Democrats & Liberals Archives

May 2006 Archives

May 31, 2006

Free Speech and Originalism

The Supreme Court heard a case about the free speech of a whistleblower and decided that the free speech of government employees is limited: You may complain publicly but not internally up the chain of command. The decision was 5-4 with both newly-confirmed justices Alito and Roberts siding with the majority that included the original originalists Scalia and Thomas. (Kennedy wrote the majority decision.) I guess the originalists determined that the founders were against free speech within a government agency.

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May 30, 2006

Smearing Gore Again

Smearing Gore was one of the best techniques used by Republicans in 2000 to get George W. Bush "elected." While Gore stayed on the sidelines, Republicans felt there was no need to smear him. Now that Gore is returning to the limelight with his new movie about global warming, leading some to speculate about another Gore presidential candidacy, the smearing has returned. The smearers do not care if what Gore says is true or not. They label it false and then smear Gore's reputation.

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May 28, 2006

The Anointed Ones

There is great anxiety among my secular candidates concerning Bush's apparent belief that this is an administration ordained by God. Such a prospect brings up the specter which has haunted America from it's founding, since the days of England dumping its religious dissidents on our shores and the religious hysteria of the Salem Witch-Hunts: Theocracy. The question, though, is whether a government has to be a theocracy or a monarchy to be ordained by God. The answer should surprise you.

» Continue reading "The Anointed Ones"

May 27, 2006

The Coup Advances

This article follows up on some of the issues in A Slow Motion Coup

The evidence continues to mount that there is a coup occurring in the United States. Across the political spectrum, voices are rising in alarm. Among those voices are Gene Healy and Timothy Lynch of the conservative and libertarian CATO Institute with their monograph Power Surge: The Constitutional record of George W. Bush or here.

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May 26, 2006

Disillusioned Republicans

"If you favor moral values, vote for the honorable Bush, vote for Republicans who believe in moral values. Don't vote for atheistic Democrats who would not only not defend America against its enemies but destroy this Christian country and lead it into a demoralized and licentious abyss." This was the Republican campaign message in 2000, 2002 and 2004. As everybody knows, the Republicans made it. Let's see how Bush and the Republicans lifted our moral values.

» Continue reading "Disillusioned Republicans"

Bush Apologizes For Targeting Bin Laden

President Bush just apologized for vowing to get Osama bin Laden "dead or alive." Apparently, Bush thinks vowing to neutralize the architect of the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor sends "the wrong signal." What a freakin' wuss.

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Freelunchonomics

It's funny that a party that so trumpets the virtues of the free market believes tax cuts have such a profound effect. Tax cuts are the first kind of economic stimulus they seem to cotton on to, for any subject. Want to save the environoment? Give Tax breaks. Want to save the car companies? Tax breaks for their SUVs and heavy trucks. Want to save the economy? Trillions of dollars in tax cuts. Coincidentally, just coincidentally, this is accompanies by trillions and trillons of dollars in new deficits.

» Continue reading "Freelunchonomics"

May 25, 2006

I Agree with Rush!!

As a liberal, I never listen to Fox news, nor do I pay any attention to the smears gushing from conservative radio hosts. What's the point? They are filled with lies, distortions and just plain hatred for anyone expressing any kind of liberal idea. So imagine my surprise when today, I accidentally found out what Rush Limbaugh thinks about the Jefferson affair. I discovered that I AGREE WITH RUSH LIMBAUGH!!!

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Republicans Dishonor Our Fallen Heroes

After watching President Bush imply that our brave soldiers, rather than his stunning incompetence, are responsible for our failure in Iraq, I figured it was only a matter of time before more Republicans and Bush-fans took a cue from their leader and piled on the troops.

» Continue reading "Republicans Dishonor Our Fallen Heroes"

May 24, 2006

Congressional Corruption

FBI men, with a warrant in their hands, broke into the office of William Jefferson, a Democratic congressman, and seized from the freezer $90,000 in cold cash, wrapped neatly, ready to eat. Republicans greeted this event with "Aha, the Democrats are crooks too. They will not be able to as readily use the corruption charge against Republicans." Judging from the responses of Democratic and Republican leaders, these Republicans are wrong. Now, more than ever, coruption charges against Republicans will resonate strongly.

