Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Truthout's Matt Renner reports that "Democrats in the House of Representatives - teetering on the verge of compliance with the spy power demands of the Bush administration - have devised a plan that would give the president everything he has demanded, while keeping the majority of Democrats' fingerprints off the most controversial elements of the proposed legislation."
Security contractor Blackwater ends bid for Calif. training site
SAN DIEGO—Military security contractor Blackwater Worldwide has pulled its plans to build a training facility in a remote area about 45 miles east of San Diego.
Company project manager Brian Bonfiglio said in a letter submitted Friday to the San Diego County planning department that the site near the small community of Potrero no longer meets Blackwater's business needs.

"Tried to hide the truth of its ineptitude"

New book uncovers how White House 'tried to hide truth of its ineptitude.'


Isn't it amazing that they print a picture of Obama with that comment, should be Hillary don't you think?

Hey Pelosi do your friking Job, and Impeach the freak who is residing in the White House and maybe just maybe you will retake the White House in 2008
You lose obama supporters, lady and you have lost the White House.
Pelosi said she believes that supporters of both Obama and Clinton, after a long and exciting race, have grown strongly attached to their candidate. She worries how those voters will react when - inevitably - one of the two candidates loses.
"So many new people are involved because of Barack Obama, and we don't want them to be disenchanted," Pelosi said. "On the other hand, there is a chance that he might not win, and hopefully he will keep them in the fold. I think it will be about his leadership, too - whether he wins or not - to keep them in the fold and to attract others."
She said the same is true if Clinton loses the fight for the nomination. Many of Clinton's supporters, especially women, are just as passionate about her candidacy, and those voters will be crucial in November, Pelosi said.

10 Questions for Hillary Supporters

1. When did Sen. Clinton cross the Commander-in-Chief threshold?
2. Was it before or after October 11, 2002 when she flunked the biggest foreign policy test of her career and voted to authorize the war in Iraq?
3. How can a candidate claim to be ready on Day One when on Day 646 of her senate career she voted for a war without reading the 90-page National Intelligence Estimate that so convinced senate colleague Bob Graham the war was a mistake?
4. Are you okay with the Clinton campaign darkening Sen. Obama's complexion in its ads and would you be okay with it if that's what it took to win the nomination?
5. Do you think Sen. Clinton's failure to plan for a primary campaign beyond Feb. 5 -- best exemplified by the Iowa insult of Mississippi that she figured would never come back to haunt her -- demonstrates the foresight you want in a president?
6. Do you think Sen. Clinton's top-down, consultant-heavy campaign spending -- that necessitated her $5 million loan to the campaign -- is an indication that she'd be a good steward of the economy?
7. Are you okay with a Democratic candidate suggesting that the Republican nominee would make a better Commander in Chief than her Democratic rival?
8. Do you agree with Howard Wolfson's charge that asking a presidential candidate to release her tax returns is tantamount to Ken Starr's $40M fishing expedition?
9. Do you agree with Mark Penn's suggestion that some states are significant and some states are insignificant?
10. Are you looking forward to another I-was-for-the-war-before-I-was-against-it general election campaign?

Friday, March 07, 2008

IRAQ: Where Happiness Has Gone

Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail*
After losing sight of what they knew to be normal life, residents across Baquba seem to have fallen into a depression. Close to the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 19, Iraqis today say they feel humiliated in their own country. "People have forgotten how to be happy," says resident Bashar Ameen. "Each day, we have only more suffering." On the two main Islamic festivals through a year, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, people customarily buy new clothes and decorate their homes. It is meant to be a time of happiness and reconciliation. Now it is on these days that depression is most apparent... continua / continued

True Cost of War -- Staggering Number of Wounded Vets: "The Pentagon keeps two sets of books."

