Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The Special Ops War between the SOCOM and the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan….Part 3

The Dog has written two pieces on the Special Ops war in Afghanistan and Pakistan…..

Part 1 Here………….….and Part 2 Here………….

We have Part 3 which clears the Forest from th Tree’s….

In   a piece in the Atlantic….Marc Ambinder flushes out why Part 1 and 2 ended up ….

The issue is …..The CIA has been given Carte Blanche to operate in Afghanistan to hunt and kill bad guys……The Military does not….

The orignal orders came from Theatre Commander Patreaus from US CEntral Command/CENTCOM

US Special Operators ROE’s* require them to phone home for clearance……

While Ambinder writes that Greg Miller of the Washington Post had an exclusive on the Issue…..

The Dog has been following the issue in two pieces in the New York Times that I have posted up by Mark Mazzetti……

Ambinder goes on to point out that the info in the WashPost and NY Times seem to be systemic leaks by the Special Operations Command/SOCOM ) military complaining about the arrangement that gives the CIA free rein to ‘deal with’ anyone on a approved ‘bad guy’ list and the US service Special Ops teams have to ‘call it in’….

No of course Ambinder relates there is a political Bullshit line that US Troops don’t operate in Pakistan…..So ofcourse the way around that is make sure the people operating in- Country are CIA Operators…NOT Military Operators….

Mazzetti goes into a bit about is the all this stuff legal…..And the Dog points out that the reporter puts in the the Generals prosecuting the war don’t mind getting the ‘takes’ info …no matter where it comes from…..and no one really wants the thing to stop…so the legal question really isn’t an issue…the whole thing works……

Ambinder goes on to confirm that contrary to earlier times…The Paksitanis ARE working with the US and get real time feeds from Prator drones…

When the drones find stuff the Pakistanis get it, SOCOM gets it…..and yes the CIA  intel teams get it…..The difference is the CIa teams can act on it…the SOCOM teams have to again…’phone home’…..

SOCOM’s operators are very much on the periphery of the shooting in Pakistan. They have much freer reign in Afghanistan. But even there, they’re being constrained by the intelligence they receive, and most of the human tips come from the CIA, or are laundered through the CIA’s relationships with foreign intelligence organizations.
SOCOM is not questioning the effectiveness of the drone program. What they want is encapsulated in these paragraphs:

U.S. Special Operations teams in Afghanistan have pushed for years to have wider latitude to carry out raids across the border, arguing that CIA drone strikes do not yield prisoners or other opportunities to gather intelligence. But a 2008 U.S. helicopter raid against a target in Pakistan prompted protests from officials in Islamabad who oppose allowing U.S. soldiers to operate within their country. The CIA has the authority to designate and strike targets in Pakistan without case-by-case approval from the White House. U.S. military forces are currently authorized to carry out unilateral strikes in Pakistan only if solid intelligence were to surface on any of three high-value targets: al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Taliban chief Mohammad Omar. But even in those cases, the military would need higher-level approval.

Read that carefully. The regular special operations forces have less authority to target … targets than the CIA, a strategic intelligence gathering agency, … IN A WAR. That’s the embedded news in the piece. SOCOM is trying to send a message to policy-makers and the public: they’ve got the capacity to help a lot more then they are helping, and they’re being hamstrung by legal authorities that don’t make sense to them. One point of the joint task force concept embraced by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and SOCOM is to crowd out the CIA’s paramilitary operations in the Af-Pak war theater.

More……..

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Zeigeist ( economic data ) for the week of May 30th……

From the Atlantic Magazine…..

Pollster.com Obama Average Job Approval
47.0%
Pollster.com Obama Favorability
53.4%
Pollster.com Right Direction / Wrong Track
34.1% / 57.2%
Pollster.com Congressional Approval
18.0%
National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Optimism Index
90.6 (up 4.4% from March)
ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Comfort Index
45 points below zero
U.S. Department of Labor Initial Weekly Jobless Claims
471,000 (down 114,000 since 1/20/09)
RealtyTrac Newly foreclosed properties in April
333,837
U.S. Department of Labor Unemployment
9.9%

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Economic Data (Zeitgeist), Government, Media, Other Things, Polls, The Economy, Updates | , | Leave a comment

The fight over Salt ………Which could be helping making people sick…….