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The Passion of the Da Vinci Code

A controversial movie about Jesus Christ gets slammed by religious leaders, Biblical scholars, and many reviewers. Nevertheless, it generates boffo box office. Which movie were we talking about again?

» Continue reading "The Passion of the Da Vinci Code"

May 23, 2006

Are Conservatives Traitors Too?

Ever since the beginning of the Iraq War, all those who have criticized it have been called traitors by conservatives. Anyone who said a bad word about our great commander-in-chief, was fiercely criticized. Then, most of the critics were liberals, so it was OK to bash and trash them. Now that Iraq is not in such good shape and the commander-in-chief is in even worse shape, coservatives are finding fault with their dear leader. They are even criticizing the war effort. Holy cow! Are conservatives traitors too?

» Continue reading "Are Conservatives Traitors Too?"

On The Edge

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the enforcement arm of the executive branch, raided the office of an elected representative of the people and sparked a firestorm on Capital Hill. Both Republicans and Democrats in the legislative branch of our government immediately denounced the administration's FBI raid on the Congressman's office.

» Continue reading "On The Edge"

Emperor Palpatine and The Politics of Mythic Roles

One of the most interesting characters of the Star Wars saga is the Emperor himself. From his debut in Return of The Jedi (He only shows up in The Empire Strikes Back as a hologram.), Palpatine has been the symbol of purest evil, one which seduces people with their greatest, and their seemingly most right desires. Darth Vader may be a vicious bastard, but at least his road to hell was paved with good intentions. It's in how this relates to politics that we find that some of the most important roles politicans play are the mythic ones, and woe to those who step into the wrong character's shoes.

» Continue reading "Emperor Palpatine and The Politics of Mythic Roles"

May 22, 2006

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

I can't understand why the Republican Party is labeled religious and the Democratic Paty is labeled nonreligious. It makes no sense. Republicans believe, as Cain did, that they need not worry about their brothers, that each person must take care of himself, and that if the "hidden hand" doesn't provide, too bad. Democrats, however, believe as Abel did, that each of us IS our brothers' keeper, that we must each take care of others, and that we must soften the "hidden hand" to ease the pain to the unfortunate. Isn't the Democratic Party the more religious party?

» Continue reading "Am I My Brother's Keeper?"

Arrest the Press

Alberto Gonzales said he would not hesitate to "track" phone calls made by reporters as part of a leak investigation. He goes on to say officials "would not do it routinely and randomly." We all know what that means.

» Continue reading "Arrest the Press"

Clean EDGE

President Clinton spoke recently, pointing out that global warming is a greater threat to our way of life than terrorism, "Climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren I hope all of you have," Clinton said. "It's the only thing we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society."

» Continue reading "Clean EDGE"

May 21, 2006

Immigration: More of the same and none of it good

I must say that I hold no hope of good policy regarding immigration at the southern border of the United States. The plans and rhetoric are so predictable they are laughable. The rhetoric is historically consistent.

» Continue reading "Immigration: More of the same and none of it good"

May 19, 2006

Have You Heard the Inconvenient Truth?

The Democratic man of renown, Al Gore, is causing a big buzz with his new documentary called "An Inconvenient Truth" that does a gripping job of demonstrating that global warming is real and that we must face it and do something immediately if we are to save ourselves. The revived Al Gore is so convincing that Big Oil will be running ads to counteract his efforts.

» Continue reading "Have You Heard the Inconvenient Truth?"

America's Uncommon Language

Up in Washington, the wise men of the Republican party seek to establish English as our de facto official language. I don't know to what extent we could say this is just politics, or perhaps practice, but as I see it, it's a silly move that misunderstands the real nature of our nation's predominant language.

» Continue reading "America's Uncommon Language"

Reps Borrow $70 Billion To Aid Needy Billionaires

I guess $3 trillion in tax cuts wasn't enough for America's wealthy elite. Republicans just gave these poor tycoons, who amass their wealth by playing the stock market, another $70 billion -- and judging by the depressing performance of the world's markets the last couple days, it's not a moment too soon. Some of these guys are down to their last billion.

