In an Op-Ed today, the WaPo turns Barack Obama’s “rigidity” complaint about John McCain’s Iraq position and hurls it right back at him:
At the time he first proposed his (16 month withdrawal) timetable, Mr. Obama argued — wrongly, as it turned out — that U.S. troops could not stop a sectarian civil war. He conceded that a withdrawal might be accompanied by a “spike” in violence. Now, he describes as “an achievable goal” that “we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future — a government that prevents sectarian conflict and ensures that the al-Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not reemerge.” How will that “true success” be achieved? By the same pullout that Mr. Obama proposed when chaos in Iraq appeared to him inevitable.
The magical sixteen months – smart policy when the war was being lost, smarter still when it is being won – are not really Mr. Obama’s preferred option, one intuits. He was until recently eager to demonstrate nuance on the topic, ready to “refine” his views.
Now, not so much – the Democratic Party base has seen quite enough refinement, thanks so much.
The party’s big donors – the kinds of folks that can afford to dole out $5000 on their preferred candidate – have already been tapped out, a fact made all the worse by the apparent hesitance of Hillary! donors to jump on board the Obama bandwagon (and for that matter, for well-heeled Obama supporters to dig deep and help Clinton pay back the millions in personal funds she loaned her own campaign).
That leaves the hyperventilated legions Kos kids and MoveOn.org types who scrimp and save to send $50-100 to Camelot (v2.0). Big donors choose winners and losers during primary season and get petted at Hollywood parties, but it’s the vast number of small donors who make national elections happen. Or not.
During the service, as (Petty Officer Michael) Monsoor’s coffin was taken from the hearse to the gravesite, Navy SEALs lined up in two columns. As the coffin passed, video shows each SEAL slapping down the gold Trident from his uniform and deeply embedding it in Monsoor’s wooden coffin.
The slaps were reportedly heard across the cemetery.
The symbolic display moved many, included Bush, who during his speech in April’s Medal of Honor ceremony spoke about the incident.
“The procession went on nearly half an hour,” Bush said. “And when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten.”
(Author Steven) Johnson notes that historians interested in genetics believe that the roughly simultaneous emergence of urban living and the manufacturing of alcohol set the stage for a survival-of-the-fittest sorting-out among the people who abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and, literally and figuratively speaking, went to town.
GOODBYE air pollution and smoky chimneys, hello brighter days. That’s been the trend in Europe for the past three decades – but unfortunately cleaning up the skies has allowed more of the sun’s rays to pierce the atmosphere, contributing to at least half the warming that has occurred.
Cleaner air or a hotter earth: You pays your money and you takes your pick.
Teenage kids push away from Grand Theft Auto games and create a Wiffle ball diamond on what had been, well: Poison ivy.**
After three weeks of clearing brush and poison ivy, scrounging up plywood and green paint, digging holes and pouring concrete, Vincent, Justin and about a dozen friends did manage to build it — a tree-shaded Wiffle ball version of Fenway Park complete with a 12-foot-tall green monster in center field, American flag by the left-field foul pole and colorful signs for Taco Bell Frutista Freezes.
Greenwich neighbors react in dismay, no doubt believing that anything not compulsory ought to be forbidden. Lawyers are summoned.
Did Google use its network of online services to silence critics of Barack Obama? That was the question buzzing on a corner of the blogosphere over the last few days, after several anti-Obama bloggers were unable to update their sites, which are hosted on Google’s Blogger service.
The bloggers in question, most of them supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and all of them opposed to Senator Obama, received a notice from Google last week saying that their sites had been identified as potential “spam” blogs. “You will not be able to publish posts to your blog until we review your site and confirm that it is not a spam blog,” the Google e-mail read.
I believe I am well within the fairway – in the purely naval sense – to remark that military enthusiasts of General Wesley Clark are notable by their scarcity. Nevertheless, no doubt banking on the fact that the public understands less of how the good general found his way to the top – nor, significantly, how he found himself nudged off stage – he appears to be using his military service as platform from whence to denigrate John McCain’s military service. Playing beard, if you will, for the Obama campaign.
Conscientious readers will remember that your correspondent has a mild case of the hankerin’s for an Aviat Husky all tricked out with mudders, the better for to land on creek beds out back. They may not realize, however, that he’s also entranced with another GA design built for entirely different applications, the Cirrus SR-22.
Thanksgiving is, I think, my favorite holiday. It is just enough time off work to seem sufficient without seeming excessive – there’s only so much can pile up over two days. There is always a log on the fire and usually football on TV. I also have what are only memories now, living on this coast, of the brittle snap of fall in the air, the whisper of winter to come, the smell of the harvest, the sound of the frosted long grass crunching under my boots with the weight of a side-by-side on my shoulder and a dog ranging out ahead, questing with her nose, looking for the birds.