Saturday, February 24, 2007

Standing Up as They Stand Down

One of the many mantras of the Bush administration regarding U.S. withdrawal from Iraq has been that as Iraq forces stand up, we will stand down. Now it seems that the opposite is applicable to the British and other members of the coalition of the fools. Tony Blair this week announced a plan to withdraw about 1,600 troops from southern Iraq in the coming months and to reduce Britain's 7,100 force further by late summer. At the same time, Denmark announced that it intends to withdraw most of its 460 troops by August. This comes, of course, as the U.S. is sending more troops into the meat grinder that is Iraq. We are standing up as the they stand down.

Despite typical administration efforts to spin this as somehow showing our great progress in Iraq, the fact is that the coalition is spinning apart. Even Blair was only half heartedly positive when he said that the southern city of Basra is not "how we want it to be." Michael Williams, head of the trans-Atlantic program at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, said that the Basra area still has security issues and that it is "foolhardy" to believe that the Iraqis can assume control of the area.

Fat Man Cheney sidestepped the obvious question of why the British simply don’t re-deploy their troops to the north to help the Americans. The simply answer, Mr. Delusional, is that Blair does not want to simply redeploy, he wants out of the quagmire before he leaves office. At least he does not want to leave with this mess in place and blame his successor for "losing Iraq" like Bush is intent on doing.

Bush and (thanks to him) the United States are now simply alone. Alone in the world, alone in Iraq. Are Laura and Barney still with him? Or have they decided to stand down as well?

- Jeff Bloomfield

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - February 20, 2007

  • 'Green' building policies growing in San Mateo, California.

  • U.S. policy on global warming seems headed for a tipping point, with politicians, business leaders and economists joining environmentalists to call for new laws to limit greenhouse gases that spur climate change.

  • Australia has announced plans to ban incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs.

  • Researchers at MIT are building a prototype of a lightweight electric vehicle that can be cheaply mass-produced, rented by commuters under a shared-use business model, and folded and stacked like grocery carts at subway stations or other central sites.

Monday, February 19, 2007

This Is How Bush and the GOP Support Our Troops?

Bush sent American soldiers into Iraq to fight a war of choice; one based on lies. He's compelled these soldiers to serve multiple tours of duty. He's sent them into this war poorly equipped and without the necessary body armor to protect themselves. And now he's sending more of them into a civil war which he himself created, while at the same time trying to cut funding for veterans' health care.

And how does he treat them when they get back? In a two-part series this weekend, the Washington Post details the revolting conditions at Walter Reed Hospital Army Medical Center, where wounded Iraqi War veterans are sent to recuperate.

"Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

If you've read none of the links that we've posted on this site since its inception, I beg you to read this two-part series. If this doesn't make you angry; if this doesn't make you want to rip off those "Support Our Troops" stickers that are side-by-side "Bush/Cheney" stickers on SUV's driving around town; if this doesn't convince you that Bush and Cheney and the rest of the Republican Party really don't give a crap about our troops, then nothing will.

Want to really support our troops? Bring them home. Now.

Presidents' Day Links

The Angry Progressives hope you're enjoying Presidents' Day. Here are some links to help you take your mind off the village idiot who currently resides in the White House.

  • Dems taking care of business, Part I: NJ Democraic Rep. Rush Holt says he's optimistic about achieving his longstanding legislative priority this year -- requiring electronic voting machines to have paper backups so election results can be verified.

  • Dems taking care of business, Part II: Last week, Democratic senators Christopher Dodd (CT) and Bob Menendez (NJ) introduced the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act to reform the system of terrorism detainee prosecutions. The bill would reintroduce habeas corpus protections to Guantanamo Bay detainees; create an independent court review to military commission rulings; and bar information obtained through "coercion."

  • Building off of the successful anti-escalation vote in Congress this past week, members are going to show up on Thursday at hundreds of Congressional offices to deliver letters asking Congress to stop the escalation. Add your name to the petition here.

