Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Commitment to Mediocrity

I'm not normally very big on sloganeering. But sometimes a good slogan just works.

I've reserved this in the past for the worst franchise in football. Today, however, I've been forced to conclude that the Minnesota Timberwolves have devised a new and exciting strategy to render themselves hopelessly mediocre for years to come.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Odd Duck

Scott Thomas has a real name.

For a guy who fancies himself some sort of creative genius, he didn't do a great job in creating a nome de guerre. It turns out that Scott is more accurately known as Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a private currently serving in Iraq.

He has a blog--one it seems that was only ever updated sporadically--and dreams of literary fame. He's also a bit odd, least as I can tell based on the digging of some others:

Michelle Malkin's thoughts on Scott are here, Dean Barnett's are here.

Bigger questions remain however, primarily awaiting answers from TNR. At least one blogger is reporting that our would-be Kerouac is married or about to marry a TNR staffer.

Which of course goes to exactly how Mr. Beauchamp got his gig. It still however, does not explain how TNR managed to publish three diaries with seemingly no (public anyway) corroboration of any of the supposed facts 'reported' from Baghdad.

Whatever becomes of it, as many point out, Mr. Beauchamp and his comrades may see some hard time(s). Were I a betting man, I'd wager a dishonorable discharge may be his best hope for how all this ends.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rolling Deep

No fear of drowning in the depths of this 'Get out of Iraq' editorial.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Making Idiots Everywhere look Smart

This Democratic Congress is all about stunts. It's latest comes courtesy of Wisconsin's Russ Feingold who will introduce a resolution to censure the President for, among other things, assaulting the Constitution of the United States.

My first thought was, would it be possible to censure Feingold for assaulting our intelligence?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Shades of Rather

The New Republic published a pseudonymous piece this week that has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere. It appears that author "Scott Thomas" may have taken a page from our good friends at CBS with a tale that appears fake and inaccurate.

Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard has done yeoman's work in compiling and asking questions about Thomas' story. His work, in turn, has led to numerous contributions from many in positions to know of what they speak.

Some of my favorite responses include but are not limited to the following:

Military units don't blatantly disregard orders- So, it's not just a story of one soldier dancing around with human remains. Rather, it's a story of an entire military unit and its command structure defying orders and forgetting one of the main reasons why they were there.

The author doesn't know the military- This came home to me in particular with the description of the alleged soldiers mocking a female burn victim. This might happen in a high school cafeteria, but not in a war zone where men risk this same fate on a daily basis, and have seen their buddies maimed and killed. I have never heard of service people making sport of the combat wounded.

Timing is everything- This was supposedly a Saddam-era mass grave, buried underground in a desert climate for years or even decades. The human remains purportedly included "bones" that were anatomically identifiable even in fragment form — tibias, shoulder blades, pieces of hands and fingers. And then the platoon discovered "the top part of a human skull, which was almost perfectly preserved."

Now imagine what that looks like — a "perfectly preserved" piece of human skull that has been buried for no fewer than five years and perhaps many more, deep in the ground in a desert climate and surrounded by bare bone fragments. Form a mental image.

As for me--like the active duty CO writes at the Worldwide Standard--it's almost something straight out of the movies. My initial reaction when I read it was that it easily could have been something adapted from the "Deleted Scenes" feature on the 20th Anniversary edition of Oliver Stone's autobiography.

Thomas' tales are just too much in lock-step with everything bad you've already ever heard about the US Military. Not to mention, it sounds like he doesn't know a thing about driving a Bradley...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stupidity on Parade

It is Keith Olbermann after all...why would you expect anything different?

Taking Incompetence to new Heights

Mitch McConnell beat the hell out of Harry Reid this week; if it were a fight, they'd have stopped it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Reid: Ignorer-in-Chief

What does Harry Reid ignore when he tries to force-feed America the Levin-Reed amendment?

For starters, there's this which is perhaps the best hour of participatory radio ever. Then there's this and this.

Let's not forget this or this and this. And wanting to make as complete an argument as possible, let's absolutely not forget this:

Fifty-one percent (51%) of American voters say that the United States should wait for the September progress report before making major policy changes in Iraq. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 38% disagree.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Benchmarks are not Reality

Another note from yesteday's FNS telecast. Bill Kristol is right and Congress and Liberal pundits ignore the fluid nature of things in Iraq when the Levin's and Juan Williams' of the world tout their short-sided commitment to 'benchmarks' and time-tables:

KRISTOL: But you know, benchmarks are not reality. Reality is reality. And I do believe, despite the media, if reality continues to progress in Iraq itself, in the real war we're fighting in a real country called Iraq, with real provinces like Anbar, with real American troops going after Al Qaida -- if progress continues at the rate it has for the last two months or three months, I think that changes the political dynamics here, first of all.

And secondly, the Democrats have overreached. Mara is absolutely right. It's one thing to say, "Oh, we're tired of it. It's difficult. Let's get out." Really concretely, what are you going to do?

