Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bat Boy

El Gato Negro explains it all.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Afternoon Thread

Go read some other sucky blog for a change.

Fun With Quote Juxtaposition

Michael Moore, 2003 Oscars:

We -- We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.

Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or the fictitious of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush.

Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you.

And any time you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up.

Andrew Sullivan, soon after:

NO: I didn't watch the Oscars. I loathe those people for the most part, but I'm glad to hear that some of them actually booed Michael Moore. For relief, I watched "Billy Madison."

Andrew Sullivan, just recently:

The president's basic rationale for the war in Iraq was debunked within a few weeks of the invasion.


Well, QO July 6, 2005, anyway:

"The war is being won, if not already won, I think," Patterson, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force, said. "[Iraq] is stabilized and we want the soldiers themselves to tell the story."

-Buzz Patterson, July 6, 2005

Wanker of the Day

The ole perfesser.


Via email:

Washington, D.C. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel
issued the following statement regarding his amendment to cut funding
for the Office of the Vice President from the bill that funds the
executive branch. The legislation -- the Financial Services and General
Government Appropriations bill -- will be considered on the floor of
the House of Representatives next week.

"The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal
case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive
branch. However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot
ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President
should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice
President's funding is consistent with his legal arguments. I have
worked closely with my colleagues on this amendment and will continue
to pursue this measure in the coming days."

War Effort

Like others, I'm often puzzled when people engage Jonah Goldberg seriously (as opposed to making fun of him). He's really just a stupid, stupid man.


Over there:

BAGHDAD (AP) - Roadside bombs killed seven American troops in Iraq on Saturday, including four in a single strike outside Baghdad, the military said, as U.S. and Iraqi troops captured two senior al-Qaida militants in Diyala province.

Their Brand is Crisis

I appreciate the honesty.

...oops, I killed another hamster. Go search for the Sadly, No gang to discover what this is about.

Some Months

Five months ago the very serious Saint John McCain:

McCain, a decorated Vietnam veteran who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, said he hopes Americans will be patient and give the new Iraq strategy, led by Gen. David Petraeus, an opportunity to succeed. He said it should be clear within "some months" whether the plan is working.

Is it clear yet?

No One Could Have Predicted

That if top commanders announced they were going to about to start kicking ass that those asses would not stick around long enough to be kicked.

No Longer an Entity of Any Kind

Dick Cheney.

Clean sheets

And some good news.

Not Atrios


You talk too much.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Rock Onner

Late Night

Rock on.

More Evening Thread

Enjoy. Or not.

Evening Thread

The blog is not the blog.

Gushing Over Romney's Powerpoint Slides



Bush pick drops out:

WASHINGTON - President Bush's pick to be the No. 3 official in the Justice Department withdrew his nomination Friday.

Bill Mercer, who is U.S. attorney for Montana, asked the president to withdraw his nomination, saying it was unlikely that the Senate would confirm him to a post he has held on an interim basis since September.


NYT (who else?) edition.

Fresh Gypsy Shit

Because it's Friday.


I would've thought that after this crime against humanity the tradition would have ended.


What Schultz should've pointed out to Smerconish was that nobody watches Tucker, who he was substituting for, and for some really odd reason he manages to stay on the air.

Afternoon Thread


Hating Huckleberry

Lindsey not popular.

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) approval rating is taking a pounding in his home state as a result of his strong support for a bipartisan immigration reform bill, a new poll showed Friday.

Graham’s approval rating has sunk to 31 percent and he has a 40 percent disapproval rating, according to a poll released Friday by Atlanta-based InsiderAdvantage. The new poll points to Graham’s support for the Senate immigration bill, which includes a path to citizenship, as a likely reason for his apparent unpopularity.


While I'm not optimistic that there are enough senators who genuinely believe in the ideals of this country, one would hope that the Democrats in the House could at least pass it.


Aside from everything else, what's always annoying about the 3 millionth concern troll abortion article is the author's inevitable belief that s/he is truly making new and profound insights that have just never occurred to everyone else.

Ultimately, though, all this hand-wringing is just wankery. The real question is, no matter how you personally feel about abortion, just what should the law be?

A Magazine I Don't Need to Read Ever

Mother Jones.

