Archive for May 24th, 2007

Spineless 110th Congress Approves Blank Check!

by GEF @ 11:15 PM EDT


Blank Check

Congress Passes Deadline-Free War Funding Bill

By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 25, 2007; Page A01

Congress sent President Bush a new Iraq funding bill yesterday that lacked troop withdrawal deadlines demanded by liberal Democrats, but party leaders vowed it was only a temporary setback in their efforts to bring home American troops.

Full Story

THE NEW 110th Congress!

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Bush Says It Will Be Bloody Summer In Iraq

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:57 PM MST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush
on Thursday predicted a bloody summer in Iraq for U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians, saying he expected insurgents and al Qaeda to step up attacks to try to influence the U.S. debate over how long to stay in Iraq.

The U.S. House of Representatives broke a four-month deadlock with Bush on Thursday night and approved $100 billion in new funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without a timetable for withdrawing combat troops. The bill now goes to the Senate for expected approval this week.

Despite the deployment of tens of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops in a major U.S.-led security crackdown, attacks have continued unabated.

On Thursday, a suicide car bomber killed 27 mourners at a funeral in Falluja, west of Baghdad. And, in Baghdad, gunmen shot dead all 11 passengers in a minibus in the mainly Shi’ite Husseiniya district.

Bush said he expected “heavy fighting in the weeks and months” ahead. “What they’re going to try to do is kill as many innocent people as they can to try to influence the debate here at home,” he said.

Asked at a Rose Garden news conference on Thursday how long he believed he could sustain his strategy without significant progress, Bush noted the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, was to report back on the effects of the new strategy at the end of the summer.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates later said he also anticipated more violence this summer from what he called “a smart, agile, thinking enemy.”

“They know what’s going on in this country and I think we should be prepared for them to make a very strong effort to increase the level of violence in July and August. My hope is that anticipating it will allow us to thwart it.”

The predictions of more bloodshed came at a time when Americans’ assessment of the war has never been worse, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll that said 76 percent of Americans believe the war is going somewhat or very badly for the United States.


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Congress hands Duhbya the keys to war in Iran

by Geezer Power …4:51 PM PDT


The Jerusalem Post

President George W. Bush said Thursday he would work with allies to beef up sanctions on Iran after a new UN report showing that Tehran is accelerating its uranium enrichment program in defiance of international demands.

“We need to strengthen our sanctions regime,” Bush said in a Rose Garden news conference. Leaders of Iran “continue to be defiant as to the demands of the free world,” he said.

The president said he had directed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to work with European partners to “develop further sanctions.”

Bush’s comments on Iran came against a backdrop of rising tensions. The UN’s nuclear watchdog agency on Wednesday accused Iran of accelerating its uranium enrichment program in defiance of international demands. The US has moved two aircraft carriers and seven other ships into the Persian Gulf in a show of force. And Iran has been increasing its detention of American citizens.

“The world has spoken and has said no nuclear weapons programs. Yet they’re constantly ignoring the demands,” Bush said.

The rhetoric on Iran increased ahead of a meeting in Baghdad on Monday between US and Iranian diplomats – one of the few such meetings since formal relations were frozen in 1980 – to deal with stabilizing Iraq.

Bush also hailed the recently negotiated compromise with the Democratic-run Congress that will pay for the war in Iraq through September without strings attached. The bill, being voted on in both the House and Senate on Thursday, “reflects a consensus that the Iraqi government needs to show real progress in return for America’s continued support and sacrifice,” Bush said.

He noted that the legislation contained various goals for Iraqi progress and said “meeting these benchmarks will be difficult; it’s going to be hard for this young government.”

Bush said the measure would help to put pressure on the Iraqi government to perform better.

The legislation would help to pay for the president’s recent troop buildup designed to secure Baghdad and other volatile areas. “This summer is going to be a critical time for the new strategy,” Bush said. He said the last five brigades – about 15,000 troops – of his buildup are scheduled to arrive in Baghdad next month.

