Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Occupation of Iraq, also known as "Operation Iraqi Freedom," began March 20th, 2003. In a few months, we will hit the very significant 5 yr mark since the invasion of Iraq. President Bush and his administration told us of a threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In 1991 Iraq agreed to a UN resolution to give up their weapons of mass destruction. Since 1991 weapons inspectors had been in Iraq, looking for them. There were times in the late 90s where Saddam Hussein blocked inspectors. After they had been there 5+ yrs and found nothing. Kinda like looking for drugs in a car for 5 yrs, and when someone says "ok can you stop looking now?" you say they are not "Allowing" you to properly search.
The Iraq Survey Group concluded in 2005 that Iraq had ended it's WMD operations in 1991. There was no evidence of a connection between Al Qaeda (those who coordinated the attacks of 9/11) and Saddam's administration.
On May 1st, 2003 President Bush stood on the USS Abraham Lincoln, and declared an end to major combat missions in Iraq. He stood in front of a sign that read "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED." Oh boy, imagine if it had truly "ended" there. Just two months after the beginning of the invasions. Not even hundreds of our brave men and women killed in combat yet.
On December 13, 2003 Saddam Hussein, was captured by coaltion forces. Ok, I can deal with that. 8 months after the beginning of the occupation, we have a true "mission accomplished." If Saddam was REALLY seeking more WMD like Bush's folks claimed, then it should have TRULY been over when he was finally captured and taken out of power once and for all...but was it? No...
After Saddam's capture, many Iraqis expected us to leave, atleast for the most part. We lived up to our promises, so why wouldn't we? Instead of doing that, we persued Iraq more. The insurgency, as it's known now, really took off in 2004. Radical islamic terrorists became further inflamed, and flooded the region like never before. They came from all over, taking advantage of Iraq's newly unstable borders.
On January 21, 2005 Iraqi's elected an interim government. Ok there goes our "Spreading Democracy around the world" goal.
Ok let's recap, it's January 31st, 2005:
Made sure they didn't have WMD - Check
Saddam captured, out of power - Check
Iraqis have free and democratic elections - Check
UGHHHHHHH January 31st 2005, was nearly 3 YEARS ago. Isn't something wrong with this picture? Am I just crazy?
By 2006 Iraq had a PERMANENT and active government.
Here we are, nearly December of 2007. President Bush issued a "surge" of troops in the beginning of the year. He added more than 20,000 US forces to Iraq. That HAS seemed to curb some of the violence in the region. Or atleast, reduce the number of US deaths nonetheless. But we're not the world police. There is violence all over the world, we can't stop violence from existing. We can try to assist in curbing the violence from a non-combat role though.
Soldiers' tours of duty have now been extended beyond imagination in some cases. Tours are now 16 months, instead of the usual 12 months. Our military is bogged down in a civil war in Iraq. A civil war that may never go away as long as we are occupying their country.
So where does all this lead us? Well, in my opinion, it's simply that someone is confused. I say we already "won." It's not "retreat" if we leave now, it's not a "defeat." That's WHAT YOU DO when you win a war. Who didn't get the memo?
We took out Saddam Hussein and made sure a dictator regime didn't have access to WMD (We should have made sure of that before invading, but that's a different story!), we helped Iraqis to free and fair elections, we WON. At least in the sense that we accomplished our main goals. That's what you do, you accomplish your goals, and you go home.
Please someone deliver the memo to President Bush and the Republicans in Congress. The war is over, we aren't retreating, we won a long time ago, someone just forgot!
Let's make the most of our military. The USA is the greatest country in the world. I appreciate the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have fought for our country and done the missions given to them, no matter what they are. We need to make the most of the military.
It's not that they aren't CAPABLE of finding Osama Bin Laden, they aren't being utilized in that area. It's not that they aren't capable of defending our OWN borders from the possible threat of terrorism at home, they just aren't being asked to do it. It's not that they aren't capable of helping to stop the genocides in Darfur, we aren't asking them to. There's so much we need them to do. Let them do their jobs, let them protect the interests of the United States of America around the world. Let's elect a leader who will properly utilize our military, and who will see a win as a win, collect our medals, and go home till the next fight. Let's elect Senator Hillary Clinton. Thank you.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Check out the following excerpts from a new (11-26-07) Gallup article, www.gallup.com:
"Clinton -- the dominant front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination -- would appear to have at least a slight advantage over any Republican candidate among registered voters if the election were held today."
"She has a five-point edge over Giuliani (49% to 44%) and a six-point edge over McCain (50% to 44%). Clinton runs much more strongly against the lesser-known Thompson (53% to 40%) and Romney (54% to 38%)."
"Gallup previously tested these same matchups in June (Clinton versus Giuliani, McCain, and Romney) and July (Clinton versus Thompson). Since then, Clinton's standing against Giuliani, McCain, and Romney has remained about the same, while she now fares much better against Thompson. In July, 48% of registered voters preferred Clinton and 45% Thompson."
