That Didn’t Take Long

U.S. troops have been out of Iraq for what, less than a day now?

Iraq issues arrest warrant for vice president Hashemi

Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a senior security official said on Monday, after the government obtained confessions linking him to what the official described as terrorist activities.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Major General Adel Daham, told a news conference that confessions by suspects identified as Hashemi’s bodyguards linked the vice president to suspected killings and attacks.

See also:
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq in political turmoil hours after last US troops depart
Iraq: left to the wolves
Arrest warrant for Vice President Hashemi sparks political turmoil in Iraq
VP arrest warrant plunges Iraq into crisis
Iraq faces political crisis as the arrest warrant to Sunni VP al-Hashemi
Sunni, Shi’ite conflict grows in Iraq
Iraq Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi denies charge
Evading arrest, Iraqi VP denies hit squad claim
Iraq Vice-President denies he ran hit squad
Iraq’s Sunni vice President Tareq al-Hashemi warns sectarian divisions reopened
Iraq vice-president declares unity efforts ‘gone’
Iraq slaps travel ban on Sunni vice-president
Iraqi Sunni leaders denounce PM Maliki
U.S. “obviously concerned” about Iraqi Hashemi probe
Fugitive Iraq Sunni V.P. Tariq al-Hashimi Criticizes U.S.

It’s painfully clear what’s going on here. With the U.S. military now out of the way, the Shia led Iraqi government, backed by Iran, is wasting no time flexing its muscle and settling old scores against the Iraqi Sunni minority. Can you say looming civil war?

/and now we’ve pretty much given up our ability to effectively intervene militarily in Iraq, leaving Iran as the only regional military power capable of “riding to the rescue” of the Iraqi government, who just happen to be Iranian puppets anyway

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Russian Poison From The Sky

This time, it’s the Russian’s turn to randomly drop a spacecraft to Earth from orbit, only this one is loaded up with ten tons of highly toxic chemicals. When you duck, don’t forget your umbrella.

Toxic Russian Mars Probe Heads Back to Earth

It’s hard to believe that only last week we were getting excited for Russia’s first interplanetary mission in 15 years to launch. By now, we should be happy in the knowledge that the ambitious — and awesome — mission is powering through space, toward the Martian moon Phobos.

The reality is that we are now discussing uncontrolled reentry scenarios.

As if that wasn’t enough bad news, we are looking at an uncontrolled toxic reentry scenario. Phobos-Grunt — correctly written “Fobos-Grunt,” meaning “Phobos-Soil” or “Phobos-Ground” — is fully-laden with unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide; that’s ten tons of fuel and oxidizer. The probe itself weighs-in at only three tons.

The majority of the fuel will likely vaporize during reentry, but everyone will be hoping for a splash-down in an ocean (which covers two-thirds of Earth, fortunately), as the wreckage will still be hazardous. There’s also a small quantity of radioactive cobalt-57 in one of the science missions housed in the probe — a fact that will most likely cause a media frenzy.

It is for these reasons that the Russian media is dubbing Phobos-Grunt “Most toxic falling satellite ever.”

See also:
Russia’s Phobos-Grunt Spacecraft Goes AWOL
Russian Mars Probe Will Likely Come Crashing Back to Earth
Toxic Russian Mars Probe Likely Heading Back to Earth
Mood grim over Mars probe faultRussia Running Out Of Time, As Mars Mission Seems Destined To Fail
Report: Russians Believe Martian Moon Probe is ‘Lost’
Source: Russian Space Probe Unlikely to be Saved
Phobos-Grunt Mars probe remains silent in Earth orbit
Now Russians can’t even contact their busted Mars probe
Contact with Russian Mars probe ‘unlikely’ – expert
Failed Russian space mission shows difficulty of exploring Mars
Salvaging Science from Stricken Mars Moon Probe: A Scientist’s View
Phobos-Grunt mission
Fobos-Grunt

Man, the Russians just can’t catch a break. This is their fourth launch failure just this year and now they’re 0 for 18 at Mars missions.

/and we trust the Russians with our U.S. astronauts, it makes me nervous

Open Season On Christians In Egypt

With Mubarak no longer in power to keep the social lid on, Egypt’s Muslim majority is doing what it does best, practicing their religion of peace and tolerance by attacking and killing Christians and burning down their churches.

Christians: Egypt allows attacks

Egypt’s Coptic church blasted authorities Monday for allowing repeated attacks on Christians with impunity as the death toll from a night of rioting rose to 26, most of them Christians staging a peaceful protest in Cairo over an attack on a church.

