Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Catch of the Day

DYNAMITE posts ...

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Memo for the President-Elect
2004-10-20 12:57:01
from a straight shooter ...

By David H. Hackworth

Since our commander-in-chief announced “mission accomplished” on May 1, 2003, the insurgents have seized the initiative in Iraq. And we’re also not winning the even-more-consequential worldwide battle against the Islamic jihadists. All because our forces are trying to do too much with too little the wrong way.

Lately, I’ve been shoveling through literally truckloads of reader queries along the lines of “OK, Hack, you spent most of the past two years griping, so what’s your solution?” It’s a question that needs an answer. So, as a long-term student of insurgent warfare and a soldier who’s fought guerrillas in post-World-War-II Italy, during the Korean War and for more than four years in Vietnam, here’s what I would do:

* Immediately fire SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, all of his Pentagon senior civilian assistants and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers.

* Replace Rumsfeld with retired Gen. Anthony Zinni and give this tough, smart, proven leader a free hand to bring in the best people to reshape and streamline our armed forces for the long counterinsurgency fight ahead.

* Fire National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and replace her with retired Gens. Wes Clark or John Sheehan.

* Establish a military objective – an often-neglected Principle of War – that will include: how the U.S. is going to regain the lost initiative (another neglected Principle of War) and how we’re going to take and hold the turf seized by insurgents; how we will then win the Iraqi people to our side in the fight against the insurgents; how the nascent Iraqi defense shield will eventually replace our forces; and a detailed, coherent exit plan.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Hersh uncovers another atrocity
2004-10-20 12:20:11
Hersch claims to have spoken with a first lieutenant in charge of a unit stationed halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border.

"His group was bivouacking outside of town in an agricultural area, and had hired 30 or so Iraqis to guard a local granary. A few weeks passed. They got to know the men they hired, and to like them. Then orders came down from Baghdad that the village would be "cleared." Another platoon from the soldier's company came and executed the Iraqi granary guards. All of them.
"He said they just shot them one by one. And his people, and he, and the villagers of course, went nuts," Hersh said quietly. "He was hysterical, totally hysterical. He went to the company captain, who said, 'No, you don't understand, that's a kill. We got 36 insurgents. Don't you read those stories when the Americans say we had a combat maneuver and 15 insurgents were killed?'"

... History repeats itself, first as tragedy, ...

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Elmer Andersen, former Republican governor
2004-10-20 11:56:46
of Minnesota:

"I am more fearful for the state of this nation than I have ever been [you are not alone on that score, Elmer]-- because this country is in the hands of an evil man: Dick Cheney. It is eminently clear that it is he who is running the country, not George W. Bush.

Bush's phony posturing as cocksure leader of the free world -- symbolized by his victory symbol on the aircraft carrier and "mission accomplished" statement -- leave me speechless. The mission had barely been started, let alone finished, and 18 months later it still rages on. His ongoing "no-regrets," no-mistakes stance and untruths on the war -- as well as on the floundering economy and Bush administration joblessness -- also disappoint and worry me."

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Media conglomerates using the PUBLIC airwaves
2004-10-20 11:11:26
to further their private POLITICAL agendas?

Oops, I forgot -- it's the Politics of Anything Goes now.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
William Milliken, former Republican governor
2004-10-20 10:40:01
of Michigan:

"This president has pursued policies pandering to the extreme right wing across a wide variety of issues and has exacerbated the polarization and the strident, uncivil tone of much of what passes for political discourse in this country today,'' Milliken said in the statement.

Milliken, a moderate Republican, has been critical of Bush and has faulted the GOP on such issues as same-sex marriage, flag-burning and abortion.

The Bush campaign dismissed Milliken's endorsement, saying he led under a different time."

... yeah, back when integrity was valued and hypocrisy scorned.

[lax] Politics - World (context)
Does that mean they'll rehire their Washington
2004-10-20 10:20:54
bureau chief? ...

"Sinclair Broadcast fired its Washington bureau chief, saying he revealed company business when he discussed its upcoming program on a documentary critical of John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. said in a statement late Monday that it fired reporter Jon Leiberman and that "we are disappointed that Jon's political views caused him to violate company policy and speak to the press about company business."

In his initial remarks, published Monday by The (Baltimore) Sun, Leiberman called the Sinclair show "biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election."

Leiberman said he was fired Monday by Joseph DeFeo, Sinclair's vice president for news, and escorted out of the company's headquarters in Hunt Valley, Md."

