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April 30, 2007



I remember buying my first house, a little postage stamp house, in Atlanta about 5 years ago before I moved out to the West though I seem to still spend most my time in the East. It was a house that the most recent tenants had died in at a very old age. I paid 50-60 thousand just to repair and upgrade it.

Anyway, I asked the Real Estate person about why did such a small house in such bad condition cost so much.

She said that the three main big things in Real Estate are "location, location, location."

With that house I could ride my bike to work, enjoy the town on foot, gain at least 2 hours a day on any commute, so I got it. I paid for the repairs and upgrades. I enjoyed it much and was sad when I left though I ended up making money. My only question upon leaving was how was the couple with two children that bought it going to live in that tiny house? I guess they had made the same calculation about location and time I did, and were going to be imaginative.

Anyway after that (I must be talkative today) I will say that

the three main problems for the Republicans today, and in 2008 is (1) Iraq, (2) Iraq, (3) Iraq and the hard center of that group, those like Karl Rove, are not secretly in their hearts all that sad at seeing the Democrats inherit that problem.

Because then the big problem for the Democrats will still be

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq no matter when they leave.

Not if most of the troops start leaving by the beginning of next year.

Bush just wants to punt the problem to the next administration. No one running for office in 2008 wants Iraq to still be the #1 issue. Something has to give.

With money and troops and support and even his own party running out, Bush may have no choice. We are one big bad event from beginning the withdrawal.

from the LA Times

"The deadline to start (withdrawal) is going to be driven by the facts on the ground and public opinion, rather than legislation," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a leading member of the House's Out of Iraq caucus. "By August or September ... they will be overwhelmed by the facts."

from the Atlanta Constitution Journal via truthout:

Gates and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, have joined Petraeus in setting September as an crucial time of reassessment. In other words, while Congress and the president wrangle about deadlines, a deadline of sorts may already have been set.

george bush can deny reality all he wants

ignoring reality doesn't make reality go away

george is really deciding the question of impeachment for the repuglicans, they just don't know it yet

September is gonna be more fun than January

.ooops, bold off

did that work ???


Crawford's piece and the general Democratic capitulation to the dick-waving style of policy making are disgusting. Are we going to be stuck with a Democratic president who feebly replicates the neocon's love affair to brainless violence? Very likely.

Obama actually answered Williams intelligently: roughly, after a terrorist attack, care for the living -- figure out who did it and what it would actually take to reduce the threat. If we can't get back to that rather simple level of intelligence, we're dead.

Hope the bold's off.

What I haven't been able to understand is that all Bush has to do is declare victory and start an orderly withdrawal. He could have done that the day after the first elections, and he could do it today. 80% of America would believe him, or be thrilled just to be out for whatever reason, and the media would crown him with a golden circlet.

That's the reason I believe Palast and think this *is* about the oil and the bases. Something other than Cheney's stubbornness is keeping us stuck in this horrible quagmire.

So, unless the new Dem president has the same secret agenda, whoever inherits Iraq can declare victory and manage an orderly withdrawal. It's just as simple whomever makes the decision.

And call me an idealist in my old(ish) age, but I don't think we will end up with a Democratic president worshiping at the neocon altar. Just as this Congress has made us (for the most part) proud over the last four months, our chosen president will hold (pretty much) to progressive values and a reality-based decision process, not to mention a compassionate domestic policy and a respectful foreign policy. We'll roast him/her within a week if he/she doesn't. They all know--at this point--that they don't get a "Party Pass" from this community.

Well, bold's still on. Anyone know how to turn it off? Do we just post an HTML cmd to end bold?

There. Did that work?

Gosh. Call me an HTML author. Guess I can sell the business and get a high-paying software job now, huh?

marksb, you get credit, though I may subsequently fixed the problem higher up. ;-)

Jodi, you make the common mistake of extrapolating overall trends from those with whom you personally speak. No question, Iraq has been devastating for the GOP -- but so was social security privatization, Terry Schiavo, the Katrina aftermath, gas prices, Abramoff, Foley, and the US attorneys' scandal. Each one of these has driven the Bush approval matrix slightly lower, and there's no sign the numbers can levitate much higher (in fact, if the GDP figures from Friday indicate an ongoing trend, the floor could even drop a bit). Iraq has certainly got most of the headlines; Vietnam got the same in the late '60s -- but many (including me) would argue the fallout from the Civil Rights bill/Watts riots/busing had as much to do with the GOP converting the gain of '68 into a 25 year presidential advantage.

As far as Iraq becoming the Dems' problem...it depends how they handle it. Eisenhower saw Korea was no-win, so he did what any sensible leader would do: extracted the country. Since it was what he was elected to do, he paid no price. Nixon, on the other hand, fearful of scorn from the far right, let Vietnam drag on and on, to the point where, in the words of Pat Moynihan, "some people probably think he started it". I don't see any Democrat playing Iraq that way (though you can count on a few consultants to push the idea).

Demtom...yeah, consultants like mark penn. Guess who he's with?

I will fear an HRC nomination as long as he's at the helm. Fortunately, him at the helm may be just what derails her.


yes I admit I am preoccupied very much with Iraq.

I was against Bush on SS and Schiavo but that is over and done with minimal harm for the American Public. (Sure you can ask them a question and they will answer, but most don't worry about it at this juncture.)
Katrina was a mess where Government failed, but some will claim mitigating reasons. Believe them or not.

Abramoff & Foley are bad people. They go on a long list.

The USAs is a PR scam as far as I can see. Again your government at work.

What Iraq has that these others do not even as they come and go, is a body count at the end of each and every day. It goes on and on. You say these other events caused Bush's numbers to go down. Ok. But I claim it is the backdrop of Iraq, and just Iraq itself, and the continuing carnage going on.

Every day, Each day. Without end.

The problem for all of us no matter what political faith we claim is that Iraq and it's fallout will continue to be a problem no matter when we leave Iraq, or if we stay.

I can see (and I do this for technology) in a brightly lit room full of projector screens, and white boards, and flip charts, and sticky pads an analysis for the Republicans and the likes of Karl Rove.
It will say
1) we will lose political face if we withdraw from Iraq because we will have wasted 3500+ lives, and we will be admitting it, and we will still have the problem.
2) if we stay the course it is possible
a) that a turnaround will occur,
b) that history will see the reason behind our deeds.
c) we will be seen as steadfast and sure and having failed only because of the weak spines of the Democrats.
3) if the Democrats cause the money to go away, we can blame them.
4) we can let the Democrats inherit an untenable position with no good choices and then maybe in 2 or certainly 4 years we will be able to heap the blame on them for their more recent and current mistakes concerning disasters of suicide bombers, planes, etc.

My older brother (combat) and my father (military) talk about wars. I think Korea was different from what you said. Something about bombing dikes to get an armistice.
But the point I and others make about Korea is that the North Koreans weren't going to come after America all over the world. At least not then, though their fake 100 bills are coming soon.

There were many players in Vietnam. Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, My father just missed going there, but he treated many wounded after the war.
Again Vietnam wasn't going to come after us.

It is a smaller world these days, demtom

Now do I have a solution?

Hell no. And may George Bush burn in Hell!

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