Tag Archive: Iraq War

Headline of the Day: Sitting on a Couch

Well, my plan today was to post for your consideration a clear winning in the unintended-irony sweepstakes, this item from the Hunterdon County Democrat as our Headline of the Day:

“Flemington Borough Council meeting a day later; special closed session is on openness in government”

Christie does not apologize for calling Navy SEAL "idiot" and adds "jerk"But then THIS trumped the hell out of it:  

Gov. Christie: Nation turning into ‘people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check’

After you’re finished recoiling from this headline, for the sheer assault of your governor’s buy-in of the GOP thought-bubble that most of us are sitting on our asses waiting for government cheese to rain from the sky:  

1. Pay no attention to the guys in the boardroom chairs waiting for their next tax loophole: With his corporate welfare buddies, Christie’s in a shaky position to lecture anybody on entitlements.

2. Thanks Gov, but you killed my job: Some of the workers Christie paints as lazy would have good jobs right now if he hadn’t pulled the plug on the ARC Tunnel, a public works project with documented need, the cost of which independent congressional investigators now find (surprise!) Christie exaggerated as he was building his national rep.

3. Really? You said this at a George W. Bush ‘conservative conference’ Conservative? Let’s see. Doubled federal spending inside of 8 years. Privatized war (including the one based on a WMD lie) to the tune of billions and billions of our money to his buddies. TARP bank bailout requiring little if any responsibility back to the public. Whatever Christie says to a gathering of people still impressed by George W. Bush should be held in contempt.

Neither Ledger’s Megan DeMarco, who wrote the story under the headline or the desk editors who probably supplied it used it to mislead the readers about what Gov. Christie said. THAT’s what makes this so alarming.

Giants Parade, Celebration Not Enough

promoted by Rosi

Today the NJ Giants are having a parade in New York City and a celebration at the Meadowlands, and as a NJ Giants fan I am totally stoked. I have my Giants Super Bowl hat, my Giants Super Bowl shirt, and my crappy two year old Sports Illustrated Giants windbreaker.

But I also have an American flag in front of my home, a memorial flag for a family member who died in combat, and I am saddened that the veterans of the Iraq War are not having a parade.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg explains that the Pentagon has asked that there be no parade while there are still soldiers in Iraq. I find this incredibly specious and astonishing, and just a little ahistorical.

We had a parade after World War II, yet we still have soldiers in both Germany and Japan 55 years later. We had a parade after the Korean War, yet we still have soldier serving in the DMZ.

So why wouldn’t we have a parade at the end of this war?

Please sign the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America petition to get these soldiers their due thanks.

Real Americans and Fake Patriots

Ironically but not surprisingly, Sarah Palin and a good number of those on the right like to address their crowds, who have increasingly been playing dress-up as “patriots” (and not in the Tom Brady kind of way), as “Real Americans™”.  They talk about “the tree of liberty”, “patriotism” and any number of cherry picked or out-of-context quotes from the Founding Fathers or the Bible.  Yet when it comes to actions, what we see from her, Scott Garrett, Chris Christie, Eric Cantor, many on the right (and a growing number on the “left” as well) is just the opposite of what a “real American” is.

Real Americans don’t vote for $50 billion in Iraq “reconstruction” like Eric Cantor, Scott Garrett and so many Republicans did with no strings attached, yet demand more cuts here in America to help those in need after devastating earthquakes and hurricanes.

Fake Patriots like Chris Christie and so many Republicans talk about cutting Medicare and social security benefits for those who desperately need them, cloaking it as “reform”, while turning their nose up at raising the social security wage limit to address the most regressive tax in this country.

Guns or Soup

promoted by Rosi

Cross posted from deciminyan

They closed a neighborhood library in Camden yesterday.  Camden – one of New Jersey’s most disadvantaged cities – bearing the brunt of the Bush Recession and the Christie Depredation with an order of magnitude more grief than most of us.

They say that nature abhors a vacuum, and the vacuum created for the children in that neighborhood by the closing of the Fairview Branch library will be filled by drug dealers, gangs, and other nefarious forces.  So by closing the library, Camden residents will be forced to spend more on the already overworked police department and judicial system.

Many Camden teens will lose their only access to the Internet – vital in this day and age to secure even the most low-paying jobs.  Younger children will miss out on the joy of reading – exploring real and imaginary worlds to spark their desire and commitment to a better life, not to mention losing tools that foster better academic performance.  The neighborhood, which has been coming together over the last decade, will lose a gathering place that helps advance that cohesion.  And while the library staff, which consists of two employees, will be transferred to other branches, it’s only a matter of time before they or their colleagues will join the ranks of the unemployed, as the other branches in Camden are on track to close also.

The entire budget shortfall (not just the libraries) for the City of Camden is $28 million.  That’s how much we spend on the war in Iraq in four hours.   Despite the fact that the recovery of one of New Jersey’s most historic cities is vastly more important than the oil wars in the Middle East, it impractical to just stop the war for four hours to make up the shortfall.  But we could stop the war for good, and use those funds to revitalize Camden, and the scores of other urban areas and their people who represent the future of America.  Where are our priorities?

Iraq War: The President & New Jerseyans Speak Out

The $1 trillion Iraq war has gone from early successes, to the chaos of civil war, to a surge, and now to the draw-down to 50,000 troops. After eight years there has been immense suffering and loss on the part of Iraqi, American, and allied partners. President Obama spoke about the war Tuesday night from the Oval Office. New Jersey veterans, family of the fallen, and those who help returning vets have their opinions.

The President began his speech saying, “Good evening. Tonight I’d like to speak to you about the end of of our combat mission in Iraq.”

(continue reading below the fold)

Portraits of NJ Soldiers Fallen in Iraq

As the U. S. ends its combat mission in Iraq, we honor those New Jerseyans who served there. Below are sketches of a few who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Cpl. Michael E. Curtin, 23, Howell – March 2003 The first New Jerseyan killed during the war in Iraq, he was a graduate of Howell High School where he played on the school football team and enjoyed recreational hockey and baseball. He worked as a tool-and-die apprentice for three years before enlisting in 2001. He was killed when a suicide bomber attacked an army checkpoint on a highway. His family said, “The outpouring of support, generosity and condolences on the loss of Michael has been truly overwhelming.”

(more below the fold)

Video & Transcript: President Obama on the End of Combat Operations in Iraq

Full transcript follows the video.

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Transcript of tonight’s address to the nation by the President from the Oval Office, on the end of combat operations in Iraq:
(transcript provided by the White House)

Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home.

I know this historic moment comes at a time of great uncertainty for many Americans. We’ve now been through nearly a decade of war. We’ve endured a long and painful recession. And sometimes in the midst of these storms, the future that we’re trying to build for our nation — a future of lasting peace and long-term prosperity — may seem beyond our reach.

But this milestone should serve as a reminder to all Americans that the future is ours to shape if we move forward with confidence and commitment. It should also serve as a message to the world that the United States of America intends to sustain and strengthen our leadership in this young century.

From this desk, seven and a half years ago, President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq. Much has changed since that night. A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency. Terrorism and sectarian warfare threatened to tear Iraq apart. Thousands of Americans gave their lives; tens of thousands have been wounded. Our relations abroad were strained. Our unity at home was tested.

These are the rough waters encountered during the course of one of America’s longest wars. Yet there has been one constant amidst these shifting tides. At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve. As Commander-in-Chief, I am incredibly proud of their service. And like all Americans, I’m awed by their sacrifice, and by the sacrifices of their families.