Saturday, October 08, 2005

Yet Another Benefit of the War In Iraq

Oh yes, we're much better off thanks to the war:

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A recent outbreak of Acinetobacter baumannii infections among patients at military medical facilities across the country is presenting a treatment challenge for clinicians, adding to the cost of medical
care, and raising concerns that injured soldiers may be importing rare bugs from overseas into U.S. hospitals.

First bird flu, now this. No wonder Bush is making plans for the military to move in at the first sign of a medical emergency.

Friday, October 07, 2005

How Bloomberg Benefits From the Latest Terror Threat

He was taking a lot of heat for refusing to participate in a mayoral debate at the Apollo Theater in Harlem Thursday Night. As a result, for the last several days, his opponent Freddy Ferrer has had Mike on the defensive over charges of disrespect to the black community. The front pages of the New York tabloids were all set to have a "Where's Mike?" festival, until this interestingly-timed subway alert. Now instead of the front page being this, it is this.

When one considers that the Dept. of Homeland Security has called the threat "not credible," one has cause to be cautiously skeptical.

Perhaps Mike has been going to school on Bush and the whole terror-alert-at-strategic-moments tactic.

Jamie Foxx Glad to Leave Racist South

Hopefully Jamie realizes that racism is everywhere, but this is a nasty indictment of George Bush's "home" state. Remember, this isn't the 1960's we're talking about here, but the 1980's, when "Cosby" was the number one show in America.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Congress Seeks to Cut Food Aid to Poor

http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/10/ap-congress-seeks-to-cut-food-aid-for.html

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Why the U.S. Needs the U.N. to Monitor Its Elections

Looks like the Iraqi Ken Blackwell has been convinced to knock it off:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 5 -Following sharp criticism from the international community and Sunni leaders, Iraqi lawmakers voted today to reverse changes they made to rules governing next week's referendum on a new constitution.

The National Assembly overwhelmingly voted to clarify that the passage of the Oct. 15 referendum would depend on actual ballots cast rather than on the total number of registered voters. The decision, by a 119-28 vote, comes three days after Kurdish and Shiite lawmakers quietly agreed on last-minute changes that would have made it virtually impossible for the charter to fail, infuriating Sunni opponents and prompting the United Nations to press for a reversal of the rules.

"The U.N. said it was not just," said Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish member of the National Assembly. "Today they reversed it."

The criticism by the United Nations was especially significant because the organization was brought in to supervise the referendum and confer a stamp of legitimacy on it. International observers as well as some members of the National Assembly had warned that the rule change would seriously damage the credibility of the vote, a crucial moment in Iraq's transition to full independence. Sunni Arab leaders had threatened to boycott the referendum.

At the center of the dispute was the definition of the term "voters." Under the rules that were passed on Sunday, the constitution would have failed only if two-thirds of all registered voters - rather than two-thirds of those actually casting ballots - had rejected it in at least three of the 18 provinces. Given that less than two-thirds of voters participated in the January legislative elections in Iraq, that would have made it almost impossible for the document to fail.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Is Ken Blackwell Running Things In Iraq, Too?

Ah yes. A good old-fashioned rigged election. From the New York Times:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 3 - Iraq's Shiite and Kurdish leaders quietly adopted new rules over the weekend that will make it virtually impossible for the constitution to fail in the coming national referendum.

The move prompted Sunni Arabs and a range of independent political figures to complain that the vote was being fixed.

Some Sunni leaders who have been organizing a campaign to vote down the proposed constitution said they might now boycott the referendum on Oct. 15. Other political leaders also reacted angrily, saying the change would seriously damage the vote's credibility.

Under the new rules, the constitution will fail only if two-thirds of all registered voters - rather than two-thirds of all those actually casting ballots - reject it in at least three of the 18 provinces. The change, adopted during an unannounced vote in parliament on Sunday afternoon, effectively raises the bar for those who oppose the constitution. Given that fewer than 60 percent of registered Iraqis voted in the January elections, the chances that two-thirds will both show up at the polls and vote against the document in three provinces would appear to be close to nil.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Freedom Is American Urine

That's the message Iraqi's are taking away from our gross misadventure there:

In Karrada this summer, Mohammed and the neighborhood watched as American soldiers on patrol grew irritated at an Iraqi who had left his car in the street to run inside a store on an errand, blocking their armored convoy.

The Americans took one of the empty plastic water bottles they use to relieve themselves when on patrol, Mohammed said. When the Iraqi driver ran out to
move his car, an annoyed American plunked him with the newly filled bottle and rolled on, Mohammed said.

''He started crying," Mohammed said of the Iraqi driver, humiliated in front of the neighborhood.

Mohammed, who said he had been one of the happiest people in Karrada to see the Americans when they came in April 2003, retrieved the bottle and handed it to the weeping man.

''I said, 'Give this to the Iraqi government,' " Mohammed said. '' 'Tell them this is the sovereignty the Americans have brought us.' "

Nasty Irony

WASHINGTON -- The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering that some of the vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior government officials.

Cronyism

It is clear with George Bush's pick of his no-judicial-experience-having friend Harriet Miers to be the next supreme court justice, that he realizes how much the game is up.

He knows his presidency is already over. He kows the Republicans are going to lose the House next year. These last few months are his last chance to dole out the goodies to his friends -- which has been the focus of his entire presidency -- before he loses the power to do so.

What kind of judge would Miers be? Who knows? She's never handed down a judicial ruling in her life. Even the conservatives give the selection an overwhelming thumbs-down:

The National Review
Right Wing News
Nixguy
Confirm Them