New Developments III

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Postby Akash » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:11 pm

From your mouth to God's ear Mister Tee. But after, the stunning disappointment in 2004 - which should have been an easy victory for anyone who wasn't Bush - I'm not dismissing the Dems ability to fuck up a great opportunity. So far the Democratic front-runners are a polarizing woman and a black man in what is still sexist, racist America. More mistakes to come?

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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:35 pm

Akash wrote:If the Pubs are now jumping on the bash Bush bandwagon, that could only help even the score in an election against the Dems who don't even have their anti-Iraq platform to stand on anymore (having dithered on the ONE ISSUE they could have claimed without trepidation).

Whoever gets the Republican nomination is going to isolate himself from Bush as well. Come election time, all he has to say is "You're anti-Bush? Well so am I! What else you got?" and wait for the chirping crickets.

I know alot of people say and believe this, but the history of presidential elections -- since the arrival of the two-party monopoly in 1860 -- is that no unpopular president has ever been succeeded by a president of his own party. Candidates in 1896, 1920, 1952 and 1968 all ran at least somewhat in opposition to the incumbents of their own parties (in 1896, William Jennings Bryan explicitly denounced the economics of the Cleveland adminstration), but all were dragged down by the failures of their predecessors. I see no reason why that won't happen again next year.

Alan Lichtman has a fascinating theory of presidential elections, The Keys to the Presidency, which retroactively analyzes all elections from 1860 through 1980, and has accurately forecast all the elections since. His take on '08? It's the most lopsided environment for one party -- the Democrats -- since he developed the theory.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:47 pm

Akash wrote:
Sonic Youth wrote:But the point was, Bush is losing support from all over the spectrum, other than the brainwashed 'droids. I don't much care what the reasons are.


The problem though is that this across the board realization (more to the point: among Republicans) will do the Democrats no favors in 2008. The only reason those cowardly fucks took the House and the Senate last year was a final national frustration with the ass hattery of the Bush Administration. If the Pubs are now jumping on the bash Bush bandwagon, that could only help even the score in an election against the Dems who don't even have their anti-Iraq platform to stand on anymore (having dithered on the ONE ISSUE they could have claimed without trepidation).

Whoever gets the Republican nomination is going to isolate himself from Bush as well. Come election time, all he has to say is "You're anti-Bush? Well so am I! What else you got?" and wait for the chirping crickets.

President Romney may be a chilling reality.

Romney would be a step up. Giuliani is the most scary. If he's prez, we'd be wishing for a return of the good ol' Bush days.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:03 pm

Okay, maybe not...

Thursday June 7, 4:27 AM
Baghdad, Ankara, WHouse deny reports of Turkish incursion

AFP News



The foreign ministers of both Iraq and Turkey, as well as the White House, all denied reports Wednesday that Turkish troops had launched a cross-border raid to strike Kurdish rebel bases in Iraq's northern highlands.

Turkey has stepped up its military presence in its own southeastern region, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told AFP, but both he and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul denied there had been a recent incursion.

Ankara suspects northern Iraq's Kurdish authorities of turning a blind eye to cross border attacks by separatist fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is fighting for self-rule in southern Turkey.

In recent weeks the tone of the dispute has hardened following a spate of attacks by Kurds inside Turkey, spawning Wednesday's invasion rumours.

"These reports are inaccurate. There hasn't been any Turkish military incursion into Iraqi territory," Zebari told AFP in a telephone interview.

"We've checked those reports with Kurdish regional authorities and with border guards all along the Turkish frontier. They denied that there has been any such incursion or any operation whatsoever," he said.

The minister, himself an Iraqi Kurd, confirmed the Turkish military was increasing its presence near the border, but denied it was on the move.

"There has been Turkish build-up for some time, but it's all been in their own territory, there hasn't been any movement across the border," he said.

In Turkey, Gul confirmed this, telling reporters: "There is no incursion into any other country at the moment. There is no such thing. If there ever is, we will tell you."

But he warned that Ankara's patience was not limitless.

"No one should forget that we are involved in a war on terror. We will not flinch from taking whatever action is necessary to eradicate terror... There are preparations in that respect," he said.

