Thursday, August 30, 2007

Johhny-Mac's travels take him far and wide

John McCain has gotten around quite a bit these days. He's been to Iraq, Iowa, points east, west, north and south. Now he travels to a place he doesn't seem to get to very often (besides the Senate floor).

John McCain is visiting Arizona.

Novel idea, a senator visiting his home state. It is amazing what a Presidential candidate will do to get elected these days!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ah, more from the "Family Values" party

You've gotta wonder what is up with Republicans and restrooms these days:
Senator pleaded guilty, reportedly after bathroom stall incident
A Republican senator pleaded guilty earlier this month to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge stemming from his arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to state criminal records.
Roll Call newspaper reported Monday that Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was apprehended June 11 by a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd behavior in an airport men's room.
He claims his actions were misconstrued and that he shouldn't have pled guilty.

Maybe he was more like those other stand-up Republicans and was looking for a payoff or bribe, and not sex.

Gonzo Gone!

Three Down*, countless more to go:

A.G. the AG has resigned!

Attorney General Gonzales resigns, officials say

President Bush is expected to make a statement about Gonzales at 11:50 a.m. from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he has been vacationing.

Gonzales aides at the highest level and other top-level officials knew nothing about the announcement in advance, Justice Department sources indicated to CNN.

They were not informed until a meeting this morning, sources said, when Gonzales acknowledged he would be reading a statement at 10:30 a.m. ET.
According to the article, Gonzo and his wife had lunch with G-Dub and his wife in Crawford. Bet that was an awkward meal, as word is that the AG phoned in his resignation on Friday. (from a radio report I heard this AM).

As with all good news out of this administration it seems, there is some bad news to follow: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is to be Bush's nominee to replace him. Chertoff has the qualifications on paper, but this country does not need another Bush puppet in such a critical position.

Even worse, Bush will then nominate a deputy director from the OMB to replace Chertoff at DHS:

Clay Johnson, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, would replace Chertoff, the officials said.

Johnson, a longtime friend of Bush, served as the president's chief of staff and appointments secretary when Bush was governor of Texas and was executive director of the Bush-Cheney transition team. (CNN.COM)

This guy seems to have no qualifications for this position at all, other than be a Bush crony. This move seems to be a set up for some type of 'October Surprise' from Homeland Security.

*Rumsfeld, Rove, and now Gonzales.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A plan for withdrawal

Getting out of Iraq is something that needs to happen, but needs to happen under a well thought-out plan, not just a middle of the night move ala the Baltimore Colts in 1984. Now, it has been reported by many, including Sen. Clinton, that the Pentagon has not plan to get out of Iraq. Many pundits, including several of my fellow Liberal Drinkers, feel a full pull out could and should happen promptly. I happen to disagree, and have been chastised on several occasions on Thursday nights at the Shanty. One criticism has been, 'what would you do?'

Well, I have thought about this and here is how I would start.

  1. Promptly begin bringing home ALL National Guard troops.
    It was never envisioned that the National Guard would serve oversees in combat missions when the security of US soil isn't threatened. These troops have served far and above the call of duty. They have sacrificed more personally and financially than they ever should have. Their families have had to bear far too much of a burden. The men and women of our National Guard are often called weekend warriors because they serve only part time. they have full-time jobs. Some joined th NG to supplement their incomes. Now they find themselves making less money and away from their homes and families. Many go on welfare/foodstamps just to get by. Replace the NG troops with regular (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) to cover critical positions/roles. This can be part of the overall strategy to reduce the number of troops in Iraq.
  2. Phase out all Reserve forces.
    The Reserves were designed to fill in when US troops are stretched thin. Now, I know that they are stretched thin, but they won't be for long if we can get out of Iraq. Like the NG, these troops have regular civilian jobs. Their families are also forced to pay a heavy price. Again, this can be part of an overall troop reduction.
  3. Remove troops from other nations.
    Troops from other nations should no longer be responsible for our fuck-ups.
  4. Change our role.
    Troops should no longer be providing coverage for commercial ventures (ie convoys). They should provide protection to military installations. They should only respond to attacks on US installations/troops. They should no longer be involved in securing oil fields, providing police/security services.
  5. Close installations.
    As we get to step 4, we should begin closing and consolidating bases.
  6. Get completely out.
It may not be a perfect plan, but hell, at least I have a plan. (Pentagon??)

