Some Republican strategists are increasingly upset with what they consider the overconfidence of President Bush and his senior advisers about the midterm elections November 7–a concern aggravated by the president’s news conference this week.
“They aren’t even planning for if they lose,” says a GOP insider who informally counsels the West Wing. If Democrats win control of the House, as many analysts expect, Republicans predict that Bush’s final two years in office will be marked by multiple congressional investigations and gridlock.
Or perhaps all bills from Diebold are paid already, and he’s simply not worrying about the outcome anymore…
“President Bush said today the U.S. will not attack North Korea. Oh sure, but we may liberate them.”
I’m transcribing this – it’s worth it so you can read it.
BLITZER: Iraq, many experts believe, will be the key issue voters will consider when they vote in the midterm elections, now less than four weeks away. And part of both parties’ strategies is to try to convince you that you’d be better off with them in control.
Joining us from Cleveland, the former Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia; here in our DC Bureau Terry Jeffrey, he’s the editor of Human Events. Thanks very much to both of you for coming in.
Senator Cleland, the President of the United States was very forceful yesterday in depicting you and other Democrats as being a party in his words of “cut and run”. Listen to what he said.
[Begin clip of Bush]
BUSH: When you pull out before the job is done, that’s cut and run as far as I’m concerned. And that’s cut and run as far as most Americans are concerned. And so yeah – I will continue reminding them of their words. And their votes.
BLITZER: What other Republican strategists are saying, they’re going to try to do to other Democrats what they did to you when you lost your bid for re-election in Georgia. What do you make of this Republican strategy?
This is where it gets good.
CLELAND: Well first of all, I’d like to remind the American people and the President that he cut and ran from Vietnam. So did his Vice President. I mean, they cut and ran from Osama Bin Laden. They’re cutting and running from American veterans – they spend $8 billion a month in Iraq and underfund the VA by $6 billion a year according to the Congressional Budget Office.
This cut and run stuff is just bumper sticker stuff. It is not a plan to win, it is certainly not an exit strategy. So, we have 140,000 troops on the ground getting blown up and shot in a civil war, it’s time to redeploy them, bring our Guard and Reserve home to guard our own borders and go after Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. It’s still Al Qaeda, stupid. And that’s what the President doesn’t get.
Max is definitely not keeping his powder dry. He’s aiming to use it.
BLITZER: You know, a lot of Americans agree with the Senator, Terry. In our most recent CNN poll we asked if you favor or oppose the US war in Iraq. Look at this: 32% say they favor it, 62% say they oppose it. That’s the lowest number of support for the war since we’ve been conducting these polls over the past three and a half years.
JEFFREY: Well Wolf, I agree with Senator Cleland that cut and run can become a bumper sticker and it’s really not going to be helpful for Republicans, but the truth is that a lot of Democrats like Senator Cleland voted to authorize this war…
JEFFREY: Now we have both a moral responsibility and a responbility to our national interests to make sure that in the way we get out of the Iraq war we don’t entail greater consequences than we are suffering right now. So I think it is a good strategy for the President and other Republicans to point out that Democrats are not presenting a realistic, viable alternative for getting out of Iraq without bringing on consequences.
Republican talking point dreck, but I will point out that the tone regarding getting out is softer. He has NOT just said that getting out is uncalled for or wrong – rather, the way we get out matters. Surprising.
BLITZER: What is a realistic, viable alternative, Senator?
CLELAND: Get out. Redeploy. Take care of our own troops. I think that’s what we’re talking about here. We do not have a plan to win. Stay the course is no strategy. It is no strategy to win, it is no strategy to exit. We’re just getting kids blown up. We’ve lost 2,700 kids over there, we’ve got 20,000 wounded, 10,000 wounded for life, maimed for life, and it’s time to end this thing. Now the Iraqis are going to settle their differences. One way or the other. They’ve been at this for 5,000 years. Let them have it. Iraq it is not our 51st state. We’ve got to take care of our country – we’ve got to bring the Guard and Reserve home to take care of our country, we’ve got to focus our active forces – active covertly and overtly, on killing or capturing Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist cadre. They are the real threats to America right now.
Israel Sarrio had a problem. His arm was torn off in a car accident in Spain. Doctors tried to re-attach the arm, but there was a problem… the stump developed an infection.
There was no choice but to remove the arm, but they decided to do a groundbreaking, first time ever surgery, where they would attach his arm to arteries in his groin in order to keep it alive while the infection in the stump could be treated.
For nine days he stayed in this condition, until the infection cleared up and the docs were able to successfully reattach the arm. At the time they figured he’d be able to use it and everything, although with less mobility in the fingers. There hasn’t been an update on his story in two years, but somehow the photo has made it out to the net and so here it is
Een onafhankelijke commissie gaat de betrouwbaarheid en veiligheid van het hele stemproces bij verkiezingen onder de loep nemen. Dat heeft minister Atzo Nicolaï (Bestuurlijke Vernieuwing) donderdag beloofd aan de Tweede Kamer. Fabrikant Nedap vervangt de software van de huidige machines.
Ondertussen moeten extra maatregelen er volgens Nicolaï voor zorgen dat de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van 22 november betrouwbaar verlopen. Aanleiding voor het debat waren de twijfels die onlangs zijn gerezen over de betrouwbaarheid van de stemmachines die in vrijwel het hele land worden gebruikt. De actiegroep Wijvertrouwenstemcomputersniet.nl stelde vorige week dat de meeste apparaten niet beveiligd en daardoor zeer fraudegevoelig zijn.
De belangrijkste fabrikant van stemmachines, Nedap, is bezig alle ruim 8000 apparaten bij gemeenten stuk voor stuk te controleren. Het bedrijf kijkt of er de afgelopen tijd aan de machine is gerommeld, zet er een nieuwe chip en niet-herprogrammeerbare software in en doet het apparaat vervolgens op slot met een unieke ijzeren zegel, aldus Nicolaï. Rond 1 november is de hele klus naar verwachting geklaard.
Dus per 2 november staat de verkiezingsuitslag definitief vast: de chips zijn immers niet-herprogrammeerbaar (wat dat ook betekent). Maurice de Hond kan die dag stoppen met peilen.
Five conservative nonprofit organizations, including one run by prominent Republican Grover Norquist, “appear to have perpetrated a fraud” on taxpayers by selling their clout to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Senate investigators said in a report issued yesterday.
The report includes previously unreleased e-mails between the now-disgraced lobbyist and officers of the nonprofit groups, showing that Abramoff funneled money from his clients to the groups. In exchange, the groups, among other things, produced ostensibly independent newspaper op-ed columns or news releases that favored the clients’ positions.
Officers of the groups “were generally available to carry out Mr. Abramoff’s requests for help with his clients in exchange for cash payments,” said the report, issued by the Senate Finance Committee. The report was written by the Democratic staff after a yearlong investigation and authorized by the Republican chairman, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).
It went well until everyone decided to do introductions and handshakes.
“Foley, Jack Abramoff.”
Then things got weird.
One day, a U.S. soldier entering tense situations without the assistance of an Arabic interpreter might rely on two-way translation software in mobile computers.
This year the military’s Joint Forces Command has been testing laptops with such software in Iraq. When someone speaks into a microphone attached to the computer, the machine translates it into Arabic and reads that translation aloud over the PC’s speakers. The software then translates the Arabic speaker’s response and utters it in English.
This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.
The head of the British Army has said the presence of UK armed forces in Iraq “exacerbates the security problems”.
In an interview in the Daily Mail, Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, is quoted as saying the British should “get out some time soon”.
BBC political editor Nick Robinson described Sir Richard’s remarks as “quite extraordinary”.
He said the new head of British army was “effectively saying we are making the situation worse in Iraq and worse for ourselves around the world by being in Iraq”.
The comments “directly contradicted so much of what the government had said”, our correspondent added.