Tuesday, April 18, 2006

RWD on hiatus

Thanks to all of you who have stopped by. I've been offered a guest blog spot over at National Review's "Sixers" Blog. So, for the time being, that's where I'll be.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Iraqi Olympian denied student visa

what's wrong with the State Department?

This guy 1., was on the Iraqi Olympic team.
2. Made pro US public appearances
3. Had his trip for the Olympics paid for by the US State Dept.
4. Applied to and was accepted to the University of Houston
5. Found someone to pay his full tuition
6. Has a job offer from IBM to work in Egypt post graduation.

I can see why this guy was denied his visa.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mobile Bio Labs

here's the latest Bush scandal of the day...

Here's the lead from Today's Washington Post...

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."
The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.
A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.


Ooooooh...not good for my side...but wait...there's this...

A spokesman for the DIA asserted that the team's findings were neither ignored nor suppressed, but were incorporated in the work of the Iraqi Survey Group, which led the official search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The survey group's final report in September 2004 -- 15 months after the technical report was written -- said the trailers were "impractical" for biological weapons production and were "almost certainly intended" for manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons.

So what's the scandal? The information is in the report.

And there's this...

Intelligence analysts involved in high-level discussions about the trailers noted that the technical team was among several groups that analyzed the suspected mobile labs throughout the spring and summer of 2003. Two teams of military experts who viewed the trailers soon after their discovery concluded that the facilities were weapons labs, a finding that strongly influenced views of intelligence officials in Washington, the analysts said. "It was hotly debated, and there were experts making arguments on both sides," said one former senior official who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.

So...in the days after Baghdad fell, there was some confusion. But, let's look at what the DIA group did conclude, that these trailers were made to manufacture Hyrdogen for weather balloons. I didn't realize the regime of Hussein was that concerned with high altitude winds.

This might sound comical, but the US has been attacked by balloons before...in WWII by the Japanese. I'm not saying this was some immediate threat. Far from it. But there are reasons that we were so wrong on Iraq. Every program of Hussein's had some sort of civilian cover. And it's not impossible to think that using a balloon to deliver a WMD attack is that unreasonable. Especially with GPS technology, etc., you could laucnh hundreds and know exactly where they are, detonating the ones that are over your target.

Again...if these were for weather research, how come the Washington Post hasn't found the team of Iraqi meteorologists? I'm not saying they don't exist, but let's try to find them.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I must have missed that memo...

what memo you asked? The one that was going around the illegal immigrant community begging supporters to leave their Mexican flags at home.

Here's a photo from NYTimes.com...Washington, DC - "Memo Received!"

From today's page one WSJ, Marketplace section...Omaha, NE - "Que memorándum?"


Monday, April 10, 2006

Blanco vs Nagin, the prequel

interesting information on the history of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin...Nagin endorsed Republican Bobby Jindal for Governor back in 2003.

All politics is local...

...but for Democrats to gain control of the House and Senate, the election in 2006 must be on National issues. Charles Schumer said as much here, suggested that 80% of the '06 results will be based on how George Bush and not the candidates running. I think this is wishful thinking and it flys in the face of all political conventional wisdom.

And then there's this bit of news from Nevada...Jimmy Carter's son, Jack Carter is getting his clock cleaned in the Nevada Senate race. Carter's anti Bush stance is winning no votes against the incumbent Repbuclian, John Ensign.

Rogich said Carter has campaigned against the entire Republican party, trying to tar Ensign with the brush of Republican actions in Washington and President Bush's unpopularity. But that is not likely to work, he said, quoting the "all politics is local" maxim of former House Speaker Tip O'Neill.
"I still subscribe to that," Rogich said. "You have to find a compelling reason in each individual race why you would kick out a particular incumbent."
Brad Coker, managing partner of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., which conducted the survey, agreed, noting that the margin by which Ensign was ahead had widened. In an October Review-Journal poll, Ensign had 59 percent to Carter's 25 percent.


Here's the catch...Bush is only at 37% approve in Nevada. According to Schumer, Carter should, at the very least, be competitive.

A scandal to call their own...

The ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee, Alan Mollohan, is being investigated by the Feds...

Susan Davis of Congress Daily reports:
House Speaker Hastert today said he believes Minority Leader Pelosi should ask Ethics ranking member Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., to step aside — if only temporarily — in light of a report this morning that federal prosecutors are investigating Mollohan’s finances and whether they were properly disclosed. Hastert said he had asked former House Administration Chairman Ney to relinquish his chairmanship earlier this year when Ney was confronted with ethics questions. “I asked my chairman to step aside, that’s really up to Ms. Pelosi, that’s her choice. There’s a precedent for it,” Hastert said. Both the House Administration and Ethics committees are leader-appointed. “I was wondering why [Ethics Committee Democrats] were dragging their feet on this whole ethics thing,” Hastert said. “I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not, we’ll see.”

