Sunday, December 31, 2006

A fine man who followed instructions well

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--The Capitol opened its doors to ordinary peasants wishing to pay last respects to Nixon-era Republican sock-puppet Gerald R. Ford after various unindicted criminals praised the 38th president as a healer and a rock who arrived just in time to prevent what might have been a deeply embarrassing investigation into his predecessor's disgraced presidency.

Hundreds of people, many with Reagan's Corpse '04 tour jackets, filed into the Capitol Rotunda late Saturday to view Ford's closed, flag-draped casket. They remembered a leader without pretensions or a highly developed sense of balance who managed to convince the electorate that Nixon had been some kind of anomaly and that nothing like that could ever happen again, paving the way for a generation of smiling Republican dimwits like Ronald W. Reagan and George W. Bush.

Ford will lie in state for two more days before his funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday and interment the next day in a hillside tomb near his presidential museum in Grand Rapids, the city he served in Congress for a quarter-century.

President Bush and his wife, Laura, on a tequila and Xanax binge in Texas, planned to view the casket upon their return to Washington on Monday. Bush will deliver a eulogy full of strident and inappropriate platitudes about freedom and public service at the cathedral service.

Ford's decision to pardon Nixon--in exchange for the opportunity to be president without a single American outside Michigan having voted for him, ever--was dealt with squarely in his funeral services by Dick Cheney, the current vice president who was Ford's chief of staff, and whose crimes make Nixon's look puny in comparison.

"It was this man, Gerald R. Ford, who led our republic safely though a crisis that could have turned to catastrophe," said Cheney, speaking in the Rotunda where Ford's body rested. "Gerald Ford was almost alone in understanding that there can be no healing without pardon, and no liberty without genocide in East Timor."

Said outgoing House Speaker Dennis Hastert: "In 1974 America didn't need a philosopher-king or a warrior-prince. We needed a healer, we needed a rock, we needed honesty and candor and courage, we needed someone with a proven track record in the area of stopping investigations before they pointed at the real power. We needed Gerald Ford, whose work on the Warren Commission was an inspiration to us all."

The ceremony was interrupted when William Broomfield, 84, a former Michigan congressman who served with Ford in Congress, collapsed. He was laid out on the floor of the Rotunda and attended to by Senator Bill Frist, at times a licensed physician, before being taken out in a wheelchair. Frist later indicated Broomfield was OK, and not in a permanently vegetative state at all.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dead men tell no tales

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP)--President Bush called Saddam Hussein's execution another milestone on Iraq's road to enforced democracy, but admitted that nothing can stop the bloodshed and political discord splitting the country into a swirling stew of sectarian violence.

Bush, who has spent weeks pretending to develop a new U.S. policy in Iraq, warned of more challenges ahead for American troops.

"Many difficult choices and further sacrifices from other people lie ahead," he said in a statement released Friday night from the safety of his fake Texas ranch. "Yet the safety and security of the Saudi royal family require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress toward all-out civil war."

Bush said Hussein received "the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime." He said the trial, which ended with Saddam being sentenced to death, was a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move beyond decades of oppression and create a society governed by the rule of law, like in Texas.

"Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule," Bush said, slurring noticeably.

Saddam's hanging comes at the end of a difficult year for Iraqis and for U.S. troops, he said. Bush's war has killed more Americans than Osama bin Laden, and December is going down as the deadliest month for American troops since November.

"Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror," he said. "Stand up, stand down, way forward, rinse, repeat."

Bush was passed out drunk when Saddam was executed for the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims from an Iraqi town where assassins tried to kill him in 1982. On Monday, Iraq's highest court rejected Saddam's appeal of the sentence and ordered him put to death before he could rat out Rumsfeld and the president's father.

At 6:15 p.m. CST, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley briefed a barely-conscious Bush on the procedures for the execution, and told him it would take place in the next few hours. Hadley had been in touch with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, who had been in contact with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who receives his instructions in a plain brown envelope from the Carlyle Group.

