• Message: I'm In Charge

    FEMA Chief Michael Brown is leaving to spend some more time with his family/the horses/people who like him. He'll be replaced by Thad Allen, the Coast Guard Vice Admiral who's been overseeing Katrina relief efforts.
  • State of Iraq

    The NY Times has released their new State of Iraq chart and oh what little difference a year makes. This one compares across Augusts (so August 03, August 04, August 05) on a variety of markers. Some of the findings: • Of the three Augusts, 05 was the deadliest for US troops. Last month had 90 fatalities, 25 more than August 04, which in turn had 29 more than August 03. Major combat operations might be over on our side, but the insurgency is ramping right up. • Happily, the number of troops wounded dropped significantly, 283 fewer than in August 2004, but August 2004 had 710 more than August 2003, so we're nowhere near post-war levels. • Things are, as expected, getting worse for Iraqi civilians. August 05 had 600 being killed, a year before the number was 550, a year before that only 225. • Estimated foreign jihadists is shooting up -- 100 in 03, 500 in 04, 900 now. • Oil production is still 300,000 barrels below pre-war levels, but the GDP has increased above 2002's number. I'd like...
  • Respect Her Authoritah!

    Via Matt , Jonah Goldberg's making some very, very strange points : I feel a bit sorry for liberals when it comes to Nancy Pelosi. I think among leading Democrats of the last decade or so, she inspires the least respect from her ideological enemies, and deservedly so. Oh dear God. This coming from a guy whose party is led by a soon-to-be-indicted exterminator, a partially-evolved wrestling coach, and a weak-willed surgeon who conducted a psychic telediagnosis of a comatose political prop that turned out to be wrong . Some Democrats may respect DeLay's ruthlessness, but thinking the majority leader is a political criminal doesn't strike me as the sort of respect Goldberg's talking about. So far as I know, nobody thinks Hastert is anything but an animatronic apparatchik , and I can't think of anyone in contemporary politics who engenders less respect than Frist. As it happens, all the Democrats I know are quite pleased with Pelosi. I wish she'd give up doing those post-SOTU speeches,...
  • A Good Idea

    I'll second that: Ogged for FEMA head! He's over qualified!
  • Site Stuff

    I've changed my picture and freshened my author info, so those with stalkerish tendencies can click on the "About" button to see the update.
  • Return of the Press

    Nikki Finke has a blistering column lauding the heroes and assaulting the hacks from the last week or two of Katrina coverage. Her final question -- whether the media can sustain its new assertiveness -- seems to have been answered today, with the answer being No. Sam Rosenfeld's been all over it, so I'll send you over to his posts on the subject. Suffice to say that the media, having attracted great plaudits for fighting the bullies at the bar, seems to have started swinging indiscriminately in the hopes of hitting another evildoer. We were praying that the pulsing anger Cooper and Smith and Rivera evinced would be coupled with a willingness to say exactly who is to blame. Unfortunately, it seems to have dissipated into a mere voice inflection, a tone in which you ask questions rather than an emotion that drives you to find answers. We'd hoped the press corps was changing, but it turned out the difference was merely decibel. That's why watching Kyra Phillips get laid out by Nancy...
  • Thanks for the Heads-Up!

    11 GOP congressmen just voted against the $51 billion relief package for flood victims. Another way of phrasing that sentence is there are 11 GOP Congressmen in the House of Representatives who no longer want their jobs -- Democratic challengers should be gearing up to take them.
  • The James Lee Witt of the 1920's

    I'm going to second Brad Plumer on this : compared to the historical screw job Herbert Hoover's been tagged with, Carter got off easy. If we're resuscitating reputations around here, there's no better place to start than the best crisis administrator -- both foreign and domestic -- this country's ever seen.
  • Darfur

    Brad's got an important post on the whole lot of nothing being done in Darfur. As bad as Katrina is, Sudan is much, much worse. And there's no Geraldo or Cooper holding up the limbless children and screaming at their anchors to pay attention to these dying, suffering people.
  • Arnold's Peculiar Conception of American Democracy

    As you probably know, Arnold has turned his full governating force against the homosexuals, promising to veto the gay marriage bill as soon as it lisps its way atop his desk. Shame on him. But in this case, it's less the bigotry (or in his case, the opportunism and fear of Tom McClintock) and more the rationale that's galling: In a statement, Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said the governor opposes the legislation, passed Tuesday night by the California Assembly and last week by the state Senate, because he thinks the matter should be decided by California's courts or its voters. So it seems the gays have finally found the weak point of representative democracy -- it's apparently totally incapable of handling their civilization-crushing demand for equal rights. Such a meaty task must be left to either an unelected, unaccountable judiciary, or whoever actually reads through the ballot initiatives. Well, I guess it takes an Austrian to totally rejigger America's...