Updating the Updates

I’m traipsing back to the courthouse today to defend truth, justice, and the American Way. In the meantime —

Overnight news on Senator Tim Johnson is encouraging; or, at least, there’s no change from last night’s news that the Senator is critical but recovering.

Regarding Senator Johnson, I second what Eleanor Clift writes,

Johnson’s illness should inject a sense of urgency into the Democrats’ agenda. No one would have put the robust-looking Johnson on an endangered list. Democrats have plenty of octogenarians and septuagenarians to worry about making it through to the next election. A health crisis that strikes without warning is a reminder of the fragility of the Democratic majority. With the direction of U.S. policy for the next two years riding on Senate control, Democratic leaders can’t afford to sit around figuring out how to position the party for ’08. That doesn’t mean they have to overhaul Social Security, but they should do what’s doable. Don’t delay; raise the minimum wage and try to lock in whatever reform protections they can. Life is ephemeral, and so is control of the Senate. …

… The doctors will soon have their say about Johnson’s prognosis, and assuring him that he remains a U.S. senator could be an important part of his recovery. If that’s the case, however eager the Republicans are to reclaim Senate control, it’s hard to imagine the governor of South Dakota, who is a Republican, wanting to do anything that would jeopardize Johnson’s recovery—like naming a Republican to replace him. That alone should forestall a change in party control. The Senate is a clubby place, and unlike the House, most members have experienced life in both the minority and the majority. With such tiny margins, the health and well-being of every senator becomes paramount. They’re important. They should start acting like it.

Believers might even consider Tim Johnson’s incident to be a memo to the Dems from God. Just a thought.

Following up the last post on the remarkable idiocy of Jonah GoldbergDr. Steven Taylor of PoliBlog writes a better criticism of Goldberg than I did.

(Warning: Civil War history buffs with weak hearts may want to skip to the next paragraph.) Yet the idiocy continues — We’ve seen President Bush compared to Truman and Churchill, which is stupid enough. Now John Hinderaker of PowerTools compares Bush to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain at Gettysburg. Oh, sure. While we’re at it, let’s conclude that Bush is just like Einstein, Lincoln, Mother Teresa, and Ghandi, too. He also is barely indistinguishable [from] most brands of frozen peas. In fact, this morning as I shoved some bread into the toaster, I thought to myself how much that toaster was like President Bush. The resemblance is uncanny.

Via Chris Bowers at MyDDPaul Waldman writes that the 1960s culture wars might finally be coming to an end. That’s because we Boomers are getting old and will soon go the way of the dinosaurs. I can’t say I’m completely cheerful about this, but it’s an interesting article nonetheless.

At WaPo, read “A War Bush Wouldn’t Pay For” by E.J. Dionne and “Doing It for the Soldiers” by Dan Froomkin.


16 thoughts on “Updating the Updates

  1. Don’t delay; raise the minimum wage

    I guess Clift, like everyone else, assumes this will just happen if (when) they pass it because Bush wouldn’t dare veto it. I’m going out on a limb and predicting that he will veto it. He’s past the point of no return now — he doesn’t give a shit what people think.

  2. Maha,

    When you say

    In fact, this morning as I shoved some bread into the toaster, I thought to myself how much that toaster was like President Bush

    is this an oblique way of informing us that your toaster reduced the bread to a smoking pile of ash and is in desperate ned of replacement? Just askin 🙂

  3. I see a closer parallel to Pickett’s last charge when it comes to making Gettysburg analogies from Bush’s situation.

    I think Bush is going to escalate the war by going after the shite militias after the new year.He’s got to create a large and identifiable enemy to keep the idea of “winning” alive in the minds of the American people. He’s already been defeated by the loss of a defined objective, so his only options are to increase. or to withdraw. With increased challenge comes increased hope.

    Grandma used to tell me…If you’re gonna steal, you little dirtbag, steal big. I guess there’s some wisdom to that expression that Bush could heed..If you’re gonna screw-up in Iraq,you big dirtbag, screw-up big.

  4. John Hinderaker’s article also said this to the prez:

    “Commandeer a half hour in prime time to tell the American people, and the world, that we have clear evidence of Iran’s involvement in killing American servicemen.”

    Then he goes on to say he should use this evidence as a justification to attack Iran.

    I wonder if it has occurred to John that the president has lost credibility with the “I-have-proof-so-let’s-attack” line.

  5. Afghanistan was basically funded through CIA and it went real well until it boomeranged because CIA saw a chance to gain. So, maybe we should focus on Iraq because the Afghanistan war was ‘successful,’ but has been ‘sold off’ by CIA and is beginning to look like the Iraq insurgency?

    The problem with CIA financing is they will ruin a successful operation over politics, like, cutting off NGO funding through USAID and trying to let independent operations like US Institute for Peace that created the ISG get ahead and receive more US government funding for the CIA agents that work out of USIP.

    The two wars are not comparable, until we saw the CIA ‘pullout’ a few months ago based on USIP rumors, which meant an end to financing of CIA NGO and other CIA operations in Afghanistan and a ‘pullout’ of Iraq. The insurgency in Afghanistan’s South began immediately and, later, after the ISG announced it was going to be used by the administration, other countries went ahead with deals in Iran(Russian and China). It may have been obvious to wait for the ISG after CIA ‘pulled out’ of Afghanistan.

