ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Secret mission...

Imagine my surprise to hear from Penelope after all this time. She had an urgent need for some protection to another midwestern city for an ultra top secret mission (double secret background type stuff).

I'm not sure of all the nitty gritty details. She likes to work that way though. Keeping everything on the QT until the last moment. All I know is that it will be exciting, and possibly very very dangerous. It sounds like it will be quite an adventure.

I am wondering why I need to bring my Ipod though....

Hopefully I won't run into anything I can't handle. I'll let you all know how it worked out. I'll communicate the results utilizing secret Rovian code channel Kilo-Romeo-Xray-5-0.

Courage...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Backlash

I knew I was feeling uncomfortable about the conservative backlash against the fascist Left's assault on Christians in general, and Christmas in particular, but it took Jonah Goldberg to put his finger on it for me. There is a militancy, an anger, behind the reaction to the lunacy. It is a most un-Christian response.

And here is how Jonah put it:

'Yet conservatives should be wary of launching a backlash. Just as it is counterproductive for a secular liberal to take offense at a well-intentioned “Merry Christmas,” it doesn’t help if a conservative says “Merry Christmas” when he really means “Eat yuletide, you atheistic bastard!” If you’re putting up a Christmas tree in order to tick off the ACLU, you’ve really missed the point.'
Read the whole article. It's a gem and vintage Jonah. That Jewish kid expresses my Christian thoughts better than I do half the time.

I am reminded of when Christ came to his childhood home on the way to Jerusalem and the crucifixion and the populace rejected him. John wanted to call down hellfire and brimstone on the inhabitants. Christ said, "no, we will just move on to the next town."These latter day "Johns" are well intended and badly misinformed in the ways of the Lord.

Merry Christmas and may we all love one another as He loves us.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Wal-Mart and Politics over Principles

It seems that, like most positions on the issues by the "progressives", politics is more important than principles. At least, that's what I gather from this post by the Twinkiemeister Oliver Willis:

Wal-Mart
by Oliver Willis | December 1st, 2005 | 11:31 pm

This will probably once again cause folks to wonder if the Heritage Foundation got to me (we’ve had a lot of that lately - torture, death penalty, parental notification), but I think the gist of what Ed Kilgore says rings true.
The point is this: in the southern small-town, rural and exurban communities I know best, and among the low-to-moderate income “working family” voters Democrats most need to re-attract, Wal-Mart is considered pretty damn near sancrosanct. And if Democrats decide to tell these voters they can’t be good progressives and shop at Wal-Mart, we will lose these people for a long, long time.

Last week when I was in Atlanta with my aunt, grandmother and cousins we went to one of those gigantic mega Wal-Marts. As I walked in, I realized… you could live there. Literally. You could get enough food to feed an army, grab a dvd player and a plasma tv, get a tent, an airbed, and several days worth of clothing — in one damn building.

Wal-Mart is guilty of some horrible labor practices and has shown a capacity to be an economic pariah, but you aren’t going to get very far if you try to make people ashamed to shop there.

Wal-Mart provides a wide variety of merchandise at low prices. There is much pressure that needs to be brought to bear against them, but much like Microsoft — they have become a part of America. It’s messy, and not always fair and honest with room for much improvement, but it isn’t going away.

Why do I have the feeling that Ollie hasn't been to a Wal-Mart in quite some time? Surely the "you could live in a Wal-Mart" statement could apply to their stores for several years now... I can picture Ollie, trying to explain to his grandmother, aunt, and cousins that they're destroying America by shopping there... I'm sure that went over like a lead balloon.

And I love how Oliver recognizes that to a Leftist, Wal-Mart is the embodiement of evil (despite their low-low prices which make them attractive to the poor that the Left proclaims to champion)... and then he promptly recognizes that for political expediency, the Left will have to stay mum about their disdain for Wal-Mart. Like most positions of the Left, it's always time to lock their principles in the closet when elections start to approach.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Meanwhile, The Economy...

keeps on trucking... For some reason, Bush does not get any credit for this continued expansion of the US economy. When a Dem is in the White House, the economy is directly attributable to the President... when a Republican is in the White House, good news is either downlplayed or it's attributed to something else.

It Keeps Going, and Going ...
December 1, 2005; Page A16

We interrupt your daily doom-and-gloom programming with a word from the real economy: It's even better than advertised. October's estimate of 3.8% third-quarter GDP growth was revised upward yesterday to 4.3%, which means the expansion was moving fast enough in late summer to blow right past Hurricane Katrina.

