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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C

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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!


  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild


  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  


Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Monday
Dec032007

MUD THROWING IN IOWA

    The battle for the Democratic nomination is heating up despite the cold weather in Iowa.  Hillary Clinton has decided to go negative against Barack Obama.  With a new poll showing that Clinton is losing ground in Iowa to Obama, the Clinton team has decided to mount a more aggressive attack against Obama challenging his character, his integrity and drawing blood over their differences on health care reform. 
    Obama is now the leader of the pack in Iowa - though his "lead" is well within the margin of error in the polls.  Hillary has slipped into second place just barely ahead of John Edwards.  In reality it's a dead heat on a merry-go-round. But Hillary's threat to go negative (a month away from the Iowa Caucus) is beginning to show some cracks in her armor.  And going the low road just reinforces the charge that Hillary is just another DC pol. 
    Since Clinton has higher negatives than any candidate in the field, on either side of the political fence, going negative now is a very risky strategy which could backfire.  Such a tactic brings in to play her own baggage from Whitewatergate (remember the pig futures deal?) to her vote for the war and her consistent refusal to apologize for that vote.  And of course she voted to authorize a Bush plan to attack Iran. 
   Unlike her husband Bill "I can feel your pain" Clinton, Hillary Clinton doesn't have that smooth southern charm to knock voters off their feet.  By contrast to the down home style of Slick Willie, Hillary going on the attack will be seen as a stereotypically shrill female response and/or a willingness to get down and dirty when things get tough.  She's damned either way by appearing to be unpresidential - too defensive and/or too masculine. 
   And on the issues she's already treading on dangerous ground.  Her vote to empower Bush on Iraq and now Iran raises all the questions about her own likely policy in the Middle East should she be elected.  And her own position is clear - American troops will remain in the region a long time, there will be no total withdrawal.  On health care her plan is a clone of Mitt Ronmey's plan - requiring everyone to have or buy insurance. 
   Barack Obama by contrast doesn't promise universal health care but is talking about bringing down costs - the first order of business.  But in truth the only person who has a clue on this issue is Dennis Kucinich - the poster child for single payer health care a la Canada.  Finally, Hillary failed on health care in '92 - with her connection to the K-Street Crowd why should we assume she can bring off real reform in '09?
   Bottom line, if Hillary's image of invisibility is shaken in Iowa and she accelerates the attack dog strategy she and her K-Street advisors may rue the day they decided to go for the political jugular against Obama instead of remaining cool and above the fray.  Ironically, John Edwards might be the ultimate benefactor of a Clinton/Obama slug fest.  We are now into the home stretch in Iowa and snowballs have turned into mud balls.
   For more go to Washington Post online:  Losing Ground In Iowa, Clinton Assails Obama (By Anne E. Kornblut)
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   1 From my friend George Evans - for Rudy G the term might be "marry-go-round" which may explain his sinking numbers to Romney and Huckabee. 
 



Saturday
Dec012007

RUBBER DUCKY FOR SALE

    Well Duck fans, what's your excuse now?  That's 3 loses in a row - Arizona, UCLA and OSU.  You lost on your home turf despite the referees trying their best to help you win.  But today's close game proves that had Mike Bellotti done the ethical thing not playing Dixon against Arizona and prepared his two backup quarterbacks to step up after Dixon was injured in the ASU game who knows how the season would have turned out with the Rose Bowl on the line?
    But the best team (at this time) won today.  However it's time Coach Riley taught his line backers how to tackle other than head butting!  OSU not only plays tough defense, they play dirty defense.  Head butting and tackling above the shoulders ought to be illegal in the NCAA.  There are far too many cheap shots taken which is one of the reason so many Pac-10 quarterbacks had to sit key games out during the season.
    USC is really the best team in the nation with their #1 quarterback playing.  So USC gets to the Rose Bowl (gag) and the Beavs and Ducks will go to "Losers" Bowls... WAZOO won its bowl game last week in Husky Stadium.  The Dawgs got their chance last night in Aloha Stadium.  While the worst pass defense in the nation had the Rainbow Warriors on the ropes, the "Warriors" slipped away for a win with the help of the refs.
    PS:  Talking about a poor offensive strategy - how can the Democrats win in '08 ticking off people in Michigan?  The DNC's decision to lockout Michican delegates to the convention in Denver gives the GOP a good line for the fall campaign - "we came, they didn't."  If you want to take a stand agains frontloaded primaries don't tick off the voters in one of the big states - boycott Iowa and New Hampshire two of the most unrepresentive and smaller states in the nation!  This is worse than Howard Dean's infamous "scream in '04." 

