Travel Grants for Students!

Yes... There are a a few minor details. For one: I am pretty sure you have to be a member of Campus Progress...
On Saturday, January 27 there will be a major mobilization in Washington, D.C. against the new policy of escalation in Iraq.

Campus Progress wants to make sure that students are able to make their voices heard in Washington. That's why we are offering travel grants of up to $300 for students organizing carpools or vans from their campus to the capital.

To learn more about the March, or to apply for a travel scholarship Click here!

Grants will be awarded on the basis of:

1. Financial Need
2. Number of Students the Grant Will Assist
3. Planned Involvement (For example - Are you going to write a blog post about the rally? Will you be attending the lobby day as well?)

Funds are limited, so we will not be able to help everyone.

If you are a student and you are interested in this Campus Progress travel adventure there are more details and other resources at the link.

Oh yeah! Right! Like you really thought you were going to get a "spring break" vacation in the sun? Jojn Campus Progress and maybe you can learn to organize that one yourself.

The death of the GOP

If it is really as bad as Mehlman says it is (AND IT IT IS!) then why bother?

In his farewell speech after two years as chairman, Mr. Mehlman said that the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of both houses of Congress, was not a fluke that could be attributed to the calendar, a few scandal-tainted candidates and the tough going in Iraq.

“Each of these factors combined to create an environment that was unfavorable for Republicans,” said Mr. Mehlman, one of the chief architects of President Bush’s two national election victories. “But, folks, these factors cannot be an excuse.”

He said that if Republican officials shrugged off the repudiation of the party in the 2006 elections they would lose the White House in 2008 and remain in the minority in Congress indefinitely. He said the party had to recommit itself to political reform, fiscal restraint and personal ethics.

Mr. Mehlman addressed the roughly 170 members of the Republican National Committee at their annual winter meeting, a rather glum affair at a downtown hotel here. Party members are still nursing the wounds of the mid-term elections and are riven by divisions over Iraq, immigration and other issues. Members are also beginning to take sides in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

These Republicans could save themselves a lot of time, trouble and money and just worry about which Democratic party candidate they will vote for. At this rate they will have some of the freeper and Redstate supporters that might vote for the GOP, the faaarthest of the faaaar right, perhaps a some support from "lifers", then there will be those that just stay home disillusioned... and then there will be nothing, absolutely nothing, from any independents/unaffiliateds.

Republicans may as well try and buy themselves another Lieberclone out of the DLC side of the Democratic party and hope they can fool the progressives. It would be the closest thing they could ever get to a win, at this rate, if they succeeded. heh

Bush and the Neoconservatives will kill the GOP off completely. They are the epitome of ideology over party. The ONLY CHANCE the GOP has is if they force Bush to stop... And it is apparent that if the GOP wants to survive it will depend on them removing Bush and Cheney from office. Because that is the only way they will stop Bush. And they know it.

I am sure the Democratic party will help you on this one... But it will be up to the Republicans to make the first moves. It remains to be seen whether or not the Republicans have the balls they will need to save their own party.

The GOP will still lose in '08. But it won't be the complete and total death of the GOP if they stop Bush.


Lieberman = Bush = More Failure

A few notes on the NewsTimes op-ed yesterday.
"Resolution against Bush policy gains momentum
As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on a non-binding resolution opposing President Bush's plan to escalate the war in Iraq, the White House is once again trying to define support of the president as support of the troops.

"The one thing the president has said is, whatever you do, make sure you support the troops," said White House press secretary Tony Snow. "And the question people who support this resolution will have to ask is, how does this support the troops?"

Shame on Snow.

American military personnel have performed heroically in Iraq, despite the many failures that have made their mission more difficult and more dangerous."

Yes, American soldiers have done the best they can given the dysfunctional leadership that had no real plans AND have refused to give the American soldiers the proper equipment to do the job safely. But this situation is only multiplied exponentially by the fact that the Iraqis have never been given the tools they need to take over the job there:
“In the interview yesterday, Maliki said many American and Iraqi lives would have been spared if the Iraqi forces were better equipped.”
Quotes like that show that the president is either: A) delusional; or B) is purposely trying to keep us there by refusing to get Iraqi soldiers going in the right direction; C) a bit of both. How are the Iraqis ever supposed to take over a job - you know, stand up so we can stand down - that the American soldiers have been unable to handle if the Iraqis are even more ill-equiped than the American soldiers?

