Careful… take care not to be crushed 7 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Big Box Blogs, Border Issues, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Mexico, Political Blogs, The Battle for New Orleans, U.S. House, WAR!.
2 Republican senators join critics of Iraq war
WASHINGTON: The tide of Republican defections from President George W Bush’s camp swelled Saturday when two more US senators joined the chorus of critics of his Iraq policy,
Not to worry, they are building … headlines. No tsunami in view: Remain Calm.
But while expressing sharp disagreement with the strategy of “surging” the number of US troops in Iraq, Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
stopped short of backing legislation that would force the White House to begin a drawdown of US troops in Iraq.
“It should be clear to the president that there needs to be a new strategy,” said Alexander told The Los Angeles Times. “Our policy in Iraq is drifting.”
Gregg, who up to now had belonged to the camp of Iraq hardliners, said in an interview with the same newspaper that attempts to put down the Iraqi insurgency with higher numbers of US troops “don’t seem to be making a lot of progress.”
It is vital to have “a clear blueprint for how we were going to draw down,” he said.
They are demanding … BLUE PRINTS.
In fact, they sound like Reid. Or Reed. Or … Levin. Or Warner (Whoops one of theirs! How can we tell by now?). Hey toss in a little chit chat – with high-pitched giggles – about tri-furcating Iraq and they will sound like Biden. As well.
Hell, maybe they [really] were talking about immigration and just got a bit screwey on the talking points. Stick a long life light bulb in their hands and they will spout the lines on Global Warming, Saving the Earth — clue, it’s all about light bulbs and turning off lights.
I just heard a good one, use one less paper napkin a day. That was the advice from some NBC persona (alert the caterers to 30 Rockefeller Ctr!). Then there was some burble that changing 5 light bulbs takes 10 million cars off the road.
Or I was hallucinating.
Just don’t talk about CARS and MILEAGE or the need for mass transit with greater subsidies or the wreckage that agrofuels will wage on the land. So many electeds learned to say cellulosic. And to use the word with something akin to authority. As tho they knew something. Admittedly, that was fun to watch…
Who the fuck knows anymore. Senators just gab.
agrofuels threaten to greatly accelerate climate change through the destruction of ecosystems and carbon sinks on which we depend for a stable climate. The rush to agrofuels encourages intensive, industrial agriculture at the expense of sustainable food production.
Monoculture plantations have been doing serious damage around the world for decades, but agrofuels represent a further intensification of the process, endangering what remains of global forest cover and climate. They also threaten the food sovereignty, cultural, human and land rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
Here is another snippet from the article:
The authors highlight how agrofuels are being used as a new promotional vehicle for GM technologies, in particular through the development of ‘second generation’ crops. Agrofuel expansion also threatens to displace indigenous peoples from their lands.
“The whole agrofuel process is going far too fast, pushed by corporations and governments before any controls are in place. Massive investment in infrastructure is already taking place around the world that will set us on a path from which it will be difficult to escape,” says Oscar Reyes of the Transnational Institute.
Golly, that sounds — familiar.
Meanwhile they still float in the bowl….
I believe in collective bargaining, and I believe that any time you’re talking about wages, workers have to be at the table.
So let’s make a promise right now that if you’re a teacher or a principal doing the hard work of educating our children, we will reward that work with the salary increase that you deserve. If you’re willing to teach in a high-need subject like math or science or special education, we’ll pay you even more.
If you’re willing to take on more responsibilities like mentoring, we’ll pay you more.
And if you excel at helping your students achieve success, your success will be valued and rewarded as well. Here’s the key: We can find new ways to increase pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them and not based on some arbitrary test score. That’s how we’re going to close the achievement gap that exists in this country and that’s how we’re going to start treating teachers like the professionals you are.
I commend the work you’ve done in Minnesota with the governor there to craft an innovative pay system that not only values your performance in the classroom, but the performance of your students as well. You helped craft it and you and your students benefit from it.