  • King George? As a lame-duck President facing a Democratic Congress, White House advisers are casting about for ways to jump-start Bush's final two years, including issuing executive orders to get things done without having to ask for support from the Democratic-controlled Congress.

  • I know February has been freezing, but don't let that fool you. Despite what anti-environment conservatives are saying about global warming, the fact that January 2007 was the warmest January EVER is sobering.

  • So, against the will of the American people and Congress and the better advice of the military and the Iraq Study Group, Bush is sending at least 20,000 more soldiers to Iraq. Even worse, he's sending them while there's already a shortfall of advanced Humvee armor kits designed to reduce U.S. troop deaths from roadside bombs. Now that's what I call supporting our troops.

  • Yesterday I lamented the fact that Tennessee Republicans have introduced legislation that would likely would create public records identifying women who have abortions. This makes me feel a little better about being from Tennessee: Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen has said his state budget request for next fiscal year will include money to help preserve about 124,000 acres of forestland currently owned by a timber company.

  • Georgia will stop enrolling new children in its health insurance program for low-income families because federal funds are running out. Again, so you don't forget, the GOP is all about family values.

2008 Election As Launchpad to Democratic Super-Majority in the Senate

In this article, Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothernberg Political Report comments on the chances that Democrats could get to a filibuster-proof 60 seats by 2010.

With the Democrats defending only 12 seats in 2008 and 15 in 2010, versus a total of 40 seats to be defended by Republicans over the two cycles (not to mention the Iraq issue looming over the GOP yet again), it is certainly possible that the Democrats could net the nine seats they need to get to 60.
Possible GOP retirements, as well as the prospect of both weak Republican senators and GOP seats in trending-Democratic states (e.g., NH, MN, and OR) should make Democrats very aware that this super-majority is a very real possibility. It all starts in 2008.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Links

  • Florida GOP Governor Charlie Crist said this week that Republicans should spend its time and money on issues that are ''more pressing'' than the anti-gay marriage initiative it has funded for the past two years. Wait, who let this guy in the party?

  • File under, "Stuff that doesn't make me proud to be a Tennessean": Legislation introduced in Tennessee by a Republican lawmaker would require death certificates for aborted fetuses, which likely would create public records identifying women who have abortions.

  • Family values? The United States and Britain ranked at the bottom of a U.N. survey of child welfare in 21 wealthy countries that assessed everything from infant mortality to whether children ate dinner with their parents or were bullied at school.

  • After losing a bunch of Katrina-related lawsuits, State Farm has decided to stop writing new home and commercial policies throughout Mississippi. Good neighbor, indeed.

  • After first opposing an increase in the state minimum wage, Missouri Republican Governor Blunt is recommending to employers such as restaurants, bars and hotels, to simply ignore the law and not provide an increase to $3.25/hour for tipped employees.

Being Anti-War is Treasonous? Put Up or Shut Up

Ever since the invasion of Iraq, any criticism of the Bush Administration's Iraq policy has been met by the administration and its supporters' cries that the detractors are "emboldening" and "giving aid and comfort" to the enemy. Even after the 2006 Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut, in which Ned Lamont defeated pro-war whore Joe Lieberman, Shooter Cheney stated that the election might "encourage the Al Qaeda types." Now they are at it again. The anti-war resolution currently before the congress, in the not so subtle words of the Bush-Cheney-Republican crime family, is treasonous.

It is time for them to either put up or shut their lying mouths. If the Congressional Democrats who sponsored and supported the resolution, and all those who have vocally opposed the war, are really guilty of treason, then the administration has a duty to arrest and prosecute them. They should start with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Then pick up all of the other members of congress who support the resolution. Then all of the pundits. Then ordinary people like me. Then, of course, all of those traitorous Lamont supporters and voters. Then summarily execute all of them, so that the country can finally be protected from these traitors. If Bush and Company are not ready to support and defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, then they should either resign, or stop their bullshit rhetoric.

-Jeff Bloomfield