Source: Editor&Publisher/AP
Published: March 07, 2008
NEW YORK The number of wounded soldiers has become a hallmark of the nearly 5-year-old Iraq war, pointing to both the use of roadside bombs as the extremists' weapon of choice and advances in battlefield medicine to save lives. About 15 soldiers are wounded for every fatality, compared with 2.6 per death in Vietnam and 2.8 in Korea. But with those saved soldiers comes a financial price — one veterans groups and others claim the government is unwilling to pay.
Those critics also say that the tens of thousands of soldiers wounded in Iraq are part of a political numbers game, one they say undermines the system meant to care for them. The most frequently cited figure is the 29,320 soldiers wounded in action in Iraq as of Thursday. But there have been 31,325 others treated for non-combat injuries and illness as of March 1.
"The Pentagon keeps two sets of books," said Linda Bilmes, a professor at Harvard and an expert on budgeting and public finance whose newly published book, The Three Trillion Dollar War, was co-authored with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. "It is important to understand the full number of casualties because the U.S. government is responsible for paying disability compensation and medical care for all our troops, regardless of how they were injured," Bilmes said.
Veterans Affairs predicts it will treat 330,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009 — a 14 percent increase over the 2008 estimate of 263,000 — at a cost of nearly $1.3 billion. For the 2009 budget, the White House requested $93.7 billion for the VA, including $41.2 billion for medical care for all veterans — not just those from Iraq and Afghanistan. That's an increase of $2.3 billion over the current budget.
But critics say that is not enough for a system that has a backlog of about 400,000 pending medical claims and complaints, especially in mental health care. The VA "will not request enough resources to care for the troops — and in fact this is precisely what has happened in the past three years," said Bilmes....

Olbermann Rips Into Clinton For Praising McCain

Via AmericaBlog:
Tonight on his show, Keith Olbermann eviscerated Hillary Clinton for a good ten minutes for promoting John McCain's presidency over her fellow Democrats. He compared her to Joe Lieberman. He asked "is she equating her time in the East Wing with McCain's time in the Hanoi Hilton?" You have got to watch these videos. They're devastating in only the way that Keith can be.
Watch the videos

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The $2 Trillion Nightmare

By Bob Herbert The New York Times
Tuesday 04 March 2008
We've been hearing a lot about "Saturday Night Live" and the fun it has been having with the presidential race. But hardly a whisper has been heard about a Congressional hearing in Washington last week on a topic that could have been drawn, in all its tragic monstrosity, from the theater of the absurd.
The war in Iraq will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers not hundreds of billions of dollars, but an astonishing $2 trillion, and perhaps more. There has been very little in the way of public conversation, even in the presidential campaigns, about the consequences of these costs, which are like a cancer inside the American economy.
On Thursday, the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Schumer, conducted a public examination of the costs of the war. The witnesses included the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz (who believes the overall costs of the war - not just the cost to taxpayers - will reach $3 trillion), and Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International.
How Republicans Created Executive Branch Hegemony
By Paul Craig Roberts
The case for impeaching Bush and Cheney--indeed the entire administration--is by far the most powerful and necessary case for impeachment that has ever existed. By declaring Bush unimpeachable, Pelosi is giving away Congress' only remaining power to prevent tyrannical rule by the executive branch. If Bush is above impeachment, every future president will be as well.
Today's trash is a report that Obama sent a rep to tell the Canadian embassy that he's not serious about his NAFTA talk. Do you believe it?

Hillary Did Not Win Texas After All

Contrary to the TV news channels' projections on Tuesday night -- Clinton did not win Texas after all. Obama will instead emerge the winner in the Lone Star State, after partial results released on Wednesday pointed to the Illinois senator scoring a clear victory in its caucuses, 56 percent to 44 percent -- negating Clinton's narrower 51 percent to 48 percent edge in the precinct vote and giving him the majority of the state's delegates to the Democratic convention. Meanwhile, the campaign took an ugly turn on Wednesday when the liberal Web site DailyKos.com accused the Clinton campaign of again playing the "race card" against the African American senator by darkening Obama's skin tone in a new TV attack ad.

