Fuzzy Math

Today’s Washington Post has a preview of the Bush budget, in which the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are projected at $145 billion in the coming year, drop to $50 billion in 2009 and $0 after that. Does OMB have a secret plan to end the war? Hope they tell the Pentagon about it.

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Dark Side?

The Republican National Committee has this
to say about John Edwards on Meet the Press…
If Edwards was “dark” today, what can one say about the Bush operatives who spread the rumor that John McCain had a “mixed race” child in 2000 or spread the lies about John Kerry’s war record in 2004? Can the RNC operatives believe that anybody …

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Talking Heads

I watched John McCain and Chuck Hagel on Stephanopoulos, then switched to John Edwards on Meet the Press. Some observations:

1. McCain, whether you agree with him or not, has been entirely consistent about the war. I disagreed with him about going to war in 2003, agreed with him about the need for more troops until last summer, when it …

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Insane Aristocratic Chickenhawks

This, from a reader, deserves a serious response:

Gen. Casey didn’t want to run the war the way Rumsfeld instructed him to. He did it anyway, because it’s his job to obey higher-ups. Now he’s pulled from duty and Sen McCain, Bush’s surrogate for the escalation, rakes him over the coals in committee for following BushCo’s orders. The

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Iraq really seems to be falling apart. Read down in this piece and you’ll see that, in addition to the horrific suicide bombing in a Baghdad market, there were eight bombings in Kirkuk, a two-hour gun battle in Mosul and assorted mayhem throughout the rest of the country. The violence in Kirkuk is something to keep an eye on–it’s a city …

Rudy by the Numbers

In this campaign memo, Rudy Giuliani’s almost-campaign offers data to show their man is “uniquely positioned” in the Republican field. But you’ve got to wonder how some of those numbers–especially that eye-popping 76% approval among evangelicals–would hold up in the heat of a Republican primary, where his rivals would be certain to …

Black People Love Us

There’s is probably something to the speculation that Barack Obama is somehow not “black enough” to win overwhelming support from black voters in the Democratic primary. But in this case “something” seems to mean reporters going to editors and saying “I have asked black people about the issue and they have opinions on it.” Here, I can do …


I’m sorry that no one in Swampland has gotten out to say this sooner, as I’m sure we were all thinking it: Rest in peace, Molly Ivins.

She was the first woman I came by who wrote in a way that was funny yet seriously smart and sober about policy. And she had red hair! My dad particularly enjoyed having introduced me to her writing and …

Re: DNC Winter Meeting

The view from a row in front of where Joe was sitting:

I, too, was struck by the quiet power of Obama’s speech. Quiet, literally. He didn’t have any of the hokey theme music the others did. His supporters didn’t even have any signs to wave. At some points during his speech, the crowd got so quiet that the only sound you heard was the …

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DNC Winter Meeting

Well, this is pretty interesting. Six Democratic candidates for president making, in effect, their Washington debuts…I want to take a look at the texts before I comment in much depth on this, but I’ve got to say that Obama, Edwards and Clinton–in chronological order–made the biggest impression on the crowd, and on me. (Dodd, Clark …

If It’s Monday, It Must Be Beat the Press

The court spent all much of the day dealing with evidentiary issues. When we broke for lunch at 12:30, a reporter sitting next to me estimated that the jury had heard actually testimony for a grand total of seven minutes so far. There’s a tendency to assume testimony is more exciting than the legal minutiae that happens when the jury’s …

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Re: Clinton 2.0

Uh-oh. Clinton’s interview with Karen raises several red flags.
1. NAFTA–“We inherited it.” Oh, come on. Now, if I remember correctly, Hillary was opposed to the President spending political capital on NAFTA passage in September of 1993–she wanted him to devote all his energy to her health insurance plan. So an argument can be made …

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