Monthly Archives: March 2008

Alphonso Jackson Expected to Announce Resignation on Monday

Hopefully this is true…

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, buffeted by
allegations of cronyism and favoritism, is expected to announce his
resignation Monday, sources close to the matter told the Wall Street
Journal.

WSJ link

AndFrom NYT:

Mr. Jackson has scheduled a news conference for 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes before Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. is supposed to outline plans for dealing with the financial crisis set off by the risky mortgage lending.

If Mr. Jackson steps down, it would remove a key player from the administration team dealing with the problem.

UPDATE: For some background here are a few of the previous First Draft posts on Jackson’s alleged cronyism and corruption:

HUD’s Jackson Under Investigation–Oct 4 2007

Investigating Alphonso…Another Heckuva Katrina Contract Story–December 17 2007

Investigating Alphonso…Scott Keller and the Floridians for Family Values scandal–December 18 2007

Alphonso Jackson’s wife had “financial ties to at least two companies that did business at” HANO–Feb 2 2008

Alphonso Jackson update–Feb 6 2008

Real people get hurt when…–Feb 8 2008

UPDATE: A few thoughts. Jackson should have been gone last year for the improprieties with the NOLA/HANO/Katrina contracts. Then came the Philly problem. But he hung on and I suspect he may have been able to continue doing so if not for the housing crisis.GovExec.com reported last Friday…

Still, some senior administration officials worry that Jackson’s
troubles could tarnish the final nine months of Bush’s presidency,
especially if disclosures continue about suspected ethical missteps.
“That is an interesting dilemma he is getting into with the Hill,” says
one official, who asked to remain anonymous. “He is the secretary of
the department, they control his budget, and he refuses to answer their
questions. Obviously that’s a concern.”

SNIP

Although the White House continues to support Jackson publicly, some
think that the president may soon have to let his old friend go.“You
have a housing crisis, families in peril, and a distracted HUD
secretary,” says a person who knows Bush and Jackson well. “The
administration needs someone tending the boat 100 percent.”
(my emphasis)

That last quote would have been true for post Katrina NOLA in any one of the past almost 3 years. But I guess not all boats are equal…

Your President Speaks!

Friday, inFreehold, New Jersey.

We Have Got A Issue

And the reason why I’m here is because we have got a issue in housing in America.

There Is Some Homeowners

There’s some homeowners who have made responsible buying decisions, and who could keep their homes with just a little help, some information and some help.

He Became Working

He got — he called HOPE NOW, and he became working with a mortgage counselor named Penny Meredith.

Gives Out Wrong Number — Twice

And so one of my purposes is to make it clear there is a place where you can get counseling. And I want my fellow citizens, if you’re worried about your home, to call this number: 188-995-HOPE [sic]. Let me repeat that again: 188-995-HOPE [sic].

What We Got

By the way, we got more work to do in Washington, and one of the things we can do is make sure the Federal Housing Administration gets the reforms it needs.

Told Me That I’d Done All Right: Panel Day

Preface. Preamble. Disclaimer. I am not a photographer. So here’s some blurry photos, and some notes, and the full schedule and such can be readhere.

Quick hits: The crack van got huge applause. Scout got a round of applause when I talked about her on the journalism panel, about citizen reporting and how we’re all our own presses now and it scares the shit out of the insecure among us. Spocko got a standing ovation that went on for about three minutes, whichfuck yeah and also the least he is due.

My full presentation to the media panel will be typed up (I wrote it on the plane) sometime Sunday, most likely. I talked about what we talk about here, about not ascribing to bias what stupidity can adequately explain.

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Digby, Jane Hamsher, Ntodd and Atrios.

I’m gonna give you quick quotes here, and save my analysis for when I can do it properly, like tonight after about eight beers, or in the shower tomorrow, or on the plane home.

Panel 1: Having An Impact

Atrios: You can start getting through to the media by trying to cause them pain. It makes me sad because they really only respond to pain. What works is to create this tremendous shitstorm. Make as much noise as you possibly can.

Digby: Blogging was inspired by the absolutely miserable coverage of politics. From impeachment to the stolen election to the war, the press has failed in their duty to our democracy over the last decade and a half.

Ntodd: [We’ve been successful in raising money for candidates but] We haven’t been doing it very long. We haven’t been able to pull it away yet. We haven’t made it a real threat.

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Funny funny people: Watertiger on the humor panel, along with TRex, Rude Pundit, Ted Rall and Thers.

Humor Panel

TRex: Right wing humor fails because part of being funny requires you to step outside your own circumstances. If they were capable of that, they wouldn’t be Republicans.

Rude Pundit: It’s funny to attack the powerful. Not funny to attack the powerless. The right wing attacks people who have no way of fighting back.

Watertiger: Right wing uses the “I was just kidding” defense to excuse their behavior.

Ted Rall: They innoculate themselves by speaking hyperbolically, so that everybody just shrugs it off after a while.

Congressional Accountability Panel

Eric Johnson, my brand-new crush, is chief of staff for Rep. Robert Wexler. He talked about how since Mukasey won’t enforce subpeonas for Bush aides to testify, how he’s basically told them he’s breaking the law, Congress can in fact issue warrants its own self and make congressional arrests, basically. He put forth the tantalizing image of Wexler and Conyers bringing in Harriet Meiers in handcuffs. Very loud applause.

Economics Panel

Paul Krugman: Condoflip.com is now YouWalkAway.com.

Atrios: Lending standards just went completely to hell. Plenty of people were pushed into loans they didn’t understand and plenty of people were given loans no responsible bank should have given them.

Echidne: I’m going to tell you why both candidates’ health care plans are about the same, and are actually both really bad.

I will have more, likely, later. Off to dinner and then Rude Pundit, Filkertom and Whiskey Ina and Hamell on Trial show, emceed by Sinfonian.

A.

Your President Speaks! AGAIN!

Today, inWashington.

Brainwreck

But the commitment of Afghanistan is not to leave Iraq alone; it’s to change mission.

Develop A Capacity To Develop

We talked about Iran, and our joint commitment to continue to work together to see to it that the Iranians do not develop the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon.

A Decision That Talks!

The decision to move troops — Iraqi troops into Basra talks about Prime Minister Maliki’s leadership.

The Other That’s Interesting

And so — the other that’s interesting about this, by the way — this happens to be one of the provinces where the Iraqs are in the lead — Iraqis are in the lead, and that’s what they are in this instance.

Commander Half-Glass

I guess it depends if you’re a half-glass empty guy or a half-glass full guy.

One Of Those Well Known Things

And one of those things that’s been well known is that Basra has been a place where criminality has thrived.

His Causing

But this was his decision. It was his military planning. It was his causing the troops to go from point A to point B.

Gets His Orders From Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda made a stand in Iraq. They’re the ones who said, this is the place where the war will take place.

Synaptic Static

And I’m — as I told you, this is a defining moment, and it’s a moment of — where the government is acting.

Today on Athenae’s Obsession with the Freepi: 4,000 Dead, Way To Go!

Sicko math, binge drinking, the enemy within, PMSNBC, and all kinds of fun to be had in the thread.Jesus, sometimes they disgust even me:

Wow. That’s amazing. Only 4000 deaths during a 5 year war (a fraction over 2 deaths per day). Never has so much been accomplished at the cost of so few lives. Congratulations US military. Job extremely well done.


The fact that 4,000 heroes lost their lives thus far— five years later— is a testament to the incredible success of the war in Iraq.


Far more have died in binge drinking at colleges than in the war.


I wish the Commies down at PMSNBC would keep a body count of how many of their Al Qaeda buddies have bitten the dust. That’s something I’d like to know but they seem to be keeping it a secret.

Wait a sec, I think a little honesty got through:

I wish I were half the man of these soldiers.