The spiritual leader of the Coptic Christian minority, Pope Shenouda III, declared three days of mourning, praying and fasting for the victims, starting today. He also presided over funerals for some of the Christians who were killed. Sunday’s sectarian violence was the worst in Egypt since the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The clashes Sunday night raged over a large section of downtown Cairo and drew in Christians, Muslims and security forces. The violence began when about 1,000 Christian protesters tried to stage a peaceful sit-in outside the government-run television building along the Nile in downtown Cairo. The protesters said they were attacked with sticks, and the violence then spiraled out of control after a speeding military vehicle jumped onto a sidewalk and hit some of the Christians.

There was no breakdown available of how many Christians and Muslims were among the victims, but the 26 are believed to be mostly Christian. Officials said at least three soldiers were among the dead. Nearly 500 people were injured. Egypt’s official news agency said dozens have been arrested.

See also:
Anger boils over church attack in Egypt, at least 24 killed
Row over Coptic village church puts Egypt on edge
Christian, Muslim clashes rock Cairo
After Deadly Clashes, Egypt’s Christians On Edge
Egypt Violence Piles Pressure on Army to Hand Over Power Faster
Analysis: Situation only getting worse for Egypt’s Christians
The Copts Will Fight But they won’t win
Egypt’s Anti-Christian Violence: How Things Got So Bad
Vatican treads carefully on Egyptian violence
Siddiqui: Chill breeze in Arab Spring
Egypt riots reveal brutal reality behind ‘Arab Spring’

Remember, Obama and Hillary Clinton publicly called for Mubarak’s ouster and hailed the Egyptian “revolution” as an exercise in free democracy. Well, how’s that working out?

/also notice that, now that Christians are being killed in the streets and their churches burned down, Obama and Clinton are silent and nowhere to be found regarding the ongoing persecution by Muslims

Egypt Votes, But For What Exactly?

Egypt had a free and fair vote to amend the Egyptian constitution, that’s a good thing, right? Not so fast.

Egypt Approves Amendments

Egyptians voted in overwhelming numbers to approve a set of constitutional amendments, setting the stage for Egypt’s first truly contested parliamentary and presidential elections in decades.

Saturday’s historic referendum on the amendments saw millions of enthusiastic Egyptians wait patiently for hours to cast ballots in what for almost everyone was a novelty—a vote in which the result wasn’t effectively predetermined.

The largely peaceful and fraud-free vote was a marked contrast to past elections and a glimpse of how much has changed in Egypt in the weeks since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid widespread unrest, ending decades of single-party, autocratic rule.

Yet Saturday’s referendum also offered early clues into the rifts likely to shape Egyptian politics in the coming months and years. Many of the largely secular liberals who led the revolution that ousted Mr. Mubarak were opposed to the amendments, strongly suggesting the protest leaders have fallen out of sync with the vast majority of Egyptians.

Protest leaders criticized the amendments as part of a rushed and problematic timeline for establishing democracy; approving the changes started the clock on a race they said they are unprepared to run because they are still setting up parties.

Almost alone among the political groups in support of the amendments were the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group outlawed under Mr. Mubarak, and the National Democratic Party, the former president’s ruling party. Both hope to capitalize on their already strong organizations in summer elections for parliament, which will then be charged with writing an entirely new constitution.
. . .

Journalists covering the announcement abandoned any pretenses of objectivity and yelled “Allahu Akbar!”—”God is Great!”—when the tallies were read out by officials.

See also:
How Egypt’s historic referendum could now bolster Islamists
Big majority vote for constitutional changes in Egypt
Egypt Backs Constitutional Changes That May Aid Brotherhood, Mubarak Party
Egypt: Constitution changes pass in referendum
Egyptians approve constitutional amendments in referendum
Egyptians overwhelmingly approve constitutional changes
Egyptians set for summer elections
Egyptian voters say ‘yes’ to speedy elections
Egypt’s Historic Referendum: Rushed But Moving
Egypt referendum results: 77.2 per cent say ‘Yes’ to the amendments
Egypt approves amendments, prepares for next step
Egyptians get taste of democracy in post-Mubarak era
Egyptians approve constitutional changes, clearing way for elections

Egypt has zero recent history of democracy or diverse political parties. So, obviously, whatever groups are already the most organized will benefit the most from the early elections just approved. And what’s the most organized group in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood. What happens if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to dominate the democratically elected parliament after this summer’s elections and, therefore, gets to write the new Egyptian constitution?

/it could very well turn out to be “one man, one vote, one time

The Dominoes Strike Back

It’s Sunni versus Shia as Bahrain’s Suuni rulers have had just about enough of their Shia population’s ongoing uprising and have called on their fellow Sunnis, the Saudis, to help put down the Shia revolt.

