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Posts Made By: Rod Kaufman

February 1, 2005 06:49 PM Forum: Politics

European Union Pledges 260 million for Iraq

Posted By Rod Kaufman

CNN reported that Bush thanked the European union for it's pledge of monetary relief in Iraq and Bush is also pushing foreign governments to support the new Iraqi government as it takes shape. Fine, how about Ms Rice following-up on it and requesting more "humanitarian aid" for Iraq?. What's the worst that could happen? Somebody could say no? Since Ms Rice is on her multi-nation tour, how about a request for more assistance for Iraq from our allies and an effort to build upon the success of the election? Can she not try? I suppose that might take innovation and creativity from the white house, so the chances are slim unless of course the allies take it upon themselves to contribute on their own volition, just as the european union did...

February 2, 2005 08:05 PM Forum: Politics

CNN: US Condoned Iraq Oil Smuggling

Posted By Rod Kaufman

CNN is reporting it has documents that reveal the US government knew about and condoned embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein. Billions of dollars flowed to Iraq and far more than Saddam pocketed, according to the report. A committee looking at this asks," How is it that you stand on a moral footing to go after the UN when they're responsible for 15% maybe of the ill-gotten gains and we were part and complicit of him getting 85% of the money?".
And the cons throw stones at the UN!

February 2, 2005 08:14 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Let's be more like the

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Perhaps the europeans should be more like us and privately condone such things as 85% of the oil smuggling that SH got profits from during the UN oil embargo...

February 2, 2005 10:34 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Great Job President Bush

Posted By Rod Kaufman

The exit strategy was specifically stated? I guess that depends on what you consider by "specifically". If it's dependent on the Iraqis assuming the security of their country, we have a long, equivocal way to go before the US "exits" Iraq. The Iraqis have not shown the capacity to engage in a firefight other than the first gulf war when they were commanded by SH! On the other hand, the insurgents clearly have the willingness to continue to fight(not to mention the testosterone) and, today, the consensus of the Sunni clerics is that the election was not legitimate. Of course, the thought of a timetable is out of the question for Bush and Ms Rice as the latter descibed a timetable as "artificial". What about a timetable to bring home a minimum of troops such as 10%? What's "artificial" about that?
And Bush's plan(s) for social security? Which one? Door number one: Divert payroll taxes into private accounts.
Door number two: limiting benefits for wealthy retirees. Door number three: indexing benefits to prices rather than wages. Door number four: increasing the retirement age. Door number five: discouraging taking social security benefits early.
All of the above "doors" have advantages and disadvantages and nothing is likely to pass without bi-partisan support and the republicans recoginize the need for it as well as having to face the music with the voters whereas Bush does not in the next election..

February 4, 2005 03:04 PM Forum: Politics

The Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Hmm, if the trend continues, it appears the Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani will become the next leader of Iraq, displacing US-backed secular prime minster Allawi.
Hmm, I wonder how long it's going to be before George and Laura invite the grand ayatollah over for dinner...

February 8, 2005 10:36 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Interesting information about the budget

Posted By Rod Kaufman

An interesting commentary and perspective on the budget.
Another perspective overheard on the news during the morning commute is that the budget-spending will not be reduced but the increase in spending will be reduced, ie a program anticipating a 3% increase in federal funding will get a 1.5% in spending, when all is said and done.
As far as the military spending for Iraq not being figured in the budget and the biggest military outlays being in the Kennedy years with the soviets, well we are not facing a superpower these days, are we?...

February 16, 2005 09:35 AM Forum: Politics

82 Billion:"It's For the Troops!"

Posted By Rod Kaufman

"It's For The Troops!" That's the justification we have all read for the increase in spending in addition to our ever-increasing budget deficit.
The trouble is nobody ever says WHICH troops they are talking about. Billions of the 82 billion that Bush is proposing are going to the Iraqi troops. I found it disturbing to learn that at any given time, 50% of the Iraqi armed forces are on leave.(Well, it's not as if THEY are in a war zone.)
That goes along with the general manner in which they fought a war with Iran: they fought a 9-5 war and went home for the evening.
Hmm, I wonder what our reservists think about the option of being on leave 50% of the time while in Iraq. Oops, I almost forgot, our troops don't have THAT option...

February 21, 2005 12:43 PM Forum: Politics

The Swifties Return!

Posted By Rod Kaufman

CNN reported the same conservative group that brought you the debunked swift boat vets against Kerry horse and pony show is now spending ten million to advance Bush's plan to privitize social security.
Hmm, I seem to recall Bush condemning the actions of this particular group during the campaign.
Looks like it's desperation time so here come the heavy hitters...

April 9, 2005 03:19 PM Forum: Politics

Meanwhile, Back in Iraq

Posted By Rod Kaufman

USA is reporting tens of thousands of Shiites were in the streets of Baghdad demanding the US leave Iraq. This appears to be about the only thing they and the Sunnis agree upon. The recently elected speaker or president or whatever he claims to be of the Iraqi assembly is a Kurd who reserves the "right" to create an independent Kurdish country, carved out of Iraq, a kind of a Kurdish-Iraqi-stan. Swell.
Today, The LA Times is reporting the US state department has ordered a "major re-evaluation" of the troubled 18.4 billion Iraq reconstruction effort, blaming problems on early decisions to hire US firms for major infrastructure projects.The report lists problems with the performance of some firms, most notably (you guessed it) Halliburton.
Last week saw a major insurgent attack on the Abu prison, a heavily US guarded and defended position with a US commander stating," We have not seen anything like this before" and he further noted how well thoughout and executed the plan was. Think of it as a kind of a minature Tet offensive.
Of course, the US continues to spend 4.4 billion PER MONTH in Iraq and when we leave, the place will fall like the house of cards that it is...

April 14, 2005 03:51 PM Forum: Politics

A Minute for Minutemen

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Jim Gilcrest is the gentleman who founded the minutemen. According to Jim, anywhere from about three hundred to eight hundred minutemen patrol the border in Cochise county, Arizona. He stated today on KNX news radio that a border patrol official visited with him and confidentialy stated( because he would be fired for talking about it) that the efforts of the minutemen have reduced the illegal crossings in their twenty mile range from about a 1000 per day to around 20-30 per day. Jim acknowledges the fact that illegal aliens are probably finding other access routes but the point is his efforts are having an impact on slowing the flow where little has been done in the past forty years to do so.
Jim is a vietnam vet from Orange county California and states he has a dedicated group of ex-army rangers and recon marines who routinely patrol the border and evidently do so in an effective manner. He notes truck loads of drugs had passed the border on a daily basis but now that appears to have slowed as well. One has to wonder why they have been effective while our government has not...