 

Friday
Nov302007

WHERE'S THE GOP WALDO?

    Floyd J. McKay / Guest columnist - "Next president must confront the challenge of climate change," 
    Climate change could be the defining issue in the 2008 presidential election. A year away, candidates of each party look remarkably like each other, and in stark contrast to the other party.
    Science has had its final say on climate change. Now the politicians must step up to the most serious challenge facing the world today.
    That includes those who want to be president of the United States.  
    The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered its final report Nov. 17, and next month world leaders gather in Indonesia to draft a new climate-change treaty.
    Little leadership can be expected from the White House. President George W. Bush spent six years denying global warming and censoring reports, and only this year grudgingly admitted what was no longer deniable. His delegate to the Indonesian meeting declared, "What's changed since 2001 is the scientific certainty that this is happening," but promised no change from Bush's reliance on voluntary actions.
    That's not good enough, but fortunately we will have a new president in 14 months.
    Which makes it important that the candidates tell us what they plan to do — and that media hold their feet to the fire.
    The lack of federal leadership has forced states and even cities to assume leadership. Seattle has been in the forefront. The state of Washington has joined a regional compact but done little to adopt concrete proposals. Still ahead are important decisions about coal-fired generators; Centralia's coal plant accounts for much of Washington's carbon-dioxide emissions.
    While congressional legislation remains stalled and threatened with a Bush veto, California — already below the national average for emissions — has acted. Nearly a year ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered state regulators to cut carbon-dioxide emissions 25 percent by 2020.
    Certainly, Schwarzenegger's prominence should encourage Republican candidates for president — a boost from the "governator" would be most helpful in the big California primary.
    But the Republicans are cautious — at best — with the sole exception of John McCain, who has sponsored important climate-change legislation and is unafraid to campaign on it.
    A voter visiting Republican candidates' Web sites and checking "issues" would find, however, that none suggest specific action on climate change; all view energy in a national-security framework. Fred Thompson still hasn't accepted the science ("we don't know for certain how or why climate change is occurring"), and Rudy Giuliani has nothing on his issues page on energy or climate change. Only twice in the Web sites of the six GOP candidates does one even find the words "climate change" or "global warming."
    This is particularly discouraging, for climate change is an area where the Republicans can separate themselves from an unpopular president, associate themselves with popular governors (several GOP governors have joined Schwarzenegger), and address an issue that Americans want addressed.
    A poll by the Gallup organization found that 62 percent of Americans "believe that life on Earth will continue without major disruptions only if society takes immediate and drastic action to reduce global warming." Forty percent said global warming would be "extremely important" (16 percent) or "important" (24 percent) in their voting for president in 2008.
    What is it the Republican candidates don't get? Have they hitched their wagons so firmly to national security that they believe Americans care about nothing else? Is McCain the only one willing to stand up to Big Oil?
    Democrats generally agree on what is needed: a cap-and-trade method of reducing emissions from major sources, a ramped-up mileage standard for cars, investment in research on alternative energy. Most are quite specific on their plans and have sections on their "issues" pages devoted to energy and global warming.
    Additionally, most of the Democratic candidates serve in Congress, and are on record (with McCain) on climate-change or energy votes. Their Web sites are not afraid to use the term "global warming" or "climate change," and to raise the unpopular issue of higher fuel standards for private automobiles. It is not a leap of imagination to see Al Gore playing a prominent role in any of their administrations.
    The world simply cannot afford another president who first denies science and then stiffs its recommendations. The media and the electorate need to push the candidates on this issue. It surpasses by far abortion, gay rights and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, and is at least equal to health care as an overriding concern.
    If climate change becomes the major issue dividing the parties, the stakes for 2008 just increased, not only for us but also for the entire world.
    Floyd J. McKay, a journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University, is a regular contributor to THE Seattle Times editorial pages. 

