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Monthly Archives: November 2006

Iraq panel: U.S. should reduce combat role

The Iraq Study Group has decided to recommend the U.S. military transition from a combat to a support role in Iraq roughly over the next year, a source familiar with the panel's deliberations said on Wednesday.

"The main thing is (the group is) calling for a transition from a combat role to a support role," said the source, who spoke on condition that he not be named. "It's basically a redeployment."

Bush on Iraq: Turnover ‘yes,’ withdrawal ‘no’

President Bush said Thursday the United States will speed a turnover of security responsibility to Iraqi forces but assured Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that Washington is not looking for a "graceful exit" from a war well into its fourth violent year.

Under intensifying political pressure at home, the American and Iraqi leaders came together for a hastily arranged summit to explore how to stop escalating violence that is tearing Iraq apart and eroding support for Bush's war strategy.

Even Colin Powell is calling Iraq a ‘civil war’

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday Iraq had descended into civil war and urged world leaders to accept that "reality".

Powell's remarks came ahead of a meeting between Bush and Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki in the Jordanian capital to discuss the security developments in Iraq.

"I would call it a civil war," Powell told a business forum in the United Arab Emirates. "I have been using it (civil war) because I like to face the reality," added Powell.

New Bush foreign policy ploy: Take away Kim’s toys

In a novel effort targeting the lifestyle of North Korea's eccentric president, the Bush administration wants to make it tougher for him to buy iPods, plasma televisions, Segway electric scooters and more.

It is Washington's first-ever attempt to use trade penalties as a way of personally aggravating a foreign leader. They target items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government.

Just say ‘no’ to the ‘N-word’

I agree with Jesse Jackson. Let's make the N-word a non-word.

It shouldn't be used anymore in entertainment venues. Come to think of it, let's ban the N-word from all forums, except perhaps when used in history texts or historical fiction to remind people of the injustice it symbolized.

Jackson's latest campaign begins with a series of meetings with TV and film executives to try to get them to ban derogatory expressions in the entertainment industry. I wish him Godspeed.

Google CEO to pols: Wanna win? Use the ‘Net

Google's chief executive offered some advice on Wednesday to Republicans looking ahead to the 2008 presidential contest: make better use of the Internet's electioneering power if you want to win next time.

"The ones that take advantage of this most effectively will be the ones that will be the winners of the next election," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told Republican governors gathered in Miami.

Nancy gets down and dirty

Outgoing Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert may have been a wrestler, but it's incoming Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who's the fighter.

Her fellow Democrats had barely anointed her when she angered supporters of the popular Steny Hoyer by publicly and, worse, unsuccessfully, opposing his re-election to the No. 2 spot in the leadership, basically her top deputy.

Frist says nada to White House run

Republican U.S. Senate Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said on Wednesday he would not run for the White House in 2008 and will return to his medical career after he leaves office in January.

Frist, a heart-lung transplant surgeon who served two terms in the Senate, had been preparing for a possible presidential run for more than a year but said he decided this was not the time to pursue higher office.

Mexico’s dirty little war

The question I had for Joaquin, my father's cousin, was what circumstances led him to join the Mexican Communist Party in the 1930s? A decade ago, I met him for the first and only time. He was one of my last surviving relatives and already in his late 80s.

The day I arrived at Santa Rosa Lima, in Queretaro state, Joaquin and several fellow octogenarian comrades had spent the morning by the side of Federal Highway 57, flagging motorists with their red banner messages of World Peace.

I am, therefore I don’t shop

By REG HENRY Pittsburgh Post-Gazette In this dream-crossed twilight between birth and dying, as the poet T.S. Eliot described life, we need something to do to fill in the time. Many Americans have solved that existential problem by going shopping. What I have to report today is that I am not one of them and I was wondering if anyone out there might know of a support group for pathetic cases like me.