Friday, February 29, 2008

In the News: Feb-29

Baghdad embassy project in trouble - 29 Feb 2008 at 2:05pm - WASHINGTON -- Federal officials last year certified as complete the new $600 million U.S. embassy in Iraq, even though the mammoth complex was still plagued by construction defects, a senior House Democrat charged Friday.

EPA justifies blocking Calif. waiver - 29 Feb 2008 at 12:50pm - WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday justified blocking California from cracking down on auto emissions by saying the problems of global warming aren't unique to one state.

US Air Force shoots down blogs, airmen frustrated - February 29, 2008 10:19:00 AM - Citing operational security risks, the United States Air Force has set up new filters in an effort to prevent Air Force personnel from reading blogs. Members of the USAF who use blogs to expand their expertise are frustrated.

AP, others see downside for reporters - 29 Feb 2008 at 11:37am - WASHINGTON -- The Associated Press, reporters groups and advocates for press freedoms urged the Supreme Court on Friday to reject Bush administration arguments that people held by the military in Iraq have no access to American courts.

Thought for the day:
You can't have everything. Where would you put it? -Steven Wright (1955 - )

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sabre-Rattling in Support of Regional Stability

U.S. says sends warship off coast of Lebanon - 28 Feb 2008 at 3:03pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Signaling impatience with Syria, the United States has sent its USS Cole warship off the coast of Lebanon in a "show of support" for regional stability, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

Bush disputes Obama on diplomacy - 28 Feb 2008 at 2:52pm - WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Thursday strongly disagreed with Democratic candidate Barack Obama's expressed willingness to meet the leaders of Iran and Cuba - two U.S. adversaries throughout Bush's presidency.

Army manual upgrades nation-building - 28 Feb 2008 at 12:51pm - FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- The Army on Thursday rolled out the first revision of its operations manual since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, putting stability operations - nation-building - on par with combat.

US to distance itself from Musharraf - 28 Feb 2008 at 10:24am - WASHINGTON -- A senior U.S. diplomat is signaling that the Bush administration is distancing itself from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf after opposition victories in last week's elections.

Turkey Rules Out Timetable For Troop Withdrawal - - ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's incursion against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq should be short and focused, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday. But Turkey's military chief declined to set a timetable for the withdrawal of troops, who have been operating in Iraq for a week.

Thought for the day:
Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them. -Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In the News: Feb-27

Bush names envoy to Muslim nations - 27 Feb 2008 at 3:12pm - WASHINGTON -- President Bush, acknowledging that the U.S. needs to burnish its image in the Islamic world, named a Texas entrepreneur as liaison to The Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Bernanke sees oil prices hampering quest to fix economy - 27 Feb 2008 at 2:57pm - WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled Wednesday that continued risks to economic growth could mean more interest-rate cuts, but he cautioned that rising oil prices are creating inflationary pressures that could handcuff efforts to spark the economy.

Karzai controls a third of Afghanistan - 27 Feb 2008 at 12:01pm - WASHINGTON -- The Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai controls just 30 percent of the country, the top U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday.

William F. Buckley dead at 82: report - 27 Feb 2008 at 11:43am - NEW YORK (Reuters) - Conservative writer and commentator William F. Buckley has died at age 82, the New York Times reported on its Web site on Wednesday.

Marines halt study critical of MRAP program - 27 Feb 2008 at 10:33am - WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps has ordered a civilian scientist to stop work on a report critical of its efforts to obtain new armored vehicles, saying he exceeded his authority, a Marine official said Tuesday.

Marines want probe into armored vehicle program delays - February 26, 2008 -- Updated 1645 GMT - (CNN) -- Casualties could have been reduced by half among Marines in Iraq if specially armored vehicles had been deployed more quickly in some cases, a report to the Pentagon says. Marine Corps spokesman Col. David Lapan said the Defense Department's inspector general wants to investigate the report's claims that bureaucratic delays undermined the program to develop the armored vehicles.

