Scorpio’s World

Thoughts on Politics, Race, and Middle Earth

Archive for January, 2007

“I’m tired of ferrying my little ship …”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 26, 2007

Barack Obama - Obama Exploratory Committee

“I’m tired of ferrying my little boat inside the harbor-bar.

I want to go out where the Big Ships float, out on the Deep where the ‘Great Ones’ are.

And should my frail craft fail to keep against the Winds and Storms that bellow fore ….

then I’d rather go down in the stirring ‘Fight For Life’, than merely exist by the sheltered shore.”

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“Thoughts re J.R.R. Tolkien”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 26, 2007

*My ‘Middle Earth’: 10 acres of Land at the foot of the “Mighty Misty Mountains”

After breakfast, which they again ate alone, they made ready to say farewell, as nearly heav a heart as was possible on such a morning: cool, bright, and clean under a washed autumn sky of thin blue. The air came fresh from the North-west. Their quiet ponies were almost frisky, sniffing and moving restlessly. Tom came out of the house and waved his hat and danced upon the doorstep, bidding the hobbits to get up and be off and go with good speed.

          They rode off along a path that wound away from behind the house, and went slanting up towards the north end of the hill-brow under which it sheltered. They had just dismounted to lead the ponies up the last steep slope, when suddenly Frodo stopped.

           ‘Goldberry!’ he cried. ‘My fair lady, clad all in silver green! We have never said farewell to her, nor seen her since the evening!’ He was so distressed that he turned back; but at that moment a clear call came rippling down. There on the hill-brow she stood beckoning to them: her her hair was flying loose, and as it caught the sun it shone and shimmered. A light like the glint of water on dewy grass flashed from under her feet as she danced.

                      ~ “The Lord of the Rings”, Chapter: Fog On The Barrow-Downs

                                                         __________

One just doesn’t read Tolkien: You experience it.

Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin have just left the home of Tom Bombadil ~ himself involved in the Trilogy just this once, and whom remains somewhat of a mystery as to whether he was of the Human Race or perhaps a Maia. Regardless, Tom Bombadil was a “Master” of the ‘Old Forest’.

The four hobbits had just left the Shire headed for Rivendell, and already they were being pursued by “Black Riders” and needed rescuing by Tom Bombadil from the ‘Old Willow Man’ ~a malevolent ancient Tree.

How long the hobbits stayed with Tom is difficult to say for sure, as TIME in ‘Tom’s World’ moved at a somewhat different rate. But ‘leave’ the hobbits must; which is where the above Passage takes place.

Lady Goldberry mentioned in the Passage was the wife of Tom Bombadil. She was the daughter of the River-woman of the Withywindle. Goldberry was “Elven-like”, but was more accessible and easily encompassed by hobbit hearts.

This Chapter (“Fog On The Barrow-Downs”) along with the previous two (“The Old Forest” & “In The House of Tom Bombadil”) to me are the most mysterious and haunting of the entire book(s); for so much of what happened to the hobbits while either in the “Old Forest”, or staying in Tom Bombadil’s Home, or venturing through the Barrow-Downs  were all places borne from Ancient History. And it is this sense of ‘Ancient-ness’ so prevalent throughout the book that makes the Tale so wonderful and rich.

Tolkien wrote in such a way as to bring the READER into “The Fellowship of the Ring”. This wonderful ‘Gift’ of his allows one to feel dark forests and sleeping under a star-filled sky; or actually sense the dangers of “Black Riders” and Orcs all about; or identify with acts of Heroism and raw Courage.

Right now, even as the rain pelts my window … in my ‘Mind’s Eye’ I see four little Hobbits shivering under a tree or inside a cave to shelter for the night.

J.R.R. Tolkien: what an extraordinary man.

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“Their Choice”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 26, 2007

Beginning in the Fifth Age of Middle Earth

Afteryule 26, 5007

They say that somehow BOOKS land in our laps at the precise TIME they were intended. I KNOW that to be TRUE based on my own Personal Experiences; and I’m quite certain many of you can attest to this fact as well.