    RAD:   The GOP play-book for '08  is very clear based on last night's debate, it's all about the elusive war on terrorism spouting code words like "Islamic Fascism" and "The Jihadists" and then "Deport the Illegals" - all 12 million of them!  There's not a word about climate change!  If the GOP continues to play to its base, the GOP will suffer a crushing historic defeat in '08 akin the the debacle of LBJ's victory in '64 which buried Goldwater and brought more Dems into Congress than ever before.  That's the good news.
    Of course, we're talking about Democrats.  In '92 with Slick Willie in the White House getting Dems to vote with their president was like herding cats.  As the saying goes - "I'm not a member of any organized group, I'm a Democrat."  But with Al Gore in the wings let's hope FM is right on.  If not our children and grand children are in for some rough times down the road.  Frankly I think "cap and trade" is environmental smoke and mirrors.  What is needed are tough standards and regulations imposed on industry, not allowing them to play Mickey Mouse games. 
    Finally, more and more one hears the so-called "smart people" talking about bringing back nuclear power.  What ever happened to energy saving through new technology?  How about tax credits for solar power?  If we're not careful we may be faced with a Faustian bargain and a false choice between coal powered or nuclear powered electrical energy.  So before the "enviros" get too far in downsizing hydro power on the Columbia from Grand Coulee to Bonneville, let's hope a candidate for president offers a balanced approach.
    It would also be nice if our foreign policy makers told the Sheiks of OPEC to go shove it - their 16th century politics and their oil fields.  It's time when those who love the term sustainability and green economics showed us the way past the PR to the promised land of balanced growth and smart economics.  Like I said in my railroad blog - it makes no sense to have so many truckers on the highways from coast to coast when most of their hauls could be put on a flat car pulled by battery powered electric engines!
    It's time to move from enviro chic to enviro reality. 
 

Wednesday
Nov282007

VETS SPEAK OUT ON WAR

    By John McChesney, NPR's Morning Edition, November 28, 2007, "Army Captains Critique Iraq War" 
    A dozen former U.S. Army captains wrote a column for The Washington Post last month entitled "The Real Iraq We Knew" in which they set out to describe the war they had experienced, instead of the one generals and politicians had described.
    The officers' words have stirred controversy, with some critics calling them traitors. But that hasn't stopped them from speaking out.
    In the op-ed piece, published on the fifth anniversary of the authorization of military force in Iraq, the 12 captains wrote that they had "seen the corruption and the sectarian division."
    "We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out," they said.
    "Captain is a unique position in the Army because you are really a cog at the center of it all," said Jason Blindauer, a veteran of five years in the Army, including three deployments to Iraq. "As we used to say, you can see the asses of the generals and the faces of the privates."
    But a $35,000 retention bonus could not keep these captains in, even though at the outset they had been deeply committed to the military.
    "There is no job that I ever wanted to do other than being a military officer," Blindauer said. "As far as the prospect of going to war with Iraq, I was excited about it. I was a young infantry officer with the opportunity to go to war."
    Jeff Bouldin served in the Army for four years and in Iraq for 14 months. Like most of the 12 captains, he initially supported the invasion, but gradually became disillusioned with the leaders in charge of the war.
    "The tactics we used and the overall goals in every province I served in had no semblance to any military logic that I had ever known," he said.
    Then there was the prospect of repeated deployments without much time in between for family.
    "I had a young family," Bouldin said. "I had a son who was 24 months old and I had seen him for four months of his entire life."
    Blindauer and Bouldin are talking in Elizabeth Bostwick's Dallas apartment. Bostwick spent four years in the Army.
    "I believed in my mission and beyond that I tried not to think about it," Bostwick said.
    She said she tried not to think beyond her own security mission with the Military Police. Even though she comes from a military family, she wasn't gung-ho about the war.
    "Knowing that the preponderance of your peer group is home shopping, having stable relationships not interrupted by deployments … it's disheartening," Bostwick said. "You're saying enough of this bumper-sticker patriotism. Do something about it or stop wasting my time."
    To the group of 12, doing something about it means signing up to serve, and they suggest that a draft may be necessary. Jason Blindauer quotes German military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz, saying a country has to have both the strength of means and the strength of will to win a war.
    "We don't have a military large enough to conduct the long-duration, low-intensity wars, and we haven't harnessed the collective will of the American people. So what good is it?" Blindauer said.
    Luis Montalvan, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the son of conservative Cuban immigrants. He joined the Army when he was 17 and stayed in for 17 years. He did two tours in Iraq. Montalvan angrily disagrees with the many bloggers who say the 12 captains ignore the apparent success of the recent troop surge.
    "What has the government of Iraq done? It has done nothing, so it doesn't matter how many tactical successes you have if you're not having any strategic successes."
    Montalvan says the 12 have no political agenda; most are independents. The captains believe that current American strategy is simply arming and training Sunni and Shite militias for a future civil war. Montalvan, who worked closely with Iraqis on both his deployments, said he is disgusted with the level of corruption he witnessed. Even worse, he said, is American inaction in the face of it.
    "There is still no Iraqi-American anticorruption action plan. This corruption is feeding, sustaining the sectarian divide."
    On his first tour in Iraq in 2003, Montalvan worked on the Iraq-Syrian border with only 40 soldiers trying to watch over a major foreign entry point where corruption ruled. At one point things got nasty.
    "Some men tried to assassinate me in December of '03 and they nearly succeeded," he said. "They were wielding knives and hand grenades, and I was injured. One of them was killed and the other was severely wounded but he staggered off."
    Montalvan said he is "not altogether comfortable talking about it." He says it's something he's dealing with and will "probably deal with for sometime."
    Some bloggers have called the 12 cowards and traitors.
    "For those people who would rather thump their chests and say that these people don't know anything or that these people are cowards or anything along those lines, they can go to hell," he said.
    When the interview was over, Montalvan went into his bathroom and got sick. He apologized, saying it may have been side effects of medications he was taking. But his friends said it was more likely the result of reliving painful events in Iraq.
    RAD:  The original Washington Post op ed piece is available online, just Google it.  As the interview above notes the surge is a sad joke, more smoke and mirrors.  Until the Government in the Green Zone deals with fundamental issues such as corruption, the distribution of oil revenues and the sectarian divides - no long term political solution is possible.  And as even the generals in charge have noted in congressional testimony - there is no military solution possible in Iraq only a political solution.
    At best the surge has bought us the time to exit Iraq which a figleaf of honor and the claim of victory.  At best our strategy of making deals with sectarian warlords (local sheiks) in the various provinces has turned our enemies of the past into enemies of outside insurgents.  But such a tactic is like going into Detroit and cleaning up the streets by making deals with gang leaders who then can pacify their neighborhoods, block by block.  It does nothing to establish legitimate political authority. 
    The insurgents are not dumb - they know the the Americans will be leaving Iraq within the next year.  They can hunker down for now waiting for the time to renew the ethnic cleansing and the civil war after the US exits.  The cynicism of the US policy in Iraq is especially notable by our negotiations with the puppet government to negate oil contracts with Russia and long term plans for an American force to remain in Iraq to protect US oil interests.  At the end, it was always about oil not about peace or freedom!
    For those D's out there - Queen Hillary's post-war plans include such a mobilization!   So if we're not careful we'll go from Bush "lite" to Hillary "macho."  One hopes the folks in Iowa and New Hampshire are paying attention. 

Wednesday
Nov282007

DUBYA AS SCROOGE

    By Jim Hightower, Commentary, "Bush's Hollow Support for Veterans," November 28, 2007.
    Once again, George W has done a little tap dance on the heads of American veterans.
    On the Saturday morning before Veterans Day, Bush woke up, ate a big bowl of crispy cynicism for breakfast, then delivered a national radio address chastising Democrats in Congress for not passing a funding bill that “they know our veterans need.”  This from a guy who has consistently shortchanged the budget for veterans programs, leading to such messes as the scandalous collapse of out-patient services at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
    Also, one reason the Democrats have not yet passed the funding bill is because the White House objects to the fact that it provides $3.7 billion more for veterans programs than Bush requested. For example, about half a million vets in need of medical treatment are presently caught in the VA’s backlog of cases, with delays for treatment now averaging six months – so Democrats have increased funding to ease these waiting times. Bush didn’t mention this in his pouty radio diatribe.
    Nor did the cynic-in-chief mention that because of his budget stinginess on health insurance for veterans, there has been a drastic increase in the number who have no coverage. Indeed, 1.8 million vets – plus another 3.8 million of their spouses and children – are now without insurance, adding up to about 12 percent of the total number of Americans who are without health care protection – and many of these vets are in poor health.
    In his radio message piously calling on Democrats to give their thanks to veterans, Bush avoided another shameful statistic from a new report on homelessness. The report revealed that, under Bush, the number of homeless veterans is up, now totaling a fourth of America’s homeless people.
    What kind of thanks is that? As John Kennedy – himself a war hero – put it, “We must never forget that the highest appreciation [for veterans] is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
    RAD:  Our nation has a sad legacy of denying vets the care they need despite their service to our country.  Vietnam era vets face a host of challenges from mental health issues to homelessness.  Now a new generation of vets from Iraq are entering the system with even greater needs.  But what do they get from "draft dodger" Bush - a gratuitous thanks with the back of his duplicitous hand!  It's time we showed Bush and the GOP the back of our hand as we "show them the door" in November '08.  Good riddance.