There are five other threads, all variations on this theme. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go stab my brain with a fish fork.

A.

‘My Wife’s Vagina Is Enough’

An open letter for Mr. A.

Darling,

You ever talk about my vagina in public, by itself or vis-a-vis its purpose as it relates to you, I swear to God they will never find your body.

I love you, sweetheart, you’re my whole life, but I’m just saying.

Kisses,

Your Adoring Wife

How in the unholy blue fuck do these people stay married? Honestly, no wonder they need the threat of hell and hope of heaven to guide their every move, because can you think, just off the top of your head, of a more moronic thing to say in public than that? Of a more idiotic way to launch into a conversation about masturbation? Of a more idiotic way to launch into a conversation about anything? Just … kill me now.

A.

Kissed Me Till The Morning Light: Philadelphia

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Just a quick thing before I head off to the panels. Confidential to the lovely German-speaking (mostly) lady next to me on the plane who was going to a funeral: I hope you and yours are safe and well today. It wasn’t the worst flight I’ve ever been on out of O’Hare, but it was close. Chicago was like, “You leaving us? Fine. We’ll make it WORTH IT.”

And it has been.

I’m never not inspired by meeting people I’ve met here on the blogs, but last night, having talked to people who come from all over, who are here to talk about what the unholy hell we’re gonna donow to unfuck this country (and to drink and sing and talk about the thing you stick in a hot dog to cook it which plugs into a wall), I’m reminded, like I was here two years ago and New York a year ago and New Orleans last spring, why it is this way of doing things matters to people. We talk to each other and tell each other our stories, and it isn’t rocket science, okay, it isn’t something entirely new; in fact it’s very old. But it’s also very important.

And thiscity. Girl behind me on the plane, to her boyfriend/fratskank/whatever, “I hear there’s, like, lots of historical stuff here.” Having spent the past week mainlining John Adams on HBO like a good littleaddict student, then walking past Independence Hall last night … I believe in experiencing history, in learning the stories where the stories began, andman, is all.

Today, there are panels, on impact and journalism (at which I’ll be offering some thoughts) and congressional accountability, so check back later for reports because I want you to feel like you’re here too. You know how you come home from a gathering and say to people who weren’t there, “Everybody says hi?”

Everybody says hi.

A.

Your President Speaks!

Yesterday, at theWhite House.

Marines And Their Enablers

THE PRESIDENT: And the United States, to that end, will make it clear that we do take our obligations seriously. We’ve committed 3,500 Marines — 3,200 Marines — 3,700 Marines?

MR. HADLEY: 3,200.

THE PRESIDENT: — 3,200 Marines, plus their enablers. Inside joke.

Brainwreck

I have been public in my statements that I believe that NATO benefits, and Ukraine and Georgia benefit, if and when there is membership.

In The Interests

But I’ve analyzed the situation and I believe it’s in the interests that there is that clear path forward.

Cerebral Vortex

So the first step, however, is for there to be a clear path forward, so that people understand — and I believe it’s in our collective interest that we offer a clear path forward.

The Name Game

THE PRESIDENT: Alona. Is that an accurate way of saying your name?

Q Yes, Alona.

THE PRESIDENT: Alona.

[snip]

THE PRESIDENT: Iona, first of all, it’s — the decision will be made by NATO members at Bucharest.

[snip]

THE PRESIDENT: Anyway, fire away, Ioana.

Q Johanna (phonetic).

THE PRESIDENT: Johanna (phonetic).

Seven

Thirdly, we’re a member of a 5-plus-2, which is the process by which, hopefully, the Transdniestria issue would be solved.

Synaptic Shutdown

My first reaction to watching the Iraqi government respond forcefully and to make it abundantly clear that — I think the exact — I can’t remember the exact words of the Prime Minister, but “criminal elements” I know were a part of his declaration — would be dealt with.

