Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dems come out flailing

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters)--Leading Republicans in Congress on Thursday declared that troop withdrawal legislation is treason because the United States has made significant progress turning the corner to stay the course in Iraq, and cut-and-run Democrats should shut the fuck up and make with the money, like always.

"It should be off the table," House Republican leader John Boehner said of Democratic attempts to pass legislation to force President George W. Bush to withdraw some of the 168,000 U.S. troops defending Iraqi oil from Iraqis.

The Republican wide stance followed months of speculation that Democrats would probably do anything to avoid being called pussies on TV. In recent months a small but growing number of Republicans have said it is time to develop a bipartisan strategy to bring troops home, but they're up for re-election next year and no one believes them.

Democrats pointed to a new report that said the Iraqi army was improving to bolster arguments for starting to withdraw U.S. forces, but their puny majority and preponderance of facts is no match for old-school Republican shit-talking.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters of "significant progress in Iraq," without saying what kind, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the 4-1/2-year war effort was "finally paying dividends," but would not say to whom.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, is working on a bill to start a withdrawal of troops this year but with no firm date for completing the pullout, no attempt to tie it to funding, and no reason to believe it will work.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Democrats would renew their strategy of empty posturing and pathetic dithering over the Iraq war. Surrendering without a fight, he implied that Democrats would avoid insisting on timetables or anything else before screwing up their courage and voting to give the president whatever he wants.

Republicans just laugh at them. "We're at a crossroads, you weaklings. Pour it on. Seize the moment and be like us. Show you have the balls to do what we want, and take withdrawal off the table," said Graham, who posed as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force reserves in Iraq for several days last month, then left because it's hot there.

Next week Congress will hear from U.S. Iraq commander General David Petraeus Maximus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker. Both are expected to report significant military progress in Baghdad since the start of the escalation last January, since that's what their scripts say.

Republicans are hoping their phony testimony upstages a more realistic non-partisan assessment delivered to Congress this week by the congressional investigative agency. It said the Iraqi government had failed to meet 11 out of 18 political and military goals, and pretty much sucked at the others, as long as you're asking.

Reid alluded to "things we can do on a bipartisan basis" to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate to avoid procedural roadblocks to legislation, then went back to sleep.

Any legislation urging troop withdrawals without timetables could lose the support of some Democrats running for President.

"If we take away deadlines, benchmarks, timelines, what is the urgency that will move them (the Iraqi government) to act?" asked Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, a leading presidential candidate.

Chicks are too emotional.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Richardson jumps the shark

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP)--In a bid to prove that understanding the expediency of sucking up to special interests isn't an exclusively Republican trait, Democratic presidential longshot Bill Richardson said Tuesday that his comment about it being God's will that Iowa votes first was just off-the-cuff pandering for the locals.

Campaigning in south-central Iowa, the New Mexico governor faced questions about his witless and bizarre comment Monday, when he suggested that the U.S. Constitution and the Holy Bible require Iowa to lead the nomination process.

"Iowa, for good reason, for constitutional reasons, for reasons related to the Lord, should be the first caucus and primary," he said Monday. "And I want you to know who was the first candidate to sign a pledge not to campaign anywhere if they got ahead of Iowa. It was Bill Richardson."

The Des Moines Register reported on Richardson's stupid, stupid comments to the Northwest Iowa Labor Council Picnic in Sioux City.

Asked about it Tuesday, Richardson said: "Look, that was an off-the-cuff comment where I was sucking up to the locals so I said Iowa and New Hampshire should be first, because I really want people here to like me. If I don't pull at least third place here, I'm toast."

When pressed further, he said Iowa should launch the primary calendar because "it's a tradition in American politics that has worked," like gay-bashing and terrorism.

"Iowa scrutinizes candidates through a grass-roots state. They are very good at winnowing down candidates," he said. "They don't listen to national polls. Iowa voters are very independent and issue-oriented. And they'll never go for a fat half-breed if I don't kiss their ass a little bit."

During Tuesday's stop in Osceola, Iowa, Richardson said he was troubled by the frequent bickering between leading candidates Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama, all of whom are better public speakers than he is.

"I think it's important to stay positive in this campaign," he told about 100 borderline alcoholics lured to a co-op winery by the promise of free samples. "Isn't Iowa great? God loves you people more than anyone."

Much has been made of the possibility of electing the first female or black president, but Richardson said that he didn't plan to put more emphasis on his Hispanic heritage if he can get attention through the time-honored tradition of obsequious gibberish.

"I don't like to be typecast. I'm very proud to be Hispanic, but if I used my mother's maiden name, like everyone else, it would be so obvious that I'm trying to just do it for votes," he said. "I'm after everybody, not just Hispanics, so I have to be prepared to say anything."

Richardson said he's up against tough competition at many campaign stops in early states, including the Labor Day appearance of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

"I'm campaigning against one formidable Clinton — now I'm facing two formidable Clintons," he said. "If they bring Chelsea out, I'm fucked."