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Rejecting Pussyfoot Politics

I have a new found respect for Sen. Russ Feingold following his outspoken public support for marriage and families this week. Sen. Feingold has consistently refused to pussyfoot around the issues, and he has made it clear that the issue of marriage & family equality is no exception. Mr. Feingold once again breaks with the pack of jellyfish and joins a handful of politicians who have the backbone to publicly express their opposition to anti-marriage and anti-family legislation. Others include Senators Ted Kennedy D-MA, Lincoln Chafee R-R.I, and Ron Wyden D-Ore.

» Continue reading "Rejecting Pussyfoot Politics"

May 18, 2006

A new Entry for Ray's Brief Dictionary of Political Buzz Words and Phrases

Liar (LI-AR) Noun. See George Bush. No, really... If you want to see a liar - see George Bush... well... or Bill Clinton... Karl Rove... Scooter... Delay... OK, alright, pretty much any politician is a liar.

» Continue reading "A new Entry for Ray's Brief Dictionary of Political Buzz Words and Phrases"

Political Tools

Al Franken, in his book "The Truth (with jokes)," tells us that it is not true that Americans elected Bush because America is more conservative now. It's not so. Americans voted for George W. Bush because of the successful machinations of Karl Rove who depended on 3 big political tools: Fear, Smears and Queers. He also thinks that these political tools have lost much of their usefulness and will not work in the future. The Democrats are ready to counteract them.

» Continue reading "Political Tools"

May 17, 2006

A Slow Motion Coup

"A coup d'etat ... or just coup ... for short, is the sudden overthrow of (taking over from) a government. Unlike a revolution, which usually takes large numbers of people to take over, a coup can be done by a small number of people, or even one person, if they, for example, control the country's army," Wikipedia
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May 16, 2006

New York in Modern America: An Alien World

I think there are timeless elements to our Founding Father's wisdom, but there are also elements that are of their time, and which don't fit ours. The stark reality one is faced with, if you learn enough about our past, and the development of our current civilization, is that our world would be an alien world to most folks from the late 18th Century.

» Continue reading "New York in Modern America: An Alien World"

Time for Compassion

When Condoleezza Rice took over as Secretary of State, after we were buried in the Iraqi quagmire, she famously declared that it was time for diplomacy. Now that the president and the Republican party are buried under a mound of incompetence-lying-greed-corruption trash that is threatening to stifle their ability to smear their way towards winning in the upcoming mid-term elections, George W. Bush, the compassionate conservative, thinks it's time for compassion. He wants to be nice to immigrants.

» Continue reading "Time for Compassion"

Dumb, or Just Playing Dumb?

OK, boys and girls, see if you can find the subtle flaw in this argument made by Heather McDonald in the Weekly Standard:

Only a paranoid solipsist could feel threatened by the recently revealed calling analysis program. Since late 2001, Verizon, BellSouth, and ATT have connected nearly two trillion calls, according to the Washington Post. The companies gave NSA the incoming and outgoing numbers of those calls, stripped of all identifying information such as name or address.
» Continue reading "Dumb, or Just Playing Dumb?"

I missed a documentary on patio furniture for this?

I would like to apologize to all Republicans for the obvious insult to to your intelligence and the insult to your ability to interpret politics and understand current events. The Presidents's speech last night was at the very least an outragious slap in the face to members of his party and his die-hard followers.

» Continue reading "I missed a documentary on patio furniture for this?"

May 15, 2006

The Straight Shooter Doesn't Shoot Straight

Senator John McCain, the straightshooter of yore, is no longer a straightshooter. Too bad. Of all the Republicans, I respected most John McCain because I believed he was an honest straightshooter. No longer. "Maverick" McCain is so thirsty for power that he is flip-flopping like a bird of prey in order to endear himself to those he had formerly abhorred. Instead of shooting straight, McCain is shooting all the way over to the right.

