Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 21, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

EXPERTS DISCUSS FLATNESS OF EARTH....The Washington Post editorializes today that we could all be singing Kumbaya on Iraq except for one itsy bitsy little thing:

The decision of Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) to deny rather than nourish a bipartisan agreement is, of course, irresponsible....A Democratic strategy of trying to use Iraq as a polarizing campaign issue and as a club against moderate Republicans who are up for reelection will certainly have the effect of making consensus impossible — and deepening the trouble for Iraq and for American security.

Yes, you heard right. After four years of Republican insistence that Congress's only role in the war is to pony up trainloads of money and then shut the hell up, it turns out that it's actually Democrats who are making consensus impossible. Ad astra per alia porci! In other news from this universe, J.K. Rowling revealed today that Harry Potter becomes a Sith Lord in the seventh book, destroys Hogwarts and kills all its inhabitants, and will henceforth be known as Darth Patronus. Movie rights will be auctioned shortly.

Kevin Drum 1:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (155)

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Comments

Get your hankies out......

Posted by: avahome on July 21, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

The decision of Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) to deny rather than nourish a bipartisan agreement is, of course, irresponsible....

I believe the 'of course' is what poker players call 'a tell'....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 21, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Is this any different than blaming the immigration problem on democrats while completely ignoring that the right had control of both houses and the presidency for 6 years.

Posted by: jg on July 21, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, another Fred Hiatt gem. It's always the Democrats who should be compromising, never the Republicans.

Posted by: Jake on July 21, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

I knew it was those darn Democrats fault! If only we'd listened to Bush, we'd never gone into Iraq, but those darn Dems insisted, and now look where we are!

Thank you Washington Post! I'll never trust another democrat as long I as live.

Posted by: TomStewart on July 21, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

After four years of Republican insistence that Congress's only role in the war is to pony up trainloads of money and then shut the hell up, it turns out that it's actually Democrats who are making consensus impossible.

Kevin, I think you're being far too dismissive of the view that Democrats are the real one making it impossible to have a consensus in Iraq rather than President Bush. As Tony Snow points out due to the Surge, attacks in Iraq have been declining. So it should be easy to rally around in support of the Surge, but Democrats are unwilling to do that because of their partisan desire to appease their liberal base like the commentators on Daily Kos.

Link

"Q Do you have the numbers from the attacks in other parts of the country that are covered by the surge?
MR. SNOW: No, but we'll try to pull that together, because I think what you've seen is a DECLINING LEVEL in the overall pace of attacks."

Posted by: Al on July 21, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon - this is the rag taht ran a page A1 story this morning proclaiming that all the occupation needs is a rebranding effort!!!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is typical of the mainstream media - constructing a mythical Bizarro world where up is down, wrong is right and white is black. When the Post talks about a decision being "irresponsible", maybe they should consider how irresponsible it was to invade a sovereign nation on the basis of third hand information and assertions by a criminal nicknamed "Curveball". Or how irresponsible the decision was to continue to occupy Iraq after no WMDs were found, Saddam Hussein was captured and his sons were dead. Or how irresponsible it was to let Osama bin Laden escape from Tora Bora and then invade a country that had nothing to do with 9-11, instead.

As to your comment about "Congress ponying up trainloads of money", Kevin, I think it is more accurate to write "ponying up trainloads of IOUs" or "trainloads of bad checks drawn on our children's bank accout". If the Democrats had any balls whatsoever, they would respond to Bush's recent assertion that they were not funding the troops, by pointing out that he has never, ever funded the troops. He has written a mountain of bad checks that will burden this country for decades to come.

Of course, that would take courage and common sense, which seem to be in short supply in both political parties.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 21, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Al, as usual is totally and completely full of shit.

Reuters has the actual raw data.

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) - Attacks in Iraq last month reached their highest daily average since May 2003, showing a surge in violence as President George W. Bush completed a buildup of U.S. troops, Pentagon statistics show.
The data, obtained by Reuters from the Defense Department, showed an upward trend in daily attacks over the past four months, when U.S. and Iraqi forces were ramping up operations against insurgents and militants, including al Qaeda, in Iraq.
Pentagon officials were not immediately available to comment on the statistics. The June numbers showed 5,335 attacks against coalition troops, Iraqi security forces, civilians and infrastructure.

Care to try again, Cheerleader?

Better yet, just shut the fuck up.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS, Yes, that article was downright lurid and chock full of irony. My favorite quote was: "While not abandoning the more aggressive elements of warfare, the report suggested, a more attractive brand for the Iraqi people might have been "We will help you."

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on July 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I read the Post editorial last night and almost choked on my milk and cookies. One has to assume that Fred Hiatt is the author of this hit piece on Harry Reid and Democrats.

It would appear this is the direction war supporters are going. Even though 70 percent of the American people have figured out the Iraq War was the brainchild of the Bush White House, was enabled for six years by the rubberstamp Republican Congress, and continues to this day because of Republican obstructionism, conservatives like Hiatt are beginning to sound like Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?" You know, if it weren't for those mean Democrats, we could solve this problem.

Whenever Bush opens his mouth, most of America just hits the mute button. Same thing for the Washington Post editorial board. It seems to me this editorial is targeted at the 30 percent who still think Bush is doing God's work in the Middle East.

Posted by: daveb99 on July 21, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I am waiting for Katherine Graham to just get up out of her grave in disgust and walk into the newsroom and go zombie on his ass.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

There was a similar whine and a cry expressed by shill, David Brooks on the NewsHour Friday
"DAVID BROOKS: …Yes, I'll just tell you that, in private conversations months ago, Republican senators, senior Republican senators were anxious to move away from the White House, to move towards some sort of withdrawal. Now they're not talking that way. They're talking, "We've got to stick with the president." And why? Two words: Harry Reid.
It's because they detest the way he's drawn the line. He's drawn the line that said, "You're either for a certain withdrawal right away, or starting with 120 days or whatever, or you're with the president." And they hate those two choices. And they'd rather not be in those choices, but Reid is the majority leader. He sets the parameters of the choices, and that's the dilemma they're in."…

Such a shame, all those brave Republicans stymied and thwarted by one ol' man. Why, if it weren't for him, they would be wallowing in noble principles with every vote.

The Washington Post blows big time. Here are some email addresses for people in dire need of education:
ombudsman@washpost.com
downiel@washpost.com
hiattf@washpost.com
kurtzh@washpost.com
kornbluta@washpost.com
georgewill@washpost.com

Posted by: Mike on July 21, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I think Democrats should start acting like an emotionally abused spouse. Realize they will greatly enhance calm if they apologize for everything. Trying to fight the perception of guilt only increases the number and intensity of the accusations.

Give up.

Posted by: M. Johnson on July 21, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Give up.

Never. Never never never. Fuck that notion.

I am more inclined to set the fucking bed alight than I am to acquiesce to abuse.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

'Give up.

Never. Never never never. Fuck that notion.

I am more inclined to set the fucking bed alight than I am to acquiesce to abuse.
Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.)'

Obvioulsy your husband isn't hitting your hard enough. :)

j/k

Posted by: jg on July 21, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

'hitting your hard enough'

That was supposed to be 'you' not 'your'. There's nothing quite like screwing up a joke.

Posted by: jg on July 21, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Wait till they yell/write "Off to the camps with them".

Posted by: R.L. on July 21, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl:

To get that misleading headline, Reuters had to switch the statistic from "monthly" to "daily," and correct for the number of days in the month. This way, they got a massive increase of 173.1 to 177.8, or about 1 percent.

Buried later in the article we see a decrease in attacks on Iraqi civilians of 18 percent. Apparently this piece of news wasn't suitable for the headline.

As for the Democrats, at the very beginning of the surge, they started trying to wreck it. Who do they think they're fooling about their motives?

Posted by: elmendorf on July 21, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter elmendorf: Dolchstoss!

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

They are very clear and point out that the stat rose because the month of June had 30 days vs 31. They state that explicitly.

Are you trying to make the case that in excess of 170 attacks a day is a good thing?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

This must be the new company line from the evil Bush empire. I saw David Brooks spouting that same line of unadulterated horseshit last night on pbs. If I didn't want to keep my tv so bad I would have thrown a rock right at it or him.

Posted by: Gandalf on July 21, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not trying to "fool" anyone. I want the idiots with the purple lips to wake the fuck up and see the fool for what he is and the folly of this idiotic occupation for what it is, too.

Some of you are simply incapable of reason, being so driven by ideology as to pledge blind fealty to a failed fool who has fucked up everything he has ever touched.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

there is a bright spot on the editorial landscape. Gail Collins is back at the Times, where she belongs. (Links to the two columns she has written since returning are in the link provided.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the bottom line: Supporters of the occupation are defending the indefensible. It is that god-damned simple. Like so many of their minds.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

It's a good thing the Wash. Post is "liberal". Imagine the stuff they would write if they didn't love Dems.

Posted by: Mark-NC on July 21, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq war is a political issue, it was the politicians who caused it, not a grocery store manager.

So, as far as political issues, use it,otherwise it never gets a political hearing.

