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Author: TriSec    Date: 04/07/2015 10:06:08

Good Morning.

Today is our 292nd day back in Iraq.

There have been no new casualties in either theater.

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:

$ 1, 616, 828, 500, 000 .00



Despite us not going to war with Iran, the war hawks will always find a way. Thanks to our schizophrenic war/not war policy, it's hard to say what actually counts these days. But I'm pretty sure the good soldiers from Fort Drum know what will happen where they're going.


About 1,250 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division will deploy to Iraq later this year, officials said Monday.

The soldiers from the division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will deploy in August or September, said Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesman for the division.

The Fort Drum, New York-based soldiers are expected to deploy for nine months, and they will replace paratroopers from 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, who have been in Iraq since January, Jacques said.

The announcement about the soldiers' upcoming deployment came as new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Fort Drum on Monday.

Carter thanked the troops for their service during his first domestic trip since being sworn in on March 6.

"Some of you are recently back from Afghanistan. Some of you are off again to Afghanistan," Carter said. "And some of you — and this is important — will be going to Iraq, to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces so that they can be the force that sustains the defeat of ISIL after ISIL is defeated, which it will be. But in order to sustain that defeat, we need a force on the ground, and that's what you'll be helping to create."

Carter acknowledged the troops' sacrifices, especially after more than a decade of war.

"I know it's not easy," he said. "We're asking a lot of you. That's why regionally aligned forces are going to be so important to our future. You all will continue to be, on our behalf, globally engaged, and I know that's challenging, but it's also incredibly important."

Col. Mark O'Donnell, commander of 1st BCT, said in a statement that his soldiers were ready for the Iraq mission.

"This brigade has a history of excelling in whatever mission we're given, so I expect our troops to do well by helping to train, advise and assist the Iraqi and peshmerga forces in the defeat of ISIL," O'Donnell said. "We recently completed training at the Joint Readiness Training Center, so our soldiers and families are fully prepared to succeed knowing that we're one of the most-trained and ready forces in our Army."

The brigade's last deployment, which ended in the fall of 2013, was a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

There are almost 3,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, most of them soldiers.


But that's not all. Vladimir Putin hasn't quite gone away, and since the old Soviet Union collapsed almost a quarter-century ago now, there are plenty of places that have never hosted US troops that needed to get on the "occupy" list for our war-hawks. Despite them being near obsolescent, our friends in Romania now have their very own wing of A-10 "Thunderbolts" for force-projection.


The U.S. has deployed 12 A-10 Warthog planes to Romania as part of a theater-security effort to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine – all while debate over whether to retire the close-air support platform rages on in Congress and the Pentagon.

"The 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron forward deployed 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and approximately 200 Airmen and support equipment from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany to Campia Turzii, Romania over the weekend," Pentagon spokesman James Brindle said.

The deployment marks the first ever deployment of A-10s to Romania, he added.

"The unit will conduct training alongside our NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe," Brindle explained.

The deployment comes as the future of the A-10 platform lingers in a haze of uncertainty. The Air Force hopes to retire the planes and save more than $4 billion. Service officials say the A-10s will be fully divested from the inventory by 2019.

"We proposed their divestiture across the next four years in our 2016 budget submission. That plan would include them to continue to deploy until we’ve completed divesting the fleet," Maj. Erika Yepsen, Air Force spokeswoman, told Military.com.

Air Force officials emphasize that the service remains committed to providing close air support for the joint force.

"While the A-10 provides outstanding close air support, it is not the only aircraft that performs this mission. However, faced with difficult budget choices, divestiture of the A-10 presents the least risk to balancing capability, capacity and readiness," Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Karns, told Military.com.

At the same time, many lawmakers and A-10 proponents have pushed back on this plan, promising to add money back to the A-10 program during the upcoming 2016 budget bill mark-ups.

A-10 advocates swear by the aircraft’s unique ability to withstand ground fire. Several prominent lawmakers, to include Senate Armed Forces Committee chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., argue vigorously for the preservation of the A-10 platform.

