Archive for December, 2006

Morning Round Up 12-20

December 20, 2006

Seems to be quite a bit of focus on Presidential nominees this morning. Phillip Klein at the American Spectator references some of Giuliani’s quotes at his fundraiser regarding the other possible Republican contenders. Patrick Hines posts the results of a recent Newsweek poll showing John McCain still leads Hillary Clinton. Debbie Schlussel brought the heat concerning Obama’s ties to Islam via his middle name and family. Allahpundit has a bit of a round up featuring her comments and some responses. Red State posts a John Fund article weighing whether or not Obama should run in ’08.

Policy in the Sphere

National Defense 

TIME’s person of the year…

December 19, 2006

… is you.

The “Great Man” theory of history is usually attributed to the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, who wrote that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men.” He believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species. That theory took a serious beating this year.

The TIME magazine article said that the story of this past year was…

…a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.

Even Washington felt the shock waves of the modern internet in the past year. The Coburn-Obama transparency act and the “Macaca” incident were both integral in the emergence of Government 2.0. TIME is noticing a real trend that is shaping global communication and the world as we know it.

A Sign of Things to Come?

December 7, 2006

From The Washington Post:

It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation’s intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers.

Conservative bloggers haven’t let this “little slip” pass by unnoticed…

Pejman at Red State notes that it seems bizarre that the Dems would swear up and down about fully implementing these recommendations and then not do it… until you realize that part of the recommendations include Congressional reorganization.

Tim Chapman has a comparison of Harry Reid’s comments then and now.

Jim Geraghty says that the Dems were seemingly on a roll until dropping the ball with this issue.

Even this NYTimes editorial shows disappointment with such inaction by the Dems:

Now that they can taste power again, however, the victors seem to be having second thoughts. Instead of attempting wholesale committee reform in the first weeks of Congress, Democratic leaders may punt the idea toward oblivion in some sort of a study panel, according to The Washington Post. Nothing could be more disappointing to voters.

Below is a Nancy Pelosi quote from before the election that sheds some light why some folks are up in arms over this “picking and choosing” over full implementation of the recommendations:

“Republicans’ misplaced priorities mean America is not as safe it should be. Democrats have a new direction for the American people — one that will fully implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and make the security of the American people a top priority.” –USNewswire

This doesn’t bode well for earmark reform…

Iraq Study Group Releases Findings

December 6, 2006

The Washington Post reports the findings of the Iraq Study Group:

Circumstances in Iraq are “grave and deteriorating,” with a potential government collapse and a “humanitarian catastrophe” if the U.S. does not change course and seek a broader diplomatic solution to the problems that have wracked the country since the U.S. invaded, according to a bipartisan panel that sent its findings to President Bush and Congress today.

In what amounts to the most extensive independent assessment of the nearly four-year-old conflict that has claimed the lives of 2,800 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis, the Iraq Study Group painted a bleak picture of a nation that risks a “slide toward chaos” without new efforts to reconcile its feuding religious and ethnic minorities.

Despite a laundry list of recommendations meant to encourage regional diplomacy and lead to a draw down of U.S. forces over the next year, the panel acknowledged that stability in the country may be impossible to achieve any time soon.

The Heritage Foundation published this article in response to the ISG’s findings.  In it, Dr. James Carafano and James Phillips discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of the ISG findings.  Below is a snippet from the introduction of the article (which is worth a read).

The ISG report does clarify some of the ugly dilemmas intrinsic to Iraq and will provide a useful reference point for the ongoing policy debate on Iraq. Its recommendations comprise a sensible and realistic way forward in Iraq, with one major exception: Drawing Syria and Iran into efforts to stabilize Iraq would accomplish little at great expense or even backfire, undermining stability. The ISG’s broad approach of reducing U.S. forces’ combat role while increasing their role training Iraqi troops and police would put U.S. resources where they can do the most good as Iraq’s government tackles the difficult political issues behind the country’s current violence. Conversely, as the ISG finds, an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces would lead to strategic, moral, and humanitarian disaster.