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Archive for February, 2006

TW in Iraq #3: A Mock Iraqi Village

February 3rd, 2006

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This last week, we received the best training I have ever received in the Marine Corps. We went to a large movie set where there was a mock Iraqi village set up. There were Iraqi-American actors who were playing roles as civilians and insurgents. There were even mock IED explosions and amputee actors who lost their (fake) limbs when they were caught close to the explosions. We practiced urban patrolling and urban raids in this fully interactive environment, sometimes using blanks and sometimes using simulation rounds. Simulation rounds are like paint ball rounds on steroids. They are 9mm rounds that can be fired out of our actual, issued weapons, but that mark you like a paintball when you’ve been hit. Read the rest of this entry »

Responding to the President’s Budget

February 2nd, 2006

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“Good intentions and good beginnings are not the measure of success. What matters in the end is completion: performance and results. Not just making promises, but making good on promises.”

— President Bush’s 2003 Budget

Next week, the President submits his fiscal 2007 budget to Congress. Like his State of the Union Address, the budget will include a long litany of promises—mostly old, some new, almost all of them already broken. By Bush’s own standard—“performance and results”—his administration and his friends in Congress would get a failing grade. Read the rest of this entry »

Bush Opens the Door on Abortion

February 1st, 2006

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“There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades,” boasted President Bush in last night’s State of the Union Address. Seems impressive, until you consider that there are still 1.3 million abortions every year in America. How can the President gloat about that? How can he point to this area with pride when one in five pregnancies still ends in abortion?

Progressives have an opportunity to take up the mantle of reducing the number of abortions in this country — but in a serious way that impacts the problem while preserving personal liberties. Read the rest of this entry »

Teeing Up Ethics Reform

February 1st, 2006

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With Washington all atwitter over ethics, congressional leaders in a stare-down over lobby reform legislation, and House Republicans this week choosing whether to elevate “the Congressman from Carnival Cruise” or “the Right Gentleman from Royal Troon” to the vacated Majority Leader post — we thought it wise to draft a document on ethics messaging. Our concern is that golf-playing, SPF 30-toting, pan-seared tuna-eating conservatives in Congress are successfully shifting the debate from ethics to legislation. Read the rest of this entry »