New Developments III

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Sonic Youth
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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:54 pm

<span style='font-size:17pt;line-height:100%'>3,493</span>

BAGHDAD - Fourteen American soldiers were killed in three deadly days in Iraq, the U.S. military said Sunday, including four in a single roadside bombing and one who was struck by a suicide bomber while on a foot patrol southwest of the capital.

The blast that killed the four soldiers occurred Sunday as the troops were conducting a cordon and search operation northwest of the Iraqi capital, according to a statement. Two other soldiers from Multi-National Division — Baghdad were killed and five were wounded along with an Iraqi interpreter in two separate roadside bombings on Sunday, the military said.

One soldier was killed Friday after the patrol approached two suspicious men for questioning near a mosque, and one of the suspects blew himself up, according to a statement. The military did not provide more details.

Seven others troops were killed in a series of attacks across Iraq on Saturday.

The deaths raised to at least 3,493 members of the U.S. military who have died since the war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.


---------------------------


And here's another example that this surge is making such "progress" (I'm still wondering what that "progress" is):


Some Army posts to end individual memorials
By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Army Times
Posted : Saturday Jun 2, 2007 11:27:59 EDT


Soldiers from Fort Lewis, Wash., and Fort Drum, N.Y., who are killed in combat will be honored during monthly group memorials instead of individual services beginning in June.

At Fort Lewis, the decision was announced in a May 22 e-mail from Brig. Gen. William Troy, the acting commanding general of I Corps and Fort Lewis, to the command and staff on post, said Joe Piek, a Fort Lewis spokesman. The first group memorial is expected to take place the third week of June.

“As much as we would like to think otherwise, I am afraid that with the number of soldiers we now have in harm’s way, our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies,” Troy wrote in his e-mail. “I see this as a way of sharing the heavy burdens our spouses and rear detachments bear, while giving our fallen warriors the respect they deserve. It will also give the families of the fallen the opportunity to bond with one another, as they see others who share their grief.”

Group memorial services already are taking place at other Army posts, Piek said.

Nineteen Fort Lewis soldiers were killed in Iraq in May, and the Fort Lewis community has lost nine soldiers in Operation Enduring Freedom and 117 soldiers in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Also, an Air Force master sergeant killed in Iraq was stationed at Fort Lewis.

More than 10,000 of the post’s 28,000 soldiers are deployed, including soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division’s 3rd and 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Teams and more than 20 smaller units, Piek said.

The group memorials will be “a way for the greater Fort Lewis community to come together once a month to honor our fallen warriors,” Piek said.

Officials also are “doing this to help take some of the planning off of the shoulders of the rear detachment members” who also “have a significant other mission of continuing to train soldiers and taking care of soldiers’ families who are here on post,” he said.

Troy discussed having monthly memorial ceremonies with commanders overseas, rear detachment commanders and family readiness group leaders, Piek said.

Post officials have received “a couple of phone calls” from people who have expressed concern about eliminating individual memorial services, Piek said.

“The best way for us to look at this is the memorial service we do here at Fort Lewis is truly the public’s only opportunity to come together and remember our fallen soldiers,” Piek said.
"What the hell?"
Win Butler

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criddic3
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Postby criddic3 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:22 am

All this stuff about secrecy. Like we should be allowed to know the administrations every move. Like we should know every move the CIA, the FBI and Homeland Security makes. This is lunacy. Revealing every secret the government has hampers our ability to stay safe. Of course there are some secrets. There always have been. In EVERY administration some things were not revealed to the public. The false sense of alarm opposers of Bush have is simply ridiculous, and it's hate-oriented.

cam thinks that people were cruel to talk about them as "those Canadians." Well, I'm sorry but anyone who refused to show a sense of compassion or solidarity towards their temporary/vacation country (you couldn't even put up a little flag as a show of support? even countries who don't normally like us waved flags and lit candles) just after the horrible events of 9/11 was going to find some of that resentment.