The White House also denied reports with White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe stating: "I am here to say that the Turkish government and US officials on the ground say that it is not occurring."

Johndroe was speaking in the northeast German city of Rostock, not far from Heiligendamm, where US President George W. Bush was attending a summit of Group of Eight leaders.

"There's been no new activity" on the part of the Turkish military, aside from increasing its presence near the border, Johndroe said.

Since April, the Turkey has been conducting large-scale operations against the PKK, including in areas close to the Iraqi border.

The Turkish media has reported that thousands of troops, backed by heavy armour and air power, are involved in the operation, triggering speculation that the army is poised to pour into northern Iraq.

But the head of Iraq's troops on its northern frontier with Turkey on Wednesday also denied the reports of a Turkish raid, which were carried on several websites and news agencies, but not AFP.

Colonel Hussein Roshid, the commander of the Iraqi border guards in the Kurdish province of Dohuk, said: "It's untrue. There have been no cross-border incursions on the Iraqi frontier in Dohuk."

Roshid said that last month there had been a brief Turkish military push into Dohuk, the Iraqi province bordering Turkey, which saw troops push two kilometres (one mile) into Iraqi territory near Zakhu.

But the probe was short-lived and had not been repeated, he said.
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Postby Akash » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:56 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:But the point was, Bush is losing support from all over the spectrum, other than the brainwashed 'droids. I don't much care what the reasons are.


The problem though is that this across the board realization (more to the point: among Republicans) will do the Democrats no favors in 2008. The only reason those cowardly fucks took the House and the Senate last year was a final national frustration with the ass hattery of the Bush Administration. If the Pubs are now jumping on the bash Bush bandwagon, that could only help even the score in an election against the Dems who don't even have their anti-Iraq platform to stand on anymore (having dithered on the ONE ISSUE they could have claimed without trepidation).

Whoever gets the Republican nomination is going to isolate himself from Bush as well. Come election time, all he has to say is "You're anti-Bush? Well so am I! What else you got?" and wait for the chirping crickets.

President Romney may be a chilling reality.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:50 pm

Mister Tee wrote:I'm hardly impressed by Bill Kristol suddenly turning on Bush simply for failing to compound the Plame crime by pardoning Scooter Libby.

I know. It just shows what scumbags they all are.

But the point was, Bush is losing support from all over the spectrum, other than the brainwashed 'droids. I don't much care what the reasons are.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:31 pm

Sorry, what was this "progress" that was being made? I still don't know.

Turkish Troops Enter Iraq

Jun 6, 3:21 PM (ET)

By SELCAN HACAOGLU


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Hundreds of Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq early Wednesday to chase Kurdish guerrillas who attack Turkey from bases there, Turkish security officials said. One official said the troops had returned to their bases by the end of the day, but Turkey's foreign minister denied they had ever entered Iraq.

The senior security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, characterized the raid as a "hot pursuit" raid that was limited in scope. They told The Associated Press it did not constitute the kind of large incursion that Turkish leaders have been discussing in recent weeks.

One official said several thousand troops went less than two miles inside Iraq and were still there in late afternoon. "It is a hot pursuit, not an incursion," one official said.

Another official said by telephone it was "not a major offensive and the number of troops is not in the tens of thousands." He also said the Turkish troops went into a remote, mountainous area.

A third official, based in the border region, said 600 commandos entered Iraq, and were backed up by several thousand troops along the border. He said the commandos raided Iraqi territory across from the Turkish border town of Cukurca before dawn after rebels opened fire from Iraqi soil on Turkish patrols.

The official said the commandos returned to their bases in Turkey later in the day. There was no immediate explanation for the conflicting accounts of the officials.

All three officials are based in southeast Turkey, where the military has been battling separatist Kurdish rebels since they took up arms in 1984.

The officials stood by their statements despite denials from Turkish and Iraqi officials.

Turkey's private NTV television quoted Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as saying reports of a cross-border operation were false.

"There is no such thing, no entry to another country. If such a thing happens, then we would announce it," Gul said. "We are in a war with terror, we will do whatever is necessary to fight terrorism."

