Tuesday, February 28, 2006

As February ends, a reminder to catch up on Black History Month. Plus, it's a clever way to plug recommended films and books, while emphasizing my brother-in-law Julian Houston's excellent book, New Boy, without being too obvious about it. The Blog | Art Levine: Black History Month for Whites | The Huffington Post

Monday, February 27, 2006

Getting out of Iraq: another progressive's view. She raises tough questions we need to answer:
So where does this leave all our teeth-gnashing about whether the US should stay or go? Many, including me, have argued for the last six months or so argued that if an increasingly implausible set of conditions could suddenly arise, it would render our presence in Iraq a worthwhile bulwark against civil war. We've proposed benchmarks for staying in, none of which appear to have been met. Kevin Drum reports that we're now down from one fully combat-ready standalone Iraqi battallion in December to zero today.

At this point, on the one hand its starting to look like the US presence in Iraq isn't doing much good: we're paralyzed in the face of the worst military crisis the country has confronted, our troops holed up in barracks for fear that getting involved would only make things worse. On the other hand, were we to leave now in significant numbers, its hard to escape the sense that we'd be pulling out just as Iraq collapses. Even the White House doesn't seem to know how to spin this.

The hope is, of course, that Iraqi political leaders and clerics will succeed in their call for calm, securing a hiatus in widescale sectarian bloodshed. If that happens, we need to look seriously at whether there's any justification for continuing to put American troops at risk. The Administration's "strategy" - after dozens of reformulations and refinements - is failing. Its possible that the tactics being used now could have worked if adopted earlier, but they aren't equal to righting Iraq in its present condition. With a losing strategy, we will not succeed.

The only thing worse than Iraq as a failed state is Iraq as a failed state with 130,000 Americans serving there.

The Blog | Suzanne Nossel: Iraq: What's Worse than Civil War? Civil War with 130,000 Americans On the Ground | The Huffington Post

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The seeds of today's unfolding Iraq civil war. The Blog | Art Levine: Stuff Happens, Revisited | The Huffington Post

Friday, February 24, 2006

The real Cheney police report? Judge for yourself. The Blog | Art Levine: Kenedy County CSI Meets Dick Cheney | The Huffington Post

The real police report on Cheney?<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/art-levine/kenedy-county-csi-meets-d_b_16108.html">The Blog | Art Levine: Kenedy County CSI Meets Dick Cheney | The Huffington Post

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Yes, this United Arab Emirates port deal is rigged, and here's why. The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Dubious About Dubai: Cutting to the Heart of Bush's National Security Hypocrisy | The Huffington Post

Friday, February 17, 2006

Julian Houston, author of New Boy, reads from his compelling, graceful coming-of-age civil rights novel at 4:30 Monday at Politics and Prose. He's also my brother-in-law, but it's a great book anyway. An Interview With Julian Houston - New York Times

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pardon the obscenity, but this is an amusing parody of Cheney as Johnny Cash playing Folsom Prison. Go Fuck Yourself

What's the best way to get out of Iraq? Take your pick from the the two best plans. The Blog | Art Levine: What's the solution for Iraq? Ask Dear Abby. | The Huffington Post

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cheney gags you may not have heard. TV Comedians Target Cheney Accident - Yahoo! News

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's not just Brownie's fault. Katrina Report Spreads Blame

Friday, February 10, 2006

Arianna Huffington shows the Dems how to stand up to Republican posturing on security by throwing it back in their face: demonstrating how the Bush administration has made the nation more vulnerable to attacks. Especially recommended is this passage, with hypertxt links in the original:
I've said it again and again and again -- and I guess

I'll have to keep saying it: the Democrats will never become the majority party until they can convince the American people that they can keep the country safer than the Republicans. All together now: It's the national security, stupid! And if I sound like a broken record, so should the Democrats.

Of course, many Democratic leaders do grasp this basic concept, but, according to the Times, have "not yet figured out how to counter the White House's long assault on their national security credentials."

Again, at the risk of turning blue in the face, let me help them out: they should follow Jack Murtha's lead and, as he's done in letters to Congress and to the president, show how Bush's imperial adventure in Iraq has had devastating consequences on the real battle at hand -- keeping us safe and secure.

The evidence is everywhere: neglected ports and railways. Underfunded first responders. A tripling of terror attacks worldwide. Poor and failing grades from the 9/11 Commission. Osama still on the loose. Iraq as a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists. Al-Qaeda making a comeback in Afghanistan. Depleted troops. Shaky allies. Emboldened enemies.

How to counter the Bush-as-protector myth? Aggressively and unrelentingly. Go after his supposed strength (indeed, his only remaining strength) and show it's actually his greatest vulnerability. The Democratic strategy must follow the old sports truism: the best defense against attacks that they are soft on terror is a great offense against the architects of the bungled response to the war on terror.

Instead, the Dems interviewed by the Times appear afraid of their own shadows.

The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Dems Have (Yet Another) Identity Crisis -- On the Front Page of the NYT | The Huffington Post

Friday, February 03, 2006

If Bush borrowed a page from fabricator James Frey. The Blog | Howard A. Rodman: President Releases Note on Scandal | The Huffington Post It's a parody idea I wish I had conceived.

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