uggabugga





Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The sequel:



Inspired by Digby's post (one of many on that theme), a Media Matters report, and the perpetual fawning over at Powerline.

UPDATE 30 Dec: How could we have forgotten? In our rush to get the image out, we forgot about Jeff Gannon when making the credit list (had been Matt Drudge). Now updated.



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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Hon. Senator John McCain on teaching science:



Via Dadahead post.



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Worst webpage ever:

Somehow, while Googling for laptop computers, we ended up visiting this page: http://www.dollarcomputer.com/all_prodmanf.php

How bad is it? It appears that in some circumstances, a total database dump of all products for sale goes into the html, resulting in a file 5,745,766 bytes large. That's five meg for you dialup folks. Yum! Over 15 minutes to load.



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Has the Fox News Channel jumped the shark?

In all the recent talk about the "War on Christmas", Fox has definitely been the lead player. From Frank Rich's I Saw Jackie Mason Kissing Santa Claus: (excerpts, emp add)
In Salon, Ms. Goldberg noted that fulmination about supposed Jewish opposition to Christmas dates to Henry Ford's infamous "The International Jew" of 1921. That chord is sounded in the very first anecdote in the book by the Fox News anchor John Gibson, "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought": a devastated father discovers that his 4-year-old son has brought home preschool artwork showing a Hanukkah menorah and Kwanzaa candles, rather than a Christmas tree. But Mr. Gibson goes on to add ecumenically that "not just Jewish people" are out to kill Christmas. As he elucidated on Christian radio, all non-Christians are "following the wrong religion," though he reassures us that they will be tolerated "as long as they're civil and behave."<
It would seem that Fox was making more of a fuss with Christmas than the Christian Broadcasting Network. Could it be that Fox went too far and is now seen as something of a "Christian news" channel? That would, in the long run, be good in that it will be self-marginalizing. Nobody cares what Pat Robertson has to say, or what's on his network. Maybe Fox will have foolishly discarded whatever "news" identity it still has as they pursue a more religious angle/audience.



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Monday, December 26, 2005

Economics question?

When Monday Night Football moves from ABC to pay-cable ESPN next year, does that cause a rise in the CPI?

If so, is a change like that part of any formula used by the Labor Department?

They're always eager to reduce the CPI via the legerdemain of the hedonic adjustment. How would the MNF switch be viewed in such a light?

UPDATE: Yeah, and Howard Stern too.



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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Meanwhile, over at Al-Qaeda headquarters:





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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Feds slug state's poor

That was the surprising, large-type headline on the front page of the Los Angeles Daily News this morning. And it goes on to report:
Budget cut aimed at poor, young, old, sick

California's needy families will lose more than $550 million a year under a deficit-reduction bill approved Wednesday by the U.S. Senate, marking the first cuts to welfare, Medicare and other entitlement programs in nearly a decade.
The Daily News is more conservative than the Los Angeles Times and for the most part serves a suburban readership (San Fernando Valley) which in earlier days could be considered "moderate Republican" - a now meaningless term or extinct constituency. That's why the headline was a surprise.

Could it be that the Republicans in Congress will suffer politically for their cuts to programs that serve the "poor, young, old, and sick"? That's not something we expect, but it just might happen.



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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bill O'Reilly, here's another outfit you might want to tangle with:

Screenshot (partial) showing the Screen Tip.





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Monday, December 19, 2005

Not a strict constructionist or textualist any more?

Does this mean we really do have a "living constitution" after all?



[First quote in black is genuine.]

Thanks to the folks at Busy,Busy,Busy for the inspiration.



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Both interpretations are correct:





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It's not the MSM anymore:

It's the LJM (Liberal Jew Media)

At least it is over at Townhall.com - "When it comes to pushing the ... anti-Christian agenda, you find ... Jewish journalists"     (via Seeing the Forest's blogpost)



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Why not ask your Saudi friends?

In Bush's press conference today, he made the following remark in support of renewing the Patriot Act:
I mentioned in my radio address -- my live TV radio address -- that there was two killers in San Diego making phone calls prior to the September the 11th attacks. Had this program been in place then, it is more likely we would have been able to catch them. But they're making phone calls from the United States, overseas, talking about -- who knows what they're talking about, but they ended up killing -- being a part of the team that killed 3,000 Americans.
Back in November of 2002 we looked into stories about these guys and diagrammed the connections that allowed them to operate. Turns out that they were funded (by proxy) by the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the US.