Most of us American’s have High Blood Pressure…..

It results from a whole of things…. including Salt….

As the health industry educates the public of the association between Salt and Hyper-Tension the sale of salt has begun to drop…..

Manufacturers are beginning to work at cutting down the use of compaound….and that means less sales…..

The Salt industry is fighting back with a media campaign to bolster their product….

The amazing thing is that we have become salt junkies….Removing it from use is a card the Industry plays prominently

The compound is in almost every food that is on the shelves….In huge amounts……

From Breakfast Cereal to Soup……

The battle to remove the compound has already begun and the Salt Industry is not giving an inch…..

Stacking study members in their favor and applying political pressure on the FDA…….

The F.D.A. announced in 2007 that it was aware of that problem, but it has taken no action. The federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is considering adopting the lower standard for everyone as part of its review of nutrition standards.

The food industry has identified the guidelines as a battleground. The panel needs “to include expertise and perspective related to food product development,” the Grocery Manufacturers Association wrote to the Agriculture Department in nominating 7 of the panel’s 13 members.

Food companies then peppered the committee with their perspective on salt. In a letter, Kellogg said that lower salt guidelines were “incompatible with a palatable diet.”

ConAgra, whose brands include Chef Boyardee and Orville Redenbacher, made a different argument to the panel. It submitted a study it commissioned that asserted that far more savings in health care costs — about $58 billion — could be generated if people simply cut 100 calories from their daily diets than if they consumed less salt.

The study put the savings from salt reduction at just $2.3 billion, compared with the $18 billion to $24 billion in savings cited by other analysts, including the Rand Corporation, the research giant. One scientist involved in the research, David A. McCarron, a longtime food industry consultant, said ConAgra’s lower estimate stemmed from its more judicious use of hypertension data.

How the industry will fare in the fight over nutrition standards will not be clear until they are finalized later this year. But in committee meetings, some members nominated by the industry have voiced concerns about cutting salt.

Joanne L. Slavin, a committee member and nutrition professor at the University of Minnesota, told her colleagues that reducing salt in bread was difficult and warned of unintended consequences. It is an argument also made by food companies.

“Typically, sodium, sugar bounces around,” she said. “So you take sodium down in a product and then sugar a lot of times has to go up just for taste.”

More……..

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Food, Health, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , | 7 Comments

The race for F-35 Air Force basing….

CTOL F-35A F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter in flight

Even though one pilot flys the F-35 Lighting…..

It takes literally thousands of people to staff the bases that the aircraft are based out of….

And as we all know…People  = Money….

So It isn’t surprising that there is a rush on to become one of bases that the operational aircraft will operate out of when they finally start coming off the assembly lines…..

In Idaho, where officials predict a $1 billion boost from up to 3,000 personnel and 144 planes, even the state-sponsored lottery is in act: Its website urges gamers to join the effort to lure F-35s to Gowen Field Air National Guard Base in Boise and Mountain Home Air Force Base, 50 miles to the east.

“We feel strongly that it would be foolish to not support this, with the state of the economy,” said Adam Park, a spokesman for Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.

Meanwhile, Tim Amalong, a general aviation business manager at the Tucson International Airport in Arizona, is talking up the local Air Guard station’s attributes – and trash-talking rivals. Four-season weather above the Sonoran Desert’s 1.9-million-acre Barry Goldwater Training Range makes for better flying than colder airspace in Utah or Idaho, Amalong insists.

“I’ve been up there sometimes during the winter and it ain’t pretty,” he said.

So far, Lockheed Martin Corp. has built just a few of roughly 2,400 F-35s the United States has said it wants to buy, but the plane’s cost already has more than doubled to some $113 million apiece.

What’s more, the joint strike fighter – “joint” because different versions are also being built for the U.S. Marines and Navy – isn’t likely to be ready for Air Force operations until 2015, two years behind schedule.

Air Force officials responsible for the F-35 didn’t return repeated phone calls.

Five sites are training-mission candidates, where American and foreign pilots from U.S. allies that buy the planes would come to learn their way around the cockpits: Gowen Field; Tucson; Luke Air Force Base, also in Arizona; Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico……

More……..

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Family, Government, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates, Weather, Women | , , , | 2 Comments

Federal Employee's…..The House GOP wants to freeze your pay!……

Steny Hoyer speaks at an event.

[ ‘We need to reject this cynical ploy to make federal employees a scapegoat for spending,’ said Steny Hoye,Democratic House Majority Leader ]

Yep…..Those people are NOT your friends….

They know this ain’t going anywhere…

But they are flexing on your back…..

And paycheck…..

Not a good look at all……

House Republicans will try to force a vote on freezing federal wages when Democrats bring a defense spending bill to the floor Friday afternoon.

It’s the last day of a long legislative week on Capitol Hill, and before lawmakers head out for the weeklong Memorial Day recess, House Democrats are trying to pass a flurry of legislation: a tax extenders bill, legislation that provides for science programs and the defense authorization bill. Even though the proposal would be attached to the defense bill, military salaries would be exempt from the pay freeze. The proposal would also freeze pay for members of Congress.

Republicans plan to use a motion to recommit — a procedural method that sends a bill back to its committee of jurisdiction — to force lawmakers to vote on the freeze to federal worker pay. Republicans hope it puts Democrats in a bind: The majority doesn’t want to vote for the motion because it could temporarily kill the legislation, but if it doesn’t vote for it, the GOP could then say Democrats voted against a spending cut. This proposal is the latest from the House GOP’s YouCut project in which voters text-message their votes on how to cut government spending.

Republicans say that freezing federal salaries — except for those in the military — would save the government $30 billion in the next decade. The Obama administration intends to increase federal salaries 1.4 percent.

More……

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Family, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , | 1 Comment

Federal Employee’s…..The House GOP wants to freeze your pay!……

Steny Hoyer speaks at an event.

[ ‘We need to reject this cynical ploy to make federal employees a scapegoat for spending,’ said Steny Hoye,Democratic House Majority Leader ]

Yep…..Those people are NOT your friends….

They know this ain’t going anywhere…

But they are flexing on your back…..

And paycheck…..

Not a good look at all……

House Republicans will try to force a vote on freezing federal wages when Democrats bring a defense spending bill to the floor Friday afternoon.

It’s the last day of a long legislative week on Capitol Hill, and before lawmakers head out for the weeklong Memorial Day recess, House Democrats are trying to pass a flurry of legislation: a tax extenders bill, legislation that provides for science programs and the defense authorization bill. Even though the proposal would be attached to the defense bill, military salaries would be exempt from the pay freeze. The proposal would also freeze pay for members of Congress.

Republicans plan to use a motion to recommit — a procedural method that sends a bill back to its committee of jurisdiction — to force lawmakers to vote on the freeze to federal worker pay. Republicans hope it puts Democrats in a bind: The majority doesn’t want to vote for the motion because it could temporarily kill the legislation, but if it doesn’t vote for it, the GOP could then say Democrats voted against a spending cut. This proposal is the latest from the House GOP’s YouCut project in which voters text-message their votes on how to cut government spending.

Republicans say that freezing federal salaries — except for those in the military — would save the government $30 billion in the next decade. The Obama administration intends to increase federal salaries 1.4 percent.

More……

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Family, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , | 1 Comment

Ed Case will not run for the Hawaii 1st District in November……

[ Case , Hanabusa and Djou who recently won the seat….]

This welcomed news for the White House and Hawaii’s democratic Party…

This should clear the way fir Colleen Hanabusa to win the seat in November….since the Democratic vote will not be split….

What is interesting is that The Dog and Daniel have both pointed out that part of the problem here was that natives have pushed Case out of the race……

Former Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), who recently finished third in a House special election, says he will not run in November against newly-minted GOP Rep. Charles Djou.

In an e-mail to supporters Sunday afternoon titled, “Heart Says Yes, Head Says No,” Case announced that, “today I’m withdrawing my candidacy for the U. S. House of Representatives from Hawai‘i’s great First District for the upcoming 112th Congress.”

