Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Of cabbage-heads and kings.

Egyptian pharoahs had the sphinx and the Great Pyramids; Emperor Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal; Saddam had the crossed swords in Baghdad;

And now?

Jack Murtha--royalty on the taxpayer dole:
Edifice Nix
Members have a complex.

By Deroy Murdock

Johnstown, P.A. — Devastated in 1889 by a notorious flood, this town today welcomes turboprop aircraft to its tiny airport. Approaching the terminal — which a decent-sized grocery store would dwarf — a sign greets passengers:
— John Murtha —
Johnstown Cambria County Airport

Inside, a framed photo features Congressman Murtha meeting employees at a local factory and praising their employer for creating jobs. Another picture shows the vocal Iraq-war critic’s face superimposed on the Stars and Stripes.

Near the front door, a portrait of Murtha — clad in a dark suit, white shirt, and dark tie — smiles from the wall, as Old Glory rises from an adjacent flag stand.

During the 1990’s [sic], largely through the efforts of Congressman Murtha, this airport extended its runway, updated its landing, approach lighting, and instrument landing systems, built a commercial aviation complex, was a catalyst for major upgrades to sewage and water services on this plateau, and became the home to nine National Guard and Reserve units, which include a new air-traffic control tower and state-of-the-art radar system that services commercial and military traffic,” reads a plaque beside the Democrat’s picture. “The total federal investment was approximately $125 million.”

So, this whole place is essentially a $125 million political ad funded by America’s taxpayers. Murtha’s face greets every constituent who traverses this airport. These repeat impressions, as advertisers call them, boost Murtha’s name identification and ease his reelection to Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, which he has represented since 1975.
"Donating" millions upon millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to pork barrel projects, getting untold free campaign advertising from having those projects named after you, and not having to shell out a penny by yourself.

Nice work if you can get it.

What I want to know, is what ever happened to the notion of elected officials being public servants?

I thought we threw off the notion of royalty when we broke from England in 1776.

But I guess power does have a tendency to go to one's head, eh Jack?

Too bad the taxpayers have to foot the bill for your ego trip.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Jack Murtha--Code Pink Hero!

From WaPo:
Gruff, jowly John Murtha wouldn't seem to be a Code Pink kinda guy, what with his appetite for pork and his pro-gun, antiabortion Marine hero bona fides.

But there the congressman was, in a Rayburn House Office Building hallway, gallantly protecting some war protesters from the group who had been tossed out of a hearing room and threatened with arrest.

"He said 'I know these people,' he gave me his hand and said we wouldn't be arrested," said Medea Benjamin, a San Francisco human rights activist who was doing her earnest best Tuesday to end the war when her lobbying methods provoked the displeasure of the U.S. Capitol Police. Code Pink ladies on one side; uniforms on the other. In the middle, the impressive bulk of 74-year-old Murtha. He called the sergeant at arms and didn't leave until he was assured the women would be released, Benjamin said.

"He's one of the most principled people I have ever met," said Benjamin of the Pennsylvania Democrat. "I don't know about the past. I'm sure there's plenty I wouldn't like. I'm sure there's plenty about his present record I wouldn't like. But I really respect his position on this issue. And today, he stood up for us."
And why wouldn't he? After all, he was showered with honors by this group. The same group, btw, that continues to picket the soldiers at Walter Reed, and the organization which raised money for the Iraqi terrorists targeting American troops. The same group that is in league with factions of the communist party. And yes, the same group that gave ol' Jihad Jack the "Man of the Year" award last year.

Birds of a feather, I'd say.

(h/t Free Republic)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cold-Blooded Murder This Ain't

Last May, John Murtha accused the Haditha Marines of "killing innocent civilians in cold blood" while appearing on ABC's This Week. This Sunday night, 60 Minutes will run an interview that Scott Pelley conducted with Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the leader of the Haditha Marines. Here's the key portions of Drudge's article on the interview:
One of those decisions, which Wuterich admits to in the interview, was shooting five unarmed Iraqi men in their backs. Wuterich says the men were running from a car that had appeared on the scene at about the same time their comrade was killed by a roadside bomb. Wuterich says their killing was justified; he says he identified them as having hostile intent toward the Marines. Wuterich also maintains that the Iraqi men disobeyed the orders of one of his squad members and that the Iraqis should have known what to do.

"Normally the Iraqis know the drill...if something happens...get down, hands up...They started to take off, so I shot at them," Wuterich says. Other Marines have told investigators that the Iraqis appeared to be following orders and were not fleeing. Pelley asks Wuterich how running away from the scene could have constituted hostile intent. He replies that he thought they may have detonated the roadside bomb. He adds, "But also at the same time, there were military-aged males that were inside that car. The only vehicle, the only thing that was out, that was Iraqi, was them. They were 100 meters away from that IED. Those are the things that went through my mind before I pulled the trigger. That was positive identification," Wuterich tells Pelley.
Let's put you in the soldiers' shoes. You're out on patrol. You haven't seen any Iraqi vehicles during your patrol. Suddenly an IED goes off and you see 5 Iraqi men get out of a car and start running. The car is 100 meters from where the IED exploded. You tell them to stop. How many of you think it's reasonable to think that the men running are the ones who planted or detonated the IED?

If it's reasonable to think that the men running were terrorists, I don't know how you can define that as "cold-blooded murder" like Murtha did. Let's move onto another section of the interview:
Another decision Wuterich made that day was to lead an attack on two houses. That attack killed three women and six children. The Marines attacked the first house with the permission of a superior officer because they thought two or three shots were fired at them from it. Wuterich says the Marines tossed a grenade into a room in the dwelling before determining who was inside. They pressed the attack with a charge through the door and gunshots to kill any survivors. According to Wuterich, this was the best way to clear a house safely, and he has no compunction about doing it. "You can't hesitate to make a decision. Hesitation equals being killed, either yourself or your men...That's what we do. That's how our training goes."

Wuterich says he saw that the attack on the first house had killed women and children. But he did not stop the assault, because he says he saw a back door open in the house and assumed the sniper had gone through it to the next house. "My responsibility as a squad leader is to make sure that none of the rest of my guys died ...and at that point we were still on the assault, so no, I don't believe [I should have stopped the attack]," he tells Pelley.
If innocent civilians were killed while the Marines were doing what they were trained to do, I couldn't call that cold-blooded murder. Yet that's the conclusion that Murtha arrived at. Remember that Murtha did that before the investigation was complete and before being officially briefed. I'd side with Sgt. Wuterich that he did the right thing, especially when Sgt. Wuterich tells us that he saw a door open through which a sniper could've escaped. House to house combat is a bloody business. Risks can be anywhere. Hesitation will get soldiers killed more often than not.

That isn't what I'd call cold-blooded murder. It's time that we told John Murtha he was wrong in characterizing the Haditha Marines' actions that way.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

This could have been a re-make of the Wizard of Oz...

From the Tribune Democrat:
Mason Wilson, 58, believed U.S. Rep. John Murtha’s pledge to support veterans.

The partially disabled Vietnam War veteran believed so deeply that he uprooted his family and moved them 1,100 miles from Wichita, Kan., to become a constituent of the Johnstown Democrat.

“The Wichita (Veterans Administration) was not helping me,” Wilson said, recounting his 10-year effort for increased benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Homeless since arriving Friday, Wilson has been living in his 1991 Ford Astro minivan with his daughter, Tamesha Lee Wilson, 22, and grandson, Trevon Lee Duff, 2.