... somehow I rather doubt it.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Marlow Cook, former Republican Senator
2004-10-20 10:00:50
from Kentucky:

"Lyndon Johnson said America could have guns and butter at the same time. This administration says you can have guns, butter and no taxes at the same time. God help us if we are not smart enough to know that is wrong, and we live by it to our peril. We in this nation have a serious problem. Its almost worse than terrorism: We are broke. Our government is borrowing a billion dollars a day. They are now borrowing from the government pension program, for apparently they have gotten as much out of the Social Security Trust as it can take. Our House and Senate announce weekly grants for every kind of favorite local programs to save legislative seats, and it's all borrowed money."

... it's almost like they were leaving letters saying, "stop me before I borrow again!" and nobody was paying attention.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Name your poison: Why Deficits Matter
2004-10-20 09:56:28
Deficit spending drives up the interest we pay every year.

When the interest is a fairly small fraction of the budget, it is easy to hide without specifically addressing it -- it gets absorbed in tax, spending, and budget financing (debt limit) bills that are flowing through Congress that year. But if you've just run a big deficit, say $500B, you've gotta come up with an ADDITIONAL $25 billion every year--FOREVER. Now it starts to hurt. And if you run $500B deficits every year for 8 years, you've added $4,000B to the debt and now you gotta come up with $200 billion MORE.

Name your poison: spending cuts, taxes, inflation, or more borrow&pray.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Kerry pulling away in key states
2004-10-20 09:47:09
"latest Zogby Interactive Battleground States poll released today shows that no lead that Bush has in any battleground state is safely beyond the MOE, and are therefore all in play. On the other hand, Kerry seems to have moved out to safe leads in six of the nine states he leads in, including Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and importantly Pennsylvania. Kerry is closing in on Bush in West Virginia and is adding to a small lead in Wisconsin."

... just like the RedSox: gonna build up your hopes again, then break your heart and smash it flatter than yesterday's roadkill.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Kerry supporters expect Bush victory
2004-10-20 09:39:32
"Two polls indicate the majority of John Kerry's Democratic supporters expect him to lose to U.S. President George Bush, the Washington Times said Wednesday.

In polls by Fox News and the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics, roughly a quarter of Kerry supporters who have an opinion on the outcome of the election predict the Massachusetts senator will lose.
Popularity polls by Gallup, Fox and ABC News have Bush ahead by 8, 7 and 5 points, respectively. However, those same polls show the president leading by margins of 20, 17 and 23 on the question of who respondents expect to win the election. "

... or at least on who the Supreme Court will say the winner is.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Bush must be the Annointed One
2004-10-20 09:17:58
One more from the "Bush-Detached From Reality" file, and a made-to-order Kerry commercial in swing states:

The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him, "We're not going to have any casualties."

Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."

... but will Kerry get any traction from this? History says NO.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Bush suppressing CIA report
2004-10-20 09:07:43
"The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.

"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward.",1,6762967.column?coll=la-util-op-ed

... excuse me! "look like " ??? They weren't and they didn't. Period.

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Bush sent our troops out there to die!
2004-10-19 16:34:27
His own general blows the whistle...

my favorite part :

"He also protested in his letter, sent Dec. 4 to the number two officer in the Army, with copies to other senior officials, that his soldiers still needed protective inserts to upgrade 36,000 sets of body armor but that their delivery had been postponed twice in the month before he was writing. There were 131,000 U.S. troops in Iraq at the time."

[sfo] Politics - World (context)
Have a look at my crystal ball
2004-10-19 15:44:15
Not many places to raise a trillion -- when are they gonna start feeling used?

We're already largely dependent on foreign gov'ts (principally China & Japan) to fund the deficit every year with their purchases of our bonds. With a less-than-robust economy of late they've been content with 10-year notes near historic lows of 4%. But with the dollar in decline and the skyrocketing $500B current accounts deficit (which is also funded by IOUs to foreigners) showing no sign of slowing down, you should not expect these benevolent entities to fund our government's reckless adventure in faith-based budgeting indefinitely. The 10-year note could easily romp up to 8% fairly quickly. Mortgage rates will follow right behind. Adjustable mortgage holders will by paying upwards of 10% (if not simply defaulting) and fixed mortgage holders won't be taking out new mortgages either by selling and moving up or cashing out with another refi anymore, and property values are poised to take a tumble -- that could rip a huge chunk of money per household out of consumer spending as well as plunge some property value-dependent communities heavily into the red.

Goodbye expansion, hello rip-roaring inflationary recession.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can' t but agree.I always wanted to write in my site something like that but I guess you' r faster.