That depends a good deal on where you want to get to

There are a couple of things about walking through the looking glass that make you wonder if living in Fantasyland full time is a dream come true or a nightmare of doublespeak. Bush having surveyed the carnage of four plus years of failure and in between vacations decided we needed to escalate that darn Iraq business. Much like his codpiece modeling on aircraft carriers this new escalation was considered another smashing success (Not really successful but Republicans have decided to define losing as winning). Now Bush and his hand picked general have decided to reward the troops, their families and the American people with a puppet show. They going to bring the troops home. Well, except they’re not. If you sit up and beg like a good little dog what they will do is bring the troop level back down to pre-escalation levels – Petraeus’ Drawdown 

Based on all this and on the further progress we believe we can achieve over the next few months, I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level of brigade combat teams by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains that we have fought so hard to achieve.

Petraeus claimed that “progress” in Iraq allows the United States to begin withdrawing troops. But in reality, security and political progress in Iraq is nonexistent. Petraeus, who has said he wants to stay in Iraq for 9-10 years, is in fact reducing troop levels next summer because the escalation has overstretched and overburdened the military to its breaking point.

And people think of Ronnie Raygun as the actor who was president. This puppet show has been incredibly entertaining for for those that like to drink the blood from their barely cooked steaks, but for most Americans who thought that the president’s job was to act in the best interest of America and the responsibility of generals not to let personal politics cloud their judgment are certainly disappointed that these leaders continue to play games with our soldiers lives and the lives of the Iraqi people. There is the smallest ray of hope for change, but will Bush and the dead enders take the sage brush out of their ears and listen,  Invite Admiral Fallon to Tell Us if We’re Safer

NEWSWEEK has learned that a separate internal report being prepared by a Pentagon working group will “differ substantially” from Petraeus’s recommendations, according to an official who is privy to the ongoing discussions but would speak about them only on condition of anonymity. An early version of the report, which is currently being drafted and is expected to be completed by the beginning of next year, will “recommend a very rapid reduction in American forces: as much as two-thirds of the existing force very quickly, while keeping the remainder there.” The strategy will involve unwinding the still large U.S. presence in big forward operation bases and putting smaller teams in outposts. “There is interest at senior levels [of the Pentagon] in getting alternative views” to Petraeus, the official said. Among others, Centcom commander Admiral William Fallon is known to want to draw down faster than Petraeus.

At least in the world of TV the bad guys do their thing, the good guys catch them. Justice is done. There is something cathartic if overly simple about it, Burn, baby, burn

“Burn Notice” is truly odd. First of all, it’s about a guy, Michael (Jeffrey Donovan), who has nothing to do, really, beyond trying to figure out why he’s been fired as a government agent. In the meantime, he’s this highly trained professional, this odd mix of MacGyver and Bourne and Bond, and he’s living this sort of ragged, slacker life in Miami.

So when random, clueless people (and I love how random people on the show are always so jackassian by nature) approach Michael to ask for his help, he’s always got this world-weary attitude like, “Oh Christ, really? I really have to busy myself with these small-beans kidnapping and fraud cases, when I could be mixing it up with high-ranking Libyan officials?”

Michael’s (Jeffrey Donovan) voice overs don’t make the show, but they account for a large part of what makes it simultaneously funny and compelling.

Black and White and Re(a)d All Over: The Conservative Advantage in Syndicated Op-Ed Columns

* Sixty percent of the nation’s daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.
* In a given week, nationally syndicated progressive columnists are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of 125 million. Conservative columnists, on the other hand, are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of more than 152 million.

Probably not the only reason or even the biggest one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this is a factor in declining newspaper subscriptions. They’re shutting down the voices that represent a sizable portion of their readership.

Alice and the Cat: Quotes: Alice in Wonderland
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

from Alice in Wonderland