Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ford was against the war before he was for it...

Or so the battling stories proport to indicate.

First the Washington Post and Bob Woodward's carefully worded column;
Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 28, 2006; A01

Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration.

In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney -- Ford's White House chief of staff -- and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

In a conversation that veered between the current realities of a war in the Middle East and the old complexities of the war in Vietnam whose bitter end he presided over as president, Ford took issue with the notion of the United States entering a conflict in service of the idea of spreading democracy.

"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford said, referring to Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people." But the former president said he was skeptical "whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest." He added: "And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."

The Ford interview -- and a subsequent lengthy conversation in 2005 -- took place for a future book project, though he said his comments could be published at any time after his death. In the sessions, Ford fondly recalled his close working relationship with key Bush advisers Cheney and Rumsfeld while expressing concern about the policies they pursued in more recent years.

But then there is this from the New York Daily News;

Last lunch with a legend

Speaks candidly about the WMDs and war in Iraq


Thomas DeFrank, the Washington bureau chief for the Daily News, is seen in this 1996 photo talking to Gerald Ford. The men struck up a friendship that lasted three decades. Below, the two chat on Air Force One.
Daily News Washington Bureau Chief Thomas M. DeFrank interviewed Gerald Ford more than three dozen times during the late President's retirement years. He saw Ford in November at his California home and spent more than two hours with him May 11 for this, his final interview.

Ford was a few weeks shy of his 93rd birthday as we chatted for about 45 minutes. He'd been visited by President Bush three weeks earlier and said he'd told Bush he supported the war in Iraq but that the 43rd President had erred by staking the invasion on weapons of mass destruction.

"Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him," he observed, "but we shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of mass destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does [Bush] get his advice?"

Now of course the WaPo article leaves you with the impression that Ford was against invading Iraq after reading the headline. It's not until reading the article do you get a sense that he really had a problem with the justification used, but Woodward didn't come right out and say that. The NY Daily News article leaves know doubt that is what he meant.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Just in time!

Boy those dems are good!
Sales of New Homes Post Gain in November
Dec 27 10:14 AM US/Eastern

AP Economics Writer


Sales of new homes rose in November while the backlog of unsold homes fell for a fourth straight month, providing hope that the serious slump in housing could be ending.

Sales of new single-family homes rose by 3.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.047 million units, reflecting solid sales increases in every region of the country except the South.

The increase was better than had been expected and offered hope that the steep slide in housing may be starting to bottom out as builders, using a wide array of incentives, begin to make a dent in the record level of unsold homes.

The 3.4 percent rebound in sales last month was the third increase in the past four months. It helped to lift the median price for a new home to $251,700, an increase of 3.2 percent from a year ago. The median price is the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less.

The housing industry has undergone a severe slowdown this year following a prolonged boom that had been fueled by the lowest mortgage rates in more than four decades.

This year's slump followed five years in which sales of both new and existing homes had set records.

What some are calling a recession in housing has been a big factor in the economy's overall slowdown, cutting 1.2 percentage points from growth in the July-September quarter, a period when the economy expanded at a lackluster pace of just 2 percent.

Many analysts believe housing is continuing to act as a drag on growth in the current quarter and will continue to depress activity through the early part of 2007.

The number of unsold homes fell by 1.4 percent in November to 545,000. It was the fourth straight decline in inventories after they had hit an all-time high of 573,000 units in July. Builders have been cutting prices and offering various incentives such as helping to cover closing costs in an effort to move finished homes and reduce high cancellation rates.

It would take 6.3 months to exhaust the current supply of homes at the November sales pace, down from 6.7 months in October and 7.2 months in July.

Sales last month increased in all parts of the country except the South, where they fell by 9.3 percent. Sales were up 22.5 percent in the Northeast, a rebound from a huge 35.5 percent drop in October. Sales rose by 22.4 percent in the Midwest and 19 percent in the West.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Remember this?

