Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 13, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

PLAYING POLITICS WITH THE TROOPS....Ponder the following timeline if you will.

Tuesday: George Bush tells the American Legion, "If Congress fails to pass a [war funding] bill I can sign by mid-May, the problems grow even more acute....Some of our forces now deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq may need to be extended, because other units are not ready to take their places."

Wednesday: Defense Secretary Robert Gates announces, "Effective immediately, active Army units now in the Central Command area of responsibility and those headed there will deploy for not more than 15 months...." That's a 3-month extension of the normal 12-month tour of duty.

Later in the press conference, Gates says they would have announced the new policy later, but someone leaked it and forced their hand.

Thursday: Dana Perino takes questions from the press:

Q: Why did [Bush] tell the American Legion that people would be staying in Iraq longer because of the Democrats, when his own Pentagon, 24 hours later, was going to keep people there longer?

MS. PERINO: Well, one, I don't know if the President knew about the — the meeting — remember, yesterday morning is when Secretary Gates came and talked to the President....

Q: And so the President didn't know about his own policy until Wednesday?

MS. PERINO: I'm not aware that the President knew that there was going to be — that Secretary Gates had come to any decisions.

Well, that's possible, isn't it? Alternatively, perhaps Bush was assuming the new policy wouldn't be announced until after he'd had a chance to veto the war funding bill, thus making it look like the Democrats were responsible for the longer tours of duty. Of course, that would be a very cynical interpretation of events, wouldn't it?

Thanks to Atrios, Steve Benen, and ThinkProgress for connecting the dots.

Kevin Drum 3:49 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (109)

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Comments

I was going to be outraged, but the fact is that this administration has jerked us all around on the war so often, I'm starting to get outrage fatigue. I'm sorry, I can only stay pissed off for so long.

Posted by: mmy on April 13, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is exceptionally paranoid, even for the left. Why not put whatreallyhappened.com and 911truth.org on your blogroll and get it over with?

Posted by: Al on April 13, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

3 years ago, this plan would have worked flawlessly, and the Dems would get hammered in the press over it. If you ever needed evidence that the White House is off its game, this is it.

Posted by: Tyro on April 13, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is simply showing his support for the troops by keeping them there longer. The Democrats don't support the troops and so they try to bring them home.

Posted by: Preemptive Wingnuttery on April 13, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think you can be too cynical with these guys.

Posted by: Lee on April 13, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Cynical? Nah, I think the "The President know what the fuck is going on" defense is far more reassuring than the "Shit, I was hoping to pin my incompetent war planning on the Democrats" plan.

Well, OK, it's not. Both tipify the great governance the Bushies are rightly known for.

Posted by: jay b on April 13, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

astounding. this administration playing politics? w would never stoop so low. never. never. never. al has me convinced.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 13, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Alternatively, perhaps Bush was assuming the new policy wouldn't be announced until after he'd had a chance to veto the war funding bill ... that would be a very cynical interpretation of events, wouldn't it?

Yes.

But only because it supposes that Bush's gray matter has sway over his reptilian brain stem.

Bush's neurology works in completely the opposite way:

Malice before muse.
Destruction before deliberation.
Weapons before wisdom.



Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 13, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK
Of course, that would be a very cynical interpretation of events, wouldn't it?

If by "a very cynical" you mean "the only rational", then yes.


3 years ago, this plan would have worked flawlessly, and the Dems would get hammered in the press over it.

Hell, it would have worked now if it hadn't been for a "very thoughtless person" (in Gates words) in the Pentagon that wasn't willing to go along with the scam.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 13, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

So Al you're saying the president not knowing about his own polices is a better spin than him playing politics with it?

Posted by: Eric on April 13, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the same little birdy -- or a close cousin -- that made sure the announcement was leaked ALSO made sure that Congressional Dems knew it would be coming.

There are a lot of people -- yes, even in the Pentagon -- who are really pissed off at the way the Mayberry Machiavellis have been using -- and misusing -- the military.

Posted by: bleh on April 13, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

If sending GIs to Iraq for 12 months is supporting the troops, sending them for 15 months must be supporting them more, right?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 13, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ponder the following timeline if you will.

No wonder the Repukes don't like timelines.

Posted by: ckelly on April 13, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/04/12/open-thread-444/

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on April 13, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I wish someone would have asked Gates when is he going to extend tours again. And again. And again.

Posted by: Brojo on April 13, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I have a relative in the Army who's shipping out to Afghanistan...He was told his tour was going to be extended at around the beginning of February.

