Wednesday, May 25, 2011
May 25 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: A 5,446 Tons Solution - To Never Hear The Repubs Whine About The National Debt Again, Priceless
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May 25 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The 5,446 Tons Solution - To Never Hear The Republicans Whine About The National Debt Again, Priceless
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[After the commentary... For the Love of Money! The O' Jays. Courtesy of the respective artists.]
» The Egyptian military says Hosni Mubarak and one of his sons are going to be charged criminally (That SHOULD mean civilian trials) with the deaths of 846 people killed during the Tahir Square demonstrations and concurrent suppression activities. Mubarak is barred from leaving the country and his assets have been confiscated.
» President Obama is in Britain and will leave for the G8 conference in France shortly. His discussions with Prime Minister Cameron included Cameron's request for MORE support (as in air support) for NATO's war on Libya. No one is admitting the attacks seem focused on ousting Muammar al-Gadaffi more than the details of the UN resolution they're acting under for the protection of civilians in the country. France and Britain have sent in helicopter gunships for close air support of Misrata and have been shelling and using rocket attacks on the al-Gadaffi compound in Tripoli. Good thing he got his family out of the country... NATO IS trying to kill the al-Gadaffi family.
» No relief for the "New Dust Bowl" - More tornadoes are beginning to form in Eastern Texas and are moving towards Arkansas. There are worries that towns already turned into rubble will be struck again turning the rubble into projectiles.
» No relief will come easily from the Republicans either - Giving new meaning to the phrase "Callous Creep", congressional majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) has said that the Republicans will agree to send emergency aid to the states affected by tornadoes and other recent weather related disasters, but the cuts will have to come from other places in the federal budget.
» The political climate may have changed in the 26th congressional district, the region around Buffalo New York. Democrat Kathy Hochul has taken the congressional seat in a special election, in a mostly Republican district where the Republican congressman had resigned due to typical Republican sexual perversion issues. The election hinged on MediCare and so-called 'entitlements'. Some call them "Promises. One can see what the people of New York want... They want their elected officials to keep their promises. Ones made now, and historically.
» Meanwhile, things got a bit testy at a House committee hearing on the "Structure" of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which devolved into accusations of the ageny's chief 'lying to Congress'. The panel's chairman (R-NC) Patrick McHenry bullied and accused the bureau's director Elizabeth Warren of giving misleading testimony at a March hearing and of lying about her agreement to testify this week which she vehemently denied.
Then Representative McHenry moved to reccess that session and reschedule Warren's presence.
After an hour in which Ms. Warren repeatedly parried efforts by Mr. McHenry and other Republicans to nail her down with yes or no answers to questions concerning her testimony in March and about the bureau's powers and responsibilities, Mr. McHenry moved to temporarily recess the hearing to allow members to travel to the House floor for a vote on an unrelated matter.
Ms. Warren objected, saying that she had juggled her schedule as the committee repeatedly changed the time of the hearing in recent days and had agreed to be present for only an hour.
A vigorous back-and-forth ensued.Congressman, you are causing problems, Ms. Warren said. We had an agreement.The argument, an unraveling of the decorum that usually characterizes discussions among even the most fervent opponents during Congressional hearings, demonstrated the level of frustration that some Republicans apparently feel over the consumer agency, which was established as part of the Dodd-Frank Act that followed the financial and mortgage crisis.
You're making this up, Mr. McHenry replied. This is not the case.
The hearing Tuesday was intended to address the oversight that Congress should require for the agency.
Republicans have introduced bills in the House and Senate to eliminate some of the agency's independence, which include its not being subject to Congressional appropriations... [More ugly here]
In OTHER News:
Anonymous hackers (IRC Link) attacked and defaced the US Chamber of Commerce website over this bill just about to be introduced into the legislative calendar.
The defacement looked like this:
The summary of the bill does not go into the constitutional issues that arise with several of the measures. [source link]Another media outlet had this to say:
The problem for many is that it would result in censorship without the right to due process as it allows the DOJ and copyright holders to obtain court orders before accused sites have had a chance to defend themselves in court. [More]HackrKidz... Whatareyagonnado?