Simpsons' Cat Lady



One consequence of political journalism which is overwhelmingly focused on how things seem relative to some arbitrary expectations rather than on how they are is that there really is a tremendous lack of coverage on how actual policies might impact people and the world. So, a bit of money spent to try to defend against a potential ecological disaster is described as "quirky."


From this story.

Wanker of the Day

Melinda Henneberger.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 27% in new ARG poll.


You actually have to be pretty twisted to impersonate law enforcement for petty shit like this.

World's Worst Open Thread

I'm going to nominate it for a Koufax.

Not even not Atrios.

Even More Thread

This is the worst blog in the history of the blogiverse.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fuel Standards

This is a surprise, and good news, though I have no idea if it'll survive the rest of the sausage making process.


In a weird kind of way I actually sorta agree with Scalia. It isn't that I think the Jack Bauer ticking time bomb scenario is a real one which would ever actually exist except in fiction, but it's reasoning like Scalia's which tells us precisely why we don't actually have to have legally sanctioned torture even if we believed that ticking time bomb scenarios were regular occurrences which could only be triumphed over through the use of torture.

In other words, torture is wrong. We shouldn't torture. There should be no procedures in place for torture. Everyone should understand this. But if the Joker does in fact have a nuclear bomb ready to go off underneath Gotham, and vigilante crime fighter Batman needs to employ a little force to learn the magic code needed to stop it before the timer counts down to zero, then I imagine that if Batman does in fact manage to stop the destruction of the city that no jury would convict or that a presidential pardon would likely take care of things if they did.

Of course the broader point is this is just a stupid fucking conversation to have. No torture.

Watch the Video

In which I reveal that I am Max Blumenthal's father.

You've Got to be Kidding

Still, it'll make David Broder very happy.

WASHINGTON -- The Iraq Study Group may be coming back.

The House adopted legislation Thursday to revive the bipartisan panel of prominent former U.S. officials who last year said President Bush should change course on the war.

A new assessment by the panel would offer lawmakers an independent alternative to an administration progress report due in September. And because the panel is unlikely to suggest U.S. combat troops remain in Iraq in large numbers, its recommendations could provide political cover for Republicans who want Bush to start bringing troops home.

No wonder everyone hates Congress.

Under Investigation

Drudgico is unaware of DeLay's legal troubles.

More and Better Democrats

One highlight of the Take Back America conference was an extended chat I had with Darcy Burner. I actually usually don't like talking to political candidates and certainly don't seek out opportunities to do so. There are a bunch of reasons for that, but the main one is that too many of them, as they're in candidate mode, tend to talk down to you. They don't realize they're doing it, but they can't get past that they're the candidate and you're the potential supporter so conversations end up being like sales pitches.

Burner isn't like that. She's actually capable of holding a normal conversation, and she has a lot of interesting ideas about campaigns and elections.

Anyway, she's good people so if there are some dollars eating a hole in your pocket consider helping out. She almost won last time.


Some Republicans actually vote to approve subpoenas.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 26%.

In 19 months, George W. Bush will leave the White House for the last time. The latest NEWSWEEK Poll suggests that he faces a steep climb if he hopes to coax the country back to his side before he goes. In the new poll, conducted Monday and Tuesday nights, President Bush’s approval rating has reached a record low. Only 26 percent of Americans, just over one in four, approve of the job the 43rd president is doing; while, a record 65 percent disapprove, including nearly a third of Republicans.
Story continues below ↓advertisement

The new numbers—a 2 point drop from the last NEWSWEEK Poll at the beginning of May—are statistically unchanged, given the poll’s 4 point margin of error. But the 26 percent rating puts Bush lower than Jimmy Carter, who sunk to his nadir of 28 percent in a Gallup poll in June 1979. In fact, the only president in the last 35 years to score lower than Bush is Richard Nixon. Nixon’s approval rating tumbled to 23 percent in January 1974, seven months before his resignation over the botched Watergate break-in.


George Will found a nut on Sunday's This Week:

When, against the urgings of the Israelis, we pressed for the elections that overthrew Fatah, who we were backing and put in Hamas, Condoleezza Rice said nobody saw it coming. Those four words are the epitaph of this administration.

Your Liberal Media

Meet the Press this coming Sunday:

June 24, 2007: Rep. Luis Guiterrez, Pat Buchanan, David Broder, John Harwood, Gwen Ifill, Roger Simon


CNN Captions, in order:

US: Soldiers rescued 24 orphans

US says orphans lived in squalor

Iraqi minister: US using orphans for propaganda

Political fallout from orphanage raid

(this is the CNN international hour, which is why they talk about the US as a distinct entity)

The Fourth Branch

Ah, when such a thing was just a joke.

Pumping Music

This sounds like the kind of thing Rudy! should be spending his time doing.

The Quiet Americans

The National Interest is a publication of the Nixon Center. That's all I know about it. But, anyway, here's a horrifying description of what the Quiet Americans are cooking up in their lunacy labs.

O’Hanlon offered a slightly different take on how a HDS should be formed when attempting to pre-empt further ethnic conflict looming on the horizon by actively partaking in what O’Hanlon called "soft partition." This process would consist of U.S.-sponsored ethnic segregation via relocation within a period of 12–18 months. O’Hanlon admits bloodshed would continue and resistance would be substantial. However, with support of local leaders violence might diminish and hard partitioning could be avoided. Much of the justification for this plan is based on observations that violence between and within Iraqi communities based on ethnicity and sectarian divisions is already widespread, and this could easily spiral into full-fledged ethnic cleansing. Yet, one crucial criticism of this approach rang clear: No U.S.-led mass relocation of peoples has ever taken place without great costs and suffering by those being relocated.

Just stop. Please.

Still No One Watching Glenn Beck's Shitty Show

Yet it remains on the air.

The Scoreboard: Monday, June 18

25-54 demographic: (LS)

Total day: FNC: 233 | CNN: 133 | MSNBC: 128 | HLN: 94 | CNBC: 78

Prime: FNC: 378 | CNN: 232 | MSNBC: 186 | HLN: 182 | CNBC: 71
5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Gibson: Hume: Shep: O'Reilly: H&C: Greta: O'Reilly:
172 214 312 481 338 315 311
CNN Blitzer: Dobbs: Blitzer: Zahn: King: Cooper: Cooper:
69 168 211 136 304 254 177
MSNBC Hardball: Tucker: Hardball: Countdo.: Scarbo.: Special: Special:
109 59 115 248 93 219 223
HLN HLN: Prime: Beck: Grace: Beck: Grace: Showbiz:
94/80 102 70 260 85 200 131


Over there.

BAGHDAD, June 21 (Reuters) - Eleven U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the past 48 hours, the U.S. military said on Thursday.

In the single worst incident, five soldiers, three Iraqi civilians and an Iraqi interpreter were killed on Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in a northeastern district of the capital, the U.S. military said.

Four U.S. soldiers were killed when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad on Wednesday, the military said.


In western Anbar province, two Marines were killed in combat on Wednesday, the military said, giving no further details.


BAGHDAD - The U.S. military on Thursday announced the deaths of 13 American troops, including five killed in a single roadside bombing that also killed four Iraqis in Baghdad.


U.S. military reports the deaths of 14 troops in Iraq in the last 48 hours, including 5 in a Baghdad roadside bombing Thursday.


In northern Iraq on Thursday, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden truck into a government building, killing at least 16 people, police said.

At least 75 people were wounded by the blast at the building, which houses the police headquarters and mayor's office for the city of Sulieman Pek, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Kirkuk.

In Baquba, north of Baghdad, a U.S. airstrike intended to blow up a house where insurgents had placed a bomb instead accidentally hit another building and wounded 11 Iraqi civilians, according to a U.S. military statement.


It's summer.

U.S. General George Casey warned on Monday not to expect instant results, saying he foresaw a "gradual evolution" over two to three months and then better security by the summer.

The article also said that the plan would take 6, or 7, months which as you may remember was the original idea, that this would all be over in July.


I realize at Fox they are proud of it and there's no point in complaining, but don't you think CBS are a bunch of pigs for doing this?

Of course, that's just my opinion, and I am
Not Atrios

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Jon Stewart just flashed a clip of Eleanor Clift suggesting "Bloomberg/Hagel" was a "dream ticket."

Is everyone crazy?

Fresh Thread

Don't fear the reaper.

They Write Books

Glenn Greenwald writes a book.

Total Protonic Reversal

This could be bad.

Merrill Lynch has seized about $800 million of assets from troubled hedge funds managed by Bear Stearns, throwing in doubt the chances that the funds will survive.

