The first step is candor.
The first step is candor.Indeed.
The first step is candor.Indeed.
Seeking a possible consensus nominee, Reid recommended Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mel Martinez of Florida, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Mike Crapo of Idaho.
Reid described them all as bright and able lawyers who would be strong additions to the nation's highest court.
"We have had approximately 10 members of the Supreme Court that came from the United States Senate over the years," Reid told reporters.
"There are people who serve in the Senate now who are Republicans who I think would be outstanding Supreme Court members," Reid said.
LONDON - When Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser dined with Condoleezza Rice six months after Sept. 11, the then-U.S. national security adviser didn't want to discuss Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. She wanted to talk about "regime change" in Iraq, setting the stage for the U.S.-led invasion more than a year later.It just gets better and better (or worse and worse, depending on your perspective).
President Bush wanted Blair's support, but British officials worried the White House was rushing to war, according to a series of leaked secret Downing Street memos that have renewed questions and debate about Washington's motives for ousting Saddam Hussein.
On March 25 Straw wrote a memo to Blair, saying he would have a tough time convincing the governing Labour Party that a pre-emptive strike against Iraq was legal under international law.Indeed, in retrospect, what exactly has this action achieved beyond providing a fertile training ground for more terrorists and making us more hated throughout the globe? The post-war reconstruction has been so poorly managed that conditions are now worse than they were both under Saddam and in the immediate aftermath of the initial invasion. Only Haliburton seems to have benefitted. In focusing our attention, and billions of tax dollars on Iraq, we have ignored the far more substantial and immediate threats to our national security, North Korea and Iran such that the situations there are far worse than they were in 2001-2002.
"If 11 September had not happened, it is doubtful that the U.S. would now be considering military action against Iraq," Straw wrote. "In addition, there has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with OBL (Osama bin Laden) and al-Qaida."
He also questioned stability in a post-Saddam Iraq: "We have also to answer the big question — what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than on anything."
A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the British memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of that country.Note, this is not the same memo as the recent Downing Street Memo, it's a new one, a briefing paper prepared for the meeting that was the subject of the minutes of that meeting which had been previously leaked as the "Downing Street Memo" on May 1st, 2005.
The eight-page memo, written in advance of a July 23, 2002, Downing Street meeting on Iraq, provides new insights into how senior British officials saw a Bush administration decision to go to war as inevitable, and realized more clearly than their American counterparts the potential for the post-invasion instability that continues to plague Iraq.
Now, disclosure of the memo written in advance of that meeting -- and other British documents recently made public -- show that Blair's aides were not just concerned about Washington's justifications for invasion but also believed the Bush team lacked understanding of what could happen in the aftermath.I'm a little bit afraid that this will be treated by the press as old news. We had previously learned in reporting after-the-fact that the Pentagon had no post-war plans. That the neo-cons in Wolfie's cabal had effectively thrown the State Department's analysis of post-war conditions and plans, developed by people with decades of experience and training in such matters, right in the trash bucket in an internecine power-play between the Pentagon and Foggy Bottom.
In a section titled "Benefits/Risks," the July 21 memo states, "Even with a legal base and a viable military plan, we would still need to ensure that the benefits of action outweigh the risks."
Saying that "we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective," the memo's authors point out, "A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise." The authors add, "As already made clear, the U.S. military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden."
Dubbed by the Author, Representative Pet Sessions (R-Texas), the Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005, the bill prohibits state and local governments from providing any telecommunications or information service that is "substantially similar" to services provided by private companies.The idiot from Texass couldn't have chosen a more appropriate name for his bill. It's acronym is PITA -- pain in the ass, which is exactly what this bill is. This one is right up there with Sen. Santorum's bill to prevent the NWS from providing forecasting services via the web (for free):
The bill, HR 2726, is similar to a host of state bills pushed by telecommunications companies aimed at fending off municipally-run wireless networks. Some of those bills, most recently one in Texas, have been stalled in state legislatures.
The telecommunications operators say that such networks represent unfair competition while municipalities claim that the services are needed to promote business and close the gap between digital haves and have-nots.
The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.Oh, did I mention that Santorum has received campaign contributions from AccuWeather's CEO to the tune of $4000?
COLUMBUS — Gov. Bob Taft’s office learned seven months ago — not this week — that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation had lost $225 million in a high-risk investment.No shit, Sherlock!
In an Oct. 26, 2004, e-mail to Taft aide James Samuel, the bureau’s administrator-CEO, James Conrad, wrote that the "entire value" of the portfolio managed by MDL Capital Management was down about $225 million.
Mr. Conrad also alerted the governor’s office that the bureau had rejected MDL’s request for another $25 million and the firm was in danger of collapsing, which he said would be "likely to make national news."
Powell was defending Bush at every turn, really defending his role in the run up to the war. Stewart did ask him good questions.Absolutely. Jon Stewart was brilliant last night. He asked better, tougher, more probing questions than either Russert or Stephanopolis would ever dream of asking. Unfortunately, Powell simply parrotted back the party-line responses. However, Stewart was not a push-over like Larry King or Tim Russert.
BUSH: Well, you know, I read, kind of, the characterizations of the memo, particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I’m not sure who they dropped it out is, but I’m not suggesting that you all dropped it out there.And this is the leader of the free world? He "kind of" read a "characterization" of the memo. (Interpretation: my Mommy read it to me. There were big words in it that I didn't understand.) He goes on to compose what has to be the most disjoint sentence in history. "I'm not sure who they dropped it out is...". WTF?
(LAUGHTER)Yeah, right... peacefully. Funny, that isn't at all what the minutes of the meeting say.
And somebody said, Well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There’s nothing farther from the truth.
My conversations with the prime minister was how could we do this peacefully, what could we do.
And this meeting, evidently it took place in London, happened before we even went to the United Nations – or I went to the United Nations.Really? Sure, this all happened before we went to the U.N., but what's that got to do with it. It also happened before Bush went to Congress to seek congressional approval. That's the whole frickin' point! True, the meeting took place in London (um... Mr. President... that's where Downing Street is, apparently) but it was a Blair cabinet meeting in which his top spook was reporting back on meetings he had in Warshington D.C.. You'd think that some uppity reporter would have asked an appropriate follow-up basically saying: "that's all well and good Mr. President, but you haven't answered the question". (note, the actual question was as follows:
And so it’s – look, both of us didn’t want to use our military. Nobody wants to commit military into combat. That’s the last option.
QUESTION: On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street Memo from July, 2002, says “Intelligence and facts remain fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military actions.”Preznit Doofus continues with his bogus, lame-ass response:
Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?
The consequences of committing the military are very difficult. You know, one of the hardest things I do as the president is to try to comfort families who’ve lost a loved one in combat.It's hard work! Yeah, yeah, yeah, some kid is dead or maimed for life, but it's hard work to console the family members who will probably be collecting food stamps now that their major bread winner is dead. Dubya continues:
It’s the last option that the president must have, and it’s the last option I know my friend had as well.Again, nothing to do with the question which was that the memo strongly suggests that the U.K.'s top spook came back from D.C. to report to Blair that the Bushistas had already decided that military action was needed to oust Saddam and that they were "fixing facts" around the policy. All this nonsense about the meeting being before the U.S. went to the U.N. is so much smoke and mirrors. Note that Bush never said that the "facts" were not being "fixed". Note also that all of the "evidence" that Colin Powell presented to the U.N. in making the case for resolution 1441 has subsequently been debunked. Gee, you'd think a reporter would have a follow-up that basically called a spade a spade by saying: "with all due respect Mr. President, the 'facts' that were presented to the U.N. by Sec'y Powell were, well... they were proven to be completely wrong in what has since been characterized as a 'massive intellegence failure'. That sure seems to support the contention of the memo that 'facts' were being "fixed" around the policy, doesn't it?"
And so we worked hard to see if we could figure how to do this peacefully, to put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, so the world speaks. And he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.
A reader asks whether a Post reporter will ask about the Downing Street Minutes during the joint Bush-Blair appearances in Washington this week. Morley's reply: 'If Post reporters don't ask Blair about the memo, they have abdicated responsibility in my view.'Indeed.
What more can I add to that?
Based on how adoption of DHTML/AJAX occured over the past few years I suspect that Avalon/XAML will follow a similar path since the initial conditions are similar. If I am correct then even if Avalon/XAML is a superior technology to DHTML/AJAX (which I believe to be the case) it will likely be shunned on the Web due to lack of cross-browser interoperability but may flourish within homogenous intranets.Exsqueeze me? Homogenous intranets? This line jumped off the page at me. Unless the homogeneity is related to the support of broadly adopted industry standards, or a complete lock on corporate intranets by a single vendor, it is a disaster waiting to happen. Can you say "mergers and acquisitions"? I knew you could. Has IT no collective memory that it is stupid enough to repeat the mistakes of the past? "Homogenous intranets" are the pipe-dreams of control-freaks without a clue and monopolists.
The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib alienated a broad swath of the Iraqi public. On top of that, it didn't work. There is no evidence that all the mistreatment and humiliation saved a single American life or led to the capture of any major terrorist, despite claims by the military that the prison produced "actionable intelligence."Actually, what is most shocking is that despite "plain as the nose on your face" knowledge that their leaders have proven to be so incompetent, is the fact that they somehow managed to get re-elected.
The most shocking thing about Abu Ghraib was not the behavior of U.S. troops, but the incompetence of their leaders.
Your score is on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being fully liberal and 100 being fully conservative.
|This political test is a part of the Political Brew website.|
The disconnect between Rose Garden optimism and Baghdad pessimism, according to government officials and independent analysts, stems not only from Bush's focus on tentative signs of long-term progress but also from the shrinking range of policy options available to him if he is wrong. Having set out on a course of trying to stand up a new constitutional, elected government with the security firepower to defend itself, Bush finds himself locked into a strategy that, even if it proves successful, foreshadows many more deadly months to come first, analysts said.Yes, it could have eaily started out: "The disconnect between Rose Garden optimism and Baghdad reality...". But, it gets better. Read the whole thing.
"I am pleased that in less than a year's time, there's a democratically elected government in Iraq, there are thousands of Iraq soldiers trained and better equipped to fight for their own country [and] that our strategy is very clear," Bush said during a Rose Garden news conference Tuesday. Overall, he said, "I'm pleased with the progress." Cheney offered an even more hopeful assessment during a CNN interview aired the night before, saying the insurgency was in its "last throes."And then there are the voices of the "disgruntled employees" (e.g. career analysts at Foggy Bottom who have a clue and are simply disgruntled that the political hacks that the Bushistas sent in to run the place haven't got one (again, emphasis mine):
Several Republicans questioned that evaluation. "I cannot say with any confidence that that is accurate," said Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), a member of the House International Relations Committee. "I think it's impossible to know how close we are to the insurgency being overcome."
"It's dangerous when U.S. officials start to believe their own propaganda," said David L. Phillips, a former State Department consultant who worked on Iraq planning but quit in frustration in 2003 and has written a book called "Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco." "I have no doubt that they genuinely think that Iraq is a smashing success and a milestone in their forward freedom strategy. But if you ask Iraqis, they have a different opinion."
Phillips added that U.S. officials keep pointing to landmarks such as the January elections as turning points but "at no point have any of these milestones proven to be breakthroughs."
Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers (news, bio, voting record) has called the latest revelations about these attacks 'the smoking bullet in the smoking gun,' irrefutable proof that President Bush misled Congress before the vote on Iraq. When Bush asked Congress to authorize the use of force in Iraq, he also said he would use it only as a last resort, after all other avenues had been exhausted. But the Downing Street memo reveals that the Administration had already decided to topple Saddam by force and was manipulating intelligence to justify the decision. That information puts the increase in unprovoked air attacks in the year prior to the war in an entirely new light: The Bush Administration was not only determined to wage war on Iraq, regardless of the evidence; it had already started that war months before it was put to a vote in Congress.Clearly, the ball of string is starting to unravel. Whether or not the Clinton administration is culpable in all this is now irrelevant. He is no longer in office. This country deserves to know the truth, whatever that may be. If this is about oil, then maybe the American public will awaken from its stupor. We've wasted over $300B on this war. That money could have been better spent than lavishing it on Haliburton's inept reparations. If oil is indeed becoming a problem, as I suspect it is to a much greater extent than most people know, then we would be better off knowing.
It only takes one member of Congress to begin an impeachment process, and Conyers is said to be considering the option. The process would certainly be revealing. Congress could subpoena Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Richard Myers, Gen.Tommy Franks and all of the military commanders and pilots involved with the no-fly zone bombings going back into the late 1990s. What were their orders, both given and received? In those answers might lie a case for impeachment.
But another question looms, particularly for Democrats who voted for the war and now say they were misled: Why weren't these unprovoked and unauthorized attacks investigated when they were happening, when it might have had a real impact on the Administration's drive to war? Perhaps that's why the growing grassroots campaign to use the Downing Street memo to impeach Bush can't get a hearing on Capitol Hill. A real probing of this 'smoking gun' would not be uncomfortable only for Republicans. The truth is that Bush, like President Bill Clinton before him, oversaw the longest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam against a sovereign country with no international or US mandate. That gun is probably too hot for either party to touch.
Q: Help! I'm being tortured to death in an American military prison! What should I do?
A: First of all, you should get your facts straight. You're not being tortured to death in an American military prison; you're being interrogated to death in an American detainment facility. America does not tolerate torture.
Q: When I die in a few minutes, will my death help the cause of freedom?
A: Not really. But in a way, isn't death itself just freedom from life - the greatest prison of all?
Q: Wow... you've *HRAAACK* totally blown my mind - and my lung and ribcage and my kneecaps!
A: Oh, don't thank us - it's all part of being tortured to death in an American military prison!