In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New boss, same as the old boss

You can dress ’em up, trot in out in front of the cameras and even change their race but, in the end, Presidents of the United States turn out to be cookie-cutter, Stepford-wives robot clones who, for the most part, act the same.

Barack Obama is a better speaker than George W. Bush and he dresses nicer but the President who went before the nation Tuesday night with yet another troop surge plan said a lot of the same things as Bush back when that former President promised a troop surge would solve all our problems in Iraq.

Obama also said he would get American troops out of Afghanistan in 18 months but why should be believe him? Like Bush before him, this President lies and mangles the facts.

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Military, families brace for more hard times

Battle-weary troops and their families braced for a wrenching round of new deployments to Afghanistan, but many said they support the surge announced Tuesday as long as it helps to end the 8-year-old conflict.

As President Barack Obama outlined his plan to send 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan — while pledging to start bringing them home in 2011 — soldiers, Marines and their families interviewed by The Associated Press felt a tangle of fresh concerns and renewed hopes. Some took in the televised announcement as they played darts in a barroom near their base, while others watched from their living rooms.

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Obama played fast and loose with facts

Can more U.S. troops in Afghanistan really convert Afghans into an effective fighting force? Will allies answer the call to do more? Is Pakistan truly prepared to take on the extremists who pose the greatest threat?

President Barack Obama said yes in his speech Tuesday laying out his plan to pour 30,000 more troops into the Afghan war, then begin pulling out in 18 months.

The prospects, though, at least judging by recent history, are mixed.

A look at some of his claims and how they compare with the reality on the ground:

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Obama sounding more and more like Bush

It feels like 2007 all over again. Different war, different president, but “surge” is back in vogue.

President Barack Obama’s revamped Afghanistan strategy involves rushing — faster than may prove possible — 30,000 more troops into the fight by next summer. The abrupt infusion of U.S. military might is aimed at jump-starting a war that has crawled along for more than eight years, yielding few lasting gains.

Obama wants to prevent terrorists from plotting fresh attacks and to set Afghanistan on a path to securing and governing itself.

“I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Obama told West Point cadets and a national TV audience Tuesday night.

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Both sides unhappy with Obama’s Afghan plan

Democrats are complaining about President Barack Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Republicans are unhappy with his promise to withdraw troops in 18 months, but Congress appears willing to approve the buildup’s $30 billion price tag.

Lawmakers planned to use two days of high-profile hearings on the war, beginning Wednesday, to express their misgivings about the plan, which calls for a quick infusion of troops through July 2011, when the U.S. will begin to withdraw its forces.

Obama pledged Tuesday night to an audience of Army cadets at the U.S. Military Academy that the shift from surge to exit strategy would depend on the military situation in Afghanistan.

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Tempers flare in angry health care debate

A Republican senator asserted Tuesday during a rancorous floor debate that President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul will shorten the lives of America’s seniors by cutting Medicare.

“I have a message for you: You’re going to die sooner,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., an obstetrician-turned-lawmaker.

A senior Democrat decried such comments as scare tactics designed to kill legislation that he said would improve some benefits for seniors. At times, the debate recalled the raw charges and countercharges of the summer’s town hall meetings.

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., defended the health care legislation, saying it would make Medicare a smarter buyer and improve prescription coverage and preventive benefits for seniors.

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House will vote to extend estate tax rates

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer said the chamber would vote this week to permanently extend the estate tax rates scheduled to expire at the end of 2009, but the road will be tougher in the Senate.

The House will take up a bill introduced last week by Democrat Earl Pomeroy to extend the current policy of taxing estates over a $3.5 million threshold at a rate of 45 percent.

“We believe that a permanent extension of the existing law is the best policy,” Steny Hoyer, the chamber’s majority leader, told reporters.

Preserving the current rates will be harder in the U.S. Senate because that body’s rules require a way to pay for it.

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Gate crashers lied about having invitations

Copies of e-mails between the White House party crashers and a Pentagon official undermine their claims that they were invited to President Barack Obama’s first state dinner.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi pressed the friendly Pentagon aide for four days to score tickets to the big event. By their own admission in the e-mails, they showed up at the White House gates at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 without an invitation — “to just check in, in case it got approved since we didn’t know, and our name was indeed on the list!”

But the Secret Service has said they weren’t on that list and that it erred by letting them in anyway.

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