Wilson saw Murtha on television addressing veterans’ issues and sent him a request for help. Murtha’s office returned a polite apology, saying such assistance is a courtesy “for those individuals who reside within the 12th Congressional District.”
So, still believing in "our hero", Wilson pulls up stakes in Kansas, to travel "over the rainbow" to PA-12. He packs up everything he has in the world, and takes all the trouble to travel cross-country from Kansas, just so he has a chance to speak with "The Wizard" Murtha. And what happens?
...Wilson said Murtha has been no more helpful than his former congressman, U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.

“I asked, ‘Will I be able to see him?’ He’s out of town.”

“We have been doing everything we can to help Mr. Wilson,” Murtha spokesman Brad Clemenson said, adding it is unlikely Murtha will meet with him.
Well, with all due respect, Mr. Wilson, much like the four who traversed the perils of Oz to seek the wizard that really wasn't a wizard, the best advice one can give to you is, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Mr. Wilson, join the ranks of the millions of soldiers who have and continue to be "dissed" by the self-absorbed, self-important Congressman Jack Murtha.

And just as the astute Dorothy figured out that the Great Professor Marvel was in fact a charlatan, I am sure that Mr. Wilson is coming to a similar conclusion regarding the "great congressman" from PA-12.

Like I've always said--Murtha supports our troops, like an arsonist supports firefighters.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rick Smacks Jack...

...figuratively speaking. Former US Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, posts a rebuttal in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to Murtha's ongoing blatherings about what he calls "our troops". Reading this piece, one might almost suspect Rick of being a closet MMG blogger.

It is disappointing that Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, is portraying his efforts to cut funding for troops deploying to Iraq as an attempt to fix problems with our military when he previously told the liberal organization MoveOn.org that his real motivation was to ensure that the military "won't be able to continue" with its new Iraq strategy to secure Baghdad.
At this point, I should note that since his loss (Pennsylvania's loss, really) in last year's election, Rick Santorum has joined the Ethics and Public Policy Center as a Senior Fellow. He is director of an EPPC program called America's Enemies. Murtha gives Rick a lot of material to work with.

Rep. Murtha's policy and the reasoning behind it are seriously flawed for three reasons: It would make America less secure, it ignores the realities faced by our troops on the ground and it is at odds with the reality that America possesses the greatest fighting force on Earth.

Instead of pursuing victory in Iraq, Rep. Murtha supports a premature U.S. withdrawal that would endanger America. Rep. Murtha's reasoning that Iraq's government will hold after U.S. forces leave, that Iraq's security forces will not disintegrate and that the Islamic fascists will not be able to establish a safe haven in Iraq is seriously flawed.

In an attempt to stop the president's new strategy before it is given a chance to succeed, Rep. Murtha would mortgage our nation's safety and set up our military for a tougher fight.

Murtha, and his party, have been running -- and, sad to say, winning -- on the corpses of dead Americans. They want our troops to die, and they want us to lose in Iraq, just so they can pin the blame on Bush and the Republicans. It's insidious.

In case you haven't been paying attention, Rick tells us exactly why Murtha's Iraq proposals are wrong, wrong, wrong:

Today, new units deploying to Iraq spend several weeks training with the units they are replacing to learn from their predecessors' experiences -- an important edge our troops would lose if Congress adopted Rep. Murtha's proposal to end tour extensions. According to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, Rep. Murtha's policy would allow us to field only 14 to 19 brigades, instead of the 20 necessary for victory in Iraq. There would be gaps between deployments, and new units might have to enter areas long vacated by their predecessors.

Rep. Murtha's rationale is even more disappointing considering he knows that our forces are properly trained and equipped for this fight. Gen. Pace has certified that our deploying forces will have all of the training and equipment they need, but Rep. Murtha disputes this, using Cold War-era equipment and readiness standards that Congress long-ago directed the Defense Department to reform. In fact, the Defense Department has requested funds for additional cutting-edge protective equipment for our forces -- a request awaiting review by the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that Rep. Murtha chairs.