» Continue reading "The Straight Shooter Doesn't Shoot Straight"

It's Still A Melting Pot

I ran across a really good article by Joel Kotkin about America's dynamic multiculturalism of the streets. It's a really upbeat assessment of how America is successfully assimilating the latest round of immigrants despite hand wringing by intellectuals, politicians and pundits. To paraphrase Stevie Nicks, "America changes color, but America does not change."

» Continue reading "It's Still A Melting Pot"

May 14, 2006

Report: Rove Indicted on Friday

According to an online report Karl Rove, President Bush's most prized possession, was indicted on charges of perjury and lying to investigators.

» Continue reading "Report: Rove Indicted on Friday"

May 13, 2006

Security From Our Government

Is democracy a luxury we can afford anymore?

That is the essential question Bush asks us right now. Can we afford to investigate only those whose deeds have brought them to our suspicion? They would assert that bare suspicion, without probable cause is sufficient. After all, they are trying to defeat the terrorists, and this is a war.

Did the war make us into something else than the republic we are, though?

» Continue reading "Security From Our Government"

May 12, 2006

Corrective Measures

One reason that Bush's political influence may be anemic at this point may be all the blood he's lost fighting to get his favorite choices into appointments and roles as advisors. I have never seen a president so belligerently insistent on getting his way on these things. He pushed Bolton, tried to push Harriet Miers, and got into a bloody fit over not getting five of his favorite appointments through a filibuster. Worse yet, is the culture he seems hellbent on reinforcing, a culture that has worked against both his and our interests.

» Continue reading "Corrective Measures"

Are You a Spy or Terrorist?

Could you and I be spies and terrorists and not know it? Maybe so. Because our National Security Agency (NSA) is worried about your security it is compiling a huge data base of calls made by telephone customers of ATT, Verizon and BellSouth. The president assures us that we still have privacy. Do you think you could believe him?

» Continue reading "Are You a Spy or Terrorist?"

May 11, 2006

Pandering with Tax Shelters

Republicans in the House, by an essentially party-line vote of 244 - 185, pushed through another tax-cut that benefits primarily the rich. Why did they do this, even though the Republicans are in so much trouble that they stand to lose the November election to Democrats? They can't help themselves. Pandering to the rich has done wonders for Republicans in the past. Pandering to the rich now by presenting them with a rich source of tax shelters should, they hope, keep the rich vein of campaign money flowing.

» Continue reading "Pandering with Tax Shelters"

Think Big, Really Big

Temporary suspension of the world's lowest gas taxes and $100 rebates are not going to help ease the approaching energy crisis. America needs to think big, using rational thought and not lobbyist influence, if it is to survive the impending blow to our standard of living. Personally, I think a reality check might help right the wasteful course we're on.

» Continue reading "Think Big, Really Big"

Veterans May Be Contaminated!

Health Alert: Prostate Biopsy Devices Used By The VA May Have Been Contaminated This notice applies to all Veterans who may have received prostate biopsies at Veterans hospitals between 1997 and 2001. It is possible that you have been infected with Hepatitis B, C, or HIV. Apparently there are questions about the adequacy of the sterilization techniques for the BK Biopsy Transducer devices. The VA will provide testing and follow up with those possibly infected.

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The KGB isn't dead.... it's called the NSA

The USA Today is reporting today that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been secretly collecting domestic phone call records since just after September 11, 2001. According to the report, all domestic, both home and businesses were captured and as part of the NSA program and we conducted outside of judicial watch.

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May 10, 2006

Republican SOP

The standard operating procedure (SOP) of all parties may be represented by the slogan: To the victors belong the spoils. We expect that when a new person is elected to office, he or she will dole out goodies to friends and colleagues. But we also expect a limit to these awards. Not so with Republicans. The idea that you do everything for friends and do nothing but blast political opponents is so well ingrained in Republican officials that they blurt it out loud for all to hear.

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Something smells wrong: Pump Prices to Drop

According to published reports (and i heard this on the radio this morning too), gas prices are expected to drop dramatically by the end of the year; possibly as much as $.75 lower by Labor Day.

Holy Oil-Profits Batman, what earth-shattering news brought this on?

