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June 23, 2011

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Rob Crawford

So Obama orders retreat from the legally authorized war and continues with the illegal, unauthorized one.

It's like he's building three defeats in two theaters!

narciso

Meanwhile even Haaretz's Melman is admitting
the Iranians are back on the track for the bomb.

Charlie (Colorado)

Petraeus isn't a political general like Colin Powell was -- he didn't make his greatest victories inside the Five-Walled Madhouse -- but nobody gets four stars without understanding politics and how to use them.

Charlie (Colorado)

It's like he's building three defeats in two theaters!

Practice makes perfect.

Cecil Turner

So why did we "surge" in the first place? We really ought to get Wes Clark in at SecDef . . . because it takes an incoherent man to run an incoherent policy.

And this is priceless:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is questioning the priorities of lawmakers criticizing the U.S. intervention in Libya.

She's asking bluntly, "Whose side are you on?"

She didn't mean to question anybody's patriotism, though.

concerned as poster boy

Minus 15 at Raz today.

Captain Hate

Per Laura Ingraham: Il Douche couldn't mention Petraeus but he could mention himself 12 times in a 13 minute speech.

concerned as poster boy

Unexpected:

WASHINGTON - New claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, suggesting little improvement in the labor market this month after employment stumbled in May. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000, the Labor Department said.
anduril

i laughed while watching the two videos at the bottom of the page. it seemed better than crying. it's not as if i could help impeach the presidents or replace the congresses who presided over this: JON STEWART: Goldman Sachs, The Greek Crisis Is Your Fault.

Ignatz

--In 2009, to convince the American people that the war in Afghanistan needed more troops, Obama could not tell the whole truth, the full truth, and nothing but: Pakistan, not Afghanistan, was the root of all the troubles; the generator of new momentum for al-Qaida, a safe haven for al-Qaida, and, indeed, the main battlefront. Afghanistan was not Obama’s “right war.” It was one he inherited; one where not only was there no hope of a Jeffersonian democracy in Afghanistan but one that was actively destabilizing its neighboring country, a country with whom NATO is fighting a covert war under the guise of uneasy cooperation.--

Does the author realize this paragraph is nonsensical?
At least in Viet Nam nonsense was short and pungent, ala, 'we had to destroy the village in order to save it'.
Now it takes a whole paragraph to say poor Barry is a dishonest, incoherent idiot and I'm pretty sure that is not what he thought he was saying.

Supposedly Barry "inherited" this war (has there ever been a whinier heir?) which for years the left told us was the "good" one. Now that it's been bequeathed to their knight errant it's been transformed into an unwinnable morass, but somehow one we needed to send an extra 30,000 troops to only to withdraw them a year later, without effect, because there was no hope they would do any good from the start.

Presumably this clown is trying to put the best face on Barry's incompetence, but he's not very good at it.

narciso

It's Ambinder, logic, facts, are inconvenient for this long time Journalister

Stupid meme, stupid move.  And on, and on, and on.

In a nice ironic way, Obama and the left are completely missing the point. It was a false meme to say that we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan to go adventuring in Iraq. Yet, this, tactically and strategically is the meme they are following, that killing bin Laden would take care of the problem.

I dunno, maybe he thinks he has a deal with China to keep the rabid down.
=========

anduril

Afghanistan? Booooring!

In other developments yesterday, the head of the FRB admitted that he doesn't know WTF from WTEID: Bernanke Is Either Not Very Bright or Not Very Honest. He Admits He Doesn’t Know Why We Have a Weak Economy … But He’s the One Who Weakened It

MayBee

Afghanistan was not Obama’s “right war.” It was one he inherited; one where not only was there no hope of a Jeffersonian democracy in Afghanistan but one that was actively destabilizing its neighboring country, a country with whom NATO is fighting a covert war under the guise of uneasy cooperation.

Obama is the one who campaigned on Afghanistan being his "right war". He didn't inherit that construct from Bush. And Obama could have said that it wasn't the "right war" had he not so campaigned.
He increased the number of troops there and now is decreasing them, to a number greater than he inherited.

Ambinder seems to be saying that Obama went through the whole charade of a surge so Obama could finally, three years into his presidency, tell the truth that the past three years of fighting were unnecessary. If it were me who died during Obama's charade, I'd be pissed.

narciso

Much like the Missile Gap, which they knew was false, because of the U2 overflights
Maybee, ironically, snafus like the Cuban Missile crisis, did expand the arms race.

Extraneus

Uh, concerned?

jimmyk

I found Barry's speech, despite being only 13 minutes, incredibly tedious and pretentious. To wrap this cynical little policy maneuver in ten extra minutes of florid language (a sorry attempt to channel Lincoln's second inaugural address) was just revolting.

PD

Someone alert Thomas "Flat earth" Friedman.

China's railway boom hurtles into the red

The numbers for China's relentless push for a high-speed rail network are impressive -- in terms of debt, not passengers.

This might also explain Obama's love of Chinese infrastructure.

Ignatz

--Ambinder seems to be saying that Obama went through the whole charade of a surge so Obama could finally, three years into his presidency, tell the truth that the past three years of fighting were unnecessary. If it were me who died during Obama's charade, I'd be pissed.--

That's what I should have said in my 9:57 comment but wasn't smart or succinct enough to do so.

PD

What is the story on The Ben Bernank's remarks yesterday? I notice the reporting on it is all over the map:

* Bernanke says Greece will have little effect in U.S.
* Bernanke says U.S. has significant exposure to Greek woes
* Bernanke says no QE3
* Bernanke leave door open to QE3, additional stimulus
etc.

Is this a case of prewritten stories being published too early, then being replaced based on what he actually said? I certainly wouldn't know what he said based on the reporting.

anduril

Christie Wins on Pension, Health Benefits Reform

by Human Events

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won another major victory for his agenda last week, announcing a deal with the Democratic leadership of the legislature on a sweeping reform of public employee pensions and benefits. The deal, which was passed by the state senate on Monday and awaits a vote in the assembly, raises public employees’ pension contributions, mandates that the state make annual payments into the system, increases public employee contributions toward health insurance premiums, and ends collective bargaining for heath benefits. Should the bill eventually become law, it is projected to save the state $120 billion over 30 years....

Ignatz

--China's railway boom hurtles into the red--

But just yesterday the NYT, whose hallowed halls the sainted Walter Duranty once roamed had published a story by a latter day Lincoln Steffens on China's bullet trains, who has been over into the future and it works.......this time for sure.
Contains early 20th century wide eyed Red nuggets like this:
"For the United States and Europe, the implications go beyond marveling at the pace of Communist-style civil engineering."

Ignatz

--What is the story on The Ben Bernank's remarks yesterday?--

Forget the other headlines. His admission he doesn't know why the economy is weak is the only one that matters.

PD

Ignatz: Then I think we have to go with the NYT. After all, who cares whether it can be paid for as long as it works fabulously?

Chubby

((In keeping with American public opinion and their view that Afghanistan had become a “wrong” war, virtually all of Obama’s closest advisers wanted a rapid withdrawal.))

of course we are not going to hear a war how during his presidential campaign Obama preached Afghanistan as the right war, the war the UN approved, and mocked and dissed Bush about Iraq being the wrong war, and sneered at Bush for not making enough about Afghanistan.

Making Afghanistan of primary concern was all over his campaign web site.

Chubby

not "to hear a war" -- to hear *a word*

Danube of Thought

This withdrawal--and the next one--will make life more dangerous for those who remain in country.

I have to say, it's a very tough thing to ask guys to risk getting killed in this venture. I sure wouldn't want to have a loved one there.

MayBee

Ha, Ignatz. I was just reading your comment and found mine completely unnecessary.


I still want to know why Ambinder wrote the article about the admin being briefed about Hosne Mubarak being a Coptic Christian.

Chubby

Exactly Maybee. Read your post after I had posted about that same thing.

Chubby

((He increased the number of troops there and now is decreasing them, to a number greater than he inherited.))

Obama is in effect vindicating the Bush approach of not giving Afghanistan primary importance, which Obama trashed incessently during his campaign.

bgates

to convince the American people that the war in Afghanistan needed more troops, Obama could not tell the whole truth

So he lied us into war, then.

It was one he inherited

Only in Chicago can a fierce struggle to eliminate all rivals result in an "inheritance" from the last guy in charge.

Porchlight

I still want to know why Ambinder wrote the article about the admin being briefed about Hosne Mubarak being a Coptic Christian.

I'd forgotten about that. After 2 1/2 years it has become impossible to keep up with the mindblowing incompetence of this admin.

narciso

Meanwhile, in a headline, almost near enough to your parodies, bgates, the Times, CBS, and co, are embedding with the Gaza
flotilla, I'm sure they are going to be objective, sarc.

from the Blaze

PD

A few months back I read Bob Woodward's "Obama's Wars." One thing that struck me was how difficult it was for Obama-Admirer Bob to paint Obama favorably in how he "deliberated" over what to do in Afghanistan. A difficulty that was apparently insuperable because despite Woodward's efforts, Obama came off as a boob.

Neo

in order to highlight that Obama is a tough, independent minded Commander-in-Chief who can stand up to his generals

... but he can't get NATO to do pooh

Face it. This is about NATO .. or more importantly, getting the Europeans out of Afghanistan post haste. Obama can stand up to them .. because he wants to be like them.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Obama is the one who campaigned on Afghanistan being his "right war". He didn't inherit that construct from Bush. And Obama could have said that it wasn't the "right war" had he not so campaigned.

He also had 5 times the casualties as President Bush.

WE are all abuzz about the capture of Whitey Bulger last night in Santa Monica. The cynics among us would say that all the dirty FBI agents involved must have finally died off. I can't wait to hear what Howie Carr has to say.

narciso

Yes, he was supposed to be in Europe, stuck
because of the enhanced security measures,
heh, I wonder who 'dropped the dime' on him.

Dave (in MA)

Jane, he already has a column up. (Although a lot of it he probably had in the can for years.)

bgates

Jane, I'm just surprised it took this long. It's been the top priority of the Obama/Holder Justice Department from day 1 to get Whitey.

O.J.

It was self defense.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

You know Whitey scratched a million dollar scratch ticket at some point. On the radio today Dick said he thought that particular ticket was delivered to him by the lottery commission.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Dave,

Howie is going to be a very rich man. Good for him!

Old Lurker

OT I know, but it was fun to read about the CA Controller refusing to pay CA legislators because state law requires no pay until a budget is passed.

Now there is a state law that should come to DC.

Are we at 800 days without a Fed budget yet?

Jack is Back!

Jane,

O. J. to confess to Oprah.

His ex had a knife and was going to use it on him.

Once again, in the form of the 12 jurors, the American public education system is shown is collective incompetence.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

I'll believe when I hear it JIB. That's like Juran Vander Sloot admitting where he put the Natalie.

I have to admit the thought of it is a bit delicious. Boy that Obama sure gets results!

Cecil Turner

He also had 5 times the casualties as President Bush.

To be fair, casualties follow offensive operations, and a surge in troops almost guarantees a surge in casualties. However, it's important to understand what is being accomplished and whether those sacrifices are warranted. The President's mission statement for the new surge troops was this:

So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.
Obviously the first half of that is the antiterror goal that Biden suggested (and could be accomplished on the cheap), the last half is an open-ended goal that eventually requires an Afghanistan that can take care of itself. So the question is, did we suffer increased casualties as a result of operations that produced concrete results, or as an unintended consequence of things like ROE restrictions that didn't work?

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Geez, John Kyle along with Eric Canter just left the debt talks with Biden.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Yeah Cecil you are right. My problem is Obama never had any intention of winning this war. He should have brought the troops home 2 years ago.

