Maybe it's a drug problem? Comedian D.L. Hughley may just be on to something. Take Hughley's recent exchange with neocon Bill Kristol, editor of Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard, on Bill Maher's "Real Time" on HBO.
Kristol: "We're not failing in Iraq. In fact, we've done an amazing job. If you had said six months ago that we would have a total of 300 American casualties, and rather few Iraqi casualties--I mean under 10,000 probably--no ethnic warfare, no religious warfare, huge parts of the country pretty peaceful, the American military doing really a fantastic job of running the country, parts of the country, that was all good news. Now the bad news is there's a nasty counter--there's a nasty insurgency that we need to crush, because there are Baathist remnants, and there are terrorists there."
Hughley: "You're high, aren't you? You're high! [laughter] [applause] I have a cousin in rehab and he says a lot of the same things, let me tell you. [laughter] [applause]
Having elbowed the State Department aside and demanded full authority for overseeing the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be held accountable for the problems facing the US occupation, which include mounting US and Iraqi casualties, an increasingly sophisticated insurgency, rampant street crime and costs exceeding one billion dollars a week.
The Nation said it last April and it's more true than ever before: "The Defense Secretary should resign--now. Although George W. Bush is ultimately responsible for the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq, it is Donald Rumsfeld who is the Cabinet member directly charged with planning and carrying out the nation's wars." And he should take Wolfowitz, Feith and Perle with him.
As the Washington Post reported last week, Rumsfeld appears to be losing political support most dramatically on Capitol Hill, where many in Congress, even some conservative Republicans, are expressing concern about his handling of Iraq and his continued in-fighting with many in the military establishment. "Winning the peace is a lot different than winning the war," said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). Even the conservative Weekly Standard, now doing its own flip-flop, has taken aim at Rumsfeld calling him "mulish" and the "Secretary of Stubborness."
Forget about the economy. Forget about the environment. Forget about the mess that he has made of US relations with the rest of the world. The issue that is on George W. Bush's mind is more basic: Does a leader end up paying a political price if voters think he lied his country into an unwise and unnecessary war in Iraq?
For the answer to that question, the president and his aides might want to look to Britain, where Bush's closest comrade-in-arms before, during and since the Iraq invasion, Prime Minister Tony Blair, just took a political body blow.
In a multi-ethnic, working-class section of London that has for decades been a political stronghold for Blair's Labour Party, voters used a special election to fill a vacant seat in the Parliament to send the prime minister a message that has shaken the British political establishment. It is a message that ought to be heard, as well, in the United States.
"I want to do everything," Madonna said recently. I thought she was talking about positions. (I was a keen reader of her X-rated 1992 book of photography, Sex.) My twelve year old daughter thought she was talking about her MTV Video Music Awards' open-mouth pump and grind kissing routine with Britney Spears and Cristina Aguilera.
Turns out that we were clueless. Madonna has found another way to have it all. On September 15th, this kinder and gentler forty-four year old mother of two, America's premier mistress of reinvention (once married to bad boy Sean Penn and involved romantically with, among others, Warren Beatty and Dennis Rodman), tackled J.K. Rowling's empire.
Madonna's first children's book, English Roses, was simultaneously released in more than one hundred countries in forty two languages with all the hoopla and publicity that normally surrounds Rowling's Harry Potter. The plot is based on Madonna's spiritual lodestar Kabbalah--the mystical Jewish guide to the universe. ("Yikes, I for one never knew Madonna was Jewish," writes some strange columnist called Mr. Joel of Hollywood, an independent blogger.)
Democrats who want to deny Howard Dean the party's 2004 presidential
nomination have a new issue: They are complaining that the front-runner
is insufficiently unequivocal in his support for Isr