Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) “has directed the state to turn down about $600,000 in federal abstinence education money because new rules would limit how much recipients could talk about contraception or sexually transmitted diseases this year.” (Via Feministing)
This morning on the Chris Matthews Show, New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller claimed that if you look at the administration’s recent dealings with North Korea, Syria, and Iran, “what you’re actually seeing is what I think [President Bush] really is, a pragmatist masked in ideology.” Watch it:
It has been four years since the United States invaded Iraq and President Bush still refuses to have direct talks with Iran and Syria about the war, let alone Iran’s nuclear development. Meanwhile, under Bush’s “pragmatic” leadership, North Korea has developed 10-11 bombs worth of plutonium, suitable for use in nuclear weapons, and conducted its first nuclear weapons test. All of the administration’s efforts to control North Korea’s nuclear program have failed.
On Tuesday, the administration announced it would join high-level talks with the two countries. As the Washington Post notes, “these conferences [will] be led and organized by the Iraqi government and not, as the [Iraq Study Group] suggested, by the United States.” This is a long-overdue first baby step, not a sign of Bush’s “pragmatism.”
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Coulter “clarifies” her Edwards remark: “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.” Coulter also shares her views on Iran: “My thesis is that right-wingers think that Rudy Giuliani would immediately bomb Iran, and so we kind of like that. But I’d like to get that in writing before you make him our presidential nominee.”
Like Duncan, I recently took a gander at the works of The Left and the experience was . . . bracing. It used dirty words! It hated the troops! And people of faith! Especially people of faith who were also troops. Hated them with nasty, dirty, nasty dirty words. At times, it said that ice cream was more delicious than capitalism.
Today on Meet the Press, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) laughed off Vice President Cheney’s attack that Murtha’s plan for Iraq would “validate the al Qaeda strategy.” “He didn’t blame me for at least getting the British out,” Murtha said. “I thought he might blame me for that.”
Murtha pointed out that Cheney “just does not listen to what I’m saying.” Cheney ignores the military’s readiness crisis and the fact that “the future threats to this country significantly increased in the last year because we have no ground strategic reserve. … He doesn’t talk about the policy and the results of what I’m saying.” Watch it:
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There’s a nice profile in The Politico of Winslow Wheeler, director of the military reform project at the Center for Defense Information. As the article makes clear, the quest to see defense spending decisions driven by something other than pork-barrel considerations and lobbying clout is a thankless one, but with luck he’ll find at least some measure of success in a Democratic congress.
CPAC goes for Multiple Choice Mitt. My early guess is that out of Romney, Giuliani, and McCain, the Massachusetts governor is likely to be the least-awful president if he wins and also the least-likely to win if he gets the nomination. So I’m all for conservatives falling in love with the guy.
Haven’t had a good Iraq post in a while:
After centuries full of vibrant interaction, of marrying, sharing and selling across sects and classes, Baghdad has become a capital of corrosive and violent borderlines. Streets never crossed. Conversations never started. Doors never entered.
Sunnis and Shiites in many professions now interact almost exclusively with colleagues of the same sect. Sunnis say they are afraid to visit hospitals because Shiites loyal to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr run the Health Ministry, while Shiite laborers who used to climb into the back of pickup trucks for work across the Tigris River in Sunni western Baghdad now take jobs only near home.
I’m told, though, that the sectarian-segregated crews have done a really good job of painting many schools. Many schools. Why do you hate America?
This morning on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume spoke about the Walter Reed scandal in entirely political terms, saying “the problem” is that it “looks terrible” for the administration.
Hume called the neglect and deplorable conditions at the military hospital a “potential” political firestorm, but said that the “administration did what it did to try to get it over with, and it may well have succeeded.”
Hume suggested that if Democrats had not taken control of Congress in November’s election, the Bush administration would not have demanded resignations from the Army Secretary and the chief of Walter Reed. “This is an administration which is known or had been known for sticking by people even when they were embattled.” Watch it:
NPR’s Mara Liasson responded to Hume’s comments: “I think, you know, to say it looks bad, it also is bad. Those pictures were horrible. These are people — nobody who is being treated for any kind of injury should have to live in that condition, let alone people who just fought in a war for our country.”
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Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) “said he recently spoke with Gen. David Petraeus, the new top military commander in Iraq, who told him the troop surge has only a one in four chance of succeeding.”