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The next time Romney says Obama did nothing to create jobs, introduce him to Mitch McConnell…


Thanks To Connecticut Against Linda McMahon

The President’s Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 would have spent $1 billion over five years to put veterans to work tending to federal lands, and in the nation’s police and fire departments. Created by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), it was based on FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Republicans say they opposed the bill because there is no proof that it would work. Forty Republican members of the United States Senate betrayed veterans when they decided that denying President Obama a victory was more important than spending $1 billion to create jobs for vets.

It doesn’t matter to most Senate Republicans that the CCC put 2.5 million people to work. When confronted with an actual jobs program for America’s vets, including the 220,000 who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of Republicans claimed the plan, which was already offset, was too expensive.

This is all part of Mitch McConnell’s stated goal to let Obama accomplish nothing. In so doing, he has made America worse. Here’s hoping vets in Kentucky make sure he loses the election.


188 Fact Checked Promises Kept By Barack Obama


The next time a Romney/Ryan follower tells you Obama didn’t do anything during his first term, hit them with this list… and ask them what the Republican candidates have done! Here are 188 promises made and kept by Obama:

Add another Space Shuttle flight
Allocate Homeland Security funding according to risk
Appoint a special adviser to the president on violence against women
Appoint a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security
Appoint an American Indian policy adviser
Appoint an assistant to the president for science and technology policy
Appoint at least one Republican to the cabinet
Appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer
Ask people and businesses to conserve electricity
Assure that the Veterans Administration budget is prepared as ‘must-pass’ legislation
Attract more students to science and math
Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees
Begin removing combat brigades from Iraq
Bolster the military’s ability to speak different languages
Centralize ethics and lobbying information for voters
Champion the importance of arts education
Change standards for determining broadband access
Close the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan
Conduct robust research and development on future space missions
Consider “smart growth” in transportation funding
Create a best practices list for private businesses in accommodating workers with disabilities
Create a community college partnership program
Create a consumer-friendly credit card rating system
Create a ‘Green Vet Initiative’ to promote environmental jobs for veterans
Create a Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score for mortgage comparisons
Create a military families advisory board
Create a national declassification center
Create a rapid response fund for emerging democracies
Create a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan
Create a Social Investment Fund Network
Create a White House Office on Urban Policy
Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes
Create an artist corps for schools
Create an international tax haven watch list
Create job training programs for clean technologies
Create new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud
Create new financial regulations
Create White House performance team and chief performance officer
Create youth service corps
Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq
Double federal spending for research on clean fuels
Eliminate the higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans
Enact tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars
Encourage farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient
Encourage water-conservation efforts in the West
End the “Stop-loss” program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments
End the abuse of supplemental budgets for war
End the use of torture
Enhance earth mapping
Equalize tax breaks for driving and public transit
Establish a credit card bill of rights
Establish an Energy Partnership for the Americas
Establish an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information
Establish program to convert manufacturing centers into clean technology leaders
Establish ‘Promise Neighborhoods’ for areas of concentrated poverty
Establish school programs to highlight space and science achievements
Establish special crime programs for the New Orleans area
Expand access to places to hunt and fish
Expand eligibility for Medicaid
Expand eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
Expand federal bioforensics program for tracking biological weapons
Expand funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners
Expand housing vouchers program for homeless veterans
Expand loan programs for small businesses
Expand Pell grants for low-income students
Expand public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations
Expand teacher mentoring programs and provide incentives for more planning time
Expand the Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers
Expand the Senior Corps volunteer program
Expand the Veterans Administration’s number of “centers of excellence” in specialty care
Expand Veterans Centers in rural areas
Explore whether International Space Station can operate after 2016
Extend and index the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch
Extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes
Extend monitoring and verification provisions of the START I Treaty
Extend the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes
Extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)
Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits
Fully fund federal contribution to the preservation of the Everglades
