Thursday, March 20, 2008

At the End of the Day

AP President calls out the government Tom Curley, president of the Associated Press, chided the Bush administration today, accusing the government of attempting to control information by imprisoning journalists. The charge is centered on the arrest two years ago and continued detention of Iraqi national and AP photographer Bilal Hussein. The government accuses him of "working with the enemy." Curley responded that "To say the least, we see things very differently," and he pointed out that a dozen more photographers have been arrested or detained in Iraq, in an attempt to control the access to and flow of information from the war zone. "It's impossible not to conclude that the words and pictures these journalists produced were considered unhelpful to the war effort and that their arrests would have served a broader strategy of information control."

Tucker's man-crush is showing...again. By now you all know that Dick Cheney responded with utter disdain toward the American people in an interview with Martha Raddatz of ABC. When she asked him about the 2/3 of Americans who don't think the Iraq war has been worth it, he responded "So?" (Noted without comment that if a Democrat showed such disdain, the streets would be full of pitchfork-wielding mobs demanding the head of the arrogant prick who would say such a thing.) And Tucker would be leading that mob, you just know it. But since it was Cheney who said it, Tucker is on board. "He's kind of a hero in that way," Carlson suggested. "I know I'll probably have my car egged for saying this, but ... it's so nice to see someone that old-school. 'Hey, you kids, get off my lawn.' That's Dick Cheney. I love that."

Make this kid a citizen already! Marine Lance Cpl. Mario Ramos-Villalta is getting ready for his third deployment. After two tours in Iraq, he is getting ready to ship out for Afghanistan. "A lot of the papers I get [say], 'You're a great American,'" the 22-year-old Purple Heart recipient says. "I am not an American citizen yet, but I still fight for it," quickly adding "Sometimes, I do get depressed about still not being a U.S. citizen and going over there." In the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, immigrants were offered a fast-track to citizenship, and about 37,000 have become citizens, and 107 citizenships have been granted posthumously - but over 7,000 are still in the pipe, including, Corporal Ramos-Villalta. (Can we give him Jenna or Not-Jenna's citizenship?)

Tell us again how McCain would benefit our military personnel? For the entire time he has been in the Senate, Jim Webb has been trying to get a new GI Bill for post-9/11 veterans that would mirror the sweet deal that WWII vets got for making the world safe for Democracy. President Roosevelt stated it simply when he said “[The GI Bill] gives emphatic notice to the men and women in our armed forces that the American people do not intend to let them down.” McCain is the only presidential contender who has not signed on - both Senators Obama and Clinton have signed on as co-sponsors, as well as Senator John Warner, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and now the Ranking Member. Why hasn't McCain signed on? Education benefits for veterans are a sound investment in the nation - it is estimated that every dollar spent on the GI Bill after WWII was paid back seven-fold in increased productivity and prosperity and made the American middle class the envy of the world.

Tibetan violence spreads The official Xinhua News Agency reported today that violent protests had spread into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Gansu, which are heavily populated with ethnic Tibetans. The Dalai Llama insists that he is powerless to rein in the protests.

How will it play in Taipei? The tensions with Tibet have spilled over to the presidential election in Taiwan, and support has drained away from Ma Ying-jeou, the Harvard-educated lawyer and candidate Beijing had hoped would win Saturday's election easily. Now, even if Mr. Ma wins, he will not have the mandate to move Taiwan closer to mainland China that Beijing was counting on.

What do you get for hundreds of millions of dollars spent on eradication efforts? Over the last six years, the international community has set aside vast amounts of money for poppy eradication programs in Afghanistan, and emissaries have been dispatched to the country side to try to persuade farmers to plant wheat, saffron and fruit trees instead. And what have the efforts netted? For the first time ever, the nation produced fully 90% of the world's opium and heroin supply.

Barbara Boxer has some questions for Dirk Kempthorne Ms. Boxer chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and she wants Mr. Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior, to present himself to the committee and explain why, three months after his deadline, there has been no action taken on classifying the viability status of the polar bear. Typical of the Bushies, he has not even bothered to indicate whether he will even bother to appear.

Eufor peace keepers in Chad will henceforth shoot back Two weeks after the death of a Eufor soldier along the Chad-Sudan border the head of the European peace force in Chad announced that his forces would return fire if rebels attacked any refugee camps under their protection.

It turns out that money can buy happiness, if you don't try to prove title A new study shows that when we spend our money on others it gives a discernible boost to our affect, but selfish little piggies who spend it all on themselves get no such benefit. So keep that in mind and look for donate buttons on your favorite blogs! The benefits will be compound!