The military and their families have known this was happening for some time. Saying that the need to extend troop tours is contingent on Dubya getting the funding bill he wants is complete and utter bullshit.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 13, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

REGRESSIVE-DEMOCRATS:

You lost the election for commander and chief 2 1/2 years ago, i.e., just recently, by a substantial margin (3%). You won 468 elections (435 House, 33 Senate) to control government tax and spending and general law creation by about 6%, also a substantial margin. To take this absurd step to try to act as commander in chief now (rather than having won in 2004 or waiting utnil 2008) is yet another (Roe v. Wade being one) abomination as regards the Constitution. If that was 1) what the founders wanted; or 2) prudent just on mere efficacy grounds; why have an executive at all? This should be about supporting the constitutionally elected TROOP #1, i.e., the commander in chief whilst he is commander in chief, as well as the troops generally.

But all this aside, you are wrong on Iraq on every level. Hussein was providing safe haven for Al-Qaeda just as Afghanistan was. And he was in blatant violation of the UN resolutions meant to assure us he was inactive as threat (thus he was threatening us). And he proved his aggressive intent by trying to assassinate George HW Bush. So the invasion of Iraq was as justified or moreso than the invasion of Afghanistan. But more than all of this, whatever difficulties we face in Iraq (which is militarily a masterpiece from a historical perspective) only INCREASE the need for us to be there. Our enemies in the Islamic and Arabic world are proving their vicious disregard for all life and they are only going to get MORE capable of striking us a devastating blow. Permitting them overt or covert access to 10% of world's oil reserves by pulling out is INSANE. If they are fine with killing themselves (as suicide bombers) along with 50 Iraq men, women, and children to kill a few US soldiers, imagine how willing they will be to nuke New York without concern for retaliation.

At least we are fighting them now, killing them 25 to 1 while we have the advantage. If we withdraw, we let them resume their power-grab unfettered.

Senator Webb pointed to North Korea as an example of our ability to pull out of an unproductive conflict in 1953 (in his response to the '07 State of the Union). Exactly. All we are doing is creating an Islamofascist North Korea if we pull out of Iraq, but one that is fanatically, genocidal, and with vast wealth and relgio-political connections. It's like North Korea times 100 as threats go. At least we have China, Japan, and South Korea to counter Kim Il-Jung. In Iraq, all of their neighbors will be encouraging them, not discouraging them.

KosKids . . . it's time to grow up. Better to fight frustratingly now than devastatingly later. Look at Hitler in 1935-36 as an example. It's perfectly apt.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on April 13, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Alternatively, perhaps Bush was assuming the new policy wouldn't be announced until after he'd had a chance to veto the war funding bill, thus making it look like the Democrats were responsible for the longer tours of duty.

Don't be silly. When has this maladministration ever made policy decisions based purely on political point-scoring?

Posted by: craigie on April 13, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

There are a lot of people -- yes, even in the Pentagon -- who are really pissed off at the way the Mayberry Machiavellis have been using -- and misusing -- the military.

Bingo. The Pentagon is staffed for the most part with ordinary folks who approach their jobs as non-partisan professionals.

I have been dealing with this issue for a couple of days. and Bush is fucking Gates, and I think he underestimates Bob Gates.

Rumsfeld was a tyrant and a bureaucratic knifefighter. Gates is the guy who would poison the coffee pot and pour a cup of tea.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 13, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, Kevin, this was a particularly smart post.

You're welcome!

Posted by: craigie on April 13, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

I have a question about the timing of the veto. I had thought he had already vetoed the funding bill. I was mixed up by all the statements he was going to veto it. When will the actual veto happen?

Posted by: elm on April 13, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, this doesn't qualify as The Most Idiotic Conversation Thread of Friday the 13th, April 2006.

That distinction goes to the Missing Email thread earlier:

Somehow this reminded me -- I recently saw a rerun of an early episode of the original mid-1960s Star Trek TV series (with Shatner and Nimoy), and there was a line in which one character referred to data in the 23rd century starship Enterprise computer system being stored on "tapes". The future sure ain't what it used to be.
Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 12, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Just as I predicted would happen, SA mischaracterized ST-TOS as having first aired in the mid-1960s, when in fact it aired in the *late* 1960s.
Posted by: Nathan is always correct on April 12, 2007 at 7:18 PM |


I assume this is a joke, but for the record the first episode of the original Star Trek series ("The Man Trap") was broadcast on September 8, 1966. That's the "mid-1960s".
Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 12, 2007 at 7:46 PM |


Ah, I predicted that this would be your response.
If you divide the 10 years of the 60s into thirds, an "early", a "middle", and a "late", with each third consisting of 3 years and 4 months, the late 60s begins on Sept 1, 1966.
Posted by: Nathan is always correct on April 12, 2007 at 8:06 PM |


I thought it was remembered from the millennium celebration, there was no year 0. Therefore, the first year was 1, decades begin at x1, centuries at xx1, and millennia at xxx1.
Technically, the Sixties begin in 1961 since 1960 was the last year of the Fifties.
Dividing a decade into thirds of 3.334 year each, the early 60's ran to 1964.3; the mid 60's to 1967.6, and the late 60's to the end of 1970.
September 8, 1966? Mid 60's. Point to SecularAnimist.
Posted by: Mike on April 12, 2007 at 10:43 PM |