I'm not as ill-informed as you think cam. Maybe I don't translate well in this format, or maybe some people are so blinded by their hatred of this administration, but I read a lot about the politics of the day, the events of the day. I just don't agree with you that this President is evil. Whether it's 27%, 30% or 34%, the numbers are low mainly because of frustration over Iraq. That could change with the promising progress being made right now. If that continues and people are informed of it, those numbers could improve. I'm not betting on it, but poll numbers change. Politics never stay the same in terms of public opinion. Two years ago, President Bush was re-elected with 51% of the popular vote and carrying something like 31 of 50 states. In September of 2006, he rose to 44% approval in polls if only briefly. So I wouldn't count on poll numbers too much. Most people don't hate the President, but they hate the Iraq situation or disagree on some other issues. Personally, they don't hate him. Not like you do.
"If you can't stand the nut on the left and you can't stand the nut on the right, go for the Johnson,” Jonathan S. Bush (10/21/2016)

99-1100896887

Postby 99-1100896887 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:01 pm

Wes, that is why we do not want to go there[I] any more than possible. The lack of civil liberties that you experience in the States, we do not find here. Even with a middle-right Prime Minister, who is subject to the same "you are not right enough for us" in the Prairies( your Midwest).

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Postby OscarGuy » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:30 pm

cam wrote:And you think criddic is ill-informed, even for an apparently intelligent man? Well, all I can say is look at the polls--27%( last I read) would support Bush, and subsequently the GOP. There are other like criddic. One just doesn't argue politics with them. It is like talking to a wall.

A rather crooked and crumbling wall built on the backs of our civil liberties.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

99-1100896887

Postby 99-1100896887 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:11 pm

And you think criddic is ill-informed, even for an apparently intelligent man? Well, all I can say is look at the polls--27%( last I read) would support Bush, and subsequently the GOP. There are other like criddic. One just doesn't argue politics with them. It is like talking to a wall.

99-1100896887

Postby 99-1100896887 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:08 pm

Geez, you guys. You cannot know how glad we are that we don't live in the US. For thirty years, we have owned a vacation home in Washington State. Although the clerks in stores are very helpful( they all like Canadian money), we had eggs and epithets thrown at the house when we were there after 9-11. Kids went by on the road saying; " CANADIANS live there." We did not put up an American flag at that time( why would we have?), and we were targetted, even out in the country. Our neighbours include a woman of 76. She carries a little gun in her purse. Another neighbour not only repairs hand guns BY MAIL(US post), but will be the last diehard Bushie. Another neighbour gets drunk and shoots guns up in the air. I know of no one personally who even HAS a gun in our part of Canada, except hunters. No hand guns. (Gangs do, but we do not run into them.)

Apart from the fact we will miss our few Canadian neighbours at Cain Lake, not too far down our list of wanting to leave( apart from age--hard to keep up two houses) is the atmosphere in the States. Gone are the "love it or leave it" bumper stickers of the early 2000s, and one sees more insulting Bush bumper stickers, as the Democrats become more bold. But we have heard of fatal consequences of GOP-"Demo" neighbour fights in Bellingham.

Wanta bet that there will never be a GW Bush library? What would they have to put into it? As Wes has pointed out, the current evil administration are hiding everything.

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Postby OscarGuy » Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:56 am

What are they hiding, I wonder?

White House follows new path to secrecy

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 2 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - A newly disclosed effort to keep Vice President
Dick Cheney's visitor records secret is the latest White House push to make sure the public doesn't learn who has been meeting with top officials in the Bush administration.
ADVERTISEMENT

Over the past year, lawyers for
President Bush and Cheney have directed the
Secret Service to maintain the confidentiality of visitor entry and exit logs, declaring them to be presidential records, exempt from a law requiring their disclosure to whoever asks to see them.

The drive to keep the logs secret, the administration says, is essential to assuring that the president and vice president receive candid advice to carry out their duties.

Cabinet officers often don't want to give up their meeting calendars to journalists. They have no choice under the Freedom of Information Act, which provides public access to some records kept by federal agencies.

But the
FOIA disclosure law, which doesn't apply to Congress, also doesn't apply to presidential records.

The Bush administration has exploited that difference, triggering a battle in the courts.

The administration is seeking dismissal of two lawsuits by a private group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, demanding Secret Service visitor logs.