This represents the fastest expansion since the first quarter of 2004, as well as the 10th consecutive quarter of growth averaging close to 4% on an annual basis. So much for those predictions of recession we heard in the spring, and again in September. In fact, has there ever been a U.S. expansion this robust that has been accompanied by so much disbelief and predictions of imminent collapse? Not since the 1980s, we'd guess.

The third-quarter GDP revisions were especially notable for showing strength nearly across the board. Durable-goods orders were particularly strong, increasing at an annual rate of 10.5% and up 6% from the third quarter of 2004. Gross private investment grew at 5.8%, real equipment and software spending at nearly 12%. In other words, business investment has been a major growth driver, contrary to the conventional wisdom that consumers have been sustaining growth only by emptying their "over-extended" wallets. This bodes well for future growth, even as the housing market continues to cool.
[...]
The other big danger is policy mistakes out of Washington. With President Bush's approval at low tide, all sorts of bad ideas are on the loose -- from "windfall profits" taxes on oil companies to tariffs against China. The Republican Congress is in such disarray that it hasn't been able to extend even for two years -- to 2010 from 2008 -- the 15% tax rates on capital gains and dividends that have contributed so much to this expansion. The threat of their expiration will start to affect business and investment decisions well before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2008, unless Congress acts.

Those risks aside, last quarter's GDP numbers show that the U.S. economy can withstand natural disasters, rising interest rates, $70 oil, $4 gasoline -- and the relentless pessimism of elite forecasters who said today's prosperity could never happen.

Read the whole WSJ article...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Perky One Even Perkier?

Rumor has it that Katie is considering bumping Bob Schieffer from the anchor chair...

NBC's Couric May Jump to Rival CBS
The buzz is the "Today" star may take over the anchor desk.
By Matea Gold
Times Staff Writer

11:47 AM PST, December 1, 2005

NEW YORK -- NBC's "Today" show co-anchor Katie Couric is being actively wooed by CBS to be its next evening news anchor — a move she is seriously considering, according to sources at both networks.

In recent weeks, CBS News President Sean McManus has been doggedly courting Couric to switch networks and assume the anchor seat of the "CBS Evening News," according to three senior editorial employees at CBS and NBC.

While the 48-year-old morning host is contemplating the offer, sources said, it's unclear whether she can formally negotiate a new job until her NBC contract expires in May.

NBC News President Steve Capus said the network hopes to hold on to Couric, who has been the face of the "Today" show for almost 15 years. He called the growing speculation about her next step "premature."

"I don't think she's decided what to do," he said. "We're still sitting here with many months to go before this is going to be in front of us."

"Some day, at some point in the future, she is going to feel that it's time to get off the 'Today' show," Capus added. "I don't know when it's going to be."

No doubt Bob is unhappy about this news. I can only imagine the price tag that they're throwing around for Katie to come read the news for a declining audience. I think it's a great idea by the way, since she probably has more impact on The Today Show than she ever would on CBS Evening News. I wonder if she's considering the move because of the early start to her day at the Today Show? Perhaps, like Brokaw, Katie envies the ability of the homeless to sleep in.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thundering Silence! (The Reaction to Pelosi)

Oh me, oh my... I do believe the fat went in the fire yesterday with Nancy Pelosi endorsing immediate pullout from Iraq on the heels of the President's speech saying victory was the only possible outcome.

And what have we heard in response?

Nothing. Nothing from elected Democrats. Nothing from Republicans.

I think everybody realizes what she did. The issue is finally defined. The showdown is upon us. Everyone is trying to figure out what to say and do.

It will be interesting to see what folks like Limbaugh have to say today. Will he join in the silence or will he pick up the gauntlet that Pelosi has thrown down?

Things are about to get interesting indeed...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wired Magazine - How I learned to love George W Bush and higher oil prices

Sorry for the light posting, but had to focus on work non-stop for a few days. Apparently, my paycheck is completely unrelated to my efforts as part of this Rovian Conspiracy. Which reminds me, I really need to talk to "the Architect" and remind him that I need him to start kicking the conspirators here some payola, because while the Rovian robes are nice and the animal sacrifices are fun, it just doesn't beat actual compensation... But I digress...

While blogging from an undisclosed location, I noticed this cover on Wired Magazine. After reading the article, I found out that HIGHER OIL PRICES are GOOD for America and the energy industry, since higher oil prices makes alternative sources of energy more attractive:

[...]
So rising oil prices are more than just an irritant or even an ominous nick out of the GDP. They're an invitation to corn and coal and hydrogen. For anyone with a fresh idea, expensive oil is as good as a subsidy - with no political strings attached. Indeed, every extra penny you pay at the pump is an incentive for some aspiring energy mogul to find another fuel.