C.E. is a modern invention that coincides (coincidentaly) with A.D. My guess would be that Jesus was born at 0 A.D., not 1 A.D. as this would make Jesus 1 year old the moment he was born. I think this is asking too much even of virgin birth.
Just to keep the math straight (not by Mike's math) 1/3 = .33333', 2/3 = .66666', 1/3 of 10 years = 10/3 = 3.33333', 2/3 of 10 years - 6.66666'.
365 days per year, 366 leap year: 366/3 = 122 days.
So, counting from 1st Jan 60 would be: 1960 + 1961 + 1962 + 1/3year.
So 1/3 = 1963 + 122 days = 1st May, 1963.
So 2/3 = 5.1.63 + 1964 + 1965 + (5.1.1966 + 122) days = 31st August 1966.
I'll give you a day either side.
Posted by: notthere on April 12, 2007 at 11:04 PM |



Posted by: anonymous on April 13, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

elm >"...When will the actual veto happen?"

When Dick & Karl say it is time.

"If you don't know what your government is doing, you don't live in a democracy." - Jane Anne Morris

Posted by: daCascadian on April 13, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

This post is why I love you.

Posted by: Jersey Citizen on April 13, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove was too busy concocting excuses for losing his e-mails to coordinate the troops' tour extension timeline to smear the Democrats.

Or maybe Gates decided not to play Rove's games. In any case, Rove/Bush are not looking too swift. Imagine a Commander-In-Chief not knowing his troops' tours of duty were about to be increased by 90 days. That's one hands-off Commander.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 13, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

MHR, you willfully obtuse troglodyte, the dems have passed funding. The president wants a blank check with no accountability mechanism. Fuck that. he hasn't proven himself trustworthy or competent, so he can deal with timelines and benchmarks. Don't like it? Don't back a mendacious fucktard next time.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 13, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush: "The military and their families have known this was happening for some time."

Really? I've seen other families who say they were shocked. Indeed, Gates might have wanted to delay the public announcement until DoD could inform the families directly.

That's the innocent interpretation of Gates' anger. But it's always a longshot betting on the good faith of this administration.

Posted by: Grumpy on April 13, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

mhr, your statements reflect nothing more than a naive, pre-11/7 mindset.

Posted by: Tyro on April 13, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Or maybe Gates decided not to play Rove's games.

Rove loses that one in every possible scenario. Gates is a lot of things, and I absolutely despise him. But I know skill when I see it, and Gates is a skilled operative. They underestimate him at their peril.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 13, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

TOH,

You're right, the Democratically controlled Congress is not the commander-in-chief; it is a law writing, budget writing, and oversight body. Last I checked, no bill coming out of the House or Senate is dictating strategy - nothing is telling the military how to fight the war. The bill that President Bush is threatening to veto is a budget; a budget that stipulates how money is to be spent. This is consistant with the powers of Congress. Congress uses its budgetary and law writing powers as a mechanism for legislative oversight over the executive agencies - it's called checks and balances.

Also, you obviously have no idea what the word 'Fascist' means - Islamofascism doesn't exist. It's just a word that the Bush Mouthpiece Fox News made up to draw parallels between the war in Iraq and WWII, and frankly it's insulting to all the millions of people who actually suffered under Fascist regimes. Our enemies in the Islamic world are not fascist - authoritarian, theocratic, violent, extremist, sure. But not fascist, that word actually has substantive meaning, and there's nothing about the Iraqi insurgency or al-Qaeda that makes it Fascist (merging of state, party, and industry, corporate control of the mechanisms of power, etc). You really do yourself, conservatives, and Republicans a disservice when you spout such dribble. Try using real words and acurate descrptions, then maybe someone will take you seriously.

Also, who's Kim Il-Jung? Do you mean Kim Jung-Il? Or his deceased father Kim Il-Sung? See? WORDS MATTER.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on April 13, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

The objective historian here are some new nammes you might call yourself.
The kool aid drinking historian
the bull shit historian
the I never learned from vietnam historian
the head in the sand historian
the I'll beleive anything I'm told historian

Posted by: Gaandalf on April 13, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

To placate the extreme left of their party...

As well as the majority of the American public.
Pssst mhr, you're the one on the fringe.

Posted by: ckelly on April 13, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK
I'm sorry, this doesn't qualify as The Most Idiotic Conversation Thread of Friday the 13th, April 2006.

Well, no. Because its not 13 April 2006, but 13 April 2007. Also, 13 April 2006 wasn't a Friday.

That distinction goes to the Missing Email thread earlier:

The thread you suggest should get that honor is from 12 April 2007, and thus quite ineligible for the "honor" of being the Most Idiotic Conversation Thread of 13 April, whether 2006 or 2007.


Posted by: cmdicely on April 13, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'll bet the President really misses Tony Snow. He would have come up with a much better spin than Ms. Perino.

Posted by: dbomp on April 13, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry Ob His I meant names.

Posted by: Gandalf on April 13, 2007 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Is it correctly spelled TOH or (like Homer) DOH???

Here's why I ask. TOH/DOH told us:
"Hussein was providing safe haven for Al-Qaeda
just as Afghanistan was."

Indeed, TOH/DOH, there was ONE Al-Qaida agent taking refuge in Iraq. The al-Zarqawi group had taken shelter in Iraq before we invaded. HOWEVER, THEY WERE LOCATED IN THE NORTHERN, NO-FLY (KURDISH-CONTROLLED) REGION WHICH WAS PLACED OFF-LIMITS TO SADDAM HUSSEIN AND HIS BAATHIST REGION FOLLOWING THE 1991 GULF WAR. INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE GEORGE W. BUSH REGIME HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO "TAKE OUT" MR. ZARQAWI, THE ONLY AL-QAIDA-AFFILIATED AGENT IN PRE-2003 IRAQ (USING AIRSTRIKES OR CRUISE MISSILES) BUT CHOSE NOT TO BECAUSE HIS CONTINUED PRESENCE IN IRAQ GAVE THEM ANOTHER EXCUSE TO INVADE.
Even Mr. Bush acknowledges now (as have the 9-11 Commission, the CIA, and the Defense and State Departments, and most leading Republican Congressional figures) that there was no meaningful contact between Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein. That ship has sailed.

Posted by: shystr on April 13, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

The Objective(ly Obtuse) Historian: "But all this aside, you are wrong on Iraq on every level. Hussein was providing safe haven for Al-Qaeda just as Afghanistan was. And he was in blatant violation of the UN resolutions meant to assure us he was inactive as threat (thus he was threatening us)."

Without question, that's an extraordinarily foolish statement that been repeatedly refuted by people far more knowledgeable than either of us.

What you apparently know about history and public policy would fit in the receptacle end of a condom, with plenty of room left over.

I'm not going to bother to refute your pretzel-logic point-by-point, since that exercise would no doubt be wasted on you.

Suffice to say that your post is so full of deliberate falsehoods and distortions that you've only succeeded in proving yourself to be far less the scholarly academic you seem to fancy yourself, than the sloppy pseudo-intellectual right-wing groupie you really are.

Yours is nothing less than a prodigious waste of an otherwise raw reservoir of personal talent, enabling the likes of these abusive motherfuckers as though you were merely a battered and neglected step-child, vainly seeking their attention and approval.

What a pity.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Perfecting the Art of the Troll Smackdown on April 13, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK
That distinction goes to the Missing Email thread earlier: anonymous at 5:02 PM
Awesome! However, despite appeals to mythical or non-mythical religious figures, there is no year zero in the Gregorian calendar. Posted by: Mike on April 13, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is addicted to war. It has won elections for him and his party in the past. It's now become a crutch and a mania-- it feeds the legion types, the religious fundamentalists and the military/industrial complex. A tough addiction to break,

Posted by: Dr Wu the last of the big-time thinkers on April 13, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

elm, the bills, one from each house of Congress, have to be reconciled in committee, and then approved by each chamber before it goes to the president. I think.

Posted by: Brojo on April 13, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Well, now, let's be fair to poor President Bush. He probably didn't know.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 13, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK
All we are doing is creating an Islamofascist North Korea if we pull out of Iraq, but one that is fanatically, genocidal, and with vast wealth and relgio-political connections.

I'm too am worried.
They move come over here and want to steal our oil.
Right TOS?

Posted by: The Objective Herstorian on April 13, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

There are really only two alternatives:

1) The timing orchestrated to blame the Democrats after Bush vetoes the bill.

2) Bush is totally clueless about his own policy and didn't know about the extensions.

Both bad.

Posted by: Astounded Observer on April 13, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Off-topic: our dear friend Chuckles is now polluting the threads over at ThinkProgress.org, posting now as "Jake."

Posted by: PaulB on April 13, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

In sadness at Vonnegut's passing,"Player Piano" predicted this sort of president. Well, in the book,the president is an actor turned politician, so I suppose he actually predicted Reagan. Ronald at least had incipient Alzheimer's to excuse such conduct,GwB is just being himself.

Posted by: TJM on April 13, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

GwB is just being himself.

This is what's left in the wake of cocaine induced dementia.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 13, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii, Perfecting the Art of the Troll Smackdown

Indeed!

Posted by: thersites on April 13, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I influence, therefore I am. Posted by: mhr on April 13, 2007 at 5:08 PM

But you don't influence, therefore you are not.

Posted by: Zit on April 13, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK
There are really only two alternatives:

1) The timing orchestrated to blame the Democrats after Bush vetoes the bill.

2) Bush is totally clueless about his own policy and didn't know about the extensions.

Both bad.