Contrary to what Rep. Murtha believes, for five years we have been at war with a highly motivated, innovative, persistent and lethal enemy. And we will be for a long time. Yet our preparedness to respond to another crisis now is far better than it has been in previous major conflicts. As Gen. Pace pointed out, we still have 2 million troops prepared to engage and defeat our enemies anywhere in the world. The president's planned deployment of 21,000 additional troops to Iraq -- out of a total military force of 2.5 million -- does not change Gen. Pace's assessment.

Rick Santorum is one of the most historically aware politicians I've ever encountered. Last year I had the opportunity to hear his heavily criticized "Islamic fascism" speech in person, and I was pleased to hear that at least one officeholder understood that the world didn't begin in 2003. To listen to Murtha and his ilk, you'd think that George W. Bush suddenly decided to march into Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein for no reason at all. Rick Santorum knows that this struggle is a clash of civilizations that has been raging on and off for centuries. Iraq is just one battlefield in the conflict of which we are a part, and we have to be prepared.

Moonbats will tell us that General Pace has been discredited because, just the other day, he dared to express personal opinions that are very unpopular on the left wing of the political spectrum. I'd rather have one General Pace in charge than a whole committee of Congressional Democrats.
Unlike antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and her ilk, Rep. Murtha has the burden of knowing the nature and gravity of the threat of Islamic fascism. That this war may last as long as or longer than the Cold War, and may be much deadlier, is another factor. Yet Rep. Murtha has looked past this to score short-term, domestic political advantage. I can only assume that he and his comrades hope they do not succeed, for if they did, they not only would ensure our defeat and withdrawal from Iraq, but they also would dramatically increase the threat we face at home. This, of course, would spell political disaster for the left.

It is sad indeed to see this once-great defender of our national security offering proposals that are consistent with the urgings of our enemy, the Islamic fascists. I know Jack Murtha has fought in the trenches for decades for our men and women in uniform and that he has a special bond with them. But today he reminds me of another Democratic leader during a time of war, Gen. George McClellan. He was twice the Union commander in the early years of the Civil War. He was a great leader, but he loved his troops so much that he was unable to commit them to battle, thus passing up opportunities for a swift and less bloody conflict.
Does Murtha share Rick Santorum's awareness of history? I doubt it. I doubt that he'd see McClellan mirrored in himself if someone pointed it out to him -- unless, of course, he felt inspired by McClellan's subsequent 1864 run for the presidency. Today's Democrats, thank goodness, would never nominate Murtha for president.

Jack, if you really love our men and women in uniform as much as you say, let them fight and give them what they need to win.
Santorum's loss wasn't just Pennsylvania's loss. It was America's loss.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bad news for Jihad Jack...

When he even has to out-jihad the likes of Al Jazeera...
Even Al Jazeera Sees Improvement in Baghdad Situation
By Mark Finkelstein
CNSNews.com Correspondent
March 07, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - Indications that the new U.S. military strategy in Iraq is starting to improve conditions in Baghdad came from an unlikely source Wednesday -- the Qatar-based al Jazeera television network.

"I was just earlier this afternoon [Iraq time] with Al Jazeera English, talking to their reporter," Multi-National Force spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell told Cybercast News Service from Baghdad.

"She gets downtown [Baghdad] a lot. She was the one who told me, 'You know, General, there's a real change in the city right now.' And I said, 'Well, I can't tell you I definitely know that.'

"But she said, 'No, there is. I'm down there all the time, and there's a positive change in the city. The people are feeling like something is different - not able to articulate exactly what's different, but they're feeling that something is different.'"

Caldwell, who made the comments during a conference phone call, was responding to a question about whether he has seen any change in media coverage of the situation in Iraq in recent days.

He predicted that the improved conditions in the capital would "speak for themselves" and in time be reported by the U.S. media when reporters are embedded with military units in the days ahead.

Caldwell told Cybercast News Service that reporters have begun to embed with the 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, operating in Sadr City, and he expected positive media reports soon.

