So old rummy is in Kuwait, having a battleside chat with some of the troops. However not too many of them seem to be chummy with old man Rummy. The asked a lot of tough questions and I don't think Rumsfeld had any good answers. CNN STORY
Wow, lack of preparation is a great way to rush into a war for oil or revenge, but certainly not for imminent threat or freedom from a dictator.
(Or Should be seriously considered)
William Blaine "Bill" Richardson (born November 15, 1947) is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party. He has served as a Congressman, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and U.S. Secretary of Energy; he is presently the Governor of New Mexico. He was also chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention that nominated John Kerry for the presidency.
Richardson was born in Pasadena, California. His mother, Maria Luisa Lopez-Collada, was Mexican. His father was a native of Boston, who worked for Citibank as an executive in Mexico. He was raised in Mexico City, but as a teenager attended a Boston-area high school. Richardson played baseball in high school and was fine pitcher. He was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics but did not pursue baseball professionally. He went on to Tufts University, where he majored in French and Political Science. He then added a master's degree from Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He met his wife, Barbara Flavin, in Boston.
After college, he worked on congressional relations for the State Department. He was later a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1978, he moved to Santa Fe and ran for U.S. Congress. He lost on his first attempt, but won on his second.
Richardson spent 15 years representing the Third District of New Mexico in the U.S. Congress. As a congressman, he kept his interest in foreign relations. He visited Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, India, North Korea, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and the Sudan to represent U.S. interests. He became a member of the Democratic leadership where he worked closely with President Clinton on several issues.
In 1997, Bill Clinton appointed him to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He served there until 1998, when he was appointed as U.S. Secretary of Energy. He served here until 2001. He oversaw the mishandling of the Wen Ho Lee case.
Richardson was elected governor of New Mexico in November 2002, defeating the Republican candidate, John Sanchez by 17 percentage points (56%-39%). He succeeded a two-term Republican governor, Gary Johnson. He took office in January 2003. Bill Richardson is the only Hispanic Governor in the United States. Early in his first term, it is said he has pressed energetically in a 100 directions at the same time. Some local observers have criticized that, when the cameras weren't on him, he reverts to a somewhat imperial style, seeking to impose his vision rather than respectfully consult and patiently build consensus. He has also been criticized for expanding and perhaps enjoying too much the perks of the position. So far his national reputation, polished by smooth major media appearances, remains rather unaffected by some of this bad local press.
Even as governor, Richardson continues to be interested in foreign policy. During the summer of 2003, he met with a delegation from North Korea to discuss concerns over that country's use of nuclear energy.
He was named Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and announced a desire to increase the role of democratic governors in deciding the future of their party, including the naming of the next Democratic National Committee leader (or leaders).
Why is Bush's cabinet emptying faster than Democratic delegation from the state of Texas.
Commerce- Don Evans
Justice- John Ashcroft
Education- Rod Paige
Agriculture- Ann Veneman
Energy- Spence Abraham
Every. administration experiences cabinet turnover, but usually not at one time. Does this mean Bush feels he doesn't have to pander to more liberal or moderate americans or does it just mean he is trying to pay back people who did favors for him. If it is the later many of the people currently in these positions got them for those reasons. More backs to scratch, fewer positions to fill, time to empty the cabinets. Folks something is going on in Washington and I suggest you keep a watchful eye on the White House. The year 2005 is going to be the first true test of this newly empowered White House and it's Republican Congress. Democrats and other liberal now is the time to raise attacks. The 2008 presidential election race is already beginning to form. We can not allow another conservative from the Regan Mold to win office. Such a move would be disastrous.
Current Music: Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
U.S. sending 1,500 more troops before Iraq vote
Extended stays for 10,000 raises total to all-time high of 150,000
Wednesday, December 1, 2004 Posted: 6:43 PM EST (2343 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States is dispatching an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq and extending the stays of more than 10,000 others to bolster security ahead of January's scheduled elections, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
The moves will bring the number of U.S. troops in Iraq from nearly 140,000 to an all-time high of about 150,000, the Pentagon said.
Gen. George Casey, commander of the American-dominated multinational force in Iraq, requested the increase to take advantage of momentum gained by recent U.S.-led offensives against an insurgency that has killed hundreds of American troops over the past 18 months, the military said.
"Force posture changes will take advantage of a 'window of opportunity' following successful operations in Falluja," said a news release from U.S. Central Command.