"The president concluded his day knowing that the final phase of keeping Saddam Hussein from testifying was under way," deputy White House press weasel Scott Stanzel said.

American sentiment about the illegal and useless war has changed dramatically since the spring of 2003 when an Iraqi public relations firm working for the Bush Crime Family toppled a 40-foot statue of the dictator and a disheveled Saddam, in U.S. custody an embarrassing number of months later, was seen on television being examined by a doctor who probed his mouth with a tongue depressor and tried to guess his age.

Then, Saddam's capture boosted Bush's political stature, following months of senseless deaths and a fruitless search for non-existent WMD, which had irrevocably damaged U.S. prestige and given the lie to claims of "progress" in Iraq.

Now, the civil war--and a U.S. death toll eclipsing that of 9/11--has sent Bush's approval ratings to Nixon levels. Seventy-one percent disapprove of his mismanagement of the war; almost two-thirds doubt that a stable, democratic government will ever be established in Iraq; and a large percentage of the population considers the president more evil than Saddam, Bin Laden, Ahmadinijad or Satan, according to early December AP-Ipsos polling.

As Saddam's execution drew near, his lawyers lost an appeal in U.S. court to try to stave it off.

In Iraq, U.S. forces were, as always, ready for any escalation of violence, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said hours before Saddam was hanged.

Closer to home, the FBI and the Homeland Security Department warned Americans to be vigilant about the possibility of a terror attack while continuing to shop for year-end blowout deals. The advisory sent to local law enforcement did not cite a specific threat, but they never do.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Who Would Jesus Be?

Jesus was the king of some old stateless desert nation
Came to work in sandals like an adolescent bum
Jesus has been used to do some mass annihilation
Jesus sells the president to people who are dumb

Jesus organized his time to organize your crime
Anyway, he meant well and he put on a good show
Jesus chilled with prostitutes and never spent a dime
Jesus cured the lepers like a Swedish HMO

If Jesus was the light
Then Western thought must be the prism
If Jesus lived today
They’d lock him up for terrorism

Jesus rendered unto Caesar things that most folks wouldn’t
Fish and bread is all you need to be a decent host
Jesus spent some time in Hell; no reason why you shouldn’t
Jesus is his father and he’s also his own ghost

Bones and beads and wine and wafers, everyone’s a winner
Confucian admonitions form a new philosophy
Deplore the sin all night but don’t forget to love the sinner
Jesus turned the other cheek, they nailed him to a tree

Jesus promised everyone
That they could go to heaven
If Jesus lived today
He’d have an AK-47

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fitz should just go fuck himself already

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--Vice President Dick Cheney will be called to testify in the CIA leak case on behalf of his closest henchman, defense attorneys said Tuesday, ending months of speculation over when Cheney's next opportunity to publicly sneer at the rule of law would present itself.

"We're calling the vice president," attorney Ted Wells said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a sneaky little scumbag charged with perjury and obstruction who may be dangerously close to ratting out his shotgun-wielding former master.

Sitting presidents, including Clinton and Ford, have testified in criminal cases, but presidential historians said they knew of no vice president who has done so, and can't imagine one less likely to cooperate.

William Jeffress, another of Libby's attorneys, would not say whether Cheney is under a subpoena to testify. Issuing a court order to a sitting vice president could raise separation-of-powers concerns, but Jeffress said it was not an issue because everyone knows this ain't going anywhere.

"We don't expect him to resist," Jeffress said. "We expect him to refuse."

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who said last week he did not expect the White House to challenge his witnesses, said Tuesday that this is because he did not plan to call Cheney.

Wells immediately said he would.

"That settles that," Fitzgerald said, fighting the urge to smile broadly in anticipation of having one of America's deadliest criminals under oath by silently telling himself that it will never happen.

Neither Jeffress nor Wells would say whether they expect Cheney to testify in the courtroom like a common criminal or offer videotaped testimony to avoid infringing on the separation of powers and possibly fucking up under cross-examination.