Dave (in MA)

Jane, speaking of the MA lottery, did you hear how Tim "The Spoiler" Cahill could be in hot water over using a Lottery ad blitz to boost his campaign? I had claimed that he was doing this with his unclaimed property ads. Michael Graham was saying that Cahill didn't actually run for Governor; he ran for the Governor (i.e. his campaign was to siphon off enough Baker votes to keep the corner office with the $11K drapes in Deval's hands.)

Danube of Thought

did we suffer increased casualties as a result of operations that produced concrete results, or as an unintended consequence of things like ROE restrictions that didn't work?

My guess is that we suffered increased casualties as a result of operations that have produce some tangible results but have not produced an environment that will be stable when we are gone. I'll defer to the field commanders on the ROE's, but it surely does seem that they increased casualties.

Dave (in MA)
To be fair
Cecil, by all means let's be fair and give Obama the benefit of the doubt wrt. the war(s) because that's what the other side did with Bush for 8 years. ;^)
pagar

"tell the truth that the past three years of fighting were unnecessary. If it were me who died during Obama's charade, I'd be pissed."

I totally agree. Take a look at the dates on the names on the Vietnam Wall and compare the dates of their death to the Peace talks timeline.
Once the peace talks started and John Kerry, Walter Cronkite, and the other American started encouraging the North Vietnamese military; IMO, every one of those deaths were in vain.

IMO, if we are in to win, that is one thing; if we no longer have the will to win get out.

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1969.html

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

did you hear how Tim "The Spoiler" Cahill could be in hot water over using a Lottery ad blitz to boost his campaign?

I did and I completely agree with Graham's assessment. We also talked about that on the air this morning, and Dick said Galvin did the same thing.

PD

"tell the truth that the past three years of fighting were unnecessary. If it were me who died during Obama's charade, I'd be pissed."

Also known as, who wants to be the last to die to prop up Obama's re-election effort?

matt

The operations are producing tangible results. Much of Helmand and other southern districts are more peaceful now. But the problem is that the moment we fold our tents the Taliban will seep back in. The people know this. The night letters are still being delivered.

I have heard more complaints about the nature of the people problem than any other factor in this war. The light bulb has to want to change, as the old joke goes. The leopard cannot change his spots, nor the Afghan his nature, as Kipling might have said.

One of the greatest, and legitimate fears right now is turncoats/infiltrators wasting their Western allies. A German general was badly injured and a decent provincial police general killed a couple of weeks ago by an Afghan soldier supposedly there to protect them.The Taliban/jihadis are not stupid and this tactic has sown tremendous distrust between purported allies.

Besides, the Taliban are simply one group of insurrectionists. There are also Haqqanis, and Hekmatyrs and all sorts of other groups we lump together, but who have different motives and agendas.

Unfortunately, most of what we're doing is building castles in the sand.

As to Petraeus, he can also see that the military is going to take a massive hit with Obama telegraphing his peace dividend. He will have a pretty substantial covert army and air force at CIA these days with a lot less scrutiny.

It will be interesting to see how his commander's intention will be received and followed in that byzantine organization.he has subtlety, but even Machiavelli couldn't figure out the internal wars at Langley.

Cecil Turner

I'll defer to the field commanders on the ROE's, but it surely does seem that they increased casualties.

If I thought field commanders were in fact in charge of the ROE, I'd defer to them as well. But in view of
McKiernan's relief, followed by McChrystal's new ROE and general unhappiness with it, I doubt that's the case. I'd also note (from that second link) Petraeus paying lip service to ROE review (and eventually reaffirming the restrictive version). There's always politics in this sort of thing--and has to be--but it looks to me like this one is almost entirely political.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Matt,

What would you do if you were running the show?

Danube of Thought

Unexpected: go to the link for a magnificent compendium of "unexpected" headlines.

http://punditpress.blogspot.com/2011/06/unexpectedly-compilation.html

Rob Crawford

What would you do if you were running the show?

Take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Danube of Thought

I remember right where I was sitting on April 1, 1968 (VN time) as I listened to LBJ announcing that he wouldn't seek re-election. I'm not sure exactly why I made the connection, but I knew for certain at that moment that we were no longer going to try to win the thing. My feelings about what I was doing changed dramatically that day.