» Continue reading "Something smells wrong: Pump Prices to Drop"

Republicans Are Killing Our Babies

The Save the Children organization released its annual State of the World's Mothers report. According to the report, out of the top 33 industrialized nations, only Latvia has a worse infant mortality rate than the US. After looking at reports from previous years to get a sense of trends, I found that America's infant mortality rate had steadily declined until 2001, but subsequently, the trend reversed and the number of infant deaths began to climb.

» Continue reading "Republicans Are Killing Our Babies"

May 9, 2006

Some Thoughts on the Language of Politics

It is a cliché that politics is largely about language. Some words always rub me the wrong way when they are used in a political context, because they are usually misleading if not downright meaningless.

» Continue reading "Some Thoughts on the Language of Politics"

Answer Iran Letter with Ebadi

For the first time since 1979, Iran sent a letter to the U.S. American officials seem to be saying that this letter is merely a ploy to prevent UN sanctions. Of course it is. So what? If they want to talk, let's talk. After 27 years of throwing brickbats at each other it is time to get together and listen to their complaints and let them listen to our complaints. As a first step in what could become a grand dialogue, we need to answer the letter in a way that reinforces our long term goals and encourages the reformers among the Iranians.

» Continue reading "Answer Iran Letter with Ebadi"

May 8, 2006

Enzi: A Man of (Republican) Principle

Senator Mike Enzi is a Republican senator from Wyoming. He is also chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which approved the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act. The Senate will vote on it soon. This bill demonstrates that Enzi believes in 2 broad Republican principles: states rights (in reverse) and taking care of special interests.

» Continue reading "Enzi: A Man of (Republican) Principle"

AT&T and NSA: A match made in hell.'

In January 2006, a class action lawsuit by EFF claiming that AT&T violated both federal and state laws when they allowed the government to spy on citizens through AT&Ts switched network. What was interesting about this and the subsequent request for an injunction to force AT&T from continuing this practice while the lawsuit is pending is the secrecy surrounding the briefs and the filings.

» Continue reading "AT&T and NSA: A match made in hell.'"

Spineless Republicans

Republicans are ready to pass another tax cut for the rich. The top tenth of the top 1 percent of American elites get a 4.8% cut and the rest of us get a 0.4% cut. But that's nothing new -- the first $3 trillion in irresponsible tax cuts were doled out the same way with the wealthiest 1 percent getting a 12% cut and the rest of us getting a 7% cut.

» Continue reading "Spineless Republicans"

May 7, 2006

The Economy In Context

There is a word in our language that represents the error in mistaking an abstraction for a reality: reification. It's a common error in our data-driven, telecommunication criss-crossed society. We want a simple message to reflect a simple reality, but often things are more in the pattern of the information before us, than in the simple indexes the media feeds us. It is therefore important to realize that playing around with these numbers is not necessarily the best way to benefit our society or to improve our economy.

» Continue reading "The Economy In Context"

May 6, 2006

Goss Out - Hayden In?

The surprise resignation of Porter Goss of the CIA is being pinned on one of Gloss' top appointments (Kyle Foggo) being involved in the Cunningham sex scandal (Nation 5/05/06). While this may be a stimulus (or excuse) for moving on, Goss and Negroponte have not played well together, and there has been conflict over the division of power between Homeland Security (Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence) and Goss (as head of the CIA). Don't you hate it when the in crowd doesn't play well together?

» Continue reading "Goss Out - Hayden In?"

Porter Goss Resigns

CIA Director Porter Goss resigned. Frankly, I'm not surprised. This is the guy who said of his new position, "The jobs I'm being asked to do, the five hats that I wear, are too much for this mortal. I'm a little amazed at the workload." Hardly inspiring of confidence. But if this were just another tale of incompetence in the Bush Administration, it wouldn't be much of a story.

» Continue reading "Porter Goss Resigns"

May 5, 2006

Business Entitlement

Businesspeople call Social Security, Medicare and proposed national healthcare systems entitlement programs. They do this in order to stamp them out or to prevent them from sprouting. Yet, they spend a lot of money and purchase a lot of lobbyists to make sure that they are well esconced in business entitlements. For business, entitlement is OK.

