Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on July 28th, 2006 10:46 am by HL
WASHINGTON - Military commanders in Iraq are developing a plan to move as many as 5,000 U.S. troops with armored vehicles and tanks into Baghdad in an effort to quell escalating violence, defense officials said Thursday.
As part of the plan, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Thursday extended the tours of some 3,500 members of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The unit, which has been serving in northern Iraq, was scheduled to be leaving now, but instead, most of its 3,900 troops will serve for up to four more months. It was unclear whether the unit would go to Baghdad
Excerpt:WASHINGTON - The economy’s growth in the second quarter was less than half that of the prior three months as consumers tightened their belts and spending on home building nose-dived. Inflation, however, shot up.
The latest snapshot released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed that that gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of just 2.5 percent in the April-to-June period. That marked a big slowdown from the January-to-March quarter, when the economy zipped along at a 5.6 percent annual rate, the fastest in 2 1/2 years
NBC/WSJ poll: U.S. pessimism on increase Doubts about childrenâ€™s future and concerns about wars weigh heavily
WASHINGTON - With congressional midterm elections less than four months away, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that candidates will be facing a public that has grown increasingly pessimistic, as nearly two-thirds don’t believe life for their children’s generation will be better than it has been for them, and nearly 60 percent are doubtful the Iraq war will come to a successful conclusion.
And there’s more pessimism: Among those who believe the nation is headed on the wrong track, more than 80 percent say it’s part of a longer-term decline.
Amid new fighting, Bush job approval stabilizes at 36%
A majority of Americans believe the battles now being fought across the Israelâ€“Lebanon border are the beginnings of a wider conflict â€“ one that could result in a war that spans the globe, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.
The survey included 1,034 likely voters nationwide, and was conducted July 21â€“25, 2006. It carries a margin of error of +/â€“ 3.1 percentage points.
Asked about their view of the conflict, 29% said they think the conflict between Israeli and Hezbollah forces will lead to a fullâ€“blown regional war enveloping several nations, while 19% said they think a world war will result. Another 17% said they think the war will widen to include Lebanese national forces, but will go no further.
Those of us who were labeled America-haters for saying that Iraq was a mess and that our military presence was making things worse are actually being proven right – by the military’s own documentation.
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, written by Washington Post senior Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks and set to be published this summer, is not to be dismissed as the opinions of shifty Iraqis or pointy-headed academics. Instead, for his material Ricks went straight to the good old, blood-and-guts sources, the Armed Services archives themselves – or, as The Washington Post puts it in its excerpts from the book, which started running in the paper Sunday, “a review of more than 30,000 pages of military documents and several hundred interviews with U.S. military personnel.”
Excerpt:Imagine this situation: Your country has had a military setback in a war that was supposed to be over after a few months of “shock and awe.” Because of that war, it has lost the goodwill and prestige of much of the international community.
The national debt has grown to staggering size. Citizens complain bitterly about the government, especially the legislative branch, for being a bunch of do-nothings working solely for themselves or for special interest groups. In fact, the political scene has pretty much lost its center — moderates are attacked by all sides as the political discourse becomes a clamor of increasingly extreme positions.
It seems there are election campaigns going on all the time, and they are increasingly vicious. The politicians just want to argue about moral issues — sexuality, decadent art, the crumbling family and the like — while pragmatic matters of governance seem neglected.
Sound familiar? That society was Germany of the 1920s — the ill-fated Weimar Republic. But it also describes more and more the political climate in America today.
My weekend visitor was one of the founders of the postwar Republican Party in the South, one of those stubborn men who challenged the Democratic rule in his one-party state. He was conservative enough that in the great struggle for the 1952 nomination, his sympathies were with Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio, not Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He has lived long enough to see Republicans elected as senator and governor of his state and to see a Republican from the Sun Belt behemoth of Texas capture the White House. His profession won’t let him speak with his name attached, but he is sadly disillusioned.
Crooks and Liars
Another day, another tape from al Qaeda. So what? What exactly is the world supposed to do because some al Qaeda dirtbag releases a tape saying heâ€™s going to support Hezbollah? Should we all get under the bed now? The fact is, these morons have been sending out tapes for years and
threatening all kinds of dire things, but as far as we know, the leadership of whatâ€™s left of this organization is still scurrying around from cave to cave in
Afghanistan trying to keep their cooking fires lit so they can roast their goats.
Excerpt:Meet Mark Jenkins, a Republican from Gate City, Virginia, who supposedly lost the 2004 mayoral race, but who stood up for his rights, and for those of the voters, and for democracy in general, after it turned out that his opponent, incumbent Charles Dougherty, had captured nearly 90% of the absentee votes, but less than 51% of the overall total.
After the usual number of shenanigans and attempted shenanigans, the result has been overturned, and now the supposed winner faces time in prison! And â€” guess what â€” the people behind the shenanigans appear to have been â€” are you ready for this â€” well-connected Republicans!
Diebold Profit Falls By 46%
Press Coverage Fails to Note Any Connection to Failure of Their E-Voting Business
Our friends at Diebold were all over the business pages yesterday, and the numbers seemed much more precise than the verbal descriptions. All the reports agreed that Diebold’s second-quarter profits were down, compared to last year, by either 46 or 46.3 percent. They also seemed to agree on what lines of business Diebold pursues. And judging from what they’ve written, Dieblod has nothing to do with elections!
Pfew! What a relief! For a while there, I was starting to think these Diebold guys were a threat to our democracy! I guess I must have spent too much time reading Internet Blogs!
In 2005, the Bolton nomination passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but ran into a filibuster on the Senate floor. It appears likely that his re-nomination will proceed on a similar path. All indications are that Sen. Joseph Lieberman will play a crucial role in determining whether the Bolton nomination will ultimately pass the Senate.
Lieberman was part of â€œa tiny groupâ€ of Democrats who voted for Bolton to become Undersecretary of State in 2001. In 2005, Lieberman reportedly was â€œconsidering voting for Boltonâ€ had a vote come up. His spokesman Matt Gobush elaborated: