Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nouri makes nominations

Dar Addustour reports that Nouri al-Maliki gave Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi candidates names -- Ibrahim Mohammed Lami for Minister of the Interior, Khaled al-Obeidi for Minister of the Defense and Ali Youssef Abdul Nabi for Minster of Planning. It is over a year since Iraq held elections (March 7, 2010) and there Nouri still has no full Cabinet. Dar Addustour's report of Khaled al-Obeidi is a surprise since he supposedly was taken out of the running over the weekend by Ali al-Lami who used the corrupt Justice and Integrity Commission to blackball al-Obeidi. Al Rafidayn also reports al-Obeidi as a nominee and states that Nouri's office announced the three nominees yesterday.

Al Mada notes
al-Obeidi's nomination as well and controversy over it, however, they say Adnan al-Asadi has been nominated as Minister of Planning. Adnan al-Asadi is an MP with the National Alliance and has reportedly asked that his name be withdrawn. Ali Youssef Abdul Nabi is with the Sadrist bloc. Meanwhile Iraq's Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi, tells Al Mada that he and Shi'ite vice president Adel Abdul Mahdi remain the vice presidents of Iraq. Adel Abdul Mahdi has notified Iraqi President Jalal Talabani that he does not wish to be nominated for vice president in the new or 'new' government; however, he and al-Hsahimi agreed December 26th to stay on as vice presidents until new ones could be selected.

Al Mada has more on Nouri's threat yesterday to provide a no-confidence vote if other political parties don't follow his commands (democracy is a concept Nouri never grasped). They explain he was meeting with university professors and political analysts and that he has some plans for deputy minister nominations such as nominating Saleh al-Mutlaq which will upset Sadrists -- as Nouri noted to the group he met with. The article also reminds that Nouri's 100 days to clean up corruption is counting down. Corrptuion? Dar Addustour reports that insiders on the Integrity Commission report the three big cases are the purchase of military helicopters, the money wasted on bombing detecting 'wands' (which did not work and which Iraq paid more for than nay other buyer silly enough to purchase the items) and electricity contracts. Inas Tariq (Al Mada) reports on rumors that various political parties are threatening to use revelations to embarrass others unless they can all agree to bury bad news.

Turning to the US, flags are flown at half-staff in the state of Washington today. Governor Chris Gregoire's office issued the following:

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington state agency buildings be lowered to half-staff Tuesday, March 29th, in memory of U.S. Army Corporal Brandon S. Hocking of Seattle. Hocking died March 21 of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle in Iraq.
Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business Tuesday, or first thing Wednesday morning, March 30th.
Congress amended the U.S. Flag Code to give governors the authority to lower flags when a state resident in the military is killed in the line of duty. Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join in this recognition.

World Can't Wait has a video of Sunsara Taylor decrying Barack's decision to start the Libyan War. Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "From His Previously Undisclosed Location" went up yesterday morning. And, surprise, Isaiah has a comic that goes up after this entry.

Reminder: If you served in the US military and you were stop-lossed, you are owed additional money. That money needs to be claimed. DoD announces the date to file for that additional payment has been extended:

The deadline for eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP) has been extended to April 8, 2011, allowing personnel more time to apply for the benefits they've earned under the program guidelines.
The deadline extension is included in the continuing resolution signed by President Obama Friday, providing funding for federal government operations through April 8, 2011.
Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay was established to compensate for the hardships military members encountered when their service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss Authority between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009. Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military service in order to receive the benefit of $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status.
When RSLSP began on Oct. 21, 2009, the services estimated 145,000 service members, veterans and beneficiaries were eligible for this benefit. Because the majority of those eligible had separated from the military, the services have engaged in extensive and persistent outreach efforts to reach them and remind them to apply. Outreach efforts including direct mail, engaging military and veteran service organizations, social networks and media outlets, will continue through April 8, 2011.
To apply for more information, or to gather more information on RSLSP, including submission requirements and service-specific links, go to http://www.defense.gov/stoploss.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.