Two battalions of the 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are being dispatched to Iraq for up to four months in order to provide security for Iraq's elections, currently set for January 30, the Pentagon said.
Seventeen secular, religious and regional groups have called for a delay to the elections, but a spokesman for Ayad Allawi said Saturday the interim Iraqi prime minister is opposed to a postponement. (Full story)
The fresh troops are part of the 82nd Airborne's Ready Brigade, a unit that is constantly on standby to be deployed anywhere in the world on 18 hours' notice.
Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne also were dispatched to Afghanistan to beef up security for the Afghan elections earlier this fall. (Full story)
In addition to the new troops, two Army brigades, a transportation company and a Marine unit scheduled to return home in January are being kept in Iraq until March.
The delay affects an estimated 10,360 soldiers and Marines, some of whom already have had their service in Iraq extended from 10 months to 12.
The units being held back are the 2nd Brigade of the Army's 25th Infantry Division, with 4,400 soldiers, currently based in northern Iraq; 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based in Baghdad, with 3,500 troops; the Army's 116th Transportation Unit, with 160 soldiers; and 2,300 Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, whose home base is on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
U.S. and Iraqi troops recaptured the insurgent-held city of Falluja last month in a major push to restore the interim government's authority ahead of the elections.
U.S., British and Iraqi troops launched a similar operation last week to rout out insurgent positions south of Baghdad.
As of Wednesday, 1,256 Americans and 146 allied troops have died in Iraq since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
The January elections are meant to elect a transitional parliament that will draft a new constitution, and the Pentagon has said that balloting will represent "the next step towards a more peaceful and stable environment" in the embattled country.
Iraq's neighbors tightening borders
Interior ministers from Egypt and the countries neighboring Iraq promised Wednesday to strengthen security along their borders in an attempt to prevent insurgent infiltration ahead of the January elections.
"I believe we have reached consensus on just about all the issues we discussed," said Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari, Iran's interior minister.
Iraq's neighbors also pledged to train and equip Iraqi police and border guards and help the U.S.-backed government hold elections as scheduled.
The two-day conference was attended by interior ministers from Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran -- along with Iraq. (Map)
A special envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan also attended the sessions.
Iraqi Interior Minister Fallah al-Naquib urged neighboring countries to do more to stop the infiltration of terrorists into Iraqi territory.
"Any instability in Iraq will impact the whole region," he told the conference.
Iraq has accused some of its neighbors, particularly Iran and Syria, of not doing enough to stem the inflow of insurgents and terrorists from their territories.
The United States has accused Iran of meddling in Iraq's affairs by sending men and arms to destabilize the country.
While Iran has denied these allegations, it said stability in Iraq is of paramount concern. According to the Tehran government, its side of the border is closely guarded, and any illegal crossing will be stopped.
In September, a U.S. delegation directly confronted Syrian President Bashar Assad with evidence that Syrians were aiding militants crossing the border, a senior American government official said.
President Bush had warned Syria before about its failure to police its borders, but the meeting with Assad -- as opposed to lower-level Syrian officials -- sent a direct message.
U.S. and Iraqi forces detained 15 suspected militants Wednesday during raids in Iraq's Babil province, a U.S. military news release said. The raids were part an operation launched November 24 to rout out insurgent positions south of Baghdad. More than 200 suspected insurgents have been captured during the operation, the release said.
A car bomb attack on an Army combat patrol killed seven Iraqi civilians Tuesday in the northern Iraqi city of Baiji, a military spokesman said. The blast wounded 19 people, including two U.S. soldiers. Military officials said they believe the vehicle's driver also was killed. Another U.S. soldier was wounded in a second attack in the city.
On Tuesday, Iraqi security forces formally assumed control of the south-central Iraqi city of Najaf, the scene of heavy fighting during the summer, a U.S. Marine commander said.
CNN's Jamie McIntyre and Kasra Naji also contributed to this report.
Nov. U.S. death toll in Iraq nears record
By ROBERT BURNS
AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military death toll in Iraq rose by at least three Monday and the November total is approaching the highest for any month since the American-led invasion was launched in March 2003.
At least 133 U.S. troops have died in Iraq so far this month - only the second time it has topped 100 in any month. The deadliest month was last April when 135 U.S. troops died as the insurgency flared in Sunni-dominated Fallujah, where dozens of U.S. troops died this month.
