The court scholar serving Hermann of Thuringia.

The court scholar serving Hermann of Thuringia.
The scholar


Iraq withdrawal & Franken wins!!!

I'm very pleased to say that the suspicions I expressed in early March have turned out to be unfounded, at least for now. The first phase of US troop withdrawal from Iraq, the removal of troops from the cities and the ceasing of regular patrols there, occurred on schedule.

Not to worry, though. Presidential spokesperson Robert Gibbs assures us that there will be no "Mission Accomplished" sign.

"I will keep the banner printers from doing anything crazy."

Finally, eight long months of Norm Coleman dragging his feet have come to an end and newly-minted Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is on his way to being sworn in. As Democrats will now have 60 Senators, that means that the Republican ability to frustrate and hamstring the Democratic agenda are pretty much finished. Republicans simply no longer have the numbers to effectively filibuster anything/

An explanation as to just why health insurance companies fear government-run health insurance

Anti-Casino activists protest downtown

ScotusBlog explains why the Supreme Court disagreed with Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Ricci case

And hoo-boy! The conservative media-criticism blog Newsbusters makes a comment that Media Matters has to explain to them. They have to explain that the scandal concerning the SC Governor Mark Sanford is NOT like the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. They need to type slowly, so Newsbusters gets it.


Froomkin's firing & Krauthammer's delusions

Astonishing. Absolutely astonishing that the WaPo would fire their most perceptive, principled, hands-down best columnist Dan Froomkin in favor of the miserable hack Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer, who objects to calling Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei Iran's "Supreme Leader."

Uh, "Supreme Leader" is Khamenei's proper title. That's kind of like Vladimir Putin calling Barack Obama "Mr. President." I notice also that Krauthammer can't be bothered to even try to pretend that he's paid any attention whatsoever to what the Iranian opposition has been very clearly and unambiguously saying since their election was stolen, i.e., stay out! Iran's opposition wants the US to keep its distance, to back off and to not discredit them with too close an embrace. In other words, President Obama is doing precisely what those brave people dying in the streets of Iran want him to do.

Krauthammer's mention of an "Arab spring" shows that he's still blinded by the same visions of glory and of reconstructing the entire Mideast along a "Made in the USA" design. This design motivated neoconservatives to advocate the launching of the Iraq War. That same war has taken perhaps a million Iraqi lives and that has moved well over three million Iraqis out of their homes and into either other places in Iraq or into neighboring countries. Will Iraq ever be a happier country than it was on February 2003? It seems they're on the way to getting there, but it's quite obvious that the grand neocon project is long since hopelessly broken and lying in the dust. That project will never recover, but neocons like Krauthammer would much rather see more blood, death and destruction than to admit that their hopeless project was always based upon delusions.


Norm Coleman confesses

So, Norm Coleman (R-MN), the former Senator from Minnesota, admits to what lefty bloggers have been stating for months, that his quest to hang onto an ever-dimmer hope of prevailing in last November’s decision by the voters of Minnesota. (Coleman lost by a margin considerably thinner than 1%, but by Mid-April, even fellow Republicans were advising Coleman to pack it in as he had clearly lost)

Now, Coleman makes himself out to be something of a hero for hanging onto a Republican minority that has just the numbers necessary to sustain a veto If Al Franken takes office, the Republican’s ability to frustrate national policy is pretty much gone.

So what will the country lose when that happens? The view of Republicans such as John McCain, John Bolton and Joe Lieberman on how to deal with the Iranian situation are pretty much to come galloping in on horseback, shoot up the place and kill people by the millions (They’ve announced plans for “surgical strikes,” but no one believes that civilians will not suffer mass casualties). Very sensibly, President Obama has declared that he doesn’t want America to be seen as meddling in Iranian politics. Senator Lugar (R-IN) also disagrees with the idea of acting aggressively.

What else have they got? Well, they don’t appear to have anything constructive to say about health care. Their budget proposal had no numbers in it. There’s of course their earning the score of “major fail” for their use of Twitter. They launched the “National Council for a New America” in May. It contained John McCain, the guy who lost the 2008 election; Mitt Romney, who lost the GOP primary to John McCain; Jeb Bush, the brother of the guy who essentially ran the country into the ground for eight years (In a poll, Jeb Bush ran well behind [unspecified] “Someone else” and just ahead of “No one”). Of course, lowering taxes on capital gains, an old tried and true applause-winner in Republican circles, was the solution du jour for whatever the problem of the moment was. Republicans did complain when abstinence-only sex education was cut, but as they couldn’t point to any successes the program had ever had, no one cared.

So how vitally important is it, really, to have Norm Coleman continue to deny Al Franken his rightful seat?