Several military officials at the Pentagon said they have seen nothing Wednesday that would confirm the reports of Turkish troops crossing the border into Iraq.

One military official said that small numbers of Turkish forces periodically move in and out of Iraq doing counterinsurgency operations, but not thousands at one time. The officials requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

While the U.S. has about 16,500 troops in northern Iraq, most of them are not right along the border. Many of those are training teams working with the Iraqi border patrols.

The White House said there has been "no new activity" in northern Iraq to justify the press reports. Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, said that U.S. officials in the region have confirmed that the activity is a continuation of Turkey's years-long campaign against the Kurdish PKK guerrillas of Kurdistan Workers' Party.

"The Turkish government reports no new incursions into northern Iraq," Johndroe said. "U.S. officials on the ground confirm no new activity."

Johndroe said Washington remains "concerned about the PKK and the use of Iraq as a safe haven."

"We have no indications or no reports that the Turks have conducted a cross-border operation into Iraq," said Brig. Gen. Perry Wiggins, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"They're partnered with us on the global war on terrorism and ... they continue to fight Kurdish terrorists that have targeted a number of their citizens in their country," Wiggins told a Washington news conference. "They are conducting aggressive operations in southeast Turkey - counterinsurgency operations - and they continue to do so."

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman in Baghdad, said he could not confirm any Turkish troops were in Iraq but "we are looking into it and obviously we are very concerned."

The last major Turkish incursion into northern Iraq was in 1997, when about 50,000 troops were sent to the region.

The officials did not say where the Turkish force was operating in northern Iraq, nor did they say how long they would be there. Both officials are involved in anti-rebel operations, though they did not disclose whether they participated in the planning of the operation on Wednesday.

The officials said any confrontation with Iraqi Kurdish groups, who have warned against a Turkish incursion, could trigger a larger cross-border operation. The Turkish military has asked the government in Ankara to approve such an incursion, but the government has not given formal approval.

An official at military headquarters in Ankara declined to confirm or deny the report that Turkish troops had entered Iraq.

Turkish authorities rarely acknowledge such military operations, which were more frequent before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Earlier Wednesday, reports of an incursion circulated on some media outlets, including Turkey's private Cihan news agency.

The Turkish military said rebels across the border in Iraq opened fire Wednesday on a Turkish military outpost in the province of Hakkari, which borders both Iraq and Iran. It said there were no casualties.

Turkey has been building up its military forces on the Iraqi border recently, amid debate among political and military leaders about whether to attack separatist rebels of the PKK. The rebels stage raids in southeast Turkey after crossing over from hideouts in Iraq.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the government has not seen any major operations along the border.

"There has been intermittent shelling, for instance, attacks, certain violations, minor violations on the border which we have documented and reported back to the Turkish side, but honestly we haven't seen any major operations along the border," Zebari told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

"We are aware of this Turkish troops buildup on the border and the Iraqi government position has been that we will not accept or tolerate any military incursion into Iraqi territories," he said.

Col. Hussein Rashid, a top official with the Iraqi border guards, dismissed the report of a Turkish raid.

"Not even a single Turkish soldier has entered Iraqi territory," he said by telephone from his post near the border, although he pointed out that Turkish troops have been operating very close to the frontier as part of a recent buildup. "I have made contacts with many border posts and none report any incident."

During major incursions in the 1990s, fighting occurred on a front stretching more than 100 miles, mostly in rugged terrain where communications were difficult and the Turkish Kurds were already entrenched in the mountains.
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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:05 pm

cam wrote:There have been horror stories, Peter. Has Homeland Security ever arrived at YOUR door? They have to ours.

The closest I ever came was a package that had been opened by Homeland Security with umpteen stickers across it.

The package contained Region 2 DVDs I ordered from England, which were inadvertantly mailed to Venezuela and then to me. It took over a month to get the package when I usually get a package in 3-5 days from England. I can only guess what kind of analysis it and I went through while they considered what to do about it.