Saudi Arabian troops enter Bahrain as regime asks for help to quell uprising

Saudi Arabian troops have crossed into Bahrain after the tiny Gulf kingdom’s ruling family asked for help from neighbouring Sunni Arab states to quell a two-month uprising which threatens their 200-year-old dynasty.

The Saudi capital, Riyadh, said that it had responded to a “security threat” by deploying its troops on the streets of its neighbour. They are to protect strategic sites such as bridges and government buildings. Bahrain’s rulers said the Saudi forces crossed the 16-mile causeway from Saudi Arabia to the island, together a contingent of troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council. Saudi authorities did not give details of the force; some reports estimate it to be 1,000.

Bahrain’s Shia majority has laid siege to the centre of the capital, Manama, since mid-February and has, in recent days, marched on government buildings and palaces.

See also:
GCC Troops Arrive in Bahrain
Saudis send troops into Bahrain to quell protests
Kingdom takes lead to help Bahrain
Thousands of Saudi troops cross into Bahrain after weekend of violence
Foreign troops enter Bahrain as protests continue
Gulf troops enter Bahrain as protests escalate
Saudi Arabia sends troops to troubled Bahrain
Saudi soldiers sent into Bahrain
Saudi troops enter Bahrain
Gulf military force enters Bahrain to help deal with unrest
Gulf security forces enter Bahrain, protests escalate
Next Mideast Flashpoint: Saudis Enter Bahrain
US says told, not consulted, on Saudi Bahrain force
Clinton Expresses ‘Deep Concern’ About Bahrain – US Official
U.S., U.N. urge restraint as forces enter Bahrain to control protests
Iran urges Bahrain to prevent “foreign interference”
‘Saudi intervention is a declaration of war’

Make no mistake about it, the Shia uprising in Bahrain and all the Shia unrest throughout the region is being directly instigated by Iran and her agents.

/if this turmoil somehow escalates into a direct confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, hopefully the Obama/Hillary foreign policy clown posse can keep track of which side the United States’ bread is buttered on

Let The Games Begin

Like it or not, here come the Republicans, armed with the House majority and subpoena power, ready to investigate the Obama administration and do what they can to roll back the last two years of economically destructive Democrat policies.

Incoming House GOP chairmen have a long list of issues to investigate

House Republican leaders announced plans Monday for congressional investigations into a wide range of issues, from corruption in Afghanistan to Washington’s regulation of private industries, using the power of their new majority to launch probes that could embarrass the Obama administration.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who will become chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee when the 112th Congress is sworn in Wednesday, said he would lead six major investigations in the first three months of the year. This is an ambitious undertaking by conventional standards, as congressional investigations often take months to bear fruit.

Issa, who will have power to subpoena government officials to appear before the committee, said he intended to conduct inquiries into the release of classified diplomatic cables by Wikileaks; recalls at the Food and Drug Administration; the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the foreclosure crisis; the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s failure to identify the origins of the meltdown; as well as business regulations and alleged corruption in Afghanistan.

Other incoming Republican committee chairmen are planning investigations into the Justice Department’s civil rights division, the radicalization of Muslims in the United States, homeland security grant money and air cargo and port and chemical plant security.

See also:
Issa targets ‘broken bureaucracy’
Darrell Issa asks business: Tell me what to change
Issa and Obama: At Odds, but Not at War
Movers and Shakers: Issa Predicts ‘Constant Battle’ With White House Over Economy
Issa to investigate government regulation, fiscal crisis, WikiLeaks
Issa Sets Sights on WikiLeaks, Government Regulation and Afghanistan for Future Hearings
Will GOP chairmen conduct meaningful oversight?
New GOP oversight chairman calls administration ‘corrupt’
GOPer calls Obama administration ‘corrupt’
What Darrell Issa Means When He Calls the White House “Corrupt”
Democrats tap top Obama lawyer to counter Darrell Issa
Upton may tackle global warming issue more quickly than Issa

After two years of Obama czars and recess appointments, incestuous Chicago and union cronyism, and a Democrat Congress running roughshod over the will of the American people, without any meaningful oversight, there’s a lot of corruption and political dirt that’s been swept under the rug. Now it’s time for some good old fashioned nose rubbing and public embarrassment. In other words, it’s payback time.

/pass the popcorn

The 2010 Aftermath

Not total victory, but all in all, it was a very good day for Republicans.

After GOP landslide of Election 2010, what next for Obama?

