I was a little distressed to find Bill Simmons’ latest online chat featuring recommendations of Bloc Party and Arcade Fire. Those are both good bands, but a little 2005 at this point if you know what I mean. Which inspired me to offer my own outdated recommendation that various people and impersonal computers have been telling me that I would like Mirah for some time now and it’s true — I do like Mirah, or, at least, Advisory Committee. Will have to examine her other albums. What’s more, several readers had recommended The Thermals to me and I get good results with that. Better, however, is The Blow and their album Paper Television a simply awesome, awesome thing. The Clipse record is good, too, but I’m so ignorant of hip-hop I hesitate to speak on these matters.
For years, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have asserted that “absolutely, we’re winning” in Iraq. Bush put an end to such happy talk last Wednesday night, omitting suggestions that we’re “winning” or making “progress,” and instead stating:
The violence in Iraq [over the last year] — particularly in Baghdad — overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. … And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today. The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people — and it is unacceptable to me.
Vice President Cheney does not appear to share the same assessment of the situation in Iraq as Bush. On Fox News this morning, Cheney claimed, “If you look at what’s transpired in Iraq, Chris, we’ve made enormous progress.” Watch it:
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It’s easy, from time to time, for your average Wizards fan who ought to know better to convince himself that this is a pretty solid basketball team we’ve got ourselves. Then all of a sudden the team finds itself in San Antonio. For the second half of a back-to-back. Then we get reminded of what a good basketball team really looks like. The good news, however, is that this game was one of several over the past few weeks where Andray Blatche has actually started to look to me like a promising young player rather than a bad young player who the PR department wants me to believe is promising. Plus, the dude got shot during his rookie season so he can add some toughness.
Brookings Institution scholar Michael O’Hanlon, who I’m given to understand would have received a high-level appointment in a Kerry administration, and co-author of a recent book on “what the Democrats need to do” about national security policy, feels the urge to surge. As we’ve seen previously, O’Hanlon’s Brookings colleague Ken Pollack feels much the same way.
My advice to Democrats in congress and hoping to run for president would be to stop listening to these guys.
UPDATE: Elsewhere in the liberal hawk multiverse, Jeffrey Herf explains that the Bush administration’s long record of incompetence is a good reason to support the surge.