Saturday, November 26, 2005

Darwin and Evolution Controversy continues

From the Telegraph:

The Darwin exhibition frightening off corporate sponsors

The Darwin exhibition frightening off corporate sponsors
By Nicholas Wapshott in New York
(Filed: 20/11/2005)

An exhibition celebrating the life of Charles Darwin has failed to find a corporate sponsor because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution.

The entire $3 million (£1.7 million) cost of Darwin, which opened at the American Museum of Natural History in New York yesterday, is instead being borne by wealthy individuals and private charitable donations.

[Caution: blogger rant and personal opinion] Yet another example of "Intelligent" designer's handiwork. (This would be sarcasm on my part). I will never understand why the theory of evolution has to be mutally exclusive from religion. If you believe in God, Allah, the Great Turtle, or whatever - who's to say they didn't decide to create the universe by the rules of evolution?

Ok, I'll stop ranting now.... read the full article if you like at the link above.

Vietnam's Shadow

A good opinion piece from the Christian Science Monitor:

More lessons from Vietnam

Worried about flagging support for the war? The president tells his aides in a secret memo, "Publicly we say one thing; actually, we do another."

That was not President Bush on Iraq, but President Nixon on Vietnam and Cambodia. It is only one line in some 50,000 pages of newly declassified Nixon-era documents from the National Archive. It is not surprising, but still a little unsettling, to learn how often a president will dissemble with the people.

The revelation of the abuse of detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad was bad news for the Bush administration, as was the 1968 massacre of more than 350 South Vietnamese civilians in the village of My Lai. My Lai was treated by the Nixon White House as a public relations problem more than a moral problem. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird warned Nixon that My Lai could prove "acutely embarrassing" to the United States and could affect the Paris peace talks with North Vietnam. Mr. Laird added that My Lai, "will provide grist for the mills of antiwar activists," which could be ruinous to the image of the US.

Nixon said that an image could be changed by astute public relations, and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger weighed in with the observation that the trial of Lt. William Calley, implicated in the My Lai massacre, would alleviate press concerns about a cover-up.

Some of the Nixon Oval Office discussions about the future of Vietnam read eerily like memos on Iraq. In May 1969, a Nixon White House document said the US wanted to establish in Vietnam, "procedures for political choice that give each significant group a real opportunity to participate in the political life of a nation."

Sound like a discussion about nation-building in Iraq?

To bring this up to date, former Secretary Laird has an article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. Its title: "Iraq: Learning the Lessons of Vietnam."

Arguing for "de-Americanizing" the Iraq war, Laird says that our military presence is what feeds the insurgency. Laird says that he was the one who invented the term "Vietnamization." Maybe the word for what we face in Iraq today should be "Iraqization."

The similarities keep cropping up. Who here remembers that our country set out to win the "hearts and minds" of the Vietnamese as well?

The General reports it Best

In fine humor, Jesus General reports on the Denver Bus Incident as well. He does it far better than I ever could.

Next Stop: Big Brother

A living example of our times:

Meet Deborah Davis. She's a 50 year-old mother of four who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Her kids are all grown-up: her middle son is a soldier fighting in Iraq. She leads an ordinary, middle class life. You probably never would have heard of Deb Davis if it weren't for her belief in the U.S. Constitution.
Federal Public Transportation Pass

This is not America. When honest, law-abiding citizens can't commute to work on a city bus without a demand for their 'papers', something is very, very wrong.

One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.

On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether Deb and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "papers" whenever a cop demands them.

I understand the new times we live in - but this bothers me.

Al-Jazeera is not Shutting Up

Via Americablog:

Al-Jazeera calls for No 10 talks

Wadah Khanfar [head of Al-Jazeera] is calling for the facts to be made public and urgent talks.

According to press reports, the memo includes a transcript record of Mr Blair attempting in April 2004 to persuade Mr Bush not to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in Qatar.

Qatar is an ally of the US and was the location of US military headquarters during the Iraq war.

The White House dismissed reports of the conversation as "outlandish", but US officials have openly accused al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for al-Qaeda.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Mr Khanfar said: "Al- Jazeera is in the foremost of free form and democracy in the Arab world and therefore this news that we have heard is very concerning.

"So we demand a proper explanation and we would like to know the facts about this letter."

He said the matter was very important and that it concerned not only al-Jazeera but journalists across the world.

Rob (Americablog contributor) has this observation:
If this is true, that Bush wanted to bomb a building in the very same country as his military headquarters in a time of war, he would have to be absolutely insane. Congress should seriously consider what this would mean if the Commander in Chief was that wreckless.