Thought for the day:
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. -Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Expert details White House mail problems - 26 Feb 2008 at 3:08pm - WASHINGTON -- A computer expert who worked at the White House provided the first inside look at its e-mail system Tuesday, calling it a "primitive" setup that created a "high" risk that data would be lost.

Memos show pressure on EPA chief - 26 Feb 2008 at 2:59pm - WASHINGTON -- Some high-ranking career staffers concerned about the reputation of the Environmental Protection Agency believed that Administrator Stephen Johnson would have to consider resigning if he turned down California's request to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, newly released documents show.

Army: Service must cut combat tours - 26 Feb 2008 at 11:27am - WASHINGTON -- Top Army officials have told a Senate panel that the Army is under serious strain and must reduce the length of combat tours as soon as possible.

Thought for the day:
Vote early and vote often. -Al Capone (1899 - 1947)

Monday, February 25, 2008

More Of the Same

U.S. expects 140,000 troops in Iraq after surge - 25 Feb 2008 at 2:08pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States expects to have 140,000 troops in Iraq in July after withdrawing five combat brigades, leaving a force larger than before it began pouring in troops last year, the Pentagon said on Monday.
If there remains a larger force than before the surge, wouldn't that mean the "surge" will still be going on?

Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish rebels in Iraq - 25 Feb 2008 at 12:58pm - AMADIYAH (AFP) - Turkish fighter jets pounded Kurdish rebel positions Monday in northern Iraq, as troops pressed on with a cross-border offensive despite Iraqi and US calls for a quick withdrawal.

US mocks Cuban political transition - 25 Feb 2008 at 11:35am - WASHINGTON -- The United States is mocking the Cuban parliament's approval of Raul Castro as the new president as more of the same.
Kinda like John McCain would be more of the same?

Bush lobbies for surveillance law - 25 Feb 2008 at 11:26am - WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Monday lobbied again for an intelligence law allowing government eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails, as the tone of his dispute with Congress over terrorist surveillance grew increasingly bitter.

Domestic surveillance goes on despite expiration of law - February 25, 2008 07:13:00 AM - The Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have indicated that new surveillance will continue under the terms of the Protect America Act even though the law has expired.

Thought for the day:
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. -Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Military Solution For Me, But Not For Thee

Gates: Turkey raid won't solve problems - 23 Feb 2008 at 9:07pm - CANBERRA, Australia -- Turkey's military assault into northern Iraq will not solve the terrorist problem there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday, calling for greater political and economic initiatives by the Turks to win over supporters of the Kurdish rebels.


Officials lament lapsing of wiretap law - 23 Feb 2008 at 6:20am - WASHINGTON -- Two top Bush administration officials said Friday that some telecommunications companies are resisting wiretapping orders for terrorists because a surveillance law expired nearly a week ago.
So telecommunications companies are being asked to execute wiretaps that are illegal under existing laws? Or are they illegally refusing to carry out orders for wiretapping that would be allowable under existing laws? I'm having a hard time seeing how Congress is to blame, either way.

Friday, February 22, 2008

In the News: Feb-22

Justice reviews role in waterboarding - 22 Feb 2008 at 2:48pm - WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department has opened an internal investigation into whether its top officials improperly authorized or reviewed the CIA's use of waterboarding when interrogating terror suspects, according to documents released Friday.

Turkish troops launch Iraq offensive - 22 Feb 2008 at 12:57pm - ANKARA (AFP) - The Turkish army launched a ground offensive into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdish rebels, drawing an angry response Friday from Iraqi leaders and a call for restraint from Washington.

Feds to raise fines for hiring illegals - 22 Feb 2008 at 11:42am - WASHINGTON -- The government says it will raise by 25 percent the fines it will levy against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Court rules for companies in "agent orange" case - 22 Feb 2008 at 11:10am - NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a civil lawsuit against major U.S. chemical companies brought by Vietnamese plaintiffs over the use of dioxin, or "agent orange," during the Vietnam War.

Taliban see Canada as 'weak' as Afghan debate drags on: Hillier - 22 Feb 2008 at 10:29am - Lengthy debate over Canada's role in Afghanistan could put its soldiers increasingly at risk as the Taliban perceive the country as a 'weak link,' Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier says.

Iraqi cleric Sadr extends militia ceasefire - 22 Feb 2008 at 9:26am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr extended his Mehdi Army militia ceasefire by six months on Friday, a decision U.S. officials said would help foster reconciliation among Iraq's divided communities.

Thought for the day:
The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and therefore should be treated with caution. -J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In the News: Feb-21

U.S. urges Pakistanis to keep Musharraf, despite election defeat - 21 Feb 2008 at 3:02pm - ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _The Bush administration is pressing the opposition leaders who defeated Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to allow the former general to retain his position, a move that Western diplomats and U.S. officials say could trigger the very turmoil the United States seeks to avoid.

Harper unveils new Afghan motion with 2011 end date - 21 Feb 2008 at 2:28pm - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has unveiled a new motion with a hard end date of 2011 for Canada's military mission in Afghanistan, a move aimed at bridging the gap between the Conservatives and Liberals.

Wolves to be removed from species list - 21 Feb 2008 at 12:50pm - BILLINGS, Mont. -- Gray wolves in the Northern Rockies will be removed from the endangered species list, following a 13-year restoration effort that helped the animal's population soar, federal officials said Thursday.

US cites CIA flight 'mistakes' - 21 Feb 2008 at 10:44am - MONROVIA (AFP) - The White House acknowledged Thursday that "mistakes were made" in not notifying Britain about two so-called "extraordinary rendition" US flights that refuelled on British soil.

Britain says U.S. rendition flights used base - 21 Feb 2008 at 8:37am - LONDON (Reuters) - Two U.S. planes carrying terrorism suspects refueled at a U.S. base on British-ruled Diego Garcia in 2002, Britain said on Thursday, contradicting earlier assurances.

Thought for the day:
Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half. -Gore Vidal (1925 - )

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In the News: Feb-20

Fed lowers economic forecast - 20 Feb 2008 at 2:44pm - WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday lowered its projection for economic growth this year, citing damage from the double blows of a housing slump and credit crunch. It said it also expects higher unemployment and inflation.

NY oil prices hit a record 101.27 dollars - 20 Feb 2008 at 2:31pm - NEW YORK (AFP) - New York oil prices struck a record 101.27 dollars a barrel Wednesday on renewed global supply jitters.

Court rules against state suits in medical device cases - 20 Feb 2008 at 11:51am - The Supreme Court is making it harder for consumers to sue manufacturers of federally approved medical devices. The case has ...

Court says 401(k) participants can sue - 20 Feb 2008 at 11:16am - WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that individual participants in the most common type of retirement plan can sue under a pension protection law to recover their losses.

Thought for the day:
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. -Indira Gandhi (1917 - 1984)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In the News: Feb-19

Judge may hold reporter in contempt - 19 Feb 2008 at 3:09pm - WASHINGTON -- A federal judge said Tuesday he will hold a former USA Today reporter in contempt if she continues refusing to identify sources for stories about a former Army scientist under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Oil hits record 100.10 dollars - 19 Feb 2008 at 2:54pm - NEW YORK (AFP) - The price of oil in New York spiked to a record 100.10 dollars a barrel Tuesday on supply concerns.

Amtrak to step up security measures - 19 Feb 2008 at 10:52am - Amtrak will start randomly screening passengers? carry-on bags this week in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.

Court rejects ACLU challenge to wiretaps - 19 Feb 2008 at 10:42am - WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court rejected a challenge Tuesday to the Bush administration's domestic spying program.

Musharraf urged to go as rivals win Pakistan poll - 19 Feb 2008 at 9:19am - ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's opponents won a big election victory on Tuesday as voters rejected his former ruling party, raising doubts whether the U.S. ally who has ruled since 1999 can keep power.

