11 Apr 2011

Obama Appoints War Criminal McChrystal to Support Military Families, Sell Iraq War Extension

Late last month, I jokingly suggested that Barack Obama could emulate his “hero” Ronald Reagan by doing a progressive version of Reagan’s signature move of making appointments that are the exact opposite of the goals of the position by nominating Dennis Kucinich as Secretary of Defense and Daniel Ellsberg to head the CIA. Sadly, Obama seems to have taken a garbled version of this suggestion, as word came Sunday that Obama is creating “a high-profile initiative in support of military families” and has put war criminal and Pat Tillman cover-up leader Stanley McChrystal in charge of this operation. This is a truly Reaganesque appointment, as it is hard to imagine a military figure who has done more to harm families around the world, and now he is leading the charge to put a happy face on the devastation ten years of war has wreaked on the very small number of US families who have borne the brunt of the death and other sacrifices by our all-volunteer force.

70
07 Apr 2011

Late Night: Pouting Baby Says “Uterus Is Not a Dirty Word, It’s the House Where I Grew Up!”

Uterus is not a dirty word! It’s the house where I grew up.

195
07 Apr 2011

Drone Strikes Again on Hold as US-Pakistan Relations Continue to Deteriorate

As relations between the US and Pakistan continue to deteriorate, it appears that drone strikes have again been put on hold. I can find no reports of any strikes since the March 17 strike on a village jirga killed over forty people. This strike especially infuriated Pakistan, coming just a day after Raymond Davis was released and, despite ample evidence of many civilians being killed, the initial US response was defiant, claiming that only militants were killed and that those killed “weren’t gathering for a bake sale”. Pakistan immediately canceled its participation in the already delayed (due to the Davis case again) trilateral meeting with the US and Afghanistan. I can find no new date yet announced for this meeting. The US military has clearly stated that General David Petraeus has not apologized to Pakistan’s military for the strike and now General James (fun to shoot some people) Mattis is meeting with the head of Pakistan’s army today. This meeting comes amid yet another escalation in the diplomatic break between the two countries, as Dawn reports that a number of US military personnel have been barred from the leaving the country.

0
07 Apr 2011

Drone Strikes Again on Hold As US-Pakistan Relations Continue to Deteriorate

As relations between the US and Pakistan continue to deteriorate, it appears that drone strikes have again been put on hold. I can find no reports of any strikes since the March 17 strike on a village jirga killed over forty people. This strike especially infuriated Pakistan, coming just a day after Raymond Davis was released and, despite ample evidence of many civilians being killed, the initial US response was defiant, claiming that only militants were killed and that those killed “weren’t gathering for a bake sale”. Pakistan immediately canceled its participation in the already delayed (due to the Davis case again) trilateral meeting with the US and Afghanistan. I can find no new date yet announced for this meeting. The US military has clearly stated that General David Petraeus has not apologized to Pakistan’s military for the strike and now General James (fun to shoot some people) Mattis is meeting with the head of Pakistan’s army today. This meeting comes amid yet another escalation in the diplomatic break between the two countries, as Dawn reports that a number of US military personnel have been barred from the leaving the country.

23
05 Apr 2011

Will Petraeus Propaganda Machine Get Him Top Spot at CIA?

I noted last week that there is a push to appoint General David Petraeus as head of the CIA should Leon Panetta move on to be Secretary of Defense and that this would represent a terrible move by President Obama. Sadly, this push now seems to have moved beyond the whispers on Twitter that I noted last week to a story that can be found here on NPR’s website. The NPR story is notable for its listing of “top jobs” potentially available to Petraeus when he rotates out of Afghanistan later this year, pitching Petraeus as worthy of a very high position but noting that many top positions already seem to be “taken” and pouting that Petraeus is not a candidate to be Chair of the Joint Chiefs.

0
05 Apr 2011

Will Petraeus Propaganda Machine Get Him DCI Job?

I noted last week that there is a push to appoint General David Petraeus as head of the CIA should Leon Panetta move on to be Secretary of Defense and that this would represent a terrible move by President Obama. Sadly, this push now seems to have moved beyond the whispers on Twitter that I noted last week to a story that can be found here on NPR’s website. The NPR story is notable for its listing of “top jobs” potentially available to Petraeus when he rotates out of Afghanistan later this year, pitching Petraeus as worthy of a very high position but noting that many top positions already seem to be “taken” and pouting that Petraeus is not a candidate to be Chair of the Joint Chiefs.

53
01 Apr 2011

Weak Tea: Polls, Rally Attendance Show Implosion of Radical Right’s Support

With radical Republicans forging ahead on the signing of a union-busting bill in Ohio while a court blocks (again) a similar bill in Wisconsin, a new Gallup poll shows that US voters strongly side with state employee unions over the governors in these disputes. At the same time, a much-heralded Tea Party “rally” in Washington, DC drew only 250 people at most, a far cry from the estimated 100,000 reached several times during the repeated rallies in Madison. Even though Democrats are showing no leadership at all on framing the horrendous moves Republicans are making to punish poor working people for the benefit at the expense of large corporations, the Tea Party movement is clearly turning into a victim of its own hateful messaging.

0
01 Apr 2011

Brutal Numbers: Polls, Rally Attendance Show Total Implosion of Radical Tea Party Agenda

With radical Republicans forging ahead on the signing of a union-busting bill in Ohio while a court blocks (again) a similar bill in Wisconsin, a new Gallup poll shows that US voters strongly side with state employee unions over the governors in these disputes. At the same time, a much-heralded Tea Party “rally” in Washington, DC drew only 250 people at most, a far cry from the estimated 100,000 reached several times during the repeated rallies in Madison. Even though Democrats are showing no leadership at all on framing the horrendous moves Republicans are making to punish poor working people for the benefit at the expense of large corporations, the Tea Party movement is clearly turning into a victim of its own hateful messaging.

67
31 Mar 2011

Late Night: Pouting Baby Doesn’t Understand Why Little Melting Jeff Won’t Let GE Pay Taxes

I don’t understand why Little Melting Jeff is so mean to our government. His company made $14 billion last year, but they won’t give any of that money to the government. Companies like Little Melting Jeff’s are a big reason why our government doesn’t have enough money.

171
31 Mar 2011

Quagmires R Us: Now Adding Libya to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq

Remarkably, the US is sending “clandestine” CIA teams into Libya to coordinate bombing runs and to provide contact with the rebels there at the same time that courts in Pakistan are still sorting out how Raymond Davis was allowed to leave the country after his blood money payment despite having been placed on the Exit Control List. Also, Washington is gearing up for a “debate” on drawing down US troops from Afghanistan this summer, with the military now angling to narrow the options to include only insignificant numbers to be withdrawn. Meanwhile, despite the best efforts of the remaining “non-combat” US troops there, violence in Iraq continues, with 56 killed in a single attack Wednesday.

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