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“Obama had to do this 18-month surge just to demonstrate, in effect, that it couldn’t be done . . . the president had treated the military as another political constituency that had to be accommodated.”– LTG Douglas Lute, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan as quoted in the Washington Post .The past three days the Washington Post has been serializing the new Bob Woodward book, “Obama’s Wars,” on the front page of that paper. Though I have been stunned by what I’ve read I haven’t been surprised. That a feckless and un-serious man when elected president would pursue a war in a feckless and un-serious way should surprise no one. What has left me stunned is the fact that Obama never seriously considered whether winning the war in Afghanistan (or sealing the victory in Iraq) was in the national interests of the United States. His lodestar was rather an arbitrary and precipitous withdrawal date in July 2011.Here you have it in black and white. The surge of troops into Afghanistan was below the number recommended by his military advisers. Obama did not support the surge, he was fixated on an early withdrawal, but he lacked the courage to make that decision. How a president can continue to waste the lives of young Americans in a war he neither believes in or cares about is beyond my comprehension.Please click here for the rest of the post.
If sophistication is the ability to understand different kinds of people and grapple with different ideas, Matt Taibbi’s latest Tea Party bashing piece in Rolling Stone can best be read as an expose of the provincial unsophistication of Taibbi, his editors, and any readers who take his article seriously. Taibbi’s piece is a slovenly mess of leftist tropes, with his usual lazy approach to basic facts. This is a shame. The story of the Tea Party era, in the hands of a more competent writer, is incredibly interesting, breaking all sorts of rules of politics, changing our understanding of base and establishment relationships, and marking a possible turning point in the history of American political movements — but Taibbi is so committed to his predetermined plot, he blatantly ignores –- or in some cases abuses –- the truth along the way.Please click here for the rest of the post.
If you take one message from everything I write today on technology issues, take this one: House Republicans need to get on board and support Henry Waxman’s Net Neutrality bill. The bill urgently addresses the critical issue of the moment, and its passage would avert disastrous regulation of the Internet going forward.As things stand on Net Neutrality, Barack Obama and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski are holding all of the cards. We can debate all we want about the legality or necessity of the FCC’s plans to unilaterally regulate the Internet and we can go to court later all we want but without new legislation we can’t stop them from trying it and doing the damage anyway.The Waxman bill is that legislation, and I want every Republican to support this bill to stop the Obama administration from yet another end run around Constitutional process.Please click here for the rest of the post.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an internal poll in Georgia’s 8th Congressional District showing Jim Marshall ahead by twelve points. It is exceedingly rare in this election cycle for the DCCC to release an internal poll.Doing so shows a level of panic about this race and a desire to change expectations. The poll is also disconnected from reality.Look at Jim Marshall’s last two mid-term elections. He beat Caulder Clay by roughly 1% in 2002. He beat Mac Collins by roughly 1% in 2006. In 2008, the high water mark for Democratic turnout with Barack Obama at the top of the ballot, Jim Marshall only beat Rick Goddard by about 14% of the vote.For a poll to show Jim Marshall ahead of Austin Scott by 12% in an anti-incumbent, anti-Washington, anti-Democrat year in a congressional district that already leans Republican is sheer fabrication. It also does not correspond to any of the non-partisan polls, what few there are, and a variety of other unreleased internal polls out there.If that’s not enough, the Democrats are now trying to push out information about Austin Scott, Marshall’s opponent, contained in sealed divorce records — sealed jointly by Austin Scott and his former wife when Scott first ran for the state legislature. The Democrats are going scorched earth.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Idaho’s Rep. Walt Minnick, who voted against Obamacare but refuses to back its repeal, has come up with yet another excuse to confuse his constituents.A caller to his office was told yesterday that Minnick has a policy of not signing “discharge petitions.”That is fascinating news, because it was only last year, on September 23, 2009, that Minnick signed just such a discharge petition in support of a requirement that all bills receive at least 72 hours of public availability before they can be voted on.Please click here for the rest of the post.
This is a random way to start your morning, but it is also something I bet you did not know.On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the guns fell silent across Europe with the cease fire concluding the hostilities of World War I.But Germany has continued pay for First World War under its obligations of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.This coming Sunday, Germany will make it last payment under the terms of the war reparations thus fully and finally closing the books on the War to End All Wars.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Christina Bellantoni, who I’ve been told is the most fair person working at TPM, has a real stretch of an attack on Christine O’Donnell today which uses the candidate’s LinkedIn page to suggest she lied about where she attended school.Yet there’s a real flaw with this argument. Depending on when O’Donnell created her LinkedIn profile, at one point you could only enter educational programs that were in the LinkedIn system. And even today, you have to hard-code in the text for places like Claremont, which are not recognized Institutions or Companies, but exist only as search terms in their system.Please click here for the rest of the post.