Saturday, October 28, 2006


I'm not usually much of a baseball fan, but the St. Louis Cardinals were always my Nana's favorite team. She passed away a little over a year ago, and I like to think that it was her prayers in a more 'direct' way that brought the Cards to victory.

Cards win!


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A couple of late additions to Friday Frivolity

10 Weirdest USB toys

Aaryk like the hamster, but I'm keen on the slippers!

And a halloween math joke-

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a
jack-o'-lantern by its diameter?

Pumpkin Pi.


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Friday, October 27, 2006

To my AZ friends-

If you are headed out to the State Fair (and I know some of you are!), make sure you try a Fried Coke!

I don't think we'll be getting to the NC state Fair (it may be over for all I know!), so you'll have to be the guinea pigs for this one! ;)


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Well, one more movie I won't be seeing...(then again)

Flags of our Fathers, according to this WSJ Online editorial/review is little more than an anti-war propaganda piece masquerading as a WWII movie.

For 61 years, Americans have believed that the flag-raising on Iwo Jima was our country captured in its finest moment of teamwork, courage, triumph. For the next 61 years, thanks to Clint Eastwood's new film "Flags of Our Fathers," many Americans will think of it as a symbol of crass salesmanship, sleazy opportunism and even racism.

The book on which it's based by James Bradley sounds like a good read though. I'll have to check it out.

Go read the whole article and let me know what you think.

UPDATE- Apparently Michael Medved liked the movie, so I'll do some more digging and see what others are saying as well.

UPDATE II- A new commenter, Reel Fanatic has a review up of the film as well and says it's worth seeing. His review is here- Reel Fanatic
So, I'm rethinking my position on this one.

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The return of....Friday Frivolity!

Shorest stories....ever?
Six word stories

Neat slideshow a friend sent me of our soldiers. Not really for the frivolity of today, but I didn't want to forget to post it!
Gladiator, American Style

Then this just sounds WAY too much like some of my friends!

And finally, here is your Math Trick of the day-

Here is a math trick so unbelievable that it might
stump you.

1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one
in your head)
2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number
(NOT the area code)
3. Multiply by 80
4. Add 1
5. Multiply by 250
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
8. Subtract 250
9. Divide number by 2

Do you recognize the answer?


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Thursday, October 26, 2006

My first Googlebomb

Check out the infor about this over at Right Wing News. I saw it at Texasrainmaker and decided to join in only after a saw one of Mysa's LJ friends posting the original. Click the 'read more' if you want to see the list and read the articles.


Connecticut: Ned Lamont

Maryland: Ben Cardin

Michigan: Debbie Stanbenow

Missouri: Claire McCaskill

Montana: Jon Tester

New Jersey: Bob Menendez

Tennessee: Harold Ford

Virginia: James Webb

Democrat Held Seats

(CO-03): John Salazar

(GA-03): Jim Marshall

(GA-12): John Barrow

(IA-03): Leonard Boswell

(IL-08): Melissa Bean

(IL-17): Phil Hare

(IN-07): Julia Carson

(NC-13): Brad Miller

(PA-12): John Murtha

(WV-01): Alan Mollohan

Republican Held Seats

(AZ-08): Gabrielle Giffords

(CT-04): Diane Farrell

(CT-05): Chris Murphy

(CO-07): Ed Perlmutter

(IA-01): Bruce Braley

(IL-06): Tammy Duckworth

(IN-02): Joe Donnelly

(IN-08): Brad Ellsworth

(IN-09): Baron Hill

(FL-13): Christine Jennings

(FL-16): Tim Mahoney

(FL-22): Ron Klein

(KY-03): John Yarmuth

(NC-01): Heath Shuler

(MN-06): Patty Wetterling

(NM-01): Patricia Madrid

(NY-20): Kirsten Gillibrand

(NY-24): Michael Arcuri

(NY-26): Jack Davis

(OH-15): Mary Jo Kilroy

(OH-18): Zack Space

(PA-06): Lois Murphy

(PA-08): Patrick Murphy

(PA-07): Joe Sestak

(PA-10): Chris Carney

(VA-02): Phil Kellam

(WI-08): Steve Kagen

To add this to your blog, go to 'View' and select 'Source'. Then scroll down to the section that has all the names and links. Copy and paster them into your blog.