The assets, which were collateral for loans made by Merrill Lynch to the two funds, are mainly bonds backed by other securities that are now expected to be sold off later in the day, a person familiar with the situation told Wednesday morning.

The question is the degree to which this is a general problem due to the subprime mortgage market meltdown. Apparently there are collateralized debt obligation assets worth trillions out there, along with derivatives which track them.

Talking About the News

Did my panel thing, with Froomkin, David Shuster, Craig Crawford, Richard Wolffe, Keith Boykin, and Marisa Trevino, and moderated by Cenk Uygur and Jon Elliot. Topic was what you'd expect. Was a pretty good discussion, generally. Wolffe offered up the kind of defense of his tribe that you often see, pointing to specific acts of journalism that provide some redemption. His specific example was a Newsweek article about Colin Powell's UN speech which was fairly skeptical of his claims. Fair enough, but it really points to how important the "talking about the news" is relative to the news itself. Punditry, whether the op-ed kind, the talk show roundtable kind, or the "Wolf Blitzer talks to an expert" kind, really does shape peoples' perception of the news. That's their job, to digest immense amounts of information and package it into a more easily manageable chunk. To tell us what it all means and what we're supposed to think about it. Of course there is good journalism out there (as well as bad), but what's really broken among our elite beltway press is the conventional wisdom generation machine, the one which dubbed Colin Powell's speech a "winning hand" and declared the debate about the war officially over now that the Very Serious Colin Powell had made the case. ...more details from Rick, who showed up late and missed most of my brilliant contributions to the discussion.


The fact that the surge is not working demonstrates that it needs to continue.

* RAMADI - A suicide car bomber killed five policemen and wounded 13 other officers in Ramadi, 110 km (68 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

* BAQUBA - Two children and three women were killed and eight other people were wounded when a mortar exploded in a residential area of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, the Ministry of the Interior said.

BAGHDAD - Police found 29 bodies on the streets of Baghdad on Wednesday. Most of the victims had been shot dead.


BAGHDAD - The bodies of 33 people were found abandoned in different districts of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. They had all been shot.

Afternoon Thread

Sinfonian has the Digby transcript.

(And who's that handsome devil in black?)

--Molly I.


Still focusing on the important stuff.


Glenn Greenwald takes a look at the fringe kooks of the progressive blogosphere. You know, people like me.

To be clear, there isn't anything wrong about being on the fringe or outside the mainstream of political opinion. It isn't a label any of us run from because it's evil. We reject it because it's false. Most of the popular left wing bloggers hold political beliefs that are well inside the mainstream of political opinion, even within the mainstream media's right-leaning view of that range of opinion.

Again, I have no problem with "fringier" people than myself. A big problem with our political discourse is that there aren't voices more to my left with any mainstream media platform. I have no desire to, TNR-like, try to define myself as the left flank of acceptable opinion in the country.


For the record, Clinton was booed because she put the responsibility for what's going on in Iraq on the Iraqi government, not because she praised the American military.

The good news is we found the weapons of mass destruction. Saddam hid them in Byron York's hair.

Chat with Richard

Talk to Richard Cohen about Scooter Libby.


And here she is.


So, Bloomberg is no longer a Republican.

My Sharpton/Tancredo ticket is being overlooked I fear.


By request. Kool.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Evening Thread

1000 count: v. nice for sheets, but bad for blogs.
--Molly Ivors

Fresh Thread

Digby IS PEOPLE!!!!!

Smells Great

What the hell is up with the obsession with the relative stank of Republican presidential candidates?

...oh God here too.

Very Serious People

This guy informed us that 2007 will likely be "make or break" time in Iraq. I'm sure come Dec. 2007 we will discover that Iraq remains in a quantum superposition of make and break in perpetuity.


He just had other priorities. It's a Republican thing.

The Digby Mystery

Can you solve it?

Afternoon Thread

--Molly I.

Fresh Thread

I'm not sure if Digby and Candy Crowley should be allowed in the same room together. Matter/anti-matter, rift in the space-time continuum, etc...


More anti-war sanctimony:

BAGHDAD (AP) - A truck bomb struck a Shiite mosque Tuesday in central Baghdad, killing 61 people and wounding more than 100, even as about 10,000 U.S. soldiers northeast of the capital used heavily armored Stryker and Bradley fighting vehicles to battle their way into an al-Qaida sanctuary.

