Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The weekend is too short. It like, you wait all week for Friday, and then it comes, and it's great. But then all of a sudden, it's five o'clock on Sunday and you realize that you have to go to work the very next day and your weekend has disappeared. I hate Mondays. and I hate work.

Meanwhile, add this to 9/11 fuck-ups. France knew that al-qaeda had a plot to hijack a US plane. They passed their analysis on to us...and we did...nothing. Also, this bit of information was left out of the 9/11 Commission Report. conspiracy theory away!

And this should come as no surprise - a new Pew study finds that watchers of Fox news are the least well informed of all groups surveyed. Watchers of the Today Show and the Colbert Report tied just as well as readers of major newspapers - who tied for the top spot. Back to Fox - only 30% could answer questions correctly 60% of the time.

We talked about this awhile ago, but the Army is so broken, they are training Airmen to be infantry - and guard conveys (one of the most dangerous positions in Iraq). Let me repeat, Air Force airmen as infantry. Why? Because the Army doesn't have enough troops in field. The airmen are given a 5 week course and then sent off to Iraq. Did I mention that most Air Force personnel don't receive ground combat training as part of their Air Force regimen? So they have to learn ground combat, weaponry, terminology and hierarchy all in 5 weeks. I feel that there is something very very wrong with this picture.

Someone just called to ask about the status of an order placed in November. She had not received it yet, and was wondering where it might be....six months later. who waits six months to find out what happened to an order?!

Presidential Candidate Roundup.
Democratic Hopefuls

Clinton - 44.0 (-4.1)
Clinton has fallen off a little in the polls - and Obama is closing hard. Rasmussen reports that they are dead even as of their 4/23 report. And this week she's going to have to answer tough questions about the gays. She came out swinging this weekend, saying that Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be repealed. But she will have to respond clearly to the gay marriage issue soon - the governor of NY is introducing legislation to legalize gay marriage in NY. Embracing the gays will alienate her from social conservatives...but she wasn't really looking to get their vote anyway. Standing up strongly for gays could earn her a few more progressive votes, but this vote is pretty much wrapped up in Edwards and Obama.

Obama - 32.0 (+2)
Big news this week is that he has pulled dead even with the front runner and presumed (wrongly) nominee Clinton. Still huge support among young people. He drew a crowd of 20k in Georgia. There's no doubt about it, Obama is a superstar. I still look forward to the primary debates. I want to know his stance on specific issues. Generally, he's still on his way up, look for him to surpass Clinton in the next couple of weeks.

Edwards - 8.8 (+.7)
Edwards is biding his time watch the big two duke it out. Without a doubt, he was the most support among the netroots, as well as having substantial infrastructure in place. And I like him on the issues. Out of Iraq, eliminate poverty, affordable health care, and strengthening the middle class. Of the candidates, he has the best message. Obama has pretty words, but I need substance.

Richardson - 2.6 (-.8)
Richardson is still suffering from low name recognition, but his successes in Darfur and North Korea show that he has the best foreign policy credentials. Look for his poll numbers will improve greatly with the primary debates...also, he is very articulate and he doesn't sound like a politician. He also has the cleanest plan for Iraq - get out, all our troops, immediately. If he doesn't get the nomination, he would be a rock-solid VP.

gore - 8.5 (-1)
Even as his poll numbers have remained steady, the Big Dog Bill Clinton insinuates that Gore will run, as does a top Democratic analyst. Reports are out that say that Gore is building his team quietly, the Gore camp calls it fantasy. I still think he'll get involved and he could rival the superstardom of Obama. He also already has staked out positions when it comes to Iraq and global warming.

GOP Hopefuls
Giuliani - 31.6 (-.9)
It's just not Giuliani's year. He can't hold the social conservative section of the Republican base. He's all over the place on abortion and he looks weak on national security because of the continuing Kerik story. Nothing like endorsing a mob-tied, ethically challenged, soon to be indicted friend for a top law enforcement spot to jump start you campaign. I might be wrong, but I don't think Giuliani's going to get the nomination, and if he does, he will lose to the Democratic contender.