Overall, Pentagon officials described the A-10 deployments as part of NATOs Operation Atlantic Resolve strategy aimed at, among other things, projecting and deploying force against Russia

"Operation Atlantic Resolve will remain in place as long as the need exists to reassure our allies and deter Russia from regional hegemony," he said.


At least when our war dead come back, they'll have a little bit more protection in spots. It's hard to say if this was a lesson learned or not, but maybe not sending troops to get killed overseas could also be a solution to this perceived problem?


DES MOINES, Iowa (Tribune News Service) — In response to church protesters who one Eastern Iowa lawmaker labeled “verbal domestic terrorists” after they shouted homophobic slurs and desecrated the United States flag at military funerals, the Iowa House Thursday voted 100-0 to create a protest-free zone at funerals.

House File 558 expands the level of privacy granted under the 4th Amendment to reasonably grieve for loved ones, soldiers or civilians, according to floor manager Rep. Zack Nunn, R-Bondurant. It would establish a 1,000-foot buffer between funerals and protesters for one hour before and after the funeral. The also would respect the 1st Amendment right of free speech “in a way that avoids the hate speech we’ve seen in similar situations.”

The House also voted 100-0 to approve the Safe at Home Act, HF 585, to establish an address confidentiality program to protects victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, trafficking, and stalking by keeping their home addresses private. It would give participants a new legal address — essentially a post office box with the Iowa Secretary of State Office — to be used for all official purposes including public records, such as voter registration and absentee ballot lists.

Similar programs are active in 33 states.

HF 558 is a response to demonstrations by Westboro Baptist Church whose members have shown up at military funerals to deliver its message that God will turn his back on a nation that sanctions abortion, same-sex marriage and other abominations. The death of soldiers, according to Westboro, is God’s punishment for America abandoning him.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, who has called their behavior “despicable,” repeated his assertion that the Westboro protesters are “domestic terrorists.”

“You do not have a constitutional right to infringe on the constitutional rights of the families who are laying their fallen loved ones to rest,” he said.

HF 558 is based on legislation that has been upheld by supreme courts in Nebraska, Missouri, and Minnesota, Nunn said.


Maybe we should send Westboro Baptist to Tikrit and see how they make out?

50 comments (Latest Comment: 04/08/2015 00:00:59 by Raine)
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Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 12:38:10
Good morning.

Comment by wickedpam on 04/07/2015 13:01:03
Morning

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 13:06:17
John Oliver's interview with Edward Snowden was even better than I expected.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 13:23:51
Good Morning!

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 13:24:43
Quote by Mondobubba:
John Oliver's interview with Edward Snowden was even better than I expected.
I went into it with as open a mind as could about Snowden.

and I came out of it not one whit changed about my opinion of that pompous, arrogant condescending prick.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 13:26:28
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
John Oliver's interview with Edward Snowden was even better than I expected.
I went into it with as open a mind as could about Snowden.

and I came out of it not one whit changed about my opinion of that pompous, arrogant condescending prick.


John Oliver however, was hilarious. Snowden acted like he always does. It was priceless to see Oliver take the piss out of him with the dick pics thing.


Comment by Scoopster on 04/07/2015 13:27:30
Mornin' all! Back in the office after a kickass holiday weekend!

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 13:31:14
So, did Kentucky change its rules yet? Rand Paul is going to announce his run.

HE also has a website up for his 2016 Senate Race.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 13:32:00
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
John Oliver's interview with Edward Snowden was even better than I expected.
I went into it with as open a mind as could about Snowden.

and I came out of it not one whit changed about my opinion of that pompous, arrogant condescending prick.


John Oliver however, was hilarious. Snowden acted like he always does. It was priceless to see Oliver take the piss out of him with the dick pics thing.
You know, he asked so many of the question I would have once expected from you know, journalists.




Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 13:34:52
Lucille Ball or Eleanor Roosevelt?
http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/652*367/Lucille-Ball-Statue.jpg


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 13:41:37
Quote by Raine:
Lucille Ball or Eleanor Roosevelt?
http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/652*367/Lucille-Ball-Statue.jpg



Neither.

Comment by TriSec on 04/07/2015 13:58:36
Weeping Angel.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 13:59:13
Money money — Rand paul is running for both the Senate and PResident.
“This has to be a first,” said Kenneth Gross, former head of the enforcement division at the Federal Election Commission, who said Mr. Paul is likely “hedging his bets.” He said that while it is possible for presidential candidates to raise money for re-election bids, too, they typically “mothball” fundraising for their congressional campaigns. “I suppose he will not only ask voters to support both campaigns through the joint committee but also to vote for him twice,” he added.

The committee’s website says it is “Coming Soon” and that the Rand Paul Victory Committee is composed of Rand Paul for President, Rand Paul for U.S. Senate 2016, and RAND PAC, Mr. Paul’s leadership PAC. The money Mr. Paul raises through the latter group can be used for non-campaign-related expenses or to give to other candidates’ campaigns to curry favor in an election year. Mr. Paul’s main website also was paid for by the joint committee.


Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 14:01:08
And this:
Paul is actually running for two offices at the same time, trying to hold onto his Senate seat while also running for president. Kentucky's election laws say candidates can't appear on a ballot twice, but with reluctant support from McConnell, a Kentucky powerhouse, the state's GOP will likely change its presidential preference vote from a primary to a caucus. That would allow Paul to get around the rule.

His interest in the Oval Office has never really been a secret. Shortly after the 2012 presidential election, he started crisscrossing the country to paint himself as a nontraditional Republican eager to court voters who don't typically live and vote in red areas.



Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 14:05:32
MODIFIED RAPTURE! A certain veterans activists with a shaved pate liked one of little old me's Facebook posts.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 14:06:24
Quote by TriSec:
Weeping Angel.


What is the context for this crypto-post good sir?


Comment by TriSec on 04/07/2015 14:17:13
And TriSec finds high-end pastry left over from somebody else's breakfast meeting in the kitchen for the win!

Comment by TriSec on 04/07/2015 14:20:34
Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 14:20:48
Quote by TriSec:
And TriSec finds high-end pastry left over from somebody else's breakfast meeting in the kitchen for the win!



This is the weeping angel?

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 14:58:47
Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 15:13:20


The poors can be really poor unless they are living in some sort of Dickensian style of poverty, right?


Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 15:28:11
http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view6/3653118/drop-the-mic-o.gif
"I am confident that any president who gets elected will be knowledgeable enough about foreign policy, and knowledgeable enough about the traditions and precedents of presidential power, that they won't start calling into question the capacity of the executive branch of the United States to enter into agreements with other countries," Obama responded. "And it would be a foolish approach to take, and, you know, perhaps Mr. Walker, after he's taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way."
Walker responded with utter stupidity.


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 15:40:24
Quote by Raine:
http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view6/3653118/drop-the-mic-o.gif
"I am confident that any president who gets elected will be knowledgeable enough about foreign policy, and knowledgeable enough about the traditions and precedents of presidential power, that they won't start calling into question the capacity of the executive branch of the United States to enter into agreements with other countries," Obama responded. "And it would be a foolish approach to take, and, you know, perhaps Mr. Walker, after he's taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way."
Walker responded with utter stupidity.



POTUS is a failure as a leader, check!
POTUS won't work with Congress (meaning he won't bow to all their demands) check!
POTUS has cut a bad deal with Iran, check!
POTUS is at odds with key allies (Israel), check!
POTUS has hurt Murica's standing in the world, check!

Way to cram talking points into a paragraph, Scotty. Nicely done. Here's you Puffy sticker. Let the grown ups talk now.






Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 15:53:34
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view6/3653118/drop-the-mic-o.gif
"I am confident that any president who gets elected will be knowledgeable enough about foreign policy, and knowledgeable enough about the traditions and precedents of presidential power, that they won't start calling into question the capacity of the executive branch of the United States to enter into agreements with other countries," Obama responded. "And it would be a foolish approach to take, and, you know, perhaps Mr. Walker, after he's taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way."
Walker responded with utter stupidity.



POTUS is a failure as a leader, check!
POTUS won't work with Congress (meaning he won't bow to all their demands) check!
POTUS has cut a bad deal with Iran, check!
POTUS is at odds with key allies (Israel), check!
POTUS has hurt Murica's standing in the world, check!