In trying to get the cases thrown out, the Justice Department has filed documents in court outlining a behind-the-scenes debate over whether Secret Service records are subject to public disclosure. The discussions date back at least to the administration of President Bush's father and involve the Justice Department and the National Archives as well as the White House and the Secret Service.

The government's court filings show that the Bush White House focused on the issue in the months before Election Day 2004.

Discussions moved into high gear when the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal prompted news organizations and private groups to demand that the administration turn over Secret Service records of visitors to the White House complex and the vice president's residence.

There was precedent for the demands.

During the Clinton administration, Republican-controlled congressional committees obtained Secret Service visitor logs while conducting investigations of the president and first lady.

Christopher Lehane, a former special assistant counsel to
President Clinton and press secretary to then-Vice President
Al Gore, points out the political implications of the Bush administration campaign to close off access to the records.

"The question it raises is 'what are these guys hiding?'" said Lehane, now a Democratic consultant. "They can live with it because they've only got a year or so left, but it doesn't do a lot for public confidence in open government."

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Thursday, "I can't comment on a case in litigation, and I can't speak to the decisions made by other administrations."

The Bush administration says it is standing on principle.

"It is important that the president be able to receive candid advice from his staff and other members of the administration," Fratto said. "To ensure that he receives candid advice, it is essential as a general matter that the advice remains confidential."

In a declaration filed in court a week ago, Cheney's deputy chief of staff, Claire O'Donnell, stated that "systematic public release of the information regarding when and with whom the vice president and vice presidential personnel conduct meetings would impinge on the ability of the OVP (office of the vice president) to gather information in confidence and perform its essential functions, including assisting the vice president in his critical roles of advising and assisting the president."

In May 2006, the Secret Service and the White House signed a memorandum of understanding designating visitor records as presidential.

They are "not the records of an 'agency' subject to the Freedom of Information Act," says the agreement that was not disclosed until months later, in late 2006. The records are "at all times under the exclusive legal custody and control of the White House."

Four months after the memorandum of agreement, Cheney's counsel wrote the Secret Service, stating that visitor records for the vice president's personal residence "are and shall remain subject to the exclusive ownership, custody and control of OVP."

The Sept. 13, 2006, date on the Cheney letter coincides with requests by The Washington Post seeking records on the vice president's visitors under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law enforcement agency "shall not retain any copy of these documents and information upon return to OVP," stated the letter to the Secret Service's chief counsel.

"If any documents remain in your possession, please return them to OVP as soon as possible," the letter added.

The Justice Department filed the Cheney letter last Friday in one of the lawsuits brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is invoking the FOIA law in seeking the identities of conservative religious leaders who visited the White House complex and the vice president's residence. The group, which represents
Valerie Plame and her husband in their lawsuit against Cheney and other key administration figures in the leak of Plame's
CIA identity, also is seeking White House visitor logs in the Abramoff scandal.

According to government documents, the Secret Service routinely destroyed five of eight categories of information relating to visitors to Cheney's residence. Of the records it retained, the Secret Service regularly turned over handwritten visitor logs to Cheney's office.

The Secret Service stopped the destruction in June 2006 because of lawsuits by various groups, according to the court papers. The law enforcement agency also is retaining copies of the material, contrary to the directive in the September 2006 letter from Cheney's counsel.

The court filings by the government show that:

_On three occasions late in the administration of the first President Bush and during the first term of President Clinton, the Secret Service proposed treating copies of White House visitor documents as non-presidential records. In its court filings, the current Bush administration opposes releasing details of the Secret Service proposals, saying this "poses a substantial risk of creating public confusion" because the proposals were never adopted.

_In January 2001, as Clinton prepared to leave office, White House lawyers proposed the transfer of visitor records from the Secret Service to the White House. The proposal was entitled "Disposition of certain presidential records created by the USSS," or the Secret Service. The records are now at the Clinton library in Little Rock, Ark., the National Archives confirmed Thursday.

_In September 2004, a lawyer for the Bush White House and a special assistant to the director of the Secret Service proposed "informal views on one way to address the disposition" of visitor records, according to court documents. The unnamed associate White House counsel and the Secret Service assistant jointly authored a July 29, 2004, document bearing the same title as the Clinton administration document from 3 1/2 years earlier.

