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2007 April 11 — Why Now?
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Escalation, Not Surge

CNN on the brief announcement: Gates: Army tours extended by three months.

Gates has extended all war zone deployments to 15 months, but says troops will be “guaranteed” 12 months at their home base between deployments. The troops know they will get the 15 months, but the “guarantees” about home time have been consistently violated.

This really sucks for the lives of the troops. You try to make plans, but they keep moving the goal posts. This is going to be a real hardship on the families, and many won’t survive the changes.

The prudent thing would have been to call for enlistments and expanded the military in September of 2001. No one was certain what was going to happen, but it only makes sense to prepare for a worse case scenario until you know what you face.

Think about what they did – this was supposedly the “greatest challenge the nation ever faced,” but there’s no need for more troops, no reason not to cut taxes, and you should go shopping. Does that make sense to anyone?

April 11, 2007   2 Comments

A Quixotic Effort

Michael at Musing’s musings attempts to explain a small chunk of reality to the “Child in Chief” – Congress controls the money. While Lemme ‘splain. is as complete as one could hope, maybe it needs some small cartoon animals to keep up the interest, perhaps a goat.

April 11, 2007   2 Comments


I don’t know that it means anything other than a technical problem, but Steve Gilliard’s News Blog has been showing a blank template all day.

Must have been a glitch, it’s back up.

April 11, 2007   1 Comment

The New & Improved “Five O’Clock Follies”

Lurch at Main & Central covers the latest attempt by Major General “Baghdad Bill” Caldwell, spokesweasel for MessoPtomainia, to convince the world that the people attacking US forces have to have an external state sponsor, because that’s what Darth Cheney and the neocons believe.

These people can’t understand that the Cold War rules no longer apply, and people can be nasty without having a government behind them. The fact that you can’t bomb anyone and get results may be disappointing, but it’s reality in the current situation.

We went through this a month or so back with the phony weapons show. It was embarrassing when you realize that the guys running this war can’t even create fraudulent evidence that will stand up to a Google search. Come on, guys – the Iranian arms industry has a web site with pictures on it, show a little effort.

April 11, 2007   Comments Off on The New & Improved “Five O’Clock Follies”

Table of Organization

Swopa at Needlenose and Kevin Drum at Political Animal cover the leaked report about the Shrubbery trying to create the position of “War Tsar”, or some such stupidity to handle the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The military commanders in those countries report to the Commander of Central Command. The ambassadors report to an Assistant Under Secretary for the region. The purpose of the National Security Council in the White House is to coordinate these things. The National Security Advisor should be making some decisions, and all that is needed is for the President to back his own advisor.

Appointing a new person is extraneous and pointless. If you claim to be the “Commander in Chief”, the “War President”, and the “Decider”, why do you hire someone else to do those jobs? You can’t just say you’re in charge; you have to actually be in charge.

Beyond that, Congress won’t fund it, and the people who are qualified already know that it’s a job for a scapegoat.

April 11, 2007   2 Comments

Don’t Stop Checking

Chicago Dyke at Corrente caught an item on Yahoo news about the Menu Foods CFO making a stock sale after the company knew there was a problem, but before a recall was issued.

While looking for more information I found a CBC report that the tainted wheat gluten had made its way to Canada and the recall had to be expanded to include food from a Canadian plant.

The stock issue was dealt with in passing:

Meanwhile, Menu Foods’ chief financial officer on Tuesday told the Globe and Mail that it was a “horrible coincidence” that he sold 4,000 units in the company almost three weeks before the extensive recall was issued.

Mark Wiens said that while the company began fielding pet illness reports in February, he didn’t learn of the problem until March.

So in Canada, a potential for huge financial liabilities because of a product defect doesn’t result in the financial people in the company being notified immediately. [Yeah, right.]

Because this is now a problem for multiple companies a good place to find information is the FDA recall page which links to information from Menu Foods, Del Monte, Hills, Nestlé Purina, and Sunshine Mills products.

I read on a site during my search that the melamine may have been added to increase the protein level in the gluten when it was tested and priced. The site is a bit strange and “tin foil,” but amines are proteins, so there is some logic and science in the guess.

April 11, 2007   3 Comments