Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bush names Fuzzy Zoeller as World Bank President?

So on top of being a world class golfer, Fuzzy is a top-notch economist too. Who knew?

Oh... Zoellick. Not Zoeller. My bad.

Here's some quotes from the White House and his formal introduction by Dubya.

*Bob Zoellick brings a wealth of experience and energy to this task. Over the past three decades he's held important posts in government, business and higher education. And in these posts he has worked on issues ranging from German unification, Latin American debt relief, to the transition of post-Soviet economies. For the past six years -- or most of the past six years, he has served as a member of my Cabinet. As the United States Trade Representative, he helped bring China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization, launched the Doha Round of trade talks at the WTO, and significantly increased the number of U.S. free trade agreements.

Bob has had a strong voice for Africa. He's helped implement the African Growth and Opportunity Act that has increased America's trade with that continent. He has served on the board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an initiative designed to change the way we deliver foreign aid. In 2005, I asked Bob to serve as the Deputy Secretary of State. In that role, he managed a global staff of 57,000 people, he played a leading role in our engagement with China, and he traveled frequently to Darfur and Southern Sudan to help find a path for peace. Most recently, he has been vice chairman international at Goldman Sachs. In short, it would probably be easier to list all the jobs Bob hasn't had.

Bob sounds like a fine choice, but to be honest we here at Cake or Death didn't bring this up to give the thumbs up or down to Fuzzy Zoeller's 2nd cousin. We were more than a little shocked at some of the World Bank numbers.

The US is the World Bank's largest donor. Fabulous. Is there an international organization that we aren't the largest donor of? That's probably a much shorter list... and easier to digest...

The World Bank donated $9.5 billion last year to the poorest countries. Half of that went to sub-Saharan Africa. I want to support Africa and all, but I'd have to say at least 75% of that money donated to African nations was probably wasted by the corrupt governments. Maybe 25% actually went to helping the poor. So we're only wasting a quarter of the money we give to the world bank. Awesome.

We've really got to reign in this out of control spending and giving money away to people and nations who'd just as soon spit on us as thank us sounds like a good place to start.

With a name like Fuzzy though, I just don't think he's got the will power to say no...

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

John Edwards dismisses the GWOT as a bumper sticker slogan

It's nice to know that our candidates for president take national secrurity and the most important issue of our day so seriously.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S.-led war on terrorism is "a bumper sticker, not a plan" that has weakened Washington's global standing, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said on Wednesday as he unveiled his defense policy plans. [original speech text here.]

[...] "By framing this as a 'war,' we have walked straight into the trap that the terrorists have set -- that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war against Islam," said the former senator from North Carolina.

[...] "Finally, we need a diplomatic offensive to engage the rest of the world in Iraq's future -- including Middle Eastern nations and our allies in Europe," Edwards told a meeting of the New York-based think tank. The council has invited all the presidential candidates to speak, and Edwards was the first in the series.

Gee I thought pursuing terrorists and the nations that sponsor them sounds like a pretty good idea to me, but Edwards would rather pull all the troops out and have them prevent al Qaeda from making Iraq a stronghold from somewhere other than in Iraq. Maybe he can work out with Murtha a way to have our troops fight al Qaeda in Iraq from Okinawa. That's be great.

And while we're wishing on a star, I could use a couple million bucks. Maybe Edwards will give me a donation from his high volume of bumper sticker sales.

And I'd like to see how this diplomatic offense would work... Bomb them with paperwork? Staple them to death? Hope the terrorists suffer severe paper cuts? And pray that when they promise to never kill innocent people again they actually mean it?

Edwards, why don't you use some of your millions and buy yourself a clue?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Al Qaeda and bin Laden's direct role in Iraq

It's always nice to see intel declassified that supports the war in Iraq and the GWOT in general... even if it's released 2 years late and so infrequently it can be easily ignored by the MSM.

That's why you guys read blogs though...

NEW LONDON, Connecticut (Reuters) - Trying to rally support for an unpopular war, President George W. Bush used declassified intelligence on Wednesday to equate the U.S.-led fight in Iraq with the broader battle against al Qaeda.

[...] The White House said the intelligence declassified on Tuesday provided further evidence of bin Laden's connections to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of Iraq's al Qaeda wing, who was killed in a U.S. air strike in June 2006.

Bush said bin Laden had ordered Zarqawi in January 2005 to form a cell to conduct attacks outside of Iraq and to make America his "number one priority."

Yes this is 2 year old intelligence, but I sure wish Dubya would release this stuff in a more timely manner. No wonder his approval rating is at 33 (sad thing is that the Democratic Congress has a 29% approval rating) and support for the war is dwindling.

But of course the article is quick to dismiss the report as "politically motivated".

Well duh! He's got to try to gain some political support from the public because the MSM is fighting him tooth and nail at every step of the way. If the media simply reported the news and didn't spin it for their own motives, he wouldn't have to have timely releases of declassified intelligence to scrap for public approval.

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I'm back!

It's scary how time flies when you haven't blogged in a while...

Everything's going fine over in the Wookie household, I was just too busy at work to blog. I rarely blog from home, especially since the little Wookette was born. So that really just leaves work, and since they'd been drowning me in paperwork lately, my blogging suffered. True only 3 off you noticed the hiatus, but we love our loyal readers here at Cake or Death, so I'm back.

And to be truly honest, I really wasn't very excited about blogging anything lately. Nothing in the news was really grabbing my attention. I needed a jumpstart and who'd have guessed it'd come in the form of an email forward.

The Fetching Mrs. Wookie hasn't been feeling well the past couple days, so in her recovery time, she sent out a few forwards. Some are political, some are religious, some are just fun, but one in particular caught a couple people's attentions which led to an interesting reply.

The email in question was about, the Religion of Peace. A state employee was participating in a regular training session that included representatives from Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim faiths who were there to summarize their beliefs. Each got their turn to speak, and when the Q&A period came the original author of the email asked the Imam some pointed questions regarding jihad (holy war against infidels), infidels (non-believers), and who qualifies to be labelled as an infidel (anyone not Mulsim), and what devout Muslims are supposed do to infidels (namely, kill them). It was interesting in that the Imam acknowledged everything including the interpretation that Muslims are supposed to kill infidels. But it was the replies to the email that the Fetching Mrs. Wookie got that started the blogging juices flowing again.

One friend replied back saying how emails like this promote discrimination and hatred, that Muslims are a peaceful religious community, and that we ought to do the Christian thing and stop such prejudiced emails.

That got me a little fired up.

My reply was as follows...

The problem is that the vocal sects are the ones with the extremist tendencies and the peaceful Muslims around the world stand by and say nothing as the extremists in their midst tarnish the good name of their religion. If a Christian commits crime in the name of Christianity, pastors, clerics, and priests around the world would (and have) publicly denounce the extremists’ actions as evil and not in accordance with their religion’s beliefs. But where are the Imams publicly defending their peaceful religion that’s been hijacked by ruthless killers? They are unfortunately to few and far between.

The email was in no way an attack on the millions of peaceful Muslims here in the US or abroad. It was certainly an indictment and criticism of how their religion has been distorted, but not distorted by US citizens or those who distribute these emails. It wasn’t distorted by the news media or our government. Its good name is being destroyed by its own practitioners; those who peacefully practice their religion but say nothing as well as those who murder in the name of Allah.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

So you can either view this email as an attempt to incite hatred and prejudice against Muslims or you can view it as an attempt to flush out those who smear the true nature of Islam and motivate Islam’s peaceful but silent followers to publicly ostracize those who abuse their religion.

It's good to be back...

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"You're cursed Jack..."

"... Everything you touch, in one way or another ends up dead."

And SecDef Heller is saying that like it's a bad thing?! If you're job is national security for a sooper-sekret covert agency, then that's a very good thing. Terrorists have a tendency to turn up dead when you send Jack Bauer after them.

Of course the down side is that Jack goes through wives and girlfriends rather quickly. And the downside for Kim Bauer fans is that she always has these near death experiences; at least two a season for the seasons she's been a part of. Whether it mountain lions or Edgar-eating toxic gas, Kim always narrowly escapes death.

But that makes us here at Cake or Death wonder, did Jack pass this grim reaper-like quality on to his daughter? We believe he did, only she can't control it. Where Jack is like the grim reaper or Chuck Norris, killing at will, Kim is like the plague, death simply wipes out everything in her wake. Her mom? Dead. Chase? Lost his arm, probably dead. New psycho-babble boyfriend from last season? I'm sure he's OD'd by now. Jack even had to fake his death to get away from her.

So while this may be bad for Kim Bauer fans everywhere, at least it's an excuse to try to convince 24 writers to bring back Kim next season as the ultimate WMD. Oh, and it's an excuse to put up a nice little pic too...

So while you enjoy Kim, enjoy this week's Jack Bauer Moment of ZenTM:

Chuck Norris Jack Bauer doesn't have to wait 30 minutes after a big meal to go swimming. He can swim whenever he wants.

The tighter the jeans on Chuck Norris Jack Bauer, the more kick ass he becomes.

Chuck Norris Jack Bauer actually speaks three languages: English, Pain, and Death. He is currently working on a fourth language, Dismemberment, and is doing quite well.

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