Posted by: Matt on July 21, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

My memory is failing me, but does anyone remember if WaPo ever published an editorial that criticised GWB and GOP for making political hay of the WOT?

Posted by: gregor on July 21, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus Christ. I'm still waiting for the mailman and you tell us the whole plot.

Posted by: B on July 21, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid must be a true genius if the Republicans and the WaPo are against him.

"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him"

Posted by: wrolston on July 21, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

IMHO the Dems should have been doing far more than putting up the money for the war. They should have been actively helping the US succeed by offering sound advice and doing whatever other supportive things they could think of. Some responsible Republicans did this, notably John McCain. McCain stood behind (and continues to stand behind) a military strategy with more soldiers that he feels will be more effective. McCain understands that his job as a Senator is to encourage policies that are good for the country, regardless of whether these positions help him or hurt him politically.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 21, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

The commenter above referencing David Brooks' comments on NewsHour yesterday shows what really frosts me. This new "Harry Reid hurt my feelings, so soldiers must continue to die (and it's all Reid's fault, by extension)" is a transparently concocted non sequitur that allows Republicans to continue to support Bush.

It's fine for Republicans to make any bullshit argument they want; it's not OK for supposedly objective major media outlets to amplfy this bullshit and give it legitimacy.

Posted by: brewmn on July 21, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

They should have been actively helping the US succeed by offering sound advice and doing whatever other supportive things they could think of.

They did.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 21, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, most people don't know this, but while Cheney was in charge, he officially changed the name of the country to A (Wholly Owned) Confederacy of Dunces (TM).

Posted by: Kenji on July 21, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Has the Washington Post changed its name to Pravda? -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 21, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans are complaining that they are being forced into marching lockstep with the president.

GOOD! Give 'em hell, Harry!


Posted by: Doctor Jay on July 21, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Not a lot different from Anne Kornblut of the WaPo. Yesterday, while talking with Monica Novotny of MSNBC, she said, in essence, that Sen Clinton was simply trying to milk the story about Edelman's letter. Neither one of them spoke about Edelman's Cheney connection, nor did they talk about him being a Doug Feith protege and replacement.

Of course, Novotny, who Olberman often brings on his program, had no mention of Kornblut's fawning over Bush.

Now, I can understand Lt Col Bill Cowan, the FAUX military shill, speaking with Michelle Malkin on the O'Arrogante Follies Hour, and saying that Edelman's letter was simply boiler plate. But, for Novotny to bring on the Repug shill, Kornblut, to disparage Senator Clinton is despicable. Yeah, blame Hillary for the letter; blame the Democratic party for the war.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on July 21, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Over the months, I've heard lots of complains about Reid's lack of, well, let's call it courage.

Still have doubts?

Harry needs to show the Republicans that they actually need his cooperation. He took a very concrete step. It might be that Harry actively deceived them, promising a vote on a later amendment, but I think it more likely that Republican moderates simply assumed that that was what would happen.

And then, after an all nighter, he demonstrated to him that he's not a pushover. This is the crowd that called bipartisanship "date rape" after all.

All this blowback just makes me happier. I expect that was part of his plan, too, but that changes nothing.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on July 21, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

McCain? McCain? Now, where have I heard that name before?

Oh, he's the one who emulated the fictional Lt Col Owen Thursday from Ft Apache, which was set in Arizona. In order to reclaim his good name and honor, Col Thursday led a force of the US Cavalry against Cochise and the Apaches. Unfortunately, this deluded officer led his troops into a box canyon and defeat.

So, McCain, in order to claim the Presidency, has led his Straight Talk Express into another box canyon and defeat.

Sound advice, FAUX-Lib? Buy Bose.

Posted by: stupid git on July 21, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

To get that misleading headline, Reuters had to switch the statistic from "monthly" to "daily," and correct for the number of days in the month. This way, they got a massive increase of 173.1 to 177.8, or about 1 percent.

That is known as correcting for the number of days in the month which is done for nearly all published statistics.

elmendorf - He-man of the dorfs.

Posted by: Easter Lemming on July 21, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

They should have been actively helping the US succeed by offering sound advice

Here's some sound advice. Don't stick your damn foot in the hornet's nest!

Posted by: thersites on July 21, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

They should have been actively helping the US succeed by offering sound advice

From the guy who is cool with shredding the Constitution to protect his sorry ass from terrists and evil-doers.

Why should anyone ever take a single disingenuous word posted by a bad-faith neocon lickspittle like the tool "ex-liberal" seriously?

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on July 21, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote": IMHO the Dems should have been doing far more than putting up the money for the war.

"ex-liberal," you may be under the illusion that your extended (and welcome) absence from these threads has made everyone forget that you're a dishonest neocon toad who takes a perverse glee in posting here in bad faith, but rest assured that your lengthy and loathsome record of sick lies renders your opinion worth less than a bucket of piss, despite your pretense to the contrary.

Posted by: Gregory on July 21, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan's line: "I'm from the government and i'm here to help." The current version is: "I'm from the U.S. and i'm here to help."

Posted by: Mellifluous on July 21, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

TAPPED (The American Prospect) blog is a cowardly excuse for a blog. Those twats have apparantly banned my comments because they can't disprove them. If anyone here values freedom of expression, post comments on TAPPED and tell them what twats they are for banning someone they can't disprove. I have heard the "blog is like someone's house" analogy in that you can ban anyone you want as you can tell anyone in your house to leave, but there is a difference between banning someone for being a dick and banning someone for consistently saying things that they don't want to hear yet can't disprove because they're the facts, like them or not. I've said the truth about 9/11 being a false flag operation many times on many blogs and have yet to be banned by anyone but TAPPED. I know a lot of people like to pretend that 9/11 happened the way the official myth has it, but nevertheless they haven't banned me. And a big blog like TAPPED? That even has its own magazine in print? Utterly gutless. Those cowards are either willingly or unknowingly part of the cover-up, helping out the mass murderers who have the blood of 3,000 Americans on their hands. No wonder their blog's motto is "Liberal Intelligence". They must be the liberal wing of the intelligence community. They're accessories-after-the-fact to mass murder. Cowardly pieces of shit who ban people instead of trying to debate because they can't defend the indefensible. To hell with TAPPED.

Posted by: Realist on July 21, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Realist: Was that you who called Talk of the Nation yesterday and caused Ira to swallow his tongue with a similar comment on the air?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I never buy the Washington Post. It's too inky to serve as toilet paper.

Posted by: astrid on July 21, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Do "Darth Petronus"'s powers include the ability to not lick the salt first?

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

No, it wasn't me that was the caller, but believe me when I say TAPPED is a piece of shit. Please do go there and tell them what pussies they are for banning someone they can't disprove. And tell everyone you know about TAPPED being such cowards, maybe they will write to them as well. Thanks very much.

Posted by: Realist on July 21, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Here is their address: http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped

Posted by: Realist on July 21, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, you can loathe the majority of Republicans in Congress, mock their mistaken belief that Rovian Divide and Conquer was a guarantee of electoral dominance, and despise their craven abdication of oversight and responsibility that was likely worse than similar periods of single party dominance - and still believe that Harry Reid is a craven, cynical turd. Oh, the WaPo editorials would do well to put more disclaimers in, but it's no less true.

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Violence in Iraq is DECLINING, but I know that goes against the liberal taking points.

Petreus has instituted a bold new strategy of forgin alliances at the local level. They are re-branding the image of American forces. Now, when Iraqis see our boys coming, they know that we're here to help.

This has succeeded in stripping away the Sunnis from al Qeuda. AQ is now viewed as a dead end org. Iraqi families are sick of the fighting and the dying. They are taking there country back. All they want is what any normal family wants: freedom to raise their children in piece, free to take their children on vacations, free.

Its working, but we need until November before the American people can see solid results and get back behind this war effot.

Posted by: egbert on July 21, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Petreus has instituted a bold new strategy of forgin alliances at the local level."

What the fuck does this mean?

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hiatt's all pissy because mean old Harry Reid's cut off the GOP's CYA options on Iraq: http://phoenixwoman.wordpress.com/2007/07/19/every-so-often-harry-reid-reminds-us-that-he-really-was-a-boxer-in-his-youth/

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on July 21, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

egbert fancies that he talks a good game, hotrod, but in reality he is trembling in his mothers basement and leaving the actual, you know, putting up and stuff, to you.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"forgin alliances"

I guess he meant forging, not foreign. Egbert, I'm not, nor will I ever be, the spelling police, but when it actually affects the meaning of the passage, and you know, deepdown, that you're such a giant douchebag that you're not really anything more than a shill - try harder to get the talking points right. Remember, cut and paste is your friend.

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

egbert, you drooling fuckwit. Clap louder and maybe Tinkerbell will live!!! You have to believe!!! and if you don't believe hard enough, she will die!!!

Seriously, you blathering nitwit, do you have the capacity to do anything at all besides spout bullshit? I would wager that you were homeschooled because you never learned to tie your shoes, the requirement to enter kindergarten, a task that probably still eludes you.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

A Democratic strategy of trying to use Iraq as a polarizing campaign issue and as a club against moderate Republicans who are up for reelection will certainly have the effect of making consensus impossible

Oh good.

It's brilliant in turd-flower kind of way, isn't it. Right out of Rove's playbook.

What's the matter with the "liberal" press these days? I guess they have no respect for turd-flower politics anymore? If this is no "consensus" than I say why not beat moderate loyalist Bushie Repugs with the ugly stick, and with a huge Dem major - who the hells going to care what those radical silly moveOn.org hating obstructionist think anyway? Hell, I already don't care what repugs think. Bush is at 26% and if the GOP and press can't figure out what that means, well I would let Dems define it 2008.


Posted by: Me_again on July 21, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Can someone please explain what has happened to the Washington Post. Once upon a time it was one of the top three newspapers in the country, on a par with the New York Times for political reporting.

Now is seems as if it's turned into the Washington Times (which used to be the conservative paper in town).

Posted by: mfw13 on July 21, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Whereas the Republican't using terror as a partisan political tool in 2002 and 2004 was just hunky dory.

What a buffoon!

Posted by: Cal Gal on July 21, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Petreus has instituted a bold new strategy of forgin alliances at the local level."

-egbert

What the fuck does this mean?
Posted by: hotrod

remember, egbert was home-schooled. obviously mommy must be some kind of math genius, because she sure didn't teach him to spell.

wait a minute - math geniuses know how to think. maybe my theory needs work.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on July 21, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

For those who may have missed it, the official Bush White House & RNC approved list of Republican talking points on Iraq has gotten a bit of a make-over in the past few days.

President Bush's staggeringly incoherent surge interim progress report last week returned "We're Making Progress" to GOP mouthpieces everywhere. Then, the Senate Republicans' successful filibuster of the Levin-Reed after all night debate brought the Rove stamp of approval for "Political Stunt." (This turn of events signaled the death of a previous GOP favorite, "Up or Down Vote.") And now, Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman has updated John Boehner's "Embolden the Enemy" with a twist of his own, "Reinforces Enemy Propaganda."

For the full list of the latest GOP approved Iraq falsehoods, smears and hallucinations, see:
"The Official Republican Iraq Talking Points."

Posted by: Angry One on July 21, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

You know, everyone likes to beat up on the WaPo, but it's still about the best there is. If you don't like the editorials - then don't read the editorials. Otherwise, keep in mind that it's the home of Tom Ricks and Dan Froomkin. They broke the Cheney engergy working group lists, the Walter Reed story, and did the best dissection of the um, peculiar, relationship of the OVP to the rest of this administration that anyone has done. That's just recent stuff.

I'm sure they've done any number of things you would like less - but being an informed citizen means taking in as much as you reasonably can and processing it as best you can - not cherry picking facts and reporting to build out your world view. That way lies the current condition of (my) GOP.

If you don't like my answer - well. have fun if Murdoch gets ahold of Dow Jones, and Merrill Lynch gets ahold of the NYT.

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

"As for the Democrats, at the very beginning of the surge, they started trying to wreck it."

I think they've been trying to end this stupid, STUPID war since way before The Surge (tm).

Fool them one, shame on you. Fool them twice, uh, they can't been fooled again.

Every single bit of so-called "good news" the Cheney Administration has come up with concerning the war since Mission Accomplished has turned up stinking like the bullshit it is.

Oh, but The Surge (tm) is different. The Surge (tm) is going to work. Don't look back. Don't see how much we've screwed up before. Don't look at all the Generals to whom the Little Emperor as listened before. THIS time he's got the General with the Right Stuff. THIS time it's all going to work out fine. Cuz Jesus told him so.

Posted by: Cal Gal on July 21, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Are you trying to make the case that in excess of 170 attacks a day is a good thing?

Not a "good" thing. But it is an expected thing during a surge. Look at the news story again:

The data, obtained by Reuters from the Defense Department, showed an upward trend in daily attacks over the past four months, when U.S. and Iraqi forces were ramping up operations against insurgents and militants, including al Qaeda, in Iraq.

Key words are "ramping up." The objectives include eliminating the sources of violence against Iraqis and created safer areas in Baghdad and surrounding vicinites. This latter is happening, as even the article admits. What they chose to make the headline is where the politics comes in.

Violence against Iraqis is dropping (although I'd wait before celebrating any "trend"), the terror attacks on Iraqis are largely moving away from Baghdad and the Belt into the outer regions of Iraq, the Sadr-inspired sectarian violence did not rekindle after the second mosque bombing, and Anbar, an area that you might remember was written off as "lost" some months ago, is showing a lot of progress.

So what's the news story? "Violence against the military increases during a major battle campaign." This is so weird that I wonder if the media even understands the concept of war any more.

Posted by: elmendorf on July 21, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Ten years from now, when President Hillary goes to Baghdad on her last official overseas tour, to recieve the thanks of a grateful nation for sticking with them through their difficult transformation to democracy, many of you will be churlish and uncharitable. Especially Communist Girl, Conservative State (aka G.C.).

Posted by: Bill Kristol on July 21, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

What all this todo about 'mean ole Harry Reid' is really about is that he is forcing the Republicans to put or shut up - and they don't like it! If any of them really believed in the legislation (or feared Rove less) they would have supported the bill anyway.
Senator Reid's plan is obvious - put the slimeballs' votes on record. Often. Since it doesn't appear as if we will be getting out of Iraq before the adults take charge, this will firmly hang Iraq around the necks of the Republicans.
And that frightens the sh-t out of them!
Wish I could feel some sympathy.

Posted by: Doug on July 21, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Alot of you aren't going to like the first part of this, so hopefully I have enough credibility for you to read the whole thing -

There actually is good basis to believe that a successful counter-insurgency campaign will actually lead to increased violence in the short-term. Reference David Kilcullen's (sp?) 28 Articles. Basically, COIN is very different from conventional combat. If I'm destroying an enemy armor brigade, fighting will (generally) peter out as he loses tanks, men, and his logistics fail. In COIN, as a citizenry grows more secure and buys into the narrative the COIN force is offering, an insurgency will lash out to terrorize the population, demonstrate the COIN forces' impotence, etc.

Of course, these signs of success may not be success at all. Maybe the insurgents are simply - winning. As Kilcullen points out, it can be damned hard to tell, and takes skilled commanders and staffs to sort it out. My gut reaction is that Petreus and the surge are making progress, though it's very hard to tell how much from my very safe perch in the US (for now). Indeed, it's tragic - I think we're seeing just enough good things that it shows we could have done alot more if we had started earlier.

This leads up to the current problem. Kilcullen was speaking of Company level operations, and what it means in a small area. If we enlarge it, then it means that the President has to be able to go to the people and Congress and explain why he needs more time, that the increased violence is really a good indicator. For a lot of reasons, he just doesn't have that credibility, whether he realizes it or not.

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

You're right Doug. Reid has stumbled on a winning, and very cynical, political formula.

The question is - do you want to affect policy? It's very, very hard for a Congress to change foreign\security policy if a President doesn't want to. There's no stomach to simply cut off the funds and force withdrawal. I would oppose that formula anyway, but even if you disagree - it's NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. There probably is a great deal of stomach for forcing a new strategy on the President, but you need bipartisan consensus and a sustained legislative effort.

Reading the Congress - that's probably doable. But Harry likes his soundbites.

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

It is common for Leftist bloggers to deploy sophomoric ridicule when confronted with an idea which they do not like but which they are unable to refute.

Posted by: am on July 21, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

More regarding "how far down the road to dictatorship we've gone". That journey, in fact, seems very nearly complete:

"Working for the Clampdown"
By James Bovard [ZNet]
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18055.htm

' How many pipe bombs might it take to end U.S. democracy? Far fewer than it would have taken a year ago. The Defense Authorization Act of 2006, passed on September 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist "incident" or if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of "public order" or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations.

' The media and most of Capitol Hill ignored or cheered on this grant of nearly boundless power. But now that the president's arsenal of authority is swollen and consecrated, a few voices of complaint are being heard. Even the New York Times recently condemned the new law for "making martial law easier."

' It took a few paragraphs in a $500 billion, 591-page bill to destroy one of the most important limits on federal power. Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807 to severely restrict the president's ability to deploy the military within the United States. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 tightened these restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the U.S. without the permission of Congress. But there was a loophole: Posse Comitatus is waived if the president invokes the Insurrection Act.

' Section 1076 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from Insurrection Act to Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act. The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only "to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy." The new law expands the list to include "natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition" -- and such "condition" is not defined or limited. ...'

Posted by: Poilu on July 21, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, blue girl.

Better pipe down or I'm going to have to put you in your place, AGAIN.

Posted by: egbert on July 21, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck off and die, loser. The grownups are talking.