"Everybody had predicted that the Sadr City movement would be very challenging, but it's actually proving to be very much a cooperative effort between us, the Iraqi security forces and the citizens, the residents, of Sadr City.

"It's very positive," he said. "Not a shot's been fired, and everything seems to be moving along in a positive vein."
Ooooh... that's gotta hurt Jihad Jack, who has hitched his political fortunes to failure in Iraq, and most recently to try to derail Bush's new strategy.

Sucks to be you, Jack.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Soldier from "The Greatest Generation" speaks out...

A man who knows what it felt like to be abandoned by his country in the heat of battle has this op-ed:
"...The lady doth protest too much, me thinks..."
Yes, she does protest and has been protesting with most or all of the high moral and ethical values our Founding Fathers include in our Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. Ever since her ascendancy to chair the California Democratic Party and embrace her brand of political "progressiveness," House Leader Nancy Pelosi has consistently sought legislation belying her faith and belief in these documents.

In fact, if truth be known, she, now one of the most powerful women in America is probably planning to rewrite these revered historical documents, with her confrere and collaborator, Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha, in order to punctuate their a posteriori reasoning.

Despite all the evidence, it is Vice President Dick Cheney's contention that thwarting President Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq, as the Pelosi/Murtha bloc proposes, would in effect "validate" al-Qaida's strategy to break the will of the American people. This "slow bleed' Pelosi/Murtha unsubtle stratagem would link the $93.4 billion spending bill for Afghanistan and Iraq to an imposition of almost impossible conditions on the training, equipping of our military.
Simply put, Pelosi and Murtha maintain that our troops would not, under their resolution, have the training, would NOT have the equipment, would NOT have the proper rest and ergo! would NOT be able to function as a fighting machine.

How does one interpret such chicanery, such a deceitful action? Patriotism? Treason? Traitorous? Or merely concern for the safety of our troops, allowing them to hurry home, their tail between their legs?

Resolutions of every size, content and conceit have been flooding Congress, especially by "patriotic' Democrats who always seem to interpret a win as a grant of some sort of nobility and an endowment of unparalleled wisdom and perspicacity. Congressman Levin solemnly disparages Bush's "surge" as a "plunge." Sens. Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer seek to rewrite or decertify the war by nullifying the 2002 congressional authorization for the use of military force to remove Saddam Hussein and, thus, curb President Bush's option to fight and win the war against terror. And, in their words - as our enemies listen and our troops hear - "the pressure will mount, not unlike Vietnam, and Bush, now with a grievously flawed strategy and misplaced obsession, will per force, call the troops home." Huzzah!

Al-Qaida, the radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Iran, who supplies Iraq insurgents with killing weaponry, welcome all the congressional dissent. They laughingly enjoy the many defeatist signs signaling them via a Chinese-like menu of anti-Bush resolutions to pick from: Column A or Column B ... or even C or D. In effect, welcoming an American inglorious failure.

Quit. Appeasement. Surrender. The precise words interpreting these "non-binding" resolutions, especially those of strategists Pelosi and Murtha, are effectively eroding the morale of our military. In another war, and another generation, America stood as one and fought as one. Victory was the only resolution ... not the spineless and cowardly endeavors of a Congress that dares not defund the war effort, while aiming for a political and ideological win.

Memories of Cassino, Yorktown, Valley Forge, Battle of the Bulge, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Ho Chi Minh City and the heroes who gave their lives and those who still carry their wounds - physical and mental - still live with us. Indelibly. Yet, members of Congress ... even those who claim to have earned distinguished military honors, conveniently forget, that ALL gave selflessly to achieve freedom ... freedom from brutality ... from slavery ... from secular immorality and freedom to live and love.

For the first time in a very critical phase of WWII, American troops were forced to retreat from Alsace Lorraine in the dead of night due to a fuel shortage and German armies mounting a final putsch to turn the war around. The scuttlebutt was that a black market at home caused the shortage. We cursed the culprits, hoping that hell would befall them with a bitter taste of war on home's doorsteps. (emphases added-ed.)

This should not be our wish. We need no repeat of 9/11 to shake and awaken us to the danger of terror. Yet, we invite terror to our very doorsteps with our pusillanimous partisan vacillations, whiny protests and the loss of faith in our will to win ... and our will to expunge the implacable jihadi enemy: terrorism.

Joseph J. Duome is a former New York newsman and WWII veteran.
The American Soldier is indeed being betrayed, by the unholy axis of Defeatists... Pelosi, Kerry, and yes--brave, brave Sir Murtha.

Passing the torch of shame...

IBD has a great piece that outlines the real similarities between Iraq and Vietnam:

Posted 3/1/2007

Media Bias: He said that "for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us" and that "we are mired in stalemate." It was Walter Cronkite on Feb. 27, 1968. And he's at it again.

As the Democrats search for words to justify defunding the war in Iraq or imposing restrictions on our constitutionally defined commander in chief, they might revisit Uncle Walter's post-Tet offensive broadcast, in which he conned a trusting nation by describing a massive North Vietnamese defeat as a communist victory.

The "most trusted man in America" said Vietnam was unwinnable. Then-President Lyndon Johnson reportedly told an aide, "If I've lost Cronkite. I've lost Middle America." Cronkite lists the broadcast, "Report from Vietnam," and LBJ's reported reaction, among his proudest moments.

But even at 90 years old, Cronkite isn't ready to stop trying to destroy his nation:

But John Murtha & Co. needn't go back that far. Like Jimmy Carter, Cronkite refuses to leave the public stage and, while experiencing everything, appears to have learned nothing. The 90-year-old pundit was in San Jose, Calif., last week to assert that the war in Iraq was also a "terrible disaster" and "the earlier we get out, the better."

Cronkite also opined: "Look at the loss of lives of our young Americans there and those who have been maimed for life. For what purpose? No purpose we can define." He also said "I think we're probably less safe" and that the only thing we've accomplished is that the "entire Arab world has put us down as an enemy."

Cronkite and the Democrats were wrong in '68 and are wrong now. But in their world of naive appeasement, failure is not only an option, it is the desired result. Iraq is not Vietnam, but they're trying to make it so.

Walt, rest easy now. Your torch of seditionist vomit has been successfully passed to such stalwarts as Nancy Pelosi, and yes, brave, brave, Sir Murtha. They'll continue to work hard to make sure that your vision of an emasculated America, subordinate to radical Islam and every other two-bit ideology who wants to take a shot at it, takes hold.

Now go ahead and die, you seditious bastard.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Agenda media in full resuscitation mode...

Spinning the Murtha "Slow-Bleed" plan:
(From Al Reuters)WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - House of Representatives Democrats will more than fully fund President George W. Bush's request for money to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, but they are still debating conditions that could be attached, senior members of the U.S. House of Representatives said on Thursday.

"There will be $98 billion for the military part," about $5 billion above the Bush administration's request, said Rep. John Murtha, chairman of a defense spending panel overseeing war funds.

Murtha told reporters Democrats were still discussing provisions he wants to attach requiring that U.S. soldiers have proper training, adequate equipment and enough rest before being deployed into combat in Iraq. "We don't have it yet. We keep going back and refining it," Murtha said.

But he sketched out a certification process that could be tougher than one floated earlier this week in which Bush would have been given flexibility to "waive" Murtha's requirements.
Anytime--I mean ANYTIME you see anything else from Murtha or the MSM regarding the democrat plan to "support our soldiers", hearken back to this post.

It will tell you everything you need to know.

Murtha's credibility with regard to his intentions, if there was any justice in the world, should be as good as toast.

On Gerrymandering and Featherbedding...

American Daughter has an excellent post that outlines just how gerrymandered Murtha's district (PA-8) really is. As a matter of fact, it looks downright intestinal:

His district includes:

  • Part of Allegheny County
  • Part of Armstrong County
  • Part of Cambria County
  • Part of Fayette County
  • All of Greene County
  • Part of Indiana County
  • Part of Somerset County
  • Part of Washington County
  • And part of Westmoreland County

Just to show how minutely this district was sliced and diced, consider some of the fine detail from Washington County:

…Washington County consisting of the Cities of Monongahela and Washington and the Townships of Canton, Carroll Districts 2, 3 and 5, Chartiers Districts 3, 5, 6 and 7, East Bethlehem, Fallowfield Districts 1, 2 and 4, North Bethlehem, North Strabane Districts 2, and 3 (only blocks 3016, 3017, 4004, 4005, 4006, 4007, 4011, 4012, 4013 and 4015 of tract 745100), Somerset, South Strabane Districts 2, 4 and 5, Union, West Bethlehem; and West Pike Run and the Boroughs of Allenport, Beallsville, Bentleyville, California, Canonsburg Wards 2 and 3 (Division 1), Centerville, Charleroi Districts 1, 3 and 4, Coal Center, Cokeburg, Deemston, Donora, Dunlevy, East Washington District 2, Elco, Ellsworth, Finleyville, Houston, Long Branch, Marianna, New Eagle, North Charleroi, Roscoe, Speers, Stockdale, Twilight and West Brownsville.

As they say, the devil is in the details.

For a more detailed look at all the roads and towns, up close and personal, go here.

Fisking John Murtha

In his Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed, John Murtha tries making a roundabout argument that his slow bleed strategy is in the troops' best interest. Here's how he's trying to do that:
Gen. Pace himself recently issued a report to Congress that said because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that our military wouldn't be able to quickly and fully respond to another crisis. Two weeks ago, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, said the president's surge in combat troops in Iraq will further erode the Army's ability to respond to other incidents around the world.
What other crisis would Murtha have us respond to? Isn't defeating al Qa'ida enough? I understand that the military is being stretched thin but are we supposed to stop fighting this war so that our military is properly rested to fight a future battle? That makes no sense whatsoever.
My plan calls for the restoration of our military readiness to what it was before the war in Iraq. For the health and well-being of our military forces, I am requiring the Pentagon to uphold its own deployment and rotation guidelines that have been in existence for years.
Cut the crap, Murtha. As you stated here, your plan is to stop the war:
"They won’t be able to deploy troops unless they extend troops overseas. And if we limit the extension, then it’ll be very difficult for them to continue this surge, which the American people are against and the Iraqis don’t want," Murtha said yesterday on National Public Radio.
The truth is that John Murtha hasn't lived up to the hawkish image that the media has crafted for him. He's finally being exposed his willingness to unilaterally declare defeat, which he's done he's done before. That's why it's time for him to retire.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