Presuming the timing was orchestrated by someone other than Bush (hey, Karl!), both could be simultaneously true, too.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 13, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

AO --

I'll take #2 for $100.

Posted by: thersites on April 13, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

If the Dems won't impeach, maybe the military will court-martial.

Posted by: Guy Banister on April 13, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Grumpy on April 13, 2007 at 5:12 PM:

..I've seen other families who say they were shocked.

Yeah, I probably overstated that by saying 'the military', encompassing the whole. But my relative had already had his tour extended, and the decision to add another three months to the standard tour doesn't just happen overnight...So while the extension may be a suprise to some, it wasn't a complete suprise to everyone.

I'm sorry that the timing of the extended tour announcement didn't fit your political objectives, Karl.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 13, 2007 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely and thersites,

#2 but not for $100 but because it is why he's looking for a war czar now.

Posted by: Optical Weenie on April 13, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

The entire Iraq war has been an exercise in playing politics with the troops, first to acquire political capital for reelection and now to try and salvage a presidential legacy.

Posted by: trex on April 13, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

To date the right has been wrong on every account with Afganastan and Iraq.What makes anyone believe that leaving is going to cause the chaos you say it will.My bey is it will smolder then quiet down.GOOIN!

Posted by: john john on April 13, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but it's not like John Kerry would have made anything remotely resembling a successful Commander in Chief.

My belief is that his rabid, anti-American past would invite more attacks on US troops and he would, ultimately, surrender an entire American division to al Qaeda in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the real Commander in Chief continues to defend America and keep our enemies at bay. And Democrats clamor to be the one to cut the legs out from under our troops and take away their morale.

Pathetic.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, the Objectionable Sociopath is back from failed rehab. Saving the world again one misfired delusion at a time.

It was also worth logging in to see an angry Globe use the word "fucktard" in a drive-by slap-down.

History is never kind to a broken military. Those barbarians don't just come for the culture but stay for the talk radio. The limitless lying is all very bad news for tax payers, the military, and people who care about our country.

The Shellexxaco Regents Bush and Cheney are working hard for Big Oil--the profits are up there. If they intended to savage the planet, fight a perpetual war and raise profits beyond obscene for Oil companies, I do believe I found their only success for the Bush Library (a converted camper with no permanent address at this stage).

Posted by: Sparko on April 13, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

What I don't understand is, why doesn't Congress slow down and early-out the Mess O' Potamac/ia in one way by setting up rules on length of deployments, readiness requirements, even rules for testing standards for recruits etc.? (The Constitution expressly gives them the right to regulate the armed forces) Then they could avoid most of the criticism about "dates certain" and yet still achieve mostly the same objective.

Posted by: Neil B. on April 13, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, I note: Al is too omnipresently just waiting for almost every post here, not to be fronted by something.

Posted by: Neil B. on April 13, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

And I should add, that the Objectionably Histrionic was who that was directed at--Norm's post was ill-timed. I am still enjoying his business tirades and interesting take on how he wasn't completely wrong on everything that has happened due to Fiasco Boy and Shotgun McAngry.

Posted by: Sparko on April 13, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Who are you talking to Sparko?

The monkeys left hours ago.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK
My belief is that his rabid, anti-American past…Norman Rogers at 7:24 PM
Volunteering for the military and winning purple hearts is rabidly anti-American? No wonder, by your standards, running like a scared rabbit on 9-11 is heroic. Why is your perfect C-in-C desperately seeking a War Czar? Good grief: what vagaries flutter though a wingers cowardly consciousness. Posted by: Mike on April 13, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Jeeezus, King Buttrfuck Moron Turdeater is even stupider than I thought.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 13, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea Donald what you`ve been using in that bong these last few days but keep doin it.

Stellar smack downs be you.

World Class.

"All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door." - John Kenneth Galbraith

Posted by: daCascadian on April 13, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bush told Gate s to look into extending the tours thinking that it would be given the usual half-assed consideration and simply preparation for the post veto gambit. Gates thought "yes sir" and went ahead and did it without adequate giving Bush a chance to stall it.

Posted by: BroD on April 13, 2007 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

dbomp >"...He would have come up with a much better spin than Ms. Perino."

Probably so but she is sooooo much "easier on the eyes" (why would I listen to any of their crap ?)

"Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory." - John Kenneth Galbraith

Posted by: daCascadian on April 13, 2007 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, I miss Ari Fleischer.

"Q: And so the President didn't know about his own policy until Wednesday?"

"MS. PERINO: I'm not aware that the President knew that there was going to be � that Secretary Gates had come to any decisions."

Hey - if Bush hires a "War Tsar", does that mean he's not the Commander in Chief any more? Perhaps he could retire to the ranch for eighteen months. Seeing as he cannot be bothered with minutiae like the lengths of tours of duty, it's not clear what he actually think his job is.