Hotrod, Pat Lang had a great post on just that topic the other day.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Hey egbert, I won't call you names, but I will call your perspective out! Come November, the conditions will be relatively the same with more than 200 more American soldier deaths, 2500 American casualties, and over 10,000 more Iraqi dead. Come November this Faustian tragedy will be exacerbated to the point of widespread carnage and disintegration of any discernable national authority. I wouldn't wager on such misery, but for you egbert I'll make an exception: $1000 buck says your perspective of what will happen is poppycock and nothing more. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 21, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

minion, it's interesting that you would call the ultimate cold war brat a commie. You know, that is the one thing that prompted me to strike another person in a bar in my younger, more hotheaded days. I suppose if you want a flame war, I've got a couple of hours to kill. I think I'm up for it with one egbert tied behind my back.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and egbert before you get ruffled about me, I'd just like to offer that I am a Republican of over 25 years who has witnessed Mr. Bush and his neocon brethern make a mockery of the Republican Party. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 21, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

What if Harry Reid and Nancy Polosi changed parties next election? Like that guy from Connecticut? Or that senator from Georgia?

It'll take a Popular Constitutional Party to vote out the Repulicrats. Not much chance with the Repulicrats under the control of MSM.

Money pulls the strings on MSM and the politicians jump. The details are the workdays of an army of lawyers and bloggers. "Always follow the money."

Posted by: slanted tom on July 21, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, egbert, once again you've managed to make the banjo player on the front porch in Deliverance look like a Rhodes scholar.

Now, be a good little egbert -- or , or whatever your online aliases are today -- do what Blue Girl says, and go tremble for your country someplace else.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 21, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

To get that misleading headline, Reuters had to switch the statistic from "monthly" to "daily," and correct for the number of days in the month.

The idea that it's somehow misleading to correct for the number of days in the month strikes me as strange. Maybe I don't get how this stuff works, but wouldn't that make the stats more accurate?

While I'm at it, I'm frankly a little confused by this too

Not a "good" thing. But it is an expected thing during a surge.

As I understand it, the discussion wasn't about whether this was to be expected, but whether Snow had been disingenuous when he said "I think what you've seen is a declining level in the overall pace of attacks." He didn't say the attack-to-U.S. troops ratio is declining or anything like that, he said the pace of attacks is declining. To many on the left, this sort of talk from the White House, when there's readily-available raw data that -- as far as I can tell -- shows it to be the opposite of the truth... well, it's frustrating. We're in a war. This is serious. This is not a time for the government to be lying to the people. People are dying, families being destroyed. It's not funny.

Posted by: johnson on July 21, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Sad news. Jason Robards, Jack Warden and Martin Balsam are dead. They're the guys you think of when you think of the Washington Post--actors in roles who personified journalistic courage and integrity--in a 30 year old movie.
It's 2007, and that newspaper exists only on dvd. The one in its place now is a company town rag, talking the company line right down the page. Note the atrocities, but stop acting like a grande dame is trailing her gown in the gutter--what you're seeing is Five Cent Mary, trying to make enough to sleep indoors tonight.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 21, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Petreus has instituted a bold new strategy of forgin alliances at the local level."

"What the fuck does this mean?"

Rounding up TWICE as many of the usual suspects!

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 21, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Are you trying to make the case that in excess of 170 attacks a day is a good thing?

Not a "good" thing. But it is an expected thing during a surge.

No it's not. There's nothing that says attacks will go "up" during a surge of forces. In fact the opposite is more likely, that overwhelming increased military power would be able to either suppress rebellion and/or guerilla forces would lie low or move to the other parts of the country. Guerillas are opportunistic and take advantage of situations where there are fewer troops to engage. They tend not to throw themselves up against superior force for no reason.

In fact if you recall, when the surge first started officers were cautioning that the Shia militias in particular were planning on lying low and waiting out the violence. To the extent that this has happened the upward tick in violence is really concerning, because it is possibly not inclusive of a very large group of potential attackers.

Also, attacks have been on a fairly linear upward trend over the last three years. You don't need a "surge" to explain them.

Posted by: trex on July 21, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

I just read Lang's post, BG.

I don't really disagree with his comments re Anbar. As a number of people have remarked, the improvement (and it has improved) there wasn't really a doctrinally pure counter-insurgency sucess. That doesn't mean that our guys (a brigade of 1st Armored Division) didn't do a great job of seizing the opportunity.

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070501/1a_bottomstrip01.art.htm

I would note they thought creatively, not in terms of kicking in doors and blowing shit up. I read their After Action Review (AAR) a little while back. It's FOUO, so I can't really discuss the details here, but suffice to say, I believe they did fantastic work. Again, though, a little different from pure COIN, and I can see the danger in mixing an analysis of lessons learned from there with those from elsewhere.

Re some of his other comments, his points seem to be that the US military is reverting to kinetic (blowing shit up) operations, and that we're not doing any good in Baghdad and some other places.

-The former point re kinetic ops seems to be a criticism of Phantom Thunder (I think that's the name), and some other stuff that's been going on. It's too soon to say if we're reverting to form, or even to fully analyze the operation in it's own right. My gut reaction is that it's not a reversion to kinetic ops, though COL Lang's frustration is understandable, and he's infinately more experienced at that level of the game than I am.

-Re the latter point - unfortunately, it's true to say that the "surge" only really started as a strategy\operational approach (which you consider it depends on who you believe) because the troops only just got in place. I think it's true that it will be a while before we can really evaluate the surge. Unfortunately, that goes back to the point about civilian (mostly) leadership pissing away credibility - agreeing to Sept when you know it will really be -whenever- before you can fairly evaluate. Then denounce anyone who is pissed that it's not Sept as a traitor. Then be honestly surprised that everyone despises you.

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Last para at 19:41 was...

"it's true to say that the "surge" only really started"

should be

"it's true to say that the "surge" only really JUST started"

Posted by: hotrod on July 21, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

It is syncope-inducing, innit?

My COIN knowledge comes from reading and talking to people. My second hand intel knowledge is SIGINT, so I have no advantage over anyone else when it comes to assessment of ground force and HUMINT capabilities.

Did you see Metz's paper? It came out several weeks ago. I can fetch a link if you want.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

A summary of the Metz paper can be found here The summary has a link to the .pdf of the actual white paper.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin -

Your Latin tag, "To the stars on the wings of a pig!", should be:

ad astra per alas porci!

Yes, I see from googling that 'ad astra per alia porci' is all over the internet. But in Latin it's nonsense: "To the stars through the other parts of a pig" "To the stars through the garlics of a pig" or "To the stars via other things, pigs!" 'Ala' means wing, 'alium' means 'other' or 'garlic'.

Posted by: lampwick on July 21, 2007 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

As for the Democrats, at the very beginning of the surge, they started trying to wreck it. Who do they think they're fooling about their motives?

Don't you mean Generals Abizaid, Casey, Dempsey, Odierno, and Clark, who all expressed the opinion that the "surge" wouldn't work? I would expect their expert military background would go a lot further in wrecking the prospects of the surge than that of some ratty old Democrat.

So two former number one commanders and a former number two commander in Iraq don't believe a surge will work, nor does the former NATO commander. WTF?

Posted by: trex on July 21, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

As for the Democrats, at the very beginning of the surge, they started trying to wreck it.
It is truly amazing that a few words of criticism and doubt is all it takes to derail our massive military might. But then, a handful of men with box-cutters is enough to turn our elected leadership and a large portion of our citizenry into a pack of idiots. The sun is setting on Reagan's morning in America.

Posted by: Qwerty on July 21, 2007 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Another nail in the myth of the "liberal" media; this is supposedly a "liberal" newspaper.

This editorial is obvious BS, a 5th grader could spot it as kneejerk regurgitation of the Republican party line. A newspaper that would print an editorial like this forfeits any claim of possessing faculties of critical thinking.

Posted by: TT on July 21, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, Qwerty! On this lovely Saturday evening, I thought that I would share a hartwarming moment with all of you. Click here for a lovely picture of Laura Bush walking her pet monkey!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 21, 2007 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the sum and substance of the compromise the Republicans want on Iraq:

Stay the course in Iraq until Cheney and his Big Oil buddies get the oil deal they want. Then pull out, let the Iraqis slug it out until there is a clear winner and then start pumping.

Posted by: GOPcompromise on July 21, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

There was an attack in Iraq around a week ago that killed 144 people.

Posted by: Swan on July 21, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Where the hell is Egbert? I'm finally through laughing at the mere notion of the likes of your fuzzy yellow self *ahem* 'putting me in my place' and I'm in the mood to commit some rhetorical assault and battery. You there, chicken little?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 21, 2007 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Me thinks HotRod maybe a concern troll.

Let's see Mr Rod, if violence goes down, the surge is working. If violence goes up, it is just the "last throes" of the resistance and VICTORY!!!!! is just around the corner.

Yeah right.

Just like a repub, game the system so it is win-win, for your side.

And now Reid's strategy of making the repubs put their money where their mouth is, is "cynical".

BS. Sounds like you're distributing the latetst talking point.

Harry's strategy is what should have been done a long, long, long time ago. Make the republicans tell the American people, EXACTLY where they stand. And they don't like it.

Strip away the smoke and lies and the republican policy is not very attractive to the average American.

Posted by: TT on July 22, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Qwerty: But then, a handful of men with box-cutters is enough to turn our elected leadership and a large portion of our citizenry into a pack of idiots.