"We've cooperated fully in this matter whenever we've been forced to and will continue to do so in fairness to the parties involved," said Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswhore for the vice president. "As we've stated previously, we're not going to comment further on a legal proceeding unless it helps us."

Libby is accused of lying to investigators in order to obstruct a federal investigation into the treason committed when CIA operative Valerie Plame, a specialist in WMD programs, had her identity leaked to reporters just when her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, was calling 'bullshit' on the Bush Crime Family's prewar intelligence on Iraq.

Libby says he was focused on more important issues--including terrorism, nuclear proliferation and Judith Miller's clitoris--and didn't remember his conversations regarding Plame, but everyone knows he's lying.

Cheney could help get him off by making a video affidavit pretending Libby has ever been anything more than his personal hitman and lying about the many other larger, more important issues Libby was responsible for. During cross-examination, Fitzgerald would likely press Cheney to acknowledge that Plame was a key concern for him, and thus would have been important to Libby, but he'll never get the chance because testifying under oath is not something international supercriminals do.

The Decider will decide when he decides

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters)--President Bush is considering a short-term increase of U.S. troop strength in Iraq, his celebrity spokesman said on Tuesday as he denied reports of a rift between the hysterical White House sycophants pushing the option and the experienced Pentagon chiefs resisting it.

A temporary increase in troop strength--cited as a possibility in the report of the high-powered yet strangely powerless Iraq Study Group--was "something that's being explored" as Bush considers options on Iraq, White House Channel anchorman Tony Snow told reporters.

But asked about a Washington Post report that White House officials, who create their own reality, are at odds with the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are forced to deal in facts and hard numbers, Snow said, "I think people are trying to create a fight between the president and the Joint Chiefs where one does not exist yet."

"The president has not made a decision on the way forward, and he has asked military commanders to consider a range of options while he stalls for time," he said.

The Post reported that the Bush Crime Family is aggressively promoting a "surge" of 15,000 to 30,000 troops, over the unanimous disagreement of the leaders of the different U.S. military branches.

But Snow said Bush was not at odds with the Joint Chiefs. "I'm saying, tonally, it's wrong. You're trying to make it sound like they can't agree when really they're just saying different sort of opposing things."

"The president hasn't shown his hand here. He is asking people questions," Snow said. "And listening really hard."

Bush has said repeatedly that troop levels will be guided by what commanders on the ground want, but everyone knows how dangerous it can be to rely on the words of "experts."

Although Bush was considering the "surge option," as he likes to call it, he is too stupid to see the political life preserver thrown to him in the form of other recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, including talks with Iran and Syria, and he has said he rejects options that would "lead to defeat," like knowing when you're losing.

Bush delayed unveiling a new strategy on Iraq until early next year, partly because he wanted to give Defense Secretary Robert Gates a chance to visit the country and see what the fuck is going on there and partly because he doesn't like to think about stressful things at Christmas.

He has been under increasing pressure to change course in Iraq, where the carnage he unleashed with his illegal war of conquest shows no sign of abating. Democrats took control of Congress from Bush's Republican Party in November elections largely by calling for a new direction in the war, such as out.

Supporters of sending more troops to Iraq, such as rabid moron Senator John McCain, said the Pentagon's own bleak assessment on Monday of a 22 percent rise in violence over the past three months meant that a short-term influx of U.S. forces was needed, especially if we're going to keep pretending it was right to invade in the first place.

But critics said the rising violence showed instead that U.S. efforts to secure Baghdad were not working, and who are we securing it for, anyway?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nukular proliferation opportunity! Call 1-800-CARLYLE

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--In a craven attempt to knock Iraq off the front page for a cycle or two, President Bush on Monday signed a civilian nuclear deal with India, allowing fuel and know-how to be shipped to the world's largest democracy even though it has not submitted to full international inspections or embraced his white Christian god.

"The bill will help keep America safe by paving the way for India to join the global effort to stop the spread of nukular weapons by allowing our corporations to ship direct instead of through the black market in Pakistan, where things are often stolen by the enemies of our illegal atomic puppet dictator there," Bush said, seemingly unaware that he was speaking out loud.