For the better part of a century, cheap oil has fatally undercut all comers, not to mention smothered high-minded campaigns for conservation, increased efficiency, and energy independence. But growing demand is outrunning the oil industry's carefully computed supply curves, bidding up long-term expectations for the price of energy. The long term may not mean a lot when you're standing at the pump, but the oil industry lives in a world where big projects take a decade to build and the checks that pay for them have eight or nine zeroes. Crude hit $70 a barrel last August, but oil companies have learned the hard way how quickly prices can crash. They adjust their expectations accordingly - downward.

For years, the industry's long-term benchmark was $20 a barrel in today's dollars; to get a green light, new investments needed to be profitable at that level. Now the industry is counting on prices to settle near $30. Some aggressive CEOs believe they'll stay as high as $40.

The changing outlook opens horizons - for conventional drilling, sure, but also for alternatives. Some new technologies merely produce more crude. But others tap energy supplies that have nothing to do with black pools under the Middle East.

Big Oil is already reaping the benefits of innovations developed in the 1990s, when long-term forecasts still pegged oil at $20 a barrel. Take digital oil fields - sensor-laden pumping operations under remote control - and ultradeep offshore platforms that drill beneath miles of water and rock to get at previously inaccessible deposits. But with the high end of long-term expectations hitting $40, novel energy sources are becoming attractive. Natural gas that used to be burned as an unwanted oil-field byproduct is being compressed into liquid fuel, and gooey tar sands are being shoveled out of the Canadian countryside to extract the embedded petroleum.

Push the long-term price forecast above $40, and more exotic possibilities come into play. Remember Jimmy Carter's synfuel program, which aimed to turn huge US coal reserves into gasoline? Three billion dollars in federal research money is now committed to making it happen. Corn, sugar, and soybean farmers hope rising prices can do what billions in subsidies and tax-funded research couldn't: make ethanol and biodiesel cost-effective. Smarter money is betting that using plant waste will prove more economical. These technologies join compressed natural gas, already widely used where it's worth spending extra money for cleaner exhaust.
[...]
So what's a price-shocked, carbon-afflicted highway jockey to do? Keep driving. In fact, drive more. The longer gas stays expensive, the higher the chance we'll see alternatives. Put that pedal to the metal. And smile when you see a big black $3 or $4 out in front at the gas pump. Those innovators need all the encouragement they can get. Shale oil, uranium, sunlight - there's enough energy out there for a dozen planets. Where we'll all park is another matter.

Surely, Wired gives credit for the increased gas prices to Bush, no? I mean, the guy's clearly at fault according to the mainstream press when the forces of supply & demand hit the oil market, so surely the Wired guys will applaud Bush for jacking up the price of oil, right?

Who am I kidding... but at least Wired admits that oil prices have nothing to do with who is the resident in the White House. It's very interesting to see that even they recognize that the primary reason for the increase in oil prices is not Bush or even the war in Iraq, but the expansion of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economies, but also the problems with Hugo and Katrina.

And of course, there is truth to the argument that higher oil prices simply means that other, more expensive fuels become (relatively) less expensive. However, this is the broken window fallacy to some extent, from an economics standpoint:
The parable describes a shopkeeper whose window is broken by a little boy. Everyone sympathizes with the man whose window was broken, but pretty soon they start to suggest that the broken window makes work for the glazier, who will then buy bread, benefitting the baker, who will then buy shoes, benefitting the cobbler, etc. Finally, the onlookers conclude that the little boy was not guilty of vandalism; instead he was a public benefactor, creating economic benefits for everyone in town.

The fallacy of the onlookers' argument is that they considered the positive benefits of purchasing a new window, but they ignored the hidden costs to the shopkeeper and others. He was forced to spend his money on a new window, and therefore could not have spent it on something else. Perhaps he was going to buy bread, benefitting the baker, who would then have bought shoes, etc., but instead he was forced to buy a window. Instead of a window and bread, he had only a window. Or perhaps he would have bought a new shirt, benefitting the tailor; in that case the glazier's gain was the tailor's loss, and again the shopkeeper has only a window instead of a window and a shirt. The child did not bring any net benefit to the town. Instead, he made the town poorer by the value of one window.