Al-Sadr Faces Pressure to Call Off Truce - 19 Feb 2008 at 7:53am - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is expected to announce his decision in the next few days about whether to maintain the ceasefire he ordered six months ago. There has been pressure from the rank-and-file members of his militia to call off the truce.

Fidel Castro retires - 19 Feb 2008 at 8:20am - HAVANA (Reuters) - Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday that he will not return to lead the communist country, retiring as president 49 years after he seized power in a revolution and became a central figure of the Cold War.

Thought for the day:
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973)

Monday, February 18, 2008

In the News: Feb-18

Early Iraq dossier draft released - 18 Feb 2008 at 7:40am - UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband says he has published an early draft of the infamous Iraq weapons dossier.

Senators call for probe on MRAP report's claims - 18 Feb 2008 at 7:38am - Two senators Sunday urged the Pentagon to investigate a Marine Corps report that says procurement officers spurned requests from ...

Thought for the day:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Danger, Will Robinson!

Bush says Congress putting US in danger - 15 Feb 2008 at 10:04am - WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Friday that "our country is in more danger of an attack" because of Congress' failure to extend a law that makes it easier for the government to spy on foreign phone calls and e-mails that pass through the United States.
But, of course, he doesn't mention to what extent his veto threat is contributing to the endangerment of the nation.

Liberals would spend billions of surplus dollars on infrastructure - 15 Feb 2008 at 2:16pm - The federal Liberals would spend the bulk of Canada's budget surplus on the country's crumbling infrastructure if elected, Leader Stéphane Dion promised on Friday.

Justice Official Testifies on Waterboarding - 15 Feb 2008 at 10:05am - The acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel tells a House subcommittee on Thursday that his department has not ruled on whether waterboarding is illegal. Steven Bradbury signed secret memos in 2005 authorizing the CIA to use the interrogation technique.

Suit Accuses Homeland Security of Illegal Searches - 15 Feb 2008 at 10:45am - Two civil liberties groups are suing the Department of Homeland Security to force it to disclose its policy for searching U.S. citizens and their electronic devices when re-entering the United States from the Middle East and South Asia.

Thought for the day:
One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. -Will Durant (1885 - 1981)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In the News: Feb-14

House holds Bush confidants in contempt - 14 Feb 2008 at 2:27pm - WASHINGTON -- The House voted Thursday to hold two of President Bush's confidants in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether a purge of federal prosecutors was politically motivated.

Judge asks details on destroyed evidence - 14 Feb 2008 at 2:19pm - WASHINGTON -- A federal judge wants the Bush administration to tell him whether destroyed CIA interrogation videos were relevant to his case.

US plans to shoot down broken satellite - 14 Feb 2008 at 12:00pm - WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials say the Pentagon is planning to shoot down a broken spy satellite expected to hit the Earth in early March.

CDC: Gulf Coast trailers have toxic air - 14 Feb 2008 at 12:00pm - NEW ORLEANS -- U.S. health officials are urging that Gulf Coast hurricane victims be moved out of their government-issued trailers as quickly as possible after tests found toxic levels of formaldehyde fumes.

Lawmakers Skeptical About Assurances on Iraq - 14 Feb 2008 at 8:16am - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured members of Congress on Wednesday that the Bush administration isn't going to limit the options of future presidents regarding U.S. policy in Iraq. Some lawmakers expressed considerable skepticism.

Justice Dept: Waterboarding not legal - 14 Feb 2008 at 8:40am - A senior Justice Department official says laws and other limits enacted since three terrorism suspects were waterboarded have eliminated the technique from what is now allowed.

House eyeing war funding bill - 13 Feb 2008 at 11:10am - WASHINGTON -- The leaders of a House panel that oversees military spending said Wednesday they are drafting legislation that would pay for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through the rest of the year.

Thought for the day:
The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth. -Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In the News: Feb-12

First 9/11 defendant gets military lawyer - 12 Feb 2008 at 3:02pm - The Pentagon's chief defense counsel chose an Army lawyer on Tuesday to defend one of the ''Sept. 11 Six,'' a Saudi man who was held at Guant?mo for years and subjected to days of harsh military interrogation.

Senate panel backs crack sentences - 12 Feb 2008 at 2:51pm - WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats are rejecting Attorney General Michael Mukasey's request to change new sentencing guidelines for crimes involving crack cocaine.

Senate OKs immunity for telecoms - 12 Feb 2008 at 11:28am - Washington -- The Senate has voted to shield from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on their customers without court permission after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Suicide by Guard, Reserve troops studied - 12 Feb 2008 at 10:51am - WASHINGTON -- National Guard and Reserve troops who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan make up more than half of veterans who committed suicide after returning home from those wars, according to new government data obtained by The Associated Press.

Is violence on the rise again in Iraq? - 12 Feb 2008 at 10:43am - BAGHDAD — Violence is increasing in Iraq, raising questions about whether the security improvements credited to the increase in U.S. troops may be short-lived.

9/11 Guantanamo trials unlikely before Bush leaves office - 12 Feb 2008 at 10:39am - WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is scrambling to assemble defense teams for six Guantanamo detainees who are facing the death penalty for their alleged roles in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Thought for the day:
Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest. -Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870)

Monday, February 11, 2008

In the News: Feb-11

Pentagon to charge six 9/11 suspects - 11 Feb 2008 at 9:44am - WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon will announce charges Monday against six alleged September 11, 2001 co-conspirators, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the attack on the United States, a spokesman said.

Gates backs pause in future U.S. troop pullout - 11 Feb 2008 at 9:58am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday he backed a brief pause in U.S. troop reductions from Iraq once an initial pullout of five combat brigades has been completed in July.

Secret Evidence Bogs Down Gitmo Hearings - 9 Feb 2008 at 9:25am - GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- The secrecy shrouding government files on terror suspects is bogging down the Pentagon's effort to hold trials at Guantanamo Bay, with defense attorneys accusing the government of withholding potential exculpatory evidence.

Roadside blasts kill 5 U.S. soldiers in Iraq - 9 Feb 2008 at 8:07am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Five American soldiers were killed in roadside bombings in Iraq on Friday as some parts of Baghdad witness an increase in attacks, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

Thought for the day:
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. -Kris Kristofferson, "Me and Bobby McGee"

Friday, February 08, 2008

War demands strain US military readiness

War demands strain US military readiness - 8 Feb 2008 at 9:49pm - WASHINGTON -- A classified Pentagon assessment concludes that long battlefield tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with persistent terrorist activity and other threats, have prevented the U.S. military from improving its ability to respond to any new crisis, The Associated Press has learned.

They Need a Report to Tell Them This?

U.S. should not provoke Iraq militia: report - 8 Feb 2008 at 9:27am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military should not provoke the Mehdi Army militia of anti-U.S. Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr into a return to the widespread violence that took Iraq to the brink of civil war, a report said on Friday.

Waxman subpoenas EPA on Calif waiver - 8 Feb 2008 at 2:40pm - WASHINGTON -- A House committee chairman subpoenaed the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday seeking documents reviewed by the agency's administrator before he blocked a California tailpipe emissions law.

Gates cites European anger over Iraq - 8 Feb 2008 at 12:56pm - MUNICH, Germany -- Lingering anger in Europe over the U.S. invasion of Iraq explains why some allies are reluctant to heed U.S. calls for more combat troops in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday. It was his first public acknowledgment of such a link to the Iraq war.

Court KOs administration's relaxed emissions policy - 8 Feb 2008 at 10:52am - A federal appeals court struck down a Bush administration policy exempting power plants from certain environmental regulations. The court said the policy was unlawful.

