SF New Mexican:
Read about the Republican party’s switchover of candidates for Governor: Gubernatorial switcheroo kept under wraps. And read the comments and links. The expectation for the campaign seems to be: slime, slime, slime.
is buzzing with the news “WMDs were found!” Apparently 500 old pre-Gulf-War mustard and sarin shells were found, and are being fictionalized into a credible war threat by conservatives who can’t be bothered to Google a sliver of information ... in the vacuum of fact, the “woulda, coulda” arguments over Saddam’s intentions are renewed. We all expected our military to find old stockpiles of crap lying around from the Iran/Iraq War, Gulf War I, even from the long soap-opera build-up to Gulf War 2. We all knew Saddam was a dirty rotten dictator. This entire line of sensationalism is ridiculous. Read something reasonable.
I’d stick with the ‘promoting democracy’ raison d’être for war. The conservative weblog pundits are using unusually long-winded posts and flurried interlinking of their faithful peons to make this into a major story. Once again, weblogs are trying to turn the media bull by the nose ring. Move on to Iran and NK, if you please. You’ll waste our blogravitas on this one.
Later: From the Iraq Survey Group Report: “Iraq declared in its 1996 Full, Final, and Complete Declaration (FFCD) that it produced 68,000 155mm sulfur mustard-filled rounds between 1981 and 1990. Of those produced, Iraq has not been able to account for the location or destruction of 550 155 mm shells. The bulk of 155mm destruction occurred between 1993 and 1994 and many of the log entries show that the mustard was partly polymerized, which is consistent with our findings in the recent sulfur mustard rounds.” 500 and 550 are too close to be a coincidence?
NRA unloads on U.N. “And the American people will never let you take away the rights that our 4th of July holiday represents ...” According to the Declaration of Independence, I would assume the rights they’re talking about are, “... as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” Banning illegal arms trade will benefit all those ‘rights’, except perhaps illicit Commerce ... is that what they wish to defend? Putting Mr Bolton in the middle of this is putting the bull in the china shop (scroll down to the paragraph with footnote 10).
I ran across: “For every $30 billion in new spending, the average American needs to work an additional day out of the year to pay the cost of government.” That means, with the current costs of the Iraq war, we have to work another 9.6 days a year ...
Important caveat: Read the comments on this post. Too simplistic for reality. Consider my last comment a ‘correction.’
looks at the changeover at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Like it or not, many modern technologies came out of military development ... GPS, medicine, dry cleaners, the Internet, etc. etc. This made me chuckle, though: “Too many sensitive jobs—not just those of the researchers, but of the thousands of support staff at the laboratory—are at stake for New Mexico’s representatives in Congress to let the place close.” Not just representatives ... thank you, Senator Domenici, for keeping us afloat, if only barely. What others would call “pork”, New Mexicans call one of the only major employers in the north of the state. Pork is not the black-and-white subject some would have you believe. Nevertheless, I’m opposed to building nuclear triggers here, especially now that Santa Fe will begin tapping water from the Rio Grande (Los Alamos is upstream).
Fact-Checking the Veep. “It’s been over a year now since Dick Cheney declared that the Iraqi insurgency was in its ‘last throes.’” Mission anything but accomplished, in other words.
Supreme Court splits over protecting wetlands; The Clean Water Act might not prevent building on them. Nature will not be denied ... just wait for the flood sales. New Orleans, dans petite. I can recall a mall built in Chapel Hill near 15-501 in the 70’s that displayed this tendency at least once a year; the locals warned loudly, developers made their cold cash, and the store owners’ insurance paid for the stupidity. Migrating birds can’t compete with sales on stained sweaters and waterlogged sneaks.
Why it pays to become America’s treasury secretary.
Two Secret Service agents save a man’s life.
Chipping Away at the Story of Guantanamo. “... the State Department said that it could not locate Ismail Khan, the well-known minister of energy in Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s cabinet, who meets frequently with American diplomats.”
