If he says “bug-chasers,” you have to take a shot of vodka with me.
“Democratic Palestine” will be Bush’s — and hence, Israel’s — negotiating partner.
Ara-who? I told you so back in March (April, May? Whenever) and it’s still true today.
“Pass a law against all human cloning…”
Baby, that cat is out of the bag. And “all” would encompass cloning outside out borders. Good luck.
Screw good luck. The Republicans are wrong on cloning, and one day it’s going to come and bite them on the ass.
Drugs. Lots and lots of bad evil drugs.
It’s nice to hear a Republican talking treatment instead of jail, however. I just don’t buy it, is all.
The pointless drug war will go on, and it’ll be mostly white people doing “acceptable” drugs who get treatment instead of jail time. Not that the President is racist, but that’s how things will filter down.
Faith Based Initiative.
OK, a nice part of welfare reform, but nothing anyone but a rabid ACLUer could be radibly against, and terribly difficult to get excited about.
Still, probably worthwhile.
OK, the Jetson’s car stuff is too much. He’s giving “I told you so” ammo to Democrats who wrongly believe (and expertly exploit) the silly idea that a little conservation or some miracle tech can ween us of Arab oil in any time soon enough to matter to our economy or the war.
Forestry? Who knew.
OK, this is all a lot farther out there than a lot of people thought. Bush risks losing his important messages (taxes, war) amongst the clutter, and pulling a Full Clinton ’93 act.
Here it comes — malpractice insurance. It’s not like the Trial Lawyer’s Association was giving Bush big money.
The risk is, trial lawyers are often surprisingly popular with the people Republicans think should hate them. But everyone secretly dreams of breaking their leg on the golden doorstep, and getting a hot lawyer to represent him.
Health care. Yawn. The best Uncle Sugar can hope for is not to screw things up more than he already has.
Don’t bet the farm. Don’t even bet your lunch money.
Did I mention I’m drinking Cheap-Ass
Hey, I ran out of time to get TV cable strung into the office. Anyway want to tell me how white Dick Gephardt’s face is right now?
Whoa. Heavy thud on Tom Daschle’s doorstep — last year’s 10-year tax cuts to be made permanent, and be made now, not over the remaining nine years.
That’s gonna generate excitement and the usual howls of pain from the usual (non-)sufferers.
But it still won’t calm jittery markets out past a week.
Bush looks good, sounds good, typical start — “The state of our Union is strong.”
Now we’re into the laundry list of domestic woes, soon to be followed by a laundry list of Presidential domestic fixes. The three big items will be jobs, prescription drugs, and tax cuts.
Well, one outta three ain’t awful.
Blogging will be light today — will perform a Sullivan tonight and cover Bush’s SOTU speech live.
Also on StrategyPage (yeah, a threefer from them today, too) comes words of something that sounds like it’s from a bad sci-fo novel:
Raytheon is working on laser weapons to arm the newest fighter planes, and plans to have a workable weapon available to mount in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by 2010. The new solid-state lasers are proving far better than the older chemical lasers, but by the time these are ready Raytheon may have an even better weapon, a fiber-optic laser. Such a weapon would have a single laser generator somewhere in the aircraft but would “duct” the laser pulses through fiber optics to various points on the aircraft. With the flip of a switch, the pilot could switch his laser from a forward-pointing dogfight weapon to a side-pointing anti-ground weapon or a rear-firing missile defense weapon.
The important question is, can I get one installed in the trunk of my Sebring? If there’s anything more fun than a convertable, it’s a convertable with the ability to turn those slowpokes in the fast lane into burning wrecks.
More important logistical news from StrategyPage:
The U.S. Army has six bridging companies, units that can quickly build bridges (for M-1 tanks and all other vehicles) over wide rivers like those found in Iraq. Three of these companies are in the reserves and have been mobilized. Two of the companies are in the regular army and stationed in the United States. These are on their way to the Persian Gulf. So is the sixth company, a regular army unit stationed in Germany.
Question is, why the hell hasn’t the 101st recieved orders to ship out? It’s all fine and good that our heavy units in Kuwait will be able to force rivers on the way to Baghdad. But if we’re hoping to move in on a power vacuum after decapitating the Iraqi army and Ba’ath party leadership, then the heli-mobile soldiers of the Screaming Eagles will be of more immediate help than any number of M1 tanks.