Tories seek to extend Afghan mission to 2011 in confidence motion - 8 Feb 2008 at 10:42am - The Conservative government confirmed Friday it will introduce a confidence motion to extend Canada's combat role in Afghanistan past February 2009, a move that could trigger a federal election.

Putin lashes out at West's "new arms race" - 8 Feb 2008 at 10:36am - MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday a new global arms race was starting and Russia was "forced to retaliate" with new, high-tech weapons.

U.S. military loses records for bin Laden's driver - 7 Feb 2008 at 10:04pm - GANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - The U.S. military has lost a year's worth of records describing the Guantanamo confinement of Osama bin Laden's driver, a prosecutor said at the Yemeni captive's war court hearing on Thursday.

Thought for the day:
Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons. -R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

In the News: Feb-07

U.S. sees attacks by Iranian-backed groups up in Iraq - 7 Feb 2008 at 2:49pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attacks by Iranian-backed groups in Iraq have increased in recent months, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, casting doubt on the view Iran might have reduced its support for violence in the war.
Is there evidence that the U.S. has reduced its support for violence in the war?

Murtha prepares war bill - 7 Feb 2008 at 3:10pm - WASHINGTON -- A top Democrat said Thursday he is preparing legislation that would give President Bush the war funding he wants this year, but on the condition that troops leave Iraq by the end of the year.

CIA boss: Waterboarding may be illegal - 7 Feb 2008 at 1:51pm - CIA Director Michael Hayden cast doubt on the legality of waterboarding on Thursday, a day after the White House said the harsh interrogation tactic has saved American lives and could be used in the future.

Mukasey: No waterboarding inquiry plans - 7 Feb 2008 at 12:38pm - WASHINGTON -- House and Senate Democrats pressed Thursday for the Justice Department to investigate whether U.S. interrogators broke the law when waterboarding al-Qaida detainees the years after 9/11.

Senate can't agree on stimulus package - 7 Feb 2008 at 7:54am - WASHINGTON -- The fate of $600-$1,200 rebate checks for more than 100 million Americans is in limbo after Senate Republicans blocked a bid by Democrats to add $44 billion in help for the elderly, disabled veterans, the unemployed and businesses to the House-passed economic aid package.

Thought for the day:
No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. -Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In the News: Feb-06

Mullen: US troops are tired - 6 Feb 2008 at 3:15pm - WASHINGTON -- The top uniformed military officer on Wednesday described a tired U.S. military force, worn thin by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and unlikely to come home in large numbers anytime soon.

White House defends interrogation method - 6 Feb 2008 at 10:50am - WASHINGTON -- The White House on Wednesday defended the use of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, saying it is legal - not torture as critics argue - and has saved American lives.

Gates: Petraeus not sole adviser on Iraq - 6 Feb 2008 at 11:01am - WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that the top military commander in Iraq is not the sole adviser on the war and suggested that President Bush this year will be confronted with competing views on what to do next.

Thought for the day:
Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology. -Rebecca West (1892 - 1983)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

In the News: Feb-05

US intel: al-Qaida may move outside Iraq - 5 Feb 2008 at 10:46am - WASHINGTON -- The director of national intelligence said Tuesday he is concerned that al-Qaida in Iraq is shifting its focus to attacking outside the country.
Since al Qaida originated outside Iraq and only entered after Saddam was overthrown by the U.S. and its coalition of the bribed/coerced, should it come as some sort of surprise that it now "moving" outside Iraq? McConnell seems to be trying to advance the idea that the existence of al Qaida has been up until now a purely Iraqi phenomenon.

Veto threat for proposed spy laws - 5 Feb 2008 at 12:50pm - WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration vowed Tuesday to veto terrorist surveillance legislation being pushed by Senate Democrats that would not give retroactive legal protections to telecommunication providers who had allowed the government to spy on people in the United States.

Gates declines to estimate war costs - 5 Feb 2008 at 11:58am - WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says a realistic estimate of next year's war costs is almost impossible to discern, in part because he doesn't know how many troops will be in Iraq this fall.