Posted by: RickD on April 13, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

King Buttrfuck Moron Turdeater

King Butt[er]fuck? From the land of Make-Believe? The one who swings a candy cane sword over his head and throws his poo at the peasants? He's now carrying to modifier "Moron" and the appelation "turd eater" on his official title? I did not know that. Sounds like you strung a bunch of words together for which the meaning is "naughty" and "a big no-no" to a little fellow like yourself.

Meanwhile, you all look like pottymouth moonbats. How unhinged and filthy do you have to be before you realize the American people want nothing to do with your wild-eyed freakouts and your wiggy meltdowns?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Given the Southern ties of so many in the GOP leadership, a good name for Bush's administration might be "A Confederacy of Dunces."

Apologies to Jonathan Swift and John Kennedy Toole.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 13, 2007 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Why don't you just admit you are "Al" and post that shit just to stir up commentary?

Posted by: angryspittle on April 13, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

your wild-eyed freakouts and your wiggy meltdowns?

Where do I get mine? Ain't had a good freakout since Danang!

Posted by: thersites on April 13, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

pj in j-land

That's not good enough. Apologize to the dunces, too!

Posted by: thersites on April 13, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK
your wild-eyed freakouts and your wiggy meltdowns? Norman Rogers at 8:17 PM
You really need to increase your medication and find a new outlet for your crazed rants. No wonder you moonbats lose elections. Posted by: Mike on April 13, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't you just admit you are "Al" and post that shit just to stir up commentary?

Guess what, niblet? You morons couldn't spot who's who or what's what if you had a road map and a dismebodied voice from your On-Star terminal giving you the 411.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

There are increasing stories about how Anbar province is becoming more stable, and how the local warlords there are coming over to our side.

Violence overall is down in Bagdad. Yes, yesterday was a bad day, but the President warned us there would be some steps back for every two steps forward.

New counter insurgency techniques are being imployed in Iraq.

Overall, things are looking up.

Posted by: egbert on April 13, 2007 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Couple other things to note:

Iran was recently humiliated and shown to be completely incompetent in the British hostage crisis recently.

North Korea has agreed to stop its nukes.

Pakistan has recently scored big gains in its Waziristan efforts.

Isreal is safer than ever, and the Palestinians are increasingly isolated.

5 years from now, the Middle East could be radically improved. Provided we stay on the path set for us by President Bush. He's already won.

Posted by: egbert on April 13, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Egfart, you ninny:

There are increasing stories about how Anbar province is becoming more stable, and how the local warlords there are coming over to our side.

No, but thanks for handing the liberals a stick with which to beat you over the head, you moron. The sources you're using are warbloggers who have consistently lied to the good people since the war began. These are degenerate, wannabe scum who have done more harm than good to the cause and who should be flushed like yesterday's fishwrap.

Violence overall is down in Bagdad. Yes, yesterday was a bad day, but the President warned us there would be some steps back for every two steps forward.

If yesterday was a bad day--to wit, explosives smuggled through five layers of security into a cafeteria in the green zone--that means you can't very well claim things are improving. Wait for a lull in the slaughter and THEN claim violence is down.

Sometimes I think the stupidest commenters have no ideological affiliation and just throw things out there that they cannot back up. Egfart is merely a liberal pretending to be a conservative by posting the stupidest items imagineable. There can be no other explanation.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Congress should put language in the supplemental
bill limiting tours of combat duty to 12 months or less. Bush did say that "if Congress fails to pass
a law, Military tours will be extended" Pass a law
to prevent him from further abusing our troops.

Posted by: davidN on April 13, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, I note: Al is too omnipresently just waiting for almost every post here, not to be fronted by something.

Perl scripts don't sleep.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 13, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

trolls flogging trolls! rest of us can take the night off and read the Cat Blogging comments.

Posted by: thersites on April 13, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

rest of us can take the night off and read the Cat Blogging comments.

It's not like you were accomplishing anything anyway...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

elm, the bills, one from each house of Congress, have to be reconciled in committee, and then approved by each chamber before it goes to the president. I think.

Posted by: Brojo on April 13, 2007 at 5:43 PM

Someone on another blog pointed out that the letters from our anguished Texas senators (plus some nonTexas mindless hicks) urging Pelosi and Reid to get the conference committee moving was probably so that Bush could get his veto done in time to announce the extended tours as a result of Democrat nonfunding. Our Texas senators are not ones to desert a sinking ship. They are feverishly bailing water as fast as their little rodent paws will permit.

Posted by: jussumbody on April 13, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

The old priest lay dying in the hospital. For years he had faithfully served the people of the nation's capital. He motioned for his nurse to come near. "Yes, Father?" said the nurse. "I would really like to see President Bush and Vice President Cheney before I die." whispered the priest. "I'll see what I can do, Father" replied the nurse.

The nurse knew someone who worked there and sent an urgent request to the White House and waited for a response. Since their approval ratings were under 30%, Bush and Cheney replied that they would be delighted to visit the dying priest.

