The key to change… is to let go of fear

Talks, but No Breakthrough, on Iraq War Spending Measure

Democrats said the White House chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, rejected their offer to eliminate non-Pentagon spending and give President Bush the authority to waive a timeline for withdrawal of troops from Iraq in return for their approval of about $95 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through Sept. 30.

Grading on a scale Democrats deserve credit for their overall performance, but Iraq is here to stay. One of the reasons might be that they are after all not immune to the kind of school yard level logic and insults that saturates Washington. Iraq is a failed state even if some professional political scientists are hedging their reputations by saying that Iraq is merely on the verge of being a failed state, British study says Iraq near ‘failed state’ status

A report released Thursday by Chatham House, a British think tank, challenged the notion that violence in Iraq has subsided since the buildup of U.S. troops — saying, for instance, that car bombings had not diminished and arguing that radical groups were simply laying low.

“It can be argued that Iraq is on the verge of being a failed state which faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation,” the report said.

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker replied to this report by invoking a partial Friedman crying that just around the corner benchmarks were imminent ” constitutional reforms, the sharing of oil revenue and allowing former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath political party to get government and other public jobs.” These political-economic concerns were raised years ago. If they are the metrics by which the Bushies are measuring progress now then what exactly have the grand visionaries of Iraq policy been looking at the last four plus years. The only people that are capable of sorting those things out are the Iraqis themselves, shoving it down their throats hasn’t worked so far. Mcjoan posting at Daily Kos sights this report from a Democratic leadership aide and states as clearly as I have read anywhere what Democratic goals should be in dealing with the Whitehouse, Dems, Don’t Cave on Iraq

There’s another option, one that we know now is supported by a majority (albeit slim) of Democrats in the House and Senate. Give the President his money now for the remainder of FY 2007, or for the next 9 months. Without benchmarks, without goals, waivable or otherwise. And, when offering this legislation, advise the President that this money should be used to plan the redeployment of troops out of Iraq, because after March 31, 2008 (in accordance with the Iraq Study Group) he won’t get any more money.

This means that Democrats don’t have to cater to Republicans, ninety-nine percent of whom are still acting like well trained Bush lap dogs. It also puts the responsibility for how things go in Iraq for the next 9 months on Bush and Republicans. Remember the famous quote from Colin Powell and Tom Friedman, The Pottery Barn Rule – “you break it, you own it.” Well the neocons and America own Iraq for the foreseeable future – is Iraq a good example of Republican management style – if Iraq were a corporate endeavor should the Board of Directors – or  in this case the Congress, let the CEO continue to run the company into the ground. In the time that we’ve been in Iraq added to Bush’s non-existent timetable we’ll have almost a generation of Americans that have reached adulthood barely remembering a time when America wasn’t spending around 8 billion dollars a month to maintain a presence in a country that can barely keep the electricity going for air-conditioning much less follow us to our shores and attack us. It is a little discouraging that while America voted for a redeployment in the last election that they have not shown more outrage. Iraq isn’t the only thing on the agenda, but it seemed awfully important to the electorate just a few months ago or have Democrats forgotten that. Democrats don’t have to fight dirty or make more speeches they just need to take a clear united stand unless they want President Democrat in 2008 holding the bag. Those Dems that are playing it safe, playing politician instead of statesman might want to remember in 2008 Iraq becomes the Democrats quagmire and who they gonna blame then.

Doolittle Elaborates on Conspiracy Theory

But it wasn’t Republicans trying to do the rehabilitating, Doolittle said. It was embedded Democratic staffers in the Justice Department who were responsible because of the party’s “Republican culture of corruption” campaign.

The FBI recently raided Doolittle’s home as part of a corruption investigation. Doo-man might want to seat down with his freshman English prof and study the construction and logic of what he said, Doolittle Blames Corruption Probe On Partisan Democrats At Bush Justice Department

Doolittle apparently didn’t explain why partisan Democrats would be interested in “rehabilitating” Alberto Gonzales’ image, or how these liberal Bush officials managed to convince FBI agents to seek a warrant for the raid and then convince a judge to approve the warrant. We’re sure there’s a perfectly good explanation.

As Calitics asked, are there any Democrats at the DOJ. If so they give a whole new meaning to the term low profile. And how did they escape the Alberto Apperatchik Purge.

In this old post by Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory, Peggy Noonan’s poetic love of dissent, civility and grace – Glenn posted an inadvertently hilarious passage from a Noonan column,

This–listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity–is the price we pay for living in a great democracy.

and this one,

What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace–of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together.

Today we have a very civil exchange between two pure as the driven sludge Republicans, McCain, Cornyn Engage in Heated Exchange

Things got really heated when Cornyn accused McCain of being too busy campaigning for president to take part in the negotiations, which have gone on for months behind closed doors. “Wait a second here,” Cornyn said to McCain. “I’ve been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You’re out of line.”

McCain, a former Navy pilot, then used language more accustomed to sailors (not to mention the current vice president, who made news a few years back after a verbal encounter with Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont).

“[Expletive] you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room,”

Bush Love or a nice excerpt from a recent Krugman column called Don’t Blame Bush

I’ve been looking at the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and I’ve come to a disturbing conclusion: maybe we’ve all been too hard on President Bush.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. Mr. Bush has degraded our government and undermined the rule of law; he has led us into strategic disaster and moral squalor.

But the leading contenders for the Republican nomination have given us little reason to believe they would behave differently. Why should they? The principles Mr. Bush has betrayed are principles today’s G.O.P., dominated by movement conservatives, no longer honors. In fact, rank-and-file Republicans continue to approve strongly of Mr. Bush’s policies — and the more un-American the policy, the more they support it.


There was a telling moment during the second Republican presidential debate, when Brit Hume of Fox News confronted the contenders with a hypothetical “24”-style situation in which torturing suspects is the only way to stop a terrorist attack.

Bear in mind that such situations basically never happen in real life, that the U.S. military has asked the producers of “24” to cut down on the torture scenes. Last week Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, circulated an open letter to our forces warning that using torture or “other expedient methods to obtain information” is both wrong and ineffective, and that it is important to keep the “moral high ground.”

But aside from John McCain, who to his credit echoed Gen. Petraeus (and was met with stony silence), the candidates spoke enthusiastically in favor of torture and against the rule of law. Rudy Giuliani endorsed waterboarding. Mitt Romney declared that he wants accused terrorists at Guantánamo, “where they don’t get the access to lawyers they get when they’re on our soil … My view is, we ought to double Guantánamo.” His remarks were greeted with wild applause.

Whenever you hear a Republican saying anything that is remotely critical of Dubya just ignore it. It means next to nothing. They all drink the same kool-aid and pull the levers they’re trained to pull. They are all part of the movement of ideological purity and no genuine deviation from the party generals will be tolerated. They like torture whether it is effective or not, or whether it actually endangers our troops doesn’t matter. They think habeas corpus is for loyal party members like Scooter Libbey not for everyone else. And they abhor thinking, thus the giant sweeping we must kill and destroy “them” mentality. If them includes one actual terrorists and a hundred innocent people then so be it, you have to have that kind of heartlessness to win against the great enemy “them”.

“The key to change… is to let go of fear.” – Rosanne Cash

“He turned now with a lover’s thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks,—an existence of soft and eternal peace.” (Ch. 24, p. 149.)
from The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane