LIVEBLOGGING: The Surge Speech

9:01 PM: Stumble on the first sentence. He didn’t even get to the “pulling the statue down” segment.

9:02 PM: LOOK! There are books behind him. I sense an air of … smartness…

9:03 PM: “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me”? Where? Like, somewhere else in addition to Iraq?

9:04 PM: First mention, …

“Audacious Shake of the Dice”

As we prepare to hear the, what, fifth (?) announcement of a “plan for victory” in Iraq since “Mission Accomplished”, it’s instructive to wander down Memory Lane and visit the hollow reams of punditry that helped convince the American people that the war was a good idea. Particularly appalling are those arguments that seems based solely …

In the Arena In the Arena

It’s an Iraqi Initiative!

One of the more outlandish conceits of Bush’s speech tonight, is that he will pretend that the escalation is, essentially, an Iraqi initiative–and we’re just there to back up and help out. This is, of course, utter nonsense. Iraq doesn’t have a coherent government, much less “ideas” or much motivation for finding ways to knit together …

I Always Lie. I Am Lying to You Now.

One of those slick reporter types tried to trip up a Senior Administration Official this afternoon by pointing out that, you know, “nothing short of victory” (past Bush assertion) is not exactly compatible with “our commitment is not open-ended” (current Bush assertion). And, of course, there’s this:

Can you tell us whether the

In the Arena In the Arena

Good Point

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, one of the wisest Democrats on national security issues, made an important–and overlooked–point at the Dems noon press conference today: Bush’s implausible escalation is going to increase public skepticism about any U.S. policy actions in the region (and, I’d add, the world). Some of the public …

Re: I’m like a chocoholic, but for nicotine.

If John Boehner starts missing a lot of votes, Ana, we’ll know why. He’s over on the other end of the Capitol bumming cigarettes from Barack Obama. The smoking ban is a big win for Henry Waxman. When the Republicans still ran things,some staffers in the Energy and Commerce Committee offices used to stub their cigarettes out in an …

Tonight’s Must-See TV

According to ABC: “On Nightline at 11:35 pm ET, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) will offer his reaction to the President’s speech.”

For ’08-watchers, there’s as much — or more — riding on that appearance as there is on the President’s prime-time address. Namely, whether Sen. Obama will deliver the response topless or wearing a Bears cap.

Amusing Themselves to Death

Hugh Hewitt clarifies what the Bush Administration means by “surge”, suggesting of the new Apple “iPhone”:

Apple Inc and Its iPhone
. . .

The military should order a million of them and give them away to the young men of Baghdad, fully programmed with music, video and games.

I think this is brilliant. Forget more troops: MORE GADGETS!

What History Will Say

Tonight George W. Bush will try to alter the course of a great debate. As Christopher Buckley, a self-described “once-proud — indeed, staunch — Republican” wrote last fall in the Washington Monthly, the debate is engaged every day among historians, pundits, journalists and even normal Americans. Speaking of the current President’s …

Public Service Announcement

In addition to other warnings — “may cause drowsiness,” “do not operate machinery,” etc. — the makers of Sudafed should consider letting cold sufferers know that drug will cause you to pick fights with Joe Klein.

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