Rules Out Loud Screaming In The Decision-Making Process

Therefore, the decision about our troop levels will be based upon not politics, or not who can scream the loudest, but based upon whether or not we can maintain the successes we’ve had.

There Is People

And I understand there’s people here who want us to leave regardless of the situation, but that’s not going to happen, so long as I’m the Commander-in-Chief.

Well, Are You?

You ready?

What He Knows

Now, first of all, it is hard for me to justify to the citizens of Romania that they can serve alongside our troops in major theaters in the war against extremists, and not be able to have — be treated like other members of the EU, as far as visa waiver, and I know that.

Rebellion In The Cerebellum

But we’re still dealing with a — you know, it is — we’re adjusting law based upon previous practice.

The Capacity For To Have A New Look

Congress did change the capacity for — to have a new look at visa waiver.

How The Opportunities Will Be Advantaged

Of course, those opportunities will be advantaged if the government makes rational decisions on, for example, good investment laws.

Invest Your Whatevers

In other words, there’s competition for investment dollars, in this case, or investment euros, or investment whatevers.

Rule Law

And I called President-elect Medvedev and reminded him — and congratulated him for getting elected, and reminded him that — of some of the comments he made about rule law and transparency, and can’t remember exactly everything he said, but it sounded very progressive.

The HasGots

So when you hear people say, “George Bush has got good relations with Vladimir Putin,” there’s a reason why.

What They Got To Have

Because if you’re — in order to have somebody listen to you, they got to at least have an open mind, and it’s hard to have an open mind if the only thing you’re doing is try to blast away on a regular basis about your disagreements publicly.

What Russia Has Got Plenty Of

And Russia has got plenty of missiles if they want to overwhelm.

Medulla Ohmigodda

And therefore, I think it makes sense for us to be able to be in a position if people so choose to share information, and fully understand the operational activities of a system so as to build confidence.

Friday Ferretblogging: I Can Has?

Riot wants a treat.

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A.

Presented Without Comment

‘Cause I’m too busy vomiting to comment. You, however, should feel free to say whatever you like.

The Sacred and the Profane

Or, Robert …

When Jeremiah Wright changed “God bless America” to “God damn America,” he did no more than Jesus did in the beatitudes. But he did it to America’s secular religion, which is, of course: America the Beautiful. At least, he did that when he was quoted out of his context, when the words of his sermon were cut away and that phrase was left standing, looking more like a raise middle finger than the flowering tree it had been. What does this have to do with Ricouer? America’s secular religion is, in Ricouer’s words, “centered upon a kernel-event,” largely these days the aftermath of World War II, but including selected portions of American history since at least 1776. That kernel-event has “both a historical import and a kerygmatic dimension,” the kerygma here being how “beautiful, for spacious skies” America is. The legends and isolated sagas of American history, isolated to make them more easily fit into the desired kerygma, are rearranged in a meaningful sequence so as to constitute a unique story: white America’s story. White, middle-class America’s story.

… and Jacob:

“Singing ‘God Bless The USA,’ Kristy Lee Cook.” And she does the fucker right, dude, with like red white and blue shit happening everywhere and a serious no-kidding stars and garters flag waving in the background. She heads over to one side of the stage and saves some puppies from Nazis and knits a doily for our boys in Iraq and paints a sign saying “Cancer Is Bad,” and then on the other side of the stage, Our Lord Jesus Christ gives her a high five and he’s like, “Remember that time I was walking on the beach and then there were those footprints? Thanks, Kristy Lee Cook.”

America is awesome. When you trot out this bullshit sentimental warmed-over brainless hateful crap, you are seriously disconnecting yourself from America and why it’s great. It’s like Hallmark cards: the opposite of caring. You cannot let somebody else tell you what your heart says. Just by singing this song, the Colonel is saying that she hates America. The real America that is made with blood and bravery and strength and love, the real America that demands that you draw your circle as wide as you can and spend every day serving it with your hands, that goes right out the fucking window when you pass the buck to some stupid shit song like this. And you know who eats it up, because it’s always the same fucking people that eat this vomit, are the people who are too lazy to think about America or love her in the first place. I hate this fucking song, I hate this stupid girl, and I hate that this is happening, because my whole theory about how this show reflects the wider culture cuts both ways and I don’t want to think about that. These are our people and they deserve to be loved, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anybody tell me that this is the best that we can be. We are more than this.