NY Times Opinion:
North Korea’s Incredibly Bad Idea. More like this Administration’s incredibly bad diplomacy. I emphasize this is no surprise to anyone who’s watched NK. The Taepo Dong 2, to quote a 1998 Rumsfeld report, “This missile could reach major cities and military bases in Alaska and the smaller, westernmost islands in the Hawaiian chain. Light-weight variations of the TD-2 could fly as far as 10,000 km, placing at risk western U.S. territory in an arc extending northwest from Phoenix, Arizona, to Madison, Wisconsin.” My italics. The newspapers haven’t said whether this is the two-stage TD2 or the three-stage TD2. I’d wager the two-stage, at this point ... hence all the Alaska targetting rhetoric. Is missile defense making us safer?
The Terrorism Index. Are we winning the ‘war on terror’? Apparently we haven’t yet begun to fight: “These conclusions about the United States’ performance in the war thus far are all the more troubling considering that, although Americans appear to be growing tired of the war on terror, the index’s experts appear to believe that the battle has just begun.” Again, Via MeFi.
Tim McGirk on Haditha. And on the ‘improving situation’ in Iraq, as well.
The Bush philosophy of ‘plain speaking’ is failing internationally.
Bumper sticker seen
in downtown Santa Fe: “I never thought I’D MISS NIXON.”
Illegal Hiring Is Rarely Penalized. Finally a paper talks turkey. “In recent months, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which succeeded the INS, has dramatically stepped up enforcement efforts. It won 127 criminal convictions last year, up from 46 in 2004, and obtained $15 million in settlements from an investigation of Wal-Mart and 12 subcontractors last fall ...” 127, wow. And how many illegal immigrants are in the US? 8-9 million? Incompetence in governing, or a wilful desire to create a class of rightless near-slaves to exploit for monetary gain?
NY Times Opinion:
The Call of the Gun Lobby. “If they had been in effect during the deadly spree of the Washington, D.C., snipers, the dealer who peddled the murder rifle and scores of other crime guns could never have been shut down under federal law.” If guns are so all-fired great, then more transparency would show the benefit, as well as accepting responsibility for their deadly force. There’s this to be concerned about, too. Look at photos of ‘rebels’ and ‘terrorists’ in the news, and identify the make and models. Longtime readers know I’ve been disturbed by Soviet-bloc weapons being replaced by American-design items. Someone’s making a tidy buck, and we should be able to stop this.
North Korea fuels missile, readies launch, U.S. officials say. I’ve been complaining about this since shortly after Mr Bush got into office. The Administration’s sat on their butts, done little, and here we are ... where we all knew we’d end up.
A Shift Among the Evangelicals. In which weblogging has an effect; see the second paragraph from the bottom. Reinforces a personal belief that strict fundamentalism requires a vacuum ...
Bush Plans Vast Protected Sea Area in Hawaii. And more from the Op-Ed page. I hate to be a cynic, but this seems a ready-made way to soften his image and legacy. After all, “There are few opportunities for a president to protect such a large swath of ocean or land at little cost to the government, while garnering strong regional support.” My italics.
Endangered Republicans Play Down Party Label. “Republican? Oh, not that kind ...”
SF New Mexican:
Mexican migrant smugglers up their prices with Guard on border. Capitalism at work.
SF New Mexican:
Now this is a surprise. Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman is wealthier than longtime Republican Senator Pete Domenici. I’d expected the opposite, based on tenure in the Senate, party affiliation, age and exposure. Does it matter? Should it matter? The details at the bottom of the article shift my perceptions a bit, shifts the filter I use in parsing their statements and philosophies.
“No question, Guantanamo sends, you know, a signal to some of our friends—provides an excuse, for example, to say, ‘The United States is not upholding the values that they’re trying encourage other countries to adhere to ...’” I love how this Administration objectifies their own bright ideas, as if they have no ownership. The press never seems to call it, either.