Don't know what a Googlebomb is? Well, here's the Wiki on it- Google bomb


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Why I like Mitt

Powerline has a video clip rom a recent press conference.

The more I learn about this guy the more I like him.

Not that it took much, but I soooo prefer him as a presidential candidate over the likes of McCain.

You can bet that you'll be seeing more and more of Mitt Romney here over the next two years!


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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Aussie Beccy Cole gets it right


HT- Wizbang

A digger, I learned from reading the posts on this from Wizbang and Blackfive is an Australian soldier.

I need to find some more from this lady!

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sorry for the light (or non-existent!) blogging

My Mom has been here for a visit for the last couple of weeks, and has been keeping me busy! Originally my husband was supposed to be out in the field for most of this month, and she was going to be here to keep me company and spend my birthday with me. But, as the Army tends to do, the plans changed and so Aaryk has been home all this month as well. (More below)

It does mean we've had some interesting discussions (my husband LOVES to debate everything!) on religion and politics. My Mom is Protestant and we're Catholic, she's a Democrat, and we're Republicans. It's been...enlightening. I know my Dad and older brother are both wayyyyy to the Left, but it's nice to learn that Mom doesn't agree with a lot of the Paranoid Left. She still thinks socialized medicine is the way to go, but we're working on that. ;)

Reading the headlines this morning, I'm struck by the fact that both Hawaii and now Peru have been hit with fairly major earthquakes less than two weeks after North Korea tested it's first nuke underground. I have to wonder if there is any correlation, and what other damage that explosion may have caused.

I'm sorry to have missed not one, but TWO Friday Frivolity postings, but here's a couple of things to tide you over until I get back to regular blogging later this week-


I usually don't advocate costumes for pets (mostly they're just dumb), but I might make an exception for the pug-o-dile

Thanks for your patience, I hope to be back to regular blogging by the end of this week!


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Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Frivolity

Just a coule of quick links for you this week folks-

Edible Origami! Sounds like it could be fun!
Post-it Notes Yoshi Make sure you look at all of them! (I know, you have to be an old geek to appreciate pixelated video games!)


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So, what DOES happen to American citizens...

when they are accused of conspiring with terrorists? Are they "disappeared", whisked off to secret prisons, never to be heard from again? Are they sent to foreign coutnries to be tortured until they confess?


As Lynne Stewart and Michael Curtis Reynolds are finding out, they are going through the exact same criminal justice system as any other American citizen charged with a crime.

So much for the hysterics of the Paranoid Left.


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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

How cool!

Cardinal Sean O'Malley is blogging his trip to Rome!

Cardinal Sean's Blog


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Monday, October 02, 2006

Victor Davis Hanson

Need I say more?

Traitors to the Enlightenment

Go read it now.

I especially like-

And what have we learned in the last five years from its boutique socialism, utopian pacifism, moral equivalence, and cultural relativism? That it was logical that Europe most readily would abandon the artist and give up the renegade in fear of religious extremists.

Those in an auto parts store in Fresno, or at a NASCAR race in southern Ohio, might appear to Europeans as primordials with their guns, “fundamentalist” religion, and flag-waving chauvinism. But it is they, and increasingly their kind alone, who prove the bulwarks of the West. Ultimately what keeps even the pope safe and the continent confident in its vain dialogues with Iranian lunatics is the United States military and the very un-Europeans who fight in it.

Still think Christian fundementalists in America are the problem?

Who'd of thought that NASCAR fans would be considered the bulwarks, even the saviors of Western Enlightenment?! ;)

Proud to stand up and be part of the solution!


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Feminists for life

Feminists for Life has a new program that looks interesting-

Alexandria, VA, October 2, 2006 __ Feminists for Life is launching a national web campaign aimed at bringing peace to America’s painful, decades-long abortion conflict.

“Since 1973, it's been the same thing. One side of the hotly contested abortion wars yells, ‘What about the woman?’ Instead of yelling back, ‘What about the baby?’ Feminists for Life answers the question,” says FFL President Serrin Foster. “It’s hard to talk when there’s all that distance.”

To bridge the gap between both sides of the abortion debate, Feminists for Life is offering a new e-course beginning October 5, free to all who sign up, and advertising it via a national web advertising campaign.

Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice QuestionsTM answers such common questions—and real quandaries—as “What about in the case of rape?”, “What about poor women who are without resources?”, and “Is it fair to ask a girl to give up her education to have a baby she doesn’t want?”

You can sign up for their e-course here

I like this group because they are NOT a religious based organization. They are looking at abortion from a different point of view, one that I'm trying to angle my discussions on the subject from as well.

Give them a look!


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Military Commisions and Habeas Corpus

Wow, where to start. This VERY LONG piece was sparked by the recent exchange I had with MysaNal on her Live Journal. It made me actually READ the legislation that the Congress passed last week. So, if you're on board for the long haul, here we go!

Let’s begin by defining our terms-

From Senate Bill 3930-

(A) The term `unlawful enemy combatant' means—
`(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or
`(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.
`(B) CO-BELLIGERENT- In this paragraph, the term `co-belligerent', with respect to the United States, means any State or armed force joining and directly engaged with the United States in hostilities or directly supporting hostilities against a common enemy.

`(2) LAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT- The term `lawful enemy combatant' means a person who is—
`(A) a member of the regular forces of a State party engaged in hostilities against the United States;
`(B) a member of a militia, volunteer corps, or organized resistance movement belonging to a State party engaged in such hostilities, which are under responsible command, wear a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance, carry their arms openly, and abide by the law of war; or
`(C) a member of a regular armed force who professes allegiance to a government engaged in such hostilities, but not recognized by the United States.

`(3) ALIEN- The term `alien' means a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

Now, what does it take for a person (citizen or alien) to be declared an Unlawful Enemy Combatant (UEC)? Generally, that determination is made by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT), and such is necessary for a determination of UEC status dispositive-

Sec. 948d. Jurisdiction of military commissions
(c) Determination of Unlawful Enemy Combatant Status Dispositive- A finding, whether before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense that a person is an unlawful enemy combatant is dispositive for purposes of jurisdiction for trial by military commission under this chapter.

(a note on what dispositive means, since I wasn’t sure- In law, a dispositive motion is a motion seeking a court order entirely disposing of one or more claims in favor of the moving party without need for further court proceedings. "To dispose" of a claim means to decide the claim in favor of one or another party. )

In other words, for a person to be considered a UEC, a CSRT must have reviewed the information and determined that he meets the criteria as defined above.

These military commissions are based on the procedures used for military court marshals. This whole section is added to the US Code, in the section that is the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It would go in the UCMJ here at the end. This puts it in its proper perspective.

Sec. 948b. Military commissions generally
(c) Construction of Provisions- The procedures for military commissions set forth in this chapter are based upon the procedures for trial by general courts-martial under chapter 47 of this title (the Uniform Code of Military Justice). Chapter 47 of this title does not, by its terms, apply to trial by military commission except as specifically provided in this chapter. The judicial construction and application of that chapter are not binding on military commissions established under this chapter.

Now, while these commissions are duly constituted courts according to the Geneva Convention-

Sec. 948b
A military commission established under this chapter is a regularly
constituted court, affording all the necessary ‘judicial guarantees
which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples’ for purposes
of common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Here’s the Geneva Convention mentioned-

with all the guarantees implied by the convention, an alien UEC may not invoke other Geneva convention rights-

Sec. 948b
RIGHTS.—No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by
military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva
Conventions as a source of rights.

That may sound harsh, why should alien UEC not be able to claim the Geneva Conventions? Well, it’s because THEY CHOSE to give up those protections by not following the Geneva Conventions to begin with!

The GC define POWs as-

Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.
(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.
(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

Back to the Senate bill, this part is important-

`Sec. 948c. Persons subject to military commissions
Any alien unlawful enemy combatant is subject to trial by military commission under this chapter.

Emphasis mine. While the earlier definition of UEC speaks generally of a person who commits those acts, from here on in we are talking SPECIFICALLY about alien UEC. That’s important to point out to those in the paranoid Left who fear being ‘disappeared’ without any recourse. They must have stopped reading after the definitions to misunderstand so.