Making the turn safely

I had an interesting experience in traffic this afternoon, and I think that it illustrates my philosophy on how we should handle (and should have handled) things in Iraq.

Now, I know many of my fellow Democrats feel that the only thing to do now in Iraq is pull all of our troops out and do so quickly. I happen to disagree with an immediate pull-out. I feel that a complete immediate pull-out poses several problems and risks, ones that could result in making things worse in the Middle East.

on to the analogy:
As I was heading west on East Broadway approaching Kolb road in the middle lane I noticed that traffic in my lane ahead, so I moved into the far left lane. As I got closer to the light, I noticed a copper colored PT Cruiser in the middle lane with what I assumed at first to be its hazards flashing. I seemed like the car had stalled, backing up traffic, forcing people to change lanes and thus creating . As I passed the vehicle, I realized that it was the left turn light that was blinking. as I proceeded down Broadway, I watched in my rear-view mirror as the PT Cruiser proceeded to go from the middle lane into the left turn bay. Apparently the driver wanted to turn into the shopping center there.

The driver had found herself (yes, the driver was a woman, but this is not about gender stereotypes and driving) going in the wrong direction and decided to make an immediate correction in her course without regard for the safety and well-being around her. She should have assessed her situation, realized that she couldn't safely or legally make the turn from her current location. She should have proceeded a bit further, made sure she had the right-of-way and then moved into the left lane then the turn lane. A legal U-turn would have then had her heading back towards her destination, all with only a minor delay in reaching her goal but doing so in a manner safer for her and all around her.

This is a clear analogy to our present situation in Iraq. It applies to both how we ended up in this mess and how we should work to make our way out of Iraq. Bush (et al), like the driver, had a specific goal they sought to achieve. Both then proceeded to go after that goal, ignoring the safety of those in the area, the law (international law in Bush's case, traffic laws in my analogy) common sense.

As in our current situation, the driver found herself on the wrong course, and decided to make an immediate correction, ignoring potential dangers and common sense.

As we look to change course in Iraq, we need to carefully assess the best way to change direction, not just make that impetuous left across traffic. It is more than just a handful of drivers at risk, it is potentially the stability of a majority of the middle east at stake.

(as far as a turn to the left for Congress and the White House goes, the sooner the better)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rovermort Resigns!

Karl Rove resigned this morning! He says he was not forced to resign but feels it is time and wants to spend more time with his family.

From CNN.COM: Rove says he was not forced to quit

Story Highlights
  • NEW: Rove says congressional scrutiny did not force him out
  • Rove, Bush to speak Monday at 11:35 a.m. ET
  • It's the "right time to be giving more time to his family," spokesman says
  • Top White House adviser Karl Rove to quit at end of month, CNN confirms
Since he will no longer be an a member of the Administration, he will be subject to Congressional subpoena. Things could get interesting. (Now, if you really believe that Rove will no longer act as an adviser to GeeDub, I've got ocean-front property in Yuma to sell you).

The real question is, can we get Gonzales to follow suit?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Beyond hawkish..

Now I am used to Republicans being hawkish, it is the nature of the beast. But just what would you call Tancredo when he makes statements like this?

“If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” Tancredo said .
From CNN Political Ticker: Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation

Does this moron even think trough what he is saying? He must want an all-out war with all of Islam. Haven't we done enough in Iraq to make the Muslim world hate us??

This idiot would have most likely bombed Mecca after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. What nice little 'whoops, my bad' that would have been.