Take for example my ‘Love Affair’ with J.R.R. Tolkien and his Work “The Lord of the Rings“. Oh, 30-some years ago I saw an animated film of “The Hobbit“, so when the First Film of ‘Rings’ hit the theaters what : 5 years ago (??)  …. I recall at that time that I just wasn’t that thrilled in seeing it because, well, I just wasn’t!  : )

Anyway. A Friend of mine advised that I see the movie, and for which I told her I would …. at some point <g>. Then the “tipping point’ occurred <g>: Bush ATTACKED Iraq!

This caused me to become mildly Depressed <g> and greatly upset with Bush; so much so that I kinda ‘withdrew’ and isolated myself from all the ‘chest pounding’ and bravado being played out on my TV each-and-every night as ‘our bombs’ lit up the Iraqi evening sky. It was about that time that I picked up the BOOK “The Lord of the Rings” …. and the rest, as they say, is History.

That Tale, that remarkable Story, made far more ‘sense’ to me than ANYTHING I endured watching on TV during “Shock & Awe“. In fact, and in a profound way, the Story helped me Understand and accept Mankind’s failings and weaknesses in ways that were most instrumental in helping me get through Bush’s ‘mess’ and ‘get on’ with my LIFE with confidence and renewed Hope.

The Lord of the Rings“, the BOOK, I’ve now read Each Year since!!

Say for instance, right now I’m again  traveling with Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin as they’ve AGAIN just encountered the evil “Grey Willow”,  and again needing to be rescued by none other than Tom Bombadil. And you know something else: their experience in the “Old Forest” is just as exciting …. and just as scary …. as the first time I read it.

Too, currently I’m reading Barack Obama’s BOOK entitled “The Audacity of Hope“!

                     It just fell into my lap, baby!  : )

                     And “Yes”: it was ‘Right On Time’.

Books have a way of doing that, huh! So much so, that I would wager that 95% of my books that have found their way on my book-shelves … got there because THEY happened to find their way there: by choice.

                                    Their’s.

I Write What I Like

Scorpio

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“The NEW Wineskins”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 26, 2007

                   The Felicity Daily Herald
                       “All the news that’s fit to print; and a whole lot more”

PhotoSharpton sizes up 2008 contenders

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer Thu Jan 25

WASHINGTON – Democrat  Al Sharpton said Thursday he’s waiting to see how the 2008 presidential field shapes up before deciding whether to declare himself a candidate.

The civil rights activist spent the day on Capitol Hill, meeting with the four Democratic senators who are pursuing the presidency _ Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Joe Biden of Delaware, Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) of Illinois. Each met privately with Sharpton in their office.

“I’m not making any endorsements today,” Sharpton, who ran in 2004, told reporters at the end of his meeting with Obama.

Obama said the two talked about their shared agenda of fighting for the dispossessed. “I assured him that I not only want to hear his views and thoughts and policy recommendations, but publicly any of us who step into this fight for the nomination have to be held accountable and speak to these issues,” he said.

Sharpton said they talked about economics, health care and education issues. “We are going to keep talking and he knows I’m talking to everybody,” he said.

The normally loquacious Sharpton was unusually curt and cut off further questioning by saying he was behind schedule. But he told reporters who followed him that he would decide about his own candidacy “once I see what these guys do or don’t do.”

___

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., has some advice for his friend Sen. Barack Obama: Don’t be afraid to take your presidential campaign anywhere in this country, no matter what the racial politics.

Ford lost a close bid last fall to become the first black senator from a Southern state since Reconstruction. Some blamed the loss in Tennessee on racial politics, but Ford said Thursday other factors, including a rival who spent his own money, contributed to his defeat.

He said Obama, son of a white mother and an African father, can’t control how his race will affect his candidacy.

“As long as he works hard, is honest … and is not afraid to take his message anywhere in the country, he’ll do fine,” Ford said. “He can’t try to predict what other people may think or may do. All he can do is run the campaign that he’s capable of running.

“Do I think the fact that he’s black will be a factor in his campaign? Probably,” Ford said. “It would be a factor if two white guys were running. People talk about race regardless, so race is an issue that we deal with in America. I don’t think that will be a central part of his campaign at all.”