McCain - 19.0 (0)
SHortly after officially declaring his candidacy, he let half his staff go. He's hanging out at around 20% support, but he's still toast. He's is inextricably tied to the war in Iraq, the escalation (surge), and the failure in Iraq. The American people are tied of the war, and they're tired of politicians who continue to stay the course of the edge of a cliff. He'll pull out soon...of the race that is, no the war.

Romney - 16.0 (-1.6)
He's hanging in there. He might be tied with Giuliani as the GOP's best bet. And that's not saying much. He has a similar problem as Giuliani, he can't hold a large chunk of the Republican base. For him, it's the evangelicals. Unfortunately for him, even though the Church of Latter Day Saints sees itself as a Christian denomination, most other denominations don't/won't view it that way. And he can't count on the total support of all mormons either. Witness the backlash at BYU over Cheney's upcoming speech at Graduation. A large minority of students are boycotting his speech and are instead taking part in an alternative graduation. The managed to raise a ridiculous amount of money (with the huge support of Dkos) in a very short time to make it possible. Wow. Christians who put their mouth and their money where their beliefs are. Speaking of beliefs, that video of Romney endorsing gays, abortion and affirmative action, that's still shooting around Youtube is going to continue to bite him in the ass.

Thompson - 17.3 (+5.3)
He hasn't declared. He hasn't raised any money. But he's being touted as the savior of 2008. He seems to have one thing that the other candidates don't have. He's definitely conservative. Unfortunately for him, he hasn't yet garnered the favor of the Religious Right, in fact, they already said that he's not Christian, and that's pretty much the end of it. (Like I said, that doesn't bode well for Romney either.) And oddly enough, Intrade gives him a 20% at garnering the VP slot. This makes zero sense to me. It's not like he brings great experience to the ticket, so I'm not sure where this support is coming from. Be that as it may, with the GOP field so very weak, look for anything to happen.

gingrich - 3.2 (+.3)
He's languishing in 3% territory. We'll talk about him more if he breaks into the double digits.

And this has been your Presidential Roundup.

Tillman/Lynch Hearing

Recap Tillman: Pat Tillman was a former NFL player who renounced his million dollar contract to join the Army Rangers. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. The military subsequently covered up the fratricide and ordered soldiers to keep quiet. His memorial service was nationally televised and he became a symbol of American patriotism and heroism, awarded both a purple heart and the silver star. The only problem was, he had been killed by friendly fire - and the military and the Administration knew about it...and fed the American people a line of propaganda. Tillman's mom and brother are still demanding to know the truth, today they had an audience with the Oversight committee.

Tillman's mom and brother are incredibly well spoken, honest and heartbreaking. They cut through the Republican excuse making, and answered the Committee's questions with precision and integrity. Compare their testimony to that of AG Gonzales.

Bottom line: Eye witness accounts were falsified. Soldiers were ordered to stay quiet. Tillman was made a symbol and his memory was used to justify an unjust war. As of yet, no one has been held responsible for the falsification of the circumstances of his death. The Democratic members of the committee had names for the military's crimes, names like obstruction of justice, and conduct unbecoming of an officer.

Recap Lynch: Jessica Lynch's unit was ambushed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, by Iraqi military. She was wounded in the firefight and captured by the Iraqis. US special forces subsequently "rescued" her from an Iraqi hospital. The video of her "rescue" was replayed over and over in the US media, accompanied by the story of Jessica Lynch who had fought off the attackers, until injured. The only problem with that account? It wasn't even remotely true.

Jessica Lynch was poised and succinct in her testimony today. She testified that despite being awarded the bronze star for bravery her gun jammed and that she had not been able to take even one shot. She was not "the little girl 'Rambo' from the hills of West Virginia who went down fighting." She said further that "the truth is always more heroic than the hype."

Bottom line: The military used the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman stories as propaganda and sold it to the American public to promote an unjust war.

Speaking of soldiers being rescued. Why haven't we recovered the American soldier that was captured in Sadr City nearly six months ago? We don't even hear about him/her anymore - and we haven't since Bush called off the search at the request of the Iraqi Prime Minister. Let me be clear, the US Commander-in-Chief abandoned one of our own soldiers in enemy territory. And we still don't know what happened to him/her.


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