Remember when the Dems were so outraged by the cost of the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies? This is from January 20, 2005;

No expense spared at inauguration

By Kevin Anderson
BBC News website, Washington

With an estimated price tag of $40m, the three-day celebration that is President Bush's second inauguration will be the most expensive ever.

The lavish dinners, parties and fireworks began on Tuesday and will continue through his swearing-in on Thursday, followed by a parade and nine official inaugural balls.

The band Fuel perform at a pre-inauguration concert hosted by the president's daughters
Concerts and balls began on Tuesday
The cost will be paid by individual and corporate donations, while the city of Washington is being asked to pay for an estimated $17m in security costs.

Some have criticised the expense, questioning the propriety of a flashy celebration as US troops are dying in Iraq and South Asia still recovers from last month's deadly tsunami.

The overt criticism of an inauguration is unusual, but a Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans would prefer a smaller, more subdued event.

Well look at this;
Pelosi plans swearing-in bash
New House speaker aims to recast herself and her party

By Lyndsey Layton
The Washington Post
Updated: 12:21 a.m. ET Dec 22, 2006

On a scale associated with presidential inaugurations, Nancy Pelosi is planning four days of celebration surrounding her Jan. 4 swearing-in as the first female speaker of the House. She will return to the blue-collar Baltimore neighborhood where she grew up, attend Mass at the women's college where she studied political science, and dine at the Italian Embassy as Tony Bennett sings "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

But the hoopla is more than just a party.

Pelosi is grabbing the moment to present herself as the new face of the Democratic Party and to restore the party's image as one hospitable to ethnic minorities, families, religion, the working class and women.

I am sure there will NOT be sufficient outrage with this as well...

Detroit ignores voters...

City of Detroit has decided the hell with the voters, we won't do it!

Detroit: Race ban won't change its rules

Marisa Schultz / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- The state's largest city has no immediate plans to stop giving favor to businesses owned by minorities and women, despite the state ban on racial and gender preferences that begins Saturday.

Detroit gives extra points to minority- and female-owned companies when assessing bids for city contracts. Those efforts to encourage diversity will continue beyond Saturday, said Matt Allen, a spokesman for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The city will not be violating the state law, Allen said Thursday, because city officials believe affirmative action is a federal issue, not a state one.

"The mayor believes this will eventually be settled in federal court, where it belongs and where it will be clarified," Allen said. "He believes the states cannot just opt out."

On the eve of Proposal 2's implementation, Detroit joins a growing list of communities, universities -- and even state government -- that are not planning to alter their policies by Saturday.

"I'm not anticipating any changes to state government," said Liz Boyd, spokeswoman for Gov. Jennifer Granholm. "We are still in the fact-finding mode and we are still assessing the impact of Proposal 2. We will be awaiting that review."

Two days after Michigan voters passed Proposal 2 by 58 percent, Granholm ordered the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to review state programs for compliance with Proposal 2. She gave the commission 90 days.The amendment to the Michigan Constitution, however, takes effect on the 46th day after the election -- Saturday.

Legal exceptions were granted to the University of Michigan and Wayne State and Michigan State universities, which together won a court motion to delay the impact of the proposal until July 1 for admissions and financial aid. That's when their current admissions and financial aid cycles are completed.

U-M and MSU officials have said they will not eliminate their affirmative action programs in hiring because they are required under the federal government, they say.

One of the state programs that has been called into question is a Michigan Department of Transportation's contracting policy that sets aside about 10 percent of its highway work for companies owned by women and minorities.

Affirmative action foes have challenged that program saying it goes beyond what the law actually requires. However, transportation officials have said the program is a federal requirement.

"Federal guidelines mandated that we have a disadvantaged business program in place in order to get federal money," said Bill Shreck, MDOT spokesman. "That's $750-$800 million that comes to Michigan for roads. The state's road system would be hard pressed to be the backbone of the economy without that money."

Some Michigan cities are making steps toward change.

