From The Thomas Ricks Blog on Foreign Policy: why the GOP is wrong strategically... but right militarily.
Here is the problem I have with the Republican approach. Yes, they are right that it is not good to have a war policy the military doesn't like. And I think there is a good argument to be made against the Obama deadline.
That said, just because the military is strongly against an approach doesn't mean the approach is wrong.
Basically, because you, Barack Obama, are a Democrat (and by "Democrat" I mean "woman," which of course means you have no right commanding the United States Armed Forces, what with your vagina and all) you must do whatever the military demands.
Hey, isn't that the definition of a coup d'etat?
It seems like -- throughout the course of my lifetime -- the standard narrative has been that Democrats are weak and silly and only Republicans can keep us safe. Well, that is bullying of Democrats, and it is extorting of the American people.
And given the stakes of war -- the stakes abroad, in lives, and at home, politically; though I concede the former is much more significant than the latter, the two are inextricably interwoven -- when and if the GOP ever comes out of their spell of national insanity, this ought to be the first place they begin to sound reasonable again.
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Maybe Ralph Nader still has some lessons to teach us, this time about bullies -- or at least how not to be one.
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Patrick Gavin writes about journalist junkets in Politico.
I am no longer the drinking man I used to be. I enjoy a beer every now and then. I think Duncan and I have had the same six or eight beers on the floor of the pantry for nearly a year, now (they take up too much space in the fridge, so we only put one in when we want one). We drink wine, but that is a rarity, too.
I admit to having enjoyed martinis with colleagues in the past -- very much a social drink -- but my real drink of choice has always been scotch. Still is. Reading about Ana Marie Cox's trip to Scotland to write about scotch stirred a little bit of a craving...
The flip side is, my weight is trending downward, and I'm probably as healthy as I've been since high school. Drinking -- at least regularly -- has the direct opposite effect on that trend. I'll stick with displine, abdominal work, and the treadmill at the gym.
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The Florida Pipe Trades -- a union 12,000 strong -- has endorsed Charlie Crist.
"This is a bit unusual,'' said the union's international representative, John Lindstrom. "We stepped out on this one because we thought it was that important...We have probably 30-35 percent unemployment in our ranks, and we think Gov. Crist has a better handle on it and can feel our pain more than anyone else.''
A "bit unusual," indeed. Congressman Meek, I don't know if you're getting the message here or not. But while you're fending off recession pimp Jeff Greene, Charlie Crist is, well, winning.
Lindstrom is laying it out for you: welders and plumbers across the state have something like 35 percent unemployment, and they "think Gov. Crist has a better handle on it and can feel our pain more than anyone else."
"Has a better handle on it."
Can -- this one hurts -- "feel our pain". Good Lord Almighty, Congressman, they're quoting Bill Clinton in support of Charlie Crist. Bill Clinton endorsed you! Has the world gone mad?
I don't know what to tell you and your campaign team, Congressman Meek. You've got to get out there and show that you have "a better handle on it," and that you feel their pain "more than anyone else." It's a question everyone will answer for you, so I won't be presumptuous and disrespect you like that here. I'll just ask the question: can you do that?
Can you and your campaign prove to Floridians that there is no other candidate in the race who understands the pain and suffering of those Floridians better than you?
You're running out of time, Congressman.
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Some may say I'm bullying Congressman Meek above. I don't think so.
Mustang Bobby gives us a good reminder of what bullying really is.
Hey poor people! You suck! I'm rich and I'm on a fancy TV show and you make me uncomfortable, so why don't you just go to prison!
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Speaking of gender-based bullying and the U.S. Senate race Congressman Meek is losing, here's a head-scratcher: the Florida GOP's "men only" meetings in the Bahamas.
I don't even know where to go with that.
I'm asking this as a legitimate, non-snark-based question: what would have been the advantage of a men-only meeting in the Bahamas in which they "thank big donors to Crist’s Amendment 1 property tax campaign"? Weren't there women who donated and supported that campaign? I am assuming it is so that the men could go to strip clubs and basically act like asses without their wives, girlfriends, or female co-workers around. But who knows.
Maybe I'm just that clueless when it comes to GOP politics.
And these are the people who are openly stealing support from Kendrick Meek.
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I have been a father for five months on Saturday. I love it.
Emeline is doing great. She's growing -- up to 16 (or so) pounds. She is smart, curious, funny, and when she wants to be, very chatty.
It's amazing to see her begin to develop her personality. She can be bright and charming and outgoing, and she can be coy, shy, introspective.
I know. It seems crazy to say that a five month old baby is introspective, or coy, or charming. But she really is.
People ask me what the biggest surprise with her is. It's her love of people. She loves people. This I would have never predicted.
When we went to see my sister in Missouri, she enjoyed sitting on my lap on the plane, watching all the people stand up, grab their bags and de-plane. We took her to a Ray's game the other day. She loved it. She sat in my lap and looked at the kind older gentleman next to me, and just smiled and smiled. And she smiled at his sons and grandkids he'd brought to the game. She smiled at the Trop, about 2/3 full. She loved the jumbo-tron. Yeah, she got tired and slept through a few innings, but she was back up and happy as could be from about the seventh inning stretch on to the very end.
Anyway, fatherhood is great. I speed home from work every day, and I get to hang out with her, and we get to do story time together every night.
I could ask for more out of life, I suppose, but I honestly don't know what it would be.
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And so I consider myself very, very lucky. Lucky inasmuch as I am able to write about politics without having to be (too much) a practitioner of it, write about campaigns without campaigning (too much), write about writing, write about being a father to my beautiful daughter, and write about war without having to go to war myself. I fully recognize my place in the world, and it evokes a deep respect for those of us who are actually in the game, so to speak.
In the end, I hope I am always able to post pictures of my daughter like the one above, and not ones like this, to the left. A daughter who will really only ever know her father as a folded up American flag.
There are many more remarkable pictures of this awful war in Afghanistan from The Big Picture. It'll put some things in perspective for you, I promise.
With thanks to Ghost in the Machine for steering me that way.