Ford spoke to reporters over lunch on his first day as chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. Ford is replacing former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who stepped down to run for president.

Ford said he plans to remain neutral in the 2008 race because of his new position, but he is particularly close to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Obama.

___

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Hollywood moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen are throwing a fundraiser for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign next month.

Some 700 invitations to the $2,300-per-head event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel went out this week, Andy Spahn, political adviser to Katzenberg and Spielberg, said Thursday. Katzenberg, Spielberg and Geffen are the founders of the DreamWorks movie studio.

Katzenberg has endorsed Obama, but Spielberg, a longtime supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, hasn’t made up his mind. Geffen also has not publicly endorsed a candidate.

“There are many people in this community who will support multiple candidates, but this certainly is evidence off the serious credibility and strength of Obama’s candidacy,” said Spahn, rejecting the suggestion the fundraiser was a slight to Clinton.

The Feb. 20 event will be followed by a private dinner at Geffen’s house for donors who have committed to raising $46,000.

As president,  Bill Clinton had a famously affectionate relationship with Hollywood, and the goodwill _ and deep pockets _ transferred to Sen. Clinton. Celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock donated to her Senate races in 2000 and 2006.

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said Spielberg and other major Los Angeles donors, including producer Steve Bing, media mogul Haim Saban, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle and investment banker Sim Farar, will be co-hosting a fundraiser for the New York senator in the spring.

___ 

Isn’t this Fun! : )

Obama is so Influential ~ even Brother Al is at a lost for words!  : )

And “Oh, my! <g>” there’s phat Hollywood. Just drippin’ with ‘Dead Presidents’ ($$$) and willing to spend Big Bucks to ‘hobnob’ with a potential next President of the United States!

If you’re a ‘Political Junkie’: It don’t get any better than this, Folks!

These are EXCITING TIMES we’re living in, Folks. I NEVER thought in my LIFETIME that I’d ever see a Woman or Black seriously challenge for the ‘Highest Office’ in the Land.

Never!!

But here it is being played out right before our eyes. And it’s about TIME, don’t ya think!

 A Friend told me today that the average age in the U.S. Senate is 67 years old. And what’s McCain: damn near 70!!

We’re a very YOUNG nation. And to be quite frank, a nation that is always experimenting, adventuring, learning via Trial & Error, and willing to take RISKS needs a constant flow of ‘Fresh Blood’ and New Ideas ~ and what better way to embark upon this New Century then to have a Hillary Clinton or a Barack Obama ‘shake things up’, okay!

Old stagnant Ideas and ways of thinking need to die.

Ancient prejudices and bigoted mentality needs to die.

The Twenty-first Century will Demand Bold and Imaginative Leadership; and that’s ‘why’ a kat like Senator Barack Obama is the “IT” factor that thus far mesmerizes so many.

It’s going to be FUN!

In fact, it already is. 

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“Keep The Faith”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 25, 2007

story.obama.afp.gi.jpg

I Write What I Like

I’ve had several conversations with my Caucasian Brothers & Sisters <g>, and they express to me their surprise that many of their White Friends have expressed such idiotic comments about Barack Obama. They say such things as :

“You do know that he’s a Muslim, don’t you?”

“You do know that he (Obama) wants to kill us all, don’t you?”

“You do know that his name is Muslim, don’t you?”

I don’t know, Folks. As best I can I try to explain to my Caucasian Brothers & Sisters that: 1) People ~ even their well informed and Educated Friends ~ will use ‘whatever’ EXCUSE they can find to cover the real problem, which is often borne of Prejudice and Bigotry; and 2) that I experienced the same thing as a kid when my TEACHER told our Class, “You children are aware …. that if John F. Kennedy is Elected …. the Pope will ‘run’ the country!”

My frickin’ HISTORY TEACHER!!!!!  : )

Senator Obama, I’m sure, is quite aware that Racial Intolerance and Bigotry is Alive & Well in the Land flowing with Milk & Honey <g>, and will raise its Ugly Head the closer he approaches the “Halls of Power”. And that Americans who still harbor Racial hatreds will come out of the woodwork the closer he gets to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Barack KNOWS these things, baby!!

