Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, January 23, 2004

Lame Duck Promise 

John Miller of NRO quotes the Washington Post quoting White House officials promising that the growth of the 2005 budget will be no more than 1%, excluding defense and Homeland Security. I like the tune, but beat tells me that there is very little political pressure in the fifth year in office to hold the Administration to this promise, especially if the Vice President is not running in 2008.

Surely They Meant "Suspect" 

Please don't read the last sentence of the first paragraph if you're eating cake.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


Via Tim Blair:

USA Today profiles Dean guru Joe Trippi

"The Internet has been a fixture of sorts in two previous presidential campaigns. But admirers say it took Trippi to capitalize on its explosive potential . . ."

I think it's explosive potential has been demonstrated.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


I read Andrew Sullivan's interview in Front Page. I greatly respect Mr. Sullivan and understand that his basic position on the war remains firm, but I'm afraid he's going a little wobbly on the pre-emption aspect. Two points. I have yet to hear anyone construct a convincing rational for Saddam's refusal to cooperate with inspections if he didn't have chemical or biological agents. Of course the French, Germans and Russians may well have been assuring him that they would be able to forestall an attack by the coalition. Now, Saddam may be crazy, but nobody ever said he was stupid. He knew perfectly well if there was an attack it could only have one result and to literally put his neck on the block on the assurance of French diplomats is just child-simple. And the money! Billions of it every year just for saying either "Oh, yeah, the bugs are over there" or "They're gone. Knock yourselves out." That would buy a lot of solid gold crappers.

Secondly, my understanding is that all of the chemical agents that he was alleged to possess by the most aggressive of the inspectors would fit into a large swimming pool. It would be the work of an afternoon for a platoon with a bulldozer to put them under the sand somewhere the sun may not shine for a hundred years. Kill the platoon and one or two guys know where it is. All of it.

If the idea that an angry and increasingly isolated enemy of the west who has used chemical weapons in the past and has been attempting to develop a nuclear capability for decades, one who has consistantly lied to the international community and obstructed perfectly legal attempts to exonerate him one whose inner workings are perfectly opaque, one with proven ties to many murderous anti-western groups and almost certainly ongoing, productive and growing links to the big Al-Q with whom it obviously shares a community of interest doesn't make you want to do something, well, then your name is Jimmy Carter.

We haven't proven they had them, but we're miles from proving they didn't. A couple of months before the war it wasn't a consensus that they did, it was virtually unanimous. Every intelligent informed person, even those dead set against the war, believed it. Every person, Republican and Democrat, with access to the intelligence reports thought they did. Albright did. And Daschle and Kerry and the Clintons and on and on. I suppose we could all have been wrong. Maybe Saddam is crazy and stupid. But given the intelligence, given his track record and given his potential for mischief, we would have been flat out bull goose looney not to do exactly as we did.

I was for the war and I still am (if you couldn't guess). But it scared the hell out of me. There were many plausible scenarios for it going south in a very big way. But it didn't. It's a mess, like any war, like any post-bellum reconstruction. The up sides, as spectacular as they have been and will be, may never be as vivid to us as the fear of the down sides was. But it was the right thing to do.

How Cold Was it, Johnny? 

Not quite cold enough for a Global Warming conference, but it's been a right nippy week, it has.

Brett Schundler's Son Plays on my Daughter's Hockey Team 

How's that for name dropping? I had a brief conversation with him at practice the other night and he talked about what he's working on now. That would be an amendment to the New Jersey constitution that would, among other things, require state and local politicians to get voter approval if they want to increase per capita spending by more than 1.3x the rate of inflation. The details are at Empower the People. I'll post more when I learn more about it, but this sounds like a winner.

Howard Dean's Howard Beale Moment 

That was something, wasn't it? I was walking into the room as he started his concession/victory/what the hell was it? speech and was transfixed. I was thinking to myself 'Is this it? Did he just cook himself?' I doubt it, but I bet he sure opened a lot of eyes.
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