24 March 2003

Where is Raed?

Is Iraq still connected to the internet?
Despite the ease with which the USA could unplug Iraq from the Net, the country's internet services appear to functioning as of this moment. Web surfers have encountered intermittent problems reaching, the Iraq government's main website, after the US launched its initial attack Wednesday night. But those access difficulties were apparently due to a surge of Internet visitors rather than to damage from the bombing.

One apparently authentic web site authored from Baghdad is still posting news - I hope he (and his net connection) arn't destroyed... some excellent commentary contained within this "blog".

the all clear siren just went on.

The bombing aould come and go in waves, nothing too heavy and not yet comparable to what was going on in 91. all radio and TV stations are still on and while the air raid began the Iraqi TV was showing patriotic songs and didn't even bother to inform viewers that we are under attack. at the moment they are re-airing yesterday's interview with the minister of interior affairs. THe sounds of the anti-aircarft artillery is still louder than the booms and bangs which means that they are still far from where we live, but the images we saw on Al Arabia news channel showed a building burning near one of my aunts house, hotel pax was a good idea. we have two safe rooms one with "international media" and the other with the Iraqi TV on. every body is waitingwaitingwaiting. phones are still ok, we called around the city a moment ago to check on friends. Information is what they need. Iraqi TV says nothing, shows nothing. what good are patriotic songs when bombs are dropping around 6:30 my uncle went out to get bread, he said that all the streets going to the main arterial roads are controlled by Ba'ath people. not curfew but you have to have a reason to leave your neighborhood, and the bakeries are, by instruction of the Party, seeling only a limited amount of bread to each customer. he also says that near the main roads all the yet unfinished houses have been taken by party or army people.

And here is a rant from a few days earlier...
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8 March 2003

Worst president in all of American history snubs Mrs. Thomas

I caught some of the KFYI Goyette show on Friday where callers were jumping to the defense of GWB, illustrating once again there is no limit to the hypocrisy that gushes from many Republicans. Apology after apology was given for the blatant choreography and orchestration of a reporter question and answer session that really was just a sham of a method for the POTUS to hit all of the talking points on his script. Only lackeys and lapdogs are permitted to query the POTUS, and I guess Helen Thomas has made the Bush "enemy list" for her insightful assessment on his leadership attributes ... specifically the remarks that "This is the worst president ever. He is the worst president in all of American history." ...

Syndicated columnist Helen Thomas, who has covered every president since John F. Kennedy, was relegated to the third row in last night's East Room event and — if the memory of press corps veterans is accurate — received her first presidential snub.

One reporter who has covered the past six presidents said: "I don't remember a press conference in which [Mrs. Thomas] didn't get a question."

Well, the times, they have changed and now the White House is occupied by an unelected fraud ...
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5 March 2003

National Budget Simulation

I cut the deficit by nearly 366 billion dollars. Let's see if any of you neo-conservative Republicans can do better...

This simple simulation should give you a better feel of the trade-offs which policy makers need to make in creating federal budgets and dealing with deficits.

This simulation asks you to adjust spending and tax expenditures in the the 2004 budget proposed by the White House in order to achieve either a balanced budget or any other target deficit. In order to make the choices we face in the budget clearer, we assume that you make the adjustments all in one year. According to the White House, the 2004 fiscal deficit is projected to be $307 billion. This does not include the costs of the Iraq War, so it has been increased by a base estimate of $50 billion for those costs in this simulation (which can be increased, lowered or eliminated depending on peoples views of the costs or likelihood of the war.).

The Simulation also allows you to adjust the costs of the 2001 and proposed 2003 tax cuts, either cutting or cancelling them to raise revenue, or increasing them to create larger tax cuts. It also allows you to increase or decrease tax expenditures, also known as tax deductions, credits or "loopholes."

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