Who knows what they're talking about? Ask your friends on Embassy Row.



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Juan Cole summarizes our view:
[Al-Qaeda's] monstrous "theatrical" terrorism on a large scale has paralyzed the US political and judicial elite in the face of Cheney's and Bush's New American Empire, an Empire in which the US Constitution has been turned into a dead letter.


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Post Bush Sunday speech headlines:
  • USA Today: Don't Give Up
  • Daily News (Los Angeles): Don't Give In
  • Los Angeles Times: Bush Urges Patience for Iraq Mission
  • New York Times(NY & Nat'l editions): Asking Patience, Bush Cites Progress in Iraq
Hardly an enthusiastic response.



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Saturday, December 17, 2005

How many people knew about the spying and told the New York Times?

Here are some interesting lines from the initial New York Times story about NSA spying on US citizens without court approval.
  • Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say
  • Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.
  • According to those officials and others, reservations about aspects of the program have also been expressed by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a judge presiding over a secret court that oversees intelligence matters.
  • While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it said the N.S.A. eavesdropped without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time.
  • Some officials familiar with it say they consider warrantless eavesdropping inside the United States to be unlawful and possibly unconstitutional, amounting to an improper search.
  • One government official involved in the operation said he privately complained to a Congressional official about his doubts about the legality of the program.
  • A senior government official recalled that he was taken aback when he first learned of the operation.
  • Several senior government officials say that when the special operation first began, there were few controls on it and little formal oversight outside the N.S.A.
  • A complaint from Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the federal judge who oversees the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, helped spur the suspension, officials said.
  • One official familiar with the episode said the judge insisted to Justice Department lawyers at one point that any material gathered under the special N.S.A. program not be used in seeking wiretap warrants from her court.
  • Several national security officials say the powers granted the N.S.A. by President Bush go far beyond the expanded counterterrorism powers granted by Congress under the USA Patriot Act, which is up for renewal.
Now many of these officials were probably contacted after the initial disclosure to the newspaper, but there is a sense when reading the article that a lot of mid-level professionals were troubled by the program. And may have talked.



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The Sunbaked King:





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Weren't you paying attention at the time?





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Brazen it out:

That's the White House policy in reaction to the exposure of NSA spying on US citizens. They have no other choice.



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Friday, December 16, 2005

Huh?



UPDATE/CORRECTION: Rice was the National Security Advisor, not the head of the NSA. Uggabugga regrets the error.



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Bush: Democrats get the same amount of money from crooks

10 Jan 2002
"I got to know Ken Lay when he was head of the — what they call the Governor's Business Council in Texas. He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994."
FACT: Mr. Lay and his wife gave Mr. Bush three times more money than Ms. Richards in their gubernatorial contest.

14 December 2005
"Abramoff — I'm frankly, not all that familiar with a lot that's going on up there on Capitol Hill. But it seems like to me that he was an equal money dispenser, that he was giving money to people in both political parties."
FACT: According to campaign finance reports, Abramoff and his clients contributed money to Democrats but substantially more to Republicans.

Bush is trying to sell the notion that both parties are equally at fault. And he might succeed. A recent NBC poll had 72% of Americans holding that position. Which isn't that surprising when you have "reporters" like Jeffrey Birnbaum saying things like:
"... now Abramoff was a very big Republican lobbyist but he also headed a whole lobbying shop in a law firm that included Democratic lobbyists as well and it looks like the public, so far at least, is not branding one party or the other as most responsible for this decline in the proper way of dealing with money and politics on Capitol Hill."


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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Der Sturmer 2.0



Essay here.



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Washington Post to change "identification" of Froomkin's column:

Before:
After:
For more see firedoglake and TPM (1,2,3,4)



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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

WIBA sells name of its newsroom to a business:

Story: (excerpts, emp add)
Beginning Jan. 1, the WIBA newsroom will be called the Amcore Bank News Center.

"This simply means they get 'name branding' with the description of the news center on air," confirmed Jeff Tyler, vice president of Clear Channel Radio-Madison, which owns WIBA-AM 1310 and FM 101.5. "What listeners will hear on air is something like, 'Now from the Amcore Bank News Center, here's WIBA's Jennifer Miller.'"

Kelly McBride, a journalism ethics trainer for the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., opposed the plan. "The idea is that a newsroom is an advocate for the public," McBride said. "It's Madison's news, not Amcore's news. If you have corporate branding, that is going to taint the whole product as a marketing product."

But James Baughman, professor and director of UW- Madison's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said he's not disturbed by the sale. He said it's a return to broadcast practices of the 1950s, a topic he's exploring for his next book.

"From 1948 to 1956 the NBC nightly news was the Camel News Caravan," said Baughman. The name was tied to a cigarette manufacturer. "They even had a rule that they would not show a cigar or a 'no smoking' sign on air, although they made an exception for Winston Churchill."

Baughman said naming rights are part of a broader media trend. "Clear Channel is trying to maximize its profits. Advertisers are trying to find new ways of getting their brand out there. We're going to be seeing more of this."

And Tyler said the high cost of producing quality news necessitates such an arrangement.
Baughman's citation of Camel cigarettes makes exactly the point: That explicit corporate ties to the news will affect what is broadcast. And a professor of journalism isn't disturbed by that?

And as to having to do it in order to produce "quality news" - they've got a property (radio frequency) from the government in exchange for serving the public interest. That (broadcasting quality news) is a cost of having the monopoly, and should not be treated like any other entertainment programming.



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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Real estate madness:

Via the excellent economics blog, Calculated Risk, we learned of a story* (in the comments for CR's thoughtful GDP Growth: With and Without Mortgage Extraction). Here is a summary: (excerpts, emp add)
Buy, Borrow, Buy
Couple uses leverage to build an empire of eight vacation properties

Sacco estimates that along with McCook's mother, who has been a silent partner, they've made $1.3 million since they began their buying spree, but all of this is still in equity on their properties. Their monthly reality is more sobering. They have $2.3 million in mortgage debt and negative cash flow that ranges from $5,000 to $15,000 monthly depending on the season.

So how do they pay the bills?

"We sort of count our equity loans as our income," she says, with the slightest wince. "If we had real jobs, we'd be fine, but we just need to get some money in. Some people call it a pyramid, but I don't like to think about it that way."

Surreal financing? Bubble economics? Perhaps. But it's also the way people are increasingly approaching real estate: as a bet that in the long run can't be beat.
Yeah!

In any event, be sure to read CR's GDP Growth: With and Without Mortgage Extraction - and study the chart. Are the good times ending soon?

[* - story link is to 'current' for the author and will change over time]



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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Krauthammer isn't making sense:

Krauthammer pens an article in the Weekly Standard defending torture. Andrew Sullivan disagrees and writes in the New Republic. All very interesting. But let's examine Krauthammer a little bit. He says: (excerpts)
... there is the ordinary soldier caught on the field of battle. There is no question that he is entitled to humane treatment. Indeed, we have no right to disturb a hair on his head.

... there is the captured terrorist. A terrorist is by profession, indeed by definition, an unlawful combatant: He lives outside the laws of war because he does not wear a uniform, he hides among civilians, and he deliberately targets innocents. He is entitled to no protections whatsoever.

[In one hypothetical situation] the issue of torture gets complicated and the easy pieties don't so easily apply. Let's take the textbook case. Ethics 101: A terrorist has planted a nuclear bomb in New York City. It will go off in one hour. A million people will die. You capture the terrorist. He knows where it is. He's not talking.

... in this case ... torture is permissible
QUESTION FOR KRAUTHAMMER: What do you do if an ordinary uniformed soldier from a hostile country is captured and you believe he knows where his country has planted a nuclear bomb in New York City?

Torture or no?



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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Joe Lieberman - helping Bush on Iraq:

From Bush's first Iraq speech (of the series leading up to the Dec 15 elections) - Nov 30 (emp add)
As Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman said recently, setting an artificial timetable would "discourage our troops because it seems to be heading for the door. It will encourage the terrorists, it will confuse the Iraqi people."

Senator Lieberman is right.
From Bush's second Iraq speech - Dec 7 (emp add)
One of those who has seen that progress is Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman. Senator Lieberman has traveled to Iraq four times in the past 17 months, and the article he wrote when he returned from his most recent trip provides a clear description of the situation on the ground. Here's what Senator Lieberman wrote -- Senator Lieberman wrote about the Iraq he saw: "Progress is visible and practical. There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraq hands than before." He describes an Iraqi poll showing that, "two-thirds [of Iraqis] say they are better off than they were under Saddam Hussein."