Speaking of protests, suppression and repression of free speech...
...yet there IS "Resistance in Obama Time"... by Bill Quigley, professor of law at Loyola University New Orleans, Associate Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights."Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over two thousand six hundred arrests of activists protesting in the US."
You'd almost think it was "SEAL Team Six" ("...the attackers... dressed all in black and resembled "Star Wars characters,") at the gun battle for Karachi Pakistan's naval air base fleet of surveillance aircraft.
Pakistani police have released an account of this weekend's brazen, 18-hour Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan attack on a naval air base in the southern port city of Karachi, stating that 10 to 12 men were involved, rather than up to six as Pakistani officials originally said (AP, NYT, DT, Independent, Guardian, FT, Dawn, Post, WSJ sources on site). Two of the attackers are now thought to have escaped, rather than being killed. Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik said yesterday that the attackers, who he stated dressed all in black and resembled "Star Wars characters," entered from a nearby residential district, and suggested without citing evidence that "external elements" may have been involved (Washington Post source on site). [More @ the AfPak Channel]
The Neoliberal New America Foundation has just issued a detailed paper on the history and current state of:
The Battle for Afghanistan: Negotiations with the Taliban
By Thomas Ruttig
[Thomas Ruttig is the co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network. He speaks Pashtu and Dari.
This paper reflects the situation as of early 2011]
May 23, 2011
The debate about reconciliation between Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government started moving again in 2010. What remains unclear is whether a process of reconciliation has already commenced and meaningful contacts with the insurgents have been established. Substantive talks, however, are clearly not yet underway.
What was really new in these developments in Afghanistan in the last year?
"NATO confirmed that it has facilitated these talks technically and by implicitly giving security guarantees for interlocutors. At the same, the new U.S. strategy, including a kill-and-capture program targeting Taliban commanders, does not point toward reconciliation; rather, it has given the upper hand to Taliban hardliners who oppose any talks. This could lead to the ascent of a younger, more radicalized generation of Taliban commanders to replace those killed, who were better known and might have included some inclined toward a political solution."
The fourth new point is that Pakistani authorities have dropped their line of denying all support for and control over the Taliban. For the first time they admitted openly that they are able to 'deliver' Taliban leaders for talks. The arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy to Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, was a statement of intent: talks with the Afghan Taliban are possible, but not without a key Pakistani role. At the same time, new research asserted that while the Taliban accept Pakistani support, many of their commanders nevertheless do not appreciate Pakistani influence on Afghan politics.[i]
These developments have created a growing fear among important social, political, and ethnic groups in Afghanistan [ie. Power elite, Emphasis mine] that President Hamid Karzai might go for a deal with the Taliban, or certain elements of the movement... [Comprehensive abstract with link to full document]
It's called "shooting yourself in the foot"... Assuming of course that one IS TRULY interested in an end to the conflict, otherwise it could only be termed "endangering our own forces" now, and for the duration of our involvement. Further de-legitimatizing what little legitmacy U.S. efforts have in the region."This could lead to the ascent of a younger, more radicalized generation of Taliban commanders to replace those killed..."
Which leads to something yours truly posted May 18 on the topic of legitimate causes and our 'mission' in Afghanistan:
From the Foreign Policy AfPak 'Channel', a dissuasion from thinking that our War On Afghanistan is ANYWHERE near over:Mission Re-Defined
The death of Osama bin Laden will raise the inevitable question: What are we still doing in Afghanistan? The answer, of course, is that the mission in Afghanistan is about something bigger and more ambitious than eliminating Al Qaeda's leaders-most of whom, in any event, are probably living in Pakistan, as bin Laden was when the United States finally tracked him down. No, the mission in Afghanistan isn't about killing Al Qaeda members. It's about stabilizing the country.... [More]
(...and try not to let your government kill too many 'dusky natives' in the process OK?)
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