Frankly, we don't care anymore about whether or not bush is failing because he is delusional or if he is failing to continue war-profiteering, or any other number of reasons that could explain his failed policies. We have had enough of his failure for whatever reasons.

The president had the opportunity to forge a new Iraq strategy and win congressional and public support. Instead, he has offered a dressed-up version of his failed stay-the-course strategy.

Just how much of this is dressed-up "Stay the Course!" BS? Take a look at this graph showing troop levels past, present and future (If the incompetent bush gets his way):

WHOA! Is this a familiar pattern? And someone out there representing CT supports this rinse and repeat policy? Sure enough, Bush can always count on Joe Neocon Lieberman:
During his campaign last fall, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman claimed he was ready to carefully scrutinize the president's policies on Iraq. Safely re-elected, Lieberman is as enthusiastic as ever about Bush's policies and plans for escalation.
Umm? That isn't quite what Joe said before the elections... Here is the money quote provided in an excerpt from Matt Browner Hamlin at MLN:
"David Sirota has a can't-miss op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle on what politicians and pundits said about Iraq before the war and if any of them have taken responsibility for their words since the war has become a disaster. John Edwards famously owned up to his mistake of voting for the war, but we know that he's an exception not the rule. Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, is more of the rule than the exception.

Similarly, consider U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Independent-Conn.). Facing a difficult Democratic primary challenge, Lieberman said of Iraq in July that "the sooner we are out the better," and that, by the end of 2006, he would support efforts to "begin to draw down significant numbers of American troops." He later said that "no one wants to end the war in Iraq more than I do and bring our troops home." But weeks after being re-elected, Lieberman is now leading the charge for military escalation, sending a letter to President Bush last week saying, "[I] strongly encourage you to send additional American troops to Iraq."

Pundits and news analysts are employed to expose this sort of nonsense so that our democratic discourse -- and the policy choices that come out of it -- are grounded in fact. But that has not happened. Instead, we have seen a furious stampede by the most prominent media figures to cover their own hides with either more lies, or more out-of-the mainstream bluster.

Lieberman's hypocrisy and intellectual shallowness is the model for "liberal" hawks like Joe Klein and Tom Friedman. The lack of incrimination of people like Lieberman for their damaging public positions and subsequent shunning of guilt for their words and actions imperils the future of our nation to handle crises of national security and national conscience. Sirota nails this home with his concluding paragraphs.
How can we expect to change course in Iraq, if a president is given a pass to claim he has never stayed the course in the first place? How can we expect to hold lawmakers accountable if they are never questioned about their efforts to deliberately mislead us? How can we expect the media to be a watchdog if its leading analysts and news framers face no public sanctions when they disrespect the truth or give credence to fringe ideologies?

A country whose national political conversation is dominated by voices that deny their own complicity in national security tragedies; downplay human casualties, and generally make dishonesty mundane, is a nation prevented from reflecting on its bad decisions -- and thus is doomed to repeat such bad decisions in the future.

Demanding that the proponents of war accept their failures of vision and the consequences of these failures is crucial to avoiding a repetition of the calamity in Iraq."

Yep! What they said... It is the responsibility of these newspapers to dig a little deeper and point out the lunacy of positions taken by liars like Joe Lieberman.

Fox Poll: OUCH!

Results of a Fox poll posted by Eric Kleefeld at TPM Cafe's Election Central:

"This has to be a milestone: A new poll has found that the American people dislike President Bush more than they dislike ... Dick Cheney. The poll — by Fox News, of all people — finds that President Bush's unfavorable rating is 58%, while Cheney's unpopularity rating is five points lower at 53%. Bush can, however, still take some small solace from the fact that his approval rating is one point higher than Cheney's; the President's is 38%, while the VP's is 37%.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of other numbers that are striking for a Fox poll: Only 39% of Americans view the GOP favorably, and 49% view them unfavorably. Meanwhile, a majority of respondents — 51% — have a favorable view of Dems, compared to only 35% who have an unfavorable view of what Fox likes to call the "Democrat Party.""

Holy wingnut crap! They hate Bush more than Cheney? With all of the bush failures there is no doubt why Fox propaganda can no longer even prop up any support for their beloved GOP wingnuts.

Murdoch and O'liely must be crying into thir GOP talking points right about now...


Genrals March on Bush

And slap the incomopetent Bush silly:
House Dems to support Iraq resolution - Yahoo! News: "Four retired senior U.S. military officers criticized the administration's strategy at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

'It's a fool's errand,' said Gen. Barry McCaffrey. 'Our allies are leaving us,' he said. 'Make no mistake about that. Most will be gone by this summer.'

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, said, 'The new strategy reflects the inability of the administration to get it right.' He said, 'The proposed solution to send in more troops won't work. It is far too little and too late.'"

Not to mention that Republican Olympia Snowe has joined Hagel in crossing the aisle to support slapping the idiot-bush-boy's policy down.
So far, Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe of Maine are the only Republicans to announce their backing for the Senate measure. A third lawmaker, Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., signaled during the day he is giving serious consideration to joining them.

I would be willing to bet (IF I were a gambling man, I am not!) that as long as the failing bush continues killing his own GOP's integrity, and any chances of other GOP candidates getting re-elected in the future, by continuing his ESCALATION policiy you will start seeing some of the more moderate GOP members asking if they can pemanently cross the aisle...

Ya think?

Blog for Choice Day

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Via CGG's ever caffeinated Blog:
On January 22nd - the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade - we are asking pro-choice bloggers to join us in a day of activism for choice. Blog for Choice Day is a chance to raise the profile of reproductive rights issues in the blogosphere and the media, and to let everyone know that a woman's right to choose is nonnegotiable.

This year's topic is a simple one: tell us, and your readers, why you're pro-choice.

Sign up for Blog for Choice Day below to let us know that you're planning on devoting at least one post on January 22nd to sharing the story behind your pro-choice beliefs. You can download a Blog for Choice Day sidebar graphic to let your readers know that you're participating. We'll send you a reminder, and link to your post here. You can also tag your posts with "Blog for Choice" to show you're joining in.

If you're not a blog or a website, please encourage your favorite sites to take part in Blog for Choice Day!

Together we can ensure that the blogosphere is flooded on January 22nd with pro-choice voices.

This is one of the reasons I became involved in the multi-blogger "Anti-Alito-Brigade" effort...

Global Warming

OK... So everyone is losing out with Climate Change:
The cost of climate change:
A state of Washington report on the effects of climate change said “It’s safe to say that virtually every aspect of the state’s economy will be affected by climate change.” This includes higher prices for lumber, water, and crops and additional expenses to protect shorelines from flooding.But of course it’s not just Washington, it’s happening in all the states. Plant zones shifted one zone north from 1990-2006, Sue says, what happens when Connecticut (where we’re moving to) becomes California? And what will the climate in southern California be like in 10 years?

But California will also lose with a Blogger that gives a damn about these things moving to Connecticut. If the Blogger sticks around long enough we may even be able to give him a warm California welcome here in CT... I guess it is a good-news-bad-news kindof thing, eh?

No offense, but I really like my winters with snow!


Tweety said what?

On stopping the failed Bush administration and their Middle East failures Tweety said "It's not a left-wing position... It's an Amaerican position."
“If you want America to be a hegemonic power in the Middle East, you’re out of step with the American people. We’re not going to fight it out with Iran for the next 30 years to see who the big shit — I’m sorry — the big name is on the block.”

He also said a naughty word... But who really gives a shit about that?


Dodd introduces bill to cap U.S. troop levels in Iraq

There are not many details in the report but Sen. Dodd has made the obvious first move in stopping the reckless Bush administration from ESCALATING the failed Bush war.

Dodd introduces bill to cap U.S. troop levels in Iraq

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, is hoping to become a strong voice against President Bush's plan to increase U.S. troops in Iraq.

The presidential candidate introduced legislation Tuesday that put a limit on the number of troops in Iraq at about 132,000.

Dodd's bill also would require congressional approval in order for any additional troops to be sent to Iraq. This is the kind of thing that needs a push and a shove from every Senators' constituants. Start dialing and Emailing! and ask them to support this.

[update]A PDF of the beginings of the bill Via Gabe at CLP:
My initial reaction is that this legislation has a better chance of passing than does Senator Kennedy’s legislation denying funding for a troop escalation (which Senator Dodd also supports) and also has a much better chance of surviving the sure veto. This legislation has the potential to attract more Republicans who have become disillusioned about Iraq.