Senator Lieberman goes on, "Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes, we do. And it's important to make clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still, but has changed over the years." The Senator says that mistakes have been made. But he goes on to say that he is worried about a bigger mistake. He writes, "What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory." Senator Lieberman is right.


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Wow!

Check out the Oliphant cartoon for this Tuesday.



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Translation:

In yesterday's Danziger cartoon, we see: (our highlighting in red)
In the lower right corner are the words: "y tengo intenciones de usarlo" which translates (via AltaVista) to:

"and I have intentions to use it"



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Logic for fools:

In the Cheney speech (post below), he says:
"Some have suggested by liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein we simply stirred up a hornet's nest. They overlook a fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq in September 2001 and the terrorists hit us anyway."
The "logic":
A = U.S. in Iraq
B = Terrorists hit (9/11)

Given that not-A && B is True   =>   A && not-B is True

In other words, having the U.S. in Iraq means no terrorist attacks
That's a joke. It's like saying:
You (dear reader) were not doing X (e.g. combing your hair) and Something Bad Happened. Therefore, if you do X, you shall avoid Something Bad.
This administration uses these silly arguments, and variants thereof, all of the time.



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Still at the military bases & making nice with Lieberman:

From the AP: (excerpts, emp add)
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Vice President Dick Cheney told military troops Tuesday that terrorists can win in Iraq only "if we lose our nerve and abandon our mission." He rejected calls for a speedy drawdown of troops.

With snow falling outside, Cheney spoke in a cavernous aviation hangar on this base in northern New York, addressing an audience that base officials put at around 3,000.

Cheney addressed a rally attended by the Army's 10th Mountain Division and the Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division, drawing frequent cheers and shouts.

Cheney praised recent comments by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat who was his vice presidential opponent in the 2000 election, suggesting that too hasty a U.S. withdrawal would erase nearly all the progress made by the United States in Iraq and the Middle East.

Lieberman, at a news conference in Washington, urged support for Bush. "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he'll be commander in chief for three more years," Lieberman said. "We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril."
Got that? Lieberman says support Bush, no matter what, because he's the prez. And don't you dare undermine the liar's credibility or you will be putting the nation at peril (i.e. be a traitor).

Prediction: Lieberman will be defeated when he runs for re-elect.



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Tuesday, December 06, 2005


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Strictly for hygienic reasons:

DEFENSELINK: (excerpts, emp add)
WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2005 – The decision by U.S. soldiers to burn the bodies of two enemy Afghan fighters was an act of poor judgment, but not a violation of the laws of war, U.S. officials have determined.

Officials also determined that using the act to incite Taliban fighters by announcing it over psychological operations loudspeakers was a separate act. In all, four soldiers have received administrative punishment in the two incidents.

Coalition forces know the location as an area of enemy activity, officials said. A Sept. 30 engagement killed two enemy fighters, and local citizens had not retrieved the bodies 24 hours later. An officer on the ground decided it best to burn the bodies for hygienic reasons.
That's why they did it, for hygienic reasons, including the fact that they were deliberately burned while "facing west" and not Mecca. Killed those west-facing microbes, don't you know.



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Monday, December 05, 2005

Jeffrey Birnbaum of the Washington Post is not a reporter:

From Friday's (2 Dec) Washington Week in Review: (emp add)
TOPIC: Congressional scandals

Ms. CONNOLLY: You know, Jeff, we've certainly seen any number of politicians go down under similar scandals--financial scandals--Speakers Wright and Gingrich. Can you sense, at this point, if there is one political party or one particular category of politician on Capitol Hill that's going to pay a price for this or is it all of them?

Mr. BIRNBAUM: Well, it's--we need to point out, I think, that there are a number--there are a whole host of lawmakers who are under scrutiny by the Justice Department and others related to another name we haven't mentioned, Jack Abramoff, who is a lobbyist--a former lobbyist now--but who is being looked at for bilking Indian tribes of upwards of $80 million and using a lot of that money improperly. He was a former partner of Michael Scanlon, the fellow who I mentioned before.

But now Abramoff was a very big Republican lobbyist but he also headed a whole lobbying shop in a law firm that included Democratic lobbyists as well and it looks like the public, so far at least, is not branding one party or the other as most responsible for this decline in the proper way of dealing with money and politics on Capitol Hill. There have been a variety of polls that show that.
Birnbaum did not do what a reporter should do, report the facts. Instead of saying that Republicans are the overwhelming number of figures convicted of, or under investigation for, corruption, he tells the viewers what the public perception is.

A total disgrace.



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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sherlock Holmes: "The curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident."

Today:
"The curious incident of the candidates in the lead up to the December elections in Iraq."

"The candidates have done nothing leading up to the elections," you say.

"That is the curious incident."
Okay, enough fancy talk. Have you read anything at all about the campaigns for the December 15 election? Any speeches? Any political ads? Anything at all?

Extremely odd.



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Saturday, December 03, 2005

What a mess!

On Friday, ABC's Nightline was billed as a Big Event. A discussion in Iraq with Iraqis about the state of affairs. I certainly sounded promising, but hope quickly shifted to dismay.

Host Terry Moran started out by saying that they could only have the discussion in the Green Zone, and then showed video of the zone from two years earlier - while saying that the situation had deteriorated since then. Also, the television set-up was in a bunker, reinforced with blast walls. Several invited guests were unable to get into the Green Zone. U.S. civilian and military were invited, but declined to participate.

In any event, the discussion was with 12 Iraqi participants. Here is the list:
  • Wafa Kareem (f) - student
  • Maha Ahmed (f) - student
  • Arouba Said (f) - student
  • Dr. Jama Taha - Yarmouk Hospital
  • Dr. Haider Abed - Yarmouk Hospital
  • Bassen al-Fadli - TV anchor, al-Iraqiya
  • Zainab Hussein (f) - Los Angeles Times
  • Mowaffak al-Rubaie - Iraq Nat'l. Security Advisor
  • Laith Kubba - Iraqi Gov't. Spokesman
  • Col. Ali Abu al-Hassan - Deputy Commander Wolf Brigade
  • Adnan Pachachi - Former President Iraqi Governing Council
  • Nesreem Sadiq Barwari (f) - Iraqi Public Works Minister
So, 3 students, 2 doctors, 2 media, and 5 Iraqi government (current & former).

But wait! What's that guy, Bassen al-Fadli - TV anchor for al-Iraqiya - all about? From CNN: 28 November 2003
U.S.-funded Iraqi network challenges Arab stations

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- One of the chief U.S. weapons in the battle to win Iraqi hearts and minds is Al-Iraqiya -- a Pentagon-funded TV station with an optimistic, pro-American slant.

Announcers on Al-Iraqiya, which reaches 85 percent of Iraqis, decry the guerrillas attacking U.S. military and Iraqi civilian targets as "terrorists."
ABC did not make the viewer aware of the nature of al-Iraqia.

In any event, how about that mix of guests? Half are Iraqi government, or aligned with it. Who knows about the person identified as "Los Angeles Times". Leaving 5 civilians.

Nightline viewers were not given a realistic snapshot of Iraqi attitudes. (Probably doesn't matter since the interview clips were short.)   We should point out that Nightline did manage to catch a few words from "outsider", and presumably spokesman for the insurgents in some way, Saleh al-Mutlaq of the Iraqi Nat'l. Dialogue Council.

The overall impression we got from this Nightline special was that things are really falling apart in Iraq.



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Friday, December 02, 2005

Very sad: (From Grand Rapids television station WOOD, channel 8)
Two Marines from West Michigan killed in Iraq

(Update, Fallujah, Iraq, December 2, 2005, 6:40 p.m.) Ten U.S. Marines were killed Thursday in Fallujah, Iraq by what the military calls an improvised explosive device, or IED, a roadside bomb made from several large artillery shells. Two of the casualties were from West Michigan.

A family member tells 24 Hour News 8 that U.S. Marine Lance Corporal David Huhn of Portland was one of those killed. The 24-year-old enlisted in the military in February 2004 and arrived in Iraq this summer. He was to return home in January and planned to make the military a career.

A spokesperson for Huhn's family says the Portland High School graduate liked to fish and play video games, and enjoyed watching movies starring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro.

A second of those Marines was from Branch County. Twenty-year-old Craig Watson was a graduate of Union City High School. Watson played on the football and wrestling teams at the school.

Students at Union City High had planned to send a Christmas care package to Watson, and the sixth-grade class had "adopted" him and was preparing to send letters.

Teachers in each of the school's classes read a statement Friday morning announcing Watson's death.

