surrounded by darkness and silence: and in that moment of supreme tenderness he would be transfigured.


It does seem that Senator Feingold’s has committed the great, but you should have told me first mistake. Democratic response was tipid to the idea of censure mostly on the grounds that it was OK to stay out till midnight, but you should have called and told the other Senate Democrats first. Democrats are almost as bad as conservatives when it comes to surprises. Its things like this that remind the pinky up tea drinkers in the party that their is a Democratic Wing of the Democratic party. If Democrats want people to pay attention to what they think and stand for, letting one their own light a few fireworks and standing ground is one way to do it. Again, while I’m against poll pandering, the senator from Wisconsin has the support of the major portion of the American people; poll on censuring Bush from American Research Group

Do you favor or oppose the United States Senate passing a resolution censuring President George W. Bush for authorizing wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining court orders?
3/15/06 Favor Oppose Undecided
All Adults 46% 44% 10%
Voters 48% 43% 9%
Republicans (33%) 29% 57% 14%
Democrats (37%) 70% 26% 4%
Independents (30%) 42% 47% 11%
Based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of adults nationwide March 13-15, 2006. The theoretical margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, 95% of the time.

While I’m dissappointed in Senator Dayton’s statement, as I wrote yesterday Feingold does have the support of some heavy hitters, Harkin, Kerry, and Boxer. The problem here is probably more ego related then politics. Its impossible to find a Democratic senator and a few conservatives to boot that wouldn’t like some straight answers from the Bush House on the wire tapping.Not to mention how they used or molded intelligence on Iraq, bumbled the Katrina response, and if the Bushies are so great on fighting terror, why is world wide terror increasing and how did they squander victory in Iraq. Senate Republicans are mad for one reason and only one reason, Feingold’s dig at the president is also a dig at lack of real oversight by conservatives. Conservatives who have spent more time lying on their backs getting belly rubs from Karl Rove and K-Street then they have holding the administration accountable. Hence the idea that bloodless old men have little problem sending the young off to fight wars they themselves would never fight and spending taxpayer dollars to do so . If only this were true, Who Knew? GOP says Feingold’s Setting Dem Agenda

The Republican National Committee has made a remarkable discovery. U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long been thought to be an outsider in the Senate Democratic Caucus, is not a maverick at all.

It turns out that Feingold is a “Democratic leader” who, according to RNC researchers, is pretty much setting the party’s agenda.

In one of a series of talking-points memos distributed from the Republican headquarters in Washington since Feingold proposed on Monday that the president should be censured, the senator’s photo appears next to a bold headline that declares: “THE DEBATE IS OVER: DEMS FIND THEIR AGENDA.” A subhead reads: “Dem Leaders ‘Ecstatically’ Embrace Sen. Feingold’s Plan To Weaken The Tools To Fight The War On Terror.”

Apart from the fact that the underlying premise of the memo is inaccurate – there’s no Democratic plan to weaken the tools to fight the war on terror, which has already been effectively undermined by the misguided invasion and occupation of Iraq and determination of the White House to treat “homeland security” as a slogan rather than an imperative – the RNC’s announcement makes what, even in these hyperbolic times, is a remarkable claim.

As a conservative blogger here and there will remind us all, the Democrats did vote for the AUMF and have given Bush every penny he ever asked for to continue to act like a cartoon characteriture of Captain Terror, cape caught in a tangle of his own ineptitude. If Bush isn’t winning, he has no one but himself to blame. Senator Feingold is just this week’s scapegoat.

Let me get all wonkish and suggest a post Iraq invasion autopsy, Saddam’s Delusions: The View from the Inside

By 2003, the Iraqi military was reeling from 13 years of almost continuous engagement with U.S. and British air forces, the accumulating effects of sanctions, and the insidious impact of the regime’s dysfunctional policies. These pressures had all helped drive the Iraqi military into a state of chronic decline. The Iraqi military’s main mission was to ensure the internal security of the Baathist dictatorship. Concerned about everything except fighting wars, the Iraqi military, which had once aspired to a Western-like profession of arms, became focused on militarily irrelevant — but nonetheless life-and-death — issues.

The best example of this focus is the prewar condition of the Iraqi air force, which did not launch a single sortie against the coalition during the invasion. According to the commander of Iraq’s air force and air defense force, Hamid Raja Shalah, Saddam simply decided two months before the war that the air force would not participate. Apparently, Saddam reasoned that the quality and quantity of the Iraqi air force’s equipment would make it worse than useless against coalition air forces. Consequently, he decided to save the air force for future needs and ordered his commanders to hide their aircraft. This decision was yet another indication that Saddam did not believe coalition ground forces would ever reach into the heart of Iraq. He was sure his regime would survive whatever conflict ensued.