Grand Rapids identified 13 programs or practices and seven city policies that will change. City Manager Kurt Kimball said the city will still strive for diversity but within the confines of the law.

The city of Lansing has asked a court -- so far unsuccessfully -- for more time to implement Proposal 2, fearing they won't be in compliance by Saturday.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said he convened a team of city employees to evaluate the amendment's impact on city programs immediately after the election. The city has special programs in minority and women contracting.

"They've been working feverishly and it became clear that we were not going to meet the Dec. 23 deadline," Bernero said. "You would have to hire, on a consulting basis, an entire law firm" to make the date.

Kilpatrick directed the city's law department to research the impact of the ban; that review has not yet been completed, Allen said. Detroit has no plans to ask for a delay.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Raleigh N&O wants Nifong out!

Now the once supportive Raleigh Nuisance & Disturber wants Nifong off the Duke Lacrosse case;
Why the D.A. should be off the case

By Joseph Kennedy

CHAPEL HILL - Whether the defendants in the Duke lacrosse case are guilty or innocent, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong should disqualify himself, or be disqualified, from the case.

On Friday, Nifong's own witness essentially accused him of breaking the law. An actual conflict of interest now exists between Nifong's need to defend himself against possible charges of misconduct and his obligation to prosecute the case fairly and effectively.

In court Friday, the head of a lab that Nifong retained to analyze DNA samples testified that he and Nifong intentionally decided to exclude from the expert's report the fact that DNA analyzed from the clothes and body of the accuser did not belong to any of the defendants but came instead from unidentified males.

N.C. General Statute 15A-903 requires that a prosecution expert provide a report of the results of any tests performed and that the prosecutor furnish that report to the defense. Deciding to exclude these results is deciding to violate this law.

A prosecutor also has an obligation under the U.S. Constitution and under N.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8 to disclose to the defense evidence which tends to suggest the innocence of a defendant -- including evidence that calls the credibility of a state witness into question. DNA results showing the absence of DNA material from the accused and the presence of DNA material from other men goes to the credibility of the accuser's account and therefore needs to be disclosed.

Excuse me?

So now Joe Wilson doesn't want to testify as a defense witness in the Scooter Libby trial. He said that Libby is trying to harrass him. Oh my goodness, what a wimp!
Wilson Challenges Subpoena in CIA Case

The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 20, 2006; 10:18 PM

WASHINGTON -- Former ambassador Joseph Wilson asked a federal judge Wednesday not to force him to testify in the CIA leak case and accused former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of trying to harass him on the witness stand.

Libby, who faces perjury and obstruction charges, subpoenaed Wilson as a defense witness this month. Libby's attorney, William Jeffress, said in court Tuesday that was a precautionary move and he did not expect to put Wilson on the stand.

Libby is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding Wilson's wife, outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. Plame and Wilson have sued Libby and other Bush administration officials, accusing them of plotting to leak Plame's identity as retribution for Wilson's criticism of prewar intelligence on Iraq.

"Mr. Libby should not be permitted to compel Mr. Wilson's testimony at trial either for the purpose of harassing Mr. Wilson or to gain an advantage in the civil case," Wilson's attorneys wrote.

While Wilson and Plame are at the center of the CIA leak scandal, Wilson is a minor figure in Libby's perjury trial. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton has sought to keep much of the back story of the leak out of the case.

Didn't Richard Armitage already admit to be the source of the leak? Oh thats right, facts don't matter.

The art of answering the unasked question...

See how skillfully Hillary avoids answering the only intelligent and challenging question asked of her during her appearance on the Rosie O'Donnell Show, I mean "The View";

Behar: "Last time you were here, I asked you if you were sorry that you didn't vote against the Iraq war. Do you remember that?"

Clinton: "I do remember that."

Behar: "How do you feel about it now?"

Clinton: "Well, I, you know, I have said repeatedly that, you know, if we had known then, there wouldn't have been a vote, what we know now. The problem is we’ve got to figure out what to do going forward. It, it really, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s such a serious challenge to us and part of the problem is that I think the comprehensiveness of the need for a strategy is something that I don't get a feel that the President and his advisors are really looking at. So I'm hoping that they will, you know, really follow the lead of what the Democrats have been saying for, you know, more than a year, when we voted for something called phased redeployment, which is, we have to begin bringing our troops home."

Behar: "But that's not what he's saying now. He’s saying increase the troops."

Clinton: "That’s not what he’s saying. That’s right."

Anthony: "He's saying more troops."

Hasselbeck: "He’s saying–[crosstalk] in the short term, right? Is that the plan? Increase the troops short term–"

Clinton: "Right. But, but the problem is that, how will it be different? Will this Iraqi government let our troops go after the terrorists? Will they let them go after the people who are causing the violence or will they say no and pull them back again? So, if it's not going to change the mission, if it's not going to be a different strategy, I don't see where putting more troops will make a difference."

Hasselbeck: "Do you think pulling them out too early will–would equate to–sometimes I think of it as, you know, not finishing all of your antibiotics. Okay, there’s a problem there."

Clinton: "Right."

Hasselbeck: "So if you pull out too early, will that create more chaos?"

Clinton: "That’s right. Well, the, but, but the issue is, how do we get the Iraqis to start taking responsibility for themselves?"

Jobs Americans DO want !

I thought these were jobs that Americans didn't want to do? Calling John McCain.
Loss for one is another's gain
Applicants line up to fill jobs left empty by Swift plant raid

By Fernando Quintero, Rocky Mountain News
December 15, 2006

GREELEY - The line of applicants hoping to fill jobs vacated by undocumented workers taken away by immigration agents at the Swift & Co. meat-processing plant earlier this week was out the door Thursday.

Among them was Derrick Stegall, who carefully filled out paperwork he hoped would get him an interview and eventually land him a job as a slaughterer. Two of his friends had been taken away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and he felt compelled to fill their rubber boots.

"Luckily, they had no wives or family they left behind. But it was still sad. They left their apartments filled with all their stuff. I took two dogs one of them had. The other guy had a cat I gave to my sister," he said.

Greg Bonifacio heard about the job openings on television and brought his passport, his Colorado driver's license, his Social Security card and even a color photograph of himself as a young Naval officer to prove his military service.

"I don't want to hassle with any identification problems because of my last name," said Bonifacio, a 59- year-old Thornton resident of Filipino heritage.

As it turned out, the Colorado Workforce office that was taking applications did not require any identification.

That would come later for those who made it past the interview process.

Bonifacio was hoping to get a job in production or fabrication. So was Nathan Korgan, a former construction worker whose company closed and moved to California.

"I feel bad for the kids, but good for me," said Korgan of Tuesday's raid.

Like many others who had mixed emotions about the raid, Maxine Hernandez said she was upset that families were torn apart, but believes illegal immigrants should not get work using fake documents.

"I guess I'm in the middle," she said. "But I do think they should have planned (the raid) better so that innocent children wouldn't be left behind."

Hernandez, who had gone to the employment office because her husband was there to apply for unemployment insurance, decided to apply for a job at Swift on a whim.

"My whole family used to work there. My mom, my aunt, uncles," she said. "I guess it sort of runs in our blood."

Reid doing a Kerry

From NRO:

He was for a surge, before he was against it:

FOR: Reid backs temporary rise in troops in Iraq (Reuters, December 17, 2006)

AGAINST: “Frankly, I don't believe that more troops is the answer for Iraq.” ((Blog post, December 19, 2006)


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Media gleefully reports "we're not winning..." remark

However after closer inspection its not all that clear that the President actually said it, he was just quoting what Gen Peter Pace said, here'e the exact quote from the Washington Post;
Bush told The Washington Post in Wednesday’s editions that “you know, I think an interesting construct that Gen. Pace uses is, ‘We’re not winning, we’re not losing.’ ”

So does that mean Bush thinks that? Maybe, but maybe not. However some context would be appreciated and also how about including the "we're not losing" comment as well. I know that doesn't jive with the media agenda.

Hey Katie, it's none of your damn business!

Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News;
"Laura Bush has been treated for skin cancer, and today she and others in the administration were defending her decision to try to keep that story out of the press.”


So because Laura Bush decided that she did not want to publicize the fact that she had a cancerous tumor removed, Katie feels dissed. Too damn bad! It's called privacy! Ever hear of that? No of course not, you in the press feel that it is the obligation of everyone to inform you first and foremost of every single event in one's life.

So Katie, what ailements have you been treated for lately? Feel free to lead off your newcast with a list.

Here's an example of the female brigade of the WH press corp going nutty over the news that they were not informed of this personal and private issue immediately.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.


Now the Joy Behar apology countdown begins...

Maybe they should rename the show "The Apology." First Rosie insults the Chinese and apologizes, then she calls Kelly Ripa homophobic which prompted Ripa to call in and smack Rosie down, she apologized again. Now Joy Behar calls Rumsfeld "Hilter-like" and does not get the audience reaction she expected. Of course she equated their reaction with putting Rumsfeld on the cover of Time when what they were really reacting to was her idiotic comparison.

Isn't this getting a little ridicules? I mean, when Hitler is constantly used as a comparison to current political figures it diminishes just how evil Hitler actually was.

It also highlights how tremendously stupid, arrogant and ignorant today's Hollywood elites are.

If I had known then I would run for president now...

Hillary Clinton Says She Wouldn't Have Voted For Iraq War

December 18, 2006 4:02 PM

ABC News' David Chalian Reports: As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to assess a possible presidential candidacy and the contours of a Democratic nomination fight, she has taken another step away from her 2002 vote authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq by saying that she "wouldn't have voted that way" if she knew everything she knows now.

Bono is "alarmed" with Dems

The question is shouldn't he have known better?
Democrats leave Bono disappointed

Anti-poverty activist gets no promise of funds


Meetings in Washington last Thursday between rock star Bono and Democrats, including Senate leader Harry Reid of Nevada, yielded a nice photo-op but not much else, according to Bono.

Bono, the U2 frontman and anti-poverty activist, was on Capitol Hill to seek assurances that $1 billion in planned U.S. spending to fight AIDS and malaria in Africa would not be lost if Congress freezes agency budgets in the coming year.

Bono said he also was seeking to close a "commitment gap" between what President Bush has requested for anti-poverty efforts and what Congress has agreed to spend in the past.

After meetings with incoming Senate Majority Leader Reid, House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, Bono said he came away empty-handed.

"I'm alarmed we could not get a commitment from the Democratic leadership to prevent the loss of $1 billion in the continuing resolution," Bono said Thursday in a statement.

Friday, December 15, 2006

AP on the case, as usual...

The AP, doing its usual thorough job of reporting, fails to even mention in passing the current controversy surrounding Jimmy Carter and his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In case you get your news from the AP, Carter has been accused of stealing maps created by forme Amb. Dennis Ross, using them in his book and then relabeling them in a misleading fashion.

Carter Nixes Debate With Outspoken Prof

Dec 15 2:42 PM US/Eastern

Former President Carter turned down a request to debate Alan Dershowitz about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the outspoken Harvard law professor "knows nothing about the situation."

Carter, author of a new book advocating "peace not apartheid" in the region, said he will not visit Brandeis University to discuss the book because the university requested he debate Dershowitz.

"I don't want to have a conversation even indirectly with Dershowitz," Carter said in Friday's Boston Globe. "There is no need ... to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine."

The school's debate request, Carter said, is proof that many in the United States are unwilling to hear an alternative view on the nation's most taboo foreign policy issue, Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.

Carter brokered the 1978 Camp David peace accord between Israel and Egypt and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. He said the goal of his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," is to provoke dialogue and action.

