Friday, July 18, 2008

Bush's Time Horizon

No timetable, but a time horizon is....on the horizon. Conservatives have insisted that the US cannot give a timetable for getting out of Iraq. President Bush disagrees and is now proposing a "time horizon" to get our troops out of Iraq. Just don't use the word timetable and everything changes.

“Why would you say to the enemy, you know, here’s a timetable, just go ahead and wait us out? It doesn’t make any sense to have a timetable. You know, if you give a timetable, you’re — you’re conceding too much to the enemy.” [Bush, 6/24/05]

“I believe artificial timetables of withdrawal would be a mistake. … I will strongly reject an artificial timetable withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job.” [Bush, 4/23/07]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bush Appeasement on Iran?

We haven't seen this reported in the US liberal media yet, but the UK Guardian claims that the Bush administration will announce the opening of a "US Interest Section" in Iran next month.
The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.

The news of the shift by Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his tenure comes at a critical time in US-Iranian relations. After weeks that have seen tensions rise with Israel conducting war games and Tehran carrying out long-range missile tests, a thaw appears to be under way.
So is this any different from the "appeasement" that conservatives claim Barack Obama was offering Iran? Or, is it wise diplomacy because it is being done by a Republican administration. Always questions.

PS Let me add that if the report by the Guardian is correct, thank-you President Bush. After 7 long, tiring years, you finally seem to be getting it.

UPDATE: New York Times confirms Bush appeasement of Iran.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Big Republican Lie

Republicans, including John McCain are telling us that not a drop of oil was spilled due to hurricane Katrina.

Now, because it's John McCain and other Republicans making this claim of "not a drop of oil spilled", I have to admit I could not take their word for it. I already knew it wasn't true that not a drop of oil was spilled. But were they just referring to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico from oil platforms? Maybe that detail was true, even though they were being disingenuous. Seaching the internet, I came up with this website and the government information they link.

What it boils down to is that John McCain is lying to "his friends". Here is what a report by the U.S. Minerals Management Service concluded:
As a result of both storms, 124 spills were reported with a total volume of roughly 17,700 barrels of total petroleum products, of which about 13,200 barrels were crude oil and condensate from platforms, rigs and pipelines, and 4,500 barrels were refined products from platforms and rigs. Pipelines were accountable for 72 spills totaling about 7,300 barrels of crude oil and condensate spilled into the [Gulf of Mexico]. Response and recovery efforts kept the impacts to a minimum with no onshore impacts from these spill events.
17,700 barrels of oil corresponds to 743,400 gallons which is classified as a major spill by the Code of Federal Regulations used by the EPA and Coast Guard to evaluate oil spills.

How about satellite pictures? Yes, we have them.

How about known pipeline damage? We've got that too.

So I'm sorry to say that at the very least John McCain is being disingenous somehow. At the worst, he is lying to "his friends". I'm sure his friends will not follow the advice of their god Ronald Reagan to "trust, but veryify".

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama Hits It Again

Unfortunately I spent the morning and afternoon explaining to a group of students how the respiratory system works so I didn't get to here Obama's speech on Iraq. I did read it however. Here is the part that first caught my eye:
Imagine, for a moment, what we could have done in those days, and months, and years after 9/11.

We could have deployed the full force of American power to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and all of the terrorists responsible for 9/11, while supporting real security in Afghanistan.

We could have secured loose nuclear materials around the world, and updated a 20th century non-proliferation framework to meet the challenges of the 21st.

We could have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in alternative sources of energy to grow our economy, save our planet, and end the tyranny of oil.

We could have strengthened old alliances, formed new partnerships, and renewed international institutions to advance peace and prosperity.

We could have called on a new generation to step into the strong currents of history, and to serve their country as troops and teachers, Peace Corps volunteers and police officers.

We could have secured our homeland--investing in sophisticated new protection for our ports, our trains and our power plants.

We could have rebuilt our roads and bridges, laid down new rail and broadband and electricity systems, and made college affordable for every American to strengthen our ability to compete.

We could have done that.
But then again, no one really thought the Iraq War would last this long or cost this much, at least that's what Republicans will tell you. I remember it a bit differently, but then again I'm a liberal, commie, surrender monkey and unpatriotic to boot. See, I'm willing to actually question our government.

Americans have quite a simple choice to make where it concerns Iraq. Elect Barack Obama and leave Iraq or elect John McCain and stay in Iraq for many more years - or until we win ( still no definition of win however).

I just signed a heating oil contract at $4.799/gallon. Lucky for me, we just got our "stimulus check" which should cover about one-third of the bill. Like Barack Obama, I honestly believe that the $10 billion a month we are spending on Iraq could be better utilized.

George Bush has been a disaster as a President, as a commander-in-chief and as a world leader. I doubt John McCain will be much different - perhaps a bit smarter....but I'm really starting to wonder about that too. It is time for a change and John McCain promises no change whatsoever.

McCain Flip-Flops Again

Republicans have got to be sorry they ever started this flip flopping criticism of John Kerry during the last Presidential election.

John McCain has now adopted Barack Obama's position of Afghanistan. Democrats have been calling for more troops to fight in Afghanistan for at least 4 or 5 years now. All of a sudden, John McCain agrees. This after insisting that Iraq was the "central front" of the war on terror. McCain has even gone so far as to say that the Iraq War has not been detracting from the war in Afghanistan.

McCain talks big about following Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he has given few details about how he will capture bin Laden. Barack Obama has said we need to follow bin Laden into Pakistan if necessary, but McCain says he need permission of Pakistan strong man Pervez Musharraf before he will go into Pakistan after bin Laden.

"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," he (Obama) said in a Washington speech last August.
McCain evidently disagrees. McCain says "you don't broadcast that you are going to bomb a country that is a sovereign nation". I guess Iraq and Iran are exceptions in McCains mind.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Yorker Satire

The blogosphere is alive with talk about the cover of the latest New Yorker Magazine (seen above). The New Yorker claims it is only satire - making fun of the way conservatives view Barack Obama and his wife. My question exactly is it satire? If the cartoon were in a balloon coming out of McCain's mouth I could see the satire. I can't wait to see the cover satirizing John McCain and his wife. We won't see that though because it is un-American to criticize John McCain.

John McCain has criticized the New Yorker cover. Probably because he is fearful of how the New Yorker might "satirize" him and his wife.

Tax Cuts for Whom?

Under whose tax plan will you do better - Obama's or McCain's? The answer to that question depends on how much you make. Fortunately, the Tax Policy Center has provided tables that show the effect of the McCain and Obama tax plans on representative families.

As expected, the McCain plan provides nice tax cuts for the rich - and for the less rich...not so much. For example, a married, two earner couple with no children, making $75,000 a year get no tax break from the McCain plan. From the Obama plan they get a tax cut of $1,049. Where the difference lies is in those whose incomes are over $500,000. McCain's plan provides no tax cut for these individuals, but Obama would raise their taxes by $6,727.

Thus, I recommend that if you are wealthy, you vote for John McCain. If you are not so wealthy, do yourself a favor and get a tax cut.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Classroom Puppies

One of my students was concerned her dog was going to give birth any second last Thursday. So the dog came to my Anatomy and Physiology II class. It wasn't long before we heard the first squeaking. By the end of class we had 4 new puppies (one quite a bit runty). Mom and puppies did fine the whole time.