“We are going to expect heavy fighting in the next weeks and months and we can expect American and Iraqi casualties,” Bush said. “We will stay on the offense,” he added, repeating a favorite refrain: “It’s better to fight them there than to fight them here.”

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Evening Jukebox… Wicked Game

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:45 PM MST

This is one of the most beautiful love songs and his voice is incredible.

Chris Isaak – Wicked Game

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Schumer: “No Fall Guys” For Gonzales

by- Suzie-Q @ 2:31 PM MST

Three Democratic Senators met on Capitol Hill Thursday to announce the formal introduction of their ‘no confidence’ motion against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

“We cannot allow a few people to be the fall guys when we know by all accounts that the Attorney General was directly involved in the process himself,” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.

The New York Democrat then read the short, to the point statement aloud, which he noted had no preamble findings that often accompany such ‘sense of the Senate’ bills.

“It is the sense of the Senate that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales no longer holds the confidence of the Senate and of the American people,” he read.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who is co-sponsoring the bill, then listed a number of examples of wrongdoing and mismanagement she saw within the Justice Department, including revelations of politicized hiring from yesterdays House Judiciary Committee hearing with Gonzales’ ex-White House Liaison Monica Goodling. She said it added up to show that Gonzales needed to quit.

“He is clearly not a strong leader in control of this large and critical department,” added Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).


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Sparrow Pooped On Bush During News Conference

by- Suzie-Q @ 2:11 PM MST

ABC’s Ann Compton reports: An outdoor news conference in perfect spring weather, with birds chirping loudly in the magnolia trees, is not without its hazards.

As President Bush took a question Thursday in the White House Rose Garden about scandals involving his Attorney General, he remarked, “I’ve got confidence in Al Gonzales doin’ the job.”

Simultaneously, a sparrow flew overhead and left a splash on the President’s sleeve, which Bush tried several times to wipe off.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Dana Perino promptly put the incident through the proper spin cycle, telling ABC News, “It was his lucky day…everyone knows that’s a sign of good luck.”

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Bush Attracts Bird Poop

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U.S. navy begins war games on Iran’s doorstep

by Geezer Power …12:44 PM PDT


By Mohammed Abbas
MANAMA, May 24 (Reuters)

– The U.S. navy began war games on Iran’s doorstep on Thursday, navy officials said, a day after a large flotilla of U.S. ships entered the Gulf in a dramatic daytime show of military muscle.

The group includes two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, whose presence adds to the pressure on the Islamic Republic to abandon its own nuclear ambitions, which the West says are an attempt to develop atomic weapons.

Iran, already under U.N. sanctions for enriching uranium, says its plans are for energy purposes only.

Asked if any of the American ships carried atomic weapons, a U.S. navy spokesman said the United States routinely did not comment on whether its warships were equipped with nuclear arms.

On the same day the U.S. ships entered the Gulf, skirting Iran’s coast as they passed the Gulf’s narrowest point, the U.N.’s atomic agency released a report saying Iran was continuing to defy world demands to stop enriching uranium.

The agency’s report opens the way for tougher sanctions.

“The Stennis is conducting flight operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Nimitz is conducting an air defence exercise. Bonhomme Richard is conducting replenishment at sea,” navy Media Operations Officer Denise Garcia told Reuters.

The USS John C. Stennis, USS Nimitz, and the USS Bonhomme Richard are part of the group of nine ships that entered the Gulf on Wednesday, sending oil prices higher as jittery markets eyed possible tensions in the oil shipping hub.

From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office

GULF OF OMAN (May 22, 2007) – Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 69), and amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) transit the Gulf of Oman. These ships along with USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Preble (DDG 88), USS O’Kane (DDG 77), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Denver (LPD 9) and USS Russell (DDG 59) are part of three different strike groups: John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group. All three strike groups are deployed in support of maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jon Hyde

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