On my first trip back east after 9/11 everything went fine on the trip out. On the way home, I happened to be sitting in the waiting area next to a gentleman from Egypt who was headed to the Bay Area. He wanted to know how to get from Oakland to San Francisco. I gave him some advice. Some enterprising a-hole must have seen us talking. He and I were delayed at the gate and our luggage thoroughly gone through.

That's nothing, of course, compared to your ordeal. I don't blame you for being bitter.

On a side note, one of my best friends is a Filipino named Bruno. Only his name is scary. His family calls him "Bunny" for short.

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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:40 pm

Iraq Coalition Casualties now puts their number at 3503. Since I seem to recall we passed 3000 almost exactly on New Years Eve, that means 500 deaths in barely over 5 months -- by far the worst of the whole bloody four years. A year or so ago, Richard Holbrooke, informed Bush had 1000 days left as president said, "Dear god -- 2000 more dead American soldiers". It may go far higher.

Damien, we can only wish people like your mother's friend had come around by 2004, in time to head off some of this. The only saving grace is, the GOP collapse is now so thorough, whichever Democrat is elected next year will have more substantial progressive majorities than, really, any Democrat since LBJ (even moreso, now that the call-ourselves-Democrats-but-vote-conservative Southerners make up a much smaller percentage of the coalition).

I'm hardly impressed by Bill Kristol suddenly turning on Bush simply for failing to compound the Plame crime by pardoning Scooter Libby. Oh, best post-debate comment, on Giuliani's sudden bleeding-heart-ness toward Libby -- "It's not as if Scooter tried to squeegee somebody's windshield or anything". (You have to be a NYer to really get that)

Washington, like Oregon, is an odd state. The two states' primary cities (Seattle and Portland) are so overwhelmingly progressive that the states are a reliable part of the blue coalition. But the rural areas are primitive, militia-like, which may explain cam's experience. It recalls James Carville's description of Pennsylvania: "Philadelphia and Pittsburgh -- with Alabama in between".

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Postby 99-1100896887 » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:53 pm

There have been horror stories, Peter. Has Homeland Security ever arrived at YOUR door? They have to ours.

A Little story:

Our niece,was adopted at birth. She is Indonesian(she's married to an Afghan, as well.) Very bright, wonderful pianist, has her degree in social work, works at a "home". She asked in Thanksgiving 2002, if she could bring her boss and his family( they are Iranian). We said, come ahead( to the lake), but expect to be held up at the border. They were, of course, for three hours and even the 6-month old baby was fingerprinted.
They arrived just before dinner, very very upset, ate and left right after dinner.

In 2006, while we were at the lake, Homeland Security knocked at the door. "Do you know Abdul Reza Abdullah( not real name). I said, "No I 've never heard of him, but come in." " This alien has been using your address here."
After some time, trying to figure out who this guy was, my wife twigged, called my brother, who verified the name. Apparently he was given a piece of paper that he was supposed to turn in upon reentering Canada and did not.
In his terror, neither would I remember.
We draw dark curtains acoss the front windows when we are away: well, it seems that "Jerry Orbach" and "Bruno"( this is what we call them) had been out several times before when we were not there, and upon looking through a crack in the curtains saw what they said was "a signal"I said "A signal, tom who?" terrorists, he answered. They were keeping an eye on the house. Paranoid, much?

I was able to point out to him a) the red alarm light, and b) the sunlight bouncing off the turning fan upstairs.(This was " the beacon for ter'rists.")
Jerry gave me his card, and I phoned later in the week and asked him if we were "now marked". He said, no, it was solved.
Bruno, I should mention, a hulk of a man, stood "at ease", and you could see that one hand was near his gun. He said once, blurting out,"Do you want aliens and terrorists using your address?" and that was his contribution, except casing the joint.

What a couple of bananas.

Now criddic, do you understand why we are moving back to Canada after 30 glorious sunny years there, where the children learned water sports and boating and had a great deal of fun?
What have you go to say to that, criddic? Gonna defend GWB's policies again? There are too many people like you in the US, enough to make me worry for the safety of Americans, let alone "foreigners". Ever heard the word 'xenophobic'? Look it up.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:23 am

Staunch conservative and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan bashes Bush.