The Pentagon's official death toll for Iraq stood at 1,251 on Monday, but that did not include two soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad and another killed in a vehicle accident. When the month began, the death toll stood at 1,121, the Pentagon said.
It was not clear whether the bombing deaths of two Marines south of Baghdad on Sunday were included in the overall count the Pentagon published Monday.
Also Monday, Osama bin Laden's top deputy vowed in a videotape aired Monday to keep fighting the United States until Washington changed its policies.
In a brief excerpt broadcast on Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri said Americans "have to choose between one of two methods to deal with Muslims: either on mutual respect and exchange of interests, or to deal with them as if they are spoils of war." He added, "You have to realize that we are a nation of patience and endurance. We will stand firm to fight you with God's help until doomsday."
One factor that drove up combat casualties was fierce fighting in Fallujah. Combat injuries also have increased this month due to the Fallujah battle. Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington reported Monday that it received 32 additional battle casualties from Iraq over the past two weeks. One was in critical condition. All 32 had been treated earlier at the Army's main hospital in Europe, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
Some of the most severe injuries - and many of the deaths - among U.S. troops in Iraq are inflicted by the insurgents' homemade bombs, which the military calls improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
U.S. forces have put extraordinary effort into countering the IED threat, yet it persists. U.S. troops in Fallujah reported finding nearly as many homemade explosives over the past three weeks as had been uncovered throughout Iraq in the previous four months combined.
In recent action in Fallujah, troops found at least 650 homemade bombs, Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said Monday. That compares with 722 found throughout the country between July 1 and October 31.
The IEDs are rigged to detonate by remote control and often are hidden along roadways used by U.S. forces, to deadly effect.
Since U.S. forces invaded Fallujah on Nov. 8 to regain control from insurgents, they have found about a dozen IED "factories," a number of vehicles being modified to serve as car bombs, and at least 10 surface-to-air missiles capable of downing aircraft, Whitman said.
More than half of the approximately 100 mosques in Fallujah were used as fighting positions or weapon storage sites, Whitman said, citing a U.S. military report that has not been released publicly.
U.S. officials knew insurgents had used Fallujah as a haven from which to plan and organize resources for attacks in Baghdad and other cities in the so-called Sunni Triangle north and west of the capital, but the amount of weapons found exceeded expectations.
Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference last Tuesday that the kinds and amount of weapons found in Fallujah indicated the insurgents pose a serious and continuing threat.
"No doubt attacks will continue in the weeks and months ahead, and perhaps intensify as the Iraqi election approaches," Rumsfeld said, referring to national elections scheduled for Jan. 30.
Whitman said other discoveries in Fallujah include:
-Plastic explosives and TNT.
-A hand-held Global Positioning System receiver for use in navigation.
-Makeshift shoulder-fired rocket launchers, rocket-propelled grenades, 122mm rockets and thousands of mortar rounds.
-An anti-aircraft artillery gun.
-More than 200 major weapons storage areas.
At the State Department, meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters Monday there is no reason Iraq should not hold its Jan. 30 elections as scheduled, despite the insurgency.
"We are working hard on it," he said.
The United Nations has increased its presence in the country, thousands of Iraqis are working on registration and "we are encouraging all parties to participate in the political process, especially in the Sunni heartland," Powell said.
"An election is the way forward," Powell said. "It's the means by which the Iraqi people can say to the world, we want to live in democracy, we want to be able to choose our leaders, and not let these individuals who are using car bombs to murder innocent people" be allowed to succeed.
On the Net:
Military casualty statistics at http://web1.whs.osd.mil/mmid/casualty/castop.htm
The Defense Department at http://www.defenselink.mil
|» Why isn't this on the front page?????|
AP article: |
Accidental strafing divides N.J. region
By WAYNE PARRY
Associated Press Writer
LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. (AP) -- The strafing of a school by a National Guard F-16 fighter jet has divided residents of the fast-growing region around the Warren Grove Gunnery Range. Some fear for their safety, while others consider it profoundly unpatriotic to question the military during a time of war.
The National Guard is still investigating what it describes as an accidental release of gunfire. Results are expected in about two weeks.
The night custodian of the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School was going about her rounds when she heard the patter of what sounded like footsteps on the roof. She thought someone might be running atop the building, but police found nothing. The next morning, authorities realized what had made the sound: 20mm rounds fired by the F-16 during a nighttime training flight over a target range four miles away.