» Continue reading "Business Entitlement"

Blame The Mexicans

The United States has some issues right now(Understatement of the century). Instead of solving those problems and looking inward, we can just as easily blame the Mexicans. I saw so many different flags being waved in the streets of Chicago, Miami and New York. I saw people of many colors. For some reason alot of us just saw Mexicans.

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May 4, 2006

Give me your tired, your poor,...

You all know about the famous poem by Emma Lazarus at the Statue of Liberty, that welcomes "tired" and "poor" immigrants of all sorts to America. Ever since the Statue and its message of welcome were placed in the harbor of New York, immigrants streamed to our shores, and then these immigrants built America and made it the great country of freedom and opportunity that it is. And now we are on the verge of throwing away the welcome mat with what politicians call "immigration reform." This is a cold, terrible day.

» Continue reading "Give me your tired, your poor,..."

Turning Congress & the New Silent Majority

JayJay has identified yet another reason to distrust the Republican leadership of Congress. Perhaps the new silent majority will step forward in greater numbers this November and rid our nation of this cancer.

» Continue reading "Turning Congress & the New Silent Majority"

209 Republicans & 8 Democrats Walk into a Bar...

Just how stupid does your Representative think you are? The House of Representatives just passed the Republican sponsored "Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act." The Washington Post called the bill "simply a joke." If this is a joke, it's not funny.

» Continue reading "209 Republicans & 8 Democrats Walk into a Bar..."

May 3, 2006

What Liberals Stand For

Republicans and conservatives have a standard chatter: They claim that Democrats are always whining, bereft of ideas, and don't know what they stand for. Democrats, especially after they lost the presidency to George W Bush, often echo the Republicans on this. I'm here to state that this stereotype is wrong. Democrats have long been welded to liberalism, which, according to Paul Waldman, may be stated in one easily-articulated sentence:

» Continue reading "What Liberals Stand For"

May 2, 2006

American Revival

Yesterday, I discussed Kevin Phillips' pessimistic prediction of America's decline. Yesterday too, we witnessed the March of the Immigrants by an estimated million people across the USA. There are many opinions about this event, both pro and con. But I believe that this March may present a turning point. We as a society have the opportunity to take ourselves off the mean path we have been following - that is exacerbating our decline - and to plant ourselves onto the compassionate road that may lead to American revival.

» Continue reading "American Revival"

The Three Stories

The First Story is the one you want to tell, the idea, the intent that you wish to express. The Second Story is the story the details tell. The Third Story is the one between the two, the hardest to tell, the one people actually take in. It's easy for folks to fall into the trap of thinking the first story is the only one that counts. After all, communication is just about messages, right? Control the messages, and you control the story. But as those of you who have witness the last few years of this administration can testify, nothing is quite so simple.

» Continue reading "The Three Stories"

I Want A Real Energy Policy

I cannot believe Senate Republicans want to hand us all a $100 dollar check to cover high gas prices. Are these people retarded? Buying Americans a couple tanks of gas is not an energy policy.

» Continue reading "I Want A Real Energy Policy"

May 1, 2006

America's Trend to Theocracy

Kevin Phillips, the great pundit who back in 1969 optimistically predicted Republican ascendancy in his "The Emerging Republican Majority," has this year published "American Theocracy," in which he pessimistically describes our current American society. He believes we have 3 huge problems: oil depedency, credit dependency and worst of all, an eagerness to void the separation between church and state. All 3 are hastening the decline of America.

» Continue reading "America's Trend to Theocracy"

Bush Bungle Lengthens the "Long War"

It's been reported and, more recently, confirmed by former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, that the White House squashed several Pentagon plans to hit al-Zarquari's terrorist camp in 2002.

» Continue reading "Bush Bungle Lengthens the "Long War""

Bush Blames The Troops For Iraq

Ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell says he told Gen. Franks, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and President Bush that he didn't think the Iraq invasion plan included enough troops. "I made the case to General Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld before the president that I was not sure we had enough troops," Powell said in an interview on Britain's ITV television. I remember Bob Woodward wrote about that meeting in his book, "Plan of Attack", as well.

» Continue reading "Bush Blames The Troops For Iraq"