Sunday, 20 July 2008
PELOSI USES THE MALIKI LIE, TO LIE SOME MORE
I sometimes wonder if, during one or another of Nancy Pelosi's cosmetic
face surgeries, they took out a few chips. If so, one of them apparently
was her honesty chip (how did they ever find one that small?)
Here, via www.politico.com, is Pelosi's
immediate, jubilant use of the Der Speigel interview I blogged about earlier
today - the one that the Maliki government says was mistranslated and
denies. I've put the key part in bold print:
Pelosi calls for
high-level meeting with Iraqis
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
now has a major ally in his push for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.
troops from Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tells a German outlet
that he'd like to see troops leave "as soon as possible, as far as we are
concerned." He then added: "U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama is right
when he talks about 16 months."
Amanda Terkel with Think Progress is
down in Austin live-blogging former Vice President Al Gore's
address to the lefty
blogosphere. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced Gore and
also took questions, one of which was about Maliki's declaration.
"So with the prime minister saying its
time for you to go," she told the crowd, "I think its time for our country to
sit down with the Iraqis and work that plan out. [We need to be]
respectful of what the prime minister says, and respectful of the will of the
American people, who have been against this war for a long time...[We should]
have a high-level meeting with the Iraqis to work out the terms of our
deployment out of Iraq...So, the end could be in sight."
Yeah, Nancy. Thanks. In all the excitement of thinking you've
finally found a way to work us into a defeat in Iraq, you managed to
ignore the fact that maliki has put out a subsequent statement indicating that
is not at all what he said.
I showed the Reuters story with maliki's denial earlier. But just you
know it wasn't some fluke from one press agency, here is the Agence France
Presse version. Again, the bold print is mine:
Iraq denies PM backed Obama troop cut
BAGHDAD (AFP) Iraq on Sunday denied
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had made remarks backing US Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obamas plan to withdraw troops from the country
and demanding a quick pullout.
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that
Maliki in an interview had supported Obamas plan to withdraw most US troops
from Iraq within 16 months if he took office next January.
This would be the right timescale for
withdrawal, allowing for minor adjustments, Maliki reportedly told the news
magazine in the interview to be published on Monday.
Der Spiegel also said that Maliki demanded that
American forces leave Iraq as soon as possible.
To date, the United States is struggling to
agree on a concrete date for withdrawal because they view such a step as an
admission of defeat, which is not the case, Maliki was reported as saying.
But on Sunday Baghdad government
spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh denied Maliki had made the remarks, saying they had
been misunderstood and mistranslated and not conveyed accurately.
Dabbagh said that any statement by Maliki or
member of Iraqs government should not be understood as support for any US
And who did Pelosi get her information from? Those fiercely neutral
keepers of the flame at www.thinkprogress.com? Click on
the link and see if you would accept anything this bunch says at face value.
So here we have the Speaker of the House, second in line to succeed to the
presidency (after the VP), either accepting a lunatic-left blog's spew as being
factual, or just lying on her own.
What a pathetic loser Pelosi is.
Now let's see if the mainstream media make her pay for it in tomorrow's
editions. Or if Couric, Williams and Gibson can take time off from their
regularly scheduled drooling over Barack Obama to talk about it.
Lamentably, I think I already know the answer to both
I swear to you, I did not read what you are about to see before I put up the
previous blog. I read it about one minute afterwards. I don't play
games like that.
Here, courtesy of Reuters, is nouri al-maliki backing off what he
apparently said about supporting Barack Obama's withdrawal position:
Iraq PM did not back Obama troop exit plan:
Sunday, July 20,
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki did not back the plan of Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq and his
comments to a German magazine on the issue were misunderstood, the government's
spokesman said on Sunday.
said in a statement that Maliki's remarks to Der Spiegel were translated
The German magazine said
on Saturday that Maliki supported Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave
Iraq within 16 months. The interview was released on Saturday.
candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right
time frame for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes," Der
Spiegel quoted Maliki as saying.
Dabbagh said statements by
Maliki or any other member of the government should not be seen as support for
any U.S. presidential candidate.
Obama is visiting
Afghanistan and is set to go to Iraq as part of a tour of Europe and the Middle
were published a day after the White House said he and President George W. Bush
had agreed that a security agreement currently being negotiated between them
should include a "time horizon" for withdrawal of U.S.
Bush has long opposed
setting a timetable for withdrawal, and the White House said the time horizon
agreed by the two leaders was not as specific as a time frame pushed by
Democrats and could be adjusted based on conditions on the ground.
Well well well.
If you believe this version, maliki didn't say anything of the
kind. He's just misunderstood.
What we seem to have here is a classic have-your-cake-and-eat-it
routine. First maliki builds up his population's collective ego with
comments that suggest they don't need any help sustaining the fragile democracy
that the USA provided them with. Then he assures us he is being
Do you doubt that he will use the first headline in Iraq and the second
one in Washington DC?
What a clumsy liar nouri al-maliki is.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
nouri al-maliki is the Prime Minister of Iraq for one reason and one reason
only: The United States gave Iraq the opportunity to vote in a free
And now, after a year of the surge of OUR troops with OUR
soldiers spending OUR money why is he talking as though we are his
Can maliki possibly think the Iraqi army now, or for certain in the next 16
months, will be able to sustain this freedom by itself - a freedom most of the
rest of the Arab world despises and al-qaeda was willing to send fighters from
so many other countries to destroy?
Here is the interview with maliki just published in the German magazine,
Der Spiegel. In writing this blog I am taking it at face value (subject to
revision if I find out afterwards that it was framed differently than he said
it). The bold print is mine:
Iraq Leader Maliki Supports Obama's Withdrawal
In an interview with
SPIEGEL, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Barack Obama's 16 timeframe
for a withdrawal from Iraq is the right one.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
supports US presidential candidate Barack Obama's plan to withdraw US troops
from Iraq within 16 months. When asked in and interview with SPIEGEL when he
thinks US troops should leave Iraq, Maliki responded "as soon as possible, as
far as we are concerned." He then continued: "US presidential candidate Barack
Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a
withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."Maliki was careful to back away from outright
support for Obama. "Of course, this is by no means an election endorsement. Who
they choose as their president is the Americans' business," he said. But then,
apparently referring to Republican candidate John McCain's more open-ended Iraq
policy, Maliki said: "Those who operate on the premise of short time periods in
Iraq today are being more realistic. Artificially prolonging the tenure of US
troops in Iraq would cause problems."
Iraq, Maliki went on to say, "would like to see
the establishment of a long-term strategic treaty with the United States, which
would govern the basic aspects of our economic and cultural relations." He also
emphasized though that the security agreement between the two countries should
only "remain in effect in the short term."
The comments by the Iraqi leader come as Obama
embarks on a trip to both Afghanistan and Iraq as well as to Europe. Obama was
in Afghanistan on Saturday to, as he said prior to his trip, "see what the
situation on the ground is and thank our troops for the heroic work that
they've been doing." The exact itinerary of the candidate's trip has not been
made public out of security concerns, but it is widely expected that he will
arrive in Iraq on Sunday to meet with Maliki.
Maliki has long shown
impatience with the open-ended presence of US troops in Iraq. In his
conversation with SPIEGEL, he was once again candid about his frustration over
the Bush administration's hesitancy about agreeing to a timetable for the
withdrawal of US troops. But he did say he was optimistic that such a schedule
would be drawn up before Bush leaves the White House next January -- a
confidence that appeared justified following Friday's joint announcement in
Baghdad and Washington that Bush has now, for the first time, spoken of "a
general time horizon" for moving US troops out of Iraq.
"So far the Americans have had trouble
agreeing to a concrete timetable for withdrawal, because they feel it would
appear tantamount to an admission of defeat," Maliki told SPIEGEL. "But that
isn't the case at all. If we come to an agreement, it is not evidence of a
defeat, but of a victory, of a severe blow we have inflicted on al-Qaida and the
He also bemoaned the fact that Baghdad has little
control over the US troops in Iraq. "It is a fundamental problem for us that it
should not be possible, in my country, to prosecute offences or crimes committed
by US soldiers against our population," Maliki said.
At least he acknowledged that a prescribed withdrawal would be because we won
the war - at least so far - and not because we lost it. The problem,
however, is that if we leave this way our win might very well turn into a loss
because of how we leave.
I would like to think that this is all political -- that maliki
is saying this publicly to boost up his people's self esteem and make them
feel that they, rather than the USA, are responsible for the level of freedom
which now exists in Iraq.
But I have a lot of trouble convincing myself of this, knowing that maliki's
comments could facilitate the election of Barack Obama. Because if
that happens, his false nationalistic bravado might result in a "who cares
what happens to 'em, we're outta here" policy that will make him and his
country rue the day this interview was given.
Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it. There's a
saying nouri al-maliki should think about.
MASSACHUSETTS: THE CORRUPTION OF A ONE-PARTY STATE
Jeff Jacoby has written a great column for today's Boston
Since it is talking about corruption in the one-party state of Massachusetts,
and that one party is the Democratic Party, you won't see much about
it anywhere else. So read Mr. Jacoby's fact-fillled column below
and either feel pity for or be infuriated by the biased media which
allow it to continue virtually unreported:
ARE WE ANGRY ENOUGH TO FIGHT BACK?
July 20, 2008
red-necks, suckers, and fellow hicks," he would say, leaning forward, leaning at
them, looking at them. . . . "That's what you are. And me -- I'm one, too . . .
Oh, I'm a sucker, for I fell for that sweet-talking fellow in the fine
automobile . . . But I'm standing here on my own hind legs, for even a dog can
learn to do that, give him time. I learned. It took me a time but I learned, and
here I am on my own hind legs." And he would lean at them. And demand, "Are you,
are you on your hind legs? Have you learned that much yet? You think you can
learn that much?"
- From "All The King's Men"
by Robert Penn Warren
clenched, blood pressures spiked, and radio talk-show hosts spontaneously
combusted when the Boston Globe reported last week
that the $15 billion Big Dig -- formerly known as the $12.2 billion Big Dig, and
more formerly as the $7.7 billion Big Dig, and even, once upon a time, as the
$2.5 billion Big Dig -- will in fact cost a staggering $22 billion and not be
paid off until 2038.
four-lane Ted Williams Tunnel, which runs under Boston Harbor
Airport, was the first major element of the Big Dig to be completed.
at $2.5 billion, the Big Dig is now
expected to cost at least $22 billion.
1 story was filled with infuriating details, such as the revelation that 80
percent of Massachusetts Highway Department employees are being paid with
State politicians originally sold voters on the Big
Dig in part by assuring them that
would pick up 90 percent of the
cost. In reality, nearly three-fourths of the tab is coming from the pockets of
drivers and taxpayers. What we were told in the 1980s would set us back about
$350 million will actually cost us more than 50 times as much.
as Willie Stark would say, are you on your hind legs yet? Are you good and angry?
also brought the story of Albert Arroyo, a
firefighter who applied for disability retirement in March on the grounds that
he was left "totally and permanently disabled" after tripping on a staircase in
March. He went on injured leave and continued to collect his full salary, tax
free. But Arroyo's "total and permanent disability," it appears, wasn't very
disabling. In May he entered a men's bodybuilding competition, and finished
eighth. When the fire commissioner learned of Arroyo's bodybuilding prowess, he
shifted him from injured leave to regular sick leave. He continued to receive a
paycheck without working, but it was now taxable. (Not until Friday was Arroyo
finally ordered to return to work.)
infuriate you to learn that this was not the first time Arroyo went on leave for
an "injury," but the sixth? Or to learn that more than 100
recently won lucrative disability pensions under circumstances so suspicious
that the FBI has opened an investigation?
there are all the other public employees milking the
system. Dozens collect payouts of more than $100,000 a year -- former state Senate president William Bulger, for
example, rakes in more than $197,000, a fitting cap to a long career spent
gorging at the public trough. Scores of "double-dippers" retire early on full
pensions, then get themselves hired back on the public payroll at full salaries.
When ex-Big Dig director Michael Lewis retired last year, his pension was tripled and became immediately payable under a nutty state law that
rewards government employees whose positions are eliminated. For the rest of his
life, Lewis will receive more than $72,500 annually, despite the fact that he is
only 46, and is making $130,000 a year as Rhode
's secretary of
after column could be filled with the ways the Massachusetts political class and
its hangers-on play taxpayers for suckers -- the gold-plated tax breaks for moviemakers, the insanely lucrative sick-time buybacks, the
indefensible police details, the
paid holidays, the
"temporary" tax hikes that last forever, the state budgets
that keep growing even as family budgets shrink.
never end -- not until the suckers get riled up enough to fight back. Not until
they start throwing incumbents out of office, instead of blindly re-electing
them. Not until they stop letting themselves be treated as ATMs for politicians
and doormats for public-employee unions. Not until they force their public
"servants" to defer to them, instead of the other way around.
on your hind legs?" Willie Stark would say. "Have you learned that much yet?"
Well, have you?
Sadly, I am certain the voters of Massachusetts have not learned a thing yet. And won't for a long time. Too
bad for them. On the other hand, I'm not sheeding any tears; they are
getting exactly what they deserve.
But does this teach the rest of us about the danger of electing one
party governance -- especially the Democratic Party, which is what
Massachusetts is suffering with?
I guess we'll find out in November, won't we?
QUICK, GET THEM SOME MEAT!
I'll let Steve Gilbert at www.sweetness-light.com take this one
-- although with the word "light" anywhere in sight I have to wonder if he's the
right guy for the job:
July 19th, 2008
From a heartbroken National Public Radio:
[NPR caption:] Angelica Hernandez (left) and
her mother, Gloria Nunez, struggle to make ends meet on a very limited
For Some Ohioans, Even Meat Is Out Of
by Yuki Noguchi
All Things Considered, July 17, 2008 A
generation ago, the livelihood of Gloria Nunezs family was built on cars.
Her father worked at General Motors for 45 years
before retiring. Her mother taught drivers education. Nunez and her
six siblings grew up middle class.
Things have changed considerably for this Ohio
Nunezs van broke down last fall.
Now, her 19-year-old daughter has no reliable transportation out of their
subsidized housing complex in Fostoria, 40 miles south of Toledo, to
look for a job.
Nunez and most of her siblings and
their spouses are unemployed and rely on government assistance and food
stamps. Some have part-time jobs, but working is made more difficult
with no car or public transportation
I Just Cant Get A Job
Nunez, 40, has never worked and
has no high school degree. She says a car accident 17 years ago left her
depressed and disabled, incapable of getting a job. Instead, she and her
daughter, Angelica Hernandez, survive on a $637 Social Security check and $102
in food stamps.
Hernandez received her high school diploma and
has had several jobs in recent years. But now, because fewer
restaurants and stores are hiring, she says she finds it hard to find a job.
Even if she could, she says its particularly hard to imagine how shell keep
it. She says she needs someone to give her a lift just to get to an interview.
And with gas prices so high, shes not sure she could afford to pay
someone to drive her to work every day.
People tell Nunez her daughter could get
more money in public assistance if she had a child.
A lot of people have told me,
Why dont your daughter have a kid?
They both reject that as a
Im trying to get a job, Hernandez says.
I just cant get a job.
Whats Going To Happen To Us?
Most of their extended family
lives in the same townhouse complex
The only one with a car is Irma Hernandez,
Shes now two car payments behind.
Im about to lose my car, she says on her way
to pick up one of her daughters to take her to Toledo. So then whats
going to happen to us?
So Nunez and her daughter are mostly stuck at
The rising cost of food means
their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries $100 used to buy
about 12 bags of groceries, but now its more like seven or eight. So they cut
back on expensive items like meat, and they dont buy extras like ice cream
anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and
Gosh, this is horrible. Its just like the famines
in Ethiopia or Biafra.
People tell Nunez her daughter could get more
money in public assistance if she had a child.
A lot of people have told me, Why dont your
daughter have a kid?
They both reject that as a plan.
There you have it. The indomitable human spirit at