Fully fund the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
Fully fund the Veterans Administration
Fully fund the Violence Against Women Act
Fund a major expansion of AmeriCorps
Get his daughters a puppy
Give a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration
Give tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums
Grant Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba
Help states and localities address sprawl
If you don’t have insurance, or don’t like the insurance you have, you’ll be able to choose a new plan on a health insurance exchange
Implement “Women Owned Business” contracting program
Implement and fund proven health intervention programs
Improve climate change data records
Improve relations with Turkey, and its relations with Iraqi Kurds
Improve water quality
In non-competitive markets, force insurers to pay out a reasonable share of their premiums for patient care
Increase efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy
Increase funding for land-grant colleges
Increase funding for local emergency planning
Increase funding for national parks and forests
Increase funding for progams that conserve lands and habitat for select species such as the Osceola turkey
Increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency
Increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
Increase funding to expand community based prevention programs
Increase minority access to capital
Increase non-military aid to Afghanistan by $1 billion
Increase special operations forces and civil affairs
Increase spending to prepare for longer space missions
Increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps
Increase the Veterans Administration budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals
Initiate a grant and training program for law enforcement to deter cyber crime
Invest in all types of alternative energy
Invest in public transportation
Launch a supportive services-housing program for veterans to prevent homelessness
Launch an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)
Launch educational initiative for employers on tax benefits of hiring employees with disabilities
Make greater investment in advanced military air technology
Make military deployments predictable for troops and families
Make National Guard leader a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Make U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional on anti-terror efforts
More controlled burns to reduce wildfires
No permanent bases in Iraq
Open “America Houses” in Islamic cities around the globe
Open new consulates “in the tough and hopeless corners of the world”
Organize successful Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010
Partner to enhance the potential of the International Space Station
Promote cultural diplomacy
Promote innovative ways to reward good teachers
Promote more pre-school education
Protect American intellectual property abroad
Provide $30 billion over 10 years to Israel
Provide affordable, high-quality child care
Provide grants to early-career researchers
Provide grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes
Pursue a wildfire management plan
Push for a college football playoff system
Push for enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime law to include sexual orientation and other factors
Raise fuel economy standards
Raise the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009
Rebuild schools in New Orleans
Recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession
Reduce subsidies to private student lenders and protect student borrowers
Reform mandatory minimum sentences
Reform No Child Left Behind
Reform the patent system
Reinstate executive order to hire an additional 100,000 federal employees with disabilities within five years.
Release oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Release presidential records
Remove more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires
Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy
Reproductive health care will be “at the heart” of health care reform.
Require 10 percent renewable energy by 2012
Require Cabinet officials to host Internet town hall meetings
Require children to have health insurance coverage
Require economic justification for tax changes
Require health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care
Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions
Require large employers to contribute to a national health plan
Require more energy-efficient appliances
Require new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliation or contributions.
Require states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption
Restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program
Restore funding to the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Reverse restrictions on stem cell research
Seek verifiable reductions in nuclear stockpiles
Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan
Set goals and timetables for implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
Share enviromental technology with other countries
Sign a “universal” health care bill
Stand down nuclear forces to be reduced under the Moscow Treaty
Stop the development of new nuclear weapons
Strengthen and expand military exchange programs with other countries
Strengthen antitrust enforcement
Strengthen the levees in New Orleans
Support airline service in small towns
Support commercial access to space
Support funding and reform for Amtrak
Support high-speed rail
Support increased funding for the NEA
Support network neutrality on the Internet
Support regional innovation clusters
Use the International Space Station for fundamental biological and physical research
Use the private sector to improve spaceflight
Vigorously pursue hate crimes and civil rights abuses
We will kill bin Laden
Will seek more accommodations of bicycles and pedestrians
Work to build natural gas pipeline from Alaska
Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear
Work toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system


What if we’re not the Good Guys we think we are?

