January 1, 2006


President Uses a Quiet Vacation to Prepare His Agenda for 2006 (DAVID E. SANGER, 1/01/06, NY Times)

As part of an ambitious strategy the White House has mapped out for the next four weeks, Mr. Bush has scheduled two major speeches - one on the economy on Friday in Chicago, another on Iraq - ahead of the State of the Union address, which is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 31.

By the time he appears before Congress, Mr. Bush's aides are hoping that two of the immediate challenges the president faces, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. and the permanent renewal of the Patriot Act, will be behind him.

And on Thursday at the White House, he will meet with previous secretaries of state and defense to try to make the case that after the recent raucous debate over Iraq, there are fewer differences than meet the eye on what to do there next.

It is a theme that his national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, struck in a little-noted speech on Dec. 20 in which he described the "common ground" that has emerged on training Iraqi forces and building a cohesive government there.

Other than a very few on the Left who insist that all the troops be withdrawn immediately, everyone else agrees with what the Administration had planned all along, a gradual withdrawal as Iraqification continues.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 1, 2006 9:51 AM

Everyone agrees that the administration purposefully screwed up in the first, and now it has to be careful as it backs out over the dead bodies of innocent Iraqis.

Posted by: Grog at January 2, 2006 4:06 AM

What the administration has planned all long? If they weren't being skillfully evasive in answering questions, they were lying through their teeth, and/or contradicting their previous statements, and/or being so vague that their words are essentially meaningless, yet comforting to stupid Americans (Rumsfeld's headline on Christmas Day; must have been a coincidence.)
The idiotic Democrats who call for immediate withdrawal are staging a fixed battle; Real Leftists would like to see transparency and fairness in the establishment of the new government, the minimization of innocent casualities, and putting senior members of the Bush administration on trial for war and other crimes (rather than for allowing for the diffusion of responsibility of criminal acts into the cracks of American political consensus).

Posted by: Grog at January 2, 2006 4:16 AM


Yes, Real Leftists agree with George Bush completely. But there are rather few of them around.

Posted by: oj at January 2, 2006 8:51 AM


If you want to see the "minimization" of innocent casualties and openness in government (as a standard of the true 'Left'), do you support regime change in Zimbabwe, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia?

If not, why not?

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 2, 2006 9:26 AM

Jim Hamlem: No, I don't support a regime change that causes needless suffering of innocents.

Zimbabwe: how come the elections in Iraq were covered by every major media outlet as being "fair" (and you guys still bemoan the "liberal MSM" every day), and in Zimbabwe they are corrupted? How come so many flaws were pointed out in one case and ignored in another?
Syria: No, but its going to happen within the next year anyway; they just need to falsify more evidence to slander the Assad family with.
Cuba: Lets wait till Castro dies and see what happens.
Venezuela: Nope. Venezuela's politics couldn't be corrupted despite our best efforts, and they are not a violent threat to anyone. But, you probably believe the lies that have been spread about him, and the majority of the Venezuelan people must be insane, or something.
Uzbekistan: Yes, but we have been using them as a military base, and supplying them with military support for several years now, and turned a blind eye to glaring abuses of power; nothing unusual. But I suspect we might change our mind and decide to invade a few years down the road.
North Korea: I would like to see diplomacy work the situation out, but the North Koreans have been preparing for a war for almost 50 years, and I think we should let its neighbors deal with it instead of worrying about it too much.
Saudi Arabia: yeah, like that will ever happen. The Saudis have more than enough money to suppress any kind of democratic movement, and even if they start hauling off undesirables into the desert and gassing them, we will still maintain our steadfast support, just like we did for Saddam. But then again, things change.

Posted by: Grog at January 3, 2006 1:49 AM

Grog supports leaving regimes in place to cause needless suffering.

The bit about slandering the Assads is exactly the kind of unintentionally hilarious comment that makes all humor conservative.

Posted by: oj at January 3, 2006 3:33 AM