January 13th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Old News: US Congress as Occupied Territory

 Two percent of the population. Eight percent of the House. Thirteen
percent of the Senate. And a village idiot member of the House from
southern Virginia found it objectionable that one Muslim, an African
American convert to Islam, should be a member of the House, one too many
because he wanted to be sworn in on the Koran. Please draw your own
conclusions. Catholics are 30%. Not surprising. Evangelicals? Who knows?
Pity the poor Episcopalians. Let us praise diversity. But within reason.
Read on.

*Jewish Membership in Congress at All-Time High*

By Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 12, 2007; A17

While Democrats celebrated the election of the House's first female
speaker, another milestone passed more quietly: The 110th Congress
includes more Jewish lawmakers than any other in history, and all but
four are Democrats.

About 2 percent of Americans identify themselves as Jewish. But in
Congress, the proportion of Jewish members is now four times that. Six
new Jewish House members were sworn in last week, bringing the total to
30. In the Senate, the 13 Jewish members include freshmen Benjamin L.
Cardin <http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/c000141/>
(D-Md.) and Bernard Sanders
<http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/s000033/> (I-Vt.),
according to the National Jewish Democratic Council.

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Chris Keeley

It’s a remarkable moment, W. standing nearly alone, deserted by more and more Republicans, generals

It’s impossible to know what W. was really thinking as he stiffly delivered his fantasy scheme in the White House library. The whole capital was fraught, but the president may simply have been musing to himself: “I’m hungry ... I wonder what time the game starts on ESPN? ...Has anybody read all these books?”

It’s a remarkable moment, W. standing nearly alone, deserted by more and more Republicans, generals and Americans, risking it all on a weak reed like Prime Minister Maliki.

A Risky Game of Risk

Washington

I feel good about the new war with Iran.

How can you not have confidence in the crackerjack team that brought you Operation Iraqi Freedom, which foundered and led to Operation Together Forward, which stumbled and led to Operation Together Forward II, which collapsed and was replaced by The New Way Forward, the Surge now being launched even though nobody’s together and everything’s going backward?

I say, bring it on. If a pre-emptive war in Iraq doesn’t work, why not try a pre-emptive war on Iran in Iraq?

Although Tony Snow dismissed the idea of war with Iran as an “urban legend” yesterday, Condi Rice revealed to New York Times reporters that President Bush acted months ago to parry Iran’s ambitions, issuing orders for a military campaign against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces sneaking into Iraq. Using diplomatic passports, the agents have been smuggling in sophisticated bomb-making components and infrared trigger devices, which could be used to blow up American soldiers.

The move against Iran allows the president and Dick Cheney — who was, natch, militating for the Surge — to blow off, once more, the Iraq Study Group and Congress, to push back rather than make up.

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