I love it and there's something else I love that a number of us are noting tonight. This is from Bonnie Erbe's "Obama Abortion Backtrack Shows He's All Rhetoric, No Fight" (US News & World Reports):
In an interview with Katie Couric, the president said, "I'm pro-choice, but I also think we have a tradition in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded healthcare."
Actually, President Obama is about as pro-choice as he is anti-war, pro-environment, and pro-women's rights, which is to say, not so much or hardly at all when it comes to action versus rhetoric.
And of course there is Sonia Sotomayor. Whose corporatist views I do not agree with but I could have supported her had she been pro-choice and that position been known.
But we weren't 'old enough' to be told that apparently. Barack promised, on the campaign trail, that he would only appoint Justices who were pro-choice. The promise apparently flew out the window because Robert Gibbs stated, shortly after her announcement was made, that she and Barry never discussed abortion and Sotomayor echoed that when asked during her confirmation hearings.
I'm sorry but for a campaign built around "TOO MUCH IS AT STAKE" and meaning Roe and using the loss of Roe to scare up votes, it's disgusting how quickly he caved.
Thomas E. Ricks has some interesting media criticism in "Iraq, the unraveling (XIX): Friends like these" (Foreign Policy):
Also, more bad news in al Anbar -- a big bomb went off in Fallujah, as well as a smaller one near the headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party, and one at a funeral between Ramadi and Fallujah. And a bunch of police were shot up in Abu Ghraib. Is the Anbar Sawha going off the reservation? I still don't understand what is happening out there, and have been surprised by the lack of news coverage of it. It makes me wonder if in budget cutbacks, news bureaus let go their stringers in Anbar. If so, what a sad turn for the news business. Suppose they gave a war and nobody covered it.
And Bob Somerby continues to point out what is known and unknown about the incident the whole country keeps talking about (myself included):
Warner is a long-standing ninny. But this is the way your High Pundit Class reasoned its way through the 1990s. Most consequentially, they reasoned this way for twenty months during Campaign 2000. Endlessly, they invented brainless psychiatric theories, explaining why Candidate Gore said various things—various things he hadn’t said. They also invented psychiatric theories explaining the candidate’s clothing. (Bill Turque and Brian Williams, come on down!) The dead of Iraq look up from the ground into these various nincompoops’ faces. These people still sit at the nexus of power, serving selected lions.
The dead of Iraq look up from the ground into these nincompoops’ faces. So do the abused men and women who are exposed to racial profiling by police, sometimes at gigantic cost, including the loss of their lives. Of course, this is a problem no one on cable TV was discussing until a lion at the nexus of power said he was such a victim. As Gates continues speaking with his daughter, he goes on—and on, and on and on—about the four hours he was forced to endure in this recent incident. We’ll be honest: Thinking of the dead of Iraq; thinking of victims of deeply consequential racial injustice; thinking of the way this professor’s cohort routinely failed to help in the past several decades—we found the professor’s comments there to be border on the disgusting.
(Or should we perhaps be more sympathetic? By his own account, Gates was forced to spend four hours speaking with Harvard professors!)
(For the record, the professor who supervised our senior thesis is a smart, sane prince of a man.)
In fact, Gates’ last PBS program was in large part silly pap, the kind of program a professor may start to produce after becoming a bit too famous and fawned-to. This professor now says he will do a new program about the problems of profiling. Of course, everyone mentally alive on the planet has known that this is a major problem—has known it for a very long time. To watch Glenn Loury hit Gates rather hard about his born-again outrage, you know what to do—just click here. (“I find laughable, and sad, Professor Gates’s declaration that he now plans to make a documentary film about racial profiling...Where has this eminent scholar of African-American affairs been these last 30 years?”)
We wouldn’t be that judgmental ourselves. (And what would he know—he’s at Brown!) But similar thoughts have come to mind as we’ve watched the wealthy/famous/influential lion professor complaining this week.
Your fancy professors have done very little on your behalf in these past thirty years, as you as your society has been pillaged, mocked and looted. They have routinely avoided the fray; instead, they’ve had great fun in Beijing with their daughters, by whom they will later be grilled in the “press.” In this case, the press corps’ performance goes well beyond clownish. Here’s the first “question” in that “interview.” No, we’re not making this up:
Daddy, how did it feel to read in the police report that although you had been cooperative with Sgt. Crowley, while he was standing uninvited in your home, your behavior had been reduced to “loud and tumultuous” after asking to see to his badge? Were you surprised at the inaccuracy of the police report?
No, we didn’t make that up. Almost no one could have. No one but a pampered child of America’s upper class.That's my favorite section, it's fiery and it's funny. And it's true. From the part about Iraq to the part about Gates' daughter. Read the whole thing.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
The following has been agreed upon between the two parties, Political Coundil for Iraq Resistance (PCIR) and the US Government Representatives in this meeting:
At that moment, he said, it was clear that however messed up some of the soldiers in the unit had been after their first Iraq deployment, it was about to get much worse.
"I have no problem with killing," said Eastridge, a two-tour infantryman with almost 80 confirmed kills. "But I won't just murder someone for no reason. He had gone crazy."
Hear the prison interviews with Kenneth Eastridge.
All three soldiers belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, part of Fort Carson's 4th Brigade Combat Team. The 500-soldier infantry battalion nicknamed itself the "Lethal Warriors."
They fought in the deadliest places in the war twice -- first in the Sunni Triangle, then in downtown Baghdad. Since their return late in 2007, eight infantry soldiers have been arrested and accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter. Another two soldiers from the brigade were arrested and accused of murder and attempted murder after the first tour. Others have committed other violent crimes. Others have committed suicide.
Many of the soldiers behind bars and their family members say the violence at home is a consequence of the violence in Iraq. They came home angry, confused, paranoid and depressed. They had trouble getting effective mental heath care. Most buried their symptoms in drugs and alcohol until they exploded.
Ike Skelton: The department's understanding of the allowed usage of CERP funds seems to have undergone a rather dramatic change since Congress first authorized it. The intent of the program was originally to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Iraq through small projects undertaken under the initative of brigade and battalion commanders. Am I correct?
Edelman: Yes, sir.
Ike Skelton: Thank you. The answer was "yes." Last year the Department of Defense has used millions of CERP dollars to build hotels for foreign visitors, spent $900,000 on a mural at the Baghdad International Airport and, as I understand this second piece of art, that CERP funds were used for. I'm not sure that the American tax payer would appreciate that knowing full well that Iraq has a lot of money in the bank from oil revenues and it is my understanding that Iraq has announced that they're going to build the world's largest ferris wheel. And if they have money to build the world's largest ferris wheel why are we funding murals and hotels with money that should be used by the local battallion commander. This falls in the purview of plans and policy ambassador.
Edelman: No, no, it's absolutely right and I'll shae the stage here -- I'll share the stage quite willing with uh, with Admiral Winnefeld with whom I've actually been involved in discussions with for some weeks about how we provide some additional guidance to the field and some additional requirements to make sure that CERP is appropriately spent.
U.S. lawmakers and the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which has released a report about the Caravan Hotel, are increasingly scrutinizing the use of CERP and urging the Pentagon to be more vigilant in its selection and oversight of projects.
The success stories and cautionary tales of CERP initiatives in Iraq are shaping the way commanders in Afghanistan use the program as they place greater emphasis on counterinsurgency and keeping the civilian population safe.
Since 2003, the U.S. Congress has appropriated more than $10 billion in CERP funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"CERP was meant to be walking-around money for commanders to achieve a desired effect in their battle space," said the office's deputy inspector general, Ginger Cruz. "Slowly, it has become a de facto reconstruction pot of money."
the los angeles times