One thing that comes out of elections is the creation of positive images by candidates, developed by their campaign staff. The reason for this is we often know very little about the candidate’s previous life  and real opinions and find it easier to depend on definitive quotes rather than actual knowledge.

A quote from Mitt:

And the American people are the greatest people in the world. What makes America the greatest nation in the world is the heart of the American people: hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people.

So who are the American people that Mitt talks about? Perhaps these quotes make it more (or less) clear:

“This is not who we are.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the US massacre of 16 Afghan villagers.

“This is not who we are.”
— General John Allen, commander of forces in Afghanistan, on Koran burning

“This is not who we are.”
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on troops posing with enemy body parts

“This is not who we are.”
— Secretary of State Clinton, also on troops posing with enemy body parts

Spying by the New York Police on Muslims in Newark, NJ, which the Newark Police Chief was alerted to, is “not who we are”
— Newark Mayor Cory Booker

“I can tell you something all of you know already – that using pepper spray on peaceful protesters runs counter to our values. It does not reflect well on this university and it absolutely is not who we are.”
UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who ordered campus police to use force to clear peaceful student occupiers from the campus, leading to pepper spraying of students

“You can’t say, well, we developed trade and the economic relations first and the disregard of human rights. That’s not who we are. We are the United States of America.”
— Sasha Gong, director of the China branch of Voice of America


Mitt’s “hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people” are a concept… but does he really think they are a reality?

In other words, who does Mitt think we are and how will he twist that around to get votes? No one really believes we are perfect and moral… if they did, they never would listen to Mitt (or Newt, or even Barack.)

Someday it may be possible to have a government that is trusted to tell the truth. Meanwhile, we are not the good guys we think we are.

Why are we so stupid that we will be tied up in Afghanistan for another 12 years?

I hear it coming up in the Presidential campaign with insistence and regularity: We’re getting out of Afghanistan in 2014. Right? Yeah, it takes a long time to get all those troops and all that equipment out… 2014 is really pretty quick.


Today we signed a strategic partnership pact that pledges American support for Afghanistan for 10 years after the withdrawal of combat troops at the end of 2014.

Put your fingers away… the count is to 2024. The cost in money, military death and injury, Taliban conspiracies against American cities and people, and so many other things is more than poor indebted bozos like us can sustain.

The draft of the pact has been signed at the diplomatic level and will now be sent to Mr. Karzai and to the Afghan Parliament for review and approval, and also to President Obama and the White House. It will become final when signed by both presidents… and don’t even begin to think it won’t be signed.

Look, put the moral and ethical concerns aside… ignore what the majority of Americans think about our involvement in the longest war we have EVER been involved in… WTF are we going to pay for this with?

Costs totaling $2.7 billion a year have been discussed, but it would likely be more. Add in aid for civilian programs , too.

The powers that be will say that this is a reduction from the amount the United States now spends here (about $120 billion a year), and we should all feel the financial relief that brings. We just have to bring in a few bucks compared to what we have spent already (and still owe.) So where will we get it?

Money from the Rich? Doubt it. How much do you want to bet this will make them more rich (richer?)? Money from the rest of us? You betcha!

Let me be very clear about my political view here. I am a liberal and a Democrat, but this disgusting cesspool of foreign policy can be laid just as easily at the feet of Republicans and to those of President Obama. Neither side is putting America ahead of our military-economic suckfest.

Makes you wonder who you can vote for that will make any difference. It’s a good thing it is not the only issue being considered this year.

But it is an unabating one.

Major Quote of the Day – Do you want to get out of Afghanistan?

