Monday, April 04, 2011
Monday, June 22, 2009
Now this is an interesting little tidbit of news. What makes me realy curious is the reason the government is seeking to interfere in a lawsuit between the two parties. I'm sure that its members (including John Kerry and George Bush) probably still carry political clout and can help their buddies out. But why interfere at all?
I can think of a few reasons:
- They really did steal the bones of Geronimo, and its members would have hell to pay in the public circle. There would also be a precident for other such lawsuits.
- They really didn't steal the bones of Geronimo, and its group would lose some of its mystique and clout
Missing from the BBC article (but within the Wikipedia article on Geronimo) was the bit about Obama (since he is the current president, I suppose) as one of the plaintiffs of the suit. The request may be as simple a basis as that. Guess we'll have to follow the news and see . . .
Friday, May 15, 2009
President Obama himself had criticised the military commission system during his election campaign, describing it as "an enormous failure".
But, his aides pointed out on Thursday, the president never rejected the possibility of using military commissions altogether if they could be made fairer.
They highlighted legislation he supported as a senator in 2006 which was intended to do just that.
Wow! That's an incredible amount of backspin. During the election, everybody looked at Obama as 'Clinton' without the namesake. I guess we'll see how accurate that is. What's really funny is that these policies are just what the Republican (Neo-Cons) want, so the issue of 'flip-flopping' hasn't been raised.
Cheney is out there right now making the case that torture is indeed effective, and the CIA has proof (in memo form). I'm guessing that he's assuming that terrorist only watch Al Jazeera (instead of Fox) and won't hear his commentary. Because if they do, they might take torture more seriously if they happen to capture someone on our side. But Cheney is smarter and less vindictive than that, right?
Let's be honest, though. The real problem is that the last administration was gung-ho on terrorism, and while there was a real concern at the beginning, that quickly evaporated in the followup reactions of Iraq. We are now in the same place Russia was in the early 80's with Afganistan, and rather than fix the situation quickly, our elected leaders are passing the buck. Republicans can't concede moral failures, and Democrats are blaming Republicans for their loss of moral compass. In the meantime, people who have nothing to do with any of these policies die on both sides of the argument.
I think that anyone looking for proof that McCain and Obama really are cut from the same cloth need only look at this issue. The only real difference is that McCain would not have altered the Bush agenda so rapidly (hence no back-spin) and Pelosi could have lived with her lie for another 4 years - the Republicans would not have had a reason to call her on it.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I think he's still trying to have his cake and eat it, too. He placates the liberals in his voter base by announcing that the pictures must be seen by all. Then he reverses and (just like Bush) decides that hiding our national shame is far better that exposing it to the light.
I have not one single regret for not voting for this guy. Now I don't feel like I've betrayed my personal convictions. Just because the Democrats have both houses doesn't mean they've developed a backbone . . . .
Friday, April 10, 2009
Nearly 95% of the money would, Mr Obama said, go to the Pentagon to "help the people of Iraq to take responsibility for their own future, and work to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan".I understand and agree with needing to stablize the region (since it's our responsibility directly, now.) But the articl states that the Obama administration is requesting $150bn, which is a scant $22bn less than Goober Bush, and this time, the Democrats are going to be signing off on the check. No blaming the Republicans this time (though they never seemed to have a problem with this funding since the start of the 'war' . . . .)
The rest of the money would be used to confront other threats to US security, from "securing loose nuclear weapons to combating fear and want under repressive regimes".
According to an article from The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Obama is spending more on national defense than Bush did (adjusting for inflation.)
In the article:
The reason is quite simple. President Obama and members of his defense team plan to end the use of emergency supplemental bills to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. War spending under the Bush administration was largely requested in “off budget” supplementals that were excluded from White House deficit projections and long-term plans. By integrating war budgets into the regular Pentagon budget, the Obama administration will make war funding part of the normal budget process and therefore subject to budget oversight laws.So in other words, he gets to keep a campaign 'promise' and spend more money on the war anyway?
Since war funding is going to be shifted from emergency supplementals into the regular Pentagon budget, however, the regular Pentagon budget will increase in the years ahead due to the infusion of war funds. The United States will most likely spend less on defense overall; the money will just be presented up front in a single large chunk. This integration process will take time – there will still be a separate war supplemental next fiscal year – but the $534 billion Pentagon budget in fiscal year 2010 already includes some of the spending that used to be included in war supplementals.
The Republicans say: We dont' care.
The Democrats say: We pretend to care.