I like that Dodd is doing this but there is always Kenedy’s bill to consider as well. In the case of the reckless bush administration it would be safer and wiser to back whichever bill has more controls. Also, Hillary Clinton is on record as supporting the same sort of idea as Dodd's bill. Though, Clinton makes no mention of any bill.

Obama Files Papers: He's all in.

Was there ever any doubts about this?
Obama takes 1st step in presidential bid
Obama announced his intentions to file a presidential exploratory committee on his Web site. He said he would announce more about his plans in his hometown of Chicago on Feb. 10.

"I didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago," Obama said in a video posting. "I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics. So I spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress we so desperately need.

"The decisions that have been made in the past six years have put our country in a precarious place," he said.

[update]There was speculation on MSNBC that Hillary Clinton may have cancelled her plans to announce her running today because shortly after Obama's announcement she postponed/cancelled a news gaggle she had planned.

Troops Fight Bush, Lieberman, McCain

I saw this sory at the HuffPo, But Crooks & Liars asks the obvious question:
WSJ via HuffPo:

A group of more than 50 active-duty military officers will deliver a petition to Congress on Tuesday signed by about 1,000 troops calling for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. "Any troop increase over here will just produce more sitting ducks, more targets," said Sergeant Ronn Cantu, who is serving in Iraq.

Under the 1988 Military Whistleblower Protection Act, active duty military, National Guard, and Reservists may communicate with any member of Congress without fear of reprisal, even if copies of the communication are sent to others.

Will Cheney accuse them of undermining the troops as well?


Mr. Bush CANNOT Ignore Congress: Shut the Idiot Down!

This YouTube video is a pretty crappy quality one but it has Mr. Bush saying what you need to know about his education process for increasing troops:

Mr. Bush says he "thinks" he can just ignore Congress and ESCALATE the war in Iraq. Meanwhile Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced a resolution requiring Mr. Bush to gain new congressional authorization (PDF) before escalating the War in Iraq:
The legislation requires the Congress to vote before the President escalates troop levels in Iraq.

The legislation claims the people’s right to a full voice in the President’s plan to send more troops into the Iraq civil war. It says that no funds can be spent to send additional troops to Iraq unless Congress approves the President’s proposed escalation of American forces.

The Iraq War Resolution of 2002 authorized a war against the regime of Saddam Hussein because he was believed to have weapons of mass destruction and an operational relationship with Al Qaeda, and was in defiance of U.N. Security Council Resolutions.

The mission of our armed forces today in Iraq no longer bears any resemblance to the mission authorized by Congress.

Iraq has descended into civil war and sectarian violence continues to escalate. …

President Bush should not be permitted to increase the number of United States troops in harm’s way in the civil war without a specific new authorization from Congress.

As for what Mr. Bush "thinks" he can do... The precedence is already there to shut down his effort to continue failure and he has no choice but to bow to Congress:

December 1970. P.L. 91-652 — Supplemental Foreign Assistance Law. The Church-Cooper amendment prohibited the use of any funds for the introduction of U.S. troops to Cambodia or provide military advisors to Cambodian forces.

December 1974. P.L. 93-559 — Foreign Assistance Act of 1974. The Congress established a personnel ceiling of 4000 Americans in Vietnam within six months of enactment and 3000 Americans within one year.

June 1983. P.L. 98-43 — The Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act of 1983. The Congress required the president to return to seek statutory authorization if he sought to expand the size of the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force in Lebanon.

June 1984. P.L. 98-525 — The Defense Authorization Act. The Congress capped the end strength level of United States forces assigned to permanent duty in European NATO countries at 324,400.

November 1993.
P.L. 103-139. The Congress limited the use of funding in Somalia for operations of U.S. military personnel only until March 31, 1994, permitting expenditure of funds for the mission thereafter only if the president sought and Congress provided specific authorization.

Mr. Bush is sadly mistaken if he thinks he can play politics with soldiers lives, in an effort to push his Iraqi failures onto the next administration without Congress stepping in, and rightfully so, to shut him down.

It must really suck to be in the miniscule minority of Constitutional-ignoring, warmongerring, neocon-ass-kissing, failed-ideology-embracing, far-right-wingut-bush-loving spin doctor right about now. Because no amount of Bush propaganda from those screaming idiots is going to educate anyone...