Two possibilities, with the story you tell about who you are.

Number one, that in an effort live up to your own words, you get up every day, and work at being the person you tell yourself you are. You get up every day and decide not to suck. (I’m working on this novel right now, in my head mostly and on Post-Its and a legal pad, about choices, about how it’s not just one choice, about how love and life are choices all the time, every day, and it could always go another way, so grab on to what you want and hold on tight and decide every day to hold on again.) That’s one way it could go. You get up every day and you decide who you’re going to be and you go be it. And the story about how you’re good, you make that story true.

The other way to go, of course, is that you use that story as a dodge, as a cover, as an excuse to paper over all the shitty things you do, and when somebody tries to point out that your cosmic slip is showing, just put your fingers in your ears and sing “Proud To Be An American” and paint “God Bless America” on your car and go get a tattoo. Pull that story over your head and go back to sleep, and don’t worry that you might be making the story a lie with your ignorance and your fear. The story’s enough, you don’t need to make it true, it just is, and anybody who says otherwise is a heathen who needs to be denounced.

A.

NOTHING Is Happening Right Now

So. About 40 things need to happen in order and I’m on number eight.

If the snow stops, and my flight isn’t cancelled …

If my laptop doesn’t get any sicker than it already is …

If O’Hare airport and American Airlines’ web site aren’t lying to me …

If I can manage to figure out where I left my cell phone charger …

If I don’t get lost in any one of the 20 ways it’s possible to get lost from here to Philadelphia …

Then throughout the weekend you will have me blogging fromEschaCon.

Said blogging may simply consist of blurry photos of Independence Hall and the word “Whooooo!” but blogging it will be, so check back often throughout the weekend.

A.

Peak Pony!

Pew:

Bush’s job approval rating has slipped to 28%, the lowest of his presidency. In addition, just 22% express satisfaction with the way things are going in the country. This, too, is about as negative an evaluation of the course of the nation as measured in nearly 20 years of Pew surveys.

Your President Speaks!

Today, inWashington, before a meeting of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Prove The Agreement!

Members of both parties should come together, members of both parties should demonstrate their support for freedom in our hemisphere, and members of both parties should prove the — approve the Colombian free trade agreement.

Treat America Unequally!

I can’t understand a mentality that doesn’t recognize that causing America to be treated equally is not in our interests.

Drain Bamage

We want negotiations to come from — as a result of meaningful contributions by all folks.

There Is Neighbors

There’s neighbors worrying about neighbors losing jobs.

Fails Econ 101

The more competition it is for a product, the less likely it is the price will rise.

But Can You Dance To It?

You know, they toss out the word “timeout” from trade — it’s got this kind of catchy little title to it.

What This Program Has Got

One reason I mentioned No Child Left Behind, this program has got to start early, and it is.

The United StatesAnd America

It’s mutually beneficial for Canada, the United States and America — I mean, Mexico.

Trust Us. We’re the Government.


Revised and updated.

This is why you don’t pass shit like the Patriot Act.

Now, before some jackass jumps up and says that drug dealers and gang members are scum, blah blah blah, remember–the fucking Patriot Act was put in place to fight “terrorism.” We already have lots and lots of laws regarding drug dealing and gang activity–activities which can only be described as “terrorism” if that term is so broadly defined as to include virtually any illegal acts. And the government swore up and down that the powers granted to it under the Patriot Act would be used judiciously and sparingly to keep Americans safe. Ahem. Ha ha!

