Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday news

The war over the war in Iraq and when that war will be over

President George W. Bush tries to "tone down" the debate, according to Bloomberg News:

"People should feel comfortable about expressing their opinions about Iraq," Bush said today at a news conference in Beijing. "I heard somebody say, `well so-and-so is not patriotic because they disagree with my position.' I totally reject that thought."

Some in the blogosphere need to listen to the president on that one. I do not believe Bush would support Jean Schmidt's remarks either.

Richard Lugar called for calmer debate about the Iraq war. His website shows him meeting Angelina Jolie.

Check out these two on-the-record quotes about the governing of our country. From Jonathan Weisman and Charles Babington of the Washington Post:

"Iraq is now a cloud over everything," said Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan political analyst specializing in Congress. "It's the 800-pound gorilla in the room."

"I feel like every morning, I wake up, get a concrete block and have to walk around with it all day," said first-term Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who came to the Senate with an ambitious agenda to overhaul Social Security and the tax code. "We can't even address the issues."

Former Senator Bob Graham (D., Fla.) has an Op-Ed in the Wa-Po. This is HUGE and not getting much attention (if any) on the talkies. He writes "The president's attacks are outrageous" and concludes:

From my advantaged position, I had earlier concluded that a war with Iraq would be a distraction from the successful and expeditious completion of our aims in Afghanistan. Now I had come to question whether the White House was telling the truth -- or even had an interest in knowing the truth.

On Oct. 11, I voted no on the resolution to give the president authority to go to war against Iraq. I was able to apply caveat emptor. Most of my colleagues could not.

Bob Drogin and John Goetz have a very lengthy article on "Curveball" in the Los Angeles Times.

General William Odom wrote for Nieman Watchdog a debunking of nine arguments to stay in Iraq. That was published in August. He has a follow up from last week.

Ronald Brownstein in the Los Angeles Times details the many factions against the war in the Democratic party.

This headline, 'Mean Jean' Goes to Washington, and Invites a Firestorm, in the New York Times leads a story about Jean Schmidt. Several interesting points:

Several Republicans who were on the House floor said afterward that Ms. Schmidt did not appear to know she was referring to a much-decorated veteran.

"The poor lady didn't know Jack Murtha was a Marine - she really just ran into a hornet's nest," said Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia.

Representative David Dreier of California said, "Very clearly, she did not know that Jack Murtha was a Marine."

That is Bull shit. Here is what Mean Jean said:

"asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."


The 100-proof speech on the House floor may shore up Ms. Schmidt's standing inside her party's right flank.

"I was listening to talk radio today, and people were calling in and praising her," said Chris Finney, a Cincinnati Republican allied with Ms. Schmidt's local rivals. "They like that jingoistic thinking."

I tried to find the House rule on directly insulting another member in the chamber, but I could not find it. Google has failed me.


Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway have a long story on reconstruction in the Washington Post:

Internal documents and more than 100 interviews in Washington and Kabul revealed a chain of mistakes and misjudgments: The U.S. effort was poorly conceived in a rush to show results before the Afghan presidential election in late 2004. The drive to construct earthquake-resistant, American-quality buildings in rustic villages led to culture clashes, delays and what a USAID official called "extraordinary costs." Afghans complained that the initial design for roofs made them too heavy to build in rural areas without a crane, and the corrected design made them too light to bear Afghan snows. Local workmen unfamiliar with U.S. construction methods sometimes produced shoddy work.

New Orleans

The Times Picayune has a front page editorial:

But we need the federal government -- we need our Congress -- to fulfill the promises made to us in the past. We need to be safe. We need to be able to go about our business feeding and fueling the rest of the nation. We need better protection next hurricane season than we had this year. Going forward, we need protection from the fiercest storms, the Category 5 storms that are out there waiting to strike.

Some voices in Washington are arguing against us. We were foolish, they say. We settled in a place that is lower than the sea. We should have expected to drown.

As if choosing to live in one of the nation's great cities amounted to a death wish. As if living in San Francisco or Miami or Boston is any more logical.

Oversight under used in Congress

Susan Milligan in the Boston Globe notes that the GOP lead Congress does not like to oversee the GOP executive. What a two graf lede:

WASHINGTON -- Back in the mid-1990s, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, aggressively delving into alleged misconduct by the Clinton administration, logged 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether former president Bill Clinton had used the White House Christmas card list to identify potential Democratic donors.

In the past two years, a House committee has managed to take only 12 hours of sworn testimony about the abuse of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

President Bush's important trip to a Beijing church in the Washington Post.


Anonymous walt clyde frazier said...

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7:38 AM  

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