Check out this short (3-minute) video from Talking Points Memo.
Sterling has reached $2. Last time I was in the UK, a Pound cost $1.52. Our economic policies have paid off, I see. (Only 642 days and 23 hours, at most, remain for those policies.)
The U.S. Olympic Committee has announced that Chicago will represent the U.S. in the competition to host the Olympic Games in 2016. Since the entire world universally loves the U.S. right now, I am certain today's announcement means Chicago is hosting the Olympics. Just not in 2016.
Four years. We weren't even in World War II for this long. I can't add anything really profound to the debate, but I will repeat something Garry Trudeau had on today's Doonesbury Daily Dose:
"America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn't make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment."
—Gen. Tony McPeak (retired), member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War
I would also like to point out that the recent spate of confessions from people our government has tortured might carry more weight if the men hadn't also confessed to assassinating the Archduke Ferdinand.
Finally, not that this should surprise anything, the New York Times is reporting today the White House watered down government reports to influence the debate on climate change:
In a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the official, Philip A. Cooney, who left government in 2005, defended the changes he had made in government reports over several years. Mr. Cooney said the editing was part of the normal White House review process and reflected findings in a climate report written for President Bush by the National Academy of Sciences in 2001.
No more than 672 days, 2 hours, and 44 minutes remain in the Bush Administration.
MSNBC reported overnight that U.S. troops have entered Sadr City in Baghdad. That's newsworthy in itself, but they added an extra level of irony by running their nightly headline-roundup email through an over-zealous spell check:
U.S. troops enter Sadder City
Hundreds of U.S. soldiers entered the Shiite stronghold of Sadder City on Sunday in the first major push into the area since an American-led security sweep began last month around Baghdad.
The Washington Post has a fascinating article on Iraq and the psychology of entrapment (via Talking Points Memo):
When you invest yourself in something, it is exceedingly difficult to discard your investment. What is devilish about entrapment is not just that it can result in ever greater losses, but that those losses get you ever more entrapped, because now you have even more invested.
[Wesleyan University psychologist Scott] Plous, a social psychologist and author of "The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making," said experiments show that psychological entrapment comes in at least four guises: the investment trap, in which we try to recover sunk costs by throwing good money after bad; the time delay trap, in which a short-term benefit carries the seed of long-term problems; the deterioration trap, in which things that started out well slowly get worse; and the ignorance trap, in which hidden risks surface suddenly.
Frank Rich (sub.req.) today examines the depths, so to speak, of the President's (779 days, 4 hours) absention from reality:
The bottom line: America has a commander in chief who can't even identify some 97 percent to 98 percent of the combatants in a war that has gone on longer than our involvement in World War II.
Very sad, very true.
The Baghdad court trying Saddam Hussein handed down its sentence overnight, just three days before the U.S. elections. Who could have predicted it? I mean, other than anyone paying attention?
Some Iraqis are dancing in the streets; other Iraqis are shooting at them:
Celebratory gunfire rang out over Baghdad as jubilant Iraqis expressed their happiness with the outcome by racing to rooftops, front yards and windows to fire into the air. National television showed smiling Iraqis dancing in the streets of cities around the country, including in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, which technically was under an all-day curfew.
In the Tikrit, Saddam's home town, thousands of people reportedly took to the street in defiance of the curfew, many crying and screaming and firing guns into the air in anger. "With the soul and blood we sacrifice for you Saddam!" some protestors screamed. Protestors in Tikrit attacked the local Iraqi army base with light weapons. No casualties were reported.
We've heard many reports of Hussein's antics during the trial; but there were American antics as well:
Today's session began with the eviction of former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark for insulting the tribunal as "a mockery of justice" in a memo he sent to Chief Judge Abdel-Rahman, a no-nonsense jurist with a perpetual scowl who ran a tight courtroom. "This statement presented by the American lawyer Ramsey Clarke -- how would I describe it? I don't know. He presented a statement ridiculing himself, not the country. He's a laughing stock. Get him out of the court."
I can't wait to hear what the Sabbath Gasbags have to say.
So it looks like North Korea's nuclear test failed as badly as the President's (833 days, 3 hours) foreign policy. Either or both might contribute to his 34% approval rating.
Polls open in 27 days, 15 hours, 57 minutes.
...when North Korea gets the bomb.
Wow. Try as I might, I can't think of any worse result of the President's (834 days, 4 hours) foreign policies than North Korea exploding a nuclear bomb this morning. (The USGS felt it; did you?)
Josh Marshall has a fair summary of how this happened, but I think we all know already:
The origins of the failure are ones anyone familiar with the last six years in this country will readily recognize: chest-thumping followed by failure followed by cover-up and denial. The same story as Iraq. Even the same story as Foley.
All diplomatic niceties aside, President Bush's idea was that the North Koreans would respond better to threats than Clinton's mix of carrots and sticks.
Then in the winter of 2002-3, the US prepared the invade Iraq, the North called Bush's bluff. And the president folded. Abjectly, utterly, even hilariously if the consequences weren't so grave and vast.
And where is China in all this? Apparently they've decided that a nuclear-armed and insane regime on their flank is better than no regime at all.
How long will it take to undo the damage our administration has caused? How much more damage will we suffer as a result?
Broken link fixed 2014-10-12