I view his chase for the Big Prize yet another  chance for America to examine some of her  ancient Racial Attitudes and Proclivities once again. For it’s Opportunities like these that “WE” grow as a Society and a Nation. An Opportunity to actually ‘live out’ the Promise that “All Men (and Women) are Created Equal.”

See. Al Sharpton was NEVER a ‘serious’ Candidate for President. Jesse Jackson was NEVER a ‘serious’ Candidate for President: but Barack Obama IS ‘serious’ and ELECTABLE! And that’s why the Negative ‘Spin Machine’ and Dark Forces ( excuse the pun <g>) are already at work to rekindle the ancient Fears, Hatreds, and Prejudices that are buried DEEP in the hearts of so many of my White Brethren …. and have cost this country dearly.

Fear of the UNKNOWN. Especially when that ‘fear’ is Racial.

I’m eagerly looking forward to the Campaign; for I truly Believe that Senator Obama is THE MAN, for THESE TIMES!

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“THANKS!”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 24, 2007

This Blog is ‘One Week Old Today’, and already nearly 150 ‘Hits’ have been Recorded!

From me ~ a Big “Thanks!” to YOU the Reader.

I Comment about a LOT things on this Blog: Race, Religion, Politics, and of course “Middle-Earth” <g>. I don’t say things to be purposely Argumentative or Controversial …. but instead I Speak straight from the Heart. Too, I don’t wish this Blog to be “All Monologue” all the TIME; and that’s why I want to hear from YOU, the READER, as well.

Again, “THANKS!” for the Support and “WELCOME TO SCORPIO’S WORLD!”

Scorpio

I WRITE WHAT I LIKE

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“Congress Speaks”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 24, 2007

                     The Felicity Daily Herald
                       “All the news that’s fit to print; and a whole lot more”

Photo

Senate panel votes against Bush on Iraq

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Democratic-controlled  Senate Foreign Relations Committee dismissed  President Bush‘s plans to increase troops strength in  Iraq on Wednesday as “not in the national interest,” an unusual wartime repudiation of the commander in chief.

The vote on the nonbinding measure was 12-9 and largely along party lines.

“We better be damn sure we know what we’re doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder,” said Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record) of Nebraska, the sole Republican to join 11 Democrats in support of the measure.

Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record), D-Del., the panel’s chairman, said the legislation is “not an attempt to embarrass the president. … It’s an attempt to save the president from making a significant mistake with regard to our policy in Iraq.”

The full Senate is scheduled to begin debate on the measure next week, and Biden has said he is willing to negotiate changes in hopes of attracting support from more Republicans.

House Democrats intend to hold a vote shortly after the Senate acts.

Even Republicans opposed to the legislation expressed unease with the revised policy involving a war that has lasted nearly four years, claimed the lives of more than 3,000 U.S. troops and helped Democrats win control of Congress in last fall’s elections.

“I am not confident that President Bush’s plan will succeed,” said Sen. Richard Lugar (news, bio, voting record) of Indiana, senior Republican on the committee.

But he said in advance he would vote against the measure. “It is unclear to me how passing a nonbinding resolution that the president has already said he will ignore will contribute to any improvement or modification of our Iraq policy.”

“The president is deeply invested in this plan, and the deployments … have already begun,” Lugar added.

He suggested a more forceful role for Congress, and said lawmakers must ensure the administration is “planning for contingencies, including the failure of the Iraqi government to reach compromises and the persistence of violence despite U.S. and Iraqi government efforts.”

Divisions over the war were on clear display as the committee met.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said he wanted to change the measure to say flatly that the number of troops in Iraq “may not exceed the levels” in place before Bush announced his new policy. The suggestion failed, 15-6.

Sen. Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record), R-Minn., sought to amend the legislation to show support for an increase troops in the Anbar province in western Iraq, but not in Baghdad, where the sectarian violence is particularly fierce. His proposal also fell, 17-4.

Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., chastised fellow lawmakers, accusing them of being reticent to respond to Bush’s plans. He said he would seek passage of legislation at a later date cutting off funds for the war.

Hagel’s remarks were among the most impassioned of the day, and he was unstinting in his criticism of the White House.