Way to cram talking points into a paragraph, Scotty. Nicely done. Here's you Puffy sticker. Let the grown ups talk now.




Well Played Sir!


Comment by TriSec on 04/07/2015 15:56:03
Actually, there is a loophole with EBT cards that they might want to close. You can only use it to buy necessities... But then you can get 'cash back' like paying with an ordinary debit card...with no cap.

Sad but true, it's possible to buy a loaf of bread, get the balance back in cash, then go blow it on liquor and cigarettes. At least in this Commonwealth. And I was rather stunned to learn this (and witness it) last year. I did report the person for fraud and section 8 violations...she's no longer living in our building.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 15:59:40
Quote by TriSec:
Actually, there is a loophole with EBT cards that they might want to close. You can only use it to buy necessities... But then you can get 'cash back' like paying with an ordinary debit card...with no cap.

Sad but true, it's possible to buy a loaf of bread, get the balance back in cash, then go blow it on liquor and cigarettes. At least in this Commonwealth. And I was rather stunned to learn this (and witness it) last year. I did report the person for fraud and section 8 violations...she's no longer living in our building.


Tri, comment feature. Comment feature, TriSec. Please make each other's acquaintance. KTHX, Bye

Comment by Scoopster on 04/07/2015 16:00:46
That really irks you Mondo, doesn't it?

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 16:08:11
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view6/3653118/drop-the-mic-o.gif
"I am confident that any president who gets elected will be knowledgeable enough about foreign policy, and knowledgeable enough about the traditions and precedents of presidential power, that they won't start calling into question the capacity of the executive branch of the United States to enter into agreements with other countries," Obama responded. "And it would be a foolish approach to take, and, you know, perhaps Mr. Walker, after he's taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way."
Walker responded with utter stupidity.



POTUS is a failure as a leader, check!
POTUS won't work with Congress (meaning he won't bow to all their demands) check!
POTUS has cut a bad deal with Iran, check!
POTUS is at odds with key allies (Israel), check!
POTUS has hurt Murica's standing in the world, check!

Way to cram talking points into a paragraph, Scotty. Nicely done. Here's you Puffy sticker. Let the grown ups talk now.




Well Played Sir!



:curtsy:

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 16:09:06
Quote by Scoopster:
That really irks you Mondo, doesn't it?



Ya think? Almost as much as using English spelling of words.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 16:25:42
Quote by Mondobubba:


The poors can be really poor unless they are living in some sort of Dickensian style of poverty, right?
Well that and food is included with a cruise.


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 16:30:36
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view6/3653118/drop-the-mic-o.gif
"I am confident that any president who gets elected will be knowledgeable enough about foreign policy, and knowledgeable enough about the traditions and precedents of presidential power, that they won't start calling into question the capacity of the executive branch of the United States to enter into agreements with other countries," Obama responded. "And it would be a foolish approach to take, and, you know, perhaps Mr. Walker, after he's taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way."
Walker responded with utter stupidity.



POTUS is a failure as a leader, check!
POTUS won't work with Congress (meaning he won't bow to all their demands) check!
POTUS has cut a bad deal with Iran, check!
POTUS is at odds with key allies (Israel), check!
POTUS has hurt Murica's standing in the world, check!

Way to cram talking points into a paragraph, Scotty. Nicely done. Here's you Puffy sticker. Let the grown ups talk now.




Well Played Sir!




Just tweeted the governor of Wisconsin about his talking point cramming abilities.
Puffy sticker and adults talking were mentioned.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 16:32:32
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:


The poors can be really poor unless they are living in some sort of Dickensian style of poverty, right?
Well that and food is included with a cruise.



So they are using that $429 maximum monthly benefit to buy a cruise, bringing cooler and stuffing it full of free food. What a bunch of gaming the system moochers! :froths at mouth, dies:

Comment by Scoopster on 04/07/2015 16:40:28
I'll just leave this here.
http://www.iflscience.com/sites/www.iflscience.com/files/styles/ifls_large/public/blog/%5Bnid%5D/hardon%20collider.png?itok=RJCVtL_E


Comment by clintster on 04/07/2015 16:53:20
I just saw a video a FB friend posted of a group of street preachers who came and protested at his church this past Sunday. What was the church's "crime"? Proclaiming that they stood on the side of love and would marry same-sex couples. I watched the video and was immediately taken back to a time when jerks like these were on every street corner preaching doom and gloom to anyone who would give them half a minute.

I was going to link the video, but I thought better of it. If you're curious go to YouTube and search for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. I just sent the pastor of the church an e-mail of support. She also has a blog where she commented on the protests here. Good to know that Christianity doesn't have to mean hate or fear.

Comment by clintster on 04/07/2015 16:54:16
Quote by Scoopster:
I'll just leave this here.
http://www.iflscience.com/sites/www.iflscience.com/files/styles/ifls_large/public/blog/%5Bnid%5D/hardon%20collider.png?itok=RJCVtL_E

http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/beavis_butt-head_image_washington_monument_01.jpg


Comment by trojanrabbit on 04/07/2015 17:04:00
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:


The poors can be really poor unless they are living in some sort of Dickensian style of poverty, right?
Well that and food is included with a cruise.



So they are using that $429 maximum monthly benefit to buy a cruise, bringing cooler and stuffing it full of free food. What a bunch of gaming the system moochers! :froths at mouth, dies:

Problem is, they would have to make many, many withdrawals with the $25 a day limit (and the bank gets to keep 0.85 from each transaction, nice work if you can get it). Wonder who in Brownshirt's family is getting a kickback.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 17:11:17
Quote by clintster:
Quote by Scoopster:
I'll just leave this here.
http://www.iflscience.com/sites/www.iflscience.com/files/styles/ifls_large/public/blog/%5Bnid%5D/hardon%20collider.png?itok=RJCVtL_E

http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/beavis_butt-head_image_washington_monument_01.jpg
Now I get it!

Comment by Scoopster on 04/07/2015 17:16:21
Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 17:19:25
Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 17:40:32
What the ever loving fresh hell.

Why am I reminded of AbuGraib pics?

And to be quite honest, who took this picture?
https://thegrio.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/prison-guards-resign.jpg?w=640


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 17:44:23
Quote by Scoopster:
I'll just leave this here.
http://www.iflscience.com/sites/www.iflscience.com/files/styles/ifls_large/public/blog/%5Bnid%5D/hardon%20collider.png?itok=RJCVtL_E





Comment by TriSec on 04/07/2015 18:02:51
Say DC folks...got power?

Comment by BobR on 04/07/2015 18:24:41
Quote by TriSec:
Say DC folks...got power?

We do on our side of town.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 18:41:10
Quote by BobR:
Quote by TriSec:
Say DC folks...got power?

We do on our side of town.

Seems like it's the eastern portion of the city and Maryland — Mostly people that have PepCo.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 18:42:37
Some more details. Power plant explosion.
Behold the power of MAya Angelou!

The Smithsonian said the outage was affecting some of its museums on the National Mall, and they were all evacuated. The outage also disrupted a speech by Oprah Winfrey at D.C.'s Warner Theatre during the unveiling of a Maya Angelou postage stamp; First Lady Michelle Obama and Attorney general Eric Holder were in attendance.


Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 19:06:42
Comment by Mondobubba on 04/07/2015 19:28:08
Quote by Raine:
Mondo.

Does thou approve?



Meh. There is just something about Tard's expression that conveys an ennui-laden grumpiness that only see can seem reach.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 04/07/2015 23:45:22
Great blog today, TriSec.

I have some sad news. I learned today that my cousin Kathleen was hospitalized for pneumonia and sepsis. She had a fatal heart attack. She was only in her 50s.

Comment by Raine on 04/07/2015 23:59:49
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Great blog today, TriSec.

I have some sad news. I learned today that my cousin Kathleen was hospitalized for pneumonia and sepsis. She had a fatal heart attack. She was only in her 50s.


I am so sorry, Will.


Comment by Raine on 04/08/2015 00:00:59
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Mondo.

Does thou approve?



Meh. There is just something about Tard's expression that conveys an ennui-laden grumpiness that only see can seem reach.
I don't think tis one is going away.