Sunday, August 20, 2006

19 down - 29 to go

The Ginger Haired Yank's response? 29 too many.

The mini-war in Lebanon has been the dominant news item for the past month, and the consensus opinions are that Hezbollah has won the political war by holding their own against Israel, and that it's a proxy war for Iran vs. USA. The neo-cons aren't happy about the results, but there's no chance the US is going to war with Iran in the foreseeable future (actually i know have 2 wagers that Israel will not go to war with Iran by January 20th, 2013).

Monthly metric updates:

Of my wagers (I also added a gimme that Kurdistan would not be recognized by the UN by August 4th, 2011), only my support of Warner is questionable. Not that he's looking bad - I would probably put him in 2nd place now - but his name recognition still isn't that high. Could be that Feingold will garner the Lamont vote, so not sure what constituency that would leave for Warner.

This portion of Bush's presidency does seem like the dog days of summer for the Kansas City Royals - it has to be played out, but provides little satisfaction for fans or players.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Happy to see Lieberman lose

When Kos first started supporting Lamont, I thought it was just one more quixotic struggle & one more futile loss for the left, but my hat's off to the netroots for making this victory happen - Lamont's $$$ on their own would not have been enough. It's the accumulation of items that makes me (and others on the left) happy that Joe has been defeated - the hawkish support for the war, the Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, the hug, the sanctimoniousness, the pigheadedness. And now of course his desire to run as an independent.

Well best to turn it over to a netrooter who earned the right to a victory lap:

11:03pm: Lieberman has taken the podium. UGH!! He just called it "a much closer race than the pundits were predicting"?!

Oh, fuck this guy. He's bloviating about how this is just the end of the "first half".

He's announcing his independent run. And we're just going to have to kick his ass again. The arrogance! The delusional dickweed!

Shit. Somebody just sloshed beer on my keyboard.

11:08pm: I'm in a room with a bunch of very angry people right now. And my keyboard isn't responding properly now that it's soaked in beer. Someone in the room just said, "This is like watching your old uncle soil himself!"

That was the longest concession speech I've ever heard. I can only hope that someone from the national party will pull the plug on him.

Gotta walk away from the computer. I'm ready to punch somebody.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Too early for history to be written

Have read a number of good reviews of The Assassin's Gate on liberal blogs, so decided to overcome my reservations & read it. First instincts were right - it's better than Rise of the Vulcans (an extremely superficial book that offered little more than facts facts facts, which I gave up reading after way too much detail about Rumsfeld & Cheney in the 70's) - but provides little more than what any daily reader of newspapers & magazines & blogs already knows. There are a few good sentences in it including the one that received the most attention

I came to believe that those in positions of highest responsibility for Iraq showed a carelessness about human life that amounted to criminal negligence. Swaddled in abstract ideas, convinced of their own righteousness, incapable of self-criticism, indifferent to accountability they turned a difficult undertaking into a needlessly deadly one. When things went wrong, they found other people to blame. The Iraq War was always winnable; it still is. For this very reason, the recklessness of
its authours is all the harder to forgive.
and which the authour of course has since recanted "By now, I'm quite grim, and I would not have written that line in the present tense. The armed militias are running the show. The young and the dispossessed and the angry and the religious have become the wave of the future."

But the major flaw of the Assassin's Gate is the same as so many other war books - journalists rarely write good history books. The skill sets are too different. Journalists write short article for immediate & disposable consumption. Good history books need a permanence, a broader vision than journalists possess. There's also the matter of time - for a good book on the current war, we'll have to wait until 2037 for sufficient perspective, so I'll plan skip any tomes written in the interim on the current Iraq War.

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