Army surpassing year's retention goal by 15%

Two of every three eligible soldiers continue to re-enlist, putting the Army, which has endured most of the fighting in Iraq, ahead of its annual goal.
The Army was 15% ahead of its re-enlistment goal of 34,668 for the first six months of fiscal year 2006, which ended March 31. More than 39,900 soldiers had re-enlisted, according to figures scheduled to be released today by the Army.
Strong retention has helped the Army offset recruiting that has failed to meet its targets as the war in Iraq has made it harder to attract new soldiers. The Army fell 8% short of its goal of recruiting 80,000 soldiers in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, although it is exceeding its goal this year. Army recruiting figures for the first half of the year are to be released today.
The Army has met or exceeded its goals for retention for the past five years, records show. It was 8% over its goal for 2005, and 7% ahead of its targets for 2004. The number of re-enlistments has exceeded the Army's goal by a larger margin each year since 2001.
Soldiers like the Army, "and the war is not causing people to leave," says Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman.

Ohio teachers and the Marine Corps

cool story...(sub. required)

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — Not long after sunup, two buses full of educators roll through the gates and over the marsh. The Marine Corps invited them here to see boot camp as it really is.
"I’ve been thinking about this all night," a guidance counselor from Grove City High School said at breakfast. "I’m terrified."
The buses stop in front of the receiving center, where every recruit starts the 12 weeks of boot camp. The escorts tell the educators they have one last chance to get off like civilians. They all stay on.
Gunnery Sgt. Theresa Groves climbs on the first bus, and it begins.
"SIT UP STRAIGHT! When I tell you, you are going to get off my bus … getoffmybusrightnow! Get off TODAY! Faster! Faster! Right now! "
The words blur. She’s yelling twice as fast as a normal person talks, and suddenly a staff sergeant is yelling from the bus door, too.
"Stop running now and move fast! Fasterfasterfaster! "
It stops sounding like words and becomes noise. New recruits don’t need to know exactly what is being said, they just need to be scared of it.
Groves yells the educators through the doors — "You will walk through my silver hatches!" — and yells them into metal seats at metal desks.
"You are done moving!" she screams.
Then there is silence, and Col. Steven D. Hogg steps out. It’s over.
"Are we okay?" he asks.
The guidance counselors, school administrators and teachers seem to start breathing again, and a few laugh.
"Welcome to Paradise Island," he says.
Marine leaders decided about a decade ago that years of Full Metal Jacket were giving civilians the wrong impression of the Corps. Teenagers wouldn’t volunteer for something they thought was heartless.
So the Marines began inviting some of the people who have the most influence over high-school kids to Parris Island, the only location for basic Marine training in the eastern United States. The educators could judge for themselves and tell their students what they saw.
"There are no secrets here," said Brigadier Gen. Richard T. Tryon, the Parris Island commander, in a talk with the educators.
The educator workshops run 12 weeks per year on the island. Last week, about 75 people from West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio, including a dozen from the Columbus area, made the trip. The most knowledgeable among them had been in the Army for 14 years. Some of the rest did not know a sergeant from a colonel.

Let the corruption begin!

early voting in New Orleans begins today...

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Busloads of Katrina refugees are coming from Texas and Atlanta on Monday to cast early votes in New Orleans' elections for mayor and city council.

"It'll be a few hundred people altogether. We don't have exact numbers until we load them up," said Kevin Whelan, spokesman for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

The busing is both practical and symbolic, Whelan said. "Part of it is obviously turning out real voters. But it's still, obviously, a small percentage of the entire electorate," he said.

Vote early, vote often...

The Afghan and the Navy Seal

From this week's "Newsweek"...

The proud Afghan risked all to save a Navy SEAL. Now, feeling abandoned, he is facing death threats.

April 17, 2006 issue - Even with all the troubles that followed, Mohammad Gulab says he's still glad he saved the U.S. Navy SEAL. "I have no regrets for what I did," the 32-year-old Afghan told NEWSWEEK recently. "I'm proud of my action." Nevertheless, he says, "I never imagined I would pay such a price." Last June, foraging for edible plants in the forest near his home in the Kunar-province village of Sabray, Gulab discovered a wounded commando, the lone survivor of a four-man squad that had been caught in a Taliban ambush. Communicating by hand signs, Gulab brought the injured stranger home, fed and sheltered him for two days and helped contact a U.S. rescue team to airlift him out.

Here's an idea...send him to Yale in exchange for the Yale Taliban.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Greenpeace in the news

Greenpeace is mad at McDonalds for destroying the Amazon rain forrest...

Greenpeace on Thursday said McDonald's was fueling Amazon rainforest destruction by using soybeans grown in the region as feed for chickens that end up served in the fast-food chain's European restaurants.
In a reported entitled, "Eating up the Amazon," the environmental group said it has traced soy beans grown in illegally desforested areas of the rainforest to McDonald's restaurants, as well as other restaurant chains and supermarkets across Europe.
"Fast Food giants like McDonald's are trashing the Amazon for cheap meat. Every time you buy a Chicken McNugget you could be taking a bite out of the Amazon," Greenpeace forests campaign coordinator Gavin Edwards said by telephone from London.


Why on Earth would Europeans buy soybeans from the Amazon when the US has an abundance of beans for sale? Oh, I see...back in 1999, Greenpeace told them to!

Yesterday, German Greenpeace activists dressed in bird suits launched a campaign against McDonald's chicken nuggets and sandwiches produced from broilers grown with GMO feed. Biotech food has been effectively taken off the shelves in Germany because of consumer resistance.
The campaign against biotech in animal feed, however, is a step in a new direction that may have impacts on US soybean exports and, to a lesser extent, corn. In 1999, Germany bought almost 6% of US soybean exports, over 1.3 million tons of beans. 80% went to animal feed in carnivorous Germany....
Some European feed markets are already non-GMO. Cargill's UK poultry subsidiary switched to Brazilian soybean sources last year following the anti-biotech pandemonium in the UK.

NOPD = NO PD

Not content on beating up black people who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, white NO police officers are now beating up the wives of black officers at traffic stops.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

great news for Santorum

it seems the voters of Pennsylvania don't realize that Bob Casey is pro life. When they do, they change their votes and Santorum takes the race. Look for Santorum to hammer this into Keystone state voters.

Abdul Rahman

Abdul Rahman, the Afghan who was going to get his head chopped off for converting to Christianity and had his case thrown out because the judge thought he was unfit to stand trial...well, guess what...he is a whack job.

Ray Nagin, better than ever

Is it just me, or do others think that the best course of action for New Orleans is to just let it die?

NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Ray Nagin suspended the construction of FEMA trailer parks in the city after a confrontation between federal workers and homeowners who were outraged that a government trailer park was being built inside their gated community.

With an election three weeks away, Nagin sided with the residents of Lakewood Estates, a community of spacious homes in the city's Algiers section, and suspended the nearly completed trailer project there and similar projects elsewhere in New Orleans.

The Lakewood Estates trailer park was meant to house 34 single women and their children who were left homeless by Hurricane Katrina, but area residents complained it was too close to their homes.

Hillary, Dick Morris and the West Wing

Last year's West Wing had a situation where the nominee for the Democrats had not been decided as of the convention. There were multiple ballots and back room deals to heighten the tension. I thought of that today while reading Dick Morris' column in The Hill.

Morris thinks Hillary's centrist view on the War in Iraq might cost her. He thinks Gore is in the cat bird's seat come 2008...Gore is anti-War and pro Kyoto.

Morris might be right that Gore could attract the left's base, but I'm not sure Hillary can lose if she wants the nomination. I'm assuming that Hillary leaves her '06 Senate race with well over $10MM in the bank. Once fundraising season picks up, Hillary is going to be a cash machine. Nobody raise money better than Bill Clinton. Bill's future shadowy role in a Hillary administration could result in a fundraising bonanza. Just enough that will be unknown that any promise he makes can have a legitimate out and just serious enough that having Bill's ear could mean that your money was well spent.

Anyway...back to the West Wing. If the primary process drags on, I think Hillary is the only one who'll have the cash to compete in every primary. That's why I don't think the West Wing's "no winner scenario all the way to the convention" was ever feasible. There's no way...I mean no way...that two candidates can raise enough money to stay in the entire race.

If Hillary decides to run, and I hope she does, she's not going to quit. I see the race shaping up as this...Gore and Feingold devide the Daily Kos crowd. The small donors will go crazy and max out their credit cards, but in the end, they'll run short of what Hillary is able to raise. Throw in Wes Clark, Mark Warner, and the rest of the ususal suspects who'll run, and I think Hillary is the only one with the checkbook to stay in the entire race.

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