The Numbers Game

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

Bipartisan hyperventilating about DFH blasphemy aside, these numbers are only going to keep increasing over the next six months, thanks in part to the promotional efforts of the honourable General. With that said, it’s nice to see Congress still has its priorities straight (to say nothing of the pro-war Right).

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by Isabel

Doctors in China have discovered 26 sewing needles embedded in the body of a 31-year-old woman.

They think they were inserted into Luo Cuifen’s body when she was a baby by grandparents upset she was not a boy. Some of these needles have penetrated vital organs, such as the lungs, liver and kidneys. One has even broken into three pieces in the woman’s brain.

Dating Violence Warnings Candy-Wrapped in Croatia

In the former Yugoslav republics, dating violence is common and boys are typically reared to understand force. One organization is using educational brochures and school workshops to teach teens an alternative.

In fight against domestic violence in Zimbabwe, UNICEF enlists traditional chiefs

Following the historic enactment of Zimbabwe’s Domestic Violence Act, UNICEF, the Government and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWALA) are training hundreds of traditional leaders across the country to help fight domestic abuse in their communities.

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Smoke & Mirrors, Take 69

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

The Petraeus Kabuki performance commences today, and the breathless anticipation is palpable. Yeah, well, colour me preemptively unimpressed, underwhelmed and continuing to exhale. We already know what the honourable General is going to say: sure, the political situation in Iraq sucks, but give the surge yet another F.U. and things should be all sunshine and lollipops. I mean, we’ve heard it straight from the pen of the court stenographer.

So what’s the point of the exercise? To present the Bush admin’s case to the court of public opinion? Or for Congress to cut deep and inspire the MSM to, y’know, do its job? Some might say that a ‘bold performance’ from the Congresscritters during questioning could put Petraeus on the defensive, and change the tenor of coverage from a thus far compliant press corps that suddenly smells blood.

Fuck that noise.

The same media that all summer has aided and abetted the Bush admin’s PR surge? Bold performances from the likes of Joe Biden, who has already fully embraced GOP talking points as gospel? Oh, and I especially liked how, earlier this year, after much Spectoring, sputtering and bluster, Congress boldly and courageously caved to Executive demands re: previously unlawful domestic surveillance and warrentless wiretapping.


I’m sure there will a pungent stench after today’s dog and pony show, but it sure as hell won’t be blood (or at least not Bush’s blood).

Bush isn’t up for reelection. He can afford to continue defiantly catering to select partisans and his ego, in lieu of reality and a skeptical populace. The court of public opinion no longer has jurisdiction over his decisions. And despite the public by and large seeing through the smoke and mirrors, Congress will roll over yet again – regardless of the award-worthy Kabuki performances that have already begun and will inevitably be continued later today.

Why? Because, in lieu of solid data, Petraeus has his reputation, bolstered by charts and maps. Pretty, colour-coded maps.

6 more months.

Bet on it.

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