I just heard Adm. Mullen say that this is a riskier withdrawal pace than he would have preferred. I sure feel sorry for the guys who will be bearing that risk.

matt

hell if I know Jane. There's a whole nother world behind the curtain which is highly compartmentalized. We see the outward manifestations, but unless one is in the loop, it's guesswork.

By the way, did you ever know a fellow in Sturbridge named Charlie Doyle? He passed away a few years ago.

pagar

On the 12:38PM post by DOT, the link explains why none of it should be unexpected:

" the poor economic news is quite expected because of President Obama's incompetence."

Absolutely nothing showed that Obama had any competence prior to his assuming his current position.

Cecil Turner

We see the outward manifestations, but unless one is in the loop, it's guesswork.

Man, no kidding. I didn't realize how much I'd miss having info at the click of a SIPRNET key, or at most a phonecall away. And how much you absorbed from casual conversations having to do with work. I haven't felt this clueless in years.

That said, if the publicly proffered policy makes little or no sense, my experience suggests that's because the real one doesn't either.

Frau Betrug

OT - from James Bovard's WSJ article on rising food stamp enrollment and massive fraud:
"H.L. Mencken quipped that the New Deal divided America into "those who work for a living and those who vote for a living." The explosion in the number of food-stamp recipients tilts the political playing field in favor of big government. The more people who become government dependents, the more likely that democracy will become a conspiracy against self-reliance."

Perhaps the govt. anti-obesity campaign should begin with elimination of food stamps. LUN

Frau Betrug

pagar, it was Barry's *judgment* that we were to vote for, and in the case of David Brooks, the dropping of Reinhold Niebuhr's name.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

By the way, did you ever know a fellow in Sturbridge named Charlie Doyle?

No, but I've only lived here about 7 years, which around here is a blink of the eye. I bet I know people who knew him tho.

Danube of Thought

Matt and Jane, I have no idea either.

Clarice

cc--since you asked I'm repeating this from another thread:

Thanks. Here's the latest, Soylent.
In the car driving home from the field trip (to the paleobiology labs at the Smithsonian) I mentioned that when I was eight I wrote to the editors of the local paper saying I thought our zoo director was the best ever and they printed it. Shortly after the director wrote me and thanked me. He offered me a backstage tour of the zoo. I called and explained that I was only eight but he kept his word and I saw how the zoo was run AND (the best part) he let me play with some baby cheetahs in his office. (She ADORES cheetahs.)

My husband then told the story about how he had sent penny postcards to each member of the local baseball team in which he told each player that he was his favorite and asking for an autograph. two weeks went by and he heard nothing and then in the mail there was a yearbook of the team which each player had signed.

Later last night she asked for a piece of paper and worked frantically writing something which she said was secret and which she rolled up and wrapped with a rubber band. Naturally, we invaded her privacy when she (finally) fell asleep. It was a letter to the director ("drektr") of the Peep Chirp and Quack cartoons, using her own spelling, telling him "I love all the wrok that you did" and "I just want that Peep vidyows". HEH

pagar

Off/topic, but don't expect any government loopholes if you're raising cabbage to see. Better make sure you have a good lawyer.

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/06/23/sigh-there-just-are-no-words/

pagar

In my 02:02 see should read sell.

centralcal

Cute story(ies), Clarice - yours, grandfather's, and Wolverine's.

centralcal

I just loved that Tatler post too, pagar. I sent it around the office and posted it to FB. The saddest thing of all is that last line could be the regulations on almost anything or everything in the US, not just cabbage!

O.J.

I had to kill Goldman in self defense because he attacked me when I was defending myself against Nicole.

I wore gloves because I was tired of getting cut all the time on cell phones and stuff.

narciso

I don't have any answers, either, but we know how these negotiations with the Taliban ultimately lead to, Lower Mahattan
and the body of Ahmed Shah Massoud, do those images never resonate with these people. Of course for Karzai, the image of Shaj Shuja after the siege of 1841, probably
has more resonance

rse

DOT-

One of my son's closest friends is getting sent this summer. Breaks my heart because I am dreading the mom, who is a widow of less than a year, asking me if I think this withdrawal makes it more dangerous.

That was my gut instinct and sounds like others here agree.

In the where are we going with this annals, the National Council of Teachers of English is continuing its push to make sure media literacy and digital literacy are to be considered as important as print literacy.

We really need these so-called professional teaching organizations to stop pushing policies of ignorance that seem like an Onion parody.

Janet

centralcal,
I copied your FB post & it has 3 comments already...from non-JOMers. It is a great, simple, understandable example of what is wrong with our out-of-control government.

It would make a great TV ad.

Clarice

I have a young friend due to ship out there too--also just married. I hate this President. Really, I do. He is clueless and selfish and putting our best young people at risk.

Ignatz

George Will demolishing McCain and those who would apparently intervene militarily anywhere, anytime some human right is or may be threatened.

centralcal

Cool, Janet!

Ugh rse and Clarice. I don't personally know anyone being deployed, but I sure share your angst (and anger) about our C-I-C.

Meanwhile, Moochelle is doing pushups with Desmond TuTu; traveling with all her relatives and who knows how large an entourage, or what cost to all of us. My gawd, how many (few?) countries are left for her to visit before these grifters are booted out of the WH?

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

If you are talking about Pagar's link, I just sent it to all the members of my tea party.

Sue

I just talked to the uncle of the young man that was killed in February by an IED to see how they felt about Obama's speech last night. I guess it didn't really dawn on me at the time but Chauncy was in Afghanistan as part of the 30,000 surge that Obama authorized. And now Obama says we have better things to do. The mother of Chauncy didn't like Obama to begin with. She really doesn't like him now. Can't say I blame her.

narciso

Meanwhile, we have a recently hatched member of Duke and Duke's Southern division, Alex Patton, who is of course
lightly suggesting that the GOP shun the Tea Party, I never heard of him, either,
he's out of Jacksonville, so you may have JiB

centralcal

One of my earliest memories of elementary school and being told about Hitler, Nazi Germany, and the horrors of the holocaust, was the complete bafflement in my childish mind - how could "normal" people listen to or follow such an evil madman as Hitler? How could they? What was wrong with them?

Now, in no way equating Obama to Hitler, I do wonder what is it his followers see in him? It isn't enough to say there is something really wrong with Obama, there also seems to be something really wrong with people who continue to support him.

centralcal

Well, narciso, maybe someone should inform Mr. Alex Patton, that the GOP voters ARE by a large margin part and parcel of the Tea Party.

Extraneus

Ignatz in his former incarnation recommended a great little book to me on this point, cc.

The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements, by Eric Hoffer. It was written in 1951, so Hitler wasn't some distant memory when Mr. Hoffer was thinking through the motivations of these types of followers.

Carol.Herman

Headlines don't help your poll numbers bounce.

And, Afghanistan will not lead to books like FROM HERE TO ETERNITY. WW2 also turned out writers.

Now? All we get are idiots who think they have to "compose" a headline. And, we're through.

narciso

So according to Bedard at US News, Murdoch
hired Ed Henry, in order to curry favor with Obama, at some upcoming WH dinner.

sammy small

It must be time to dust off and update the old anti-Nixon barb: "Withdrawal is something Obama's father should have done 49 years ago".

rse

cc-

I can chart the deliberate attempts to use school to limit logical, factually based, thought and push habitually responding from emotion to the 1970s in some places. With the rise of outcomes based education in the mid to late 1980s under various names, whole states became far less academic than parents and taxpayers understood.

The young adults who could vote in 2008, like those Germans who supported Hitler, actually had more similar educational backgrounds than you would imagine. The various controversial standards of the early to mid 1990s (remember Lynn Cheney and 99-0) were still adopted in the various states and greatly influenced what did and did not occur in those classrooms.

I spent the morning reading about the changes Putin has made in their history and social studies textbooks. Stalin is being rehabilitated and the Cold War is all the US's fault.

