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Diplomacy At Work

The United States, Russia, China and three leading nations of Europe announced an agreement Thursday on a package of incentives intended to resolve the nuclear crisis with Iran, shelving any punitive action by the Security Council until Iran has time to respond to the proposals.

June 1, 2006 Posted by | National Defence | Leave a comment

FACT CHECK: Right Wing Falsely Claims Iraq Is Safer Than Washington, D.C

The right wing has recently been engaged in an effort to downplay the deteriorating security situation in Iraq by suggesting that the violent death rates in Washington, D.C. are higher than those in Iraq. From Newsmax:

Despite media coverage purporting to show that escalating violence in Iraq has the country spiraling out of control, civilian death statistics complied by Rep. Steve King, R-IA, indicate that Iraq actually has a lower civilian violent death rate than Washington, D.C.

Using Pentagon statistics cross-checked with independent research, King said he came up with an annualized Iraqi civilian death rate of 27.51 per 100,000.

Rep. King’s shoddy “report” has slowly gained greater circulation, appearing in the New York Sun and on the Rush Limbaugh show.

Here’s why the report is deceptive and false:

1) The King report uses 2002 data for Washington, D.C., finding a violent casualty rate of 45.9 deaths per 100,000 people. That number is badly outdated. Using the most recent 2004 data, the violent casualty rate in D.C. is 35.8 deaths per 100,000. There were 198 homicides total in D.C. for the entire year.

2) According to Pentagon’s own data released today, there have been 94 violent casualties per day in Iraq between February and May of 2006. (see p.33). That translates into 34,310 deaths per year in Iraq. For an Iraqi population of about 26.7 million, plus another 150,000 coalition forces, the violent casualty rate in Iraq is 128 deaths per 100,000. UPDATE: The Pentagon data includes injuries as well as deaths so is not directly comparable. The Brookings Institute, however, estimates an annualized murder rate of 95 per 100,000 Iraqis in Bagdad. Brookings notes this number may be “too low since many murder victims are never taken to the morgue, but buried quickly and privately and therefore never recorded in official tallies.”

3) Lastly, the King report is trying to conflate the data for one urban area in the U.S. with the entire country of Iraq. As OpinionJournal writes, “The comparison with U.S. cities poses a problem of scale. Just as some municipalities here have high concentrations of crime, Baghdad and some other Iraqi cities have high concentrations of military, guerrilla and terrorist activity. A comparison of Baghdad with Los Angeles or a similarly sprawling U.S. city would be more enlightening than a comparison of Iraq as a whole with cities of well under a million people.”

UPDATE: Sadly No!, has more

June 1, 2006 Posted by | Right Wing Deception | 3 Comments

Homeland Security Grants for NYC and DC Slashed

The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that New York and Washington, DC will be receiving significantly smaller allocations of the $1.7 billion in security funds distributed by the government. New York will get about $125 million—$83 million less than last year—while the nation’s capital will see its funding drop from $77 million to $46 million. Few voices outside of DHS could be heard defending the department’s new “formula”, whereby Georgia will get a 40% increase in its federal grant money. An official at the department said that they simply have “additional information, additional clarity” about how best to distribute the money.

June 1, 2006 Posted by | National Defence | Leave a comment

Diane Farrell

I have been criticized for not posting enough about Diane Farrell, the Democratic candidate opposing Chris Shays in the 4th district of CT. Well, the reason I have been neglecting Ms. Farrell (who I love) is two fold.

  1. She lost by a 4% margin in 2004 and there is almost no way that I can see her losing again. Now with the war going the way it is and the Republican 'culture of corruption' image worsening as it is.
  2. I felt like Ned Lamont had way less exposure and although this blog does not reach very many readers when compared to others, I've always believed that every little bit counts.

I just got back from a full day (3-8) of volunteering for Farrell and I have fallen back in love with the campaign. Call me fickle but the vibe in that office is energizing. Young people, old people, teachers, students, white collar and blue collar all working for nothing to support a progressive candidate to represent them in the US Congress.

I made dozens of phone calls and heard some pretty interesting stories. Mostly of people who can't afford health care or have relatives fighting in Iraq, or live in neighborhoods where children need to wory about getting home from school alive let alone getting a decent education.

Diane is the woman who will stop sending valuable tax dollars to fight for nothing in Iraq and spend them here where CT needs it most. Learn more about her stances and campaign.

June 1, 2006 Posted by | Decision '06 | 5 Comments

Lamont Posts on Kos

Check out Ned Lamont's Diary on The Daily Kos.

June 1, 2006 Posted by | Decision '06, Net Roots, The Progressive Movement | 2 Comments