It's All About ME, John Murtha

From time to time on my blog (and not nearly often enough), I get a little cranky about some insipid Op/Ed piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette written by either a guest columnist or by the paper's editorial staff. Today's guest editorial is entitled "Our Muddled Military" and is written by someone with the initials JPM. Guess who?
Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified on Tuesday to the Senate Appropriations Committee that my plan to restore military readiness in order to meet current and future threats and to require the Pentagon to uphold its own guidelines, standards and policies would somehow be damaging on the battlefield.
Pay close attention to Murtha's use of first person pronouns. You're going to see a lot of it. (It reminds one of the old SNL line "Me, Al Franken", repeated ad nauseum during one of Franken's desk routines.) He's getting close to being a man alone, increasingly shunned not only by Republicans who once considered him a trusted colleague, but by members of his own party. He can get away with mouthing off as long as he remains in Nancy Pelosi's good graces, though.
Gen. Pace himself recently issued a report to Congress that said because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that our military wouldn't be able to quickly and fully respond to another crisis. Two weeks ago, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, said the president's surge in combat troops in Iraq will further erode the Army's ability to respond to other incidents around the world.
"Our military"? I know of a Marine veteran (Korean War era) who likes to say that there are only two ex-Marines, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Murtha.
Gen. Pace also indicated that if he were forced to adhere to established Defense Department readiness standards, one-third of units currently programmed for Iraq could not be deployed. This statement is alarming. Is Gen. Pace saying that he is willing to accept that in the near future one-third of the total military force in Iraq will not be fully manned, fully trained or fully equipped?
Well, the way you put it, yeah, it does. But you don't speak for the General, and certainly not for the Commander-In-Chief. I rather doubt that we would send that theoretical one-third into a war zone when and if it comes down to it. Tone down the rhetoric, dude.
Gen. Pace is trying to shift the blame, when in fact it is this administration's polices that are hurting our military.
There goes Murtha talking about "our military" again. Is he referring to Baath party insurgents? Al-Qaeda terrorists? Iranian "advisers" sneaking across the border to kill Americans? Who does he mean?

Get ready now for a big poke in the "I":

Let's revisit history. On Nov. 17, 2005, I said that the failed war policies of this administration were destroying the future of our military. I said that our military is stretched thin, that the war in Iraq is resulting in significant shortfalls at our bases in the United States and that we must rebuild our Army. I knew then that the war policies of this administration were unsustainable and that our military preparedness and strategic reserve would suffer.

After visiting Iraq in 2003, I was the one who found severe shortages in body armor and shortages in armor and spare parts for our military vehicles. I worked with my colleagues to fix these problems. Since the start of this war, Congress has provided an additional $145 billion for essential war fighting and life sustaining items which the president did not ask for but which were needed. Congress also provided funding for 30,000 extra troops as a "temporary increase in end strength" because our military asked for it.

Clearly, John Murtha fancies himself to be a sort of shadow Commander-In-Chief, and one with superhuman abilities. Please note: references to Congress as "my colleagues" pertain to the pre-2007 Republican majority Congress. Not that Murtha would dare let that bit of information slip in.
At the beginning of the Iraq war, 80 percent of all Army units and almost 100 percent of active combat units were rated at the highest levels of readiness. Just the opposite is true today. Virtually all of our active-duty combat units at home and all of our guard units are at the lowest level of readiness.
There's a war going on, so you expect readiness levels to go down. The best way to shore up the military would be aggressive enlistment campaigns, or if you really get desperate, conscription. The draft is too controversial, and the war too politicized, for conscription to be seriously considered at this time. Frankly, I prefer an all-volunteer military. Save talk of a draft for when the homeland is under immediate military threat.
My plan calls for the restoration of our military readiness to what it was before the war in Iraq. For the health and well-being of our military forces, I am requiring the Pentagon to uphold its own deployment and rotation guidelines that have been in existence for years.

The intense strain that this administration's policies have placed on our service members is the problem. I am trying to fix what this administration has broken.

It may be a plan -- excuse me, HIS plan -- but it's just a plan, a proposal at this point, nothing more. Not that it requires Congressional or Executive approval. When Murtha says that he is requiring something, everybody else just better bend down and listen! Remember, he's the guy in whose chair no one else may sit upon pain of who-knows-what.

All hail the demi-god who writes his own doxology:
The intense strain that this administration's policies have placed on our service members is the problem. I am trying to fix what this administration has broken.
Can we get an "Amen!", brother? I knew we couldn't. Murtha won't let up until he can start calling the military establishment "our Pentagon" and the sitting president "my administration". "This administration" is a clever rhetorical device that makes mention of the sitting president's name seem like some kind of cuss word.

I have two words for you, Mr. Murtha: PRESIDENT BUSH!

(For a balancing viewpoint that brings up what guest columnist Murtha failed to mention in his piece, check out the first letter in the same edition's Letters to the Editors.)