There was shaking, barking, whining, yelping and streaking. It was almost like being an undergrad again, but with less booze:
Consider this your open thread for the evening.
John Cole started Balloon Juice early in 2002. Those who have followed along know that this has been quite the journey.
So Manu Raju has a multiple page piece in the Politico explaining that Republican Senators are mad, very mad, that the Franken amendment a few months ago to stop contractors from contractually mandating employees from going through arbitration when they are raped or sexually assaulted. There is all sorts of inside-the-beltway good ol’ boy stuff like this:
The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn’t doing much to stop them.
“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape —and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.
“I think it’s going to make a lot of senators leery and start looking at things he’s doing earlier on, because I don’t think it got appropriate attention ahead of time.”
In a chamber where relationship-building is seen as critical, some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle. Soon after Tennessee GOP Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander co-wrote an op-ed in a local newspaper defending their votes against the Franken measure, the Minnesota Democrat confronted each senator separately to dispute their column — and grew particularly angry in a tense exchange with Corker.
People familiar with the Corker exchange say it was heated and ended abruptly — a sharp departure from the norm on the usually clubby Senate floor.
And it goes on and on in that vein.
You know what is missing from the long story? Not one of the thirty Republicans who voted against the bill would go on record stating why they opposed it.
Alright, I’ve thought about Afghanistan for the day, and here is where I am right now. I understand the country is a mess, and I understand that many believe the real problem is what is going on in Pakistan. I understand that Obama has always thought this is the good war, and to the extent that Al Qaeda is who hit us, I still agree with that sentiment.
But here is where I am now- in my gut, I just don’t think there is much of anything we can do. We could send 150k more troops there for ten years, and all it would do is bleed us and run our military further into the ground and cost billions and billions more (and this doesn’t go in to the money we need to spend on our injured and dead and the annual budget). As soon as we leave, the same folks will come back and re-assert their authority. Just like they have for centuries.
Now I know this is not drinking the American exceptionalism kool-aid, and thus makes me a traitor, but at this point I believe that Obama and his commanders honestly believe they might turn it around, but in reality, it just strikes me that what we are doing is very much like the surge in Iraq. We’re going to calm things down, declare victory, pretend we have won, and leave.
Although we aren’t really leaving that quickly from Iraq, now, are we? I’ll support the troops and the President, and I’ll keep paying my taxes, but I have no faith in what is about to happen and am prepared for a lot of American and Afghan dead to no good end.
Politically, I expect the neocon right to continue to offer back-handed compliments while the rest of the right slowly starts to undermine the mission by suggesting withdrawal might be the best option, while the liberal hawks cheer and the political left fights Obama every step of the way (for good reason). Then, as 2011 approaches, and nothing has changed but the cost and the body count, and the commanders on the ground have been given their chance but the facts didn’t change, Obama will begin to withdraw. At that point, expect every Republican to call him a quitter and an appeaser (the ones siding with withdrawal will switch in a NY minute), the left will tell him “I told you so all along,” the country will be sick of war and disillusioned, and we’ll just have nothing to show for it but more dead and wounded, a continued expense, and a dead domestic agenda.
And that is where I am today. Maybe I am completely wrong and talking out my hindquarters as I am prone to do, but I am just not very hopeful right now.
Thanks to all of you who hit the paypal link last week, we raised close to 2k for the website. The best part of it, though, was that commenter EnderWiggin (it is ok, no one could have known what a wanker Orson Scott Card would turn out to be) got in touch with me and he works with a company (Revolutionary Systems) that handles this sort of IT thing. Although they would normally charge close to 5k a year for this kind of thing, he has agreed to take us on for $500.00 a quarter. That means we have a dedicated technologist for the next year, and I am really kind of excited about it. This will start on 1 January and run throughout next year, so everyone thank EnderWiggin for taking on the responsibility, and thank you for donating. The best part is not having to grovel for cash until next year.
Additionally, I will have some server news in a couple of weeks (maybe a month or two) that is pretty interesting.
So thanks again for donating, and again, aside from the paypal link, the best way to support the site is to click ads that interest you or use the amazon link to do your purchases. You can always find it to the right there, but here is an additional link:
First thing on the list is to add an edit function for every browser.
Via Jason Linkins:
“Sarah Palin is a great friend to the bowling industry and we’re so proud and honored to welcome her as our keynote speaker at International Bowl Expo 2010,” said Steven Johnson, executive director of the BPAA.
Yesterday morning, former Bush adviser Karl Rove went on NBC’s Today Show and said that if President Obama decides to send 30,000-35,000 troops to Afghanistan, he would be “among the first to stand up and applaud.”
Immediately after President Obama’s prime-time address last night — in which he announced that he would be deploying 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan — Rove went on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor and responded. However, he definitely didn’t “stand up and applaud.” Instead, he and O’Reilly bashed the President for underperforming (although he acknowledged that the “core” of Obama’s message was acceptable).
Honestly, who cares what Karl Rove thinks? Other than Bill Kristol and Dick Cheney, is there a more discredited person on the planet (and yes, I remember the Harriet Meiers/Hugh Hewitt days)? They are lying hacks who care only about immediate political gain- nothing else.
We seriously have to move on from these people. Fox news is not a news channel, and while our beltway elites keep shoving them in our faces with their usual nonsense, the only sensible response is- “who cares?” I’m as guilty as everyone else, but we have to start ignoring these people. Stop linking to ABC, CBS, NBC websites when they talk about them. Stop watching Meet the Press when McCain is on. Stop linking every blatant attempt by the Politico gossip columnists to stir shit up.
I’m going to do my best to follow my own advice, and we’ll see how spectacularly I fail on that account. But again, who cares what Karl Rove thinks? Would it matter to any of you if he endorsed Obama’s course of action in Afghanistan? Not me.
It must have been super hard for David Gregory to secure President McCain for this week’s Meet the Press. What, with McCain running the country and all that, on top of his big list of legislative initiatives.
I, for one, have no idea what he might say. I wonder if he agrees with the guy who kicked his ass in the last election? No way he is bitter and that might cloud his judgment- the man ran the Straight Talk Express! What a score for journalism, Mr. Gregory!
For the record, I was joking yesterday when I said Gregory would have McCain on.