Thursday, July 31, 2008
This reality is getting harder and harder to deny. Sunni and Shiite are not killing each other, The government is functioning as a representative government and there are 192 Divisions of trained Iraqi troops.
The Iraqi people are giving birth to a Representative Republic. That is undeniable and also the biggest threat to the oppressive regimes that govern the Middle East. Add to that republic the third largest oil reserves in the middle east and you have the potential for the greatest weapon against instability and terrorism.
Remember these are not the 5000 first cuisines of the family Saude, this is a nation that the revenue of the worlds blood MUST be spent representably by ALL the people of Iraq.
This is a direct result of American Blood, Policy, Determination, and Tactics. Contrary to what may be the propaganda line, America is now, and has always been, the Greatest force of GOOD in the world.
Our soldiers are not only the most superior to ever take the field of battle, they are also our greatest diplomats for good.
A year ago the cry was "the surge was too little too late". However the US Troops Committed To The Surge: 21,500 - Combat, 2,400 - Support, 2,200 - Military Police, 129 - Provincial Reconstruction, 2,600 - Combat Aviation, To a Total - 28,829. Which were made up of 5 Army Divisions and 3 Battalions of Marines, have done there job and have all been brought back home.
That's right, right now in Iraq we are back down to pre-surge levels. Today we lowered the tour of duty rotation from 15 mths. to 12. The troops that are in country are not exhausted but are seasoned, battle hardened, and ready.
Negotiations are almost finalized for troop dispositions for after the December deadline set by the U.N. for turnover to the Iraqi's giving them complete control of their country and fate.
Right now fatality levels amongst American troops are the lowest monthly losses since May 2003. The Iraq theater may soon mirror other deployments in the Balkans, Europe and Asia, in which casualties are largely non-combat-related. It will soon be no different for them whether they are in Germany, Okinawa, or Iraq.
God has blessed the World with the U.S.A.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
In 2006 a 3 year investigation into fraud at Fannie Mae was concluded. It revealed a level of financial misconduct by Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, and others that grossly overstated earnings by 10.6 Billion dollars. To gain bonuses.
Byron York wrote back in 2006
ON May 23, as a jury in Houston deliberated the case against top Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, a little-known regulatory agency in Washington, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), released a study with the dryly bureaucratic title "Report of the Special Examination of Fannie Mae." The document received far less attention than the news from Enron, but its conclusions were stunning. In meticulous detail, it outlined a culture of corruption at the Federal National Mortgage Association--better known as Fannie Mae--that rivals the most serious corporate scandals in recent years. In this case, however, the main players are Washington insiders--some of them prominent veterans of the Clinton administration--and the scandal's effects could ripple through Congress for years.
In doing so, the report says, Raines and his team steered Fannie Mae far afield from its original mission, transforming it from a stable business into a risky one. But Fannie Mae is not just any private institution. It is congressionally chartered, meaning its existence is established in law, it does not have to pay state and local income taxes, and it is not subject to bankruptcy laws.
In 1999, Raines announced a new goal to double Fannie Mae's EPS in five years, from $3.23 per share to $6.46. It was an audacious goal, and reaching it, according to OFHEO, became Fannie Mae's reason for existence: "$6.46, the EPS goal, became the corporate mantra--everything else was secondary to hitting that target."
Even though his salary never topped $1 million, Raines' total compensation shot from $6.48 million in 1998 to $8.52 million in 1999, to $13.89 million in 2000, to $18.86 million in 2001, to $18.20 million in 2002, to $24.15 million in 2003, all on the strength of EPS bonuses. Investigators found that of the $90.12 million Raines was paid in that six-year period, more than $52 million came from EPS bonuses.
Gorelick's situation was similar. OFHEO found that she took home $26.46 million in the period from 1998 to 2002 (she left in that year, so she wasn't there for the entire period under investigation). Of that figure, nearly $15 million came from EPS bonuses.
In other words, they cooked the books. And to make matters worse, according to OFHEO, when regulators began to catch on to what was happening, Raines and his team then "sought to interfere" with the OFHEO investigation by trying to get Congress to start up a separate probe of OFHEO. Fannie Mae also lobbied Congress to cut OFHEO's funds unless it got rid of the top official in charge of investigating Fannie Mae.
