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Happy Anniversary
Author: BobR    Date: 03/19/2008 12:15:07

Today is our anniversary. It's been 5 years! It started out with a real bang, but lately, things have been difficult. I guess that's to be expected. I wonder though, how much longer we can keep this going.

Personal relationship? No, I'm talking of course about the war in Iraq. It was 5 years ago today that Shock & Awe™ began. Five long years of blood and carnage and waste, based on trumped up evidence, cherry-picked intelligence and outright lies. Five long long years of human rights abuses, and Consitutional liberties being trampled, and accusations of treason against those who dared speak out against it.
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106 comments (Latest Comment: 03/20/2008 02:56:24 by livingonli)

Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/18/2008 10:39:42

Good Morning.

Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq. We've been there 1,826 days since then.

We'll start, as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3990
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3851
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3529
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3131
Since Election (1/31/05): 2553

Other Coalition Troops: 308
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 487


Of course, the war 'budget' keeps on hemorrhaging.
We find this morning's Cost of War passing through: $ 503, 530, 900, 000.00

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191 comments (Latest Comment: 03/19/2008 01:41:37 by Mondobubba)

Love and Basketball
Author: Shane-O    Date: 03/18/2008 06:56:15

Morning all.

First, basketball.

Prior to the daily post, as requested, a post regarding the Unofficial SMS March Madness Tourney.

For those interested in putting in a bracket, the site is:

http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/

Group Name: "Unofficial SMS Tourney"

Group ID# 55189

Password: "computersaysyes"

And then, the love. Well, "love" might be too strong a term. Just call me a "Momma's" boy.

Steph on C-Span for those who may have missed it (in seven parts):



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35 comments (Latest Comment: 04/09/2008 17:04:20 by BobR)

Have a Guinness please
Author: Raine    Date: 03/17/2008 12:39:58

Top of the Morning everyone. 'Tis St Patricks Day!

We maight be dying the blog green today, but until we get the logistics worked out, please sit back and pour y'rself a nice morning toddy, and break out yer derbies.

And please, if ya know what good f'r ya, instead of just wear'n a bit O' the Green today, try to be a little more green period! I'll be back shortly, in the mean time, Slainte!
http://monkeyshines.nfshost.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/foi-tribalsm.jpg

=====================================================

and on with the show!......
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154 comments (Latest Comment: 03/18/2008 05:26:53 by livingonli)

The Humble Singer: Politics of the Absurd.
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/16/2008 04:31:49

with apologies to Eugene Ionesco

Cast:
Mr. Clinton
Mrs. Clinton
Mr. McCain
Mrs. McCain
Fire chief Obama
Michelle, the Maid

Setting: The living room of a home on a street in a town. In the cozy living room are a couch and 2 matching armchairs. There is a fireplace. On the mantle are pictures of Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton. The time is now. In the Living room are Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton sitting in the armchairs. Mr. Clinton reads the newspaper while Mrs. Clinton darns some socks.

Mrs. Clinton: I understand that gas may reach $4.00.
Mr. Clinton: Yes.
Mrs. Clinton: Is it true?
Mr. Clinton: Yes.
Mrs. Clinton: Perhaps I should declare something....
Mr. Clinton: Declare?
Mrs. Clinton: Yes, perhaps there is something we can do......
Mr. Clinton: There's nothing to be done. Its the way of the world.
Mrs. Clinton: But I should declare something.
Mr. Clinton: Why bother?
Mrs. Clinton: But people are having a difficult time. Not you and I of course..... but some others.
Mr. Clinton: Nothing to be done.
Mrs. Clinton: Perhaps I could say something to make people feel like I care - like with the Foreclosure moratorium that I talked about.
Mr. Clinton: Mmm Hmmm.
Mrs. Clinton: So its agreed? I should say something?
Mr. Clinton: You should not say anything.
Mrs. Clinton: Good, then its settled, I'll make a statement.

(The Clock strikes 3 times)

Mr. Clinton: You should make a statement about the Irony of it all.
Mrs. Clinton: Irony?
Mr. Clinton: Yes, you know, how the Gas is going up and the banks are foreclosing.
Mrs. Clinton: What's Ironic about that?
Mr. Clinton: Its Irony for Ironies sake.
Mrs. Clinton: Oh.
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11 comments (Latest Comment: 03/17/2008 11:03:11 by Shane-O)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/15/2008 12:47:22

Good Morning!

Cub Scout Pack 250 (Waltham, MA) had it's annual rite-of-spring last night...our pinewood derby! A fine time was had by all, and as our chairman said, "I only saw two kids crying", so it was a good night. The Cubmaster's son fared well, taking 5 first place ribbons out of 6 races, but that wasn't quite good enough to finish first in his den.

So, on to the news at hand...


