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The coalition of the willing has dropped by one ...

President Bush recentlyclaimed that there were 36 nations with troops on the ground.

Well, over at TPMmucraker Spencer Ackerman sought to count them and could only find 34. Many of those with quite marginal presence:

Italy: "Eight officers currently serving in support of [Nato] mission in Baghdad. Considering sending up to 16 more."
Portugal: "Sending up to 10 soldiers to Iraq to support [Nato mission].

Slovakia: "Sending two instructors to Iraq, $53,000 in support funding."

Turkey: "Two officers serving in Baghdad; offered to train Iraqis in Turkey. Pledged $125,000 in April 2005."

Well, 34 is now down to 33. Iceland's one is on his way home.  

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It is Day 2092 -- the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks -- and  Osama bin Laden remains "wanted dead or alive" ...

On September 11, 2001, terrorists struck the United States.  The world watched in real time the murder of thousands. In addition to lost lives and devastated families, the fiscal cost reaches into the trillions of dollars around the world.

Day 2, September 12, 2001, Le Monde headlines "We are all Americans".  The world mourns with America.  NATO declares Article V - that this was an attack on an ally allowing mobilization of forces to defeat the enemy.  The world is with America.  The world is ready to be lead by America to isolate and defeat those who seek to take down Western society.

Day 7, September 17, 2001, President George W. Bush stated: "I want justice."  As for Osama bin Laden, "there's an old poster out West  'Wanted, Dead or Alive.'"

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Well, the US Press doesn't seem interested in telling us, but George the W certainly doesn't seem interested in traveling light in his trip to Australia for the APEC summit.  As the New Zealand Herald article begins:

Ever feel guilty about over-packing on your travels? George Bush will make you feel better.

It isn't just Air Force One ... it is the three jumbo jets, military transport aircraft, VIP jets, the 50 White House political aides, the 150 "national security advisors" and "200 specialists from other government departments" and ... well ... we're just beginning.

In the 1990s, the Republican Policy Council hit Clinton hard for his travel and were echoed by the US media ... Where's the discussion of W's excesses?

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Senator Susan Collins' (R-ME) should have a real problem on her hands, that is if the media will treat her internet director with half the venom directed at the internet directors from Democratic campaigns.

He's posted a doozy, a screeching rave complaining about video-taping of Collins with vitriolic and hateful discussion of the netroots.

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Sometimes, it merits a moment to consider the source of attacks. Where is DLC Chair Harold Ford getting his material about Daily Kos as harboring anti-Semites and is there anything that we can do about it?

Almost certainly, this dates from something that is ancient history for most Americans and outside the remembrance of that astute bunch, the political reporter:  a Wall Street Journal article just over a year ago by Lieberman supporter Lanny Davis.

Liberal McCarthyism:  Bigotry and hate aren't just for right-wingers anymore.

That OPED tarred Daily Kos and other Lieberman opponents / Lamont supporters as anti-Semites. Perhaps it had things that were true, but it certainly was not truthful, as per the discussion after the fold, Davis relied on abusive mis-representation and cherry-picking to support his truthiness.

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Said friend and former White House communications director Nicolle Wallace: "I just feel like it's incredibly unfair ...

Oh, the poor saga of Sara Taylor, put-upon young beautiful woman, so unfairly being expected to testify honestly about her activities when the American public paid her salary when all she wants to do is conduct "a search for normalcy."

The Washington Post, rather than focusing on Taylor's statement "I took an oath to the President", lets its readers know that she drank a lot of water and, in a front page (Style) article, her friends feel that she is being unfairly treated.

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Later today, a group of 11 senior retired Generals and Admirals will release National Security and the Threat of Climate Change.

These senior retired officers include previous skeptics, Republicans, Democrats, and are all respected (highly) by the military community.

This report, months in the making, could spark some real soul searching among the US military -- too many of which remain too open to arguments from Global Warming skeptics.

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For you who might be unaware,

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of the United States Congress. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS works exclusively and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential, nonpartisan basis. ... CRS reports are not made directly available to members of the public. Instead, the public must request individual reports from their Senators and Representatives in Congress, or purchase them from private vendors such as Penny Hill Press. A limited number of reports have been made freely available on the web ...

Recently, the CRS director restricted even further CRS report distribution.  

Congresswoman Pelosi ... Senator Reid ... Can you answer this question?

  • Why, oh why, should the public have to pay Penny Hill for access to these tax-payer funded reports?  
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iRaq. George W and Laura Bush suffer because their television watching can be disrupted ... because they think about it.

Bush echoed his wife's assessment of the Iraq horrors Americans witnessed on their televisions, "They sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night."

Are there "terrible images" every night? Is great television like Deal or No Deal interrupted with film from the latest bombing, screaming wounded, and grieving families?

Anyone searching for something that should be on Americans' TV screens would do serve America well by starting with Home Town Bahdad...

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There was scurrying to figure out what to give as gifts for close ones, near and far ... and like almost every year, almost all of my shopping tis to be done ... And, like so much of my life (political activism at DailyKos),  the web can come to the rescue ... with everything (yes, EVERYTHING -- okay, maybe almost everything) for sale via electrons ...

But, in the holiday season amid uncertainty for gifts, I turn to salving my soul and direct some of my resources to those who don't have as much to celebrate (healthy/happy family, friends, a Democratic Congress in January, and enough money to put food on the table through a rewarding career which occasionally enables me to do good for the world) as my luck has provided me.  

With my seasonal gift giving, a goal is to ensure that at least as much money goes to charities as into things ... Thus, as per the flip side, I search for places that provide donations with potential meaning for loved ones and friends.


What are your contribution patterns?

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Okay, there have been far too many Kerry diaries ... and mea culpa for the outrage of one more just before the election but I remain astounded that the media gave a moment's notice to the RWSM's attack on Kerry's poor comedic effort, even as the Commandant-in-Chief led the choir.  

And, sadly, the damage is done already through Senator Kerry's (mistaken) apology for the (non) insult to America's fighting forces in Iraq. But, even just before the election and even with what I think was a mistake to "apologize", perhaps this thought as to what Senator Kerry should do would be useful ... If questioned Monday re "insulting" the troops, I would suggest that Senator Kerry truly go strong on the offensive ...

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The November 2006 Money Magazine has a six-page article that begins with the title "My Name is Eric Massa and I Need Your Support".

This article provides a good discussion of Eric Massa as impassioned, with real conviction and reasons for running for Congress. The article is Money Magazine focused on what it means to take a personal risk financially to achieve a goal -- such as starting a business or running for Congress.

But, this article should help get Massa to Congress ... for more, follow me beyond the fold ...

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