Sustainable Crisis

The Warpublicans claim that we're surging ever so much closer to "sustainable stability".  Meanwhile the people of Iraq are surging straight into a humanitarian crisis

About 8 million Iraqis — nearly a third of the population — need immediate emergency aid because of the humanitarian crisis caused by the war, relief agencies said Monday.

Those Iraqis are in urgent need of water, sanitation, food and shelter, said the report by Oxfam and the NGO Coordination Committee network in Iraq.

The report said 15 percent of Iraqis cannot regularly afford to eat, and 70 percent are without adequate water supplies, up from 50 percent in 2003. It also said 28 percent of children are malnourished, compared with 19 percent before the 2003 invasion.

To be fair, this could be part of a brilliant Warpublican strategy to win over hearts and minds while starving the torsos and heads.  Remember:  a weak, malnourished terrorist is less likely to "follow us home" and attack us in our sleep.  LOL!

The War? It's Very Much Fantastic.

The NYTimes is running an op-ed today from the Brookings Institute that proves that not much has changed among the Liberal Hawks that sunk us in Iraq in the first place.  Are we any closer to victory?  Not necessarily...

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily "victory" but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

How cute is that?  We already achieved the "victory" of removing Saddam from power and eliminating the threat of WMD proliferation from his government.  The good folks at The New Republic and the Brookings Institute already celebrated that victory on an aircraft carrier with President Flyboy And His Stuffed Pantalones.  Lacking an exit strategy, they're moving on to find the next victory or if that fails then they need to find that next sustainable metric that will stabilize and pacify their donors.

But I'm ignoring the fact that "we are finally getting somewhere in Iraq."  Guess what, Ma?  This war's packin' it's bags for the big city and movin' on up in this world! 

So what's working in Iraq?  Well, supposedly the Iraqis are rejecting Al Qaeda.  You've heard of them, them's those angry folks that Bush is always talking about.  Evidently the Iraqi folks weren't really exposed to Al Qaeda before and now they are rejecting them.  Hooray for Progress!  We're kinda sorta back to where we were when we started!  And we're helping to provide basic services that the people of Iraq used to have!  Now that's sustainable stability that everybody can enjoy!  (*Providing that you aren't one of the million+ displaced.)  Oh, and it appears that people that once lived as neighbors are kinda sorta actin' like neighborly folks again... except when they're killing each other. 

When can we expect to achieve this "sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis can live with"?  Well, let's not try to come up with a timetable for that one.  And to be honest, we will eventually mark this down a bit lower.  We just want to produce the image of a sustained stability that the Iraqis can theoretically live with and that we can use for cover before getting the heck out of town.  And then when Iraq becomes a failed state in five, ten, or twenty years we'll read articles in The New Republic (now sponsored by The Brookings Institute!) about how we left Iraq in a state of sustainable stability but those folks didn't want to work hard enough to keep it. 


GOP Scared of Youtube Users

I didn't watch the CNN/Youtube Democrat Debate last week because today's "debates" seem like more of a Question and Answer session. The candidates get a few moments to deliver a pre-canned monologue, and then let their media personnel bark at each other after the debate. However, I do like the idea of choosing questions submitted by Youtube'rs because there is some potential to catch one or two candidates off-guard, and that provides a little bit of entertainment value to an otherwise pointless exercise. I guess that's why the Republicans are squirming away from this format...

The Rudy Giuliani campaign has cited scheduling conflicts in saying it will skip the Republican version of this week's Democratic debate, while Mitt Romney has mocked the seriousness of the questions and also seems likely to withdraw. John McCain, one of two candidates who had agreed to participate (Ron Paul is the other), has also expressed doubts about the Democratic debate's level of decorum and aides say he may reconsider his commitment.
The Republicans have a real problem when they attempt to move away from the script written by their media team. Consider George Allen; the man who said hello to a man at a rally by using a racial epithet. Or Mitt Romney; the man who held up a sign created by his supporter conflating Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden. Or Rudy Giuliani; the man who yelled 'Bullshit' at a rally in NYC.

Honestly, I think the Warpublicans should avoid this debate. There's no way they will be able to respond to the likes of Snowman, Santa Claus, or any other American that submits a video question to a website. Yeah, we can trust them to confront the menace of Al Qaeda anywhere, anytime. But seriously, there's no way they could confront a question from Youtube user Alkay-Duh2078. Truly, what Warpublican could?


