November 30, 2005
So Tell Me
What type of blogger am I?
You guys probably don't need me to interpret this, but suffice to say the much-mentioned troubles McCain faces in the primary aren't made up:
Then respondents were read the following question: "Some people say that McCain would be a good candidate for president because he has demonstrated a great deal of personal integrity… he has a strong military background and he has independent political views; while other people say McCain would not be a good candidate for president because at age 72 (his age in the fall of 2008) he is too old to run for president, he is too stubborn in his issue positions and he does not always represent Republican views on the issues." (In both the McCain and Clinton statements, the orders of the pro and con statements were rotated and sequence of each statement randomized.) "Which of those two statements comes closer to your point of view on John McCain running for president in 2008?"
Among all adults, 48 percent were pro-McCain and 35 were anti-McCain. Among registered voters, 49 percent were pro-McCain and 34 percent were anti-McCain. But among Republicans, just 41 percent agreed more with the pro-McCain statements, while 45 percent favored the anti-McCain arguments. Among Democrats, it was 47 percent pro-McCain, 32 percent anti-McCain. Among independents, a whopping 55 percent agreed with the pro-McCain option and 29 percent agreed with the anti-McCain option.
Interesting stuff. McCain does marginally better among Republicans likely to vote in the primaries, but the numbers remain tepid. With so many other Republicans to choose from, that'll prove a problem.
Matt, in his post on the NSC Iraq strategy, puts his finger on exactly what's been bugging me about the document. It's not a strategy, it's a goalset. Things like:
• Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing
enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven.
• Hold areas freed from enemy control by ensuring that they remain under the control
of a peaceful Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence.
• Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services,
advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.
Aren't touted as objectives but steps. The only question is, considering we've shown no facility at doing any of those things, what's to say we do them now. Was all we were missing really a document counseling us to defeat the evildoers?
Update: Man, what a brilliant response! All those Democrats who'd been calling for some sort of realistic strategy really wanted a bullet-pointed picture of perfection. Yes, this is what we've been missing. I am chastened.
Singer's right on this. In a debate on Roe, you'd think Legal Affairs could've rustled up at least one female participant.
That'd Get Us In Deepak
Man, Deepak Chopra's got some poor policy ideas (I know! Shocking!). On his list of problems facing us, he includes:
· Radical Islam opposes modernism.
· Religious fundamentalism is growing in almost every society.
· Let Islam develop on its own, without our interference.
· Let Islamic countries take the lead in fighting terrorism, aided by the entire international community.
Yeah, that should fix things. Correct vicious fundamentalism by determined noninterference and then hand over terrorism-fighting duties to nations and governments that often sympathize with the terrorists. Brilliant.
Says Sy Hersh:
Suffice to say this, that this president in private, at Camp David with his friends, the people that I'm sure call him George, is very serene about the war. He's upbeat. He thinks that he's going to be judged, maybe not in five years or ten years, maybe in 20 years. He's committed to the course. He believes in democracy.
He's a utopian, you could say, in a world where maybe he doesn't have all the facts and all the information he needs and isn't able to change.
I'll tell you, the people that talk to me now are essentially frightened because they're not sure how you get to this guy.
We have generals that do not like -- anymore -- they're worried about speaking truth to power. You know that. I mean that's -- Murtha in fact, John Murtha, the congressman from Pennsylvania, which most people don't know, has tremendous contacts with the senior generals of the armies. He's a ranking old war horse in Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The generals know him and like him. His message to the White House was much more worrisome than maybe to the average person in the public. They know that generals are privately telling him things that they're not saying to them.
And if you're a general and you have a disagreement with this war, you cannot get that message into the White House. And that gets people unnerved.
You know, Wolf, there is people I've been talking to -- I've been a critic of the war very early in the New Yorker, and there were people talking to me in the last few months that have talked to me for four years that are suddenly saying something much more alarming.
They're beginning to talk about some of the things the president said to him about his feelings about manifest destiny, about a higher calling that he was talking about three, four years ago.
Daniel Pipes writes:
Awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Muhammad Ali gratuitously celebrated a man profoundly opposed to Bush’s own, his party’s, and the country’s principles. It represents, I submit, the nadir of his presidency.
Man, wait till he hears about the rest of it!
By the way, you may want to follow the link and scroll down to see pictures of Ali mocking Bush during the ceremony. The President mimed fisticuffs and The Champ called him a nutcase. Twice.
With Friends Like These...
Man, this is just insane:
It seems to the Moose that there should be a brief interval (3 weeks) when our leaders suspend their talk of withdrawal or "withdrawal lite- redeployment" and vocally indicate their support for Iraqi democracy. Progressives certainly should embrace this heroic act of choice and self-determination.
They sure should. Now what does this have to do with withdrawal? If a single Democrat supported Wittman's inane suggestion, we'd lose the entire argument. Withdrawal advocates believe that Iraqis, who overwhelmingly want us to leave, can build a better democracy and a stronger country without our presence. As the argument goes, by exiting, the sections of the insurgency that our Jihadist in nature will calm, leaving only separatists who'll be attacking their countrymen without the excuse of a foreign enemy. For Wittman to tar withdrawal advocates as somehow anti-democracy -- particularly when every poll and every survey shows 80% of Iraqis would vote for us to leave -- is truly reprehensible.
The next front in the war of RU-486 is going to be its deadly side effects, its role as not only a baby killer, but a patient killer. And this guy's going to be the spokesman:
The father of a Livermore woman who died in 2003 after taking the RU-486 abortion pill is going international with his concerns over the drug's safety.
You can't argue with his loss, but let's put this in perspective. Including his daughter, there are four deaths that can potentially be linked to RU-486. But: :
(1996): "Each year, use of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) accounts for an estimated 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations in the United States." (NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, ketoprofen, and tiaprofenic acid.)
Medicine kills people. Medical treatment kills people. Being in hospitals kills people. Medical errors kill people. Improper treatment protocols kill people. Now, doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals cure more than they kill, and we as a society have decided easing our headaches and muscle pains is worth 7,600 deaths a year, but pretending that medicine is safe and RU-486 is dangerous is just crap. Particularly considering the sum of the evidence:
Jennifer Blum of the international organization Gynuity, which promotes access to RU-486 and other forms of abortion considered safe, said RU-486 has been approved in about 35 countries, starting with France and China in 1988 and now including England, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Spain, Israel and Russia. It was approved in the United States in 2000.
"There is no record, outside of these four deaths in California and the one in Canada, of Clostridium sordellii deaths anywhere in the world," Blum said. "The Europeans have had a good, extensive tracking service since the very first use of the drug in 1988."
Oppose RU-486 if you want, but it's not a dangerous drug. Not, at least, compared to aspirin.
November 29, 2005
Could Sure Whip Me, Though
I can't be the only one who looks at this guy and thinks "Damn, Steve Carell really bulked up."