Monday, April 30, 2007

Good Second-Guessing vs. Bad Second-Guessing

Bush will work with Democrats on Iraq - 30 Apr 2007 at 1:59pm - WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Monday he wants to work with Democrats on compromise legislation to fund the Iraq war even though he'll veto a funding bill that also sets a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal.
I wonder in what areas he's willing to compromise, since he's stated his firm opposition to timetables and benchmarks.

Bush said he opposed the bill sent to him by the Democratic-run Congress because it sets "artificial timetables for withdrawal," seeks to second guess commanders on the ground, and contains billions of dollars in wasteful spending not related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of course, his own unswerving faith in the judgment of commanders on the ground in Iraq didn't prevent him from replacing those unsupportive of his desire to escalate the conflict with ones who were more willing to go along -- so it's less than clear why he considers Congress's "second-guessing" to be grounds for a veto, other than the fact that the Congressional second-guessing would end the conflict.

State Survey: Terror attacks up sharply - 30 Apr 2007 at 1:12pm - WASHINGTON -- Terrorist attacks worldwide shot up by 25 percent between 2005 and last year, killing 40 percent more people as extremists used increasingly lethal means to carry out high-casualty hits, the State Department says.
Fighting them in Iraq so we won't have to fight them here? Or so we'll have to fight 25% more of them everywhere?

U.S. Supreme Court won't hear Khadr's case - 30 Apr 2007 at 12:06pm - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of Omar Khadr, the only Canadian imprisoned at the U.S. detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
US April Death Toll in Iraq Passes 100 - Forbes - 30 Apr 2007 at 12:41pm - Five US troops were killed over the weekend in Iraq, the military said Monday, pushing the death toll for April past 100 in the deadliest month for American forces this year.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Slam Dunk

Ex-CIA chief says 'slam dunk' misused - 26 Apr 2007 at 9:05pm - WASHINGTON -- When CIA Director George Tenet uttered the now-infamous phrase "slam dunk" at a 2002 White House meeting, he says he was referring broadly to the case that could be made against Saddam Hussein - not his alleged weapons of mass destruction.
I find it believable that Tenet's "slam-dunk" has been misused, abused, and exploited -- why would the person responsible for the intelligence say it supported something he knew it didn't? -- but why wait until now to discuss it? Why didn't he speak up at the time, or at any of the many times it was "misused"? And to what could he have been referring as a case for war, when he said "slam dunk", if not WMDs? He must have known as well anyone in the White House that waging war against an adversary that didn't pose a grave and immediate threat would have been in contradiction to the U.N. charter, a violation of international and U.S. law.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Let the Plotting Begin

Bush dusts off veto pen for Iraq bill - 24 Apr 2007 at 12:37pm - President Bush on Tuesday again threatened to veto any bill that includes "arbitrary" timetables for withdrawal, calling the proposed Democratic measure a "political statement" that is "wrong for our country." "It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you start to plan withdrawing," Bush said at the White House. "If we're to do so, the enemy would simply mark their calendars and begin plotting how to take over a country when we leave."
I hate to be the one to have to break it to him, but it's possible "the enemy" has already begun plotting. For some reason, I thought the plan was for Iraqis, not "the enemy", to take over the country when the U.S. leaves, or perhaps, before the U.S. leaves. Who's in charge of Iraq now: the Iraqi government? General Petraeus? The "enemy"?

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Who Looks Worse?

Not sure whether this reflects more poorly on Gonzales or on the White House:

White House renews Gonzales backing - 20 Apr 2007 at 2:05pm - WASHINGTON -- The Bush White House called embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales "our No. 1 crime fighter" Friday, a day after Gonzales' often halting explanations for the firings of eight federal prosecutors brought additional demands for his resignation.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Surge = Catastrophe?

Top Senate Democrat to Bush: Iraq war is lost - 19 Apr 2007 at 2:51pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Thursday he told President George W. Bush the Iraq war was lost and the recent U.S. troop increase had accomplished nothing.
It's probably not fair to say the escalation has accomplished nothing:

"Humanitarian catastrophe" looms in Diwaniyah - Thursday, April 19, 2007 03:21:12 PM - BAGHDAD, 11 April 2007 (IRIN) - A week of fierce clashes between US-Iraqi forces and Shia militiamen in Diwaniyah has brought the city to the brink of a "real humanitarian catastrophe", health workers said on Wednesday. Aid agencies and doctors are demanding they be given access to a desperate population who have become prisoners in their own homes.

Monday, April 02, 2007

"Cheney just doesn't measure up"

Welfare, abstinence chief resigns - 2 Apr 2007 at 2:35pm - WASHINGTON -- Wade Horn, the Bush administration's point man for welfare reform, Head Start and abstinence education, resigned Monday as assistant secretary for children and families.
"Abstinence chief"? I hope no one thinks a position known as "abstinence chief" needs to be re-filled.

Senate Dems up ante on Bush after veto threat - 2 Apr 2007 at 2:10pm - WHDH-TVSenate Dems up ante on Bush after veto threatWASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate's top Democrat is threatening to spearhead an effort to end most of the Iraq war funding if President Bush follows through on a promise to veto a loosely worded timetable for withdrawing US troops.
Good work. What are the odds of getting this voted through?

White House rebuked over emissions - 2 Apr 2007 at 1:41pm - The Supreme Court ordered the federal government on Monday to take a fresh look at regulating carbon dioxide emissions from cars, a rebuke to Bush administration policy on global warming.
What? Make the government responsible for something besides lowering taxes? You must be joking.

Court nixes Guantanamo appeal - 2 Apr 2007 at 1:39pm - WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from Guantanamo detainees who want to challenge their five-year-long confinement in court, a victory for the Bush administration's legal strategy in its fight against terrorism.
One more reason to move the detainees onto U.S. soil (or to someplace where any kind of laws may be in effect.

BYU campus protests Dick Cheney speech - 2 Apr 2007 at 2:49pm - PROVO, Utah -- Some students and faculty on one of the nation's most conservative campuses want Brigham Young University to withdraw an invitation for Vice President Dick Cheney to speak at commencement later this month. Critics at the school question whether Cheney sets a good example for graduates, citing his promotion of faulty intelligence before the Iraq war and his role in the CIA leak scandal. The private university, which is owned by the Mormon church, has "a heavy emphasis on personal honesty and integrity in all we do," said Warner Woodworth, a professor at BYU's business school. "Cheney just doesn't measure up," he said.
Not sure I have anything to add to that.