The tax protests

Yes, there's a number of loonies and extremists and bigots in the crowd. That's why I remain a Democrat.

Yes, the leaders of this "movement" are phonies or worse. Where were they when their congress and their president borrowed and spent and ignored all the warnings of danger ahead? Again, that's why I remain a Democrat.

But . . .

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Is Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki our new commander in chief?

In 2006, the Democrats pledged to end the war in Iraq. U.S. voters gave control of Congress to the Democrats.

In 2008, the Democrats pledged to end the war in Iraq. U.S. voters gave the presidency to the Democrats.

In 2009, "The top U.S. commander in Iraq said Sunday that a decision on withdrawing American forces from Iraq's major cities by a June 30 deadline will be made by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with U.S. military advice. Gen. Raymond Odierno did not specifically say whether U.S. troops would leave Iraqi cities by the deadline, which is part of the plan for the gradual drawdown of American forces. . . . "So we will continue to conduct assessments along with the government of Iraq as we move forward (to) the June 30th deadline. If we believe that we'll need troops to maintain a presence in some of the cities, we'll recommend that, but, ultimately, it will be the decision of Prime Minister Maliki," Odierno said."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/ 2009-04-12-odierno-control_N.htm

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Leonard Pitts discusses Bristol and Levi and gratuitously disrespects the military in the process

"If you and I had never heard of him, his affair with Bristol Palin would have run its entirely predictable course - - boy meets girl, boy impregnates girl, boy gets engaged to girl, boy breaks up with girl - - and he would now be wrapped in the darkness of anonymity, working on his GED or talking to an Army recruiter or whatever it is you do to cobble together a life when you're a high school dropout and the future comes knocking."

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/other -views/story/994618.html

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An example of everything that's wrong with our politics

Dick Gephardt, former House Democratic Leader, House Majority Leader and House Minority Leader is President and CEO of the Gephardt Group, a Washington lobbying firm that "provides strategic advice to clients on issues before the House, Senate and Executive Branch in the federal government."

The Gephardt Group just hired Dennis Hastert and his lobbying firm, Dickstein Shapiro, to assist on a $35,000-per-month contract for the government of Turkey.

Hastert used to be the Republican Speaker of the House.

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Trickle down economics, again?

Ever since Reagan introduced the theory of "trickle down economics" (focus spending and tax cuts on the rich, and the money will "trickle down" to the poor through increased spending and hiring by those with disposable discretionary income), all self styled progressives have agreed that it was an inefficient method of spreading government largesse, because it usually missed its targets.

So, are we aiding the auto workers with financial support for re training and/or re location? Nope, we're propping up their dieing, dinosaur industrial employers with federal payments to the manufacturing giants, in the hope that it will "trickle down" to the workers (after their unions make suitably major concessions on wages, hours and benefits, of course).

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Iraq: I'm forced to agree with the Arab street

"Six years after the U.S. overthrew Saddam Hussein's government, tens of thousands of Iraqis gathered in the rain in Iraq's capital Thursday to mark the anniversary and renew calls for an American withdrawal. . . . Speakers at the rally called on President Barack Obama to "keep his promise to the world" and withdraw U.S. troops quickly."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/658 10.html

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Your congresspersons visit Cuba - UPDATED

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas /cuba/story/989566.html

Put aside the fact that we're the democracy, and they're the dictatorship, and thus we're good and they're bad.

Put aside the fact that there have been thousands and thousands of political prisoners incarcerated and killed in Cuba since the revolution (not according to just any crazy right wing bigot, but according to Amnesty International), hundreds of whom still languish in prison for purely political reasons.

Put aside the fact that the U.S. is expected to make pre negotiation concessions, but Cuba doesn't have to. (Cuba, not the U.S., gets to commence negotiations without preconditions, or any advance showing of good faith.)

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U.S. to N.K.: Young man, if you do that one more time . . .

Have you ever heard the ineffectual parents in the mall, who repeatedly warn their kids not to do something (without consequences), and the kids repeatedly ignore their parents, getting bolder each time?

That's our North Korea policy (bipartisan, from Bush to Clinton to Bush to Obama).

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Franken vs. Coleman

The Minnesota U.S. Senate recount and related litigation continue, with no end in sight, with Franken up by 225 as of April 2, 2009.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/nati onal/senate/

In the words of a Twin Cities' television news director and straight ticket Democratic voter (speaking on the top of a ski lift at Minnesota's Lutsen Mountains Resort overlooking Lake Superior), Franken was "a singularly divisive nominee". Franken was hurt by replays of perfectly acceptable television and radio jokes and comments that in the context of a campaign were deemed less than "senatorial".

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More Af / Pak news

"The situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan is ''increasingly dire,'' top defense officials told Congress Wednesday, and they said that President Barack Obama may have to send another 10,000 troops beyond the 21,500 he has announced since taking office. Michele Flournoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said the administration hasn't yet developed benchmarks to measure progress, but she predicted high human and financial costs for the U.S. in the campaign against Islamic militants in the two countries. Adding to the bleak picture, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of the U.S. Central Command . . .  

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Diaries

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