Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Other Items

The Defense Department announced Monday that it will send seven combat brigades to Iraq by the end of the year, suggesting that the Pentagon is planning to maintain its troop levels in Iraq through next year.
The military also alerted four National Guard Army brigades, or roughly 14,000 troops, to prepare for deployments to Iraq beginning next spring. A fifth National Guard brigade, Vermont's 86th Brigade Combat Team, is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in the spring of 2010, the Pentagon announced.
Those National Guard brigades and the roughly 25,000 active-duty soldiers will replace brigades finishing their deployments in Iraq. In addition, the military said a headquarters division, the 25th Division, will deploy this fall.
The deployments, which would indicate a plan to keep 15 combat brigades, or roughly 140,000 troops, in Iraq through 2009, don't mean that there won't be a reduction in troops before then, said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.

The above is from Nancy A. Youssef's "U.S. announces deployment of seven combat brigades to Iraq" (McClatchy Newspapers). What's the Pentagon spinning? It's a Nixon type maneuver on the part of the White House: Pump up in the number in a foreign land so that, close to the election, you can announce "X number will be returning!" and the crowd cheers. After the election, they grasp that the numbers never really fell but the hope is you already influenced the election. Could it work?

Sure. There are a lot of idiots out there. Click here for the idiot with Voters for Peace -- an unofficial 527 for Barack Obama -- and grasp how stupid some people are. Democratic leadership did not defeat the war supplemental last week. Were that the case, the bill would not have been written as it was because, controlling the House, the Dems control the language of the bill. What stopped the bill was a number of Dems and Republicans. Dems for various reasons (including wanting to end the illegal war; however, some objected to the spending proposals not related to on the ground in Iraq) and Republicans (claiming small businesses would be hurt and also due to the spending proposals not related to on the ground in Iraq). (Not related . . . is a kind of way saying "People who don't want to support the GI Rights bill.") The idiot doesn't know any of that and, get this, he's "the treasurer of Voters for Peace." Just another idiot or liar who couldn't let the facts interfere with his day. As noted in yesterday's snapshot:

US House Rep Maxine Waters: As a matter of fact, we just voted on a rule. . . . And that supplemental funder request was about $170 billion more dollars to continue the war. And we fought to try and separate the funding from other issues. We met with the leadership and we said, 'The members deserve an opportunity to vote up or down on this issue. Don't pile the funding up with a lot of domestic spending to make people feel bad that they're not supporting the extension of unemployment or they're not supporting other kinds of things. So we did get that. We advocated for that. They did separate it. So the funding resolution is going to be separate and for all those people who say that they want to end the war the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If they vote for this supplemental appropriation, they're not serious about ending this war. They have two other portions to the bill. Amendment number two where basically they have a lot of other conditions but . . . the first part of it is a little trickery because they say that there will be an attempt to start redeployment within thirty days with an absolute end -- the goal of an absolute end of the war, by December 09. I'm not nervous about that because that's too long. That's December 09. We have had some targets before. We've always been for getting out as quickly as possible. We know that it takes some time to wind down and move equipment and redeploy. And we've always thought six months was a reasonable amount of time to talk about doing that. We've even entertained the idea of maybe one year but now, you know, it's further out with this December '09. So I know that I'm voting against the first part of the war. I'm uncomfortable with it going to December of '09 and the third part, where there are some conditions, the separate amendment I could support. So I'm going to be talking with my colleagues before we take that vote to take a look at that second amendment that talks about of winding -- starting redeployment in thirty days. In thirty days of? Does anybody know in thirty days of what?

You can thank Maxine Waters. But this idea that we're going to pretend that the Dem leadership in the House decided to not pass a bill they put together and wrote? You really have to be an idiot -- or maybe just think that people are. But Voters for Peace isn't about peace. It's about electing Barack Obama. So the trickery's built in.

Barack. Jeff Zeleny and Patrick Healy work overtime on the front of the New York Times to gasp, moan and ignore facts in "Obama Expected To Hit Milestone In Today's Vote." As Ruth noted, of AP, last night, it sure is nice of the press to push a non-event as a "milestone" just because the Obama campaign claims it is. But if Jeff and Pat couldn't run with Obama spin themselves, they wouldn't be members in good standing of the Barack-a-tock-shock troops, now would they?

They claim Barack's not going to anoint himself the winner tonight because of concern over alienating Hillary's base of support. Reality: Announcing would mean Barack was in the general election. (Different guidelines would apply -- he would, in effect, be moving the primary up to May.) As noted in yesterday's snapshot:

CBS and AP note Hillary's response to Barack's assertion (seemingly now withdrawn) that he will declare himself -- excuse me, that he will anoint himself the nominee Tuesday night: "You can declare yourself anything, but if you don't have the votes, it doesn't matter." And he doesn't have the votes. The delegates he's been awarded aren't enough to become the nominee -- same with Hillary. They are in a tie. Superdelegates -- in fact, all delegates -- vote on the convention floor. That should mean -- if both stay in the race and the DNC rules and guidelines are followed -- the nominee will be known in August of this year. Barack's apparently backed down from his desire to self-annoint and that has less to do with concern for letting the people decide and more to do with what Ava and I noted Sunday (and it was noted here last Wednesday) announcing you are the candidate in the midst of a tight race results in one of two things. 1) The DNC calls you out and the press laughs. 2) The DNC doesn't call you out and the GOP immediately argues that the Democrats have now named their candidate and have entered the general election in May, while the GOP will declare their nominee September 4th. In other words, general election funds will need to last for the Democratic Party from May through November while the GOP will only be constrained from September to November. And the DNC thought things were bad in 2004 when they announced in July and the GOP announced in September? The race is a tie and Hillary's now ahead in the popular votes.

The boys start out lying and they never let up: "Senator Barack Obama is poised to reach a milestone in the presidential race on Tuesday by capturing a majority of pledged delegates . . ." It's not a milestone. Just because Barack calls it a milestone, doesn't make it one. There is nothing in the DNC rules, guidelines or by-laws that refers to "majority of pledged delegates: milestone". It's more spin to make it appear a tie isn't a tie. It needs to be noted that Zeleny moved over to the Times from the gutter section of the Chicago Tribune which also made it a point to go after Barack's rivals and eliminate them during the US Senate race. Zeleny's been loving the man for a long, long time.

They say that Barack is "trying to bring the contest to a close" -- the way you do that is by winning or dropping out. Barack can't win it so maybe he'll drop out? If he's "trying to bring the contest to a close" that is the only thing he can do.

Hillary can't win the primary process either. That's what a "tie" means. It's real hard for a bunch of boys who leak in their tighty-whities everytime Barack walks by. They leak so much, they embarrass themselves and gush:

The results from the Kentucky and Oregon primaries on Tuesday will almost certainly allow Mr. Obama to reach a threshold that his campaign has long sought to establish as the critical measure of the will of the party: winning a majority of the delegates awarded in primaries and caucuses.

Uh, boys, hands out of your pants, please, you are in public. Now note the fact that you're supposed to be the press, an independent press. What the boys claim Barack "sought to establish" is what the press allowed him to. And that has nothing to do with the DNC or the rules. They quote him speaking of (after Montana) "securing" the nomination. No, that's not how it works. There is no, "You're closest, you get the nomination!" in the rules. The rules say the thing goes to the convention floor.

Hillary's ahead in the popular vote. The boys don't like that.

Mrs. Clinton's strategy centers on claiming a lead in the popular vote, assuming the results of the unofficial primaries in Michigan and Florida are counted.

Assuming? Those primaries are certified, idiots. They continue:

It may be the final argument in her arsenal, and while it fits with her self-styled image as a populist, it is based on a debatable premise. Most Democratic leaders believe Florida and Michigan should not be counted fully because they held primaries in defiance of party rules. Both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton agreed not to campaign there, and Mr. Obama even took his name off the ballot in Michigan.

The DNC is not (and CAN NOT) question the popular vote. They are questioning how many delegates will be awarded. It's only Bambi's press lovers that LIE. Michigan and Florida are elections that took place and are certified. You don't grasp that from the above, do you?

From the May 15th snapshot:

Meanwhile snippy little Ryan Corsaro (CBS News) declares of Hillary leading in the popular vote: "Clinton only leads in the popular vote if Michigan and Florida's primary votes count, which they currently do not, because of Democratic Party rules." As Ava and I noted in March:
One offered, "She's thousands behind! If you don't count Florida and Michigan." Thanks for the add-on but shouldn't a press be aware that a presidential election in November will take place in all fifty states? Shouldn't a press not be concerned with the talking points of the Obama campaign and report the facts which is Hillary isn't behind due to Florida and Michigan?

If there's a re-vote, by all means, replace the votes. But there was a vote in both states and Hillary won both primaries. While it may not be in the Obama campaign's best interest to include those totals, the press is supposed to report what happened and what happened in those states' primaries was that Hillary won. "If you don't count"? Why wouldn't the press count them? They took place, millions voted. More people voted in the Florida primary, for example, than took part in all the primaries and caucuses before Florida combined. If you're the press, not the Obama campaign, and you're talking about the popular vote, there's no reason not to include Florida and Michigan. The press reports what happened. What happened is that Florida and Michigan voted. The delegates may be in dispute but there's no question that voters in both states showed up at the polls and no question about who won.
The popular vote is the popular vote. Primaries took place in Florida and Michigan. Whether the DNC seats, or doesn't, the delegates, the primaries took place and news outlets shouldn't pretend otherwise. Reporters are supposed to report what took place and, fact, primaries took place in both states and Hillary won.
John Dickerson -- whose outlet created a Hillary Death Watch and likened it to their Saddam-Meter, so therefore really shouldn't be invited on to comment on the Hillary campaign -- was whining that "the arithmetic we were taught in school" didn't allow for including the primaries. Actually, John, it did. Math exercises had you count apples and oranges. You weren't allowed to determine whether a national grocer would carry those apples and oranges before you were expected to count them. You were told there were X number and you added them. The same way that the primaries in Michigan and Florida are part of the popular vote.

There is no question that Florida and Michigan voted (Florida in the largest turnout it has ever had for a Democratic Party primary -- with more people voting in that primary than in the five contests before going back to Iowa). There is no question that the results were certified. The DNC can't question that (and isn't). The only question is about delegates being awarded. Delegates and the popular votes are two different things (see Texas, where more people voted for Hillary but Barack got more delegates). Hillary's ahead in the popular vote. Get used to it. That's only likely to become more pronounced as the last primaries are held and everyone gears up for the floor fight at the convention.

The boys hiss and scribble: "Complicating the matter for Mr. Obama has been Mrs. Clinton's promotion of a rival definition of who is ahead." The popular vote is the popular vote. The press can obscure it and pretend otherwise, they can lie, but it is what it is.

Deal with it. "Dealing with it" is not burying the following in paragraph 21 (which the boys do):

If all states with popular vote totals are counted -- which would exclude four caucus states that have not released numbers -- Mrs. Clinton would lead Mr. Obama by more than 26,000 votes out of more than 33 million cast.

Clinton leads the popular vote. Caucus states and numbers? Boys might want to try reading their own paper and we're not here to spoonfeed their moonstruck asses. Honestly, the press corps today is like Hermie, Oscy and Benjie and they've cast Barack as their Jennifer O'Neill to drool over in this version of Summer of '42.

Marci notes Kristin Lee's "Getting Out the Vote for Hillary: A Very Special Birthday Celebration" (HillaryClinton.com):

Kristin is the Regional Communications Director for Eugene, Oregon. Hillary needs your help for the next 24 hours. Stop in at your local Oregon for Hillary Office to help out today!

PhotoHillary Clinton's Springfield office had a very special Get Out the Vote celebration yesterday. Eugene native Shana Stull was the first Oregon Field Organizer hired by the Oregon for Hillary campaign. Shana is the proud mom of two daughters, Amelie and Doreen, ages three and one. In honor of Amelie's third birthday yesterday, twenty Eugene volunteers made 518 phone calls in one hour to help Get Out the Vote for Hillary.

Shana couldn't think of a better birthday present for her daughter than to help elect Hillary as our next President. "For my daughters, I'm doing everything I can to elect Hillary. I know that she will create a brighter future for our children," Shana said. "I want to be able to tell my daughters that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up and to have that sentiment really be true. I want them to know that they can even be the second woman president."

Actress Erika Alexander and former Rock The Vote President Jehmu Greene kicked off the celebration by encouraging Oregon volunteers to continue encouraging Oregon residents to drop off their ballots to help elect Hillary. Once the volunteers and staff in Springfield reached their goal of 518 phone calls in honor of Amelie’s birthday, they lit candles on Amelie’s birthday cake and sang "Happy Birthday."

PhotoAmelie was thrilled, dancing and clapping while the crowd sang to her. For Shana, the phone bank celebration symbolized why she has been working her heart out for Hillary.

"I'm proud that my daughters are involved in the campaign here in Oregon," Shana said. "We've already made history, and I hope to truly make history by electing Hillary as our next President. This campaign has been an amazing joy that we'll remember for the rest of our lives. As a mom, I know Hillary will fight for our families as president"

And Wally's "THIS JUST IN! LOVE HURTS!" and Cedric's "THIS JUST IN! MICHELLE BRUISES EASY!" joint-post tackles Barack's royal edict from yesterday as does Mike's "Hillary, Isaiah, Third".

Added 9:14 a.m., 5-20. Today show clip.

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