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What's going on – News Roundup

Friday Morning News Roundup
  • I continue to be amazed at how Senator Ronald Burris has gone from political genius to a national embarrassment. Now it appears that former Governor Rod Blagojevich hired Ronald Burris, II, as senior counsel, for the state’s Housing Authority in mid-September. This worked out very well since the young attorney had just been slapped with a $34,000 tax lien and a mortgage company had foreclosed on his house. I remember the senator saying something about there was no quid pro quo. Maybe I was mistaken.
  • New York Governor David Paterson has changed his top political staff and hopes of changing his fortune.
  • Well, this was a shocker — John McCain, in front of a conservative audience has warned that America could lose the game that it has currently going in Iraq.
  • It appears that President Barack Obama is planning on pulling out all combat troops from Iraq by August of 2010. The big question is what will be the residual force?
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has opened an exploratory committee looking into her chances at running for governor of Texas, said the strangest thing on CNBC. “Every major tax cut we’ve ever had in history has created more revenue (for the treasury).” This may not be the stupidest thing that has ever been said, but it is stupid nonetheless. Not one of President Bush’s tax cuts increased revenue. As a matter of fact, President Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 decreased revenues so dramatically he quietly increased taxes in 1982 and again in 1983. I guess when you’re a senator, or a politician for that matter, facts don’t matter.
  • A new Government Accountability Office report reveals that companies that have been banned from doing business with the United States are continuing to do business with the United States.
  • Jesus’s General has come up with a new T-shirt that he is selling — “Palin/Plumber 2012 — EMPOWER THE STUPID!

Keith Olbermann has an excellent summary of Governor Bobby Jindal’s speech. Watch:

By |2009-02-27T00:29:25-04:00February 27th, 2009|Countdown, Iraq, Obama administration, Senate|Comments Off on What's going on – News Roundup

New York Times OpEd: Obama's Iraq Plan

From NYT - Ssg. Lorie Jewell/U.S. Army, via Associated PressSenator John McCain is making a big deal over Senator Barack Obama getting published while his own article got rejected. I think that we have to look at Obama’s article and McCain’s article both. The investigation will be illuminating.

(Emphasis added is mine.)

My Plan for Iraq
Published: July 14, 2008

CHICAGO — The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.

The differences on Iraq in this campaign are deep. Unlike Senator John McCain, I opposed the war in Iraq before it began, and would end it as president. I believed it was a grave mistake to allow ourselves to be distracted from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban by invading a country that posed no imminent threat and had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Since then, more than 4,000 Americans have died and we have spent nearly $1 trillion. Our military is overstretched. Nearly every threat we face — from Afghanistan to Al Qaeda to Iran — has grown.

In the 18 months since President Bush announced the surge, our troops have performed heroically in bringing down the level of violence. New tactics have protected the Iraqi population, and the Sunni tribes have rejected Al Qaeda — greatly weakening its effectiveness.

But the same factors that led me to oppose the surge still hold true. The strain on our military has grown, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and we’ve spent nearly $200 billion more in Iraq than we had budgeted. Iraq’s leaders have failed to invest tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues in rebuilding their own country, and they have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge.

The good news is that Iraq’s leaders want to take responsibility for their country by negotiating a timetable for the removal of American troops. Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. James Dubik, the American officer in charge of training Iraq’s security forces, estimates that the Iraqi Army and police will be ready to assume responsibility for security in 2009.

Only by redeploying our troops can we press the Iraqis to reach comprehensive political accommodation and achieve a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country. Instead of seizing the moment and encouraging Iraqis to step up, the Bush administration and Senator McCain are refusing to embrace this transition — despite their previous commitments to respect the will of Iraq’s sovereign government. They call any timetable for the removal of American troops “surrender,” even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government.

But this is not a strategy for success — it is a strategy for staying that runs contrary to the will of the Iraqi people, the American people and the security interests of the United States. That is why, on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war.

As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 — two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces. That would not be a precipitous withdrawal. (more…)

By |2008-07-22T22:42:25-04:00July 22nd, 2008|Election 2008|1 Comment
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