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Friday, August 03, 2007
 
Romney's Hezbollah Moment

Say what?

Romney: ...”Did you notice in Lebanon, what Hezbollah did? Lebanon became a democracy some time ago and while their government was getting underway, Hezbollah went into southern Lebanon and provided health clinics to some of the people there, and schools. And they built their support there by having done so. That kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become stronger around the world and help people understand that our interest is an interest towards modernity and goodness and freedom for all people in the world. And so, I want to see America carry out that kind of health diplomacy...”


Sounds quite a bit like Patty Murray's dipstick comments about Osama and his support for daycare centers.

Romney responds by saying that he's consistently denounced Hezbollah, but note that he does not deny make the statement above.

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Baghdad Diarist Story Getting Weirder

TNR has tried to relocate the "melted woman" story to a camp in Kuwait. According to the Weekly Standard:

We now know that, at the very least, the New Republic's Scott Beauchamp lied about the timing and location of the ridiculing of a disfigured woman in a U.S. mess hall--the incident, if it happened, took place in Kuwait, Beauchamp now says, before he had the opportunity to experience the "morally distorting" effects of war.

But like OJ's glove, this doesn't fit the theme, which is that Beauchamp was made callous by his experiences in Iraq.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007
 
Fantastic Female Singers Part I

Debra Holland fronted for one heck of a band called Animal Logic. The bass guitarist was Stanley Clarke, considered by many to be the finest ever to pick up a four-string. The drummer was Andy Summers, formerly of the Police. They put out a couple of terrific albums that got some modest airplay. Here's the first song off their debut album:



As you can hear, Debra's a fine singer when warming up, but when she starts belting it out she moves up into the stratosphere.
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Blogger Conference Call With Senator John McCain

The conference call started with two comments by the senator. First, the Ethics/Earmarking bill came to a vote. He is not happy with the bill because the Senate Majority leader can determine whether a provision.

Murdock purchase of WSJ? Senator McCain disagrees with the media consolidation issue, points out that media is diversifying with the advent of new media like the blogs.

He railed against the refusal of Senator Leahy to allow Judge Southwick's nomination to come to the floor. He stated that while he supports the use of ethanol, he remains adamantly opposed to ethanol subsidies (and pointed out that they are hardly necessary with gas prices where they are).

He noted that the immigration issue is where he took a big hit politically, and acknowledged that securing the border is the first step, but insisted as well that other aspects of immigration reform must be accomplished as well.

I got to ask a question about the earmarks/ethics reform bill, which the senator denounced as a sham and voted against. He agreed that banning earmarks is effectively impossible given Congress' power of the purse, but he's pushing for greater transparency and to get them out of conference reports.

He also had a somewhat surprising response to Barack Obama's assertion that we attack Pakistan if we have actionable intelligence on the location of Al Qaeda members. He pointed out that we have ways of doing things stealthily. Obama also apparently ruled out the use of nuclear weapons. McCain said that nukes are a weapon of last resort, but he would never rule out their use since it amounts to unilateral disarmament.

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Impeachment Watch Update

I've kind of been covering the kooky impeachment crowd on an ad-hoc basis, but I'm going to cover it more extensively in the next couple of weeks here.

As many of you are aware, Cindy Sheehan has been pushing impeachment for the last several month. In fact, its the whole basis for her run for Congress against Nancy Pelosi. But somebody should tell her that even if she wins, she'll be too late; Bush will leave office just as she's entering it.

Cindy has also recently aligned herself with the 9-11 "Truth" Movement.

Scott Ritter (yes, that Scott Ritter) wrote an article recently decrying the "Impeach Now" crowd and using a very good analogy.

The “impeach now” crowd reminds me of a football coach, late in a season which has produced only loss after loss, imploring his team to throw a “Hail Mary” pass over and over again, all the while suffering sack after sack of its quarterback as the offensive line fails to effectively block and the receivers fail to get open. The season is lost, and instead of pursuing futile and ineffective tactics designed to produce a meaningless score, the coach would be better off seeking to return to the basics so that his team might perform better next season. Only when the basics of blocking, tackling, running and ball handling are mastered can one expect to mount a campaign designed to produce a winning season.


Of course, aligning yourself with the "Truthers" is the ultimate Hail Mary pass. "We can't get the Democrats to impeach on anything else, so let's try using this crackpot theory that the Bush administration pulled off 9-11. It won't work, but we've got nothing to lose by trying!"
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
 
Public Trusts McCain By Large Margins Over Romney And Thompson On Iraq, Terrorism

Sooner or later you think that has to matter to Republican primary voters.

Fifty five percent of Americans trust McCain to handle the war on Iraq, the highest of any of the major candidates. Only 37% trust Mitt Romney and 39% trust Fred Thompson, numbers that are substantially below even Obama and Hillary. On terrorism, 66% trust McCain to handle it, while 38% trust Romney and 42% trust Thompson.

McCain's relatively strong position on terrorism (and Iraq) suggests that despite news reports that his campaign is struggling, he still maintains a positive position in the minds of many Americans on core national security issues.

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Monday, July 30, 2007
 
Hope In Iraq?

That's what this article indicates:

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.


Of course, reality is one thing and perception is another. I suspect that after being bombarded with media coverage indicating we're losing the war, the American public will be slow to come around to the notion that's not inevitable.

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