From there it goes on to talk about the jurisdiction of military commissions, and how they do NOT apply to Lawful Enemy Combatants and ends with this section-

‘‘§ 948e. Annual report to congressional committees
(a) ANNUAL REPORT REQUIRED.—Not later than December 31
each year, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees
on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives
a report on any trials conducted by military commissions under
this chapter during such year.
(b) FORM.—Each report under this section shall be submitted
in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

So there IS Congressional oversight here. Since this information is REQUIRED to be unclassified, we can all check and see how many trials have taken place. Using that information, I have not doubt that our journalists and even average Joes will be able to keep up with what’s going on with the UEC detainees.

The next several sections of the bill detail how military commissions will operate, and are pretty straightforward, so I won’t go into them here. Keep in mind though, we are STILL talking about alien UEC here, NOT US citizens.

After a verdict is reached, the following happens-

Ԥ 950b. Review by the convening authority
The findings and sentence of a military commission under
this chapter shall be reported in writing promptly to the convening
authority after the announcement of the sentence.

under this subsection to modify the findings and sentence of a
military commission under this chapter is a matter of the sole
discretion and prerogative of the convening authority.

‘‘§ 950c. Appellate referral; waiver or withdrawal of appeal
provided under subsection (b), in each case in which the final
decision of a military commission (as approved by the convening
authority) includes a finding of guilty, the convening authority
shall refer the case to the Court of Military Commission Review.
Any such referral shall be made in accordance with procedures
prescribed under regulations of the Secretary.

So, an alien UEC goes before a Military commission. The findings and sentence are then reported to the convening authority who has the power to approve, disapprove, commute, or suspend the sentence in whole or in part. The convening authority may not increase a sentence beyond that which is found by the military commission. The convening authority may also order a proceeding in revision or a rehearing. Next you have the AUTOMATIC appellate referral for review.

Wow, 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions details the litany of crimes and offenses that a military commission covers. The list is HUGE but very specific. You can find it on pages 26-31 in the .pdf linked at the end.

At the very end of this section is another accountability measure-

‘‘47A. Military Commissions ................................................................ 948a’’.
90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary
of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services
of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report setting
forth the procedures for military commissions prescribed under
chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as added by subsection

So far, everything we’ve dealt with have been the changes and additions to the UCMJ section of the US Code, to handle the new military commissions.

Section 6 moves on to amend the War Crimes section of the Code to spell out exactly what a “grave breach” of GC III article 130 includes. It goes well above and beyond the things listed here in the GC, and sets the bar higher. It also specifies that No foreign or international source of law shall supply a basis for a rule of decision in the courts of the United States in interpreting the prohibitions enumerated in subsection (d) of such section 2441. It then adds the list of ‘grave breaches’ as subsection (d). That list is on pages 34 and 35 of the .pdf (link at the bottom). These are the things that the US agrees it will not do in the interrogation of prisoners.

Now we get to the par that has so many of the Left up in arms. The Habeas Corpus stuff. The bill reads thusly-

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 2241 of title 28, United States Code,
is amended by striking both the subsection (e) added by section
1005(e)(1) of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2742) and the subsection
(e) added by added by section 1405(e)(1) of Public Law
109–163 (119 Stat. 3477) and inserting the following new subsection
(e)(1) No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to
hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed
by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who
has been determined by the United States to have been properly
detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.
‘‘(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section
1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (10 U.S.C. 801
note), no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear
or consider any other action against the United States or its agents
relating to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial,
or conditions of confinement of an alien who is or was detained
by the United States and has been determined by the United
States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant
or is awaiting such determination.’’.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by subsection (a)
shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and
shall apply to all cases, without exception, pending on or after
the date of the enactment of this Act which relate to any aspect
of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of detention
of an alien detained by the United States since September 11,

After much digging, all I can find is that this section is not really new. The referenced section 1005(e)(1) of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2742) is from the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. It specified the same things, but limited it to Guantanamo Bay. Let me say that again…THIS IS NOT NEW. Where was the uproar a year ago when this went into effect then? And again, to clarify, this ONLY applies to aliens, NOT citizens of the US. I point that out repeatedly, because some on the Left are so paranoid and fearful as to think that THEY will be ‘disappeared’ just for being anti-Bush.

So what ARE the recourses for UEC who are US citizens? Well, off hand I don’t know, because this piece of legislation doesn’t cover them AT ALL. That’s why, after reading through this whole thing, I don’t get the hysteria I see on the Left.

So, I have a question (or three) for you all-

Would the people who are upset that the UEC are being held ‘indefinitely’ be as outraged if these were traditional POWs? Haven’t we generally held POWs until the end of hostilities? Do POWs have a right to Habeas Corpus?

Link to the final Senate bill in .pdf form-

Instapundit has a good roundup of info here-


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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fear, an election year staple

In this election cycle I have noticed both sides talking a lot about fear. I hear many on the Left accusing Republicans of using the War on Terror to instill fear in to the populace in order to get them to vote Republican. The Left accuses the Right of claiming that they ar weak on fighting terror and want to cut and run in the War in Iraq in order to garner votes.

On the other hand, the Left itself has started fearmongering among it's base of late. I read this in a friend of a friend's Live Journal the other day and just was speechless-

From here on out, i will post in this journal at least once every seven days, so that if eight days go by and i haven't posted, you will know i've been "disappeared."

This sounds kind of drastic and paranoid even to me, but the law passed by the Senate yesterday allows the Department of Defense to declare anyone, anywhere, to be an "unlawful combatant," US citizen or not, in actual contact with actual terrorists or not, in actual possession of weapons or not. All you have to do is be judged to have given "aid or comfort" to terrorists. According to many right wingers, all you have to do to qualify on this count is to criticize the president. I've done that plenty of times and i'm not going to go back and hide all those journal entries, so i'm just as likely to disappear as anyone.

Now, it's absurd on soooo many levels, not the least of which is, I haven't heard ONE reputable 'rightwinger' say that folks who criticize the President is the same as giving aid or comfort to terrorists. Heck, even I criticize the President, especially on some of his domestic decisions. My brother sent me this article In Case I Disappear, and I bet that's where she got the idea.

I don't know how people can live in such paranoia and fear all of the time, I really don't. Ok, maybe I do. I've seen the same sort of feelings from Republicans who fear Hillary being our next president. But I don't see her even getting the nomination, let alone winning, so I don't have to deal with that fear in my daily life.

Then my friend Mysa posted something yesterday that just got to me. Here's a link-I am ashamed to be an American

I made a snarky comment there, but wanted to comment specifically on a couple of things to Mysa here.

First, have you actually READ the bills in question? Yes, bills, the House passed a similar one recently as well. I ask, because I see the same sort of...hysteria, if you will over this (from the Left in general) that we saw over the whole Net Neutrality fiasco. You remember, the one where one side got folks all riled up over something that WASN'T EVEN COVERED IN THE BILL?!?! All you have is ONE SIDE'S opinion on it. I've been reading the 'other' side's discussions on this, and haven't heard any of the same kind of fearmongering ( and believe me, they'd be discussing the potential for a Liberal President's abuse of this if there was anything substantial here). I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. Unless, of course, you believe that ALL Republicans are in on wanting to make any...dissenters 'disappear'.

Second, this is JUST a bill. It has been through the joint comittee, but according to the leaders it won't get to the President unti AFTER the election.(*) Because, you know, they all have to spend the next month campaigning instead of doing what we PAY them to do (but that's another discussion). So, at WORST, it's election year posturing. As I mention above, I'm much more concerned about the Left using this to spread misinformation and fear, but, it's an election year, so what're you gonna do.

I'm hoping that one of my more historically knowledgeable readers (Waarthog?) can respond here to some of the other remarks you had about habeas corpus and how it applies to NON-Americans captured during a war. I'll do some more reading on that as well, after I get copies of the bills and go through them.

UPDATE- Sparks from the Anvil has a great cartoon about the Democrats and their policies on National Security.

(*)I corrected this after having read the bill today. The final 'compromise bill' is what the Seante voted on last week (S. 3930), but it was sent back to the House because the Senate wanted IT'S number on the bill. More on that here. (Personally, I don't think it was pettiness so much as a tactic to keep it off the President's desk until after the election. That's my theory anyway!)

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