“There is no strategy,” he said of the Bush administration’s war management. “This is a pingpong game with American lives. These young men and women that we put in Anbar province, in Iraq, in Baghdad are not beans; they’re real lives. And we better be damn sure we know what we’re doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder.”

A Vietnam veteran, he fairly lectured fellow senators not to duck a painful debate about a war that has grown increasingly unpopular as it has gone on. “No president of the United States can sustain a foreign policy or a war policy without the sustained support of the American people,” Hagel said.

At least eight other Republican senators say they now back legislative proposals registering objections to Bush’s decision to boost U.S. military strength in Iraq by 21,500 troops.

The growing list — which includes Sens. Gordon Smith (news, bio, voting record), George Voinovich (news, bio, voting record) and Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record) — has emboldened Democrats, who are pushing for a vote in the full Senate by next week to rebuke the president’s Iraq policy.

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, Bush urged skeptical members of Congress to give the plan a chance to work.

Many lawmakers remained reluctant.

“I wonder whether the clock has already run out,” said Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine. She said she was worried that U.S. troops in Iraq are already perceived “not as liberators but as occupiers.”

Bush did get a word of support from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of the 2008 Republican presidential hopefuls.

“I believe we should give the president the support to do this. I want us to be successful in Iraq,” he said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “I know how important it is to the overall war on terror. Success in Iraq means a more peaceful world for America, it means a victory against terrorists. Failure in Iraq means a big defeat against terrorists and the war on terror is going to be tougher for us.”

But Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., appearing on the same show, said, “I think all of us are talking about a phased redeployment which would leave American troops in the region to send a strong message, not only to the Iraqi government that we want to help them, but also to neighbors, like  Iran, that we’re not abandoning the field.”

                                                ______________

I’m an Obama ‘Fan’ ~ but Chuck Hagel ….. “C’mon and join the Democratic Party, baby!”  : )

People want to ‘poo-poo’ this NON BINDING Resolution, but trust me: The POLITICAL, Historical, and Systematic (Institutional) effects are spell binding! Why: because NOW George W. Bush stands fully Accountable for the Iraq War, and in effect, it removes those whom had previously voted for the “Iraq War Resolution” with an historical ‘out’ ~ a way of wiping the BLOOD off their hands so to speak.

This action by the U.S. Congress demonstrates to the World why “WE” have a remarkable Democracy. And I dare say, that what Congress did TODAY is more ‘meaningful’ and ‘instructional’ to the World than all the bombs Bush dropped over Iraq more then 3 years ago.

See. “WE” need to shed this hubris of “We can’t afford to lose!” verbiage as we move into the Twenty-first Century ~ particularly when our actions have no Clear ‘End Point’ to start with! The ‘Iraq War’ was solely the result of George Bush’s “Pax Americana” pipe dream; a Dream that has now cost our country dearly both in Blood & Treasure.

I stated in a Post the other day, that for THIS PRESIDENT, “It’s OVER out there!” Well, now it’s Really Over!


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“Can’t Defeat ‘Concepts'”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 23, 2007

                     The Felicity Daily Herald
                       “All the news that’s fit to print; and a whole lot more”

Photo

Bush to defend Iraq troop buildup plan

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – In his first State of the Union address to a Democratic-controlled Congress,  President Bush will urge that gasoline consumption be slashed by 20 percent, the White House said, and try to dissuade lawmakers ready to resist his  Iraq war build up.

In Tuesday night’s address before a joint session of Congress, Bush was not expected to rehash the speech he gave less than two weeks ago laying out his revamped war plan. Instead, he was expected in the 9 p.m. EST speech to broadly defend his argument that success in Iraq is indispensable to making Americans safer in the era of terrorism.

Bush was not going to ignore the range of Iraq resolutions now pending on Capitol Hill that express everything from doubt to outright opposition. He planned, indeed, to make it clear how he thought they should vote when the various anti-war resolutions come to the House and Senate floors, said a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging the president.

Democrats scheduled freshman Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. a Vietnam war veteran who opposed Bush’s invasion of Iraq, to deliver their televised response.