The little story that won't go away....

Friday, November 25, 2005

Use less gas, pay more tax. That's fair...

From the Christian Science Monitior via USA Today:

Buying a hybrid car to save gas and the environment may be its own reward. But for curmudgeons who need extra incentives, help is on the way.

Across America, states, cities, and corporations are leaping on the hybrid-incentives bandwagon. On top of state tax credits, some hybrid drivers now enjoy exemptions from emissions-testing and excise tax. Others even get unlimited use of HOV commuter lanes.

And the mother of all hybrid perks will soon be unveiled: Beginning in January, the federal government will offer a tax credit of as much as $3,150 per car, based on its emissions profile.

"The federal incentives, higher gas prices, and all these other small but attractive perks are tipping the balance," says Bradley Berman, editor and owner of "Hybrid culture is definitely shifting into the mainstream. It's moved from environmentalists and early adopters to energy security and people that just want to save on gas."

Sounds like a pretty good incentive, huh? Not so fast! That was 10 days ago. From AP via KSAT TV in San Antonio:

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has suggested that the federal government tax hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars.

The chamber said the federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money to maintain the nation's highways, and that Congress needs to consider new sources of revenue.

Chamber leaders have also suggested billing drivers for miles driven. Their study recommends the federal gas tax of about 18 cents a gallon be indexed for inflation.

Proponents said drivers should have to pay their fair share to fill potholes and fix bridges, regardless of how much or what kind of fuel they use.

So lemme see if I get this: The gummint'll give ya all kinds of tax incentives to buy a more environmentally friendly vehicle that will help reduce energy dependence, then when you don't use as much gas, they'll tax you so you pay as much as a 3-ton SUV so you're paying your "fair share" for road repairs. Is that about it? Yeah, I'm sure the Priuses and Civic Hybrids beat the shit out of the infrastructure just like the Navigators and Expeditions, huh?

Our government is basically a bunch of non-communicatin' idiots!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Champ Meets The Chump

David Zinn of The Nation writes about Bush's meeting with Muhammad Ali to hang a well-deserved (imagine that!) Medal of Freedom on him:

About the only thing Bush and Ali have in common is that they both moved mountains to stay out of Vietnam. The difference, of course, was while Ali sacrificed his title and risked years in federal prison, Bush joined the country club otherwise known as the Texas National Guard, showing up for duty every time he had a dentist appointment. But the Champ still had one last rope-a-dope up his sleeve. As a playful Bush moved in front of Ali, he apparently thought it would be cute to put up his fists in a boxing stance. Ali leaned back and made a circular motion around his temple, as if the President must be crazy to want to tangle with him even now.

Perhaps a far more fitting and true tribute to Ali was on display at an antiwar demonstration last month, where an older woman of African descent held up a sign that read simply, "No Iraqi ever left me to die on a roof." This was a direct reference to a quote attributed to Ali that "no Vietnamese ever called me 'nigger.' " Both statements in a few short words encompass both the anger and internationalism so needed today. These are statements not of pacifism but of the struggle to end war. This is the Ali that they can never bury -- not even under the pall of devastating illness and a mountain of cheap medals.

It's a moving article and you should go read.

I hope Ali and Bob Dylan can forgive me for this, but:

As we gather and feast and relax this day,
Give Thanks for men like Cassius Clay.

Have a fine Thanksgiving, Amigos.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mean Jean Feels Like a Victim

Via Americablog and Spontaneous Arising:

Freshman Republican Weathers Backlash
Schmidt Says She Meant No Insult to Murtha

Rep. Jean Schmidt flung the word "coward" at a decorated war veteran from Pennsylvania last week, but the Ohio Republican's comments landed with a splat in her own Cincinnati district, where some supporters are backing away as she scrambles to explain what she meant.

Judging by her words yesterday -- the first after avoiding the public for three days -- Schmidt doesn't understand what the fuss is about, and sees herself more as victim than villain. "I am amazed at what a national story this has become," she said in a statement. "I have been attacked very personally, continuously since Friday evening."

"There's no way that I remotely tried to impugn his character," Rep. Jean Schmidt said of her remarks on the House floor directed to Rep. John P. Murtha during debate on Iraq war policy. (By Michael E. Keating -- Cincinnati Enquirer Via Associated Press)

It just sucks to be her.

Dick Cheney Random Facts

Go here and check out the random facts about our beloved VP at the sidebar.


Bush gets horse-bombed, wants to bomb Aljazeera...

After reading BaltimoreLenore's post, and one about Bush in Mongolia, I put two and two together and got five:

Looks like Bush, aka "the horse fluffer", is getting closer to what he really wants from horses. WaPo:

Gone from Mr. Bush's face was the let's-get-on-with-it look he had at Gigkakuji, the famed temple he visited in Kyoto, Japan. He talked with the warriors and stepped around camels and yaks to make his way into a quite luxurious ger. Sitting by a wood-burning stove, he chatted with a family of herders. (The Mongolian government says the herders were the real thing, but they live 100 miles out of town, and were brought in to lend some authenticity to the small village erected for Mr. Bush's benefit.) The president sipped a bit of fermented mare's milk (my bold), nibbled on some cheese curd and listened to some throat singing.

Time on fermented mare's milk:

Bring appetite enough for thick, yak-milk yogurt, cheese and marmot meat hot from a dung-fired stove. Try fermented cow's or mare's milk. After a bowl or two, you'll be ready to invade Europe yourself.

Another bowl and he'll want to bomb Aljazeera:
US President George Bush planned to bomb Aljazeera, British newspaper the Daily Mirror has reported, citing a Downing Street memo marked top secret.

The five-page transcript of a conversation between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair reveals that Blair talked Bush out of launching a military strike on the station, unnamed sources told the daily.

From the Daily Mirror:
THE Daily Mirror was yesterday told not to publish further details from a top secret memo, which revealed that President Bush wanted to bomb an Arab TV station.

This is amazing: Bush gets loaded on some local 'shine in Mongolia, nuts up on Aljazeera, and has to have Blair talk him down out of the tree!

Take it one more step, Georgie: bring back the secret to them dung-fired stoves in Mongolia. You're full of enough dung all by yourself to solve our energy dependence problem.

It's been a long day. I told ya it might get sappy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's gonna be a SLO day...

Me 'n Mrs. G are on our way today to the Central Coast to spend Thanksgiving with her family. I'll post what I can from there, but like Fixer said, it's liable to be a little sappy. Cool. See ya later.

The Invisible Iraqi Army

Via the Atlantic Monthly:

Why Iraq has no Army

When Saddam Hussein fell, the Iraqi people gained freedom. What they didn't get was public order. Looting began immediately, and by the time it abated, signs of an insurgency had appeared. Four months after the invasion the first bomb that killed more than one person went off; two years later, through this past summer, multiple-fatality bombings occurred on average once a day. The targets were not just U.S. troops but Iraqi civilians and, more important, Iraqis who would bring order to the country. The first major attack on Iraq's own policemen occurred in October of 2003, when a car bomb killed ten people at a Baghdad police station. This summer an average of ten Iraqi policemen or soldiers were killed each day. It is true, as U.S. officials often point out, that the violence is confined mainly to four of Iraq's eighteen provinces. But these four provinces contain the nation's capital and just under half its people.

Read the rest HERE.

Seminal Rock Guitarist Passes

Some of you younger folks may not remember Link Wray, but us older cats still do. From the LATimes:

Link Wray, the rock guitar pioneer who gave birth to the aggressively primal sound known as the power chord on his 1958 instrumental hit "Rumble" and influenced two generations of rock guitarists, has died. He was 76.
The legendary three-chord riff that Wray used in "Rumble," his signature tune and biggest seller, has reverberated down through the decades.

"Without the power chord, punk rock and heavy metal would not exist," Dan Del Fiorentino, historian for the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, said Monday.

Countless musicians, including Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and Jeff Beck, are said to have been influenced by Wray.
"Fifties rock was pretty clean, and you've got this guy - he's got a leather jacket, he looks scary - and all of a sudden he plays this loud chord that practically tears your eyebrows off your face," said Molenda. "It was extremely sexy and aggressive, and it kind of paved the way for the next level of rock 'n' roll."

Go read his obit. There's a photo and some MP3.

Cookie Christine Writes Rush a Letter

It's Recess Time Somewhere's author has a terrific idea:

When You Hate Enough To Send The Very Worst

Dear Nice Mr. Limbaugh,

When I saw your Adopt-a-Soldier program where you can buy $49.95 subscriptions to your website for our courageous soldiers, I got all atwitter! I think this is a great idea because our servicemen and women need to hear more of your show.

Our nice brave soldiers need to be encouraged to tell black and brown people to "take that bone" out their noses. They need to be reminded that women really want to be sexually harassed. And we don't ever want them to forget that the grief of Gold Star mothers is no more than "forged documents."

Only problem is, I don't have that much money. I'm just a little girl and my allowance isn't very much, but I want to help too. Do you have a mini-subscription pack or some such thing? Maybe you can partner with Bill O'Reilly and give the soldiers a gift pack of loofahs and OxyContin. I hear you know where you can get some.

Your littlest fan,

Cookies comes up with the most darling ideas.

Targeting Journalists? Nah

Via Blondsense:

Bush Plot to Bomb His Arab Ally

President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.

The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.

A source said last night: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.

Falk AdSolution

"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

"There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do - and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."

I tell ya, everytime I think he can't do anything else more stupid, Bush goes and exceeds my expectations yet again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Brain Gear

I just got some more cool stuff from Brain Gear: a camo wall clock. I had to repaint my camo office wall after I put it up because I couldn't tell where it was! It even came with a battery - a "Golden Hour" brand. Apropos, given how long it lasted. That's OK. I got plenty of batteries.

Also got a T-shirt. If I wear it to Thanksgiving dinner, I hope my lovely sister-in-law has the thermostat turned low so I don't have to take off my shirt and expose the really right-on-but-crude saying on the back!

Go get some Brain Gear so we can ransom Fixer back from the Frenchies.

Murtha Presses the Meat...

Please forgive me for going on and on about this topic, but it's HUGE. If you missed "the best performance by a Democrat on a Sunday talk show in years", National Debunker has a good post and a video link.

Wizard of Oz time...


It's finally Wizard of Oz time in America. You know -- that moment when the curtains are pulled back, the fearsome-looking wizard wreathed in all that billowing smoke turns out to be some pitiful little guy, and everybody looks around sheepishly, wondering why they acted as they did for so long.
If you want to wet an index finger yourself and hoist it airwards to see which way the winds are blowing, then just check out how the media has been framing in headlines the recent spate of administration attacks. Headline writing is a curious in-house craft -- and well worth following. Changing headline language is a good signal that something's up. When the President attacks, it's now commonly said that he's "lashing out" -- an image of emotional disarray distinctly at odds with the once powerful sense of the Bush administration as the most disciplined White House on record and of the President and Vice President as resolutely unflappable.

TomD lays it all out in his usual complete, if not exactly concise and pithy, manner. Hint: order your lunch in now and you can probably finish it before you finish the article.

...or we can just lose...

All the good (i.e. the ones I like) opinion writers seem to be weighing in on Rep. Murtha's plan. They all seem to be in favor of it, too. Paul Krugman:

So the question isn't whether things will be ugly after American forces leave Iraq. They probably will. The question, instead, is whether it makes sense to keep the war going for another year or two, which is all the time we realistically have.

Pessimists think that Iraq will fall into chaos whenever we leave. If so, we're better off leaving sooner rather than later. As a Marine officer quoted by James Fallows in the current Atlantic Monthly puts it, "We can lose in Iraq and destroy our Army, or we can just lose."

And there's a good case to be made that our departure will actually improve matters. As Mr. Murtha pointed out in his speech, the insurgency derives much of its support from the perception that it's resisting a foreign occupier. Once we're gone, the odds are that Iraqis, who don't have a tradition of religious extremism, will turn on fanatical foreigners like Zarqawi.

The only way to justify staying in Iraq is to make the case that stretching the U.S. army to its breaking point will buy time for something good to happen. I don't think you can make that case convincingly. So Mr. Murtha is right: it's time to leave.

These guys are agreeing with me, so they must be right!

It ain't a bit funny...

Juan Cole chimes in on Rep. Murtha's plan and the Repug's reaction to it:

Murtha is not giving up on Iraq, just urging diplomacy rather than white phosphorus and prison torture as the way forward.
Murtha was viciously attacked for his judicious resolution, and this courageous and honorable man was smeared as some sort of coward by persons who wouldn't know an M-16 from a 5 iron.
Republicans in Congress responded to Murtha's considered plan by introducing a phony resolution the bore little resemblance to Murtha's, and then helping defeat it overwhelmingly. The intent was apparently to force the Democrats either to look as though they were in favor of "cutting and running" or to vote against immediately withdrawing US troops and so associating themselves with Bush's 'stay the course' policy. The Republican straw man resolution was:

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Resolved, that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Well, this stupid resolution is not what Murtha was saying, and the vote on it is meaningless. It is worse than meaningless. It is political clowning.

Indeed, given the GIs being blown up on a daily basis, the Republican phony resolution was the equivalent of trying to do a stand-up comedy routine at the funeral of someone's beloved son who had died at age 20.

I don't think the American people will find it amusing. We'll see in 2006 whether they did.

Yes, we will.

I'm outta here

I know I've been pretty MIA in the past week and we're heading off to Paris in about 24 hours so this'll probably be my last post from the U.S. of A. I've come to realize over the past week that I (Mrs. F too) need this vacation. I realize how burnt out I've gotten.

Work has been insane over the past couple months for both of us and I think we're finally getting it that we have too many oars in the water. I'm tired of people whining about their piece of shit cars and I'm sick of seeing the Repubs try to pin this war in Iraq on Clinton. Used to be I could laugh at both. Time to recharge.

I don't know what my Internet capability will be in the hotel but I'll try to find an Internet cafe if I don't have access in my room. The last time we were there, blogging wasn't an issue. I'm going to be avoiding the news as much as possible though, so any posts from me while away will probably be sappy, travelogue bullshit, but I'll post pics if I have a hi-speed connection.

To answer Gord's question in 'comments' on another post, yes I'll be back although we'll be doing a little apartment hunting while we're there as always. You never know. Barring a total lapse in judgment from the Mrs. and me, I should be back in a week or so, ready once again to dole out a ration of shit to all who need and deserve it, especially now since it looks like we're finally playing offense. The runup to the '06 midterms should prove to be an exceptional battle and I won't miss it for the world.

So, for the next week (as I have for the last week) I leave the burden of posting to my blog partners who are the best bar none. Thanks guys.

I couldn't resist:

Heh ... moron.

Aside to CAFKIA, sorry about not getting the next chapter of Empires up before I left but I just couldn't get my head around finishing it lately. I'll be better when I get back.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Today is the 62nd anniversary of an incredibly violent three-day battle in the Central Pacific for the little island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Please read my post from last year.

The Case For Getting Out Of Iraq

Lt. General William E. Odom USArmyRet. speaks to John McLaughlin. Long, but good. Go read.

If ya learn to do tricks with it, go mow the lawn...

I don't know how environmentally sensitive the AirScooter is, but it looks like fun and it's got a 4-stroke* engine and handlebars...

*Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow - Four-strokes truck, two-strokes suck!

The Case For Legal Mota

This is nothing new, but the EssEffChron reiterates the best reasons to legalize marihuana (US gummint spelling - they can't get anything right!) with new economic facts and figures and a little on social impact (next to none).

A Harvard University professor of economics, Jeffrey Miron, has crunched the numbers, and he's determined that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion annually in money spent on enforcing dope laws.

That breaks down to $5.3 billion in savings for state and local governments, and $2.4 billion in cost reductions at the federal level.

This is noteworthy because the FBI reported the other day that more Americans were arrested for pot last year than at any time in U.S. history. And of the more than 770,000 people cited for dope-related offenses, nearly 90 percent were charged only with possession.

Those are hundreds of thousands of criminal cases that didn't have to be taking up the time and resources of our cops and courts.

Meanwhile, Harvard's Miron estimates that tax revenue for legalized pot would run about $2.4 billion annually if it were taxed like all other goods.

Yet if marijuana were taxed at rates comparable to the aggressive levies placed on alcohol and tobacco -- and it should be -- Miron determined that it would yield $6.2 billion in annual revenue.

"It's kind of small potatoes compared to the ($319 billion) federal budget deficit," he told me. "But it's not nothing."

For the record, Miron says he isn't a pot smoker. His interest in the subject comes instead from a desire to address what he sees as a failed public policy.
California would do especially well if marijuana were legalized. As it stands, pot is already the state's largest cash crop, with annual sales estimated to be about $4 billion.

Miron figures that decriminalizing marijuana would result in about $1 billion in law-enforcement-related savings for California, plus about $100 million in additional tax revenue.

"That would certainly put a significant dent in a budget deficit of $2 billion or $3 billion," he said.

Wow, that's good shit, man. With the savings and revenue maybe we could afford to hire a good Governor.

Heidi's plan is a threat to the whole industry...

In my never-ending quest to keep our readers (you know who you are!) up to snuff on matters of world import, The Moveable Buffet brings up potential problems with Heidi's Stud Farm in the area of civil rights. Boy, things I never knew 'til now!

One War Lost, One To Go...

Frank Rich on the Repubs' fallin' all over each other to get away from Bush by 11/06. And, oh yeah, that Iraq and bin Forgotten deal too.

