IN THE MIDST OF A PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY, FORMER JOURNALIST ROBERT PARRY CLUTCHED HIS STOMACH AND INSISTED, "IT'S TIME! IT'S TIME!"
AS CURIOUS LOOKERS ON WATCHED, HE DEMANDED A PILLOW, BOILING WATER AND SALT WATER TAFFY AS HE STRUGGLED TO SINK TO THE GROUND.
"THE BABY'S COMING!" HE YELLED FOR ALL TO HEAR.
"IT'S GOING TO TAKE A FEW PUSHES!"
AND THEN, AS EVERY ONE WATCHED, PARRY SQUEEZED OUT ONE OF THE LOUDEST FARTS EVER HEARD IN NORTH AMERICA.
GIGGLING, PARRY STOOD AND SAID, "FALSE ALARM."
Matt Bradley and Ghassan Adnan (Wall St. Journal) report on the budgets (2014 and 2015) today and also on the conflict between the KRG and Baghdad while getting it right -- something few do -- about what came first (Nouri's withholding the 17% of the federal budget the Kurds are entitled to) in this economic battle. As the 2014 budget continues to elude the Iraqi government, new prime minister Aider al-Abadi is making weapons and violence his spending priority and slashing everything else:
Mr. Abadi’s cuts have pushed budget expenditures this year down to 137 trillion Iraqi dinars ($117.9 billion) from a projected outlay of 171 trillion ($147.16 billion).
The cuts have been painful. Plans were scrapped to hire some 37,000 new government employees—including doctors and teachers—and raises were delayed for existing ones. The government has also postponed plans for new student loans and scholarships, said Majda al-Tamimi, who represents the government-allied Sadrist bloc on the finance committee.
There’s even talk in parliament of cutting spending on orphans and on elementary-education projects, according to some lawmakers.
That helps no one, that's nonsense and it's outrageous but set aside the ethical issues.
It's also stupid politics.
Iraqis need jobs. Iraq needs doctors and teachers.
The inability to create jobs in the recent past in Iraq led to what?
Oh, that's right, Sunnis joining al Qaeda in Iraq.
Gutting student loans and scholarships?
Exactly what the hell is al-Abadi doing.
And let's stop lying that he's protecting the country.
Getting foreigners to bomb your own country from airplanes -- and tossing a few of your war planes into the air -- is not providing safety or addressing any issues.
It's actually both stupid and cowardly.
It's the Chicken Hawk way for War Hawks to cowardly to fight on the ground.
You want to run the 20,000 or 30,000 people out of country with over 30 million people?
You don't need bombs falling from the skies.
You need people on the ground willing to rebuke, forget fight, the Islamic State.
In 2010, the Iraqi people cast votes to stand for a national identity and that's still possible.
But that embarrassing budget won't do a damn thing to pull the country together.
If the US government, if Barack wanted to help, he would have a US diplomatic delegation in Iraq explaining how to utilize the budget in a manner to pull the country together.
Equally true, the Iraqi government needs to be going after Nouri al-Maliki and Nouri's son whose theft of public monies is an open secret and Iraqis suffering in poverty aren't going to embrace further poverty measures while thieves like Nouri remain unpunished.
He doesn't just remain unpunished, he remains in the presidential palace despite not being prime minister. He refuses to leave.
If Haider al-Abadi had any sense, he's send the military to force Nouri out and you better believe Iraqis would cheer him on.
When Haider can't even reside in the prime minister's housing because former prime minister Nouri won't leave, he looks weak and inept.
He's looked weak and inept since his September 13 announcement that he had ended the bombing of Falluja's residential neighborhoods -- since he made the announcement and the bombings continued. NINA notes 9 civilians were killed today and twenty-three more ("including women and children") were left injured from the security forces' bombings.
Let's go back to Barack's press conference. Here Phil Mattingly is asking a question.
Q Also if it is your feeling that you have the power to implement any type of agreement that's reached without any action from Congress? And then, also I just wanted to quickly touch on the AUMF that you mentioned earlier. Is that going to be more of a codification of the limits that you've put in place for the mission up to this point? Or what should we be looking for on that when you send it to the Hill? Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: On the AUMF, the leaders are going to be coming here on Friday. It will be an expanded group, not just the four leaders, but a larger group who all have an interest in the issues we're discussing today. And I’m actually going to invite Lloyd Austin, the CENTCOM Commander, to make a presentation about how our fight against ISIL is proceeding and I think to answer questions and assure that Congress is fully briefed on what we're doing there.
With respect to the AUMF, we’ve already had conversations with members of both parties in Congress, and the idea is to right-size and update whatever authorization Congress provides to suit the current fight, rather than previous fights.
In 2001, after the heartbreaking tragedy of 9/11, we had a very specific set of missions that we had to conduct, and the AUMF was designed to pursue those missions. With respect to Iraq, there was a very specific AUMF.
We now have a different type of enemy. The strategy is different. How we partner with Iraq and other Gulf countries and the international coalition -- that has to be structured differently. So it makes sense for us to make sure that the authorization from Congress reflects what we perceive to be not just our strategy over the next two or three months, but our strategy going forward.
And it will be a process of listening to members of Congress, as well as us presenting what we think needs to be the set of authorities that we have. And I’m confident we're going to be able to get that done. And that may just be a process of us getting it started now. It may carry over into the next Congress.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot