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Vacation (For Real This Time)

After two weeks of light posting, The Fix is officially going on vacation until after Labor Day. That means no posts until Sept. 4 when we will be back at it.

Thanks to one and all for your readership and participation.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 29, 2007; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Next: Too Late for Thompson?


Zouky - call me!

Posted by: Larry Craig | August 30, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

JD--A tired rant against a capitalist-lite system is what that is. France is in no way a socialist environment, just another capitalist marketplace with slightly more humane laws.

Posted by: roo | August 30, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

proud - Since my kids were 8 and 13 when I retired from the Navy...

I've done two overseas tours - Italy in the early 80's and Guam in the mid 90's.

Thanks for all the interest in my trip - here is the itinerary:

Danube River Cruise - Bratislava, Vienna, Melk, Linz, Salzburg, and Passau, Germany

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 30, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - Larry is Sabato, I assume.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Tom Davis should be nicknamed The Chameleon.

He is a Conservative to Conservatives, a Moderate to Moderates and Liberals.

He's whatever he thinks the audience in front of him wants to hear.

For years he was in a position to do significant things but all he ever really did was support the District of Columbia.

From Wikipedia: Davis chaired the House Government Reform Committee from 1998 to 2007 when Democrats became the majority and Henry Waxman became chair. Davis had renamed the Committee, removing "Oversight" from the title; one of Waxman's first acts as Chair was to reinstitute the name as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The Committee is the chief investigative and oversight committee of the House, and has been granted broad jurisdiction. This Committee was very active during the Clinton administration. It issued 1,052 subpoenas to probe alleged misconduct by the administration and the Democratic Party between 1997 and 2002. By contrast, Davis and the majority has permitted three subpoenas to the current Bush administraton, including one to the Defense Department over documents related to Hurricane Katrina."

Now that Henry Waxman is actually doing things, Tom makes sure that he shows up on camera, says what a shame the particular problem is and that we'll do something about it.

Tom Davis, a true Professional Politician, exactly the thing Zouk and his caterwalling cassandra cronies cried so much about before 1994.

Tom Davis - The Chameleon.

Posted by: Outside DC | August 30, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Unless this is another fake out by Thompson, the scoop is at

"Thompson to Announce Bid Sept. 6
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 30, 2007; 4:28 PM
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Republican Fred Thompson, whose entry into the presidential race has been long anticipated, will officially launch his candidacy Sept. 6 in a webcast on his campaign site, followed by a five-day tour of early primary states, The Associated Press has learned."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 30, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: I'm with you on Warner. This looks like the time for an announcement of retirement, not a reelection campaign, especially with Mark Warner waiting as the likely opponent.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 30, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Warner many times, but it is time for someone else to take over. He has become a squish of late and is no longer needed. tom Davis is a little squishy too but should turn out OK.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 30, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Have a good vacation fix

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Senator John Warner is supposedly making his much anticipated announcement of whether he will seek re-election or not tomorrow at UVA. Should be interesting. If I am a betting man, I say he's running again."

Hmmm.... Friday before Labor Day. Do you think that's an effective time to announce a candidacy & catch the next news cycle to help boost your candidacy? Or do you quietly step down in the face of the slow-motion implosion of your party?

"Larry... Larry... step away from the microphone. I want to announce my run for reelection; by the way, can I have your endorsement?"

Posted by: bsimon | August 30, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Do the president's words with regard to the hundreds of thousands of innocents killed after we left so trouble those of that generation who now run our media companies that they feel the need to irrationally attack the president to deflect responsibility for those deaths?

To bring this subject to present-time politics, do those on the left who run the various networks and newspapers fear that the Bush analogy may very well fit the current conflict in Iraq a bit too well? That is to say, as those who desperately and unprofessionally want to see a Democrat elected president in 2008, are these liberal media executives terrified that Bush's Vietnam analogy reminds voters of a failed policy as it attaches itself like glue to the Iraq positions of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

As Democratic and Republican members of Congress return from Iraq with positive reports about the surge, do the left-leaning leaders of our networks and newspapers fear that the Democrats are, once again, about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

With just a few paragraphs about Vietnam, Mr. Bush managed to open the left's Pandora's box of hate, guilt, remorse and fear. Why?

Posted by: douk | August 30, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Most disturbing to senior Democratic officials: The 9-point drop in Congress' job-approval rating has come exclusively from Democrats and independents, with an 11-point drop among Democrats alone.

although the Republican brand has been badly damaged, the public mood remains as ugly today as it was before the tidal-wave election last November. That is that Democrats in Congress have accomplished very little, leaving voters unimpressed with their leadership," Cook said.

Democrats promised change. No change has been delivered, and now we are seeing the results of that. This has the makings of an anti-incumbent environment that we believe will benefit Republican challengers next year,"

Posted by: do nothing party | August 30, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

NBC is outright refusing to air these pro-Iraq war ads on MSNBC or CNBC.

Why is it that NBC refuses to run these ads you may ask? They say it's against their (ever evolving) policy

Now on to NBC's excuse: they have a policy against running issue ads. Hmmm, if that's the case, how do you explain ads that were recently aired for the Save Darfur Coalition, or the American Medical Associations ads on providing health care for the uninsured, or the Move America Forward ads also supporting the War on Terror? Remember, these are also the same network execs who find Keith Olbermann fit for public consumption, clearly putting their political judgment into question.

Posted by: no wonder they are at the bottom of the ratings | August 30, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

JD - how about we eliminate the Federal government for the most part. when they can't channel money into pet projects, who will donate? how can you be corrupt? the entire thing just shows you there is too much power in DC.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 30, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

News flash!! Fred Thompson will tell his supporters that he is running for president today in a 4 p.m. conference call with 800 to 1,000 elected and party officials from around the country, a source close to the campaign said today.

I hope Senator Warner runs again too. That would make for a very good Labor Day weekend.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 30, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse


Senator John Warner is supposedly making his much anticipated announcement of whether he will seek re-election or not tomorrow at UVA. Should be interesting. If I am a betting man, I say he's running again.

Posted by: Political Junkie | August 30, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

party of crooks, the best way to solve those issues is to get rid of the finance limits altogether. Seriously.

If you don't have those spending limits, and you simultaneously eliminate earmarks and other patronage opportunities, you reduce the incentive for corruption while not abridging free speech. Or to put it more poetically (which I read, I cannot claim credit for...), the best way to get the money out of politics is to get the politics out of money.

Posted by: JD | August 30, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

spartan - Just wondering; are you intentionally misspelling the name of your blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

vacation again??? ah well enjoy it. see you in september.

random thoughts
hearing about ag gonzo resigning was suprising to say the least. does this help duyba? partially, at least he's not the offical pinata of both the senate and house justices comittees. but consider this,with rove and gonzo gone, bush basically wide open, who ever he appoints to replace gonzo is going to be under GINORMOUS pressure to start appointing special prosecutors left and right.

larry craig-im not going to comment on whether he's gay or not, his buisness. nor am i going to comment on his conviction for public indecency. your guilty, pay your fine and admit your guilt. what im going to comment on the rest of the party willing to throw him under the bus so quickly! at least john "diper"vitter was given some sort of pass. any one knows who heads up the senate ethics committe? it might be in the dems favor not to bring his situation to the committe. at least keep him flaping around for a while.

hopefully my blog will start up next week after labor day. ive decided on a name, the progressive dispach. everyone's invited, including you cc so come on over.

jimd in fla-if your going to grecce, make sure you visit sparta and say hello to the other spartans living there , and visit the ruins there too. also watch out for the forest fires going on, its pretty bad but under control right now.

Posted by: spartan | August 30, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I would refer anyone still pullin' for the Iraq effort to the pessimistic report of the GAO - scroll up, I posted it at 12:14. This is not a question of blaming one or the other political party, contrary to what a certain troll who shall remain nameless might say. This is a question of acknowledging the importance of choosing a leader - Republican or Democrat - who will use his (or her, lylepink) head to make realistic decisions which address the issue under consideration, and not one or the other pet project or interest group.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 30, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it's the Democrats' fault other countries don't like us! It's the Democrats' fault that we couldn't get significant international help in the war in Iraq. It's the Democrats' fault that our few allies in Iraq are withdrawing their troops. (Poland, Italy, etc.) Other countries love the Republicans, but they hate the Democrats!

When liberals point out that the war in Iraq has made us hated around the world, conservatives scoff. Who needs allies? This isn't a popularity contest! But apparently, the Democrats were right that we need international allies, even while they were the ones driving those allies away. Weird!

Posted by: Blarg | August 30, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

This apparently bears reposting and constitutes a harsh, cold, stark reality for some.

"The long and short of it is that by next spring some of the 20 U.S. combat brigades currently in Iraq--perhaps as many as a quarter to a half of them--will be pulling out, and nobody will replace them. This is a mathematical fact, quite apart from anything to do with the upcoming election or the war's diminishing popularity.

Whether or not you regard this fact as lamentable, President Bush only makes things worse by howling that any pullback would erode American power and embolden the terrorists. Even if his warning is true, for a president to state it so urgently, over and over and over and over, deepens the damage when the storm hits. And given that the storm is certain to hit, it's irresponsible--it's baffling--that he's howling so loudly."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 30, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Seriously now: President Bush touched one of the sorest nerves in all of America -- certainly on the American left. He mentioned the atrocities that followed our country's cutting off of the South Vietnamese government. Worse than that, he did so in the context of warning of more atrocities if we do the same to the Iraqis.

Predictably, the Left -- in the form of columnists and others -- howled and howled. And in that howling, I believe, was a good deal of guilt and resentment. Resentment because Bush had merely brought the subject up. And guilt because . . .

Who of them did not support the cutting off of the South?

Every American conservative has certain facts memorized, and this is one of them: When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, the headline in the New York Times -- over a Sydney Schanberg article -- was "Indochina without Americans: For Most a Better Life."


American liberals -- those who supported turning our backs -- have never really faced up to what happened. A few have: Gene Genovese and other rarities. But precious few. Most people would prefer to let Vietnam sleep, or the Hollywood/Oliver Stone view to dominate. But President Bush awakened something very, very bad; he restarted a national psychodrama. And a lot of people aren't very happy about it.


Posted by: history not good for Dems | August 30, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

On Wednesday, the Federal Election Commission slapped America Coming Together with a $775,000 fine -- the third-largest such penalty in history -- for violating campaign-finance laws in the 2004 election. Now largely defunct, America Coming Together was the biggest of the so-called "527" groups that took in millions from donors like George Soros for the purpose of defeating George W. Bush. In a case that has taken years to decide, the FEC ruled that America Coming Together did an end-run around the campaign-finance laws in 2004 by claiming it was using its money for non-partisan purposes like voter registration when it was in fact spending millions specifically targeting Bush.

Posted by: the party of crooks | August 30, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Odd as it may sound to self-indulgent ears, there are still people who think that some things are worth dying for. Some of them are our fellow-citizens who risk and give their lives because they believe that there is more to life than self-interest. It is too bad that American Democrats know so little about these noble impulses and base all their decisions on the prospect of political gain.

We can only imagine how much further along we could have been in the war on terror had the Democrats joined in the effort instead of sabotaging it. For one thing, we would have long ago won the 'hearts and minds' of those like Mokdat Ahmed Shahib who would not be afraid to offer up potentially life-saving intelligence, because they are afraid we may cut and run. Likewise, vacillating states would flock to our cause. We had no shortage of allies during the Reagan years when America conveyed an image of power, confidence and victory. Everybody wanted to be our friend then and understandably so.

Not so today, which is no surprise in light of Democrats' unrelenting defeatism. Before the surge had even properly begun, Harry Reid, America's most powerful elected democrat, rushed to the microphones and pronounced it a failure in front of the whole world. Who in their right mind would want to ally themselves with losers?

If we succeed in Iraq, it will be despite the democrats' best efforts. Those who care for this country can only hope that the American people will not forget their treachery and hold them responsible for the steep costs their actions have incurred.

Posted by: the party of losers | August 30, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Democrats Give Away Fundraiser's Cash
Rats' tiny feet getting damp on deck of sinking ship?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone still looking to fill an unusually open schedule, there's a thought-provoking piece over at MN public radio on civil rights. I won't try to summarize it here, as I couldn't do it justice:

Posted by: bsimon | August 30, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Life doesn't begin at 40, it begins when the kids leave home."

And/Or when you retire from the military, right JimD?

Sounds like an awesome itinerary - the only way we'll see that in the near future is if we get another overseas PCS. Those concerns are on the back burner though; just keep our folks in the desert in mind wherever you go people. thanks.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 30, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

More whispering about the R 'brand' concerns McConnell and Graham (R-NC). Not sure if it's more than that but with Foley and now Craig any more 'outings' will certainly tarnish the R brand amongst it's holier-than-thou base. Too bad Vitter doesn't have more of an impact on their attitudes.

JimD, if you get to Florence/Firenze go see the Ponte Vechhio bridge (a tourist trap but a pretty one) and the nearby Palazzo Pitti museum. Of course, Mark in Austin will probably argue that you can't throw a rock in Florence without hitting an awesome museum.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 30, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon - some of my younger lawyer compadres were real guilty of spreading bs rumors about Gov. Goodhair and his former Secretary of State, who unfortunately spelled his name "Geoffrey".

Look at any photo of Rick Perry -

will do -

and you will see why he is the favorite of rumor mongers. Anita is a lot prettier than even Rick, so most of us discount the
rumors that were not started by people we actually know, and the rumors started by people we know were bs.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 30, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Administration's view of the "progress" in Iraq and the (just released?) report of the GAO.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 30, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, I have given up on Capital B, just can't compare with the exchanges here.

We'll know more about Thompson next week evidently.... he may hold his first rally in California in order to try to capture the "Reagan mantle." Mistake?...the mantle may be a little big for him.....

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 30, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mark--I'm on my way out to go to the AMNH museum with my daughter--thanks for your cmment. My mother in law is of Polish descent, and there are a lot of stories. Now there was a war worth fighting. This one, not so much. We don't even know WHO we are fighting, which is pretty much a recipe for defeat.

I lurked at the Capitol Briefing blog a bit yesterday, interesting too.

It's always good to find another clean, well-lighted blog..

Posted by: drindl | August 30, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

JimD, enjoy your trip... will any of it take you through Eastern Europe? I have heard that Prague is a great city to see, and Warsaw is getting more and more Western. Of course, there's nothing wrong with Barcelona, Paris, etc. also.
Mark, in re: Craig, I may have heard that there have been rumors about Gov. Perry in Texas -? but I may also be thinking of someone else. have you heard anything about that? As someone else said - don't remember who - the GOP "brand" is really taking a hit this year, and will need some serious help if the party is to be competitive at all next fall. Some look for that to come from Thompson if/when he gets in the race, and some even look to Gingrich, who has said he will consider running if he's not satisfied with the field by next January. Do you - or anyone - think that either of these two would have the mojo needed to get the GOP off the ropes and back into the ring? or maybe you think that GiuliRomney can do it? curious.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 30, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I have read both Will and Novak now and recommend both columns. Will's assessment of the weaknesses in the French economy, coming from an interview with a powerful French Minister, are interesting; and Novak's assessment of Gonzales is such that I hope he never gets ME in his gunsight.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 30, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

JimD, I hope you two get to visit Florence -
it is the place to which my wife and I hope to return in the not too distant future.

drindl - this is for your Jewish mother-in-law.

Do you remember the conversation the other day that turned to Civil War corruption? Seems U.S. Grant called a Jewish profiteer in Ohio "that Jew" and was accused of being anti-Jewish. He spent his presidency trying to correct that impression. When Rumania was looking to exterminate its Jews, he sent as Ambassador a young Jewish lawyer from San Francisco, blatantly to show US support to the Jews of Rumania. It apparently worked and saved many. If your Jewish mother-in-law has any Rumanian - Jewish relatives who can trace their coming to America from 1880 or so, she may know the story.

I have been to the other blogs now. Truth is trying to get an Idaho person to talk about Craig on one, and non-lawyers are causing the Cohen blog to roll downill. As you can tell, my calendar fell through this morning and I am wasting time.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 30, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Historians just as promptly noted that the President's reading of what happened in Vietnam and Indochina after the U.S. withdrew begged a number of questions. Prime among them was whether the U.S. entry into Vietnam and Cambodia had more to do with the slaughter of millions during the war and after than its exodus did. And more to do with the deaths of 58,249 American troops before the withdrawal.

It also reminded everyone that the president himself arranged to spend his time safely at home in the Texas Air National Guard, and his Vice President Dick Cheney took five deferments to dodge any service at all, while 3 million other Americans took their turns fighting that war.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

f it weren't for bad news, George W. Bush wouldn't have any news at all.

Let us count the ways that this lamest of lame-duck Presidents has been hammered in recent days.

Two of his closest Texas buddies have jumped ship. First, the man known as Bush's Brain, his political spinmeister Karl Rove, announced that he was gone. Then his legal mouthpiece, the forgetful Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, joined the exodus.

The President's friend Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki took umbrage at Bush's remarks in Canada criticizing the Iraqi government's failure to meet any of the benchmarks laid down by Washington, responding that Iraq had "other friends" it can fall back on. Presumably, Maliki's buddy list starts with Iran. A day later, Bush rowed way back, telling the National VFW convention that Maliki was his "good friend" and had his full support.

In the same speech, the president hauled out, of all things, the lessons of the war in Vietnam and the consequences of the American withdrawal from that long, bitter and divisive conflict as a reason to stay the course to victory in Iraq. Internet wags immediately noted that "Bush at least had a plan to get out of Vietnam" while he has none for getting out of Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- In a sign that top commanders are divided over what course to pursue in Iraq, the Pentagon said Wednesday that it won't make a single, unified recommendation to President Bush during next month's strategy assessment, but instead will allow top commanders to make individual presentations.

"Consensus is not the goal of the process," Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters. "If there are differences, the president will hear them."

Military analysts called the move unusual for an institution that ordinarily does not air its differences in public, especially while its troops are deployed in combat.

"The professional military guys are going to the non-professional military guys and saying 'Resolve this,'" said Jeffrey White, a military analyst for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "That's what it sounds like."

White said it suggests that the military commanders want to be able to distance themselves from Iraq strategy by making it clear that whatever course is followed is the president's decision, not what commanders agreed on.

Posted by: 8 | August 30, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The investigation into U.S. weapons in Turkey was sparked in May when Pentagon officials learned that the Turks were concerned about American-issued weapons being involved in crimes in their country, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates sent the Pentagon's top lawyer, William Haynes, to Turkey to meet with Turkish officials, Morrell said. The officials told Haynes that American-supplied weapons were ending up in the wrong hands, possibly including Kurdish militants, a group known as the PKK that the Turkish military has been fighting on the Iraq border.

The situation has raised tensions between Ankara and Washington, and left open the possibility Turkey may conduct military operations in northern Iraq if the situation continue.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Among the contracts to be reviewed by the Army are awards to former Halliburton subsidiary KBR, which has received billions of dollars since 2001 to be a major provider of food and shelter services to U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Membrs of Congress have claimed that KBR, formerly known as Kellogg, Brown and Root, benefited from ties to Vice President Dick Cheney, who once led Halliburton Co., the Houston-based oil services conglomerate, and congressional Republicans.

The announcement, made by Army Secretary Pete Geren, comes as the number of criminal cases related to the acquisition of weapons and other supplies for forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has grown to 76. So far, 20 military and civilian Army employees have been indicted on charges of contract fraud.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Army will examine as many as 18,000 contracts awarded over the past four years to support U.S. forces in Iraq to determine how many are tainted by waste, fraud and abuse, service officials said Wednesday.

Overall, the contracts are worth close to $3 billion and represent every transaction made between 2003 and 2007 by a contracting office in Kuwait, which the Army has identified as a significant trouble spot.

In a separate probe, a high-level team led by Pentagon Inspector General Claude Kicklighter will travel to Iraq next week to investigate how U.S. weapons intended for Iraqi security forces ended up being used for murders and other violent crimes in Turkey.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

A secular Shiite and former Baath Party member, Allawi left Iraq in the 1970s and became a prominent exile leader opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein. He set up the Iraqi National Accord, a London-based exile group, which received financial support from both the British Secret Intelligence Service (colloquially known as M.I.6) and the CIA. Over time, CIA officials pushed Allawi as a more acceptable and reliable potential successor to Saddam than Ahmed Chalabi, a rival Iraqi exile (and Allawi relative) whose ambitions to succeed Saddam were heavily promoted by neoconservative intellectuals and civilian Pentagon aides to former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

But Allawi, like Chalabi, was also linked to bogus pre-war intelligence about Saddam's purported weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorism. As NEWSWEEK reported, one of Allawi's previous Washington lobbyists once acknowledged that an associate of his group may have been responsible for feeding officials in the government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair information--subsequently discredited--claiming that Saddam could launch WMD attacks on British troops in 45 minutes. The former lobbyist also confirmed that Allawi's group was also responsible for feeding the British media a document purporting to show that Muhammad Atta had undergone terrorist training in Baghdad a few months before he led the 9/11 attacks--a claim that was instantly ridiculed by official sources on both sides of the Atlantic.

Posted by: who's behind this? | August 30, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

No sooner did Allawi hire Barbour Griffith two weeks ago than congressional staffers said they began to be bombarded with e-mails from Allawi (from an Internet domain registered by the lobbying firm) featuring news stories that depict the Maliki government as hopelessly deadlocked and riddled by sectarian militias.

The e-mails included an Allawi-drafted "Six Point Plan for Iraq," which outlines various steps the former Iraqi leader would pursue if he were returned to power in Baghdad. Among the more controversial recommendations in the plan are suggestions that a "State of Emergency" be declared for up to 2-3 years "until security is restored." The plan flatly recommends that the current Iraqi government be removed "through Parliamentary means" because the "sectarian politics of the Maliki Government ... are destroying Iraq."

Adding further intrigue to the lobbying campaign was the disclosure that the Barbour Griffith principal overseeing the firm's Allawi account was former ambassador Robert D. Blackwill--the former Bush White House deputy national-security adviser in charge of Iraq policy, who later served as U.S. special envoy to that country.

Posted by: what's going on here? | August 30, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, should have been that government provide basic 'services'

Posted by: drindl | August 30, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Nobody in this country is calling for socialism, JD. I'm afraid you folks on the right have been so beaten about the head with fear propaganda for 30 years now about it, you simply don't know what the word means. No one is suggesting we live on collectives, after all. Only that our government function the way it was designed to, and provdie certain basic functions for its citizens like in every other civilized country.

Thanks for the 'life' joke bsimon -- I sent it to my Jewish mother in law -- and the TeenyTiny Shoes of gonzo.

Posted by: drindl | August 30, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

For the politicos in the GOP, family values and gay bashing are emotional wedge issues they championed in order to label theirs a "good" party.

This year especially, their hypocrisy has come back to bite them "big time."

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 30, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"If anyone wants a great read on why socialism harms a society in the long run, read Will in today's WaPo."

Its the usual rant. More interesting is Novak's assessment of the bed the President has made for himself & now must lie in, with regards to the prospect of finding a competent AG to replace Gonzales. 'Mighty Small Shoes to Fill' indeed.

Posted by: bsimon | August 30, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

When it comes to scandal, Democrats could be forgiven for thinking they hit the political jackpot this summer. At Republican expense.

First came the disclosure that Louisiana Sen. David Vitter's telephone number was listed in the records of an 'escort' service.

Then Sen. Ted Stevens' home in Alaska was raided by federal agents as part of a corruption investigation.

Now Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho is recanting a guilty plea that grew out of a police undercover operation in an airport men's room, adding, "I am not gay" for emphasis.

"This is a serious matter," said the Senate Republican leadership, an understatement for the ages.

No doubt, none of this has been good for what some Republicans like to call "the brand."

Craig "represents the Republican Party," Rep. Pete Hoekstra said on Wednesday, a frank acknowledgment that the party may suffer, regardless of the Idaho senator's political fate.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"Life doesn't begin at 40, it begins when the kids leave home."

Reminds me of an old joke my dad keeps telling. 3 religious leaders sitting around talking about when life begins. Priest: at conception, obviously. Minister: hard to say - sometime before birth, but after conception. Rabbi pauses, strokes his beard, then says "Life begins when the dog dies & the kids go off to college."

Posted by: bsimon | August 30, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The NYT fronts word that weapons given to the Iraqi forces have been showing up in Turkey.

Posted by: your taxpayer dollars at work | August 30, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The WSJ fronts a good dispatch from Baghdad that says U.S. commanders in Iraq are increasingly saying the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia group run by cleric Muqtada Sadr, is preventing them from making any kind of progress in Iraq. "The Mahdi Army has infiltrated Iraq's government and society so deeply" that it's hard to identify the enemy, says the Journal.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"Today is Pakistan's moment of truth," says Bhutto in a LAT op-ed. "Decisions made now will determine whether extremism and terrorism can be contained to save Pakistan." Bhutto goes on to forcefully speak out against treaties and agreements with militants. "No deals can be struck with religious fanatics," Bhutto writes.'

Bhutto is brave beyond measure. She is criticizing Mushareff's 'treaties' and deals with the Taliban and bin Ladin and al Queda, carried out under the nose of this administration, while we continue to send them biillions for their nuclear program, which they will eventually use against. Bhutto is in more danger than possibly anyone on earth-- she suppiorts true democracy, but of course, the US would rather support a military dictator like Mushareff.

Posted by: J | August 30, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The Post calls the GAO report "strikingly negative" and although it doesn't come out and say it, the draft certainly seems like an indictment of the administration's assessment of progress last month. The GAO questions some of the White House's conclusions, and says that, in the future, the administration should take more views into consideration and back up its findings more extensively. The GAO found there really hasn't been a decrease in violence against Iraqis and says there has been a marked decrease in the number of Iraqi army units that can operate without assistance.

A government official apparently gave the report to the Post fearing the "pessimistic conclusions would be watered down in the final version."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post leads with its second Iraq-related scoop in two days. The paper got a hold of the draft of the Government Accountability Office report that evaluates progress in Iraq and, unsurprisingly, the picture isn't pretty. Only three of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress have been fully met. "Key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in US reconstruction funds," the report concludes

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Judge, bsimon

we've been planning this trip for a long time. I haven't been in Europe since the '80's. We are getting excited - but lots to do before we can go.

Judge - well, we just sent our oldest grandchild off to kindergarten, so we are in a different stage of life. Life doesn't begin at 40, it begins when the kids leave home.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 30, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If anyone wants a great read on why socialism harms a society in the long run, read Will in today's WaPo.

Posted by: JD | August 30, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Greenwald does a masterful job of skewering the Right Wing Noise Machine over their obvious hypocrisy regarding the Craig affair:

"They certainly don't seem to think that Craig's behavior is so irrelevant any more, do they? As always, it is astonishing to observe how the same human brain can accommodate those two opposite thoughts only a few months apart without even realizing that it is doing so."

Makes you realize that KOZ is not an anomaly but is simply too illiterate to get paid for his wildly self-contradicting views.

Oh, please x/anonymous, don't post stuff from the link. Those who are interested in it can click on it themselves.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 30, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The GAO, the congressional watchdog, is expected to find that the Iraqis have met only modest security goals for Baghdad and none of the major political aims such as passage of an oil law.

The White House declined to comment on the specific findings of the GAO report, which officials said would put the Iraqi government's success rate at about 20 percent.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The GAO report comes at a pivotal time in the Iraq debate. So far, Republicans have mostly stood by Bush on the war and staved off Democratic demands of troop withdrawals. But in exchange for their support, many GOP members said they wanted to see substantial progress in Iraq by September or else they would call for a new strategy, including possibly a withdrawal of troops.

---Naw, they're too scared of cheney.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

JimD in FL says
"We're planning an extended vacation ourselves in the fall - 9 European countries in 27 days."

Sounds great! Have a good time. Like the Judge, we're a few years off from that kind of trip.

Posted by: bsimon | August 30, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gets failing grades in a GAO report.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Iraqi government has failed to meet the vast majority of political and military goals laid out by lawmakers to assess President Bush's Iraq war strategy, auditors have determined.

The Associated Press has learned the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, will report that at least 13 of the 18 benchmarks to measure the surge of U.S. troops to Iraq are unfulfilled ahead of a September 15 deadline. That's when Bush is to give a detailed accounting of the situation eight months after he announced the policy, according to three officials familiar with the matter.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Even by his standards, this is a startlingly misguided passage. Few serious analysts would disagree that the best we can hope for in Iraq is a moderately authoritarian government that's not too terribly sectarian and not too closely aligned with Iran--that is to say, a regime that is neither extremist nor, in any Western sense, free. It would be a huge relief if "our enemies" don't see their interests advanced very far in Iraq, but few at this point anticipate U.S. interests making much headway either. It is unlikely that we or the Iraqi leaders will be able to ward off ambitions of al-Qaida and Iran and "other forces of instability and terror." At least one of those groups will come out fairly well; the key task now is to make sure that the most dangerous of them do not. And it is still unclear, after all this time, how Bush defines "win."
At one point in his speech, he came close to defining the term, but by that measure, we're not doing well. The "central objective" of his strategy in Iraq, he said, is "to aid the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in this war on terror."

The Iraqi people do not feel more protected (or, to the extent they do in certain areas, for instance in Anbar province, the relief has nothing to do with the Iraqi government). Basic services--clean water and electricity--are more lacking than they were a few months ago. And, even if the Baghdad regime gets its act together, it is unlikely to get confrontational with, say, Iran or Hezbollah.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Whether or not you regard this fact as lamentable, President Bush only makes things worse by howling that any pullback would erode American power and embolden the terrorists. Even if his warning is true, for a president to state it so urgently, over and over and over and over, deepens the damage when the storm hits. And given that the storm is certain to hit, it's irresponsible--it's baffling--that he's howling so loudly.

Posted by: x | August 30, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The long and short of it is that by next spring some of the 20 U.S. combat brigades currently in Iraq--perhaps as many as a quarter to a half of them--will be pulling out, and nobody will replace them. This is a mathematical fact, quite apart from anything to do with the upcoming election or the war's diminishing popularity.

Posted by: x | August 30, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Another option would be to persuade other countries to send more troops, but those that aren't long gone are in the process of leaving. Finally, there's the draft, which just isn't going to happen and, in any case, it would take well over a year to call up, train, equip, and deploy fresh brigades for combat.

Posted by: x | August 30, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Gen. Cody said his personal preference is the "full mobilization" of the Reserves. A president does have the statutory authority to call up to a million reservists, including retirees, into active service for the duration of a war or an emergency. But this step hasn't been taken since World War II, and for good reason: It would be a huge social disruption; and, unless a president persuades the population that it's necessary--unless the war is almost universally seen as vital to the nation's security--the call up would have politically explosive consequences as well.

(Lyndon Johnson expanded the draft rather than fully mobilize the Reserves during the Vietnam War.) There is no sign that Bush is preparing the public for such a dramatic step now.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

There are a few ways to remedy this shortfall, all of them impractical or infeasible. First, soldiers' tours of duty in Iraq, which were recently extended from 12 months to 15 months, could be stretched further to 18 months. However, Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, told me, during a recent interview for a separate story, that this idea is "off the table."

As it should be: The relentless rotation cycles have already compelled many soldiers and junior officers to quit the Army; pushing duty and tolerance much further might not just exhaust the troops beyond limits but spark an exodus from the armed forces.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

This has been noted time and time again, but apparently it bears repeating: The U.S. Army and Marines are simply running out of combat troops.

Adm. Michael Mullen, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified at his confirmation hearings last month that the "surge" in Iraq could not be sustained at present levels past April 2008.

Posted by: x | August 30, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

President George W. Bush's behavior gets more baffling every day. Most leaders in his predicament would be recalibrating their rhetoric, seeking to alter expectations, so that the inevitable drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq won't appear to be a defeat.

Instead, Bush is doing the opposite. Twice this past week, he has appeared before his most bedrock base (the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars), promised to give his commanders whatever they need for victory, and lambasted Congress for so much as contemplating withdrawal, a step, he warned, that would imperil civilization and free peoples everywhere.

He is willfully ignoring two facts. First, almost nobody in a position of power or much influence is advocating a complete withdrawal from Iraq. Second, a partial withdrawal is certain to take place in the next nine months, and this has nothing to do with Congress.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

JimD: enjoy your trip whenever you go. I'll have to talk my wife into something like that but today we sent our youngest off to kindergarden so it'll be a while.

In the meantime, Slate clears up one issue (that some troops WILL be withdrawn) while puzzling over Bush's rhetorical inability to recognize that. Gee, shouldn't we impeach him on the grounds of eroding American power and emboldening the terrorists?

"The long and short of it is that by next spring some of the 20 U.S. combat brigades currently in Iraq--perhaps as many as a quarter to a half of them--will be pulling out, and nobody will replace them. This is a mathematical fact, quite apart from anything to do with the upcoming election or the war's diminishing popularity.

Whether or not you regard this fact as lamentable, President Bush only makes things worse by howling that any pullback would erode American power and embolden the terrorists. Even if his warning is true, for a president to state it so urgently, over and over and over and over, deepens the damage when the storm hits. And given that the storm is certain to hit, it's irresponsible--it's baffling--that he's howling so loudly."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 30, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Have a nice time, Chris. I have been too busy to spend much time here lately. We're planning an extended vacation ourselves (speaking of my wife and me, not the imperial we as the Fix uses) in the fall - 9 European countries in 27 days.

Happy labor day to all - Mark, bsimon, bokonon, drindl, bhoomes, proudtobegop, lylepink, Judge Crater (where have you been hiding since 1930-something?), Loudon voter, and all the other regulars who come here to try and have rational discussions (at least most of the time). To the cut and pasters, irrational ranters and ravers, paranoid ideologues - I hope you can all take a nice "chill pill" (as my kids would say) and return in a little calmer state of mind.

Posted by: JimD in Fl | August 30, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh one more thing. Do your thing ghost poster. Don't let the fascist propogandist sneak any lies in against the unsuspecting populance.

Posted by: rufus1133 | August 29, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm done here for good. What a waste of time.

REmember what I said. I didn't lie. I also don't believe everything I said is absolute truth. Research on your own.

We are being lied to. We are being lead down a path of fascism. To all the George Bush patriot act cronies. Get a real job. Stop fighting a war against your own country.

PAt Tillman. Remember that name.

"And your accounted for. Everything that you heard."


All praise to the one true God.


Sorry if I hurt anybody's feelings. Just trying to be the yin (yang) to the fascist right wing propganda machines yang (yin). They have it all. The left has nothing. Yet. Your fascist movement has a year and a half. I hope. Peace.

Posted by: rufus1133 (JKRish) | August 29, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

CC, have a great vacation. Fortunately, I am also heading out on a vacation and will not need to find the other blogs. To all, have a great Labor Day and good luck at the other places.

Posted by: Dave! | August 29, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, y'all - I'll look forward to seeing you on the other blogs as suggested.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 29, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Be sure to get back in time for the Hillary-Hsu fund raising scandal to fully bloom. Oh, did I miss that in the Post? Fortunately, the LA Times covered it.

Posted by: Kasha | August 29, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

here's the video of Craig endorsing Romney, still up at Talking Points.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 29, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

According to ABC News, Fred Thompson, has named Todd Harris to replace Linda Rozett has his communications director.

Harris has worked in McCain's 2000 campaign, Jeb Bush's 2002 gov campaign and for Arnold from 2003-2005. He's a DC consultant currently.

Think Fred still needs that top person to pull things together.... according to the story, he plans to announce "shortly" after Labor Day.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 29, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Capitol Briefing is fun, no Zouk, rufus or left-wing/right-wing copy-paster either.

And rufus, buddy, please take this time to implement some of the advice that has been given you. Your posting style seems to put everyone out regardless of political leanings. You are not influencing anyone and you are not affecting change. Generally speaking, being ignored is not a great way to do that.

Posted by: roo | August 29, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

further not farther

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Aman says he wants to fly a spaceship to saturn. He spends billions to create it. He has the backing of 15% of the population (they think saturn is cool). He tries and tries but the rocket will not take off. He spends more and more and more. Thousands of people die in the construction. Yet he continues to spend spend spend. People continue to die die die.

How long does this sapceman get to hold the country hostage while him and his 15% continue to believe we can live successfully on saturn? how long can he spend the treason of his country on such a fruitless endeavor? How long will the populance stand for it?

Now waht if he tricked/lied/killed to get his way and would not lsiten to reason.

How long before the good of the country outweighs teh good for a small fraction?

These gop'ers are space cadets. Their leader is Lisa Novak.

Yet they continue to support the space flight. After 5 years and the ship won't get off the ground. They continue to have hope. Even though they have no fuel(none exists) to power said spaceship

You gop'ers are a lost cause and drifting farther and farther away from reality.

You have a year and a half of relevance. Use it wisely.

Posted by: rufus | August 29, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

A new poll shows that a majority of Americans, 54 percent, believe the United States has not lost the war in Iraq. That's sure to please House Republican leaders, who said they have some ''key questions'' for Democrats when Congress comes back into session next week. According to the new UPI/Zogby Interactive poll, two in three Democrats (66 percent) said the war effort has already failed, while just 9 percent of Republicans described the war as a failure

Posted by: the party of losers | August 29, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is getting a pounding, from liberal blogs and her Democratic rivals for the presidency, because she had the temerity to warn voters that a possible terrorist attack before the election might strengthen the Republicans' hand.

clinton spoke the truth. I am shocked and amazed. Get her! no fair reminding the voters how weak the Libs are. Stick to sex and investigations.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"The fascists are coming"

History repeats itself. The "empire" used to be located in england. There used to be radicals(americans freedom fighters) against the conservative loyalists.

The GHost rider says the fascsits are coming and reminded me of the famous "the red coats are coming". One in the same. Sell-out fascsit traitors selling out the country for party and self. Not much has changed has it?

MArk in austin. I got you.


Posted by: rufus | August 29, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It is not paranoia if they really are out to get you. you know the VLWC.

Posted by: KOZ | August 29, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Today's new York Post is reporting that Howard Stern wears dentures!

Posted by: Howard | August 29, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: lylepink | August 29, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"That sort of warped perception comes from extreme paranoid projectivity: the tendency to rail at others for traits or longings that one hates and fears inside oneself."

Kind of like a senator who tries to pass anti-gay legislation, but is found picking up guys in an airport. Or a minister who preaches the evils of homosexuality, while hiring male prostitutes.

Or a troll who whines about people pasting in news stories and posts from other blogs, when he isn't busy doing exactly that. And makes dozens of posts every day, many of which mock his opponents for posting too much.

Posted by: Blarg | August 29, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Also - The Trail, starting with the entry titled "The Not So Grand Old Party."

Posted by: FemaleNick | August 29, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

MARK IN AUSTIN - we can invade Paul Kane's blog (Congressional Briefings.)

Posted by: FemaleNick | August 29, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Even though your paranoid it doesn't mean someone's not out to get you.

Posted by: Andy R | August 29, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

There is no place like the fix. It is the best blog in the entire WORLD!!!

Posted by: Andy R | August 29, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Ignorant coward and rufas - that NR article is all about you two. It even has the fascists taking over america, global warming, stealing elections, etc. the last paragraph describes you to a T.

"That sort of warped perception comes from extreme paranoid projectivity: the tendency to rail at others for traits or longings that one hates and fears inside oneself. .  .  . We're dealing with a movement that is anti-rational. It's faith-based .  .  . it's a movement that believes what it believes, and it believes what it believes is right. .  .  . It believes what it wants to believe. If it hears contrary evidence, it comes up with evidence of its own. .  .  . This is not a movement that the rational can ever shame into surrendering by merely demonstrating its illogic to its followers. .  .  . Paranoia .  .  . is based on fear, and therefore on a kind of 'logic' that's impervious to evidence and quite incapable of learning from experience. .  .  . Paranoia is an atavism, deep within us all."

Right you are.

Posted by: she has your number | August 29, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The fascists are coming! Or rather, they're already here, installed in the White House, planning like mad to subvert the Constitution and extend their reign in perpetuity, having first suppressed and eviscerated all opposition and put all of their critics in jail. Thus goes the rant of America's increasingly unhinged left. If only, sigh many Bush partisans, wondering when this administration will get out of the fetal position and show some fighting spirit. To them, as to most reasonable observers, the White House shows the chronic fatigue of a two-term presidency reaching its final year. Nonetheless, paranoia about what Bush and Co. are up to preys on the minds of many progressives, who have progressed, in this case at least, beyond reason.

Posted by: emery | August 29, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Hsu, an apparel executive, has raised well over $1 million for the New York senator's presidential campaign, making him one of the top 20 Democratic fund-raisers in the country

A major Democratic Party fundraiser, Norman Hsu, is wanted by authorities for skipping out on an agreement to serve up to three years in prison after pleading no contest to grand theft swindling charges

Posted by: the clinton way | August 29, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

A Christian law firm hopes that once its client is cleared of charges in connection with the so-called Haditha massacre, it will consider legal action against one of the men responsible for the accusations: Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha

get the traitor! now he'll have to get some more bribes to pay his legal bills.

Posted by: corruption is us | August 29, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

If you want the same tenor and tone as this blog of late -you will need to head over to Daily Kos. you will find ignorant coward over there. He is on his afternoon break right now and is letting rufas cover for him. He'll be back frantically posting around 4. Until then you will have to settle for the wit and intellect of rufas. I know.

Posted by: cc | August 29, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I've glanced at The Trail. There never seem to be more than a few comments on any post. I don't care about most of the content in Capitol Briefing.

Wasn't there a forum based on The Fix at some point? I remember there were links to it a few times, but I can't find it anymore.

Posted by: Blarg | August 29, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Raw fisher gets it sometimes.

Enjoy your vacation, but clearly this somehow, in some way shows your anti Guiliani/Clinton/Obama/Ron Paul/Romney (pick one) bias.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 29, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Mark- none seem to have the same kind of dialogue and/or cast of characters that The Fix attracts. That, of course, has plusses and minuses. Over at The Trail they require login to post, which forces everyone to use the same name for each post, which seems to help. Capitol Briefing is setup like the Fix, but is geared towards inside-the-beltway current events vs. the Fix focus on future elections.

Perhaps Capitol Briefing would best serve the needs of the Fix's junkies in the interim.

Posted by: bsimon | August 29, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If we were to "invade" one of the other blogs, which would you choose? I already go to Cohen's legal page [thanks to one of the | posters], but surely some of you have experience with one of the other pages here.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 29, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Have fun on vacation but we'll miss you.

Posted by: George | August 29, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

CC - I guess this means we'll have to wait 'till your return for the What's up with Louisiana Wag the Blog Redux. :(

Or you could just make us all happy and stay home - Remember, the alternative to a vacation is to stay home and tip every third person you see.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 29, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"You peOPle R crazy. You dont know anything. GOPrs, your time is coming. Your AVATARS will die out, speek power to TRutTH."

Not me. Zouk has no chance at debate. HYe shows his face

Posted by: rufus | August 29, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

reason writes
"we should all be posting about Fred Thompson, will he be in or out?"

One foot on the dock, one on the boat. The ropes have been cast off - can Fred make a jump one way or the other? Or will he waffle his way into the drink?

Posted by: bsimon | August 29, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy it Chris. After Labor Day...we should all be posting about Fred Thompson, will he be in or out?

Posted by: reason | August 29, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Have a nice vacation and I hope you are going somewhere with no net access so you really can relax and not think about work. Everyone else have a great Labor Day!!

Posted by: Andy R | August 29, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

You peOPle R crazy. You dont know anything. GOPrs, your time is coming. Your AVATARS will die out, speek power to TRutTH.

Posted by: Rufus | August 29, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Chris, enjoy the time off. Sadly that means the blog will be largely useless until your return.

Posted by: bsimon | August 29, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Hike up those pants. Droopy drawers that bare skin or underwear might soon be forbidden fashion on the streets of Alexandria and Shreveport, and violators could be forced to part with some cash.

"I'm tired (of) looking at behinds," Shreveport Councilwoman Joyce Bowman said after Tuesday's 4-3 vote to ban fanny-flaunting trousers.

Nobody can be arrested just for violating the ordinance, but they could be fined or required to perform community service. The maximum fine for a first offense is $100.

Alexandria's City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the baring. Its ordinance allows some sag, but 3 inches or more can bring a fine of $25 to $200 and a requirement for community service.

If the mayors of Shreveport and Alexandria sign the ordinances, they will bring Louisiana's total to at least six, with at least two more cities considering bans.

Elsewhere, Atlanta's City Council has held a hearing on a measure to outlaw saggy pants that reveal shorts or thongs.

A similar proposal in Stratford, Conn., was soundly rejected this week after critics argued it would be unconstitutional and unfairly target minorities.

Some opponents cite other objections.

"Are you going to have a 'sagging' court?" Michael Williams asked Shreveport's council. "The police have more important things to do than chase young boys and girls and say 'pull your pants up.'"


Posted by: big brother is watching you | August 29, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I was kind of a jerk about this last time you announced your vacation. Have a good time.

I'd still prefer it if there was a new post every day, even if that post didn't have any content. Otherwise the last post is going to have hundreds of comments, which is hard to read. (Especially since 90% of those comments are rufus.) But I suppose we can deal with it.

Posted by: Blarg | August 29, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse


You know he's trying to shut me down. That's ggod. Gives me time to read and ramp up. How scary.

Boo. Does that Boo I just typed scare you gop'ers? I know you people are scared of an awful lot these days

Posted by: RUFUS | August 29, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey truth - he has another distinction from the other Dem Senators - parts of his brain still function.

Talking slowly, and sometimes with slurred words yesterday - sounds like Kennedy

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

South Dakota's Sen. Tim Johnson (D) vows he'll run again after being sidelined with a severe brain hemmorage.

Talking slowly, and sometimes with slurred words yesterday, he nevertheless uttered the best line of the week:

"Of course, I believe I have an unfair edge over most of my colleagues right now. My mind works faster than my mouth does."

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 29, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Have a great vacation. See you in September.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 29, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, which had long pronounced the war a misbegotten disaster, radically revised its view. "The US military is more successful in Iraq than the world wants to believe," journalist Ullrich Fichtner reported. So much so that the outcome the Bush administration "erroneously predicted before their invasion -- that the troops would be greeted with candy and flowers -- could in fact still come true."

More good news came just this week in a breakthrough announced by Iraq's top Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish politicians. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and the Kurdish regional president, Massoud Barzani, are joining forces on legislation to settle some of the thorniest issues bedeviling Iraqi politics, including a national oil policy, an easing of de-Baathification, and the release of certain detainees.

For most Americans, positive developments in Iraq are very welcome. But good news is bad news for the Democratic left, where opposition to the war has become an emotional investment in defeat

Since 2002, Clinton has been all over the lot on Iraq. She defended George W. Bush's claims on WMDs. She opposed setting a timetable for withdrawal. She voted yes on authorizing the war. She voted no on funding the troops. We likely haven't seen the last of her shape-shifting.

Clinton is hardly the only presidential candidate prepared to say whatever it takes to get elected or to retreat under pressure from her party's hard-liners.

JFK was elected at a time when Americans could trust his party to confront international threats with resolve. That changed after Vietnam, where the Democratic left insisted on defeat and got its way, only to lose voters' trust on national security for a long time thereafter.

Today the left insists on defeat in Iraq. It beats up any Democrat who strays off-message. It treats good news from the front as "a real big problem." Is that any way to win an election? In the short term, maybe. But we're in the midst of a long-term war -- one that Americans don't want to lose.

Posted by: jeff | August 29, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your vacation! You deserve it. This is a very lively site.

Posted by: Golgi | August 29, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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