As they were on their way to the hospital, Bush commented to Cheney "Dick, I don't know why the old priest wants to see us, but it certainly might help our support among Catholics." Cheney agreed.

When they arrived at the priest's room, the priest took Bush's hand in his right hand and Cheney's hand in his left. There was silence and a look of serenity on the old priest's face. Finally President Bush spoke. "Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end of your life?"

The old priest slowly replied "I have always tried to pattern my life after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Amen" said Bush. "Amen" said Cheney. The old priest continued..."He died between two lying thieves. I would like to do the same."

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 13, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

KD: Alternatively, perhaps Bush was assuming the new policy wouldn't be announced until after he'd had a chance to veto the war funding bill, thus making it look like the Democrats were responsible for the longer tours of duty. Of course, that would be a very cynical interpretation of events, wouldn't it?

Nope. With Bush, it's politics all the time. Winning at politics is most important. Wars? Not so much. On one hand, you have Bush mouthing about the "culture of life" to rally his base with a veto threat to the stem cell bill, and on the other, lives sacrificed from the senseless occupation in Iraq, a war that has enriched his cronies. His schtick is so old, it's become somewhat predictable.

BGRS: ...Gates is a skilled operative. They underestimate him at their peril.

Shhhhh. Heh.

daCascadian: I have no idea Donald what you`ve been using in that bong these last few days but keep doin it. ...Stellar smack downs be you. ...World Class.

I'll second that comment.

Aloha, Donald. Fine job of elaborating on WaPo's/Fred Hiatt's Beltway disconnect at the Horse's Mouth today.

Sparko: It was also worth logging in to see an angry Globe use the word "fucktard" in a drive-by slap-down.

Yeah. Feisty redheads
With intelligence and grit
Call it like it is.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 13, 2007 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah. Feisty redheads
With intelligence and grit
Call it like it is.

And it has to be the Hormones...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers: And it has to be the Hormones...

What do you know about hormones? You're still waiting for your leutinizing hormone to kick in, so those butter beans of yours might drop & become real man nuts.

Posted by: absent observer on April 14, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

That's why he needs a War Czar. So someone can keep all this stuff straight for him.

Gol darn it, he can't get a straight answer from anyone! Well, Dick gives him straight answers, but they always turn out to be wrong.

What he needs is someone like Dick, but someone who is RIGHT rather than WRONG.

Yeah, that would do it. But who? Every sonnabitch he asks says, "No."

Crap. No one ever said "No" to him before. And they can't now. Sure wish there was a draft. He could draft himself a Czar.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 14, 2007 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Since there is no tactical, strategic or intelligence advantage in not informing the troops and their families as soon as a decision had been made to extend their tours, the ONLY reason for delay and having to make the announcement because you are flushed out is a political decision in timing.

Yeah, these guys are abslolute shits. We already knew the troops aren't at the top of their list.

Posted by: notthere on April 14, 2007 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

"I'll bet the President really misses Tony Snow. He would have come up with a much better spin than Ms. Perino."

I actually disagree with this comment.

I think La Perino is ab fab. She can spin faster than Tony Snow (he obfuscates and blusters in true Fox fashion) and she looks twice as good doing it as he did.

He was just an FFF (a Famous Fox Face).

She's a real PR Pro.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 14, 2007 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

shystr, good use of All Caps, which I normally despise. Plus which, I don't think Zarqawi actually used the name "Al Qaeda" until after 9/11, when he swore some kind of meaningless vow to bin Laden.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 14, 2007 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

"Yes, but it's not like John Kerry would have made anything remotely resembling a successful Commander in Chief."

God, I hate to respond to Norman. Help me!!!

But comeon. "remotely resembling a successful CIC"????

COMPARED TO WHOM!!!

Nobody. NOBODY, could be more remote from a successful CIC than the Little Idiot. Even he admits it! He needs a WAR CZAR.

Comeon Norman. He wanted to be dictator, cuz it would have been easier. And now he wants someone else to be CZAR! (That's RUSSIAN, Norman. He wants a Commie to save him!!!)

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 14, 2007 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Boy, it just occurred to me.

Bush doesn't have to VETO the bill.

Doesn't he just have to issue a signing statement, saying he's CIC, and therefore Congress has no legitimate Constitution role in saying when to mobilize the troops in any direction?

I mean, if they really, REALLY believe in these g-damned signing statements, why veto anything?

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 14, 2007 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

Ooooh. It's empty in here. Heellllooooo?

Anybody there? I guess not. Too bad. Gotta find someplace for use Left Coast night denizens.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 14, 2007 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

In a matter of weeks, Donald Rumsfeld will be openly acclaimed to be the greatest military strategist of all time. That's right, far superior to Napoleon, Winston Churchill, Genghis Khan or Saladin (for example).

By Labor Day, 2007, Iraq will become THE vacation destination for trendy upscale Americans and Europeans. Look fcr condos along the Tigris to especially become untouchable at anything approaching affordability.

By summer and fall, 2008, George W. Bush will be so overwhelmingly recognized as the greatest U.S. president since Abraham Lincoln or George Washington, that 90% of the American electorate will take to the streets, openly demanding a waiver to the constitutional impediment preventing him from running for a third term.

I had some other point to make here, but I can't seem to find my meds, and

Posted by: egbert on April 14, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal,

I've thought about that too... however, I think signing statements need some wiggle-room to be effective. If the budget that Congress is going to pass is explicitly worded (as it seems to be), I don't think there's much room for Bush to wiggle. However, I have my doubts that the Supreme Court would get involved, since they tend to avoid arbitrating between the popular branches.

Also, the Left Coast is the best coast; holla.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on April 14, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Because they know full well signing statements are a load of bullshit; they keep doing it, hoping nobody notices that they are breaking laws even as they are signing them into effect. It isn't working.

Posted by: RobW on April 14, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Perino is very good. She lies beautifully. I thought asking if Leahy was an IT expert was brilliant.

Posted by: Brojo on April 14, 2007 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

"...Also, the Left Coast is the best coast; holla...."

Only for the moment. Buy Alaska North Shore while it's cheap!

Signing statements?

Just the usual weasely excuse.

Look! I'm not breaking the law. I said I could do it!

Posted by: notthere on April 14, 2007 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah. Feisty redheads
With intelligence and grit
Call it like it is.

Aw...*blushign here* Thanks Apollo. You know the way to my heart!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 14, 2007 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

anyone catch that turkey is making noises about attacking the kurds in northern iraq? afghanistan, iraq, turkey, iran...why, with just a little bit of luck, the gawdawful whiner'll be able to start ww3 before he gets impeached, yet.
also, google noor anti-ship missile. with 2 carrier groups in the persian gulf, they barely have room to turn circles, perfect sitting ducks. the army isn't the only branch at risk...

Posted by: sameoldjeff on April 14, 2007 at 3:56 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB wrote:

Off-topic: our dear friend Chuckles is now polluting the threads over at ThinkProgress.org, posting now as "Jake."

And Pale Rider, compulsively posting as "Norman Rogers" continues to foul the threads here.

Posted by: obscure on April 14, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Nah, Pale rode an Appy - Norman rides backwards atop a striped Zebra.

Keep fouling, Norman, keep fouling. No harm, no foul.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 14, 2007 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Oh my gosh, somebody over at the "loyal Bushies" all "yes-man" band club doesn't sing the same tune and doesn't dance to the Bushie beat.

There is someone that doesn't like Bush - quick somebody notifiy the press cause atrios gets it right, the press just keeps telling Dems to watch out, and don't know why.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 14, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

For Pete's sake, ttP. You've been around here long enough to know that the original Norman Rogers bore little resemblance to this one.

(The real Norman Rogers never boasted that he was "rich", only that he was "more successful" than us leftie hippies. He never made claims to high-level business acumen but rather left enough hints to surmise that he was a middle-class member of the defense contracting industry. And he was based in Connecticut, not NJ.)

Posted by: obscure on April 14, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

And Pale Rider, compulsively posting as "Norman Rogers" continues to foul the threads here.

Wait-I thought I was Kevin Drum!

Yes. Go with this theory. Tell all your friends. Please pass it on.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 14, 2007 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin needs to think about timelines some more. If the decision to extend deployment times had not been leaked to the press, the troops would have been notified of the decision 48 hours before it was made public. In other words, the Gates press conference would have been held on Friday rather than Wednesday. Either way, the decision would have been made public before Bush vetoed money for our troops.

Posted by: Kenneth Almquist on April 15, 2007 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Troop #1? TOH? DOH?????

Apparently it's ok for Troop #1 to be a deserter. Daddy and his cronies took care of the records for him. But if any Troop #>1 try any of these silly tricks, they get prosecuted.

For those lazy-a$$ f@#$ers there's an article on increase in prosecutions of deserters. Hunting our own troops on our own soil for refusing to fight in an illegal war.

Posted by: TOH? DOH!!! on April 16, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Norman fukin' Rodgers,

Get a brain transplant. As should your commander cod-piece whose cod seems to be permanently stuck in your mouth.

John Kerry fought in Vietnam. And he volunteered. He didn't have his daddy's pals get him into the FANG and have them clean up his coke-snorting service records.

Posted by: TOH? DOH!!!!! on April 16, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

TOH? DOH!!!!!

Sure, genius. Come unhinged often?

What you fail to understand, sir, is that a raving lunatic like yourself is no match for a clear-thinking conservative like myself. This is why John Kerry has to sit around listening to his crazy wife complain about her bunions instead of jetting off on Air Force One to see his buddies in Hanoi from the Peoples Army who paid him to lie to Congress in 1971.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 16, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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