March 09, 2007


Caption: Time to get out of the web.

The national AFL-CIO executive board called on the United States to seek an end to its military involvement in Iraq.

Here's an excerpt from the beginning of the statement:

No U.S. foreign policy can be sustained without the informed consent of the American people. Last November, the people spoke clearly, calling on the president and Congress to change course in Iraq. Rather than heed the will of the citizenry or listen to the military leaders speaking out against the current policy in Iraq, the president has chosen to escalate military action. This blind pursuit of the war now undermines the very war on terror that was its justification.

And here's one from the middle:

It is time to bring our military involvement in Iraq to an end. Admittedly, there are no good options now in that country. It has descended into a sectarian civil struggle, with American troops caught in the crossfire. The latest National Intelligence Estimate reports that the greatest violence comes not from al Qaeda and foreign terrorists, but from sectarian militias caught up in their own internal conflict.

And here's one from the end:

The AFL-CIO continues to strongly support initiatives and programs to promote democracy, workers’ rights and economic development in the Middle East. We believe the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (the Baker-Hamilton Commission) provides the president and Congress with a broad range of recommendations to address the wider regional conflict as well as economic and reconstruction assistance while charting a path for reducing the U.S. presence in Iraq.

We, therefore, call on President Bush to reconsider the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. Specifically, the administration should open up a diplomatic offensive with allies and Iraq’s neighbors. This should include a new initiative to revive a peace process in the Middle East and it should include a timetable for redeploying U.S. troops out of Iraq’s civil strife. We also call on Congress to support these actions and insist on a timetable for disengagement. If the president refuses to act, Congress must use its powers under the Constitution and act.

Works for me.

WV UPDATE. The WV House Finance Committee modified a Senate-passed corporate tax cut bill. The house version includes combined reporting, which closes corporate tax loopholes and cuts in the business franchise tax. Combined reporting is a good step. The overall business tax package is less that what passed the senate. So that's a victory of sorts.

Here's the deal: about half of WV's general revenue fund goes to K-12 education, about 10 percent to higher ed, about 20 percent to health and human services, the the rest covers everything else from parks to public safety. Going nuts on tax cuts means cutting the things we most need for a better future. Cutting education money to give goodies to out of state corporations when we can't adequately give teachers or public employees a decent raise is a little weird.

RANDOM BUT INTERESTING NEWS ITEM. Here's the lead of a cool but random news story:

Scientists studying how sleep affects memory have found that the whiff of a familiar scent can help a slumbering brain better remember things that it learned the evening before. The smell of roses — delivered to people’s nostrils as they studied and, later, as they slept — improved their performance on a memory test by about 13 percent.

Who'd a thunk it?


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