  6. Bush has never wanted to pay politically or economically for any policies he has pursued. Like the Ceo class he calls ‘my base’, he thinks those are all external costs he can just ignore. Why else do you think that every time he speaks publicly about Iraq he reminds everyone how the military is “all volunteer” as if to excuse his culpability.Ask Dick “It’s our due” Cheney about tax cuts. He thinks it’s great that the CEO’s got tax cuts while the rest of us get stuck with the deficits. As Lincoln Chaffee pointed out the other day, in june 2001 the Republican congress jumped up and gave Bush 1.5 trillion in tax cuts, the same people who 8 months before refused to give Clinton a .5 trillion cut. It is all politics and they do not care who pays as long as it is not them. The investor class that installed this POS need to realize that it matters who runs government, instead of cynically installing people who not only can’t do it, but do not care. The US is now known as on the decline officially over the entire planet. Due to the powers that be our death warrant is signed and sealed, militarily economically all for a little short term profit party for the favored few.

  7. Well, there exist some parallels that I have been pondering which link the ‘identified bad guy’ scenarios. Think of Afganistan bad guys, the Taliban. Then in Palestine, the ‘bad guys’ are Hamas; in Lebanon, Hizbolla, and in Iraq, Sadr’s militia.
    What does it mean that in each of these instances of ‘bad guys’ – those organizations arose to attend to the everyday suffering of the little people? In Afganistan, the Taliban arose to protect women folk and powerless common citizens from the war-lords. In Palestine, Hamas is the grass-roots group that arose to provide basic help and services to the distressed mass of powerless refugees. In Lebanon, Hizbolla was the group that did the same, i.e., provide money, medical help, schooling, etc to the Lebanese common folk and farmers. In Sadr City, it was the ‘firebrand’ M. Sadr whose organization provided basic help of foodstuffs and other essentials for the poorest of the poor, beginning in Saddam’s reign.
    As I ponder these parallels, I ask a couple of questions that don’t yet have answers.
    1] Is there something about being [daily] up close to suffering that leads these ‘help organizations’ to a willingness to commit violence and terrorism?
    2] Wouldn’t it be smart to just compete with these organizations by out-performing the social and economic help services which have won them such loyalty?

  8. an oblique way of informing us that your toaster reduced the bread to a smoking pile of ash and is in desperate ned of replacement? Just askin

    That, and the old thing is pretty crumby.

  9. Is Hindraker for real?.. I’m a proponent of fantasy,but I generally keep them to myself. Granted, since I reached puberty my fantasies have become much more intimate, and therefore have increased my reluctance to share them in an open forum. But even when I was having my pre-pubescent military fantasies, where I liberated Europe as a tank commander -complete with adulations from the local population – I still felt the need guard my experience from the scrutiny of others because I understood that fantasy is only a balm for an emotional need, and should be a private experience.
    What could possess Hindraker to publish a fantasy online that has been masked as a serious attemp at counsel when all of it’s components are clearly elements of fantasy? I have to conclude that either he has an emotional need to project a sense of power and knowledge and he’ll risk scorn to air it, or he’s just talking out his out ass to hear himself talk. Either way he gets off on himself.

  10. I can’t take credit for this, saw it on another site:

    Just who is THE ENEMY?!

    “Now that Iraq has degenerated into a civil war, we have to figure out which group to side with. Most Iraqis are Shiite, the the elected president of Iraq is Shiite. Saddam and Osama are both Sunnis.

    So I guess we side with the Shiites. But – our friends in Saudi Arabia, the guys Bush has been kissing, they’re Sunnis. The vast majority of Muslims are Sunnis. And our friends in Saudi Arabia made it clear to Cheney that they were going to have to side with the Sunnis if we sided with the Shiites.

    Iran is part of the Axis of Evil, but they are Shiites, just like Hezbollah, just like the Syrians, as well as the leaders of the militias that we are trying to get rid of. So we’re going to help the Iranians, Syrians, and Hezbollah conquer Iraq.

    What would Reagan have done? When Reagan was president we are supporting the other side. Saddam and Osama bin Laden were our best buddies. Wow – this is really confusing.

    Maybe that’s our problem. Maybe the reason we’re not winning this war is because we haven’t figured out who the enemy is yet?

    Fortunately we have a president who has the solution to the problem.

    Let’s double down. Send in more troops.

    The one thing that brings Sunni and Shiites together is killing Americans.” Marc Percel

  11. Bush’s problem is sorta like the puzzle with the farmer who’s got to get a chicken,a fox and some grain across the the river.

  12. I am watching the bit players in the lead-up to the ‘Way Forward’ speech by our fearless leader. The Army and Marine commanders are asking for more troops, a larger permanent force. I am not sure how this would be done; the are having problems recruiting to maintain the current force. McCain and Leiberman in Baghdad are talking about a ‘surge’ of troops to ‘stablize’ Baghdad. Does anyone feel a draft?

    My guess is that the speech will feature a leash embroidered with the phrase ‘A Way forward – by the C-in-C’. and Bush is going to try to clip that leash on the Congress. I hope the bite from Congress is deep and bloody.

  13. Just had to comment Donna – You have brought up something that no one else seems to feel worth discussing, yet I think is a least a partial key to many of the problems we have been trying to solve.

  14. As I understand Canadian complaints to NATO HQ, Afghanistan is being lost because the policies being implemented literally put the survival of the civilian population at risk. The Taleban at one point did oppose opium farming : they have revised this because poverty threatens the people with starvation. ( For an eye opener take a look at Afghanistan’s website )
    If you understand GWBs success with dealing with New Orleans, consider what policies designed to wrest control of oil profits from the Iraqis do to their domestic politics.
    For a professional’s update on the Senator’s prognosis, bluegalinaredstate.blogspot.com clarifies the medical mumbo-jumbo.
    Her post today on servicemen speaking out against U.S. continuing to post troops to Iraq is part of her devotion to military enlisted.
    She’s good enough for Kevin Drum to give the nod.

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