A sea of change

Amazing what little tidbits nearly get missed, but it appears Obama is serious about a goal of a nuke free world.

Obama’s new budget plan includes a little-noted sea change in U.S. nuclear policy, and a step towards his vision of a denuclearized world. It provides no funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, created to design a new generation of long-lasting nuclear weapons that don’t need to be tested. (The military is worried that a nuclear test moratorium in effect since 1992 might endanger the reliability of an aging US arsenal.) But this spring Obama issued a bold call for a world free of nuclear weapons, and part of that vision entails leading by example. That means halting programs that expand the American nuclear stockpile. For the past two budget years the Democratic Congress has refused to fund the Bush-era program. But Obama’s budget kills the National Nuclear Security Administration program once and for all.

Speaking of medieval conditions

The Plague is back, this time attacking terrorists.

At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages.

The killer bug, also known as the plague, swept through insurgents training at a forest camp in Algeria, North Africa. It came to light when security forces found a body by a roadside.

The victim was a terrorist in AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest and most powerful al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East.

It trains Muslim fighters to kill British and US troops.

Now al-Qaeda chiefs fear the plague has been passed to other terror cells — or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Poetic justice?

Hat tip:  TMV

When it’s right to be wrong

Slate recently asked several high profile bloggers to comment on the fifth anniversary of Bush’s nightmare in Iraq and reflect on what they got wrong at the outset.

One of the better reads comes from Andrew Sullivan, who analyzes four fundamental errors in depth.

I think my favorite has to be by my friend John Cole at Balloon Juice who rather bluntly declares:

I was wrong about EVERY. GOD. DAMNED. THING. It is amazing I could tie my shoes in 2001-2004. If you took all the wrongness I generated, put it together and compacted it and processed it, there would be enough concentrated stupid to fuel three hundred years of Weekly Standard journals.

Ok….tell us how you really feel John.

But a lot of us REALLY underestimated the duplicity of the Bush administration.  Who’d have thunk they’d falsify intelligence.  Who’d have thunk they’d simply disregard international law, the US Constitution, and basic human decency?

Let’s hope we learned our less on well, and that after 2008 the national nightmare can end.

Stepping in it again

How do you know when Michele Bachmann is profoundly, embarassingly wrong?  For starters, her lips move…

On Feb. 16, the Protect America Act expired — even though the Senate voted to reauthorize it with a strong, bipartisan vote, and even though the same bipartisan support exists in the House as well.

Why, then, has it expired?

Because the House Democratic leadership has simply refused to allow a vote — knowing it will pass. In fact, 21 House Democrats wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging her to bring the bill to the floor.

While this inaction may score cheap political points with the fringe elements of the Democratic caucus, American families are needlessly imperiled. This is not an exaggeration. This is not hyperbole. This is fact — confirmed by our intelligence community and agreed upon by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Yeah right.  It expired because Republicans refused to pass a bill that gives telecoms retroactive immunity from illegal wiretapping.  What Michele isn’t telling is that the bill was a new, temporary thing to begin with, and the law Democrats passed allows security interests to move forward.

Minnesota Monitor has a good fisking of her idiocy.  Read it in full.

Rebellion in Montana

Good for Montana’s governor:

Montana declared independence Friday from a federal identification rules and called on governors of 17 other states to join him in forcing a showdown with the federal government which says it will not accept the driver’s licenses of rebel states’ citizens starting May 11.

If that showdown comes to pass, residents of non-complying states could not use a driver’s license to enter a federal courthouse or a Social Security Administration building nor could board a plane without undergoing a pat-down search, possibly creating massive backlogs at the nation’s airports and almost certainly leading to a flurry of federal lawsuits.

A thousand words

A picture that’s worth more than the usual amount of words.

billboard.jpg

Amazingly, it’s an army recruitment poster.

Hat tip with gratitude to Republic of T who observes:

I did laugh at it yesterday, and I would have laughed longer if the hubby hadn’t reminded me that we were sitting in the middle of a military hospital.

But can you blame me? I mean, now they decide they need linguists who speak arabic?