Summer 2007 Top Toons


Undeniable Cleavage

Robin Givhan explores Hillary Clinton's bustline in a sensational piece in the Washington Post Fashion section today

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.

Can you believe it?  Hillary's bosom has come out of hibernation.  They poked their heads out and didn't see their shadow, and lo, our winter of denied Clinton Cleavage is now over.  But something seems dirty about this cleavage experience.  Should I be privy to this sight?  Givhan explains this distressing event:

With Clinton, there was the sense that you were catching a surreptitious glimpse at something private. You were intruding -- being a voyeur. Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way. It doesn't necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease. It means that a woman is content being perceived as a sexual person in addition to being seen as someone who is intelligent, authoritative, witty and whatever else might define her personality. It also means that she feels that all those other characteristics are so apparent and undeniable, that they will not be overshadowed.

To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d'oeuvres is a provocation. It requires that a woman be utterly at ease in her skin, coolly confident about her appearance, unflinching about her sense of style. Any hint of ambivalence makes everyone uncomfortable. And in matters of style, Clinton is as noncommittal as ever.

Yeah, that's it.  I knew that I felt dirty, as if I was watching her cleavage through a neighbor's window.  I was intruding on her cleavage, but only at Clinton's request.  She exposes it and dares you not to explore it.  That dirty tease.  No wonder Bill's still married to her.  


No Magic Bullet? No Way!

Anne Applebaum at the Washington Post really earned her paycheck this week.  She looked at the situation in Iraq and realized... that there are no magic bullets

Damn.  None?  Really?  And get this.  Every possible plan has a risk!  No!  Seriously!

What is missing from this conversation is a dose of humility. More to the point, what is missing is the recognition that every single one of these plans contains the seeds of potential disaster, even catastrophe.

Well, slap my ass like a fresh-squeezed baby.  Whodathunkit?  There is no magic plan for Iraq.  And all of the other plans carry a risk.  Ooooh, and we've been dressed down by Anne Applebaum for our lack of humility.  (I should probably be spanked again.)

So, what is Mommy Applebaum's plan?  Well, she doesn't have one.  It's a bit too risky to put yourself out there like that.  She'd rather sit on the sidelines and tell us what's wrong with our plans. 

How much does the Post pay for an editorial of this caliber?  Unless they paid her in "magic" beans, they got ripped off. 


Is It Can Be Fingerpointing Time?

Do you guys remember that time when George Bush decided to invade Iraq and nearly every Republican supported his war without question? Well, the invasion went awry and now it's time for those Republicans to start accepting credit for their support. Right? Right?

Wrong. From CNN:

A Republican senator says he warned top White House aide Karl Rove that President Bush quickly needs to craft a workable plan to withdraw U.S. troops fom Iraq in order to salvage his legacy.


Voinovich added that other Republicans are close to speaking out against the President’s current strategy.

“I won’t mention anyone’s name. But I have every reason to believe that the fur is going to start to fly, perhaps sooner than what they may have wanted.”

In private, Voinovich is more blunt, using a profanity to describe the White House’s handling of Iraq by charging the administration “f—ed up” the war.

It's absolutely dishonest for a supporter of this war to come out now and say that the current strategy isn't working. Bush's strategy hasn't really changed since he landed on the jet carrier and announced that we won the war. He's played musical chairs with approximately the same number of troops and generals while redefining the terms of "success" for the Iraqi government. If you supported this shell game back in 2005, there's no reason for you to stop now.

Voinovich should be honest and say that the White House's handling of Iraq has "f--ed up" the election. That's the driving force behind this warning to Karl Rove. It's not a matter of American or Iraqi casualties. It's not a matter of costs or return on investment. They expected their constituents to support their Dear Leader for Life. When they discovered that wasn't the case, they began looking for a way to wash their hands of the situation which leads us to "the blame game". Unfortunately for them, the people who deserve blame are all Republicans so they have to start pointing at the people with the least to lose. That, of course, would be their Dear Lame Duck.

There's another meme here that worries me; the idea that this war was a good idea but the Administration screwed up the well-conceived plan. Or in Voinovich's terms, the Administration fucked it up. I'm afraid that the American people may think the same (and in twenty years they will support President Jenna Bush when she wants to invade Venezuela.) I hope the Democrats hit these defecting Republicans hard when (and if) they begin to point fingers.