Once more: This is why you don’t trust the government, or any institution, to rein itself in. You’d think we’d have learned that lesson by now. Self-regulation in government always, always fails. I think I’m gonna go drink with Scout now.

Brethren, Again We Gather to Worship the Free Market. Join the Chant: “Business Is More Efficient than Government…”


We sacrifice this one to appease Freede-Munn, the god of deregulation.

Today, we have yet more evidence that the government under Bush has been converted into a giant patronage machine to reward incompetent businesspeople.

Turns out that we care so much about our Afghan allies in the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda that we ship them defective ammunition. Who’s responsible for this, shall we say, massive fuck up?

Why, a private business, of course! Those entities run by Randian supermen who can do no wrong, the generators of wealth, the embodiments of the American spirit! 

Finished gagging yet? Good. We’ll continue.

Yes, a small business in Florida obtained the contract to supply ammunition to Afghani security forces. The ammunition they shipped was old and busted. You wouldn’t want to use this shit at all, not even for target shooting. And some of it was manufactured in China, which makes its sale by a US company a violation of federal law. The article informs us that the company contracted to supply the ammo, AEY Inc., is run by a 22-year-old. This fact is not, in itself, an automatic disqualification. However, the fact that the vice-president of the company, the person who should be there to back up and guide the young executive, is a licensed professional masseur.

Smell that? It’s incompetence.

Go read the article. You will probably be shocked at just how fucked up the entire sordid affair is. It’s amazing just how much of our money has been handed out to irresponsible, incompetent, and just plain shady businesses. Remember these days when people start telling you about how business always does things better than government. 

Well, We’ve Brought SOMETHING Out in the Open

The Chicago Tribune gets about what you’d expect from asking people to be honest about race.

Such as that black people haven’t used their freedom the way whitey approved.

Whites have some issues, too. You see all these grandchildren had parents who supported integration of schools, Martin Luther King…and yet they now find out black churches support Hamas and teach White hate and Damn America. How do we get past that, when we know whitey and being Jewish is hated.

Also, where’s whitey’s iced tea?

I am of white color. White is a color you know.

PHEAR the Negro elites!

these so-called honest ‘race-talk’ is nothing but an attempt by the elite negro class to pass the responsibility of black under-achievement into ‘white guilt’…

in the end what this shows more than anything else…

is how most elite blacks/negroes are in fact the biggest believers of the dogma of ‘white supremency’…

…priceless!

So that’s page one. It gets better.

because blacks are ever so limited by nature and they require an eternity of special help and mentoring (which is an acknowledgement to their inferiority) uncle sam is forced to be shaken-down and grant black people special black skin favoritism and protection status (pretend their black crime epidemic is the result of whitey’s ‘RACISM’)

please explain to me … what your understanding of ‘institutionalized racism’ is.

I think that one just answered his own question.

When we have questions and arguments about race I love it when people bring the truth out. Im tired of the sicko liberal brainwashing that goes on today. The leftists act as if some white european just invaded africa and stold poor africans. The reality is anything but that.

They weren’t stold?

You have the absolute freedom to be a racist slave in North Korea:

Oh this is America and racism if fine. Both black and white have the American freedom to do so and there is NOTHING wrong with that. Racists can be judged too. Non-racists can be judged by the racists. This isnt “one big happy society” nor I want it to be.

This isnt a damn liberal dictatorship its America. Our ideals make us American and the second we stop and all agree we wont be Americans we will be slaves much like North Koreans.

This guy’s a fan of Chicago, according to his user name. Get off my city’s side:

I have not shared the black experience. No food stamps,link card,job promotions due to color not ability, no rent vouchers, no forgiveness on utility bills,no gunshot wounds from a eight grade honor student. I am not a prepetual victim. Anything bad that occurs in my life I can not say its because I am black. I can not say that my percentage of the population is responsible for more than 40% of all violent crime, more than 50% of all homicides. More than 40 years of the great society and still the same.