 This amazing solution is from Father Tyme on BlondSense:
You want to end this thing? Send every proponent who thought or thinks this American Military/Political/Business crusade justifiable; every Congress person who voted for this travesty along with their entire family; every Right Wingunt; every Pseudo-patriotic NASCAR sucking holier-than-thou Evangelical Right Wingunt Mother’s son and daughter; every Ted NugentVictoria JacksonPatricia HeatonKelsey GrammerMegyn Kelly-Money grubbing Rush Hudson Limbaugh-Bill O’Reilly-Glen Beck cocksucking bird brained “Let’s you and him fight, but not me” advocate; every unemployed Joe the Plumber who salutes the flag but hates anything non white; every media owner, media personality and political hack; every pajama-clad envelope stuffing/bake sale College Republican Chickenhawk; every money-loving bishop, priest, pastor, reverend who intentionally misinterpret and mouth beliefs different from a true Xtian gawd’s will (and any of their following sheep who thinks their religious leaders saints); every Fatherland Security Employee; every CEO, investor and banker’s child…send them all over there right now with the same equipment and unprepared training assholes like Rumsfeld, Powell, Bush etc. and now Obama thought and still think was and is acceptable…send them all over there – to Democratize and Americanize those heathens; to convert those infidels to American Business Dogma; to allow Americans their inalienable ability to suck all the oil they can suck; to make America safe for rapists, thieves and especially for increased business profits. While we’re at it send their aged, infirmed and invalid, handicapped or otherwise physically and/or mentally challenged parents as well.
I’d give it two days! They’ll all be home!
Send this to your Congress folks and Senators… send it to your local papers…pass it on all over the net. Someone has to get this travesty stopped!

Thoughts on Pearl Harbor Day

Seventy years ago the United States was attacked by the Japanese and we were plunged into what became World War II…and we stayed in some form of military activity for decades thereafter. Korea, Cuba, Viet Nam, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan… even times of peace have been warlike.

However, Pearl Harbor Day makes us realize that we were vulnerable to someone else’s plans (as did 9/11) and we became a defensive nation as a result.

I’d like to think that here in the 21st Century it was going to get better, but I don’t really think it will. Just think of the fun we’ll get into if Gingrich becomes President.

War Profiteers Kill Jobs!

Now go HERE to see what you can do about it,

The Longest Day of the Year…

Summer Solstice… today. Sunshine from early morning to early evening… the longest stretch of the year. We began the morning with rain, but the sun is out now (although there is a 60% chance that the rain will return later in the day or overnight. Great for the gardens, though.

I spent most of the morning at the dentist having a replacement tooth installed after a root canal. On the way home I stopped in the new local pharmacy to get my dentist’s prescription filled and ran into Delegate Doyle, our representative at the State legislature and a frequent visitor to the radio show. We exchanged some pleasantries and, later, the pharmacist said Doyle was checking out the new store… so he’s showing interest in his District.

I’m back at home now watching the Senate on C-Span2 as they debate Leon Panetta‘s nomination for Defense Secretary and whether or not to pull out of Pakistan, or Afghanistan, or Libya. Doesn’t look like we’re going to really get out anytime soon, although Obama is supposed to be presenting a partial Afghanistan withdrawal tomorrow (I don’t expect the percentage to be a big one or the time it takes to do it to be very fast.)

Meanwhile we move forward into the muck of the future..

Afghanistan Koran Protest Leaves At Least 8 Dead, 2 UN Staffers Beheaded

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Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan


MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan, April 1 (Reuters) – Eight foreign employees of the United Nations were killed on Friday in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif after protesters over-ran their compound, police said, in what looks to be the deadliest ever assault on the UN in Afghanistan.

Two of the dead were beheaded by attackers who also burned parts of the compound and climbed up blast walls to topple a guard tower, said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a police spokesman for the northern region.
Over a thousand protesters had flooded into the streets of the normally peaceful city after Friday prayers to denounce the burning of Islam’s holy book, the Koran, by a U.S. pastor, and after two or three hours violence broke out.
The chief of the mission in the city was wounded but survived, and the dead included employees of Norwegian, Romanian and Swedish nationalities, he added.
The Koran burning was denounced by Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Long-standing anger over civilian casualties has been heightened by the Koran burning and the recent publication of gruesome photographs of the body of an unarmed Afghan teenager killed by U.S. soldiers.The Christian preacher Terry Jones, who after international condemnation last year cancelled a plan to burn copies of the Koran, supervised the burning of the book in front of a crowd of about 50 people at an obscure church in Florida on Sunday, according to his website.