Hey, Wait a Minute. I Think The President's An Arrogant Jerk!

Reagan speechwriter (and occasional resident of planet Earth) Peggy Noonan wonders why former Bush supporters have become disenchanted:

I found myself Thursday watching President Bush's news conference and thinking about what it is about him, real or perceived, that makes people who used to smile at the mention of his name now grit their teeth.

I'm not sure why these people have only begun gritting their teeth, but it's safe to assume that they aren't from Texas. If you lived in the Lone Star State and paid attention to George Bush, then you were already familiar with the petulant fratboy that became President. This is a man who never bothered to understand issues because he has never paid the price of ignorance. His entire life is a series of failed leadership opportunities that cost the public hundreds of millions of dollars, and yet the media portrayed him in 2000 as the first real CEO Presidential candidate. His companies were investigated by the SEC, but it was Al Gore that had not earned the public's trust.

If you bought George Bush's snake oil in 2000, then I can understand why you might grit your teeth today. But it's time for you (and Peggy Noonan) to admit that your personal bias against the Democrats is the real problem here. Bush hasn't changed in the past year or two. He's the same guy he was in 1997 and even 1987: a trust-fund baby surrounded by sycophants that are willing to fall on the bed of nails that he creates. He's never been accountable for the mistakes that he's made, mainly because there's always somebody like Peggy Noonan to write op-eds about how much wiser he is than us.

As I watched the news conference, it occurred to me that one of the things that might leave people feeling somewhat disoriented is the president's seemingly effortless high spirits. He's in a good mood. There was the usual teasing, the partly aggressive, partly joshing humor, the certitude. He doesn't seem to be suffering, which is jarring.
Yeah, that must be it. We aren't gritting our teeth because this condescending ignoramus is weaving a narrative from our blood and tax money. It's because he's in a good mood and we aren't. We're not smart enough to see how effective he is fighting the evil-doer's and roustabouts. We're not smart enough to understand why he's still a better President than anybody from the Democrat party. And one day soon, we'll have to read Peggy's Pontifications regarding Hillary Clinton's raw female ambitions or John Edward's hypocritical hair salon visits. I can't wait.



Jesus. Run, people. ABC News and The White House say that the terrorists are on the way here OR they are already here.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials tell ABC News new intelligence suggests a small al Qaeda cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be here.

Worried? Don't worry. Somebody's on the case:

The White House has convened an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday afternoon to deal with the new threat.

OK. Maybe it's time to be worried. These are the assholes that could deal with a Category 5 hurricane even though it was being tracked by radar by every news organization in the world.

Now, I wonder why Homeland Security decided to issue this breaking news bulletin that demands airtime from every mainstream media outlet. I must be cynical to think this unconfirmed, unsubstantiated threat is an attempt distract us from other news. Like we've lost four thousand troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or that insurgents have slipped through our surge and committed one of the most horrific attacks in Iraq since the war began.

Oh, and aren't we fighting them "there" so they won't come "here"? Whatever. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to stock up on duct tape and plastic sheets so I can protect myself from the Al Qaeda / Saddam Hussein / Kim Jong Il / Hugo Chavez / Fidel Castro terror threat... THAT *MIGHT* ALREADY BE SOMEWHERE PLANNING SOMETHING. Scared yet? You fucking better be.


Dead Earth

What the hell has happened to music? I've tried to watch the Live Earth concert, but it is too painful to bear. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Today's kids are NOT taking good drugs. Alcohol, oxycotin, and anti-depressants are responsible for this crap. Emo? Piano rock? It's an endless cycle. This music makes you depressed because it sucks so much. Depressed people drink booze and eat pills. And then they put on a Fall Out Boy cd and get depressed again.

Taking Back Sunday. I thought one of my cats was stuck in the dryer when this band was playing. Surely live music can't be so pointless. And yet, it was. Don't Take Back Sunday. Take Back Your Music. Throw it in the garbage! David Gray? Keith Urban? James Blunt? I haven't heard this much vapid earnestness since I left Austin.

I'm going to run my air conditioner for 24 hours straight to protest this shit. Screw you, Al Gore! You should've hooked up with Drop Bass and put together a REAL concert.