Says much about Iraq being a genuine threat to the U.S. or it’s neighbors.

This is not the title to today’s excerpt, A Loon Has Regrets, Peggy Noonan Realizes She Has Conned Herself

She looks at Bush fiscal policy and joins the Ancient, Occult, and Hermetic Order of the shrill, saying that if she’d known who George W. Bush really was she wouldn’t have voted for him:

When a loon has second thoughts does it really matter since they were incapable of having cogent thoughts in the first place. This may be the sound a tree makes when it falls and nobody cares.

Let’s create a list of every idiotic thing George Bush has done in the past five years

The Moonie Times called this blog must reading which gives us our quote and textual cartoon of the day,

We also need to stay in country, and continue to view this as a generational committment.

Complete twit or complete wanger, a member of the reality based community reports and you decide. Either start saving for the grand kid’s body armor now or have them join the Yellow Elephants when they grow up.

Tomgram: Orville Schell on Journalism under Siege in Baghdad

There is undeniably a Blade Runner-like feel to this city. The violence is so pervasive and unfathomable that you wonder what people think they are dying for. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the everyday violence is horrendous, it does not take too many days before the deadly noises and the devastation everywhere seem to become just part of the ordinary landscape. Soon, quite to your surprise, you find yourself paying hardly more attention to the sounds of gunshots than a New Yorker does to the car alarms that go off every night… until, that is, someone you know, a neighbor, or just someone you have heard about, gets blown up, shot on patrol, or kidnapped by insurgents.

update: Time for Facts, Not Resolutions

The Senate should also force the disclosure of any other spying Mr. Bush is conducting outside the law. (Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has strongly hinted that is happening.)

The Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees should do this, but we can’t expect a real effort from Senator Pat Roberts, the Intelligence Committee chairman, or Senator Arlen Specter, chairman of the Judiciary Committee. They’re too busy trying to give legal cover to the president’s trampling on the law and the Constitution.

When the Republicans try to block an investigation, as they surely will, Senator Harry Reid, the minority leader, should not be afraid to highlight that fact by shutting down the Senate’s public business, as he did last year. This time, though, Mr. Reid needs to follow up. The first time Mr. Reid forced the Senate into a closed session, Mr. Roberts said he would keep his promise about an investigation into the hyping of intelligence on Iraq. But Mr. Roberts continues to sit on that report.

The nation needs to know a great deal more about the domestic spying. How many people’s calls and e-mail were tapped? How were they chosen? Was Mr. Bush planning to do this until the war on terror ended that is, forever? The public should be asking why members of Congress are afraid to make those important and legitimate queries.

So NYT doesn’t like the way Feingold went about the request for an inquiry and censure, but they support the substance of what he has said. If The Senator had violated some serious Senate protocol I could understand the objections, but he hasn’t, he used his salad fork instead of his dinner fork, big deal. let’s get on with a serious inquiry, that is unless the president has something to hide?

I think because of homework assignments rather then any great insight into what’s popular in literature on my part that the Hemingway excerpt have been the most popular, but I’m especially glad that the post or excerpt from James Joyce has been the second most popular. A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man has been one of my favorite books for years. When I first read it in my teens it captured all of that feverish feelings I had about the big world out there waiting to be explored. St. Patrick’s Day provides a good excuse for another little piece. If you should decide to buy a copy please chceck to see that it is complete and unabridged. Also beware that if you have tender language or religious sensiblilites you may find the book offensive.

For some time he had felt the slight change in his house; and those changes in what he had deemed unchangeable were so many slight shocks to his boyish conception of the world. The ambition which he felt astir at times in the darkness of his soul sought no outlet. A dusk like that of the outer world obscured his mind as he heard the mare’s hoofs clattering along the tramtrack on the Rock Road and the great can swaying and rattling behind him.

He returned to Mercedes and, as he brooded upon her image, a strange unrest crept into his blood. Sometimes a fever gathered within him and led him to rove alone in the evening along the quiet avenue. The peace of the gardens and the kindly lights in the windows poured a tender influence into his restless heart. The noise of children at play annoyed him and their silly voices made him feel, even more keenly than he had felt at Clongowes, that he was different from others. He did not want to play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld. He did not know where to seek it or how, but a premonition which led him on told him that this image would, without any overt act of his, encounter him. They would meet quietly as if they had known each other and had made their tryst, perhaps at one of the gates or in some more secret place. They would be alone, surrounded by darkness and silence: and in that moment of supreme tenderness he would be transfigured.

He would fade into something impalpable under her eyes and then in a moment he would be transfigured. Weakness and timidity and inexperience would fall from him in that magic moment.

from A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce