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Happy New Year's Eve!
Author: BobR    Date: 01/01/2011 02:05:17

Open blog thread for those partying at home tonight!

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13 comments (Latest Comment: 01/01/2011 06:03:54 by livingonli)

End of Year Round-up (updated)
Author: BobR    Date: 2010-12-31 13:00:00

UPDATED 11:37 AM EST: see bottom for updates...

It's New Years Eve, and the cliche thing to do is to look back on the year's events and wax philosophical about their significance. So - who am I to buck tradition? Let's review some of the major events of the past year; I'm sure there are a lot of things we've forgotten about.

The year seemed to start badly. After the death of Ted Kennedy, a special election was held to fill his seat. The assumption was that a Democrat would easily take it, and everyone was shocked when it was Republican (and erstwhile Tea Partier) Scott Brown who won the election. Over time, he has shown, however, that he is not quite as reactionary as the Tea Party had hoped, angering them by voting with Democrats on several key pieces of legislation.
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28 comments (Latest Comment: 01/01/2011 02:06:21 by BobR)

Eating Their Own
Author: Raine    Date: 12/30/2010 13:54:32

This is the last blog of the year for me. By next Monday, we will be watching the 112th Congress being sworn in. Another year of politics will have begun. It certainly promises to be a year of many twists and turns.
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23 comments (Latest Comment: 12/30/2010 20:33:42 by TriSec)

Aiding and Abetting
Author: BobR    Date: 12/29/2010 13:24:39

Dissent is patriotic. Dissent is good for our country. Having participated in numerous protests myself, I know that it does wonders for the soul, and brings together people that might otherwise think they are lonely voices in the wild.

Since most politics in America splits down along party lines, one would think that the left would protest against the Republicans and the right would protest against the Democrats. That doesn't always seem to be the case anymore. Over the last year or two, it seems that in both cases the protesting is actually helping the other side.
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26 comments (Latest Comment: 12/29/2010 19:54:03 by Will in Chicago)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/28/2010 11:32:28

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,841st day in Iraq and our 3,369th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing wars...courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4429
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4290
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3570
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 201
Since Operation New Dawn: 11

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,442
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 833
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,487
Journalists - Iraq : 348
Academics Killed - Iraq: 448

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 1, 127, 748, 800, 000 .00

It's been a quiet week on the veteran's front. Last week, we reported on some of the successes achieved by the lame duck Congress...but as we wait for the incoming Republicans we can only hope that the work continues. I'm not optimistic, however.

IAVA is taking a well-deserved holiday break, so we'll check back in with them again in the new year.

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25 comments (Latest Comment: 12/29/2010 03:57:59 by BobR)

Monday Stub.
Author: Raine    Date: 12/27/2010 13:48:56

After hitting the home bed last night, the hard deck snuck up fast on me.

I'll be back in a bit with something for you all to read, especially for those that need a shoveling break.

In the meantime: :coffee:
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11 comments (Latest Comment: 12/27/2010 17:50:07 by TriSec)

Sunday Blog
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 12/26/2010 15:08:30

Well, as my power goes in and out, I will leave you with an open blog. Enjoy the day - you are all probably in the snow. Chances are, anyway.

Please enjoy yet another spectacular FOX news Faux Pas:


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10 comments (Latest Comment: 12/27/2010 00:41:56 by TriSec)

Author: TriSec    Date: 12/25/2010 02:40:08

Good Morning! (Posting late Xmas eve so I don't have to worry about it in the am.)

I hope this Christmas finds you well, with friends, family, and whatever else it is that you want in abundance in your home this year.

It's been a tumultuous 2010 around these parts, but last night everyone was healthy and happy and we celebrated another traditional Cuban Christmas. Today we're off to the other side of the family for the Italian traditions....so enjoy whatever it is that makes it Christmas for you.

Among the many things that make it Christmas for me is the music. As the son and grandson of working musicians, there has always been music in the house. Even working in retail, with incessant music starting from Veteran's Day...it's still some of my favorite stuff to listen to.

We all have our likes and dislikes, and Mr. McCartney notwithstanding, there's one song that actually irritates me more, and has since I was a wee lad. So I'll post my favorite Christmas song from my favorite Christmas album below...followed by the one that endlessly irritates me.

As a bonus, check out the inspired performance from Mr. Bunny Briggs at the Grace Cathedral, circa 1965. It's from Duke Ellington's "First Sacred Concert". Although not Christmas music per se, a local radio station always plays the 3 sacred concerts during Christmas week, so it's got that attachment for me. If you've never heard them before, I highly recommend you check them out.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

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10 comments (Latest Comment: 12/26/2010 16:32:00 by wickedpam)

Author: BobR    Date: 12/24/2010 14:01:43

Tis the day before Christmas, and all through the House (and Senate), not a creature is stirring - they've all gone home. I am going home too, visiting my parents (and some siblings) and having the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Last year the weather and the leftover stress of moving was too much for the trip, so we stayed home. It was a little bitter-sweet: we got to have the magic all to ourselves, but I knew my mother was disappointed.
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40 comments (Latest Comment: 12/25/2010 04:24:26 by wickedpam)

Start me up!
Author: Raine    Date: 12/23/2010 14:03:52

So it was with great joy that upon landing in Altanta Hartfield airport, we learned that the START treaty and the 9/11 responders bills had both been passed into law.

Aside from the DREAM act - which is still not dead, an awful lot seems to have been accomplished in this lame duck session of Congress. Perhaps the Senate should be forced to only work 3 weeks out of the year? Anyway...
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39 comments (Latest Comment: 12/24/2010 17:06:27 by livingonli)

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