"There is no debate in America about anything that would be critical of Israel," he said.

The reference to "apartheid," the word for South Africa's former system of state-sanctioned racial segregation, has angered some rabbis because it appears to equate that system with the treatment of Palestinians.

"President Carter said he wrote the book because he wanted to encourage more debate; then why won't he debate?" said Dershowitz, a vocal First Amendment advocate who has worked for O.J. Simpson and other high-profile clients.

Brandeis was founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian university under the sponsorship of the American Jewish community. Carter said he initially was interested in going there.

"I thought it would be a good idea to go to a campus that had a lot of Jewish students and get a lot questions," he said. But then the initial proposal evolved into a plan for a debate.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Senator Tim Johnson

Oh my, brain surgery. Lets hope and pray that Sen Johnson pulls through. If anyone has heard the conference call when the Senator became disoriented and then later collapsed in his office, it is a very scary thing. Brings it all back home.

Thoughts and prayers.

Sen. Johnson Undergoes Surgery for Stroke-Like Symptoms

Thursday, December 14, 2006 AP

Sen. Tim Johnson was admitted to a D.C. hospital Thursday for a possible stroke.

WASHINGTON — South Dakota Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson is in critical condition Thursday
after undergoing brain surgery for stroke-like symptoms at George Washington University Hospital.

Details of the surgery were not distributed by the hospital, except that it began Wednesday night and lasted past midnight.

Monday, December 11, 2006

DP World sells port operations to "Big Insurance"

Dubai-Based Company Sells U.S. Port Businesses

Published: December 11, 2006

LONDON, Dec. 11 — Terminal operations at six American seaports were sold today by the Middle Eastern company that briefly controlled them, closing a controversial chapter in American security and foreign policy.

The company, DP World — based in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates — said today that it had agreed to sell all its United States holdings, including the 6 terminal operations, cargo-handling businesses at 16 American ports and the passenger-ship terminal in New York City, to a subsidiary of the American International Group, the giant American insurance company.

The six terminal operations include the ports of New York, Newark, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Tampa and New Orleans. DP World, which is owned by the Dubai government, acquired the leases and operating contracts for the six ports in February when it bought a British port and shipping company, Peninsular and Oriental Holdings, for $6.8 billion.

The deal prompted an immediate storm of criticism from American politicians of both parties, who claimed that it threatened national security and was being rushed through without proper regulatory scrutiny. Their objections were based in part on the fact that several of the Sept. 11 hijackers moved through the United Arab Emirates before coming to the United States, and made use of its banking system.

Foley Scandal - What we all knew already finally comes out.

Democrats Knew

No Prosecution Of Foley Likely

And he is still a creep and its a good thing he is out of Congress! However the media can congratulate themselves for successfully hiding the fact that the Democrats knew just as much (maybe more) about Foley as the Republican leadership and they allowed the Democrates to exploit it to their political advantage.

After all, its all about protecting the children. Isn't it?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq "Surrender" Group

I like it, thats what it is! From the Washington Times;
The 'Iraq Surrender Group'

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
December 5, 2006

Tomorrow, an unelected, unaccountable and substantially unqualified commission will formally report what hasn't already been leaked about its recommendations with respect to the conflict in Iraq. The title of the commission is the Iraq Study Group (ISG). Given the nature of its contribution, a better name would be the "Iraq Surrender Group."

Led by former Republican Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton, the ISG's members have reportedly decided that the United States must withdraw its forces from Iraq, that we must start doing so in substantial numbers by 2008 and that we have to open negotiations with Iran and its wholly owned subsidiary, Syria.

An early indication of the way in which this bipartisan diktat will be received in official Washington can be seen in the vacuous response of the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware announced over the weekend that the president should accept the surrender commission's report -- even before its complete contents become known.

