“Be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem controlled Congress.” Read the full memo at Huffington Post.
Minnesota State Rep. Mark Olson (R) appeared in court today “in connection with an alleged domestic assault against his wife, Heidi, at their home Sunday.” Olson’s wife says he “pushed her to the ground three times” and police found a “fresh bruise.” Olson admits only to “grabbing his wife by the shoulders” and “placing her to the ground.” (HT: Wonkette)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) — the dean of the Senate women — held a bipartisan Senate ‘Women Power Workshop’ in her office today. The 110th Congress will have a record 16 women Senators. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) will serve as the first chairwoman of the Rules Committee.
Last night on Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) was asked to explain the midterm election results. Frist answered, “clearly, number one, the fact that we were not winning in Iraq dominated.” Watch it:
What a difference an election makes. In July, Frist said the conservative national security message for 2006 was, “We’re for staying the course in Iraq and the war on terror.” And as recently as last month, Frist said the U.S. was making “tremendous progress” in Iraq.
I’m confident that we are making tremendous progress in hunting down and killing the murderers of Islamic fascism, in stabilizing the democratic governments of Afghanistan and Iraq and in winning the generational struggle that is the War on Terror.
Full transcript: Read more
In a post this morning, Wizbang blogger Alexander K. McClure compared the homicide rate in Philadelphia to the situation in Iraq:
Without looking at the URL or the headline at the top, try to figure out which city this is. Each red dot represents a murder in the past year. Isn’t that a quagmire? Isn’t it time to consider pulling out?
The city McClure pointed to is Philadelphia. It had 337 homicides between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2006.
In Baghdad, the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index estimates that 5,320 people
are killed a month, meaning there were 53,200 murders between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2006. are projected to be killed this year, meaning Baghdad had 13.2 times more murders than Philadelphia.
This number vastly underestimates the number of civilians killed in Baghdad because it applies only to people with mortal gunshot wounds. (Brookings also notes this number may be “too low since many murder victims are never taken to the morgue, but buried quickly and privately and therefore never recorded in official tallies.”)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has also tried to claim that living in Washington, DC, is as dangerous as living in Iraq. Comparing the murder rate in any U.S. city with the situation in Baghdad only underscores how out-of-touch some conservatives are from the real situation on the ground in Iraq.
“The South African parliament on Tuesday approved new legislation recognizing gay marriages — a first for a continent where homosexuality is largely taboo,” the AP reports. “When we attained our democracy, we sought to distinguish ourselves from an unjust painful past, by declaring that never again shall it be that any South African will be discriminated against on the basis of color, creed culture and sex,” Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told the National Assembly.
Two shortish articles out today.
First in Slate we tackle the myth that NBA rule changes have made defense less important.
The in The American Prospect Online we examine the use and (mostly) abuse of demographic targeting as an electoral strategy.
Today, the Washington Post’s editorial board attacked John Murtha’s proposal to redeploy U.S. troops out of Iraq as an “extreme” measure not supported by congressional Democrats:
Mr. Murtha’s candidacy is troubling for several reasons, beginning with his position on the war in Iraq. … He said the United States …should “redeploy as soon as practicable,” an extreme step that most congressional Democrats oppose.
While the Post does not agree with Murtha’s position on Iraq, House Democrats do. As of today, the majority of House Democrats in the outgoing 109th Congress – 105 of 202 – not only agree with Murtha’s position, they have cosponsored Murtha’s resolution calling for our troops to be “redeployed at the earliest practicable date” out of Iraq. In the 110th Congress, the number is likely to be even higher because many successful candidates called for redeployment during the campaign.
Congressional leaders in the Senate also support redeployment. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who is expected to take over the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday, “We need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months.” Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said redeployment “should start within the next few months.”
Max Sawicky, still fretting about the future of the nation, laments that during the election “On the war, the argument was basically there were no WMDs so the invasion was unjustified. In other words, if there were WMDs, it would have been. Might have been, with a ‘competent’ Administration.” Everyone knows where I stand on the competence issue. The WMD one, is, I think, interesting and complicated. In particular, one of the paradoxes of the Iraq War is that though it was sold with reference to an advanced Iraqi nuclear program, had there actually been both an advanced Iraqi nuclear program and a US administration genuinely concerned about it, there almost certainly wouldn’t have been a war.
One of the odder NBA dynamics around the end of last season was that lots of people were simultaneously talking about the unique awesomeness of Steve Nash and advocating that other teams adopt a Phoenix-style high-paced offense. Seemingly, though, those can’t both be right. Either Nash is a brilliant talent, capable of quarterbacking an unorthodox style of play effectively, or else the unorthodox style is just better and anyone would put up Suns-esque numbers by pushing the pace.
Well . . . score one for Nash, even though the Suns aren’t doing very well. John Hollinger points out that the Denver Nuggets have managed to actually exceed Phoenix’s pace this year and for their trouble they rank 22nd in offensive efficiency. Meanwhile “this is still better than Toronto and Charlotte, which rank third and fourth in pace but 23rd and 28th in offensive efficiency.” Boston, I might add, is fifth in pace and 25th in efficiency. Phoenix itself, however, is managing a respectable sixth in efficiency while maintaining the league’s second-fastest offense. It’s not good enough, in other words, to just run; you need players who can actually make it work. Charlotte, in particular, is just turning the ball over like crazy.