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I wonder when we are going to learn, as human beings, to do away with ALL religious beliefs which do nothing but pose us against each other… when we are going to stop ALL violence in general, including riots and wars, and talk things out so that everyone wins… when we are going to END the favoring of the very rich over the working poor and stress the equality of everyone. One thing seems certain, it’s not likely to happen in this century… and if we last the next 100 years as a species on this planet, despite pollution, war and greed, perhaps all humans will settle down and live bright and beautiful lives.
It may happen sooner if we all try hard enough…it may happen. But I doubt it.

Quote of the Day – on getting out of Afghanistan

America cannot afford an endless war in Afghanistan. After nearly a decade at war, with still no equal commitment from the Karzai government, and after all the lives we’ve sacrificed and the billions we’ve spent on this war, it’s time to start bringing our troops home. It’s time to put the future and security of Afghanistan in the hands of its own leaders, and focus America’s national security on the emerging and more imminent threats from al Qaeda in other regions.”

– Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on calling for passage of the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act

I think we should add some kind of statement that, Al Qaeda or not, we don’t get into another national civil war of any kind.

I’m Saluting the Democratic National Committee…

Current Chair, Barbara Lee

DNC Chair Barbara Lee

The DNC adopted a resolution yesterday to goose Obama in his getout from Afghanistan and to change the focus to job creation with results BY JULY! More power to them. Now that we have national polling results of over 70% of Americans wanting us out of Afghanistan ASAP, the DNC As such, they are joining the new majority.

The DNC also expressed support for the Unions and the Wisconsin Demonstrators. It’s clear that they have their ear to the ground as they plan the 2012 campaigns.

Anyway, here’s the transcript of yesterday’s resolution:

Resolution Supporting Ending the War in Afghanistan Now and Transferring the Funding to Job Creation, other Crucial Domestic Priorities and Deficit Reduction

Submitted by: Hon. Barbara Lee, California
Donna Brazile, DNC Vice Chair/District of Columbia
Hon. Mike Honda, DNC Vice Chair/California
Alice Germond, DNC Secretary/West Virginia

WHEREAS, the United States has been involved in war in Afghanistan for almost a decade and remains militarily engaged in what has become the longest war in American history; and

WHEREAS, the mounting costs of the war in Afghanistan, now totaling over $100 billion a year, have constrained efforts to invest in job creation and in strengthening our country and our economy; and

WHEREAS, according to a Gallup Poll released February 2, 2011, 72% of Americans favor action to “speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan”; and

WHEREAS, President Obama supports a transition to an Afghan-led security arrangement in Afghanistan “because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people‘s”; and

WHEREAS, a diplomatic solution in Afghanistan that emphasizes economic development, political reconciliation and inclusion, the engagement of regional and global stakeholders, and the safeguarding of basic human rights is essential to ensure long-term stability in Afghanistan and the surrounding region; and

WHEREAS, military and intelligence officials agree that the situation in Afghanistan will not ultimately be resolved by a military solution; and

WHEREAS, the national and economic security of the United States depend upon a national defense strategy which addresses the modern threat of global terrorism in an effective, sustainable, and comprehensive manner; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Democratic Party recognizes the enormous strain placed on the U.S. military servicemembers, and their families since 2001 as a result of continuing engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains committed to ensuring that our troops have the support that they require when deployed as well as the care that they and their families need and deserve when they return home;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Democratic Party supports prioritizing job creation and a swift withdrawal of U.S. armed forces and military contractors in Afghanistan which must include a significant and sizable reduction no later than July 2011.

Afghanistan is getting worse, not better…

This map showing the increase of high security risk areas growing in Afghanistan between March and October has been released by the UN.


