Iraq: That’s Not Fuzzy Math

The annual report on global terrorism is in and here’s what was new for 2006:

CNN: Global terrorism up more than 25%

That’s global. What if we focus on Iraq?

U.S. Cites 91% Rise in Terrorist Acts in Iraq

Not good with percentages? Let’s take a closer look at the Washington Post article with whole numbers…

The figures, compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and released with the annual State Department Country Reports on Terrorism, showed that the number of incidents in Iraq rose 91 percent, from 3,468 in 2005 to 6,630 in 2006.

Almost all of those incidents involved the death, injury or kidnapping of at least one person. All told, the number of people killed, injured or kidnapped as a result of terrorism in Iraq jumped 87 percent, from 20,685 to 38,713.

If this is still too abstract for him who would veto, there are over 3,700 photos of U.S. soldiers who have fallen in this cause. The numbers add up but this same NCTC report suggests that progress has been “mixed.” I think we’ve solved the fuzzy math despite the usual attempt to blur the line between reality and fiction.

Experience. Is this what you’re looking for?

Harry S. Truman advises….

You don’t set a fox to watching the chickens just because he has a lot of experience in the hen house.”

Did Truman know Dick Cheney too?

Obama Gets It

This is the headline: “So far, vision trumps experience among Democrats.” Perhaps I should have skipped the Sunday talk shows. Whether it’s that or the fact that I share my town with an army of activists who think questioning Obama’s experience is a smart thing to say, I read this and begin to resemble Will Forte’s impression of Zell Miller.

Damn it, Democrats. I am so freakin’ tired of hearing about Barack Obama’s lack of experience.

You think you’re being clever when you say it. You think you sound like you’re in the know. Is there anyone who can say anything more about Chris Dodd’s experience other than he has some? And tell me again about Hillary Clinton’s experience with universal health care.

I want more. I do want vision and that’s not an empty proposition.

Democrats should dump this talking point about experience put on their lips by a GOP who knows the threat Obama will carry in ’08. Let’s tell some of these experienced representatives that they’ve done a damn shabby job. Dare to demand more than just time in office. Let’s push ourselves to discuss the substance of those years.

Perhaps more of our representatives would know their elected office represents responsibilities as well as privilege if they had more of the experience Obama has. Having taught constitutional law, he knows we have a Constitution and knows how essential it is to maintaining the character of who we are. We dismiss it at the risk of losing ourselves. Anyone who voted for this war in Iraq completely lost sight of their constitutional responsibility. That’s not about George W. Bush.

When Obama speaks about his vision, he is sharing a vision with the founders in the past who imagined this great nation and a vision with the American people of today and tomorrow who know it’s time to re-imagine ourselves again. If you’re still trying to understand the Obama phenomena, let’s try this…

He gets it.

The Not-so-great Debate

Anyone watch the Democratic debate last night? Yeah, me neither. Well technically I did: our television was tuned to the correct program but I was doing other things like eating dinner, reading Newsweek, arguing with my husband – you know, your standard evening at home. By the time I sat down and really paid attention, the TiVo insisted on changing the channel and I couldn’t argue. I mean, I can’t miss an episode of Ugly Betty. Anyhoodle, here’s what you missed:

–Senator Dreamboat was stilted and not at all his breezy self. And apparently pissed off Israel in the process. Who knew?

–Hillary has the most grating voice on the planet and needs to do something about it posthaste. Otherwise she was fine. And only managed one Bill reference.

— Dennis Kucinich is an adorable little man who would totally fit in your pocket.

–Joe Biden was funny as always but will be president when I grow a third leg.

–John Edwards is too pretty to be president.

–There’s some weirdo ex-governor from Alaska that has stepped quite nicely into the shoes of James Stockdale. You know, the loon who ran with Perot.

–Chris Dodd. Don’t care.

Bill Richardson is suddenly making more sense.

The True Price of War

Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between the inanity of American life (celebrity worship, rampant materialism, Oprah) and the insanity of world events. You’d think the latter would merit a certain amount of seriousness, a sobriety towards the people and places that influence so much of our daily lives.

But then you hear that a Texas Vietnam veteran presented one of his Purple Hearts to Captain America because “the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chief has withstood during his time in office…are as hard to carry as physical wounds.” You find yourself wondering how that reasoning will sit with soldiers now missing legs, arms, and parts of their head. You resist the urge to track down Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and force them to read a running log of the U.S. military personnel injured in Iraq & Afghanistan. You want to introduce Captain America to Eric Lanstrum, who lost his left eye in Iraq but not his upbeat attitude.

“At first, I was so messed up I didn’t think about my eye, I was happy to be alive, and, even to this day, it doesn’t bother me that I lost my eye.” Lanstrum said. “I see guys around here missing a lot more than an eye. I’m going to take care of the one eye I have left and just carry on.”

Lanstrum said he couldn’t feel sorry for himself when three of the five guys in his vehicle died. “Me and another guy, who lost his eye also, were the only ones to walk out of my truck so I feel pretty fortunate.”

You want to ask Captain America how he’s bearing up under those emotional scars from being called a bully and whether his fully intact, healthy, and operational body is helping him with that.

Then you just get too damn depressed about the whole shebang and decide to focus instead on the fact that Kate Moss now has her own font. You feel bathed in the warmth of ridiculous-ness and forget all about that ugly war.

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From GodTube to Screw magazine

I haven’t posted all week. Forgive me, dear readers reader immediate family. As I usually do after a lull, I throw a bunch of crap at you. So if you’re looking for ways to idle away the remaining hours of a Friday afternoon (and a holy one at that!), you’ve come to the right place.

Appropriately enough, we’ll start you off with GodTube, the Christian answer to YouTube. If you’re looking for a time suck, boy is this one. Kirk Cameron attempting to save the souls of some very un-Christian-looking men on the street (yes, that Kirk Cameron), a sexually charged discussion of non-believers in ‘The Atheist‘, someone named Angus McPeevis ranting about “goofy Christian gadgets,” whatever those may be – no shortage of entertainment here, in other words.

If you’re looking for another kind of omnipotent presence, check out Wonkette’s exclusive scoop on Dick Cheney’s predilection for hiding in bushes. No, not those Bushes. Thank you, I”ll be here all week.

To avoid electing another threatening cyborg/moronic fratboy ticket in ’08, we’re gonna hand the responsibility over to the kids. I’m sure they’ll do fine with it.

Perhaps they’ll elect Al Goldstein, porn magnate, publisher of Screw magazine, and self-described ‘dirty old candidate.’ I’ll vote for him on the strength of his tagline alone: “Because when he’s f**king you, you’ll know it.”

Happy Easter!