Jesse Jackson wants to stop you from solving crimes:

I mean I cant say Im a “poor” person but I live in a low level white collar community with regular people who get dirty for a living. I have lived in the ghetto before and the majority of it is black and filled with crime. The sooner its addressed and fixed the better but its almost as if Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton defend moral criminal actions. Ignoring it will never make it better.

Boy, am I ever glad we’re “finally” having an honest conversation about race.

A.

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Gordon JohnD’Oh Does Not Give Or Receive Pause

Q Does it give you any pause that in two days they haven’t been able to establish control — the government, that is — in the second largest city in Iraq?

MR. JOHNDROE: You know, Iraq faces a lot of challenges. So I would say that 48 hours is hardly a lengthy amount of time to regain control in a city that has been dealing with these criminal gangs and special militias for some time.

Stuck On Empty

Q Gordon, you mentioned political progress in Iraq. What’s the status of the law to distribute oil wealth? Where does that stand?

MR. JOHNDROE: You know, I believe the council of representatives has just reconvened this week, after a short recess. I think that is an issue that they are still working on.

He’s The Undecider

Q The President has had three days of briefings now on the way forward in Iraq. I take it he’s not going to signal any conclusion or outcome from those briefings in the speech today.

MR. JOHNDROE: I think the President will say in his speech today that he will talk about his decisions after General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker testify in Congress.

Q So it’s going to be that week after we get back from Europe?

MR. JOHNDROE: Right.

O’Hanlon’s Homeresque Odyssey–D’oh

So it seems bad things are happening in Iraq due to all thatsurge success and it has left many wondering what the heck is going on. Now you could read a summary byPaul Kiel over at TPM but let’s be honest, by the time you hit the fifth paragraph your head will hurt so, what with the splinter groups, Sadr, Shite miltias, Iraqi forces and rogue militias not to mention who we do or do not support, that incredulously you’ll be reaching for a fifth of this…

Jagermeister

There must be a simpler easier way to get a grip on this and I suggest we turn to Michael O’Hanlon. Wait, wait, hear me out. Now I know people guffawed whenO’Hanlon stated that Vince Lombardi would be proudof the surge architects and referred to them as “the Lombardis.” I admit it bothered me. My first thought was why bring Vince into this. But then I had a grudging respect for O’Hanlon’s risk taking at invoking aliberal Democrat–I mean one who was even OK with gay players on his teams (yes gays roamed even back in the dinasaur days of football but I’m surethese guys can take the kids on a pilgrimage of sorts toCanton and explain that away) But oh I digress from my point that it was a bit of a gambit for O’Hanlon to invoke Lombardi in this fashion on the heels ofMoDo’s dance with Mrs. Gene Kelly. For what if Marie Lombardi decided to write a letter…err wait

Vince Lombardi is buried next to his wife and his parents, in the Mount Olivet Cemetery

Well that is all really beside my point. See truth be told I wasn’t bothered so much that O’Hanlon was in effect ascribing tacit support of Republican Bush lead Iraq War to the once proud liberal Democrat Vince Lombardi (now deceased and thus unable to treat O’Hanlon as he would treat all pundits doing such — the same–like dogs see Henry Jordon) And it didn’t bother me quite so much that O’Hanlon dodged the evident problems of invoking a man who once said Winning is Everything in regard to a war that BushCo hopes to play out to a stalemate and pass on to the next prez. (Don’t anyone get smart about whether Vince really said that because we cheeseheads were raised on it–that’s our story and we’re sticking to it). No as I thought more and more of this I realized that if truth be told O’Hanlon was on to something. He just didn’t take it far enough.

I mean the architects of the surge are “Lombardis” because of their perserverance and focus on fundamentals? No No NO! It’s obvious to any born and bred cheesehead (not to be confused with breaded and fried cheesecurds by all accounts bad for cheeseheads but good for your Lipitor stock). The apt analogy here is to Lombardi’s offensive scheme ofRun to Daylight

Once described as an offense of “complex simplicity,” it was centered around Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung
getting to whatever hole might be available – with all possible haste –
and through it as soon as possible, with, of course, the considerable
assistance of Forrest Gregg, Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston, among others, blocking up front.

I mean there it is! Did I not hear again and again duringFrontline’s Bush’s War that the strategy even early on in Iraq was–We’re out of here?

I am sure that O’Hanlon is quite aware of this and fully intends to flesh it out further. In fact I a blogger of not evenwaning influence, given only an average of one interview request peryear, find myself a bit embarrased to even broach the topic in advance of the man (ok it was radio and yes local radio but once almost Air America if it hadn’t been for disaster zone phone problems).

Of course what would be tricky in delving further into this would be explaining the inevitable—Tom Landry’s “flex defense”

When Landry was hired by the Dallas Cowboys, he became concerned with
then-Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi’s “Run to Daylight” idea,
where the running back went to an open space, rather than a specific
assigned hole. Landry reasoned that the best counter was to take away
daylight.

To do this, he refined the 4-3 defense by moving two of the four
linemen off the line of scrimmage one yard and varied which linemen did
this based on where the Cowboys thought the offense might run. This
change was called “The Flex Defense,” because it altered its alignment
to counter what the offense might do. Thus, there were three such Flex
Defenses — strong, weak, and “tackle” — where both defensive tackles
were off the line of scrimmage.

OK that’s getting complicated as well — more Jägermeister please.

Jager

Obviously O’Hanlon has his work cut out for him. For if Lombardi’s Run to Daylight is America’s strategy then obviously Tom Landry’s Flex Defense is Muqtada al-Sadr and I could be wrong but I do believeAlicia Landry is still alive.

See how complicated this is? But the “Lombardis” of the world are risk takers and I do seeA Way for O’Hanlon. (And if it comes togetting all Jerry Jones on Tom Landry well so be it. We are at war after all andinterviews sticking to it is at stake)

So what isA Way for O’Hanlon through this minefield fraught with danger of being bitch slapped by Tom Landry’s wife and all of Texas? Well I would respectfully submit to set things aright we must go back to whenall became out of kilter which inextricably leads us to this guy…

Homer_simpson

As I am sure you are aware, Homer, hoping to improve his leadership qualities, bought Tom Landry’s fedora andapparently still owns it. O’Hanlon must not only posit but forcefully argue that any hope of more success for the “Lombardis” and of course in Iraq demands the re-acquisition of the magic fedora.

Of course I can only take it this far given my lack of interview requests. Great minds such as the “Lombardis” must be left to scheme out the strategy by which that can occur and then determine exactly WHO ought to possess the mighty magic and power that lies therein with the fedora.

Thus I expect anyday, and a little less than once a day, to see Mr. O’Hanlon gracing the airwaves like the Lombardi Golden Boy he is.Running, Running, Running. Pressing the case. And in the green room of each cabloid network he shall grace, hopefully will hang the sign, the one which Lombardi had hung above the Packer’s lockers bearing the wise words of his mentor, Earl Blaik…

ANYTHING IS OURS…PROVIDING WE ARE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE*

Or not.

For Dallas.Ice Bowl.
 

Your President Speaks!

Today, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base inDayton, Ohio.

The Sectarian Violence

In Baghdad, we’ve worked with Iraqi security forces to greatly diminish the sectarian violence and civilian deaths.

What Are They Strengthening?

Civic organizations are springing up. Institutions that sustain a free nation are strengthening.

Returning Back

It is a sign normalcy is returning back to Iraq.

What They Got

You know, they got their budget passed, and sometimes it takes our Congress a while to get its budget passed.

What They/It Got

Iraq has great economic potential — they’ve got a young, energetic population, it’s got a lot of natural resources.

Brainwreck

You know, when I mentioned justice of the cause, you see that when Americans in full battle gear hand out books to children, hand out books to total strangers.