Over at NRO, Nikolas Gvosdev argues that prolonged inspections are good for us, and that war is exactly what Saddam wants and needs:
Over time, intrusive inspections have the ability to erode Hussein’s mystique. Every palace inspected, every scientist rousted from bed to have his papers and personal effects inventoried, is another small erosion in Hussein’s imperial aura, another intolerable act of lComments Off
We know who our friends are:
The US has sent special shelters for B-2 bombers to Diego Garcia and to Fairford Air Base in Britain. These would be needed to conduct sustained B-2 operations from either place, as the tricky maintenance of the stealth coating must be done inside these special shelters. The US has formally asked Britain for permission to operate B-2 bombers from Diego Garcia, and this permission has been given.
I was told a few days ago that my bride
OpinionJournal gets a rare trifecta today.
First, the lede editorial looks at how the world could be worse if Bush backs down from toppling Saddam. No excerpts; just read it.
Next up, Robert Bartley argues that Resolution 1441 isn’t just Saddam’s last chance, it’s also the last chance for the UN:
So now the United Nations has a final opportunity to prove itself a serious place–or at least for democracies such as Germany and France to show that their words mean something when they vote for Security Council Resolutions. They can’t expect to be serious players in the world if they leave President Bush and his “coalition of the willing” to take enforcement of Resolution 1441 into their own hands.
Finally, Peggy Noonan offers SOTU advice to Bush:
Four months ago a friend who had recently met with the president on other business reported to me that in conversation the president had said that he has been having some trouble sleeping, and that when he awakes in the morning the first thing he often thinks is: I wonder if this is the day Saddam will do it.
“Do what exactly?” I asked my friend. He told me he understood the president to be saying that he wonders if this will be the day Saddam launches a terror attack here, on American soil.
I was surprised. We know of the arguments that Saddam is a supporter and encourager of America’s terrorist enemies. We know the information that has been made available. But the president has not to my knowledge said in public that he fears Saddam himself will hit us hard on the ground in America, and soon.
Lots of us wonder the same thing. And, like Peggy, many of us hope Bush says something about it on Tuesday.
In today’s New York Times, Bill Safire does some real reporting on the Saddam-al Qaeda link:
Well armed and financed by both Iraq and Iran, this [Kurdish] affiliate of Al Qaeda has since provided a haven for bin Laden followers exfiltrating from Afghanistan. They tried to assassinate an articulate Kurdish leader, Barham Salih, killing several bodyguards, but their target escaped and several killers were captured. Our National Security Council members did not learn about this bloody engagement, one of them told me a week afterward, until they read about it in The Times.
The Kurds induced the captives and some defectors to reveal that the Ansar cell of Al Qaeda had begun producing poisonous chemicals for export. One product was reported here to be a cyanide cream being smuggled through Turkey. The operation was set up by a man with a limp, the informants said, a key bin Laden lieutenant, Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi. ( I misspelled that name a few weeks ago.)
The C.I.A. continued to pooh-pooh any connection between Ansar and Saddam. But reporter Jeff Goldberg of The New Yorker and more recently C. J. Chivers of The Times went into Iraq and interviewed some of the captured terrorists. Such reporting eroded the “no clear link” line put out by opponents of action against Saddam.
Wonder if this will make tomorrow’s State of the Union address?
The Acidman apologizes for being an American.
That’s probably it for today. Time to clean up for the party tonight. Go Tampa! — not that I expect them to win. Sigh.
Arthur Silber is angry. You’ll like him when he’s angry.
One Part Brubeck, One Part William S. Burroughs, Two Parts Drifters, a Pinch of Blue-Eyed Soul, Pour Into a Murky Glass and Serve Icy Cool
Tom Paine looks at an all-Jewish Space Shuttle mission. Among the highlights:
After two days in space, the Palestinian Authority would complain to the United Nations and CNN that the Space Shuttle was actually their property and had been for hundreds of years.
The next day United Nations would pass a resolution confirming this.
Thomas Friedman would suggest that the Israelis give the Palestinians half of the Shuttle.
Every time the astronauts appeared on live television, Judge Cheshin would threaten to cut off their press conference.
But it wouldn’t matter because all of them, including Mission Control, would be talking at the same time so nobody would understand a word anyway.
You know what to do — read the whole thing.
Reader Gerald Kanapathy writes:
Are there any sane organizations left that care about international human rights? It seems to me that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have decided to worry more about the US than about China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on. Who is actually doing the most about international human rights today?
Can you donate money to the US Marine Corps?
But if you’d like to do something worthwhile for a real, live Marine, become a penpal to a rifleman in the field.
I probably shouldn’t rub this in, but temps here in Colorado Springs have been unseasonably warm all month, and looks to remain in the upper 40s and low 50s through the beginning of February.
Stay warm, kids.