The good news is that George W. Bush has made known, both publicly and privately, that he has no intention of surrendering to our Islamofascist and other enemies in Iraq. He understands something that has evidently eluded the ISG's worthies: We are in a global war and that, if we run from Iraq, there is nowhere to hide.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bush gives in to Dems, starts immediate redeployment!

Just days before the Iraq Study Group releases its top-secret report, President George Bush today ordered the Pentagon to preemptively redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq to “neutral neighboring countries including Iran and Syria.”

“I’ve said that I won’t order our troops to make a graceful exit from Iraq,” said Mr. Bush, “But I never ruled out making a graceful entrance into Iran and Syria where I expect our partners in peace to welcome us with open and raised arms.”

The order surprised many, coming as it does on the heels of news that the Pentagon has discovered “smoking gun” evidence that terrorists in Iraq use weapons shipped from Iranian factories to kill U.S. troops and others.

But Mr. Bush said the Iraq Study Group, Kofi Annan and other Democrats have convinced him that engagement with Iran and Syria is crucial to finding a “holistic solution” to the Iraq situation.

Nancy, Harry and Murtha should be very happy!

Speaking of ethics....

Students attending Columbia University's journalism school were caughting cheating on an exam.

An ethics exam.

A take home ethics exam.

A take home, pass/fail, ethics exam that consisted of two questions.
Columbia University officials are lowering the boom on some graduate journalism students suspected of cheating on, of all things, an ethics exam.

The J-schoolers' alleged lapse on the final was reported yesterday by Radar Online.

The exam in question consisted of two essay questions to be completed in 90 minutes any time during a 36-hour period.

Students who took the test early were instructed to avoid discussing the questions with those planning to take it later, but the warning was ignored.

One honorable young scholar got wind of what happened and blew the whistle, sources said.

Vice Dean David Klatell told students in an e-mail that there had been a "serious problem" with the final and ordered them to attend a special session of the class "Critical Issues in Journalism" today - or fail.

The order applies only to the Friday morning section. The evening section is exempt.

It was unclear how many students could be affected.

The course, which includes such issues as "Why be Ethical?" and "Tribal Loyalty vs. Journalistic Obligation," is taught by New York Times columnist Samuel G. Freedman, who could not be reached yesterday.

Problem #3 for Pelosi

Ethics reform, yeah thats the ticket...
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) is under investigation by the FBI. And he’s set to assume a top post which would put him in control of the FBI’s budget. Neat trick, eh?

The FBI’s probing Mollohan for possible violations of the law arising from his sprawling network of favors and money which connects him to good friends via questionable charities, alarmingly successful real estate ventures, and hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarked funds.

The investigation appears to be active and ongoing. We’re told that the Feds continue to gather information on the guy. Yet the Democrats look poised to make Mollohan the chairman of the panel which controls the purse strings for the entire Justice Department – including the FBI.

Harry Reid said yesterday that the Dems top 3 priorities are raising the minimum wage, stem cell research and ethics reform. Oh brother!

But I thought they said we would leave?

Idea of Rapid Withdrawal From Iraq Seems to Fade

Published: December 1, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 — In the cacophony of competing plans about how to deal with Iraq, one reality now appears clear: despite the Democrats’ victory this month in an election viewed as a referendum on the war, the idea of a rapid American troop withdrawal is fast receding as a viable option.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff are signaling that too rapid an American pullout would open the way to all-out civil war. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group has shied away from recommending explicit timelines in favor of a vaguely timed pullback. The report that the panel will deliver to President Bush next week would, at a minimum, leave a force of 70,000 or more troops in the country for a long time to come, to train the Iraqis and to insure against collapse of a desperately weak central government.

Even the Democrats, with an eye toward 2008, have dropped talk of a race for the exits, in favor of a brisk stroll. But that may be the only solace for Mr. Bush as he returns from a messy encounter with Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

So now it dawns on the NY Times that an immediate pull out of Iraq would not be good. Funny how all of these options appear AFTER the election and that they are acceptable to the NY Times. Had this been before the election this article would not have seen the light of day!