The truth is, while Hillary's Democratic opponents try to say she is not "electable," the fact remains, and Gallup has shown, that she IS. The Republicans know it, that's why they have already started attacking her, before the nomination process! They are gearing up early. We have to all be ready Clinton supporters! We the USA is lucky enough to have HRC as the Democratic nominee for President, we must be prepared for the vile and vicious attacks from the right. But that's no problem for HRC, she's dealt with these types for most of her career, and knows how to handle it!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
But today, we have a report that Sen. John McCain, someone who I don't agree with usually, though I have always respected. I respect him for his service to the USA, both in the military and in public office. He also has seemed to be one of the few Republicans to take the high road normally. However, things may be a-changing on his end.
Check out the following story, about McCain just standing by and laughing it off when a support calls Senator Clinton a "bitch."
Report: McCain Stands By As His Supporter Calls Hillary A "Bitch"
Warning: Folks who like to tout John McCain's civility and adherence to decorum should approach the following with caution.
We've just obtained some video of a Fox local affiliate reporting on a McCain campaign appearance in South Carolina. In it, one of McCain's supporters emphatically calls Hillary Clinton, McCain's fellow United States Senator, a "bitch." McCain's response? According to the Fox affiliate's reporter, McCain "laughed off" the comment. Take a look:
We contacted the McCain campaign about this to ask whether McCain should have condemned the remark, whether he wanted to condemn it now, and whether the Fox affiliate's report had represented what happened accurately.
His camp declined to comment.
Look guys, I'm all for "tough" politics. If you can't "take the heat," then get out of the kitchen. Hillary is comfortable in the kitchen. But, there are things that are over the line. I expect Senator McCain, as a respected public official, to not tolerate someone (one of his supporters) calling her a bitch in front of him. Now, I know this isn't the first time someone has called Hillary or any other politician such a derogatory name, but the point is McCain just stood by while a colleague of his is talked about in this way, and laughed it off. It's pretty sad for McCain. It just shows the tough spot his campaign is in I suppose. After all, as we've seen on our side as well, they DO tend to get desperate when the poll numbers keep falling..
I just thought Sen. McCain would take the higher road, I guess not!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
After all, this is some of the most important stuff of our LIFETIME! I thought we had a good chance in 2006, but was still lacking the confidence. Democrats proved that we CAN do it! We not only won back the House AND the Senate, we gained a lot seats in local races (Governors and State legislatures)! It was a great year. In the 2007 elections, we had some successes as well, although there wasn't a whole lot going on this election. We won another gubernatorial race in Kentucky! We also won a lot of victories in Virginia, winning back the Virginia state Senate, and gaining seats in the state House as well as other states.
It's been a good year! We have to keep the momentum going! Right now, all the leading 2008 Democratic presidential candidates poll higher when compared to any of their Republican opponents. I believe Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is the candidate to continue our successes past 2007 and into the future. The days of the Republican smear machine are over! Their tactics just don't work anymore. According to RealClearPolitics, which takes an average of all current polls, Hillary fairs best against Republican Rudy Giuliani! She leads him by over 4% in the polls! I believe Hillary is the one we need to stand up to the Republicans!
Sure, internally we have our differences. But we also have some basic goals and principles that unite us all as Democrats! Instead of attacks against EACH OTHER during this crucial primary campaign, let's focus on what's at stake. The 2008 Presidential election, and possibly gaining MORE seats in the House and Senate.
Congressional leaders haven't been able to pass everything we want, there's been a lot of roadblocks. Republicans blocking important bills, President Bush using his veto pen.
We HAVE had a great deal of success also:
*We've provided disaster relief to Katrina victims.
*Raised the minimum wage from $5.15/hr to $7.25/hr over over a 2 yr period.
*Implemented important recommendations from the 9/11 commission, including 100% inspection for all air cargo entering the USA .
*Passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 strengthening public disclosure requirements concerning lobbyists, placing more restrictions on gifts for members of Congress, and requires mandatory disclosure of earmarks.
*Passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, and effectively OVERRIDING President Bush's initial veto of the act.The bill garnered bipartisan support which funds various water projects including beach restoration, clean water and flood control programs--many projects crucial in sensitive areas like New Orleans.
We also have passed numerous other important bills, such as The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, expansion of SCHIP, and an original bill that required withdrawal from Iraq that President Bush unfortunately vetoed.
The point is, this Congress HAS proved we know how to govern, and by picking up more seats in 2008 and getting a Democratic President (preferably Hillary Clinton) we can do SO much more! Let's focus on our successes and what we CAN continue to do, not attack each other!
We need EVERY Democrat in 2008 and every other year!
Friday, November 9, 2007
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Tuesday, November 6, 2007
ANYWAY! :) I feel Hillary Clinton's plan is the best plan to tackle the energy crisis. I know there have been issues with Gore and the Clintons, I do wonder if he will support her plan.
Check out the DesMoinesRegister article on the plan:
Clinton outlines $150 billion energy plan
Cutting reliance on oil imports helps climate, economy, security, she says
November 6, 2007
Cedar Rapids, Ia. - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday laid out a sweeping plan that she says would move the U.S. economy from petroleum-based to renewable energy, and turn back global warming in the process.
The 10-year, $150 billion proposal includes a long list of specific goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent and raising automobile fuel efficiency standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2050.
It would require sacrifice on the part of the energy and auto industries and all Americans, akin to overcoming the Great Depression and winning World War II, the New York senator said at a plant where wind-energy turbines are manufactured.
"The task before us commands the same urgency and demands the same resolve. Tackling the energy crisis is the calling of our time. And when I'm president, it will be the calling of our nation. And it will involve all of us," Clinton told an audience of about 350 at Clipper Windpower, including area Democrats and Clipper employees.
In rolling out the majorpolicy plan, Clinton tied the need to reduce U.S. reliance on imported petroleum and carbon-based fuel in general as beneficial to the climate, economy and national security.
Among her plan's other goals are to cut U.S. oil imports by two-thirds by 2030, increase the energy coming from renewable sources to 25 percent by 2025 and spur the development of 5 million clean-energy jobs within 10 years.
It would also offer U.S. automakers a trade-off of $20 billion in bonds for updating plants to accelerate hybrid vehicle production, in return for the sharp increases in fuel economy standards. Likewise, Clinton proposed tax credits to consumers who purchase hybrid electric vehicles of up to $10,000.
"I believe that America should do what we do best, lead the innovation race," she said, likening her proposal to President Kennedy's call in 1960 for a round-trip, manned lunar mission.
Some energy policy experts described Clinton's proposal as ambitious and within reach, but not necessarily an easy sell in Congress.
"Is she going to roll this up into one bill and drop it on Jan. 21, 2009? I think not," said Daniel Weiss of the Center for American Progress, a Democrat-leaning policy group. "A lot of this is politically doable, but not instantly."
Other Democratic presidential candidates to offer comprehensive energy proposals are Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
Weiss said two things distinguish Clinton's plan from the others. One is the level of detail in how it would be implemented, he said. The other is the provision to create a strategic energy fund, a $50 billion federal account made up of fees assessed to oil and gas companies and discontinued tax breaks to those industries.
This fund would help prime the renewable energy industry through government investment in energy efficiency, clean-coal technology, ethanol and other renewable fuels.
The remaining costs of the proposal would be financed through dedicating savings from closing loopholes for oil and gas producers and dedicating a portion of revenue from a cap-and-trade program.
The cap-and-trade provision involves allowing companies that produce greenhouse gas emissions to sell the credits they are granted for producing such pollutants. The proceeds from the system would be used in part to finance a program to help low-income Americans heat and cool their homes more efficiently.
Dodd, who has proposed taxing companies based on their greenhouse gas emissions, criticized Clinton's plan as not going far enough to require industry to rein in its contribution to global warming.
"I don't know how it would do in a public poll, but leading experts agree that a corporate carbon tax targeted at polluters is needed to reverse the effects of global warming," Dodd campaign communication director Hari Sevugan said.
Another key element of Clinton's plan is the establishment of a national energy council, led by a Cabinet-level national energy adviser, as a top adviser to the president.
Friday, November 2, 2007
The US Congress had ample opportunity to pass immigration reform this year, Sen. Clinton and many others supported it. We could argue about the reasons it wasn't passed, but the fact is, it wasn't. It should have been. The state officials should not be left with these dilemmas. I don't think illegal immigrants in principle should have driver's licenses. It's a privilege given to U.S. citizens. However, I'm a logical person, and I know people also don't need to be going around our country without them. Not granting them licenses will not solve illegal immigration, nor will granting them. However, granting them will give the state officials some kind of hand on who's in their states and make it much easier for law enforcement.
So I hope people will sit back, and think about what went on in that debate. Sen. Clinton wasn't double speaking, she was speaking on a tough issue that needs to be addressed federally, and hasn't. Therefore we can't criticize the state officials for doing something, when the federal government is doing nothing.
--see the below article--
Des Moines Register
Let's discuss immigration, but leave emotions at curb
November 2, 2007Hillary Clinton may get hammered by the American public for her comments during Tuesday's debate about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's move to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
Other Democratic candidates for the White House certainly tore into her.
Here's what she said, in part: "Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York we want to know who's in New York. We want people to come out of the shadows. He's making an honest effort to do it. We should have passed immigration reform."
That will lead some voters - as former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina did - to accuse her of speaking out of both sides of her mouth.
She's not, though. Instead, Clinton perfectly mirrored the dilemma facing the country: It's deeply troubling that millions of people have entered the United States illegally. At the same time, that reality has to be dealt with. Refusing to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses makes it harder for police to handle traffic accidents, among a host of other problems that lack of identification creates. Indeed, that's why retired Des Moines Police Chief William McCarthy favored the change.
No license usually means no insurance. If there's a crash, licensed drivers suffer if the other driver takes off or can't pay for damages. It's a matter of being practical about public safety in the day-to-day scheme of things.
Clinton also is right about the big picture. Congress should have passed immigration reform last summer. It was gutless to duck this national crisis because it's so emotionally charged.
Yet emotions tend to get the better of people when the topic is immigration. Clinton's response simply acknowledged this issue has many facets.
No one should exploit that.
-Linda Lantor Fandel