What on Earth are we doing there? Isn’t it clear that we can’t succeed here?

And remember… if we get 100% out of Afghanistan, the money we save could solve ALL our other problems.

A comment on the death of Richard Holbrooke…

America had a very great loss this week with the death of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, 69,  The Bulldozer, who served this country as a negotiator and State Department problem solver for nearly five decades. Known for the Dayton Accords which ended the Bosnia conflict, at the time of his death during 20 hours of surgery for a torn aorta he had been working on the AfPak portfolio… solving the Afghanistan/Pakistan conflict diplomatically.

“He was one of a kind – a true statesman – and that makes his passing all the more painful,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement Monday evening. She praised Holbrooke’s “distinctive brilliance and unmatched determination.”
The Washington Post reports that Holbrooke’s last words came just before the 21-hour operation: 

As Holbrooke was sedated for surgery, his final words were to his Pakistani surgeon, family members said: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”

In an age like the present we can little afford to lose men like Holbrooke who make international agreements happen without the vastness of killing and violence that we find in war. He will be missed.

Another 30,000 troops going into Afghanistan…

Obama made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan today where he spoke with troops and announced that another 30,000 troops will be coming into the war zone. Add this to the 100,000 troops that are there already and the corrupt Afghan government (made even clearer by the Wikileaks revelations) and we see additions being made to a war that is not going well.

Obama didn’t visit with President Karzai… the claim was bad weather which, according to reporters on Dylan Ratigan this afternoon, is not true… it was a lovely weather day in Kabul. After the Wikileaks came out last week we discovered that Karzai was most likely crazy as well as being corrupt… and we know he stole the last election. He is just as likely to make a deal with the Taliban as he is to help the President.

Al Qaeda must be thrilled by all of this, since their intention is to make Afghanistan cost us more and more while making us weaker in the Middle East (they call this strategy “Death by a Thousand Cuts” and we are certainly bleeding.) Aren’t we going to face facts and get out? Doesn’t look like it.

Will religious idiots in the South listen to General Petraeus?

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The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Tuesday an American church’s threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide.

The comments from Gen. David Petraeus followed a protest Monday by hundreds of Afghans over the plans by Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center — a small, evangelical Christian church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy — to burn copies of the Quran on church grounds to mark the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States that provoked the Afghan war.

“Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,” Petraeus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Muslims consider the Quran to be the word of God and insist it be treated with the utmost respect, along with any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad.

Responding to Petraeus’ comments, Dove World Outreach Center’s senior pastor Terry Jones acknowledged Petraeus’ concerns as legitimate but said the church still planned to go ahead with the burning.

“We are at this time not going to cancel it. We’re still considering it and praying about it,” Jones told The Associated Press. “We are also just also concerned and wondering, when do we stop? How much do we back down? … Instead of us backing down, maybe it’s to time to stand up.”

The church, which made headlines last year after distributing T-shirts that said “Islam is of the Devil,” has been denied a permit to set a bonfire but has vowed to proceed with the burning. The congregation’s website estimates it has about 50 members, but the church has leveraged the Internet with a Facebook page and blog devoted to its Quran-burning plans.

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Some Predictions for the Fall…

1. Joe Manchin will be the next West Virginia Senator. He ran the field in the Saturday Democratic Primary and I see no reason why he won’t take the Senate in the same measure that he took the Governorship.

2. Karzai and U.S. are heading to a major fallout. This week Karzai fired the major corruption attorney which we placed in the Afghanistan government because he was getting too close. How long can this last?

3. Christmas Sales will fall flat this year… jobs won’t pick up enough. If only America would realize how many unemployed sixty-plus-year-olds are willing to apply their experience at much lower pay than they had been getting, we could really get out of a lot of this.

