upsets me is the rhetoric I’m hearing from John McCain and the conservative pundits who are pushing his empty agenda.

Obama is blaming everything on Bush and the war. 

Okay. We know Bush is an idiot, and the war is foolish, but it won’t be ending until late next year, if that soon, so what to do in the mean time?

Here’s what Obama had to say… (source) Continue reading


Filed under Democratic Party, Economy, Election 2008, Energy, Politics, Republican Party, War in Iraq

Can You Say ‘Stag-flation’?

You remember the 70’s don’t you? Those were the great old days gone by of gas lines and food shortages.

It brings a tear to my eye.

I have fond memories of my dad being out of work for 20 months at a crack, as we survived on a meager unemployment check, while my mother was forced to stand in line at the city hall, in the freezing cold, for food stamps. I was 7 years old.

Yeah, those were the days weren’t they?

Well, for all of you economic martyrs out there who still think “W” has all the answers, and enjoy financial suffering as much as I do…get ready for part two! Only this time, we have no manufacturing base to fall back on, no savings, record revolving debt, and we’re relying more on foreign capital to drive our economy more than ever before. Sprinkle in a shit-bag mess of a war that has cost hundreds of millions, and you have the making of a stagflation my friends – the likes of which we haven’t seen in thirty years.

The signs are all there – record high employment figures released today, 1 million homes in foreclosure, the U.S. Treasury Secretary trolling in foreign countries for investors, and the Dow sliding almost 400 points for a record 3.1% single day correction.

By the way, in case you are wondering, and I know you are, stagflation is when you experience a recession and inflation at the same time.

Oh goody!!!

I’d like to thank all of the neo-cons out there, especially our President and his ‘advisors’, who managed to take Bill Clinton’s economic Cadillac and turn it into a 1979, brown Ford Pinto, with a green door and loud exhaust.

You gotta give Bush credit. It is damn tough to pull off simultaneous negative growth and skyrocketing prices after inheriting a balanced budget that was paying down the national debt, but hey – he did a hell of a job didn’t he?!

I’m waiting for the wheels to fall off anytime now.

Come to think of it, maybe they already have.   

P.S. I’d also like send a shout out to my Democratic Congress for being ‘all show’ and ‘no go’ as they continue to do absolutely nothing of significance as well. Good show folks. So much for the ‘change candidates.’

  Like this post? Share it with others…
Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Leave a comment

Filed under Economy, Energy, George Bush, Politics, War in Iraq

Mid-Day Discussion Thread – 9/11 Mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to Be Arraigned Today

Mohammed and his four co-defendants, all charged for their alleged roles in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York and Washington, will be arraigned at Guantanamo Bay today. Do you think they will receive a fair trial? Are you surprised Mohammed wants to defend himself and die a martyr? We want to hear from you.

   Like this post? Share it with others…
Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


Filed under Crime, Law, Mid-Day Discussion Thread, Politics, War in Iraq

Your Morning Cereal – Private Psychiatrists Volunteering to Help Troops

You may or may not have heard, but many of the troops returning from Iraq are suffering from depression. Unfortunately the U.S. military is short on therapists. In response to this crisis, thousands of private counselors are offering free services to troops returning home. 

On Memorial Day 2008, our troops are suffering with mental health issues including suicide, as well as a host of other issues including family, marital and job problems. The Bush administration has been scrambling to fill the need, but efforts have fallen short. So, in step the volunteers.

”It’s only an hour of your time,” said Brenna Chirby, a family member of a man deployed multiple times. ”How can you not give that to these men and women that … are going oversees and fighting for us?”

There are only 1,431 mental health professionals serving 1.4 million active-duty military personnel, and it’s not enough – not nearly. ”Honestly, much is being done by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist. ”But the need to help these men and women goes far beyond whatever any government agency can do.”

There’s an old saying –  Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer. Hopefully, these volunteer psychiatrists will begin to mend the many who are broken and often go uncared for. The last thing we want are veterans returning from Iraq winding up like those who returned from Vietnam.

Read the whole story here

Related links Pentagon’s Wounded Care Program, American Psychiatric Foundation

Leave a comment

Filed under Morning Cereal, Politics, War in Iraq