"Had it missed the school and hit one of our houses, we'd be talking about dead bodies now," said Township Committeeman Arthur Midgley. "We can't have this. This must never happen again."
But Terry Hickman, a 10-year Army special forces veteran, defended the range and the pilots who train there.
"Let 'em alone; they're over there putting their lives on the line for us," Hickman said as he prepared to hunt deer in Bass River, near the edge of the range. "That guy (the pilot) probably feels so bad about this. He's probably going to get sent overseas and he might not even come back. As long as no one got hurt, this whole thing should just be forgotten."
According to the military, at 9:02 p.m. on Nov. 3, a veteran pilot from the 113th Wing of the District of Columbia National Guard, based at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, was streaking across the sky 7,000 feet above the 9,416-acre range, which abuts parts of Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Tuckerton and Bass River.
The pilot, a major whose name has not been released and who has been grounded pending the outcome of the inquiry, looked back over his shoulder for a split second, just as the wing-mounted gun fired a burst of 27 rounds. The 20mm cannon fires at a rate of about 6,000 rounds per minute.
The lead rounds followed an arcing trajectory that brought them to the ground four miles away. Eight bullets punched through the roof of the school and at least one lodged in a child's desk.
The pilot immediately radioed the tower that something had gone wrong and headed back to Andrews.
The range is shut down until the investigation is completed.
The pilot's commander, Maj. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr. Wherley, told reporters in Washington there were three possible explanations: plane malfunction, computer error or pilot error.
When the range was opened in 1942 during World War II, there were 2,000 people living nearby; now there are more than 50,000.
Lisamarie Saccomagno's daughter attends the school.
"Because we're at war now, I'm very sensitive to all the military's burdens," she said. "We all want to be safe and secure. But we're also concerned about our children. I'm afraid something's going to go wrong. We really need to know where those bullets are going."
National Guard officials pointedly invoked the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in trying to reassure residents and head off calls for the range to be permanently shut down.
"Think back in your memory to Sept. 11, when all the air traffic was grounded and the only sound you heard was our F-16s flying over New Jersey," Maria Falca-Dodson, the state National Guard's deputy adjutant general, said at a packed public meeting. "Much of the country all felt great comfort in the sounds and sights of those aircraft. What if on Sept. 11, we were all a volunteer group that only flew occasionally or twice a year?"
The Guard already has made several changes in pilot training, including requiring them to keep a safety on their weapons until they are over the range near their targets, and altering approach routes so any accidental gunfire is likely to land in sparsely populated woods west of the Garden State Parkway.
Many of the range's closest neighbors don't fear its operations. In May, Bill Neil and his family moved into a spacious new home just past the range's western boundary in Stafford. He said he's not concerned for his family's safety.
"It's kind of cool for the kids," he said. "They like hearing the planes."
|» Why Kentucky needs more Democrats or something else?|
From the Americans Coming Together (ACT) website:|
How has KENTUCKY fared under a Republican Administration?
Kentuckians have suffered under the extremist policies of the Bush Administration.
Almost 14% of Kentuckians – including 106,000 children – are uninsured.
Almost 550,000 people in Kentucky had no health insurance for all of 2000 and 2002. Almost 11% of Kentucky’s children are without health insurance.
(“Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2002,” U.S. Census Bureau Report, September 2003; “Annual Social and Economic (March) Supplement,” Current Population Survey (CPS), November 2003; “Children’s Defense Fund Analysis Shows Percentage of Uninsured Children Varies by State,” Children’s Defense Fund, October 24, 2003)
Those Kentuckians lucky enough to have health insurance are paying high insurance premiums and huge prescription drug costs.
The average price for a retail prescription in Kentucky is $48.90.
(“Average Price of Retail Prescriptions, 2002,” State Health Facts Online (http://www.statehealthfacts.kff.org), Kaiser Family Foundation)
The average annual cost for employment-based family health insurance coverage in Kentucky is $7,173.06.
(“Average Annual Cost of Employment-Based Health Insurance, Family Coverage, 2001,” State Health Facts Online (http://www.statehealthfacts.kff.org), Kaiser Family Foundation)
The people of Kentucky are suffering under GOP fiscal policies. Over 13% of Kentucky citizens are living in poverty. Almost 41% of Kentucky’s children are poor.