The Democrats aided Raines by refusing to hold hearings on Raines and Gorelicks fraud. Their actions have led to the collapse of this institution, putting the American taxpayer on the hook for 5.6 Trillion Dollars. We are the insurers of this institution.
Even today with the collapse of Fannie Mae when Republican Baynor called for hearings again Barney Frank refused.
When you look at our Government run institutions Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Fannie Mae. Not one of these is solvent. We the American public hold the bills due on this group of catastrophes to the tune of $59 Trillion.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
To start with I got told this weekend that my aunt probably won't make it through to Monday. She has Cancer and it's in its final stages. She is the last of my mothers family that she has left. My father passed over twenty years ago, and her mother and father have gone since then. She is taking it hard, a lot harder than she is trying to let show. As her son all I can do is be there for her. It's hard to feel powerless and still stand as we should.
That is my pain at this moment.
My joy comes in two sizes, ages 11 and 8. My daughters are my life's blessing. We went to Dorney Park yesterday, we started in the water park. Four hours of waterslides and wave pools. The next seven hours were spent riding every ride we could squeeze in. My little one has grown quite brave and finally tall enough to go on any ride she wants.
Like her father she is getting an addiction to roller coasters, and Dorney has several. One of them is Steel Force the first roller coaster in the East to break the 200-foot barrier. With a 205-foot drop, two tunnels, steep banks and speeds reaching 75 miles per hour. One of the others was a wooden coaster Originally named "The Coaster," ThunderHawk debuted in Dorney Park in 1923 and was re-christened "ThunderHawk" prior to the 1989 season. Designed by Herbert Schmeck, this wooden roller coaster was manufactured and installed by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The Thunderhawk roller coaster was originally constructed as an "out-and-back" roller coaster, but was modified into its present figure-eight pattern in 1930.
I spent the day watching them run from ride to ride laughing, while their mother and I enjoyed every minute of it. We ended this weekend tonight with a trip to the movies. We of course went to see Batman. Do yourself a favor and indulge in this film.
Some of you my know my feelings about the bat, if not you can read them here. As for this movie Heath Ledger brings the joker to life. Not in the buffoonish way like Ceaser Romero did, but as he is written in the dark graphic novels. The whole film is a treat. It captures the characters and offers a story that could be based in reality rather than comic books.
Not that in real life we could ever have a man running around in a costume saving us, but the story is no campy comic book tale of super villains and hero's. Go enjoy.
Well that was my good and bad. The cycle of life.
Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The McCain campaign has posted a side-by-side comparison of the changes recently made to Obama’s website, available at this link. On the left side the comparison shows what Obama deleted, and on the right the comparison shows what was added. The changes are not stylistic; here are some examples:
Under the heading “The Problem” he deleted:
— “The Surge” (apparently The Surge that he opposed isn’t the problem he thought it was)
Under the heading “Judgment You Can Trust” he deleted the statements that reflect his untrustworthy judgment:
— “In 2006, he called for a timetable to remove our troops, a political solution within Iraq, and aggressive diplomacy with all of Iraq’s neighbors.”
— “In January 2007, he introduced legislation in the Senate to remove all of our combat troops from Iraq by March 2008.”
—”In September 2007, he laid out a detailed plan for how he will end the war as president.”
Under the heading “Bringing Our Troops Home” he deleted his immediate withdrawal timetable:
— “Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.” (A plan that has been shown to be completely untenable, and one that he made before ever speaking with commanders on the ground, just like his New York Times op-ed plan.)
And my personal favorite:
Under the heading “Press Iraq’s Leaders to Reconcile” he deleted:
—”The best way to press Iraq’s leaders to take responsibility for their future is to make it clear that we are leaving.” Emphasis mine. (Apparently Obama realized he’s not so good at making anything clear to anyone in Iraq or out of Iraq, so that line had to go.)
Not only can we not believe what Obama says; it now seems we can’t even believe what his campaign writes. Everything about Obama is subject to “change” without notice.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.The deal culminated more than a year of intense diplomatic and military initiatives — kept hushed in fear of ambushes or attacks once the convoys were under way: first carrying 3,500 barrels by road to Baghdad, then on 37 military flights to the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia and finally aboard a U.S.-flagged ship for a 8,500-mile trip to Montreal.
On July 5th the last of it was delivered safely to Canada.