Wanker of the Day

Richard Cohen.

...more from Greenwald.

The Libby prosecution clearly was the dirty work of the leftist anti-war movement in this country, just as Cohen describes. After all, the reason Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate this matter was because a left-wing government agency (known as the "Central Intelligence Agency") filed a criminal referral with the Justice Department, as the MoveOn-sympathizer CIA officials were apparently unhappy about the public unmasking of one of their covert agents.

In response, Bush's left-wing anti-war Attorney General, John Ashcroft, judged the matter serious enough to recuse himself, leading Bush's left-wing anti-war Deputy Attorney General, James Comey, to conclude that a Special Prosecutor was needed. In turn, Comey appointed Fitzgerald, the left-wing anti-war Republican Prosecutor and Bush appointee, who secured a conviction of Libby, in response to which left-wing anti-war Bush appointee Judge Reggie Walton imposed Libby's sentence.


Indeed, it is so terribly unfair to investigate powerful government officials because, as "white-collar types," they have a "morbid fear of jail" -- in contrast, of course, to blue-collar types, and darker ones still, who really do not mind prison at all. Why would they? It's their natural habitat, where they belong. That is what prison is for.

That has been the real point here all along. The real injustice is that prison is simply not the place for the most powerful and entrenched members of the Beltway royal court, no matter how many crimes they commit. There is a grave indignity to watching our brave Republican elite be dragged before such lowly venues as a criminal court and be threatened with prison, as though they are common criminals or something. How disruptive and disrespectful and demeaning it all is.

Morning Thread

It's a lovely day!
--Molly Ivors


Rock on.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Open Thread

No blogwhoring! Blogwhoring is for nerds.

More Thread

Echidne really is a snake goddess!

Fresh Thread


Swetty Stalls

Not enough. No more Lieberdems.

Afternoon Thread

Byron York's hair is wandering around, scaring the children.

...shockingly, Fred Kagan says that the surge needs more time. I don't think anyone could have predicted that a Kagan would want more war.

Massive Destruction

Lots and lots of emails, lots and lots of emails destroyed.

Wankers, Wankers, Everywhere

It's true, of course, that "residual force" isn't just a grand idea favored by press wankers, but also many presidential candidates. Without getting into the minutiae there is a difference between a residual force in neighboring relatively friendly countries (Kuwait) and a residual force sitting in the middle of the crossfire, but nonetheless the idea that we need to be sitting there just in case is a widely embraced idea.

Still, the media industrial complex has a great amount of power to determine what "serious" and "unserious" people advocate, simply by labeling people as "serious" and "unserious." Right now the "serious" position is that some sort of open-ended occupation of Iraq is inevitable, and anyone who suggests otherwise is a very silly person. In fact, they're probably the kind of very silly person who thought that this whole Iraq thing was a bad idea to begin with. Ridiculous!

But, yes, I would like the people who advocate this 50,000 forever model to actually spend a few seconds thinking about just what they imagine those troops spending their days doing.


Oh boy, this will be awesome.

Someone Refilled the Wanker Machine

I guess I have a new one to kick around. Roger Cohen, in a column praising the vapid "Euston Manifesto."

The American supporters of the manifesto, who include the historian Walter Laqueur, several journalists from The New Republic and Michael Ledeen of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, reject "the ossified and unproductive polarization of American politics."

They deplore the tendency on the left to substitute hatred of Bush for thought about fighting jihadism. Why, they ask, is the left more incensed by America's errors in Iraq than "terrorist outrages by Islamic extremists?"

They note: "In World War II and the Cold War, liberals, centrists and conservatives found moments of commonality. Indeed, if those efforts had been borne exclusively by the left or the right they very well might have failed."

Taken together, the two statements set out core principles of the Anglo-American liberal tradition, bringing Europe and the United States together at a time of apparent ideological divergence. As the U.S. signatories note, the Euston Manifesto hews to "the traditions of American liberal anti-fascism and anti-totalitarianism."

If you're tired of sterile screaming in the wilderness, tired of the comfortably ensconced "hindsighters" poring over every American error in Iraq, tired of facile anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism masquerading as anti- Zionism, try the Euston road in 2007. It might actually lead somewhere.