Former neo-con and Criddic reference point Fareed Zakaria bashes Bush.

Stalwart neo-con and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol bashes Bush.

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


Noonan: "Bush the younger came forward, presented himself as a conservative, garnered all the frustrated hopes of his party, turned them into victory, and not nine months later was handed a historical trauma that left his country rallied around him, lifting him, and his party bonded to him. He was disciplined and often daring, but in time he sundered the party that rallied to him, and broke his coalition into pieces. He threw away his inheritance. I do not understand such squandering."

Zakaria: "How does a Leninist dictatorship come across more sympathetically than the oldest constitutional democracy in the world?"

Kristol: "So much for loyalty, or decency, or courage. For President Bush, loyalty is apparently a one-way street; decency is something he's for as long as he doesn't have to take any risks in its behalf; and courage--well, that's nowhere to be seen. Many of us used to respect President Bush. Can one respect him still?"
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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:01 am

cam wrote: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.)

Geez, Cam, this must be unique to rural Washdington. I have family that lives in Lockport, N.Y., the next town over from Niagara. The flow of traffic across the Falls and from Buffalo into Toronto and vice versa has always been convivial on both sides.

I have a friend whose brother is a retired border patrol guard, a job he took up after he retired as a Navy Seal. From the stories he tells, it's the non-Candaians who slip across the border that they are concerned about.

I also have friends who emigated from Canada years ago and occasionally go back to visit family and have never had a problem.

Rural Washingtonians have been known to shoot Californians, too, so it must be more of a "if you ain't local - keep out" kind of thing.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:08 pm

Incredible dissertation by Keith Olberman on how the Bush administration manipulates all these terror alerts and arrests... most of which are overblown to the max - if not phony - anyway... for their own political ends.

Nothing we didn't already know, but at least it's so nicely organized.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:03 pm

"What the hell?"

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Postby Damien » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:45 pm

Mister Tee wrote:A new Pew poll puts Bush's approval at 29% (61% disapprove). Harris Interactive, CBS and Newsweek have previously put him below 30, but they are considered low-readers in general. Pew doesn't fall into that category, so this is a signal of even greater erosion.

I'm visiting my Mom in Connecticut. When the Supreme Court established Bush's coup d'état in 2000, my Mom put a black sash on her front porch, a mourning symbol which used to be employed by grieving families in the first part of the last century.

We were sitting on the porch this afternoon having gin and tonics, when one of my Mom's best friends dropped by. She is a wonderful woman, loving, caring, very active in charity work, but with the distressing chracater flaw that she is a Republican. She noted the black sash and said, "I'm going to get one for our house too. I hate that bastard." Then she smiled shyly and said, "Some of us are slow learners."

By the same token, it was fascinating how little the Repugnant candidates in the debate tonight wanted to be associated with Worst President Ever, a far cry from how the Democrats embraced Bill Clinton the other night.

{MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - President Bush drew sporadic, startling criticism Tuesday night from Republican White House hopefuls unhappy with his handling of the Iraq war, his diplomatic style and his approach to immigration.

"I would certainly not send him to the United Nations" to represent the United States, said Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and one-time member of Bush's Cabinet, midway through a spirited campaign debate.

Arizona Sen. John McCain criticized the administration for its handling of the Iraq War, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said, "I think we were underprepared and underplanned for what came after we knocked down Saddam Hussein."

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California said the current administration "has the slows" when it comes to building a security fence along the border with Mexico.

Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado recalled that White House aide Karl Rove had once told him "never darken the door of the White House." The congressman said he'd tell George W. Bush the same thing.

The criticism of Bush was more in keeping of the type of rhetoric that could be expected when Democratic presidential contenders debate.

Its prominence at the GOP event - while Bush was traveling overseas - was a reflection of his poor poll ratings and the need of even members of his own party to campaign on platforms of change. . . .

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee added his voice to those criticizing the war effort. He added that the Bush administration "lost credibility" with its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Thompson's answer was the most startling, coming from a man who had once served in the president's Cabinet as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.}
"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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