DNC and Howard Dean Should Tell Florida Republicans and Gov Crist Where to Go

I hope Howard Dean will let Crist and his right wing legislature know, in no uncertain terms, that they will not have any effect upon Democratic policy, unless they choose to pay for an re-run the democratic primary election. They knew they were breaking the DNC rules and arrogantly or maliciously did it anyway. A few years ago, in my youth, I might have told these right wing Florida rectal cavities what they could do to themselves. But I think you get the idea. Their transparent attempt to interfere with and manipulate the Democratic primary is so offensive, so stupidly obvious, it makes us realize how Floridians could have actually elected pathetic characters like Katherine Harris.
I'm glad to see Howard Dean has told them that he expects them to play by the rules. Maybe that's Dean's way of telling Crist and the Florida right wingnuts what to do with themselves.

Crisis in Sudan and Eastern Chad

Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul have won their primaries.

Top Iraq contractor skirts US taxes offshore

Shell companies in Cayman Islands allow KBR to avoid Medicare, Social Security deductions
By Farah Stockman
Globe Staff / March 6, 2008
CAYMAN ISLANDS - Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.
More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.
The Defense Department has known since at least 2004 that KBR was avoiding taxes by declaring its American workers as employees of Cayman Islands shell companies, and officials said the move allowed KBR to perform the work more cheaply, saving Defense dollars.
But the use of the loophole results in a significantly greater loss of revenue to the government as a whole, particularly to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. And the creation of shell companies in places such as the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes has long been attacked by members of Congress.
A Globe survey found that the practice is unusual enough that only one other ma jor contractor in Iraq said it does something similar.
"Failing to contribute to Social Security and Medicare thousands of times over isn't shielding the taxpayers they claim to protect, it's costing our citizens in the name of short-term corporate greed," said Senator John F. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee who has introduced legislation to close loopholes for >>>cont

Clinton's role in Nafta-gate

It was Clinton's camp that downplayed its own trade bashing, reports the Canadian media
Here's today's splash in the Globe and Mail, which begins: "The leak of a confidential diplomatic discussion that rocked the US presidential campaign began with an offhand remark to journalists from the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Ian Brodie." It goes on:
Mr Brodie ... stopped to chat with several journalists, and was surrounded by a group from CTV.... The conversation turned to the pledges to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement made by the two Democratic contenders, Mr Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
Mr Brodie, apparently seeking to play down the potential impact on Canada, told the reporters the threat was not serious, and that someone from Ms Clinton's campaign had even contacted Canadian diplomats to tell them not to worry because the Nafta threats were mostly political posturing.

McCain Attacked In Third-Party Ads

Election Central has obtained a copy of a new anti-McCain ad sponsored by the group Campaign To Defend America:
The Campaign to Defend America -- which will be running ads on issues like Iraq, the economy, energy, and health care, from a bent that appears to be pro-Democratic -- is spending more than $1,000,000 on the buy, the group tells me.

McCain: McSame as Bush

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Slate's Delegate Calculator

Vermont Towns Vote to Indict Bush and Cheney

by David Swanson
Brattleboro, Vt., voted today in support of a measure calling on the town's police force to arrest and indict Bush and Cheney. The vote was 2012-1795.
Marlboro, Vt., passed a similar measure at its town meeting today at which the vote to indict Bush and Cheney was 43-25-3. That's 43 in favor and 3 abstaining. Thus Marlboro beat Brattleboro to it by a few hours. In Brattleboro, the indictment question was on the primary ballots for both parties.

By Bernard Weiner
�The Administration doesn't even try to hide its distaste for democratic institutions anymore. The Democrats won't impeach, so, for CheneyBush, it's full steam ahead with their wrecking-crew policies and foreign adventurism. It's going to be a longggggggggg time until January 2009.
By Kevin Zeese
The military industrial complex counting your vote! If United Technologies has its way and buys Diebold then that will be the reality in U.S. elections. It is time to return vote counting to government and remove corporations from controlling the tabulaiton of votes.

