Declaring War

This is an issue I hear referenced all the time, most recently in the comments at Carl Nyberg's Iraq diary, and I've never been clear on why.

What difference would it make if the US Congress declared a state of war, rather than granting the President war powers?

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Galloway addresses the Senate

See the video at Crooks and Liars--Chris

And boy is he pissed.

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A Race Against Time

This diary results from a brief exchange with jcjcjc, in which we disagreed over the motives behind the Iraq invasion. It seems to meander a bit, but what the heck, it's 4:30 am here.

Fundamentally, I think it's a huge mistake to write off the regime's approach to Iraq as simple gross incompetence. These people know what they're doing, they're not stupid, and they've looked at all the angles. Turning Iraq into a maelstrom has allowed them to make off with huge sacks of our money -- literally -- and pursue a much more invasive imperialist strategy than the "responsible" approach (involving international cooperation and UN oversight) would ever have allowed.

The gov't-commissioned reports on the next 15 years, written over the last 10 years, tend to indicate that if you want to accomplish anything on the global political stage, it needs to happen sooner than later, because technology will bring us to a sort of impasse, and it will be much more difficult to gain any ground.

The imperialists face a race against time, because soon the question of who develops and how may be largely out of their hands. From the position of the global hegemon, this is an unacceptable proposition.

Anyway, that's the short version. Much long-windedness after the break.

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8 Simple Rules - separating civil unions and gays

After reading Paul Rosenberg's recent diary (which is now too long, with too many comment rating boxes, for my browser to deal with, or I'd post this there), I was reminded that there's a case for having civil unions distinct from but equal to marriage that has nothing to do with gays, and everything to do with protecting the family.

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What in the Blue Hell is Wrong With These People?

{Note: this piece was originally titled "Who's Obsessed With Sex?" but recent developments have rendered that question, shall we say, quaint.}

The Reeps just love to blame the erosion of decency and family culture on liberals and Dems.

But who really made blowjob a household word? Was it B(ill) J(efferson) Clinton who ran around screaming "oral-anal contact!" and encouraging America to speculate about who did what to whom in or near the Oval Office? Was he the one that plastered his sex life across the cable news networks for months on end?

Who is it today who still has a rabid compulsion toward lacing his program with lewdness and suggestive comments, like a five-year-old who's just discovered that potty jokes are funny? What liberal entertainer could be so immature, so cavalier toward decency on our public airwaves?

Howard Stern? No, he was chased off the air.

Why, it's Rush Limbaugh:

"I have the phrase [for Clinton's program]. 'Just don't swallow,'" chortled the pot-bellied populist, perhaps in between mouthfuls of mayonnaise. "Just don't swallow. You know, a lot of people are saying, 'Is he is he going to suggest this diet to Monica?' Well, we'll just have to wait and see."

As the First Lady's recent foray into Blue Collar Comedy demonstrated, liberals and heathens don't have a monopoly on raunch -- far from it. In fact, for all of the Right's pissing and moaning about the lack of morality on television, it's obviously not the decency thing they really have a problem with.

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Liberal Hollywood elites have a blog!

The Huffington Post has arrived, and it looks promising. Accounts put the number of celebrity bloggers involved in the project at well over 200 (two hundred).

Current front-page stories include an apology from the guy who gave the two-day seminar that made JimmyGuck a journalist, as well as random musings by a handful of celebs. The site will also feature breaking news stories.


Gee-Dub posturing eclipses budget passage

Damn they're good at this:

The House narrowly passed a $2.6 trillion budget Thursday evening that would cut back the Medicaid health care program for the poor for the first time since 1997 in a step toward trimming federal deficits.

The 214-211 vote approved a blueprint that instructs lawmakers to freeze or cut spending in many domestic programs outside defense and homeland security and restrain farm, student loan, pension and some other government programs that grow automatically from year to year.

The Senate simultaneously debated the measure and moved toward a vote Thursday night.


The agreement drops several billion dollars that the Senate voted to add to education spending and assumes $50 billion in extra spending next year for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sneaky f@ckers.

The future of newspapers?

Editor & Publisher:
The Rocky Mountain News will launch one of the nation's largest citizen-journalism initiatives in May, when it debuts 39 neighborhood Web sites and 15 zoned print editions, all called
Newspapers have discovered direct marketing. As the paper's publisher/editor puts it, the Denver Newspaper Agency has made the remarkable determination that, in the age of digital media and decentralized communications, there is "real economic opportunity in closer-to-the-ground community journalism."

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"If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong!"

Since religion seems to be the topic of the week (or was that last week?), Jonathan Zimmerman at the Christian Science Monitor offers up a commentary on why trying to keep God out of politics is a losing proposition.

I think the reason religion and politics resonate so closely with one another is because they're both so emotionally charged, and they both touch everyone's life at some point.

I don't care if you're Christian, Muslim, atheist, or whatever you call yourself: every human being has some set of values that guides their decision-making process. These are the values that give us those visceral gut reactions when we're exposed to what we perceive as injustice, and the essence of these values is a person's faith -- which transcends orthodoxy, doctrine and all the other devices of organized religion. It is that faith from which, and to which, we must speak.

The heart of the matter below the break.

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"There will be no peace."

Around the time of the clobberation of Iraq, I tripped over a fascinating article that was published in Parameters, the US Army War College Quarterly, in 1997.

In this article, military analyst and NY Post columnist Ralph Peters lays out the American-elitist case for perpetual warfare.

If you think I'm exaggerating, just read his opening line:

We have entered an age of constant conflict.

Since this is a government publication, I've gone ahead and pasted in the bulk of the article, omitting the parts on military implications, below the break. You can read the whole thing here.

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