Petraeus Takes Over Afghan Command: ‘Cooperation Is Not Optional’

Looks like General Petraeus is already taking care of business in Afghanistan.

Huffington Post

KABUL, Afghanistan — America’s top diplomat in Kabul jokingly handed NATO’s new commander Gen. David Petraeus an access badge to the U.S. Embassy on Saturday, a symbolic gesture of a new partnership in the troubled U.S. management of the Afghan war.

The smiles and declarations of synergy came as Petraeus prepared to formally assume command on Sunday of a 130,000-strong international force at a time of rising casualties and growing doubt about how much can be achieved before July 2011 when President Barack Obama wants to begin withdrawing U.S. troops.

Petraeus called for troops and civilian staff employees to work together, saying: “In this important endeavor, cooperation is not optional.”

His predecessor, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was fired last month for intemperate remarks that he and his aides made to Rolling Stone magazine about Obama administration officials, mostly on the civilian side.

“Civilian and military, Afghanistan and international, we are part of one team with one mission,” Petraeus told about 1,700 invited guests, including Afghan government and military and police officials gathered at the U.S. Embassy for a pre-Fourth of July celebration marking American independence.

They were Petraeus’ first public comments since he arrived Friday night to take command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. He said he would work to improve coordination between troops on the battlefield and civilians trying to bolster the Afghan government and improve the lives of the people.

His message to the Afghans in the audience: “Your success is our success.”

Petraeus, widely credited with turning around the U.S. war effort in Iraq, faces rising violence and growing doubts in Washington and other allied capitals about the effectiveness of the counterinsurgency strategy, which the general himself pioneered.

June was the deadliest month for the allied force since the war began in October 2001 with 102 deaths, more than half of them Americans. Britain’s Ministry of Defense reported that a Royal Marine was killed on Thursday in southern Afghanistan – the fifth international service member killed this month.  

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Episcopal Bishop slams GOP attacks on Saint Thurgood Marshall.

I agree wholeheartedly with this letter from the Episcopalian Bishop on behalf of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.   I am surprised that so many people, who benefitted from Marshall’s defense of liberty and civil rights did not speak out in HIS defense earlier in the week.

Think Progress

This week, Republican senators spent Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings attacking Justice Thurgood Marshall, the legendary advocate behind Brown v. Board of Education who was recently sainted by the Episcopal Church.  Yesterday, the Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Bishop of Washington, responded to these attacks on one of his church’s saints:

Not often is a saint of the Episcopal Church attacked in the chambers of the United States Senate, but incredibly, it has happened this week. As we prepare to celebrate our cherished American values of equality and justice on Independence Day, we must also rise to defend Justice Thurgood Marshall, an Episcopalian who embodied those ideals.

Marshall is an Episcopal saint. He was the first African American to become a justice of the United States Supreme Court and was the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case that struck down the institutional racism of segregated public schools. He was also a man of deep religious principles. Last summer, the Episcopal Church voted to include him in our book of saints, called Holy Women, Holy Men. May 17, the day of the Brown vs. Board decision, is his feast.

During his years in Washington, Justice Marshall and his family belonged to St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, where his widow, Sissy, is still an active member. On behalf of all Episcopalians in the Diocese of Washington, I extend to her my sympathy for the hurtful remarks made this week about her late husband. Let me assure Mrs. Marshall and all Episcopalians that our church is resolute in our gratitude for and admiration of Justice Marshall’s legacy, and we pray that we may all receive his exceptional grace and courage to speak the truth.

The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane D.D.

Bishop of Washington

Of course, General Kagan has not yet been confirmed, so if her opponents act quickly, they “may still have time to make cases against Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Gandhi.”

The Young Turks Interview Thom Hartmann: “Are Corporations People?”

The recent controversial  Supreme Court ruling of  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission  has allegedly answered the question “are corporations people?”

However, Thom Hartmann, radio personality and author disagrees.  Here is why:

Rachel Maddow: President Obama’s Achievements

For those who constantly complain that President Obama has done nothing for this country, or that he is sabotaging this country, or any of the other fringe right-wing conspiracy theories, listen and learn.

Glenn Beck’s Latest Money-Making Scheme: Glenn Beck University

This man actually thinks he is “educating” the masses.  OMG! 

News Hounds 

With his lucrative relationship with Goldline coming under federal scrutiny, multi-millionaire Glenn Beck has come up with a new way to pry more bucks out of his supporters’ pockets. Glenn Beck University. Really. 


Although this sounds like something straight from The Daily Show – no, crying out for The Daily Show – Beck is completely serious. At least about the for-profit part. The academics – not so much. 

As Will Bunch of Attytood writes, 

Beck U. is strictly a profit deal. Only by paying Glenn Beck Inc. to become an extreme insider ($9.95 a month, or $74.95) can you enroll on Beck’s pseudo-cyber-campus… In addition to the myriad other reasons, one thing that guarantees that Beck U. won’t be showing up in the U.S. News and World Report survey anytime soon is that 33 percent of the faculty is a fraud. That would be the Christian-oriented pseudohistorian and Texas schoolbook perverter David Barton, whose sins against knowledge have been chronicled here in the past. Students at Beck U. can also learn economics from a Beck pal, David Buckner, with a mediocre pedigree (he has been an adjunct associate professor not of economics but of psychology and education at Columbia) and also from an actual professor who somehow sneaked in there, LSU’s James Stoner.