Glen Greenwald has a well-informed article on Yemen and the US in this morning’s Salon…

Here is his summation – it should encourage you to go in and read the rest:
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The campaign against the Park51 community center in Lower Manhattan is being condemned, rightfully so, because it is driven by a desire to stigmatize all Muslims and even institute a generalized war against Islam as American policy.  But far from Ground Zero, having nothing whatsoever to do with the warped right-wing fanatics driving that campaign, we’re increasingly engaging in actions perceived — understandably so — to be exactly the War against Muslims which, with our pretty presidential words, we renounce.  Escalation in Afghanistan, a sustained bombing campaign in Pakistan, all sorts of increased covert actions in multiple Muslim countries, the ongoing imprisonment with no charges of Muslims around the world, bellicose threats to Iran, and now a proposed expansion of our drone campaign into Yemen:  we can insist all we want that we are not waging a War Against Muslims, but it’s going to look to a huge number of people as though we’re doing exactly that.
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So here we are with another Muslim country to accidentally kill women and children in and make them love us. Thanks, Glenn.

This from CNN:

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The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan is a “lost cause,” said a former Pakistani intelligence chief, and the United States needs to negotiate peace with Taliban leader Mullah Omar. “You have to talk to him, and I’m sure it will work out very well,” Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview to air Sunday. 

U.S. intelligence documents published last week by WikiLeaks cited Gul and implicated Pakistani intelligence as supporting al Qaeda. Gul has denied the allegations. “I’m quite a convenient scapegoat,” he said. “I don’t support any one faction in Afghanistan. I support the Afghan nation.”

The career military officer, who supported the U.S.-backed Taliban resistance against Soviet occupation during the 1980s, called the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan “unjust” and said he sees legitimacy in the Afghan insurgency against Western forces. “This is a national resistance movement. It should be recognized as such,” he said.
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Perhaps we should listen to this guy…

The Big News of the Morning… the Wikileaks

Morning Joe is talking about, seemingly, nothing else this morning and Glenn Greenwald sums it up in Salon. Here’s a clip from Greenwald…
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The WikiLeaks Afghanistan leak
The most consequential news item of the week will obviously be — or at least should be — the massive new leak by WikiLeaks of 90,000 pages of classified material chronicling the truth about the war in Afghanistan from 2004 through 2009.  Those documents provide what The New York Times calls “an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal.”  The Guardian describes the documents as “a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fueling the insurgency.”
In addition to those two newspapers, WikiLeaks also weeks ago provided these materials to Der Spiegel, on the condition that all three wait until today to write about them.

Glenn Greenwald
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A Quote for the Day – I don’t think the Afghans agree with our strategy.

“We always have long meetings and many arguments. We always try to teach our foreign partners how to deal with a situation like this. We Afghans know better than you.”

-a senior Afghan official present at Pres. Karzai’s meeting with Gen. Petraeus.

Before we fired McChrystal the press told us how well he got along with Karzai. Now, pushing the plan McChrystal started, to get Afghan citizens to become soldiers against the Taliban and Al Q’aida, Petraeus doesn’t seem to have the arrangement nailed down.

Read more about it HERE.

Quote of the Day – Why are we in Afghanistan? asks Fareed Zakaria

“If Al Qaeda is down to 100 men there at the most, why are we fighting a major war?

“Last month alone there were more than 100 NATO troops killed in Afghanistan. That’s more than one allied death for each living Al Qaeda member in the country in just one month.

“The latest estimates are that the war in Afghanistan will cost more than $100 billion in 2010 alone. That’s a billion dollars for every member of Al Qaeda thought to be living in Afghanistan in one year.”

Damned if I don’t agree with him

Quote for the Day – Bob Herbert’s Saturday column said it all

“We’ve been in Afghanistan for nearly a decade already. It’s one of the most corrupt places on the planet and the epicenter of global opium production. Our ostensible ally, President Hamid Karzai, is convinced that the U.S. cannot prevail in the war and is in hot pursuit of his own deal with the enemy Taliban. The American public gave up on the war long ago, and it is not at all clear that President Obama’s heart is really in it.