Iraq breaks with past as new flag is raised - 5 Feb 2008 at 10:32am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's temporary new national flag was raised over the country's parliament for the first time on Tuesday, trumpeted by the government as a break with the past and a step towards reconciliation.

Al-Qaeda improving ability to attack US: US intelligence - 5 Feb 2008 at 10:21am - WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US intelligence community warned Tuesday of the threat of terrorist attack against the United States as Al-Qaeda improves its ability to identify, train and position operatives for such operations.

Damages reduced in funeral protest case - 5 Feb 2008 at 9:38am - BALTIMORE -- A federal judge has reduced by more than half the amount of damages that a fundamentalist Kansas church must pay to the father of a Marine who was killed in Iraq.

New witness account shows Khadr charges should be dropped: lawyers - 5 Feb 2008 at 6:57am - Lawyers for Omar Khadr called on U.S. authorities Monday to dismiss a murder charge against the Canadian, saying a newly released eyewitness account casts doubt on the Pentagon's version of events.

Britain's Prince Andrew attacks Bush on Iraq - 5 Feb 2008 at 7:52am - LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Andrew launched a sharp attack on Tuesday on President George W. Bush for failing to listen to Britain during the conflict in Iraq.

Thought for the day:
All power corrupts, but we need the electricity. -unknown

Monday, February 04, 2008

In the News: Feb-04

U.S. says 9 Iraqi civilians accidentally killed - 4 Feb 2008 at 5:49am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - American troops hunting al Qaeda militants accidentally killed nine Iraqi civilians, the U.S. military said on Monday, the latest in a series of mistakes in which innocent Iraqis have died.

U.S. and allies at odds over Afghanistan - 4 Feb 2008 at 2:46pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. defense and foreign policy chiefs face an uphill fight this week trying to get its allies in Canada and Europe to boost NATO forces and coordinate efforts in Afghanistan in the face of rising Taliban attacks.

U.S. says no one too young for Guantanamo court - 4 Feb 2008 at 2:39pm - GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - A Canadian accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan should not be tried as a war criminal because he was a child soldier for al Qaeda, too young to voluntarily join its forces, his military defense lawyer told a U.S. war court on Monday.

Fed survey: banks tightening credit - 4 Feb 2008 at 2:33pm - WASHINGTON -- Many U.S. banks have made it harder for creditworthy borrowers to get a mortgage, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Monday that underscored the spread of a painful credit crunch.

Budget only includes part of war costs - 4 Feb 2008 at 11:41am - WASHINGTON -- The $588.3 billion in Pentagon spending for 2009 that President Bush proposed to Congress on Monday includes only part of the cost of fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iran opens its first space centre, riling the US - 4 Feb 2008 at 11:12am - TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran on Monday fired a rocket into space to mark the opening of its first space centre, triggering swift condemnation from the United States amid continued tensions over the Iranian nuclear drive.

The legislation behind a national ID - February 04, 2008 07:00:00 AM - Federal regulations creating a uniform national ID card are looming. Read the the full text of the Real ID bill. Real ID became law not through the usual legislative process, but instead as part of a mammoth Iraq spending and Asian tsunami bill, the "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act...

Thought for the day:
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people. -G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Friday, February 01, 2008

In the News: Feb-01

Reporter subpoenaed over book sources - 1 Feb 2008 at 1:38pm - WASHINGTON -- A federal grand jury has subpoenaed a reporter for The New York Times in an apparent attempt to force him to disclose his sources in a 2006 book on the CIA, a lawyer for the reporter said.

Crocker: Iraq needs US troops until 2009 - 1 Feb 2008 at 12:57pm - WASHINGTON -- American combat troops will be needed in Iraq at least into 2009 to battle a resilient al-Qaida and still vibrant insurgency, the top U.S. diplomat to Iraq told The Associated Press on Friday.

Thought for the day:
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)