The imaginary yellow cake that didn't come from Niger had been a key piece in the surrendorcrats attack on the Bush administration. The waste of millions of dollars and years of investigation, and that led to the conviction of one administration official being found guilty of getting confused under cross examination.
Yet inspite of the facts, there are still those out there that believe a former U.S. Ambassadors wife was the target of revenge by an administration to refute a false report from her husband.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
July 3, 2008; Page A10
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has departed for summer vacation, but what a mess he's left behind, especially for the U.S. military. His 5-4 decision requiring habeas corpus review for foreign terrorists is already creating confusion and problems about how to handle these dangerous enemies.
The Bush Administration is currently debating how to respond to Mr. Kennedy's war-fighting ukase in Boumediene v. Bush, with President Bush set to make a decision soon. Some in the Administration want Mr. Bush to abolish not merely Guantanamo but even military commissions, the special tribunals set up to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others for their war crimes. This would compound the mistake of Boumediene, and do away with what has long been a useful tool of military justice.
It is already clear to nearly everyone in the Administration that it will be impossible for the U.S. to hold most detainees from now on. That's true not merely at Gitmo, but even in Afghanistan, Iraq and other foreign battlefields. Earlier this month, lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of a detainee held at the U.S. military prison at Bagram air base near Kabul. It's only a matter of time before suits are filed demanding habeas writs for anyone captured and held by GIs for any length of time anywhere in the world.
Regrettably, the Administration will now have to let most enemy fighters go. The burden of gathering enough evidence to meet the habeas standards of U.S. federal courts is simply too great under battlefield conditions – and in any case is far too dangerous. This week a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the enemy combatant status of a Gitmo detainee captured after training in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. The press has reported this as if the Bush Administration had invented a case against an innocent shepherd. But the truth is that in the fog of battle it is impossible to gather evidence the way a Manhattan cop can. There's no "CSI: Kandahar."
While GIs gathered shell casings or interviewed witnesses to meet a U.S. judge's habeas standard, they would leave themselves open to counterattack or sniper fire. No commander – and no Commander in Chief – can ask his troops to put themselves in danger to satisfy Justice Kennedy's legal afflatus. This is what Justice Antonin Scalia meant when he wrote that Americans will die as a result of Boumediene.
Justice Kennedy won't want to hear this, but this means that some enemy combatants will be shot on the battlefield rather than captured. Most who are captured will be interrogated for a brief time and released. Some will be set free entirely, while others will be handed over to the tender mercies of our allies on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The U.S. will still require some kind of detention for the worst combatants – such as KSM, and others we will want to put on trial. But if Gitmo is no longer a prison, some U.S. domestic prison will have to house these men while they await a habeas hearing and trial. If a habeas court finds the evidence against them unpersuasive, they can then be held only for six months under immigration law before they are deported. If no country will accept them, the possibility exists that they will be released here. It will be fascinating to watch the Congressfolk who cheered Boumediene now saying "not in my backyard." What does Pat Leahy think about a Vermont destination?
That still leaves the issue of trials for those who are found to be enemy combatants. The State Department is arguing that Mr. Bush should now cashier the entire post-9/11 system, including Gitmo and military commissions. The argument is that the U.S. will get no diplomatic benefit from refusing to hold future detainees as long as the commissions continue. In any case, State's legal sages say, the Supreme Court will eventually declare military commissions unconstitutional too.
But we doubt even Justice Kennedy would disallow commissions, which have existed throughout American history. After the Civil War, they were even used against the KKK's attempts to defeat Reconstruction of the South. After six long years, about 20 enemy combatants (including KSM) are now set for the tribunals, and multiple trials are under way. If Mr. Bush shuts down the commissions at this late date, the military justice process would have to start over.
It would insult the 9/11 families if justice for KSM and the others who planned those attacks is delayed once again. Assuming they are convicted, they will have the right of appeal. But would five Supreme Court Justices really set free the men who plotted the murders of 3,000 Americans? As for diplomacy, those who dislike America won't bother to distinguish between military commissions and courts martial. They'll find any military trials unfair.
The killers of 9/11 need to be put on trial, and soon. Americans need to hear them revel in their jihad, boasting that they would kill again if they get the chance. Justice Kennedy needs to hear it too.