Edwards sneaking into Hillary's home turf...

John Edwards is sneaking into Hillary's home turf to deliver a message that we need to consider cutting the funding because of W's loony proposal of escalation:

On Sunday, January 14th, Senator John Edwards will speak at Riverside Church in Harlem in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. In his address, Edwards will speak about the the Iraq war escalation. Watch the video for a preview.

Once this kindof messaging sets sail look for Hillary to stick her finger in the air and pick up on this message long after everyone else... Leading from the rear, as per usual.

You can also watch a live webcast of Senator Edwards speaking at Riverside Church at 4 PM EST on Sunday, January 14 by clicking here.

Strategic Redeployment

Mr. Bush in his radio address last week:
“ Members of Congress have a right to express their views, and express them forcefully. But those who refuse to give this plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success. To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible.”

Over and over again we have proposed the only real solution left to you, and you refuse to listen to it because of your vanity Mr. Bush... Redeployment.

America is Ready for Change

By Lawrence J. Korb, Brian Katulis

November 8, 2006

When the new Congress takes office in January, it will be time to get serious about America's strategy in Iraq. It's time to change course.

That's why today we ask the president, his handpicked Iraq Study Group (led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Indiana congressman Lee H. Hamilton), and congressional leaders to consider our reasoned, pragmatic plan to strategically redeploy our military forces in Iraq and around the region to fight our terrorist enemies in the most effective and most lethal fashion possible.

One year ago the Center for American Progress issued its first report calling for a responsible exit from Iraq as part of a balanced global strategy to make Americans safer. We reiterated that call six months later as subsequent events only underscored the need to act on our proposals. Today, the situation in Iraq is even more dire.

Violence in Iraq is spiraling out of control as it turns inward, with sectarian killings surpassing deaths from terrorist bombings and militias splintering the country. Squabbling among Iraqi leaders makes matters worse. America simply must adjust to the grim realities on the ground.

The Bush administration's mistakes in Iraq - invading for the wrong reasons and without enough troops to secure the country - have left us with no good options. It's understandable that a growing number of Americans are calling for an immediate withdrawal, but we believe that would only further destabilize Iraq and much of the Middle East. Accordingly, we are calling for a comprehensive strategic redeployment from Iraq by the end of 2007 that will:

  • Restore the strength of U.S. ground troops.
  • Exercise a strategic shift to meet global threats from Islamist extremists.
  • Prevent U.S. troops from being caught in the middle of a civil war in Iraq.
  • Avert mass sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq.
  • Provide time for Iraq's elected leaders to strike a power-sharing agreement.
  • Empower Iraq's security forces to take control.
  • Get those Iraqis fighting to end the occupation to lay down their arms.
  • Motivate the U.N., global, and regional powers to get more involved in Iraq.
  • Give the U.S. the moral, political, and military power to deal with Iran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons.
  • Prevent an outbreak of isolationism in the United States.

The end goals of this strategic shift are clear, but to accomplish it the United States must implement a policy of strategic redeployment that:

  • Reduces U.S. troops to 60,000 by the end of 2006 and to zero by the end of 2007, while redeploying troops to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf.
  • Engages in diplomacy to resolve the conflict within Iraq by convening a Geneva Peace Conference modeled on the Dayton Accords.
  • Establishes a Gulf Security initiative to deal with the aftermath of U.S. redeployment from Iraq and the growing nuclear capabilities of Iran.
  • Puts Iraq's reconstruction back on track with targeted international funds.
  • Counters extremist Islamic ideology around the globe through long-term efforts to support the creation of democratic institutions and press freedoms.

Only after the United States has set the conditions for redeployment out of Iraq in order to engage the global strategic threats our nation faces can Americans rest assured that they will be safer. For more details on the report, please see our executive summary, the full report, and related materials gathered by the Center for American Progress elsewhere on our website.

Strategic Redeployment 2.0: Read the executive summary and full report here (PDF)

Change a few of those dates on those strategy suggestions and it is still a working plan that would have us down to 60,000 soldiers being used as Iraqi insurgents targets by mid 2007.

The problem for Bush is not that we don't have a plan... It is that it makes him and his failed White House administration take responsibility for their failures before Bush is out of office. And Bush is not man enough to accept his failure gracefully. Bush would rather play politics with the soldiers lives.