A draft of the GAO's report on Iraq says about what you would expect if you've been paying attention.
Iraq has met three of the 18 Congressionally mandated benchmarks. These numbers, actually quite good for a George W. Bush project, should give you some idea of the mess we have on our hands in Iraq.
Our troops have already paid way too high a price for a neo-con pipe dream.
General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker are going to Congress to explain that if you hold your head just right and squint really hard, you'll be able see how much better things are in Iraq than the report suggests. And most of Congress will start squinting and seeing the good stuff.
So once again Bush will get his way and our military, and our troops will continue the slow bleed in Iraq.
Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally
mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of
a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions
whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the
GAO found within the administration.
The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in
final form on Tuesday, comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new
benchmark report in the second week of September, along with congressional
testimony from Army Gen. David H. Petraeusthe top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. CrockerThey are expected to describe
significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political
reconciliation in Iraq.
The problem is that we don't have an opposition party
in this country. That's the role the Democrats are supposed
to play. Unfortunately, it seems that their party leaders and elected members
only have one set of testicles between them all and somebody misplaced them.
I mean they are letting the so-called "Bluedog Democrats" dictate the agenda. BTW these "Bluedog Democrats" are just the whores of Big Business, the NRA and the Religious Right. In other words, they're Republicans. And the Democrat party doesn't have the guts to do anything about them.
But conservative Democrats and some party leaders continue to worry that taking on those issues would expose them to Republican charges that they are weak on terrorism. And advocates of a strong push on the terrorism issues are increasingly skeptical that they can prevail.
Conservative Democrats, including Rep. Allen Boyd (Fla.), argued just as vociferously that Democrats dare not leave on vacation without passing the White House bill.
"The most controversial matters are the ones that people use to form their opinions on their members of Congress," said Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), who voted for the administration's bill. "I do know within our caucus, and justifiably so, there are members who have a real distaste for some of the things the president has done. But to let that be the driving force for our actions to block the surveillance of someone and perhaps stop another attack like 9/11 would be unwise."
The administration's bill passed 227 to 183, with 41 Democrats joining all but two Republicans in favor.
Pathetic, especially when you look at what they're up against. The place to start looking would probably be public restrooms.
What's up with Republican politicos getting arrested by undercover cops for soliciting sex in public restrooms? First, Florida state representative Bob Allen, formerly John McCain's state campaign co-chair, was arrested in July after he offered a police officer $20 for the privilege of performing oral sex. And today, news broke that back in June, Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), long the subject of gay rumors, was arrested in a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes cop investigating lewd conduct in the men's bathroom. Both men are married--to women.
Really, these guys are the horny Keystone Kops of political parties. And the Democrats in Congress just roll over for them. I know there's got to be some real Democrats out there. It's time to make the Democrat Party stand for something.
It was a bizarre spectacle, and only the latest in a string of accusations of sexual foibles and financial misdeeds that have landed Republicans in the political equivalent of purgatory, the realm of late-night comic television.
Forget Mark Foley of Florida, who quit the House last year after exchanging sexually explicit e-mail messages with under-age male pages, or Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist whose dealings with the old Republican Congress landed him in prison. They are old news, replaced by a fresh crop of scandal-plagued Republicans, men like Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, whose phone number turned up on the list of the so-called D.C. Madam, or Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and Representative Rick Renzi of Arizona, both caught up in F.B.I. corruption investigations.
But there is good news for Democrats, college students are getting politically active again. Students at Xavier are fund raising to get liberal speakers to counter Ann Coulter's appearence there on Sep. 6.
She has every right to speak her mind (and she's paid well to do it, her $20,000+ speaking fee equals about $5 for every Xavier student). But we speak our minds, too; for values like compassion, equality, and diversity. The same values Xavier students work to uphold with groups like Xavier's Gay-Straight Alliance, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, and Earthcare.
And at American University, the Secret Service has issued arrest warrants for mooning a man that's flattered by an idiot calling him "Turdblossom". I would think in this case, that mooning Karl Rove should be covered under the First Amendment.
Yesterday Wonkette reported that departing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was looking to get even with some students at American University who had the tenacity to show him their asses. See, back in April Rove gave a speech before the university's College Republicans, meeting with some feisty protesters as he made his way out. Those arrested were forced into 40 hours of community service, and that was that. But now arrest warrants have been issued by the Secret Service for the mooners.
Either George Bush thinks most of us are stupid or he just don't know what the hell is going on. He went to New Orleans yesterday and told them that they are not "forgotten".
"I am frustrated with President Bush, his red tape, and his apparent low regard for the struggle of New Orleans," said Shelley Midura, a member of the City Council. "He has basically handed New Orleans a modest chest of recovery gold that is sealed shut under an elaborate system of locks that help keep his administration's promise of rebuilding from becoming reality."
Just ignored, I guess.
We are coming up on the two-year mark since the Katrina debacle in Louisiana and Mississippi. I hesitate to call this date an anniversary because the word implies, in some way, a celebration, a birth. What we are scratching on the calendar is more like a notch on a raw gravestone, a count of the days and years that have passed without a reckoning for those who died, those who lost loved ones and for a city that is still in critical condition.
Fellow right-wing nut, Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi has raked in the lion's share of relief money. But in true GOP fashion, you don't get much for your money.
Today, Hancock County and the rest of coastal Mississippi are 21 months into a recovery that has garnered Gov. Haley Barbour lavish praise. Governing magazine named Barbour its 2006 Public Official of the Year largely due to his supposed post-Katrina leadership and savvy, including his skill in convincing federal lawmakers to channel billions of relief dollars to the Magnolia State. As Billy Hewes III, a Republican official from Gulfport, said: "He is to Katrina what Rudy Giuliani was to 9/11." Outsiders might be surprised to learn then, that despite the plaudits, and despite the fact that Barbour's GOP connections seem to have won him a disproportionate share of relief money from Washington, post-Katrina recovery in some of the hardest-hit areas of the Mississippi coast is moving as fast as molasses in winter.
The Republicans are starting to eat their own. No pun intended.
The intensity of the Republican leaders' assault on one of their own was stunning, if for no other reason than its unusual -- un-senatorial -- nature. Several ethics lawyers and experts could not provide an example in the past two decades of one senator calling for the ethics committee to investigate a colleague.
The Army is going to investigate $3 billion in contract fraud in Iraq. 3 billion seems like a cheap out for the contractors, considering all the of billions in contracts handed out in Iraq. The Army's going to give us a show by putting a band aid on a decapitation.
The Army will examine as many as 18,000 contracts awarded over the past four years to support U.S. forces in Iraq to determine how many are tainted by waste, fraud and abuse, service officials said yesterday.
Take a break and check out the specious report's Larry Craig's Airport Tips.
JFK (Kennedy International Airport)
For a small-town boy like me, an airport as big as Kennedy can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are lots of bathrooms where you can stop to catch your breath, wiggle your fingers, and rub your foot against a neighbor's. But in between your trips to the restroom (especially the one in Terminal 4!) there is so much to do at JFK!