It didn't take five minutes for Robert Gates to begin undermining his soon to be President.
at his first news conference since Mr. Obama said he would keep Mr. Gates on at the Pentagon, the defense secretary did not explicitly endorse Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months.
Instead, Mr. Gates said he supported the broad outlines of Mr. Obama’s Iraq strategy and gave indications that he and the president-elect could reach common ground on troop withdrawals over the next year. At the least, Mr. Gates suggested that he and Mr. Obama were in closer alignment on Iraq policy than the heated language of the presidential campaign suggested.
Reacting to Mr. Obama’s comments on Monday that signaled flexibility in the president-elect’s troop withdrawal plans — Mr. Obama said he still wanted combat troops out within 16 months but would listen to the recommendations of his commanders — Mr. Gates said, "I think that’s an agreeable approach."
The Palin choice is a diversion, in the short term from the Obama speech and long-term from McCain himself. I suspect this is a trap laid by Rove and disciples to get us talking about Palin instead of amplifying the obviously successful attacks on McCain launched during the DNC.
I remember a similar glee in Democrats when Quayle was tapped for the position. They focused a lot of fire on Quayle instead of Bush. It was a distraction and a waste of resources. Most importantly it didn't work!
Here's a chance to put your money where your mouth is and to hear from a leading Democratic Strategist. And to help out a fellow kossack in the bargain. Donna Brazile, Democratic Strategist & Author will be holding a lunch time discussion next Tuesday, July 15th at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco to benefit the Obama Victory Fund. You big money types can join a small VIP reception for Donna preceding the luncheon. Details below the fold..
Not that its any revelation but Bush's defenseof his AG nominee at the Heritage Foundation was rather extraordinary.
"It's wrong for congressional leaders to make Judge Mukasey's confirmation dependent on his willingness to go on the record about details of a classified program he has not been briefed on,"
Now you can correct me if I'm wrong but no one asked Mukasey about a classified program. they simply asked if waterboarding is torture. But Bush is confirming that to discuss waterboarding is to discuss the "details of a classified program."
Though I'm an avid lurker, it's been awhile since I cranked out a diary (Feb. 2005 to be exact). Back then I had grown tired of arguing with proponents of the pottery barn theory especially during the last presidential election. Those who insisted that it was our responsibility to stay and fix Iraq lest a cataclysm follow our departure.
Well of course we've stayed and things have gotten worse. Though many of those I tangled with here long ago abandoned this line of reasoning, two articles in this morning's SF Chronicle highlighted how this colonialist mentality reigns within the Democratic party.
Carolyn Lochhead's Even if Democrats win White House, troops likely to remain in Iraq is worth the read. It goes beyond simply regurgitating the Democrats litany of excuses for why the can't end the war and includes some more honest explanations for why democrats aren't trying very hard to stop this madness. Even more refreshing is the the inclusion of expert opinion on the absurdity of the democratic leadership's position (most recently hinted at by Sen. Clinton on the Sunday talk shows.
NCLB is based on holding schools, teachers and students accountable through the use of high stakes standardized tests. Bush is currently trying to extend this approach to high schools.
Meanwhile in New York, a group of exemplary public schools, several of which are among the original schools in the "small schools" movement, are in the middle of a fight to retain their powerful alternative assessment program, one that measures things you would really want students to know. They need your help, today! Please join their email campaign below.
As I look at the volume of TANG diaries and the truly brilliant and intensive work done on typewriters, I can only wonder if the energy wouldn't be better spent on a more relevant and important scandal. A scan of today's diaries reveals nothing about the latest Abu Ghraib revelations.
CIA May Have Held 100 'Ghost' Prisoners
ABC and NBC are doing series this week, complete with catchy logos, that directly challenge Bush's "we're safer" theme. World News tonight is running "Still at Risk" (the text is in the crosshairs in the logo)and Nightly News went with "12 Ways to Make america safer". Both had reports tonight on port safety pointing out for less than half a billion dollars port safety could be significanlty improved. The series on NBC will continue on other News shows. Next on the Today Show - Protecting nuclear power plants.
Bush is vulernable on the issue that is supposed to be his strength, leadership in protecting the Nation. So ask yourself WWRD (What would Rove Do)?
If you haven't already seen it, check out the current episode of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. Good interviews with Howard Dean and Pat Buchanan and an entertaining panel. But the real beauty is the last five minutes.
Maher shows the way to take on Bush's use of 9/11. Noting that FDR didn't run on Pearl Harbor, Maher finds it unseemly that Bush is portraying a great national tragedy as "the best thing that ever happened to him."
Best line: "9/11 was not a triumph of the human spirit. It was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation."
Bush's handling of the latest terror alert would be funny if the stakes weren't so high. We are now being told that there is more information, that isn't three of four years old. This info which spurred Ridge to make Sunday's announcement, indicates an attack on NYC is planned for August or September.
One has to wonder why this hair-raising new info wasn't included in the briefings provided to law enforcement or intelligence personnel on Sunday and Monday? Or why yesterday the Administration was conceding reports that the terror alert was based on dated information?
The explanation offered is pretty bizarre in its own right. Namely that they didn't want to reveal it on monday because it could harm law enforcement and intelligence operations. Of course if that was true monday why isn't it still true today?
I have included the source quotes for this diary below.
A number of diaries have commented on the story of Iran-Al Qaeda connection. The reports are appearing everywhyere and they go something like this
Iran allowed eight Sept. 11 hijackers to cross its borders in the year before the terrorist attacks, but there is no proof that it took part in the plot, the acting director of the CIA said Sunday.
''We have ample evidence of people being able to move back and forth'' across Iran, John McLaughlin said. But, he said, ''we have no evidence that there is some sort of official connection between Iran and 9/11.''
Now my question about all this is why has this portion of the 9/11 commission report been leaked and why is the SCLM falling for it again?
Rummy and "the Dick" just can't help themselves. Yesterday Rummy said the Poles had found WMD and Dick had a new AQ-Saddam connection. It took AFP 24 hours to debunk Rummy's claim and WaPo only waited for a new paragraph to debunk Dick.
Money quotes and links in the extended copy box.