The Republican Party has swept the Democrats out of power in the House and gained seats in the Senate, sending a strong message of voter discontent to President Obama on the economy.

Republicans scored at least a 60-seat gain in the House, the biggest partisan shift since the Democrats lost 75 House seats in 1948. In the Senate, the Republicans fell short of the 10 they needed to take control, and failed to capture their most-hoped-for quarry: the seat of Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, who defeated tea partyer Sharron Angle by five percentage points. It is the first time in 80 years that the House has changed hands without the Senate following.

The historic wave that makes Rep. John Boehner (R) of Ohio the expected next speaker of the House also hands Mr. Obama the biggest challenge of his political career. Suddenly, the president has no choice but to work toward his unfulfilled 2008 campaign promise of greater bipartisanship. The alternative is gridlock and the appearance of ineffectiveness. But if Obama concedes too much to the Republicans, he risks losing the support of his Democratic base when he runs for reelection in 2012, as expected.

Maybe even more impressive and certainly just as important was the Republican near sweep at the state level. Republicans will now be in charge of redistricting in the majority of states, which will set legislative boundaries for the next ten years.

Forget D.C., look what Republicans won in state legislatures

This is especially important in years ending in ’00 because these newly elected governors and state legislators will (with the exception of California) be the ones redrawing legislative and congressional district lines that will stand for the next decade until the 2020 census. And occupying the governor’s mansion puts that party in control of an immense statewide political apparatus to help its presidential ticket two years hence.

Come January, Republicans will now run crucial governors’ offices in….

…major presidential battleground states like Florida (Rick Scott), Ohio (John Kasich), Pennsylvania (Tom Corbett) and Iowa, where former Gov. Terry Branstad returns. New Mexico voters elected their first female governor, Republican Susana Martinez, a Latino. Sometimes-maligned South Carolina voters chose Nikki Haley, who is not only the state’s first female governor but only the nation’s second of Indian American descent (Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal being the other.) Oklahoma also picked its first female governor, Republican Mary Fallin.

According to the authoritative Stateline.org, the country’s contests for governor and lieutenant governor cost $850 million. Heading into 2012, the GOP will control at least 29 of the 50 governor’s suites.
Perhaps more importantly, the Republican wave at the national level was also felt at the grass-roots level, where Republicans gained control of at least 19 more state legislative chambers, possibly two dozen as vote-counting continues.

The GOP will have a majority in at least 54 of the 99 state legislative chambers, including a minimum of 53% of state legislature seats (about 3,900). That’s the most the party has controlled in 82 years — and up about 700 seats from Monday.

Of course, we didn’t win them all and this one personally sticks in my craw. If it wasn’t for third party spoiler candidate Tom Horner (former Republican), Republican Tom Emmer would already easily be the next Governor of Minnesota. Mark Dayton should send Horner some flowers or candy or a tip or something.

Guv’s race: Long ride, no end in sight

A seismic shift in Minnesota’s political landscape unfolded Wednesday as the most game-changing election in a generation sent Republicans and the DFL scrambling for the last undecided prize — the governor’s office.

DFLer Mark Dayton unofficially leads Republican Tom Emmer by 8,856 votes — a margin so slight that it could trigger a hand-ballot recount for the second election cycle in a row.

Officials began the tedious, nerve-wracking task of locking up ballots, which both parties may guard around the clock.

The day’s events placed the state, yet again, in political suspended animation, awaiting the prospect of another recount brawl that could take months to resolve and get tangled in the courts.

See also:
2010 Elections Exit Poll Analysis: The Political Price of Economic Pain
Election Day 2010 and its aftermath
Exit polls Election 2010
Karl Rove, U.S. Chamber Amass Winning Record in 2010 Elections
Tea Party Top 10 biggest winners and losers
Statehouse wins put GOP in redistricting driver’s seat
Vote 2010 Elections: What’s Your Reaction to Republicans’ Big Win?
With 2010 Behind Us, A Look Ahead To 2012
Republicans celebrate, outline legislative goals
In Social Media Election, The GOP Capitalizes
How will Obama react to GOP gains?

Tuesday’s vote was an absolute thumping repudiation of Obama and the Democrats and their big government, far left agenda. Now that the Republicans have a tight leash on the Democrats, will the Democrats learn to play ball in the poetical center? Will the Democrats learn to at least read the destructive legislation they vote to cram down the throats of the American taxpayers, over the vociferous objections and protestations of the electorate.

/because, if the Democrats don’t learn their lesson this time, they’re going to get thumped even harder in 2012, the American people have spoken and they’ve had enough of Obama and the Democrats’ progressive socialism