We also know that when it comes to struggling schools, it’s not just how much you’re getting paid that matters, but how much support you’re getting to do your job. We know that when you pair experienced, mentor teachers with new teachers, those new teachers are much more likely to stay in the profession. So let’s make sure we start developing more mentor teachers so we can start recruiting and keeping the new generation of teachers we need.
Hillary and others addressed the Steelworkers…
Clinton focuses on policy
While Edwards sought to relate to issues facing labor unions on a personal level, Clinton, who spoke with the steel workers this morning, adopted a more policy-heavy approach. The New York senator’s proposals include prohibiting corporations from deferring pensions when selling subsidiaries.
“[Halliburton] used this loophole to rob employees of $25 million in pension benefits,” Clinton said, “then they turned around and awarded then-CEO Dick Cheney with a $100 million sweetheart retirement deal” — to which the crowd booed.
Clinton also called for the re-assessment of all international trade agreements every five years in order to ensure fair compliance by all parties, but avoided specifically mentioning NAFTA, which was passed during her husband’s administration.
hmmm… Yes the Dems don’t like to talk about NAFTA. At all.
According to the Kucinich press release, she stiffed the steelworkers on the traditional Q&A after what is, after all, just another stump speech (to be fair Edwards stiffed the reporters following his address to the union members).
“That’s what happened today when U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton addressed the United Steelworkers conference in Cleveland. Not only did she not participate in the question-and-answer portion of the program to which all of the Presidential candidates had agreed, but she also completely ignored one of the major issues that has forced millions of union workers and others into unemployment: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”
Further, Kucinich is absolutely right on here:
If anything, Senator Clinton has an even higher obligation to address this issue because NAFTA was enacted during the Clinton Administration. Someone needs to ask where the Senator stands. And the Senator has a responsibility to answer.”
I am sure she ran off to read Isaiah. So, so, so important. Perhaps the Steelworkers should ask her about Isaiah. That being more critical than……………… JOBS.
Last, for now, I caught a very disturbing segment on Lehrer’s News Hour Friday.
In Phoenix, 10 federal immigration officers work with the local police department to investigate crimes that involve illegal immigrants. As more cities mull such collaborations, proponents say they help both agencies, but critics worry that they deter some crime victims from coming to police.
hmmm a little more problematical than that… and who pops up but Sheriff Arpaio, in Maricopa Co, with the most aggressive policy:
JEFFREY KAYE: Gutierrez is particularly disturbed by the practices of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department in southern Arizona. Renown for its tent jail, it also has the most aggressive anti-illegal-immigrant policy of any local law enforcement agency in the country. Not only do jail deputies interrogate foreign-born inmates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we’re going to do is, we’re going to head up north up the US-60.
JEFFREY KAYE: Deputies on patrol also question suspects and witnesses about their immigration status. They are part of a so-called III, or illegal immigrant interdiction strike force. Seventy-two Maricopa County deputies cross-trained by ICE seek out illegal immigrants in a program set up by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
And you know it’s going to spread:
JEFFREY KAYE: The deputies book the driver on a charge of violating Arizona State’s anti-smuggling law and accuse the other eight of conspiring to smuggle themselves into the United States. If convicted, they could all serve state prison sentences of almost four years, before being deported.
JOE ARPAIO: The smuggler and the smugglees, co-conspirators, they all go directly to jail. We do not call ICE, like everyone else does, to turn those people over, so they can get a free ride back to Mexico. They go directly to the jail that I run.
ALFREDO GUTIERREZ: It’s a tragic, outrageous interpretation of the law.
JEFFREY KAYE: Gutierrez thinks the sheriff has gone too far. He says those being smuggled should not be charged.
ALFREDO GUTIERREZ: The law is specific to human smuggling. The law is not about those who are desperately trying to get here to work. Those people are going to be punished. They’re going to be sent back.
JOE ARPAIO: I asked the county attorney for an opinion, and he gave me the right opinion, that we could lock up the people that are being smuggled in. So, we arrested so far 550. We are the only law enforcement agency in this whole state enforcing all aspects of the state law.
JEFFREY KAYE: ICE is expanding its cross-training program. Seventy-one law enforcement agencies around the country have either requested training or are receiving it, so their officers can do immigration checks.
JOE ARPAIO, Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff: Now, my deputies, when they patrol, can put the ICE hat on and arrest the illegals. And we bring them to jail.
Elephant Head rock is a prominent landmark visible from the I-19 locale where the Border Patrol may set up a permanent checkpoint. [A.E. Araiza / arizona daily star]
Tuston dropped me this, the plans are moving right ahead for a permanent check point in his neck of the AZ scrub brush, 31 miles inland from the border. Miss Giffords, the centrist (oh she’s really a progressive) the blahgs championed, is all over the map about it, by design, I would say… 😉
The Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector had been prohibited from opening permanent checkpoints since 1999 by a congressional mandate championed by since-retired Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz.
Kolbe argued that permanent checkpoints would serve little purpose because smugglers know where they are and can go around them.
The move toward a permanent checkpoint has upset a large contingent of community members in Tubac and Green Valley who have vehemently protested it on the grounds that a permanent checkpoint would be ineffective and detrimental to business and property values.
Gus and Beverly Amado, whose cattle and horse ranch just south of Elephant Head Road east of kilometer 50 has been in the family for five generations, are worried about the large building, lights and semitrailers that would be passing through. They are dreading the inconvenience, too. They would have to go through the checkpoint to get their mail in Amado.
“It changes the valley forever,” said Beverly Amado. “It will never be the same. People in Congress, the Border Patrol, they come and go, but we’re here forever.”
And then Miss Giffords, straddling the political map:
Rep. Giffords stops short of fully endorsing permanent checkpoints, but she’s been vocal about the ineffectiveness of temporary checkpoints, which she called “disastrous” in terms of stopping illegal immigration and drugs.
“I’m not going to sit back and not do everything in my power to bring the maximum amount of border security to Southern Arizona,” Giffords said.
When asked whether that included permanent checkpoints, she answered, “I think all options should be on the table.”
Both Giffords and the Border Patrol have promised members of the work group that they’ll await their findings before deciding on a permanent checkpoint.
But, many community members have accepted that they may have lost the battle.
“They’ve already started what they are going to do,” Cullen said. “I don’t think they are being rude. I just think it’s a done deal.”
There you go: “It’s a done deal” and “we are a set on a path from which it will be difficult to escape”…
… difficult to do anything much that is sane, ever again. And what seems sane will be delusion or illusion or both.
UPDATE, 12:09 am… balmy night in San Francisco
Just up in the NYT:
U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05
Published: July 8, 2007
WASHINGTON, July 7 — A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.
Oh just more of that talking points confusion. Abort, abort, abort abort, they thought safe legal and rare was the operational rule of engagement. Recently Hillary added, and when I say rare, I mean rare. (No she really did! I am not kidding.)
It really did sound like she meant a roast, turning on the spit, rather than a fetus. Maybe she did, confusion you know.
Yup, exactly, we were very very confused. We thought we needed permission:
Officials said one reason Mr. Rumsfeld called off the 2005 operation was that the number of troops involved in the mission had grown to several hundred, including Army Rangers, members of the Navy Seals and C.I.A. operatives, and he determined that the
United States could no longer carry out the mission without General Musharraf’s permission.
It is unlikely that the Pakistani president would have approved an operation of that size, officials said.
They really think we will buy that… Leave ’em laughing… 8)
Oh those rascally rabbity NYT guys. If you read to the end of the article you get the prize:
In his recently published memoir, George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director, said the intelligence about Mr. bin Laden’s whereabouts during the Clinton years was similarly sparse. The information was usually only at the “50-60% confidence level,” he wrote,
not sufficient to justify American military action.
“As much as we all wanted Bin Ladin dead, the use of force by a superpower requires information, discipline, and time,” Mr. Tenet wrote. “We rarely had the information in sufficient quantities or the time to evaluate and act on it.”
Swell with pride. Or bullshit.