I will not say anything new in this post. I will not say anything that is outrageous or over the top. The Iraq War was one of the many reasons that caused me to start writing a book and to start a blog.
I guess the big question concerns what we gained from the Iraq War. Some will say nothing. Others will argue that we got rid of Saddam Hussein and that was worth it. I would argue that we squandered international good will. We fanned the flames of Muslim extremism. We played into the hands of Bin Laden by invading a country that was no threat to us or our allies. I would say that we turned a very backward nation into a battleground where there seems to always be war.
I don’t get it. If children are our future and we, all, believe that children are the foundation of tomorrow then why are we short changing the most important gift that we can give to our children – their education?
BTW, I don’t care if the president backed down on when he would schedule his speech to Congress. I really don’t. We need jobs now. Not tomorrow or next week. Why couldn’t the Republican candidates debate an hour later or two hours earlier? Why couldn’t the president give his speech today and not next week? I don’t care about these macho contests. I care about jobs. Tomorrow we will have another jobs report. I suspect that this is going to be mediocre – with 60,000 – 75,000 jobs added. We need 10 times that much every month for more than two years in order to put 25 million workers (unemployed and underemployed) back to work in jobs that they want at wages that can truly support them. Shame on the media for pushing this non-story and why isn’t the media showing us a daily segment entitled – JOBS???!?!?
* Libya: “The transitional government of Libya’s triumphant rebels decided Thursday to extend by up to a week the deadline given to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his remaining fighters to surrender, but the fugitive leader rejected the ultimatum and raged at his enemies in a new broadcast that called for the country to be ‘engulfed in flames.’”
* Better, but still too high: “Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said, still pointing to a jobs market struggling to find strength, but well short of a recession signal.”
* Iraq: “Under increased pressure from the United States, an Iraqi crackdown on Iranian-backed Shiite militias has helped produce a previously elusive goal: For the first time since the American invasion of Iraq, an entire month has passed without a single United States service member dying.”
* Maybe someone should do something: “The Obama administration downgraded its forecast for economic growth Thursday, predicting turmoil in the economy will likely keep unemployment above 9 percent through next year’s election.”
* On the other hand, the federal budget deficit will run “20% lower than expected this year.” Tea Partiers will be celebrating the Obama administration’s progress on deficit reduction, right?
* Counter-terrorism: “On a steady slide. On the ropes. Taking shots to the body and head. That’s how White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan described al-Qaida on Wednesday as he offered the first on-record confirmation that al-Qaida’s latest second-in-command was killed last week in Pakistan.”
* The White House’s new “We The People” online petition initiative looks pretty good.
I don’t know how other bloggers like Steve or Markos come up with their ideas of what to talk about. I don’t know if they sit down in front of the computer, like I do, and scan multiple news sites before they find something that clicks. Sometimes, I can spend more than an hour just looking for the right thing to write about. Anyway, I threw a few ideas together in tonight’s grab bag.
I’m not sure what went wrong when Israel decided to stop a flotilla in international waters. The flotilla was heading for Gaza. They suspected weapons or terrorists or both. Several people are dead. Turkey and Israel are pointing fingers at each other and we’re in the middle.
Labor unions are pulling out all the stops against Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, who has consistently sided with big business over labor.
If you and I and all of our friends in the progressive blogosphere donate $50 to help strengthen financial reform, could we change Congress? Could we change the bill? I doubt it. The financial sector is simply awash in truckloads of money.
The teeth in the financial reform bill was an amendment named after Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufman. The Brown-Kaufman amendment would’ve limited the size of banks and held the amount of risk that they could take. How did 27 Democrats vote against this amendment? How did this amendment go up in flames so quickly? It is clearly a testament to the power of Wall Street.
I know that people are clamoring for president Obama to do something with this oil spill but for the life of me I can’t think of what it is he would need to do. Send in the Navy? And do what? How would the Navy stop the oil spill? By the way, how come we’ve been drilling off the coasts of the United States for over 30 years and we don’t have a viable plan of how to fix it if something goes wrong?
The Prince of Persia is really a good movie. My wife and I just saw it and we both enjoyed it. It is a little clichéd at times but still very enjoyable.
Finally, I feel sorry for Al Gore and Tipper Gore. They should be able to suffer through their divorce in private.