Actually they didn't turn anyone into anything, they just opened up a hole for the idiocy to emerge through.

You know, Blue Girl, that according to some interpretations of quantum theory, trembling at just the right frequency can cause a troll to slip into another dimension. Alas, it is probably only temporary.

Posted by: thersites on July 22, 2007 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

I'm all for making Iraq a political issue. The people who sponsored this war and their ilk need to be completely humiliated and their foolish ideology driven from the public forum. No other way to do this than to "use Iraq as a polarizing campaign issue and as a club." In fact that is the exact recommendation and let it continue for 40 years. Bravo Mr. Reid.

Posted by: Art on July 22, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Hotrod isn't a concern troll. He is a moderate Republican and a career Reservist, and he is disgusted with what has happened in his party. My grandfather was the same kind of Republican, and I have been known to vote for that type of Republican.

He and I have had a lot of informative discussions from which we both took away a perspective we had not previously considered.

Hotrod is a conservative, but he is not a troll of any sort. What he states is pretty standard military manual perspective. The Metz paper I linked upthread a bit is definitely worth reading. Metz proposes a departure.

Not everyone who is serving or has served thinks the occupation of Iraq is a good idea, and Republicans who serve are in a really unenviable spot right now. I know from discussions with him at my site that he is as eager to find a way out of this mess as anyone.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 22, 2007 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Well, goodnight all. I have to go blog. See you tomorrow.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 22, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Disregard the above post, as it appears their comments are down for everybody; to the people at TAPPED I apologize, presuming that the comments problem is indeed genuine though at quite a convenient time I must add. However, the reason why I said what I said is that not too long ago in a thread on TAPPED I was initially able to post as many links as I liked, and as I like to have links to back up a particular point there were a good amount of links; then after a little while I tried to post the next comment and it sent it to the screen where it says it's being held pending approval. So I tried separating it into smaller segments, and I'm not a computer expert so I was just guessing it might be a factor of how many hyperlinks are included in a post. But it still wouldn't work; yet I saw on another thread I was able to comment and even post more than one link, however immediately after I posted someone spammed a bunch of indeceipherable letters and numbers. I then wrote in that it was ridiculous for someone to be allowed to spam them yet I can't post comments on a very important thread. I think it was 27 pieces of spam, for which they apologized and removed, to their credit, though nobody ever mentioned why my comments on that particular thread were censored or hindered, however you want to refer to it. So I came back a couple days later and thought "What if I separate it into segments with only one link apiece?" so I tried that, and for whatever reason it worked. If anyone else was experiencing this problem I didn't hear about it, but anyway it appeared designed to make what I was saying much more choppy, cut up into one-link segments, and though I mentioned it more than once in other threads on there, nobody said anything about it to my knowledge. Regardless, I worked around it by posting things in small one-link segments and told them so. In other threads I was able to post however many links I wanted. So call it whatever you like, though I didn't say anything outside of on TAPPED. Then a couple days ago I tried to post on another thread and it blocked my comment. So I tried it a few times and left thinking maybe it was a technical problem, maybe censorship, I didn't see any mention of this problem on there so I waited a couple days. Then I go back onto the thread that had other peoples' comments on it and again I can't post. So I separated what I was posting into a couple of segments, each with one link. It didn't work; then I tried posting with no links at all.
Still it didn't work, and at that point, going by their past behavior it appeared that I was being censored again, perhaps for a comment I recently made about Iran being an independent country who knows? But it appeared that I was being blocked from commenting; the thread which I was trying to post on was a few days old but had other peoples' comments on it and I had bookmarked it instead of the main page; it was my fault for not at that point checking the main page where it had since been posted at some point that they were experiencing alleged technical problems with the comments feature. So though the underlying circumstances of me having been previously censored there were their fault, it was entirely my fault that I didn't check on the main page to see if they had yet offered any explanation, and for that I apologize. It would be nice to get an apology from TAPPED for censoring me in the first place not too long ago which led me to fly into a rage when it appeared they were censoring me yet again, however the chances of that are remote, especially considering how TAPPED consistently pays lip service to the official 9/11 myth, wringing its hands about "Al Qaeda", and though their motto is "Liberal Intelligence", the farthest to the Left they will go on the Iran matter still echoes the mainstream rhetoric that "Iran must be prevented from choosing to develop nuclear energy and/or weapons" and merely debates how best to go about that, nevermind the fact that Iran is an independent country. It's an illustration of how far politics have shifted to the conservative side in the U.S. since 9/11 that what passes for the mainstream position and what passes for the liberal position are both somewhat right-of-center especially in foreign policy matters. And as an aside, anybody out there that almost six years after 9/11 still thinks the official story is true, and further, writes articles that take for granted this myth, is
conceding the parameters of the argument to the Republicans. After how much time do you have to presume that a blog or a think tank would have to have had people there that had been exposed to the existence of a 9/11 truth movement, and out of curiosity if nothing else started looking into the details of 9/11? In doing so, it doesn't take long before you realize that there are some major impossibilities inherant in the official story, which should make a normal person want to investigate further, and then would find out even more impossibilities and "coincidences". Come on. It's been almost six years. There is enough evidence readily available just a google away, plenty enough to cook their goose several times over. So at what point can it be presumed it is willful avoidance of unpleasant information as opposed to simply not being aware that anything other than the official myth has occurred to anyone? Whichever it is, for TAPPED and for this blog and for every other blog that claims to be telling it like it is, they all need to take an afternoon and take a hard look at the details of that terrible morning that the whole foreign policy and much of domestic policy is wrapped around ever since; in looking at the details they would see who the real terrorists are. Sooner or later though, the truth about 9/11 will be mainstream, common knowledge and I wouldn't envy the blogs, pundits etc. who are among the last to abandon a story that just can't hold water.

Posted by: Realist on July 22, 2007 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

After four years of Republican insistence that Congress's only role in the war is to pony up trainloads of money and then shut the hell up, it turns out that it's actually Democrats who are making consensus impossible.

I don't think that "We are as bad as the Republicans" is really a good campaign theme for Democrats. The approval rating of Congress is now about half of what it was when the Republicans lost control of Congress. Voters expected or hoped that Democrats would do better, and they have done very nearly the same. Harry Reid is one of the prime reasons that respect for Congress has fallen so far, so fast.


Don't blame WaPo. They're just the messenger.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on July 22, 2007 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

from the feeding-the-troll department,

Realist, if I ran a blog, I'd ban you until you learned the concept of paragraphs. Undifferentiated walls of text convince no one, even if they were to actually contain valid points, because no one reads them.

Posted by: Mithrandir on July 22, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Cue our resident moron MRM who stupidly tries to convince us that the problem is Reid, not Bush and the Republican obstructionists.

Piss off Marler. We already know better. We already know you are part of the Hate America team that has killed our soldiers in a pointless war. We recognize you as a member of the Weak on National Defense Because We Would Rather Line Our Pockets With The Blood Of Soldiers Republican Party.

Congress always has a low approval. But this Congress has too many Republicans preventing us from getting out of Bush's War on Iraq. Fixing that, by eliminating as many Republicans (especially the obstructionists in the Senate) is job #1 for improving national defense.

It is hard to have a strong defense when the Quisling Republicans undermine every effort to strengthen America.

Posted by: heavy on July 22, 2007 at 4:04 AM | PERMALINK

WaPo's editorial is a companion piece to, "Amid Talk, Rising Frustration," which included this:

Sen. Johnny Isakson expected to be bored by the war speeches on the Senate floor Tuesday night; instead, the Georgia Republican was riveted by the passionate debate and spent hours soaking it in. But Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, a recent GOP convert to the antiwar cause, fumed that her new Democratic allies had forced a showdown just as a bipartisan consensus appeared to be emerging.

Now that's a Snowe job.

Not forcing a showdown let Bush and Cheney control the timeline, yet again, and avoid closing this war down. Bush wants to put it off, and put it off, until the summer September October another couple of months March. That's the new timeline being pushed, that we can expect to hear from Petraeus in September October.

I need to stop doing that, because it just helps them by spreading around the lowered expectations and allowing them to move back the dates.

Congress needs to cut off the funding for this war, and Harry Reid needs to schedule another vote, and keep scheduling it every week until it passes. Democrats need to keep the pressure up and the momentum going.

Republicans should be allowed not a moment's rebound. These are bad people. If there ever was any doubt, the last couple of weeks of executive orders on elimination of 5th amendment rights, new torture permissions, unitary executive, blanket executive privilege for everyone and everything, the Plame lawsuit dismissal and Edelman's rebuke to Hillary Clinton should have erased it. Whenever Democrats have let up, Republicans reconstitute, spin a new image for themselves and are able to pull victory out.

If Republicans are allowed to do it again, it will be the jumping off into the abyss for our nation.

Posted by: Maeven on July 22, 2007 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

It is a mistake to join the voices blaming Democrats for the war continuing.
This is Republican propaganda.
The Republicans and the Bush administration are keeping this immoral war ongoing and staying the miserable course without an exit strategy.

