YouTube announced today that it will create a user-friendly hub for the 2008 presidential candidates to post their web videos. Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) was asked about the impact of YouTube on the ’08 race (and about this notorious video of Edwards fixing his hair) by WNYC Radio’s Brian Lehrer.
for a Friedman. “An elite team of officers advising US commander General David Petraeus in Baghdad has concluded the US has six months to win the war in Iraq – or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.”
“Democrats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate vowed to hold a new round of hearings to determine if partisan politics played a role in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys across the country. … The controversy flared up early Wednesday afternoon after David Iglesias, the departing U.S. attorney from New Mexico, told McClatchy Newspapers that he believes he was forced out because he refused to speed up an indictment of local Democrats a month before November’s congressional elections.” TPM is covering the story closely, and has fingered Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) as the likely member of Congress who requested the rushed indictment. Carpetbagger has a wrap-up.
Yesterday, ThinkProgress highlighted a quote on military readiness from candidate George W. Bush in 2000:
So let’s get something straight right now. To point out that our military has been overextended, taken for granted and neglected, that’s no criticism of the military. That is criticism of a president and vice president and their record of neglect.
Hours later, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) reminded Bush again on the House floor:
So when the right talks about “slow bleed,” or tries to cover up their neglect of the military by citing the stellar performance of our soldiers, remember who’s really at fault.
Since the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy went into effect, the Pentagon has dismissed more than 11,000 servicemembers, many of whom have key specialty skills such as training in medicine and language. At a time when the military faces a readiness crisis, the Pentagon cannot afford to dismiss two service members a day as it is doing under the current policy.
Today, Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) reintroduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill that would allow gays to serve openly in the military. Joining Meehan at a press conference today was retired Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the first American soldier to be seriously wounded in Iraq. A gay man, Alva did not admit his sexual orientation until he retired from the military, but Alva has since become a strong advocate for repealing the policy. Good Morning America told his story this morning.
In an interview not included in the televised report, Alva told ABC News about how his old Marine buddies took the news that he was gay:
“I told tons of people,” he said, with a laugh. “A lot of my friends, my buddies, my closest Marines, people I had served in combat with. Straight guys, married, with children and everything, three of them which I have become their sons’ godfather now. Everybody was just respectful and was just like ordinary. ‘That’s it? That’s your big news?’”
Alva says that while anti-gay language wasn’t exactly unheard of in the Marines, generally he thinks troops are ready for gays and lesbians to serve openly.
“Being on the front lines and serving with the people who even actually knew that I was gay, you know, that was never a factor. We were there to do a job. We were [there] to do a mission. I don’t think people would have a hard time with it because they know that the person right next to them is going to be there to protect them, in our terms, ‘have their back.’”
Learn more about the effort to lift the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy here.
Today on the House floor, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) blamed yesterday’s market drop — the largest since the September 11 terrorist attacks — on members of Congress supposedly “talking about…more regulation” and “undermin[ing] the President’s national security policy.”
Gohmert said, “In two months of talking about raising taxes and more regulation and [referring to Murtha] one committee chairman talking about how he’s going to undermine the President’s national security policy — two months! — we have this terrible damage to the stock market, to the economy. Unbelievable.” He added: “I just encourage my friends across the aisle, be careful. We built a great economy. Don’t blow it quite so quickly.”
Gohmert is out to lunch. Analysts say that yesterday’s market drop was due in varying degrees to China’s market meltdown on Monday, Alan Greenspan’s recession remarks this week, and rising oil prices.
UPDATE: Fox News uses the stock plummet to call for more you-know-whats:
Transcript: Read more
“Former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, expresses remorse and quotes singer/songwriter Garth Brooks in an e-mail sent to friends Wednesday, a day before he is to enter federal prison after pleading guilty to corruption charges.” Ney’s letter quotes lyrics from Brooks’ song “The Dance.”
and now i’m glad i didn’t know
the way it all would end, the way it all would go
our lives are better left to chance,
i could have missed the pain,
but i’d have had to miss, the dance
Bill Simmons remarks that “For the season, Oden’s averaging 15.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game (very good stats, but not eye-opening or anything).” My eyes are, in fact, open. Oden’s playing 30 minutes per game. When Patrick Ewing was a freshman, he played the same minutes and scored 12.7 points, snagged 7.5 boards, and blocked 3.2 shots. When Hakeem Olajuwon was a freshman, he only played 18 mpg and scored 8.3 points, grabbed 6.2 rebounds, and blocked 2.5 shots. When Shaq was a freshman, he got 14 points, 12 boards, and blocked 3.6 shots. Alonzo Mourning‘s freshman year? 13.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and almost five blocks per game. Tim Duncan? 9.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.8 blocked shots in 30 mpg.
In other words, leaving aside the fact that Oden’s playing with a bum wrist, his non “eye-opening” numbers are on track with the freshman numbers of the guys who went on to become the top big men in the league.
VoteVets.org has teamed up with Gen. Wesley Clark to promote a new campaign warning against a military strike on Iran. StopIranWar.com is calling on Americans to build political pressure on U.S. policymakers to work with our allies and use every diplomatic, political, and economic option at our disposal to deal with Iran.
In a web-ad released today, Clark warns, “We’re approaching the last moments in which the administration can change its policy and head off a looming confrontation with Iran.” Watch it:
Take action here.
Also today, the Center for American Progress released a progressive strategy to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem: “Contain and Engage.”
Rather than pursue the faint hope that coercive measures will force Iran’s capitulation, our contain-and-engage strategy couples the pressures created by sanctions, diplomatic isolation and investment freezes with practical compromises and realizable security assurances to encourage Iran onto a verifiable, non-nuclear weapons path.
Read the full report HERE.
Transcript: Read more
Diesel launches a “tongue-in-cheek” ad campaign promoting its spring/summer collection as “Global Warming Ready.” Its ads depicts “landscapes that have been transformed by environmental disaster” and models that “are dressed fashionably if barely (to accommodate the weather) and they lounge amid this hip dystopia in glamorous unconcern, fanning themselves or applying suntan lotion to one another’s tawny backs.” Watch the ad HERE. Find out the facts on global warming at ClimateCrisis.net.
(HT: MoJo Blog)