(“Percentage of People in Poverty by State: 2000, 2001, 2002,” 2-Year Average (2001-2002), Census Bureau, December 19, 2003; “Number and Percent of Children under 19 Years of Age, at or below 200 Percent of Poverty, by State: Three-Year Averages for 2000, 2001 and 2002,” Census Bureau, October 30, 2003).
Republicans’ economic policies have cost us over 47,00 Kentucky manufacturing jobs.
Since this Administration took office, America has lost 3 million jobs, and you have lost 47,600 manufacturing jobs in Kentucky.
(U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The Bush Administration’s deficit will top $520 billion in 2005.
In his proposed 2005 budget, Bush revealed the budget deficit will reach an astonishing $521 billion – a full $150 billion higher than last year’s record-setting deficit.
(“Deficit Is $521 Billion in Bush Budget,” Washington Post, February 2, 2004)
So far, the Republicans have spent $141 billion on the war in Iraq. Kentucky’s share of that bill is $1.193 billion.
(“The Cost of War for States and Selected Cities,” National Priorities Project, October 2003)
The burden of the Bush Administration’s tax cut and borrowing policies is falling on Kentucky’s families. The average six-year net cost of the debt buildup for a family of four in Kentucky is $37,525.
(“We’re Paying Dearly for Bush’s Tax Cuts,” Citizens for Tax Justice, September 23, 2004)
|» The sneaky, Underhandedness begins....|
A new major spending bill ,that is about to be passed by congress, has just received an anti-abortion provision to it. SEE NY TIMES ARTICLE This addition to the Omnibus bill, could mean an increase in illegal abortion procedures, which include an unnecessary amount of deaths. I have to say loudly, that I am not an advocate of abortion, but by banning it more harm will be created than good. One of the biggest mistakes of creation of the american constitution , was the notion that the government could dictate social policy. This is the idea at heart for most of the Bush administration. This is the reason why it is a major mistake for president Bush to be given a second term. This is just the beginning, the worse is yet to come. I promise you there is going to be a lot more trouble from this presidency. If everyone sits back and allows it to happen, then we are going to be in a mess of trouble. The senate democrats are going to fight, the house democrats can't but would like to and anybody who is liberal or moderate minded or a certain sort of conservative needs to get together and fight. |
ACT DUMMY !!!!
|» JFK ain't quite done yet|
I don't know if this is political posturing or if John Kerry is being genuine, but he seems to be picking up the fight. It appears that the Senator from Massachusetts is attempting to push a piece of legislature through congress that would provide healthcare to all children in the country. Mr. Kerry's angle is to not get any senate co-sponsors, but instead get a bunch of signatures from average joes. This could pay off greatly, or it might backfire. I personally doubt it will go far in congress regardless of who signs on, but it's a nice gesture and it's worth signing up for free. Also there is a little Kerry video on there. I am hoping that Kerry is going to be a thorn in Bush's side, somebody needs to be. This new Bush cabinet and congress come challenge free. I am not certain whether the dems can risk filibustering any of Bush's nominees or bills. I think what will happen is that the conservative pundits,press, news, and radio will run out saying they are wasting time and obstructing the processes of the senate. Most importantly people, now is the time to start working and fighting. Not 2006, not 2008. It is time to get operations in effect as soon as possible. Whether it be Project Phoenix efforts, or Democratic Party related efforts. If we snooze we are on our way to a rude awakening, because by 2008 there is no telling what shape this country. |
Kerry Video and petition
|» The battle is beginning|
The senate is about to start churning out rubber-stamped judges soon and it is very likely to happen. Arlen Specter is on is way to not becoming head of the Senate judiciary commitiee It is very important that Specter get's this job. John Kyl is in line after him and Kyl will rubber-stamp like no other. Arlen Specter is a member of the moderate Republcans. This is a group of 4 people than I can thin of ( might be one more in there somwhere, Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chaffee, Olympia Snow, and Susan Collins. Jim Jeffords was part of this group. It is my hope that the Republican leadership will alienate these members so much that some of them will bolt. Lincoln Chaffee almost left this year after the election, but someone PERSUADED him to stay in the part,y. I am wondering if a letter writing campaign would persuade any or all these good senators to switch to independent or democrat. Well, anyways seems like I'm the only one that posts on here, doesn't anyone else care about anything that is happening.?|
ACT DUMMY !!!!