And this President wants to share our missile defense secrets with them. It is a more dangerous, unstable world than perhaps about any time since 1938. And we are insisting our schools intellectually disarm our future voters.

Old Lurker

Ext, I too remember Barney suggesting that book...

Jim Ryan

Newt teams up with Sharpton for some reason. Paul teams up with Barney's Frank for some reason.

The reason better be darned good. Legalizing weed? Hrumph. Would I team up with Pelosi to push for wider use of anti-fungal agents on gym shower floors? No, I would not. I might get in a foxhole with Weiner to shoot at onrushing Huns, but that's about as far as it goes.

Melinda Romanoff

rse-

Putin is coveting a rotten throne.

An op-ed piece in yesterday's WSJ, by Holman Jenkins, absolutely nailed the coming irrelevance of Russia, and the ME, for that matter.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Via Gateway Pundit:

The women in Afghanistan fear the return of the despotic, misogynous fundamentalists after the US withdrawal. Asia Sentinel reported:
They fear despotic, misogynous Islamic fundamentalists likely to return them to the dark ages.

The report Wednesday from Washington, DC that US President Barack Obama has set in motion a substantial withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is hardly good news for Afghanistan’s women. Withdrawal of 10,000 NATO troops is expected by the end of the year. Women in the country are hearing rumors that talks with the Taliban are already taking place in secret.

This is alarming. Without the representation and participation of women there can be no assurance that their rights will be upheld after the peace process and that could spell disaster. Women risk losing liberty, education and employment if the fundamentalist Taliban were to win a significant place in the Afghan government.

The presence of foreign troops has caused significant issues, too. For example, a recent errant NATO strike killed at least nine women and children. But women say this tragedy should not be used as a reason for a troop withdrawal. The Taliban are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths during the war and intolerable abuse of women.

In May, Safia Siddiqi, a women’s activist and former member of the Afghan National Economy Committee, said on a national radio broadcast that nothing had improved for women in rural areas and that women need each other and the international forces to attain peace and security.
Female activists recall that in 1948 Afghanistan was a signatory to the Declaration of Universal Human Rights and in 1953 ratification of the Convention on the Political Rights of Women afforded them all the political rights – including the right to vote in elections and to hold public office – that men enjoyed.

Women’s rights are not a recent western import but freedoms taken away by successive regimes that waged war with foreign interference, they say. Even with these rights, in the past educated women were the elite few and the majority lived enclosed within the confines of the home, often uneducated. This is true today, too, but with a key difference: Most women now know precisely what they should still have.

Before Sept. 11, 2001, Afghan women begged the international community to help them. I interviewed many myself in 2000 and 2001 while reporting on aid programs for a UK-based non-governmental organization. Educated or not, rich or poor, all the women appealed to me to ask my government to save them from the Taliban.

Melinda Romanoff

rse-

You can read it here, that piece by Mr. Jenkins.

Chubby

Sara,

It is a sad problem but why do I get the feeling that Safia Siddiqi and other human rights activisits were probably rooting for Obama to win the U.S. election.

Chubby

and are furthermore part of the global chorus that demonized and still demonizes President Bush

centralcal

This morning I wanted to post another lovely picture of FLOTUS, but the dimensions were too large. I figured some conservative blog or other would grab it, because once again Michelle outward looks reflect her inner self.

I can think of no other FLOTUS, or celebrity for that matter, who has so many gawd awful facial expressions saved for posterity through photography.

Daylife has another photo of Tutu and Moochelle on the floor doing push-ups, and her head is turned sideways facing him and her tongue hanging out. Good grief!

centralcal

Linky to FLOTUS with tongue hanging out.

Extraneus

Looks like it might fit.

Take a deep breath now...

Cecil Turner

OT, do any of you econo-gurus have any opinions on the release of 30M bb of oil from the SPR? I saw the talking head on Fox say the time was right and it was a good move, but it seems to me a minuscule amount of oil and very temporary measure, which should actually drive prices up in the mid/long term.

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