The announcement came one week after Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa split the Democratic vote in the May 22 special election for the Honolulu-based seat former Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie vacated to run for governor. Case finished in third place, an unexpected outcome for the former Democratic congressman.

Case, who faced fierce opposition during the campaign from the state Democratic establishment, initially said after the loss that he planned to run for the Democratic nomination for the full term. But Case told supporters Sunday that, “My heart tells me to stay in this fight, but my head says this has become the wrong fight.”

More……..

From Daniel……

Hello Folks!

WHAT A STUNNER THIS EVENING. We’ve BREAKING NEWS out of the “Aloha State”. Former U. S. Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) has ENDED his Campaign for the Hawai’i First Congressional District Race POLITICO reports.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37960.html

It’ll be Hanabusa vs. Djou in November and with now likely 2 NATIVES atop of the Hawai’i Ticket (Hannemann & Inouye) this Race should now be rated as Likely Democratic for November.

I bet there was mounting Pressure from Senators Inouye and Akaka to Case to drop his Bid.

Daniel G.

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates, Women | , , | 6 Comments

Celine Dion is pregnant ….With twins…..

Celine Dion, right, with husband Rene Angelil, left, and son Rene-Charles, underwent IVF treatment and acupuncture in her quest to have another child.

[ Celine Dion, right, with husband Rene Angelil, left, and son Rene-Charles, underwent IVF treatment and acupuncture in her quest to have another child. ]

The 42 year old singer, and her 68 year old husband, Rene Angelli have 9 year old son……

Grammy-winning singer Céline Dion is pregnant again – with twins.

The 42-year-old Canadian, who has long dreamed of having a bigger family, conceived after undergoing her sixth in-vetro fertilization treatment.

“We’re ecstatic,” Dion’s husband, René Angelil, 68, told People.com on Sunday. “Celine is just hoping for a healthy pregnancy. She was hoping for one baby and the news that we are having two is a double blessing.”

Dion and Angelil, who is also her manager, have a 9-year-old son, René-Charles.

The singer has publicly spoken of her desire to have more children.

In addition to in-vetro fertilizations, she underwent acupuncture to bolster her chances of having a baby.


May 30, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Family, Media, Men, Music, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates, Women | , | 3 Comments

The boomerang from the Blumenthal incident…..Rep. Kirk made up stuff also….

The Dog thought the Blumenthal story was overblown….and obviously the people of Connecticut do also…He’s still 15% above his GOP challenger…

But I posted this just to emphasize that a whole lot of people out there fib a bit….

From both political parties…..

And this guy is running against Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois…..

Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois, said he didn’t win the U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year award as he earlier claimed but a different award.

Kirk’s official biography on his campaign website had said was named the Intelligence Officer of the Year in 1999 for his service during NATO and U.S. military operations in Kosovo. While speaking in March 2002 on counterterrorism operations during a Congressional hearing, Kirk said he was the “Navy’s Intelligence Officer of the Year in 1998.” (See the video below.)

Kirk admitted the error in a campaign blog post and changed his biography Thursday to say that he won the Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Award for given to outstanding Naval Intelligence officers.

“It was one of the honors of my life to lead the Intelligence Division Electronic Attack Wing Aviano, Italy — and I am very proud of this award,” he wrote on his campaign blog. “My official biography will reflect this updated information.”

Kirk also posted fitness reports from his service in Kosovo in which a senior officer praised him as “head and shoulders above any other intelligence officer” he had met.

Kirk is running against Illinois treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) to fill the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama.

[ Giannoulias and Kirk ]

More……..

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Talkandpolitcs……BP expenses and profits…….

Spill expenses so far: about $1 Billion

Profits 1. Quarter this year: $6 Billion

More……..

Comment from the Dog……Think about all the oil coming out of that well…..That’s awful lot ain’t it?

Here’s something that ought make some people REAL happy….In the end you know the scenario is to drill relief pipes into the area…..THEREAFTER they will continue to pull oil from that find?…That would enable BP to make MORE money from the same deposit…..

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Ecology, Government, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Projections, The Economy, Updates, Weather | , , | 2 Comments