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2007 March 31 — Why Now?
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The Games They Play

Everything is politics with these people.

CNN reports that War efforts funded through July, analysis finds, but the Shrubbery and his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have a different story:

President Bush and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have said the Pentagon needs Congress to approve additional war funding by April 15, or military operations will begin to be affected.

Pierre Tristam plotted the other line of attack yesterday in Swine Story, i.e. that the Shrubbery will claim the bill is filled with “pork barrel” projects [like the money promised to people recovering from hurricanes and rebuilding the New Orleans flood barriers].

On cue in his weekly liar-side chat Bush vows to veto Iraq war bill; vet says it should pass:

President Bush, seeking to one-up Congress’ Democratic majority in a showdown over the Iraq war, suggested Saturday that lawmakers should be ashamed that they added non-war items to an Iraq spending bill.

“I like peanuts as much as the next guy, but I believe the security of our troops should come before the security of our peanut crop,” Bush said in his weekly radio address, referring to a provision in the war funding legislation that earmarks $74 million for secure peanut storage.

Excuse me, the agricultural elements are part of a supplemental appropriation to cover disasters. The funds for the military should have been in the main budget that was submitted, but the entire war has been funded off budget, so the Shrubbery can lie about the deficits he is racking up.

March 31, 2007   4 Comments

Iran Hostage Crisis Day 9 or 79

Update: Via Avedon Carol of Sideshow, Terry Jones [of Monty Python] writes in The Guardian: Call that humiliation? – “No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch.”

Just to help calm down the situation, after deciding to hold war games off the coast of Iran, now the US rejects Iran captives exchange. As Ellroon Rants from the Rookery puts it: Do as I say. [/snark]

The US raided an Iranian liaison office in Northern Iraq on January 11th and seized 5 Iranians working there. The Iranians have been “disappeared”, but no one is supposed to question what happened, and there is no contact between the prisoners and their government. The Iranians were there at the request of the regional government to coordinate border crossings.

The Iranians want to exchange the 15 UK personnel for the 5 Iranians. The US has produced no hard evidence that the Iranians were doing anything that wasn’t within their mandate in the agreement with Kurdish authorities, just as there is no hard evidence that the British personnel have done anything wrong.

An exchange would have gone a long way towards reducing tensions, but the Shrubbery can’t deal with reality. The history of Iran hostage rescue missions is not good.

March 31, 2007   10 Comments

They Have “Cooties”

Update: Via Alice in comments, Think Progress reports: Republican Delegation Currently Visiting Syria, Spared From White House Attacks. There are currently two Republan Congresscritters in Syria, and another is accompanying Speaker Pelosi. IOKIYAR.

We are told that the White House criticizes Pelosi’s planned Syria visit:

“We do not encourage and, in fact, we discourage members of Congress to make such visits to Syria,” said White House deputy spokeswoman Dana Perino. “This is a country that is a state sponsor of terror, one that is trying to disrupt the (Prime Minister Fouad) Siniora government in Lebanon and one that is allowing foreign fighters to flow through its borders to Iraq.

“I don’t know what she is trying to accomplish, and I don’t know if anyone in the administration has spoken to her about it,” Perino said. “In general, we do discourage such trips.”

Responding to a follow-up question, Perino added, “We think that someone should take a step back and think about the message that it sends … to our allies.”

What allies? We still have allies?

It would appear that the message the Speaker is sending is that some portion of the American government is willing to talk to people, and more importantly – to listen.

The Siniora government is in trouble because the government is a parliamentary system and it has lost its majority support after the Israeli attacks. The Shi’ite parties want a new election in accordance with the laws of Lebanon.

Foreign fighters can move around the Syrian-Iraqi border because the American military killed several Syrian border guards in hot pursuit of sheep smugglers earlier, and the Syrians aren’t anxious to repeat the experience. Of course, there is no one to stop the infiltration on the Iraqi side because we don’t have enough troops to seal the border. It’s a feature of borders that they can be sealed from either side.

As for terrorists, I don’t suppose anyone checked the lists on the MEK, or, even the Dawa party of the current Iraqi prime minister, clients of the US. There isn’t a political party in the Middle East that didn’t start out as a terrorist group.

Just because the Shrubbery doesn’t have the courage to talk to people who don’t agree with him, doesn’t mean that no one is able to do it. Talk is cheap, wars are very expensive.

March 31, 2007   3 Comments

It’s Spring

And at It’s morning somewhere, Oldwhitelady has baby pictures.

March 31, 2007   3 Comments

More Pet Food Recalled

The wheat gluten that is suspected in the canned pet food was also used in at least one brand of Dry Pet Food:

…Hill’s Pet Nutrition recalled its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food. The food included wheat gluten from the same supplier that Menu Foods used. The recall did not involve any other Prescription Diet or Science Diet products, said the company, a division of Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Now that they are finally looking at the contents of pet food they are finding other things that don’t belong there. They are not, necessarily dangerous, but the companies didn’t know they were there – possibly because THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO LOOK!

March 31, 2007   7 Comments