So, when applied to oil prices, we need to take into account the other effects that high oil prices have than just the fact that other technologies become more attractive. The goal should be to allow these other fuel sources to become cheaper without regard to the price of oil.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Intellectual Property - Important to Protect (for some)

It seems that the Research In Motion (the maker of the Blackberry) may finally have to deal with the fact that their technology may be infringing on Intellectual Property rights of NTP. And it seems that government doesn't want to have to deal with the possible repercussions of said infringement:

BlackBerry Blackout - November 30, 2005

There's a chance, albeit a small one, that sometime this week BlackBerries around the country could go quiet. Depending on where you stand on these pervasive email handheld devices, that may or may not seem like a good thing. But it's a sign of how quickly our economy adapts to new technologies that a BlackBerry service break would prove highly inconvenient to many businesses and positively disruptive to some. Whatever happens, however, the U.S. government wants to make sure its "crackberry" addicts still get their fix.
[...]
If the [original lawsuit] settlement is not enforced, an injunction could be placed barring RIM from providing service in the U.S. until RIM licenses NTP's patents. That's a chance the feds don't want to take, so earlier this month the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in the case, requesting that any injunction exclude the government's 300,000 or so users. NTP says the technology exists to do so fairly easily.

We don't know who's right on the technical point, and this is not the place to delve into the mess that is the U.S. patent system. What caught our eye, however, was the government's claim that it is "imperative" that its use of BlackBerries not be interrupted.

Blackberries for the government... I just love the fact that the government will rule that RIM is infringing on someone elses intellectual property, but give an exception to the government to continue infringing on that intellectual property. I wonder why the government didn't seek an exemption when Grokster was forced to close its doors?

It seems that protection of some intellectual property is more critical than others. It's a shame that NTP doesn't have overpaid rockstars and movie stars to champion its case.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Duke Cunningham - I Guess Something Needs to Be Said

And here is what I have to say: "What the hell were you thinking Congressman?!"

I can speak with some authority on the subject of, "What the hell were you thinking?!" Many years ago I ran into difficulties of my own making. I can empathize with the Congressman on that level. At the same time, there are consequences for one's behavior, and now he is to face his.

Here is a genuine war hero, a man to whom everyone could look up. He represented one of the primo districts (San Diego) in the country. And what does he do with his position?

He drives around in a Rolls Royce when his income is about $150k. He has yachts. His life practically screams, "Arrest me."

So much for the stupidity.

How about the morality of being elected by the people and taking huge amounts of money from a defense contractor?

Totally incredible.

What I fear is that this is going to spread like a cancer. Joe Scarborough last night threw out a number of something like 60 Congressman who could be caught up in this and similar affairs. Scanlon pleading in the Abramoff scandal means he has flipped. One can only guess how far that net has been cast.

I am mortified by all this as I was by my own situation all those years ago.

Well, I have said my piece. I will leave it to the Lefties to expand on the theme. I just had to let it be said we out here on the Right are aghast at and bitterly disappointed by all this.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Latest in the Plame Fiasco

So Fitzmas was like getting clothes instead of toys for Christmas when you were a kid for those on the left. Since the dark master Karl Rove wasn't indicted they had to settle for Scooter. Then Woodward came out and let us all know that it turns out that the WH wasn't leaking information about Wilson (or his wife) first, but rather someone else. Igniting Libby's defense.

Of course the left immediately started questioning Woodwards motives. The darling of Watergate, the man who brought down Nixon, a leading reporter calling for Ken Starr's head in his investigation of Clinton, is now being accused of being in bed with the Bush administration.

So then yesterday, news comes out of Time magazine that Viveca Novak (no relation to Bob Novak, although several DUers tried to insinutate that at some point I'm sure) is being called to testify before the new GJ that Fitz has empaneled.

The left immediately jumped on this as perhaps Fitzmas was actually going to come this year! They immediately start cooking up elaborate theories as to how this will finally cook Karl's "goose." Firedoglake has an excellent example here (emphasis added):

After talking to a small multitude and reading all the competing theories and engaging in much "group think" over the significance of the Viveca Novak testimony, the most salient things I've read today come from the comments section. One from Wilson46201:
My feeling is that Luskin was trying to tamper with Cooper's testimony somehow. Maybe to complain how Rove's release was coerced (by somebody) and figured V. Novak would pass the info to her colleague. Rove knew Cooper's testimony would not be exculpatory so Luskin was trying something (anything!) to block it...


