Saturday, October 17, 2009

Iraq Contracts With China and Britain, Dancing With the Detainees

Kathleen Parker
Steve Coll
Daniel Gordis
Rush Limbaugh
"On any given day, life in the nation's capital feels like being trapped in an "Animal House" sequel -- with less-funny people."   - Kathleen Parker
"If we stopped today, this legislative session would have been one of the most productive in a generation -- if we just stopped. But we didn't want to stop," - Barack Obama

In a previous post I had criticized Rush Limbaugh for some of the racist statements he made. The quotes I presented were taken from the transcripts of his radio show and one source that he had said on network television. On Wednesday Mr Limbaugh was dropped as a potential investor in the St Louis Rams, who aren't even for sale yet. The Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox, let him make his defense. I provide the link above.

If you are learning debate, his article is a good example of defending himself by attacking others. If you are studying logic, it is a case study of logical fallacy. Rush has such a big ego that he never does anything wrong or insensitive, and every criticism of him is an attack on American conservative values. He is the ultimate victim here, under attack by the cultural elite, and you should take it personally: "If somebody calls you a racist, tell them, 'I know what you're trying to do -- you're trying to get me to shut up.' Then tell them you're sick and tired of their holier-than-thou arrogance and condescension."

It will be a few years after he goes off the air and can slow down his adrenaline-addicted brain cells by watching a few sunsets, only then he might develop some introspection. Until then, enjoy the show...

Iraqi oil leases...
I have been wondering why the Iraqi's hired a British firm to provide security for its southern oil fields, as opposed to hiring American. I thought it was because Iraq had bad experiences with American security forces, and the Brits conducted themselves in a more professional manner. The Iraqi government doesn't want any destruction of the oil fields, fearful if anyone decided on a suicide bombing, which could have devastating results.

All of the above may be true, but today Iraq announced that Britain and China agreed to develop the reserves in Rumaila on 20 year contracts, one of the largest undeveloped oil fields in the world. Iraq had held an auction back in June, but most companies retracted their bids because the terms were too restrictive, and it didn't look favorable for the next auction, so this is a compromise for both sides. I don't know if Iraq still demands that 85% of the employees be Iraqi. Meaning that they will have to be trained and educated because Iraq doesn't have many engineers or a large enough educated base to go in and work there. It's sad that the US had to spend more time reacting to insurgents than rebuilding the country, though we did build one of the largest embassies in the world, even if it's mostly empty and parts have never been used. Personally, I don't even comprehend how our soldiers can live and function in 145 degree heat and wear the heavy protective gear they have to have. A friend, who has been stationed there, said that you can get used to it; at night, when the temperature drops to 120, it feels so cool by comparison... And China will add it to its portfolio and plans to take over the world...

welcome home, stranger...

Yet, all is not rosy and comfy in the relationship between Britain and Iraq. Britain recently decided to send some of the people in their country seeking asylum back to Iraq. 39 people were on a plane that landed in Baghdad, but only 10 left the plane. And the 10 who left said that they were forced off: "They forced 10 of us to get off in Baghdad. They said the British embassy would help us, but they just gave us $100 and left us..."I'm too scared to go to where I used to live. Everything they told us is a lie."

The other 29 stayed on the plane because they could not prove to the Iraqi officials that they truly were Iraqis, and are now back in Britain staying at a lovely detention center, which may be Britain's answer to Guantanamo. It seems they Brits are more likely to grant asylum if you claim you are fleeing Iraq than most other countries. They might be able to go back to Iraq if they can prove they are oil field technical engineers...

late night political jokes:

"Well, the big story out of Washington is this healthcare bill passed the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 14-9, I believe it was. The Bill cost over $800 billion. And that's just what lobbyists had to give to members of Congress." --Jay Leno

"The good news is we'll probably have some kind of improvement in our healthcare system. The bad news is it won't be in our lifetime. It will never happen." --Jay Leno

"And the Fox News White House correspondent, a man named Major Garrett, has the swine flu. President Obama has ordered Fox News quarantined for up to five years, as long as it takes!" --Jay Leno

"And, of course, the Republicans still can't believe that Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. And the Democrats can't believe that Sarah Palin wrote a book. So, it's even." --Jay Leno

"And for the first time in a year, the Dow closed above 10,000. You know what that means? More AIG bonuses!" --Jay Leno

"And the Department of Homeland Security announced that instead of putting illegal immigrants in jail, what they're going to do is let them stay at converted hotels. Let me explain how this works. If you're a homeless American whose house has been foreclosed on, you're desperate for shelter, here's what you do. You sneak across the boarder to Mexico, you walk back in; the government puts you up at the Sheraton. Fantastic deal." --Jay Leno

"And over the weekend, they held a big gay rights march in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousand of gay Americans of all political persuasions filled hotel rooms in D.C. Actually, it was just the Democrats in the rooms. The Republicans were still in the closet." --Jay Leno

"Health care has now passed the Senate Finance Committee. So now here's what the Republicans are going to do to try and kill the health-care bill. They're going to go into filibuster where the guy gets the floor and he just keeps yacking and yacking and yacking and yacking and yacking. And people get tired and go home. Hey, wait, that could happen right now." --David Letterman

"John McCain's going to do the filibustering and he's going to talk about his collection of big band records." --David Letterman

"Yesterday, the Democrats' health-care bill made it past the Senate Finance Committee, in a 14-9 vote. Sorry if I spoiled the ending for you guys. I know a … lot of you probably TiVo C-SPAN." --Jimmy Fallon

"But yes, that's what happened. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe broke ranks with her party and voted for the Democrats' healthcare bill. She's been missing ever since." --Jimmy Fallon

"I'm so excited, because I had Olympia Snowe on my fantasy Congress team. I'm like, 'Yeah! Score, man!'" --Jimmy Fallon

"But even though the bill passed, President Obama said that now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back, mostly because you might pull a muscle. He says, 'Wait until you actually have health insurance before you do anything.'" --Jimmy Fallon

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