For us to even consider several more years of fighting and dying in Afghanistan — at a cost of heaven knows how many more billions of American taxpayer dollars — is demented. “

– Bob Herbert in the NY Times.

“Demented” is the operative word here. There is no way out. It costs us more every day. It kills our servicemen. It supports a corrupt system. And it has become Obama’s property.

What will the American People do to turn this around? Probably nothing.

McChrystal Relieved of Duty…

McChrystal is out and Petraeus is in (his former assignment, no?). The President has made the decision that shows he is in charge of the military.

Now… can we really have a counter-insurgency status in Afghanistan. I just heard former Defense Secretary, Bill Cohen on MSNBC,  say “No.” General Barry McCaffrey, also on MSNBC, agreed with Cohen.

Everyone is waiting for Obama to come out and speak. AS I watch TV, he is coming out.

“Today I accepted General Stanley McChrystal’s resignation…”, Obama started out and then said nice words about McChrystal’s skills and ability to carry out orders.

I don’t hear him saying that we are pulling out of Afghanistan.



Obama’s statement:

And I would consider this the Quote of the Day:

“The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our Democratic system, and it erodes the trust that’s necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan.”

So what is Obama going to do with General Stanley McChrystal?

We should find out today. The General has been called in to have a face-to-face with the President, plus there will be a meeting of all the civilian and military folks who plan this war in Afghanistan, including those cabinet members and the Vice President that McChrystal and his staff also insulted in the Rolling Stone article.

Every different pundit is guessing that either something…or nothing (more like Obama’s record so far)… will happen.  McChrystal may be fired, or just brought down a peg in public, or stripped of his associates, or… well you get the idea,

James Fallows, in The Atlantic, yesterday, said the following:

If the facts are as they appear — McChrystal and his associates freely mocking their commander in chief and his possible successor (ie, Biden) and the relevant State Department officials (Holbrooke and Eikenberry) — with no contention that the quotes were invented or misconstrued, then Obama owes it to past and future presidents to draw the line and say: this is not tolerable. You must go. McChrystal’s team was inexplicably reckless in talking before a reporter this way, but that’s a separate question. The fact is — or appears to be — that they did it.

I agree with Fallows. This is what should happen. But there have been enough occasions that everyone thought Obama would do something, and he did something else… pulled back or underplayed one thing or another.

Obama could also have McChrystal courtmartialed under existing law. Spencer Ackerman in the very conservative Washington Independent looks at it this way:

Regardless of whether McChrystal should be fired — there’s, frankly, a compelling case to be made when considering the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s penalty of court martial for “any commissioned officer [using] contemptuous words” against the civilian chain of command — my guess is that he won’t be. Obama summoned McChrystal back to Washington pretty much immediately after the story hit, which suggests that he’s not thinking about a wholesale revision of his strategy.

So now we wait and see what Obama does. Will he get rid of McChrystal and secure the authority of civilian control of the military? Will he humiliate McChrystal and let him hang about on the vine with his staff, then keep him in place… thus keeping the Afghanistan action in place without change?

My guess is that McChrystal keeps his job and this stupid war goes on undiminished.

I hope I’m wrong.

Why Afghanistan is not worth the money the Pentagon is throwing into it…

This from Steve Clemons at The Washington Note:

The real GDP of Afghanistan is just about $14 billion.

And at current levels, the United States is spending nearly half the entire GDP of the nation in just 30 days — that’s right, half Afghanistan’s entire GDP!

This simply makes no sense. This is a huge misallocation of resources even if one believed that Afghanistan did represent a vital national security problem for the US. If one wanted to change the economic vector of the country, preferential trade and access to European, American, and Japanese markets would be one way to change the country’s course — though there would be politically consequential disruptions to firms and labor in the US that should receive impact support.

The costs would be trivial compared to what the Pentagon is demanding for a job that it is not designed for and in which it is not succeeding.

And I am getting so disappointed with Obama.