_In July 2005, the Secret Service gave a presentation on the issue to the White House counsel's office, the Justice Department and the National Archives.

_On May 11, 2006, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel provided a legal opinion on the issue, which is among the many documents the government is refusing to disclose. Six days later, the White House and the Secret Service signed the agreement designating the records as presidential.

Presidential records are released starting five years after a president leaves office. Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, non-classified material is disclosed first, with classified documents and advice to the president released later after review by federal agencies, the White House and the former president.

Under an executive order President Bush signed in 2001, the archivist of the United States cannot unilaterally release the records without the permission of the current president, former presidents and their representatives.

"The scary thing about this move by the vice president's office is the power grab part of it," said Tom Blanton, head of the National Security Archive, a private group which uses the FOIA law to pierce government secrecy.

"We're looking at a huge problem if the White House can reach into any agency and say certain records have something to do with the White House and they are presidential from now on," Blanton said. "This White House has been infinitely creative in finding new ways and new forms of government secrecy."
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

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Postby Damien » Thu May 31, 2007 4:46 pm

Bill Maher had the same reaction as Sonic:

"At a press conference somebody finally stood up to Bush: a bird shit on him. Here's what is wrong with this man: he looked at it, and then wiped it off with his bare hand. And this is the guy who doubts that he descended from an ape."
---Bill Maher
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Postby Mister Tee » Thu May 31, 2007 2:19 pm

Sonic, it's good of you to post those casualty counts; it helps create signposts. Today we're up to 3474, a mere five days after 3451. Adding it to the 20 you referenced in the first line of your post, that's 43 dead in 8 days. Jesus wept.

But Joe Lieberman sees progress.

99-1100896887

Postby 99-1100896887 » Wed May 30, 2007 8:04 pm

This quotation of Bill Maher was in last week's Macleans, Canada's premiere weekly magazine.
On Blair's retirement:
"Blair said he wanted to spend more time humping Bush's leg. They didn't have the heart to tell Bush that Blair was gone. They just said he went to live on a farm."

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Postby Damien » Wed May 30, 2007 3:08 am

From Salon,

Bill Maher on Worst President Ever (and the Democrats):

WHEN DEMOCRATS COLLAPSE
After Jimmy Carter caved to the Republican noise machine and took back his blast at President Bush, it's no surprise the party wimped out on the war.

By Bill Maher

May 25, 2007 | New Rule: Jimmy Carter must be shipped off to Guantánamo, stripped to his tighty-whiteys and "waterboarded" as an enemy combatant. Last weekend, former U.S. President and current al-Qaida operative Jimmy Carter launched an unprovoked attack upon democracy, America and our troops in the field by telling the Arkansas Pennysaver that the Bush administration has been "the worst in history." And then he threatened President Bush by saying, "I'm going to get on a plane and fly out there and straighten your ass out."

As usual, we've been sucked into a phony controversy about who said what and how it hurt George W. Bush's feelings. Because when you hurt George W. Bush you hurt America's feelings, and when you hurt America's feelings, you hurt the troops. And when that happens, Tinkerbell's light goes out and she dies.

The Republican outrage machine is always invoking secret rules that liberals didn't know they broke. And apparently when you get to be president, they give you an employee's handbook titled "So You're Leader of the Free World -- Now What?" It tells you about the nuclear codes, where your parking space is, and to not talk smack about other presidents. But I was up all night on Wikipedia doing an exhaustive study of former presidents, and while other presidents have sucked in their own individual ways, Bush is like a smorgasbord of suck. He combines the corruption of Warren G. Harding, the abuse of power of Richard Nixon and the warmongering of James K. Polk.

I mean, who would you rank lower than George W. Bush? Nixon got in trouble for illegally wiretapping Democratic headquarters; Bush is illegally wiretapping the entire country. Nixon opened up relations with the Chinese; Bush let them poison your dog. Herbert Hoover sat on his ass through four years of calamity, but he was an actual engineer. If someone told him about global warming, he would have understood it before the penguins caught on fire. Ulysses Grant was a miserable drunk, but at least he didn't trade booze for Jesus and embolden the snake handlers -- he did the honorable thing and stayed a miserable drunk. Grant let his cronies loot the republic, but he won his civil war.