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 22, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

It should be noted that the Washington Post editorialized in favor of this horrible war 30 some times and in 2002 published 1000 articles and columns on the war, but wrote just 36 words on an enormous anti-war march.
The esteemed Bill Moyers has said "what got even less ink was the release of the National Intelligence Estimate..."

Secondly, even Republicans who speak out against Bush vote along party lines
time and time again. Blame them.
And an override of a veto in the Senate requires 67 votes. Democrats have no veto-proof majority.
Not enough Republicans have left the ship of the Bush/Cheney cabal to join Democrats.
You recall ousted Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill referred to Bush as a "blind man in a room full of deaf people."
The self-styled King Bush is already on record saying he wants the next president to inherit the war.
Those few Republicans defecting from Bush are clearly in a panic about their re-election potential in 2008, but Karl Rove rules the roost.

Don't blame the Democrats.


Posted by: consider wisely always on July 22, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Fat White Guy (I am not comfortable calling you that), the sad reality is that votes of Republicans matter in both what passes in Congress and what could ultimately override a veto of the President.

I don't find it helpful to blame Democrats.

Russ Feingold is introducing a measure to censure the President on Iraq.

Let's go from there.

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 22, 2007 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Looking for a silver lining in this cloud of doom that is Iraq, the American occupation has been good for the tattoo business. Business is booming, as Iraqis race to get unique markings on their bodies before they are blown to smithereens in a car bomb explosion.

Thanks, George!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 22, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Well FWG, you need a course in American democracy to fully understand what the arguments have been here on this thread. Your contributing thoughts are sophomoric and sheds light on just how ignorant your are vis a vis our cultural and political heritage. Go away and play with your Simpson dolls. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 22, 2007 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Pretty funny stuff. I love it!"

LOL... You loved it in 2006, too, if I recall. How'd that work out for you? See you in 2008, dear.

Posted by: PaulB on July 22, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

"I don't think that 'We are as bad as the Republicans' is really a good campaign theme for Democrats."

No, but "The Republicans have done everything in their power to block what you, the American public, wanted us to do and voted for us to do" is. Moreover, neither you nor The Washington Post has presented even a remotely convincing argument that "the Democrats are as bad as the Republicans."

"The approval rating of Congress is now about half of what it was when the Republicans lost control of Congress."

There are three points to be made here:

1. The public is angry because there are no results. The party that has tripled the number of cloture votes and that has openly and proudly blocked all legislative progress, as well as blocking any attempts to change course in Iraq is going to take the heat for that. Free clue: It ain't the Democrats.

2. When the question is asked about Congressional Republicans vs. Congressional Democrats, the Democrats come out on top, usually by double digits.

3. Individual approval ratings matter more than do overall Congressional approval ratings. Here, too, Congressional Republicans are in more trouble than are Congressional Democrats.

"Voters expected or hoped that Democrats would do better, and they have done very nearly the same. Harry Reid is one of the prime reasons that respect for Congress has fallen so far, so fast."

Bullshit. This is just stupid, Matthew. You know that you cannot back up this opinion. Why do you even bother to post such partisan drivel?

"Don't blame WaPo. They're just the messenger."

Oh, garbage. Their "message" is self-evidently wrong, not to mention stupid. You didn't even try to engage Kevin's points, much less defend the Post. Come back when you're ready to be serious.

Posted by: PaulB on July 22, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I was particularly amused by the switch from the troll gallery from "attacks are actually declining" to "more attacks are actually a GOOD thing" when confronted by actual evidence. In case anyone is still confused, attacks are way, way up over the past year or so:

http://beutler.typepad.com/home/2007/07/loose-interpret.html

Sean

Posted by: Sean Peters on July 22, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

"There probably is a great deal of stomach for forcing a new strategy on the President, but you need bipartisan consensus and a sustained legislative effort. Reading the Congress - that's probably doable."

No. There is only stomach for meaningless "sense of the Senate" measures or measures that "encourage" Bush to change direction, not measures with any teeth to them. Reid's got Senate Republicans pissed primarily because he will not allow them those fig leaves: "See, I tried to get Bush to change direction!"

Neither House nor Senate Republicans currently have the stomach to take on Bush directly. Until they do, which likely will not be until next year when they start getting really nervous about their reelection chances, this standoff will continue.

Posted by: PaulB on July 22, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Summary of Repub talking points and neocon points as expressed here:

1. Attacks in Iraq are declining so the surge is working.
2. Attacks in Iraq are increasing so the surge is working.
3. You have to wait until September to tell if the surge is working - comments now are irresponsible.
4. Sunni factions are the insurgency and are on the run and becoming ineffective.
5. Sunni factions are becoming our allies.
6. Sunni factions are really al-Qeada.

You know, the neo-cons have a point, I have no idea how to refute all of these at once.

Posted by: JohnN on July 22, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with the Washington Post is not with its Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, it is with its owner Don Graham. Graham (together with his sister Lally Weymouth) is Exhibit A as to why this nation should have a confiscatory level of inheritance tax.

Posted by: Vadranor on July 22, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Lally screwed George Will. She's suffered enough.

Posted by: Tittle Tattle on July 22, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Turd: "Pretty funny stuff. I love it!"

Let's be really clear about this: you love the needless deaths of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. You are absolutely crazy about it. And proud of that too. You are one sick fuck.

Posted by: Kenji on July 22, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Leaving aside the question of whether or not a withdrawl in the next year is the correct strategy for the United States, it is unquestionable that the Democrats have missed, and are missing, a golden oppourtunity to draw Republican support away from Bush. The tactics that Pelosi and Reid are using on Iraq are just downright silly, and increasingly ineffective. And it all seems to revolve around the idea of getting Bush, himself, to propose or agree to withdraw from Iraq. Bush is not going to back down- it is as simple as that.

If you think the correct path is withdrawl, then you need to take actual, substantive action to cause it to happen. The first step is to simply defund the war effort itself. This is the step the Democrats fear to take.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on July 22, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Road to Dictatorship, paved with secrecy:

"DeFazio Asks, But He's Denied Access"
[The Oregonian]
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/07/21/2678/print/

' Oregonians called Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.

' As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.

' On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

' "I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio says.

' Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn't know who did it or why. ...

' "Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio said. '

Posted by: Poilu on July 22, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

What chaps Republicans is that Reid will not let them vote on any of their bills which are toothless but would sound serious to voters back home
…The legislation also draws heavily from existing Republican-backed proposals, increasing the chances of attracting support.
It would require Bush to submit by Oct. 16 a plan to "transition U.S. combat forces from policing the civil strife or sectarian violence in Iraq" to a narrow set of missions: protecting Iraqi borders, targeting terrorists, protecting U.S. assets and training Iraqi forces.…
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, balked at the proposal because it would not require Bush to implement the strategy….
Warner and Lugar "put a lot of faith in the president — that he will voluntarily change course and voluntarily begin to reduce the large U.S. combat footprint in Iraq," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley in a statement.
Earlier on Friday, Reid dismissed as too soft a separate proposal supported by several Republicans and Democrats that would require Bush to adopt the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, intended to pave the way for a 2008 withdrawal.
"If you give this president a choice, he will stay hunkered down in Iraq for years to come," Reid said….

…the Dems… should have been actively helping the US succeed by offering sound advice…. ex-lax at 3:27 PM

Ex-lax is leaving out Joe Lieberman who also has been whoring for Bush every bit as much as McCain. That is soooooo unfair.
It's funny to hear someone call others to offer 'sound advice' when the history of the past few years clearly shows that the Bush regime and its neo-con allies are not interested in any thing that doesn't echo their beliefs. Perhaps "other supportive things" refers to demands that Bush be mentioned three times on every page of any speech given discussing Administration policy. It seems "Dear Leader"-ish, but it's the law in RepubliConTarianLand.
…. an idea which ….they are unable to refute. am at 6:34 PM

Progressives float facts that sting like bees and which disprove and discredit Republican propaganda.
…Don't blame WaPo. They're just the messenger. MatthewRmarler at 1:39 AM

The Washington Post has been a messenger for neo-cons and even by a report by one of it's reporters shows it's pro-war coverage involved inadequate skepticism about administration claims.

…An examination of the paper's coverage, and interviews with more than a dozen of the editors and reporters involved, shows that The Post published a number of pieces challenging the White House, but rarely on the front page. Some reporters who were lobbying for greater prominence for stories that questioned the administration's evidence complained to senior editors who, in the view of those reporters, were unenthusiastic about such pieces. The result was coverage that, despite flashes of groundbreaking reporting, in hindsight looks strikingly one-sided at times.
"The paper was not front-paging stuff," said Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks. "Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challenged the administration were on A18 on Sunday or A24 on Monday. There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?"…

Only an idiot would bank that low approval for congress implies that Republicans will re-take the house and senate.

…lefties that offer no real solution…Fat Angry Guy at 9:38 AM

The solution is GetTFOut, which should be simple enough for even the likes of you to understand. How come one never sees any of you warhawks cuttin' out and runnin' to Iraq?
…. it is unquestionable that the Democrats have missed, and are missing, a golden oppourtunity to draw Republican support away from Bush….Yancey Ward at 2:48 PM

No, the Democrats are denying Republican up for election and others the chance to vote for a toothless bill that Bush can ignore but will enable them to tell voters at home that they voted to get the troops out. It's just another instance of the same tried and truth Republican B/s to deceive voters. You can cry and you can whine, but Reid isn't going to let your get away with empty words and phony bills.

Posted by: Mike on July 22, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I say, and I will keep saying,

GIVE 'EM HELL, Harry! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 22, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Mike,

The Democrats control the budget process. They can get us out of Iraq this year if they really want to. Instead they are the ones that keep pushing toothless resolutions (see, for example, the one they debated this week in the senate), that they know Bush will veto if it ever gets to his desk. Republicans are politically free to filibuster such bills because they are toothless to begin with.

Like I wrote, if the Dems think getting out of Iraq is the right thing to do, then they should do it. Bush and the Reps are helpless to stop the Dems if the Dems want to act. All it takes is courage in one's convictions. Like his policy or not, Bush displays such courage in his chosen course of action. This is the PR battle that Democrats are losing at the moment, even when the war itself is so damned unpopular.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on July 22, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward, Courage has nothing to do with bushies inability to change his "course of action".

Cowardice is the word. Bush hasn't got the guts to stand up and take responsibility for a 'war' that is the greatest blunder in the history of US foreign policy. He hasn't got the guts to face the realities and horrors he has created. He hasn't got the guts to face the truth and wants to force the inevitable bloodbath onto some successor. He created this mess and is stonewalling so when the images of the US leaving and no doubt some being massacred happen he will be safely retired, inebriated and anesthetized in Crawford.

Posted by: Chrissy on July 22, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

The "Fuehrer" has SPOKEN!:

"Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement"
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky [Global Research]
http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=6377

' The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war. ...'

[Better wake up and smell the coffee, America! It's only just BEGINNING.]

Posted by: Poilu on July 22, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK
…. They can get us out of Iraq this year if they really want to. … Bush and the Reps are helpless to stop the Dems… Yancey Ward at 3:40 PM
Since you think the war is so great, go fight it. All it takes if the courage of one's convictions.

Bush, as C-in-C, is the one who sent troops to Iraq and is the one keeping them there. He has never obeyed any other law, his signing statements are notorious, what makes you think he would obey a congressional mandate?

You misunderstand the meaning of toothless. If the passage of a law fails to force the President to act, it's toothless. If the president acts to veto a bill and he is supported by his bitter-ender cohorts, it means they are thwarting the desire of the electorate. It reflects badly on them, not the Democrats.

I don't think the word courage can be used in the same sentence as the name Bush. He is the guy who ran like a scared rabbit on 9-11 and cannot travel without a protective army. Stubborn, unable to admit error, in denial, yes, but Bush has the courage of a wee mousie.

However, as it clear to all honest observers, the Democrats do not have the votes to override a veto nor the help of an unbiased media so they can get their message out.

When 70% of the electorate agrees with the Democratic position, they have the PR advantage.

...Even you limp-wristed lefties. Fat Angry Guy at 5:22 PM

Same tired old chickiehawkie alibis. Here's a vidy of you effete Republican elitists ducking and running

Posted by: Mike on July 22, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy: "Even you limp-wristed lefties."

Oh, dear.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." -- William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Act III, Scene ii)

Listen up closely, you repulsive, pasty-white pudgeball -- at his absolute flaming, Barbra Streisand-adoring worst, Barney Frank will still always be at least ten times the man you could ever aspire to become on even your best day.

Hell, for that matter, so would Ms. Streisand herself.

Now, take your ignorant and hate-mongering homophobia someplace else, pusscakes. Better yet, go tremble for your country with your fellow right-wing wanker egbert, or forsythe, or whatever that little fascist turd's calling himself today.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 22, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I enjoyed the follow-up of comments to the remarks of the "fatwhiteguy"

And to Poilu:
Regarding Bush's new exec order:
An astute comment from over at talkleft.com:
"Is it a coincidence that they did this executive order on July 17th while the Senate was trying to pass the Levin-Reed amendment, and that the Republicans opposing Levin-Reed said that a "precipitous withdrawal" would "destabilize Iraq?"


Posted by: consider wisely always on July 22, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

"The Democrats control the budget process. They can get us out of Iraq this year if they really want to."

Bush controls more of the budget process than you are acknowledging, including the ability to use national security exceptions to keep the Iraq War effort going even if Congress tries to block it.

Posted by: PaulB on July 22, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Like his policy or not, Bush displays such courage in his chosen course of action."

ROFLMAO... "Courage?" I don't think you understand the meaning of the word.

"This is the PR battle that Democrats are losing at the moment"

Actually, it's not even remotely clear that the Democrats are, in fact, losing the PR battle.

Posted by: PaulB on July 22, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

"it is unquestionable that the Democrats have missed, and are missing, a golden oppourtunity to draw Republican support away from Bush."

Not even remotely, but thanks for playing. We have some lovely consolation prizes for you. There is currently so little Republican support to force any substantive change of policy in Iraq that it simply is not worth the trouble to "draw" it. What Reid and Pelosi are doing is denying the WINOs the opportunity to vote for a "fig leaf" option that has no practical effect. That is the only "bipartisan" option on the table at this time and passage of such a bill would be not only a complete waste of time, it would be politically foolish.

"The tactics that Pelosi and Reid are using on Iraq are just downright silly, and increasingly ineffective."

Actually, they've been quite effective. They are making it quite clear that "you are either with the American people or you are against them." We'll see the impact of these tactics later in the year and in 2008.

Posted by: PaulB on July 22, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Al, did not I teach you to read mo' bettah dan dat?
Tony Says No. Then he says I think. Boy you better get your fanny perpendicular right and stop spinning them yarns!

BTW we should support the Sunnis, which Saddam was, right Al?

Posted by: ALs Momma on July 22, 2007 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Courage, firmness or stubbornness????

By Glenn W Smith:
Why does the national media insist on characterizing President Bush's refusal to alter his Iraq policy as firmness, rather than stubbornness? Because, in the strict father morality that emphasizes authority and obedience, presidents are strict fathers. They are firm. Only children can be stubborn. Reporters, probably unconscious of the worldview that limits their expressions, simply don't want to characterize the President with a term like "stubborn," even when it is more appropriate to the circumstance.
The New York Times headline on July 13 said, "A Firm Bush Tells Congress Not To Dictate War Policy." The front-page online grabber at the Washington Post's web site said, "Despite Failures in Iraq, President Holds Firm." The story headline read, "President Unbowed as Benchmarks Aren't Met." Firm, unbowed. Father knows best.

This simple word, "firm," communicates much more than reporters know. Firmness implies courage, conviction, leadership, while stubbornness means recalcitrance, childishness, refusal to face facts. We are tempted to accuse the media of political bias, and ideological bias often exists. Frequently, however, moral worldviews dominate media thinking without their knowledge. What seems like common sense to reporters is actually the unconscious employment of language that their brain produces reflexively, or without conscious intention.

The language of family is mapped onto politics. This is clear from such expressions as "Mother Country" or "Father of Our Country." Two family models hold, a nurturant model that emphasizes social responsibility and empathy, and a strict father model that emphasizes authority and obedience. Nurturant parents are quite often "firm" and not "stubborn." And so are compassionate political leaders. Nonetheless, in this instance the media is saying, "A firm Bush tells a childish Congress to keep their hands out of the cookie jar." Such an implication is wildly inappropriate to the circumstance, a circumstance in which significant issues are at stake, issues like the Constitutional authority of Congress to determine the nation's war policies and the president's responsibility to execute (it is called the executive branch) within the parameters determined by Congress.

At what point could Bush become "stubborn" in the eyes of the media? Unless they begin to question their reflexive use of language on a daily basis, probably only retrospectively. Historians will not be bashful about describing Bush's stubbornness on Iraq, especially when his behavior is juxtaposed against the will of the nation, a significant majority of expert and international opinion, and a majority of Congress.

But if yesterday's presidents can be stubborn, why not today's president?"

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 22, 2007 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

On the one hand: is it worse to be a major national newspaper pumping up the case for war on your editorial pages while doing at least half-responsible reporting on your hard news pages or to be a major national newspaper churning out administration propaganda about Mr. Hussein's alleged WMDs and the so-called Iran Threat while opposing war on your editorial pages?

On the other hand: a majority of people who read newspapers and care a great deal about politics and policy do not agree with Thomas L Friedman; they're either to his right or his left. The Washington Post will have to decide which side it is on.

Posted by: Linus on July 22, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Stubborn, unable to admit error, in denial, yes, but Bush has the courage of a wee mousie.

Yes, Frank Rich nailed this point.

Bush... a profile in courage. He sure radiates it to those of us outside the States, boyo...

Address to the Canadian Parliament canceled at the last minute when he was told that no, we couldn't ensure there would be no catcalling. It's a Parliamentary tradition.

Address to the European Parliament in Salzburg canceled at the last minute when he was told that no he couldn't be guaranteed a standing ovation.

Townhall meeting in Germany canceled a day before the event when he was told no they don't prescreen questions in Germany; politicians are expected to be able to respond to citizen queries.

Yes, a profile in courage. Whatever you think of Reagan (and I don't think much), it's almost impossible to imagine him backing out of these situations. And Clinton you couldn't stop from wading forward.

Posted by: snicker-snack on July 22, 2007 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

So is Kevin offline all weekend because he is reading Harry Potter?

Posted by: troglodyte on July 22, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

His Mom just got back from China.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 22, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

I hear in China they've already come out with the tenth or so Harry Potter. Title something like "Harry Potter and the Jade Dragon." How's Kevin's Chinese?

Posted by: snicker-snack on July 22, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK


The Washington Post has been a messenger for neo-cons and even by a report by one of it's reporters shows it's pro-war coverage involved inadequate skepticism about administration claims.

True enough, but congress still has only a 14% approval rating, down from the pre-election trough of 29%.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on July 22, 2007 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it’s really sad that people like Fat White Guy, Al and egbert defend a man like George W. Bush when the evidence is so overwhelming of what a failure he is. Look at Afghanistan – the largest opium poppy harvest is about to begin. Click here for details. And Turkey is planning to invade Northern Iraq. Click here for information about that. And Bush has been quietly selling Israel long-range bombers to attack Iran. Click here for information about that. In short, the United States under George W. Bush has made a complete mess of the world’s international relations and brought us to the brink of both bankruptcy and WWIII. Yet fools like these three want to get down, groveling and lick Bush's cowboy boots. How sad, pathetic and misinformed these nincompoops are…

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 22, 2007 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

...congress still has only a 14% approval rating, down from the pre-election trough of 29%.

I am really sick of this trope. Jesus Christ on a cracker, it's apples and oranges, only intellectually dishonest shills even trot it out. Constituents tend to have a high opinion of their own senators and representatives, it's the other 532 polecats that are throwing sand in the gears.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on July 22, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

"True enough, but congress still has only a 14% approval rating, down from the pre-election trough of 29%."

Oh, give me a flipping break. Not only is this statistic worthless but if anything it's a measure of dissatisfaction that there has been no progress on ending the Iraq war.

Since the measures that the Republican Senators wanted to vote on were toothless measures that wouldn't have done a damn thing toward that goal, the Washington Post's editorial was still bogus, as was this point of yours.

Posted by: PaulB on July 22, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Are you folks PAYING ATTENTION?? (Nod to 'consider wisely always', who DID chime in above.)

The Bush Reich has now effectively declared ITSELF the "supreme law of the land" via this Executive Order, bestowing upon ITSELF full authority to act as 'judge, jury, and executioner' against ANY and ALL who would (or even "might") oppose its will "regarding Iraq". All that's required to subject ANYONE to this unlawful seizure and/or possible indefinite detention is the Bush Regime's say-so!!:

"This 'Presidential Executive Order' is Grounds for Arrest"
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_timothy__070721_this__22presidential_e.htm

"Not with a bang but a whimper: the death of the Fifth Amendment"
http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20070720233345187

' With little fanfare, and still less notice, on Tuesday, July 17, 2007, George W. Bush issued an "Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," which does not erode, but instead totally and willfully contravenes the prohibition found in the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution against depriving any person (meaning both US and non-US citizens) of "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." ...'
__________

By all means, read on. The authors spell out the available, highly LIMITED options for the American people with remarkable courage and clarity.

Impeachment, it appears, may be PERMANENTLY "off the table". What's unmistakably ON the table is a virtually unimpeded "Putsch" by this rogue regime to install a Totalitarian dictatorship in the US.

It may LITERALLY be time to "man the barricades", friends. The finer points of Constitutional nuance are naturally quite intriguing, but have little relevance in a nation where the Constitution and the "rule of law" itself are being deliberately eviscerated.

Posted by: Poilu on July 22, 2007 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Isle of Lucy: I am really sick of this trope. Jesus Christ on a cracker, it's apples and oranges, only intellectually dishonest shills even trot it out.

And you felt the same way when the Republican-led Congress had a 29% approval rating and lost the majority in 2006, and when similar poor approval in 1994 led to the Republicans taking the majority away from the Democrats? Probably not.

by the way, are you one of those who can't compare apples and oranges? It's one thing not to be able oneself to compare apples and oranges, but to claim that it is fundamentally impossible implies a low opinion of everyone else.

PaulB, you wish to assert that the Democratic leadership in Congress is no way responsible for the decline in Congressional approval ratings since January -- is that it? Isn't that what people call Denial?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on July 22, 2007 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

I addressed the first half of that problem today, Poilu.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 22, 2007 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have a low opinion of everyone.

And I never made the disingenuous argument that you are offering, and it is mighty damned presumptuous of you to assume you know how I think.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on July 23, 2007 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent points by Harold Meyerson, of American Progress:

"...Warner chaired the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, and Lugar its Foreign Relations Committee, from the start of the war until January, when the Democrats took control of Congress. By then, the war had become so patently absurd that the Republicans were voted out of power on Capitol Hill. But did Warner and Lugar hold oversight hearings on the war? Did they propose a different course from the president’s when they had more power to affect the war’s conduct than they have now?

There would have been ample precedent if they had. In February 1966, just 18 months after Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and just 15 months after Lyndon Johnson was elected president by a huge margin, Arkansas Democrat and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman J. William Fulbright held exhaustive and critical hearings on the Vietnam War, concluding that the war had become a quagmire. Fulbright incurred LBJ’s enmity for his troubles, but the hearings laid the basis for our ultimate withdrawal from that war."

"The gutless wonders of today’s GOP never could bring themselves to chart such a course, and it is their continued deference to Bush and Cheney that keeps our soldiers in Iraq to this day."

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 23, 2007 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB, you wish to assert that the Democratic leadership in Congress is no way responsible for the decline in Congressional approval ratings since January -- is that it? Isn't that what people call Denial?

What is mostly responsible for the decline in approval is insanely unreasonable expectations. The morons in the Democratic Party, who expected that the war would be ended by now, disapprove of Congress. These people are very stupid. Reid is doing an excellent job managing the extremely cynical obstructionist Repukeliscum like McConnell. In NO WAY could much more have been done, under the rules of the Senate.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 23, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

You know, it’s really sad that people like Fat White Guy, Al and egbert defend a man like George W. Bush when the evidence is so overwhelming of what a failure he is.

The brain-dead dead-ender Repukeliscum of today are truly pathetic. They are invariably stupid. They do not attend to reality. They are in the process of being run over by the bus.

By 2008, Dems will have a filibuster-proof Senate, a 50-seat diff in the House, the POTUS and VPOTUS. Plus, we will have ALL THE POWERS illegally obtained by Bush and Cheney.

Payback's a bitch. Egbert, can you speak arabic? Your Extraordinary Rendition destination is Libya.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 23, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

On the bright side, Fat White Guy might even lose some weight as he, Al, eggie and their ilk goose step in front of 1600 Wilhelmstrasse.

Ah, for January 20, 2009 when Wilhelmstrasse becomes Pennsylvania Avenue once again and the Chancery reverts to a House.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on July 23, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

"And you felt the same way when the Republican-led Congress had a 29% approval rating and lost the majority in 2006, and when similar poor approval in 1994 led to the Republicans taking the majority away from the Democrats? Probably not."

LOL... Nice apples-to-oranges comparison, Matthew. Not only are you completely ignoring just why people are dissatisfied, you're comparing off-year polls to election-year polls.

"by the way, are you one of those who can't compare apples and oranges?"

Oh, the irony....

"PaulB, you wish to assert that the Democratic leadership in Congress is no way responsible for the decline in Congressional approval ratings since January -- is that it?"

Nope. You'll do a lot better in an argument here once you learn to read what people actually say, as compared to running them through that bias filter of yours (e.g., Barack Obama's position on genocide).

Posted by: PaulB on July 23, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Egbert,

What's "forgin?"

Who's "al Qeuda?"

Where is "there country?"

How does one raise one's children "in piece?"

What's an "effot?"

Posted by: Needles on July 23, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps little eggie is posting from the Forgin' Block at Ossining.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on July 23, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid became Senate Democrats' leader in 2004, inheriting a party with the fewest seats since the Great Depression. His predecessor, South Dakota's Tom Daschle, was a top Republican target and ousted. And the two decade veteran of Congress found a hostile Republican majority and a powerful GOP White House. That changed in the 2006 elections when Democrats took control of the Senate and Reid became majority leader.
As minority leader and later as majority leader, Reid stepped out of his mainstream Democratic path and into the brand of partisan rabble rouser.
Reid led Senate Democrats in filibusters against many of President Bush's judicial nominees who were deemed extremists by a coalition of civil rights, women's and other groups.He also successfully fought against GOP efforts to kill the filibuster for judicial nominees the Republicans' so called nuclear option.During the debate, he termed President Bush a loser,liar and King George, called Justice Clarence Thomas an embarrassment, and labeled former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan a political hack.
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