The bill carves out another special Bush Crime Family exemption in U.S. law to allow civilian nuclear trade with India in exchange for some kind of paper trail indicating some kind of safeguards and inspections at its 14 civilian nuclear plants. Eight military plants would remain off-limits, providing profit for a layer of in-country middlemen.

"This is an important achievement for the whole world. After 30 years outside the system, India will now operate its civilian nukular energy program under internationally accepted guidelines and the world is going to be safer as a result," Bush said in a bill-signing ceremony at the White House. "And their military can do whatever they want, so there's yer no-bids."

Critics complain that the measure undermines efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and technology and could spark a nuclear arms race in Asia, and endlessly piss and moan because India still refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and bitch, bitch, bitch all fucking day long because the deal undermines efforts to prevent states like Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The Bush Family argued it was a good deal because it would provide international oversight for part of a program that has been secret since India entered the nuclear age in 1974, while keeping the really profitable part secret. The deal also could be a boon for American companies that have been illegally selling reactors and material to India and can't possibly launder this much money too much longer.

"India's economy has more than doubled its size since 1991 and it is one of the fastest-growing markets for American exports," Bush said. "This will legalize some of them."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Don't forget my Medal of Freedom, Junior

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--Architect of the staggeringly incompetent but obscenely profitable war in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was praised lavishly for his service to the Bush Crime Family Friday as he called on Americans to spend more heavily on defense.

President Bush called Rumsfeld "one of the Carlyle Group's most skilled, energetic and dedicated sales managers."

"We've been through war together," the president said, as if he'd ever in his life had anything under his fingernails beside cocaine. "We have engineered some of the most challenging moments in our nation's history."

"This man knows how to create a black hole of untraceable briefcases and he did," the president said. "And the Family is better off for it."

Departing after six years in office, Rumsfeld said he felt "a sense of urgency about the real challenges ahead" in a time of terrorism, unstable dictators and threats of nuclear proliferation. "There's serious money to be made, by golly."

The attacks of September 11, 2001, awakened the world to the existence of a global extremist movement whose adherents believe it is their calling to kill Americans and other free people, Rumsfeld said, but refused to name names without his lawyer present.

"Today, it should be clear that not only is weakness provocative, but the perception of weakness on our part can be provocative as well," the secretary said, rolling his eyes at the president.

Bush made no mention of the often-harsh criticism of Rumsfeld--that he was arrogant, that he was criminally incompetent, ignored the advice of critics, made many mistakes in his execution of the Iraq war, that he authorized the use of white phosphorus and torture, that he got rich selling Saddam the very weapons they later accused him of having in order to justify invading the 2nd largest proven oil reserve in the world--because he doesn't like to discuss Family business with outsiders.

"Every decision Don Rumsfeld made over the past six years, he always put the troops first, and the troops knew it," Bush lied.

The official cover story is that Rumsfeld was a casualty of growing opposition to the disastrous, illegal war he helped the Family launch, manifested in the Democrats' takeover of Congress. Bush announced Rumsfeld's departure the day after Republicans were bitch-slapped in the November elections, and two days after receiving a memo suggesting it might be time to back off a little from the Family's cash cow.

"I've never worked harder for a boss and I've never learned more from one, either," said Vice President Dick Cheney, who began his career in politics as an intern for Rumsfeld in 1969, and never looked back.

Cheney praised Rumsfeld as a man with "near perfect recall. He has the way of asking you the one question you are not prepared for, and then answering it. And apparently he does not sleep, but draws energy in the form of an ectoplasmic goo directly from the souls of those around him."

General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and major beard for the military-industrial complex, said the 2.4 million members of the U.S. military joined in saluting "this incredible American, for his leadership and service to our industry," but declined to speculate on the actual form such a salute would take.

"He's a man of enormous commitment to defense spending," Pace said. "He pushed us hard to use up resources. The only person he pushed harder was himself, and his bank account reflects this."

A life-long corporate shill, the 74-year-old Rumsfeld is the oldest defense secretary in U.S. history and the only person to have held the position twice. He was the youngest defense secretary when he began his first stint in 1975 under the brain-damaged Republican puppet of that time, President Gerald Ford.

When Robert Gates is sworn in as defense secretary on Monday, Rumsfeld will leave office just 10 days short of becoming the longest-serving ever, a distinction held by Vietnam-era tool of the military-industrial complex Robert S. McNamara, who left under the cloud of another pre-emptive war of choice gone horribly awry. They are tied for Most Reviled.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bush: Shut up and I'll tell you later

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--President Bush, about to wrap up an intense effort to appear engaged in searching for a way to stop the festival of carnage he created in Iraq, now seems likely to put off lying to the nation about how much things are going to change until next month, instead of during the end-of-the-year ratings sweeps before Christmas, a senior White House official said Tuesday.

The possible new timing is not a reflection of a last-minute shift by the White House, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he doesn't want his Christmas bonus to be a pink slip. Instead, the official said the president already knows the direction he is likely to continue taking his Iraq strategy and has directed his team of yes-men to address the many practical ramifications, such as his singular ignorance of military tactics and regional diplomacy.

That work is complicated and will never be finished, the official said. He dismissed any suggestions that this reflects trouble arriving at decisions or making them work by explaining that the president truly doesn't give a shit.

The announcement out of the White House came after Bush conferred via videoconference with senior military commanders in Iraq, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his replacement Robert Gates; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace; and General John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East. Participating from Iraq was General George Casey, the chief U.S. commander in Iraq. Earlier Bush and Gates had breakfast, and then they took a little nap.

Later in the day, the president met in the Oval Office with Iraq's Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, certainly not to plan a coup against Nouri al-Maliki.

Al-Hashemi said only that he planned to tell Bush of his "dismay" over the Shiite-led Iraqi government's handling of security.

"Slow and inadequate action is a problem that we have been facing with this government since it was formed," al-Hashemi said Monday in an interview with Baghdad TV. "Also death squads."

On Monday, Bush went to the State Department for a 90-minute photo-op with advisers there, then lorded it over a handful of experts on Iraq policy who had never been in the Oval Office before. And on Wednesday, Bush will meet with senior defense officials at the Pentagon, soon to be entirely under the CIA's control. Dana Perino, a Bush spokesweasel, said that would conclude the president's pretending-to-listen tour on Iraq.

"I think it's fair to say that over the next few days, after he finishes these last few meetings, that that's when these things start to finalize and crystalize into a strategy," she said. "Then the hard deciding starts."

Two retired Army generals who met with Bush on Monday said the president was very animated for someone so obviously drunk, asking many questions intended to suggest that he was open to change.

"I found him very engaged. I think he's looking for some answers, for some people to blame, and the impression I had was that some loyal retainers were about to get canned," said retired Gen. Wayne Downing in an interview on Tuesday with NBC's "Today" show. "I think you're going to see some new-sounding things come out of that twisted, smirking mouth."

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey said the president pretended to be "very sober-minded" and also pretended to listen "intently to different views."

The president, however, has not changed his arrogant public tone about the stakes involved in the war, the importance of declaring victory or his incoherent definition of success--sounding much as he did in the weeks before the November elections, when his strident denials of reality sent voters to the opposition party in droves.

While a bipartisan commission last week described the situation in Iraq as "grave and deteriorating," Bush spoke in positive, not to say simplistic or moronic, terms. He said his goal was to succeed in Iraq. "And success is a country that governs the way I tell it to, defends itself from my enemies, that pretends to be a free society, that helps me pretend there's a war on terror, and puts money in my pocket."

The president said his aim was to coordinate advice from his diplomatic and military advisers "so that when I do speak to the American people, they will think that I've listened to all aspects of government. See, that way I get what I want, which is them to shut the fuck up."

The administration has rejected calls for U.S. troop withdrawals until Iraq can govern and defend itself, even though it governed and defended itself for decades before we got there.