Right On

By Sharon Roach
You can worship God through nature just as you can slap a tambourine in a choir stand. You can find truth in all of this creation not just in one book.It's time to come out the denominational and religious boxes and begin to experience God for yourself not according to what someone else says.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Haunting message found in horror children's home

By staff writers
March 04, 2008 11:35am
Chilling message found in secret chamber
More items, possibly human remains, found
MORE dark secrets have been revealed in a former children's home in Jersey with a chilling message found in a secret underground chamber. The first photo of a "punishment room" at Haut de la Garenne in the Channel Islands showed graffiti on a wall saying "I've been bad for years and years", the Associated Press reported.
In pictures: Child home of horrors

The Day the Earth and Sky Traded Places


Around 10:30pm on the night of February 28, M and his wife S spoke in low tones in a dark room dimly lit by a battery-operated lamp. They were trying to decide if it was still safe to send their children to school and decided in favor because the elementary school building is in a safer part of the city near a number of international offices. The electricity in the building had been out 10 hours by then and the couple pulled blankets around them to keep warm in the damp winter air. They live on the 6th floor of Shifa Tower, an 11-story apartment building housing more than a hundred families.... continua / continued
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush, whose secret Palestinian intervention backfired in a big way.
“A Dirty War”
The Gaza Bombshell
After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever. continua / continued

IRAQ: 'Not Our Country To Return To'

Maki al-Nazzal and Dahr Jamail*
More Iraqis continue to flee their country than the numbers returning, despite official claims to the contrary. Thousands fleeing say security is as bad as ever, and that to return would be to accept death. "Return to Iraq?" asks 35-year-old Ahmed Alwan, an Iraqi engineer now working at a restaurant in Damascus. "There is no Iraq to return to, my friend. Iraq only exists in our dreams and memories." The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported September last year that there are between 1.2 and 1.4 million Iraqi refugees in Syria alone. Most, like Alwan, do not intend to return. "I shall never return to Iraq until the last American soldier and Iranian mullah leaves," Alwan says. "It is their country now, not ours. The only thing that might take me back is when I decide to fight for Iraq's real liberty."... continua / continued
Saudis urged to leave Lebanon :
The Saudi Arabian embassy in Beirut has called on its nationals to leave Lebanon a day after a US warship was positioned off the country's coast.

Holocaust In Gaza

Israel vows more Gaza strikes after deadly blitz
By Sakher Abu El Oun in Gaza City
March 04, 2008 03:47am
ISRAEL has vowed to keep hitting Gaza even as troops pulled out of the Hamas-run territory after clashes that killed almost 120 Palestinians and dealt a major blow to Middle East peace talks.
"We are not prepared to show any tolerance, period. And we will respond. Our reaction is not limited to a specific operation or day," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a meeting of his Kadima party in Jerusalem.
By Al Jazeera - Video and Text
The total death toll over four days to 86 people, at least a third of which have been children, according to medical sources. Fifty-two people were killed during Saturday's raids alone. Continue
2 Minute Video
Six-month-old baby killed by Israel attacks:
Andrew Miga, reporting for The Associated Press, writes, "Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut plans to endorse former presidential rival Barack Obama."
Leslie Griffith, writing for Truthout, says: "On Friday, at a United Nations meeting in Geneva, the United States broke a series of legal promises. Keeping those promises would have proved extremely embarrassing to the United States government by pointing out that human rights abuses are being committed here at home and at US military installations abroad."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

By Paul Craig Roberts
The frame-up of Siegelman and businessman Richard Scrushy is so crystal clear and blatant that 52 former state attorney generals from across America, both Republicans and Democrats, have urged the US Congress to investigate the Bush administration's use of the US Department of Justice to rid themselves of a Democratic governor who "they could not beat fair and square,"
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