So lets see, Luskin is so deranged by the neocon cabal, that he commits a crime in order to potentially defend his client to try and stop information that ended up coming out anyway. Hmm... Let's keep moving.
Another comes from Sam:
Let's not forget in the beginning there was a meeting of the Cabal to plot strategy to discredit Wilson and get revenge via his wife, all to protect their lies for going to war. A conspiracy of intent. A second conspiracy to cover their tracks with reporters carrying the burden of revelations. A third conspiracy of the Cabal to spin the story to cover up the previous two conspiracies. THAT IS WHERE WE ARE AT NOW---POSSIBLE "targeted direct attempts at communication" BY LUSKIN AND ROVE.


Oh ok, so we have a "meeting" which proves a crime, and another conspiracy to cover up that first crime and now a 3rd conspiracy, and THAT's the one that Fitz is perusing over? It seems to me if there was a meeting to out Wilson's wife, the whole Libby indictment would have been moot. But the left just KNOWS in its heart the real story and any facts that are in the way are just proof that there is another conspiracy! If you can believe triple conspiracies, its not much further to leap to the final example.

Then there is always Adam's theory:
Back in May 2004, Luskin pulled the wrong "Novak" from his rolodex and left a message saying, "Hi Bob, just passing along a message from Karl. He wanted me to remind you that he can have you killed."

Wow, um Ok. If they can have Novak killed, couldn't they have Fitz killed too? I'm just saying.

In my book it all adds up to TURDY NO SLEEP GOOD TONIGHT.

Um, no it adds up to wishful thinking.


So the kicker to this whole sordid tale? Well the Washington Post has an article today that addresses why Viveca is testifying (emphasis added):

The reporter for Time magazine who recently agreed to testify in the CIA leak case is central to White House senior adviser Karl Rove's effort to fend off an indictment in the two-year-old investigation, according to two people familiar with the situation.


Central to Karl's effort to fend off an indictment? Why it doesn't sound like Rove is losing any sleep then.

It's not clear why Luskin believes Novak's deposition could help Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, who remains under investigation into whether he provided false statements in the case. But a person familiar with the matter said Luskin cited his conversations with Novak in persuading Fitzgerald not to indict Rove in late October, when the prosecutor brought perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges against Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

"This is what caused [Fitzgerald] to hold off on charging" Rove, the source said. But another person familiar with the conversations said they did not appear to significantly alter the case.


It may not be clear to us why Luskin thinks it would help, but its obviously clear to him. And, if it didnt alter the case, then why didn't Fitz indict back then? It obviously did alter the case, at least enought that Fitz had to pursue a different lead, i.e. Viveca.

One additional little tidbit from the article that highlights Libby's upcoming defense:

The Libby legal team cheered Woodward's testimony, calling it "a bombshell" and contending that it undercut Fitzgerald's case that Libby was the first official known to have talked about Plame and her CIA status with a reporter.

Libby's legal team plans to rely on testimony from Woodward and other reporters to show that the former Cheney aide is not guilty of lying, providing misleading statements and obstructing justice in the course of the investigation, a person familiar with the legal strategy said.

Translation: We plan on seeing if the 1st amendment trumps the 6th amendment. We're going to call most of the Washington press corps to the stand.

Let's keep digging:

Fitzgerald has spent the past two years investigating whether any Bush administration officials disclosed Plame's name and employment at the CIA as part of an effort to discredit allegations by her husband, former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, that President Bush had twisted intelligence to justify the Iraq war. Fitzgerald has not charged anyone with the crime he originally set out to prove: the illegal disclosure of a covert CIA operative's identity. Instead, he has focused on alleged wrongdoing in the course of the investigation.

Fitzgerald recently disclosed that he plans to present new evidence to a second grand jury. People close to the case said the first area Fitzgerald wants to address is Woodward's testimony and his source, who has not been publicly identified.

Woodward's source could face legal troubles because the source testified earlier in the case and apparently did not mention a conversation with Woodward about Plame, according to lawyers in the case. If the source provided inaccurate or incomplete information, Fitzgerald could seek to bring charges, they said.


Even though Fitz couldn't find any real crime, he's got to find something, so he's going to keep digging. Maybe he can dig all the way to Wilson's conversations with Kristof and Pincus.

The revelation that Woodward's source testified earlier, almost undoubtedly means its Armitage. And one explanation as to why it wasn't mentioned in his earlier testimony is because Fitz never asked. I have a feeling that Fitz didn't ask many questions of reporter contacts with government officials outside the WH officials. It didnt' fit the narrative that the MSM and Fitz were pursuing (i.e. WH cabal punishing Wilson with the outing of his wife).