You know we all love to complain about Congress and the ridiculous laws that they often focus on to the exclusion of all else. Do you ever wonder if congressmen themselves think the bills stink? One of the more libertarian members (no, not Ron Paul) has recently expressed his opinion on the 3 worst bills in recent memory:

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ.) is one of the most libertarian, or libertarian-leaning, members of Congress. The four-term congressman is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which pushes for libertarian ideas within the GOP, and he is earning a national reputation for his outspoken and controversial opposition to GOP drunken-sailor-type spending. In fact, the small-government lobbying group Citizens Against Government Waste recently dubbed him a "taxpayer superhero." Prior to entering Congress, Flake was head of Arizona's free-market Goldwater Institute.

In January, the libertarian magazine Reason asked Flake to name the three worst bills recently inflicted upon us by Congress.

Here are Flake's choices and explanations.

1. The Farm Bill: "Both the House and Senate versions of the farm bill extend subsidies, distort markets, and hamper future free trade agreements, and the final bill is only likely to get worse in a conference committee. Sugar growers who didn't get what they wanted in the initial legislation are urging conferees to repeal portions of NAFTA."

2. The Omnibus Appropriations Bill: "Congress rolled 11 appropriations bills into one massive package and passed it in late December. House members had less than 24 hours to read the legislation before we voted on it. We're still finding out what's actually in the bill. But we do know it contained nearly 12,000 earmarks. That was reason enough to vote 'no.'"

3. Economic Stimulus Package: "Any time Republicans and Democrats can so easily agree on legislation as expensive as this, it's not a good sign. Rebates look to me like an admission by Congress that perhaps the federal government shouldn't have taken that money in the first place. Hopefully, Congress will keep this in mind as the Bush tax cuts get set to expire."

(Source: Reason magazinehttp://reason.com/news/show/124973.html )


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17 comments (Latest Comment: 03/16/2008 04:37:14 by livingonli)

Deja Vu All Over Again
Author: BobR    Date: 03/14/2008 12:29:26

The great Yogi Berra uttered the famous phrase "it's like Deja Vu all over again" when discussing Roger Maris and Mickie Mantle hitting home run after home run. It's hard to look at the Iraq war and remember Viet Nam and not think the same thing. The wasted lives, the wasted money, burning the village to save it, the inability to get out of it despite its unpopularity.

Looking back on how we got into this war in the first place, are we experiencing another case of "deja vu"? How likely is it we'll start another war - this time with Iran?

Pretty likely, based on certain observations. Writer Dave Lindorf refers to it as the Oh Shit Moment:
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188 comments (Latest Comment: 03/15/2008 03:40:51 by livingonli)

Suffrage, suffer Rage or simply Suffer?
Author: Raine    Date: 03/13/2008 08:23:35

There is a difference...

I have a problem with America not learning from, nor paying attention to, history. Truthfully, I have a problem with women acting like racism and sexism is ok, because they don't seem to know or recall history...

Right now, I'm not happy with the Clinton campaign. Specifically in this instance - for this blog - it is the fact that they are using race as a means to defeat Obama. It is something that has been happening for a while (go on - google stuff... see Bill Clinton, Ed Rendell, Robert Johnson, and now Geraldine Ferraro... I will not go into details. I think you all, as readers of this blog understand what I am talking about. If you don't, please, google, seriously).

I find it shameful that I, as a woman in the year 2008, am seeing sisters using the fact that they are women as a way to fight a black man for the democratic nomination. Not shameful, actually embarrassing, to tell you the truth.
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146 comments (Latest Comment: 03/14/2008 05:01:50 by livingonli)

Driven to Distraction
Author: BobR    Date: 03/12/2008 12:11:56

I was reminded last night about the art of distraction by a boorish drunk at the bar. He performed a simple trick that confounded my companion. It was simple enough - he merely had to distract from what his right hand was doing for a brief second while he focused our attention on something less important. Since I was an observer and not the participant, I noticed it right away. In the world of magic, it's a vital skill.

If there's one thing we've learned about this administration, it's that they seem to use this trick all of the time. Whenever there's a terror alert, whenever there's a scandal, it seems certain that there's something else going on that they want kept out of the news cycle. Could this be the motivation for the timing this time? Lori Price over at CLG thinks so. Some of the items she mentions we've seen here at this blog.
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209 comments (Latest Comment: 03/13/2008 04:11:59 by Raine)

$500,000,000,000.00
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/11/2008 10:46:47

Good Morning.

Over the past week, we've finally crossed a devastating financial milestone.

We find today's cost of war passing through $501,570,000,000.00

Such a number is difficult to grasp. That's 500 billion that's been squandered on Bush's folly.

With the current US population at a hair over 300 million, let's do some math.

That's $1,670 for every man, woman and child currently alive in the US, from 100 years to 100 seconds old. Just think of it. The baby emerging from its mother at the very moment you read this is already saddled with almost $1700 of debt. Your elderly grandmother on a fixed income, too.

33 cities in the United States could have a public works project on the scale of Boston's Big Dig.

We could send 2 million students to Harvard University on a full, four-year scholarship.

Or, you could buy about 5 billion barrels of oil, at the current market rates...

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186 comments (Latest Comment: 03/12/2008 04:31:11 by livingonli)

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