And a column lamenting the fact that Europe's dirty fucking hippies aren't gazing at their navels furiously enough:

All that is easy enough to understand, and it's clear Bush's case for war was fraudulent. But given that this war also ended a regime of unrelenting terror, why have Europe's liberal interventionists lost their voice? Why is there no self-analysis, no explanation of the fact the road from Sarajevo to Pristina stopped short of Baghdad? Why has smug anti- Bushism replaced reflection?


Legendy's wife, Annemarie, a German, is also skeptical of the war. Debate rages within the family about the feasibility of crafting Iraqi freedom.

Why is such debate so absent in Europe? Why does freedom for Iraq not resonate just because it comes from Bush's mouth? Why is Europe's interventionist left, unanimous today about Hungarian freedom, apparently uninterested in Iraqi freedom?

Just when I tire of the old wankers, I become aware of new ones.

For the record, the reason people opposed the war:

[M]ost of us opposed the war in Iraq because it was obviously a stupid fucking idea.

I Believe I Found This Number In My Ass

The very serious Roger Cohen (times select):

I see four core American interests in Iraq that cannot be abandoned. There must be no Afghan-like Al Qaeda takeover of wide areas. There must be no genocide (say a Shiite sweep against Sunnis). There must be no regional conflagration (for example, a Turkish invasion). And there must be no return to the old order (murderous Stalinist dictatorship).

To ensure this, the United States must keep a military presence in Iraq for the foreseeable future. The size of this deterrent force is up for debate, but 50,000 soldiers, or 105,000 less than today, is one talked-about figure. The timing of the drawdown will have to be discussed with Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, but it should begin soon after September.

Pulling out a lot of troops is the only way to increase pressure on Maliki to make the political compromises - on distribution of oil revenue, the constitution and de-Baathification - that will give Iraq some long-term chance of cohering. That chance will be increased if, as the United States steps down, the United Nations steps up.

What drives me nuts about this residual force stuff, aside from how arbitrary it is, is that there's never any thought to exactly what these 50,000 should do. Basically, as the violence rages around them they're supposed to sit there to ensure that... there isn't even more violence raging around them. But it isn't really enough people to actually intervene, especially given that not even close to that many would be combat troops.

As for that throwaway line at the end (and it's the only time in the whole piece where the UN is even mentioned), wtf? Just what is the UN supposed to do?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Maybe Under The Bed

I'm sure they're around here somewhere:

UNITED NATIONS, June 16 — The search for Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction appears close to an official conclusion, several years after their absence became a foregone one.

Kenneth Pollack is a very serious person.

Sy Hersh on TV

C&L has the video.

Not Atrios

Look the Other Way

We are truly ruled by awful people.

Another Afternoon Thread

Your father just figured out you spent more on your mother in May.


Afternoon Thread

Travel day. Light posting.


At some point it will be necessary to seriously revisit the question of the war in Afghanistan. Whatever justification existed for it, ultimately we must ask whether or not what we've accomplished has been worth the ongoing cost.

Post 9-11 the Andrew Sullivans of the world helped create a climate where even asking about the efficacy of the conflict was problematic, and of course those of us who suggested that going to Iraq might be a wee bit of a distraction from Afghanistan were also attacked.

The US military is operating in two major areas of conflict right now, with no clear goals and not even the hint of an exit strategy. I don't have enough knowledge about the situation in Afghanistan to have any sort of educated opinion, but there's a definite lack of discussion about that situation by all of the very serious foreign policy types who are busy looking for other wars to fight.


Abu G wants to formalize the process by which individual [Republican] politicians get to try to interfere with the activities of US Attorneys.

Six Months to Get it Right

One F.U. ago, Senator Thune said:

After spending much of the week in Iraq with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers, Sen. John Thune says he thinks there will be a "change of direction" in Iraq policy.

"We can't continue doing what we're doing," Thune said. "We're spinning our wheels, and we've got to turn the corner on this thing, and we've got to do it, I would say, in the next six months."

Approximately 490 US troops have been killed since then, and it does not seem that we have turned the corner.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

ABC's "This Week" ) — Sens. Joe Biden, D-Del., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; actor Martin Sheen.
CBS' "Face the Nation" ) — Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Carl Levin, D-Mich.; former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
CNN's "Late Edition" — Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari; Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Jack Reed, D-R.I.; investigative reporter Seymour Hersh; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
"Fox News Sunday" — Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq.

Morning Thread

Call yer dad.

-Molly Ivors