“They don’t have a plan,” Webb said in a preview of his remarks. “What they have put on the table is more a tactical adjustment.”

Bush will say that the fuel-use goal of slashing consumption by 20 percent by 2017 can be achieved primarily through a sharp escalation in the amount of ethanol and other alternative fuels the federal government mandates must be produced. The rest of the reduction is to come from raising fuel economy standards for passenger cars, Joel Kaplan, White House deputy chief of staff, told reporters in a briefing several hours ahead of before Bush’s televised prime-time speech.

Also in the energy arena, the president is asking Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. A protection against emergency oil market disruptions, the reserve can now hold about 727 million barrels, and Congress has authorized it to go to 1 billion. Bush wants the capacity increased further, to 1.5 billion barrels.

The president was going before lawmakers with a much-abbreviated topic list, hoping to capture the public’s attention at a time when 2008 presidential contenders and Capitol Hill’s new Democratic leaders present fierce competition for headlines. So he is dangling new and recycled ideas in four main areas — energy, education, immigration and health care.

With debate over the Iraq war sending even Republicans scurrying away from the president and his relatively low job approval rating, Bush’s overall agenda for the speech was twofold: present himself as a leader with a sincere desire to work across party lines on practical solutions and pressure Democratic leaders to either go along or offer alternatives.

The White House promised the president would be bold. But spiraling war expenses and huge federal deficits preclude anything too costly.

He also was to announce plans for a “state of the economy” speech next week from a location outside Washington, an address intended to further explain his pledges to achieve a budget surplus within five years, reduce the congressional practice of “earmarking” pet projects and confront financial challenges facing  Social Security and Medicare.

                                              ____________

Trust me: Bush really dreads going before Congress tonight!  : )

Wouldn’t you?

I mean ~ there you are, about to Address a Democratic Congress that today is Democrat because of YOUR Foreign Policy blunders.

There ya be ~ with ‘Approval Ratings’ lower then the temperature in Green Bay, Wisconsin!!

And there you stand, looking into the camera KNOWING that over the weekend nearly 100 American Troops were killed in Iraq!

If THIS ADMINISTRATION were a World Championship boxing match …. they’d stop it by now.

I’ve said all along, that by framing what happened militarily as a result of 911 as a “War Against Terror”, that right there causes whatever one attempts to do to defeat it (Terror) in a ‘Failure Mode’ right from the ‘get go’. Why:

Because the concept of ‘Terrorism’ is just that: a Concept. And it’s damn near impossible to defeat a Concept. Just as the “War on Hunger” or the “War on Drugs” or the “War on Poverty” were impossible Issues to defeat.

By increasing the number of Troops inIraq, that in itself DOES NOT solve the Problem. “Troop Surge” is NOT a strategy for Victory because: 1) a ‘troop surge’ is merely a military strategy to prolong an existing  Problem; and 2) a ‘troop surge’ has zero effect against a “Concept” (Terrorism).

As a Nation, we’ve spent BILLIONS of dollars, wasted THOUSANDS of Lives (both Iraqi, British, and American), and split our nation in two all because Bush decided to chase a “Concept”.

Sad.

“And Ladies & Gentlemen ….

the President of the United States!”

                                  Brother.

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“Same Show: Different Actor”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 23, 2007

                     The Felicity Daily Herald
                       “All the news that’s fit to print; and a whole lot more”

story.obama.afp.gi.jpg

  CNN debunks false report about Obama POSTED: 10:39 p.m. EST, January 22, 2007 

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) — Allegations that Sen. Barack Obama was educated in a radical Muslim school known as a “madrassa” are not accurate, according to CNN reporting.

Insight Magazine, which is owned by the same company as The Washington Times, reported on its Web site last week that associates of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, had unearthed information the Illinois Democrat and likely presidential candidate attended a Muslim religious school known for teaching the most fundamentalist form of Islam.

Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, from 1967 to 1971, with his mother and step-father and has acknowledged attending a Muslim school, but an aide said it was not a madrassa.(Watch video of Obama’s school Video)

Insight attributed the information in its article to an unnamed source, who said it was discovered by “researchers connected to Senator Clinton.” A spokesman for Clinton, who is alsoweighing a White House bid, denied that the campaign was the source of the Obama claim.