If anyone needs further proof that we are racing for the exits in Iraq, just follow the bouncing ball that is Rick Santorum. A Republican leader in the Senate and a true-blue (or red) Iraq hawk, he has long slobbered over President Bush, much as Ed McMahon did over Johnny Carson. But when Mr. Bush went to Mr. Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania to give his Veterans Day speech smearing the war's critics as unpatriotic, the senator was M.I.A.
No sooner did he stiff Mr. Bush in Pennsylvania than he did so again in Washington, voting with a 79-to-19 majority on a Senate resolution begging for an Iraq exit strategy. He was joined by all but one (Jon Kyl) of the 13 other Republican senators running for re-election next year. They desperately want to be able to tell their constituents that they were against the war after they were for it (my bold).

They know the voters have decided the war is over, no matter what symbolic resolutions are passed or defeated in Congress nor how many Republicans try to Swift-boat Representative John Murtha, the Marine hero who wants the troops out.
Mr. Bush may disdain timetables for our pullout, but, hello, there already is one, set by the Santorums of his own party: the expiration date for a sizable American presence in Iraq is Election Day 2006. As Mr. Mueller says, the decline in support for the war won't reverse itself. The public knows progress is not being made, no matter how many times it is told that Iraqis will soon stand up so we can stand down.
But while the war is lost both as a political matter at home and a practical matter in Iraq, the exit strategy being haggled over in Washington will hardly mark the end of our woes. Few Americans will cry over the collapse of the administration's vainglorious mission to make Iraq a model of neocon nation-building. But, as some may dimly recall, there is another war going on as well - against Osama bin Laden and company.

One hideous consequence of the White House's Big Lie - fusing the war of choice in Iraq with the war of necessity that began on 9/11 - is that the public, having rejected one, automatically rejects the other. That's already happening. The percentage of Americans who now regard fighting terrorism as a top national priority is either in the single or low double digits in every poll. Thus the tragic bottom line of the Bush catastrophe: the administration has at once increased the ranks of jihadists by turning Iraq into a new training ground and recruitment magnet while at the same time exhausting America's will and resources to confront that expanded threat.

Tear 'em a new one, Pop!

The Repubs are startin' to come around on Bush and his war. For all the wrong reasons, but as long as they do, what the hell.

Vote all the bastards out next November. Whoever we get in their place would have to have real talent (on loan from God?) to do any worse.

Playing Beanbag with Body Bags

Marc Cooper on the Repubs' attack on Mr. Murtha:

As the tide of public opinion turns against the war in Iraq, as a conservative Democrat like Jack Murtha calls for a troop withdrawal plan, the response of the Republican leadership is to play beanbag with American body bags.
What makes the Republican ploy particularly repugnant is that it comes precisely on the same day that we learn that the top American military commander in Iraq has presented Donald Rumsfeld with a plan to begin withdrawing U.S. military troops - as soon as a handful of weeks from now.

In other words, Democrats who propose a withdrawal are aiding and abetting the enemy, even though the White House and the Pentagon are secretly drafting a plan to do the same.

I can only give thanks that I don't have a child fighting in Iraq today. I don't know how I would react under those circumstances to the contemptuous, cavalier, cynical and reckless manner in which the lives of young Americans in uniform are treated by the Republican political leadership.

See, the good part of all this is that the Repubs are finally allowing their true colors to show a little bit. Blind obeisance to an even blinder Chimp who claims to have one good eye. The day of reckoning is fast approaching, as the public's vision seems to be clearing at last. Better late than never.

I'm bummed

I've been away from Blogtopia (y!sctp!) for a couple and this morning I'm catching up. I get over to Skippy's and what do I see?

mr. and mrs. skippy are leaving to spend thanksgiving week in paris!

don't worry, the
riots have subsided, and are the skippy's aren't going to those particular arrondissments any way.

(the state department has
no travel advisories, and the skippy's made these plans and purchased these tickets long before the national news made it look like the french revolution all over again).

we leave the blog in the capable hands of cookie jill and pudentilla and rj eskow and mimus pauly and gd frogsdong and the occasional post by holden). we are sure every thing will be fine.

have a happy thanksgiving, everyone, and if possible, skippy will try to find an internet cafe now and then while sipping his cafe au lait, to check in.

au revoir!

I wish I would have known earlier. I would have arranged to meet the Skippy family before they left, but I did ship them off and email. If you read this, Skip, check your email, I sent you the address where we'll be.

Three lies

You know the 3 lies, right? I love you, the check is in the mail, and the other one, but there's a fourth. 'Supporting the troops'.