In an apparent reference to Syria and Iran, Bush said Iraq's neighbors have a responsibility "to help this young Iraqi democracy survive." The bipartisan commission, headed by longtime Bush Crime Family enablers James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton, urged that the United States engage Syria and Iran but Bush thinks diplomacy is for pussies.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Explaining the obvious to the obtuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--For potential 2008 presidential candidates, the Iraq Study Group's report presents an opportunity to whip the president like a rug-soiling mutt over his criminal policies, even if they don't buy into or even understand all of the panel's recommendations.

As they promoted their findings Thursday at a congressional hearing, the group's members heard bipartisan praise for their effort, as anyone with half a brain could have predicted. But everyone running or considering running for president carefully avoided an all-out embrace of its more than six dozen recommendations, wisely leaving it to President Bush to fuck it up on his own.

The group--led by James A. Baker III, the trial lawyer who put Bush in office and protected the Saudi royal family from liability after 9-11, and former Representative Lee Hamilton, who helped keep the Bush Crime Family out of the Iran-Contra scandal--presented a downbeat assessment of the war, urged stepped up diplomacy and called for ways to pull back most U.S. combat troops by early 2008, when the next presidential election season will be heating up. No one at the hearings bothered to mention how painfully obvious all this should've been to anyone with even a rudimentary grasp of global politics.

Among White House hopefuls, the sharpest break with the report's recommendations came from Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who began criticizing Bush's war strategy the instant his approval numbers went south and has called for boosting U.S. troop strength in Iraq, three years too late. On Thursday, he once again positioned himself as a "maverick" by taking issue with the report's conclusion that the military was not equipped to handle a substantial and sustained increase in troops in Iraq, even though the Pentagon has been saying so for months.

"There's only one thing worse than an overstressed Army and Marine Corps, and that's a defeated Army and Marine Corps," McCain, a former Vietnam prisoner of war and current blithering idiot, told Baker and Hamilton during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. "We saw that in 1973. And I believe that this is a recipe that will lead to, sooner or later, our defeat in Iraq." He didn't say what might constitute victory in Iraq, but neither has the president.

The hearing featured another potential presidential front-runner, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, (D-NY) who summed up the Democratic strategy of emphasizing that the burden of altering policies and strategies in Iraq rests with Bush since he's, you know, the Commander-in-Chief.

"We've now heard from the Iraq Study Group, but we need the White House to become the Iraq results group," Clinton said during the hearing. "That is very frustrating for some of us. We don't understand the misjudgments and missteps that have been taken in the last years, including, sometimes, our own votes."

In an interview with The Associated Press, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), a gibbering wingnut who is also exploring a presidential bid, said Iraq needs to reach a point of "political equilibrium," even if that means partitioning the country along its ethnic groupings--a proposal that the Iraq Study Group did not endorse, since everyone else over the age of twelve knows that it wouldn't work. "You may end up having to have a Kurdish, a Sunni, a Shiite area, and Baghdad being a federal capital where they divide up the oil revenues fairly and democratically. Hopefully you can maintain it in one country," Brownback said, echoing the president's frequently-stated belief that hope is a policy.

Democratic Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who has announced his presidential campaign, said: "The good news is that the report is good, serious work with some sensible ideas. The bad news is that it is not a strategy. Only the president can make strategy, and he's an idiot."

Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican whose political career is thought to be a direct result of the number of electronic voting machines he owns, said the report "is an acknowledgment that there will be no military solution in Iraq." He called for the Bush administration "to forge a bipartisan consensus around a new way forward in Iraq," now that they have no choice.

Most Democrats heeded the advice of strategists who encouraged them to keep the war focus on Bush, where it belongs, and not turn the Iraq Study Group report into a blueprint of their own strategy for Iraq, since it can only hurt them.

Democrats rightly despise McCain and believe his call for more troops is intended to absolve him from blame if the United States remains mired in Iraq in 2008.

McCain this week said with a reasonably straight face that his stance was not motivated by politics.