The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything — gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness

With three presidential candidates making a special effort to show up at the Petraeus-Crocker Show on Iraq one can’t say that it wasn’t as much a political event as theater. No big grand stand per se, but certainly some political points were up to be scored. My take was that Senators Clinton and Obama came out about equally as well, but as far as clever political dog and pony plays go the bouquet of roses goes to Senator McCain. If it wasn’t politics we’d have another 64,000 Dollar Question scandal on our hands. McCain got some of what he wanted to talk about Iraq and Al Qaeda in the same sentence. To McBush Iraq into not just an over simplistic depiction of the violence in Iraq, but to tie success there with defeating AQ. McCain And AQI

During his questioning of Gen. Petraeus, John McCain seemed to go out of his way to elicit from Petraeus the opinion that Al Qaeda in Iraq was still a significant threat. “Significant” is indeed how Petraeus labeled the danger, although Petraeus also used the adjective to refer to the diminution of the Al Qaeda threat since he last testified. McCain wanted it on the record that AQ was a critical combatant in Mosul, Iraq’s Northern gateway. Petraeus was happy to oblige.

Well so what, there are idiots that woke up one morning and decided to affiliate themselves with AQ and go to Iraq. The vast majority of the violence in Iraq is between Iraqis. Maybe 4 to 10 percent of the insurgency come from outside Iraq. Compare that situation to the U.S. and illegal immigrants. If we can’t seal off our borders completely and using McCain’s metrics that we stay in Iraq until that same requirement is met, then you have McCain’s 100 years war.

In our 7th season of the ever popular What if a Democrat Did That Show, Crocker: Iraqi Parliament May Ratify Long-Term Agreement — But U.S. Congress Can’t

In today’s hearing, Ambassador Ryan Crocker reiterated that the Bush administration does not plan to bring the long-term agreement to Congress first. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) asked whether Maliki’s administration is consulting with the Iraqi Parliament on the agreement:

CLINTON: Do you anticipate that the Iraqi governrment would submit such an agreement to the Iraqi Parliament for ratification?

CROCKER: The Iraqi government has indicated it will bring the agreement to the Council of Representatives. At this point, it is not clear, at least to me, whether that will be for a formal vote or whether they will repeat the process they used in November with the Declaration of Principles in which it was simply read to the members of the Parliament.

CLINTON: Does the administration plan to submit this agreement to our Congress?

CROCKER: At this point, senator, we do not anticipate the agreements will have within them any elements would require the advice and consent procedure. We intend to negotiate this as an executive agreement.

So these are the principled ground rules that Republicans want to play by. Any president has the right to order our military to indefinitely occupy a country without approval by Congress. The Conservative movement and its long hold assertion that it is the supreme interpretors of the Constitution and its explicit meanings continues to defined by their childish habit of finding ways to do end runs around same said law of the land. While they have been somewhat Pyhrric victories the voices of true American values continue to score points, National Lawyers Guild calls for Yoo’s disbarment

In a memorandum written the same month George W. Bush invaded Iraq, Boalt Hall law professor John Yoo said the Department of Justice would construe US criminal laws not to apply to the President’s detention and interrogation of enemy combatants. According to Yoo, the federal statutes against torture, assault, maiming and stalking do not apply to the military in the conduct of the war. […]

“John Yoo’s complicity in establishing the policy that led to the torture of prisoners constitutes a war crime under the US War Crimes Act,” said National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn.

While he probably deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail disbarment gives Yoo the modern equivalent of a Scarlet letter.

“The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything — gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness — rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.” – Artaud

Something for the They Never Take Responsibility For Anything File, Did Liberals Cause the Sub-Prime Crisis?

Second, it is hard to blame CRA for the mortgage meltdown when CRA doesn’t even apply to most of the loans that are behind it. As the University of Michigan’s Michael Barr points out, half of sub-prime loans came from those mortgage companies beyond the reach of CRA. A further 25 to 30 percent came from bank subsidiaries and affiliates, which come under CRA to varying degrees but not as fully as banks themselves. (With affiliates, banks can choose whether to count the loans.) Perhaps one in four sub-prime loans were made by the institutions fully governed by CRA.

Most important, the lenders subject to CRA have engaged in less, not more, of the most dangerous lending. Janet Yellen, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve, offers the killer statistic: Independent mortgage companies, which are not covered by CRA, made high-priced loans at more than twice the rate of the banks and thrifts. With this in mind, Yellen specifically rejects the “tendency to conflate the current problems in the sub-prime market with CRA-motivated lending.? CRA, Yellen says, “has increased the volume of responsible lending to low- and moderate-income households.”

Yellen is hardly alone in concluding that the real problems came from the institutions beyond the reach of CRA.

The Right as is their habit have to protect Duby’s legacy so that Like Ronnie Raygun he can be canonized in a few years based purely on the myths they have built up around him.