David "liked to fish and play video games".

What else can you say?



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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Divider, not a uniter:

From the Washington Post: (excerpts, emp add)
An Offering of Detail But No New Substance

By Peter Baker

... yesterday the president tried to reassure the nation that he has a comprehensive vision for beating the insurgency and eventually bringing U.S. troops home.

The latest speech won Bush few converts in Washington, with opposition leaders rushing out critiques, in some cases even before he had finished speaking in Annapolis.

[Bush] summoned a leading Democrat to his own defense, citing an op-ed article opposing timetables for withdrawal that was written by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), who ran for vice president on the ticket opposing Bush in 2000 and lost his bid for the party's presidential nomination to challenge Bush in 2004. In doing so, the White House hoped to turn the tables on the Democrats. "What it does is highlight a split within the Democratic Party," said a senior official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


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MTV.com is making a list ...

and checking it twice.

Seriously though, they have a list of Bush stumbles for the last twelve months. Good as a reference.



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Shorter David Broder:

The Democrats in Congress had a rough couple of years (in 1993-4). During the eleven years since then, the Republicans controlling Congress haven't done well either.
A Pox on Both Parties!


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Examining Bush's National Strategy for Victory in Iraq:

Did you read the 35-page paper (PDF) that the White House released on Wednesday? We did, and thought we'd pass along some thoughts.

First of all, it felt light in content and repetitive. And that's because it was! The table below shows the structure of the National Strategy. Note how much is spent summarizing, presenting an overview, and talking about objectives, status, assumptions and logic. That's a lot of padding!

major section section sub-section words
executive summary     1051
strategic overview     4224
strategy in detail intro   64
  political track assumptions 237
    strategic logic 308
    progress 897
    continued challenges 149
  security track assumptions 198
    strategic logic 395
    progress 787
    continued challenges 213
  economic track assumptions 195
    strategic logic 290
    progress 447
    continued challenges 320
organization for victory 8 pillars overview 604
appendix: 8 pillars defeat terrorists strategic objective 70
    status 106
    lines of action 97
  transition to self-reliance strategic objective 25
    status 94
    lines of action 114
  forge national compact strategic objective 27
    status 100
    lines of action 156
  build government capacity strategic objective 25
    status 134
    lines of action 117
  strengthen economy strategic objective 22
    status 128
    lines of action 119
  strengthen rule of law strategic objective 44
    status 143
    lines of action 158
  increase int'l support strategic objective 25
    status 171
    lines of action 109
  strengthen public understanding strategic objective 51
    status 122
    lines of action 136
TOTAL     12672


More generally, the breakdown is like this:

what words
executive summary 1051
strategic overview 4224
assumptions 630
strategic logic 993
progress 2131
continued challenges 682
strategic objective(s) 289
status(es) 998
lines of action 1006
misc 668
TOTAL 12672


The substantive part that everybody is interested in, is a plan for action. Which is found in the "lines of action" sections, which are all in the apendix (!), and is 8% of the overall document.

Graphically, the proportion is shown in red:
Now, what's in that red section? It's worthwhile to take a look at everything they put out - even if it is 1000 words. Here is the "hard" plans for action. Note how vague they are in many cases. (E.g. "Helping to build national institutions that transcend regional and sectarian interests" - sounds great, but what's actually taking place to do it? They don't say.)
  • Defeat the Terrorists and Neutralize the Insurgency
    • Staying on the offensive by aiding the Iraqi government to eliminate enemy safe havens and hunt down members of terrorist cells and key enemy leaders
    • Facilitating the establishment of effective local governance and security elements to ensure postconflict stability and security
    • Assisting Iraqi authorities to suppress foreign fighter infiltration and denying terrorists freedom of movement
    • Working with the Iraqi government to disrupt enemy financial networks
    • Helping the Iraqis to harden, build redundancy, and protect critical infrastructure
  • Transition Iraq to Security Self-Reliance
    • Helping to train and equip the Iraqi Security Forces, military, and police, so they can combat terrorist and other enemy activity and maintain a secure environment in Iraq
    • Assisting in the development of Iraq's security ministries to control, manage, and sustain the Iraqi security forces and assume greater responsibility for the security of the state
    • Increasing the Iraqi government's capability to protect its key economic infrastructure, control its borders, and deny entry to foreign fighters and violent extremists
    • Improving the Iraqi government's intelligence capability to augment security force efforts and to protect national interests
  • Help Iraqis Forge a National Compact for Democratic Government
    • Supporting Iraqi leaders in their quest to bring all Iraqis into the political process, through dialogue and the creation of inclusive institutions
    • Offering advice and technical support on elections and effective governance
    • Helping to build national institutions that transcend regional and sectarian interests
    • Helping the Iraqis replace the corrupt and centralized system of Saddam's regime with effective government bodies at the local, provincial, and national levels
    • Assisting with the design and implementation of civic outreach and education programs to help Iraqi citizens understand their rights and responsibilities in a democratic system
    • Promoting transparency in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government
    • Supporting efforts by the Iraqi Transitional Government and successor governments to develop effective and legitimate institutions for legislation, law enforcement, the administration of justice, and the equitable administration of all public services
  • Help Iraq Build Government Capacity and Provide Essential Services
    • Rehabilitating critical infrastructure in the production and distribution of fuels and electric power as well as training engineers to maintain and operate this infrastructure
    • Supporting and strengthening the nascent institutions of public utilities and regulatory agencies
    • Rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructure to provide safe drinking water and reducing the transmission of water-borne disease
    • Building and rehabilitating health care facilities, with a focus on impoverished neighborhoods and communities
    • Rehabilitating schools, providing new textbooks, computers and materials, and training teachers and school administrative staff
    • Encouraging international donors to expand infrastructure and capacity-building efforts through prompt disbursement of pledges
  • Help Iraq Strengthen Its Economy
    • Helping Iraq to improve its fiscal management and transparency
    • Encouraging pro-market oriented reform and the achievement of a stable macroeconomic environment
    • Supporting the development and implementation of laws and institutions that encourage sustained economic growth
    • Encouraging the removal of regulations and termination of practices that obstruct private sector growth in Iraq
    • Providing technical assistance to aid the rapid improvement of Iraq's business climate and Iraq's accession to the World Trade Organization
    • Assisting the Iraqi government in strengthening its banking and financial system
    • Supporting the revitalization of agriculture and other productive sectors to diversify a single-resource-based economy
  • Help Iraq Strengthen the Rule of Law and Promote Civil Rights
    • Promoting an independent, unbiased, and ethical court system through technical assistance and training of prosecutors, attorneys, and judges
    • Assisting in the enhancement of security for judges trying insurgent and terrorist cases
    • Providing support to the Iraqi Special Tribunal as it investigates and prosecutes crimes committed by the former regime
    • Advising the Ministry of Justice in the development of a centralized organization for the management and oversight of a fair and efficient national correctional system
    • Assisting in the establishment of safe and secure correctional facilities for the care, custody, and treatment of persons incarcerated in the Iraqi correctional system
    • Establishing an anti-major crimes task force, with FBI agents and other U.S. officials aiding their Iraqi counterparts during investigations of terrorist attacks and assassinations
    • Promoting a climate for national reconciliation through fair, effective, and independent judicial institutions
  • Increase International Support for Iraq
    • Encouraging NATO's continued participation in Iraq
    • Maximizing international donor reconstruction assistance and the numbers of partners committed to the rebuilding of Iraq, particularly by helping Iraq seek prompt disbursement of previous pledges and forgiveness of debt
    • Encouraging further UN involvement in Iraq
    • Emphasizing the importance of Syrian cooperation with the Iraqi government, including the interdiction of foreign fighters trying to cross the border
    • Fostering lasting relationships between Iraq, regional partners, and neighboring countries to promote greater levels of cooperation and security within Iraq and within the Middle East
  • Strengthen Public Understanding of Coalition Efforts and Public Isolation of the Insurgents
    • Communicating with the Iraqi public through information programs and civic education campaigns
    • Providing technical assistance and training to support a free, independent, and responsible Iraqi media (including television, radio, and print) that delivers high-quality content and responsible reporting throughout Iraq
    • With our international partners, working to help the Iraqi Government develop the ability and capacity to communicate with its citizens in a professional, effective, and open manner
    • Encouraging Iraqis to participate in the political process, including the referendum on the constitution and national elections in December 2005, through a wide variety of civic education and public communications tools
    • Informing Iraqis about the progress of reconstruction, security, and infrastructure on the national, regional, and local level
There's nothing specific. Shouldn't that have been part of the report?



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