In short? Fitzmas may have to wait another two years.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Monday, November 28, 2005

Seymour Hersh: Real Journalist or Screenwriter?

This Seymour Hersh article is getting rave reviews on DemocraticUndergound. However, I have some serious questions about it... it fits all of the DU/Kossack talking points and has very little sourcing. I wonder whether or not Seymour isn't just making this stuff up - very little of it could be considered "new news", especially if you've been reviewing Kossack and DUer comment threads over the past 5 years. It's like he's writing a screenplay - not a news column. Here's a sampling of the New Yorker piece from DU (be sure to read the comments!):

UP IN THE AIR
Where is the Iraq war headed next?
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Issue of 2005-12-05

A key element of the drawdown plans, not mentioned in the President’s public statements, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower. Quick, deadly strikes by U.S. warplanes are seen as a way to improve dramatically the combat capability of even the weakest Iraqi combat units. The danger, military experts have told me, is that, while the number of American casualties would decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what.
***
Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reĆ«lection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.

The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: “I said to the President, ‘We’re not winning the war.’ And he asked, ‘Are we losing?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ ” The President, he said, “appeared displeased” with that answer.
***
“The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,” the former defense official said. “He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’ ” He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” the former defense official said. Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. “Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House,” the former official said, “but Bush has no idea.”
***
The Air Force’s worries have been subordinated, so far, to the political needs of the White House. The Administration’s immediate political goal after the December elections is to show that the day-to-day conduct of the war can be turned over to the newly trained and equipped Iraqi military. It has already planned heavily scripted change-of-command ceremonies, complete with the lowering of American flags at bases and the raising of Iraqi ones.

Is ANY of this new information or anything that someone couldn't just guess at? I mean, go figure... when te US hands over military command to the Iraqis, there's going to be a changing of flags - who'da thunk it!?!?

And all of the unattributed quotes about Bush and God, the "Church", and the "religious nature of his policy committments" - it's a bit much. I seriously doubt that Bush ever said any of those things.

And finally, does anyone doubt that when (and if) the US begins supporting Iraqi troops with US airpower, the Kossacks and DUers will be attacking the US military for its callous attitude towards Iraqi civilians? No doubt Ted Rall will provide a handy cartoon... calling the American soldiers cowards for not facing the minutemen on the streets of Iraq.

And just in case you were wondering what happened to the tinfoil wearin', black-helicopter watchin' whackos that used to inhabit the right, they're now on the Left:
17. You're right about the disaster kits. I've actually started stocking
up on water lately. Haven't started shooting lessons or obtained a gun, but this NE, life-long liberal dem. has started looking at the govt. very differently lately and these ideas look different than ever before...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Memo to the Kossacks

Your strategery is not working. From Sunday's Washington Post:

Sympathetic Vibrations
By Chris Cillizza and Peter Slevin
Sunday, November 27, 2005

Democrats fumed last week at Vice President Cheney's suggestion that criticism of the administration's war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort. But a new poll indicates most Americans are sympathetic to Cheney's point.

Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale -- with 44 percent saying morale is hurt "a lot," according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.

The results surely will rankle many Democrats, who argue that it is patriotic and supportive of the troops to call attention to what they believe are deep flaws in President Bush's Iraq strategy. But the survey itself cannot be dismissed as a partisan attack. The RTs in RT Strategies are Thomas Riehle, a Democrat, and Lance Tarrance, a veteran GOP pollster.

Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to "gain a partisan political advantage."

This poll is one of the few pieces of supportive news the administration has had lately on Iraq. Most surveys have shown significant majorities believe it was a mistake to go to war, as well as rising sentiment that Bush misled Americans in making the case for it.

Even so, there is still support for Bush's policy going forward. A plurality, 49 percent, believe that troops should come home only when the Iraqi government can provide for its own security, while 16 percent support immediate withdrawal, regardless of the circumstances.

A memo to the Kossacks and the DUers - You're in the 16 percent, despite your claims that you represent where America is now on the war in Iraq. While you are boisterous, you are not helping...

H/T EU Rota

Jeff at Protein Wisdom adds this:
this latest poll—coming as it does on the heels of a forceful Administration counterattack against its critics—suggests what we’ve always known, anyway: down deep, most Americans are optimistic, and will treat with suspicion those who preach US weakness and failure and dishonesty.

The Democrats are angling to take credit for inevitable and planned post-election troop drawbacks. The President needs to continue to make it clear that any removal of troops from Iraq will be a sign of strength and success rather than panic and failure—the latter the message the Dems have been pushing us to embrace.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler