"Today, we are looking at the necessity of terminating the foreign presence on Iraqi lands and restoring full sovereignty," [Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al] Maliki told Arab ambassadors in blunt remarks during an official visit to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
"One of the two basic topics is either to have a memorandum of understanding for the departure of forces or a memorandum of understanding to set a timetable for the presence of the forces, so that we know (their presence) will end in a specific time."
Gee, this timetable thing is catching on. Maybe George Bush will catch the fever next.
Yes, you heard it here. John McCain now plans for a four-year timetable to bring troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan/ It's all part of his promise to balance budget in his first term:
“The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.”
So there won't be 100 years in Iraq after all.
I saw this story last night, and couldn't get my head around it. Obama wants to increase ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines. And he wants to pull our people out of Iraq.
Excuse me, Senator, but what the hell are you going to do with all those troops? Are you planning some invasion we don't know about?
I think this is a campaign tactic, to seize the high ground before the battle heats up, to be able to deflect attacks that he hates the military. Now he can say, look, I want to make the military bigger! I love the troops!
But it's a political game. First FISA, now this. If Obama doesn't watch out, his appeal of being the candidate of changing the way politics is played is going to fade away.
Let's see, John McCain's wife is worth $100 million, and the couple own so many houses and condos that they forgot to pay the taxes on one of them for four years. Cindy McCain runs up half-million dollar credit card bills (that she swears she pays off each month) and wears $3,000 suits. And John hasn't pumped his own gas since Reagan was president, and used his wife's jet for campaign travel.
But Obama is the elitist?
To summarize, McCain was quoted last year that he didn't know much about the economy, and that he "need to be schooled" on it. When confronted during a debate with this quote, he denied he said it. Then Tim Russert pinned him down, and McCain admitted that he had said it. Now yesterday, he's back to claiming he didn't say it at all.
I think this is more troubling than some of his other flip-flops. He's not just changing his position. He's either forgetting what he said (about something he has been asked about multiple times), or he's just flat-out lying and hoping no one calls him on it.
"McCain was down at the end of the table and we were talking to the head of the guerilla group here at this end of the table and I don't know what attracted my attention," Cochran said. "But I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever. I don't know what he was telling him but I thought, good grief everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission. I don't know what had happened to provoke John but he obviously got mad at the guy and he just reached over there and snatched him."
Here's what Cochran said about McCain in January:
"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran told the Globe. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
Now, what does McCain's anger problems have to do with his flip-flop-flip about what he said about his economic knowledge? I believe we just saw another example of McCain's temper problem. He doesn't like being confronted by that quote, so he just denies saying it, trying hard not to blow up on camera.
People think that if McCain can keep from going ballistic in public, then he's successful in controlling his temper. But that's not the case. Even if he doesn't blow up, his temper can affect how he thinks. If the facts make him mad, then he just denies them. That's not the kind of thoughtful, open-minded leadership I think America needs. In fact, it seems to sound a lot like George W. Bush, who never let the facts get in the way of his mission.
The New GI Bill was signed into law yesterday by President Bush. Of course, he and his good buddy John McCain were against the bill before it got attached to a bill funding their war in Iraq. Bush even threatened a veto. Now they are both busy claiming credit for its passage. McCain didn't even show up to vote on it.
Keith Olbermann details part of McCain's long string of flip flops:
"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."
"Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!"
"& someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions.
That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
"I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.
"I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty & I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.
"Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them — or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.
"And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.
"There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?
"On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. & That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq — a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith-based, not reality based. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.
"So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.
"But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.
"Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
"Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina & Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing & Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry ...
"Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises ... If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's ... go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough."
"If Barack Obama wants to question John McCain's service to his country, he should have the guts to do it himself and not hide behind his campaign surrogates."
That quote is from McCain surrogate "Snuffy" Smith. Perhaps we can get an Obama surrogate who can attack McCain's surrogate for not having the guts come out and make the attack himself.
It's the buzz of DC, that Wesley Clark is trying to "swift boat" John McCain, questioning his war record.
Maybe all those talking heads were drunk yesterday, because when you look at the video, it's clear that Clark isn't questioning his war record. The question that Clark brings up is how does being a POW make you better qualified to be president? He also noted that McCain never commanded troops during wartime, that he doesn't have executive experience.
Check it out:
That's not an attack on his service. In fact, Clark praises McCain for his service in the very same interview.
No one is questioning McCain's service. What we are questioning is how that service makes him more qualified to manage the affairs of this nation. But McCain doesn't want you to question anything about him, so you get this spin job, trying to twist the words of anyone who wants to ask these questions.