Friday, September 14, 2007

Petraeus to Congress: the surge is working

... exactly what the Democrats feared...

WaPo - Army Gen. David H. Petraeus told Congress yesterday that the deployment of 30,000 more troops to Iraq has made enough progress that the additional combat forces can be pulled out by next summer, but he cautioned against "rushing to failure" with a larger and speedier withdrawal.

In what some called the most anticipated congressional testimony by a general since the Vietnam War, Petraeus presented an upbeat picture of improving security conditions in Iraq and offered a grim forecast of the "devastating consequences" of a more rapid pullout. Petraeus said his forces "have dealt significant blows" to al-Qaeda in Iraq but warned that Iran is now fighting a "proxy war" against Iraqi and U.S. forces there.

The partial troop pullout Petraeus outlined in a joint appearance with Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker represents a modest acceleration of what military planners were privately forecasting but is the first drawdown the two men have publicly supported since becoming the top U.S. military and civilian officials in Baghdad. President Bush, in a televised national address later this week, is likely to adopt the recommendation for this rollback of his troop "surge," while war critics immediately condemned it as too little, too late.

Of course the Dems didn't let a little good news prevent them from trying to discredit the General at every chance. They didn't debate his ideas or try to debunk his facts; they went after him. There is of course the Public Relations arm of the Democratic Party,'s full page ad in the NYTimes, "General Petraeus or General 'Betray Us'?". And don't think that it is simply a coincidence that this ran in the NYTimes either. Why would the NYTimes give a 60% discount on the full page ad? A full page, nationwide ad space in the NYT normally goes for between $182K-$167K. only paid $65K. Why the discount NYT? Is Soros running low on cash? Are the Dem's really that hard up for money now that Hillary gave back (some of) that money from her criminal supporter, Norman Hsu?

You'd think that perhaps the Dems might try to get what they believe to be the real facts out of Petraeus. This is their chance! The man with the answers sitting right there in front of them! Clinton, Reid, Boxer, et al "know" that the war is a failure and this would be their chance to prove it! But instead of asking questions, they wasted their 8 minute window of opportunity to preach, bluster, and opine from their little soap boxes. That's what California's distinguished Senator Boxer did. So did Sen. Obama. Boxer's question speech was so long the General will have to reply via letter to it, which is exactly what they wanted. They get to talk uninterrupted and no one gets the chance to argue. Heaven forbid they actually have to deal with facts.

But perhaps this apparent ineptitude in the face of the facts on the ground in Iraq could be why Rep. Pelosi accused this reporter of being biased when he asked how we could view her stewardship of Congress as anything other than a failure. She insinuated that surely he was a Fox News plant. But no, he's from CBS. His question has from so far to the left that it just must have seemed like the vast right wing conspiracy. Pelosi should know better though... The left relies on hatchet job reporting. The right simply tries to stay with the facts.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We will not forget...

September 11th, 2001.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Current market woes claim another victim...

The mortgage industry is getting hammered, and I'm another casualty. In a company paying commission only to the sales force and loan processing staff, I was the only salaried employee in the company other than the owners. After closing branch offices in an effort to cut overhead, there isn't much else left to cut other than staff...

But it looks like I won't be the only one looking for work...

Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest U.S. mortgage company, plans to cut its workforce by 10,000 to 12,000 in the largest round of firings since the industry's contraction began last year.

New U.S. home loans probably will drop 25 percent in 2008 from this year's levels, forcing the company to eliminate as much as 20 percent of its staff, Calabasas, California-based Countrywide said in a statement yesterday.

More than 15,000 jobs have been lost this week amid the worst U.S. housing slump in 16 years. IndyMac Bancorp, the second-biggest mortgage company, National City Corp. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. cut staff. At least 100 mortgage companies have sought buyers or halted lending since the start of 2006, and foreclosures in the second quarter rose to a record, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington.

Time to look for something new.

How well does blogging pay?

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Better late than never...

Fred Thompson confirmed all the rumors about his presidential candidacy last night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

From his 15 or so minutes he actually made some decent points... his support of the war and being respected by the "international community" instead of being liked. Based on his appearance last night (and I really don't know much else about him or his views) he seems to have a solid grasp of things and certainly comes across in a straightforward, easy to understand manner.

If his campaign team doesn't fall apart on him, he certainly can't be counted out...

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Schumer says the surge isn't working

Huh? Can anyone follow this man's warped logic?

Looks like the Dems are trying to discredit Petraeus' upcoming report before he even gives it.

Perhaps becuase Schumer, like his colleague in the House Rep. Jim Clyburn, realizes that a positive report from Petraeus would be "a real big problem for us."

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sen. Craig's resignation not worth the paper it's written on

What the hell is this guy thinking? Does he really want to withdraw his previous plea and have this go to trial? This bathroom sex scandal will be just the tip of the iceberg...

WASHINGTON - To the dismay of fellow Republicans, Sen. Larry Craig launched a determined drive to save his seat on Wednesday, vowing to stay in office if allowed to withdraw his guilty plea in a men's room sex sting.

Craig's campaign suffered an instant setback, however, when the ethics committee refused to set aside a complaint lodged against him. "Pending Sen. Craig's resignation, the committee will continue to review this matter," the committee's senior senators wrote.

Craig's decision to deploy his legal team marked a reversal of his pledge to resign on Sept. 30, and raised the possibility of a protracted legal and political struggle, much of it playing out in public, with gay sex at its core.

Please just resign Seantor. You've slimed yourself and the party enough already.

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Major terrorist plot broken up by Germans

The arrests were made because it appeared that attacks were imminent. The US base at Ramstein was a primary target along with Frankfurt International Airport.

BERLIN - Three militants from an Islamic group linked to al-Qaida were planning "massive" bomb attacks against Americans in Germany when an elite antiterrorist unit raided their small-town hideout after months of police surveillance, officials said Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the suspects — two German converts and a Turkish citizen sharing a "profound hatred of U.S. citizens" — had military-style detonators and enough material to make bombs more powerful than those that killed 191 people in Madrid in 2004 and 52 commuters in London two years ago.

[...] Germany's elite GSG-9 anti-terrorist unit arrested two of the suspects Tuesday at a vacation home in Oberschledorn, a town of some 900 people in central Germany. A third suspect fled through a bathroom window, but was caught about 300 meters (yards) away, authorities said.

[...] During the first part of the year, they acquired 12 containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which officials said can easily be combined with other material to make explosives.

As a token of the intense surveillance by German police, prosecutors said that during the investigation they were able to replace the dangerous peroxide in the containers with a harmless solution without the knowledge of the suspects.

The containers were first kept in a garage in the Black Forest region in southern Germany. Subsequently, one of the three rented a vacation cottage in Oberschledorn under a false name on Aug. 17.

On Sept. 2, the two other suspects joined him there with the intention, officials said, of making bombs using detonators and electrical components they had obtained.

Police decided to move in when the suspects moved one of the containers to the cottage, fearing an attack could be in the offing. The more than 700 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of peroxide could have made a bomb with the explosive power of some 550 kilograms (1,200 pounds) of dynamite.

"This would have enabled them to make bombs with more explosive power than the ones used in the London and Madrid bombings," Joerg Ziercke, head of the Federal Crime Office, Germany's equivalent of the FBI, said at the news conference.

Terrorists love to mark important anniversaries (like 9/11) with more death and destruction, so we were probably less than a week away from a massive terrorist attack. Hopefully, German officials can use information obtained from these would-be terrorists to take down other terrorist organizers in teh al Qaeda food chain.

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