He called the story “an obvious right-wing hit job.”

Insight stood by its story in a response posted on its Web site Monday afternoon.

The Insight article was cited several times Friday on Fox News and was also referenced by the New York Post, The Glenn Beck program on CNN Headline News and a number of political blogs.

School not a madrassaBut reporting by CNN in Jakarta, Indonesia and Washington, D.C., shows the allegations that Obama attended a madrassa to be false. CNN dispatched Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate.

He visited the Basuki school, which Obama attended from 1969 to 1971.

“This is a public school. We don’t focus on religion,” Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. “In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don’t give preferential treatment.”

Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.

“I came here to Barack Obama’s elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some are calling an Islamic madrassa … like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Vause said on the “Situation Room” Monday. “I’ve been to those madrassas in Pakistan … this school is nothing like that.”

Vause also interviewed one of Obama’s Basuki classmates, Bandug Winadijanto, who claims that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils. Insight reported that Obama’s political opponents believed the school promoted Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam, “and are seeking to prove it.”

“It’s not (an) Islamic school. It’s general,” Winadijanto said. “There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. … So that’s a mixed school.”

The Obama aide described Fox News’ broadcasting of the Insight story “appallingly irresponsible.”

Fox News executive Bill Shine told CNN “Reliable Sources” anchor Howard Kurtz that some of the network’s hosts were simply expressing their opinions and repeatedly cited Insight as the source of the allegations.

Obama has noted in his two books, “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope,” that he spent two years in a Muslim school and another two years in a Catholic school while living in Indonesia fromage 6 to 10.

                                              ___________________

Let me suppose I’m a White Male, and I just don’t want to see a ‘Black Man’ as President of the United States, okay!

And let me suppose that because I’m in the Media ~ and a White Male (like Glenn Beck, Hannity, or my White Male bosses at Fox Cable News) ~ I KNOW that I can’t say, “I’d NEVER vote for a Black man” …. so I NEED something else to scare potential VOTERS away from this Black Man. So, let me float the Story that Barack Obama was schooled in a madrassa, just like Osama bin Laden!

And just think, Folks :

We’re damn near 2 YEARS away from the General Election!

But you know what: I’m quite certain Senator Obama is already Prepared for this Racist Nonsense. He has to be. This IS America, after all. Too, Senator Obama can take heart in knowing that John F. Kennedy had to endure the SAME kind of bigoted nonsense ~ only the ‘dig’ on Kennedy was his Catholic Religion.

See. That’s why I Commented on this crap the other day, because I KNOW how ‘Low’ American mentality on Race & Religion can get. I KNOW that a LOT of Americans will be blinded by Obama’s skin color or Name or Fox News (Right wing) kind of ‘hits’.

I saw ‘This Show’ before.

Same Show: Different Actor is all, baby.

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“It’s over out there!”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 23, 2007

                    The Felicity Daily Herald
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Republican opposition to Iraq plan grows

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 1 hour, 10 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Congressional Republicans pushed back Monday against President Bush‘s decision to increase troop strength in  Iraq, some voicing opposition while others urged holding the administration and Iraqi government more accountable for the war effort.

“We’ve had four other surges since we first went into Iraq,” said Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), referring to the administration’s plan for an additional 21,500 troops. “None of them produced a long-lasting change in the situation on the ground.

“So I am very skeptical that this surge would produce the desired outcome,” said the Maine Republican.

In the Senate, Collins joined two Republicans and one Democrat to unveil nonbinding legislation expressing disagreement with Bush’s plan. The president should consider “all options and alternatives” involving a smaller force, the measure said.

In the House, members of the leadership drafted a series of what they called “strategic benchmarks,” and said the White House should submit monthly reports to Congress measuring progress.

The developments occurred on the eve of Bush’s State of the Union address, and as Democrats pointed toward votes in the House and Senate on bills declaring that the troop increase is “not in the national interest of the United States.”

Republicans have struggled to respond in the two weeks since Bush outlined his new strategy. Though aware that the war played a role in the GOP defeat in last fall’s elections, most have been unwilling to abandon a president of their own party.

Both the Senate legislation and the action taken by the House Republican leaders are softer than the legislation that majority Democrats intend to place for a vote. But they also represent a more forceful response to the long and deadly war than the GOP offered while it held the majority in Congress.

More than 3,000 U.S. troops have been killed in the war, including 27 over the weekend and one more on Monday.

Democrats intend to make the war a part of their formal response to Bush’s nationally televised speech, tapping Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, a Vietnam veteran and former Republican Navy secretary, to speak.

In an interview with reporters, Webb ridiculed Bush’s new strategy as “just a lot more flailing around rather than coming up with something specific that’s going to end our involvement.”

Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Collins and Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record) of Minnesota in producing the legislation expressing disagreement with Bush’s plan. Sen. Ben Nelson (news, bio, voting record), D-Neb., joined them.

“I personally, speaking for myself, have great concern about the American G.I. being thrust into that situation, the origins of which sometimes go back over a thousand years,” Warner said.

Collins said some Republican senators did not feel comfortable with the Democratic-backed measure, but wanted to register their concern with Bush’s approach.

Unlike the measure backed by Democrats, Warner’s proposal would leave open the possibility of Bush sending a small number of additional troops to a specific region, such as Anbar province in the western part of Iraq.

Even so, the action taken by Collins, Coleman and him raised the number of Senate Republicans publicly opposed to the president’s plan to five. Sens. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record) of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe (news, bio, voting record) of Maine have said they back the Democrats’ resolution.

In the House, Rep. John Boehner (news, bio, voting record) of Ohio, the party’s leader, said he supports Bush’s plan and that his backing is not conditional on the president agreeing to meet the standards that lawmakers laid out.

He said he had told the president “that the support is still strong among Republicans but there are a lot of our members who are skeptical that the plan will work” because of doubts that the Iraqi government will follow through on its commitments.

Boehner also released a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., urging her to appoint a special committee of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats to oversee the “implementation and progress of the president’s new strategy for success in Iraq.”

As the majority party, Democrats generally are entitled to more seats on House committees than Republicans, and Pelosi quickly rejected the proposal. “Where were the Republicans the last four years?” said her spokesman, Brendan Daly. “They were in charge of Congress and did not hold the president accountable for his failed policy in Iraq, or on any number of other critical issues facing our nation.”

The House Republicans’ suggested “strategic benchmarks” apply largely to the Iraqi government, which has pledged additional troops to quell sectarian fighting and to restrain Shiite militia.

Republicans want the government to be measured on its cooperation with U.S. forces, its ability to purge its security forces of insurgents and their sympathizers and also on its ability to assure that Shiite, Sunni, Kurd and other groups are treated equally.

Democrats are expected to bring Iraq-related legislation to a vote in the days following Bush’s televised State of the Union address.

Warner said he would seek a vote on his alternative at the same time.

In the House, it was not clear whether Republicans intend to seek a vote on an alternative of their own, and if so, whether it would express support for Bush’s plan.

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Barring some ‘staged’ Terrorist Attack by THIS ADMINISTRATION, “It’s over out there!” said General George S. Patton has he looked out over a battlefield littered with broken down German equipment and carts. Patton’s comment could equally apply to the Presidency of George W. Bush.

When any President can’t hold his own Party together: It’s OVER for that Administration.

                                          Over.

In Bush’s case, these Republicans are not some renegade Group of wildcats and mavericks, but so-called distinguished Gentlemen like Warner, Hagel, and House Minority Leader John Boehner.

This ‘jumping ship’ of Republicans reminds me of the dark days during ‘Watergate” when Republicans baled on Dick Nixon in the 12th Hour; and we all know what Nixon did shortly after these desertions took place, don’t we.

My only regret as I watch Congress display their ‘balls’ to THIS ADMINISTRATION …. is that it didn’t take place prior to the “Iraq War Resolution” back in 2003. Because had that happened, our Treasury would be a lot fatter; over 3,000 more Men & Women in Uniform would have eaten dinner tonight with their families; and there’d been NO “Civil War” raging in Iraq tonight. 

I WRITE WHAT I LIKE

Scorpio

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