Are you going to let Al Qaida establish safe havens or not? How are we going to get out? Are we going to watch slaughter go on 10 miles away as we pull American troops into bases?

So I think the politics here, as people focus on what's happening on the ground and on the real choices in Iraq, could well change over the next two months.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Win the War!

Win the War! Win the War, win the war, win the war.

Win the War; win the war win the war win the war win the war. Win the War? Win the war...

Kudos to Brit Hume

Finally! When Senator Levin--for the umpteenth time in the last six months--spouts on and on about the lack of progress and political 'failure' in Iraq, Brit brings the obvious and natural response. Watch here.

Such criticism about the slow pace of political progress in Baghdad from this congress borders on hubris. That and mind-numbing stupidity.

Meanwhile, to round-out the experience watch Fred Kagan explain how Levin's assessment is simply not accurate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Freudian or otherwise

A moment that encapsulates all the utter ridiculousness of Plamegate.

This follow-up lands high on the Moronic scale also:

After Joseph Wilson's citation of "I. Libbis Lewey," the only interesting, or at least amusing, portion of the hearing came from wild-card Democratic freshman Rep. Steve Cohen, who wondered whether the Libby pardon should be the stimulus for a constitutional amendment limiting the president's pardon power. Cohen suggested that once the president proposes to pardon someone, the pardon go to the Supreme Court, where if six of the nine justices objected, then the pardon would not be issued. The somewhat surprised witnesses answered that yes, the Constitution could conceivably be amended in many ways, but they politely offered no opinion of Cohen's idea.

Had they been able to harness all that brain-power they might have been able to burn a bulb or two. Maybe.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Good Luck with That

Florida reservist will sue the US Military over a 5th deployment to Iraq.

All commentary about the current state of the US Armed Forces and their rotation schedules aside...read the contract. Uncle Sam owns you and you go where the Commander-in-Chief tells you to go when he tells you to go.

Don't like it, don't sign on the dotted line...

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I think about these kinds of things since I work in sales and depend on the good fortune of others for my own:

More good news came from the June income numbers: Real wages for workers—not managers—increased by 3.9 percent, year over year. Deflate by the core May inflation rate of 2.3 percent—the latest numbers available—and you get real wage growth of 1.6 percent. Not too shabby. Right now, Wall Street recession expectations are pretty low. "The threat of recession has abated, as job and income gains provide the wherewithal to support consumer spending," is the analysis of former Federal Reserve governor Lyle Gramley. In fact, the Big Money Crowd is more worried about China than U.S. housing as a source of future trouble. Case in point: this missive "What Would the Next Recession Look Like" that Goldman Sachs just sent me:

"So, what constitutes a recession in modern times, and when do they occur?...We suspect it would almost certainly involve a major economic slowdown in China. On almost any criteria (and topic), it is impossible to underestimate China's positive impact on the buoyancy of world growth this decade. That said, our China proprietary indicators show no sign of an imminent slowdown. In addition, our various proprietary indices suggest that the underlying global macro environment remains favorable...Moreover, if we and the consensus are correct, then the period 2003-2008 will have been one of the most powerful periods of economic growth globally since accurate data has been collectable for much of the world."

Friday, July 06, 2007

Unreasoned Outrage

I chuckled all the way through this low-key, sharp-tongued dismantling of EJ Dionne's latest Bush Outrage of the Week:

Having failed coherently to analyze the merits, Dionne proceeds to drink the Kool-Aid of conspiracy theory. He cites approvingly the suggestion of left-wing blogs that, by not pardoning Dionne, Bush avoided the prospect of Libby testifying before Congress at this time. He also says that, by commuting the sentence, Bush removes the incentive for Libby to give the prosecutors new information.

As to the former point, Bush's action merely delays any congressional appearance by Libby until his appeal is decided, which likely will occur next year. That's a more advantageous time for the Democrats, whose interests are always Dionne's paramount concern.

As to the latter point, whatever incentive Libby might have had to "help" the prosecutors vanished a while ago. In any case, nothing supports Dionne's assumption that he had anything he honestly could offer them. Nothing, that is, other than Dionne's partisan-based outrage.

Giving up

Another Republican who won't try:

Senator Pete Domenici joins a handful of Senate Republicans demanding an exit from Iraq.

I will invite the senator on, but suspect that like Senators Warner, Collins and the few others who are refusing General Petraeus the opportunity to succeed, he will take a pass.

What had been a very bad week for al Qaeda with the foiled attacks in England and the desperation in Zawahiri's recent video just got a great deal better with proof that their strategy of defeating the U.S. in the United States Senate is working.

Coming as it does on the heels of Senator Lugar's effort to put the Senate in charge of US foreign policy, it seems clear that at least some Republicans have given in to the siren-song of defeat. What is frustrating is that these admissions come on the heels of some of the first real, good news in Iraq in almost two years.

What is galling, maddening and most awful in all of this is not that Senators Lugar, Domenici et al think we've lost, it's that they don't even want to try to win.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Libby kisses Sister

It's not the best one could have hoped for, but I'm sure he'll take it. As will I...this never should have come to this.

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