For some inexplicable reason Republicans have taken to comparing Bush to Harry Truman -- a comparison that would make sense only if Harry Truman had A) started World War II and B) lost World War II. Harding sucked, but he once said, "I am not fit for this office and never should have been here." So at least he knew he sucked. He never walked offstage like Bush does after one of his embarrassing press conferences with a look on his face like, "Nailed it." Bush still acts like every failure is just a friend he hasn't met yet.

Now, is it possible for a future president to perform as badly as Bush has? I suppose, theoretically, if we elect someone totally off the wall, like R. Kelly, or the reanimated corpse of Ted Williams, or Rudy Giuliani ... But let's be honest, we would have been better off over the past six years if the Oval Office had been occupied by an orangutan with a Magic 8-Ball. And that's why it's so depressing that when the right-wing noise machine pretended to get upset at what Jimmy Carter said, he did what Democrats always do and backed down. He said his remarks were careless and misrepresented and the sun was in his eyes and his hearing aid went out and he was molested by a clergyman.

They confronted him, and he took it all back. Which is what Democrats do. Why couldn't he have just said, "No, I meant what I said. And speaking as the first citizen of Habitat for Humanity, let me take out my toolbox and build you a house where we can meet and you can blow me." If a Democrat who's out of office and 100 years old can't speak out, what chance do we have for the ones who are in office? Like the ones who are in Congress now who, emboldened by widespread public approval of their plan to bring the troops home ... this week abandoned that plan. You see, you don't get to become the worst president ever without a little help from the other side.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Damien
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Postby Damien » Wed May 30, 2007 12:02 am

criddic3 wrote:You people once (or twice) scolded me for posting editorials as back-up for my arguments. Now you are doing the same thing. Hooray for you.

What the F are you talking about, Liar? We've all always cited editorials in backing up opinions. What you've been constantly taken to task for was quoting editorials/opinion pieces without citing the source.

No wonder you adore Worst President Ever. You lie and prevaricate and bend the facts just as much as it does.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Postby Damien » Tue May 29, 2007 11:01 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Are these real? Where can I get one?

I like especially:

The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century
When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46

I'm not sure if they're real or not. I received them in an e-mail from a good friend of mine who's a Catholic priest.

Of course. there are web sites where you can have your own bumper stickers made.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Postby criddic3 » Tue May 29, 2007 6:03 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:
Damien wrote:WASHINGTON (Associated Press) Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he says, people agree with him.

The president says Democrats have it all wrong: the public doesn't want the troops pulled out they want to give the military more support in its mission.

"Last November, the American people said they were frustrated and wanted a change in our strategy in Iraq," he said April 24, ahead of a veto showdown with congressional Democrats over their desire to legislation a troop withdrawal timeline. "I listened. Today, General David Petraeus is carrying out a strategy that is dramatically different from our previous course."

That was April 24th.

Here's what Criddic said on May 6th:

It's funny, because most people agree that we can't just pick up and leave in Iraq, and yet Bush is criticized for saying we have to make it work. He's begun a new plan that few are allowing to even get off the ground. There is no pleasing the opposition here.... They said change the course in Iraq. He brings in Gen. Petraeus, with a new plan to make it possible for a political solution to happen.... Still, not happy.


I called him a liar. (I don't mince words with him anymore.) Bush says the same thing, the AP demonstrates that Bush is a liar. And they have evidence to back them up. And that evidence can be applied to Criddic's statement.

I also called him a parrot. Note how eerily similar the two statements are. Just a few words have been altered so that Bush (or his speechwriters) handiwork can't be detected. "Change of course in Iraq" instead of "change in our strategy in Iraq", "plan" instead of "strategy"... like that.

Monkey see, monkey do. And how humiliating for a monkey to imitate a chimp.

You people once (or twice) scolded me for posting editorials as back-up for my arguments. Now you are doing the same thing. Hooray for you.
"If you can't stand the nut on the left and you can't stand the nut on the right, go for the Johnson,” Jonathan S. Bush (10/21/2016)

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Postby OscarGuy » Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm

Are these real? Where can I get one?

I like especially:

The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century
When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin


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